RPG #9 - The Five Dragons

Discussion in 'RPG #9 - The Five Dragons' started by Nienor, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    After turning back from watching the thugs depart, Siobhann noticed that the thief had cut his bonds, and was hiding a dagger.

    "What else could I do? I could kill you, find you friends, and extricate the gold's worth of pain out of them." She paused. "SOme things in life are worth more than gold. I find toying with humans one of them, in some cases. Some can take pain, some cannot. I hope you can - I don't want my fun cut short."

    The thief frowned, shifting the dagger in his grasp.

    Siobhann continued while circling her captive, for he would be her captive until she deemed otherwise.

    "Oh, and if you kill me, my roc will finish you off. Hypothetically speaking, that is."

    Noticing a horse standing nearby, Siobhann walked over to inspect, keeping a watchful eye on the thief. After digging through the saddlebags, she grinned. She undid the straps and went to Krian, attatching them to the roc. She walked back to the horse, and slapped it on the rump, sending it trotting off.

    Turning her full attention back to the thief, she said, "Have any other ideas?"
     
  2. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    After she took his saddlebags he grumbled, he could see his sabre hilt poking out of the bags, he assumed his other weapons were in there too. "You know you shouldnt take things that dont belong to you, especially when theyre mine" Jak looked over at the rock, and odd name for an odd creature, it did looked capable of killing. "Who's to say i wont kill your rock too, i think if i could deal with someone like you, a big dumb animal shouldnt be too hard" She frowned, the creature growled. "Hypothetically, of course"

    He toyed with the small blade in his hands, in his head he toyed with the idea of escape. "I always have a way out of things, my head is full of ideas." he stopped walking and ran his thumb along the back of the blade, feeling the grooves made for accurate throwing, if she barely dodged the branch he could put this in her heart with ease, she'd be dead before she knew it. But he'd rather not, not just yet anyway especially as all his other weapons were on her beast, the beast that would try and kill him if he did just that. his options were disappearing fast.

    "Tell you what, you could try and take your money from my suffering, but i promise you i wont make it easy, likely you wont get the chance and your beast might take me out, and where does that leave us? you can risk your hide all you want but i prefer not to risk mine, so why dont we act a little more civilised and find another way to sort this out eh?"
     
  3. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Sharana smiled very slightly. Lendoril certainly has the courage to become a Sentinel. He's passed all of my tests... but he still has to pass the Well's test. But oh gods, I’ll probably end up training him in magic anyway. She knew her answer to Lendoril’s request had mostly been an evasion. If they continued as companions, there would be no one who could teach him except for her. She didn’t particularly want to send him on to Star Haven either; what she was doing was very, very dangerous, and having one of the Forest Elves’ best fighters at her side was comforting. As she waited for Lendoril to return, her eyes closed and her head began to droop.

    Then her head snapped up as she sensed something befouling the land itself. Fully alert now, she used the tiniest fraction of her own power to probe the land about her. If what she had sensed was what she suspected, it was safer to use her power than that of the Well.

    She snarled under her breath. Demons! If she had her way, she would be fighting from the air with her bow, although she wasn’t sure if the trees would allow her to fly. To be on the safe side, she ran to the pack horse and grabbed her sword, fastening it to her side. Then she strung the Starwolf and slung her quiver of arrows on her back before casting about for Lendoril’s tracks. When she found the trail, she began running silently, using her magic to search for the demons.

    All she could ascertain was that there were several, judging from the amount of death she could smell about the land. It was the scent of unnatural death; although creatures were often killed, there was neither the lingering miasma of dark magic nor the taste of agony and terror that demons left behind. The demons had clearly enjoyed their unwholesome feasting, for Sharana could also scent satiation.

    I am a fool! she berated herself. I should have checked for the presence of demons, but I’ve grown complacent. I can only hope that Lendoril will be all right. But surely he will be; he has plenty of experience. She froze suddenly when she heard deep, guttural growls, and sent out a swift probing of magic.

    She backed away several steps and lifted her wings. With a few, powerful strokes, she was airborne and she nocked an arrow to the Starwolf.

    Lendoril was holding his own against the demons, his blades slashing through the demons. As he wounded one across the arm, Sharana drew and released her arrow into another. It thudded into the demon’s back, and the other demons jerked their eyes up in surprise.

    She grinned at them. “Point one for me,” she shouted to Lendoril as his jaw dropped open in surprise. “And get back to fighting, idiot!” A demon was sneaking behind him, and she killed him with another arrow.

    Lendoril was more surprised at her relaxed manner more than anything else. Sharana had always been courteous but also slightly distant during the journey, her attitude that of a commander to her troops. Now, she was laughing as she shot arrow after arrow into the demons.

    “Don’t take it wrong, I know you could probably handle them,” she said as the demons retreated before her onslaught. “But I don’t want to miss the fun.”

    “You call this fun?” he asked incredulously as he beheaded a demon with a single stroke of his sword.

    “Depending on your point of view, of course. But it isn’t as much fun just shooting arrows into them.” Dropping down beside Lendoril, she drew her own long sword, grinning from ear to ear. With a wild cry that chilled his blood, she leapt at the demons as Lendoril followed her.

    Interesting to see his fighting style, Sharana reflected as she twisted away from a demon’s sword. Mine’s more on “run away before the enemy can hit you, run back and hit him, then run away again,” while he seems to prefer blocking blows. And he seems to behead things a lot… She winced as another demon head rolled her way and stabbed her current opponent.

    There had been perhaps a dozen to start with, although she had brought down three or four with her arrows. Now, only five were left standing. Demons were no match for elves, especially Sentinels, as the remaining five found out. Moments later, the demons were all dead and their swords were dripping with blood. Lendoril began to examine himself for wounds as Sharana studied the corpses.

    Her eyes narrowed as she found something very odd.

    Why had these demons been armed? Most prefer to rely upon whatever nightmarish shapes they can use, she thought, bemused.

    Lendoril bent to pick up one of his fallen foe’s swords, and with a click, she figured it out.

    Don’t touch it!” He froze at the terror in her tone and backed away slowly.

    “What… what’s wrong, Sharana?”

    “The weapons. I figured out why they were armed; they usually aren’t. They’ve got a leeching spell on them. Are you wounded?” He shook his head and she sighed with relief. “Neither am I, through some stroke of luck, which is very, very fortunate. If the spell got in our blood, it would have leached our power and our life within moments.” He paled, and Sharana didn’t blame him.

    “We,” she announced, “are going into the library right now.” Her voice was shaking, and Lendoril looked at her in concern. Her battle madness seemed to be leaving her; it looked as though laughter was the last thing she wanted to do right now.

    “All right,” he agreed. “But the dangers in the library…”

    “Are of a nature I can comprehend. They’ll be magical, and although it’s mysterious, I’ve never heard of it being a place of evil. If, however, the demons have converted it into their stronghold and have access to all of its knowledge…” she trailed off, then took a deep breath to finish. “It’s a very, very bad prospect. Come on.” She led him back to the library’s entrance. All thoughts of camping were gone as Lendoril silently collected the belongings he had left behind. Sharana put out the fire she started before he could protest. He wanted light with him when he entered the library, and he suspected that Sharana felt the same.

    Before his startled eyes, she conjured up a tiny ball of light that blazed brighter than any fire he had seen. It was a white and pure light, but not soft or compassionate. It was hard and merciless, a blaze of glory that defeated all darkness. Lendoril gasped when he saw faint traces of blue dancing within and he glanced at Sharana, certain that he had been mistaken, but she shook her head.

    “This is the light of the Well of Stars,” she said softly, taking comfort in the light.

    “It’s beautiful.” There was no other word to describe the purity and stunning, wild brilliant majesty of the light of the Well.

    “Aye, it is at that.” She tried to smile and failed. “Lead the horse, if you will. I’m going to be rather busy casting magic.” She sent a slight probing of power into the library, but met very strong shields that blocked all attempt at her sensing what lay within.

