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The Lords of Norwold - A Tour of Alphatiaby Jeff Daly
The following is an actual campaign I am running. In fact, most of what I am writing are the actual "boxed texts" that I write to read to the players. I have left it mostly as is, filling in here and there. The main point of the first part is to build a history around each character, so forgive any confusions...
Fiona stood in the village harbour of Port, looking out at the waves that lapped against the wharf. The sight reminded her of Alfeisle on which her people were just beginning to make their home when she left. Of course, no one she knew would still be alive this far into their future. Everyone she had known or loved was dead, for 1000 years is long and long even for an elf. She had a desire to see what had become of the Elven colony but she had no desire to meet the descendants of her peers and relations. An elf never liked to think of death and such a meeting could only cause her to ruminate on the temporality of life.
"Well, that's the last of your books, Fiona." Aligorum set the bundle down on the deck with a thud. Her feline features were unreadable.
"Oh, thank you Ali." Fiona responded distractedly.
Aligorum narrowed her eyes at Fiona's back, "What are your plans, Fiona?"
"Plans. What are your plans."
"Elves don't tend to make such things, and yourself?" she smiled.
"It's about all we rakasta do. But we don't tell anyone of them."
The expression returned by Aligorum would have been an alarming show of wickedly sharp teeth to most people this far north. But Fiona saw it only as the comradely smile that it was.
"I suppose," Aligorum said, "That it is difficult to not have a home or a family."
"I suppose," Fiona replied.
"Let's travel together to Alpha. We will drink good wine and find those who can train us to be better warriors. Then perhaps we will go find some place of value to both of us." Fiona smiled a little sadly, "I would like that."
Viscount T. Pendleton Waznust waved and watched as Captain Elsan's ship moved away from Port. The first stop would be Alpha to drop off a few passengers and the 2nd would be Freiburg, capital of those damned storm soldiers. Bjorn had insisted that it was time for him to visit his homeland despite T's protests. He shook his head. The boy had certainly come along way from the feckless youth who would have died in his one man war against the Heldannic Knights. T had made it clear that there would always be a place for him here in his viscounty. But Bjorn had tearfully replied that he needed to see his family and his homeland once again. He had promised to be careful and not get himself killed. Just for good measure the dwarf Zeno Ironfist had gone with him.
T laughed to himself. The dwarf would probably be more in need of Bjorn than the other way around. The last thing the viscount had done was make Bjorn promise to write often and visit when he could.
When the ship was finally out of sight T looked out at the ruined portions of the village of Port. There was a lot of work to be done yet. He sighed and moved slowly away from the wharf.
Count Diego Don Ballisto of Ballistrae rubbed his eyes and stretched his aching back. Enough reading and studying. It was nearly time for Spring's Dawn Festival and he would have to go to Alpha for it.
A knock on the door.
"Who the hell is it?" he inquired grumpily.
Walter was a balding, unassuming man. Excellent looks for his profession.
"Milord Count," he began.
"Wait," said Diego. He got up from where he sat and peered out the window. He waved his arms vaguely and said,
Walter cocked an eyebrow.
"There was a peasant nosing around too close."
"So you shattered him?"
Walter smiled to himself. He had found it quite odd at first that a ruler who wished to be seen as ruthless should be so well loved by his people. The fishermen of the village just seemed to ignore the Count's occasional outbursts and looked upon him fondly anytime he grumbled. Of course, this only made the wizard grumble the more and make threatening gestures. The peasants took his gestures in stride though and remained loyal despite his comments about gallows and racks and shatterings.
"You did not. You would not kill one of your peasants unless it was absolutely necessary."
"Did you come by to make observations about my soft side or did you come to make your monthly report??"
"Both. The report is fairly simple. Norwold seems to be at peace right now though there are some areas that require mention. There are odd doings north of Regent Pass and Viscount T's dominion suffered pretty badly during the-"
"Wait. What about these odd doings?"
"Not sure really. Lights, odd structures appearing over night. The information is obscure at this point."
"Very interesting." Diego stroked his beard and looked out the window.
Kwang Chai Kaine or Caine Brightspear, as he was known among the tribe members, sat with his legs crossed and his arms resting upon his knees.
Find the centre. Find the centre. The centre. A swirling mass of darkness. Long ago the belief had died that this was merely the backs of his eyelids. This was possibility. To the uninitiated this was the future. But to Caine, this was possibility. The realm of being. Eternity was within himself. The soul was infinite.
"Brightspear? I am sorry to interrupt your meditations."
"You do not interrupt them, Kallaig. You were ordained to come to me at this time." Kallaig of the northern barbarians scowled for a moment, unseen by the blind mystic who sat before him. His tribe owed much to Caine, Caine's servant Pellius, and to Caine's teacher Mentoril. Upon their arrival they had driven out the druids and taught the tribe to rely on themselves rather than human sacrifices to please the gods and spirits that walked the earth. But whenever Caine spoke of destiny or something being ordained it gave Kallaig the shivers. Magic was something to be feared, not openly embraced.
"Mentoril wishes to speak with you."
"Thank you Kallaig."
Caine arose and stretched. Kallaig helped him find his spear and aided him in stepping over the rocks just outside the cave. But from there Caine's feet knew the way even if his eyes did not. Stepping carefully and using his spear only a little for balance he came to the hut in which Mentoril lived. He had lost his sight driving the sword of destiny through the evil artifact that the mage Alak Dool had held. The sword and the artifact were both destroyed...along with Caine's sight. He held no bitterness though, such was destiny.