Into the Breach
Gypsy Eladrin Sorceress
Saorise and the Gypsies
Saoirise was born into a small Eladrin community that exists somewhere between the Feywild and the Middle World, phasing between the two with the crescent moon. It can be found, on occasion, on the banks of the mighty Eowyn River, the village so named Kawaguchi (mouth of the river). Born to parents Seamus and Siobhan (that’s pronounced ‘Shaymuss’ and ‘Shevorn’, for those of you playing at home). At a young age, having no siblings, Saoirse befriended one of the few local humans, a girl of the gypsy travelers that had made camp just up the river. Saoirse and Naomie became fast friends, hunting together in the surrounding forests and doing other lady things. They were ladies, you see. The residents of Kawaguchi were very protective of their way of life, and were not very accepting of other cultures, believing that these gypsies weren’t worthy of their land. When Saoirses’ parents and the community elders heard of her friendship with the gypsy girl, they were furious and forbade her from seeing her ever again.
Meanwhile, there was also a curious happening, a mystery that the elders could not solve. As they were a river community, they relied heavily on fishing as a source of food, but of late, some of the villagers had been taking ill after eating the fish from the river. The Eladrin suspected that the gypsy camp upstream was poisoning their water somehow, probably a crude witchcraft, in an effort to drive them away and claim Kawaguchi for their own – which was ridiculous, actually, as the gypsies were travelers by nature and had no desire to conquer a settlement anyway (and besides, it was the trolls, even further upstream that inadvertently increased the levels of filth in the river through their poor hygiene). Hearing of Saoirse (a promising young talent that they wanted to keep all to themselves) and Naomie’s friendship, and the gypsies’ attempt at trying to break down the (metaphorical) barrier between their two worlds, the elders hatched a plan to end it all at once.
On the night of the summer solstice, when the Eladrin knew that the gypsies would be celebrating, drinking mead and stargazing, letting off fireworks and generally not paying attention, the Spriggan (a gnome corrupted by fomorian magic), so named Smidgen, under the employ of it’s Eladrin masters, snuck into the gypsy camp, stole a bunch of hay from their horses, and spread it around underneath their caravans. He carefully aimed a single firework at the centre of the camp, and waited. As the gypsies set off their fireworks down by the river, Smidgen lit his and then sauntered off into the forest to watch the nightmare unfold.
The Gypsy camp burned to the ground that night. There were many casualties, some perished in the fire, others jumped into the river to save themselves, but drowned in the panic. One body washed up on the edge of the Eladrin village. It was Naomie. And worse still, Saoirse knew who was responsible. That was the day that she left Kawaguchi, and vowed only to return when she had become powerful enough to exact vengeance on those who had done her wrong.
She wandered the lands, fleeing from her kin, and making money where she could, increasing her skills and whatnot until one day, when she’s ready, she will return.
Saorise Returns to Selmmor
“Word has come to me that some interesting phenomena have been occurring on Maktig Har.”
Saorise rolled her eyes, “You know I don’t get on the best with that lot.”
Tzboath frowned, “You won’t have to deal with them any more than you want to, but they’re the only ones with a teleportation circle on the island.”
“And you can’t send one of your apprentice bookworms?” she asked impatiently, shifting her weight onto one leg and letting her lustrous ochre hair cascade in front of her mauve pupil-less eyes. Tzboath couldn’t suppress a smile. He could tell, somewhat, that for all her protests she wasn’t as displeased with him as she would imply, and it gave him a warmth and confidence to know that such an intelligent beauty held him in such high regard. She can’t possibly have realised how wonderful she was if she continued to return to his side, but she did. She always did. Tzboath never knew how long her wanderlust would keep her away, each time she left, but he knew that she would tire of the world, and the unappreciative morons that inhabited it, eventually. Tzboath played the card he was dealt.
“My dear, no,” he said as he closed the gap between them, gently pushing the hair out of her face and tucking it behind her delicate pointed ears, “I need someone with a bit more… intuition. Someone a little more… capable.” He smiled warmly. She reciprocated, for a moment, before regaining her resolve.
“Fine, Tzboath, fine. So what’s the story?”
“Strange lights in the sky, people going missing,” Tzboath says as he turns back to his maps and scrolls, “other rumours…”
“And what do you want me to do, exactly?” Saorise asks, “missing villagers have never been a big concern of yours.”
“Take the teleportation circle to that Eladrin treetop village on the feywild side – what was it called again?”
“Right. There’s a tavern in the woods south of there called the Twilight Tavern, the veil between the planes is quite thin there, so you should be able to make it back to this side from there, and after that, head to the Northernmost point of the island, there’s some ruins there that may not be what they seem.”
“What aren’t you telling me?” Saorise was familiar with Tzboath’s penchant for tying to look busy when he wasn’t being forthright. Tzboath put his quill back into the ink well and turned around, “Saorise, I don’t like to make guesses. That’s the whole reason…”
“That’s the whole reason you’re sending me, right?” Saorise interjected.
