posted Jan 9, 2021, 10:01 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Ethyltina 26th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The week after the Summer Knight's departure has been fairly calm, though there is chatter in court about reports of forces amassing on the plains to the southwest of Nightfield.
Rael Octavius seeks out Fennimore and Perri in the castle one morning.
Fennimore: Hi, Rael.
Rael Octavius: Good morning, Fenn.
Perri Elastime: Good morning, Rael.
Rael Octavius: Good morning, Perri.
Perri Elastime: Not in court today?
Rael Octavius: Have you heard about the horde forming out on the plains?
Fennimore: Horde?
Perri Elastime: Heard something was massing.
Rael Octavius: Might be an exaggeration, but I have not been made privy to military intelligence.
Fennimore: There are ways to fix that, you know.
Rael Octavius: Without subterfuge?
Perri Elastime raises an eyebrow.
Rael Octavius smiles.
Fennimore: Everything involves subterfuge. It's just a question of whether anyone notices.
Rael Octavius: Spoken like a true Inquisitor.
Fennimore smiles.
Fennimore: You're an experienced courtier. I know you know how much subterfuge is at work on the court floor.
Rael Octavius: Thus, the smile. Did I need to wink?
Rael Octavius laughs.
Perri Elastime: And lying, cheating, stealing.
Rael Octavius: I will leave all that up to you.
Perri Elastime: Oh, don't forget posturing.
Fennimore joins in Rael's laughter.
Perri Elastime grins.
Fennimore: A wink and a nod and tug on your ear.
Rael Octavius: Anyway, High King Ran has called us into a private audience.
Fennimore: Sounds serious.
Perri Elastime: Maybe it's intelligence.
Rael Octavius: It is the High King.
Perri Elastime: Aw, come on. He can be fun sometimes.
Fennimore: When does he want us to attend to him?
Rael Octavius: As soon as possible.
Perri Elastime: As in now?
Rael Octavius: It might be intelligence since the audience is in his secured chamber.
Fennimore: Well, lead the way, Master Octavius, to the High King we go.
Fennimore: Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to see the King we go.
Perri Elastime: Watch it. I will start thinking you are a bard.
Fennimore grimaces at Perri.
Perri Elastime: Hey, if I wanted to be insulting, I would have said Troubador.
Rael Octavius leads the way through parts of the castle the group has not seen before. Rael makes a hard about-face at one point, and they are at an ornate door that they would have had to walk right through.
Fennimore: That's a nifty trick.
Rael Octavius: Secure chamber.
Rael Octavius opens the door.
Fennimore ignores Perri's reference to the Troublesome Troubador.
Perri Elastime chuckles.
When they enter, they find that Rael's mother, Dae'Kliesys, is also in attendance, sitting with the King in this chamber. The King motions for the three to take the other three available chairs.
High King Ran: Make yourselves comfortable.
Perri Elastime: Good Morning.
Rael Octavius bows and then takes a seat.
Perri Elastime glances around and sits.
Fennimore: Good morning, Your Highness.
Rael Octavius: Good morning, Your Highness...Mother.
Dae'Kliesys smiles.
Fennimore bows and then climbs into a chair.
High King Ran: Thank you for joining my Ambassador Prime and me.
Fennimore wonders why the Lord High Inquisitor isn't invited to a meeting of intelligence.
Rael Octavius looks quizzically at his mother.
Perri Elastime looks about the room, wondering if the High Sneakiness is invisible somewhere.
High King Ran: It is just the five of us.
Rael Octavius: Are we going to discuss our journey?
High King Ran: I am aware that you had been informed previously of a journey into the outer planes. I am sorry to say that there has been a change of plans.
Perri Elastime looks interested.
Fennimore breathes a quiet sigh of relief.
Rael Octavius: Very well. What will our next duty be, Your Highness?
High King Ran: Since I need The Iris to remain in "The City" for the foreseeable future and The Feywild is too hazardous at this time, I am having you travel south to visit Ambassador Geir and his tribe instead.
Perri Elastime: And our mission?
Rael Octavius: We are performing the ambassadorial function then, instead of The Iris?
