The lines were cast to the docks to be tied off, and the ship slowed to a halt as a distant bell tower chimed a fourth time. It had, as the dockmaster commented, arrived early today.
The druidess Sotana, and a young cleric of Tymora by the name of Azelrus had met Lorsalian on the dimly lit pier while the rest of the City of Splendors slept, and had resolved to a long wait.
Sotana, it seemed, had only just fallen asleep when the dockmaster roused himself from the shipping crate he sat atop to ask for their tickets. After rousing themselves from their own repose, the three produced tickets, and boarded, following the ranger to the meeting he had mentioned to only one of them.
He still felt guilty for deceiving Azelrus about the purpose of the trip; he'd implied they were going to meet Robyn, the high druid of the Moonshae islands. Sotana, he assumed, at least suspected that they were meeting someone to discuss the news she had given him – the fact that he had told her probably added to her suspicion.
After renewing acquaintances with the crew, Lorsalian led the gathering to Captain Nightwind's quarters. Tarea was waiting for them, and grinned slyly as she noticed the ranger – who would later marvel that she could recognize him at all, considering he had been dressed quite differently the last time.
“Ah, I wondered when you'd cross my planks again. Welcome back,” she said, then grinned even broader as she looked at each of them in turn. “Which of you will be trying to get me drunk this time?” Azelrus raised her eyebrow and looked at her host enquiringly, while Sotana just confessed to a baked-goods habit, and not one of strong drink.
Lorsalian cleared his throat, and whispered to his guests “I'll tell you later”
“Hello, Tarea. You're looking well as ever. I hope my friend didn't cause too much of a hangover.”
“Bah!” she replied dismissively. “That lightfoot couldn't out-drink a halfling. I'm fine.”
“Good to hear. Was my message received?”
“Sure was, you've got some time set aside in one of the quarters. I don't suggest the same approach you used before though.” she grinned evilly yet again, “I thought it was fun, but they might not.”
Okay, time for an explanation before the rumors get too exotic. Lor sighed, and turned to his guests. “On a previous trip, Anarii and I were ... let's not mince words .... snooping around – we later found out it was unnecessary. Anarii used the tactic of getting our fine captain addled by drink in order to learn what she might let slip.”
“A valiant attempt it was, too” the captain replied.
Sotana desperately attempted to swallow a giggle, while Azelrus once again gave her eyebrows some exercise. About the only one neither puzzled nor enjoying themselves immensely seemed to be the ranger. He hastily bid the captain farewell and turned to go to the passenger quarters, avoiding looking either of his companions in the eye until they arrived in front of the door.
They found Taman sitting quietly, a delicate flute in one hand, and her favorite dagger in the other. She was a slender woman, draped in silks that gave credence to her being from the southern desert – but one couldn't be sure. She looked up slowly and regarded them with a tepid stare.
The door closed behind them, and Lorsalian turned to see Roanadun striding in.
In stark contrast to his companion, the elf was garbed in a finely crafted suit of elven armor wrapped in a woodsman's cloak. His sword, whose hilt rarely was more than an inch from his hand, was encased in a decorative sheath at his hip that hinted the blade within was not a normal shaft of steel. Instead of the woman's impassive stare, the elf's emotions – welcome at the ranger and suspicious amusement at his two companions – plainly played across his features.
“You bring strangers to our meeting.”
“Of course he does, Roanadun – he's probably still afraid of us.”
After brief introductions on Lor's part – Azelrus as “a young cleric” and Sotana as “the one whom I alluded to,” and some interesting conversation regarding holy symbols between Roanadun and Azelrus, the ranger commented “I hope my letter wasn't too vague.”
“I was enough,” the woman replied, “What is this about?”
“Could you relate what you told me, Sotana?”
She nodded, and began her tale.
“Please bear in mind that all I know I heard second-hand from one who was there but I will relate what he told me. An acquaintance of mine ran into some trouble as he was in Bronze Citadel with a group of adventurers... it was more than the usual trouble you would expect when in Bronze Citadel.”
“Bronze Citadel? What's that?” Azelrus interrupted.
“'I have never been to Bronze Citadel myself Azelrus ... merely heard tells of the demons there,” she replied. Azelrus gasped, and continued to do so periodically as Sotana continued.
“Somehow Cyric became involved and offered to help if they would do him a service and escort one of his servants.”
“Much has changed in the Realms,” Taman commented to Roanadun.
“It has; I had grown accustomed to their distance. We'll have to re-adapt ourselves yet again,” Roanadun replied to Taman, who nodded.
“As it turns out, the request was not merely a simple escort so when my friend showed up with a small party to escort this priest of Cyric, he was asked to also kill the Elder of Llarallyn.”
Now it was Lorsalian's turn to gasp – she hadn't mentioned this before. His thoughts turned to his family in Llarallyn, and how he hadn't thought to visit the town when he checked the forest and the caves.
Roanadun nodded grimly. “His body was left in perfect skeletal state with the symbol of the dark sun emblazoned upon his skull. The priests state his spirit did not pass into Arvandor afterwards. It was a grim deed.”
“It is amazing the deals that can be struck when you find yourself in what you deem to be dire straits,” Sotana murmured.
“They become bold,” was Taman's comment, as she brushed a fleck of lint from her skirt.
“Hopefully overbold,” Lorsalian replied grimly.
“We,” Roanadun continued, “suspect that the Hunter himself was dispatched to track the spirit, but if interred into the wall then he may be lost. Shevarash himself sets aside his eternal hunt of the Drow on the elder's behalf, we believe.'
