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The Heroes of Dyvers Chapter Six

Aust Thale

Respen's Ten Months...

~ Time passed more slowly…and the seasons more quickly…~

Respen opened the door to the tailor’s shop, a small bell’s tinkle announcing his presence.
The tailor, a dour older gnome by the name of Felwin Umziver, stepped down from a stepstool and into the anteroom to greet him.
Mr. Coraellus, well-met. I appreciate your mentioning me to your acquaintances Misters Stonegallows and Moresby. They were both by to see me last week. Mr. Moresby had particular tastes, but I shall endeavor to satisfy him properly.

Very well, Mr. Umziver”, Respen replied. “Thank you. Yes, he is a Lord and aspiring royalty, and as such his tastes are particular. I am pleased that you were able to assist them.

I presume you are here picking up?” Felwin asked politely.

Indeed,” replied Respen.

Felwin reaches below a counter and removes a very well-made all-weather vest with a houndstooth-quilted-cushion liner and toughened seams and piping around the edges.
The inseams held hidden pockets. “The patterns are unique. A challenge to sew, but a welcome one. I think you will find these hold up very well to travelling while providing the best comfort to wear.

Respen hands the gnome 10 platinum pieces, “A gratuity for your efforts, payment having been provided at request.

The gnome smiles, “And no questions asked.” Respen smiles and nods, “And no questions asked.

Collin had introduced Felwin to Respen. The three had enjoyed an occasional breakfast or spot of tea with each other over the months. They enjoyed each other’s stories, although Respen carefully left out the adventures since Dyvers. He had approached Felwin before the twins were born to make blankets and children’s clothes for the twins as infants. Felwin had magically enhanced a set of jumpers that would grow as they did. Fortunately, they were magically resistant to the stains and smells that normally accompanied young children. In turn, Respen had referred his adventuring friends to Felwin. Collin was amused. The gnome was actually a wizard with a penchant for prestidigitation, and he fashioned himself a purveyor of secrets. Of course, some secrets eluded him, despite being right under his gnomish nose.

Respen walked back toward the tower, taking a different path from the previous week. He moved about the city carefully, in a random pattern. He would even teleport out of and back into the tower to and from locations about the city. He had reached a breakthrough early in his studies, adapting a more minor dimension door spell to full-length teleportation. Today, he would walk to a tavern near the upper-caste area of the city; an alley existed behind it with a blind spot. From there, he would teleport back to the tower.

It had been nearly ten months since the encounter at the steading, the whirlwind travels to Skorane, his imprisonment and apprenticeship with Dame Clare, and meeting Nel, the mother of his children. This had been the longest period that he had stayed in one place since travelling from his home in the Enllaves. Hochoch was a good enough city. Abigail was splendid beyond words. Each of the party members had found tutelage under her. She was ancient, and insomuch had generations of experience and knowledge to impart. Respen didn’t take up much of her time. He would ask for directions once a week, he would present his research and work to her at the end of the same week to show progress, and occasionally, if he became stumped, he would call on her to edge him along. His uncle Auror’s focus on research had developed Respen into being very self-sufficient; Abigail appreciated it. And her library...her library was massive...dwarfing Laramon’s and Dame Clare’s by many orders of magnitude. Indeed, Auror’s library held but a few books on more esoteric subjects, but Abigail’s held no less than a room of intrepid volumes devoted to planes, planets, and powers. Respen spent weeks upon weeks in the library, sixteen hour days, identifying scripts, studying spells, making magic items, and practicing that which he learned. Abigail's many unseen servants carried on with the mundane tasks in the tower. His task was but to learn deeply.

Nel was nearly as dogged as he was in the library, and they would laugh and tease each other about which of them could discover more tantalizing magical secrets than the other. Occasionally, before the wee ones came, Nel and Respen would walk together in the evenings in the city. They both loved starry nights, particularly the winter ones, the chill in the air making the skies clear and refreshing. It was in those moments of laughter and looking forward to the future that they both found themselves and each other, without the help of bards or vampires. Nel had finally let some of her guard down. Abigail had befriended her as well as mentored her, and the two of them found fellowship with each other often. The dragons were good mentors, and they all had become quite fond of them.

That fondness worried him. Something other than the summer heat seemed to weight the air. The giant and orc attacks had abruptly halted, at least until recently. A brief fleeting moment of tranquility had followed them into the deep autumn and winter months, breaking way into spring and summer. He had been so focused on his studies, Nel, and then his new children, he had failed to notice. Today in the city, the summer heat seemed touched by something weightier...something darker. Perhaps it was the giants again; Abigail had kept a magical eye on them. Perhaps it was his link to his vampire. Perhaps it was something else. Something elusive.

He decided to contact Laramon. He had become accustomed to Laramon’s sendings, and he had taken the time to learn to do it himself very early in his stay with Abigail and Collin. Intent on keeping the dragons’ secret in totality, he would only conduct such conversations outside of the tower, usually on his way to see Felwin. Collin’s presence as an elf was normal…an additional adventurer on our travels. Laramon had sent congratulations on the twins, and he was particularly interested in Nel’s well-being. If Respen hadn’t known better, he might have surmised that Laramon was taken with Nel. Nevertheless, their relationship, albeit distanced, improved measureably since their last encounter. He even shared that he had mentioned Respen's existence and predicament to Master Delbin. Perhaps Respen's distance from Dame Clare and the Orb made him feel better.

~Laramon, it is Respen. I sense something building. Something dark. Thoughts?~

Upon receiving an answer, he turned the corner of the tavern, made sure no one followed him, and cast the spell quietly to take him back to the tower.

