Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Glories of yesterday brought to life; or are they dim memories tainted by 'what could have been'. - A roleplay forum to delve into Tonan's past

Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Mon May 12, 2008 9:49 pm

The old woman smiled a wise smile, taking in the appearance of the young elven maiden before her. The young face had the expression of openness, the look of someone not used to guile, the delicate features, fragile almost, very indicative of her kind, yet different enough to mark her not from these lands

Over sized eyes the colour of blue innocence, straight hair, so white it dazzled, fell past her shoulders, lending an ethereal quality to her presence.

The old woman spoke.

Rue Veldryn you say your name is? I've heard that word before, Veldryn. I believe it to the be drow meaning for 'shadows'.

The young woman smiled

Ah ye be quite observant, wise one. Indeed, tis not mine from birth but a surname I "adopted" from last I visited these lands. I spent a brief time here, before my Father called me back to Myltiva. Oh the stories I could tell you of the glories I saw here during that visit.

The old woman chuckled.

My child, I doubt anything you tell me could be of such grandiosity that your eyes light up like those of a child thinking of their favourite toy. But now, you’ve stirred my curiousity. Would you tell me your story then?

The maiden called Rue smiled widely, transforming her face into that more fitting to someone venturing out into the world for the first time. Pulling a chair up to the old woman’s table, she sat and ordered a pot of white tea. Her eyes took on a faraway look as she began to recall those of long ago.

The first time I visited these lands I knew no one. I still remember the first people I met in these lands, one named Anne, the other Alibi. It happened in a tavern much like this one actually . . .




Rue Veldrin
posted 03-13-99


She looked over at two females sitting by her. She couldn't see one quite clearly but the other was obviously elven, although the way she held herself seemed a bit too solemn for any of the elven race. Rue's curiousity was piqued, another trait of her that sometimes led to more trouble than she bargained for.

She set down her mug and caught the female's attention. She gave her a friendly smile as she spoke.

"Hello, I don't mean to stare, you reminded me of someone I once knew, an old friend. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am known as Rue, and am a newcomer to your lands. I don't mean to impose, but could you perhaps tell me a bit of the land?"


Anne
posted 03-11-99


She couldn't help but smile at Rue's outgoing manner, and waved at the empty chair.

By all means, join us! I fear that I know little about the lands immediately around here, save that there is a monastery devoted to the worship of Barnabas a few leagues north. I hear the village is in contention at the moment, but I don't know whether it is the Letites or the Barnabites that hold it presently. It seems, though, that the war has called the finest people!

The sarcasm was apparent in her voice as she regarded the ill tempered elf at the bar.

What is it that you wish to know?


Rue Veldrin
posted 03-13-99


I am new to these parts, but I notice that courtesy is not a universal trait amongst all inhabitants.

Chuckling as Anne realized who she was referring to, she continued.

I will however, ask that you indulge me just slightly. Is this realm in elven domain?


Anne
posted 03-12-99


Anne tilted her head to contemplate Rue's question.

Well, if you mean the immediate area, it seems to be a pretty even mix of elves and humans. The kingdom in general is more of the same, though the goblins have also managed to hold a fair amount of land.

She shook her head in distaste, then smiled sardonically.

I suppose the holy war makes us trust those we would ordinarily consider a grave threat...

Her eyes focused on a distant point for a moment before she brought them back to her companions.


Rue Veldrin
posted 03-13-99


Raising a well defined eyebrow she posed a query.

Trust is too strong a word would you say not? What is there to trust of those you may know as heathens? I find tolerating them until turning them more often serves a purpose. Of course I am new to your parts and perhaps you do things different here. Are you originally from around here Anne?

She leaned back in her chair, wondering if that would be enough to have Anne explain more about herself and mayhaps giving her some insight as to those of the land.


Alibi
posted 03-13-99


Alibi nods in greeting as Rue joined she and Anne at their table.

"This, I will explain later Anne." she murmured as the newcomer took a seat.

Scooping the book from the table, she drops in into the leather pack resting on the floor against her ankle. As Alibi tilts her head, reaching down to ensure the satchel is closed, it’s contents safely nestled inside. As she does, the long braid she uses to control her auburn mane falls across her shoulder exposing a gentle upsweep to her ear, not quite as dramatic as Anne’s, but obviously different from those of a human. Sitting upright again she leans forward, her forearm resting on the table before her, offering a friendly smile to their new companion.

As Anne and Rue converse she listens quietly for a time.

‘Are you originally from around here Anne?’

Hearing Rue’s question, Alibi glances at her dearest friend, protectiveness coming into play.

~Tread carefully, Anne. Don’t want the nightmares returning’~ was the mind speak she passed to Anne. She knew that, at times, Anne’s thoughts of home and the incidents which led to their meeting brought up haunting reminders of her past, which would not allow her to sleep for extended periods of time.

Thinking it best to change the subject for now, Alibi sips from her ale, finally asking their new acquaintance, “Find yourself here for a long stay or just passing through?”


Rue Veldrin
posted 03-13-99


She turned towards the other woman at the table, Alibi, as she was asked a question.

She cocked her head to one side, a habit some found irritating. She thought for a minute before answering.

Actually, Alibi was it? Actually I have no idea how long I will be in your lands. I was on a mission for my Lord, to further the cause of our Fire God within our realm, when my . . .means of transportation . . . was taken from me. Now I find that I have no way to get back to where I was headed. So to answer your question, it would appear that I am indeed here for, as you said, a long stay. This is why I am curious as to where I find myself. Not for my personal safety, but rather because I find that the more I know about those I share my environment with, the less mistakes I am apt to make. Would you not agree?

Before Alibi could answer, Rue felt a strange sensation tingling throughout her arms. She wrinkled her brow, and subtly traced a sigil in the air, without attracting Anne or Alibi's attention to it. It was the power of another Rune user nearby.

Most curious, she thought to herself, as she traced another sigil in the air beneath the table. If this rune caster was one of her own, she would make it easy for him, or her, to find her.


Alibi
posted 03-14-99


“Mistakes. Oh my, but we have made our fair share, have we not, Anne?”

With a laugh she explains, in minor detail, the scorch marks on her cloak caused by Anne’s over-zealous use of a spell which summoned more flaming kobolds than either of them knew what to do with.

“I’m afraid we were quite over run with the beasts for a time,“ chuckling, she takes another draw from her stein before continuing. “..but yes, I do see your point. Wouldn’t do to anger the locals when finding you’re in a foreign land.” With a dramatically arched eyebrow, a look bordering on devious crosses Alibi’s face as she adds,

“At least not straight away.”


Rue Veldrin posted 03-14-99

Switching over to a non-alcoholic beverage she listens to Alibi's short anecdote. Still not hearing much more than casual talk she wonders how to go about finding out more. Her eyebrows rise slightly as she remembers the insignia on the cover of the book Alibi had placed into her backpack, having caught a quick glimpse of it before it disappeared out of sight.

I don't mean to appear too interested but I noticed the insignia on the book you put away. Is it some affiliation of yours? I could tell by the way you mentioned the 'locals' that you are yourself not originally from these parts. What brought you here?

They are startled by the flickering of candles as a gust of wind rushes through open windows, followed by the roar of thunder and the highlights of lightning in the distance, signaling the oncoming storm. Turning to Alibi, she awaits to hear more.


Rue stops for a moment, taking a sip from her tea. She sat back in her seat, noticing that the old woman had moved forwards, almost as if anticipating the next memory. Rue smiled to herself, knowing she now had a captive audience.
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Fri May 16, 2008 10:43 am

The old woman lifts her chin at Rue, caught up in the moment.

These two, they grew to be your friends then?

Rue nodded,

They became my guildmates, they were my friends, but more than that, they were two individuals I could always look up to for an example of honour. They took me into their guild, The Black Hand and showed me what it was they were fighting for.

Rue removed an object from one of the satchels she had placed under the table. It was circular in shape, platinum metal that has been burnished to a soft sheen. A severe fist appeared, darker than the metal, with the initials TBH about it in stark relief. She held it in her hands, a melancholy smile dimming her visage for but a brief moment.

Allow me to continue wise one.


Alibi
posted 03-19-99

’..what keeps you here?’

Helping herself to another handful of fruit, Alibi responds,

“Several things now, actually. Initially it was only for the needs of the kingdom, the leadership of which had suddenly fallen to me. The village had just suffered a horrible attack, and the yeomen were struggling to rebuild. Thankfully Anne agreed to educate me in the ways of administration. Now I feel a strong responsibility to my people and Barnabas.”

Nudging Anne gently, Alibi adds,

“Not to mention the strong bonds of friendship.”


Anne
posted 03-21-99

I didn't teach you anything you wouldn't have figured out on your own, Ali.

Her face turned thoughtful for a moment before she spoke again.

Speaking of Barnabas, would you mind telling me why we've spent the last week visiting every monastery devoted to Barnabas this side of the Gap? I've thoroughly enjoyed the discussions and the time with Barnabas, but.......why? What's with that book of yours?

She neatly snagged a small bunch of grapes from the main tray and popped one in her mouth as she awaited the response.


Alibi
posted 03-23-99


“The book.” Alibi replies, “is for Elryn.”

The slightest hint of a blush rises to Alibi’s cheeks as she glances sideways at Anne. Those who had come to know the friends well recognized this almost comical expression which seemed to pass easily between them, as well as infect those around them with a burst of jovial laughter, even if they had no idea of what the girls made reference to. This usually launched one of the two into an explanation of the circumstances surrounding ‘The Look’.

This time it was Alibi’s turn, so as the chuckling guests at the table quieted, Alibi explains,

“Elryn is our guild master. I have found myself, on more than one occasion, bumping into him, literally, whilst out and about.”

Anne rolls her eyes as she looks at Ali.

"And I'm SURE it was accidental, now wasn't it, dear?"

With a tiny, dramatic gasp and a look of pure innocence, Alibi responds, “Why of course it was! Anne.” she pauses, “would I do a thing like that?”

The look on Anne’s face was answer enough.

With another chuckle, Alibi quickly drops the innocent façade and continues,

“The priests of the parishes we’ve been to have been gracious enough to place several blessings within its bindings.”

Her voice takes on a more serious note as she adds, “I plan to give the chronicle to Elryn with the hopes of it providing protection should he ever need it.”

“We have had an adventure this time, have we not? I’m pleased that you agreed to join me, and that we’ve made Rue’s acquaintance.” Another smile flashes across Alibi’s face as she drains the last bit of ale from her mug.


Rue Veldrin
posted 03-24-99


She smiled at Alibi's expression when the one named Elryn came up. She had often seen that expression in her own eyes when, looking at a reflection piece, she thought of Rayne. Rayne, the sudden pang of homesickness caused her smile to dim slightly. She was gone so much, and he was so busy with the inner strife of his people, the Ro'Legh elven , that they found so little time to be together. She brought out the locket she wore around her neck and looked at the picture.

She sighed, wondering when she would lay eyes on him again. But still, she counted her fortunes. Even though she couldn't be in the arms of the one she loved, she had found two whom she would enjoy having a friends, if they allowed her to. Laughing happily at her good fortune, she burst out.

Well ladies, tell me. What does one do for adventure here?


Anne
posted 03-25-99


For adventure?

She looked honestly surprised at the question.

Well, in troubled times like these, adventure seems to find you. The Black Hand certainly keeps us busy these days--I don't think I've been home since the snows broke in the Gap last month. We've been running all over this side of the kingdom, eh, Ali?

Alibi's expressive face expressed her sentiments on the matter quite clearly.

I suppose that the adventure aound here is to be found on the road. One never knows who one will run into--and how it will turn out.

If you'd like, Rue, we'll be heading back to my home in the Dalraidic Gap on the morrow--we'd be more than happy if you would accompany us. Perhaps we could answer more of your questions if we have a frame of reference for them.


She turned to face the jovial maiden, realizing that she would indeed be glad of the company.


Rue Veldrin
posted 03-25-99


She heard nothing past Anne's friendly invitation.

She flashed a wide smile at Anne as she accepted.

I would like that very much Anne. I find that I am rather intrigued by this group of yours and would enjoy hearing more about them and your lands. I must first acquire a horse and fetch my things from the inn. Where shall we meet? And when?


Alibi
posted 03-25-99


Nodding another agreement with Anne, it suddenly dawned on Alibi how long they had been away from their lands. ’..we'll be heading back to my home in the Dalraidic Gap on the morrow..’ A welcome thought. Even more so as she realized that Rue would be joining them.

“We’ve a room upstairs.” Ali begins.

“As for a horse..” Anne thinks a moment.

“Ah, horse. If there’s a decent mount to be had, Anne will find it for you.” Alibi grins.

“Oh, a horse? Not a problem. You can take Strider, Rue, and I'll ride Amhran. He needs a reminder anyway,” answers Anne.

Alibi’s expression turns thoughtful as she considers their stores, “We should have plenty of supplies for the three of us.”

“Shall we break our fast together here in the morning before we start?” asks Anne.

“Mm, I’ll leave that up to the two of you.” Ali shrugs.

During their banter, Rue’s gaze moves back and forth from one to the other as they speak. Both Anne and Alibi suddenly fall silent. Their burst of conversation past, they look to Rue for comment.


Rue Veldrin
posted 03-25-99


She agrees to the plan and stands up from the table. Rushing back to the Inn, she ignores the innkeeper as he goes about pleading for her understanding. In her absence, he had given her room to some intimidating ruffian who had demanded it.

He is a vile man, m'lady, we had no choice. But he has left, you may have the room again.

She steps up to the man, holding her breath to avoid the foul odor emanating from the rotund man, hygiene obviously not being a priority with him.

You expect ME to sleep in the same quarters as that rude fool?!!

She throws her head back and laughs.

My dear MAN, I suggest you take a few lessons on the nature of beings. I would rather sleep outside in the stables than share the same air as such a creature! Your other room is fine; I will be leaving in the morning anyhow. Make sure no one disturbs me and please do have my money I had paid you in advance ready at my departure.

Dismissing the man, she made her way to her rooms. Removing the heavy garments, she stood solemnly. Her left arm reached out and traced a sharp line in the air, followed by a soft swirl traced by the right arm. Soon the swirls, whorls, angles, lines were hard to decipher as her hands moved to an unheard rhythm.

Slowly, the runes on her arms came alive, glowing as the magic completed its course. The sigil on her arms led out to unseen runes that ran down her legs. The magic vibrated within the elven maiden, until the purpose was achieved.

Much later . . .

She laid her head on the pillow, stretched out in a not uncomfortable bed, her eyes looking out solemnly into the opaque night. How she missed her home! A solitary tear caressed the fine cheekbone as her eyes closed in slumber, the whisper coming as a final caress into her ear.

Good job my child. The fire god lives in this realm too. You have made contact with a strong force, you will be of use.

Her answer was given in her dreams . . .

Yes m'Lord. Goodnight Father


FATHER! The old woman's voice rose before she could stop herself. Lowering it to a hush she continued You mean your Father sent you on some kind of . . .mission?

Rue nodded

Well ... yes .. I was sent to learn more of this place back then. I was to look for allies, a reconnaissance of sorts, if you would. But, it did not quite turn out that way. I made friends. I became embroiled in their battles; I watched their passions unfold. I met those whose names still send a shiver down my spine. I was in the presence of greatness wise one, many of which no longer grace these lands, if my findings so far prove correct.

Rue sipped from her tea once more then continued.

Regardless, I became a member of The Black Hand, and fought along some of the most fierce and noble warriors I've ever met. But they were not the only ones that graced those times with their legendary prowess, and some did not even follow the teachings of what my Father referred to as the Fire God.

Rue glanced off into the distance, her mind quieting as she paid silent tribute to those she feared may have long met their demise.

The old woman narrowed her eyes slightly and asked the barkeep to bring her a small barrel of ale. She had a feeling she would be here for a while. Like it or not, she felt herself getting drawn into a world that was no longer part of the present, but damn if she did not want to relive it all through this young girl's words.
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Fri May 16, 2008 12:25 pm

What sort of Father sends someone as young as yourself into unknown lands?

Rue smiled at the older woman's words. If only she knew, she thought to herself.

Well, wise one, I am the youngest daughter, and therefore not marked for greatness. I love being free, and this 'work' suits me. But, as I was saying, not everyone who left an imprint in the canvass of my mind was a Barnabas follower. There were some followers of Leto who were quite legendary, if only through their speeches. And of course there were those that were also quite vocal that wore the colours of the Goddess known as Angelique. As I've said, there were many 'legends' in those times, some of whom we will probably know no more of than what a handful of letters reveal.

Reaching into her satchel again, Rue's hand comes up with a small bundle of letters. Unfolding them one by one she shares the contents of them with the old woman.


