posted Jun 7, 2020, 10:37 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 13th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

You have a pleasant and filling meal with Fennimore's ma Flora, but need to be getting back to The Fiery Stag before the weather gets too bad.
Perri Elastime: Thank you for the lovely meal, but we should be going before the weather gets too nasty.
Flora: You are welcome.
Fennimore: Thanks for a good meal, ma. Nothing like home cooking, but we better get going now. We have rooms at The Fiery Stag if you need me. Otherwise, I'll stop by or have Dee look in on you soon.
Flora: I'll be fine. If you could stop by the market on the way and make sure the tarps are secure, though.
Fennimore: Absolutely. I'll make sure everything is buttoned up tight.
Flora: Thank you, sonny.
Perri Elastime: Oh, we could do that.
Fennimore: We best be going now. Perri, you ready?
Perri Elastime: Yes.
Flora: I'll let you be on your way.
Fennimore: Love you, ma.
Flora kisses Fennimore on the cheek.
Fennimore blushes.
Perri Elastime: Have a good night, Lady Flora.
Flora: You two be careful out there.
Fennimore pulls on his cloak and ties it close around him to keep out the cold.
Perri Elastime: I'll keep him safe.
Fennimore smiles at Perri.
Perri Elastime pats her sword.
Fennimore steps to the door.
The wind is whipping around outside.
Perri Elastime: Whoa it's blustery.
Fennimore shouts over the wind, "Stay safe inside, ma."
Perri Elastime: Let's hurry and check the tarps.
Fennimore: You can say that again. Haven't seen weather like this in forever.
Perri Elastime: I'm glad it is not a common occurrence.
Fennimore leads the way towards the marketplace.
Perri Elastime follows closely, watching for trouble.
The two of you make your way towards the market. Fennimore notices the tracks of dogs or something as you approach.
Fennimore stops to examine the tracks more closely.
Fennimore: Do you recognize these?
Perri Elastime takes a look.
Perri Elastime: Strange. They walk on two legs. Dogs?
Perri Elastime draws her sword.
Fennimore: Two-legged dogs?
Fennimore looks around to see what made the tracks.
Perri Elastime looks around too.
Neither of you see what might have made the tracks.
Perri Elastime: Where is your mum's store?
Fennimore hears a burst of odd guttural laughter from up ahead.
Fennimore: Ma's cart is on the other side of the square. Let's make sure it is tied down tight. Wait, did hear that?
Perri Elastime: All I hear is wind.
Fennimore: Maybe it was the wind, but it sounded more like a deep laugh to me.
Perri Elastime makes sure her spell components are at hand.
Fennimore readies his bow.
Fennimore spots something to the north among the stalls as he moves forward.
Fennimore (whispering to Perri Elastime): There's something in the stalls to the north.
Perri Elastime looks north.
You can't see anything that way due to the blowing snow, but Fennimore is sure he saw something.
Perri Elastime moves north trying to see.
Perri moves forward and gets to the corner of a stall when she sees a young gnoll rummaging in another stall nearby.
Perri Elastime: Hey are you hungry?
The gnoll turns startled and growls.
Perri Elastime: It doesn't seem friendly.
The gnoll brandishes a club and bares its teeth.
Fennimore: Definitely not friendly.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore is this your mum's store?
Perri Elastime brandishes her own sword defensively and a blade song rises from it.
Fennimore uses the closest stall to hide behind as he sneaks towards the gnoll.
Fennimore fires an arrow at the gnoll and hits it.
The gnoll shrieks and collapses.
Fennimore: There may be more them around.
You hear scuffling and growls from the other side of the group of stalls this gnoll was ransacking.
Perri Elastime: Are they bad guys?
Fennimore: Definitely. I'm surprised they are in the city at all.
Fennimore: Must have snuck in under the cover of the darkness.
Perri Elastime: Okay. I will protect you.
Perri Elastime moves towards the growls.
There is a growl from nearby.
Fennimore: Can't see a thing in this darkness.
Fennimore: It's as dark as a Stygian night out here.
Perri Elastime: It's not the darkness, it's the blowing snow. It is near white-out.
Another gnoll witherling growls loudly and reveals itself between the stalls.
Perri steps up to the gnoll and thrusts her ringing sword at the gnoll, hitting it.
