The Plot To Capture The Dardenites ~ Tiavain, SO, RoD

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Postby Lyssia » Mon Nov 03, 2003 10:10 am

Even as the sand made its way towards the Torturer the sorceress could almost feel what was about to happen. It wasn't a vision of any sort, just a sensation, almost a feeling of having been here before. In a way she had, she had definitely been present the last time Maledict's body had been taken from him, taken by her hands, by her actions. But though she almost knew what was to happen, still the sorceress did not make any move to stop it or try and alter its end result. Only her horse moved, turning its head from the whirling sand and flicking its long, wild tail. The Sidhe merely watched events unfold before her, looking from the obscured form of the Torturer, to the 'white' mage of Tiavain, to the archers upon the city walls and then to her own hands. Not once did she react, seeming instead more interested in dislodging grains of sand beneath her finger-nails than moving to stop what was happening.

Had Astavia truly thought that she could capture the demon with such a device? Surely not, surely any that had truly thought to try and capture Maledict would have known better than that? If she had wished to attempt it, she would have at least researched her prey better, and Lyssia did not think that Astavia would be so foolish as to play the game that she was a part of without being fully informed. In which case something else would occur, some other play on behalf of the mage, something that the sorceress would be on her guard for. And of course, if that were not true, if the hourglass and sand were all the Tiavain woman had, well perhaps the game would grow far more interesting still. If she had been in Astavia's place then she would most certainly have had another card or more up her sleeve. There again if she had been Astavia she owuld never have tried to capture the demon; kill him? Yes, but capture? Ah well she supposed that was the way of the shorter lived races.

Unlike the demon assuming his tue form, Lyssia could not feel what else would happen, could not tell which way the sands of time would flow. That they would flow was a given, but which way they would dance was another matter entirely. Perhaps if Ebony had been able to throw off her shroud of sleep...visions of the future, no such things could not be trusted, especially not if they were, as Ebony and the tribesmen believed, a gift of Darden. The Trickster God was a devious creature, tricking follower and heathen alike, His sense of humour sometimes seeming gentle, at other times wickedly barbed.

The sorcerss did not watch as the archer was taken over by the ink-black soul of the demon, she did not need to see the repercussions of Astavia's actions. But still she could not help but wonder...did the 'white' mage realise the fate that her actions had brought upon that archer? Did she realise what would happen to the men and women of the city if Maledict chose to leap from one fleshy home to another? Somehow Lyssia doubted it. Or if she did realise...well then perhaps House Dovanucci would have been better off moving nearer the black monolith and away from the white. An interesting thought really, but not one that would help the unfortunate who had been taken over by the demon, whose flesh was slowly warping because of the new 'inhabitant'. And what of the archer's soul? It was still there, still aware, did he know what was happening to him? Did he realise that he woud more than likely meet his end because of Astavia's actions? Perhaps, she trusted that he would at least retain enough sanity to make his peace before it was too late.

And yet behind her cold, expressionless mask, there was more going on in the Sidhe's mind that simply wondering where events would take them next. There was the old familiar flicker of anger, not just towards the demon now, but also towards Astavia. The 'white' mage had no idea of the 'sacrifices', as Maledict had called them, that Lyssia had made, no idea of what she had bargained with to ensure that the Tortuer would no longer twist another's flesh, that he had flesh of his own to inhabit. And now all of that was undone, but even so the debt of Lyssia's sacrifice was not, that the Sidhe would still have to live with. The sorcerss had risked her very soul and now....now all because some mage wished for knowledge it was all undone. One of her hands balled itself into her fist, her nails digging into the soft skin of her palm, threatening to draw blood.

It had been the final debt, the last one owed and the last one to be paid for, that had given the demon back his flesh after she attempted to kill him. She had bartered with an unknown spirit and given up some of her own blood in order to repair the damage that she had done. She had become bound to an entity that she had cared nothing for in order to make sure that Maledict would not have to taint another innocent soul with his own darkness. And now it was all for naught because some mage decided that she had to have Maledict's secrets. It was enough to make the sorceress scream, in her mind at least, at the actions, thoughts and goals of certain souls.

The appearance of Zanafien surprised Lyssia far more than Astavia's little trick or the resulting actions of the demon. His words caused her to smile a little, here at least was one who understood that knowledge could not be taken by force as a soldier might take land or a thief gold. Knowledge was a cruel and demanding mistress, one that required study and hard work from her disciples, not brute force. Perhaps it was only with time that a soul came to understand such things, perhaps the lives of certain races burned too brightly and too fast for them to ever come to complete understanding. Maybe no one ever truly understood, not the youngest or the oldest of races, perhaps not even the Gods lived for long enough to understand it all. Certainly no one, not even the Divine, lived for long enough to learn from all their mistakes.

It amused her to hear Zanafien tell Astavia that she should have sent a missive, asking for their presence rather than doing what she had. 'White' mage indeed to do what she had, killing thousands of innocents just because she cared to find out one thing or another. Perhaps Zanafien might have answered Astavia's message and spoken to her of what she wished to know. Somehow Lyssia doubted that Maledict would have done so, though the thought of the white mage and the demon sitting down and discussing matters over a cup of tea did amuse her. And as for her? Once in the previous age she had come to Tiavain, seeking out some possible cure for the ailment that that struck down Ebony. If Astavia had asked her of magic and similar matters then perhaps the sorceress might well have answered her and been glad to do so. But matters had changed since then, the sorceress had changed since then, fire and fury at wrongs done changing her, reminding her if another time and another place.

But still the sorceress did not react, still she did not call upon the Art to protect her or strike out against the one who had quite clearly marked herself as an enemy. No instead Lyssia continued to sit upon her horse and merely watch what occured around her, almost as if it was no more than a play upon the stage of a theatre and she was the audience. The sorceress had not spoken a word to any of the other players in the piece, she simply watched one or the other, waiting to see what move each would make.

Finally she sighed and spoke, Enough of this game, give the demon back his flesh Istar, you gain nothing through this course of action. Unless of course your aim was to bring further pain and suffering upon the people of Tiavain?
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Postby Neve » Mon Nov 03, 2003 10:53 am

Never Solis felt the call to the dead. So, the fools had approached the city, as if it were unprotected. A city of mages! Such an action was not brave, it was stupid. Never put down the book he had been reading. He held out a hand and the giant form of Bathasar handed Never Bu'urzh Ongrim. Using the staff to pull himself to his feet, Never smiled a familiar smile, on which did not reach his eyes.

Darras.. The young apprentace stepped foward. I feel the restless, someone has called to them. Ready the others, you go take control of the undead, in small waves. No one can hold control of them all with several others trying to take a small portion for themselves. They will fall like drops of water from a glass with a small hole. Soon, there will be nothing left of his hoard. And do take some of that... Blessed water we liberated from our dear priests of Isonia. If you cannot gain control, then make sure they do not walk any longer.

Never himself was heading for the trouble at the walls. A small, unseen deamon had brought word of the events. Deamons and sorceresses, at the gates of my city, Never thought. Unacceptable. The tunnels would take them to the front in little time. Little time at all...
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Postby Demetria » Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:14 am

She'd watched Tiavain's troops as they had exited the pass, giggling softly as Maledict and his troops easily cut the soldiers down. She never tired of watching heathens decimated. Watching her mate lead in their destruction was a sight to relish. Of course, it was seldom that the enemy would keep pouring through the pass without attempting to retreat when faced with such odds. She could hear faintly that one of their generals was screaming somthing to his troops. She was too far away to hear what was said however, so it came as a bit of a shock when Maledict turned, leaving his men to fight while he disappeared. Frowning, she'd left her vantage point to go find her band of thieves.

