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3.5 GREYHAWK CY963 GOLDEN ERA CAMPAIGN: HEROES OF DYVERS: CHAPTER 4

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Lathir, once a day late in the afternoon, will shift into the form of a vulture and take to the sky to circle the fort and immediate surrounding area to check the progress of activity below, as well as look for potential imminent threats or anomalies.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
REUNIFICATION!

wOn his daily patrols, Lathir makes the following discoveries:

1. The Orcs who are camped outside the fortress receive a message of some kind, delivered by two Orcs who fly in on Manticores, and deliver a piece of parchment to the camp's commander. The commander speaks to them briefly, and they salute him. They then fly off in the direction from whence they came.

2. The Hill Giants on guard duty at the fort can often be seen snoozing, asleep at their posts.

3. At one point, Lathir catches sight of a 13-foot tall Drow Elf walking around, flanked by two Hill Giant females!

4. No further patrols leave the compound, although at one point, a platoon of 31 Orcs (1 Sergeant, 30 Troops) goes inside the compound, and doesn't come back out.

GM: Tam-Tam: Both diamonds are clear and blue, with few inclusions. Either of them would easily fetch between 5,000 and 8,000 gp. retail price, which means that a gem dealer would probably pay you between 2,500 and 4,000 gp. for each of them.



Sylvar, you suddenly feel a mystical connection to Respen in your mind! Before you can contemplate the significance of this, you receive the following mental message:

Respen: “Hello, good buddy. I’ve got quite a story to tell you. Don’t move, Laramon is opening a portal with his mirror. Bringing friend with me.”




GM: On the other side of the world…


Respen said:
Respen is irritated. Upon Laramon’s disclosure that Margull’s books and materials are of limited value, and upon his realization that the book return spell isn’t something that can be ended prematurely, Respen intended to tell Dame Clare about the spell. However, given her deception in Laramon’s library, Respen withholds such information.
Moments after stepping back through the portal, Respen is contacted via the Orb Link by Dame Clare.

Dame Clare, Orb Link: ~Respen, honey, these books have magical auras on them. I’m very disappointed. Didn’t you think to check for that? What if they’re trapped? Ah, well, I shall know soon enough. Where did I put my loupe? [...] By the way, did Laramon say anything about the servant I sent to collect the items? Did he like my outfit?~ Clare’s intoxicating chuckle echoes through Respen’s mind.

Respen said:
If she queries him about it, he’ll ask her the whereabouts of her gnomish friend, and mention that Laramon was under the impression that Dame Clare herself was the gnome. Respen will feign incredulity, certain that Dame Clare would not deceive her apprentice when he proffered his own assurance. Perhaps her well-seasoned hubris will properly meet more humble facts. If she comes clean, Respen will also, and will share Laramon’s admonition. Otherwise, she can step into that pile of dung all on her own.
Respen, Orb Link: ~Yes, he did. He thought your disguise was very entertaining, if somewhat insulting, although he also mentioned that it was incredibly easy to detect. It seems that you are not as clever as you intended to be. Please be careful, my Mistress; I tell you this not to insult you, but to warn you. Laramon is exceedingly powerful. He doesn’t miss anything. I’ve never seen anything like it. At a glance, he knew that your sister was pregnant with twins. He seems to be a walking Identify spell. And that also seems to be the very least of his powers. He also wanted me to share something with you.~ Respen repeats Laramon’s warning.

Laramon said:
”...When you have a chance, tell her something for me: point out that her deception was immediately detected, and that I consider such behavior quite rude. Further rudeness will be met with stringent measures. I am a man of patience, and even of tolerance, but I will not be taken advantage of.”
Dame Clare, Orb Link, Chuckling: ~Touche. Tell your mentor that he can relax. That was a test. I wanted to know with whom I was dealing. I’m very impressed that despite detecting me, he chose not to act. That restraint tells me much about his disposition. Larry is what is known, in Drow terms, as a collector. The reason he didn’t attack me is because he saw me as a possible asset. Truly, a man after my own heart. At any rate, I’ve got the books in an Anti-Magic Field while I prepare to examine them. Now to the letter that Larry sent me. I thought I would share it with you, since you seem to be a great admirer of his.~

