RPG #9 - The Five Dragons

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

  1. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Towards noon, Aurelle wakened. Refreshed from her sleep, she thought it would be nice to take a walk in the gardens. All chapter houses and hospitality houses has lovely peaceful gardens. It would clear her mind to take a leisurely stroll and meditate. Glancing at a side table, Aurelle saw a piece of paper scribbled with a note. It appeared to be from the elf she had saved earlier. The elf decided meeting with him could wait until after her walk. She would be little use to him until her mind was cleared.

    In her pack she located her clean forest green robe and changed. A brief time with the hairbursh had her dark gold tresses neat once again. Binding it back with her circlet, Aurelle grabbed her staff andstarted to venture outside. Before leaving the room she was given, the cleric rembered to take her obesidian dagger. She didn't feel comfortable outside of the grove without it.

    Stepping outdoors she felt revitalized by the fresh air. Wandering around the grounds for a time, Aurelle was somewhat suprised she couldn't easily locate the garden. Generally it was in a prominent location. Atleast it was at all the hospitality houses of her order. For a brief moment, she considered the fact she might have gotten lost on the grounds. Looking about, the elf spotted a tall female with dark hair. 'Hopefully another cleric' she thought. Approaching the other female she questioned, "Excuse me, where can I find the garden?"
     
  2. Adina

    Adina <img src=http://www.thefantasyforum.com/images/nub

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    Startled for not the first time in one day, Cia turned to face this stranger. I will not be treated unjustly again before taking their head off first she decided

    Standing to her full height, Cia marched herself right up to this woman and stared her right in the eye. A feeling of recongnition seeped up her spine leaving a chillness in her bones.

    It was many a year ago when Cia was off venturing alone with her beloved Turan. An Inn somewhere along the way that she could not remember the name off housed her for several nights. She'd have been content staying there for much longer had this Cleric not interfered with her comfort.

    It had been a long time since Cia had remembered those days. I was loved by so many she remembered. The strength in all when they were weak. Her preachings soon changed that. I was discarded as a child discards a dead puppy. The memory left a bitter taste in her mouth.

    "You!" Cia started but couldn't quite get he voice to respond to her thinking. Drawing her shortsword and taken her battle stance, she waited for this Aurelle to defend herself.
     
  3. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    Taken aback at the cold stare she received, Aurelle asked politely again, "If I'm not bothering you. Could you tell me where the gardens are?" Instead of receiving a response, the woman said "You" and drew her shortsword.

    Completely confused by this behavior, Aurelle became defensive. Putting her staff forward in an defensive gesture, she called out, "Stop. It is unwise to meddle with a cleric of Soratha. Leave in peace now and suffer no consequences."

    Instead of heeding her the other female swiped at Aurelle with the sword. Enraged the cleric picked up her staff and jabbed it at the other woman's chest. "I said, leave now. I will not follow. But leave before I am forced to call upon Soratha to deal with you."
     
  4. Adina

    Adina <img src=http://www.thefantasyforum.com/images/nub

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    "Leave now you say? Well I say to hell with you and your precious Soratha. Neither are you any match for me and you of all people should know it! I see that look in your eyes Aurelle! Fight me now or I will hound you for the rest of your days! You took from me the only thing that ever mattered: the love of my people."

    The fury inside Cia was enormous. Never had she felt so angry. This woman was the one who took everything from her that she ever loved. Whether she meant it or no, Cia would have her revenge and have it this very moment.

    The more she thought about it, the more the anger flared inside her. Her shoulders began to burn, then her neck, her back and her limbs all together. The pain was too much to handle. Cia dropped her shortsword and fell to her knees.

    "It burns! Help me, it burns!" was all she could say.

    "You are not burning warrior. There is something inside of you forcing it's way out. Yield to it or you will no doubt die" was Aurelle's emtionless response.

    Still she mocks me. She looks down on me as if I am nothing! I will show her what she should and will fear!

    The burning intesified, so much that Cia thought her end was apon her. So close she thought. Mine own enemy stands right before me and I shall die at her feet... I will not! I will live, and she will be punished beyond her imagining!

    How long Cia remained burning and screaming like a child she did not know, but when it ceased, the world was of a different likeness. The colours were so different. Everthing seemed so small and childlike. It reminded her of a model town a stranger had once tried to sell her.

    One look at Aurelle and she knew something was off...
     
  5. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    All she could do was stare at the other woman in confusion. How could a cleric have made an enemy? All she ever did was help communities and heal the sick. Obviously, this woman was delusional! Aurelle decided the best way to deal with her was as she dealt with Cheerful Jak. Knock her unconscious and hope she was in a better frame of mind when awakened.

    Raising her staff to take a swing at her head, Aurelle was completely amazed as she appeared to transform. From a tall woman, suddenly appeared a large blue dragon. Dazed with fear, relle lost all sense to scream or run, merely stood staring at the dragon.
     
  6. Adina

    Adina <img src=http://www.thefantasyforum.com/images/nub

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    "Do you mock me again woman" Cia tried to say. Instead, a sizzle of brutally hot flame erupted from her mouth.

    It has happened... I am whole again!
    She thought. Mild humour showed in her eyes. Let her poke me with that stick one more time and I will eat her whole.

    Cia's hatred and jelousy of this woman caused her to foget her senses. Where she was once a kind an honest warrior fighting to make this world safer for all, she was now a bitter revenge-hugry dragon. Her loss of memory did nothing to improve her current mood. She decided it would be easier to blame the Cleric for that as well.

    You did this to me. You caused all of this and you will die for it

    Without exactly knowing how, Cia knew she had spoken to Aurelle's mind, and the look apon her face was enough to know her message had been delivered.
     
  7. Nienor

    Nienor Administrator Staff Member

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    The words echoed in her mind.. You did this to me. You caused all of this and you will die for it

    The only problem was, Aurelle still had no idea why the dragon had vengence towards her. To the clerics chagrin, there was no time to question her or contemplate the problem. The whole chapter house was in danger from a vengeful dragon!

    Summoning all her power Aurelle commanded, "I will not allow you to destroy innocent inhabitants and clerics of this house. Vent your rage on me if you must, but no innocent blood will be spilled today." Standing her ground, the cleric watched as the enraged dragon began advancing upon her.

    Keeping to her place, the cleric held her staff out to the left and grabbed her dagger with her right. There was no way to control an enraged wyrm except through it's demise. Aurelle began chanting as she prepared to sacrifice herself for the good of others. Clerics had no purpose but to serve. The best way she could serve Soratha at the moment was to give her only true possession, her life. The only thing left to do was hope it didn't hurt too much.

    Weaver of Life Aurelle prayed What was once mine, is forevermore yours. Take from me the only thing I have to give. In return grant me the power to destroy the evil before me

    Finishing the brief prayer a white aura of light emcompasses Aurelle and the dragon. The aura quickly grew in brilliance til it would have blinded any being staring directly at it. After a moment, the blinding aura began to disappate. When atlast the pair was visible again, both the dragon and cleric were lying on the ground dead.
     
  8. Kiwi

    Kiwi Pew pew pew pew! Boom!

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    Sharana held her breath when Casano'or's eyes met hers, silvery-blue against amber, and prayed that the rogue elf would not recognize her new power. Sharana could not use her power as of yet, but Casano'or had no such compunctions. She did not want to die.

    She was lucky, though; Casano'or only winked at her before flying out of sight. Sighing with relief, she turned to the others.

    "I think that you need to know something," she began. "I told you that Casano'or is the conduit for her gods, yes? You must know that both the Well of Stars and the elemental forces have chosen me for their champion."

    You were not to speak of it! the spirit of winter snarled. It was an agreement between us!

    Hold, winter, the merry one-the zephyr-said. She must have had a reason.

    And I do. I think that each of us here is a champion for some god or another in our own way, even Jak. If that is so, they have the right to know what I bear.

