Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: Whayn-Fharh

By Aerlin on Tuesday, August 01, 2000 - 01:20 am:

August 21, 794 - Talismanian Reckoning

Aerlin fell to her knees in the mud of an alleyway, ruining her dress. She caught herself with her free hand, holding the Edair clear of ruin. The shimmering blue portal behind her faded momentarily. For a moment she paused to catch her breath, and very nearly started crying. In an instant, precipitated by her father's actions, her life had changed to be completely backwards of everything she held most dear.

Business continued on as usual on the main street adjacent to the alley. But for Aerlin, things were more complicated than ever. Gone were her home and loved ones, lost were her security and identity. Her brother Jaron, the one person who understood her best, with whom she could tell anything, was so far from her now that his previous continuous presence in her mind could no longer be felt.

Tearing fabric from the hem of her dress, Aerlin bound the Edair in her cloak tightly, to prevent ruin. Mud caked to her dress quickly in the midday heat. With nothing she could do about her disheveled appearance, Aerlin entered the street nearby. Her arrival heralded a few brief comments, but none of lasting import, and soon she was serendipitously ignored.

The main thoroughfare passed through the heart of Whayn-Fharh, a fairly large city in south-eastern Dantimos. It had a long, storied history, having existed since the ancient Atog Wars. Whayn-Fharh had survived complete destruction, and had been rebuilt when all hope otherwise had been lost. Over the centuries, its population had grown and diminished, and an infamous plague known as Goblin Fever had originated there. Its longevity was a testiment to the durability of its people.

Greater society's variable intricacies vied for Aerlin's attention wherever she looked. There, a floppy-hatted bowyer sought to sell her wares to Aerlin. Here, two young urchins stared at her with longing eyes, pleading with her for help she could not give. Down the street, a massive fountain expunged water in a magnificent cascade at the center of town. Homes and businesses lined the street, as well as the side streets and alleys. In an instant's time, Aerlin knew how secluded her upbringing had been, and culture shock set in.

Hunger soon called her attention to the aroma of freshly baking bread. Nearby, the Inn of the Galloping Stallion held its doors wide open, an invitation that Aerlin felt impossible to ignore. The idea of a nice dinner would hopefully take her mind off of what a dreadful day it had been.

She entered, and sat down at the only empty table she could find, nestled in a corner away from the entrance near the bar. The chair and table were well worn, as was the wooden floor. Roast duck and baked bread mingled in the air, taunting her to eat a meal.

Before long, the squinty-eyed innkeeper approached. He seemed a harmless enough man, with the kind, gentle air of one content with his life. Wiping his hands on his apron, he pulled out a small slate tablet and smiled knowingly at Aerlin.

"I saw you outside, looking rather lost, young lass. You look like you've been in a rough spot." He bowed curtly. "My name is Edgir Jordan, and welcome to the Inn of the Galloping Stallion. What would you like to eat? The house specialty is leg of lamb."

"I don't think I could afford..." Aerlin began. "Well, I don't have any money, sir. I needed to get away from all those people," she confided.

"Oh, I see." Edgir looked around the bustling activity of the inn. "Tell you what. You're a pretty enough girl, and I need a little bit of help around here. My wife Em and I get so overworked during this time of the year. Can you dictate?"


"Can you write down what other people say? Here." He handed her the tablet and a piece of chalk. "Write down what I say." Aerlin was a little flustered, but nodded. "One egg, well done, side of beef, and a glass of ale." She scribbled down his words expertly, and handed the tablet back. He was impressed.

"More than good enough. What do you say? I'll even give you a room to stay in. Once you'e done eating, I'll give you a chance to clean up, and I'll show you a bit tonight. Bright and early tomorrow,you can start, eh? You need some rest."

Aerlin smiled. "I don't know what to say. Thank you."

"See there? Your day has brightened already. A girl's smile makes the world go round, they say."

"Do you have salad?"

"Imported straight from Riveroak, actually." He grinned. "I'll be right back."


Later that evening, Aerlin flopped on her bed, exhausted. All at once, her heavy motions attacked her, for her mind had been preoccupied the remainder of the day, leaving it no chance to consider the awful situation which brought her to Whayn-Fharh. Tears burst forth as she remembered how truly alone she was now.

Soon, she calmed down once more, and unwrapped her book, the Edair. Its embossed cover shimmered, chromatically changing its hue as she viewed it in the light. The cover refused to open for her, shining intensely blue and holding firm.

She whispered its name in a Tolarian accent, and again in Dantimian and Oor-Taelian. Nothing held sway. The lock of magic held firm. i{Why does it not open?} she asked herself. With her eyes closed, she tried to remember every magical incantation Gandalf had taught her. Disinterest in the art unfortunately left her attention dwelling upon things more important to her when she was studying in her younger days, such as the health of her mother.

"Damn my luck."

Gandalf was known to be crafty and devious. Most likely he had locked the book from prying eyes, entrusting that Master Sunset would know how to unravel his code. But she was his daughter, regardless of his last words to her. Why would he keep the information that was contained within secret even from her?

Slamming the book down on the table that Edgir had provided, she stared out the window into the town below. Even at night it bustled, with the town drunk moving from tavern to tavern, besotted as always. A constable roved by every twenty minutes on his patrol, his constant presence a reassuring thought in her mind.

"You really should treat other people's property with more respect, Aerlin," came a voice from behind her. It was Em, Edgir's wife. "Where'd you get that book?"

"It belonged to my father..."

By Rhisiart OOC on Tuesday, August 01, 2000 - 05:53 pm:

And here I thought New Avalon's chief export was magic...but now I find we've been shipping a different product! Salad! Yes! With salad we shall rebuild the Riveroak Castle treasury and then CONQUER ALL OF PHAEMA WITH ANIMATED CROUTONS! MWAH HA HA HA!!!

:-) Cute touch, Elro.

By Burn (Fereno) on Tuesday, August 01, 2000 - 10:33 pm:

oh, the power of crutons....and cheese

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