Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Character Biographies, Journals, and Stories

Moderators: Moderator, DM

Post Reply
User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:56 pm

~The Beginning~


Before I start, I have to clarify that this journal is unlikely to be led on day by day basis. Instead I've written down only what is important, to me, as I am living my live on Faerûn for the time being. Besides, I am writing this after everything in past years have happened, so my memory may or may not be spotty here or there.

When I've came to the Sword Coast for the first time, I've remained there for around six months; after travelling through the Moonshae Isles to Waterdeep- six decades after I came to the mainland. I've travelled across the North, before finally finding my way south, to Baldur's Gate. I still remember the shores of Evermeet, the Green Isle, and a sense of longing for it when my ship set sail for the mainland. Regardless, what I did had to be done and I still do not regret it. Labelas Enoreth will judge the choices I've taken when the time comes.

Through my time on Faerûn I've met many strange individuals, most of them being members of the adventuring parts of local communities. I think the most notable ones (and some of the most insane ones) I've met on the Sword Coast. Let me tell you, life of a Sorceress is not an easy one, even if commonfolk or wizards think it is due to innate magical powers. The amount of mistakes, mishaps and persecution you may witness as a sorcerer can sometimes make you rethink your life choices and if any of it has any sense to it.

But it has. It has a lot of it. I won't dwell into philosophy at the moment though.

Baldur’s Gate is, like any other huge city full of commerce, always busy. When I first walked on its stone streets, past those yellow walls, I remember witnessing many persons, both poor and rich, always going somewhere in haste. Not something uncommon, yet this place seemed particularly rich in trade and always friendly inclined to merchants and those that bring coin with themselves to buy something. I was once told I could get almost anything in Baldur’s Gate. On my first day in the city, I got pickpocketed. Not the most graceful beginning.

The following days were more normal and natural. I’ve been meeting the adventuring folks of this foreign land, saying that I’m one myself- even though I wasn’t really one at that time. There are few persons that I’d like for these pages to remember, ones that helped me become whom I am right now. One of such was Cillian Greaves, a half-elven trickster mage. He was one of the first persons that encouraged me into learning how to control my sorcerous powers, as at that time I was too afraid to invoke any magic in fear that I’d only do more harm than good to others around me. He showed me how wondrous it can be and how you can play with it. Another is Fierlith Silverglade, a moon elven priestess of Sehanine Moonbow. Although our meetings were brief, her inner peace with herself and care for others made me rethink my past mistakes and grow better from them. She showed me how to be at peace with my heritage as well. The last one from that time is Alejandro (or Alehandro? These human names can be so mind boggling!), whom I helped hide a bandit’s body after he smacked one’s head with his lute. He showed me that you can be a person full of joy and mirth, despite trying to do the right thing at the end of the day. He also taught me the line “I left a barrel in the oven” which did save me a from several uncomfortable groups that I only wished to flee away from. To some it may have been a flimsy excuse, to others straight up mad. To me? It has the exact amount of tact that I need.

I’ve remained for a month and some time by the Gate, before I moved on after I came to realise that even after all that, even after the help given to me by those I’ve mentioned above, I still could not control my powers. There was... a certain chaos in me. Disharmony. As if my mind, my body and my spirit didn’t want to get along with each other for some strange reason.

This is why I set out towards Dragon Coast.

This is my travelogue
Signed,
~Laeria Amarillis~
Last edited by Ravial on Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:58 pm

~To Berdusk~


The road was not easy, suffice to say, and neither was following the vague lead about a sage of innate magic that I’ve picked up in Berdusk. On that, I’d like to write a bit about Berdusk, as it is a city that I still visit from time to time due to many reasons, some of which I have to keep away from these pages due to their... delicate... nature.

Berdusk is a city. A unique city, especially for this harsh region. Called “Jewel of the Vale” by many, though experience taught me not to call it like that next to natives to Iriaebor. They’ll sneer and tell you that’s not right (sometimes in more rude manner). I remember, when I first travelled to Berdusk, I’ve stopped at a fortified island, called the Moondown Isle, sitting in the middle of the huge river that Chionthar is. It was connected with two bridges to between the City and Uldoon’s Trail. I was stopped there and asked for my name as well as reason of coming here. Notably, the guards seemed pretty friendly and helpful- answered all of my questions regarding where to seek lodging, what to watch out for and where you can buy good food. As I was crossing the second bridge, I looked upon the river. I haven’t noticed any smaller sailing vessel than a barge, which later was explained to me that’s due to the river’s cascades (called “the Breaking Steps”) and the current being known to smash normal rafts and barges, sending crews and cargo to kelpies living below in the river. Dwarves long ago found a way to avoid it, apparently. They cleared part of the river and made channels on either side of the cascades to which the barges must be guided, roped securely to guide-cables and winched carefully along (the powerful flow of the river keeps battling the crew and the barge all the way). Only after that the goods are transported onto the raft and continue on their way- either to the harbour or downstream of the river Chionthar.

Walking on streets of Berdusk one can notice instantly several things that make this city unique compared to the rest of the Western Heartlands. Firstly, the presence of non-humans is enormous- to the point of feeling that only half of the city is inhabited by humans. Artisians, crafters, bards, even city guards are of all races. Secondly, Berdusk has tall, close-crowded stone buildings with high-pitched roofs. Narrow streets cut through the city and all of the mare set with many drains leading to large sewers- all to combat the heavy winter snowfalls. The city also attracts the best travelling minstrels of this region, musicians and bookbinders, limners and sculptors. Supposedly, all because of High Lady Cylyria Dragonbreast, also known as “the Silent Lady” due to her often singing, but seldom actually talking and her voice being very soft. I cannot say whether this is true or not as I’ve never had the pleasure to meet the High Lady, however that’s what every local kept telling me.

The streets of Berdusk always kept reminding me of Waterdeep, mostly due to the community of artisans... who like to attract thieves and wild romantic tales (often ridiculously wild... I mean it. Don’t fall for them) with their works. Unless it’s a tale about a beautiful statue coming to life. That one may be true as I did see one gnome wizard make prank like this to his sculptor friend.

I stopped at “the Running Stag”, one of the local taverns that offers rooms to stay at upstairs. My first impression of it was... well. I was quite a bit lost with the sign at the door saying “No druidic duels today –The Management”. Nevertheless I stepped in, only to be swallowed by numerous scents (being less kind... the whole place reeked of hops) of beers, good-natured noise and bustle of the taproom. The entire place is built to mimic a forest. With pillars done up to look like trees, vines and there were even few living tree limbs sprouting leaves overhead. Never seen a tavern like this before and not after. I bought myself a drink, Berduskan Dark of course, and listened to stories that were shared among locals. I’ve noticed many rangers, wood cutters and elves here - particularly wood elves – and even heard some stories that satyrs have been seen in the Running Stag from time to time on icy nights, for a tankard of ale. Must be with the close distance to one of the northern gates of this city facing the Reaching Woods (although at that time the Reaching Woods wasn’t so... sad and terrible for sylvan races). I spent the rest of the day at this place in company of a human ranger, Armir, an elven druid of Rillifane Rallathil named Alarien and a half-elven minstrel, Veron. We shared wine, talked about our travels (though at that time I was more prone to withholding my original reasons for departing the Green Isle) and they told me a little bit of this and that about local culture and history. As the hour grew late, and the crowds didn’t seem to dwindle even for a moment, I finally retired for the day.

