An RP in the World of Avernum *Reloaded*

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AuthorTopic: An RP in the World of Avernum *Reloaded*
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #226
There is only one thing more nerve-wracking than being besieged. These are the minutes or hours just before the walls are surrounded and the siege begins. --- Reflections, by Gabor Krizsan.

The nature of the canyon path allowed for slightly less than half an hour of warning between the moment when a traveler could first be seen by the guard and the moment when he banged on the front gate with his fist. The intricate twists and bends and bridges were designed to slow down the advance while keeping the line of sight as far as possible.

Beneath the waxing crescent, the citadel lay in utter silence as the goblins advanced.

Inside the citadel, the night was less peaceful. Library staff were running around like ants in a seemingly disordered fashion, but each had their own tasks to attend to.

Three of the mages descended to the lowest cavern levels, activating the sealing wards on the vaults - those halls with the most valuable, irreplacable records, that needed to be protected at all costs. Several wardens led the non-fighting personnel - the kitchen staff, the cleaners, the researchers - to the upper halls, where they barricaded themselves and waited for the end, one way or another. Meanwhile, the guards were roused and armed, assembling in the entrance hall, while the archers took their positions above the gate, waiting to see the intentions of the intruders.

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"... rogolath anyahersin ran!*" the mages intoned in unison, as green light streamed from their staves and seeped into the stone gate. The incantation had taken the better part of a minute, but its effect took only seconds to manifest. The dormant spell was activated, the gate vibrated for a moment and then began to glow as the spell began to feed off the power stored in the focusing crystals now locked behind the gate. The light quickly faded as the spell reached a balance, and the gate gave away to an illusory cave wall.

The mages returned upstairs to join their fellows in the defense.

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"Sir, you should not be here." Orson spoke to Alfgar in a terse, lowered voice. The grand librarian had refused to retreat to the upper halls.

"It is not your place to remind me where I should or should not be." Alfgar replied. "I will stay."

Orson rolled his eyes, but had no patience for arguing. He wordlessly turned around to return to the entrance hall where his soldiers were already waiting.

The rushed footsteps, clanking of doors and keys, and hushed voices continued for a few minutes and then gave way to a sudden silence. The defenses were in place; the citadel was holding its breath.

* [ooc: not translatable]

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
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OCC: Nice strategy, Slartucker. Stinky Power! :P

IC:

Drale was back in his base, in the heart of the Lorelei mountains. It was near nightfall. Messengers stood before him, waiting to report their news.
The next one came forward.
"Sir, the battle in Krizsan is over. The Hunters attempted to make undead from their fallen, but there appears to be some sort of residual magic from a religious order. It kills their necromancers."
Drale nodded. "Good. Anything else.?"
"The College appears to be actively gearing up for war. We've got Agents in almost every town near here. And none actually seen, only rumors or shadows."
"There's also some sort of disturbance on Bigail. The rain has been going on nonstop for quite a while near the bay area. If it continues the current upward trend it might interfere with troop movements."
Drale nodded. "Anything else?"
The messenger looked slightly fearful. "Well, sir, you see...
"Spit it out."
The messenger gulped. "Tygra... he burned the book. The tome. The Guild detected it and sent us word."
The messenger waited apprehensively. Drale looked very calm. He reached down to the ground and fashioned a crude figure out of sticks. "This is you," he said.
Then, in a lightning fast motion, Drale sliced the figure in half with his sword, which landed on the wall next to the messenger's neck.
"That is what will happen to you if I am cheated out of another magical item."
The messenger gulped again.
"Go, You are dismissed." The messenger fled the room.
Drale put his head in his hands. He had again been cheated out of his rightful prize. It would not happen again. He called after the fleeing messeneger,
"Fetch my most skilled men and bring them here. I have a job for them."
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Later, ten black-cloaked men rode out of the cave. Their horses were swift and their blades were sharp. Each carried on his back one wand of death and one glowing saphhire. The saphhires detected mages and magical prescences within a mile. And the wands were to deal with those mages and magical prescences, mainly Agents.
They were Drale's best men. And they had a job to do.

OCC: I hope this isn't overpowered. They certainly won't kill every Agent. It's just a countermeasure.

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
Posts: 420 | Registered: Sunday, January 8 2006 08:00
Triad Mage
Member # 7
Profile Homepage #228
With a strong northeast wind, the fumes reached civilization soon enough. The town of Braddock was only a few miles away from the swamps, and the farm town had been hit hard by the splintering of the Empire. There was no real market for their goods anymore, and most of the farmers were just getting by on subsistence farming. In effect, Braddock was well on its way to becoming a ghost town swallowed by the Swamps of Dralgath.

A few farmers in their fields were the first to sense the scent. They wrinkled their noses and sniffed at it quizically. They were so shocked that they marched straight to the center of town, which was basically an intersection with the barracks, mayor's office, inn, and general store on the four corners. There they gathered most of the town to see what they could do.

Before long, everyone could smell it. "What on earth could it be?" people wondered. "What could make that smell?" Everyone stood around, baffled, until a young boy of about eight wandered out of his house to see what all of the commotion was. He took a big whiff and a strange look spread across his face.

"Wow!" he exclaimed. "It's like ... it's like ... flowers and ripe fruit and sunshine and rainbows and fairies and spring!" The adults around him were astonished. They opened their eyes and their nostrils and had to agree. It was like all of those things and more. It was the most beautiful thing any of them had ever smelled.

And so they began to ask questions again. "What could make something this beautiful?" "Where is it coming from?" And they stood around contemplating until the boy spoke up again. "Why don't we follow the scent until we find out where it's coming from?"

And so the adults again praised the innocent wisdom of a child who didn't really know any better, and they organized a search party. A few fit farmers, a few armed guards, and, of course, one little boy.

They followed the fragrance down to the edge of the swamps. There they looked on in astonishment as they saw the burning swamp nodules. Around them were a few dead goblins who had passed out and drowned in the swamp and floated to the surface again.

The townspeople carefully put out the fires and gathered all of the swamp nodules they could and carted them back to Braddock. They brought their news to the rest of the townspeople, who began to think bigger. Think beyond farming and normal menial labor.

Couldn't they sell this as a product of Braddock? Bring joy to the rest of Ermarian? Keep the recipe a secret and bottle the joy? Then they would not need to farm just to stay alive. The whole industry of Braddock could change and be transformed. "Who would have thought?" they all remarked for years to come. All in all, this was a great gift from whoever had tipped them off to it. They wished they could thank him.

Of course, nobody ever really remembered the little boy. But that was okay with him. Because he knew in his heart that he, for one day, led his town. And that was enough to make him feel proud.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Shaper
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Profile Homepage #229
Portal Fortress

The area around the flickering portal was empty. A sharp wind cut through the area, whipping up eddies of dust. A scrumpled up piece of paper fluttered away to the west, were it was pinned against the fort's walls. Silence had descended.

Yet, from behind a large outcrop of rock, the bow of an archer could be seen. A whisper from the other side of the cave broke through the air, and immediately, the bow fell out of sight.

Morgain, sitting in the administrative offices north of the portal read a second letter on her desk once again.

Alexandria will not return to the surface. Kill her men as soon as they come through the portal. Take her alive.

- Samuels


She stood up, and strode across to the viewing platform above the portal. She waited...

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Ghikra

The last of the scouting parties returned to talk to Jones. Ghikra was a shell. Before the Vahnatai had left, they had stripped the place. All that had been found were tomes in the vahnatia tongue. They would need to be deciphered.

Jones looked annoyed, and rightly so. He had lost 32 men disarming traps in the town, and for nothing.

These tomes had better be of some use...

OOC: Hope to do a longer post tomorrow.
Oh, and is it okay for me to steal Alexandria? She won't die. Work it into your next post Dini.

[ Saturday, April 01, 2006 07:44: Message edited by: Nikki xx ]

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And when you want to Live
How do you start?
Where do you go?
Who do you need to know?


*Name by Slarty, so blame him if it's filthy...
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #230
OoC:

Faction Name: Wandering Vagabonds.
Leader Name: Captain Brigadier
Location: Avernum. Currently in the Abyss.
Government: None, really.
Religion: As a whole, none. Individuals may have their own.
Description: A very small group of travelers who travel around Avernum. They are skilled enough to earn a living and don't have an open interest in larger matters. Staying alive and well is their main concern.

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IC:

Captain Brigadier stood on a small hill facing Bargha. He was a tall man with a long scar across one cheek. One hand rested on a steel longsword. Everything seemed normal and safe. He turned away. At the foot of the hill, a small cart was parked. It was covered in a dull gray cloth to help disguise it. Interestingly enough, it seemed that it was pulled by chitraches and not by giant lizards, for two chitrachs were carefully staked down for the night.

