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Just like old times...

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Just like old times...

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:25 am


10th of Nightal, 1365 DR: The year of the Sword


Jovial laughter echoed through the dusty old tavern. The Bloody Fist it was called, though the specific story behind the name was long forgotten. Not even by the long-lived owner of the pale green eyes that danced while their owner laughed at the bartender’s joke.

While jokes helped pass the time, the moon elf sipped his ale slowly. Though his face seemed happy and relaxed, a careful observer would have noticed the way his eyes constantly darted around the room. Seeing... observing... ever alert for trouble.

Truth was he wasn’t nearly as happy as he wished. He was bored. Boredom was a danger he recognized... it made him take chances he normally wouldn’t. Which was certainly not something that Elastal Silverspear needed.

Still, bored was the best term he could use to describe himself. He’d been freelance for six months... Six months since his last mission and this ‘vacation’ that the N’vaelahr had imposed on him.

Admittedly it was probably for the best... He knew that. That last mission had been a fiasco from the beginning. The son of a leading noble house of Evermeet had gotten himself held for ransom. A high ransom that the Queen had determined unacceptable. What magical trinket it was, he never did learn. His job was simple, free the boy. Disappear. Nobody sees you, nobody knows you were there...

That didn’t EXACTLY work out according to plan... The boy was safe, the kidnappers dead. Acceptable losses all around, but judged entirely too ‘public.’ Since then he’d been order to ‘Lie Low.’ Looking around the ramshackle tavern in the Dock Ward of Waterdeep, he knew this was about as ‘low’ as he could hide. This was the poorest, most dangerous area of Waterdeep, and easily the best place to ‘hide’ for a while. As he watched some of the sailors make crude comments towards a mildly annoyed serving girl, he almost hoped they'd give him a reason to step in.

Anything to beat the boredom.

A sudden jolt from the ring on his left finger jerked him from his thoughts. Leaving the watered down ale where it was on the table, he quickly walked out the door and off to a slightly more private setting. He knew that tingle well... it meant his exile was over.

"I’m here." He said activating the magic on the Elfrune. He grimaced as he heard the voice of Shamina Raerdrimne. The gold elf high mage that gave him most of his missions. Only two others could contact him this way. Strohm Nightstar or Queen Amlaruil herself.

Either would have been preferred to the irritable old elf. However he was willing to snatch anyone he could.

"Do I have a mission?"

"Despite my better judgement, you do." Came the acerbic reply. "Our diviners have recently uncovered something that got her majesty’s attention.

"The Sword of Ages has been found."

Elastal wracked his brain for a connection that would explain the fuss, but he was coming up blank, and with gritted teeth admitted that to his superior.

"Naturally... Well, as those a little more learned could tell you, it was forged around the time of Netheril. It’s been carried by warlords and generals for centuries, but was lost... hopefully forever around -400 DR.

"Apparently the blade was in the treasure horde of an ancient black dragon... but it’s been slain and the sword is back in the world."

"How is this a threat to the Island?" The bladesinger pushed a bit farther. He grinned as he could almost picture the mage sighing.

"The Sword of Ages has a long and bloody history. Whoever has it typically rules or at least tries to... Some goodly kings have held it, but more often then not it’s a warlord."

"Which is of little threat to us." Elastal interrupted, with a serious 'business' voice. "Tell me what I’m going to be dealing with here."

"WHAT you need to deal with... " the tight voice said through the ring. "Is a powerfully enchanted broadsword. Nearly as powerful as they come. The wielder of the sword is immune to all teleportation and illusions."

Elastal’s eyes twitched at that. Shamina didn’t have to explain, he knew as well as anyone that Illusions and random teleporting were two of his homeland’s greatest defenses. A warlord immune to them? Definitely something worth investigating...

"There’s one other thing." Shamina said as if reading his mind. "The wielder of the sword can also detect Gates."

"Seldarine preserve us..." Elastal muttered at the implications. Fortunately there were very few active gates between Evermeet and the mainland... Unfortunately there WERE a FEW... Should a conquerer open one with an army at his side...

Yes... The sword was a threat.

"What are my orders." He asked simply.

"Find the sword. Get it back. Odds are good that Khamathogh isn’t even aware of what he has... but he’s the type to take advantage of it if he ever does. As for him, The Queen has no specifics on his fate. Leave him be or kill him. You have full discretion on this one Silverspear."

His mouth twitched into a true smile at that.


*******************************************************************

He glanced down at the list of names he'd quickly written out and grimaced. Partners he trusted were hard to come by... Most were simply to old or dead. Even Tramin... and he had been just a kid when Elastal had first met him... Crossing the names off the list he started to get concerned. The N'vaelahr prided themselves on working alone, but sometimes the risk was too great. He'd learned early the value of allies.

