The Court of Stars

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The Locals The Court of Stars [Realm] Copyright © 1999 by James O'Rance

Character: The heart of all eladrins lies within Queen Morwel's court. This is a palace of mystery, magic, and melodrama. If a basher in Olympus lives a myth, and an elf in Arvandor dwells in faerie dreams, then a visitor to the Court of Stars has entered the living story. There are no innocent bystanders or uninvolved watchers here; everybody is woven into the tale, and a cutter's life previous to arriving at the Court of Stars is merely an introduction before entering the heart of the story.

Powers: Queen Morwel is the most powerful, influential and beautiful eladrin in Arborea, but she is seldom referred to by name. In the many whispered rumours of her comings and goings, the eladrins of her court refer to her as the Lady of Stars, Faerie Queen, or Lady of the Lake. A tulani noble, Queen Morwel is a fighter and wizardress of 25th level; within her realm she is considered a demipower. Morwel is a gracious hostess, providing rooms and refreshment for innumerable guests, but her presence is fleeting. Few see her but in passing, a glimpse of bright colours and unearthly beauty that will stay with them till the day they die.

Description: From without, the Court of Stars appears as a shining spired palace underneath a star-filled sky. The Court wanders throughout Arborea: as morning dawns, it fades from one layer of Arborea to appear in the gloaming of another's dusk. The Court of Stars might be found in an Olympian wilderness, an atoll of Ossa, or an oasis in Pelion; however, it exists only where night has fallen. Within the silver gates of the palace are sweeping stairs that lead to a vaulted hall that echoes with laughter, music, and conversation. This is where eladrins and mortals meet. Firres amaze with entertaining ballads and tales, coures flit overhead with messages of state or amour, and ghaeles speak in hushed tones about matters of import. Elves and amazons wander, gather into groups, and then wander apart once more. From the great hall many dimly lit corridors lead away. These corridors carry whispers from elsewhere in the palace: half-heard words, running footsteps, and snatches of fluting melodies. The corridors end in stairwells that may be ascended to find more corridors, outside balconies, galleries over the great hall, and turrets that look upon the Arborean night.

Along the corridors are many doors, intricately carved with vines, fruit, branches, and small animals that peek cautiously at passers-by. The rooms beyond these doors are not rooms at all; at least, not in the normal sense. Each door opens onto an overgrown garden, leafy bower, or subterranean grotto. In these pocket wildernesses dwell eladrins of all kinds, in forms known as the body of light - pillars of flame, globes of incandescent colour, or dolphins of golden glowing water. Most eladrins are perfectly welcoming to mortals, but a berk should remember that he's within their homes - even a coure will expect visitors to agree with her every whim.

Principal Sites: Deep within the Court, in a hallway leading to the highest spire of the palace, are dark double doors carved with stars and leaping fish. A company of shiere knights relaxes in the hall, laughing and singing amongst themselves, yet unyielding as a glacier to any who attempt to pass without call. Within these doors lies a cavern so vast that human eyes cannot reach the farthest wall. Coures in the form of twinkling balls of light float like stars above, and stately tulani walk about, deep in counsel. The cavern contains a lake of cold, clear water, upon which floats fragrant lilies. This is the Lake of Morwel, and the place that she most loves. The waters of the lake do not know Time: it is said that those who dive into its depths may emerge with artifacts from past days; and that corpses submerged in the lake occasionally return, having never died.

Special Conditions: The Court of Stars is home to passionate intrigues, unrestrained plotting, delightful jokes, and hopeless romances. It requires a constant effort of will to avoid getting deeply involved in the eladrins' affairs. Emotion is heightened by the Court - anger becomes a bright burning flame, and gladness spreads from person to person. A saving throw vs. spells may be necessary to avoid involving oneself or being dramatic when a body would prefer restraint. Only the greater eladrins seem immune to these compulsions.

Principal Non-player Characters: Vaeros Faerinaal (Pl/male tulani/F18/P19/CG) is the Queen's Consort. Vaeros and Morwel adore each other, a love that is celebrated by eladrin storytellers. Diplomatic and sly, Vaeros often deals with the delicate relationships between the eladrins and other Arborean realms. Vaeros is responsible for the long-standing friendship between the eladrins and the mercurial elves of Arvandor. Morwel's daughter is Gwynarwhyf the Veiled (Pl/female tulani/F16/Guardian/CG), a tulani princess who passionately supports an effort to stem fiendish bloodshed across the planes. The princess meets with tulani warlords and ghaele knights, encouraging them to lead attacks against the Lower Planes and protecting the Prime Material from fiendish incursions. She welcomes non-eladrins of pure heart to join these efforts.

Services: Most of those who find the Court of Stars seek to acquire eladrin aid or protection. With so many of the celestials gathered here, that would not seem difficult to achieve. However, once mortals find themselves caught up in the happenings of the Court, most other affairs seem less important. Only the most desperate or dedicated manage to keep to their original goals.

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