Happenstance Meetings

National Visions
The path from the south widens and leads you into a large, open clearing in the forest. The grass blows softly in the wind as you admire the tranquility of your environment. A large oak tree juts forth from the ground before you, and you notice that it has been remarkably crafted to serve the purpose of a note board. Parchments of all sizes hang from the tree, each exhibiting a definite style of writing from a great variety of races… from the elegant script of the Elves to the harsh scrawl of the Orcs. This board is used by all of the members of each Nation to plan adventures, communicate with other Nations or to tell tales. The path before you heads towards a large cave.

There is a large sign nailed to a tree that proclaims:
Please do not speak above a whisper here.

An oaken board is here, displaying the handwriting of a multitude of races.
(Glowing) A trophy of Immortal Gold sits here commemorating the Nations Olympics.

Stela floats briskly down the path, seemingly in a rush to read the news posted upon the large oak tree.

"Oolog'hai…Faeries…Elohai…" Mumbling incoherently to herself, the hooded Half-Elven woman seems lost in her own world. [Stela]

Quince arrives from town, walks towards the board and checks for replies to his inquiry. He is singularly focused on a small collection of papers in his hands. [Phalar]

Stela hastily copies down one of the notes, then plops to the ground, poring over what she has written.

Stela mumbles a bit more over the piece of paper, before hastily balling it up and tossing it on the ground in frustration. With a sigh she leans back, finally noticing the arrival of someone new.

Tharius nods in greeting to Quince as he searches for further news of the Elohai and the troubles that have befallen them.

"Oh!" Stela quickly rises from the ground, bits of grass and dirt falling from her skirt. With a
concerned look, she takes in the two newcomers, without saying anything. [Stela]

Phalar files a few papers, folds them in thirds, and tucks them in a pocket of his vest. He looks at the gathered few and smiles. "Well, gathered here to meet on business I imagine. Please hold, I meet by appointment only."

Arina chuckles softly to herself as she watches the group from a short distance, she makes a point to not draw too much attention to herself.

You say 'Business? I'm not quite sure what business I would have with a stranger. I rarely have business inside of New Darkhaven anymore.'

Tharius furrows his brow as he reads scribble off of a piece of parchment.

Stela ponders the dark fellow for a moment, forgetting for a moment the other Elohai, and who he might be.

Quince points at the board emphatically. "My dear. I am P. Quince Vydien antiquities broker." He pauses, "I know, but please control your enthusiasm." [Phalar]

Tharius watches the gathering quietly, clearly uncertain around so many new faces.

Looking back at the board and its collection of scribbled upon skins and papers, Stela asks "And just what antiquities might you broker? A curious stranger would like to know." [Stela]

At this point Arina slowly walks towards the group, her curiosity getting the better of her. [Arina]

Phalar smiles broadly. This is a question he clearly loves being asked. "Family heirlooms, rare treasure, old silver you find your auntie's drawer." He takes a few excited steps towards the woman, "Anything you find valuable or are in need of!"

Stela is firmly interested in this "P. Quince" at this point, and offers the other strangers only sidelong glances as she floats towards him.

Offering her small hand, the small woman says, "Stela of Maarmrilla. Your talk of rarities interests me somewhat. Please continue." [Stela]

Tharius watches this chance encounter with great interest, paying close attention to the woman he's read and heard much of but not yet met.

Arina leans against the note board as she watches, her own interest peaked by the conversation.

Phalar takes Stela's hand delicately and in an overly ornate bow kisses it. "Enchanted, enchanted." He stands upright, "I appraise items of value or help acquire valuables that have been lost."

Stela watches the dark man's soft lips brush her hand with mild interest in his words. "Pleasure, Mister Vydien. Perhaps you and I have some things to discuss, but I fear this is not the proper venue."

Stela turns to the others in the clearing, offering, "And has our greeting interested you so much,

Quince takes a small scrap of paper from his vest pocket, writes down a few words quickly with a small piece of charcoal and hands it to Stela. "Yes, friends. Do you flock to meet a local legend as well?" [Phalar]

Tharius steps forward, bowing and says "Indeed Lady Stela, not only due to Quince's occupation and arrival but also from the chance to meet you."

Arina smiles. "It's a rather strange thing finding a couple Elohai and an Ilythiiri in the forest. And I am no stranger to you m'lady. I just dont have the looks I did before."

Trumpets blare throughout Darkhaven, proclaiming a changing of the guard.