"Shadow," Captain Brigadier said.

A tall, slender mage stood up from where it had been meditating on the ground. He wore a long, black robe that covered him completely. Even his face was completely hidden by the hood. "Yes?" His voice was barely above a whisper.

"Look at Bargha and tell me what you think."

Shadow climbed to the top of the hill and watched the city intently. "I sense many things."

"What do you sense?"

"Powerful, but very subtle, magic."

"Can't you ever give a straight answer?" Captain Brigadier asked irritably.

"I will take this watch. I wish to explore what I sense further," Shadow said.

"Fine." Captain Brigadier nods his head once and then strides down the hill. Behind the cart, a male nephil is adding a few twigs to a small, smokeless fire. He has a yew bow and a quiver of arrows strapped to his back. A large piece of cave rat is roasting over the fire.

"How much longer, Hmurran? I'm hungry," Captain Brigadier asks.

Hmurran shrugs. "It's done." Hmurran slips the meat onto a plate, adds a slice of stale bread, and hands it over to the captain. Captain Brigadier bites into the meat, burns his tongue, and decides to eat the bread first instead.

"Are we heading into Bargha tomorrow?" A nephar sat on a rock, attempting to repair a bent lockpick.

"Yes, Humurr."

Suddenly, there is a shrill giggling sound. A gremlin pops up out of the cart, performs a cartwheel, and starts to cavort around the small camp wildly. Hmurran waits until the gremlin dances close to him and then tackles him and pins him to the ground.

"No laughing, no dancing, and absolutely no singing, Skirl!"

Skirl looks hurt. "I wasn't singing."

"But that's what you were going to do next, wasn't it?"

Skirl grins widely. "Maybe."

Commander Brigadier looks angry. "We're trying to keep a low profile out here, Skirl. We don't want any attention. Save your act for tomorrow, when we can at least earn a few coins from it."

Skirl sticks his tongue out at the captain when Hmurran lets him up. Skirl skips off and sits down next to a female slith. The slith opens her eyes. "Yess? Want do you want?"

Skirl points to a small crystal hung around her neck. "Can I see the crystal, Hss-Pothss?"

Hss-Pothss looks severely at Skirl for a moment and then softens. "All right. But be very careful with it." Hss-Pothss takes off the small, beautiful crystal.

Skirl takes it gently. He examines it closely, even sniffing at it. Then he hands it back to Hss-Pothss. He skips off and climbs back into the cart. "Everyone say goodnight! I'm going asleep again!"

"Goodnight," said Hss-Pothss

"Goodnight you little terror," said Hmurr.

"May the bedbugs bite," said Hmurran.

"Will you just go to sleep already? We've said good night to you three times this evening!" said Captain Brigadier.

Skirl disappears under the cover. Soon, loud snoring issues from the cart.

Hmurr looks over at Hss-Pothss, who is placing the crystal back around her neck. "Does it even do anything?"

"It'ss not magical or enchanted, if that'ss what you mean. But it'ss sspecial to me. It's been in my family for many, many yearss."

Captain Brigadier, having no respect for heirlooms, snorts in contempt. Suddenly, he realizes that Shadow is standing behind him. "Yes, Shadow?"

"The rumors are true. The Onyx Scepter is in Bargha. But I also smell the stink of demons."

"There are demons in Bargha?"

"No. But there are people who have contact with demons in town. I'll find out more when we enter town tomorrow."

"You still think entering is a good idea?"

"It's no more dangerous than entering any other town."

"Yes, that's true. Did you detect any sign of Smitt?"

"No. Hopefully, though, he will be there. If not, we'll keep looking."

"That's true. We've come this far and we're not going to stop now. Hmurr, it's your turn for the watch. The rest of you, get some sleep. We're entering Bargha first thing tomorrow."

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OoC: Dikiyoba must end every post in an OoC. Dikiyoba hopes you will all understand.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Guardian
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The mercenary leader leaned forward, full plate armour creaking. "Your proposition sounds interesting, friend. However, my men haven't finished spending the money from their last venture, so I'm afraid we'll stay put in Aminro." The cloaked man across the table placed a sack of coins on the table. The mercenary licked his lips as the man placed a second sack on the table, then laughed. "For a man who don't talk much, you sure are persuasive!"

Jakob smiled, his face hidded in the cowl of the cloak he had pilfered from an unsuspecting soldier. "The Anama is displeased with the recent turn of events. Order must be maintained. Those who think otherwise should be... disposed of."

***

Denise looked at the dead man, then back at the mirror. Not a perfect job, but unless anyone intimate with the man took a long, close look, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference. A knock came at the door, and she swore silently to herself. "In a moment," she said gruffly, barely remembering to disguise her voice. She dragged the dead man into the closet, then closed the door. She would dispose of him later. She then hurried to the door and opened it. "Jack," the young man outside excitedly said. "I just got the message: we're moving out."

Denise smiled, stroking her chin. The man outside would see a burly man stroking his beard. It was a habit this 'Jack' had been fond off; for the past few days she had been tailing him, memorizing his habits and personality. "I'll be a moment, then I'll meet with the rest of you."

***

Alexandria hummed quietly to herself as she waited to go through the portal. She had secured a source of crystals for the Dominion. Once she reached the surface, she would send a pigeon to the College. Hopefully, only one load would have to pass through Upper Avernum and Hunter lands. One more round of smiling and bowing to these Upper Avernum fools, and then she would be done with this annoying mission. The portal was now ready for her passage; her two companions had already gone through. She stepped through the portal.

And emerged into chaos. They were under attack. One mage was casting a spray of lighning bolts into an advancing group of Avernites, an arrow in his shoulder. The other was on the group, dead, amid a pile of frozen soldiers. She cursed, and throw a Fireblast into a large group of Worms trying to rush her. They tumbled to the ground, screaming as they burnt, and she turned around to nail another group, snarling. An arrow flew past her and hit the other mage, and she retaliated with bolt of lighning, destroying the outcropping where the sniper had hide. Oddly enough, no other bolts flew towards her. She continued spinning around, blowing away any who tried to advance on her. She was hopelessly outnumbered, but maybe if... Something hit her on the back of the head, and everything went black.

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I was hoping to do a special post devoted to the fact that today was April Fools Day, but too much is happening. I'm jumping all over the place in this post; hope it makes sense.

EDIT: Welcome, Dikiyoba. I understand your need for OOCs. If I didn't have them, I would lack the necessary quote.

[ Saturday, April 01, 2006 10:04: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Shock Trooper
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The Kazian emissary who arrived at the seat of the Righteous Return's government was as hard and as stiff as he who had contacted Solaria. Her armour bore signs of the rough road through the passes of the Jsoulza mountains, as did that of her two escorts.

She saluted. "Cleric-Knight Jeltja. In the name of Kaz, the Avatar acknowledges your request. Praise Kaz for all honour and mercy. You will direct all appeals to Kaz through me."
Posts: 356 | Registered: Saturday, August 23 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #233
Fort Dolthar
"It's been two three days and we've still had no word from Sulfi. It is time that we send a search party out. We cannot afford to wait any longer!" Denrich was cleary dismayed at the loss of his pupil.

"I have already recieved word on the situation Denrich."

"What?! When were you planning of finally informing me?"

"Nothing direct, but I have my suspicions. A message was sent to us from our outpost in the Eastern Gallery. The city of Cotra lies in ruin once more. Several bodies wearing the insignia of Fort Dranlon were found. I can only suspect that Fort Dranlon lies in the same shape. Certainly this pends further investigation; however, I will risk noone else to those caves. You are quite skilled at scrying Denrich. Perhaps it is time you investigated Sulfi's location."

"If that is what is necessary, I shall risk it."
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North of Fort Avernum

When Acrio finally awoke he had one of the worst headaches of his life. This was only enhanced by the brightly glowing crystals around the chamber. As he adjusted to his surroundings he realized he was laying in a small bed. The fabric was strange to him and seemed extremely thin, almost to the point of tearing under his weight. Then the door to the chamber opened. The being that entered was alien to him, but not completely unknown. Vahnatai!.

The vahnatai spoke to him in a language he did not understand. When the being saw this it stopped and pondered for a few seconds. The next time it spoke was in English. "My apologies. I am Valla. Our kinds have not had greetings in such long years. It best if you speak with Iktin-Bok. He is ... more skilled in your tongues." Sulfi stood up and was lead by Valla through a small section of cave into another building. As he walked through the cave he noticed the strange, unnatural and yet completely natural shapes of the buildings.

