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Tamar

Eliste was climbing up her favorite tree, to sit and work on editing her interviews. She nestled among the branches and pulled out her journal. She sent out a thought to see who was around her at that time and found a presence in the realm.

Oh its Tamar.

Eliste smiled at knowing that the great goddess was visiting the realm.

It would be wonderful to interview her, and I'm sure she'll say yes, she was very nice when she helped me with that dance.

Eliste closed her eyes and sent out a thought to Tamar.

"Are you busy Lady?"

"Not at the moment."

"Cause I wanted to know if I could interview you?"

"Ah."

Please say yes.

"If you don't mind."

"I suppose we could do it now."

Eliste smiled and when she opened her eyes she was on a relaxing stretch of sand. Mist rose in the warm air. The waterfall splashed in the background produced a thousand little notes which gradually blended into one soothing sound. Warm, inviting pink sand lies beneath your feet. The sky is cloudy and a warm southerly breeze blows. Tamar stood before her bathed in an intense dark blue aura. By her feet an ocelot sat purring.

Eliste smiled at Tamar and curtsied.

Eliste looked north and saw a cascade of water pouring down from some unseen source high above, creating a wall of water which sheltered a narrow opening. The narrow opening was closed. She turned south and saw oversized ferns growing along the edges of the sand, their fronds swayed slowly in the breeze. Bright yellow and orange flowers grew among the ferns. To the east Eliste saw the crashing of waves in the distance, timeless and full of power. At that moment she saw her self. The west was filled with oversized ferns growing along the edges of the sand, flanked by tropical trees which provided a canopy of shade. Multicolored birds called to one another from the trees, creating a medley of sound which added to that of the waterfall. Above Eliste the sky was clear, yet tinged with the most incredible colors. Seabirds soared and dived on the air currents in an exuberant dance of flashing feathers. And below her the warm sand beneath your feet is soft and fine; so fine that you cannot discern the individual grains. Time and the elements have created a thing of beauty.

Its gorgeous, so beautiful and tranquil.

"Its very pretty. May I look at you? For a description?"

Tamar nodded.

"No need to ask."

Lost in her own thoughts, Tamar idly brushed a leaf out of her hair. A little remote, she must spend most of her days curled among the tree branches & roots in her hometown of Loth-Llorien. Guarded with her affections, she is a valuable ally once you have her trust. A long scar across her cheek glowed.

"Can we start during your mortal life?"

"That's fine."

"Where were you born?"

"In Loth-Llorien."

"Were you part of a large or small family?"

"A very small family. I'm an only child, which probably shows from time to time. I spent most of my childhood in contemplation."

"So what did you do in Loth Llorien growing up?"

"Usually nestled among the tree branches of my hometown. I studied the cleric trade. I have always been most interested in helping people. If I can... Also, as soon as I was old enough to be out on my own. I began looking around to find a place where I might help even more."

I enjoy laying on tree branches too.

"Where was that?"

"I was drawn to Lorna's following originally."

"Lorna?"

"Yes, at the time she was the leader of the Flying Tigers. Which was an ancient good-aligned following. In the beginning it had much of the same precepts I held to be true for myself, but gradually it changed. It became more militaristic."

"Where you apart of it or just drawn to it?"

"I was a part of it. Until things began to change. At that point Lorna spoke with us, and said that those who would not feel comfortable killing evils simply because she ordered it, could be released if it was our desire. I was one of those few that left."

"Why wouldn't you kill evils?"

"I don't believe in judging people, nor blindly carrying out orders without thought. So, after that, I joined Nature."

"Nature was led by?"

"Our goddess and our friend was Rhina. Who again leads Nature now. There, for the first time, I felt that I was a part of a large family. Neutrality suited me much better. And I enjoyed working together, and really helping others."

"What happened next?"

"Well, I spent the time with Rhina and the members of Nature concentrating on becoming an adult and improving my skills. I was very quiet, in fact outside of Nature very few people seemed to know that I even existed."

"Why were you so quiet?"

"I am very loyal, but I am not one to give my affections freely. I am not comfortable with small talk, or running madly hither and thither. I was a bit single-minded, as well. The strange thing is, many people mistook me for a warrior. I'm not sure why."

I hope she doesn't think I run madly, cause I do love to talk with everyone.

Tamar smirked thinking back on old times.

"Perhaps it was the armor. At one point, I got a bit too single-minded."

"How so?"

"I was headed towards the ocean, probably on a small quest, and some youngster attacked me. As usual, I simply left. They followed me and did it again, and I left again. The third time, I chased them until they were dead. Really, they should have gotten the hint the first two times."

Tamar kill someone?

"Wow."

"People often mistake silence and turning the other cheek for weakness. It is not so. Although I regret now that I did not hold my temper better."

She reminds me a bit of Clue. But yes it is not weakness.

Eliste nodded solemnly.

"Eventually I completed all my quests, and petitioned for immortality."

"Why did you wish to be immortal?"

"I thought that my perspective on what it should mean to be of the good alignment was something that was lacking. I hoped to fill a void."

She must of been a fun Goddess to follow.

"So first you had to become an attendant?"

"Ambassador first. One day, after a bit of waiting, I met with Tynian. He spoke with me a bit, and then I became an Ambassador."

"Did you enjoy that?"

"Of course, at that point my official job was helping people."

"So once you finished that you became an attendant right?"

"Yes, I became Attendant to Okk."

Okk? That must of been interesting to see.

"What was that like?"

"Which, although he knew I was to be his Attendant, it was still a bit of a surprise for him."

"Why?"

"He was having some minor difficulty at the moment, I'm not sure what, perhaps he got distracted by a juicy looking Minotaur. And when his attention returned, there I was."

Eliste giggled, unable to contain herself.

"He soon gave me this scar."

Tamar pointed to the long scar across the cheek.

So that's where she got it. But why would he do that?

"Why?"

"I think in ogres it is a sign of affection. And since he is an immortal, it has never faded. I rather like it."

Eliste smiled.

So then it isn't a bad thing, that is good.

"What kind of a following did Okk have?"

"An interesting one. At the time, Vorax was a part of his following, and was under the misapprehension that he was an elf."

Tamar paused for a moment.

"Actually he is an elf. I've gotten so old I can't remember what he did pretend to be. But you should ask him if you get a chance, it was funny."

I have to interview him.

Tamar sat down and thought deeply.

"I can't quite think of what his response was, but he used to say something every time anyone said "VORAX!". And so of course I said it all the time."

Eliste giggled.

Oh that must of been fun to be around. I wish I could have been there.

"Vorax used to say something, that is."

"You can't remember what he said?"

Tamar shook her head and sniffed sadly.

"I'm getting old."

But she looks so young. Well she is an elf, and immortal.

"Never."

"Well, I supposed I'm still technically barely an adult, for an elf. But that's when you know you're an adult, right? When you start to feel old. Ah well. I'll comfort myself with thoughts of the Lich."

Tamar smiled.

"Eventually, I was granted my own following, The Dreamwalkers."

"Were you neutral, or good?"

"No, we were good. Chaotic good."

Eliste blinks.

Chaotic good?

"In actuality my following was most like Clue's is today."

I knew she reminded me of Clue.

Eliste smiled.

"So you were pacifists?"

"Erm, I've never liked that term."

Tamar grinned happily.

Uhm... I'm not sure what else to call it.

"What term would be better?"

"It's more that we did not go out of our way to harm others, and spent our time trying to help them instead. We acted as if we were Sentry, but we were Sword. I felt it more of a challenge for followers to be ABLE to attack others, but to have to mindfully chose not to. We did not attack others unless we were justified, and even then at times we did not. Except for Snappy and Tiberius, they always made sure to use their justs."

Tamar smirked.

"I of course, had a terrible habit of killing my own followers, so that was were most of the deaths came in."

"Why would you kill them?"

"Erm, Fun? I don't know. Sometimes my snowball fights just got a little too enthusiastic. We had lots of snowball fights.

An ocelot purred contentedly in Eliste's lap. She smiled and pet it.

"Here, I'll show you our old Refuge."

Tamar unlocked the narrow opening, and opened it. She left towards the north.

Do I follow?

Tamar appeared behind Eliste and nudged her.

Eliste walked through the narrow opening. She looked around inside Tamar's Refuge.

