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Postby Lorsalian » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:20 am

ooc: I've decided to go to the journal format in order to keep these all together.

Lorsalian was sure that his old mentor would be at least a little amused at how he was dancing to someone else's tune - especially the tune of one such as the ruler of 'The keep of Ash and Stone.' He'd proposed a shop that would be good for both he and the city, and was now tasked with acquiring a quantity of blue stone before the foundations would even be found, much less laid. Why she needed decorative stone was a mystery.

When he heard the phrase 'blue stone' he'd immediately thought of Ardn'ir, but not so much for the nearby quarry. One of the early attacks by those who would come to be known as Tvorlites was a raid into Ardn'ir for the flesh of its inhabitants. Those not later found cowering in basements or taken were turned into seemingly exquisitely-created statues. A bluer stone would be difficult to find.

And thus the tangled knot was tied.

First, he'd needed to introduce himself as "representing" the ruler to the Lord of Ardn'ir. The quarry had been abandoned some time earlier due to strange disappearances and rumors of a haunting, so both the mine and the lack of workers would need to be addressed. Those miners who were remaining from Bloodstone were unacceptable for a number of reasons, but those of Mithril Hall would be near ideal - if he could convince them to migrate south.

On the way north, he'd stopped in the Temple ward of Waterdeep to petition for an investigation of the hauntings in the quarry, and promised a quick return from the north. When he returned - after gaining support from three dwarven miners bored with their current life, and recommended by the mine supervisor - he learned that their finest expert on the unliving had been sent. Sent, and not returned. Before the priestess even asked, Lorsalian had offered to find out what had happened to him, and enlisted the aid of Adriorn. Smirn, and Lilira.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:17 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:56 am

'Too often blades seem eager to jump into one's hands.'
-- Lilira, in her house in Ardn'ir, before going to the quarry.

How prophetic her words now seemed. The 'haunting' of the quarry in Ardn'ir turned out to be a brass dragon, one of the sleepers seeking a lair to raise a clutch in; and using illusions of undead to scare off the curious. Halfway through discussing alternatives in this unfamiliar world the sleeper had woken to, a group of dragon-hunters claiming to be sent by Torm the Just entered.

Telfog the Warrior had said 'Torm has already granted my petition, granted me the might to slay the beast. He agrees, the only good dragon, is a dead one.'

Surely Torm was not that ungrateful. The dragons had ensured his survival for eons by caging the demon lord that threatened all. Lorsalian just couldn't bring himself to believe that any god was stupid - except perhaps those of the savage races. This seemed to be proof more than any that this was an impostor. But how and why was impersonating possible? After all, he'd severely injured Smirn, one of those Adriorn and he were still struggling to reform, with a single uttering of a sacred phrase, forcing the halfling to feign death.

The warrior had uttered 'What goodly beast would resort to the unliving to defend itself?'

Ironic that the same halfling he 'killed' and insulted freely had been the first one among Lorsalian, Lilira, and party to notice that these undead left no corpses, and were thus illusions. Lorsalian had seldom seen such unthinking zeal as that in this warrior, save only in the eyes of those who had served the vile one, and in those of the zealots that he and Tida had escorted to the cave once used by those Tvorlites.

During the time after Lorsalian and Lilira had convinced the dragon to flee and raced to follow while Adriorn and Smirn concerned themselves with distracting the 'paladin' and his minions, Lorsalian found his traveling companion to be a source of encouragement. Not so much from the travelling skills (doubtlessly honed during years of moving from tavern to tavern) but from her reclusive nature, and her occasional statement of her misgivings.

So normally quiet she was that these statements stood out and underscored the need for haste. At times he would have desired a more open traveler in camp, but she didn't seem willing. He wondered idly a few times afterward if it had something to do with that year she had been pressed into service by Teflor, and the number of times Lorsalian had likely sneered at both Teflor and she - before he knew her.

The need for haste seemed to not have aided them much in the end. No sooner had they been found again by the dragon that the warrior, preceded by Smirn and Adriorn (who refused to have any part in any fighting; it seemed he had been convinced at least partially by the warrior's words).

Lorsalian looked down at those who he had been unable to save from themselves. Both warriors in particular had fought to the last to keep Lorsalian's bandages from his gaping talon wounds. The cleric, despite being swathed in bandages and bound to prevent him from making a mistake, teleported away with a single word.

What happens now? He thought.
"If there is no bodies.. there is no way for them to raise them..." Lilira had stated.

Lor still wasn't sure what had shocked him the most: the thought of destroying the bodies, the fact that Lilira had said it.

Or that he was considering the same thing.

He later feared his gasp may have led Lilira to think he thought less of her. While certainly possible - he'd come to re-consider a lot of his views from the days against the Vile One, his opinion of Lilira had improved significantly - he was at least somewhat sure this wasn't the case. Every time they met, however, something intruded. Lor's fears and paranoia concerning the 'Lady' Ashstone; a dragon and a band of murderous Tormites.

Always something.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:31 am

Lorsalian gazed out the wide window to the horizon, which seemed to bob up and down in time to the ship. Normally, he would have chosen a more common room - or at least a cramped stuffy box in the hold that passed for a room. This ship was not one that Kanrol (now a sub-admiral) commanded, and leaving the door open to waft a bit of breeze onto the ranger so he could sleep wasn't an option. Who knows what could happen - especially now.

