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Thursday, 25th August, 2005, 11:23 PM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
Who Wants to be a Wayfinder? The New Class
Graduation, the most important day of a young student’s life. The fruition of years of education that could have been spent earning “life experience” and “cold hard cash”. Now, the young men and women of Wynarn University could go out into the world with credentials. They were practically guaranteed a modest salary in any of the businesses of Aundair – many were destined for greatness as honorary nobles or heroes. Now that the diplomas had been handed out there wasn’t much to do but go out, get absolutely plastered, and wake up next to someone unexpected. Well, at least for most of the graduates…
The Dean’s office, a rather large room, was filled with students still wearing their robes and ceremonial feathered-graduation hats. Behind his desk the Dean was looking over a paper and glancing, every so often, at the students who seemed quite disgruntled to be there. For you see, when these six particular students unrolled their diplomas, instead of the gold-laminated hand-calligraphed, Sivis-marked scrolls of achievement which they believed they had earned, they each found notes stating that they needed to report to the Dean’s office immediately.
And now, Dean Kolo ir’Wynarn, a fat man with a moustache and the posture of a very thin man glanced at each of them as he read their names off the list before him. ”Mr d’Deneith, Mr Rightson, Mr Montayne, Ms Whisper, Mr Laerek, and Mr Boromar.”
“No doubt you wonder why you have been summoned here. Due to certain policy changes and course prerequisites, the six of you have been rendered ineligible for graduation.”
The lord waited for the mutter of disapproval to run its course before continuing. ”In order to qualify and receive your diplomas it will be necessary for you to complete a period of ‘field experience’, assisting one of our professors or affiliates in expeditions into the field. Alternately, you could stay and attend a ‘Field Experience Course’ this coming semester in which you would experience a number of occupations in the capital – scribe, diplomat, merchant….” The lord’s tone was exceedingly sonorous, purposefully making this particular assignment sound especially tedious.
Lord Kolo drew out a number of rolled up scrolls and placed them on his desk. ”You ARE in luck, if you choose to join an expedition,” the man said with a grin, ”Through a joint effort with Professors at Morgrave and the coming holiday season, a number of Wynarn affiliates are going on some quite interesting expeditions in the next few days.” He began passing the scrolls around, allowing you to open them even as he gave brief summaries of their contents.
((If you REALLY want to know what the scrolls all say in major detail you can ask me about them specifically. They’re all the grant proposals of the various professors.))
”Professor Kaylin d’Ghallanda has proposed a trip into the jungles of Xen’Drik to search for new plants, animals, and mystical energies to be used in curative research.”
“Assistant Professor Gaeris is planning an expedition into the Frostfell region to search out a supposed dragonshard deposit.”
“Lord ir’Rylan is planning an anthropological investigation of the Serens of Argonessen.”
“Professor Mudlan has worked out an expedition into Khyber with the medusas of Cazhaak Draal.”
“Sala Nighthowl has proposed a zooanthropological expedition to investigate the lizardfolk of Q’barra.”
“Professor Kullman is planning a trip an expedition into the interior of the Demon Wastes after a landing in Blood Crescent.”
“Professor Goldrig d’Cannith is planning a trip into the interior of Cyre to test some theories on the cause of the Mourning.”
“Shir Colius is traveling in an ambassadorial capacity to Aerenal and wishes to have student associates.”
“And finally,” the big man was looking a bit winded from the long list of names he had just read, ”As an act of friendship Lord Hujuesses of the Inspired has okayed a small team to travel to Riedra and visit with the Inspired Lords of that land.”
The man looked up from the list and adjusted his glasses. ”Discuss amongst yourselves. You can split up or together, but it would be easiest if your entire group of six would travel together. You can tell me your decisions on the morn.”
And with that, the tubby old man waved the young adventurers out of the office in order to get down to far more important business.
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Friday, 26th August, 2005, 12:06 AM #2
Tel looks over the list of field experiences appraisingly, puts his finger down on one specific scroll, smiles, and speaks out.
"Wyvern's wings Dean Wynarn, this new policy of yorn sure does inconvienince us--forcin' us to go out an' get adventures afore you'll give us a piece of paper saying we can go out an' live borin' lives with a bit'a extra pay. If I had my druthers' I'd justa'soon pick this 'n here trip with this Professor Mudlan fella. I took Professor Graldin's class about Khyber n' the abe'rations runnin' round in there. I got top marks in that'n. M' only concern is...would we be workin' WITH th' medusas? I don' much care fer the prospec' of bein' turned inta rock m'self. But getten t' use what I learned? Thas th'point a this here university, isn't it?"
