Chapter 5 - Myth Drannor
As the sun set on Myth Drannor late in the month of Hammer in the Year
of the Lost Lance or, as mankind counts time, 712 Dale Reckoning, we entered
the city along “The Way of Song”. The city itself was like
something out of a dream. The setting sun and the winter chill (less biting
then it had been outside the mythal I noticed) did nothing to clear the
streets. They were full with most of the good races of The Realms; elves
(of course), men, dwarves, hobbits, gnomes and centaurs were among the
people we passed, their journeys illuminated by a multitude of glowing
orbs that glided up and down the streets and through the treetops.
Josiah led us along a white marble street. I caught a glimpse of Baldric
trying very hard not to look too boggled by the sights around us but I
had no such reservations and greedily took in every new spectacle. A closer
look at the stone buildings confirmed my initial impression that they
had not be carved but formed by the Art. Interspersed between buildings
and along roads were statues of heroes (from their stance they could only
be such) representing the various races who lived within Myth Drannor’s
boundaries. We seemed to be in a traveller’s district. The first
building we passed was “The Overfilled Jack” an inn from which
spilled sounds of light and merriment. Next to that was a feast hall “The
Lady’s Laugh”, like many of the structures in the city it
started at the base of a mighty tree but then a covered staircase snaked
up the truck to connect with an upper floor nestled in the branches. Next
came a dance hall and after that a large villa surrounded by a thick barrier
of thorn bushes. From the top of the villa flew pennants depicting a rampant
stag. The next building we passed was called “The Bow Hall”
and was the first, but by no means the last, that seemed to have been
constructed underneath a tree, it’s door nestled in the roots. Next
came two more inns. The first was called “The Treant’s Treat”.
I didn’t spot the name of the second inn, a large stone affair with
We were now approaching a stream and a fine perfume reached my nose. Looking
around I spotted bushes of luxurious green, blue and grey roses in full
bloom despite the season. Seeing me move to examine them Arriane told
us that they were Cormanthian Roses (a breed that I knew to be extinct
in the future) and suggested that I find time at some point to visit the
Glim Gardens where other floral delights could be found. Baldric asked
if the Glim Gardens were where the Blueglow, with its amazing healing
properties, could be found. Arriane replied that it grew all about the
city but mainly in the Burial Glens. Talk of the Blueglow got me thinking
and I asked Arriane if it was also able to heal older injuries, the type
that may have healed badly, and internal injuries. She wasn’t sure.
Crossing the stream I caught sight of a water mill and some fifty feet
beyond that a damn.
Josiah had been leading us deeper and deeper into the city and the buildings,
unique as each one was, became a dream-like blur, a stream of colour and
sound that reminded me of festival nights I had experienced as a child.
I only remember one more inn clearly before we reached our destination.
Like The Bow Hall it was located under a tree. From the door came sounds
merriment that seemed to hardy to my ear to be elven. The sign above the
door, proclaiming that it was “The Flaming Goblet” also had
an honest simplicity that I would have associated more with hobbits. As
we passed three figures staggered out, singing a bawdy song and clinging
to each other for support. All three were male; two were men and one a
gold elf. What stuck in my memory the most however was the fact that all
three glowed with an aura of golden fire. Josiah informed us that this
was a temporary side effect of drinking at The Flaming Goblet or even
having a drink thrown over you while inside (something I got the impression
happened quite often).
A corduroy road led us past a huge, twenty-five feet by my reckoning,
archway fashioned of stone and inlaid with fine silver decoration. Before
the arch stood four elven warriors dressed in exquisite mithril plate-mail
that reminded me of the set once owned by Baldric, almost certainly members
of the Akh’ Velahr. While they looked serious they did not have
that same stiff, unfriendliness common to human soldiers on guard-duty.
Looking past them we could see the trees and homes of Myth Drannor (it
was a pointless task to decide where one stopped and the other started)
through the arch but they looked pale and ghostly. Again Arriane had an
explanation for me; this was The Silvergate, one of a number of magical
portals that led to other elven settlements around The Realms. Specifically
this one led to a mountain pass near the city of Silverymoon. I saw Amber
grimace at the name; she had been (would be?) born there and didn’t
have particularly fond memories of it.
No sooner had we passed The Silvergate then we reached our destination.
While it was not in the trees the house of Maerdrym was clearly of elven
design. It was four storeys tall with multiple wings and stood in its
own grounds. The house seemed to have neither glass nor shutters in the
windows but I could see that none of the snow being blown on the breeze
was getting in through the apparently empty window frames. What I took
to be the family crest was marked on the pennants that flew from the roof;
four roses entwined about three wizard’s staves on a field of white.
I didn’t know if any of my friends caught the significance but this
sight shed new light on a line of The Ballard of Arriane; “Renouncing
rose and wizards staves”.
