By G Hedgspeth
The following work is part of the character Nighteyes Alerian , submitted by G Hedgspeth to the Hall of Heroes. This is the story of this character and is included here as a log seperate to the character gaming stats due to the size of the document. The material presented here remains the property and copyright of G Hedgspeth and is used here with permission.
Of Vanima Alkarinque (the beautiful star) and her love Anoran Astald'osta (sunrise valiant defender)
Anoran Astald'osta was a bladesinger of great renown in the fabled realm of Myth Drannor.
He had a special bond with the Goddess Hanali Celanil as he had defended her temples and followers many times. He enjoyed her favor and was granted the powers of a demi-paladin in her service. His singing voice was renowned far and wide for he often acted as an emissary of the Coronal to other elven realms. He was often asked to sing for the nobles there during those visits.
Though he was in many ways a typical Sun Elf (opinionated, aloof and severe), he had a kindness about him that his brethren lacked. He was a very eligible bachelor for a long time as he did not find anyone who suited him very well. He also was not much of a suitor as he was actually quite shy when it came to matters of the heart.
In the years approaching the fall of Myth Drannor (710 DR or so) he met and fell in love with Vanima Alkarinque a high priestess of Hanali Celanil. He lacked the courage to explain his feelings to her, as he had seen her gently turn away all suitors in a fashion unlike any of Hanali’s chosen. Not an encouraging sign.
What Anoran did not know was that Vanima’s heart had already been won by him. She had heard him sing at the Coronal’s Feast and her heart went out to him, never to be free to roam again. She had seen the great warrior in the company of many of the priestesses of Hanali but she lacked the courage to make her feelings known to him. Ironic, in the extreme since it is that courage that she counseled so many young lovers to have in the pursuit of their own loves.
Finally one evening while Anoran was praying in the Great Temple of the Seldarine an assassin stealthily found his way into the temple with the intention of slaying Vanima and any other of Hanali’s faithful that he could lay his hands on. Anoran discovered and trailed the assassin to Vanima’s chambers and drove him off. Anoran was unable to kill the assassin as he had fled too quickly. He did discover that the assassin was Drow however.
In gratitude Vanima embraced Anoran and as they looked into each other’s eyes, their courage waned. The both stammered, overwhelmed by the depths of their attraction for each other and began to back off, flustered.
Hanali Celanil had other plans for them it seems, however. A gentle warmth spread thru Vanima’s soul as Hanali gently asked her for use of her body. Vanima gratefully gave herself to her goddess and began to glow with a divine radiance. Anoran was overwhelmed with the beauty of the goddess’s spirit combined with the love he already had for Vanima. That evening was their taste of Arvandor. The child they conceived that night would be blessed indeed.
After that night the goddess’s blessing stayed with the couple. They enjoyed a year of true bliss until their child was born and the time of Myth Drannor came to an end.
In the final days of Myth Drannor, Anoran had a vision given to him by his Moonblade.
It showed him his death at the hands of a Drow Army at the South Gate of one of the outlying walls. It also showed his best friend, Lenathil Enterasti, crippled and bleeding to but barely hanging on to life.
Anoran, feeling that the blade was looking out for the best interests of “the people”, did not try to alter his fate. Instead he prepared himself and his wife for the events to come. He prayed to Hanali to protect his wife and child and gathered together all the warriors under his command as a Captain and a Bladesinger.
The following night, his small force of 32 Bladesingers and Knights stood against a small army of Drow, and their summoned creatures. At the other gates other forces were engaged and no help was coming for them.
By dawn the blade’s prophecy had come to pass. Anoran had died at the hands of a Drow Mage of great power the victim of a Meteor Swarm. Lenathil suffered great wounds in combat losing his left hand and an eye to the blade of a master swordsman, though he finally won in the end.
When the battle was over Lenathil was healed by a spell from one of the clerics though his hand and eye were gone forever. He took Anoran’s body to Vanima with the hopes that she could raise him, but to no avail. Bitterness overtook her spirit and her faith wavered for the first time in her life.
She thanked Lenathil for his friendship and bid him to go and train others to replace what had been lost that day.
Lenathil swore on his blade that he would not rest so long as he lived until Anoran had been avenged and that he would indeed make sure that many bladesingers would rise to take the place of the fallen.
Vanima spent the following days healing the warriors who came back from the gates until finally she was shot with an enchanted poison arrow by a Drow assassin. She had spent all her energy healing the warriors and had no magicks left to save herself with.