I didn’t plan for it, but I stayed in this city for quite a while.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Thu May 03, 2018 6:43 pm

~Life in the Vale~
The following tenday seen me getting used to the city and its culture. I’ve spent many bells at the River Sulduskoon (Or Clearspring to my elven kind. The beginning of this river, the Clearspring Tor, is an ancient site of elven moots in the old days when this land heard the ancient songs of my people. Though today’s songs performed by bards aren’t bad.) which runs south from the central of the city and connects with River Chionthar. Those days and nights there I’ve spent mostly on reading and meditating, as I’ve felt a strange need to try to seek peace in my mind while at the Clearspring Tor, which local inhabitants left as quite a big park inside the city (A small note here. At the Clearspring Tor you can meet street vendors selling food. The notable and most famous Berduskan snack is the Goldenstar: it’s a triangular egg-bread loaf stuffed with sausage, chopped tubers and chicken sauce). Then there were the local temples to Deneir, Helm, Oghma and Milil, and local shrines of Lathander, Tempus, Waukeen and Leira. Yes, Leira. Berdusk has a shrine to the Lady of Mists, but most warn against going to it as you’re never sure what you’re going to receive (a situation that later was to change... quite drasticly, but still remain dangerous. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about). “The Running Stag”, inn I’ve took lodging at while in Berdusk, is standing on the Castle Hill, among the Tall Houses in which the wealthiest of the city live. The so called “First Folk” (by themselves) are living under pretence of being the nobility of Berdusk, while in fact nobody considers them to be of any noble titles. Many a time I’ve met with opinions of commoners around the city saying they’re just “lazy play-pretties”. There’s fifteen prominent “First Folk” families, most of which I didn’t have contact with in any way whatsoever, so I can’t really say what they’re like. From what I’ve heard, they like spending their coin on all kinds of silly ideas, displaying wealth and deeds they (or their forefathers) committed. When you’re at the Castle Hill in dark hours and you’re looking to find an inn or a tavern, it’s relatively easy to do. These establishments always have their signboards magically enchanted with continual Faerie Fire spells so as to glow every night. That’s how I got to “The Running Stag”.

As I was at the Gollahaer street that crosses the Clearspring by the more southerly bridge called the Handspan, I’ve met Veron again, the half-elven minstrel from before. He sauntered up to me while holding a meal in his hands and eating it- that’s another thing I’ve spot among denizens of Berdusk. You don’t go to inns, taverns or Tankard Houses (as they call them) and sit and eat. No. Shopping is in Berduskan’s blood and if you can do it while you’re eating, then all the better! The streets were always full of people wandering on Steelsword Street, Amberside, Steelspur Way, the Claw and the Gollahaer, always eating something while browsing through the many street stalls, shops and wares of peddlers that sell even brass screws from Sea of Fallen Stars’ regions (And many unique exotics to the Western Heartlands from as far as Thay, even). Suffice to say, if you’re a knight that simply MUST have left-handed gauntlets with silver dagger blades affixed to the fingers, this city is going to quickly become your home.

Returning to Veron, the swaggering bard, he seemed rather interested in how I’ve been handling myself in this city. Apparently not often he had an occasion to meet an elf coming from the Green Isle- quite contrary in fact, most elves he had met were leaving for Evermeet. After a while and him buying himself a few colourful baubles and a new hat, our conversation came down towards my innate arcane talent. It wasn’t the easiest topic to roll off my tongue at that time (and life taught me later that it’s not the best idea to talk about it freely either, when I once shared the matter of blood cults and sorcerers to couple unsavoury types and one-eyed sea raiders), thus I’ve tried to avoid the topic. Alas, I didn’t control my powers properly, and while he kept prying and prying more and more, I accidently froze his drink solid. Which was more than an answer that he needed to his questions. To my own surprise, he wasn’t even taken aback by it- in fact he tried to provoke me to see what happens (and he still does it. Veron just relishes teasing me). The minstrel presented me an offer. In exchange for performing a couple of “small” tasks for him, he would put a word in for me among his “trusted friends” and see if he could find someone that could teach me how to control and grow in more in my magical abilities.

I didn’t have much of any other idea what to do, aside of trying to endlessly meditate, and I was never known to be a pillar of wisdom at the moments of choice, thus I’ve agreed to his offer.

To this day I wonder if the end result was worth it.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:01 pm

~Patience and Discovery. Also fighting~


If you ever thought dealing with a Kelpie is easy, you’re wrong. It was one of the toughest and most dangerous battles I’ve had in my life at that time. In those years, I wasn’t wielding even remotely as much power of the Art as I do now, I was a beginner sorceress by all accounts. I still remember that evening, though. Never. Again.

As I’ve mentioned before, it is known that Kelpies live in the depths of the river that crosses Berdusk. They rarely bother anyone who doesn’t end up in the river’s deeper parts, but this time was a little different. As you know, I’ve agreed to perform several tasks on behalf of Veron for his “accomplices” and “friends”, which technically made me a hired adventurer of sorts. I’ve had to visit local shops, like Alamather’s by the Water, a crammed shop on the Gollahaer which specialises in one-of-a-kind, rare or very unusual weapons and gadgets to them.( I’ve had to fetch few special orders for few persons that were setting out to deal with a goblin tribe that has took hold near the Reaching Woods and thus was murdering the lumberjacks who “trespassed” on their land. In the next tenday I’ve learned that the tribe was broken and wiped out, the survivors scattering away. It brought a sigh of relief to some, though others still mourned the loss of their beloved) You can find them most bizarre and terrible looking weapons there. Even barbed-wire whips, which while selling well don’t attract good glances, as I’ve noticed. The other shop I’ve been visiting often while in Berdusk (and which I still do visit very often) is Ondraer’s Fine Pages. It’s a bookseller shop in which you can find a selection of very useful books, blank ones to write on included, as well as scrolls, vellum and reams of parchment of all sizes, bindings and formats. I was quite surprised to see a book that was nearly as tall as myself, locked with three brass, extravagant locks and bound with –actual dragonskin-. It was, also, very ridiculously expensive to buy. Probably for good reasons. However my delivery works eventually ended as my last task was to join a newly formed group of adventurers on a task of more considerable danger.

We’ve first met each other at one of the buildings of the local city watch. Myself and others were tasked (of course in exchange for good payment) with retrieving a lost transport of valuable metals and minor magical items which disappeared before reaching Berdusk through River Chionthar. Our group composed of Raelin, a human warrior of kind of knightly values, Vassena, a human mage-thief, as I’ve grown to understand, Gorthur, a dwarven priest of Marthammor Duin and myself. Raelin seemed rather charismatic, for a human, and thus we’ve been content with having him do most of the talking while I and Gorthur exchanged pleasantries. After we’ve received our briefing and directions where we should begin looking for the lost cargo, we made sure that we’re prepared and set out of the city to the southern bank of the river Chionthar and journeyed eastward. It was a simple task, as we thought. Find out what happened, see if the cargo can be retrieved and then report back. Alas, rarely matters go as most of us would hope for.

