Kileanna's bucket of stories and random stuff.

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I love writing stories about what happened in the stories I have GMed or played and sometimes they don't seem to fit anywhere to share them, so I decided to create a thread just for putting some random stories on it.

I might repost some of the ones I have already shared here, just to have everything put together. But not right now. I am feeling lazy.

I am also writing my Skull and Shackles campaign here too, for those who are interested.

Feel free to comment, ask, whatever. Or even share your own stories, just for the sake of sharing them. I love stories!

I'm starting with a story I wrote some years ago for an English bookclub I was in. We were asked to write a short story in English (my native language is Spanish) and I chose to write a scene from a game I GMed. I had to simplify a lot of things as most of the members of the club weren't into Fantasy and I wanted that the story could be understood by everybody.

As a background for this story, Va'ardalia, Dalindra's elven bard, was married to Adealthalaras, the elf who is living this story. It was one of Va'ardalia's best moments.

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He was having a friendly talk with a wild elf. He couldn’t figure out how he, a noble elf, a sophisticated person, had ended speaking to someone like him.
Neither could he understand what had taken him to telling the wild elf about his most intimate worries. What could this being, not much brighter than an animal, know about problems as complex as his? However there he was, opening his heart to a perfect stranger.

-I gave her everything. She was nobody before she married me.
-She was a heroine, wasn’t she? She brought the knights here, she saved our nation, it is said.
-She was a servant, a member of the lowest caste. If you don’t belong to a high caste, you are nobody, no matter what you have done.

He explained it in the same way a teacher would do when teaching a very young boy. The wild elf knew nothing about how real society worked, as primitive as he was.

-You are so complicated.- Said the wild elf, looking overwhelmed.- Let me try to understand. You are married, but you don’t love each other.

Completely lost, the wild elf was completely lost.

-I did it for my older sister. She wanted to have her as an ally. I thought I could love her. She is a beautiful lady, and she looked like a sweet and caring person.
-Isn’t she?
-She’s not what she seems. She’s cold and manipulative. And she likes running around with her human friends, like she was a human too, but nobody seems to care. Everybody loves her anyway.
-You don’t.
-I tried, but it’s not that easy. It seems like she wanted everybody to love her but me. There is always an abyss between us, some kind of barrier, like she was always wearing a mask.

The wild elf looked confused.

-A mask? Like she was wearing some kind of disguise or something like that?

Those primitives had an enervating tendency to take everything in the most literal way possible.

-Like she was hiding something. And then, we have these rumours about her and that human knight. I don’t know what to think about that. Sometimes I wonder if she doesn’t want to be with me because she has feelings for that… disgusting human.

He didn’t want to believe it. He was much better than any human. Humans were dirty, loud and ugly.

-Are you saying that you have never… mated?- asked the surprised wild elf. That question caught him completely unawares. He felt so embarrassed that he didn’t even try to explain to him that mating was something that only animals (and probably wild elves) did.
-Well, she told me that she was… sort of… traumatised because of… something terrible that had happened to her while living among humans. I believed her and gave her time. But now, I don’t know, I’m not so sure of it as I used to be.

The wild elf gave him a very intense look for a few moments.

-You don’t trust each other. You don’t love each other. You haven’t mated. That’s not a marriage. To me and to my people, you are not married.

-But we are. I don’t know what your people do, but we regard marriage as an unbreakable bond, a holy union blessed by the gods.
-What do the gods have to do with earthen politics? Why would they bless a union without love?

So now the wild elf was a romantic. How amusing.

-It is… complicated. You wouldn’t understand.
-I don’t. You are tied for life to a woman that you don’t love and if you loved another woman you wouldn’t be able to be with her. That seems pretty unfair to me, and I don’t believe that my gods, which are your gods too, are that unfair. So you’re right. I understand nothing.

He felt defeated right now. He didn’t know what to say. The wild elf gave him a sympathetic look.

-What’s wrong? Did I say anything wrong?
-It’s nothing.
-There is another woman, I guess?
He would have gone mad at anyone who dared to make such an accusation, but the wild elf had done it out of pure ignorance.
-No, of course there is not.
-You can tell me. We are friends. I can keep a secret. I am not one of those politicians of yours.

He smiled. He was starting to like this wild elf. His simplicity was refreshing.

-Well, yes. There is a lady, but that’s not important. I am married.
-I don’t think you are. So, who is she? Is she pretty?
-She is a priestess and a healer, and she loves helping people. She’s the most kind and lovely person I’ve ever known. And she’s one of my wife’s best friends too.
-I see. Is it mutual? Does she love you too?
-She is very shy. I go to the temple a few times a week and we often talk. She’s always been nice to me, but I don’t thinks she feels the same way that I do.
-She is shy, you said it. If you don’t make the first move, she will never do it. You have to do something bold to impress her.
-I’m happy with us just being friends.
-If you were, we wouldn’t be talking about it. You must do as I say, and make a big impression. Women love it, trust me.
-So, according to you, what should I do?
-Go to the temple, bring her flowers, sing her a song, or something like that. Tell her that you love her in front of everybody, she must know that you’re not afraid, that you don’t need to hide your love. Let her see that you are a brave and strong man. And, most important, you must not be discouraged if she rejects you the first time, as she is so shy, you might have to insist and push her a bit. In the end, she’ll end falling into your arms.
-And what if she doesn’t? What about my wife?
-This is not about her. You know you can’t be happy with her. She’s cold. She’s manipulative. She likes wearing masks. The kind-hearted priestess will make you happy. But you must be brave enough to go for her. You know what you have to do. You have always known. You only needed to hear it from someone else.
-You may be right.
-You know I am. Go now.

The wild elf was right. It was now or never. He would never again feel confident enough to do what he had to do. He wanted to be with her. He deserved to live a happy life with the woman he loved. He had to try.

-I have to go now, but I must thank you for listening.
-No, thank you for listening to me.- said the wild elf with a big smile.- Good luck.

They left in opposite directions. The wild elf disappeared in a narrow alley. From the other side of the alley, a beautiful elven lady, dressed in a delicate silk gown, walked out. She had a soft smile on her lips.

“As a matter of fact” she thought to herself. “I am cold. Not too many people would be able to stay calm while being insulted at the face. I might be manipulative too. And indeed, I love wearing masks. You don’t even know how right you were about that one. But you forgot the most important facts about me:
First, I am proud. You should know that I wouldn’t allow you to look at one of my friends instead of looking at me.
Second, I might not be the most talented sorceress in the world, but I can still get overconfident idiots like you to do what I want.
And last and most important: I am no longer a servant, I am a noble lady, because of my own deeds, not yours. I will only have to thank you for one thing, and that’s for making me a happily single noble lady.”

Some people in my bookclub didn't understand what happened in this story, so I'm leaving a short explanation here, just in case it's not as clear as I thought.

Va'ardalia wanted to get rid of her husband after having used him to reach nobility, so she used Disguise Self to look like a Wild elf (a kagonesti elf) and trick him implanting a Suggestion on him to break his vows in public. It was 3.5 and she was an specialist in concealing her magic effects in her bardic performance (Oratory). For those who could ask, she is CG, but she's not a saint.

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Reposting of Mohrlex story from another thread:

Mohrlex was a different black dragon, as he was a bit of a trickster and a bon vivant. He ruled over the Moors of Nordmaar, populated mostly by lizardfolk, gnomes and tribal humans.

When the PCs arrived at the Moors they were looking for a mythic fountain called The Fountain of Renewal, a legendary place of redemption and healing. They had an artifact that had been corrupted and needed to purify it.

There were 4 PCs but 2 of them were more implicated in this story:
Dalindra, a NG druid and follower of Habakkuk, the Blue Phoenix, god of renewal and redemption. The Fountain of Renewal was one of his lost holy shrines.
Tharic, a LG Knight of Solamnia and a Dragonrider, carrying the mythic Dragonlance of Huma. He was the perfect paladin even though he was a fighter.

They knew Mohrlex was the overlord in the Grand Moors, but they were a bit intrigued about him, as the gnomes who lived there seemed to actually like him.

«When we came here first we sent an emissary to ask him if we could stay. He ate him, but he did it by mistake. He thought we were offering him a sacrifice.»
They also learned that a strange disease was plaguing the reptilian races of the place, making their scales calcified and affecting their brains making them berserk. As they learned from Mohrlex second in command, a draconian sorcerer called Barathrutus, the dragon had been inflicted with the disease too. Barathrutus offered them an audience with the dragon if they came to his lair in the middle of the Moors. Maybe they could strike a deal so the dragon helped them to locate the fountain.

They didn't trust the draconian or the dragon, but they aggreed to visit him and Barathrutus left.

They fought their way through the jungle to reach Mohrlexctlan, the dragon's lair. When they reached the place, its inhabitants were hostile and wanted to kill the PCs. Definitely, the dragon didn't seem to be willing to give them an audience.

Then they arrived to the center of Mohrlexctlan, a ruined amphitheater where some sort of theatrical performance was going on. There were humans and lizardfolk dressed in character and none of them attacked the PCs. The stage director, a human with a noble bearing, adressed them in a calm voice, asking if they came to slay the dragon. The PCs realized the man hid a paralyzed hand by holding a glass of wine and that his smile was permanently twisted by some sort of facial paralysis, so they guessed they were talking to the polymorphed Mohrlex.

It was a fun scene, because Mohrlex used shakespearian language, being overly theatrical all time. PCs were a bit confused about him, at one moment he seemed like he was toying with them and acted like the regular CE dragon, at the next he claimed to be trying to be a fair ruler for the good of all his people.
When the PCs mentioned that Barathrutus had sent him there to negotiate with him, Mohrlex realized the treason of his servant, who had told him that a party of adventures were coming to slay him taking advantage of his disease. After a shakespearian speech, Mohrlex commanded his servants to bring Barathrutus to his presence.

When Barathrutus appeared Mohrlex accused him of treason. Barathrutus couldn't do anything but admit that he had plotted to get the party to attack him.

Mohrlex revealed his not so magnificent draconic form: his body covered by calcified patches of bone, almost unable to move but still powerful. He demanded to know the reason for his betrayal: he was fair with him, he had tried to be a good lord for everybody. Barathrutus realized that his master was going to kill him and spent his last resource: he threw an alchemical concoction to Mohrlex that quickly aggravated his disease rendering him almost immobile. That made the dragon realize how deep was the treason of his trusted Barathrutus:

Mohrlex had been pressed by another more powerful dragon who was a well known alchemist to bow to her. Barathrutus had conspired with her to get him to accept or get rid of him: she had given him the disease that plagued Mohrlex so he'd die if he didn't bow to her in exchange for the cure. If the Fountain of Renewal was found, Mohrlex could find an alternative way for getting rid of the disease. He had to get Mohrlex to kill the party. But the bored dragon had decided to talk to them before slaying them and discovered the plot.

The fight was interesting, as they had to keep Mohrlex from being hurt because they risked that the disease made him go berserk and kill everybody. He also had a dexterity of 3 because of the disease. So it all depended on the party. Barathrutus was a good spellcaster, but they managed to defeat him. The most amazing thing is that they convinced Mohrlex to exile Barathrutus instead of killing him.

After defeating the traitor, they inspected the place. Unknowingly, the dragon had made his lair on the ruins of the holy fountain, which wasn't operative because it was missing a lens that focused the light of the dawn on the small lake where Mohrlex lived. The PCs had the lens. But it wasn't dawn and the dragon was dying.

The PCs didn't know either if the Fountain will be able to cure him, but they decided to share with him his last hours. Mohrlex couldn't understand the betrayal, but after talking to the PCs he realized that he hadn't been a fair ruler: he had been volatile, capricious and didn't really care for his people but for his own pleasures. He wanted to change, but it was too late for him.

The PCs were touched and wanted to do something, but they could only wait. He pleaded to Tharic to end his life with Huma's dragonlance, as he wanted to have a glorious death. Tharic was willing to do so just to alleviate his pain but Dalindra had faith and convinced him to wait until dawn, so they were awake all night, speaking to Mohrlex and waiting.

At dawn nothing happened. The light didn't focus on the lens. Mohrlex had a dexterity score of 1 and couldn't move. He asked Tharic to end his life. He went to pick his lance and walked towards the dragon. Dalindra asked him to wait with a desperate cry. Finally the sun rose some more and its light focused on the lens. The water at the lake was shining and it looked like a regular swamp no more.
With his last strength, Mohrlex changed again into human shape, as he couldn't reach the water on his own. They carried him and, taking draconic form he submerged into the lake and disappeared leaving behind just a coat of bone and damaged scales.

I enjoyed the desperation on the face of my players for a minute, letting them think the dragon was dead, before having him rise above the water in a blueish black new coat of scales, fully revitalized by the combined power of the fountain and the artifact that the party had come to purify.

I was so proud of my players. They had felt sympathy for a CE dragon and devoted them to save him, trusting that he really was willing to change. I never told them that one of the effects of the fountain was an Attonement spell. Neither I would have allowed it to work if the PCs hadn't shown Mohrlex a different way. His alignment changed to CG and it was all because of a couple of Good PCs trusted that even a creature of pure evil can be redeemed.

