Post by Beowuuf on May 1, 2008 7:32:58 GMT -5
Somewhere near Eshnar
Beowuuf squirmed and pushed as they tried to tie the rag around his wrist. In the end they had to try wrapping it around his lower arm instead to speed up the matter.
"Wait, what is that in his ar-" started Wise Fox before the shards of bluesteel were used to tear the cloak fragment in two. Beowuuf had already kicked out with his own leg and Wise Fox stumbled backwards.
"Gloar!" declared Beowuuf coming up to half standing and blowing Armadalus backwards. It was amazing, although Beowuuf was used to the subtle shift in dynamics of his wolf limbs, it could still take an opponent used to human musculature by such surprise.
Beowuuf quickly stood and reached out his hand, holding Wise Fox with another Vakeros spell. Beowuuf then cursed, as his temper was getting the better of him. He should have allowed himself to be restrained, although it was seeming more and more of a risk with the intolerant Armadalus. Now, however, he had three perfectly spaced opponents and had started combat. Still, at least the third knight - Simey - was not moving to attack him,and had infact took a step backwards holding Beowuuf's own sword in a defensive stance.
"My name is Tamas Rehme, though you may call me Beowuuf," said Beowuuf to the man, trying the trick of keeping both the white knight in view while monitoring the Kai barely held and the Sommlending Knight already gettign to his feet. "Beowuuf means 'seking one' roughly in my people's language, and what I am actually seeking is not being captured by everyone I meet in this blasted lands!"
Beowuuf shifted backwards a step as Armadalus came forward. Wise Fox seemed to be squirming considerably, obviously irritated to be held in such a fashion. It was an unexpected flash of pride from the Kai, but one Beowuuf was sad to find he enjoyed.
"True, I was captured, tortured, and inflicted with this body in the Darklands, " and Beowuuf murmered a silent apology to Sorba for the phrasing, "but you know, at least when I went back for an undercover mission there, the danger was always in the open and I could actually get some form of acceptance of my presence. Ever since I have come to this country, this supposed place of the greatest champions against the darkness, I have been sent on dangerous missions, been forced to skulk aroudn the borders, been captured numerous times, and even atta- "
Beowuuf's rant was cut short as 'Wise Fox' finally took advantage of the distraction to direct a blast of mindforce at his opponent. Beowuuf had been prepared for the attempt, and had erected as much mental defense as Sorba's training and more importantly Lord Gralmis's tutelage, allowed him too. Unfortunately, the psychic attack was very strong. Beowuuf cursed for the second time, for he should have guessed the Kai Order would not send a low ranked Kai Lord to Eshnar, this man had to be a Kai Master.
Only pride kept Beowuuf standing as he frantically tried every mental trick to push the pain and pressure in various directions. "Is that all you Sommlending can do, attack without question? My point proven!" said Beowuuf through clenched teeth. He was surprised at the ferocity of the attack, and aware that he could not maintain his defenses much longer. Beowuuf was sure it was a trick of his brain that Wise Fox's visage seemed so hostile, aggressive and even malevolent as the Kai channelled the psychic blast. Worse, with Beowuuf's mind starting to shut down, and with Sorba underneath it trying to manouver to help swap consciousnesses, there was nothing to look after the third elelemnt.
Down deep in Beowuuf, the wolf body's own consciousness stirred. Despite all the generations breeding away from it, at their core beast creatures were still the ultimate descendants of spawn from Vashna. There were dark impulses that wolves, with their spilt personalities, could not control as well as the other beast creatures. Some tiny itch, some niggle at the back of Beowuuf's consciousness was stirring. Some little pinpoint of shimmering darkness was thinking how easy it would be to commandeer the battle magics and send a concentrated power word at the Kai's head, snapping the fragile neck...
"Stop, enough!" said Armadalus to Wise Fox. The knight had moved forward, but to Simey's surprise something had made the Sommlending knight halt his aggressive progress and instead try to placate the situation. "Stop," said Armadalus again, gently, and reluctantly the kai stopped.
Beowuuf staggered backwards, staying upright with difficulty but managing it. It was not pride that kept him standing now, but fear. That prickle in his mind and the danger of it made Beowuuf detemined not to lose control. Slowly Beowuuf's psyche settled back, and although shaken physically Beowuuf's mental components slotted back in their place. Sorba's mind again buried, pushing down the wolf body's instincts into the darkness with him.
Beowuuf was stunned by the Kai's aggression, and still though he saw a flicker of ...malice?... in the face beside him. Beowuuf then reminded himself that he had not really been to Eshnar, and had certainly not seen all that had happened to Wise Fox while the man was in that dreadful place.
"Read..the scroll..." said Beowuuf again. Armadalus moved sideways towards Simey. Beowuuf took another step backwards, flicking a very unfriendly gaze at the Kai Lords then a neutral if calculating look back to the knights.
"Vojske, go to the pouch - and be careful!" Armadalus said as he tried to take the bluesteel blade, and it was with great reluctance that Simey allowed him. With the wolf's red eyes now following his every move, Simey moved towards the pouch.
Post by Simey on May 1, 2008 15:09:30 GMT -5
The interior of the summer house is not what Simey expected at all. The exterior that they have just approached through the overgrown tangle of exotic trees planted in the extensive rear garden of the governor's residence looks well maintained, it's timber clearly treated with protective oils to stave off the worst effects of the weather and its windows, though a little grimy, all unbroken. Most impressive, and relieving of all, is that the wooden walls have not been subject to the ghastly transmutation that has corrupted all the main buildings of Eshnar: this summer house is not alive.
It is this last fact in particular that has prompted them to take a quick look inside, just in case there's anything special about the place that might have saved it from the city's hideous affliction. It immediately seems obvious, however, that there is nothing special about the summer house at all.
Simey looks through the unexpected gloom at the furniture and debris strewn about the single room; there's a dilapidated cabinet, a rotting workbench, several very rusty tools, the remains of a very basic bed, some rudimentary seats made from logs, a large store cupboard and, most surprisingly of all, in the centre, a stove.
