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Kingdoms of Kalamar; Rancor of the Unholy - Act 1: Scene 1



Act 1: Scene 1


Kingdom of Cosdol; Homeday of the month of Snowfall, 1044 Y.K.

The hour was late, the task at hand difficile and wearisome as the old wizard leaned over his desk, struggling to focus as he shivered. Castles were no place to keep warm, especially in the dark of night in the middle of winter. Only a thick fur blanked draped over his lap and a hot coal brazier at his side kept his blood running warm.


The ruler of Cosdol, known by his people as 'The Wizard-King', or 'Archmage of the North', blinked irritably with droopy eyelids. Fading script on crumbling scrolls did not get easier to read with age, and Welren Endremin was old indeed for a human, unnaturally old given how his rule was ongoing for over a century.

"Master, would you like your lenses?" A familiar voice asked.

"Of course I would! How much longer did you want me to sit here squinting like a blind fool before you suggested it!?"

Finch the halfling, Welrens latest apprentice, hastily presented a pair of eye-sized lenses held together with delicate silver frames designed to perch on the bridge of the nose. The lenses were a gift from the elves. One token among many littering his study, famous among Cosolens magic schools and powerful guilds as the finest collection of arcane instruments, obscure tomes, rare artifacts and half-burnt candles in all of Cosdol.

Welren snatched away the glasses, blinking again to familiarize himself with their keen magnification, unconsciously sitting up straighter to regain his focus.

Finch of course did not expect any thanks from the irascible old wizard. Instead he changed the subject. "Strange wind tonight master. Some of the other wizards say something is amiss with the weather."

"Does it look like I give two damns about the weather?! Am I standing by the open window pensively staring into the night sky? Rather I would think it was obvious, given where I sit, that I am attempting to study! That is what this chamber is for is it not?"

"Yes master..." Finch answered placidly. He was well used to these outbursts.

Time is running out! Welren reminded himself, pressing to read faster as his stiff, cold fingers fumbled at the crumbling edges of the parchment. He felt his aging heart weakening the harder he stressed himself, but there was no choice! The Secret Network of the Blue Salamander was here in Cosdol, infiltrating his home!

Only stubborn pride kept him from instituting drastic security measures, arresting much of his own court. Welren wanted to avoid such a thing at all costs. Not only was it likely to split the kingdom into civil war, it would ruin the peace and promise of his heirs reign.

Prince Sevlen spent eleven years thus far studying magic, barely a blink compared to the experience of Welren himself, yet sadly his studies had to be cut short after Welren discovered one of his principal councilors was plotting against him. It took all his considerable arcane skill and great effort to glean any information out of that mans mind, so strong was the hold of his masters domination upon his psyche.

That was almost a year ago. Since that time, Welren spent more and more time locked away in seclusion, searching the histories for something the councilor spoke of in a whisper while he was questioned in the dungeons. Something called 'The Annulus', an artifact of great power that the wicked Illithids behind the network greatly feared. Welren believed the councilor spoke of it out of hatred of those vile creatures, however briefly, while his mind was freed of their domination moments before death.

Once Welren began studying the lore of the Annulus, he learned he was not the first to do so. There were others who also sought out its location somewhere on Tellene for centuries. Accounts of strange foreigners, explorers, sages, seeking it out speaking rumors of a lost civilization. Some of these individuals undertaking the search in recent decades, he discovered, were known to him. Wizards like himself, archmages with powerful influence over other lands and kingdoms on Tellene. By reputation alone he knew at least a few of them were trustworthy, and likely sought out the Annulus for the same reason he did.

The Network of the Blue Salamander was now the largest evil organization on Tellene, obsessed with world domination through power and influence gained by means of magic, information and wealth. Welren had no doubt their manipulations of guilds and governments would lead to terrible wars, strife and turmoil on an epic scale. He resolved himself to form a secret alliance with those other like-minded archmages and did so successfully.

Before long, the water-clock chimed the hour of midnight.

"Master! It is time!" Finich said, referring to the secret gathering of the archmages. A meeting that took place once a month, as far from prying eyes as possible.

Welren sat back in his chair. "Already?! Damn... I was hoping to learn something from these scrolls first. Fetch me the crystal ball."

"Master? You said the ball must never leave the summoning chamber..."

"Damn you Finch. I am old and tired! I fear a chill in these ancient bones. The summoning chamber is an ice box! Do you protest this simple request because you'd prefer I finally die from a cold?!"

"No master, I was simply reminding you about your warnings..."

"I know very well what the warnings are! Fetch it at once!"

The apprentice returned hefting something heavy draped in a thick velvet cloth. Welren pushed away the scrolls to one side of his desk, waiting until his apprentice had carefully placed the orb at its center before he grunted. "Can't you see my cup is empty? Fetch more mulled wine!"

"Yes master!" The apprentice stated, stepping away from the desk quickly.

Alone now, Welren removed the cloth revealing a clear crystal orb fourteen inches in diameter. It was set into an elaborately carved base of cold iron etched with arcane silver runes. The orb was very old, an heirloom of his great-grandfather Veseln-the-conjurer, founder of Cosdol, who himself acquired it from another archmage before that.

Welren lifted his wrinkled hands in a practiced motion to activate the orb which seemed to come alive with a hazy glowing light. Mutterings of a spell uttered from deep within his throat intensified the light as his hands hovered and moved around the orb.

Welren shut his eyes then, concentrating, focusing on the light through his eyelids as his tongue resumed its strange spells. The light grew stronger, as bright as the sun, and stronger still. Soon the rays were blinding, even from behind his eyelids, but then the spell was done.

Welren found himself once more in the Astral Plane, a silvery, timeless, weightless void. Before him, as expected, loomed a massive ziggurat of ancient stone, floating in stasis as if it were lifted by the grasp of a mighty deity from some long-forgotten world.

Everytime Welren came to this place, he took a moment to examine the ziggurat as he floated towards the top. The stones and techniques used to build it seemed quite complex, bespoke of mysterious builders with skills beyond that of mere men. He could not say where it came from, or why it was built in the first place. Besides the open-temple at the top, every other entrance was sealed by massive stone slabs.

Welren always got a bad feeling when he neared the ziggurat. He believed whatever race constructed it was a violent one. Sometimes he would glimpse dark splotches of blood splattered against the stone, or some half-smashed skull laying on a step as if it caught there on its way rolling down from the top.

As he neared the temple, a bizarre floating ship came into view out of the mists moving around the side of the ziggurat in a broad arc. Welren heard of such vessels before. His great grandfathers journals described them in detail, disclosing how many races used them to travel the voids between the planes, or indeed, the space between worlds.