    “Lead on, Sentinel Sharana,” Lendoril said as he drew his sword and placed himself behind her. She slung the Starwolf on her shoulder and held the light in her hands. She whispered something so quietly to the light that Lendoril could not hear her, then turned back to him.

    “Follow me,” she ordered. She raised her hand the better to guide her and walked towards the library, as graceful as ever, although her back was stiff with fear. Without casting a look behind her, she entered the library’s darkness and blinked as the Well’s light revealed what lay about her.
     
  4. Draconis

    Draconis Dragon Kin Mage

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    Drellsis arived at the location of the library just in time to see two elves vanish into what seemed to him a sort of distortion in the air. "To late, I'll have to find my own way in.." He said befor raising both hands over his head and spreading his wings. "Element of Air, Force of storms, show me the way." He started chanting, a light breaze picked up wavered then firmed befor shaping into a path of sorts into the great bilding. Thats when a couple of Demons decided to say hi. Droping into a defensive crouch the Dragonkin sent one flying over his shoulder in a throw befor drawing his sword. Drellsis dodged a claw swipe from the second demon befor parrying the firsts assalt with his swordblade. "Die scum." he snarled blasting one with a wave of ice shards befor runing it through with a lance of ice pining it to a tree. The second using this opening slashed Drellsis across his right uper arm with its claws befor being gutted. After a quick first aid sesion Drellsis folowing the path entered the library.
     
  5. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    She dreaded going into this part of the library. But if I’m to perform the magic of the dead, I assume I must get used to death, she thought wryly, carefully edging through the door. Each venture into this area revealed a new sight. There were portraits on the walls, which seemed to watch Raythe as she walked to the shelf she had looked on the previous night.

    This room was a drastic contrast to the Weaver area. Cold, stark and ill-lighted, where the Weaver’s library, while very old, was warm and almost inviting. As it should be. The faces peering down at her were as cold as the room itself, and she assumed they were previous mages who had practiced the Dark Art of necromancy. Will I be like them? When my days are over, will I be as hardened as they?

    A memory sprang unbidden to her mind, her calling by Zahramael. It had not been something expected. Raythe had forseen herself living out the end of her days in the libraries of the Weavers, where she spent much of her time, being called to the Watch every so often to replenish the Illusion. But never this.

    She had been shelving books, she remembered. Nothing new, but she had always found it relaxing. Her mother had always said that it was not for the children of one of the four Families to shelve books, but Raythe’s lack of magic at her age, a shame to her family, made it inappropriate for her to do anything but make an acceptable match within one of the Families, or become a librarian. Rather than being forced into an arranged marriage, she chose the latter, much to the chagrin of her parents.

    Two of the Blessed had come into the library, and sought her out. They had taken her to the Temple, where the Blessed contacted the Dragons. She had never been allowed in the Temple before, and when they entered, it was not what she had imagined. A relatively small grand hall, with a domed roof, and elaborate tapestries on the walls. In the middle were five chairs, where the representatives of each of the Ring sat. It was said that sometimes the dragons themselves sat in those chairs.

    A single figure sat in the chair facing her. She heard the door close softly, and realized her two escorts were gone.

    “Kara-lea Sayir of the North Watch. Come forward,” said a voice, more powerful and beautiful than she had ever heard. Stepping closer to the center, she could see the figure in the center was male, and taller even than most Weavers, who were a tall people. He was lean, and carried himself like a king, but he was not dressed like one. Although he had black hair and porcelain skin not unlike most Weavers, his eyes were distinctly different. Instead of being the mulberry color that all Weavers possessed, his were as black as the night.

    Realizing she was standing before Zahramael the Eldest, she bowed hurriedly. “My lord,” she said respectfully.

    She had been given her bracelet that day, and a new name. The Dragon lord had sent her to Thayas, to learn what she could about necromancy, her new “gift.” The bracelet itself had given her, along with access to Dragon-magic, some knowledge on the subject, and on some other spells, but tonight there was one particular spell that she was to perform.

    The scholars at the library of Thayas had been searching for the key to immortality. They became consumed by their quest, and this had driven many of the students out, who did not want any part of it. As the story went, the gods punished them, trapping their souls in the rift between the living and dead, keeping them from passing through the Gate and being reborn. Dead, but not free.

    Whether the gods had anything to do with it or not, although she was inclined to think it was rebound from such a powerful spell, Raythe knew the truth of the souls trapped in the Library. She felt them all around her, but whether they acknowledged her presence, she had no idea. They will tonight.

    The book she sought was one of the oldest in the oldest in the room, a spellbook that should have been destroyed by law, but it was kept in secret in this place. The spells in it were spells utilizing blood and flesh magic, outlawed because of their very nature. Yet it was one of these very spells that Raythe intended to use to cleanse the Library. Well, really that was secondary to her true task. She was to petition the help of the trapped mages, to bind their souls to her until she chose to release them, or she passed through the Gate herself. The ones that refused to aid her, she would send through the gate to be reborn into another life.

    Finding the book more quickly than she had estimated she would, she strode back towards the door. With a gesture using her braceleted hand, she plunged through the dark hallway as quickly as possible, almost tripping over her candle. Holding the book in one hand, candle in the other, she raced up to her study room.

    The rain had stopped since she had been in the basement, and it was dusk. She relit the candle with the striker again, she climbed onto her bed. Sitting crosslegged, she set the book on top of her knees and opened the cover carefully, and turned to the first page. A cold chill swept into the room, and an unnatural wind blew her hair into her face, and the turned the pages of the book to a spell towards the end. Bit impatient aren’t we?

    Rummaging through her cabinet, she found all of the materials she would need. A complicated spell, to be sure. One that would take immense concentration. Taking some time to memorize the spell, so she would not need to carry the book, she placed all of her tools in a basket, and walked to the fifth floor, where a circular platform was, in the center of the dome above her. the fae lights started to fade up there, so she conjured one of her own, unnecessary until this night, and sent it up to the platform. Climbing the spiral stairs to the fifth floor, she walked out onto the platform on walkways too thin for her liking. The disc she was standing on was rather small compared to the radius of the library, with four walkways extending in the cardinal directions, and she felt very tiny and insignificant. Setting her basket of tools on the walkway, she got the dagger, bowl, a jar of powders, a small pot some sort of paste, a stick made of herbs and a striker.

    Starting by making a ward to protect her from other malevolent spirits and the backlash of the purging spell, she poured the powders out in a circle around her where she was standing in the middle of the platform, in a clockwise direction. Sitting in the middle of her circle, she took the dagger, and with a grimace made a rather deep cut at the curve of her arm. Blood ran down her right arm, and over the bracelet given to her by the dragon, making it light up. Placing the dagger in her right hand, and letting the blood run down the blade, she drew another, smaller circle inside the first. Lighting the herbs, another protective measure, she placed the burning stick into the bowl, and allowed some more blood to fill the bottom of the bowl. She rubbed some paste on her arm to stop the bleeding, and prepared herself for the spell.

    The spell was to purge the library, but first she would bind the willing souls to her.

    Chanting the ancient words written in the first book she had read on necromancy, she called the spirits of the dead mages to come forth. How long she chanted she could not say, but a chill permeated the air, and all of the light seemed to dim. An icy finger seemed to draw itself down her spine, and the darkness began to whisper. She chanted on, and finally feeling the pressure of gazes upon her she opened her eyes, and seven figures stood before her, seemingly wrapped in moonlight. Feeling a bit faint from the energy needed for the spell and loss of blood, she was slightly disappointed that only seven had answered her plea. Binding them to her using the magic of the jewel in her bracelet, the link between Raythe and the sprits was maintained through it.

    In a final burst of will, she purged the Library, and sent all of the spirits but the seven within her protective circle past the gate, to be reborn into their new lives.

