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    The Silver Wolf: Descending Into The Depths Of The Oerth: Brotherly Love
    Posted on Wed, June 05, 2024 by LordCeb
    CruelSummerLord writes "

    Everything briefly went dark for the companions as Kashafen started casting his group teleportation, but the look in Weimar’s eyes was seared into his friends’ minds.

    It was a look that made clear that he was ready to kill every bandit in Stoink to save Denrik, if that was what it took.

    Chapter One

    Brotherly Love

     Seline Roas Del Cranden felt many mixed emotions as she walked into the chamber. The runes etched into its walls and floor, inlaid with crystal, spoke to the mastery of the wizard who’d prepared this room. As a mage herself, Seline knew there was so much more she could learn from that wizard. She wished she could stay and study with him, to continue developing her own magic, but she knew she had more important things to worry about.

    As a member of the adventuring band that called itself the Company of the Silver Wolf, Seline helped fight many dangerous monsters and thwart several wicked plots. Most recently, she and her companions helped save the people of Highfolk from a murderous hobgoblin invasion and the conspiracy that hoped to benefit from it. Now, one of those companions had received a desperate plea for help from his brother Denrik, sold into slavery in the city of Stoink in the Bandit Kingdoms.

    Normally, Weimar Glendowyr carried himself with a bold, casual attitude, one reflected by his trailworn beige and tan clothes and the disheveled blonde hair, hardened green eyes and rugged handsomeness that came from his Oeridian ancestry. Now, though, he seemed almost a different person. His old battered leather armor was gone, replaced by a newly purchased set of conspicuously clean brigandine mail. He restlessly swung the bronzewood shield, decorated with a boar’s head in profile, with one arm while the other alternately reached to the battleaxe strapped to his back or to the daggers hanging from his belt. Most shockingly, he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol, not even his beloved Big Cedar Log stout, since he’d heard Denrik’s news. The tension he felt was almost tangible around him, to the point where Seline worried he might lash out at his friends.

    She could see that many of them shared the same concern.

    Airk Venbelwar was a gnome soldier who’d known his share of anxiety. He was dressed in a suit of gleaming plate mail armor topped with a dragon-styled helmet, its cleanliness reflecting his background as a soldier. His bright brown eyes shone with readiness, and his blonde handlebar moustache and beard were both immaculately trimmed and waxed. His own shield had the emblems of the crescent moons Luna and Celene on its front, surrounded by a ring of seven stars. A morning star and military pick both hung from his belt, and he carried himself with the air of one who knew how to use them both. His expression was wary and alert, well aware of the tension in the air. He’d previously been the source of such tension, haunted by the memories of the betrayals he’d seen during the Hateful Wars.

    If Airk was wary, Luna Roas Del Cranden was just worried. Her allegiance to the god Pelor was marked by her gold and blue clothing, along with the sun-shaped mace she carried in one hand, the sunburst-decorated shield marked she carried in the other and the golden holy symbol she wore as a pendant, concealed beneath her shirt. She was as achingly beautiful as the dawns she praised her god for, with the long, silky brown hair and bright sky-blue eyes of a mixed Sueloise and Oeridian heritage. Luna was typically calm and contemplative, but her anxiety was no less obvious than Weimar’s. She glanced anxiously from Weimar to the rest of her friends, seemingly unsure of what would happen. Seline could tell that Luna shared her worries of Weimar lashing out, and was no doubt praying to Pelor that it didn’t happen.

    Ma’non’go of the Silver Winds was as calm as always, but knowing him as well as she did Seline could see he was worried too. His massive frame and powerfully muscled limbs reflected his incredible physical strength, while his dark skin and hair reflected his Olman heritage, along with a handsomeness that made women stand up and take notice. His multicolored clothing reflected his impeccable fashion sense, while his thick leather armor and wickedly edged trident reflected his warrior training. Previously mute from a trauma he’d endured in the far-off Olman continent of Hepmonaland, he’d since regained his voice. He stood closest to Weimar, ready to help restrain the smaller man if it came to that. Like Airk, he had experience with repressed rage. He’d never gotten justice against the false friends who betrayed him, and Seline still saw flashes of anger in his eyes when he talked about it.

