Elder Players' - Interlude Ten
I will be posting the e-mails I receive between the October 2001 game and the November D&D game, when they are appropriate for the whole group to read:
This story takes place prior to the party stepping through the damage painting, being split in two halves, and then going on two seperate adventures. Mike asked me about this awhile ago, but I was just able to get to it!!!
Will stepped back through the painting while the others were occupied. He made his way quickly down the stairs
and engaged Baron Shelby Crunal in conversation again. The Baron seemed friendly, and fairly intelligent. Will
hoped that the Baron could give him some advice about advancing his career as a young soldier, and aspiring politically-minded
The Baron caught on to Will's line of questioning very quickly, and saved them both some time. "Friend...I think I understand you concerns. And as an older man...at least than you...and someone who has successfully navigated the troubled waters of Empire politics, I do have a bit of advice for you."
Will nodded, and gave the Baron his full attention.
Baron Shelby cleared his throat. "Don't fight the politicians at their own game. Don't seek the Emperor's favor through speaches or by following orders better than the next guy. And for the sake of all the gods, don't attempt to gain power through trickery or deception...this Emperor is most hateful towards any he suspects of such activities. No...you are young, and strong, and hungry for war. The region you have been sent to is ruined...frozen for 500 years! Perhaps the key I gave you will lock shut the doors of winter...the Storm Gates."
Will was not following. Either the Baron was talking in circles, or had simply not reached the point he was trying to make. Will smiled, and gave the Baron a look that was both curious and knowing.
"Carve yourself out a fiefdom...swear loyalty to Javair, lend him your sword and your advice...and in the end take as your reward some of the land and the people as your own. Javair will agree to that...if he is still the Javair I knew, he does not seek power for its own ends...He will share with you...and he will share with others. My advice to you is to get the biggest piece you can...and rule it justly. And as the leaders of fiefdoms near you fail to prosper in their position...buy them out, push them out, take what is yours...and what you can protect and rule fairly."
The Baron drank deeply from his cup, and had a cup brought to Will. Will smiled. "So your saying my future does not lie in the Empire, but as a ruler of a fiefdom in the backwaters of the Empire?"
Baron Shelby laughed out loud. "No...no. Though ruling a fiefdom in the backwaters of the Empire can be rather rewarding." The Baron gestured around him. "I am saying that the Emperor Jestak is a warrior of the Grasslands of Shronth. He will not be impressed with favors, or politics, or trickery. He will only be impressed with conquest...and a man able to rule other men with a strict but fair hand. Accomplish that without the Emperor's help...and he will someday seek your help. That is the extent of my advice."
Will grasped the Baron's hand. "Thank you, sir. I will consider your words carefully. I must get back to my friends before they leave me behind!"
Will made his way back to the party, and they were then split by the damaged painting of the Mountain of Man....
Players, Kevin sent me two questions. Here are the questions, and the answers....Mark Stinson
1. Once the shadows were reuinted with their former selves, do the abilities regenerate? Or is the -3 strength permament? YES...ONCE THE HALVES ARE REUNITED, A HEALING TAKES PLACE, AND ABILITY LOSSES ARE RECOVERED. THAT GOES FOR ALL CHARACTERS....
2. While the rest of the party was negotiating with with Gungkrot, Eytai went to the wall Ash gestured towards. He believed there might have been the key to Gunkrot's posession ("the wizard behind the curtain"). This activity was overshadowed by the more direct approach taken by the rest. Did he uncover anything? THE ANSWER IS IN STORY-FORM, BELOW!!!
EYTAI CREEPS AROUND THE LAVA CHAMBER
Eytai crept to the wall, and began to search it for any flaws or inconsistancies. After a few moments a small
panel was revealed to his sensitive touch. On either side of Eytai, huge columns of lava cascaded down from holes
in the ceiling, and down through holes in the floor.
Moving the panel aside, Eytai revealed five small levers in a small recessed area. One of the small levers...the center one was down. The other four levers were in the up position. Eytai recalled that when Ashe reached his hand out towards this wall...this panel, the center column of lava stopped flowing, and Gungkrot was able to climb down a hidden ladder in the hot empty channel left behind.
Eytai put the panel back in place, and glanced over his shoulder to ensure he had not been discovered. No one was looking his way. Eytai was pleased with himself. This room had appeared to be a deadend in the huge mountain complex. Clearly the small hidden levers were the key to exposing five tunnels that led deeper into the complex! That information could be useful if the party were to return here...an wished to find the Red Jackel himself....
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