Saorise had been to Selmmor before. She didn’t have much patience for the Eladrin community, but she appreciated the beauty and serenity of Selmmor itself. A forest of trees hundreds of feet tall with a canopy that kept it sheltered from the elements all year round. During the day birds with plumes of pleasing contrast flitted around the branch- woven homes of the Eladrin who lived there, and at night the canopy lit up with thousands of glowing insects that bathed the village in a soothing display of shifting colours.
They were a cagey lot, the Selmmorian elves, they tolerated Saorise, but only because she was kin – but that suited her just fine. This was the kind of life she had chosen to leave a long time ago. After a night, she made her way to the forest floor, it’s lush long emerald grasses blanketing the ground and cushioning every footfall – the feywild of Maktig Har was one of the few places where it was more pleasant to walk around bare-foot than otherwise. Taking a moment to look back up at the village far above her, she smiled as she noticed the telltale signs that a village was there at all – to the untrained eye it would have been impossible to distinguish among the serpentine limbs.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Saorise shook her head.
“I’m sorry, m’lady, but it’s totally out of our control,” said Morlellan, the publican of the Twilight Tavern, rather submissively, “but we haven’t phased into the middle world for weeks. It’s actually quite worrying, because we haven’t heard from the villagers there and we’re not sure why.”
Damn that Tzboath, she thought, he couldn’t have spared me a scroll of planar portal, could he? She leaned against the bar in frustration.
“Nothing to do but wait and share a pint with me, I suppose,” piped up a voice next to her. She turned with low expectations and found a shorter, younger elven man sawing through an unreasonably large steak. He looked at her and gave the biggest grin he could.
“I prefer not to eat at the trough with everyone else, actually,” said Saorise with unwarranted sarcasm.
“Ho, ho!,” the elf chuckled confidently, “insinuating I own a porcine heritage, eh? Oink, oink!” Saorise recoiled in surprise as she watched his nose transform before her eyes, into a snout.
“Baden!” Morlellan snapped, “not while we’re eating, for the sake of the gods!”
“That’s Lord Baden, Morlellan! Lord Baden!” Baden laughed and returned his face to that of his elven countenance. “I’m actually looking to get to the middle world as well, if you’re interested in colluding.”
“Not presently,” said Saorise, with a little less contempt. “Barkeep, I don’t suppose you’ve got anything nice to drink, do you?”
“I, uh,” Morlellan hesitated.
“Look,” Saorise commanded, “I’ll take a glass of your finest elven wine, and I’ll take it at that table for one in the corner.”
“Certainly,” Morlellan gave a sheepish smile.
Despite the noisy revelry, Saorise, could sit at her table and read undistracted, that is until one flamboyant character joined in with the singing and dancing, and had made himself a spectacle, leading the song from atop the tables in the tavern. She couldn’t help but smile when she looked up and saw Baden dancing a jig in the middle of the room surrounded by clapping patrons. Baden shot her a wink when he noticed, and Saorise hastily raised the book she was holding to hide her face, which may or may not have gone a little crimson in the cheeks.
Revelry gave way to horror soon enough, as a scream from the tavern shook Saorise from her trance. Looking up, she saw a frightful sight, a dirty pirate, a dwarven warrior, a deathly pale elf, a cloaked man and a muscular dragonborn, covered in blood, panting from exertion and looking around as dumbfounded and confused as the patrons watching. “They just appeared!” a concerned (and inebriated) patron broke the uneasy silence to point out. Saorise watched in silence gathering all the clues she could. Eavesdropping on their conversation with Morlellan, she learned that these adventurers were here looking for answers about the missing villagers, the lights in the skies above Maktig Har and other mysteries as well, and they stumbled across the Tavern and found filled with shape shifting jacklewares, posing as the elven owners and luring villagers to their deaths. Slaying them
broke whatever curse they had over the place, and the tavern phased them over into the feywild. It turned out they were heading to Castle Giresku, at the north end of Maktig Har, so Saorise decided to follow them. The dragonborn and the wizard that were with them left off into the feywild before the tavern phased back, but Morlellan introduced the others to Baden, who set off with them, to the chagrin of Saorise.
They reached the castle, still unaware of their stalker, where after clearing it of goblinkin stayed a night. Saorise took the opportunity to rest as well, but outside, hidden under shelter of trees a little lower down the hill from the keep. When she woke and returned to the castle she found a curious sight. On an outcrop from the cliffs on which the castle stood were our adventurers in counsel with an ancient blue dragon. The wind obscured their discussion, but she watched as the dragon gripped them in it’s claws and carried them to the surf below, which was filled with numerous shipwrecks, dashed on the rocks at the base of the cliffs. After they had returned, she followed them back into the castle, and watched as they discovered ruins beneath it that were older than the castle itself. Figuring that she must be getting closer to whatever she was sent here to find she decided this would be the best time to introduce herself to the others, rather than get caught in a dungeon alone.
Something she never wanted to go through again. Baden decided to be clever and introduce himself as if they’d never met. What a rascal.