After several candlemarks of travel, we’ve managed to gain some distance from the Jewel of the Vale, and come close to where we were supposed to start looking. Strangely enough, we didn’t look for too long, as near the bank of the river we’ve found parts and pieces of a small barge or a large raft, which didn’t look rotten or decayed in any way. We began searching for any traces of the cargo when, suddenly, we’ve heard hoarse cries of a woman and splashing of water. From beyond tall grass growing over a little rise at the bank of the river, our group spotted a drowning woman in tattered clothing. Suffice to say, Vassena and I were sceptical about this- a woman drowning right here at the river? Followed by stench of rotting fish, fish which we couldn’t spot anywhere? Despite that, Gorthur and Raelin in their valor rushed towards the drowning woman in order to save her, bearing no regard for our words. My mage-thief friend then noticed a number of human(oid) bones at the riverbank of Chionthar, only after which I’ve realised that the woman’s drowning wasn’t that at all... She was casting Charm Person spells. We ran as fast as we could to the two idiots that left their metal armor behind and jumped into the water to get to the “woman”. Vassena and I shouted after them, to no avail. Raelin was first to reach the woman and in near instant she transformed into a monster. A twisted-looking warhorse with bits of rotten plants on itself and black eyes. The monster, Kelpie, quickly hit Raelin on his head with its hoof, knocking him out and keeping him underwater with its bestial body with a clear goal to drown him. First thing that came to my mind was to attack it, and so I cast an Ice Dart spell, sending three icicles with great speed at the Kelpie- much to my surprise they did little to nothing, aside of angering and alerting it. Gorthur came back to his senses and almost immediately the shot a ray of warm, yellow-white ray at the kelpie, but the monster dived into the water and dodged it. The mage-thief was fiddling with a rope and few hooks in the meantime and once she was done- she took the hooks into few spins before throwing it at the horse-monster with an accuracy of a well trained archer. Her grappling hooks bit into the kelpie and she managed to get it off Raelin, though with struggle (Gorthur was a good distraction at that moment). Our dwarf took Raelin and began swimming to the riverbank, though at the same time the horse pulled Vassena into the water- she didn’t release the rope from her hands in time. At that time, I was watching what’s going on in a rather helpless fashion, I wasn’t sure what should I do. The kelpie, enraged, began flailing with its hooves and swimming towards the three of my companions- Raelin still being unconscious. Vassena was the first to get hit very badly by the kelpie’s hooves, dislocating her left shoulder which rendered her unable to swim back to the riverbank. Raelin was bit and also stormed with hooves- breaking several of his ribs and cracking more bones. This creature was strong. Too strong... If we were to win, we had to weaken it somehow... I had to enfeeble it. Enfeeblement was the word that came to my mind and the magic unravelled its secret in my mind instantaneously. Quickly I aimed and invoked the words of my first necromantic spell that I’ve discovered in me, Ray of Enfeeblement. First one miss, but the second one hit the creature and considerably weakened it- allowing Gorthur to get to the riverbank and place Raelin safely on his side. Meanwhile Vassena struggled, trying not to drown- I grabbed the rope of the grappling hook that she threw at the Kelpie moments ago and threw one of its end towards her. Luckly enough her other hand retained her strength and I began pulling her out of the river... but the Kelpie was not done with us. As I was standing at the edge of the river, the monster attacked me with its hooves. I’m not a strong elf, by any means, and that rain of blows would surely cripple me, if not for Gorthur descending upon the monstrous horse with his heavy mace in hand- landing a powerful blow on at the horse’s head (And making a loud crunching noise. It made me shudder for a moment). With Raelin knocked out, Vassena dragged out of the river and not able to fight, it was down to me and my dwarven ally to take care of the malign fey-beast. He stood against it, with his shield as the only defense against its hooves while I kept back and sent my Magic Missiles at the Kelpie, realising that my cold-based spells don’t work against it at all. My missiles were enough to distract the monster, which Gorthur used to his advantaged- grabbed and broke each of the kelpie’s front legs with his mace. It couldn’t run now, and it couldn’t attack us properly. Kelpie tried to instil fear in us with its magic, but Gorthur stood undeterred. With a final, mighty swing of his mace he finished the monster off, smashing its head, accompanied with words “May you rot in whatever hellish place you’re sent to”.

Once the fight for our lives was done, Gorthur rushed to see that Raelin doesn’t die on us, while I helped Vassena to get up and move around. Our dwarven priest didn’t have much of a healer’s training, as it turned out, but with few healing spells he managed to stabilize the human warrior. More or less, anyway. We all trudged back to Berdusk to give our report and see if they truly want to get that lost cargo. It was safer to do so after the demise of the Kelpie (they did, eventually, recover the lost shipment and nobody was even harmed). Once we’ve reached the gates of the Jewel of the Vale, we’ve been helped by few guard recruits and Raelin as well as Vassena were taken to the Ready House of the Right Strong Hand (what a mouthful), local temple to Helm. Gorthur and I went to receive our payment and our friends’ shares, after which we stayed at both stayed at the Running Stag and indulged in rest for the rest of the day.

In the following days, my dwarven friend and I were visiting Raelin and Vassena at the temple, paying for their stay there (as non-faithful of Helm have to pay 25 gold coins for each day of stay. And these Helmites insist on staying until anyone injured and hurt is completely healed) and bringing in some food and drink from time to time. That fight clearly forged a semblance of companionship between us all, a bond. And it would last until each of my new friends passed away.

To this day I pray to Angharradh in their memory.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:54 pm

~~~Intermission~~~
Image
Image
Image
~~~Credits to CommanderKrieg & Cinta~~~
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:40 am

~Of Magic and its Pursuit~

It has been two months that I’ve spent in Berdusk by that time. I’ve grown used to the city and how people in it live, even though I still felt, strangely, alone while surrounded by so many people. A feeling I’ve had and still have while in any human city. I’ve managed to earn enough money on adventuring that I’ve bought myself a small place near the Bellblade Throne, a tankard house directly south-west of Clearspring Tor and thus relatively close to my favourite spot in the city. It was a cosy place, for a city that’s almost entirely covered in stone. One big chamber, connected to two smaller ones by the eastern wall (bedroom and kitchen). The alley right outside my place looked pleasantly too, with a tree and small flower bed growing in the middle of it.

Veron kept his word, in the end. Even though his machinations put me on path of a lot of danger, he said that he was surprised by the effectiveness of myself and the group I came to adventure around the Vale with (...despite some mishaps that I had with my magic that I’d rather not mention for my pride’s sake. I just want you to know that yes. They happened. They were shameful and brought myself and some others –quite- some troubles). The half-elven minstrel arranged a meeting with a human wizard that could be of help with harnessing my magical talent. The wizard’s house, one that had a very, very soaring roof and overall architecture, stood few alleys to the north east of the Ready Hous-[ink crossing marks]- Temple of Helm. It look very old, older than anything in this city, with exception to the Clearspring Tor. Many parts of the outer stone walls were chipped off and the reliefs adorning the doorway from up above were all but nearly faded out. Only the roof from outside seemed... somewhat in a relatively good shape, if you looked at it from the corner of your eye and squint your eyes –very- hard. “This must be the famed monument of laziness” – I thought to myself. I was partially right. Only partially. Veron took me there with him, saying that he has to appear there and talk with the wizard personally. For some reason he didn’t seem like looking forward to that, to my eye. We approached the huge, old wooden door of the wizard’s house and, after a moment of hesitation, the bard knocked few times on it while I was wondering how is it that this door didn’t fall off and decay by now. Chipped, partially eaten by mold and the hinges were all rusted. Only the door handle in a relative good shape. We stood there for several moments, looking between each other and shrugging once or twice. Finally, as we were about to give up and go get something to eat, the door let out a slow cracking and clanking noise followed by a screech, like that of a dying animal, of hinges. The door opened a bit and showed an old man dressed in fine dark blue, flowing coat with small, golden stars dotting all over it, under which he wore a blindingly white tunic. His jet-black leather, pointy boots with a small heel were also looking rather luxurious. He stood straight, almost noble-like, looking upon us with his gray eye and an annoyed frown on his face. Gerdalon “Star-Mantle” (apt title, I thought) Silverhorn, may have been considered of typical Tethyrian looks and body build, despite his old age. He had a short, well trimmed, white full beard, while his hair was shaved on sides of his head- leaving only the white storm of straight hair locks on top of it. The wizard was a stark contrast to his abode. Veron engaged in a hesitant talk with him while I simply stood and listened (I felt like a lost, hurt deer next to that wizard) to their conversation. Gerdalon was short and sharp with his words, as if they were razor blades. After explaining in a very humble manner as to why we have arrived here, “Star-Mantle” looked me over and, with a small grimace on his face, asked me “What is magic?”. Dear reader, you might be or not be aware, but there are many, many words to describe magic. Some of the greatest sages create books in order to explain what magic exactly is, trying to unravel its secrets. Even followers of the human goddess of magic, Mystra, spend their lives in dwelling upon the mysteries of Magic’s nature. To many it is a tool they think they can use and then discard once it’s no longer useful. To others, it’s a power that should only be wielded by responsible ones. Some go as far as fearing and hunting those that wield magic. My answer, however, to Gerdalon was “Magic is life.” – an answer that made him look more closely upon me and reply with a “Not good, but good enough.”. Somehow that made me feel like less of a peasant to him.

