Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Continuing Where We Last Left Off Again
Posted on 2014-10-21 at 18:20:55.
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Silver Screen I
The room was pitch black, darker than the whole of Hades. No windows or doors lead to this room and no fire burned in lamps to illuminate the interior. Had they been there, an observer would have seen a simple room, about 30’ square with a throne like chair on a dais as its only decoration. Quiet as a grave within, a mist began to swirl before the throne. The mist thickened and coalesced into a form – a female form, vaguely elven in shape. She immediately knelt before the empty throne and bowed her head.
“What is your bidding, my master?” She asked.
A voice like dry rustling leaves in an autumn’s wind responded from the throne. “You have been successful.” It was a statement, not a question.
“Yes my Master.”
“Very good Patience. All is going according to plan then. Did you have much resistance?”
“There were some unexpected events. He had a holy man among his minions. We lost Thea.”
“The holy man had great power and Thea was too reckless in her powers and too confident in her abilities.”
“I see.” The voice said with a tone of finality. “What happened to the holy man? If he was here, i would have felt his presence.”
“Forgive me my master, but when Thea was consumed, my rage took hold of me and I was not reckless in my powers. I slew the holy man. I took my time and I enjoyed very second.”
Silence hung in the chamber for a few moments. Then the voice responded again, “Very well. What is done is done. It does not affect the plan. Bring the prisoners to their appointed chambers. You and your sisters may take half of the guardsmen for your own needs, he other half go to Moy.”
“Yes my Master. Thank you my master.” She got up while bowing to the chair, “It will be as you command it.” And she dissolved from the physical form back into a mist to flow back to her sisters. But as she did, suddenly she was wracked with pain and agony. Her mist form ignited into green flames and burned with an intensity that lit the room. She could do nothing but scream soundlessly in the grip of the terrible flame that did not kill her but burned as if it would. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, she was released and all she could do was fall to the floor in physical form again.
“Patience, do not disappoint me again. I will not be so forgiving.”
Posted on 2014-10-23 at 14:08:19.
Edited on 2014-10-23 at 14:09:02 by Alacrity
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Silver Screen II
Her Majesty, Queen Yolanda of Celene had many titles. Her honorifics included, “The Eternal”, "Her Fey Majesty," the "Faerie Queen," the "Perfect Flower of Celene," and "Lady Rhalta of All Elvenkind." There were more but she stopped keeping track of such frivolity after the 4th millennium of her life. At this moment she would gladly trade then all for a chance to leave this Grand Ball and return to her chambers for the night. Part of it was the nagging headache she had that was hounding her like an old love, neither fading not getting stronger but remaining irritating. The other part was after 4000 years as a ruler, these parties were more than a little boring to her by now. She was planning on making her exit as subtly as she could when it hit her. The headache vanished and was replaced by a strong sense of loss and pain. She stumbled to ground and everyone in the courtyard gasped to see her fall. Through it all, one name came to the forefront of her mind - Galenthanus
Onselven, her chief advisor and cousin was beside her within seconds, “Your Majesty? Yolanda? What ails you?”
“she stood up on her own and looked at Onselven with eyes of pain and concern, “It is Galen. He is in danger. Summon Ellendil and Wendela to my chambers immediately. I want the Flyers outside my window as soon as possible., make sure they have a mage who can cast teleport.”
“Yes my lady.”
“Clear the room, there will be no celebration until I am sure Galen is alive and unharmed.”
“Yes your Majesty.”
Yolanda ran up the stairwell of the grand hallway and towards her chamber. Her subjects ran out of her way with one glimpse of her determined face. Once inside the room, she immediately crossed her bedroom to the door on the right and flung open the doors. There was a garden encircling a silver basin on a stone pedestal and over the basin was a floating orb, with an amber glow to it. She sighed with partial relief but ran to the orb abd with one hand grabbed it and then focused her power on the one thing that mattered the most to her in the world -her son. At first she got images of darkness, horses fleeing, and screams.
Oh no! The Triplets!
Summoning the full extent of her mana to her, she tried to get a hold on Galen and pull him to her, but something blocked her every move. A dark presence that seemed hauntingly familiar yet completely unknown at the same time was matching her for power and magic. As she reached for her loved ones, it reached for her and she knew that this was part of the dark one’s plan. With noi choice left, Yolanda was forced to let go of her hold and step away from the basin.
Ellendil and Wendela came into her room and called for her. The Queen rushed out of the garden to meet them.
“My Queen ..” Ellendil started.
“No time for that. Galenthanus and those he wished to ward are in grave peril. Ellendil, I want the airborne unit ready for me to warp them to Galen’s location.”
“At once Yolanda!”
“Wendy, get me every mage that can cast teleport and Sending with some proficiency. We will need help.”
“Yes Yolanda. Shall I contact the Diamond Core?”
“No. The Archmage and I did not part on the best of terms and besides, I need someone or someones more subtle. Now go! Do not delay!”
The two elves ran out of the room and Yolanda ran out to the balcony outside of her room. Within a few minutes, a squad of elven hunters astride Hippogriffs flew by her balcony. The leader saluted his readiness to Yolanda and she cast her spell, creating a gateway to Galen’s last known location. Without hesitation, the squad through the Warp and disappeared.
She stared at the place where the portal was for a moment and then looked to her hands. She was still clutching the orb as if it was a new born baby. Where are you Galenthanus?
News came within the hour. The elven hunters had found a caravan that the Prince had used and it was clearly damaged from an attack. There were no elves at be found at all. No sign of the Prince, the 12 elven hunter guards or the three elven maids they were guarding. They found a dead human, a cleric friend of Galen Yolanda remembered. He appeared to have been tortured, and dismembered and then brought back to life so he could be tortured and dismembered again.
Yolanda held herself together by the knowledge that she was sure she knew who was behind this. The touch across the void was enough to awaken the memories but abducting three elven ladies of the same bloodline and Galen – There was only one, well three beings actually, that had a clear reason to do that. She thought they were gone but she was clearly wrong. She needed to contact the most powerful warriors, clerics, Rogues and Wizards she could and all ones that would want to save Galen -the friends from the past that served with Galen on his adventures.
Yolanda returned to the Garden Basin and prepared herself to cast some spells.
Posted on 2014-10-23 at 17:42:28.
Edited on 2014-10-23 at 18:01:48 by Alacrity
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
So it was that your life as an adventurer, a wanderer, a seeker of fortune had ended and you had moved on to more gentle pastimes. Whether you were training the young, raising a family or dealing with the politics of neighbouring kingdoms, there were times when you looked to your equipment and magic and sorely missed the days when evil was something vanquished and you could spend your loot on ale and a bed for the night.
One autumn night however, you received a sending. It came to some in their sleep, others as they were awake or traveling, but to all of you it was the same – an image of Yolanda, Queen of Celene, calling you.
“Help me (your name), for the kingdom of the Grey elves and perhaps that of mankind is in grave danger. I know you have aided my son Galenthanus many times in the past. Please come to me now in my time of need.”
If the urgency of the matter was not driven into you by her gaunt features and worried eyes, then the fact that within the hour you were met by someone sent by the queen to aid in your haste certainly added to the severity of the situation. Spell casters with the ability to teleport you to The Palace of The Faerie Queen.
You get ready to go, dressing as you once did to enter dangerous caverns or old ruins to see what lies beyond. But a lingering fear resides in your mind – why did Galen not contact you? Why was it his mother?
