Chapter 21 - Trouble with Women: Arthus' Story

Scene 1 - Guilt & Champagne

Arthus had been doing his best to contain himself all night as he and Velenia shared a bottle of Elven champagne on the balcony of the Bow. After getting reacquainted Arthus decided he would seize this opportunity to introduce her to his friends since the events in Whitehaven ruined his plans to do so after the festival.

Introductions and small talk gave way to shouting and the crash of metal outside. It was William, and the only word that Arthus could make out was “Nyad!” He took off through the crowd and came sliding to a stop next to the frustrated knight. As the street filled with the rest of his comrades, followed by several knights from William’s order and many curious patrons, Arthus and Velenia stood face to face lingering on a long moment as their blades crossed and hummed.

Time seemed to stop for them both until raised voices brought them back to the present. Arthus heard the veiled threats of the knights against Alec, and saw Alisaar move to flank the tiefling in an unspoken challenge to the entire group. Arthus instinctively slid alongside his friend, keeping his throwing knives ready under his cloak.

Arthus could hear Alec’s breathing and felt the heat coming from Alisaar and he wondered if there was any way to avoid coming to blows with William’s brethren. Somehow William managed to settle the matter and the two groups agreed to track the Nyad before it was too late.

Though he would be damned before he questioned Alec in front of the group of haughty paladins, Arthus was unsure of how they could possibly catch up with the creature. Their limited experience with the Nyads had taught them that they were unnaturally fast, cunning, and stealthy.

He reluctantly said goodnight to Velenia and raced after Alec, following his every move until they were well outside of the town limits and in the wilderness. Despite the fruitlessness of the chase, Arthus enjoyed the excitement of barreling through the town and watching Alec at work. He had learned a few important things by the time they had called off the search. First, Alec was fast becoming a master tracker, spotting clues and picking up details with an acumen that any frontiersman would envy. Second, the Nyads were a far more insidious bunch that they already thought. The creatures were not limited to humanoid forms, and could, it seemed, draw power and energy from consuming the hearts of their victims. The thought of what might happen if a Nyad devoured the “essence” of someone other than a street urchin was sobering. Finally, it was clear that not all Knights of Pelor were created equal. The tension between William and the other knights was not subtle, and William clearly had trouble deferring to Peter although the latter was obviously the ranking knight.

Arthus spent the slow ride back to the Bow discussing things with Fizbin, but found his thoughts drifting back to Velenia, and as they turned up the main street, he hastily waved farewell to his friends and met her once again on the balcony.

Scene 2 - Turbulent Night

They shared some of her sweet Elven root, an occasional indulgence of hers, and resumed their conversation as if the previous hour or so had never happened. As the night wore on Arthus once again caught the scent of incense and violet. At one point he could swear he saw Lilith moving through the crowd inside. His heart froze, and it was at that moment that he knew he had to take matters into his own hands. He took Velenia’s hand in his, and guided he upstairs.

Velenia, of course, had a fine room, and they made themselves comfortable on a small sofa, still holding hands. Arthus choked on his words a few times trying to find the courage to tell Velenia what had happened only a few short nights ago. He knew this moment would come, but leave it to his luck to find Velenia waiting for him at his next port of call! In the end Arthus did what he has always done best… he leapt, then he looked.

He explained how Lilith had “contacted” him one night while they sailed for the Chain, how he had noticed her during the battle in port on the mainland though no one else seemed to, and that she was some sort of powerful entity with dominion over death and the events of the world. On its face the story seemed innocent enough… extraordinary and even outlandish, but they had both been privy to the extraordinary, and in fact Velenia far more so than Arthus.

The undertones of these events told a somewhat different story, one that quickened Velenia’s pulse and saw her face flush with anger. She sat wondering what this “Lilith” wanted with him and where her anger should be directed. Since she was nowhere to be seen, the answer was obvious.


Arthus staggered back into a chair and rubbed his cheek. He apologized profusely, though he didn’t think he could be condemned for something that was clearly not initiated by him.

They argued for a bit, with Arthus staying quiet and “taking his medicine” until Velenia had vented enough to be reasoned with. As she calmed down, Arthus explained that he was merely the focus of this being’s curiosity, and that his heart, as always, belonged to the Elf-maiden. They talked into the wee hours of the morning (as best as they could tell) and Arthus hoped that they had put the whole thing behind them.

As they got ready for bed, Arthus, with his back to Velenia, quipped “So, you do get jealous!”

It was rare that Arthus didn’t see a blow coming, but Velenia’s delicate hand was quickly balled in a fist that caught him square in the eye as he looked over his shoulder smirking.

On his way up to her room, Arthus knew he would be spending the night on the couch, this just confirmed it.

Valeria, in jealousy goes into the volumes of information the keepers have on Lilith. She finds out the following:
Zaril the homeworld for Lilith.
All of the dead pass through there.
In life she was special she was an unfated being

Scene 3 - Drinking with Death

Arthus has a conversation with an invisible Lilith at the Bar:
Why can’t I see you for what you will become? I am different.
She is intriguing. To say the very least.
But I am more so; so you seek the instrumentalities. Yes
One of the five will betray you. Can you tell me who?
No but for the first time I want to. I’m flattered
You should be. Is it certain? Nothing is certain
You seek the iron man and the weeping boy. Keep your friend from him. Alasar
Promise think of me kindly and to weight in all things including.
I do think of you kindly. The more you move towards her the less you’ll see of me.

At her request he begins asking for sensitive information from the bartender:
He gains false passports and information about the city. At the last moment she leaves him dangling (for still pursuing Valenia fixing breakfast for Valenia,) and he is left to guess at a password for papers and then. He gets the right password on a guess. Canatalope.

Scene 4 - Small Encounters

Inside the arena, Fizbin has aconversation with Dorn – I’ll trade you the collar for a favor. Fizbin says no

After winning his match Alasar takes his people with him.

The drow mage, dakken, chases down Fizbin. He is amazed at how much he looks like sirilus. They talk for a few moments and Fizbin mentions that he knows who the drow king is and that the overlord is a nyad – dakken

Arthus asks Valenia to tell David that we are 1/5th of the way


Chapter 20 - Devil's Bargains

Back to Books

Chapter 22 - The Nameless Clan


last edited by CaptainMonstrousCaptainMonstrous

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