Forgileill and Thranduil in Arbolt
Forgileill felt herself sicken upon her return to the Above. Obviously whatever the followers of the Spider Queen had done to her to enable her to survive in the Below was not conducive to her long term good health.
With Thranduilís help, she made her way back to Corwyl. There a brief council was held with the Ancestral Speaker and the three tribal elders. She told them what she knew of the plots and twists of Dezzavold. They arranged for her to pass into the care of their healers.
The body of the three confided to Thranduil that indeed, the things they had done to her would have presented an enormous cost in resources. And perhaps even, the cooperation of more than one of their gods. They had made her, in all but skin tone, Drow. She was, as she lay before them in peaceful rest, one of the ancient enemy. They had surely intended for her to stay with them forever.
The mind of the three was left reeling at the extent of the alterations the ithilid had made. There was little that could be done, by nostir or blackrobe, that would undo any part of the surgery that the mind flayer had performed.
And yet, according to the heart of the three, Forgileillís rejection of all things Drowic, and her natural instinct to question authority would stand her in good stead when it come to her recovery. If she lived.
Thranduil spoke with the Ancestral Speaker. Arrangements were made to inform the closest of her kin.
The Asrai performed their magical surgery as best they could. Alu Canath Nhi arrived to convey a very ill Forgileill away to convalesce. At her request, Thrandiul was to accompany her during her convalescence.
She spent the winter in her familial longhouse on Arbolt. Whilst the artic winter raged outside, she spent the dark months repairing fishing nets, spinning yarn and listening as the Clan matriarch, Lirazeal, in a quiet voice, told her their families tale of the years, from the days of the High King when those who are now the Grey Elves were the Light Elves and lived in what is now Perranland. Of their move to Arbolt, of the years of BathamÓr and the advent of the Empire. They mended nets together whilst family life went on around them.
Forgileill came to understand that Feanor and Thingol had been chosen because they were already military leaders. That their family was destined to work for the good of all the nostir, leading the Grey Elves in penance for their years of BathamÓr. Almost of this unspoken debt seemed to be paid, which was why various Grey Elf houses were returning to their beautiful but oh so bleak island.
On the long cold winter nights, the Clan would gather in their longhouses (Q. ĎOromardií referring to their elevation above sea level), their men would spin ropes and women would prepare and knit wool whilst a family member would recite one of the sagas or work some tale into verse.
They told their sagas in two styles, Annurima poetry, which sounds to us like free metre poetry and QuenostimŽ, which employs a unique and well defined syntax and vocabulary . Annurima works deal primarily with the Heroic and Mythical. Heroic Annurima are based on the deeds of the High Kings and their knights and Mythic Annurima are based on the Seldarine and their lives and deeds. The QuenostimŽ were first composed to tell of the journey of the SindaliŽ to their new home.
Much to Forgileillís delight, many other members of her immediate family; people she knew and loved, repaired to Arbolt for a brief period. To spend time with their kin and to see how she was doing. Most could only stay a week or two. She gathered that the travelling spiral here went only to itís counterpart in their estate in Ket, from where they then travelled on. Having seen the machinations of her classmates in Saironost, she could see why there was no direct route. Certainly one would need to be of high standing with all the sea gods, or an immensely powerful weather mage to make the journey by sea at this time of year.
Belannia stayed with her for a month, they carded wool as Lirazealís tales took them from the Dagor RhassŽ to the Dagor Tarsil. She understood now why her fatherís acknowledgement of Alu Canath as his brother was so important, and why Alu Canath had to wait four hundred years before being recognised as direct kin by his fatherís clan.
Whilst Feanor, as Laru, led the empire in war, so the other BathamÓr had waged a less obvious campaign directly against the sandestines and evil magic users of the flanaess. She saw why becoming imperial nobility had happened and how the Grey Elves generally regarded this as a mixed blessing. It brought responsibilities, duties towards those ruled. The rewards were too closely tied to the land. The Grey Elven clans that had been BathamÓr still bore their older debt with regard to sandestines and evil magic users.