[sblock=Respen's Actions During the Ten Months, Magic Items Taken From Loot, & Family Matters]
Outset: PurchaseRing of Counterspell (4,000 gp); Potion of Storm Giant Strength (600); Tome of Clear Thought (+2) from Abigail(55,000 gp)
Month 1: Research into Planes, Planets, and Powers, Magical Tomes, Draconic Tomes, and StrangePotions and
Wands; Craft (w/ Vale) Blessed Book, Hat of Anonymity & Infinite Scrollcase.
Month 2: Decipher & Copy Spells from Scrolls in Spellbook; Craft (w/Vale) for Scrying Shard, Amulet of Natural Armor +3 & Vest of Resistance +1 w/ pockets for wands and various magical and mundane items.
Month 3: Copy Existing Spells into Boccob's Blessed Book; Craft Wand of Knock (3rd), Wand of Grease, & Wand of Nerveskitter, & Wand of Prestidigitation.
Month 4: Craft Respen’s Boots of Magical Mobility; Copy Existing Spells into Blessed Spellbook

Month 5: Copy Existing Spells into Boccob's Blessed Book
Month 6: Craft for/with others: Nel, Sylvar, Dewydd,Lathir, Vale, Thallok, Kleborn, Tam, Duncan & Ebony & bros.
Month 7: Copy Existing Spells into Boccob's Blessed Book
Month 8: Magical Children's outfits; Craft for others(Potions, Scrolls, Wands);
Month 9: Birth of Children: (Quillion & Aeverie Coraellus-Delzeen)
Month 10: Cast Spells &Permanent on Self: See Invisibility; Read Magic;
Darkvision; Special Respen’s Arcane Sight


In Respen's exchanges w/ Abigail, he does his best to speak draconic to her out of respect, and when not speaking draconic, he speaks elvish.
He asks only what he can do for her as thanks for taking him and a with-children Nelvandra into her home. He expresses high interest in Tomes and spellbooks, as well as the Planes, Planets, and Powers in her library. He shares the abilities of his staff, as well as his origins and original rationale for travelling east to find Delbin Archaenus. After awhile, he explains his oath to the Orb, expressing his mixed feelings about it, yet grudgingly recognizing and accepting it because it provided for his relationship with Nelvandra and the children. As chafing as he finds rules and confinement, having a family grows on him, and he shares this with Abigail as appropriate and as she allows. He also mentions his experience with the Djinn Prince, hoping again to make his acquaintance without any forced quid pro quo.

He goes to great pains to be a good guest, and when the children are born, he again expresses gratitude for their lodging and care. His only request is to allow him to send to Laramon while outside in the city, painstakingly avoiding her existence to Laramon.
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The Brothers Bronzeblade

A lot had changed for the brothers over the past months. A divine inspiration combined with exposure to a real life gold dragon had sparked their long dormant bronze blood. Under the dragons tutelage they had learned to tap into their families bloodline and manifest inherent magic of their own. The pair spent much of their free time practicing and imagining new ways to incorporate their new abilities into a battle formation. Their boss couldn't have been more pleased, except for the pair often blowing smoke at inappropriate times. Or, occasionally lightning, or even ice.

Twin Fire_003.png
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Laramon's Sendings To Respen

Respen said:
"...He decided to contact Laramon. He had become accustomed to Laramon’s sendings, and he had taken the time to learn to do it himself very early in his stay with Abigail and Collin. Intent on keeping the dragons’ secret in totality, he would only conduct such conversations outside of the tower, usually on his way to see Felwin."

[sblock=First Sending]
"Can't scry your location. Where are you? Are you safe? Are you nearby? Please respond."

Once Respen has assured Laramon of the party's safety and location, Laramon sends to him more frequently. The following sendings occur over a period of about 10 weeks.

[sblock=Second Sending]
"Found where he keeps the spear. Have good idea of castle layout. Many wards, 4 elite guards. Believe that spear is sentient."

[sblock=Third Sending]
"Gurrok Mak is the pawn of a greater evil, but he is a reluctant servant. Master desires attack upon Furyondy, but Mak obsessed with Vaddek."

[sblock=Fourth Sending]
"Margull has returned to Dyvers, but still no sign of Vega. Margull says he's very close to finding Parrinzor, but met with interference (meddling elder.)"

[sblock=Fifth Sending]
"Discovered that meddling elder was a vampire named Timbray. I believe that Vega is with him, but I doubt they are still on material plane."

[sblock=Sixth Sending]
"Vega has returned to Dyvers, and is staying with me. Your would-be mentor has returned to Greyhawk; I informed him of your letter of introduction."


[sblock=Seventh Sending, Immediately After Sixth]
"Delbin is looking forward to meeting you. I know your location is secret, but can meeting at alternate location be arranged?"

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Abigail Responds To Respen

Respen said:
"...In Respen's exchanges w/ Abigail... He asks only what he can do for her as thanks for taking him and a with-children Nelvandra into her home...After awhile, he explains his oath to the Orb, expressing his mixed feelings about it, yet grudgingly recognizing and accepting it because it provided for his relationship with Nelvandra and the children."

Abigail says, "The Orb of Errinder is a powerful agent of Law, but it can serve the dark side of legality as well as the light. Intention is not the Orb's concern, only the letter of written law, exact terms of oaths, word-by-word interpretation of strict and accurate definitions. There is a saying that there are devils in the details of things, and if this can be supposed to be true, then the Orb is the mightiest devil of all. You were fortunate indeed to be bound to such lenient terms as Dame Clare set forth for you. It makes me extremely curious; I wonder if there is not some spark of light within her black soul? Some hint of morality, or perhaps compassion? It is very rare to hear of a vampire sparing its victim, much less to hear of one allowing her servants so much freedom, away from the influence of her powers of domination. I think I should like to meet this dark mistress of yours, and look her in the eye. That's the only way to know the truth of what sorts of intentions and passions actually lie within her heart."

