Prologue 1: Aysel Dunn’aelc

The bitter wind whips through the winter cast streets of Greenrock and you soon find yourself making your way to the cover of the Laughing Rogue. The place is alive with song and people making merry despite the cold rigidness of the out doors, you wander around looking for a place to sit and order and in a darker corner you see a an elven woman dressed in long dark red robes seemingly deep in thought as she sips some dark wine from one of the Rogue’s stylized goblets. She pauses and her platinum hair swings as she looks over at you, as if she noticed that you were wondering about her.

“It is a long story… are you sure you want to hear it?” You pale a little bit, pondering how she knew what you were thinking. “You’re very readable… and curious, I suppose that’s reason enough to tell it to you… very well then.” She takes another sip of her wine and motions the waiter to bring you a cup and then starts to speak again:

I was not always called Aysel Dunnaelc. Nay… that is a name I gave myself when I left my home for the last time… but I shall get to that. My name was Kamara Olwana, the first born child of that generation of the royal family, and the last to be born to my mother Serena Starwander, who died soon after she had borne me to my Father, king of that land. Make no mistake, my father loved me dearly, and he had loved my mother, but it brought him pain to look upon me and see her. He remarried, a new queen to the kingdom, and she was a kind woman, but the whispers of my mother never ceased.

It was rumoured that the blood of Celestian had run through my mothers veins and that had been passed on to me, a quarter divine, I do not know if this is true, but for my well being I hope it is not, there would be worse trouble for me if I am. The new queen was a fine woman, she cared for me if I was her own at times, but I was largely the forgotten child when she bore my half siblings—the new heirs. I could have stayed, become queen, perhaps prevented things that happened from happening, but it was not the life I felt was mine. I learned my lessons and got along well enough, and my coming of age ball went well enough, but it became clear that the regal life was not for me. On an eve long ago I left my home, leaving a note of apology to my father, and traveled my world—my plane—for several years.

Then one stormy day, I took shelter in a traveler’s temple and the avatar of Celestian came to me bearing a book emblazoned with symbol of the god of the stars, travel and wandering—a gold crown bearing jewels: ruby, jacinth, topaz, emerald, sapphire, amethyst and diamond. He opened the tome and told me that within it were secrets of the planes, and that it was my destiny to wander the planes, seeking knowledge, and giving protection and aid to those whom I could. I reached for it as he handed it to me, and as I touched it the world around me faded and when I awoke, I found myself knowing the secrets of planar travel, it was that day, underneath a rainbow that shone like the very jewels of Celestian’s symbol that I first left my home.

I wandered for at least 30 years before I had a vision of my father in a dream, begging me to come home, along with images of a good portion of my family dead, blood running through the cold secret passages into the shelter caves of the palace.

I woke that night in a cold sweat in the tree where I slept in the Earth Elemental plane. The stars above me blurred and I sensed that I must move quickly. I jumped from the tree, willing myself to fall through the planes, back to my own home, and found myself in between guards bearing the crest of my own family and a strange human. When I appeared out of nowhere the guards apparently assumed I was with their quarry and soon were after me, weakened from my jump, I somehow managed to bind them and then followed after the warrior.

We traveled in silence for a while until the guards once again found us, using what power I had left to first entangle them and then a spell of non-detection. I passed out and he carried me on to some caves he knew of until I awoke. He called himself Kane, and he was a vampire of sorts. A curse had been put upon him by an enemy of his family and ever since then he had walked looking for the magus. He had pinpointed his location to The capital city and had been looking at a tavern for information when the guards had come for him.

By that time I had sensed there was something wrong about the guards and how the city that used to be my home felt. I did not tell Kane who I was at that time however. Simply I was Kamara Dreamloom, a planewalker. He accepted it and he stayed with me, I began to think of him as a brother in those weeks we hid in the mountains. Peace did not last long, the wizard which Kane had mentioned came after him, and then escaped the plane after setting a dragon on us.

He barely survived the battle after cutting off the collar of command that had been put upon the beast. I teleported us to the safety of some caves and cared for him, making a potion of herbs I had with me and water that was in the caves. I urged him to drink. IN the dawn, to my shock and his, he had changed.

