The Guild Gets a New Leader

Entry #10

Today is the 22nd of Grekar. I have purchased a Quill of Endless Ink from Alchemists here in the Tri-Arcanum Guild. I will test it now by writing in this journal. I will start by finishing what happened on the 20th of Grekar.

In the afternoon on the 20th of Grekar The Nameless Man, Indaris, and I left our meeting with the scoundrel called Mangy Carl. The others knew him. I only read about him in the books. He offered us a deal to help Xerx’ses win the election. We left to find the others so we could discuss that deal with them. While we walked Indaris began to doubt if we should accept Carl’s help. It wasn’t hard to find where Xerx’ses, Ursus, and Grignak went. Several people were able to tell us they went to see Mustrum Stibbons. He was one of the candidates vying for leadership of the Weavers. We ascended the stairs and were granted entrance to Mustrum’s office. Xerx’ses, Ursus and Grignak were still there.

Mustrum gave Xerx’ses grief about being in a Human shape and size. This is not the first time someone said something like that to him. I do not understand why the guild made these ceilings so short if they would just complain when tall people like Xerx’ses alter their shape so they fit. Xerx’ses and Mustrum talked about the election. Mustrum thought Xerx’ses lacked a spine and was too nice to be leader of the guild. Xerx’ses told him not to confuse politeness for being too nice, and used our fight with Malah to prove his point.

They talked about their mutual desire to keep the guild together. Mustrum’s biggest concern was about Dark Magics. He was worried Xerx’ses would make too many changes. Xerx’ses said he wanted to keep things as they were under Kel-Ed. Xerx’ses affirmed his belief that it was important to study the Dark Arts in order to know how to fight them. That seemed reasonable to me. What other good reason was there to study the Dark Arts?

The conversation was interrupted by Mustrum’s cat. It tried to scratch Ursus but got Grignak instead. The beast had some measure of magical or innate power which almost affected Grignak. Their reaction against the cat’s attack caused it to flee in fear and try to hide behind me. I viewed its aura to discover it was more than a mere feline. Mustrum indicated it was his familiar. He called to the cat and it came over to him. Mustrum then spared some time then to talk with and acknowledge the rest of CrIsis, briefly addressing each of us in turn before resuming his conversation with Xerx’ses.

The Alchemist Greminor Lector was brought up, which displeased Mustrum. He had no love for the man and said Greminor “owed him.” Xerx’ses admitted that Greminor was no friend to CrIsis. That seemed to please him. Xerx’ses said he wanted to improve the guild’s integration with the other races. The intolerance of Humans was remarked upon. Specifically how they had been intolerant ever since they made the Wolfen. Mustrum’s lit pipe fell into his lap in surprise when that was said. Xerx’ses pressed on. Did Mustrum not hear about what CrIsis discovered in Wo’Elfenbrut? About how the Humans and Elves created the Wolfen? Mustrum recovered from his shock. He recommended Xerx’ses keep that bit of trivia to himself for now. He said it would damage any chance he had of getting elected. Linking the Eastern Humans with the Wolfen would be disastrous.

But finally Mustrum agreed to support Xerx’ses. He said he didn’t really want to run anyway. He was only running to try and keep Gul Sharzol from becoming head Weaver. Mustrum warned Xerx’ses that Gwydion had already pledged his support to Gul. There would be no use trying to talk with him. Gul had promised Gideon the “moon and stars.” I think he meant that metaphorically. Probably?

Xerx’ses thanked Mustrum. We left to go talk privately in our rooms. The Nameless Man, Indaris and I shared what Mangy Carl told us. That he would help Xerx’ses but we would do some unspecified task for him in return. We already owed him one task, now we would owe him two. After some time spent in debate we decided to accept his offer. Ursus and I would go find him and let him know. Xerx’ses, The Nameless Man, Indaris and Grignak stayed in the room to meditate. They intended to head to the ceremony at sundown.