Though curious, Welren was warned never to board one of these ships or allow himself to be captured, lest he find himself in the clutches of the Githyanki. A race of astral-plane-dwellers, survivors of enslavement by mind flayers who became ruthless pillagers and raiders of many worlds in the Material Plane.

It did not matter that he was merely 'projecting' his astral form into the astral plane. The Githyanki possessed weapons capable of severing the tether of consciousness connecting his astral form to his physical body, visible as a slender silver cord that stretched back from the base of his skull about five feet before merging with the material plane. Welren knew if his astral self was slain, he would return to his physical body (possibly in a coma) but if his cord was severed, he would be killed outright.

Welren sped his ascent to the temple and entered through one of the four open doorways. Inside the temple, Welren felt gravity taking hold of his ghostly astral form again as he stopped floating and stepped forward. Somehow, someway, the interior of this temple maintained itself as the material plane, complete with gravity and real air.

Stranger still was how it was remodeled much like a tavern, with tables arranged around each of the eight ancient stone pillars with a large bar set up before the sacrificial alter. Along the back wall were private booths. Four stout iron stoves were placed between each of the four entrances kept the place nicely warm. Welren noted the fires burning within these stoves never produced any smoke, nor required any stoking. A sign above the bar read 'Tavern of Lost Souls'.

Welren learned of this place through his great-grandfathers journals. It was the most remote location he could imagine to conduct secret meetings. Only powerful archmages like himself and his allies could manage to travel here from Tellene. There should be no chance of anyone from his home world eavesdropping or interfering. A risky rendezvous it was yes, but there was knowledge and resources to be found here that were well worth it.

Welren looked around at the other patrons, a surprising mix of races, some too bizarre to believe. More surprising still was how most of them were not in astral form. Welren knew the various ships he glimpsed sailing through the astral plane would regularly tie up against the ziggurat, offloading new customers. Welren couldn't help but pity those lost souls traveling between the stars. It was a strange way to live.

...To be continued
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Quarzi Lagomorpha


Northern Cosdol, Town of Sovrven; Homeday of the month of Snowfall, 1044 Y.K.

Quarzi Lagomorpha, the golden halfling, shivered beneath a pile of furs as dark thoughts disturbed her rest. The nightmares were rarer now, yet not altogether absent. Sometimes after the moon rose high on a stormy night, the dreadful memories returned. Tonight once again, the vision of that fateful morning haunted her psyche.

Tears streaked freely down her rosy cheeks as every other person in the remote village of her birth was captured or killed right in front of her eyes. Barely ten years old she was, old enough to comprehend violence and cruelty, yet not old enough to understand the motives or do anything about it.

All these years since, living in a town, sheltering among people, did much to calm her nerves and educate her mind about the world beyond the forests. She hoped such knowledge would someday make sense of the tragedy and help her find those responsible. Yet so far nothing she learned really made sense of it.

Quarzi was slow to trust most people. Among those she did trust, only one ever heard the actual truth of her sad childhood. At other times, those who heard of the attack against her village sometimes speculated about the identity of the raiders from her nightmares. The most credible notion she heard thus far involved the followers of the Overlord and the Theocracy of Pel Brolenon.

Though this wicked realm lay far to the south, pirates of the Straits of Svimohzia raided the coasts of Brandobia for slaves and plunder to sell in the black markets of Dowond-Brandel. A practice long sanctioned by the infamous Grand Masters of the Whip who rule over that city.

Quarzi had never seen a pirate before, nor a ship or even the sea itself for that matter, but the stories of their raids largely fit her recollections about what happened to her village. Both Pel Brolenon and the pirates who plagued the seas included evil humanoids among their numbers. She remembered glimpses of them from her nightmare.

However, none of the locals here ever encountered Svimohzian pirates roaming this far inland north of Voldor Bay. These northern reaches of Cosdol were frontier lands, dangerously wild and sparsely populated. Quarzi knew this better than most. After the attack on her village, she fled into the Voldorwoods and its surrounding valleys and hills surviving off her wits and survival skills alone for many months.

The first living thing she encountered was a wild hare, with whom she shared a burrow and a fast, lasting bond. Even now the creature snuggled beside her as an animal companion. Later she took up the Hare as a totem animal after she became something of a wandering shaman. Quarzi believes in the purity and goodness of the forest creatures above all else. They were there for her when she was lost in her darkest days, but she could not remain with them indefinitely.

When the cold winds and snows came she was driven to reconnect with people again, which is how she found herself in the town of Sovrven along the banks of the Omdal river many miles from the village of her birth.


The townsfolk here were quick to shelter her, though she acted much like a wild animal herself half dead from exposure. It was many days before she started talking.

The first person she trusted enough to speak too, and only in private, was another amberhair halfling named Quoso Arcanatlas, an eccentric elderly sage who owned and resided in the towns only inn, The Sleeping Eye. Quoso had a reputation as a dour recluse, yet when Quarzi appeared he demonstrated great interest and kindness towards her expressing a different side to an otherwise aloof personality that most explained off as 'racial solidarity'.

Once Quoso learned Quarzi's name and the name of her village, he explained two things. Firstly they were distantly related. Quoso knew her family. Amberhairs tended to keep close eye on their relatives with habitual letter-writing and extended family gatherings at least once a year.

He also explained how the loss of her village was of great concern to halflings throughout Cosdol. As word spread quickly about the tragedy a letter was even sent to King Welren demanding justice. Quoso felt obligated, therefore, to report that he found a survivor.

That was until he noticed something Quarzi wore around her neck, a mysterious amulet of silvery metal about three inches in diameter. He asked her how she came to possess it. Quarzi explained how her older brother, Quinis, uncovered it inside a crumbling tomb buried underground a few days before their village was attacked.

Besides the amulet, there were much more valuable treasures found in the tomb in the form of precious ceremonial art objects. Quinis gave Quarzi the amulet when she showed a fancy towards it. (Unlike the other items, the amulet was not crafted from any known precious metals)

Everyone was so happy with her brother for finding the tomb. Such a cache of treasures could purchase enough supplies, medicines, tools and foodstuffs to sustain them for years! No one questioned the wisdom of looting it. Arrangements were quickly made with a local smuggler to transport the treasures south into the wealthier cities where rich lords and merchants would pay handsomely for them.

Quoso asked her the name of that smuggler. When she answered, 'Braxon Claithorne'. Quoso frowned with a very serious expression and warned that she must never repeat that name, nor ever again tell anyone else hers or where she was born. He said everyone's lives depended on it, lest a similar attack befall this town. That was thirty years ago...

