The Avernum RP, IC Thread

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AuthorTopic: The Avernum RP, IC Thread
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #25
--Fort Dolthar--
The assault from the fire lizard didn't kill Sulfi, but it left him staggering. As it moved in closer for another savage attack a massive shockwave hit the creatures body causing its chest to implode. Fire lizards are strong; kill spells are stronger. Denrich sighed as he realized that his spell had been successful.

As Sulfi managed to get to his knees he noticed a small charred boat had landed on the shore nearby. Denrich saw this too and rushed to help the badly injured mage who slowly climbed out. Acrio recognized him, he was a young magi sent to head the southern outpost. Colton was his name. Acrio looked like he had barely take a scratch compared to what this other mage had been through.

--Fort Dranlon--
"They've taken control of Fort Duvno," the young apprentice reported to Master Krynt. The ancient wizard sighed. It hadn't been long after they started rebuilding Fort Dranlon, that The Lady came and schemed her way to control of the the towns in the Eastern Gallery. He was disgusted by the way she manipulated local citizens.

He raised his voice so that the other apprentices nearby could hear him clearly. "We'll have to be careful now. The Lady has a strong foothold to the East and will surely be making her way westward soon enough. I'm afraid that the outer walls will not be finished by the time she reaches our doorstep."

"Couldn't we just put up barriers?" one of the younger apprentices asked.

Master Krynt laughed at the thought. "None of you are strong enough to create a barrier that would keep rats out. Even I could only keep them at bay for an hour or so at most. Think about it over night and let me know if any of you have any solutions to our problem." Krynt had quite a few of his own solutions. Of course, most of them ended in a glorious death. That night as he slept he dreamt of conjuring a magical storm which dropped massive anvils. One of them connected with The Lady in a rather dramatic, and gory display.

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Agent
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II

In Lorelei
---
A mottled spider thrust itself from the wall, attempting to grasp a mass of its own secretions. The arachnid fluttered downward, landing upon cold stone. Rushed voices reverberated in the distance accompanied by the arrival of bleak torch light.

The spider squirmed frantically from its entwinement, scuttling haphazardly towards the wall. The approaching torches illuminated the vapid sedimentary rock it yearned for. The spider raised its pedipalps at a descending moccasin. The fangs became intermingled with its sister organs.

Ten thieves excited the dust slumbering on the stairwell. They stumbled into a nondescript chamber consisting of only a table and several braziers. Some carried sacks, which they disposed of in the braziers. A shady cloaked figure dispensed a noxious liquid into the metal containers.

Accounting for his head minions, Amadis ignited the sacks with his torch. The flax smoldered steadily as the characters claimed their appropriate places around the table.

Amadis stroked his whiskers thoughtfully as he spoke, "Alright, lets begin before the manure starts burning."

The group murmured in agreement. A lean, gray coated nephil sporting a vivid scar across his face addressed the others, "The hunters are gaining a foothold not far from here. I feel we should interfere."

Upon ending his suggestion one of the braziers bestowed its contribution. An unpalatable aroma permeated the chamber, arousing awkward countenance on the thieve's faces.

A shady cloaked figure seized his nostrils, "Our skribbane farms are in danger of the Anama. That has to be of more importance."

A ruddy man equipped with several torcs floundered, "We need more money...ugh...we should use the Footracer province."

The remaining braziers erupted into a beautiful blaze. Winces soon became prevalent amongst the chamber. The group continued their very nasal and halting debates for about fifteen minutes before Amadis spoke again, "The Keep of Tinraya appears wealthy again. I will direct orders as to our actions tomorrow."

With that the group clambered eagerly out of the room, not bothering to extinguish the braziers.

[ Friday, January 11, 2008 20:48: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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Decca Records - "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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Profile #27
OOC: No need to go this fast people

Krizsan

The flag of the Hunters the Eye against a red background, flew over a sad scene. The last ruins in the once great city of Krizsan had been carted away. The rubble had been gathered, poured into the walls to strengthen them. The stone had been taken to the construction sites, where new cities were being built. The wood, however, was being turned into ships. Most of them were for fishing, a few for trading with other settlements in Krizsan. However, an entire third were warships, to build the so-called Southern Fleet. The lessons of the past had been remembered, and Krizsan was not going to get caught with its pants down.

Beyond the walls, the only truly completed structure in the city, lay the wheat fields. Here, the proles, mostly refugees from the Rakshasi lands to the north, worked. They were eager, and loyal, accepting both the Hunter ideology and thankful for the work and stability of the field. Farther beyond them, the Freemen and their orchards labored. They were interlopers, setting up orchards and using their mercenaries to force exorbitant trade with Krizsan. They had their mercenaries, or bandits rather, gather supplies from ruined cities as far north as Fort Blades. Meanwhile, they traded these and the fruits they grew, forcing Krizsan to pay more or be attacked by the mercenaries.

One day, the proles noticed an army approaching rapidly. Frightened, they ran into the walls the city, alerting the soldiers. A small envoy in sub-standard Hunter uniform*, with a sizable amount of protection marched out and met the foreigners. After being satisfied of their positive intentions, the Fifty-first was led into the city. After dinner, the commander introduced himself to the Fifty-first's leader, "My name is Commander Johnathon Barleycorn," he said, taking a swig of ale, "And I'm in charge of this city."

Then, Johnny Barleycorn explained his ideology, and how this was an outpost of the Neo-Hunters, in between drinking ale that was. His men distrubited copies of the Pamphlet amongst the others while the leaders talked. Listening attentively, as the alcohol seemed to do little to dull his mental facilities, he heard the proposal for trade. "I'm sorry, but we can't. You see, there are a bunch of bandits up north aways. They have a sizable mercenary force watching us, and they force us to trade with them at horrible prices. Between that and taxes, we barely have enough left over to feed ourselves. Maybe if someone were to get rid of the Freeman army in Silvar by a sneak attack from the north..." he said, winking.

Sharimik

A man approached the temple of Sanctuary, in peasantry clothing, armed only with a dagger at his side. Though of course, he also had some skill in magic, mostly flashy stuff, literally. The Eye badge at his chest identified him as a Hunter. Holding his arms out in peace, he shouted to the Temple. "I come in peace! I am here to negotiate with the Sanctuary over Sharimik for the Hunters! Please let me in!"

*The standard unifrm is under garments (light silky stuff), covered by leather pants, gauntlets, boots, and shirt, with an ironcap and an iron/bronze chainmail skirt. Equipment wise, an iron/bronze spear, a last resort short sword/dagger, and a kite shield. Sub-standard would be all bronze, with the leather being worn out somewhat.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
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That morning, like every morning for as long as he'd worn the stole, the Archbishop took his place at the top of the steps to the Temple of Shayder for his morning sermon.
There were no formalities or rituals to go through; as soon as the crowd fell silent he launched into his speech. He had been riling up the people of Shayder long before he became archbishop, since back when the Enlightened Anama was just a notion in his head. Back when Shayder was a city of corruption and wizardry; when the Temple was being used as a sick ward.
These days, though, the people weren't easily riled. "Having a troupe of cat-wizards decimate your homeland will tend to have a numbing effect. Things will return to normal..." But the rakshasi were already a memory. The rebuilding process had begun, and the people of Bigail were returning to their everyday lives and their old routines. With one notable exception-- a particularly alarming one for the Archbishop.....
"The mages," he began his speech, as he was wont to do, "be they man, tiger, or lizard, are a plague on our world. We have driven them from our fair island, but they are not content to let us live free of their vile and destructive magics. They come and try to tear us down, and we drive them away. We will repel them as many times as it takes-- but the solution is not defense. We will remove the pox that is the mage from Ermarian, and only then can we live unharassed. You have heard the lies of the mages' agents even here in Shayder-- heard the heresy of your former brethren who have been conned. Do not be deceived, for ours is the only solution. The mages are our mortal foe and they have demonstrated that cohabitation of this world is not possible. It is us or them.";
So concluded the Archbishop's inspiring speech. This time, though, nobody cheered. It had been a while since everybody had cheered.

The Enlightened Anama
Leader Archbishop Darius Knor
Ideology Anti-magic.
Events since the rakshasi: The Anama were hit hard by the rakshasi. Forces in the Karnold area-- 'ground zero' -- were decimated. Bigail itself faired little better; hopelessly outclassed by the rakshasi in terms of magical firepower, the Anama had little going for them.
Most of Bigail is now in ruin, but rebuilding efforts have already begun. The process has been greatly faciliated by the large population of healers.
Church attendance has been at an all time low, although only time can tell whether waning zeal is to blame, or the more pressing matters of picking up the pieces of ones life. Some hope that it is the former. A steadily growing minority have put aside their rings and even gone as far as to openly question Anama policies.

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"NOW PASS ME MY BOOTS. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A FACE." -Nikki

Tales From the Tabard Inn: Now if only there was a 3600 Hour Contest.....
Posts: 900 | Registered: Monday, August 8 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #29
Krizsan

"How easy it had been to find out what these Hunters had wanted from me!" Gathin thought, as he bade farewell to Barleycorn, and mounted his horse. So there was banditry in the area - where wasn't there? And did these seemingly well organised Hunters really need a bunch of road-weary fighters? No matter. Silvar would be dealt with in due time, anyway, and that would help score brownie points.

Looking back at the rebuilt walls of Krizsan, Gathin smiled, and moved on towards his destination.

Delan

The flames of the torches licked ever closer to stone walls of the inn, threatening to engulf the soldiers inside. Today had been a bad day for Sarrin. Her scout from Krizsan had reported a sizeable number of Hunter troops in the area, but had not made contact ("That'll teach me for picking my worse man for the job", she thought). Perrin was effectively useless until next season, and, to top it all, a mob had descended upon her offices demanding action.

She really wasn't cut out for leading, she thought, as she wracked her brain for an answer.