Granted, booking passage on a large passenger ship in the aft cabin wasn't the most discrete of actions. I suppose I could've hired heralds to trumpet my departure, but I don't want to be too obvious. But if those maniacs impersonating paladins thought he was meeting the dragon in the islands; well, he was either walking into the lair of the beast, or losing the wolves on his trail by hiding with a friendly bear. Besides, hopefully they didn't know about the way he planned on returning.

A knock at the door startled him from his reflections on the waves, and he looked to see the heavy door move slightly as another knock echoed throughout the room. The final word of an attack spell on his lips, the ranger opened the door to find -

a messenger an envelope holding a leather pouch, which he handed wordlessly to Lor before nodding and turning towards the gangplank.

Lorsalian looked quizzingly at the wax seal impression - the image of a lyre. For a moment, he considered. No, they wouldn't be this obvious. Or would they? When he opened the package and looked at the handwriting within, he instantly remembered where he had really seen that seal before - Lilira Shadowlyre. The pages within are covered in words and symbols that seemed to tug again at the half-elf's memory. Must be music. He'd have to show the pages to Keren when he could. I can repeat tunes occasionally, but not to this point. The words themselves were a plea to Torm, begging for a reason his followers would do such a thing. Among the pages was a small folded note:

When last I felt the need to place words to music, the results were none too pleasant.
I apologize if I offered any offense. My words were not meant as such.

He resisted the inclination to roll his eyes. The pure number of times he'd asked her pardon for what he hadn't said when they had stood before the queen. She kept refusing to comment on it, saying it didn't matter. The look on her face when we mentioned going to Evermeet with the dragon, though. Fear, rawer than anything he'd ever seen from any mother guarding her daughter from a Waterdavian gang, or since. He knew it had mattered.

By the time the ship had docked, several other crossed-out words had joined the handwritten note, along with several stanzas scrawled in a corner.

Words in haste,
Things undone.
Pardon asked,
The wronged faced.

I have asked,
told unneeded.
Now reversed
Lesson Unheeded.

Murky happenings
Haunt me too
Needless from you.

-L S

As he stepped back onto shore, he gazed back at the ship, wondering if he should drop the note to be delivered to the Three Kegs in Baldur's Gate, where it would find her. Then again, others might find it first. He turned back, and continued on his way. Plenty of time for that when I return.

Lilira's Letter
Why would a god of justice
Send a servant off to kill
A dragon of such brilliant shine
And say it was His will?

She served the realms, then searched
For a lair to once more rest
A bellyful of un-lain eggs
needs the haven of a nest

Shades of grey surround me,
yet they never give me peace
I try once more to do what's
right, yet sorrow will not cease

That knight of yours, he came around
Companions with him sought
To aid him with his "holy quest"
And so with them we fought.

Rangers, rogue and bard did we
Fight first with words and scorn
Attempting to dissuade them
For to battle we were torn

Shades of grey surround me,
regrets set me to weep
Forever choices in my life
permit me not to sleep

At last we had no other choice
The battle lines were planned
To defend the dragon with our blades
Your servants' blood on sand

The deed is done, one has survived
Now I would ask of you
Why attack this bronze lady
I ask you Torm the True.

Shades of grey surround me,
my words are said in haste
Shadows ever darken
leaving sorrow's bitter taste.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:49 pm

A gentle breeze ruffled the leaves. Not the breezes of Waterdeep or the western Heartlands, where the breezes had already drained the greenery from the landscape. It was a wind that held a warmth that would belie where he was, even if nothing else did. Not even the isle of Evermeet was immune to the steady march of time, however, as the leaves that remained upon the trees were tinted a reddish gold – one could almost say, bronze.

It had been several days since the half-elf had passed through the icy emptiness that the portals kept in place, and wandered to the west to begin to refresh his memory about mountains and caves within his ancestral home. The Fey realm, he mentally nodded, by far the best I've found. Warm. Isolated. Littered with the type of terrain that caves just bred in. And even more unchanging then this land that borders it.

“Perfect for a Sleeper,” Lorsalian mused as he stood on the threshold of that realm.

The Sleepers were those dragons who had lain dormant for eons, waiting for the day when they would be needed to oppose the immortal being that had recently been forever destroyed – Auzorm'Tvorl. The ranger idly wondered how the bronze he'd met had gotten into that condition seemingly so soon after she had awakened. “Meddle not in the affairs of dragons,” he snickered, remembering the first part of the old human axiom.

I should check these mountains also; then again, when has even an hour spent among them taken less than a day?

Deciding to rely on his memory alone, he started back towards the city, and the towards the only being he knew was near who could suggest the location to her clutching cousin. The court bard of Queen Amlaruil.
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Postby Lorsalian » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:03 am

He found her in the Grove Tree theatre. She had a complexion even paler than most moon elves; both her skin and the sleek river of hair that flowed down her black gleamed silver. Her slate grey eyes were half-lidded, seemingly unconcerned with the events going on around her as her long silver nails struck an ancient aire upon the strings of her harp. The ranger was buffeted by waves of calmness, much like Queen Amlaruil must have been. Didn't do a lot of good then.

It was on that previous trip that Lilira had carried the offer of Dlavizz, drow High Priest of Vhaeraun, to provide aid in the re-raising of the Evermethian Mythal. The queen's reaction – what they could see from down-point of Tahlshara – could mildly have been described as disapproving. And that was with the calming affect. I don't think I'd've wanted to see the uncalmed version. Lilira was frightened to return to Leuthilspar as it was.

