The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Sidholt.

A little gully dwarf runs by and says 'Wordwrap Off 65 80.'
The gully continues 'Eyes hurt? Turn Color OFF!! (regular story dates)

Astinus says 'Enter the main library here to view only the author list.'
Astinus gently places a well written novel on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Sidholt' scribed in dull purple ink.



Author:  Sidholt
Date    Sat Jul 27 21:02:07 2002


Subject  the renegade Sidholt




The human renegade mage called Sidholt was discovered by Aelroth. Formerly
known to be travelling with Kestren Bloodstream, another renegade of the
Conclave, Sidholt has apparently agreed to answer to Lord Aelroth's
commands.

Sidholt, as far as anyone can tell, is quite mad. He does not speak much,
and when he does, it is cryptic and indecipherable to the knights of
Takhisis.

However, there was very little difficulty in getting the renegade to swear
the blood oath.

His odd loyalty to Lord Aelroth is a mystery, perhaps even to Aelroth
himself. Sidholt's magic is unpredictable and often reckless, and Aelroth's
aim is to use the young renegade as a weapon against the Conclave.



Author:  Sidholt
Date    Sat Aug 17 08:01:50 2002


Subject  a night at the Obsidian Trace




(the Obsidian Trace tavern, Sanction) Meeda Siyal's one good eye was
staring daggers at the kapak known as Haask. She remembered the lizard's name
only because it reminded her of the sound she would make whenever she hocked a
good spit. The restoration of Sanction after Misfortune's Year had neglected
certain areas of the city on the outer fringes. The Obsidian Trace was a small
tavern in one such slum. The Trace was popular among the hardy locals,
offering ale to the humble crowd of regular patrons.

In the past week, however, the quiet atmosphere of the Trace had been rudely
disrupted by the arrival of some draconians who had decided to make the tavern
their new haunt.

Unpleasant rumors regarding this band of draconians had reached the tavern
before they had even step foot inside. The outspoken and popular barkeep,
Daust had immediately made it clear that the draconians were not welcome in
his establishment. The draconians left without argument. The following day,
Daust was found in a nearby alley, cut from throat to belly.

The barmaid Velia, who had taken over to running the tavern, could only
watch through red-rimmed eyes as the draconians casually sauntered through the
door the following night. Forcefully removing several of the tavern's regulars
from their seats, they made themselves comfortable and had returned every
night since.

Within days, the tavern had lost the business of most of its loyal
customers. The draconians were sure trouble, and any Sanction citizen of sound
mind had long learned to leave situations like this alone.

This night, the place was near empty. Velia stood sullen behind the bar,
eyes downcast and slowly polishing a mug. The eight draconians sat by the
door, conveniently allowing them to harass anyone entering or leaving the
tavern. Meeda sat alone at her usual spot in the corner. Full of spirits and
unable to stand, she narrowed her eye at the large kapak leader Haask, who was
loudly relating some gruesome details to his baaz companions.

There were only three others in the tavern. A pair of grizzled men sat at
the bar, their shoulders hunched and heads down, all-too-common traits of the
local populace.

Then there was the young man who had been sitting by the fireplace all
night, his grey hood up, talking into his own mug. Meeda was well-accustomed
to crazies, and would readily admit to being one herself. Formerly the captain
of the merchant vessel Elya Celene, she had lost her ship and steel in a
series of misfortunes that led ultimately to the worst tragedy of all ---

She had lost her strength of will to the ale cask, disheartened by constant
news of death, and sickened by the sight of poverty-stricken masses who all
shared the same pleading eyes that followed her wherever she travelled to over
the face of Krynn.

It had now been two years since she had retired herself to the outskirts of
Sanction, content with the somber qualities of its citizens who managed just
to survive, and drink.

Wisened by strife, they asked no questions and seemed to accept her
immediately with a quick appraisal of her troubled features.

Now she sat in the dim corner, her two year drunken hiatus from life rudely
broken by the eight scaled abominations seated not five strides away. Eight
pressing reminders of everything she had sought to escape from.

Meeda had been a fairly skilled swordmaiden in her day, taught well by her
surrogate father who had taken her in as an orphan and eventually passed on to
her the Elya Celene.

