View Single Post
Old 06-30-2021, 12:56 PM   #259
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 67 (2021-06-18)

Thoughts on November 9th

It was clear that Va’lyndra still struggled with her sleep. We were going to meet the mayor today, but she wasn’t in a sociable mood. Fortunately, we had a couple of hours before we had to go, and maybe she would feel better by then. Olivia waddled off to work, and I admired her determination, as well as her rear; she was still sexy, even though she might not feel that way. I asked Ilzo if he would join me for a morning workout. “Do you want to toss me in the air?” Leopold said he was going to his room to study, and asked us to remind him when it was time to go.

At city hall, a servant led us upstairs and showed us to the mayor’s office. The mayor, a dwarf, throned behind his mighty desk, and he invited us to sit. He didn’t introduce the mailed elf who was leaning on a spear and studying us with sharp eyes, but he said he’d heard we wanted to get in touch with the elves. Leopold explained that we possessed information that both the mayor and the elves should learn, plans of an attack on Alvheim. The mayor said that his responsibilities were the internal affairs of the town, and that we needed to speak to the elves about this. He asked us to follow this elf, who only nodded to us and left.

We followed him outside, through the Hill and Plains districts and into the woods. When we couldn’t see or hear the town anymore, we turned west. We walked far enough that we must have passed the wall that separated the elves from the rest of town, but out in the forest, there was no sign of any boundary.

We arrived at a small hut, and the elf opened the door for us. Inside was a single room with a large table, and ten chairs. The elf didn’t follow us inside, but closed the door after us. Leopold put Walter on the table and studied his documents. I found a sturdy chair, turned it upside down and balanced on top of it. I had to bend over backwards so I wouldn’t bang my head into the ceiling.

After nearly an hour, we heard sounds from outside. Ilzo got up, but the door opened before he reached it. Three elves entered; several more remained outside. Ilzo asked Va’lyndra if these were relatives of her. She replied that most of her relatives were back in the Old World, which confused Ilzo. He thought this was the Old World, apparently.

One of the elves wore wooden armor, and he introduced himself as Vader, captain of the guard. The elves sat down, and I made a flourished landing before joining the others at the table. Va’lyndra gave her name and spoke a little about our deeds before turning the word over to Leopold. He explained that a group of Order demons, called Serals, were planning to do what they had failed at before, when the elves were created. The Serals wanted to destroy Alvheim.

The elves asked for evidence. For answer, Va’lyndra stood and bowed to the woman seated on Vader’s right. Vader said she was a true elf for not forgetting their origin. I was so confused! What was going on? Then Vader introduced the woman as Manara, queen of the elves. He stood and bowed to her, too. I got up and made a curtsy, feeling woefully underdressed for a meeting with royalty. Curtsying in trousers probably didn’t look very dignified either, and if I had thought beyond my instincts, I may have bowed like Va’lyndra and Vader did. Queen Manara barely acknowledged me with a glance before going back to ignoring the human.

Vader bade us continue. Leopold told the story of the vision that Va’lyndra and I had shared with Kine and Lady Karita what seemed half a lifetime ago. In the vision, we had received instructions to restore the balance between Order and Chaos in the world. Vader had to ask for the short version of the story; if nobody had interrupted, Leopold would have talked for a week.

Now that we had delivered the warning to the elves, our mission here was complete. None in our party are militarily inclined, except for Ilzo, and unless you want to charge the enemy head-on, or possibly challenge their champion to a duel, I wouldn’t go to him for tactical advice. The elves would have to coordinate and strategize with the knowledge guild and the Sidel family in Urdon. Leopold wrote a letter of introduction for the elven emissary.

Va’lyndra asked about the possibility for her to join an Elendus ceremony on the elven side of the wall. The queen replied that when we were done here, we should come with her.

Leopold apologized for not remembering to bring a copy of his work on the Serals, but he got an address back in town where he could deliver it to lieutenant Ilida of the guard. Vader emphasized that he shouldn’t give the letter to anyone but her. Then he and the unnamed elf left the hut.