Time and all things come together in this place, as though they were one and the same. This is a place of meditation, peace, and serenity. There are no barriers -- even the boundaries between the planes of existence are as nothing here. The sky is cloudless and a warm southerly breeze blows. She looked north. All the aspects of you -- the choices you have made, the people you have encountered, the places you have seen, the dreams you have dreamt, the beliefs you hold true -- lie behind you, forming the whole that you are and have been. Eliste turned south. Within your heart lies a quiet place; a place where you can go to contemplate and be content with yourself. Your reality is your choice, and you can choose to see the beauty in the world, to dream the dream of heaven -- to dream your own reality. To the east the crashing of waves can be heard in the distance, timeless and full of power. In this moment, you can see your self. To the west the infinite possibilities in life stretch before you, awaiting your embrace. The pathways all lie open to you, some clearer than others. Above the faint moon shines with a cool white light among the distant stars above. At the same time, the warm light of the sun flows from the edges of the shimmering horizon, showing the outlines of low-slung clouds. All things are possible. All things have been. All things will be. Below she saw delicate white flowers blossom among the rangy grasses, opening to receive the gifts of light from the sun and moon and closing again when they have drunk their fill. The water of a shallow reflecting pool grows still as the ripples caused by the faint breeze at your entrance subside.

"Its beautiful."

"Look into the pool."

Eliste moved over and looked in the pool.

"Your image looks back at you, a visage of the moment. If you know what to look for, the pool may show you other things as well."

"If you think of a snowman while you look, you'll see Legolas."

Snowman.

The pool shimmers and a strange vision appears before your eyes. Wait, is that really a snowman? It seems unlikely. Peering closer, you see elven ears peeking out from under the snow. The elf brushes himself off resignedly, not noticing the sign on his back. "Must have been more snowballs", he mutters under his breath, as he prepares to teleport off on a new adventure. This must be Legolas, the first to be ordained for the Dreamwalkers. His sense of spirit, gameness, and individuality sparkles in his eyes.

"He was usually the victim of the snowball fights."

Tamar juggled a LARGE snowball.

"So how did you then become a greater goddess and why?"

"Well, first was becoming Lesser, and then Goddess."

"Well then what was being a lesser like?"

"Lesser was pretty similar to Demigoddess, really. But I became Greater Goddess in order to spend more time on things that would help the mud as a whole. Goddess was the big change."

"Whys that?"

"Well, it meant giving up my following. It was quite traumatic. I had several dreams which were full of symbolism. And they were very mysterious."

"Can you share one?"

"I have written copies of them if you would like to see them."

Tamar handed Eliste two scrolls.

Eliste opened the first one up and began to read.

As often happens, late last night I sat gazing into the reflecting pool in my refuge, meditating. I must have slipped unnoticed into sleep, for suddenly I found myself shaking violently. The waters of the reflecting pool roiled and rose up around me. Huge thunderclouds in hues of every color formed quickly from the waters. At once, the sky turned a sickly greenish-brown, that same horrible false twilight that comes just before a tornado reaches down from the sky to ravish the plains below. My refuge had completely vanished. I waited uncertainly, looking slowly about at the changing scene around me.

A loud noise assailed my ears, and a flash of light temporarily blinded me. I looked up and saw the Dreammaster standing before me:

The Dreammaster himself has decided to end your intrusion once and for all.

The Dreammaster tells you, 'Goddess of Serenity?'.
The Dreammaster tells you, 'Mistress of Dreams, eh?'.
The Dreammaster tells you, 'I don't believe it'.

The Dreammaster's acid blast *** ANNIHILATES *** you!
That really did HURT!
You sure are BLEEDING!

Pain everywhere. Blood flowed from my body in a torrent of brilliant red, staining the ground around me. The Dreammaster gave me a vial, and said, 'Here, fill this quickly with your blood, lest it all be absorbed by nature around you.'. To do this, he gave me a sieve.

The scene changed again, the way dreams do, and this time I saw in the distance the Grand Master of Time.

From a great distance, he uttered the words, 'heal', and I felt the slightest bit improved, but he cautioned me that time alone does *not* heal all wounds.

Then another sharp pain, and I awoke, tasting blood. I had bitten my lip in my sleep.

Tamar, Goddess of Serenity,
Mistress of Dreams

What could that mean? I would be terrified if I dreamed that.

Eliste opened the second scroll, and read.

Dreaming again. It was as if the time between my last vision and this had never happened -- as if I had simply shifted in my sleep and then continued my dream.

I stood bleeding, holding the vial and the sieve tightly in my hands, while the Dreammaster and the Grand Master of Time looked on. The steady drip, drip sound of my blood as it fell to the ground was magnified a thousandfold in my ears. I bent, reaching down with the sieve to scoop up my blood.

Drip, drip.

Two drops of blood fell right through the sieve, landed on the ground, and were instantly absorbed, becoming one with nature.

Drip, drip, drip, drop, drop, drip, drop.