Certainly, a surprise.
Post by Black Cat on May 2, 2008 21:48:36 GMT -5
Previously on The Incredible Adventures of the Marvelous Fighter That Is the Grand Master of the Kai Order Black Cat...
The huge male Xargath had exploded, thanks to a torpedo that Wild Horse had launched. Luckily for the Marvelous Fighter that is the Grand Master of the Kai Order Black Cat, the shockwave of the explosion made the female Xargath to miss him as she tried to take a bite of his legs. Armed only with a dagger, what the Marvelous Fighter that is the Grand Master of the Kai Order Black Cat do next? The answer is waiting for us after these short messages.
Off-screen voice: This is the series that everyone is waiting for.
ShadowCrow: Don't try to step in my way, peasant.
OSV: People are going to see the bad and the worst of every fighter.
Beowuuf: Taking advantage of an opponent's weakness is showing weakness.
OSV: They are the West Watch characters that you've never seen before!
Sarra: You don't need to recite words from the Vakeros Code to me!
OSV: You'll be shocked by the revelations!
Evil Tuberculosis: The teachings of the Kai are a lie!
OSV: Don't miss Zipp's Fighting Tournament, next on PlayCat Channel.
Black Cat: I don't have time to be here: a Xargath is about to attack and I have to go help the people!
Back to the The Incredible Adventures of the Marvelous Fighter That Is the Grand Master of the Kai Order Black Cat...
Black Cat felt the sharp teeth of the Xargath barely skinning his legs as the shockwave pushed him over the head of the creature. Fighting that monster with only a dagger would be suicide, so Black Cat instead call forth his Kai-Alchemy to get him out of here. Reciting the spell of Net, the Grand Master of the Order pointed his finger to the water. As the long ropes were emerging from it, they started to float right under the surface, as if someone was pouring oil in water. But contrary to oil, the net wasn't trying to reach the surface and stayed at the depth it was.
The vision of the Xargath is not very good: it can smell blood from a long distance but cannot see very clearly things that are over 10 meters away from them. The net surrounding Black Cat was acting as a good decoy: the monster was seeing some kind of shape getting bigger and bigger near the surface, but it couldn't decide if it was a prey worthy of its efforts when there was so much blood already spilled in the ocean around it. There was surely an easier prey somewhere else for it, so it moved away from Black Cat in search for a floating bloody corpse.
The Supreme Kai Master didn't know anything of what the Xargath had just thought: he was swimming feverishly towards the Emerald Defender, scared that he might feel his body beeing cut in two suddenly by the giant snake's mouth. Finally reaching the hull of the warship, he called forth once again his power of Kai-Allchemy, this time with the Levitation spell. Aware that Aldius might be looking for him on the waters or near the Emerald Defender, Black Cat reach the first opening he saw in ship's hull, a small port-hole. Passing through, he landed on a bed, one that was used by passengers when there was one of the ship. It seemed that the room was empty and that nobody was occupying it during this voyage.
Black Cat stayed here and waited for things to calm down outside, but he was ready to act just in case the second Xargath was attacking, even if that attack was the Green Scepter II.
Come back soon for the next episode of The Incredible Adventures of the Marvelous Fighter That Is the Grand Master of the Kai Order Black Cat!
Post by Beowuuf on May 3, 2008 15:08:26 GMT -5
A hidden location in Sommerlund
The man's name was Nyles, and no one knew if it was his first or last. Fatherhead Nyles was the man's full honourific. The man himself suspected 'fatherhead' was deliberately chosen to be like 'figurehead' as a remind to those so named that they were still amongst brothers, that they were not the leader. Their function was merely to facilitate the brotherhood's aims, to provide direction and clarity of purpose to the disparate debates of the diverse membership.
Nyles did not impose his own views or force leadership. He did not need to. He was a Dark Cultist under Naar previously, and though barely in his fourties his body looked ancient as if burning away from the inside. Naar obviously punished his former servant heavily for his transgression of learning the ways of the left hand magics and abandoning his god for a new belief. The greatness of the displeasure of his old god showed the power that Nyles must have been gifted, and his strength to still be standing now showed the power Nyles must have established under his new life. None would dare think him weak enough to overthrow or disobey in his advice. Yet.
The Brotherhood of the Descending Night had formed based on the arguments and plans of Vonotar the Traitor. Some in the Crystal Star had seen Vonotar's vision and been ready to join with the mage when he returned in his power. Unfortunately, the traitor's plans had been defeated, and the chance to learn those combined magics he possessed lost. A Brotherhood formed, only eight in number at the time, to keep the vision alive. Left and Right handed magic joined, beyond the petty concerns of the gods and their wars. Unfortunately, knowledge was hard to obtain. Those of the left hand had to be recruited or knowledge from them siphoned off carefully and slowly. Those of the right hand were never to be trusted and were proved a dangerous liability. The secrets of the right hand were hard won, and learning to use those secrets harder still. The membership had waned and waxed with various tentions and external pressures over the two generations, but had always had this one true goal in mind - ultimate power. And one true elemnt to fall back on - a sacred brotherhood of absolute honesty, even to those they dealt with in secret. A difficult balance building the necessary discipline.
While Nyles was respected for his power, it was still nowhere near comparable to Vonotar's - a pinnacle it was feared no one would ever could reach again. There were those who studied the left or right hand path in the Brotherhood here who were more adept than Nyles. And so Nyles always looked to his successor carefully, those strong in power who shared his beliefs. As a convert, Nyles believed hard and believed purely, none with as much fervour. This was his true strength, a strength that saw the brotherhood wax powerful these last years.
Now a member had returned finally, one Nyles was overjoyed to see. The member had been away undercover, subservient to the Crystal Star aboard his ship the Ascending Dawn. Finally he had returned to the fold, and Nyles coold not contain himself. "Arbo, m'boy!" said Nyles with delight, walking slowly to the figure who had sought audience in the Hidden Halls.
"Father," said Arbo intoning the shortened honorific with great respect, bowing low. Arbo's eyes burned fiercer for seeing the head of the brotherhood. Arbo too believed hard, his loyalty never in question.
"I had thought never to see you again when you went to bargain with the lich-girl."
Arbo shook his head sadly. "It did not end well in that direction."
"No matter!" said Nyles soothingly, "that you have returned safely the only concern I hold, power has never been easy. To risk and fail is no dishonour. For the brotherhood to risk and lose a member is however too lamentable to contemplate."
"I have brought-"
"Brother Tamerus, so I see!" said Nyles with obvious relief. Nyles had heard Arbo was not alone. While Nyles was not fully comfortable with the cynical detachment of Tamerus, Tamerus's dedication to knowledge and his abilities to fuse the two paths together in subtle ways were valued greatly. Nyles raised his own hand to shake the returned brother's hand. Tamerus managed to avoid shuddering, for Nyles's grip was vice like, as if each contact with another human being was feared to be the last before Naar finally consumed his once servant. Nyles, for his part, did not notice the discomfort he caused in his own relief that Arbo had not taken back...
"Fatherhead Nyles, it is indeed good to see you still walk with us on the path of balance," said Kollosco. Nyles's face did not fall. No muscle on Nyles's face betrayed anything other than welcome surprise. However, Nyles's eyes were dead.
"Kollosco," said Nyles neutrally, no honourific offered in return, "I had thought you would have returned to your ship and your guild." The last could almost have had a disdainful tone.
"No Fatherhead, I have returned fully to the welcoming embrace of my dear brothers in the ways of true magic. I have severed ties to my ship, to my crew save those that stand here, and most importantly to Andras and the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star. I am your loyal brother and seeker of power once more alone, without the shackles of self-imposed espionage through his former life."
Nyles regarded the ex-chip's captain coldly. Kollosco had commanded a ship that sailed mostly at the behest of the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star. Kollosco was also a childhood friend of a powerful mage there, Master Andras. It was also said that Kollosco had betrayed the identify of the brotherhood to Master Andras once, though luckily this was either a lie or nothing had come from the subsequent investigation this would have caused. Kollosco, in Nyles's opinion, also seemed too concerned with his own goals rather than the overall goals Brotherhood he served. Kollosco was powerful though, and so especially with his ties to the Crystal Star consdered an asset by some. He was simply a member that Nyles would rather not see in the halls themselves, and certain not one day leading.
"I am glad you finally followed the example of your brothers and found your true loyalty," said Nyles at length, "work in the outside world is dangerous under the Code, worse still for those with as many ties as you still possessed."
"How could I fail to follow your fine example, Fatherhead," said Kollosco smoothly, "why the wife you could lie to under Naar you severed ties with when you found the true path of power - poisoned her, did you not?"
Nyles did not answer, and the two mages with Kollosco, and other mages gathered on the outskirts of the hall, all shifted uncomfortably.
"Why have you returned?" asked Nyles darkly after the silence had echoed for many moments. The spin of tone made it sound like it was not a welcoming question.
"My apologies Fatherhead Nyles, I have forgotten my manners with my time away." Kollosco stepped sideways and a further cloaked figure was revealed. Nyles realised it was not merely an usher that trailed the group. "Fatherhead, may you forgive me for not following protocol, but I have brought a visitor whom for reasons you will hear, I could not have abandoned outside these halls until custom and security was satisfied".
Those around started murmering quite angrily, and Nyles himself stood from his normal withered stoop, face blackening with fury. However, whatever scolding words were on the man's lips, and whatever harsh words were bubbling around from he gathered brotherhood, they were all felled into silence by the following announcement of Kollosco.
"Fatherhead, gathered brethren", said Kollosc loudly and proudly, "may I present Namanas, weilder of the deepest magics of the right hand, Nadziran of the Darklands, and the newest member of our Brotherhood. "
Post by eviltb on May 4, 2008 8:32:45 GMT -5
The Maaken range
The NAK eviltb had made his way through the Maaken swamp to the edge of the Maaken range. The yellow light he had been using as a guide got steadily brighter as he drew closure to his destination.
During his days travel, he had time to think about Xogs’ plan. The Darklord was so eager to get to this place of Eshnar. Whatever the reason, he had been told it was Naars’ bidding. As such, he would follow Xogs’ orders. If it brought him closer to getting revenge on the Kai and the red-robes who created him, then all the better for him.
His most pressing concern right now was to find a way through these mountains. Xog was two days behind; eviltb had to get passed the mountains, into Eshnar to discover its secrets, then back out again to meet Xog and report.
After spending an hour or so walking along the edge of the range, the Hunter at last found what he was looking for. A path, not too subtly hidden, lay in between two peaks, leading out to the north. It wasn’t hard to detect the dozens of giak footprints that dotted all around the area, leading to and from the path. They must have come through this way, thought eviltb. The path seemed deserted now and from the tracks he could determine that no giak, nor indeed anything, had come past this way in the last day or so. Not since Xog decimated the giak forces that were besieging V’Ka.
eviltb started to make his way through the path. The path itself looked natural enough. He wondered if whoever sent the giak knew of this path from prior knowledge or had they, like him, simply stumbled across it. Trivial things to be sure, but it kept the Hunters mind alert and focused.
The Hunter soon emerged from the path. Two massive Sommerlund oaks stood either side of the paths entrance, almost as if they were marking its presence. A road stretched for miles both east and west. To the west of the road, the massive energy shield rose up, protecting – or sealing in – the town of Eshnar. eviltb looked up in awe, if only for a second. It had taken a great deal of magical energy to raise such a shield. Never-the-less, he would find a way in.
As eviltb approached Eshnar, the necklace given to him by Xog started to grow warm. Drawing his blade, he strained his dark senses all around to detect any signs of movement. Through the shield he could see undead giak wandering about aimlessly. He arrived at the very edge of the Eshnar shield. One of the wandering giak had noticed the hunter and shambled towards him. A long groan echoed from its mouth and its arm stretched out trying to grasp flesh. The giak hit the shield and was immediately flung back at least 50foot as the shield sparked on its touch. eviltb sighed. His own magical knowledge was severely limited, and Xog has not explained about the power-shield.
