Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hour of Dream, part 4

Here is the next part of my "Last of the Drowsbane" campaign. Things get a little crazy here, but fun!

Scene 8

Setup: Tengrym sneaks through the night to find a quiet and seemingly unoccupied granary near the shipyard
CF: 4
Altered? Interrupt! Focus — move away from a thread (stop Shandorin’s plan); meaning — Eating Watermelon, Little Faerie, Key
Interpretation: it is a fantasy after all — so, here’s the gonzo — Tengrym hears noise and sees an elf being led in chains to an ogre in a building who is seemingly ready to make a meal of the elf. I’m also adding in another hook — “Last of the Drowsbane”.

Tengrym hastened back into town, keeping to the shadows along the edge of the street and staying alert in case he had another chance encounter with Shandorin. Instead, along a more desolate part of town where the shipyards, warehouses, and granary lay, the half-elf ducked behind cover as he heard approaching whispers.

What’s the elf look like? Eye, cauldron, sunflower
Male? Yes, and… (a great physical specimen)

Four figures escorted a fifth in chains. The four were dressed in black — a deeper-than-night black that might have been the cloaks of dark elves. The fifth was plainly a moon elf. He had pale skin, long hair the hue of black iron, and striking golden eyes. By his bruises and cuts, it appeared he had been in some sort of fight.

What is his relationship to the Drowsbanes? ‘L’, counting coins, magic beans

The tall elf was familiar to Tengrym. Something registered in his tired brain — something deep and nearly forgotten.

The elf was led to one of the warehouses. The figures stopped and rapped on the door. It was flung wide revealing a massive figure of gargantuan proportions and ugly distorted goblin-like features backlit by pale yellow light from within — an ogre!

“Just in time for me meal!” the giant grumbled in bass tones. “Elf flesh, no less!”

“Do with him as you will, Hapray,” answered one of the four.

The elf was thrust inside and the door slammed shut. As the four returned to the direction from which they came, Tengrym reeled. He knew the elf!

Arafraulyn — ‘Ara’ — was the highest paid of Dergan Drowsbane’s servants. Master of Arms for the noble house, Ara taught the novice lordlings the art of dueling and swordplay, sewing the seeds of future warlords, as well as leading the soldiery of Sullaspryn. Indeed, Tengrym had apprenticed under his rigorous and disciplined tutelage, learning the elvish tongue and art of elvish fencing from a true master.

What was Ara doing in Scardale?

Tengrym leaned back and tried to absorb the implications. Ara was a trusted ally and friend of Tengrym’s dearly departed father, and the young half-elf had respected and feared him…he owed much to the master elf who had taught him courage, self-reliance, and the skills to survive in a dangerous and ruthless world.

As Tengrym eyed the timber structure, a great owl alighted on a bent lamppost just above him. Its flapping wings startled the half-elf. He looked up at the golden-eyed bird with a frown. He contemplated lobbing a stone at the nuisance, but turned his attention back on the building.

The height was too high and sheer to climb. However, a word and a gesture blinked the half-elf on the perch. Gingerly, he crept over to an open vent onto the rafters of the ceiling within, looking down over a most filthy habitat. Even now, the giant stirred a pot of boiling liquid, adding some roots.

“This be Hapray’s tastiest meal in a long spell,” the ogre said.

“May my bones stick in your gullet,” answered Ara.

Does their banter reveal clues as to what Ara is doing there? Yes, and… (reveals some other relevant truth)
What? crab, scary shadow, compass

“How about I pull out your tongue while the pot is stewing?”

“Had I not been pinched tailing Shandorin, I might be separating your head from your neck about now,” answered Ara, unimpressed. “Curse this mess! If only I had his moon dial, I could be free of this gods-forsaken place!”

Moon dial? Tengrym had never heard of such a device before. Obviously, Ara had tracked the enemy here for wholly other purposes. Tengrym was intrigued.

Nonetheless, it was time to save his old mentor. Plucking an eyelash and producing a pinch of sand, he began chanting.