Tel continues to smile as Dean Wynarn squirms at his very rural accent. Not an uncommon reaction to Tel's speech in the experience of those who've had classes with Tel in the past.
As the six students leave, Tel adds to the his classmates,
"So, what you guys wanna do? 'Scuse me, guys and missus..."
Tel adds, looking nervously at Whysper.
Last edited by ShaggySpellsword; Friday, 26th August, 2005 at 12:10 AM.
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 02:10 AM #3
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
Whisper's expression was impossible to read through the smooth obsidian mask she wore, but her soft-spoken voice was laced with wry humor at Tel's discomfort.
"I am not sure medusas could be trusted. As interesting as Khyber no doubt is, I think I would prefer the journey to Cyre or Riedra better."
She ticks off one greyish finger, then another as she says, "The Mourning is one of the greatest mysteries of our time, after all. And Riedra is known for being insular in the extreme. In all liklihood, we will never have another opportunity to visit it legitimately. And few from our lands have ever seen it."
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 02:38 AM #4
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Midian quirks up his face, considering for a moment, then starts brainstorming aloud.
"Looking for new plants and animals seems right up my alley, but I'm not sure how Talbot would like trying to navigate a jungle. Ditto on my suspicions Talbot wouldn't enjoy keeping company with man-sized lizards or medusae.
"While I'm probably qualified for ambassadorial work, I also think I'd be bored to tears with all the posturing. And if the Inspired Lords live up to their names, you have to figure there's even more chest-puffing there.
"Of what's left, i think the search for dragonshards sounds pretty interesting. I don't know much about their place in the natural scheme..."
Midian blushes when he realizes how long he's gone on. "Just my thoughts, though. I'm willing to be convinced of the merits of the other choices, of course."
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 06:04 AM #5
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
"Dean ir’Wynarn, while I might normaly find this sudden and unanounced policy an extreme inconvienence and I still feel it is not being implimented effectively or fairly, I do understand your concern as far as field experience and agree that it is nessessary, so I will overlook my complaints for the moment." Johan says, in a polite tone, before being ushured out.
Walking with the other students, Johan says "Let's all go for a drink. I can get the tab covered. The Hippogriff* isn't too far."
Assuming no one protests, Johan leads his friends to the Inn and grabs a somewhat private table, where talks resume over where they would all like to go.
"As far as interesting travels, the Inspired Lords do sound intriguing, though not nessesarily a trip I would look forward to taking. I could realy pass on exploring the runes of Cyre, though I would relish a chance to have a discussion with that Lord of Blades fellow. Travel to Aerenal intrigues me, in particular their different views on death and religion. Also, the trip to explore the Demon Wastes sounds like it could be an exciting journy. But, I agree, we should all travel as a group, so I think we should all voice a few preferences, and see what would be the best compromise."
OOC: What does Johan know of any of these professors, nobles, or others named as the heads or sponsors of said expiditions?
*If I may take some creative licence - The Hippogriff is a fairly well to do tavern that generaly caters to the younger but well to do crowd. It is a common date locale, with generaly finer food but priced just above your average tavern. To those who are not in the upper circles, it is a good occasional treat. To those who are, it is nice place to frequent. Johan regularly frequents it, and usually has no problem getting any table he wants, nor does he have trouble sending the bill to his house.
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Friday, 26th August, 2005, 05:13 PM #6
Boromar will accept one drink - something he has not yet tasted - and sip it during the conversation.
When there is a lull, or when he is prompted for his opinion, Boromar speaks at length:
"This one is pleased to explore any and all opportunities. This one had planned to resume its explorations in a systematic manner post-graduation, however, these opportunities seem to provide a greater certainty of achieving the desired quality of experience. Let us review what is known about each offer."
"Professor Kaylin d'Ghallanda has proposed a trip into the jungles of Xen'Drik to search for new plants, animals, and mystical energies to be used in curative research. Xen'drik is a continent of secrets and mystery, a wild place full of promise and danger. In the distant past, Xen'drik was home to a great civilization of giants, and the remains of these kingdoms hide within the dense jungles of the continent. Primitive and disorganized giants of all types still roam the jungles and mountains of Xen'drik. The elves of Aerenal also trace their origin to these mysterious shores, and the dark-skinned elves (known colloquially as 'drow') dwell there still. The dark elves are suspicious of outsiders, and are likely to welcome our explorations with violence"
"Travel to Xen'drik is most likely to occur via a water-based craft through the ports in Sharn and Stormreach. Sahuagin guard the seas leading to Xen'drik, making the trip to the mysterious continent dangerous, as some tribes cannot be reasoned with, and will attack anyone attempting to pass through Shargon's Teeth to reach the jungles of Xen'drik. We may be able to find friendly drow or sahuagin guides in Stormreach, although we must be wary of possible treachery."
