To the Citadel of Uril pt. 1

An Unexpected Journey

The hills seem to pull aside as the wagons trundle between them. The sheer power one can feel from being part of such an army of wagons is immense. The caravan was called by Tipsin, a noble Gnome and respected person in the political community. Being a Gnome, however, they are simply another person. All Gnomes in Gnome society are equal, no matter what they bring to the table. Millenia ago it was agreed, by observation and research, that it is impossible to measure the worth of a person since every person affects every other. A hunter brings down game today, but his ancestor developed the spear by which he hunts, his neighbours by their presence or absence change the direction the quarry turns, and a child can spur on the memory of a hunt long gone by that helps with the current one. The impact of each and every person is unique but indisctinct; to reward one member of the group more than any other seemed silly in light of this philisophical revelation. The society embraced these ideals, and as such they no longer hold to ideas of having any one Gnome above others in authority.

Tipsin called for this caravan to form, and form it did. Cosima knew that if she ever wanted to do the same, all she’d need to do is ask.

After passing the hills, Tipsin asks to press on through the first night, despite waking everyone up early in the morning to begin on this journey. The destination is unclear, but it is said to be three days travel west of Somergleam, the nearby Human township, and hugging along the coast. Not a lot of civilisation in that part of the world.

The warm air of the forest pulls away and seems to claw at the wagons, begging them to return to comfort. Alas, the cooler winds and nearby storms await the group. More than five hundred wagons, more than a thousand Gnomes, travel along the roughly travelled roads through thick grassland towards their destination. The first night of rest comes after their second day of travel, and the group stop in the middle of a vast field. Miles of vast grassland sweep north, south, east and west now. The night is warm, however, as the roaring campfires throughout the campsite house multiple warm bodies. Rich foods are shared, along with stories. Several bards gather and sing lofty songs of travel, of love and of history gone by. The crowds are thoroughly entertained, and even those that do not usually perform do something for the crowds. While not everyone gathers in one spot, there’s enough flow and movement to say hello to everyone in the evening. Everyone has something; a song, a poem, a magic trick, a story, a short play or a performable skill.

The evening settles in. The next day goes by much like the last, but with everyone feeling much more refreshed. To the south on the horizon, Somergleam can be seen. The ground below feels softer and more damp; rain was here recently. Miles to the Northwest, a giant rainstorm can be seen and heard moving further away.

As the camp is set up on this third night, a strange thing occurs: a burst of light captures the eyes of several Gnomes who decide to go and investigate. While several miles from Somergleam, they’re close enough; trouble to Somergleam means trouble to business. Half an hour later they return with a surprising guest. Geran Edhel, Prince of Tharensari, an Elven city far to the west, sits at the front of one of the returning wagons massaging his wrists and hands. Tipsin holds aloft some cut ropes.

“It appears Prince Geran has recently escaped capture by some miscreants. I believe we should provide shelter and escort for him, although he believes himself capable of making his own way from here. Perhaps we should ask the King and Queen.” He asks in a leading fashion.

Cosima knows, just as the others do, that there is no King and Queen. They are simply chosen Gnomes to handle a given situation to give the illusion of a central government for the Gnomes. Volunteers are often asked for in times like this. Upon volunteering, however, ones statements and orders are treated as though they truly were royal decree.

With a strange royal appearing in a grassy field out of nowhere, halfway along their journey to an important meeting, it certainly is strange. Should he be left to travel on his own, or should the Gnome caravan take him along escorted? What if he’s still in danger from these captors?

What do you do?

Cosima +0XP



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