Gerdalon “Star-Mantle” was an eccentric person (Like most wizards, anyway. I’m looking at you, Sirion) and his home somewhat reflected that. It turned out that his home was actually not as much of a ruin inside as it was outside. In fact, the inside of it felt like a very old, human noble mansion. Entering the building, you were greeted by warm, yet dimly lit, corridor that had two doors to the left and two doors to the right. Everything inside was built of some sort of dark brown wood, with old, traditional Tethyrian carvings, adornments and even some frescos. The wizard certainly liked the old style of his people. First two doors to the right led to a dining room connected with the living room. One, huge fireplace in the middle of the chamber always had flames occupied with their merry dance on wooden logs, which gave a very cosy feeling to the entire room. Few comfortable chairs in the right corner of the room, accompanied with a small table for drinks and in the left corner, a dining table and cabinets with dry food, spices, herbs and even some cheeses. The dining table always had ready silverware, tall, crystal glasses for wine and a flagon containing the said wine in the middle of the long table. Old paintings of landscapes and portraits hanged on the walls next to few shelves with most recent books about history of different cities and regions in the Western Faerûn, stories and legends and some newest treatises upon theory of magic. What truly took my breath away was the library that you could enter through the second door to the left from the main corridor. When you entered this room, that’s when you realised this entire building must be thriving on magic, as the chamber was vastly more extensive than the small building from the outside leads you to believe. The library was build in a half-circle shape, with shelves containing some of the oldest-looking books I’ve ever seen, entirely covering the walls. The library had two levels, ground level and by stairs going up at the end of the main corridor you could get to the upper level. The shelves themselves were thrice as tall as myself and the sheer amount of old tomes made me feel as if I just entered tiny Candlekeep. The library chamber was illuminated by a stoically hanging off the ceiling golden chandelier, at the landing-level, underneath which could see desks and chairs put in a circle - always ready to receive a seeker of knowledge and aid him in research.

“Star-Mantle” led me upstairs, to the main “ritual chamber” he had designed for spellcasting and magical purposes. It was a round room with three openings stylised in arches to the upper level of the library chamber. It was the only place in the entire building with a stone floor- perfectly flat, smooth and without a single crack in it. He approached one of his workbenches, the one containing various material components for spells and magical rituals, and started to slowly explain to me what will be my duties and obligations. It was... a very long and winded monologue which I’ve stopped listening to, after a while (Which I was doing numerous times afterwards as well- something I’ve often been reprimanded for). There’s one important thing that he said and which I recall – “Magic is not just a tool, it’s not a weapon that is given to you for granted. Magic doesn’t belong to you. You belong to magic, to the Weave. The Weave is the painting brush which you use in order to draw your spells on canvas of the world surrounding you. Your paint is, in your case of a sorceress, your own blood. Whereas we’re all part of magic in one way or another, you are magic. You need to treat this brush with respect and care, for if you don’t, it will be gone. Maybe forever. The only one that will be able to give you another painting brush is Mystra herself, or your own gods of magic. You wonder what will happen if you mistreat the Weave and use it for filling your pointless ego, much like the Red Wizards do? I’ll tell you what will happen. The world will turn against you. Shadows will always seem to hide something that isn’t there. Your own thoughts will begin to twist and your mind will shatter. You will grow insane. Or die beforehand, in a terrible manner.” – The cold, blunt, harsh words that resound still ever truthful of their meaning. The Wizard took me as his apprentice, me a sorceress, and gave me access to his library and workstations. I’ve spent several more months with him, performing my “duties” which often were visiting Ondraer’s Fine Pages for more vellum, parchment, books and scrolls of some specific design. And cleaning. And cooking. I guess learning how to cook from my mother came in useful, in the end. In that time I’ve learned more about magic, it’s theory and secrets than I’ve ever had an occasion to. Old treatises and grimoires, letters and scrolls; elves may be some of the most commonly proficient and powerful spellcasters on Faerûn (Yes, I am biased), but other races have certainly added their brick to the splendour of magical research and its use.

Only thanks to this knowledge I’ve been able to uncover some of the lost secrets of my People’s magic. Without it, I’d likely not achieve what I did in my life, and as next centuries have shown to me... it was quite a lot.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:54 pm

~Asbravn~


Spring turned into Summer. Summer into Fall. Fall into Winter. I’ve spent in Berdusk, at that time, over half-a-year. The nature turned golden, then gray and then fell into deep slumber, covered by thick carpet of snow. I’ve spent the Feast of the Moon with local elven community, we’ve gathered to perform the Mystic Rites of the Luminous Cloud at the Clearspring Tor, but I won’t bore you, my reader, with explaining what it is in full, as I’m sure you can hear enough stories about these happening. A month and nearly a half later, in a month known as Hammer, my life has taken another turn.

Through my time studying under “Star-Mantle” I’ve learned much, as I have previously mentioned, but despite all that, despite all the work he made me do (he placed a quick-paced human teaching upon me. I still fail to understand how can humans rush so much in their lives... But I can certainly see how quickly it can bring effects) I still could not control my powers. Accidentally extinguishing fires, candles. Shooting icicles out of my hand when I was irritated. Freezing food solid... It all, and worse, was still happening. Magic within me was an unrelenting storm that could not be tamed, even through study that I’ve took upon myself. One day, while we were in the living room and I was reading a very badly and falsely written “All you need to know about Dryads”, Gerdalon asked me to put down the book and listen to him for a while. He told me that he was thinking about the cause and issue of my lack of control, but he admitted that he could not learn what might be precisely the problem. “Star-Mantle” shared some compliments about my eventual diligence and that “All things considered, you’re one of the few of my apprentices that make me proud” despite being a sorceress. I was surprised to hear these words, as well as happy. Over my time with him, I’ve grown to respect the old wizard, especially after attending to several meetings between other wizards with him. His dry humour and yet spot on wisdom impressed me, especially when others tried to ridicule him taking a sorcerer apprentice. Master Silverhorn handed me a letter containing a name of a Wizard living in “Greystone Spire”, south of Teziir- a town between Elversult and Westgate on Dragon Coast and a map with a marked path that man’s abode. Gerdalon told me that the Wizard is the only person he has managed to find about and whom has devoted his life into researching magical creatures and innate magical powers- if there was a person that could possibly help me, that was him. I’ve received coin for the road, backpack, food and some useful items that could help me on the road: Alchemist Fire, Thunderstones and two pouches of Choking Powder, along with three healing potions. “Star-Mantle” has warned me that the road is full of peril, but if I keep my wits about me, I should be able to survive against odds that may be set in front of me. I just have to know when to fight and when to run away (You’d be surprised how many times running away actually saved my life).

