Welcome to the New Age

Unification part One

Hail to the King, baby

May 29-30, 25NA

The Heralds return home after a wearying journey to find the town of Grayson once more under threat by outside forces.  This time the threat is the fey lord named Dialb, whom the party had encountered the year before in their mission to cure the poisoning of Gwythr ap Llewellyn.  Dialb now controls the northern portions of the Greywinder Wood, as well as the gate to the Feywild.  He is making his presence known in the area as he threatens the elves of Caer Nimir.

While they were gone, Mayor Bruce Courdry and his adventuring companions travelled to the remains of the Pentagon, braving the lair of the Illithids there to rescue Nancy Healy, now pregnant with a child, and strangely rejuvenated by her experiences.  Mayor Courdry, too has expressed an inner reserve of energy not seen for many years in the town Grayson.  Bruce and Nancy are engaged to be married.

In the midst of the heroes having misgivings about the goings on in Grayson, Lord Gwythr ap Llewellyn and Master Grunr Stormborn maneuver Bruce Courdry into accepting a position of greater authority over the area…

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Home.

It’s changed, but it’s home.

My exhaustion made the experience all a little more surreal, being challenged by guards on our way in (was that Jason Dreier? With people at his command?), having to assure people that yes, we were alive. (There are so many Elves here now, and Dwarves…)

Finally someone said the magic word, “food” and steered us to the Highwayman’s Rest. We were allowed to eat, although they gave us nothing too rich. But it was warm, and cooked properly, and we got to sit at a real table to eat it. Someone set a runner to fetch the Mayor, and by the time he arrived we had all stuffed ourselves as best as we could.

He clapped his hands on Declan’s and my shoulders, and thanked God we were back (as several others had before him). He told us that Baldric had (of all things) saved the town, warning them of dangers to come. And then, practically dancing with excitement, he asked if we were done eating and would we come to his place?

Gareth (knowing the size of Courdry’s home) suggested our place might be better, but the Mayor insisted. So, leaving our baggage behind (oh it felt so freeing to just walk!), we followed him home.

His home has been completely transformed, it’s a proper house now. Thinking this was the source of his excitement, I congratulated him. He absently said thank you, but then strangely, he went inside and called out “I’m back, and I have a surprise!”

He ushered us in, and to my complete shock (and Declan’s too, I think), there was Mother. She looked younger? somehow, and was starting to show a pregnancy. Bruce bubbled out an explanation that he had gathered a group of adventurers and taken them to the Pentagon to seek her out. They had rescued her, along with several other prisoners.

Myself, I barely heard him, my focus entirely on Mother. She rose and crossed the room, gave me a hug.

It… it was hard. I wanted to believe it was her, but, it was just so… When she hugged me I couldn’t help but stiffen, and the moment I had dreamed of, of being reunited with her, burst with a dose of cold reality.

After a moment, she asked where Declan was, and I gestured to him, glad to have her attention off of me for a moment while I gathered my thoughts. I could tell he had his misgivings as well, but he seemed to be able to put them aside a little better than I did. (although I didn’t quite catch his reaction when she said she could see something of our father in him now).

And then she said, interrupting Bruce’s talk of recent news, “We’re going to have to have them be part of the wedding!” Just as I was starting to wrap my head around it all, there was another kink in the works.

Finally, before we could launch into a report, or my mother could convince us to stay with her tonight, Bruce gently suggested we go home and talk more in the morning.

The next morning, as early as we could manage, Declan and I took the walk to the Tower, to have a private word with Magister Aelwen.

She understood our hesitations about Mother, and did her best to allay our fears. She gave us a brief overview of their mission to D.C., and even confided in us the reason she agreed to go. She also shared our concerns about what her baby might be – so far it has defied any magical means to answer that question.

From the Tower, we tried to seek Grumbar, but he had closeted himself away before the council meeting, and so we were left to wait. We gave our report (and as usual, they questioned everything, trying to examine everything from every angle).

When we thought we were finally winding down, Grunr Stormborn and Lord Gwythr ap Llewellyn entered the room. (I was pleased that even as serious as their errand was, that Grunr made sure to catch my eye and give me a wink) They came with the request for Mayor Courdry to lead their forces, in the face of Dialb, and potentially other threats. They believed that resistance was going to must come from Grayson.

When he (not surprisingly) sputtered at the suggestion they looked to us for our input. I saw the wisdom in presenting Dialb with a united front, and added that such a thing was likely to happen only if there was one leader and not three.

After some debate (I think Bruce was hoping someone would save him), he agreed to take charge. He protested when both leaders bent their knees, but was stopped as Llewellyn proclaimed:

“We accept you as liege lord. You will command our forces, and afterwards you will make sure all of our peoples have what they need to prosper together.”

Unification part One
 

I want to believe everything is OK. I so deeply, desperately need it all to be OK.

I feel so broken and lost inside. I try to pretend that everything at the Smithsonian was some sort of nightmare. I try to pretend that who I am now erases all of that.

For a time, I had almost convinced myself.

Then we got home.

Mother is here, rescued from those things and pregnant with something. Mother and Mayor Courdrey seem off… All of this seems too convenient. Like someone (or something) is trying really hard to make us believe everything is OK.

It makes my scales crawl.

Unification part One
PatW

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