We were led into the house and found ourselves in a large atrium with
the ceiling, decorated by a mosaic depicting hippogriffs and dragons,
fifty to sixty feet above us. The entrance hallway, and indeed most of
the house, was illuminated by magical means, a soft light that seemed
to have no source that I could identify. Josiah headed straight up the
stairs while Arriane escorted us to a large sitting room and asked us
to wait. Retiring from the room Arriane said farewell to Mulag, who left
the house, and disappeared from sight deeper into her home. The sitting
room was a well-furnished affair, almost to the point of being busy. The
furniture was all finely crafted, as were the embroidered tapestries that
hung from the walls. Bunches of freshly cut flowers were arranged in vases
and a harp stood on a small pedestal. A welcoming log fire heated the
chamber. This was a little puzzling, as Arriane had told us that, if something
caught fire within the mythal, a cloud would magically appear and extinguish
it. Looking out of the glass-less bay windows (Colatto tried to pass his
hand through the window but found it blocked by an invisible force) I
saw a veranda jutting out into a large and well-kept garden.
Within a couple of minutes a pair of servants brought us the first hot
food we hadn’t had to prepare for ourselves since The Whispering
Witch. When we were, temporally, alone one of my companions, Colatto I
think, asked what we were doing there. I took the opportunity to remind
my friends that finding The Eight was our number one priority and that
we shouldn’t become side tracked by the fate of Myth Drannor. Many
of the others agreed and theories about the Drow’s purpose and current
location were passed back and forth. Amber was keen to point out that
theories were fine but what we needed were facts and they were in short
supply. I speculated that we might be able to get the people of Myth Drannor
to help, they would have tremendous resources of an arcane, divine and
mundane nature, assuming the new we brought didn’t send them into
a panic. Colatto took the opportunity once again to question why we were
committed to this course of action in the first place. His arguments were
the same as that first night outside of Elven Court. We seemed to be being
thrown against an overwhelmingly dangerous foe, The Eight, without regard
for our own wishes to achieve a goal we didn’t really understand
with apparently no help forth coming from anyone outside the group. As
before he was clearly angry at the hand that Fate had dealt him and, as
before, I really didn’t have a logical counter-argument. I only
knew that, even if the task was too big for us we had to try because (especially
now) if we didn’t take up the burden there was no one else who would.
Ultimately it was a matter of faith. As a priest it was easier for me
to turn over control of my destiny to a higher power and trust that whatever
trials befell me it was nessary. By comparison Colatto, a ranger and a
mage, was a man used to creating his own destiny by the strength of his
sword, the power of his Art and the sharpness of his wits. I could sympathise
with his stance but not accept it.
Our discussion was left hanging by the return of Arriane to see if we
were all right. About ten minutes later Josiah came to collect us. She
had changed out of her armour and now wore a fine, green gown. While Arriane
possessed an unmatched beauty and grace it had been easy to overlook these
same qualities in her more militant sister. Josiah led us deeper into
their family home. We travelled down a long, covered galley and then out
into the garden. From there we were led to a finely crafted gazebo where
two moon elves were weighting for us. One was a woman of middle years.
The second elf was a man. He looked younger then his companion but older
then the Maerdrym sisters. He wore his white hair long and was dressed
in house robes. The two figures seemed to have recently finished a conversation
(it wasn’t hard to guess what, or rather whom, it had been about)
and were lost in thought. Josiah gestured that we should approach but
came no further herself. Arriane went with us all but the last few steps,
as if worried for our safety. While it was cold, but not unbearably so,
in the garden it was noticeably a few degrees warmer in the gazebo.
When the man turned to face us I recognised him at once. Though he was
both younger and alive it was clearly Ardryll Maerdrym, elder brother
of Arriane and Josiah. It had been him, as an undead Baelnorn, who had
sent us to find his sister and The Swords of Demron. I glanced down at
his wrists and, as I expected, saw a familiar pair of golden bracers embossed
with pouncing lions. In seven hundred years time he would give one into
Faergil’s keeping telling us that it would identify us to his sister.
I smiled at the deception; Arriane would not have needed a magical bracer
to recognise us as she had already met us.
Ardryll introduced himself as Lord Speaker and Patriarch (presumably of
the Maerdrym clan) while his companion was Yrneha Maerdrym, one of the
Council of Twelve. He told us that Josiah had informed him of our story
and that he would not waist time asking if it were true as “so fantastic
a tale must be true”. He told us that the council would be informed
of both our arrival and the news we brought in the morning and asked if
there was anything new we could add. When we replied in the negative Ardryll
began to wax lyrical, speaking as much to himself as to us. He said that
Myth Drannor had been the dream of Corinal Eltargrim, a city where all
folk were welcome and had an equal part to play (Colatto’s comment
that there were no Drow got a scathing reply from the patriarch), an ideal
for other cities to strive for. Ardryll said that some might say that
dreams were not meant to last but he would do everything within his power
to prevent Myth Drannor’s fall. I did not find this encouraging.
Ardryll went on to tell us that the news from the north was grim. About
a ride ago Garnet and Silverlatham had smashed into the invading army
scattering it but then lost their lives to enemy magic. Following the
news of the dragons’ death Myth Drannor had gone into mourning and
Master Saeval Ammath had left Myth Drannor. As yet he had not returned.
