Tales of the False Prophet
What do we really know? How fragile is our knowledge; our history? The veil covering an ancient power is uncovered through an archeological dig in the ruins of Tyr. A stone tablet references the tales of the False Prophet, a hidden storyteller of great power who tells tales of history in a world that never truly happened. The tablet is being transported to Travance Proper for further inspection. All this is happening at a time of a looming power waiting to be released. What will unfold, and what ripples will travel across the lake of lore? Only time will tell if all of your memories are real, or if you've been living parts of your life within a highly convincing story…
* * * * *
Such a late hour for a traveler to be on the roads - a single hunched man, dragging behind him an unusually large cart, overflowing with trinkets and bobbles clunking around and occasionally falling to seemingly no care of its owner. My job as a common guardsman led me to ask him where he was going at such a late hour. He seemed unconcerned with the howling of the deepwood wolves or the dangers in the shadows and said that he travels wherever his inspiration takes him. He had many interesting stories to tell, but his mixed demeanor of being both awkward and creepy caused me to keep alert of my surroundings. When I prodded him further, I learned that he was specifically in search of something he seemed to have lost - a stone tablet was his description. It seemed of great importance to him and I promised him I would help and seek him out if I found it. It was the least that I could do as a knight sworn to aid those in need, I told him. Having had my fill of his unsettling aura, I bid him good luck and sent him on his way, slowly traveling down the passage of Arydor.
Flags of Diplomacy
Mists roll over the landscape and reveal a slow marching band of well-armed individuals. They are dressed in Kormyre’s colors, but as they get closer to the small defenseless village, it can be seen that they hoist the imperial flag of Duke Balliol. Confused how they got so deep into enemy territory, the guards of the small village scramble to sound the alarm and grab what little arms they can muster. The imperial band reaches the threshold of the village and a person of obvious authority motions for his band to keep their weapons sheathed. “Put down your weapons before you hurt yourselves, citizens. We did not come to fight you; we have come to treat with those who have the authority to negotiate terms. Take us to Travance.”
* * * * *
Meanwhile, at Port Valandra in Dreaga’mire, a Costadori flagship docks, unloading a contingent of diplomats and equipment to form an encampment. Upon being greeted by the harbor master, the high diplomat of Coast Haven looks rather agitated as he speaks. “We have been summoned by your King, or Count, or whomever it is that rules your lands now. Your monarchies are so fragile, I can never keep track. I told the Grand Merchant Council that we should ignore such an indignant summons, but apparently your Count has threatened to break all trade ties with us if we did not meet. If it were up to me, I would have called his bluff, but alas, it is not up to me. And so, here we are… Take us to Travance.”
The Primal Springtide
Found in the remnants of the ancient lore vaults of the Circle of Ten was a half-burned tome. So few of its pages could still be read, but one passage in particular has been passed through the druid groves for ages. It reads, “The Primal Springtide. With every passing season comes a measure of power built up and then released into the world. The power that is formed is often the exact amount that Arawyn requires. On occasion, more power is created than needed and the remainder is instead held back. And so, as the seasons pass, the reserve of unneeded power grows larger. In some ways, one could compare this process to that of a dam trying to hold back water. Eventually the power becomes so massive that it forces itself into the world in a great rush of events playing out heavily over the course of several months, culminating in an increase of power throughout Arawyn. The occurrence of this event is rare, happening usually after the passing of several decades or centuries. Each time it has occurred has been after the thaws of winter have fully passed, and so this periodic event has been dubbed by the Druids 'the Primal Springtides.'” Those who are well attuned to Arawyn can sense that one has been building and the floodgates are threatening to break. Perhaps this is the year...
* * * * *
… In the dimly lit vaults beneath Castle Nostrove, she sat there staring at the beauty of the blades, each encased in a separate and elegant elemental cage. Although she had crafted one herself, something had always felt uneasy about them, though she could never quite say what. Her mind drifted to the thoughts of her and her son’s murder. Years ago, their deaths were avenged, and her vengeance had been satiated, putting her at peace with their terrible fates. For more than a year now, she suffered through a new struggle: whether to allow a dark time in history to repeat itself and possibly cause others to suffer the same end.
She felt a hand on her shoulder and heard a gentle voice. “Your Grace.” She turned to see a female dark elf.
The Count’s eyes slowly shifted from blue back to brown. “Ardis, what is it?”
“You’ve been down here for several days and Angeliana has been asking about you. Everything you have ordered has been done. The refugees from Grimwyr have been seen to, a royal missive has been sent to Coast Haven, and--”
“Days?!” the Count interrupted in an aggravated tone. “I don’t have days to spare, what is she doing?” The Count shook his head in frustration. “We are heading back to Travance once I finish poring over the war reports one last time.” He turned back for a moment glancing at the Verdranne Blades. “And have Squire Aikichi pack these up. They're coming with us.”