Chapter #468

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                                  +
                                +   +
                              +       +
                            +           +
                          +               +
                        +                   +
                      +                       +
                    +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                      +                       +
                        +      Epic III     +
                          +               +
                            +           +
                              +       +
                                +   +
                                  +

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and      +
+  other terms used in these stories are the property of TSR, Inc.  +
+  However, this does not mean that TSR in any way endorses or      +
+  authorizes their use, and any such items contained within these  +
+  stories should not be considered representative of TSR in any    +
+  way, shape, or form.                                             +
+    The player characters contained in these writings are copy-    +
+  right 1991-6 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any persons   +
+  or characters either real or fictional is utterly coincidental.  +
+  Copying and/or distribution of these tales is permissible only   +
+  under the sole condition that no part of them will be used or    +
+  sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them...         +
+                                                                   +
+                                  Thomas Miller                    +
+                                  tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Ged          15th/14th level grey elven priest/mage         (NG) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        4/21/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        late afternoon                                      +
+  Place:       somewhere in the Spindrift Isles, to the far east   +
+  Climate:     cool                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "Do you spend time with your family?"                            +
+  "Sure I do."                                                     +
+  "Good, because a man who doesn't spend time with his family      +
+   can never be a real man."                                       +
+                       - Don Corleone & son, from _The Godfather_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                 CDLXVIII.  Family Reunion





  A single day has passed since Ged learned that his father was
dying, far to the east in the Spindrift Isles.  He has journeyed
there via magical teleportation, to join other members of his
family during this trying time...

Ged:  (standing within an ornately-decorated hall with a high arched
  ceiling, he converses with other grey elves in an arcane, long-lost
  language)  -but I couldn't believe it.
other elf:  (shaking his head)  Nor I.  Nor any of us.
third elf:  It's beyond that stage now...all we can do is be here for
  him.

