RPG #7 - Dark Chest of Wonders

Discussion in 'RPG #7 - Dark Chest of Wonders' started by Nienor, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Long ago have passed the days of Light, when the Child blessed the world and all of its wonders. The Child, a being of innocence and eternal youth so pure, that none could see her face veiled with the bright light that adorned her always. Her home of Naelin was forever safeguarded from the clutches of the Etherplane, where her one and only enemy, Trikera, wallowed in darkness and malice. But she, a goddess of the purest evil and trickery, was powerless against the Child. As long as the Child remained safe in Zanaerket, the holy city, and the spiritual barrier between Naelin and the Etherplane remained intact, and the Guardians of the Child remained unfallen, Naelin had nothing to fear of her.

    Then, when it seemed the Age of Light could shine no brighter, a sliver of shadow emerged. An archmage tempted by ultimate power and greed, not to this day known by name to the world, punctured the barrier between the planes with his awesome power, and was destroyed instantly. Through this puncture Trikera, ever like a snake, was able to slip through into the world of Naelin. A great battle ensued.

    The Guardians rose to the call of a final war, a circle of eight holy warriors trained for this very day. The inhabitants of Naelin ran for cover across the world, for Trikera was already working her deadly magic on them--fire rained from the sky, quakes shook the seas which then vomited upon the fertile lands and erasing them from history, monsters emerged from the cracked barren earth of the deserts like wildflowers. All which stemmed from one spot upon the earth where Trikera appeared upon Naelin for the first time, a nation that no longer has a name but would later be known as the Black Lands. The Child was hidden away in the innermost cloister of the temple in Zanaerket, but knowing it was her duty to fight, she escaped and rushed to the front of the line.

    She came too late. Her Guardians fell one by one to the horrible might of the dark goddess. Walking along a path of their blood and tears, the Child threw back her veil of light and faced her enemy for the first and final time.

    The battle lasted forever, and yet, only took as long as it took for her veil of light to touch the ground. The entire world felt the blows and wounds that each goddess recieved; it was impossible to block out the sound of their battle cries. Evil and innocent blood mingled and flowed into the rivers of the world and poisoned all. And then, after eternity and only few precious moments, the Child fell into the Abyss of the Underplane in a streak of fading light. Trikera had won.

    But even in the darkness of her victory, there was yet a little light to be shed. For three of the Guardians survived still, though barely, masters of the magic the Child had taught them, knowing what they must do if the Child were to ever return.

    Combining their powers together, they created a magical chest, made of the blackened tree first touched by Trikera when she first came to the world, sealed with the holy blood of the Child. They devoted their whole beings to the making of the Dark Chest, their souls, wills, and bodies. They died then, souls merging to form the Wishmaster, which would lay asleep within the Chest until it was found.

    They knew this was a faulty plan. Not only was there the chance of the Chest never being found, save by the most devoted of heart, but once again they would put their trust in the same humanity that had betrayed the Child in the first place. But it was all they could do, all that they would. Naelin would either survive or die.

    Deeply hidden now in an unknown part of the world, the Dark Chest of Wonders awaits its finder. For to its claimer it shall grant but one wish, no matter how good, nor evil, nor useless, the wish is. Whether it be a demon in the name of Trikera, or a great warrior or monk hoping to avenge the Child...or a single rogue in search of a cure.

    Or even such as yourself.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All it did was rain nowadays...always rain. One would think that the world would just fill up with water and drown from all the rain. But no...there were heavier burdens that had to be borne, and the earth absorbed the water passively as another whipmark upon its back.

    The rolling hills were covered in a blanket of bleak, semi-permanent mist. The constant rain had mutilated the countryside's spring meadows of golden grass and wildflowers of yore. Now all that remained were drowned green moors and a muddy road beelining from the west towards Alexandria. It would be warmer in Alexander...the sun would be shining, but it would be a weak, harsh light with no loving warmth of life. Just indifferent heat, enough to sustain the mortal body and keep it from dying with the soul.

    A wagon made its way down the aggravated road, the wheels raking up muck with sickening sounds and splashing any on foot. But it didn't matter when a blanket of mud whipped against Eris and added to the layer of filth that coated her.

    Her clothes were soaked and mud-covered, her fair features darkened by dirt and grime. She limped onward on a bloody leg. Her forehead bore a jagged cut just above her right eyebrow, red blood complimenting the grim green orbs set in the blackened and blued sockets of her skull. The rogue wasn't surprised when the wagon didn't stop for her, seeing the condition she was in. No one stopped anymore. There was just no trust left. And she didn't blame them.

    Just hours ago she'd woken up laying in the riverbank, about to be swept away by the current. A group of bandits had jumped her on the Highroad and beaten her senseless before taking her money, what food she had on her, and tossing her body on the bank. Hell, she couldn't even call them bandits. They'd been only kids...no older than fifteen or sixteen. And she couldn't blame them either. They were just trying to stay alive. She was no worse, and a few years back, if things had been different, it would have been their bodies in the river.

