Rayden kept close to Arandur but kept Brutus even closer. A hand firmly in his fur the elven ranger followed the group into the meeting room. The young ranger wanted to go back to the Canopy, even though they were sent she had a foreboding feeling about the whole thing. She turned to look at her brother but then quickly shook her head dismissing the idea of running away.
Brutus could feel his elf’s displeasure and huffed a breath before walking at her side, occasionally bumping into the woman with his nose, letting her know that she was not infact.. alone.
She listened intently to her brother speak, telling of the reason why they were there to begin with. She s kept close to him feeling him grip her hand in turn. Smiling slightly, she listened and watched the Dragon Queen speak to them.
Upon entering the private chamber, Siréne could feel the gaze of the Dragon Queen shift from the others to focus on her and the amulet of Kakaranatha that now rested on her neck. Siréne met Majestic's eyes with curiosity and apprehension.
“I see the Dragon Goddess has contacted you already. She must be worried about you as she gave you that amulet to let her watch you when she wants.” Laughing softly Majestic continued, “So tell me Elf Enchantress have you felt her gaze yet?"
The fey witch's gaze darkened as her thoughts turned to the strange presence in the library that had followed them throughout the city. Even here she could feel a faint ghost of that presence. Siréne thought of the love in Kakaranatha's reptilian eyes when she gave the amulet to her. A serpentine twisting wrapped around her and she knew that she had been claimed by the Dragon Goddess. Yet, an older and perhaps even more treacherous deity had laid a claim to her long before Kakaranatha, and Siréne feared the fury the ancient Fey Goddess might unless upon and through her. Would any of them survive the divine contest?
Stilling herself, Siréne answered, "Yes, I feel the shadow of her gaze even now." Her cerulean gaze hardened with resolve, "Tell me, my lady, is there anything else you can tell me of this amulet I am now bound to?"
Posted on 2019-04-14 at 11:36:03.
Edited on 2019-04-14 at 11:36:21 by Nimu
Lothor moved with Sirene through the city and to the fortress. When they finally arrived and joined the rest of the group he was stunned to see Majestic speaking with the rest of the group. And Allanon's supposed daughter. Nothing really made sense. Who was who at this point and why were they all there? There really wasn't much for him to do but to sit back and listen as the story unfolded. Once again he needed information. Gradually he got some, but still he felt as though he were adrift.
And now it seemed that perhaps they knew what the presence watching them might be. Was Kakarantha now watching their every move? That did not please him. But what could he do? Sit and listen for now. That was all.
“And who are you both? I do not remember you from the past?”
“Your Highness,If you knew my companions, from ages past, then I assume you also knew an elven ranger by the name of Talcanaiion Aldavathar. He is my father and Rayden's adoptive father. For the actions he took against the Dragon Goddess, Kakaranatha, the evil one dealt him a mortal blow. I regret to inform you that the great ranger has passed away. Before he slipped into the nether realm however, he tasked Rayden and I with seeking out his old companions and informing them not only of his death, but also of Kakaranatha's darkness and imposing threat to the realm and to offer any assistance to the noble quest of ridding the world of her shadow as we can. I sincerely hope we can help to lead the group to victory and fulfill my father's dying wish…”
“No I never knew him, though I am sorry he is dead. As for his actions, was he also involved as the rest in freeing her?”
(Assuming Arandur and Rayden say yes)
“Then just as she will more then likely do with the rest of your companions from the past, she killed him to keep him quiet. Again for that I am sorry”
As Sirene and Lothor arrived Cor stood to speak.
“Might I ask for a moment of your time alone after this meeting good dragon. I have a question of utmost importance that is for you alone. Even the asking may endanger my life and I will not risk those of my companions.”
As Cor finished his request he could see that Majestic’s eyes were not on him, but on Sirene. The Dwarf could tell her eyes rested on the amulet at Sirene’s neck. The same amulet given to the Elf Enchantress by Kakaranatha herself.
