The Unquiet Earth

Rescuing White, Part 1

Delan spends several restful days in Blue Water, recovering from the Snaprock feast and entertaining the Summerblade sisters with his stories. In town, Delan learns more about his host, the innkeeper. Shara Kine, the owner of the general store lets slip that Jerrik’s uncle, Percival Summerblade, lived in Blue Water and made magic items there until the death of his sister, Eliana, when the twins were born. Delan realizes that Summerblade is an elvish name and wonders why a human man would take his wife’s name for his own. Kael Softbrew, at the Silver Drake Tavern, reveals the Val isn’t who he pretends to be, but refuses to go into details, even after a bribe.
The whole town starts buzzing when a scouting party reveals they saw a completely white caravan on the road, white carraiges, white horses, the drivers dressed in white and blue. But why would the royal family visit Blue Water?
The caravan drives directly to the Blue Hand, and Delan is shocked to see Ivory White, princess of the realm, enter the inn with her entourage.
Val jumps to his feet and greets Ivory by name as his children bow and curtsey to the princess. Ivory frowns as she looks at the children.
“Dear gods, Erival,” she snaps at the innkeeper, “tell me they know!”
“Of course they know, Ivory. Don’t be dense,” he replies, “they are just being polite.”
Ivory snorts and looks around, clearly unimpressed by the inn. Her eyes flit past Delan and then snap back in recognition.
“Is that Lord Jhoras’ little black sheep?” she tsks and shakes her head, “My, my, Erival, you do like to collect strays.”
“Why are you here, Ivory?” Val demands, clearly losing patience.
“Allomir has gone missing,” she says petulantly, “so you must come home.”
“Allomir can take care of himself,” Val replies.
“Allomir is missing, so you must come home,” Ivory repeats.
“Dallibren is in perfect health,” Val says dismissivly, “and his son should be next.”
“Dallibren still has no sons, and you well know it. He hasn’t gotten Sinara with child in all these years, and I doubt he ever will, the fop.”
It is about this time that Delan realizes that Val Summerblade is actually Erival White, lesser prince of the realm, Ivory’s younger brother. They are discussing King Dallibren, their uncle. Allomir is their older brother, crown prince of the realm.
“Tell them I’m missing,” Val says with a sigh.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” his sister replies derisively, “everyone know perfectly well where you are.”
“What about finding Allomir, then?” Val demands.
“My task is to bring you home,” Ivory says.
“Well, where was he when last someone heard?” Val asks in annoyance.
“He was with the halflings in the pass, but we’ve had no word from them.”
“Has anyone been sent?”
“My task—” Ivory begins in monotone.
“I know!” Val snaps, clearly frustrated. He thinks for a moment.
“Damn it all,” Val mutters, finally, “Jerrik.”
“Yes, dad?” Jerrik says, perking up. He’d been watching the back and forth, wide-eyed.
“You know the way to the pass, right?”
“Of course, dad. Just follow the river.”
“Good lad. Send me word in Sagespire.”
Ivory rolls her eyes but otherwise seems to accept the situation. She demands that Val show her personally to her rooms and leaves Delan and the Summerblade youths alone in the common room.
Delan agrees to go with Jerrik and advises that his sisters find someplace to hide in case Allomir’s disappearance is some kind of political plot targetting heirs to the throne. The Summerblades agree. Fira, the eldest, suggests they bring her sweetheart Lan, the blacksmith’s son, along for protection.
In the morning, Delan and Jerrik escort Fira, Jerra, and Lan to the Forgotten Mansion for safekeeping before heading north to catch the road to Breachbrook. Before they hit the road, they find a group of wolves, which they easily dispatch. Once on the road, they find a group of enterprising thieves have set up a toll booth at a narrow spot in the road. They try to fleece Delan and Jerrik, but the heroes dispatch the thieves, finding the signet ring of Allomir White among their possessions. In the thieves’ camp, they also find an opening to some partialled excavated ruins with a rope stretched across it. They venture inside to find a human skelleton, recently picked clean and still wearing its gear and a small colony of glittering crystalline ants. Delan and Jerrik barely escape the ants, because their blindingly beautiful carapaces distract men from attacking them.
After clearing the camp of thieves and man-eating insects, Delan and Jerrik follow the road the rest of the way to Breachbrook.



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