He grinned as he circled an elven name that had helped him learn that lesson. Erulisse Aunglor... She was probably in Evereska this time of year...

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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:23 am

Opalescent fingers closed almost reverently around the handful of rich black soil at the base of the great tree, and with equal ceremony she raised it to her nose, breathing in the heady scents of a home too far removed. Lichen, peat, limestone and a thousand, thousand years of decayed oak leaves and soft hemlock needles brought back as many memories as her reveries ever could. She could kiss the elf that ever thought to magically preserve the soil in this way. It was the thumbprint of Semberholme.

Carefully brushing the soil from her hands back into its place, she pressed her palm against the craggy bark of the towering oak.

"Well met again, ancient one."

With that simple greeting, she rose and allowed the rest of her surroundings filter into consciousness as she made her way to a table near the edge of the open yard.

The popular tavern was bustling as usual. Though it had been many months since her last visit to Treant's Hall, many of the faces were the same and many of those faces nodded back to her in mutual recognition. Erulisse Aunglor was not unknown in Evereska but it was not home to her. The chime oak which she always greeted upon entry was more akin to that than any other this side of the Aunoroch, since over a century of her life was spent wandering amid the tinkling boughs of such mammoth trees back in Cormanthor. A rare species found only within the Starwood. Well... In the Starwood, and here in Treant's Hall, where many equally rare types of trees were preserved for all to enjoy.

Rangers and druids comprised a large portion of the patrons here and for that reason and the nostalgic presence of the tree, the archer chose this particular tavern. After months of work with the patrols in the Greycloak Hills, it was nearly time for her to make her seasonal and circuitous journey to the Forgotten Forest to the west of the Shaeradim. She was not one to let the grass grow beneath her feet and after a few months in any particular area, she would grow restless to get moving again. Such was the nomadic lifestyle of the elves of Semberholme. Erulisse was here for rumors and talk of any trouble to the west. Looking for a little trouble kept the roll of years varied, full and vibrant, and the clientele of Treant's Hall never failed to set her on the path of just that. Nor did it this day...

Barely had she the chance to take her first sip of the honeysuckle wine that she'd been served, when her eyes met that Trouble sitting at the next table, watching her with a familiar cocksure grin.

Erulisse choked on her wine.

"By the mists of... Elastal!" With a laugh that mimicked the chiming of her favored tree, she rose quickly to meet the bladesinger, clasping his forearm in warm greeting. "It has been too long, my friend! I'll admit surprise at seeing you here, for I was quite sure you'd have gotten yourself killed by now."


Last edited by Ashara on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:29 pm

Elastal laughed with a mirth he rarely found in Waterdeep. Seeing his old friend there looking the same as she had when they last met, was something he no longer took for granted.

Growing up on Evermeet surrounded by his own kind, he had rarely considered the short lived races on the mainland. Even when Strohm had instructed him the importance of that factor in human thought and action... It still hadn't sunk in.

Now time seemed to pass too quickly and the changes in everything from faces to government to tavern owners took him by surprise.

Seeing Erulisse walk in to the same inn, enjoying the same wine, served by the same tavernkeep was a rare pleasure and reminded him of home.

"No, no, no.... Not dead yet!" He said with a shake of his head. A guilty grin crossed his face as he quietly conceded. "A few close calls though..."
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:49 pm

"Ahh so it has not been for lack of trying then!" she laughed again. "Well, I'm pleased to see that my fears were unfounded."

Erulisse reached up and patted him on the shoulder with a wink. Fortune seemed to follow the elf as closely as Trouble and anything that Fortune didn't get him out of, his skill did.

"Will you share a drink with me, my friend?" she motioned to her table. "We've what...15...16 years to catch up on and I'm eager to hear of your adventures!"

Something in Elastal's verdant eyes gave her pause.

"Unless, that is...you're here on more pressing business?"

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Elastal

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:21 pm

"There's always something that needs doing." The bladesinger confirmed mysteriously. Grinning he casually pointed at her beautifully carved bow. "Part of my reason for coming here, was to see if you were still as good with that thing as I remember, and if you had some time to assist me." His ever alert eyes darted amongst the potentially curious patrons, uncertainty showing on as his brow furrowed. Always the question... how much do you say... and where do you say it...


"Of course... Make no mistake, the rest of my reasons was to see how you've been spending your time. I'll share some of my stories, if you'll share some of yours!"
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:17 pm

She paused thoughtfully at his remarks. Such a request was not made lightly. If Elastal needed assistance than it must be something of importance, and whatever it was, she was certain that a tavern wasn't the place he'd want to go into it.