He remained anxious, but on later reflection, it was good of her to make the attempt. He breathed deep, and sat down at the table next to her.

“You've been away from home for a long time,” she said without raising her head.
“We could get into a long discussion about where home really is, but I fear I don't currently have the leisure.”
“As you will,” she looked up, “Your messenger didn't give any details. Speak up, unless it's a delicate matter.”

He briefly recounted the events that had lead him to discover Alealdrassitcunin's hiding place – and more importantly, the presence of the group of false Tormites that sought her death. Her only response? “So it begins.”

Before Lor could ask what she meant by that, she continued on.

“You suggested the Faerie Realms. Before you disturb Alealdrassitcunin, you will want to know something of where you want her to go. You need a nice gift to bring Queen Mab.”
“Could you give me an idea of her tastes? I don't know her very well.”
“Her moods are like the winds in a tornado. Sweet, charming, wanting only for her people to be comfortable and happy, and then her dark side steps out,” she grinned. “Your gift could be as gruesome as a corpse, as long as it was cunning.”

Lorsalian searched through what he had readily at hand. Packs, supplies he'd left with the innkeeper; everything was compared and weighed against the possibility of being a gift. After a couple of hours, he had a plan Cunning I can do, he grinned.

Sensing the need for haste, they practically flew to the Fey Realms. They found the queen lounging on a bench, staring at a manuscript and causing its contents to shift constantly. As they arrived, she sat up, and preened, running her fingers through her gold locks.

“A mortal...I haven't had a mortal stumble into my kingdom in,” she trailed off, purring.
“I have a small gift for you, Queen Mab,” Lor said formally.
“A gift you say?” the queen remarked excitedly, “I do adore mortals with their gifts!” She held out her hand impatiently.

Here we go. He pulled out a manticore pack, and recited as he pulled items from it.
“A simple pack to hide the treasures within.”
“That of music” -- a mandolin,
“of luck” -- a four-leaf clover,
“and a cape well suited to royalty” -- a royal blue cape,
“I hope these tickle your fancy” -- a feather,
“ and that they express the goodwill I bear you” -- a finely carved scrimshaw bear.

The queen took these gifts from him, looked at them briefly, and made a gesture. The pack and its contents changed to a a glittering dust that floated to the ground. She stifled a yawn.

“Little trinkets such as I can command on a whim. I was hoping for something more.” Mab remarked petulantly. She pondered for a moment, and reached out to pet the ranger. “Perhaps there is fun to be had with mortals after all ...”

The next few minutes Lorsalian spent listening to an inventory of the tiny creatures of the garden, and how good he would look as one of them. He stood still, but his mind was racing. It was, finally, the bard's willingness to interrupt that saved him from eminent jeweled-nightingale-hood.

She opened her hand to reveal a sapphire mouse with glimmering silver whiskers, which instantly caught the fey's attention. Under the soft petting of the faerie Queen's hand, the carving came to life, but where she picked it up, it disappeared.

Mab the faerie Queen nods then looks at you as she says briskly 'The Great One has captured my attention. Use it wisely because it won't last.'
Mab the faerie Queen drums her fingers on the bench.

They summarized the desire for the clutch of baby dragons and their mother to settle in her realm, and she warmed to the idea, 'I was too hasty when I considered turning you into a nightingale....'

“The idea of her coming to live here pleases you, then?”
“The thought of you pleases me,” she replied, running her hand across his chest, and then looking up at him, “You are not so brutish for a mortal. Perhaps you have more to offer in your bargain than I first thought”

She seemed especially interested in the half-elf's eminence as one of those who had ridden against “The upstart” as the bard called it, but was easily deflected by mentioning the dragons' part in that day. He had little desire to become either a nightingale, or even a more humanoid toy of the Faerie Queen. Probably extremely pleasant at first, but eventually I would have ended up broken, he mused later.

Reluctantly, the queen agreed to let Alealdrassitcunin settle. “But you,” she pointed angrily at Lorsalian, “had best be gone from these realms when I return. You bore me.” She then smiled sweetly at the bard, laid upon the bench, and returned to an attempt to entertain herself with her magic.

The lightness of the ranger's steps as he trode quickly towards the transfer point between Evermeet and this realm was only partially from the need to be gone when she became bored again. The other portion was that something had ended as he'd planned. The interim was more interesting than I'd've liked, but the result was a good one.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Protect us from the Shield

Postby Lorsalian » Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:25 am

As he aged, Lorsalian found himself identifying more with the long-term views of his mother's people - and the other side of his nature kept him in the present.

It had started normally enough. He, Smirn, Lilira, and a dwarf by the name of Roqn had answered a call for an escort of goods from Mithril Hall to Waterdeep. With Smirn (disguised as a dwarf) and Lor scouting ahead, and the others remaining behind to guard Bhym the caraven master and his donkeys, they had made good progress south " past ominious-looking animal corpses stripped of all flesh. Some even missed bones, or missed all but a single scrap of fur.

A spooked donkey brayed, and dozens of wolves charged toward the caravan, a few making it to Roqn and Lilira. The ranger piteously struck the wolves (hunger-driven to desperation, their stomachs meeting their spines) down. I would have it otherwise, but I am given no choice. Even the orc bands that patrolled 'their' highway for travelers were riled to greater numbers and furiousness. The gathering of pack animals was scattered, necessitating the guards splitting up and bribing the animals' return with ripe fruit and balls of oats bound together with molasses.

