Rh’Tea – The Eternal Heart of the Multiverse [D&D 4.0]

Shade's Story

The information below is something that I am sending to Jason while he is at Field Training. Trying to give him something to think about that will take his mind off of bullshit.

Kyle, know that this stuff isn’t going to interfere with the stuff we were talking about with Kacper. It may overlap, however.

Shade Story Stuff: [Speaking to Jason]
OOC: I had your character leave a mysterious note to the party the following day after you encountered Dvorak, the Packlord (Noble Dark Sidhe from the Feydark). You mentioned that you had to speak with him on a matter of most terrible import concerning the Black Company. He was speaking to you over a distance telepathically the entire time you left the encounter and he promised you that if you were to come back and speak with him he would make a deal you could not refuse to destroy your enemies.

Shade returned to the Dark Sidhe’s fey mound with some mild trepidation, but a part of him had given up the need for true fear in this life and that part refused to let him turn back. If Dvorak sought to destroy him alone he would likely have been able to do it with the rest of the Black Company contingent. Shade was no fool – messing with the Dark Fey was not a task one took on lightly. However, the urgency in the Sidhe’s voice was…disconcerting. So, here he was standing in between the twin obsidian trees looking into a portal into the Feydark and speaking to an ancient being with power beyond comprehension.
“I applaud your fearlessness, Vampire. Even with the blessing of the Raven Queen you must know that your kind, those dead who will not die, are disliked by the servants of that dark mistress. You must know that as her servant, as a noble of the Dark Court, if she bids me leave to destroy you, I must do just that.”
Long moments passed while the Vampire observed the Dark Noble, face impassive and unconcerned. Dvorak’s allies, twin Displacer Nightmares, edged up and around the Sidhe watching the assassin with hungry looks.
“Very well. You will not indulge with tedious conversation? Just as well – I imagine that the conversation of a man locked in a box for two centuries is less than riveting. We shall get straight to the point, my friend. My ally.”
The Dark Sidhe reached down to pet his favorite Packlord with a clawed and gnarled hand speaking into the darkness and not looking up at Shade.
“The Raven Queen has no love for you, directly, but long ago the Great Emperor, Conn, whose banner you seek to carry, made a deal with the Dark Court of the Sidhe. The Raven Queen would watch from her end of the Shadowfell and ensure that no creature of greater power than she ever wandered from the Feydark and into the World of Men and Mortals. The Raven Queen’s Dark Court is not the only within the Feydark, but it is by far the most powerful with the most powerful Nobles defending her. She is not quite a god in your sense of the term, young Vampire, but she may as well be for all you are concerned.”
“The Raven Queen has sensed an awakening within the darkest corners of the Feydark where her land touches upon the Shadowfell – home of the God of Battle, Conn. A being of enormous trickery, a being made entirely of deceit reaches through with a soft touch and seeks to enter this realm. She has made political forays into a group you may know as the “Tower” on the mortal plane and through those assassin agents she has arranged for that “Tower” to be bolstered by the most unique of elves – the mysterious Drow.”
“These agents, even know, so destruction and chaos wherever they may reach. Their power is dangerous and the being they serve more dangerous still. With enough death, enough assassination, enough chaos and political fallout, her power will rise so that she may break through the Hidden Barriers of this world. For you, I have a deal that will enable you to help stop her.”
“You may ask, why? Why should you, why should the Black Company seek to stop this creature when you have so much else to deal with, so much else on your plate? Well, you see, the Raven Queen is not the only being of immense power to have come into contact with Conn. This goddess who seeks to spin forth her web into the realm of mortal men has a special hatred for the scions of Conn, the Black Company and others. Her drow assasssins have made a special deal with this Duke Aramakis and, even now, work to destroy the officers remaining in Phoenix Hold. They will target your kind, your Company, and they will seek to destroy you all.”
The Dark Sidhe leaned back, smiling upwards and holding both hands open, palms up. As his back hit the obsidian throne appearing beneath him the shadows at his feet spiral into a portal of sorts. Crawling forth from the shadow of the Feydark, dark sidhe, pixies, fey, sprites, and quicklings, and a small contingent of lost elves, Drow in the service of the Raven Queen, make their way to kneel at the side of the Noble Lord.
“You will aid me in stopping this fiasco, friend Vampire. You will make a binding pact with me in the service of the Raven Queen. I will grant you leave to spread your bloody disease to these followers, these servants of the Dark Court, and they will work their fel glamour upon the assassins of our mutual enemy. Your Vampiric Fey will seek out each of the Drow and attempt to destroy them before they can reach their goals. And in return, I will grant you power and a binding choice: take up the Mantle of Noble in the Dark Court, become the Vampire Lord in service to the Raven Queen and serve her as truly as you serve your Company…or offer to slay any one being of her choosing. No matter the power or cost.”
Let me know what you think about all this. Feel free to change any and all of it as you want. If you don’t get time to work on any of it before you come back, that’s fine.


OOC: This is open to change and probably needs some reworking but is the basic response.