The next morning

Derth Jenson approached Sarrin's office. He knocked on the door, loudly, his reports in hand. Nothing happened. He knocked again. Nothing. He paused for a moment, before entering. The room was empty. Looking around, his jaw dropped. She's deserted us, the coward!

He ran out of the room, and into the barracks.

* * *

Gathin reached the outskirts of Delan. The place had been partially rebuilt since the Time of The Star, but it was still in pretty bad shape. He dismounted and called two soldiers to him, eager to hear what had been happening since the kitties left.

An hour or so later, the banner of the Crown was flying at full mast above Delan's barracks, and Gathin had sent a rider to each of the three other towns, heralding the return of the Empire. Soon, he would turn his attention to the north and east.

Near Sharamik

Sarrin wandered on, almost in a daze, trying to find somewhere sheltered to spend the night.

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FACTION NAME: The Order of The Crown/The Phoenix Empire (Usually just "The Empire").
Leader Name: Imperial Dervish Victor Gathin, Third Order of Aizo.
Description: As before, but now less concerned with preserving the Four Towns, and more interested in expansion to the north and east. Ultimate aim is to restore the Empire of old.

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Nikki's Nook - forget about your house of cards, and I'll deal mine.
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
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The newly rebuilt Castle was resplendent with decadent trappings. Today was the day for the coronation of a new King. Petyr and Thomys had agreed that the Kingdom of Avernum needed a central figurehead, someone for the people to rally behind. Petyr was that man. Thomys would remain as the highest adviser, but he would be working from behind the throne again, which suited him much better.

The High Priest of the Ecumenical Church of Avernum went through the ritual. "Do you, Petyr, son of Eddwin, swear solemnly to serve the Kingdom to the best of your ability and that every decision you make will be made with Avernum's best interests in mind?"

"I do."

"Then rejoice, people of Avernum. You have a new King!"

There was great cheering throughout The Castle. Now that they finally had a King again, perhaps things would be going back to normal.

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"Do you really think an army is necessary?" asked Thomys.

"It has been several weeks since we have had any contact whatsoever from Fort Dolthar. We forged an alliance with those mages, and if they need help, we're going to give it." replied Petyr. "Besides, we need to find out what's been happening in the Eastern Gallery. I've been hearing rumors about a new power there."

"Very well," said Thomys, "but I want to lead them."

"Out of the question! I need you here."

"Why? You seem to have everything here in the Great Cave under control. Besides, these people are mages. They would probably feel better if the army approaching them was led by another mage."

"Very well. Gather your men. In three days, you'll be heading up the river to Fort Dolthar."

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"Dumbledore returns from the dead and declares it to be hammertime, Harry proceeds to break it down, Voldemort is unable to touch this." —Dintiradan
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Posts: 1556 | Registered: Sunday, November 20 2005 08:00
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III
A restless wind tumbled into the glove shop. The worn floor soaked sunlight from outside as Amadis paced nervously.

"The Keep! The Keep!" Luscinda glared, "what nonsense is this? I've overseen skribbane shipments for years, and we've never lacked any money."

Amadis became waspish, "I'm the elected leader and I make the rules around here. The Keep of Tinraya has potential for Skribbane shipments and theiving opportunities."

The shady cloaked figure from the previous night entered the shop. He positioned his garment so his eyes made contact when he spoke, "The Blackcrag passage is more successful than ever."

"Yes Shamgar, I'm aware of that. I'm still sending you and Ferrrald to scout out the Keep of Tinraya," Amadis shouted.

Ferrrald then entered the shop as well. The scar across his face made itself even more evident in the sunlight. He addressed the three patiently, "Let me and Shamgar go now. The soonerrrr the betterrrr."

"Yeah whatever," Shamgar sighed. He and Ferrrald left Amadis and Luscinda to their quarreling.

"Amadis you fool," Luscinda retorted, "Nothing good can come of this."

Amadis slammed his dagger into the table between them, "Shut up!" Amadis marched out of the shop slamming the door behind him.

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Ferrrald and Shamgar summoned several amateur thieves to go along with them. Well equipped and bearing sacks of food, the five of them walked nonchalantly through the gate. Fragrant forest lay before them as they set out on their adventure.

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Decca Records - "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #32
SHARIMIK

The door to the shrine creaked open. Inside, three priests watched the Hunter carefully, ready to blast him into the next world the moment he showed hostile intent. The Hunter representative evaluated the situation, then stepped inside. The shrine here wasn't impressive; merely a hastily constructed wooden building. The head priest of the shrine scrutinized the visitor, then said coldly, "What do you want?"

"I am here to negoti-"

The head priest, a high priest of Telkavoth by the name of Bekath, interrupted. "We know you are here to negotiate, but what? Do you expect us to just pack up and leave?" A hard note sounded in Bekath's voice. The emissary, though, was mildly distracted by another priest over in the corner. Though the priest's hood was pulled over the his head, shrouding his face in darkness, reptilian skin was still visible on his hands. The priest was a slith.

The emissary attempted to speak again, but Bekath continued to talk over him. "We of Sanctuary are not unreasonable, though. We understand that the people here are skeptical of us, and that your message holds more clout here than our own. We may be able to work out our withdrawal... on certain conditions."

"What conditions?" The emissary asked warily.

"Ones that are meant for someone in command, rather than a messenger boy. You tell whoever is in charge of you Hunters here that if he wants to discuss us leaving, he can come here in person and discuss it." Bekath turned away. "You may leave now."

When the emissary had left, Bekath spoke hurriedly with the other two priests. "The Divine High Priest needs to know of this. We need to send a pigeon to inform him." Bekath quickly walked over to a basket in the corner, opened the lid, and grabbed a carrier pigeon. Scrawling out a quick letter, he attached it to the pigeon, stepped outside, and let it fly. It circled for a moment, then took off towards Aminro.

LOWER LEVEL OF THE TROGLO CASTLE RUINS

The scouts had explored a small fraction of the dark tunnels beneath the castle, but still found nothing indicative of a underground route to the other side of the mountain. Fed up, the soldier leading the party made a decision. "We're splitting up; You three," he said, pointing to two other soldiers and a priest, "will explore the east side of the tunnels. You two," he pointed at a soldier and a priest, "will take the west side. The rest of you will follow me and help explore the northern end of the tunnels."

The party split into three groups and headed off in their respective directions.

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Hz'ii'zt a'iiencf coxnen a'bn'z'p pahuen yzpa'zuhb be'tt'phukh'kn az'ii'ova mxn't bhcizvi'fl?

Nioca's Citadel - A resource for BoA graphics and scripts, as well as my scenarios.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #33
Sss-Kai was surprised to hear from his scouts that Fort Dranlon was occupied by a group of mages. The slith had hardly any mages or priests under his command at all. A battle between them and his mercenary army would have unpredictable results. This was unsettling, but perhaps the Lady would have some kind of brilliant plan for taking the Fort. He decided to go see her at once.

-

When he arrived at Fort Avernum he proceeded to the Lady’s audience chamber. Also present were the Lady’s two teenage sons, whom he rarely saw. The elder was Angelo, a quite and gentle boy. The younger was Edward, brash and arrogant, every bit his brother’s opposite. Sss-Kai didn’t care much for either of them. He went on to describe the situation, “Sss’not a particularly large group of mages, m’Lady, but a single well trained spell-caster can slay a ssscore of decent warriors, after all.”

The Lady rose from her throne and lamented, “I suffer for the realm yet art not loved? Mine greeting heart lies crestfallen for deem.” The Lady sure was putting on quite a show over this whole deal. Sss-Kai could infer from this what crestfallen meant. “That some could still repugn mine rule’s too much, when only to my bosom wish they’d clutch.”

Sss-Kai’s eyes strayed to his Lady’s ‘bosom.’ He knew what that word meant, at least. He noted how her chest was almost totally flat. This was something he always found attractive about her, since slith women had no breasts at all. He wondered what soft, warm human skin felt like, having only known the cold scales of his own species. He quickly averted his eyes once again and spoke. “Uh, worry not so much, m’Lady. My ssscouts also report that the mages have not yet finished rebuilding the fort’s walls. Though they work them tirelessly, if we moved with haste, we would sssurely have the advantage. If I take about half my men and a bunch from Duvno, I could be there in, uh, a few days.”

“Thou didst neglect to tell of walls defused.” The Lady’s mood completely turned as she moved to face the map of Avernum on the wall behind her throne. Within moments, she had hatched her next brilliant plan. “To hent thine forces, rated as you will, and to the gilted Northlands shall thy wend.” The Lady now moved to her desk in a small room behind her audience chamber. Sss-Kai and her two sons followed. She sat behind her desk and prepared a quill and three sheets of paper, each with an envelope.

Edward spoke up, “Mother, why would you send the army North at a time like this? If Dranlon’s walls are unprepared, shouldn’t we attack immediately?”

“The walls of mine own cities stress us much, to build be far more dry than to dispark. What’s worse, we’ve not the cross to undertake, and so these mages, for us, will them make. Once in our hands the Northlands lie, to West, and shall the mages hence bow to their best.”

Angelo nodded his head, “A brilliant plan, mother.”

Edward was still not convinced, “Ridiculous! I say we attack now while we still have the chance!”

Lady Calpurnia was displeased that Edward could not see her vision. She turned to Sss-Kai, “When preparation for your journey’s done, you shall take with you, this, mine youngest son. With you, he will assay my stratagems, and con he who shall rule this land by end.”

“What?!? You’re sending me with the slith?!?” Edward was infuriated. “What could I possibly learn from this… this barbarian?”

“He may lack wit, but from him you may learn, a humble kind may strengthen you, in turn.” Edward wanted to say more, but the Lady silenced him with a motion of her hand.