Taking a few steps back, eviltb palmed a pebble from the ground and launched it at the shield. Unsurprisingly, it bounced cleaned off. He began to walk round the shield, heading south. If there was a breach then it would be there. The undead in the Maakenmire had to have come from Eshnar- unless they were trapped outside the shield when it was put up. But then, who had put it up? Again, Xog had not furnished this information onto the NAK. As far as eviltb was aware, he was carrying out Naars orders. Xog had been granted a reprieve from his eternal torture on the Plain of Darkness; surely one who had been granted such favour would not turn on his master. eviltb made a mental note to question Xog more closely about this next time they met.
Then suddenly, there it was. As eviltb walked past a section of the shield, something small flashed across his eyes. He looked back again at the shield. It appeared normal. He took slow steps backwards, starting intently at the wall. Then it hit him again. eviltb focused his vision and adjusted his body slightly, leaning left and right. He could see it, the smallest, tiniest fracture, like a single hair left of the ground. He stared at the crack and sent a psychic probe towards it. The crack was of a different power to the one that made the shield and had originated from the inside. Someone had spent a great deal of time and magical energy making this crack.
eviltb checked the ground around him. Apart from his own light prints, there where no other marks, nothing to suggest that anything had left through this breach earlier. He concluded then that the giak had indeed been trapped outside the shield. Drawing a small, thin blade, he held it down on the shield crack. It slipped through with ease. The necklace on eviltbs neck then shot up in temperature. The hunters’ skin took on a dark red colour as the power Xog had imbued the trinket with covered his body. Pushing his fist forward, eviltb began to sink through past the shield. The power of the Doomstone was indeed great if it could break such an enchantment as this! Pushing further, eviltb slowly moved his whole body through the crack and into the town of Eshnar.
Post by Sarra on May 7, 2008 2:08:52 GMT -5
Somewhere in the Mountains of Northern Dessi
Argoll cursed loudly in the Dessi tongue, and Falling Phoenix laughed again. Then, strangely, he offered the Vakeros warriors in front of him a choice.
"I am in a generous mood tonight. There is no need for anyone else to die. Just give me the crystal shard I want and I'll let you go."
Tammith, enraged at the sight of young Yarrow, dead, at their enemy's feet twirled her sword and charged.
"Tammith wait!" Shouted Argoll. As the young Vakeros descended upon the Kai Hunter Argoll broke out into a run, hoping to protect her.
Blood pounded in Tammith's ears as she brought her sword around with a cry of rage.
Post by zipp on May 7, 2008 12:55:28 GMT -5
The Telchoi turned slowly, facing the young sage with an indfifference that bordered on lethargy.
"Fren," she said in simple greeting. "Or should I say Twiler? Clever, disguising yourself as a young yellow robe when you are, in fact, a young yellow robe." Her mouth twitched as her lips formed a smile.
"Better than an eight foot giantess disguising herself as a cat creature."
Renashta dropped the smile and shrugged. "It worked."
"Too well. I thought you were her. I've lost her."
"Shame? Don't you see that I don't know where she is? Don't you see the problem with that? In roughly two hours, this city is going to be obliterated by the Eldar Magi. If Zipp's still here when that happens, she'll die."
Renastha shrugged again. "Coming?"
"What? We're not staying for Zipp?"
"Not my orders. If you want to find her, go ahead. Work fast."
"We're talking about Zipp!"
"Work fast," the Telchoi repeated, and then she started walking away.
Twiler stood still for a moment, debating. Renashta and Zipp had power keys. He did not. Zipp was somewhere in a city filled with undead and he was armed with one magical rapier. He had two hours.
"Dammit Renashta... wait up!"
* * *
Zipp, laying on the soft down, was unaware of the multiple dramas being played out in Eshnar. She didn't know that Twiler was hating himself with every step he took towards Renashta's retreating back.
Most importantly, she didn't know that in two hours everything inside Eshnar would be erased from the face of Magnamund.
She shfited and then remembered she wasn't entirely naked. Graff's gun dug uncomfortably into her injured shoulder. She sat up, groaning in pain, and shifted the gun. She also, on a whim, let her hand drift to Senoria, attached to a sheath on her waist. Finally, perhaps on an irrational obsession, she gripped the necklace around her neck, the necklace holding the valuable power key that would allow her to escape this nightmare.
The minute she sat up she realized something was wrong. The air had changed. It was staler... and colder. Danger. Beneath her.
She leapt up as the bed came to life in a flurry of snapping jaws. She wasn't quite sure what had happened, but she was no longer facing a down matress. It was some kind of living set of jaws, snapping at her as they strained to tear themselves from the floor they were attached to.
Dear Jyhipp... the floor.
The floor was alive, moving. This building was as alive as the ones near the borders of the city. But she had been sure. She had felt nothing. And so she had walked into a trap.
The blast of the bor rifle left her ears ringing. The magic bullets ripped through the jaws of the living bed, and it fell back with a nasty puff of foul smelling black smoke. A giant black tongue lolled out of the bed and waggled obscenely in front of her.
And then it was just a bed again. An illusion.
She spun, drawing Senoria and stabbing at the necks of the undead which now surrounded her. Her speed and intuition kept her moving, kept her from being taken by the hideous greying arms and the reaching, begging, mouths.
The last of the undead fell and in the same movement she sheathed Senoria. A second later, she was moving towards the door. She opened it and faced darkness and then a sudden searing pain as the mouth of the doorway closed on her.
She'd instinctively darted back, but the door had stretched forward and snapped down on her lower half. She tumbled back against the bed, disturbing some of the bodies she'd put to rest there.
The door was still snapping at her, and it seemed to be getting closer. Instinctively she murmured an old sage barrier spell and the door snapped back into position, shuddering but barricaded for the time being.
The spell drained her of a phenomenal amount of her reserves. If the huge splashes of blood in the room were any indicator, she had a good idea of why she was feeling weak.
