Category Archives: Julan

Julan’s Letter

Kuul,

Hi! I hope everything is going well for you. Have you found anything else out about the murders? Is the investigation still going? It’s nice of them to pay for your apartment for you. I’m glad to hear the murders have stopped, and I hope there won’t be any more. Maybe the guy got in trouble for something else, and that’s why they stopped. Or maybe he died or something. I wouldn’t let my guard down too much though. Not until more time has passed.

I’m doing well with the rangers. I still think you should come out and join them too! I mean, I know why you don’t, and that’s okay, but they do take care of their own here. I’ve been going on patrols and learning how to shoot a crossbow. It’s not bad work. One of the rangers is also a baker, so we have cookies and fresh bread and muffins and everything all the time. There’s also a mage school nearby with an actual real cook who makes amazing spinach rolls. I don’t even like spinach, but I think they’re good. If you ever change your mind, you know I’ll put in a good word with you with the Captain!

Part of my training is going to be working with and training an animal. Lots of rangers get animals to work with. One of the trainers here has a giant lizard, and the woman training me has a moth. The Captain and his wife have cats, and one of the other rangers just got a dragonhawk. I’ve been thinking about what I want for a long time, but I keep changing my mind. But then I guess one might have picked me.

I was walking along the beach here below the mage school. They always have big parties there, so I like going for the spinach rolls. They had so much food! There was a lot of wine too. I had a couple of glasses and decided to take a walk, so I went to the beach. It’s cold here so I didn’t think there would be anyone else there, and there wasn’t. It was quiet and the stars were bright and clear, and the sound of the waves on the shore was relaxing, but then I heard a bird. It was just there on the ground. I had almost stepped on it! I didn’t think it was normal for a seagull to just sit on the beach and let itself be almost stepped on. So I bent down and inspected it. It was holding one of its wings out, and there was a bit of blood, so I picked it up and carried it back to the mage school. I fed it while I fed myself and at the end of the night, I took it back to the ranger building. Now I’m taking care of it. I took it to the priestess in town for its wing. She said she wasn’t a specialist with animals, but then she helped anyway. She said it was broken, but it should heal just fine. She thinks one of the bats tried to get it. I think that sounds about right. She also said it was a young seagull, that it’ll get a little bit bigger, but not huge. I’m not going to make it stay with me, but if it wants to, then I guess it’ll be my animal.

Anyway, I have to go practice my crossbow yet today before patrol, and I want to send this letter when we pass by the town on patrol, so I have to stop here. Again, I hope everything is going well, and that the murder investigation catches that guy!

Your friend,

Julan

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The Ruins Revisited

Julan hadn’t seen him leave, and no one else had. They all had been too busy eating to notice. It wasn’t until Kavia got up and took some of the empty plates to the kitchen that the note was found. They had already discussed when they had last seen Orledin, and had decided it was when he brought the bread out to them. Now they were figuring out what to do next. The Captain wasn’t at the building yet, but should be soon. There was some talk about waiting for him. Someone else suggested a search party going out for him right away, while others waited to tell the Captain. There were two missing rangers in the same morning. Julan put his boots on and slipped out the door, taking care not to be noticed by the others.”

He started heading into the forest when he heard a voice behind him.

“Julan! Wait, where are you going?”

He turned to face the elf running towards him, Perothis. He was the youngest of the rangers, evidenced by the fact that his parents still sent a package for him once a month with cookies and useful things like mittens, scarves, combs and toothbrushes. Julan had never had anyone who cared enough about him to do something like that, and whenever a new package arrived, he started wondering what it was like. He always decided, rather quickly, that it must be annoying, and went on to think about something else.

“Nowhere.” Julan lied in response to Perothis’s question.

“You’re going somewhere. We have a recruit missing, and Orledin is gone. We don’t need you to disappear as well.”

“I’m not disappearing. I’m just checking something.”

“What are you checking?”

Julan paused, trying to come up with something good. “The trees.”

“The trees? What’s wrong with the trees?”

“Nothing.”

“Then why do they need to be checked?”

Julan shrugged.

“Look, you shouldn’t go alone. I’ll go with you.”

“You can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’ll look at your butt or something, and that makes everyone uncomfortable.”

Perothis looked at him and grinned, “If you do, I’ll tell Des and she’ll turn you into a sheep.”

“I don’t want to be a sheep.”

“Then don’t look at my butt or anything.”

“I have a better idea. You could stay here.”

“You’re not really going to check the trees. There’s nothing wrong with the trees. You’re doing something else, and you better tell me what, or I’ll go tell the others.”

Julan paused again. Trees wasn’t a good answer the first time, but trees were the only thing around. He supposed it wouldn’t hurt to tell him the truth. “Look, if I tell you, you have to promise not to tell anyone else, and it’s not because it’s my secret. It’s someone else’s, and I’m very discreet. I don’t tell the secrets of others, but since you’ve caught me, I’ll tell you. You have to promise not to tell the others.”

Perothis regarded him with suspicion. “Is it a bad secret?”

“No, it’s not good or bad, it’s just someone else’s.”

Perothis took a moment to think about it before nodding, “I won’t tell.”

“Okay. Follow me.” Julan began to lead Perothis through the forest. He had learned early on in his life that it was always a good idea to pay attention to landmarks, direction, and distance. He had been slightly drunk when he had come this way before, but he paid even more attention to those kinds of details then. Previous to becoming a ranger, it was mostly useful for getting out of a crowded Murder Row slum, or occasionally, a client would want to take him to a part of the city he wasn’t familiar with. Once he had one ask him to Eversong, which was the furthest he had been from Murder Row in his life, before coming out here. Knowing how to get back home was important. Clients rarely cared about getting him home after their needs were taken care of.

“So where are we going?”

“Some troll ruins. Orledin had some things in some of the huts he fixed up. Maybe he’s there. I don’t know how many people know about it. The path isn’t very visible, and it’s not near any of our routes. I’d rather have him mad at me for telling everyone, so keep it quiet.”

“Oh. If he’s there, he won’t be mad at me, will he?”

Julan shrugged, “I’ve never seen him mad, have you?”

“No.”

“I hope he won’t be then. He has the troll huts fixed up really nice and has a place to sit and read, and he puts together bones in the others.”

Perothis nodded, “Is that where the reanimated raptor is? I want to see it.”

Julan stopped walking. Of all the things he could forget, how could he forget that? “Maybe this isn’t a good idea.”

“Orledin might be there. We have to check!”

“It might be there too.”

“So, he has control over it, right?”

Julan twitched an ear, “I guess.” He continued walking again, though a bit more cautiously than before.

Soon, they reached a clearing. They passed the troll huts that were nearly reclaimed by the forest and headed to the ones near the river. Julan warily walked around one of them to the entrance. He glanced inside. Sheets covered the skeletons that Orledin had been wiring together. He saw no sign of the death knight.

“Check the other hut while I check this one over here.”

Perothis nodded and headed towards the third hut, while Julan went around to the entrance on the second. It had been covered by a leather flap. He raised it, and peeked inside. Again, there was no sign of the elf. The cot that Julan had slept on that night was in this room. Julan walked into the hut trying not to think about what had happened that night. He failed as his mind wandered. It hadn’t been bad really, but the thought of it still grossed him out.

“Julan!”

He heard Perothis call from the other side of the third hut. He had been trying to be quiet as to not attract the attention of any reanimated skeletons. Perothis apparently didn’t have such fears. Julan quickly left the second hut to join him.

“Look.” Perothis pointed at the ground.

The third hut was the closest to the river. Julan looked at the ground, but it was all mud around this area due to the frequent autumn rain. He looked at Perothis wondering why he had been so excited about mud.