    If they betray you to Casano'or, Liandrah is doomed, winter said, and Sharana heard howling blizzards in the mind-voice. The Well will be doomed.

    We all die… but sometimes we must take a gamble. And if I do not use the power, Casano'or will have no way of knowing what you have given me. I do not intend to use it until our final confrontation.

    You are a fool, it insisted.

    Then I am a fool.

    Sharana finally tuned in to the buzzing around her. "Who are those people? The one Siobhann… Casano'or tried to kill?" Lendoril was asking. "And Siobhann herself. Sentinel Sharana?"

    She blinked; listening to the spirits had taken up her concentration. "Arikha and Casano'or. That is not my tale to tell, I think. Ayakier?" The exotic woman turned to her, and she blinked again. Her face seemed youthful, but Ayakier's eyes showed so much knowledge and sorrow that Sharana knew that Ayakier was very, very old indeed. "You are of the Elder races, and I think that you would know better than most of Arikha and Casano'or. Will you tell the tale?"
     
  9. Morgan_of_Salerone

    Morgan_of_Salerone New Member

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    Arikha stirred, her brows coming together in a frown. She was somewhere warm, with a pallet beneath her. She could hear rustlings over the crackling of a fire, and the smell of roasting meat made her mouth water.

    Memories of a feast floated to the surface of her mind. In her mind’s eye, her father sat at the head of the table, her mother beside her on her father’s left, her brother on his left. Everyone…had been laughing. Celebrating a small victory over the dark gods’ forces. For a country such as theirs, even a small victory was worth celebrating. That was before…before Cy’dath, and Casano’or and…before they were killed. Killed by their very own daughter. No! She hadn’t killed them, Casano’or had! They deserved what they got, anyways. She was the firstborn; she should have inherited the throne! She had to think of it that way. She had blame someone else, she had to. She didn’t think she could go on if she didn’t. She missed having people around her, people who cared. People who didn't try to kill her at every opportunity… Perhaps if she had been given the power she had been promised, if Cy'dath hadn't betrayed her...

    Arikha opened her eyes, the firelight causing shadows to flicker as she gazed around the cave. Her eyes came to rest on Casano’or, and she snarled and whipped forth her hand, tongues of lightning dancing from her fingertips, hurtling towards Casano’or… A few inches from Casano’or’s face, the lightning flickered and died. Arikha stiffened, reaching for her basalards, but they weren’t there.
    Casano’or continued to stare at her with those golden eyes.

    “Cy’dath will punish you for your impudence.” she said quietly. Arikha snorted.

    “Cy’dath is too weak to punish me in any way that I will regret.” she replied, a smug smile creeping upon her face. “Cy’dath is a fallen god, and that is the way he is going to remain.”

    Casano’or just stared at Arikha, her eyes narrowed.

    “You would betray Cy’dath?”

    Arikha shrugged.

    “The way I see it, I am never going to get the power he promised me, therefore, why should I follow him? No matter what happens in this war, I win. If Cy’dath does manage to come back, then I have been his good little servant. However, if Cy’dath does not, then all I have to say is I was coerced. Think about it Casano’or. Many people in that war were. I was the perfect little princess until you came along and blasted my people and homeland to bits. Then after the war, I devoted my life to killing you, Cy’dath’s earthly representative. How many of his faithful servants would attempt that? And, if they do not believe me and kill me, then Cy’dath only gets me a little earlier than he planned. I am not afraid of death. I will not run away and hide. I despise cowardice.”

    “Touching speech.” Casano’or said, reaching for a piece of sizzling meat. “I think you will regret those words when Cy’dath decides to turn his attentions to you.”

    “Perhaps I will.” said Arikha, a small, smug smile settled on her face as she watched the flames dance. When Casano’or didn’t say anything, Arikha sighed and stood up. “Well,” she said, brushing herself off, “I am bored. I think I shall go visiting; it has been a while since I have had the time to do so. Seeing that Cy’dath is back, you are now beyond my reach. I will not waste my time here.”

    Arikha turned, looking out the cave entrance. “Oh, and Casano’or? Don’t get yourself killed. I want your blood on my hands when you finally pass from this world.” With that, Arikha closed her eyes and disappeared from the cave.

    Casano’or turned her golden eyes back to the dancing flames. She was going to enjoy killing that arrogant worm when her usefulness finally ended.
     
  10. doleniel

    doleniel Elven High Priestess

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    Through all of the strange events in the library, Ayakier remained in her seat unmoving, not overly affected by either the magic of the Well of Stars that suddenly bloomed in the great hall or the sense of great evil that had come from Siobhann's, no, Casano'or's link to Cy'dath. She shuddered inwardly at the thought of one of that name wandering Liandrah again. Of all of those gathered in the room, she alone knew the terrible things to come heralded by the return of Casano'or to the earth. Things that not even the woman herself knew. Ayakier must have drifted off into a light trance as she thought, for without even realizing that a question had been asked, she spoke an answer, something that usually only happened when she was wandering the lanes of thought as an oracle.

    “Casano’or, she who led an army against the Sentinels and almost wiped them out,” Ayakier answered, her face sober. “That Siobhann is Casano’or… complicates things. At least the link is broken.” Upon realizing that she was in a trance, Ayakier immediately came out of it and surveyed the group. Sharana, the only other one with the historical knowledge to even remotely comprehend what was going on was drinking enough to kill a horse, speaking solemnly as she did, and the others were all staring at her in amazement and confusion, undoubtedly in part because she had acquired a strange blue glow. Unnoticed by everyone else, the human male rose and left as Sharana passed out and the sense of the power of the Well increased a thousandfold. The others all rose from their seats to aid Sharana, but she quickly regained consciousness of her own accord.

    Another woman darted into the room, causing a wry grin to come to Ayakier's face; this was the Arikha whose potential appearance Sharana had been bemoaning moment before. Almost instantly Casano'or woke and grabbed Arikha by the neck, again channeling the dark power and effectively incapacitating her attacker. She rose, took Arikha's weapons, and ordered Jak, who had returned from wherever he went, to carry Arikha outside to her roc. The others, Ayakier included, followed them outside and watched as Casano'or had the newcomer strapped to the roc and mounted to leave. Testing Casano'or to see if she could detect the power of the Ring of Five as Ayakier could detect the powers of the other forces, the seer channeled the light breeze that was blowing around her so that it did not touch her clothes or hair, all the while staring intently at the other woman. Casano'or only showed her usual signs of arrogance, and none of recognition. Good Ayakier thought as the roc and its riders disappeared into the distance to the north.

    The party dissolved into a torrent of questions, and Sharana spoke.

    "I think that you need to know something," she began. "I told you that Casano'or is the conduit for her gods, yes? You must know that both the Well of Stars and the elemental forces have chosen me for their champion."

    The others made no reply to this and instead continued their questions about the two women who had just left.

    "Who are those people? The one Siobhann… Casano'or tried to kill?" Lendoril was asking. "And Siobhann herself. Sentinel Sharana?"

    "Arikha and Casano'or. That is not my tale to tell, I think. Ayakier?" Sharana replied and Ayakier turned her attention to the winged elf. "You are of the Elder races, and I think that you would know better than most of Arikha and Casano'or. Will you tell the tale?"

    Ayakier spoke, "I will tell the tale but first I must say this: there are more forces at work here than most of you realize. We have seen the conflict between the avatars of Cy'dath and The Well of Stars, but these are not the only ones who act as conduits for their gods. I myself am the Chosen of Zahndariel the Dreamer, and Raythe has told us she is the servant of Zahramael the Eldest. There are others among us as well who will serve in this way, but it is for them to announce and indeed to discover." Ayakier looked pointedly at Lendoril. "Now, let us go back inside. I do not mind this weather, but I am sure others will find it far more comfortable out of the cold and the wind."