    Exhausted, and on the verge of consciousness, Raythe felt cold hands lift her up, and carry her into her room. Trusting the spirits to clean up after the spell properly, and thinking she heard whispered thanks, she let go of her tentative hold on reality and the world faded to black.

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

    Waking up in her bed with a start, she felt a disturbance in the ward around the library. She flung the covers off, and hurried to dress and make herself presentable. She put on her formal robe, which was white, and draped a black cloak over it. Her arm was still sore from the cut, but the spirits had bandaged it while she slept.

    They were not supposed to be here so early! I have not even had time to give the spirits voices, or find out who they were.

    Unsure of whether to make an entrance, or to be discreet, she hurried down the stairs to the lobby, and withdrew into the shadows and waited for the two intruders to appear.

    She only had to wait a moment for the two to enter, and the female sky elf was in possession of an incredibly bright magical light. It was almost a penetrating light, not like the fae lights that Raythe was able to conjure. They were looking around in awe at the Library, just as Raythe had a few weeks ago.

    Stepping out slowly from the shadows cast by the great columns surrounding the lobby, she cautiously welcomed them and introduced herself. “Welcome to the Library of Thayas. You may call me Raythe. What are you called, and what is your purpose in coming here, and armed thus?” she said, eyeing the sword wielded by the forest elf.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2005
  6. Rosgwak

    Rosgwak The Masked Warrior

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    Lartazh flew as swiftly as he could above the land, his large black wings scything the air around them. However, he knew it wouldn't last long, and his beats grew weaker and weaker as more blood flowed freely from his many wounds. He risked a glance below him, and saw that slightly behind the demons still followed. This wasn't fair! They were meant to give up miles ago, everyone knew that! Obviously the demon leaders didn't want him escaping with what he knew. Lartazh put on a burst of speed and, aware of the screaming pain in his wing muscles as well as the rest of him, he flew onwards.

    It was a few minutes later, and Lartazh was still anxiously trying to escape the demons, when suddenly he turned back to the front and saw right in front of him a pegasus, bearing another Elf. It was too late to stop, and Lartazh's momentum carried him right into the creature, and both he and the newcomer fell from the sky. Fortunately it was not an exceedingly long fall, and when they did hit the ground Lartazh jumped straight to his feet. He could hear the demons getting closer, and as tempting as it was to just turn and fly away, the strange elf, which he could now see was actually a cleric, was still struggling to get to her feet. Breathing deeply and getting himself prepared mentally for the pain that would come, Lartazh drew his twin swords and waited. Suddenly two demons burst out of the bushes behind him, but Lartazh quickly spun and they fell to the ground without their heads. Sheathing his swords and quickly replacing them with "Driving Force", he let his momentum carry him around in a full circle and scythe straight through the midsections of the two unfortunate demons to follow. He then turned and took a few swings at the fifth demon, but the demon continued to dodge each blow, its hideous face forming a malicious and sadistic grin. The grin quickly turned to a pain-filled scream, however, when Lartazh managed to sweep the demons legs out from under him and then bring the scythe down into the demon's chest. Lartazh then straightened up and, without even turning around, let his spiked chain fly out behind him and impale the last demon in the throat. He then pulled it free and listened with satisfaction to the sound of the body hitting the ground.

    Lartazh walked over to "Driving Force" and pulled it free from the demon's body. He then turned to the cleric, who had managed to get to her feet. She was short, with dark blonde hair and green eyes. Lartazh looked at her, and was about to speak when the fatigue hit him, and along with the previous injuries he had sustained, it was too much for him.
    "Help..." Lartazh said softly as he sunk to the ground.
     
  7. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Raythe? The Star Singer mentioned her once, I think… but what is she? A demon in disguise, another Sentinel, or even one of the Blessed? Her eyes narrowed. “We are armed because we were attacked by demons possessing a leeching spell,” she answered as she held her light up higher. “I am a Sentinel, and this is my companion. We came here after hearing of the Lost Library at a chapterhouse devoted to Dalin and Dhelian. I have come here hoping to learn several things.” I might as well search for some information on those not-quite-dead Sentinels as well while I'm at the Library.

    “What kind of information?”

    “Two questions: one, to see if I can discover the answer to one of our greatest problems. Why is magic being drained from the land? And the second is more personal, but no less troublesome. It… concerns lost souls linked to the Well of Stars.” There. I have played my hand. If she is truly a demon, her brethren would have told her of my presence anyway. And if she is a possible ally, she may know the information I seek.

    “I see. And your names?”

    Sharana hesitated before replying, “The Sentinels name me Starflight.” Normally, she would have also included the fact that she was the Bearer of the Starwolf, but she didn’t quite trust the woman. She certainly was not giving her birth name, and Lendoril could choose to give this Raythe his own.
     
  8. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    "Lendoril," he replied warily, still holding bare steel. She gave me her name, I can atleast give her mine. He wondered what she was doing here. He figured, by the look on the Sentinel's face, that Sharana did not expect company.

    "Sheath your weapon, Lendoril, if you are an enemy of the Demons, then we are atleast partially friends," said the enigma who named herself Raythe, "You will find no harm within these walls."

    Her surety was comforting, but he did not trust this woman by half. He wondered what she was doing here, Does she live here ? Probably not, but perhaps she is some kind of guardian ?, he had heard of tomes upon tomes of information stored within these walls. Some better left unopened.

    "What is your business here, Raythe ?" he asked, not entirely comfortable under her gaze. Instinctivly, his free hand went to his neck, where his small symbol of Dhelian the Huntress hung, his late mother had given him that. And he had worn it ever since. It was a symbol of the Goddess watching over all Hunters, and, he supposed, his mother aswell.

    The woman looked at the device strangely, like she saw something noone else did, but Lendoril did not take notice.

    When he repeated his question, Raythe looked at them both, and began her story.
     
  9. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    Instinctively, she felt these two, Lendoril and Starflight, were trustworthy. The one called Lendoril carried an amulet of Dhelian, but Raythe guessed he had no idea what it truly was. She realized that Lendoril was asking her a question, and pulled her eyes away from the bright amulet, and focused on his face. He repeated his question, “What is your business here Raythe?” Founders, I shall never get used to being called that name. She looked at the floor, trying to hide her sadness, and when she was composed after a short moment, she spoke.

    “My business here was to free the souls trapped in the Library. They were blinded by greed, and a spell that was supposed to make them immortal only trapped them in the rift between the living world, and the Gate. I freed them, and sent their souls through the gate. However, seven chose to stay with me.” Gesturing for the souls to show themselves, Raythe felt a cold chill again and seven figures appeared around her. “They are my servants, protecting me from harm and assisting me in any way they can until they have repaid their debt.”

    Seeing both of the elves’ faces grow pale, although there was no other sign either was afraid, Raythe asked the dead mages to make themselves invisible, which they did, fading into nothingness. “What I was before I became…this…I will not reveal to you. Not yet. However, now I am a necromancer, in the service of Zahramael the Eldest, the Lord of Storms, Healing, and Death,” she finished, using the Dragon’s full title. “My work here is almost done. One task is left to me. The questions you asked, Starflight: one of them, I already know the answer to. In fact, that is part of my purpose in being here. There are other guests arriving shortly, interested in hearing that same answer. And one…” she hesitated. “One, I do not know his intention.”

    Smiling slightly, she said “I can see many new questions in your eyes. Rest assured that I will explain most of the things left unsaid later. Meanwhile, feel free to explore the library. My servants have prepared rooms for you both in the old dormitories on the second floor. My room is on the third. However, there are a few rules you need to know about the Library. One, it is ancient, and in addition to being a magical school and place of knowledge, it was also a prison for some…things. They are locked behind doors with spells engraved on them.” That will also keep them away from the Weaver’s room. I am not ready for them to see that room, and that light of hers reveals too much.