Dame Clare said:
”...Dearest Madame, please accept these materials as a token of good faith. I felt that given your uniqueness among your kind, i.e., a Vampyr who is not a slave to the blood lust, you deserved this warning, which I now deliver in full earnest, and with due sympathy.The man from whom you are stealing is known as Margull The Black, and he is one of the eldest known members of his kind, commonly referred to as “The True Bloods.” Many years ago, Margull was imprisoned by a powerful wizard by the name of Morval, who sought to steal his immortality from him. Margull escaped his imprisonment, but not before Morval managed to obtain a sample of Margull’s blood, and to make a potion, which he believed would grant him the same powers. His partial success is the origin of your kind, my dear. The True Bloods refer to your kind as “Vampyr,” a term which has two, inter-related meanings: “Lesser Truth,” and also, "Those of the Stolen Blood." At any rate, the potion was flawed, and it drove Morval insane, among other things. Later, after learning of Morval’s depravity, and of his promiscuous proliferation of Vampyr-kind, Margull vowed to hunt down and destroy ALL Vampyr, wherever he found them, so that their maniacal rampage could be brought to an end. Margull believes that Vampyr cannot overcome their bestial nature, and as such, are abominations which must be destroyed. I have seen it in your sister’s thoughts, images and memories of you, things you have said and done. I have seen the spark of good within the blackness of your past deeds. I thereby beg of you, to abandon your search for those of Margull’s kind, and to keep your presence hidden from them. I am not certain that Margull would negotiate with you, were he to discover you. Your best chance for safety is to stay as you are, unseen. The books and materials that Respen has given you are enchanted with a spell of my own design. After a period of several days, the books will magically teleport back to me, and I will restore them to their proper place in Margull’s study. Therefore, you should make yourself a copy of them as quickly as possible. After that, I would advise you to leave well enough alone, and cease your meddling in the affairs of these creatures. You will not find the answers you seek among their kind. Yours most cordially, Laramon.”
There is a long period of silence on the Orb Link, before Clare finally replies.

Dame Clare, Orb Link, In A Sour Tone: ~You’ve done well, my little cherub. Go play. I have a few things that I want to get sorted out. I shall contact you later.~

Laramon said:
“...Be careful, my boy. I won’t be leaving this portal open. When you and your fiance step through, you will be taking a one-way trip. The place where they’re camping looks rough, wild, and harsh. It’s the sort of terrain in which one tends to find Trolls and other Giant-kin.Tread cautiously.”
Respen nods, the warning staying with him, as he and Nelvandra step through the portal…



GM: In the midst of the Overlook Campsite...


It is now Patchwall 22, CY 963, 10:35 AM.

To everyone’s surprise, Respen appears from nowhere, flanked by a Drow Sorceress! Could this be Dame Clare? Is Respen her prisoner? Or worse yet, her mental slave? The time for action is now! Everyone: what do you do?
 
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MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
On his daily patrols, Lathir makes the following discoveries:

1. The Orcs who are camped outside the fortress receive a message of some kind, delivered by two Orcs who fly in on Manticores, and deliver a piece of parchment to the camp's commander. The commander speaks to them briefly, and they salute him. They then fly off in the direction from whence they came.

2. The Hill Giants on guard duty at the fort can often be seen snoozing, asleep at their posts.

3. At one point, Lathir catches sight of a 13-foot tall Drow Elf walking around, flanked by two Hill Giant females!

4. No further patrols leave the compound, although at one point, a platoon of 31 Orcs (1 Sergeant, 30 Troops) goes inside the compound, and doesn't come back out.
Each time he returns from flight, Lathir conveys all relative information to the party as a group, if they will gather to listen, especially about seeing the altered Drow.
"That Drow is completely comfortable in his surrounding. I do not know if his alteration is permanent or something of his own doing, or something of an item, but I am certain that he is truly a Drow. His behavior also suggests that he is free of the normally domineering choke hold the females of that race keep on their male kin."

GM said:
GM: In the midst of the Overlook Campsite...


It is now Patchwall 22, CY 963, 10:35 AM.

To everyone’s surprise, Respen appears from nowhere, flanked by a Drow Sorceress! Could this be Dame Clare? Is Respen her prisoner? Or worse yet, her mental slave? The time for action is now! Everyone: what do you do?
Earlier that morning, Lathir rises as he usually does, washes his face, then walks toward the forested edge of the encampment, away from the ledge. He takes his spear in his hand and begins moving in a particular pattern that he has repeated each morning thus able. The movement looks something of a practice kata for combat and something of ritual. He speaks words, mostly to himself, at various specific point throughout the movement.

Finishing at the point he begins, Lathir kneels in a serval warrior position, always beginning with the left knee. He places his spear perpendicular to his facing on the ground in from of him and removes his hat, placing it on the other side of the spear.

If anyone observes closely enough, as the hat is placed upon the ground, Lathir's appearance changes slightly. He seems leaner, more muscular, more like a warrior and less like a scholar. He holds this position, meditating, contemplating, and reflecting upon his chosen path.