That done, she wrote upon the first piece of paper a few words, “Unseal mine first command before thou cross.” She sealed the paper in the first envelope and began writing the second, “When to that mayor you speak unseal the next,” the second paper was placed in an envelope. “And once that task is done unseal the third.” Now, she had three separate envelopes each containing a single order for Sss-Kai. “Follow mine word and thou shalt triumph true. Now to your task and cope not ‘til tis through.” She gave the three sealed commands to Sss-Kai, who bowed and finally exited the Fort, followed grudgingly behind by Edward.

When they were gone Anjelo spoke with the Lady, “What shall we do with the mages to the West while our army is away on their task, mother?”

“Methinks that you, mine unpieled imp, shall board. What wouldst thou do if thou wert here the lord?”

“What would I do?” Angelo was pleased that his mother had asked him. Such was a rare occasion. “Well, we shall want to keep these mages on their toes. We want them to know that we have knowledge of these presence, that they may act accordingly. That they may waste resources preparing a defense against an attack that will not come. When the walls are finished and they let down their guard, Sss-Kai will have returned from the North, and they will have little choice but to bow before our might.”

“A fair an simply plan, my noble babe. Now we need not but to sit back and wait.” The Lady sat back down at her desk, smiling at her eldest son. He would make a worthy lord, one day.

[ Monday, January 14, 2008 10:36: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Shaper
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Profile Homepage #34
North of Pergies

Pyke lifted his hand to shield his eyes, and gazed across at the Isle of Bigail, which was faintly visible across the ocean. He turned back and watched as the land was cleared for farming. The crop would not be ready for months, at best, but it was important to look to the future, as well as worrying about the present.

To the south, the mountains that cut the south-western stretch of the continent in half jutted out from the otherwise plain landscape, cutting off the new colony from the four towns. For now this would just be a farming colony, but eventually, Gathin would want to make Delan a purely military town. And, if Pyke managed to oversee the building of New Sumar, he'd hopefully be rewarded with long-term custody of it...

Delan

In the few days since Gathin had arrived, the town had seen a frentic surge of activity. New wooden buildings sprung up around the crumbling stone walls of the old town, eventually to be turned into barracks and training halls. The town was ceaselessly patrolled by soldiers once again wearing the sun emblem of the Empire, and people felt safe. Not entirely, true, but enough to get on with their lives.

Gathin stood in front of his first captain, a tall, brutish man with a sharp mind: Unwin. Unwin nodded when it seemed needed, but really, this was cakewalking - bandits in Silvar. After fighting the Rakshasi army and surviving (winning wasn't a option, after all), a few thugs in a partially walled-off city hardly seemed worth bothering about. Gathin, however, seemed to think this was vitally important.

"And you're to use force only against these brigands, and only if there is no other way open to you. The idea is not to make enemies, rather, to gain support."

Unwin nodded again. He knew the drill - go to Silvar, shout a lot, scare the bandits off. Even in the years after the Fall, bandits were still only bandits.

Just west of Silvar

A force, maybe 40 strong and headed up by Captain Unwin, stopped just shy of the gates of Silvar. The city had grown from the small town that it once was, but it was nowhere near as large as Krizsan, which loomed to the south. Unwin stepped in front, and motioned to the few priests that had been spared for the mission to mingle in with the swordsmen and archers.

Then, with a jerk of his hand, he drew his sword and marched towards the gates...

OOC: Goldenking, I can write the encounter if you want, but I assumed you knew a lot more about these fellas than me...

[ Monday, January 14, 2008 10:57: Message edited by: Caroline. ]

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Nikki's Nook - forget about your house of cards, and I'll deal mine.
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
Agent
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Sharimik

Migrants. Coming to Sharimik. The population jumped overnight. The Hunter supporting population jumped like mad.

The migrants came from the south, Gidrik specifically, and were here on a mission. To help incorporate the city into the Hunter Empire. Even after Gidrik had been rebuilt by hardworking refugee workers, there had not been enough living space to give the homeless homes. They had, until this point, been losing exorbitant amounts of hard-earned Prints and Marks* to live in the inns.

Now, on order of the government, they emigrated north. They were a cultural garrison, and there very presence helped rebuild the city. Hunter presence in the city was going to be expanded shortly, following the plan to taking a neutral/friendly city**.

Meanwhile, on the Sanctuary side of town, the missionary that had liberated the slaves earlier walked with purpose down the street. The temple loomed in front of him. Showing he was not armed, he called out to the ramparts of the Sanctuary temple. "Sanctuarymen! I am the leader of the Hunters here!"

Silvar

The Freemen Bandits styled themselves as the successors to the Looters, in that they looted everything. After the Fall of the Hunters and the Time of the Star, they had found fertile ground, looting from uninhabited, as well as inhabited, settlements. They were controlled by a conglomerate of mercenary commanders and greedy traders. As of now, they demanded protection fees from the smaller cities, and traded at exorbitant fees with large cities, using the threat of military attack to impose the high costs of trade. The three settlements they had the most trade with, those with large militaries, so direct attack would be grievous, were Fort Blades, Bolton, and Krizsan.

In order to show military strength, the Freemen had placed a garrison in Silvar, to show the Hunters their power. They always faced south, looking like statues at the city. It had been noticed that there were some soldiers who passed by, but they left they way they came, and it was assumed they were gone. In the earlier days, Krizsan had attempted to oust the Freemen, and had launched several semi-successful raids, but in the end Krizsan had given up. The last raid, two weeks back, involved a pincer attack that hit the Freemen from north and south. Though surprised, they were eventually repelled, but the attack did leave a hole in the northern wall.

It was here the Pheonix Imperials arrived, punching through a tarp made to look like the rest of the wall. This was as far as the Hunters guided them, and now they were in a hostile city. Still, there presence wasn't expected, but the city was tense at night, with archers at the towers and guards at every door, in or outside. What they did from here was up to them, but the mission was still clear in their heads: Disable the Bandits military capabilities.

Farport

Meanwhile, in this capital of the Hunters, there was a debate as to whether or not the river should be crossed.

Claw Hardblade claimed that it was there, not the Rakshasi borderlands, that would provide the easiest route to Krizsan. The Senators were skeptical. Hardblade claimed there was a pass through the mountains near Fort Blades. The Senators asked why this pass wasn't shown on any maps. Hardblade said that it was a remote, and uninhabited area, infested with non-humans. The Senators said that he was just using non-humans as bait. Hardblade stated that during the time of Tygra, the uncivilized lands became the home of the uncivilized beasts, by the work of the Blood Traitors.

The Imperial Assembly voted, and it was decided to form an expeditionary force to explore the lands. They were gathered together that day, and set out to the "sleeve". According to Hardblade, there were villages of nephil, sliths, fae, goblins, and kobolds in the wooded wilderness. If this was true, it would be good Hunting. Not to mention harvesting the giant trees would make for a good little economic boost as well. You never know when you need a fleet...

The Assembly itself had recognized this need, and had sent a group of colonists ahead of the expedition to establish a city. Not on the mainland proper, but instead a small island off of it. The larger of the two, nearer to Farport. Colonists sailed off, soon landing on the island as night set. Preparing the camp for the night, scouts quickly searched the island. There was the ruins of a settlement here. Apperantly the Anama had set up a small outpost here, from the looks of it shortly before the Time of the Star. No doubt they wouldn't be missing it now, since they seemed to have enough problems on the main island.

*Hunter currency. Prints are a basic equivalent to the Check/Cheque of the modern world, issued by the Imperial Assembly Treasury. Used for most large transactions, as it is the most secure of the two currencies. The other is the Marks, which are coins coming in denominations of Coppermark, Bronzemark, Ironmark, Silvermark, and Goldmark, from least to greatest worth. They are used as bullion, and there worth is measured in weight, plus the value of the metal. They have an engraved outline of the Eye in the center, with a hole in the iris/pupil to which the coin was attached to a string. On the peripherary, there is various mottos/propagand messages/words of wisdom.
**1. Send missionaries to the city
2. Send a population of lower class Hunters
3. Protect whole populace w/soldiers
4. Offer economic incentives to join Hunters
5. Declare city as Hunter property

[ Monday, January 14, 2008 19:31: Message edited by: Goldenking ]

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
"All (Spiderweb) servers should be taken down, erased, and then subjected to dissolution by alkahest." -Alorael
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #36
--Fort Dranlon--
Despite the mages best efforts, the building of the walls was proceeding slower than Master Krynt anticipated. It didn't help that a recent cave in caused the river to surge and wash away precious supplies. The loss of several crates of food meant that a group of mages had to be taken of construction duty to search for more mushrooms. To make matters worse, Master Krynt had to increase the scouting patrols to keep watch on the movements to the southeast.
On one occasion he conjured up about thirty goblins in an attempt to speed or the work. However, they just ended up squabbling with each other and doing more harm then good. He sighed to himself as he layed down another brick and wipes the sweat off his brow. His work on the walls was done for the day. Now he had to head inside the tower basement to work on the device.

--Fort Dolthar--
A couple days had passed, but Colton and Acrio Sulfi were both still in the healing ward recovering from their wounds. Despite his grave injuries, it appeared that Colton would survive. Acrio had been more fortunate, but the burns on his skin needed careful treatment. This left Denrich in charge of all the daily operations within the fort. He divided the work up between a few of the older mages; however, it was still a large burden. As if that weren't enough, disturbances began appearing within the barriers surrounding the fortress. Master Krynt was recognized as an expert in barrier theory and application, and even wrote several books on the subject. Unfortunately, he was miles away, and Denrich had no idea what the magical patterns in the fields meant.

--Vahnatai Cache: Steamy Caverns--
Iktin-Bok was a fairly intelligent vahnatai. In his village there was no equal to his skills with a blade. However, the fates don't care who you are. There was indeed a vahnatai cache in the Steamy Caverns; however, it was not left defenseless. One of the clumsier warriors traveling with Iktin-Bok accidentally triggered one of the traps. In an instant the cave sealed shut and began filling with poisonous gas. In a matter of moments, Iktin-Bok and the cadre of vahnatai that he led all closed their eyes forever.