...to be continued.
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Saryf, Anoria


Eastern O'Par, Elfen Lake; Fireday of the month of Snowfall, 1044 Y.K.

As remote as it was lovely, a narrow string of pools of crystalline water known as Elfen lake set low in stony, mossy, tree-dotted hillsides in the Kakapela hills of eastern O'Par near the Ryakk woods. Most of the day beneath the winter sun the lake was hidden largely in shadows, and silence. Only the wind or occasional eagle's cry disturbed the stillness. Today was not such a day.

These regions of Northern Kalamar were cold enough for snow, yet not so frigid to warrant blizzards, the likes of which decimated the armies of prince Fulakar during his campaign against the Fhokki barbarians. Snow drifts around the lake were somewhat sparse and rarely more than a foot deep. Within the brush, high up in the bare trunks of past-autumn trees or the needles of still-green pines, Tellene's natural creatures observed the violence without judgement.

When it was over, two lovers stood on a small stone beach, one soaking wet. The man had long black hair, tanned skin and the lean, proud features of the Dejy. The woman appeared elvish, petite, pale as the snow with golden-brown locks and delicate, porcelain features. Fresh tears dripped down her cheeks, flush red with emotion.


Saryf embraced Anoria, the beautiful, mysterious, 'lady of the lake.' Within his arms she trembled with a deep sense of relief. Behind her, the corpses of three of her assailants lay stiff and smoldering, felled by Saryf's Eldritch blasts. Meanwhile the rest of the group who attempted to capture her retreated away with haste, back towards the Eagles Peak monastery where their caravan was presently encamped.

Anoria: "I though they killed you!" She gasped clutching him tighter, ignoring the chill of his wet monkish robes.

Saryf: -Whispered- "So did I." He answered, remembering the feeling of life slipping away as those slavers cut him down and threw him into the lake. "Somehow the magic of the lake saved me. I felt cold, darkness, pain. For the first time, for what I believed was the last time, I prayed. I could not bear to loose you!" He paused as his voice choked up. "...A voice in the depths of my soul gave me the strength to keep fighting."

Anoria: Smiled. "You rose out of the water again, whole and healed! I couldn't believe it. It's a miracle!"

Saryf: "It was the will of Yelajod, The Guardian. In the instant I heard his voice, I promised to swear my soul to the battle against slavery, tyranny, and oppression. I must protect you!"

Anoria: Squeezed him with joy. "You have! I love you!" She beamed.

Saryf smiled. He could not have been happier. Anoria was very special, and until just that moment, he did not feel worthy of her love.

As a rare offspring of fey and elf, Anoria was unique. Her bloodline was the source of more than breathtaking beauty, it also possessed a rare destiny. Elfen lake had deep personal significance to them both. Anoria's mother served an important role in the Seelie Court. One gateway to that court was Elfen lake. She used the gateway fairly regularly to communicate messages from her father, King Sendir of the High Elves of Cilorealon.

Anoria's role as an unofficial intermediary remained an unspoken secret in Sendir's court, but was rather well known among the fey on Tellene. Saryf first observed her here at Elfen lake speaking with the fey ten years ago. It took a few months after that before he worked up the nerve to approach her and introduce himself. For him also, the lake was a sacred place for his Dejy tribal ancestors, and a place to escape the duties of the Eagle's Peak Monastery nearby.

Saryf had been living as a monk for nearly a decade, but his original purpose was to spy as an agent of an informants network within Bet Bireli, the capital city of O'Par. For a Dejy, such a life went against everything his parents taught him as a young boy. It was not a path he would have chosen for himself. Truthfully he had little choice. Events of the past were completely out of his control.

The ancient tribe of of Dejy who roamed these hills suffered a great deal in recent centuries. As a consequence, many abandoned the old ways moving into Kalamaran cities and towns that offered more safety and opportunity. This weakened the tribe until at last it lacked the strength to survive the attacks of evil humanoids and slavers that finally overwhelmed them. The attacks forced the tribe to disperse and scatter. When the survivors found each other again it was determined that Saryf's father was killed and his mother taken.

As per tribal custom, the responsibility to look after Saryf now would fall to his oldest living relative, which happened to be his uncle Jaresh. A man who abandoned the tribe decades prior. Rumors hinted that Jaresh may be living in Bet Bireli.

Not long after that, Saryf was reunited with his uncle in the so-called City of Ears. Jaresh began tasking him as a messenger and at the age of ten. Saryf learned the streets and the people quickly. A few years after that, his training as a spy began in earnest. In some ways the dark alleys were no different than the wilderness of the hills and canyons he grew up in. Survival depended on remaining alert, expecting danger everywhere at any moment. Yet despite his aptitude, Saryf grew cynical about his purpose and his future. Informants and spies were rarely trusted for long. Betrayal and death were often their fate.

Out of fear, and constant pressure from Jaresh, Saryf had adopted the worship of Dotogyr, The Unseen One. Not long after that, associates of his uncle and leaders of the House of Knives recognized Saryf's potential as a Warlock, and someday, as an assassin. These abilities were developed and trained in secret as much as possible.

After several more years, when Saryf was a man close to twenty, Jaresh decided the time was right to introduce Saryf to an old man in a mansion. No names were spoken, but Saryf believed it was Perekay the Swift, spymaster of Duke Gadadik himself. The old man gave him a task. He was to go to the Eagles Peak Monastery who were suspected of harboring freed slaves. Though the monastery itself was little more than a library in a hills passage, rumor was the abbot may be a highly positioned priest of The Face of the Free.

Perekay promised no rewards directly, but hinted strongly about valuable patronage and an important role to come if he successfully investigated these rumors. Saryf agreed and listened carefully to the cover story they had prepared for him. To be as convincing as possible, Saryf was stripped of his possessions, beaten to an inch of his life and brought near the monastery in chains. Malnourished, with iron manacles still clasped upon his wrists, he appeared at the monastery doorstep with a sad tale of kidnapping, slavery, and escape to account for it.

The monks took him in. Saryf begged them for shelter and a place in their order. He pretended to re-learn how to read and write. He attended long lectures and spoke at length with as many monks as possible. Whatever he learned, he communicated back to Jaresh.

Weeks passed, month's, and finally years. Much to his chagrin, nothing suggesting truth to the rumors of harbored slaves was evident to Saryf. In his last communication to his uncle Saryf asked permission to leave. What was the point in wasting anymore time in the cold monastery, bored out of his wits? He grew slower, weaker, with nothing to do but read in the library.