When he is satisfied, Lathir retrieves his hat, his appearance softening, and his spear before returning to the group appearing refreshed and ready for the day's events... well almost ready, some things cannot be predicted.

"Well, well, well, if it is not the wayward scholar and with dangerous company."

The levity of his voice belies his readiness for action. Looking at the Drow female, he continues.
"Are you here to talk or is this a boisterous flare into combat?"
 
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Waynan

Explorer
Tam-Tam leaps up at seeing Respen (the one who snatched him from the jaws of the lion, as it were, to bring him through the "looking glass" and into this good company in the first place), and rushes toward him:

"Respen! You're back! It's so good to see..." And stops short, seeing the Drow sorceress, "Urp."

He stops cold, completely caught off-guard and totally unsure as to what to do, since he left all his weapons and traveling (utility ;-) ) belt, excepting his boot dagger, by his bedroll where he was resting.
 

Sylvar B.

Explorer
Having heard Respen in his mind, Sylvar is not surprised at his appearing, but seeing the Drow Princess standing next to Respen is unexpected. Sylvar stands from where he is sitting and leans on the magical Naginata he took from the Ogre Mage... Sylvar looks at Respen...”Well Respen, who is your companion?”

OOC: Sylvar rolls Bardic Knowledge, d20+17. Result is 37
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM: Posted on behalf of Respen, who is on vacation. Re-printed from e-mail message.


Respen sees Sylvar and the halfling from Skorane immediately, the others behind them.

Seeing them clearly startled, Respen’s motions are relaxed but protective of Nelvandra, his Drow companion.

He removes his hood and greets Sylvar with a hug. “My kinsmen! It is good to see you! I was vexed when you didn’t come back through the portal!” He reaches for Tam’s hand, clasping it along his forearm in a brotherhood grasp. “My newfound hobbit friend. It does me good to see you well also!”

At Lathir’s greeting, Respen smiles, “He speaks! Yes my friend, it is Respen. No, we do not come with quarrel. Please, meet Nelvandra of the House Delzeen, my betrothed. Nel, meet Lathir the Wise. And this is Sylvar, Bard extraordinaire, and Tam the Quick. Behind them are Kleborn of the North and Dewydd, Master of Bladed Pain. And this is Vale, Cleric of Clangeddin Silverbeard and the Dwarven Pantheon. Laramon sends us to you at my request, to join you here. I have some news. Let us sit for a moment, taking in a meal, and I shall explain our presence as well as the last several days. I would like to know what adventures you’ve come across as well.”

Respen does not leave Nel’s side so as to offer her a comfort level among strangers.

“I remained behind in Skorane to guard your flank, and frankly, because I was curious who would come calling once they realized their golem and guards were rendered. It was Dame Clare. Sylvar’s song about her did not do her justice. She is indeed powerful and mysterious. The teleport circles are her construction, and she can use them, but they are not for her per se. The short version of the story is that she wasn’t happy for the intrusion, and I struck a bargain of sorts with her. I agreed to service for her, including protection of Nel and her family in exchange for granting me my life. The perks are that Nel and I are wedded in spirit if not in deed, as well as certain resources that Dame Clare can choose to put at our disposal. She is better as an ally than as an enemy.”

OOC: Respen answers their questions as they have them, agreeing to share more information as relevant. He alludes to Nel’s relationship with Dame Clare, but he doesn’t specifically mention it, allowing Nel to decide to do that or not.


He listens to their tales as well, and he take particular interest in the 13 foot tall Drow, wondering aloud whether he could be magically enlarged or something else?

“Nel? Do you happen to know who this could be?”
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Lathir’s description of the male Drow Elf is precise enough for Nelvandra to recognize who it must be.

Nelvandra replies to Respen’s question: “His name is Glimval The Dark, he’s what The Drow call a Mageling; he’s unwilling to commit himself completely to the study of Wizardry, and he carries that big bastard sword around like some sort of trophy. It doesn’t surprise me to learn that he’s here, because he is ridiculed in Shalistaurimon. It makes sense that he’d be here, far away, trying to make a name for himself in a foreign land, and taking advantage of females from inferior species. He’s such a schmuck. But make no mistake, he is a dangerous foe. And yes, he’s magically enlarged himself somehow.”
 
