Since they began to move onwards once more, Damien had managed to remove from his mind all thoughts of the terrible experience he had dealt within in the dark recesses of the hell wrought upon him. He spent the journey silent, not speaking, even when spoken to. He wanted to be alone. He wanted to be away from everybody he might hurt if he were to stay with them. But, no matter his desires, he could not reach them, for to go out on his own, even after drinking the mead given to him by Riadros that had renewed his strength. The bard did not know the way through the forest, and could not hope to escape to be on his own.
The beauty of the forest surrounding him went unnoticed to his eyes, blank, staring always at what lay beyond he seemed to be gazing at.
Why have I been placed here? This taint upon the primal beauty of the homeland of the elves. A black smear across a great, green bolt of silk. Will my corruption and sorrow spread from me to the magnificence of the trees and nature around me? Surely it cannot... But...what if it were to do just that? Would they twist and become spidery, warped creations of a darkened influence upon them?
Damien’s mind was racing with questions he continually asked himself, never receiving answers, always repeating the same questions, over and over. Such possibilities seemed unlikely, but then, he had never even suspected that something occupying the body of a pitiful goblin could take hold of his body, and send it casting into a comatose state of utter torment.
“Behold. The Avilon trees,”
A voice shattering his thoughts, causing his eyes to focus and take in the dazzling beauty of the plant life around the group, to gaze upon the looming sentinels that rose up before them.
“They are our fathers.”
The voice belonged to Riadros.
Surely this must be where he had meant to lead them. The bard could feel the sanctity of the revered trees coursing across his body, awing him. Unable to speak, so caught up in the majestic sight of the imposing trees before him, he followed Riadros and the others without hesitation, constantly staring at them.
This is not normally what I would recite verses of, but perhaps, it may make an interesting addition to my vast repertoire? It would certainly be worth remembering, either way. It is unfortunate that a taint such as I, Damien LeBlaque, is to be the teller of such a magnificent sight, the city that is this.
Riadros led the group to a strange, domed structure that seemed to have been grown from the trees itself, as did all of the structures located high within the trees. Almost everything in this forest, be it structure, plant, or even person, seemed grown from the land itself, an extension of it’s pride. Silent, he opened a door in the side of the dome, stepping in to indicate that they were to follow. Without question, Damien did so, walking in mechanically. The inside, like the exterior, seemed grown from the land.
However, there was one thing that seemed out of place, an intrusion upon the natural growth and beauty of the forest and the elves. That thing was the man that they had been hired for this task by, the one by the name of Hobbles.
Hobbles was sitting at a table, the only one present within the room, save themselves and Riadros. The elf who had come with them made his leave, his hand laid upon his breast as he did so.
How did he get here before us? He is old, decrepit. We are young and strong. There is no possible explanation for this... Damien thought over the sight of the man, himself not moving, his black cloak hanging over his form to conceal his figure. Slowly, carefully, he slipped his hand to his rapier hilt, finding the familiar weapon with ease. He was ready in the case that Hobbles was something more than he presented himself to be.
“How is it you got here before we did?” The bard asked, his voice cold, suspicious. “You could not have done so, even with my incapacitation.”
A scowl formed across his face as he realized he had said more than he intended to. He had unnecessarily revealed his weakness, however temporary it could be. An unneeded revelation, he decided, and chose to say no more to Hobbles, rather, waiting for a reply. Once again, he delved into his mind, trying to pick out any detail, however minor it may be, pertaining to Hobbles.
Elandor gaped at the enormous trees. He already felt small in the company of sturdy men like Teros and Derak, but the sight of these giants of nature made him realize that he was of no meaning within the vastness of the universe.
“Now I know what it’s like to be an ant,” he thought in admiration. He silently swore never to purposely step on another of the little critters again, for he reasoned that maybe to them their life was as valuable as his life was to him. Maybe it was the influence of the environment, but Elandor found himself thinking like an elf before he knew it.
They made their way up the tree (much in the way an ant would, Elandor realized) walking over the enormous bark that curled upwards. An excitement spread through his veins. It tickled his muscles with a need to flex. Elandor needed to move, to let out the energy that was trying to find its way out. He got so many impulses and was so eager to see what lay ahead of them that he simply couldn’t resist the urge of stirring his easy pace. Like a smoke-addict seeing a cigarette he lunged forward, running past their elven host.
The path finally brought him to the elven city, where the small kender came to a sudden halt on the rough path, awestruck by beauty. The elven city was unlike anything he had ever seen in his short life. He mainly stood there, overwhelmed by impressions, until the rest of the group reached him and took him along, on their way to the inn.
Inside the inn they found Hobbles, but Elandor was hardly surprised to find the old man there. His brain was so full of new wonders that this small miracle seemed totally in place. It was not the question how the old man had come there that ran through his brain. He stopped Riadros before the elf could make his way out the building.
“Sir Elf,” Elandor asked, tugging on Riadros’ robes, “You say these trees are your fathers? And you say that your goddess is your mother. How exactly did that go? I can’t really picture how you ever came to existence.”
(OOC: Sorry for the ant-thing. I don't know what got me there )
Mahou was taken back by the dark bard's sudden b urst of outrage. she staggered back a few steps her large aburn eyes stairing at her companion.
"I..I'm sorry i didn't..." Mahou's studdered words where cut short by the elf pushing his way in between them. the soft kind words of the elf where like music in her ears. Mahou nodded along slowly before returning her eyes to the dark bard.
"I'm sorry damien, i let my emotions get the better of me." A soft smirk rolled across the satyrs face as she looked him over. "i suppose i was so glade to see you well after watching you suffer for so long, i lost common sence to your own inability to feel." Mahou shrugged slightly and turned to look at the others. Picking Gemi up at the sound of the elfs warning to stay on the trail Mahou tucked the heavy beast into the crook of her arm Mahou silently followed the others.
Though the walk was long, Mahou marvoled at how the elf glided through the forest. Like herself he seemed to be quit at home with all the beings living her. a Kindred spirt that Mahou would only hope to learn more about after their task was done. Mahou couldn't help but let her breath suck deep taking in all the wonderful sents of life and death sweet and mildo, al that made up the great circle of life. For a brief moment and a quick glance Mahou wondered if any of the others in the group so noticed how amazing this old forest was. if they could truely understand the blessing they all had just to be here. Yes, she would have to speak with Riadros about returning here and training with the elfs, so that she might have the time to listen to all the elder trees had to tell.