She dragged herself to the cradle where her infant son lay to say goodbye and hold him one last time. At that moment, T’sora Elial’mystyl, a high mage and a friend of hers who had heard of her wounding burst into the room. Being a mage she had no healing magic but he tried to save her by casting her own high magic spell Time Stop, to give enough time for help to arrive. The spell went terribly awry and hurtled Vanima and her child 286 years into the future in the same exact spot, out of the reach of her magicks and tragically out of the reach of help as well.
They lay under a beautiful moonlight sky in the ruins of Myth Drannor, mother and child amidst the rubble. It was on a summer night in the year 1000 DR and as she lay dying, she swore an oath to the heavens with all the strength left in her being; That for every good elf that had died that day, a hundred Drow would die in retribution. Little did she know how true her vow would become.
In the days following Vanima’s vanishing Lenathil buried Anoran Astald’osta with honor in a crypt in the center of Myth Drannor. With him was buried his treasures; armor, longswords, and spell books penned by his hand, waiting to be claimed by one worthy.
Above his tomb he had Anoran’s Moonblade placed in a powerful stasis field. There the blade, named Astald'osta after the house it belonged to, awaited its destined wielder.
My name is Alerian but no one calls me that. Going back as far as I can remember I have been called Nighteyes. I suppose it is because my dark violet eyes are somewhat unusual among the silver elves. I have also been told that when I am angry or concerned they tend to get darker. At any rate, this is my tale or at least what passes for it.
One summer evening in the Year of
the Wailing Winds (1000 DR) Tinali Seleniva, High Priestess of the Temple of
Hanali Celanil in Evereska received a vision of an elven infant alone among
the ruins of Myth Drannor. That very evening she tasked a small group of priestesses
with going to the ruins of Myth Drannor. They and their escort of twin Bladesingers
Enalia and Sarina Willowmane ventured forth intent on finding the child and
bringing it home safely. After taking the gate to Myth Drannor they found the
child immediately, and so I was saved.
I was taken to Evereska, which means “fortress home” in the tongue of my people, and was raised by the lovely and loving chosen of Hanali. I was fortunate to have been found by such kind and caring souls. The priestesses looked after me well enough within the free time allowed by their duties, especially Tinali Seleniva. She took very special interest in my care and upbringing. It was she who bore the primary responsibility of caring for me as an infant, and it was she who named me (both of my names).
My childhood was hardly idyllic by any standards however, for while the clerics of Hanali are indeed beautiful in both body and spirit their obsession with beauty makes them somewhat flighty and ill suited for parenting. I am told that I was insatiably curious and precocious to an unheard of degree. Unfortunately, due to the lack of my caretaker’s interest in any subjects not pertaining to love and beauty, my constant questions often went unanswered. Finally, they tired of my unending interrogations and Tinali Seleniva realizing I was ready sponsored my application to the Academy of Magic in Evereska at the age where most elven children are just beginning to walk.
At the Academy I found my first love, magic. I was excited and thrilled by the possibilities it offered and the information that it made available to one with the power to ask properly. I excelled at my studies to such an extent that it earned me the enmity of many students who were over 3 times my age. Consequently I learned to be quiet and how to avoid being noticed. Due to the fact that I remember everything I read, and the slow pace of the lessons, study was basically unnecessary for me. I spent my free time reading ahead in my elder classmates books.
One of my elder classmates, Mythael was actually quite kind to me, he provided me with all the books that he as a senior student was able to get a hold of and was my only defense against the older, larger students who felt I was making them look poorly by contrast. Unfortunately, our relationship soured after an argument over another prodigy, Selea.
Selea was gifted by normal standards though she was not as blessed as I. She was my age and smaller but she was still a victim of the insecurities of her elder classmates as I had been. Mythael urged me to help her with her studies to spend time with her as he had with me, giving her the support only someone who had experienced what she had, could. I however, driven by my own hunger for knowledge continued my studies alone intending to help her later. “ Just this one last tome”, I told myself and then I will go to her.
To my everlasting regret however I did not act quickly enough, as the cruelty of her weak-minded seniors had taken its toll. Her young mind that was so quick and eager to learn was equally emotionally fragile, and they had hurt her badly, she was taken away and I never heard from her again.
