After the Age of Wonders
Rana Family history
Elros begins seriously.
Now that we are away from the fey of the summer court, I can answer all your questions more openly. I know you wanted to know why you should help me on my quest, so let me explain what the quest truly is…
My name is Elros of the house of Rana. Son of Elwing and Earendril, who was prime loremaster to Titania, queen of Summer, grandson of Vilya, spellweaver to the Maiden of the Moon, and twin brother to Gildor, squire to the court of summer.
I come from the Eladrin city to Salos, which is the seat of Taragil, baron of the summer court and rival to Maeve, consort of the Prince of Frost.
He stops himself and then says. But you all did not come to learn about the Court of the Stars. You wish to know about my brother and… Well let me start with asking what you know about the Feywild.
<pause> then continues with a lecturing tone filling in any of the answers the party may not have gotten..
Answers: Wild, magic, home of the fey, untamed, etc.
Generally correct, but lacking in one area. The feywild is deadly. Compared to the mortal realm, the feywild also has what we call “Bright Beauty”. Colors are more vibrant, smells sharper and shadows more terrifying. Flowers can seduce you with scent and seas entrance you to drown yourself just to hear the waves lap on the shore more clearly. But by far the most deadly are the creatures. Magic infuses everything in the realm giving even the lowliest of creatures sentience. The feymire crocodile that we encountered earlier is but one example of one of the lesser dangers of the feywild. The truly powerful fey creatures blind you with their beauty or attack you with the force of a hurricane. Of these creatures, the worst are the Formorians, powerful magic using giants who are just sane enough to enslave all before them and revel in wanton destruction of the innocent. Those are the lords of the feydark.
The story of my brother begins as so many others do with Kalak the thief. Long before I was born, Kalak came under pretenses of friendship to the court of the gloaming fey. There, in return for arcane secrets, he agreed to steal an object of power from the court of summer. Knowing that the next Court of Stars was set to commence soon, some of the spellweavers foolishly agreed, and begin to train him. When the time for the debt to be paid, Kalak choose to take the Orb of Solos from the court of Taragil. Thefts such as this happen all the time in court politics as a way to gain position. As usual the theft was hidden by Taragil, at first so as not to lose face in the great game.
The orb that he chose was a weapon of great power, used often by the Eladrin to drive back the Formorians when spellswords and our armies were not enough. With this weapon gone our cities were vulnerable, but none knew it until the year of the Gloom Tide.
In the height of that year, three powerful Formorian kingdoms all attacked at once. Brogendar, then First Lord, directly threatened Astarazilan, the largest of the Eladrin cities, with an immense army of Cyclopes and slaves. As the different city states rushed to the city’s defense, two more Formorian kingdoms burst from the feydark and attacked the cities of Salos and Estorial. In panic, the Court of Stars called for the Orb of Solos to be used, only to discover Kalak’s treachery.
Without the orb, our spellweavers and solders fought bravely, but by early in the year of the dragon star, Estorial had been razed and the defenders of Astarazilan and Salos were only holding on by a thread. Earlier in the war, one method of turning the tide was suggested to the Court of Stars, but was rejected as being to dangerous. However with the fate of many thousands of my people in the balance, my father and mother (then heavy with my and my brother) disobeyed the will of the Court of Stars.
At a major nexus of ley lines Earendril the LoreKeeper chief sage of the summer court, secretly conducted a ritual that drew into himself great power from the far realms. The release of this power provoked all within hundreds of miles to previously unknown heights of passion. Among the Eladrin within the city of Astarazilan, it is known as the night of madness. It is said that not since the war of the Drow have more murders and marriages occurred in a single day, as passions flared over even the smallest of incidents. But among the already unstable Formorians within Brogendar’s kingdom, the effect was explosive. Each Formorian turned on the others believing that only he was fit to rule. In the confusion that followed, the slave races turned on the Formorians. Adding to the chaos, Eladrin heroes poured forth from the city breaking the army in a single charge. With the greatest threat removed, the armies of the Eladrin lords were able to drive back the other two Formorian kings.
Yet the ritual was not without cost. Like mortals, fey are not equipped to handle the energy of the far realms. Earendril’s last act, as he was being driven insane by the power of the far realms, was to step through a gate to the far realms and seal it shut behind him. Elwing was also affected by the energy of the far realm, went into labor at least a month too soon. Alone and trying to hide from the shattered remains of the Formorian army, she gave birth to me and my brother.
Without Earendril or a family to support her, Elwing did the best she could to raise us. But life was not easy growing up. Many Eladrin blame my father for the murders that happened that night and so our family was forced to move often. Finally, just before the wall between the planes was removed, my family settled in Salos. Our finances were exhausted and we were reduced to living off the largess of the summer court.
By that point it was clear that Gildor and I would be following different paths. I was quiet, reserved and studious, following my father’s path of arcane lore. On most days I could be found sitting quietly in the corner reading about a far off place.
Gildor, however, had a way with people. He somehow had friends in all social classes. With good looks, quick wit and a quicker knife, he was at home anywhere from Taragil’s court to the meanest streets of the city. I think it was some of these friends that eventually got Gildor in trouble. As we got older, Gildor started to associate with a rough crowd and would sometimes disappear for days before returning with bags of florals (gp) to give to my mother. Because we were down on our luck, I never asked where this money came from, and he never talked about his “jobs.”
After the wall between the realms came down, things came to a head. I know my brother argued with some rough characters one day, and the next day he was gone, saying only that he had gone to recover the Orb that had caused all our problems in the first place.
We found out later that when he left he had absconded with the bejeweled crown and signet of the midsummer King. At first this seemed to be pure theft, but after researching, I found that the signet ring is supposed to be magically linked to the Orb of Solos. So it seems that my brother really was serious about finding the orb. Some part of me has always wondered if my brother is set on finding the orb because he feels it would atone for what my father has done, or because it will make him a hero to all living Eladrin.
Over the next 15 years, I did not hear any more from my brother. While I waited for my brother to return, I continued my studies, and was eventually appointed sage of Salos. People say that I have grown to be a near mirror image of my father, in both looks and personality. But I knew that couldn’t last. History tells that the time between major attacks by the Formorians averages to about 50 cycles. It has been 53 human years since the year of the dragon star and I have personally seen signs of a renewed Formorian aggression. Already their scouts have been seen in places where they have not been seen in decades.
And so I left my post as Solos’ sage to find the Orb and hopefully my brother. For I fear the fate of the Eladrin race rests on someone finding the orb and bringing it back to the feywild within the next couple cycles. With stakes as high as these, some part of me understands my brother’s actions in the dungeons of Kalak. It can be reasoned that a few lives is an acceptable cost for saving thousands. I don’t agree with the idea, but part of me has to say, I can see the logic.
And so now you know the full story behind my family’s history. I will be seeking my brother and hopefully a lead on Orb. I would ask you to assist me in my trial, but the choice will always be yours. Will you join me in my trial? *