This new building was decorated more ornately. Clearly the leader of this group of vahnatai dwelled inside. Sitting behind a marble table, Iktin-Bok smiled as Sulfi entered the room. "I am pleased that you have recovered. It took keepers of the greatest skill to heal your wounds."

Sulfi was shocked. Iktin-Bok spoke just as well, if not better than he did. "How do you have such skill with our language?"

"Do not think that just because we have not contacted you that we have forgotten. There are those of us who still study and favor ties to your kind; however, it is a time of strife in our lands. Various factions still cling to old hatreds. It is best that we not dwell over it, that is not the purpose I am here to serve."

"Why are you here?"

"There was an accident of the most terrible kind. Something has escaped from the deeper caves. Something even our kind fear. We have traced it to the Eastern Gallery. The destruction we have seen throughout this region confirms our suspicions. As you know Fort Dranlon has been devastated. Cotra, Silvar, and Fort Avernum have suffered the same fates. We believe the creature has headed south."

"Cotra! Silvar! Fort Avernum! The entirety of the Eastern Gallery simply laid to waste! I refuse to accept this. There is no creature that powerful save Grah-Hoth. He was banished from these lands long ago."

"It is not through power, but through trickery that the creature destroyed these towns. The being took human form and instigated a war between the two cities. I suspect had these days not been filled with such rebellion and suffering it wouldn't have worked. With paranoia as their leader the townspeople quickly surrendered to their darkest fears."

"Fort Avernum was the first to be destroyed, by an 'accident' involving the portal. Cotra managed to overcome the defense of Silvar and left the town in ruin. Finally, in a desperate bid to retain order, the troops of Fort Dranlon set out to quell the rebels who held control in Cotra. It was at this point that Ohvol, as we have come to call him, revealed himself. Catching them unprepared, Ohvol easily slaughtered the remaining humans. He then constructed obelisks in each of the towns. Bandits foolishly activated the pylons in Silvar and Cotra. Since then they have only picked away at the rubble surrounding the towns. As your survival shows, he is not the strongest of all magi."

"What of the caves to the south and to the north?"

"For the greater good we have set up barriers to the North, barring the passages to North Eastern Avernum. We did send scouts to the south. They have not returned in over two weeks and we suspect they may already be dead."

[ Sunday, April 02, 2006 10:58: Message edited by: Lt. Sullust ]

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Lt. Sullust
Cogito Ergo Sum
Polaris
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6489
Profile Homepage #234
Cressen led his men through the devastated farmland, past the pale, lifeless bodies. They had been killed in all sorts of disgusting ways. Here a man was disemboweled, there a woman had her heart cut out. Who is capable of such cruelty?

He had told his officers to be on the lookout for hostiles. A very large force had done this, and these bodies were fresh. As of yet, they had encountered nothing living. Perhaps there is someone left in Mertis. They were approaching the gates of the city. They were barred shut, but 20 yards to the right was a huge gash in the walls. He guided his lizard in that direction. As he neared the walls, a wizened old man limped out of the opening.

"Who are you that call upon the dead?"

"We have come from the Great Cave to find out what is happening in Mertis. Who are you, old man"

"There are some who call me.... Tim?"

"Tim? That is your name?"

"Perhaps. I would be away from here if I were you, my lord. This is no place for the living."

"What has happened here?"

"The dead happened. All here are dead," Tim cackled maniacally.

"You are alive."

"Am I? Am I really?" With that, the old man faded away.

"Where did he go?" asked Jaquen, Cressen's aide.

Cressen did not reply. He was staring in horror at the dead bodies all around. They weren't quite as dead as they were a moment before. The were all getting to their feet and shambling towards the soldiers.

"Form ranks!" he ordered. His five thousand men prepared for battle very quickly for such a large force, and battle was joined. Cressen drew his longsword and hacked at a pale figure with entrails spewing from its belly. He chopped off an arm, but the wight just kept coming. "Priests!" he yelled. "We need Repel Spirit spells!"

Over his head, blue flames blasted, incinerating wights 8 at a time. For a brief moment, it looked like they were going to win. Then the gates of Mertis opened. Thousands of undead came streaming out of the city. He took one look at the host of spirits and knew they had no chance. "Buglers! Sound retreat!"

It was too late. The two forces clashed. A tide of death washed over the living, and everything went black.

[ Saturday, April 01, 2006 20:04: Message edited by: Tyranicus ]

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"You're drinking liquor because you're thirsty? How nasty is your freaking water?" —Lazarus
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Posts: 1556 | Registered: Sunday, November 20 2005 08:00
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--East coast of Valorim--

Two fair sized fishing boats (Called the Nipper raced deceptively fast through waves.
For the past several days they had been sailing much slower as they circumnavigated past Dominion Territory. Now that was past them they sailed more quickly.

Their mission? To contact the towns of Torria, Vila and Execa and to see the situation further north of their own territory.
Both crews were capable sailors but they had also been selected for their ability in fighting. No sense in travelling unprotected.

Each few days, sea-birds carried messages back south full of seemingly innocent messages on the conditions and amount of fish in the area.

A signal in the form of a light flashed from the Holly. The large island was in sight.

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Milla-Displacer Beastie

This is also a good site
Posts: 650 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #236
Fralsrik went to stand on a small hill, and watched how Moternij slowly dissappeared at the horizon. I must continue now. First I'll see if there is some news about anything in some inn, I think. he turned to the left at the river, walking towards Angel's rest. Luckily every small town and dump has its own inn. there are quite some drinkers here. he grinned to himself. Foolish humans. I'm not surprised the Empire turned out to be a flop. How can it survive with more intelligent creatures moving around? He patted himself on the breast while he thought that.

He was on the outskirts of Angel's rest, and could already see some guards moving around. he hid his arrows and bow in his cloak, so he wouldn't look hostile. Dressed like that, he appraoched the guards, who stopped him.

"Name? Goal you seek in this village?"

"Menrir, get a drink in the inn. pleas let a lonely traveler through?"

The guard inspected him.

"Alright, you can pass now. But if you, you little stinkin Nephil, cause any trouble, you'll be dead, dead as a Nephil has ever been, in only five seconds, got that?"

Fralsrik nodded. The guard stepped aside and let him pass. Yep. truly foolish these humans. Kill me in five seconds? A Nephil spy? pathetic. He continued to the inn.

The inn was bombed, filled to the top. everyweher travellers and locals were having drinks, laughing and most importantly, exchanging rumors. While he went to sit at an empty chair at the bar, he heard the following threads of speech:

"...Oh yes, the Anama are growing stronger I hear, although they seem to have trouble in Sharimik and Karnold province..."

"...omion you say? Why yes! the dominioin ha very powerful mages, didn't you know that? Worst enemy of the Anama, I believe..."

"...Yesiree, all but false, i tell you. Riverrod province DOES have a temple dedicated to the chicken gods..."

(As an answer to the previous talk:)

"Are you sure? I never heard of that temple. What, is it in Filberton? With the mage school? Oh yes of course! It is that scenario... what was it called again?"

"Where the Rivers Meet you mean?"

"Exactly!"

(Continuation of threads of other talks Fralsrik overheard, this one of particular interest:)

"...yes, something like "Karnold Isle league," or so I heard. They have a Nephil int heir force, you know? And they just found this exciting temple of some sort. They are on the small islands to the very south, south of the Dominion of the learned..."

Upon hearing this, fralsrik left the inn. he didn't even drank his mushroom beer. he walked straight out, straight out of Angel's rest, straight to the hill he sat before, at the river. he took out his scroll and found a small twig in the grass:

Fralsrik writing this, sir:

Overheard things in Angel's rest inn. KIL is an other group to the south: has Nephil leader in forces. Communicate?

He put away the scroll and waited. waited for an answer.

[ Saturday, April 01, 2006 23:48: Message edited by: Mc 'mini' Thralni ]

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!
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Profile #237
The town of Mertis* had been founded purely out of necessity; it was, after all, one of the closer towns to that which had once been the launching point for the outcasts of the Empire. After several hundred years and something of a population explosion in the Caves, it was a city to rival the best of them; merchants came from as far as Dharmon to sell their wares and, for those interested, to familiarize themselves with the news of the surface. The turmoil throughout Ermarian served only to increase the traffic through the city; it was regarded as one of the more stable areas in the caves in spite of the desolation to the south. If there's one thing a true merchant loves, it's stability, and so, rather like a herd of cows to greener pastures, the merchants of Avernum had flocked to Mertis and, rather like birds on the back of a rhinoceros, adamantly refused to leave.

