From the Chronicles of Aethlereid of the Monastery of the Crown:
3 Tenebre, 429
Snow has began to fall. Acolyte Tabin and I made our way to Swans Harbor in the hopes of booking passage to Malipar as couriers to St. Frederic’s cathedral. Construction of this elven outpost nears completion and I admire the elegant way the elves have made their port both beautiful and practical. The buildings are of white marble and golden limestone. Most are square, unadorned, and many are even without doors or glass upon the windows. However, the lines are so well proportioned and balanced that the simplicity of the designs are delightful. Some walls, however, have carvings upon them: Birds in flight, The White Tower, the Sun and Moon, a tree upon the ocean. One wall of limestone depicts two dragons circling each other, one silver and one bronze.
Most buildings could be used for whatever one needed and are set up around a courtyard so a company can reside in one with some privacy. You are never lost and yet can always wonder about and find new alcoves to linger. Watching the ocean are two marble swans. At night they emit a gentile glow that act as a beacon for any who might sail near shore.
A Maliparian ship was in harbor, a freebooter called Great Fortune. I overheard the crew speaking of a recent fight against monsters and naturally resolved to find out more. After settling into an apartment and dining upon roasted duck, I went looking for somebody to tell the tale.
I found the captain in one of the guest apartments at the harbor. His dress and the level of drink he had already apparently consumed gave him away as a Pyrate from Ethercist. After some introduction and my assurances that, as a member of the clergy, I would not judge him too harshly, I convinced him to tell me what adventures brought him to the tower:
“It all started,” he began, “as all important things should: At sea. I have to admit that our Vessel hain’t been holding up to her name; Theres not much good fortune going round. Time be flying but there’s not many opportunity for adventure. Mostly we be waiting, and drinking, and enjoying foreign ports, bringing on mundane cargo, and drinking. But then one day at sea we came upon a barque flying a Dwelligerian Freetrader’s flag. Since Foustic ships have been posing as freetraders, we decided to take a look ‘round and make sure they didn’t have any illicit cargo that needed to be liberated.”
“We hailed her but got no answer. She listed oddly upon the waters, as if nobody was at the helm. So, naturally, we decided to board her. Quadira lead the boarding party while I kept command of the ship. There were some signs of a fight, some blood stains upon the deck, but for the most part the ship were deserted. But then they found a dead ettercap below deck. As they moved forward they found what everybody was fighting and dying over. An ancient stature of a elven priestess. It was guarded by a dying ettercap. He said her name was Aerdrie and that she had to be protected. They could also tell that she was magical. Of course she was magical, she was elfy. See, as a pyrate, you have to decide if yer willing to deal with elves or not: Elfy dealings can be quite profitable but also quite magical. You can end up rich but with blue skin or frog eyes or something. As poor as I be now, I would say it would be worth it.
“Anyways, we took this statue on board. It was quickly decided that we should take it to the White Tower and give it to Rawl and Avelorn for safe keeping or what-not. The trip there was smooth, fair weather, good wind and no sea monsters. So up we go to the Tower and that’s when things started to get real Elfy.
“Xaphic were in residence, as he oft is. Odd elf, that one, what with the scars and jumpy-ness. He’s seen a bit too much, I think: You can tell it in his eyes if you can bring your self to look upon them. There is also some Dragon-thing as well. His name is Chico and he’s about ten feet long but he walks about like a man. Apparently he’s the herald for some dragon named Bay Matt or something.
“There’s also this wizard at the tower, Meritus. We’ve had dealings with him. A bright one, he is, and he’s the only mage I know with sense: He uses his magic to get rich. None o’this “fulfill destiny” or learning such-an-odd, it’s all about the Songs. Well, with him was another Elf, a bard Named Gway, from the woods of San Servus. I don’t know about him, he kept saying we were doing good ‘for who we are.’ I think there might be a double meaning in that.
“There’s enough elves there to cause plenty of trouble but then from the mountain came another: a blue-haired elf they called ‘kind sister’ and she had a pet Dragon thing called a Dracolich or something. It had six legs and blinders on like it was her pet falcon.”
Panic flew across my face at this point in his tale. After a few questions, I was able to determine that the creature was not undead and not a Dracolich. Perhaps he meant “Dracolisk.” I then explained that this “elf” was, in fact, one of the Harpies that live in the mountains, at which point he circled his hands to ward off evil spirits and issued a long string of cursing that I deemed not appropriate to record.
“Sulls was right, then, about the wings. I thought he had imagined it what with the demons and all.” at this point he stood up, refilled his flagon with cider, went to the balcony, and while silently brooding, began to drink heavily. I had to coax him back to the table to continue his tale.
“Well, anyways, we spent the evening drinking with Dav, the White Elf Master of the Harbor, and past a pleasant evening. That morning we spent make repairs, bringing on new rope and provisions and moving slow. We wern’t pressed for time so the day progressed at a relaxing cruise.
then the blue haired woman and everybody showed up. Soon we noticed a foul smell coming off the water and many of the boys began to feel sick. Out of the water came these three fish demons, smelling like rotten fish. One of them spit out a sea gull which began to talk. Yeah, the gull talked. It spoke for the Rotten Fish, possessed by them I suppose. It said they were the Sycophanti and they came for the ‘scripture’. It wern’t right they way they spoke, the way they looked at us, the way they seemed, well, like boot lickers from hades. They did not like being refused and so a fight broke out. “
“The fight was hard. For one, these dead fish kept vomiting stuff at us and they were casting spells, making illusions, and such. Quadira fought well but was made to think the Elven Bard was one of them. Poor Bard lost a right bonnie rapier into the sea. I kilt one of the deamons due to a grand mistake I made: The Wizard grabbed my pistol trying to ward it or something. Anyways, he must have distracted me for I accidently doubled up on the powder. I was lucky I didn’t blow me hand off but instead the bullet shot out at such a force that it blew up the Dead Fish, causing it to explode. My crew was brave, although slightly worried about curses, and with some help from the elves, we were able to send those demons back to hell.”
“Well, the rest of the day was all about recovering and resting up. But let me tell you what them elves did next ~”
I must end my record here for one of the Captain’s sailors has just come in to inform us that another ship is approaching Swan’s Harbor, and it is flying a Foustic Flag.