Significant Milestone: +1 Quick
Visemar has the stern grey eyes of his lineage, their good humor slowly fading the longer he bears Storm Forged Raven Song. He wears his sienna hair cut short. As the eldest, he was meant to join the Paladin Order, but the Song ended that career before it began. Still, he maintains a military regimen and a strong build. Beneath his breastplate, he wears the Grey’s colors: black lined with burnt orange.
Indentured Hexblade of Winter and Ash
“I will persevere because, if I don't, who will?”
“Beneath the skin of a Warlock lies the training of a Paladin.”
“I am bound by blood to my family, bound by honor to the Song.”
Storm Forged Raven Song, ancient blade of The Raven Queen
Because I swore a Pact of the Blade, I get a +2 when I Flashily attack when I use an eldritch weapon.
Because I am a Hexblade of Winter and Ash, I get a +2 when I Flashily create an advantage when I curse an opponent with a conspiracy of ravens.
Because I am a Hexblade of Winter and Ash, once per session, I can Forcefully
attack each opponent near my curse with a burst of cold.
REFRESH 3 / 3
STRESS O O O
Episode 4: Song and Dance
Elves surrounded the grave littered clearing. One stepped forward. She was my height, about six feet, and incredibly thin. Braided sequoia brown hair with moss colored eyes. She wore brown and grey clothing in varied shades, over which was a sideless surcoat in wooden brown.
“O’no hara I’na Laneira i’tio senalu o’”
That's about what I thought I heard. I caught the Laneira part but couldn't understand anything else. My confusion must have been pretty obvious, especially since I didn't bother hiding it.
“I am Laneira,” she said, smiling wide. “I thought our language was part of your education. A lack that should be remedied if your familial obligations would be fulfilled.”
“What obligations?” I ask.
Laneira scowled, “The pledge Brencia Grey made generations ago. We keep no’thilu ka’tikani safe, and your family sends an emissary to address our needs and concerns.”
“What your family blandly refers to as Ravenswood,” she replied dryly.
“Oh. You have a strange idea of keeping things safe. Scaled people attacked me on the way in.”
Laneira nodded, “We were tracking them to see where they came and went. Easier to cut them off at the source. Ha’wasetta… Your Raven Queen… called us to find you. We should get started before she grows annoyed.”
Without waiting for a response she gracefully turned and strode back to the tree line. The other elves, clad in similar colors, some in leather and others with simple clothes, turned and melted into the trees. Within a few heartbeats, the only elf I could see was Laneira, and she moved with a sense of purpose as if trees would move out of her way. For all I know, they did, because I had hard enough time walking between some of them to keep up.
“Your armor. Too much noise. Catches on branches. Boots to hard, harms the earth,” she stopped and pirouetted to face me, pointing, “Sword sticking out behind you like an unruly tail. You will need teaching… Later…” her voice trailed off, so I assumed she wanted my name.
“Visemar,” I said, feeling indignant and annoyed. Half child, half soldier being berated.
“Visemar,” I couldn't tell if she was mocking my name or if it was her accent. “We will find your na’waset, too.”
“Nawaset. Name?” I ask.
“More than a name. Wa'set. Thread. Why you are here.”
“So what do-” and she had already spun around and started walking, leaving me and my unruly tail to clumsily walk at a brisk pace to keep up.
We walked for hours, or maybe it just felt that way. I was sweating beneath my breastplate, but Sky was not with me to strip it off and have her carry. There was another clearing with a single immense tree standing in its center. Laneira began to climb knots and branches like they were a natural stairwell. I followed as best I could.
Dozens of feet up, the trunk flattened into a strange room of sorts. The floor was still the tree, and it expanded outward a couple dozen feet in any direction. Branches and leaves wove shut to make natural walls and small windows. The center of the room had a single branch sprouting up, about waist high, with a polished glass orb cradled atop it.
Laneira passed her hand over the orb, and the room dimmed. The leaves drew closer and shut out all light. The darkness was replaced with pinpoints of light. I recognized them as constellations in the night sky. Laneira’s hands come up to shoulder level and drew together in front of her, maybe a hand's width apart. The constellations rapidly retreated, leaving me with a bird’s eye view of a mountainous region. The hands drew closer, and I saw a cave.
“This is where the Dance is. Ha’wasetta asked me to take you there.”
I was still processing how this worked. “Great,” I said, peering closer at the orb. “When do we leave?”
She smiled. Not mocking or unkind. More as a parent to a child learning new things. “We’re already here.”
The outside world pieced itself back together. Like falling leaves, patches of darkness fell away and revealed the world outside. We were on a giant wooden bird, like we were riding the back of a wren’s neck.
“What is this?” I ask.
“A ship. Ages gone. One of the few left since- well, history later. Your quest waits. I wait.”
“Any idea what's in there?”
“Ha’nothiwatatiha,” she said with a small amount of concern.
“This is your quest. I provide no help aside what Ha’wasetta instructed. Her temper is not something I wish to find.”
