The Herald (Zach and Irren)   Posted by Dragondog.Group: 0
Dragondog
 GM, 1455 posts
Mon 3 Sep 2012
at 19:26
The Herald (Zach and Irren)
The two Solamnic heroes had met for the first time only a few days ago, as they joined the caravan traversing the hot desert to Ak-Khurman of Khur. They had traveled at night with the moons of Solinari and Lunitari and slept during the day.

Starting tomorrow night, there would be three nights in a row when both of moons would be full together, something that only happened four times in three years. On the second night, the two moons overlapped forming a red circle on top of a white circle, much like a simplified archery target.

But for some unknown reason, every other time this was supposed to happen, there was a black circle overlapping the red one. These nights, taking place only once per 1.5 years, were called the Night of the Eye, because that's what it looked like.

The heroes had arrived at the inn this morning after eight hours of travel through the desert. Their bellies craved dinner rather than breakfast, despite the early hour, because that's what they'd become accustomed too over the past few days.

And Ghanima’s Inn and Smokehouse, their chosen inn, accommodated their wishes. There were not many people in that inn when they arrived, but while their dinner was prepared, some breakfast guests appeared, and one such group didn't have to pay for their breakfast because of something they had done the previous night.

Scents of smoke and spices filled the inn and soon the heroes were served their dinner.

As the heroes finished their dinner, the only remaining person from the group that had been given free breakfast came over to their table and joined them. He was a human in his mid-sixties with white hair and a trimmed beard, and he spoke with an Abanasinian accent

"I am the Herald," the man said. "Storyteller extraordinaire. And I have expected you. I am the one who can tell you your destiny."

You had both heard of this master bard, but not previously encountered him yourselves. The stories did not say anything about destiny though.
Brother Zacharias
 player, 10 posts
 The world is my library.
 Hard to mop, though.
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 04:29
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
Brother Zach, though respectful, was amused by the hyperbole.
"Knowing my destiny would solve a good many of my problems with planning my finances and arranging my social calandar, so I'll gladly hear it.    Your reputation as a storyteller, Herald, is second to none who travels these lands, though your stories are usually said to be about more entertaining subjects than Destiny.  Still, I'm intrigued, I'll admit. "

The handsome man, simply but well-dressed, and relaxed despite his fatigue, took a seat and ordered drinks for him and his companion, and one for Herald, if he wished it.
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 4 posts
 Solamnic squire
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 12:43
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
Irren chuckled as Zach's jest and nodded confirmation of his familiarity of the Herald.  "I, too, have heard your name, master storyteller - and well met an honour it is," Irren replied, likewise very well attired and relaxed at the scene.  Nearing the city had eased a worry in his chest, and though he was eager to check out the lighthouse here, he felt oddly more at ease as he breakfasted -well, dined- this morning with Zacharias.

"Please join our table, and share your words with us.  I do hope you can forgive our abundance of hunger today - we have been travelling at night to avoid the desert's heat, and this is our time to sup, not eat lightly to break fast.  If you are still hungry after your morning meal, might we cover your meal in thank for the good tales, words, or songs you bring?

"What brings you here, and what you choose to share of our destiny, sir?"
  The squire clearly had martial skills - setting aside the obviousness of armour, large weaponry, and battle-trained steed porting lances, but he, too, was a people person and counted that one of his greatest strengths, so he encouraged the masterful entertainer to join - perhaps Irren would learn a few jests, or could talk about more social skills, or at the worst, hear a fine tale in an unexpected place.

The storyteller was rumoured to be exceptionally well-travelled, as most were, and might be able to provide tips on where next to explore lighthouses of the region.
Dragondog
 GM, 1456 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 13:17
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"Thank you," the Herald said. "But I have finished my breakfast and am not hungry. And though I know many stories and many ways to clear an Aesthetics calendar, that was not why I came to you. Your life's at stake."

"Your enemies already hold the Sylvan Key that belongs in your hands. A gift to all mankind in the right hands. But in the left hands, I mean the wrong hands, it may be the destruction of all.

[OOC: Though the Herald was speaking to both of you, he only mentioned one life. Just mentioning that so you know it's not a spelling error.]
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 5 posts
 Solamnic squire
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 14:26
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
The squire's attention sharpened at the "life's at stake" comment by the Herald.  This did not sound a 'pleasant chat with a minstrel' situation... if it was an attempt to fleece coin with doom and gloom predictions, especially for a seasoned, reknowned performer, and one that could receive free fare from any innkeep's kitchen.

No, this read a very different scansion of the day's poetry.

"Forgive my misunderstanding, master Herald - I was led to such thought by your introduction as master storyteller, and no offence meant.  But please, if you will, do sit and clarify to whom your comment was meant - my friend's life, or my own?  By whom and what measure?  And for what cause has my friend or I engendered such attack upon the respective life?

"Truly you seem to spread questions to season our repast.  Not an ill thing, mind, friend"
Irren cautioned, so his words were not taken as a brushing off, and made hand motion for the Herald to join their table... this had turned from an entertaining diversion to - well, to be honest - a touch concerning situation.  "For you have our attention.