Then the cavalry arrived; and the caravan's previous sorrows became as nothing. A stern, flat visage, and a flatter unbending posture that aimed to shame the air itself to not bar his way. He looked straight forward in the general direction of Bhym, refusing to lower his gaze - a gesture made all the more ridiculous by the fact that Bhym was a dwarf.

"I am not here to debate with you, caravan master. The cargo of silver wire you carry is bound for the demon city of the Keep of Ash and Stone, and by the Light it will not be allowed to be delivered. The Shieldbrothers cannot allow the construction of the demon city. Your cargo will not be permitted to pass. You may return with your cargo from whence you came, or we will see that it is returned to the crafters."

Lor had had every intention of speaking with these 'Shieldbrothers,' as did Bhym, and the others as they entered with the lost pack animals did as well.

"This is a free road," Roqn demanded.
"Are the holy paladins of the North become bandits, then?" Lorsalian spat, attempting to shame them. I should know better by now.

Bhym Wispwaft just looked painfully upwards and asked "What good to the crafters be the goods that have not been given to the buyers?"

"They may sell their wares to more goodly folk than the necromancers. I am dismayed that the dwarves would even deal with necromancers and their ilk," was his reply.

"A city is not a place of stone, Shieldbrother. A city is a gathering, and that gathering has been placed. Now if this is true, you have already failed. But this cargo is only going to Waterdeep," Lor tried again.

"Who are you to dictate thus?" Lilira asked.

The paladin's only answer was only a gush of blood from his mouth as Roqn leaped from his position next to the paladin to bury his dagger deep within the paladin's back. A bloody battle later, during which more pack animals were slain, and all of the shieldbrothers were destroyed.

The remainder of the trip was uneventful, which was a boon in that no additional paladins forced themselves again under the blades of Lilira and the ranger, but less than so as nothing else happened to distract her from her once again pale and blank expression. Lor took this poor opportunity to hand his message to her, and she just glanced at it briefly before putting it away.

Lorsalian now sat alone with his panther-lined cloak wrapped around him in a dark corner of a well-visited tavern,, where the hustle of the revelers would keep eyes from him.

If these goods were truly going to Ashstone, and if its ruler's intention was to raise a place more evil than it was before, then that was more reason for the goods to go through. Life, and no matter its major inhabitants, that camp was alive, finds a way. We can block every single supply to the city, and all we do is corner an animal. They would likely turn inward, farming with the dead - perhaps ever on the dead. Less savory sources would supply the city, seeing an opportunity to foster dependance. Perhaps even the orcs of Splitshield would offer its shamanistic expertise, and put deed to the paladin's fears of a 'demon city.'

Lor pondered one again; thinking of Lornak, and the brutish 'Slash' he had been. Deliverer of the wound that had driven the ranger to flee the city, and become the apprentice ranger that led to the ranger he was now, Lor had conspired months later to return the favor - for less altruistic reasons. He broke the human's sword, and hid all of the youth's caches of wealth to force him to turn away.

He'd failed miserably.

The youth's companions turned on him, and it was only luck that the youth survived. Some of those companions didn't. All while the ranger watched invisibly from a rooftop. I should have left his last cache nearly untouched. Maybe with a task for him to do to get the rest back. It would have been just as much of a trap, but perhaps he would have started doing it for the good, and not the goods.

Similar with the present. If they controlled where the food came from, not giving it away, nor bleeding the coffers dry; why, they would be where those supplies came from, and not those who would turn the inhabitants to the ends so feared. Most importantly, they could be watched. If the ruler had to be stopped, then the inhabitants could be an ally.

If it truly came to a decision between a comfortable life, and a return to poverty, followed by the promises of their ruler - well, one could only hope. The ranger had proven himself time and time again to be a relentless hoper.

He had little hope that these 'shieldbrothers' would see this. He resolved to find out who they were. Maybe someone else had been watching them. And he also needed to keep an eye on those who had accompanied him. Smirn, who hid the packs of supplies and extorted additional pay at every juncture, needed more work than he and Adriorn had originally thought. So too with this Roqn; the murder of the shieldbrother paladin mid-sentence chilled the ranger.

Lilira had to be watched as well, but for entirely different reason. She seemed drawn, pre-occupied, and hardly looked at the package he had finally delivered to her. So little time, mere weeks after having plenty of it.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:51 pm

Lor paused to examine the note he had written. If anyone had noticed anything regarding these paladins, they would've. The rub, being, of course – would they accept him? The last time the ranger had met with them over the identity of a village-raider named 'Rillic,' the companions he'd risked his reputation to introduce on that trip failed to impress. He hoped this missive intrigued.

I need to speak with someone regarding the appearance of another player in the Realms. Harassment of Sleepers, highway banditry, and the undermining of surveillance efforts watching the phoenix are among their activities.

Lone Fisherman

That's about all I can say without either stretching common further than it should be taken, or making the message too dangerous to send. He sealed the message inside a simple wooden case, and poured melted wax along the seam. The message prepared, he started to where it could be 'delivered.'
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Postby Lorsalian » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:10 pm

His answer had come mere weeks later, on Deepwater island. Lor had been enjoying the salty breezes away from the the bustle of the docks before heading back into the mainland, and a fisherman walked up to him The ranger nodded his recognition; the fisherman was disliked but tolerated by the city guards for selling discounted tickets on the passenger ships.