Posted on 2014-10-29 at 19:59:20.
Edited on 2014-10-29 at 19:59:57 by Alacrity
Sparrow readied for bed. As she did each night before climbing between the sheets, she made sure her matched short swords were within reach and her armor was on its hanger. Old habits died hard even though it had been decades since she last drew or donned them in defense of the kingdom. These days she made her living managing the hunting estates of a number of wealthy nobles. Most days it was enough. But on nights such as this, she missed the old days.
Dreams of prancing stags filled her head. Not unusual during the season of rut for she saw them daily. As she drifted deeper into slumber all dreams ceased and blackness overtook her mind. In was in this blackness that an image began to form. Yolanda, Queen of Celene, appeared calling to her. Scenes of old filled her mind and she found herself clutching her swords when she woke.
There was no doubt in her mind that she would answer the call. But why had the queen and not her son contacted her. She packed her kit and was ready when an emissary of the queen arrived and informed her that she would be transported to Yolanda's keep. "Perhaps dreams do come true" Sparrow thought as she felt the magic take hold and she was on her way.
Maximus moved through the building quietly searching for the buildings main safe. Most people would take one look at his 6’5 height and 360pds of pure muscle and use quiet as a relative term. However the big ex-Gladiator turned Thief was just that…Quiet. Reaching finally the fake wood paneling that showed on his map he quickly checked for traps finding two. The traps were cleverly positioned on top of one another to make disarming them for most thieves very tricky. For Maximus they were child’s play and in a matter of minutes the safe was open and the pouch of rare gems in his pocket. Within minutes he was out the back door through the yard and walking calmly down the street once more.
As he walked to the meeting with his ‘employer’ Maximus kept a close look around him looking for any one following him but only once did he think he was being followed. However it proved to be nothing when he backtracked to check. Then he was once more outside the Red Dragon Inn, Pub & Stables and with a last look to check for any unwanted attention, entered through its front door once more. Smiling with confidence, his chest out as bold as any adventurer, with balls of brass he took one quick look at the tables around him and moved to the one best draped in shadow.
Sitting down and getting comfortable, back leaning against the wall, he caught the eye of his favorite server and current lover.
“Godiva, a pint of good old Froth-n-Slosh my sexy lass and a plate of corned beef and eggs” Within ten minutes his beer and meal were before him as was a very sexy black haired lady, and a jealous look from Godiva.
“So big, dark and handsome looking for some fun?”
“Aye that I am” Reaching out he took her hand seemingly roughly, but in truth lightly, sitting the wench upon his lap. Smiling and laughing the wench whispered in the ex-gladiators ear.
“Did you get it?”
“Yes the safe was where you said it would be, though your husband had changed the traps from what you told me, as we expected.”
“So no problems” She asked as she seemed to nibble on his ear, the tone in her voice excited, yet concerned.
“None, I recovered your gems Lady Selene, that he took from you when you found him having sex with the Lady Celeste. Then to cover his infidelity his throwing of you as a pauper to the street.” A quick motion, the crowd if looking seeing only Maximus grabbing for the Ladies breasts, and the pouch of gems was quickly tucked within her corset.
“What do I owe you Maximus?”
“Nothing but a kiss and a bitten lip, make the blood flow nicely” Said smiling as if suggesting something wicked. With that the ‘wench’ leaned into the kiss then the crowd of the Inn heard a great roar as Maximus lunged to his feet.
“Harlot do I look like one that is into blood play, NAY! I have lived and seen more blood then you will ever and I do not wish it in my sex play. Begone whore and never come around me again.” As the ‘wench made to scramble away she kept her black wig as to cover her face as best she could and within minutes she was out the door and gone. Turning to his meal he began to eat, using the food to cover his smile. A few hours later Maximus was yet at the Red Dragon, a few more pints of Froth-n-Slosh in-taken while talking to the bartender Igor. Max had learn signing from the mute half-orc. Maximus's good friend and fellow adventurer Odyson, the lead bartender and owner of the Inn, and was not behind the bar. To Maximus this was odd as the only times he remembered Ody not bartending was when he and Maximus were out adventuring."
They both had just started laughing at a joke when Maximus was alerted to people approaching the bar from behind him by a look from Igor.
“Excuse me are you Maximus Jerale?” A voice behind him was heard to speak. Turning Maximus was greeted by a strange sight, though one he had seen before in a friend’s home, just never this far South. Before him stood two elves, one in armor, clearly a soldier, the other in robes, perhaps a Mage.
“Yes I am he, what brings two Elves this far South?”
“A few hours ago you were sent a summons in your sleep from Yolanda, Queen of Celene telling you of her need of your help and our arrival, did you not get it?”
“No I did not as I do not dream and I sleep very little. You say Yolanda summons me, why her and not Galen?” With the two Elves silence it finally hit the Ex-Gladiator that for the Queen of the Elves to actually summon HIM the need was dire indeed.
“We are to travel together then? Let me gather my things. Igor my gear quickly, tell Godiva I will return when I can, here give her this, tell her to buy her ‘sprats’ something nice” With a smile on his face he placed a small bag of 20 gold on the bar.
From behind the bar Igor quickly produced Maximus’s stored gear, but for the hand axes at his hips and the daggers strapped to either side of his ankles. Turning once more to the Elves, he stood ready.
“So your horses are at the stable then, let us go retrieve them and be on our way.” Maximus said as the three headed once more for the entrance and out into the street
“No lord Jerale we will travel faster” The robed one said as they gained the outside of the RD Inn. Turning to look back Maximus caught the robed one moving his hands as if casting a spell.
“Oh no not that wayyyyyy” In seconds Maximus Jerale, Ex-Gladiator now Thief, hater of teleportation spells and the two Elves were gone..................
..........END PART ONE..........
Fixed the timing - Alacrity
Posted on 2014-10-31 at 03:58:20.
Edited on 2014-11-02 at 20:56:18 by TannTalas
Kadrin lay awake in his bed, staring around the room, blinking away the remains of his sleep. The room was stately appointed, a guest room of the dwarf Prince’s hall. The old general had returned late in the evening with a small contingent from the north to update the Prince on the Suss forest war front, and was given leave to refresh himself, retire for the night, and report to his liege-lord this morning.
But his dream had been troubled by a vision of Yolanda, the undying Queen of Celene, calling for his help. Kadrin shook his head, muttered something to himself about the elf queen so self-absorbed she didn’t have the decency to let others rest their weary bones.
Still, the vision haunted him. Something in the tone of the dream... Yolanda’s urgency, perhaps... still echoed in his mind. “If she had wanted my assistance, she’d have been better off working through Galen,” the aged dwarf grumbled.
While Kadrin loved Yolanda’s son almost as he did his own kin, the dwarf had a stone heart for the Queen herself, turned harder by Yolanda’s resistance to come to support Ulek’s war effort against Pomarj. “Cold-hearted b...,” Kadrin began to mumble, but stopped himself, pushing back his ungracious thoughts. “Some of us have battles enough right in front of us,” he said, as if settling the matter.
Wide awake, the old general rose from his bed and had his bedchamber servant pour him a bath. The heat from the water helped to chase away the ache from his joints. Still, it did nothing to chase away the Queen’s message, and Kadrin continued to reflect on her words as he prepared for his meeting with the Prince. Even a peak in his prized box of precious stones served only to provide him with a moment of reprieve before Yolanda’s vision rushed to flood his mind once again.
