The captive elves

A few moments later, the three return, helping an Elf walk into 
the great room where the rest of the group are seated/present.  Dax moves 
to the far side of the room and takes up a position with a clear line of 
fire at the Elf(those of you who recall the last moments of the battle 
remember that this Elf's wounds are a result of two Elven arrows fired by Dax).

Mac stays near the Elf.  Beren looks to Mirtil and asks, "Is 
there anything you need?"

Mirtil shakes his head at Beren, steps up to the elf, closes 
his eyes briefly and touches his wounds through the bandages.  Immediately the 
Elf loses his pale complexion and seems to grow more alert.  Mirtil pulls 
back the bandages, then removes them entirely and drops them next to the Elf, 
revealing no visible injuries.

"Feeling better? Do you have any other wound?" asks Mirtil.

In Elvish, the Elf replies. "No.  My thanks."

Mirtil says to the elf:
"Now, please, return to the cell, I will see you soon..."

Mac looks to Mirtil, then to Dax, then looks down at the elf. "What do you know
about what has happened to Tix?"

In Garian the replies "Nothing.  I have never entered that city."

Mac says "Beren, Dax, help me escort this elf back to the cell."

Mac turns and takes the elf back downstairs returning after a few 

As Mac, Beren, Dax and the elf walks downstairs the count turns to 
Mirtil and asks "Could you perhaps look at my horse Thunder who took 
an arrow in his hind leg during the battle."

Mirtil smiles:
"My pleasure. Please come with me to see your horse - if it is 
battle trained and high spirited, you assistance will be needed, if 
I know something about war horses - and I do. But first, is there 
anybody who needs my healing, too?"

Manon and Mirtil walks downstairs to take care of Thunder

Turning his head slightly Manon thanks Mirtil "I am glad you can help 
me with this, I do care a lot for Thunder. Truly a magnificent horse 
and companion"

Mirtil smiles with a slight nod in reply and follows the knight to 
see the horse.

Mirtil examines the wound, removing the bandages.  After a moment he 
closes his eyes and gently touches the wounded region, and the damaged flesh 
mends itself together, leaving almost no mark.

Thunder refuses to put any weight on the leg at first, but after a few 
moments of coaxing by Manon, he does so and seems to be able to use it as 
well as ever.

Mac says "We need the other elf. These two are useless to us. They know 
nothing. But the other elf was the key. We need to find and capture him."

Emerging in to the room where all is still gathered Manon enquires 
"Why would this elf, that we would like to catch, want to travel to 
the Melnibian desert? Does he want to ally the elves and the Gold Clan 
reptile men the same way Jade Clan and the elves are allied?... 

Mirtil says,
"What other elf do you mean? Maybe you can tell me more about this?
By the way, I think you can release those two you hold here. They 
pose no threat... "

Mirtil continues, 
"Can you tell me more about this matter? What happened after the 
fight with elves? And Mac, I would like to have a word with you about 
the Ankh, if you agree. The priestess of Sune I was speaking with in 
Richport said that you have an experience with the Ankh..."

Mac answer: "Yes. Anytime. Although, you must remember that was about 
a century ago."

Gwar looks up from his trance, not looking at anyone in particular and 
says "Yes..., what has happened since our battle with the elves? "

Mac looks to Kirion. "Kirion, are you rested and able to fly?"

"Certainly.  Where would you have us go?" Kirion answers

"Take the wand and follow the lone elf. I want to know exactly where 
he goes. I think that he will be the key to our success." Mac concludes.

Mac turns to Mirtil. "What about the Ankh. I believe you were interrupted."

Mirtil looks as if not very happy, but still trying to be civil:
" I believe I have told you all I knew? Now I'd be glad 
to know what is your opinion... 
And would somebody mind to tell me and Gwar, what happened in the 
desert? And who's the elf you are speaking about?