“No tickets for Menden today,” the fisherman said as a greeting, “You'll need to walk.”
“What did you say?”
The fisherman blinked for a moment, and winked “You want to buy a ticket for the 'shaes? Only 10 silver.”
“No thanks, think I'll take a walk north for a bit. Getting a bit warm around here.”
The fisherman nodded, and, spotting another potential customer, hurried off.

I was transparent if you thought about it, but it worked and it seemed no-one noticed, so that was all that mattered.

A dark-haired woman wrapped in silken clothing awaited him in Menden, and invited him to a walk in the fields. They walked arm-in-arm like any locals – one, a human woman in silk, and another a half-elf dressed in armor – until out of sight, when they separated and found places to sit out of the fertilized fields.

“I take it that my message wasn't too vague?”
“It was actually, but since I sent a message to you that I'd talk with you again, it was only fair that I come listen.”

He quickly summarized the events that had led him to ask for their counsel: these bandits who purported to be paladins, the bronze dragon who had been attacked, the movements of caravans, and the strange absence of the paladins of Torm from their temples in Calimport.

“Sent on a fool's mission,” was her reply, “We haven't been able to verify who issued the order, but they sailed west, to the Moonshae Islands and entered the volcano.” So far as the bandits, she described that they had been based in Silverymoon until Alustriel had grown weary of their fanatical anti-social ways. Lorsalian could only agree to this – their eyes had been completely devoid of thought.

“I'd tried to get them to talk, but one of those with me took exception, and attacked before they could.”
“Oh, that's a surprise,” she said, her face showing real expression for one of the few times that night, “We'd anticipated that they attacked first.”
“I could see it moving to them attacking, and was trying to get them to hand me some information before they closed their visors.”
“Those you met on the way to that cave you say you found were likely the core – the ones most able to work with others. Those others were simply fanatics.”

She raised her hands to her face and closed her eyes for a moment, drawing a curious expression from the ranger. “We've heard the prayers to Torm, but the Shieldbrothers have shied away from all contact with true followers. I will see what I can find out about those who gave you their names.” The ranger had gotten the names of those who had attacked the bronze – they had shouted them at the sky before charging.

“They have good information, however,” she continued, “those goods are indeed headed to the Keep eventually. A silk merchant told a fellow to get him metal wire, and it will be combined with silk to make it a stronger fabric.”

The touched briefly on the increasing orc and troll activity as well, and how it might not be coincidental. “It's something to consider,” she frowned, “Most of the Shieldbrothers in Silvermoon were terribly good – before they became cultish, that is.” She turned to look directly at the ranger, “Be careful what you say, anywhere.”

“I wonder if I might mention that they have strayed to someone. A woman bard who seems almost crushed by the recent battles with these paladins – not to say I wasn't deeply disturbed myself.”
“Your companion?”
“In a sense, yes.”
“Is she trustworthy?”
“A bit flighty at times, but I believe so. I'll wait to mention it, but if it becomes a matter of her sanity, I won't hesitate to tell her. I don't want to lose another of the fifteen,” he added, referring to one of the two groups who assaulted the mountain on the astral plane just months before.
“She was one of you, then?” She asked, to the ranger's nod, and she nodded her assent in return.

A brief discussion on how to contact them next led to their arms again locking for the walk balk into town, as a gentle rain gave way to a full coastal squall as they hurried into one of the shops on the main street. She waved away his searches for a towel, and they took their leave of eachother.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Sun May 25, 2008 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:17 pm

A miasma of spicy smoke hung in the air of the confined space, especially since the door had been closed. Lilira, who even now sat across from him and fumbled for a pot of lukewarm tea and cups from within her packs, had assured him that some property of the room made magical spying impossible - something she had learned years before during the Troubled time of the reawakened 'immortal' Auzorm'Tvorl. Sometimes I wish the legacy of those days would just vanish and be over with. Too many use it as excuses for their actions, or as weapons and cages to trap and manipulate.

Then again, some good came of it. The half-elf ranger had only recently returned from his meeting with the 'friends' he'd met during those times. Among the answers to some of his questions, and questions to some of his answers, he'd learned a few mundane tricks of avoiding detection by those hidden in plain sight - using the environment to his advantage. Not for the first time, however, he chanted briefly between sips to strengthen the magiks that allowed him to see if anyone perched outside the door listening to their conversation.

It seemed like Lilira had been busy the previous weeks as well. She'd bought a number of pack animals in Mithril Hall and begun the same trek that had attracted the uninvited guests of their, Smirn, and Roqn's previous trip.

"Short of running up and down the mountains shouting 'Here shieldbrothers!' it was the best way I could think of to gather attention," she'd explained. He'd doubted the wisdom of what she'd done at first, but as she continued her explanation, Lorsalian was genuinely impressed at the detail. Not perfect, but at least as well as he possibly would have thought in such a short time. Lilira shrugged off the praise, attributing it to her relatives.

"So did you learn anything from your time on the hook?" Lor asked.
After conceding an exasperated sigh at the ranger's allusion, she described a dwarf she'd met a short distance from the Hall - 'Duja' was the name the dwarf had given.

The dwarf had known the one who had stopped them just south of Neverwinter, and according to Lilira, had describe him as a misguided youth who shouted that he had to go save the realms. Sad that two would-be allies would be so opposed. I might have been just like that once.