    “The more dangerous rooms are in the basement. That is where the necromancy books were also, which is another area you will not be welcomed into, even with your magical light. However, the rest of the library is yours to explore. I would like to ask you some questions about the lost souls you speak of, Starflight As a practitioner of the Dark Art, I might be able to aid you more than those books would.”

    Turning to Lendoril, she said “I see magic about you, but seemingly unchanneled…untamed, if you will. Am I correct in assuming that you have not practiced magic?”

    He nodded incredulously and asked “How did you-“

    Raythe cut him off with a dismissive wave of her hand. “It is not important, yet. I see…many things. The books you need will be on this main floor mostly. You’ll have a bit of time to study them, and hopefully pick up some of the more useful spells. You have potential, and these will help you tap into your magic.” Hesitating for a moment, wondering if she should tell him, she added “As an aside, you may want to research that amulet you have. It is not all that it seems.”

    Speaking to both of them again, she said “By dawn in two days, all of our…guests will have arrived. They will be shown to rooms by my servants, and I can then inform you all why magic is being drained from the land. And formulate a plan of what to do about it. My servants will attend you, unless you feel uncomfortable about it. Food will be brought to your rooms, if you so desire, or you may eat with me in the Great Hall. Just inform one of the spirits of your intentions a few hours in advance.”

    Turning to the female, she asked “Starflight, when shall we discuss your lost souls?”
     
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  10. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    She’s a Blessed! She serves Zahramael; perhaps she would know of the dragons! She kept her wild excitement from her face and shuddered when the servants appeared. Gods, but those… servants… she has chills my blood, Sharana thought as she struggled to keep a calm mask upon her face. Although she could use magic with ease and did, she always regarded it with a certain wariness. These spirits were even worse.

    She started when Raythe called her by her Sentinel name; she almost never used it. “Now is as good as a time as ever,” she answered. “These lost souls… Well, it is a long story.”

    Raythe spread her hands. “What do we have if not time?”

    Sharana laughed. “True enough. First, I suppose I must explain the rite to become a Sentinel. When the Star Singer has deemed a candidate ready, he or she is taken to the Well of Stars, where the candidate must enter the Well to be tested. The Well returns the candidate if he passed. I don’t know what the test is based on. People who were not expected to return sometimes did, and those who were expected to become a Sentinel failed,” she said. Raythe was listening to her in silence, eyes unreadable as Sharana faltered, then continued on. “And then… there are some who failed came back. The Well of Stars… sucked their power out, but it also sucked something… else out. We don’t quite know what, but they always wished they had died or that they had not come back. Death would have been a kindness for them. But they’re not allowed to die. They have been given the true curse of immortality. And so I came here to the Library for information. I want to know what causes this, and whether it is good or evil.”

    Raythe looked at her with strange eyes, and Sharana blinked when she saw that the other woman’s eyes were mulberry-colored. “I see.” She fidgeted slightly. “I may have some information on this, but… I would like to check some of my books here. Perhaps you could come here tomorrow morning?”

    “That might be well. My companion and I are rather tired from our battle with the demons.”

    “Rest anywhere you please,” she said, waving a hand about the entire Library. “If you run into trouble, which is rather unlikely, tell one of the servants. I will ask it to attend you.”

    Sharana shivered almost violently. “Please, if it does not trouble you, I’d rather not. If we do run into trouble, I think we can hold our own, and if not, I can alert the servants with my own magic. As for meals, it depends on when we wake up, I suppose.” I would never be able to sleep if I knew that one of those unnatural creatures was watching us.

    “As you wish,” Raythe said, although she sounded puzzled at Sharana’s obvious aversion to magic. “If you go to the second floor, I am sure you will find the dormitories.”

    “My thanks. But perhaps one of the spirits could attend the horse. I do not wish to lose it to the demons.”

    “Of course. The stairs are over there,” she said, and pointed behind her slightly to her right.

    Sharana nodded and then turned to Lendoril. “Let’s go,” she said to her companion. He followed her as they climbed the stairs onto the second floor.

    Lendoril asked, “Can you help me do research on the amulet later?” He waited nervously as Sharana did not reply until they had reached the dormitories. Her eyes went slightly vacant as she cast her magic about.

    “Raythe’s called off her servants,” she said at last. She dropped her packs to the floor and tossed the ball of light into the air as she sat on one of the beds, gesturing for Lendoril to do the same. The light hung in the center of the room, burning brightly and dispelling all shadows. “Good.

    “Don’t you trust her?”

    “I don’t think she’s evil,” Sharana answered slowly. “But… I have an aversion to magic.”

    “Why? It can be so helpful and useful.”

    She laughed bitterly. “Why? I suppose it’s because my magic went out of control when I was being trained. It took the Star Singer to control me. Although I’m not powerful in terms of personal strength, the Well has always favored me, as has the land. So I have access to a lot of power that I never use.” Here goes… let’s hope that his magic doesn’t go out of control the way mine did, because if it does, I’m going to be rather messily dead. She took a deep breath to calm herself. “Right. So you wanted to learn of magic. The type Raythe knows is that which can be learned through books. Humans tend to favor that more, but we are Elves, and magic is innate in us. Whether we can use it or not, it is present within our very bodies. That’s why Elves are faster and more agile than humans.” As Lendoril opened his mouth to ask a question, she held up her hand. “If you were going to ask why I changed my mind, it’s because you need training. I have no intention of letting yourself get killed and most likely blowing up your surroundings around you if your magic goes out of control.”

    “That’s not it,” he said. “What I wanted to ask was why I’m feeling these weird… things in the land.”

    Sharana raised an eyebrow. “Especially within the forest, right?”

    “Yes.”

    “Probably because you’re a Forest Elf. Your magic’s strongest within the forest, and that’s the power you’ll be drawing upon most until you can use the power of the Well of Stars. But if you can feel the forest’s power, see if you can feel anything when I do this.” She reached for the power in the forest, and was satisfied when he stared at her.

    “You’re glowing with green light!” Then he shook his head as if to clear them of a hallucination. “You’re not glowing any more.”

    “Mage sight,” she said, answering his unspoken question. “Good.” Then she gentled some of the wild forest power into something that Lendoril could handle, and waited.

    Lendoril took it without hesitation, and his eyes widened. “I feel… different.” There was no other word to describe it.

    “Good,” she repeated. “You can sense and receive power. Next, I’m going to teach you Mage Sight. Mage Sight is exactly like normal sight except you see magic. Most mages see it as light, and it looks like you do too.” Without warning, she took control of his magic, and then gave it the peculiar twist to invoke mage sight. She heard Lendoril’s gasp as the world about him became alive with light.

    “It’s gone,” he said disappointedly. “Can you do it for me again?”

    Sharana obliged, twisting it slower this time so he could watch her do it. “Now you try.” He imitated her twist as he grasped his magic, and Sharana grinned. “Good job,” she said. “You’re learning far faster than I ever did.”

    He squinted as he looked at the ball of light. “The more magic it has, the brighter it burns,” he said. “Your light is blazing like the sun.”

    “Probably because of the Well of Stars. Now examine your amulet.”

    “It’s blazing too. Can we study it tonight?”

    “No,” she said firmly. “We’re both tired from that fight, and magic costs in energy. It’s worse for you because you haven’t been trained yet. Give it a few moments and you’ll see.” She strode to her packs and pulled out a leaf-wrapped, sticky bundle. Lendoril eyed it dubiously; there were roasted bits of nuts, grains, and dried fruits within honey. “I know it’s disgustingly sweet, but if you don’t eat something to replace the energy you just used, you’re going to be good for nothing tomorrow,” she warned. He made a face but choked it down, grimacing as the first waves of exhaustion hit him.

    “Go to sleep,” she ordered, and he lay down on the bed without complaint. Sharana dimmed her light until there was only a soft glow about the room, but she herself could not sleep. She was too excited about the possibility of dragons and finding out the answers to all of her questions.