[ Monday, January 14, 2008 18:59: Message edited by: Lt. Sullust ]

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Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #37
RUINS OF THE TROGLO CASTLE

"Over here!" The echo of the priest's voice reverberated to the leader of the scouts. The soldier approached the source of the sound, and saw a partially intact tunnel heading north. Unlike the other tunnels, though, this one was bigger, and more expertly excavated. This wasn't the work of the Troglodytes. John, the lead soldier, jaunted forward, to see if he could locate any other signs or indications that this tunnel linked to the Giant caves. He soon found very old blood stains, ancient weaponry, most of it broken, and several stones that were clearly not from the tunnel itself.

"I think this might be it." John said excitedly to the rest of the group. "But we'll need to see where it leads."

SHARIMIK

The door to the shrine opened again. The slith priest held it open for their guest to enter, then closed it quickly so as to keep the conversation private. The same group was there that had been before, save for a new priestess. Whilst most of the priesthood of Sanctuary wore traditional robes and garments, this one wore what could only be described as battle regalia. Studded armor, leather greaves and helm, along with what could only be a drake-skin cloak. She scoffed at the appearance of the missionary. Bekath gave the guest a cold stare and stated, "I presume that you wield actual authority?"

"I do." The missionary replied. Before he could say anything else, though, Bekath cut back in. "Good. Now, as I suppose that messenger boy told you, we'll leave on certain conditions decided upon by our benevolent ruler. The first of these," Bekath paused, watching the missionary closely, "is that anyone who wishes to follow the message of Sanctuary be allowed to leave Sharimik unaccosted. We will escort them out of the city, and none of them are to be harmed in any way."

"Sounds agreeable enough." The missionary stated cautiously.

"The second," Bekath continued, "is that no further advancement will be made upon our territory. The land beyond Sharimik is ours, and the Divine High Priest will not bear the insult of further encroachment by your kind. And finally," Bekath spoke louder, so as to not allow the missionary to speak, "any person of Sanctuary who wishes to travel near Sharimik or your lands will not be accosted. If you agree, we'll prepare to leave at once. If they are violated any way, the full wrath of Sanctuary will be brought down upon your cities and brethern."

"Do you accept these conditions?"

The entire shrine seemed to hold its breath, waiting for the answer.

AMINRO

Iocabe was on the city walls, looking out over the Grand Cathedral of Sanctuary. If the reports were correct, the main floor was almost usable. As it was, he could see the framework of the wonder stretch, yearning, towards the sky. All of this in the name of Telkavoth.

ISLAND OF KRELL, KRELL COUNCIL CHAMBER

This was quite possibly the oddest moment Nedar had ever experienced. For some reason, Redscale and the entire council just stared at him. "Are you okay?" He asked the slith.

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Hz'ii'zt a'iiencf coxnen a'bn'z'p pahuen yzpa'zuhb be'tt'phukh'kn az'ii'ova mxn't bhcizvi'fl?

Nioca's Citadel - A resource for BoA graphics and scripts, as well as my scenarios.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #38
IV

Lorelei

Amadis sat in his desk behind the glove shop. He removed several sheets of parchment from his desk, as well as an ink fountain. He scribbled furiously while chewing on oak resin.

Several minutes passed until he finished writing the letter. He marched out of the room, addressing Luscinda, "Send this to Howard...immediately."

"Calm down you brute," she retorted.

Amadis revealed a wicked looking shuriken from his cloak, "I suggest you watch your manners, lady."

Amadis walked off arrogantly, agitating Luscinda in his wake.

Somewhere South of Moon

Ferrrald and Shamgar conversed about what lay ahead of them while the other thieves in the party groaned under the weight they carried.

Valley

Howard grimaced with scorn as a dolt among his ranks approached him.

"Message from Amadis, Your Ingenuity."

"Wipe that smirk off your face you lubbard," Howard scoffed, greedily snatching the message. Upon reading for a mere few seconds his demeanor changed drastically. He leaped about joyfully as several of his underlings mocked him.

He collapsed into a chair behind him.

" Howard, you coward. I demand you begin construction of a city in that valley of mine immediately. Make me proud Howard, you've always been a good asset to me.

Oh, there should be blueprints attached. Failure to conform with them will provide me the enjoyment of gaping apart your neck. Smile.
"

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Decca Records - "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #39
Irritated, Boris waved the flies away from his face. The insects had come thicker and thicker the closer his party came to the river. Of course, he could cast a cantrip to keep the vermin away, but he didn't think the envoy on the other side of the river would take it well if they saw the mages approaching them cast a spell. He dismounted and handed the reins to a nearby apprentice. Glancing across the river, he saw a man in white silks step onto the bridge, escorted on either side by a soldier in a Hunter's uniform. He couldn't be positive at this distance, but he was fairly sure he hadn't dealt with any of the three before.

Nodding to the mage and guard at his sides, Boris stepped onto the bridge. When he reached the centre, the man across him broke the silence first. "Greetings, members of the Dominion of the Learned. I am Brother Evergreen, pleased to be representing the Hunters."

Brother Evergreen? Boris tried to mask his confusion. "I am Boris, Archmage of the Council of Redmark College." He placed a rueful smile on his face. "I hope we did not keep you waiting long." Evergreen assured him otherwise, and he continued. "We have a small pavilion set up, away from the marshland. Would you care to carry on the negotiations there?"

Within a couple minutes Evergreen's escort had remounted and crossed the bridge. Boris drew his horse close to the priest's. "So, Brother, which faith did you say you are from?"

The other man waved his hand, almost dismissively. "It is of little consequence. A small chapel, not occupied since the revolution. I now serve a much higher ideal than I did in that temple." He brushed away the ever-present flies, then continued. "For the time, I have thrown my lot in with the Hunters. We are quite alike, the Hunters and I. Both of us evicted from our chosen dwelling place when the Empire fell. And both of us are dedicated to restoring the unity that Empire held."

"Ah, the reforging of the Empire," Boris responded. "A lofty goal, to be sure." It was one that Demetrius incessantly repeated in Council meetings - the restoration of the Empire with the Dominion in a significant place of power was its ultimate goal. Truth be told, it wasn't a vision Boris shared. The Empire was dead and gone, and in place of its monolithic rule was a patchwork of city states, mercenaries, and warring factions. And the few groups that did wish to return the Empire to a shadow of its former glory always seemed to have hopelessly opposing goals. Still, whether or not the Empire was to be raised from its ashes, it was still important for the Dominion to secure peace with its neighbours.

Echoing his thoughts, Evergreen continued. "Obviously, the structure of the Hunters has changed after Tygra Nyrulia was assassinated and Kriszan lost. However, the new leader, Claw Hardblade, wishes to extend his assurance that the peace treaty of old still stands. In these dark times, peace between our two factions must be kept."

The horses had reached the clearing where the pavilion had been set up. Boris dismounted along with Evergreen. "This is excellent news. Magister Demetrius obviously wishes to renew both our peace treaty and our trade agreements. Hopefully the trade routes between our two factions may be reopened." He pulled back the entrance flap. "After you?"

--------------------
I am le tired.

Goldenking, I'm fine with just a basic peace treaty for now, follow up with your own IC if you want something more. The only extra thing I can think of right now is safe passage through your lands for envoys, etc. (i.e. if I get in contact with Nikki's faction).
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #40
Sharimik

"You don't have to leave the city." said the missionary simply. Seeing the confused looks on his various hosts' faces, he continued. "We want to have further interaction, positive albeit, with Sanctuary. No one in Sharimik, or the entirety of the Hunter Lands, will be discriminated on for their religion, or lack there of. Word of this most recent law is no doubt spreading like wildfire in the city by now."

"The Assembly has tasked me with this proposal: First, the Hunters shall commit no eastward expansion. The north however, places like Softport, are free lands. Second, as I previously stated, no one of the Sanctuary will be discriminated upon due to their faith. Third, this temple and the surrounding district is to act as the Sanctuary Free Zone, a sort of embassy between us, and where none of our laws shall apply. Your other two proposals, concerning free travel, are of course, accepted."

"What do you say?"

Jubilee Island

The temporary camp was taken apart, and the ships had been brought about to the ruins on the other side of the island. Here, the colonists got to work. The ships had come laden with a lot of building supplies, and now the overgrown wilderness was being pushed back. The first thing that was made was a proper harbor, and from here houses were being made further inland. Within time, this settlement would be a city.

In the next week, people settled into their jobs. The builders constructed the city after the houses were all finished. The miners had found a vein of copper in the rocky outcroppings to the north, and mined them. The lumberjacks meanwhile had cleared a nice swathe of land to the south, and were selling their wood to the builders. In this nice little plain, the farmers bought land and began working it, planting their crops in the ground and preparing the soil, as well as keeping their animals feed. Trade ships started arriving with supplies, and leaving with wooden furniture, copper supplies, and chicken meat from the farms.

Expeditionary Force

The first sign had been the path. Broken twigs, and downtrodden plants. Then, as they followed the trail, they found that the branches were coveniently chopped away in the areas it would have been an obstacle. Then the reaction of the animals in this uninhabited wilderness, was fear. Startlement, meaning there was a settlement nearby. As they followed it further, they found a definitive sign: shedded nephil fur. A fine coat of it covered everything, and it got thicker as they followed it.

As the path was about to round a corner, a nephil child came out. It looked at them incomprehensibly, and before it could flee as the elders had always warned them to, a soldier tackled it, covering it's mouth. It was left there, bound and gagged, to be retrieved later, and it cried silently.

The Hunter force meanwhile climbed up an overhanging rock, and looked at the bustling camp they saw on the other side. Complete with a harbor and small fishing ships, at was perfect for inhabitation... which was why it was inhabited. By non-humans. Nephil mostly, though the muscular frames of some Sliths and even a few Goblins could be seen mixed in.

