"Owyn asked for guarantee of our safety. Do we have it? Also, what is the year? A strange question I know, but these are strange times. We enter a crumbling tower and exit one intact. We head back to the thriving town of Bredon and find no trace of it. Just your few dwellings."
Mindra continues to make no threatening moves, and will give up her weapons if the rest of the party does, but she will try to smuggle one of her four daggers.
“You have our promise of safety,” the woman said. “I will give you a blood promise, if you need it,” she offered.
The crimson-haired woman nodded to the two outer warriors, who stepped forward and collected Theremin’s and Mindra’s weapons. They didn’t seem to notice Mindra hide her dagger, and didn’t take Theremin’s loot.
When Liam spoke up about his staff, the warrior’s looked to the woman. She studied Liam. “Leave it,” she said. “Make sure to collect any magic implements,” she warned, and looked to Owyn, who had yet to give over his weapons.
Sayine curled around Theremin’s shoulders, watching warily.
When Mindra asked about the date, the crimson-haired woman frowned. “It is 897 since the Founding,” she said. She looked them over again. “Do you now know where you are? You did not come here intentionally?”
"897 is the correct year, but this place is not the place we left just this morning. So, no, we do not know where we are, and we did not come here intentionally. And for that matter I am not from the Empire. Irine broke from the Arideen Empire in 869, although we are still closely aligned. No need to be hostile with your neighbors if they are willing to let you live in peace."
Trying to get my history correct. If I have anything wrong, let me know and I will edit.
Irine is semi-autonomous. It functionally has Home Rule, but remains ostensibly a part of what’s left of the Empire. The elves of Irne have a seat on the Regency Council that rules Arideen in the absence of an emperor after the Emperor’s murder that triggered the civil war. The Regency Council consists of the Hierarch of the Paladine Church, the king of the dwarves (under the Arideen mountains), and the elven Prince of Irine. It’s a bit like Scotland in Great Britain.
The human-looking warriors took Owyn’s weapons, and Beturea handed over her dagger, shaking with fear at the frightening, imposing warriors. The crimson-haired woman and the man with the large sword led them onto the bridge, the man and woman with spears falling in behind them.
“I am Crimsyn Ledet,” the woman with the chains introduced herself. “This is my second, Alet Caravon. We are charged with protecting the village here. I will take you to see Silvor. You are a long way from home,” she said with a smirk. “This is the Shadowfell.”
Beturea gasped and stumbled, nearly fainting.
You know the name of the young woman you rescued from the goblins was Irene Ledet, and her grandfather was Sir Ghaves Ledet, the knight who used to be the lord of Bredon, and was in charge of the forces in the tower during the war. Ebrehem Caravon was the mage charged with the defense of the tower. Silvor Dawnwhisper was in charge of a contingent of elven archers from Fairrest.
As they crossed the river, the village came into view around the turn in the broken road. It was a circle of low, simple huts built of stone, wood, or river mud, built on the hill where, back in Bredon, the reeve’s house was built. A simple palisade of sharpened wooden poles encircled it for protection.
“Open the gates! We have visitors!” Crimsyn called, and guards manning the gate scurried to push them open for the escorted party to enter.
"Ahh, that IS a long way..." Owyn said in a slightly too-loud voice before leaning in to the nearest of the party who looked the smartest to him. "Er, where is the shadowfell exactly? I was never very good in the academia..."
From that point Owyn did his best to keep his mouth shut and seem as unthreatening as possible.
Hearing that they were in the shadofell, theremin’s blood chilled. He tried however not to let it show.
Looking at Crimsin, Theremin asks “a Ledet! Would you be related to Sir Ghaves Ledet? We actually saved his daughter lady Irene from a goblin hold not one week ago! Tell me, how did you family end up in the shadowfell?”
The large man looked over at Theremin. “Ebreham Caravon was my grandfather,” he said. “I was also born here. Most everyone here was. The old ones have mostly passed on. The Shadowfell is not a place conducive to a long life.”
They entered the palisade walls, and many people came out to stare. Most of them were young, a very few middle aged. Nearly all of them were of the same greyish skin tone as Crimsyn and Alet and the escort. All bore similar tattoos or ritual scarring, most wore a cilice around their bicep. They stared at the newcomers as they were led to a wood and thatch great hall style building at the top of the hill. More guards stood at the entrance, and saluted Crimsyn and Alet.
Inside the hall was a great fire pit. The fire and several lamps struggled to light the interior, revealing the thin, emaciated, elderly form of an elf, his hair silver with a few streaks of green-black hair.