The time came for Kadrin to brief the Prince on the war effort. Corond, only slightly older then Kadrin, greeted his long-time general warmly, “Kadrin, good to see you well and standing solid as ever.” He clasped the old general as though they were kin, before studying Kadrin’s face. “How goes our effort in the north, General? It pains me to ask, for I can see the trouble in your eyes.”
Kadrin gave a small sigh. “You are wise and sharp as ever, my Prince. Though, it is not the trouble in the Suss forest that weighs heavy on my face. We are making some head way in the woods, small steps to be sure, but gaining ground none the less.”
“Good,” Corond said cautiously, knowing there was more to come.
“Our Halfling spies were correct, though,” Kadrin continued. “Turrosh is sending more troops into the Suss. He’s searching for something... of what, we are not certain yet. Those we’ve captured seem not to know themselves.”
“Hmmm,” Corond frowned.
“Our slinger corps and heavy infantry have been resupplied from strongholds to the east. And we are continued to work in coordination with the Knights of Luna, though their assistance continues to be limited by their beloved Queen.” The last words dripped with no small hint of sarcasm.
Corond raised a pair of bushy eyebrows at his general.
“Forgive me, my Prince,” Kadrin lowered his gaze with some shame. “I misspoke.”
“It is easily pardoned, General Kadrin,” Corond spoke kindly. “I’ve let enough ill words against Yolanda fall from my lips unbidden as well.” Looking more closely at his general once again, he continue, “So, it is thoughts of the undying Queen that are lining your eyes. Tell me what troubles you, Kadrin.”
“My Prince,” Kadrin began. “The Queen of Celene sent a missive to me last night in my dreams. As you may recall, her son, Galenthanus, and I have fought alongside on more than one occasion, and I would consider the elf lord as close as my shield mate.”
“Go on, Kadrin,”
“My Prince,” the old dwarf continued. “I am troubled that the undying Queen called to me directly and did not go through her son. It is most unsettling. Her message was an urgent plea for immediate aid to help support her kingdom against some threat she left unnamed.”
The Prince’s brows furrowed at the news, but he had little time to consider it before the doors to the hall opened and two of Corond’s household guard escorted two grey elves into his audience.
“Lord Finileis and Lord Hasseinare,” one of the guards announced. “Representatives from Celene, on behalf of Queen Yolanda herself, request an urgent audience with you, my Prince, and the General.”
The Prince and the General both recognized the elves as high ranking Knights of Luna. Corond looked briefly at Kadrin with a cocked eyebrow that communicated, this must be very urgent, which Kadrin confirmed with a nod.
Prince Corond excused the guard before turning his attention to the elven messengers, “Good Lords of Celene, what brings you into my halls with such haste.”
Lord Finileis spoke first. “Forgive us, Prince Corond, for our lack of grace in coming to you. No doubt, General Kadrin has spoken to you of the message he received from our fair Lady early this morning.”
Prince Corond frowned. “Yes. We were just concluding that conversation when you arrived. What word do you bring from your mistress?”
Hasseinare continued, “Only that our Queen, indeed all of Celene, is in dire need of your assistance. Her Majesty has sent us by way of powerful arcane spells to make her request to you directly in an effort to secure your aid.”
“And what,” Corond pressed. “does your Queen desire from me?”
“That you release into her service Lord Kadrin, General of Rittermarch.”
“Hmmf,” Corond grunted. “Has your Queen forgotten that General Kadrin is currently leading our war effort against the darkness creeping into the Suss?”
Hasseinare returned the Dwarf Prince’s gaze, though the elf’s was gentler. “She is well apprised of the threat that faces our shared borders.”
Corond gave the elves a cocked brow. “And does she recall also the many rebuff requests we have send to her, entreating her to aid us in reclaiming our lost holds to the wrath of Turrosh?”
The elves of Celene are well known for their haughtiness, but the Prince’s words wounded they pride so that even they averted the gaze in shame, for they, as Knights of Luna, felt too that Celene should be engaging more in the war against the orcs of the Pomarj.
Kadrin placed a hand on his prince’s shoulder, motioning that he would like to speak. Corond nodded.
“My lords,” Kadrin began. “Both my Lord and I are well aware, and appreciative, of the aid we have received from you and your brothers, no doubt not without personal cost to your standing within the courts of Celene. I suspect this is why your queen selected you two to come to us to present her request.”
The elf lords looked at one another before Filineis spoke, “You are very wise, General Kadrin.”
“Hmmm,” Kadrin continued. “But why has Queen Yolanda not send Galenthanus directly to us to request the aid she requires?”
Once more, the elf lords looked to each other, their faces darkening noticeably. Filineis spoke again, this time more gravely, “General Kadrin, I’m afraid we presently are uncertain about Prince Galenthanus’ whereabouts... or his well-being.”
“What?!” asked Kadrin incredulously.
“My Lord,” Hasseinare continued. “We cannot speak more to the matter. If you are willing and Prince Corond is agreeable to my Queen’s request, she has arranged quick transport to return the three of us to Celene. Once there, Queen Yolanda herself, will likely speak more with you about the exact aid she is looking for from you. I am sure, should you believe that you time would be better spent leading your troops against the Turrosh’s forces, she will allow you to return without delay.”
Filineis continued to press the matter, “Though, speaking plainly, it is the Knight’s hope that this aid you provide the Queen might stir her heart to committing more fully to the war effort against Turrosh’s horde.”
Prince Corond looked at his General once more, and could see the worry and concern that lined the old dwarf’s eyes. “I release you, General Kadrin, into Queen Yolanda’s service for a length of time that you deem necessary. “ He clasped Kadrin and brought him in close. “Find your friend. May the Forge fires light your path.”
“Thank you, my Prince,” Kadrin said as he returned the embrace. Turning back to the Knights of Luna, he stated simply, “Give me an hour to ready myself.”
"Alac-Ro the Weaver of Webs is the one
Who toys with adventurers' lives just for fun
When fear tries to make adventurers run
Dark webs seek to blot out the life-giving sun
"Alac-Ro the Weaver of Webs is he
Who creates the dark-woven tapestry
His dark works make a solemn decree
Please try to find a way to break free
"Alac-Ro the Weaver of Webs works at night
Devising the most devious designs for a plight
Where adventurers are tormented with fright after fright
If they fail to do the things that are right
"Alac-Ro the Weaver of Webs is who
Makes adventurers sweat like a wet morning dew
Creating impossible odds not a few
There is victory when you discover just what to do"
Finarsil the Flaming Raven, the Founder and Overseer of 'The Flaming Raven School of the Bards' located somewhere in the Lortmil Mountains, near the Ulek Pass, was in rare form this night as she performed for her students.
It was well past midnight, but the High Elf Bard was as fresh as a mountain flower, thanks to the Ring of Sustenance that she was 'married to' with the trust that the ring on the ring finger of her left hand would preserve her life.
This night she was performing and exhorting an advanced class of her students from among a promising crop of Elves, Humans, Dwarfs and Halflings.
She seemed to float about ecstatically in her sleeveless purple gown, cut low in the back with slits up both sides of the elegant gown that exposed her legs and hips, slightly below her waist, when she walked or danced as she performed a song or poetic chant.
This elegant purple gown tastefully exposed all five of her Flaming Raven Tattoos, from whence she got her moniker and the title of her school.
A large Flaming Raven adorned the fullness of her supple back, seemingly flying of its own accord as she waltzed around the room, singing songs or exhorting her students in the ways of the Bard.
