Elminster the Sage

The Company of the Silver Coin
Amber the Ranger
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Book 5

Chapter 6- Many Partings

Ardryll and Josiah led us through the streets of Myth Drannor to Castle Cormanthor. While I had only been able to gaze at the outside during the day now we were guided in through the main doors. Beyond was a wide corridor, well decorated but not ostentatious. The interior of the castle was guarded by members of the Akh’Velahr, their composition seemed to sum up Myth Drannor itself, mostly elven but there were also representatives of all The Realms’ good races.
Ardryll led us through a doorway and into a long, broad hallway supported by columns and hung with pennants. Strangely, I noticed magic was not being used to illuminate the chamber. Instead the light of the rapidly setting sun shone in from high windows to illuminate the white and green marbled floor and candles stood in corners to dispel the shadows. At the far end of the hall, upon a raised dais, was a semi-circular table at which sat twelve figures. The Council of Twelve.
They stopped their various discussions as we approached. They stood in greeting and Ardryll gave a long formal greeting in elven to introduce us. While our host spoke and chairs were brought I regarded the twelve individuals who held the fate of Myth Drannor, and perhaps our own, in their hands.
The first was an elf of mature years (though of course it would be impossible to tell any of The Council’s true ages thanks to the effects of the mythal). His hair and eyes were black and he wore the robes of a mage though I could not tell whether they were black or very dark blue. His manner was intense and thoughtful.
Beside him sat a male Moon Elf. It appeared he was also a mage but his robes were more colourful and his face more open.
The third was also a Moon Elf, though I didn’t think he was a mage despite his robes. His hair was worn short and was blue. He regarded us over the tips of his steepled fingers, which he tapped together in a slow rhythm.
Next to him was a Gold Elf. He was clearly a warrior judging from the highly decorated set of plate-mail that he wore, it could have been called a work of art but I suspected it was just as practical as it was beautiful. His hair was a fiery red and his eyes golden.
Beside him was one of only two women in the Council. She was Gold Elf and had the look of a mage about her. Her hair was blond and her eyes silver, eyes that did not have a welcoming look.
Next was another Moon Elf. He had many of the features common to his people. Perhaps unconscious that he was doing so he stroked his chin as he got our measure.
The seventh member of The Council of Twelve was a familiar face; Yrneha Maerdrym.
Next to her was a Green Elf. His simply made, plain brown robes and wild hair were a stark contrast to the finery of those around him. His keen eyes had an almost hawkish look about them.
Beside the Green Elf was the first non-elven member of The Council. He was a human who appeared to be in his fifties. His once blond hair was turning white and his eyes were green. He had a neatly trimmed goatee beard and wore the robes of a mage. His right hand was covered in black tattoos and, perhaps it was a trick of the light, they seemed to move about his hand like black insects.
Next was a gnome. His hair was grey with green tips and his skin had the colour and texture of tree bark. His face was open and friendly with a smile that revealed gleaming white teeth.
The eleventh member of The Council was a distinguished dwarf with grey hair and a well kept beard.
The last was a brown-haired, blue eyed Hobbit. He lounged across his chair and gazed out of the window as if he were a little bored.