“I see the Dragon Goddess has contacted you already. She must be very worried about you as she gave you that amulet to let her watch you when she wants, instead of killing you” A tiny relaxed laugh. “So tell me Elf Enchantress have you felt her gaze yet?”…….
Stilling herself, Siréne answered, "Yes, I feel the shadow of her gaze even now." Her cerulean gaze hardened with resolve, "Tell me, my lady, is there anything else you can tell me of this amulet I am now bound to?"
“Never fear she cannot hear anything said in this room. The amulet around your neck is more for location then for her to hear what is said, though it may be focused on certain words or phrases to activate it. Outside of this room she will easily be able to use it to follow you as long as you have it, there is no way to block it. It is quite easy to destroy, it has no real protections against such, but once destroyed she will know at once. In freeing her, instead of killing her, and allowing her to remain alive you caused the future we have now.”
They could all hear her sigh…..
“I suppose some of you, if not all, have questions about her so I will give you a quick telling. After being freed she arrived and fought Loki and somehow won his place among the gods. She then proceeded to slowly began a new religion, a religion more concerned with the worship of her by men then the other races. She is more interested in such worship as the more who worship her the greater her power becomes and man is the more numerous race. She is in the mind that dragons, believing us so much more inferior to her, are below her. Though she does use evil dragons at times to do her bidding, she really like I said, has no interest in us leaving us to live and fight among ourselves.
A pause to catch her breath, continuing…...
“Though she portrays herself to be good she is in truth lawful evil with leanings to at times chaotic. I am sure some of you are asking yourselves why do we not put a stop to her. As much as I hate it, we cannot, for there must always be a balance of gods in the Realms. With Loki defeated Kakaranatha has taken his place or spot thus balancing it all out. If someone of sufficient power were to challenge her and win they would gain her spot and so on with any of the gods including the all-father Olan.”
As she looks over the party its clear to her that most are dead on their feet tired.
“You have returned from a long journey and I see all of you are exhausted. Please returned to your quarters and regain your strength we will talk on other matters in the next few days. Remember there is still a sword that needs destroying. Lord Cor if you still have things you wish to discuss, please stay.”
With that the party now free to roam is ushered out of the palace.
(DM OOC: Ok there you have my post a day late but still only a day. Keeper if you still want to talk to her privately send me a PM. If anyone has last questions for please feel free to back post them. Nimu/Ody if you two want to start on your side endeavor, feel free to post it. However you may want to sleep first and regain your strength before you attempt such a casting. Ok next post this weekend.)
With the meeting with Majestic concluded, Cor turned to more mundane tasks. The meat party members would need sleeping quarters. " I suggest everyone return to their rooms and eat anything recover. We will spend one more day here and then continue or original question to destroy the sword. Lotho, Arandur if ye two lads will come with me we will track down a place for ye ta rest." Cor still pondered the implications of Sirene's amulet. Could she be included in the strategy planning? Would she give away the party location? Could the dragon god do more than listen? Such concerns would need careful consideration.
Arandur was weary from the day's events, but he suspected that this respite Queen Majestic had offered them may be one of few such breaks of their entire quest so the elf decided to take advantage of it and do something he hardly got to do these days: spend some private time with his dear sister, Rayden.
'Rest, my friend,' Arandur whispered gently to Talon, a hood over the hawk's head to soothe him. The bird settled down on his perch and Arandur, confident the bird would sleep whilst the elf was out of the room, exited and made his way down the corridor, politely greeting the knights he passed on the way. Eventually, he reached his destination and knocked smartly on the door before him.
'Rayden,' he called, 'are you in there?'
(OOC: Sorry it's so short. These are just quick filler posts for fun)
Once the meeting was done, Rayden made her way back to her quarters with Brutus in tow. Once there, she flopped backwards on her bed and rested her arm across her eyes sighing slightly, her other hand scratching Brutus behind his ear lightly. Just as she was dozing off however, she heard a knock at her door. Grunting slightly at the voice of her brother she sat up and stumbled towards the door, opening it enough for him to slip in she returned to her bed and tilted her head,
“You’re without Talon.. that’s most unusual brother.”