    To calm herself, she reached out for the Well of Stars. She let its singing lull her to sleep, but her question still echoed even in her dreams.

    Why is magic leaving the land?
     
  11. Elan Morin Tedronai

    Elan Morin Tedronai The Forsaken

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    Lendoril lied down on the bed beside Sharana's, the Sentinel who had already begun his magic training. As a Royal Guard, Lendoril had learnt rudimentary Healing magic, incase the King was taken ill or received a wound, and needed Healing on the spot. As the Royal Guard was with him at all times, it made sense for them to be trained.

    The Forest Elves used a different kind of magic than what Sharana had shown him. During his time as the leader of the Elves hunting parties, Lendoril and his companions had learnt minor spells - the type nearly all could learn - to augment their abilities. Things such as heightened hearing, and clearer sight, spells that helped them track quarry and intruders.

    These spells Sharana had shown him where at the same time similiar, but vastly different. He could feel the power of the Forest clearer than ever, and it imbued him with a sense of power unlike he'd ever known. At the same time, it drained energy quickly. His other spells had never done that before. Sharana suggested that his earlier spells drew power from the land, while these spells drew power from within, and thus required his energy.

    Lendoril sat up on his bed, and fingered the Amulet that hung from his neck. He lifted it up to his face and studied it. It was a simple, small iron disk with the symbol of Dhelian the Huntress incscribed upon it. Tied with a thin band of black leather. His black fingernails scratched lightly at the surface, removing some of the accumalated grime and dirt from his travels. He was looking forward to learning about his Amulet, especially after he had seen it glow with an amazing light, not quite as bright as Sharana's light spell, but still enough to make him avert his gaze.

    He was troubled by the prospect of becoming to engaged in magic, but excited at the same time. And so he could not sleep. Brushing his dark hair out of his eyes, and wrapping his scarf around the lower half of his mouth and his neck, he stalked out of their chambers noiselessly, Sharana's soft, delicate breathing letting him know she was still asleep.

    Lendoril made his way through different parts of the Library, stopping to look at different books and ancient tomes. Some where on Weaponary and Warfare, others on Healing Magic and Necromancy, some on Flowers and Sea Creatures. Lendoril leaned over the railing of the third floor and looked both up and down at the as yet unexplored floors. This place is huge, he thought, It would take years to glance through every book here. He wondered how Raythe had intended him to find the books that would let him study this simple, unadorned necklace.

    It was then that s misty figure appeared in front of his eyes and Lendoril made to pull out his blade, which, he realized, was sitting beside his bed, along with his swordbelt, bow, and cloak. The air grew colder around him, and he stepped back, the mist solidifying into a transparent, ghostly figure.

    One of Raythe's undead servants Lendoril recalled, relaxing. "May I be of service ?" the figure asked, gesturing towards the tomes of books.

    "Perhaps you can," Lendoril asked, "I seek books of Dhelian The Huntress, and the symbols and artifacts associated with her."

    "This way, my lord," said the ghost, as he glided across the floor, up the stairs and awaited Lendoril at a chest of books. "Dhelian's books can be found here, along with all the other gods and goddesses," he explained, pointing to the other chests and stalls of books.

    "Thank you," said Lendoril, opening the chest and taking the first few books out, "That will be all."

    And with that, the ghost dissapeared. Leaving Lendoril to his studies.
     
  12. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Thunder crashed overhead and the flood of rain pushed harder into the earth, the ground was softer, muddier, every moment risked slipping into filth, the branches of the trees overhead groaned as they were pused down in the torrent, lightning flashed nearby and a stream just uphill from them began to break its banks sending water streaming into the camp. Any fool would be inside at a time like this, Jak with his wet hair flopped over his brow and his boots filling with mud wished he was that fool instead of the fool that he was. He could almost hear the last thing he said echoing against the walls of rain.

    "No" the elf woman said to Jak's kind compromise. "As far as I see it, you, the weak human that you are, are desperatly scambling at a way out of this, you stole from me, and it is my right to take from you what you owe me, in whatever way I deem" She smiled at him mockingly "I hope you dont die too quickly, I wish to get the most out fo you before you die" She was remarkably dry in this, and he saw her draw the short sword from her shoulder harness and walk toward his menacingly. So this was it, he was going to die, worse, torture then death. He thought of all the people he'd killed, all those hes robbed and all the fun he'd had, if he didnt deserve it for that, he did for the other things he'd done, sometimes giving up was worse than doing the wrong thing.

    Lighning flashed, so brightly, so loudly, the bolt from heaven stabbed the ground between Jak and the elf woman, mud exploded around them, the trees tried to catch fire but were washed down worse than ever. Jak was knocked from his feet, the elf seemed to be snatched away into the distance and flung against a tree. Her creature reared up at the blast sending the contents of her bags flying. Jak scrambled haphazardly to his feet, looking, searching for his sword, his crossbow, anything. The elf woman moaned in pain. Just then the banks of the stream above them broke fully, a flood of water crashed down into the midst of the action. Just as jak caught a glimpse of his sword poking out of the mud is was washed away in the torrent that knocked Jak over again. The scene was chaos, Jak scrambled away downhill, half washed away by the flooding, leaving behind the meager protection of the trees left him pummeled by the rain. He could hear the screaches of the elf womans rock, a brief turn back revealed a silhouette of the woman barely visible through the rain. A sharp jolt rang through his back. Jak couldnt see it, but he could feel the pain of a small crossbow bolt sticking into his back, just out of reach, his thick leather coat had slowed it but the wound was deep in the meat just below the neck, barely missing his spine, luck had planted the lightning just close enough for him to escape, and it had dealt him what would be his deathblow aswell, no one could aim through this rain.

    Jak scrambled on, giving up the search for his lost things, just hoping to get away racing down the shallow slop in the mud and water, past rought trees, at once he heard a shrill cry and the beating of wings, the woman had taken up the chase after him, visibility was on his side, mobility on hers, he still ran, with nowhere to go he merely tumbled on willing himself to live one more moment. And then it stopped.

    The rain, the wind, the flooding, the mud, even the elf woman persuing him, it all stopped. Jak opened his eyes and looked around in disbelief. He was in a similar setting, sparse trees, grass, but the landscape was different, and it seemed to be summer. There were flowers blooming and birds sinigng as he got up, mud and water still dripping from his clothes. This little idilic garden only begged more questions, how had he got here? why? where was the elf? He stumbled around looking looking for a clue to what had happened, then closeby he spotted a horse, his horse. Beside it stood a woman in a green dress running her hands through Rum's mane, and that was when Jak knew the answers to many of his questions, and almost wished he was still running for his life.
     
  13. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Elf witch, they hiss inside her mind. They surround her again, and the horde is rubbing against her bare skin as they swarm over her. She stifles a scream.

    “You have no power here,” she whispers. “None.”

    We have power everywhere, they say. You would do well to help us, elf witch. You would do even better to join us.

    She feels a chill of fear run up her spine. Before, they had always called her “elf woman”. Why did they call her “elf witch” now? Had they discovered her secret?

    They laugh at her. “You are wise to be afraid, elf witch,” one of them says, speaking aloud for the first time.

    “Leave my world.”

    “No. We like it here upon this world.”
    Elf witch, they hiss in her ear. She flings them from her, creating a brief space about her. They do not return, but merely circle around her, eyes glowing with sly malevolence.

    Elf witch.

    How do they know my secret? “Begone!” she shouts.

    Elf witch. Then they swarm over her, covering every inch of her skin as she screams with terror and despair. She reaches for her magic, but it is walled off from her, and she stares at them as they screech with laughter.

    Your powers cannot help you here, elf witch! one says merrily. Wind witch! Her stomach lurches; do they already know that much?

    “Star witch!” they scream. “Elf witch of the wind and stars!”

    “By Dalin and Dhelian, I bid you be gone!”

    “Your witch powers of the wind and stars are powerless against us here, as are your gods!”