But that was just a moment. a moment broken as Elandor spoke. A giggle pressed her lips as she turned to look at the young man with an almost embassrassed look upon her face.
"I think some things are better not asked nor answered my friend. surely it might be offencive to ask you how your parents mated to create you?" Mahou shook her head as she spoke. It was then that they where lead into the mass of elder trees, the aura around Mahou filled her soul and almost screamed of knowledge. Tilting her horned head to one side she tried againt o listen as they moved through the city. Oblivious to where they where goining Mahou followed silently. Father trees of the elves, Mahou mused to herself. perhaps the kinder had asked a good question after all. the elfs have already explained their coming into the world, but why hold these trees as father. to many questions.
Mahou followed into the tavern easing Gemi to the ground she turned to see that no one but hobbles was there. quirking a brow Mahou strowed across the floor, followed by the sound of her hooves digging into the ground, that and gemi plotting after her, though that sound was probably to low to really hear. Taking a seat at the table, to rest her tired limbs, Mahou looked at hobbles.
"It worries me slightly that you would feel the need to travel all this way, when you had said before you where not fit enough to travel to gather this leaf you have asked us to get. What brings you here Good Sir. you'll forgive me for questioning you so, but surely you have great meaning as to why you and we are here. this is to odd to be coincedence, far to odd." Mahou cocked a brow again glancing back at the others as they each asked their questions. basicaly the same as her own.
Locks of auburn hair fell down around her shoulder sand horns as she tilted her head back towards the old man. Silently the druid minstral awaited a just answer.
(sorry about the delay.. lifes a butt then you die.....)
OOC:Sorry guys..I got caught up with some sims I play.
Teros was silent as they passed through the trees and the forest. He thought of his home and what lay waiting for him back in the beautiful place he called home. But soon he found himself in front of some massive trees. But as he looked around, he could see that the Stayr, the monk, and their elf compainion, all seemed to be attracted greatly to this tree, as if some invisable force was doing something. Yet he could feel nothing. All it was to him was an incredible sight, but he had no affinity with the trees, children who spent their whole lives in this land would probably know more, but he knew nothing. So when they passed by to enter the town, he felt no remorse.
As they entered the town he felt the eyes of the elves on him, watching silently as they passed. He kept his eyes straight ahead, not wanting to make them angry by doing something strange like not smiling when you make eye contact. It was getting almost unbreable until they arrived at an innish type thing. They entered, and too their disbelief found Hobbles standing their. A mixure of words and emotions came out, but the bards stood out the most. As usual the pessimistic man had doubts.
"Isn't it obvious bard? The man is of great power in magic. Or he has something that we don't like a flying creature, powerful mage friends, or an item that allows him to transport himself as he pleases."
He barely looked at the bard, not making eye contact as he knew it would just cause him to scowl. He wanted to like the bard, but he just seemed to make it worse with everything he did, so he pretty much gave up trying to.
The party stood now, in a city supported on the shoulders of the trees, in the heart of Valnor Forest. They were in a shelter, crafted by the works of the elves and trees together, in fellowship. Not built by one using the other, but rather, by joining together, as one. Before them sat a man whose very presence both surprised and disturbed them. He had sent them on a quest, claiming that he could not complete it on his own; and yet, here he was, having arrived before them, against the laws of nature.
But not the laws of magic, for the wise hold many secrets.
Riadros made his leave, and started out the door, when he found that the kender had clutched his flowing, gray robes.
“Sir Elf,” Elandor asked, tugging on the tall elf’s robes, “You say these trees are your fathers? And you say that your goddess is your mother. How exactly did that go? I can’t really picture how you ever came to existence.”
Before Riadros made even the slightest attempt at a response, Mahuo laid her hand on the kender’s thin shoulder.
"I think some things are better not asked nor answered my friend. surely it might be offencive to ask you how your parents mated to create you?"
She shook her head, as if disappointed with the fragile being. Riadros, however, was apparently not offended. He laughed, and set a gentle hand on the Satyr’s, upon Elandor’s shoulder.
“Any question is better asked, than left to spoil and rot within the confounds of one’s mind.”
He smiled, and knelt, so that his emerald eyes were level with Elandor’s, which sparkled behind his tiny glasses like sapphires. It was strange. If one where to glance at Elandor, without ever knowing what a kender was, that person would make the terrible mistake of thinking he was perhaps mature, or even wise!
“Did you not listen to the tale, Falienor told earlier? You know how we were created, small friend.”
Speaking in a tone directed towards both Elandor and Mahuo, he continued.
“It takes more than a contributing hand during the time of creation, to make a father. If that was a definition, we would not have one. The trees are our elders. They give to us when we need them. They nurture us, and teach us. Can you not feel the wisdom that vibrates the air about you? They protect us from our enemies. They even support us, and our dwellings. That is why they are our fathers. When they grow old, bent and gnarled, we tend to them, as should any grateful child.”
Standing, and ruffling the kender’s grey-streaked, blonde topknot, Riadros smiled brilliantly at Mahuo. It was a face like a young star. Turning, he headed into the silver specked darkness of the night.
The others stared at Hobbles, who sat, smiling over his frothing mug. They asked questions, each their own. In response to Vilyamar’s foremost inquiry, the old man nodded to a table that sat in a corner near the doorway, behind the party. A barrel sat upon it. Beside the barrel where several mugs, identical to Hobble’s. For any that decide to partake of the barrel, they will find that it is Golden Ale. Though high in quality, it is an obvious human drink.
The others, each in turn, fired off a barrage of questions at the old man. Some asked straightforward and obvious questions, such as Derak’s “where are we and what is this place?!”. Other’s spoke in voices thick with suspicion. Damien attacked the very possibility of Hobble’s presence, while Mahuo cautiously questioned the original purpose of their mission. The old man had no reason to respond to any question immediately. Nor would he have been able, had he tried. The party shot questions at him so rapidly, that there was no space to slide in an explanation between questions.
It was not until Teros muttered his own answer to Damien’s question, that Hobble’s spoke.
“Ah, my friend. Much of what is and is not obvious about me, is not obvious at all! But rather, quite contrary.”
The old man paused a moment to let his confounding words settle, and to take a sip of his ale. His sharp blue eyes glinted in humor. What WAS obvious, was that he was enjoying this.
“I suppose I had better answer your questions! If inquiries were like blows, I dare say I would be on the ground, rather than in my seat.”
Hobble’s took a sip from his mug. A froth was left, clinging to his beard. Turning to Derak, he said.
