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

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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.


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-"


"What tree?"


"I wasn't looking for a tree."

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

"But you just did!"





"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...
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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!
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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)
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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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Postby Zanafien » Sun Nov 09, 2003 8:29 pm

He noticed her acknowledgement and sent a soft message to those undead flowing toward the city, halting their advance and looking back to him. There were several attempts to gain control over them, but each was shrugged off, ignoring the call of these interlopers when their brother stood so close and powerful. A wry smile crossed his face, feeling the probes of those within the city to take away his supposed hold over the undead. A slight chuckle escaped and he gave the city a look one would give to a child.

It was not their fault they did not understand the power he held over these undead, and it was probably not within their reason to comprehend why their summons went unanswered. In the simplest of terms, why would they dare go to the living when their undead brother stood to lead them? Should he fall, then they might have considered the calls of these others, but while he remained, so would they. Skeletons, Vampires, Ghost, Zombies, all undead fell in line to aid their master, their friend, one of their own kind, while those necromancers who used magic tried again and again to sway their loyalties. Zanafien was a part of magic, of the will and the word, not needing the incessant words so often associated with the way humans worked it.

"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."

He rolled this over in his mind, deciding to allow her that belief until she was proven wrong. Granted, the mages within the city could destroy a fair number of the undead gathered here, but take control of them? No, they would have to kill him first before that particular event took place.

“How little you know.” Was the only soft comment he made in regards to her declaration. “If you had but asked, I could have told you the path this war would have taken, for I have travelled it myself on a number of occasions before learning. I can only guess this is your learning experience, Fanyare Istar. Perhaps, you will be able to take more away with you than you came with? One could only hope so, considering the damage done in this exercise.”

He glanced back to his friends, to the undead who still looked to him for orders.

“Return to your homes, my companions, and forgive me for calling you to war without allowing you to take part. I assure you, the next time you are required, you shall have all you seek and more.” His final words had been hard, cold and unforgiving as his eyes settled on Astavia. He was quite annoyed with her attempt, but she was allowed this once to make the same mistake he had. Another such instance and he would not be so willing to let it go.

Glancing to Maledict and Lyssia, he shrugged slightly as his hand waved out and pointed in the general direction of the small encampment. “I might as well, in light of the fact I am here anyway. Perhaps you would be willing to join for a few moments? It would be nice if we were able to get acquainted since I have not had the opportunity for a visit to your fine guild. I can assure you, it is on the list of things for me to do."

He pulled his staff from the ground while moving toward the pavilion and bowed to Milabar. “Good day, sir. It seems we have not had the honour to meet in person. I am Zanafien, and I believe you are Lord Tarrant, of House Tarrant. It is well to finally meet you in the flesh, since I have heard much of your exploits.”
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Postby Lyssia » Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:48 am

Lyssia secretly to herself and shook her head at the antics before her, truly the city of Tiavain gave her plenty to watch. And one in particular was certainly attracting her attention, though not for anything he had ever done to her, but rather for someone else. His appearance had not been unexpected, the sorceress had heard tales of his reappearance in the world of alliances and wars. She had heard the whispered rumours and dismissed them as just that and nothing more, especially when they had mentioned that he flew the colours of Isonia once more. Surely not. Surely it could not be true, not after what the priests of the red desert had told her of its history and their rememberances of him and his 'gift' to the Vision-Seeker Ebony. All that could not have been undone, could it?

And yet there he stood, just as the priests had described him, and most certainly not numbering himself among those of the Darden faith. What an interesting turn of events and most definitely a piece of information that she would file away for later use. File away for the time when Ebony awoke. Who knew how the Sidhe could use that piece of information when the Vision-Seeker threw off her mantle of death-like sleep? That she could use it to her advantage was without doubt...the whereabouts of Shadowwander would be a powerful bargaining chip in her hands. Indeed it might be just what she needed to ensure that the blind woman did exactly what she wished and took the Sidhe's advice. Somehow the sorceress doubted that those who flew the hated purple flag of Isonia knew exactly what they had given her by presenting her with visual proof of Shadowwander's continued existance.

One day Ebony would wake up and the sorceress would ensure that she knew of Shadowwander's new loyalty to another Isonian flag. Lyssia could only imagine what the Vision-Seeker's reaction to that would be, for one thing it would not be pleasant. What little the Sidhe woman knew of Ebony and the depths of her faith told her that there would be no safe place for Shadowwander to go to, no where he could hide that she could not find him in eventually. The blind woman would brave any army and would not be turned back by any fear, nothing would stop her if she choose to seek him out and condemn him for turning his back on the true faith.