Mythael was heartbroken, he had hoped to see her thrive and achieve greatness in the Art, but such was not to be. He was truly disappointed in me, as was I. We rarely spoke after Selea was taken away, Mythael out of anger and for my part out of shame. I was now truly alone in the world.
So it came to pass during my fourth winter at the Academy, at an age where most elven children are only beginning to learn their letters, I began to wander the town a bit. Having exhausted the informational resources at my disposal I went looking for something of interest. Soon I found the place that was to become my home for the rest of my life in Evereska, the Bladesingers Guild Hall.
I was interested in the sounds coming from the courtyard within and peeked thru the doors to see what they were. What I saw both intrigued and entranced me. A group of warriors stood in the courtyard all together. When they moved, swinging their whistling blades in unison they created a beautiful and haunting sound. Every movement was a piece of artwork, a dance unequalled in its grace and beauty. Those movements called out to my soul and I yearned to be there and to be a part of it.
Suddenly I was grabbed by the shirt collar and hoisted up into the air. The elf who held me aloft was a sight to behold indeed, a great scar crossed his face, his right eye covered by a patch and his left hand was missing. He was a terrifying sight to a child who had never seen anyone disfigured by the tides of war. I saw that he was smiling however as he looked me up and down, which reassured me to some extent.
I immediately apologized for the intrusion, knowing that when in a situation such as this the contrite path is usually the best. After putting me down, he looked at me and said “Do you like what you see in there, little one?” I nodded fiercely trying to contain my enthusiasm somewhat and failing. “Come in then and grab a blade”, he laughed walking thru the door.
That was the last time I ever saw Lenathil Enterasti, Master Bladesinger of Evereska laugh.
What he had laughingly said was of course, a joke. I however, took it as an invitation, not knowing it as a joke and not caring. I walked into the courtyard surrounded by 20 elven warriors all at least twice my size, casting about for a blade. A kind lady warrior came to me and offered me her spare short sword as Lenathil introduced me to the group. Surprising me greatly, he knew my name and had never asked me what it was. Lenathil scolded the lady with the short sword and said, “He will use the long sword or he will not study here”. ” His weapon is here,” and with that he pulled one of the training long swords from the wall and tossed it to me. I walked up to where the blade had fallen and picked it up feeling its weight. It felt heavy and unwieldy and way too long, but it was mine and I had no intention of letting go of it.
Lenathil Enterasti was a heartless, humorless, tireless taskmaster. He continual lack of patience for me was upsetting and at times the constant berating and merciless drills were almost too much to bear. I was sure he hated me with all of his heart, if he had one.
In my first week at the Bladesingers Guild my right hand was blistered so badly that I could not hold the blade anymore. Lenathil told me “If you cannot hold the blade boy, then get thee gone from my sight, you have no place here” Since I had nowhere else to go and could not bear to go back to the Academy, I stooped down and picked up the blade in my left hand and resumed drill. I think he was disappointed that I didn’t give up
When I was not sweeping floors or washing dishes I had a long sword in my hand. When it was not in my hand it was buckled around my waist. During all of this time he never once said a single kind word to me. I noticed that he was far kinder and more patient with the other students than with I for some reason. But it no longer mattered. I had decided to best him at his own game. I would leave with his respect or die trying.
The next 30 years were a blur of agony as I was forced to make my body to do things it was never meant to do. I was trained nearly all day nearly everyday. All of the other students began to look to me as their senior after 5 years or so, even the ones who had been training for decades.
One day during drill one of the senior students, a lovely maiden by the name of Heira Willowmane was off pace and out of sync with the group. Having a bad day I suppose. When Lenathil reacted with a lack of patience and anger that was usually reserved for me I was a bit alarmed. Heira burst into tears and Lenathil fairly screamed at her “Tears are for those whom we defend, a Bladesinger does not cry. You can’t slit the throat of an Orc with eyes full of tears”. When Heira was unable to stop herself Lenathil slapped her and I lost my mind. I don’t even remember how I got from the far side of the courtyard to him. I do remember clenching my fist and hitting him so hard that I broke my hand. I knocked him back what must have been 10 feet onto his backside. I just stood there afterwards dumbfounded at my own temerity, my hand already beginning to swell.