Abigail goes on to state that, "Nelvandra and her children are welcome to stay here as long as need-be, for it is obvious that their safety would be in doubt otherwise. I have recently, not two months hence, been given guardianship of another infant child, so having Nelvandra and her children here will give little Fandekar some playmates, to keep him company as he grows."


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Lathir, as particular to his nature, does not spend much of his time indoors, to which he often refers as confines. When first arriving at the the party's location for respite, he spends time walking outside the city with Ellis, discussing matters of little importance to the others but of great interest to each of them. He is even taken to further developing his previously neglected druidic skills, like moving through earth and stone and passing great distances using trees.

What he enjoys on a daily basis is shifting to some avian creature and flying high about the countryside, taking in all he can observe. He makes the offer for Collin to fly with him, if he so desires.

In weightier matters, Lathir is less disposed to the ideologies of nature as they conflict with the development of society and more acutely intent upon those that harbor or advent aberration of natural order.

Occasionally in the evenings while familiarizing himself with this new location, he will full adopt the appearance of the local denizenry, having a thousand faces at his disposal for presentation. Once Respen and Sylvar have begun to slow in their discussions with the party's hostess, Lathir discusses the possibilities of augmenting his own traits in such a manner as that they remain in whatever form he chooses.

Sylvar B.

OOC: Sylvar's Activities for the 10 months

Sylvar thanks Lady Abigail for her hospitality and tells her that he will think on her method of teleportation as he believes that Respen has a method also. Sylvar makes a final request, Lady Abigail, do you also have items or tomes that I could purchase that would increase my prowess in combat, what I mean to say, my speed, and motility.

OOC: Sylvar is looking for items that increase Dex

Sylvar places his Cloak of Major Displacement and the wand of hold person in party inventory so that he may use the full measure of his share.

Sylvar visits with Respen about teleporting him to the temple in Dane so that he may complete the ceremony required to become Uller's champion.

All remaining time in Abigail's keep is spent in the libraries and visiting with Abigail as much as possible.

Sylvar Studies:

Month 1: History of all types
Month 2-3: The summoning of extra-planar creatures
Months 4-5: Ranged combat
Months 6-8: Arcane Magic
Months 8-9: Performing Arts, he reads books about acting and song writing, he also learns to play the flute.
Month 10: Spends as much time as possible conversing with Abigail exchanging stories and histories. He learns as much as he can about parts of the world he has never been to, or heard of.


Around the third day of our time off, Dewydd takes his time going to each of the various party members to inform them of Lady Abigail's request. "Lady Abigail has asked that when we go back to the steading, we be on the lookout for a plain, wooden staff, about 7 feet in length, with a plain, gold band at the top. The band is 3 inches in width. We are to bring it back to her. It is highly magical, but its powers can only be awakened by a Druid of Ehlonna. It is nearly impervious to harm, and will not harm you by touch unless your heart bears the taint of evil and corruption."

Later I will ask Lady Abigail, "Does the Helm of Veldomar bear any relation to the staff we are to find?"
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Dewydd said:
“...Does the Helm of Veldomar bear any relation to the staff we are to find?”

Lady Abigail says, “No, the two are unrelated; the helm was simply a fortunate find. But the staff was taken by Vulka for a specific purpose; the staff belonged to an order of Druids known as The Woodland Sentinels, who made their home at the edge of the Dim Forest. They were followers of Meilikki, and they were tasked with not only protecting the Dim Forest from despoilers, but also keeping the Great Portal open; the Great Portal is a doorway between four sacred trees, which allows the Druids from three different orders, in three different parts of the world, to travel to the Great Tree Temple in Krigala, the domain of the two sisters, Ehlonna and Meilikki. Needless to say, the Great Portal is essential to the faiths of the two sisters; the staff, known as the Key of Krigala, is the means by which the portal is made active. The portal has been closed for three years, ever since Vulka and her minions wiped out The Sentinels and took the staff. It was unknown who had perpetrated this foul deed until about three months ago, when an agent of mine discovered the truth. If you can obtain the key, your compatriot Lathir can use it to open the portal once more. It merely takes the touch of one who is pledged to Meilikki’s service to awaken the powers of The Key. Once you have it, I can take you to the tree myself; it is a mere 30 miles north of here.”


Talking To A Woman

:: Duncan & Ebony - First few days ::

Early in their stay with the dragon ……..
is getting dressed in his fineries. Preparing to meet with the mayor about their reward and future opportunities. Ebony hasn't budged yet which he hasn't yet noticed. She notices he hasn't noticed and waits for an opening to start up a line strategic line of conversation. Duncan reaches for a goblet and she strikes.

Ebony: "Did you know the drow maiden Nelvadra is with child?"

with his back turned to Ebony raises an eye brow as he wipes
from his chin
the small amount of water he managed to spit out and his thoughts began to race. There were multiple ways this particular trap could be sprung. On one hand there hadn't been time or opportunity for him to possibly be accused of being involved in the conception so he was in the clear there …. or was he. Ebony had a jealous streak so who knows. On the other hand they'd mutually agreed not to speak on the subject of children, but... this wasn't particularly talk of them having children... or was it. Wait was it a mutual agreement or had they simply agreed to stop arguing about it. Oh no.... he'd forgotten. What to say..... what to say ……?

: "Really … well isn't that.... nice."

Ebony's eyebrow shot up in a similar fashion and she smirked. Though her face had gone back to neutral by the time he turned around. "Now I know we were planning on returning to the Moore once this job was done but as we're in town and have some new wealth you know both the church, and the guild are going to want to bring us in for discussions on ways we can help. We may be here in town for a while."

: "Yes I had thought on the second bit of news. I feel like you're working up to something though. How are these two bits of news related?"

Ebony: "Well I mean I know what it's like being a dark lady in a foreign land. I bet I could be useful to her, and she to I. Going through this is difficult alone I do know."

spun quickly: "Look we've been o....."

