Az PCs, Session 004
Screen Time, This Session: Vol (100%), Durgoth (0%), Argent (0%), Shadon (0%).
Screen Time, Cumulative: Vol (34%), Durgoth (26%), Argent (22%), Shadon (18%).
Aside: In October ‘11, months after this session, Dad and I tried to recollect the details of when Vol filed a protest about the army sacking her village. We both remember the vignette hazily but can’t find any notes on it. We think it happened about this time so I’m inserting the notes here.
Vol visited the military headquarters of the 7th Legion in Kansk. She met with a military guy who was gruff, he pawned Vol off on to a smooth politically-minded Tribune Angusticlavii. He convinced Vol that he’d look into it but has no intention of doing so (a fail forward from Vol’s persuasion). Vol failed a circles test that one of these guys she met in this HQ was someone she helped during the war.
Written in Dad’s Voice
Vol Looks for an Elven Bard:
In the middle of trying to fix my sound and video Peter and I started playing the game again…. Ok I’m hooked. This is an expansion of Vol’s request yesterday to find a bard in Kantz. After the DM educated me on how to make such requests the following fell out. In fact I learned a lot about circle, reputation and skills.
I asked for a circle test to find “an Elven bard that had studied at Dorsang and was presently in the area of Kantz.”
Routine test. I get 6 die. 3 for circle exp. 2 for Affiliation with the “Bardic Fellowship of Dorsang” and one for Bard-wise.
Circle is a default 1d Ob +1 Ob for it being local.
6 die, rolled one success (only a 4 so I couldn’t even use Artha). Failed…. (evil gleam comes into my son’s eye)
We roll play it.
Vol gets carrier dove word from Dorsang where an elven bard is by Kantz.
She goes to find him.
We now have 7 elves that have disappeared (no not Vol, Eladamari). And no new information about the missing elves. (man talk about Fail Forward)
Vol has endeared herself with a human woman by the name of Cordela Murdoch (whose family own and work one of the best vineyards in the Kantz area).
Vol has found a bolt hole in a deserted Abbey.
In the darkness of very early morning at Durgoths Vol is attracted by the sound of one of her doves at the window. Quietly she opens the window and very happily receives her friend. There is a nervous twitch in her fingers as she unlaces the small message pouch—no of course it won’t be from Lorwyn but she trembles in any case.
[written in hafling] Yes, there is at least one Elven bard from Dorsang in the Kantz area. A very studious one by the name of Eladamari—though his studies were focused most intently on winemaking he was a noble and dedicated bard. A little too serious most of the time but I’ve learned to put up with that to a degree… He has a vineyard business with a human named Murdoch just north of the city. This just popped into my head so I am sending it right out. I will research farther to see if I can find more. The Dwarven bard you recalled is the only one in existence that I know of and, as requested, a complete list of human bards in the area that have studied here will follow. So curious to know what this is all about and how it might fit in with Lorwyn. Best of luck—do write.
Vol does a circles test. Circle exponent is 3, with a bonus of 2d as this is part of her Affiliation (Bardic Fellowship of Dorsang) plus a die for her Bard-Wise skill. Ob1 for circles test plus 1 for local. Vol rolls 6 die and gets 1 success… oooopppssss.
“Wow! Pay dirt!” I can’t wait to tell Shadon and go find this Bard. On the other hand it might be better if I just went by myself now while it is still dark and I can sneak out of the city—besides, I can’t just sit here.
Vol carefully slides her pack and Lyre from her bedroll and slips out the window. With a little cooing sound to her dove, insuring it will stay on her bedroll she slips down an alley connected to the street behind Durgoths rather than the street out front of his house.
Somehow she gets out of town without being seen and follows the northern road to where a side road leads off under a sign that says “Murdoch’s Winery, Drop in and experience life at its best.”
