D&D 2E: Answering the Call
9th Level, Mage Elf (Don)
Draylia Ebonweave was born of a common house near but not near Myth Dranor. Myth Dranor was razed long ago, but there was instability in the area after the Spellplague (possibly an effect leftover because of the great Mythal?) which caused parts of her home to be somehow phased in and out of the prime realm, seeming to exist partially on Abeir-Toril and partially on the Shadow Plane. Time has moved differently for those inside… Her village used to be a day’s walk from Myth Dranor and was named Silverwoods, but since the advent of Shadow the People have come to call it Ebonwoods. Her family in an almost prophetic twist of fate already had the name of Ebonweave, that name dating back to a long ago ancestor who was rumored to make deals with demons, with anyone really, in order to gain more magical power. She comes from a long line of wizards, all of common decent and most of average power. She is a good person but has always felt a bit of an outcast around her own people as she notices the condescending looks of others passing her by. Elves are a long lived race, and a long lived race has a hard time giving up on their prejudices.
Draylia spent the first 70 years of her life living amongst the town and learning as much magic as she could, but never finding that adventure she so desperately sought. She calls Corellon her deity, as do all the fair folk of her town, but if she had to be honest with herself (and she always is), she has somewhat of a fascination for the older magics of Netheril, and the Shadow Magic of which has been a background tingling her whole life. She cares not for Shar or worshipping her, but she would love to learn a bit more of the Shadow Magic that has been a constant tease throughout her life. She can’t quite put her finger on it, she doesn’t hear its call as she does her own magic, but she’s aware of it being there…and she’s hoping through her travels she’ll come to learn as much as she can about both forms, and possibly tap into the Shadows. Magic isn’t good or bad, it’s all in the wielding she believes. She has always had interests in crafting magical items and hopes to learn the craft somewhere along her travels. Ancient Netheril was known for their powerfully crafted items but so many have been long lost…and some with good reason! It was not uncommon for a magical artifact to have a sentience that was hard to master, if possible at all, but what a thrill should you be the one to do so!
One day a human was brought into the village; it was a rare thing indeed as humans were rarely permitted in or even near town. The sentries brought him bound and gagged as quickly as possible, directly to the Tower of the Elders. He seemed to be somewhat disheveled and wearing ratty clothing. Draylia knew something was up, and even though she was forbidden from entering the tower uninvited, it’s not like it was her first time disobeying the rules…
She crept slowly into the rear entrance near the kitchen, this was a path she knew well as her best friend in childhood used to bring her here all the time, her mom was one of the cooks. Over the years she had used the servant entrances to get close enough for her to do a bit of eavesdropping on what was going on within the upper crust of society, even though she knew she was not likely to be attending anything, she always hoped for a story that would quicken her pulse and help relieve the boredom she felt with her day to day life. The tower wasn’t spelled from scrying, even most doors were not locked, they simply had guards outside the Hall where the discussions were held. They had an almost arrogant trust of anyone in their town which Draylia thought was quite impractical, but she gladly used it to her advantage.
Taking one of the servant staircases up near the room she stopped just short of the last turn. Close enough for her to use the clairaudiance trinket her great grandmother had passed down to her mom. She had snuck it out of her mother’s chest just that morning in case she needed it, but knew she had to get it back as she’d miss it if it were gone too long. It was crafted from the claw of a hook-horror, a rare and deadly underdark monster. Her mother said her grandmother won it in a dual many years before. She hoped it would be passed down to her eventually, but until then she’d have to be careful ‘borrowing’ it.
She focused on the trinket and on the location to which she wanted to hear and like a slow building wall of sound she heard the voices coming to her. First the High Elder asking what they were doing bringing a human into here, and second the sentries quickly explaining what had transpired. It seems this human was a mage of some sort, apparently struck insane by his own art during the Spellplague. He sounded like he was rambling incoherently, but every now and then he’d calm down as if he was sane. She had to strain to hear it, but he said in a heavy whisper, “I’ve seen the hole…the hole in the air, where the colors change and the air smells different. I can see trees…AND THEN NO TREES….the air tingles and I yearn to touch it, to feel her touch again!” He then reverted back to more mumbling and talking about random stuff, but every now and then you’d hear him lift his voice to Mystra, who obviously wassn’t listening. The guards and High Elder question him more, nearly torturing him to try to get him to speak of the location but they may as well be beating a fallen oak. Myth Dranor and the surrounding areas have always been known for holding many translocation portals, from years long past. Most of the known ones have been checked on to verify if they’re still functioning (most are not) but every now and then another is found, and it’s of utmost importance to know where it is so as to post a guard at it along with an alert spell. The elves of Ebonwood wouldn’t want a group of barbaric humans or other such ilk having a quick way into or near town.