Ebony raised a hand to to calm him and waive off a long settled dispute before it flared up again.

Ebony: "I'm not trying to dredge up the past I'm just saying. I have experience that could help her is all."

: "Have you spoken to her about this yet? How did you even find out she was with child?"

Ebony: "Not in so many words, and women just know these things. It's a kind of magic dear, far too complicated for your soldier parts to fathom." She said this last with the whimsical smile of an old inside joke.

let it slide. Her smiling seemed to be an indicator that they were not about to fight on this subject of children as he feared.

: "Well then it may not even become a thing then. For all you know she may not need or welcome your help. Elves are strange people and I can't imagine Dark Elves are any less so. Still if you believe you can be a guide to her then it's is of course your noble duty to help I suppose. And if we are going to spend a season here anyway...… we all need friends. Speaking of which what's your take on these adventurers we've fallen in with?'

Ebony: "Who knows. It's only been a couple of days and we haven't had that many opportunities to speak with them. I've mostly been listening to the twins go on and on about being dragon touched or some craziness. Oh wait one of them came looking for us earlier. Dewyyd I believe his name was. The lady Abigail may have a quest for us. Something about a staff. I didn't get the whole story."

: "Ahhh I'll try to catch up with him later. I don't imagine you would like to accompany me to see the mayor."

Ebony: "Finally ! You Ask !"

: "Seriously... were you upset this whole time because I didn't ask?"

Ebony: "It's nice to be asked."

: "Is there a situation in which you didn't want to go see the mayor? I'd thought you'd be happy to come."

Ebony: "Ofcourse I'm coming, still it's nice to be asked."

: "I..... "

just face palms...…

Ebony: "Chop chop Lord
we're going to be late."

Ebony Damionte Argument.jpg
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Supplemental Post

Lathir said:
Once Respen and Sylvar have begun to slow in their discussions with the party's hostess, Lathir discusses the possibilities of augmenting his own traits in such a manner as that they remain in whatever form he chooses.

Lady Abigail says, "In general, any jewelry which will fit on the wrists, fingers, or neck (i.e., bracers, amulets, and rings) will magically resize to fit a new form, and therefore, will continue to function even after changing shape. Things like hats, belts, gloves, boots, and cloaks will only continue to function if the new form is humanoid in shape. Otherwise, those types of items are usually melded into the new form, and temporarily have their function suppressed. So in terms of magical items, concentrate on improving your bracers, amulets, and rings. Or, you could permanently enhance your abilities by making use of magical tomes, as your friends plan to do."

Duncan said:
"...I don't imagine you would like to accompany me to see the mayor?"


Long story short: You spend about 30 minutes, walking from Abigail's tower, over to the Mayor's tower, exchanging pleasantries, and reporting your findings. The original award was to have been 5,000 gp. (total); but since you were able to put such a huge dent in the Steading's forces, the mayor doubles the reward to 10,000 gp. (That's 2,500 gp. each for Duncan, Ebony, Lenny, and Travis.) The mayor also gives you 4,500 gp. and tells you to give each extended member of the party 500 gp. each, in acknowledgement of their assistance. The mayor thanks you for your service to the city, and says that he might call upon you again in the future, with further opportunities.


Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Lady Abigail Responds To Sylvar Again

Sylvar said:
“...Lady Abigail, do you also have items or tomes that I could purchase that would increase my prowess in combat, what I mean to say, my speed, and motility?”

Lady Abigail goes to the same chest that she used for Tam’s items, and pulls out a pair of boots.

She says, ”These boots were my very first attempt at crafting a magical item. They have great sentimental value to me. But I have since made a pair of boots even more special than these, so take these boots, and use them well. They will size to fit you perfectly, and they will make you swift and fleet. They are a gift, but if you’d like to compensate me for them, then bring me the head of Brunk.”

GM: Lady Abigail tells you that these are her “Boots of Swashbuckling,” and that they grant +2 Dex, +10 ft. to land-based movement, and grant a +10 competence bonus to balance, jump, and tumbling. They are black leather, and have folded top flaps; they are, in essence, Pirate Boots.

Aust Thale

A Good Ten Months...

~ Clangeddin help me, enchant this armor ~

Vale prayed patiently, as divine energy pulsed from his hands through the elven chainmail. Vale worked quietly, admiring the elven handiwork. Light and nimble, the armor wasn't designed for dwarves. He was doing this particular bit for the group. The chainmail was from the treasure captured from the Ogre and Giant patrol on the road to the Steading. Whoever these folks were, they had as expensive tastes as their judgment was poor. They should have known better. He was not completely convinced the leftover hill giants sent to Moresby Hall were able to be reformed. He fully expected to return to Dyvers and find them having crapped everywhere except the Lou.

He had worked nearly two months on the chainmail. He had completed three of them, and he was working on the last one. The last nine and half months had given him much time in front of a forge. He had forgotten how much he enjoyed it, and he prayed daily for guidance in building tools, weapons, and enchanting items, weapons, and armor for his friends. Friend: underrated word. It did his heart, mind, and soul good to get to know these people and to provide for them in the ways he had learned to do so.

He very much liked the four newcomers. The bronze blade brothers were especially entertaining. They had discovered a latent draconic heritage, and they were supremely tickled with it. And he was tickled with them. Duncan seemed a most precise person, not the least bit trivial, but not disposed to spectacle. His lady Ebony was simultaneously tough but kind. And hopeful. Supremely hopeful. She and Nel seemed to get along well, and even Abigail seemed to enjoy female companionship. He supposed that being a woman was something universal to most species.