"The unnerving part Lor - salian," she continued through his reverie, stammering between the familiar and formal forms of his name, "She knew it was me. I had taken pains to cover my hair and face; wore a cloak completely unlike my own; it was COLD. I had a scarf up to my eyes, and a hooded fur cloak covering my hair."

"They are very well connected," he replied, considering how to proceed. He took a deep breath. "I risk a lot mentioning this, since I've trusted the wrong people in the past." That was an understatement. I think you can be trusted not to mention this to anyone else. These 'paladins' we've met are no such thing. They have separated themselves from Torm somehow. They did once, but they were expelled."

Lilira blinked owlishly in disbelief. "Then where are they getting their powers?"

"I don't know where they get their powers, but it is not from Torm. There are several groups among them. Some are as friendly-seeming as possible, and some are howling fanatics, and everything in between." He grinned wryly. "Good to know we've met both extremes now."

They also discussed the cleric who had come to both of them soon after their second encounter with these Shieldbrothers, claiming to be an emissary of the 'Lady' Ashstone. He relayed a message to ask for Lilira and the ranger to 'take care' of the 'problem' the Shieldbrothers presented. Something seemed very disconcerting about the request. Not the garb of the cleric, nor the sense of his personality - not even how he had know so quickly. Just something seemed -- "off" was the only way Lor could put it.

It seems I was on that trip for longer than I thought, if she was able to do all this. Indeed, Lilira had, after her adventure with the mules, seen fit to visit the Ashstone camp to update the ruler about the progress of arrangements for the shop Lilira was building.

"That cleric and his family do indeed perform tasks for her.. but he does not speak with her voice. She did not indicate that she knew anything about the attack, so the cleric found out somehow and used it to solicit my assistance,' Lilira frowned, then snickered after a moment, "Which he did mention to her in passing. I was asked to keep an eye on them if they contact me again, and not give them indication that I know they do not speak for her."

"I'm concerned that you seem to be acting as her eyes and ears, but you know best how to deal with that, and I know all is well," Lorsalian said, frowning lightly. "Of course, I'm concerned about my own actions regarding there, so you are not alone."

The conversation touched briefly on how those had been on the mountain were treated in the Ashstone camp. Neither of them were comfortable with the idea of being complimented and almost treated as royalty, and Lor was certain the necromancer had a reason for doing it. To say nothing of how difficult it is to walk unnoticed when everyone is pointing at you or shoving a quill into your hands. I wonder if it would be easier to change my face than it is to change my clothes and manner.

As Lilira returned her cups to her bags and prepared to leave, Lor caught her attention by placing his hand near her shoulder. "I'd ask you not to do something like that caravan again if I thought it would change anything. But I know better," he smiled, "So I'll just advise caution. And be careful what you say and where."

She smiled in return, and touched him on the arm. "I'll muddle through, as I always do. Thank you for your concern."
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat May 26, 2007 2:28 am

spacer 1/4
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat May 26, 2007 2:29 am

spacer 2/4
Posts: 153
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat May 26, 2007 2:32 am

You guessed it! 3/4!
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat May 26, 2007 2:33 am

really, really behind!
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat May 26, 2007 2:34 am

one more just because
Last edited by Lorsalian on Sat May 26, 2007 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Sat May 26, 2007 2:37 am

After his brief report to the ruler, Lorsalian stuck around the area for a time, checking on the elves of Greycloak, and their noisy neighbors in Splitshield. In a relatively short time, he received word that she had decided to make a call for envoys. Finally, an end to the banditry problems in the Heartlands.

Faval and Saelyan were also in attendance; two, while he had known them for only a short time, seemed to quite familiar to the half-elf; along with a fellow ranger by the name of Lorendel, who was the opposite. Strange how that happens sometimes. Also in a corner of the room was Lilira, who appeared to be nursing a mild cold; annoying, but so minor as to be beyond anything Lorsalian had in his herb pouch.

As the others greeted the ruler of the Ashstone camp in their own way, Lorsalian inclined his head slightly to her. It was much like other skills he had learned across his life, he had found. Keeping his scorn for the necromancer invisible; forcing frowns to pass without a trace, causing the creature before him to see no threat, and yet no easy prey. What happened here could be as subtle as swordplay – and often as final.

"It is good to see some new faces. And some old," the ruler welcomed them. "Have you come to assist me, or for your own reasons?" They all responded in their own way. Saelyan and Faval offered assistance, Lilira mentioned a bard's use in diplomacy.

Lorendel began to cast divinations. His expression remained neutral, but inside, he wondered if the younger ranger knew that everyone in the room knew actually what he was doing. Cast out of the room if you must, or have some way of explaining the less offensive divinations, like those of detecting the unseen. He would wonder later if he would always be telling people that – and instantly recognized that line of thought for the elven arrogance it was.

It was then that Lorendel offered his own greeting, expressing pleasure at "finally meeting the Lady Ashstone," which seemed to please her. There is hope for him yet. She rose from her chair, and bowed extravagantly to Lorendel. "Well, here I am." Looking around, she sighed "We're coming together, but there's much more to do," with a brief nod to Lorsalian.

"I have a task which needs - a delicate touch," she began, "This is a personal mission, not necessarily for the city. Are you familiar with a place called A'Quarthus Velg'Larn?"

Lilira darted a look at Lor, who frowned softly; This isn't about Arnd'ir. Saelyan squinted her eyes with curiousity. "I have _heard_ of it," he responded.

