Stories of Eléndel Baenre

  • A day for farewells was in order. He did not consider this as an act of politeness, for the mere word is foreign and stands without a meaning to him. His name is already wide known after merely a year back in Narfell and already there was a bounty on his head as the search parties restlessly persist in their pursuit. Space and time to consider his next move - a safe haven was the only thing his mind could currently long for.

    Beginning with Locke, continuing with Vladimir and Sogar, Quelcoth and Senria. Each received a deserved clap on their shoulder and a nod of respect. To each individual he explained the situation yet without the specific details. Everyone who he had been convinced to aid in his coming task was made aware of that the day to set off had been postponed.

    Leaving most in the keeper's base the warrior was still armed to the teeth's. For a safe haven for one of his kin, especially to those who oppose Lolth comes not without a sense of irony. He will hide from the surface and the areas where he is widely known until his name fades like water through sand and his actions are forgotten or at least temporarily put aside of the populations minds. But there are things that dwell below that care not for crimes of politics and not to be expecting enemies would be a foolish thing to believe.

    He will return in time for there are things that will bind him to the cursed towns of Narfell, with or without his approval or appreciation.

    ((Going to be back packcing in Peru/Ecuador/Costa Rica and pay a visit to Miami for a couple of months, catch you on the flip side, hang loose.))

  • There are different levels of bitterness. It starts out with a minor detail to be annoyed at, slowly entering the next stage where one detail becomes many. When the world you know stops making sense and attempts to live up to the purpose for ones existence fails, continuously, hope fades and the bitterness slowly turns into lunacy.

    He was again reaching a stage of madness towards literally everything, madness to a level of where common sense and rules no longer apply. If a deer entered this stage it would be considered dangerous, if a three hundred year old warrior of a former elite squad entered this stage, it is considered something much much worse for it cannot be controlled and the mind of the Drow is far from predictable. But his life was not his own for it belonged to someone with such power Eléndel could not even begin to phantom the start of the eternal pain, should that power be unleashed on him.

    To add up on a so far rather tragic story, his life was also wanted by several men, dwellers of the surface world whose lust for revenge blanks their minds in ways very few spices could compete.

    With a constant distrust to anyone he would consider closer than the rest there was no place he truly could consider safe. This was his current goal, his current mission was about to change, for before an escape route is at hand, continuing with old objectives could not be an option.

    For several days the warrior had searched through caves spread out the Narfell region. Some inhabited by beasts offering far too much challenge for it to be considered safe, but the search was not without progress - far from the reaches of the heavily patrolled Nars Pass and a weeks march from the Peltarch region, it will require tens of thousands of man hours, but in comparison to other cities, Oscura was the nest of available work power - slaves, Eléndel needed a lot of slaves.

  • He was just a little man to most eyes who gazed upon him, short and not especially broad from shoulder to shoulder. But putting that aside no one could claim him to be otherwise but brave, well, he had been called foolish from more than one mouth but the line is thin between bravery and recklessness and our man preferred to ignore the latter
    Living in an area where adventurers daily come and go it wasn't uncommon for Waldt Jr. jr. to follow one from a distance just to watch the good show. Sometimes the adventurer's beat the nature, other times he returned to Norwick after having witnessed another one to fall in battle. This day held something different however, a show both too brutal and vicious it was too much for even Waldt to call entertaining.

    At the new south gate of Norwick he poked around in what was the leftovers of a recent fire with a wooden stick, he had recently eaten and was beginning to doze of into his dreams when the sound of metal hitting metal and hobgoblin roars so loud Waldt flew up from his tree stump where he was sitting with a typical what the hell was that expression on his face. He hurried over to the east with no equipment except the small dagger he always was carrying in his sheath. As he closed in the ailing sounds grew louder and louder, they were filled with such horror that they alone were not far from leaving scars on his inner ears and mind.

    But a new voice was now available to be discerned from all the commotion, words of common uttered in a roaring tone. Threats and questioning, to the sound of it, but he was too far away still to make out its content. As he moved in he had to walk over several corpses so badly wounded it was obvious whatever man killed these creatures wasn't aiming for swift kills, but brutal and slow. Ears having been cut off, they were missing hands, arms and some even legs. One of the hobgoblins had from the looks of it even been killed with a fellow goblin's arm as a weapon, it was piercing through its torso in the most obscure distasteful manner.