“Did you walk with your eyes closed? I would say that you may have just set a record for the longest sleep walk in Noldaria’s history! You are in Ceneval, and this Place is the elves dining hall for meetings. If you have sleep walked thus far, I suggest you awaken now, because my words will be of the utmost importance. Infact, they will effect your fate. All of yours”
He looked at each person standing before him. Until now, he had spoke in humor. His words had been almost light-hearted. When he spoke again, his voice was deep, serious, and thick with power.
“Behold. Tharanduil, oldest and most wise of the elders.”
Setting his mug on the table, the once bent, crippled old man stood, throwing back his hooded cape. He stood now, straight, tall, powerful. Robes, before hidden, now flowed over his body like deep, blue cascades. He held his staff, but didn’t lean on it. He seemed transformed into kingliness. Perhaps the party was awed Almost to the point of bowing before him.
“I arrived before you, Damien, because I know of forces so silent, yet powerful enough to alter the very flow of time. I came, because I am needed In Celeval. You have not completed your quest, nor will you without hearing the words I have to tell you now. Indeed I am not fit to travel these lengths to gather the leaf. I am not fit to gather the leaf, because it is not for me. It is for you!”
Tharanduil paused, and gestured for the others to sit down. They did so, and so did he.
“I am sure most of you have at least enough history knowledge, to be aware of the great battles that once raged between the Gods. Mountains split, lands were sundered, and seas dried. The Narogs (Basically demons) were created by Gerugoth, the Dark One; and the first dragons where born, as weapons of war. As you know, Gerugoth was defeated in his fortress in Gildor. Both Cielanon (The God of good) and Gerugoth now cease to exist. Do you know why?”
Tharanduil let them think. None knew, that he was certain.
“Of course you don’t. Only the oldest know. There are some things that should be kept from the history books. Listen closely now. I shall enlighten you on a crucial piece of history. Gerugoth and his demons fought against the unrelenting Gods for ages, but it was in vain. Gerugoth and his demons had a weakness. Darkness cannot pierce light, it can only flee before it. But light can cut through, or even shatter darkness. Not Gerugoth or any of his narogs could stand before Cielanon. The God of light tore through their ranks like in a white fury. Yet, in one battle, the path of history was set. Gerugoth was defeated, and forced to flee. The Gods had this opportunity to pursue, and destroy him. But they didn’t. Cielanon had been wounded. Light may not be destroyed by the shadows, but it can be tainted. Instead of cutting down Gerugoth, they tended to Cielanon.”
“Now, with this defeat, the everstubborn Gerugoth finally became aware of his own mortality. He could, and would be defeated. Now, perhaps you did not know this, but Gerugoth had always had one goal- He hated Alhanna (earth) the creation of the gods. He would never let it be. He would destroy it if he could, if this goal is unattainable, he would stain it, wither it, and eventually, rule it. If the Gods were to destroy him, Alhanna would be cleansed. The scars he left would heal, and worst of all, Alhanna would be perfect. His spite for the gods was greater than even his regard for his own life. So, in secret, the Dark Lord locked all his Narogs, safe within their own realm. The Shadow Realm. Then, having done so, he set about weaving his deep and dark plans.”
Tharanduil stopped for breath. When he spoke again, it was as if his voice shattered a silence that had settled over them. It boomed off the back wall, and echoed within their minds, before burrowing deep within.
“Gerugoth destroyed himself. And yet, he tore any hopes the gods had of a perfect Alhanna from their minds. Using all the power a God can muster, he destroyed his body, and trapped his soul within a stone. Yes. A stone. The Shadow Stone, as it would come to be called. In it his very essence, the entirety of his power would reside. He had been destroyed, by transferring every thread of his being, and power, into it. The stone would rest in a temple that he himself had constructed. “
“When the Gods learned of this, they grieved. They grieved for Alhanna, and the weary, stain ridden path it would be forced to tread. They grieved for themselves, having failed in destroying Gerugoth while they had the chance. Most of all, they grieved for Cielanon. Not only he, but all the Gods recognized what he must do. You see, the purpose of the shadow stone, was that it would one day be found by mortals. When it was, whoever possessed it would gain the power of Gerugoth himself. A second Dark Lord would rise, not only possessing Gerugoth’s power, but also possessed by his lust for the fall of Noldaria, or his rule of it. The narogs would be freed, and Gilgoth’s (the land he once resided in) power would be fully restored. By becoming a stone, he brought the war away from the Gods, and into the hands of mortals. Due, to many events that need not be discussed here, the Gods could not directly destroy the Shadow Stone. Rather, if Alhanna was to have any hope, Cielanon would have to take the same path Gerugoth had. He would make the ultimate sacrifice that any father would for their child. He destroyed himself, transferring all his goodness, all his being, into a stone of his own. The Light Stone. Now the Shadow stone was very, very well hidden, and would not be found for some time, hopefully if ever. The God’s could not risk letting mortals know of what had taken place. Obviously, any evil individual would strive to find the shadow stone. However, if the shadow stone was ever found, mortals would need a way to know what is taking place, and what to do. So, they left Us with the knowledge of what had taken place, entrusting us to tell noone. We havn’t.”
“Now the Gods set about, establishing temples that would be scattered across Noldaria, Alhanna’s largest Continent, also the continent where Gildor, The Shadow Stone, and the Light Stone are located. Anyways. The God’s created 3 stones, each residing in its own temple. Whoever could acquire each of these stones, would be shown the way to the Light Stone. Now the light stone is, as Cielanon was to Gerugoth, the bane of the Shadow stone. It can, and will destroy he who bears the Shadow Stone.”
Tharanduil took a deep breath, and looked over the party members.
“I know, what I have to say is long. It is a lot of knowledge to take in, but it must be done. Listen now, more importantly than you have been. You were sent to acquire a leaf. Am I correct? Not just any leaf, but one taken from a tree Inenhalla planted herself. Do you know why she planted it? It was prophesized that the Shadow Stone would be found, and that he could be defeated by none, but a particular party, prophesized to meet in a particular place, at a particular time. You are that party, I know. Inenhalla planted the tree as a final test. If you pluck the leaf, under the light of the stars, a new star shall be born…That is, if you are one of the prophesized ones. That is why I sent you here. You must be tested.”
Sensing a hint of uncertainty amongst the party, Tharanduil smiled.
“Do not fear. You are the party. I know it. If I was not so certain, I would not have told you everything that I just have. The test is for all certainty.”