A young man leaned against a moldering wall, plucking at a small stringed instrument and humming softly to himself. It wasn't the sort of wall that one could trust to stand for any more than a minute or two at best, but then, he didn't plan on staying. A leathery cap sat rakishly forward on his head concealing long, tangled hair, and hiding his face in shadows deeper than those normally found in the torch- and fungus-lit market. The constantly moving throng on the street passed by him as if he weren't there. He stilled the strings with a finger, blinked, shifted his weight, and settled back cautiously against the wall, sliding back into the cheerful melody where he'd left off.

The stream of buyers and sellers passing him by eddied for a moment, then slowed to a trickle as a large, lavishly dressed man strode from a shop door and made his way conspicuously down the lane. A gleam shone from beneath the musician's battered leather brim; the wall creaked as he pushed off into the street, strings resounding, a joyous tune suddenly coming forth from his pursed lips. The merchant strode behind him, projecting an air of obliviousness to the raffish noise ahead. The musician walked with a bounce in his step, smiling for all the world to see. Passing a narrow street, he turned into the building on the corner and went in, just inside the doorway. He counted to twenty, then looked around the corner into the street; the merchant had indeed turned and was looking contented as a cat. The cart, he saw, was in place. The musician smiled and continued on his way. No intervention necessary.

The merchant hid his purse deeper within his cloaks and strode down the middle of the crowded street. A disturbance caught his attention, and he watched a group of yelling, sweaty men drive a lizard cart directly toward him. He turned up his nose and stepped to the left; the cart shifted, and he dove to the right instead. The lead man saw him, struck the lead lizard, and all hell broke loose - the poorly trained beast, straining against his leather straps, tried to bite the man's hand; the other lizards, perturbed, started and spilled crates and crates from the cart, crates that struck the ground and turned out to be empty, the merchant noticed; the other men, reaching for the crates as they fell, stumbled against the suddenly lightened cart and toppled it so that it was against the wall of a building, lying directly against the dark alleyway that the merchant, to avoid being crushed, had been forced to duck into.

Shaking with a mixture of fear and rage, adrenaline running through his veins, the merchant began straining against the cart, shoving with all his strength against the sudden wall that had closed him in where he'd rather not be. Oddly enough, it didn't budge; he could feel force against it on the other other side. The merchant heard footsteps behind him and turned, and his world erupted in pain, then faded to white, then, finally, to black. The still form was dragged into a nearby shelter by a group of men in simple tunics, one of who, was whistling the melody the musician had begun.

Several minutes later a horse left the city gates at a gallop; the guards didn't bother to stop its rider, or check the purse bouncing at his hip.

********************

"I've got it."

"What?"

"What Talyn asked for."

"Oh. He's keeping that a secret."

"Regardless, I must-"

"Yes, of course, I apologize. Continue."

The horseman nodded, looked over his shoulder to make sure the animal was being properly cared for, and looked back in time to avoid the low-hanging stone of the side entrance. He smiled a greeting at the guards and found his way through the busy passage, deeper into the cave, looking for the tapestry that marked his destination. He found it and went it.

"Yes?"

The horseman bowed slightly and walked on carved stone to the desk by the roughhewn wall. "It's in here," he said, holding forth the pouch, "along with what must be this week's earnings."

"Ah. Very good." The man stood, took the pouch, and reached inside. He was a short man with skin the color of parchment, but was strong as a slith, as the horseman could see all the more clearly through the pale skin and the leather jerkin. They stood silent for a few seconds.

"Sir. Um. Talyn."

The short man started. "Oh. Right." He drew a coin from the pouch, looked at it, drew another, tested it with his teeth, then handed both to the horseman. "You've done well. Remind your associates, if you see them, that they will be paid here, and not in Mertis any longer, and will have to come in person if they wish to be rewarded. And Grant?"

"Yes, sir?"

"Do not call me 'sir.' I am Talyn. You are free to go."

"Yes, Talyn." Grant left to find a friend and a drink; it had been a hard day, and anyway, the horse needed rest. Talyn followed him out, leaving the office cave unguarded. In Athron's Lair, there was no such thing as theft. Talyn made his way to the back of the cave, ambiguously referred to as the Nest, looked around, and went in.

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A hushed leathery rustling accompanied soft footfalls as Anthros looked up from his dirt pit. He turned to face forward, taking care not to disturb the diagram he'd drawn.

"Talyn." It was half question, half statement.

"Yes, it is I."

"Have they found the crystal?"

"It was just delivered to me in the company of the fat merchant's bag of gold."

Anthros snorted. A puff of smoke drifted from his nostrils. "Take what you need to keep them happy. Put the rest on the pile," he said, indicating the gold in the corner. It was huge, but hardly impressive anymore; Talyn had seen it plenty of times before.

Anthros extended a claw. "Bring the crystal to me."

Talyn went to him, placed the shimmering object on the massive scales, and waited patiently like a schoolboy as Anthros gazed into its center. It wasn't a particularly large crystal, and Talyn hadn't understood his master's request at first; but it had belonged to a fellow Athronite and had been robbed, sold, and almost resold, and no robbery of the Ascendancy could be permitted. He still didn't understand the significance of the crystal itself, but Anthros had never been quite this obsessed with a crystal before. Of course, obsession is relative. After thirty seconds or so of inspection, he placed it on the stone floor and looked up at Talyn.

"The human battlemage is going to be betrayed and captured. I want her. Do you have men in place?"

"Yes, and a few of the slithzerikai."

"Good. Send them word immediately. I do not care about her escort."

"Of course. And the Knights?"

"Ah. Did you send Selin there?"

"No."

"He is there."

"Family business?"

"All of his family lives in Mertis."

Talyn thought. "I only hope..."

"It's a possibility. Do not retract him. I'd rather watch. He has put himself in this position."

"Yes... well. I hope he is careful."

"As do I. Have Sitha take over routine payment; Ella has far too much on her hands these days, and I may need you to lead in Upper Avernum for a bit."

Talyn glowed with pride. "Yes, sir."

"They think you rule them, most of them do."

"This is true. They think Sitha holds my position, and I yours. How long will you keep it up?"

" I will show myself now. Or when the caves are ours."

"I'm sor-"

"Do not question me. You have much to attend to. Now go."

"Yes, sir." Talyn extended three of his fingers and kept the longest down with his thumb: the sign of the Ascendancy. He nodded curtly, placed the gold on the pile, and left the way he'd come to find his second-in-command. Alone once more, the dragon turned back to his diagram. He placed a claw in the section representing the west. The Abyss merited observation.

Faction Name: Athron’s Ascendancy
Leader Name: To all but a few hundred, Talyn is the leader, and Thisa is his right-hand slith. In actuality, Anthros leads the faction. Ella is in charge of the Ascendency on the surface, which is semi-autonomous as it is difficult to communicate between the two groups.
Location: The Ascendancy can be found in all of Avernum and much of the surface, but they are (or were) based in Mertis and Athron’s Lair.
Description: Anthros was the last of Athron’s brood to hatch, and while all of his siblings are bitter, to some degree, he is the only one who has done anything significant about it. He’s been inhabiting the caves for twenty years or so but has managed to keep this a secret, largely through the help of Talyn, a former adventurer who found him in hiding. Anthros is not a huge dragon, nor is he a particularly violent one, but he has a deep and thorough knowledge of scrying, like his fellow dragons, and gives Talyn suggestions and orders based largely on what he sees.

The structure of the Ascendency is loose but effective. Talyn receives an order from Anthros or makes his own judgement and relays it to Thisa, then finds a member (or members) to do it. There are some who work for the Ascendency full-time, but most have their lives outside of it. They will all do what they are told, however; examples have been made of traitors in the past, and word spreads quickly among Athronites. Also, Anthros is a dragon without a particular desire for gold, and yet with quite a bit of it at his dispposal. The Ascendency is well-paid, to say the least.

Most important, however, in uniting the Athronites is their common mission. The group was formed at the fall of the Kingdom, and has worked ever since to A) obtain as much power as possible and B) influence the course of events subtly but quickly, and to the end of restoring peace in Avernum. The surface division is equally important, however; Anthros believes that Avernum cannot be at peace until peace is restored to the Empire.

EDIT*: Aaaand this is why I should other posts before posting my own. The Mertis inconsistencies, I hope, have all been changed in the description. Assume the IC part of this takes place soon before the undead infestation. This actually makes more sense chronologically, as you will soon see.

[ Sunday, April 02, 2006 04:04: Message edited by: Sir David ]

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And though the musicians would die, the music would live on in the imaginations of all who heard it.
-The Last Pendragon

Polaris = joy.

In case of emergency, break glass.
Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6403
Profile #238
At least the work on the portal was going steadily, another two days, another mile. Krahn wished the same were true about his other projects.

