The Midlands Histories

The Race: Part I

The images that haunted Lam’s dreams that night were not vivid, but when he awoke at a sharp rap on the door of the room the guild has assigned him, he remembered them well enough. Visions of the crypt clutched just at the edge of memory, and slowly faded, as dreams do.

The great hall1

Talendil, Mara-kai, Bree and Lam all awoke that morning to find that a meeting had been called. Voices drifted up the stairs from the main hall, along with the scents of the morning meal. It seemed like every member of Luthien’s was present, and Daryn stood on the small dais at the back of the long hall. As the crowd settled in with their bread, cheese, and freshly picked berries, he addressed them. The purpose of this meeting, he said, was to discuss the race that normally occurs every year at this time. The race had been set aside with the coming of the Faire to Arislen, but now that it had passed, it was time to prepare and that meant electing a group to represent the guild in the competition.

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Winds of Fortune

Author: DM Dracowayfarer

We’re part of a story, part of a tale
Sometimes beautiful, sometimes insane
No one remembers how it began.

— Within Temptation, “Never Ending Story”

In the Vale, the start of every season is welcomed with a great Faire.

As Winter was breathing its final, frigid breaths, the people of the Vale gathered together to celebrate its passing, and this year, the city of Arislen played host to the Spring revels. For days leading up to the Spring equinox, a village-sized assortment of tents, carts, stages, and attractions gathered outside the walls of the city. Within the city, businesses, guilds, and the nobility made their own preparations for the influx of visiting celebrants.

Faire1

Such an event is viewed by some guilds, especially adventuring outfits, as a prime recruitment opportunity. Luthien’s Golden Leaves, being one of the larger adventuring guilds in the city, sent out many of its members to find fresh faces to swell its ranks.

Lam, recently recruited to the guild himself, was put to just that task in the fields outside the city, and among the throngs of patrons and spectators he discovered Bree, Talendil, and Mara-kai. He brought to the guild’s tent on the fairegrounds, where each was awarded a 50 gold recruitment bonus for agreeing to join the guild. Once that business was concluded, Lam collected the 15 gold per head promised to those who were sent out recruit.

As the Faire concluded, in a public ceremony on the grand stage, representatives from the Winter Court of Faerie symbolically enacted the transfer of authority to representatives of the Spring Court. Talendil, seeing familiar faces among the Winter Court delegation, did his best to remain unseen.

When the group finally made their way back into the city, Guildmaster Daryn instructed Lam to give the newcomers a tour of Luthien’s guild hall. After a night of rest there, the group was offered its first assignment: to investigate rumors of bandits raiding a small farming village and holding up travelers just outside of Arislen.

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