Hunter gave a small laugh at Efferi's comment, the halfling had shrugged off the drows affront with surprising speed. Hunter sensed a more sinister, dangerous side to Efferi then the joyful front then they had so far seen. The elf, for her name still evaded him, was harder to judge but she was not as willing to give all people as much of a chance as he was. He swiftness of judgement troubled him as they were both long lived but he seemed to look more to the future then she did, hopefully the group will be able to debate things between then rather then following one person. The elf was certainly putting herself forward as an authority figure in their little group already.
"Yes, into the castle."
The raptoran then followed the drow into the castle courtyard, those high walls were so tempting, it had hardly been a day since he had glided down from something but his lust for flight, to be in his element, was so great that he couldn't help but want to climb them.
Four of the five chosen arrived at the temple together. One had not showed up yet, but that would be his problem. And so they walked down the main road, and made it to the castle.
The royalty of Champa lives in the north of town nestled comfortably between the mountains. The stone construction towers before you, framing a well polished steel portcullis. The sun glinted off the portcullis, which was soon raised, permitting you into the courtyard, which is square and filled with trees, and very well maintained. Along the walls, you can see many exotic and fine silken tapestries... However they don't seem to fit with each other, seeming to be a random collection. On the opposite side of the portcullis, a large, dark wooden door opens, permitting you entrance into the main chamber.
Upon entering the main chamber, the tapestries give way to fine rugs, vases, and statues, again, seeming all very out of place and eclectic. There are guards lining the halls, but they recognize you, and do not attempt to stop you, permitting you to walk all the way through the halls. You are admitted into the royal chambers, and see a middle aged man sitting on a golden throne. You recognize him as the king.
"Welcome my champions. You may be wondering why I have called you here. And what I have to tell you today is not to be discussed with anybody else unless they say to you 'The winds of change are blowing the waters of hope onto the fires of despair which burns the earth of health.' This is a secret password which has been passed down by the royalty of Champa, and others who are important to this plot, which I will not explain:"
The King readies himself, taking a few deep breaths. Then, he begins.
"A thousand years ago, the world was different from what it is now. The world was sustained by the elements. Air, Earth, Fire and Water. These four elements, when balanced, caused the world to function perfectly, and everyone prospered. However, the illusion of power came to certain individuals. And so they tried to control all the elements.
And then these elements were further investigated, while the greedy persons wished to have a wider knowledge of how they worked. And what they discovered was that there were four large landmarks where certain elements were dominant. And then they traveled to these 'rocks' as they were called, they found an astonishing fact. There were people living at these sites who had some control over the elements... simply from birth, so it seemed. These people were called 'elementalists.'
And when the normal people became a threat from their lust of power, the chief elementalists sought a way to seal their powers. And so they created four statuettes... to house their powers. and then they traced their locations to one central location... and that location was Champa. So one day, they brought the four statuettes here, and we sealed them, so as to create a fulcrum to balance the elements. And it worked... until a week ago."
The king grimaces, pausing a bit to let you absorb what has happened. Then, he continues.
"They were stolen. All four of them. We suspect they seek to return them to the 'rocks' in order to restore the world to what it used to be. We can't let this happen. And so I wish to ask you to defend them, and get them back. We have one lead... They're at the Ankhol ruins, to the northwest last we heard. They was apparently some hidden magics there that have to do with the elements. I would like you to investigate. I know this is much... But I will answer any questions you have now."
"Excuse me your magesty but I have a question to ask of you. When we embark on our journey to these ruins do you have any warnings or reccomendations for what as to we might bring with us to prepare besides basic survival equipment like weapons, food and shelter?"
Drizzt taps his foot as if he forgot something else but then brigtens up and looks at the others.
Efferi stared at the king. His eyes showed curiousity, as theivery was something he understood well.
"Milord, a few questions here, also. Do you have any leads as to a certain group of people or organization that could be guilty? Also, I know how some theives think. Would you say there's a large chance that all the statuettes aren't in the same place?"
He stood with his arms crossed, his small body looking diminutive among his companions.
Standing in the kings court they must look very odd, a halfling, a drow, an elf and a raptoran, they'd look even odder when the halforc arrived. He found himself wishing the Warchief was present, he would know what questions to ask, he was always consulted before the flock entered into a fight or when forces wished to cross their lands, he always used to say 'The courage of the leader decides the battle, not numbers or arms.' although how true this saying was is unsure, and the flock had the benefit of the elite of all warriors, the Stormtalons and the Skypledged.
Efferi was right to ask about who might be organising the thieves but more questions needed to be asked, the first about how the statuettes where kept safe and how the king knew them to be at the Ankhol ruins.
"Your majesty, how were the statuettes kept safe? Were they hidden or locked up? Maybe some protective magic or device was used?"