So now you know the story of one of my aliases and one of my favorite moments as a GM.

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Now reposting first encounter with Sylvyana, the Ghoul Queen:

Again, Tharic and Dalindra are the main characters involved into the story. The other PCs didn't play a major role.

The PCs arrived to a town where wild elves were gathering as refugees from the unnatural winter that had made their lands (Ergoth) inhospitable. There, they met one of their former allies, Reya, a wild elf barbarian who had become a good friend of Dalindra. She told her that she was trying to unite her people to fight for their lands. She was also helping to organize a gathering of the most relevant factions that wanted to reconquer the land so they could come to an agreement to fight together. Aside from the wild elves, another two factions were going to be present: the one from the main elven lands (Silvanesti, represented by a former PC turned NPC, Va'ardalia Evelar) and the one who resided in Ergoth in the former lands of the wild elves.
Remember the artifact the PCs purified on Mohrlex's story? It was a divine artifact with awesome healing powers.

Dalindra gave it to Reya so she could use it to help their people. This is important.

So the PCs went to attend the gathering of factions, which was a fancy banquet in the town hall. To please the elven attendants, Reya had brought some decorative plants and even a beautiful tree in the middle of the room.

Tharic didn't wear his armor and he left all weapons but a dagger in the entrance. Dalindra also left her quarterstaff, but didn't care a lot about it.

The meeting didn't start well. The two factions of elves were polite to each other but the tension was clear. The wild elves, on their side, didn't seem to care for political dissension. They were just hungry.

The food was awesome. Dalindra had never eaten anything so delicious. The more she ate, the more she wanted. And the hungrier she felt. Soon she noticed that it wasn't just her. All the elves had started to eat like they hadn't eaten in weeks, forgetting all politeness. The leaders of the two factions demanded to be served first, and when Va'ardalia was served first, the other elf stole her plate from her hands. Dalindra called Reya for help, but she calmed her down saying that everything was under control. It was better to just act normal and try to realize what was happening.

Dalindra was worried, but she stopped eating (she had to roll a Will save so she was able to do it). As the banquet progressed, the elves were eating with bare hands, gorging meat (even though most were vegetarians) as there was no tomorrow. When the service entered from the kitchen with the desserts, the ravenous elves jumped on them, trying to eat not the desserts but the servants.

The wild elves, instead of that, jumped above the tables and turned on the non-elven attendants of the banquet. They seemed far more focused than their «civilized» counterparts. Reya attacked Tharic with her dagger, biting him as she tried to eat him alive. Dalindra remained hidden, casting spells to hinder the ravenous elves without killing them.

The people of the service ran away and locked themselves in the kitchen while the elves were trying to devour their fellow elves. Va'ardalia was able to overcome the feeding frenzy enough to avoid attacking her kind and remain fighting defensively. Fortunately most elves were unarmed, so they relied only in a poor bite attack, but with the wild elves acting as a barrier to avoid them getting help, they'd end killing themselves.

The difficult part of the fight was actually keeping the low level elves alive. They were victims, so the PCs didn't want to kill them. Dalindra didn't want to believe either that her friend Reya and the other wild elves were evil. Someting had to be controlling them.

In the middle of the mess, a regal figure appeared in the middle of the room, coming out from the tree that Reya had brought. A group of wild elves with their faces painted white to resemble skulls and a crow skull headdress appeared just before her.

She wasn't a wild elf, but a Silvanesti elf. Pale, green eyed, raven haired, she looked a lot like Va'ardalia, only a twisted version of her, dressed in royal garments with the colors of the God of Death. She was carrying the artifact that Dalindra had given to Reya.

The feeding stopped for a moment, as the elves glared at her in some sort of primal recognition.

Then she spoke in a soft cultured voice:
«Chosen of the Endless Hunger, your Queen...»

Her speech was interrupted by Dalindra. She didn't know who this woman was, but she was not her queen.

«My people bows to no queen!» she cried. The «Queen» stared Dalindra in disbelief. How she dare to interrupt her speech? She sent some of her «Crows of the Endless Hunger» (the wild elves she had brought with her) to get Dalindra. Meanwhile, Tharic was defending himself against Reya.

The elves continued devouring each others while the PCs were too busy.

Some of the «Crows» went to get Va'ardalia, who defended herself the best she could. With the help of Tharic and the other PCs they avoided them reaching Va'ardalia. The Queen looked displeased.

«Get her... sister then.» she ordered. And they went for Lynessa Evelar, Va'ardalia's younger sister. Again, they avoided her being caught and defeated the Crows.

Meanwhile, Dalindra shifted into a bear and grappled the self proclaimed Queen, who struggled to break the grapple. Dalindra dealt quite an ammount of damage to her, and for some reason she didn't defend herself, as she was focused on doing something else.

Three turns of madness followed, after which the Queen casted a Word of Recall and disappeared with the artifact. Her Crows of the Endless Hunger tried to get away too, but some of them were defeated before they could.

Now the PCs had still to deal with the ravenous elves and the wild elves, who seemed loyal to the Queen.

After knocking them down with non lethal damage, they tried to realize what had happened.
After trying to heal the Crows to interrogate them and accidentally killing them (they reacted to healing as if they were undead) they handled the other prisoners with care. An NPC healer that another PC had recruited with Leadership casted Break Enchantment on some of the wild elves to try to get them rid of whatever corruption was affecting them. He had to roll a nat 20 to succeed. I made the player roll. He managed to free Reya against all odds. And Reya had enough information to fill some holes.

But I'll get into Sylvyana's story and into the next part on another post because this one is already too long.

Again I loved how my players did this event more difficult because they didn't want to harm any of the elves, even the corrupted ones. They saved both Va'ardalia and her sister and got all the elves safe. That was probably the biggest success they could score at this point of the story. And they managed to release Reya from the influence of the Queen, which was something that I didn't expect (as much as I like this character I though she'd end dead here). So they did great though it was hard to score a win here.

Reposting: Sylvyana's story from the perspective of one of her controlled followers.

So everyone wanted me to tell them who that self proclaimed queen was and how I, and all my people, had ended working for her.

There was a poison, some kind of drug she called Allomanya. She visited our leader in our settlement in the woods and tricked him to take the drug. Then he got us all to take it too and introduced us to her.

That Allomanya thing tastes like sh*t but makes you feel like anything is possible. You feel free, and wild, and hungry. You don't care for what is right or wrong, just for the hunger. She used it to control us.

We were an oppresed people, enslaved by the so called civilized elves, she offered freedom, she offered war against our offenders. And we followed her. Our minds were clouded but we thought we saw more clearly than ever. She called us her Wichtlani, a word derived from Wichtlins, her undead elven followers. We were her army of vicious and ravenous cannibals.

She trusted me to carry her deals on the town because I know how to deal with people. I can convince them, I can lie or I can kill if needed. I became her face and her hands on the town.

But who was she? When I first saw her I mistook her for Va'ardalia for a moment. But she was older and... wiser on a twisted way.

She is the twisted fairytale that is told to scare elven children. The legends say that she married the Speaker of the Silvanesti, becoming the Queen of elves. He wanted to marry another woman so he made her a dark elf and exiled her. Everybody turned their back on her. She was alone. And she wanted revenge against her kind. So she became the Chosen One of the Ravenous Crow... sorry, Chemosh, the God of Death. He made her more powerful and immortal. She declared war to the elves with an horde of undead elves and wyverns but she was defeated and cast away to the River of Time. That's what legends say.

She gave us a slightly different version. She wanted us to know her story, how her own people had betrayed her. She was born as Sylvyana Silvanos, heir to the throne of Silvanesti. She had married a noble of a lesser house, who had later exiled her with lies to be the only ruler and marry another elf. He had also torn her apart of her newborn baby, as the baby girl was the heir to the throne and that made her a liability. For a long time he had though that his former husband had killed his own daughter, until the Ravenous Crow told her that she was still alive.

When she managed to escape her own death by jumping ahead on the River of Time and she came back on... well, our present (all this magic stuff is twisted, you know) and the Ravenous Crow let her know that her daughter was still alive she couldn't believe it, after so many years had passed.

She was furious with all elves: for exiling her, for tearing her apart of her daughter, for defeating her. She told us her plan, and I can tell that under the influence of Allomanya it looked like a great plan. She'd use the artifact that Dalindra had given me (and I, curse myself, had given to her) to extend the influence of Allomanya through all the ones with elven blood in the world and release a necromantic wave that would destroy them all and rise as Wichtlins under her command. She needed to lure Dalindra and her friends to get the artifact.

She was also obsessed with the idea of Va'ardalia being her lost daughter. After I mistaked Sylvyana for Va'ardalia, she wanted to know everything about her. Even though Va'ardalia couldn't be much more than 70 years old and already had a family... a humble family. But she was completely convinced of it and wanted to have Va'ardalia at the ritual so she could protect her. She didn't want her to die.

The most scary thing about her is that she really believed to be doing the right thing: elves were a corrupted race that didn't deserve to live. She was consumed by pain and rage but she was always fair to us. We followed her not just because of the drugs, I know she could really feel the rage and hate burning in the hearts of my people. She understood our pain because it wasn't so different from hers. She also used us. But I still cannot hate her. I don't know what that says about me.

Reposting again, and this is the last one for now: second encounter with Sylvyana, the Ghoul Queen.

The PCs traveled to Baleph, Sylvyana's whereabouts, in the company of some NPC to help against the minions.

The weather was stormy. Sylvyana was a level 20 druid and had set the storm to shield herself against any intruders while she was performing her ritual. But Dalindra was a druid too, and she came up with a plan. While the other PCs were fighting Sylvyana's hordes (wichtlani elves, wyverns and wichtlins) she casted Control Winds and used it to create tornadoes to level down the main buildings, that she thought to be empty. They knew Sylvyana was on the temple performing the ritual so she just leveled it down.

What could have been a great idea wasn't. They had avoided fighting some minions, but without being busy with the ritual, they had to face a Ghoul Queen who could use all her power against the PCs.

Dalindra had used her wind and weather control spells to create such a bad weather that minions were completely neutralized: wyverns couldn't fly and both wichtlins and wichtlani had to reach for cover. The visibility was also close to zero.

But they still had to defeat a level 20 druid with a 3.5 Shapechange spell on herself. After some attempts against her, it was obvious that she had too many resources and couldn't be defeated by sheer force. Even if they managed to harm her, she just retired herself, allowed regeneration to make its job and came back unharmed and with her resources intact.

But they knew she had a weak point. Dalindra told Va'ardalia (who was a bard) to stay close to her. They hid in a small house with no windows. Va'ardalia was given an Antimagic Field scroll. They just waited for Sylvyana to appear, sure that she would try to get her «daughter».

Sylvyana realized it was probably a trap but she was overconfident. She tracked the PCs to the house and entered, prepared to face them. And she was put into the Antimagic Field as soon as she did it. Dalindra sent her animal companion to grapple her. Sylvyana didn't have an animal companion, but she had an artifact that allowed her to cast Dominate Monster, so she controlled Reya (again) to defend her. Fortunately, she wasn't rival for the PCs and they defeated both of them and released Reya from the mind control later.

They had found a way to release the corrupted elves from Allomanya in their way to Baleph, but it took them some time to do it. Even with all the devastation there were few losses, but Dalindra was horrorized of what Sylvyana had done to her people, turning them to ravenous cannibals.

They captured her alive, stripped her out of all her gear and awakened her to interrogate her. She was gacious in defeat. She was blessed by her god so she would rise again if she was killed (or so she said), and she had all the time in the world to erradicate elvenkind, so she was patient. She talked openly about her plans, her desires and her thoughts. She was even friendly. Her calm ways and the fact she regretted nothing made her look more as a monster.

But still, Dalindra pitied her more than anything. When they talked about what they could do with her she wanted to set her free. «If she attempts something, we'll fight her again. But we have to give her the chance to change». The other PCs strongly disagreed, but Dalindra was adamant about not killing her (in case they could) or locking her up forever. So they ended planeshifting her to the Plane of Shadow where she wouldn't be able to prepare her spells because she lacked any connection with nature, and exiled her there.

She managed to escape after some time, of course. She used her alter self at will to get a new identity and now she's plotting undercover.

But guess what? Dalindra was right.

I GMed a solo story for Va'ardalia (who appeared here as an NPC but is Dalindra's PC in other stories) after that, where she investigated if Sylvyana's claim to be her mother was true. I brought Sylvyana back for that story, and after some time Va'ardalia and Sylvyana are plotting together to sit Va'ardalia on the throne of Silvanesti. Va'ardalia has promised the Ghoul Queen to put an end to corruption among elves and Sylvyana has decided to trust her... for now. Whether Va'ardalia is being corrupted by Sylvyana's foul influence or Sylvyana is being saved by Va'ardalia is yet to be known. But Sylvyana is changing, that cannot be denied.

