Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reblog: Thonia, Blackmoor, and the Fey: Bargains

    Known as “Morgana” among humans of the North, “Malbeth” by the dwarves, “Al’mistra Solodon” by the elves of the Red Woods.
    Those of an age to remember her from the time of the Second Republic in Thonia name her as the Mother of Secrets, the Grey Lady, She of the Mists, Gatherer of the Dawns. 
    The Valemen called her “Namestealer.” Among the Peshwah she was known as “Faceless Night,” for there it is said she only appeared during the new moon.

Orignally blogged 10 January, 2011

In an effort to lay foundations for current events in Thorn’s Mystara, I’ve been looking at events and explanations of events in the canon Mystara’s past, and doing some re-thinking.

I have always seen the fey as beings aloof from the material world. The affairs of men and elves and dwarves were just as alien to them as their ways were to the mortals of Mystara. As quasi-Immortal beings, certainly the struggles of the other races would seem inconsequential in the long term view of the fey.
After the Egg of Coot’s first devastating attack on the castle, the Wizard of the Woods convinced the fey to shelter the Baron’s family, hiding them from the rampaging forces of the Egg.
The Queen of the Fey did not lend her aid from the goodness of her heart. As with every other legendary dealing with the spirit-folk, their aid came at a price.
While her people were in decline, and they may have been aloof from the dealings of the material world, it did not mean that they were happy with the situation and were content to simply fade from world and memory. In lending aid to the Baron of Blackmoor, the Queen saw her chance to remedy the situation.
Give to me your firstborn, the Queen of the Fair Folk said to Uther’s father, and you shall have the aid you seek.
It took the Wizard of the Woods nearly three months to bring the Queen back to bargain further with the Baron, after his flat refusal.
Even then, she refused to deal with the Baron himself; she would only speak to Uther. The Wizard of the Woods was present, to ensure the dealings were carried out fairly, but even he would not tell the Baron of the deal struck between the heir of the barony and the Queen of the Fey.
A little over a year later, Uther and his immediate family are able to slip through the Egg’s siege lines moments before its forces swarm the castle. Historians have claimed this to be nothing short of miraculous. Some say this is an indication of whatever bargain it is that Uther was able to forge with the Queen of the Fey, and it was by her power that he was kept safe. Uther’s whereabouts are unaccounted for for much of that year, and some say that he was fostered among the Fey of the eastern woods, kept safe while King Funk’s orcs rampaged through the barony.
On his 13th birthday, the queen presented Uther with a recrafted version of his father’s sword, said to be imbued with the powers of the land and those of the queen’s people. Before the sun rose the next morning, Uther had taken up the sword and made for the dungeons beneath Blackmoor, intent on reclaiming his family’s castle.
Though dressed as common adventurers, the force of elves that descended on the fortress exhibited tactics and used magics rarely seen among their kind, leading many to believe they were somehow attached to the Queen of the Fey. Rather than simply out for a good time slaying orcs, they were sent to rescue a headstrong and reckless young Uther. In so doing, they drove the orcs from ten levels of the dungeons, and cleared the way for Svenny’s duel with Funk the First, an event that overshadowed the true nature of the episode....

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