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, I didn’t leave Berdusk on my own. My previous companions from the Kelpie fight joined me. “We can’t let you go have adventures without us, where’s the fun in that?” – was Vassena’s reasoning. We’ve bought some hardy drinks (Though I still stayed with mead for myself) for the road and set out through the Vale Gate, heading north-east, following the Uldoon’s Trail towards the Dusk Road and, eventually, Iriaebor. The trail took us around eastern edge of the Reaching Woods, fortunately, though our journey didn’t come completely peacefully. On more than one occasion we had to avoid hunting-bands of hobgoblins coming out of the forest to prey on travellers or wildlife; the groups of monsters outnumbering us quite greatly. On the bright side... The land looked like something from a fairy tale. The Vale in that time of year is entirely covered with a perfectly smooth thick layer of snow, giving you an impression as if it was some sort of enormous white silk that someone spread across the region. And there’s always a lot of snow falling from the sky in the Western Heartlands when Winter comes. We’ve camped twice and exchanged stories about what happened in past months to each of us, as our contact lessened a bit after we all went our separate ways for a while of training, learning or, as it was Gorthur’s case, “Righteous Travern Brawling”. Upon the third day, on Highsun, we’ve spot a settlement ahead of us and approached it- a welcome respite from the cold and snow.

Asbravn, the town I passed through on number of occasions in future, was nothing impressive nor noteworthy in its looks. It is, however, famous for being the market centre for all farmers that, as it is understood, fill the bellies of those hungry all along the Chionthar river. It’s also renowned for “the Riders in Red Cloaks”, a voluntary militia that was led by several experienced warriors (very simple beginning for them, hm?) whom are sometimes supported by mages and clerics hired from Iriaebor in order to keep the roads safe- especially from Zhentarim agents and well-paid bandits they send to harass the town. It is, to my understanding, that it was a running tradition to have at least one Rider in the family, in Asbravn, which was also rather profitable, for you’ve earned ten gold per tenday. The locals didn’t like Zhentarim, to put it lightly, and rumours were coming around wildly that due to angry insisting of a priest of Ilmater, Asgar Tellendar, the applicants for becoming one of the Riders were questioned with the aid of the Harpers. Whether they were true, I can’t say, but there was a grain of truth to them, in my opinion. The only temple in Asbravn was a dilapidated temple devoted to Ilmater, the Broken One. The reason for that is because Ilmater’s faith didn’t belong to the strongest ones there, in fact there were little to no tithes offered to the church, which in turn prevented the local religious leader to make any appropriate repairs to the building. It was always threatening to collapse with each passing tenday (To this day I don’t understand why these people allowed it to be like this... I suppose they didn’t want to lose their coin and didn’t feel strongly about Ilmater, anyway). While in Asbravn I’ve heard stories how some strange persons wanted to buy the building out from Asgar Tellendar, but each time he dismissed them with very short and cold words, later muttering that “If they weren’t Zhentarim, then I’m a toad”. Other places of religious worship include shrines to Lliira, Lathander and, then and now abandoned, Waukeen. The town always looked tranquil, well kept barns, stump-and-boulder fences, simple houses... and yet at corners where tracks and trails meet, in Asbravn, stand old, cracked stone pillars surmounted by crumbling horse heads. That certainly stood out to me, and I kept wondering how did it come to be here. Later in my life I’ve found out that these pillars are some of the last remains of the ancient city of Urdrath, of the Horsemen (a tribe of humans that moved on to the Savage North many, many, many centuries ago). It’s said that these Horsemen established a small settlement, a temple, to which these nomadic Humans were coming in order to bury their dead in the mysterious catacombs beneath today’s Asbravn... catacombs which are, supposedly, a vast underground maze of passages far and deep as so their actual extent is unknown. What is known, however, is that the deeper levels of the catacombs are roamed by many undead, both ancient and new ones (as thieves tend to be attracted to gold... death tends to be attracted to them in return). Few of the locals told me that from time to time “the foolish young children” come from Berdusk and Iriaebor on dares to enter the crypts. Most often just to impress others. Sometimes they don’t return alive. Vassena was very interested in venturing into these crypts, as was Gorthur, but Raelin and I opposed it, saying that those places should be best left untouched. Unfortunately, that fell on deaf ears.

Before I know it, we’re in a cellar of one of the houses. The owner, Macar, was a bit of a fat human, with a strange, long, blond, twirled upwards moustache. His cheeks were always rosy, as was his nose. I always assumed it was wine that the man was likely drinking when nobody’s looking. For ten gold, he allowed us to go inside the catacombs through the entrance he “happened” to find (I am rather certain he dug up to it with intention of setting up this business in the first place). Raelin held a torch in his left hand, his right hand already keeping a longsword. Gorthur was stretching and speaking prayers in dwarven while Vassena was very excited and kept talking about what we might find down there. Myself? I was scared so much that I could barely walk. It was undead. They’re terrifying and not just because of their looks. The entrance to the crypts was covered with a huge, carved stone slab that looked more like a coffin-cover rather than a door (which, again, gave me chills). Gorthur made a short work with it, simply pushing it away, seemingly with no effort, which earned him a lot of raised brows. He only shrugged in reply. A dark descend was in front of our eyes, cold, dusty air from inside already feeling our chests.

That adventure forever remained etched in our minds...
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:25 pm

~Deathless Catacombs~


Cold, dark, eerie and a bit damp. That’s how you could describe these crypts in short. Raelin held a torch and led us forward, while rest of my companions followed him. The shadows receded in a dancing manner wherever we went, uncovering to us the passageways. Everything was made of stone. We haven’t even walked for few minutes before we found the first tomb chamber on our way. They all looked very much similar- square chambers made of stone with coffin niches on walls. Centre of those chambers was always occupied with whomever important-in-life was buried in a stone coffin. Walls and burial places themselves were always adorned with horse and war reliefs, visibly old due to the style used in carvings. Nothing even remotely close to the refined art of these times. And yet... in light of the torch every carving seemed to stare at us as if they lived. Unwelcoming. Hostile.

We made our way further deep into the crypts, passing through chambers that were visited by adventurer long before our arrival here. The deeper we went in, the more ancient everything seemed. And worse, more dusty. I caught myself sneezing more than a few times down there which tended to give a scare to either our mage-thief or our dwarven priest. We’ve reached first set of stairs that brought us to deeper level, which wasn’t much different than the previous one, aside of having more coffins set in the walls. We were walking, in silence, in cold, hearing only our steps, beating of our hearts and few whispers that we managed to share among ourselves. As we’ve reached the second set of stairs, Gorthur spotted someone downstairs, laying on the ground, shivering. Raelin and our dwarven priest descended to see who is it, but as they made their way downstairs- the person on the stone floor jumped at them with great speed, swinging at them with bony claws and trying to bite into them. Vassena followed our companions and cast Magic Missile at the first undead she saw, I could imagine there turned out to be more of them down there, alas... Before I could move to aid my friends, a cold, bone hand grasped me by my throat with strength I’ve never witnessed before. The coffin I was standing next to have opened enough for the hand to bolt right at me and start choking me. I tried to free myself, but in vain. I tried to shout, but I could only make silent noises. I was panicking and thought this is my end- death at hands of undead corpses. I saw my friends be swarmed by skeletons, Raelin wrestling an armoured one, Vassena releasing her spells and I could hear Gorthur’s chanting... and then my vision turned black.


Being choked to death is bad, just as swooping is bad. If you, my dear reader, never experienced that, then I hope you never will. It’s likely one of the greatest moments of panic and feelings of powerlessness. Angharradh must have watched over me that moment, thankfully, for I did not perish that time. I awoke in arms of Gorthur, him carrying me as the group kept walking on. We made a small stop to rest and they told me what happened with the battle and how the dwarven priest called in divine power of the Watchful Eye, vanquishing all undead monstrosities around them. He was also the one that found me, freed me from the undying hand and saved from the grasp of death. By that moment, I owed him my life- something I still do to this day. I’ve pleaded for us to leave, but apparently we’ve walked too far down to return empty handed by now, as my companions have decided. With little more to say, I had to follow them deeper into the crypts. Five more chambers we’ve passed, before we descended down yet again. The stonework was visibly growing older and worn out; my mind raced with imaginary thoughts of the passages caving in and us being trapped here forever. That did not happen, fortunately. Instead, we’ve found ourselves in a strange chamber, to which the entrance was different than all we’ve so far seen. It was oval, rough, seemingly unfinished tunnel- an entrance which most likely was sealed before. Vassena silently stepped in and bid me to follow her, since I was the only one not wearing chunks of metal on myself and thus could more reliably be quiet-footed. The more I walked towards the darkness, the less I could see... Even as an elf. This place had not even a tiny source of light, aside of the torch carried by my friends. It is when Vassena surprised me with possession of a ring that, upon speaking a right phrase, could shed a dim, white-gray light. From there on, I acted as her eyes, however not for long. After several moments I’ve noticed that the chamber is occupied by some figures in robes- thing which promptly made me cover the ring’s light and tug my mage-thief friend behind a plain stone sarcophagus that rested right by the passageway towards the main corridor, inside the chamber properly. I took a peek at what the figures are doing...