Within minutes of reaching the heart of the war activities, she'd learned all she needed to know. Tiavain had set out to capture the Torturer. Maledict in his usual way had decided to meet them on his own terms to show them their folly. She couldn't help but grin at the thought of what he would do to them for their arrogance. If he was going to meet them on their own turf, the least she could do was to take the battlefield to their encampment. Motioning to the small group of cutthroats and spies she'd gathered to herself, they silently made their own way out of the city and toward the enemy.

It had been a long night. She was often overlooked because she kept to the shadows. She kept to the shadows this night as well. They never knew who was there. By the time she was through, the enemy was sorely lacking in means to worship their bitch- and she'd had one of their sorcerers in her grasp. That was when the real fun began.

The Torturer had come by nis name deservedly and Demetria had learned at his hand the methods to make one talk without allowing the victim to die. She couldn't claim that she was an expert as Maledict himself was, but she felt some sense of pride as she looked down at her work- what was once a strong, arrogant sorcerer was now a blubbering mass of ooze. Ooze was the only term that could fit, since there was not a piece of skin left intact or an orifice that wasn't leaking blood, mucus or some other bodily fluid. Yet the wretched creature still lived, and now babbled different rites to her that he had used to wreak his magics on the Dardenites.

Demetria hadn't a clue as to what the incantations meant or would cause. She hadn't asked the man that. She didn't really care. All she wanted was the spells themselves, so that she could use them against those who dared to come against her own. She was able to use them after all. Hadn't the journal she'd read, stated (in her birth mother's own handwriting) that she came from a lineage of sorcerer's? Hadn't it said that the ability to wield magic was in her blood? She'd not told anyone of her newfound ability. She hadn't quite known how to bring it up. But now seemed like the perfect opportunity to test herself and see if the journal spoke true.

Again, taking her small band of thieves, she'd made her way to the city of Tiavain. In the distance she could make out the gathering that was Maledict...and a few others. She didn't bother herself with wondering who the others were, just yet. Instead she deliberately went around to the other direction, so she would be on the opposite side of the city. Then she began her work.

Standing on the edge of the city she began to unleash her magic on the heathens. Fire was her chosen element and the fire rained down in torrents on their unsuspecting heads. She could see the archers that lined the city walls as the flames engulfed them. Their screams of shock and agony. What she did not see was their charred remains. It was very odd. Motioning to two of her thieves, she sent the men to drag back one of the archers who had fallen from the wall after her fires had engulfed him. Her eyes widened as she looked at what she'd wrought.

Instead of blistered and burned skin and bone- there was deformity. The man's skin had been affected- but it had shifted on his body, giving his body the appearance of a melted candle. His face sagged and drooped, the folds of flesh falling over his eyes and mouth, then melding together in a macabre mask of what the man had once looked like. His hair grew in tufts on a mostly baldened head- but the tufts there grew course and stuck up like the bristly coat of a wild boar. The mans hands had been forged into mis-shapen claws, the bone curling around toward itself and the joints fusing together. One of his legs had grown to an unnatural length while the other had atrophied, the foot drawing in on itself to form a "club" with tiny toes. He was in short, a work of garrish, brutal art. And she had somehow caused it. Her fires, had not acted as fire at all, but had been corrupted into something else entirely.

What an interesting turn of events. Her soft giggle, slowly grew until it was a high pitched cackle that carried on the wind and into the city she was tormenting. She unleashed her raw, untrained abilities at them, letting her power speak for itself.
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Postby Aranor » Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:54 am

ooc This was posted with permission and will be edited only if Murdock wants anything added or deleted.

He smiled this war was being hard fought. By the rumblings of his men it had been rumored that they were close to capturing one of the three. They had been fighting against his men and were going to have to continue a fight to capture. He had not thought much of anything he had his secrets untold to most of Tiavain as another way to take care of things. He smiled the spells he had worked were going to come in handy if needed at all. He grinned and set forth into the lands. He had not noticed that his troops had switched over who they were fighting. It was still a bloody battle he watched some friends fall. He had not yet felt threatened he knew some of the lands he had claimed for the city had been taken back or just destroyed. This did not anger him at all this however did make him more sure of what he needed to do. He needed to follow through with the orders. Then a word came they had found where orders had been getting given from. He sent a strong troop of men consisting of men and beasts. His orders were simple. Kill everything and bring the leader of the kingdom only alive. He was the only one that they were interested in. The men went and searched out killing those that they ran into. It was obvious who the leader was and was not. They fought with him, the battle with him was as hard as the battle to begin with. If they were taking him it was not going to be for an easy taking. Aranor spoke the words silently to Summon the Pack, a pack of wolves was now aiding in the quest to capture one. After hours of battle, and hours of planning and replanning. The word came back. The leader of this kingdom had been captued. The orders went out that the mages were to keep this one from being able to use magic, and that he was to be kept a close eye on. Since he was being held by the back of his team of warriors and mages he had not seen the one they captured.

He led them all back to Tiavain wanting to not bring attention to themselves they stopped at the keep that belonged to the house. That is when he found the grave mistake that was made. It was not one of the three that was wanted that his men had caught it was the one who had spent a short time in Tiavain, his name was something like Murdock wasn't it. He sent messengers out to let a few know of the capture and the mistake made. Not being sure what to do yet he sat there and looked at him.

It seems after escaping from here long ago it would seem this was a fitting return. Though you were not the one we were intending to capture and I am not sure if you are even worth keeping. So tell me do you like things that slither and hiss, I have some pets who would love to come and play. Oh and if something is needed let me know, I am sure you could use a drink. I would not want one to think that I was anyhting less than a gracious host.

He had dismissed most from his presence keeping only those that were needed. He shook his head as he sat there watching him.
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Postby Shadowwander » Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:23 pm

As the war fought on the veracious was growing. He looked upon the latest kingdom that his minions had moved upon. Fire and the smell of burning flesh filled the thick air. Watching as the darklings began to do the mop up. Chasing down the ones that were to be slaves and those to be sacrifices. The wounded was no matter to him. They would feed the shadow demons.

As he watched, a small shadow servant formed from nothingness near his ear, began to whisper of the fight between Astavia and the Torturer. And another was near by. A grin curled his lips as he heard the name Lyssia. He indeed knew both these names. It was time for him to come face to face with those of his past.

As shadowWander turned he peered into the mind of the small shadow servant getting the exact image of where they were. With the image with in thoughts, ShadowWander spoke the ancient language as swirling mist of darkness was born. He stepped thru with a few of his Shadow Darklings. The shadow Darklings were a creation of his beyond the darkling hordes. But one of most interesting features.

As soon as they stepped into the mist, a drop of the sand in a hour glass. They stepped out on the sands before the city of Tiavian. His gazed turned to the figures that stood upon the sands. His eyes burned with the dark furnaces of the abyss. A grin curled his lips.


Greetings to all, seemed all were having so much fun. I had to come out and play.

His gazed darkened even more, as he watched them ready for almost anything.
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Postby Murdock Pryor » Mon Nov 03, 2003 6:19 pm

Murdock walked along with the Mages with a smirk on his face as they stopped in front of the House he smiled and watched through the crowd of men to see who else but Aranor himself. Murdock smiled and chuckled a bit as he watched Aranor walk nearer. Remembering his past as Aranor walked towards him Murdock thought of the good times and all the things that had he had been through with the guild of Tiavain then suddenly hearign the voice lost so long ago in the past.

It seems after escaping from here long ago it would seem this was a fitting return. Though you were not the one we were intending to capture and I am not sure if you are even worth keeping. So tell me do you like things that slither and hiss, I have some pets who would love to come and play. Oh and if something is needed let me know, I am sure you could use a drink. I would not want one to think that I was anyhting less than a gracious host.

Murdock looked at Aranor and looked at the men slowly dissapating as he smiled and looked at the man holding his Staff that he had recieved from the guild of Tiavain. Pointing to the staff he looked at Aranor.