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MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Lathir Is Not Put at Ease

“I remained behind in Skorane to guard your flank, and frankly, because I was curious who would come calling once they realized their golem and guards were rendered. It was Dame Clare. Sylvar’s song about her did not do her justice. She is indeed powerful and mysterious. The teleport circles are her construction, and she can use them, but they are not for her per se. The short version of the story is that she wasn’t happy for the intrusion, and I struck a bargain of sorts with her. I agreed to service for her, including protection of Nel and her family in exchange for granting me my life. The perks are that Nel and I are wedded in spirit if not in deed, as well as certain resources that Dame Clare can choose to put at our disposal. She is better as an ally than as an enemy.”
Nelvandra replies to Respen’s question:
“His name is Glimval The Dark, he’s what The Drow call a Mageling; he’s unwilling to commit himself completely to the study of Wizardry, and he carries that big bastard sword around like some sort of trophy. It doesn’t surprise me to learn that he’s here, because he is ridiculed in Shalistaurimon. It makes sense that he’d be here, far away, trying to make a name for himself in a foreign land, and taking advantage of females from inferior species. He’s such a schmuck. But make no mistake, he is a dangerous foe. And yes, he’s magically enlarged himself somehow.”
Lathir listens quietly before taking a step toward the two. He looks directly at Nelvandra as he speaks.
"Bethrothed? It is well publicized that in Drow society males are treated as highly expendable slaves and used as seed cattle. I find no levity in that choice of word. Respen's adulation in word choice concerning your sadistically narcissistic dictator makes me nauseous.

We were tasks with discovering the source of a particularly malevolent disturbance in an area near Dyvers. Observation reveals undead and a golem. The source of which is a Drow female. Respen's paranoia or indecisiveness lends itself to his capture by that golem's creator, a Drow female.

You name and describe the male Drow below with distaste, labeling him as substandard, perhaps because he is free of his former enslavement to Drow society.

And, here Respen returns to us with a considerable feel of differentness to him with you, an agent of that Drow female. Tell me why I should not do everything in my power to kill you right now
."
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM: +2,500 xp roleplaying bonus to Lathir for such an awesome post! I will wait and give the other party members time to weigh in before I post Nel’s reply.
 

redraider629

Explorer
Both Thallok and Kleborn stand at the ready after Lathir's question. Thallok gives a little grunt.

Kleborn tries to look un-threatening while awaiting Nel's answer. However, he has concern for his old friend. "I have known Respen for a long time, if this is a legitimate engagement then I will rejoice. But may the heavens help you if you have captured him and forced him into this arrangement. Because as long as I stand, Respen will not be a Drow slave."
 
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Waynan

Explorer
As all the"big people" in the party have come around him to confront Nelvandra (and Respen,too), Tam uses the opportunity to slink back to his weapons. He gathers them and, again, 'slinks' behind the cover of the trees to get behind the Drow sorceress and be ready to dispatch her --- hopefully, though the presence of a Drow scares him, it would not come to that... for Respen's sake.
 

Sylvar B.

Explorer
Sylvar looks at Nel, examining her. His eyes lock on her tiara... "...Your tiara, mistress, it looks familiar....yes.....there is a song about it.... If I may...?"

Sylvar sings in dulcet tones. While he sings he attempts to cast fascinate on Nel, if it works he will suggest that she be very forthcoming about any questions the party asks her.

The Polyglot's Dream

If you seek to understand all who speak
This coronet is what you seek

Beware, however of its dark past
Its origin is unique in deed
listen close this tale won't last

Darlena Delzeen the Drow Matron
Once its owner was
Stolen by Marissa, long encased in natron

A halfling overcome with gluttony
Contracted to filch a wand
Resolved to have the fantasy
Of lingual universality

Slaves of many nations gave chase
Set to retrieve the diadem
Marissa fled with haste

Unable to flee with alacrity
Caught up in a trap, presented with many tongues
Her mind twisted with complexity

Drow Matron Delzeen will have retribution
Teach a lesson to the thief
Death would be a preferable solution

Matron Delzeen removes her tongue with glee
Marissa the halfling has been made a slave
Unable to move, run or flee

Heed this tale of woe
If you need a clue
The wearer of this diadem is your foe

Dispatch the Drow priestess of Lolth with haste
Lest you suffer a similar fate as Marissa
She lost her sense of taste

Sylvar finishes his song without flourish but takes a more aggressive stance. "The fact that you are wearing that tiara can only mean one thing. You are a member of House Delzeen and in league with the Drow Priestess we are fighting. Your presence here does not bode well for the rest of us. Respen, free yourself of this witch before she gets us all killed."


 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM: Posted on behalf of Respen, as per his emailed response.


~ Assuaging my persuasion ~


Respen, concerned about a negative response, isn’t terribly surprised at this sentiment. He grasps Nel’s hand to give her pause and let him respond.