She ignored Astavia's words for a time, turning her attention instead to Shadowwander, You wish to play do you? Ah but the one who will play with you is not yet here, maybe she will not be here for many an age to come. But she will arrive and she will demand answers from you, answers that you may not possess to satisfy her. And all your shadows will not be able to turn her away when she comes for you. She wondered if he remembered Ebony, wondered if he even realised that that was who the Sidhe woman spoke of. Well perhaps a little reminder would not go astray.

The Sidhe reached down inside her mind, reached for that spark that called to the Art within her blood. And the Art responded, joyful and eager, ready to do its mistress's bidding, wanting to out in the world, bending reality, changing it to her wishes. It was only a little thing that she asked of it, something that she had been trained in since she was a child by her long-gone master Ginaus. The air between Shadowwander and herself began to shimmer slightly, no more than a heat haze at first, nothing apparently remarkable. Then the shimmer became more defined, more definite, more real and even the most unmagical of creatures would have been able to realise that it was more than mere heat that was causing it. The light seemed to change in that small area, darkening, shaping itself into something else, into someone else. Or rather into the image of someone else, for the person was far away and unaware of the workings of the world around her. It would be no more than an illusion, exact in every detail, but no more than an illusion, a picture of the woman.

The illusion stood no more than an average human female's height, clad in dark red robes that the dust of her home desert clung to. Her long black hair, as dark as her name, fell all about her, unbound and free to fall where it would. The skin was pale, but not unnaturally so, it was just not as touched by time or weather as others might have been. She leaned against a plain wooden staff, her eyes closed as if she was thinking of other places and other people, not at all aware of the world about her.

Then suddenly her eyes opened to reveal...nothing.

Where the woman's eyes should have been was nothing, just a blackness from which fell ichorous inky-black tears. Ebony. Vision-Seeker of Darden. The woman who had willingly given up her own eyes to her Lord to prove to Him how much she loved Him. She had had a faith that was unshakeable, a belief that could not be broken and now an image of her stood between Shadowwander and Lyssia, staring at the former, conjured by the later. One of the illusion's hands let go of the wooden staff and pointed towards Shadowwander. From the hand hung the 'gift', the necklace given to Ebony by Shadowwander so many ages before. The empty eyes of the illusion fixed themselves upon him as a single word was spoken, Traitor. Then the illusion vanished, gone as if it had never been, disappeared back into the Art from which it had been summoned.

She remembers, Lyssia said, turning away from Shadowwander, She will always remember. When the time comes, she will most certainly want to play with you. Let him consider her words and the illusion that she had conjured just for him, let him wonder, let him decide what he would. But when the time came...yes Lyssia could just imagine what would happen when the time came.

For now though, she could not allow herself to think too long upon that, there were other matters to attend to, such as the 'white' mage of Tiavain for one. What did Astavia think that she would gain from her actions? Perhaps the sorceress could not think as the Isonian did, perhaps it was something that caught up humans as it usually did. The shorter-lived races could sometimes prove to be quite a puzzle to her, maybe it was because the Sidhe viewed time differently, maybe it was because her race could become too set in their ways, maybe because they could just be too stubborn or too sure. Certainly Astavia's actions were a puzzle and most certainly not what Lyssia would have expected from one who's House was supposed to stand for what was right and good. There again, perhaps the mage had grown too obsessed with stamping out the 'evil' in the world, too sure that all that was dark should be destroyed by her hand, never seeing the darkness that flourished in her own shadow. It was easy for such a thing to happen, Lyssia had seen it before, the Three knew she had been a victim of such a way of thinking before.

Never mind though, Astavia would continue along her path, Lyssia would not change that, she would not interfer in this one's choices in life. Though perhaps it would not be too long before the 'white' mage's robes were shot with a different colour thread, a darker one, whether Astavia realised it or not. Those who proclaimed themselves 'white' mages walked a difficult and thin line, it was too easy to fall and the fall was a steep one, down deep into a darkness that could consume a soul. And most that had fallen never realised it, they still looked upon the world and proclaimed themselves to be white, still believed that they were right and good. An easy fall to make, and an even easier one to take advantage of if a soul was that way inclined, and knowing the city of Tiavain, not to mention its darker Houses, the Sidhe could not believe that it would be too long before someone took advantage within its walls. Be careful Astavia, the sorceress whispered beneath her breath, it would be the only warning that the Sidhe would ever give on the matter.

Then she spoke louder, Astavia, my dear 'white' mage, if I had believed Maledict was, as you say, 'confined and trapped for all time' by what I did, then I would be a fool. I know my limits Astavia, I knew that there were magicks that could undo what I did. I knew that there were non-magical means to undoing what I sacrificed for. Does it pain me to see what you have done? Perhaps, but not for the reasons you think. Maybe the real question should be...does it pain you? Yes there was a question, and one that the sorceress would be interested in the answer of, though not entirely for the most obvious reason.