'Greetings, Sister,' Arandur greeted, fine sculptured lips tugging into a smile at the sight of her. He was glad to have this time to converse with her, as idle as the conversation may be. Or perhaps they may discuss topics of more seriousness? Whatever they talked about, Arandur knew that he would just enjoy his time with her, away from the eyes and ears of others. He could truly just be himself around her.
'Talon does not do well inside enclosed spaces,' Arandur answered his sister's enquirey. 'He may panic and cause a fuss. It is best to leave him quite and calm upon his perch undisturbed. May I come in? I wished to have this moment to have some private time with each other, away from the others. Just us. For that opportunity has not been upon us for what seems like an age.'
With accomidations for all arranged, Cor's mind wandered to the fallen member of the party. It was time to return Peri to the world of the living. Making his way to Ulthok's door, Cor knocked. "Ulthok lad, tis Cor. I came ta see about raising your wee beastie Peri. Tis time for her to once more live and breath." Cor waited for an answer.
Rayden smiles as he explains why he left Talon behind. Looking at her sleeping bear a frown forms on her lips as she waves her brother into the room,
“You can enter. Brutus doesn’t seem to much like this place either. We’re used to the open forests. What has our father gotten us into Arandur?” It was the rare time she let fear lace her words, “Will we meet the same fate as he?” She turned her gaze towards her brother, she didn’t mind showing fear to him. He was her big brother after all.
Making his way to Ulthok's door, Cor knocked. "Ulthok lad, tis Cor. I came ta see about raising your wee beastie Peri. Tis time for her to once more live and breath." Cor waited for an answer.
Ulthok and Valene had been so intent of the arrangement with Sirene to heal Peri and the need for the mage studying to have two Teleport spells prepared that Ulthok had not informed his friend Lord Cor of the news of Peri. Opening the door the Halfling grabbed Cor by the shoulders and spoke excidedly. "Oh Cor ..Peri is not dead..well she is dead ..but she's not dead dead, just sort of dead." The Halfling saw the skock and confussion on the Dwarv's face. "Well what I mean is that Allanan discovered that because of the unusual bond between Peri and me..I guess it was becuse I messed up the Find Familiar spell and nearly died and it altered the spell and bond...but what it also did was let Peri share my Amulet of Life protection....she it here Cor" Ulthok holds out the amulet, glowing faintly "...she just needs to be healed to return, like me...well sort of.." Ulthok plunged on, "Allanan says that because Peri is a magical fey creature the the heal to bring her out of the amulte needs to be Fey Magic....Sirene agreed to do the heal but we must prepare and then travel to a special location....we must do it this evening and have all ready at the magical time between day and night. ....isn't that great....Valene and I will be leaving soon so that we are prepared when the moment comes."
Ulthok could see the dazed look in Cor's eyes, "I thank you friend for preparing to heal our little fairie dragon, but all is under way...I can teleport myself, Valene and Sirene to the location but that is all I take...you are welcome to come.. I think...we are going to the edge of the Elven lands.... where Sirene's power would the strongest....if you wished to go I think you would be welcome..but maybe check with Sirene. But as I said my magic will likely only let me take the three of us." With that Ulthok hugged his friend and sliped back into his room closing the door.
(O. O.C.....This will be more clear when Nimu and I get our posts up.)
Posted on 2019-04-20 at 16:31:04.
Edited on 2019-04-22 at 19:10:15 by Odyson
At her invitation, Arandur entered his sister's chambers, being careful not to accidentally step on Brutus' paws, lest the bear were to swipe at him in annoyance.