About Va'ardalia's story and if she's really Sylvyana's daughter... It's left for a further post ;-D

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I've posted this story everywhere, so maybe everybody has read it already, but I liked it to be here, so here is this story... again xD

It was one of the first stories I told on the forum, when I still was a newbie here.

The next story I might be writing will probably be Va'ardalia's story, as I have already shared so many of her stories and still haven't told a lot about her.

But now, here is one of Kileanna's most memorable encounters (and her reason for hating fire):

It was in Reign of Winter adapted to a Dragonlance setting. Let's put some background to the story:
I am playing a young changeling witch of elven heritage who was still receiving the call from her mother. Her name is Kileanna (I'm using her name in the forum as I registered to solve a doubt regarding to her xD).
She was raised by her adoptive sister, the slayer on our group, who's called just "Cat".
We had Argentea Malassene from the first chapter with us. GM had remade her a sword and board fighter of solamnic heritage. Oddly enough, Kileanna and her ended being lovers with my character having strong feelings for her.
The last character in the party was a solamnic auxiliary mage, Arthur, an abjurator wizard. He has recently joined the party and he is Argentea's cousin.

My GM had redesigned Artrosa to make it fit my character. He loves to give each player a part of the story that specially fits his character and it was my turn.
First, Kileanna had found her mother, the green hag Grishelmuk, disguised as an elf. She was friendly to her, and Kileanna went to have a private talk with her. Cat wasn't happy, quickly distrusting her. Grishelmuk tried to trick Kileanna to embrace her true self, and she was tempted at first but finally rejected.

Grishelmuk threatened her to change her by the force and told her she was coming back with her coven. Then she casted Invisibility on her and left, knowing that she couldn't confront her rebel daughter alone. I had many ways to deal with her so I could probably have taken her easily while she was trying to leave, but Kileanna wasn't willing to turn on her own mother and let her leave.

So now we have the whole hag coven reunited and plotting against us.

The GM didn't want to use Jadrenka as a deux ex machina against the coven and he thought we were resourceful enough to take them on our own.

So we went on with the dungeon crawl and finally found the three hags reunited and prepared against us.

Arthur was invisible as he always is (we are starting to think he is not real, even though we often hear spells being casted and magic happening around us).
I had flight and prehensile hair activated.
Arthur casted haste on us.
I casted Silence on Argentea's sword and she quickly approached the hags to prevent them from casting. She was stuck on melee with Caigreal, as Silyzil was out of reach. Cat engaged Grishelmuk in combat without a shade of doubt and struck her remorselessly.

Arthur went on using battlefield control spells and dispels while our melees were affected by a waves of fatigue spell and were mostly unable to hit the hags.
I used UMD to cast a lesser restoration from a scroll and hold the touch in my hair.

Meanwhile, Silyzil and Caigreal hurt Argentea badly. She only survived because she had advanced armor training that allowed her to redirect damage to her shield.

I cast lesser restoration on her. Silyzil then attacked Argentea, who was already badly injured and completely charred her.
Kileanna went completely berserk, and with a cry that couldn't be heard went for Caigreal, who as a part of her turn tossed Argentea's sword away.

Forgetting all defensive abilities, Kileanna started delivering touch spells like crazy for the rest of the battle and got almost killed but managed to defeat Caigreal (who was fallen but not killed).
Meanwhile, Cat defeated Grishelmuk and remorselessly coup-de-graced her. Kileanna saw it and felt nothing. Silyzil was hitting Cat badly, so Arthur told her to run from the room and set an illusory wall of don't remember what to prevent her of being followed and saving her life.

Kileanna went on with Silyzil and finished her with touch spells. The fight was over. Kileanna calmly approached Caigreal, and stabbed her to death. It must be said that she had always been strongly against killing fallen enemies so the party was shocked.

Jadrenka appeared, sensing her mother's death, but she wasn't quite happy. She wanted us to know what we had done to Marislova (we had taken her to the fields outside of Artrosa). When we told her she left to confront Marislova. We followed her.

It was tense. We thought we were going to have to fight her.
"Don't be an idiot, Jadrenka" cried Kileanna. "Don't lose her. I've lost someone I love today. I'm not letting you to do the same!"

We convinced Jadrenka to listen. It took about 15 minutes of heavy roleplaying to convince Jadrenka but Marislova and her finally were together again and Jadrenka was really grateful.

She finally casted a Resurrection spell on Argentea and brought her back from death.
I love how our GM managed all this part. Instead of making the fight easier by having Jadrenka help us he let us fight on our own and gave us an epic fight. Then we could have Jadrenka's help to deal with the consequences of the fight but didn't reward us from the very beginning.

Instead, he gave us a great roleplaying scene where we could talk our ways into any reward we could get.
It was wonderful.

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Kileanna wrote:

First, I am proud. You should know that I wouldn’t allow you to look at one of my friends instead of looking at me.

Second, I might not be the most talented sorceress in the world, but I can still get overconfident idiots like you to do what I want.
And last and most important: I am no longer a servant, I am a noble lady, because of my own deeds, not yours. I will only have to thank you for one thing, and that’s for making me a happily single noble lady

That is one of my most beautiful monologues, isn't it?

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I'm clearly going to peek in here once in while.

would you mind if I made a post in here?, it's your thread after all ^^ (and as you have already seen I'm notoriously lazy with putting up whole stories)

Please, do!!!
You can post as much as you want. I made this thread for sharing some random stories but also for reading random stories and from what I've read from some of your campaigns I'd definitely enjoy to read more.
Criticism, questions, opinions, comments or whatever are welcome too.

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I've realized I posted a lot of stories involving Va'ardalia, so I thought I should write down her stories so you know her background. All this story happened in two campaigns, so I had to review it a lot, as her full story could make a whole book. I loved GMing to this character and seeing her grow from level 1 to 20. Even now that she is semi-retired (I'm planning to GM a couple of short solo stories for her) her story is still developing as a NPC in the background of other campaigns. I hope you enjoy her story.


Va'ardalia Evelar was raised in a humble family, daughter of a carrier and a handmaiden. Sisteena, her mother, taught her from a young age how to behave in the presence of nobles. She learned to talk to them, to entertain them and to serve them the best way possible. But Va'ardalia was fascinated by the elven nobles and dreamed to be one of them. Just a dream, as the Silvanesti elves had a strict caste system that condemned her to be a servant for all her life.

She was also born in the first stages of the War of the Lance, so when the forest where the elves lived was completely corrupted all her people had to exile and she grew up without knowing her homelands.

After a lot of work, the elves recovered their land, and when saw the elven lands for the first time and knew the exile was over, she was more than happy. Until they lost their lands again, conquered by minotaurs, and were exiled again.

Va'ardalia was sure that nobles would negotiate with other cultures and other elves to recover their lands, but they were too divided and indecise to do anything. So in the end she got sick of waiting and decided to do something about it. She was still underage and belonged to the House of Servitude, but she couldn't stand seeing her people exiled into the desert while minotaurs occupied their lands.

So she left her people and started a long trip into the lands of Solamnia to negotiate an agreement with the Knights of Solamnia the support on the upcoming war. Of course, there was no upcoming war, and Va'ardalia didn't have any legitimate power to negotiate any kind of aggreement. But she trusted her own charm to trick some stupid humans.

She got to Solamnia tired, dirty and alone. Two of the knights who found her (a couple of rookies, brother and sister) felt pity for her and invited her to stay at their home during her stay at Solanthus.

She claimed having been attacked on her way to Solamnia and being the only survivor of her group. Even if they didn't have proof of anything that she was saying, they didn't have any real motive to suspect that she wasn't telling the truth. But a lone unidentified mediator wasn't enough to start any kind of negotiation with people who was almost a continent away from them.

It's a long story how Va'ardalia ended striking a deal with the Knights of Solamnia, but after a long and difficult path she did it. One of the key moves was probably made by one of the knights she was living with. She fell in love with him and confessed to him that she had lied and that she didn't have any real power to negotiate. She just expected that when she arrived with an army to reconquer the elven lands her people couldn't refuse and validated the pact. The knight was horrorized, but he didn't want to ruin a negotiation that was turning out so well neither to be part of such a lie. So he decided to start a long trip on his own to meet the elves and try to get them to legitimate Va'ardalia as a negotiator. While he was away, Va'ardalia realized she was pregnant, and feeling confused, scared and alone, she took a decision that would mark her for all her life: aborting the child, thinking it was a sacrifice she had to do so the negotiations would succeed and her people could regain their lands. She later regretted but it was too late.
Realizing that they couldn't refuse the help from the Knights of Solamnia, the elves had to accept that Va'ardalia (a member of the lowest caste and almost a child) went on with her negotiations. It was too dangerous for nobility that the other castes thought that they were working against recovering their lands. But that endangered Va'ardalia too: some of the most conservative and reactionary among her people could try to act against her just to avoid her succeeding at something that they hadn't even tried.
Va'ardalia was furious at the knight when he got back, sure that he had got her killed in a near future. But there was nothing she could do about it now.

So after a difficult negotiation she got an aggreement with the Knights to help the elves to recover their lands in exchange of the elves helping the Knights in the future to reconquer some occupied lands. They started a long trip to the lands of the Silvanesti, and Va'ardalia managed to negotiate some more aggreements in the way with another elven races, in similar terms to the ones she had negotiated with the knights.

When they arrived to the lands where the exiled elves were living, Va'ardalia had gathered a real army. Everything based on a lie that her people could easily make public. But they had too much to lose if they did it. They didn't want to owe anything to a mere servant either, so a witty noblewoman made Va'ardalia an offer that would benefit both: she would marry the noblewoman's younger brother and attain nobility.

Va'ardalia wasn't very convinced but it was such a good opportunity. Realising that her younger sister had been practising magic without permission (as she didn't belong to a caste allowed to learn magic) she decided to accept, not only for herself but to help her sister. But that meant that she had to renounce to her relationship with the human Knight of Solamnia, which was a great sacrifice. She did it, for her sister and for her people, as she thought they needed her guidance.

So she married the young nobleman, but used her age as an excuse to avoid having to get intimate with him, as she found him unattractive and stupid and she was still in love with the human knight.

Long story short, the elves reconquered their lands, but not without many losses: Va'ardalia lost some of her best friends at one of the first stages of the war. That made her hate the minotaurs forever and swear that one day she'd erradicate them all.

The elves paid the help from the knights by helping them to reconquer their own lands. Va'ardalia was loved by her people and hated by most nobles.

To keep her away from the capital, Va'ardalia was given the rulership of a small settlement next to conflictive lands. She gladly accepted it, as she realized it was a good oportunity for her and the settlement was very good to stablish trade routes.

Soon she grew tired of her husband, as he started spending too many time with one of her friends (who found him unnatractive too) and she felt humiliated. So she manipulated him (with magic) so he declared his love for her friend in public. She was allowed to repudiate him and his sister sent him abroad to avoid further scandal. Va'ardalia was allowed to keep her noble status to avoid the disgust of lower castes.

So, what is now of Va'ardalia and her people? The capital is almost unruled because of political tensions and the lack of a legitimate ruler. Alinosti, Va'ardalia's settlement, is growing prosperous with commerce and agriculture and she's plotting against the nobles in the capital. That was before she met Sylvyana. After that, not a lot seemed to change. But now Va'ardalia has stopped calling herself Governor of Alinosti and demands to be called Queen of Alinosti.

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Waiting for the second part of my story. It's good to have a bard to tell the story of this bard (me).

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I hope I could be a bard... Bards write great stories. I am just a witch. But I do my best. And I feel honored to have my humble stories featured on your profile!

I think I should write down Kileanna's story someday being my nickname and that. But I don't even know how to start. Strange thing, I find easier writing down other people's and NPC's stories rather than the ones from my PCs.

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So here is my attempt, in telling the story of Kjeldorn, one of my favorite character.

Backstory - Or how he came to be

Born of poor day-laboreres, Raum and Lystrata, in the Gilas district of the great city-state Van'drossa*. The Gilas district was a typical laboreres district, where poverty reigned and crime was a natural fixture in the residents everyday lives. A largely run-down district, dominated by tenement blocks, seedy taverns serving the disgruntled workers cheap distractions and poor houses, where only the most desperate sought shelter.

His parents were hardworking, decent folk. Always looking for opportunities, so they could add to their meager Livelihood. This left them spending long hours working, in a desperate attempt to both earn enough, to both pay off the criminal guild members controlling their tenement block, while providing their beloved child and themselves with a modicum of luxury. Neither though, where particularly religious, although Raum still practised the Gods of his grandfather, who came from the pastoral lands of Van. In particular he prayed to Hylisthor**, the Vanii God of vengeance and justice and through him, his daughter the Demigoddess Vala, Goddess of retribution.

