IN THE SHADOW OF THE SPIRE
SESSION 1B: TEE’S HOMECOMING
March 10th, 2007
The 15th Day of Amseyl in the 790th Year of the Seyrunian Dynasty
INTERLUDE WITH TEE
Tee, for her part, was running pell-mell up Tavern Row towards Emerald Hill. Her heart was divided between anxiety and relief as she raced through the familiar streets of twisted foliage. She raced through the gates of Iridithil’s Home and headed straight for the Wind’s Mystery, pounding up the stairs to Doraedian Mythlord’s regal office.
Bursting through the doors she interrupted a meeting already in progress. Doraedian and the two elves with him looked up in surprise, but as his gaze alighted on Tee his surprise turned to shocked amazement and then shifted rapidly to concern. “Tee? You’ve returned! Are you all right?”
After Doraedian indicated that the other elves should leave, Tee collapsed and spilled out her entire story. Doraedian had no answers for her, but his attention was particularly drawn to her description of the final room of gold and ebony. He questioned her in particular about it, but she wasn’t able to answer his questions. She suggested, however, that her companion – Agnarr – might be able to remember the room in more detail. Doraedian agreed, and asked if it would be possible for her to bring Agnarr back with her? Tee said yes.
Before she left, Tee asked Doraedian about how things had stood in her absence. Doraedian told her that her home had been kept safe to her. He knew how important it was to her. And he knew that there were many people who would welcome her return. When so much time had passed and she had not returned… Well, it was good to have her back.
Tee left and headed back towards the Ghostly Minstrel, still confused and feeling more than a little lost.
Tee returned to the Ghostly Minstrel close to an hour after she had left. “Where were you?” was the question on everyone’s lips.
Tee told them that she had gone to see Doraedian Mythlord, the leader of the local elven community and her personal elder. She wanted to know if Agnarr could come back with her and describe the room they had seen just before losing their memories. Apparently Doraedian thought it might help.
Agnarr wanted to wait for this “Mistress Elestra” to return – he was convinced that she would have the answers they wanted. Tee talked him into coming and speaking with Doraedian right away – they could leave word with Tellith to keep an eye out for Elestra.
The whole group left the Ghostly Minstrel. For many, this was the first time they had gotten a meaningful look at the city of Ptolus: The whole city sloped up from the sea, ending abruptly in a towering spire of rock which shot thousands of feet straight up into the air. The steep angle of the city gave them a wide view of it, and it was clear that they were in the middle of a bustling metropolis.
“What is this place?” Agnarr openly wondered. “Where do all the people come from? Where do they keep all the animals? I don’t understand any of it!”
The group headed up the hill to a place that Tee called Emerald Hill, which was apparently an elven neighborhood of some sort. Winding lanes lined with green trees and beautifully-shaped gardens led them to the gate of a compound known as Iridithil’s Home. Two elven guards stood at the gate and gave the humans with Tee a glowering stare until Tee explained that Doraedian had specifically requested their presence. They still didn’t seem happy about it, but they let them enter.
Tee took them into another large inn, this one named the Wind’s Mystery. Doraedian’s office – a spacious room with rich, thick carpet and walls of dark, polished wood – had a regal air about it. Doraedian greeted them with a friendly smile and then set about questioning Agnarr about the particulars of the gold-and-ebony room.
It turned out, however, that Agnarr didn’t remember much more than Tee. They had both been exhausted by their battles with the black reptilians by that point, and he was never one for remembering details in any case.
At that point Ranthir stepped forward, “Perhaps I might be able to provide a more precise description?”
Doraedian was surprised: “You were in that room as well?”
“Well, I’m not sure…” At which point the whole story came out. In the middle of it, Agnarr blurted out: “Tell him about those books!”
Tee and Ranthir, with perhaps some reluctance, handed over the copies of the The Dreaming Arts that they had found in their rooms. Doraedian set them aside and then began questioning Ranthir about his vision of the room. He was particularly interested in the symbols and runes which had been carved on the walls and the door.
When Doraedian was finished, he said that he still wasn’t sure what it was about that room which seemed familiar to him, but with the information Ranthir had given him he would research it and perhaps find some answers to the mystery of their amnesia. Then he asked if he might speak with Tee alone for a moment.
The rest of the group left the room, leaving Tee alone with Doraedian.
INTERLUDE WITH TEE, PART 2
Doraedian was concerned because, glancing through the two copies of the The Dreaming Arts, he discovered that they were full of passages from the Book of Dreams. Where had these fragments of their ancient teachings come from? It had become even more important that they recover Tee’s lost memories.
Doraedian intended to keep these copies and peruse them, perhaps they might contain some hint of their origins (and, thus, a hint of what Tee had been doing during her lost time).
Tee was concerned about something else: She had been sent to Stonemarten Village because of a vision from Pegana, the Lady of the Rivers. Was that a journey which she had completed? Or did she still need to find out what the purpose of going to Stonemarten had been?
Doraedian had no answers for her. “The path of a dreaming journey cannot be foreseen. One who has embarked on such a path must simply put one foot in front of the other, and the way will become clear to them.”
The rest of the group waited patiently outside Doraedian’s office until Tee emerged a few minutes later. She said that she would like to go to her home, to make sure that everything was all right after her long absence.
The party headed down city and continued talking, trying to figure out what was happening. Ranthir, perhaps becoming aware that Tee knew the city fairly well, pulled a huge bundle of papers out of one of his bags: They were identification papers filled out in each of their names (and another bundle in Elestra’s name, as well). Dozens and dozens of identification papers, claiming that they each belonged to dozens of different deots and organizations. Tee was amazed – basically if there was a merchant house, guild, or organization in Ptolus, there were identification papers here which attested that they were all members of that organization.
Then Tee started getting nervous: These forgeries were amazing, but they were clearly forgeries. And they were pawing through them in the open street. She told Ranthir to put them away, but he deferred – if they were illegal, he didn’t want them on him. So Tee stuck them in her bag.
A few blocks later, the party arrived in the Narred community. Everyone except Tee was shocked to see actual centaurs wandering the streets of this community – they were essentially unknown in the Five Empires. Agnarr, for one, had never even heard of such creatures before. Ranthir, in particular, was fascinated because he had believed that centaurs could only be found in the outskirts of the Seven Forests on the far edge of the Borderlands.
Tee reached her house, only to realize that she didn’t even have her key for the front door any more. Agnarr offered to break down the door (a beautifully carved piece of whiteoak), but Tee convinced him that she would prefer not to break into her own home.
Tee went up to the center of the Narred community and spoke with the community leaders, who were holding a copy of her key for her. There were questioning looks in all of their eyes – wanting to know where she had been – but they were too polite to pry into her affairs if she didn’t seem open to it.
Returning to her house, Tee found everything undisturbed – essentially as she had left it, except for a thick covering of dust. With a distracted, almost manic air, she immediately set to spring cleaning the place. Others in the group offered to help, but they had not gotten far into the work when Ranthir suddenly came to a stop: “If we’ve been back in this city for two weeks and you have not returned to this place… Perhaps there was a reason for that?”
Tee stopped what she was doing. It seemed to tear her up inside, but she was forced to admit that Ranthir was right. They left and she locked the door behind them.
They headed back towards the Ghostly Minstrel.