Once the elf had quietly closed the door behind him, he turned to Arandur, the smile still present on his lips. The fear, worry and concern that plagued Rayden, however, was clearly evident in the younger elf's strained eyes and tought lips and this caused Arandur's own smile to vanish instantly as her emotions now darkened his heart also.
'What has our father gotten us into, Arandur?' Rayden whispered, her voice breaking slightly. 'Will we meet the same fate as he?'
Arandur gently took his sister's hands in his own, a smile reappearing on his face, a somewhat feeble attempt at reassuring Rayden that all will be well.
I cannot fool her, Arandur thought with a mental sigh. She has always been perceptive. I just hope that my words provide some modicum of comfort, no matter how small...
'I cannot see the future,' Arandur replied gently. 'Only what has been and what is now. However, I do not believe our father sent us upon this quest lightly. I am sure to send us on such a perilous journey was akin to Kakaranatha's poison melting his heart. Nay,' he shook his head, 'far worse than even that. But he knew that he had a duty to his companions-the group we now travel with-and to his people and the realm so send us he must. We must honour his final wish and do our utmost to achieve well his request. I know it is impossible to not allow fear and worry to cloud your mind and darken your heart in times like these, but know that I am, and always will be, by your side striving to protect you with all the power and skills I possess. You are my heart, my beloved sister, and if you were to be taken from me so too would my heart. You are all I have left in this world besides Talon and Brutus, and I will not give you up no matter the cost to myself for without you, I have no reason to live save revenge. And that is a cold, dark, empty and lonely path to take. So you have my sword, my bow, my magic and my love, now and forever.' His eyes softened and so did his tight lips, becoming more of a genuine smile and not one that was forced and false.
With their meeting with the Dragon Queen over, the party once more made it back to the boarding house given as quarters for the on their first arrival. Cor realizing that the Elf siblings, and new members to the party, had no rooms of their own, now had the unenviable task of giving them each a room once held by a lost party member. Moving with them he gave each a private room and a key as he cleared any items of the dead party member from the room. To his dismay there was not much of who had once stayed here. With that task successful he said his good nights and moved off to store the items left in both rooms.
Not long after Cor and left them and they had time to get set up in their temporary home Arandur went to see Rayden in her room. Knocking on her door he called to her.
“Rayden are you in there”?
“Yes you may come in, your without Talon that's most unusual brother”? Rayden asked surprised.
“Talon does not do well in enclosed spaces.” Her brother replied.
“Brutus doesn't seem to like this place much either. Were used to open forests. What has our Father gotten us into.”
Taking his Sister into his arms they spent the next few hours talking before finally going off to bed.
For Lothor the big man was just glad of a soft place to rest his head in relative safety. He knew that in the next few days they would once more renew a mission that needed most doing. Though he felt worried, he would not show it, that the gaze of a god would follow the party on its journey no matter the cost the sword still needed to be destroyed. However for now a bed was a good thing and worries had no place while laying on one and he was quickly asleep.
(DM OOC: Ok short post tonight. I’m still waiting on Nimu’s and Ody’s combined post on the attempt to release Peri from Ulthok’s Amulet of Life Protection. Ok next post next Sun/Mon)
Lothor was not pleased to discover the source of Sirene's feeling of being watched. Had it been some more normal thing, even the type of magical beast that must behind such an odd feeling, he felt confident in the ability of his friends to deal with it. But that damn dragon again! He had not thought they could defeat it in the past and in truth still did not see the possibility. But perhaps they should have tried. He was not pleased the beast would be able to track their every move.
Still, there was one positive to come from it all - they had survived. And survival was critical. The flying castle had been destroyed and the sword still needed to be. Their task was not yet done and so perhaps their survival could be put against the survival of the dragon. Still, he could not help but wonder about Allanan. It was he who had sent them to the dragon. And he had not spoken out in favor of its destruction. Was he simply as ignorant of events as the rest of them? Or perhaps Lothor could put some trust in the wisdom of an arch-mage famed for saving the world? He wished he knew which was closer to the truth.