    He usually don't hesitate a second to continue pressing on as long as there are still sounds from a battle ahead, he never had, this was who he was this was what he did for living, and usually ended up with quite some loot to be sold once he returned to safe grounds. But today it was not with ease for the signs that recommended him to return were many in numbers. The noises from the deep western woods eased for a moment and he forced himself to put his emotions aside and make a run for it, following the bodies of dead hobgoblins. Some had been left alive but so badly hurt death was imminent. This hobgoblin's shoulder had received a sword cut so deep it was amazing the goblins body wasn't split in half - if hobgoblins had a sound for when they wailed, this was likely it.

    Up ahead was a damp cave, he did not know this area as well as the others to the west, for he had been warned many times about specifically the caves in this area. They had formed scare tales you tell to children when they act up, eat up or the beholders from the east will come and get you. But something told him whatever being had entered the cave leaving dozens of dead beasts behind him was something he rather be following from a distance than staying alone in the woods.

    It took a great while for his eyes to adjust to the little damp light the cave had to offer, but once in tune it was enough for him to find a spot where he for the first time could get a glimpse of the warrior as well as a decent hiding spot for him to remain in.

    It was an elf from the looks of it, tall and broadness of shoulders however, but his face was so dark it could barely be seen in this light. The elf was in motion to pick up an axe from a fallen hobgoblin, he picked it up in his right hand and walked towards a kneeing wounded soldier. A hard kick towards its torso pushes the hobgoblin towards the stone wall, this followed with a blow that pierced not only the armor and flesh, but dug itself into the cave wall the hobgoblin had its back pressed towards, fully piercing the creature in place as it raised it's left hand as a sign for the elf to stop, a plea for mercy.

    As the elf walked closer into the light where the hobgoblin was brutally struck, he made his face visible from a light of a nearby torch - Drow - Waldt pressed his hand towards his mouth not to make his gasp of terror be heard. The drow grabbed the hobgoblin in the hair and gave it a push to the cold stone wall

    • Well then speak, what did you do with the entrance to the keep and where can I find it?

    No reply was offered except a weak groan, it didn't speak common, it didn't understand a word. To the drow's displeasing, it seemed, considering he now was smashing the hobgoblins head to the wall so hard it cracked more open for each hit while he was repeating the question in a yelling voice, he was slipping to the outer reaches of sanity - there was no telling where he would go from here.

    In the drow's state of rage unaware of his surroundings, out of nowhere a bugbear with a two-handed sword and fully plated armor covering its entire body came charging mindlessly towards Eléndel. It was a surprise attack and a charge followed with a blody to body blow so hard it left the drow flying 15 feets before slamming into a cave wall. Eléndel pushed himself up and for a long moment the two warriors stood only staring at each other. For what seemed like an eternity nothing happened and the only sound to be heard was the heavy breathing of the drow and the newly arrived bugbear, as well as the blood from the pierced hobgoblin dripping into the cold stone floor of the cave, only lit up by a distant torch hanging in one of the cave's stone walls.

    Like all creatures die when enough blood had been lost, this was no different. The hobgoblin's passing resulted in its knees no longer kept it's weight up and the axe alone was not strong enough to hold the hobgoblin in place, when it slammed into the ground the two warriors charged into what would prove to be a lengthy battle. It was now or never, with both occupied, Waldt jr. jr. made a run for it. He ran with strength and speed he didn't know he had and did not stop until he had reached the inner gates of Norwick where he fell to the ground out of exhaustion next to two town guards, who stared at him curiously.

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  • Several years have passed but the scars were yet covering his body. Again frustrated by his monumental failure his instinctive mind for surviving began to act. He had been left outside the gate's of Menzoberranzan. A servant of house Baenre stood at his side, he was ordered to deliver him instructions when he regained consciousness.
    His last stand had apparently impressed the matron mother to the extent that, not only had she decided to allow him to live, but had him also promoted, to act as an official informant to the city, "an ambassador of the surface". Were he ever to enter a berserking rage again, that had killed several elite guards of the house Baenre - he would be far far away to cause any domestic harm.