“Lathir, thank you, mate. How can I assure you that I remain in charge of my wit and will?”

Respen walks with Nel in tow closer to Lathir. “You are indeed correct that Drow society does not favor males. And I, of all elves, chafe at any notion that my freedom is excised. Indeed, I was forced into submission and acquiescence, coerced by both Drow and Vampiric compulsion. Dame Clare was in my head, and my will was not entirely my own. However, I persuaded Dame Clare to remove the coercion, and I agreed through magical oath to serve as her apprentice. I have my reasons. Among others, Nelvandra needed my help, even if at the time she didn’t realize it. In addition, I believe that Dame Clare has the potential to bring about much needed change to the Drow. It may take a century or more, but it could affect all elves, and I can not let the opportunity pass. Finally, I believe Dame Clare is better as an ally than an enemy. Part of my agreement as her apprentice includes not compromising you. You didn’t make the oath; I did. If you don’t agree with it, I respect that. However, I assure you that I am in charge of my faculties, and I am not under some nefarious control. Dame Clare isn’t a particularly good being. However, she has a code, and the Orb shall ensure that she abides by it."

Respen continues,"...As to my relationship with Nelvandra, I neither owe, nor offer an explanation. My oath extends to her. I have chosen her, and unless I am mistaken, she feels likewise. You have nothing to fear from me.”

Respen looks at Nel. “Nelvandra can also speak for herself.”
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Sylvar's Song

Sylvar's song is delightful, and almost has its intended effect...

GM:
Caster Level Check: 1d20+10 = 19
Beats Nelvandra's SR of 15!
Willpower Save: (vs. DC 22): 23 (Success)

Nelvandra saved vs. Sylvar's suggestion, and under normal circumstances, would have no idea that anything had happened. HOWEVER, Nelvandra is currently under the effects of Mind Blank, therefore, Nel realizes what has happened, because she can feel the effect of Sylvar's song being stopped cold by the Mind Blank.

Sylvar, you get the feeling that even if she had failed the save, the Mind Blank effect would have saved her.


GM:
Nelvandra's initial attitude toward Sylvar: Indifferent.
Nelvandra's adjusted attitude after Sylvar's attempted Suggestion: Unfriendly.
Nelvandra's response: Disdain, Condescension, Sarcasm.


Nelvandra, realizing what has transpired, gets a cross look on her face. "Free Respen from MY control? That's rich. I can feel you in my mind, Bard. What did he call you? Sylvar? No doubt in reference to your silver tongue! You fellows sure seem scared of little ol' me. That was a nice song, by the way. I don't know who wrote it, but they knew quite a bit. Darlena Delzeen was my 3 times great grandmother, and she did indeed cut out that little Halfling's tongue. But among the Drow, that one act was the beginning of the end for our House's prestige; the other Drow considered it weak of Darlena to cut out her tongue and enslave her, rather than make her into a living sacrifice to Lolth. She lost three ranks of honor in the Dark Sisterhood for that little act of mercy. And ever since then, the other Drow have looked upon our house with pity, or with suspicion."

Nelvandra's lips curl into a sneer, "By the way, Sylvar, the Drow that you are "fighting" is not a priestess of Lolth. My sister Clare is a Sorceress. She was denied initiation into the Dark Sisterhood because she was too methodical, organized, and predictable. The Sisters said that her habits were too similar to those of the agents of Law, and in order to become a Sister of Lolth, one must fully embrace Chaos. Can you believe that? My sister, the diabolical, conniving, self-proclaimed "Empress of Darkness," wasn't sufficiently cruel and ruthless for their tastes."

Lathir said:
“...in Drow society, males are treated as highly expendable slaves and used as seed cattle…”
GM:
Nelvandra's initial attitude toward Lathir: Indifferent.
Lathir's Diplomacy roll: Base 29, -10 for brief period of time speaking = 19 total.
A result of 19 shifts Indifferent to Friendly.



Nelvandra considers Lathir’s comment, “I understand your concern, but you are the victim of an exaggerated truth. Males are not enslaved unless they commit a crime. It is true that males hold less authority than do females, but only because their kind once almost destroyed the Drow race over 4 millennia ago. With all due respect, you should not jump to conclusions, because you are missing a lot of vital information. There are many males in Shalistaurimon that hold positions of prestige and respect. But your assumption that they do not rule is correct; ruling authority resides in the hands of the Dark Sisters, and their Matriarch. And yes, you are correct to be suspicious of me. Most Drow, male or female notwithstanding, are corrupt, dishonorable, and evil. But I am not like most Drow; while I will admit to being selfish, and maybe a bit stubborn and willful, I have never been one for cruelty, nor outright corruption. And even my sister, who is guilty of many sins and vile deeds, is not personally motivated by cruelty or malice. Her main motivations are selfish pride, and money. That being said, I am not her agent; what little sway she FORMERLY held over me was removed by Laramon. I am once again my own person. And my love for Respen is genuine.”


