~*The Elanthian Gazette*~
By: Nesser, Gazette Reporter
Day of the Huntress, Imaerasta the 7th, 5107
TA'VAALOR -- Connections Uncovered! Truths Revealed!
Most of our readers are likely as yet unaware of the connection between our potion-selling aelotoi and the missing gnomes that this publication and several others have been so forthcoming about. While thus far our news has reported on them as separate occurrences, this publication recently was made aware of the fact that the two are, in fact, related!
In order to accurately shed as much light on this as possible, and in order to help our readers answer the questions we pose, I, Nesser, have taken it upon myself to scour the city of Ta'Vaalor, for starters, and interview citizens and officials in order to gain a better perspective on what has, thus far, occurred, and how these events are all linked! I know that you will all be grateful for this, and I am honored that I was able to assign this task to myself, the best one for the job!
But now, I must start at the beginning!
Several weeks ago, several aelotoi, some by the names of Sikka, Rizbran, Erioni, Lauth, Caiyen, and Amallia, arrived in Ta'Vaalor to trade with some Rosengift gnomes. According to one of the dock foremen, aelotoi and gnome trades had occurred in the past, so apparently this was not an unusual occurrence. Then again -- gnomes and aelotoi? What could they want from each other? While we all know what Rosengift gnomes are known for dabbling in, what could the aelotoi want from the gnomes?! (This is but one of my questions!)
The aelotoi were apparently unable to find the gnomes and were worried that the gnomes got caught up in the Ravelin conflict. This was obviously a real threat, which is why the aelotoi and others who helped them went up into the conflict area to search, but found nothing. The aelotoi opted to stay in Ta'Vaalor and wait for the gnome traders to arrive. According to Kezhia, whose eyes are like pinpricks of the purest emeralds, "They [the aelotoi] like to sleep in cheap inns." Perhaps next time we can help them with nicer accommodations!
The aelotoi continued to search for the gnomes for several days, until they received a message telling of the gnomes' delay due to the Ravelin conflict interfering with their other trade routes! Maybe the goods they needed to trade were delayed? Or was there another reason they were late, just using Ravelin as an excuse? Whatever the case may be, the aelotoi decided to stay in their cheap inn once more.
Following this, the gnomes did finally arrive, their names -- Eriot and Burs -- who would have thought!! The very same gnomes who were later missing and then found dead! Before they were missing, they met with the aelotoi, to make some sort of trade. When asked what goods were being traded, they were reportedly very secretive. The aelotoi had something the gnomes "found valuable", and the gnomes had something the aelotoi "needed". The trading itself appears to have been very secretive, and Skyshock, one of the individuals I queried, spoke of "following Burs and Erioni while they tried to make a trade," but that the gnome and aelotoi made a run for it, out Victory Gate. Skyshock states that after seeing them just outside of Victory Gate, separately, he has not seen either since. Zodijackyl, another individual I spoke with in Ta'Vaalor, confirms that Erioni has been seen since that time. Burs, as we well know, fell to tragedy.
With the missing gnomes, one would have thought the aelotoi would be searching for them. But no! Skyshock reports that he was in Ta'Illistim when the aelotoi first started selling the potions, just days after the gnomes went missing. Kezhia, she of those beautiful locks of auburn hair, also reports that she has an acquaintance who saw them there, as well. And, as those in Ta'Vaalor well know, several days later, the aelotoi returned to Ta'Vaalor to peddle the potions in the Fortress City.
There was reportedly some animosity between the aelotoi and the gnomes who came to search for Burs and Eriot in Ta'Vaalor. The gnomes apparently accused the aelotoi of some nasty business having to do with their kin. The aelotoi reportedly ignored the accusations and did not show very much in the way of sympathy for the missing Burs and Eriot, as they were more interested in selling their potion than searching for the missing gnomes. When the evidence was found, however, that Burs and Eriot were killed, vaporized by some sort of explosive substance, the gnomes apologized to the aelotoi and lifted all suspicion off of them. The inference is that the gnomes knew there was some sort of volatile material being traded, one of a nature that could vaporize.
Suspicion of the aelotoi having a hand in the death of Burs and Eriot, however, still resides in parts of Ta'Vaalor; as the beautiful Kezhia postulated, "Maybe they got what they needed and had no use for the gnomes now." Others, however, disagree and are focused more on the potions and the aelotoi.
What of these potions? I have already reported on their fantastic qualities. Suspicions have been raised concerning their long term effects, of course. Palec, for example, says that even though he's tried one, "haven't used it much though since the night I first bought em". For others, however, hording has been the goal of the day. Reportedly, the silvers exchanged in purchase for these potions has been massive in quantity. I have also heard of traders moving outside of the City-States to try and sell the potions for larger profit before the aelotoi can move their wagons.
And the aelotoi? I have yet to see one myself. In asking questions, however, I have uncovered that they should be easy to identify, as each of them wears a pale yellow headband and a thin silver amulet shaped into a splay of fingers! While I have heard reports that the amulets act strange, I can only surmise that this is a trick of the mind. Individuals in Ta'Vaalor were not more forthcoming with specific details, though some expressed concern that the aelotoi seem more bent on selling the potion itself rather than making money. I do offer the counter that cheaper potion means more sales in the long run. Why they are priced as they are is not for me to say. I do plan to ask one of the aelotoi when I manage to catch one, however.
For the time-being, it seems that the aelotoi are peddling potions in the City-States. Other traders, unaffiliated with the aelotoi, have bought the potions and plan to sell it over the Dragonspine for their own chunk of profit. The gnomes have left Ta'Vaalor, convinced that the death of Burs and Eriot was accidental, a result of the materials they were trading. Scholars are raising questions in Ta'Illistim as to the long-term effects of the potion.
I have quite a list of names recommended to me to interview when I manage to find them, and I plan to continue this investigation until all of my questions are answered, regardless of whether I need travel to Ta'Illistim, Ta'Nalfein, or beyond the City-States! I will find the answers for our readers! After all, who better to do it than me?!
If anyone has information that is pertinent to the origins and motivations of the aelotoi, the sales of the potions, the goods the aelotoi and gnomes were trading, what exactly is in the potions, or where to find better accommodations for the aelotoi in the future, I ask that you seek me out!