Tactically minded as ever Baynar asked how the dragon’s had died.
Scouts had witnessed the fight from afar. The dragons had ploughed through
the front ranks of the gobliniod army, killing hundreds maybe more, and
then started to close on the rear lines. Presumably this was where they
believed the Khov Anilessa to be but before they could reach them the
pair was struck by beams of light. There had been a flash and deafening
roll of thunder and when the scouts could see again the two dragons had
completely disappeared. Despite the casualties inflicted by the Garnet
and Silverlatham the army was huge and would soon reform itself.
Talk of scouts had reminded of our conversation in the sitting room and
I broached the subject of The Eight. I was hampered by not wanting to
tell them too much about the future but tried to impress upon Ardryll
and Yrneha that the dark elf mages posed a serious threat to the elves
of our time and it was imperative that we find and stop them. Did they
have magics to divine their whereabouts or had Myth Drannor’s scouts
or its allies noticed any unusual activity? Perhaps at The Twisted Tower
or among the army of The Khov Anilessa? The pair suggested that one Kelvhan,
one of the Council of Twelve, be best placed to answer our questions on
this matter. Amber asked if there were any records from the fall of Elven
Court that might tell us more about The Spider Gate and where it led to.
It appeared that our audience was over. Ardryll informed us that rooms
had been made ready if we wished to stay with the Maerdryms. I once again
asked about the Blueglow and old injuries. The pair could not give me
a defiant answer but seemed hopeful. Arriane led off Baynar to begin his
treatment with the Blueglow while the rest of us were escorted to our
rooms. I noticed Amber hanging back and not leave the gazebo.
I later discovered that Arriane guided Baynar to the base of a tree in
the grounds of the Maerdrym house. At which point Arriane took to the
air leaving the Lionar behind. She was clearly lost in the joys of flight
since it took her a few seconds to remember that Baynar wasn’t with
her. Settling down again she encouraged him to stand on a round platform
and within moments Baynar, a little uncertainly, was floating up into
the air. Their destination was a strange structure, a teardrop shaped
lattice (presumably with more “magical glass”, like the house’s,
to fill the gaps) with no bottom. The truck of the tree ran through the
teardrop and the bark was covered in blue moss that gave a distinct glow
in the darkness of the night. Arriane explained that the Blueglow would
probably take four to five days to re-grow his arm and he should remain
in contact with it as much as possible. Traditionally the patient slept
with it in their beds. It was known to have side effects however. Almost
everyone who used it experienced an increased awareness of their own body
and some, but by no means all, temporarily experienced a diluted version
of some of the powers the elves got from the mythal.
As our rooms were shown to us I guided Primrose to one side. As you may
have guessed my enquiries as to whether Blueglow could cure old, internal
injuries had been with her in mind. Since the frenzied attack that had
cost Primrose her unborn child the question had hung over her as to whether
she could bear children ever again. The miraculous restorative powers
of the Blueglow seemed just the solution.
My bedroom was cosy and pleasant. As well as a bed there was a bath with
large pitchers of hot and cold water. I decided to take along long, relaxing
bath before retiring but cut it short when I found I could not get comfortable
in a tub designed for someone noticeably shorter then I. While I bathed
I over heard Baldric talking to, I think, some of the servants and then
indulge for the next hour of so in throwing himself from increasingly
higher places and drifting down under the effects of the feather-fall.
Baynar was the first of us to awaken the next day. Later he told us how
all his senses felt sharper and clearer and, as Arriane had predicted,
his sense of his own body was greatly enhanced. He felt purged of all
the toxins that had built up over the years in his body. Instinctively
he knew that he no longer needed the platforms to levitate but could do
it for himself. Most importantly of all the stump of his arm was a few
inches longer and itching like crazy as bone and muscle regenerated.
At breakfast time I tried to find everyone and ask if they wanted to explore
the city. I spotted Amber in the Gazebo. It was easy to imagine that she
had stayed there all night; I remembered that on the voyage to Nimpeth
she had done something similar. Baldric and Faergil agreed to come with
me. Colatto and Primrose decided to strike out on their own. Baynar had
been advised to stay in bed and Bazil seemed a little evasive about his
I learnt form Primrose that she and Colatto headed for a section of trees
not to far from the Maerdrym house and had a go at building another snowman,
there was now enough snow for a snow-hobbit. They were joined in their
endeavour by a small group of human children and between the six of them
the snow-hobbit grew in all the wrong directions. Colatto formed a quick
friendship with one of the children in particular, a boy called Simon.