    The seer went back inside to the table and chairs where the party had been sitting and the others followed her. She found a clean glass and poured herself some wine from a decanter that was sitting on the table and took her seat as she waited for the others to do the same. When they were all settled, she began her tale.

    "During the early years of the lesser War of Darkness (OOC: see the history thread) there existed a kingdom of the Elves known as Avaenonn. The people of this land were among the bitterest enemies of the Pair of Chaos. Arikha was the eldest child of the King and Queen, and she was very pwoer hungry. She was bitter because according to the law of the land she could not inherit. In a desperate attempt to gain both the throne and the dark magics of the Void, she pledged herself to Cy'dath in exchange for sovereignty of Avaenonn. After pledging herself to darkness, Arikha studied the Black magics for months to prepare for the power she thought she would soon be given. However, she had been foolish enough to make a pact with darkness without specifying exactly what she wanted. Instead of gifting Arikha with the power to destroy her family and gain the throne, Cy'dath sent Casano'or with an army to win the throne for her. Casano'or, using the army and the terrible powers that were hers, decimated the people of Avaenonn and blasted its lands. The rulers of the land were dead, but so too was everyone else. Arikha was a Queen without a throne, a ruler with no people to rule. Because of this, and the fact that Casano'or has the power that Arikha wanted but was never given, Arikha has sworn to kill Casano'or. They are the bitterest of enemies. Avaenonn itself has been long forgotten among most peoples, and now is a dry plantless desert claimed by no one."

    "As for Casano'or, little is known about her. She is the last child of two long dead and forgotten races, though she pretends that she is a Windrider. It is well known that she was a ruthless mercenary during the lesser War of Darkness, prone to switching sides without warning, but very few know she acted under the order of Cy'dath himself. It was rumored that the two were lovers, a rumor I now know to be fact. She owes allegiance only to herself and Cy'dath, and is very dangerous. Things are terrible indeed now that she has returned."

    Ayakier sat back with a grim look on her face, letting the others digest the story she had just told.
     
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  11. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Jak had had about enough of all the exposition, it was a little too much to take in all in one day. He ambled over to the tabel with food and drink and grabbed a bottle of wine to take back to his chair and exhaled loudly over his thoughts.

    "Well those two are off and if we're lucky they've throttled the life out of eachother by now" He collpsed into the chair and began drinking. "But besides that what is the point in having this fine chat? Honestly, what do you expect to achieve, its all very well being the champion of the well of stars, but what are you going to do champion? go off and kill casano'or, then what? the chaos gods will still be there afterwards, are you going to go and kill them by yourself? even an army of people with your power couldnt kill a god. Or do you expect the dragons to fly out and save you, or maybe if we're lucky the eternity tree will fall on them. Hah!" he drunk again from the wine bottle. "Go on, what exactly are you going to do? I'd very much like to know, and maybe, just maybe if its a good idea, I might consider not walking out of the door right now, Ive had quite enough of your vague rambling about magic draining and whos got what power now, what exactly are you going to do about it?" He sighed heavily, and drained the last of the bottle before throwing into some corner, Cheerful Jak was an outlaw, not a historian, and he thought it would do some good if these fools had at least a little focus on the topic, either that or they'd be ranting for weeks before getting anything done, if they even thought of anything. Call it inovation or call it being an ass, either way it needed doing.
     
  12. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    “Shut up!” she snapped, harsher than she had intended, but Jak infuriated her. Always has, always does, and always will. “We need every scrap of information we can get our hands on, if we are to have any chance of defeating Casano’or, Arikha, and their gods. And as for what I am going to do, I am going to defeat them.”

    “How?” Jak’s mouth twisted into a derisive sneer. “Answer me that — with something that’s actually sensible — and I’ll believe you.”

    Sharana yanked on her hair, but he did have a point. “Do you have an idea, Master Jak?” she asked with honeyed sweetness, and felt as if she were going to gag. “Because if you don’t, I was about to suggest that we split into different groups, each to our own. We’ll never accomplish what we want if stay in a bunch.”

    “I could have told you that myself,” he said.

    Taking a deep, calming breath, she unclenched her fists and reminded herself that bloodying his nose was not a good idea, even if he didn’t manage to block her blow. “All of us, if you’ve noticed, have special… interests, or attentions. I plan on going to the Sentinels.”

    “Fat lot of good that’s going to do us,” Jak jeered. “You’re the one who said that Arikha could probably wipe us out single-handedly. I’d imagine Casano’or would be worse, as she almost destroyed your precious Sentinels, and the dark gods could kill us without expending any kind of effort!”

    Sharana took one step towards him, then stopped at Lendoril’s frantic hand motions, but her eyes were burning with rage.

    Jak was not finished. “Look, it doesn’t matter.” His voice was oozing with patience, and Sharana had to unclench her hands again — this time from her knives. “Whatever we do, we die. If we don’t defy them, we die. If we do defy them, we’re going to call down Cy’dath and Ki’dasva’s personal attentions on us, and I plan on living a little bit longer.”

    Later, she would wonder why she had ever done such a stupid and embarrassing thing, but something in her simply snapped. With a ferocious lunge, Sharana knocked the wine bottle from his hand.

    Wine dripped from both of them as glass shattered on the floor. Jak was on his feet in the next moment as she screamed in his face.

    “You coward! You’d give in to the other side if it served your self-interests! I don’t care who or what you serve, but at this point, you’re behaving like a spoiled brat!”

    He roared with rage as he pulled a knife out of nowhere, and in an instant, Sharana had her own out. “Shut up!”

    Make me. She was sorely tempted to say it, but she fought against it. “Why? Touched a nerve, have I?”

    Lendoril was gesturing at her again even more frantically, but the two antagonists ignored him. “Shut up.” Jak’s simple words were laced with menacing threat, and after a moment, Sharana stepped back after tucking her knife back in its sheath. But her head was still raised in arrogant anger, and neither lost eye contact for a moment.

    “Besides the dragons,” she said finally, breaking the icy silence, “the Sentinels need to know what is going on. They have access to old records and knowledge, as well as power. They might be able to help us.”

    “The Sentinels might be dead already, for all you know,” Jak snarled back. “What are you going to do then?”

    There was a sharp crack and then Jak was rubbing his stinging cheek as Sharana raised her hand for another slap. The outlaw’s hand shot out to grip her wrist and she stifled a cry of pain. “Don’t you dare say that,” she whispered. Her vision blurred with tears, but she could see that Jak seemed shocked. “Don’t you ever dare say that.”

    “You have to face the possibilities,” Jak said almost gently. “And that includes the possibility that the Sentinels are dead, or cannot help us.”

    “The Well of Stars is still here.”

    “But for how long? How long until the chaos gods conquer?”

    “There’s always something.” Including sacrifice.

    “Don’t get foolish, girl,” he said quietly, and Sharana blinked. Had he somehow read her mind? “We all take risks, but there is no reason for you to sacrifice your life.”

    She almost laughed. “I’m not going to do anything as stupid as that.” At least I hope not. “I have other things to call upon.” Drawing a deep breath, she continued, “I apologize for my actions. I understand the need for unity, and yet I am the first to break it.”

    Jak only nodded slowly, his eyes seemingly taking in her evident sincerity. They would probably always irritate each other, but they could learn to work together for the good of Liandrah.

    “Now, if your personal problem is settled,” Ayakier said, not quite managing to keep her tone free of acid, “maybe we can manage to avoid incidents like this again.” Raythe merely looked bemused, while Lendoril’s face was branded with open relief.

    Jak glanced at Sharana wryly. “If the elf manages to stop slapping me, I think we can.”

    “As long as the human manages to stop annoying me, I think we can,” Sharana said, almost right after him. She grinned at him, and he gave her a slow, insolent wink as Ayakier shook her head in exasperation. It was growing easier to appreciate his peculiar but unique brand of humor.

