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Week Eight

October 9th, 1997
Avg. Rating: 4.0

Silvercarn, Aproth 17th, Year of the Shield

Early on this morning, just as the city's light spheres began glowing brighter, Balrishuya came to the party's quarters and told them there was something they should see outside. They all swam out of the building just in time to behold a creature, larger than any they had ever seen, towing the entire Lucky Lady to a position just outside of town. Almost before it settled into the sandy bottom there were dozens of sea elf laborers beginning its repairs; with any luck, the party would be able to start back for Waterdeep in about a week (remember, that's about ten days, not seven).

The repairs, however, were quickly interrupted by the sound of warning signals. A large sahuagin war party had slipped into one of the sea elves' burial areas and had begun desecrating the dead. In seconds the town had sprung to life; warriors from all over swam out to face their enemies.

Balrishuya remained with the party for a few moments, until he realized that the attack on the burial ground was just a ruse- many more sahuagin and sharks began invading from the opposite direction. Balrishuya urged everyone to stay close to their quarters, out of harm's way, then swam off to alert the others.

As more and more sahuagin swarmed the city the party decided to help fight them off. The battle was quick, and bloody, but Laellyn was successfully defended from the "sea devils". During the battle Juliet was nearly blind-sided by a sahuagin with a sword, but someone saved her life by slaying the creature from behind. Though she never saw her benefactor, they did leave behind a small memento- a beautifully forged bluesteel shortsword, still imbedded in the sahuagin's back. Kelly received perhaps the worst injuries among the party members: her right hand, left arm, and left foot were all severely wounded. It's a miracle she survived at all. Erik fared much better: he single-handedly killed one of the sahuagin's marauding sharks, sustaining no injuries himself except for his hands. Finally, Einor was also badly wounded in the fray, once again falling unconscious from his injuries.

As the sea elves began the task of clearing the dead and sending out patrols, the party tended to its wounded. Talyth, who had been elsewhere during the attack, returned to their quarters to find Einor and Kelly still unconscious. He sat down on the floor and began playing another flute, this one made of coral. After a few moments everyone felt much better; even Kelly and Einor regained consciousness.

The party talked together for a while, recounting their tales of the battle, when Talyth was asked to tell the tale of the Sad Queen, Amlaruil. He hesitated for a second, took a deep breath, then recounted the story.

Close to 200 years ago, many lifetimes for a human, a joyous handfastening was celebrated on the island of Evermeet. Prince Zoar, a great warrior and eldest son to King Lameesh, had returned from a long campaign against the Goblins of the Fallen Lands, and had asked an elven maiden named Amlaruil to be his wife. Amlaruil and Zoar had long been lovers, but had been separated for nearly thirty years as Zoar struggled against the evil goblinoids. The day that Zoar returned to Evermeet, safe and unharmed, was the happiest day of Amlaruil's long life; she later told one of her confidantes, "I never believed that I would live again, but my heart has finally returned to me".

For many, many years the two enjoyed their life together, traveling the Realms and seeking adventures. Eventually King Lameesh, then almost 600 years old, chose to pass on to Arvanaith, the final paradise of the elven people, and Zoar and Amlaruil returned to Evermeet as King and Queen. They ruled side by side for over 100 years, and no other rulers have ever been as adored and honored as they.

One day, however, a curious high-elf washed up on the shores of Evermeet. His back was bleeding from a mark which had been carved there, a circle around a dragon's claw. His clothing was strange, his accent unfamiliar, and he would not say exactly from where he had come; but he seemed to have a gentle heart, and he could tell tales such as had never been heard, even in the great halls of Evermeet. He and Zoar and Amlaruil became fast friends, then inseparable family. If this elf had a name he never spoke it to anyone, yet he was given quarters in the royal palace and never wanted for a thing.

Then, without warning, like a thunderbolt from the sky...he betrayed and murdered Zoar. With the blood still warm on his hands he attempted to force himself upon Amlaruil, but the palace guard had already burst upon the scene. Vastly outnumbered and cornered, the traitor was still somehow able to escape, and has never been seen since. It's impossible to count the number of elves who have sworn blood oaths to kill him, how many mages and priests have sought him out. Yet not so much as a single clue has ever been found.

To say that Amlaruil was devastated does not even begin to scratch the surface of her pain. Zoar was not the only one to die that day; he was just the only one to be buried. And yet, what was she to do? Certainly none could fault her for choosing to follow Zoar into Arvanaith- but what of her people? She was needed, especially in the face of such a horrific tragedy. So Amlaruil swore an oath to her people, that she would not desert them, indeed would never see Arvanaith until Zoar's killer was found.

That was forty years ago. In that time not a soul has found or seen Zoar's assassin, yet still they search. And Queen Amlaruil, the Sad Queen? If it's possible, her people love her even more now. There isn't an elf alive who wouldn't sacrifice himself for her. She chose her people's lives over her own, and that they will not forget. They search diligently for the traitor not only to exact vengeance for the death of their King, but to allow their Sad Queen the sweet rest she so richly deserves.

With the story told, Talyth excused himself and left the party in their quarters, to ponder the things they had heard. Talyth was not seen for a few days, so the party followed their own pursuits: Erik began looking for an armorer to help him fashion something out of the skin of the shark he killed; Juliet rested, trying to recuperate from her wounds; Kelly asked Balrishuya if there was a mage she could speak with; and Einor, despite his wounds, seemed in good spirits (he even bet Kelly a cask of fire wine vs. a dance with her that his rib would heal before her arm).

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Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we've got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don't like because other people read them.
--C.S. Lewis