"Explorers from Khorvaire have mapped portions of the coastline, but much of the interior of the continent remains a mystery. Xen'drik remains the only known source of Siberys dragonshards, the most rare variety. They are strongly connected with dragonmarks, and are sometimes referred to as sunstones or starmotes. These shards are useful for creating dragonmark foci, dragonshard reservoirs, and channeling rods. They are very valuable and highly prized by all the dragonmarked houses, of which Ghallandra is one."
"The halfling house, Ghallandra, possesses the Mark of Hospitality, and are known for their excellent inns and the Hostelers Guild, which regulates business in the industry of such service. A search for items of curative power would seem to be more in keeping with the other halfling house, Jorasco, as they are responsible for the Healer's Guild. Perhaps the expedition is a joint venture? Or perhaps Lady Kaylin is more interested in new herbs and spices (I hear that the drow have cultivated a strong, dark drink made from a plant they call 'coffee') or perhaps she hopes to find dragonshards that can be used to create a Bag of Bounty, or a similar item."
"If we choose this expedition, we should expect to travel by sea, to deal with drow and/or sahuagin, and to face giants, drow, and unknown monsters in combat."
Having the floor, Boromar continues. (You are used to him lecturing on at great length while discussing a subject.)
"Assistant Professor Gaeris is planning an expedition into the Frostfell region to search out a supposed dragonshard deposit. The Frostfell is a land of perpetual winter, locked in ice and snow. Although some dwarven legends speak of their race originating in these northern lands, the only contemporary expedition that has reached the ice plains and snow-covered peaks and returned to tell the tale was led by our patron (and this one's name-sake) Lord Boroman ir'Dayne, founder of the Wayfinder Society. Aside from his expedition, no one has successfully braved the bitterly cold winds, snowstorms and great icebergs to discover the truth of tales of strange monsters, unrestrained demons, and hordes of undead. Such an expedition would be highly dangerous, and (if successful) a sure path to fame and our graduation honors. If we plan to select this option, we should thoroughly review all records and commentaries of Lord Boroman's famous expedition. This one recommends 'Fatal North: Adventure and Survival Aboard the Weatherlight, on Lord Boroman's First Successful Expedition to the Frostfell', by Phineas T. Wheeling, or the ever-popular 'Frostburn: The Perils of Ice and Snow', by Lord Wolfgang, Master Jacobs and Master Strayton (being an excellent treatise on the exploration of arctic environments in general, with commentary on the Frostfell in particular.)"
"Lord ir'Rylan is planning an anthropological investigation of the Serens of Argonessen. Argonessen is the land of the dragons, and it remains a mystery to most of the rest of Eberron. Few have dared explore the huge continent, and those who have set out to see the great cities of the dragons and have never returned to share their tales. Even the Aerenal elves, who battled the dragons in ages past, have never seen more than a glimpse of the continent's interior."
"Now, traders and explorers can (and often do) sail the seas of the Dragonreach toward Seren Island, and it appears that this is what Lord ir'Rylan proposes. We will, of course, have to face the barbarian hordes that make this place their home. An anthropological study will require us to approach the barbarians peacably, and to study their culture. We may be able to learn how or why they revere the dragons just off their shores, and we may through these studies learn deeper insights into how the dragons secure their lands through the use of the Seren barbarians to keep out intruders. The Seren are violent and difficult traders, and few have been able to successfully deal with them in the past. This one recalls one sole expedition run by a professor from Morgrave University who negotiated with their chiefs. If we choose this option, we ought to contact him and review his research."
"Professor Mudlan has worked out an expedition into Khyber with the medusas of Cazhaak Draal. Khyber stretches below the surface of Eberron to depths that no explorer has discovered. The 'Dragon Below' is a dangerous, foreboding underworld that only reluctantly gives up any of its dark secrets. Few paths lead directly into its sinister depths. Some of the known paths do lie within the monster kingdom of Droaam, and one of the more well-known passage lies within the medusa-controlled Stonelands of Cazhaak Draal. It is an open question as to how well the Queen of Stone controls the surrounding area, and whether she can even be trusted. Exploring Khyber would be a worthy and challenging expedition. It is rumored that daelkyr and their aberration creations dwell in the Dragon Below, and other deep-dwelling creatures include goblinoids, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids and renegade dragons, corporeal undead, spirits, and more. The Underdark is an alien realm of darkness and crushing rock, full of treasures and secrets that some explorers cannot resist - no matter how dangerous attaining those riches might be."