To Snake Pit II
8/27/98

My dear sir,

Your name was given to me by one of my emissaries as he
scouted the land looking for those I would be interested in.
Aye, I know tis a strange thing to be looking for adventures
of the heart when the work of Angels is so harsh but I
do hold the hope in my heart that you accept my offer of
acquainting yourself with me.

In Angelique's name I nod,
Myst



From Lord Krait of Snake Pit II (10XXX)
8-27-98 9.34PM
My dearest Lady, I am very pleasantly surprised at the arrival of your missive. I have been
empty in my heart as of late and have hoped for a kindred spirit to talk to and learn with. It
seemed like a forlorn hope at best until your note arrived. Thank you for the lift to my spirit
that your wish provided.



My dear Lord Krait,

It is naught but the whimsy of fate that has brought us
together. I am sending you a token of my interest. My
emissary has instructions to ride like the wind to
assure it reaches you quickly.

Forever,
Myst
8/27/98



My dearest Lord Krait,

Do forgive the lapse in correspondence. I was embarked on
a campaign to avenge one of my allies. The invasion
was successful and my troops now rest. Know ye that as
the colour of darkness approaches, the mood of my soul
is somehow lighted by the thought of ye.

Yours,

Myst

Angel of the true Goddess
8/30/98



Them followers of Angelique, always did have a way with words didn't they?

Rue smiles and nods, carefully folding the letters once more and returning them to her satchel. The old woman and Rue take time to reflect upon the words of two strangers, each lost in their own thoughts.
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Fri May 16, 2008 5:08 pm

Rue breaks out of her reverie first.

There were many that had a way with words back then. I've not really explored much around these lands yet so I can't say much of what exists today, but back then there were so many signs of, what's the word . ..

She stops, sinking her chin to her chest as she searches her vocabulary. Snapping her fingers she looks up, extending her index finger towards the old woman.

Magnificence! That's the word I want. I sat at many a meeting listening to others much greater than I could ever dream of being, expound on the virtues of why they fought like they did, or why they harboured the thoughts that permeated every chamber of their minds. The very air they drew breath from was charged with the magnificence of who they were. I remember a speech I heard once given by a leader of a guild called Velkyn Velve. Let me see if I can recollect it exactly.

Searching far into her mind to recall word for word what she heard the day she heard the Fallen Angel speak, she begins.

“Look.”

“Look….look I say.”

“Look into my eyes.”

“I am your servant, and wish to be your guidance. I am pathetic upon sight but omnipotent through those that would have me so. I derive my wisdom through the acolytes of Him, who derive their wisdom through the guidance of me through Him. I hold no purpose upon this earth, and attachment to but a few. I live and breathe to fulfill one purpose, and to bring the prosperity so gifted unto you by the True One himself. Pride is not my own, and neither is dignity. What I have is bestowed upon my by Him, through you and yours.

I am but a servant raised to a high pedestal by those who would have my features admired and appreciated.

I am but a slave until I am made more. It is through this cycle that this guild and its partners grow and thrive. One building onto another, adding to his load but heightening his pride, his devotion, and his prosperity. An ever-revolving pyramid, one sect forming another and uplifting those who sag….that is what we are. Founded upon the truth we once sought in Him as question, now unconditionally believed as truth. The cornerstone long put aside, we adjust, we adapt, we go on. The past shall never be forgotten, but its hindrance required those who watch it to turn aside a new beginning. As the present continually drifts into the past’s ever widening vacuum, we find it more difficult to change, more difficult to follow Him as blindly as was in times no longer within our eager grasp. Still, our faith and gravity placed within Him remains un-abashed, and thus no reason presents itself to falter from your good will.”

“So look.”

“In all sincerity, look into my eyes.”

“If your insight matches that of your will than it should be evident as to my intent. Within these docile irises are the war-torn retinas of which one cannot duplicate. They have witnessed the slaughter of a thousand heathen children. They have been present at the execution of a hundred false nobles. They have even cringed at the death of their own predecessors, fallen by the ax of a goblin with no more class than the serfs upon which you sometimes haphazardly spit. No, no duplication can ever be reached, no reconciliation emulated to sufficiency. These eyes see into all now, and turn away no more. Nothing is as grimacing once the edge of innocence has been untimely ripped from its seems. No, this comes not from the holder of unblemished soul…it comes from the weathered attributed spirit of one who has been there too many times to accurately recollect.

And still, with all the injustice harbored, and all the failures recorded at length, I still find myself spitting. I spit not at the serfs which, seemingly so petty, place me into the throne which I shamefully bear in place of the True Lord, but at the harsh nipping wind of adversity. Its force overwhelming, its intensity unworthy of verbal expression, one would find it easy to give up. One would find it easy to fold, to slack, to look the other way. And yet, it has been my modest observation that one can find no other peace but to fight what oppresses him. One must fly against the wind, cutting it with its wings, desecrating it with its boisterous vocal chords. Not in the battlefield itself is contentment attained, but in the mere fact that you are serving….that you are refusing to take what is handed to you. It is found in fighting the impossible odds, and thus mirroring that of the True God himself. To sympathize is to become complacent. To act is to remain coherent and active in His eyes. That is, after all, that matters.

To spit is to actively refute the regulation pressed heavy against your breast. To spit is to lash out against those that would have quietly purified by their unworthy eyes.. To spit is to revolt, and to thus rise above those that would rather become complacent in times of expectation and not relaxation. Thus, if anything can be achieved at all in even the most hopeless of wars, then can at least make a small outreach to fulfill a monumental symbol. One can, simply put, spit into the wind of adversity. He asks nothing more if nothing more can be bestowed.

Look…into the eyes of a child. Does his faith match that of your own? Pure devotion laced with the hint of skepticism required to stay out of the wide fields of naiveté. Cry at the death of your people, but do not mourn. Not until the proper vindication has been achieved and the assurance on no repeat circumstance attained. Failure to do so leads to the failing of your mission and obligation to Him as one of His chosen.
No such fate is repairable. No such fate should ever come to pass. Avoid apathy like the diseased locust in the heat of summer, and nurture the allegiance of others like the child of a sovereign queen. Fight the honorable war, and disclaim those who would have you steer into decimation for the sake of it. Refuse the knowledge of the scoffable, and deny the allegiance of a fleeting lord, neither will bring you the longevity you so need to thrive as a daisy in a garden full of those no different initially like yourselves.
Make the difference.

Spit into the wind, for if your heart is true, it will not back into your face.

What’s more…..look….for the eyes of the True One are always passing, unwavering from a predestined goal. One more common than the tainted water we quench our own thirsts with.
One characterized by redemption, but unmasked as prosperity.

Thrive, and honor that of a child."

Stargaze
The Fallen Angel
~VV~(Always and Proud)


Rue stood and stretched. She looked down at the old woman intently, her eyes blazing.

Do you see now, wise one, how much I learned back then? And I have but begun to tell you of what I observed. Do you see how much there was to see, to learn, to live?

The old woman merely nodded.
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Tue May 27, 2008 1:59 pm

There were so many that were followers of Barnabas that showed nothing but fire and conviction in the way they carried themselves. This, the Fallen Angel, was but one of them. When I left these lands, his companion, a half-drow, showed just as much passion in her goals as he did. I recall the answer she gave when posed the question "Would you die for your God?"

Kyhera
6-04-99


The query you pose is a difficult one, riddled with many unseen variables.

I can't but answer for mine own self.

I am a child of Barnabas. I wholly believe in what he stands for, for the beliefs taught to me through him, and about him, parallel mine own.

I do him no good dead.

Yes, I would withdraw and regroup, if reason, through advisement from my generals, show me my current stand will prove fruitless.

I have heard it say that fear is for fools. I, however, believe that the fool is he who believes he has nothing to fear.

My fears are for the safety of my children, the reciprocation of feelings for the man I love, and the uncertainty that one-day my God will not emerge triumphant.

While I hold on to these fears, a fierce opposition to the realization of said fears will guide every blow I strike.

Never before have I displayed a guild banner with the pride and honor I hold for the Velkyn Velve

Never before have I held onto the love of a man as I do to that of the noble Stargaze.

More importantly, never before, have "I" had such a powerful incentive to maintain the strength of my keep as I do every time I look into the eyes of the two people I cherish most in this world, my children, Starr and Alban.

I fight for all these things, and for the people whose lives-through their trust in joining my cause by living out their existence within the walls of my keep-have been blindly placed upon my hands.

All these things are what mold me, and for all these things, I will continue to pray for perseverance in my fight to uphold them.

Until the day my Lord Barnabas himself decides my life MUST be forfeited to further his cause. For if it is HIS will, I shall comply.

These then are the beliefs I hold.

Kyhera D'Vlossuliss
~VV~
Veldri Velve D'Oloth


Kyhera D'Vlossuliss? I have heard that name lately. She too has recently returned to these lands. But I am afraid that the God Barnabas of whom she speaks is no more. And I've heard of no children in her household. Nor of a man of significance other than her right hand man.

Her children would be children no longer wise one, for it has been many years since I last laid eyes on the Lady Kyhera. I never actually met her, for her kind held themselves far removed from those around them. But her words ring in my mind to this very day. If only I was that sure of my beliefs
~§~ Rué ~§~
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It is what it is; it was what it was; but who I am is not
who I used to be
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Tue May 27, 2008 2:40 pm

Rue tips her teapot and notices it has run dry. Where has the hour gone? Calling for a refill, she sits back and continues.

In those days, public displays of . . . honour, for lack of a better word, were a common thing. I am reminded of a time where yet another AGM of the Velkyn Velve lashed out in public and the reaction that ensued.

Murchad
06-21-99


He flared his nostrils to keep from smiling. That would not do at all. Where had he lost the player's flair, the mask of face and voice? Or was the irony simply too great to withhold from emotion?

He gazed out upon the mass of aristocracy, the blaring gaudy colors, assembled on the hot and humid summer's day... fanning and drinking cold tea in the shadowed and breeze-blown hall of the Assembly.

"And so... we progress to the calling. We hear of aggression upon the northern plain, yet none within the heart of the kingdom's court. Has anyone..." the speaker, a venerable man of the red cloth, turned his head and with it the corners of his lips, and gazed at the seats at the base of the dias.." .. has anyone a kanly to declare?"

"Kanly!?" A young man surged to his feet, throwing off the hands of a courtier. "Treachery! Backstabbing thiever-- I will not.." his voice grew muffled as his compatriots drew him back from the public eye.. and mumblings.. chuckles and mmmmmmmm's of amusement rippled across the bowl of mortality like waves of wind in a sea of grass. The speaker cleared his throat pointedly and cocked his head expectantly...

"No bond."

Heads turned, brows raised, ears listened.

Murchad drew a breath and rose.

"No bond, no vow, no war of blood. Just battle." His lips curled as he pronounced the word.

He pointed at the livid young man across the stadium, glove gripping his half-fisted hand.

"Treachery? Back.. stabbing? I... am.. troubled, to know that such accusations are leveled by one of the Lady's faith against those of their own ilk."

He brushed his cloak aside and unfurled a wrapped parchment, smiling to the side like a doddering old man. His voice was in full form, and there stood not knight, not assassin, not victor or warrior or thief.. not priest or barbarian... but comedy... the comedy of an aging orator, taking pleasure in the absurdity of the forms, through the rough and angular face of windowless man.

"I entrust to you my assurance that the great and honorable lords of this alliance knew of no such war when we sought to liberate the heathen man from ignorance. Were we aware, perhaps, circumstances might have been different. We will endeavor to send representatives on a more regular.... basis... .... The Tyranicida."

The masses rumbled, and shifted their gaze, pondering the turn of the speech. Murchad rolled the scroll further and continued.

"We, in order to bring the justice of heaven to the unbelieving, did indeed set the wrong and the wicked to flame and to sword. That they were engaged with other barbarians is of no concern to us. We pray that their souls will be saved if their lives must be taken... .. ... The.. Azure Coven."

Again the ripples, accompanied by the rumbling of the speakers throat. The scroll wisped...

"There is no politics to define divine right. All we can offer you is the chance to surrender both your resistance and your profane lack of faith. You prior military engagements are of no concern to us.. war... is .. war."

He began to roll the parchment closed as he finished the quote..

"Deus.. Ex... Machina."

The scroll pattered against the floor, tossed to the side.

"You, by your assessment of the just, by your accusations upon this Barnabas triand of the assembly... accuse these men.. these fine and honorable leaders, these staples of the .. the Church of Order... you condemn them as bastards.. and scavengers... and brigands. Do you wish to sink that low? For if that is your opinion of your allies, I do not wish to hear the esteem you might hold for me."

Murchad glanced at the speaker.

"There is no kanly in the northlands, none that I am able to report. Fighting is... as always... the unfortunate conduit of war. If the representatives of the ..." he cocked his head to the side as a small, bald man whispered behind a hand... "The Vorpal Templar Alliance.. wish to extend any requests for peace or.. petitions to the lords of that region to which they share, I most humbly submit that my messengers are at your service."

He flourished his hand in a slight and barely visible bow, and nodded to the speaker to continue.



NOW, he sounds like trouble! The old woman interrupted, her eyes lighting up with excitement.

Rue smiled at the exuberance of the wise one and continued.

Gingis
06-22-99


:::A lone man appears before the crowd. Tired and weak he makes his way to the stage and stand before Murchad.:::

"How dare you. You.... You have the audacity to talk of peace as your armies storm the lands of my great alliance with your brethren from the Cult of the Viper. You, you bring everyone here to draw attention away from the battle. You, you demand representation from my alliance while your armies storm my fellow kingdoms. How dare you sir."

:::Seeing the mixed emotions in the man before him, Gingis sits down on the ground and sighs.:::

"With guidance from my leader, known only as the The Redhead, I have tried to instill a code of war, a code of conduct during war so to speak. A common courtesy that we extended to others. The courtesy that we would not both those kingdoms engaged in war. You, you say you care not of our current strifes or our status before your attacks."

:::Gingis rises back to his feet and turns to face Murchad.:::

"No more. No more will we cling to values that you, you yourself sir, have all but denounced on many occasions. No longer will be concern ourselves with battles of other guilds. No longer will we value playability over nobility. If no others share our sense of honor, nor extend us that courtesy we've shown others, then there is no longer a need."

:::He turns to the crowd:::

"You scream honor? You cry for justice? You plead for vengeance? But you yourselves know nothing of it! You long for fairness but know nothing of its meaning. You have yet to see treachery. You have yet to see the underside of evil. Until know, I never thought I would live to see it. But you have all started down a one-way path that leads to this unspeakable evil."

:::Turns back to Murchad:::

"You sir, no matter who you represent, are not the man for this job. You want an agreement? You get your leader and send him to me and return to the trough you call a kingdom for you, you sir I will not speak."

:::Ignoring the uproar of the crowd, Gingis quietly sits back down and awaits the arrival his attackers leader.:::


Murchad
06-22-99


There again.. damn them, he thought. There again the nostrils flared, his cheeks hollowed, eyes twinkling. Was this a potent wine to make him giddy, that he could barely withold the snicker of amusement?

"So it seems ... " He glanced down at the legnth of his cloak. ".. and so it seems there are those .. displeased by the day's events. And though I do not know them by name or rank, a failing of mine and no other I admit, I know well enough they speak from the heart... but.. not.. for the guild."

He leveled his gaze at Gingis, smugly and quite disdainfully.

"Certainly, it would be the height of presumptuous if so oft-spoken a guild were to send to this assembly naught but an aging chamberlain and his aging sensibilities. How.. embarassing.. might that be."

With a purse of his lips and a light shrug of his brows, Murchad blinked and rubbed his hands together slowly, leather upon leather.

"I like to think we, we the aristrocracy, never fall to such a fate that we condemn our brothers in anger at the coming dawn.. that we never forsake our allies to howl at the rising moon. Yet if I came here today prepared in my capacity to address the concerns of the region, I was most quickly taken aback by the .." rolling the 'r' eloquently.. "r-r-r-r-ruthless judgment of character made here in this room."

"To insult the law is to insult the lawmaker. And what has been done here, but a mere following of political precedent? Did I not, just a few moments ago, recite for you all quite clearly the statements by three of our most venerable guilds to this very assembly.. during time of war?"

He narrowed his brow incredulously.

"Would quivering chancellors and chamber-pot-washers dare to so thoroughly insult the honor, the virtue.. the political motives of the guilds of their own faith? For if you take issue to the following of the precedent... do you not take issue first and foremost with those who.. set .. the precedent?"

He placed his hand upon his waist and postured in a ridiculous fashion, immitating an orator.. and a bad one at that.

