Elle's Quest Articles

Highway Robbery
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<For those of you taken to roam the countryside I have a dire warning. There have been multiple reports that brigands are accosting citizens and demanding money. Iím told that if you hand over your valuables in a timely fashion they let you go. Any delays, however, result in the loss of life. The corpses littering our highways prove that. There seems to be one common hooligan leading this motley crew. I have no specifics on this bandit as of now. So, please, if you plan on traveling from Britannia beware of strangers.
Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2000, 3:27 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Wanted dead or alive: Elle
>>> Felucca Facet News <<< The magnet for mischief, BladeSong, sat me down the other night and related a tale of sinister proportions. I had sent a warning about whispers of robbery occurring on the public highways of Sosaria previously. Well, now we have more information. I'll let BladeSong continue:

River and I were walking the roads towards Vesper when Highwaymen started pouring out of the buc's den gate...a few accosted us asking for money...and the rest started running north along the road to cove...well we dispatched the few pestering us and headed after them.

It was a long chase through Cove and back to the North Bridge of Vesper when we found the large den of bandits. They quickly overwhelmed us and River was knocked out from a mace blow. I was alone and losing strength fast when I too saw the starry blackness from one of their clubs.

Once I regained my senses I woke to find a war being waged by a small number of heroes who had shown up. It was a grand battle as we were outnumbered 8 to 1.

This is when she showed up. Stepping out of the woods it was very clear who was in charge. The bandits stopped beating on us for a moment while waiting for her to say something. This beautiful creature named, Elle gave us a sneer and spit out:

"Give me ye gold"

Well, there was no way I would ever defer to evil so I pointedly refused. Her bandits charged us then, but she yelled at them to stop: "I said, NOT YET." They hung back, just itching to attack.

She pointed me out. "You, the handsome one. You look well off. Me thinks I'd like to relieve you of your worldly possessions." Once again I declined.

This seemed to enrage her and when she gave the signal her men charged us. The lawful stood back to back fighting this evil scourge off. It took us a long time, but finally we won out.

Elle, who looked very upset, screeched like a harpy: "You will all pay!" and disappeared into the woods not to be seen again.

Posted on Saturday, July 1, 2000, 5:52 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Napa needs your help!
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<The highways are getting worse with citizens robbed daily. Picked clean of their goods and left for dead if they don't relinquish fast enough. Guards have been dispatched, but there aren't enough of them to patrol the roads.

This is where you can come in. Britannia needs citizens to form a posse and put an end to these highwaymen. Is there not a brave leader among you to uphold peace in the land?

Although I am just a reporter with little fighting skills I suggest you go to http://www.cyboards.com/servlets/CyBoard?I=1344&A=view and gather together. I will post something there first and any of you brave enough should follow.

Posted on Thursday, July 6, 2000, 7:57 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Evil Mages, Highwaymen & Elle...oh my!
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<Well dear readers, here we have another appearance from Elle. However, to get to that point we need to take a small diversion. Don't worry, it's worth your while.

My friend, BladeSong, and his side kick River were once again exploring Britiannia. However, I'll let him continue from here:

I was in the Sambrook Winery sampling some of their fine wares when the carrier pigeon came in. It seemed my companion, River, had stumbled on to the Fire Caves near Paupa and wanted to explore. Well, I knew that place was tricky so I offered to lead the expedition. Gathering a few other players we met up a short time later.

As we were packing our gear an old knight hailing from Trinsic inquired about our destination. After I told him he begged to join us. It seemed he was hunting an evil wizard cult in the very same caves we were headed for. He seemed okay, so I agreed and we headed off.

A short distance inside the caves, where the graveyard lies, some evil mages swarmed us. The knight went mad, hacking and slashing them into sea serpent chum while yelling about a legendary book of the undead.

Afterwards I took him aside to see if he harbored some ulterior motive that might cause harm to our small party of young players. With a hollow look in his eyes he told me of his decade long quest for this book that would save his family. The last he heard this evil cult was in possession of it.

So, we pushed onward until the knight opened a door to a small room and disturbed a secret meeting between the mages and the highwaymen. A fierce battle ensued, of course, and after running them off we found something of interest.

It was a book lifted from a highwayman's corpse that gave a sextant location near Vesper's gate to Buc's Den with a passage from Elle saying: “We must take this location”

The old knight, still not finding his book, said a farewell and left. We decided to find Elle and put a stop to her.

Sure enough she was there. Quite surprised to see us I might add. Going into a rage she demanded how we found out her location. After refusing she released some brigands that we fought long and hard. Again she threatened to kill us if we didn't tell.