Lathir said:
”...perhaps because he is free of his former enslavement to Drow society…”

Nelvandra chuckles, “Please believe me when I say, Glimval's dishonor among the Drow is not undeserved; he is a psychotic narcissist on a power trip, who is angry because the young, newly-crowned, Matron Nelfrae of House Zendor chose his brother as her heart mate instead of him.”


Nelvandra pauses for a moment, before continuing: “I am not a spy. And I am not in control of Respen’s mind. I am in control of another of his body parts… his HEART.”

Nel gives a wicked little laugh. “I’ll bet you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you? No matter, because Respen -IS- my heart mate, and NOTHING is going to change that, not even my manipulative big sister. Respen did indeed swear an oath to serve her, in return for regaining his own free will. And I must say, that was a smart move. My sister isn't out to harm surface dwellers. Her plans don't involve the surface world at all. If she requires things of Respen, they will be related to her projects and goals in The Underdark. And if I know my sister, Respen (and all of you, as well, if you lend Respen your aid) will be richly rewarded for those tasks. Also: Respen is correct about Clare's desire to reform Drow society. He is also correct in his assertion that it's better to be in Clare's employ, than it is to be her enemy. Another thing regarding Respen's service: As her sister's husband, she will go easy on him. Having me around will be a check against her taking advantage of him.”

Nelvandra pauses thoughtfully. "One last thing: Clare was indeed at least partially responsible for the disturbance in Skorane. But only because she was hired by the matron of another house to secure the site. If you wish to deal with the root of that problem, you must look elsewhere. Whomever is giving Glimval his orders, and whomever is trying to strike an alliance with the Giant-kin, THAT is who you should be after. All my sister did was build a few teleport circles, and set a few golems to act as guard. It was another Drow who created the undead minions, although the big spider IS Clare's henchman. His name is Serindak. But that's beside the point. Long story short: I am not your enemy. And I love Respen. Those two facts by themselves should be reason enough to spare my life."


Nelvandra looks to Tam, Dewydd, Vale, and Thallok, and says, “What of the rest of you? Are these three the only ones with tongues?”
 
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Diarmadhim

Explorer
When Lathir takes offense to the term betrothed, I can't help but chuckle aloud. As the mirth escapes me I wave his concerns away. While everyone else seems to be getting worked up, I remain seated and eat some of the rations we have, wholly unimpressed at the bravado and chalking much of it up to angst at having remained inactive for the past several days. As Respen tells us of the magical oath, I nod in recognition of a potential Geas/Quest.

As Nelvandra speaks up with an acerbic tongue, a truly sincere smile spreads across my face. “She reminds me of my mother. The only person my father ever truly respected. You've found yourself a good one Respen. Congratulations! Well... you certainly make quick work sir,” I state with humor in my voice. With a throwback to my noble upbringing I step forward and take Nelvandra's hand if it is proffered. “It is a privilege to make your acquaintance, Nelvandra of House Delzeen,” I greet with a slight bow. “I look forward to hearing more of your experiences over the past few days Respen. Come, let us apprise you of the current situation.” Turning back to Nelvandra I smile, "I have always been one to act when it's necessary. Respen showing up with a companion doesn't particularly strike me as requiring action." Motioning toward the others I state, "Our associates are all a tad 'outside the norm' when one takes a moment to consider it. As a former mercenary, I've grown accustomed to such."

Nelvandra having identified the drow, a full smile comes to my face. “I look forward to challenging this Glimval. His dabbling in magecraft mixed with the martial marks us as kindred in that regard, at least.”

“Betrothed is a term nobility uses more than others. Respen seems happy – who are we to get in the way of love?”

“Considering you haven't told us everything that occurred so far, the Geas is somewhat distressing to hear about. However, an antimagic field would temporarily suppress any spells upon you or your equipment, which would allow us to discern if you're still under your own control and largely assuage any concerns that might be had... Is anyone capable of casting it? Sadly I'm only versed in up to the second order. I've done more reading on theory than actual practicing of casting; I'm a late-comer to the field. What's this 'Orb' you speak of?”