Smaller versions of the same tattoo adorned both her arms, between her shoulders and elbows. Medium versions artfully decorated her hips and outer thighs, teasing her viewers with each opening and closing of the slits up her purple gown.
Her slim build and light olive skin enhanced the beauty of her Flaming Raven Tattoos, etched so elegantly on her 5'5” 110 lbs frame. Her green almond shaped eyes fairly danced with flames of their own, revealing glimpses of the adventurous spirit deep within her.
400 Autumns of adventure and passion had not worn a single silver strand into the deep dark Raven Black Hair that flowed over the petite pointed ears of the attractive High Elf Bard, who was orphaned as an 100 year young High Elf, when her parents were killed in the middle of experimenting with a sequence of forbidden magics, which also caused their only daughter to be rendered infertile with no hope of reversing her inability to bear children.
The High Elf Elders determined that since Firnarsil was incapable of bearing children that she be forbidden to marry, because of the population plunge among the High Elves, especially from the wide spread experimentation of forbidden magics.
Therefore, she was assigned as an apprentice among the storied Bards of the High Elves, where she gained notoriety with the Flute and devoted herself to the worship of Ye' Cind, the demigod of music and magical songs.
She also showed tendancies for an ill advised interest in spell casting, but through the years learned to stay away from the forbidden magics that claimed the lives of her parents and caused her infertility.
Finarsil was wont to steal away and company with various adventurers, which also added to her woes among the High Elf Elders.
She was forbidden to leave the Bard School to which she was assigned under the watchful eye of the High Elf Elders, but she stole away once more with about a dozen other Bard Students, in the company of a band of adventurers and mercenaries.
Dire consequences were the results of these ill advised actions, because her fellow Bards were all slaughtered, as were all but a handful of the mercenaries.
She returned to the High Elf Elders with great shame, in the company of a group of Bounty Hunters who had been employed to seek and return the wayward Bards.
Finarsil had been tattooed with five 'Flaming Ravens' during her unauthorized absence. One large tattoo on her back, two small tattoos on the outside of each arm between her shoulders and elbows, as well as two other tattoos covering the outside of her hips and upper thighs.
She was banished from the Bard School for her actions and indiscretions, the scapegoat for the deaths of the other Bard Students, amid a divided vote among the High Elf Elders.
Migrating to the Lortmil Mountains, she continued to company with various adventurers, but was befriended by a Rogue High Elf Elder who cast a dissenting vote against her banishment, along with an Elderly High Elf Bard.
Together the three founded a Bard School, but in a few short years both the Rogue High Elf Elder and the Elderly High Elf Bard were slaughtered in an attack by Orcs and Goblins upon the unauthorized Bard School.
Finarsil was able to avenge their deaths, before secluding herself somewhere in the Lortmil Mountains, near the Ulek Pass, where she became the Founder and Overseer of 'The Flaming Raven School of the Bards' that welcomed students from among a variety of Elves, Humans, Dwarfs and Halflings.
It was here at her 'Bard Refuge' that she first met Galenthanus and began adventuring with the son of Yolanda the Queen of the Grey Elves, both Finarsil and Galen being about the same age.
She continued doing so for nearly 50 years, until the last time when Galen called upon her and some other adventurer friends to help him find three magical items of evil.
They barely survived their adventure in the Mountains of the White Plume: where they encountered vampires, giant magically enhanced crabs and other evil creatures. They managed to locate the items, along with effreeti and a giant undead dragon.
Finarsil has secluded herself with her Bard Students for the past five years, refusing any requests from Galen, or any other adventurers offering gold to employ her special talents.
She is quite content to remain secluded in the Lortmil Mountains near the Ulek Pass, diligently training any student with coin enough to study at 'The Flaming Raven School of the Bards' and receive her tutelage and insight from her many years of adventuring.
These and many other thoughts streamed through her mind, as she focused once more upon the task at hand, to prepare these young Bards in training for the perils of the unknown.
"How many of these my charges will die before their time?"
Finarsil forced these dark thoughts from further intrusion as she focused on the brighter side of things possible and yet to be: "Each of these before me will achieve greatness and honor from what they are learning here!"
She walked over to her podium and reached for her Ye' Cind Flute, a rather ordinary looking wooden flute without any hint of its glorious past, or hopefully fruitful future.
Finarsil played an intoxicating melody for several minutes, drawing her students into the peaceful embrace of emotions in harmony with all things great and glorious to behold, before delivering a final exhortation for the night.
"We gather together for these types of classes, while others are sleeping, because the life of adventuring knows no difference between night and day!
"One must be ever alert. Danger lurks in the darkness. Danger disguises itself in many forms during the daylight. One must be ready and vigilant for any and all things!"
It was then that the 'Sending' from Yolanda the Queen of Celene somehow found its way to the hidden refuge of 'The Flaming Raven School of the Bards' that was secluded somewhere in the Lortmil Mountains, near the Ulek Pass, where only adventurers and those thirsting for the knowledge and understanding of the 'Ways of the Bards' were able to somehow locate Finarsil the Flaming Raven!
“Help me Finarsil, for the kingdom of the Grey elves and perhaps that of mankind is in grave danger. I know you have aided my son Galenthanus many times in the past. Please come to me now in my time of need.”
Finarsil staggered and swayed momentarily, before finding the grace to steady herself at the podium, from the fresh image of the gaunt features and worried eyes of Yolanda, that bore into the deep recesses of the soul of the Bard, reawakening her former thirst for the adventurous life!
Almost absentmindedly she picked up her Ye' Cind Flute and began playing a rather melancholy tune, as if reminiscing of past glories with old friends, trying to decide if what was once laid aside would be able to be resurrected with greater grace and glory, before plunging into the darkness of the unknown?
Then she smiled and addressed her class once more: "Prepare yourselves class! We are about to be entertained by unexpected guests!"
Finarsil spent the next hour exhorting her charges, pouring into their eager ears every ounce of information that the High Elf Bard desired for these Blossoming Bards to know and understand, as if it might be the final opportunity for them to hear from her own lips and voice of such needful things!
Suddenly the crackle of green and blue hues announced the unexpected arrival of Ashtonti the Grey Elf Bard and Versidimus the Grey Elf Mage, old and trusted adventuring friends of Finarsil and Galen.
Quick introductions were made to the class of wide eyed Bards in training, then Finarsil excused herself to make ready for the journey into the unknown, leaving Ashtonti and Versidimus to lecture her class of Elves, Humans, Dwarfs and Halflings on the finer points of adventuring and survival keys!
Finarsil dressed herself in her private chamber, donning the familiar garb that served her well when entering dangerous caverns and old ruins that led to unknown perils beyond normal comprehension!
"Why did Galen not contact me? Why was it his mother?"
Pushing all thoughts of a lingering fear, that sought to make permanent residence in her mind, away until it vanished in the light of her focus, the High Elf Bard made her way back to her class with a new found purpose and confidence!
Gasps of amazement and spontaneous applause erupted from her class, as they beheld in amazement the transformation of Finarsil from her elegant purple teaching gown, to the seasoned warrior that now entered the room, clad with purpose in her Elven adventuring garments!
From her neck down to her waist, she was totally covered with an Elven warrior garment, complete with sleeves for her arms that covered and hid the three Flaming Raven Tattoos on her upper torso.
She also wore thin gloves that would not hinder her Archery or Sword Battle talents!
