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[personal profile] jkmoreno
 This is something that was percolating in my mind for a while. Maybe one or two people who read this will be amused by it, but I feel like putting it out there just for amusement and posterity.

When Count Varis put out the call for adventurers to search for the missing children of the leaders of Crystalbrook and Sildaine, there were many who responded. Some in ones and twos, some in the form of large companies. Then there were the ones who were called "the strange ones". A pair of mischievous pixies, one a fun-loving skald who claimed to reside in Crystalbrook for tax purposes, and the other a rogue from Sildaine whose enjoyment of stabbing her enemies was surpassed only by her love of shiny objects. Two human mages, adventuring partners from Sybar, one who preferred to destroy everything in some spectacular manner just because he could, and the other a quiet, almost cynical sort more suited to studying in a library than braving the wilds. A few others trailed in behind them, though they were not part of the almost comical entourage.

Nobody believed they would succeed. How could they? From the outset the only word that could describe them, both in and out of battle, was haphazard. They may have been united by fate, but in action they were simply four individuals who just happened to be on the same path, and seemingly none of them were capable of putting their own agendas aside for the greater good. Pinkie Pie, the skald, would spend too much time trying to come up with complex and roundabout solutions as if he could write them off to the tax collectors. Rarity, the rogue, would have probably forgotten the entire mission if there were enough creatures to stab and treasure to be gained. Lux Noctis probably would have blown himself up while trying to set some particularly dense forest on fire, and for all of Trystan Grey's intellect it was questionable whether he could even survive a stiff wind. Even if they could work as a team, they were still incomplete, lacking in some of the most fundamental components necessary to make up a true adventuring company. Several stronger, better trained, and more well known warriors had ventured forth and failed to return. Many of the other adventurers who answered the call were consummate professionals, warriors of some renown who clearly had the potential to succeed. Every gambler in all three territories would tell you that it would have been foolish to bet on the motley crew who thought nothing of taking the town drunk to meet with the leader of Crystalbrook, then proceeded to somehow offend the leader of Sildaine.

However, in the end, it was the unlikely heroes, the ones who were written off, who would survive their ordeal in the Feywild, liberating Porpherio's Garden, defeating Soryth the Dream Queen and Kalbon the Horned King, and returning with Orlando and Juliana.

How was this accomplished? How was it that what was predicted to be a certain failure turned out to be an astonishing success? This was the question that plagued many historians and analysts for a long time, even with firsthand accounts provided by figures such as Hamish and Angus, respected warriors of Crystalbrook and the only survivors of the initial search party sent out to track down the lost heirs. What was known immediately was that the foursome did have outside help on several occasions, most notably from a halfling rogue named Dixon and a drow warlock named Cedrik Lightwalker, as well as the fact that they had achieved many victories through non-lethal means even at risk to their own well-being. The latter point was the one of most contention, as many found it strange that adventurers, many with a reputation of fighting first and asking questions some other time, would actually stay their blades when killing would have been the more expedient solution, yet the very existence of Hamish and Angus was testament to this.

It would not be until later, when an intrepid Sybaran biographer attempted to retrace the steps of the party and ended up in Porpherio's Garden himself. The island which had been hostile to the original party was now very much a place of peace and prosperity, and the biographer found plenty of people whose owed their lives to the adventurers who came to find missing children and prevent one war, and ended up preventing an entirely different conflict.

There was no shortage of individuals who wished to share their stories. From the one leprechaun who couldn't get away and was forced to fight the party, to Oakstaff the stalwart and overly verbose treant, and even Uma, the highest retainer to one of the ruling archfey of the land, the biographer learned of many things.

Of how Pinkie Pie consistently displayed a level of tactically excellence none of the naysayers would have credited him for.

Of how Lux Noctis learned to show an inhuman level of restraint and focus with his power, as opposed to using it whenever and wherever he could in the past.

Of how Rarity, despite her diminutive stature, would prove to be on the level of the most feared duelists known to the fey.

Of how Trystan Grey never hesitated to do what was needed, silently enduring and persevering even when stronger fighters were speaking of giving up.

Particularly interesting to the biographer was how the team dealt with being short of both strength and manpower: they didn't. Where others had complained of their lack of resources, the party simply rolled up their sleeves and did what they could, making do with what they had. Pinkie Pie, the most well-known of the adventurers, was their nominal leader, but slowly Trystan grew into the role himself, and it was theorized that they both kept the team together in their own ways. Pinkie Pie was the brains, the heart, and the soul, and Rarity and Lux were the muscle. Trystan turned out to be the circulatory system, as he did what he could to make sure the others could do what -they- could, whether it was recalling some fact or piece of information for Pinkie Pie ,or making himself a target for an enemy so that one of his comrades would be free to do something else.

The biographer enjoyed the storied so much that he ended up staying there to write his story for nine months. He returned home eager to share it with all who were curious ... except that he had neglected to consider the different flow of time, and his nine month stay in the Feywild ended up being a disappearance of five years, and by then the adventurers had all gotten on with their lives, their deeds in the Feywild now mostly the stuff of legends. The tales grew so tall around some campfires that it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the reality written in the biographer's book, and nobody cared enough to want to read the story. In fact, for some time only one person ever really did.

That person was none other than Trystan Grey.

He had just returned to Sybar after a long absence. Of where he was, nobody knew, and he was rather circumspect about even the smallest details. His home had once been a tourist attraction back when he was regarded as one of the "Heroes of the Feywild", but now it was simply one of the largest libraries in the city, and Trystan simply its caretaker. When many dismissed the biographer's claims, Trystan listened readily, and not only confirmed that everything the biographer was told was indeed true, he offered to finance its publishing and distribution.