She didn't dare look down. She couldn't feel Senoria, and she knew why. The door had taken her at the waist. There was nothing for a belt to cling to anymore. There was no pain, just a strange lack of feeling in her lower half. She didn't what that numbness to go away. She didn't want to feel the pain of her lost limbs.
Zipp leaned against the bed and its grisly occupants. She tossed the smoking bor rifle aside and stared ahead at the door in front of her. The pounding had not ceased, and soon the barricade she had set up would be destroyed. She thought breifly of charging out and meeting her enemy, but even if she could have convinced her mind to do it, her legs wouldn't move. She kept forgetting.
Thoughts were coming in quick bursts. She couldn't hold on to them for any length of time. Strangely, she felt concerned by her lack of robe. Was it the cold? She'd lost her robes long ago, and she sat unclothed ion the room. When she coughed, blood stained her fur red. Breathing was becoming harder. All she had left was her dagger. She was in no condition to fight. The best thing to do would be to end her life before it was ended for her.
She stared at the dagger absentmindedly, and wondered how they hadn't seen it. They'd known they would be betrayed. They'd planned for it. So where had it all gone wrong?
She had acted accordingly, put herself out of Hazelae's way. And yet somehow the royal bitch had caught her in a trap. She wondered if Hazelae knew at all, that Zipp and the Yellow Robes weren't concerned for Eshnar. That they had just inconviently been forced to come here?
And suddenly Zipp didn't care. She didn't care about Hazelae or Eshnar or her orders. She didn't even care about the dagger. She let it slip from her hand. Not careing was so easy.
The pounding of the door drifted away, and she felt herself slipping into a dark sleep.
Post by Beowuuf on May 7, 2008 23:33:40 GMT -5
Hidden location somewhere in Sommerlund
Nyles walked in odd steps back to his personal study rooms. Many thoughts were jostling and moving for a position in his active consciousness. Only one truly registered again and again, its loudness overwhelming the muted cries of the rest.
Curse Alder Kollosco!
"Ah, hello daughter," said Nyles, surprised at the figure sitting at one of the desks. Not surprised for her presence, for she was very welcome here and a frequent visitor. It had simply disturbed his tumultuous thoughts to have someone to acknowledge. The man was also embarrassed that the previous episode was still causing his body to shake.
"You have not the right," said the woman, snapping her head up at the affectation of greeting and casting a burning look towards the mage.
"I merely greet you as a daughter of the spirit my dear one, closer than a normal Sister of our family."
The woman shifted uncomfortably, going back to the tome that she was studying. The woman was not particularly young, certainly not young enough to be Nyles's daughter unless one based it on appearances alone. She was obviously hovering at the tipping point before or after her thirties.
Nyles stood for a moment, collecting his thoughts and also awaiting some further acknowledgements. None came. "Arbo has returned," said Nyles finally.
The woman's head snapped up again at that, with a neutral flavour. "That must be pleasant for you, perhaps you will leave me to my studies for a few weeks," said the woman. She did not look back down again.
"How could I in such times. My son of the spirit has returned, and with him he has brought another..."
"Kollosco, I assume. You cannot even stand still just now knowing the man is under your roof."
Nyles smiled in acknowledgement, although the smile soured as soon at was introduced to his aged face. "Infact, my daughter, that is not the case. True, Kollosco has returned, but he is not the one I speak of."
The woman now tilted her head. Apparently this comment was one she had been waiting to hear. "Tamerus, Tamerus returned aswell? Good. I need his knowledge - he has the gift of blending the minor left and right hand magics together. This will save me weeks, save me time exposed to your brand of paternal lechery!"
The woman stood up purposefully, gave a last dismissive glance at the powerful mage before her, and made to leave. she remembered her tome and darted back for it.
"A Nadziran, my daughter. I mean Arbo has brought back with him a Nadziran."
The woman turned slowly, her hand stopped dead before it could reach the book. Her look was conflicted. It was obvious she wished to scream at the man for the insanity of allowing one of darkness to come here to them. And yet....and yet, she would not have been Nyles's daughter of the spirit if the hunger had not even now moved to quell that. If the possibilities of power were not already flooding before her eyes. And there was also another emotion stirring, a fear to match other fears and excitements...
"This is the dawning of the age we wished for," said Nyles, his voice cracking with emotion. "Already the brotherhood is more powerful than it has ever been, twenty four in number with four more waiting to fall to the Word and the Code. And now this..."
"Madness," said the woman, but she whispered it, and the voice was uncertain. She too was trembling as Nyles trembled.
Nyles noticed this, saw her expression, and his eyes misted, his smile returned a pure thing. "Imagine it, my son of the spirit has returned, he of the lands of the left hand who has instead been so powerful in the right hand. And now he has manifested that power and destiny, drawn a living Nadziran, one willingly coming to our brotherhood to learn and teach! My daughter, the perfect balance, so powerful in the left hand alien to her! You should embrace your destiny, the power manifest as you so sought, the life led as those of the lands of the left hand! Two children of the spirit, it is surely not incestuous if you were to take Arbo as yours, a strong right hand and lover to share the leadership of the-"
The woman's right hand slammed violently on the desk, rudely breaking Nyles from his dreams. "You have not the right!" hissed the woman. She marched across the room, her face again burning with emotion, this time no smoldering look, it was a fire set to wither the man where he stood. She stood almost nose to nose with him, her taller frame and his marginally stooped frame placing them at the same height.
"I had a husband, once," she said, each syllable a quietly wielded yet deadly knife. "And, under your old faith, to your fickle god, you murdered him."
Nyles seemed surprised at the words and tone, shrugging that she should be so angry at such simple statements of fact. "And you poisoned my wife when I came under my new faith," said Nyles, not seeing the issue. "It is the perfect balance, as all things are. We only have each other my dear one now, each other and Arbo. He will carry my belief when I am gone, just as he will care for you once I have departed this mortal realms"
The woman took steps backwards, her face showing her disbelief and revulsion at his statements. Yet, somehow, she did not seem inclined to turn away from him nor mock his dreams. "I will lead," she said, again the whisper carrying longing of the dream instead of chastising the reality.