Fennimore is curious why The Iris needs to stay in the city but decides he shouldn't ask.
High King Ran: You are to entreat with the barbarians on the plains south of the great river and possibly with the blue dragon Ohmsevester...unless Dae'Kliesys arrives before you have that opportunity.
Rael Octavius raises his eyebrows.
Fennimore: I am pleased to travel with Snorri. He seems like a good man. What message are to carry to his clan?
High King Ran: I need you to gather the information about the drought spreading there, first and foremost. This information will aid you when you finally get to make your extraplanar excursion.
High King Ran: If you should encounter the dragon, I trust Master Octavius will be able to negotiate with him, at least to the extent that you will all remain safe.
Perri Elastime: Are we to bring gifts to the clan? I heard they are in a bad way.
Fennimore sees that Rael is trying hard to keep his heart from leaping out of his throat.
Fennimore -> Rael Octavius: Are you okay? Do you need a drink?
Dae'Kliesys: You will be fine, but good practice at controlling the surprise, my son.
Rael Octavius -> Fennimore: Just a bit surprised.
Fennimore: Rael mentioned there is a horde massing south of "The City." Are these Snorri's barbarians?
High King Ran: No, they are goblinoids.
Rael Octavius: Tazdar's former cohorts?
High King Ran: Likely.
Fennimore: That might be trouble if we are ladened with gifts for Snorri's tribe.
High King Ran: You will be traveling light because, as you mentioned, there are forces at work you will want to avoid.
High King Ran: I have already dispatched a company to escort provisions guided by Ambassador Geir.
Perri Elastime: Do you know why the goblinoids are massing?
High King Ran: They are encouraged by the unrest among the citizens and are being influenced by The Paragon.
Dae'Kliesys: They have not had what they believe to be an advantage against the High King in a while.
High King Ran: One of the reasons I am retaining The Iris for the time being.
Perri Elastime smiles.
High King Ran: While you are visiting the barbarians, you should also investigate the Fey appearances they have been experiencing.
Rael Octavius: Ambassador Geir mentioned this to us, as well.
Fennimore: If we run into trouble with The Paragon, the goblins, or Fey, we may need to fortify our own defenses.
High King Ran: Another reason for sending my bladesinger along on this mission.
High King Ran smiles at Perri.
High King Ran: Your skills as an Inquisitor, Fennimore, will be essential too.
Perri Elastime: King Ran, if I am to be effective on this mission, it might be helpful to access a few more spells. Do you know of a spellbook I might be able to borrow for a bit?
High King Ran: A fair question, and the answer is yes.
Perri Elastime grins.
High King Ran: You may access my private library as you see fit over the next week while preparations are made for your journey. I have a couple of tomes, one of which you will be allowed to take along that contain more powerful spells that will likely become available to you during this mission.
Fennimore smiles at Perri.
Perri Elastime: Thank you. That is very generous.
Dae'Kliesys: We have another gift for each of you, as well.
Dae'Kliesys motions to the table behind the King, and three long packages float from the table over to each of the trio.
Perri Elastime looks to the King.
High King Ran: Go ahead. These will hopefully aid in the success of your mission.
Fennimore eyes the packages floating from the table, trying not to look too greedy.
Rael Octavius unwraps his long, thin package.
Fennimore tears into the packaging like a ravenous troll.
Perri Elastime opens her package carefully.
Rael's gift is a staff will a bright crystal and wings capping it. Fennimore and Perri both unwrap rapiers. Perri's looks familiar.
Dulguachared (speaking Elvish, but understood by all): Hello, again.
Perri Elastime: Hello.
Perri Elastime: I believe I have met this rapier before.
High King Ran: Yes. Dulguachared is the weapon you acquired from the troll in the Gold Hills.
Fennimore: Curiouser and curiouser.
High King Ran: It was stolen from the castle almost a year ago.
Perri Elastime: Dulguachared, are you content to work with me?
High King Ran: Fennimore, I crafted yours. It should serve you well.
Fennimore: I am honored, Your Highness.
Dulguachared: Of course. The High King and the Summer Knight bid me serve you, so I will do my best.
Perri Elastime looks surprised.