    Luckily they hadn't taken her pack, and besides a sprain in her ankle, possibly, and a wide assortment of cuts and bruises, they hadn't taken anything else from her but material things she could replace...eventually. She'd heard stories of women beaten, robbed, and raped by highroad bandits...but she'd been lucky. She only met up with a group of adolescents who were just tired of being hungry and poor. That's all.

    Eris tripped on a rock and fell to the ground, sinking into the muck and wet. Cursing loudly, she staggered to her feet and grabbed a dead branch laying on the side of the road and used it as a walking stick. Only a bit farther, she needed...Flowerhood was straight ahead, a kind of halfway town in the River Valley, the last place on the road to stop, eat, and rest before making that long, dangerous journey. Groaning painfully from the injury her leg had taken, she continued to limp onward through the mist.

    "Damn the lost gods...ah?" she muttered, looking ahead into the fog. There were people ahead...standing still in the mist. After a moment, she realized they were watching her. She couldn't see their faces, but she knew, somehow...they were watching her. With an intent to harm her. A chill ran down her spine, but her anger quickly thawed the ice.

    "Too late, bastards. This one's been picked clean, y'hear me? Get out of my damned way!" she yelled hoarsely, waving her stick as if she were a drunk. They didn't move. Growling, she jostled herself forward on her wounded leg, wielding the branch like a sword.

    "HEY! Did you hear me? Get....out..." she trailed off, seeing no one. But there had been someone there....she knew she'd seen at least six people. Maybe she was going insane. Or maybe they were ghosts. She wouldn't be surprised anymore.

    "Whatever. Damned fog." She slowed down and returned to her limping pace. "Getting in the way of everything..."

    Created by: Naomi Eboncloud
     
  2. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    ......It still rains now, the sky weeping for the sins of the world, the age we live in is bereft of all the great and good brought upon us by the child. Are we so vain? to let go of the worlds of hapiness we once knew, because darkness clouds us now? All we need do is but embrace the light, even if it cannot be seen, to open up your heart and soul and let the warmth shine in. This is the curse of the userper, that we no longer let the light shine, nor do the people see its glow, I pity them.

    "We are ready sir" The short man said, Adrius looked up from his book and saw him at the doorway holding his hand up to show the way into the dark room.

    Adrius wiped away the ink on his quill and put the stopper in his ink-jar, replacing all the items in his scrip he carefully closed the book and added that to the contents of the leather bag. With the other hand he picked up his axe and walked into the room, propping them up by the door before going over to the bench and lying down.

    The short man joined him on the adjacent stool, looking over the array of bottles and jars, with a few tools placed haphazardly in the midst. At the end of the table there was a brazier of hot coals and atop it was a peculiar shaped knife, sharp as a needle at the tip yet blunt down the edge, the side filled with grooves like little furrows. "Have you done this before?" he muttered, counting the jars. Adrius said nothing. The man just took it for a no and kept talking, this man liked to talk, not sinful but......annoying, Adrius only punished sin. "you know, you are very lucky to find me, most men do this for money, once they found it, I am an artist! I take much care, some men use dyes instead of inks, but the colour fades with dye and sometimes it gives rashes............." He went on, looking over the drawing Adrius had made and selecting the jars and bottles to suit, how and again he held a hand over the brazier to check how hot it was. "........You have to keep it hot, otherwise the blood runs and spreads the ink and it blotches, but keep it too hot and the flesh scars over and you wont see the ink, that is why I use the needle-knife, even while hot is flows smoothly, knives always ruin the work, and needles take hours to do anything good....." He kept talking, even as he poured some of the contents of the large bottle onto a cloth and started dabbing the skin on Adrius' upper arm and shoulder. "....this numbs the flesh, which is for the knife alone, so it does not blister while i work, the pain is quite bad, I have not felt a thieves branding, but this may be worse, that is why I made that...." he pointed over to a cup of watery looking wine. "......There is much more wine in that it seems, and there are also some sleeping herbs, not that you will sleep, but that you will not scream" Adrius Shook his head when the man tried to get up to fetch the cup.
    "Alcohol dulls the mind, it robs the world of meaning brought by the child, it is a thing of sin" The last word hung in the air, almost echoing in the silence left by the short man, who was pondering whether not to insist before looking over Adrius and shaking his head.
    "Well, there is something else I use for stubborn men, but usually they jump after the first cut and cry for the cup to drink." The man went over a cupboard in the corner and fished out a large wooden spoon before retuning it and giving it to Adrius. "Bite down hard, but do not break it, or the wife will kill me, its either that or I hit you on the head with the pots, but the wife doesnt like that either, too many dents" Adrius bit down on the spoon and the Man picked the knife up from the brazier with a thick glove, and after dipping it in a jar of black ink he moved it towards Adrius.
    He felt the heat before it pierced, and in a slow motion the man made a smooth slash on his skin, like being cut by a fiery sword, looking over Adrius could see the first small line, no more than an elongated dot, this would hurt, a lot. It was a good this suffering was a virtue.