The attempt to detect the scrying attempts were like ordering a ghoul to pick out stitches from clothing. I was getting done but progress was reduced to a crawl. All that had been descovered was that it was coming from somewhere to the southeast. Not very informative when you control the extreme northwest.

The work at Khoth's Lair was goin even slower. The scrolls and tomes were found to be in a draconian script that none of the vampires were able to translate. The augmentation of the ruby skeletons was halted as soon as it was discovered that removing the ruby destroyed the spirit. To continue work they would have to find a fresh crop of bodies and assorted gems. At least they continue in hypothetical work, they had confirmed that they could, theoretically, alter the ruby skeleton ritual to accept the charecteristics of the gems placed inside the bodies.

And on top of it all, his shades had informed him that Xivuth had gone off on some mad scheme to get the onyx scepter from the idiots who had stolen it. The thought of an artifact in hands such as theirs was unthinkable, but all the same, Xivuth shouldn't have rushed into the thieves teritorry headfirst.

Thinking of the onyx scepter was making Krahn lightheaded, the power that could be gotten through it. His forces would be nearly unstoppable. He just had to support Xivuth's efforts to retrieve it before the thieves sold it and find some way to diplomatically convince the demon-worshippers to allow him access to it. Not likely, but if they managed to summon their demon-god using it ( IMAGE(http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f19/Infernal666hate/drolleyes.gif)), he would have no other options.

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OoC: Yay, new players. Have fun diki and David. :D

[ Sunday, April 02, 2006 07:21: Message edited by: Infernal666hate ]

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Posts: 883 | Registered: Wednesday, October 19 2005 07:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #239
Outside Bargha:

In the moments of unwatchfulness while the watch was changing, a small figure slips out the gates of Bargha unnoticed. It approaches the vagabond's campsite. Hmurr spots the approaching person and whistles softly. Captain Brigadier is instantly awake. He hurries to the top of the hill with his longsword drawn. Then he realizes who it is and sheathes the sword.

"Nettle!"

At the sound of his voice, the figure looks up. Nettle appears to be a teenage boy, maybe fifteen or sixteen. However, the magical illusion fades as she pulls off her cap. As the first person of the group to venture into any city and with an innate tendency to pick up objects that didn't belong to her, it was good for her to have a second look if the first one ever drew too much attention. And it was far easier to drop a disguise than it was to come up with one. Shadow didn't like having to constantly create her disguise, but Brigadier never took chances with anyone in the group. Especially not with his daughter.

"There were no problems, Brigadier." Nettle says.

Brigadier looks relieved. "Good. What did you discover?"

"I heard some very interesting rumors. It's common knowledge that the Abyss Knights have stolen an Onyx Scepter and are searching for a buyer."

"We have no use for that. And even if we did, we wouldn't be able to buy it."

"No, but we might be able to help them in their search for a buyer in return for some of the payment if we find a customer."

"No. It's too risky. We're staying well away from anything that valuable. Anything else?"

"The innkeeper informed me that someone matching Smitt's description stayed at the inn a few nights ago."

"Is he still there?"

"No, he checked out yesterday. I asked one of the guards—real politely, of course—and he says he saw the man leave town, heading west."

Brigadier strikes his sword hilt angrily with an open palm and swears. "Snittles! We just missed him!"

"There's one final thing."

"What is it?"

"There's a circus in town. It's called the Perfectly Harmless Circus, I think. I heard them singing."

"There's already a cirus in town?" Brigadier swears again. "Ploo! We'll have to pretend we're merchants then. It's a pity. Skirl is so effective at convincing everyone that we are a circus. Our merchant act just isn't as effective. And we can't afford to be turned away at the gate. We're out of food. We don't even have a shriveled mushroom left."

"It's okay. I ate dinner at the inn. Better yet, I managed to, um, pick up a few items while the innkeeper's back was turned. It should be enough for breakfast."

Brigadier swears again. "You and your zirking sticky fingers are going to get us all in gibbling trouble!"

"Not any more trouble than you could get us in with your language. Besides, the inn's beer was so bad that he deserved to have the food taken from him. The sooner he goes out of business, the better, in my opinion."

"Hmm. Poor beer? I bet the innkeeper will be very eager to get his hands on some good Almarian wine, then. We've still got a few casks left, right?"

"Ask Hmurr. I don't know. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to get some rest." Nettle walks over to her pallet and lies down. She promptly falls asleep.

Brigadier stands up and kicks Hss-Pothss gently. She wakes up, rubbing her eyes and yawning. "Iss it my watch already?"

"Yes. Tell Hmurr to come to me."

"Of course, Brigadier." Hss-Pothss walks to the top of the hill. A moment later, Hmurr strides down it.

"What is it, Brigadier?"

"Do we have any Almarian wine left?"

"Yes. Only about four or five casks, though, and it's all the cheap stuff. However, we do have several bottles of gremlin wine that Skirl makes."

"Good. That's all I needed to know. I'll explain how we get into Bargha tomorrow morning."

Both Hmurr and Brigadier go to sleep. On the hill, Hss-Pothss keeps watch, occasionally fingering the small crystal around her neck.

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Dikiyoba.
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #240
Fralsrik continued on his journey after he recieved an answer from mernal:

Mernal writing:

Forget about the Dominion and the Looters. Go straight to the Karnols isle league, and see what you can find about that nephil. These are your new orders.

Right. He had to go all the way south, and he had to find a way to cross the water, over to the islands. However, before doing that, he will have to get past the dominion unseen, which seemed like a daunting task. With a whole bunch of mages scrying all the time the areas around them, being "stealthy" seems silly. I'll just walk on over the roads, and if anybody asks me what I'm doing here, I'll say I'm a traveller. hope that will work. it certainly did in Angel's rest. he smiled to himself and put his hood over his head. Then he walked onwards.

The roads were in bad state, and he wondered how ever a merchant's cars could be pushed over such a road. Meh. these humans really make a mess of everything. He slowly came into the vicinity of Porter's reatreat. He looked at his map to make sure th ruin in front of him was th once famous road-inn. It was. Now it was abandoned. It had probably run out of business, which wasn't very surprising, given the fact that there was war at hand. travellers just didn't want to walk freely in valorim anymore. In whole Ermarian, for that sake. Humans. Oh Karlir, great god, will you help us whiping these pathetic humans out?

it was time to go on. After a walk he started to come near an S-curve in the river. Luckily, just north of the cave, he found some stepping stones, and crossed the river, after which he traveled south, direction Libras. he could have gone over the roads, but it would only make traching him more easy. he didn't want that, did he.

---

Moternij had looked back after a mile, to see if Fralsrik was still staring at him. he wasn't. Moternij had a very usefull ability. he could lways feel it when somebody was watching him. Humans had that too, he heard, but was it as fine-tuned as his was? Nah. Can't be.

He decided to go along the northern passage along the mountains, running from bush to bush. He had to arrive at Fort Emergence unseen, or otherwise hell would brake loos. From time to time checking if nobody was there, he ran across the fields to the next bush, until he came across a passage, leading directly south. That's the passage i went through twenty years ago.

moternij was quite a recent fugitive of Avernum, so he knew what to expect in Avernum these day. When he left there were different groups, some of which he only heard in myths, like a a group of worshippers of death. He couldn't remember the name though. Something that he had seen and knew for sure it existed,m were a bunch of knights, and some group in the Abyss.

The passage was old and here and there bushes had popped up, giving Moternij some cover while he approached fort Emergence. Scattered over the ground, he saw some unicorn horns. They were said to have magical abilities. He decided to take three. They were free anyway.

He came out of this passage and turned left, but immeditaly turned back into the passage. Soldiers everywhere. Somebody had broken into Avernum, or tried too, in any case. This was bad news. Mernal had planned that fort Emergence would be sort of deserted. He took out the scroll, and broke off a small branch from a nearby bush.

Moternij writing this sir,

Am at fort Emergence. Crowded, everywhere soldiers. Might need to adjust plans.

He put away the scroll. Mernal wasn't going to be happy that was for sure.

---

Mernal grabbed the scroll from Moternij when he saw letters appear. No, he wasn't happy when he read the message.

"What!? How can that be! No! This is wrong!"

I must talk with my generals, and see if they have a way of passing without alarming the soldiers.

He called them and they sat down at Mernal's sleeping mat. They started talking. They had to discuss things and maybe replan everything. it would certainly take some time before they could continue with the army. Again.

[ Monday, April 03, 2006 07:03: Message edited by: Mc 'mini' Thralni ]

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #241
OOC:
Dintiradan, you can stop filling in for me. I'm back for a good log time.

