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Dragon Age - The Legacy of Wrale

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 5 months ago

back to the Index, or back to The Paragon Fortress

 

Chapter 17

The Legacy of Wrale

First Day Party, Part IV

 


9:29 Dragon, 26th day of Haring -- Winter (cont.)

 

     We had all returned from the hidden Fortress with various aches, pains and unhealed injuries. The vials of darkspawn blood were given into Malic's keeping; Eornan and Garrick needed serious chirurgery. After supper, we took our aches and pains to bed.

That night, some of us had more strange dreams …

 

9:29 Dragon 27th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     Bran had offered to accompany Landon on his year-end visits to his sisters and mother. Landon got two bottles of wine from the cellars at Hounds Hall, got a shave and a haircut from the elves, and bought some nice spices in the market.

     First they went to see Laenna and her silversmith husband, Munby Peech -- but the shop was not yet open, and bore the sign of a leatherworker! Asking at a local baker, we learned that Laenna and Munby's marriage had gone sour, and they'd parted ways nine months ago; possibly due to their lack of children. The baker didn't have an address for Laenna, but thought she might be living in Denerim.

     At the nice house of Serry and her husband Lamon Corth, we learned that they were spending the winter in Gwaren, not expected back for three months. Landon left one of the wine bottles, along with a note for Serry:

 

Dearest Serry,

     I hope the year end finds you well! I am doing well, and have just returned to Denerim for a few days -- today is 27 Haring. I wish you and your family best of fortune's increase for the coming year. I'm going to visit our mother today.

Love, Thereos Varos

 

 

     After that, we set off on foot for Hanlon -- normally a four hour trip, but of course a little slower through the snow. Landon gathered about six ounces of winterberries from along the roadside.

     Hanlon was a village with a population of about 200 -- counting everyone within a mile or so. There was an alehouse / store, a mill, and a Chantry sister living in an ordinary house. Off to one side was a farm of several acres, owned by Landon's family but rented out to farmers; on that property was his family home.

     Barvenna, Landon's mother, came flying up the path to meet her son. She was looking very well, in fact better than she had in many years. Lore, the family dog, seemed to have gotten older though. After introductions, we went inside, hung up our cloaks and gear, and sat down while Barvenna cooked supper.

     Over supper, she told us that she was selling the farm, and that she, Laenna, and many other Korcarians were planning on taking ship in a month's time to Gwaren. From there, they were going to travel west across the Korcari Wilds to the site of a projected colony. Barvenna was surprised to hear that shipping traffic to Gwaren would normally wait until Drakonis (three months away).

     While Landon was still reeling in shock over this revelation, a large, muscular man slammed the door open and came in (along with his dog). His name was Borvanus, another Korcarian and an old friend of Landon's father, Wrale. Borvanus apologized for surprising us; it was soon clear that he and Barvenna were very close. He, too, was planning on traveling into the Wilds, although reluctantly. He's a veteran of the army, and fought alongside Maric against the Orlesians at the Battle of the River Dane.

     Landon and Bran spoke with Barvenna and Borvanus about the route through the Wilds -- probably filled with unknown dangers, including the likelihood of a Blight. Landon eventually felt that further discussion that night would upset his mother, so he left the others to discuss Borvanus's life ("tell me more about Loghain!"), and went to investigate his father's office.

     Barvenna had not opened the room since the night her husband died, a few years ago, and in fact had nailed a tapestry over the doorway. After Landon pulled down the tapestry, he went in; everything seemed just as he remembered. He went to a shelf along an outside wall, where he remembered his father pointing out some specific books. The books were a set of nine texts, in Ancient Tevene, all on the subject of architecture; they dated from about 1560 T.E. The rag doll given to Landon by the carnival fortune-teller fell out of pocket onto the floor; Landon recalled her saying it would help protect him. Landon called to Bran to "help with moving some books."

     When the books were pulled out, a brass plate with a central depression was revealed. Landon pushed on the depression, and the shelf moved aside, revealing a secret passage. Peering into it, Landon noticed the passage seemed to be of stone, but with no joints or cracks, oddly smooth.