    The servant left him to bleed after the information was delivered to the half unconscious Eléndel. A day went past, his bleeding had stabilized but the internal wounds severe and the thirst crept closer to demand his life in return, were not any of the other dangerous of the underdark pay him a visit first. He does not remember the first encounter, but at some point he had been rescued by a small group of merchants on their way back to Ched Nasad, his life was saved and his wounds tended. For a price so exorbitant he considered to ask them to let his life pass to whatever god willing to accept his now pitiful state. Months and passed and together with a mercenary band he began his journey towards the surface.

  • Nothing here was left for him. The now almost ancient quest that was once entrusted to him was now history. He was kindly informed, just before the deep tragedy of his fall that the Katana of Ancients had been found. Supposedly he should be glad, yet he was unsure of his feelings. The messenger was killed in a pure reflex based upon the Drow being chocked surprised and unsure of what answer to give the messenger. The decision of plainly ending the life of the messenger felt like a good decision at the moment, not that he regretted it but giving it a second thought he thought he perhaps could after all have acted otherwise and eventually enjoyed the company of a “fellow drow” along his coming journey. Not that it matters today.

    His next stop was to be Menzoberranzan, the city in which he was born. Sitting in his old cave the memories of Vinessa returned. While he sat there on his throne, thinking back of the Defiler, Mitsu and Sigo he once again was given proof of that he had a short temper. His time on the surface world had indeed been a complete torture.

    He had few belongings worthy of carrying except what his backpack could hold, this made his preparing for departure as unproblematic as he preferred it to be. The place and its traps had served him well during his years in these lands, but as always all things come to an end, and now it was time for him to leave.

    It was a march few men would be willing to take. Months if not years, he estimated. He might know a lot about the surrounding areas of where he had lived the last years, but the remaining surface was as unknown to him as the Abyss.

    He made his leaving quickly and began his journey towards the dark city of the Drow. Few notes were taken by the Drow, thus little is known except of course that many farmers had to put their lives aside to offer the drow room for the night, a shelter from enemies and food for his stomach. For a short period of time he was accompanied by a human mercenary band and the convoy which they were protecting. He was of course taken as an elf. Maybe a human mercenary band wasn’t what the drow had hoped for as company during his long journey, but as long as they offered him protection and food, he decided not to bring up the subject. Little time and especially opportunities was given to prayers to the dark queen. Luckily he wasn’t as compulsory to worship “She whom sleeps with spiders” as the female cleric of Lloth, but even a fighter could sometimes find comfort and strength from the goddess of the Underdark.

    6 months, 3 weeks and 4 days since he left his “temporary home” as he preferred to call it, he stood at the gates of Menzoberranzan. His family mansion lay on the in skirts of the city, like the House of Baenre was the first house of Menzoberranzan and the central order; it was also situated in the centre of the city. Pride filled his heart. The great Drow city wasn’t even comparable with what he had witnessed on the surface.

    Even though he somewhat felt relieve of being here he couldn’t help but to feel anxious. It had been at least 90 years since last time he was in Menzoberranzan. The track of time was lost many many years ago. Back on the surface he had other things to worry about than counting the number of years that passed by. The quest of finding the Katana of Ancients was a success, but not thanks to him. Unsure about if he was going to be welcomed or not, he made his way towards the Baenre estate slowly. As he neared the outer wall, he removed his helmet and revealed himself to the guards. A squadron of guards surrounded him at once. They listened with narrowed eyes to his demand for audience and sent a runner to carry this message to the Matron Mother. In moments the Matron Mothers response arrived: a floating disk meant to convey a visitor with honor. Eléndel settled down on the conveyance and held his head high as he progressed through the several gates that warded the residence. Yet confused over what the intention of this was, he resolutely put that thought out of mind. He would inevitable need all his wits to deal with the subtle and treacherous person he was to meet. Any distraction would be lethal. The disk brought him directly to the door of the Matron Mothers audience chamber. Eléndel dismounted on the driftdisk and began the long walk towards the matron’s throne. The chamber was huge, with high-vaulting ceilings and intricately carved walls. Each footstep echoed softly, the sound like that of stone dropped into deep wells. This approach was meant to intimidate, but knowing this did not lessen the effect in the slightest. The Matron Mother watched his approach through narrowed crimson eyes. He came into a stop at a respectful distance and sank into a low obeisance. The Baenre matron acknowledged Eléndel’s reverence with a steady, unreadable gaze, which Elédel met with an equally unwavering stare. Looking directly into the Baenre Matron’s eyes, he announced:

    • Matron Nhilintra, forgive me that I have failed.

    For a long moment, silence ruled the chamber. Keeping her solid gaze upon the muscular warrior,

    “Speak, male” she said at last.

    The warrior began his tale, from the beginning to the end. He knew lying would only make things worse; through Lloth, Nhilintra wouldn’t even need to focus to read the warrior mind as an open book. He told her about the lost battles, the sun-deteriorated equipment and the many deaths of their once grand party of adventurers. He told her about Norwick, the town which he for so long suspected to be behind the lost Katana and that he had been searching for it unremitting for at least the last one hundred years. Everything he thought Nhilintra would find interesting was revealed at this moment. But the response to his tale was not what the warrior had expected, rather the opposite. The priestess answered with laughter.

    • Yes, a shame it was. It appeared the thief was actually from inside Menzoberranzan, this we found out only a few weeks after we locked the doors behind you when you stood at the road leading to the surface. The thief was caught tortured and killed and the katana returned to the favour of Lloth. Without further ado, you male can continue your work as well as your training at Melee-Magthere.

    What went on inside the head of the Drow fighter is not possible to describe. Abhorrence beyond the extreme will not cover it. He was in fact too filled with hatred he couldn’t possibly utter a single understandable word for several moments. Suddenly he paced and snarled like a caged cat. He slammed a hand into a stone pillar, ignoring the blood that flowed from his torn knuckles.

    • Damn you, he snarled at the Matron Mother. - Damn you to the deepest depths of the abyss.
      Foam flecked his pale lips, and Nhilintra, watching him closely, realized that his mind had slipped the last leashes of sanity.

    –This was when the life of Eléndel had reached perhaps its most interesting moment--

    The Matron Mother snapped her fingers twice, and her elite guards surrounded Eléndel with swords aimed at him from all directions. He drew his sword, and leaped into combat against both a more experienced and outnumbered enemy. Never before had he fought so fiercely. Raising his sword time after time, slashing down brutally towards the enemy, and blocking strike after strike from the enemy’s swords. He didn’t think, he couldn’t think. He only felt the adrenaline pumping within his entire body as it never had before. He had only one thing in mind, to fight. He sidestepped with the speed he didn’t know he had. But no man alone on this world can beat the elite guards of the Baenre Estate.
    It was a losing battle. It began with a flesh wound on his right shoulder; this followed by a misstep and his left knee was hit by one of the swords, resulting in a deep flesh wound. Another guard hit him on his left arm which disarmed his shield. Soon enough he sat on his knees on the floor with an exhaustion which reminds much of the Barbarians after-effect from their battle-rage. His entire body was filled with wounds, blood had covered his entire armour and slowly his vision began to fade. Far far away he could hear the commands from the Matron Mother to her guards though the words were spoken as if it was an unknown language; they disappeared into a mist which covered his mind. The last things he heard that day was the resonance from when his metal armour hit the cold stone floor.

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  • /lifts his hat and bows deeply

  • readers comment: amazeing.. other words are not good enough.

  • In a place like this, time does not exist. There is no day or night such as the surface dwellers know, no magical timepiece enchanted anew at the midnight hour. The drow male stumbling through the dark mist could not know that the moon that shone on the night of his defeat shone brighter than it had for an entire year, even if he knew this, the knowledge wouldn’t have mattered. He only felt hatred. Hatred for the mage who killed him, hatred for each and every surface dweller walking the mortal realm, and hatred for those, whom has either insulted, laughed at or harmed him in any possible way. But did this matter, in this nightmare that knew nothing of time nor place. Maybe it didn’t but it at least kept him pressing on in his search for escape.
    To the exhausted drow it seemed that his deity had abandoned him. She who sleeps with spiders refused to listen to his prayers; after all, he was just a simple male and the fact that he knew nothing about magic; didn’t make things any better.