Manon sets himself to answer the question asked both by Gwar and 
Mirtil "In the aftermath of the battle an elf escaped and I pursued 
him on a horse that was not mine. Not too far from the battle site I 
discovered the elf obviously waiting for me. He made me understand he 
was trying to prevent the war between humans and elves and had to be 
left to see the Jade Clan. I let him leave. I now understand he was 
not telling the truth"

Mirtil asks with interest:
"Why do you think he was speaking falsehood ? Can you tell me more 
about him?" 

Sir Ehron answers "Leaving the Jade encampment we spotted the elf that 
escaped from the battle site. We overheard a conversation where we 
understood that his true intention with the Jades was to make an 
alliance in the coming war. When I let him go he told me he was going 
to the Jades to help prevent the war between elves and humans"

The Count continues,
  "The Elf was dressed identically to his comrades we keep below, 
wearing leather armour and armed with sword and bow.  In size he is not unlike 
you, "nodding at Mirtil, " and you should know that he is an impressive 
mage, as well, for he slew our comrade with a lance of fire from his fingertips."

Mirtil frowns at the remark about the fire spell. 
"I think I know nobody like him. But  he must be surely
important. I'm sure we must know more about his agreement with Jade 
clan, but  I think that the best way is to start with the Reptiles 
rather than with himself. I know a spell allowing to read one's 
mind, so I can try it on some of the Reptiles, maybe the chef 
himself.  In what terms you are with the Jade clan?

Mirtil continues "Finally, before Kraken leaves, we should determine
what are our preferences and what should be done first. I personally
think it's very important to ask the Reptile men, what they know about
the matter, and try to guess what happened to the city. Remember, that 
already a premature attack on the elves caused more confusion and 
evil than good, so we - suppose I'm co-operating with you for now - 
would rather think twice and act once. Then, Mac would decide 
if the Ankh is in immediate danger, and if we have to act in this 
matter. I personally must surely return to the Richport for a 
while and tell the priests what you will tell me about the 
possible dangers."

"Oh, right. The Ankh. What I know about the Ankh, probably isn't much 
more than what you already know. The Ankh was a symbol of peace 
between the Elves and Humans. The story being that as long as the Ankh 
remained in the Temple of Sune, there would be peace between the Elves and the 
Humans. Before, the "Dark Elves" had the Ankh stolen by the thieves 
guild in Kryndar. The Ankh was taken from Richport to Kryndar. We retrieved 
the Unhook and began to make the trip back to Richport. On the return trip, 
we stopped in at a wayrest point and met a knight. The knight had symbols 
of the Unhook all over his body and told us he would assist us in returning 
the Ankh. He ended up turning into some hideous beast and trying to 
steal the Ankh. We killed the beast and returned the Ankh immediately. We 
also reinforced the security of the Ankh to prevent this from happening again."

Mac takes a deep breath.
"My opinion on the whole matter was that when you are dealing with 
artefacts of the Gods, there is going to be trouble. The Ankh has some 
good powers and is *very* powerful itself. If the Ankh gets into the 
wrong hands, there will be real problems. The Ankh must be protected 
at all costs!"

"Well," says Mirtil. 
"It's obvious that something is up again. I really think that another 
attempt would be made, and perhaps soon. Don't you think it would be 
wise to visit Richport for a while and talk to the priests? I really 
have no idea what to do in this matter now, but if we wait and act 
after the Ankh is stolen, it will be probably too late.
But we still have to do something with the security of the Ankh, and 
time gets short.  Do you mind to split in two groups for a while, one 
following the elf in the desert, and the second one investigating the 
situation in the Richport?"

Mirtil looks around to see the reaction, and then adds:
"Oh, I forgot - what about the captured elves? Please let them go. 
They are not important and they can cause you no harm..."

Mac sits in thought. 
"I don't really like the idea of splitting up. Especially since it is 
so difficult to get back together. But the Ankh must be safe. The elf 
must be followed. I feel that I am somewhat responsible for the Ankh. Do we 
have any volunteers to follow the elf? My suggestion is that someone 
meet us in Pomo in a week. Then we will regroup from there. So who wants to 
go where?"