All of these thoughts went through his mind again and again as he returned to his rooms. He needed a rest and as any good soldier knew, you took your rest any chance you could get. And so he rested. And continued to contemplate. In the end the only conclusion he could come to was that there was a task still in front of them. That task they still knew needed to be accomplished. Perhaps a dragon god was no worse than a trickster one. Perhaps. But whatever the case, he could do little about it at the moment. Less than little. But the sword . . .
The party slowly filed out of the meeting room. They learned that the they had changed the future but not so much as they might have feared. Fate has a way of maintaining balance, and so had traded one Deity for another, leaving the events were similar to how they were when they left. Majestic indicated that their quest to destroy Karza's sword was the same. Now they need to prepare but Ulthok had but one thing on his mind, Peri.
Siréne led the group out while Cor remained to talk to Majestic. As they stepped into the street, Ulthok waved to Valene to follow him. Quickening their steps the Halflings caught up with the enchantress.
"My lady," Ulthok addressed the Elven beauty, "I have good news but I also have a request... Allanan discovered that Peri has shared amulet, her spirit is safe and she will not need to be raised. Healing of her body would allow her spirit to return, but Allanan warned that this isn't as simple as healing me. Peri is a magical Fey creature and it needs to be a strong Fey healer to fully heal her. I was hoping I could ask if you could bring my, ah, our Peri back?"
Siréne regarded the halfling for a moment, her cerulean gaze traced along contours of his hopeful, pleading face. How could she deny Ulthok? In truth, they had all lost Peri and her return would bring a piece of joy back to each among their party. Such hope might provide a sliver of light in the darkness they were to face. Yet, it was not so simple. A mortal sought a boon of Faerie. For that there would always be a price, even if the favor sought was to save one of the fey. Siréne had no wish to command a bargain for her aid, but if she did not the Goddess would exact a price far greater than either of them could imagine. This was their way.
Exhaling, the fey woman knelt to be of a height with Ulthok and laid a hand on the halfling's shoulder, "I will help you, my friend, but know that for this Faerie demands a price. You will bring me 186 silver coins, one for each year I have walked among you mortals. Just before twilight, you will bury them beneath a great tree that grows beside the shore of a mighty lake. Then and there we shall return Peri to you. Is it agreed? Do we have a bargain struck?"
Siréne paused and waited, hoping the halfling understood the meaning beneath her words.
A smile crossed Ulthok's face, for the price of healing from the fey varied. When it was fresh from combat it was a gift as the price had been paid by the acts of defending one another. But here it was indeed a request for service and Ulthok knew well that it could not come free. For some the 168 silver coins would be hard collected but the small mage understood this was the minimal sacrifice Sirene could request to appease her Goddess. Nodding his head, "Done my lady......you know you could have asked for my blood and it would be more than a fair price. But the only great lake I know is Silma Sira on the western border of E'Loth Lo'Rian. If things have not change then we go there where the roads from West Fold and Taiasa merge. There on the edge of the Elven lands your magic will be strong. ...We will return to the General's and rest, then as evening approaches I will Teleport us to the Elven lands."
"Then we are agreed," Siréne smiled as she stood. "The bargain has been struck. Remember, the coins must be buried before twilight. In that time that is both night and day, the veil between the worlds is thin and the magic of Faerie will rule. Only then can Peri be healed." Pausing a moment the fey witch regarded the curious halfling with severity,"Be warned, Ulthok. The lands of E'Loth Lo'Rian border the fey realms. Do not wander, for a single footstep can take you into Faerie and once there you will never return. In this rite, we must follow the ways of the People who were before the People. They are capricious and sometimes cruel, but they are my people. Stay close and vigilant, and you too will be safe."