Jadhrim arrived, borne in by two other Gwathlo warrior women. They were sisters of Lammasu and Jadhrim had been grievously hurt fighting some unnamed horror. There was no great drama, her care was seamlessly integrated into the winter routine. Forgileill spent some of the later part of her own convalescence watching over her seriously ill cousinís slow recovery.
Thranduil spent a little time with the fishermen. He was hard working and enthusiastic but no great asset to the experienced fishing fleet. He wandered over the barrows, the burial mounds of the Gwathlo and into the frozen interior where he met with the small population of Galadhrim monks. They were organising the Griffin hunt. There were very strict laws on Arbolt to do with the hunting of both deer and Griffin. Only the alpha male was to be taken, and then only by spear. Only certain bloodlines had the legal right to participate. As a decendant of one SindaliŽ house, Thranduil was permitted to join in.
As a refusal often offends, he duly received his ceremonial spear and relinquished his attire. Unlike going sky clad in Tir Nan Og, he now stood a very real chance of dying from environmental causes. Heíd spent many hours meditating and contemplating the Griffins of the Yatils. He had no intention of hunting them here, even if it would ensure the continued health of the pride. He did hope, however, that the successful hunter would hurry up, as he was having trouble staying warm. He wandered a little way, and found that the snow was quickly covering his tracks. He was lost. He judged that he was running out of twilight (day did not break completely over Arbolt at this time of year) and that it would be night time proper. And that without succour, he would die.
Thranduil made his way to a rocky outcrop. With no panic, but an increasing sense of urgency, he searched for shelter. Then he espied a likely perch some four meters up. He thought he saw a whisp of steam escape there from. A geothermal vent. Certain warmth for the night. A chance to live.
He was clambering onto where he had hoped would be his life preserving cave for the night. As he did so there was a terrible shriek and a rush of vast wings and the scrape of claws. He knew then that he had found one of the perches of the pride. It had not been steam he had seen but the exhalations of a griffin. He knew from months of watching these efficient predators that having failed to dislodge him as it took off, that the creature would wheel around and pluck him from the rocks unless he could make it up there. He flung the spear up and began to search for holds with his toes.
With one hand jammed into a fissure in the frozen rock and his bare feet fighting for purchase on the rime, he pulled up. The griffin had already begun itís shallow dive. Thranduil grabbed the makeshift spear and barely turned in time. The griffinís claws dug into his flanks as the huge beast flew on to the spear. Overcome with shock, Thranduil lay stunned for a short time before passing out.
The monks said that Thranduil had been favoured by Solonor the hunter. That the blood of the griffin had flowed into his open wounds. That he was, by consequence, now doubly blessed. The Grey Elves said that it truly was a miracle that he was alive at all and that only the immense griffin carcass between him and the blizzard kept him alive at all. Nonetheless, the hunt only occurs once every twenty four years. The monks took away the body for their own religious purposes, presenting Thranduil with one enormous bronze coloured feather.
The Gwahtlo praised the bravery of their guest. The Samhaine feast, mostly whale and seal, was held in his honour. His bravery was toasted, as was his steadfast loyalty, before his courage once again became the main topic of verse. He had, after all, ventured into the below in order to rescue their youngest daughter.
Meta Game Stuff
The Asrai remove the fungal implants, enabling Forgileill to return to a normal diet. They remove the enchantment that causes the courtesan spiders, meaning that she will be free of them by the time she reaches Arbolt. They undo the magical surgery that causes the unborn saviour. They can only switch the demonic influence on her sensuality for a fey spirit. This they do. The special presence bonus drops to +3.
They cannot do anything about the brain surgery.
She gains six ranks in SindaliŽ lore and two ranks in spinning (wool)
Thranduil is indoctrinated into the Griffin cult by the Galadhrim monks of Arbolt.