Monday, August 13, 2012

Tales from the Ethereal Plane

Shabala was the name reverently bestowed to him by the Uthgardt barbarians; for untold years Shabala was feared and worshiped as their guardian and totem spirit. The barbarian lands fertile, the people prospered under his protection and eventually grew to inhabit all the Valley of Khedrun. Their people became enlightened in spirit while venerating Shabala in ritualistic ceremony every season. That was ten years ago…

Shabala padded through the ethereal leaving icy-prints everywhere he strode, his breath came out in frosty clouds. He was fearsome and knew it, everyone cowered to him—everyone except for Darien. She was his bond and his Magi; he would kill every one of the mountain lion tribesmen, the people he once protected, with his own ripping claws if she so desired.

Following lazily amid the gemstones that floated silently in Shabalas wake was Retina, a small outsider that consisted of a red segmented eye; two sets of bat-like wings that beat rapidly like a dragonfly; and  a scorpion-like tail, save that it curled down. 

The eyewing could see virtually anything, as long as that thing were perceivable: camouflaged creatures, magical auras, it could even tell where a person’s moral compass lies. Naturally it was Retina who saw Randron while it traversed the ethereal one fateful day. Retina understood the drow was calling for a companion, a creature to share magic and insight with. The eyewing understood drow elves were widely considered to be the most talented arcane sorcerers in the realms. Retina hastily answered Randron's summons. That was before the Time of Troubles...

I did not see any lies in the imps claims his words rang true, strange as that may be, but I believe Lord Pinprik may be on to something. I shut my eye every time my Magi begins any spellcasting, fearing that a surge could occur at anytime. It is a gamble with every incantation.” Retina imparted telepathically to Shabala as the large fearsome white lion led them through the ghostly environment. 

Unlike the real Waterdeep, the ethereal waterdeep had no property; everything ‘real’ was insubstantial and ghost-like to the two travelers. 

“You are fortunate,” the white lion began. “I live in a house with an overwhelming number of drow mage-daughters that prove the imp's assertions of inter-class disputes. To make matters worse, very spell cast on me by my Magi cause me to radiate a surge of magic.”

I have not seen that one before." Retina's eye widened in response. "I did not know your Magi was a drow elf!” The eyewing’s exclamation caused Sabala to roar out causing a huddle of meager doppelgangers to cower and scamper deeper into the ethereal plane. 

My apologies mighty Shabala,” Retina sincerely relayed. "It is just that another coincidence has just revealed itself to us. Not only can we both travel as we do, but our Magi are both drow."

The lion stopped and turned to face the eyewing who took an instinctive backwards lunge. “We should arrange a meeting between them.” The lion; with a rare showing of cunning said with all seriousness. 

"Hopefully a new face in House Auvryndar will break the in-fighting one way or another. We need to get everyone working on the same goal,” Shabala looked toward the Celestial Staircase, “restoring arcane Magic.”

From above, Baloriek followed the great white lion listening to his one-sided palaver and the House whom Shabala spoke of.

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