Stela takes the bit of paper and tucks it into a small pouch upon her belt. "It seems you are not the legend they were seeking, Mister Vydien. I wonder if they shall grace us with their names, as they both seem to know mine."

If Quince is dismayed about his dented celebrity, it doesn't show. He stands adjacent to Stela and looks over the two strangers. His smile ever so inviting. [Phalar]

Arina chuckles softly. "I am Arina, Uelma'an Aerandir."

Tharius appears momentarily flustered but recovers his composure quickly saying to the assembled group, "Indeed, how rude of me. I am Tharius Dawnbreaker, a traveller in these realms for some time now."

Tharius returns Quince's smile casually and asks "Much is lost in this world, I imagine you must stay rather busy."

Stela's eyes flash for a moment as the introductions are made. "An Elohai and the Uelma! We are not the legends after all, it seems." [Stela]

Stela offers a short impolite bow to Arina, "Uelma, I have heard word of your leadership of the Five Kingdoms. Although the Plasir seems not to worry with your counsel."

Phalar compares the faces of each member. Clearly taking a liking to Stela's over the half burnt creature and the gentleman's. "Indeed. Such famous people must have things that are lost, or things worth valuing. Perhaps even insuring."

Tharius looks at Arina.

Arina nods respectfully at Stela. "Indeed." A grimace crosses her face as she eases herself to a sitting position. "My apologies but my strength is not what it once was."

Stela observes the violet eyes of the broker as he speaks, taking careful note of his tone and expression. At the words of the Uelma, she focuses her attention more closely upon the woman's injuries.

You say 'What an interesting collection we have today. It seems the polluted waters of New Darkhaven are churning once more.'

Tharius laughs.

Tharius says 'Someone told me long ago, where the tree grows, the wind blows and the sun shines the water must stir.'

Phalar looks closely at Tharius, "A Half-Elf, no? Elohai they call you? I've met a few of your race over my travels. Some of the most beautiful women I've ever known.." He trails off for a moment, "I've even found an heirloom or two of some older family."

Directing his attention to Quince once more, small lines forming around his eyes. "Aye, Elohai. If you have encountered many of us, then you are even more well travelled than I, for we seem to be few these days." [Tharius]

Phalar says to Tharius, 'My father, when he spoke at all, claimed my mother was a beautiful but
unfortunately ill bred Elohai. He died before I could ever confirm anything other than her name.'

Stela remains quiet, her face a mask of feigned disinterest.

Arina watches Quince carefully. "So Mr. Quince, what sorts of heirlooms do you have exactly?"

Tharius holds his questions of Quince and listens for the answer to Arina's question.

Eyes losing focus a bit, the short woman keeps her ears sharp as she wonders where Selyn must be. His meeting in Irae should not have lasted so long. [Stela]

Phalar turns to the half burnt woman. "I have a few family keepsakes. My father died penniless and sold most all of my past other than a small office and warehouse in Ocean Keep. I make a habit of finding or appraising the heirlooms of others. What I have of my past, well my private collection is just that… private." [Phalar]

You chuckle politely.

He smiles again, clearly Quince enjoys the spectacle of raising curiosity. [Phalar]

You say to Arina, 'I think, Uelma, that your injuries besmirch your royalty. There were days when such words would have sparked the outrage of the Aerandir.'

Arina says 'I find him rather amusing'

Arina says 'It's rare I am spoken to in such a way'

Tharius asks Phalar, 'My apologies if you find me too forward but you enticed us with news of Elohai heirlooms … or was this older family you mentioned related to your mother's name?'

"Perhaps I have too fond memories of the Lady Faya." Sparkling bemusement alights in Stela's eyes, clearly enjoying the conversational twists and turns. [Stela]

"Most people do." Quince folds his arms across his tailored vest, "Forgive me, I grew up with dockmen and traders on the ports of Ocean Keep. Am I to understand that you," He gestures towards Arina, "Are royalty?" [Phalar]

Arina says 'I am the leader of the Aerendiri. I rule the 5 kingdoms of the Sea-Elves, as you would probably call us.'

Tharius examines the lady more closely, surprised at the revelation.

Arina says 'My title is Uelma you can refer to me as that, or as Arina. I care not which.'

"Indeed, Mister Vydien. The Voice of the Five Kingdoms speaks to you directly." Pointing her words at the burned woman upon the ground, Stela's eyes seek out Tharius, wondering who he must be and what his business is. [Stela]

Tharius looks at you.