Sighing, the old man grabbed his mug, and downed its contents in one gulp. Slamming it onto the table, he stood. “I have told you everything you need to know, for now. Come. I’m sure your legs need stretching, and your minds need clearing, after hearing what you have. You will get your stretching, but I am not so certain about clearing your mind just yet. We go to the Tree of Inenhalla. You will be tested, and then, I can send you on your true mission.”
Saturday Evening/August 8th/Inenhalla’s Tree
The stars glittered like the shattered remnants of countless diamonds. A sheet of shimmering, frozen, silver raindrops clung to the dark blanket of the night sky. The waning moon hung, just over the black figures of sleeping mountains to the west, like a lantern, set to watch over them. Only its focus was not on their craggy heads. No. Its focus fell like silver thread, unto the hooded figures of the Druids. They stood in a broken circle, upon a platform that sat on the very fingertips of the highest branches of The Tree.
Several days prior, sitting in a smoke filled, Brown Leaf Inn, an old man, known to many by Hobbles, had told a party of travelers, that they need not worry about how to tell Inenhalla’ Tree from the others. They would know. Now, as they followed, defile behind the old man up the winding roadways, formed by the very branches of the Tree, they realized the full truth of what he had said. Inenhalla’s Tree was giant, almost as big as the Avelons, whom the elves dwelt amongst. In this forest, however, size is not enough to make a tree stand out. Not beside the Avelons.
However, even under the shade of night, the party found themselves looking about as they followed the very highways of the branches of Inenhalla’s Tree. The leaves long and slender. Tussles that drifted and swayed in the cool breeze. The dark shadows of strange flowers, lay wrapped in the darkness of night. These feature were unnoticed by the travelers, however, as they made their way to the platform atop the tree. What they noticed, was the shimmering, shifting silver that danced about them. The moonlight that fell on the bottoms of the leaves seemed drawn in by them. They radiated with a silver light as bright as that of the stars. The very air beneath the canopy seemed to shimmer and shift with light, like the edge of a lake on a starry night.
In the center of the Druid’s circle there was a hole carven into the platform. A single branch reached up through it. Its leaves glittered and shone bright as the stars it reached for.
As the party approached, the circle broke, and Tharanduil led the party into its middle, before the branch. The Druids closed back in around them. Their hoods were pulled low, casting their faces in shadow, as was the Druid custom during such rituals. The old man however, was not hooded. He was not a Druid. His long, white hair gleamed in the moonlight, as the night breeze softly swept it into its dark current.
The party stood within the circle, huddled together, staring at the branch that rose, glittering like some piece of the sky, solidified and fallen before them. Stepping to the side, and facing the group, Tharanduil spoke in a voice as sharp and clear as the light that fell from the moon. “Here you are. Complete your mission. Each of you.”
A silence settled like a thick blanket. Even the breeze seemed to pause, silencing with whispers of the trees.
The first to act was Teros. Pushing forward, he strode towards the branch. Pausing for a moment, he stared at the glimmering leaves. He stood with confidence, but his hesitation showed otherwise. Finally, he reached a trembling hand forward, taking ahold of one of the long, slender leaves. As he plucked it from the branch, the leaves swayed and danced. It was as if the branch was aflame in silver.
Holding the leaf, he raised his eyes to the dark heavens. Everyone elses followed. Even the Druids lifted their heads, allowing the silver rain of the stars to pour on their elven faces.
Slowly, it seemed, a faint prick of light appeared, and grew, brighter, and brighter until a new star clung, gleaming in the night sky. What made it so noticeable, was that it shone with an orange light, like the fire of a setting sun.
Vilyamar was next. Approaching the branch, he too claimed a leaf. Holding it, gleaming against the night sky, he waited. Beside Teros’ star, another began to appear, gleaming as blue as a deep sea.
Elandor, twitching with excitement, bound forward and snatched his own leaf. Pocketing it, he stared at the sky, his mouth agape, waiting. Surprising some who where watching, a third star began to appear, next to that of Vilyamars. It glittered like gold in the sunlight.
Next was Derak. The big man stormed forward and snatched the leaf without hesitation, or ceremony. With his hands on his hips, he stood, squinting into the sky, impatiently shifting his girth, until at last a fourth star shone. It gleamed a strange, silver gray, ever so slightly different than the rest of the stars. It was the color of drawn steel.
Only two of the company were yet to go. Mahuo moved first. The clip-clop of her hooves joined with the shuffling of Gemi, as he scurried beside her to the branch. Taking a leaf gently in her thin fingers, she plucked as quickly and cleanly as one might do when pulling out a hair. It was no surprise, when a star, like a brilliant emerald appeared amongst the rest.
Last was Damien. The bard stood in his billowing, black cloak, the focus of every eye. The Druids did not move. The shadows of their hoods hid any thought they might be having. Tharanduil peered at the bard. In his eyes, it was clear there dwelt a curiosity. A concern. Finally, the bard stepped forward, approaching the branch. Awkwardly, he reached a thin, pale hand forward and, as if with a strain, pulled forth a leaf. Every eye shot to the sky. To the bard, it seemed he stood, staring into the empty space between the stars for an eternity. Finally, however a star did appear, like a lone drop of blood.
With its appearance, it became obvious, that the six stars of the party had formed a circle around the lone, brightly shining north star.
Tharanduil smiled and set his hand on Damien’s shoulder.
“You have all been prophesized. As you may have guessed, the Shadow Stone has been found. We do not yet know the name of he who claims Gerugoths throne, but he has unlocked the shadow realm. The narogs are free. It is obvious that this new Dark Lord is biding his time. I find it most likely that he is raising an army, and forming an Alliance. Most likely with the Orcs. He does not know about the prophecies. He feels there are none who can stand before him. He is wrong. There are six who can. You are the ones who will find the three God Stones, and be led to the Light Stone. You are all that stands between Noldaria, and the waves of darkness that threaten to crash down upon it. Let me warn you, however. It is prophesized that you are the only ones capable of defeating the darkness, not that you will. Do not think you are invincible, you are not. We do not know where our fate lies, but it is with you, Chosen Ones.”
So it was that those who had been prophesized where found, and revealed even to themselves. And while the claw of darkness opened up, around Noldaria, and threatened to crush it, a dagger was unveiled to some. A small ray of hope in a world blind to its own danger.