Growing up in a district, where crime was a fact of life, had a incredible impact on young Kjeldorn. He saw the different faces of crime every day, from the cruel street thugs beating the hard earned pay out of some unlucky day-laborer, to the guild thieves squeezing rent out of the workers in the tenement blocks. This, together with his parents dedication to hard work, loyalty and self sacrifice inculcated in him, a belief, that everyone needed a code or rules to live by. Seeing cruel thugs, in the street, beating passerbys for just looking at them wrong left him with a feeling of loathing, while seeing the madam colleting a portion of her girls earnings made him uneasy, he at least understod the purpose - the rules.

So when he finally came of age, he volunteered for militia*** duty, and quickly showed excellent potential, to become a soldier, in service of the city state. Though, at the age of 19, his continued dedication had finally landed him a position in the city guard - the very place he had wanted to be accepted. The only thing that darkened his existence, was the news, that his mother was lost to the sea during a fishing expedition. His farther took the news even harder, and fell into drinking, quickly burning through his meager savings. With a heavy heart, Kjeldorn sent his father back to some very distant relatives in Van, hoping that they could help him, get over his grieving, and help him sober up to begin a new life.

Kjeldorn threw his everything into his work as a city guardsman, doing his best to spread the calming influence, of the guard, to every district in Van'drossa. Even, in his home district of Gilas, where the guards never were a large part of the everyday picture, he tried to make himself publicly available, to help any and all who sought his help to mediate, defuse a tense situation or step in with a firm hand of the law if everything else failed. So even if the guard still was an uncommon sight in Gilas - except to patrol the warehouses along the fishing wharfs and break up public disturbances along the tavern streets, he would be there, bringing some small amount of justice to streets and alleys of his home. He even managed to cultivate a work relationship, with some of the more honorable criminal elements - mostly black marketeers, smuglers and thieves, in his home district, with the clear understanding, that steeping outside the bounds of safety, security and honour would force him to bring down the full force of the law - friendship be damned.

It was all going so splendidly. Kjeldorn was doing what he always wished for - helping those he care for, and he had received news that even his father had recovered somewhat, and had started his life anew farming in the Jaskath river valley in Van. But not long after his 24 birthday everything went wrong. Kjeldorn never had that many friends in the guard, it was always difficult with people coming from many different districts and with different backgrounds, but even without friends he started to feel, a sudden cooling from his comrades in arms. The whispering in the corners, the poisonous looks and the shaking of heads. After a couple of weeks, Kjeldorn was pulled aside by a superior office, of noble birth named Iskila Udum, who presented him with a writ of judgement calling Kjeldorn to stand before a council, and be judged for his crimes against the city-state.

The Trial was a swift and brutal affair. Witness after witness were call to condemn Kjeldor's actions, motives, his beliefs, even his personal habits. The accuser called out Kjeldorn as a coward, a thieves guild paid informer and a traitor to the guard, who deserved to be hung, together with his conspirators, as the a public warning to any who dare to cross the city state. Kjeldorn began his defense with a fiery passion, but it slowly drained him, as it became apparent that he had become a pariah. The only ones to step forward to defend him was ne'er-do-wells and a few close friends, but it was too little and too late, the trial was a foregone conclusion. However, when his sentence was passed down it surprised him, he expected to be sent straight to the gallows, but in stead his life was spared. He would, however be sent to serves 12 years hard labor, in a prison labor camp on the isle of Jastill****.

12 Years, of toil, hunger, abuse and neglect. The labor camp was a hellhole, of that there could be not doubt, and it was very close to an effective death sentence, as less then half of the inmates survived for more than 7 years. Not only the harsh conditions took a toll out of Kjeldorn, during his incarceration, 4 separate attempt were made on his life by his fellow inmates of the work camp, although Kjeldorn always suspected that at least some of those attempt were initiated by the camp guards, using the inmates as pawns. He did however, during his sentence, build a tentative friendship with a couple of characters, that would have a significant impact on Kjeldorn future. The first was Lowel, was a former burglar turned fence, who had run it with Kjeldorn while he still was a guardsman, but whom he considered somewhat harmless. The other was Rennlos, a northerner working as a hired thug and enforcer for one of the cities smugling rings, who Kjeldorn only knew by reputation, as a brutal and dangerous man.

When Kjeldorn finally turned 36, he had served his sentence, and was released back into society. However, even though 12 years had come and gone, his reputation somehow followed him back from Jastill isle. So when he returned Van'drossa, he found himself hassled by the guard and shut out from any respectable Business, because of his history as a 'traitor of the Guard'. The disappointment, of being unable to escape his wrongful conviction, drove Kjeldorn into a depression, which he desperately tried to combat by indulging in excessive amount of food, wine and other intoxicants to dull the sense of loss and rejection. This made his thine wiry frame balloon up into the frame of a obese, red faced drunkard, the laughing stock of every poor house he sheltered in.

But inside the pitiful fat-man, a small ember flickered and hissed angrily. It was the half-remembered dream of living a proper life, with lofty goals and following a rigid code. The ember flared at the thought, seeking kindling to fuel its flames, its growth, and if there was one thing, in the poor houses of the run-down districts of Van'drossa, it was kindling to add to a fire burning for vengeance. One morning, shortly thereafter, Kjeldorn woke up cover in his own vomit, a pounding headache, with nothing more then a few silvers in his dirty rags, but something was different about him, a fire had returned to his eyes. He pick up his meager possessions, and set out to find some of his old associates, thinking that if he could just show how justice had failed him in the past, that maybe just maybe he set it all aright...

* Van'drossa (the gateway/doorway to Van in Ishkaran) is a enormous city-state, divided into 9 districts and 2 sub districts, with a combined population of around 50000-60000 people, depending on the seasons.

** Hylisthor is a very old god, who was traditionally invoked by the ancient semi-nomadic Vanii to aid them in getting vengeance, or to assist them in righting wrongs committed against them. As Vanii society evolved towards a city-based society, Hylisthor became more associated with justice, and he slowly transformed into a figure invoked in arbitrations, the pursuite of justice and during fair negotiation. At the same time, his daughter Vala started to appeared in Vanii religious texts, where she seemed to adopt many of Hylisthor older aspects. In modern Vanii religious practices, both are often considered to be one, and is worshipped as a combined figure.
This of cause, has drawn scoffing from the Ishkaran priesthoods, who consider some of the stories around Hylisthor and Vala to be distastefully incestuous, and point to the lack of stories of Vala's female divine parentage, to mean that she must be some other sort of being.

*** Van'drossa's government (a council of nobles) requires each district to supply, train and arm a militia, to take up arms if the city faced invasion. It was considered one of the only ways, to become part of the city's civil or armed services, without belonging to, either the various guilds or the nobility.

**** Jastill is a small isle, a little more then 50 miles out to sea, west of Van'drossa. The only civilization on the isle is the prison labor camp, those primary function is quarrying the stone and marble, that is use by the city-state masonry guild.

Edit: Sorry for any spelling/grammar errors. I wrote this partially from memory and partially as a stream of conscienceness.

I really enjoyed reading the story of Kjeldorn. It's very personal, well developed and humane, with a lot of character growth.
Thanks for sharing!

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Kileanna wrote:

I really enjoyed reading the story of Kjeldorn. It's very personal, well developed and humane, with a lot of character growth.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks kile, I really appreciate it.

Edit: don't think I'll try and tell all of his story (mostly because I probably forgotten just as much as I remember), but I will try and make some posts on some of his highlights.

Cool! I'm looking forward it!

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That was cool. I would bear more of this fellow.

What class and level is he?

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Freehold DM wrote:

That was cool. I would bear more of this fellow.

What class and level is he?

I hope you mean me ^^.

Well Kjeldorn was created in the early PF day when 3.5 was still in use, in a home-brew campaign setting called "Pobleus" as a plain old fighter, with some extra benefits based on his back story (1 extra skill points in knowledges local, religion, history and geography if I remember correctly, an extra feat, Cosmopolitan I think and a +2 con bonus and a -2 cha penalty - the other players got similar bonuses bases on their backstories)

He was played from lvl 1 to lvl 13-14.

If I was to make him today I would be sorely tempted to make him as a Vigilante, because of parts of his story I might expand upon.

Hope it helps Free.

And people say fighters are boring.

Freehold DM wrote:
And people say fighters are boring.

Oh thing got a lot more trying in the intrigue parts, but our GM was Incredibly fun, fair and gave out great bonuses on rolls if we role-played a check or roll well.

But to be honest it was fun being a bit of a brick in a party of sneaks (Kjeldorn even had his "stealth gear setup" for sneaking often with a alternate gear drop nearby)

Fighters are not boring! I love playing spellcasters but Fighters are one of my favorite classes. Being their concept just a guy without magic but with a lot of martial training they can fit to be whatever concept you want and that allows to create Fighters from many different backgrounds and to play a lot with their backstory.
Many of my most loved NPCs were fighters, just because the class allowed me to add the flavor I wanted.

As I have already posted a lot of stuff regarding to Sylvyana and Va'ardalia, I think that I'm going to finish to tell the parts of the story that are missing.

Then I don't know what to write next. Maybe another character's background? I don't know. Suggestions?

Kileanna wrote:

Fighters are not boring! I love playing spellcasters but Fighters are one of my favorite classes. Being their concept just a guy without magic but with a lot of martial training they can fit to be whatever concept you want and that allows to create Fighters from many different backgrounds and to play a lot with their backstory.

Many of my most loved NPCs were fighters, just because the class allowed me to add the flavor I wanted.

As I have already posted a lot of stuff regarding to Sylvyana and Va'ardalia, I think that I'm going to finish to tell the parts of the story that are missing.

Then I don't know what to write next. Maybe another character's background? I don't know. Suggestions?

A steamy romance story maybe? ;)

Sorry Kile, but I haven't really a good suggestions right now, but I'll be here if you want to test out any ideas

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I could tell some steamy romances indeed. My Ecstatic mage had a relationship with a fire demon. I guess that could count as steamy (at least it would if they went underwater).

Kileanna wrote:
I could tell some steamy romances indeed. My Ecstatic mage had a relationship with a fire demon. I guess that could count as steamy (at least it would if they went underwater).


I really liked playing an ecstatic mage, even though she was not your typical ecstatic. She was addicted to danger and adrenaline, and didn't usually used drugs or sex as a focus, even though she was liberal about using them.

I also had Marianna of Balador (archmage from the Cult of Ecstasy) around after my PCs ran into her realm by accident while she was trapped there and wanted to leave. I'm not pretty sure how she ended living in one of the PC's home (Dalindra's PC), going around naked all the time (because she said clothes hide who you really are) and making his perceptions and beliefs turn upside down. He was a very strict Akashic so it was very fun to run. It was completely improvised as they met her because of a teleportation error, but she ended sticking around and being a relevant character.

I've been taking my time to write down Sylvyana's story because I have never told it complete, not even to my players. The reason is that I don't like to overwhelm them with background elements but rather make some of them pop here or there during the campaigns.

Even though Sylvyana is an official character from the Age of Mortals trilogy I have expanded her background taking some elements from official sources and even changing some of them.

In the original story it seems like she was the wife of the King rather than the one who had the birthright to the throne. I though it would make a better story if she was the one who had the birthright, it would make more sense for her to be so mad at the whole elven nation.

So most of the elements of this story are not official but completely made up. It's a long story. I hope you enjoy.

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Once upon a time there was an elven princess. Her name was Sylvyana, born of the purest race among Silvanesti elves. Since her birth she had known that one day she would be the Queen of all elves and had learned to perform her duties flawlessly. She was a kind and charming lady, and it was said that she was the most beautiful among all elves.

All men in Silvanesti would have loved to marry her, not just because of her charm and beauty but also because the elf who married her would reign at her side. But she had been promised at a young age to the first son of a noble family. That didn't worry the young princess, as she understood it was her duty as a Queen.
When she reached adulthood she was given, as a present, the government of the town of Alinosti, so she could learn to perform the duties of a ruler. And she did well, soon gaining a reputation for being a fair and caring leader.

She also opened many trade routes with humans, helping to increase the wealth of the nation. It was in one of her many diplomatic trips when she met Waylorn. He was a human but he was different. He worshipped nature and life in a similar way that elves did and the gods spoke to him much in the same fashion that they spoke to Sylvyana. Her curiosity for him made Sylvyana want to meet him again and soon the curiosity turned into love. But she wouldn't allow her feelings to interfere with her duties, so she never confessed her feelings to Waylorn or anybody else.

The time went by, and Sylvyana's father passed away. She felt she was still too young to become a Queen, but it was what she had to do, and she had been preparing herself for that moment all her life.
Taking the crown meant that she'd had to take all the responsibilities attached to it. She'll have to marry and move to the capital... and she did without hesitation. A Queen has to live up to her duties.
The wedding was celebrated just a week later, and it was one of the most opulent ceremonies that Silvanesti has witnessed. Sylvyana looked splendid in her bridal gown and she declared her eternal love to her new husband. The things she had to do for her people.