Phalar approaches Arina with a few swift steps, he bows, keeping his purple eyes on her. "How unexpected! It is a rare privilege indeed!" For a brief moment he remains bowed, "Your reputation precedes you. I believe we once attended a service at the same chapel, although I did not have the pleasure to meet you then." [Phalar]

Tharius meets Stela's gaze directly and says "I am simply here. I have been searching for news of my home now for many years and it is simply chance that we have met today"

Arina turns to Quince, whispering softly, "I would like to meet with you at a later time to discuss some business."

Tharius says to you, 'I have a tendancy to meddle where I'm not wanted, but those who welcome me often find my company worthwhile.'

Irises flash bright blue for the smallest moment, Stela looking over the Elohai man once more before responding. "And I presume your travels have found you in Eldestra. I wonder what secrets you have uncovered, Mister…Dawnbreaker?" [Stela]

Phalar takes a small folded note from his vest pocket, writes a few quick words on it, and hands it to Arina, "I look forward to the appointment, I'm sure you can tell me of tails with rare antiques indeed."

Trumpets blare throughout Darkhaven, proclaiming a changing of the guard.

Arina nods at Quince before turning her attention back to the two Elohai.

Rheiv storms into the area, eyes fixated on Tharius.

Rheiv says to Tharius, 'You have avoided me over damages to my experiments and I insist you come at once and discuss this matter.'

Tharius narrows his eyes at Rheiv.

Arina raises an eyebrow.

Stela floats softly back from Tharius, edging once more towards the mysterious broker. Biting back unspoken words at the sudden arrival of this newcomer, she simply watches the exchange.

Tharius apologises to the gathered assembly.

Tharius says 'He is quite right, I have been putting it off and I rather suspect he won't leave me alone until this is settled.'

Tharius says 'On his behalf I apologise for this sudden departure'

Tharius says 'and hope we will meet again'

Rheiv storms off in a huff.

Tharius bows deeply.

Tharius says 'a great pleasure.'

Tharius flies north.

Phalar leans casually on an outcropping of rocks and sticks his hands in his pockets, smiling. "Two appointments in one day, what luck indeed."

Arina rubs her chin as she watches the strange man leave. "Interesting fellow I suppose, dont you think Lady Stela?"

Her eyes follow Tharius lazily down the path as he recedes, dark thoughts of Eldestran troubles entering her mind. As Arina's words land upon her ears, she frowns, "While you may be Uelma di Aerandir, please do not address me as Lady. Stela is just fine." [Stela]

Stela grins at the dark man, more amused by him than the Elohai. "Indeed Mister Vydien. I wonder, since your luck has been so grand, that I may inquire about your name. For I have heard it before."

"Ah, yes." Quince looks down for a moment. "Rumors of who my father was other than the old man I knew him to be have flooded my childhood. And he was so generous to hand the name, and it's memories, to me." [Phalar]

Phalar pushes himself off the rocks and folds his arms defensively, dropping his nonchalant swagger but for a moment. I am Phalar Quince Vydien, Phalar Dryden, outcast of the Underdark and last of house Dryden was my father."

Stela coughs abruptly, her constant hover nearly in danger. Recovering her posture as quickly as she can manage, the Elohai woman pretends to be distracted with a stray hair in her face.

You say 'Phalar? Now that is interesting news indeed. Alas, it is not a male I have seen this name attached to. Perhaps we have some common friends of old, after all.'

The reddish sun sets past the horizon.

Phalar takes a slow and drawn breath, tucking his hands back in his pockets. "Yes," he says slowly, "He told me I was half bred, and should wear my mother's last name in disgrace." He looks up, his purple eyes locking with Stela's, "I'm told her name was Amalia Vydien, I never knew her." [Phalar]

Amalia. It was always Amalia. A dead woman who changed everything. With a tinge of ice, Stela responds, "Indeed. Amalia Vydien's legend is told in many places. As is your father's." [Stela]

"I plan on taking some time aside to find those that knew him well. To me he was an angry man, and I only reminded him of his failures." Quince smiles, but his voice is tinged with regret. "Hopefully there is something, some item or story that can help me know him better." [Phalar]

Phalar shakes his head dramatically, "Enough of these sad things! My ladies," He bows, "I look forward to our appointments." He smiles, compassionately and with a hint of vulnerable sadness, and heads into the city.

A stormy quiet settles over the forest, no chirp of bird or buzz of bee to be heard. The Elohai woman is once again alone, yet only more concerned about what is brewing. [Stela]

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