"I need something brought there, and I need it properly placed. After that, I will need someone to talk to the dwarves within A'Quarthus Velg'Larn, to deliver a message. Unless someone in the caves is feeling particularly... aggressive... there shouldn't be any combat needed. The message is a caution, from me and those who are assisting me in this - you."

"And the nature of the message?" Lilira asked tentatively, as the others pondered her request.

The object itself, as it was revealed, were specially-modifed mushrooms in a sack of manure. The dwarves were to be instructed to leave them in the caves, and not to touch, much less eat, them; as well as to "remember well who is their benefactor." The gathering was given every assurance that the mushrooms were not poisonous in the 'instant death' category, but would merely slow them. Something didn't really ring true to the ranger about the way she said it.

"In a cave, with death all around, they should fit in."
"With an expert in fungal growth with you, the task should be almost easy."

He knew that mushrooms grew in moist environments, and would likely thrive on the blood of those who were dying in those feuding caves, but something on the edges still worried him. Lilira seemed emphatically yet grimly in favor of going, however, and in a private conference, he offered to help her – and was denied. "Helping me is the wrong reason for coming," Lilira had said, frowning. She also stressed that the Hand of Vhaerun would be furious if he learned of the ranger doing this.

He pressed a little to learn the reason for her fervor, but she seemed unwilling to share it at this time, only noting that the ruler would not wait forever for them to return.

He cared little for the attitudes of the drow. He was a potential ally, and an occasionally useful informant, but he – in the guise of Laegir – had seen the assassin willingly go with the slaver who'd used Krelg Blackshield to recruit. What he did care about was how involved he was getting in that war wihtout knowing much of the sides. Lilira told him that the drow in those caves were not of Lloth's brood, and the dwarf Bhym had vehemently declined any kinship with the dwarves.

There was also the matter of the ruler attempting to recruit him. "Assist me, and I can help you with your problem," she had said. Even if they did exchange favors, he would be hers. None of these thoughts would occur to him until later, but the feelings of unease were his constant companion as the others announced their intentions and departed, trailing the foul odor, laced with a fine perfume Lilira had tried to hide the smell with, behind them. Saelyan and Faval had joined Lilira, with Lorendel staying behind, avowing that he would have nothing to do with 'necromancy.' How this had anything to do with that black art, other than the presence of the ruler, was a mystery to the older half-elf.

"Even the planting of a tree profits from that once living," he told Lorendel while sitting down in an abandoned corner to ponder. He walked off, leaving Lorsalian behind. The ruler called out "When the city is finished, do come to see the garden. Perhaps the roses there will remind others of yours. Our druid has been working hard," as a farewell.

At length, he wondered what he was doing here. Regardless of how he felt, these were his friends who were risking themselves for this. Regardless of how he felt about it, he should be there. "Gwaeron, " he said softly, invoking the Tracker Who Never Goes Astray, "guide me safety through the darkness where I must tread," and started west.

When we caught up with them, Lilira again stressed that her own reasons were personal, and that the ranger risked any alliances he had accompanying them. The others seemed anxious to go. Lorsalian studied their faces for a moment, looking for any misgivings or invitation. He found none as he watched them travel the road to the west towards the Southern Roads, yet had the distinct impression he was making the wrong choice.
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Postby Lorsalian » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:14 am

Reference: A Long Journey
This occurs just after Lilira's post

The deck of the ship under his feet lurched slightly as the crew busied itself with unloading cargo and passengers. The sunlight reflected off the water, where a seagull dove to catch a scrap of food some sailor had tossed away from the remains of a meal.

Lorsalian strove to pay attention to all these details in order to keep a promise; he didn't trust himself to not note the
direction Lilira departed, the chime of viol strings bounced on a step, the whispers of the crowd that unfortunately still followed her scarred ears. It would have been a simple matter to track her if he had paid attention. By the time he justified it to himself (What if I just take a peek and not act on it -- in case something happens?) she had disappeared into the crowd.

The first mate tapped his boots on the planks nearby, and motioned towards the gangplank. They must be ready to leave, Lor would snicker later, and making sure I leave first. As he stowed the heavy coat he'd offered Lilira during the trip back into the sack slung over his shoulder, he noticed a small platinum ring in the pocket, twin to the one he wore on his finger.

The coat had been worn by a meek half-elf traveler earlier that month when he had asked a mage to link them to share moods in a way, and to serve as a beacon if one wearer were in distress. The mage who did the work believed one to be a wedding gift, or the traveler to be an untrusting and overprotective father. Trust had something to do with
it, but not in that way.

Lor took the ring from the pocket of the coat, and held it up, examining the runes inscribed on the inside of the band and the clear gemstone rested on top. Odd that I almost planted this on her. Guess I was right not to trust myself.

Placing the ring into a small pouch in his tunic, he descended the gangplank, and turned to watch the departing ships and the bustling crowd. After a few moments, he turned to travel to somewhere a little less -- urban -- to relax.

I just hope she doesn't need it.
Last edited by Lorsalian on Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Lorsalian » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:22 am

2007.06.22 Questing - To be continued
- Seriana, Rhoquinn, Lorsalian and Lorendel undertook a mission that
brought them overseas.

During this meeting, we had to talk in verse, and I have that rhythm in my head now ...

Lorsalian watched the heiress depart, and pondered the events of the previous weeks. The rhythm and rhyme of the shaman's words still infected his thoughts, causing his recollection to be cast thus.

