A Colder War

Entry 28: Jack’s First Love and the Motivations of the DoomBringer (Countinued)

Entry 28: Jack’s First Love and the Motivations of the DoomBringer (Countinued)

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- As Janae introduces her strange guests she seems on the edge of annoyance. She is disheveled by their presence, not her usual self: the perfect avatar of the orderly mind. The elven woman stands at ease casting an imperious look over each of us in turn as Janae gives her name. She is Shara of the far away land of the Elves: the continent of Aerenal. Her costume is classically Aerenalian. The soft silken fabric wafts down her delicate form in rich purples, greens, and blacks. She wears much jewelry of stone and gold but nothing of such value to mark her as royalty. The woman is a mystery, and her strange effect on Janae does not endear me to trust her.
- It seems this lady Shara is an old acquaintance of Janae whom is visiting Sharn on vacation. Upon hearing of our appetite for adventure from the lovely Janae she asked that she be introduced. She offers the adventurers and I what she calls an opportunity. She wants us to go west into Droam to seek out an ancient elven tomb. She would have us bring her an ancient manifest of the kinship of the elves that once inhabited the region. She would pay us a total of five hundred coins and “let” us keep whatever else we found.
- EDIT What she did not share, that the good Lord Gut later discovered, is that the tomb she would have us raid has been long under the tenure of a vicious Droamian warlord. It also is likely to be filled with guardian revenants and the souls of long dead elven warriors. It seems the Lady Shara did not believe that we would risk such a journey for a mere five hundred coins, but knowing the Hero Jack Tobias’s penchant for adventure I believe she should have led with these details.
- Lord Gut appealed to Lady Shara with the most interesting of speeches. I must admit, readers, that a bit of it was over old Marian’s head, but the poetry of the words were nonetheless breathtaking and worth jotting down here. He said:
- “Look not to the skies, nor the depths below, nor even to the distant past or future. Seek the divine within, for the blood is the life, and in its call can be heard for the promise of eternal life. One has but listen.”
- Upon hearing these words the lady Shara seemed to be suddenly struck by a mood of thoughtfulness. She dropped, if but a little, her airs of pompous superiority. Her manservant seemed to take note of this and stiffened minutely. The lady Shara allowed a few questions from the DoomBringer at this point. He asked her of the tomb and of her intentions but she was ever coy. He once addressed her servant but he only bowed and said nothing. Eventually he came around to the subject of the Blood of Vol and the Emerald Claw. At their mention she returned to her former pose of disgusted authority and told us that these groups were but a symptom of the dysfunction that human governments allowed upon the continent of Khorvaire. She made it very clear how pitiful she thought us all in that moment. All but perhaps Janae who is herself half elven.
- At this point I chimed in with a candid question for the Lady Shara. I simply asked her whom she served and as I studied her response I knew it true. She serves only the council of the Undying, the governors of Aerenal. Both Lord Gut and myself still had many doubts but the Lady Shara was tired of our questioning and excused herself. She told us to let her know if we accepted her offer soon and we told her we would try to before the days end.
- After the Lady Shara and her manservant left Janae apologized for their presence. She explained that upon telling Shara of the Hero Jack Tobias and the magnificent Lord Gut Shara had insisted they meet so that she could propose her mission to us. After things settled Janae gifted me with a ward for my notes that guard them against physical damage. It was a lovely gift and I gave her much thanks.
- Janae has told us of the ancient goblin temple deep beneath the cogs: The tomb of Ager the fourth a goblin king from ages past. Under Sharn there are many lost wonders and horrors, from ancient plagues, to living spells gone mad. There might even be entire lost civilizations living in hidden nooks below the city. The temple is a nexus of dark energies and is the most likely place for the hidden cult of the Emerald Claw. It is well protected by blood magic and things even darker then Janae could explain. It is most likely filled with undead goblins and other revenants of ages lost. Janae has made it clear that she called us here not to meet Lady Shara but to tell us this and warn us of the danger we are in. She tells us that the eyes of the Emerald Claw are everywhere throughout the city. Perhaps even within the walls of the University where we now sit.
- Janae has told us of how the Emerald Claw uses the ancient magic of Darguun to bond power to themselves in evil blood rituals that are obscure and ancient.
- After a bit the conversation turns back to Lady Shara. I ask Janae where they met, here or in Aerenal, wondering if she had ever been to the other continent. She began to answer the question but then as if magically silenced stopped and in puzzlement told us that she could not remember. This put both Lord Gut and I on edge, but Jack and his Orc were loosing interest now that the conversation had turned from explanations of adventure. Jack excused himself to the restroom and the Orc sat in the corner silently staring at me with a look that could only be described as that of the pitchers.
- I immediately used my humble skills of deduction to try to see if anything seemed out of order in the room. It seemed that Janae had eaten here allow recently and that her strange guests had not shared the meal, but nothing else particularly strange could be detected. I questioned Janae about her true affiliations hoping not to offend her and she made it clear that she only served the University.
- Dropping the matter I gave the floor to Lord Gut who asked many questions about the Emerald claw and the elven tomb to the west. She told us of the volatile region in which the elven tomb was found, but had little more to say about the Boold of Vol or the Emerald Claw.
- As the chaps left I stayed behind to ask Janae if she would like to go for tea soon. I would like to pick her mind for the history and knowledge held there, if not for an article then for my own interest in such things.
- The fellows and I have made our way down to Tavit’s Landing to have a drink and a meal as we discuss our options. We hope that the crowds will hide us from the authorities and the eyes of the Emerald Claw.
- We have settled on a kobold buffet, yet it is quite over priced. I have bought the Orc his meal to reward him for behaving as civilized as could be expected in front of the lovely Janae. Perhaps this bit of positive reinforcement will encourage him to act as civil in the future. I know what you are thinking, dear reader, but one can hope. Even if that hope is wasted on the likes of the brutish Orc.
- After a quite spirited debate the lads and myself have decided to leave the city until things settle a bit. Jack has devised a plan to visit the capital and ask for an airship from the king. I at first thought such a plan only wishful thinking but Jack has swayed me. The Hero is wise. So wise that he can even remind old Marian that he isn’t always right. Upon discussing it our plans are now to get aboard a train and go to Wrote. There we will pitch to the King our plan to tour the nation with the pomp and circumstance of the Hero. We will remind Breland of its greatness, and the Hero Jack Tobias will be the arrow that points the way.
- Before we go I must visit my new publisher at the Corenberg Conical and update them on the new developments.
- EDIT My meeting with Mr. Jonah went very well. He purchased my article about the corruption in the Guard. He loved the idea of a book tour by airship and gave use the money needed to travel first class on the lightning line to Wrote. He did not like my idea of an article about the Orc but I think that once he reads it he will decide to publish it. I am still feeling him out about the book series about the DoomBringer.
- With fifty coins and first class tickets we board the train to Wrote. I have finally met Steve, Captain Jack’s mighty steed, and my what a noble beast he is. Well, Dear reader, until next time. Perhaps soon you might only need look to the sky to see the Hero Jack Tobias floating his way into a town near you. Keep your fingers crossed.



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