    A few hours later Adrius lef the mans back door onto the street, still raining only now the sun had set, a heavy-wrapped woolen bandage over his arm and shoulder, damp with the accumulated blood of a thousand small cuts, the man had talked all the way through, about the pain, about the blood, assuring him it would not effect the art, it was true, the man was an artist, but he was an irritation. Sooner or later Adrius would have to name that a sin.
    Walking down the mud filled street, the roof of the odd house keeping rain from those walking beneith, he pondered where to go next, he had planned on going to Alexander, but after today he had little money left to get that far, and people were not as accomodating as they should be to a monk. He banished the thoughts from his head, the had found the town square of Flowerhood. With no where to sleep and little to do, he went about his calling as he always did in his spare time. And under the edge of an inn's roof he stood atop a mounting block and took out his book. Holding his arms out wide he raised his voice to preach.

    "innoncence and purity are things we should seek, gold and fame are naught but distraction......"
     
  3. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    The moon cast beams of pale light through the leaded glass of the balcony doors, accenting the light given by the Lady Merciles reading lamp. From his vantage, pressed against the cold of the stone wall and hidden by the deep shadows, she appeared to have nodded off with a book on her lap. Her posture relaxed, head slumped forward, the only mark of the truth was the thin line of blood trailing down the back of her neck from behind her ear. Belraad smiled as the scene played out in his mind. The woman had dies peacefully, without so much as a whimper or struggle. In his hand he still clutched the spike. A razor sharp point of metal, a half a pace long, and as slender as a child’s finger. The handle was fashioned so that the blade protruded between his fore finger and middle finger. A silent weapon, a clean weapon, thrust behind the ear and into the brain, it would kill instantly in a trained hand.

    A moment passed before the Lord entered the bedchamber, dressed in his sleeping robes and carrying another lamp. Middle aged, tall, and gray haired, he was the true target of this evenings work. Some might feel regret at having to silence the innocent Lady . . . it never bothered Belraad.

    “Let us retire for the evening my dear.” Lord Merciles said to his wife. With a quiet chuckle he added. “It seems you already slumber.”

    The older man put a hand on the woman’s arm as he moved to stand in front of her. He shook her gently several times with no success. A look of concern crossed his features as he squatted down in front of her and lifted her chin. He let out a startled gasp when he discovered the blood on his fingers. So wrapped up in his discovery, Lord Merciles didn’t notice the shifting movement in the shadows behind him.

    In a fraction of a heartbeat Belraad grasped the Lord’s forehead and thrust the spike deep into his brain. ‘A clean death, let them know it was professional’, those were his orders. Belraad had a tendency to get creating with his work from time to time. This kill though, would bear his mark. Near a hundred guards stood the walls of the estate, and more patrolled the compound inside those walls, none caught a glimpse of the assassin as he slipped over the curtain wall and scaled the side of the three story mansion to enter the Lord’s bedchamber.

    Belraad sheathed the spike and drew out his saber. The soft leather sheath made no sound as the blued steel slid free. Grasping the lord’s right hand, the assassin swung and severed the hand at the wrist. The signet ring on the severed hand would be a sufficient enough trophy for tonight.


    * * * * * * *

    The most fortified and heavily guarded place in Alexander, perhaps in the entire realm. His employer’s castle stood looming before him. Not a sole could enter or leave the place with out fifty guardsmen knowing, and no one could slip into the keep itself without being announced, it was virtually impregnable. At least to anyone except Belraad. The slender assassin found a good deal of humor in that fact. To have the King round a corner and find Belraad standing unaware of his presence.

    The King’s audience chamber was a vast hall, lined with pale marble columns that stretched upward to meet the vaulted ceiling a hundred paces overhead. As was typical the King sat on his massive throne issuing orders in his deep baritone voice to a pair of his commanders. Belraad waited in the shadows for several minutes until the audience drew to it’s end and the men left the hall.

    The King sniffed the air, and rose from his throne, his grace and fluid movements belying his powerful frame. “You forget Belraad, that I have senses that others do not.” He intoned.

    “Never would I forget such a thing, your majesty.” Belraad answered, he stepped from the shadows and made a slight, mocking bow to his employer.

    The Demon made a low rumbling noise; Belraad always assumed was a snarl, though he wasn’t quite sure of the meaning behind it.

    Reaching into a concealed pocket in his cloak the assassin produced the severed hand and tossed it at the Kings feet. “The troublesome Lord Merciles has been retired, by your command, King Galathrist.”
     
  4. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Galathrist stormed through the halls of his castle, his crimson cloak spilling out behind him and trailing on the floor. His honour guard followed silently, dressed in black mail, black cloaks and black scarves, they were practically invisible in the night, and suited well for their purpose. There were only seven of them, but they were the best warriors this world had to offer.

    A messenger awaited Galathrist in his chambers. "M'lord," the human said, dropping to one knee, "the Merciles' have been spotted around your keep once again...they killed three guards entering the compound..."

    Galathrist could sense he was not telling him everything, "What else, messenger ?" he growled. "M-m'lord...they...they saw the Shrine....they know who you worship. This could put us all in danger, the populace does not know of our worship, and the Merciles would try to usurp our position with rebellion."

    The human kept his head down as he spoke, not daring to meet Galathrist's cruel, red eyes. "Bring me Belraad." he commanded.

    "B-Belraad," the human stammered, "Is this wise m'lord ? We could work things out between them, perhaps we could bribe them, o-or threaten them ? Surely they would leave you alone then ?"

