Midnight RPG - Chapter 18.51

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One day, early in the journey to the Hamlet, Eranon will approach Alamath, just before the group goes to sleep

Eranon: "My sister, I hope you are comfortable in your travels with us. It has been too long since I have seen you. I am overjoyed that we encountered you and were able to rescue all of those innocents. In addition to being a just thing to do, they may now be an asset in the future."

"It is my hope that we will be able to bring much-needed releif to Three Oaks. If this can be accomplished, perhaps the tide can turn. It is on these thoughts that my mind now dwells."

"There are a few things that yet trouble me. The first is that you seemed to imply that my friends and I saved you because I recieved word. It is with shame that I must admit, I recieved no such word, neither from The Lady, nor from the trees themselves. Perhaps my connection is weak. You travel with Aryth as an ally, for me she is simply a tool. As my elder, what words of guidance can you offer, if any?"


"oh my unfeigned brother, I so charish the memory of your wide, wild-eyes... You are a site to my weery eyes. For all the past, I still hold your council true and unfettered. It is hard to hold my head so high these days brother..."

...Alamath's royal vigor drops for but a moment and her back is less straight, as she looks yonder to the young apprentices she travels with - it is obvious that she's relaxed to be able to lower her guard for the first time in what must be decades... knowing that she is safe, as she might be with your father, now that you're here. You might also feel this safety because for all the family pains, for all the "distance" both literally and figuratively, you still know that she, you know that they (your siblings) would die for you.

"...it has been hard to stand so tall over the decades, seeing... knowing what I've come to be knowledgable of. For all the glory and power that SHE* holds, exudes and gives - there is equal pain and suffering that only we within her court can live with. For all the power of foresight and hope, the continued reports from across the wilds of the death of innocents (referring to soldiers, wildlife, and the forestation of Aryth herself) is a burden that we among the Elder Tree court share to bare.

Pausing for a moment, kneeling down Alamath cups the first wildflower that Eranon has seen in weeks of walking within the Dead Marsh. Her skin is illumiating in the light of the day. Alamath, your sister, is beautiful. She... she reminds you of home. She reminds you of your mother. She reminds you of a life before the weight that you now bare.

Alamath slow stands, taking your hand and brushing up against Eranon's arm then shoulder to find a spot to rest her head. How long has it been since Eranon has been comforted by unconditional love? Your sister's hug, reminds you of why you wade the pits of dispair that took Valendil, that took your father, your mother, that burned your relationship with Sijandi.

And you glance down to her hand... Anyone else would have picked the wildflower to hold and charish for a brief moment. Not your sister... Alamath pulled the weeds around it, so that it could live free.

... your companions have treated my apprentices and myself with acceptance. Eranon it worries me that you have not found the companionship of friends to journey with... Am I incorrect, that it seems this band is a motley crew with little in the way of true kinship? Why is it that Valendil and his Wilders do not accompany you? Is that wood below the swamp not theirs?

Certainly these favored few have something of unlove for the Enemy in the North, I can see that, but it wounds me that you are alone brother. I only wish we elf-kin could relate enough to mankind or even the brave orc that turned against the tide, so that you could come to be friends with one of them. If nothing else, they seem to have fair minds and fearless thoughts that can match your own wild nature.'

...am I comfortable? The journey will be adequate. I would ask that you thank them for offering companionship through the dangers of the road.

Looking toward the others in the travelling company, Alamath subtly shakes her head. This is likely one of her first times "dealing" with non-elven resistance. She's obviously less inclined to believe the nature of their intentions. Alamath knows the stories that some of the grudge-holding councillors within the court have told of the many battles that faltered due to the lack of oath's followed through by the other races. The breaking of promises remembered still taints many of the pessimists within the woods, Alamath has yet to see opposition to those broken promises... Perhaps a point of difference between the siblings?

...as to the innocents in the slaver band, yes - I too am overjoyed. Aryth has a canny way of reminding us of the roads ahead, she's waiting for us my brother. She wants to heal the wound, the scar of the sundering - this is one of her ways to tell us that she will offer aid... If we listen. Alamath, tips up on her toes to whisper in her brother's ear - as she grins, you can literally feel the smile on her face and in her heart. ...besides little brother, the wind told guided my hand in this. It MUST too have guided yours. Have you come to hear the whisps in the wind? She lowers back to her heels and clasps her hand in yours, rocking it back and forth as she begins to walk, stepping so lightly on the remainder waters of the swamp that the muck does not even ripple. ...if I remember the wild-wide-eyes of my little brother Eranon, you must have been eager to free the slaves - if not for the joy of making men free, then surely to whomp the goblin-kin...'

