One of the downsides to being in seclusion for as long as I have been, is learning to be among society again.
Of the 7 immortals, I am unique in that I voluntarily venture out among civilizations from time to time.
Once our time in the mining city of Grolsh was complete, we continued on the road towards the library, and it was with a happy sigh that I left that enclosing city of stone. After about a week of uneventful travel, we came upon the city of Tir na' Friar. An elven settlement. City. Beautiful as it is, with its curving wooden structures and shining layan gates, it is still very much a city.
We were stopped on the road before we reached the gates by a patrol of guards with weapons drawn. I lowered my hood, and let myself be seen; motioning for Tobias to follow suit, and reveal the Imperial layan armor that he wears. They asked, somewhat pointedly, why I travelled with such company. I introduced my companions with honor that they deserve;
Ishmael - Renowned Weaponsmith and metallurgist
Tobias - consort and Imperial guard
Lan - Avatar of Leilanna
Kellyn - the Archmage
Fife - Swordmaster
and Shalev - my accepted student, and paladin of Ma'at; and his animal companion Amit
and said that I had agreed to help them with various quests. They were less hostile after that, and offered us escort into the city, which we accepted graciously. I mentioned that it had been quite a long time since I had the opportunity to be in a city of my people, and requested advice on acquiring a place to stay for the length of time needed to rest and resupply.
They gave me a basic introduction to the city layout, and then said that I could request hospitality from the 4th tier of the city.
We entered the city at that point, and explored the craftsman's circle, where I commissioned a new set of leather armor that would not affect my dexterity and movement when worn. The leather worker there agreed to the commission, and said that it would be ready in two days. After that, we continued on toward the 4th Tier, and once there, I approached a group to inquire about hospitality.
Have I been out of civilization for so long, that my own people no longer recognize me? Apparently so. The elves here are very young. Young enough to have either never heard the stories, or perhaps they simply paid them no heed. One of them called me "grandmother", although I am not certain if it was meant derisively or not.
I requested direction to a quiet place for my companions and I to stay for a space of time, and one of them lead us to a rather run down looking house on the edge of the tier. Again, I caught a hint of implied insult from the youngsters, but ignored it as the childish thing that it was.
The woman who owned the house is named Ma'tron Pon Mar, and she graciously accepted us into her home. She is stooped with age, although she is only 150 or so, and seems... fragile. I forget that I am unique in my agelessness. (hmph. Grandmother indeed.) Her house and lands were in obvious need of repair, and she just as obviously wasn't capable of doing it herself.
I spoke with my companions and requested that, as thanks for opening her home to us, that we work together to improve her lot as much as we could. Tobias, Fife, Shalev, and Ishmael immediately set to work on repairing and cleaning her house. Lan, Kellyn, and I worked on the yards and the gardens.
I inquired about her injury, and asked if she would allow Lan to see if there was something that we could do to heal her. She agreed, and Lan was able to cast a spell that helped to straighten her spine and allow her to move freely again. A healing draught took care of any residual injury, and she is once again whole, much to her delight.
As work continued on the house and lands, I spent many moments conversing with Ma'tron over tea about old stories and legends. Tea! At last I have tea. It's a comfort to me, and something familiar. Shalev and I both were able to take a handful of cuttings from the bushes in her gardens as we worked to bring the gardens back to some semblance of order. It will be a challenge to keep them strong and alive so that we may replant them elsewhere, and another challenge to see if they will flourish in the desert climes that Shalev and I are used to.
Strange though, that here in the gardens, my druidry has no effect. I tried to cast a simple spell to make the gardens healthy, only to have it fail. This is troubling to me, and I need to spend some time in meditation to find out why I was not able to do this, or what might have interfered. I worry that I will not be able to do anything further with this until I can discern why.
During their repairs, Tobias, Ishmael, and Shalev discovered some extensive damage to the outer walls of the house, and they trekked into town to see if they could arrange for a trade of materials to help with the refitting of the house. Elven cities are traditionally trade based, and do not often deal with money as the humans do.
Shalev was able to trade some cooking spices for the lumber required, and it was delivered to the house later that day. Amusingly enough, by the same youngster who (insultingly perhaps?) lead us to stay here in the first place. He looked surprised, and a little abashed. Perhaps he learned a valuable lesson here, although time will tell.
Kellyn requested that I ask about the presence of a library here, and Ma'tron opened her home further to us, showing her personal library, where the records of her travels with her husband were kept. It came to light that Ma'tron and her husband were at one time adventurers of some renown, and that her husband was .... other. Not human, nor elf, and Kellyn suspects possibly even a dragon. To ask or suggest such a thing would be terribly uncouth, however, so the mystery of what her husband is or was will remain. In their travels, they searched for artifacts and items of power, as well as learning to create said things. Ma'tron herself was... IS.. a mage, and a powerful one. This captured Kellyn's intense interest, as Ma'tron gives off no sense of magics whatsoever, and the two were soon lost in conversations about magic and Fyrewerian. Kellyn agreed to teach Ma'tron what little of Fyrewerian that she could while we were here.
Shalev inquired about trading his compass Leah-noa for a magical blade, and was promptly handed the layan-bladed greatsword that hung proudly on the wall in Ma'tron's library. He took it with awe, reverence, and a little disbelief, and spent quite some time simply looking at the blade. There are a few other items of interest in her library - namely the mage's staff, which Kellyn is quite obviously interested in; and a green-dragon scaled shield.
We will be here for a while longer, I think, as there is much to learn from Ma'tron, and I am quite enjoying her company. She mentioned, in our tea time conversations, that there is a Great Court to be held in a month's time. I would be interested in staying for this, as if I am indeed, back in the civilized world, it would probably be expected of me in any case. I've been out of the world for far too long. It's time to make myself known again. I will need to visit the clothier to see about having proper attire made for me to attend a High Court function.
While we are here, we will continue to help improve her home and her land, as much as we are able to do so. It's the least we can do for her hospitality, and for the knowledge that she has - and will potentially - share with us. Perhaps she can even shed some light on the objectives we currently have? We shall see.
In the mean time, I will continue to look forward to our tea time conversations, and simply being among other elves for a time.