Eldergate

Before the Council of Nations

Interlude

“Step forward.”

The speaker, none other than Orion Winters, glares down from his seat at the center of the raised dais at the back of the room. To his right, sits Myrella of Talanthas, heir to the throne of Talanthas (Nation) and Orion’s own grand daughter. To Orion’s left, sits Khalkus Ironcrown Crown Prince of the Dwarf Kingdom, Khul. Beyond Khalkus is Chief Stormrider of the Free Tribes of Hyland, and on the other side of Myrella sits Anselm High Druid of the The Druid Nation. On a hastily constructed addendum to the dais, just to the left of Stormrider, the newest addition to the Council of Nations, Gethrr the Cunning is seated. Just below the council, are seated the Advisors: Archmage Villius Carpenter, Gannemede Atriss, Dorvin Merchant, Shesael Glimmerspark, and Gaius Thorne.

The Council of Nations meets on Gathering Island, in a magically constructed building, of a massive scale for a temporary structure. A blend of Druid and Arcane might, the Council hall is essentially a tower, built into a massive tree that is re-grown each year for the event.

Kyrian Stone, Nero Torvus, Oskar Dankil, and Warbird have been summoned to appear before the Council to bear testimony to yesterday’s events, in which the Island was nearly tipped over.

Councilman Winters leads the questioning, his dark eyes boring into whoever appears to be speaking at the time. His questions show a keen intellect, and it is clear that he reads a great deal into even the slightest inflection, gesture, and facial tick. From time to time, one of the other members, usually Myrella asks a clarifying question. Orion goes often to Gaius Thorne and Archmage Carpenter to verify the probability of the group’s accounts.

Comments

The woman that the council addresses as Warbird, presents her testimony after Kyrian, Nero, and Oskar have finished relating the events that occurred in the power room in the heart of the island. From her style of dress, she appears to be a Free-Tribesman, and after following the discussion, it becomes clear that she is in fact the daughter of Chief Stormrider who sits on the Council. She is a beautiful young human in her late teens or early twenties, with a long dark braid down her back and a bright blue and red tattoo across her back and shoulders of a bird of prey holding arrows in one talon, and a spear in the other. She speaks in a much more refined manner than most Free Tribesman, and some of her comments show an education that likewise exceeds that of most wanderers. Warbird accounts her trials as follows:

“I have been tracking Goran Steelheart’s activities for some time, and knew when he and Therrick Gorganskull left with the gnome that it would not bode well.’
“I attempted to warn Chief Stormrider and the Gatewardens – but they did not feel that the threat was credible, so I enlisted the aid of Ryah Warden, a Paladin of The Shield, and Dorian Feld, a Cleric of The Tome to aid me. With Dorian’s help, we deduced Goran’s most likely plan, and proceeded to try and stop them. Knowing that the three of us did not stand a chance of surviving a direct confrontation with Goran and his bodyguard, we decided that our best chance was to locate and disable the ‘lifter units’ as Dorian called them, that would be needed to flip the island.’
“Unfortunately, we were not prepared for the defenses that the island’s builders had installed to prevent such sabotage. We managed to cause enough damage to several of the lifters to prevent the island from tipping all the way over – but Ryah and Dorian were sorely injured and could not appear before the council today. The healers are not sure if they will survive their injuries.”

Before the Council of Nations
 

After about half an hour of questions and debate, the witnesses are escorted to a waiting room while the Council deliberates. Time passes and at long last, the group is called into the audience chamber once more.

Councilman Winters is the first to speak. "The Council wishes to commend each of you for your efforts and services to the greater community of Axyss. It is clear that we are all in your debt. We are in agreement, that Chieftain Goran Steelheart should be brought to trial for his actions, and as this threat involved members of all of the Nations, it is decided that this falls within the purview of the Gate Wardens. ’

“Captain William Williamson has been assigned to lead a unit to deal with the threat. He will be encouraged to consult with you for your insights. Thank you for your assistance, you are dismissed.”

Before the Council of Nations
 

Captain Williamson turns out to be a human in his second decade. He has brown hair down to his shoulders, and a few days of rough facial growth. He asks some cursory questions about the encounter with Goran Steelheart, focusing almost entirely on his last known location, and how he was supplied, and then dismisses the witnesses.

Warbird, refuses to leave, “That’s it?! I have tracked this man, and opposed him for almost a year. I am the only being on Axyss that has had success in thwarting his designs. If not for me, he would rule all of Hyland by now. You are just going to Dismiss me?! I could be a resource to you. These men have experience that could be of help to you, why would you dismiss us?”

Williamson turns stiffly on his heel, and addresses the tribal chieftain’s daughter, “Lady Warbird, I am well aware of your history with this man. That is all the more reason not to include you. Besides, I hardly see where any of your experience has a bearing. This is a clear cut matter. Steelheart is trapped. There is only one known exit from where he left you, and it is guarded by some of the Watch’s best men. He will not escape via that avenue. He does not have supplies enough to survive down there more than a couple days – one of which has already elapsed. He will most likely stumble across some ancient curse, or trap down there, and die, or come up in a desperate attempt to escape, half starved and dehydrated, and be defeated, and brought before the Council. In the meantime, I will take my unit, and capture the vanguard that awaits him on the mainland. Even should he find some miraculous escape, he will be captured the minute he reurns to his forces.”

“And what of the gnome? Will you leave him to die? What if they find some weapon to use against us all down there?”

“The gnome has clearly been an accomplice in all of this. If unwilling, than his loss is lamentable, but acceptable for the greater good. I will not risk my men’s lives down there when the pit is likely to do our job for us. As for weapons, you should study your history better. This was an embassy world. There are no weapons to be found.”

“And yet Goran Steelheart nearly killed everyone on this island! This man is a ruthless killer that will stop at nothing to gain power. He is cunning and calculating. You heard the accounts of these men, he could have killed them, but elected to go deeper into the city with the gnome instead. I assure you, he did not do so without a plan. If you will not risk your men, then let me go! I will ensure that he does not find some other means of killing us all, weapon or not.”

“Very well. I will write up orders to allow you entrance to the undercity. If you are so concerned with the well being of the gnome, and of the threat Steelheart poses, than you may pursue him.”

With that, William Williamson turns to a scribe and requests a parchment. Immediately making good on his word, he provides Warbird with a writ allowing her permission to enter the undercity in pursuit of Goran Steelheart.

Warbird immediately turns to the men around her. “You have been in these tunnels. You have friends to avenge, and presumably loved ones to protect. Will you accompany me on this journey? I cannot guarantee that we will emerge alive, but are not our lives a small price to pay to protect the lives of thousands?”

Before the Council of Nations
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