The March of Ages

Get on with it!

As Stangil Drakebane, Serafina Anduril, and their companions entered the city of Fey’Oth they were wowed by how massive and pristine the grand city was. Veins of gold glittered in the cracks of the white buildings, making everything shine even more. Inside the Fimm Drekar’s compound the human envoy was shown their own wing.

Once they were in the privacy of their own room, Stangil and Julian spoke freely to each other. Stangil asked if Julian thought that the Fimm Drekar were acting differently toward them and if they perhaps noticed his and Serafina’s tattoos. Julian expressed that he wanted to return home and had no interest in taking sides. There was concern about the behavior of Briar and the new humans. Stangil informed Julian that it was the time of the full moon and he intended on contacting Aristos that evening with the mirror, despite not having met with Kalloruth yet. Enough time had passed without any contact that it seemed necessary.

After their conversation, Stangil found Serafina in her room with Belaric. They discussed the Fimm Drekar, tattoos, sending word to Reikasha, having Belaric attempt to touch base with any Taalen’Vost in the city, praying to their “friend” (whose name they would not speak aloud, Somnambuliss), cajoling Briar and company into behaving themselves, delegating the responsibility of keeping an eye on Briar to Abrahm, and asking Mirrick what tales he could tell of Kalloruth and Voranyth. Stangil and Serafina divided their tasks and set themselves to work.

Serafina began with Abrahm. She asked him to watch over Briar and the other humans from Aesteryl, ensuring that they did not say or do anything offensive while in Fey’Oth. He seemed nervous and unsure, so she inspired him to take charge and be a leader. That totally went well.

Stangil made his way to Briar’s room. After knocking and announcing himself, he discerned the sound of heavy furniture being slid on the marble floor and then, “come in.” Briar and the others had barricaded the door and positioned themselves in defensive points around the room. Stangil attempted to encourage Briar to open her mind to new experiences and cultures. Still scarred from their introduction to the Drekar, Briar and company were not convinced. She did promise that they would cause no trouble, but impressed upon him their eagerness to return to the human lands and reunite with their people. Finally, she asked Stangil if he could give them some protective armor, to which he agreed.

Serafina found Mirrick sitting alone in his room, contentedly settled in. To her disappointment, she found no new useful information in the lore of Kalloruth.

Dinner was announced and all twenty were shown to a large dining hall. Serafina noticed the continued absence of the Fimm Drekar. The five course meal was prepared expertly and servants kept glasses full. Toward the end of the meal, an authoritative man was shown in. He introduced himself as Governor Anton, their host during their stay.

Governor Anton informed the human consort that he had requested an audience with Kalloruth for them. In the meantime, Emissary Udoth Iluith and his wife had requested an audience with them. Also, dozens of merchants wished to discuss opening trade with the humans. The humans were to have free reign of the compound, with the exception of the Fimm Drekar’s wing. They were allowed to leave and explore the city, but it was highly suggested that they take an escort (guard) with them.

Before retiring for the night, Stangil went out to find a suitable sacrifice for which to offer the mirror. He found a menagerie in town and was able to purchase a lion. With little effort and concern for being noticed, Stangil returned to the compound with the beast tied and slung over his shoulder and retreated to his room. Shoving it through his doorway caused enough of a stir to wake Serafina across the hall.

Serafina opened her door and saw Stangil struggling to push something large, winged, and furry in his room. “Do I want to know?”

“Do you?” he responded.

“I don’t want to know,” she replied and went back to sleep.

Apprehensive, Julian watched over Stangil as he bled the animal, drew sigils, and fell asleep.

Aristos did not seem pleased to see Stangil. First, Stangil disclosed the possibility that the Fimm Drekar had noticed his and Serafina’s tattoos and the danger they might be in. Aristos notified Stangil of a vision that Noella had seen. Thrice, she saw two serpents fighting, one killing the other and moving across the sea. Each time, a different serpent was the victor. Stangil told Aristos what he knew of Voranyth and Kalloruth and asked which seemed like a lesser threat. The order returned was to make a decision using his best judgment.

Lastly, Stangil inquired about Rondal and the dispatch to the Lluaran forest in the west. There had been no word for several months. There was open warfare in the forests and the Lluaran had been attacked, but it was not known with whom they were defending themselves against. Aristos said to Stangil, “you need to come home as soon as possible.” With this news and intense dread, Stangil was pulled from the dream and awoke.