With the trial having ended, The party was back to the city, and to the Hall of Council, where they had previously spoken to Tharanduil. When they entered this time, however, the hall was not empty. The tables had been rearranged to form one, long one. Platters of food were lined along their smooth, living surfaces. There was colorful fruit, sweet as summer rain, and elven bread. There was huge, carven boar, and quail, and turkey, juicy, and dribbling with gravy. There were barrels and barrels set up, and jeweled goblets. (The barrels contain Elven Meade, Elven Wine, and Ale). The Druids had walked ahead of Hobble’s and the party. Entering the Hall, they flung back their hoods, and sat in turn, at the table.
When the party entered, everyone at the table stood. At the head was Falienor. He was dressed in robes of silk. They flowed like ivory, embroidered in streams of silver. His golden hair was braided in a circlet of holly. Standing at the head of the table, he looked kingly. Every seat at the table had been taken by the Druids, save the seven closest to Falienor. Among the Druids stood Riadros.
Said Falienor from his seat.
“Sit, and eat. Tomorrow you will head to the deserts of the south, with instructions on your mission. But now, we feast. We feast for our health. We feast for the unveiling of the prophecies. And lastly, we feast for Hope. Sit! Eat and Drink. Enjoy the full hospitality of the Elves.”
(You are sitting with Tharanduil at Falienor’s right hand. Next to Falienor is Teros, Vilyamar, Mahuo, and many druids. At Falienors left is Elandor, Derak, Damien, and many Druids. I apologize for the loooongg Posts, but Info is needed. The worst is over, however, and we are getting to the good stuff. Also, I will Be posting Some new Info in the Q/A forum, Please read it. Also, As long as these posts are, read them. I will be sending quizzes to you all on the info within. The first person to send me all the answers gets to be the bearer of a “gift” in the next update. EVERYONE who sends me a fully answered quiz will get half a levels experience. I do this because Leveling up is slow in Online, and it encourages people to read the boring parts. Thanks, and Post any thoughts or convos you are having. With all this info you just learned, you must have something to talk about!”
As the aged man motioned towards the back, the monk bowed slightly in thanks and walked to the back of room, retrieving a mug and filling it halfway. He took a deep draw, nearly emptying it, but did not refill it anymore. He had a feeling that they would not be staying in this place for very long.
Indeed they wee not, as 'Hobbles' revealed his true form to the party. Vilyamar didn't flinch, as his own experience with powerful beings had left him used to such dramatic entrances and clever hiding places. His only thought at the aged being's mention of them as the prophecised ones was that of confusion and wonder.
Why is it us? What makes us so special? Is it our histories? Our ancestry? Or have the gods just decided to pick on us few mortals for reasons we just cannot comprehend?
The monk, though still wondering, could most easily accept the final revelation as he knew, possibly better than any of the others here, that the gods generally had their own agenda and when it coincided with mortal doings, then and only then, did they bring those that live and die into the process. This must indeed be a large event, for not in any of his teachings had he been prepared for such an event.
They left the hall and walked among the highways of the Avilons. The Elder led them, and they stared about in wonderment, all of them, all looking about them at the trees. Most of all they were looking at their destination, the tree of Inhellana. Its beauty beneath the stars seemed to radiate power and peace of mind. A soft glow of silver light permeated the atmosphere around it and as they walked onto its boughs, the ring of cloaked and hooded druids parted for them. The ceremony was about to begin.
The Elder explained their task and what each must do. And so they took their turns. Vilyamar took his second, after Teros did. He walked up calmly, though inside he struggled to keep down the nervousness which fought to show itself. He looked upon the leaf and despaired, for though he knew he must, and even though such harm was trivial to the ageless being he stood upon, harm it caused indeed. But then he felt nothing, his arm reached out and softly grabbed the leaf by its stem, neatly plucking it and placing in his palm. He looked towards the heavens and so saw his own star, one of blue hue and one that appeared beside that of Teros'. He watched it as he returned to his place among the party members. With such little else to wonder about, the monk's curiosty let his mind wander into the predictions of the coming days and weeks. He wished he could once more see his village, Belfalas, in the misty vales to the east. It was not that he was not mystified and intrigued by the Avilons and the homes of the wooded elves and it was not a repulsion to the odder behaviours and lack of discipline within his party members, but it was simply just a wish to see his home, his true home, before exiting upon to him seemed almost to be his last journey. For if this was to be his last, he would have liked to sit by the stream one last time and watch the mists roll in and out at dawn and dusk.
Sighing as they returned to the hall, Vilyamar looked about at all the elven druids gathered about. He looked to the head of the table, seeing Falienor and smiled. He knew now that they were not here for work but for enjoyment, at least at this moment and he would take whatever opportunity gave to enjoy it to the height of it all. He walked down along the tables, taking his seat next to Teros and Mahou. This day, he ate heartily and though he drank with a caution few of the wisest would exercise, he felt he went through the drink with much liberty. He watched his companions and even spoke with them. He conversed with those on either side of him a little making paltry attempts at a true conversation. The time was well spent indeed and many thoughts were exchanged. Vilyamar smiled to see that once againt he elves had placed a silent vigil upon their silverwares as there sat an unmoving elf on Elandor's other side, intensely watching the kender out of the corner of his eye.
As the evening wore on, Vilyamar took the chance to approach Falienor. He bowed low as was his custom to do so, and said, "I thank you, Aredhelrim, for your kind hospitality and allowing us to feast with you. The boughs of your fathers have been gracious to us, indeed."
Teros watched as Hobbles revealed himself to the party in a state of awe and surprise. He listned half-heartedly as his mind came to focus that he was choosen to be able to defeat the powers of darkness. The reality of the situation began to sink into him when they arrived before the tree and all seemed to await their decision to move forward. Knowning that someone had to make the first move, he went to the tree and looked up at its leaves. It was now that the reality had fully set in, and paused. He was afraid of his own future. Hand shaking he picked the leaf and brought it down to his side. Immediatly he looked up to see if he could see his star.
After a short while he began to see something glowing that wasn't there before. It got slowly brighter and brighter, until it was a fiery orange. It reminded him a lot of home, and he smiled. He truly was choosen by the gods to be something special, to be something in the large world. He whispered a short prayer as he stepped back for the monk to pick his leaf, and watched as each memeber picked a leaf and recieved a star
Finally they headed back the way they came. This time the druids came with, and their faces were exposed to the air around them as they sat to eat with them. As Teros was preparing to eat he heard that they would be heading to the Southern Desert lands. He paused not believing what he was hearing. He simply smiled and continued picked up some food to eat. Getting entrance into a normally forbidden forest, good. Finding out a past no one knows about, better. Learning your the choosen to destroy darkness, spectacular. Finding out you might be going home to do it, best!
