Session Notes for 2005-04-24
Lyle divides our payment. We each get several thousand more gold.
I continue to stay at the Boar's Foot. As usual it's loud late into the night. Being near the docks, many of those staying there are up early in the morning. The food is adequate at best, even worse than what they serve acolytes at the monastery. This continue to be interesting.
The Lady thanks us for escorting her. She agrees with Morn's assessment that it's very lawless outside of the city.
After a brief wait, we head off. We follow the same route south out of the city. After an hour of so we enter the forest.
Lyle breaks off for a few minutes and pokes around the forest. He returns without comment.
A few hours later Morn seems to notice something and gestures at the forest. Morn moves up next to Ancilla.
After several hours, it dawns on me that I have no idea where I am. We moved off of a trail some time ago, but I didn't notice. I mention how confusing the forest is to Lord Nuntio, he says many have said so. He has traveled the forest frequently and can tell the trees apart. Very interesting. The Lord must be very observant. My own observation is clearly deficient and requires work. The others mention that feel lost as well.
Near the end of the day we come to a clearing. There is a large stone palace surrounded by flowing, natural gardens. They don't look tended, but are still beautiful. The palace is very delicate, apparently too delicate to hold itself. Lady Ancilla confirms that it is magical in some way.
There is a servant waiting. The servant is very taller, taller than most humans. His ears are far more pointy than any elf I've ever seen. We give our horses to the servant.
I comment that the journey was only a day, we had been told that it was two days away. The Lord says the journey was simply faster than expected.
We head in to a huge room draped with fine fabrics. The room is filled with tall, sharp eared men and women lounging around. They are all strikingly beautiful, but aren't obviously elves. They seem uninterested in us, but seem to be a mix of nice people and schemers. Perhaps a group of courtiers.
We're lead to the far side of the room. A large window opens to a stream and more gardens. On a dais is a stunningly beautiful woman sitting on a throne. She is wearing fine, thin, blue clothing. Golden hair spills from her hide all the way to the floor. In her hair is a very thin, almost too thin crown.
The Lord and Lady bow and curtsy. I guess. We all bow. I say, "Hello," but she doesn't acknowledge me. When the Lord and Lady rise, they are taller and have pointy ears. Clearly natives.
"Thank you for bringing them to me," she says to the Lord. She looks us over. She confirms that we are who she is looking for. She kisses Nuntio on the forehead. Where she kissed him, it glows white. She dismisses the Lord and Lady.
The mysterious woman asks about Morn's symbol. Morn identifies it as a symbol of Kelemvore, her god. The woman mentions that she has not paid attention to the gods in some time. She asks us to introduce ourselves. We do so. She introduces herself as the Queen. We were not chosen randomly, and we will be offered an exceptional opportunity tomorrow. Today we are welcome to their hospitality.
Four manservants show up and lead us off to our rooms. Morn asks where we are. They say we're in the Court of the Faerie Queen.
A manservant opens a door and tells me it's mine, addressing me as Lord. I point out that I'm not a Lord.
Our rooms are large and opulently filled. There is a feast for a dozen on a table in each of our rooms. Morn seems concerned about this. The manservant says that any food appearing in our rooms will be mortal. We're told that we are welcome to wander the halls; any place we are not welcome will not be accessible. What a fascinating opportunity.
Morn and Dorian inspect the wardrobes in their rooms. Each is filled with beautiful dresses sized to them. In Lyle's wardrobe, he finds very finely made, flashy, but otherwise utilitarian clothing.
Lyle and I get together and eat. The food is amazing, like nothing I've had before. Meanwhile, Morn and Dorian explore their wardrobes.
I suggest to Lyle that we explore. I notify the women and they join us. Dorian is wearing a very finely made green gown.
Heading off, we find a room with a large fountain and many plants and couches. On one wall is a series of paintings. Most of the paintings are fairy portraits. One is a portrait of a human. The human is scholarly looking. He has spectacles and a gold circlet. Morn mentions that he is a holding a stone with a hole in it, similar to the one she kept. The paintings have gold labels, but they are in the language of the book.
The next room is a great hall. There is a long table and a huge fireplace. A throne sits at one end of the table. The walls are covered with banners. Most of the banners are green on gold. Most of the banners are leaves, there are some trees and a rock. There are statues of fairies along the walls. The back of the throne has two pillars topped with gold statues of the queen. The throne is intricately carved, dark wood. The carving looks like vines and flowers. It has green cushions and gold accents.
I pick another door out. It leads to a monstrous library with thousands of tomes. Morningglory says most of the books are magical. The books are in a wide variety of languages. I look around a little, and as I think that I need books in common, many books seem to draw my attention. They're all in common. Useful magic for a mixed-language library.