Perri severely damages the gnoll, but it remains standing.
Fennimore sneakily moves to get a better shot and looses an arrow, which hits.
The second gnoll falls to the ground.
Another gnoll rounds the corner and attacks Perri with its club as well as its bite.
Both attacks hit and heavily wound the elf.
Fennimore: Get out of there Perri!
Perri thrust her sword at the gnoll but misses.
Perri backflips away from the gnoll and moves to a safer distance.
Fennimore: Cool move, Perri.
Perri Elastime: Thanks.
Fennimore aims and fires another arrow, but the wind catches it and it flies off target.
Fennimore plumbs up his full 80 pounds of girth and moves in between the gnoll and Perri.
Fennimore: Come and get me, dog boy!
The gnoll roars and charges at Fennimore.
In its fury, the gnoll wildly snaps at the halfling while waving its club in the air, both attacks missing.
Perri Elastime: Grandly points her sword at the gnoll and casts a bolt of fire at it.
The bolt of fire smashes into the gnoll.
Perri Elastime: Sizzle, dog boy!
Fennimore: That's the way!
The gnoll ignites while shrieking and then collapses into the snow-covered ground.
Fennimore looks around to make sure no more gnolls are lurking in the stalls.
Fennimore finds no more gnolls lurking about.
Perri Elastime resecures the ransacked stall.
Fennimore notices each of the gnolls have small pouches hanging from their rope belts.
Fennimore searches the pouches.
Fennimore finds that one has four, platinum coins while the other two carry 26 copper combined.
Fennimore: Wow, look at this! They were rich little dog boys.
Perri Elastime: Let's check your Mum's store.
Fennimore: Good idea.
Perri Elastime: Nice find.
Fennimore (handing half of the coins to Perri): You earned your half.
Perri Elastime: Thanks.
The two make there way over to Flora's cart. Its tarp is secure, the gnolls not having gotten into it yet.
Perri Elastime: Looks nice and tight to me.
The cold is starting to become hard to bear.
Fennimore: Yup, the tarp is tight, but this cold is going to wreck ma's fruit and flowers. I hope she got most of it inside.
Fennimore: We better get moving back to The Fiery Stag or we're going to be just as frozen as her oranges.
The two begin to trudge through the deepening snow as they make there way back to The Stag.
Perri Elastime: The Fey make frozen cream. It is kinda delicious, but I agree the cold is biting.
Fennimore: Oh, frozen cream! That does sound delicious.
Fennimore: Do you know how to make it?
Perri Elastime: Yes, I've made it before. The hardest part is the stirring.
About halfway back, the two are beginning to shiver rather violently and the sound of anything frozen is not very appealing.
Fennimore: Maybe the stirring will help warm us up?
Perri Elastime: I think a fire and a warm drink would help.
They finally make it back to the inn, very cold and a bit exhausted.
Perri Elastime: I think I have icicles on my ears.
Fennimore: Definitely need a warm drink. If I was much colder, I wouldn't be able to move a muscle to do the stirring. Maybe you could hit me with one of those fire spells?
The warmth of the multiple fireplaces in The Fiery Stag is a very welcome feeling.
Perri Elastime: I'm not sure that I wouldn't burn the place down since I'm shivering so hard.
Fennimore pulls up a chair as close to a fireplace as he can tolerate helping his feet thaw out.
Mindartis: Welcome back, you two. The weather took a bad turn very quickly, did it not.
Fennimore: That it did, Mindartis. What do you have in hot drinks? Maybe some mulled rum?
Perri Elastime: It is colder than the Winter Queen's bedroom.
Mindartis gives Perri a surprised look.
Mindartis mulled rum coming right up.
Perri Elastime: Oh, that would be a treat.
Fennimore: Make it two.
Mindartis returns shortly with a small tea kettle and two mugs.
Perri Elastime: Perri strips off her wet and frozen outerwear.
Mindartis: Drink up.
Fennimore: No worries about that.
Perri Elastime: Sips cautiously.
Fennimore tries to quell his shivering long enough to fill the mugs without spilling.
Fennimore: Do they have mulled rum where you're from?
Perri Elastime: Mulled wine. I haven't had mulled rum.
Fennimore: They are similar, except rum is made from sugarcane instead of grapes.
Perri Elastime: I think it is very good.
