Midnight RPG - Chapter 32.104

From RPGnet
Jump to: navigation, search


During the trip to Durn's Hold, while walking through the woods as part of the refugee caravan. Kyuad and his minions hold back, as a precausion. Surrounded by the skeletons of well-armed orcish soldiers, Kyuad glides soundlessly through the underbrush.


Collune joins Kyuad as they walk, because Nisse had come to her and motioned for her to hold back and wait for Kyuad.


Kyuad greets his former teacher warmly. He speaks to her with an attitude of respect and defferance. For many years he had been her student and apprentice, and though he was now a journeyman, released from her control, he still looks to her as his better and a person to be admired. "It is good to see you again. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to have you with us. Even after I left your library to go off on my own, I still feel the need to have you nearby to answer my questions. I am glad to see you are well, also. Dierro had given me quite a lot to worry about when last he and I spoke. I trust that the Witch Queen and the druids of the elves were hospitable?"


Looking up at her tall apprentice Collune cups his hand in hers as they walk, her gesture is not only of care for her longtime friend but also of quizzical interest in the furthering evolution of her friend's "condition"... She doesn't ask, for she knows this is the way of magics. Yet still in a pure research sense, this "change" is intriguing. Collune turns his hand over in his remembering when the man was a boy...
"Yes, apprentice... I have missed your company as well. I worried for the days I could not see you in the dew, and then again just the other day when it seemed we could speak across the mystic plane - yet even then I thought I'd lost you to the shadows when you failed to respond" (NOTE: this is a minor reference to the fact you didn't reply in the last bluebook, in which she scryed on you. I'm assuming the "connection" severed, since we didn't have time to follow up on that and can't go back now)

"...and I too miss our words... you're right it is comforting... the warmth of an old book by the fire with a good friend. Were only the whole of Eredane to know that luxury - the world might be open to change rather than resting in the laurels of complacency looming under the Shadow..."

Collune's mood seems to become a little uneasy with the mention of Dierro, as if there's something she's hiding or holding back, then again it could only be the air of uneasiness given the road their old friend took... "Dierro, is a matter that I don't wish to linger on apprentice. He... he... did not trouble me... and with your correspondence I have not seen him since entering the Erethor....."

Turning her attention back to the path they walk and perking her face to a less complexing smile again, Collune continues... "...as to the elves... Positively, Kyuad. The Caransil of the Hamlet within the Erethor are a most fascinating people. Polite and kind, I found them but at the same time distant as if their thoughts are embraced in the world's yesterdays and tomorrows as opposed to living in today.
Do not mistake me Kyuad, they are clearly a people of strength and they reach out to their own with vigor daily. Yet they seem to lack the passion of the human soul. That is not to cast doubt of their heart, but my time in the Hamlet taught me so much our studies could never have breached, without elven aid. And a portion of that seemed to be their staunch adherance against the winds of change and acceptance of the world beyond Erethor. Kyuad, it might seem funny but in my opinion our elven neighbors cannot see the forest for the trees..."
Collune snickers quietly, but less so in jest and more in lack of understanding...

"They... are such a beautiful spirit of Aryth, their passion - I did see briefly on the training grounds at the Academy. I can only assume it expands tenfold on the battlefield. With such passion and tenacity one would think the descendants of the Etheldar would be the heart of hope not only to the world but to themselves, yet they see doom like no others I've known. For all that mankind and the other races of Eredane look to the trees for hope, our expectations may fall once we know the souls of the 'nsil.....
The Witch Queen?... I heard much of the council of the Witch Queen, as far as I know she remains in Caradul. I was able to teach while staying at the Hamlet, but it seemed for every fact and tidbit I gave on our eldritch ways and the studies of man's innards - I also learned a great deal about the way of the people.
Did you know that for as much the Kaldrunes are said to be the "spine" of the world, the Elven Council Hall, the Witch Queen's home, the heartwood of the Elder Tree is told to be the very veins of Aryth?
The druids led me to understand that so forceful is the strength of the tree’s magic that it is rumored to have caused the death of many channelers who have attempted to access its energy. You see the Elder Tree was once the single most powerful nexus in Erethor, and perhaps the world, but its power has been harnessed somehow for a purpose other than simply powering the arcane and the creation of charms and trinkets; the weight of that duty falls mostly on "the Heart of the Wood", rumored to exist nearby at the headwaters of the Southern Felthera River. Instead, what was once the pure spell energy of the Elder Tree now feeds into and powers everything from the Whisper to the magical plants of the forest to the spells of the Witch Queen and her connection to her avatars. It is more than simply an arcane nexus Kyuad, it is the oldest part of Erethor, some say the first seedling ever planted on Aryth. Its roots wend downward into Aryth’s heart, and its limbs reach upward to its heavens. The Elder Tree, Erethor, Aradil... the three are all part of the same being, the same life force."

Collune continues walking lowering Kyuad's hand to their side, slipping her arm under his and lowering her head on his shoulder the friends continue with their passions of discover... for Collune learned much of elven ways while at the Hamlet. "Kyuad, it seems the hope of the Witch Queen, above all, would be that the race of man might journey forth to destroy the Enemy in the North where she and her people can not. The idea seems laughable now, but had the Sarcosans not landed, had the cancer of the Order of Betrayal not spread throughout the human cities, perhaps these warriors would have become the champions of Eredane. Regardless, I can assume, from my teachers and students while at the Hamlet, the Witch Queen made two choices based on that hope. She gave up the eastern reaches of Erethor, what are now the western plains of northern and southern Erenland, to the Dorns. And she gave up herself to the forest.
It seems that she was never powerful enough to go forth and challenge the Enemy, and like all elves, must eventually grow old and pass on. Yet she alone had learned the power of her mother and the elder seers, she alone had made pacts with the dragons of the south, she alone knew all the secrets of the Order of Truth. And she was growing old.
It was something called Ressial that made a similar offer to her that he had to her father: to become one with her, to empower her body with immortality. But she knew that the soul and mind of an outsider could not govern the spirits and passions of a mortal race. And she knew, too, that her birth from the blood of Aryth was essential to her power; as mighty as Ressial was, it could not feel the pulses of Aryth’s lifeblood as she did. Yet she was determined to remain and defend her people, to keep what remained of her forest at all costs, to make it always a place of refuge and safety for her people. These motivations, along with the hope that humanity would go where she could not, it is said that it was then she made a pact with the spirit of the Elder Tree. In exchange for the means to defend Erethor, to remain alive and powerful for as long as the threat of Izrador remained, Aradil forever tied her body and soul to that living arcane nexus, and Ressial gave up its own essence to allow that unification to happen. The Tree was the source, Aradil the vessel, and Ressial the bond that linked the two. The Elder Tree has long been the most powerful of Aryth’s nexuses Kyuad, and its potency central to elven magic and the bounty of Erethor. The elven queen's strength now lay in the Elder Tree itself. In essence, she became an avatar of the tree: timeless, ageless, and powerful beyond the reckoning of those who had once known her. She has in turn thwarted Zardrix’s flames, Jahzir’s pride, Ardherin’s scheming, and Sunulael’s zealotry. She alone might stand a hope of facing them in battle and winning, but the very thing that grants her power makes her vulnerable: Should she fall or were the essense of the tree to be infected... so too will the other, and so too will Erethor."


When Kyuad had felt that there had been enough small talk, he ....

Kyuad tells Collune of his experience with the eye. He tells her of the Aradar and how it's important.

(That's all I was driving at.)