Simon was very impressed when Colatto told him he was staying with the
Maerdryms and he invited Simon and the others to explore the house. From
anecdotes Primrose passed on to me it appeared that Simon would soon be
leaving Myth Drannor, as it was his time to grow up. Apparently, like
many children, he was born outside the mythal but brought into it when
he was about eight. Here he remained, not ageing beyond thirteen, until
his education was complete (the elves believed that a young mind learnt
quicker) and then would leave to continue growing to adulthood. At this
point it would be his choice whether he returned or not. Simon appeared
destined to be a blacksmith though, despite having no apparent talent
for the Art, he had entertained notions of being a wizard.
After their impromptu tour Simon let Colatto in on one of his favourite
games. It was a challenge amongst his friends to see who could jump from
trees opposite the Silvergate and, while gliding down, angle their descent
to land on the arch of the gateway. So far it had never been reached.
Colatto took up the challenge and ascended a suitable tree. Simon went
first, running along a walkway and then throwing himself off the end.
His momentum carried him quite a way but he fell well short of The Silver
Gate and landed before the gate’s sentries. Never one to shy away
from creatively reinterpreting the rules (indeed that was one of his strengths)
Colatto moved back along the walkway until he was not visible from the
ground and then cast a polymorph spell. He ran along the wooden platform
and, as he leapt form the edge, turned into a bird and flew across to
land on the gate, much to Simon’s delight. The guards politely but
firmly asked Colatto to come down which he did and, changing back began
to chat to them about the gate. Apparently the portal allowed for two-way
travel and the other end was situated some two day’s walk from Silverymoon.
After first determining that he would be allowed to make the trip Colatto
stepped through the Silvergate and disappeared. He reappeared a few moments
later looking cold but unharmed. The guards had a final piece of advice
for Colatto and Primrose; it was not necessary for them to carry arms
around the city.
Saying goodbye to Simon, Colatto and Primrose took a stroll around the
city. Whether by accident of design the pair eventually found themselves
by a second portal out of Myth Drannor. This one was called The Honourgate.
It was shaped like a pair of giant scimitars and, like The Silvergate,
was guarded by four elven guards. The portal connected with the forest
of Mir, which was, they were told, two thousand miles to the south of
Myth Drannor. Its most common use seemed to be for hunting expeditions.
Once again Colatto took a quick trip through.
Most of what Bazil got up to that day I did not discover for a while.
What I did learn fairly quickly was that he had gone to change some of
the precious gems that he carried into usable currency as his coinage,
like all of ours, had disappeared during our journey back in time. The
currency of Myth Drannor was fairly straightforward with the copper “Tankard”
at one end of the scale and the platinum “Friendship Star”
at the other. Fearing that we would see battle at some point in the future
he commissioned the construction of a hobbit-sized set of chain-mail armour
and paid over the odds to have the order rushed through. What he got up
to beyond that would remain a mystery.
Just as Baldric, Faergil and I were about to set off we briefly met Arriane.
Unfortunately she was too busy with her own tasks to accompany us around
the city. She did pass on the advice that it was considered bad manners
to wear arms or armour in the city, the Armathors offered all the protection
a citizen or visitor to Myth Drannor would need. Not wanting to insult
our hostess I dropped my weapons in my room before proceeding. Faergil
wanted to see the wizards of the Windsong Tower to learn more about the
staff of power he was now carrying around and seek enlightenment at The
Throne of Thought, the city’s temple to Labelas Enoreth.
The Windsong Tower was situated across from Cormanthor Castle in the very
heart of the city. The castle was the only building I had seen so far
that seemed to have been constructed with defence in mind, suggesting
that it predated the protection of the mythal. It looked impregnable with
walls that must have been fifty feet thick in places but was still a graceful
and beautiful building. It was clearly a mixed bag of architectural styles
but the section that caught my eye was the tallest tower, it matched the
description from Faergil’s history so perfectly that it could only
be The Ruler’s Tower created by Srinshee herself.
Across a plaza from the castle was The Windsong Tower. Its name seemed
apt, as we approached we could hear a sound not unlike pipes or flutes
carried on the wind. It was separate from the rest of the city by a fence
of black iron that had been wrought to depict a variety of spell effects,
looking closer I saw lightning bolts, starbursts, elementals of all types
and creatures shifting from one shape to another to name but a few. What
we didn’t see anywhere was a gate. In one respect “The Windsong
Tower” was also a bit misleading as there was in fact three of towers
set in a triangle. Like the fence none of the towers seemed to have a
way in. Between the three towers was a short, by comparison, keep the
walls of which seemed to be full of holes. It was the wind blowing through
these holes that was the source of the fluting noise. Faergil employed
the power of the mythal to fly over the fence to inspect the towers close
up. He tried to lift Baldric over as well but the magic of the mythal
did not seem to extend to giving people a ride. Leaving Baldric behind
he flew around the towers in an attempt to spot a way in, then knocked
on a wall announcing his presence and finally (deciding he might have
to prove his worth to the wizards) casting an anti-magic spell on the
tower itself all to no avail. I asked a passer- by how my friend might
get in and was told that no one ever entered the tower.