Perri Elastime: Will your mum be alright if she loses most of her stock?
Fennimore: I'm sure she has some in the back rooms of her hole.
Fennimore: But, it depends on how long this night lasts and how cold it gets.
Perri Elastime: It makes a nice glow in my tummy.
Fennimore: That it does.
Fennimore: Maybe you can teach Mindartis to make your frozen cream and we can find you a proper recipe for rum to take back to the Fey realm.
The rum seems to go right to Perri's head as she warms up.
Perri Elastime: This rum would be a hit in the Between.
Perri Elastime giggles.
Fennimore: I'm glad you like it.
Fennimore: I'm starting to feel my toes again. Maybe we should retire for a few hours and then see whether we can get you an audience with King Ran.
The two sit before the fire and drink their rum, warming up.
Perri Elastime: My ears feel hot.
Fennimore: You are looking rather flushed.
Perri Elastime: After it is light out, then see the king.
Fennimore: I hope the suns return to the sky soon.
Perri Elastime: I hope so too.
Mindartis: You both look spent. Your rooms are ready. If I could get a couple of silver from each of you for the rum, please.
Perri Elastime: I'll pay this time, Fennimore.
Fennimore: You are very generous, Lady Perri
Perri Elastime gives Mendartis a gold coin.
Perri Elastime: Where is my room?
Fennimore: Mindartis, I think we may need to help the lady to her room. She's not used to human drink and the rum has gone straight to her head.
Mindartis returns six silver coins to Perri.
Mindartis (smiling): I'll be glad to help. This isn't the first one to need help getting to their room and it won't be the last.
Perri Elastime: The rum is making a little party in my head and my feet don't seem all that steady.
Fennimore looks around to see if Arncoril is still sleeping under the table.
Mindartis: No worries.
Mindartis notices Fennimore look under the table.
Mindartis: He headed out some time ago.
Mindartis: Let me carry you, my lady.
Fennimore: glad to hear he slept it off.
Mindartis: He had quite a hangover.
Fennimore: As long as he didn't try to take your plates, he'll be fine.
Mindartis: He did mutter something about finding some plates. Thought that was strange.
Fennimore smiles wanly.
Mindartis picks Perri up into his arms with surprising strength given how skinny he is.
Perri Elastime: Walk will I? No?
Mindartis: Can't have you falling up the stairs.
Perri Elastime: You have kind eyes. I hope I am not wrong.
Fennimore: He's a good elf. You judge him well.
Mindartis: I'll be a perfect gentleman, my lady.
Perri Elastime: I bet I have a rum head tomorrow.
Fennimore: It'll make the hair on your toes curl.
Mindartis carries Perri up to her room and sets her on the bed.
Fennimore stops at his door and watches Mindartis carry Perri to her own room.
Mindartis: Sleep a bit even though we usually don't. It will help.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Mindartis: You are most welcome.
Mindartis exits the room and closes the door behind him.
Mindartis: Good night, sir halfling.
Fennimore: Good night, good sir. Feel free to call upon me if the night brings any trouble to the inn.
Perri Elastime: Rumm Head Rum head dum da da dumb head.
Mindartis: No worries. You rest. The inn is in good hands.
Perri Elastime: Good Night.
Fennimore hums along to Perri's tune as he retires to his own room, locks the door, and falls into bed.
Mindartis returns to the bar.
The pair sleep long into what would be the next day if it were light out, but it is still dark and the weather gets even worse over the course of the next week.
It isn't until the 20th of the Nonotina before the sun returns to the sky, more than a week passing in darkness.

Nonotina 20th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

It has been just over a week since returning to The Fiery Stag, stepping outside to gather wood for the fires periodically, then the sun finally returns to the sky.
Perri Elastime: I need to find a job that pays something.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps the king has something he needs doing.
Mindartis: The King's Herald is usually around doling out jobs. He hasn't been around since before the darkday. He traveled down to Tesalurk on a mission of his own I hear.
Perri Elastime: Hmm, anyone else give jobs?
The door to the inn opens and in walks Rael Octavius, stomping his feet to get the slush from the melting snow loose and then casting a spell that removes all the dirt from the entryway.
Fennimore: Perri, I've got some friends who are usually looking for help. If it's warmed up outside, we can see if they are around.
Fennimore: Here's one of them now!