OOC: Sense Motive 9 on Respen. Sense Motive 25 (yay useless nat 20) on Nelvandra.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nelvandra Responds To Dewydd

Dewydd finds Respen hard to read, probably because Respen cannot take his eyes off of Nelvandra. He seems enamored with her. And Dewydd is forced to admit, she is not difficult to look at in the least.

[sblock=Portrait of Nelvandra Delzeen]
GM:
Wizardess-001c.jpg
NELVANDRA DELZEEN, DROW SORCERESS

[/sblock]

[sblock=Results of Dewydd's Sense Motive rolls]
GM:
Based on your result of 25 on your Sense Motive roll, you are able to discern the following information:

Hunch: You get the feeling that she's telling you the truth. She has not denied that her sister is an evil Sorceress, nor did she withhold the fact that Respen has sworn an oath of service to her. And she has also stated that being cautious around Drow is the correct response. Although she was belligerent toward Sylvar, she was polite to Lathir, which demonstrates that she will return whatever treatment she receives, and that she is willing to have a discussion, if need-be.

Sense Enchantment: Dewydd is familiar enough with magic to know that Nelvandra isn't being influenced by a spell. Nelvandra exhibits all of the traits of someone who is acting of their own, free will, with full autonomy.

001-Sense-Motive-DCs.png

[/sblock]

Dewydd said:
"...Congratulations! Well... you certainly make quick work sir..."
Nelvandra chuckles, "To be honest, Clare took one look at him, and chose him for me. But luckily for me, my sister not only has excellent instincts, but she also knows me quite well, and when she first brought him to me, I agreed with her choice instantly. Then, after spending several days alone with him, I came to the conclusion that our meeting was destiny. Respen and I are indeed perfect for each other."

Dewydd said:
“Considering you haven't told us everything that occurred so far, the Geas is somewhat distressing to hear about. However, an antimagic field would temporarily suppress any spells upon you or your equipment, which would allow us to discern if you're still under your own control and largely assuage any concerns that might be had... Is anyone capable of casting it? Sadly I'm only versed in up to the second order. I've done more reading on theory than actual practicing of casting; I'm a late-comer to the field. What's this 'Orb' you speak of?”
Nelvandra says, "Respen is not under the effect of Geas; I am a Sorceress myself, and quite familiar with such things, even if casting them is beyond my present abilities. Respen swore an oath on the Orb of Errinder. The Orb is an artifact that can cast powerful divinations, like an enhanced Crystal Ball, only much more powerful. Anyone who swears an oath upon The Orb is bound to fulfill that oath, because The Orb binds a piece of the person's soul to itself. It doesn't FORCE obedience, but the effects of breaking one's oath are PAINFUL, and therefore, those swearing such oaths tend to keep them, in order to avoid the repercussions. If it makes you feel any better, Clare swore an oath to Respen on The Orb as well; she agreed to accept him as her apprentice, and see to his education as a Wizard. That tells me that she's quite serious about keeping him in her employ. Clare is not known to take things such as oaths lightly. As for an Anti-Magic Field, I would not be opposed to the use of such a spell, if it would put your mind at ease. But that is a powerful spell; are any of you even capable of casting it? Speaking only for myself, that spell is FAR beyond my ability."
 
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Diarmadhim

Explorer
I reply, "I'm fairly certain we have nothing to worry about. You strike me as the honest sort and I can't sense any enchantments on you. If you ever change your mind about Respen, keep me in mind! Lucky sot." With a chuckle and playful wink to Respen, I hand them both some rations and sit back down.
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Lathir Eases Posture

As Nelvranda finishes responding to him, Lathir returns his halfspear to its holder upon his back. He turns to Respen and offers his hand in token of continued friendship.
"Good to see you again, my friend, whole and apparently in control of your faculties."

GM said:
Nelvandra pauses thoughtfully. "One last thing: Clare was indeed at least partially responsible for the disturbance in Skorane. But only because she was hired by the matron of another house to secure the site. If you wish to deal with the root of that problem, you must look elsewhere. Whomever is giving Glimval his orders, and whomever is trying to strike an alliance with the Giant-kin, THAT is who you should be after. All my sister did was build a few teleport circles, and set a few golems to act as guard. It was another Drow who created the undead minions, although the big spider IS Clare's henchman. His name is Serindak. But that's beside the point. Long story short: I am not your enemy. And I love Respen. Those two facts by themselves should be reason enough to spare my life."
Dewydd said:
Turning back to Nelvandra Dewydd smiles, "I have always been one to act when it's necessary. Respen showing up with a companion doesn't particularly strike me as requiring action."
Lathir gives a quick exhalation of a single laugh.
"Spoken in true character. Sometimes I wonder what it could be like to harbor such nonchalance, but alas our own nature is to each the sum of his experiences."