She thought that her husband was a dull, boring and unimaginative man. He only cared for what happened in Silvanesti and politics in Silvanesti were as boring as him. They lived in a paradise where nothing interesting ever happened. But she made her best effort to get along with him. He was a good man, she thought, just weak and narrow minded. He might never be a good ruler, but he did well as a figurehead.

Some years passed, and elves lived happily under Sylvyana's queendom. Everybody cheered when it was announced that the kings were expecting their first child. A heir to the lineage of Silvanos.
As the pregnancy advanced, Sylvyana had to retire from public life for a time, and her husband convinced her to spend some time resting in her palace at Alinosti so the tensions of government didn't endanger the child. Young and naive, Sylvvyana thought it was a good idea.

A baby girl was born, with skin pale as the stars and hair black as the night sky. But the most stunning feature of the baby were her eyes of emerald green. She looked a lot like her mother. Sylvyana named her Va'ardalia.

But happiness wouldn't last. Only a few hours after giving birth some men from the royal guard appeared riding gryphs. They looked altered. They said to Sylvyana that her presence was required in the capital. She'd have to travel alone with them, leaving her newborn child behind.

She demanded to be told what had happened in Silvanost, but they refused to tell her. Nobody had ever refused to follow a direct command from her. Then they commanded her to go with them. Too worried for what could have happened in Silvanost that was so serious to require her immediate pressence, she aggreed to go with them still weak and tired after giving birth.

She entrusted Sisteena, her most trusted maiden, with attending the baby while she was away and she let the men of the royal guard take her to Silvanost.

When they arrived she was treated like a prisoner. They were rude to her and took her into a room without windows where she was watched by members of the guard all the time. She never attempted to escape, even if it would be an easy task for her. She wanted to stay and clear whatever misunderstanding there could be.

Next morning they took her into a court. All the nobles in Silvanesti were there. Her husband was there. He accused her of being unfaithful to him. He accused her of giving birth to a half human monstrosity. She wasn't given an opportunity to defend herself. She could only listen to the false accusations, powerless and broken.
Everybody seemed to believe him. That kind of treason was unknown to the elves and they were unprepared to deal with it, so they chose to believe the betrayer instead of listening to their Queen. She had always supported the trade with humans. She was known to have friends among them. A human lover wouldn't be something so uncalled for, right?

She was sentenced to exile away from the lands of Silvanesti. She was no longer considered to be an elf. Her name would be erased from all the registers. If she was ever found inside the frontiers of Silvanesti, she'd be hunted to death. And all of that without her being able to complain or say a thing. They'd escort her to the frontier and then leave her alone.
She asked many questions, but nobody cared to answer them. She was being ignored. They had chose. They had turned their back on her. The grief turned into desperation and the desperation into anger. In the end, her claims of innocence looked like pitiable attempts to justify herself.

Nobody would believe her. She asked to see her daughter. Again, she got no answer.
She was not allowing them to escort her out of Silvanesti like she was a criminal, nor let them take her daughter away. She took the shape of a bird and fled, using a near tree to teleport back to Alinosti. She found the palace empty. Everybody had betrayed her. Her husband had been plotting to take the crown for himself and she hadn't noticed. How long had he been planning his betrayal?
She feared for her daughter's life. She had the birthright to the throne. She was a liability. And no matter how hard she tried to find her, she seemed to have banished in the air. She ended convicing herself that her husband had commanded to kill her.

She was mad with grief and anger but she didn't know what to do or where to go. She decided to retire from Silvanesti for a time to think for a plan to recover everything that had been taken away from her. And not knowing where to go she relied on her old friend Waylorn. They became lovers. Why not? There were already that horrible accusations about herself. She hadn't any commitment to the vows that had already been broken, and not by her. But, as much as her younger self had dreamed about being able to love Waylorn freely, her adult self didn't gain any solace out of it. She felt that their relationship was a mere consolation prize after all she had lost. Thanks to Waylorn's diplomatic connection with Silvanesti, she learned that her husband had been married again and was talking about having children. That made her furious, realizing it had all been a manipulation from him to sit his own dinasty at the throne. That reinforced the idea that Va'ardalia had been killed. That day she swore revenge against the husband who had betrayed her and all the elves who had turned their back on her.

If it was not enough for her to hate their own kind, she was victim of some assassination intents from some of her own people. Her husband probably didn't feel comfortable knowing she was so close and probably plotting revenge. Sylvyana was an acknowledged spellcaster and she hadn't difficulties in dealing with the assassins.

She didn't kill them, though. An elf never kills another elf. There is no worse crime than that and she had to prove she was still better than them. So she polymorphed them into creatures of the forest or mutilated them so they couldn't harm anybody again. Sometimes she'd tortured them until they acknowledged her as their true and only queen before sending them back to Silvanost with their will destroyed. The most people they sent against her, the most convinced she was that her own race was corrupted beyond all possibility of redemption.

Stories say that her god (the god of Redemption and Rebirth, The Blue Phoenix) abandoned her, not supporting all the pain she was causing. In her version, it was her who decided to abandon her faith, realizing she no longer believed in what her god stated.

One day she just went too far. This time the elves who wanted her dead died in her hands. She was furious. They had repudiated her, separated from her daughter, and now they had made her a murderer and escaped her control. Her healing powers were gone some time ago. She prayed to anyone who'd listen to have them back so they could get what they deserved. And someone listened.

She heard a charming voice in her head: «Serve me and you'll have them back. They'll bow to you as their only queen. Not just these ones, but all of them.»
«A Queen serves no one but her people. But I'll stay faithful to you if you give me what I desire.»
«That's enough. But I warn you: your desire is not to be satiated. Hunger only leads to more hunger.»
«Then I'll feast on them!»
Sylvyana felt herself filled with divine energies again, as she saw the skin and flesh of the elves quickly rotting away and their skeletons fading into invisibility until only skeletal hands and glowing eyes remained. This new kind of undead would be later called Wichtlins.
«You want to punish the ones who betrayed you. Whenever an elf dies as a betrayer of their own race they'd rise again, bound to your will.»
Sylvyana was exultant, infused with her new dark powers. She realized she was speaking to Chemosh, the Lord of Undead himself, but she didn't care. To her, he'll always be the Endless Hunger and she'll serve him faithfully for allowing her to exact her revenge.
Reluctant to ask for more, after all the Endless Hunger had already given to her, she asked him for her daughter's soul. He told her he couldn't help her with that, as her soul hadn't been into his realm. She hadn't died.

Not just furious now, but wanting to find her daughter, she took the resolution of declaring a war against Silvanesti. But even with her new powers she'd need an army. First she told Waylorn about her plans. He was horrorized and refused to take part. At this time, the Queen was still young and naive and had taken as a fact that Waylorn would follow her just because he loved her. She felt offended and betrayed, but she didn't want to punish him just for doing what he thought was the right thing, so she let him go.

She spent many years building her army. First she settled herself at Baleph, a distant elven city that had been abandoned a long time ago. She then traveled to the woods of Lahue. There she tamed the wild Wyverns that lived there and taught the ways of the Endless Hunger to the local tribesmen. who saw her as some kind of goddess. Then she traveled all Krynn, looking for small settlements of elves that she could turn to her side. She lured them into commiting atrocious acts against their kind to ensure their souls were tainted and then slayed them all so they would raise as Wichtlins. Intelligent and deadly, they hated elves among all things and they were totally loyal to Sylvyana. Like that, even lacking necromantic powers of her own, she earned the title of The Ghoul Queen and the Endless Hunger made her his Chosen One, granting her immortality.

When she returned to Silvanesti with her army of Wyverns, Wichtlins and ravenous cannibals the elves were ready to face her. Waylorn (why did he look so old?) had warned them and they had time to prepare. Sylvyana's army ravaged the land, but with the aid of the Knights of Solamnia the elves were able to defend themselves. They were motivated as many who fell rose again as Wichtlins. It was a long war with many losses on both sides but in the end, after many sacrifices, the war started turning on the side of the elves. It would have been different if she hadn't told Waylorn in advance, thought Sylvyana. Now she had to decide whether to make a glorious last stand with her army or retreat to fight another day. It wasn't a difficult decision. She took her most loyal followers and took them back to Baleph by magic. Then she prayed to the Endless Hunger to take them to a safe place. A portal in time opened and swallowed Sylvyana and her followers. And there she waited for centuries, planning her revenge, until she was called once again to this world by her God. One of the first things she asked to the Eternal Hunger when she was back was about her daughter again. But she got the same answer. After so many years she was still alive.

Her two driving goals, as they had always been, were getting all elves to serve her as Wichtlins and finding her daughter.
Everything else has already been told.
But what about Va'ardalia? How did she survive? How is she still young after so many years? There are parts of this story that have yet to be told.

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Kileanna wrote:

I really liked playing an ecstatic mage, even though she was not your typical ecstatic. She was addicted to danger and adrenaline, and didn't usually used drugs or sex as a focus, even though she was liberal about using them.

I also had Marianna of Balador (archmage from the Cult of Ecstasy) around after my PCs ran into her realm by accident while she was trapped there and wanted to leave. I'm not pretty sure how she ended living in one of the PC's home (Dalindra's PC), going around naked all the time (because she said clothes hide who you really are) and making his perceptions and beliefs turn upside down. He was a very strict Akashic so it was very fun to run. It was completely improvised as they met her because of a teleportation error, but she ended sticking around and being a relevant character.

I have updated wod with stuff from the w20 anniversary editions.

We plan to do it when we get back to WoD, but we haven't played it since they came out. Anyway, we are no longer using the official metaplot. We used to do it before but then our stories tended to deviate too much from it and we didn't want to force the storyline to adapt to events that wouldn't make a lot of sense on our campaign.

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And this is the last chapter on Sylvyana's and Va'ardalia's story. I liked to give some parts a reminiscence of a fairytale, so you might see some resemblances with some popular tales here.


Sisteena was a privileged member of the House of Servitude, as being the personal maiden of the Queen was probably the highest position a mere servant could aspire to have.

The Queen trusted her as an assistant and confident, and when she had to depart to the capital in a hurry, it was her who was left in charge of her newborn daughter.
As soon as the Queen left, more members of the Royal Guard appeared and commanded all servants in the Queen's palace to go with them and take all the baby's belongings with them. Sisteena obeyed, but she refused to hand them over the Princess by any means. She didn't know what was going on but she didn't like it.

After a long trip they arrived to a newly built tower in the middle of nowhere. They told them that it had been built at the King's command for the Queen and the Princess, so when the latter was born both could rest unmolested for a time and the Queen could recover in a quiet place. Some powerful magic enchantments had been placed to protect the tower and ensure that it was an appropriate place to them to rest. After seeing how the Queen had been taken to the capital, Sisteena found eveything suspicious. And she was right.

As soon as they arrived they were all trapped inside: the Princess, the servants, the members of the Royal Guard and the wizards and priests who had created the enchantments. It couldn't be an accident.

Everybody started to feel numb and dizzy. Sisteena tried to wake up the Princess from her cradle but couldn't. What was happening? The wizards said that the enchantments were working in a different way that they had planned: they were slowly inducing everybody in the tower into unconsciousness. Something was altering the magic they had created.

Sisteena watched horrified how the leader of the Royal Guard came to the conclusion that the baby had to be the focus of the alteration. He knew about the King's plans to get rid of the Queen to set his own dynasty. Realizing that everything had been a plan to get rid of his own daughter, the most faithful servants of the queen and everybody who knew too much wasn't difficult to him. He panicked realizing the King's betrayal, and came to the conclussion that the only way they could escape was by destroying the focus of the enchantment: the newborn child. He commanded his men to kill the baby so they could put an end to the magic effect and get out of there. (The saddest part is that he was wrong: the focus was not the baby but the cradle)

Sisteena ran upstairs to protect the baby Princess while chaos ensued at the lower levels, with the Royal Guards trying to fight their way through the mostly unarmed servants who tried desperately to avoid that an innocent child was ruthlessly murdered.

Sisteena heard them coming for the child. Outside, most of the servants were probably already dead. But before anything happened she felt her consciousness fading, and she felt to the tower's enchantment. The defenders had given the magic of the tower enough time to come into full effect and get everybody inside into eternal stasis.

Like that, the King was able to get rid of the legitimate heiress to the throne and any further liabilities without having to kill anybody. Elves don't kill elves, after all.
Centuries passed, and Sylvyana became a myth among elves, the kind of tale that is told to children so they behave: «be a good child or The Ghoul Queen will come and turn you into a Wichtlin». Most of her story was forgotten, and the tower where the Princess Va'ardalia rested was lost forever.

Until the Nightmare. At the beginning of the War of the Lance, the Speaker of the Stars Lorac Caladon, descendant of the traitor who had sent Sylvyana to exile, tried to protect his people from the war by controlling a powerful artifact called The Orb of Dragons. He had failed and attracted a Green Dragon who took control of a subdued Lorac to shape the whole nation into a twisted nightmare, full of corrupted creatures and undead.