Rael Octavius looks up.
Rael Octavius: Hello, Fennimore.
Fennimore: Rael, how have you been?
Fennimore: Keeping warm?
Perri Elastime looks at Rael suspiciously.
Rael Octavius: Couped up at the von Rumm estate.
Rael Octavius: A new friend, Fenn?
Fennimore: How's the young von Rumm doing? I imagine the dark has kept the guards from giving him any more trouble.
Perri Elastime: How did you escape?
Rael Octavius: Munkustrap? In trouble with the guards?
Fennimore: Yes, how rude of me. Rael, this is Perri, Perri...wait you know Rael?
Rael Octavius looks quizzically at Perri.
Perri Elastime: No, not yet.
Perri Elastime: You said you were caged at the von Rumm estate.
Rael Octavius: Oh, no. Just staying there waiting out the darkness.
Perri Elastime: Wait. Is that where rum comes from? Are they the makers?
Rael Octavius: I don't think they produce rum. They are a line of knights.
Rael Octavius: It is a pleasure to meet you, Perri. What are you in "The City" to do?
Perri Elastime (to herself): Sadly, I like mulled rum.
Perri Elastime: I must meet the King. The Queen has sent me with a letter of introduction.
Fennimore: Rael, do you know when your father will return? I was hoping he could get us an audience.
Rael Octavius: Queen? Is there another Queen besides Salames?
Perri Elastime: Why the Summer Queen and the Winter Queen of course, but the Winter Queen is too nasty to write a letter of introduction.
One of the owners, Astrid Germanus-Bjarte, comes down the stairs and enters the tavern area of the inn.
Rael Octavius: Oh, the Summer Queen? You are from the Feywild then?
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Hello, master halfling.
Rael Octavius turns towards Astrid.
Rael Octavius: Hello, madame.
Perri Elastime: Yes, I have finally won my freedom and can do as I please. I now have a patron.
Rael Octavius: A patron? As in the High King?
Fennimore: Hello, madame? Have we met?
Perri Elastime: No, as in the Summer Knight.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: No, but I have heard of you. Majestic, a charming elf, has mentioned you were helping to try to recover my family's heirloom.
Fennimore looks surprised at the conversation between Perri and Rael.
Rael Octavius: Very interesting. Well, if you have a letter of introduction, I can get you into the High King's court.
Perri Elastime: At least I no longer have to bow to the desires of others.
Perri Elastime: You can? What need I do?
Fennimore: Umm, yeah, I tried to help the "bard" once. I'm afraid it didn't go very well. However, I have not kept up with his endeavors.
Fennimore: Has he had any success?
Rael Octavius turns to Fennimore trying to suppress a smirk.
Rael Octavius: Magic is convinced you are Forget-Me-Not. Isn't that a hoot.
Fennimore laughs weakly.
Perri Elastime watches quizically.
Fennimore: Me, Forget-Me-Not? Last time I checked, I think I'm the wrong gender.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Oh, that Forget-Me-Not is becoming a thorn in everyone's side.
Rael Octavius: You are probably correct. King Ran believes the thief is female, as well.
Fennimore turning to Astrid
Fennimore: Oh?
Perri Elastime: Perri Elastime, ma'am. I don't think we've met.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Oh, let me introduce myself. I am Astrid Germanus-Bjarte. My husband and I own this inn.
Fennimore: And a mighty fine inn it is!
Perri Elastime: A very nice establishment. You have a jewel in Mindartis.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Why thank you.
Fennimore: Your barkeep does you a great service.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte (turning to Mindartis with a smile): Oh, yes. What would we do without him?
Mindartis nods from behind the bar.
Perri Elastime: I pray you never find out.
Fennimore: Hear, hear.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte nods and smiles.
Fennimore: Let us raise a toast to Mindartis, may your rum ever by plentiful.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: it? I would like to hear your side of the story regarding what is going on with my family's heirloom.
Perri Elastime raises her coffee.
Perri Elastime: And his coffee never run weak.
Perri Elastime looks attentive at the mention of an heirloom.
Mindartis smiles and takes a bow.
Fennimore: I'm afraid I don't have much of a story to tell, but I'll tell you what I can.
Fennimore: A few acquaintances and I met up with Magic a few weeks ago. He relayed the tale of your lost heirloom and how he was on a quest to recover it. We all agreed to help him in exchange for the reward.