"And what a brotherhood you will now lead, what a legacy I can give you," whispered Nyles in return.
The two regarded each other for a moment, neither sure of the other's thoughts nor what to say. Silently the woman turned and left for the Hidden Halls. Silently, the man sat down on a chair, and stared for a long time with sadness in his eyes at the withered state of his aged hands.
Post by Sarra on May 8, 2008 0:16:34 GMT -5
Somewhere in the Mountains of Northern Dessi
Everything was dark as Tammith fell backwards. Almost in slow motion she hit the ground, her eyes staring up at leaf-laden branches that swayed in the night wind.
Tammith remembered swinging her sword around at the cloaked figure. She remembered seeing Argoll charging out of the corner of her eye.
But what happened then? Tammith was befuddled. Wh...why am I on my back?
The young Vakeros Knight tried to lift up her head but her entire body felt like it weighed a ton. She felt like she was chained down, completely immobile. Her eyes twitched desperately as she looked for Argoll. It was then that she saw it.
The head of Argoll, a brave and endearing Vakeros Knight was staring blankly at her. His face was one of anger and desperation...and it was not connected to the rest of his body. Panic instantly struck Tammith and adrenaline rushed through her veins. She managed to lift her heavy hands up to her chest. She stopped when she felt something damp.
Tammith brought her hands in front of her face. There was blood on them. Her fingers returned to her chest and her blood suddenly ran cold.
She had never seen the attack coming. Nor had she even felt the cold steel as it entered her. But nonetheless there was a hole next to her breast, a hole where a blade had pierced her heart.
I'm sorry Rythe. I am so sorry...
Post by fallingphoenix on May 8, 2008 8:42:36 GMT -5
Falling Phoenix frowned. It appeared these Vakeros liked to think with their emotions instead of their brains. He wiped his blade on the grass. Most unfortunate for them.
The Kai Hunter moved swiftly but quietly closer to the small red glow that was the campfire of the rest of the group he followed. The shard was there and it called to him. Perhaps the others would be more willing to leave with their lives.
When he was almost in sight of the clearing, Falling Phoenix stopped. He used one of his newly found abilities and, with a small breeze, rustled some leaves on the opposite side of the clearing before he spoke.
"Be wiser than your friends. Give me the crystal."
Post by Simey on May 12, 2008 20:25:00 GMT -5
Somewhere near Eshnar
Bafflement, incredulity, disdain and fleeting wonderment struggled for prominence on Simey's features as he read what he could of the scroll contained within the wolf creature's pouch; a portion of it was written in Sommlending, but some of it was in not only a language but an alphabet that he didn't recognise.
"Well?" prompted Armadalus with tentative impatience after a few moments.
Simey raised his eyes from the scroll to look doubtfully at the wolf. "It says he's an ambassador on behalf of the Knights' Council of Magnamund to the dwarven nation of Bor," he said, once again scarcely believing that he should be saying such things. "It says that, despite appearances, he is a Vakeros knight named Tamas Rehme."
"Is that it?" Armadalus said, frowning.
"Well, it starts off saying that the bearer of this," and here Simey held up the cross-shaped medal that had also been contained within the pouch, "is not to be molested by dwarf nor any dwarf friend." Allowing the metal emblem to hang glinting in the firelight, Simey glanced back down at the parchment to read the peculiar final sentence again. "And it ends by saying that he is the bringer of almost as much honour, loyalty and integrity as he is dire peril."
At that, the neutrality of the wolf's expression was momentarily broken by a slight narrowing of the eyes and a marginal tilt of the head, but was almost immediately unreadable once more.
"It's apparently signed," continued Simey, eyes flicking between scroll, wolf and Armadalus, "by a Prince Torfan of Bor."
There was silence for a few moments, everyone else evidently awaiting Armadalus' response whilst the knight himself looked between the blue-tinited sword in his hand and the wolf.
"I've seen few enough dwarves in my time," the Sommlending offered presently, his tone stern but not aggressive, "as, I would imagine, have most people this far from their homeland, so arbitration from their kind as to someone's identity and character could be seen as conveniently distant at best."
The wolf shifted slightly and tilted its head back a little to regard Armadalus coolly down the length of its considerable snout.
"Also," Armadalus continued, "I've never heard of any Knights' Council of Magnamund."
Simey glanced at his companion and then at the ground, reaching reluctantly inside himself to drag forth the words of the intervention that he knew he was duty-bound to make. "I have," he said, memories of his superiors' hinted plans for him with regard to the infant organisation entering his mind like unwelcome-but-unsnubbable acquaintances arriving at an important function. "I don't know much about it, but it does exist, in theory at least, and the Vakeros Knights of Dessi are part of it."
Armadalus looked at Simey dispassionately for a long moment then nodded sideways in concession. "Clearly I have been away from societal circles for too long," he said. "Still, it seems a vague enough claim to be difficult to either substantiate or deny."
Simey could feel the tension of the situation rise perceptibly. He looked at Wise Fox, but the Kai hadn't moved from his position several yards behind the wolf, and seemed to be remaining deliberately uninvolved in the consideration of the creature's credentials, instead simply glaring balefully at its back.
"The medal," Armadalus was continuing, "could have been taken from anyone. Or anything. It could easily be said, in fact, that the entire contents of the pouch is proof to us of nothing whatsoever."
Red eyes threateningly bright, the wolf seemed about to retort, but Armadalus stopped it from doing so. "However," he said quickly, "taking everything into account, it does add up to a story perhaps too peculiar to have been entirely invented. Do you have anything to say that might enlighten us further?"
Simey was surprised by Armadalus' apparent sudden turn of open-mindedness, and was equally surprised to find himself eager to hear what the wolf creature might have to say.
Post by Beowuuf on May 18, 2008 2:49:03 GMT -5
Somewhere close to Eshnar
The wolf creature stood. He seemed about to speak, but then hesitated. It was as if he was caught about to sneeze.