In her sober moments, she would sometimes unsheath her old sword and gaze
upon it in a daydream. Lost in a past version of Meeda Siyal, the who would
not have hesitated to put the draconians in their place from day one.

(con't..)



Author:  Sidholt
Date    Sat Aug 17 08:15:38 2002


Subject  a night at the Obsidian Trace (Part II)




              *                        *                        *

Rain was lightly falling upon Sanction, the rain bringing to a rise the
faint acrid stench of the lava.

The two men seated at the bar had gone now, and the draconians were quieter,
clicking away softly in their language amongst each other.

The odd young man by the fireplace had not moved. Meeda could not recall
having seen him in the Trace before, however the barmaid Velia moved often to
ask if he needed a refill, comforted by human presence.

Velia would bite her lip and bow her head as she would refill Meeda's
tankard, as if in a plea for the older woman to do something about the band of
draconians. This annoyed Meeda a great deal, and she had ceased to even look
at the barmaid.

The tavern had never been this empty in Meeda's entire two year stay, and
she became more and more detached as the night went on, lost in her own
reverie.

She didn't notice the furtive glances from the draconians, or the way their
attention was suddenly drawn towards the bar.

A baaz stood abruptly, and latched the tavern door.

Velia looked up, startled.

The kapak gave a hiss, and the remaining draconians stood slowly. At a nod
from his leader, a baaz swaggered up to the bar, leering at young Velia.
"Firssst, the sssssteel."

Velia's nerves finally broke, and squealing, she made an attempt for the
kitchen door. The baaz crashed over the bar in pursuit, grabbing her by the
arm and yanking her backwards. Claws tore into her flesh and she screamed.

Somehow, a mug had levitated in the air, and flew with speedy precision into
the side of the baaz's head with a sickening crunch.

The baaz, eyes bulging out of his head, emitted a gurgling cough and
released the barmaid. The rest of the draconians, bemused, watched as their
companion thudded to the floor unconscious.

The figure by the fireplace slowly stood up.

It was Meeda's first good look at the young man. Quite tall and rather thin,
he was clad in grey robes and a long black raincloak. As he stood up, his face
remained downcast, his shoulders stooped. He swayed slightly, perhaps from the
ale.

Something about the way his body moved was oddly unwholesome. An odd image
came into Meeda's mind of the awkwardness of a string puppet, one that was
attempting to break free of its master.

As if it took tremendous effort to do so, he jerked his hand up to pull back
his hood, revealing a mop of wild black hair. Letting his hand fall to his
side, he jerked his head up to face the rest of the tavern. His eyes were
large pools of light blue, round as to appear completely unnatural and rather
frightening in their intensity. His mouth seemed to be torn between a smile
and a grimace. Though obviously a young man, he was graying around the
temples. (con't..)



Author:  Sidholt
Date    Sat Aug 17 08:34:18 2002


Subject  a night at the Obsidian Trace (Part III)




Astonished, Haask hesitated for briefly before snarling out a command. Two
draconians circled from behind their leader warily, closing in from both
sides on the robed figure.

Yet the young man appeared not to notice. He was staring intently at
Meeda. Meeda, her eye caught in the young man's disturbing gaze, watched
as his eyes flickered and darted from side to side. He raised both hands
and made a fluidly graceful gesture.

Armed with their belt daggers, the draconians hissed, lunging
simultaneously.

And somehow he evaded both draconians without moving from his place.

The draconians, however, had in mid-air, stabbed each other in the throat.

They turned to stone as they fell behind the young man, crashing into the
oak floor as statues.

Meeda blinked, unable to understand what she had just seen.

With a roar, the kapak Haask went after young Velia. She was on the floor
whimpering, clutching her bleeding arm. Grabbing her by the hair, Haask
pulled out his serrated blade.

With a resolve she did not realize she still possessed, Meeda managed to
stand up. "Unhand her!", she slurred.

Haask whirled upon Meeda in a fury, slitted eyes blazing.

Meeda drew her sword on reflex and in that same motion slashed across the
ugly features of the kapak. Ichor sprayed as the draconian's head was
split open. Meeda had no choice but to grab ahold of young Velia by her
injured arm and throw her to the side as the kapak seemed to crumble
before them into a puddle of acid, burning a large hole into the floor and
exposing the cellar beneath.