They eventually give up after repeatedly getting nothing from the mad mage. The best they can do is to search the area near where they found him, and luckily for Draylia she heard exactly where that was. She quickly but quietly runs back down the staircase and through the kitchen, lifting a roll on her way (much to the annoyance of the chef!) and skips out into the yard beyond. She’s feeling excited for the first time in quite awhile, finally an adventure! Maybe there’ll be something exciting to find…or some danger to face! She wants to be quick so as to be ahead of the Elf forward party, can’t have them finding the location before her! She does a quick stop by her house; it’s a small but nicely built structure at the base of a giant tree, like many other houses around. Her parents are not home luckily so she quickly replaces the trinket she borrowed and grabs her traveling robes and satchel. It has everything she might need in there in case of an emergency. She then heads out at a brisk jog towards the location they found the mad mage.
After searching all day and evening, she starts to think that just maybe the man was a bit too off his rocker…maybe he imagined it? So many people were affected by the collapse of the weave those many years ago, who’s to say what it did to him? Just as she thinks maybe she should turn back, something catches her eye in the nook of a cliff. She cautiously steps forward and continues to scan the area for any sign of danger or magic. Her senses are telling her something is off with what she’s seeing…the cliff just looks…wrong somehow. As she gets closer she can see that it looks like the cliff wall isn’t all there, a piece of it is actually missing as if a giant hole were cut into the edge of it. It has a bit of a translucent look to it too…kind of shimmery…so she uses her sword to poke at it, and her sword goes right through! It seems it’s not quite solid, but not quite translucent after all…it has kind of a heavy wet feel to it and the air around seems to be pulsing and fluctuating. Figuring she has nothing to lose, she pushes her hand into it…and feels nothing immediately beyond. She pushes her whole body through and ends up going completely through to the other side. She feels as if she should have a sticky substance on her but she appears to be fine after a quick check. She turns around to look back out but to her surprise, and with a bit of fear, she realizes it’s now a solid wall. Apparently whatever was causing it died away or was only visible from one side. With no other course of action, she figures she may as well press on and see what she can find, she’s out for adventure after all!
She is in a cavern underground, it’s dark but not complete darkness like she would expect. Her eyes allow her to see in the dark just fine but there appears to be lichen growing here and there that puts off a gentle glow. She’s familiar with the lichen, it’s not uncommon in the underdark but she should be way too high up to see such things! She deduces from what she knows about the underdark plants that she must be much deeper than she realizes, that opening in the cliff wasn’t simply going inside the cliff, it must have been a somewhat chaotic portal deeper into the ground. At that thought she gets a bit concerned as she has no idea where she could be, or in what direction to turn…all she can do is push forward to see where the tunnels go. After several hours of travel she comes across an opening, a decent size cavern that has ceilings high enough she can’t see the top, and a shallow pool and stream forming in the middle of the room. She knows better than to drink from there though so quickly erases that thought. She notices in the middle of the pool, rising out of the water there appears to be a stone of some sort. It appears to not be totally natural and has some type of writing on it. She can feel magical emanations coming off of it but isn’t sure what to expect…it seems almost to be…waiting. She checks it out from many angles and finally determines the only way she can get a good read on it is to get closer. She notices the bottom of the pool has a bit of a purple glow, and she knows by the coloring she must be quite deep indeed. She knows also it’s not a good idea to use much magic as the deep underdark tends to make magic go awry. She gets closer to the stone and notices it is covered in runes, runes that appear to be slowly crawling around the rock. She has no idea what language it is, and the longer she looks at the script the more she feels it sucking her in…she tries to pull back but something about the stone beckons her…she just has to touch it…she slowly stretches out her long narrow fingers and traces a sigil on the rock. All of the sudden the hair on her neck stands up, she has a tight feeling in her throat and the runes on the rock appear to start spinning faster and faster around the stone. She looks around and the whole cavern seems to be shrinking, smaller and smaller…and it feels like she is being stretched and twisted, she closes her eyes and when the spinning stops she finds herself in a shallow cave, not far from the surface. She can tell because there’s plenty of light coming around a few corners, she can smell the sweet smell of the trees coming into the cave…only the smell is wrong. She left just that morning and it was the height of Fall, now the smell is of early Spring…what could that mean? What had happened to her? Where in the world had it transported her?
Over the next 5 years Draylia had come to realize and accept that she had been transported to a whole other plane. She learned that this world was named Nentir Vale and it was quite similar to Abeir-Toril. There were a few different types of plants, the people were slightly different in their dress and mannerisms, but it was not so hard for her to blend in. She studied hard for those 5 years, learning as much as she can about her new world, and trying to figure out what had transpired to bring her to it. So far she had had no luck and accepted her fate as what it was. She hoped her parents weren’t too worried, and that one day she could find the magic to let them know she was ok or to return home, but for now she would just enjoy the opportunity she was given. She saw a flyer about a town called Dragondown, apparently there was fame and fortune to be had there…and where you have fame and fortune, you’re bound to have magic. So she headed out with hopes of meeting a few good comrades to share her travels with…