He waited for the kings response to his first questions then continued to his second and third.
"How do you know them to be at the Ankhol ruins? And is it possible that you are sending us into a trap?"
Maybe some light could be shed on the nature of the group before they went face to face. Perhaps it was rash and unlike his better nature to go into such a thing without debating it or having full and prior knowledge. But it was mid-spring, the children would hatch soon and although he had none of his own this season they would need food and protection. Raptorans are always a bit rash around spring and early summer.
Posted on 2009-08-13 at 13:01:31.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Elendara listens to the questions asked by the others first. It is seemed strange that this statues had not been well guarded more that well guarded it they were so important. Taken and spirited away without anyone noticing that they were. Magics indeed were involved.However that was not what she had to concern herself with eight now. Who took them was important. Where they were was important and they had only one clue as to that the ruins.
"If we are planning to catch the thieves then we best get to the only trail we possible have." Elendara states simple.
Posted on 2009-08-13 at 18:06:18.
Edited on 2009-08-13 at 18:06:43 by Brianna
Efferi nodded to the elf woman who had spoken. "Your name is Elandra, is it not? I understand what you say. But precaution and planning often win the battle. You can be the strongest brute alive, but a well planned out sword thrust will still kill you. We don't have a choice, but I di want to know as much as I can about the circumstances."
He was standing beside hunter, making him look even shorter. His tenor voice had attracted the attention, and he was trying not to make a fool out of himself by being too cautious.
"Let's just say, in my line of work, one job requires days of planning, watching, and still has a measure of risk involved."
That was it, the elfs name was Elandra, and he had to say he did not agree with her, the more information they had the better they could decide how to do about this. They'd have to go about it but they stood a better chance of acieving their goal if they had all the information, a ballance between swiftness and information found would be needed but they knew too little to confrunt them. He was well aware of how tall he was compaired to some others but he had to suport the shortest member. In backing of Efferi he spoke to Elandra
"Personally I agree with Efferi, but there is only so much we can learn without facing the thieves, or at least whoever they've hired."
Truning to Drizzt who had spoken to him quiety earlier he wishered something to him before finnishing with.
Drizzt looks at Hunter. They are at almost face to face level, Hunter is just an inch taller.
He looks at his wings and then responds.
"I know, I know... I'm just not sure...."
He turns at Efferi and says, "Smart. You're gaining my respect more and more already." And the Drow turns at Elendara and stares, then turns back to the king and looks him in the eyes.
Posted on 2009-08-17 at 02:53:47.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
"Elendara." say the elf woman. Then she regards Efferi as he speaks of preparation and planning.
"I carry my preparation here," she says as she points to her back pack, "and my planning here." She pints to her forehead. I understand well what you are saying. These thieves had access to some magics, were good at what they did penetrating into the castle itself without notice and escaping in the same way. I will not underestimate them even if I do not know much about them."
Posted on 2009-08-17 at 03:16:38.
Edited on 2009-08-17 at 03:18:21 by Brianna
The king listened quietly as you all asked your questions, and as Braxtue joined you four.
"Okay, now that the fifth is here, I will answer all of your questions.
Drizzt, I don't believe that any extra precautions other than basic survival gear, weapons, and food are in order. But make sure you have your wits about you, as you will need those too.
In regards to lead to the group or organization, I have no idea. Whoever they are though, was highly trained, discreet, and fully capable of doing what they wanted to do. And the chance that they are all in the same place - for now anyway, is quite high I think. But, I have had little experience performing such tasks, so I cannot be certain.
The statuettes were sealed underneath my castle, with many enchantments on them so that they would be kept safe. I had a watch in front of the vault constantly, and there was an intricate puzzle to open the massive obdurium doors. I have no knowledge of who it could possibly be."
When Hunter asked about a sending them into a trap, the king furrowed his brow in anger. The guards beside the king lowered their spears, facing Hunter.
"I know them to be at the Ankhol ruins because that is where the tracks that our scouts found led to. They brought the information back here, like they were supposed to, then I called on you five to be champions and hunt them down. The thought of a king sending his own people into a trap could be grounds for accusing you of treason Hunter. You should be very wary of what you do. I've been told not many birds like being on top of the water, much less below it and anchored there.
And Efferi, you may be in the same line of work, but you definitely are safe. Your master has a golden eye for judging people's personalities... that's why he's so good at what he does. If he picked you as that guilds champion, then I am ready to accept you as that guilds champion. Also, it doesn't hurt to have a man who knows how the other side might think, does it?"
The guards raised their spears, and the king let out a sigh. "Anything else? I do have other matters to attend to. You four can fill Braxtue in on all that he missed. And Braxtue... try to be punctual next time."