The remaining baaz, completely unnerved, scrambled to unlatch the door, and
within moments had disappeared into the darkness outside.

Turning her attention to the young mage, Meeda scowled.

"Who, or what, are you? And why are you here tonight?"

The mage looked at her blankly, as if not fully comprehending her question.
Then as if struck by a sudden inspiration, he started to giggle.

"Who am I... who am I? Why, I'm a knight of Takhisis!"

Baffled by the answer, Meeda stared dumbly at the mage as he walked
forward and smiled.

Briefly, the mage's smile seemed to be all-encompassing, and no longer
seemed to strange.

In fact, Meeda noticed for the first time that the young man was rather
handsome. His eyes seemed to shine brighter, and more intense.

"In another lifetime, I had known a young man.

"He had lost his heart, see. He went all abroad searching for it, along the
way he gave much to the needy, and aided those who were stranded in
misfortune's path." Meeda could only stare into the brilliant pools of
blue.

"But in the end, he found his heart exactly where he had left it!"

The young man paused, as if astonished at what he had just spoken, and
began to giggle madly.

He didn't stop laughing. His laughter trailed off into the distance as he
strided out the door and away into the Sanction rain.

              *                        *                        *

Meeda's eyes lowered stared at her hands, now completely sober.

Her face was pensive as she walked to the huddled and crying Velia and took
the young woman into her arms, shushing her as if she were a babe. And
mid-afternoon on the following day, after making proper arrangments to
ensure young Velia's safety, Meeda Siyal departed Sanction on a chartered
boat to the New Sea, quite hungover, yet better than she had felt in
years.



Author:  Sidholt
Date    Wed Jan 15 18:02:16 2003



Subject  ..



The innkeep was gone.

Sidholt ran his index finger along the length of the bar, and frowned. The
layer of dust was thick upon every surface in the small inn. Morik must have
had gone shortly after his own departure from Sanction not three weeks before.

Sidholt had laughingly promised that he would return to their unfinished game
of khas.

The board was still upstairs in his old room, the game as they had left it.

He paced every inch of the small inn, meticulously examining every corner,
wall and surface.

He found nothing, no sign of a disturbance or struggle.

And it bothered him to no end.

This was Morik's only home. The innkeep had scarce funds, and wasn't one to
wander elsewhere on a whim.

It was during his third time pacing through the kitchens that he noticed
something in the pot left on the stove.

He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he picked up the severed
finger.

He had seen the finger many times, tapping a rhythm on the tabletop before
deftly moving to advance a khas piece.

Sidholt dropped the finger back in the pot and closed his eyes, leaning
himself against the stove.

*     *     *

Yaden Varick didn't know quite what to expect, as he strolled into the dimly
lit inn on the northern outskirts of Sanction.

The tall dark-skinned Ergothian recognized the profile of his patron in the
dimly lit inn. Sidholt was sitting motionlessly with his back to the door.

"Milord?"

Sidholt stood and slowly turned to give his squire a curt salute. His face was
half-hidden by the wide brim of his black hat.

"Good of you to come here, Yaden."

"You called me here on short notice, sire. Your message was rather brief."

Sidholt stepped forward and removed his hat. Yaden's eyes widened, startled.

Sidholt's face was deathly pale, his eyes bloodshot and the brilliance of his
round blue eyes was faded.

"Sir!"

Sidholt ignored his squire's reaction and sat himself back down.

"I must rejoin Lord Decred in two days. There is something you must do for
me here."

Yaden nodded.

"The innkeep here, has disappeared. It is important to me that he is
found.

If he is alive, good. If he is dead, you must find me the ones
responsible."

"Forgive me, sire, but this man, he is a friend?"

Sidholt hesitated, cracking his knuckles before answering.

"He is part of my peace of mind."

With that, he stood and gave Yaden a grave look.

"Find him."

Sidholt brushed past the taller man, and was gone.

Yaden stood at attention for several moments before going to the bar and
getting himself a glass of the finer wines available. He stared blankly at the
severed finger that Sidholt had left on the bar surface, and sighed, wondering
where exactly he was going to start.

(Story quest for Yaden, good luck)

The Storytellers of Ansalon, The DragonLance MUD

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