As for restraining the demon, I would never presume so much, though she had to admit that it amused her to hear of these people who apparently could 'deal' with Maledict. Now there was something that she would be amused to see, though Tiavain might find itself several demon-dealers down by the end of such an encounter.

Lyssia watched as the servants constructed the shelter, a faint smile still painted upon her face. Sit and talk with you Astavia? Now why would I want to do that?
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Postby Maledict » Mon Nov 10, 2003 8:38 am

So many new people had arrived now, and one in particular was intent on stealing the Torturer's fun by killing Tiavain's own troops. Archer upon archer fell to the magic of this newcomer who seemed to be an ally of the city.
Such drastic measures. Maledict said in his usual hushed tone, his demonic form now totally unleashed upon the poor body that hosted him. Well, that showed me. With a smirk on his lipless mouth he jumped down from the city walls and landed heavily on the floor. Having picked himself up and dusted himself down he set his gaze upon the one to whom Lyssia concentrated on.

ShadowWander. His face remained expressionless as he spoke the name, almost as though it meant nothing to him. Such a waste of good demon, to be bound to these.. His arm moved in a sweeping gesture to encompass the newly arrived citizens of Tiavain. .. people. He personally thought that the word used by the Ebony illusion had been a little harsh, although he didn't once doubt that Ebony herself would have used it. Tell me old friend, exactly how long does it take for a demon to lose his sense of self? Do these people fear you or are you their pet, brought out to attack nasty heathens like a guard dog and then sent back into your kennel? A low chuckle rattled in his throat. When I play with you, ShadowWander, you'll know because I'll have thrown you a stick. Tame little puppy dog. He then turned his back on the shadow demon and on all the other Tiavain leaders.

He had heard Astavia's words to him, had heard about the people who could deal with him and decided not to answer such claims, let them think such things. The more they underestimated him, the more power he had. One thing she said had riled him though, the invitation to talk. He looked back over his shoulder and eyed her impassively.

You destroy my people, you force my hand so that I come here to confront you, you stand there with the blood of Sanctum Officium upon your hands and expect me to sit and have a cosy little chat about what? My powers, who I am, what I am? The Torturer shook his head and smiled to himself, the smile causing his lipless mouth to become a rictus grin. I'll give you this, Dovanucci, what you lack in wisdom you make up for in nerve. He then looked forward and began to walk toward his horse, which was already shaking it's head and snorting at the sight of it's master. I will decline the invitation but you may keep the body and study it to your heart's content. It was tainted anyway.

When the demon reached his steed he jumped up and into the saddle, nodded a goodbye to them all and dug his heels into the flanks of the horse, spurring it onwards.

He had a demoness to visit.

OOC: Hope this post doesn't offend anyone in a personal way.. it's just me being in character. Sorry for the ooc, just thought I should mention it is all
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Postby Astavia Dovanucci » Mon Nov 10, 2003 12:57 pm

"You will never know, now, why I wanted you here...."

The words whispered by Astavia and carried by the hot desert winds, swirled about Maledict's head as he kicked his horse forward. The steed's hooves kicked up the sands in billowing clouds behind them. Clouds which rose with Astavia's breath and a few silent words, causing the sand to swirl with the wind, whorling the fine grains about the horse and demon, rendering the horse blind.

Her hand which had extended towards Maledict, dropped and so did the winds. The horse would recover, but it's progress across the desert would be slowed. "I will see you again, Demon."

Lyssia's voice, spoken only for Astavia carried soft upon the winds.Be careful Astavia

Astavia looked at her.

The Sorceress presumed to question her motives it seemed. Astavia could see why. People believed that she, being a white Istar, was rendered sterile and powerless by that path. In some ways, Lyssia was right in thinking that, but not in all. There were many times, when Astavia's hands had been stilled by the thought of the backlash of her magicks or actions and what it would wreak upon the innocents. The truth, however was that there were very few true innocents in this land. The wars had brought chaos and with that chaos, the shadow cast by the black grew steadily. Most of the Isle was now infused with various shades of grey, some still quaking at the sight of black, others drawn to it's void. For in that absence of color, there was an absence of conscience, an absence of truth, an absence of responsibility, there was only yourself. No one and nothing else mattered.

Following the path of white, did not mean one could not kill, could not maim, could not bring disease and pestulance upon the land. It was necessary. That was the bane of the white's existence. For every action, however well intentioned, could and would cause someone pain somewhere. It was unavoidable. The weaker of the white mages could not bear the weight of this and were often to be found in temples, wringing their hands, crying and praying for forgiveness from their gods for the wrongs they had unleashed upon the world.

Astavia was not weak. She did not cry. She did not pray to a god. She had only her belief in herself and her magick. The belief that somehow she could help the balance in the world be restored.