Fennimore: We waylaid the couriers only to discover that Forget-Me-Not had beaten us to the prize.
Fennimore: When I discovered the kind of adversary we had crossed, I decided to split ways with Majestic.
Fennimore: But, Forget-Me-Not wasn't done with me. She tracked me down later that day to warn me against working with the bard.
Fennimore: I took her advice to heart and I've been trying to keep out of his way ever since.
Rael Octavius: Apparently the way you disappeared has your former cohorts suspicious...except for Eris for some reason.
Fennimore: I'm surprised Eris is still with them. She was the only voice of reason in the room.
Rael Octavius: She seems loyal and is staying with the group.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: So this Forget-Me-Not still has the heirloom?
Fennimore: Well, I wish them no evil, especially Eris. But this portly halfling is no Forget-Me-Not.
Rael Octavius: She shouldn't. King Ran put a spell on an artifact that should have caused it to return to the castle.
Fennimore: I couldn't say. I've never actually met her. Just a disembodied voice and a flower appearing out of thin air.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte frowns.
Fennimore turns to Rael.
Fennimore: An artifact? Astrid's or is there another wandering around The City?
Rael Octavius: She also has this artifact we were "escorting" to Magus Universitatis.
Fennimore laughs.
Rael Octavius: The king called it The Indigo-Sun Medallion.
Fennimore: Wait, so Majestic lost another artifact to Forget-Me-Not?
Rael Octavius laughs.
Rael Octavius: Yes.
Rael Octavius: But, not before we took out a bunch of The Knives.
Fennimore's belly bounces like a bowl full of jelly as he is taken by a deep laugh.
Perri Elastime: He doesn't sound like the most reliable of companions.
Fennimore: You can say that again.
Fennimore: The Knives? They've been chasing you too?
Rael Octavius: Well, the rumor that was to attract Forget-Me-Not also got out to The Knives. They are the thieves' guild after all.
Fennimore: But not very good at it, apparently.
Rael Octavius: Apparently not when Forget-Me-Not is involved.
Fennimore: They tried to hoodwink me a couple of times before Miss Perri appeared. They couldn't even accomplish kidnapping this little halfling.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: They are trying to recruit you.
Fennimore looks thoughtful.
Rael Octavius looks surprised.
Fennimore: I don't know whatever for.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Alsis Chandor thinks you have potential, apparently.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore is much too good to be a member of the thieves guild.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Well, I would like to meet this Forget-Me-Not someday and try and get back my family's heirloom if possible.
A voice in Fennimore's head: Probably not going to happen.
Fennimore: Alsis? Isn't he the guy who gave Majestic the job to retrieve your bauble?
Perri Elastime: What is the heirloom? If I come across it, I could return it.
Fennimore suppresses a smile.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: It is a powerful magic item.
Fennimore: I doubt we'll ever see it, Perri.
Fennimore nudges her under the table.
Rael Octavius: I will see if King Ran will tell you when you meet him. I am sworn not to say.
Perri Elastime: There are many powerful magic items in and out of this world. Another clue, please.
A voice in Fennimore's head: You better put an end to this quickly.
Perri Elastime looks at Fennimore.
Fennimore: Rael, Perri is looking for employment while we await the King's pleasure. Do you have any suggestions?
Perri Elastime shudders.
Rael Octavius: There are some notices on the board out front.
Rael Octavius: By the way, what happened to the board. There is a scorch mark on it.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: Really?
Fennimore: Oh, the last I checked your father had posted the best ones.
Rael Octavius: Yes, the king has a lot of things that need to be done.
Fennimore: Maybe someone didn't like one of the jobs?
Perri Elastime gapes.
Perri Elastime: You are the prince?!
Rael Octavius: Who? Me? No, I'm the son of the King's Herald.
Perri Elastime looks relieved.
Perri Elastime: I'm still learning my way around here.
Rael Octavius: I do have access to court, however. I spend a lot of time there.
Fennimore: Perri, we should check the board again. It's been days since I checked it last. Maybe something good has popped up.
Rael Octavius: I was actually on my way over to the palace.
Perri Elastime: Okay.
Fennimore: Oh, could we accompany you?
Fennimore: Maybe we'll get lucky and the King will see you right away.
