Funds: An Anniversarial Interruption (The Keep)utside your window, the entire Keep is aglow in hanging lights that stave off the evening dimness. They wrap the towers in cheery illumination that speak of coming spring, and of course, most students’ favorite holiday—the anniversary of the Keep’s founding.
And tonight is the anniversary feast. Everyone currently residing at the Keep will attend. You’ve picked out your best robes for the occasion, and already the luscious scents of roasting meat and spicy herbs have begun to emanate from the kitchens through the stone floors.
As you head out of your room and down the steps, the smells grow stronger, and you join the gathering throng of people heading toward the Great Hall. Creatures run at your feet, from the small forms of jerboa and keep rats to direwolves, padding along by their mage’s side. You wave at some of your friends as you enter the double doors, and soon you are wrapped up in savory scents as you take your seat at one of the enormous long tables.
Despite the scent, no food has yet to appear, though first year students stand ready to serve. In the center of the room, at the round table where the masters usually sit, Master Belmos is standing and surveying the room as though counting every student who comes in through the doors. There is a small smile on his face as the hall fills, the sound of laughter and talking becoming a happy din.
Soon enough, you are surrounded by your friends and classmates, and everything from winged cats to an odd osath swoops overhead. Down the length of your table, a second year student offers her tiny tarax a drop of honey from one of the serving decanters. You wonder if that means they will be serving ham.
People around you grow quiet, and you look to the center tables, where Master Belmos looks ready to begin to speak. You wonder what this year’s story will be—perhaps a tale from the history of the Keep, or a legend about Renna, the Keep’s first master.
Master Belmos nods, the hall suddenly silent. His voice breaks the quiet. "Tonight, students, we will hear the tale of--"
An enormous bang from the entrance sends your heart racing and the second year student’s tiny tarax bolting in fear.
A young man in green robes, with a bright red abeoth frog on his shoulder and a rekel at his heels, strides in through the doors, one of which now hangs loose on a broken hinge. The doorknob falls onto the floor with a clang. There’s a smirk on the man’s face, and his dark eyes rake the room.
“Talyn!” One of the professors, one you recognize from your lessons on navigation, stands from the table, his voice booming. His direwolf echoes him with a bark. “What is the meaning of this?” Master Belmos puts up a hand for calm, but he too is glaring at the newcomer.
Talyn. The name sounds familiar. Something about a cehual boar and lots of disciplinary hearings.
“Hello, everyone! Happy Anniversary!” Talyn has enchanted his voice, and it rings from the rafters, sending an osath honking in flight. “And, thank you to my professors for permitting me to graduate. Finally.” He bows to Belmos and the group at the center table. The professor with the direwolf scowls, and Belmos just sets his jaw.
“Before you all enjoy your little yearly story, I have an announcement to make.” Talyn snaps his fingers, heeling his Rekel which had begun sniffing at the nearest table and licking a petrified looking student’s silverware. “As my graduation present to myself, and a celebration of my newfound independence as a mage, I am going on a journey.” You exchange glances with the student on your left. That is the reason he’s interrupting the anniversary dinner?
“But this won’t be just any journey. And it isn’t just for me. I’ve found someone who knows places that lie far beyond the Keep, and he has agreed to help me. I will be exploring lands far beyond what mages have charted so far. Lands forgotten since the time of the mage wars!” He raises his voice, and your ears ring. “A journey to find new lands, and new things, to make new spells. Free of the rules made by ancient mages.” He smirks, grabbing a fork off a table and throwing to his Rekel, who munches it happily. The metal cracks between the creature’s teeth, and the navigation professor’s frown grows deeper. “All I need is a few helping hands.”
“Money, you mean,” the navigation professor says with a sniff.
“Yes, that.” The smile never leaves Talyn’s face. “But isn’t this the perfect time? Let’s mark the anniversary of this ancient Keep,” he smacks the stone like he’s patting a horse, “by sending our mages out to discover new places. And money will, of course, be the first step. Anyone who agrees with me, come find me by the stables. Any funding you have, I’ll accept.” He grins wider. “And if you want to come along on the eventual journey, that’s even better.” With that, he snaps his fingers, turning on his heel. His Rekel darts after him, grabbing the doorknob in its teeth as it follows him out.
Immediately, conversation begins buzzing around you, the night's story forgotten. A journey to unknown lands. Talyn. Your mind whirls with curiosity.
Maybe sometime soon, you’ll pay Talyn a visit.
Funds: Donate to Talyn's exploration (The Keep)You pause, slack jawed in the early morning sun. The stables have been transformed. Or more accurately, expanded.
Three wagons ring the stables, two of which are filled to the brim with burlap sacks. A cehual boar noses a loose sack with its tusks, and you step carefully as you approach.
You enter a small room, a new extension to the stables, where Talyn sits behind three pieces of wood assembled into a makeshift desk. He grins when he sees you, his abeoth frog motionless on his shoulder as usual. His rekel sits by his side.
“Well hello!” he says, standing up and offering you a hand. His grip is a little too tight, and reminds you of the salesmen from the nearby city. “Here to fund the expedition? I’m looking for any donation at all. It’s about time we mages expanded further out into the world, don’t you think? My new friend, a totally trustworthy guy named Alethin, has agreed to help us. With enough funding, he’ll tell us all he knows, and we can explore the very edges of the continent. Think of the riches we might find!” His eyes gleam.
Well, whatever you wish,” he says with a shrug. “I’ll see the world, one way or the other.”
“Thanks,” he says. “Your donation will take us a long way.”