Queen Manara studied us for a moment, then said we should go, too. Outside, Vader and his soldiers were headed east, indifferent to the giant bear that they were turning their backs to. I tensed, watching Ilzo ready himself and wishing I hadn’t left my bow at the inn, but Leopold walked over to the bear and said hello. Va’lyndra greeted the bear as well, and it gave Leopold a wet lick across the face. I relaxed when I realized it was tame.

The bear followed Queen Manara. Va’lyndra asked if Leopold wanted to know what the bear said. He replied that it wasn’t important right now; we had a queen to follow. I assumed Va’lyndra had a potion of beast speech, for she had used those before, to talk to our horses.

The air grew noticeably warmer while we walked, and I was surprised to see trees with ripe apples hanging from the branches. Winter was coming, but not here, apparently. A big cat watched us from between berry bushes, but it made no move to attack. It had to be tame, too. There were a few elves about, wandering among the trees, but they kept their distance.

We came to a great hedge, and it opened up before the queen. We followed her inside. A scantily clad elf bowed to her. Looking around this garden, I saw more elves, and even the women wore only loincloths. This could have been a Sulla temple, if not for the huge tree which all the elves revered.

Ilzo asked Va’lyndra if the elves would be offended if he climbed the tree. I had the same idea, except the part about offending anyone. Why would there be a tree so grand, if one wasn’t supposed to climb it? Queen Manara cleared her throat and explained that this was a world tree, one of the avatars of Elendus. She asked us to touch the tree trunk, and we all did. I felt my mind grow sharp; the memories from the vision leapt out at me, as clear as if it had happened yesterday. Queen Manara grasped her head like she was in pain. She said we were the ones who would save the world. Leopold complained that this was too much of a burden, but I had heard it before.

The queen told us that Elendus wondered if we had any living wood. Va’lyndra nodded. The elf god would bestow gifts upon us if we gave it to the tree. I thought that was a great deal. Divine gifts for a few bits of wood? Count me in!

Queen Manara had another quest for us. She wanted us to go into the forest, to one of the scary houses that we had been warned against countless times before, and defeat its inhabitant, the avatar of Nimbus, the spirit god. Ilzo accepted immediately, but Leopold and I spoke up, wanting more information. I had lost Kine to one of these houses, and that time, we hadn’t gone near the house itself.

This avatar wasn’t far from Alvheim, just a day or two of travel. Elendus wanted to expand his territory, and thus wanted us to oust the guardian. I asked if Nimbus wouldn’t be angry with us if we beat up his avatar, but Queen Manara assured me it would be fine. She said that we must kill the avatar with a twig from the world tree. She reached up her hand, and a branch bent down and became a spear in her hand. Ilzo took it and waved it about like a sword, and Va’lyndra offered to teach him how to use such a weapon. She thought her way with the staff was similar enough to give him a few pointers. Queen Manara said we had to touch the spear to the Elendus statuette after vanquishing the spirit avatar. She would send a scout with us to show the way.

Leopold pulled Walter out of his backpack and asked what he knew about Nimbus. Not much, it turned out, but Queen Manara explained that spirits are manifestations of nature and of the elements. Leopold concluded that we would be facing living rocks and trees on this quest. Queen Manara warned us that powerful enchantments protected the houses. I could have told her that. I hoped we didn’t have to face another rain of venomous snakes.

We discussed whether to give up our living wood before or after this quest. I thought the gifts from Elendus could come in handy, and if not, we at least wouldn’t have to lug around Va’lyndra’s planks. The others agreed.

The queen invited Va’lyndra to stay for the dancing tonight. She told the rest of us we could return here if we took a big circle around the wall, and treated nature respectfully. When we – including Va’lyndra – began to leave, the queen put her hands on the big tree and closed her eyes. Leopold stopped by the bear and said it was nice to make its acquaintance. Ilzo wanted to wrestle the bear, he said. Leopold replied that if the bear wanted to wrestle, it would follow us beyond the hedge.
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote