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16 Flamerule 1372 DR

Still feeling guilty about the previous night's transgressions, I headed straight for Mielikki's Glade at the crack of dawn. As a City Druid, one of my responsibilities is to assist Lady Tathshandra with the morning and evening services. Not that there aren't other druids to assist, but Tathshandra has been a friend since I was a child (may Mielikki continue to give her long life) and her friendship enhances the worship experience.

After the service, Shandy noticed I was troubled and though I did not go into detail about last night's events, she suggested that I perform my monthly Song of Trees early, which would involve a trip to the High Forest. I told her that I would take her counsel into consideration. After going home, I soon knew what I must do.

I had received mail from my cousin Pandora. I trained with her and her mother a few years before she left to help with the Neverwinter effort and became a big hero. Turns out, she's getting married to Neverwinter's Spymaster, Aarin Gend. A human.

My parents are going to be so scandalized.

The wedding was taking place next week, on the 23rd of Flamerule. According to reports, Pandora had just returned in triumph to Neverwinter, why was she rushing into a wedding...unless? No!

But oddly enough, despite Neverwinter still existing because of my cousin's heroics, the wedding would not be in Neverwinter (there goes that travel arrangement) but in her home village of Amalith, under the famed Grandfather Tree. Curiouser and curiouser.

I went to visit my mother.

"That fool Ariel and her fool child Pandora are going to embarrass us all," she said, drinking deeply from her goblet of elven wine. Clearly Father was out, as he never lets her drink during the daytime when he's present.

"Are you going to the wedding, mother?"

"Of course not, I wouldn't be caught dead treading through the muck to witness such an event - which is why you are going in my place, dear."

I wasn't quite ready for that.

"Someone has to do the dirty work and it might as well be you since you love dirt so much. I have something for you - "

She tossed a beautiful, shining green gown at me.

" - wove it all through the night, hope it fits."

I opened my mouth to thank her but -

"Don't thank me, child, now get to packing. I'm sending you to that backwoods affair in style. You will take my coach and bring a guest and that fleabag of a dog - "

"Selune is a wolf, moth-"

"Whatever. The trip should take two days, so you will leave three days in advance. Is that clear?"



"Mother, may I borrow - "

"Yes, yes, of course." She waved me away with a flick of the wrist.

Glad to be free of that conversation, I went upstairs to my mother's room and sat at her vanity. Touching the mirror, I chanted the incantation that would open a connection to the scrying mirror that belonged to Archdruid Ariel Lorien, Pandora's mother and my teacher. I could only hope she was in.

After a few minutes, the obsidian-like darkness of the mirror cleared and it was like Ariel was sitting right in front of me.

"Seledra, dearest, how are you?" She placed her hand where my face would be.

"I just got the invitation and mother is at the bottle again."

She sighed.

"If Evindra would just get out once in a while, she would probably be a much happier person. Are you coming, dear?"

"Oh yes, I wouldn't miss it. Besides, I was thinking about performing mySong of Trees a little early this year and what better place than where I did it the first time."

"That sounds like a wonderful idea. Would you mind performing the ceremony for the wedding?"

"I would be honored."

"Pandora can't wait to see you. She has a lot to talk to you about. Riol is growing fast, both in body and in the love of the forest. The twins are at an adventuring school in Hilltop, but they should be able to make it. I just wish..."

"I know." I saw Unebrion only briefly on a few occasions as a child, but his banishment was painful to all of us, as he was a striking young elf with a magnetic personality.

"It is good that you will come. Do you have someone special in mind to bring to the wedding, dear?"

I wondered if she could see the beads of sweat that appeared on my brow.

"I...uh, have a friend I may ask."

"A special friend?"

"Special in that she is a Drow."

"Wonderful, then this sort of thing will be a new experience for her!"

"I suppose it will. Listen, I must get to going. There are arrangements that have to be made."

"Of course, dear."

"Tell Pan that I can't wait to hear all of her news."

"I'll do that. Fare thee well dear."

"Fare thee well."

I slipped downstairs and past my mother (who had passed out again), grabbed a bottle of elven wine for myself and headed home. I just hope Ralenthra is free for a few days.