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    The Silver Wolf-A Light In The Dark: Chapter Three: The Faintest Of Trails
    Posted on Thu, August 24, 2017 by LordCeb
    CruelSummerLord writes "

    North by north east…

    In the hills, built stone on stone like cairn…

    The innocent plead for deliverance…

    At the giant’s cloven beard…

    Chapter Three

    The Faintest Of Trails

    Just as Weimar had predicted, he, Luna, Ma’non’go and Seline arrived in Hardby nine days after they had celebrated Seline’s birthday. In less than an hour, they had left the city, traveling north to the Free City of Greyhawk along the main roads. 

    The month of Wealsun had just begun, and summer was in full bloom. The sun shone brightly down on fields of wildflowers and large copses of poplar and elm trees at the side of the road, making for a pleasant view as the travelers passed them by. The adventurers passed the time by discussing what they would do when they arrived in Greyhawk, and telling one each other more about their pasts and homelands.

    After three days on the road, the companions were only a few hours’ travel away from reaching Greyhawk. The sun was beginning to set, and the companions were exhausted from the long walk they’d already had. While they might have reached Greyhawk if they traveled through the night, they were more interested in finding some place to sleep. 

    “Where are we going to stop for the night?” Luna asked, shielding her eyes as she looked further down the road.

    “I told you we should have stopped at the last inn!” Seline reproached Weimar.

    “With those prices?” Weimar asked incredulously. “The owners of that place were highway robbers! Besides, we don’t need an inn,” he said, gesturing to the walled manor that stood to the right of the road. “Who’s to say we can’t spend a night in their hayloft?”

    Seline looked at Luna and Ma’non’go, who all shrugged, before they directed their horses to follow Weimar as he approached the manor.

    As they approached the manor, they could see that it was a fine place indeed. Stone walls surrounded a lovingly maintained estate, speckled with copses of trees, flower gardens and ponds arranged in a beautiful pattern. Guards stood at the main gate, gazing at the travelers with intensity but not hostility as they approached.

    “Greetings!” Seline said brightly to the guards as she and her friends reached the gate, leaping off their horses and leading the creatures by the reins. “Do you, perhaps, have a place for a group of weary travelers who would be willing to pay handsomely for your hospitality? A rest in your hayloft would be all that we require…”

    The guards looked at one another, and then back at the travelers.

    “You four seem to be adventurers, are you not?” the leader of the guards asked calmly.

    “Yes, we are,” Weimar replied. “Is that a problem? Because if it is, we can be on our way-“

    “No, you may in fact be the people our lord is searching for,” the leader of the guards shook his head. “He could use the help of talents such as yours…” 


    Seline and her friends had expected to be eating their own plain fare in Count Morin Listell’s hayloft. Instead, they had been brought into the presence of Count Morin himself, accompanied by his wife Jacquileene. The Count’s sitting room was tastefully decorated with art objects, ancestral portraits and sumptuous furniture, much like the drawing-rooms Luna and Seline had experienced as members of House Cranden in the Great Kingdom of Aerdy. Count Morin and Jacquileene would have been equally as distinguished in their finely tailored attire, were it not for the haggard and worn expressions on their faces. They looked as if they had not slept in at least two days, and they appeared to have barely eaten for the same amount of time. When Count Morin spoke, it was with a hoarse croak, as if the very act wearied him.

    “What’s the matter?” Luna asked quietly, her soft voice seeming to put the Listells at ease. “Is there some manner in which we can be of assistance?”

    “Our…our…” the count began, before he fell silent.

    “Teddyrun, my boy…what if they…” Countess Jacquileene started, before tears filled her eyes and she began to cough and sob.

    “Teddyrun is my son and heir,” Count Morin forced himself to speak again, “was kidnapped not two days ago. Taken from his own bedroom, in the middle of the night!”

    The adventurers looked at one another sympathetically, all of them frowning heavily.

    “How did this happen?” Seline asked in a gentle tone. “Have you been able to determine how your son was abducted?”

    “…No,” Jacquileene shook her head. Luna’s and Seline’s tones had calmed her somewhat, and made her more able to speak. “All our guards mentioned was the sight of torches at one of the gates, and the sounds of people shouting and trying to force the gates. The guards went to confront these intruders, but no one was there when they arrived.”

    “No tracks, or anything?” Weimar asked in surprise.

    “No,” Count Morin shook his head. “We searched the entire grounds, and there were no tracks at all, anywhere!”

    Weimar fell into puzzlement at this, wondering how that was even possible, but Luna and Seline looked at each other, realizing that magic was likely involved in Teddyrun’s disappearance. Luna thought on this for several moments, before she spoke up.

    “The monster who abducted your son, whoever it was, no doubt used sorcery to get into and out of your estate,” Luna explained. “I believe that I will be able to track them down,” she continued, as the Listells’ faces rose in hope, “but I will need to prepare the correct spells first. I’ll only be able to do that at sunrise tomorrow.”

