Friday, September 22, 2017

Ch. 5, Page 2

Ehlissa rushed to greet her old friend, and then she and Tenser exchanged a quick hug.

"Come in, make yourself at home!" Ehlissa said. "Here, let me clear off a place for you to sit. Shoo!" she said to a songbird on a stool.

"I did want to let you know I made it back safely," Tenser said as he checked the stool for any bird-created surprises that might have been left behind.

"I'm glad you did," Ehlissa said as she looked around for something for her to sit on. "You know I always worry about you going back to Castle Greyhawk. How is the old place?"

"Well, you know..." Tenser said, but he left it at that for the moment. He was never sure how much Ehlissa wanted to hear about the dungeon, so he would wait for her to prompt him further.






Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ch. 5, Page 1

Time passed, healing wounds and moving people down the paths of their lives, drawing friends closer to or further from each other at every new turn.

Castle Greyhawk still beckoned in the wilderness near the City of Greyhawk, drawing adventurers from far and wide. Either systematically or by wild luck they slowly explored and mapped out every square inch of its famous dungeons, level by level, with new stairs always being found leading deeper and deeper into the bowels of Oerth. Many noted that the levels changed over time. Some found evidence of a mysteriously never-encountered construction company at work in the dungeons, but this mystery company never seemed to be able to keep far ahead of the relentless push to explore new areas.

Other forces were at work in the dungeons -- with so much loot coming and going, entrepreneurial forces took over choke points in the dungeon and tried to extort treasure from those coming back out. There was a clan of The Dwur -- dwarves -- controlling one, and a company of Olves -- elves -- guarding another, plus a giant guarding still a third.

Despite these challenges, Tenser continued to explore at Castle Greyhawk. He had grown greatly in power in the last year. His Wand of Paralyzing he had used on a white dragon back then was no longer his most powerful magic item. He had mastered spells now that he did not even know existed a year ago.

Tenser was often looking ahead to his next venture, but sometimes he was interested in looking back.

Tenser disliked Wayfarers Row. It was an old street, though not as old as some in the Old City, and it had stubbornly held onto its name despite the fact that no one could remember why it was called that. A better name would have been Magicians Row, as that is what the street had become. Here was a double row of shops where magic was for sale. The magicians were almost uniformly disillusioned former students of the Wizards College, men and women who had thought the mystic arts was an easy route to prosperity, found they had graduated heavily indebted to the college and with only a handful of parlor tricks to show for it. The smart, or lucky, ones had found ways to market what they knew to people who could afford no better.

So here was Rasche's Courtship Service, launched by a charm person spell, and Blume's Somnambulatorium was inspired by a sleep spell. These shop names were displayed on cheap plaques affixed to peeling plaster facades. To Tenser, Wayfarers Row represented the weak, ineffectual sort of people who had a lofty goal once, but did not try hard enough to attain it. He held them in a special sort of disdain, knowing that just a few miles away they could have sought adventure and found treasure enough to let them live like kings when they returned to the city.

There was only one reason Tenser kept coming back to Wayfarers Row and that was Ehlissa's Bird Shop. Halfway down the row of shops, on the right hand side, was one that sat a little taller and a little wider than the others. Its beams did not sag and its plaster was in better repair. It had a large shop window that stayed propped open all day and allowed people passing by to see a large cage full of songbirds of all colors. The cage was made from a fine, silvery, sturdy wire that had resisted more than one burglary attempt. It should have for the amount Tenser had helped pay for it -- since the wire was crafted from mithril and forged by the dwarves of the Cairn Hills. It had been a present for a dear friend...



Monday, July 31, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 34

Londlar's story seemed unfamiliar at first, for he patiently and slowly described levels of the dungeons under Castle Greyhawk that Ehlissa had never seen during her brief adventuring career. As more details came to light, though, she recognized this for what it was, and what she had always feared. It was the story everyone left at home dreaded to hear about their loved ones when they went away to adventure...


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 33

Ehlissa still felt the compulsion from the spell to leave, but she fought it for as long as she could. She had no idea if the Mage of the Tower woke up in time to save himself, or if Erac's Cousin had slain him. She had no idea if Erac's Cousin was coming this way to flee, or if he would reunite with his familiar out back and flee over the garden wall. She was, at the moment, only mildly concerned with all of those possibilities. There was just one person she had really hoped to learn about through all this...


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 32

"Go now. I'm ordering you!"

The words of Erac's Cousin rang in Ehlissa's ears and, compelled by his spell, she could not help but carry them out.

As she started to go, she hoped for some loophole that would allow her to obey her compulsion, yet stay...


Friday, June 16, 2017

Ch. 4, Page 31

Ehlissa struggled against the hand on her wrist. She wanted to kill the mage despite what she had been told to do because she knew it was in the best interest of Erac's Cousin if the old man died. That was how much she was under his spell, and deep down she knew it. She had never felt so powerless, but then...


Friday, June 2, 2017

Ch.4, Page 30


In the tower's foyer, the Mage's monk servant stopped bleeding out.

In the tower's garden, the Cousin's familiar started chewing through the plants that held him.

In the Mage's den, the Mage had a dream. It was not about the confrontation going on around him...

"Oh, I know how you wanted to use me," Ehlissa said.  "You played on my affection for your cousin, if he really is your cousin."

"Oh, he is. Or was. I have no doubt that this man you want spared probably sent my cousin to his death on some fool's errand. But this isn't even about revenge. Not really. It's about the wealth of magic this old fool has hoarded in his tower..."