Dae'Kliesys: Rael, this staff was my original one. I have been saving it for you.
Rael Octavius: Thank you, Mother.
Fennimore: What did you get, Rael?
Rael Octavius: Is this the one from the roc story?
Dae'Kliesys smiles and nods.
Fennimore looks alarmed.
Fennimore: You'll have to tell that story on the road.
Rael Octavius: I will.
Dulguachared: I understand where you are going, you will be on the plains, Lady Elastime. If you get the opportunity to face a drow, take it.
Perri Elastime: If that is your desire.
Fennimore: I thought the drow preferred to stay below. Are we likely to meet any on the plains?
High King Ran: Hopefully, not. However, I have not idea where your quest will take you.
Dulguachared: But you will never be surprised when I am around.
Fennimore (whispers): Goblins and dragons and drow, oh my.
Perri Elastime: Fey too.
Fennimore nods.
High King Ran: Dae'Kliesys will be traveling in your general direction initially, so it may be advantageous to start the journey together.
Rael Octavius: So, Father will be around too?
Dae'Kliesys shakes her head and looks to Ran.
Perri Elastime: As long as you don't tell us any embarrassing stories about Rael.
High King Ran: I will need my Herald due to this threat of war with the goblinoids.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Dae'Kliesys: Embarrassing stories? Me?
Rael Octavius narrows his eyes.
Dae'Kliesys: I have a couple.
Perri Elastime chuckles.
Dae'Kliesys laughs.
Fennimore nudges Rael.
Fennimore: Get used to it.
Rael Octavius rolls his eyes.
Fennimore: Your Highness, you mentioned my skills as an Inquisitor. Is there something I should be especially inquisitive about?
High King Ran: If you can draw out of Ohmsevester what other dragons may be looking for new homes, this would be beneficial to know. There are some unusual dynamics among the barbarians as well, something of which to be aware.
Dae'Kliesys: The blue dragon may give some clues, even without speaking.
High King Ran: You might be able to intuit from his activities and movements if another dragon arrives.
Fennimore: Do you plan to welcome any of the dragons to your kingdom?
High King Ran: I welcome any dragon that wishes to dwell in my realm as long as it restrains itself. Troublesome dragons do not last long with Tisaylidal's Dragonslayers around.
Perri Elastime seems lost in thought.
High King Ran: Are you still with us, Lady Elastime?
Perri Elastime: Hmm... Yes.
High King Ran: Any questions before I let you go?
Perri Elastime: No, Your Highness. Thank you.
High King Ran looks to Fennimore.
Fennimore: Let's see, learn about the drought and any dragons headed our way, watch out for The Fey, Drow, and goblins. Does that about sum it up?
High King Ran nods and smiles.
Perri Elastime: Don't forget finding out about the inner workings of the barbarians.
Fennimore: Right.
High King Ran: Master Octavius will receive the arrangements as soon as they are made, and here is a key to my library, Lady Elastime.
High King Ran hands a key to Perri.
Perri Elastime suddenly becomes aware of the location of this library.
Perri Elastime: I guess I can stop looking for the secret entrance now.
Fennimore stifles a laugh.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
High King Ran: Then I bid you a good day. Expect to embark on this quest in about a week.
Rael Octavius: Thank you, Your Highness.
Fennimore: Yes, Your Highness, we'll be ready.
Perri Elastime: I'm so excited we have another quest.
The air around the trio quivers and warps, and they find themselves standing in the hallway; no door to be found.
Fennimore: That's an even niftier trick than the entrance.
Perri Elastime: Dang, that reminds me of Between.
Fennimore: Perri, if you search for any more secret rooms, you'll have to remember to turn around three times every few steps to see if any doors magically appear out of thin air.
Rael Octavius chuckles.
Perri Elastime: Yeah, that will make me well-liked as a weirdo.
Fennimore spends the week getting ready to go, saying goodbye to his ma (leaving her a purse with 25 gold), to Dee, and High Lord Mosifort.
Fennimore: With High Lord Mosifort, Fenn discusses plans to draw out information from the barbarians and dragons.
Fennimore: With Dee, Fenn asks her to look after Flora while he's gone.