    "You dare defy my orders, human scum ?" Galathrist said as he looked upon the wretched servant trembling before him. "If you do not bring Belraad to me, then another will, and the next time I see him, he will have your head instead of the Merciles. NOW BRING ME BELRAAD !"

    ***

    It was in the darkness of twilight that Belraad came. The time he always came. Dressed in nothing but black, Belraad was little more than a shadow in the night, even to the eyes of the Demon King. The two met upon a balcony in the highest reaches of the castle. "I trust you weren't noticed..." Galathrist said, almost mockingly. He knew Belraad would never been seen when he chose not to be. The assassin merely nodded. "You are to bring me the head or Lord Merciles. As you know, he is far to inquisitive. And must be removed." The assassin rose, and made to leave, "Assassin," the King called, "Let them know who killed Merciles. Let them know it was my order that had them killed," he said as he turned back towards the balcony, his cloak swirling behind him. Galathrist looked behind him, Belraad was already gone. The next time he saw the assassin, he would have proof of the Lords death. And the King of Alexander would have one less enemy.
     
  5. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Malaghriir cloak whipped back, as the bitter wind caught his cloak. Yet mere wind could not faze Malaghriir. Walking steadily, his current situation and objective ran through his head. 'Find the Dark Chest and bring it to me' were his orders. It sounded so simple, but anyone who knew of the items history knew, that it was not as simple as that. The chest was long lost, and its location not even remotely known. Yet she told him, that there was one that may help in the finding.

    Walking the streets of Alexander, Blackrazor and Ravager hung at his sides, as ominous signs for the guards and people that looked at him, piecing glares that shone with contempt and hatred. The Drow unlike their counterparts, the Elves, were unwelcome in human cities, or for that matter, nearly anywhere. Even the dwarves would rather side with an Elf than a drow. Also unlike many of his kind, the drow were not accustomed to being in the sunlight, yet that was only a matter of pushing yourself with your will over that boundry and becoming used to that which hampered you. Another such barrier was pain. Although it could never be broken, its limit could be stretched.

    The castle of Galathrist loomed up, as Malaghriir came to the gates entrance. He noticed how the guards posture became stiffer, and they eyed him with caution.

    "Halt! You are you? What do you want" the gate captain asked, eyeing him up and down.

    "My name is of no importance to you human, and I seek an audience with your King. It would be wise not to let me wait long, he is expecting me." he replied cooly, and watched as the guards stiffened visibly, hands going to swords.

    "There is no need for your weapons, an audience is all I seek" he said.

    The gate captain eyed him for a bit, before nodding, and 'accompanying' him through the gates, as he made his way through the castle. Soon entering a grand hall, with a throne in it. The walls were lined with guards, yet they seemed different. Almost rabid. His senses tingled midly by their presence.

    "Wait here. His majesty will see you when he wishes" the gate captain told him, before leaving him with the guards. Taking a seat, he gathered his thoughts, waiting for Galathrist to appear. He did not like waiting, he hoped the 'man' would come soon.
     
  6. Naomi Eboncloud

    Naomi Eboncloud ~The Black Rose of Maiem~

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    She was not certain just when she had entered the village. She had just kept dragging one injured leg over the other good one, until she finally heard the bleats of goats and other free-roaming livestock about her and scrounged up the strength to lift her tired head from its slump beneath her shoulders.

    The place grew more pathetic each year. Even back as an adolescent, when things had been really, really screwed, the air had been more lively because more and more people were taking interest in finding the Dark Chest. There had been hope then. Just a little, and that had been enough. But then sons and daughters would go out searching, and not come back. Men's bodies would be dragged back into the town by whatever poor soul found them and laid on their wives' doorsteps. And that was if they had a body to drag back. It turned from a glorious quest, to a small hope, to a false hope, and finally, to just plain mass suicide. And no one wanted to kill themselves. They were being killed slowly enough already. And then the children died.

    Eris shook her head as she recalled this. The Burning Fever...as if things couldn't have gotten any worse in that time, the Burning Fever came. It wiped out almost every child in this town, and many others. Countless women and grown men fell to it too. They hadn't been able to make enough coffins...they dug mass graves far outside of town. Their bodies were so poisoned, not even the wolves that freely roamed this area would pick at their remains. Eris herself had been afflicted by it, but Seifer's pleading had led his parents to pay for a herb healer to come across from Tsukasa to help. She'd survived...she almost wished she hadn't now.

    Recalling on lost memories, she didn't notice that someone was rushing toward her and not paying attention as well. When the two collided, Eris heard the trickle of a rain stick and the tinkle of beads. The fragrance of wildflowers crossed her lips. She nearly fell to the ground, but something held her up--hands that felt like ice on her back. She tumbled forward and looked behind her, but there was no one there.

    "I am sorry!" Are you alright?" the woman asked in front of her, her face hidden in a plain brown hood of a cloak.

    Eris looked back at her, trying to peer through the dark under the cowl, but she saw nothing. "Fine," she answered, and kept going.

    She made it to the Inn, a creaky sign above it labeled The Dragonflower. Eris snorted and walked up the front step. On her way she glanced at a large body nearby her, sitting atop a mounting block and preaching in a strong voice of the Child. Stumbling on the steps, she limped up to the door and tried to open it, before finding it locked.