He had gotten to know the dwarven lass from the Steading as she recuperated. He kept his distance, as she was clearly grieving the loss of her mate to the giants. Early on, she stood off, healing from her own wounds. After awhile, she would visit him in the forge, and he wound listen as he worked, as he had done so many times before with his own legion as their quartermaster. His mission was to supply, resupply, and seek out resources. As a practical matter, he was an effective sounding board to dwarves who spent so much time fighting, they often forgot why they fought.
Contrary to popular opinion, dwarven warriors were not two-dimensional. Looking death in the eye routinely required a particular touch.

Early in their stay, he had Respen ask Laramon to inform his order that he was delayed once again, and to relay the same to the Dyvers temple who had lent him the magic undead-killing mace.
Laramon took it upon himself to seek and receive dispensation on behalf of Vale. The Order would need to fulfill the appointment in Greyhawk (which disappointed him), but they would be willing to appoint him a special envoy at-large. Effectively, any compensation he would have received from the military or clerical order would be suspended, but he would receive an increase in rank (Envoy), and continue to have access to resources at temples and outposts. Vale sensed that his place in the order would be made or broken by his current and future adventures. He was melancholy for several weeks, but Duncan, Respen, and Dewydd had taken the time individually and together to wrench Vale's thoughts to more pleasant pursuits. Vale loved being in front of the forge, especially during the colder months, and he aimed to do what he could to return the favor the best way he knew how.

When Respen's twins were born, he even prayed the birth prayer of the dwarves, a special honor to non-dwarves, and even respected by the evil Duergar. Nel was profoundly moved, as she had never seen it before. Even Abigail was struck by his act of respect, having been the only person in their company who had ever seen it before. Vale had kept his distance from her. He wasn't sure what to make of the dragon, and he was intimidated by her presence. Dwarves and dragons were a curious, and often combustible combination, and dwarves were typically the ones combusted. He was polite, but he made no small-talk, and he did not ask her for anything except a single encounter where he asked her leave to use her forge, located in a large building adjacent to the tower, accessible by underground tunnel and whose interior was not unlike a cave. The forges were advanced; high-end. Multi-faceted, easy to fire, and with very flexible temperature controls. Vale could smith tools, molds, and weapons, the latter at Masterwork quality with any number of materials. And the forges were so sophisticated, he could cook meat pies to perfection in minutes.

Duncan had expressed the Mayor's appreciation for their efforts in the Steading, and Dewydd had shared Abigail's request to find a Druidic staff. At the end of the day, Vale pulled Respen and Nel aside while each held one of the twins. " Pardon me m'lady, could I have a word with Respen? Daddy Elf, can ah ask a favor of ye? Can ye bring Gus to us here in Hochoch? I miss my dog. " Respen nodded. " Laramon wants an audience with me. Perhaps he can bring Augustus to us. I shall send a message to him tomorrow morning."

Vale keeps the heads of Nosnra, Kraven, and Delliak in a constant suspended state w/ Gentle Repose every nine days for the entirety of their time in Abigail's tower. He had put the heads in their leather sacks and then into a wooden crate in the building with the forge. Once every month to six weeks, Vale would question each of the heads, each time asking five questions. At Dewydd's sharing of Abigail's, Vale repeated the exercise.

DM NOTE: Between the three heads, and multiple castings of the spells, Vale obtains the answers he seeks.

1) Who compensated the orc army? I did (Nosnra.)
2) How was the orc army compensated? With the signing of an alliance.
3) How many levels of dungeon are under the steading? Just the cellar, although there are deeper natural caves.
4) Who will replace you now that you are dead? Nosnra's Daughter will become the new Hill Giant Queen.
5) If you had to leave the Steading in retreat, where would you go? Southwest, into the Crystalmysts, to the Glacial Rift.

6) What is the least defended entrance to the steading? The rear entrance.
7) Who are the spellcasters in or near the steading? Vulka, Darris, Quinnlan, Varnella, Vlagg, Cyndalla, Morienne, and Lorella.

8) What is Glimval's most significant weakness? I do not know who Glimval is.
9) Where is the treasure room under the steading? Near the bottom of the stairs, behind a secret door.
10) What traps are set to protect the treasure room? There is a pit trap.

11) What will the other giants and orcs do now that you are dead? Continue the war to reclaim our ancestral lands.
12) How much treasure is in the treasure room? A fortune in gold and magic.
13) What will the trolls do if the underground is invaded? They will fight to the bitter end, and savagely kill any invaders.
14) What will draw the trolls out of the underground? The Trolls go where Brunk commands them to go.
15) Who is in command of the red orcs? Lieutenant Gozer of Brahnn.

16) What will happen if Steading is attacked from the outside? It will be defended.
17) What different ways exist to enter the steading? Front, back, and side.
18) Who are the giants' allies? The Drow, The Jarl, The Fire King, The Pomarj Orcs, The Skull Seekers, The Arm Breakers, and their master, Myth.
19) Who are the giants' enemies? The Humans, Dwarves, Halflings, Elves, and Gnomes of Geoff.
20) Where are the giants' allies? The Drow are below, The Jarl is in the Rift, The King is deep within, The Orcs are on the move, the Bugbears and Trolls are with us. We do not know where the master is.

21) Where are the giant's enemies? Everywhere.
22) What is the plan for the steading? Expansion and reinforced fortifications.
23) Do you have spies? Yes.
24) Who are your spies? The Drow.
25) Where are your spies? Everywhere.

26) How did you obtain the Helm of Veldomar? It was Kraven's reward, for serving the Drow mistress.
27) Will anyone attempt to locate the Helm of Veldomar? I don't know.
28) How did you obtain the Staff of Krigala? Queen Vulka ripped it from a dead Druid's hands.
29) Where is the Staff of Krigala? In the cold bowels of the Rift.
30) Who has the Staff of Krigala? The Great Jarl of the Rift.