Alamath laughs... How long has it been since Eranon heard a laugh? Can you remember the last time?

...I remember, do you not? Your little practice bow that papa gave you on your fifth year, how you and Valendil tracked those foxes SO SURE that they were Bugbear...' Laughing aloud... ...you and your brash unapologetic bravado. No... I knew someone would come to us and give me the opportunity to fell the slavers from within, I am just surprised that I didn't need to act so quickly. I am surprised that it was you that swept out of the forest. Aryth, she did not tell me this. She keeps her secrets well, sometimes I think only to lift our spirits even more.

Walking with you she motions to her apprentices to begin their practice rituals, weaving their magics with aid of the wilds...

...You are wise to think of the sturdy trees. They are too a concern for HER. There are very different situations for the races and all hope of allegiance is around local effort, around key point on the coming offensive, on this many among the council agree - Three Oaks, The Gamaril Delta and Silver Thorn are our elf-kin key points. The dwarven points are largely unknown to us, it is rumored that they are covered by hammer with a strong leader for the southern effort, however if all that is known is true the north is lost beyond hope, in my opinion. Those poor men of stone could use any help they can muster though, if it is only that they might have their honored deaths. More on the minds of many of our councilors is whatever can be used to reduce Arynix to a lesser threat than it is now meaning a lot more lives to use later. Southern Erenland is a chaotic and only a favored few believe we elf-kind should be considering its fate, I want to believe the best intent that I see in our Witch Queen's eyes now and again. I believe the man of the south could better be sought for support, the Erenlanders might be the last key thing to change the current tide, by unlocking their current state and make them stand for freedom, on the north - those Dorn-men, I would say they are lost, support is all they have left as well, but they are even of less hope for survivability than the horse-men, but they are the closest of our non-elvin neighbors - they are also more desperate, helping Three Oaks and the Dwarves might be the north-men's last hope for victory. So too, using all the man power that can be mustered on the Sea of Pelluria could make the Shadow troop movement and more importantly the Orc supply routes a real concern for the Enemy of the Wood. The Orc are as ocean tides trumped by the wild storms of Shadow hate, they seem to be endless - but they survive only on their stomachs and support. If that leash were cut... We could begin building a resistance rather than continuing a stalemate guerilla war. Three Oaks is the best example of such. The braves on the line have not given ground in over a decade since the Feykiller set his sites on those trees...

You can see Alamath has had much training in the ways of war... the making thereof, if not the act of battle. She lets loose your hand and steps between the trees now and then coming close then far then close again... She continues.

  • Commander Belark the Blackheart an Oruk. Along the Gamaril River, the Blackheart commands 40,000 orcs that have tried to secure the river basin and cut off the Caransil villages north of the river.
  • Commander Jorg Kinslayer an Orc. In the Darkening Wood, the Kinslayer besieges the elven stronghold of Three Oaks and deals with a forest gone insane, although it is rumored among the orc troupe that Kulos has been given command of Cambrial's great host (in definance of Jorg's efforts) to finally break the stalemate in the Darkening Wood.

Our braves fighting along the Gamaril front, trying to crush Belark's legion before the Shadow's renewed offensive, I fear may not be able to hold the line much longer. Time is of the essence to cut supplies coming down the Gauntlet drastically. The wind tells that Belark has ordered a renewed offensive directed Northward, with the eventual goal of taking and fortifying the ruins of Althorin to use as a harbor/waypoint for his supplies. It is our hope that Shadow is unaware of the resistance and elven presence in Althorin for now, but their advancing warbands will eventually figure out that something is amiss in the ruins of the city. And that brings us to the plight of the council currently, the elven forces commanded by Alashal don't know what Belark's plans - the protectors of Three Oaks have only cursory knowledge of the coming offensives. But many worry about Althorin when Belark and the Kinslayer moves north in force, we seek to discover what the legions orders are and determine if Althorin is in danger.

Alamath, looks up at you as she walks toward you...

... So much has happened since we walked the wild little brother. The Lady, she speaks to you. I'm sure of it. She's told me. My advice. I fear that I can give none just yet. You must accept that the land is just as important as those that walk it. The trees they have burned for ages.... as she looks toward the Burning Line. ...is that a "tool" little brother? now pointing up toward the Burning Line. '...Your thinking is flawed little brother, when you stop thinking of Aryth as a tool, then you will STOP travelling ON her and travel WITH her. She has much to offer, and I can aid with that understanding if you wish it. To be one with the wood is to truly live free... Then you won't see the slaver's band as only a group of innocents to be saved, you will see any innocent in danger as a son or daughter of Aryth - when you begin thinking as such you can save yourself, little brother... Eranon, when you see the truth you can SAVE THE WORLD.