    She knocked, and there was no answer. "Oh, this is such...hey! Anyone in there?" She kicked the door with her good foot, but to no avail. "Screw this...hope you liked your lock, asshole, because it's gone..." Reaching into her pack, she scrambled for her lockpick set, but before she could get it out the peephole opened on the door and revealed a tiny brown eye lined with pudge.

    "Who's there?" an equally pudgy voice answered.

    "Who d'ya think, old man?" she growled. "This is an inn, ain't it? Well, I'm a customer. Don't you know what that is, anymore?"

    "You got money?"

    "I just got robbed!" she yelled back at him, stepping back so he could see her wounds. "I don't got any money."

    "Then you're no customer," he said defiantly. "Just another freeloader I don't need." He started closing the peephole.

    "Wait...wait! Wait a second." Eris reluctantly reached into the blouse of her shirt and ripped off the pendant hanging there. "I got this. It's worth something."

    "What is it?" The peephole opened again, the tiny brown eye roaming around greedily for valuables. Eris held it up close so he could see.

    It looked like rubbish at first, but that was because it was so old. It was actually made of some of the finest gold, but age and dirt made it look like brass. It was probably the only reason why those bandits hadn't taken it. The pendant was a circular golden slab, etched into it an eight pointed star surrounded by a wreath of tinier, four pointed stars. It was the ancient symbol for the Child. A really, really ancient symbol...the only other place she'd seen it was in a ruined temple somewhere in the Aradhi Deserts near Alexander, while cleaning out a pack of luecrottas that were causing problems for a bunch of sand hermits. She'd had it ever since she could remember, when her mother had faded into the crowd and had never returned. It was all she had left of that time.

    "It's fine gold, it's just really, really old...." she promised, scraping off a bit of grime so he could see. "It's..."

    "The Child!" he sputtered angrily. "I'm not having any cleric of the Child in here, girl! You think I'm some kind of moron?! That's what you are, aren't you? Go away!"

    "I'm not a--look, I need a damned doctor! It's gold and it's the only thing I have on me of any worth! What does it matter?!" she yelled back.

    "Pray to your Child for help! See if she answers!" he laughed harshly, and shut the peephole. Eris growled furiously and kicked the door again.

    "FINE! Stupid ass. Would've stolen it back from you anyway!" she roared, gaining glances from passersby on the street. Limping hard down the steps and back out into the street, back out into the rain, she looked this way and that before ducking into the alleyway between the inn and the bakery, a waterfall of water raining down from the roof on either side and splashing down on her.
     
  7. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    People walked the streets as always, very few stopped to look at the man preaching of the child, msot had forsaken her as they though she had forsaken them, it was a dark time. Most shied away from Adrius more than they did the heavy rainfall. Just shapes, faces hidden from the damp, nothing to note, once or twice Adrius thought of going and finding shelter from the downpour, but to give up would make him no better than these fools.

    He didnt know what it was that turned his head, but looking out he saw a girl walking, if it could be called that, down the street, obviously injured and half soaked and mud covered. She walked past him like the others but only so far as going up to the door of the inn and talking to the owner. A brief exchange passed, the girl had been robbed, the innkeeper didnt want her, but then, then she took out something that caught his eye.

    A little gold cdisc engraved with a symbol he'd never forget, the elder symbol of the child. Adrius scratched at his bandaged shoulder, the throbbing pain had become a dull itch now. When he turned back the Girl left from the door after the Innkeeper shooed her away for the gold disc. The nerve of such a man, to dismiss someone who bore such a holy symbol. Preaching had brought nothing today to this town, it was time to bring some justice upon the wicked.

    Putting his book back in his back and pulling his axe out from the two loops on the side, Adrius walked over to the door of the Inn and stepped up to the peephole, Putting his face close so the owner would see nothing else, Adrius nocked loudly with his spare hand.

    The hole opened and the eye within shifted back when it fixed on Adrius' hard face. "What d'ya want?"

    "I am quite hungy, and perhaps a little tired, I would like to stay here" Adrius managed with all his patience for such a swine of a man.

    "Got money for it?" Was all that came back, no coutesy, no delay.

    Fishing around in his bag, Adrius produced a small leather money-pouch, and lifting it up to the door he opened it to reveal a wide array of coins, some of which sparkled silver. the pudgy brown eye widened, and although it was not visible, Adrius could tell the man licked his lips with anticipation.

    The peephole closed and there was the sound of moving wood and the gangle of keys as the man began unlocking the door. After a little fumble the door slowly widened to show a sliver of the short man. When he looked up he gasped at Adrius' atire. Reachingn for the door he tried to slam it, but Adrius' axe shaft was already in the crack. Wrenching with the axe, Adrius kicked it open, sending the man onto his behind and opening the door enough for the tall monk to step through.

    With his axe in one hand, Adrius closed the door with his other, then slowly walked up to the man as he crawled away "You have done a great injustice this day sinner. You have sent a child away into the cold, one who saought only aid and offered a most holy token in payment. You should have been more than willing to comfort her. So i find it in my duty to punish you, for your wicked ways" Adrius reached the man who cowered below, pleading for him not to harm him.