You know I'd love to have a drink but that staff I will need. I promise you Aranor you know me better then to stab you in the back. I just fell in love with my staff and would love to be able to have it in my possesion, and of course, we should go for a drink.

Murdock looked at the man as he opened his hand awaiting for the man to hand him his staff, he saw Aranor look at the man holding Murdock's staff awaiting an action.
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Postby Kiyomori » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:42 am

The warhost marches out of the cave into the brilliant light of Intop's glory. Blindfolded warrior after blindfolded warrior strides out of the former salt mine. The Herklaedi are in the fore, plate armour gleaming in the sun, long-hafted axes gripped tight. Behind them come the scouts, sept after sept in loose formation, overlapping plates of toughened leather protecting vital organs.

Kiyomori's hand clutches the shortspear. As the warriors of the Anub-Re warhost exit the mine, they form into orderly ranks. The massed herklaedi march shoulder to shoulder, five abreast down the mountain path. Behind them, the scout septs fall into a vee, three scouts to each side of the sept-leader in a tight wedge.

The march continues, down the track and out into the red sands. The march is a comfortable pace, long legs eating up the distance, without being forced enough to over-tire the warriors of the Dark Below. They march in silence. There is no need for random talk, no need to fill the silence with words. The Anub-Re march to war, and every mind is focussed on the battles to come.

Time passes more quickly on a march. Kiyomori allows himself to slip into the half-awake, half-asleep state where time is somehow less relevant. Eventually, the warhost reaches the outskirts of the central settlement. Blinking back to full wakefullness, Kiyomori moves forward as the host of warriors pause, seeking the fólkhagi. As the sept leader nears the front of the column, he is joined by the armoured figure of the Herald of Dawn.

Elador and the two Anub-Re walk through the settlement in silence, towards the main temple. The building looms over the two as they approach. Massive and rocky, it seems less a building than something drawn up from the ground beneath. Reaching the entrance to the temple, they halt, waiting calmly.
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Postby Eskil » Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:02 am

Eskil appeared from within the darkened recesses of the temple, hood pulled up to protect his face from the harsh sunlight, pale skin covered by his volumous robes. The Nillai priest was considered tall by the standards of the desert people, but still he seemed short when compared to the Anub-Re before him. He nodded in greeting to the two Anub-Re, May the blessings of the Lord be upon you. It had not been so long ago when the Sidhe woman had brought the Anub-Re to the temple for the first time, showing the tribes that they were not as isolated as they had thought they were. He still wasn't sure exactly what to make of the dog-headed warriors or their lands beneath the red desert, but they were good true Dardenites, strong in battle and in faith. Without a doubt they would be needed in the battle against the heathen magic-users of Tiavain.

The settlement seemed even more quiet than usual, not even the usual soft sounds of labour disturbed the air. It almost seemed as though every soul in the settlement, save for Eskil and the Anub-Re, had vanished. The desert tribes had learned long ago that sometimes it was best to apparently vanish, to disappear into the sands and wait for the enemy to grow too bold. And then they would appear once more, fighting to reclaim what Darden had given to them to watch over, cleansing the heathen presence from the sacred red sands. They would strike, lashing out suddenly and from the least expected quarter, only to vanish into the sands as soon as the enemy turned their way. It was a long used tactic of the tribes and more than that...it was one they were very good at.

Please, he said gesturing towards temple doors, Enter the temple in faith, you are most welcome here. I would imagine that the Lord has directed you here, in the Darden faith's time of need, as the heathens beset us and seek to destroy that which is beyond their power. The red sands have been harshly attacked by the heathens of the city of Tiavain, Isonian spell-singers, wicked wretches that are blinded to the light of the Lord. They have also launched attacks towards the lands of the Renegades, men and women true to their faith.

It was at times of war that Eskil had to wonder if he would not have been more use to his homeland as a warrior and not a priest. Certainly priests had their part to play during wartime, ranging from calling the Lord's storms down upon the heathen masses and protecting their flock from the foul powers of their foes, to watching over the spiritual well-being of their flock and tending to those who had already passed over to the Lord's judgement. The last was his duty, ensuring that the flesh of the departed was cleansed and properly prepared for the soul's journey to the afterlife. With his own hands he had lit the funeral pyres of more fellow priests than he cared to think about, over seeing the funeral pyres of the non-priests, making sure that the proper prayers were spoken to send the soul on its way and ensure that it was not still tethered by its cold flesh.

But still...to have been able to fight for his homeland, to weild a weapon and watch as heathens fell before him. Couldn't the red desert have had more use for one more warrior and one less priest? He harnessed his thoughts, such wishings for what was not to be was not how a priest of the Lord should behave. The Lord Darden had set his path before him, deciding before Eskil was ever born that he would be a priest and not a warrior, and he was no man to go against the wishes of his Lord. His life was Darden's to command and He had commanded that it would be a life of prayer, faith, devotion and duty, one that would rely on the teachings and not a blade.

He took a few steps back into the darkness of the temple, In response, the Sidhe witch has taken a handful of Himmetian riders to the city itself, seeking to destroy that portion of the city that dared to cast its unholy spells towards the lands of the Torturer himself. She has no more than ten riders with her and we can do no more for her than to pray that the Lord watches over her path and that He gives the riders and their mounts strong and true. The Blessed-Beast, Silus, has taken the majority of our troops to the south-east, readying himself to take back what the heathens cannot keep while holding our borders as best he can. The tribes are with him but whether they can cleanse the territory of the unworthy heathens is a matter that only Darden Himself knows. If it is His will that the sands are no longer under our guardianship then it will be so. But the Lord of Sorrows gave those lands into our care when the isle first formed, or so the teachings say, to watch over them till the End Times. We shall have the red sands returned to us, the heathens will be driven out, no matter how much tribal blood is spilt.

Eskil wondered how the Anub-Re had fared in the first attacks of the heathens in their underground home. Perhaps the Lord had blessed them and seen fit to leave them with the soldiers to retaliate against the Isonian agressors. And if the warriors of the desert above and the desert below marched as one? Well it would not be long before the walls of Tiavain came crumbling down, of that Eskil was sure.
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Postby Milabar » Tue Nov 04, 2003 10:42 am

Watching the war flow back and forth upon the sands of the desert towards the south, I look towards the north and cocking an eyebrow in disbelief, I chuckle lightly as I see Astavia walk towards the leaders she wanted to capture. The Dardenite leaders were out alone the gates, at least one of them that she had wanted. The Demon, Maledict.

Watching as she attempts to capture the darden leader, I am hardly surprised when the body of the demon is indeed captured but the essence of the demon stays. You can not destroy a demon while they hold something, sometimes a soul of another, something something different, but while they hold that essence, they can't be destroyed or captured, only turned for a while.

Watching as the demon blinks out, I lean forward in my chair, getting a better view out of my tower window, as I hear the chime from the wards start to ring softly. Demonic creature, unrestrained. Intresting, each ward had thier own tone as well.

Snapping out of my thoughts for a moment, I whisper the words of a protection from evil and protection from mortal weapons. Turning slowly, I grasp my sword from the table, and slinging it over my back, I flick my hands, grabbing the Staff of Neutrality as well.

Looking around the tower room for a moment, I invision the item that I am seeking, and holding out my hand, I feel the pull of magic as I will it to my hand. Quite hard when you don't know exactly where it was. Feeling an item rest lightly in my hand, I open my eyes and smile. Perfect, placing the item in one of my pockets, and holding onto the staff, I look back down at Astavia, getting where she is exactly.

Waving my hand in a circle, I watch as the small vortex opens, and stepping through, I flick my hand forward as I step through to stand beside Astavia, the black void lighting striking forth towards the demon, killing the solider that was beside him.

Glancing over at Astavia, I have a slight twinkle in my eye. Leaning over slightly, I whisper in her ear.