“The roads of this world belong to us.” she spat at which I replied:

“Not this road and not this day.” and chased her into the woods to which she was able to make her escape.

Posted on Thursday, July 6, 2000, 2:19 PM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Elle Captured!
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<Life is like the Britain hedge maze. Wandering lost most of the time, you find a few rares along the way until the big neon “Exit” shows up in the form of a dirt nap and you're gone.

Last Friday a band of heroes got together to rid the roads of the Highwaymen once and for all. Using Lord British's meeting hall they gathered together and made plans. It was decided a scout party would gate to Elle's last known location and try and lure her into an ambush.

Upon arriving near Vesper the scouts were ambushed themselves. A great battle took place near the graveyard, but Elle never made a peep that night. Victorious, but antsy the party retired to begin anew the following day.

Saturday was much different. Employing much of the same tricks as their enemy, the heroes took them down in combat amongst the trees near the Buc's Den gate. Elle was captured alive and there was much rejoicing.

They braced themselves for the difficult trek of escorting such a hellcat to Yew's prison, but in an about face Elle was withdrawn. Quiet. Melancholy. They expected a trick and kept a steady watch for any remaining brigands, but no one showed up.

Then near the Yew winery Elle burst out into tears. Sobbing and falling to her knees she refused to go on. BladeSong was quite puzzled at this behavior. Being a man's man he had little experience with a crying woman. So, he took her inside and gave her a stiff drink. Dirk, pacing non-stop, was on the look out for trouble. Through her tears Elle refused to divulge information. She kept saying over and over: “You wouldn't understand.”

Fed up, BladeSong led her to the awaiting jail cell and locked her in tight. And in a game of good cop, bad cop Dirk brought some bread for her, trying to gain her trust. After a long while she confessed that her family was being held captive as a means for her to follow orders.

She didn't know where they were being held nor who was holding them. “If I knew that I would have killed them all already!" she snapped when asked. All we knew is that was their names (Sir Johnson, Lady Jamie and a sister Sara) and that a mage was involved. This mage, Disturputus, had been whispered about before...and the person who did had ended up dead.

Posted on Friday, July 14, 2000, 10:27 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


BladeSong Kidnapped!
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<

A picture is worth a thousands words. This is the one waiting for us when we got back from the Fire Caves near Papua.

Last Tuesday I was on hand as the heroes met in Lord British's castle to discuss finding information on those behind Elle's forced reign of terror. Going off the tiny bit of information that the evil mages might be involved we took a scouting party to the caves.

Many dead orcs & evil mages later we had nothing. (Ok, maybe someone got some cool red sandals...snatched right out from under my fingers, but that's a different story) So, we headed back to the meeting hall to be confronted by a terrible sight: Equipment strewn about and other signs of struggle. BladeSong was gone and in his place was this awful book. With no idea who the Merchant's Guild is we can only pray for our friend's safe return.

Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2000, 6:39 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Attempted Assassination!
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<On Wednesday a master merchant made inquiries in Britain for the warrior Long Dong Silver, one of the heroes of the Elle quest. Upon finding him he stated if Elle wasn't released BladeSong would be put to death within 24 hours.

Immediately he and Vylnt J escorted the merchant to the Yew prison.

Sometime later Thoem Bisul received a message of a fierce battle at the jail. He raced over to find Long Dong and Vylnt J trying to drag Elle out of her cell. Their hearts in the right place, but clearly not thinking logically Thoem put a stop to them. As they debated in the hall, a poison elemental snuck up and forced them in the cell with Elle.

After they dispatched this creature Elle claimed it was not an elemental, but some sort of shapeshifter. They pressed for more details, but she demanded they leave. Standing just outside, while she wept, they spoke in low tones about how confusing everything had become.

A few minutes later a man dressed as a guard tried to enter Elle's cell, but they stopped him. He explained he was just doing his job, but seemed suspicious and when he took off running Thoem and Long Dong were on his tail.

Finally catching up with him in the new lands the ‘guard' was forced to confess. He said he was hired by a follower of Minax to ‘get' the girl at all costs. Claiming to be paid as much as Thoem for this deed.

Long Dong came to the realization that Thoem was wearing the same clothes as the master merchant who demanded Elle's release in the first place. With shapeshifters on his mind they argued while poor Thoem maintained his innocence. Unfortunately the faux guard used this time to escape.

Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2000, 10:12 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


BladeSong Rescued
>>> Felucca Facet News <<< Since it's been a while since I last posted about this adventure I thought a minor recap might be in order. First we had Elle terrorizing the countryside, but she was captured and locked away in Yew prison. She confessed her family was being held hostage which forced her to commit these crimes. There were numerous attempts on her life. Then BladeSong was kidnapped. A ransom note was delivered by the Merchants Guild to Long Dong Silver saying if Elle wasn't release in 24 hours BladeSong would be put to death.

Whew! You got all that? So, then after many hours of detective work in the field our band of heroes were able to ascertain BladeSong was being held in the Ice Dungeon by a cult of evil mages (they keep popping up!) who belonged to the Merchants Guild. The 24-hour time frame had passed so we hoped for the best.

I tagged along as we met on the Paupa docks. Dirk Fireslinger had come down with a mysterious illness so the paladin Aranath took his place as group leader. Before jettisoning our vessel into the ocean kamikaze mages with a zealots fire in their eyes stormed us. Fearful of bringing a full scale attack on the population of Paupa we left immediately.

The journey was long and difficult. We were attacked by creatures the whole way. A powerful force trying to stop us. Upon landing, a pack of drakes and evil mages tried to repel us, but to no avail. Inside the dungeon the usual array of ice creatures halted our progress with their frozen outer shell causing frostbite to all they touched.

We eventually found the ghost of BladeSong tied to an energy vortex. He spoke to us from beyond harking for a resurrection. But before we could proceed a whole army of mages popped out of nowhere. I don't know how we finally broke through their ranks, but we did. There were many lifeless bodies lying upon the ground...some of them ours. Racing to where BladeSong was being held (in the middle of a pentagram) there was one last surprize: Ice Fiends. Nasty creatures they were. Huge beasts who took forever to kill. As some of the party was holding them off we brought our friend, BladeSong, back into the realm of the living.

With danger still lurking around we made haste to transport our version of Private Ryan back to Paupa. He thanked us for our bravery, but had no further knowledge of those who took him. Only time will tell...

Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2000, 9:44 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Celebration
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<This past weekend was a celebration of sorts. Those involved in rescuing BladeSong met for festivities at the new city of Liberalis during it's grand opening. It was a night of relaxing, showing off and other oddities.

First we were overrun by daemons that couldn't be killed. Then I met a talking Ettin. Some dimwits kept throwing up walls of flames so I couldn't see and that doesn't even include the variety of contests to be had.

I tried my hand at the dart contest and did horribly. Then I was sure to be a shoo-in for the fashion contest, but MacMichael beat me. Hmmm...he did dress a lot like Dirk who was the judge. Could there have been a bias? No matter. A scavenger hunt consisted of finding teal bags placed in the surrounding town and forest. Even before I started some enterprising player found most of the bags. So, I came home empty handed, but it was still a fun time.

We had one incident where a rather ominous representative of the Merchants Guild came by to make threats against BladeSong, but we sent him and his gang of ruffians packing. Most of them were too sleepy to escape and instead took a dirt nap. I just wished they had carried more money because I was trying to save up for a stone oven deed. It was priced very reasonably.

Someone had mentioned a group from the Man/Mongbat Love Association was going to show up, but that never materialized. Perhaps they got sidetracked along the way.

Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2000, 8:19 AM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


The Jury is Chosen
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<This was sent to me by my friend, Aranath the Paladin. If you notice there is a slight change of time for the trial of Elle.

To Pelle,
From Sir Aranath,

I send you my greetings friend. May the Virtues bless your deeds and thoughts. I write you this letter to inform you of the events that transpired Tuesday night. I thought that since you could not attend yourself, you would be interested in knowing what was decided.

We all gathered in Lord British's briefing room at approximately 10:00pm Eastern time. There were many new faces present, which I consider fortunate, seeing as we seem to need all the aid we can gather in this on-going struggle against evil. However, due to the fact that they were not privy to all the information that we older campaigners were, many questions were asked that most of us knew the answers to. Finally Sir Hoyt, a guard of Britannia, and Lord Tremain (who had helped us originally subdue Elle) spoke up. After some time, Elle's judge, prosecutor, defender, and jury were chosen. I will not go into detail now on who fits what role, as I know not if this letter may be intercepted by the dark lady's minions. I will say only I believe Elle will be fairly tried. The trial has now been set for Thursday the 27th, at 11:00pm, Eastern time. (8 pm Pacific) This is one hour late than originally stated. It will be at the Yew courthouse in Trammel.