The trip to the gardens was uneventful. Compared to the bustle of the morning the guild was practically deserted. We went to the gardens. There I spotted a Goblin in the tree above where we were to meet Carl. We accosted him and he shrilly derided us for it. He said he was to let Carl know when or if we arrived. Then he used his blowgun to make a noise that sounded like a musical orchestra being screamed. We waited. It took about 10 minutes for Carl to arrive. He sounded surprised to hear we would accept his deal. Carl told us all to meet him tomorrow morning at 7:00. He would then tell us how we could fulfill the first of the two favors we owed him. He then left. So did we.

Instead of heading back to the room Ursus and I decided to try and find Rules Master Rincewind. We went to where we thought we remembered Xerx’ses he was but we couldn’t find his office. We then decided see where the election was being held before re-joining our friends. Ursus asked one of the few people around for directions and she was able to help us out. It was in the Internalist tower. On the second floor. We went there but the doors to the area were closed and imposing. Both of us could hear a lot of voices from the other side.

Being a guild of magic, we were concerned about what might happen if we tried to enter. Instead we went back to the room to meet with the rest of CrIsis. We told them that Carl would do what he promised and we were to meet with him the next morning. But a thing bothered me. It seemed as if all the people here in the guild were gathering in that room now. They were not waiting until sundown. What if it started at sundown? I tried to convey my thoughts to the others but the conversation stalled. So I meditated. I meditated on the possibilities of the future. I sought a clairvoyant vision which might show me what awaited us if we stayed on this path.

Trying to glimpse the future is difficult. I can’t always do it. Even when it works the visions are vague, fleeting, and tough to understand. This time worked though. The visions showed me Ursus pawing desperately at the locked door, followed by Xerx’ses kneeling in defeat. I snapped back to reality and shared with the others what I saw. Everyone seemed to understand. Xerx’ses, Indaris and Grignak waited only a little while longer so they could finish their meditations. The rest of us left to secure our seats.

I should have meditated. I was mentally exhausted. All day long I had been using my gifts to support our goal here. I was becoming worried I would not have enough strength left to be useful this evening. But I would be less useful if I wasn’t even there. We reached the doors Ursus and I found earlier. Ursus opened the doors to the auditorium for us to enter and once we were inside the doors slammed shut with a very permanent ring. This was a one-way trip and I was glad Ursus and I didn’t try to get in earlier.

The room was large, about 500 paces wide by 150 paces long. Numerous banquet tables were set up with seats arranged to face the podium in the front of the room. Almost every table was filled with guild members. Gul, Mustrum, and Gwydion were already there. Open seats in the middle were reserved for “honored guests.” Mangy Carl sat at a table in front of that one. At a table in the front right of the room sat Ley-Rhy, Nath Everall, and Tiny. We found out shortly after entering that they saved those seats for us! Once we went up to them they moved to the back and gave us those seats. Tiny warned us not to acknowledge any of the honored guests up front. He said we might disqualify Xerx’ses if we did.

These are the people who were all waiting at the front of the room. Terramore Gleba, a Paladin of Rurga, Bishop Rose Nodeki, a Knight of Dawn, Wesvon Mardeen, another Palladin of Rurga behind the podium, King Hafton of Wisdom, Sir Quixis Ote, a Wisdom Soldier, Charolyn Karath, and Devacious. Oddly I could also see Charolyn and Wesvon sitting at tables among the guild also.

Shortly before sundown Grignak, Indaris and Xerx’ses arrived. Xerx’ses was able to sit up front with us. We were right in front of Mustrum and Elminster’s table so that made sense. There were few other spots left. Indaris found an open spot near the reserved area. Grignak managed to find a spot closer to the back. Looking around some more I could see Gul was at a table front and center. Gwydion was at a table to the front left. Silently I prayed to Apis. “O Great Apis, please give me the strength to support my friends in this endeavor.”

The Palladin of Rurga stepped to the podium. She prayed and threatened us. If something happened to her the Goddess Rurga would know and react accordingly. The King then went up to speak. He said the guild was important to the Eastern Territories. He looked deliberately at Xerx’ses then pledged not to use the guild’s oath again without good reason. He then sat in the reserved area. Devacious spoke briefly then also sat in that area. Terramore said he was told to be brief but he is not. The Paladin of Rurga elbows him and wraps up saying he will record this for posterity. Bishop Rose took her turn to speak. She said she was here as the eldest leader of the church in the Eastern territories. She will make sure the vote is correct, honest, and verified. Everyone else up there said short speeches then sat down.