During their time together over a decade and a half ago, he'd divulged to her precious little of his business or those that set him upon it, but she knew he sought to protect Evermeet and elven interests.

That was enough.

Though Elastal was an elf of many secrets, she well understood that some secrets needed to be kept. Erulisse had trusted him with her life before, and she would not hesitate do so again.

"I suppose I've picked up a few new tricks over the years," she laughed as her hand went to the bow, "and I would be pleased to put them in your employ once again. It just so happens that I do have the time. If I didn't...well I'd just have to make the time, now wouldn't I!"

She turned and moved back over to her table, taking a long swallow of wine before setting the glass and a few silver back on the table.

"Come, old friend..." The archer grabbed the little equipment she brought with her and motioned for him to join her toward the exit. "I know a place more suited for catching up." She wasn't going to get anything out of him in here.

"And you have a deal," she continued as the pair left Treant's Hall. "I'll swap you story for story and I'll even go first! In fact, you could be meeting one of those stories pretty soon." Erulisse left it at that, creating a bit of mystery of her own as she led the bladesinger deeper into the city.

The Aunglor dwelling was an ancient one, or at least parts of it were. The ground level was built thousands of years before in the style common in Evereska, white stone worked into the landscape to blend in flawlessly with the plant life surrounding it and forming a number of comfortable recesses and beautiful vistas. Since the fall of Myth Drannor, a newer construction had been undertaken. Now, the Aunglor clan had added on, building up...far up, into the smooth, dark boughs of a great shadowtop tree.

It was into these boughs that Erulisse led the bladesinger. Bare feet and hands allowed for effortless climbing, thanks to the magic of the Mythal.

These trazaethe, or living tree homes, were the only type of elven forest dwellings constructed in Semberholme. Family-sized homes, they were made up of linked chambers formed by the cradling, living upper boughs of large trees. Smaller branches grew up to form places to sit, rest and have meals. Though Erulisse had only first come to this place two decades ago, she found comfort in the familiarity of it all. Evereska itself had been a shock. A much more bustling and mountainous environment than where she'd grown up, and though she still chose to spend the majority of her time in the wilds, this dwelling was a place of sanctuary for her.

The archer breathed a word of passage as they approached the small bower that marked the entrance, and another word that commanded small, floating orbs to burst into soft light the spacious room.

"Welcome again, Elastal," she smiled, "make yourself at home while I see if I can't forage for something in the pantry. I'm eager to hear what I'm about to get myself into!"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:33 pm

As Erulisse left him alone, he couldn't help but admire the trazaethe. He had rarely seen anything like it... even on Evermeet. As often as not, the wizards of his homeland raised their buildings from the earth itself... Glittering towers that merged seamlessly with the world around it.

Buildings like that existed here in Evereska too... but he liked this better.

A low whistle escaped his lips as he came upon the highlight of the room. The branches and leaves parted to form a window... and show an absolutely breathtaking view of the ancient city. The manor was on the edge of a hill, just near the Hall of the High Hunt, the local temple to Solanar...

All in all, the Aunglar's were quite blessed indeed with where they called home.
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:11 am

"Beautiful, isn't it? Such a shame that this place sits vacant more often than not."

Erulisse glided back into the room carrying a tray with goblets of water, chokecherries, honey and a palm-sized round of cheese, and set it down gently onto the living table.

"Please, sit," she offered pleasantly, pushing the goblet toward him. "No doubt you have had quite a journey. You couldn't have been in Evereska long, for word of a visiting bladesinger travels quickly around here. Even more quickly for those of us who keep an ear to the ground!"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:54 pm

A grin lifted the corner of his mouth.

"I can be subtle when I need to..." He said with mock indignation as he helped himself to some of the cheese. "Though to be honest, I did just arrive today. Found you a bit easier than I thought would honestly.

"Things been quiet around here? I don't suppose your getting bored..."
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:45 pm

"Bored?" Erulisse chuckled. "There's far too much to see and do to be bored, though I do get restless from time to time which is why I usually set my feet to the path before it comes to that."

Looking through the window out onto the city beyond, she thoughtfully rolled a chokecherry between her fingers.

"It has been quiet in Evereska. No news at least within the city, but there have been the usual tomb robbers and scouts skulking about in the Graycloak Hills. Nothing new there really, though I did get the chance to deal with a few of them myself," she added with a wink.

"I just returned to the city to resupply and show Nim'tari around before heading back to the Forgotten Forest. That said, I could easily be sidetracked if the right opportunity came up..."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:02 am

The spy's brow furrowed at the unfamiliar name. He was slow to trust in most situations, and while he knew and trusted the Arcane Archer... This Nim'tari could be an issue.