[sblock=Vale Monthly Activities]
Outset: Purchase Warhammer +2 for Dwarf/Goldbeard Clan(8312 gp); Ring of Protection +4 (32,000 gp); Potion of Hill Giant Control (600gp)
Month 1 Craft (w/ Respen Blessed Book (10 days);Message to Laramon for Gus' through Respen; Visits Hochoch's Dwarven Temple;Prayer; Speak w/ Dead; Craft w/ Respen
Month 2 Craft Dwarven Mithril Full Plate Armor +5 (14 days); Craft w/ Respen
Month 3 Craft Dwarven Mithril Full Plate Armor +5 (22days(of 36)); Speak w/ Dead
Month 4 Prayer; Research into Planes, Planets, &Powers; Architecture; Speak w/ Dead; Craft w/ Lathir & Respen
Month 5 Prayer; Research into Planes, Planets, &Powers; Architecture; Speak w/ Dead; Craft w/ Party as required
Month 6 Craft Potions, Wondrous Items, and Arms/Armoras needed by party & Abigail & Collin; Speak w/ Dead
Month 7 Craft Potions, Wondrous Items, and Arms/Armoras needed by party & Abigail & Collin
Month 8 Craft Magic Elven Chainmail +3 (x2) 29 days;
Month 9 Craft Magic Elven Chainmail +3 (x2) 29 days; Speakw/ Dead
Month 10 Craft Potions,Wondrous Items, and Arms/Armor as needed by party & Abigail & Collin
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Aust Thale

OOC: Sylvar's Activities for the 10 months

Sylvar visits with Respen about teleporting him to the temple in Dane so that he may complete the ceremony required to become Uller's champion.

Respen answers early in their stay: "It'll take some doing, perhaps a week or two, but if Nel and Abigail are willing, then yes, we shall do it. Ask Collin if he would like to go with us. "

Sylvar B.

Sylvar gladly accepts the boots and thanks Abigail profusely. He complements her on her graciousness and generosity. He also purchases a Tome of Leadership + 4, leaving him with 40k gp. As soon as he is back in his rooms he excitedly dons the boots and absorbs the information in the tome.
After speaking with Respen, Sylvar finds Collin. " Respen and I must travel to Dane, we will be gone about a week perhaps a week and a half. Would you like to accompany us? It would be an honor to have you along and a pleasure to speak with you at length on a variety of topics."
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Tam spends his days riding great mastiffs and cross bred dire wolves with standard wolves. He learns attack and defense tactics on his "steeds".

He also uses the Boots of Elvenkind to see how well he can sneak up on his comrades. Some understand and laugh off their surprise at Tam's agility. Others, however...

Sylvar B.

Addendum: Sylvar gives his armor and 4500 gp to Vale so that the armor can be enhanced. He spends 2 weeks with Vale, hanging out and helping with the armor. Sylvar also buys a +4 Tome of Leadership from Abby for 110k
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Marshalling Support

A few weeks after arriving in town.

Duncan looks down at the directions he’d been given then up to the sign signifying that he’d arrived at his destination. He’d wondered what type of location his friend had suggested for their meeting but he knew he shouldn’t have wondered. The mans tastes were well known and “The Gorean Gnott” had the look and smell of a house of pleasure. You could smell the sweet perfumes and hear the muffled sounds of music and merry making from the corner.

Duncan held up his invitation as his instructions bade, and passed a silver piece to the burly guards at the front door. They allowed him entrance with no fanfare or even a word. Walking in he understood this was a high class institute. It was warm, comfortable and well appointed, with heavy furs on the furniture and floors.

Noble patrons were seated around the place while scantily clad specimens of various races and genders strolled about carrying drinks or lounging on the arms of the guests.
Duncan stood in the entrance allowing his eyes to adjust to the dimmer light when one such scantily clad hostess approached him. She reached out a hand to take his invitation flipped it open and then gestured him to follow her. “Thank you for visiting the Gorean Gnott. If you would follow me I’ll escort you to your party.”

Duncan gave her a nod in appreciation and followed. They didn’t travel far. The far side of the room is where they found his friend who was strangely enough drinking alone. On Duncan’s approach the man jumped to his feet grinning form ear to ear.

”Lord Duncan Moore if I live and breath!”

Duncan answered him as if they’d practiced this.

“Lord Rogers Kwuest such a fine gentleman!”

The two embraced in a fit of laughter. Kwuest broke them apart and looked Duncan up and down. “Look at you, all crimson and gold straight out of a story book!”

”Look at us!” Duncan replied. “Country Gentlemen of the new order.”

“Don’t let these old money elites hear that.”

”Ha they should be so inspired. Our titles were won the old fashion way. With blood, deed, and sword. We’ve earned our tittles and our lands”

”Yes and a converted haul of slaver gold didn’t help.”

”Dead pirates don’t need gold Kwuest!”

”True true ahh it’s good to see you my captain, sit please.” Kwuest looks playfully over Duncans shoulder as if something about Duncans appearance troubled him.

Duncan self consciously wiped his nose… “What … is something on my face?”

”No it’s just that you seem to be missing your shadow?" Kwuest smirked at him.

Drops down onto a nearby stool. “Ha … Ha… Ebony is taking care of other business right now. You know, I am, capable of independent action.”

“I’m gonna tell her you said that.”

“Oh you tell her.” ….. .…. ….. “Actually if you don’t mind, don’t actually tell her that. Anyway speaking of business I’m hoping you have news for me.”

“Yes sir I do.” Kwuest leans back in his chair with a grin. "I dispatched some eyes and ears to take a look at these orcs you mentioned in your reports to the mayor. Up and coming adventurers are always good for this sort of work. One of the groups actually came back with some news. It seems your orcs have scattered.”

”Scattered could be good, but could also just be more trouble. Any news of disturbances in the outlaying villages.”