There is a large map on the wall. It is similar to maps I've seen of the lands around Adrigal. There are pictures in various places with labels. Adrigal is notably missing. There is an ice castle on top of the nearby mountain. There is a wind castle in a further out mountain to the west. There is a palace almost due south of where I'd expect Adrigal. It looks similar to the palace we're in. There is a mansion in a large clearing south-west of Adrigal. There is a castle in the water north of the mountain near Adrigal. There is a label without a picture south-south-west of the palace. Ultimately, many of the palaces look implausible.
There is one of these fairies sitting in a corner reading. Lyle speaks with the man for a bit. I chat for a while with the fairy, asking about the magic on the books. He says the attention drawing effect is from the books themselves.
We pick another door and move on. We pass through a corridor that opens onto a canopied patio. There are a few fairies about. The patio opens into the garden.
I have a thought. I strongly think that I would seek out a place of meditation, similar to the chambers and rooms of my monastery. I then pick a door back into the palace at random. Unsurprisingly, I almost immediately to a small chamber. It's austere but elegant. There are meditation mats on the floor. In the corners are well tended planets. The light is diffused through fogged glass. As I suspected, like the books the rooms can be sought and found. While I'm tempted to explore some more, but I have spent a great deal of time busy and in Adrigal. This is an excellent opportunity to meditate and reflect. I spend an hour or so meditating.
I then seek out space to practice. Again, it's just down the hall. Very convenient.
As it gets late, I retire to my room. The rest of the group is in the area. They seem interested in possibly staying in a single room. I see no reason to do so as these rooms were assigned to us individually. I sleep in the room assigned to me. The table has been cleared.
I slept phenomenally well. A distinct change of pace from the Boar's Foot. Breakfast for fifteen waits on the table. Perhaps stealthy manservants, but I'm guessing more magic. I have a bite. As I finish breakfast and a few forms, there is a knock on my door. The manservants are waiting for us. Apparently the Queen awaits us.
They lead us in a direction that seems to lead to the throne room, but we end up in the library. The Queen waits for us. After some perfunctoriness, she gets to the point.
Apparently there is a prophecy. There are four items that must be gathered by four mortals. The prophecy is in a language we wouldn't understand, so she translates for us.
In the year of alignment
They will be found
All in the city by the sea
Each apart in manner and place.
The suspicious weasel who sneaks about,
The antlered child of nature's joy,
The tiny handmaiden of glorious death,
The dark student of the northern isle.
They will come together
As one of many
To find the power that
Will unite the Kingdom.
The power of ancients
Will be found in the hands
of the Golden Child,
Third daughter of the third house.
The power of the earth and sky
Held in a melody older than time,
The Music of Ages
Held in men's hands.
The living stories of long-lost sheep
Can reunite a family divided
When they have found
News of the Lost Flock.
He who remains can be stopped
When she who holds him,
The Bloody Queen,
Is removed from her throne.
Four will discover these
Four stores of power,
And to whom they are given
Will rule the Kingdom ever more.
The prophecy's description are vague, but could describe us. We're to seek four items. Apparently the Queen cannot help us. We must present the four items at the same time. The Queen will provide us with a manor to use as a headquarters and hold the items until we are ready. A door in the manor will open into this library.
Morn asks about the purpose. The Queen explains that whoever receives the four will rule the land of Faerie forever. There is some contention. Among others, the Grey King is looking. Many have looked for the items, but haven't found them. As Morn and I ask questions about the nature of this. The Queen says she is benevolent and that we are free to question anyone we want. Apparently fairies are naturally immortal.
The Queen gestures to a door. It will lead to our manor. Our rooms will also be part of the manor. Our horses are already there.
We explain that we'll consider this. I have strong reservations. Assuming they tell the truth, this is a great deal of power to hand to anyone. I certainly don't know these Queen well enough to know if she can handle such power. Indeed, even if I knew her, could she manage the power eternally? Difficult questions.
I explore through the door to the manor house we've been assigned. It seems much more static than the fairy palace. There is a different meditation room. How kind.
Poking around the library, we identify many copies of the prophesy in many books. They're all in the strange language.
I try to graphically copy the prophecy onto some parchment I find in a drawer in the library. It's very hard, my eyes seem to skip over the source page. It takes a while, but I finally make a copy. It may not be perfect, but it's very close. The copy exhibits the same weird properties as I try making a second copy.
The man we met before returns. Apparently the Queen sent him to help us. The language is Faerie.
We ask about the book we found in the kobold cavern. He looks it over. It appears to be a journal of someone who was tricked by The Grey King.
At Morn's request, he points out sites on the map. The water place is the Ocean Queen's. The Grey King is on the mountain far to the west. The Dragon Matriarch, a separate power, is in the clearing south-west. There is an Ice Maiden on the mountain due west of Adrigal. The Faerie Queen's palace is almost due south of Adrigal. He isn't interested in talking about the label without a picture.
The scribe says that the King is a bit of a wild card and "not a useful sort of person." The King does not visit here.
As far as the Scribe knows, only the Faerie Queen, the Faerie King, and the Grey King are interested in claiming lordship over Faerie.