Seven persons stood in a half-circle in front of a pedestal in the far end of the chamber. The stone room itself was nothing completely out of ordinary, but it’s architecture was different than from the rest of the catacombs. The stone carvings horses and humans on hunt were exchanged with sylvan races- dryads, centaurs, satyrs, even some elf-like creatures, among the most prevalent creatures, seemingly dancing and fighting against warriors that didn’t look much similar to previous horselord depictions. These wore jagged armors and weapons, their helmets covering their faces. He cloaked figures kept muttering something, almost soundlessly, remaining mostly unmoving. The one in the centre, figure standing in front of the pedestal was the only person making any considerable movements at all. He held a dagger in his right hand and some sort of a sceptre in his left hand- all in all it seemed like some sort of ritual is going on. I didn’t know what to do with that fact, aside of waiting for what’s going to happen. Suddenly, as if the ritual-leader got possessed, called out with a male, raspy voice - “I call upon you, Margarot of Blackened Thorns! I call upon the spirit of your vengeance! I call you back from the Lord of Bones’ side! Come forth and return to finish your destruction! Claim your vengeance!” – the words echoed through the crypts. Words that were enough for Gorthur and Raelin to forget about the stealth and rush into the chamber with their weapons drawn. Vassena cursed them both under her breath and then cursed this place, drawing her twin daggers and sneaking into the shadows, planning to flank the robed figures. I sat behind the sarcophagus, preferring not to expose myself to the fight, at least not just yet. It was seven cultists and they were raising a person into undeath, after all. Raelin was first to rush at the robed figures- which by now turned around and drew jagged short swords from somewhere underneath all of their cloth. Our human knight attacked with his sword from above his head and met the first cultists’ weapon with such a force, their weapons’ clash sent sparks flying in all directions. Gorthur followed closely in suit, defending Raelin’s left flank and crushing one of their enemies’ knees with his mace. Vassena jumped from the darkness at the leftmost cultist and drowned her daggers in the person’s back- who screamed with female voice before falling on the ground, lifeless. While my companions were engaged in combat, I watched the cultist leader of theirs. I’ve recognised what he’s doing, but... too late.

The wall in front of the cultist suddenly cracked and started to fall apart. I could see a skeletal hand emerging before I hid back behind the coffin and started praying to Angharradh in panic. Fighting raged on, I could hear spells being hurled, screams cutting through the still air of these crypts, steel clashing against steel... after a moment I’ve decided to take another peek at what’s going on. Raelin, Vaseena and Gorthur managed to dispatch the cult, but now they were facing the skeletal being. It was the strangest undead I’ve seen, back then. Its bones were gray, it wore torn, rusted and blackened armor parts that somehow still held together off the top of its shoulders. The worst, however, was its stare. In the place where the skeleton should have eyes there were two, cold, blue glowing orbs. That very gaze sent awful shivers down my spine. Gorthur tried to call upon Marthammor Duin, in hopes of destroying the undead creature with the power of divines, but it had little to no effect. In turn, the skeleton raised its huge, iron mace above its head and, with a swift swing, made it crash on the left arm of my dwarven friend hard enough that I could hear from my distance a loud crack of broken bones... And a scream following it. I stood up, seeing that, and tried to help my friends by setting off a magic missile... but instead I shot a Ray of Enfeeblement, which had completely no effect on the undead foe in front of us. My glorious magical talent in action once again; I could swear I noticed Vassena rolling her eyes when she saw the spell I cast. Raelin started to wrestle with the skeleton, seeing that being hit with that mace isn’t the best of things that could happen upon anyone, all the meanwhile our mage-thief hastily began browsing through some of her pouches and within a moment she cast a spell, creating a five foot wide ball of flames that rolled in on the undead creature and started to set its gear aflame, at which point Raelin had to withdraw. I helped dragging Gorthur away, from whom I assume was the afore mentioned Margarot, and tried to administer some help, as clumsily as I did. His entire arm looked as if it’s just... not in the right place at all. My dwarven friend told me to just set it in the proper place, forcefully, without caring for the pain he might feel. I did so, reluctantly. The moment I had it more or less in the place, he called out to the Watchful Eye once again, this time for healing his arm “So that I can defend the future of all clans!”. A golden light enveloped his shoulder and Gorthur’s face started to relax. Meanwhile Vassena was knocked back by the undead creature and Raelin engaged in a duel which he was steadily losing. I thought to myself “I have to do something! I have to attack!”. With that on my mind I, once again, tried to cast a magic missile spell, but instead of it... white light started to gather in my hands and form into a javelin-like weapon. Instinctively I threw it at the skeletal monster and somehow I’ve managed to hit it! The javelin made of white energy plunged into the creature and disappeared- the undead itself staggered back, releasing the most chilling of sounds of pain I’ve ever heard. This was enough for Raelin to use it and bring his sword as hard as he could at Margarot’s head, decapitating it, after which he knocked the rest of its body and stomped on it with his steel sabatons. After we were sure that is it, we all gathered to tend to our wounds and search the room. It proved to be a fruitful idea, as Vassena and Raelin managed to find quite a bit of coin, along with silver and golden necklaces. Gorthur found some ornate daggers and weapons, which he deemed “Primitive, but fancy enough for humans”. I didn’t find much of anything, aside of one thing that caught my eye. In one of broken urns present in the corners of the chamber I’ve found a single, platinum ring set with a large diamond surrounded by a circle of smaller sapphires and rubies. I found that these gems gleamed brightly in even the dullest light as well as I noticed an inscription on the inside of the band that simply reads “for Alenea” in Espurar, Elven. The ring, when I put it on, seemed as if it was crafted perfectly for my hand as well. I found that odd, but at the same time... strangely meaningful.

After that battle, and finding some spoils, we’ve all decided that we should head back to Asbravn before we end up as food for more undead or find some other strange cults (I’ve almost forgotten to add that the cultists were all humans and didn’t possess any noteworthy symbols on themselves. Their weapons, however, appeared to be of masterwork making, which suggested these people were supported by someone wealthy. Someone that wanted to unleash an ancient undead in this town, for some malign reason). When we stepped out of the chamber, myself, Vessana and Raelin realised that... we don’t remember the way back up. Before I got into another small panic attack, Gorthur patted me few times on my back and said - “You all need to spend some time in mountain homes. Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about not getting lost in such places without a dwarf to keep you safe.” - ...which was close to truth. He, of course, allowed himself to ignore the fact that dwarves simply have this unique to them sense of stone and underground passages. He memorised the entire path we’ve taken on our way down here and led us back up through, now, mostly empty-if-cold-and-eerie catacombs. We’ve found that the gateway through which we entered the crypts was locked again. Without much grandeur, Raelin simply kicked the stone gate-seal, which fell off and hit the stone floor with marvellous, loud racket- loud enough to scare Macar, the fat owner of the house, and make him pray to Lathander with utmost zeal and fervour. Fortunately for him, we weren’t undead, and as soon as he realised it, the man’s attitude changed to an overly welcoming one. He invited us to stay at his place, rest, eat and recover while he makes sure nobody disturbs us and our “precious findings”. Suffice to say, we’ve rejected his offer and went on our way to the Broad Laid Bare, a local inn which was nice looking and cozy enough for us to have an actual great night and day of rest after our small adventure. If you ever find yourself in Asbravn, I recommend that inn. Probably the best you can find out there, away from any cities, in the Western Heartlands. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of warm-looking decor for a village such as Asbravn, less surprised about the quality food they serve.