As the night wore on, Teros made small conversation with the party members around him and listened to what the other conversations around the table.
Derak was already fed up with the old man’s presence; he had made him feel rather idiotic in front of his teammates. He knew where he was, that is the blunt idea of it but what about it’s significance, it’s meaning, it’s secrets. Derak had never encountered such a place in all his years travel. He had never even imagined of such a place. He knew there was so much more to the land then just its appearance and to get his question shot down with a flicker of sarcasm angered Derak enough to clench his fist until his knuckles turned white. Derak sighed and then dawdled over to the table possessing the golden ale. Derak’s grubby weathered hand snatched up the pitcher of ale and began to take sips from it, without pouring any of it into his own particular mug showing his lack of courtesy. Derak sat with discontent dulling any respect that might be residing within the room.
He waited for Hobbles to neutralize the parties’ questions with answers but he did not. Hobbles “unmasked” himself revealing Tharanduil rather than that hunched over old man he had portrayed himself as before he was something else. Derak was shocked at this whole escapade as his jaw dropped and a slow stream of saliva and ale dripped to the table forming a small pool like a waterfall of gold dust into a pond. Derak was baffled on what to do; he didn’t know whether to bow to the kingsman like man or strike him down with Jilly. For Derak didn’t know whom he was working for anymore and he didn’t like working for a spook. Derak was venturing through the wilderness for days and to find out that that very person who he was risking his like for didn’t even “have the balls” (as Derak would put it) to tell them who he was angered him yet again.
However, the old man’s words had such a way of soothing Derak. It reminded him of a small creek that Derak used to listen to at his hometown, which had such a way of capturing his focus and smoothing out his emotions.
The mysterious old man begun to speak…..
He talked of the ultimate confrontation between good and evil, how the battle was see sawed back and forth. And how the battle of the gods had landed right into the lap of the mortals. Tharanduil also spoke of the parties’ purpose. He had told them that we were potentially prophets of good.
Derak didn’t know what to think; perhaps it was just a coincidence that he was at the brown leaf tavern that day. And to think that such a stupid adventure that Derak’s stomach had talked him into had spiraled into something so much greater. Derak laughed at himself for a moment thinking of what a crazy mission this had turned into. Maybe the old man was just crazy, but his words had an essence about them which persuaded you otherwise. The words were old and certain and with such empathy which could never come form a liar or a madman.
Derak was relieved to hear Tharanduil speak of rest both mentally and physically. He took up the other without any hesitation. The grudge that had began to form against the old man was now absent, for the rather dramatic speech had blown such little negativity away.
Derak had gotten his shuteye, and he felt regenerated, physically anyways. The speech the day before had lingered in his mind, and yet here he finds himself this night atop a tree with a aura in the air which swept through the large man stirring up many emotions within the man. The ceremony had begun, he watched as Teros, one of the only people the Derak had really associated with went and plucked a leaf from the tree which was like a doorway from question to reality. He had questioned this whole prophet thing and here he was in this quest for the world. Derak had ventured a long time and the big man felt small in the world’s vast environments and nature of many. Derak used to view himself as merly an individual trying to get by in the world, it was like he was a hair upon a mammoths back going along for survival but now he thought of himself as that tusk, a key to the aid in the battle between good and bad.
A crimson like star formed in the sky and along with that formed the whole reality of this whole adventure… it was real. Derak watched Vilyamar then Elandor mimic the event. It was so routine by now Derak took his turn with great anticipation. Derak watched a star form, which was similar to the color of Jilly. A great spirt of happiness shot out from within Derak’s soul forming a great smile on his face. He looked at the other to see how the took this whole thing in, Derak wasn’t stupid, he knew they thought little of him but now he has formed a bond with them. Like a family, Derak’s gaze remained paused on that star for what seemed eternity Derak was proud of his purpose.
Soon, the feast was in full swing. The drink flowed, and it seemed their was enough food to feed a hord of orcs! The elves ate, and sang, and conversed with one another merrily. Elandor found that, though his "bodyguard" was nolonger at his side, enough sharp eyes fell on him often enough to more than compensate for his absense.
A female elf, so beautiful she seemed to dim the stars, sat on a stool upon a dias in the far corner of the room. Her hair fell like woven silver and gold over her long, ivory neck and shoulders. Laced into it, glittering like stars, hung countless, white diamonds. The silver-white of her dress flowed over her slender body, baring every curve, every delicate feature.
She played a smoothly carven, wooden harp that stood taller than her. Her hands swirled about it as if she was weaving some beautiful spell that would enchant those at the table into listening forever. She rose a voice sweeter than falling rain. The vines climbing the wall beside her burst into blossom, whether by spell or by her song. The song she sang was neither elven, nor any other language. She simply sang.
Falienor smiled at Vilyamar, and replied
“There are not many in Thollin who even know about us. Rumor is a powerful spell. Remember that. Men believe Valnor is cursed, and we let them. There are very few who have experienced our hospitality. You are fully deserving of that and more. After all, it is you that we look to in time of need.”
BTW Mahuo, tis a perfect time to follow through with your promise and tell a story in return for Falienor’s in the grove.
Elandor sat directly left of Falienor. He wasn’t eating. The magnificent music that flowed from the elven lady’s harp seemed to split around his head, for he didn’t hear it.
In his hands he held the leaf he had taken from the branch of Inenhalla’s tree. It was an ordinary leaf… but it wasn’t. He kept looking at it, marveling at its structure and form. He didn’t just wonder at the leaf’s beauty, for there was more to this piece of nature than physical splendor. There was a symbolism that pierced deep into the kender’s soul.
“My life suddenly has a meaning.” Elandor thought, “Nobody ever warned me for that.”
The image of the appearing golden star still clung to his eyes. That moment, that very occurrence, had manifested the thought that had been silently creeping up his brain since they first encountered the enormous trees they were residing in now.
They were ants. They were tiny figures in some grand scheme that was going on. Before that star had appeared it had been like Blaxis had always said. Blaxis was a mage in one of the groups that had endured the pleasure of Elandor’s presence as a co-adventurer. The old wizard had stated on every available occasion that he didn’t know why there were things like kender. He had often asked Elandor the very purpose of his existence. Elandor never could answer that, mostly because the question had left his brain as soon as it was asked (of course by the large number of pouches that adorned the mage’s belt). But now the question came back to him.