Elven warrior leggings were tucked into her Boots of Elvenkind, which also covered the Flaming Raven Tattoos on her hips and thighs, the leggings rising up to her waist beneath the top garment.
Also, her Bracers of Ye' Cind fit unhindered over her wrists where her gloves meet her sleeves. Hidden under her left glove was the Ring of Sustenance, secured on her finger like a wedding band, signifying the High Elf Bard is 'married' with her trust in the Ring of Sustenance to preserve her life.
Tucked inside her garment underneath her chin she wore an Amulet of Tongues, allowing Finarsil to understand/speak any language.
She also wore a Belt of Holding, containing hidden items for whatever Finarsil would need for her personal use or assistance to help accomplish the urgent mission that Yolanda had summoned her to 'volunteer' for so unexpectedly!.
A +2 Dagger in a sheathe on the right side of her Belt of Holding was also at the ready.
Four pouches (two each) in her Bracers of Ye' Cind carried 40 regular arrows in her left Bracer. In her right Bracer 15 Healing Arrows awaited their inevitable use, as Finarsil fondly picked up her plain wooden Ye' Cind Flute and began playing a melody of determined resolution, before tucking it gently inside the one remaining empty pouch, until it was called upon again in the near future!
Hopefully, she would soon be enjoying Spinning Tales of Valor, Singing and Entertaining her fellow companions in unknown adventure with Spontaneous Poetic Verse to inspire or console, in addition to the variety of melodies that were sure to flow from her Ye' Cind Flute, wherever they would be!
Her weapons of choice were her Dark Reaver Long Sword (+3/+6 vs Undead) whose blade glows blue when within 60 feet of undead; plus an Elven Long Bow (+1/+3 vs Undead that deals full damage to skeleton warriors!)
Finarsil carried Dark Reaver in her Left Hand, while her Long Bow was slung over her back, as if the bow were a natural part of the High Elf Bard. The only time Dark Reaver would not be held in her Left Hand would be when the Long Bow replaced her weapon of choice, held in her firm left handed grip, as Finarsil was well able to draw the bow string with her Right Hand and unleash its arrows!
Ashtonti the Grey Elf Bard and Versidimus the Grey Elf Mage allowed Finarsil enough time to say farewell to each of her students, embracing each one with heart felt affection, as the High Elf Bard gave last minute instructions to each of her students, entrusting them with the care and upkeep of 'The Flaming Raven School of the Bards' during her unforeseen absence!
Through a flood of tears and shouts of encouragement from the members of her class, the High Elf Bard kissed each of her students on their respective foreheads, then waved cheerfully in spite of her own mist filled green eyes, as she took her appointed place between Ashtonti and Versidimus.
Suddenly the crackle of green and blue hues announced the departure of their beloved Finarsil the Flaming Raven, as the combined magics of Ashtonti and Versidimus transported the trio back to the awaiting Queen of Celene and an as yet unknown adventure!
Dark Times had come. Creatures of the darkone once again roamed the land. Odyson did his best to protect his people and those that called them friend. A war against these things was cruel and it took all of Odyson’s training to keep his people alive. As his skills were taxed he was called before the council of the Thirteenth Tribe.
When he returned, the council bestowed upon him the blessings of the Guardians, children of Mother Earth and Father Sky. Through ceremonies he was given the weapon of the first Son. A tattoo was placed on his forearm, that of a Great Axe. When Odyson touched the tattoo and invoked a will of spirit the Demon Slaying “Apatchin” ,Great Axe, appears in hand. The First Son had created the powerful weapon to turn back the creatures of the Dark. A tattoo of the bear paw print was placed on the back of his left hand, this was his holy symbol. The tattoo of strength was placed in his right palm; the tattoo’s magic would turn anything used for bludgeoning to a powerful weapon.
From the third son was ‘Himmel” guardian of the sky (weather), the birds and insects, they laid upon his back the image of an eagle attacking a serpent. The spread wings will add to the other protections he has. A feather of the Great Horned Owl was woven into his hair granting 60 foot infravision to aid him to see in the dark. From the gentle White Dove a wing feather was also woven into his hair its magic would grant him the ability to graceful drop from heights over five feet as a feather would fall. To hold these secure were added beads with powers combined from the elements. One that allowed the wearer to move freely, the other protects fire.
From Amamlthea, the guardian and spirit of the plants and forests, they fitted him a suit of Armor from Amamlthea’s “Tree of Life”. The armor is splint mail that is all silver birch leaves. A touch of a leaf ear ring and the armor falls apart like leaves in autumns, swirling and disappearing. Touching the ear ring again and it reforms.
Finally, after purification in the sweat lodge, the council prayed to the Earth Mother to bless Odyson. As the Council fire grew Odyson felt a stirring in his blood, he heard what he believed to be Mother’s voice. “My son, use your will to draw the strength of my first guardian, the great bear.” As the Shaman envisioned the Great Bear a power and strength came over him. He felt strength greater than he had ever felt before. When he opened his eyes there around the fire sat seven great bears and he was one of them.
The Shaman returned to his clan and there he used his new gifts to defend his people. As the war continued others from the outside were drawn in and alliances were formed to drive back the darkness. The beings known as Elves and Dwarvs fought next to humans and those of his people. These alliances lead to loyalties among a small group that shared their skills for a great good.
The war changed things. Odyson found a new clan, with these few he could do more for all of mother Earth’s beings. So he let another care for the people and he moved on. With the Elves, Dwarves and humans they righted many wrongs.
Although Odyson had never had need for money but when party no longer needed to fight the evil he found that from the rewards and treasures the new party had accumulated he was wealthy. The Shaman had to find a way to stay aware and keep watch on Mother Earth’s creatures.
So from the human known as Olan he purchased a gathering place where travelers and adventures stopped to rest and share a tale or two. Odyson learned to run the Red Dragon Inn.
From the local grains and herbs he brewed beverage his people had enjoyed for centuries. The travelers seemed to enjoy it too and called it an ale. One evening as the folks gather in the tavern room Ody's one time companion Maximus Jerale entered as the assistant bartender,Igor, slid a tankard of the brew down the bar. The foam splashed out as one of the guests grabbed it up. Tossing a few coin on the bar Max called to Igor,” Barkeep, draw me a tankard of that…..good old frothy slosh there.” It wasn’t long before everyone was ordering the ale as “Good Old Froth and Slosh.”
Ody had found that by listening to the travelers he could learn where to send the help of the Thirteenth tribe. The Great Bear still watched over the people.
One autumn night as Ody polished one of the good silver tankards the image of Yolanda, Queen of Celene, appear.
“Help me Odyson, for the kingdom of the Grey elves and perhaps that of mankind is in grave danger. I know you have aided my son Galenthanus many times in the past. Please come to me now in my time of need.”
Odyson place the tankard back in its place behind the bar. Musing over the plea he wondered why his friend Galen’s mother had contacted he and not Galen himself. Nearly tripping over gear he let Maximus keep behind bar Ody handed the mute HalfOrc Igor the keys, “Take care of our guest, I may be gone for a while.”
The Shaman went to his cave, there he gathered the blessings of the Thirteenth tribe and prayed to Mother Earth for guidance. He finished by gathering the simple items he needed as he had when he followed Galen, then left the cave. In the moon light a form stepped forward, a Grey Elf. “Odyson, our Queen has sent me to bring you to her palace.” The Shaman nodded, “Lead on.” The Grey Elf reached out touching Ody’s arm and they vanished.