"I honestly hope this is what you were wanting, cause my wards are going off as we speak with that demon standing there. But, needless to say, I was watching from my tower, and since I saw you alone out here, I figured for your support in the council, I would come and support you on the field. Just for a show of trust between Tarrant and Dovanucci."


Holding the staff in my hand lightly, I reach into the pocket, and holding out a small rod, I grin at her lightly, whispering still in her ear.


"This might help. It was built originally to block against Risetti's demonic and necromancy arts, but it is basicly just an enhancement tool. The pearl will help focus any spells you cast, while the amber rod will help enhance the spell with a slightly more powerful kick. See if it helps."


Watching as another solider walks closer to the demon, I flicker my hand forward again, watching as the lighting encloses and sends the solider twitching, before burning into ashes. I couldn't allow another body to get close to the demon. While he could transport from the wall into another soul, the wards, as he got closer to a House, would help hinder his ability to do so. Hopefully this will be resolved before that is needed to happen, for while demons were an everyday session with me in the void, this one was....Maledict, one in which many knew, and one that not even I took lightly.


"So....ya got a plan, Mistress of the White? Or are we just winging it out here?"
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Postby Aranor » Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:02 pm

He smiled at Murdock.

This has been a most interesting turn of events. But the staff will be returned once I know what to do here. Now the servants will be bringing food and drink. And you can tell me of what you plan to do. I know that this war has been quite interesting though with being leaderless your home was easy to over come the forces of even with the little that I had concentrating on there.

He looked over at him and shrugged slightly as he looked aroun at the choices.

Now tell me something Murdock, tell me of what makes a few turn from what they say they believe in to something that is against that?
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Postby Murdock Pryor » Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:14 pm

First, you better return the staff or your in trouble.

Laughing Murdock smiled at Aranor and shook his hand and sat down watching the servants running around getting food and drink organized and ready. Sitting down Murdock took his cloak off and sat quietly and looked at Aranor.

I've never really turned, I'm always going to be myself for sure. I have old friends I became attached to and decided maybe it was tiem for a change. Although I did not intend on meeting you again on a note such as this. My plans aren't much just rebuild like you know I have always been capable of doing so, and from there I will just continue my rule like always. As for the army you should know I'm not the warrior I used to be. I'm more of a information collector now, I've made a few changes in my style.

Murdock smiled at Aranor knowing that Aranor knew well what he was talking about and what kind of a home he had created for himself instead of the great warrior kingdom he once ruled in Tiavain. Murdock sat and watched Servants approaching as he kept his eyes on his staff as he smiled and closed his eyes, and looked in the direction of the staff making it freezing cold the servant dropped the staff to the ground. Murdock laughed and looked back at Aranor.

Sorry I couldn't resist, you know how sentimental that is to me.
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Postby Masashi » Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:45 pm

The inside of the temple is cooler, and much darker. Masashi removes the blindfold with some relief. Here, it is not needed. Outside, where the light of Darden's glory shines, it is unbearable.

In the name of He Who Holds The Bowl, I greet you. Forces marching under banners of purple entered the Dark Below through the mines. The initial attacks were defeated, but they seem to have been mere scouting forces, testing our strength. We were able to evacuate most of the residents of the outer caves to the sanctuary of the Isle before the second wave of attacks. Most of our losses, therefore, were merely property destruction or looting.

The fólkhagi cannot help but be grateful for that small mercy. The Anub-Re are, by the standards of the Desert Above, a pitifully small race.

Given that the invaders appear to have entered through the mine-workings, it was apparent that the Desert Above must be under attack. Now that we have secured our own position, we march to your aid.

So. We must find a balance between the defense of our homes and the destruction of our enemies. Do you have maps?


Maps are quickly provided, and the two Anub-Re and one grey-skinned human lean over them. One thing soon becomes apparant. If the Anub-Re are to have any hope of reaching Lyssia's riders, the herklaedi will have to remain. Granted, the shield-wall warriors are strong enough to force-march to the heathen city, but not strong enough to be in any fighting shape once they do.

Very well. I shall remain here with the Herklaedi and defend our twin lands. We shall march immediately to make our stand beside the Blessed Beast of Darden.

Kiyomori, you will lead the scouts; as fólkhagi, I am sending the scout forces to take the battle to the enemy. Take all of our skirmishers ... hmm, take the warpriests, too, and inform them that the Sverdmund will march alongside you in Darden's name. Elador, I would suggest you accompany Kiyomori. Masanomi is a good second and a mighty warrior, but you alone among us have knowledge of the surface world.


We can provide you with guides, warleader of the Anub-Re Eskil says, gently. They will lead you to the walls of the heathens. We can also provide you with guides to lead you to the side of the Blessed-Beast

Very well. I thank you for your cooperation, Father Eskil. May Darden watch over you, Kiyomori. With Masanomi at your side, I believe you will bring destruction to our enemies

It shall be as you say, fólkhagi. Masanomi is a good secondleader, a powerful warrior and a close friend. I could ask for no more. In Darden's name, we shall bring destruction upon these heathens of Tiavain.

Masashi nods. Kiyomori speaks well, and the fólkhagi is grateful for the reliability of Kiyomori, Masanomi and their sept.
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Postby Anjolie » Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:49 am

"What news from the shadows, Zina?" Anjolie sat at her desk in the rather unimpressive house that served as the central command post in the republic that had been founded by the freed peasants of various kingdoms. The elf priestess that served as Anjolie's advisor stepped from a darkened corner of the room with a strange gleam in her brilliant green eyes. The human watched with mild interest as the shadows that clung to the elf's figure slowly pulled back into the corner, caressing her in farewell. 'Shadows certainly are far more useful than I ever knew...'

"The city of Tiavain is sending out armies to attack the people of the Holy Office and the Renegades of Despair." Her voice was soft as though she had just been pulled from a deep slumber, but her eyes were wide with a concern Anjolie had never before seen.

"So we go to Tiavain again and show their citizens that they too can be free. We've done this before. It's nothing to be worried about." Despite the certainty she forced into her own voice, she couldn't help but shiver at the elf's eerie eyes.

"The war is just a cover for their attempt to kidnap Maledict and Lyssia from our lands, as well as another from the guild of Renegades." A myriad of thoughts and emotions passed quite visibly across Anjolie's face at those words, most of which she would have been lectured for if Zina had been paying any attention to her human companion. Anjolie's icy blue eyes shimmered as she schooled her face to look concerned.

"Then I shall journey to the Torturer's lands to assure him that the people of the free republic will fight to prevent such foolish ideas from ever achieving...fruition." She only just managed to keep her eyes calm and serious when the priestess turned a calculating look on her. "In fact, I'll leave now. You'll see to it that the people protect themselves as necessary, and maybe a few of them get taken by the enemy so they can start educating the heathen peasants about true freedom?" Before Zina could reply, Anjolie stood from her desk and left the room.

The former slave practically bolted to the temple once she got outside the house. She wanted to find a way to Maledict's kingdom that wouldn't take days of travelling. She wasn't certain that he'd be gone with his troops for long, though she rather hoped that Tiavain was successful in their kidnapping attempts, even if those attempts only detained the demon for a short while. The sorcerors and priests all started in surprise when the woman walked in. Anjolie knew that her distrust of magick had become fairly well known in these lands, especially after their last war with Tiavain. What she didn't realize was that in her hurry to leave her house before Zina could object, she'd forgotten to put on a more concealing shirt. As it was she was wearing a few bands of white cloth that wrapped about her upper torso and looped over neck forming a makeshift, and not entirely opaque, halter top that left the network of shimmering scars on her back more than visible.

"Okay, you and I know that I would only come to you all if it was an emergency, and it is. I need you to get me as close as possible to Maledict's realm." The men whispered among themselves for a brief moment then one stepped forward with an extended hand, nodding.