All magic on Silvanesti was corrupted by the Nightmare and the Tower was no exception. After many centuries the tower was unlocked and its few survivors awakened, only to meet an horde of undead horrors who slayed everybody inside the tower. The servants who had only tried to defend themselves were beyond Chemosh's reach, and their souls departed freely to afterlife. But The Lord of Bones claimed everyone who had tried to kill the baby or turned against their kind and bound them as undead slaves to protect the tower.

Sisteena was the only exception. She had never separated from Va'ardalia, true to her promise to keep her safe, and she woke up at the top of the tower, next to the cradle of the now fully awake and hungry baby. She could hear the sound of the battle downstairs but she just grabbed the baby girl in her arms and didn't try to get out until everything went quiet.

She was scared, not knowing what had happened or how much time had passed. She finally ventured herself out of the room, holding Va'ardalia in her arms, just to jump into some undead monstrosities. She tried to get back but then she realized that the undead didn't even seem to notice her or the loudly crying baby. Shuddering in fear, she walked among the undead plaguing the tower unnoticed and walked outside unharmed.

Then she saw the twisted horror that the woods of Silvanesti had become. It wasn't just the tower that was plagued with undead. She had to get out of there.

Even if the undead didn't seem to notice her or the baby, there were a lot more perils in the wood, from corrupted animals and fey to the more mundane issue of getting food and water. And she was just a city girl who didn't know how to fight or hunt for food. Fortunately she found another elf. He was a strong well-built man, but he was no fighter either but another servant. He had been a carrier for a group of rangers and fighters who were sent to fight against the horrors of the Nightmare. All his group had been killed but him and he was trying to get out. He had food and water for a couple of weeks and weapons that he barely knew how to use. Together they had a chance to survive.

He was amused that Sisteena didn't know anything about what was happening in Silvanesti and had a hard time believing her story, but he decided not to think too hard about it until they were safe. He also thought it was a miracle that undead didn't notice them. Sisteena believed that the Gods of Light were protecting the Princess from them. The truth was close enough, the protection came from a god, but not from one of Light: Chemosh wouldn't let that his own creatures harmed the daughter of his Chosen.

It was thanks to this that they finally managed to get out of the cursed woods and join their people in exile. With the archives of Silvanesti lost and probably destroyed it wasn't difficult to pass as a newly married couple with a newborn child. Less than a year later, they married for real and soon they had a daughter of their own, Lynessa.

They couldn't tell the truth, as it would endanger both Va'ardalia and Sisteena so Va'ardalia grew up without knowing her real heritage but resembling her real mother more and more as she grew up.

She was fascinated by nobility and loved to pretend she was a princess in her childhood games (Lynessa was always the foolish knight she had to rescue). Sisteena encouraged it, teaching her how to behave like a noble the best she could, disguising it as teaching her how to be a best servant at a noble house. Sisteena expected Va'ardalia to be able to claim her birthright in the future, even though she also thought it was too dangerous for her and secretly hoped that it never happened.

But it happened. Va'ardalia had already attained nobility by her own means when she met Sylvyana.

Their first encounter was in the Ravenous Banquet, where Va'ardalia was affected by Sylvyana's allomanya and had a hard time avoiding to devour her fellow elves. Sylvyana tried to get her and when she was unable, tried to kidnap her foster sister Lynessa to lure her into her lair at Baleph. She needed Va'ardalia to be present at the ritual so she could protect her from becoming her undead servant. Sylvyana might be deranged but she wouldn't do that to her own daughter. In the end, unable to take Lynessa with her either, she played her last card: she told Va'ardalia that she had kidnapped her so-called parents and took them into Baleph. She believed it was a lie (it wasn't) but she didn't want to take the risk.

Va'ardalia didn't understand why the Ghoul Queen was so obsessed with her. But when they managed to free Reya from corruption she told Va'ardalia about her claims to be Va'ardalia's mother. The kagonesti warrior had been one of Va'ardalia's best friends and Sylvyana had questioned her thoroughly about her, so she was aware of everything. Va'ardalia thought the Ghoul Queen was insane, but she could use her obsession as a weapon against her.

And it was indeed her obsession with Va'ardalia what caused Sylvyana's downfall. During the fight against her, she made some obvious mistakes trying to approach her daughter, and it was because of Va'ardalia that she entered a house where they had set a trap against her. Va'ardalia used a scroll to cast Antimagic Field and allow her to be defeated.

But Va'ardalia was still worried about Sylvyana's claims. After rescueing her parents, she questioned Sisteena, who confirmed that everything she said was true. She had never known about the Ghoul Queen, just about Queen Sylvyana, as she was put into stasis before everything happened, and was shocked to see what her beloved and kind queen had become.

It was Va'ardalia who manipulated everybody so they took the decission of exiling Sylvyana to a realm that she was able to access (the Plane of Shadow) so she could go there to have a talk or two with her. She visited her many times before the Ghoul Queen managed to escape.

Since then, both have been secretly allied. Va'ardalia has accepted the Ghoul Queen at her side, disguised as her Kagonesti counselor, and introduced her into elven society. Sylvyana has aggreed to delay her plans to destroy the whole race to give her daughter a chance to claim her birthright and rule over all elves. Both are now plotting together and they make a powerful and determined couple. Va'ardalia has been slipping into darkness because of her mother's influence while Sylvyana could be on the path of redemption thanks to her daughter's benefic influence. Whatever happens next, it seems like both will rise or fall together.

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I've posted this in another thread and I thought I could post it here too. It's not aas story but I like to create playlists dor my characters or campaigns. So I am sharing.

I'm sharing my Reign of Winter playlist, with both songs meaningful for my character and for events in the game or other characters.
You'll see a lot of songs of similar styles and the same artists, but I like making my playlists somewhat themed.
There aren't a lot of snow/ice/winter themed songs as I chose them thinking more of meaningful events than the basic theme of the AP. The only exception is Rasputin by Turisas. This song just had to be there!!!

Kileanna's songs:
Kileanna is a Changeling, who didn't know her real heritage at the start of the adventure and was receiving The Call. These songs reflect the progression she experimented as the story went on.

It's the Fear- Within Temptation- This is perfect for her at the start of the game, with some strange urges and dreams she couldn't explain.

Face Your Demons- After Forever- This would be at Artrosa, her encounter with her real mother, this would be from her hag's mother point of view.

Lost- Within Temptation- after the hag coven killed Argentea and before she was resurrected, this reflects Kileanna's feelings perfectly. Two times more in the adventure this song became perfect to describe her feelings, becoming the most defining song for her. It's a sad and desperate song but it also evokes strong feelings, so it perfectly fits her.

Pale- Within Temptation- After discovering her heritage and some more difficult events she went through a emotional crisis. This describes her again in a very accurate way.

Stand My Ground- Within Temptation- Right now she is fully grown up and all she has gone through has made her a stronger person. This song reflects better how she is now.

Another songs for the campaign:

Black Rose- Luca Turilli- Va'ardalia, another NPC that had an antagonistic role in an adapted version of the sixth book.

Replica- Sonata Arctica- Nigel Uth Berner, a NPC who helped the party and ended losing his faith and his will to carry on. He ended badly.

Let Us Burn- Within Temptation- Argentea's song.

Paradise- Within Temptation
Rasputin- Turisas
Frozen Star- Luca Turilli
Forsaken- Within Temptation
Attendance- After Forever.
Say My Name- Within Temptation.

And, as I am sharing RoW stuff:

The pics I drew for the party members:


Lady Argentea Malassene

Nadya Petska

Lord Arthur Strongshield



All the Party

Kileanna and Argentea

Someday I'll get into it and write all the story down, but before I have to finish Skull and Shackles. Too much projects, too few time, too much laziness.

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Interesting idea Kile!


I guess that Ingenting. Could be Kjeldorn, early in his career, looking at his city recognizing, that it has to change.

This one Sundance Kid is Kjeldorn coming to "terms" with him being forced to leave his city, in a conversation with his God? Justice? His former self?

Also as an added benefit, I get to expose you to some softer, but great Swedish minimalistic rock ^^.

I like the sound but I like the lyrics even better, they are so meaningful. You can see they are not chosen at random but that they reflect some deep thoughts and feelings. I try to choose my character music mostly to reflect what's inside their heads and I think this ones do the job.

Kileanna wrote:
I like the sound but I like the lyrics even better, they are so meaningful. You can see they are not chosen at random but that they reflect some deep thoughts and feelings. I try to choose my character music mostly to reflect what's inside their heads and I think this ones do the job.

Thanks Kile! I could very much say the same for your choices, as I can kind of see, a thread running through them (Kileanna's songs that is, haven't heard all the others yet).

Someday I'll write down her story. I don't even know how to start xD

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I wrote a character backstory (a very looooooong one) in another thread about my elven hunter named Adanedhel. It's a lot of posts, but I could chop it up so as not to dominate anything here . . . Would you mind if I reposted it? There seems to be a good reader base on this thread, and I'd enjoy any feedback that all these wonderful people might be willing to give!

Oh, please, feel free to post whatever you want. I'll do my best to provide feedback and I'll enjoy reading it for sure.

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This is a backstory for my character entering into a Giantslayer campaign that my group started half-a-year ago. With the kind permission of Kileanna, I will post pieces of it here every 2-3 days, so as not to blow up her thread . . . Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

Also, please note that, while it would appear that this character is of a high level due to the nature of his animal companion, he started the campaign at the prescribed first level. I've never been one who thinks about characters in terms of levels, though I do try to keep their potency in mind when portraying their power level in the story. Whether I do that successfully or no is up to you, I suppose. =)

Thanks again, Kileanna, for allowing me to repost this story here for everyone to view!



“Behold the splendor of this wilderness realm: its every rock, tree, and stream. Within, animals have created a kingdom, and mankind has erected a bastion of freedom. Measured against these things you are insignificant. But, in dying to protect them, you may find worth."

--Horethama, Queen of the Frozen Falls

A goat hoof pressed against the shoulder of a prone figure and turned the lifeless body onto its back. The ghostly dawn mist washed over its bloody features in curling wisps, as though the spirit was just now departing in sorrow.

Not far away, an infant’s cries haunted both the living and the dead.

“Here’s the mate,” Nomanti’s deep, melodic voice called out to his hunting partner. The satyr bent over the female elf and ran a finger along her slender cheek, stopping just above the ugly canyon that her throat had become. “What a waste,” the fey sighed and shook his head.

“Two elves, then,” replied the soft tenor tone of Sath from twenty yards off. Despite their loud conversation, the faun held his bow at the ready and watched the surrounding trees for any sign of danger returning. “A score of dead orcs by the other, with another dozen about this one. They fought hard and well.”

“And much good it did them, eh?” Nomanti scoffed, his hands liberally searching the dead elf female for whatever goods of worth she might carry.

The faun shook his head at the negativity of his companion. He strongly desired to remind the satyr that had the two of them perished slaying over thirty orcs--the scourge of this land--their King and Queen would have celebrated them with feasting and singing. Instead, he remained quiet and progressed toward the crying infant, cradled atop a soft bed of moss and ferns.

His brow arched as he approached. “The child is not hidden,” Sath expressed with some intrigue. “However did he survive, I wonder?”

“It obviously was not crying at the time,” the satyr stated, tossing an empty potion flask he had found on the dead elf at Sath.

The other caught it easily, examined it for a moment, then glanced back down at the baby as he pieced together the small puzzle. “But why sacrifice herself and turn the child invisible?” he wondered aloud. “Why not drink the potion yourself and both escape?”

Nomanti offered a derisive chuckle. “Sentimentality for that one, I would say,” he nodded in the direction of the male elf over 70 yards west of their location. “I will never understand the foolishness of the mortal races.” He admired the dead female one last time and repeated, “What a waste,” then strode toward faun and child while pocketing the two full potions recovered from the body. “Silence that thing and let us be on our way.”

Sath heard the intention in his partner’s tone and frowned at its maliciousness. If ever there existed a reason why fauns hated being confused as satyrs, it surely involved the complete lack of empathy shown by the latter. In deliberate protest, the faun set his bow upon the ground and picked up the child, cradling him and attempting to quiet him with gentle rocking.

“Truly?” the satyr spat with indignation. “Will you try suckling it next?”

“I am taking him with us,” Sath informed his companion.

“To what end? Two are dead already trying to keep that creature! It is a bad omen, Sath, and it will only slow us down.”

The faun glared at Nomanti. “Our purpose is not to kill the weak and innocent, but to protect them, or have you forgotten?”

“Our purpose is to kill orcs, not look after the dead’s baggage. I will not die for that useless creature,” Nomanti pointed accusingly at the child. “Had these foolish mortals cared for the thing at all, they would not have brought it into such a dangerous realm to begin with. Do not let their mistake become ours.”

“I know not why these elves were here, and I refuse to question their purpose or intention based on what I do not know. What I can discern is their quality in arms by the score-and-a-half dead I witness around them. If this child inherited such skill, he might be an asset to our own cause.” Sath locked eyes with his hunting partner and filled his voice with absolute determination that brooked no argument as he insisted a final time, “I am taking him with us.”