"Now.. .. now, here, now... things change. Wronged are we, burned for our good will by a world of evil. Never again.."

He flutters his hand in a simple and final dismissal.

"Frankly, my lords, I find such men as Alias .. and Goldwyvern.. to be intriguing and extrodinary men, and I remember days of glory attributed to the fine Azure Coven name... and I will not.." again the finger stabs involuntarily at Gingis.. "I will not have their reputations muddied by bitterness and regret. If anyone has proof that their policies, policies of aggression and political reprisal, are dishonorable and unfit to be used by the other members of this nobility then I would hear your case here now... in a civil tongue... or not at all."

A low chuckle spread out through the assembly, notably absent in volume from the collection of proper and attentive Angelican supporters.

"Let us not cast stones at the merchant while we praise our thieving brother.. lest .. we .. become hypocrite." He paused, questioningly... and glanced at the speaker.

"Do we.. wait yet, still, for word from a recognized voice? Shall we abide awhile and hear more from unknown faces? Or have we... " he spread his hands and glanced around at the nobles of his kind... "trifled enough upon this cool and comfortable day?"

The comment was greeted with humorous smiles, as men and women, adorned in their stately dress, fanned away the perspiration and stared expectantly at the old man's quarter.

Gingis
06-22-99


:::Gives a long sigh and leans back. He removes his head from his hands and glances up.:::

"My words were not directed toward my brethren. I made generalizations not accusations. And you sir, you still have not honored my one and only request. Find me the one I seek or I am gone. Your snide remarks and inept contempt for yourself sickens me. I am not bitter, nor regretful. It is the plain fact that I do not care for the likes of you nor do I enjoy being on stage here with you. I have matters to attend to and be here only hampers them."

:::Tilts his head back, closing his eyes, he gives out another long sigh.:::


Murchad
6-22-99


His head cocked to the side, like a raven, listening and regarding the man carefully. With an overdrawn breath his voice began ominously, incredulously..

"Who is this man.. who makes requests and demands upon his betters without even the barest notion of his name?"

His hand rose to his ear, brushing the lobe as if to signal his attentiveness.

"Surely not simply a messenger.. surely such audacity could only be attributed to a guildmaster to demand such attentions. Who could he be.. to even warrant mine?"

The brows raised, eyes dancing merrily and expectantly.


Gingis
06-22-99[/bp

"I am Gingis, the only AGM of VTA. Until the Redhead's return, I am the guild master. And your further contempt sickens me Murchad. My patience is wearing thin."

:::Crosses his arms and stares off into the assembly:::


[b]Murchad
06-22-99


He smiled politely, with a feline air.

"Gingis. Of course. What drama we are yet capable of. ... Like you I am here to discuss the aggressions to the north, and like you, here in this assembly, I represent the interests of the many. If you have more to add to this discussion.. then speak... or let it die.. .. as die your heathens upon the blade... "

He added the last in a soft and barely audible tone, gently easing back down to his seat to resume the grasp of his freshly-filled cup.


Gingis
06-22-99


:::Gingis slowly rises, slightly streching in the process.:::

"Then die it shall. I grow tired being mocked and your smug disposition. Good day sir. I do not look forward to meeting you again."

:::After straightening his attire he walks out of the assembly.:::


And that was it?

Rue nodded.

I am afraid so, there were very few back then that could match wits with any of the Velkyn Velve. Their propensity for grandiosity, contempt, arrogance, not to mention fierceness, was unequaled.

If these 3 you've mentioned are any indication, they sound like a stuffy, pompous lot to me

The old woman shrugged as she drained her tankard in one swallow.
~§~ Rué ~§~
Trouble's Favourite Vixen
It is what it is; it was what it was; but who I am is not
who I used to be
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Wulfric » Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:26 am

He smiled as he listened to the women exchange conversations back and forth, one more than the other; it seemed she was a bit reminiscent, and the other was more than happy to oblige in listening.

The darkened corner that he sat in more than suited his whims and needs, it had been some time since he last traveled the lands, and he knew not when he would make a full return, if ever. Yet he found himself returning now and then, if nothing else than to see the fair of the land.

As his keen ears continued to listen to the stories, he was reminded more and more of times gone bye, some that were pleasant, others, a monstrousity, even to himself.

He smiled as he remembered the wars he held with old friends like TBL and SA, and grimaced at the memory of the worst war he had ever had, one of the few to ever make him take his true form for the entire war and cause utter destruction.

Still, one usually never realizes the utter joy in life until surrounded by destruction, death, and the cries of those maimed. And still that seems to be the path of the world, some things never really do change, no matter the outcry for anything else.

Cheers

He grinned, raising his glass to himself, his dark eyes bleeding to crimson red.

To the glory of life, in times that never seem to be more than death and destruction...
One, Two, Three, who should I kill...
A lifetime in darkness is nothing to fear, tis an eternity in hell ye must be ever conscious of.
Pick a name and stand in line. Your wait's gonna be bout 3 years, hope you brought some dessert
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby _Nagash_ » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:37 am

Listening to the women's exchange of memories, Nagash found himself slipping into a melancholic mood. So much had happened. Staring at nothing in particular, his own mind drifted from memory to memory. He shook himself back to today's reality and smiled before taking up his bag and approached them.

" Hello ladies! I could not help but overhear your memories of yesteryear. Mind if I join you? "

Not awaiting an answer, he chose an empty chair and took a bottle of red wine from his bag.

" Ah, much better. Help yourselves if you want some. "

He poured himself a glass, took a sip and leaned back.

" The name's Nagash. As I was listening to your stories, I could not help but find my thoughts drifting away on a trip down memory lane. And since you've - probably unknowingly - shared so much with me, I thought I'd share some memories with you..... for all we could have done and all that could have been... "

He paused and sighed and for a while it seemed that he would allow his mind to wander again, but suddenly he smiled boyishly at the youngest of the women and winked at the older one.

" You know, back in the day I formed a guild with a few good friends of mine. Here is how our story began.... "


~~~***~~~


Suddenly one of their floats disappeared from the surface, creating small circles in the water.
" Something's nibbling on your rod! "
- " Oh..if only there was... "
" That's not what I meant! Wheel in your tackle, Porckie! "

A Jubilant atmosphere arose from the group, they were to catch something edible for sure now! Nagash and Hektor were starting to dance, extending both their arms above their heads and moving their knees frequently, While Porckie was trying to get the fish to land, DarkWolf remained quiet, for a man his age even holding up his fishing rod was hard enough...
"It's coming! "

All eyes turned expectantly towards the ditch, where Porckie's green float had surfaced once again. Slowly something appeared from the water, something inexplicably wet, it was a hairy boot.
"Oh crap..another one? "
They all sighed, as Porckie threw the boot over his shoulder on a pile of equally diluted footwear...

" We've had nothing but shoes all week! If this keeps up we'll starve soon! ", Porckie said, slapping the palm of his hand against his forehead.
" Hmmpff..He won't, he keeps eating our bait! ", Hektor grunted, pointing an accusing finger towards DarkWolf.
DarkWolf ignored the comments of his fellow-fisherman and gobbled down another maggot...
" People have been eating to many fish, soon there will be nothing left! "
- " I bet it's those Dardenites! They always smell so fishy. "
" You're right! They've been eating all our fish! We must fight them so *we* can eat the fish! "
-" Won't that make us hypocrites? "
" Of course not! ", Porckie said, after pricking Nagash in the armpit with his fishing rod.

And so they formed a quite angry mob, armed with fishing rods and an ever-shrinking amount of worms. Porckie led the way and soon they came upon a small market-stall. Behind this stall, filled with fish, was a small yellow-skinned individual with very small eyes...
" Who are you, yellow gnome? ", Hektor inquired, holding his net high in the air.
- " Sushi sil? ", the man asked.

Hektor's eyes widened and he gestured the men to come close...
" He says his name is Susi! ", he whispered.
-" A trans-sexual one! This one must be a Dardenite! "
Porckie strolled towards the fish-seller...
" Do you like Darden? "
-" Dalden? Si Sil! Gleat ploffet! Gleeeaat ploffet! "

With that, Porckie grasped his fishing rod with both his hands and swayed it from side to side, before bringing it down on the slit-eyed man's neck. The Barnabite's head tumbled off it's neck and landed in the high grass. The now lifeless body dropped to the surface. Blood was leaking on the ground they stood on, which didn’t matter as they were wearing yellow waterproof jack-boots. As soon as the man's tapeworms noted the abundance of their main food supplier, the head, they took a run for their money as well and crawled out...
" Quick grab those worms! They'll serve as bait! "
With before unseen speed and ability, DarkWolf jumped at the worms, who no longer existed after 3 more seconds...

Porckie towered out above the yellow gnome's torso and held his rod above his head...
" This is just the beginning! More Dardenites will follow his example, they to will be struck down by the Almighty Fishingrod! Together we will see to it that no orange-bannered bastage will ever stand out to sea again! Along the way some of you may fail, know that you had a good cause! Our numbers will multiply as their numbers diminish! We will show these ignorant fools what a rod can do! "
With that, the group cheered, holding their fishing-gear in the air.

Still, a god had to be chosen. Susi the Dardenite had been slain in the birth of OAFS. Surely Darden, the bloke with the Bowl, the Orange Ornament, or just the bastard wouldn't be the one leading them to victory. Darden was one of the weaker faiths. And OAFS was among the strong.

Then there was Foret. Foret did have loyal and strong followers. But Foretites weren't trustworthy. Time after time the OAFS were betrayed by Foretites: broken alliances, false trades, and worst of all some Forets had petted Nagash's trout first, only to gain it's trust and gut it afterward, making fish-soup. No! This could never be their home!!
Plus, he was ugly!!

Isonia then, beautiful Isonia. Porckie and Nagash often wondered if she would look like she was depicted in 'Isonia Uncovered'. They could murmur about this very subject for hours and hours. Plus, she yielded a battle-axe. If needed she would jump in, swinging her axe and wiggling her bottom, to come to the rescue of her loyal servants!! Yes, Isonia was the solution to all their problems, as well as the cause of funny feelings in their tummies and most unusual dreams they had begotten every now and then……..

~~ A FEW DAYS LATURRR ~~

The four of them stood inside their temple. Statues were to be seen of their newfound goddess, Isonia, in the nude. Hektor's sculpturers had worked had and followed the exact instructions as stated in their favourite magazine 'Isonia Uncovered'. In the middle of the temple lay 'the Rod', on a red altar. This had been the Rod, used by Porckie to slay the first of their victims. Stepping forward, they saluted the holy object and placed their right hand on their heart, except for DarkWolf who lost his ages ago. Then they started to sing their anthem:

As we sit here on our boat,
we can't help to gloat:
Anal pleasure,
beyond measure.
This may sound lewd, but alas:
Fish just gives us gas.

Like the thingie of a god:
The Almighty Fishing Rod!

Beheading a Dardenite
While singing this plight
Out of his bum,
Supplies will come.
We beg you, don't get irate:
tape-worms are our bait.

Like the thingie of a god:
The Almighty Fishing Rod!

Unaware of it's great might
We'll proof you not right
Pain as our goal,
We clog your hole
Now please don't render us ill:
We meant your nostril.

Like the thingie of a god:
The Almighty Fishing Rod!

Glory to the Rod and fun
Praise the purple one
Our bra-less Saint,
making us faint!
Looking back to all we've said:
You were right, we're mad.

Like the thingie of a god:
The Almighty Fishing Rod! "



~~~***~~~



As he had stood up and sang the song quite loudly, all those around him were looking at Nagash. Some cast angry glances, others chuckled. He sat down again, with a boyish grin.

" Alas, since that day many things have happened. No one knows where Porckie and the others are, and our beloved Isonia has been cast out of the heavens now... But forgive me my manners! The bottle of wine is empty. "

He took another bottle from his bag and put it on the table, leaning back in his chair and nodding at the ladies.

" I still have a fair stock of yellow jackboots from that time, so just let me know if you need any. "
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:36 am

Rue laughed as Nagash finished his story.

I do not know of Isonia m'Lord, but that is one of the most colourful stories I have heard in a long time!

The old woman nodded her head in agreement.

Rue continued. I don't know if I have one as amusing as yours but I do recall an incident where some members of the Romay Reii set about to steal an artifact from followers of Leto, known as ISA. Only thing is, matters did not quite turned out as they expected.

Shifty
01-19-99

Shifty suddenly remembered where he had been heading before Kyhera decided to 'drop in' on him, and it was urgent business.

He had a score to settle and the opportunity was finally presenting itself in the form of a treasure. A relic really, an ancient holy symbol of Leto, an item of great importance to the Letite church.

The rumor was that it was in the hands of an agent from ISA, the guild responsible for the downfall of the Romany Reii due their spy.

Shifty took a deep breath, the air suddenly smelled sweeter, his step felt a bit lighter. The promise of revenge always had that effect on him; he was Drow after all. Only a few of his friends knew him well enough to understand his dark, scheming side. He had one. He is Drow, it is in his blood, and soon he would turn this side loose. It was a constant struggle for Shifty to not allow the darkness to emerge very often, and when he did it was an even tougher fight to return from it's grasp. The freedom he felt when he finally gave into these urges, as though great weight was lifted from his shoulders when he was lurking in the shadows with no moral code binding his actions.


The Trolls Torch tavern loomed in front of him, and he entered without pause. It was not a place where you would see your schoolmaster, even the city guard was afraid to enter. He walked deliberately to a curtained table in the rear of the building. As he walked he took note of the patrons, not one of them was without a scar, an eye patch, a wooden leg, hook for a hand or some sign of battle. Neither were there any unarmed men in this bar. Even the serving wench carried a wicked looking dagger on her belt. Shifty mentally marked exit routes, inventoried his weapons and loosened his sword in its scabbard. Even these scoundrels would think twice before they attacked a Drow, but Shifty was always prepared just in case. Having reached the curtained booth he nodded to the guards, an extra ugly half ogre leaning on a huge spiked maul and a wiry man with a bandoleer filled with daggers. The half ogre gave Shifty a toothless grin as he pulled the curtain aside for him.

On the other side of the curtain sat a fat halfling, a beautiful human woman on one side and an even prettier elf female on the other. Pecklar was his name and Shifty had dealt with him often enough in the past to keep one eye on him at all times. He may be fat, at about 3' tall and at least 165 lbs., but his hands were still quite nimble. His hands were occupied now however, it would seem that Shifty had interrupted his mid-morning snack and Pecklars face was covered with grease from the giant turkey leg he held in his right hand and the haunch of beef in the other. The table was cluttered with an absurd amount of food and ale

"Shrifteee" he sputtered, food flying from his mouth. "Ith's been quite a while sinsh you shtopped by." His speech got clearer when he stopped to swallow.

"Living large as usual I see" Shifty answered.

"Even larger after your visits, friend" he replied with a laugh. It was no secret that he paid well for his information, he paid extra to keep his inquiries a secret too. "What can I help you with today?"

Shifty nodded toward the women and Pecklar snapped his fingers. They got up quickly and left, winking at Shifty on the way out.

"I heard a rumor, a Letite artifact in the charge of ISA is in this city. I want to know where."

Pecklars face turned serious.

"You know my fee."

"And I have always paid it, after I get the information."

Pecklar could not argue, Shifty had always paid promptly and more than he asked.

"Very good, come back tomorrow night, I will have you information then."

"See that you do." Shifty stated flatly as he walked out….


Alucard
01-19-99

Alucard was a regular at the Trolls Torch tavern. He was there that evening for a drink, celebrating the recent victory ISA had won over RR.

Alucard noticed at once when Shifty entered the tavern. For he knew that Shifty was not only an AGM of RR, but it's hard to miss a drow.

'Hmmm' thought Alucard to himself 'What business whould Shifty had around here?'

Alucard knew that unlike most drow, Shifty tried his best not to let his dark side overwhlem him, but Alucard could tell by Shifty's eyes that he was up to no good.

Alucard's suspison rose when Shifty entered the booth of Peckler.

'Hmmmm, why would he want to talk to Peckler?' Of course Alucard knew the answer to this question. 'He's up to something. Whatever it is, it's no good'

Alucard tried to focus his acute vampire hearing to the conversation some 30 feet away. But it was no good. His half Vampire ears were simply not good enough.

Alucard quickly averted his gaze as Shifty walked out, he did not want the drow to know he was aware of his presence.

Alucard slowly walked over to the curtained booth. Peckler sat there, enjoying his female companions. He looked up as Alucard entered the booth.

"Ahh" said Peckler "Alucard, what business to YOU have here?" Alucard went straight to the point. "What were you and Shifty discussing Peckler?" "Business child of Chaos, business"

"What sort of business?" asked Alucard

Pecklers face suddenly became very stern.