South of Courwood, nestled between the fringes of the Suss Forest and the foothills of the Lortmil Mountains, the earth seemed to stab an accusatory finger at the darkened autumn sky in the form of an obsidian tower, swathed in the lavender hues of diffused eldritch light. In the lower levels of this arcane stronghold, the apprentices and attendants of Jarenion Mithesonel now slept or studied as was their calling at this hour. The mage, himself, however, could, as usual, be found muttering to himself as he paced between the library and laboratory (both of which seemed to teeter precariously at the tower's pinnacle but may not have existed in the tower proper, at all), his full attentions enrapt by whatever spell formulae he might be attempting to bind. Tangled strands of raven-hued hair spilled onto the pages of the tome he carried in one hand as, head down, engrossed in the text, he absently followed the outer circumference of the circle he had earlier etched on the floor of the lab in blue chalk and stamped the end of his staff into that circle at every twelfth degree. His muttering stopped only long enough for Jarenion, mildly irritated by his own hair obscuring the next sigil upon the page, to blow the offending lock to the side, smirk in satisfaction, then roll his eyes as he attempted to recall exactly where he had been before being distracted...
"Aiya," he murmured after a moment, tapping the misplaced script with the end of a simple willow wand when he found it; "Lema ed' ando en' templa!"
The blue chalk at his feet hissed, smoked, and then burst into a whirling cloud of blue-white motes of light which, as they spiraled towards an opening in the roof above, drew the lavender glow that ensheathed the tower into itself and, just as the portal that Jarenion had expected was about to wink into existence, the spell imploded. The purplish light escaped back to the tower's outer walls while the motes that had formed the cloud compressed against one another until they formed a white-hot sphere that dropped to the floor of the laboratory, lingered there a second, and then burnt through this floor and Boccob only knew how many more before the mana dispersed.
Jarenion winced at the flash and shielded his eyes from the acrid smoke wafting toward him from the smoldering hole, fanning it away with the still open tome he held as he muttered curses under his breath and trying to determine where he'd gone wrong while simultaneously scrutinizing his laboratory for any damage beyond the dimly glowing void in the planks of his floor. The smoke whirled away from him and seemed to find a vortex in which to trap itself above the hole and, even as Jarenion muttered the word
"Curious", formed itself into an image of the Faerie Queen.
"Help me Jarenion Mithesonel," the ethereal image of Yolande implored via the spell of sending, "for the kingdom of the Grey elves and perhaps that of mankind is in grave danger. I know you have aided my son Galenthanus many times in the past. Please come to me now in my time of need."
The mage blinked his violet eyes, nonplussed by a summons from the Queen but more than a little curious as to why she had sought him out herself. In the past, whenever the royals had need of his services, it had always been Galenthanus who had contacted him and Jarenion found this personal summons by the Perfect Flower of Celene to be more than a bit disconcerting... A thing of most certain urgency, he surmised even as he sketched the semblance of a bow to the dissipating semblance of Yolande. "Amin naa tualle," he answered, already moving to the cupboard he had not opened in perhaps fifteen years, "Amin tulien." He unlocked the cabinet and, with a long memorized incantation, set his satchel about packing itself even as he extracted the beaten leather hat and the charcoal grey coat that the Archmage Rune had presented to him all those years ago.
While Jarenion had retired from the adventuring life some time ago and, to that end, found himself even more troubled by Yolande's sending, the mage couldn't help but smile a little as he donned Rune's coat and shaded his eyes beneath the hat's wide brim. Those two simple actions brought back many memories of discovering new mysteries while in the company of good friends... friends who, if the fates were kind and the Queen's summons was as imperative as he sensed, may well have been mustered at Enstad, also. He made the last of his preparations before the cinders around the newly burned hole in his lab floor had cooled and, outfitted as he had not been in quite some time, found himself on the twisting path that lead from his tower's door and in the company of Yolande's emissaries before his apprentices could register that he was gone.
Posted on 2014-11-03 at 16:30:51.
Edited on 2014-11-12 at 09:45:28 by Eol Fefalas
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
And so we begin
You are gathered in the library of the palace, the eight of you ushered in quietly and without pomp or pageantry. You all know one another, having adventured together with one another over the years, but the last time you were all together was five years ago. It is good to see friends, comrades and companions again after so long although you all know the circumstances could be better. You have been given a drink of your preference, any food you may wish to request and made as comfortable as possible, but beyond that, it is all very secretive. You only have a few minutes to socialize with your friends before the door to the library opens.
Queen Yolanda enters the room from the garden entrance. She is not her normal self, poise and proper but looks tired and there is much concern behind those ageless eyes. She carries with her an orb that glows orange but the light within flickers like a candle in the wind.
“I will not waste time with pleasantries at this time, so please excuse me. There is a dire matter at hand which is why I called you here at such haste. In fact, alacrity may be our only advantage at this point. Tonight, my son Galenthanus was escorting three elven ladies from the kingdom of Furyondy back home. These three ladies are fraternal triplets, which I do not have to explain to you how rare that is among elves. They were returning from a trade mission when something attacked them. We do not know what but whatever they were, they have abducted the Ladies, Galen and 12 handpicked elven hunters. In fact, the only person not abducted was slain and a holy man - a cleric named Tal who was ... let us say tortured a great deal before he was slain. In fact, I believe that whatever killed him used magic to resurrect him again after he died so they could torture him all over again.
“Needless to say, whatever it was is powerful and has a following of equally powerful minions. That is why I sent for all of you here – you are the most powerful warriors of your age to stand against the dark forces.If anyone can rescue him, it is you. I know Galen is alive because of this.” She says and lifts the orb up where it hovers where she leaves it in the air, “This is similar to a life protection enchantment. With it I should be able to bring him to me, but I cannot, something blocks me and that is not a mild feat. All I know is that as long as it glows, Galen is alive. However, what those who have taken him do not know is that I can use this to get you to him.
“I am asking you all here to take a great risk and no one will question you were you chose to walk away. I can use the orb and my powers to teleport you close to where Galen is, but I cannot tell you what you will be going into, it is completely shielded from my view. I will not mislead you, you won’t end up in solid rock but you could be landing in danger right from the start.
“Now I have said that I do not know who has done this deed and that is true, but I hold a suspicion that the circumstances seem to add up to suggest it being true. Long ago, back when my father walked the Oerth, and humans were the rarity on the Flaness, he fought against three sisters named Morag, Mallenroh and Margana. You might call them witches or hags today, but their power and strength was beyond the creatures that roam the dark swamps of our world. They used an older magic based on earth and blood and it was very potent indeed. My father defeated the three sisters as they kidnapped three elven sisters. The Witches were planning to take their own souls and put them into the bodies of the elf maids. With their power, the elven blood and long life, they would have been immeasurably powerful. But as I said they were defeated before they could and their plan undone. But they were of such strength in mystic power that my father could not slay them outright only bereft them of mortal bodies. Their spirits were eternal and even without bodies they could possess others and move on. So he bound their souls into the black cauldron that they used to form their magic. So that no other evil forces or minions could release them, he bound them with blood magic and used his own blood. As a further barrier, he also made it so they could not be released unless it was all three at once unless the dispossessed bodies were of the same blood as well.”
