After a brief by the mysterious Council of Shade about a song bird that must be brought back alive from an inn in Celene, The Bluebird, we set off for the Faerie Kingdom of Celene. Seemingly, a simple task at first glance, this turned into anything but.
We set down several miles outside of the capitol, Enstad, and hiked into it’s wide gardens, farmland which eventually gave way to majestic rock, trees, and buildings that seemed to grow organically into it’s current forms and blend with it’s surroundings. Signing into the city with relative ease, we made our way to the Bluebird Inn.
D’arcon made little time between our arrival to the establishment and the interrogation and began to ask questions about the bird that the inn was so aptly named. Not only did he gather that the bird would be moved and brought before Queen Yolande to “brighten her spirits”, but the line of questioning drew suspicion and before we knew it we’d have an entire city, if not nation, pursuing us.
As the city guards were summoned, D’arcon flew into action creating chaos where none existed moments before. Quickly he cast a sphere of darkness, thrust a bird cage into Leuwiss’ hands and made him invisible.
As the barkeep swung wildly into the darkness with a sword and with people now in utter panic, pouring out of the bar and into the streets, D’arcon, Echo, and the Ranger joined the crowds, each going their separate way. Being invisible, Leuwiss had no problem slipping out of the city walls and back to the ship. When one hour became four or more, Leuwiss knew something had befallen the rest of the crew.
Tokala, Leuwiss’ faithful fox familiar, was instructed to infiltrate the city and track the companions down. D’arcon later relayed to Leuwiss, the crafty fox swiped keys to the gaol tower where they were all held and they made a dangerous escape, setting many other prisoners free as well until a mob was formed and overtook the gaol by sheer numbers. The bird, it seems, had the “magical ability” to lighten the moods of others, something that those who surrounded the isolationist Queen saw as a way to move forward and get past the death of her beloved consort many, many generations ago. Upon Tokala’s return and the feeling relayed to him by my fox, and given past actions by the crew, Leuwiss took to the skies.
His sister, Marjolaine, proving to be more of a help than anyone ever might have thought imaginable, cried from the ballista deck, “There! Starboard! And there! Portside!”
Tokala and Marjolaine struggled and dropped the anchor with some difficulty. Everyone understood, this would be their means of escape. D’arcon was first to be picked up. Echo and the Ranger, running from knights on horseback, were picked up after Leuwiss swung the anchor through a grouping of the knights in pursuit, knocking them like pins stood on their ends. Being of keen mind, all clambered up the rope and reeled it in.
“We’ve got company! To the ballistas!” Leuwiss ordered.
Celenese Knights on hippogryphs came for us. D’arcon, in a moment of conscience, questioned whether we should harm them and Leuwiss explained he just needed bought time to reorient the direction and purpose of the ship. They came at us and flung arrows at the ship. An airborne knight struck D’arcon in the shoulder as another circled around and attempted to land on the ship. A ballista round was spent and whizzed by two of the Knights while Echo helped reload the ballista with D’arcon. The ranger took out one hippogyphs mounted with a knight. Leuwiss signaled, via his sister, that we would be headed to wildspace. Everyone held on tight as we bucked the unsure footing of the knight and his steed attempting to board, sending both cartwheeling off the sides of the rounded tortoise-shaped roof.
Safely far into Oerth’s atmosphere, D’arcon began to explain that he thought the bird wasn’t a bird at all, but something intelligent. D’arcon demonstrated his hunch by asking the “bird” yes or no answerable questions. Astonished by this discovery, Leuwiss decided return back down and into Greyhawk after nightfall.
“We’ll need Simone,” Leuwiss said as we walked along the 4th floor of the Spelloyal candy shop. Out into the streets we marched, over to The Fat of the Hog where Simone resided in the apartment there. Simone, startled, answered the door in full armor and knives drawn. She’d been training, she explained, and D’arcon burst into her apartment with the bird in a cage.
“You brought me a bird,” She dead-paned sarcastically, “How thoughtful.”
D’arcon quickly explained that we stole the bird from an inn, in Celene, and he has strong reason to suspect that the bird was a person. Being completely business, Simone said she’d be back in an hour with help. She had a favor to call in to a priest of St. Cuthbert.
In the hour that came, Simone was back. And in her company, a dozy-eyed old coot who I assumed was a cleric. He asked us to be quiet as he donned a cap and a holy symbol and asked for a curse to be lifted. Motes of light appeared around the bird and soon there stood a young grey elf man who, no more than 20 human years of age!
The cleric quickly wrapped his cloak around the elven man’s modesty and muttered at us under his breath. Simone exchanged the cloak for a set of clothes as they were both roughly the same size. The elf began an outpouring of thanks to all of us. Simone quickly wrapped up the business with the cleric on the side with some agreed understanding.
The elf, Tanniske, explained that a hag witch, Black Agnes, turned him and his adventuring companions into animals and sold them off. Some were dinner for her cat. Leuwiss rudely jumped ahead and guessed he was a bard, due to his storytelling and he confirmed this to be true. D’arcon asked him if he knew of a song. A song that not many people might know and he confirmed that, yes, indeed he had. We informed him that he had to sing it for a great mage, which considering his recent state, he didn’t seem to mind.
And off we went, returning to the Valley of the Mage to collect on our rewards.