"We can transport you. Please join us at the altar." Anjolie nodded curtly and followed him into the inner portion of the temple, barely noticing the other priests and sorcerors falling into step around her murmuring prayers and incantations. The woman whispered a quick prayer that the Trickster god watch over her...and not get too tricksy. The priest who had stepped forward approached her tentatively and spoke just loud enough to be heard over the growing cacophony of voices. "We'll only be able to get you just within the mountains surrounding his lands. You'll have to find your way down into the valley on your own."

"Don't worry about that. I know those mountains." He nodded and stepped out of the rough circle they had formed around her. His voice joined the chaos of sound that whipped about her like a gale force wind. Anjolie cringed, closing her eyes, and almost immediately the sound stopped. When she cautiously opened one eye, she found herself on the rocky slope of a mountain near the mouth of an old cave. The human's lips curled into a relaxed smirk. She knew this region of the mountains very well indeed, for this is where she'd first met the elf, Zina. It would take her the better part of the day to get to the first settlement, and she'd spend the remainder speaking with the people. Yes, it was high time these rulers of the guild learned that their people had voices that were just as strong as their own.

[center]~~~~~~~[/center]

The sun was slowly falling from its highest point in the heavens by the time she reached the first tavern, where she intended to begin preaching the words of freedom that she believed were etched on the soul of each downtrodden peasant. Once in the humble establishment, she stepped up onto a table and stomped her leather boots several times to get the people's attention.

"Hear me! Have you ever feared that you would be unable to pay your taxes? Have you ever wondered why such wealth as those who lord over you posess isn't distributed fairly among the entire population? Have you despaired because there was nothing you could do about it??" Several eyes were turned to look at her, though none of the faces seemed to show any emotion as of yet. Anjolie didn't let this stop her, even though she was accustomed to hearing shouts of agreement by this point. "Well there is something you can do! There are many peasants in this realm. You outnumber the armies and nobles combined! If you all join together you can bring down the one who lords over you and mistreats you!" She opened her mouth to continue but realized that the people who remained in the tavern were staring at her in fear, and many others had already left. "Wha? Where is everyone going?" The bartender glared at her from behind a grimy wooden counter.

"Well done miss. Ye probably just ruined my buisness for the night. These people know better'n to get on the wrong side of the Torturer...a lesson ye would do well to learn if ye intend to live in this realm." Anjolie slowly stepped down from the table, her eyes narrowing as she slowly made her way over to the bar.

"I have no intention of living here. I live in freedom without fear of some tyrant overlord. I've already spent too many of my years under the heel of a fiend." She pulled a small bag from her belt and tossed it onto the bar where it landed with a slight jingle. "That's to cover what you might have made before I scared everyone off." Without another word, she marched out of the tavern. The afternoon was hitting it's stride, and if she kept a quick pace, she might be able to reach the central city. She was not fully pleased with the way things were looking here, but she hoped that she had at least planted a seed into the minds of the locals.
[i]'What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source
of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.'
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Postby Kain_Dragonhand » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:25 am

Kain knew of the plot to capture the 3, however he knew his part. While Astavia, and the others carried out the integral part of the plan Kain and a few others led the war on the front. Directing the armies of Isonia, the dardenites proved little match for him and the others. Wave after wave of troops bearing the colours of their god fell to the purple tide. Buildings within the lands of darden were set ablaze by massive surges of Lightning, the fury of Isonia.

Kain was exhausted daily, still adjusting to life in the desert. He refused to change his garbs to that of the desert folk, keeping the outfit he was recognized throughout the lands by. Even though he was exhausted he pressed on, leading his men to victory after victory.

While he took his place on the field of battle, a more desperate struggle took place in the sands. Even withing the city, the houses didn't always cooperate. This frustrated Kain, all the bickering between the house leaders. He stayed out of it, affiliated with Nim'Ostas only because of a promise. It was probably the only reason he stayed within the city. However in order to stay out of such annoying situations he was ready at the forefront of every assault.

Some time into the war, the idea of capturing ones of such power, and what kind of challenge it would be got him thinking. He would seek out Astavia, and see what he could do to help.
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Postby Voralphian » Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:49 am

We have been here before.

They do not learn.

Lessons so soon forgotten.

Forgetful children must be taught again.

And again.

Until they learn.

The Voralphian pair scuttled across the sands, dark shadows against the ground, holding to what shadows there were. Only a handful of days before they had been in their homelands, obeying the orders of the Blessed-Beast. But then he had recieved a message from an ally, one that had brought a terrible beastial grin to the face of the Vision-Seeker's son. That message had sent the Voralphian away from their homeland, headed back to the city of Tiavain where they had acted against the heathens not so long before. And that mesage would lead them to commit similar acts within the city as they had before, destroying what was built to a false goddess, bringing down by fire what had been raised by hand.

Darkness was a familar friend and ally of the southern tribe of the red desert, the Voralphian had long learnt of its secrets and its strengths. Some might have thought that strange considering how they were worshippers of Darden whose glory was represented by the heavenly body of Intop. But the Voralphian knew...without light there are no shadows, there is no darkness, it was formed by Darden's will, it was a tool that He had delivered into their hands. It was a blessing that they had recieved and used most gratefully in the Lord's service, glad to be found worthy enough to do His will on the isle. They would never turn away from his service, they could never be convinced or converted to another's cause. For the Voralphian, just as for all the red desert's tribes, there was only one reason for living, and that was to obey the Lord's will. What other reason could there possibly be for living other than to praise His name and strike down those who were blinded to His truth?

Silently they moved towards the city, ghosts to the eyes of the watchers from the walls, half-glimpsed and then gone, no more real than dreams. Perhaps upon the city walls a defender saw them, or thought that he did, but then looked again and saw nothing. Nothing at all but the movement of the sands, nothing to raise the alarm about, nothing to fear, certainly not Dardenites come to take the revenge of their Lord upon the city. Such a guard might have shrugged and shook his head, rubbing his eyes and telling himself off for jumping at shadows. To him there was nothing in the desert, nothing that moved towards the city with thoughts of fire and death in its heart. Nothing that snaked their way over a low point in the walls and landed with cat-like grace upon the street below.

Their eyes do not see...

Their ears do not hear.

This one thinks himself above our art.

The false temples will burn all the same.

They padded through the streets, ink black shadows that the eyes of the Isonian seemed to pass over. It was almost as though they had ceased to exist in the sight of those of Tiavain, invisible to heathen sight. Maybe it was simply due to that section of the city believing that no heathen would come for them, that they were safe from the righteous anger of the faithful. Or perhaps it was their Lord's power at work, shielding them from the eyes of the heathens, protecting them from discovery till their work was completed. The Voralphian did not stop to think about such things, not while the heathen temples stood and tainted the land. If they returned safely they would lay offerings at Darden's shrine in their tribe's territory, if not they would praise Him before He judged their souls in the afterlife. It did not matter either way, life or death was not important to them, if they died they would go onto His judgement and others would be sent in their footsteps. All that mattered was that the heathens had built large temples to their goddess, temples that were an affront to Darden's eyes, ones that His worshippers would cleanse from the earth.

It was not so difficult for them to find their way through the area of the city, others had already provided them with the directions towards the abominations of Isonia. Quickly they found themselves at their first destination, confronted by a temple, the likes of which would never been seen within their homelands. To them it was a building of great wickedness, one that spat in the face of everything they believed. No matter what they would see it destroyed, reduced to rubble and ash, no longer able to spread its evil influence, no longer able to corrupt the souls of those who mistakenly thought that it was a true place of faith.