The sound became a torrent, as more droplets of blood fell through the sieve and became absorbed. I began to doubt whether I would ever fill the vial, but I took a deep breath and concentrated.

Lightning flashed, and the huge thunderclouds melted away, while at the same time the sickly color of the sky swirled and changed into a vivid blue hue.

The Dreammaster threw back his head and cackled with insane glee.

The Dreammaster tells you, 'Oh, MISTRESS of Dreams, do you think you can change the world with one thought? Do you REALLY think it works that way?'.

The Dreammaster tells you, 'Do you think ONE PERSON can make a difference?'.

'Yes', I answered calmly, watching my blood flow unchecked. 'I KNOW one person can make a difference. I have seen it in others. I have done it myself. And I know that it will happen again and again, as each person realizes their potential, and then the world will be a place where all can dream in joy and peace.'

The Dreammaster vanished, and a small butterfly brushed my cheek.

The Grand Master of Time uttered the words, 'heal', 'heal', 'heal'.

I looked down at my hands at the sieve and the vial, but they were gone.

In their place I held a carefully constructed nest with a dozen speckled-blue eggs inside. As I watched, the eggs began to move a little, and cracks appeared in them. Soon, the nest was filled with cheeping young birds. The birds grew feathers, and became stronger day by day as they lived together as a family. I brought them food now and then, and encouraged them to stretch their wings and to explore and grow -- to be themselves. They began to fly confidently off, traveling far and wide to worlds I had never seen. They returned with tales of their adventures, and trinkets to share, and they were always happy to see one another and myself again.

I awoke, filled with joy and pride at the traits of my followers:

Their strength, for standing up for their beliefs under all circumstances.
Their courage, for venturing into the unknown and returning stronger for it.
Their willingness to help others and one another.
Their independence.

As I reflected, I found myself caught up short at the phrase "their independence". I looked down at my hands, wondering what I would see there in reality. No vial, no sieve, no nest. Yet still, some blood. I realized that it was my heart, not my hands, that bled. After my first dream, I had promised my followers that I would be there for them, just as I had promised in the beginning. I asked them to be there for me as well, and to show their allegiance.

I had in part done the very thing I wanted least: tried to draw my followers toward me, to hold them back. Yet I had also worked hard to encourage their independence and growth, and am proud of them.

With this note, I beg their understanding for what I will do now as I push them out of the nest for good. Sometimes growth is a painful process for everyone involved, but I have always found the results worthwhile and full of joy at the end. I say this as well, Dreamwalkers, I will be here for you. I will be here to speak to, to listen to you, to comfort you, to encourage you, and to watch you continue to grow and follow YOUR own dreams.

Tamar, Goddess of Serenity,
Mistress of her own Dreams

It must of been so hard for her to leave them. I hope she doesn't regret it.

"I do think it was for the best though. We all need to follow our own personal paths through life. And I'm still able to besiege my former followers with non-death-defying snowballs."

Tamar smiled happily.

Eliste giggled.

"I'm not sure what else you might like to know."

"When you became immortal what did you miss most from your days of mortality?'.

"Rhina. She vanished for a time shortly after that. And of course, there was the matter of the many hockey games I'd racked up as a debt to Armalag."

"Any other stories you can share with me?"

"Gaul vanished as well at that time, so I felt a bit lonely."

"Who was Gaul?"

"Gaul Stone, Nature's Pearl. 'That was his title. Or part of it, at least."

That is a clever name. He sounds really nice.

"Was he a close friend?"

"Yes, a close friend, in addition to being one of the biggest newbie helpers the realm has ever seen. He helped me in many quests."

"Any fun stories about you and Gaul."

"The only time I ever died as a mortal, I was with him. Does that count?"

"How did you die? If I may ask."

"If I remember right, I'd run off to Master's Tower to try to kill some beast as part of a quest. He and hrm, I believe Armalag was there too, and Rhina was watching. At any rate they ran interference for me, until we got close to the mob in question. Then I decided to go ahead and kill it, and erm, that was a mistake. They picked up the pieces of me, and all was well. I'd have rather have made it through mortality with out dying, but I suppose that's sort of the point of being a mortal."

I wish I could say I've only died once.

"Thank you so much for the interview."

"Thank you. You should do one of yourself, as well."

"I will."

Tamar pondered Eliste talking to herself and answering.

Eliste blushed while she giggled.

Eliste curtseyed.

"Shall I put you at Mish?"

"Yes please."

Tamar waved goodbye.

Eliste waved goodbye, and soon found herself waving at Mish.

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