"Well... I did have a quest I could use your help with... but if your not alone, I certainly wouldn't want to steal away Nim'tari's guide..."
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Post  Penelope on Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:22 am

"Ahh, my friend, you are suspicious to a fault," Erulisse sighed, "but it has helped to keep you alive this long so I guess that's something!"

This would take a little explanation. Best to save most of the details for later when he met her, and he would meet her! The bladesinger didn't come all this way to dangle the carrot of adventure before her eyes only to snatch it away because of some misplaced trust issues. Ooooh no, she wasn't going to allow that.

As she slowly leaned back on the living bench she was seated upon, a branch sprouted behind her impossibly quickly and reached up to cradle her fall, forming a backrest of new wood and thick, dark leaves.

"Elastal, Nim'tari is my companion. I raised her from a cub. We have fought together, scouted together and lived together for years and your mission could not but benefit from her aid. That said," the archer conceded, "if after meeting her, you decide otherwise... Well this is your quest after all and she is quite capable of doing with out me for awhile."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:26 am

Elastal raised an eyebrow. He knew a few Spellarchers on Evermeet, and he remembered the Erulisse he met years ago... and their magic didn't mesh well with familiars. More sorcerer then wizard like him...

He couldn't help but wonder if she'd switched focuses since last they met... Gone a bit more native, found a ranger's companion...

She seemed eager to join, and that was good. Still unsure of the animal, but a bear may be too slow and hard to hide... of course, the idea of traveling with a bear or tiger would probably worth whatever inconvenience it offered, he thought as a touch of the younger more adventurous Erastal creeped in.

"Cautious," he said with a winning grin to allay her fears. "I find I make more friends when I claim 'caution,' then I do if I call it 'suspicion.

"Tell me... have you ever heard of the Sword of Ages?"
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:35 pm

Erulisse sat forward in her seat, eager to hear what it might have been that prompted this unexpected visit.

"I have not...," she answered after a few moments of contemplation.

It was not unusual for the spell archer to hear stories of ancient relics supposed to be buried in the ancient barrow mounds of the Greycloak Hills. Every treasure seeker's doomed journey into elven lands was fueled by one. In spite of this, the Sword of Ages didn't sound familiar.

Instinctively she lowered her voice before inquiring further, but that did little to mask her burning curiosity. "Is this something that's been stolen from the people, or maybe a powerful artifact that's fallen into the wrong hands?"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:23 pm

"The latter," he confirmed immediately before a tiny frown creased his face. "Perhaps the former too... It's difficult to find information on the sword."

Seeing the interest in her eyes, he pulled out a couple of scroll cases and revealed their scant contents. Various historical records, hand draw image, information scattered across the centuries, but for an artifact such as this... he'd hoped to find more.

"Normally a weapon of Elvish make is easier to distinguish... but this sword is a bit trickier. This one however... Either this sword changes it's appearance to match it's wielder.... or the artists her are substandard at best.

"I haven't been able to find anything on it's origins... but frankly, they don't really matter to me. It's future is more a concern than it's past." Quickly and efficiently he laid out all the various powers he'd been able to find, and what it would mean to Evermeet.
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Post  Penelope on Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:20 pm

This explained much.

A sword that aided in the penetration of Evermeet's defenses and even locating gate to the Island of the Elves could put their entire race on Faerun in extreme peril. So, so many left the mainland for the safety of that island. If it were to be lost... There were precious few true elven strongholds left. Erulisse was sick of seeing the elves have to run and give up precious lands...elven lands, because of evil influence. Though her heart belonged to the mainland of Faerun, she was loathe to see any elf anywhere have to live under threat. They'd suffered too much already.

"I am glad you came to me with this, my friend. This is a most worthy quest!" The spell archer took a long swallow of water as the gears turned in her mind.

"Khamathogh is it?" She asked, struggling with the unfamiliar pronunciation of the name he'd given to the wielder of the Sword of Ages. "Have you gathered other leads besides that name?"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:29 pm

"Few..." the bladesinger admitted reluctantly. "Khamathogh apparently came from nothing... Nothing prestigious in what little background I could find. Not till he found the sword that is...

"Seems he was little more than a torch bearer when the 'Crow's Claw' found an old black dragon named Scartail and raided his lair. Most didn't make it out, but Khamathogh did... and now people are flocking to his banner.

"Last information my diviners were able to see, he was headed towards Turmish. The fact that he took at least three ships, makes me... uneasy."
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:21 pm

"A weapon powerful enough to raise a torch bearer to the status of king. You do find the most interesting challenges, Elastal!"

Food and drink forgotten, the archer leaned back on the bench once again, lacing her fingers together in contemplation.