After Sir Hoyt and Lord Tremain finished choosing the court, many of the gathered quickly departed. Those of us who stayed behind, however were told by the Britannian guard that a large group of spiders had been terrorizing the citizens north of Britain proper. Without wasting much time, the rest of us (there were roughly 5-8 of us left) rushed out of the castle, and headed to the coordinates we had been given. On our way there, much to my delight, we met Dirk Fireslinger, who had not been at the meeting. Over half the group went on ahead to a possible lair of the spiders, while a few of us searched the town for clues. Not finding any, we all headed to the original coordinates. I got separated from Sir Dirk and Lord Hawkwing, and found myself somewhat lost. A pigeon from Dirk though, put me back on their trail.

Pelle, what I write next is not in jest. You know I would not lie. When I arrived at the scene, the group was already deep in combat with a tremendous swarm of spiders. They were being led by vile Black Widow spiders, a particularly lethal breed. The corpses of the monsters piled high around the group, and I found myself knee-deep in their filth as I waded into the fight. We made our way from the field where we dueled them into their very lair. I do not joke when I tell you I believe there were more spiders against our small band than there had been mages the other night when we rescued Sir Bladesong. The sheer number of the things astounded me. Fighting forward when we had the advantage, and falling back when we were poisoned were our key strategies. Black Widows joined the fray, making it more complicated. We were all fighting five or six spiders at once. Luckily we held out. The Virtues were indeed with us tonight. As the last spiders fell, we all breathed a sigh of relief. It was short-lived however.

Not moments after I wiped the last remnants of spider blood and juices off my blade, Frost Spiders and Dread spiders emerged from their holes. The number of frost spiders was so great, it seemed an entire sea of white rushed to take us. We fought our way farther into the lair, when we saw an incredibly large group of the beasts headed towards us. I called for us to form a line, with each person healing the person he stood next to. With this tactic, we were able to hold off the horde of eight-legged monstrosities. With the lair now clear, we were able to walk back outside, and finish off the last pockets of spider resistance, with help from newly arrived allies. After we were finished, Dirk generously transported us to Liberalis for a free round of drinks, to celebrate our hard-earned victory. Some of the warriors found it amusing to pick on my preference for milk over ale. It does not bother me though. I am used to it anymore.

As you can see, friend, tonight was a night of unexpected twists, but the primary goal was accomplished. Elle's court was chosen, and the trial was scheduled. I pray to the Virtues that it is a just trial. For her, and for the Realm.

May the Virtues guide your actions and words in all the ways of your life.

Sir Aranath,
Paladin of Sosaria

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2000, 10:40 EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Trial of the Century
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<

Murder most foul occurred today in the Yew Courthouse, a once sacred spot where the King's Justice was handed out according to the virtues: Justice tempered with Compassion.

It was a warm summer day and speculation was ablaze among the crowd that gathered. The court appointed guard, Hoyt, bade us to rise as the honorable Judge Arthur Pendragon took his place. He was followed by the prosecution, River, and the appointed defender, Thoem Bisul. The jury was rounded out by Aranath, Arthur Hawkwing, Arlin, GreyBlade and Nukem.

Soon the center of controversy was led out in chains: Elle, leader of the highwaymen. She was stunning in her orange clothes, but her eyes were stained from crying. Seeing this frail creature it was hard to believe she could have committed such atrocities.

Taking her place next to Thoem, he tried to convey her excellent prospects in winning this case, but she wasn't swayed. According to what little facts I have heard about Elle...I wasn't surprised. Cynics are born of tragedy.

Standing at attention Hoyt read the charges: Destruction of property, theft & the deaths of innocent people.

"How do you plead?" inquired Arthur Pendragon. Thoem gathered himself up. "Not guilty, your honor."

The courtroom went silent. Broken finally by Elle's pleas. "I fear most for my family. It has been too long. Please someone help me!" She eyed Aranath who was sitting in the jury box. "You promised to help me. Why aren't you doing anything?"

I could see Aranath's conflict racing across his face. On one hand if she was telling the truth we would have taken up arms at that very moment and gated to the end of the earth save her family. But was it the truth? That's what we were here to find out.

The first witness was Dirk Fireslinger.

River: What do you know about the accused?
Dirk: What I know to be true or what I have heard?
River: Both
Dirk: I first met Elle when we went on our second search for her. She was at the winery over yonder.
River: And why were you searching for her?
Dirk: She was leading a band of brigands.

During the course of the trial brigand assassins would invade the courtroom, but were defeated before any harm could be done. This first one interrupted the testimony only for a moment.

Dirk: I never saw her raise her hand to attack anyone.
River: As I recall you came late to the battle.
Dirk: She was at battles but I never saw her attack.
River: You believe she was being controlled?
Dirk: I believe she was being blackmailed and used by a mage of high power.

