EverQuest Diary II: The Visitor
... you can catch up on episodes of the adventures of Sania Nightfall.

I --- II --- III --- IV --- V --- VI --- VII

One night, as I drifted away into my dream world, a sound startled me.

I got up in a flash to look around. Nothing. But then I heard it again, branches cracking, leaves shaking. There was something on the closest tree. I stepped back away from the window, fearing it would be one of the evil creatures that the guards used to talk about. A soft giggling let me know immediately that I was wrong.

"Who's there?" I asked, thinking that maybe it would be best to call a guard.

A small tanned face popped between the leaves, smiling. It was a girl!

She wasn't one of my kind. "Who... what are you?"

The little girl laughed. "I take it you've never seen a wood elf!"

A wood elf! I had heard about them, but never seen one.

Wood elves, also called Feir'Dal, seem somewhat human at first, but the pointy ears and sharp features set them apart. They are beautiful creations of the Mother, but their beauty doesn't inflate their egos like it does for high elves.

Such was Marla's case. She was petite, her skin had a lovely tan, and her reddish-brown hair framed her face perfectly accentuating her deep green eyes.

She was floating right outside my window now... how did she do that?

"Hi! I'm Marla; I'm an apprentice druid. I've seen you before, from my house up in the trees."

This was a surprise! She lived in the trees? I asked her what a druid was; the Elders had told me that class of magic isn't allowed to be used by our 'superior intellect'.

"Let's see... I guess you can say a Druid is a protector of Nature."

A protector of Nature... she must be a child of Tunare as well! An elven brethren that looked so similar and yet so different.

"I see you're a bit confused. Here..." She gestured and mumbled a few words, and I was levitating. "Want to come and see where I live?"

"I've never been outside before Isn't it dangerous?" I said.

"We'll be fine! The way we're taking is perfectly safe. Come!"

I followed Marla through the leafy trees, floating from branch to branch, praying I wouldn't fall. Everything was so different from up here. It was dark and humid, but it wasn't scary. There was a distinct scent filling the air, wet grass and burning wood, a very pleasant smell. I could see other wood elves on the ground, fighting skeletons, poisonous spiders and giant wasps. Those wasps must have been the source of the royal jelly I used to eat frequently.

After a minute of walking (or should I say floating) I was able to distinguish little lights ahead, dozens of tiny flickering lights.

Kelethin

Marla set apart a couple of leafy branches to reveal Kelethin, the treetops city.

It was beautiful! The houses were located on large platforms circling the trees, connected by a series of bridges and ramps. There were lifts to bring people up, all three of them guarded, so the city above is free from danger. The wooden houses were mostly circular, they all had diamond shaped windows, and the walls were decorated with ornamental wooden frames forming an arch. Torches provided the light and warmth needed.

The Wood Elves were surely extremely agile creatures, living up here they risked falling off a platform, and that would mean certain death.

The city was so alive and wherever I looked, I could see little groups talking or dancing around warm bonfires. I noticed someone playing a lute, singing about distant places.

"That's a bard." Marla said. "They travel all over and always come back to tell us of their adventures I've heard their songs also have magical powers."

We sat and listened to him for a bit, but his song was soon interrupted by screams of help.

We turned to see two wood elves carrying another one up in the lift. "The Crushbone Clan attacked again, we found him laying on the path. He's bleeding to death!"

I've heard about the Crushbone Clans, the orcs that were trying to take over Faydark lead by Lord Dvinn, a dark elf exiled by his own race. Could all dark elves be that evil?

Marla ran over and begun casting a spell. I noticed it was a healing spell, but much weaker than those I knew. "It's of no use, my magic isn't strong enough. There's nothing we can do for him but pray," she said.

"Wait! I can help him." They all turned to stare at me. High elves weren't known for being helpful. "Please let me try, I can help."

They weren't very convinced, but I walked over to the wounded warrior while everyone whispered among themselves and glared at me dubiously. I prayed to Tunare, and condensed all my energy into one spell; the blue light formed in my palms and washed over the dying elf's body. For a moment, I thought I was too late. But he opened his eyes and soon enough was standing on his own.

"Thank you, my lady." the warrior mumbled.

My lady? This royalty treatment made me so uncomfortable.

"Sania. My name is Sania." I said beaming a smile at him.

An echo of cheers filled the air, and I was no longer part of the snobby arrogant high elf stereotype, like they thought I was. I knew then that helping others and fight whatever threatened the land was what I wanted to do. I returned to the palace that night hoping I would see my wood elf friends again very soon, and had the best sleep ever.

Sania, Out of Character

When I first saw my husband playing Everquest, I wondered what was could be so fascinating about kicking and slashing some rats and orcs. After a while, I decided to see for myself.

I tried many races and classes before creating Sania. I made an Erudite Magician, but figured the location of Odus wasn't really favorable. I made a Dark Elf Necro, and got lost in Neriak for an hour and a half, and never found my guild nor the exit to Nektulos! Can you say 'confusing'?

Then came the Human Paladin, but I couldn't see a damn thing at night and ended up dead in every corner. A Wood Elf Druid wasn't such a good choice, Kelethin confuses me to no end, and most of the time I would miss the planks and - splat! - fall off. I tried a Barbarian Shaman, but found it hard to level in Everfrost, sure there's plenty to kill, but most would kill me first.

So I went back and read the Official Player's Guide I bought, to learn more about the races and classes.

I wanted to be able to use spells and mostly, to heal myself. I also wanted some sort of night vision, and a character that looked pretty! I found the Cleric's description very interesting and there were a few words that helped me make up my mind faster, and I quote:

"The Cleric is a holy man endowed by his patron deity with the power to heal and, to a lesser extent, call upon the wrath of his deity to smite his foes."

Then the only problem was choosing a race. I had a hard time deciding between Halfling, Gnome and High Elf, but the less "human" the better, so High Elf it was! Besides, being able to start in a world of faeries and pixies sounded a lot more magical than beginning in a human city.

And so, Sania was created, a kind and helpful priestess with doubts about her origins, an eternal hate for the undead and a fixation for dark elves.