“Noted,” I replied, heading toward where I thought the door was. Fortunately, it was right where we left it. A rope ladder had been unspooled to the ground which I awkwardly climbed down with my breastplate and Song. I grumbled about unruly tails as I made my way to the ground.
The cave was dark even a short distance in. An invocation later, and my sight acclimated. It descended the further back I went. It may have been a few minutes or a couple hours, I don't know, but the passage kept going further back and deeper until opening into a cavern forested with stalagmites.
“O’no hara la punalu a’ ha’ nitaaru kara?”
I heard the question mark. There was an elf leaning back against a stalagmite, chewing on the end of something chitinous like a toothpick. Silver haired and eyed, he was also incredibly thin for his height. Just a head shorter than me. His clothing was greyscale, shades of ash to black.
“I’m Visemar, and you are…?” I hoped speaking slow and purposefully would imply I wanted to talk.
“Visemar…” again with that weird tone like it was sour or something. “Ya’nalu ha’watatoya?”
“I have no idea what you're trying to say. Pictures?” I mime scribbling something on my hand.
He breaks into a wide grin, “Weinalu,” he says, reaching a dark hand back and pulling a short sword free.
The elf moves fast. He kicks off the stalagmite and spins in the air, slashing his sword at my throat. My shield swiftly leaps up in defense, intercepting the blade and shoving him toward another rocky finger. Song comes up and takes advantage of his imbalance, skewering him through the stomach and slicing up out of his torso.
There went my diplomatic solution. He was obviously dead. Around his neck was a silver pendant, a tiny sculpture of a flaming sword piercing a crescent moon, like a bow with an arrow. There was just one way to go, deeper into the cavern.
Even deeper into the cavern, I came across a walled section. A single gate lay open. I scowled at it. An underground gate? I approach cautiously, once more aware of just how loud my boots sounded in a rocky cavern. Then I see the largest spider I had seen in my life. It was as tall as me, wider than three of four men. And it silently crept at me.
I didn't think conversing with it would work, so I charged at it. Song swept at its legs, but it jumped up toward stalactites hanging from the ceiling. It fires a stream of silk at me, and I deftly dodge to the side. Fortunately, I came up beneath and behind it.
My eldritch energies swirl around my hand, and I focus it into a beam. It scrapes across the ceiling and cuts into one of the spider’s legs. It falls to the floor but tumbles around and lands squarely on top of me. Its bulk forces the air out of my lungs.
The energies surge into my off hand, forging the icy dagger. I release Song, sending the dagger to my main hand and hack into the mandible and eyes glaring down at me. It's a messy task, but I carve into the thing until I free myself. Covered in green ichor, I take my blade back and make my way through the gate.
Slow applause comes from the small building to my right. Another elf stands in the doorway, taking in the sight of me.
“Weinalu,” she says, stepping into the courtyard of the underground keep. She had the same silver hair and dark skin as the other but lavender eyed. Her greyscale clothes are covered with links of chain on her torso. She has the same pendant around her neck. A hand pulls free a moonlit blade, short with no crossguard. It shimmers with a pale light.
“Pa’ i’tio sutanalu?” she purrs. “I’ sunala o’ to set.”
She snarls and rushes at me with the odd blade. We meet face to face, my shield against her sword. I go to trip her by pushing forward with my foot snaking behind her. She responds with a grin and steps back. Over her shoulder, I see another pair of spiders making their way toward me.
We seem to be evenly matched. She feints then attacks with a reverse strike. I lean back and parry it aside with my shield. I thrust upward as I come forward, but she's already stepped aside. The spiders make their appearance and fling themselves against my shield.
Her riposte comes dangerously close to cutting me, but my training prepared me for quicker opponents. I let the blade through my guard and twist so that it traces across my breastplate. I pull strength from Song, and she finds her mark. A long cut appears on her arm. Her spiders sink fangs into my calf. I grimace in pain.
She tries to press the advantage and comes in with another strike. My shield comes up and parries it aside as I drop to my knee. I turn and bring my sword firmly down on the spider's head. It lays still. Its companion also tries to bite into me, but I've already spun aside to my feet.
I scream as her sword cuts deep into my leg. She smiles.
“I’ setnala o’to wa.”
That stirred my anger. I could hear the venom and derision in that statement. The ice dagger flips into my hand, tumbling across fingers then shoots at her. She is much faster than I anticipated and cut it from the air. The spider smells the blood and leaps at me, latching its legs around my shield.
Her short blade comes forward in a spinning thrust. My shield comes up, taking advantage found by having the second spider fixed upon it. The blade stops against the iron targe, pinning the spider through the abdomen. It is my turn to smile. I drop Song and step into her guard, pressing my hand against her chest. She looks down in surprise just as an eldritch blast rips her chest open.
I calm myself. I reach down to inspect her odd sword. Black runes come to life and trace their pattern up the blade before fading. The Dance of Wisdom. What do I do with this?