The floor was then opened for the nominees to give their speeches. Gwydion went first. His speech was long and he spent the whole time bragging about himself. He shielded himself from my powers. He was attacked by some people but he kept talking through it all. At the end of his speech Indaris used ventriloquism to have him say that he threw his full support behind Xerx’ses> Immediately he looked shocked at the sounds which seemed to come from his mouth. He left the podium defeated.

Xerx’ses went up next. He was attacked a lot as he gave his speech. He called Gul “A person who succeeds at failure.” He laughed off the attacks which came at him. Nothing anyone did phased him. He finished his speech and sat back down. Mustrum came up next. True to his word, his speech was about voting for Xerxses. Then he sat back down too.

Gul took the stage confidently. I tried to use my powers on him but in my exhausted state he easily fought me off. In his speech he rebut against what had been said about him. He also was able to ignore much of the magic used against him. Indaris was able to successfully make him Seasick due to his magic. As Gul began throwing up Indaris quietly said, “Not much of a mage if a level one spell affects him.” Only Devacious reacted by busting out in quiet laughter. The Nameless Man used his own untapped psychic energies to teleport his holy scythe The Vindicator, into Gul right as he wiped away vomit from his mouth. The weapon appeared behind him. The blade stuck through his sternum, cutting him in half. He didn’t even have time to be surprised. His soul was sent to Khonshu. His lifeless body was thrown out of the room by Sir Quixis, the Paladin of Rurga, and the Knight. With telekinesis The Nameless Man retrieved his scythe.

Elminster approached the podium last. His speech was simple. “I am the one to vote for if you do not wish to vote for Xerxses.” He spoke about his service as the public face of the Weavers. How he’s recruited others to the guild. The Nameless Man created a Wall of Bone which made it hard for his words to be heard in the back half of the room. Indaris used the time in that speech to create milk and bread with magic on the table of Gul’s followers. When he completed talking Elminster sat back down.

The Palladin of Rurga said for everyone to write who they vote for. Suddenly a quill pen and paper appeared in front of every person. We all cast our votes and left the room. When Grignak turned in his vote he said some very seductive things to the Palladin. She initially brushed him off but by the end of their conversation she was impressed and agreed to meet him in his room at midnight. We waited while they counted the votes. It didn’t take too long. Xerx’ses won. The next morning he would be indoctrinated as the new leader of the Weavers.

That night Grignak did not get much sleep due to the sexual encounters he had arranged. The rest of us slept well. We awoke on the 21st of Grekar. Xerxses was brought up to the tower by the other two leaders for his indoctrination. There he recited the oaths and discovered Mustrum was named as his second. In between the private business they discussed Wesvon asked Xerx’ses if Grignak would be able to join him this evening. Xerx’ses said he would ask Grignak and added that if Elf girls would be there, he may join them too. Wesvon sadly told him he doesn’t mix business and pleasure. Now that they were “business partners” it would be awkward for him to join them. Xerx’ses then asked Charolyn if they were business partners too? She blushed and said yes. Xerx’ses said, “Oh, shit.”

At 7:00 Indaris, The Nameless Man, Grignak, Ursus and I met with Mangy Carl. He asked Grignak about his evening and says he is impressed. He tossed me a bracelet with two gems. He said it would allow me to “keep up” with Xerxses and Grignak. He swore upon Xerx’ses name that the bracelet is all boon and no bane. Great Apis answered my prayer in a most unexpected way.

Carl asked where we were going next. He wanted to know so he could give us a job that didn’t take us out of our way. We told him Byzantium. He said to us that Fala has taken things out of sorts. She has damaged much business by persuading the king to give away his kingdom. By allowing Terosh to wreak havoc. He wants us to dispose of her and says it will help us as well as him. Carl adds that Minishmee was good for business and he’ll make a much better king. I realized as we talked that we would not have to assassinate Fala. “Dispose” doesn’t mean “kill.” We would just have to remove Fala from power and put Minishmee in power. I raised that point and Carl agreed to the re-wording, as did the rest of CrIsis. He then said we could take care of Terosh first if we must. As Carl walked away Ursus called him “Mangy.” Carl said “I asked you not to call me that” and struck him with lightning.