With our first objective thwarted we headed into the far northwest section
of the city to find The Throne of Thought. Though I had no idea what it
would look like I certainly did not expect what we found. It had none
of the airiness I had come to associate with the homes of Myth Drannor
but was instead a sober, solid building of stone. Other then a tower that
overlooked it the structure was only one storey tall. There seemed to
be no windows and, though there were open doors on at least three sides,
the interior had deep shadows. A statue of Labelas Enoreth dominated the
main chamber. After paying his respects to the statue Faergil, who had
become more nervous the closer we got to The Throne of Thought, went over
to speak with the priest in attendance. While Brother Baldric went with
him I decided to give the mage a bit of room and went off to study the
murals that covered the walls. I never wandered out of earshot however.
Faergil told the priest that he had a few questions that needed answering.
The priest clearly noticed that glowing hole where my friend’s left
eye should have been and correctly guessed that he was in the presence
of a Chosen of Labelas Enoreth. Slightly nervously Faergil asked the priest
about the rules governing time and whether his patron would ever approve
of someone altering history. From the priest’s answer it seemed
to me that he saw time and history as two connected but distinct things.
A powerful enough wizard may exert some control over the former but the
later was sacred. Apparently the goddess Mystra, then known as Mystral
(which placed it before the fall of Netheril), had set down the rules
governing movement in time and anyone attempting to alter history would
put themselves in direct conflict with her. Mystra, the priest said, policed
this decree harshly and would not only strike down anyone who changed
the past but eradicate them from history all together. Everything they
had done, including the violation that had drawn Mystra’s wrath,
would be undone. I was glad my companions could not see my face at that
point because of the look of relief that passed over it. Though I had
done my best to convince my friends and myself that time was unchangeable
I had always had doubts. The idea that I would have to oppose the rest
of The Company if they had decided to save Myth Drannor had been one that
had haunted me since meeting Arriane and Josiah. Now it seemed the matter
was out of my hands and, since he hadn’t been eradicated from history,
Colatto’s revelations to Arriane, Josiah and Mulag had not prevented
the fall of Myth Drannor. Still, we would have to be careful. This prompted
a rather disturbing chain of thought; what if there had been more then
eight members of The Company of the Silver Coin? What if one or more of
our number had violated the Laws of Time and been eradicated by Mystra?
Trying not to think about it I paid attention to Faergil and the priest’s
conversation. Faergil wanted to know if Labelas Enorath ever interfered
in history but was told that while he, and Mystra, certainly had the power
to do so even they, possessing a wisdom beyond any mortal, could not predict
the outcome. The priest’s words brought to mind a lose thread on
a garment; pull it wrong and the whole thing could unravel. The priest,
his curiosity clearly piqued by Faergil’s line of questioning, asked
why he wanted to know. Faergil parried by saying he was unsure as to why
Labelas Enoreth had chosen him. All of The Chosen, the priest replied,
new the reason for their calling, hadn’t he spoken to Faergil? The
mage repeated Labelas Enoreth’s message to him and asked if the
priest could decipher it. I could have told Faergil that would be fruitless;
the priest had no context into which to place the words. Predictably the
priest asked Faergil if there was anymore he could tell him. Now Faergil
had my full attention. Would he tell the priest the truth? Baldric seemed
to be concerned too and tried to intervene but, understandably, the priest
was not really interested in hearing from a mortal when The Chosen of
his god was standing right in front of him. Luckily Faergil picked up
on Baldric’s concerns and, apologetically, told the priest that
there were some things that at the moment he was not at liberty to reveal.
The priest seemed to accept this and offered the advice that in the past
The Chosen had served Labelas Enoreth by preserving and spreading knowledge.
During this time I had not simply been pretending to study the murals.
They depicted, as far as I could tell, the history of elven kind. I was
rather disappointed to notice that a lot of it was a history of war, mainly
elf versus elf. Looking carefully through picture after picture of bloody
warfare I found what I had been looking for, the beginnings of the dark
elves. I did my best to interpret what I saw; the elves would become The
Drow seemed to have been exiled from the surface. Their crime was to interfere
in the fight between to other groups of elves. Why this had deserved the
punishment of being driven underground I could not tell. On a whim I followed
the murals back to what seemed to be the earliest point in elven history.
Rather unsurprisingly, considering the rest of the images, it depicted
the elves at war but this time with dragons. Faergil had finished talking
to the priest by now. I asked the holy man over and asked him to interpret
the image. The image, I was told, depicted “The Days of Thunder”
when the elves had taken up arms against the dragons, known as “The
Lords of Earth and Sky”. This occurred during “The First Epoch”,
also known as “The Time of Dragons” some twenty five thousand
years previously. It was a time shortly after beings the priest called
“The Creator Race” had made dragons, elves and even the gods,
indeed the line between the mortal and the divine was a lot thinner and
the mortals of that time could ascend to godhood. I was absolutely amazed
and studied the image even closer in an attempt to absorb every detail.