When River was finished Thoem took his turn. He tried to discredit Dirk's standing, but that was a difficult process. Next River called BladeSong to the stand.

River: When was the first time you met Elle?
Blade: After a battle with a band of bandits along the roads of Vesper she came out of the woods demanding our gold. She swore she would see us all dead.
River: Before her capture did you ever see her again?
Blade: We had just found a book she had written and as I recall there were a few merchants dead by the time we got there.

The book BladeSong referred to was admittedly written in Elle's hand and mentioned ‘taking the roads by force' if necessary. There were other maps that pinpointed guard posts to be attacked. This was damning evidence indeed.

Suddenly a gate opened behind Elle. She could have easily escaped, but instead pleaded with the judge. Asking to approach the bench she had this to say -

Elle: I could have escaped many times as I demonstrated (re: opening of the gate), but I'm here to help my family.
Arthur: Elle, I promise you a fair trial.

At this point, BladeSong who obviously did not like Elle and believed her to be guilty spoke out:

Blade:Sit down woman!
Arthur: Either you agree to abide by this courts rules or else the trial can not go on.

Elle agreed and sat back down. Thoem, having trouble (OCC - with his computer connection) was unavailable to question BladeSong, who was tired of the whole process anyway and sat down before he was dismissed.

Then it was Elle's chance to take the stand. The tension in the courtroom noticably increased. Dirk took over the questioning for Thoem.

Dirk: When was your family abducted?
Elle: It was...a...month or so I think
Dirk: How did you find out they were abducted?
Elle: We were having our dinner and all of the sudden a gate appeared in our home. Citizens of the nether world did come through. They said they had a message for me. I was most shocked that they would have any message for me...for who am I?
Dirk: How did you get pulled in with the Highwaymen?
Elle: They said they had heard of my ummm...arts and that the master had use for them.
Dirk: Did they ever say who this Master was?
Elle: No. They didn't. They grabbed my parents and my little sister and said they would assure my ‘cooperation' they called it. They said with my skills I should be able to obtain 30k a week easily enough.
Dirk: Where were you to get this 30k?
Elle: Well, sir...'tis well known that although I am a fair merchant I have other...ahh skills.
Dirk: What other skills would those have been?
Elle: I think you can guess at those.
Dirk: Yes, I think I can. So, after all the witnesses who have placed you at the scene of the crime and your admitted skills in thuggery what can you say to convince us of your innocence?
Elle: unfortunately...'tis my word and the lack of my parents in their home.
Dirk: What about this ‘master'? Can you tell us more?
Elle: Not much sir...only that the master was spoken of with much fear by those who gave me orders.
Dirk: You gave me a name before. One that people have been killed for speaking.
Elle: I dare not speak that name. There be a very disturbing evil...that of shapeshifters which are associated...I know not who to trust. Which means I am in great danger, but i am here to help my family.
Dirk: Shapeshifters that have been seen in this prison, yes?
Elle: At least once that I know of. The shapeshifters could be anyone.
Dirk: If you had to make the choice with what you know now would you do it again?
Elle: I would do it again...for how could I not with my family at risk? But alas, tis likely too late for them. Ye have held me too long.
Dirk: Be strong Elle for what is right shall prevail in the end.

Thoem was able to be there for the closing argument which he did with style:

Thoem: Before everyone here tonight passes judgement I would like to say Six of the virtues have been answered by Elle. One of those virtues will be given by the jury. The last depends on if Elle walks away a free woman. I ask the jury give us their compassion. And I believe she did what she knew best.

With that the jury walked into the inner chambers and deliberated for what seemed like a long time. When they came back one person placed upon his steed remarked: “I'm on the edge of my horse.” which I found very appropriate.


Judge Arthur Pendragon asked the jury if they had reached a verdict. Aranath, the head juror nodded in affirmation. Reading from a piece of paper he announced that Elle was not guilty of the larger charges of murder, but guilty of the smaller charges of thievery.

None of that mattered for there was an assassin in our midst: Dyastro Farkas! I had been sitting next to him during the trial and hadn't noticed any strange behavior. The next part was a blur and then Elle was dead. Pendragon called the guards and immediately there was a posse hot on Dyastro's trail, but he was never caught.

Poor Thoem mourned the loss, thinking he might have done something to save her, but I assured him there was nothing that could have been done. Aranath took it upon himself to gather Elle's belongings and vow that he would find her family and set this whole mess straight.