The sensation was different from a moment ago. As Beowuuf had heard the summary of the letter, he cursed mentally for many different reasons. It just had not occurred to him to actually read the letter. He just assumed - and why wouldn't he assume - that somewhere, just somewhere, Prince Torfan might have decided to use the word 'wolf' or even better the words 'wolf creature'. Was it too hard to say? Then Beowuuf had realise, perhaps it really was. Perhaps there was no words in dwarfish for such a concept, and Torfan had ensured the Sommlending and Dwarfish tied together. Or perhaps the reverse, Torfan had no idea the words for it in Sommlending so was forced to make it sound vague. The dwarf could have asked.
Or, just perhaps given the other phrasing at the end, Prince Torfan had an annoying sense of humour at the pomp and ceremony and had deliberately been vague to rile courtiers.
"Do you have anything to say that might enlighten us further?" asked Armadalus. Beowuuf breathed in to say something to justify to people who did not even fully believe their own organisation existed that a Prince from an illusive race had granted an unlikely knight and unlikely position to bind all the ephemera together. The words stuck in his throat at the curious sensation building in throat, twitching his nose and mouth.
Beowuuf laughed. He laughed quite hard, quite uncontrollably, and when he had a moment to think about it he hoped it did not sound in any way maniacal. Beowuuf would be the first to admit it was possibly tinged with mania. The sheer lunacy of the situation and of trying to explain it to any side was certainly overpowering.
Simey shuffled back, not certain what was happening. Wise Fox shifted too, irritation on his features at not knowing what was happening either - though none noticed it. Armadalus took the scene in coolly, perhaps even cynically, adjusting his grip in a subtle manner on the sword he held.
"Can I," asked Beowuuf, still trying to catch his breath, "cast any light on the matter at hand?" Beowuuf had to retrain himself from laughing again, recognising the mania both for what it was, and for the delaying tactic it subconsciously might be. He stood with a sigh. "I can certainly commiserate with not trusting the claims of the knights' council. When I originally came to this country, I was approached by a Lord...Rahmona?...from the knights' council."
Beowuuf raised his eyebrow, and Armadalus caught the question. "I do not know the man," said Armadalus neutrally.
"Good," replied Beowuuf, "then I will not seem flippant when I tell you he was murdered by a Helghast and replaced to meet me. It was simple for me to be diverted into a secretive mission to roam Sommerlund, in my form, for signs of the turning of the Kai in the probably hopes of rousing trouble."
Wise Fox had shifted in the corner of Beowuuf's eye. The wolf thought he could guess why. "Do not worry," Beowuuf said dryly, "I did not find any."
"Another knight I do not know will not help your claim," said Armadalus.
"I am merely sympathising. My loss apparently only generated some letters when I arrived in Toran. Similarly, the only way for me to know for sure the man who claimed to be Prince Torfan might be the dwarf crown prince was the protective reactions of his men and the respect he could garner from Lyrians and my own government with ease. He was pretending to be a
mercenary captain. For all I know he really is, sometimes you need to go on instincts, do you not?"
Again, Beowuuf noticed Wise Fox shift in interest. Beowuuf grinned. The man's Divination would surely not read any devious intentions right now, since Beowuuf was not intentionally holding anything back. Yet. However, it reminded Beowuuf that being surrounded was not a good idea if more questions flowed. It was easier to concentrate on lies of omission if the kai and the strangely intuitive Armadalus were both infront of him. Armadalus perhaps caught Wise Fox's reaction. Wise Fox seemed startled, not guessing the meaning of Armadalus's questioning eye.
"Can we perhaps do this in the hut?" asked Beowuuf, pretending to shiver.
Simey was perhaps prickled that Armadalus looked to the Kai instead of the man who had suffered Armadalus's own brands of insanity. Perhaps Simey found his curiosity and fascination prickled inspite of himself, beyond the normal fear and disinterest. "His claims do seem strange enough, surely-" started Simey.
"And I could claim to be a Dessi Lord, Simey," started Armadalus, brandishing the bluesteel blade, "it would not make it-"
Armadalus looked across quickly, seeing the wolf was the one calling out. The creature was standing tall and pointing with consternation. Not at Armadalus though, nor Wise Fox. His finger was directed accusingly at Simey.
"What is this now?" started Armadalus. Beowuuf however, perhaps because he was remembering who met him, remembered the letters, had felt a click in his mind as he finally remembered the name of Simey Vojske, where the familiarity had come from.
"Lord Simey! You were supposed to be the one to meet me, not Lord Rahmona!"
Simey looked around, suddenly aware that reality had shifted again. Armadalus came to his rescue, now definitely sounding annoyed at the wolf and his stories. "Simey is not a Lord, can we please end this-"
However Beowuuf already spotted the age of the confused man before him. He was not finished though, not when this had bothered him for so long. "Do you have a father?" Beowuuf then rolled his eyes at his own question and the strange look. "I mean, your father, is he called-"
"No," said Simey taking a step backwards to the furious questioning, "look, the only Simey in my family was...not a Lord. Can we get back to the matter at hand?" Simey was proud of managing to sound reasonable in an unreasonable situation spiralling out of control. It was obviously the training with Armadalus's infuriating quests.
Beowuuf was breathing hard, looking incredulous. Armadalus nodded however. "Simey, Wise Fox, perhaps the hut would be a good idea. Please prepare some wood for the fire."
Simey looked aghast at being asked to do menial work, but the nod and movement of Wise Fox towards the hut caught Simey between two types of pride and the glaring of the wolf tipped Simey over into entering the hut again.
"I do not know what game you are playing wolf," said Armadalus raising his blade once he saw the other two depart, "but I suggest the charade ends now."