”Nope seems the orcs scattering was very organized. Individual groups seem to have dispersed back into the deep woods or the hills. Still and this part stays with us, there are many who are worried at how such a force could so easily come together so close to home. I mean that’s a large force to have appeared inside our borders with no one being the wiser.”

”Drow were involved.”

”You didn’t mention that before.”

”Didn’t I?”

”Anyway, these is some talk about putting a putting a force together but since the orcs have dispersed on their own no one seems to be worried about it right now. At least not worried enough about it to throw gold at the problem. Speaking of which, you owe me 200 gold.”

”200 gold! Who the hell did you hire.”

”Hey even newbie adventurers are not cheap to hire. Military scouts would have been best but that’s another situation all together."

“Local politics…?” Duncan asked amused.

”Local politics indeed.” Kwuest grimaced.

Duncan returns the grin. ”You wanted to be a noble!”

”No this was your idea. I just wanted to be rich. Work and responsibility was always your thing.” Kwuest tries to feign annoyance with the world.

Duncan looks around. “You seem to be enjoying yourself Lieutenant.”

Kwuest smirks and replies. “What can I say, membership has its privileges.”

“Speaking of which I need to be going.” Duncan pulls a small coin purse from his belt and stands.

Kwuest spreads his arms… “What .. aww you just got here."

Duncan tosses him the purse. “Yeah if I come home smelling like this place Ebony will gut me.”

Catches the purse then stands up to shake hands. "Couldn't you just do that thing... " Kwuest wiggles his fingers feigning the efforts of a spell caster. “Where are you staying?”

”She always seems to know!" Duncan looks inquisitive trying to figure out how she does seem to know these things despite magic. "We’re guess of the Lady Abigail.”

”The lady Abigail…… Mmmmmmm now there’s a tower I wouldn’t mind climbing.”

”She’d probably eat you.” Duncan smiles.

”I would be so lucky! Give my regards to your mate.” Clapping Duncan on the shoulder.

”Ofcourse. I'll be in an dout of town over the next few months we'll meet up.” Duncan leaves his friend and makes a hasty escape. Once clear of the place he uses a prestidigitation to scrub the smells away then goes about his day before returning to the tower.

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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Dame Clare Makes Contact With Respen

During the last month of the party's downtime, Respen receives a mental message from Dame Clare.

[sblock=Dame Clare's Mental Message to Respen]
"I have been working on a spell lately, which has consumed much of my time. That is the reason I have been out of contact. I noticed that you are in a location that cannot be scried by normal means, so I invoked the power of the Orb; your hostess, Lady Abigail, is quite impressive. She must be ancient indeed, to be so beautiful. The humanoid forms of metallic Dragons get more comely with age, and judging by her angelic appearance, I would surmise that she is no younger than 2,000 years in age. Take my advice, learn all that you can from her, she is a powerful ally to have. And do not tell her than I am able to fully scry her domicile through my connection with you; she might not take too kindly to that knowledge. She knows of the Orb, but it is probable that she does not know the extent of its powers, else she would have banished you from her tower."

Dame Clare pauses briefly, before continuing: "Things in Shalistaurimon are heating up. We've had an incursion by the Illithids recently, which resulted in one of the High Daughters of Lolth being taken captive by them. The fiends are demanding either a million pieces of gold, or a thousand male Drow slaves, for her safe return. I suspect that no Drow male who is not an only child will be safe from the Dark Sisterhood; they are loathe to part with wealth, but they will gladly give up expendable resources on behalf of a sister."

Dame Clare chuckles lightly, before moving on to the next subject: "Serindak is in trouble. He sent me a mental message about a week ago; he is helping me find an item of extreme importance, which I must have at ALL costs. All of my plans hinge on finding it. It is an artifact known as the Helm of Selreen. Serindak went to seek the aid of a Sphinx known far and wide as Khubsheth The Prophet, hoping he might know something about where the helm could be or about who could have it. Khubsheth attacked him, forcing him into gaseous form. Serindak slipped past the Sphinx, and discovered that the statue that he rests in front of conceals a hidden passage, which leads to some sort of tomb. Serindak decided to explore the tomb, in hopes of finding something there that might be useful. The last mental message that Serindak sent to me was that he no longer cared to seek Khubsheth's advice, when he could have the counsel of the Dark Queen. Then, I suddenly lost contact with my childe, and have not heard from him since. I can feel that his essence still exists, that he has not been destroyed, but also that he is no longer on the web of blood, i.e., I can no longer feel his thoughts, nor his blood connection. It's as if he no longer has a physical form. I am not sure what to make of that, except that it cannot mean anything good."

Dame Clare pauses again, before finally coming to her point: "I know that Abigail wants you to return to the Steading, and destroy Brunk and the other minions of her rival, and to find the Key of Krigala for her, but finding the Helm of Selreen is a far more important task, one that cannot be put aside. I would like for you to seek out this Khubsheth, and find out what happened to Serindak. I doubt he would attack one so amiable as you. I think Serindak probably fell victim to the prejudice borne of his eight-legged form. In that regard, I would surmise that you could succeed where he failed. The priority is to discover whether or not Khubsheth knows anything about the Helm of Selreen. If he does not, then your second priority should be to ask him about the tomb below the statue, and inquire as to what fate Serindak might have met by venturing into that place. The Perch of Khubsheth is at the base of a large, sandstone statue, in the Kingdom of Ull, in the hills just south of Kester. The statue is a remnant of a fallen kingdom; it is a depiction of the Sphinx Queen, Ankharet. I suspect that she might be the Dark Queen that Serindak was referring to, which probably means that she is some form of powerful undead being. Finding Serindak will be a dangerous undertaking, but it must be done, because Serindak is too important for me to simply abandon him. YOU MUST DO THIS FOR ME. You will be generously rewarded if you succeed; your party is now large enough that a few of you could split off to do my errand, while the others return to the Steading. Or perhaps you could talk all of them into helping you. Those matters, I will leave to your clever little mind."