    Sharana just noticed that the door was still open, and evidently, Lendoril had noticed as well. When he was halfway there, something whooshed past him to clatter on the floor, barely missing Jak.

    Another arrow followed almost immediately, and by this time, everyone was moving and shouting, except for Jak. Sharana could not tell whether the outlaw had frozen in shock or not, but the arrow was heading straight for his heart.

    He cannot die yet… The thought was almost involuntary, and the magic that followed pure instinct. Wind rushed out to arrest the arrow in midflight, and it hovered in the air. I was always strongest in elemental magic, in what little I had of magic, anyway. But there was no time for thought. A shadow had already crossed the doorway.

    “Get back, Lendoril!” Her voice rang through the tumult as she felt Ayakier and Raythe sending magic against the intruder, and she hastily added her own to the attack.

    Lendoril stepped back as the man came through the doorway, and Sharana was amazed that he had managed to survive. She could tell that he was not a mage, and there should have been no way that the attacker could have survived the onslaught.

    “Should” was the key word.

    The man was a golden-skinned Forest Elf, dark hair tied back. His bright blue eyes were, peculiarly, dancing with mirth, as he notched another arrow to his bow.

    Wait… magic doesn’t affect him, but it affects his weapons… Yrava, warn Raythe! Tell her to cast magic on his weapons, not him!

    She knew that her gamble had worked when his weapons flew from the stranger and landed at Raythe’s side, except for his bow, which he still clutched in his hands. Evidently, objects touching him could not be affected either. But Sharana was not sure of their odds even then; he was obviously a trained assassin, and could kill her without any weapons.

    The Starwolf was still next to her, and she snatched it up, and in a moment, an arrow was pointed for the stranger’s throat. The Sky Elves were the finest archers in Liandrah, and Sharana was among the best. All she had to do was loose it, and he would be dead.

    “Drop the bow,” Lendoril grated, and she saw that he too had an arrow ready. “Now.

    “I don’t think so,” he said.

    “I do.” Sharana found it hard to keep her hands steady when he turned one merry blue eye on her. An eye that would have warmed anyone, told her to trust him… but there was a dangerous side to him as well, the supple grace and danger of a hunting wolf.

    Three hunting wolves… The image remained in her mind the three stood, tense and ready to let loose.

    “It seems that I am outnumbered,” he said at last, dropping his bow. Raythe — or perhaps Ayakier — snatched up that as well, and yet he managed to lounge there as if he were a king.

    “Do I loose?” Lendoril asked, and Sharana shook her head. “Not yet. I want information out of him.”

    “I don’t suppose I can add my own opinion, seeing as I am the one he nearly killed?” Jak snapped. “Or at least ask the damn questions?”

    Sharana hid a tiny smile. “Please do. But don’t kill him.”

    The outlaw needed no second urgings. “Who are you, and why are you here?”

    As the stranger sat down casually, behaving as if he was the captor and they the captives, she saw Jak’s teeth clench in rage.

    Well, well. This ought to prove interesting indeed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
  13. Kiwi

    Kiwi Pew pew pew pew! Boom!

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    Hmph. It's about time.

    Elomen dismounted his horse and groaned. It was true that he had ridden longer plenty of times, but the scenery was usually more vivid. What had happened to him on the trip here was plain and simple torture. Bland trees, bland dirt roads; even the would-be highway robbers hadn’t been out of the ordinary. All he could think as his boots crushed numerous twigs was that this would be the last assignment he ever did around here.

    Suddenly, he knew he was in the general area of his target, and Gods know who else. He sensed a disturbance coming from somewhere around him, and quickly tried to focus in on it. After locating it as best as he could, he hastily swung onto his mount and rode to where he thought it came from. It surprised him somewhat to find an abandoned building that he was pretty sure hadn't been used for ages. Elomen couldn't resist a chuckle when he thought that. Of course he'd hide here... he wouldn't expect anyone to go in. Simple outlaw. Elomen nocked an arrow onto his bow and slowly made his way up to the front door, only to find himself stopping short of bursting in and maiming Cheerful Jak after hearing a female shouting from inside.

    "I don’t care who or what you serve, but at this point, you’re behaving like a spoiled brat!"

    He assumed that the male voice answering her with an equally loud voice was Cheerful Jak.

    "Shut up!"

    Elomen struggled to stifle his laugh... other people's problems were so amusing to him. He didn't even have to know what was going on, but it always provided him with a good show. If there were any others in the room, he imagined they would be distracted by this loud argument going on nearby. Elomen slowly peeked to observe what was going on in the room. He spotted a female elf and a man who he was pretty sure was Cheerful Jak, mainly because of his glancing scar. He couldn't kill him yet; if there was another one there, he'd have to make sure he could get a clear shot and get out quickly. Of course, he might also get lucky and she might kill Jak for him, and he wouldn't have needed to even use an arrow. He figured he might as well stand and wait it out.

    “Why? Touched a nerve, have I?”

    All Jak managed to reply again was, “Shut up,” causing Elomen to wonder if the man he had been chasing had a vocabulary limited to those two words. However, to Elomen’s immediate disappointment, the female simply took a step back and sheathed her knife.

    “Besides the dragons, the Sentinels need to know what is going on. They have access to old records and knowledge, as well as power. They might be able to help us.”

    So she's a Sentinel! This could be more interesting than I had previously thought. Elomen ended up drowning out the conversation in his own thoughts by wondering what a Sentinel could possibly be doing with an outlaw in such a place. If she were turning him in, she certainly would've gone west after capturing him, no? Elomen's thoughts were interrupted by a sharp crack as he looked in to find Jak rubbing his cheek after the elf had slapped him. This made Elomen quietly chuckle under his breath, and after he was certain none had heard it, he quickly went back to thinking. After failing to find any logical answer that pleased him, Elomen listened in one more time to hear a third voice, another female, settle the argument and both sides make up. Grimacing, Elomen readied his bow.

    Time's up.

    Elomen fired a shot at Jak's body, but arrogance took the better of him and the arrow missed, hitting the floor without even leaving a mark on the outlaw. Quickly knocking another arrow onto his bow, Elomen took care to not miss this time. Firing the arrow, it didn't surprise him too much that it was stopped mid-flight, probably by the Sentinel. He'd have to get closer. He dashed through the door and expected the mage to try and stop him with magic. Instead, he was greeted with three sources of magic, which surprised him greatly. This supposed "easy" job was quickly becoming a challenge. It piqued his curiosity as to whether or not his employer knew that this would happen and handed him the magic warding charm for this reason; he had been pretty certain that he wasn't going to use it. Then again, he had also been pretty certain that this would be an easy job and such an outlaw wouldn't have so many companions in such a rundown place. Nothing about this job was going at it seemed it would.

    It appeared the charm wasn't perfect, however; all of Elomen's weapons apart from his bow and arrows flew off of his person.

    The quick action of setting an arrow straight at Jak was responded with one from the other Forest Elf. "Drop the bow. Now." was all he said, but the intensity of the words and the look on his face were sincerely threatening. Still, Elomen held his ground. With a smirk, he glanced over to the male elf.

    "I don't think so."

    "I do," grated the Sentinel, with twice the severity of the other Elf. Times like this made Elomen detest his disability; if he had two good eyes, he probably could have noticed the girl readying an arrow on him as well. Elomen quickly turned his head to see her face-to-face for the first time. She was a Sky Elf, from what he could tell, and she certainly had a good aim; he was pretty sure the arrow on her bow was aimed at his throat.

    After considering all of his options, Elomen finally dropped his bow. "It seems that I am outnumbered." Just as he expected, the bow was quickly snatched up by another person and taken away. Elomen began walking over to a table.

    The Forest Elf asked the Sentinel, "Do I loose?" and received the reply Elomen had hoped for. "Not yet. I want information out of him." All these fools were doing was giving him more time to plan his attack.