    If most of the companions were worried, Amyalla Reorsa simply appeared impatient for them to be on their way. Despite her small size at just over three and a half feet tall, the halfling carried herself as a woman of the world, skilled at stealing both hearts and treasures. Her vibrant green eyes and long fire-red hair only enhanced her extraordinary beauty, as did the flirtatious smile that often played around her lips. Her attire was both practical and charming, made up of a leather jerkin and comfortable doeskin boots along with a strapless blue traveling gown, a deep blue hat decorated with orchids and lilacs, and a newly knitted indigo-and-gold checkered scarf. The daggers that hung at her belt, and the lockpicks and other tools she kept hidden on her garters, only reinforced the image.

    Amyalla was impatient to be off, but Seline could tell that Revafour Greystar had mixed feelings about it. He was a Flan man, his coppery-bronze skin and wavy shoulder-length black hair showing his ancestry, while his tall height and rock-hard muscles reflected a strength nearly as great as Ma’non’go’s. His attire was a reflection of how things had changed for the Flan since the Great Migrations. He wore a large two-handed broadsword strapped to his back and a suit of heavy field plate armor, as well as a red and brown cloak decorated in the Oeridian plaid style, but he wore traditional Flan moccasins on his feet and decorated his cloak with Flan beadwork. He had no problems helping Weimar, but he hailed from the Duchy of Tenh. He’d told Seline of Tenh’s long and ugly history with the Bandit Kingdoms, and he wasn’t keen on traveling to them.

    As for Seline herself, she had mixed feelings about leaving as well. The robes of midnight blue and indigo she wore, decorated with white images of moons, stars and planets, clearly marked her as a wizard. That wizardly training, and the love of study that came with it, were what made her want to study with the mage who’d prepared this room. The staff she carried further illustrated her magical prowess, as did the magical bracers on her wrists and the pouches at her belt, filled with the components she used to work her magic. Her bright green eyes, a mark of her Sueloise and Oeridian heritage, sparkled with the intelligence of one who sought to learn not only about sorcery but about myth and legends. She flattered herself that she was as lovely as Luna and Amyalla, her strawberry-blonde hair shining in the afternoon sun as it framed her stunning face and frame.

    Coming up behind them was the man who’d created this room, and who would be casting the spell taking them to the Bandit Kingdoms. Kashafen Tamarel, the lord of the high elves of the southwestern Vesve Forest, had a bearing that reflected both his intellect and his centuries of experience leading his people. He was unusually tall for an elf, and his ears and eyes were oddly shaped. They almost made him look human, but that just increased his appeal to Seline. He cut a fine figure in his gold and violet wizard’s robes, which meshed well with his green and gold cloak.

    “Thank you again for this,” Seline said as Kashafen approached her. “I don’t even know how many days we’d lose traveling to Stoink on her own.”

    “It’s the least we owe you for all you’ve done for Highfolk,” Kashafen said. “Besides, I don’t get to use this spell as much as I might wish.”

    “And you can’t teach it to me?” Seline said, her expression one of mock sadness.

    “It’s beyond your power yet,” Kashafen said with a thin smile. “Besides, what about the other spells I gave you?”

    Seline chuckled at that. Kashafen had indeed been kind enough to teach her a few valuable spells, including the one that allowed him to observe the place the teleportation spell would take the companions.

    “I take it the spell requires a specially made chamber like this, so it’s not something most travelers could use?” she said, sighing at Kashafen’s nod.

    Finally, she turned to her friends.

    “Is everybody ready?” she said.

    Her friends all nodded at her, except for Weimar, who was staring straight ahead.

    “…Weimar?” Seline said, hesitating as he slowly turned around to face the rest of the companions.

    He nodded once, before joining his friends in the large magical circle carved into the floor of the room.

    Everything briefly went dark for the companions as Kashafen started casting his group teleportation, but the look in Weimar’s eyes was seared into his friends’ minds.

    It was a look that made clear that he was ready to kill every bandit in Stoink to save Denrik, if that was what it took.

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