    “Foul demons—”

    One straightens. “We are not demons!”

    “Then what are you?”

    They smile slyly, and the merry one asks a simple question that is still fraught with meaning. “Would you like to play a game, elf witch?”

    She blinks at them and opens her mouth to reply—


    Sharana woke up, still gasping with fear. She stared at the light, which had grown brighter, but she was looking beyond it.

    Huntress, but that dream was worse than it had been in years. But why do they call me “elf witch”? Do they know that my magic is greater than it seems?

    Why had she dreamed her old dream again, but with a few differences? Ever since she had mastered the Starwolf, she had dreamed the same dream. Demons would come to taunt her, call her “elf woman,” and tell her that the Well of Stars would be conquered by Cy’dath and Ki’dasva. Yet in those dreams, her magic had always come at her call.

    This dream, her magic had refused to obey her, as if something had walled her off from it. And these… creatures… whatever else they were, were not demons. She knew that much. But they were creatures of magic, and she did not know whether they were good or evil.

    Shall we play a game? one had asked. But did they mean a game or the game?

    Sharana turned on her side, wondering if Lendoril was awake. Perhaps he could give her advice. She started when she noticed the empty bed, and sent out a sweeping of magic. Sighing with relief when her magic told her that he was studying some books, she was surprised to see that his aura glowed with green light, much as hers glowed with silvery-blue light. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that he had handled the forest’s power so early. Shrugging, she turned her attention to the ball of light, which was blazing as brightly as ever. She dimmed it and then reached her awareness towards the Well of Stars.

    Help, she pleaded as she showed her dream to the Well. What should I do?

    The Well did not answer for a long time, singing its complex melodies as Sharana waited. Wait. Watch. Answer.

    We will wait, we will watch, and we will answer the call of the Well of Stars, she chanted silently, remembering one of the oaths she had given. Am I to answer their challenge and play a game?

    Wait. Watch, it repeated. Perhaps you will play a game, either theirs or yours. Or perhaps you shall play the game, and dance the Dance of the Stars.

    Thank you, she said.

    We will wait for you, we will watch over you, and we will answer your call, she heard the Well whisper.

    She was too stunned to reply as the Well withdrew its presence, and she turned her awareness to the forest for one last task.

    Greetings, mother forest, she said.

    Greetings, elf child of the wind and stars, the forest answered with solemnity. What do you wish?

    I train a child of yours, Lendoril of the Forest Elves. I merely wished to ask you to guard him.

    I will do so with joy, star-wind’s child. Already Sharana could sense an increase in the green light surrounding Lendoril, and she breathed a sigh of relief. Even if something happened to her now, he should be safe.

    Elf witch of the wind and stars, they had hissed. Yet they had not been malicious when they had said that; they had not been taunting her. They had only stated what she truly was.

    Would you like to play a game, elf witch?

    “Something troubles you, mistress.” A spirit appeared out of nowhere, and Sharana almost screamed, remembering her dream. She clapped a hand over her mouth when she recognized one of Raythe’s servants.

    She was tempted to tell it to go away, but she didn’t. “Don’t call me ‘Mistress’. Can you bring me a book on the Well of Stars?” she asked.

    “Many, mis-” It cut itself off and began again. “There are many books on the Well of Stars. I do not think that you could read them all even if you had a thousand years.”

    Damn. “What about on the Star Game, the Dance of the Stars?”

    She had the feeling that the spirit’s eyebrows would have lifted if it could have. “That is a very specific subject. Not many study it, even among the Sentinels. Why do you know of it, I wonder?”

    They stared at each other for long moments, and yet it was Sharana who sighed and looked away. “I am the Bearer of the Starwolf,” she said.

    “Sharana Wingheart? Your name is known to me, at least.”

    “How?” But the spirit refused to answer.

    “And I would appreciate it if you did not tell your mistress quite yet.”

    “Of what? Your identity or what you study?” the spirit asked. Sharana wondered that she felt almost at ease with this creature of magic.

    “Both.”

    “I will do so, but only because you bear the Starwolf.” As the spirit turned to leave, Sharana called after it.

    “And bring me books on the Starwolf, please.”

    “As you wish.” A few moments later, the spirit returned, bearing perhaps two dozen books.

    Sharana hesitated, and then said, “Could you stay here? You are wise, and although I am not often comfortable with magic, you are better than most creatures of magic.”

    “Thank you, I think I shall,” the spirit replied. “I suggest you start with this one.” It pointed at one, which was titled, ‘Dance of the Stars: the Game of Magic.’ “It also includes some information on the Starwolf.”

    Sharana settled down to read, and she skimmed through the contents and flipped through to the chapter on the Starwolf. What she read there chilled yet excited her.

    The Starwolf is a magical bow that has several qualities. One is that it does not miss easily, and is resistant to offensive magic. Another is that it can sense demons about, for it is imbued with the magic of the Well of Stars. However, its most important is that it is a crucial key to playing the Game, as is another tool, the amulet of Dhelian, Lady of the Stars.

    What is the Game? The Game is often a Dance, yet can be a Song—or anything. By playing the Game, one can garner great power from the Game itself. Yet two must play the Game for the power to be released. However, this power is not easily obtained. First, both Players must have met the Ring of Five Dragons, and the Ring must approve of the Players. Then both must master their magic, whether it is of the earth or of the stars or of any power. They must bind their power together and use it to invoke the Game. But the Game consists of three tests and three choices of any kind. Each test will be followed by a choice…


    Sharana stopped reading. Dear gods, is Lendoril’s amulet the amulet they mentioned? She read through the rest of the chapter swiftly, but was disappointed when she could only find speculation. No one had played the Game in centuries.

    But if I could…

    She ruthlessly stilled that thought, and then looked at the Starwolf.

    The Dance of the Stars… She pressed her lips together and then left to look for Lendoril.
     
  14. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Jak kept turning, scanning the horizon for a way out, it was green fields as far as the eye could see, and with no better way to delaying the inevitable Jak hobbled over towards the woman.

    She was tall, with long brown hair that spilled down her back. And with her hazel eyes and a face so plain it was pretty, she gave off a caring feeling as he approaches, and she still petted his horse. Rum was neighing happily, tr****r.

    "You're late" was all she said, not bothering to turn to face him, too busy with the horse to think of him.

    "I didnt think you'd be execting me, not after I told you never to come near me again"

    She laughed, Jak couldnt help but feel it was directed at him and not his words. "Yet it was you who came to me, and of your own free will."

    "Thats not exactly what I would call it, being kidnapped by your tricks is more of the definition I would give.

    "Oh really?" She said, turning round and for the first time in the conversation, she looked deep into his eyes and began to walk over towards him. "You called to me, the last option you buried so deep in your mind that you didnt even realise when you cried out like a helpless baby. No Jak, you came here because you wanted to escape, you wanted help." When she reached Jak she put her arms around him, and as quickly, and as painfully, as the bolt in his back had arrived, it was torn out. A quick rub from her hand closed the wound again."And at last you realised your life alone wasnt worth the cost."

    "You alwasy did have a way with lies, and manipulation. You never could stomach the fact that I wised up to you, all your plotting and puppeteering, you never thought about me! not once, never wanted me to have my own life, my own choices. You just wanted a happy little slave"

    "And is this the life you so coveted? running through the night, tormented by all you meet, the few pleasures of life you still keep are few and far between. Wherever you go you are hunted, but not by the elf, or the authorities, by the thought of facing me, and what you left behind. You run Jak, but the past has a way of finding you, one way or another."

    "Looks like you did the job for it"

    "Enough!" She verged on shouting, anger was clear on her face. "There is a reason behind this Jak, try as hard as you may to forget, you are sworn to me." She quickly put a stop to his attempted protest. "There is much danger afoot, more than you could ever know, I cannot tell you the details now but you must do you part to help, you must do as i instruct"

    "This sounds familiar, I told you I quit, Im not doing anything unless theres something in it for me" He stood his ground firm.

