Conversations With Seranolla
by Delwyn Ilar (aka Greg Marks)
“Conversations With” is a regular column written by Delwyn Ilar of the Podal Prophet broadsheet, bringing you Out-Of-Character knowledge of important NPCs in the Moonsea region so that you might better portray them and their organizations in your games.
As unsettling to my nerves as my last two interviews were, I was looking forward to a nice stroll in the woods outside of Phlan for my third. Notoriously shy, the contact for the Emerald Enclave was unwilling to enter the town, so I had to go to her. Strolling through lonely sun dappled forest paths just past the fields that surround Phlan, a faint breeze lent its comfort to an already pleasant day. If not for my keen reporter’s eye, I might have walked right past her without even knowing it.
Hiding behind a leafy bush, her green dress and dark brown skin blended into the foliage with only her bright smile and attentive gaze giving her away. Seeing I had spotted her, she noiselessly slipped onto the path, the branches parting for her passage. Smiling up at me, still silent, she bowed low in greeting.
Delwyn Ilar: Hello, are you Seranolla the Whisperer?
DL: Can you introduce yourself for my readers?
S (whispering): *nods
DL: I’ll need you to speak if we’re to have an interview.
S (whispering): I am Seranolla. Sorry, I rarely speak with people, so it takes some getting used to.
DL: It is a pleasure to meet you Seranolla. If you please, could you tell my readers a little about yourself? Where are you from? How did you come to be part of the Emerald Enclave?
S (whispering): I was born before the Sundering in the forest of Cormanthor, near the River Lis. By your standards I might be quiet, but among my people I am thought of as extroverted and outgoing, so it was only natural that I would be the one to speak with the elves. It was with them that I first considered that there might be those that would abuse the gifts of nature.
DL: How so? I sense a story here.
S (whispering): The people of Elmwood were clearing trees to expand their fields with indiscriminate use of fire, disrupting the land and driving the wildlife deeper into the forest. I accompanied some of the elves who went to treat with the farmers who had grown concerned about the danger of the villagers’ actions. My friends explained why the village’s actions posed a danger to the rest of the forest and eventually we were able to help the people of Elmwood strike a balance between the needs of the wood and their fields. As we left Elmwood, my elven friends told me that they were members of a group called the Emerald Enclave and it was their duty to preserve the natural order, preventing civilization and the wilderness from destroying each other. I decided to leave my home and join them.
DL: So the Emerald Enclave is about protecting nature?
S (whispering): Yes, to a point, though really we are more about maintaining equilibrium. Sentient life is part of nature and has a place in it. We strive to balance the needs of humanoids to civilize the lands around them with the needs of the wild to be kept in its natural state.
DL: Are not they in direct opposition to each other?
S (whispering): Not always, and when they are we seek a middle ground.
DL: So you are all about a balance between man and nature? Do you do anything else?
S (whispering): Of course. We prevent the unnatural from spreading, close elemental rifts that might disrupt the natural order, hunt undead or planar creatures that taint the land, protect travelers from the dangers of the wilderness, and watch over those who might try to pillage the land for their own gain.
DL: You have been around for a long time compared to some of the other faction representatives. Do you still have any goals for the Moonsea region?
S (whispering): Gnomes live for quite a while. I’m barely middle aged.
DL: My apologies. What I meant to say was that most of the other faction representatives are members of the shorter lived races and they struggle to make some progress with their faction’s goals in the short time they have. What goals do you have for the Emerald Enclave that you haven’t already completed?
S (whispering): Well, a particular hobby of mine is charting the stars and watching weather patterns. I’ve noticed a number of strange occurrences at work in the region this way and I wonder if there are any connections. I am always on the lookout for more on this subject and I hope my operatives will also watch for strange occurrences in the natural world and share them with me.
However, a more pressing subject is the influx of draconic activity. As apex predators, Dragons are inherently disruptive to the region and in addition they often seek to alter the land: building lairs, conquering cities, and burning forests. At the moment I am hoping that we will be able to understand their goals and blunt any damage the dragons might cause to the region’s natural order. One of the ways we might approach this problem is to treat with the fey folk of the region. In the past the faeries have been powerful allies and if convinced that it is in their interest, they may be of aid.
DL: So your forces are marshaling together to fight this threat?
S (whispering): The Emerald Enclave does not really work that way. We tend to work alone towards a common goal. Sometimes we might come together against a dire threat, but normally we pass information on to each other and seek our own solutions based upon the teachings of the Emerald Enclave.
DL: Your faction is dedicated to balance and protecting nature but yet you have allied yourself with the other factions, some of whom such as the Lords’ Alliance or the Zhentarim who have been known to covetous of natural resources or the Harpers who frequently meddle and rarely respect a balance if it doesn’t suit their purposes. How do you rationalize this?
S (whispering): Our numbers are not great and while we can bring great power to bear in the natural world, our ability to function in urban locales is impaired. The Cult of the Dragon frequently hides amongst the masses of humanity and the Harpers, Lords’ Alliance and Zhentarim all excel in this arena. The Order of the Gauntlet and the Harper’s, while maybe not seeking the same balance the Emerald Enclave does, have worked among the warriors of nature in the past and have the best of intentions. I know some of my allies have concerns about the Lords’ Alliance and the Zhentarim, but I believe we will make more progress with those concerns by bringing them to those who believe themselves our allies rather than those we are at war with.
DL: That about wraps up my questions. Is there anything else you would like to say?
S (whispering): *shakes her head
DL: Thank you so much for meeting with me.