"Private business, Letite"

"This woudln't have anything thing to do with the Letitie artifact currently in the city, would it?"

Alucard could tell that Peckler had become upset. "I am NOT here to be interogated by the likes of YOU" sputtered Peckler.

Alucard could plainly tell that Peckler was getting awfully upset. He didn't want any trouble.

"Sorry for disturbing you, i'll be leaving now"

"You do that" murmered Peckler.

Alucard left the booth and made his way to the door

'Something is amiss' thought Alucard.

With that, Alucard left the tavern, and made his way to the ISA Guild Hall.


Shifty
01-19-99

As Shifty left the bar the hair on the back of his neck started to rise.

Someone was watching him.

"What do you expect Shift," he thought to himself. "You ARE walking out of a room full of thugs."

But he was not convinced. He felt eyes follow him right out the door. Somebody was definitely a little more interested in him than a drunken cutpurse would be. He left the bar casually and walked down the street never looking back. After he was sure he was not being followed he darted down an alley. He climbed a set of stairs then scaled a short section of wall and came out on the roof of a building. The rooftop to rooftop he made his way back to the Trolls Torch. Finally he settled down on his haunches across the street from the bar and waited. A light breeze blew through his hair and Shifty felt exhilarated, alive! It was dark now and none of the decent folk were anywhere near this end of town, it would be tough to pick out the person who was watching him now. It could have been any of the scum from that place. Backing into the shadows he mentally prepared himself for a long wait.

Then a pale figure emerged from the door. He looked up and down the street then started walking toward the center of town. A spark of recognition lit Shifty's eyes as the figure moved away. His infravision revealed much to him; the figure was not quite a warm as most living beings were. Where a deep red would normally be it was merely and orange. And where a dull yellow would show, along the hands and feet, it was a bluish color, almost invisible. Suddenly the figure spun and looked behind him, Shifty held his breath. He did not spot him though, but now Shifty had seen his face and his hand involuntarily went to his sword.

Alucard.

"Things are getting complicated," he mused. I think I'll follow this Letite."

Shifty waited for Alucard to get a block away before he started to follow him...


Alucard
01-19-99

Alucard continued to walk towards his Guild Hall, however, he had a sensation that he was being watch. He quickly spun around...but could see no one following him. Quickening his pace, ever so slightly, Alucard continued to make his way towards the ISA Guild Hall in town.

He was 2 blocks from his destination when whomever was following him made a fatal error..

*CRASH* a large piece of stone had fallen off a roof top and landed on the ground, some 40 yards from Alucard. Alucard quickly looked at the rooftop. He saw the shadowy figure quickly dodge out of his view.

'Hmph, so I am being followed' though Alucard.

He was going to have to be careful now. Whomever it was that was following him, he couldn't lead it back to his own Guild Hall.

'What am I going to do?'

Alucard saw an Inn nearby called the "Lions Head" Alucard walked inside the INN.

He walked to the clerk,

"Do you have any vacancies?" inquired Alucard

"Plenty" said the clerk.

"I'll take one room for the night" With that Alucard handed the clerk his money, and headed up to his room.

Once inside Alucard became slightly worried

'Who is following me? What do they want?'

Alucard did not like the idea of being stuck in a room till dawn. For it was far to dark to sleep.

Suddenly Alucard had an idea. He slowly went into a deep thought and began to concentrate. His body became slowly more transparent and air-like. Alucard began to transform into a dark mist. He slowly begins to flow out of the window and onto the street. Now that he is mixed in with the fog on the street, he is impossible to see. Alucard is only able to make it a few blocks before he must transform back.

Alucard huddles up in a dark ally, shivering.

As a mist, his body gives off no heat, and his body temprature quickly drops.

'I'll just stay here for an hour or two, so whomever was following me gives up the search'


Shifty
01-20-99

From roof to roof Shifty followed Alucard, forcing himself more than once to put his hand crossbow away. One hit with a poisoned bolt from that bow is deadly even to vampires. But he had other plans for this heathen; he would lead him right to the nest of Letite cockroaches.

Alucard had not looked back since he left the Trolls Torch tavern, so Shifty relaxed his guard slightly. As he leapt to one particular rooftop he spotted a rather buxom brunette out of the corner of his eye. He stopped for a moment to take a better look at her bulging breasts. He leaned over the edge, from this perspective he could almost see....

CRASH!!

A chunk of stone cracked off of the ledge where he was balancing himself. He recovered quickly and slipped into the shadows but it was clearly too late. The heathen looked right at him, stood staring in his direction for a moment then started walking in the same direction he had been heading before. The, suddenly he doubled back and went into an inn.

"Damnit," Shifty thought. "Always a friggin woman who screws me up."

Alucard was obviously not heading to this in before he was spotted.

Shifty waited outside the inn, on a rooftop across the street. He had every intention of waiting the whole night when an idea occurred to him.

"What would I do in that situation?" he mused. "Check in, wait an hour or so then exit out the back way."

Shifty decided to move further down the street in the direction that Alucard was heading and wait there. He stopped about two blocks down, pulled his cloak tighter around him and settled in for a long night when another idea occurred to him. He sent out a telepathic summons to any Romany Reii who might be in the area. It was vital that this heathen was watched closely.

The wind picked up slightly and the cold air made Shifty shiver suddenly. He moved closer to a chimney and pressed himself against it.

It would be a long night...


Q
01-20-99

The moon was getting far too low in the sky, and the young half-elf paced the board-room more and more quickly each pass.

Ever since the combined weight of both Angelique and Leto had massed upon Barnabas' chosen, Q had been in contact with the other Nobles of the Blood God .. and he pondered over the fact now.

'Not to say, of course, that I was unreachable before, mind you .. merely that my visits and messages to the others had stepped up in quantity as of late. Alright, alright .. fine .. so I've been running ragged trying to keep up with everything that has been going on. Meetings with my Board of Directors here ... Guild meetings there ... geez I can only be in one place at a ti-' struggling, he forced his thoughts back onto the task at hand.

"Shifty, Shifty, Shifty .. demmit man ... I aint gunna wait up all night fer' a message from yah', I need sleep .. n' I've got plans tomorrah'." Throwing apart the elegant curtains, Quentin stared out at the countryside before him.

He knew that spending time with fellow Barnites had been good for him these passed few weeks, taking his mind off this and that .. enjoying himself .. but why in the world did he always seem drawn to the Drow? He knew they were nearly untrustworthy at best .. his dealings back in Neverwinter had shown him that .. but he still seemed to get mixed up with them. Perhaps the love of danger, he thought .. no .. worse .. sadly, Q could admit that he enjoyed their company on occasion.

Well now he was again cought up in another of their shifty schemes.

He chuckled. Shifty schemes .. how utterly appropriate.

Now he spent his night pacing here, probably running a tear in his new carpet he purchased .. for what? Well .. some stupid Letite toy.

He went over the discussion he had with Shifty *again* in his clouded mind.

'Blah blah blah .. I'm going to talk to my .. _contacts_ .. blah blah ...', surely Shifty mentioned that .. yes, he recalled as much. Hmm .. what else. '..blah blah .. Artifact .. blah .. blah-blah .. I'll get word to you when my night is through.'

"Aha! So he did mention it .. and I aint standin' here for m'own health .."

Sunlight peeked into the board-room from the open window.

"Demmit! .. thatz it, I'm goin' ta' bed .. he'll hafta' appologize fer' this when he *finally* contacts me .. demmit, demmit."

With a nod to no one in particular, Q shifted his weight and rushed headlong out of the room .. sleep the only thing left on his mind .. well, that .. and that poor carpet.


Alucard
01-20-99

Alucard woke with a start.

'Damn, I only meant to wait a couple of hours, seems I feel asleep. Well I guess whomever was following me stopped by now, but I better make sure'

Alucard climbed up to the roof a nearby building and quickly glanced at all the surronding roof tops.

'Well, I don't see anyone, I guess they left'

Alucard hopped down to the street.

'I had better not travel on foot, just to be safe' With that Alucard transformed inot a rather large bat and slowly, and carefully, began to make his way back to his Guild Hall.


Kyhera
01-21-99

I felt the faintest of tugs as a telepathic summons entered my mind. Closing my eyes, I focused in on the source.

"Shifty?"

I turned back from where I was walking, dodging into an alleyway. Looking about I cast a levitation spell, allowing me to escalate alongside one of the walls around me.

Looking down, I spotted him, pressed against a chimney. Without further hesitation, I cast my next step.

"What?!" Shifty looked at me ready to draw his dagger.

"Dammit Ky, must you always be so unconventional in your appearances?"

I quirked an eyebrow at him.

"By the sound of your summons, I thought I detected some urgency and decided to come cloaked. But apparently you have things in hand." I retorted, shrugged, and turned to walk away.

"No wait," I felt his hand on my shoulder as he called me back, stopping my me in my tracks.


Shifty
01-21-99

Shifty quickly related the story to Kyhera, telling her of the artifact and ISA's involvement. He ended with a description of Alucard and his sudden turn into the inn a few blocks away.

"Ahhh," Ky started "It would be sweet to steal a prize like this from the likes of ISA. What would you have me do?"

"Move a few more blocks down and cross the street. Keep an eye out for Alucard, he is easily recognized with infravision, his body is much cooler than normal humans," he instructed.

Kyhera did not reply, she merely winked and popped from view. A moment later Shifty spotted her across the street leaping from roof to roof.

"Where is the rest of the Romany Reii?" Shifty wondered.

He needed thier help in this quest.


Alucard
01-21-99

Alucard still slowly made his way through the streets. Finaly he arrived a few blocks from his destination, the ISA Guild Hall.

He transformed back into his original shape and walked the rest of the way.

"What the....?!?!?!?!" Alucard stood in shock. The Guild Hall was deserted. There was not a soul inside.

'SHIT, what's going on?'

Alucard had an uneasy premonition...and began to head for the Leto Temple on the other side of town.


Shifty
01-22-99

Kyhera was more than a little surprised when a large bat flew down the street, stopped and hovered in front of a building about a half a block away from her position. It looked as though the bat were actually studying the building for a moment, then...

*POOF*

A cloud of smoke enveloped the bat. When the smoke cleared Alucard was standing in the street.

"That explains why he looks so different in the ifra-red spectrum," she mused. "He is a vampire!"

Shifty was contacted telepathically by Kyhera, directing him to her location. Alucard entered the building a few moments before Shifty arrived and was on his way back out almost immediately. At this point the sun was just starting to rise and weariness was beginning to set in.

Quaffing a regenerative potion Shifty turned to Kyhera.

"Can you follow him Ky," he asked. "I was supposed to meet with Q last night, but as you can see our meeting has been somewhat delayed. We could use his help on this matter."

"I can," she replied with a wink. "Do you have anymore of those elixirs left?"

Shifty handed Kyhera one of the vials and glanced back down at the street. Alucard was already a couple of blocks away and moving fast.

"I had better go," Ky said after she quickly downed the elixir. "I will contact you if anything unusual happens."

Barely making a sound Kyhera leapt over an alley to the next rooftop and moved to pursue Alucard. Shifty stood and watched her graceful, cat-like movements and admired her curves. A shiver ran down his spine, he shook it off and swung himself over the opposite side of the building. He quickly scaled the wall using a drainpipe to speed his descent and headed for the inn that Quentin was staying at.

:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+:+

Shifty arrived at the inn a half-hour later and raced up to Q's room. He knocked on the door several times with no answer. Finally just as he was about to kick the door in he felt a tap on his shoulder. He spun around quickly while ducking and drawing a dagger. He came up fast looking to parry whatever blows were about to come raining down on him, only to see Quentins grinning face staring down at him in an amused fashion.

"Impressive!" he Q commented teasingly. "If I were a boogie-man I would run away!"

"Wonderful," Shifty relied with a smirk. "I thought you were in trouble. I was knocking on your door for five minutes."

"Well, I was waiting for you in the freakin board room all freakin night!"

"Well, there were complications…" Shifty started.

"Knowing you Shifty, that does not surprise me in the least. Come in, have a drink and rest, you look exhausted."

Shifty accepted gratefully. Inside the room he told Q the whole story.

Quentin gave Shifty a long hard look…


Alucard
01-22-99

Alucard sped down the street. He finally arrived at the large Leto temple. Alucard had to stop for a second and stare in awe at the wonder.

"......."

It covered approx. 9 of the cities blocks. It's arcitecture was detailed and stunning.

'There doesn't look to be any trouble here..'

Alucard made his way up the large stairs to the entrance. The guards immidatly recognized Alucard and let him enter.

Inside the children of Leto danced and celebrated. They drank their wine and bade in the wonder joy that was Leto.

Alucard had been in the city several days but had not yet come to see the marvel. Since he had become a Leto, Alucard had never laid his eyes on this Cathedral before. Now he stood inside awe struck at the wonderous structure.

A large statue of his God laid in the middle of the church. He seemed to be almost playing with the letites....

In front the statue, surronded by guards was the artifact. An large Goblet stood there. A wonderous jewel studded Goblet. It was said that this was the Goblet of Leto himself.

Suddenly a large hand clasp over ALucards
mouth...

"Mmhpphmphp"


Kyhera
01-23-99

I followed the one called Alucard for quite a while, first going to one place, then to another. Finally he stops at what I assume is Leto's hall of blasphemy. Most curious.

I levitated to the rooftop of the monstrous structure.

Ah yes, openings throughout the ceiling, perhaps to allow natural light to come in, I thought to myself.

I dropped softly on the rooftop, crouching to a better position by one of the rooftops openings.

I watched as some sort of ritual was being performed, then felt my eyes widen as I looked at what could only be the artifact Shifty spoke of.

I leaned back into the shadows, closing my eyes as I tried to reach Shifty mentally.


Ravynne
01-23-99

'That's it,fools...party on like you have no cares in the worlds.' She thought to herself as she sipped at the inferior wine being served. 'Sheep...mere sheep. My Lord deserves a better flock than this one to shepherd,but one DOES work with the best of what is available...'

Making her way casually through the dancing, milling crowd, she approaches the large statue of her god, eyeing the large,burly guards that stood at watchful attention over the Artifact.

Icicle eyes studying the nearest guard, she finished her bad wine and held her goblet out to the side of her, knowing that the over-attentive waiters lurking in the area would swoop it from her grasp... As the goblet disappeared before the waiter could grab it, she rolled her eyes in an expressive manner, knowing that her partner was in the crowd somewhere and had caught her momentary...distraction.

Sighing regretfully, she shook her head sadly as she stepped around the guards,letting her cold gaze sweep over the Artifact. 'So..tacky and gaudy-looking..' She thought to herself, ignoring the press of onlookers.'Rather like these guards.Our Lord deserves better than this..but I suppose it will do...for now..'

Drawing nearer to the guards, she stopped and let her eyes travel upwards, searching the sloping and soaring ceilings of the cathedral. Momentarily breathless at the beauty of thier design, she almost didn't hear or sense the approach of her partner.

"Keep your mind on our duties, milady.." came the whisper at her shoulder as the rather unstable man came up behind her and placed his hand on her arm.

"Oh very well, since you insist.." she pouted slightly as she turned to face him. "But this has been SUCH a dreary event.. and I had hoped for so much more in the area of entertainment..."


TyrSethal
1-23-99

*Slowly sneaking up on Alucard, Tyr smiles to himself knowingly and tightly clamps an arm around Alucard's neck, firmly pressing his hand over his mouth, disallowing any sounds to escape from Alucard as TyrSethal drags him quietly to a corner*

*Laughing deviously under his breath Tyr leans down close to Alucard's ear and breathing slowly he shakes his head with regret and mumbles a several words into Al's ear*

...and now my friend, you're existence within this mortal coil shalt come to an end...

*A particularly evil smile plays over his fine elven features as he pulls the a long thin dagger from a fold within his cloaks, raising it to Alucard's pale white neck*

..This is for the interruption in the closet my friend, remember to never cross my path again..

*With a slight growl TyrSethal drops Alucard to the floor, laughing in delight at the fear that is shining obviously in his eyes*

Boo.

*Tyr grins and winks, helping Alucard's trembling body to his feet*

Oooh man, that was too good.. *trying to catch his breath from the laughter he shakes his head again, his eyes on Alucard's face, whiter than usual* I'm sorry about that, but you deffinately had it in store...

*Dexterously dodging a hard punch from Alucard, TyrSethal grins inwardly*

I suppose you'd want to know why I wasn't at the Guild Hall 'eh? Well, whilst I was guarding that there bloody artifact *points to the goblet sitting beside the shrine to his god* I found a few other people, shadier people, were in the market for it as well.. *shrugs to himself and sighs* You know how it goes... someone tried to break into the Hall so I grabbed my charge and ran like hell to the safest place I could've thought of.. Here.