Lenathil sprang to his feet, drawing his long sword grimly, “So little orphan, you think you’re my match do you?” he asked as he closed to attack. I drew my blade left handed remembering that first week of training with the terrible pain in my hand, much like now. I said “No Lenathil, not your match, your better”
With that he leapt to the attack, his blade searching for an opening. There was no opening to be found, I parried everything he threw at me. When he tried to overbear me I threw him back, everything he tried I had the answer for. After a few minutes of frenzied parries and attacks I saw an opening, he guarded his right side too closely, overcompensating for his lost eye. I dived to the right and quickly feinted low and when his blade came down to parry I was waiting for it. I disarmed him with a quick twist of my blade sending his weapon flying from his hand as he had done so many times to me. Lenathil stepped back looking stunned and amazed. He stared at me for a moment and then turned his back to me saying, “You are done here Nighteyes” “It is time for you to go”
I gathered my meager belongings and began to idly wander the streets of my home taking in its beauty for the first time as a free grown adult. All the while my hand was swelling to epic proportions to remind me of what I had done.
I felt lost I had no idea where to go or what to do with myself. I knew what a Bladesinger was supposed to do I just didn’t know how to start.
After wandering aimlessly for a few hours I was surprised to find myself in front of the Temple of Hanali Celanil, as though I had been going there all the time. As I climbed the familiar steps I heard two voices singing inside, beautiful, melodic voices singing their thanks to Hanali for the beauty of life and love. I stood transfixed by the magnificence and perfection of their voices in awe of their tribute to our goddess. I knew somehow that she must be very pleased with their gift. I yearned to honor her in the same fashion to give back a gift of beauty such as that.
When they had finished I approached them and I saw that they were not priestesses as I had first thought, but rather a pair of warriors one male and one female holding hands. There were tears in their eyes and they were smiling. In their happiness they looked radiant to me. I bowed to them out of respect, saying that I wished I could honor our beloved goddess the way they did.
They introduced themselves as Valantir Moonshadow and Syleril Silverhands. They told me that they were rangers fresh from the wild resting after many battles with Orcs on the borderlands. I explained to them that I had nowhere to go and that I wished to learn the ways of the wild, and venture forth into the world. They kindly took me in and taught me the ways of surviving in the wild. I learned how to hunt and track and what plants are edible in the lands around Evereska. I was a quick study and remembered everything they taught me. In the evenings we sang together to Hanali in appreciation for the gift of beauty in nature. I realized almost immediately that I was infringing on their time together so I learned everything I could as quickly as I could and took my leave of them.
I wandered for some time eventually coming upon a Keep in the lands to the north of the Greycloak Hills. I was petitioned by the locals to investigate a group of bandits that were operating out of the woods to the east of the Keep. The hideout of the bandits turned out to be a group of caves and the bandits themselves were merely mercenaries working for the true villains; a group of Priests of Malar the Beast Lord. The priests were preying on passing caravans for funds and victims for their sacrifices and experiments. After a terrifying encounter with a Wight during which I found a magical long sword, I was able to find my way to their hidden lair. I found a prisoner in the darkness of their prison, which turned out to be a Medusa that I was forced to slay after liberating.
Finally I came to their place of sacrifice and was able to slay all of the priests I found there. I was unable to restrain my sense of moral outrage at the evil deeds these unholy men had perpetrated upon the innocent citizens of the Keep and unsuspecting travelers. The evidence of their deeds was everywhere in their “temple” under the ground. Innocents sacrificed, tortured and mutilated, experiments done on humans to transform them into beasts. All manner of evil I found there, I did not hesitate once in slaying them. My blade found its mark as if by itself. I barely survived the final battle with the high priest but in the end I prevailed. The treasures that I found there were extravagant, but I sold everything except the long sword I killed the Wight with.
The funds from the sale of the treasures kept me in fine style for quite some time. I traveled to Waterdeep with my money and spent some time there training and trying to meet someone who could craft a long sword to my specifications.
After a few months of asking around I met a human mage named Kethril who was passing thru on his way to the Dale Lands. He charged me an exorbitant fee, which I gladly paid, making him laugh. He explained to me that he had only made that offer as a joke. It was a ridiculous price and I would be a fool to pay it in his opinion. I explained to him that I had no knowledge of such things and I would pay him his asked price and that it was up to him to give me what he thought it should purchase.
He looked at me strangely after that, and in a low voice said “I will indeed”.
I stayed in Waterdeep for several years learning the ways of city life and city people. I continued to train hard most of the time, eschewing the excesses of wealth for a simpler existence like I had at the Bladesinger Guildhall. I also began to spend more time in the study of magic than I had previously seeking a balance between the spell and the sword.