As for myself, watching Elle's lifeless body on the table I couldn't help but to think of the larger universe around me. Often times we get caught up in our own lives...Slaying orcs, looking for a larger house, finding rares. But there's more than that. There's a thread that stitches all of us together. In a weird way it was Elle. Her tragedy brought a community together. One I see growing stronger each day. I feel a little guilty thinking this way, her being dead and all, but happy over all the new friendships I've made recently.

I guess everything happens for a reason, right?

Posted on Thursday, August 3, 2000, 5:58 PM EST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Who killed Elle?
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<Yes, as we all know Dyastro pulled the proverbial trigger, but who was behind this awful scheme? Some answers came clear last Monday night. I spoke with Alvien over some drinks at the Yew Winery where he related a somewhat jumbled tale of deceit so terrible I shudder to think.

I guess they saying is true – you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends.

The usual suspects gathered in Felucca with Lord Tremain at their head. Most of you may not recognize this name, but this particular person was at Elle's trial in an ‘official capacity'. What he does exactly, I'm not sure.

He planned to take a scouting trip up to the dungeon of Wrong where he had heard Elle's family might be located. Upon arriving the group was assaulted by the gang of usual evil mages, so they knew they were close. After dispatching these scraggly bearded, sandal wearing excuses for human beings the heroes entered the dungeon. The first few minutes were quiet, but as they made their way onward they came in contact with an evil priest who was summoning up all forms of foul beast.

Behind that priest, chained to the wall, was Elle's husband, Lars. Next to the priest, but very much acting on her own free will was Elle's sister, Sara.

Okay, what's wrong with this picture? Elle's sister was a bad guy? Well, the heroes slaughtered the priest into meaty chunks and Sara took his place. Speaking arcane incantations she summoned a large, blood red daemon. Its name: The Keeper of Souls.

I won't bore you with the inevitable details on how the daemon was eventually slain. You all know how that goes. After it was over, Sara ran to hide behind Lars, but Lord Tremain stepped up and shackled the wicked woman. Lars was set free and Sara was taken someplace safe in Trammel for questioning at a later date.

So, like I said...although Dyastro pulled the trigger was Sara the shadowy person with his purse strings?

Posted on Monday, August 7, 2000, 5:59 PM PST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


The Inquisition
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<Last week on the Elle quest: Lord Tremain led a group of valiant heroes to the dungeon, Wrong, where they found her sister, Sara. She was holding Elle's husband, Lars, hostage. After a long battle Sara was taken prisoner and whisked away to a secret location. Our episode opens up in front of the Yew Winery in Trammel. The usual suspects are all here, including myself. However, there is one surprise! Lord Tremain chuckles that getting information from Elle is like “squeezing blood from a stone” so he has recruited Elder Tzeentch to be a special guest star tonight.

We took one look at the mystery man in the red robe and shuttered. His eyes were black as coal and seemed to pierce your body whenever he looked at you. I almost felt sorry for Sara. Almost... Just as we were about to leave Dyastro Farkas sprang out of nowhere and attacked BladeSong. It was a short battle with Dyastro recalling away before anyone got killed and laughing at ‘The stupid heroes' as he called us. It was a strange incident that left you scratching your head.

They gated us to a secret room previously never seen and unrecorded on our maps. Tzeentch was being protected by his paladins, Randolph and Brutus. They escorted the prisoner to our little circle. Watching Sara strut forward she reminded me of everything the Elle was not. Surly, unkempt and a soul full of ugly. The only similarity was their taste for orange clothing.

The Elder started the proceedings right away. “You are here on charges for conspiring with cultists.” She laughed a little too harshly. “And? I hope you have a point to all this.”

He seemed disarmed for just a moment, but quickly regained his composure. “We can do this one of two ways: easy or hard.” She lowered her gaze upon him. Much like a mongoose to the snake. “Why don't you make like Lord British and disappear.”

Oh, the Elder didn't like that one bit. Not a bit. “Your secrets will flow to me without one word traveling from your mouth. Your mind is like a children's book.”

With a giggle she started to recite: “Roses are red, violets are blue. Mongbats smell...JUST LIKE YOU!” The paladin, Randolph, got in her face. “Trifle not with the Inquisitor!” But the man in the red robe smiled and waved him back.

Rolling up his sleeves, he hands started glowing a dull purple. “Very well, the hard way it is.” He turned to his escorts. “Paladins, remain with the woman at all times. Do not flee her side.” Both Randolph and Brutus nodded. “No matter what odd effects are produced.” The air seemed charged with ozone. It became hard to breathe. A slight tremor twitched in Sara's right eye. She spat out: “All these guards for one woman? HA!”