At first he despised himself for his weakening of purpose. Before long he also despised his uncle and everyone from his organization. The temptation to flee and return to Bet Bireli nagged at him day and night, but such a move was out of the question for fear for his life, and likely his uncles. Once tasked by the Duke's own spymaster there was no going back. The other monks noticed something eating at him and offered counsel. Saryf played along, making up more details about his cover story to explain his moods. In so doing, issues plaguing his heart opened up. Saryf was unconsciously relating early memories of his tribe and his dear parents into his cover story.

These new feelings of guilt, anger and remorse bothered Saryf so much he started taking leave of the monastery to go on long walks. Else wise he would surely crack under the scrutiny, even though the other monks genuinely only wished to help. While on these walks, he was surprised to recognize a great many trails and landmarks throughout the Kakapela Hills from his early childhood. That's when he remembered how to find Elfen lake, and that's when he laid eyes on Anoria for the first time.

...To Be Continued
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Willambervale Somberthaine


Near the outskirts of the fabled gray elven city of Doulathanorian, Willambervale Somberthaine felt the warmth of the sun wake him from a dreamless sleep. Moments later, the painful cramp in his neck, the aching hangover in his skull and the familiar hard surface pressed up against his cheek reminded him where he was. ~Must have been another fun night...~ he remarked to himself.

Slowly with some effort, a wincing expression and a shallow groan, Willambervale lifted his head off the table outside his favorite tavern. The pain throbbing behind his temples intensified, as did a sudden sense of diziness. Cautiously he began to open his eyes, but the very glimpse of sunlight felt like needles and he promptly shut them again.

~Oh yes you had fun alright~, he chided himself, fumbling around his belt pouches for a healing potion. Such a use of healing magic was a waste to be sure, but not all hangovers were created equal and doulathan like himself (gray elves) were not known for strong constitutions. ~I should have listened when they warned me off the tieflings wine...~

Willambervale pulled aside his midnight blue cloak, patting around his belt wrapped around a mithral chain shirt pulling a few vials out of a pouch. He felt over them with his fingertips until he found the head of a single pin protruding from one of the corks. Marking vials of healing potions this way was useful, just in case he was blinded in battle. Two pins would mean vials of anti-toxin, three pins would mean oil of daylight... essential in combat against Drow who were fond of poisons and darkness spells.

This was standard training for the doulathan army of course, in which he served as a footman for eight years. ~Old habits die hard eh?~ ...was a human expression he liked. Willambervale popped the vial open and gulped it down just as the sound of approaching footsteps drew near.

"Well-well-well, look at this ungoliria! I shant say I should be surprised." A curt voice spit towards him at a distance of a few paces. (speaking elvish)

Willambervale tensed. 'Ungoliria' was a great insult among gray elves. It meant barbarian or 'unsightly one'. Whats worse, he recognized the voice without having to open his eyes. It was Noostari ('subofficer' or 'sergeant') Norran, out on patrol with his ntjssemi 'half-company' of eight fighters and two wizards.

As the healing potion absorbed into his body, Willambervale opened his eyes and looked up at the officer with a blank expression. The sergeant was his elder by at least two hundred years, one of the most senior officers of such low rank currently serving in the army. Norran had a sharp tongue and a reputation for harsh discipline, as might be expected of any sergeant, but there was also an underlying bitterness and cruelty to his manner that made him a most wearisome officer to serve under.

There were a lot of rumors about Norran and past misdeeds, or misfortunes, that might explain his attitude problem. Whatever those were of course, Willambervale had no doubts they had nothing to do with him.

Willambervale: "Come for a drink sir?" He asked calmly in a flat tone that sounded more like a statement than a question. Willambervale knew the officer drank a great deal more than he let on.

Norran bristled. "Watch it!" He stated, stepping forward just as Willambervale straightened up in his seat.

Such outbursts of emotion were of course unseemly for a doulathan, but Willambervale expected nothing less from Norran. Will felt much better now, and with that clarity, the blurriness of his vision cleared up enough to note how young and green the soldiers were lined up in double-file formation behind Norran. How terrified they must be! Once He stood in their place marching on patrol behind this sour veteran. Norran was rarely capable of controlling his anger which meant he was both easily manipulated, and prone to mistakes.

Norran leaned down resting his gauntlet on the edge of the table as if he might have a mind to throw a cup of wine in his face. "I don't even want to hear a 'sir' from the likes of you Willambervale. You're pathetic! A drunk! A failure, a disgrace!"

Willambervale: Frowned. "And a coward, don't forget that one."

Norran: "Yes a coward!" He spat just as Willambervale smoothly stood bumping up the edge of the table up with his elbow as he did.

The table immediately tipped under Norran's armored weight. The sergeant lost his balance, falling down in a heap with the table just as all the dirty cutlery, mugs and cups clattered on top of him staining his officers cloak.

A murmur of shock burst from the new recruits as Norran began to shout explatives worthy of an Orc. Willambervale knealt down to assist the sergeant. "You ok Sir?"

!" He cursed, scrambling to his feet with a face bright red in anger. "I'll have you in irons for this!" He seethed between his teeth. 'Varyamori' was another term of ridicule that meant strange black hair.

Willambervale: Blinked. "For what sir?" He said ignoring the remark about his hair color.


Norran: Gritted his teeth together but had nothing more to say, turning abruptly and shouting "MARCH!" to the recruits who almost tripped over themselves to get moving.

Willambervale stood for a minute, taking a deep breath as he watched them head out into the forest. ~Woe upon the foe they come across today!~ He sighed. A part of him missed the army. Willambervale never complained about the risks as a soldier. Defending this great city and its good people was an honorable duty, perhaps the most honorable thing he'd ever done. He would have continued to serve with pride if 'the incident' had not saw him discharged over four years ago.

Norran of course wasn't interested in the truth of what happened, nor even that his discharge was an honorable one. He only saw what he wanted to see, another convenient target for his ire and haughty attitude. Of course Willambervale wanted to loose his temper with Norran, as he normally would with anyone who disrespected him, but it was a pointless fight with lasting consequences only for himself.

Willambervale's penchant for impulsive behavior did not serve him well in doulathan society. Usually if anyone was likely to be a scapegoat or a target of ridicule, it was him. For the most part, he moved on past it, yet there were some days when lack of purpose stirred a deep melancholy in his soul. At such times he was prone to falling into bad habits and bad company. He'd participated in more than a few brawls at other taverns. Now more than ever he did his best to keep himself in check. Besides, he'd got the final word in on Norran anyway. He smirked, turning towards the entrance to the Misty Brew Tavern.