[OOC=Mindra and Theremin]You know that elves don’t usually age like this, at least not until the very end of their natural lives, but if this is Silvor Dawnwhisper, and he was a fighting elf fifty years ago, then he shouldn’t look this elderly yet.[/OOC]
Does Theremin know anything about the affect of the Shadowfell on the the relative appearance of elves (I remember reading something about the shadar-kai (sp?) looking their age in the shadowfell, and looking young in the prime material plane. Arcana check: Lucky natural 20 roll for a total of 23
Theremin had read somewhere in his studies at the Academy about the Shadowfell. He knew that long sojourns on the plane could sap ones will, leading to despair, depression, apathy. It was a plane of death. It wasn’t too surprising it might enhance the effects of aging on even a long-lived elf.
I don’t like what they’ve done with Shadar-Kai in 5e. Seems like they’re just trying to shove the Raven Queen down throats and into Faerun. I prefered the 4e approach, so my shadar-kai are basically any race can be influenced by the Shadowfell (kind of like how I treat genasi, tieflings, and aasimar, too). So they don’t have to be elves. The nice thing about the subclass is we can use it to replace another racial subclass to make a shadar-kai.
Upon approaching the aging elf, Theremin bows and says politely in Elven: “Sir Dawnswhisper, thanks you for l seeing us, I am Theremin of Keltarin” continuing in the common tongue for all to understand, he says, “We are lost and are trying to understand our predicament. We were sent from Bredon to find a lost merchant, Mached Pakelan, and we fought some Kobolds and found his wife Beturea in the Eobald the Mad’s old tower. However, when we emerged from the tower, we came to this place. I am assuming the same thing happened to you many years ago. Can you make some sense of our situation?”
Just wanted to post that I am still keeping up on this thread.
For this part Mindra will just be observing. She can weave a decent lie when she needs to, but this seems more a matter of diplomacy, which she will leave to those more suited. So she listens to what the people have to say and looks for any sign of hostility towards the party or deception. She will also keep an eye out for any threats.
Owyn decides to just let the others talk for now. He wore some livery of course, but thought it best to simply stay on the sidelines for this conversation. That, and while charismatic, he wasn't exactly trained for any kind of diplomatic missions in and of himself. His family's 'old one's' blood had long precluded that kind of honor or responsibility in the Arideenian culture.
Mindra’s wariness didn’t catch any overt hostility. The warriors that had led them here stayed nearby, keeping an eye on them.
Silvor Dawnwhisper listened calmly to Theremin as he spoke. “Keltarin,” Silver said with a frown. “In the far west of Helveki?” He spat in distaste. “How come you to travel with a soldier of Arideen? I can understand the elf of Irine with the Arideen. You are a long way from your homes. Has Essess then fallen to your armies? The flame of hope for rule by the people snuffed out beneath the boots of empire and devils?” He looked between them. “I never thought to see the day when the people of Paladine worked with the lapdogs of Asmodeus.
“We came here in the midst of battle, our forces pushed back by the armies of the Empire. Our only hope, the only hope for Bredon, was to banish ourselves, and the imperial army with us, to this place of darkness, shadow, and death. Without the keystone, the tower will not return you home. So said Erebus Caernavon.”
Owyn colored at the imprecations against his homeland, but maintained his composure. He couldn't place the historical context of the elfs statements for the life of him. He knew that the Essess were hotile if not outright enemies of the empire. But had slept through most of the history lessons despite the erstwhile attempts of his instructors to keep his attention.
"To be fair, I'm not a 'soldier' of the empire exactly. I simply serve the empire on occasion as a peace keeper and ambassador to my people within it's confines. Honestly, I had no idea I'd exited the empire's boundaries. I'd been on my way to port to take a ship to the Academy to visit my sister who's a scholar there when I was set upon by Kobolds. Honestly, I cannot say where this 'tower' was nor it's relation to the Essess border before then."
Theremin is un phased by the insulting tone and remains diplomatic. “Thank you for telling us this. I am assuming much time has passed since you arrived. I personally don’t get involved in politics, and my companions are the same. Now about this keystone, is this a different one than the one that brought us here, or is it a matter of moving the one we used to a different location? Also, if we were able to succeed in returning, would you want to send back a message to you kin, or friends? It is the least we could do to show our appreciation”
“I was not in the upper tower when Caernavon brought us here,” Silvor Dawnwhisper said. “I was fighting the Imperial forces streaming into the tower. I only know that Caernavon said he had not taken with him the keystone that could get us back. We were stranded here.”
The old elf looked around at the younger ones, humans, elves, dwarves, most touched by the same grey cast to their skin, or old and weighed down with care like himself. “Most now alive were born in this place. They have never known the light of the sun. To those in the other world, we are dead. So we should remain. Let them remember us as the heroes that we are.” He gave a wracking cough.
History or Insight checks could possibly help you out.