I ask about having the prophecy transcribed into the Common tongue. Apparently the Queen read it to us in another language. Odd. He is apparently communicating in this same way. He can transcribe it into Common, but it would be seriously mangled and would rather not. He notes that anyone can understand the language, if the speaker so desires it. If we were to learn the language we could do the same thing, indeed blocking out some but not all fairies as we speak.
We learn that the two lands, our land and Faerie. They hover on top of each other. They can be crossed at a variety of places. Apparently Lord Nuntio left to seek us five hundred years ago and only just returned. There are some fairies who cross regularly and some fairies banished to the mortal lands.
Morn asks about time, but the scribe says that he nows nothing of time differences between the worlds.
He goes over the prophecy again. I ask questions as he goes. He says that this is the year of alignment. Years of alignment are hard to predict in Faerie. They are typically about 6,000 years apart. The prophecy is about 6-12,000 years ago.
They believe that "The Power" will grant the holder rulership eternal.
The prophecy was found in a stone carved not by hand but by water. It probably came from one of the wise old ladies, but none have claimed it as their own. The stone was given to the Ocean Queen as she is held to be neutral.
At my suggestion, Morn shows the rock with the hole in the middle to the scribe. He is excited to see it. It is a "self-bored rock." If you look through it, it lets you read the faerie. The stones are very rare because they need to naturally form. The scribe has made a study of the stones, but he has never seen one in person. He has tried a number of times to make one, but has not yet succeeded.
Morn confirms the stone's magic. Very, very useful. I would like to be able to read the prophecy without fairy intermediaries.
If we want to speak with the scribe in the future, we should ask for Lar.
Asking for some other information about the prophecy, I learn some things.
Lar says that "news" typically means a book in fairy prophecy.
Lar has never heard of the Bloody Queen.
Apparently "the Golden Child" is a common phrase and has referenced a number of things.
The Faeries Houses are the Faeries (land), the Sea Faeries, the Dragons and Naga (sea dragons), and the Grey King. The Grey King is not actually a House, but is often considered and treated as one. The scribe believes that the Grey King is a house unto himself and has no family. The Grey King is Fae, but not fairy. Lar has no idea which house is considered the third House. One or more books in the library may provide a clue. Lar suggests several books as possible starting points, now that he knows we can ready Faerie.
Morn thanks Lar and he heads off to take notes on the self-boring stone.
Somewhere during this Lyle wandered off. We track him down and bring him back. We learn Lyle can read draconic; he's assigned to read a draconic book Lar recommended.
As I explore the library, one book calls to me repeatedly. I pull it down. It's a book in Common about human legends about Faerie. We all read on.
Morn learns that gold is very rare in Faerie. A Golden Child probably refers to something rare. Nobility and dragons often have gold. She also learns that fairies believe they have always existed. The fairies like the dragons and the sea fairies. They dislike the Grey King and wish he would go away. There are stories that he somehow made himself invulnerable. He rose to power perhaps 3,000 years ago. He surrounds himself in fog. People tend to die if hey venture too close.
The Ice Maiden is relatively neutral and stuffy, but has become friends with the Faerie Queen.
Dorian learns that Faerie gold is made from gold dragon scales from the Matriarch's family.
Lyle learns Naga-Dragon couplings typically don't have children. The mother often dies in childbirth, taking the child with her. They are rare and prized.
We research the dragons. The Matriarch is Vouivre. She is half-dragon and half-fairy. As a result she is immortal. She is about 10-11 thousand years ago. She doesn't enter the mortal realm often. When dragons wish to convene, they cluster around her. She is the dragon who deals with the fairies typically. Many dragons store their wealth in her house.
Fairly recently there was a surviving child of a dragon and a naga. It happened within the last 100 or 200 years. The mother was a noble naga and the father was a bronze dragon son of the Matriarch. The child was a golden-bronzy colored girl. Her mother died in childbirth. Her father was killed by a mortal. The book is 50 years old, but at the time the child was staying with the Dragon Matriarch. The child looks mostly like a land dragon with naga ears.
Prior to the Matriarch, no Naga-Dragon children survived. Only the Matriarch's direct children are have successfully had Naga-Dragon children. One of the hybrids, more naga-like, helped the Faerie King with a great quest and retired. Another, more land-dragon-like, became the mother of a many land dragons.
The Dragon Matriarch tries to remain neutral. She frowns upon her children who behave evilly. She switches between dragon and fairy forms frequently. It's said that the fairy queen envy's the Matriarch's hair.
We get an audience with the Queen. She writes us an letter of introduction and seals it in an envelope. We're given directions to the Matriach's. We'll tell a path where we want to go. At the end of the day it will end where we want to go. We should not venture off the path.
Morn asks about emergency contact. The queen offers us some gifts. Lyle gets the ability to summon a brownie at will. The brownie can answer any question he wants, but provide no assistance. Dorian gets a sense of Faerie. She'll always know where she is and how to get places. She also has a sense of who is nearby. Both gifts are permanent.