Return to Imric's Hold
[Wednesday, November 18, 1998]
Griflet's Report: All debts of blood and honour must be paid.
A DEBT TO PAY - Raven (5th), Witches' Moon, Year of the Gorgon
You make the following speech to GORIANTHAS, TOLINTHIS and CORINTH (using powers of LAW):
Our fortune has been favoured. The gods and ancestors still look favourably upon us and our mission to BLOODBANE'S DEN was a success. We have been staying here in VARDIN'S Protectorate, given sanction by a generous man and his generous followers and generosity should be paid in kind. It is our turn to give now and we have the means to do this. VARDIN has been good to us, but we have taken a lot. I think we should give him some of our new-found wealth: he has given us this Sanctuary. I suggest we should provide him with a strong portion of the non-Elven treasures we've recovered from the Hoard. It's pay day and we owe VARDIN one. Let us be noble about our new-found wealth, let's show the continent the generosity of the elves and the value of our friendship. A gift to VARDIN can only make us stronger and then I suggest we look for a new place, a new land in which we can call our own and rule with Autonomy.
Although initially opposed to the idea of sharing any wealth with Vardin, your speech somehow manages to convince the three Elven leaders that this is a good idea. Tolinthis is the most opposed; he sees no value in throwing money at the pestilential humans. But Gorianthas holds up his hand.
We will do as you suggest, Griflet. says Gorianthas. Tolinthis subsides, looking furious. Corinth says nothing.
VARDIN'S GRATITUDE - Scorpion (7th), Witches' Moon, Year of the Gorgon
The old trees of Sibilan stand guard as the wagons of treasure crewed by silent elves begin unloading at Vardin's dugout, as directed by grey-cloaked rangers. You stand to one side, observing with Vardin. He turns to you.
You have done us a great service this day, Griflet. I thank you for considering the plight of my rangers, and for interceding on our behalf. With this treasure, we will be able to maintain and expand our armoury; recruit and train more extensively than before. Possibly we can extend the Protectorate further afield. For the first time in a while, I can feel truly thankful for the presence of your people among mine. Thank you.
BLOOD IS THICKER- Parrot (11th), Witches' Moon, Year of the Gorgon
At your request, you meet with GORIANTHAS and CORINTH in Gorianthas' modest dwelling.
I go NORTH to old SIBILAN, where those elves that remain are perishing. I will take with me all the supplies that you can spare to relieve them, and the news of our successes to encourage them. They are left in the old homeland but still they are elves, and elven blood knows its loyalties. If they will not join us, fine, but we cannot leave them in hunger and cold. Now I hear they fare badly. While I'm gone please ensure the safety of the compound and that our good relations with VARDIN continue. Our fortunes are favourable but we all know these are inclined to change, always."
GRIFLET'S BAND - Hawk (13th), Witches' Moon, Year of the Gorgon
The following people have joined you on your expedition to Imric's Hold:
KELLIN is an adventurer who recently returned from lands west of the Mountains of Hunger. He arrived back at Imric's Hold halfway through the Leavetaking with what was left of his loyal band of venturers, ARBORIUS and GRIFF THE GALLANT. KELLIN is a warrior with an infectious laugh. His men would follow him anywhere, but he sometimes lets his good nature get in the way of sensible leadership. Nevertheless he seems eager to follow you.
ARBORIUS is a elven ranger, a wanderer trained more by Vardin and his folk than by his own people. He doesn't speak much, but stays close to KELLIN. He carries a longbow and wears the grey cloak of Vardin's rangers with pride, ignoring the stares of the elves of the compound. Like KELLIN, ARBORIUS hasn't been among the new elf community for long.
GRIFF THE GALLANT attracts even more attention than ARBORIUS; that's because he's a human Diamond Knight from the West. Like ARBORIUS, he stays near KELLIN and is intensely loyal to him. Griff is a lot more sociable than ARBORIUS; he enjoys a good laugh with KELLIN quite frequently. Unfortunately he has received little more than cold stares from other elves.
