AR 1216-06-20 Zen gets a big surprise

It was the evening two days after Zen and Yari had words that made everyone nervous about if the group had an issue or not. But things calmed down after that. Yari was seen spending time and talking with Elsie. The group hoped that Yari’s request to have Elsie join them meant that he had finally gotten Verona out of his system but only time would tell. Zen had gone to the neighboring inn to have a quiet dinner away from everyone. He had just started eating when he heard the door open and someone come in, but paid it no heed as he was in a safe place.

The next thing he knew someone in armor had walked over and stood next to his table. He admired the armor as he looked down and continued eating, ignoring the person hoping they would understand that he just wanted to be left alone to eat in peace.

“Mind if I join you for supper?”

His mind went back to for what to him was just 2 months ago, the voice and face as he had said goodbye to. It could not be! She was at the dwarven keep.

He looked up and sure enough, there standing at his table was Aldhis, dressed for battle. His jaw dropped open.

“I will take that for a yes!” And she sat down across from him.

When no words came out of the open mouth, she continued. “Krunch sent for me. He thought I could help protect Elsie when you guys are out treasure hunting. Mind you, I expect you to keep your eyes open for some interesting items for me also when you do! You know I could always use some nice things in that kind of job!”

Zen got over being startled and jumped up and gave her a great big hug. Then not wanting to take it any further in public, paid for a private dining room for them. They enjoyed dinner and being together after so long.

Aldhis told him how she had been brought up to date on Krunch’s mission by King Kendric soon after the group had left. He had assigned her to be Sparky’s personal guard. The only down fall of which was she had to move back into the girls dorm until Sparky graduated. After that Sparky, Tizzy and Aldhis was sent to three active Dwarven Keeps and one ancient one they tried but failed to locate.

- Silver Mountain (the one you guys visited on the second year you were students)
- Dronkarag (Thunder Mountain clan)
- Kel Kalduhr (lost clan to the south – no dwarves are here – they were run out by dragons (kind of like the hobbit but many dragons). Sparky and crew searched for where the clan’s cave was but could not find the opening to it but did find what they thought might be the area it is in. Old ruins for others that used to live near the keep)
- Kirduhn (the one in the Bone Hills far south and west of Thunder Rift)

At the active Dwarven keeps, Sparky and Tizzy would educate the dwarves on what Tizzy had found in the ancient texts. They ran into little trouble other than dwarves that initially would not believe what they had found until they showed them proof. But that took time as dwarves do nothing hastily.

Sparky was pursued by suitors while at the keeps. She dated them and Aldhis would always stay near enough in case of trouble, but still out of the way. But Sparky never found any to her liking. After the last one they visited, Sparky confided in Tizzy and Aldhis that she still had feelings for Wolf but was confused and concerned that they were too closely related. They asked if she had sought the gods help, and she told them she had and never felt any restrictions. But she had tried to move on and find someone else more to her dwarven heritage liking, but it had not worked. Sparky thought that Wolf liked her, but did not know exactly how much because they had only talked about their feelings cryptically. They encouraged her to speak frankly to him when she saw him next. And then they all got depressed wondering when or if they would see the ones they loved next.

They did run into different monsters on the road between keeps. But that just kept them in fighting shape. The trips also gave Sparky a chance to lead a group of dwarves that were escorting them. All good practice Aldhis thought for her eventually being Queen.

They had just come back the middle of April. It had been a long trip taking 10 months. Sparky and Tizzy were about to leave to travel and visit three more of the dwarven keeps, which will take them about the same time again.

North of Thunder Rift
- Ak-Dahkar (the really stuck up clan that think that their dwarven clan is superior to all the other clans and that dwarves are superior to all other races)

Iron Hills (these are West of where the group before (4e EPIC group) were gaming at)
- Bardahn
- Valdor

Zen told her about what had happened with them. The monster fights, saving the three kids, the dragon orb, Alfheim where they got to parlay and fight strange monsters, and how amazing it was to meet a real unicorn. And then told her about the cloud giant traders and how it might be a possibility for his family.

Aldhis then told him about how about 2 months after they disappeared that his father, Oleif Borgen, had been arrested in Melinir and interrogated by the Captain of the guard in Melinir, Captain Castrata. The Master must have found out that Zen had gone with Krunch. They worked Oleif over pretty good trying to find out if he knew where the group was. They seemed most importantly trying to find out where Krunch had disappeared to. They used his name and had his description. The Idun Priestess Annabelle showed up one day with Sif’s High Priestess Gallemore and demanded that they be allowed to do a Zone of Truth spell to prove whether or not Oleif knew anything about what they were trying to forcefully get out of him. The priestesses were allowed to do the spell, and when Oleif proved he knew nothing, was allowed to leave with the priestess. They healed Oleif up the best they could and escorted him to his caravan. His family was the ones that had asked for help and now they knew they could not stay around Melinir. Since that happened, when they come to Melinir to trade, they stay outside Melinir and trade there. No members of the caravan go into the city anymore. They have also hired more guards to keep them safe. Thankfully, so far they have had no other trouble.