There were no guard about in the part of the city that they stood in, it was almost as though the citizens of the area believed that they were still at peace and not at all at risk. But they would learn of their error, the Voralphian pair would see to that even if it took the last breath in their bodies. As they had lived together so would they die together if needs be, though they were two seperate people to outsider's eyes, in thought and in soul they were one, joined in life and in death. They were an odd tribe, never was one seen alone, where there was one there would always be the other. It was almost like looking at a man and his shadow, they could not exist apart, though neither was really ever dominant in the pairing.

They crept up to the temple itself, standing upon the threshold of the sinful building, the rage within their heart whispering to them to destroy the place. The few priests withn the building looked their way in curiosuity, perhaps mistaking them for citizens of the city, for they wore no insignia or designs that would mark them as souls from a particular enemy land.

You're going to die, one stated, matter-of-factly.

There is no other way, the voice was cold and hollow.

The Lord no longer allow you to blacken your souls with sin, there was no emotion.

And neither will we.

He wishes you to stand before Him to be judged.

So we shall send you to Him.

They stepped back, one withdrew an air-tight red-tinted glass vial from a pouch and threw it to the floor, the glass shattering on impact. Immediately a plume of smoke erupted from the remains of the vial, sending the Isonian priests, coughing and choking back from the entrance to the temple. One of the Dardenite pairing sealed the doors shut while the other prepared the tarred torches, lighting them in time for the pair to start the blaze. They watched as the flames took hold, moving around the temple to ensure that the priests had no other way of escaping. And then the screams began from within, reassuring them that those sealed within were recieving their earthly punishment for furthering the cause of a false deity.

It did not take long for the temple to become a roaring fire, one that beat back the people of the city who noticed it and tried to put the flames out. The Voralphian nodded to one another, allowing themselves to be beaten back by the fire, retreating to the city walls once more. All attention in the section of the city was focused upon the burning temple, people were rushing towards it, desperate to try and save the doomed structure and the condemned men within. It was just as the Voralphian pair had hoped, with all attention of the first fire, they could set the rest of those that the Blessed beast had commanded them to. By the time the people of the area realised what was happening there would be nothing lef tto save.

Everything was going exactly as they had planned, all they would leave in their wake would be ashes and smoke. The only thing that was not right was that the citizens would never know who it was responisble for destroying that portion of Tiavain.

It will have to be this way.

Unknown.

Unseen.

Death in the shadows.
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Postby Tamlaine » Wed Nov 05, 2003 8:43 am

The city of Tiavain stretched out before the horsemen, wrapped within the protection of it's walls. Tamlaine regarded the Isonian's defenses with contempt.

These heathens are soft, cowering behind their cold stone walls. They no longer know what it means to be alive, to roam free across the steppes. No true child of the Steppe would allow himself to be caged within walls of stone.

The Khan's voice was scornful, and with good cause. The Steppes nomads roamed freely across the verdant grassland of their home, never remaining in one place for longer than a single lunar cycle. They were a people in touch with their surroundings, who understood the way of the grasslands they called home and worked with nature. These heathens, though ... they shut themselves away from the land, walled themselves in behind cold, dead stone, closed out the desert they called home. To the nomads of the Steppe, such things were not merely alien, but anathema.

The Khan regarded the unspuspecting city calmly. The heathens had chosen a war against the Holy Office of the Sanctum. Clearly, they had learnt little from their previous attempts to battle the Holy Church. Very well, we shall teach you again.

Tamlaine stood high in his stirrups, the attention of every last rider upon him. Ready A single word, quietly spoken, but it was enough. Camp-followers moved through the assembled horsemen, for this night, the nomads rode not to battle, but to destroy. Well-shielded oil-lamps were lit and distributed, attached - firmly, carefully - to fixtures on the saddles. The shielding served mainly to protect the flames within from the wind of the horses' passage, but also masked the light of the flame somewhat. Once the last riders had been handed their lamps, the Khan settled down into his saddle, unslinging his bow. A careful squeeze of powerfully-muscled thighs set the horse trotting without Tamlaine needing to grasp the reins. Behind him, the warriors of his clan followed, a slow, deliberate trot, gradually increasing in speed as they approached the city walls. Surely they would be seen soon, if not by sentries, by the web of sorceries the heathens were reputed to have spun around their cage of cold stone.

Cold ... for now.

As they neared the walls, Tamlaine reached back to draw the first arrow from his quiver. With a quick, practiced gesture, he pushed the cloth-wrapped head of the arrow into the lamp's flame. The oil-soaked material ignited, and the Khan nocked the arrow to his bow, drawing back swiftly Not too far, now. Don't allow the flames too near the bow itself... and releasing.

The arrow traced a burning path through the night's sky, arcing over the wall, a falling star coming to earth inside the city itself. A falling star - followed by another, and another, as the warriors following their Khan also nocked and released. From within the city, sudden shouts of alarm - but the Khan was already drawing back a second arrow. The sky itself seemed to weep tears of flame as the steppes-riders released volley after volley to soar over the walls, galloping back and forth along a wide section of the wall. Some of the arrows would be extinguished as they flew. Some of the arrows would land on cold, unyeilding stone and burn no more. Some would be extinguished before the fires they brought could take hold.

But the warriors of the steppe had brought many arrows with them, and lofted them over a wide stretch of the wall. Some of them would find suitable targets, by the grace of Darden, and some of them would not be reached in time. Already, several thin plumes of smoke were visible over the wall. As his mount cantered on, Tamlaine released arrow after arrow, raining down destruction on the heathens.

Eventually, the last of the horsemen released his final arrow. The pillars of smoke were much thicker now, and in several places, orange glows lit up the night sky. Wheeling his horse, the Khan lead his clansmen back into the darkness. Their work was done, for now.
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Postby judiama » Wed Nov 05, 2003 9:55 am

Judiama had watched with amusement as the three targets of the war had refused to be taken by force. Her warhorses weren't needed to transport them to the city, they had each voluntarily taken themselves to Tiavain. Keeping pace with the heathen force of Lyssia had been an easy task for a child of the plains. Subterfuge was learned as a toddler when one was the heir to the Everdon lands.

Taking station outside and parallel to the place of action, Judiama watched with fascination as the Fanyare Astavia faced the demon Maledict. The hourglass had been interesting, the reaction and freeing of the demon a small surprise. Judiama had no doubt that the Fanyare had further tricks up her white sleeves for she had proved inventive in all things.

Freeing the useless horses to return to the Nim'Ostas estate near the North Gate, Judiama summonded her troops using the
Call Friend spell. As they approached silently from inside the city, she gave instructions, "Spread out and guard the passages into the city. Take extra care to cover the underground accesses doubly." Nim'Ostas would not fail to protect the city if she had anything to say about it. Calling over a trusted sergeant of the guard, Hastion, Judiama gave him extra orders. "Hastion, I leave you in charge of getting the citizens of this area of town evacuated. Send all further into the city for proctection." she ordered. "The innocent shall not suffer this time," Judiama thought.

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Postby FieldCaptain_Galran » Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:05 am

Wooden wheels creaked as the caravan moved its way down the road. The immediate area around them was a process of change, course sands that varied in the coloring depending on which direction one went, all giving way to grassy landscape and palm trees. The caravan wound its way over the wreckage several other wagons burned black, but their fires long since burned cold.

Oxen grunted and snorted as they pulled their burdens along as fast as they could, their sweat stinking up the air in the immediate vicinity along with their passengers. The kobolds hung idly off the sides of the wagon while one or two nestled themselves in the nooks and cranies of the disassembled catapults and gear. One even sat in the dreaded launch bucket of a catapult letting the warm breeze run over its muzzle and closed eyes. In all, the caravan might have looked peaceful, it if just wasn't marred by the fact that there was clearly a small army on an easy march and the leaders of the caravan weren't imbroiled in a wrestling fight over the reins of their wagon at the front.

"As your commanding officer, I Command you give me the reins!"

