Soultrapped in the Feybane Blade
From an early age Sarya had taught him to hide his true self. Dalren was a bit upset, when he was young, that he had to keep his heritage a secret – but as he aged he saw the wisdom in the decision. The Ar’Tel’Quessir were not wise enough yet to accept the half-fiends as their leaders. It would take generations of manipulations and power struggles for them to prove their superiority. His mother had always admired how conniving and scheming her son was. It was only a matter of time before he sought to emulate his mothers magical talents, but lacking a natural gift for the art he was forced to study wizardly pursuits. His first master, his uncle Khuumal, was deceitful and cunning just like Dalren, and the boy was able to learn quite a bit from him. His uncle, however, was not as skilled in the art as Dalren and the boy quickly outpaced him.
Dalren’s education in his Cormanthyr home didn’t stop with just wizardly training however – as a family of political power, Sarya saw an immediate potential in Dalren’s intellect. Constantly pitted against his younger psionic half vrock brother Rivyyk, Sarya constantly was honing the social skills of the two. Teaching them when to please, when to scare, when to deceive, the training only expounded Dalren’s intellect. Being born of an Incubus father Dalren had the advantage of being able to change shape at will, and he made use of this to great effect. Often creating entire groups of people – all of whom were simply him in another form. Sarya even forced a famous stage actor to help Dalren learn to portray his roles as unique individuals.
Eventually, after Dalren had learned all he could from his family, he struck out to find a more powerful teacher of the Art and found her in the form of Faern Haladar – the Spell Major. Dalren had applied to be his student amongst 48 other candidates. Sarya deemed this as the first test of what he has learned and did not interfere with his application, leaving the boy to earn the position on his own. He was not the most promising student to apply, and even to keep his nature a secret from his master would require constant vigilance. Faern was a wise, experienced, and benevolent man – all the things that Dalren was not.
After assessing the situation, Dalren decided there were only about 13 students who posed a real threat to him. One, he murdered in his sleep. He shapeshifted into the form of a young human girl, and ran away from the scene barefoot. Easy enough – since the boy was a known supporter of integrating with the human tribes and rumors persisted of him being a bit of a lush, everyone assumed the savage human girl had murdered him after bedding him.
The second was also fairly simple – for he had a gambling problem. Dalren merely played him in a game of chance, and used his ability to read minds to fool the boy out of the money with which he intended to pay Faern.
The third was a woman of unquestionable purity and devotion to Correlon Latheron. Dalren spent weeks getting to know the girl and winning her trust. Eventually he was able to persuade her into devoting her life to the church where she could do more good than in the basement of some old foolish wizard.
The fourth conveniently erased himself from the picture by getting into trouble with the local militia.
The fifth, Dalren planted evidence linking him as an accomplice of the fourth.
This continued on until Dalren had finally eliminated all 13 of his competitors. Imagine his surprise, then, when he learned he was not to be Faern’s only student – another had been chosen – Uldren Starym. This elf had been chosen apparently due to a Durothil’s friendship with Faern – a choice that infuriated Dalren. His mother wanted Dalren to become the next Spellmajor – a position that would grant the family considerably more favor and political power, but the Staryms and the Durothils were apparently working together to keep the Dlardrageths with as little power as they could. Haladar appeared a neutral party, taking both on as students – but it was apparent he favored the Starym boy.
The two would spend the next several decades as constant enemies of one another, forced to work together to accomplish the tasks laid out by Faern. Dalren saw here an opportunity where others would find strife. Always anxious to impress his mother Dalren started to devise a plan that would see the Starym family severly damaged and their allegiance with the Durothils destroyed. It was a plot that would take decades to accompolish, but ultimately would place the Dlardrageths in a position of more power and Dalren higher within that family.
Uldren had a weakness that Dalren could exploit – his sister. Velahr was an immensely passionate woman – a fighter for any cause she encountered that seemed just in her eyes. She was unwaveringly faithful to her instincts. She was beautiful and from a wealthy family. These qualities made her very desireable to bachelors and they made her the perfect target for Dalren. It took years of playing nice with Uldren to even earn an audience with her and nearly twenty years to win her heart, but he was eventually successful. Even Xiilthara was impressed with the dedication he had towards the charade.
Now that the first piece of the puzzle was in place he could focus on the target. He decided Cor Irythil would be the best target. Son of the current coronal, and close friend of the Durothil family – husband of one of their daughters. Velahr was not unwise but she was vehement in her hatred of the Illythiri. Cor Irithyl shared this trait, and Velahr considered him a close friend. That would be how Dalren unravelled this trio of weights around his family’s ankles. Cor was a noble and good man, and it would not be easy to convince him to associate with the Illythiri for any good reason. His wife, however, was a vain woman. A woman who desired wealth and power above anything else – he could manipulate her into an allegience with the Illythiri (or at least who she believed were Illythiri) to further the Irythils without their even knowning. Dalren, in the guise of an Earlanni merchant, visited the woman and explained that he had a supplier of exotic goods among the Illythiri and could arrange an meeting with him (for a small share of the profits of course). She agreed to meet him, and Dalren – in the guise of a household servant of the Irythils – alerted Faern. Faern did not believe this, and decided to scry on the the meeting to see for himself. Dalren then (in the guise of the dhaerow) met and negotiated the trade agreement – the Earlanni would provide her with his goods, so it would seem as if they were just getting them from Earlann – perfectly harmless for her. Dalren then left, and returned as himself to look for Uldren whom he was going to ask for advice on a spell that he was working to create. Dalren then claimed to have spotted the drow leaving the premesis and got into an argument with Cor’s wife, explaining to her the destruction she could bring to her family. Dalren had previously charmmed another of her servants into eavesdropping on the argument, and then taking what she learned to Velahr’s father, who happened to be the marshall for this barony.