In the night I had some strange dreams regarding a pair of gold elves... Something of some relevance, as all dreams of elves are, but I didn’t pay attention to it much at that time. It was completely out of place.

Besides, on the morrow we were going to set off on an important journey towards Iriaebor, the next city on our stop.
Last edited by Ravial on Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

User avatar
Ravial
Custom Content
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Poland

Re: Travelogue of Laeria Amarillis

Unread post by Ravial » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:49 pm

~Iriaebor~


The snow was everywhere, something usual for this time of year. My friends and I set out for a few days’ journey towards Iriaebor. We left Asbravn behind ourselves and followed the Dusk Road towards south east, hoping that we may yet avoid any harsh weather deciding to sweep through the Western Heartlands. The road was peaceful, if difficult. The amount of snow and the sting of cold on my cheeks brought me to dream about warmth of Evermeet that I’ve forsaken so long ago. It took us two nights, one snowball fight and time spent on sharing stories of our folk until we approached the City of a Thousand Spires. It was... another memorable event.

We came closer to Iriaebor late evening, as we’ve decided to push until we get into the city. The sky was clear and you could see the stars shining above our heads, but at the same time the air was blowing with merciless cold at us. On our way we’ve encountered wagon with two horses harnessed to it. The wagon was neatly covered with cloth over the cargo it was transporting, efficiently keeping the snow off. It belonged to Derin Cragwatch, who introduced himself as a noble-merchant from Iriaebor. His personal entourage included three armed guards- two of them wearing scale mails and the other one wore a breastplate. My first impression of him was that he must be some sort of a down-to-luck noble. It wasn’t exactly a wrong thought. Maybe a candlemark’s time away from Iriaebor, we were crossing a small, frozen ravine, on which’s banks gathered large piles of snow. In what seemed like short seconds, the piles of snow burst up, revealing several hidden men and women, dressed in thick furs and wielding crossbows, short swords or clubs. Two bolts were shot at us, one hit Raelin in his ribs- piercing his armour, and the other got stuck in the wagon. The attackers charged at us, but the nobleman’s guards were surprisingly quick to act themselves. Nearly leaping, they crossed the distance that separated them from the assailants and engaged in melee combat, wielding long swords and round shields. Vessana sent a firebolt at one of the crossbowmen, which lit the man on fire and set panic into his mind. Gorthur focused on helping Raelin, while I tried to aid my allies by casting Orb of Force and Ray of Enfeeblement at our enemies. They must’ve not expected any spellcasters, as they didn’t seem like they could handle both be and Vessana being there; the crossbowmen began retreating from the snowy slope they were standing on, moreso as they’ve noticed that their other companions began falling on the snow under wrath of guardsmen swords. I’ve managed to defeat two of our assailants with several magic missiles that left my fingertips and battered into their bodies. My gaze travelled searching for my companions and I’ve noticed that Vessana has joined in close combat herself while Gorthur tried to haul the wounded warrior onto the wagon we were guarding. I’ve chosen to help our dwarf as I had trust in Vessana’s skill. Raelin, on the other hand, didn’t seem like he was doing very well with that crossbow bolt in his body. We dragged him onto the wagon and Gorthur told me with a harsh whisper that it must’ve been poisoned as well as that he doesn’t have any blessings that could easily help with that, so we needed to be creative. In that moment, I could hear the battle growing fiercer for a moment and then abruptly stopping. I took a peek at the scenery and saw around eight persons laying on the red snow beneath them. The two guardsmen of Derin Cragwatch were dragging their third companion back to the wagon- dead, blood pouring from fatal wounds beneath his armpit and around his neck. I asked the noble merchant “What was that? Who were those bandits?”. He looked at me with a rather bitter gaze and said “Rule number one. If you deal with wealthy merchants, you deal with death. Welcome to life in Iriaebor.” – He waited until the dead guard was loaded onto the wagon, right next to Raelin, before he ordered to move on. The attackers didn’t have much of anything valuable to their person, aside of a brooch with a symbol of purple salamander wandering up a long sword. Vessana took it off one of the now dead brutes she fought with and slipped into her dark leather bracer. I didn’t think much of it, as such a warm welcoming into the city made me hope I get out of there on first favourable opportunity.

* * *

Iriaebor is a massive, gray city built atop a tall, rocky ridge which serves as a great, natural defensive position. That natural defence has made space within the city so valuable, that the ancestors of people living here built many tall, closely-crammed towers, joined by bridges, leaning against eachother and bristling with balconies, so that most of the narrow, winding streets are left permanently in shadow. This alone has given Iriaebor a title of “City of a Thousand Spires”. While splendorous sounding, the reality looks less... glorious. Those towers, today, are gray, crumbling buildings either due to age or poor workmanship. North of the ridge is the largest district called “the Lower City”, a former farmland that has since been built upon, enclosed with outer walls and is, likewise, cramped, though with less amount of crumbling towers. In the Lower City you can find many houses of the common folk and labourers, the open market (which is the only –ONLY- open space left in the city), stables, tanneries, slaughterhouses and other noisome places like that, and two fenced merchant coster waybases: a major base of the Thousandheads Trading Coster and a smaller center of the Dragoneye Dealing Coster, two very important merchant organisations within the city. Remember, when a merchant organisation there is important, it means they’re playing the game of cloak, shadow, dagger and death quite effectively in this city. South of the ridge lies a narrow strip of land between the river and the ridge, crowded with warehouses, docks, boatbuilding slips, muddy wagon trails and, worst of all, heaps of rubbish. That district is called the Docks. The district atop the ridge itself is called “The Old City”. In that forest of stone towers live the most successful (or most ruthless, as many citizen prefer to say) merchant-nobles. Most of the important buildings of the city can be found there. Iriaebor is sometimes called the Overland City because it’s the easternmost outpost of the Vale and the fact that it carries caravan trade on the Dusk Road over the rapids and cataracts of the upper Chionthar, linking up with the Trader’s Road that runs east to the Sea of Fallen Stars. Barges cannot get any farther upriver than the lower docks of Iriaebor, as going any further up the river is impossibly dangerous. Due to that, the city has only two roads and gates in and out- one by the Lower City that opens up to the Dusk Road and another one opening up the Trade’s Road from Docks- A gray bridge connects two banks of the river Chionthar there. Iriaebor, in general, exports many fine horses from surrounding farmlands, kegs, barges and a lot of, what my dwarven companion have said, terrible quality beer.

The City of a Thousand Spires is home to several major temples: The Silent Hall, dedicated to Eldath; The Golden Bowl of the Goddess, dedicated to Chauntea; The High Altar of the Moon (simply called by locals “Moontower”), a centre of worship to Selûne and lastly the Tower of Gold, ground of Waukeenars. The followers of Waukeen, notably, are commonly reputed to be no-good, do-nothing parasites on the city that will stop at nothing to obtain their wealth. The Silent Hall, quite a novelty considering what Eldath stands for and how few followers she has, is mostly a single outdoors temple room that is overgrown with moss, ferns and contains a solitary pool of water in middle of it. It’s said that it’s the place to retreat whenever anyone wants peace, quiet and solitude. To me, it felt as if the nature there was in torment and barely living on, perhaps due to tall walls surrounding the wooded area. Then again, most of the city felt like that. The Moontower is nothing more than a tall, splendorous tower dedicated to the human goddess of moon, female spellcasters and a list of other things she stands for. I’ve never felt connected in any way with her, in addition to her priest often seeming... a bit lunatic to me. It might be just that I’m an elf, but Sehanine Moonbow’s approach always seemed much more intimate and important to me than how the Moonmaiden’s faithful operate, though I cannot deny their altruism and will to work towards betterment of all. The temple to Chauntea was something new! It’s a holy site made of several buildings, on which’s roves they grow flowers in magically heated space. I’ve been given two delicate flowers by the followers of the Grain Goddess as to lift my spirits up during this harsh winter. I’ve found that a pleasant and nice practice.