    Fetid mists rose from the ground, which was sometimes strewn with sharp rocks and sometimes so soft, so indistinct, that is hardly seemed solid at all.

    Hatred has always made him stronger. He was very aware of the thin line in-between hatred and foolishness and he himself found him quite capable of telling the difference. In this place it seemed that hatred was the neutral element, people in ghostlike shapes screamed in a way he didn’t thought possible. Whether it was something he imagined or not, he was unsure of. He himself breathed hatred as a fish breathes water, but though his spirit burned even stronger, his physical form was weakening. He could not continue in this manner for much longer.

    -A drow, here? How very amusing, the voice were spoken softly, seductively.

    He ignored this as he ignored the howls echoing in his head.

    -You dare to turn your back to me, drow?

    An insureness spread through his body, but his exhausted self decided not to be fooled by another voice inside his head.

    A force of power and heat threw the drow towards a solid object in front of him. If he didn’t knew better, he would have thought it was a wooden sign of some kind. The always battle ready drow succeeded to gain control over himself and pushed himself up to his feets, turned around to meet the sound, his hand instinctively flying to the handle of his sword; but only to realise that is wasn’t there; it was gone as all his other equipment.
    The newcomer was quite simply the most beautiful creature he had ever seen, a succubuss, more or less naked. She chuckled softly and spoke.

    -So that is how to gain the attention from a drow?

    The drow merely shrugged, unsure of how to act and what to answer. His current situation was quite grim and couldn’t possibly, in his eyes, get any worse. The Succubuss continued.

    -I am sure you are not already tired of walking the world of mortal men. It is quite a normal reaction among those who so kindly come here to visit me. Mostly I ignore them unless they are foolish enough to come and ask for my help. But in this case, I see someone that I might have use for. Tell me drow, would you be interested to walk the world of living again?
    The drow who’s too weak to smile or show any other expression of appreciation, nodded with a weak “yes” to follow.

    -I will demand something from you of course, but I hope that part you already had figured out. You will be my connection to your world, and I will require something from you sooner or later. Be it an assassination job or the like, all I care of right now, is your word that you will help me.

    The back and forth rocking drow found the discussion most interesting, and this time he actually succeeded to utter more than a word.

    -I am not in the position to argue, am I? Your offer, how vague it now may seem, sounds like a way out and I would be foolish not to take it.

    Her almost childish chuckle somehow comforted him.

    -Then we have a deal my dear.

    She walked up close to him, grabbed his face with her both hands and gave him a long kiss.
    The next thing he remembered was that he found himself in another foggy place. Muttering a few curses over being tricked he soon could see the shape of a man sitting next to him.

    -I was beginning to wonder whether I was going to burry you or not. Glad you spared me the effort.

    He soon gained control over himself and realised that he were in a very familiar place, the Norwick graveyard.

  • Beneath the subterranean depths, a tale of vengeance and redemption beckoned. Eléndel, a drow warrior transformed into an elf by the mage Calerwen, sought a reckoning. Years later, an alliance with the enigmatic mage Chaelvin kindled their journey back to the castle where Eléndel's fate had been altered.

    Bound by a pact, Chaelvin's skills would conjure an antidote for Eléndel's affliction, restoring his drow form. In return, coveted scrolls and mystical trinkets awaited Chaelvin. The path to Calerwen's fortress was fraught with peril yet anticipation ran high. As moonlight painted their steps, they encountered arcane barriers and traps guarding their prize. Eléndel's instincts guided them while Chaelvin's mastery over magic dismantled the defenses.

    United by purpose, their skills complemented one another. Battling war golems and deciphering enchantments, they navigated towards the heart of the keep. Memories resurfaced as they reached the chamber of Eléndel's transformation, his thirst for vengeance rekindled.