She was not so foolish to believe that she could eradicate evil and indeed she did not wish to. To do so, would be to destroy herself. For there is no good without evil, no love without hate, no light without dark. They needed each other. Evil though, because it had no conscience, more often tried to impose itself upon the world, to gain in power. The result being that she, Astavia, and others like her, had to battle the evil ones, to show them that they were not almighty, that they were vincible. She must keep evil in check, destroying only what needed destruction in order to keep the balance, to keep the order.

Order... Balance...

When was the last time any who dwelt upon the Isle had known order or balance?

Evil was rampant. Oh, many thought that Astavia and Tiavain fought for Isonia and Isonia's way and word. Not so. Well, perhaps some did. But, who was Isonia? One of the many gods who attempted to impose their will upon the land? One god was not more evil or more good than the other. They came and went depending upon popularity. Many in the desert worshipped Intop and the moons, or old gods long forgotten. It did not matter....

The present gods were corrupt in Astavia's eyes. Each of them wishing supreme power. Each doing whatever it took to achieve that. Much like the Istar within the city. Much like those gathered here right now. Power corrupted. Power was evil and bred evil.

Was she tempted by the black tendrils of power? Was she haunted in the night by dreams of the black? Yes. It was true. Evil held a strange fascination for her. It was a struggle. It was lonely. It was difficult.

Yet, she would ensure that good was always there. The white light shining at the end of the black tunnel. An endless tunnel for some. For others, the ray of hope.

"......Does it pain me to see what you have done? Perhaps, but not for the reasons you think. Maybe the real question should be...does it pain you?"

Astavia lifted her head. She could not see Lyssia's eyes, just her face, for her eyes had not fully recovered yet, but she gazed full upon that face, sitting so high and sanctimonious upon it's horse.

"Does it pain me? To have Maledict free and in his true form. To see the truth? No. It does not pain me, Sorceress. Tell me... Is it not true that it matters not what form, what body, the Demon is in, he still leaves a path of torture, death and destruction in his wake? Did this body stop that?" Astavia gestured to the hourglass. "Turn it over." She commanded her unseen servant. The glass was turned over by invisible hands and the sands within the glass began to run.

"Or are you speaking about the archer, whose body Maledict occupies now? Does that pain me? No, Sorceress. It does not. That archer, became what he was to fight for a cause he believed in. By taking on the position, he made a vow to lay down his life for that cause. Do I grieve that he was true to his vow? No. It would be an insult to his pride and his honor. He lived and will die by his code. It does not pain me, Sorceress. I am proud of him. That Maledict took his body is but his fate."

"Maledict. In his other form, he found ways to exhibit his horror. It is what he is. It pleases him to have people cringe and cower in the abominition that is him. It is his power over the weak. It will never cease, no matter what form his essence takes, until that essence ceases to exist."

"So does it pain me? Again, I repeat, no."

"Does it sadden me? Does it repel me? Does it anger me? Those are the questions you should have asked. To have Maledict in his true form, is to be able to find a more permanent way to end his evil."

Astavia pulled her staff from where she had implanted it into the sands. "As to why you would want to sit and talk with me?"

"You wouldn't, and you don't. Should you? It would be wise."

She pointed the rod, which Lord Tarrant had given her towards Lyssia and her 'boys'. One word was all she spoke. "Grod." It was said flatly, with no joy, no sorrow.

Instantly Lyssia's horse and the 'boys' began to sink into the sands. The desert floor beneath them turned into a quagmire of quicksand causing their footing to be thrown off, every movement sucking them further down.

Astavia turned her back upon them, her intent now to join Lord Tarrant and Zanafien.

"My apologies Zanafien. I know, that had I but asked, you would have come. My thanks also, for returning your raised to whence they came."
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Postby Sverdmund » Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:29 pm

The Anub-Re venerate the demon God as the Drinker of the Bowl. Darden, the clever one, the one who delighted in the beauty of ever-changing life, who despaired of the death and decay of the world around him. That despair was what filled His bowl, forcing him to drink from it.

The Anub-Re believe that sometimes He allows the bowl to overflow, pouring down His divine despair upon the world. They accept such despair as bringing them closer to their God. They view their trials as a divine gift, for it is only through suffering that one can grow stronger.

The Anub-Re believe that sometimes His bowl overflows and pours His divine despair into the heart of a mortal. That divine despair fills a mortal heart past overflowing, past the ability of a mere mortal to comprehend the grief of a God who so loves the world, shattering the sanity of the one who is so touched by the Divine. Touched, too, by His fury that the world must be such as it is.

It is this despair and fury that creates those who become the Sverdmund. They are touched by Darden and it is a cruel blessing.

Unleash the Sverdmund!

The chanting of the priests ceases; the hymn to Darden, the only thing that restrains the fire in the hearts of the sword-handed. They come running, hurling themselves across the sand, through the hole in the lines of the scouts, towards the enemy. The scout archers lauch one final volley into the ranks of the pikemen, ignoring the swordsmen for now, every arrow lofting to fall upon the centre of the enemy battle-line.

The pikemen stagger under the sudden volley of black-fletched death, their formation wavering. They scramble to reform in the face of...

The handful of Anub-Re that throw themselves at the enemy, howling in beserk fury. The Sverdmund are those who have been baptised in His despair, the black misery of His bowl overflowing into their hearts, crushing out their sanity, filling them with firey rage. Normally, they are kept within the temple, cared for by His priests.

Now, though? This is war. Now is the time for His blessing to be unleashed upon the heathens, for the fury of his despair to be fanned into a raging inferno of hatred. They charge towards the pikemen, eyes blazing, lips pulled back over sharp teeth, howling their fury.

The Sverdmund are leather-clad, their bodies protected by light, but tough, leather. Except for their arms.

The charging beserkers carry no weapons. A sword can be dropped, or knocked from a hand, or simply discarded in favour of a clenched fist in the beserk fury of the Sverdmund's attack.

Instead, the weapons are a part of the armour itself.

Their lower arms are protected by carefully-wrought bracers of tempered steel. Extending from the the bracer, reaching out over the back of a hand that hungers to wrap around the soft throat of an enemy soldier, is a razor-sharp swordblade. The body of the Sverdmund has literally been made into a weapon, and one that cannot be disarmed short of severing an arm. No easy task, when that arm is attached to a howling beserker seemingly unaffected by the wounds suffered, who will fight on to the bitter end, ferocity undimmed until the last drops of life's blood are spilled upon the ground and blazing eyes close for the last time.

The Sverdmund close upon the pikemen, who struggle to raise their weapons against the howling, bestial figures from nightmare that close upon them. Wooden shafts splinter and smash as bladed hands lash out, the pikes shaking as they are gripped by trembling hands.

One of the pikemen retains the presence of mind amidst the howling frenzy to raise his pike and brace it as a slavering figure lunges towards him. The shock as the tempered metal head pierces the armour and impales the Anub-Re, almost rips the pike from his hands. The momentum of the beserker's charge drives him right onto the pike, the head errupting from his back in a spray of gore.

The pikeman's grin of triumph is cut short as the burning eyes of the Sverdmund fix upon his. Grasping the haft of the pike in his hands, the beserker hauls himself up the haft, impaling himself more, an ever-increasing length of crimson-streaked wood protruding from his back. The pikeman stands frozen in terror... what manner of being could force itself up the length of a pike without so much as flinching? ... too terrified to even release the pike. And suddenly the Sverdmund is bare feet in front of him. One hand punches out - not a swing, a punch, the blade extending far past the knuckles of the balled fist to give that punch a deadly reach, a lethal kiss as it buries itself in the gut of the man standing to the pikeman's left. The Sverdmund, still howling in rage, still spilling crimson lifeblood to the sands beneath, lunges forward suddenly, smashing into the transfixed pikeman with a savage headbutt. The heathen's head snaps back from the shock of the impact, and the beserker, still skewered on a pike that protrudes twelve feet from his back, still howling in pain and fury, lunges forward to sink his teeth into the exposed neck of the stunned Isonian. So caught up in his rage is the beserker that he continues to tear out the man's throat even as the soldier's friends drop their pikes, grabbing at belted shortswords and begin desperately hacking at the monster.

The formation of the pikemen collapses under the crushing hammer-blow of the sword-handed beserkers. As it crumbles, as the accompanying swordsmen stand and stare in shock, the scouts charge.
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Postby Demetria » Mon Nov 10, 2003 6:16 pm

It hadn't taken long before any archers on the wall facing her had all been...altered for want of a better word. She was left with no one left to harm. Frowning, she debated going into the city and causing a bit of mayhem in a more up close and physical fashion. The fact that she hadn't met any resistance at all to her sorcery had left her slightly baffled, however. Perhaps there was something more going on than she had first realized, and if that were the case, then perhaps she didn't want to be inside the city when bigger things occurred. Putting a hand on her hip, she considered the walls a bit longer, then turned and began to walk along the edge of the city, making sure to keep far enough away that the archers couldn't luck into shooting one of their arrows into her.

The few men who had come with her, followed behind quietly, leading the horses. Several minutes had passed before any indication was apparent that they were reaching one of the city corners- and that indication was the wind picking up and sand blowing. A wind storm was not uncommon. It felt odd that it was only in one section of the area though. Frowning, she held a hand up to block the sands from her face and squinted. A horse and rider were making their way through the storm. It wasn't a body she recognized- but she would recognize the mount anywhere. That the animal allowed a stranger to sit on it, spoke volumes. Motioning her men closer, she indicated her intentions and made certain they knew what to do afterwards, then she continued to walk forward on an intercept course to the man and beast.

She stopped a few feet in front of them and waited for the horse to come to her, nuzzling her in greeting, while she looked up at the rider, head slanted, eyes curious. He spoke first.

"Come with me, there's someone I want you to meet"

Smiling crookedly, she moved to the side of the animal and let him drag her up behind him. Wrapping her arms tightly around his waist she hid her face against his back, keeping the sand out of her eyes. She had to yell to be heard over the wind.

I assume that there is a cure for this body you've found yourself in? It seems a little...small....

She had to fight not to laugh at her own joke, lest he make her walk. She grinned against his shoulder though. He could probably feel it.
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Postby Lyssia » Mon Nov 10, 2003 7:47 pm

...can I deal...with this sorceress? would be so easy...I could deal...with them all...if you like...wouldn't that be...nice?...the hiss of Lossandrea's words whispered in the sorceress's mind, unheard by all others. It was a voice that had haunted the Sidhe for ages, the voice of a soul that would not leave the sorceress, that in truth could not leave the sorceress. By a power beyond her own Lyssia had bound the dark soul within herself, knowing that there was no other choice but to do so. What she had released she had had to contain once more. Perhaps if Astavia had tried to release Lossandrea then the sorceress would have been more annoyed at the 'white' mage than she currently was. But there again none save for a bare handful of people knew of the shadow soul's existance...and those few were far from Tiavain and the mage's influence.

Be quiet, I'll not have you 'deal' with matters your way, the Sidhe muttered, apparently to herself, for she looked at no other. It did almost seem as though she was speaking to herself, or at the very least to the strange circlet of twisted black and silver that she wore. She spoke as calmly as though she were not sinking into the sands, as if she was having an ordinary conversation in a place of complete safety. In the past some had accused Lyssia of being less than stable, if they had seen her then, talking to nothingness, then perhaps they would have thought it gave their arguments greater strength. This hardly warrants letting you out of your bag.

She looked down at the sands, apparently studying them for a moment, the situation not breaking the faint smile upon her lips. Did Astavia truly believe that it would be so easily to get the desert to swallow Lyssia up and make her vanish? No surely not, she could not believe that the Istar of House Dovanucci would underestimate the Sidhe so drastically. There again who knew? Perhaps the city of spell-casters really did know so little about the that didn't seem right at all. The small Sidhe race had always been known for their magical abilities, if the people of Tiavain had not at least looked into her race Lyssia would be sorely surprised. It didn't seem like the sort of thing that they would overlook in their various quests for knowledge and information.

Her horse was panicking, she could sense its fear far more keenly than normal, not surprising considering that it believed that it was about to drown beneath the sands. She would have to speak with the Himmetian tribe elders when she returned, the pale mare had often acted as the sorceress's mount but the creature was far too timid. No that wasn't fair on the poor creature, it didn't understand her, only knew that it should fear her, or rather the thing inside the sorceress. It could sense what lay within the sorceress better than any human or elf that the sorceress had ever met.

Lyssia reached once more inside herself, calling on her Art, feeling it dance through her blood like bright motes of pure magic. It was always there and it always would be, the one single thing that would never leave the sorceress, that could never be taken from her. How could it be taken from her? How could she lose it? She couldn't, it was as much a part of her as her flesh or her blood, her mind or her soul, it was all of those and none of them. The Art was simply a part of who she was, a piece of her, it was magic and so was she. The Sidhe did not just use magic, they were magic, there was no other way to put it, and their strengths and weaknesses were tied intimately to it.

Once more the magic responded to Lyssia's call, a dog eager to be off its leash and into the world properly. The Art rushed through her blood, into the world, weaving itself about her and her mount, forming a large protective shield between them and the shifting quagmire, raising them up above its suffocating grip. The horse shook itself and fearfully stepped forward away from the affected sands, the steps nervous, though the sorceress seemed unconcerned. A brief gesture sent the Art towards the Himmetian boys and their own mounts to free them also, though she had no doubt that they would as gladly die as they would live, it was the way of the tribes.

Lyssia shook her head and smiled more, Really Astavia and what did that little thing gain you? Some idea of the extent of my abilties? I doubt it somehow. She looked in the direction that Maledict had gone, knowing that some plan probably already drove the demon onwards. What it was she would have liked to know...or perhaps not, the plots of demons could be enough to drive any soul mad. And she most certainly wouldn't want to lose her sanity...if she had any left to lose. As for whether the demon is as dangerous in this form as he was when in that flesh...ah Astavia if only you realised. But too late for that now, too late by far, what's done is done and no power in the heavens or upon the isle can turn back time and undo what has been done. As the demon said, study that flesh all you will, if you think it will actually gain you anything. The search for knowledge, an admireable thing, but I fear you search for the wrong kind of knowledge. But there again the city of Tiavain is one built on magic...there is a power far stronger than magic, one that you know well enough Astavia.

The smile upon the sorceress's face finally disappeared, replaced with something almost akin to pity as she looked at Astavia. I see the path before you Astavia, I see it too clearly, though you will no doubt challenge that fact and think me false in my words. You all face choices, after all don't we all? But you must be careful because I know where one set of choices will lead you, there again who can say that the other set will lead you to any better place? The smile reappeared as suddenly as it had vanished, But isn't that the way of things.

As for it being wisest to talk to with you,
she laughed lightly to herself, not mocking, just amused by the situation unfolding around her. I don't think so Astavia, I really don't think so. She looked towards Zanafien, bowing her head in respect to her fellow, Speak with them if you will, it is your choice. And when you wish to learn more of your allies and faithmates then seek me out in the red desert, gladly will I speak with you there.

Indeed I should offer that invitation to one other.
She looked back towards Astavia, When your choices are made, when you come at last to that end that I fear I see before you...then come visit me in the red desert Astavia, then we will talk for then you will be ready. Of course whether you'll ever realise you are ready is another matter, she shrugged, But there again there will be others, there are always others.
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Postby Neve » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:42 pm

The Raised were put to rest, that Never felt. He had not tried to take control of the dead. No, he had let his apprentances seek to take control of small numbers while dealing with other matters. Their wills were weaker, it seemed, the the raiser of the walking dead. But Never was at the gates now, out of them, and apporaching the group seated. He paused, tasting the air. Aye, there was a deamon about, reaking a small bit of misery. How he would be a good addition to a collection... But alas, he was gone.

But still, to join the Istar... Why not, it was indeed amusing. The black robed Patriarch of Risetti still approached, a large shadow being cast by his companion. His bodygard was near eight feet tall, covered from head to toe in black, his face wrapped in black cloth. Bathasar, ever loyal, followed his master, a step behind. Never himself walked with a long walking staff, which was topped with a rather wicked looking skull, with rubies for eyes. He was a sight, pale, frail, or perhaps, not so frail? Never himself exuded magics of his own, it seeped from his pores. But here was the group.

Never Caught the last bit the witch threw to Dovanucci. These thought themselves so wise, so far above. Foolish, how very foolish to underestimate the might of Tiavain. Yet they persisted in their belief of their superority. Never laughed. Magic was power, and some power was lacking in the area. Dovanucci gave these weaklings too much credit. Bumbling through magic was all they were capable of.

Never paused, giving a slight bow.
Lady Dovanucci, I daresay that I did not receive an invatation to this outing. Perhaps it was lost by messanger? No matter, I will endevoring to make my manor more accessable... Never walked stiffly over to an open pillow, sitting. Bathasar hovered behind. Ah, here was the dead-speaker. Never could feel his power. Unfortunately there was only room for one Supreme Necromancer and Demonologist in Tiavain, and that was the Patriarch of Risetti. Still, this was all... Quite amusing.
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Postby Zanafien » Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:08 am

Now that was completely unnecessary of her to do that. He thought while a soft sigh escaped. Why must it be this constant pettiness? I would have believed her wiser than this course of action, but perhaps I have overestimated her abilities? Then, I could have assumed far too much, as I am want to do at times, believing others have more learning than they do, or more common sense.

He glanced over to Maledict and rolled the words he had said over in his mind. In many ways the demon was correct in refusing to sit among them, considering the damage wrought by Astavia, the supposed white Istar. A soft smile graced his face for brief seconds as the thought to another time when a good mage had done things others thought he could not have, or should not have. Just because a person had faith in good or evil did not mean they could not do one or the other. It was all in their specific mindset. Zanafien was perceived as evil due to his very nature, being undead as he was, and he could be extremely demented when he decided to follow that path. He was also capable of measures most could only qualify as being good. So, in the end, which was he? Good or Evil? He seemed to like to believe he could be somewhere in the middle ground, but leaning more toward good. In his own mind, he did what he felt was right and damn the consequences of his actions. Whether what he did was good or not, never really entered into the equation.

His eyes followed the current situation, observing but not commenting. What would have been the use of his words in the conflict between the Istar and Lyssia? Unfortunately, he did not know the sorceress very well, although his intelligence agents had kept him up-to-date on most of what his allies had been doing. Again a smile played across his face as he wondered those allies would have thought of being spied upon by one of their own? Would they find it grossly inappropriate, or understand it was merely a means of learning things about them before he actually met them? Perhaps they might wonder why he would do such a thing…and it was quite simple. How many times had he sent a missive off to one about their current state of health, and received nothing in return or some unreadable message written while they were drunk. No, it was much simpler to do it the way he had been, and less worrisome on them. One thing he was aware of about the sorceress, is she was extremely talented. Of course, being a Sidhe, naturally they were well-attuned to their surroundings and adept at magic, but it went beyond that with her. Something that was strange, every time he looked at her, he saw two people, one that seemed to be missing a part. It was strange beyond reason, and he could not quite figure it out but made a mental note to speak with her about it.

When Lyssia finally mentioned his name, he stood. It was not in him to sit while being addressed, and a slight smile cracked his otherwise chiselled face. You are too much the diplomat. Perhaps one day we will have need to set that aside and show some of these others what true destruction is all about.[i]

He pushed that thought far back into his mind. “I seek to find out [i]why
Astavia has brought war to my lands, besides her wishing our capture. There is surely something beyond she wants or the Istar will know my disappointment. Perhaps it is nothing that will interest me, or then again, it might. I am odd in that respect, finding interest in a grain of sand, but not in the fine workings of a catapult. If you look within the grain, you will find answers to puzzles left ages ago, but if you look within the catapult, normally you will find flaws made by human hands.” He smiled briefly. “Your invitation is most welcome, Lyssia. I shall journey to your lands soon, so we may speak at greater length. Perhaps you can answer some questions that nag at my mind.”

He bowed to Astavia and returned to his seat listening closely to the remainder of Lyssia’s words. She is wise, or perhaps learned? Experienced, certainly, but what does she hide? Is she like myself, hiding from my very calling, hiding from the fact I am undead, but not, alive, but not? No, there is something more there, different but familiar. And what of Astavia…why is it she sends the armies of Tiavain in search of three people…Okay, one undead, one demon and a Sidhe…of opposing ideas, I refuse to say faiths, for I serve no faith, I serve the demon due to his capture of me. What is it she wants? Whatever it is, I do hope it is good, for the loss of so many…

A new addition joined, and Zan observed him quietly. This one thought a lot of his own worth and measure, but the Lich of Despair doubted he was powerful as he believed. Ages old, and even Zanafien knew he could be bested, and had been in the past on numerous occasions, but he had survived and learned from his mistakes. His mind searched back to numerous reports that had filtered in by his intelligence agents and recalled this one. Lord Never, supposed necromancer extraordinaire, and of one house Risetti. Yes, that was his name and his arrogance showed brightly in his bearing and the disdainful looks he gave to those around. The sorceress Lyssia could probably teach this whelp a lesson, but the wise course was to stay out of his way, and allow him to make the mistakes and learn from them. Naturally, this one would probably seek to remove any competition and Zanafien had seen it all before. In his search for the supposedly Supreme title in Never’s field of study, or anyone’s for the matter, they always sought to be the top of their field, even if the ones they killed on their climb up were perhaps wiser. They did not learn from those that would teach, they only sought to destroy, which was a waste of knowledge, and knowledge was power. Once gone, it was forever lost to the sands of time.

“Greetings, Lord Never of House Risetti.” He stated, his face set and giving nothing away.
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Postby Milabar » Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:28 am

Blinking slowly as Astavia's entire stance went from one of offensive capture, to defensive diplomacy. Scowling lightly, I lower my hand, and seeing that only the demon was slightly amused at my killing of the soliders on the wall, I curl my lips slightly, and watching as the White Mistress orders a tent built, I sense the lich as he comes forward, and the demon as he leaves, unwilling to listen to the words of Astavia.

Watching as the lich walks foward, I smile and nod slightly towards him as he introduces himself. Speaking pleasant words back, I know that until Astavia gives the word, speaking less would more then likely be better, but still, I bow slowly in his direction, showing respect for those that live long lives.

Listening as Lyssia talks to Astavia, and then glancing slightly over my shoulder as I watch Neve walk out of the town, I laugh lightly to myself. Ahhh, the black robed one comes to play, once the diplomacy has started. Where was his vaulted powers and bodyguard while Astavia stood out here alone, surrounded by the powers that lead the troops against our walls, due to our attacking of thier lands?

More then likely defending his own, hiding behind his necromancy arts.

Walking towards the tent, I pull the hood of my cloak over my head, protecting my eyes from the sand that was blowing lightly. Stopping at the entrance, I curl my lips again, speaking softly.

"Even thought things seem to be well in hand Astavia, I feel as if I should join you in this little party. A white surrounded by evil would always do best with a constant ally in thier corner."

Glancing at Neve, I grin openly at him, and bowing very mockingly in his direction, I stay standing by the entrance of the tent, watching as things start to unfold upon themselves in the tent. Looking back at Astavia, I wave my hand, smiling as I do so, forming a small protection spell around her. As much as you should always trust your allies, you should never sit among evil without some sort of protection at your back....and your front.

Sitting down at the entrance, I lay my sword lightly across my knees, and leaning my elbows on the flat part of the blade, I start to listen to whatever is said.
Once there was life in these old bones. Then they took it away.
Now, I return to take thier life from them for it.
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