I did however discover a marvelous fabric called silk which has since become my chosen cloth for clothing. Seeing the finery of the wealthier residents of Waterdeep, and liking the respect they were given based simply upon appearance. I began to realize that to be taken seriously one must present himself as a person of importance. So it was that I began to wear fine silken clothing and had my sword scabbard adorned with mythril and sapphires. If nothing else I would at least appear as someone who expected to be respected.
It was during this time that I designed my sigil, an eye with darkness within, after my name. I felt it was sufficiently ominous to frighten off fools who would waste my time without being misleading or evil looking.
Soon after I had designed my sigil Kethril finished my blade, and hand delivered it to me himself. I was awestruck at its craftsmanship; the blade was perfect in every respect. The hilt guard and hilt were of mythril with diamonds and sapphires studded across it glimmering like stars in the night sky. Its balance was magnificent and its edge was sharper than anything I had ever seen. He had exceeded my specifications and created a weapon of true greatness. I clasped him on the shoulder and thanked him. I then gave him all but 1000 of my gold pieces and told him to use them in good health. I immediately began to pack up my belongings while he was there. Kethril seemed taken aback a bit by my gift but recovered and asked where I was going. I replied with a wry smile, “where else would a Bladesinger go with his new blade”? “Hunting” I said with a slight chuckle.
I left Waterdeep with a new horse of undetermined type (I have never been much of a judge of horseflesh) and began to ride north as the winter was now over and travel was easier. I had wanted to check on the keep that I had helped defend from the clutches of Malar’s priests. When I arrived at the keep I found it to be abandoned apparently the fierce winter had driven the inhabitants out. I was disappointed to see that happen, I had hoped that the keep would flourish and turn into a city, extending civilization further into the north.
Without a plan I wandered for a bit and after the summer I came across a vale at the foot of a mountain that I hadn’t seen before. At the end was a waterfall. As I looked on I saw a figure walk into the waterfall from the side and vanish. My unquenchable curiosity getting the better of me, I rode up to the roaring waterfall, which looked powerful enough to crush anyone foolish enough to walk into it. Cautiously I put my hand out to feel the water and felt nothing. I walked in to see what was on the other side and was immediately astounded. Inside the waterfall was a small walkway thru a cave, which opened up into a full sized elven town. Far up I could see the sky, and the walls of the mountain were covered with ivy and flowers. It was beautiful, and very peaceful.
Elves of a kind I had not seen before walked about doing their daily chores, dancing and singing in the streets or simply sitting and soaking in the sunlight. They were about the same size as the silver elves yet with a stronger build and oval faces I personally found them to be a very attractive people as a whole. Up the main street (or path as it would be more appropriately called) on the far side of the town I saw a large manor house, nearly a castle. I walked thru the town drawing many a stare from the local folk. I took my time taking in all I saw. I was enjoying the harmony that I felt here between the stone and the green growing things, it was very restful and I did not feel like rushing.
I approached the manor house at the end of the lane and saw 2 warriors standing at the gate. They watched me approach with great interest. They greeted me respectfully and asked my name and business here in the lost vale of Ryleaden. I replied that my name was Nighteyes and that I had no business here at all being a simple traveler. They smiled at my modesty and asked me to enter saying the Lady was awaiting my arrival. I innocently asked “the Lady? Lady who?” They both smiled and one of them opened the gate for me gesturing inward with the butt of his spear. “She will greet you inside sir” he said with a good-natured grin.
I shrugged but my curiosity had me in its grip again. There was naught I could do but to see this peculiar set of circumstances thru to its end. I walked thru the gate looking around with great interest. The manor house was magnificent there were plants and flowers everywhere, the stonework was fantastically detailed and the balances between the two were perfect like the town outside. I followed a small stone path that wound thru a garden with pillars on each side and ivy growing everywhere.
As I reached the end of the path an elf girl in a pretty frock awaited at the top of the stairs. I walked up to her and asked innocently enough “are you the Lady the guards spoke of?” She immediately broke into a giggling laugh of genuine merriment, and said “no silly, she awaits you upstairs”. “ I will lead you to her” and she turned immediately and began to walk ahead still chuckling. I was still admiring the beauty of the stonework and the furnishings when she stopped after a flight of stairs in front of a large pair of double-doors. “I will leave you now sir, please forgive my previous outburst, we don’t get many visitors here” she said in a kindly voice.