    "Well Jak, I expected altruism was too much to ask, very well, I did find some things you may desire." She patted Rum and the horse ambled slowly into the shade of a nearby tree, behind where he stood laid a large bag, out of the top poked the hilt of his sword. "I happed to collect these things while you were busy, Im suprised you kept my gift after all this time, it seems you didnt leave everyhting behind."

    Jak eyed his sword "It cuts too well to get another"

    "I made it myself you know, some would go to any lengths to recieve such a gift, and you treated it so roughly." She plucked the blade from the bag, running her fingers along the brass guard. "I put great effort into these, to see you had scratched them away almost broke my heart. Regardless, i have replaced them, and this time you will find them much harder to get rid of."She tossed him the sword.

    Jak too traced the markings on the guard, the engravings had been returned, all the symbols and the quirks, and even more this time. A single line of runes circled the edges. "What does it mean"

    "That is part of your inscentive. do you remember Thayas?" It was rhetoric, he couldnt forget that god-forsaken place. "There you will find out the nature of the task i have set you, along with others with the same goal. There too are the only records of this language." She took the sword back and place it into the bag, within the blink of an eye it was gone. She smiled knowingly as if she could hear him thinking of running off in the opposite direction when he got his stuff back "There too will you regain your possesions, However the road may be dangerous, Demons roam the region of the library now."

    "How do you damn well expect me to get past demons when you took all my weapons and put them on the other side!?"

    "I think it is quite obvious dont you?"

    It was mornign and the rain had stopped, he was back where he left, nto exactly, but he could see similarities in the land, the elf woman was nowhere to be seen, if he was lucky shed be chasing her shadow somewhere far away.

    He looked towards the horizon and remembered his trip to Thayas, then looked in the opposide direction, he could always get a new sword, new things, keep doing what he did best. You are sworn to me. It echoed in his head. Maybe after this she'd leave him alone. He began walking towards Thayas, shortly after he spotted Rum amidst the trees. He mounted and set out once more.
     
  15. doleniel

    doleniel Elven High Priestess

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    Her people had lived in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world for almost 1500 years, with the exception of the few young ones who had not witnessed the war and some of high rank whose business took them from the strange crystal-white desert in which the Lodiath had hidden themselves away. Ayakier was one of these; her position as the Seer on the Council of Eld caused her to work often with the Weavers at the Library of Thayas, where they had one of their greatest collectionsa of knowledge. None but the Weavers and the ghosts of the place knew what she was, of course; she cast the from of a sky elf about herself when others were about. Still, she had spent a great deal of time there before it became necessary to hide the library from outsiders. She had not left the desert since her return from the working of this great illusion, so many years ago. Now she had returned to Thayas and was sad to see that the library had declined from its great state of long ago. True, it was in far better shape than most buildings of its age, it had been ancient when it was hidden. But still, without proper maintenance, the spells that kept time from acting so harshly on the building would eventually begin to fail. In another few centuries, the spells built into the very stone of the library would crumble and the building, like so many others before it, would fall. But that would not happen for a long time yet, and there were more immediate problems to be dealt with. Clearly, the forces of the Void were growing, for demons were roaming the land more freely than before. Ayakier had passed many as she traveled, veiled in a web of invisibility. Obviously, they were no longer trained to see illusion, at least not the lower ranking minions. In the days of the War and before, any demon would have seen her web instantly. Trained or not, however, demons are formidable, and it was clear at least to those with the gift of Sight that if the Lodiath did not break their isolation, the Tree would fall and the Void would forever rule all. This was why Ayakier had returned to one of her haunts of old, in her own form and hidden only from enemies. She had Seen that a group who would be an integral part of this coming war had gathered at the library and, moreover, she was a member of this party.

    As she entered Thayas, she noticed a different feel about the library. Most of the ghosts were gone. It gave her a sort of uneasy feeling; it was a very long time since she had know the library to be so ghostless. "Ah, well," she thought. "Greater things than this will change before the end." Not wanting to intrude upon those who inhabited the library now, she eschewed thw familiar halls of the residential area and instead sat at the foot of one of the great columns in the lobby to await those who would come.
     
  16. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    The blast of lightning took Siobhann completely off her feet, throwing her against a nearby tree. Her head whipped back, slamming against the tough bark, and she lost her vision for what seemed an age, though could not have been more than a minute. When she could see again, her vision was impaired by thousands of sparks of light that were only slowly blinked away. She half sat, half lay there for moments after, he mind and body reeling at what had just occurred.

    Her clothing was singed beyond repair, and the bolt had taken a good rip out of the flesh on her lower left calf. The skin around it was burnt, and her entire body was blackened from the char of the ground, clothing, and flesh.

    Mentally, she tried to reason it out. It simply could not have been lightning, for no force of nature could affect her. But thundered had boomed, of that she was sure, for her ears were still ringing with the loudness of such a close strike.

    To Siobhann, that left but two choices: either some powerful god wanted the thief alive, or some powerful magician had come to the thief’s aid. Either way, she had made up her mind.

    Slowly picking herself up, she limped towards Krian, who was cautiously making her way back to her master. After changing into a new set of clothing, she mounted the roc. It stooped down, aware of her master’s injured leg, and held out a wing to assist Siobhann in mounting.

    Once she was airborne, Siobhann circled the area. The sky had cleared, but it took her some time to find the thief and his horse.

    The human was standing near his horse. Swooping down, Siobhann landed in front of him, and she could have sworn that she saw a flickering smile on the thief’s face as he took in her razzled appearance.

    She did not dismount, but edged Krian closer to the human.

    “You may keep your weapons sheathed; I would not attempt to harm you again. Whoever, may it be some god or sorcerer, wants you alive. I will not contest with that.”

    The man still looked suspicious; who wouldn’t?

    Siobhann hurried on, not letting him interrupt. “Since I have no current plot or assassination, I think that traveling with you would prove most interesting.”

    The thief snorted. “Interesting? What could be interesting about a few bars and stage robberies, compared to assassinations of nobles and rulers? I have heard of you, or someone who must be you: a windrider, who kills and steals without a loss on her part. An elf, whose scarred appearance is forbidden in any major city, and whose ruthlessness is unparalleled… “

    Siobhann shot him a dark look. “It serves you not to listen to random gossip. It is not only “good” people I kill. Besides, who is a thief to judge me on my righteousness?”

    Shaking her head, she continued, her voice dripping with exasperation. “How to start a conversation with you? You, it seems, know of me, but I know not of your self. What is your name; or would you rather that I call you “Human”, or “Thief”?”
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2005
  17. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Flying along in the pre-dawn sky, Aurelle hoped she would get to the chapter house soon. Both she and her pegasus were still tired from the day before and abbreviated rest. She should have known better than to stay at that place, but it had been late. Yawning slightly, she concentrated on her goal. The chapter house would offer a safe place to rest and restart her journey.

    Lost in her thoughts, Aurelle was shocked when a large object flew straight into her nearly knocking her and Daun to the ground. The force of the object hurled them down towards the earth. Fortunately for Aurelle, Daun was sure of herself in the air and managed to right herself shortly before they landed. Still, the landing was extremely rough. The pegasus alit gently on her feet, but Aurelle was thrown off her mount shortly before the pair landed. The elf crashed into some low bushes, sustaining little injury except to her pride.

    In her daze, she watched a winged Sky Elf take on several demons. Aurelle was awed by the sight of them. Demons were something one read about in a book, not something that was seen in real life. She knew of their existance and theoretically how to send a demon back to his own plane. Yet Aurelle has no practical experience on that matter. Crouching quietly in the bushes, she observed as the male elf efficiently dispatched the demons back to their home plane. With the direct thread over Aurelle came out of the covering bushes to aide the other elf. He glanced at her for a moment, then fell into a faint.

