In Delaine

In which the party encounters a former foe and makes a tentative truce.

We begin on the road to Delaine and we notice that there are stands of dead trees along the road. Most of the rest of the trees appear healthy and normal; only one species appears to be completely barren. We discover that they are athalantas trees, a species that is native to the Feywild. Aideena, naturally, is upset and quiet when she figures this out. As we move towards Delaine, the dead trees are more noticeable.

As we’re walking along the road—with Jack in the lead—a gauntlet comes hurling out of the trees and hits Jack, then flies back where it came from. At that, we’re ambushed by hobgoblins and fight them. Aideena notices a sigil on the gauntlet and thinks it might be Bane’s symbol—a god that hobgoblins are known to worship—but she’s not sure.

We manage to defeat the hobgoblin leader and the rest scatter. We then head back onto the road. As we move along, we notice that some of the dead trees have been removed and, at about this same time, we see some smoke on the horizon—the type of smoke from chimneys and forges.

We climb a small rise and then head down it towards the settlement. I decide it would be a mistake to try and fool real eladrin with an eladrin shape I haven’t been able to practice with much, so I get feedback from the rest of the party and then change back into Kaiva for our stay in the city.

Aideena gets nostalgic as we head into the settlement, because it’s where her parents live and where she grew up. The feeling is somewhat bittersweet; it’s good to be home, but things aren’t the same as the last time she was here.

The party walks through the settlement and finds itself in a small farmer’s market, and there are merchants with their wares out. Most of what is for sale is fruits and vegetables—of an extraordinary quality that most of the party is unfamiliar with. As we’re walking through, a merchant recognizes Aideena, greets her, and speaks with her in Elven. I listen to the two of them converse for a bit and mimic the words and language they’re speaking and manage it well enough to impress the merchant.

Aideena then leads us to her parents’ house; she pauses outside for a moment, almost afraid of what she’ll find inside, and then opens the door. A woman who looks strikingly like Aideena glances up from a tome that she’s reading and says, “Where have you been?” She then gets up and quickly embraces Aideena.

Another eladrin—Aideena’s father—comes downstairs and briefly touches Aideena in greeting. It’s clear that Aideena mostly takes after her mother in her looks. They both inquire after Aideena—asking her if she’s well, saying that they were able to safely leave Orran and make it back to Delaine—and then they explain how all connection with the Feywild has been cut. They tell us that the standing stones stopped working and that it caused a bit of a panic, and that it took a concerted effort from the leadership of the settlement to keep the whole thing from falling apart.

They go into a bit more depth, explaining that the worldfalls stopped working first, and then the fey crossings stopped, and then the rituals stopped working. In summary, the things with the weakest links with the Feywild are in the process of losing their fey nature—hence why the athalantas trees are all dead.

Aideena asks if it will happen to the eladrin, and her parents are very unsure, but offer that they don’t think it will happen within their lifetime. They also offer up the theory that the ley lines are part of the problem since they’re completely gone. They have no arcane power at all.

After the short silence that follows this discussion, Aideena introduces the party to her parents, and they’re very gracious and welcoming. Aideena asks if they got her message that she sent when we escaped from Orran, but they admit with a slight bit of embarrassment that they did not, because they thought it was just a rat and killed it before it could deliver the message.

We all sit, and Aideena’s parents tell her that her sister is not present because she’s on a quest to fully explore her new abilities. They then turn to Targoth and tell him, in particular, that they are in his debt since he was able to help Aideena rescue Aideena’s sister from the hobgoblins. He asks them about Orran and they tell him that they escaped safely and that Kasra was helping to secretly supply the besiegers. They also were able to tell him that her role had not been discovered and that she was safe when last they heard.

They ask if we’re in Delaine to stay and Aideena regretfully tells them that we’re not; she tells them that we’ve come across a prophecy and need help translating it. We’re hoping that the First Servant of Corellon—based in Delaine—will be able to assist us with this.

Her parents explain that the priest has a guest, named Gavrash. The shocked silence this revelation produces prompts Aideena’s parents to tell us that the High Priest helped the Baroness besiege the city after the Crown Prince seized it. He then withdrew and eventually made his way to Delaine, where he is currently the guest of Ilas An Palrion.

We decide to stay with her parents for lunch and then to seek out Ilas An Palrion afterwards.

During lunch, Aideena’s parents fill us in on what’s been happening: how stressful the standing stones no longer working has been, how there’s been absolutely no contact with the Feywild, and how the Lords of Calathea felt that the goings on of this world were of no import to them. Her parents also tell us that the Feywild being completely closed has had a huge impact on Delaine, mainly because most of its citizens had previously worked in the courts and had had to adapt to new roles as farmers and merchants.

After lunch, we walk towards the Archives and the Temple, and enter the Temple. Inside, there’s a man standing at the roots of the tree that dominates the interior; his robes are embroidered with the word “Corellon” in Rellanic. Aideena greets him, and he turns and greets her. He almost greets me as well, but stops himself. We ask him what he knows about prophecy, and I ask him why he almost greeted me—a total stranger to him. Eventually, we discover that Fiamma Minceir had come to him, also asking about prophecy, and that she had the same red colored hair that I do. It’s an unusual color, so that’s why he thought for a moment that I might be Fiamma.

We all glance around at each other, because we are, in fact, searching for Fiamma herself. We ask the First Servant about her and he reveals that he sent her through the standing stones about six months ago, just before the Feywild was completely cut off and the stones stopped working. He tells us that she said she needed to go to the Towers of the Turning Day to consult with Ariniel Who Walks Ahead.

Unfortunately, he can’t help us with the prophecy, but he recommends that we speak to Gavrash about it. All of us—save Eben—are wary of this, unsure how we’ll be received and whether we can trust him or not. Ultimately, we agree to consult him, but to not reveal the prophecy—or its contents—without all of us agreeing to it.