The Elder continued: “Now then...we'll start simple. I want to know why Elle was carrying out her highwayman campaign.” Sara looked up at the ceiling without any response. “What made her think it would help win her families freedom?”

He reached out and placed his hand upon her forehead. She cringed. “I have nothing to tell you.”

All of the sudden, a half dozen wraiths appeared. The crowd sprang into action and cut them down to size. The elder kept his hand rooted to her head. “Her mind is strong.” She tried to pull away. “I would advise against continuing, fool.” He smiled once again. “Too late. I have found my answer.”

As the wraiths before them we were treated to skeletal knights, their leader a blazing red color. The Elder's face began to pale. “DAMN!” he shouted. All around us more creatures appeared. Mummies and skeletons. The warriors tried to protect the Elder from any harm. I could hear E-bolts echo in this dark dungeon and the sound of metal clanging off bone.

Soon, the monsters were dead and the Elder had taken his hand off of Sara. They were both sweating. “The answer is so simple. It should have been obvious. Elle was under the assumption that she could buy her families freedom. The cult would have never let them go. Sara intended to slay them all.” Sara made a face. “Yeah, if you believe that I have a tower in the Lost Lands I want to sell thee.”

The Elder grabbed her chin and forced her to look into his eyes. “You would have taken Elle prisoner the minute she delivered the money, wouldn't you?”

“If you think you're getting anything else out of me, think again. My mistress has taught me well.”

“ Why are you loyal to Minax in the first place? Elle was not. Why are you?” Sara almost spat in his face. “I have nothing to tell you.” The Elder clicked his tongue. “ Sure you do. I'll just go in and take what I want. You might as well stop resisting.” He placed his hand upon her forehead again. She screamed. “STOP THAT!” And it almost seemed as if her pain made the elementals appear. Air, Fire, Water and Efreets. “Continue at your own risk.” She mumbled while rubbing at her temples. “But, my dear, I already have your secrets.” She smiled through her pain. “You think you do, but you don't.” All around them a battle was howling as we fought off the elementals. The Elder shouted to be heard above the din. “Before the war in Trinsic. Before the undead took over you were a mage's apprentice there.” Sara gritted her teeth. “So, I was. Tis no secret that.”

“The mage was a Minax cultist. He helped betray the city and corrupted your soul in the process.”

“He did not corrupt me. I serve my mistress willingly.” The Elder seemed not to pay attention to her claims. “When the undead moved in you kept your family behind in the city. You wanted to corrupt them as well.”

“They were fools. They could not see what benefits that could be had.”

“But Elle escaped and fled to Trammel as many did, but you kept her husband behind and her parents. Why didn't you let them go? Perhaps you were angry that Dupre had defeated Juo'nar's army?” These two were locked in mortal battle although neither brandished any physical weapons. “Bah, he did not defeat them. Temporarily set them back perhaps. My Mistress will prevail. I am loyal to her.”

“Your own insane actions led to your sisters death and maybe the death of your parents. Where are they? You must know.” After a moment with no response the Elder placed his hand upon her again. “This is a simple question. All I want is the location. This shouldn't be so hard.” With a blank look in her eye: “I have nothing to tell you. Stop while you still live.” Well, this was the straw that broken the camel's back. The Elder lost his temper and pulled back on her hair. At that moment ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. Spiders of every variety and their equally poisonous cousins the giant scorpions attacked.

Sara spoke in whispers, her head still wrenched back. “Tis not that I am insane...I serve and obey she who taught me” As we fought the new wave of beasties, I could see the Elder concentrating. He started to shake and finally came to a rest. Letting Sara go, he stumbled back. Brutus was instantly there, supporting his weakened body. “I have claimed another secret from that mess.” “What is that, sir?” Brutus asked. The room was silent, the last monster impaled upon the flagstones. Elder Tzeentch straightened himself. “The location of her parents. They are alive!” A great cheer rose from the crowd, but the Elder waved them down. “There is bad news. They are slaves of Keenoean.”

The shock was audible. Brutus spoke first. “Then they are doomed.” I countered that. “Doomed? Never! Not while I live and breath.” Artur Hawkwing concurred. “I will sink my blade into that rat!”

Looking around I tried to rouse the crowd into a frenzy. “What are we waiting for? Lets go!” But the Elder in his absolute wisdom calmed us down. “It would be foolish to rush head first into this. Keenoean has an orc army at his disposal. We need to contact Lord Tremain, who has a knack for military operations, and plan this rescue.”