Looking up to you, Alamath reaches out her hand... Something is cupped in her palm.

As she turns it over she asks...

Are you ready to save the world, little brother?

and in your hand she lays a twine of grass that feels like satin, the form is that of a heart - and you realize... Your sister has turned the weed that choked the wildflower into a thing of beauty. Hope... springs.

NOTE: This grass twine is a Greater Charm: When used you can immediately recover from being shaken, sickened, or dazzled.


* "SHE" can only be reference to Aradil, the Witch Queen.


OOC: Since there are a lot of threads of thought here, I will take a cue from Adam and break it up into several conversation threads so that it will take less responses from each of us to deal with. Mostly because I'm very interested in all of these threads.


"I am not sure that you can judge our small group so quickly, though I will always honor your opinion. We do have our friction, and it is true that we have been held together by great tragedy, I do trust each of these, my companions, with my life. We have only been together a short time, and yet, bonds of true friendship begin to bud. I know you have not much love of men, and even less so of orc-kind, I assure you they are good men. Closest to me is Durgaz, whose watch I was charged by Valendil, who trusted the orc as I do. I hope that my bond can show the way to our kin."

"As for Valendil, I have ill news indeed. When we reached the top of the Spire, we found our cousin." *Eranon begins to tear up, choking on his words* "The Vile had. . . the vile had end. . . he's gone, Alamath, at the hands of the Vile."

  • Choking back some more tears* "If you doubt the heart of the orc, speak with him of our cousin, I cannot bear speak more of it."

Battle Plans[edit]

"Tell me, do we have enough free-roaming elven warriors to put up a fight, or are all of our kind tied up with defense? I ask because my companions and I seek to free all our kind of the constant attack they find themselves under. We must find an army, your counsil is needed. It is good to hear about the supply lines to the Gamaril delta. This would free our kind for an offensive. How many men would be required for this task? or is information all you need?"

"As far as Three Oaks, I must confer with my companions, we all heard a large amount of information in our time in the Spire, Zal'Kazzir most of all. I do know that Vrolk had supplied a fell army to work with Jazzir's army to take down Three Oaks. Jazir hopes to fell the Great Ones (the three trees) by the end of spring. This does not give us much time. I will find out what information I can."

Personal Growth[edit]

"Yes, I see your point, Aryth is with us. Her cries are still dim to me, dear sister, I cannot hear HER clearly. Please, teach me how to listen, trust me, show me how and I WILL save the world. Sure as I chased those "Bugbear" so many years ago, I will have it. I am ready."


OOC: Since there are a lot of threads of thought here, I will take a cue from Adam and break it up into several conversation threads so that it will take less responses from each of us to deal with. Mostly because I'm very interested in all of these threads. OOC: I'm fine with this, however we can make it easier, let's do it.

Fellowship / Valendil[edit]

your sister looking disheartened kneels slowly to the group, as if saying a word for the fallen

"Vale... he... he was... I'm... I'm so sorry Eranon. Kess... does Kess* know yet know?

Dropping her head as if all hope is lost, Alamath mourns like the race is gone. Any death isn't worth the cost sometimes...

* NOTE: "Kess" (Kessandrial Windwilder) is Valendil's widow. Per 3x3, Eranon was in love with an elven woman who ended up marrying valendil and bearing his child.

...considering the outcome, she looks up at Eranon - her demeanor and face turn stone-like. She stands.

"...so with one friend lost another is gained, Aryth has HER way. And strange it is with one of the Odrendor, has risen to the place of an elf so true in friendship and station. It is mercurial that the fey of old Dwarf blood (ie. the Orc race) now stands at your side in the time of great peril. At the clash of the tides... Sad, though - I can say I know nothing of their kind that hasn't been shown me in the devistation wrought. So sure the treelings of the Hamlet will not hold kind to the arrival of the brute, tamed as you say he is." (she did not meam "tamed" in a negative way there)

your sister takes your hand again in comfort...

"Have heart little brother, what the Odrendor and the Men of the South wreak on the Erethor but pales to the spirits left in the wood. I see ... I see in your eyes the pain that would take the heart of me. On the Hamlet, we must wish it away - it should be you that prepares the last trumpet to be sounded for Vale. I will whisper to the wind and see that Kess makes way for the Academy on this day. And the Orc. If friend of Vale's he was, then perhaps he would offer his condolence at the passing of "the Windwilder" (ie. Valendil's last name) We can go together to ask the Odrendor warrior friend.

OOC: Three things...

  • you may continue this line of conversation more.
  • she's suggesting that you do some sort of burial/ritual to honor Valendil's passing... the ritual will be TOTALLY up to your cool description, but it SHOULD be fitting an elven hero. Make it up and we'll have the "funeral" this week!
  • she's suggesting you start another Bluebook with Durgaz so that you and her can ask him to speak at the funeral. This will accomplish a few things: introducing her to come around to understanding that you have a friend that's an Orc, and help you a little with the funeral idea. You might consider wanting to retrieve Valendil's body on the way to the Hamlet (your choice) and if you do we'll do a flashback scene for it at some point, perhaps only you and Durgaz going for a short detor along the way for a few hours? (your choice totally)

Battle Plans[edit]

Alamath looks quizically at your first question... reaching up, brushing he long blonde/white hair back, slipping her hands into the soft hair beneath, and tugs - wincing just a fraction.

"... do we have enough warriors...?"

Alamath looks to you and shows you her hand holding a locket of her own hair. She circles the locket of hair with her other hand's index finger. Then tosses the hair up into the air... they spread to the wind quickly in the breeze.

"... free-roaming warriors brother, that is the way of our people. When together (refering to the whole locket as her finger circled it) we are one, easy to see, easy to hold, strong in some ways. But when free to our nature (as she tosses the hairs into the wind) our kind become one with the wood and cannot be held... That is are way, we are a people of free-heart and it is difficult to alter the course of the Council, to gather so closely some compare it to the lost men of stone... (Dwarves) we defend a nation of trees, not a single pocket or hole in the ground. As a people we cannot band to counterstrike, our defense comes prior to the invasions, before the trees are alit or sawed down. Taking as many of the Enemy as we can before the push inward. Even you dear Eranon are a living wilder example of our best... How long has it been since you last stepped into the home of our parents? Nearly as long as most men of this world have lived (ie. 20+ years) Do you truely believe that free-form can be mustered? Do you? If so I challenge you to rangle all the hairs that left my head not moments ago."

Alamath looks sternly into your eyes. You can now see that the initial joy of seeing you alive is slowly, very slowly changing positions with the cold love that your sister heaped on you at the passing of your parents and the alienation you and your brother have. She is the elder and she knows that while you have heart, you might not have the mind for elven politics and warmaking. The loosing of the hairs seems to be almost issuing you a challenge to show her you've changed! She waits for your retort.

the Gamaril Delta & Three Oaks[edit]

Alamath... she is so beautiful - but with this you see that cute tactician that planned various "raiding parties" on the village elders when you were but children. So many times she had sent you out "to your DOOM!" as she would say... So many times you varied from her "plan" because you and Valendil didn't want to listen. Her nose crinkles just a bit as she splays a map onto the ground in front of you... the map is illusionary, as if eminating from the ground of the Erethor - and she begins to explain...

"Along the Gamaril River, it is a brute called Belark the Blackheart who commands nearly 50,000 orcs and goblin-kin. They try still to secure the river basin and cut off the Caransil villages north of the river. The great rivers of the Caraheen: the Felthera and the Gamaril, were once highways for traders and travelers from as far away as the dwarven city of Calador and the Erenland capital of Alvedara. They carried elven barques and canoes, Northman longboats, and gnome trade barges. They were vital links in commerce, communication, and culture, alive with activity and traffic. Many elven towns and villages grew along their banks and their waters truly flowed through the forest like a kind of life’s blood.

Now the rivers are hostile and dangerous battle zones. The orc hordes have constructed massive earthen battleworks where the Gamaril meets the Pelluria and where the Felthera leaves the protection of Erethor. From these battlements, they command access to the rivers with powerful war machines and elemental magics. From these forts, orcs use captured longboats to patrol far up the rivers and reinforce outposts along their banks. The banks of the rivers are dangerous for various reasons. At the queen’s request Danisil river hunters from the southern jungle have come north and now stalk fearsome creatures brought in by Shadow.

A 500-mile stretch of eastern Erethor borders the western shore of the Sea of Pelluria. At the mouth of the Gamaril, a large delta feeds vast swamps that flood the surrounding forests every spring. In the past, the annual floods were a boon to the wood, creating a verdant and bountiful ecology in which the local elfkin villages reveled. Now the swamps also serve as a refuge for elven armies fighting along the forest boundaries. The paths of the swamps are well known to the elves but seem to confound the orcs. The elves tread lightly along hidden ways and their narrow war canoes let them quickly cover great distances. The mud drags at the orcs’ heavy boots and the waters are too shallow and the trees to dense for their longboats. The forests are bountiful, providing food and shelter to the elves and nothing but biting insects, quick muds, and marshland predators for the orcs. The elves run their supply lines through the swamps to the central Caraheen and hole up in the marshes, making sallies against orc lines and patrols. Dangerous still, it is even rumored that a clan of dire beasts hunts this region.

