100 - WHAT AIDAN KNOWS

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100 - WHAT AIDAN KNOWS

Post  Admin on Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:14 am

Capital: Taer Valaestas
Population: 70,000 (43% elves, 28% humans, 15% half-elves, 5% halflings, 5% hobgoblins, 4% other races)
Exports: Horses, mercenary services
Languages: Elven, Common

Twelve months have passed since Aidan returned from exploring the desert, having discovered and partially investigated the ruins of the ghostly Taer Saeden fortress, where it is said the final last battle between Valaes Tairn and Dhakaani forces was fought to its supernatural end in ancient times. He had also experienced a supernatural encounter with horrid undead creatures in an abandoned outpost containing an unusual machine when the Zephyr Breeze had crashed during a sandstorm.

He has learned that the Valaes Tairn, or Valenar as his bloodline is named, were not exiled from Aerenal as he may have thought but rather they were the military strength, a mercenary force, that chose to leave their homeland in search of honour in battle and glory, 11,018 years ago, which is when their first remote outposts were established in what is now the south-eastern portion of the continent of Khorvaire.

There is also another startling fact that Aidan learns; the Valenar elves are not a peace-loving people. They are essentially an occupation force, having claimed and annexed the lands of Cyre initially on behalf of Aerenal and then more recently in the name of the Vales Tairn to remember their fallen ancestors and to name it as their spiritual homeland. Ever since, they have trained and waited for another war. A war that may never come, but a war to remove them all the same. There are factions among the Vales Tairn that are more cult-like than any rational citizen among the five nations of Khorvaire could ever imagine. Those elves would welcome death in battle so as to honour the heroic memories of their fallen ancestors, those who died to wrest the sands themselves from the Dhakaani empire.

While rare, links to the elven homeland are maintained to this day, so there is not the supposed isolation that Aidan had originally believed existed. The most immediate contact with Arenal for the Valenar people is the Aereni Ambassador, Daellin Corelaeth in Gideon City, through the embassy Aidan once visited when he was there.

Aidan has gained knowledge, faith and martial skills:

KNOWLEDGE

Aidan has learnt much of his former heritage and the culture and traditions of the Valenar bloodline to which he belongs. He has also been studying maps and texts in search of evidence that may point towards the locations of old fortresses and guard towers that once stood proudly when there was conflict against the Dhakaani, ten thousand years ago.

He now knows that elves may live as much as 750 years and that half-elves might live as many as 185 years in comparison.

Sadly, he recalls little about his family, save that he was very small when his mother and father were slain near Karrnath shortly after the Last War (the war between Khorvaire's Five Nations) had formerly concluded with the signing of a Treaty of Threshold in YK996. He was orphaned and subsequently raised in the streets of Gideon and then tutored as a scholar when his potential was realised. He has fruitlessly scoured the records of Taer Valaestes' vast library in the hope that he might find some specific fragment of relevance to his past. On some days this has been a point of obsession for him.

+2 Levels Lore Master (DMG 3.5 ed p190)
Knowledge (Valaes Tairn) +10 ranks
Knowledge (Dhakaani) +10 ranks
Knowledge (Progenitors) +2 ranks
Knowledge (Blade Desert) +10 ranks

Further studies have taught Aidan that the elves of both Arenal and the Valenar have had the following ties to Dragonmarks appear through their history:

Phiarlan – Mark of Shadow - performance, illusion, entertainers
Thuranni – Mark of Shadow – performance, illusion, entertainers (dark natured)
Medani – Mark of Detection – Half Elves – counter espionage, etc
Lyrandar – Mark of Storm – Half Elves – air and sea trade
Mark of Death – the so called “lost mark”, believed to be exterminated a long time ago when elf turned on elf when the Undying Court declared the bloodline of Vol should be destroyed.

FAITH

Aidan has received mentoring and direct spiritual guidance from venerable elder Shaevath Tarathalas, a Keeper of the Past (400 years) with high standing in the Temple of the Ages. He has taught him of the unaligned faith, “The Spirits of the Past” and has instilled the basic principles of that into Aidan's consciousness:

Remember the great deeds and people of the past, and try to emulate or even surpass them
Look to history and tradition for strength
Nothing is true today that wasn't true in the past; it just wears different trappings

This provides Aidan with:

+1 Level Adept (DMG 3.5 ed p107 - +6 HP, +2 WILL, Concentration 2 ranks, Spellcraft 2 ranks, 3 osirons – create water, guidance, mending and one 1st level spell – comprehend languages)

MARTIAL SKILLS

Equally, Aidan has received martial lore lessons to better equip him with the ability to defend himself as some of the Valaes Tairn – notably very skilled nomadic horse-riding war clan warriors – have regarded him with some derision for his weakness and scholarly ways. “Become one of us by training as one of us and prove your worth and strength to the Valaes Tairn. Do this and we will accept you, fail and we will disown you,” they told him. He trained and subsequently passed the warrior combat and war horse riding trials.

His martial lore tutor is Lorian Tiraleth (175 years) who is very stern, an accomplished war band leader, and not quite middle aged.