This will continue tomorrow, kiddies. Same Elle time, same Elle channel!

Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2000, 11:41 AM PST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)


Path of Glory
>>> Felucca Facet News <<<Days after the fact carnage still littered the ground. The air was thick with smoke and rotting corpses. I wandered towards the orc fort near Yew trying to make sense of it all. The echoes of battle haunting me. Death screaming in vain.

It started last Wednesday. I was late to the heroes meeting at Lord British's castle. Many volunteers were there listening to the battle plans drawn up by Aranath and his trusted advisors. They were dividing up into battle groups. Each picked by their unique abilities.

There were reports of harassment by agents of Minax, but the congenial atmosphere betrayed nothing. Warriors were smiling and joking around. Testing weapons or praying to the virtues. It mattered not for tomorrow was show time. A two pronged attack force was to be utilized. One was of warriors who would draw Keenoean and his orc forces away from the fort while the other would sneak in to rescue Elle's parents being held as slaves. They would meet at dusk and attack under the cover of night.

What happened next is the subject of much speculation.

"...I was in the first assault group led by Aranath. I hate to say anything, but I had this feeling something was wrong. Two brothers were next to me: Kestral & Dustin. They seemed to be blissfully unaware, so I thought it was only me..." – Vladimyr

"...after Aranath gave the command I took my unit and charged along side. I was helming the second assault wave and from the get go it was complete chaos. Half my team was lost and by the time I made it to the fort I felt a stone in the pit of my stomach..." – ArthurK

"...I saw the main force fall back to where we were waiting. The orcs right on their heels. Someone starting yelling: "Attack the fort!" over and over. I called to my reserve troops and joined the fray..." – Martin Longbow

"...plowing into a horde of orcs I let loose. Many men around me were dying. I could hear the screams. If it weren't for MacMichael healing me I might have suffered the same fate..." – Kestral

"...early in the fight they knocked me down and looted my body, leaving me for dead. But I wasn't. Next opportunity I tore into the next orc I saw. Tooth and nail. Using his armor I rejoined the battle. This was a do or die situation..." - Gladstone

"...worse day of my life and best too, you know? I knew what was happening to the troops, but I couldn't go to them no matter what. We had a job to do and that was rescue Elle's parents. Many of my men looked green around the gills. I probably did too, but I gave the command and we stealthed down there. Our destination...inside the fort...." – Mors "...I saw Keenoean plunge his black sword into the back of a man. Then he directed his troops to kill a dragon we were using. ‘Don't let it burn the fort!' I heard him say. The tamer was being attacked. I raced over to him, but felt hard steel in my side. Keenoean's second in command, Olath, the Dragon Slayer smiled at me through yellow teeth..." – ArthurK

"...chaos, utter chaos. I saw Aranath throwing orders around. Trying to keep the army together, blood splattered upon his armor. But it turned into a frenzy. We were not men any longer. We were animals. A killing machine. I saw red and don't remember much after that..." – Vladimyr

Soldiers gone mad. Pillaging, looting. They dared to look into the abyss and went insane with bloodlust. There was no control. No order.

After many of the orcs had been routed and Keenoean had disappeared a small band of Minax supporters came to arrest Aranath in the name of all that was unholy.

"...his eyes were the thing that bothered me most. The general...whatever his name was. I spit upon thy virtues, yes, but this was something more disturbing. Disturbing because I recognized it. It was familiar. Pure hatred. I guess I always figured those virtue fools to have a code of honor or some such nonsense. This would have been our upper hand. But by the time we got to the fort there was an orgy of lust and murder going on. I would have joined in, but they turned on us like a pack of wild dogs..." – Aman'Ra

I'm told Elle's parents were taken through a gate and are safe now. That comforts me. Having chronicled these sad events of late there is that at least.

I continued to wander through the orc fort. Hoping to find clues to the madness. What could have caused such ferocity in the heroes?

Beside charred orc corpses there were human remains. Strung up and tortured. This is a place marked. Cursed. I quickly flee for I do not wish to become tainted.

On my way out I spy a man on horseback. It's only a quick glance, but I think it's Aranath. His image stays burned upon my brain. A man troubled. I don't dare speculate.

That night I have the dreams again. Of a shipwreck. As a young boy I was the sole survivor and washed ashore on Fire Island. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I see the same blank stare that was upon Aranath's face.

There are times I yearn for ignorance. A nice little villa somewhere in Trammel. It would be nice...but I dare not let myself get soft. For there in lays the path to madness.

Posted on August 22, 2000, 10:42 PM PST by Pelle Svanslos (Napa Valley)