Serafina sat up in bed alone. Naiora was nowhere to be seen. Belaric was not present. There was a thin layer of fog covering the floor. She got out of bed and rounded the corner to the other half of the room to see Somnambuliss grinning. Searching once more for direction, Serafina became frustrated with ambiguous answers and questions in return. Somnambuliss toyed with her, saying that she was not asking the right questions. Once again, Serafina was told that they needed to make a decision for themselves.

Unable to tell what time it was and also unconcerned, the enraged Stangil stormed out of his room and to the bathhouse. The noise startled Serafina awake but as she found herself snuggled between Naiora and Belaric and there were no sounds of a fight, she decided it could wait.

Stangil found Arianna bathing after her morning workout. “If the decision was yours, which dragon would you kill?” he asked her.

Arianna signed, “Kalloruth.”

He then retold his conversation with Aristos and added, “I trust you to check me because my son is on my mind. I need to go home and save my son.” With that, Arianna squeezed his shoulder and left him alone to contemplate.

The bath was not calming so Julian took Stangil for a run outside.

Serafina woke again, still snuggled between Naiora and Belaric. She quietly stretched and Belaric stirred. He had been out late looking for brothers, and was successful. Braeden Brightburn and his crew were in port and would provide transportation home when they required. A message was also successfully sent to Reikasha.

Belaric was still exhausted, so Serafina promised to wake him for breakfast before going out into the common room to check on their companions.

When Stangil returned from his run with Julian he and Serafina shared their news in the privacy of his room. Serafina understood his agitation and pledged to help him find his son when they returned. There was a knock at the door and Stangil answered.

Governor Anton was in the doorway. He seemed to ignore the large dead animal, pool of dried blood, and splatter of blood in the room. To the point, he announced that the humans would have an audience with Kalloruth at sunset, Emissary Udoth Iluith would arrive mid-morning with his wife, and the merchants would be arriving before lunch. Serafina requested a meeting with Shykelith, which visibly stunned the governor.

Stangil needed time to recover before meeting with Kalloruth, so Serafina offered to handle the meetings alone while he went into the city to find something to distract his hands.

Emissary Udoth Iluith and his new wife, Sosyth arrived mid-morning. Sosyth was so happy to see Serafina that she ignored formalities and wrapped Serafina up in a hug. Udoth tried to keep his poise while Sosyth gushed about how she was here and with her love all because of Serafina. When she settled down, Udoth attempted to speak formally with Serafina, asking how long the humans intended to be in Fey’Oth. When Serafina responded, “we are weary of traveling and wish to return home as soon as possible,” he offered the service of his family’s fleet of ships (all three of them).

Sensing that the emissary had an air of importance around him, Serafina attempted to make polite conversation and ask about the Iluith family business. In short she became bored with Udoth’s arrogance and Sosyth’s constant fluttering. A sad reference to Gauladek was made and Serafina realized that they did not know that he had survived.

Serafina excitedly told Sosyth that her brother was alive and well. She had seen him just outside of Haimir, en route to Shaeth. Sosyth was overjoyed. In contrast, the blood drained from Udoth’s face. Noticing his reaction, Serafina suggested that Sosyth immediately write to him and make a plan to see her family again now that she is married and can build a bridge between the two families. Udoth offered to send a messenger for her right away, but Serafina interjected, trying to convince Sosyth that she could borrow a messenger from the Fimm Drekar, which would travel faster and more safely, guaranteeing that Gauladek would receive the message. With that, Udoth Iluith abruptly ended the visit and hurried Sosyth home. Serafina smirked, happy with herself.

Later that afternoon, Serafina was ushered into a large conference hall where two dozen merchants and guild masters were led in. Serafina introduced herself and began the discussion of opening trade. None of the men were eager to speak and most had looks of consternation on their faces.

When asked what was wrong, one man spoke that he was concerned that she intended to speak with them all at once. Serafina explained that in the interest of saving time, she would gather information about their goods, trades, skills, and so forth, bringing the details home to interested merchants. This did not loosen any tongues. She asked again why they were not speaking. Another man answered for the crowd that they had expected to speak with “the big guy.”