    Cheerful Jak wasn't too happy with this response. "I don't suppose I can add my own opinion, seeing as I am the one he nearly killed? Or at least ask the damn questions?"

    The Sentinel stared at Elomen for a moment. "Please do, but don't kill him." Jak's question came immediately after the Sentinel's approval.

    "Who are you, and why are you here?"

    Elomen took a seat and relaxed.

    "My name is -" Elomen quickly cut himself off. To think he almost made such a novice mistake as to give them his real name! Starting over, Elomen paced himself. "My name is not of your matters. And as for why I am here, well, I'm pretty sure you have figured that out by now, Cheerful Jak? Surely you aren't the most infamous outlaw and not have your wits and logical thinking with you at all times?" Elomen found that in jobs where things went wrong, it was always good to soften up the target by giving them an ego boost.

    Wondering what went next, there was only one thing Elomen was thinking of.

    This is definitely the last time I do a job out here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
  14. Crusader

    Crusader Disturber of the Peace

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    Not sure whetehr that was a compliment of the veiled insult, Jak went back to the questioning. Muttering under his breath about the frequency of persuit. After Sio....Casano'or jumped out after him not a day ago he never expected another fool this soon. "Who hired you?" Nothing came from the elf but a damn smile. Jak was not having a good day, keeping his eyes on his atacker he took out his crossbow, undoing the latch and making it spring into shape, the string already locked back. He inserted a bolt slowly and pointed it at the elf's belly. "Who are you and who hired you? I wont ask again."

    The forest elf said nothing, still as sure and cocky as before, he nodded his head to Sharana. "she said youre not to kill me." was all he said before resuming his relaxed lounging.

    Jak laughed, and put on a malicious grin, twisting his scar, which could usually make most men wince. "She's not the boss of me" He could sesne she didnt take that too well and refraqined himself from rubbing his cheek again. "Then again, I dont have to kill you, but it seems to me you wouldnt like it very much if you lost your good eye over a little question." Cocking his head in mocking askance Jak went through his mind thinking who could have sent him. There were too many names to count, half the time Jak didnt care to note who he was robbing, but he couldnt think of anyone offhand who would hire someone as grim looking as this fool. Most nobles would faint over the dirt on the floor of the places where good mercenaries and assasins were found, but that didnt stop all of them. Damn elves.

    "I dont have all day you know, I'd give my right eye to stay here and make you lose that confident strut of yours" He laughed inside his head, no doubt the elf wouldnt be too happy about the eye comment. But he was serious, he'd like nothing more than to kill the fool now, yet, the man had managed to find him, after the unnatural rainstorm had destroyed all tracks, and he had passed the illusion of the library, then there was the whole fate thing going on at this fool meeting. He might as well try and find out what he could.

    The crossbow aimed at his belly should have been enough to get him to talk, even so, he shrugged his coat so it exposed his sword, not so the fool could see it, but so he could reach it when he needed it.
     
  15. Senekha

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

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    Krian screamed in delight as Casano’or flew her high above the mountains. When finally Alavon was in sight, Casano’or circled the bird and they spiraled down to a small clearing outside the city. She dismounted, and told the bird to hunt.

    Silently walking to the city gates, she passed unnoticed into the city proper, walking purposefully to the Twisted Branch Inn. She turned into an alley, and someone shoved past her. Casano’or immediately turned in the other direction, sensing the accomplice, and pressed a knife to the throat of a would-be thief.

    Casano’or pulled down the hood of the thief, and discovered Kelly the Quick, a young and talented thief.

    “Getting a little careless, are we, Kelly?”

    Kelly, recognizing Casano’or’s voice, said, “Siobhann! I’m sorry – I didn’t know it was you.”

    “Of course not.” She slid her knife back up her sleeve, then pressed a gold sovereign into Kelly’s hand. “Contact the House of Knives, and spread the word that there is a Gathering at the Twisted Branch tonight.”

    Kelly nodded and slipped away, and Casano’or made her way to the Twisted Branch. She kept the hood of her great cloak up, keeping her face hidden, and took the table in the far corner.

    After hours had passed and Casano’or was satisfied with the number of mercenaries now occupying the Inn, she rose and moved to the front of the room. Raising a hand for silence, which was swift in coming, she soon commanded the attention of all in the room. Elves of the sky and forest, humans, and some of questionable origins all regarded the mysterious, hooded figure before them.

    She spoke. “My good mercenaries, lend me your ears and minds for a moment – is all proceeds well, that will be the least of you services to one who rules all.”

    A tall, scarred man rose. “Who thinks to call a meeting of the House of Knives and command us who have no master?”

    The figure in black did not move for a long moment, and some shifted uncomfortably. Finally, she brought a slender hand up and pushed back her hood. The room was immediately filled with murmurs and shouts, but Casano’or’s upheld hand brought back silence.

    “Siobhann!” someone shouted. “When ye didna show last Gathering, we thought yer luck ‘ad run dry!”

    Another barked a laugh and said, “Was more work for us this last year!”

    The tension eased and chuckles were scattered throughout the room. Siobhann Klairé was known as one who drank and joked with the rowdiest of the mercenaries.

    It had been necessary, to build the illusion of the windrider mercenary.

    When Casano’or’s face remained cold, the chuckles began to die down and someone, trying to keep the light mood, said, “She missed us, boys!”

    One of the women coughed, glaring at that last remark, and directed a question at Cassano’or. “Klairé, what’s this performance about? Miss the attention?”

    Casano’or’s eyes narrowed and the room seemed to darken. Silence ensued.

    The windows slammed shut, seemingly of their own accord, and when someone tried to bolt out the door, he seemd to hit an invisible wall and rebound backwards, crashing into a table and scattering its contents.

    A frozen wind flew through the room, despite the closed windows. Casano’or spoke in an alien voice liquid with the sounds of rushing water and wind, which resounded with elemental power.

    “I have returned.”

    Her eyes widened and blazed a bright gold, and she rose and hovered a foot above the floor. Her nails transformed into straight, black talons, and streams of light danced about her fingers.

    Gasps and shouts of horror sprouted throughout the room, and many elves jumped to their feet. One, a forest elf who had seen several centuries of war, whispered, “Casano’or,” and all, even the youngest of the humans, froze in disbelief.

    “Yes,” Casano’or said, her voice fluid and powerful. I have returned. Cy’dath has called.”

    “Cy’dath is dead!” One elf shouted, showing more anger than fear.

    “You fool! He is the most powerful of gods. If you think him dead, you are blind, deaf, and dumb, for was I not also thought dead?

    “War is returning. If you wish to survive it and survive the fools who oppose me, follow me. If you choose to die, run to the Sentinels.”

    “The Sentinels have always prevailed, and always will.” A tall, muscular elf spoke from one of the furthermost tables.

    “The Sentinels shall fall – what are they, but a ragged house of pagans?”

    The elf rose. “We are a house that defeated the most powerful of gods.” In one fluid motion, he produced a throwing knife and hurled it at Casano’or.

    Casano’or immediately felt the elemental power of the blade, and, knowing it would pass through her weak shield, she brought her left arm up, and the blade slammed into her armoured forearm, breaking through and penetrating her arm.

    The elf, seeing his plan gone awry, unsheathed his sword and lunged at Casano’or. Table toppled as many scrambled to get out of the way.

    Casano’or held up her right hand, fingers outstretched, and the elf froze in mid-stride, suspended inches from the floor. Her eyes blazed bright, and at a flick of her fingers, the Sentinel dropped to the floor, where he lay unmoving.

    Casano’or grasped the blade and wrenched it out of her arm. Blood trickled unnoticed through her fingers. She wiped the blade on the garments of the elf, then slipped it through her belt.

    “You see?” She glared at them. “I had not even use Cy’dath’s powers to defeat this weakling Sentinel.”

    “All who wish to live to see another decade, assemble in the meadow outside the city entrance at first light tomorrow, where you will receive your first wages.

