The Grease Monkey Inn is loud and boisterous as you take a seat at the bar, reading from the local newspaper. The Inn’s band playing a jangling tune about a lad named Leslie and his horrible fate playing easily in the background. Drinking from your tankard you read the headline, “Is war coming? How can we prevent it?” You scoff and take another drink from your mug.
“One cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.” Someone says from behind you. The sudden matter of fact statement causes you to glance over your shoulder. Taking a seat beside you is a man in scarlet and gray, long brown hair concealing a fair portion of his face. As you study the ornate swords at his hips, he looks to you and asks, “Like them? They’re a family heirloom.” Your eyes linger on the skillfully crafted weapons… The inscription on the hilt of the longer sword looks to be… Elven? He places a copper piece on the bar and asks the tender for a mug of ale.
His fairly antiquated clothing and slight accent tell you he is a foreigner… Probably from one of the southern continents. You notice as he tucks a few brown locks behind his right ear that the ear is curved. He is human. Though you’ve never heard of a human wielding elven weapons. At least not in the last several hundred years.
“You know what I mean?” He continues as he peers down into his tankard of ale. You look slowly from the swords to the the man as he continues to stare at the bottom of his tankard. Of course you know. How could you not know what he speaks of? The rumors of war between the Empire of Antar and it’s indigenous elven houses are rampant in the city of Primus. Predictable, considering the fact that the Mirinali Wood is only a hundred miles or so from Primus. And the factories of Primus has been spewing smoke into the sky… Dumping sludge into the cerulean Lake.
The breaking point was when a group of human loggers cut down one of the Elven sacred trees. A group of elves attacked the loggers, killed two of them. Three of the loggers managed to survive and get back to Primus. The President of the largest Ironworks was outraged and had been whipping the Imperial court into a frenzy ever since. In regards to a civil war it wasn’t a matter of if it would happen… Only a matter of when. It was just as bad on the side of the Elves. Pointy eared creatures of sort were coming out of the woodwork, quite literally, over it.
The strange man sloshes his mug about as you muddle through your thoughts. You nod faintly and look back to your paper. “So who do you favor if it happens?" Again you look to him. He’s watching you now. Rather… Intensely. You shrug noncommittally.
“Makes you wonder though, doesn’t it…. Maybe the second part of the headline has the right idea. How can we prevent it?” The man asks before setting his still full mug down and walking to a poorly lit table in the back of the bar.
Exiles is the fifth book in The Antar Series. It is a companion game to Book IV: The Winds of Fire & Magic.. It is run using the Pathfinder RPG system.