    Obviously exhausted from the battle and his injuries, Aurelle wasn't suprised that he fell unconscious. 'It will make working on him easier' she thought to herself. An unconscious patient couldn't fight his care. She walked back to Daun and rummaged through her pack for bandages and salves. Working quickly, Aurelle placed healing saves on all his gouges and scrapes, then bandaged the wounds to keep them clean. None looked life threatening as long as they didn't become infected. Though he would likely bear a few scars from a particularly ugly claw mark. Finished with the practical care, the cleric picked up her staff and began an intonation over the prone elf. She prayed to Soratha thathe would heal quickly and continue the fight against evil another day. Seeing a slight glow envelop him, Aurelle was certain her plea would be answered.

    "Daun, to me" Aurelle commanded. The man probably would take a few hours to regain conciousness. Daun would have to carry him to the Chapter House. When the pegasus came close, Aurelle used all her strength to start hoisting the elf onto her mount. All her years of hard work had made Aurelle strong even though she was petite. With some difficulty, the cleric had him in a relatively secure position slumped over Daun's neck. The pegasus wouldn't be able to fly carrying two, so Aurelle planned to walk the remaining few miles to the chapter house. She could lead Daun and keep the man balanced.

    Arriving a few hours later, Aurelle was feeling even more exhausted than when she had gone to bed the night before. It was not an easy task to keep a large unconcious elf seated on Daun. She was glad when the chapter house came into sight. Seeing a member of the chapter house outside, Aurelle called out, "I am a cleric of Soratha. I need assistance with this injured Sky elf."

    "I will send aide to you, mistress." the man called back. Within moments, two strong men took the unconcious elf off the pegasus and carried him inside. Another man offered to take her pegasus to the stable. Trusting the members of the chapter house, a tired Aurelle thanked the man for taking care of the animal. Taking her saddle bags off of Daun, she followed the Sky Elf inside. A bed in a small quiet room was found for him and a nearby chamber for Aurelle.

    The cleric placed her bags in the small austere chamber then went to check on the other elf. He seemed to be resting peacefully in a natural sleep. So Aurelle went to her chamber, laid down and swiftly went to sleep.
     
  18. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    The spirit led her through winding halls when she asked it to bring her to Lendoril. She found him studying several books at a table by lamplight, frowning as he turned pages in a particularly heavy tome. Not wanting to distract him quite yet, she quietly opened her own book and reread the passages concerning the Starwolf. After a while, she determined that she had learned all she could—from that particular book, anyway—and cleared her throat.

    “Lendoril?” she called softly. The forest elf started at the sound of her voice and whipped around to face her, hands already sliding to his weapons. He relaxed when he recognized her.

    “Sharana,” he greeted. “I didn’t expect you to wake. You were deep in sleep when I left you.”

    “So I was… but I had bad dreams. I figured that I might as well put my time to good use by studying. Let me see your amulet,” she said. Lendoril handed it to her without protest, and she examined the symbol of Dhelian. “Spirit… oh, what shall I call you?”

    “Call me Yrava,” it said.

    “Yrava, look at this and tell me what you think, please.” She held out the amulet to the spirit and hid an involuntary shudder as he/she/it came closer.

    “She, if you please,” Yrava said. Sharana concealed her surprise better this time; evidently, Yrava could read thoughts if she wasn’t shielding. She made a mental note to teach Lendoril how to shield his mind, but Yrava was continuing on.

    “This may very well be the amulet mentioned; that would explain its power. However, I am not completely sure and the only way to find out would be to take it to the Well of Stars.”

    Sharana’s heart sank. It would take years, if not decades, to track down the Well of Stars. Although all Sentinels could sense its power and a select few actually use the power, it rarely manifested save to test candidates. It was constantly moving, never staying in one place for long, and it would be impossible to discover it any time soon. Perhaps she could track it down after training Lendoril. She longed to go seek it immediately, but she had her duties and so stilled her impatience. At any rate, the others Raythe had mentioned would be coming soon, and when this… council… was over, she could leave then. It would do no good to fly away immediately.

    “So, Lendoril,” she said, ignoring his curiosity about the spirit, “what have you discovered about this amulet so far?”
     
  19. Rosgwak

    Rosgwak The Masked Warrior

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    Lartazh tossed and turned, in a fitful sleep. His troubling dreams had kept coming back, and now, even in his exhausted state, they wouldn't leave him alone. It wasn't long before he woke up, panting as though he'd just run miles without rest. However, waking didn't help his fears. As soon as he opened his eyes, he noticed the strangeness of his surroundings, and instantly rolled out of the bed into a crouch, his chained spike at the ready. Looking around he quickly noticed his weapons laid out on a table on the other side of the room. But something about the room he was in caused him to stop and take it all in. He was in a finely furnished room, not a dungeon cell, and not a single precaution had been taken to detain him. He then looked down at his body and noticed that his wounds, while not fully healed, were well on their way. Picking up his swords and scythe, Lartazh slowly walked out into the hall, to find out more about his current environment.

    Out in the hall it wasn't long before he saw another person, and stopped them.

    "Can I help you?" the person asked.

    Lartazh struggled through his recent memories and stumbled upon one of a cleric.
    "Did a female elf bring me in earlier?" he asked. "She would have appeared as a cleric."

    "Yes, sir. She's right in there." replied the man, pointing to the door right next to Lartazh's room.

    Lartazh nodded politely to the man as they hurried off, and then turned and walked into the room. There on the bed lay the cleric, and as Lartazh approached he could see she was fast asleep. Not wishing to disturb her, he found some parchment nearby and scrawled a note, asking her to meet him in the training room, which he felt sure should be somewhere in this place which was so clearly a chapter house on closer inspection. Then, placing the note on the bedside table, Lartazh silently left the room and set off to look for the training room.

    It wasn't long before he found it, thanks to the ready assistance of the "staff" in the chapter house. Stepping in, he found it was blissfully free, and instantly he drew his swords and started attacking one of the training dummies while he tried to organise his thoughts. When the cleric found him he wanted to ask whether he could travel with her. There was something about her that compelled him to do so, but at the same time he wished to help protect her in repayment of her favour to him. However, he was also cautious. He knew the demons wouldn't let him go easily, and would continue to attempt to recapture him, and he didn't wish to place the female in needless danger. Plus, he was not sure whether she would treat him as a friend, or be hostile towards him. As the thoughts swirled through his mind, he absentmindedly switched to his scythe and started to use that.
    'Oh well,' he thought. 'Guess I just wait until she gets here.'
     
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  20. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    "My name's Jak, Cheerful Jak, because of my sunny disposition" He beamed a mocking grin at her, the scar that gave his name curled his grin towards malice. "And for your information Im not a thief, thieves rob anyone anywhere, theyre the lowest of the low. I am an outlaw, I rob from the rich and keep it all for me. I have at least the sense to take only from people who dont deserve their money." He could almost sense here exasperation. "and you might aswell run along, you wont like it where im going. Demons, evil spirits, big fiery dragons and such, no place for you." Jak laughed, but then he remembered his coversation.

    "How do you damn well expect me to get past demons when you took all my weapons and put them on the other side!?"

    "I think it is quite obvious dont you?"


    Hah! Jak thought, one in the eye for that damn woman, whatever she wanted of him, he could just get this bloody elf to hack a path to Thayas for him, and if she died trying all the better for him. A smirk bloomed on his face.

    "Alright elf, you can come along for a while, i seem to have misplaced my sword for the time being, and since there's so many demons and spirits on the path, Someone wil have to hack at them till I get it back. Well come on then, we get get there by nightfall if we hurry, I dont know about you but camping in demon infested country isnt part of my plan." He neglected to mention they may be camping in a haunted library instead, but he had to have something to disuade her with later.

    He heeled Rum back into a trot towards Thayas, making sure to keep his eyes on the elf. "so whats your name then? I didnt seem to catch it between the torture attempts last night?"
     
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