I’m not here without purpose! I may be an ant. But I’m a very important one!
He turned to Falienor and tugged the elf’s sleeve.
“Excuse me, sir. Is there somewhere I can get a tattoo of an ant in this city? And I would like to have this leaf prepared so that I can keep it forever. It has a special meaning for me. But maybe that would be to expensive. That is, if you would do some magic-thing with it, but I’m not sure if that’s exactly what I’m seeking. Perhaps there is some smith that can make a piece of jewelry from it, with a golden star on it as well. Do you think that would be possible? I know you elves have a way of taking care of natural things. HEY Apples!”
For the first time that evening Elandor really took notice of the delicious food that was spread out over the table. He took his hoopak and pointed it at an apple on top of a bowl with fruit. Totally forgetting the question he had just asked, or should we say the series of questions he’d just plunged out of his mouth, he called upon the magical abilities that staff possessed and let the apple jump up from the bowl and come down again silently. He then lifted it up again and let if fly over the table from left to right.
Then finally he let it fly around one of the elven heads that opposed him on the table, to finish with a landing on Mahou’s plate. He winked at the Satyr woman and grabbed some purple fruit that had been trying to get Elandor’s attention for quite some time, or so the kender thought.
(OOC: Even though he’s guarded Elandor will try to change the elven fork for the one he took at the inn while people are watching the apple fly, even if it’s a plain wooden fork. It’s just a habit that he has developed and can’t get rid of. I wouldn’t be true to his char if I didn’t at least try )
Posted on 2006-09-04 at 19:49:14.
Edited on 2006-12-10 at 12:17:23 by Almerin
Derak sat at the table littered with various assortments of food. Derak was rather pleased with the feast. Even though he knew of his new purpose which had put the weight of the world on his shoulders he felt no burden this night. It was pure mastication for Derak, anything that Derak viewed as edible he ate.
However the presence of the gorgeous female elf sidetracked Derak from his feast. She was rather beautiful, it reminded Derak of his hometown, and his parents always harped at Derak when it came to family. They wanted him to settle home and take over the farm and raise a family. But Derak hungered adventure, and his hunger had been satisfied. Though the hunger had been fulfilled he kept on venturing to gain as much knowledge about the outside world as he could. And to Derak this knowledge was endless so his adventure was endless. Would Derak’s path for adventure ever meet an end. At this point he assumed no. The final mission could take years to complete, who knows what the outcome could be. Whatever the outcome my be he would not give up no matter what. He would sacrifice his past goals and himself if necessary to help save the world from the ultimate evil. Derak nudged Damien who was sitting next to him “eh Bard fella……you have any family back where yea come from…any little lady waiting home for ya ta’ walk home singing some dandy tune…HAHAHAHA?” Derak replies taking sips from his mug every now and then attempting to start conversation with the dark bard.
Derak also scanned Teros sitting across the table from the little one. “hey T (regarding Teros) whatcha doing later? Wanna spar later? We make a good team together and your swordsman skills are impressive, wanna match our skills?” Derak says with a smile. Derak is a rather competitive person, and respects those greatly who have swordsman skills tuned as greats as Derak’s if not greater.
“A red star, appearing upon my taking of the leaf. Crimson. The blood star.” Damien spoke near-silently as he stared at the sky above, watching the stars that had just appeared for each of the six group members. Each was its own colour, though the only one he could truly relate to the creator of it was that of Derak, the big warrior. His was grey, the colour of steel. An appropriate match, in his mind.
The bard felt a hand upon his shoulder, turning to see that it belonged to Tharanduil, who began to speak of how the prophecy related to them, that he was amongst those deemed able to defeat the lord Gerugoth incarnate. Truthfully, the thought unsettled him. This was a lot more than he expected to have to deal with when he initially took the offer to go and pluck a leaf from the tree of Inenhalla. He should have felt pride in what he was chosen for, but he felt what was perhaps the farthest from it. The bard felt something that he had thought gone long ago. Damien felt fear.
In silence, he moved back to the Hall of Council with the others, thinking about what lay before him. His heart, long ago crushed, was now seemingly completely removed from him. He was having second thoughts about going through with this, but how could he? His star had appeared. Damien felt as though he would somehow always be drawn back to this, even if he took an unexpected leave, making his escape into the forest. He felt better now, and figured that he could maybe make it out alive on his wits and cunning.
But would it be worth it? He questioned himself, the inner voice of his dark soul speaking to him from deep within.
You’re with a group of capable individuals, each a part of the prophecy. You, as well. What if you ran away, hiding from your fate? Who would it possibly help? Would you be safe from Gerugoth? No. There is no chance of it. Suppose the others fell, unable to receive your help when they needed it most.
“What can I do in this? What talents do I possess that could help us through this?” Damien whispered to himself, his hood up, the shadow masking his expression and shrouding his body.
If you leave, Damien, and they fall because of it, then Gerugoth will find you at some point. You can’t beat him on your own.
“I know damn well I can’t.”
Then why are you afraid?
“You would need to be mad to not be afraid of this...” He muttered, his voice barely audible, only heard by himself. Rather than its normal melodic tones, it carried traces of great unease and almost...regret.
You can help them, Damien LeBlaque. On your own, you would be obliterated. In a group, at least, you have some hope of surviving, of making a difference in the fate of the world. You have a voice, one you’ve heard people say is unmatchable.
“What good does it do me? Am I to reason with Gerugoth?” He asked himself sardonically, frowning and staring at the ground.”
You could speak to the masses. You could make efforts to raise an army to deal with the forces of the Dark One. Something to occupy his armies while you and your companions deal with he himself. Your voice has rallied your companions in their times most dire. This current group has yet to hear your influence.
This last statement made from his thoughts sunk into the bard’s soul, making him think it over very carefully. He received no more dispute from his conscience, which seemed to be pestering him more and more as of late. He was truly afraid, and even the sight of the vast selection of foods in the Hall of Council. It had been rearranged during their absence, instead, now forming one long table adorned with a great number of foods. He was hungry, but did not feel the heart to eat any of the food.
Damien took a seat at Falienor’s left, with Derak and Elandor. Silent, the bard payed no attention to what went on. He chose not to think about it, not letting it wear away at his soul. The fear was strong within him. He needed to be strong.