With a scowl, the archers nearly let loose on the village. Instead, the commander ordered the archers to the east side of the ca,[, a small group of guards to the south side where they lay, and the rest to the west side.

Silently, his orders were fulfilled. Then, leading the attack from the west, his soldiers charged into view. The guard were quickly overrun by the surprise, and felled before him. Now, the soldiers charged through the encampment, killing all of those who resisted, and binding those who didn't. Hearing the Hunter advance and the various alarms from the west of the camp, the Nephil, Slith, and Goblins all fled in the opposite direction... where the arhcers felled the first wave with a wall of arrows.

The rest, seeing the trap, surrendered, resigned to their deaths. Not wanting their fellows to share their fate, they shouted warnings to the other fleeing non-humans, and they turned north and south. To the north, they found that the torch had been set to the ships, and to the south, they ran into the infantry stationed there. When it was all done, the camp was taken, with plenty of captives for the Imperial Assembly's delight.

It was a primitive camp, and upon closer inspection, it was found that it was useless for the Hunters. The tents insides were spartan, mostly because the non-humans were poor. The harbor was found to be unsuitable for any real watercraft. The pathways the non-humans had were confusing, twisting, and basically unorganized. Meanwhile, the non-humans did have one thing going for them, a network of bridges in the trees. After following them, a scout confirmed that the other two villages were at the other end, as the Chief had stated.

A messager was sent back to Sharimik. And as for the rest of the group, the Hunt was on.

Brother Evergreen

"You know... when I was in the service of the Order of Krell, after the Fall, I was constantly getting refugee Nephil from the Old Hunters. Pitiful really, but I had nothing against them, at that point. I helped them, and sent them on their way. Then... when the Time of the Star came, a group of Rakshasi burned down the chapel and killed most of the other clergy. I alone was left to lead the flock to safety... but then there was a second attack. This one by Nephil. They killed the flock and nearly me as well, and stole our supplies. When they were fleeing, I recognized them as the ones I had helped! It was at that point I realized that non-humans are barbaric, subhuman you could say."

With that, Evergreen walked into the tent. There, he spoke calmly, "Peace and trade are of course acceptable to the Hunters. But, it goes further then that, I'm afraid. We want a proper, military alliance. Across the channel, the Anama are building their power up, and to counter this we have been trying to construct warships. Meanwhile, east of Sharimik, a cult called the Sanctuary is trying to take land, and would no doubt try to go south if they could.

"A few other things that are desired by the Imperial Assembly... we want to help edit the Encyclopedia Ermariana*, and the permission to send missionaries into your land. Our leaders are both the same, wanting to help reform the Empire, with their own ideological additions. Also, instead of just killing non-humans like the Old Hunters, we want to exile them to Avernum, particularily Fort Avernum. Before you answer, do you have a necromancer who would do a small task for us?"

*Particularily the sections dealing with Non-Humans, if you know what I mean. Paint them in a negative light and all that.

[ Tuesday, January 15, 2008 15:08: Message edited by: Goldenking ]

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
"All (Spiderweb) servers should be taken down, erased, and then subjected to dissolution by alkahest." -Alorael
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #41
V

Keep of Tinraya

City strife echoed jubilantly throughout the area, invoking feelings of triumph withing the traveling thieves. Ferrrald and Shamgar temporarily disposed of the amateurs in thier company, allowing for more serious matters to be completed.

"Skribbane a likely enterprise here?" Shamgar grunted.

"No, too many guards Shamgarrrr. Though this keep is rrrrich," Ferrrald purred.

Their conversation carried them to Tinray's center. People behind market stalls barked out their products, while passing townspeople purchased various commodities. One of the amateurs skulked about the stalls, obviously extending a keen eye for foolish vendors.

The amateur made her move. She appeared behind the counter making her presence difficult to detect. A flash later she sprinted off with a healthy sized pouch. However, her sudden movements attracted patrolling guards.

Shamgar's lips moved with nuance that could possibly resemble a smile, "So, shall we save this wench?"

"Surrrre," Ferrrald grimaced, "I'm bored,"

Shamgar and Ferrrald split directions, sleuthing about the crowds into position. Meanwhile several guards exerted a sweat chasing one of Amadis' minions. She tumbled into a vacant alley, which was soon followed by a reverberating shriek. Her two assailants appeared amused as they carter her through the back streets. They rounded a corner, only to have a well-guided projectile embedded in their necks.

Their duty finished, Ferrrald and Shamgar made plans to enter a near by house.
--
Days later the party finished their rounds, bringing good bounty to show Amadis. Their mission proved to be a success.

Valley
Howard saw the new formation undergoing swift construction. At this rate the community would be erected withing two or three weeks. Sufficed by the circumstances, he drafted a note for Amadis and sent it off.

Lorelei
Amadis downed a swig of ale. Other patrons writhed on the floor, aroused by their state of intoxication. Amadis however, was smart enough to avoid such behavior. The steak the barkeep served him was delicious, and the ale exquisite.

A shabbily dressed man shambled up to Amadis, "Cann ye be gettin me anothersh drinks for me selfs kinds sirrsh?"

"Get away you worthless scrap of flax," Amadis replied cavalierly.

The man swung at Amadis, which threw him off balance resulting on his journey to the floor. Amadis mocked him with amusement and swiftly delivered a kick to his side.

"Halt," an unknown man exclaimed. "Guards!"

As if on que, a guard entered the tavern promptly assailing Amadis. Amadis leaped over a vacant table and floundered painfully as he landed. He rolled over and let out several whelps, allowing for the guard to reach his vicinity.

Amadis stood up, cursing his misfortune. He turned around and ran directly into the guard.

"Amadis Ducante, you are under arrest for grand larceny, and government of a mischievous entity."

Amadis was taken aback. Only his minions knew of his illicit activities, someone had betrayed him. However, he pondered little and instead withdrew the dagger he recently stole. He missed the guards vital organs, nonetheless striking his arm.

The guard paid little heed. He signaled alarm and firmly grasped Amadis, attempting to confiscate the knife in his hand. Amadis struggled aversely as a flock of guards rushed into the bar. They surrounded him as his captor escorted him from the bar. However, the original guard began to writhe uncontrollably. Seeing his chance, Amadis disappeared.

The state of Midori knew his face now, knew his crimes, knew his profession. He was at loss for words.

--------------------
Decca Records - "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Shaper
Member # 7472
Profile Homepage #42
SHARIMIK

"None of your lawsss?" The voice did not belong to Bekath, but to the Slith priest over in the corner. He angrily approached the missionary. "Doesss that include your sso-called solution?" He said, eyes alight with rage. He threw a piece of paper at the missionary's feet; the missionary recognized it as the pamphlet that had been distributed previously, outlining the Hunters' goals. "Do you honessstly think we're sssstupid enough to-"

"Dewiss..." Bekath said, trying to get the slith's attention.

"-fall for your ploy? We know you'll ssimply ssstab usss in the back-"

"Dewiss!" Bekath said in a louder tone. A note of warning had entered his voice as well.

"-first chance you get, ssso why would we knowingly walk right into a-"

"DEWISS! Stand down NOW!" Bekath's voice rung throughout the shrine. Dewiss gave him a sour look before retreating back to his corner, where he watched the missionary distastefully.

"I apologize for that, but Dewiss brings up an important point. Your whole ideology is about eliminating non-humans. So are the non-humans of Sanctuary exempt from your rules too? Or are any that come near your lands going to have unfortunate 'accidents'?"

TUNNEL UNDER THE MOUNTAIN

John squinted in the torchlight as tunnel widened out into a gallery. Suddenly, John threw his hand up, signaling the others to stop. At first, it appeared that John was merely being paranoid. Then a low, distant growl emanated from somewhere in the gallery. Shuffling could also be heard, faint, yet present. "Get weapons drawn and spread out," John whispered. "We don't want to pose too good a target."

The group spread out and advanced slowly. The noises grew louder. As torchlight spread through the gallery, a little bit of movement could be seen at the very edges of perception. A hiss near John caused him to whirl, blade bared openly. Something was coming towards him. He could hear scales against stone, slithering... a snake, perhaps?

A flash of movement came from the shadows at John's head. He swung his sword desperately, and miraculously connected with his attacker. The reptile's body fell heavily to the floor, dead. It was certainly a snake, but not like any he had seen before. Its scales were turquoise, with small stripes of green. A small amount of frost exuded from its maw, and a smell of decay reached John's nose. The body was deteriorating at a rapid rate, decomposing before his eyes. Soon, it was nothing but a small skeleton. But the scent had alerted the other beings in the cave to a possible meal, and footfalls could be heard at the east end of the gallery. "Band together!" John shouted. Growling and hissing reached his ears as more creatures charged towards him. The party regrouped, and the priests started to chant. Soon, a small cadre of giant lizards swarmed into view. John stabbed the first one, then slew the second one with a slash. A priest launched a bolt of holy energy at one lizard, causing it to keel over. Blasts of energy, the occasional gout of holy fire, and many swings of a blade later, the group dispatched the last of the lizards. Or so they thought, until they heard a rhythmic thud of another approaching creature. But this one sounded larger. It came partially into view, revealing itself as what appeared to be a golden giant lizard. Its scales were a dull yellow, and it walked with a patient gait. It seemed to think that it didn't need to move quickly to secure its prey. Then it moved into full light.

"Sweet Telkavoth!" A priest gasped. A nearby soldier whimpered, then passed out. The lizard had a horrific bulge around its neck the size of a small boulder. The scales on this bulge was cracked, and an orange substance oozed out of the cracks. The lizard opened its mouth to hiss, and the same orange substance dripped from its fangs. The back end of the lizard had shrunk down, with its back legs being only a quarter the size of the front legs. The tail had separated into what seemed to be strips of scales. And as the orange substance hit the ground, the stone hissed and melted away.