“If you do not wish to speak business with me, feel free to leave,” Serafina paused. She motioned for a few men at the opposite end of the table to move to one side. Ever so elegantly, she lobbed a ball of fire at the cold fireplace and said, “thank you, it was chilly in here.”

Guildmaster Hubel Gunrick introduced himself and the rest fell in line. Business was discussed and the remainder of the meeting went well, Serafina thought.

Serafina checked on Julian and Zeuth before taking a guard with her to the market where she intended on buying jerky for Naiora, chocolates for Piala, and some local fruit for herself. Whilst enjoying the immaculate city, she spotted a small child in the doorway of a tent holding a sign that read, in human, “come here.” As quickly as she saw it, it was gone. Leaving her guard, Serafina entered the merchant tent.

Shykelith sat inside, “you wanted to see me, Tadpole?” Serafina described her concern that they had neither seen nor heard from the Fimm Drekar since arriving in the city, despite staying in the same building. Shykelith explained that they were “warned not to interfere with [your] meetings.” Serafina pressed, asking if it had anything to do with her and Stangil’s tattoos. They had been noticed.

“It was discovered to whom your allegiance truly lies,” Shykelith admitted. Both women expressed their care for each other but the conversation ended with her warning Serafina to be careful.

Stangil awoke from his nap to the smell of smoke. There was a figure on his couch. It was Reikasha. Weeks ago he received a message from Elrathia to meet them in Fey’Oth now, so there he was. He asked Stangil what they were planning and why. He offered his aid.

Later, Stangil relayed this information to Serafina, Arianna and Belaric. They planned to have a nice talk with Kalloruth and then decide what course of action to take.

A carriage arrived and carried Stangil, Serafina, Arianna, and Belaric to the palace. Once over the portcullis they saw hundreds of honor guards and the Fimm Drekar watching from a balcony.

Inside they were introduced to Cardinal Durden, glowing with an aura of strong heat. He welcomed the three humans and one Feoral into his office and began to answer their questions about Kalloruth. They discussed her divinity, philosophy of ruling, and methods. Stangil weighed the difference between her strategies and Voranyth’s.

Durden noted that Shykelith had said many good things about the humans but immediately addressed Stangil and Serafina’s allegiance to Somnambuliss. Stangil stood by his friend where Serafina once again remained vague about her loyalty and reminded the cardinal that their tattoos did not speak for all of their party, let alone humankind.

Cardinal Durden mentioned the dragon egg that Zheiserayth had seen in Stangil’s possession. He said that it belongs to true dragons. Stangil’s retort is that the egg will be given to its rightful owner when their identity is revealed and to no one else.

Finally, they discussed the proper customs to observe when in the presence of Her Divinity, Kalloruth.

The foursome were led up a series of long switchbacks, leading up the inside of the mountain. At the top, they entered a cave that was full of volcanic glass. The opening of the cavern overlooked the ocean. Sunset approached and there were rows of about 200 people kneeling. At sunset a short ceremony was observed and the other people left. Stangil, Serafina, Arianna, and Belaric remained abased. They were given permission to rise and saw a dragon, over 250 feet long staring at them.

In the corner of the cavern, on a pile of glass, laid a large dragon’s skull with primal fire burning inside. Other than that, it was very unlike Voranyth’s lair. There was not much else, no treasure, just glass shards. Unlike the rest of the city, there was nothing ostentatious about Kalloruth’s cave. All of this was in stark contrast with what they had seen in Shaeth.

Gifts were exchanged and Stangil carved a beautiful statue of Kalloruth, as he did for Voranyth. Both sides expressed an interest in an alliance, peace, and open trade. Kalloruth questioned and evaluated their stance on Somnambuliss.

Serafina asked about the skull in the corner. They learned that Kalloruth and Voranyth had not only killed and devoured their mother, Leopa, but other great dragons as well. That skull belonged to Vulgaros.

Stangil told Kalloruth of the vision and said that it was interpreted as a potential threat. Kalloruth seemed upset by this.

More of the conversation turned to the difference between her and Voranyth. The culmination of the meeting being Kalloruth asking about them traveling with family and friends, which Stangil took as a threat to Julian’s life. It became clear that the discussion might soon turn hostile and both parties took leave.

Kalloruth offered the humans transportation home. Serafina requested the opportunity to say goodbye to the Fimm Drekar before they departed. She had grown close to them, especially Shykelith.



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