While the book eventually became a modest commercial success, what many people don't know is that within a certain library in Sybar existed a different version of the book. This version contained annotations from the four adventurers as well as notables such as Orlando, Julianna, and even Count Varis himself, but the real difference came in the form of an entire chapter devoted to the continuing lives of the adventurers and as many of the now well-known figures of Porpherio's Garden, written by Trystan himself.

PINKIE PIE returned to the life of an entertainer in Crystalbrook. Satisfied that there would be no more threat of emergency wartime tax measures, he would carry on as he did prior to answering the call, as his adventurers had given him plenty of fresh new material. Later on, Pie realized that his status as a hero could entitle him to even more tax breaks, and he set about making that happen. Unfortunately for him, he had chosen a poor time and a poor method for doing so, and wound up before the magistrates facing charges of tax evasion. He was eventually cleared of all charges and decided to stop trying to buck the system, but nobody believed he would ever -truly- stop. Even now the tax collectors and the magistrates keep a close eye on Pie's finances, but thus far they have been unable to detect any wrongdoing.

RARITY found the idle life in Sildaine both too boring and too lacking in shiny objects. She would end up falling in with a group of treasure hunters. They didn't exactly see eye to eye when it came to things like "proper distribution of loot" and "don't touch Rarity's shinies upon penalty of stabby stabby", but eventually a sort of negotiated settlement was reached. Even better, only three stabbings and two threats of the same were needed for everyone to come to a common point of view. Word of Rarity's activities eventually reached Lord Carric, and the troubling reports caused him to consider expelling her from the village, but by then Rarity had already left. On the advice of Pinkie Pie, she emigrated to Crystalbrook to take advantage of their much more lenient tax structure. She is still regarded as one of the richest and most successful treasure hunters of the land.

LUX NOCTIS would not remain within Sybar's walls for long, and before too long he had found a new adventuring company and was back out into the wilds. It soon became clear that the rumors of Trystan being the only stable influence on Lux were in fact, fact, and that he had forgotten all he had learned in the Feywild. The adventuring company quickly dismissed Lux after he had set three tents on fire somehow. He found another adventuring company, but was dismissed when he caused an explosion that ended up seriously injuring an ally who didn't have the good sense to get out of the way. Lux ended up making three attempts to form his own adventuring company, but they similarly ended in fire and explosions. Things came to a head when Lux, for reasons nobody could fathom, decided to burn down a forest that, unbeknownst to him, was not uninhabited. Several Sildaine fey had lost their homes and livelihoods, and a furious Lord Carric had him arrested and imprisoned. However, a week later, the prison was broken into by a person or persons unknown, and Lux ended up escaping. His whereabouts are currently unknown, but some have speculated that the recent, unexplained destruction of several bandit camps might have been his doing.

CEDRIK LIGHTWALKER stayed in the city long enough to be honored by Count Varis, and then disappeared as stealthily as he came. Nobody knew where he ended up. Even searching the Feywild had not yielded anything, and it is assumed he returned to his ancestral home, his duty fulfilled.

CRASH the half-orc paladin also summarily departed, taking his tribe to a place where nobody would trouble them again.

DIXON the halfling rogue, SHELDON the dragonborn paladin, and the many other adventurers who had set out from Sybar, nobody really knows. Some seem to have made their homes in the Feywild, some seem to have simply disappeared.off the face of the world entirely. Their families still await word of their safety and well-being.

THE FEY OF PORPHERIO'S GARDEN continued to live out their lives in peace, free of conflict and strife with the exception of a few incidents that were quietly resolved. The adventurers are revered as heroes by many, as friends by others. Their story is constantly retold, both to keep it from ever being forgotten, and as a cautionary tale so that the incident that required their intervention would never happen again. To this day, the ties between the Green Fey and the Summer Fey are stronger than ever.

ORLANDO and JULIANNA, with a little bit of assistance, explained to their parents the extent of their relationship and the circumstances that caused them to run away to the Feywild. This went a long way to eliminating the long-standing tensions between Crystalbrook and Sildaine. They continued to court, and eventually decided to get married. The wedding took place in Sybar's greatest cathedral, and the four heroes were all received as guests of honor. As it turned out, it was the last time all four were together ...

... but still they are all connected in some ways through TRYSTAN GREY. He went back to his relatively quiet existence, though the multi-colored fey chrysanthemum, the bloodstone that was once Soryth's, and the silver medal of honor from Count Varis all persistently reminded him of the events that had radically changed his life. While he intended to devote his time to study and building his library, the fact that of the four heroes only he remained at home caused many to call on him for his version of events. Trystan dealt with it well for the most part, but many times went on journeys to preserve his peace of mind. These journeys were simply pretenses for him to visit with the other adventurers, or to journey through the Crystal Cave to the Feywild. It was later revealed that on his journeys, Trystan helped Pinkie Pie defend himself from his charges of tax evasion as well as with researching various portions of Crystalbrook and Sildaine tax law. There were also rumors that someone who matched his description was seen around the prison in Sildaine the day of Lux Noctis' escape, but they were inconclusive.

The journeys also served to rekindle Trystan's adventuring spirit, and eventually he appointed an assistant to manage his library and set out to adventure once again. He still takes the time to visit his fellow adventurers and support their endeavors, as well as acquiring rare and valuable books for his private collection.
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May 2012

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