The satyr spat on the ground and helplessly threw his hands in the air. “It is a waste of time, I say, but fine,” he gave in, then quickly formed a most sardonic grin. “The King of Thorns will likely dispose of the thing at first glance anyhow.”

“Mine is not to question our King’s judgment,” Sath stated simply. “Only yours.”

Cool start! Feel free to post the rest of it whenever you want, I don't mind having many posts on a row.

The character (supposing him to be the elven child) seems promising.

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The child fidgeted as the most beautiful woman in the world assessed him with eyes of frigid waterfalls. A sparse-covering dress of deep green aspen leaves edged in frost rested comfortably against cerulean skin that glittered like spraying mist. Elegant hair the color of lathering foam cascaded down the length of her body to within an inch of the floor.

“Tell me of your education, child,” the hamadryad commanded in an effervescent voice that thundered like a powerful waterfall.

The child reflexively shied away from that power as its sound crashed over him, drawing a mischievous smirk from the Queen of the Frozen Falls despite the insult.

“Answer the Queen when she speaks to you, Adanedhel,” Sath prompted him when no apparent answer was forthcoming.

“Adanedhel?” the fey queen smiled, amused. “That is his name?”

Sath bowed respectfully. “It seemed appropriate, Cascading One. If it does not please you, I will change it to something that shall.”

“No,” she told him, brushing her fingertips along the child’s angular cheek and chin. He startled at the touch, for while it was gentle, her fingers felt cold as glacial waters. “It is ideal. That is all the identity he should ever require.” Still smiling, the Queen lifted the child’s face up to meet her own with a nurturing tenderness almost surreal coming from one so otherworldly. “What do you most favor in your learning?”

“Hunting,” the child replied hesitantly.

The fey queen smiled sweetly. “Of course, hunting. What have you hunted?”

Feeling quite squeamish, but too frightened to turn his head away from the fey queen, he tried hard to answer the question with honesty. “Mice,” he began in docile tones, pausing in apparent thought between each creature so named. “Squirrel. Rabbit. Mountain goat. Mule deer.” He opened his mouth to say another, forgot what it was, and, after a few moment’s thought, closed his mouth again with uncertainty.

“Have you hunted orc?” she asked.

“No,” the child admitted, then, almost as an afterthought, he added, “Only tracked them.”

“And do you enjoy tracking them?”

The child nodded as much as he could with the fey queen’s fingers still propped under his chin. “Yes. It is easy.”

“Good,” the hamadryad grinned. “What can you tell me of orcs?”

The child’s lips tightened into a line as he swallowed. “They are evil and bad,” he said with recognizable disgust. “They hate everything they see and hurt everything they touch. They kill all they can and leave it to rot in the sun, but eat their own children. They must always be killed. Always. I hate them.”

“Oh no, child,” the Queen kindly corrected him, “do not hate them. Save your hate for something deserving of it. Think of orcs as insects whose sole purpose is to destroy. When you see such an insect, you crush it beneath your boot because it must be done, then continue on and think of it no more. When you find an infestation of these destructive little bugs, it must become your first priority to eliminate them completely and efficiently; leave none behind, or they will only multiply again and continue their destructive ways. So, you must always kill orcs without remorse or mercy, but do not lend them your hatred. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” the child said in the sullen tones of one who has been rebuked.

“Wait outside, then, and think about what I have told you,” she directed him. “I must speak with your teacher.”

The child needed no further encouragement. The final words had barely escaped her lips when he turned and hurried away.

“Bow!” Sath ordered curtly, to which the child halted, about-faced, offered a wooden bow from the waist, then bolted from the chamber.

The Queen of the Frozen Falls watched him rush out with a fond smile. “How old is the child?” she inquired of the faun who remained behind.

“Six winters, as best as I can gauge it, my Queen,” Sath answered humbly.

The hamadryad regarded him with the rapid currents of her eyes. “He is a shy one.”

The child’s teacher nodded. “He is emotional. Adanedhel internalizes everything and keeps it close to him. I believe Ethwanessa adequately illustrated it as ‘feeling all the feels,’” the faun smirked in recollection of his talk with the dryad.

“That can be dangerous,” the hamadryad intoned.

“It can be, my Queen,” Sath carefully agree, then chanced to continue on, “but I believe it can also be properly managed. The child benefits from high intellectual capacity; he picks up teachings extraordinarily quickly. If I may say so, Cascading One, for his age the child is an amazing tracker. I have known fey incapable of tracking and locating creatures as well as he. With the proper training, I have no doubt Adanedhel could become a useful tool in our cause to eradicate the orc vermin from the region.”

The fey queen quirked an eyebrow. “Do you not believe his emotional state will get him killed?”

“On the contrary, my Queen,” Sath divulged, “I absolutely believe it will. However, the aid this child would provide through the damage he will do to the orc population between now and that time could be exceptionally impressive. He is an amazing hunter, and his rapport with animals--while not the best I have witnessed--is commendable.”

The Cascading One studied her vassal for a long moment, and he stayed silent throughout, not daring to interrupt her thoughts with his insignificance. “The King of Thorns despises the child,” she revealed finally. “He says the child is weak.”

At that, the faun bowed so low his horns nearly scraped the floor in supplication. “I cannot possibly repudiate the wisdom of my King,” he professed with sincere humility.

His Queen considered him shrewdly, then inserted for him a drawn out, “But . . . . “

Sath replied without lifting his head. “I respectfully believe there exists a difference between weakness and a lack of strength.”

“I thought you would,” she smiled, and without granting him permission to rise--she admittedly enjoyed his groveling--said, “Continue.”

“The child lacks physical strength, it is true,” the faun proceeded as he was bade. “Point-in-fact, I do not believe he will ever attain it--not as the great warriors are known to possess it anyhow. But, Cascading One, he does exhibit the natural flowing grace of his elven heritage, and if properly trained, I believe that will be his boon in combat. I have witnessed his movements up close, and already taught him rudimentary combat maneuvers with the spear. The child possesses a rare agility and prowess now. In three decades? Forgive my contradictory understanding to the King of Thorns, I beg, but the child is most certainly not weak--at least, not where his strengths are concerned.”

“You believe he will make a good hunter and protector,” she reasoned.

“I believe he will excel at these things, my Queen,” the faun validated her statement.

“Rise,” the hamadryad commanded, and Sath immediately obeyed. She cradled his face in her unnaturally cold hands, but rather than shrinking back from them, he welcomed her touch. “Teach him, then, as only you know how.”

“Yes, my Queen,” Sath breathed his affirmation.

The corner of her lip raised in delight at both his response to her touch and the realization that he had something else he desired to say. “What else do you wish?”

“I would ask”--the faun began, his words labored due to her gentle caress--“that Nomanti be dismissed as a teacher for the child.”

“Sath,” she spoke his name affectionately. “You have a soft heart for the child?”

“I do not believe his instruction of the kind Adanedhel needs.”

The Queen smiled once more, but this time the gesture held sorrowful undertones. “I cannot,” she expressed to him sadly, removing her hands from his face and stepping away. The break in contact nearly caused him to weep. “Nomanti belongs to the King of Thorns, and so he must continue in his capacity with the child, as well. Nothing can be done about it.”

Sath nodded, more forlorn about her pulling away than the refusal of his request. “I understand, my Queen. I only fear that Nomanti’s techniques may hinder Adanedhel’s development.”

“Perhaps,” the Queen of the Frozen Falls pondered. “Or, the child will learn all the quicker what he is not.”

I really like how you have written this. I'm enjoying the story of the elven child and it's an easy read, as well as it is well written.
I look forward to see more of it!

I like this.

This is a good thread kileanna...

Thanks a lot, Freehold! If you want to share some stories too feel free to do so.
Or some criticism. I'd really like to get some so I can improve my writing and character development... even though I mostly share stories because I like to xD

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“You are a useless creature,” the satyr berated the boy when the latter failed to execute a powerful parry and strike maneuver with his spear. For his failure, he had received the butt end of a staff across his cheek that now found him rising slowly from the ground to his knees. The boy’s cheekbone blazed with pain, and blood seeped out of the ruptured skin that would turn a hideous shade of yellow, green, and purple before the hour was through.

“No, I should not say that,” Nomanti corrected himself with a forced breath that coincided with a vicious kick to the boy’s ribs, sending him flying away. “I must admit to a certain pleasure at beating you bloody. Perhaps that was worth my saving your pathetic life those years ago, but you will truly rue the day when I grow tired of even that, mortal filth. And you forgot this,” the fey finished, kicking the spear at the boy squirming in pain.

For his part, the boy labored to breathe but shed no tears. He knew they would only spur this one on to greater heights of pleasure, and he refused to feed that fire. In his twelve winters of life amidst the fey, he learned quickly that this satyr’s hedonism went beyond bedding every woman he could pounce upon; Nomanti was a sadist, and he merely the instrument by which the satyr could satisfy that itch. Within the fey world, hedonism of all kinds was regarded as a good thing, which meant his current treatment was not frowned upon but encouraged. Rather than aid him, most fey would prompt him to masochism in light of his current situation. Such was their way.

It most certainly was not his.

The thinness of the satyr’s hoof punctured the skin between two of his ribs, but it also saved either from breaking. That meant the pain was superficial, not internal, and that gave him some cause to be thankful.

“Get up, creature, and get back over here,” Nomanti beckoned him. “You will get this maneuver correct before we end this session, whatever the agony to be endured until you do.”

The boy breathed deep one more time just to make sure all was intact, then climbed back up to his knees. Sun-kissed hair spoiled with dirt, twigs, and loose grass streamed down on either side of both shoulders. Determined eyes of amber--dulled only by the constant beating he had endured--glared at the satyr as he reached down to recover the spear.

“Adanedhel,” his second teacher called for his attention, which he gladly gave the faun. The boy enjoyed the company and education of Sath. While he suffered his fair share of beatings to that one too, those were never issued with malice in mind but with the understanding that one must feel the touch of pain to grow stronger. Sath treated him as a teacher should: offering instruction for each misstep, satiating his curiosity with answers not derision, and even praising him when he performed a task correctly or proposed a thoughtful inquiry or response. Indeed, the boy’s feelings for his teachers were as different as night and day.

The benevolent teacher flipped another spear his way, which the boy caught with a wince as it stretched the wound in his side. The haft of this new weapon extended an additional two-and-a-half feet from its traditional counterpart. Behind its ten inch spearhead, several short branches projected outward from the shaft at irregular intervals, each angled forward and tipped with a smaller leaf-like blade. Though heavier than other types of spears, this elven branched spear boasted perfect weight distribution, enabling one possessing lithe elven movements to manipulate the weapon with astonishing speed.

The boy offered Sath an appreciative nod, then used the branched spear as leverage to regain his feet.

“You think a new toy that keeps you at distance will save you punishment, little creature?” Nomanti ridiculed with a chuckle. He pointed to the patch of dirt before him with his staff. “Take the position.”

The boy stepped up dutifully, branched spear situated at the ready. No sooner did he come to a complete stop than Nomanti launched a series of staff strikes from all angles--a flurry of blows well beyond the maneuver they had been training for the better half of the last hour. To his credit, the boy parried the first three away before getting overwhelmed by the satyr’s superior skill. The fourth clipped his right elbow, numbing it and lowering his guard. A barrage of bruising body shots elicited a storm of torment the boy’s mind proved incapable of tracking effectively. His reactions slowed to a point where his body lingered two hits behind, and all thought disappeared into an incoherent haze.

When consciousness returned, motor control did not, and the fear of paralysis gripped him. An unintelligible cry escaped his lips, though it sounded more akin to a high-pitched whine.

“Easy, Adanedhel,” murmured Sath’s calming tone. The faun repeated the soothing words a second and third time before the boy registered it. “Your body has yet to recover from the shock of its beating,” he assured when his pupil quieted. “Control will return soon, with copious amounts of suffering in accompaniment. You will need to be strong and brace yourself for it.

“V-val-l-er-i-i-an . . . . “ the boy badly stuttered the word.

Sath smirked and shook his head. Valerian was a potent herbal sedative that both killed pain and numbed the wits. “No, I think not. You are undeserving.” The fey sighed at the harshness of this lesson. “You wish to blame Nomanti for unfair treatment, but such is not your place. If you did not wish to feel this agony, your choice was to do something about it. In that you failed, and so your punishment must be endured.”

The boy’s face began to twitch, and his teeth clenched tightly.

The faun offered a sullen nod that his student could not see. “You will own this, Adanedhel,” Sath warned, kneeling down over him.

Pain erupted through the boy’s torso in a rush, feeling to him as though he were caught beneath a stampeding herd of bison hooves, with not a single one missing. He screamed with the sudden anguish, the feral sound so powerful that its vocal capacity nearly flayed the insides of his throat.

Sath clenched that throat to cut off airflow, causing the boy to choke almost immediately. “You do not scream!” the fey growled at him.

Within that powerful grasp, the faun’s student thrashed wildly and pounded the ground in futility, every exaggerated movement compounding the suffering caused by his injuries and the panic from his inability to breathe.