    * * * * * * * *

    Adrius left the from door a little later, his purse a little heavier and a little bllod on his knuckles. A beating was just punishment, if the man sinned again he would die. Walking out Adrius went in search of the girl, to give her tthe help she sought.
     
  8. Draconis

    Draconis Dragon Kin Mage

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Sallthak's human eyes narowed, humanity had gone down a dark road since his parents time.. turning he walked after the girl with that sign. It might povide some news of the world, what he knew of it was a little out of date. He reached up and brushed a lock of dark brown hair out of his eyes befor he moved on. Silly human form, and I have no clue of how to fight in this shape.. He thought.
     
  9. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Sitting at a blackened table, Galathrist listened as his Council took place. It seems the Dark Chest had been spotted. Only a rumour, ofcourse, but everything had to be looked into. The nobleman slammed his fist down on the map. "Sire, the Dark Chest was spotted here - it is only a small village - but the Lord will not let us enter to search."

    "Flowerhood..." Galathrist tasted the word in his mouth. "Is this source trustworthy ? How do we know he didn't just see some normal bloody chest. This has happened before," Galathrist said as he drained his wine glass and smashed the goblet on the ground, "We must find this Chest."

    "M'lord, this indeed could be a....a hoax, but what if it isn't ? Can we let the Chest remain hidden, can we risk others finding it ?" said the nobleman as a slave came and cleared away the shards of Galathrist's goblet.

    In what seemed to take a second, Galathrist was off his throne, and across the room. The nobleman's throat clenched tight between his fingers. His feet two feet off the ground, "Remember well what happened to the last noble who failed me."

    The Demon let out a low growl, as he threw the man to the ground. "If the Lord of this petty village does not let us conduct our search, then we have no choice. Burn it to the ground."

    ***

    As Galathrist left the Council Chamber, his honour guard in tow, he felt the dark presence of another in his keep. One who has also been touched by the Goddess. Abruptly he changed direction and made for the presence, as usual the honour guard made no noise, their eyes unreadable. As Galathrist stormed through his castle a messenger ran to him, and bowed low. "My lord, the Dark Elf Malaghriir is here, as you commanded."

    "Very well, slave, I will see him now. Bring him to my chambers."
     
  10. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Malaghriir did not wait long, before he could feel that demonic prsence shift slowly towards him, and then away. It was always like that amongst strong creatures from the etherplane. Another with a strong 'aura' could always be felt. Malaghriir liked to think, that there was no-one else who could match his own power, but only a fool followed that trail, which most certainly led to a cold grave.

    "His majesty will see you now" a guard said, bringing him out of his musings. Standing up slowly, he then followed the guard through a set of winding corridors, before coming upon a huge set of thick doors. The guard then motioned warily for him to wait, and telling him, that he must announce to Galathirst of his presence.

    Not too soon though, Malaghriir found himself inside a large room, facing who was most obviously Galathirst in from what he could tell a private chamber. The demon was flanked by two more guards, both seemed rabid like the others in the hall. It must his mistress' touch. It was like that with many beings under her.

    "I come with the will of my master aswell as yours" he began, and the walked closer to Galathirst.

    "Is that so? And how should I believe you Elf?" the demon questioned him. The use of term Elf, was not welcomed by Malaghriir. He did not like to be associated with his adroginous counterparts.

    "All will be explained. You will know who I am soon." he replied, and then took out a small intricately designed box from his holding bag, and then setting in the middle of the floor between himself and Galathirst.

    "This Sha'el will explan all. You will not see her true form, but you will know it is her, then you will listen, and you will follow" he said, as the box then unfurled, and a small silver light emerged. He knew the matter was of great improtance. There were few things he was afraid off, but his mistress was one of those few that stirred a fear unlike anything else, and her will meant that it must be accomplished.
     
  11. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Belraad moved silently through the labyrinth of passages in the castle. It was mealtime for most of the keep so the corridors were scarcely populated. He passed two members of the King’s honor guard. The larger one, a half Ogre named Reeg leered at him as they passed, Belraad simply gave him a smug smile and continued on his way. Reed often gave him those looks and for good reason. A year ago there were eight members of the honor guard, Belraad had been hired to kill one of them, another half Ogre, Reeg’s brother. Afterwards the king offered the assassin a job, the thought of it always brought a smile to Belraad’s lips. Though the assassin considered nothing impregnable, the King had employed him to direct the fortifications to the castle that would help prevent future assassin’s from slipping through the cracks. Belraad had obliged, when not eliminating the King’s enemies, he found it amusing to point out all of the estates flaws to the stewards and watch their faces grow red with irritation.

    The chamber was large by the standards of meeting halls, though no were near as grand as the King’s audience hall. A large stone table surrounded by high backed chair sat in the center of the room. He truly detested these meetings and frequently had to restrain himself from murdering the sniveling lordlings in attendance. Around the table sat a half dozen stewards, three of the watch commanders, two of the King’s generals, and a score of lords. Taking a vacant seat Belraad peered through the shadows of his hooded cloak to take in those in attendance. The king was not here yet, that was unlike him. Otherwise there was only one other empty seat at the table.