The monster roared, spraying the orange substance on one of the priests. He let out a scream of pain as the substance started eating away his flesh, and quickly started reciting a ritual to heal the injuries. John charged forward and slashed at the beast, but the blade bounced off the unusually tough scales. He then was thrown aside by the monster's leg, which smashed into his abdomen. Another priest chanted, and a bolt of energy flew at the beast. It rebounded off and grazed the priest who cast it, knocking him to the ground. A priestess sent a cloud of daggers at the beast, and finally managed to extract an injury from it as the daggers buried themselves in its side. The beast roared in pain, spraying more of the caustic orange substance. From the wounds, more of the orange substance came bleeding forth; the orange substance was in fact the creature's blood. John charged the creature and stabbed it as the priestess let loose a gout of intensely-hot flame. Both took tolls on the beast, which roared in agony. One of the soldiers charged it and jammed a spear right into the monster's neck, slicing through the bulge. The point punched through, and the bulge let loose with a sickening wave of caustic blood, flowing over the offending soldier who screamed in agony. The monster toppled over, dying, while the soldier flailed about and fell. A priest rushed over, trying to heal the wounds inflicted by the acidic blood, but it was no use. The soldier perished along with the horrific monstrosity.

AMINRO

A man was trying to teach a few of the soldiers in Aminro how to use a bow. A couple of the soldiers were doing fairly well, managing to actually hit the targets. The rest... well, the best they had going for them is that they hadn't managed to shoot themselves. Yet.

"I prefer crossbows myself," stated a rather tall, dark-haired priestess watching the archery attempts.

"Yes, my dear, but for now, we need to use bows." Iocabe said softly. "I'll see if I can get the fletcher to craft you one, though, along with a set of bolts."

"That'd be kind." The priestess said. Suddenly, she grabbed her stomach and grimaced.

"Stomach cramps again, Fae?" Iocabe asked, concerned.

"Yes, but I don't why..." She gasped. After a few seconds, the pain passed.

"Have you seen a healer?"

She nodded. "But they can't even seem to do anything for the pain. No matter what they do, nothing helps."

Iocabe pulled her close. "You'll be alright. It must be the stress taking a toll." They stood there for a minute. "How soon will you be headed back to Angel's Rest?"

"Tomorrow evening. There's some trouble involving Wevern again."

"Which house is he on now?" Iocabe asked bemusedly.

"Fourth one. We're going to have to move him into the church, which is making a major portion of the priesthood none too happy. But I think that if we can keep him away from alchemy, we won't have any problems."

The door to the room opened quickly. One of Iocabe's informants stepped through the door. "Divine High Priest, Faenelle, I bring tidings from Lorelei."

"What is it?" Iocabe asked.

"The Thieves Guild is getting more active for some reason, and Lorelei's reconstruction is going well."

"Is that all?" Iocabe seemed agitated a this seemingly unimportant bit of news.

"From Lorelei, but I've also been gathering information on the lands to the south and east."

"Oh? What about it?"

"Remember how the Looters used to control that area? Well, I did some poking around, and while they still have some presence there, their dominion is deteriorating. They've been trading slaves recently to try and get their finances and cities straight, but they're quickly losing control. Conditions in their cities have been deplorable."

Iocabe smiled. "Which means that we stand to gain a lot of territory if that tunnel pans out."

The informant looked confused. "Tunnel?"

"It's a... oh, never mind. Where does their territory extend?"

"Bengaro, Dellston, Poulsbo, Littleton, Spineridge, and Appleton are all under Looter control, and the territory between the cities are dangerous to travel due to Looter presence."

Iocabe lapsed into a brief, thoughtful silence. "Head back to Lorelei and resume your post. You've been dismissed."

"Yes, sire." The informant turned and left.

"I take it you have an idea?" Faenelle asked.

"Yes. We'll liberate these towns from Looter control, and plant the flag of Sanctuary in their place. And once that's done, we'll expand eastward."

"That's assuming this tunnel works out. Getting an army through Lorelei without a massacre..." Fae said uncertainly.

"Do not worry, my darling. Telkavoth has not yet let us down, and I am confident he will not start now."

TUNNEL UNDER THE MOUNTAIN

"Get Ean and Trava back to the Troglodyte Castle. Trava deserves a decent burial, and Ean needs the attention of dedicated healers." John watched as a soldier grabbed what remained of Trava and escorted Ean back from whence they came. He then heard the priestess shout from the west end of the gallery. He rushed over, fearing the worst, but found that she was staring at the bases of old, worn pedestals. "Look." She said, pointing at the base of one of them. John brought the torchlight closer.

Several small shards of crystal, each the size of a small stone, were scattered about one of the pedestals. Each was a beautiful shade of white, gently glinting in the torchlight. John picked one of them up for closer inspection. It was really unremarkable, except for its color and elegance.

A soldier walked up behind John. "Me'be tha's ta source o' though crysals."

"Erm, what?"

"Well, I fond a bunch o' though crysals neer ta beestie nests." The soldier said in a heavily accented voice. John briefly wondered where in the world this guy was from.

"The creatures must have been hoarding them..." John thought for a minute, then pulled the pack off of his back. He opened it, upturned it, and emptied the contents. He then handed it to the priestess. "Gather all of the crystals, both here and at the creature nests, and take them back to a man named Wevern in Angel's Rest. Do not make any stops in-between. Those crystals may be holding a magical charge, and it could have harmful effects if you're in prolonged contact." John stood. "Meanwhile, I think the rest of us are going to see if there's a light at the end of this tunnel."

John headed the rest of his expedition north. He stumbled upon another set of tunnels not unlike the ones underneath the Troglodyte castle. But this area was different. It too had been divided into an upper and lower level, but the upper level had collapsed onto the lower, then smoothed out due to natural erosion. And at the north end of the wreckage, they could see-

"Daylight!" John shouted. He quickly ushered his men into a fast sprint, running for the visible light from the sun. They clambered over some last hurtles of wreckage, and emerged in the ruins of a primitive gatehouse. And beyond that, they could see small towns and green grass.

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Hz'ii'zt a'iiencf coxnen a'bn'z'p pahuen yzpa'zuhb be'tt'phukh'kn az'ii'ova mxn't bhcizvi'fl?

Nioca's Citadel - A resource for BoA graphics and scripts, as well as my scenarios.
Posts: 2686 | Registered: Friday, September 8 2006 07:00
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Silvar

Gaining access to the city had been easy. The bandits obviously weren't expecting an attack, though they reacted quickly given the circumstances. As arrows began falling around the Empire's forces, a loud bell began ringing from the centre of town, waking up those that had been sleeping.

Unwin had separated his men into two, and sent one team west-wards. He and his men launched themselves east, hoping to take advantage of the buildings as shelter until they reached the centre of town.

The shouts of the bandits filled the air, and for a moment the stray arrows that had been no more than shots in the dark ceased. A large force of the bandits army made for the centre of town, but a remnant stayed out of sight, ready to rush the Empire from behind.

After a few moments, the flickering firelight illuminated a stream of soldiers rushing from the west. Several arrows flew past the forces leader, burying themselves in the necks of three bandits. The bandits paused for a second, before launching themselves at the invaders.

Iron blades clattered against shields, as the bandit archers on the southern wall began shooting into the mob of bodies. Two empire soldiers fell to direct hits, but the were slowly wearing the bandits down. Suddenly, with a howl that echoed around the town, the bandits leader ran towards the fight, followed by the rogues he had held in reserve. Surrounding the Empire forces, they began closing in on the 15 or so invaders that remained.

At that moment, Unwin rounded the corner. Pointing at the ramparts where the archers were still positioned he mouther for three of his bladesmen to take them out, and silently led the rest of his troops towards the ever-decreasing circle of bandits.

With a loud shout, he broke into a run, and cleaved his way through four, five, six bandits before joining with the rest of his men. Spinning around to face out, he grinned, raised his sword and began to fight.

* * *

As dawn approached, the bodies of the bandits were piled into a heap, stripped of gear, and set alight. The 9 Empire soldiers were laid out a little more ceremoniously, ready to be taken outside of the city and buried properly.

Captain Unwin had ordered the city to be searched thoroughly. There was a large stockpile of food, but not much else. Still, this was enough to feed the fledgling Empire for a while, at least, and word had been sent to Delan immediately, as well as the bandit leader's signet ring. Unwin paced the old town hall, and waited for word from Gathin.

Delan

"...Find enclosed the bandit leader's ring, as proof of the deed. I hope that we have met our end of the bargain, and that you now feel that you can trade with us. As for Silvar, I propose that as we liberated it, it remains under our jurisdiction for the time being. We may discuss this properly at a later date. Feel free to allow your refugees to settle there, but remember that not everybody that lives under the banner of the Crown shares your beliefs about non-humaniods.

Yours, Imperial Dervish Victor Gathin, Third Order of Aizo."


Gathin sealed the parchment, and called for a rider to take it to Krizsan immediately.

Sitting back, he let his thoughts wander...

"I'll have to send some of the nephil population in Perrin to Silvar, of course. The Hunters won't want to mix with them, and it'll mean they'll leave us alone, hopefully.

If they attack us, of course, we'll have to let the nephil fight this one on their own, until I can get an army into Krizsan. But that's not to be worried about now.

I'll have Unwin stay there for a while. He's earned it, I think. I've earned it.


He pulled another piece of parchment to himself, and, swearing that he had sent a rider east already, began writing to Unwin.

Unwin.

Good work. Maintain position. I'll be sending some volunteers over later to help rebuild the city. For now, have a glass or three of wine.

'Til later,

Gathin.


He signed off, and set the letter aside. It would wait until Gathin had announced the first victory of the Empire to the people.

