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First love
Sweating, short of breath, and terrified is no way to wake up but it is the way it has been for as long as he can remember. Before he is even out of bed the terror has turned to exhilaration as he grabs his tools and his book and bolts for the door. Silence greets him as he steps onto the street. That unique silence that you get in a city once the nightlife has gone to bed and before most are awake(any city with elves never truly sleeps). The blanket of darkness also helps to keep the atmosphere very still though in a city infused with magic and prayers it is also never truly dark.

He had to focus on his destination else his fascination with the city would delay him and he absolutely could not be late. He raced past many a building that he had drawn in the past and others that he had added to his 'to do' list. To him the city was an exotic forest of structures of unimaginable beauty, awe inspiring size, and magnificent architecture. Fear of spying something that had previously escaped his attention kept his eyes glued to the road in front of him. It was easy to imagine that he was the only soul in the city and that in this moment the city was his. The two of them belonged to each other and no one could disturb these sacred seconds shared between them. He could only dream of what these moments would be like when he lived in the other cities and he definitely planned on spending quite a bit of time in all of them.

He reached his destination and started climbing the winding majestic staircase that led to the roof where he was sure the view would be everything he had hoped for. He was not disappointed and had to shake himself to focus as he was left dumbstruck at the first glimpse of the city from his current view. He quickly chose a place to sit as he could see the first light of the sun start to diminish the magical light that lit the city at night. Letting out a sigh of relief he selected the best instrument for the job, opened his book and began to draw the vista before him. He could hardly contain his glee as the first actual ray of sunshine stabbed through the city introducing itself to the morning. "You're late, as usual."
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Ready to Talk
“Look, I’ve got all day. I can sit here and drink this fine coffee – what is this, a Dreffen dark roast? Excellent bite to it. – all day long.”

“Seriously? You think we don’t know what’s been going on here? You think you’re getting away with something here? Let me tell you something, we know. We know, and we don’t care.”

“ No, we don’t care. People have ‘urges’, ‘needs’. So long as they don’t make it someone else’s problem, we don’t care. But your partner… now there’s where we start caring. Right now you’re the one in the sights. I think you’re a good guy, just doing what needs done, trying to get ahead in the game, do well for his family – by the way, your son looks just like you. I think it’s your buddy that’s the real trouble. Problem is, not everyone thinks so. What I need from you is a name and information.”

“Oh, you are funny. You honestly think I’d be here alone? We don’t operate that way. But feel free, I’m sure your son would understand.”

“Calm down. You’ll make a scene. Neither of us wants that. But I will take another cup of that Dreffen Dark. And a scone, one of the apple ones. Your wife bakes these herself, doesn’t she?”

“Your buddy’s done a real swell job of staying just out of sight. But no one is that good all the time. Either you can give me what I want – and one more of those delicious scones – or we can find it out some other way. Of course, if we have to go a different route, then I won’t be able to put in a good word for you.”

“I’m so glad we had this opportunity to talk. Of course, this never happened. But my compliments to your wife, those are truly amazing scones!”
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Tags: Background
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Prologue - The First Gear Turns
As the last images of the ruins of Esraisvale and the elf Felaern fade from the surface of the small pool, the old man looks across the room at his counterpart. Searching the ancient eyes of his old friend for any traces of doubt. “It has begun, we are past the point of no return. What was once halted, must now be started anew.” His friend answers: “What was once taken, must now be returned. The old pact can no longer be allowed to continue. It is, and always was a mistake, an abomination.” The old man nods in agreement. He then turns, a device set atop a pedestal. “It is time.”
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Prologue - It Begins
Stumbling through the woods, Felaern Torthedir still couldn't understand how things had happened so badly. A ranger, Felaern had been sent from his home city of Mylerion to Yene Allanar to lead a company of scouts to assist in Yene Allanar’s battle with dwarves at Maldohr. Three weeks ago, he had set out at dawn with his company to scout out dwarfish positions, within hours his world had erupted into chaos. Not only had the dwarven forces routed his fellow elves, it had been a massacre.

Separated from the rest of their army Felaern and his scouts fought their way to freedom, though in the end only Felaern was able to entirely elude his dwarven counter parts. One week of moving through territory that was unfamiliar at best, and hostile at worst, and he still had no idea how the dwarves had not only beaten his brethren so horribly, but how the capital had failed to intervene. In the 400 years of his life as a ranger, in the fighting forces, the peace keepers of Dolonde had never failed to prevent such a disaster. This as far as he was aware was the first time in known history that this had happened.

Over the last week Felaern had managed to sneak his way across dwarfish territory, then work his way through the lands of the gnomes. He decided it was best to stay out of site there as well, as gnomes would probably favor dwarves over elves. Having finally made it into halfling controlled lands, Felaern felt much safer. Halflings having the greatest wines (a fact elves rarely admitted too), and tabac, not to mention their culinary mastery, made them the friends of all. No one fought with the halflings, and their good nature made them willing to help any and all who asked.

Knowing that just over the next rise or so he should set eyes upon the halfling city of Esraisvale, Felaern felt the pressing need to quickly procure means of swift transport home, so that he could debrief. Debrief and then return to the field to extract vengeance on those filthy, stubborn dwarves that is.

Cresting the last rise, Felaern’s elfishly keen eyes finally spy Esraisvale miles in the distance. Or they spy what was Esraisvale. Even from this distance he can see that something is terribly, horribly wrong. Breaking into a sustainable trot, Felaern is able to finish the last miles in just a few hours. Gaining the city walls just as the sun touches the lip of the horizon, he is able to take in all the horror before him. Where once stood the great and massive hill that the halflings made home, now stood nothing but ruins.

Despite his reservations, Felaern cautiously entered the gates of Esraisvale. It only took an hour for him to determine that not a soul was left in the city, and if he hadn't known better wouldn't have thought anyone had been here for thousands of years. Making his way ever inward, and up towards the crest of hill, it did not take Felaern long to find that the great temples of the halfling gods were gone. Not just gone, it was as if some great force had blown them to kingdom come. Whatever happened here, it was obvious that the temples were the epicenter.

Having now forgotten his previous grievances with the dwarves, Felaern knew he had to make haste to report what he has seen to the central counsel. Racial hatreds aside, something greater than inter-city power-plays was afoot. Battered, and travel weary, Felaern once again set out to deliver bad news, though this time it was news of a far worse kind.
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Homebrew (3.5)
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