Two warder rangers, Seriana, Rhoquinn
set out this day from sand unbroken

An in-laws plea, Tyr-knight to seek
Family could ask, but were too meek

And who to ask, if was not so?
With knights departed, long ago.

Many ships carried them away
What happened to them? Few could say.

And if this knight had sadly died
A piece of amber, young knight's pride

were they to return with, without wait
This piece to prove his unhappy fate.

And so our seekers gathered their lot
and traveled to lands not quite so hot.

Calim, Baldur's, Moonshae Isle
Many a day, and many a mile

Spoke they with knights, and converts rare
Either didn't know, or didn't care.

The seekers turned from those too tame,
and strode then towards the mountain of flame.

They reached the rim, went down the path
expecting to meet the mountain's wrath

What they found pulled at their hearts
No full knights, just bits and parts.

Flesh and bone long since unmade
Just melted shields and broken blades

Admist it all, a guard stood lone
a single monolith of darkest stone.

One of seven, Selune's tool
To warn the realms of Auzorm'Tvorl.

Several years past, the Vile One gone
The stones have stayed to sing their song.

Just it and some metal, covered in moss
Nothing else to mark the loss

True Paladins or Shield brothers, friend or foe.
Seemed like they would never know.

Lorsalian's judgment was reserved,
either way, this fate was undeserved.

Of those who might know it, one remained.
The Endu shaman: Savracain.

Away from the mountain, now funeral pyre,
the seekers strode toward smaller fires.

A hut on stilts, a home on high
was where this shaman spent his time

His guards were lax, two young pups
"You talk to shaman? Go right up!"

The Witch doctor, with little curse
Regaled them with some horrid verse

He responded to just that said in kind,
So the questers were forced to speak in rhyme.

If you still listen, if you have dared,
You know what verse they brought to bear.

The shaman spoke long of what he protected
What they learned was more than expected.

"Nobody knows the good I've done,
What thanks have I, what have I won?

My people leave me to worship Tyr
Three more this week, that's 10 this year!"

The seekers him continue bade,
But well they knew what price was paid

To quiet the mountain, to quench the fire
The villagers were sent; chained to the pyre.

Made sense to the ranger that Tyr they'd seek
Rather than chance death below that peak.

But this view of Endu he did not voice
Such would rob the shaman of poise.

And poise he needed, this evil seer
To speak the fate of the knights of Tyr.

So silence with curses he did not soil
While shaman spoke of charges loyal.

One other thing could save their lives
when the molten rock began to rise;

Above blood prized? One thing alone.
Wealth of carnelian, a reddish stone

Was just this stone, past 2 years now,
Drew mage and dwarf, to forge a vow.

Mage was not Ashstone, but perhaps was worse
As it was he who taught shaman his verse.

Loads of this stone is what mage sought
And it seemed mage got an awful lot.

He said this loudly! He did not mime.
As the shaman said it, he broke his rhyme.

And more of this stone was left still
For the mage to do with as he will

A short time after the mage had left
The peace of the isle was again reft

The change in time, I could not say
To the shaman seemed the same day

An army arrived, in steel encased
Riding white horses, and moved in haste

To the same mountain, up to its rim
Memory of their fate was yet undimmed.

Their blood it was that was the price
That purchased the mage his gemstones nice.

When gone they were, their armor red,
The shaman paused to loot the dead.

Glove and sword meant nil to him
But tickled he was by gemstone dim.

A trade we offered, good all around
Bright opal diadem for amber found.

Within fist-sized gem, hammer dual
Hovered shadowy, perpetual

Was this the fate of our Tyric knight
Not necessarily, for he might

Have been a knight that had stayed back
When his brothers rode to attack.

Last he saw, the shaman knows
Found whimpering softly, bereft of clothes.

Came he upon a gang who, without fail,
Caught him, bound him, and sold him for ale.

We left the village for the wood
To find these slavers up to no good.

But one found them, Jutras Swiftblade
Seeking not conversation, but to be paid.

He judged the group fit for the block
Saw us not as people, but as rich stock

He departed then to find his pack
of hardened thieves, as force he lacked

To see such as we changed to gold
Was for even them a course too bold.

When they saw no scratch for this itch.
They roused from her sleep an island lich

"send word to the Traherns!" came the cry,
If they could not have us, then we would die.

The leaves around grew brittle and brown
and a chilly wind did whistle round.

A word from the druid; a recall spell,
After several known in bars too well.

Swirling mist shortly appeared
as the deathly swirling chill did near

As the others passed within, Lor remained,
Thinking of the one in slavery chained.

What might he say, what might he know
of why the knights left long ago.

Their sudden absence in southern climes
Was why the 'brothers enjoyed good times.

But at a call from the other side,
the ranger entered the moonwell wide.

Seeing his frown, the druid was appalled,
"Be mad if you wish, but I saved you all."

He pondered that truth, and sagged, quite tired.
Liking his flight was far from required.

A discussion later, they scattered not
But started back towards the lands so hot.

The in-law was less than dampered
She seemed almost pleased to see the amber

Especially without the sight
of her husband's brother, the young Tyrite

Watching her closely, emotions Lor missed
Very scant grief, just business.

She clutched the chain with manic glee
Seemed untouched that possibly

The relative knight might still live
Was eager instead the news to give

She paid them all without a wait
and left to re-arrange estates.

Once again, Lorsalian mused
that he had been most badly used.

Abounding with this feeling of misuse.
He knew he must find that knight abused.

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