Green Regent 2004 - Stories|
SHIELDMEET 1372 DR
Loudwater, the City of Grottos
Loudwater was packed with people for the Midsummer/Shieldmeet festival of 1372 DR. A new Green Regent was to be chosen and no one wanted to miss it. Many bets were being made right up to the start of the ceremony. The odds on favorite was Stedd Rein, the young champion of the night of the blood moon. Stedd was credited with saving the city from the rampage of the Malarites. He was young and energetic and had developed a large following. The longest odds were for one Blaz Merrymar, a disgruntled halfling merchant from Shining Falls. On the morning of Shieldmeet, a huge crowd gathered around the High Moon Market under the High Lord's Hall. High Lord Kalahar Two Hands, Gauntlets Harazos Thelbrimm and Jaida Zerezeal, and Prior Athosar of the Houses of Morning presided over the gathering.
Several hours after sunrise, a large party of humanoids was seen approaching the city. In the middle of the procession were two men carrying a large clay urn between them. As the group neared the city, people could see that there were seven human and elven druids of The Circle of the Stag and with them were about a dozen other humanoids wearing heavy cloaks—odd for the middle of summer.
The druids entered the city and convinced the guards that their companions should be allowed to come with them. As the large group made their way to the High Moon Market people strained to see who the dozen strangers were. Wild rumors about who they could be flowed to and fro through the crowd. When the cloaked figures finally arrived in the market, they threw back their hoods and all could see they were orcs! A dozen orcs in the center of Loudwater! Guards reached for swords, Stedd Rein leaped forward and put his sword to the throat of what appeared to be the leader of the orcs. Orcs raised falchions and greataxes to fight back. "Halt!" commanded Kalahar. "Auf Deutsch!" commanded the young orc leader, as he stood proudly and defiantly showing no fear of Stedd's sword. There was a tense standoff as everyone was ready for a bloodbath.
Kalahar summoned the druids to him and they had a short but heated discussion. When it was over Kalahar spoke to the crowd. "The orcs are here as minions in Mielikki's realm, they have a right to participate." He looked to his guards and to Stedd, "put down your arms and step back." Then he looked at the orc leader, "what is your name and which are your tribes?" The orc leader spoke in halting common, "I am Otar, the orcs I with are different tribes of High Forest. I seek to help Mielikki." Kalahar responded "You and the orcs with you are welcome in Loudwater for the duration of the ceremony. Please have them lower their weapons." Otar commanded the orcs to comply.
The crowd was shocked at Kalahar's pronouncement. Halitan Phelaniityr, the patriarch of the city's only sun elf house walked out on the ceremony and took his entire house with him. Stedd Rein was almost shaking with anger. But everyone obeyed Kalahar and the orcs were allowed to participate.
With tension heavy in the warming summer day the participants in the ceremony gathered in the center of the crowd. The greendraught was poored out of the large clay urn into the Lady's Chalice and the first drink was given to Stedd Rein. The proud young champion drank the Chalice and handed it back to the druids with a smile. He raised his fist in the air and the crowd cheered. Then he faltered slightly. His hand came down to his stomach then he doubled over and the greendraught spewed from his mouth. Stedd stumbled away stunned. The crowd gasped. Stedd, the favorite to become the Green Regent, had not even been chosen as a Scion.
Several more people drank from the Chalice, some keeping it down and some not. Then came Blaz Merrymar, the halfling merchant that always seemed to be in a dour mood. He stepped up to the druids glaring at the orcs the whole way, almost daring them to take him on. He defiantly swiped the Chalice from the druid's hand and chugged it down. He stood there for a couple seconds then doubled over and spewed the drink at the high druid's feet. The druid seemed none too pleased, but waited paitenly for Blaz to clean himself up and furiously walk away. Many more took turns, more failing than succeding. Finally it came to the orcs. Otar took the first drink. The crowd gasped in amazement when he did not regurgitate the concoction. When Stedd saw what happened he glowered at Kalahar and walked away. Kalahar did not acknowledge him. The rest of the orcs took their turns, some kept the greendraught down and some did not.
When the last orc was finished, the druids summoned all those who had kept the greendraught down to them and led them out of the astonished town. That night everyone was talking about the orcs. Most of the town was unhappy with High Lord Kalahar and with the druids of Mielikki. High Lord Kalahar tossed and turned all night. "Surely Mielikki will not make an orc the Green Regent" he worried.
|suggestions||top | campaigns|