I had hoped that The Council would be introduced to us but they went straight into business. The silver eyed elf did most of the talking, assisted from time to time by the Moon Elf beside her. She informed us that The Council had heard our story and were incredulous, was there anything we wanted to add or proof we could offer to support it? Amber, picking up on the disdainful tone in the elf’s voice, replied that she didn’t really care if they believed us and that our purpose was to find The Eight. The Council wanted to know more and so Amber explained again how our pursuit of the Drow had brought us back seven hundred years and how we had lost their trail in Elven Court. Bazil took up the baton from there, suggesting that the dark elves could be with the army of the Khov Anilessa. This clearly got the elven warrior’s attention though he said nothing. The Green Elf asked us what we knew about the massacre at Dysrisa and we related what we had found there, though I doubted we were telling them anything new.
Mention of the army that threatened the city got The Council talking amongst themselves. Not surprisingly they seemed to be having a hard time believing that the mythal which had protected The City of Bards for centuries could fail them though, as the gold elf warrior pointed out, it had never been tested against such a large force.
Bazil asked the council if there was any way that they could help us find the Drow. The brightly dressed elven mage, who had shown the most interest in The Eight, looked like he was about to speak when “Silver Eyes” changed to subject to The Swords of Demron. If she was working up to a threat or insinuation she never got the chance to deliver it. Bazil, respecting the customs of Myth Drannor, was not armed but both Colatto and Amber drew Faervian and Dragathil. Colatto simply placed The Mage’s Blade on the table but Amber offered the hilt of her sword to The Council and asked who would take it. One of the Moon Elves walked around the table and took hold of the sword. The second Amber released it the blade’s pink flames flared and the elf let go. Instead of falling to the floor however the sword just floated there. It swung around in the air and for a second seemed to menace the elf before returning to Amber’s hand. The Council did not seem happy with this turn of events but for the moment there seemed nothing they could do about it.
It was now that Brother Baldric, who had been silent until then, asked a very good question; why had it taken The Blades of Demron to open The Legacy of Shrinshee? Was there some connection between the two? One of the Moon Elves suggested that the question be put to “The Telescrin”. The Telescrin was the head of an order of mages that we had heard of once or twice before who venerated the memory of Srinshee. This sounded like a good idea but once again the silver eyed Gold Elf was unhappy with it pointing out that “Shyael Illdacer ” (presumably The Telescrin’s real name) was “out of favour” with The Council.
Bazil returned the subject to how The Council could aid us. The brightly robed Moon Elf, who if I caught his name correctly was Kyossoun Ammath (another ancestor of Faergil’s) seemed willing. Yrneha also came in on our side, as did the dark robed mage beside Kyossoun . From the reaction to his words the dark eyed mage’s opinion held great weight amongst The Council. I heard the Hobbit mutter that it was “about time” and from the Gold Elf’s slumped shoulders it looked like she thought the matter had been taken out of her hands.
Now the talk turned to how The Council could help us. The army of The Khov Anilessa had been under heavy surveillance and there was no sign of The Eight. Nor were they in The Twisted Tower, which, despite what we had heard, was not yet in the hands of the Drow. Getting away from The Eight Colatto mentioned that the secrets of High Magic were lost in the future, could Faergil use the time remaining to Myth Drannor to learn it so he could take that knowledge back into the future? The mages on the council dismissed the idea, even if he was a Chosen of Labelas Enoreth, the power would be too much for him to contain (again I had memories of Faergil’s dream in The Vale of Lost Voices). Colatto asked that a High Mage come with us to The Darkwatch and travel to the future. After some deliberation The Council agreed that, while travelling backward in time was dangerous, going forward was completely impossible. Amber suggested that perhaps the disciplines of High Magic could be written down and entrusted to someone to keep safe until The Year of the Serpent. She recommended Elminster for the job. Some of The Council seemed amused that Elminster was still alive seven hundred years in the future (“Typical of the man” I heard one say) but unfortunately he was not in Myth Drannor at the moment.

The Gold Elf once again exerted herself over The Council. They should help us, she suggested, but only if we help defend Myth Drannor against the approaching evil that threatened it. Our obligation to help, she pointed out, was all the stronger as three of our number had been chosen to wield The Bane Blades, swords that would be needed if Myth Drannor was to be saved. I cannot say that I was surprised by the deal she offered. If our rolls had been reversed would I have gracefully accepted the end of my world or done everything in my power to prevent it? Looking across The Council told me that many saw the elf’s proposition as fair. Amber was clearly not prepared to let The Council have a hold over her and placed Dragathil on the table beside Faervian. She, Bazil and Faergil all did their best to convince The Council that our hands were tied on the matter and that concern for the flow of history must temper all we did. Until then I had not addressed The Council, Bazil and Amber (even if she was a little adversarial) had put our case forward well and a third voice, to my mind, would have only been a distraction. Now, however, Amber asked me my opinion on whether we should stand with the defenders of Myth Drannor. Since we had learnt from Josiah that we had travelled in time I had given the subject a lot of thought and my mind was made up. I might have won us a concession or two if I had lied about, or at least misrepresented, my beliefs but I had too much respect for Myth Drannor and it’s citizens to offer them false hope. Instead I told them as plainly as I could, History had already decided the fate of The City of Bards and it was not up to me to judge if it were right or wrong. Even without Mystra “policing” time-travel who could honestly guess the consequences of such meddling? The blue-haired elf seemed to be expert (or at least the most interested) among The Council on the subject of Mystra and the philosophical implications of Time Travel. Quite soon however he had lost me and, to be truthful, I couldn’t follow his argument enough to tell whether he supported or condemned our decision to remain neutral.
The Council demanded to know that, if we were not going to act to save Myth Drannor, why had we ever told them? I glanced towards Colatto and, oddly enough, so did the rest of The Company. Unperturbed Colatto gave them the same answer he had given us, he believed in the right of the individual to control their own destiny.
Our meeting with The Council had clearly reached an impasse. The human council member, who I learnt was called Trassal, declared that they would retire to consider the situation and meet again in two days. From his tone I got the feeling he wished to help us despite our decision to leave Myth Drannor to it’s fate.