Perri Elastime: I don't know if that would be lucky. I have no court clothes and no money with which to purchase them.
Rael Octavius: Sure. You already have the King's Favor, Fenn, and Perri has a letter from the Summer Queen. You will both be welcome to attend.
Fennimore looks surprised.
Fennimore: The King's favor? I'm surprised he knows who I am.
Rael Octavius: The letter from the reward for the devil incident.
Perri Elastime looks surprised.
Fennimore: Oh. But, I wouldn't want to wear out my Favor.
Rael Octavius: Unless you're trying to pick pockets in court, that would be hard to do.
Fennimore laughs.
Fennimore: I'll try to keep my hands to myself.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Fennimore: This time, anyway.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte: You seem to have a busy day. I will retire to my chamber.
Perri Elastime: Nice meeting you.
Fennimore: It was nice to meet you. I hope your bard has better luck in his future endeavors.
Rael Octavius nods.
Astrid Germanus-Bjarte nods and heads back upstairs.
Fennimore: Whew!
Perri Elastime: Ladies make you nervous?
Fennimore: Just that one, or more accurately her bard, and discovering that he was working for her.
Perri Elastime: Well, I think staying away from hoity-toity bards is a good thing.
Fennimore: I don't think we were on the right end of that stick when we went looking for her heirloom.
Rael Octavius: That might be describing my father, but I'll let it pass.
Fennimore: Shall we be going?
Perri Elastime: Kings and Queens always have hoity-toity bards. It's part of the atmosphere.
Perri Elastime: To the message board or to the court?
Fennimore: Maybe that's why I'm just a simple halfling.
Fennimore: Both? The board is just outside on the way to the court.
Rael Octavius: Let me brighten your clothes and polish your shoes once we are at the castle. It is very wet and slushy in the streets right now.
Perri Elastime: You've been to this court. Will I be ashamed if I appear before it like this?
Fennimore: Shoes?
Perri Elastime: Maybe he wants to comb your toe hair.
Rael Octavius: Oh, right. Toenails.
Fennimore: Wait, no polishing the toenails. But, you may curl the hair my feet if you please.
Rael Octavius: You will be fine. The letter will overshadow any attire.
Perri Elastime: They all say to make yourself known to Reggot Octavius.
Rael Octavius: That is my father.
Fennimore: I hope he returns home soon and safely.
Perri Elastime: The Herald.
Rael Octavius: Me too.
Rael Octavius: And my mom, as well.
Fennimore looks concerned.
Fennimore: Well, perhaps we should go on to court?
Perri Elastime: They are traveling together...not sharing a name right?
Rael Octavius (smiling): Yes, traveling together. My mother is Dae'Kliesys, a powerful sorceress.
Perri Elastime smiles.
The trio walks through the slushy streets towards the castle. Townsfolk are starting to emerge from their dwellings now that the sun is out again.
Perri Elastime: Bards can be fun to toy with; sorceresses not so much.
Rael Octavius: They make a pretty good team.
Fennimore: I'd rather avoid both of them.
Rael Octavius looks sideways at Fennimore.
Perri Elastime: From what I heard they are out of town, so we probably won't meet them today.
Rael Octavius: No, they are not supposed to be back before the end of the month.
Fennimore: Sorry, not your parents, in particular, just powerful bards and sorceresses can be powerful enemies. I'd rather have friends.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Perri Elastime: Friends are good.
As the trio passes through the gates of the castle and head towards the palace, Rael nods to the guards who clearly recognize him.
Perri Elastime vigilantly looks for danger and escape routes.
The castle is stark and gray, not like the brilliant and artistic structures in that house the Summer Queen's court.
Fennimore looks to see whether he could get away with picking a pocket.
Perri Elastime: Kinda depressing isn't it.
Rael Octavius: It is supposed to be intimidating.
Fennimore: Yes, not much greenery.
Rael Octavius: It's a product of a long war.
Perri Elastime: I guess you could call it that.
Perri Elastime: Though I don't see any enemies of the Realm wriggling on pikes.
Rael Octavius: That would have been the previous ruler or maybe King Tesaylidal of Tesalurk.
As you approach the palace, the architecture becomes less imposing and more welcoming. White marble is the predominant material as you ascend the stairs where a tall armored man stands.