“Eh, what’s that?!” the ogre growled turning to follow the sound up in the dark rafters. Then the big oaf fell into a snoring heap.

Another word of magic brought Tengrym floating lazily down to the floor by the ogre’s side. He relieved the sleeping giant of his keys and released the elf.

“It’s been a great many years, master Arafraulyn,” he said.

Is Ara not surprised to see Tengrym? No, but… (he guards his reaction)

“Only by the count of men,” the elf replied cooly.

“What are you doing here?” asked Tengrym.

“Can we not talk next to this snoring, stinking heap?”

The two made their way to the door which was barred from within. As they unlocked the door, a curious owl watched their movements from above.

Do any negatives hear their escape? Yes, and… (the four drow are waiting outside)

The two were talking when they pushed the door open, but came up short, face-to-face with the same four dark elves that had escorted Ara to the ogre. Perhaps Tengrym had not been perfectly silent in his rescue. Dark steel was borne in the evil elves’ hands.

Arafraulyn, who was weapon-less, leaned back against a beam and gestured to Tengrym. The half-elf’s face twisted to a sarcastic grin. He drew steel and advanced.

The exchange was quick and fierce. Tengrym rolled before a magical globe of darkness targeted him, avoiding the impenetrable blackness. Steel sang as blows were countered and the four seemed at first to outmatch the one. However, the seemingly slow grace effectively countered each blow as one by one, Tengrym found and exploited each dark elf’s defenses. In moments, he had soundly defeated them without a mark or a scratch in return.

Ara applauded. “Well done! Very fine execution — if a bit unconventional.”

“Isn’t convention in combat synonymous with predictable — and defeated — to quote a master?” Tengrym countered.

“Yes, young Drowsbane…however, unpredictability and a flawless technique are two separate things entirely.”

Tengrym rolled his eyes. “I assume I will ever be the pupil.”

Ara relieved one of the dead drow of his blade. The two dragged the bodies into the warehouse. “These may be needed to prove my claim to the officials here,” Tengrym said.

“Don’t you think we should take care of him?” Ara asked, pointing to the ogre who continued to snore. “Tengrym, he could be a further nuisance.”

“About my name,” Tengrym corrected. “I’ve been going by the name, Veldis.”

“Veldis? You’re hiding from your good name? A finer and truer epithet could not suffice.”

“Not hiding…discretion. The last bit of blood in my veins and that of my brother is a commodity rather in demand by fell forces these days…”

“You would do well to wear your namesake’s livery once again.”

“Perhaps the opportunity will present itself.”

“And the ogre?”

“Leave him be…he may sleep a good while.”

The two left as Tengrym quickly filled in his old mentor on Shandorin’s plot.

Is this moon-dial some relic from Sullaspryn? Yes…
Is Ara under the employ of living members of the Drowsbanes of which Tengrym is yet unaware? Yes…
Who? falling, bouncing ball, drama
Interpretation: someone dear to Tengrym, thought dead, but actually alive
Does Ara withhold the identity? Yes, and… (won’t tell under any circumstance for the time being)

Arafraulyn briefly told Tengrym about the moon-dial, a holy relic taken from the chapel of Sel√Ľne in Sullaspryn which Shandorin had stolen. Ara had been tracking the renegade for years. Tengrym naturally asked for whom the elvish swordsmaster was working. “Why would you have any further loyalty to an all-but-dead family from which you have been released for decades?”

“Not all the Drowsbanes are gone,” Ara answered cryptically. “Even those believed long dead…”

“Who? Who, Ara?!”

The elf kept his lips sealed, however. From above, an owl blinked.

Conclusion


CF: +1
NPCs: Anoris Shandorin, Dark Elves, Thedric, Illistyl Elventree, the basilisk, Dynas Dundragon, Orlimpar Eveningfall, Arlgoth the Mighty, Soldiers of Sembia, Arafraulyn, Hapray the Ogre
Threads: Find a new safe haven, Stop Shandorin’s plan, Hunt down Shandorin and challenge him in single combat

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