After noon we met with Xerx’ses. Two guild accountants came to us to collect our 10% dues. They used magic and psionics to determine how much money everyone had on them. Indaris and The Nameless Man donated enough to become “Most Honored” members. This put a modified guild symbol on most of their posessions. I donated a similar amount but I was not considered powerful enough yet to become Most Honored. Grignak paid his dues in diamonds. In fact he only carries diamonds now, in honor of Roggan. The accountants slyly asked Grignak if he was spending the night. Once they got to Ursus he slowly counted out his dues. This frustrated the accountants. They pleaded for Grignak to help them. Grignak added his own diamonds to the donation and made it right.

With the dues settled we went to dinner with Rincewind and Xerx’ses. Xerx’ses warned us that any promise made in front of him automatically becomes a new guild law. At dinner we signed all his first edition Books of CrIsis. The Nameless Man asked about training an apprentice, and Rincewind said he could find three suitable candidates for him. He offers to find an apprentice for Indaris as well. Indaris declines and says a suitable apprentice would find him.

Ursus asked Rincewind if he knew of any rules which would allow him to become a full member of the guild? Rincewind said yes. One of the guild leaders can choose to make anyone a member. But they must be careful to avoid playing favorites. Because of this it has only happened once. The one time it happened was with Philip the Axe and Ugh of the Defilers. They were both made full permanent members of the guild. Rincewind couldn’t share any other details though. Ursus was satisfied to know the precedent existed. The rest of our dinner passed uneventfully but pleasantly. Grignak left dinner early to meet with Westvon. At midnight he left that party to meet the accountants. Once their encounter concluded Grignak returned to Westvon’s party.

Before I went to sleep I took another look at that bracelet Mangy Carl gave to me. I meditated and performed an object read upon it. I couldn’t make sense out of what I sensed. Only one thing came through clear. I was able to see a Gnome wearing the bracelet. He was fighting a Troll while wielding a psi-sword. The Gnome went to touch the bracelet but failed to notice the Orc which stabbed him in the back. The Troll then grabbed the bracelet and my vision went blank. I opened my eyes and pushed the bracelet away. I did not want a stolen item. But then I remembered my prayer to Apis the day before. Was this a gift from the Goddess? Did she make sure this would reach me? Silently I thanked her and I picked it back up. I will not disrespect her gift.

That night Great Apis visited me in my dreams! It was a short visit. She expressed disappointment and was gone before I could even speak. I believe she visited all of CrIsis that night. But I have not talked with them about it yet. On the morning of the 22nd of Grekar I received a letter from Moli. I shared it with the rest of CrIsis, as was custom. I did not realize how much I needed to hear from her until the letter arrived. The message from Apis last night and the letter from Moli this morning gave me much to think about.

I went with The Nameless Man to visit the Alchemists on the third floor of each tower. He was able to find a few items which benefited him. I was too wrapped in my thoughts to really look for anything until the guild summoned him away. They found apprentices for him to interview. I spent the rest of the day continuing to visit Alchemists in the three towers. I met some who obviously did not want to sell to me. I also met one named Thurweard Getor who I spent a lot of time talking with. He had some strange beliefs about the Empire which we discussed. I did not dissuade him of his beliefs, nor did he change mine. I greatly enjoyed talking with him about that. I wouldn’t mind continuing that discussion some time.

I am impressed by this quill. I cannot believe I wrote so much with it. It does seem endless. I am satisfied. I will not write like this normally. This was just a test. I am no Rod Rambler.

Note: This is an excerpt from Silent Dream’s journal. It was written in Elven on the 22nd day of Grekar, in the seventy-second year of the Great Wolfen Empire.

Image Credits
Three Towers: Yongsub Noh.
Cat Familiar: Linda Jones.
Doors: mromanmanson.
Xerx’ses: AZ_RUNE.
Vindicator: Hobby Hovel.
Mangy Carl: Huffington Post

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