+2 Levels (Ranger PHB 3.5ed p46)



CURRENT SITUATION

Ahlissa has been using the Zephyr Breeze on aerial reconnasisance patrol missions (and supply runs) for the Valaes Tairn warbands.

Ahlissa has recently become betrothed to Ivistar Immiar, a Warlord of the Valaes-Tairn. He has high standing and is a favoured warrior of High King Shaeras Vadallia. Unfortunately he is hot headed and has a chaotic nature about him. He tends to provoke conflict on the Valenar borders, for he seeks to prove the honour and glory of the Valaes Tairn. He admires the decisive action that Ahlissa took against the xenophobic mages of Zanarkand. He tolerates Aidan but perceives him as a weakling and constantly reminds him of this fact. Ahlissa scolds him but her defensive remarks are ignored.

Aidan has learnt that the Valaes Tairn typically shun the use of the airships because they prefer to ride their warhorses across the sands. For them, it is a matter of honour and strength or battle prowess. That said, they do recognise the tactical advantage and resupply value of the airships and, of them all, the Zephyr Breeze, commanded by Ahlissa, is the most highly respected vessel. Particularly noted for its heroic actions against the Arcane Council in Zanarkand during the height of Saius' xenophobic reign when the progenitor explosive device was dropped on the Pentagon Chambers.

AIRSHIPS

In total, a fleet of four airships are available to the Valaes Tairn and all are under the command of elves who are either dragonmarked or sponsored by the House of Lyrandar.

The Zephyr Breeze is the most advanced, having been outfitted with a mixture of both magical enhancements and also refurbished remnants of progenitor technology. The exact nature of the progenitor systems onboard this airship is a closely guarded secret.

The remaining three airships are the Zephyr Cloud, Zephyr Spirit and the Zephyr Storm.

There have been rumours and possibly sightings of a larger airship in the vincinity of the Valenar lands and the Blade Desert, often during violent storms. It has been dubbed StormBringer.

PROGENITORS

Aidan has been told little about the progenitors, other than they are distantly related to the elves of Arenal and some of the Valaes Tairn suggest that perhaps Aren himself, the founder of the Areni culture and first-gifted of the elven prophecy, was possibly one of them when he led the elven slaves to freedom from their life of servitude to the giants in X'endrik.

The progenitors are believed to be not of Khorvaire, that they came to the continent long ago by way of mighty ships that could travel the void, or perhaps the Astral Sea. Some say they are the distant cousins of the Eladrin and others have uttered another name for their unearthly origin, LeShay, said to be elves of old who ascended beyond the sky and became immortal.

Ancient structures are known to have been left behind by the progenitors across Khorvaire, and possibly in the other continents of the world too. The only one discovered in recent times was the infamous “Deck Nine” which proved instrumental in sundering Izendraaz't's fortress into many pieces when it entered through the manifest portal as Mabar drew to a co-terminous position above the crater lake near Zanarkand.

The Blade Desert has begun to regenerate as the Wasteland Druid has been able to bring life back to the negatively tainted sands. Zanarkand and Midgar remain ruined and lifeless and the crater lake remains completely drained.

The Valaes Tairn have opened their borders and a small but steady influx of outsiders has begun to arrive. These visitors are viewed with some suspicion and a measure of distrust for the Valenar know their mercenary activities have earned them many enemies across the Five Nations. As a precaution, the new arrivals are confined to the outskirts of Taer Valaestas.

Among the new arrivals are:

Academics from the Morgrave Outreach Society
Agents of the Emerald Claw
Several adventuring parties from Gideon City


ACCOMODATION

The High King has insisted that Aidan is by all accounts a long lost brother who has been returned to his bloodline's homeland. In recognition of his recent exploits in locating Taer Saeden he has gifted a two story house that is constructed of sand stone and alabaster. It is furnished however Aidan sees fit and whatever he requires can be obtained via the airships and Gideon City. It has all been paid for (within reason).

BLUE

The small midnight blue dragonscale bound book that Aidan knows as “Blue” no longer communicates with him. While the book remains, its pages have gone blank. No doubt Aidan retains it in the faint hope that perhaps the spirit of the last Valenar elf (perhaps his ancestor?) who had become entrapped in Zanarkand and slain by its Founders will one day speak to him again.

XANTHAR

Aidan has not heard from this wizard since being returned from the Lightning Plane where the genus loci's twin was encountered, after Aidan and Xanthar gated there when Izen'draazt broke through to Zanarkand when Mabar and Eberron became co-terminous.


DREAMS

Aidan has recently begun having strange dreams. In them he is aware of being watched by something that remains unseen, something that is surrounded by shadows. It makes him feel afraid yet also compelled to let it draw closer. As dark clouds and lightning engulf him in the dream, he becomes aware of a burning sensation on his chest. It is always at this moment that he awakens. When he does so, the burning sensation remains but rapidly subsides. The Keepers of the Past do not know what his dream means but some have suggested that he is tainted or that he is possibly in danger from something. A few have said it forbodes the awakening of something.

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