    Chaelvin, undeterred, delved into Calerwen's notes. His incantation filled the chamber, magic surging around Eléndel. With a brilliant burst, the drow form was restored, triumph echoing through the room.

    As they departed, a new bond had formed. Their tale of arcane enmity and shared purpose would weave into the tapestry of Faerûn, carried by whispers through time.

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  • Written autumn 2003 (ish)

    High up in a tower of a magnificent size she was well protected. The security of her mansion was ensured by the warding runes outside, and the solitude of her private study protected by a magical shield. Her place of study was a large high-domed chamber carved from black stone and lit by the single candle on her desk. Here Calerwen sat, perusing an interesting book of spells. She was very old, even by the measures of elvenkind. But even though she had survived seven centuries her skin was still smooth and lustrous. The hair was as blonde as the day she was born and her teeth’s were as white as always. Many believed this was a trick by the powerful magic she wielded, but no one has ever dared to ask. Her mastery in the arcane art was well known around the surrounding cities, as was her passion and generosity for the people. But still, she had enemies; something would explain the advanced magic to protections, surrounding her castle.

    Deep in her studies, the wizard felt, rather than heard, the faint crackle that warned her someone has passed through the magic shield. She raised her eyes from the book and carefully turned around. She scrutinized around the room thoroughly with her sharp elven eyes, pressuring her Medallion of Mystra towards her chest. To her consternation she saw no one. Only a powerful sorcerer could pass through the magical shield with an invisibility spell intact. Calerwen's brows met in a frown, and she felt a battle was coming and her hand slowly moved closer to one of the deadly wands her belt carried. It all happened simultaneously; she slowly raised her head, finding a dark skinned Drow hanging in the roof staring at her with his red glowing eyes, meeting her look with hatred. As the dark skinned elf let go of the grip, Calerwen grabbed her wand aiming at the face of the dark skinned elf. Since the Drow was falling down towards the floor the spell missed and a fierce battle was about to take place. Drawing forth his two swords and pounding away the wand from her hands, Calerwen suddenly disappeared in front of the surprised eyes of the Drow. It was a tense moment, the Drow could hear the sound of spells being cast, but he couldn’tsee her, nor was he able to tell in what direction they were cast from. Without any forewarning a flaming beast was standing in front of him wielding its gigantic fist towards his head. The punch made him fall down to the ground, and just before the fire elemental was about to stamp on his head he succeeded to role away. Bleeding all over his face he dodged the next punch aimed at his head, he sticks his two swords through the beasts stomach, before pulling them out and wielding them towards the elementals head and cutting it off. The magic could still be heard from the wizard, her footsteps echoed in the room and so did those of the Drow. Even though he couldn’tsee her, he knew they were moving around in circles, looking at each other. Abruptly a great wall of fire was summoned in front of him, this he dove into, wishing he would make it to the other side. The amulet he wore absorbed most of the heat, this in front of the eyes of a slightly surprised Elf. A small globe of fire was surrounding the Drow as he laid horizontal in the air; flying through the fire. Just after he fell down on the ground, on the other side of the fire, he felt every muscle shaking in his body. With all his strength he was able to open his eyes, noticing the wizard conjuring a wave of lightning from her hands, leading in the direction towards the Drow who was currently unable to move. It was a painful moment but as soon as the spell was over, he jumped over the desk with his two swords pointing in the direction of the elf.
    The swords approached with such speed, they pierced her strong magic cutting through her soft body. The Drow breathing heavily, blood from his face splashed into her face. A tear was falling down from her eyes as her two weak hands grabbed each sword trying to pull them out. No matter how hard she tried she wasn’t even able to twitch them. The Drow warrior was stronger and the harder she pulled the harder the Drow pushed. After a long moment where only the sniffling sound from Calerwen could be heard, the Drow spoke.