I returned her smile and turned to the doors pushing gently to test how difficult it would be to open them without slamming them open. When they swung open I was immediately dumbfounded by the vision of loveliness before me. She was like no elf I had ever seen, this was no slim waif waiting to be rescued to be sure. Her shoulders were broader, her breasts fuller and her hips wider than a typical elf female. She had nearly human proportions about her. Yet her eyes were large and luminous and her skin as fair and flawless as any fair elf maiden in the royal palace. In short I found her to be attractive and exotic in the extreme.
The room was small and cozy like a study, with wooden bookshelves and a large ornate chair that seemed to dwarf her.
“Welcome Lord Nighteyes”, she said in a silken voice. “I have a proposition for you.”
I could tell immediately that this meeting had been staged with great care. Her purple shimmering dress was no doubt chosen for its clinging flattery to her form. The way she carefully sat leaning to one side showing the curve of her hip and leg, the low light giving her a hazy almost divine aura. All of these things contributed to a nearly irresistible charm and beauty.
I could also tell immediately that it was working, despite the fact that I knew very well I was being manipulated, gently yes, but still manipulated, I found myself leaning into the trap as it were. The bait was just too good to ignore.
“No Lord am I milady, you must have mistaken me for someone else”. I said, embarrassed.
“No mistake Nighteyes, the people of the Keep you saved offered you the lordship of the territory, as their savior. Among my people, once a warrior has been offered a Lordship he retains the title even though he may have other responsibilities.
“A proposition?” I asked slowly, “What could your Ladyship want with a common wandering warrior such as myself?” I asked innocently.
“Hardly common”, she demurred softly, “My agents have told me the tales of your adventures at the keep on the borderlands.” “I have need of a brave warrior such as yourself”
I could feel the blood rush to my face; I was quite unused to such praise. I could only say “what use would that be?”
“I am going to reclaim my father’s trident Wave from a dungeon where a mad mage has hidden it. I need an escort of your formidable talents.”
“Are you sure it is wise for you to go”? I asked, “You seem to be of great importance here, if anything were to happen to you it could be most unfavorable for your town”.
She smiled and purred, “That, my friend, is precisely the reason why you are here. You will make certain nothing does happen to me”
I could hear in her voice that she had every expectation of being obeyed and I had no intention of disappointing her. Besides, what else had I to do?
“Well then my Lady, when do we leave?” I asked.
“Firstly”, she said, “don’t call me that”. “I get enough of that around here” then, smiling sweetly, she added, “My name is Valshea, and we leave now”
She stood up briskly, and called out “My Armor!” in a commanding voice, quite unlike the one she had just used with me. Immediately a door opened on the right side of the room and two elf girls hustled in with various objects wrapped in cloth and hurried to her side.
“One moment, Lady Valshea” I said, “It occurs to me that a reasonable question on my part would be why I would want to do this thing for you?
“Well”, she answered, “My father’s trident is only one of three great weapons kept there, and there is other treasure as well.” “You may keep whatever you want, I want only Wave”
“Your terms are nearly as fair as you are, my lady, though I suppose I should have expected such kindness to go hand in hand with such rare loveliness” I murmured, only half believing the words had even come from my mouth.
Valshea laughed, a bright cheery laugh of delight, “Your courtliness is exceeded only by your honesty, Nighteyes” as she began to shrug her dress off of her shoulders stopping it at the full swell of her breasts, “Now I suggest you wait outside lest your head explode” Her handmaidens giggled at this last comment. And I, lest either my head explode or she see me turn bright red turned away and walked out of the double doors I came in thru.
Several hundred deep breaths later
I believe I regained my composure. Valshea came thru the doors shortly thereafter
wearing warriors garb with a saber at her side and a pseudo dragon on her shoulder.
She was a formidable sight from many different perspectives.
After a few short words we began to walk outside together. Interestingly we got more stares together than I had as a stranger. All sorts of people stopped what they were doing as we walked back thru the town towards the waterfall entrance.
When we approached the passageway entrance I saw one of the guards from the manor house entrance was holding the reins to our horses, awaiting our arrival. He bowed deeply to Valshea and said “We eagerly await your return, milady”.
“One of us at least does, then” she laughed. “For myself, I need to get away from here before I lose my mind”
With that, she grabbed the reins to her horse and began to walk into the passageway. I grabbed the reins to my horse, and with a slight shrug to the guard, I followed Valshea.