Mirtil says with grim determination:
"I believe I am the one who must face the elf. I will join anyone who 
would go with me."

Mac looks back over to Mirtil.
"I will allow the elves to leave. We will drop them off in the desert 
with the clothes on their back. They are close enough to the Jade clan 
that they will find shelter. I will give them back a full water skin 
and 2 days rations. Any other ideas?"

"I have one more idea. Maybe it's for nothing, but before the elves 
are freed, I can use my spells to scan their minds and try 
to find anything important. Let's arrange it this way - blindfold 
them, then place them somewhere where magic works normally, and tell 
them to prepare for leaving soon, while the travelling device is 
prepared. Tell them as well to concentrate on desert to help moving 
there. Then I can cast my spell at them without being noticed and read 
their mind, Goddess willing. And as soon as this is done, let them go. 
Agreed?" asks Mirtil.

The hitherto motion statue you know as Kai drones mechanically "give 
me leave
to use your ring and i will take them into the desert with your 
supplies and
wait long enough to assure they are not circling to ambush us before
returning here"

After a pause he continues "too we have proved i am the fastest way to 
move the group cross country by leaving you here and moving the point of 
entry for the wand  i could transport it there and then bring you all back with 
me well rested in a short time"

Mirtil looks up with interest:
"Can you tell me more about the way you are moving yourselves? Maybe 
I can help, too?"

"I have this wand, Mac pulls the wand from his pocket. It has some 
interesting qualities. When you break the wand, you everything you 
touch and anyone within 10 yards is transported back to the chamber in the 
cellar below. When you are in the chamber and you reconnect the wand, 
you are transported back to the exact location you left, minus the time 
that you took here."

Mac shows the wand pieces to Mirtil. 

"Wonderful," says Mirtil. "So I can offer a very fast way how to move 
those who want to the Richport, if you agree. If you lend me the wand for a 
while, I will move myself to the Ankh, then, breaking it, return back 
and this way I open a way there - the only thing you need to do is to 
reconnect the wand again. But we must move those who are to travel to 
the desert to their destination before. Goddess, it's getting 
complicated. But I believe it can be all done. Once I'm in the 
desert, I can travel here and back at will - suppose I'm rested 
enough.   So, who's going to the Richport and who returns to the 
desert? It seems to me that Mac should go to the Ankh, and I would 
like to see the elf, if you agree. But what of the rest?"
Mirtil looks at others.
Then he adds:
"Oh, I forgot. Mac, do you think that the priests will remember you 
after the century?  I can go with you for the first time, for they 
know me now, however I'm not quite sure if they trust me, as I'm a 
heathen elf..." adding the last with grin.

Gwar still in heavy thought looks up once more; rubs his sore face 
with his right hand and states "I will go with Mirtil."

Mirtil looks at Gwar:
"It will take at least two castings before you're quite right. With 
your curse, which causes you not to accept the magic, it would be at 
least two days. Given to your superior health, you will probably be 
able to travel, but there's a danger that you might collapse at every 
harder activity, not speaking of combat."
Looking at others, he asks: "Do you have some other means how to help 
him to recover faster?"

Gwar looks over at Mirtil and simply states "understood." Not waiting 
for a response Gwar stands up and heads towards the stairs. Pausing at the 
top of the stairs he looks over to Mac, "Mac, where is my gear?"

Dax: "It sseeems obviousss I mussst go with the Elf."

Mirtil accepts this with a nod and smile. "Your help will be very
valuable in the desert."

Beren looks to Manon, awaiting his decision.