"I know relatively little about Turmish I'm afraid. Do you think this...human?" She inflected the question, "intends on invading one of the nation's port cities, or is he simply returning to his homeland? Either way, with that many men following him, he's bound to be well protected. Yeah," she muttered, "this is going to be an interesting challenge..."

Slowly the concern on her face softened and an eager grin pulled at her lips.

"Sooooo... When do we go?"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:16 pm

"First dawn if possible." He said as he glanced out the window to the late afternoon light. The days had grown short in the late months of the year, and while the mythal kept the weather calm and peaceful inside... outside the cold wind could cause issues for his horse, and on some occasions, even himself.

"I have a few supplies to collect, but I don't think Khamathogh needs any more time to do... whatever it is he's doing.. than is absolutely necessary."

Quickly they made arrangements to meet the next morn at the Treant's Hall. He grinned as he noticed the excited gleam in her eyes as she fingered her enchanted bow. It nearly matched his own.

This mission could be fun. Just like old times...


*****************************************************************

10th of Tarsakh1349: The Year of the Bridle

Elastal shuddered as he walked the bustling streets of Loudwater. Part of him felt nauseous as he glanced at some truly ancient elven architecture. Remnants from the ancient kingdom of Eaerlann, an Elven nation that encompassed the high forest and beyond long before he was born. Part of him rejoiced at seeing his people's work still stood... but the conditions tore at his soul... Humans... halflings... even half-elves wandered the streets.

The young elf realized he had a lot to learn about this new/old world. It was dirty, it was smelly, and as he looked at the more modern buildings, homes, and shops crammed between the gorgeous elven craftsmanship, he admitted that it was ugly[i].

For the life of he couldn't understand why some of the older elves missed the mainland so much after seeing Evermeet.

Still, this was his lot in life. It had been four years since he left his island home and found himself in this strange land he knew only from tales. Human cities mostly, is where he spent so much time, and he considered himself mostly used to it, but not here... This just seemed wrong to him.

Though to be fair, he thought to himself as he watched and moon elf walk past him conversing with a dwarf... This is [i]probably
what Myth Drannor looked like...
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:40 am

"What do you mean...curfew?"

The petite elf set the apple back onto the neatly stacked pyramid. Still a new language for her, Erulisse was always coming across unfamiliar words, though she spoke passable common in the thick elvish accent particular to Cormanthyr. Even at 121 years, sheltered as she'd been beneath the shadowy canopy of the forest with only elves and wildlife for company, there was little need to speak anything other than elvish.

The Retreat changed that.

After seeing to it that their secret places would stay secret, the elves of Semberholme reluctantly left their lands for more secure settlements, namely Evermeet or Evereska, with the vast majority going to the Island. Erulisse, her father and a handful of others from her clan weren't ready to abandon the mainland. Instead, for those that wanted to leave, the Aunglors would help them to reach the port at Waterdeep safely. For those who didn't...they would work to ensure that their elvish settlements stayed in elvish hands.

That's where Common came in. Her lack of knowledge proved to be quite a bother in the enormous city of Waterdeep, so on their journey back to Evereska, Erulisse decided to stay in Loudwater for a little while to try to pick up more of the language. A much smaller town than the intolerable congestion of Waterdeep, it provided plenty of humans to converse with as well as a more friendly atmosphere.

"Cur - Few," the thickly-built man repeated patiently, though a little more loudly this time, as if she was hard of hearing. "High Lord is 'avin us all tucked in safe in our 'omes or inns by dusk these days, so ye best see that ye mind it. Lots of patrols out."

"Trouble?"

"Seems to be." The grocer snatched up the apple she'd handled and shined it up again with his apron before setting it back. "We've 'ad some people go missin' as of late. Bit of a mystery that."

Erulisse picked up the same apple once again and gave it another deep sniff. Lovely smell, apples.

"Missing? People must come and go here all the time, being on a major trade way..."

The grocer furrowed his brow as he watched the elf pawing at his wares. The Risen Moon Market was well known in the area for having the very best produce around and the proprietor, a proud man and rightfully so, was quite protective of his goods.

"Well, yes, but missin' is different than goin'." A snort followed the elf's motion to put the apple, yet again, on the top of the stack. He picked it up and polished it once more. "And not all were travelers. Some that went missin' lived 'ere all their lives."

The man eyed her carefully before setting the shining apple back in its place.

"But I don't got time for chit chat now. I've g--."

Erulisse picked up the apple again and spun it deftly on the tip of her finger before bringing it to her nose for another good inhale.

The grocer stifled a growl and continued. "I've got payin' customers that need my 'elp, so if talkin's what yer lookin' for, than go chat up the old folks at the Owl and leave me to me business."