The sun has risen to its mid-morning position and after a 30 min walk Vol enters the gates to the Vineyard. The rolling hills on each side of the road are covered with vines and in the distance, atop one of the hills is the winery, a chateau actually. It is obviously rather new and a little in contrast to the vineyard itself which is vintage. It is easy to see that the vines are doing very well and a splendid crop is maturing. As she walks up the cart path she looks carefully, hopefully to catch sight of an Elven figure. A chance meeting would draw much less attention but obviously the workers are all human.
As she comes into the courtyard of the chateau she spots a couple wagons that appear to be here for business. The whole scene is one of neatness and care with a look of prosperity about it. At the door she hesitates as she thinks of the drunk and the Golden flask. She steels herself and uses the door knocker. A quite pleasant human female voice comes from within “Please come in, the door is open.”
Inside there are two men with flights of wine glasses in front of them seriously discussing the effect the weather this year has had on the grapes. Behind the counter is a very clean cut middle age human lady. Her clothes are common and tidy and she wears a pair of overalls of sorts. Her hair is neatly done up in a bun and pinned back out of the way.
Instead of the normal human reaction of wariness to elves the lady moves closer to the end of the counter where Vol is. Her face is actually warm and the smile she gives Vol goes all the way to her eyes. “Yes…?”
Vol is greatly reassured by the reaction and steps closer. It is only now that the two men look up to take notice of who has entered. One does a double take while the one with the empty flight of glasses in front of him does a quadruple take… However, there is only an instant of hesitation before they both return to their conversation.
Vol looks at the woman and finds her voice. “Do you by any chance know an Elf by the name of Eladamari?” The woman’s eyes fill with hope as she says “Oh, yes I do, do you have word from him?”
It only takes a moment while both women watch the hope fade from the others eyes for them to realize that they had hoped in vain.
“No, I had hoped to find him here. Has something happened to him?” Concern is very evident in Vol’s voice.
“Yes, well I think so, he is missing. I mean, we haven’t seen him for days…and…” She is a strong woman of the land but emotion is breaking through. Vol puts her hand on the ladies shoulder and quietly asks, “Is there a place we could talk?”
Without looking up she says “Arnzen, Jed” help yourselves as you need, we will be in the back if you need me.”
“Actually, Cordela, I need to be on my way, come on Jed, at the rate you’re going there won’t be any to buy this fall.” They head for the door and out to their wagons.
In the back Vol remains quiet as Cordela busies herself, pouring wine, cutting cheese and bread and setting the table. They sit down and Vol says “Please tell me what you can.”
“There just isn’t much to say—not nearly enough. He followed a very ordered routine. Every morning he was up before light and would cover most of the vineyard by dawn, checking the vines the leaves and the grapes. My husband joked with him one day “I almost think you have a personal relationship with each grape in the whole vineyard” He just looked at my hubby and said “don’t you?” He was always so quiet and gentle, and oh, so kind to the children. Breakfast is special for us and he joined us each morning—often bringing food, fruit usually, to share with us. Later he would spend time teaching letters or numbers to the children. The rest of the day he would be in the vineyard or in the old Abby where he lived.
“3 days ago he didn’t show up for breakfast. We were concerned but just passed it off. Later he didn’t come to teach the children. Now that worried us. He treated the children with respect and if he was not going to be able to do something he promised he always told them ahead of time.
We all began looking for him. My husband and I went up to the abbey and called his name but no answer. Again, yesterday he didn’t show for breakfast—none of us could eat. My husband and I went to the Abby and when he didn’t answer our knock on his door we went into his room—I kind of hated to do that but I was getting desperate. He was not there and it looked like he may have just stepped out to go hunting or something. His sword and bow were gone but most of his personal items were there—at least that we had seen or knew of.” Her voce had broken several times and Vol could tell she was almost to tears. “This morning my husband left to report Eladamari missing. He has gone to the Baron’s office in town—though we don’t have much hope that anyone will care. And I don’t mind telling you, my husband is almost frantic. You see Eladamari had a way with the grapes—almost like magic, and it had a lot to do with how wonderful our wine is. We just can’t imagine what will happen this year but even that isn’t as important as knowing what has happened to him. If we did something to offend him and make him go away…..” Her voice trailed off.