    “Of course, of course!” Count Morin smiled widely, his hopes now raised by the adventurers’ presence. “Please, enjoy my hospitality in the meantime! If you can bring Teddyrun home, it will be the least of what I owe you!”

    Weimar, Ma’non’go, Luna and Seline looked at each other determinedly, as they nodded.


    The next morning, Luna sat alone in the midst of the Listell estate, her eyes closed as she faced due east. The sky was still dark, but Luna knew the dawn was approaching, reaching out with her mind to the approaching sunrise. As she waited, she cleared her mind, thinking only of the approaching sun and its god, the god she had devoted her life to. 

    Finally, the first rays of the sun began to emerge on the horizon. Luna felt rather than saw them, felt them caress her as she began to pray. She reached out to Pelor, the god the sun represented, and prayed to him, asking him to bestow on her the blessings she would need to help those who had come to her for aid. Pelor had always taught her to believe in the light, to believe in the blessings that were meant for all those the light shone on, and she prayed for them now. She needed Pelor’s help to find little Teddyrun, and she knew without Pelor’s help the child might well be lost forever. Although Luna had not yet attained that level of grace that would enable her to commune with Pelor directly, she had gained the power to commune with Pelor’s divine servants.

    She asked them for Pelor’s favour, and Pelor’s divine servants, knowing the reasons for her request, granted her desires.

    Opening her eyes, Luna saw that the sunrise was shining brightly. The sun’s rays bathed here in their warmth, as if to confirm Pelor’s approval of what she intended to do.

    Nodding in thanks, Luna adjusted her seat and began chanting. She was sitting at the bank of one of the ponds on the estate, a small pool about ten feet in diameter. Taking a vial filled with walnut oil out of her pocket, she opened it up and poured three drops of the oil into the pool. Putting the vial back in her pocket, Luna began chanting, waving her hands back and forth in the water as she chanted. The water’s reflections of Luna and her surroundings were distorted by the ripples her hands were making, until they were blurred beyond recognition by the constant motion of Luna’s hands. She continued in this way for more than two hours, until new images began to appear in the pond.

    Gazing into the pond, Luna breathed a prayer of thanks to Pelor that the spell had functioned correctly. The Listells had told her all about Teddyrun, which would help her find him with her magical scrying, but even that did not guarantee that her spell would succeed. However, succeed it did, and now Luna gazed upon Teddyrun.

    The pond reflected an image of a little boy, eight years old perhaps, wearing fine but dirty clothes, which he’d probably been wearing when he’d been kidnapped. Tears were pouring down his eyes as he lay slumped in the corner of what looked like a cell in an underground cavern. Luna could make out the bars of a cell, the rough walls of a cave, and faint, flickering torchlight. Other screams and cries played at the edge of Luna’s hearing. She thought she could see other shapes moving vaguely in the background, but she could not be sure.

    Teddyrun was clearly being held underground somewhere, but where, exactly?

    Nodding once, Luna waved her hands through the pond once more, ending her scrying spell. The images in the pond faded, scattered by the ripples her hands were making, and they were soon replaced by the normal reflections of the pond’s surroundings.

    From there, Luna began casting her second spell. She pulled out a candle of incense and a tinderbox from her backpack, lighting the candle. Putting the tinderbox back in her backpack, she then retrieved a bright yellow sunstone, holding it one hand. With her other hand, she took up the pendant she wore around her neck. The pendant was decorated with the image of a stylized sun, within which was the carefully worked face of a benevolent, fatherly man, the holy symbol of Pelor.

    Holding the gemstone in one hand and her holy symbol in the other, Luna raised them to the sky, chanting even as the incense continued burning. In her mind, she conjured an image of Teddyrun and his surroundings, seeking to find where they might be located. She prayed to Pelor to guide her so she and her friends would know where to go to find him, so they could bring him home from the hell he was trapped in.

    The sunstone in one of Luna’s hands crumbled into dust, consumed by the power of the spell as Luna kept chanting. Her holy symbol grew warm in her other hand, telling Luna that the spell was working.

    Soon, Luna felt a voice echoing in her mind, as Pelor gave her a sign. 

    North by north east…

    In the hills, built stone on stone like cairn…

    The innocent plead for deliverance…

    At the giant’s cloven beard…

    Luna’s eyes popped open as she repeated the words over and over, hastening to commit them to memory. For good measure, she wrote the words down on a piece of parchment. Finally, she blew out her incense candle, putting her holy symbol back around her neck and gathering up all of her belongings.

    Luna marched back towards the Listells’ manor house, knowing now where she and her companions needed to go.

    It was time to leave. 


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    Re: The Silver Wolf-A Light In The Dark: Chapter Three: The Faintest Of Trails (Score: 1)
    by RobertJames on Fri, May 12, 2023
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Whoever it was that kidnapped your son, it certainly employed sorcery to enter and exit your estate. - drywall contractors okc

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