The tales tell that the Queen of Elves, Nei Bivalur, stood upon the balcony and watched as her Warlord, and her lover, walked away. An attendant would later note, at an extremely private ceremony that she watched as the tears flowed like a brook in the forest.
As Goren marched, his lonely walk, his snow white armor, scaled like the body of a reptile, glistened in the sun. Light that hit was redirected, dancing among the trees like spirits. Word travelled fast, the Warmaster was abandoning post, the Warmaster was leaving the kingdom!
He had spoke to no one, intent on traveling this new road alone. But the deeper into the city he got, the further away from his former lover's embrace, the more men, women, and children joined his March. History would call this March the March of the Shadowwald. A name chosen, in part, because of it's meaning. Shadowwald, in Allarian lore, referenced a Nexus of dark magic - said to vanish any thing in contact with it, and Goren's cadre had done just that. Vanished without a trace.
Before the end of the city, he had amassed what could be called an army. The Queen had sent word ahead, using Messenger Magic, to open the gates. Goren stepped through them first, and for the last time. As his newfound army passed, still not quite a quarter of the elven city, and made mostly of those of lower caste, he turned back to the city.
He could hear the murmuring arising in the world he was leaving behind, the questions of why and how.
Goren approached the gates, steps as steady and assured as they had ever been. A child accompanied him now, and was given a item wrapped in silk bedsheets. With no more than ten feet between Goren and the elvish city, he could hear the murmured questions wondering why he was doing this now.
His resolve would not be broken, shook, or otherwise offended. With practiced ease, he removed the scabbard from his waist and lay it upon the ground. From it, Goren removed a blade that was said to be a gift.from Queen Nei, and that had helped him navigate the fields of battle and dinners of politics. Soldiers who had told their wives tales of the weapon said that in his hands, it moved like a dancer's scarf.
People would forget the words that came from Goren's mouth, noting only that the blade of green shimmered in the sunlight.
He pressed it into the ground, tip to hilt, and as he released it, watched it turn from an object of war to a monument of life. It became a tree, one that would eventually grow large like the others, but possess leaves that stood out in color.
The child returned to him the item wrapped in silk, before scampering back to his family. Within moments, the silk lay on the ground and in his hand was held a new.weapon, a longsword whose steel was as white as his armor. Close friends would note that in the past year, Goren's father worked tirelessly at the blacksmith's, forging something that was so secret that word passed that Goren had purchased the entire blacksmith's shop got a year.
This sword was a sign of his and now their, Independence. He turned without another word.
The rainfall provided a nice background noise for the occurrences in the Moving camp, though residents of the camp did noticable move with a little more haste to their step than what was normal. Intermingled with the rain was the steady clang of the blacksmith's hammer, crafting yet another sword for the cause. He, and others like him we're what kept the Moving on it's path. They did not exercise politics on a grand scale, swinging the tide of war with the strokes of a pen. They were the laborers and sometimes warriors of the Moving.
Drapood Rripp hated these people, and while he was loyal to the Resistance, and moreso to Andomandris, his placement with this arm had been nothing but one irritant after another. There was little water, as they were mainland stationed, and few healers that could keep a constant measure of healing up to facilitate him being here. Fortunately, he was versed in healing and thus could heal himself by slapping the magic into his own body.
He couldn't believe that the third time that Szazah had requested permission to send a party outward to find a group of people that only existed in old song and tale. The fish beastkin shook with a terrible anger, he couldn't forbid the trip anymore, but had a plan. Szazah would not be accompanying his little party. Instead, Drapood has arranged for Szazah to have to stay with the Camp.
Aside from the patter of rain and the clanging of metal, the camp was positively enamored with the possibility of elves from the Northern region. They were fools. The war against the Apotheoses was one that needed more than legends and stories to shift the tide of battle. What they needed was strategy, but a fools errand had won out.
Rripp found himself walking towards the drinking tents, entering an ordering a whole pitcher of the dwarven ale, the strong stuff, he called it. Despite his pious nature, he was not above the occasional drink, and this time called for one.
The ale tents were good for their propensity in gossip, a place where politicians were well to do to listen in, should they fancy covering themselves and huddling in a dark corner - weak spirits to wet their whistle, lest drunkness loosen their cover.
The group he had gathered had made their way in at a steady pace, one having already being there and the rest coming in as expected. Drunk, wanting a drink, or against it. He paid them little attention at first, they were a group that was not his first or even second choices. Unconventional to say the least, they were all he had. Presumably,
he started, before the smell of alcohol triggered his senses and he needed a drink. Taking his carafe, he drunk freely from the bottle - his imprisonment had seen him gain an addiction to ale, as a way to loosen his tongue. We have all made it. If none other is to enter, we shall begin.
. For a moment, he turned his attention to the dead that lay on his floor. Aye, I knew him well. Was with me before I was captured, perhaps unluckily he escaped.
He would deal with the dead later.
He leaned over the table, hand still gripping the neck of the carafe, other on the table after beckoning the group closer. We are going to look for the Shadowwald, a race of Elf that some believe exists in story and not in fact. Truthfully, I was skeptical as well, but a friend,
anyone nearby could hear the looseness in which be used that word, informed me that he has had at least one interaction with the elusive race.
He took another drink to slack his coming thirst. Szazah turned slightly towards Jaeger, the friend he met during imprisonment.
The plan, he explained,was simple enough. They would trek northward into the little explored frozen lands, and attempt to locate the Shadowwald. One can only surmise that the Apotheoses will be doing the same at some point in the future. One must admire their diligence in learning what they can instead of going in blind.
He went over the maps and pointed out potential points of interest, using Jaeger's tale as the main point of reference. I have used a primitive form of Messenger Magic to contact a guide in the North, he seemed agreeable.
Szazah went on to explain that the guide would meet them somewhere just past the border.
Another swig. He could feel it now, and knew a visit to the alehouse would be in order. Once you locate them, you're then going to attempt to get them to join us. I suggest diplomacy, because if they exist - then they are like spirits in the snow.
He would let the implication of his words sink in.
Shortly after, Szazah packed up the sheets of map and stowed them away near his bedroll. A slight stumble here, a slurred word to himself there. A sad state for a Warlord of his standing. The Moving Council does not have faith in any of you, or of this very idea. The Shadowwald are naught more'n a myth to them, one they can't afford to go after full force. Truth be told, I don't think they would if they had all the manpower in the world.
Szazah shook his head. You all must prove them wrong and maybe swing the tide of war in our favor. Now, we must part. Meet within three hours at the exit of the Moving, I will be there as well with further instruction.
He smiled gently as he indicated the exit, carafe of nearly depleted course barely staying in his hand. He would exit as well, but to find a place to rest his buttocks and fill his belly with burning liquids.
As the last one left, his spirit animal made an appearance, carrying the last of correspondence between he, and the guide. Bloody expensive.
Szazah groaned, before stepping into the world and letting the rain patter upon his head and shoulders.