"I see..." The archer responded with a frown and placed the apple back on the pile. "Thank you for your help then, Sir. I'll just go see if I can find myself some conversation.

"Oh!" She started to turn away, when she stopped abruptly and chose the apple that rested just beside the overly handled fruit. "I'll take this one."

Erulisse flipped the flustered grocer a coin worth double the cost and with a smile that betrayed only the faintest hint of mischief, nodded to him before heading toward The Old Owl tavern, crunching merrily on her apple all the way.

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Elastal

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:34 am

"Fine then... What do the elves around here drink...." Elastal spat with in exasperation. His third drink of choice had been shot down by the burly tavern keeper and he was close to just going thirsty.

"Well... they drink the fey wine when we got it... but they drink it so fast, we ain't got it long. Then they mostly switch to the standard ales, nothin' too fancy. Fancy needs to go to the Mer-She.

"Round these parts, the home brew is the most popular."

Elastal waved that the home brew would work in a pinch. Taking his customary seat in a corner his eyes scanned the room as he contemplated the future. The Merry Mer-She was a possibility... but not now. The other tavern in town had a reputation for being loud... chaotic... full of singing, dancing, and bar fights.

Or in a word 'Fun'.

However he wasn't here for fun yet... maybe later. If he ever got THIS mission completed. He looked through a nearby window at the lengthening shadows cast by the trees and frowned. He was late... Perry wasn't known for being late...

Perryshey Lightstep... That's the name Strohm had told him a week ago. A name and a rough description. Meet him at the Owl, collect what he has for you, and deliver it to another contact back in Waterdeep. A weak sigh escaped him as realized that for all his training, he was a glorified messenger. Not quite the level of intrigue and kingdom saving he had expected.

Worst of all, the halfling was inexcusably late. Elastal had actually been here a day early, and now Perry was a day late. The little hairs on the back of his neck tingled as he started to wonder what he should do next...
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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:08 am

It was only a few moments later when another elf walked through the door. Bow slung familiarly over her shoulder, Erulisse strolled in munching on the last bites of apple.

The Old Owl tavern was a pleasantly quiet place, though the haze of pipe smoke that hung like a fog inside the small building, instantly started her eyes watering.

The archer paused mid-bite, her eyes widening when she spied the barkeep, who stood in his place washing off the bar with a mostly clean towel. Even in this humble role he carried himself like a seasoned warrior but what took Erulisse aback was the webbing of wrinkles that mapped his face. He must be a great elder among his people...200...300 years old or so by her figuring, but admittedly she was no good at judging the ages of the shorter lived races.

Wise and knowledgeable from centuries of life, this is exactly the type of human she wanted to spend some time in conversation with!

"Greetings, Ancient One!" Erulisse bowed in deference before hopping up on the bar stool. "It is my great pleasure to make your acquaintance."

Muffled chuckles reached her ears as the other patrons paid brief notice before returning to their ales, pipes and card games.

The proprietor, having just dealt with another elf new to the area, sighed deeply.

"What'll ya have?"

Finishing the apple, Erulisse flipped the core in her hand, before sending it hurtling toward the other end of the bar where it bounced off the cloth he'd been wiping with and ricocheted, hitting another cloth hanging from a nail on the wall, where it slid down directly into a trash bin.

"I think I will have a glass of...."

"Ain't got feywine," the old man responded to the inevitable request.

"Okay, then how about..."

"Ain't got honey mead."

Erulisse remained undeterred. "Mayb--"

"Ain't got mushroom wine."

She paused for a moment. "Honeysuckle wine?"

The barkeep only stared at her with tired eyes.

"Then I guess I will have....hmm...." She looked around bar and noticed the dark-haired elf sitting at a back table, and pointed to him. "I will take what he is having then." Erulisse offered the old man a cheery smile, not wanting to exasperate the wisest among the humans in this settlement. The ancients could be touchy but there was so much to learn from them! It was a great honor to sit at the feet of the elven elders and she could only assume the same was true in human society.

"He's havin' what they're all havin'." The man slid over home brew and went back to his wiping after shaking a few bits of apple from the cloth.

She discreetly took a sniff of the dark ale, not wanting to offend. While it made her nose twitch a bit it wasn't nearly as bad as she'd expected.

"Thank you, Wise One. If I might trouble you further, would you be able to recommend a good inn in town? The grocer told me there was a...'car-foo'? Clear-flu? Uh...that we have to be off the streets by dark.

"Something about people going missing?" Erulisse added. "I would rather not join that particular list..."