The party worked their way through the city to the General's home where they had stayed before. As they moved along Ulthok stopped occasionally at a merchant's stall where he purchased some apples from one a fine coin pouch from another and other minor items. Each time spending a gold coin and thus recieving back silver pieces. By the time they had reached St. Albans he the 168 silver piece needed for the bargain. The household welcomed them in as if nothing had changed and each where shown to the room they had had before. The kitchen staff was saddened to hear of poor Peri's fate, she had become a favorite of theirs as she would sneak in and make off with a tart or small pie; which had been make and left out for her to find. Their spirits raised when Ulthok presented them the apples and requested they make Peri's favorite pie, "One never knows what magic is still left in this world. Perhaps the smell of a warm pie might entice her spirit to return."
He and Valene then retired to Ulthok's room. There Valene carefully and gently cleaned prepare the body of the tiny fairie dragon for their trip. Ulthok cleaned and polished the silver coins to be a proper gift to the Fey Goddess and payment for the blessing she would bestow on Sirene and allow the Fey magic needed to heal Peri. With each coin placed in the pouch with word of thanks and Peri wrapped in clean soft silks the two Halflings rested and eat a small meal that had been brought to the room. Ulthok sat quietly and as he studied the teleport spell from Presto, his tome of Magic.
When the time was right they gathered up Peri, the silver and the items needed to bury the coins. Moving down the hall they met the Elven Enchantress dressed in a fine gown and robe. There they joined hands and Ulthok spoke the words and Teleported them to the merging of the roads by lake Silma Sira.
"Next we need to find tree, likely an Oak unless you feel there in a more appropriate tree."
"Select the tree," Siréne replied. "It must be your choice."
Ulthok bowed slightly and turned off the road and into the wood. They were near the lake and the Halfling could smell the water through the trees and he guessed they were but a couple of hundred yards from the lake Silma Sira. The wood was not dense but yet a healthy variety of trees populated the area. He scanned the trees as they walked nearer and nearer to the waters. As if drawn on he felt something that seemed to beckon him.
They came upon a natural clearing, the edges populated with Ash , Apple, Hazel, Alder, Elder and Yew. The trees grew in a natural order, with Elder nearest the road, Yew guarding the sides and Alder nearest the water. There blooms declared the space, brightening it with an earthy joy. Standing tall and straight in what might be the center of the clearing was a mighty Oak, strong and dark. In high branches could be seem Mistletoe. Ulthok sensed this was not a place planted by man or Elve; a greater hand had set this preserve and Ulthok felt this is where they needed to be. Walking the to the base of the Oak, he placed his hand on the rough bark, "For thee and yours I set this honorarium." Then Ulthok cut away a patch of the green sod and dug a hole using only a fallen branch of the mighty tree and his hands. Two feet deep and a foot around the hole grew. Pulling the purse of 168 polished silver coins the mage place it in the bottom of the hole and pulled dirt in over it. Gently yet firmly he pressed the dirt and replace the sod to blend the earth, hiding it from any wander's notice.
This done he turned to Sirene and Valene, "May this please your Goddess...what shall we do next?" Valene stepped forward with the silk wrapped bundle, holding the body of Peri.
At Siréne's guidance, the halfling cleric laid Peri's body with amulet laid upon her at the foot of the great oak. As if on cue, Siréne stepped forward gliding to stand before the tiny dragon's body. There she stood, waiting in solemn silence. Slowly, the sun began to sink below the horizon painting the blue sky with tones of gold and rose. Glowing the dying light of the day, Siréne raised her hands above her head and threw back her head, letting the power of twilight flow through her. As the veil between the worlds grew thin, she sang a mournful dirge. Her wordless keening rose higher and higher until mourning became glory.
Dropping her hands, Siréne stepped forward glowing with fey light. Kneeling before Peri, the witch laid her hands upon the dragonette and exhaled. The light of Faerie poured through her and into Peri. For but a moment, the world of Faerie and the world of Men were one.
((OOC: Collaboration post between Odyson and Nimu))
Posted on 2019-04-24 at 20:40:27.
Edited on 2019-04-27 at 08:48:13 by Nimu