IC:

Tygra was at his newly erected bone palace. Well, the first floor was up, and the second was on it's way. Tygra was going to give a speech to the masses. They were all there, all the people who would come, and that was quite a bit.

"My people, I have gathered you here to discuss recent happenings. First, the rebels, as I have no doubt you have all heard there are eleven rebels running about. One of them is a mage, and two others are priests. Don't fear, they are being hunted down and will be killed." Tygra paused to let the knowledge sink in.

"Next, we have hired a new army. This army is on it's way to the Looter territory. They're soul intention is to destroy the Looters. I cannot disclose the armies location or it's size. Also on the topic of the Looters, we have three mages accompanying our army." Tygra had told the truth, he finally decided to send a branch of his army. The mages were acting as generals.

"The final bit of news is that the Inn of Blades and Porter's Retreat are now make-shift forts. What's more we have our slaves work on costruction of the fleet. Meanwhile, our regular workers are fixing up Krizsan. Also, we have begun construction of seige weaponry. That is all, long live the Empire!" Tygra said, breathing deeply.

OOC: The rebels, the mage went to the Dominion, but died. The priests went to Bigail, one died but the other arrived in Shayder to talk to the high priest. The rest arrived in Looter territory to warn of the army. About the army, I'll let you control them Wonko. They're 500 strong, also the mages are weak...
EDIT: Post changed to tone down sanity. Also trust me whenever I can a dreadful thing will happen to the Hunters...

[ Monday, April 03, 2006 17:22: Message edited by: Hunterking ]

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Constitutional monarchies are the in monarchies.
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #242
OOC: Goldenking it seems that you have not been reading the OOC thread. Do so now.

IC:
North of Fort Avernum
Acrio was very disappointed at the prospect of having to leave the Vahnatai camp. It had been so long since anyone in Avernum had seen them. He had so many questions, most of which they politely refused to answer. Finally as he approached the exit to the small cave system Iktin-Bok strolled up to him with four vahnatai warriors.

"Where do you intend to travel now young Sulfi?" Iktin-Bok asked.

"I would love to travel south and investigate Ohvol further; however, I must return to my people."

"An honorable choice. I will have four of my soldiers escort you back to your home. All that I ask in return is that you keep our presence a secret. There are those among you who hate my kind, just as there are those among us who hate your kind. Such blindness..." The vahnatai seemed infuriated by the words he had spoken. Sulfi knew it was true. There were few days before the war when one didn't hear someone mention the vahnatai in some derogatory way. "I dare not say more on the matter. Where would you like to depart from, Fort Dranlon?"

"No, I would prefer if you could drop me off at the outpost in the lake. From there I'll be able to make my way to Almaria and spread word of the destruction of the Eastern Gallery. It will be a long time before I am at last able to step foot back inside Fort Dolthar."

"Very well young one. As you wish, so shall it be. Now it is time for us to part ways. Goodbye."

"Goodbye." Sulfi slowly stepped out into the main caves of the Eastern Gallery. From this vantage point it was truly an aweinspiring site. Then something to the south caught his eye. Fort Duvno! Acrio was puzzled why Iktin-Bok hadn't mentioned that this fortress was still standing. He indicated to his companions that he instead wished to go south and a grave look came upon their faces.

"We no go there." One of them muttered with a few hand signals that left Sulfi even more confused. However, he was adamant that he travel to the town. The warriors, bound by the word of their master, had no choice but to follow.
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Fort Dolthar
Having spent most of the day scrying, Denrich was thoroughly exhausted. It is a tricky art at best. There are primarily three factors when it comes to scrying. Distance, Knowledge, and Power. In general the easiest objects to find are close powerful objects that you have intimate knowledge of. However, one usually knows where these things are at that point and the skill proves quite useless.

When it came to scrying for Sulfi, Denrich knew what he was looking for, but didn't know where to look. Furthermore, at such a great distance detecting the power of Sulfi would be difficult if not impossible. He would have better luck reaching around in the basement of the fort trying to find rats. {This is not entirely true, as a recent surge in the rat population has caused serious issues for the fort. Especially in preserving a healthy supply of food.}

Denrich sat yawning in his quarters when Master Krynt entered. "What is it now?" Denrich was clearly irritated by the presence of the older wizard.

"Despite my orders, a few mages from our outpost in the Eastern Gallery decided to travel to Fort Dranlon to investigate the matter further. What they found is discouraging. All seven of the apprentices who accompanied Sulfi are dead. His body, however, was not among them."

"If Sulfi has been attacked, then we may have no choice but to send some sort of squadron into the area. We cannot let this go unpunished."

"Your youth still shines through in your wisdom young Denrich. Doing so would accomplish nothing and only put more lives at risk. We must--"

"We must what Krynt, sit here and die! We only have food to last us for two more days. I do not intend--" The loud voice of the younger wizard seemed to die off in the magical tone that now rolled out of Master Krynt's mouth.

"Be silent and hold your tongue fool! Do you think I don't know what is going on. Did you think I was blind to the fact that our men will soon starve. I have not eaten in the past three days so that others might have more." Slowly the wizard calmed down. The hunger had taken a great toll on him, especially at his old age. "I need you Denrich. You must go to Blosk and tell them what we have learned of the destruction of Fort Dranlon and Cotra. Hopefully this information will be enough to finalize our treaty." Master Krynt sat down as Denrich slowly walked out of the room. His time was near, and he knew it.

[ Monday, April 03, 2006 15:55: Message edited by: Lt. Sullust ]

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Lt. Sullust
Cogito Ergo Sum
Polaris
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #243
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Believe in the land, for it is the elder of all, and has weathered more than any one could achieve in a lifetime. - Teachings of the Order
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Brother Clearwater stood in a clearing about three miles outside of Ivrel. He had left Brother Redscale in charge of the Council meetings, happily noting that none of the emissaries objected to a slith leading the proceedings. And now, Clearwater could relax and meditate, as he'd felt the need to do for weeks. He found a comfortably mossy log and sat down, facing the setting sun.

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Back in Woodsmuir, Brother Yewbark knew he was outgunned. Thus, he didn't hesitate to run for his life, yelling for his troops to do the same. Three priests had cast a rushed shield over the troops, thinning out the arrows which threatened to kill them all. A few arrows struck home, taking out about eight warriors. The troops merely picked up their fallen comrades and kept rushing towards the ship.

The harbor came into sight, and the guards on board the ship lowered the ropes, and started to return a volley of spells and arrows at the attackers. The troops pounded down the dock, threatening to collapse the fire-weakened planks. Luckily, they held, and Brother Yewbark stepped back in order to get the last of the troops (living, dead, and wounded) up the ropes.

Without warning, one of the archers' arrows struck Yewbark in the shoulder, and he hastily ripped it out before climbing up the ropes himself. He could tend to it later.

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Brother Clearwater closed his eyes, letting the sounds of the forest creep into his mind. He could feel the pulse of the earth, and felt a brief, but strong connection with the spirit of the land.

Reaffirmed in his faith by this moment, Clearwater reopened his eyes and began to collect his thoughts.

We know nothing of Woodsmuir, but we are currently safe. For how long, none of us can know. We know the mainland has suffered some turmoil, though we do not know who is causing it. We know that Valorim is plagued by the Hunters, and that they have violated our temple in Kriszan. And last, we know that the Guild has begun attacking them, and that we have circumvented the mind magic of the Hunters.

As this last thought cleared from his mind, Clearwater knew the course he had to take. He stood, picked his worn oak staff off the ground, and confidently strode out of the clearing, back towards Ivrel.

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Brother Yewbark stood on the deck of The Winecask, surveying what remained of his troops. Twenty-three wounded, eight dead. This included two priests, who were slain after sealing their shield spells over the rest of the troops.

All the priests, save himself, were now busy tending to the wounded. And the archers from within the city had all disappeared.

And I only managed to shoot three of them down... Yewbark thought bitterly. He continually scanned the harbor and the surrounding buildings, finding noth... Wait. That's a person.

Sure enough, a lone figure stood up on top of a building near the harbor, and it fired a single arrow towards The Winecask. It struck the deck, a few feet away from Yewbark's feet, and it had a scroll tied to it.

Yewbark carefully unrolled the scroll, praying that it wasn't a trap. Fortunately, nothing exploded and nobody died. He read it:

From the desk of King Accis of Woodsmuir:

Please send a single representative to negotiate with my forces by midnight tonight, or we will pursue your forces in the harbor. Any show of force will be met with the same from my troops.

Remember, come alone, or don't return.


An elaborate and illegible signature followed this, assumedly the king's.

Brother Yewbark sighed, rolled up the letter, and immediately sought out the other squad leaders. He knew he'd end up going, he just didn't know how to phrase it to the others...