    “To all who wish to die: I will meet you in this ensuing war, and you shall perish. Should you think to flee, I shall hunt you down and send you to the darkest underworld.”


    The next morning, Casano’or led a company of some 300 sell-swords on the road to Illyra, capital of the human country of Ravasdes. From the mercenaries, she chose two captains: Elanna and Tavius. Elanna was 29 years of age, a human who possessed great skill with the broadsword and throwing knives. She had once worked with Casano’or, then Siobhann Klairé, who saw Elanna as one bereft of emotion and one who had a talent for survival.

    Tavius was of mixed blood. His age was unknown, but he appeared as one between 25 and 35. His father was half human, half sky-elf, and his mother was known to Casano’or – she had claimed to be a sky-elf, with a forest-elf as a father, but Casano’or suspected she had some of the ancient Kortiri blood in her veins. For this reason Casano’or had chosen Tavius.

    Casano’or had fifty horses loaded with provisions, which she had purchased the previous night. She herself rose Krian, who tried her best to appear fearsome. She was anxious for Cy’dath to return to his full power. While the elemental shield she had erected the night before would have held against any normal steel, it should have been able to stop most magical weapons.

    The company rode into a vast region of forests and grassy hills. After half a fortnight of swift travel, they reached Illyra. Originally, the city was built upon the highest hilltop in sight, but as the population grew, it gradually spread around the hill, the city limits finally encompassing nine large hills. The outermost wall encircled nearly the entire city, and three more walls must be crossed to reach the innermost, which was built just above the base of the chief hill. A looming citadel marked the center of the city, where dwelled the aging king. It was there which was Casano’or’s destination.

    As they neared the city limits, Casano’or circled Krian over the company, calling for a halt. She then landed and approached Tavius.

    “Choose nine of the most skilled swords, and bring them to me.” He gave a curt nod and turned without a word.

    To Elanna she said, “Set up camp. Kill anyone who attempts to enter.” Elanna nodded.

    Tavius returned shortly, leading the nine mercenaries – seven men and two women, all elves – that Casano’or herself would have chosen. She gave Tavius a nod of approval, and her bowed his head in return.

    “To the city.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2005
  16. Senekha

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

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    (ooc - Arawn's post)

    Tavius rode slightly behind Casano’or. While she had been known as Siobhann, she had claimed to be a sky-elf windrider, but it was now obvious she was not. Her display in the Twisted Branch was clearly un-elven. She did not fir the description of any common race, but Tavius felt a tug of familiarity whenever he was near her. He knew she was ancient – anyone with any perception could sense that.

    Tavius had seen centuries of war, but next to Casano’or, he felt young and inexperienced. He had taken little part in the war for the Well of Stars; he had felt no allegiance to any of the gods, whether it be the ‘Chaos’ gods or those who opposed them. Who is to say what is good or evil, but the gods? And if the gods had no singular view, then who were mere mortals to judge? Tavius preferred to keep his wars with only those of mortal blood – he left others to anger the gods.

    Although he had played no important role in that war, other than hiring his services to the most reasonable employer, he knew who the key players had been, and what part they had played. Casano’or was the champion of Cy’dath, and wielded Ki’dasva’s powers at times when the goddess wished. Tavius had, for a time, shadowed Casano’or movements, discovering what he could about this mortal who had risen to such a high place with the most powerful of gods. He had uncovered many things, but her exact racial bloodlines were still a mystery to him.

    Casano’or had taken a horse as a mount for the ride into the city. She had shed the talons and ethereal appearance, taking on the appearance of a forest elf. Tavius rode slightly behind, and used the opportunity to further study Casano’or. Something about her bearing reminded him of his mother, though is memories of her were dim. They reached the city gates shortly, and Tavius halted as Casano’or rode forward. Guards had seen them coming from a short distance, and stood ready at the gate. The group of approaching elves, though most of their weapons were hidden, had undoubtedly caused them some concern; elves rarely ventured into the human kingdom of Ravasdes. Tavius, though only partially elven, could pass as a true elf to most humans. His ears were upswept, though any elf would note the differences his ears had to theirs. His eyes were an unnatural blend of green and gold, and his hair was black – uncommon, yet not unheard of among elves. Tavius knew he had inherited his father’s hair, yet the other oddities puzzled him. His father had been a human-forest elf mixed breed, though with predominant human qualities. Both his parents had died when he was a child, but those who had raised him told him that his mother had been half sky-elf, half forest-elf. He had always assumed that her differences, which he had inherited, were an odd genetic trait, but since seeing Casano’or, he was beginning to rethink his assumptions.

    When challenged, Casano’or answered, “We seek shelter for the night. We have traveled far, and long for hot meals and warm beds.”

    The human captain eyed her warily. “You look ill-provisioned for a long journey.”

    “Our rations have been long depleted, and we have been hunting game. We seek also to purchase provisions.”

    “What brings a small band of elves this far from any elven habitation?” His voice had lost none of its suspicion.

    “We grew restless, and seek only to venture through new lands.” She paused for dramatic effects, then added with a smirk, “Hundreds of years in the same forest wears one’s interest.”

    The guard raised an eyebrow, then stepped aside. “You may keep your weapons, as is custom, but should you draw them, you will be arrested.”

    Tavius motioned to the others, and led them forward to follow Casano’or through the gates. They were greeted be streets filled with shops and countless hawkers. Tavius could smell the reek of nearby tanneries, and hammers pounded metals in several visible smithies.

    Tavius did not know what Casano’or had planned; she had told him nothing since ordering him to choose nine others for the escapade. She may indeed plan on purchasing goods unavailable in other cities, but Tavius strongly suspected darker motives on her part.

    They passed through the next three gates, Casano’or creating increasingly effective alibis, and finally found an inn just outside the Inner Wall. Only the nobles and the wealthy resided here; Casano’or had created a magical cloak, just before arriving at the secondmost inner gate, that gave them the appearance of a noble family (herself and Tavius, to his amusement) and their guards. The Golden Swan, the prestigious inn that Casano’or had chosen, was currently occupied by nobles visiting the royal family.

    In accord with the façade, Tavius shared a room with Casano’or. She had instructed all in the company to stay awake, and finally divulged part of her plan. It was as Tavius had suspected – he and two others were to accompany Casano’or through the Inner Wall and into the royal palace, while the other eight followed Casano’or’s mental instructions to secure the armory and stables.

    It was nearly four hours before dawn when Casano’or roused Tavius from his ponderings at the window. Without a word she waved her hand over him, and silently walked out the door. Tavius felt a tingling, but knew from her earlier warning that she had simply placed a cloak of invisibility over him, which would hold as long as he was silent and touched nothing along the way.

    With much less effort than he would have dreamed possible, Casano’or, the two other elves, and he were walking though the palace halls. Casano’or led with a confidence that showed her knowledge of the lay of the keep – apparently, this plan had been long prepared. Within moments, they were outside the colossal doors of the king’s chamber.

    There were two guards standing outside the doors, but Casano’or lifted a clawed hand and dispatched of them quickly. Tavius followed her through the doors, careful not to step in the pooling blood. Their companions waited outside the doors, hiding the bodies and taking the place of the guards.

    The chamber was enormous, with a domed ceiling and windows that looked far across the countryside. Casano’or wasted no time in ghosting across the tiled floor to the bedside, where she stood silent for a moment, then said, “Good morning, your majesties.”

    The aging king blinked, then bolted upright, reaching for a sword hidden behind the headpiece. Casano’or held out a hand, and the king froze, unable to move his arm. His eyes widened in fright, and the queen sat up slowly, losing none of her dignity in even such a startling situation.

    The queen demanded, “Who are you?”

    Casano’or smiled, though her smile held no softness or comfort. “I am that which your ancestors quailed beneath.”

    The queen said nothing, clearly puzzled. The king stammered, “Oh, my!”

