We slept at Pallazzo’s house and woke to a beautiful morning on Therandoor the 21st, in the year 998 YK (year of the king). It’s a strange thing, being in a place of kings and royalty. The closest thing we have to royalty back home is Gilroy’s family, and most of them are evil pains in the ass.
Once everyone was awake with spells prepared, we discussed our plans for the day. Aurora wanted to go potion shopping, while Gilroy wished to visit the Church of the Silver Flame. I wished to visit the concert hall, in hopes of performing for an audience that could appreciate my voice. I asked Jaden if he could work on changing some of the magic in my headband, which he said would take him less than a day, so he stayed at Pallazzo’s and worked.
The three of us (Gilroy, Aurora, and myself) called for a skycoach and went to the concert hall, in the University district. A few words with some porters pointed me in the direction of an older elven man named Mister Cavera. He had a receding hair line of gray, dressed well but not overly so, and made a point of mentioning that he knew my family name, just not me specifically.
I’m not going by my real name in this time; it’s too risky and a piece of advice I’ve chosen to heed from our Gatekeeper. In this time, my name is Gavin Ir’Ric, a man of royal blood from the country that’s now little more than a wasteland. There are likely others from the Ric bloodline alive today, but Pallazzo assured me the family is so divided it would be difficult for anyone to find out the truth, so long as I put my silver tongue to good use.
Mister Cavera seemed generally unimpressed with me until I auditioned, singing a song about Gavin’s (made up) history. I suspected he enjoyed the performance, given that he mentioned he may be able to fit me in the following evening and/or the evening following that, but his face was relatively difficult for me to read. Upon leaving the concert hall, Aurora confirmed my suspicion, saying “he was fighting back tears.”
From there we headed to the Dura district by skycoach, exploring a large bazaar of shops, salespeople, and vendors of all kinds. From the looks of it, a person could find anything here, assuming it’s not insanely expensive. While exploring the shops in the vast sea of people, the three of us noticed a young boy with a look on his face that screamed “pickpocket”, so I called him over to us. I asked him about his family, age, interests, and his favorite inn, which turned out to be the Silver Moon. I told him to go there, and to tell any passersby about my upcoming performance(s). I gave him 5 gold pieces with the promise of 5 more should he follow my directions and agree to enter the university (through the lightening of my gold purse).
The next highlight was a giant man flying on a giant owl through the district. I flew up to get a better look and meet him. He was about 9 feet tall, with thick fur, and looks part animal. He was a shifter – part human and part bear. Counselor Ha’Root, as he introduced himself, said he was the elected counselor for this district, and that he had an office in the sky off a tower (that ending up looking more like a nest). He agreed to meet with me in the coming days at his office, so I could ask more about his visit to the Eldeen Reaches.
Our next stop was the Cathedral of the Silver Flame. The cathedral’s main chamber was huge; it could probably fit at least a hundred people in it. It didn’t take long for a young man in white robes to approach us, introducing himself as Pilgrim K’Ohn. Gilroy mentioned his interest in the Church, and asked about its history. The pilgrim regaled us with the story of Tyra Morin fighting back demons and falling into the demon pit of fire, turning it silver and weakening the demons. Pilgrim K’Ohn says the flame whispers to people, but is always loudest to one: the Keeper of the Silver Flame. At that moment I knew we’d be heading to Thrane to see the flame at some point, especially after what happened next.
Gilroy took the pledge of the Silver Flame, affixing a brooch to his armor. At that moment, silver fire erupted around him, causing everyone in the room to go quiet. You would not have needed to be Jaden to hear a pin drop; it was silent. Pilgrim K’Ohn immediately prostrated himself before Gilroy, asking if he’d like to meet the Arch Hierophant of the church, which Gilroy agreed to do.
While the pilgrim fetched the Arch Hierophant, people in the church introduced themselves to Gilroy, asking him for words of prayer, for loved ones and good health. It was during this 15 minutes that I lost track of Aurora, who snuck back outside without a word.
The Arch Hierophant entered with the chamber with two guards wearing full plate, like her own, except she was also adorned with the garb of the church. Though she appeared to be about 60 years old, she looked fully dressed and prepared for battle. We stayed for the service after a brief conversation about the end of the war and me performing at one of the services in the future.
Then we returned to Pallazzo’s home, where Gilroy revealed the Arch Hierophant showed as a strong evil in his eyes. It’s unfortunate, but not surprising, we all agreed. Gilroy wishes to help the church (and likely attempt to purge it of evil), and mentioned the slave trade we stumbled upon. Dazen gave a brief overview of their activities that day, to which Jaden gave us another warning regarding changing the future. He insists we should not be people of great import; I disagree, and not just for selfish reasons. Do I want to perform for a city that really appreciates it? Yes. Do I want more power? Absolutely. To what end? I want to save us, to save our families and friends, to save the planes of existence, and to save the gods of magic.
That evening we ventured to Skyway, the wealthiest part of Sharn that literally floats in and on clouds. Some of the houses there were bigger than towers in the lower parts of the city, with hippogriffs and even fancier sky coaches flying about. The restaurant where we dined was called the Azure Gateway, named for the azure stone used in its construction, which was made even more exclusive-looking by the gate out front made of spun clouds and sapphires. Outside I saw a member of the Corinberg family, writing furiously on something as each of us strode into the restaurant.
Dinner was enjoyable. We had the pleasure of dining with Lady Salya, Ricard D’Orian, Dantien, and Jazelle Toraz. Dantien was the trade minister serving below his “auntie”, Lady Salya. All of us were in attendance; Gilroy, Aurora, myself, and even Jaden, though Jaden chosen to remain “unknown” in the form of a mouse hiding in Gilroy’s collar.