“'On occasion, there is good when They take actions.” Taman said and frowned.
“Continue your tale, I would hear more of your knowledge of that day,” Roanadun beckoned to Sotana.
“My knowledge is woefully inadequate ... I only know that a paladin of retribution was sent after the party They killed the paladin as well before escorting the priest of Cyric from the caves south of Sylvan Glades to a location he would not reveal to me. And that is all he would share with me of their deeds on Evermeet.”
Lorsalian interjected, “I traveled to the isle and sneaked into the caves to find them empty except for the 'weres moving in. I didn't go into the city, and I didn't speak to the warders, so I didn't know of all the events of that darkness.'
Azelrus looked alarmingly at Sotana. “Wait – you know this villain?”
“I do ... and he is not a villain Although I cannot agree with the choices he made that day.”
Roanadun's hand gripped his sword-hilt more tightly, while Taman looked faintly amused at Sotana's response. “One who calls upon the Prince of Lies, and receives aid, then aids him in return, not a villain... Very interesting.”
“It was not my understanding that he asked for the aid...rather it was offered,” the druidess replied, causing Azelrus to gulp and hide behind the ranger, who was beginning to re-consider his introduction, and hoping his 'friends' weren't of the 'kill the messenger' type.
Sotana says 'You would need to talk to him if you have questions about his association with Cryic.'
Roanadun snarled, “Those involved participated in the loss of one of an elven life that had seen centuries and was due his rightful place in the forests of Arvandor. And then aided in the escape of the mage who had terrorized Larallyn right as the legions closed in. They are doomed. Mind you choose your allegiances wisely, less you be considered accomplice to their deeds.”
“I have never met this woman before in my life!” Azelrus exclaimed from her position behind Lorsalian.
Taman looked reproachfully at her companion “Roanadun, calm yourself. Your affiliations in this matter are hindering your objectivity.”
“I have acquaintance with many but allegiance to few,” Sotana stated, “There is a difference.”
“The report counts a bit in the balance, does it not?” Lorsalian asked, in an attempt to calm both the situation, and the young cleric. “Yeah...she wouldn't be telling you about it if she were in league with him, right?” she added.
Taman nodded at Sotana. “Who else was with him? Please share the knowledge you have about those who aided this person."
Roanadun muttered something like "foul puppet of evil."
Taman looked at her companion scoldingly for a moment, and then turned again to Sotana. "I would be grateful for your information.” Her request seemed to calm Azelrus slightly.
Sotana ponders this. “I am merely here to recount the tale as related to me ... what you choose to do with the information is up to you." She listed off the accomplices, and described them.
“Interesting information,” Taman said, nodding at Sotana, “You have revealed much, and I am grateful to learn what you have to say.”
Sotana replied “It is little enough..I do not know the new destination of the servant of Cyric.” She chewed her lip in concentration for a moment. “Although I could probably find out...”
Taman nodded in return, and smiled happily.
“It appears you knew as much if not more than I when I penned that message.” Lorsalian noted, chagrin on his face.
Roanadun muttered “It clarifies reports we have heard, of feuding with Milo to the south. We'll need to increase our observations.'
Taman nodded to Roanadun and Lorsalian, “About some matters, we knew very little. Thank you, Sotana.” Sotana smiled.
“Do you have any news of the Keren the bard?” Lorsalian asked. On previous trips, they had spoke often, Keren consenting to help the ranger learn to play his father's flute a bit better – nothing magical, but at least it would no longer cause listeners to flee in terror.
“Keren is gone?” Sotana cried, shocked.
Taman shrugs helplessly. “Never met him.”
“He still plays,” Roanadun replied, nodding, “though sometimes as guest to Amlaruil and other nobility within the city.'
“Ah ... I'd hoped he was merely away,” Lorsalian smiled, and Sotana nodded in relief.
“The magus' domain will be cleansed and the glades will reclaim that place once his creations have been purged,” Roanadun said with a grim satisfaction, bringing a fervent nod of agreement from Lorsalian. “As it should be.”
“Forgive me for asking,” Sotana stepped forward, “but I came to share my information out of respect for Lorsalian without much other information ... can you tell me who you are that you are interested in this story?”
Roanadun looked briefly at Lorsalian, who shook his head slightly.
"I told neither."
“Roanadun is most obviously a loyal elf,” Taman answered, “Of course he is interested in the story.” Sotana looked annoyed.
“Then I should have just shouted my story to the heavens in Leuthilspar as all elves are surely interested?”
Taman grinned. “Be sure to shout in all the taverns as well, druidess. Bards love a good story.”
Azelrus interjected again at this point. “Might some other fell mage take the Cyrite's place though?”
Roanadun nodded. “It is possible. We are waiting for one vessel to put into harbor in particular, with some curious passengers. But we will be more wary in the future, against such intruders. Already, the passage out of Mab's domain is warded. Come Taman, it is nearly time.”
Looked at the three others in turn and gave them a short bow, bending slightly at the waist. “Your information is appreciated, and will be acted upon with appropriate discretion.” He turned and left the room.
“You have my thanks for a very fascinating tale,” Taman grinned before following, and closing the door.
Azelrus peers out the door, “That was scary,” and shuddered.
Sotana “Well that was interesting.”
Lorsalian turned to the young cleric, and said cheerfully, “Well, Azelrus, would you still like to meet with Robyn on the isle? I apologize for the deception.”
[EDIT ooc: This is not a free-form story, but a dressed-up log of an RP event]
Last edited by Lorsalian
on Sun May 22, 2005 12:39 am, edited 5 times in total.