The former capital of House Norfall is now an orc city and a critical supply point for the Shadow’s army fighting along the Gamaril River. The district extends from beyond Cale in the north, south to the Pellurian Sea and as far east as the Be’neeya River. The city is under the control of a warlord of the Gray Mother Tribe. The warlord must contend with two of the most active and two powerful resistance groups. To the west, his warbands protect supply trains moving down the gauntlet to the River’s Fangs on the Gamaril River.

The vastness of Erethor has created a war of ever shifting fronts, with individual armies seeking to penetrate elven defenses at several points. In the north, the ancient battlefront in the foothills of the Highhorn Mountains still rings with the clash of vardatch and snow elf fighting knives, but is well removed from the Shadow’s push toward the elven capital of Caradul. The Erunsil and the Shunned Mother orcs continue a deadly dance that has been passed down through the ages. Though seemingly fruitless, this conflict constantly bleeds at the snow elves’ strength, a strength that is sorely needed elsewhere in Erethor. With the Erunsil locked into the defense of the Coldest Wood and Erenland open to his troops, Jahzir has shifted his focus to breaching the elven defenses between the Gamaril River and the Druid’s Swamp, hoping to strike into the heartland of the Caraheen.

Something stirs the eastern outskirts of Erethor, making skirting the Sea of Pelluria to the west a dangerous endeavor. The forest kills elf-kin and travelers with impunity and feeds on dire animals that call the forest home.

The Witch Queen’s spies hope to keep her informed of the armies gathering near Eisin and Cambrial. She is husbanding what scant reserves we can to attempt to blunt offensives. The Autumn Guard are all that is left in reserve. Elven assassins go to be set in place even now, awaiting orders to eliminate key legates and orc warlords. Our mages are considering building new defenses centered on the Keep of the Cataract in case the defense line breaks. Wherever she can, we are pulling warriors and mages from the Gamaril basin, the Green March, and the northern Caraheen. As painful as it is to withdraw troops from these areas, all but guaranteeing their comrades’ deaths, we must realize that holding these peripheral areas will be meaningless if the Shadow’s larger armies to the south are able to pierce the heart of the forest and stab into the Caransil heartlands.

There is, however, a sack-dagger for which the Queen holds. A power it is rumored can turn the tide like no other. Even we on the council do not know the extent, but she has assured us that a web is being woven that may tip the tide at the most opportune moment but there is much to be done before the cards can be dealt and played... And even an Avatar of Aryth cannot broach that power hiden to but a few that she will not speak of in this 100th year...

I speak softly so that the winds do not hear and take my doubt back to Lady Aradil, but if we had that power, brother - perhaps we could sway the trees... Perhaps it is this for which your pathwalking brothers have been been brought by the wind to seek out?

Personal Growth[edit]


"Yes, I see your point, Aryth is with us. Her cries are still dim to me, dear sister, I cannot hear HER clearly. Please, teach me how to listen, trust me, show me how and I WILL save the world. Sure as I chased those "Bugbear" so many years ago, I will have it. I am ready."

In Return[edit]

With this, Alamath smiles. She likes when you treat her with the respect and love a younger sibling can give. The request for aid is not lost on the beautiful channeller, neither is Eranon's reverance for the skills that she has mastered. Alamath seems... proud to offer her knowledge to you and your training begins.

By the end of the next few days, Eranon is freely commanding the magery of Aryth - or rather as Alamath words it: ...we give form to the shapeless power that hums from the Aryth. The Great Lady lives on in us as much as beneath us and we will live on because of Her grace.

OOC: This is a way of saying she starts by teaching Eranon how to master the 0-level spells that you know, then moving into the 1st-level and so forth. By the time you arrive at the Hamlet, you're well on your way to "feeling" the power that the Great Lady gives.

Alamath will then work with you to find teachers while in the Academy to supply your knowledge of things she cannot teach you. She WILL be continuing as your primary teacher, but having a broad understanding is paramount to your understanding of the Great Lady and Her power.

In fact, Alamath openly suggests that you speak with both Kyuad and Zal'Kazzir about how they ply magic. Understanding how THEY tap into the powers of the Great Lady will aid your understanding of Arcane Lore and Legend - as well as aiding with your knowledges of other channellers that have taken up arms hand-in-hand with Shadow!