Even as Falienor spoke to they and the druids seated with them, Damien’s eyes drifted to the barrels of various intoxicants, and even considered going and taking a drink. He shook his head, however, and decided not to, knowing that if he took one glass-full, it would lead to another until he was certain he could drown out the fear that plagued him. He enjoyed the taste, but not he drunken stupor that followed it. He chose to decline the option of it, instead, staring at an empty plate before him, barely blinking despite his long black hair that constantly seemed to find its way to brush against his eyes.
Though he noticed the sight of Elandor making the apple float and fly up and down the table, it did not amuse him, or even make him smile. He was in no mood at all to feign merriment. This was a dark day for him, another to add to the black pages of his past. He was a chosen warrior of light, though in his life, he had felt little else aside from sorrow. Difficult to imagine it happening to him, but he could not avoid fate.
“Why...” He muttered, staring aimlessly at his plate, barely moving in his seat. “We are going make a stand against a forsaken God... We cannot do this... There is no chance of it. We have no hope...”
The most that the bard caught from the speech was that they would be heading to the southern desert, but he made no move to acknowledge it. The only slight response he made to anything was to Derak, who had nudged him, asking a few questions to strike up a conversation with him. Without expression to his normally beautiful, haunting voice, Damien turned his head slightly before looking back to his plate.
“For all I know, my family has gone to hell without me. I neither care nor wonder about them anymore. As to my ‘little lady’...I have nothing more than a corpse rotting in a casket. She died by my hands, Derak.” Looking up at the warrior for a brief moment, Damien turned his head back to his plate, staring blankly at the space before him. “Leave me alone...”
(OOC: Should somebody aside from Mahou speak to him, Damien will not answer. If somebody nudges, pokes, etc. to get his attention, he will not acknowledge it. He is currently in a state of dark melancholy, not in any state of mind to act properly around those he sat with.)
The bard’s cold words sent chills creeping up Derak’s spine. Also the lack of respect that the bard showed everyone including Derak angered the fighter.
Derak was baffled at first on what to think about the tainted man. He seemed as if he lacked something from within… soul maybe. And Derak used to think that Bard’s were such pleasant fellows that possessed instruments of emotion that could influence your soul into moods of merry but at the same time could sing a tune that devastate one into horror and pain. And yet here he was giving all his party member and the elves the cold shoulder and even disrespecting the ones that brought him into the world, and that world he must now fight for. That got Derak furious, the Bard had a chip on his that Derak felt should be straightened out.
Derak sprung up from his chair causing it to fly out from under him. Derak stood over the Bard with a stare as if possessed “Leave you alone?! Leave you alone?!.....that spell musta done some brain damage ‘cause you showin’ me no respect. We coulda left your worthless ass with those Goblins. I carried you through the wilderness for days and you tell me to leave ya alone! I don’t kno’ what your problem is…maybe your mommy didn’t give you enough hugs as a little boy but if ya keep up this…..attitude…..your gonna get a attitude from me, and you ain’t gonna like it.”
Derak looked at the faces looking at him at this point and he begun to tone it down. “hey man, we’ve all had it rough one point at another and we’ve all had to make sacrifices but we got some real world s*** to deal with and all those problems that you mighta had you to need ta forget because we got some new responsibilities that we owe to the world” Derak pauses for a moment to think of how the whole realization of this hasn’t fully set in yet.
“….just…..errrr” Derak gave up arguing with the stubborn Bard. He figured he probably wouldn’t be man enough to admit his faults. A dark fella like that would say something like “I don’t care what you think” or “you don’t know me leave me alone” or try to point out a fault in Derak and blow it up and throw it back in Derak’s face as a counter of what Derak just said or maybe even just sit there in a plain silence.
Derak stormed out of the room and outside to let off some steam.(unless if Damien does something rash or that would make Derak say something else)
Elandor nearly fell from his chair as Derak suddenly burst out in a raging lecture directed at the silent bard. The anger in Derak's words died quickly, but the little kender noticed how the mood in the chamber had been terribly wounded.
Not wanting to see this joyful party go down so soon he stood on his chair and jumped on the table, landing between his plate and a bowl of grapes. He raised his hoopak high and let its bottom come down hard on the table, drawing everyone's attention.
"Please folks. Let's not let this small argument drown our appetite. I for one have definately not had enough of the merrymaking."
He addressed the elven woman behind the harp:
"Please lady! Let the notes roll from your fingers. I'll sing a song that us kender sing when we're down."
That last comment got himself thinking... when WAS the last time he ever heard any kender sing it? Were they EVER down? Shaking the thoughts from his head he sang his first words:
"Dear sister, there's no need to worry.
The road is still long
and we're not in a hurry.
My pouches are filled,
by the way how are yours?
Our backs are straight
like your hoopak of course.
So show me that smile as we stroll
down the path that we choose;
the most pleasant of all.
The horizons are broad,
We'll find many treasures
We'll challenge our fates.
So show me that smile as we stroll
down the path that we choose;
the most pleasant of all.
we're kender, dear sister
so wander with me!
Adventure awaits us
So show me that smile as we stroll
down the path that we choose;
the most pleasant of all."
With those last words he bowed elegantly and jumped on his stool again.
"Right! Now I can use some of that elven wine you have there!"
"Thank you, Aredhelrim, 'tis among the greatest of honors to sit amongst your people." Vilyamar said in return for the compliment. Suddenly, loud, human, voices reached his sensitive ears from across the table.
"Eh?" commented the monk as he turned his head to the confrontation at hand. Evidently, the bard had said something to Derak which had set the large man off. Vilyamar was about to stand and disperse the brewing conflict when he felt a hand upon his shoulder and saw Tharanduil standing there. He looked back to see Elandor handling the situation. The little one broke into song, with the elven maiden strumming along behind his words, giving them a little more meaning than they would originally have carried. Vilyamar looked up at Tharanduil once more and the stood, this time with no resistance.
"Thank you, Tharanduil, for preventing my rash actions. I am beginning to feel obligated for the brash encounters of the humans. Perhaps it is my heritage and because I feel akin to our hosts, I do not wish my compatriots to desecrate any part of their beatiful home. Though not in the slightest do I think that they would do so on purpose." Vilyamar said, is head bowed slightly in shame. "I shall better control myself after the present time, but now I must begin to ask of our mission. You mentioned the god-stones? and that we must collect three to be presented of the bane of the shadow. Where are these stones? How will we know when we have found them?"
(OOC: I took a slight liberty there. Sorta wished to kinda set it up for the giving of the item. Hope its ok, if not I can edit...)