The queen sighed and took a sip of wine, “I am sure he thought that within the confines of the magic, they would be bound for eternity but as you no doubt can piece together – all the elements are now in place. The triplets are of my bloodline and Galen is a powerful mage. If someone or something can force him or use his body to cast the blood spell – then the sisters will be released and they have a magic that none have seen on this world bar a few. I cannot confirm these is our enemy though, it is just a suspicion that grows in my mind.”
The Queen goes to one of the cabinets in the library and pulls out a black cloth. “if I am correct, then when you find the Black Cauldron, you can deal with it by covering it with this cloth and saying the command word Rowshawn while pulling the cloth back. It will cause the cauldron to disappear into a nether region where it can do no harm. Do not otherwise touch the cauldron or risk being taken yourself. Do not use the cloth on anything else as it will only work once. I will also give you two amulets with similar crystals as this, “she says with a hand to the orange orb, “Each one has a enchantment of recall to the palace that can bring back up to 12 people hand in hand by breaking the crystal. Note that you will not appear here but deep in the caverns beneath the palace in a area well sealed and watched - just in case they fall into the wrong hands.”
“Time is of essence. The blood magic to release them requires a full moon and that is tomorrow night. That is why I moved to find and bring you with such urgency. Galen and the ladies must be found and I ask you to aid me on this quest. What say you?”
Posted on 2014-11-03 at 19:03:58.
Edited on 2014-11-03 at 19:05:05 by Alacrity
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 346/54 6043 Posts
Arien gazed out across the gently rolling pasture land. It was good land, with vivid green growth covering everything in sight. His father's horses had done well on this land, were more highly sought than ever... though Arien knew that his father viewed the family business as more of a hobby, one that he was more than willing to entrust the day to day details of which to servants. A beaming grin broke across his face as he took in the beautiful day; it was a good day to be alive, to enjoy the warm breeze ruffling his clothes.
A moment later, the grin froze and the hair stood up on the back of his neck. He heard the horses in the barn whinny in terror, and without thinking, turned on his heel and rushed towards the sounds of distress. The commotion of frightened animals filled the air, urging Arien on to find the source. When he did, he stopped still in his tracks.
Darkwolf, he thought to himself as his gaze settled on the slavering beast standing just inside the pen reserved for pregnant mares. At the other side cowered one of his father's most valuable animals, a mare named Moondancer, a mare that carried the offspring of a famous warhorse. He shouted at the marauding creature in a vain hope to scare it off, but it barely spared Arien a sideways glance as it stalked toward its intended victim.
As fortune would have it, the barn did contain some of Arien's sparring gear. There would be no real weapons, but one of the old wooden bucklers would be better protection than the linen of his clothing. Grabbing up the small shield, Arien drew his long hunting knife from his belt and vaulted the fence.
The moment he did so, a tingle of chilling fear shot through his gut as the darkwolf fixed Arien with its red-eyed gaze and began to grown deeply within its throat. The creature was huge, easily tall enough at the shoulder to reach Arien's eyebrows. Foam dripping from its mouth confirmed why the thing would be out in the daylight - it was either sick or mad, and neither bode well for Arien. Still, he could not ignore this; if he left to get help - or even to better arm himself - the horse would surely die. There would be no backing down. This was the right thing to do.
With a snarl, the darkwolf lept at the heir to House Thedell, covering the ground between the two of them in a shockingly brief instant. Its jaws snapped at his throat, but Arien deflected it up and away, bringing his knife up and cutting across the beast's chest even as he gave ground to the creature's superior weight. It backed up, snarled, and lept again, but again, Arien redirected the attack and caused it pain. For the briefest of moments, Arien felt confidence, even a touch of fierce joy... then, the darkwolf moved as if to circle behind him before lunging again.
This time, Arien was knocked to the ground. Suddenly, it was all he could do to prevent the snapping fangs from ripping out his throat. The darkwolf bore down on him, superior weight crushing Arien beneath, hot breath on his skin. Desperately, the dark haired human twisted in such a way to allow the creature even closer... the drove the knife into its throat before giving the blade a twist. Mortally wounded, the darkwolf struggled to take Arien to the afterlife with it, but eventually, it collapsed, pinning its intended victim under its body.
As Arien struggled to free himself from the corpse, a sound assaulted his ears; it took a moment for him to place the sound as applause. "Well done, son!" he heard next.
Suddenly the weight was lifted, allowing the heir to House Thedell to scramble from beneath the bloody corpse of the darkwolf. As he pulled himself to his feet, his gaze settled on his benefactor.
A handsome knight dressed in exotic green armor stood before him, beaming with pride, his hand resting casually on the pommel of a beautiful sword at his belt. The once jet black hair was now dusted with white, the once smooth face bore quite a few lines (as well as a salt and pepper mustache), but the smile that adorned the features was as broad and infectious as ever. "Son," Arien Aston Thedell the Third spoke, "I am proud of you. Well done. You did not hesitate to do the right thing, even at great danger to yourself. This is the measure of a man."
Confused, the eight year old boy wiped his knife clean before replacing it on his belt. "Father," he asked, "I do not understand. If you were there the whole time, why did you not intervene?"
The knight smiled. "And take that victory from you? It is one thing for me to tell you that you can handle yourself. It is quite another to *know* it firsthand, in your heart. Had you truly needed me, I would have given you aid... but clearly," he spoke, gesturing at the corpse of the darkwolf, "you had the situation well in hand. You did what had to be done, and you fought with skill and courage." The knight paused, and mischief twinkled in his eye. "Still," he spoke, eyeing his son's bloodstained tunic, "perhaps we can clean you up a bit before you tell your mother the tale."
The family was seated around the dinner table, the meal almost complete. Father and son had both endured the expected reprimands of a worried mother, though she was neither surprised, nor (truth be told) as worried as she had let on. Certainly she did not relish the thought of her only child locked in mortal combat against monsters, but the boy did clearly take after his father, and she knew full well that the knight would not have let true harm come to him. Furthermore, it was difficult to be overly angry with the boy; he had, after all, saved the prized horse and slain the beast... at an age when most boys would have defeated nothing more menacing than a house spider. Though he was obviously duly proud of himself, he was just like his father; he told the tale with humility, acting as if his acts had been perfectly normal. All the while, the knight sat back and listened, his eyes twinkling with pride.
Suddenly, Arien the elder froze in mid sentence, his eyes going unfocused for several moments. "Arien?" Lady Chryssa questioned. "Is something amiss?"
When he did not answer, she stood and moved to his side, and raised a hand to his brow. He gasped, shook his head, and his gaze returned to the room.
"What is it?" she asked, her expression full of concern.
For the briefest of moments, the knight's face was creased with something that looked an awful lot like worry, but he quickly wiped it away. "I have been summoned," he answered simply.
"Summoned? By whom?" she questioned.
"By the Faerie Queen herself," he replied. "She has contacted me personally to ask for my aid. I must make haste and prepare." Arien pushed the remainer of his plate back and stood, the rest of dinner forgotten.
A half hour later, in their bedchamber, Chryssa spoke in a pleading tone. "Arien," she addressed him, "please... do not go. I do not know why, but I have a truly bad feeling about this. You have fulfilled your quests, slain your monsters. You do not have to go."
The knight looked up from his packing and focused his gaze on his beautiful wife. Her face, so familiar, still seemed a touch exotic to him - the features just a bit angular, the skin untouched by the lines that had begun to populate his own visage. Her blue (lavendar?) eyes pleaded with him from beneath a tumble of blonde curls, and worry marred the beautiful features.