"What is this Sylvan Key of which you speak?  What import is it, and what does it do, of benefit so to mankind?  From where was it taken, and to whom does it belong?  How might we recognize or identify it?

"What were the circumstances of its theft?  Wherefrom, when thus, why - presuming value? - and who took it?

"And the holding of it, you say destruction of all - not an idle doom by the strenght of the words you speak.  Which enemies hold it?  And where is it now?  Are we the first notified of the theft, or has the report been already advised, and you seek more bodies on this search.

"How came you to know of threat and stolen key?"


The aroma and warmth of the meal was distracting, and that could be dangerous with the heaviness of the words being shared, even if they were for Zacharias' benefit, and doubly so if for Irren's.  "We must eat so our attention may remain sharp upon your words lest hunger distract, but please speak."  Irren spoke truly, for the rumbling in his stomach was nearing loud enough it could be heard, and he knew the meal was needed to keep full focus, so he nodded to both men and ate swiftly, but neatly, fine manners with a soldier's efficient consumption.
Brother Zacharias
 player, 11 posts
 The world is my library.
 Hard to mop, though.
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 14:59
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
Zak's attention was also fully on the older man.   His reputation alone was enough to let him be taken very seriously, especially if the monk's life were truly at stake.  He would prefer it be his than his brave and honorable companion, but of course either was unacceptable.
He also nodded for the man to continue.
Dragondog
 GM, 1457 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 16:20
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
[OOC: It was my plan that the Herald sat down in my first post and that is how I have continued to see this conversation. Until now. It seems I missed including that tidbit. I'm sorry about that. I'm going to assume he's sitting already.]

"I meant your life," the Herald said. "Your collective life. Everyone's life. How it will come to pass, I do not know. Only that it is connected to the Sylvan Key. This came to me with premonitions from the void and I have not seen the whole mosaic."

"What the Sylvan Key is, I do not know. But it came from Silvanesti royalty, stolen by a weakling former squire of the knights of Takhisis. And my presence will unlock the cage of your minds. Pegrin stole it shortly before the minotaur invasion of Silvanesti and he brought it through this city for parts unknown. That is the real reason the both of you are here."

"I have spoken with another group of heroes. Will your worlds collide? Only if you go to the lighthouse where they have just gone. For if you want to find the Sylvan Key, you have to catch up with them. Though there is always time for eating."
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 6 posts
 Solamnic squire
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 16:52
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
Irren smiled and made large in-roads into his meal.  Unless the group ahead was mounted on steeds with wings, they would be at the lighthouse - an interesting tidbit that had not gone unnoticed to the squire, and he began to treat the matter more serious attention than the light-hearted nature before, despite his nod and smile at the bit of mirth.  Either way, he needed answers, and food could be managed while listening attentively to answer.

"I appreciate you have received only a partial vision - I truly appreciate that."   The squire smiled again, though slightly ruefully and respectfully.  "You say our "life" not lives, so this is something even more than a terrible sickness or destruction, something that endangers all life?  Or source of life through the gods?

"Hmmm.  Something that serious bespeaks need of many hands, and I have my own reasons to agree the lighthouse must be sought for the answer."


Irren tossed a few pieces of meat to the golden hawk atop his backpack, gathered a few solid pieces into a wrapping of bread for later travel consumption -  best not to eat TOO heavily, especially if a strong ride were ahead - and reflected on the Herald's words.

"The protection of much or all life is tied to this Sylvan Key, but its existence is little known commonly, if at all.  Items of that great of power would be known, if not hidden by secrecy to protect them.  Takhisian knights are not within the welcome circles of Silvanost, which begs question how he came to know of such a powerful treasure, although history recent may well offer the simple answer of blind chance, if not dark intervention.  On the chance not, whom knew about the Key?  An item of that power in hands of the elves suggests great age.

"In any event, we know the thief is Pegrin, squire of the Takhisian Knights.  Do you have description of him, his mount?  Any with whom he travelled?

"If you know of the name the Sylvan Key, you must have some image or context, some focus or surrounding nature to combine to the words - what impressions came with the two words?  How will we recognize it?

"Do you know where it is to be used, or how, to effect the good or bad effects?  If we cannot trail Pegrin, perhaps we can meet him at the destination?"

This message was last edited by the player at 19:48, Tue 04 Sept 2012.

Dragondog
 GM, 1459 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 18:59
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"In the wrong hands this will have Cataclysmic proportions," the Herald said. "I do not know if the gods again will throw down celestial comets and again change the face of Krynn forever or if the danger will come upon us by some other way."

"The foul former fiend does not travel alone. And though I am the force the fire of dreams and visions, I have not seen his face or the faces of those he travels with. But there is less than ten of them."