The Misty Brew was once the manor home of a famous rentaliniena 'high talent' half-elven alchemist named Morxalim
who employed several assistants who were either half-elves or non elves entirely. After his untimely death, Morxalim left his home and all his property to them. None had the talent to take over his trade so instead of continuing to practice alchemy they remodeled his home into a tavern. What little alchemy they still practiced they used to add some flair to the decor and the drinks themselves.

Willambervale pushed his way in through the front door and was nearly toppled by one of the Cooshee's (Elven Hounds) who barelled into him affectionately. These hounds stood almost shoulder level with most elves and weighed at least as much as two.

Willambervale: "Careful Blackpaw!" He grunted, reaching down to pet the animals forehead affectionately. The canine had dark grey fur, but his paws and spots along his back and forehead were black.

"Don't even think about coming in here without picking up that mess outside!" The stern voice of Liandra scolded him from behind the bar. Though twice as old as Willambervale, the fact she was half-elven meant she looked far older than most elves. Her hair was almost white, her face and hands textured with fine wrinkles, yet her spirit, and her voice, were as strong as ever.

Willambervale: Flinched. "Sorry, I, err..."

Liandra: "You think a few silvers entitles you to make a mess of the place do ya?"

"No, I just thought..."

Liandra: "You good for nothing scoundrel! I'll let the city watch drag you away next time you decided to sleep outside like a common beggar. How'd that be?!"

Willambervale: Frowned. He knew better than to argue with her. This was a battle of wills he would loose. "I'll be right back..." He muttered, moving back to the table out front with Blackpaw at his heels. Will grabbed the table, righting it before kneeling down to gather up the mess.

Blackpaw sniffed at the ground. "Sorry I wasn't thinking of you when I let the scraps fall into the dirt." Willambervale apologized to the dog.

However he soon realized Blackpaw wasn't sniffing at scraps but rather some sort of small grey object, roughly the size and shape of an egg affixed to a broken cord. Willambervale paused, lifting the object free of the dirt by the cord. Blackpaw sniffed at it again and immediately started growling, backing away.

Willambervale stared at the egg with surprise for a few long moments, having never seen its like before. Questions and concerns rushed through his mind. ~What is this?! Did Norran drop it?!~


As blackpaw started snarling and barking Willambervale quickly covered the object with a discarded cloth napkin and stuffed it into his pocket. Blackpaw seemed to calm down not being able to see or smell the object very clearly. Willambervale wasn't sure which, but he trusted the instincts of elven hounds. They served his people exceptionally well as guard animals.

Moments later, Willambervale carried the sloppy stack of cutlery, wooden cups, bowls and plates inside back with him, placing them on the bar in front of Liandra as respectfully as he could while she watched him like a hawk.

Liandra: "Something wrong?" She asked with a prying, somewhat motherly tone. She'd known Willambervale a long time. Long enough to know when something was off. The truth was she cared for him almost like a son, though she'd never admit that to anyone, him least of all.

Willambervale: "I just feel a bit ill." He lied

Liandra: "You better not be insinuating something was wrong with my cooking?! Now go wash up, I'll have breakfast ready soon."

Willambervale moved towards the staircase where the communal washroom was located upstairs. He paid for a room here often enough to think of it as home, but right now he felt anything but comfortable.

Once inside the washroom he splashed cold water on his face, scrubbing any lingering sleepiness out of his eyes. Then he quickly pulled the object out of his pocket and unwrapped it, holding it up in front of the mirror. Thought it had the shape of an egg it was heavier, roughly the weight of stone, though it was not exactly stone. What it was made of exactly was difficult to guess. It wasn't quite as smooth as metal or ceramic.

The scattered set of facial features spread randomly across its surface were finely shaped, giving the item a rather disconcertingly realistic quality. ~What in the hells is it?~ He asked himself, moving his hand in the workings of a familiar spell... Detect Magic.

Willambervale studied as an apprentice to Telerai Ghostcloak, a powerful doulathan Wizard for four years. He was easily capable of interpreting whatever magical aura(s) this ...thing might possess. Yet no sooner did the spell leave his lips that something altogether different and surprising occured. The egg opened one of its eyes, staring back at him!

Willambervale gasped, almost dropping it, tempted instinctively to smash it to bits. But then just as suddenly, the eye shut again before he could truly react or even assure himself he wasn't imagining things. Meanwhile, after several further tense moments passed, the magic of the spell seemingly failed, revealing no magic aura's of any kind. ~How can that be?!~ Willambervale pondered. He was certain he saw it open one of its eyes. "I'm not loosing my mind!" He exclaimed under his breath.

[Willambervale: What do you do?]
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The Tavern of Lost Souls

As King Welren entered the 'Tavern of Lost Souls' he rather awkwardly pulled up his hood. After all his translucent astral body resembled his mortal form in almost every way, including his garments. He may not be easily killed in such a state but he was still recognizable. The last thing he wanted was anyone here to start taking note of his visits or asking questions. Astral plane or not, nowhere was absolutely safe from the Network of the Blue Salamander.

As King Welren moved along the wall towards the private booths, he recognized the tavern-keeper, a handsome middle-aged man named Dondarion stepping before him with his usual easy grin, bowing slightly with a hand to his chest.

Dondarion: (Speaking Common) "Your majesty, welcome back to my humble establishment!" He said in a respectful low voice.

Welren frowned in surprise and nodded curtly with irritation. It took considerable self control not to raise his voice and shout his displeasure the same way he would with his common servants. Welren had not revealed who he was to Dondarion, but it was equally clear by the way the tavern-keeper held his stance, that he would insist to have a word with him. Angry as he was, Welren had to remind himself this was not Cosdol. Here he did not rule. He had to remain calm, polite, and cautious of the dangers.

King Welren: Appeared non-plussed. "Thank you Dondarion. I trust my usual booth is still available?"

Dondarion: Nodded. "Of course your majesty, three of your associates are already waiting for you. Will you be ordering any drinks?"

Welren realized the reason for his request was rather obvious. Taverns made their business selling food and drink. However in astral form he could not imbibe anything. If he was going to use this tavern as a meeting place, the very least he could do was spend some coin as if he could.

King Welren: "Yes of course."

Dondarion: Smiled. "Much appreciated your majesty. The lasses will be grateful." He said gesturing to the serving maids.

King Welren: "Forgive me sir if I can't give you an honest opinion of your brews in my current state."