The vampire stood stoically after the dark fay lord’s words came to a close. Eyes unblinking, he considered the offer before replying in his soft, silken baritone voice. “You want a story, Shadow Lord? I can provide you a story if you like. My price is high, but once you hear it, if you know anything of mortals at all, you will understand that the cost to me is just as high. This isn’t something that I have ever spoken of before and will probably never do so again. But if I can find myself back in the good graces of my Queen and secure aid for my Captain, then I will do it this once.”
Hearing no objection to his offer, Shade continued on, his skill with storytelling barely worth noting but the familiarity and emotion embedded in his words carrying the tale more thoroughly than the words themselves.
“It happened long ago, several centuries at least, in a realm far disconnected from this one. It starts with a man, another shadow lord, though not of your caliber or permanence. He was a mortal who held a small amount of power within his own personal estate in a city ruled by shadows. Beside him stood his beloved, a woman of noble bearing and a dark beauty surpassed only by the Raven Queen herself. Within the city the Princes strived to escape their banishment while trying to retain their power within their own home. That is where the man and his wife come into the picture.
Even amongst a race of shades, Idryus and Kaelyn stood out for their affinity with the material essence of the Shadowfel. Not the arcane workings as was required to be one of the royalty, but the raw ability to mold and encompass the shadows into themselves. They grew up as rival assassins, paragons of moral ambiguity and viciously skilled. Eventually, they matured into lovers, each mission or task a chance to impress the other with another trophy. The Princes were unhappy about this budding relationship but were uncertain what to do about it. Powerful though the Princes were, assassins are not the kind of people you readily make enemies of. Still, there is always someone willing to take the risk that others are too cautious to take.
A contract was made with Kaelyn to dispose of one particular Prince who had earned the ire of the couple. Idryus was wary but accepted his wife’s assurance of her safety. The assassin should have trusted his instincts as his wife did not return. A great many favors were called in, threats made, and promises given before Idryus could find out what had happened to his wife. She was caught in the web of the Prince she was hired to slay, the same one who had commissioned her services. The fool assassin knew it was a trap but cared little. He would see his wife free and the Prince dead or he would join her at the feet of their beloved Raven Queen in the next life.
A weak semblance of a plan was implemented, relying mostly on his talents, perseverance, and sheer audacity in infiltrating a realm of control none should have been willing to attempt without the backing of at least a demi-god. The shadows themselves favored Idryus, however, and he made it to his wife’s side seemingly undetected. What he found, however, was appalling. Kaelyn was chained to the wall, her body desiccated and deteriorating into the shadows around her, life fading quickly from her frail frame. When she opened her eyes, Idryus could see the wrongness that emanated from them. When her life finally left her, undeath would soon follow. Panic, shame, and then relief flickered in the captive woman’s eyes before she could whisper weakly to her husband.
“Do not let me…,” her words ended briefly in a grimace of extreme pain before they continued even quieter than before. “Do not let me turn. Let me sit at our Queen’s feet. Please….” Her face contorted again and Idryus could see that she was fading too quickly for him to do anything but grant her wish. Dropping to his knees so that he could be face to face with his wife one final time, he leaned in and kissed her lightly, feeling her body tense and then relax as the last of her life flowed freely around the dagger he slipped into her heart. His tears of shadow darkened even further and turned to blood within seconds, the curse on his wife’s blood springing the Prince’s revenge upon the surviving assassin. The darkest of chuckles leaked from the darkness around the room, reveling in the accidental betrayal of the woman. Idryus only had time to look upon the face of the Prince, his tormentor, before falling unconscious while the magic finished its work on his body.
The next decades were mostly unremarkable for the unfortunate assassin, undeath taking away the salvation of death and the blessing of returning to his wife’s side as he had intended. The Prince used powerful necromancy to chain Idryus to his service, taking away the assassin’s name and using his services to rise to High Prince of the banished city. Once the city of shades escaped the shadow realm, the chained servant was sent to follow a band of adventurers into the Pyramid of Shadow, the master knowing that his slave was soon to grow too powerful for even his magic to keep chained. The Pyramid did its job, however, stealing the vampire’s power, but it failed in keeping him chained forever. Now he is loose and still seeking to complete his mission, though he knows that he needs a great deal more power before he can even stand within the shadow of his next target.
And that, Shadow Lord, is where we find ourselves; a promise to keep and a deal to make. I will accept the offer to stand beneath the Queen as her Vampire Lord, my eternal condition unchanged, unrestored but in exchange for the story I have given, I have an addendum. I want one of the players to be given a chance to serve at my side should she wish to. I know she serves in the Queen’s court. Kaelyn is to be elevated to my equal, serving beside me. And my court of undead will serve the same duel allegiance that I do, as dedicated to both the Company and the Queen as I am. In exchange, I will train and lead them against the Queen’s foes, a spear of death that she has not seen before except by her own hand. I will raise an organization on this side of the veil to serve her better within the mortal realms, and to crush the “Tower” and it’s corruption of the Queen’s gifts. Oh, and a trade, if you will. I want the Prince. Here. In exchange, I will show you how the story ends and remove a force that I know will one day seek the power of the dark fay. It was in his plans for a long while and only time stands between his ambition and our Queen. As a sign that these promises are made and kept, I wish to see my wife. “

Shade's Story

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