"My love, I must go. I am needed." he replied in a low tone.
The soft eyes flashed in response. "We need you! Arien, your family needs you! I've only felt like this once before, and you very nearly died that time! What if I lose you? What will we do?"
He shook his head ruefully. She was beautiful, she was intelligent, she was wiser than he would ever be. And she was naturally worried for her family. For years, she had supported him; to be fair, this request was highly unusual. But that did not matter.
"My love," he replied again, his voice laced with an unusual melancholy, "I have devoted my life to being a good man. To helping those in need. The gods have rewarded me richly for it. I am no horse trader, yet our lands are tenfold what my father owned. We have enough riches to live in need of nothing. And, more than any of that, the gods gave me you - directly for living the life that I have lived."
Chryssa, of course, knew this to be true. He had rescued her, a dashing, young, nigh-penniless knight... and she had loved him for it. And indeed, the gods had blessed them.
"But what of your son? If you do not come home, what then?"
He shook his head. "If I do not go, what does that teach him? I am needed, and I have the power to help. Her Fey Majesty does not ask for boons lightly. If I am sought, the need must be real. If I do not come home, he will know that his father died doing the right thing. A good life, a good death... what more can a man ask?"
Tears glistening in her eyes, Chryssa kissed him, then embraced her gallant fool of a husband.
The actual goodbye was not tearful. The knight made preperations, giving directions to his steward for running the business and the household, as well as instructions to his guardsmen to properly look after his family. Arien the younger had asked if his father must go, and when the knight had replied, he nodded his head sagely. Arien the elder knelt by his son's side.
"Son" he spoke, "I am proud of you. While I am away, you are man of the house. Take care of your mother. Always do the right thing, stand for those who cannot stand for themselves."
The boy nodded sagely. "Yes, father."
Chryssa embraced the knight one last time. "Return safe and sound to me, husband." she demanded.
"If it is in my power, my love, I will," he answered, kissing her once more befroe following his escort out into the evening.
With a pit of forboding gnawing her guts, Chryssa wondered, why can the man not tell even a soothing falsehood?
Arien greeted his old comrades warmly, though his usual jovial nature was a bit more reserved than they would have seen in years past. His wife's pleas had weighed more heavily on him than he let on.
The knight carefully listened to the queen's tale. However, there was nothing for him to consider. Grave danger, for sure, but this was an evil far too great to ignore. And of course, his old comrade Galen had been taken. The elf would move heaven and Oerth for a comrade; could Arien do any less?
"Your Majesty," Arien spoke, bowing low. "You have my sword in your quest. I will aid you in any way that I can. If it is in my power, I will see your son returned safely to you and this evil be stopped. I will see this quest fulfilled, or my spirit will fly my dying body; this is my pledge to you." With that, the knight kissed his sword and laid the enchanted elven blade at Queen Yolanda's feet, then took a knee with his head bowed in front of the monarch.
Posted on 2014-11-04 at 05:48:28.
Edited on 2014-11-04 at 18:20:44 by t_catt11
With mixed emotions, sparrow greeted her old friends. She was happy to see them all alive and well but she knew that something dark must have occurred for them all to be together. When the queen explained the situation, sparrow knew this might be the last time they could all gather. She was no stranger to the price that would be required to complete a task such as had been laid before them.
"My queen, I will do what I can to see your son returned safe to your side. Though I am willing to lay down my life in this task I find it preferable to allow those who took your son to pay with theirs as the cost of their foolishness." Sparrow curtsied, a rare sight indeed.
After having been delivered to the library by the agents of Queen Yolanda, Jarenion passed the little bit of time between their taking their leave and the arrival of the queen herself by sipping at a goblet of honey-wine, inspecting the libraries considerable collection and, now and again, pausing in his perusal to converse with old friends and compatriots as they each arrived. Neither the examination of Yolanda’s library nor his reminiscing with once-and-now-again colleagues was long-lived, however, as Lady Rhalta of All Elvenkind made her appearance with a rapidity akin to the summons which all of the gathered adventurers had received. Instantly obvious in her demeanor, despite her preternatural grace and beauty, was the tinge of worry and weariness…
Most certain urgency, indeed, the mage reaffirmed his earlier thoughts as he closed the tome he had been inspecting, got to his feet, and offered a silent bow to the Queen, I cannot recall having ever seen Her Majesty in such a state.
“I will not waste time with pleasantries,” Yolanda offered in lieu of greeting, gliding to a stop in their midst, “There is a dire matter at hand, which is why I called you here with such haste…”
Jarenion listened intently as the Queen spelled out the details of the fate she believed to have befallen her son and his charges and, thus, her need for calling this group together. She made no excuses or apologies for the dangers that accepting this task would entail, nor did she portend any ill will to those who may have chosen to decline her request… Not that he imagined any of those in attendance would refuse… He certainly had no intention of doing so… even if he may have visibly winced at the mention of Morag, Mallenroh, and Margana.
“Time is of essence. The blood magic to release them requires a full moon and that is tomorrow night. That is why I moved to find and bring you with such urgency,” Yolanda concluded, “Galen and the ladies must be found and I ask you to aid me on this quest. What say you?”
"Your Majesty," Arien spoke, bowing low. "You have my sword in your quest. I will aid you in any way that I can. If it is in my power, I will see your son returned safely to you and this evil be stopped. I will see this quest fulfilled, or my spirit will fly my dying body; this is my pledge to you." With that, the knight kissed his sword and laid the enchanted elven blade at Queen Yolanda's feet, then took a knee with his head bowed in front of the monarch.
"My queen,” Sparrow added with an uncharacteristic curtsey, “I will do what I can to see your son returned safe to your side. Though I am willing to lay down my life in this task I find it preferable to allow those who took your son to pay with theirs as the cost of their foolishness."
For his part, Jarenion doffed his hat, made a futile attempt at taming his hair for at least an instant, and followed the lead of the knight and the ranger, offering Yolanda a respectful bow and saying; “Amin naa lle nai, tariamin.* Galen has been a friend and more to each of us, here, and were the roles reversed, he would be the first to offer aid.”
“Oh no not that wayyyyyy” In seconds Maximus Jerale, Ex-Gladiator now Thief, hater of teleportation spells and the two Elves were gone.
To suddenly appear in a castles courtyard one Maximus recognized as the home of Yolanda Queen of the Grey Elves and Galen’s mother. Within minutes the big Ex-Gladiator was standing, some would say towering, with eight others in the castles large library. As he took in the others around him, knowing them all to a certain degree, he spotted Odyson right away. With the Barbarian Shaman being just a few inches shorter then Maximus he was easy to spot, and made to move towards him. However a second very familiar face, though in unfamiliar armor, stopped him dead in his tracks. A deep breath inhaled, he moved to stand beside the man in full green plate armor.
(Ok am leaving it here for now hoping for some quick RP with Olan for two semi-friends meeting for the first time in 4-5 years after the death of another close friend to both. Both Maximus and Arien are from the first CWWLLO and it was Jal, the mutual friends death that caused the original close party to part ways as far as RP. In RL Alacrity ended the game due to RL issues. To me I think meeting after 5 years of no word or anything would be a big deal. This would take place before Yolanda appears of course in the few minutes before. If I'm wrong Olan, I'll gladly reword my post )
Posted on 2014-11-05 at 02:02:05.
Edited on 2014-11-05 at 02:03:59 by TannTalas