    “I fear that Lord Merciles is not himself these days and will not be joining us.” The assassin said, smiling beneath the hood of his cloak. The looks that passed around the room were amusing. Though no one spoke it openly, most knew of Belraad’s true profession, and by now they would know of Merciles’ demise.

    “Then let us begin.” Said a portly steward seated across the table from Belraad.

    “Have you taken to holding council meetings without your liege, Steward Messran?” Belraad asked, his voice little more than a hissing whisper.

    “His Grace is engaged in other matters today, good sir.” The chubby steward stated. Belraad nodded his head slightly and the meeting continued.

    The lords and generals droned on for some time about the state of their respective armies, or the trade coming into the city, all enough to make the assassin wish he wasn’t expected to attend these councils once a month.

    * * * * * *


    After the council drew to a close Belraad made his way to the King’s chambers. Rumor had it that he was entertaining a rather unusual guest today, a dark elf.
     
  12. Naomi Eboncloud

    Naomi Eboncloud ~The Black Rose of Maiem~

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    In the privacy of the alleyway, she took off her boot and ripped her legging open, letting the drippings of water from the roof wash the blood and grime away. She knocked over a waste crate and scrounged around until she found a few old, dirty tablecloths from the inn. Ripping off the relatively clean parts, she took another ragged piece and scrubbed at her wounds furiously beneath the dripping water, including the one on her head. Washing off, she tied the cloth firmly around her foot and slipped her boot back on. She wrapped the smaller band of cloth around her head, then took the larger remnant of the tablecloth and wrapped it around herself. It didn't so much to stave off the cold and the wet, but it would do until she found something warmer.

    Limping around the bakery waste, she found with distate that their was little to pick at...in fact, barely anything at all. Not that it came as a surprise...in this day and age, wasting food was sin, as there was little to go around to begin with. Finally her keen eyes spotted a half eaten crust of bread laying in the waste. Grabbing it up, she shoved it into her mouth with a greed that embarassed her, even though there was no one looking, and fed the stomach that was slowly eating itself away.

    The sound of a rainstick brought her attention away from the bread, towards a strange figure sittign atop the fence at the end of the alley. It was a pale, pale young man, who seemed to personify the very look of death, and he was watching her.

    She blinked, and he was gone. Swallowing the putrid lump of bread she groaned and touched her forehead gingerly. "Must've hit it harder than I thought..." she muttered to herself, before her ears caught onto the sound of footfalls behind her--real, solid footfalls in the mud. Her ears twitched. Two pairs, one coming close, one farther yet away. But coming towards her, to be sure.

    "Do me a favor...don't even bother. I've been picked clean. Do you hear? I've..." she turned around and went silent at the sight of the large monk from before coming toward her. Limping backwards, she met his eyes and tried to keep her thought away from the body that looked capable of crushing a young bear. She took her eyes away only for a moment to glance at the pendant, which she'd returned to her neck, hanging out in the open for him to see. She clutched it in her fist to hide it.

    "I've got nothing," she said to him, drawing her dagger from her thigh sheath and holding it up. "I don't want any more trouble today." She nearly laughed at herself. She couldn't take on this hulk of a man...not even with full health.
     
  13. Draconis

    Draconis Dragon Kin Mage

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Sallthak saw what was going on and hurryed forward twards the humans. "Why, oh why do I stick my snout in shings that are probably not my consern?" He grumbled as he moved faster into a light jog.
     
  14. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Adrius walked closer, closing the gap between them. "I've got nothing," she said to him, "I don't want any more trouble today."

    Holding a hand up to the scrip hanging from his shoulder, hovering a moment above the axe shaft before putting into the cheap leather bag. "You have nothing?, we shall have to remedy that then." Adrius pulled out a handful of mixed coins, most of which aquired from the less than friendly innkeeper. Holding it out for the girl he recieved a cautious glance back. Adrius looked over the waste pile she had been over. "you must he hungry, I have a warm loaf of bread too..." Again, liberated from the inkeeper, "...And some salve for your bruises and wounds." He stepped closer, the girls pace slowed but never stopped once. "It shocks me that one who carries such a holy symbol can be accosted as you clearly have been and then sent away by wicked inkeepers. As a faithful servant of the child I have taken it as my duty to offer you whatever aid you so need."

    Adrius smiled, but it was hard for a man of his size to make that look anything but crude and twisted. I hoped the girl had not lost the virtue of trust, like so many others of this time.
     
  15. Draconis

    Draconis Dragon Kin Mage

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Sallthak came to a sliding stop in the mud and almost fell on his face. False alarm, but I still need to speek to her about that sign... He thought as he walked after them a distract spell readying in his mind.
     
  16. Naomi Eboncloud

    Naomi Eboncloud ~The Black Rose of Maiem~

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    "There's more in the world than wicked innkeepers. That fat pig can go wallow in the mud for all I care. I don't let it bother me much anymore." Emerald eyes scanned over the shining coins for half a moment, tempting and warm looking in the cold. Even without the few silver coins, there was enough money in the monk's hand to feed and board her for at least a month. But she shook her head, and sheathed her dagger.

