Session Notes for 2005-07-14
We ask the path to lead us to the dragon Hardig. We head off. Around mid-day we run out of forest and begin climbing into the mountains. By late afternoon the path peters out. Dorian thinks this means it's time to cross back into the mortal realm. Morn opens a portal back to our world.
In the mortal realm the terrain is similar, but now there is a large gorge stretching east to west. It's about twelve feet across and fifty feet deep.
After some discussion, I leap across the gorge easily. We rig up a simple two-rope bridge and the rest of the group crosses over.
On the other side is a cave. We approach. Lyle hails the cave. A voice inside isn't pleased to hear from us, but Lyle smoothly says we are hear for an audience with the wise Hardig. The voice lights a light and lets us in.
Inside is a giant blue dragon, curled up and watching us with one eye open. The dragons scales are faded to a faded blue. Lyle explains that we seek the half-fairies. Hardig says that they went down to the big plain to the west and founded a new race. That would seem to confirm our suspicions; the half-fae were the first elves.
We learn of a family in charge of keeping the elves history. The family was a bit paranoid and lived in a tower. We should head due west for about half-a-day. From the town head south for about five miles.
We thank Hardig for his time and head west. We arrive at the settlement late in the evening. It's no town, it's a huge city. The city is gated and the gates are closed. We approach the pair of elven guards out front. Normally they don't open the gates after night, but they're impressed that we've come from Adrigal. An elven cleric comes to confirm that we are not evil and we are let in.
Dorian tell us that this is Hel'an, the elven capital city. Morn arranges rooms and stabling. The business is conducted in the elven language. Lyle suggests that we get the finest dining we can fine. An intriguing idea. We ask the bartender for advice. He suggests The Broken Crown. He warns that it will be several gold each. We get interesting elven food, it's all delicious.
We explore the town. Morn, Lyle, and Dorian all speak the language, so they seek information on both the tower and the elven history. We learn that the elves don't know much about the tower. A family apparently lives there. They occasionally leave, but don't invite anyone in. Word is that people should avoid the tower. One person tried to break in. He discovered that it's heavily trapped.
I bother the occasional elf who is willing to speak the common tongue with me. I discover that male elven merchants are most willing to chat with me. I pick up a small gaggle of elven kids; they tell me amusing stories in response to my questions. I amuse them with some tumbling. They offer me some copper; I offer them some of Adrigal's copper. They seem to find the Adrigal currency fascinating. The elven currency is differently stamped.
We head down the tower, arriving quickly.
The tower is four stories and round. It's about 120 feet across. There are no windows; the top floor appears to have arrow slits. There are crenelations on the roof. There is a single wood door on the bottom.
Lyle knocks on the door. Fire shoots out of a hole in door, burning him. Shouting to the tower brings no response. Lyle wedges a rock in the hole to block the fire. He opens the door; some smoke filters past the rock.
I shout into the tower seeking a response, but no one does.
Lyle peers inside and notes a bladed pendulum trap. He triggers it to confirm its arc, He then steps around the trigger, marking it with chalk. About twenty feet in he is struck by a dart. It doesn't seem to be poisoned. Lyle blocks off the dart holes and moves on. He asks Dorian to join him.
Another twenty feet in is a door. Something sticky has been put on the door knob. Lyle wipes the substance off. Beyond the door is a pit that fills the hallway. The pit is fifteen feet across. Spikes line the bottom of pit, ten to fifteen feet down. A twenty foot rope spans the pit. Lyle tugs on the rope; it immediately falls down. Throwing it back the rope magically snaps back into place. Clearly trapped.
The ceiling is only about eight feet high; it's too low for me to jump across. As we contemplate increasingly complicated plans for getting across, I point out that it's unlikely that the occupants must negotiate these traps. I suggest we search the outer wall for another entrance.
Indeed, Lyle finds a stone that sinks into the outer wall. Push harder, a section of wall opens. We head in. Pushing the same stone again opens and closes this secret door. Very strange.
Inside is a large circular room. The hallway we entered earlier is a long jut into the room. Stairs go counter-clockwise around the tower. Poking around, we find miscellaneous junk; a sail, some rope, some crates, and the like. We head up the stairs.
A distance up, we find a section of stairs that have collapsed. There is a ten foot gap. Morningglory suspects something and pokes at the air. She finds an invisible solid surface. The stairs are still there, just hidden. Moving on we find another gap, this time only two feet long. This time the gap is real. We step over it. Moving cautiously, we find a small gap that actually appears to be stairs. Noting the illusion we chalk it and step over it.
At the top the stairs wind into a hallway with a locked door. Lyle unlocks it with his picks.
At the top is a large, mostly empty room the size of the tower. There is a collection of random furniture, books, clothes, paper, and quills. Lyle spots someone hiding under a table. Lyle pokes the someone.
The person underneath asks why we're here. The person is a young elven woman. She's holding a large golden book.
We learn that the book tells the stories of the elves from very early days. She doesn't know anything about fairies, but the history says the elves came from another plan. The history notes that dragons taught them magic. Her family is one of historians. They watch the world through a magic mirror and transcribe the events. A magic basket provides food. She is the child of the previous historian. She comes from a long line of historians. The first was a man named named Illat. The young woman herself doesn't have a name; names don't matter, only the history.
Lyle summons a brownie; that creeps out the woman, but she accepts that fairies exist and that elves may be descended from them.
We point out that Illat was a woman and that we've met her mother.
We fill the historian in on the fairy prophecy. She expresses an interest in meeting her ancestors and possibly seeing Tisaniere's library.
We decide to try immediately heading back to Faerie and traveling back to our manor house. We head outside and Morn opens a portal to Faerie. The path is waiting and we ride back to our manor. We arrive in the evening.
We learn that Margot has left court and is back home. Dorian and Morningglory will escort the historian to see Margot. Lyle and I will stay behind given Margot and her sisters dislike for men. Lyle hangs around and listens to rumors. I take the opportunity to meditate and practice forms.
Dorian, Morningglory, and the historian arrive quickly at Margot's home. A woman answers the door. The woman wears a beautiful red lace dress. The woman escorts them in and heads off to seek Margot. A bit later Margot arrives. Margot is icy at first and isn't pleased to meet her descendant. When the historian starts telling the story of the history and the elves, Margot warms up slightly. Margot invites them to tea. They continue to discuss events. After the audience Margot is reasonably pleased. They return.
We decide to introduce the historian to Tisaniere. After a few hour trip we arrive. Tisaniere is happy to have the historian as a house guest for a while. Tisaniere offers us a delicious dinner; we happily accept. During dinner we discuss what we've learned of the Bloody Queen. We learn that Tisaniere has seen statues of the Bloody Queen. Some poor fairies at the foot of the Grey King's mountain lived near one. Apparently most of the statues are quite small, but this one was full size and unusual. The statues are made by dwarves more famous for beautiful chess sets. The dwarves live underground in the northern part of Faerie. Tisaniere provides directions to the statue. She suggests that we talk to fairies that travel a lot or live in the north to find tunnels into the dwarven kingdom if we want to speak with the dwarves. They're not evil and are probably safe to approach.