Smendric sat in the great hall surround by a couple hundred citizens of Eleanor. He had seen enough magnificent mansions in his day to recognize where he was, though clearly the others had not. Near transparent servants hurried around refilling goblets and replacing empty bowls with all manner of exotic delicacies the likes of which these commoners had never seen. He jeered when the hall became silent as the magical servants floated twenty fully roasted boars onto the banquet tables. Secretly he envied these simple folks though he would never admit it. The sense of wonder at seeing “great magic” for the first time was a feeling he treasured. He had traveled so far for so long most magic had become old hat to him, and that sense of wonder had become difficult to find. Now a days most new magic that came his way arrived in the form of hostile casters, and he could ill afford to stop and smell the roses.
Smendric enjoyed watching these citizens enamored by the magical servants. But he was becoming anxious at the obvious absence of their host who had only been referred to as the Eonian. As the banquet gradually turned into a dance, Smendric passed the time by touring the hall. It reminded him of some of the nicer noble houses in Waterdeep. Several of the lords would often throw fancy parties as a ruse to show off their art collections. This hall housed well over 200 paintings of Eleanor done by a single artist over what looked like a very long lifetime. This gallery served as a chronology for the city as it evolved over an undetermined number of years. Changes in the city’s configuration and even changes in the landscape had been put to canvas by an artist of incredible talent. It wasn’t until he came across a view from above the valley that things began to make sense.
The angle of this picture was remarkably close to the peak he had spent so many hours studying from. Judging by the size of the city this must have been painted decades ago. He was amazed at the symmetry of the entire valley. He had already theorized someone must have created it, laid out everything as to minimize the negative effects of nature and maximize efficiencies of the fields and forests. Now that it was scaled down and laid out in front of him it was much more than that. He allowed himself to visualize the city, mentally filling in sections of the painting as if he were paining it today.
His body began to tingle as his mind filled in missing pieces of the city. He always enjoyed the sensation of new discoveries, and this puzzle had plagued him for months. As a master of teleportation one of Smendric’s greatest assets was his ability to memorize and mentally recall specific details of locations he had visited. He often found it easier to visualize arcane sigils and runes laid over real world landmarks for memorization. In this exercise he found himself filling in buildings & landmarks of the valley with sigils of the same shape. As his envisaged picture began to take form he had several amazing discoveries. As if reading an artistic scroll many of the sigils he interpreted strung together to form a wide variety of spells laid across the valley. Abjuration, transmutation, & summoning magic seemed to be most prevalent. He wondered how these spells could be cast and what would happen if he did. Smendric was in awe at the foresight this endeavor must have taken. At least he had a glimpse of the bigger picture and he understood it. Stepping back he admired the valley as a whole, and then he realized the entire valley formed a summoning circle.
Though the circle was not yet complete it was easy to see the necessary steps to do so. Smendric could not identify some of the sigils however he assumed that would be remedied with some research. He wondered if a circle of this magnitude was intended to summon an army of creatures or a single massive titan. Either way it looked as if whatever was summoned was intended to defend the valley. There was an obvious lack of binding precautions taken to protect the area against whatever was called; they must be familiar or have great trust in whatever it was.
Smedric’s attention was jolted by the sudden announcement of the Eonian’s arrival. He found himself on the wrong end of the dimensional space, so he began making his way toward the massive set of double doors at the other end of the hall. He could hear a female voice thanking the citizens for their pilgrimage to visit her, however do to his stature & the oversized nature of these mountainous folk he could not see her. The sea of citizens was difficult to navigate and he had only closed about half the distance when she requested everyone take a seat. As the rest of the crowd began to sit Smendric could not help but linger for a few seconds giving him ample time to make eye contact with the women he had searched for most of his adult life.
The Eonian was a human female late twenties early thirty’s blonde hair with a pale complexion. She was not the most attractive women Smendric had ever seen, but she did possess a natural beauty that was hard to ignore. She projected a level of confidence as she addressed the crowd that was inspiring. He was certain he had seen her before, he couldn’t remember where but there was a familiarity he was certain. He watched as she told stories of centuries past answering questions about specific ancestors of the citizens in attendance. A simple gesture allowed Smendric to observe magical auras and he was shocked to discover she possessed none. Her presentation changed from historical remembrances to strategic planning as she steered the conversation into shaping the city’s future. She allowed the citizens to discuss services they felt were lacking in the city. She then gave them detailed drawings of structures for those services and recommendations of where they could be erected with in the boundaries of city. She also brought forth plans for the farms and what crops should be planted this spring. She gave them magical seed pouches to ensure their fields would be of adequate size and shape to serve their purpose. Smendric noted every “suggestion” and offering of aid was ultimately shaping the valley towards the completion of the summoning circle.
As she distributed gifts to the crowd she made a comment that caught Smendric’s ear. “This is a list of necessary items that will need to be imported. Give this to the captain of the Lacuna they will have no trouble procuring these items this spring”.
Smendric remembered the ship captain, he had to practically beg her to bring him here. Not only was he set back double the going rate, but also a few magical items as well. He remembered thinking how attractive she must have looked when she was younger, but years exposed to the sun and the seas had left their mark. Now that same women stood before him twenty years younger and as it was with their first meeting no magic used to alter her appearance. Her gift of disguise must truly be remarkable he thought, judging by the paintings around the hall she was a true artist.