The priest informed me that the dragons of such a mythic age far outstripped
these that lived today both in power and size. I remembered some of the
dragons I had met, Garnet, Chrome Heart and (of course) my father. It
seemed almost inconceivable that they could be “far outstripped”
by anything, particularly in size. Changing the subject I asked about
the design of the temple and was told that it had once been a tomb to
elven warriors (which could explained all the scenes of warfare but I’m
Baldric, Faergil and myself went our separate ways. Baldric announced
that he was off to buy a horse, after first trading a valuable lump of
onyx that he had brought back through time. While Faergil had been trying
to get into the Windsong Tower Baldric had learnt from a native of the
city that horses could be brought at the Westfields, which were near by.
A simple enough statement and one that had no hint of the trouble it would
engender. On his way Baldric took the opportunity to indulge in some more
“featherfall-ing”. This time he pushed things to the limit
by using one of the levitation disks to raise some two hundred feet above
the ground before diving off. I suspect he saw it as a way of communing
Faergil prayed for a while and then went to buy some spell components.
His search took him to the intriguingly named “Street of Secrets”
where he purchased a pair of pearls. While doing so he asked if there
was anywhere that sold scrolls and was directed to the temple of Azuth.
Myth Drannor’s temple to the god of mages was on the ground floor
of what appeared to be an otherwise deserted tower at the front of which
was a statue of none other then Demron. Faergil asked about the statue
as he purchased a scroll from a priest. It transpired that the tower in
which the temple stood was Demron’s tower. The upper levels had
been sealed upon his death and the arch-mage’s remains were buried
under the altar. Apparently Demron had forged six of his famous “Bane
Blades” over a three hundred year period. In addition to the three
we held there was “Plague Bane”, “Dark Bane” and,
most potent of all, “Foe Bane”.
After leaving the Throne of Thought I had headed across The City of Bards
to find the Glim Gardens. Myth Drannor by day was almost as captivating
as it was by night and each street I passed seemed to hint at new wonders
and enchantments. It seemed to me that a citizen would need the eternal
life that Myth Drannor offered just to see them all. That thought brought
a wry smile to my face. I had often heard elves claim that they lived
in harmony with nature but looking around me it was clear that their idea
of nature was very different then mine. Silvanus teaches us to except
nature in the raw but the elves of Myth Drannor had pulled its fangs,
combed its fur and made it a pet. Yet some how that didn’t make
me even half as angry as it should. Perhaps it was the knowledge that
nothing around me would last more then a few months made me indulgent.
I located the Glim Gardens just beyond the stream that seemed to bisect
Myth Drannor. By the entrance to the gardens something caught my eye.
Incredibly an artisan had set up a small diversion from the stream that
allowed water to drip onto a rock. Over what could only have been decades
he had slowly move the rock under the constant dripping and, by the force
of water erosion alone, carved it into an abstract but beautiful work
The garden was everything I had imagined and more. There was a greater
abundance of flowers here, even in winter, then I had ever seen but greatest
of all of them all to my eyes were the sprays of Cormanthian Roses. Moving
around and through the displays I found a plant that until then I had
only considered a legend. It was a huge bush of blue and grey ivy with
flowers shaped like elven ears, Bard’s Ivy. Eager to test the old
tales I whistled a Cormyrian tune and the flowers swayed towards me attracted
by the sound. A little way off I saw an elven maiden kneeling on the grass.
She had cleared a patch of snow and was sprinkling water on the grass
while talking to no one that I could see. Intrigued I moved closer and
saw that the grass around her had an abundance of small, pretty flowers.
Politely I asked her what she was doing. She replied that she was talking
to a patch of “Listening Moss”, a plant that reacted to praise.
While this was one of the most fanciful things I had ever heard such was
the innate honesty in her face that I didn’t doubt her for a moment.
Glancing down I saw that since she had stopped her conversation with the
moss the flowers had closed up. She asked if I would like to try. Taking
the pot of water (the moss needed water as well as kind words) and lying
down in the snow I heaped praise upon the moss, glorifying it the colour
of its petals and its bouquet (they smelled like strawberries) and sure
enough the flowers bloomed with each syllable. The elven maid suggested
that I might enjoy the Flame Lilies. Like the Bard’s Ivy this was
a plant that I had heard of but never seen before. The lilies themselves
were bold and striking in their beauty with petals a rich yellow and red.
The most unusually feature of the Flame Lily is that they are warm to
the touch, generating their own internal heat. While I knew of none off
the top of my head I wondered if a Herbal Mage could draw some use from
this feature; a potion to protect from ice magic perhaps. I would have
been interesting to find out but I would probably have had to harvest
all that I saw before me to find out. After a quick chat with the Glim
Garden’s keeper, a green elf called Daram, I headed back for the
Maerdrym residence; but not empty-handed.
