Epilogue


When the astral dreadnought had crashed through the extra-dimensional palace of Laerithil Irithyl with mindless determination, the Elves of Tel'Mithrim had fled through the emergency gate Laerithil had set up in case of anything drastic occurring (such as that particular mess). Laerithil had been overwhelmed by a deadly change in the current of the High Magic ritual he was attempting, and had been laid on his bed, to rest for all eternity, or so the Elves had thought.

As the astral dreadnought tore the extradimensional palace to splinters, one thing was out of place. Laerithil's bed was empty when it was set adrift into Realmspace.

Laerithil stood in a clearing of a forest of unimaginable beauty. He glanced about in awe-filled delight. The fey beauty of the forest fairly hummed with eldritch energy. Before him stood a figure he remembered from long ago. The figure had the golden blond hair and bronzed skin of a Gold Elf, and to Laerithil's magic-sensitive nature, the Elf before him shined with power. Corellon Larethian, head of the Seldarine, had seen fit to welcome Laerithil personally to Arvandor.

"Welcome to Arvandor, Laerithil Irithyl. I'm afraid you shan't be staying however. Your task remains incomplete. I cannot return you to Toril, however. There seems to be a power who calls itself 'the Guardian' who is blocking any such attempts. So I shall send to the one place that seems currently available: a world called Sosaria. You will find that band of Elves you've been with for the past few years there. I suggest you work toward returning to Toril from there." With a wave of his bronzed hand, Corellon vanished in a flash of bright light, blinding Laerithil.

When Laerithil's vision returned, he was in another forest, this one notably less beautiful. An immense sadness filled his heart. Being forced to leave the beauty of Arvandor behind was more than many Elves could handle; those that could often held a deep sadness in their hearts for the rest of their not-quite-mortal lives.

Laerithil heard the sound of melodious Elven voices in the distance. He decided to check it out and broke into a determined stride immediately. Soon, the trees of the forest opened to a small glade. The Elves of Tel'Mithrim filled the clearing, looking curious as to where the gate had landed them. With a sigh of relief in finding his friends so soon, Laerithil shouted a greeting in Gold Elven to the Elves, and stepped in to the clearing.

He may as well have been a ghost for the looks they gave him. Last they had seen him, he was without pulse, slain by a High Magic ritual gone awry. The time for story-telling would come later. For now, he took some solace in not being alone; if he couldn't stay in Arvandor, nor could he return home to Cormanthor, what better than to spend his time among friends?



Tael whooped and hollered as he ran through the underbrush of the cool mossy forest. The trees were very much like they had been in Neverwinter, but older; and a very few of them were gigantic Yew trees hundreds of feet high. He deliberately slowed to match the pace of the two ogres behind him; taunting them to keep their interest while dodging the blows of the treetrunks they wielded as clubs. Suddenly, arrows sleeted out of concealment to target ogre hands and arms; after bellowing and crashing about for a while, they lost heart and retreated. Tizer whistled a cease fire as he materialized from the forest, along with four other Elves. He was proud of his Elves fire discipline, and the success they had of driving off the giantkin that infested this particular area the Grey Company had staked out as their own. Already a grinning Tael was ready to go again; being chased by demons seemed to give him a taste for more. With a hand motion, Tizer sent them back to their patrol; and they vanished into the forest.

Strongbow sat in the magic circle on the boulder overlooking the bay in which the peninsula thrust. From here an observer could see the mysterious guard tower east across the fjord and north across the bay a glimpse of a white colonnaded structure just inside the treeline. Behind him in the forest some Elves had started construction of a new Great Hall near the shore. Strongbow's senses could feel the worldgate that had dumped the Grey Company here from Laers' dimensional palace was still there, but frustratingly beyond access. Somehow it was on a cycle he couldn't predict. That is until Bloodglade pointed up to the western horizon and said, "Look! Another moon!"

Strongbow looked up, and there low on the horizon was a soft blue moon. Smaller than expected; but two moons explained the erratic nature of the worldgate. It was a moongate tied to two moons. And that meant that it would be some time before it could be used again.

Greywolf studied the white colonnaded structure. Open to the sky, it wasn't any type of building he had ever seen before. It had a nine-foot tall statue of an ankh in the back, with an inlaid square on the floor representing a scale. Just what that meant Greywolf pondered; a trading post perhaps? And yet there was a feeling of power here--one of the many mysteries waiting to be explained.



One week later, when the two moons were high in the night sky, the Elves of the Grey Company gathered together in song, dance and laughter--the first celebration of what would become an annual commemoration. The scents of delicious food filled the air, and drinks flowed even more freely than they normally do for Elves. Rare, unfortunately, were the Elven vintages; so few had been brought through the portal. Most were cruder, weaker human concoctions, purchased from a nearby town that Elven scouts had discovered, but none complained. This night, they celebrated life: their own lives, the lives of their fellow merrymakers, and especially the lives of those who had perished during their battle against the Shadows. Tears fell alongside rising happiness all through the night, making the songs sweeter and the stories more enveloping, and only with the first rays of dawn did the celebration draw to an end.

As the weary Elves settled for reverie within the safety of the trees, in a nearby clearing, morning sunlight illuminated the partially constructed frame of the new Great Hall. The general design was already apparent from one week's work; inspiration was clearly drawn from the original. Yet for all its similarities, subtle differences were present: an overhang extended out a little more, and arches curved slightly straighter. The builders had changed, grown since the first great hall had been erected. They would never forget the events that had happened in the past couple weeks, shattering their lives. They persevered, however, for to do anything less would be a dishonor against those who sacrificed their lives for the guild. The Elves now resting in the forest would awaken completely refreshed just a few hours later--one of the useful benefits of reverie over sleep. Even with all their recent trials, time could not be wasted in unneeded repose. Many tasks waited to be completed, and problems needed to be resolved; for the rising sun graced a new era for the Grey Company. And the Elves accepted the challenge eagerly.