While the tree canopy still feels oppressive and continuously wet, and I cannot say that I’ve grown fond of Bosmer, I must concede that their spiritual practices are not entirely intolerable or without merit. I had an experience with one of their holy men a few weeks ago that – although moving at the time – I did not expect to have lasting impact. Nonetheless, it appears that it has. I feel foolish bringing it up, but since the effects seem to keep making themselves known, I feel I should mention it to you.
There is a cult in Grahtwood who call themselves the Brackenleaf Briars. As a side-effect of being a known associate and unofficial representative of Queen Ayrenn, the Briars offered to initiate me into their cult. Under normal circumstances I would have declined, but under normal circumstances, they would not have offered. However, Ayrenn requested I do everything I could to foment convivial relationships between the peoples of the Dominion whenever possible, so I acquiesced to the initiation.
I did not, as I said, expect to feel touched by the ceremony, but I was. After proving myself to the cult, the initiation ritual connected me to a being they refer to as a “spirit animal”. I have heard the expression before, and always assumed such a binding ritual would be bloody and horrific. On the contrary, it was remarkably… it is difficult to describe. Suffice to say, I was joined by the spirit of the Senche who live in the forest, and it was a profound and even beautiful experience. Still, it was a memory I expected to enjoy and then let fade – yet that is not what has happened. The Senche seem to have become a permanent part of my life in some way. A spirit Senche helped me during a recent mission, and a group of them came to peacefully rest near me while I was crafting a new robe near the Belarata ruins in Malabal Tor.
A few nights ago I overheard a group of Bosmer mages discussing a quirk in the astrological alignments which will briefly allow the conjuring of a Senche-shaped twilight beast to use as a mount. It’s apparently an adaptation of a ritual used to summon one of Azura’s winged minions – they inhabit similar shadow realms – but it can only be performed under certain conditions and within a very narrow timeframe. I believe I will return to the Brackenleaf camp during the summoning window and see if I can conjure this Dro-m’Atha Senche; my spiritual connection to the Senche should be enough to help the beast manifest.
There is probably little relevance to this set of events, but since it appears to be a permanent effect, I felt I should make you aware in case it affects your own attunements.