The Lord High Seneschal: Master Octavius, you have more friends today?
Rael Octavius: I do. This is Perri from the Summer Court in The Feywild and Fennimore who brought the chain devil to the attention of the King a couple of weeks back.
The Lord High Seneschal: May I see their letters, please.
Fennimore hesitantly pulls the King's Favor from an inside pocket of his cloak.
Perri Elastime: The letter is sealed and for the King's eyes.
While they are retrieving their letters, Rael uses magic to straighten out their attire and remove any stains that may have happened due to the slushy streets.
Perri Elastime: You may check the seal of the Queen, but open the letter you may not.
The Lord High Seneschal: I only need to see the seal, my lady.
Perri Elastime: Perri pulls out the envelope with the letter sealed within and displays the seal.
The Lord High Seneschal quickly verifies the documents' existence and nods to the guards to open the doors.
Rael Octavius leads the way into the palace.
Fennimore: After you, m'lady Perri.
Perri Elastime looks around, noting how this palace is quite different from the Fey palaces.
Perri Elastime follows Rael.
Fennimore follows Perri.
The interior of the palace is much brighter than the castle surrounding it. Pillars of white marble with gold leaf decorating them, polished gold-shot marble floors, and a marble dais with three thrones. They are occupied by the king, queen, and their son, a boy of about ten.
Courtiers roam about the grand hall conversing with each other.
Several of the courtiers greet Rael as he approaches the king, greetings he warmly returns.
Perri Elastime stands straight, tall, and proud, confident in herself.
Fennimore looks agape at the surroundings and impressed at the ease at which Rael navigates the court.
Many of the courtiers smile and nod politely to the trio as they near the dais.
Perri Elastime: Perri returns the smiles.
The Lord High Chamberlain: Master Rael Octavious, you approach the King. What matters do you wish to bring before His Majesty?
Rael Octavius: Lord High Chamberlain, I present a visitor from The Feywild, Lady Perri Elastime. This also is my cohort, Fennimore, who was first to welcome our visitor when she arrived here in "The City."
Fennimore stands a little straighter as Rael announces him.
The Lord High Chamberlain approaches.
The Lord High Chamberlain: Welcome, Perri Elastime of the Feywild. May I convey your letter of introduction to the King?
Perri Elastime: Thank you. You may.
Perri Elastime hands her letter over to the chamberlain.
The Lord High Chamberlain bows low as he receives the letter and then turns and ascend the dais. He hands the letter to King Ran who receives it.
The Lord High Chamberlain retreats down the dais as the King breaks the seal of the letter and reads it.
Perri Elastime watches the King closely.
High King Ran looks up warmly after reading the letter and smiles.
High King Ran stands and descends the dais.
Perri Elastime tries to remain cool and calm.
High King Ran: Welcome, Lady Elastime.
Perri Elastime: Thank you, High King Ran.
With perfect elven etiquette, the High King kisses close to each of Perri's cheeks.
Perri Elastime bows her head.
High King Ran (addressing the court): May I introduce Lady Perri Elastime of the Summer Court, the bladesinging pupil I have been awaiting.
The court applauds.
Perri Elastime smiles warmly.
Fennimore looks surprised at Perri and takes a half step back.
High King Ran (to Perri): Please make yourself comfortable in my court.
High King Ran (to Fennimore): You as well, Master Fennimore.
Perri Elastime: Thank You for your hospitality.
Fennimore: Thank you, Your Highness
High King Ran (whispers to Perri): I have gifts for you. They will arrive shortly.
Perri Elastime looks startled.
High King Ran: Please, mingle. Make introductions.
Perri Elastime (whispering): Indeed?
Rael Octavius nods and approaches Perri.
Fennimore (embarrassed): Oh, dear me. Rael, would you do us the honor of introducing us to a few of your friends?
Rael Octavius: Certainly, Fennimore.
Rael Octavius: That is impressive. The King has been talking about you for a while, though he had no idea who or when you would arrive.
High King Ran ascends back to his throne.
Perri Elastime: Truly? The Queen merely informed me that her ally may have a use for me that I wouldn't object to.
Rael Octavius: Lessons from the High King. I wouldn't object either.
Perri Elastime: Depends what the lessons are, but bladesinging, that is a long-held desire.
Fennimore: You shall be the talk of "The City."