“You earned this, Adanedhel,” Sath reprimanded him. “You will own it!”

His strength sapped completely, weakness once again overtook the boy, and the world faded into oblivion for a second time.

The faun blew out a quick breath to soothe his own anger, then placed a couple fingers upon his pupil’s neck. Finding a pulse, he patted the young cheek a couple times before moving away a couple yards to sit facing the late morning sun, his back to the boy. Many minutes passed before he heard weak signs of movement behind him.

For the boy’s part, he fought every urge to move. The physical pain had hardly relinquished from before, but the emotional pain of Sath’s hand about his windpipe crushed him far more. He felt betrayed by the one fey he had come to rely upon for fairness and direction, that one figure he had looked up to and thought he could respect. For the longest time, he wanted nothing more than for the faun to believe him dead and walk away. When the hour ended, and he realized that Sath was not leaving, his despair finally got the best of him.

“Why?” the boy whispered in a voice shallow and hoarse.

“You tell me why,” the fey said, not bothering to face him.

He swallowed the pain of his tears in a raw throat before answering, “I trusted you.”

“Have I ever given you reason not to?” Sath retorted. A long silence stretched out in reply, and the faun sprang to his feet and marched angrily back to his pupil, still laying sprawled out and unmoved but with eyes open. “Have I ever given you reason not to?” he repeated forcefully.

In an act of painful defiance, the boy turned his head away.

“I am disappointed in you, Adanedhel,” Sath expressed with recognizable disgust. “Have I ever been anything less than honest with you? Have I ever been anything less than genuine in my teaching? Yet now, over such a simple lesson, you doubt me?”

The boy gulped down his sorrow. “You would not help me, Sa--”

“Stop!” the faun exploded with such fury that the boy jolted in fright, sending waves of renewed agony washing through him. “Do you think this about you? Do you earnestly believe that is why we have done all this? For you? Have you not been paying attention, Adanedhel? Have you closed your ears? Have you shut your eyes? Have you not witnessed the beauty, the majesty, the glorious power of all that surrounds you? Have you chosen to ignore its magnificence and purity, its grandeur and prosperity?” Sath stomped away in frustration, needing to put distance between he and this upstart student that had apparently learned nothing! Even as he moved away, however, the fey found himself storming back from whence he came, his anger boiling over.

“You arrogant wretch! From where does your conceit swell, that you believe yourself of more value than all this?” Sath’s hands clenched into fists so tight his knuckles whitened. “I have taught you the methodology of the branched spear, a weapon designed for your people. I have taught you marksmanship with the bow. I have taught you herb lore, plant lore, and how to read the markers of the land. I have taught you how to move in the trees and climb the mountains. I have taught you how to read animals, how to run with them, how and when to befriend, and how to hunt them. You are a distinguished tracker amongst even the fey because of the skills I taught you! Do you believe I have done all this to somehow validate your self-worth? From where does such egotism surface?” The faun practically pounced upon the prone boy, grabbing him by the front of his woolen shirt and pulling him up so their faces were only inches apart. “I will rip that vanity from your very pores, Adanedhel! I will beat it out of you wherever I find it until you comprehend that none of this is for you!”

His fury played out, the fey finally took a moment to examine the boy. Tears streaked down that young face in tiny streams, and Sath recognized that none of them derived from the physical pain he undoubtedly felt at this moment. These tears represented the boy’s hope and innocence bleeding out, and the faun knew he would be lying to himself if he refused to admit a piece of his heart broke to see it. Even so, Sath knew it had to happen, and he took comfort in the knowledge that a new hope would take root one day in the future--a hope not misplaced in narcissism.

Sath lowered the boy back to the ground gently and wiped the wetness away from those flushed cheeks. “Grieve the loss of your innocence, but do not dwell on it. The longer you hold onto it, the harder it will be to find your future.”

The faun rose and stepped away from the boy toward the rising sun. “The world is not fair, Adanedhel. The sooner you dispel such foolish notions like fairness the sooner you will be ready to accept what it has to teach you. What I, and Nomanti, have been teaching you. I will await you at the tree line.”

The fey walked away, then, leaving the boy to his thoughts and pain and innocence lost.

I definitely love how the character is building. I really like how you put the focus of the story on the relationships between the characters and how your character grows and develops his way of thinking and acting.
It's being a cool read.
I can see too how you are explaining how your character gets his racial abilities like the weapon proficiency despite not being raised among elves.

When I played my changeling of elven heritage I had to explain why my character didn't have those proficiencies despite being raised among elves.

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The hunter crouched atop a cliff two thousand feet high overlooking the rolling foothills east of the Mindspin Mountains. The crisp, chill air of the Fall, accompanied by the occasional strong gust, raked at his exposed face to no avail. Savage sprites from the southern stretch of the mountain range had tattooed his face, arms, and torso with woad that--mingled with fey magic--protected him from the harshness of the region’s cold climes. The frigid temperatures of the harsh climate stirred within his blood after all this time, doing little to impede him anyhow.

The elf’s gaze swept across the bumpy expanse to a palisaded community upon a plateau well over a dozen miles away. At such a distance, numerous pillars of smoke from cooking or heating fires appeared frozen in time. His sharp eyes registered the settlement’s speckled activity within its protective walls and in the fields beyond them.

“Your stealth improves,” Sath complimented him dryly. “Had you masked your tracks better, it might have taken me a few more minutes to find you.”

“My intentions were not to hide,” the elf replied.

The faun moved up beside him and clapped him upside the head, drawing a look from his young pupil. “Then your intentions--and your instincts--were wrong, Adanedhel,” he scolded. “You should never seek to be unhidden in the wilds. I have invested far too much time for you to be that willing to cast your life away so recklessly.”

“From you,” the hunter clarified in a tone that indicated there should have been no need. He returned his attention to the distant settlement. “Orcs are practically blind in the daylight.”

Sath clapped him on the opposite side of the head. “Are orcs the only threat in these mountains?”

This time, the hunter dropped his head in exasperation, but withheld the accompanying sigh. “Of course, you are right, Teacher,” he acknowledged begrudgingly--without making it sound begrudgingly, knowing no victory could be attained for him in this back-and-forth.

The fey smiled, then looked toward the far off community. “Trunau. Why does it fascinate you?”

The young elf shrugged. “Our Queen has spoken of this place. ‘A bastion of freedom’ she called it. I am trying to understand why.”

“My little Adanedhel is growing up,” Sath chuckled, drawing a small groan from the elf. “It is because they will not compromise their way of life for safety. For many intelligent beings, fear deprives them of freedom by dictating how they must live. Such is not the case for those in Trunau. Just over a century ago, other settlements and homesteads dotted those hills. Then a rampaging orc horde threatened to annihilate them, and fear of death saw the lot tuck their tails and run east, where the warriors of the nation Lastwall offered them protection.” The faun shook his head and spat on the ground in disgust. “Cowards, the lot of them. But not those people: the inhabitants of Trunau. No, they valued their freedom enough to fight for it.

“And fight for it they did. The orcs pillaged and burned one settlement after another--some inhabited, some not--until the filth came upon Trunau. There, the horde found a fight the likes of which they were not expecting. The King of Thorns admired the courage of those settlers so much that we attacked the orcs’ rearguard and helped send the monstrous creatures reeling back into the mountains. That was a glorious day, indeed.”

“The fey helped them?” the elf asked, surprised. “Are we allies with the people of Trunau?”

“Allies?” Sath repeated the word and laughed gaily at the absurdity of the notion. “No! Certainly not! They know nothing of the aid we provided them. To be frank, they would rather not know. The mortal races are a prideful lot, as I am sure you can recall from your own experiences.”

The hunter cringed at the reminder. “If the orcs are enemies to us both, could we not form an alliance of some kind against them?” he inquired.

“Such would not be wise,” the fey shook his head. “Orcs are enemies to all races, and any that would ally with them for any purpose have been corrupted beyond rescuing. Even dryads, whose primary abilities involve charming threats to turn them against one another, refuse to ally themselves with orcs even temporarily. And so they should not! To die at the hands of an orc is a far superior option to working beside them for any reason! Thus, orcs as mutual enemies hardly stands as a reason for alliance; such is the natural order of things.

“More importantly, however, would be the nature of mortals themselves. They cannot be trusted when faced with what they cannot comprehend. To them, we are an enigma. While they may welcome an alliance at first--and even that is not guaranteed, over time they would grow wary of us, suspicious, and certainly paranoid of our intentions. They lack the capability to accept something for what it is and would associate some nefarious purpose to our dealings. Eventually, the mortals would turn against us, concocting some ridiculousness as to why we would be to blame. A story old as time because the mortal brain fails to grasp the concept of longevity.”

Sath placed a hand upon his pupil’s shoulder, almost a conciliatory gesture. “You shall witness it in your own time. The desire to aid the people of Trunau will no doubt come over you, for you are mortal as they are, and there exists kinship between you. To protect what they stand for is a beautiful thing, but heed my warning against seeking a kinship with them. You have been raised with a superior understanding of the world in relation to yourself, Adanedhel; one they will not fathom. Because of this, you will ever be an outsider to them. An enigma as we are. Your own kind will despise you, and all others will grow apprehensive because they cannot understand you. For all that, remember your purpose, and all will be as it should be.”

Throughout his teacher’s disquisition, the young elf’s eyes never strayed from the busy settlement. He felt no kinship with them, but he wondered what it might be like to walk among them. Would the danger be worth it? A question for another day; perhaps another lifetime.

“I will not forget,” he assured the fey.

“Good,” the faun said, then motioned back toward the mountain. “Now, come. We have a fair distance to go yet today before reaching our destination.”

The pair departed the cliff on the mountainside, picking their way along slopes and shorter faces to descend deeper into the range. They sought the foot of the mountain, specifically a long, narrow valley where deciduous trees grew thick and multicolored with foliage. Multiple streams created a series of small waterfalls over steep ridges that rippled through the valley. Pockets of ripe vegetation such as this grew up in various locations throughout the Mindspin Mountains, and they served as havens for much of the range’s diverse fauna. It happened to be one of these species of fauna that the duo quested for at this time, and they located their quarry deep within the vale.

The elf’s eyes lit up when he came upon a pair of large animals--a mother and her son--feasting on the leaves of a tree. Sitting upon her hind legs, the mother reached a branch twenty feet off the ground rather easily without needing to pull it down with her mammoth front claws. Her little one rested on the valley floor, munching away at a branch it had torn from a much lower placement on the tree, though the “smaller” of these two creatures would easily stand over five feet in height on its hind legs. Adanedhel stood in awe at the sighting of the pair, as he had seen nothing quite like them in his twenty-six winters.

“These are megatherium by name,” Sath informed him with a smile. “A more common name for them would be giant sloth. Though more often found farther south, a few of their kind have grown thicker coats and acclimated to the cooler climates of the northern regions. They are unique creatures, to be sure, and generally peaceful. Most often slow to anger, when one gets them to that point, it would be wise to flee quickly from their ire.”

“They are amazing,” the hunter conveyed, grinning widely.

“They are most certainly that,” the faun agreed. “The megatherium also live an average of six decades and make perfect companions for one destined to spend his life in the dangerous wilds of the Mindspin Mountains.”

The young elf regarded his teacher with astonishment. “Companion? You mean, I . . . truly?”

“Absolutely,” Sath chuckled.

“That would--but, no,” he glanced back at the pair still chomping on their food, apparently paying the two visitors no mind whatsoever. “That is her only child.”

“She will have others,” Sath laughed, genuinely amused. “And I have partnered with her offspring in the past. They are intelligent and trustworthy. Treat them well and with respect, and they will serve you valiantly in return. You will never know a better friend.”

The elf shook his head in disbelief. “I would be honored to have such a magnificent companion by my side in the fight to come.”

“Well, do not tell me,” Sath ridiculed him playfully. “I have but four winters left, then I am done with you! My suggestion would be to go out there and communicate that to him.”

Adanedhel almost asked his teacher how to go about that communion, but caught himself before the words escaped his lips. This was not something to be taught, he realized, but had to be found hidden deep within himself. Slowly, the hunter rose up and started forward. The smaller megatherium lifted its head from its meal as he approached and sounded a little screech. Surprisingly, he heard no warning or fear in the vocalization, only an intent to acknowledge him. Perhaps even greet him. Mother went on eating without a care.

After closing the gap to only a few feet, the young elf lowered onto his knees, removed his nature focus from a small pouch at his side, and placed it upon the ground between them. The experience that followed lasted a full day from that point, and when it had reached its completion, the two had become fast and quite exhausted friends.

Mother and faun watched over them both as the new companions slept away their second night in the valley.

Again, I like this one. You continue developing the character, now letting us see how he interacts with the «outer» world, how he is isolated from other people and curious about them. I can see a very interesting character developing.


I'm soooo jealous... You don't ask for "More...more!" of my stories!

Just kidding.

I also want "More...more!"

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