Dondarion: "Perhaps not your majesty, most-a-pity, but next time you visit rest assured it is safe to come as your usual self. Only the ziggurat is floating on the Astral Plane. The air we breath and the interior of the tavern itself is part of the material plane of my homeworld."

King Welren: Nodded "Ah, and which world would that be?"

Dondarion: "With all due respect your majesty it's unlikely you've ever heard of it. It is known as Ayodya."

King Welren: "Ayodya..." He repeated. "You're correct I have not heard of it. If I had a mind to see it could I travel there from here?"

Dondarion: Nodded "Yes you could quite easily your majesty..." Dondarion answered gesturing to a door beside the bar. "Beyond that door lies my homeworld. However, it will only open IF you know the magic word!" He said with a wink. "A necessary precaution I'm afraid. Some of these patrons and the other dangers of the Astral Plane might wreck havoc there otherwise."

King Welren: Smiled despite himself. "Very wise! I would do the same." He liked Dondarion and he was curious about the world of Ayodya, but now was not the time for stories. "Please forgive me Dondarion, I would love to hear about Ayodya and the story behind this tavern, but right now I must meet my associates."

Dondarion: Smiled warmly "Of course your majesty, I did not mean to interrupt your business." he said, bowing again with a hand to his chest. "I only wished to be of service."

King Welren: "There is but one favor I would ask, please don't refer to me as 'your majesty' anymore. How is it that you know who I am? I have tried to keep my identity here a secret."

Dondarion: Stood up straighter. "As you wish. In truth it is not I who recognized you, but rather, the owner of this tavern. He told me he knew your great-grandfather, Veseln-the-conjurer. He is most pleased to see you here and would like to make your acquaintance."

King Welren: Raised a brow and glanced around. "Is he here now?"

Dondarion: Smiled. "No. Like myself he dwells on Ayodya."

King Welren: "What is his name?"

Dondarion: Leaned forward and lowered his voice to a whisper. "I'm afraid I am not allowed to use his name. He takes his anonymity very seriously."

King Welren: Frowned but nodded. "I see. Well perhaps we shall speak again after my meeting." He said moving past Dondarion towards the private booths, each separated from the others by stone walls and hidden from view from the rest of the tavern by ornately carved hinged wooden gates.

Welren opened the gate for the booth he had reserved and recognized the other three members of his alliance seated within, also in astral form. One was Archmage Anaechin Tovalathlanco, a famed high elven wizard from the great elven city of Lathlanian within the Lendelwood. The other was Farstad the Steadfast, a stern Dwarven wizard from the Kingdom of Draska in the Byth Mountains. The last was Archmage Zenith, proud Dean of the famous college of Magic in Bet Rogala, capital of Pekal.

Archmage Farstad: Glared towards Welren. (speaking common) "What kept you?!"

King Welren: Slipped inside the gate and stood before the table. "Mr. Dondarion, the tavern-keeper, seemes to know I wear I crown."

Archmage Zenith: Raised a brow "Curious, did he explain how?"

King Welren: "Not exactly. He said the owner of the tavern recognized me. He said he used to know my great-grandfather, Veseln-the-conjurer."

Archmage Anaechin: (Speaking Elvish) "As did I. Your great-grandfather was a great man."

Archmage Farstad: Glared towards Archmage Anaechin. (Speaking Common) "We agreed! No Elvish to be spoken at these meetings!"

Archmage Anaechin: Sighed. (Speaking Elvish) "Why not? You clearly understand it?"

Archmage Farstad: Growled. (speaking common) "Aye I understand it, and I can even read the damned flowery script as well, but I'll be cursed thrice-over if I speak it out loud! Elves aren't welcome where I come from!"

Archmage Anaechin: Rolled his eyes. (Speaking Elvish) "We aren't in Draska are we?"

Archmage Zenith: Chuckles (Speaking common) "He's got you there Farstad!"

King Welren: (Speaking Common) "ENOUGH! We'll speak the common-tongue at these meetings, as agreed. I'll hear no more bickering!"

Farstad leaned back crossing his arms with satisfaction as King Welren sat down beside Archmage Anaechin.

King Welren: Sighed, suddenly very tired. "Has anyone learned anything new about the Annulus?"

Archmage Anaechin: (Speaking Common) "According to the ancient elven tradition, the spellsingers were the first arcane spellcasters on Tellene. Their songs are powerful magic yes, but also knowledge. Glimpses of the past and accounts of history can be gleaned from some of the verses."

King Welren: "And which knowledge have you learned from these songs?"

Archmage Anaechin: Pulls a scroll from his sleeve and clears his throat. "I would prefer to read it out loud in elvish, it looses some of its rhyme when translated to the common tongue."

Archmage Farstad: Growls. "By my beard you will try!"

Archmage Anaechin: Frowns. (Speaking Common)

"We heard of the horns in the hills ringing,
the swords shining in the South-kingdom.
Steeds went striding north as wind in the morning.
Above their banners, pikes and shields, the Annuli were carried tall,
Staves bearing the eyes of their masters, the old gods, watching over them all.
Before them the army of the giants assembled in the northern fields,
as strong and as tall as the walls of Ayotha that spurned them.
The high king of the giants fought and fell there, nevermore to hold
over the hills and fields of man grown too bold.
His heir returned to their islands, to their dark sea and waves,
the only beings capable of standing against the south, nevermore so brave."

To be continued...

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Willambervale Begins to Investigate

Willambervale examines the egg carefully; he uses his Appraisal skill in an attempt to determine its possible value, based on what sort of stone it's crafted from, and the artistry involved. He uses his Search skill to examine it closely, to discover seams, chisel marks, flaws, cracks, etc. He uses his Knowledge Arcana skill to try and remember if he's ever read about such an object before, and what its purpose might be; lastly, recalling the manner in which his Detect Magic spell faded, he uses his Spellcraft skill to determine whether the failure was caused by his own error, or possibly by the armor he was wearing, or whether the item itself somehow resisted the spell.

OOC: Appraise: 10, Search: 12, Knowledge Arcana: 17, Spellcraft: 16. If these checks turn up nothing, it is Willambervale's intention to seek out Telerai, and ask him to peruse his research library. (Thus allowing Will to "take 20" by spending a whole day pouring over tomes, doing research.)


Quarzi Lagomorpha

As the dim light of early dawn glowed through the frosted windows of The Whispering Eye, Quarzi woke beneath her furs. The wild hare curled up beside her was already awake sensing the stress of Quarzi's heartbeat and the dark dreams that haunted her restless sleep. Quarzi took a deep breath and hugged the furball. "Sorry for the bad dreams!" She whispered, squeezing her friend tightly.