Figured we'd be safe here.. have been so far. Do you know where anyone else is by the way? I haven't seen anyone around tonight, kind of creepy really...


Alucard
1-23-99

"A break in eh? Seems my premonition was right. At least everything is ok. I wonder where everyone else is..."

Alucard wipes the sweat from his brow as mumbles something to himself

"Be careful Tyr. I saw Shifty in town last night in a tavern and someone tried to follow me later. Luckly I lost them. I gotta bad feeling about this."

Alucard glances at the hundreds of people dancing around. Beams of light glisten down from the ceiling above.

"Well, if anyone tries anything, it won't be during the day. There's no way they would get away with it. If they tried anything it would be at night."

Suddenly a beam of light about 10 yards away shudders and dissapears for a few moments. Alucard slyly glances upwards not moving his head. He sees a shadowy figure.

'DAMN that must be the fella that was following me last night.'

"Tyr don't look up, but there is somebody stakin out the temple...maybe us"


Q
01-23-99

After downing one or two glasses of wine passed "Full", Shifty's story had finally sunk into Q's head.

"Sounds like yah had a fun night, wish I was there..." lowering his voice to a mumble he continued, "Instead of waitin' up all night for *someone* and his less den' speedy messages."

"Whelp ... I guess someone has ta' locate da' derned thing, otherwise snatchin' it aint all that possible, is it?" Q grinned.

Shifty once more informed Quentin of Kyhera's involvement, and how she was now (hopefully) trailing Alucard right back to the Artifact, and contact was possible the entire time .. telepathically.

Brow arched quizically, Q scratched his head and eyed Shifty. "Oh yeah, uhm .. well ... now what?"


Tainted1
1-23-99

Tainted made a playful grab for one of the dancing girls as she moved pass him in a swirl of silk and colour. The celebration of Leto's victory was now under way that Leto's goblet had been found. Tyr had recovered the bloody goblet that would according to ancient legends make any heathen into a slave for Leto.

As the music began to quicken in pace a sacrifice was lead out to be given to the true lord Leto. The sacrifice was one of the human females that had been caught in the recent war with the god Angelique. She was placed on the altar in such a way that her blood would flow into the cup and feed the power of it and all who follow Leto.

The high priest appeared in a cloud of smoke and the music changed and took on a new tempo. As a chant began the dancers began to sway in time with the music. Suddenly the music and chanting stopped as the high priest lent forward to slice the throat of the sacrifice.


Shifty
1-24-99

"True, let me contact Ky and..." Shifty stopped in midsentence.

"Shift?" Quentin started.

"A moment brother, Kyhera has just contacted me..."

Q sat back and waited as patiently as he could trying to read Shifty's reaction to the incoming news.


Kyhera
01-24-99

Our mental link established, I move back into the shadows. Quickly I inform Shifty of where they were, breaking the link immediately as I felt a tingling sensation of another's magic.

Casting a cloak of absolute darkness about me, I dropped farther back into the darkness. After assuring I was completely hidden from view, I brought one hand forward, my concentration deep on my fingers as the light began as a pinprick, then a small ball of fire, finally a round sphere took form, colorless almost as if made of water.

I blew softly upon it, then released it. The sphere hung in mid air. I close my eyes, attempting to guide it. The sphere moved two paces to my left, two paces to my right.

Satisfied, I open my eyes and nod, dispelling the cloak of darkness and moving once again to the small opening in the rooftop.

A ritual being perfomed below piqued my curiousity, and I watched for a few minutes.

"And they dare call my people barbaric," I murmur, feeling the sneer stretch my lips, for the ritual playing itself out below was akin to the sacrifices the Ilythiiri performed in worship of the dark deity known as Lloth.

Not wanting to take any chances, I flatten myself upon the rooftop, my fingertips holding the small sphere over the opening, then releasing it. Closing my eyes once more, I begin to guide it down, knowing it's chameleon-like qualities would hide it from view, testing it as it passed within inches of the Heathen's eyes, all oblivious to it. There might be magic at work somewhere nearby, but it was nowhere near as strong as mine own.

I "watched", using the sphere as mine eyes, while awaiting Shifty's arrival.


Shifty
1-24-99

Kyhera finished relaying her message, which Shifty in turn quickly relayed to Q.

"We have to go to the temple," Shifty stated flatly.

"And do what, Shift? The place is loaded with heathens; we will have to wait until thus gruesome ceremony is over. With any luck most of them will be too drunk to lift a hand against us later." Quentin pointed out.

"I better call Ky back then," Shifty answered sighing deeply. "There is no sense in her staying there now, and I am sure she needs rest. I only wish there was someone who actually slept tonight who could keep an eye on the heathens."

Shifty again sent out his telepathic summons, he knew most of his allies would be keeping a close eye on thier kingdoms, but maybe someone was in town...


Suvantar
01-24-99

"Little brother, " Zarradde asked from the shadows beside me, as I lurked in the darkened alcove of the Letite cathedral, "whatever are you doing here?"

I did not reply, thinking the response to be a fairly obvious one. He drummed his fingers on the side of the bannister and considered for a moment, then slowly said, "So, let me get this straight... the Heretic of Barnabas is here to save a worshipper of an enemy goddess from worshippers of an enemy god."

"Right, " I hissed. "Now, shut up."

"You do, of course, realize how ludicrous that sounds, " he added.

I did not reply. The old days in the Bregan were coming back to me now... though, of course, in the old days in the Bregan, I would have been here trying to get through the trhong somehow, in order to SLAY a target, not rescue one.

I inched forward a bit, looking out into the distracted Letite crowd, angling my head sharply and taking another step. After a moment's thought, I had it calculated. Sixty-six steps. Reaching down into the satchel at my side, I pulled two cannisters out.

There was a torch right outside of the alcove and I chanced one more small step, coming clearly into the light as I did so. Quickly I ignited the fuses and rolled the cannisters into the heart of the crowd and looked away.

I could see the reflection of the twin flashes against the wall and turned away.

One ... two... three ... four ... five ... six...

At the edge of the crowd now, the smoke from the smoke bombs becoming denser and the first sounds of panic sweeping through the crowd of mostly common Letite folk.

... thirteen ... fourteen ... fifteen ... sixteen...

Into the crod now, direction unerring, twisting and slipping between them with ghostlike movements. Now, I remembered... now I remembered what was special about being in the Bregan D'Aerthe.

... twenty-three ... twenty-four ... twenty-five ... twenty-six...

Not that we were INVINCIBLE... but that there was so much that could be accomplished in one moment of misdirection ...

... thirty-nine ... forty ... forty-one ... forty-two...

and a singular purpose... the knowledge that the mission is important and that one's course could not be deviated from ...

fifty-five... fifty-six, (only ten more steps, Heretic) ... fifty-seven ... fifty-eight...

... and that in the end, with the tools that the Bregan gave to you, you might not BE invincible...

... sixty-four ... sixty-five ... sixty-six.

... but that you could truly accomplish the impossible... rendering it nearly routine.

Shadowbrand slipped from its sheathe into my hand in a low sweeping arc. I could not see through the smoke and I hoped the victim on the altar had not jerked upward, that the promise of the descending dagger had kept her pinned to the altar, clinging to the last seconds of her doome life, even as my smoke bombs had erupted.

And my judgment of her survival instinct proved correct. The black blade whistled an inch abover her throat and sent the sacrificial dagger spinning from the hand of the priest. Nearly in one motion, Shadowbrand returned to its sheathe.

I hefted the girl over my shoulder and turned. Now, I merely had to reverse my field and make it from the temple itself. Child's play, right, Heretic?

From somewhere to the side, I heard my brother's sardonic snort.


Kyhera
01-24-99

My eyes flew open! Suvantar? Could it be? What was he doing down there. I closed my eyes, once more establishing my seeing link with the magical sphere.

DAMNATION! It was Suvantar, and he was .. no he wasn't .. was he? I "watched", holding my breath as he embarked on his rather misguided mission. The sacrificial victim was not a Barnabas follwer after all, and in my eyes it made her a heathen not worth our time or effort. Yet, I admire Suvantar's gallant actions as he risked everything to save a helpless creature.

I let out a slow breath, surprised that I had been holding it that long. He had her! Now what?

"Oh Dalninuk of my heart," I spoke the words I knew he couldn't hear "How would I ever explain to Tasha if your noble actions got you killed?"

I felt myself teeter on the verge of exhaustion as I prepared the spell, using every ounce of my energy to direct it to Suv and his new "ward", holding my breath once more until I was sure they were cloaked.

"Now, please let it hold until Shifty gets here." I groaned inwardly, by now completely exhausted, yet unable to release my hold on the sphere, wiping a sheen of anxiety from my forehead as I strained to watch what Suv did now.


Alucard
1-24-99

Alucard quitely motioned Tyr to be quiet. For he saw movement in the alove above. Then suddenly...SMOKE EVERYWHERE. Alucard could see nothing.

'Nice try heathens, but you'll have to do better than that'

Alucard almost instently transformed into a large Bat and headed for the artifact, hoping to cut off the thives before they got to it...but low and behold!?! When Alucard reached the middle, it was the Girl, not the goblet that was missing.

'Great, now we have damned Angies running loose in our temple taking our sacrifices.'

With the smoke clearing Alucard barely saw a two large figures running for the exit, with the girl on their shoulders. Then suddenly they dissapeared.

'WHAT?' thought Alucard to himself.

Alucard quickly flew to the area where they were when they vanished.

Alucard let out a high frequncy sound...it bounced off of seemingly nothing and returned to his ears. 'Ah ha..thank you for bat sonar'

The bandits were now only 50 yards from the door. Alucard quickly flew in between the door and the escapeies. Then changed once more, this time into a wolf.

With his keen sense of smell Alucard quickly zeroed in on the intruders, he was now poised, ready to strike.


Shifty
01-24-99

"OOF!"

Shifty rocked back on his heels. The power of the Kyheras mental scream echoing through his tired skull.

"Change of plans," he stated simply; directing it to no one in particular but immediately gathering Q's attention. "It seems the Romany Reii's illustrious and fearless leader has decided to do something... err... irrational."

Shifty ran out the door with Quentin close behind. He reached into one of his many hidden pockets and produced the last rejuvenation potion he had left.

"Damn..." he mumbled. "Things are just moving way too fast for me today."

He drank half and offered the other half to Q without missing a step. Q looked at him questioningly, but accepted the vial and drank it.

"It will help with the fatigue," Shifty explained.

The spring was back in their step and as they sprinted down another alleyway Shifty wondered...

"Can we possibly make in there fast enough to help?"


Tainted1
01-24-99

Just as the high priest was about to lower his dagger two canisters seemed to fly into the room releasing a cloud of smoke.

Tainted quickly grabs his cross and calls upon the power of Leto to dispel this cloud of smoke. Eyes watering and coughing from the smoke Leto answers him with a powerful spell.

A momemnt later a sudden gust of wind blows the smoke out the windows and several worships are blow over with the force of the wind. The spell was strong as this being a temple to Leto his spells are very powerful here.

Looking about in wounder he sees that the high priest has been decapitated and that the sacrifice victim is missing. Casting a quick spell of protection about himself he moves forward to secure the holy bloody goblet. As he reaches out for it he notices a strange dark man with the sacrifice over his shoulder and a rather large ferocious wolf blocking their escape from the exit.


TyrSethal
01-24-99

*His vision suddenly clouded Tyr swears angrily under his breath, his senses overwhelmed.. detecting magic as well as movement from all around he quickly readies himself, sliding his short sword from it sheath... Reaching out with the infravision borne into the Elven race, TyrSethal quickly locates the small flying animal Alucard has become. Wrapping his cloak tightly about him he ducks into the shadows, relying on the mystical cloak he received from his father, and his roguish skills to keep up with Alucard, while staying out of site from the heathens.*

*Remembering his charge of protecting the small Letonian goblet Tyr yells out behind him to the crowd of devout, but drunken, Letonians behind him*

Protect the artifact with your life! Don't let them get it!

*Standing only long enough to see a Letonian grab the goblet he runs off, back in the protections of the shadows, sliding quickly past those crowding about at the door....*


Q
01-24-99

After drinking Shifty's odd potion, Q *was* feeling refreshed .. but he still didn't think the two of them could reach Leto's temple in time. Especially after Shifty pointed out that the fun had already begun.

"Ya know Shifty," Q blurted while ducking through the alleys with his Drow companion, "I used tah' be a thief ... long long time 'go, when I was just a kid-"

"Shh, the idea is to HIDE in the shadows of the alley. We can't HIDE now, can we, if you keep yapping all the time."

"Well I was just gunna' pass da' time wit' a story 'er two .. ya don'-"

"Halt, by Leto's name, who are you two?" The voice belonged to a rather upset looking gentleman seated on a fairly tired-looking steed. Armored and halberd toting, the best guess was a city guardsman.

Shifty stopped suddenly, seeing the figure and cringed, knowing their hopes of sneaking through the city streets were blown. "We are .. uhm .. traveling merchants, and lost on our way to-"

"Look Shift! Just what we need, eh?" Q sputtered all excited, hurrying toward the guard, "This'll get us there faster!" Grabbing the surprised Letite by the bootstraps, Quentin leaned backward and yanked with all his might .. dragging the poor soul right from his mount and crashing to the cobblestone below.

Plucking the halberd from the ground, Q placed one foot on the guard's head, and used it to heft himself onto the frightened steed. "C'mon Drow-bro .. dun' just stand there," he shouted happily, reaching out toward Shifty, who was still standing there with an odd look on his face.


Shifty
01-24-99

It took a second for everything to register. The guard was wearing field plate armor and he couldn't even sit up by himself at this point. He was just lying in the middle of the road tugging at his full helm, which appeared to have been jammed shut from his fall. Muffled calls of "stay where you are" and "In the name of Leto" came from the hapless form.

He watched Q vault himself onto the horse and look back beckoning him to join, shook his head and leap frogged onto the back of the horse, slapping it's rear end as he landed. The horse reared and started to gallop off.

"Weeeeeeee," they yelled and shared a good laugh. Shifty wasn't used to anyone who took action as quickly and recklessly as he did, this was surely a match made... well it was a match anyway!

As they galloped full tilt down the lightening streets Q turned his head and spoke.

"Shift, where is this temple anyway?"

Shifty shook his head and pointed to a left turn and they were on their way. A few minutes later the vast temple came into view, Letites were spewing from open doors and smoke billowed around the area.

"This is close enough, Q..." Shifty started.
"Q!!! Q!!! QUENTIIIIIIIN!!!"

Q steered the horse into the middle of the spewing crowd, screaming like a mad man the whole way.

"A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!"

Shifty just laughed and went with the flow, this was gonna be fun! He began to scan the frantic crowd, looking for Suv or Kyhera or the Chalice... anything to make this an even more exciting story to tell.


Suvantar
01-25-99

I watched the smoke from the cannisters exit the room, borne on the wind created by a spellcaster located somewhere to my left. I spared a quick glance in that direction and saw the mage's hand's dropping down. Without breaking stride, I reached into my satchel and pulled out a heavy paper package.

The sacrifice victim, quite unused to being carried along, continued to struggle feebly on my shoulder. I would have thrown on the run, but her gyrations undoubtedly would have fouled my aim, so I stopped. With all the force I could muster, I hurled the package at the mage, whose hands flew up insticntively in a defensive posture.

The package exploded on contact, the flimsy wrapping paper not made to withstand even the slightest of touches. The mage was doused in a blinding cloud of clinging flour that flew hither and yon.

I turned away, started for the door again, but realized that the way was now blocked. I had felt my little sister's spell descend over me, but the wolf was obviously some sort of supernatural foe if he could still see me.

That meant that it was either a werewolf or a vampire. Luckily for me, both have one common weakness and I know it. I reached down into the purse at my side and sent a small object spinning through the air at the beast. At first, it did not even register the small, seemingly innocuous object until the silver coin struck it directly in the left eye.

The wolf uttered a loud, surprised, "YIPE!!"

Then is leapt about three feet straight up, convulsing a a paroxysm of agony, paws whiping frantically over its snout, trying to wipe away the pain of the silver. The coin landed on the floor next to the wolf, rolled around a couple times and came to rest.

I ran toward the doorway, the feet of the intended sacrifice victim banging into my back as I ran. I passed the wolf just as it landed and I was into the alcove.

I chanced another look back and saw the headless body of the high priest, slain undoubtedly by some opportunistic rival, secure in the knowledge that I would be blamed for it, slumping over the altar. I also saw another Letite grab a cup, of all things, and start running toward the far exit.