    “I am both your doom and your saviour. These lands will soon be fraught with war, one in which few should survive. A time of pain, famine, and bloodshed. No king should live through such destruction as what will come to your own.”

    Both king and queen looked horrified. She repeated, “Who are you?”

    Even Tavius shuddered upon her next remark.

    “I am that destruction.”




    The entire army of Illyra was soon under the command of Casano’or. She had but repeat her performance at the Twisted Branch, with added flare and increased terror. Tavius was stunned by the ease in which Casano’or killed. Several officers had died – somewhat gruesomely – before the others had been convinced of the wisdom in obeying Casano’or.

    For the first time in over a century, Tavius felt fear.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2005
  17. Senekha

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

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    (ooc - Morgan's post)

    Arikha gasped, crying out form the pain. She clutched her head, screaming as she writhed on the ground, tearing up clods of earth with her widly thrashing limbs.

    “How dare you disobey me, you impudent mortal!” Cy’dath’s voice thundered in Arikha’s mind. Arikha screamed, the pain being too overpowering to bear silently.

    “Beg!” Cy’dath raored. “Beg for the mercy you do not deserve!”

    “No!” Arikha cried, “I will not beg!” he defiant reply turned to a screech of agony as Cy’dath let his fury rain down upon her.

    Arikha squirmed, tears flowing from her eyes as hand slick with blood – her blood – wrapped around her torso. Her body shook uncontrollably, her vision turned white and her voice grew hoarse from her screams. She would not beg. Begging was for cowards. She despised cowards.

    She was begging. Sobbing into the bloody ground, she begged for Cy’dath’s mercy. Arikha wept with relief as the pain began to ebb. She hated her herself. She hated Cy’dath. She despised Casano’or. Cy’dath’s voice sounded in her head.

    “You will learn to obey me as you once did, Arikha, or will you discover what true pain is.”

    “Yes, Cy’dath,” Arikha gasped. “What would you ask of me?”

    “You will go to Casano’or, and you will obey her wishes until I see fit to assign you to a new task. I will tolerate no insubordination from you. You tread near a deep chasm, Arikha. Do not attempt to defy me.”

    “Yes, Cy’dath. Yes…Master.”

    Arikha sighed as Cy’dath withdrew from her mind. Damn Cy’dath! Damn Casano’or! Arikha rose to trembling feet, leaning against a nearby tree for support. With a shaky sigh, she closed her eyes. She must act quickly before Cy’dath could grow in power. Before he could enter mind completely, and know her thoughts and intentions.

    Gathering her magic around her, Arikha braced herself and sent her mind across a vast distance, searching for the one who may be able to help her.

    “Sentinel,” Arikha called, touching the mind of the elf she had glimpsed when she had attempted to assasinate Casano’or. The elf seemed surprised; she must be shocked at how her minds defenses were so easily bypassed.

    “I have called on you to ask for your help. Cy’dath has returned, and I am once again becoming a victim of his power. I wish to offer you my services in return for the defeat and utter annihilation of Cy’dath. I am sure my conditions are not too demanding; they are what are you planned on accomplishing yourself, are they not?”

    “How can I trust you?” the Sentinel answered.

    “Do you think that if I obeyed Cy’dath’s every whim, I would be attacking his lover?” Arikha replied.

    “How do I know you’re not just devoted to Cy’dath and jealous of Casano’or’s power?”

    Arikha paused. What could she do to convince the Sentinel of her sincerity? Mentally, Arikha bit her lip.

    “If you come to my lands, I will give you my youngest grandchild to take with you, as collateral for my good intentions.”

    There was a pause from Sharana.

    “How do I know you’re not setting up an ambush?”

    Arikha shook her head and sighed. “Then this will be where my comfort ends and your trust begins. I must go.”


    Arikha watched, grumbling angry curses as she glowered malevolently at an satisfied Casano’or riding at the head of an enormous army. She turned her gaze to the rest of the army, watching with an appraising eye. On Casano’or’s left rode a cross-breed, and on her right strode a horse laden with weapons.

    Arikha stiffened. He was alive? Did he remember her? Arikha stood, straining to keep her face passive. It was hard; she wanted to snarl at Casano’or and smile at her long-lost friend, Tavius. Casano’or rode by her with a smug smile, and Arikha stared daggers back.

    “Nice rabble you have there,” Arikha said, crossing her arms.

    “Arikha, I am thirsty; fetch me a drink – and not too hot, mind you.” Casano’or tossed her a taunting grin. Arikha clenched her fists and grit her teeth, forcing out a polite – if not pleasant – smile. Apparently Cy’dath had informed Casano’or of his instructions. Out of the corner of her eye, Arikha noticed Tavius grinning at her. With reddening cheeks, the fallen queen turned to do as Casano’or bid. The Sentinel better be at Avaenonn when she arrived, or there would hell to pay.
     
  18. NightChaser89

    NightChaser89 Order of the Nine Souls..

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    As night walks through the forest he hears a russle near by behind him... He jerks his head around quickly to try to steal a look at what ever it was behind him... There's nothing there... He turns back around to continue his journey... He takes about 10 steps and he hears it again... I know I heard something that time... He quickens his pace... Maybe I can get out of this without fighting... I need to just keep moving... He carefully moves his hands to his waist so stealthy even someone watching his hands wouldn't have noticed... He got a grip on the handles of his Whips as he hears the russling getting closer and louder... Those are not humans... Maybe elfs? No, to heavy... I know what it is... Demons... He slows his pace trying to hear a little better 10... no 15... Damn it I wish the animals would stop moving...

    Night walks along for about 5 minutes listening to the demons fallowing him If there were not so many of them I could just kill them... I wish I new how many there was... *WHAMMM* a Club seems to come straight off a tree and smashes into his face... Blood goes EVERY where as his now proken nose flows blood strems... The force of the club nocks him back about 5 feet... One of his whips falls from his belt as he flys through the air... Sharon! As he struggles to get to his feet another club comes from behind and crashes into the back of his head... He gets thrown face first into the dirt before him... Damn they hit hard... He Reaches his belt and takes out his other whip... Come on Micheal help me out...

    He Looks around through the dark for his attackers but shes nothing but pools of blood... *Russle Russle* He turns around quickly and SNAPS his whip in the direction the noise came from... He hears a chunk of wood fly off a tree and land with a thump agenst the dirt... Missed... *WHACK* A club slams into the back of his right leg... He falls to the ground... He attempts to stand but he has lost the feeling in his leg... This isn't going good for me... He whirls the whip around him in a circle hoping to take down any demons still near him... Nothing... A club Slams into his back... The Club was swung with such force it shatters on his back... He is knocked flat onto the ground... Ahh... That hurt... Can't move... This REALLY isn't looking to good... About 13 demons rush out off no where... all but one has a club or a blunt weapon of some sort... Damn... They start bashing night in with thier weapons... You can hear a rib break... Blood flows everywhere... Night's Blood... Another club to the back of his head knocks him out cold...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2005
  19. Rosgwak

    Rosgwak The Masked Warrior

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    Lartazh eventually stopped training and looked around him curiously. He had been here for hours, and still the cleric had not yet appeared. He was starting to wonder what was going on, when he heard a scream from the gardens. Swinging 'Driving Force' up onto his back, he ran towards the source of the scream, and stopped when he saw what the commotion was all about. Lying there on the ground, was the cleric from before, and a dragon, both of them dead. Lartazh stood still for a few seconds, trying to think of what had happened. However, after a few seconds he could think of nothing that could explain this, and so he turned, and leaving the staff of the chapter-house fussing over the corpses, Lartazh walked out into the forest once more.

