…from Sangwyr’s Cronies
Relvain the Dragonpinner woke in some kind of camp. She was being tended by Eladrin healers. Other tended her companions, but she seemed to be getting the better treatment.
She remembered losing their fight with Pyradan. Not how she got to this camp.
Seemed to be some kind of battle camp. Arrows and spears were stacked nearby.
A tall, muscular Eladrin with long, dark brown hair confirmed this by his demeanor. Adorned in mithral chainmail and wearing a longsword, he’s clearly prepared for battle. He introduced himself to Relvan as Druemmeth Goldtemple. True to his name, he had streaks of gold in the long brown hair above his temples.
He asked her about the war against the Githyanki.
When Relvain explained who they were and their relationship to the heroes in that war, he apologized for sending the Firblogs after them. “I would have approached you more diplomatically had I known who you were.”
He hadn’t heard about the siege of Nefelus, so Krasire joined in to help fill him in on the details of that adventure. General Goldtemple was interested in the Seed of Winter. “I must converse with Inzira about this,” he told them as he headed for his tent. “My ruler will want to know all about this.”
When he returned, he told them, “Inzira seeks a temporary alliance with the Stone-Skinned King. It’s best if she speaks with you.”
He invited them into his battle tent and then removed a mithral medal from his chest and pinned it to the wall of the tent. Ice spread from the medal, crystallizing across a large surface, and forming the image of a female Eladrin’s face.
With long white hair and piercing, icy blue eyes, her presence seemed cold and unfeeling to Relvain. Her eyes studied the shieldmaiden as she spoke:
“The Seed of Winter belongs to me, not to you and certainly not to the Stone-Skinned King. It was a gift from Koliada to me when I was a mere child, and I have no intention of parting with it."
Her eyes turned toward her general, "However, Druemmeth has convinced me that the Fomorian and I must work together to foil the plots of Sangwyr. Use the Seed of Winter for the time being, as a tool to make a way into the King’s court. I’ll be expecting you to return it when you’re finished.
Turning back to Relvain, she said, “It’s convenient that our interests align, so you’ll be my messengers. Tell the Fomorian I do not like him, and I know he does not like me. However, Sangwyr utterly hates both of us, and we must stop his stupid uprising.”
Pointedly hinting that he thought Inzira should be sending him instead of them, Goldtemple offered to take Relvain and her companions to a place near Cachlain’s palace.
“She has sent other emissaries before you, and they have not returned. Find them if you can and have them released.” The general’s face turned grim. “Assuming they are still alive.”
Rumors coming in from the “traveling” company (currently ensconced firmly in the very permanent University Theater in Sayre) of Jerath the “Bard” suggest that the Drow’s perversity may not be limited to stealing the words of Dwarven mastersingers.
— from a handbill Murrik Ironfell was seen passing out in front of The Orb Theatre.
Shade wondered if the dream about being a praying mantis was some kind of clue as to her previous life. Seemed right somehow, but the idea she was once a mantis seemed improbable.
“Contemplating the improbable will have to wait,” she told herself. Relvain and Krasire were already deep in diplomatic negotiations with some Eladrin general. “I wonder if he knows the high-elf lady from my dream.”
The diplomacy wasn’t even over before Shade heard the sounds of battle from outside the general’s tent. Glancing outside, she saw Eladrin bodies peppered with arrows. Others seemed to have been flayed with hundreds of tiny cuts.
The Eladrin dowsed the glowing silver sigil which was providing the light in his tent. “Good,” she thought. Shadowfox did not like the idea of her own shadow — cast on the walls of tent — giving away her position to her enemies. “Strange, though, how it almost looked like a mantis.”
Rushing outside, Shade was able to find cover in some rocks. “Hard to tell who was firing the arrows.” The only archers she could see appeared to be Eladrin. Some elderly women lurked in the trees, but they didn’t look like Eladrin. Krasire shouted out that they might be witches, and Shade was convinced they had some kind of affinity to shadow.
Some of the Eladrin were armed with swords — Winter Blades, Shade seemed to recall they were known as…
But how could she, a member of the High Lady’s Summer Court…
“That was from the dream,” she thought. “The lady in the dream where I was a mantis.”
Shaking off the thoughts, she noticed the Eladrin with the swords seemed to be taking the worst of it. Those already dead were all armed with swords. Those still standing seemed to be the targets of whoever was shooting at them. She turned to one of the Eladrin archers to tell her to fire back, when it turned into a Rakshasa and fired an arrow at the general.
And one at Shade.
Meanwhile, a troll covered in vine had crashed into the back of the general’s tent and attacked those inside with a Thorny Burst. Krasire was able to immobilze the troll and one of the old women with his empowered Force Grasp. That enabled the rest of the group to get out of the tangle of brambles left behind by the troll’s attack.
“The archers are shapeshifters,” she cried and Relvain rallied the heroes to concentrate their fire on one of Sangwyr’s Night Hags — that was the form the old women shifted into when they wanted to do damage.
Seed of Winter cast aside some of its doubts. Now that the Psion had promised to return it to Inzira once the charade with the Stone-Skinned King was through, the Seed didn’t have to worry whether it had given its Concordance too easily. Still, Krasire did seem to be learning a little bit about dominating a battlefield. At least against these assassins.
Krasire Mirrorsmasher was finally getting the hang of his Precise MInd power. He just had to wait until one of his augmented powers hit, then follow it up with an unaugmented psionic powers. He realized that even an unaugmented power could do a lot if he picked the right one.
“And if it has a greater chance of working.”
Krasire used his augmented Force Grasp again to finish off the first Night Hag and start on the troll — “Twice as many targets gives me twice the chance of hitting” — so Revain began shouting they had to concentrate their fire on the troll.
Relvain was particularly worried about the Vinespeaker Troll as it appeared to be able to regenerate itself. Indeed, once they bloodied it, it healed itself completely and grew more ferocious. They had to kill it with a burning stake from the fire to prevent it from coming back to life. Once they burned the troll’s corpse, they turned to the other assassins.
It became clear Sangwyr’s minions were really after the general. The Rakshasa were targeting at least one of their shots at him every time they turned into their fighting form.
After the assassination attempt, General Goldtemple urged them to leave for the court of Cachlain at once.