"And as your daughter, I'm going to say 'Screw you!' with the utmost respect I can muster! I'm old enough, I can drive!"

"Not in My company you aren't!"

There was a brief clamor and a grunt as Galran made another lunge at the reins and received an elbow to the gut in return but not before offbalancing his daughter over the side of the wagon. The reins being pulled to the right as she clung to them and the side of the driver's box, the oxen slowly began to drift in that direction heedlessly ignoring what their drivers were doing.

"Geroff!"

Jessica pushed with a booted heel against her father's head as he reached for the reins she tried to hold out and away. Galran grunted with gritted teeth as he strained then resorted to cheap tactics and went for her armpit instead. A shriek echoed out through the landscape followed by a peal of light laughter. Victorious, Galran grinned holding the reins in one hand and pulled his daughter up by the collar of her uniform with the other. She growled in a huff glaring at him.

"You are So mean to me dad."

"It's for your own good."
Galran stuck his tongue out at her and she slugged his shoulder in retaliation.

"Where's mom?"

"She took off after our initial round of climbing all over her trying to get them away from her." Galran said glancing behind him into the wagon containing their personal tents and equipment.

"Really dad, you should pay more attention to where mom goes."

"Hey, don't take that tone with me. She's Your mother too you know. As much as I'd like to put a leash on her as my personal pet, my body wishes to remain whole in its entirety."

"Too much info dad..."

"You asked."

"Will you turn around and watch the road?"

Galran motioned for her to turn around and help him search the back as he lifted the tarp of a tent.

"The oxen know what they're doing... have you seen that-"

"Tree!"

"What tree?"

"What?"

"I wasn't looking for a tree."

"I didn't say anything about a tree."

"But you just did!"

"Not."

"Did."

"NOT!"

"TREE!"

"DID! See? Right there!"

There was a loud crash and the splintering of wood. There was a loud bellow from the oxen and the clatter of tent poles and equipmenting spilling out the sides and back of the wagon. There was a loud groan underneath the wagon seconds before the wheels curved outwards and then split in half as the wagon collapsed onto the ground. The dust settled as a faerie winged figure landed gently on the ground next to the wagon that had collided with a large tree.

"Yeah, that was me."

Galran and Jessica blinked in shock down at the prone oxen and then at each other.

"What the hell just happened?"

"Well... your inept driving abilities rammed the wagon right into that tree. I'm not sure whose more idiotic, you for managing to ram a wagon into the tree or the first place or the oxen being stupid enough ram themselves without a second thought!"

"Dad, didn't we get this wagon on loan from that Harmony lady's army stockpile?"

"Indeed we did... Think she accept the excuse that the tree jumped out at us?"

"Potentially, if it wasn't a good fourty yards from the road."

"Never know, we could have been wandering through one of them elven woods. We all know what queer folk roam around in there."

"HEY! I was born in an elven wood thank you very much!"

Both Galran and Jessica look up at faerie a moment, then to each other from the corner of their eyes.

"Right... She might buy that actually now that I think about it though the chances are Very slim."

"What if we say that a faulty wagon wheel, injured in the time of war, careened us off course and we hit the tree?"

"How do we explain the oxen then?"

"... I've got a bottle of whiskey in back...?"

"Drunk Oxs eh?"

"Who do you think coined that term? Some brutish fellow who could chug a keg? I think not!"

"Hrm... Good the goods, I'll open their mouths."

"Oy..." Faerie shook her head in disgust at her husband and daughter.
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Postby Owl da Renegade » Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:07 pm

Klear walked into the room his eyes and face clearly stout with determination, the hardships of the last couple days reflected in his eyes. There he saw Owl, hunched over a table going over recent scouts of enemies realms; beads of sweat ran along his brow and dripped off of his cheecks into his the cup of brew and the aerial reports he hovered over.

Master Owl we have suffered more damaged, and lost more troops since I last reported to you. As you ordered I sent our drow deep into the heart lands of the ill religious heathens to set fire to their temples. Our intelligence grows from our efforts, what have you now?

Bolster up the troops and refortify what we can and prepare for the heathen onslaught that is sure to come. They'll be following our raiding parties back into our lands.Have our people ready to abandon these lands in case we can't withstand the pounding of the vast hordes that march against us. Go now and make ready our people and our men, may Darden speed your way.

Klear left Owl hunched over his command desk with the aerial reports scattered everywhere about him; the glow in Owl's eyes as he departed gave Klear hope as he speeded off down the corridors on his way to the messenger quarters, so he could dispatch Owl's orders...
Have you ever heard the songs of the trees? "NO?" You haven't been listening have you...

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Postby Aranor » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:33 am

He looks at Murdock and nods. Yes I know you tried to change your style but for the sake of your peasants I would suggest keeping a little more protection you know how peasants can revolt against you. That is not a fun experience at all but it would be something that could happen. There is no need for any to be holding the staff right now. It will stay where it is. Now I am interested in the way that the dardenites run things.
The food was placed along with the drink and he took a bit of both inviting Murdock to partake as well.
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Postby Murdock Pryor » Thu Nov 06, 2003 5:47 pm

Dardenites, Forets, Isonians we all battle the same, the way of running things are no different really just points of veiws are different. I'm always going to be me. A grunt, the man who does as told and does it very well. I beleive I changed for friendship not like I changed to get away from others, but I changed for friends I have know. And of course the people of Tiavain which choose to still be my friend will always be a friend. I'm not the warmonger that I look like at times. I appreciate to have a good battle. My peasants rebelling is not in their mind I try to treat them very well.

Murdock looked at the food and took a drink of Ale feeling it slide down his throat slowly as he nodded and took a bit of food on his plate sitting looking at Aranor.

So how have things been in the city of Tiavain? I see that your still up to your good old fun. I hear your a leader of your own house now though, how did that become?
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Postby Aranor » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:38 pm

He looked at Murdock and shook his head.

Ah what is different is if you believe in what you are fighting for. Well how it all became is that the Lady Wingrider decided to move on and try to find answers. She is my aunt in a strange way, and she handed the house over to me. We renamed the house Nim Ostas cause we are the white defenders and we know that. I may be leading it but I do the same as I normally would have. I had taken control of the house before you left TIavain I was just rather quiet about it. Things are going well. I have been working on some things as well.
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Postby Masanomi » Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:47 am

It's always Kiyomori, isn't it? Oh, we need someone to lead the scouts into battle against the heathens. Quick, send for Kiyomori. He'll know what to do. He'll lead them. Isn't he wonderful?

Outwardly, Masanomi is the image of organisation, moving swiftly, calmly, arranging and organising, anticipating his sept-leader's next order. It is inwardly he seethes, and those fires are never allowed to burn where they can be seen.

Granted, we're going to take the battle to the enemy and kill heathens. That's good. I'd rather take the fight to them than sit around and let them attack us. And the Sverdmund march alongside us... it has been too long since I have fought alongside those touched by His blessing...

It's just that, no matter what I do, it will be Kiyo who gets the credit for the victory. No matter how hard I try, it's always... bloody ... Kiyo...


Eventually, the warhost is ready. Masashi's column of herklaedi march through the settlement in search of the Blessed Beast, hulking figures in their armour. Masanomi represses a sudden surge of jealousy at the thought that the herklaedi will probably encouter the heathens first, will be the first into combat.

But we will be taking the battle to the enemy, though.

Kiyomori's scouts form up outside the Temple, loose ranks of spear-wielding scouts, the black-robed figures of the warpriests and the barely-restrained menace of the Sverdmund. To one side, the armoured figure of the Herald of Dawn stands in consultation with the desert tribesmen who will serve as the warhost's guides to the city of Tiavain.

The march through the red desert sands seems to take forever, striding across an endless expanse of redness. The pairs of desert tribespeople range ahead of the scouts.