Mac takes the pieces of the wand and hands them to Mirtil. 
"Wery well. First you must go to the chamber below and reconnect the wand. 
You will end up in the Salanar desert, where we left off, then you may 
cast your spell to take you to Richport. Once you are in Richport you can 
then break the wand. Be sure to make sure you are in a clear area, so you 
don't accidentally take anyone with you. When you return here, we will be 
waiting to go back. 
But we have a problem. If you return to the desert and then go to 
Richport with the wand and then come back, how will we get back to the 
desert? Because we will no longer have our reference point in the desert, 
but in Richport. So we need to somehow return to the desert When we are 

"Once I'm in the desert," says Mirtil," I can move between the desert, 
Richport and this place freely - well, the place in the desert must 
be somewhat special and thus easy to remember, not just a sandy 
plain. So I believe this problem can be solved. Let's move first to 
the desert - all of us. Then I can travel to Richport and move 
the reference there, and then return to the desert, so those who are 
to go to Richport can move here. Then I will travel with you to 
Richport, take the wand again and move with the wand back to your 
fortress here, and establish the reference here again. Then, finally, 
I can return to you with the wand, give it to you, and travel at my 
own to the desert. Goddess, this is kind of complicated! But it 
stands some chance to work... correct me if I'm wrong with this plan. 
Kai, Mac? What do you think about it, can it work? Oh, do I need 
some special spell to reconnect the wand? I know there is some spell 
enabling the caster to repair small broken objects, but 
unfortunately, I don't know the spell..."

Mac interrupts "Wait a second. Let me explain more clearly. The wand is linked with 
one location, the chamber in the basement. The wand's inherent magical 
properties are such that wherever you are, when you break the wand,
you end up in the chamber below. Then, once you put the wand back 
together, just by touching the ends together, you are transported back 
to the exact same spot you left from. So, the only reference point you 
can change, is the one you leave from. So here is the only way I can 
come up with to do this. Mac explains for Mirtil very thoroughly.

You take the wand and reconnects it in the chamber, thus taking 
you to the desert. You set up a reference point in the desert, a 
stick in the ground with a flag or something, just so you have a reference.
You cast your spell and teleport to Richport. You then break the wand and 
return to the chamber here. We return with you to Richport to gather the Ankh.
We break the wand and return here to the castle with the Ankh. You reconnect
the wand and return to Richport. You teleport back to the desert, break the 
wand, returning here. And finally we continue to follow the elf.

Mirtil nods, saying: "Now it's clear, I missed the fact that the wand 
is connected to the chamber. But do you think it's wise to take the 
Ankh away? If we take the Ankh, it will be the same as it is 
stolen... isn't it? It must stay in Richport, according to my poor 
knowledge. Wouldn't it be better to find companions of the 
Drow I killed and ruined their plans? Or establish some link with the 
Ankh, so we would be warned if it's in danger... it would be the best 
way. If only Sune would warn us in this case. Unfortunately I do 
not worship Sune, so I can't ask him. Well, I can ask my Goddess, 
but I'm not sure if she can help - after all, Ankh is Sune's. 
Oh, and I have an idea - maybe we can take Gwar to the Richport and 
use the Ankh to heal him. With the wand pointed there it would be 
much faster than with me casting spells. Will it work on him?" 

During the conversation Manon listens intensely, absorbed by the 
wealth of information about magic and what one can do with it.

Taking a startled step back the count says "Well, I will go with 
whoever follows the elf"

"though your plan seems well wrought it is needlessly complex" quoth 
Kai, pivoting his head to face Mirtil "and no special magic is needed to 
work the wand though i would avoid giving it to gwar on general principle"

After a pause, he continues, churning out "more simply use the wand to 
go to the desert and mark it in some wise in your memory mayhap with flags or by 
drawing a pattern in the sand if you cannot find a memorable outcropping  then 
use your own methods to go to richport and use the wand to return and bring 
those who would go there to that place  following which move back to the desert 
site and use the wand to bring the desert party to that place"

He tilts his hawk masked head to one side and adds "take me and the 
elves on your first trip to the desert and i will see them well on their way 
ere you bring forth the rest on your second trip"