The conversation during dinner was mostly boring, and a true demonstration to Gilroy’s inability to carry on conversation. When asked about Zendrick, and goods, and trade, and so on, I distracted the group by insisting Gilroy was always fonder of other things, not business. Lady Jazelle, partly because I think it’s whom she is, but also because I believe she picked up on the awkwardness, chose this time to announce she hates talking business. She was certainly a free spirit, and Lady Salya said as much several times during dinner.
During dinner, we noticed a group at another table and someone (I can’t remember whom) pointed out the gentleman at the table was Ambassador Jorshesh, a Riadrin lord. With him were two women, one looking more like a guard than a servant. Lady Jazelle went over to introduce herself to them and offer them seats at our table, and returned when our dinner arrived; Jorshesh and his company would join us for dessert.
Dessert was interesting. The two women were Lady Helkashtay and Lady Melishara (the guard), who frowned at the mentioning of Ambassador Aurora. The conversation was pretty uneventful, but Jaden was able to use his spirit sense under the table to learn that Lady Helkashtay, Ambassador Jorshesh, and Lady Jazelle all showed as spirits of some kind.
The 22nd of Therandoor turned out to be even more eventful. There was a message for me (Gavin), inviting her to perform at the concert hall that evening and the following evening. I left Pallazzo’s with Jaden (as a raven “familiar”) on my shoulder, picked up the pickpocket (Wicks) from the Silver Moon and took him to the University to begin his studies.
That afternoon, we were called to the University by President Laryin Ir’Morgrave (of the university itself) at once. It was at this time I pointed out my raven “Jaden” was my familiar. Jaden was not too pleased at the idea of his known being somehow known, but I think he came around to the cover identity.
The president of Morgrave University was in the man in the eve of his prime, with heavy shadows under his hazel eyes and gray hair, but he moved with excitement. He brought us to the museum in the university, so that we could have some privacy, even though Dala Rond and Ambassador Jorshesh were in the library. The president revealed a creature known as Flamewind had called for us by name. Turns out Flamewind is a gyrosphinx from Xendric that lives in the university and sometimes calls for people. The Ambassador and Dala Rond were immediately impressed by the news, and hoped to join us for our conversation, but the president was first in denying them their request.
When we entered the chamber we saw the body of a giant lion, with deep black fur that rippled like flame, falcon wings of the purest black, and the face of a beautiful elven woman with feline features. On her brow was a beautiful silver diadem, with jeweled chains of platinum around her neck and forearms. She seemed to scan us over for a few moments, assuring we were all present, and alone. Then her eyes became cloudy and misty, as did the room. Then it was darker, with fog appearing in the corners of the room. She said:
“Glass brassed sin hidden before thrones and tables
The dust settles on all things
Threatening fair wind white wings
Shadow and emeralds burden ships
Invades families and seeks to stop turning
Not alone the darkness dreaming
Alone with moon’s curse
Study the signs written now
The child of prophecy beyond
In the distance where dragons dwelt
Purify all voices all kindling
Must be burned by one’s own flame
Key to beyond and also before
The soul contested
Salvation soul in redemption
Of light and dark
First had twice born not to die
A rare dream amidst nightmares
Forest and fort grave weighting
The touch of life unyielding
Burdened promises under many stars
The crimson night has cried
Bind the powers willing
The foul flights beyond
Below the dragon coils foul claws
Before the gate he stands
Poison spirits for curse contempt
Stir the stasis kept
Born in stone rest in bark
Idle of the watchtowers
These pieces puzzled in chaotic disarray
Only forward back can you play”
After her vision, we have a brief conversation where we learned her last visitor was King Ir’Winarn of Breeland (King of Breeland), and Aurora pointed out that more time has passed than we realize. My first real concert and I was running late.
At the bottom of the stairs, Ambassador Jorshesh and several others were waiting for us in hopes of hearing news. There was one individual that stood out more than the others, a man with long violet hair and glowing eyes, with similar facial features (but no crystals) as Arius. He was first to mention he’d be interested in speaking with us, and Dazen agreed, saying we could do so after the concert.
As we left the university we were attacked by several spellcasters and many humans with rapiers. We noticed them and had the opportunity to attack them before they could truly surprise us. I won’t give you the play-by-play, but most of us used our powers to slay the creatures, including Arius and Jaden, who looked like the strongest familiar in spellcasting history (aside from maybe one belonging to one of the mages from Krynn). Lady Selya almost died, but was brought back in time. And though I did reveal some of my strongest magic, dominate person, I never used any healing magic or my witchfire. I need them to keep thinking I’m a wizard.
Selya called for guards as I began questioning Furst, the man I dominated, but he didn’t know anything useful. I gave him over to the guards as Selya said, “By the law of the threat of Sharn, we claim their possessions.” And we did; quite a few scrolls, wands, and other things. This was a well-funded group.
Ricard said he had his skycoach ready to take us to the concert hall, so we went, and though Mister Carver was annoyed by my lateness (and not at all sympathetic), my performance was so magnificent he forgot about it.
My performance was a song I’d been working on for a while, about the stars and the ocean falling in love, seeing each other from a distance but never being able to be as one, with the light of the stars reaching the water every night, with old words. Mister Carver cried he was so moved, as did many people in the crowd. Women swooned, men were overwhelmed by my talent, and many members of nobility introduced themselves to me. The one that stood out most was an older woman who handed me a card with a Skyway address on it, and “The Tains”.
Outside we met with Arius, starting conversation briefly, but then deciding to go to a tavern and discuss things with him. We revealed bit by bit to him, until finally we broke our silence. “We are from the future, and we know you from that future, and the planes will break into nothing if we don’t succeed in fixing what was broken.”
Jayden remained wild-shaped for the extent of the conversation. That’s so raven.