He turns back to Nelvranda, relaxed in his posture and eases back a step.
"I trust to my own instincts more often than relying on the application of magicks. I feel confident to take you at your word. Welcome.

As to Clare and Glimval, you mention influence of another Drow as yet unnamed. I can see no logic behind moving a group of mindless undead into an area aside from hoping it will perpetuate that area's evacuation. Those undead, by the way, have been eliminated.

Additionally a demon was employed in Skorane to add to the complication. By fortune, she too was eliminated, which leads us to here and a gathering army of some size.

Have you any further knowledge of the proceedings here or the identity of the other matron? For that matter, do you have any speculation on who would summon a succubus and why
?"

OOC: Diplomacy: (previous post) 1d20 + 19 = 10 + 19 = 29.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 17 = 18 + 17 = 35.


GM:
Your Sense Motive check is even more revealing than Dewydd's; it is obvious that Nel has been the unwitting pawn of her sister for a long time, and has only recently escaped her influence; now that this has occurred, it seems evident that she is anxious to be her own person, and chase her own destiny, and that she has no intention of returning to The Underdark anytime soon. She speaks in earnest, and you believe her love for Respen to be in earnest as well.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Lathir said:
"...I can see no logic behind moving a group of mindless undead into an area aside from hoping it will perpetuate that area's evacuation."
Nelvandra: "My sister was hired by Lady Alyssa, of House Alonkarr, to set up Skorane as a base of operations. There is a passageway beneath Skorane that leads into the deepest depths of The Underdark, and eventually to the Drow City of Dallenbor. The City of Dallenbor is second in size only to Shalistaurimon, which is where Lady Alyssa resides. Shalistaurimon is many hundreds of miles Northwest of Dallenbor, by surface reckoning. The nearest surface city to Shalistaurimon is a large settlement known as Hochoch, which is located in the Grand Duchy of Geoff. Normally, the great distance between the two Drow cities prevents the inhabitants from collaborating with one another. Lady Alyssa is trying to change that. She has been building an alliance with the Giant-kin in the mountains near Hochoch, for reasons unknown to me. But I'd be willing to bet that it spells bad news for Hochoch. The teleport circles that Clare built for her beneath Skorane allow Drow from Dallenbor, whom Alyssa has recruited as allies, to move large amounts of men and materials without being seen. The choice of Skorane probably spells trouble for Dyvers, as well. Lady Alyssa's plans must involve the surface in some way, or she would not have bothered to set up "shop" so close to two surface-world sites.

Alyssa felt that mindless undead would make good guards, because their moaning, amplified by the well shaft, would add to the perception that Skorane was haunted, and keep the curious away. She figured that adventurer-types would find the undead, see how many there were, and figured that the sheer number of them, combined with their location at the bottom of an abandoned well, would act as a deterrent. My sister warned her that someone might eventually be brave enough to challenge Alyssa's little "horde." And sure enough, a bunch of fools clad in platemail did just that. And they were so strong, that Clare's minion, Serindak, was forced to intervene.

He dominated their leader, turning him against his comrades, and routed them. From what I understand, he captured two of them, and turned them into vampire spawn. Clare was not happy about that, so she ordered Serindak to leave, and to take his spawn with him.

It was Clare who summoned the Succubus, as a distraction. Clare knew that if word got out that there were vampires in Skorane, that someone would come to investigate. So she set the Succubus up to take the fall; her intention was that someone would encounter her, and dispatch her, believing her to be the source of the threat.

Clare is very good at misleading people and spreading misinformation. The rumors of a vampiric spider would be chalked up to exaggeration, once a demoness was confirmed to be in the vicinity. She summoned a named demoness, one that could be identified, to make it seem more plausible. She even gated the demoness, rather than simply summoning her, so that she would fight harder, and so that her destruction would be permanent. The first rule of espionage is to kill the assassin, as it were.

However, I know for a fact that Clare has reached the limit of her involvement. I overheard her complaining to Ky the other day that she isn't being paid enough to clean up Alyssa's mess."
 
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redraider629

Explorer
Thallok
Thallok gets up and walks to where Respen and Nelvandra are standing. He looks at Respen and says "welcome back." He then turns his attention to Nelvandra looks at her for a bit, shrugs his shoulders, and says "I believe what you say. It is nice to meet you, and to have you here with us." He then turns his attention to the fort, "We are going to need all the help we can get."

Kleborn
"I too believe what you say; Respen, you look like you are happy with this one, so I rejoice in that happiness."
 
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