    "No offense, but unlike most people I still have my pride to think of." She tried to be as polite as possible, though she fought down the anger caused by being treated like some helpless damsel...but right now, she admittedly was in a helpless state. "But I will accept food if you have it to spare, and I'd gladly borrow some salve." She lifted her wounded leg a bit, which stung from the ache of the pressure being put upon it. "I can't afford to be lame right now, you see. I have to be somewhere..."

    A figure caught her eye behind him, and she glanced at the man approaching. But as she fixed her eyes upon him, her vision blurred--like a ripple disturbs the smooth glass surface of a pond--which each step he took. Her heart murmured. Eris blinked rapidly in the rain and looked back to the monk again.

    "Sorry if I seem rude. It's been a hard day." Her hand itched toward her dagger again, glancing again quickly over the monk's massive shoulder, not liking the feeling that approaching man was giving her.
     
  17. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Laughing slightly Adrius put away the coins. "Pride may be a sin, but a noble spirit is considered a virtue, and odd paradox." Stopping his mumbling mid way yhe fished into his bag for the loaf od bread, tearing half away he handed it to the girl offering a small prayer to the child for the bounty, and was given a quizzical look in return.

    "As a formality, my name is Brother Adrius, last monk of the order of the divince innocence, last priest of the child." Rummaging in his scrip he found two jars of salve, handing one to the girl, or 'Eris' as she was named, he placed the other back and closed the scrip. When Adrius looked up he saw a yound boy sitting at the end of the alley, sullem and half starved and a face like death itself, he wondered how such a thing could happen. When he looked again the boy was gone, odd?

    "It is extraordinary the symbol you possess, I have not seen its like for a long time, It would interest me to know where you got it?"
     
  18. Draconis

    Draconis Dragon Kin Mage

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    Sallthak snarled under his breath. He had almost got himself caught... Aleast he had gotten those ilusions right, its rather hard to get such magics right by your self. After a moment he looked around the corner of the bilding he was hiding behind. So the monk was an Adrius... Now for the girl's name for easier tracking...
     
  19. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    The image appeared suddenly through the top of the chest the Dark Elf had brought with him. An image of a beautiful - if human - woman. "My servent, Galathrist, Lord Of Alexander," she intoned, "I trust you have continued you search for the Dark Chest ? I have sent this messenger as aid. You will conduct your search with this Dark Elf. Make good use of him, for he has skills you will need in your quest."

    The message was over, and the woman coalesced into a dark light, and was sucked back into the chest. The Demon was not impressed, "So, my Queen has determined that you are to aid me in my search. Why ? What skills do you posses that I, or the men of my Kingdom do not ?"

    "Like you, Galathrist, I have been....touched - or perhaps tainted is a better word - by the Goddess. I will be of great aid in your search."

    Galathrist let out a low growl, he should have known. As soon as he felt his presence, he knew another who carried Trikeria's taint was in his castle. Could this Elf contend with his own power ? He looked him up and down. Perhaps not, but it was best not to take chances with the Goddess.

    "Very well," he said, as he grabbed some maps off the table and placed them in front of the Elf. "As a sign of your servitude, you will lead my army to Flowerhood," he pointed to the map, "here. There has been rumour of the Dark Chest there, and the Lord will not give us leave to search." He saw a dark smile appear on the Elf's lips as it dawned on him what would happen to Flowerhood. "I will burn it to the ground, and leave none alive. And I will bring back the Dark Chest. For the Goddess, ofcourse."

    "Ofcourse...." replied Galathrist, "....for the Goddess."


    *****

    It had been several days since the Dark Elf's arrival, and the army of Alexander was marshalled in front of the city. The camp fires illuminating the night sky for miles. The army was atleast 7,000 strong.

    Galathrist loomed over his balcony and watched them marshall into ranks, as the Dark Elf slipped silently up beside him, his armour on and his twin scimitars hanging on his hips.

    "You leave in a matter of hours. Once the army had formed ranks, you are to march on Flowerhood, and bring me the Lord's head. And the Chest."

    The Dark Elf bowed low, "For the Goddess," he intoned.

    Galathrist turned to face the Dark Elf, "Destroy them all," he said, his red eyes gleaming brightly in the darkness of the night.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2005
  20. Naomi Eboncloud

    Naomi Eboncloud ~The Black Rose of Maiem~

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    Re: Dark Chest of Wonders

    "...I'm not entirely sure just where," Eris said slowly, looking down at it. "For quite a while, I've had it. I know that much. Hasn't brought me much luck or peace...but I like to have it around."

    Planting herself on the waste crate she'd knocked over before, she unwrapped her leg and began smearing the salve on it. Already it felt better...

    "My name is Eris," she added after a few moments of silence, wrapping her leg back up tightly and then testing her weight on it. The pain was almost nearly gone, reduced to a soft, slightly annoying throbbing. "I'm...a little bit of everything, I guess. Just a bit. Everything except a formidable opponent, obviously," she added as a muttered joke.

    "So..." She looked up at the tall monk with a playful little grin, her fear of him fading slightly. "What do I owe my holy savior? Or is this one of those deeds of self enlightenment things you guys are always on about?"
     
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