“May I see his room? The more I know the more chance there is that I may be able to help”
Without hesitation Cordela got up and started out the back door. They walked about a mile through the vineyard and by rounding a small hill came upon a small deserted abbey dedicated to some monastic order that predated the Set era.
Most of the rooms were boarded up and obviously unusable. A larger room that had held the winery equipment was empty except for the barrel racks. At the back of the abbey a series of stairs led up to what may have been the monk’s barracks.
As they entered the room Vol could tell it was untouched. Things were just right and in their places. Her eyes were instantly drawn to a sitar and as she reached out and stroked it she knew it was in perfect tune.
“What did you say you noticed was missing?”
Cordela started to speak then stopped. “First, may I ask what your relationship is with him? Are you family, friend or…..”
Vol smiled as she turned to Cordela. “Actually we went to the same school though I never met him. I know of him through one of the teachers.”
Cordela looked away and her voice seemed to have cleared a little. “When he came to us—I remember the day—he was attired in armor of some type, some material bound to leather. He had one of those beautifully engraved Elven swords and a bow, such a bow. He told the children that the bowstring was made from his own hair—and we all believe it. None of those things are here, that is why my husband thought he might have gone hunting.”
Vol looked carefully at Cordela. “I need your help with something that might frighten or stun you but it may tell me more about Eladamari. Will you listen to a few notes of an elven spell song and tell me if you heard him playing it at any time—if possible how often”
The confusion in Cordela’s mind was plain on her face but like the snap of fingers you could tell she made a decision. “Yes, anything”
Vol picked up the sitar and strummed the first cord of the Lament of Mourning……..
Cordela almost collapsed but not with the normal effects of a spell song on a human rather with trembling voice and open sobs. “yes that is his song. I heard it in the evening many times”
Abruptly she turned to Vol. “Please can you tell me anyting, anything at all about what might have happened to him?”
Vol studied her for a long moment before saying. “I can share what I know but it has no answers and might hurt more than knowing nothing. Do you really want to hear it?”
The instant response was “Yes, yes of course. The worst thing is not knowing. Anything you can tell me will help—be it good or bad”.
Vol sighed and looked down in front of Cordela “Few non-Elves realize just how sensitive we are about life overall. Elves struggle with personal grief. Not so much for themselves, as they will live as long as they have the spirit to, but for the sadness we have for the other races—the sadness that comes from seeing such innovative, dynamic and vibrant beings fade away before they can realize their full potential. It is so sobering to think of what the world loses as it loses them. This sometimes drives Elves to give up on life. We can actually be overcome by our grief and choose to just let ourselves fade away. The song is a song that helps us keep life in perspective and focus on the positive. Eladamari was dealing with his grief by singing that song. It is possible that he was overcome –but that would not explain the missing armor and weapons.
Cordela pays close attention to what Vol is telling her but it is clear she is struggling with the concepts involved—it seems that she is just beginning to understand what long life might mean—and not sure she likes the idea.
She then shared the situation of the missing Elves, leaving out the high visibility it has in the Elven court for fear that it might give Codela false hope. She explained how she was seeking Eladamari in hopes of enlisting him as an ally in the search.
Finally she confides, as one woman to another, that her betrothed was one of the missing and nothing will have a priority in her life until she finds him. “I just know he is still alive” she states with cold hard confidence.
The two women put their arms around each other and shared some time in their mutual comfort.
Later, as Vol prepared to leave she noticed the top of the temple had a falconry built into it. Thinking of the remoteness of the place she gently asked Codela if she might return from time to time to enjoy the remoteness and quiet of the place.
Codela smiled and welcomed her to come back any time she felt the need.
Artha Awards and Beliefs Played
1 Fate: Looking for Lorwyn and the lost elves.
1 Persona: Humor.