Arriving back at the house I found Brother Baldric sitting outside with
a saddled horse. We exchanged greetings but he showed no signs of coming
in. I was a little puzzled but said no more. How little I knew the trouble
that horse would cause. Once inside I glanced out into the garden and
saw that Amber was still in the gazebo. It was by now early afternoon
and I could well imagine that not only had she been there all morning
but she hadn’t left since last night. I popped along to the kitchen,
rustled up a sandwich and tankard of warmed wine and took them out to
her. I was a little disappointed that she turned my offerings down but
went ahead with asking Amber why she was exiled to the garden. Her reply
was so in keeping with her character that I really should have guessed
it. Amber was staying away from Myth Drannor both to stop herself from
having an effect on The City of Song and, perhaps more importantly, to
stop Myth Drannor from having an effect on her. She had clearly accepted
that we should not save Myth Drannor but feared that if she let herself
become emotionally attached to the city or its people she would not be
able to turn her back on them in their hour of need. After telling me
this Amber became rather tight-lipped and after a few minutes I got the
feeling she wanted me to leave. After offering her the food and drink
once again (again she refused) I turned to leave only to spot Colatto
approaching with an unreadable look on his face and the reins of Baldric’s
horse in his hand.
Leaving the two rangers be I headed back inside and arrived in the sitting
room just in time to see Primrose punch Baldric and demand to know if
he was now going to buy her a horse too. Baldric seemed lost for words
(not to mention a little drunk) and sat there as Primrose vented her anger
at him (luckily for Baldric verbally rather then physically). Sidling
up to Bazil, who stood in a corner trying not to draw attention to himself,
I asked what was going on. Apparently Brother Baldric had waited outside
the house until Colatto, with Primrose in tow, had returned where upon
Baldric had given him the horse and told Colatto in no uncertain words
that he never wanted to see him again. Baldric had backed Colatto into
a corner. The ranger had threatened to leave at the next town that sold
horses and Baldric was calling his bluff. Colatto had to choose between
leaving and an embarasing back down. For a man as proud as Colatto this
was no choice at all and he would have left at once if Primrose hadn’t
convinced him to wait until she could find Bazil. Bazil had been able
to convince Colatto to stay at least until The Council of Twelve had spoken
to us. Bazil’s argument was a good one; it gave Colatto a way out
of the situation without making a fool of himself. After making sure Colatto
did indeed return to the Maerdrym house Primrose had gone looking for
Baldric with the intention of giving him a peace of her mind. To be truthful
I was amazed at the sheer level of anger Baldric held for Colatto. It
might have been more understandable if Baldric had lashed out at him in
a moment of rage but to buy and outfit a horse and then sit there, apparently
calmly, waiting for Colatto to return. I was also a little amazed at just
how drunk Baldric had got in the short time (certainly no more then half
an hour) since I had seen him last. Those elven wines must have been stronger
then I thought.
Within minutes Colatto and Amber had entered the room, Amber had apparently
said much the same as Bazil and Primrose in an attempt to get him to stay,
and now Primrose had both parties to shout at. Soon Colatto, Amber, Primrose
and, occasionally, Baldric were making their views known. Primrose angrily
accused the rest of company of always undermining and picking at each
and then rounded on me for not picking and undermining the others but
keeping my mouth shut and “sitting like a spider in the middle of
my webs”. I was genuinely surprised by this comment. I liked to
think of myself as open and, where I could, honest person. If I declined
to pass judgement on my friends it was because I respected their differences.
Did she really see me as a spider? Did the others? The arguments grew
loud enough for Baynar, in his enforced bed rest to hear. The Lionar decided
to take action. He was a soldier born and bread and, rather unrealistically
perhaps, expected The Company of the Silver Coin to behave like a military
unit. He rounded up all of The Company and told us that none of us were
going to leave until everything had been sorted out. It is fair to say
that the next few minutes were neither pleasant nor productive. Many of
The Company aired old grievances and created new ones. It was hard to
tell who Primrose was angrier with; Colatto or Baldric. Colatto had a
few choice insults for Baldric and called into question his physical and
moral courage. Was Baldric a coward? The priest had battled vampires,
dragons, trolls, giants, beholders and even avatars, hardly the actions
of a coward. Yes he was more cautious then Colatto (surprisingly so for
a Luck Bringer but then I’m hardly a textbook example of a Druid)
but if being less headstrong then Colatto made one a coward then I was
guilt and so were the entire Company. While I had stayed silent through
most of the arguing Colatto’s accusation of moral cowardice prompted
me to intervene as it affected all of us. The thrust of Colatto’s
argument concentrated around the death of Feyondra in The Darkwatch. He
claimed that Baldric, indeed none of us, had made any real attempt to
find her but left Feyondra to her fate. I remember it differently and,
judging from what the others said so did they. Both Baynar and myself
argued that The Company had done everything practical to find her and,
when we failed, had made the only reasonable choice.