When Velahr heard the news, Dalren was present. Now was the time! All his work was culminating to a beautiful, violent finish. Dalren reminded her the importance of solidarity, and promised to stay by her side. He magically influenced her – which wasn’t difficult given her state of mind. She would have his blood! She herself led a contigent of soldiers to the Irythil estate and demanded they admit their wrongdoings and submit to the authority of elven law – which called for death for any who deal with the Illythiri (the crown wars were still quite fresh in their minds). Cor was willing to submit, but his wife was not quite ready to die. At the behest of a telepathic suggestion from Dalren, she ordered her guards to defend the estate and the ensuing battle left most of the Irythil’s present dead or wounded. Cor managed to escape, but this was a minor detail. The vacuum in leadership was filled by Xiilthara Dlardrageth – the new Baroness of the eastern half of Cormanthyr forest.
Dalrens plot had come to an amazing finish, and he earned great deals of respect from his family – but it was not yet truly finished. He still was training in pair with Uldren Starym, and had yet to be named the next Spell Major so Dalren set out to devising a way to get Uldren out of the picutre, continuing his charade with Velahr both for personal pleasure and for the convenience she may provide later.
Unfortunately he never got a chance to enact any plot – as Cor returned, only two years later, to the elven court. Appalled, the nobles were ready to put him to death, but Cor pleaded his case – that he had been setup by demons living among them – and claimed to have proof! He presented for the first time a spell that would see not only through illusions, but polymorphs and shape changes of all kinds. No matter what it was, this spell would see true. The spell was tested by several prominent wizards in the court and eventually determined that his description was accurate. Cor then pointed out Xiilthara, who in her true form was of course a half-demon due to the high magic transformation she had undergone.
Absolute chaos erputed amongst the elves. By this point, many elven families relied on the strength of the Dlardrageths, removal of the family would lead to dire consequences in the elven nation – but many could not stand the thought of diabolical influence in the elven court. Though debate was fierce, no official conclusion was ever reached. Before it could, Velahr rallied soldiers and led an assault on the Dlardrageth estate. Sarya managed to gather her children and her nephew and escape the slaughter, but the rest of the family was slain. During the battle the torrent of magic being unleashed corrupted the Dlardrageth Estate’s mythals and rampant living spells and wild magic zones eventually forced the attackers out.
The elves made the mistake of assuming the remainder of the house had died inside that estate – only Sarya, her daughter, four sons, and nephew had not. The seven survivors built a complex beneath the abandoned fort of Ascal’s Horn in the lands that once belonged to their Vyshantii predecessors. Here, the secretly continued to influence and help the noble families that had sided with them, and continued breeding more fey’ri.
While the surviving Dlardrageths were hiding beneath their noses, the elves vowed that they would never again allow themselves to be influenced so. Dalren had nearly become the spell major! It was a terrifingly close brush with defeat, and so Faern, Cor, and Velahr all agreed to sacrafice themselves in a high magic ritual that would forever protect the elves from such a tragedy. Three magnificent blades were crafted, and the souls of these heros were imbued to the blades themselves, creating the Elfblades. Over time, the elven language would evolve immortalizing these 3 individuals – Velahr came to be the word for war, Faern the name for the art, and Cor became rulership. Thus the Ary’Faern’Kerym (the Artblade), Ary’Cor’Kerym (the Rulers Blade), and Ary’Velahr’Kerym (the Warblade) were created.
After centuries had passed the elves finally were able to break down the defunct Mythals at the Dlardrageth estate and sift through the wreckage. They soon discovered that the seven had escaped and divined their location. Uldren and several others then gated to the not-so-abandoned Ascal’s Horn and an epic battle between the remaining Dlardrageths and their attackers ensued. In the end, Sarya’s Daughter and one of her sons were slain.
Dalren led Uldren away from the main battle and the two dueled inside another passageway where Dalren was victorius – he finally was able to slay the little wretch that had been a part of his life for so long. It was at that time that the other mages created the spell that trapped the Dlardrageths in permanent reverie.
At that time, the mages had not planned on keeping them there forever. They reported their improsonment to the elven court who had yet to decide what to do with them – they had been very quiet in the last centuries – and many families still decried the attack on their estate and wanted the people involved persecuted for murder. When news that they had been discovered and were being threatened with execution was leaked, the fey’ri houses ignited the last spark required to set off the Seven Citadels War. By the end of this war, all of those who had imprisoned the remaining Dlardrageths were slain and nobody alive knew where they were. Eventually, they were forgotton…
During his searching of the catacombs, Dalren came across the corpse of his long time nemesis – it appears nobody had ever discovered he was missing. Naturally his family would have assumed he was dead – but what if he had been accidentally caught in the spell as well? His belongings were perfectly preserved…it was almost too perfect. Dalren donned the garb and identity of Uldren Starym and ventured back to the surface to tell the tale of how he had slain Dalren and been trapped in time by mistake.
Here on the surface he learned of the rise and fall of the Nethrese empire and Mystras new restriction on high level magic. It appears there are no spells powerful enough to break the spell that bound his family. Dalren returned to Sarya and explained his obstacle and asked for advice – she dreamed of an extradimensional space that was nothing but a circle of portals, and a stone. Dalren returned to the surface and researched for weeks until he discovered an artifact known as the gate-keepers crystal. Studying from forgotten tomes he was eventually able to decipher how that would help him.
And so, Dalren began to plot again. He would gather the peices of the crystal and trick someone else into using it to free his family. And, in the mean time, he would wreak all kinds of revenge upon the Ar’Tel’Quessir that had done this to them….