I’d be remiss, if I didn’t elaborate more on what merchants have to offer inside the city, of course. Despite the state of the city, I have to say that I was quite surprised by what you can find here. The shops and merchant stalls change with confusing speed, you’d think faster than rain drops on the ground, at times. There are two permanent shops, however, that stand out amidst the maelstrom of rising and falling trading posts. In the westernmost end of the Old City (Or “The Tor” like the locals sometimes call the Ridge) stands a building that looks like a tiny keep that is bristling with domes of metal mesh. Those domes? They’re actually animal pens that keep areal mounts for sale. The shop is called “Give Me Wings to Fly”. Apt name, mh? The shop itself is ran by a group of wizards that like to keep everything that’s not business to themselves. I’ve heard a rumour that they might be some semi-retired adventurers with contacts one should not want to discover. I’ve made a visit to it, out of sheer curiosity. It was the first time I’ve heard of a shop selling flying mounts. The keep outside was as grey as it was inside. By which I mean very grey. At the time I’ve met one of those wizards, a tall human with a short, greying beard. He looked me over as if assessing form my attire if I perhaps have any gold to spend, after which he sighed ever so gently. The wizard instantly realised that I can’t make any such purchase. Even though, he explained to me what sort of creatures they’re selling. The shop usually has on stock a pair of griffons, around four hippogriffs and one or two Pegasi. At that time they’ve also had a giant eagle for sale. I know better than offer comments filled with disapproval to powerful mages, ones much more powerful than I am, but I’ve felt sadness for the chained life that those creatures have to experience. The other shop worth mentioning is the Well-Dressed Wizard! Another absurdly expensive shop, but the items you can buy there! The shop itself stands just east of the Moontower, a tall and crumbling, once grand old house that looks completely bland, except for the glowing illusion of a wizard’s staff and cloak that eternally hovers above the double entry doors. Past the gates (those doors are quite big and heavy) there is a black-carpeted and veeeeeeery exclusive shop where, as I am told, extremely rich mages with thousands of gold coins to waste buy grandly styled cloaks, robes, boots, pointed shoes, hats of all kinds and various staves of fantastic appearance and adornments. However, none of those have any magical powers at all. Supposedly, nobles also come here to buy clothes that are simply better than anywhere else they can find. You can order custom-tailored clothing and it is done while you wait. It costs one thousand in gold on top of the price of the chosen garment, which run from nine hundred gold for hats or pairs of shoes to over fifty thousand gold for the largest and some of the gaudiest staves I’ve ever seen. None of those clothes bear any magic on themselves- the proprietor says they “await your own spells to be placed upon them”. Amazing place, truly! And, of course, I was too poor to buy anything there.

* * *

We’ve passed the Old Talking Ox, a roadside, rustic stable and inn complex of buildings. Supposedly ran by two half-orc sisters that are skilled at throwing axes at people that have any complaints. Cragwatch didn’t want to stop there for the night, as he said “I don’t trust that place, especially now. Whomever wants to kill us, probably set up a trap there as well.” – A claim that was understandable, to me at least. The merchant-noble decided that he’ll get to Iriaebor, thinking that’ll be enough of a surprise for whatever rival wanted him dead, and told us of a place where we can stay reliably safe while in the city. The Wandering Wyvern in the Old City, one of very, very few inns that welcomes adventurers, such us ourselves, and travellers without any questions, sneering or increased prices. Supposedly it is like that due to it having been established by former adventurers. We’ve entered the city from the Dusk Road and instantly city guards proceeded to check everything we carry, question us about why are we coming here, for how long we plan to stay and, upon seeing wounded Raelin and a dead guard on the wagon, whom did we fight outside of the city. Daelin Cragwatch answered most of those questions, remarking that the assailants were unmarked but the, of course, thanks for the concern of the City Watch, mentioning how he supports the great peace that Lord Bron has brought and that being probably the entire reason why he was attacked. I make it sound simple, but his tongue weaved so many words into his explanations, it sounded both believable and grossly overstated. We were allowed inside after our names being noted down, along with general description, and after which almost instantly Cragwatch paid us a small amount of gold, telling us to take care of our friend by taking him to the Silent Hall, where he may still receive swift healing and peace, despite the deep night-time.

The man disappeared into dark alleyways of Iriaebor, the two horses tugging his wagon forward with a dull clack of wooden wheels upon uneven stone streets, and we were left to fend for ourselves in this gray, shadowed city, with Raelin being carried by Gorthur and Vessana. I gazed upon the dark spires in the distance and, for a brief moment, I was surprised that I can even notice them in this moonless night. Nevertheless, quite a walk still awaited us, so I’ve decided to stick to streets that seemed to be the “main” ones. Even the Lower City had a myriad of small and big alleys between each of the buildings. As if by a spell, my mind began thinking in how many of those thieves and bandits are waiting to jump at us, which made me hasten my walk. We’ve passed many closed shops, slaughter houses, tanneries and finally a walled building complex, which I assumed to be home of some lesser merchant-noble, before finding a path up to the Old City. Standing on the bottom end of it I could see that the road had two very short and sharp curves, followed by steadily going up, long walkways. I took a glance at my three companions and I’ve noticed that Raelin is barely even awake at this point. I didn’t ask why, not to waste a breath even for a moment, and started our climb up to the many-spired Ridge.

The path was empty, the wind’s wrath was seemingly increasing with each step leading up. After what seemed like near-eternity filled with grumbling, curses and almost desperation, our group managed to get up to the Old City, which welcomed us with crumbling, jagged looking towers of the first street that we’ve walked on. From there, the path to the Silent Hall was very straightforward, partially due to a sign post which showed directions to important buildings in the Old City- including the Eldathyn temple. We walked on forward, following the street we’ve just entered, and within several long moments, the Silent Hall was standing in front of us... On yet another small hill, that we had to circle around and climb up. I thought Raelin is going to die due to this strange hill-complex that Iriaebor seemed to have. Luckly, such death was not fated to him. As soon as we got in there and banged with our fists upon the doors to help the wounded, Raelin was taken into the inner parts of the temple by several priests and priestesses that we woke up from sleep and we were left, once again, to fend for ourselves.

With nothing else to do, we sought out the Wandering Wyvern and, upon finding it, paid for one room to stay in. The three of us thought that in such a city, it’s probably best to remain close to each other for as long as we can. It is much more safe like that. Tired, beaten, with sore feet and arms, we fell into slumber rather quickly... after barring the door. After all, we did help the merchant that was to be killed by goons of another merchant, most likely. Who’s not to say that ours would be the same fate?

On the morrow, we’ve gleaned how deep our self-defence actions have taken us into intrigues of the merchant caste of the City of a Thousand Spires.
"I sometimes wonder if Ravial is actually rav'ialquessir irl" ~ Colonic 2017

~Viridiana Lydhaer - Retired. Silverymoon!
~Arundae Dyraalis - Retired.
~Amaevael Laelyssil - Retired, Selu'Taar on Evermeet
~Laeria Amarillis - #HideThePainLaeria

Ravial ~ By CommanderKrieg ~

Post Reply