Outside her small room the sounds of cooking and daily chores had already begun within the kitchen and the rest of the Inn. Quarzi had chores of her own that needed tending, things she insisted to do to help out. Quarzi slipped out from beneath her furs with her animal companion hopping at her heels. Though the hearths within the inn burned low all night long, the chill of long winter nights was unavoidable, especially with so many doors and hallways between her shed-like former-storage-room attached to the inn's exterior and the warm common room further inside. Her own small cast-iron stove had long long since gone cold as well.

Quarzi lit the lantern hanging above the stove, illuminating shelves full of herbs, salves and other natural remedies of her collection. After she donned her fur-lined boots, warm wool trousers and other garments designed to move through the snow-packed forests, she moved to open the back door.

The Whispering Eye (#8 on the Map of Sovrven) was positioned at the top of a 'T' intersection of roads leading into the center of town and around the periphery where the farmhouses lay. A grove of mixed trees stood directly behind the inn, with which she was as intimately familiar as this very room. Her training as a shaman and profession as an herbalist meant she spent most of her time outdoors, gathering herbs, communing with animals, spirits, and other natural creatures of the hills and forests.

As far as she knew, her lifestyle was unique among her kind. Halfing culture simply did not encourage shamanism as a way of life, especially 'golden' Halflings. In her years here in this quaint, remote town, she had learned to accept that most of the townsfolk would not understand her. That was not to say they did not respect or appreciate her talents, but more often than not, they were whispering about her behind her back with confusion or pity.

More than one halfling would-be suitor tried to court her and convince her to give up the wild in exchange for a safe, cozy home and a family of her own. She had to admit if her family and village weren't lost to her in that horrific tragedy, she may well have grown up to adopt that way of life. However, she didn't chose her past anymore than she could choose how that changed her

Quoso was like a father to her yes, but in some ways she was less like a daughter to him. She listened to his tales and stories of the civilized lands to the south. So rich with history they were, of wars, religions, great cities and even greater kings. Thanks to his fireside chats Quarzi understood Halflings played a significant role in many economies and governments throughout Tellene.

Quoso often expressed his worry for her future and happiness. He tried to educate her in any way she might have wanted, to prepare her for any other sort of life she might have wanted. The extended-family network of the golden halflings provided opportunities and support nearly anywhere and everywhere, but she had no desire to leave Sovrven or be 'settled' the way others believed she should be.

The wild hare beside her that was her totem animal companion was the only other living thing that truly understood, loved and accepted her. Quarzi had come to terms with that a long time ago, and she did not expect that to change.

As she opened the back door, the bracing chill of the early-morning air tingled against her nose and cheeks, reddening her skin. She smiled. This was always her favorite part of the day. Her hare lept through the doorway and bounded into the fresh snow. Quarzi followed, moving around the back of the inn where the animal pens were kept. She noted fresh tracks around the hen house. ~clever fox is back eh?~

Though farm animals were of less interest to her than the wild variety, she still had empathy and cared for them in much the same way. Under her care, few of the usual illnesses and diseases seemed to affect them. Her talents as a healer of animals and people alike served the town well. Quarzi was summoned to various farms and households at least twice a week to help treat various injuries or illnesses. Not all of the townsfolk welcomed her of course. Some considered her strange and untrustworthy, preferring easier (and more costly) magical remedies.

Quarzi busied herself collecting eggs, making soothing clucking noises to the hens as she did so, when something odd caught her attention. Movement in the trees! Yes she was certain of it. Something, or someone, was stepping through the snow nearby!

The Inn of course did not own the trees as part of its property, but Quarzi considered them part of her home anyway. Whenever children from the town decided to roam through them she was quick to supervise and scold if they misbehaved. If it was someone else, someone who didn't care much for her or her attitude towards the grove, she would make her displeasure known, and if necessary call in a favor from the town guard.

As a youth, Quarzi would often keep the town guard company, shadowing them on their patrols, almost like a scout. She befriended most of them, fetching water, food or wood for their watch fires. The town guard was run by a half-elf named Tanner, an ex-mercenary of southern Cosdol. Tanner was badly injured in battle several decades ago which gave him a bad limp. Tanner didn't along walk on patrols much in person anymore, but he did still ride and fight as well as any man, though he was certainly no longer young. Tanner considered Quoso an old friend and looked after Quarzi on his behalf.

Altogether, the town guard included eight full-time regulars and another dozen part-timers. Usually one of the regulars would lead a patrol of four-to-six part timers out of town at least once a day. Otherwise, the regulars stationed themselves at the gates of the town's bridge, at the town jail (Where Tanner spent most of his time), or busied themselves with local matters in town itself.

[Quarzi: What do you do?]
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Quoso, Tanner, and even the kind folks of Sovrven who sought aid with their livestock, pets and animal friends, they were young Quarzi's tribe this day. Well, as close as the little golden halfling could get, to being part of such a thing in the traditional sense. It didn't bother her that preconceptions rarely fit.

Indeed, Quoso had realized early on that this woman was very much a peculiarity. The rabbit, the affection for nature, the desire to help and her spiritually-driven yet simple view of the world. This was no druidic lass or ranger of the forests. A symptom of horrors and hardships as well as friendships and peace, a wild desire to survive and adaptability were the ingredients she'd been crafted from. Quarzi was both a shaman and a golden halfling, a mismatch if ever there was one. It didn't come down to training or the judgements of kin either. She was a product of circumstances, and though some of them were dire, they had formed in the way a mountain river might choose its winding path, or how a branch grows to one day bare the weight of a buzzing hive of bees.

Like the hare, a creature of speed and cunning in efforts to avoid hungry preying eyes, Quarzi tried her very best to live in the present. Be thankful for the thorny bushes that protect one's burrows. Be alert and careful, lest something unexpectedly cause stress and surprise. When all else fails, run, kick those legs and seek the safety of earth! Such thinking had saved her life, not to mention the cottontail that had showed her the way. It was her totem animal. It could be no other way. Like the hare, Quarzi was very much an innocent soul. Skittish and easily startled perhaps, yet also capable of deep feelings, affection and attachment. Friendships like she'd formed here, in Sovrven.

It was a peaceful existence and a blessing. She was contented. Few ambitions or thoughts of greater things caused bother. One day at a time, she lived in respect of those around her, and the animal who'd saved her skin. A species often seen as little more than a provider of pelts, strangely enough.