LEONORE is a young Elf from the House of the Geomancers (which was nearly extinguished by the Nightmare). You've encountered him before. When you first met him (after reading a note about the House of Geomancers) he was walking cautiously around with a device of brass and wood, surmounted by a three-faceted crystal. He wore a puzzled expression on his face. I can't find the ley, Griflet, he mutters I can't find the north-south ley. When you questioned him he tried to explain. There were three, the number of Law. They formed a triangle, with points at Imric's Hold, Tovilyis and of course the Sacred One. I took measurements at Imric's Hold (here he gestures to his odd-looking staff) and the Tovilyis-Imric's Hold line was giving bizarre and impossible readings. It's been malfunctioning for years. I figured it was the background disturbance at Imric's Hold, or my inexperience with the instruments or both. Now though I can't even find the line. I am hopeless. If only Master Kalianthis was here. He'd know what the problem was. Since that time, LEONORE has been a devoted follower of yours. He wants to visit Imric's Hold to take further readings of the leys.
WINDWOOD is a young Elf runner and messenger. It was he who alerted you to Ash's attempted takeover of the Port of Swan Ships, six months ago now. Like LEONORE, he's impressed by you and would follow you anywhere.
RETURN TO IMRIC'S HOLD - Worm (17th), Witches' Moon, Year of the Gorgon
Gorianthas let you take one Swan-ship and filled it with supplies. You and your band boarded four days ago and floated by moonlight down the broad river Hlal. Now the moonlight filters dimly through the old trees of your homeland as you enter the ruins of Imric's Hold. It is quiet, though still permeated with an aura of pain.
You soon locate a community of elves, those who once called themselves the Servants of Sibilan. You haven't seen such dispirited and hollow-eyed group of people since the days of the Nightmare. They are pleased to see you (and your food), but their eyes do not sparkle. They are tired, so tired. You sense that living here has been a great mental as well as physical strain.
One of the dispirited elves takes you to a hovel and shows you inside. On a rickety bed lies Crenore, who led the Servants of Sibilan before the Leavetaking. Now, his eyes are sunken, his cheeks are hollow, his face is lined with wrinkles - he seems to have grown much older. He is dying. As you enter his eyelid's flutter and he beckons you closer.
It's no good, you see. It won't work, see, he croaks, staring at the ceiling with blank dark eyes. We did our job, yes, kept it safe. Needs a king, though. And we haven't got one. Well, only half of one. What did they do to deserve this?
You try to talk to him, but he doesn't listen, just keeps on babbling. A fit of coughing overtakes him. Then he grabs your arm and stares at you with sudden clarity.
The blood of the kings
they did it, they are the only ones who can fix it. Imric - dead. Eder, dead. Eslim, dead. Coryon, he's dead. Foe
killed them all. The fathers, the sons
not the King! I hope he died, I hope he didn't
With these words, he dies. Something about this room makes you search; sure enough, under Crenore's deathbed, wrapped in a piece of cloth is a small yet remarkably heavy statuette. You've seen it before. It is the statuette of a coiled dragon, carved from a dark red rock. The dragon is Bloodbane, the rock is the red rock of Coryon's Horrible Abomination of Stone which almost killed you at Coryon's sanctum in the Mountains of Hunger. It is the Icon of the Dragon which Coryon carved to bring ruin to the Quarmallian army as it besieged Tovilyis; which Imric clutched as he died and which has caused so much calamity to the elven people for almost three hundred years. You remember burying this evil-looking object with Imric more than seven moons ago. It looks like Crenore retrieved it.
With the Icon is a battered and burnt book, the Book of Three, a very old Elven history tome believed lost in the fires of Tovilyis. Your previous research into the Isle of Zecy mentioned this work quite frequently, but you've never before seen a copy.
When they learn of Crenore's death, the other elves of the community become despondent. There's nothing left, nothing, says one quietly. The members of your band stand around you in the centre of the makeshift village, awaiting your orders.