* * *

The streets of the four cities were filled with people enjoying the liberated foodstuffs from Silvar, and celebrating the first piece of good news they'd had for a while. New Sumar now had a few wooden buildings, in which the new town's population slept, ate and drank in, whilst tending to the crops. Pergies was gearing up to tackle the mines again, and the people of Delis were slowly taking up their old crafts before the Rakshasi hit. Times, for now, were good.

Back in Delan, Gathin looked from the window, watching the crowds dance and revel.

"I wander who else is out there?"

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Nikki's Nook - forget about your house of cards, and I'll deal mine.
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
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"I trust that Wizard Abram spoke with you before we left?"

The wizard had been walking alongside his horse in silence since they left the gates, but now he spoke up. The horse stopped at the sound of his voice, without Varion reigning it in. It was a well trained animal, and it knew its true master.

"Yes, I received your.... offering." Varion patted his pocket to be sure. If what these wizards said was true, the hopes of thousands rested on this securely wrapped trinket.

"Then this is farewell, Commander. I have my duties at the College, and you have a long ride ahead of you."

The wizard held out his hand, which Varion hesitantly reached down to take. "I-- I don't understand. Why have you been helping me? Why are you doing all of this?"

"You wear the rings of our enemies, but now is not the time to dwell on such things. If we are to survive-- any of us-- these old rivalries will have to be set aside. We are willing to make the first gesture of good will. Some think we'll come to regret it-- I myself am not sure, but am willing to take a gamble."

"I don't know what to say.... You won't regret this; they'll see the light, I promise."

The wizard nodded. "Come back when this is all over, much needs to be discussed. For now ride swiftly, for the way is dangerous."

------

The last months had been no kinder to Karnold than the rest of Ermarian. These lands were the first to be hit by the invasion; The rakshasi had come like a bolt of lightning from a clear blue sky-- a red sky rather. Varion knew, because he had experienced it first hand.

The people here were resilient though, he reflected. The rebuilding process had already begun; they would come back. The human spirit is not easily defeated; they'd taken it hard but things could be worse.

"It could be like Bigail." Nowhere had been hit as hard as Bigail. He hadn't realised that the state of things on the isle wasn't the norm across Ermarian until he came to the mainland. Things were bad here, but at least there were cities still standing.

These thoughts had occupied his time on the road, but now he had reached his destination and there was no more time to waste on regrets. There was business to be done-- things had to be set straight. Varion reined his horse in at the gates of the soaring sandstone walls. A robed mage stepped out of the guardhouse.

"Greetings.... friend." The mage balked when he spotted his rings, but after the initial hesitation he was again collected and under control. "What brings you to Redmark College?"

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OOC: Take me to your leader. (Dintiradan, if you actually want to know what's going on just ask. Or you can just trust me. :P )

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"NOW PASS ME MY BOOTS. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A FACE." -Nikki

Tales From the Tabard Inn: Now if only there was a 3600 Hour Contest.....
Posts: 900 | Registered: Monday, August 8 2005 07:00
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Formello Caves

After several days of marching, Sss-Kai and his army had finally arrived at Formello, jewel of the North. The city was still marvelously intact. The farmland around it was productive, though the people were living with little luxury due to nearly all trade to the Formello caves being cut off from the rest of Avernum, thanks in part to the Lady. The slith stopped at the first townstead he found a few miles South of the city, kicked out the people living there, and ordered his men to set up camp. It was here he would make his strategy.

Sss-Kai called his best captains as well as young Edward to meet in his command tent. He began, “Now, the Lady gave we orders to cross into Formello. I hope she doesn’t overestimate our ssstrength. A frontal assault does not seem wise to me, but if it is the Lady’s will…”

“What do you mean cross into Formello?” Edward folded his army in a juvenile manner.

“Uh, the city proper is surrounded by a river, and the Lady said to open her first order just before crossing into the city. I assume she meant cross the bridge into the city, yes, yes.”

“You scaley idiot! She said ‘before thou cross.’ She didn’t mean before you cross into the city! To cross means to meet someone. She wants you to parley with the Mayor of Formello! Damn it, man! Good thing she had me come along, or this expedition would have been over before it started.”

“I… uh…” Sss-Kai pulled out the first envelope. “Perhaps this will clear things up a little.” He broke the Lady’s wax seal on the envelope. Edward looked over his shoulder to see what the note said. “Hey! The Lady meant this command for me!”

“I don’t give a mung rat’s ass! You would do well to treat me with respect, slith. Anyone else here would surely be pleased to lead this army in your place!”

Sss-Kai’s army answered to him, not to the Lady or her sons. Yet he thought twice, and decided not to tempt the Imperials’ wrath. He opened the letter in front of Edward and revealed what the Lady had written.

“Ha! I was right, she does want you to parley! And you were right, as well. She really did mean this note for you… ahahahahaha!” Edward laughed and exited the command tent.

Sss-Kai’s heart sank as he took in the paper’s words. Written not in the Lady’s usual extravagant style, but instead in two simple words that any idiot could understand:

Go alone.

Fort Avernum

Angelo tapped the mage on the shoulder, “Well? Can it be done?”

The mage spun around, fully expecting the boy to strike him. The Lady’s mercenaries had treated him quite poorly since his capture, and so he was not used to the uncomfortably polite manner in which Angelo was treating him. “Please, I’m really little more than an apprentice, I don’t know how things like this work. I sense that the rift is not fully closed, so there is a chance this might work, but it would take a long time and mages much more powerful than me to make it happen.”

Angelo looked to his mother, seated on her throne, temporarily moved outside with them. She said nothing, instead just smiling at her son, so grown up. Angelo looked back to the mage, “Incredible. Tell me, apprentice, do your people value their freedom at Fort Dralon?”

“I don’t know what your getting at…”

Angelo looked to his mother again. It made him uncomfortable to intimidate people like this, but he also knew that sometimes such evils were necessary to survive in Avernum. “It would be a terrible thing if that fort were to fall to… the rampaging forces of chaos in these caves. These are unsure times, and without proper protection, well, Dranlon is not the fortress it once was. Just look at how easily you were captured.”

“Our works will continue without me. They would continue without Dranlon, even. As long as Fort Dolthar-“ the young mage stopped himself, but it was too late. He immediately regretting mentioning their primary base.

“Fort Dolthar? Where in the world…” Angelo looked to his mother, who tilted her head to the side trying to remember something.

Eventually, it came to her and she grinned, “The power’s fortress from the times of old, twas there the quickened gen’ral manned his hold. These mages margent vastly through the caves, mayhap we shall to canvass with these knaves.” The Lady rose from her throne and paced around the young mage. “One thousand swords did tear apart this land, yet one good mind did bring it back to stand.” She was about to say something else, but changed her words at the last second, “Those swords could turn, and to your home make aim. Unless, thy here my gateway dup again.”

The three of them looked once again to the hill within Fort Avernum. There an old and ruined portal stood, the very portal that first brought so many people to Avernum all those years ago.

The group entered the main building of Fort Avernum where the Lady sat behind her desk and began to write a letter. Angelo spoke with the frightened apprentice mage. “We could still work things out peacefully, it seems. I am glad. There is so little trust to be found in these barbaric lands. You will go back to your leaders, and, hopefully, they will be powerful enough to help us. Otherwise, I can’t speak for the safety of Fort Dranlon. You understand.” Angelo gave the mage a sincere look. The mage was not sure whether or not it was genuine. The Lady dripped wax on the letter and sealed it with her signet ring. Within the hour, the mage was cleaned up to make it look as if he had not been treated so poorly, and he was sent on his way.

Angelo contemplated the situation, “Mother, do we have any need to fear these mages?”

Lady Calpurnia laid back in her chair, “One thousand swords did tear apart this land, yet one good mind did bring it back to stand. But swords grow dull and in time will aband, and to a single mind the world in hand.”

[ Thursday, January 17, 2008 19:44: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
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VI

Lorelei
Amadis stared longingly at his desk. Regardless of his fervor, the desk supplied no solutions to his problem.

"The only way to solve this, is for a new government to take hold of Midori," Amadis muttered.

"That's it!" He exclaimed, "There's some states to the southwest."

He retrieved a sheet of parchment and began writing the following letter.

" To the sovereign ruler of the Pheonix Empire:

I hail from Lorelei, but a meager man named Derek. The rulers here attempt to convict me of scraping out an honest living, and my peers as well. Our group is strong though, but we can't overthrow our oppressors. We have read of the secure and good-intentioned government the former Empire provided. We implore that you take these lands as yours, and while doing so my fellows and I shall aid you to the best of our ability.
"

Amadis sealed the letter with vigor. He laughed loudly at the jibberish he just drafted, which he handed to a courier to dispatch immediately.

[ Friday, January 18, 2008 17:13: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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Decca Records - "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
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Sharimik

The missionary shot a single, discreet glance in the direction of the slith. This glance was laced with hatred, filled with rage, dripping with venom, and had a taste of superiority. The single, momentary glance shot out rays of loathing, beams of abhorence, and anvils of detestment. This brief, brief glance showed depths into the missionary's racism, and the look on his face showed utter contempt, with a hint of superiority. An unfortunate fly was caught in this brief glance, and upon seeing it, the poor bug dropped dead from shock and fear.

Apart from that brief, nearly unnoticable glance, the missionary ignored Dewiss's entire rant. When Bekath posed his question, the missionary responded cooly, steelily, mechanically, "I guarantee to you now, there will be no attempt to kill any of the non-humans in the Sanctuary embassy zone. That is to say, all non-humans here can be considered free. For non-humans in the city, they would have to wear a sort of badge*, to identify them as Sanctuary property, to assure the guards don't attack them. However, we cannot insure that our more zealous civilians will not, attack, and so it would be wise for all non-humans to stay away from Hunter part of the city." He stressed the words "stay away" in a way that would have given acid a run for its money.

