Friday, September 14, 2007

The Fate of Christofer Silverleaf

Unbeknownst to his half-sister, Christofer spent a great deal of time trying to determine his father's location. He also spent a good deal of gold on shady types that gather information. He learned that Kraig murdered Lorin and later Xelena to unlock the key to the fabled city of Silverleaf.

Over the course of two years, Christofer played an odd game of cat and mouse with Kraig. Both spent a great deal of time and effort trying to determine what the other had discovered about Silverleaf. They chased each other across the Archipelago, into the Darklands, into Chin Cathay and beyond to Araby.

It was in Araby where Christofer met his love.

There was a wizard named Amahl el-Farouk that lived in the great city of Tazhina. Farouk was known more for his great power and wealth than his generosity, but he was not overly vicious either. He amassed a great horde of wealth that included not just earthly goods, but immortal servants as well.
His favorite was a succubus concubine named Surillis. It gave him a special thrill to know he had captured such a beautiful and dangerous demon and bent her to his will. In a classic example of Why Mortals Should Not Truck With Demons, Surillis bided her time, broke the bindings that held her, devoured Farouk's soul, and fled back to her beloved Abyss.
Now Farouk was a powerful wizard and a cunning man, so it took Surillis over three decades to win her freedom. During that time she bore him a son that Farouk immediately destroyed, and a daughter he did not. Farouk named the girl Layali and kept her in a tower far away from her mother.

By the time she was seventeen, Layali was a stunning young woman but her demonic heritage was obvious. She had dark reddish-brown skin, small glossy black horns, and a pointed tail. Farouk doted on her and staffed her tower with eunuchs and mutes.
Despite this precaution, rumors began to spread that the tower held an evil spirit that devoured men's souls. It didn't help that Layali would occasionally escape from the tower and walk about the city at night, so the occasional Tazhinian would catch a glimpse of her skulking through the alleys. Fear of Farouk kept the torch-wielding mobs at bay, so Layali and her servants were left unmolested... until it became known that Farouk was dead.

Even if he had wanted to, there would have been little the Rajah of Tazhina could have done to stop the citizens of his city from razing the large manor of Amahl el-Farouk and then turning their attentions on his tower across the city.

Christofer Silverleaf came to Tazhina because Amahl el-Farouk was an associate of Kraig's. Christo hoped to dupe Farouk into giving him some... well any information about Kraig or his unholy quest to usurp the power of Silverleaf.
When he arrived the city was flush with the news of Farouk's death. He saw the mob forming and knew he had no hope of gleaning any clues from Farouk's manor... but then he learned of Layali's tower from an eager-eyed torch-wielder. Using magic to reach the tower well before the wave of angry peasants, he frantically pleaded for entry with the fearful eunuch guardians. Only when the mob neared the gates of the tower did the servants allow Christofer in.
Layali had been summoned by this time. "Who are you?" she demanded. "What will you do here?"
Christofer, hoarse from shouting through the tower door, replied; "We don't have time for anything but escape! There is an angry mob of torch-wielding peasants at your gate!"
Layali felt a thrill of fear. She regularly had nightmares about mobs of peasants with torches sacking her tower. She knew common folk feared her. Her servants loved her of course, but even they feared her at first. "M-my father will come and tell them... ah..."
Christofer's eyes narrowed. "Your father is...?"
Layali stiffened her spine. "Amahl el-Farouk."
"Amahl el-Farouk is dead. He was devoured by one of his demons."
She nodded, wilting. "I feared it was so." She straightened again. "They will want me. I will draw them away so my servants can escape."
Christofer--who possessed none of his sister's talent or aplomb with the opposite sex--was smitten immediately. The heaving bosom, the full pouty lips, the glossy dark hair, the great dark eyes welling up with tears--
He nearly stood there mute and blinking while the girl made to open the heavy tower door and sacrifice herself to the mob. "Wait! There's no need for that! I'll cast an illusion to draw the crowd away while you and your servants escape!"

And so the girl was saved. She gave all the wealth of the tower over to her servants and bade them to scatter to different cities across the desert land. Since Christofer had saved not only Layali but all her servants as well, she vowed to help him in his quest to bring his father to justice. Layali saw Christofer as a hero from a romantic tale and lavished him all the love (or infatuation, if you will) a young woman could. So, a mere six months after their first meeting, the pair were married by a drunken sun priest in Midport.
For two years the pair tracked Kraig across the world. They learned that Silverleaf was the key to unlocking the dimensional barrier to the land of Egypt. They learned that the fabled metropolis was cursed by the Red King at the beginning of the Defiler Era, and that curse doomed the inhabitants of Silverleaf to an eternity of living death. They learned that only the blood of Silverleaf could unlock the wards that sealed it away from the world. They learned that Kraig had vials of Xelena Silverleaf's blood, but still searched for a gateway or altar that would let him work his blood magic.
In a dirty cobbled street in Drachensgraab, Christofer Silverleaf finally found Kraig.
A wizard's duel began. It became apparent that Kraig was more accomplished in the magical arts than Christofer... but Kraig worked alone and Christo was married to a half-succubus that shot bolts of eldritch power from her outstretched hands. With Layali's help, Christofer fended off Kraig and forced him to flee... but not before Kraig succeeded in magically blinding Christofer.
Under Layali's guidance, they fled the scene of the battle and bribed a local smuggler named Trath to let them use his warehouse as a hideaway. Of course the thieves guild had connections to Trath's smuggling house so it was only a matter of time before Kraig discovered their location...

No comments: