Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Elient 14-15, 1379 - Band of the Hand Forms

My name is Felix Einen. My father is a Knight, and we live in a manor home near Red Larch, about 3 days or so north of Waterdeep.

Around the first of the month I sent a letter to my childhood friend, Christina Jurgen, asking her to come to the Einen estate as my eldest brother was away at University and my father was ailing and I needed a friend around. On the morning of the 14th, I took a quick trip to Red Larch to pick up some crumblecakes for my ailing father. Red Larch is well know for its savory crumblecakes, which are a nourishing, though unspectacular, moist loaf of nuts, chickpea mash, chopped roots, chopped greens, turkey scraps, and wildfowl scrapes all baked together. There I witnessed a pickpocket robbing some poor elf. I managed to trip up the pickpocket, and returned the elf's sack of gold. Although the sack was so light I wondered if it had really been worth the trouble. The elf introduced himself as Beldak Glimmergaunt, and since I speak Elf I struck up a conversation in his native tounge. We got to talking, and Beldak had never had crumblecakes before, so I took him with me to the store I usually go to when I purchase them. Beldak loved the crumblecakes, and was sorry to hear that my father was not doing well and offered to travel with me back to the Einen estate so I’d have some company on the road. Despite the fact that he was poor and a bit crumpled from travel, I had grown to like Beldak and so I accepted. I also had spent way more time in Red Larch with Beldak than I originally planned, and I knew the full moon would have risen by the time I neared my manor home that evening.

As we were skirting the boarders of the Kryptgarden Forest on approach to the estate, we stumbled upon a pack of Blood Wolves attacking a traveling mage. I thought mages were supposed to be smart, but traveling alone near the borders of the Kryptgarden without a stout sword is just foolish. Beldak and I jumped into the fray, joined by Karl the family groundsman and Christina Jurgen (who had just arrived that morning). They had both had heard the commotion luckily, and all five of us drove off the wolves. I embraced my childhood friend, thanked Karl, and invited the mage and Beldik into the manor to get cleaned up and to stay for a couple of days. The mage, who also had some elf blood and seemed sutiably impressed that I spoke Elf, introduced himself as Aramil Shai'dar. He was dusty, dirty, and sweaty after the battle with the wolves, but something about him made me like him...I guess that is why without hesitation I offered him a bath at the manor. Perhaps Torm was guiding my hand that day, in anticipation of what was to come....

The next afternoon (Eleint 15th), I was greeted by Karl as I was out practicing archery. Karl gave me a few tips and proudly watched my next couple of shots (and his couple of pointers did seem to improve my accuracy). I have always liked and respected Karl. He has been a good friend while I was growing up, and really stood in for my father when he was away on one of his many knightly errands before he became sick. Before going back to his work Karl told me that I had been requested to my father's side when I get a moment.

Taking another shot (a rather good one at that), I cleaned and put away my equipment and then briskly walked back to the estate wandering what my father might be wanting. Lately he's been more asleep than awake but my father won't discuss his health issues with me and I've wondering if maybe this time he is going to explain.

I found my father, with his second wife doting about, actually with his eyes open and conscious. His current wife, Dore'nel, is not my mother. She is only a few years older than me, and while I admit she is quite beautiful, there is something about her I find annoying. Anyway, she was in one of her flowing gowns and stoped what she was doing and graciously invited me into my father's room and asked that I take a seat next to the bed. Lord Fornias (my father) looked at me and explained that a letter has arrived from Professor August Merriweather at the University in Waterdeep - then stopped, coughed, and spit some blood into a pot besides his bed.

At that, Dore'nel looked saddened and continued, "the letter your father received states that your older brother Jonas is missing and inquiring if he has returned home. Your father and I feel that Jonas is too responsible to have just run off and fears that something might have happened."

With that, my father coughed, and explained that he feels that he is at the end of his life. And unfortunately he has had to sign the papers to have Jonas declared legally dead last week. At this point Fornias fought back tears and continued, stating that he had no choice, as the Einen family must live on.

At the dazed and confused look on my face, Dore'nel explained precisely the following law..."if the heir to a noble family fortune is 'unaccounted for' when the head of the family dies, the fortune then reverts to the crown, which may decide to do with it as it wishes. However, the family may petition to declare the inheritor 'legally dead.' The heir has six months to show up in person and prove that he is, in fact, alive. If he has not appeared by the end of six months the heir is declared legally dead and loses all rights to the family fortune, with the inheritance passing to the next in line - in this case, Ralphus (the middle child in our family). Ralphus is now too important to the survival of the Einen family, therefore your father would like you...".

Fornias interrupted at this point and stated that he hopes that by taking this drastic step that even if he were to die, Jonas would at least have a chance to return and claim what is rightfully his. He explained that now that I had a couple of pals I needed to take them and travel to Waterdeep to find my brother Jonas. He told me to see him once again prior to leaving.

Fornias then started to doze off and mutterd - "one way or another, the Einen family will carry on" - and with that fell back into unconsciousness. Stunned into silence I left the room.

After quickly meeting with Beldak, Aramil, and Chrissy, we decided to leave at first light. Dore'nel came downstairs at that point, and handed me a sack of gold for the mission. She also stated that we would be permitted to take 3 horses on our journey. And lastly, she told me that my father requested that I take his longsword along with me on the journey. At that, I was amazed. "Vera", as I call her, was the sword the Duke used to Knight my father. It is always at his side or over the mantle in the greatroom. Reverently, I removed Vera from over the fireplace, replacing her with my own longsword. With Vera safe in my scabbard, I turned to my new friends.

"Rest ye well," I stated, "for tomorrow we ride."

"Remember," Dore'nel added, "you only have six months."


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