  Ged had joined various family members in attendance; they were
within a great tower of metal and glass, called Krythril-Sequestri
among the elves.  Most grey elves were seclusive and secretive from
the other races anyway, and the grey elves of the Lendore Isles were
even more so.  No human or dwarf had ever set foot in this structure,
much less the city around it, which was known as Lo Finsara.  For
this reason, Ged hadn't brought any companions along, not even the
loyal and ever-willing Arnold.
  The Spindrift Isles were divided into two parts.  To the south was
the single large isle called Lendore, ruled by the Council of Seven.
This island was jointly populated by elves, humans, and various other
races, and had dealings with the outside world.  The northern islands,
on the other hand, were populated and ruled by elves alone.  Three in
number, these isles avoided trade and commerce with their neighbors
(and everyone else for that matter.)  They were ruled by the Council
of Five, who were rumored to be elven wizards of great power and near-
boundless wrath.  No one knew for sure, save Ged and others who had
come from the region, because no outsiders who had ventured there had
ever returned.
  Ged, of course, knew more of the region, primarily since his father,
now lying on his deathbed, was one of that very Council of Five.  Ged
had never told his adventuring companions of this, but it was no mere
coincidence that he had possessed such an aptitude for the magical
arts.  Unfortunately, the same could not be said for others of his
family.
  Ged was far from an only child, for he had three sisters and three
brothers.  These siblings had been born over the course of several
centuries, long before their mother had died of natural causes at the
age of one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.  Their father,
despite all his magic and power, was unable to save her.  He had been
heartbroken for decades, but had finally overcome his grief and resumed
a normal life.
  The oldest of his children was Xandaria, an elven woman now past one
thousand years of age.  A powerful sorceress whose forte was illusions
and phantasms, Xandaria had lived all her life in the three isles.
Like most of the Spindrift elves, she had no desire to venture out into
the world, where her rank and title were meaningless.  Not particularly
attractive in either appearance or demeanour as she approached middle
age, the eldest sister had remained unwed all her life.
  Next was Gilanthar, another female, who was the opposite of her older
sister in all ways.  Where Xandaria was overly curt and to-the-point,
Gilanthar was polite and patient.  Where the former was effectively
xenophobic in her outlook, the latter was a frequent traveler to the
nearby kingdoms, albeit in disguise.  She had been like a mother to
Ged when he was young, and he preferred her company over that of most
other family members.  Gilanthar was married to a Lo-Finsaran noble,
with whom she had had several children.  This sister was the most
stable of the siblings, as well, having achieved everything she had
set out to do in life.  She was a high priestess of Correllon as well,
and commanded much power in the city of Lo Finsara.  Her union with
another powerful family had resulted in much prestige and recognition.
  Ged's eldest brother, Talisantia, was a much-respected warrior and
the leader of an entire regiment of the grey elven city guards.  Being
the firstborn male child had given him a strong sense of responsibility
and a serious demeanor, and this had driven him for most of his life.
While he was a good and helpful brother to Ged, he had been most dis-
pleased once he realized that the elven child had no interest in the
arts of warfare and swordsmanship.  Talisantia was married, and his
five children were all members (or members-in-training) of the city
guard corps, whether they wanted to be or not.
  Next had been Brilthasan, who unlike Ged had been easily influenced
by Talisantia.  During his childhood, Brilthasan had sought only to
emulate his elder brother.  While he could never quite be Talisantia's
equal in swordplay, Brilthasan had also learned a bit of the magical
arts, from his mother, and thus he was a formidable opponent.  Like
his brother, he commanded city guards, though his regiment was smaller
and less prestigious.  Though unmarried, he was still young, for a grey
elf, and the others were secretly hoping that he would find someone.
To this end, they arranged for him to meet elven maids now and then,
so far without permanent success.
  The fifth sibling was another sister, Leila, who had been headstrong
and independent from a young age.  She and Ged had played and frolicked
together in their youth, and were probably the closest of the seven
siblings.  Like Ged, Leila (whose full name was Leilandril) had wanted
to see the outside world, and had traveled to numerous kingdoms and
had many adventures.  Unlike Ged, she had returned home upon occasion
to visit the family; she was still unwed, but was young enough that
nobody thought twice about it.  An accomplished warrior and wizard,
Leila was well-liked by the other grey elves, both family and others.
  The same couldn't be said for the sixth sibling and third son, the
"black sheep" of the family:  the rogue Aristobulus.  While Ged was
merely in disfavor for leaving the family and the isles, Aristobulus
was all but disowned.  A rebellious, antisocial, and quick-tempered
child, he hadn't changed a bit after reaching adulthood.  He left the
isles numerous times, returning when he pleased but never staying for
long.  If the integrity of the siblings' mother hadn't been without
question, outsiders might have whispered that the unruly sixth brother
was the product of an illicit affair.  Unmarried and unscrupulous, he
did whatever he wished, and took no criticism from anyone.  Ged hadn't
really seen much of Aristobulus while he was growing up, and he had
left before the last arguments between his parents and his brother.
Still, for reasons known only to himself, the rogue grey elf had now
returned to the isles during this sad time.
  Ged, of course, was the seventh of the children, and his history was
already well-known.  He wasn't sure, but he figured that he probably
wielded the most raw power of any of his father's children.  With his
wizard's art and his Boccob-granted abilities, Ged was definitely the
most versatile.

  There were, of course, other relatives about:  aunts, uncles, cousins,
even a great-grandparent or two, wizened beyond telling from countless
centuries of existence.  These, however, weren't as significant to Ged
as his brothers and sisters - and his dying father.

Ged:  (still settling back into life among the grey elves, and among
  his family and their home, he is slightly disoriented)  How long
  does he have?
Gilanthar:  Days, maybe weeks...old age has finally taken its toll.
Aristobulus:  And a steep toll it is.
Talisantia:  (irritated)  How would you know?  You've spent no time
  here with him...
Aristobulus:  (scowling)  Don't get righteous with me, you arrogant
  snob!
Talisantia:  (about to begin shouting)
Brilthasan:  (likewise)
Leila:  (shouting in a surprisingly loud voice)  Good gods, that's
  enough, all of you!
Xandaria:  She's right.  This is not the time to be quarreling amongst
  ourselves.
Gilanthar:  What would Mother say?

  That seemed to quiet everyone down, and the conversation returned
to a low roar.  Not long afterward, a white-robed priest rushed to
the siblings' side.

grey elven priest:  ...
Leila:  What is it?
grey elven priest:  Come quickly - he is going, and fast!





next:      he dies
ftp:       ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
           ftp.nol.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
           ftp.tas.gov.au/misc/stories
www:       http://www.access.digex.net/~dpm
           http://www3.hmc.edu/~kshobaki/adventurers
homepage:  http://www.gatech.edu/oit/oe/design/thomas/adv.html
mail:      tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu       (preferred)
           thomas.miller@oit.gatech.edu         (emergency)
notes:     Good black comedy (film sense, not ethnic sense) to see:
  _Fargo_ by the Coen brothers.  They also did _Raising Arizona_ and
  _Miller's Crossing_.
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