    • Only you can be responsible for stealing the Katana. You had the power and you surely had the will to steal it.
    • I don’t know coughs who you are, what you want nor what you are talking about, Calerwen said.
    • Then let me explain to you

    Before the Drow could say another word the wizard let go of the grip around the sword, pushed her hand on the Drow face and spoke a pair of well chosen words. Green light burst up from the ground surrounding him and made it impossible for Calerwen to see what happened, though she knew he was falling down to the ground, screaming and slapping his face. A few moments later the green light faded and he was slowly standing up, breathing heavily. His skin was no longer black, it was as white as his hair once was, and his hair was as dark as his former skin. The wizard spoke.

    • What could possibly torture you more, than polymorphing you into what you hate the most, ELVES!

    Calerwen spit the Drow in his face, the wizard was prepared for what was about to happen. The former Drow ran towards the elf, pulling the swords out of her body (and to his surprise - something that wasn’t as easy has he had expected) and before she fell to the ground he wielded them towards her head, cutting it off, watching it fall to the ground together with her body. He pierced the head on a spear which he later placed on the grass outside her mansion. The whole tower was searched through but no sword was found, he later walked away, in the directions towards Norwick, weakened from the spell.

  • In the realm of Menzoberranzan, a city veiled in darkness and intrigue, an ominous revelation shatters the tranquility of the Spider Queen's sanctuary.

    "Priestess," a voice quivers with urgency, "the Katana of the Ancients is gone!"
    The high priestess of Lloth raises an eyebrow, her obsidian eyes fixed on the speaker. "What? That is not possible."
    "But it is, by Lloth, I promise you."
    "I have to see that for myself. I warn you, if this is not true, death will be the least of your concerns."

    Together, the high priestess and a novice set forth to the chamber where the holy relic of Lloth was safeguarded. The air is laden with a sense of foreboding as they traverse the labyrinthine passages.

    "By Lloth, it truly is gone," the high priestess whispers, disbelief etched on her features. "None of the warding spells or traps have been triggered."

    "Go tell the Matron Mother. She'll decide what course of action to take."
    "Yes, priestess."

    Meanwhile, amidst the shadows of Menzoberranzan's elite, a lone male of House Baenre named Eléndel finds himself an unlikely warrior. Denied the path of a priestess due to his gender, he hones his combat skills at Melee-Magthere, House Baenre's last resort. The call to adventure echoes through the city's intrigue-laden corridors as Eléndel is summoned to the Matron Council.

    "The Matron Council wants to see you, immediately," a messenger informs him.

    Dread and curiosity intertwine as Eléndel hurries to the council's chamber. Drows from various houses and academies have gathered, an assembly of the city's finest. The Matron of the first house addresses them, her words piercing the tension-laden atmosphere.

    "You are the best pupils of our city," her voice resonates, "chosen to embark on a perilous quest. The Katana of the Ancients, forged by Lloth Herself, has been stolen. A vile thief has defied our wards and traps."

    The Matron's gaze blazes with ruby intensity. "This crime demands retribution. Find the thief or thieves, even if it takes a lifetime. Expect challenges and sacrifices, for this is a task worthy of our devotion."

    Out of this assembly emerges a fellowship of drow, including Eléndel, united by a singular purpose. Stepping onto the surface, their eyes meet a sprawling expanse of stars and sky, a world previously unimaginable. A journey of uncertainty and danger awaits them, as they grapple with their dwindling magic and face the harsh realities of the surface world.

    As they venture forth, Eléndel becomes an enigmatic figure, a lone drow in unfamiliar realms. Disguised by the clothes of a fallen foe, he navigates the surface as a hidden observer. Through the passage of time, he crosses continents, visiting cities unknown, all in search of the elusive Katana of the Ancients.

    In a remote village beset by goblin hordes, Eléndel finds an unexpected haven. In the disguise of a warrior, he blends seamlessly, his true identity shrouded in the tapestry of mundane life. Curiosity draws him to this village, a focal point for adventurers, a beacon of intrigue in a world rife with mysteries.

    And so, the tale of Eléndel Baenre unfolds, a saga of devotion, sacrifice, and an unyielding quest. As he remains tethered to the Katana of the Ancients, he contemplates his purpose, the echoes of destiny whispering in his ears. Only time will reveal if he will emerge victorious, wielding the blade that could reshape his fate and that of Menzoberranzan.