    As he walked along the forest path he tried to put the image of the cleric out of his mind. It wasn't that he didn't care about her death, but in his life so far he'd seen so much death it was easier to just move on. Suddenly he heard the sound of clubs from nearby hitting flesh. Lartazh's immediate thought was to just keep walking, let whoever was involved sort it out themselves, but then he thought about the situation. Not many creatures would be out this far in the forest and using clubs. In fact, it was possible it could be more demons. At this thought Lartazh's blood started boiling, and pulling 'Driving Force' off of his back he charged through the few bushes and trees between himself and the noise. Springing out of the bushes he immediately swung his scythe, catching five demons in a fatal surprise.

    He then replaced 'Driving Force' and hit the ground on his knees to take the landing. As he was kneeling down he quickly pulled his swords out of his sheathes and sprung at the remaining 8 demons. Because of the sheer speed with which he moved into battle, three more demons fell at his blades without much of a fight. The other five resisted heavily, but by staying on the move and using the length of his chain to his advantage, Lartazh finished them off relatively quickly as well. When the battle was over, Lartazh sheathed his swords and stared around at the corpses lying on the ground around him. It was then he noticed a fourteenth body, one which was previously hidden from view by the demons, but which Lartazh could now clearly see was a man on the brink of death. Ignoring his own wounds, Lartazh knelt down and lifted the man, then turned and headed back to the chapterhouse, where he secured the stranger a room, and ordered the staff to heal him to the best of their abilities. Then, curious to find out the stranger's story, Lartazh returned to the training room to await his recovery.
     
  20. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    She refrained from sighing. The idiot assassin didn’t look like he was going to give any information up at all. Although she could have rummaged through his mind and find out what she wanted, moral ethics compelled her to resist against that temptation.

    But he didn’t need to know that.

    “In a few minutes,” she said pleasantly, “I am going to lose all patience with you and start rummaging through your mind.”

    “You Sentinels would never do that,” he replied. His look of smug complacence was even more infuriating than Jak’s.

    “Really?” Without waiting for a reply, she swept on. “We wouldn’t do that to normal people. Unfortunately for you, you’ve broken the law by attempting to murder an innocent man.” Well, hardly innocent, but… She ignored Jak’s stifled chuckle and stared at the assassin.

    He glared back sullenly.

    “I’m waiting.”

    With a resigned sigh, the assassin opened his mouth. “My name is Jadrix.” She rather doubted that it was his real name, but she wasn’t about to argue with him. “I have no clue in hell who hired me. As far as I know, he was a mage, but he concealed his face during the entire interview.”

    “Why does he want me?” Jak asked.

    Jadrix shrugged. “I never ask questions of my clients.”

    Sharana guessed that she wouldn’t get anything more out of him. “So. What are we to do with you?”

    “Kill him,” Jak suggested. “I’d be happy to.”

    “We are not letting him go until he tells me everything.”

    “Tells you?”

    “Yes, me. I’m not going to leave you alone with him. You’d kill him in an instant.”

    “Well, that kind of was the idea.” Jak had a very evil grin on his face.

    “Do I get any say in the matter?” Jadrix drawled.

    “No. Shut up.” Sharana wanted to tear out her hair in frustration. Two aggravating males at the same time awakened an urge to destroy something. Or someone. Messily. With lots of blood and screaming.

    The only thing that kept her from doing that to Jak was because he was an ally, of sorts. And what kept her from doing that to Jadrix was that she wanted information.

    “As you command, your highness,” Jadrix said mockingly.

    “As it appears that you can’t keep your mouth shut, I’ll do it for you.” Before he could reply, she had wrapped gags of wind about his mouth, and after a moment’s consideration, stopped his ears as well.

    “We’re not accomplishing anything here, you know,” Sharana began saying before a voice intruded through her mind.

    Sentinel. An unfamiliar mind touched hers as Sharana gasped in shock. How had the voice intruded without her even sensing it?

    I have called on you to ask for your help. Cy’dath has returned, and I am once again becoming a victim of his power. I wish to offer you my services in return for the defeat and utter annihilation of Cy’dath. I am sure my conditions are not too demanding; they are what are you planned on accomplishing yourself, are they not?

    After a moment, she identified it. Arikha. But why would Cy’dath’s devoted follower pretend to be a victim and contact her? How can I trust you? she asked.

    Do you think that if I obeyed Cy’dath’s every whim, I would be attacking his lover? Arikha replied.

    How do I know you’re not just devoted to Cy’dath and jealous of Casano’or’s power? If Arikha was playing a game, it was none she could discern. Arikha actually seemed sincere.

    If you come to my lands, I will give you my youngest grandchild to take with you, as collateral for my good intentions.

    She paused, considering. How do I know you’re not setting up an ambush?

    Then this will be where my comfort ends and your trust begins. I must go. The presence left her as she reeled in shock.

    Arikha had not remained long enough for Sharana to examine her, but she had seemed sincere.

    Come to my lands, she had said. From reading old texts, Sharana knew that Avaenonn was Arikha’s ancient home. But could she trust Cy’dath’s follower?

    I won’t take a child hostage anyway.

    But there remained one impression on her. Although Arikha had mind-tricks that she didn’t, Sharana also knew that no one besides her knew this one. Sometimes, if something overwhelmed everything else in a mind, an image or name would “float” to the top and let Sharana see it. And she had seen both Cy’dath’s and Casano’or’s images ringed in dark crimson, the color of hate and rage.

    “Elf!” She heard Jak’s voice and blinked. She had been completely lost in her own thoughts and in Arikha’s contact. “Elf, are you there?”

    “Umm. Yes, I am.” She sounded like a scatterbrain and did not care. Arikha had contacted her. But why her and not, say, Raythe?

    Because she saw me wield the power of the Well of Stars, and either wants it for herself or because she thinks I can use it to destroy Cy’dath. Or she is Cy’dath’s slave and is using this excuse to gain my power for him. But we must all take gambles. In that instant, she made up her mind. Turning to Jadrix, she loosened the gag and bonds as he shook his head like a dog.

    “You may all do as you wish — with the exception of Jadrix — but I have another path to travel. I have lingered here long enough.”

    “I don’t suppose you could tell us where you’re going?” Ayakier asked.

    “No.” She could not tell them that Arikha had asked her for aid. “Oh. And I’ll be taking Jadrix there with me.”

    Everyone began shouting at once, but Sharana had her reasons. If Jadrix proved innocent of any contact with Cy’dath, he could help her in the war. And if he had been hired by one of Cy’dath’s supporters…

    Her mouth curved into a grim smile. Jadrix should serve admirably well as a shield against Arikha, should she turn tr****r.

    Eventually, everyone subsided. “I am the logical one to do so,” she said patiently. “I am one of the few warriors in this group, and Jak would kill him once Jadrix was out of our sight.”

    “And how is that a bad thing?”

    “He might have been hired by a supporter of Cy’dath. And if he was…” She trailed off without completing the sentence.

    She transported Jadrix’s weapons to her side. “You may have these back in exchange for a geas I lay on you. I don’t trust your sworn word.”

    He merely nodded. “Then I bind you to never lift your weapons against all in this council and any I take under my protection, and to be among my company until I release you.” Jadrix did not say anything, but his eyes burned with rage as he gathered up his weapons. “Wait here.” She ran lightly upstairs and packed all her belongings quickly, then slung the pack on her back. Sharana knew what she must do now.

    This was her war, and Casano’or was her enemy. Those gathered here could help her, but she had the most important stakes in this: the protection of the Well of Stars. And to do that, she had to know Casano’or’s plans.

    After finding Arikha, she needed to find out more on the Game, and discover what she could do with it. She returned to the gathering, and although someone raised an eyebrow at her readiness to leave, none commented on it.

    Lifting one hand, she inclined her head to all of them in respect. “Fare you well, and may we all live after this war and defeat Cy’dath.”

    Turning on her heel, she turned and left the Library as Jadrix followed her as close as her shadow. Lendoril could choose whether or not to continue his ways with her. She would not force him into her battle.

    Not when she would probably die.
     
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