Suddenly, the dwellers of the Desert Above dart back towards the body of the warhost, forming up around the black-armoured figure of the Herald on one flank. The enemy approaches.

The scouts form, quickly, calmly, into a skirmish line, the warpriests and their charges moving in behind them, screened from the enemy view by the bodies of the septs.

And then the enemy are upon them, a column of infantry cresting the dune ahead. Swordsmen, mainly. One unit of pikemen. No archers. That's a mistake, heathens....

The septs to the rear of the formation unleash a sudden volley of arrows, black-fletched doom falling from the sky. Just once. The Anub-Re know exactly how to handle this fight.

The purple bannered troops hold their formation well under the sudden impact of the arrow-fire. Officers within the ranks bark orders and the soldiers begin to advance. The pikemen in the centre lower their pikes, presenting a bristling wall of spear-tips, the unit flanked on either side by the swordsmen. Evidently, Kiyomori considers the spears a threat, a sudden barked command calls down a second volley of arrows onto the pikemen, a third. They're closing in now. Masanomi looks around at his sept. Any second now, they are going to have to start running, along with the septs around them, and since Kiyomori is coordinating the entire line, it is Masanomi's responsibility to check the sept. They're good, the other five warriors ready to start running. Behind the lines, the warpriests begin chanting in the High Tongue of the Anub-Re. It is almost time. The warriors are closing in.

The archers stand ready, arrows drawn back.

It is time. As Kiyomori shouts, the centre of the skirmish line scatters, the scouts moving out of the way, tearing a hole in the centre of the Anub-Re battle line ... or opening the way for something else to come through...

Unleash the Sverdmund!
[center]Wear your grudge like a crown.
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Sanctum Officium 0100 GMT Saturday 27th March 2004[/center]
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Postby Astavia Dovanucci » Sun Nov 09, 2003 10:13 am

"This is it, Dovanucci? You send sand to destroy me?"

His laughter was mocking and harsh.

Her face remained impassive. She had watched not the sandstorm, not the hourglass, but Lyssia, keeping weakened eyes upon the Sorceress’ face. A face which she could not see the details of, but they did not need to know that. Astavaia had no need for eyes to ‘see’ Maledict, she could feel him, so attuned was she to evil.

She heard him calling to her from the wall, knew he had taken someone’s body. She did not turn to look, for she would not have been able to see it clearly. His voice boomed from the walls.

"Do you know the sacrifices she made to stop me from doing this to innocents?"

"Know this, Dovanucci, I am nothing that you have ever dreamt of, none of your nightmares compare to me. You should show more wisdom in what you try to capture and ask yourself if you really want to know what I am."

"Now, realease my body before I do something you regret. Or before the Sidhe Witch gets angry at having her hard work ruined. Whichever comes first."


Still, Astavia focused upon Lyssia, even as she sensed the arrival of Zanafien and heard his reasoned words, words that she knew he would speak, words she respected, as she did him. A simple movement of her hand, a lifting of her beringed fingers in his direction, gave him notice that she acknowledged him and his raised army of undead, for she had no time to do more. Lord Tarrant had stepped from a portal, joining her. He whispered in her ear and handed her a rod, which she took graciously.

Finally, the Sorceress spoke. “Enough of this game, give the demon back his flesh Istar, you gain nothing through this course of action. Unless of course your aim was to bring further pain and suffering upon the people of Tiavain?”

"So....ya got a plan, Mistress of the White? Or are we just winging it out here?"

Astavia smiled then.

She had been waiting for Lyssia’s words.

“Indeed. Enough. But, I am afraid, that I cannot release The Torturer’s body just yet. It takes the passing of time to release that which is within the glass.” She paused, her next words directed to Lyssia. “Is it not interesting how easily, he was returned to his true form? Here, you thought him well confined and trapped for all this time, Lyssia. It must be painful for you to see that which you paid so dearly for, destroyed in a matter of seconds. Next time... perhaps you will seek a stronger magic to restrain him next time. Trust me. It is better that it is I who release him and not someone, or something, else, better here, than somewhere else. As much as I destest your kind, Maledect, there are those within the city who know how to deal with the likes of you, should it come to that.”

"Zanafien. Were it just I, or a normal city you would advance your walking dead through, it would be devastating. As it is, this is no normal city. There are those within who will take control of your raised, those that they do not destroy. They will send them back upon you."

"You would have come to speak with me, this I know. To share and gather knowledge. Others, would not have. I apologise for my tactics, but you must admit, they did serve their purpose very well. Now, I know and you know that this supposed war will go no where. We are equals, and we have a knowledge which few others have. The knowledge of the necessity of balance. It is this which I wish to speak with you about."


Her voice rose.

"Do you hear that Maledict? Balance. I may desire to destroy you, but as you see, I did not. Could I? Yes. As you could destroy me. But yet, we do not. Why is that? Don’t you ever wonder? Come down Maledict. Join us here upon the sands.“

Astavaia made a gesture and from the gates, twenty servants ran, bearing rugs, poles, linen, cushions, fruit, wine, cheese and bread. Swiftly, they began to construct a tented shelter. Within minutes they were finished. Pillows for seating, had been placed in a ring upon the rugs, the refreshments within the rings center.

“Zanafien, Lyssia, Lord Tarrant. Please join me. Let us sit and talk. You are here Maledict. You may as well join us. You know you would not have come to speak with me, had I but invited you. Come now. I will begin the flow of the sands of time to release your body.”

(OOC: My apologies for not having posted sooner. That dreaded real life interfered)
[center][glow=white]Alt of Ms Evernight 2003/2004
ISTARI D'TIAVAIN
[/glow]

My stave predicts my path, white on winter white,
cold as bones left in the ashes of abandoned fire rings
[/center]
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Postby Valor » Sun Nov 09, 2003 8:04 pm

The screams of the dead and dying pierced the stagnant night. Lightning cracked the air and splintered the ground upon it hit. Despite the fact that thousands of innocent people had died, he couldn't help but let a chuckle escape from his throat. Each battle he participated in made it so much clearer. Every battle moved him one set closer to it. It didn't have a timetable except the one he felt within himself. The one he knew that creep closer and closer to him.

Impassively, he looked over the reports from the past hours. Yes--the followers of that disdainful goddess had grew more cunning, slipping through seams that he had intentionally created, hoping to draw their attention to exactly that. They had played right into it, pressing their attack in exactly the spot predicted at exactly the time he thought. He moved his troops around in accordance to this, shifting his defense positions as while attempting to throw the coordinator out of whack.

So far it had worked, the heathens had unsuccessfully tired to break down the barricade that held the outer keep. Throwing man upon man unto it's gate until they were exhausted and finally back off. He sent word for the reinforcements to move into position, making sure they were deathly silent while doing so, as not to alert their friends outside the outer keep.

He stood atop the balcony onto the now stagnant battle below. So far it was a stalemate, the combined forces Tiavain had merely scratched and exhausted their own energy, while Valor kept his soldiers in reserve, waiting for the right moment to press his own attack.

He felt the battle shift, the heathen army was moments away from making their final push. Slowly he turned his head to the man standing next to him. Now. The man put his mouth to the horn in front and pushed the air from his lungs, as a result a loud bellowing noise was heard, perhaps for miles, as it echoed off the surronding hills and sparse mountains.

They poured from hidden nooks and crannies, from caves and cliffsides. A two pronged attack centered at the heart of gathered army. Splitting the Isonain forces in half. His own archers took the advantage to send vollies of arrows across the short distance to their awaiting hosts.

Valor closed his eyes and took a deep breath of the new blood. Heading into his chambers he stood infront of the closest advisor. The moment they break the outer keep, set it aflame, they shall not take anymore of our possessions. He was sure to whisper quietly, as to not allow a potential leak of information, he people would despise Isonia that much more when they found out that her followers had lit aflame unharmful town.
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