This was both good and bad news, the curse had been broken, but Orlandu (what he wished to be called now that he had regained himself), told me the only way he knew that the curse could be broken was the blood of nobles. As he spoke this my blood went cold and I went back to the stream where I retrieved the water. Sure enough, signs of blood were there, and they were flowing from deeper into the caves, caves I now recognized from my vision and when I was a child.

I told Orlandu who I was then and he stared at me for a long time before nodding slowly. I remember the words he said quite clearly: “Then I will help you, for with the blood of your family healing me, I have become your brother.” We made haste and traveled the tunnels. My half sisters and one of my half brothers laid dead in the cold dampness of the escape tunnel, I bent down and touched each of them seeing a burning hating face of my youngest half brother, taking the dagger to each of their hearts. I grimaced, my father was not their, I might not be too late. We quietly crept up a level, to the prison that had not been used since my father took rule. Bodies and prisoners were all around and a lump grew in my throat. I looked at each, breaking the locks until I came to a woman I knew well. My stepmother, the queen, in fine clothes that had been reduced to rag sat in a cell staring into nothingness.

I opened the door and urgently asked her questions, but she sat in a daze, uttering only one word, my brothers name. As she spoke it, his own voice rang out from behind me. “Very good sister, I had hoped you would come after I planted those images in your head, the game is up, I shall rule the kingdom, you are the last thing in my way.” He pulled his sword—my fathers sword from his sheath and faced me, and I smelled the bitter scent of an oil I have now become familiar with on him, though I did not know it then—the Oil of Summoning. We fought and Orlandu came up behind him in the dark and knocked him out as I bound him. I could not kill him, he was my brother, and I sense that a spell had been lifted from the land as I felt a mob forming to come to the castle.

In the throne room I found my father near death, strapped to his royal seat and when he looked up and saw me he smiled and meekly mumbled something of an apology. He died in my arms. I sat in that throne room near my breaking point, chaos starting to form around me when Orlandu urged me up and we fled, first to the sea and then when I was strong enough, out of the plane. But as he urged me on, I looked back at the crest of my family above the throne, the flying swan and saw a shadow passing over it. Dunnaelc, I thought to myself, Dark Swan, I the black sheep was too late, it shall be my brand from now on.

So I took up the name and Orlandu and I traveled as brother and sister for a time, until I lost him to his own bitter revenge when he went after the wizard, this time to his end, his soul was banished, and I could not save him. The path of a planewalker is not easy, but it was easy then to let myself fade and go to the plane of water, where I let my tears flow, broken down by the pain for so long. I stayed there for a great while, until I felt a change in the planes once again, It was time for me to move on from my sorrow. So I did what I do best, I walked and found myself in a violent storm in the fabric of the planes, drained of my energy I somehow ended up in the monestary of Heironeous, too weak to continue.

Maynard, an adept was assigned to keep watch over me until I was strong enough to continue. I worried about him because he reminds me of Orlandu, how he could have been if the curse had never befallen him. I linger with him for this reason, he reminds me of Orlandu, the brother I never had, and since my arrival in this great ball, pulled Orlandu’s soul from where it was lost in the planes, giving him back to me.

When Niatec, my familiar’s soul was taken from me by a spy of the hells, I restored Orlandu to the soulless body and he once again is with me. I have Maynard to thank for that, we are two souls bound once again, and he protects me as he did for so long.

She trails off there and takes a drink of her wine, gazing at you for a time. She laughs a little. “You wonder why I stay here now that I have Orlandu with me. For a time I thought I could not leave actually, when the gods were banished in the second truth a protection was placed on this plane. But recently I have seen that I was wrong, it is not a matter of ability, it is a matter of me. Nothing in the planes happens by accident you see… But it is no matter, and it is not your matter to worry about why this planewalker has kept her feet on this plane.” She winks at you a bit coyly and drains her goblet placing a few gold on the table and then pulls her hood over her head, heading for the door and then disappearing into the night.

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