The First Servant directs us to a door and we knock. We recognize Gavrash, and he recognizes everyone except for Eben and me. Jack is the most wary of all of us, keeping his dagger drawn until Gavrash compels him to sheath it.

He tells us what everyone else has—that the Feywild is cut off and that the rituals no longer work. But then he explains further that the Feywild is only cut off from this plane, implying that we might be able to reach it by first crossing into another realm.

He then asks penetrating questions of us: why we want to know, what we’re doing, what we’ve heard, and he gets frustrated with us holding back from him. Finally, we explain that the five of us need to discuss with each other whether to reveal to him the actual content of the prophecy and, while frustrated with us not trusting him, he agrees to it. After a short discussion—in which we realize that we need to trust him if we have any chance—we come back to him and show him the prophecy’s wording. He can make no more of it than we can, but when we explain the goings on in the rest of the kingdom—how Miden almost died of poisoning, how Baron Kaldashar is in exile, our journey through the portal, and the disturbing powers that Tavrix now has—he looks troubled. He says it’s far worse than he imagined, and that he can’t account for Tavrix having sworn a pact unless his liege did as well.

He tells us a little more about his experience in Orran, particularly how the Crown Prince has support there. He looks weary, and explains how he truly serves the entire pantheon of gods and how this view does not sit well with those in charge. He also emphasizes how important the aid of the eladrin is—indeed, how important it is to seek aid from every quarter.

Gavrash tells us that the gods can’t directly intercede in the world, but that some people can contact avatars of the gods—he is one of these people.

During the entire conversation about gods, Jack is agitated, and Gavrash notices. He tells Jack that the Lady of Shadows has her eye on him, that his sister has found Her, and Gavrash hopes that he will join his family in helping to raise her up.

Jack’s response is to play dumb—“Sister? What sister?”

But Gavrash says that Jack’s family has gained great favor with the Queen of Ravens, and that Jack is a favorite of hers.

He finally reveals to us what he’s discovered: that the Shadowfell is still connected with the Feywild, and the Shadowfell is still accessible from our world. When he describes the Shadowfell, a palpable gloom fills the room. He says he can help us get to the shadow realm, and then he tells us how to get from there to the Feywild.

We tell him that we will do it, but the next day, which he agrees to. We’re getting ready to leave when Eben says that he wants to speak to Gavrash alone. Jack and I attempt to listen in to their conversation; while I’m unable to hear anything, Jack is able to hear someone say “Can you help me” and “don’t want to hear.”

After that, there’s dead silence, and the both of us withdraw and leave once Eben rejoins us. We all head back to Aideena’s parents’ house, and discover that they’ve made us dinner. We eat dinner, and then try to figure out what we’re going to do for the rest of the night.

Aideena’s mother agrees to show her how to do the fey crossing ritual—which Aideena asked to be taught in case the fey crossings reopen—and while I ask Aideena if I can observe, I’m later told that it would be inappropriate, leaving me at a loose end. Targoth and Jack are going to head to the Archives and Eben wants to be alone. I tell everyone that I’m heading for the tavern, and we all go our separate ways.

While in the Archives, Targoth looks for books on the Arkhosian War or on the Nature Lords of Calathea. He isn’t able to find anything about Arkhosia in Common, but he does find a book—written by Aideena’s father—about Calathea and the House of Nature Lords. Those who are Nature Lords are old, powerful eladrin.

Jack, meanwhile, tries to find anything on ravens; all he is able to find, in Common, is a picture book of fables wherein an eladrin wanders into the Land of Shadow. A pale woman gives him a cloak of shadow, but he oversteps his bounds and is slain, while the cloak is lost.

Meanwhile, Eben goes off alone and I secretly follow. I’m able to get close enough to hear him start praying, and he says, “Tomorrow I end this deception and swear my allegiance to you once again.”

I’m on my guard at this, and manage to sneak away without being heard or seen. I then go to the tavern to mull over what I heard. While there—and cautiously sipping on Elven wine—I observe that most people there are eating. I’m able to overhear a few snippets of conversation—mainly that the hobgoblins and orcs are moving around in the forest and that there are rumors that a halfling clan has a kidnapping difficulty, and there’s even some discussion about Aideena returning.

One of the eladrin at the table nearest to me seems to understand that I’m listening in and comes up to me. He starts chatting me up and buys me a drink, though I’m careful to drink it slowly after my last experience with elven alcohol.

I turn the man down when he makes it clear that he’d like to spend the night with me, and then I return back to the Caelans’.

We all head to bed, but at 12:30 our chimes go off and we search the perimeter to see if anyone is trying to attack us. It doesn’t appear so, so we all go back to bed and the rest of the evening passes without incident.

The next morning, we all eat breakfast and make preparations to leave the Caelans’. We gather in Targoth’s room—because I’ve informed him of what I overheard Eben saying the night before—and begin to confront Eben with the fact that he’s clearly deceiving us about something. We tell him that we can’t go into the Shadowfell without being able to trust him, and he keeps repeating the same things he told us before: that he seeks revenge for a past wrong.

Aideena asks why the fortune teller called him a liar, and mentions that none of us know anything about him, especially since he was the one seeking the rest of us out.

He doesn’t budge from his stance—obviously getting frustrated with us—and then I decide to confront him with his own words. He gets truly angry at that—slamming his weapon down and intimidating me and Jack. By this point, we’ve made enough noise that Aideena’s father comes to find out what’s the matter.

Aideena apologizes to him and says that we’re leaving; it’s clear that he isn’t very happy with Eben and that he’s more uncertain now because of the obvious rift in the party. Still, we take our leave and make our way outside to continue our discussion.



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