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Wessario the Wanderer

Post  The Sub-Creator on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:20 pm

"I want his coat shining, Nubs," Wessario ordered of his strawberry-blonde and freckled squire while dismounting. "Wild mares prefer the rugged look, but domesticated ones in these quaint little towns are attracted to pristine coats." The gallant patted the muscled neck of the coal-black charger as he circled around to gaze up at the rickety sign dangling above a strong wooden door. The Old Owl it read, and the condition of the sign did more to advertise that properly than the poorly carved creature that accompanied the name. "Thank the gods their women don't adhere to such," he smirked, quickly stretching out his shoulders and neck from the long ride, then brushing back his thick, dark locks of ruggedly handsome hair.

"Yes, master," the youthful squire replied with a bow of his head. "And I'm happy to do so."

Wessario grinned in appreciation at the response, yet didn't bother showing it to his squire. "You're a good boy, Nubs," he complimented, then headed for the sturdy door. An assortment of hushed jingles frequented his movement, much akin to some distant musical accompaniment that might sound out whenever the main character of a play appeared on stage, except his instrumentation derived from sword, dagger and tankard clanking, a fresh quiver of arrows jostling, and a full money pouch tinkling. Before reaching the wooden portal, the young man pulled a thick leather glove from his left hand and tucked it within his belt. That being the last of his preparations for gallivanting amongst civilized folk, he breathed in deeply and swung wide the door.

"Salutations for another merry meeting, Maestro! A round of your finest for the house on me!" he shouted to the old proprietor without ever looking in the direction of the bar.

"Gods be good," the bartender moaned indignantly and covered up a whole half of his face with a meaty hand. "Ain't this just a night, then!" he griped, shooting a one-eyed glance towards the elven woman before him at the bar. The pitiable look cast from that eye was so out of character for the man as to be truly comical.

For his part, Wessario heard none of the proprietor's grumblings. Instead, his keen, amber-gold stare searched the back corners of the tavern for recognizable faces unhappy to see him again. He identified no such locals, Tymora be praised, though the gallant marked one exotic elf sitting alone at a table as a possible rival. Granted, the elf exuded the strong, silent vibe, which typically signified one as more than happy to just be left undisturbed. But elves were a vastly unique lot that held themselves in positions of superiority over other races. Thus, their kind could hardly be trusted to keep to themselves when one of equal or surpassing gallantry should happen by.

Jealousy quickly becomes a problem for them . . .

"Where's my Margie?" he called out, using the inquiry to mask the true purpose of his scanning gaze.

A screech of excitement emitted from a backroom, and the pretty young lass that sounded it soon followed. She was a bonny, brunette girl, easily in her late teens. A bright smile and sparkling blue eyes rushed across the common room to meet Wessario, who promptly greeted her with a deeply passionate kiss that had her blushing and gasping for air at its completion.

"I've missed you, Wes," she proclaimed breathlessly.

"And I've longed for you, dove," he replied, brushing back brown curls from her shoulder. "The chill nights have been lonely these many months since last I saw you. Oh, how I've dreamed of losing myself in your eyes, burning intensely as the sapphire stars that stare down upon me each night and beckon my thoughts back to you with each sleepless hour spent outside your embrace." Even as he spoke these sweet words, his hand cradled the small of her back and slowly bent her over backwards as his face drew closer and closer to hers. The struggle within her to continue the futile retreat so as to hear his intoxicating language or to simply give in to his advance was clearly evidenced on her countenance. "I ached to taste the fire in your lips; to feel the searing heat of your breath bathe---who is that?"

The moment suddenly shattered like delicate crystal dropped upon cobblestone. Wessario straightened, and if it weren't for the youthful gracefulness of Margie, the poor girl might well have dropped unceremoniously to the hardwood floors of The Owl. "Who is who?" she implored with a hint of whine creeping in. "Wes?"

"Is she new in town?" he inquired, though more in rhetorical fashion than of the young lady. "Certainly she must be, else I'm sure I'd have made her acquaintance before now. Perhaps you would be a genteel spirit, my dear, and introduce us proper?"

"But . . . I don't . . . she must have just come in moments before you . . . I've never seen . . . "

"Of course, my dove, of course," he smiled at her. "I must be keeping you from your work, and for that I apologize. Indeed, I'm shocked the Maestro hasn't yet bellowed on about it! Fear not though. I shall simply take it upon myself for introductions."

He took but one step before Margie snatched his wrist to prevent him from going farther. "Wes? What of me? My eyes were as the sapphire stars, remember?"

"Margie," he consoled her, though his tone became more brotherly and less romantic. "My dove. You can trust me never to lie to you. You are beautiful in the eyes of men, rest assured." Just then, Wes peeked over his shoulder at the elf maiden still standing across the bar from the proprietor. "However, there are countless stars in the night sky . . . but only one moon." With that, he gave her a courteous peck on the forehead, his winningest smile, and once again started for the bar.