“Don’t you see? Look.” Perothis knelt down closer and then Julan saw it. There were some strange markings in the mud. No, not markings. Those were tracks. Bone tracks. Raptor bone tracks.

“Are those fresh?”

“It rained last night. They have to be, but look over here. See, there’s elf boot tracks too.”

Julan followed him, nodding as he pointed out the other tracks. “He was here then. We could just follow the tracks, right?”

“Well, normally we could follow them until he got to drier ground, but that’s the other thing. They stop down there closer to the river.”

“What do you mean they stop?”

Perothis shrugged, “They just do, go look for yourself.”

Julan followed the tracks down the bank of the river to find the younger elf was right. The tracks just stopped though there was plenty of mud to make more. He looked back up the bank at Perothis. “We need to tell the Captain.”

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Julan’s Log

I’ve done it. I’ve left Murder Row. Of course, I have more reason now than ever before. Not that I didn’t have good reasons before, it’s just more relevant to my continued survival now. There have been some murders there recently that seem to be targeted towards the male workers there. At least, that’s what the others and myself were able to put together. Unfortunately, there’s rarely any investigation into these things in the Row. They just send someone to pick up the body, then it’s over. A lot of times they’re slow about coming to get the body, so more than enough people see the evidence. This time, there was enough to put together that the murders are connected.

I was lucky because an old friend, Aeramin, hired me to dance for a party. He used to work the Row as well, so I knew he would understand, and with him not on the Row now, and a mage on top of that, I figured he might have some ideas about where I could work. I explained everything to him when he came to make the portal to the party location, and he said he would see what he could do.

He found a job for me with the rangers! I couldn’t believe it when he told me I had to meet the ranger captain. I’ve never held a bow before in my life! I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity, but there’s a lot of training to do. I met with the captain, and I was able to start staying there immediately.

There are two other guys staying in the men’s quarters. Well, three, but one doesn’t really count because he’s a death knight and doesn’t sleep. I’m doing my best to make friends here, but I guess they don’t like it when I flirt with them. I find it really difficult to not flirt with guys. It’s just what I’ve always done, and it worked out well for me before. But yet, here, it’s different. I didn’t even mean anything by it, but the one ranger instructor does have a nice butt. I guess he didn’t like me looking because now they have a woman training me.

She’s nice. Her name is Linarelle. All the girls are nice. I think I get along okay with them. It’s the guys who don’t like me. One of the guys who stays here is Aeramin’s father, and I accidentally flirted with him. Then he said something about catching me in bed with his son once. I don’t even want to talk to him again. I’m so embarrassed. I do kind of remember that, but I wish he didn’t! Then the other one who stays here has a girlfriend. He had to tell me a couple times before I decided it was a bad idea to try to talk to him again.

Then the death knight wanted to know why I didn’t flirt with him. Umm, because he’s dead and that’s just a little gross, maybe? That’s what I said to him because it’s the truth. He actually seemed to be mad that I wasn’t flirting with him. Maybe that’s just the way he is. Death knights must be mad a lot of the time.

I’ve accidentally flirted with Aeramin too. He doesn’t get mad at me. He just says it’s nice, but he has a boyfriend. I’ve met his boyfriend, and wow! No, I don’t expect Aeramin would be interested in anything with me right now. That guy has a really nice body. His boyfriend didn’t seem interested in me either. It’s almost like no one does anything out here!

Anyway, his boyfriend is actually trying to investigate the murders. I don’t know if anything will come from it, but I told him all I could remember about what I heard. While I may be safely away from the Row, I have many friends who are still there. They are still in danger.  I really hope he can find the guy.

I hope to visit my friends soon, but I have to ask Aeramin for a portal there. I don’t want it to be a portal where I go through and then I’m stuck there either. I need him to go with me so that I can get back! I’m not sure how keen he is on going there and seeing some of the other guys. Hopefully, he won’t mind. I’d like to see them to find out if there’s any new information.

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