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Brother Clearwater stood in the inner sanctum of the Order's temple in Ivrel, a small circle of druids and warriors around him. Some hailed from the guard, some from the priesthood, and some from the halls of healing. Clearwater carried a ceremonial staff, carved from snow-white birchwood and set with a few brightly-polished emeralds.

He cleared his throat and began the speech he'd composed on the trek back to Ivrel.

"Fellows of the Order, I have gathered you here for a task of the utmost importance. By now, you are surely aware of the menace lurking in the floodplains of Valorim. You may also know of our efforts to undermine their hold on the region. And you may also know of the prisoners sent to us by the Guild."

Heads nodded around the circle, and Brother Clearwater paused for dramatic effect. Hey, if you can't have fun with the rituals, what use is it all?

"But this will be new to you. I have personally selected the twenty of you to go and infiltrate the Hunters' territory."

He paused again, expecting gasps or signs of unease. But he only saw nods. I chose well, it seems...

"I feel that I can trust you all to help the Order in its mission. We cannot let repressive groups such as the Hunters to continue plaguing the continent of Valorim with intolerance and destruction. Take heart in the fact that you will not be the only group sent, but you will be the first. Thus, your role will be vital to our plans.

"The Council does not know of this yet, and I currently feel no need to tell them. Not all of them can agree to war, and I cannot blame them. But the time for action seems to be upon us, so I feel that the Order must take... shall we say, a more 'active' role. Do any of you reject your quest?"

He paused, turning around the circle and waiting for somebody to object. None did. Brother Clearwater turned to face one of the more experienced priests, a Sister Quartz.

"Then in that case, I officially charge you with the mission of interfering with the Hunters' plans in Valorim. However possible..." he added with a grin. "And Sister Quartz, I have chosen you to lead this group. Do you accept the position?"

She nodded, seeming quite at ease with the choice.

"Then in that case, I extend the thanks of the entire Order to you for undertaking this vital mission. A ship, The Muse, will be ready for you in Oakton tomorrow morning. May the land and the spirits watch over you on your journey."

EDIT: Typos.

[ Monday, April 03, 2006 16:30: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.

I hate undead. I really, really, really, really hate undead. With a passion.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #244
OOC: As promised that fateful post of death.
IC:
It was night. Tygra was going to give a speech. The regualar huge gathering was coming to listen. Tygra began to clear his throat when someone shouted, "Death to the Empire!" Before he knew what happened an arrow flew from the crowd. Tygra watched in pure terror as the arrow buried itself into the center of his chest. "Damn"
AFTERMATH: In the resulting week or so the veil of Tygra's madness nearly completly disolved. There were many suicides in the army of the former Hunters. What's more the palace of bone and the Garden of Tranquility were burned. The slaves were killed by those diluted fools who still followed Tygra. After that the fools fell into hiding, spreading across to every continent (including Exile).

Most people simply tried to return to regular lives. Many others moved to the Enlightened Anama and the Dominion of the Learned. The blockade set up by the Guild was removed, no longer being required. The army sent to attack the Looters was killed due to the Looters and suicides.

Many people seeking to heal their horrible lives started a group. This group is called the Army of the Bright Star. They did all they could to help the cause of good. They were not really all warriors. About half of them work in other pursuits.

Name: The Army of the Bright Star
Founder: Saint Kelvin
Leader: Saint Martin
Number: Roughly 1,000 half of which have any military past
Location: Most of Valorim, Founded in Krizsan Province, Started in Krizsan
Religon: Church of the Bright Star
Description: After the fall of the Hunters many people wanted to undo their crimes. They're dedicated to doing what is good. The majority of them are former Hunters. Also due to the eradication of non-humans in Krizsan province they are mainly human.

They're first and so far only great deed was the reconstruction of the Order of Krell's temple in south Valorim.
OOC: If you guys want me to stay out then I can edit the new faction out.
EDIT: Better death for Tygra thought up. Details following.

[ Saturday, April 08, 2006 16:44: Message edited by: SpiderwebSoftwareking ]

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Constitutional monarchies are the in monarchies.
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Master
Member # 5977
Profile Homepage #245
Things had gotten grimmer for Fralsrik. While on his way, he had seen some troops. He quickly hid, but a lone Nephil on the road hadn't. The troops had approached the Nephil and talked to him. he could only hear bits and pieces of their conversation, but what he heard worried him:

"Halt... are you?"

"Krilni"

"..at... do..ing...ere?

"Trav..ling"

"Go...no...elcome. ..eave now... ease..."

The nephil had turned away and walked back. This meant that the Dominion wasn't as friednly to outsiders as mernal had thought. he would inform Mernal about that, but not now. first he had to get to the isles to the south.

He began walking slowly, while ducking, hoping nobody would see him. His loak, being green, was the perfect outfit to were in this grass-filled world, where everything was still green. The mages probably kept the place a live somehow, though he didn't know if that was true. Maybe they weren't that powerful, but only the rumors said them to be? He didn't want to find out. He wanted to go south, in which he succeeded.

After a walk of being ducked constantly, he had gotten some back pains and salty water in his face. ugh. Filthy water. I hope I find a ship soon, so I don't have to stay ducked al the time. he stared at the horizon. Now boat anywhere, though he thought to see a small dot at some island. he hoped it to be a boat heading for his direction.

(OOC: Milla, I really hope you can make up a boat that "by coincidence" comes to Fralsrik and takes him with them back to your nephil warrior. I'll let you control Fralsrik in that IC)

---

On the other, west side of Krizsan, moternij was sitting at the passage. he looked again out of the passage. this time more carefully. he hoped mernal would find a way of dealing with this, the sooner the better.

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OOC: These soldiers are Goldenking's no? If the Hunters are now a non-existan faction, where do these soldiers are now? i think I'm very confused now.

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Play and rate my scenarios:

Where the rivers meet
View my upcoming scenario: The Nephil Search: Escape.

Give us your drek!
Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 6652
Profile #246
It was near noon in the town of Aminro. The peasants were at their work. The smiths pounded away at their anvils. The merchants called out the names of their goods, furtively hoping that someone would buy them.
All were unaware to the drama unfolding in their midst. A constest. A contest between two people: a Looter and an Agent.

The Agent in question's name was Samantha. She was a skilled Agent, and had a bright future in the ranks of Demetrius's organization. She was especially skilled in the way of illusions. At the present moment, she was preparing to give a fiery speech to the general public in the market square before her.

The other contestant lurked in the shadows of the houses. He stood there, waiting, waiting. Occasionally someone approached him to ask why he wore heavy black robes on a sweltering day, but then they spotted the knife on his hip and the wand on his back and thought better of it.
He didn't know where his quarry was, but he knew it was here. The glowing saphhire in his hand told him so. He waited. Sooner or later, the Agent would emerge. The job of Agents was to fire up the crowd. It is difficult to hide while making a public speech.
Ah. There she was. The Agent stood up in the square and started preaching about the evils of the Empire, and the restrictiveness of the Anama. One clean shot to the chest. He aimed his wand, and willed it to fire.

A bolt of lightning flew forward. It arced towards the Agent...
...and went right through, ending the life of a bystander on the other side. The illusionary Agent smiled at him, then disappeared.
Gren- for that was his name- fumed. He had been tricked! The townspeople were panicked now. And when townspeople are panicked, they tend to form mobs. Gren sprinkled some stealth powder on himself and set off in pursuit.

Samantha ran, quitely but quickly. She had seen the assassin from the start, and decided that a good illusion would buy her time. She would lurk here, finish him off as he came by, and then return to her job with extra political ammunition against the Looters. It was the perfect plan.

It would have gone off perfectly, too, had it not been for the stealth powder. Gren spotted Samantha when she could not see him. He looked around. It was in an isolated alley, perfect for a kill. He drew his wand again. This time he would hit the real thing.

Samantha frowned, sensing something was wrong. It shouldn't have taken this long for the assassin to find her. Then she noticed a slight disturbance in the air. Her brain made the connection at the same instant a bolt of magic flew from nowhere.

Samantha dodged narrowly, breathing hard. She threw a fireball at the disturbance. The loud cry told her she had aimed correctly. She smiled and relaxed. That was a mistake. Revenge was exacted upon her as the wand finally hit.

The contest was over. There were no winners, but two losers.
----------

Drale smiled grimly while guiding his horse across the river dividing mid Valorim from southern Valorim. Lennus and Squiggus were under Dominion control, but hardly defended. He would take the long route around them in any case.

Reports had come back from Aminro, Angel's Rest, and other small villages. Agent numbers were decreasing, but at the cost of his men. Ah well. A Pyhrric victory is better than no victory at all.