"Pray, regal gentlefolk of The Owl, mind your step when you return to your homes this night. For if you cast your eyes skyward, you'll undoubtedly find Selune nothing more than a silver sliver overhead. She wanes, you see, and for a time darkness will creep into all corners of the world . . . "

His voice trailed off as he reached the bar and cupped one of the ale mugs lined up there from his purchase for the house. Wes raised the mug in silent toast to the proprietor--who only shook his head in reply--and downed a long swig.

"All corners," he continued the thought suddenly, speaking softly to the elf maiden now so close, "save the common room of The Owl, it appears, where the mystery of Selune's waning comes into focus now. Moments before my arrival, out front of this premises, I beheld a bright silver flash in the streets, though it disappeared ere I could identify the secret of its brilliance. And lo, I find you here and know now that I have discovered the answer to both mysteries at once--that of Selune's waning and the silver luminescence! It is Sahanine Moonbow that has cast her light from Selune's reaches this night, placing it upon Toril, that only a select few may be blessed to look upon her resplendent face. Indeed, this truth has been shown to me, for as I gaze upon your pale beauty I see none other than the brilliant silver radiance of the Lady of Dreams herself!"

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Erulisse

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:56 pm

The first sip of ale had barely passed her lips when this whirlwind of words and passion burst through the door. Taken very much aback by the verbal barrage, it took Erulisse a few moments to process what the man was saying to her.

It also gave her a few moments to size the man up.

He was well-built and tall, towering over her not-quite-five-foot frame by a foot and a half. She immediately noticed the quiver on his back but he did not strike her as an archer as much as simply using a bow out of necessity as there were none of the tell-tale callouses on his fingers that would mark him as one who lived by that weapon alone. He smelled of horse and the outdoors, neither of which she found off-putting. Erulisse imagined that other humans would find him very attractive, as evidenced by the fawning of the young girl. Surely he must be a man of great popularity in this town! He also seemed like a great master of the language, which was just the kind of human she could learn a few things from! Plus, he certainly liked to talk...

"Your words of praise are very kind, if grossly overstated" she managed a smile while responding awkwardly, doing the best she could to mimic his fluid style of speech while downplaying her accent. Complete fail.

"I am Erulisse Aunglor of Semberholme... Well, formerly so." The elf maid paused. "It is a pleasure to meet you and thank you for the drink!"

She raised the mug in appreciation and took another swallow.

"You are known as Wes? Forgive me but I could not help but overhear your conversation a moment ago."

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Wessario the Wanderer

Post  The Sub-Creator on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:17 pm

A humble elf? Can it be? If so, she did not just break the mold, but shattered it beyond all means of repair! he mused, though the thought never reached his practiced visage.

"Wessario for those inclined to formality; the Wanderer for those of passing acquaintance; Wes for those disposed toward lasting friendships. I would not begrudge you usage of any of the three, but, for mine own peace of mind, would find it rewarding and undeniably uplifting should the latter of them fancy you." To punctuate the introduction, the gallant took a half-step back and bowed formally to the maiden without ever taking his eyes away from hers. "And you are quite forgiven, of course. What might the purpose be of such delicate, perfect ears if not to overhear? Simply one of a host of sensitivities lavished upon the People that I envy.

"However," he continued, not skipping a beat, "if I may dote upon the unmistakable wisdom of your parents for just a brief moment before we venture too far from the subject . . . it seems they witnessed something extraordinarily holy in you from the beginning, as can be delineated directly from such a significant name. Erulisse," he eloquently sounded it, the elvish rolling off his tongue with barely the hint of any accent. "'Sweet Correlon . . . . ' A heartfelt display of reverence, supplication, and overjoyed thankfulness to the Creator of the Elves for the deliverance of a tiny miracle, certainly. Yet such a name holds the spark of divinity within your breast, and, undeniably, your parents distinguished this as well. Upon spying you a moment ago from mere heartbeats away, I perceived it--the purity of that spark which encapsulates you in a rare, scintillating brilliance that only the Moonlit Mystery might match. Thus, surely you now see that I've overstated nothing in any of the words I've shared with you.

"A'i'palurin, lle sila vee'ona. A'amin, lle kalya ikotane sainer. Tel'Quessir esse lle Erulisse; ikotane amin essuva lle Isilme Luhta; Tel'Arwen en'Kaimelor . . . and I beseech you to notify me forthwith if there is any way I might be of service to you."

Wessario lingered upon her hypnotic emerald gaze for a long moment before flashing his most sincere smile, which was then lost behind the tankard of warm and refreshing home brew.

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