I shrugged and turned and ran.


Kyhera
01-25-99

I watched incredulously at the scenes unfolding below me. I was so sure my spell was in effect over Suvantar and his reluctant rescued ward, but apparently they had some beings I hadn't encountered before down there able to see him still!

Out of the corner of my eye I watched as one of the revelers took the chaotic intermission as an opportunity to draw his own blade against the throat of the priest.

Most curious.

My mouth dropped open as the same hand that wielded the treacherous blade then turned and, dropping it's dagger of treason, then picked up what I had surmised was the artifact Shifty had spoken about.

The goblet. Suv, NO! My mind literally shrieked the words out at my streeaka dalninuk! Too late, Suvantar's rush to get his burden off his back, literally, cast my words upon the inner chambers of his mind.

I let go of all my spells. The sphere shattered, the cloak dissipated, I was casting a shadow through the roof opening! Shadow be damned, I let loose a bolt of lightning to allow the opening to widen, dropping myself into the hell below.

I looked around at the sea of hostility that had now turned their eyes on me. Shrugging, I cast one final spell and disappeared before their eyes.

My final spell being one of tracking for Shifty to follow, I then went back to my own keep, for I had by now been gone too long.
I was exhasuted, and I had more pressing issues in mind than the chase of a Letoite artifact.


Raila
01-25-99

Standing from her early morning nap, she stirs and gets out from under the covers.

She moves to the mirror and runs a brush through her hair and goes to dress.

As she reaches her suedes tossed casually over the back of the chair in her dressing room, she clutches her head in pain as a telepathic scream cuts through her shields like a flaming sword though gauze.

^KY!!^ She thought.

What in the Nine Hellsa was going on??

Dressing in record time and plaiting her hair as she ran from her rooms, she yelled at the young page wandering the halls rousing everyone for breakfast.

++Have My Horse Saddled and my armor ready!!++

The page looked at her in surprised shock and spun on his heels to do as his Lady commanded.

Rounding the corner, she sees the door of her most trusted General open and his confused, bleary face peek from the door.

++Something is dreadfully wrong! Rouse the troops! Be Reapy to Defend the Keep. I have to go find Ky!++

With that, she ran headlong out the opened window at the end of the hall and levitated herself to the stable below.

The hands looked up expectantly, this being the fastest way from the upper levels for her .

Fastening the straps of her armor in seconds, she was galloping off, looking for the cause of that scream from Ky...


TyrSethal
01-25-99

*Cries out as he sees the wolf shaped body cringe in a mixture of terror and pain and fall to the floor*

Bastard! You'll die for that!

*Quickly readying his short sword he pulls his enchanted cloak tightly about him once more, securing the hood over his head with the small brooch given to him by his mother.. Tyr takes off at a quick run, relying on the enchanted cloak to keep him in the shadows as he runs, panting after the form that for some reason saved the sacrifice, and for yet another reason brought the wave of utter pain upon the letite wolf*

*Running through the streets quickly Tyr finally notices who the thief is and swears under his breath... *

*Shakes his head in frustration as Suvantar continues his labored run... stands for a moment in the shadows, unsure of whether to continue the chase for revenge, or to run back to help his friends...*

Suvantar! By Leto you'll pay!!!

*Turns, his head down, and begins the short jog back to the temple, mumbling a quick prayer to Leto, hoping for the strength and mind to save his friends....*


Ravynne
01-25-99

"Again?!" she almost screeches but catches herself just in time.

Spotting her main chance as was her wont, she darted forward and liberated the precious goblet from the incompetent fool who thought to get in her way...

"Once again, if one wishes a job done properly.." She sighed, cleaning the blood from her daggerblade against the cloak of the dead priest.

In the confusion, she stepped back against the wall, secreting the sacred goblet within her grey cloak before she looked around the chaos-ridden chamber.

Knowing that to blindly run from this room was a sure sign of guilt, she calmly walked across the floor, boot-heels clicking rythymically as she strode for the door, certain that no one would have the audacity to confront one such as herself in any manner.

Supremely confident that Keinos could take care of returning to thier sanctuary without any assistance from her, she stepped into the street, stopping briefly to survey the area before she ventured further.

"Oh,what tangled webs we weave.." she purred softly."When first we practice to deceive...our Lord will be pleased that his goblet is still safe within loyal, faithful hands..."

Swirling her cloak about her, she stepped into the shadows, silence descending upon her as she walked...


Alucard
01-25-99

Alucard screamed in pain. The coin lodged itself right in his eye. Alucard scrambled to get the coin out. Once it popped out, Alucard took a few moments catch his breath then reverted to his normal form.

Alucard looked around.

The Chalice was gone, Suvanter was gone, Tyr was gone.

"DAMN YOU HEATHENS! DAMN YOU ALL!"

Then, something caught Alucard's eye, a horse with two passengers, he recognized both immediatly.

"Shifty" he growled underneath his breath

Alucard dashed in front of the Horse. He nodded to Q acknowliging him, almost amused.

"SHIFTY!" This is an outrage. I know YOU are behind the theft of our Chalice. Now, RETURN IT!


Raila
01-25-99

Closing in on the last faint echos of the telepathic scream, she arrives in the far side of that main city.

^The Letites??? What the Bloody Hell is going on here??^ she thought to herself.

Reigning in her horse, she hears another horse galloping full-tilt through the streets in her general direction from the right. At the same time, she sees a pale man exit the Temple from the left. Ahead, she sees a female disappear around a corner, the last pale whisps of her hair trailing from the sides of her cloak.

The other horse skids to a stop, its metal shod hooves almost making sparks and the sweat froth clumping from it. Looking up fromt he laboured animal, she looks into Shifty's eyes as the pale man screams at him.

"SHIFTY!" This is an outrage. I know YOU are behind the theft of our Chalice. Now, RETURN IT!

Shifty's eyes narrow and she puts one hand on her dagger, the other starts the working of a spell to throw at him to cover their escape. To confront the entire legions of the Heathens in their home territory, alone, was not a good thing.

But, then again, to die in Battle, defending ones Abbilen, and Faith? THAT is a Glorious thing!

Turning to look at the pale man, her lavender eyes flash and she waits for Shifty's answer before making any more moves.....


Shifty
01-26-99

The room was nearly empty. Most of the frivilous and lazy Letites had fled from the confusion. Shifty scanned the room and pointed toward the altar, surely the artifact would be near there. Q, following his direction, urged the horse toward the altar.

A figure jump up in front of us. "This is an OUTRAGE..." he screamed.

Alucard.

Shifty's eyes flamed, he didn't hear anymore of what Alucard was screaming. He simply drew his sword and slapped the horses' flank hard with the flat of his blade. The horses' eyes widened and its nostrils flared and as it jumped ahead, quickly bearing down on the frozen figure of Alucard. His boots seemingly rooted to the ground...


Ravynne
01-26-99

Knowing better than to head directly back to the sanctuary she shared with her partner, the tiny, pale-haired woman strode along the street as if the world belonged to her and her alone.

Not willing to trust in her apparent luck so far, she whispered softly the words of a spell, one that turned away all eyes from her form.

Her delicate fingers probing at the gem-encrusted chalice, she smiled in a feline-like manner as she imagined the chaos and confusion left behind her in the temple, able to picture within the walls of her rich,twisting mind the multiple,wild accusations that would burst forth as each faction and faith accused the other sides of colluding in the theft of Leto's sacred goblet.

"Have no fear, my lord Leto.." she whispered as she walked, safely veiled from all prying eyes. "Your servant and agent will look out for your best interests, as always. No matter WHAT the cost.."


TyrSethal
01-26-99

*Running down the dark alleys, the shadows covering his dark elven body Tyr looks up as Alucard's shouts drift down the long corridors between buildings*

*quietly mutters under his breath and quickens his jog to a run, cursing Alucard while wondering what trouble he has gotten himself into... knowing that whatever trouble Al's in, he's about to get involved with himself...*

*Running out of one of the alleyways he swears loudly, finally seeing the situation Alucard is in... *

Alucard!! Moooove!

*Drops his precious blade and runs to Alucard, jumping and pushing him away, rolling out of the horse's reach by inches himself*

Bloody hell Alucard! What's wrong with you? Trying to get us all killed?!

*Spits and stands, facing off with Shifty, anger burning red in his eyes.....*


Alucard
1-26-99

"Tyr! We can NOT allow this SCUM to get away with stealing our lords Chalice. I KNOW he had to have been behind it..I just know it."

Alucard draws a rather gothic looking sword.
He grabs the blade and....

THROWS.

The blade begins spinning horizontally, low to the ground.

SLICE
the sword succesfully thrusts itself into the horses side. The large animal bucks around so hard that even Shifty and Q fall off. Alucard holds out his hand, and his sword becomes a shadow and dissapears, and return to his hand.

He then shouts ---BLOOD LUST--- and Alucards is surronded by a strange red glow.

Now Shifty, we FINISH this!


Shifty
01-26-99

The horse snorted with annoyance charged right into Alucard, but suddenly a figure crashed into him from the side and the two forms tumbled clear of the rushing steed. There was a brief exchange between Alucard and the newcomer as Shifty and Q, seeing the artifact was clearly gone, continued through the temple making for an exit.

Another scream from behind them alerted Shifty to the newest threat. Alucard in a fit of rage had thrown his sword at them, scoring a lucking hit on the horses’ flank. The sword bit deeply enough to start the horse bucking. Even with Q’s expert horsemanship there was no way to avoid the inevitable and Shifty somersaulted off and landed in a crouch, drawing his sword with one hand and a three pronged dagger with the other. Quentin also leapt from the mount and landed no less gracefully also drawing his blade immediately.

“Now Shifty we finish this,” Alucard growled. A red mist seemed to surround him.

“Only if I had a really big bull right about now,” Shifty commented to Q out of the corner of his mouth drawing a flashing grin from him.

Alucard started to advance toward them, the other man, someone Shifty did not recognize moved with him.

“You think you will be the first creature of the night I have slain in my two plus centuries, vampire whelpling?” Shifty taunted. “I know your weaknesses, and I will gladly remove you and your blight from this plane of existence!”

Shifty fell into his battle stance, looking all the part of the terrible drow warrior he really was. Next to him, Q grinned and moved to intercept the other foe.

Alucards steps suddenly weren’t quite as eager.

“Return the artifact, and you can leave unharmed,” he bluffed.

Shifty laughed, a low hissing laugh that sent chills down even Quentins spine.

“What gives you the idea I even want to leave? What makes you think this isn’t YOUR day of reckoning, heathen? I don’t have your artifact, but I will have your corpse to BURN!” With the last word Shifty started to rush the thirty feet to Alucard, but the sound of doors slamming open behind him drew his attention and stopped him short.

“Hold and stand where you are, all of you!” The city guard had finally made it to the temple.

Shifty ignored them and started to advance slowly, purposely toward Alucard again. A firm hand squeezed his shoulder though.

“Shift, lets get out of here, your vengeance will have to wait,” Q whispered.

He didn’t want to wait. But if he charged now he could be taken down from one of the crossbow bolts that the city guards were so fond of.

“Damnit,” he hissed though gritted teeth, sparing one last look that promised death to Alucard. Then with a wave of his hand complete darkness surrounded Q and himself. He grabbed Q’s arm and using the moment of confusion ran out one of the open doors knocking a guardsman down on the way.

“There will be another day, Alucard,” he yelled from outside. “I’d crawl back into whatever coffin I came out of and stay there if I were you!”

And they were gone….


Alucard
01-28-99

Alucard stood in the dust as the horse galloped away. Alucard muttered under his breath.

"You will pay for this Shifty....you will pay."

He turns to Tyrsethal

"Get search parties out there. I want that chalice FOUND!"


TyrSethal
01-28-99

*Scoffs at Alucard's command and raises a brow... deciding he's got enough to worry about as it is he turns on his heels, sheaths his weapon, and runs to the guild hall through the dark streets, once again relying on his enchanted cloak to keep him in the shadows*

*Turns back for a moment and scowls, then snaps at Alucard*

I don't want to have to save you again, go get the rest of ISA, we may have a problem here!

*Shakes his head and begins running back to the guild hall to organize a search party as Alucard runs off to find an attack team*


Shifty
01-29-99

Shifty and Q returned to thier rooms agreeing to meet the next day after getting some much needed sleep. On the way back to the safe house he kept in this city Shifty reviewed the past 24 hours.

Alucard and another of his guild must have moved the artifact. But why then did Alucard accuse him of stealing it? He clearly was not clever enough to try to throw Shifty off his trail with a comment like that.

There was plenty to think about today.

Shifty arrived at his destination and entered an average looking building. Once inside he slid a bookshelf aside and entered the small room he used to sleep in when things were hot. With barely enough room to pace he finally just went to sleep. In the morning he would pay Pecklar a visit. Perhaps he had turned up some useful information by now.


Ravynne
01-29-99

Safe within her sanctuary, she studied the Artifact by witchlight and candlelight. What were the true properties of this object? Why were the accursed barnites so concerned with it? And why in the names of all the demons of the Circles of Hell was it in the incompetent hands of that particular guild of worshippers of Leto??

Something that was so obviously precious and important belonged in the hands of one who realized it's full potential and would utilize it properly..not display it in such a shoddy manner, leaving it so unguarded..

Her eyes distant, she turned her head slightly and looked across the chamber to where her partner sprawled out in a chair, watching her intently with an unreadable expression upon his face, his head tilted to the side slightly as if he was listening to a voice that she could not discern...

"What do you need of me,M'lady??"

The voice in his head screaming out against it, but he shoves it off to the side as normal these days...

" One of us has to slink thru that disgusting tavern-lane and listen to what words we can, to find out more about this Artifact..but this Object can not be left unattended... Those fools from ISA may be incompetent but they are not unlucky... So, which duty would you have? Protecting this Artifact or mingling with the sheep??" She put it to him plainly, doing him the honor of not sugar-coating or mincing her words as was her usual wont when dealing with a typical partner.

Of which he was neither..but this was not the time to pursue that line of thought...thier agenda must be adhered to, no matter what.

Ignoring once again the voice howling in his mind, he spoke.

"Someone somewhere no doubt saw you...'twould be too risky for you this time to seek the answers to our questions. I will question the local low-life while you keep the Artifact safe here..."

She nodded her pale-haired head, cradling the gem-encrusted goblet within her hands, her fingers continuing to probe and prod at the jewels and carvings that decorated it. Once she was certain that he was safely upon his way, secretly warded by her from random acts of violence, she would hazard using her psychometric Talent in an effort to garner knowledge that way..

"Then so be it.." she intoned quietly. "With our Lord's blessing we shall turn this city into something He would be proud to call His own.."


Oooooooooooh, now THAT's what I call a good story. How is it you know so much girlie? The old woman narrowed her eyes at Rue.

Rue looked both at the old woman and at Nagash.

As I have stated before wise one, I was sent here then to watch and observe. I think I did a rather fine job of that, wouldn't you both agree?

With that, she smiles, raises her cup and tips it towards each of them before taking a sip.
~§~ Rué ~§~
Trouble's Favourite Vixen
It is what it is; it was what it was; but who I am is not
who I used to be
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Rue
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Re: Memories of Yesteryear (Open RP)

Postby Rue » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:52 pm

Rue motioned for the barkeep to refill the drinks of all those around them. Remembering the past opened up quite a thirst.

You know,the lady Kyhera fought quite a few battles under the banners of the Romany Reii. It was said that while the gypsies maintained a lighthearted demeanour, they were in fact more suited to battle than any at the time. Their battles were legendary; under Suvantar's guiding hand they cut a path of destruction in their pursuit of conquests. I remember one particular battle . ..


Kyhera
01-14-99 04:35

Only he who has the fortitude of elephants should attempt to do battle with the evil spirit known as alcohol.

I shut my eyes tightly against the invading harshness that was the morning sun.

"Someone shut those windows!" I shouted to an empty room.

The sudden painful memory of yesterday flashed through my head, causing me to sit upright suddenly, blinding light be damned.

Holding my head in my hands I lamented the spectacle I had so unwittingly provided last night.

A staccato outburst of knocks at my room’s door caught my attention, dragging me from my act of self-pity as I got up to open it. I caught myself grinning slightly, a mouthed word of thanks to Shifty for his vial of last night, as no traces of the dreaded hangover made themselves visible.

I opened the door, clutching the heavy robe I wore around me, to jump back as one of my generals slumped into my arms, forcing me to my knees in an attempt to support his weight.

"Jaelyr, what happened?!" I cradled his head as I eased him down, taking in the bloodstains on his tunic, the bruises upon his face, this, my favorite of all my generals, a man 3 times my age, yet loyal beyond belief.