"Nor have I seen the face or history of the Sylvan Key, though I know it is not a key. What lock it unlocks or where the lock is has not been revealed to me, but I know it will be to you, in time. Hear from my eyes."
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 7 posts
 Solamnic squire
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 22:04
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"So, we have the first name of the thief, that he is accompanied by less than ten party members; we cannot identify how he looks or his mount - nor his allies, their mounts, or locations - nor where or when he is, or where, when, or why he would be going to a specific place, except that it is not here, and unlikely in Solamnia or Silvanost.

"We seek a Sylvan Key, without being able to know what it is to recognize it, except that it is not a key.  Information about it has been kept incredibly secret, so they are unlikely to part with it, despite the peril.

"And if we do not recover it, the world will suffer at best a second cataclysm.

"Your task is not a small one, but what knight-aspirant could turn down aid on that level of importance a task, regardless of the difficulties.  I will do my greatest efforts to prevent such a catastrophe, Herald.

"Now, you say you do not know how to recognize or find the Key, how to recognize or find the key, or how and where the Key could be used... but someone else does.  Besides the lighthouse here - which we will be inspecting in short order, Zach? - where and how do we find this source of information, how do we recognize him, her, or it, and what is the cost for the information or where must we go to find what is needed for the information to be shared?"


Irren paused to allow the Herald to add whatever he was willing or able, and inquired "You said to hear with our eyes - does that mean what we seek is not seen, but heard?  A phrase of power?  Keywords- Sylvan Keywords?"  The warrior paused in thought to consider what he had put together - it made a heavy sense.  Not necessary right, but... it felt close, if not exact.  Names held power.

"And what are you willing to tell us of our destinies - the offer that began this important conversation?"
Dragondog
 GM, 1460 posts
Tue 4 Sep 2012
at 22:22
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"I did not say hear with your eyes," the Herald said. I said 'hear from my eyes' or in other words listen to my visions and dreams as they will guide you. Not that I have any answers to how you accomplish your task, beyond what I've already said. And that burns here tonight."

"The heroes at the lighthouse may have some answers for you. The rest will come with time. Unless you're trapped in the skies."

"I have been given a gift to see what no other could - great visions. And if you are willing to embark on this journey and quest for the Sylvan Key, I will answer one question about your future."
Brother Zacharias
 player, 13 posts
 The world is my library.
 Hard to mop, though.
Wed 5 Sep 2012
at 07:04
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
The monk nodded, smiling.
"Okay, I suppose I shouldn't ask if we succeed, but I will only ask:
Will I be remembered fondly in the annals of history?"


The question "will I be remembered?" was a two edged sword, since Istar, the greatest city in the history of Krynn, was remembered with decidedly mixed feelings by many.
Dragondog
 GM, 1465 posts
Wed 5 Sep 2012
at 11:35
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"Some will remember you," the Herald said. "But who better writes the story of the Historian, than the historian himself? That is a gift that would be the envy of all mankind."
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 9 posts
 Solamnic squire
Wed 5 Sep 2012
at 14:12
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
Irren nodded that he understood the clarification, and then wondered right after at the second mention of fire and burning... but decided not to push the Herald further.  He had already noted he saw only the start of the quest, not the details therein - he was a signpost herald, alerting of distant action, without the detailed word that came with the event's resolution.  To push that was... not knightly.

"A thick question, friend Herald.  I could ask what words do you need to tell me for me to succeed, but I fear that could both be already passed or cause you discomfort from the randomness of the vision.  You have said you know no more of where we must go, and that you know no more of what we must do, so I do not wish to press you unfairly.

"What can you tell me of my future travels regarding the quest you have brought before us, that is: which were the most important that I visit?

"If that touches too closely upon areas masked from your visions, then speak to me of what love lies ahead for me, that I may fortify myself further for the long roads ahead and persevere through their troubles."

Dragondog
 GM, 1468 posts
Wed 5 Sep 2012
at 14:51
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"Do you believe that all roads lead home," the Herald asked. "For you all good roads lead home."
Irren Bridgeguard
 player, 11 posts
 Solamnic squire
Wed 5 Sep 2012
at 16:13
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
"Thank you." Irren replied sincerely, but succinctly; he rose, allowed the golden hawk atop his pack to daintily step upon a leather padding on his left arm, and slung his backpack over one shoulder, then offered the Herald an arm clasp or handshake.  "Time for food and information to know where to go; now time to go for us.

"I appreciate it is a difficult thing to see part and need motivate others on the same trail, but thank you for your efforts, master Herald.  May Paladine and the other gods favour you and keep you safe."

Brother Zacharias
 player, 18 posts
 The world is my library.
 Hard to mop, though.
Thu 6 Sep 2012
at 00:34
Re: The Herald (Zach and Irren)
In reply to Dragondog (msg # 13):

The librarian chuckled.  The answer to his question was "No, unless you get off your lazy arse and do the legwork."    He nodded, thanking the man for his help.   It was true, of course, that heroes were mostly remembered through the work of storytellers and archivists, and Zach was, in fact, the perfect person to document the mission and the quest for the Key.

Astinus always said: "The pen is mightier than the sword."   Anyone who'd handled a sword though the old man was just senile, but man at the library knew the truth of the matter.