"Many evil organizations take interest in the depths of Khyber. The many Cults of the Dragon Below venerate vile entities living under or trapped beneath Eberron. The Lords of Dust are also rumored to hatch plots to free their demonic masters or to draw power from them."
"The Dragon Below is the origin of Khyber dragonshards, which have binding properties, and can only be harvested in deep caverns far below the surface. In addition to the various uses that Khyber dragonshards fulfill for the arcane technicians of the surface world, the great veins of living crystal bind the ancient demons that once ruled and ravaged the planet. Khyber dragonshards, it is said, grow on cavern walls near layers of magma. The crystals are easily recognized by the midnight blue to oily black veins that writhe within them."
"If we dare to venture into the Underdark, we can expect countless challenges, the potential for great treasure, and the liklihood of never returning to tell our tales."
"Sala Nighthowl has proposed a zooanthropological expedition to investigate the lizardfolk of Q'barra. The frontier nation of Q'barra remains a dangerous, unstable place. Even so, there are many human settlers who call it home and fight to keep it, despite the dangers and troubles that surround them. They must contend with hostile lizardfolk, Valenar warbands, Lhazaar raiders, and kobold marauders from the Endworld Mountains. We can expect to be well received by the humanoid settlers, but will likely find a less welcome reception by the subjects of our zooanthropological study."
"This one read recently that there was a discovery of a large deposit of Eberron shards in this region. House Tharashk and swarms of prospectors have been drawn to this site. Thus, we may find some competition in exploring the area, but we may also find greater support and resources as the settlers will be prepared to accomodate explorers. In addition to the lizardfolk and kobolds, Q'barra is known as a home of dinosaurs, dire and horrid reptiles, and giant and venomous vermin."
"Professor Kullman is planning a trip an expedition into the interior of the Demon Wastes after a landing in Blood Crescent. The Demon Wastes lie beyond the Shadowcrags, and are an inhospitable land of canyons, blackened sand and volcanic glass. This is a barren land. A realm of death and desolation, long-forgotten treasures and primeval secrets. There are many scholarly theories on the history of the land, but none have been conclusive. We have an opportunity to extend the field of research in this mysterious land."
"The lands are not idly named. It is rumored that the Lords of Dust are still active in this region, and that here there be demons, fiends, rakshasa, zakyas and night hags. There is little civilization in the harsh and infertile Wastes. Rocky cliffs surrounded by deadly reefs make up the coastal regions, volcanic activity rumbles across the land, and fiendish creatures and deadly spirits roam the interior. Amid rivers of lava, bubbling pits of noxious stew, and barren wasteland, a few barbaric tribes of orcs and humans struggle to survive."
"House Tharashk did establish an outpost, Blood Crescent, shortly before the end of the War. From the outpost, the house sends explorers like us into the Wastes to search for resources such as deposits of narstone and open pits of Khyber dragonshards. It is said that finding these resources is not difficult, but surviving the Wastes is. If we plan to accept this expedition, we should be prepared for a long and difficult struggle."
"This one hardly thinks it necessary to go into detail on the Mournlands, as we are all familiar with the event that ended the Last War. Surely exploration of this dangerous land would prove to be both hazardous and illuminating. Professor Goldrig d'Cannith's expedition has perhaps the greatest potential for discovering the secret of the most widely known mystery of our age. Beyond the dead-gray mist that borders the land formerly known as Cyre, we may discover aberrations of unknown origin, or bizarre magical artifacts of the Mourning. This one has heard such tales from these lands that it cannot give credence to them all, but it is greatly interested in discovering the truth of these matters. It is said that even the forces of magic itself have become alive. Some of the more persistant and credible rumors speak of a gathering army of warforged, led by the infamous 'Lord of Blades'. This one would be greatly interested in discussing matters of philosophy with followers of this messianic figure."
Boromar finally notices that his audience has long since been tired of his lecturing, and has been trying to get him to stop. Nonplussed, he continues over your objections.
"Perhaps this one has gone on at length on these issues and you are getting tired. Please forgive this one. Being not subject to weariness, it often forgets to consider this in others. But this one begs for a few more minutes to reflect on the final two expeditions, and this one will, with your approval, attempt to be concise in its summary."