"M'lady," he hoarsely whispered, "we looked everywhere for you. We didn't stand a chance m'Lady. The armies of Angelique overran our forces."

"But Jaelyr, why did you not sound for help from our neighboring allies?" I asked, still not understanding

I looked in shock as a tear ran down his cragged cheek.

"All gone m'Lady. All destroyed. There is nothing but tendrils of smoke as far as the eye can see. Nothing but brick and mortar, and bodies lining the roads to all the keeps around us. M'Lady, none of the masters or mistresses were at their keeps. We tried, we tried," I rested my hand against his lips, cutting off his words as he sobbed through them.

My mind whirled! Attack? How foolish we had been to think that our lands were safe when the treacherous lot that are the heathens we face, were out there. How complacent we have become in our assertion that we reign supreme, I thought to myself!

I half-dragged Jaelyr to the massive bed, gently laying him upon it. I dressed hurriedly, shaking off his protests that he should be with me.

I hurried out of the room, stopping only to ensure that this kindest of souls who has always supplied me with moral strength and wisdom, would be taken care of.

I rushed out of the Inn, almost to fall headlong as I fell against a strong chest that was coming from the opposite direction.

"I seem to be making a habit of "throwing" myself at unsuspecting males," I chided myself, then recognized the male I had collided with.

"TARKYN!" my shout caused him to wince, obviously he had not had the advantage of the antidote I had been given . . .


Tarkyn
01-14-99

~The night had passed quickly. Memories of a contest seemed like a dream that had passed. All the assassin could think about now was the loud drum pounding inside his head. Moving out of his bed, while wondering how he had arrived in a bed. He looked out and around him. Something was wrong, the air...smelled....of flesh.~

"What???"

~Running out of his chamber, his head still reminding him of his foolishness from last night, he met the sunlight with disdain. Shielding his eyes from the direct light, he surveyed the land.~

"So they had their fun...."

~Racing to his main tower, he assembles his army and looks.~

"Mornin. I see a few of my units remain...or should I say are still alive. My followers of the true god. This land has been infected. Infected because of a coward spy, infected because of me. I have made a grievous mistake. There might be a time for tavern fun, but I picked the wrong one. Eat well today, for tomorrow you all will live no more. I can see the hate contained within you all. We did what we could to protect our ally, it was but a few moments after the repeated attacks on our ally that this land was sieged. Our smaller numbers far outperformed the pitiful attacks by them. But this land's death is by a thousand paper cuts."

~A young warden, still full of zeal, approached him.~

"But sir, we still have plenty of acres to rebuild, we CAN rebuild. We still have a chance!"

~Turning coldly to this troop, a red flare came from his eyes.~

"Ha, you are the first type to fall on the field of battle. Its a wonder you have lived through these early battles. This is not about having a chance or not...its about knowing what you must do in order to survive. This country, is but one in a countless number. These lands reek of the heathen influence. You will learn or you will die. What is here today is gone tomorrow. We move on, that is that. Today you are fired, go, live for the day. Once I get my bearings again, this land will be cleansed in the only way possible..."

~Realizing something, he looked at the sky. In the distance, a fire was burning where her country was...~

"They couldn't have.."

~Splashing his face off, he lifted a hidden door and pulled out a scroll he had not used in some time. Unraveling it to reveal a detailed list of orders, he brought it over and left it on the table. Calling to his generals, he motioned for them to read the orders and readied his materials to leave.~

"Follow those steps exactly, the heathens will suffer much from that, despite their attacks on this land."

~Pausing once more, his head still dizzy, sound still nauseating, he thought of her and vanished as he went to meet up with her.~

~Stepping foot in an inn, he saw that her quarters for the night were not in her country. Slowly walking to her door, he was met by her form as it crashed into him.~

"TARKYN!"

~The shout echoed in his head. He winced back as he felt like he had been inside a ringing bell.~

"Yes?"

~The question answered itself as she gazed into his eyes.~

"We must go now to see what remains."



Kyhera
01-14-99

And so we arrived, at my "home", the lands I had acquired through sheer determination. Lands that I, in my young foolish fashion, had believed could hold together. I had always said that my scant 28 years of life was not an excuse for others to think I needed protection. I would after all, I reminded everyone, still be around long after most of them were memories, their physical remains long turned to dust in this vile earth upon which we built our dreams and held forth our trophies won through the sacrifices of others.

We arrived, and "nothing" in my young, arrogant, foolishly brave life prepared me for what we encountered. My senses reeled as I surveyed the carnage and destruction before my eyes. I swallowed hard as I fought back the bile rising in my throat.

I followed Tarkyn as we picked our way through what had been the pride of my existence. My eyes stung with disbelief as scene after scene of senseless destruction spread before them.

I looked at Tarkyn, about to speak, when I caught a slight movement in my peripheral vision. I turned, then fled, towards the form that lay beneath a pile of debris, frantically pulling at the rocks that covered it. Soon, the face of a young soldier, one of my archers, became visible, his breathing ragged, his eyes unfocused.

"M'Lady Kyhera?" He spoke hoarsely, unsure that the vivid green eyes that looked into his belonged to the mistress of this keep. A mistress who had been nowhere to be found in their hour of need.

I pushed aside my feeling of guilt as I answered him. "Ssssh, don't speak. You must save your breath. We are here now."

He moved his head from side to side as he interrupted me, sighing in relief as he continued. "I "knew" you wouldn't desert us! I told them all you would be here soon. That it would all be alright."

I ran my hand over my face in desperation, pushing my hair back as I fought to keep my composure at his words. Too late, I realized, as I watched his breathing slow down, his blood pooling heavily at the base of his neck.

I turned my eyes upward, unsure of how to react to this senseless decimation of the lives of the people I had sworn to lead and protect. Then, I felt an eerie calm descend upon me. Transfixed, I reached out and dipped my fingers in the crimson flow that had been his life. My hand moved of it's own volition, a searing heat upon my skin as my fingers traced a pattern of some sort upon my face. I looked down at this young soldier, not much younger than myself, who had trusted me implicitly in my cause for Barnabas, his eyes now looking beyond the reach of my world. I closed those eyes, mumbling an apology and a quick supplication to the guide of souls.

Finally, after what felt like forever to any who watched me, I stood. I walked towards the rubble that had been my private chambers, my mind detached as I searched amongst it, finally locating the heavy chest that housed most of my armor. I dressed methodically, the armor that had been crafted by the most skilled of elven smithies molding itself to my body. I felt my skin tingle as the various enchantments upon the armor extended to me, it's true wearer.

I heard Tarkyn's voice behind me as I finished strapping the last of my weapons.

"Red? Might you not want something a little less, shall we say, conspicuous?"

Even to my own ears, my laughter sounded hollow, devoid of any emotion.

"Conspicuous? I would wear a white banner if it assured me I would be seen first! No. I WANT them to see WHO it is that leads Death to their doorstep. I want their eyes fixed on me when my blade slices through their throats. Besides," I shrugged, "it hides bloodstains well."

I turned to him, and caught the look of comprehension and concern that he gave me as he spoke.

"The arrangements have been made Kyhera. All survivors have been moved to either yours or my lands to the west. There is nothing left here."

He was right, there was nothing left for me here. I nodded to him, and without a word we went through the actions we had gone through countless times before. As the shadows engulfed us, a blanket of fire covered what had been my home these last few weeks.

The words of my father echoed through my head. "You must embrace the side of you that is faireborn and show compassion Kyhera."

Compassion is for the weak. Chath Faer was no more.

And I, its leader, was at war . . .


Shiloh
01-15-99

Shiloh drags herself on down the road, past the ruins and rubble of war. Behind her straggle the dozen or so who remain of what was once a growing kingdom. All are quiet, lost in their own despondent thoughts.

Shiloh looks up, brushing the hair out of her eyes, and tries to focus them on the scene around her, and notices Ky and Tarkyn in the distance, standing amid even more ruin.

"Hail neighbors!" She waves, drawing their attention, as her small band draws acrest the hill. The two wave in return, and stand, waiting for her to catch up.

Ky tells of her and Tarkyns night on the town, after Shiloh arrives. And she relates how awful she feels, along with Tarkyn, for not being in her kingdom during the attack.

Ahhhhh.....Ky,Tarkyn, to what avail to be there? Only to see those you know and care for struck down as they fight. To hear their cries of pain and anguish as the battle rages around them. To know that there is nothing you can do to end their pain, or retreive their corpse before they are ransacked. No Ky, I envy the fact you didn't have to watch it this time, as I know you have seen the horror's more than enough.
The outcome would have been the same, even if you were here, I'm sure your men fought as hard with out you being here as they would have had you been. And at least the two of your are still here to continue on. We all need to rebuild, the war isn't over, this is only a battle lost. We all have to get on with it.....

So after the brief rest, the small band continues on...to new grounds, and the future, whatever it may bring.


Kyhera
01-15-99

And so we began to plan. My lands and Tarkyn's were adjacent to each other's and so we took to surveying our progress together. His insistence at me discarding my armor while we "regrouped" only resulted in my contracting another group of elven smithies to keep me supplied. There now numbered 3 of the same type in my chambers.

So much was happening with lightning speed. We had escorted Shiloh and her survivors to their destination. I was getting to know Shiloh somewhat; she was a newer member of the Romany Reii and I was getting used to her rather unusual displays of exuberance.

We also took to embarking on expeditions outside of our lands, calling on those of our brethren who had lost their keeps also, but more importantly, we watched for signs of anything unusual, bowing to never be caught unawares again.

It was on one of these expeditions that we found him. His surprise at seeing what I am sure he thought of was an emissary from hell accompanied by death itself was quickly hidden. We had stopped him before he had a chance to hide, the brilliant blue of Angelique's colors bringing a sneer to my face.

"A little far for a mongrel to have strayed don't you think?" My remark was addressed to Tarkyn, but my eyes never left his face. He appeared to be about 50 yr. of age, human, and foolish, judging from the look of pure disdain he gave us. Tarkyn stayed my words with his hand while he proceeded to interrogate him.

"Do yourself a favor and disclose your purpose in these lands." He began, rather too diplomatic in my view.

"Do you really think that I would betray those that follow the true Goddess to the likes of you! I would sooner … " his words were cut off as his hands flew to the killstar now embedded in his wrinkled throat.

Tarkyn turned to me, an angry glare upon his eyes.

Undaunted, I shrugged. "We have no time for this," I stated simply.

I reached out and touched one finger to his throat, then brought it up to make a simple mark upon the silver headdress I had taken to wearing, one side would be for the yellow bastards of Leto, the other side for those that follow the bitch goddess Angelique. As my hand dropped I caught sight of the ring on my right hand, prompting me to begin another ritual. The spell was simple and I barely felt the heat as I brought my ring to the wretched fool's forehead, satisfied with the imprint of the crest of Barnabas intermingled with what had been the crest of Chath Faer...


Draemorticus
01-16-99 03:48

"There is no time! Wake up damn you! Wake up!" His voice cut through the silence of the unlit room like thunder, its weary inhabitants stirring ever so slightly in their sleep. He walked to their shadowy bed and tore the sheets away, tossing them carelessly to the floor. The two people before him sat up awkwardly, the female screaming, the male already scrambling to his feet.

"Who is it? What right do you have to be in our home!" He reached for a long shape in the corner, and for a moment, the faint moonlight shone upon a length of steel. The invader advanced on him and he haphazardly raised the blade above his head, its point scraping a line in the low roof. The stranger acted quickly, having no intention of starting a fight. He batted the sword out of the man's hands, and the weapon fell harmlessly to the floor. The bewildered man stared at the blade for a moment, and then turned his angry gaze at the figure before him. Without another moment of hesitation, he lunged at the darkly clad man…

…and froze in mid leap.

That dark visage had been uncovered, and to the man's relief, and his horror, before him stood the Lord of New Ehvenor.

He collapsed to the ground, his body contorting in an extraordinary effort to keep his form from colliding with that of his ruler. Frightened eyes stared up from the ground, and his Lord's grim face stared right back.

"Milord! I-I didn't know it was you! Please! We're good people-"

"I've no intention of hurting you peasant!" The ruler spoke in quick sentences, his voice loud, yet the worry in his tone was clearly present. "Get up! I want you to find a pair of shoes, and a set of clothes."

The woman hurried away into a separate room, the man still attempting to drag himself off the plank floor. In a matter of moments he had regained his footing, and he stared wide eyed at his Lord, gasping for the proper way to address such high nobility in this odd situation. "B-but Lord-"

He turned on the half dressed peasant, grabbing him by his cotton nightshirt, "Fool! I will not have you question my commands now! All you need know, is that its no longer safe here!" The ruler's frame shook then, ever so slightly. He released his grip on the man's shirt, partly because he had already achieved the desired effect, and partly because he no longer had the will to hold on to him.

He backed away then, clutching his head in his hands. "N-not safe! Argh!" he screamed. His dark cloak caught on the bedpost, and he crashed to the floor. The confused peasant knelt to his side, waving his hands above the shuddering form of his ruler in an effort to determine what to do.

"L-leave me be!" the fallen Lord growled up at the man, "I'm fine! Now go! Find your wife and get out of this place! GO!"

From outside, the sounds of running could now be heard, as well as voices shouting at one another. From the small window on the room's eastern wall, figures could be seen flying by in the night, some on foot, others on horseback. The terrified man stumbled across the room on his hands and knees, shouting wildly to his wife in the other room. "Silvana! Silvana! Come! Please! Our Lord says we must go!"

The woman ran through the low archway from the next room, dragging a large, overstuffed bag behind her. This, the man grabbed hurriedly, throwing it across his shoulder, the whole time uttering worried comments to the air around him. The two raced out the door of their home and into the crowded streets of the city, the man's mutterings and the woman's screams quickly fading into the already overwhelming din.

With the house now deserted, The Lord of New Ehvenor slowly rose to his feet. He had hit his head in his fall, and it throbbed with a stinging pain somewhere behind his eyes. "Not safe…" he uttered again, and staggered towards the open door of the small cottage.


-Draemorticus
~RR~


Tarkyn
01-17-99

~The air grew heavy. The two countries that were once thriving, had become dank with the smell of heathen armies. Looking into her emerald green eyes, he nodded as the two began their spell. The ground started temoring as a lazy gas started to cover the countries. Not hesitating for a moment, the two tapped Barnabas' power as a great cone erupted from the land.

Destruction would come to the few who remained on these lands as it was purified. Slowly all traces of life would trickle under the fiery liquid of Barnabas.~

"Let us go, there is nothing more we can do here, the spell has been begun. No heathen can ever defile them again."

~Exhausted, they headed to the new lands the true god had bestowed onto them and settled down for the time being.~

"Do not worry about your smithys making those red suits Ky. We need to make fortifications. That is the object. The smithies will be there later."

~Her furrowed brow at his words told him of the unlikely hood of anything happening to that effect. He watched in half-spite, half-amusement as her elven smith's numbers increased threefold.~

"Shoulda figured you would have done that."

~They had taken to secretly scouting the other lands in this time. During a chance visit, they came upon an Angie general who had become a little too jealous. Noting this as a time to gain some information before they would claim revenge on them, he assumed a diplomatic stance.~

"Do yourself a favor and disclose your purpose in these lands."

~The brash general's response was never truly obtained. For as he threatened them, his throat split to one of Kyhera's stars.

Flashing an angry look at her, she responded calmly. "We have no time for this." The simple statement had been enough to appease his anger. He became slightly annoyed as she performed the ritual on the corpse.~

"There will be time for that after we finish our work....-a dark look covered his face- But if you must do this...do it while they still breath."

~Taking their leave of the area, they returned to the main tower. Looking over plans that had been made, he stared into her eyes and paused for a moment as the spell they cast over their former homes had started to take effect while another flash from their guildmate's land appeared...~


Kyhera
01-19-99

His words echoed in my ears.

"But if you must do this...do it while they still breathe."

I knew what he meant, but somehow it didn't matter to me. My ritual was not something that was done to mean anything to anyone but me. It was of no consequence to me that they were long dead when I performed it. The imprint of my former home's crest coupled with the crest of Barnabas was there for any Heathen to see.

I had appointed myself an emissary of justice, and I would not rest until the lot of them was sent to his or her own private hell.

We rode back to my keep; our keep really, for it was becoming more and more apparent that there was no distinction between his lands and mine.

As we entered the massive entrance I felt a deep satisfaction within me. I looked around; the rich tapestries that adorned these walls were as vibrant, if not more so, than what we had displayed at Chath Faer. We made our way into the dining hall; having been told a meal awaited us there. A meal, when was the last time I had eaten anything? My hate for the bastard followers of Leto and Anguelique had been enough to sustain me these last few days. However, even I knew that my body would need some sort of nourishment if I hoped to bring my own brand of "justice" to those that had laid Chath Faer to run. Of a sudden, I realized that I could not recall when my last meal had been, and found myself famished.