Beowuuf however did not give a friendly look back. "I have been stalked every step I have taken from my land, by coincidence, by foes who were supposed to be friends, by friends who acted like foes. I have been patient, more than patient, and I am growing sick of the one needing to
show understanding, sick of my trust misplaced." Beowuuf took a step forward, and Armadalus raised the bluesteel blade. Beowuuf noticed the shift. "I will not tell you how I know you, for that would apparently create even more problems. Just know that I do, that it was not through intention, and that I am becoming sick of the strands of fate weaving around me. Why do you not justify who you are, and why you have crossed my path." Beowuuf then took a further step, looking meaningfully at the weapon Armadalus wielded. "And you will give me my sword."
The two were locked in a dangerous tense glare, both ready to move at a moment's notice. The tension was instantly broken by a set of noises from the hut again. Beowuuf felt a small spasm of amusement despite himself in my mouth, and concentrated on keeping his temper and confusion under control.
"Are you sure your companion is a knight?" asked Beowuuf lightly, taking a small step backwards, a large breath out and deliberately relaxing his tense muscles.
Armadalus dropped the sword point a fraction in return. "He is, he has been a...stalwart companion." The last was said quietly, and Beowuuf had no idea if it was to avoid embarrassment of being heard saying a kind word, or the embarrassment of being caught lying.
The door to the hut was then banged open.
"He is gone!" said Simey, blood on his head from a cut, "Wise Fox attacked me and ran out the back!"
Armadalus and Beowuuf shared a shocked look of suspicion. Neither saw the sneer cross Simey's face, a sneer not usually so fully formed nor malevolent.
Post by wildhorse on May 18, 2008 10:54:37 GMT -5
Before I start, this post will be dedicated to the victims and survivors of the China Sichuan Earthquake and Myanmar Cyclone Nargis...may those in need of aid receive it soon...
The Kaltesee, near the coast of Sommerlund, between Anskavern and Rhorgal Isle.
Despite his fatigue, Wild Horse was keen to ensure that the security of the two ships.
He ordered his crew to search the Emerald Defender and the surrounding waters for survivors as well as looking for any dead bodies floating around.
Casualties on the Emerald Defender itself has been low, although there have been a few injuries. Wild Horse was worried about the other ship. He beckoned Oriphus to move their ship closer, so that they might support the crew of the other ship.
Leaving his first mate to handle matters, he went around to help heal the few wounded sailors, who had injured themselves against the rail when the backlash of the Xargath sent strong waves crashing against the Emerald Defender.
Remembering that he had some potions in his backpack, he decided to go back to his cabin. He had just gone down the steps when his sword Illuminatus, glowed. It was a soft light that emanated from the hilt. His Kai senses, now so maddeningly sensitive, alerted him to another presence on this ship.
He went down the corridor, sword in hand, and pulled open a door, the last in the row.
Post by zipp on May 23, 2008 14:29:01 GMT -5
Barraka grinned as he held the dagger poised above Zipp's heart. The Cat girl was caught in his trap. Thinking herself injured and dead, her mind had shut down. Her soul was vulnerable. Barraka would make good use of it.
The dagger fell.
There was a clinking sound, and with surprise Barraka saw the cat girl had been uninjured. He dropped the dagger again and the same thing happened. Did she have some kind of shield he wasn't aware of?
Then he realized he wasn't alone. Turning quickly he tossed the dagger through the air at the newcomer. With the same clinking noise, it was deflected. Barraka was stareing at an old man in yellow robes. He had a heavily disfigured face, but his poise showed a high breeding. And his skill with the rapier, deflecting Barraka's attempts to take Zipp's life and soul, showed the highest levels of aptitude with the weapon.
"You should leave, old man, unless you want to take her place," Barraka growled.
Remoire's response was quick. The magical rapier pierced Barraka's heart. Barraka gasped in pain, feeling the magic of the blade infect him like a rampant virus, but in the next instant he had grabbed the old man and slammed his head into his nose.
The force of the blow knocked Remoire backwards, and he lost hold of his rapier. Barraka tried to grab the weapon to pull it free, but the blade burned when he touched it, and the pain increased. Breathing heavily, he staggered to the wall and rested on it heavily.
Remoire ignored him and instead went to Zipp. He passed his hands over several pressure points on her body in rapid succesion. She gave a slight gasp, but remained unconcious. It was alright, though. She'd been freed of the illusion.
Remoire turned to Barraka and asked congenially "Where is the heart of the city?"
The black robed man chuckled. "It's on it's way," he said.
The next instant the wall opposite Barraka exploded inward, and the terrifying vissage of The General showed itself. Nearly twenty feet tall, the beast was crouching in order to see into the one story house. With its four legs and four arms, it looked somewhat like a giant insect. It roared and with a swipe of one arm, knocked away one of the supports of the house. Remoire made a quick study of the room and moved Zipp slightly to her right. The roof collapsed where her head had been.
A second later, The General was in the room and Remoire felt the blow without seeing it. He was laid flat amidst a cloud of dust. he dust settled, and Remoire saw Barrakarushing for him. Remoire stood and began to speak the words of a powerful incantation, but the dust caught in his throat, sending him into a reluctant fit of hacking. Vashna's former disciple reached him and stabbed with his left hand. Metal flashed in Remoire's eyes, then he felt a searing pain beneath his ribs. He coughed up blood and fell to his knees. Barraka's hands came down on his head, bringing him to the floor, splinters digging deep into his exposed face. He could only feel some of them, the nerve damage from the afflictions set on him by the Cener Gourgaz years ago had never fully healed.
The memories of that horrible time rushed into his mind. Ah but what he wouldn't give to be able to die. And yet the opportunity never seemed to present itself in a fashionable way.
The robber Baron regarded his prey. "You want to go to the heart of Eshnar?" he asked. "All you have to do is let The General devour you. He's the entrance to the heart, and the only way to get there is in pieces. Of course, that won't be a problem for you." The dagger glinted again as he raised it. Remoire sighed and spoke the power word.
Instantly, the rapier embedded in Barraka exploded into a thousand razor sharp shards. Barraka shuddered, and then died.
"I do have to say," Remoire muttered as he brushed himself off and stood again. "I'm not really sure what to do about you." The General roared in answer and raised its arms for the attack.