Dame Clare continues, giving Respen more relevant information: "I have been scrying the Steading. There are a few things you should take note of. The Orcs were non-plussed to find most of the inhabitants dead upon their arrival. The entire force has left the canyon, and is heading Southeast, into the Stark Mounds, where there are known to be large tribes of Hobgoblins. My guess is that the Orcs are less of an attack force, and more of a recruitment force. They are carrying extra weapons and armor, which they could no doubt give as gifts to potential allies, and there are many expert soldiers among the Orcs who could train potential allies in the areas of weapon use and battlefield tactics. They're laying the groundwork for something big, and the Giants were only a small part of their overall plan."

Dame Clare's tone becomes more serious as she moves on to the next topic: "The three Drow Clerics in the Steading are gearing up for some major rituals. They are preparing to resurrect Delliak, Darris, Nosnra, and Kraven, along with three of the Hill Giant Commanders, but not in their original forms; having failed Lolth, they will likely all return to life as giant-sized Driders. They are also casting many divinations, and asking a lot of questions about the Lady of the Hool, which I believe to be a very old Black Dragon, from the way they talk about her. I'm not sure what they want with a Dragon, but it cannot be good for your newfound allies. YOU SHOULD USE THIS INFORMATION TO GAIN THE SUPPORT OF YOUR FRIENDS. Tell them that these rituals will require a lot of prep time, and that I will aid you in their defeat, if you will do this thing for me FIRST. And like I said before, all of you don't have to go; but some of you must. YOU YOURSELF MUST GO, FOR SURE. It would be wise for ALL of you to go, although I doubt that all of them would agree to act in my service. I must return to my spell now, but I will contact you later. Act in haste, my little Elfling, and do NOT fail me."

RESPEN: What do you do?
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Thallok approaches Lady Abigial and says "Lady Abigial, I was wondering if I might be able to purchase the other blade from you. I think it might serve us well."

Aust Thale

Respen's Weeks 10 thru Whatever

~ ...can we meet at an alternative location...~

The end of the day having arrived, Respen excused himself from Vale. "It is time for me to take a trip. I'll bring Gus to you or bring word of his well-being."
Vale nodded, and Respen walked briskly down the hall toward Abigail's main tower and toward Dewydd's quarters. Stopping in front of the library Respen took a few minutes with Sylvar, instructing him to take the time with Vale and assuring him that he would be back after transporting Dewydd and meeting with Laramon.

Hearing noises in the ante-chamber to Dewydd's quarters, Respen found Dewydd stretching in a wholly unfamiliar martial stance. Respen winced. Humans, particular this human, was fond of martial training. "Dewydd, I am ready to travel when you are ready." Dewydd, without saying a word nor breaking concentration, extends his thumb in apparent agreement, followed by two fingers. Respen assumes it means "two hours", and he heads to his room to get his equipment and spend a few minutes with Nel. He told her of Laramon's last communique, and she reminded him to retrieve the two magical sending scrolls and two teleport scrolls he had made early in their stay. Fully stocked, he notifies Collin of his plans and itinerary and requests that he tell his mother so she should not worry. Respen will return in a matter of hours, perhaps a day if the meeting with Laramon ran long.

Middle evening, Dewydd is outside in the courtyard adjacent to the tower. Respen moves quickly down the corridor and into the corridor, casting a spell from his fingers and concentrating on Dewydd's home as he reaches Dewydd. Without breaking stride, Respen places his hand in front of him on Dewydd's shoulder and walks through him...purple and charcoal smoke swirling around him and a distinct "BAMF", the sound resembled a belt popping and book falling on a stone floor at the same time. He stepped forward on the manor's North patio, Dewydd in tow, the most significant difference being the humidity from the proximity to a wintery Nyr Dyv, snow flurries in the air, and the smell of fireplace smoke from the manor.

Respen smiled at himself in a quiet "attaboy", and admired Dewydd's home. He hadn't paid attention before, but especially in the winter, this place was exceptionally cozy and picturesque.

"Dewydd, take this. This is a sending stone. Do you know what they do? Vale created two pairs of them for the party. This is one set. You keep this one, and I'll have the other. When you are ready, use the stone and I'll respond. If you need anything in the meantime, I'll be at Laramon's. Be well."

Respen cast his own sending directly to Laramon. "I am here, Master Laramon. Dewydd manor. I shall be in your midst shortly. I wish to take in a cold walk to your tower."

Respen walks the distance to the gate, his cloak's shoulders collecting the flurry of snow. The ground would be covered soon, the Nyr Dyv's lake effect snow being something that Dyvers and surrounding areas could count on during the winter despite its relatively low altitude. He enjoyed it. He had learned a simple spell to tolerate the elements, but he had not prepared it, and he wouldn't have used it anyway. He misses the snow in the foothill mountains to the southwest of the Enllaves, where the dry cold air and the wet warm air would collide and produce snow as well. Not so dramatic as lake effect snows, but pleasant nonetheless. Respen enjoyed the silence of snowfall. He enjoyed the walk. The cold wasn't bitter, but just enough that a pot of stew and a pint sounded splendid. He walked up to the gates and presented the pass provided by Margull as a result of their transportation of an important prisoner and subsequent defense of Dyvers' city guard and court. The city guard waved him through, but only after a thorough search of his person.
The city was on alert. Suspicious. More careful. It was normal for winter nights to discourage crowds, but the city streets held precious few people. Something had the city guard, and thus, the rest of the city, in a pinch. As he made his way toward Laramon's tower, he saw mostly city guard on the streets. Things improved closer to the merchant district, but it was as if the city was pulling back into itself. After awhile, he arrived at Laramon's tower. He knocked on the door, hoping Laramon was home, as he hadn't heard a reply from him.
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