However, even hares have dreams. A little meditation can go a long way, but some memories will always stick. Even the smallest of animals can learn from the fear and experience of childhood memories. Quarzi would never rid her mind fully of those terrors and screams. She had to just go on, accepting of it, and let it only be a distraction during times set aside for rest.

Revenge. It had crossed her mind more than once. These days though, such emotions shamed her. Hares didn't secure full-lifetime or multi-generational tribes by waging wars or chasing down the explanations of olden ills. No. Warrens were chosen based on safety and convenience. Few might ever consider how this peaceful and natural way brought about success, but consider this, across the borders of continents, throughout forests and fields, plains and hills, they are there. They were there before you, and their offspring will be there well past the time you have gone.

Distractions helped too. There was always something to do, even here in Sovrven where she went by the name of Quella...

Quoso frowned with a very serious expression and warned that she must never repeat that name (Braxon Claithorne), nor ever again tell anyone else hers or where she was born.

At first, it had pained Quarzi to deceive these folk, not being able to speak freely her true name... or homeland. But Quoso knew best. He'd been clear as the morning sun about it, and as firm as those granite tors out far beyond the grove. And what did a name matter anyway? Such trivialities were of no consequence to the spirits. And the hare? We'll, he didn't seem to mind. At least it was a pretty name... and less likely to arouse questions of heritage.

* * *​

Gently, Quella returned her cupped palmfulls of eggs to the ground. She set them down softly if she could, upon the cool fluffy safety of morning snow. They would keep. Keep until she knew who approached.

It was instinctive to show caution like this. A habitual reaction though simple, that was brushed with as many undertones as one might seek. The reaction of a woman who'd sworn never to be caught unawares, ever again? Or was this simply her totem's way? Indeed, her hare had already left her gaze, probably tucked away under the hutch's stumps, or some other sneaky bunny-sized place. But make no mistake, Quarzi was no simple creature. That brain beneath long strands of sunshine-blonde hair, it was always weighing and summing, wondering and learning. She could fathom and philosophize with the best of them. Her observations and perspectives rarely went uncherished by her friends.

Why would someone visit so, without announcing themselves? And this manner of gaining access to the block, it wasn't what one might call polite or conventional! No, none of this had the aroma of "normal". It was time to play safe.

What dares come closer?

She decided to follow the hare's lead, shuffle to the side, and secure a place to hide.

[sblock=Rolls etc]Rolled in the rolz.org Kalamar Character Creation room. Hide = 18.[/sblock]
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Willambervale Somberthaine

Willambervale examines the egg carefully; he uses his Appraisal skill in an attempt to determine its possible value, based on what sort of stone it's crafted from, and the artistry involved. He uses his Search skill to examine it closely, to discover seams, chisel marks, flaws, cracks, etc. He uses his Knowledge Arcana skill to try and remember if he's ever read about such an object before, and what its purpose might be; lastly, recalling the manner in which his Detect Magic spell faded, he uses his Spellcraft skill to determine whether the failure was caused by his own error, or possibly by the armor he was wearing, or whether the item itself somehow resisted the spell.

OOC: Appraise: 10, Search: 12, Knowledge Arcana: 17, Spellcraft: 16. If these checks turn up nothing, it is Willambervale's intention to seek out Telerai, and ask him to peruse his research library. (Thus allowing Will to "take 20" by spending a whole day pouring over tomes, doing research.)

[sblock=Results of your rolls] If you had not already noticed the egg was seemingly and possibly alive (or at least animated), your estimation of its value based purely on materials (which remain unknown to you) and craftsmanship might be something in the neighborhood of 50gp. However, one additional factor related to appraisals might be rarity and age. It is indeed possible this egg is known to history and unique in some way which could affect its value to be almost priceless.

Your high Spellcraft and Knowledge: Arcana rolls help you realize two things. Firstly, ultimately, it is how the egg appeared to look at you which affects its value. Magical creatures crafted into the shape of figurines for example can cost close to 30,000gp. Those Figurines of Wondrous Power vary quite a lot, but there is still some idea of their usefulness based on their forms. Figurines with wings will surely fly, those crafted in the shape of large or huge creatures will probably grow larger to mimic those creatures, etc.

Of course, those sort of magical items should register as magical with your spell, but it is not necessarily a given. It is still possible some other spell or magical ability is resisting your spell.
Your rolls also indicated that it is unlikely you cast the spell improperly, or that some other item affected the outcome of the spell.

Secondly, if the egg is some sort of magical construct (such as a Golem or Elemental) a Detect Magic spell will not detect its inherent magical power. Not even the higher level version of the spell, Arcane Sight, will actually detect magical creatures as magical, only the magical auras affecting them and magical items those creatures might be carrying.

In any case, what use or abilities this egg might have, as a construct, elemental, or otherwise... remain a mystery at this pont and are hard to imagine.[/sblock]

[Willambervale: What do you do]
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Willambervale Somberthaine

After careful consideration of what he knows off-the-cuff, Will decides to take the next step, and beg his former master for help. As he is on his way to Telerai's tower, his thoughts dart back and forth within the recesses of his innermost mind.

~It doesn't appear to be made of anything special, but the fact that it opened an eye and stared at me speaks to its intrensic value, materials of composition notwithstanding. This is indeed something rare and special, but what? And remember, you fool, you're the one that picked the fight with the Gorilla, not the other way around! Telerai was pretty upset the last time you spoke to him. He will likely laugh at your plight!~

Will shook his head, trying to clear his mind. ~Stop talking about yourself in the third-person! ... I refuse to allow such nonsense to shake my confidence. Telerai likes me. Surely, he's forgiven me for the Gorilla thing by now? Is that Gorilla still even in the tower at all? Only one way to find out, I guess. But what do I tell him? How do I know I can truly trust him? There are many stories of Wizards killing over-zealous apprentices who bumbled onto forbidden knowledge, or onto forgotten artifacts. What if this item holds great power? Will he try to take it from me? No, no, no. Telerai is my friend. He knew my father. He helped stop the coup against the queen all those years ago. He is a man of honor. I doubt a simple item such as this could corrupt him enough to turn on me. Still... maybe I'd better not let on about it just yet. I'll start with a simple request, and go from there... just need to use your library, trying to get better at preparing scrolls... yes, that's what I'll tell him. I'll wait until I know more, before I come to him with it.~

After a few minutes, Will arrived at the stairs leading down, to the sunken door which marked the entrance to Telerai's underground tower. He knocked on it and waited, hopeful that the old Elf wouldn't ask too many questions.
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