During all this Baldric had been getting more and more drunk (which only
really strengthened Colatto’s argument) and was commenting that
we were all going to die. Of course he was absolutely correct, we were
after all mortal (with the possible exception of Faergil), but I suspected
that Baldric was referring to the apparitions that confronted us in The
Darkwatch. I had kind of hoped that everyone else had forgotten about
that, I wasn’t sure Baldric was right but even the possibility that
we were destined for a horrible fate in The Darkwatch could undermine
my friends’ resolve. I decided something had to be done about Baldric
and, taking his bottle and glasses, called upon Silvanus to purge the
alcohol from the priest’s system. I was a little surprised when
the miracle failed; perhaps Silvanus doesn’t consider elven wine
a poison. At least he had no more wine. By now the argument had reached
a stalemate. Baynar threw open the doors in despair and, declaring that
we were all immature children, stalked off to his room (a little latter
Bazil confided in me that he found the irony of Baynar’s statement
quit amusing but, thankful, he didn’t say anything at the time).
Faergil took the opportunity to tell us that he had decided he knew what
Labelas Enorath had been trying to tell him when he charged the mage with
saving his people by “restoring what was lost”. He believed
that his patron wanted him to recover the secrets of High Magic, an art
(or rather “Art”) lost to The Realms with the fall of Myth
Drannor. I agreed with the mage whole heatedly. Again I must ask you not
to think me smug but I had come to the same conclusion on our way to Myth
Drannor but had decided that it was probably better if Faergil made up
his own mind. But could someone, even a Chosen with a mind as brilliant
as Faergil’s, learn High Magic in the time left to Myth Drannor?
It didn’t seem likely but perhaps there was a short cut. I thought
of Netheril and The Nether Scrolls and realised that I had forgotten to
ask Arriane more about them.
Colatto went to joined Amber in the gazebo.
I decided that I needed to pick up a few things and enlisted Bazil’s
aid. The hobbit had been kind enough to look after my money and, while
the coinage had been lost, he still carried over two thousand golden Lions
in precious gems that were mine. He escorted me to where he had got his
own gems changed earlier in the day and I obtained two thousand ‘Scrolls’.
From Faergil I had learnt of the magical supply shop that he had visited
during the day and Bazil and I headed for it. There is a miracle known
to the Druids (and a few others) known simply as “Rainbow”.
One version of the invocation required the priest to be able to see a
rainbow. The other required the sacrifice of a flawless diamond worth
no less then one thousand pieces of gold that had been blessed and preyed
over by a priest of a war god. Such was the obscurity of this sacrifice
that until now I had never thought to obtain it but Myth Drannor didn’t
let me down and, for the princely sum of one and a half thousand ‘Scrolls’,
I purchased what I needed. The Street of Secrets was full of traders selling
trinkets and treasures from the four corners of the world and I was tempted
to explore it from end to end. However the day was waning and I got the
feeling that we would soon be summoned before The Council of Twelve. I
promised myself to return another day. Before returning to the Maerdrym
house however Bazil took me to the weapon and armour smith he had visited
that morning. The memory of our skirmish with The Insect Demon and his
gnolls and hobgoblins was still fresh in my mind. Though I was not overly
happy with the idea I knew it was impractical to call upon the Divine
Favour of Silvanus to protect me in every random skirmish we came across,
I would need a more effective means of defence then a club and two knives.
I purchased a set of leather armour and a wooden shield as well as a scimitar,
sling and bullets. Not surprisingly the armour-smith didn’t have
any in my size but they told me some could be fashioned in two days. I
paid them up front and told them I would call again for the armour and
pick up the weapons at the same time. As we headed back I took one hundred
Scrolls and gifted the rest of my money, with my thanks, to Bazil.
We arrived back at the house just before Ardryll called us all together.
It was time for our audience with The Council of Twelve.
I used the following references:
Cormanthyr - Information on Myth Drannor, the Maerdrym family,
Elven History and more
Fall of Myth Drannor - The Khov’ Anilessa, Garnet and Saevel Ammath
and the Blades of Demron, the Council of Twelve.
Its easy to hate somewhere thats perfect, especially if you're a player
in a roleplaying game. Theres no adventure to be found, unless you cause
trouble yourself. Myth Drannor is a close to perfect a place as you would
want to live. Its here that adventurers can come to rest when they are
tired of killing and looting, a city to spend all the hard-earned money.
No fear, no hate, and no death. Sounds horrible right? right? Love it
or hate it Myth Drannor (probably?) falls, and all those people living
the dream die. I try to make it a city WORTH saving and thats very hard.
Pretty much everything in the city came from the Arcane Age sourcebooks
dealing with Myth Drannor. I did alot of reading last week!
Without adversity PCs get bored and fight between themselves. Its
one of the rules of roleplaying, and it happened again on Saturday. By
the end of the evening I was quite happy to forget the whole thing. I've
heard the term 'its only a game' bandered around so many times recently
I wonder if anyone actually believes it. One of the great things about
my campaign is the amount of roleplaying my players do. They just know
how their characters should act, its natural to them. What I feel is happening
is that the roleplaying has taken over so much the game is grinding to
a halt.Don't get me wrong, I can roleplay all night, but when the game
breaks down two weeks on the trot I begin to wonder whether its gone too
I do intend to continue, at least for another week.
'Cause its only a game.
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