Perri Elastime: Well then, I will have to depend upon you to prick my swelled head, dear friend.
Fennimore (smiling): I wouldn't think of it.
Perri Elastime: Well, at least keep me from being wrong-footed.
Fennimore: That, I can try to do.
You mingle a while, Rael introducing Fennimore and Perri around the court, when two pages arrive at the base of the dais carrying two coffers, one long and narrow and other more square.
Fennimore nudges Perri.
The Lord High Chamberlain: Lady Elastime, please approach the High King.
Rael Octavius: Go ahead.
Perri Elastime approaches the dais.
The Lord High Chamberlain motions for Perri to ascend to the level of the thrones.
Perri Elastime looks at Rael, then ascends.
Fennimore hangs back, wishing he could disappear.
High King Ran rises from his throne as Perri arrives at the top of the dais with the pages flanking her.
High King Ran (addressing the court): The alliance I have maintained with the Summer Court, which granted me the honor of learning the Elvish Art of Bladesinging, will now be reciprocated by my taking a member of that court as my pupil. With this, I present Perri Elastime with two simple but necessary gifts.
The page with the long, narrow coffer opens it revealing a rapier. The other opens his coffer revealing a suit of studded leather armor.
Fennimore: Oh.
Perri Elastime: Majesty, I am honored.
High King Ran: As is tradition, I give you these tokens to assist you in your pursuits.
Perri Elastime: It is a kingly gift. I hope to do them and you proud.
High King Ran: This rapier was gifted to me when I first began my training. This suit of armor belonged to your aunt, who trained me. May she live in our memories.
Perri Elastime: Never to be forgotten.
High King Ran (in a low voice): Take them with my appreciation and I will see you in the castle bailey tomorrow.
Perri Elastime: When shall I appear.
High King Ran: Midday will do.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Perri Elastime takes the rapier and armor.
Perri Elastime looks awed.
The Lord High Chamberlain escorts Perri back to the main floor.
The Lord High Chamberlain: Master Fennimore, please approach the King.
Fennimore (stutters): Mmmeee?
Perri Elastime (whispering): Your turn now.
Fennimore reluctantly approaches the chamberlain.
The Lord High Chamberlain motions for Fennimore to ascend the dais.
Fennimore turns to face the King and hesitantly ascends.
High King Ran nods and smiles as Fennimore approaches.
High King Ran (addressing the court): For seeing that my charge was safely and warmly welcomed to this great city, I award you this token of my appreciation.
High King Ran hands Fennimore an amulet that looks similar to a pocket watch.
Fennimore looks at the amulet, then to the king.
Fennimore: Thank you again, Your Highness. T'was nothing to welcome a visitor.
High King Ran: May this assist you in your endeavors to keep the city and kingdom under a watchful eye.
Fennimore: That seems to be what I do best.
High King Ran smiles knowingly.
Fennimore (holding forth the amulet): If I may though, what does it do?
High King Ran (whispering): When you need to make sure you strike true, tap it.
Fennimore: Aye, yes, Your Highness.
The Lord High Chamberlain escorts Fennimore back down to where Rael and Perri await.
The trio floats around the court for a while receiving congratulations and greetings until Rael eventually guides them out of the hall before getting too overwhelmed.
Perri Elastime: Whew.
Fennimore: You can say that again.
Rael Octavius: That was exciting. It is usually quite boring.
Fennimore: A little too exciting for me.
Perri Elastime: It would have been nice to know what it was about beforehand, but the Fey must have their games.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Rael Octavius: Shall we head back to The Stag and celebrate?
Fennimore: I hope it's a good long while before I need to visit the King's Court again.
Perri Elastime: I felt sorry for the child. I hope all his days are not spent in court.
Fennimore: Aye, The Stag is a fine idea. A perfect day to celebrate.
Perri Elastime: Yes, that would be welcome.
Rael Octavius: Nar is the future king. He is usually only in court for special occasions, like today.
Perri Elastime: Is there a court seer.
Rael Octavius: A wizard.
Fennimore looks startled.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore? You alright?
Fennimore: Oh, yes.
Fennimore: Just, a strange day.
The trio arrives at The Fiery Stag and enters.
Perri Elastime: Well, it is better than a week's worth of darkness.
Fennimore: Yes, sunlight and gifts from The King make for a great day.