In any case, it hardly mattered. Soon he would reach a port city, from which he could send a messenger bird with no chance of being intercepted. It was a lot of trouble, but the Karnold Islands League would prove valuable allies.

OOC: Consider this an official offer of alliance. We can crush Dintiradan! :D

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
Posts: 420 | Registered: Sunday, January 8 2006 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #247
Demetrius tapped his fingers on his desk as he read the reports. Apparently, a small town halfway between Angel's Rest and Sharimik had been visited by a group of horsemen. These men had ridden in, captured a group of prominent citizens, and hung them, allegedly for 'refusing to kneel to the glory of the Anama'. Demetrius smiled, and added the report to the pile on his right. He didn't know where Agent Jakob had found all these men, but he had done his job well. Soon, the time would come.

The last of the Battlemagi were trickling into Golddale. He had learned much about waging warfare with wizards the past few years. Plan ahead, and strike hard. Fear the drawn-out battle; a mage will run out of energy before a man or horse does. Hence all these annoying preparations. His enemies could not afford a long campaign, not while the people of North Karnold were crying out for justice.

He looked at the next report, then placed it at the bottom of the pile. Yet another trade proposal with the Isles. Ecomomics could wait until tomorrow. The next report brought a curse to his lips. Another fire-fight, open in the streets. Thrice-cursed Looters! He needed the people to see magic as benevolent, not dangerous! He sighed; there wouldn't be much use explaining to the unlearned rabble about the differences between learned magic and crass magical items.

Slowly standing up, he made his way over to the large map at the corner of the deserted council room. He would have moved his force north long ago, but the expected Hunter force had not arrived. By tomorrow, he hoped to receive a courier report from the west. The complete silence from Krizsan puzzled him. So did the lack of information from Fort Emergence, and Avernum. Shaking his head, he left the room, walking towards the kitchens. Lack of information was the thing he most feared in the expedition. He hated walking in blind.

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I suspect the people of North Karnold are going to need a lot of counselling after this war...

Wonko, I'd like to point out that a number of my Agents have no magical talents. It'd be a little unfair if every citizen of the Dominion could throw a fireball.

Now I'm curious what's happening to Alexandria.
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #248
OOC:
Seeing as no one has any objections to my new faction I will continue progress.

IC:
A courier had arrived in Redmark Colege. The gaurds let him pass, he was the usual courier after all. When he arrived in Demetrius's office he handed him the scroll he was carrying and left.

The scroll had a different seal than the Hunters, and upon opening it it wasn't in code and not Tygra's handwriting. Puzzled Demetrius look at the letter.

Dear Demetrius,
I would like to tell you that Tygra was assasinated. In the aftermath many horrible things have been discovered about the Hunters. I would like you to know that the Hunters are all but destroyed. There are fifty or so who still cling to the beliefs of Tygra. These fools lead guerilla warfare on the lands of the former Hunters. I would like to also tell you of our organization, the Army of the Bright Star. We are dedicated to the general good. We would like you to expect many immigrants to reach your organization. You can also expect a carriage containing the contents of the magical library that the Hunters had before there destruction.
Leader of the Army of the Bright Star, Saint Martin
*************************************************

Martin looked at his people, his flock. They had to kill thos rebels before they could leave. What's more they needed to rebuild Krizsan. Something biting at Martin's nerves even more was that eventually someone was going to try to take over Krizsan.

OOC: It would be kind of cool if that guy ruling Shamirik took over.

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Constitutional monarchies are the in monarchies.
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6193
Profile Homepage #249
General Cyril stood at the wharf of Sharimik, looking out over the choppy waters. The waters had been abnormally rough, he voiced his thoughts Father Reed.

“Indeed, general, the waters have been very rough of late. The sailors say that if things continue to worsen then sea travel in the area will be near impossible.”

“I know this already father, I want to know why this is happening.”

“Some of my brethren say that they see magic behind this. I don’t pretend to know a lot on the subject of magery, but some of our most knowledgeable priests on the subject agree.”

“Could it be a local wizard? We have hunted many of them out, as have mobs of concerned citizens, but I won’t deceive myself into thinking we got them all.”

“I doubt that any mere hedge wizard could alter the weather. Such things require great skill. I would look for a more organized effort, probably with the aid of some artifact.”

A soldier walks up and salutes the general. “Sir, the troops have assembled, they await your command to march.”

Cyril turns to Father Reed, “You are to continue investigating this situation. Aid Commander Lewis in any way possible, as you know he has been left in charge of our forces in Sharimik.” Father Reed nodded and departed to go about his duty.

The general went to oversee the army. As the messenger had reported, the troops were ready to march, and positioned just inside the East gate. He quickly looked them over. It was a fairly small force, only a fraction of the soldiers who had taken Sharimik. A small well trained force would be enough to capture a small mining town. These troops were selected because they were just that, well-trained seasoned veterans. Unfortunately their weapons and armor, while all in good condition, were often bronze. If things went right then this would soon change.

Cyril gave the order. The march on Aminro commenced.

OoC- A long overdue IC. Not very long or profound, but it gets things moving.

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Guaranteed to blow your mind.

Frostbite: Get It While It's...... Hot?
Posts: 900 | Registered: Monday, August 8 2005 07:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #250
Krizsan. All of the Hunters' officers were assembled in a meeting area in the Capitol Building. There was a nervous twitching throughout the room, as if all of the officers were burdened with guilt. Some were whispering amongst themselves, but none louder than a nun's church fart.

Tygra was sitting in a back room. "Tell me, you two... What do you think has happened?" Lyonard shook his head. "Sir, I said that the water must have been tampered with somehow. Not to demean you, but it appears as if your mental abilities have been rendered obsolete." Tygra spat. "Damnit! But how? And why?"

McCallister raised his hand. "Sir, it might just be the case that whoever raided us wanted more than the book or even to take over the city." Tygra punched a wall. "So what? Why bother with drawing my troops back to the capitol?"

Lyonard crouched down to the currently-sitting Tygra's height. "Sir," he began, "the water has been giving most of our army doubts as to the legitimacy of our organization--"
"MY organization."
"Yes, sir. Your organization. At any rate, the raiders somehow managed to get agents to place their toxins into the wells across town. By summoning the army here, the raiders have guaranteed that almost every soldier and most every officer has had the draught."

Tygra thought this over. "So what you're telling me is, I can no longer trust any of my officers?" Lyonard sighed. "You may think so, but that doesn't have to be the case. Consider- despite the fact that confidence in you is not exactly spiking and the people are supporting you mostly out of fear, if the people did decide to rebel, think of whom might take punishment first."
"...the officers?"
"Yes. The officers. It is fortunate that the defenders managed to tear down many structures on the coastal end of the city. If we hadn't sustained any losses, the people wouldn't have any motivation to support you."
Tygra punched the wall again, but harder this time. He would have to make a plan that would keep his empire afloat.

----

Barbariccia.

"How dare you?"

Rubicante was livid. Cagnazzo had already ducked out of the way of Rubicante's drinking goblet. Rubicante sat back down in his seat.

"Sir... Master Rubicante?"

Rubicante pounded the desk. "What?"

"Well. The Hunters not only armed their civilians, but were using buildings as sniper roosts and shields for their armies. Besides, there weren't any reported civilian deaths."
Rubicante spat. "Fine. Okay. But now that madman has smoking ruins to put his soapbox ontop of. At least the herbs were administered properly. Have the Looters been complaining about their loss of troops?"
Cagnazzo chuckled. "Sir, no offense, but with their leader on one of our ships, if he does object, there is a watery grave with an epiphet of 'gurgle' waiting for him."
"Fine. Not that I care about an organization like that anyway. Has Tygra contacted any other armed organizations yet?"
"Well, as you know, he's allied with the so-called 'Dominion'... But they don't seem to be doing anything about the situation. Perhaps they sense the Hunters' weakness and don't want to get involved. But... Sir."

"What?"

"Don't we have bigger things to be worrying about than some measly brigands?"
"Scar."
"Yes."
"Well, let's say we're getting antsy about it. What good can we do?"
"Point."
"Anyway, the Hunters shouldn't require much in the way of action to dismantle. Now, I was thinking of another foe whom we can now place in our sights."
"Sir?"
"The undead oligarchy on Aizo."
"Ah, right. Those undead."
"The Council had always been bribed to pressure us away from that end of the planet... But with the Council defeated..."
"But Rubicante, there's a problem with that."
"Eh?"
"Those waters belong to pirates allied with that group."
"...the Abyss Knights."
"Yes, unfortunately."
"Well. We'll have to find a way to start negotiations, now won't we?"

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00

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