However, Priestess Annabelle and High Priestess Gallemore were not so lucky. Within a month after they forced their way into the prison, both the temples of Idun and Sif were burned to the ground. Annabelle was burned badly rescuing other clerics. Gallemore was with Annabelle at her parents old home trying to save her, so did not know about the fire until it was too far gone to help anyone be saved. They both decided to fight the syndicate in a different way after that and started an orphanage to take in kids that the syndicate would otherwise use and abuse. They used Annabelle’s parents old home. Soon after that, other priest and priestess built new temples to Sif and Idun in the city with what is rumored as money from the syndicate, so Annabelle and Gallemore have not returned to the temples.

The table they were sitting at had several more dents and gouges by the time she was done explaining what had happened to Zen’s father. But with Aldhis’s having seen his father after the incident, and being able to reassure him he had survived intact and in good health, Zen did not go charging off to Melinir to seek revenge at that exact moment.

Zen expressed concern about how the master knew that Zen was with the group after he had laid it on so thick within the dwarven keep that he as heading out on his own towards Boton. Aldhis explained that the Elven Queen finally came to visit while they were gone at the behest of her granddaughter Valdosta, King Kendrick’s mother. She was also able to find the one and only spy left in the keep. They got very little information out of him before he was found dead one morning with his head exploded so they could not even ask his dead body questions. Then the Queen was able to figure out that the master had a very high level warlock working with him. There was a lot of scrying going on at the keep. The Queen said she knew someone who knew how to create an amulet that prevented the scrying on a person. King Kendrick commissioned quite a few of them to be created to help protect the clan. Aldhis also paid to have one made for Zen. She then took an amulet out of her pocket that matched the one she had on and laid it around Zen’s neck telling him, the master would not be able to find him now. When Zen expressed concern for the rest of the group, Aldhis told him not to worry, everyone would get one before they left tomorrow for Thunder Rift as she had brought enough amulets for Yari, Rissa, Sardi, Franziska and Elsie with her. When Zen expressed concern about Wolf and Krunch needing one also, Aldhis just giggled and explained that they would be getting their amulets but just not from her. It seems the person the elven Queen knew had been kept pretty busy for the past year.

They used the room for other romantic things and then headed over to Kara and Sven’.

On the walk over, Zen stopped remembering the other thing he wanted to tell her. “Come over here, I have something to show you” and taking her hand he led her to a small group of trees that looked like it could hide what they did a bit.

“I found this magical sword and it does weird things. For one thing its super lightweight, has these cool symbols of feathered wings and suns on it. When I wield it, it makes me feel like I can defeat anything thrown at me. And butterflies flock to it when we are outside.” As he said that, the butterflies start to gather and Aldhis started to laugh and hold her arms out. Zen joined her at the wondrous sight as they started to lite on her outstretched arms.

“And even stranger, these things are scary good in battle. Every time they showed up a creature went down.” Zen continued, “The monster was usually beat to the 9 hells by that point but these things finished them off.”

“And last, I swear I have heard it talk to me, in my head that is. Krunch gave me a crazy idea when he asked me my sword’s name. I told him I had no idea, I don’t remember if he told me to ask it or if I just did it to be funny. During combat shortly thereafter, as a lark I asked out loud ‘sword do you have a name’, and I heard a voice in my head say ‘later’. On the way from Butterpond to here, I pulled out the sword and said ‘well it’s later, and things are fairly calm right now, do you have a name. And the sword told me its name is Glinda and this time I could sense it seemed feminine. But that was all it would say no matter how much I tried to coax it to talk more.”

He handed it to Aldhis and she concentrated and tried to talk to it as well, but heard nothing from the sword. “I don’t sense anything evil about it. Maybe someday it will make more information known to you. Until then, it sounds like a great sword to have found.” And she handed it back to Zen.

He put it away, put his arm around her and they walked to Kara and Sven’s house to bring the rest of the group up to date and to give them the amulets. They found that Krunch and Wolf were not there and when they did not return for dinner, the group worried, but Kara told them she had word they were safe but busy and would returned late but in time for leaving tomorrow morning.

AR 1216-06-20 Zen gets a big surprise

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