     The passage proceeded about 30 feet -- far too far, in fact -- that would pass through the house! At the end of the passage, it opened to the left into a small room, of the same seamless stone; on the floor stood an ever-burning lamp (such as Landon's family had owned several of). On one wall of the room was a small, square mosaic of abstract geometry, with a knob on each side. Again, the rag doll fell to the floor.  Bran and Landon looked at one another and agreed it would be a good time for Bran to fetch his axe.

      Properly prepared, Landon gingerly touched the oddly warm knobs; the mosaic shifted and vanished, revealing a nook containing a large, undistinguished shabby book, with a green binding. As soon as Landon took hold of the book, some sort of creature -- perhaps an overly large ash wraith -- appeared and attacked us both. It stole life force, it sent gouts of flame from its ghostly maw, and teleported about the room at will.

     Between the mighty blows of Bran's axe, and the liberal use of Arcane Bolt by Landon, it was eventually destroyed. Once gone, a fine layer of ash or dust was revealed, and some illusions hiding the room's contents were ended. The passage back to Wrale's office was actually a short, steep set of stairs!

     The room contained, in actuality, six barrels, two shelves, two chests, three of the ever-burning lamps (in toto), two large maps, and a void bucket. On one of the shelves were some lyrium and healing potions; the chests and barrels contained food, water, blankets, and other survival items. The other shelves contained books on architectural magic, mostly written in Ancient Tevene.

     One of the maps depicted the regions of southern Ferelden and the lands further south, long ago. A location along the mountains, south of Honnleath, is labeled Korcarim. The other map depicted the Tevinter Imperium.

     The large, innocuous book was titled "Southern Plants" in Ancient Tevene. However, roughly the last third of the pages were sealed by a strange magic, with five mystic symbols. It was very clear this book's actual contents were much more interesting than a discussion of Fereldan botany.

     We returned to the office, and Landon looked at the books on his father's desk:

 

  • Signio et Tutela Mobilis (Portable Seals and Wards): a text in Ancient Tevene

  • Of Fade and Blood: a text in Ancient Tevene. While mostly filled with examples and discussions of advanced blood magic, this book also contained a spell to cast when confronted with a powerful demon in the Fade -- the spell completely drained the magician's body of usable essence (and blood), making it useless to demons. A marginal note said this "should be taught to every mage."

  • another text in Ancient Tevene, on the methods of using magic in architecture and construction, including the use of blood magic, difference from the old Elven systems

  • the final volume of Wrale's personal journal, a text in … ?

 

     Landon could not bear to read more than the last entry of the journal. Besides those books, there were fine parchments, bottles of ink, and a good number of (non-occult) books, apparently chosen either as fine examples of bookmaking, or for useful information on architecture.

     With a quick change of clothes for Landon (old teenage clothes he had left behind), we returned to the main hall, where Barvenna and Borvanus had clearly been having a heated discussion. We discussed Wrale's will (found in the secret room), and decided to pack the items Landon wanted onto a hand cart in the morning and return to Denerim. The secret room would still have the water, food, and blankets, and one of the ever-burning lampsLandon agreed to make copies of the maps for the Korcarian expedition. Landon treated Bran's damaged eye and cracked skull before retiring for the night. 

     In the dark of night, Bran awoke and found the stone the fortune teller had given him. It was under his pillow.  He walked down the hall to Landon, talking at the stone ("Oh, I'm on to you! Very clever, oh, yes! We'll see who's laughing now!") and chuckling in a rather disturbing way. He woke Landon and encouraged him to destroy their stones "to stop the dreams." Landon convinced Bran to spare the stones, but agreed to swap stones with Bran to see if it changed the pattern of dreaming. 

 

9:29 Dragon 28th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     With the cart packed after breakfast, Landon took leave of his mother, and asked for her blessing. The cart held potions, nearly all of Wrale's books, scribing items such as parchment and ink, two ever-burning lamps, and the two maps. We pushed and pulled the cart through the snow into Denerim, arriving late in the afternoon. After stowing the cart's contents in Landon's room in Hounds Hall, we made plans for an ale testing jaunt around the town in the evening.

 

on to Ale to the Alienage

 

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