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Library: A bardic tale: Tel'Abor, the many faceted emerald necklace

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Author: pisano
Date:Oct 21 2014

A bard tale of Tel'Abor the many faceted emerald necklace

In days past, though not beyond living memory, there lived an alchemist and
artificer of renown.  Herein lies the tale of an artifact created to protect,
and the strife it caused.

The alchemist was known as Estelle to her friends and simply as The Jewel
Smith to those in the surrounding areas.  Her skill was, in part, due to
natural talent, but much of her magic came from a boon granted by the Grome,
the king of the earth elementals, with whom she had forged a bond.  She served
Grome, glorifying metals, gems, and stone mined from the earth and in return
he aided her with magical enchantments.

Over time the wealthy and then even the royal family sought her out such was
her skill in jewelry craft and gem cutting.  She built a tall tower which
contained workshops and a materials exchange used by those for miles around. 
More than simply crafting items of great beauty, though her skill in that area
was unmatched, she also used Grome?s gift to imbue her creations with tricks,
traps, and even powerful enchantments.  

One day the Wizard Pluvius commissioned to craft for him an emerald necklace. 
It was to be a gift to his beloved Alawe.  He desired, "something to keep her
safe from all harm" and he brought with him a massive uncut gem of the finest
emerald of pure verdant green, almost perfectly clear to the eye.  This stone
he presented to Estelle and asked her to craft him her finest work.  In return
he promised a wagon train of gold and a three coffers of mithril.  Estelle
accepted the task and sent him away.  She labored for seven months, night and
day and produced an artifact of unmatched quality.  For the chain she wove
three strands, one of highsteel, one of platinum, and one of electrum.  But it
was the gem itself that was the masterpiece for she polished and shaped it
into an unusual many faceted cut.  Smaller emeralds too were added and mixed
with aquamarines which were set around the rest of the necklace in smaller
settings.  When she was finished she smiled in satisfaction at a item well
made.  The artifact came to be known as Tel?Abor, the many faceted emerald
necklace.

But other parties were interested in the necklace.  Word spread of the
necklace and its beauty.  Naga are jealous of any who possess beryl,
aquamarine, and, above all other gems, emeralds.  Upon hearing this news a
powerful dark naga, Pelatan?dru, scryed Estelle and saw the necklace for
himself.  He watched and waited and learned of the plans for the delivery of
payment and exchange of the necklace.  He plotted a bold strike to take both
the necklace and the payment from Pluvius.  

** Interlude: On the Nature of the Naga **

In order to come to a more complete understanding of the ensuing battle the
reader should be enlightened as to the nature of naga folk.  Naga are lawful
and hierarchical.  Larger specimens and those with magical powers typically
find their way to the top of the hierarchy.  They are not a numerous folk
however, as a typical clutch of eggs will fight each other until only one
remains.

In combat an individual naga is a dangerous foe.  They have long, snakelike
bodies covered with glistening scales, and more or less human faces.  They can
be as long as 18 feet though a more usual soldier is closer to 13 feet in
length and they typically mass as much as a orc in full battle armour.  Naga
are immune to most poisons and resistant to mind altering magicks.  They are
also known to spit poison in battle and some may be skilled with cold and
air-based magicks.  If pressed a naga may wrap itself around a smaller foe
allowing its allies to strike the grappled and helpless enemy.  Lastly, though
few have returned to tell the tale, a naga in the water is lightning quick and
all the more dangerous for water is their natural environment.  Woe be it to
the adventurer who fights even a single naga in the water.

Concerning the military tactics of the naga folk - in battle naga form
triangular phalanxes of six naga with five of pikemen in front of and
surrounding a single of the more dangerous magic users.  When fighting as a
unit they are more than the sum of their parts.  Naga are skilled at
deflecting spells and protecting each other in close formation.  A single
phalanx is more than a match for a platoon of the royal guard or several even
if left without proper magical support.  Naga are dangerous and not to be
taken lightly.

** An Ambush at the Jewel Smith?s Tower **

And so it was that when Pluvius brought his caravan of gold and coffers of
mithril, payment for necklace, he was set upon by eight phalanxes naga.  The
naga teleported in at the moment of the exchange, in front of the Gem Cutter?s
Tower, and surrounded the caravan.  The caravan guards moved to engage the
naga but quickly found themselves overmatched.  Powerful magicks were
unleashed that day.  Bolts of ice were hurled at the caravan and the very air
was sundered by balls of vacuum hurled by naga magefolk.  Pluvious met ice
with fire and rained lava down on the attacking naga.  Naga, being creatures
partially of the water, do not love fire and one phalanx broke under the
onslaught.  Pluvious conjured a massive wall of fire stopping the icy attacks
and allowing the defenders to regroup.

After a short time, however, continued blasts of ice magick overwhelmed the
wall of fire causing it to gutter out.  This left Pluvius weakened for he had
put much of his power into maintaining the wall.  Estelle, was dismayed, but
had many magical devices about her person.  She drew forth several figurines
encrusted with gems and called out to Grome for aid shouting a word of earth
magic.  The figurines grew into large elemental creatures of earth and
positive energy, gem elementals.  Each elemental gleamed in the light of day,
ruby, citrine, and zircon coloured light scintillating off their gemstone
hides they strode into battle.  Massive sharp fists rose and fell among the
Naga causing disarray in the ordered ranks of the central phalanxes.  The naga
quickly found that their pikes had little effect on the elementals.  But
pikemen kept them busy long enough for bolts of air to shatter the golems
piece by piece.

With her creations destroyed Estelle was hard pressed and forced to flee to
the safety of her tower's many protective abjurations.  Pluvius and his
remaining few guard fought bravely to drive off the Naga, but many were slain
and, in the end Pelatan'dru imprisoned Pluvius.  The Naga left, victorious
with the necklace, the coin, and the wizard trapped like a fly in amber.  And
thus the necklace Tel?Abor vanished from the surface world for many years for
none would dare venture into the watery halls of the dark naga. 

Heartbroken by the loss of her beloved Alawe swore vengeance on the Naga
people, but as of yet that vengeance has not come to pass.


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