Sunday, May 24, 2009

Avari and the Shadow Stairs, Arc part 1

Avari’s studies the concept of other planes existing parallel to her own.

Avari grabbed as many old books as she could carry and sat at her desk and heard muffled sounds coming from the books on the shelf behind her. It was then that she found a group of books that didn’t belong with the others. Older books, worn bindings with what looked to be words but in a language she had never seen in her 155 years. The Tomes of Hirarch.

When trying to touch them her hand passes right through, leaving her hand cold and numb, what should be solid is hallow. The moaning and chiming sounds from the books grew louder as she pulled her hand away. Without gauging of what dangers could await her, Avari walked through an illusionary wall that appeared before her, projected from the eldritch tomes. She found herself in what used to be a grand hall but has sense been left to ruin. The muffled noises filled her head with such volume she fell to the ground clutching her head with her hands. “You must be causing this madness…It must be you Rendgrey…” She unleashes at her pouch that holds the Leomund’s Chest that currently houses the evil sword. The tiny pouch fell to the ground with a thud the belied its true weight. Even above the chiming in her mind she can hear the sentient sword call to her, an impulsive call that not many can resist. Black whispers that forever haunt the mind. After her encounter with the Anathamancer, the mysterious forger of the great sword, Avari believes that she is the only one who can master the will Rendgrey.

The eladrin wizard then stood and began to discern exactly the origin of the crushing noise and the secret cause of her transport to this ruined place. The chiming turned to voices and words from familiar mouths came to consciousness. At first the voices were eldritch and dark. Mouths formed in the darkness and reached for the fearless Avari who understood that this was not their true form but a temporary state of becoming. It became clear that the voices were the same that plagued her before in the presence of the Father Light, again with the Khelem Jahar, and originally at the death of her great uncle, Mikiiel.

Avari’s basic instincts, rooted in ancient Raelfaen magic, allowed her to let go and as calming down a wild horse, she silenced the madness within. A wave of warmth washed over her as she turns the voices to singing. The mirthful songs, familiar and true, then transformed into telling epics of love and joyous times long since forgotten. Deciphering the ancient lyrics, she hears “Mother and Father to all Eldar whisper the truth of your heart and the unlocking of the world…” Then loud and wondrous choirs began to form themselves into manifest figures before her, dancing through dream mist with. The ghostly rabble leads her out of the Ruin where she first appeared.
Without care and with a light heart, Avari followed the ghosts into a dark forest until they came to an ancient stairwell climbing an overgrown hill covered in nightblooming flowers. The dancers evaporated and the voices faded, leaving her in a breath of shadowed silence.

Avari then ran up the stairs without a second thought, full of curiosity. The stairs were covered with writing and as she ran she could read them with the touch of her bare feet as if the words wanted to be in her mind. Ancient histories of her people, the origin of many things. What would seem like hours to a human, is nothing more than a blink of an eye to a daughter of Feywild. The stairwell ends in a dusty, muted grey room long since uninhabited by the living. Large, glassless windows defined the interior space of root and stone. Two thrones sat at the end of the expansive space that was once a grand hall, gilt with gold and silver.

A boisterous, commanding voice erupts and echoes through the empty room. Words from an ancient Raelfaen dialect seem to call warn Avari with a dark and severe tone. Scared for the first time since she walked through the wall she searches for her prime weapon, the minotaur wand but it is not in the holster at her belt. Panic strikes her as she realized that the Leomund’s Chest was absent too, and her books! And even the loud mouth Ahkinat. Feeling reduced to nearly human, vulnerable and exposed, Avari backs toward the stairwell, but it had folded into the shadow. The voice calls again, this time without the severe quality, this time the tone is full of warmth and in a modern tongue, “There is no near to fear, my child, my eyes are old and I did not recognize you, but I see you now…come greet your father, he has missed you.”

cowritten with Keli Rivers

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