We made our way to White Plume Mountain where the mad mage had hidden her fathers’ weapon. After many battles with some very bizarre creatures we reclaimed the Trident, Wave, a dwarven hammer named Whelm and a deadly broadsword named Black Razor. True to our agreed upon terms Valshea allowed me to take all treasures and weapons save for Wave which she took.
I decided that I would return to Waterdeep with my loot and try to sell the weapons and items I did not want, which frankly was most of them. I returned to Waterdeep in the company of Valshea who said that she was not ready to go back home yet.
I was able, after asking around a bit and talking to Kethril, to find a buyer for many of my items. Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun was interested in many of them and paid me well in exchange. At this point I had more money than I knew what to do with, so I stockpiled most of it at a local banking institution. After taking care of monetary concerns I left again with Valshea in search of other things to do.
Valshea and I developed a very strong bond of friendship, and it was growing into something more, or so thought I, at any rate. I began to become very attached to her and extremely protective. When we entered into battle I leapt to the forefront and handled everything I rarely gave her time to act before our foes were reduced to corpses. Eventually she began to become irritated with this and spoke to me about it. I listened but didn’t understand fully, though I tried.
We had many adventures together, and we grew into a formidable team. Eventually we tired of the endless battles and decided to spend some time resting and enjoying the fruits of our labors. I took some time resting in Waterdeep again, but without warning, Valshea disappeared.
I was determined to find her, I assumed that something untoward had happened to her and utilized all the resources at my command to locate her, to no avail. For 200 years I searched for her on this and other planes, never a clue to her whereabouts did I find.
Finally I gave up hope, my life had lost its purpose. I began to take on more and more dangerous assignments looking for meaning, until finally I found my purpose in the Drow. After seeing the horrors they perpetrated on their victims and seeing further that my people were their victims of choice I knew that they must be stopped.
I raided their encampments and learned all I could of their sick and twisted society. I found that all of their perversities and madness came from one source. Their evil goddess Lolth; Queen of the Demonweb Pits was that source. Now that I was an Archmage I thought I would possess sufficient power to destroy her. I ventured into the Abyss after Lolth, her destruction the single purpose on my mind.
For the first time in my life I failed, I was unable to destroy Lolth she was simply too cunning to enter into battle with me. She kept her distance and entangled me with webs like steel, I tried every spell I could muster and threw all the attack magics I possessed at her. She survived them all and I was trapped in her webs. At the final moment I thought I was done for but Hanali Celanil again smiled upon me. One of Lolth’s own priestesses attacked her breaking her concentration and allowing me to use my Probability Travel to escape. I have no idea why that priestess attacked her; I can only assume that she was attempting to grasp Lolth’s rulership of the Abyss.
As soon as I tried to slip away to the astral plane I felt the barriers of the abyss tearing at my mind trying to prevent my escape. I pressed thru with all of my might eventually making my way exhausted to the astral. I cast about for an exit to any material plane struggling to maintain consciousness. Some astral creature that sensed my weakness then attacked me. Its tendrils were tearing at the fabric of my mind unraveling my consciousness grimly I hung on and crawled toward a pool of light that led to the Prime Material Plane though I knew not where. I blacked out at that point and remembered no more save for dimly recollected nightmares of spiders tearing at my flesh and chaos, endless chaos.
When I awoke it was to the sound of a lovely elven voice singing a soothing little song I remember from my childhood. When I opened my eyes I beheld a beautiful young elven girl who was cradling my head in her lap trying to bring me back to sanity. It was the most wonderful sight and sound I have ever experienced. The relief and joy of seeing her sweet face and hearing that lovely voice brought back many things my soul was missing.
Upon waking up I was horribly ravenous and I ate about 4 days rations. The kind young elven girl and her companions told me that they had traveled far and traveled back in time to save me. They told me that once again I owed Hanali Celanil my thanks for she had sent them to find me.
My life has changed since my awakening; I have a greater appreciation for my own life now to be sure. I also have a renewed sense of purpose. I have looked back to my origins for inspiration. I now see the need to protect the ways and life of the elven people more than ever. The enemies arrayed against us are vast and powerful and we Bladesingers are the ones who must protect them. I feel the pull towards Evermeet but not the retreat. I will go to the Queen and offer my blade in her service. I have wandered aimlessly for too long, it is time to put my selfish ways aside and fulfill my destiny.
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