As Ardryll lead us from the meeting hall Baldric beat me to the question I was eager to ask; who was the dark robed mage who had single handily swung the council. Ardryll named him as “Aulair the Silent” a mage whose Artfulness was only surpassed by The Srinshee herself. I was uneasy about leaving The Swords of Demron behind but they had been entrusted to Amber and Colatto so it was their decisions to make. Eager to continue the re-growing of his arm Baynar rushed back to the Maerdrym residence and was already in his room by the time the rest of us got back. Baldric asked in a message could be sent Aulair asking for an audience.
As we entered the house Ardryll asked Baldric what his view on saving Myth Drannor was. It occurred to me that other then Baynar, who was not around to ask, Brother Baldric had been the only member of the group who had not voiced his beliefs. Baldric was of the same mind as the majority of The Company, that while the fall of Myth Drannor was a tragedy it was not something we could change. Ardryll was disappointed to hear this and Baldric looked uncomfortable, probably about enjoying Ardryll’s hospitality but offering nothing in return.
While Ardryll was disappointed Josiah was angry and stalked off muttering that we were all cowards. Amber was having none of that and, as Baldric had before her, challenged Josiah to imagine what it was like to be in our position. A coward would have given in to temptation and played at being Myth Drannor’s saviours but it took real bravery to look at the bigger picture.
It was then that someone noticed that Colatto was missing. Quickly going to the sitting room I glanced out of the back window. There was Colatto packing his few possessions onto the horse Baldric had brought for him. He could simply have been going to move to an inn but in my heart I knew differently; Colatto was leaving The Company. Returning rapidly to the others I told them that Colatto was leaving and anyone who wanted to talk him out of it should act now. Amber and Primrose suddenly found the floor very interesting and the others looked at me stony faced. Leaving them I ran to intercept Colatto. I was under no illusions that I could talk him out of leaving and to be honest I didn’t have the right too try but I was at least going to show him the courtesy of saying goodbye. Colatto and I would never see eye-to-eye about how the world worked but I had always respected his intellect, resourcefulness and, yes, even his honesty. I was a little surprised to learn that he was not heading south but north, via the Silvergate, to Silverymoon. We shock hands and parted, if not friends then at least not as enemies.
Returning to the house Amber told me that Baldric had also gone. He had declared he was going to find an inn to stay at. Amber thought that he was feeling embarrassed at his behaviour earlier in the afternoon but remembering Baldric’s conversation with Ardryll, I suspected differently. Whatever the truth it would have to wait till tomorrow, it had been a tiring day and I need a long sleep.

DM's Notes

I used the following references:
Cormanthyr - Information on Myth Drannor, the Maerdrym family, Elven History and more
Fall of Myth Drannor - The Khov’ Anilessa, Blades of Demron, the Council of Twelve.

The door has closed on Realms, and I was the one to do it, with help from my players; some of who made the decsision easy to make. I closed the books and left the table, and at the moment I do know if I will ever return to it.

Roy decided that Collato would leave the group, after weeks of threats and arguments. This time no one could be bothered to stop him, myself included. Whether Baldric was leaving the group, I never bothered to ask, because by that stage it really didn't matter. The game was over.

I know that some of my players, and friends, are upset about what happened and I can only offer my apologies. Perhaps I will finish it someday, and perhaps my friends will be around to help me complete the story. I really don't know.

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