After a short moment Mirtil speaks again:
"Let's do it this way: first, I really think that the Ankh must stay 
on it's place in Richport, and must be protected. But we must follow 
the elf, too, and find what's going on with the Tix. I think we must 
split  in two groups. I know it's not a good thing, but I don't see another 
solution - if we want to have both the problems solved. 
In the group which will follow the elf must be I, in the other one 
Mac, because he is most experienced with the Ankh and the priests 
will believe him. But all of you said that you wanted to go to the 
desert and track down the elf. I surely don't mind a company, 
especially company of able fighters, but somebody must help Mac, 
Gwar needs healing, so he should go to the Richport rather than to 
the desert.. So what if we do the groups this way:

I suggest Mac and Gwar go to Richport and me, Manon and Beren, Dax,
Kraken and Kai follow the elf

For the transportation, let's do it as Mac suggested:
Using the wand, I move myself and those who are to go with me to 
the desert. I move myself to Richport, break the wand and return back. The 
wand is pointed to Richport now.. I give the wand to Mac, so his group can move to Richport. 
Possibly I move here with them and talk to the priests before 
finally I move myself to the Richport, and we start to look for the elf.

How do you like this?"

Mirtil looks  at all who are present with the question. Then he adds:

"Oh, one more thing. I have a telepathy spell, so I can contact a 
person from the other group every day in certain time - let's say, at 
sundown, when the Sun  touches the horizon. So we can exchange 
information at least once per day - and of course  we can have more 
sessions per day if we need..."

Listening carefully of what Mirtil have to say the count nods in 

Eventually, after a long pause, Kai nods his head once, perhaps a 
quarter of an inch down and back up.

But if all agree, Mirtil says:
"If we all are in agreement, I would rest for a while before we leave 
while you are preparing your thinks. Oh, one problem - I arrived 
without a horse. Do you have a spare mount for me?"

Mirtil takes his lute again and start playing softly while resting.

As Kai and Mirtil is preparing to evacuate the prisoners Manon sets 
Beren to organise the mid day meal. The count himself goes through his 
gear to make sure everything is well and what is needed is brought. He 
then walks downstairs and you can hear him look after his steed 
Thunder, preparing the mount for the trip.

Beren prepared some warm food, which everyone save Kai and Kraken 
helps themselves to prior to departure.

Mac says to no one in particular.

"So we will split into two groups. Here is my plan.

Kai and whoever wishes to follow the elf will go with Kai. Mirtil will 
take the wand and transport you to the desert. You will follow the elf 
and Mirtil will be in contact with you with regard to your position.

Mirtil will teleport to Richport and break the wand allowing us to 
return with him. We will take care of business there and return again.  
Mirtil will then teleport back to the desert where we will try to catch
up to you."

Mac turns to Kai.
"Unless you or Manon objects. They will get nothing back save a water 
skin and a couple days rations a piece."

Mac talks to Mirtil. 
"I believe we have a horse available for you. We'll have to go 
downstairs and count them."

"Well, let's get going"

Mac walks to the cellar and takes count of the horses, prepares the 
elves by blindfolding them and handing them a sack containing two days of 
rations and a skin of water. They are led into the chamber and once everyone 
is inside Mac explains the use of the wand to Mirtil and steps out of the 
chamber. Waiting for Mirtil to reappear.

Mirtil asks Manon to look for the horse lent to him while he is moving the
wand, then takes his things and wand and waits in the teleport chamber for
others to join him. 

Beren prepares the horses -- his, Manon's and Mirtil's.

Beren, Dax, Manon and Kirion enter the chamber with Mirtil.  Beren 
and Dax are guarding the two Elf prisoners, also present in the chamber.  
Kai should be the only one who is also going.

Mirtil connects the wand, sending the group to the desert.

The time is approximately 1300.

The Jade Clan camp is just a few hundred meters to the north.

Present are 
two Elven prisoners
Manon and mount
Beren and mount
Mirtil and mount
Kai and mount

There is no one in sight, save for your group.
The story continues...
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