The sudden flash of pain dropped me to my knees. I brought my hands to either side of my head, sure that if I didn't do so it would split clear open. I dragged the silver headdress off as I fought the onslaught of searing pain. I felt Tarkyn's hand upon my shoulder as he asked

"Kyhera? What is it? Why are you holding your head that way? What is it?!"

I shook my head, my eyes unable to focus. If I let on that I was on the verge of fainting brought on by this demon of aggression that seemed to be exploding in my head, he would see it as another sign of weakness. The last thing I wanted was to be thought too fragile to continue my work outside these walls. I swallowed hard and rose, using every ounce of willpower to stop the shaking that had overcome my body.

"I am fine," I answered too brusquely, "I am just hungry tis all. Come, we have enough to do without wasting time on my inability to walk under the weight of this entire armor."

I pressed on, not giving him the chance to retort. I knew what was important, and was not about to let a distraction like this, take my mind from it. Still, I wished those bright lights that were going on behind my eyelids would stop, unwilling to admit I might be pushing myself outside my limits.


Desdemona

01-19-99

"Of all the horses that we lost when the stables were hit first, why couldn't Twist have been one of them??"

Maule handed the young boy back to his woman and sighed, watching as his cousin rode up through the straggled ranks upon the back of what was without a doubt the ugliest horse in the land. Tall,raw-boned, ears too large for it's head and it's neck almost too long to be natural...it's color was a dull roan, cursed with a straggly mane and tail. It's temperament was even uglier. But his cousin Desi refused to part with it,having been present and assisting in it's delivery.

With a muttered curse, he rode back to meet her, not liking the pallor of her skin or the shadows beneath her eyes.

"Tell me you have laid off the cherbok-root tea,cousin.." Maule pitched his voice low enough so that it only reached her ears as he pulled his horse back from getting too close to her's.

"Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies,cousin." she snapped, her quiet,raspy voice hoarse and sharp-toned.

Dropping her horse's rein,she gestured broadly,indicating their rag-tag party of survivors en route to their new lands.

"When we are settled I will stop drinking the tea...until then,there is too much to be done, no time for me to sleep." she said simply,letting her eyes drift slowly over all that remained of their people..

"There's no time for us to stop and pick up your drained body when you keel over from sheer stupidity!!" Maule snapped,feeling his temper rise and being too weary and worried to stop his words.

"Then get your sorry excuse for an arse into gear and get these people over the next hill,you fool!" she snapped right back. "We're almost there! If you're so all-fired concerned over my well-being then do yer part! Get 'em moving, I'll bring up the rear!!"

Not deigning to use the reins,she applied leg-pressure to the side of her horse,sending the ugly creature side-stepping into a spin that sent it cantering towards the rear of the party, effectively shutting her cousin and second-in-command up for the time being.

With a low growl,Maule bit back the string of curses that would do nothing but start an argument with an unreasonable woman... Turning his horse around, he applied his heels to it's sides,sending it forward towards the head of the party..

Confronting what was the most motley crew in all the realms,also referred to as her brothers and cousins, she shook her head ruefully,sighing in defeat.
"But it's a waste of energy and effort to go riding in there in a blaze of glory.."She tried reasoning with them, her eyes studying thier pale, proud, dust-covered countenances.

"But think of it as a morale booster.." wheedled Iannie,the brother closest to her.

"Think of it as our way of letting our foes know that we're still around.." pled Willem,holding his horse back from getting too near the evil-tempered Twist.

Eyes rolling slightly,she snorted quietly."Ohhh yes, like I have any great wish to announce our presence before our preparations are made..." she tried to squelch thier enthusiasm...but only half-heartedly.

Settling back, her body-weight signalled a halt to the horse she rode. Quirking an eyebrow, she considered thier request and studied the remnants of her people. The sorry-looking lot of them still carried thier heads held high as the transported all that remained of thier belongings with them upon this rough,dusty road.

Her view from horseback at the crest of that rise showed her what would be her lands... Those lands of her allies were already established and being fortified... The Romany Reii may have been hit and hit badly,but they still lived,gathered beneath the Cloak of the Gypsy Queen...it would take more than treachery,pain,destruction and death to kill the spirit of the Gypsy's People..

Her legs tight around Twist's sides,she flexhed her fingers slightly, her delicate silver rings glowing softly as she whispered a quick spell.

Her Working completed and ready to be set forward, she slyly looked side to side, dull violet eyes sparking to life as she leaned herself forward slightly,gesturing forward with one hand as she asked in a quiet voice.

"Shall we show our people the way to our new home,brothers??"

Not giving them a chance to respond, she signalled Twist forward, the tall,rangy mare exploding into action in one smooth, controlled burst of energy that reminded more than a few watchers why she had claimed that horse all those years ago...

With a wild,rebellious yell, the 5 riders who had been at her side followed her example, thier horses striving to catch up to the fast-fading Twist...

As she raced past Maule, she turned and flashed him a bright,wild smile of triumph as she gestured with one hand, her Working flaring into effect as she passed.

The people who had blindly and faithfully followed them looked up and smiled in relief as they saw the beacon of silver light bursting into view over what was thier new land.

Knowing that thier journey was almost over, thier steps became more brisk as thier burdens seemed to ease the closer they travelled to thier new home.

The first step of any journey was always the most difficult,but they were far from finished with thier travels... There was much to be done towards rebuilding..


Draemorticus
01-24-99 11:39

The streets were filled with people. The citizens of New Ehvenor poured from their homes, and under the direction of the city guard, were herded towards the capital's massive gates. With the realization of the task at hand, the Lord's vision quickly cleared, and the pain in his head somehow subsided. He made his way over to one of the mounted soldiers across the broad street and relieved him of his horse.

He climbed onto the animal's back and was given a clear view of the entire avenue. He had done what he could to get as many people out of their homes as possible, and there was probably not much more he could do personally. With only a slight motion, the well trained horse broke into a run below him, and he rode directly towards the main city gate. Only hours before he had disclosed this desperate plan to his council, and even now he found himself hoping they could carry it out correctly.

The city of New Ehvenor was built upon an open plain, surrounded by hills. Its streets were laid out at forty-five degree angles in the valley, and upon the hills, rested a number of guard towers. From the broad avenue he was on, he could see directly to the main street into the city. The throngs of people were becoming thicker now, as the entire crowd bottlenecked at the gates.

As he rode, he yelled out to the citizens he passed, cursing many for their slowness. The gate itself was in sight now, and had he a blade on him, and could the animal understand his words, he would have threatened its life to get it to move faster.

He yelled out ahead of him, and as the people realized the identity of the mounted figure, they parted. The confused citizens gazed upon the face of their Lord, and somehow they were given hope. Their Lord knew what he was doing. It would all be explained. The long procession through the city streets continued, now with its ruler at the forefront. He rode through the gates and beyond unhindered. Even once he was out of the gates, there was still quite a ways to travel… His council had fled the city earlier in the night before the actual alarm was set off. They all waited now on one of the many hills surrounding the valley. The people themselves were being moved to yet another hill, and on both, several scores of the country's most powerful sorcerers waited quietly.

Upon reaching the hilltop on which his advisors had found refuge, he dismounted, letting the horse wander free. A short, round little councilman approached him, a look of deep concern and utter distress filling his eyes. "Milord… you're sure this is the right action?" He said solemnly.

He breathed out heavily, and looked into the man's eyes. "Unfortunately… Yes... The forces of Angelique and Leto already know our lands lay virtually undefended..."

He looked out amongst the faces around him, some confused, some supportive, others angry, and yet others afraid. He ceased his low tones, and adopted as loud a voice as he could muster under the circumstances. "There is no other choice... It is only a matter of time before they would come and seize this kingdom. For Barnabas, we cannot let them take these lands! We could fight. But we would lose. We would waste the lives of thousands… and I don't believe any of you are willing to do that…"

The members of his council cast their eyes at the ground beneath their feet, and one by one, they nodded in agreement. They had been told was he planned hours before, but only now had they come to accept it.

The Lord of New Ehvenor looked down upon the empty city below, and the acres of land surrounding it. There was no choice. They would never be able to keep these lands from the heathens… and thus, if they already belonged to them… then they must be destroyed.

The kingdom's sorcerers waited for his command, some playing nervously with their long beards, others murmuring to each other, the final preparations being finished. The city was now completely deserted, the last of its inhabitants finally clear of the outer walls.

At his nod, the sorcerers began their chant. Within several moments, great spheres rose up around the two hills. The citizens of New Ehvenor watched silently as the great domes encircled them, their shimmering surface looking somewhat like huge bubbles. The two globes crossed at one point, leaving a clear archway between the two hills so that people might pass through. The wizards' chant continued for several more minutes, and that shimmering surface slowly solidified, leaving the people within with a slightly distorted vision of the world around them. With the completion of this first spell, the sorcerers immediately began yet another. This second however, was nothing like the first. The words of the first had seemed rather light. They had been spoken quickly and harshly, yet somehow made the listeners feel safe. In comparison to the second, it had seemed almost "friendly." The second's slow, rhythmic words sounded more of a dirge than a spell. Through several hushed gasps from the people around them, the sorcerers spoke in low tones, dragging out every syllable.

Several minutes into the spell, the people of New Ehvenor became aware of a low rumbling sound, and through the murky surface of the spheres, a red light could be seen in the sky. It's hue could be described as nothing but blood red, as it slowly began tinting the clouds around the empty capital. After yet another few moments the noise stopped abruptly, and they all looked around in bewilderment. The red continued to grow in the skies, and the surface of the globes around them continued to shimmer silently, soothingly. The populace continued to watch the sky silently, and then, without warning from the chanters nor the odd environment around them, the sky flashed brightly above the city, and all who watched the display shielded their eyes.

The brilliant light was slow in dimming. And even when it began subsiding, the red tint in the clouds refused to diminish with it. It seemed as if the clouds above New Ehvenor had descended upon the hapless city and had become more of a bloody fog, its lazy vapors winding their way through the city streets. The confusion among the city's former inhabitants began to grow again as they observed this strange spectacle. For a while nothing could be heard but the quiet whispers of the people, and nothing could be seen except the red glow that began pouring from the city into the lands beyond.

Suddenly a disturbance could be heard from amongst the people, and someone shouted loudly. He stood from his seat on the grass so that he could point over the heads of those in front of him. "Look!" he yelled, his unwavering finger pointing directly at what had been their Lord's palace. From amidst the blood red glow, a hint of orange could now be seen, and with it grew other colors. Lighter shades of red and yellow grew amongst the orange, and the surface of these vibrant colors began to churn violently.

The lights suddenly broke out from within the palace, and the people finally realized what they gazed upon... The infernos of Barnabas at work. The fire spread wildly throughout the city and overwhelmed the dark red fog. The buildings within the capital's walls exploded with the flames that consumed them, and upon the hill, there was many a gasp and shriek to be heard. The people stared awestruck at the power that consumed their former home, tears forming in the eyes of many.

The inferno spread from the city into the lands beyond, and to the horror of those kept safe within the spheres, it even threw itself up against the curved walls of their present sanctuary. When the presence of the flames had appeared, the wizards quickly retired to the rear of the sphere encased hills, many calling upon their Lord to speak quickly lest they become the target of a mob of citizens.
This their Lord did. He moved quietly towards the archway between the spheres, so that those on both hills could hear the sound of his voice. "My people… I apologize. Yet you have to realize there was no other way-"

Someone cried out from the crowds, his deep voice wavering ever so slightly, "No other way to what! Ruin our fair city!?"

With his words, others spoke out angrily, "Tyrant! Betrayer!" Their bitter words fell upon the ears of their Lord like he knew they would. He had expected this... there was no way he could not have expected it.

"My people!" He began again, attempting to raise his voice above those of the angry citizens around him, "The forces of Angelique and Leto know of New Ehvenor's location! Do you not see! Within days they would have come, and THEY would have taken our lands! THEY would have destroyed our homes, and murdered our loved ones in their beds!"

He paused, his words carrying throughout the multitudes around him. The voices of many were hushed, and others bowed their heads. "Oh my people… Do you not see… By our actions, we have sealed this land from the forces of Lady Law and the Chaosbringer. Our lives and our memories are forever safe from their grasp! Look around you, the flames of Barnabas cleanse this land, it burns all that our enemies could have used. It is for the best. By destroying this place, we can ensure that it will never fall into the foul hands of the heathen faiths!"

The people gathered about him fell silent once more, the attention of some already directed back on the burning land around them… and by now, it was -more- than simply burning. Through the ever protective surface of the spheres, they could see the land in their valley melt before their eyes, as Barnabas' might drove the molten ground skyward in sharp stalagmites.

The fires burned through the night, and slowly began to dim as dawn approached. The ground had finally solidified, leaving all within their sight a twisted remnant of what it had once been. The Lord of New Ehvenor, or of what remained, had instructed his people to sleep through the night's display... They had obeyed solemnly, however their confidence in their leader still remained tarnished. Regardless, they knew it was for the best. They had far to travel. He had done this before when he had first been found by the Romany Reii. They had traveled for what seemed like ages… This could be no worse.

With the morning, their sanctuary had faded, leaving strange interlocking circles on the ground where it had once stood. The land on the outside of these circles was scarred beyond belief… and where the great spheres had once stood, a fine line could be seen between the green land within, and the grey without.

An hour after sunrise, the people had gathered their few remaining belongings and prepared to leave. The Lord and his council had decided it would be best to travel through the lands of their allies, and hopefully, beyond their dead kingdom, they would be able to find a temporary asylum.

The journey would be long, and perhaps with Barnabas as their eternal guide, they might find a place like that which they had left, waiting for them at the end...


-Draemorticus
~RR~


"The night skies tinted red, and the clouds became a vortex of flame…
The heat, so hot the very earth began to boil beneath its power…
The city of New Ehvenor was blasted from the land…
The molten earth rose in great spires…
The wastes that remained became useless to mortal men…
And what were once the lands of Barnabas' faithful…
Forever became a tribute to his power…"


-Excerpt from the Tale of the Fleeing of New Ehvenor, written in the year Five Hundred and Twenty, Barnabian Calendar


Raila
01-26-99 12:01

BOOM!

BOOM!

The Keep shook with the force of the impact of the siege engine ramming the walls.

BOOM!

Again and again it rammed. The mages were doing what they could to reinforce the wall as the remnants of her people through the bolt holes, but they were both weakening with every shuddering contact.

She stood over the main force of her few troops, backs to the people, facing the doors. She would be damned if she was going to let them into her Last bastian, her Sanctuary without taking as many of the bastards with her as possible.

BOOM!

One of the cooks came to her and put her hand lightly on her shoulder. Raila turned and looked down at the plump woman who had always made sure that she had an extra biscut or a fresh loaf of bread at her side at meals.

They were both bloody and ragged. Sore and hurt. Yet they looked at each other with a deep understanding.

BOOM!

++Everyone is through M'Lady. 'Ceptin you and the rest of the army.++

Turning her lavender eyes on her "army", she nodded once and smiles ruefully.

All she had left was her General, a few wardens and a handfull of archers.

All her Griffons were dead. Their carcasses littered the battlements.

BOOM!

Her fortresses crumbled.

So many of her peasants lie in crumpled heaps. The children in pathetic little balls that would never know the joy of another summer. Never enjoy another Birthing day. Never know the bliss of a first kiss.

Her eyes misted and she wiped at them angrily.

She instructed the men to move every piece of furniture left in the lower level of the Keep against the door.

BOOM!

As exhaused as she was, both mentally and physically, she levitated the larger pieces and moved them with the help of her men to barricade the doors further.

The mages exited next, followed lastly by her troops.

BOOM!

She stood at the entrance to the bolt hole and looked back at her keep one last time.

It seemed to weep with her.

++Aluve abbil. Rest well.++

She exited her home into unknown lands, and whatever fate Barnabas had deigned for her....


Rue stopped, unable to continue the story, her eyes shining as she remembered that battle. Under the roof of the halls of The Black Hand she had watched as her brothers and sisters in faith had been dealt a heavy blow. She dropped her head, eyes blinking rapidly as if to erase that painful memory from the canvas of her mind.

The old woman reached a trembling hand towards the young elven maiden.

Methinks you found a friend or two during your 'observations' dearie

Rue nodded slightly, the drink in her hand capturing her focus wholly while she regained her composure . . .
~§~ Rué ~§~
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It is what it is; it was what it was; but who I am is not
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Rue
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