"Shir Colius is traveling in an ambassadorial capacity to Aerenal and wishes to have student associates. Aerenal is, as we all know, the ancestral home of the elves, and the elven people are known for their exotic culture and fine foods and... yes. Concise. Well, then let this one simply observe that it would be pleased to discuss matters of life and death with this ancient culture that reveres its ancestors with such devotion that they commune with them even after death. What insights they must possess!"
"Finally, and this one promises to be brief, there is the offer of Lord Hujuesses of the Inspired to travel to Riedra and visit with the Inspired Lords of that land. The great mystery of Riedra is, perhaps, the greatest exploration opportunity that we may have. But here is one land that this one would be cautious in exploring. This one has spoken with kalashtar emigrants from Riedra, and they claim that the land is ruled absolutely by these Inspired, whom they claim are possessed agents of a Dark, otherworldly force. This one is curious to learn more, but assesses the danger to be too great to accept Lord Hujuesses' offer. This one suspects it is motivated by a desire to gain (willing or no) agents that can return to Khorvaire to serve Riedran interests."
And at this, it seems as though Boromar is finished. But just as you are about to put down your ales to resume the conversation, he speaks up again.
"In summary," as you all groan, "this one recommends that we accept the offer to explore the Mournlands. Xen'drik is a mysterious continent, but almost a common destination for explorers. Perhaps some among us wish to make our names known as unique explorers. The Frostfell certainly provides that opportunity, but perhaps does not hold as much interest for people as the mystery of the Mourning certainly does. Anthropological studies in Argonessen and Q'barra similarly do not, perhaps, hold the same, what is it you say, 'sex appeal'? as an exploration of the Mournlands. Aerenal may be too 'tame' for some of us, and this one assesses the expeditions to Khyber, the Demon Wastes, and Riedra to be beyond our martial capability. Perhaps once we have tested our mettle on the Mournlands (and earned our diplomas) we might consider these other destinations."
"This one has given its recommendation, but of course it will be bound by the democratic decision of the group. If it may, it will only strenuously object to the Riedran expedition, but will finally acquiese to the will of the majority."
And with that, the warforged (finally) grows silent.
OOC: I, too, am interested to know more about the personalities and expertise of the professors. It would be helpful to know which seem to be the most competant explorers.
Last edited by Ozmar; Friday, 26th August, 2005 at 05:26 PM. Reason: edited for clarity...
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 06:53 PM #7
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Midian rests his chin in one of his hands, eyes wide at Boromar's massive dissertation.
"You know, Bor, I'd tell you to take a breath now and again, but I keep forgetting you don't need to," the young druid quips.
Then his brows knit as he considers the direction Bormar finally chose. "You know, I'm as fascinated by the twisting of the order of things in the Mournland as anyone, but I'm especially hesitant to head there while we're still so ... tender? Over and above all the other craziness of the place, I've heard tell wounds don't heal there. Not on their own, not with salves or polstices, not even with magic. Maybe it's overstated rumor, but you have to think there's some truth to it. At least, I'd hate to discount it out of hand given the implications. That's probably not as much of a problem for Warforged, but I have to say it gives me more than a little pause."
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 07:22 PM #8
"Well Boromar, that 'bout sums it up, don't it? I do wish you could have been a bit more exhaustive on the subject, but I guess we'll jus' accept yer slack an' get on with our lives."
Tel's eyes widen with panic when it appears that Boromar is about to expand on the summaries he gave, and he cuts Boromar off.
"'Twas a joke Bor, you gave an excellent report...anyway, I 'spose that the Mournlands, nasty as they sound, might be a good place to go. They is certainly the NEWEST place to go fer adventurin', though gettin there is pretty common stock. My votes fer Khyber or Mournland. I think we could get success either place. As fer this Inspired business, I must say...the idea of goin' to a place where every man or woman or kid on the street can read yer mind and dance you aroun' like a puppet whenever they so choose...it ain't fer me. People who can get inside my head and make a playground ain't fit company."
Tel glances at Whisper nervously
"Present company excluded a'course."
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 08:57 PM #9
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
A silky laugh emanates from behind Whisper's mask.
"You give me far too much credit if you think such powers are in my command, Tel," she assures him mirthfully.
Friday, 26th August, 2005, 09:17 PM #10
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Midian slugs back his drink and makes a proposal. "I think we all agree we're best sticking together. Given that, maybe we can narrow down the choices a bit before really digging in. Are there any of the excursions one or more of us simply refuses to undertake should the others choose it? Might as well save the time by crossing it off the list, if that's the case.
I'm highly wary of the Mournlands, but if I'm devoted to meeting nature in all her forms, I can't dismiss it outright. I'll lean us another way if I can, but I'm game even for that, given enough interest from everyone else."
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