As he said this, his left hand covertly slipped into his robes. There, in his pocket, it wrapped around a magical piece of vellum, a scroll if you will. The spell it contained was rather potent, and would summon something powerful, a demon or a drake perhaps, to help him in combat, if that slith attacked. Though he looked at it not, feeling the beast unworthy of his gaze a second time, he watched from his periphery, for a violent reaction. He was, unfortunately, unarmed save for the scroll, but the scroll was all he needed. That abomination makes one wrong move, and a drake would eat its head while the missionary fled.

In other parts of the city meanwhile, a new wave of immigrants was coming in from Jubilee, colonists not fit for starting a city from scratch.

Krizsan

The scribe read aloud the message to Barleycorn. For the most part, the Commander nodded, agreeing, until the scribe read the line, "As for Silvar, I propose that as we liberated it, it remains under our jurisdiction for the time being."

Slowly, the scribe finished the rest of the letter, and then waited for the Commander's response. It came swiftly, with barely surpressed anger. The sribe quickly sribbled down the reply

To Imperial Dervish Victor Gathin, Third Order of Aizo,

I thank you most sincerely for the service that you have done for the Hunters, and civilization as a whole. For this deed, we will immediantly open markets to the Crown, as such will benifit both of our great nations greatly. Regarding Silvar, I propose that a conference be held in a fortnight in the city itself concerning ownership. In that time, a proper diplomat shall have been sent to represent the greater interests of the Hunters more accurately then my Krizsan-centric interests.

Yours,
Commander (Doctor Right Honorable Judge Blessed Lord Protector Ambassador Inquisitor Conquistador Master) Jonathon Barleycorn (Esquire Rexis)


Upon finishing his speech, the scribe handed the letter off to a runner, who relayed it to an Imperial messenger across the river, who would then send it to this Dervish fellow. The seal of the letter was one of the Eye, and the letter was of real paper.

Meanwhile, in Krizsan, a certain unassuming guard was sent on a vital mission, in only black clothing with a dagger and torch. Creeping through the grasslands, he found the bridge, the sole bridge, that crossed the river, and hid. Soon, the runner returned from his mission, and still the soldier waited. Eventually, as the sun dipped down into the velvet ocean, he rose silently. Checking carefully that not a soul was around, he stalked up to the bridge and covered it with kindling. Then, he lit the torch, and carefully spread the blaze to the bridge. Satisfied, he stepped back into the shadows and observed his handwork, before creeping back to Krizsan. The food from Silvar wasn't getting to the Empire anytime soon.

Farport

The city was abuzz with the sound of chatter. A man had just arrived in the harbors of Farport. While this usually wasn't such a great story, this man came not from the Channel, but the river. He told the tale of how the three ships sent north in the river, all were destroyed by Slithzerikai in the river and Goblins on the mountains, leaving him to paddle north to Farport alone. This meant that perhaps a land rouge to Krizsan wasn't as necessary as previously thought. It meant that merchants could sail directly to Farport.

And so, a flotilla was gathered, headed by the man from the river, as he was the one who knew the path. There was much celebrating as the ships sailed south, with a garrison of soldiers and archers to kill the non-human infestation in the canyons. Finally, they turned around the final twist of the river, and entered the canyons. The lights filtered down from above, with rain clouds slowly gathering. Suddenly, there was a shriek from atop the canyons...

The Sleeve - Non-Human Line

Mrrhrrphrr the Third purred irritatedly, and whispered quietly to his son, Jake. Suddenly, the crack of the whip was heard and a stinging pain consumed his spine. Stumbling in pain, he could hear the owner of the aforementioned whip yelling in his ears, "NO TALKING KITTIES!"

Mrrhrrphrr looked at the Hunter with a mixture of fear and hatred, noticing that he had a blade drawn. Not wishing to die and leave his son alone to deal with these monsters, he nodded complacently and continued. A dull pain in his feet soon became evident, supplementing the fading spinal pain from the various whippings. The iron shackeles were growing heavier it seemed, and Farport was still no where in sight. Suddenly, the line stopped inexplicably. Peering around his son, he saw the cause: A goblin in the line had fallen from exhaustion. Unsparingly, he was spitted on a blade and removed from the line, his corpse tossed carelessly into the underbrush.

"ALL RIGHT SCUM! WE'RE RESTING HERE FOR TONIGHT!" was the shout of the Hunter in the lead, and gratefully the non-human line fell exhausted, and mostly fell into a deep sleep within moments. Lifting his heavy head, he glanced around, seeing non-humans from the other two camps as well. Bad news. Before his brain could process this, he fell into a dreamless sleep beside his son.

The Sleeve - Expeditionary Force

After destroying the other two encampments, the army marched onward, deep into the wooded wilderness. Eventually, they saw signs of civilization in their wanderings. The tattered stones of an old Empire road. Then, the vegetation became more sparse. Rounding the corner, they found a dismaying sight. A ghost town of crumbling stone, which apparently had hosted a lizard infestation. A sign, old, worn and partially burnt, declared "Welcome to Nexus! Portal Hub of Valorim"

The commander ordered the soldiers to march into the city, and as the savage lizards charged, they were spitted with ease by the soldiers. The main street led to a vaguely impressing manor.

It was fairly large, three stories, but it was also a sad sight. The windows were shattered for the most part, the roof was collapsed in some parts and had not a single shingle, the outer walls were scratched at, and the doors were nearing collapse. Grateful to find a buidling not infested, the doors were opened to the force.

Here, they were going to rest for the night. The wearier soldiers found rooms suitable for sleeping in, and retired for the night. Meanwhile, sentries were stationed in the ground level to insure the lizards didn't come in and launch an attack while the men slept. The commander and the more inquisitive followed a threadbare purple carpet into a chamber dominated by a pool of water and a bronze gateframe.

As the commander peered into the pool, it revealed itself as a scrying pool. First a faint image of the continent of Valorim appeared, and then the water turned grey, and white lettering stated: "State Your Destination". Nervously, the commander said "Krizsan", and the bronze gateway flickered to life. That is to say, a few green sparks came from the gateway and tried to turn into a portal, inevitably failing due to lack of power.

Confused, the commander pulled out his pocket copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to Valorim, turned to the Krizsan Chapter, and read the entry on Nexus: "After the Plagues, the Surface Explorers popularized the Wizard Ernest's portals, going to the capitals of each of Valorim's provinces. Overnight, the city became a trade center, and the infrastructure of Valorim grew rapidly. However, after several years of serving as a remote portal hub for the continent, the Nexus soon fell into disrepair due to the Avernite Surface Portal and Ernest's untimely death. It is recommended that Hitchhiker's NOT attempt to use the portals there, as they are weakened and haven't been used in centuries."

The commander knew this was of no interest to the expedition other then temporary shelter, but it would be note-worthy for the Assembly...

The Sleeve - Colonists

In the wake of expansionism, another colonial city was being established, this time in the clearing where the first non-human camp was. The tents still remained, and were going to be used until proper structures could be built. The place was surrounded in a much needed resource, wood, and farther south in the mountains there were believed to be various ore veins. Hopefully this city would be just as useful as Jubilee to the north.

Jubilee Island

Berries gleamed red on the bushes, and they gleamed just as red when Jane put them in her basket. It was fortunate that these bushes had been found, lessening the dependency on the pigs, sheep, and cows of the animal farms that shared this area west of the city.

Jane's sister, June, was a gossip. She gabbered on and on about the various bits of news from around the island. Right now, she was talking about the healing herbs found in the northwest of the island, and the trade the alchemists would bring as they found it. Then, undettered by the fact Jane was ignoring her, she continued on to talk about the alchemist who found ancient crates with iron bars magically unrusted near an ancient wreck.

Fascinated, Jane started on a monologue about the strong sons of the builders who worked diligently to make the city properly, and the handsome sons of the lumberjacks who supplied wood for the builders, shipyards, fletchers and furniture makers. Wrapping up her monologue, she told about how she made friends with the vegetable farmers in the southern bit of island, and the copper miners from the northern bit of island.

Bigail

Twirling his moustache gently, Delphi paddle the boat into the harbors of Shayder, causing a bit of a stir. Seems like visitors to the island were, understandably, rare. The Anama saw him, wearing the Ring, and his boat, flying the Eye. Delphi stepped out from the small craft, and stated boldly, "I am of the Anama. I fled from Port Townsend to Farport from the Rakshasi. Now I serve the Hunters. Take me to the Archbishop."

*The badge in question would be akin to the type used by people of Jewish faith and descent in Germany circa 1933-1945.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
"All (Spiderweb) servers should be taken down, erased, and then subjected to dissolution by alkahest." -Alorael
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"You're late, Archmage Tychius."

"My apologies. I had something to attend to in my lab." Tychius shut the council room door behind him, and moved to his seat with his fellow archmages. "I presume the unkempt ruffians haggling with that clerk outside are yours, Celeste?"

"Yes," Agent Celeste responded. It seemed that even she didn't have much time before the meeting; she wasn't as travel stained as the adventurers outside, but she was still wearing padded armour. "They were more than reasonably competent, so I don't blame them for trying to land a better payment." She glanced at Demetrius. "Shall I continue?"

"Agent Celeste has been informing us of the state of affairs in Krizsan province," Demetrius explained. "Apparently, the Alliance of Science and Education has fallen apart."

"Yes. There's still somewhat of a remnant east of Silvar, in the villages surrounding what remains of Bolton. I'm using the term loosely - the title of Director is passed around every six months or so, usually violently."

To his left, Cara leaned forward. "And what lies to the west of that? Surely the Hunters have not expanded back that far yet."

"Well, there is a Hunter presence in Krizsan now, or so we heard. But that's as much sway as they hold for now in the area." Celeste steepled her fingers. "Soon after we arrived in Pergies, an small army entered Delan. Supposedly, they are Imperial soldiers who came from the north. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them weren't originally soldiers of the Empire; it's been a long while since the revolution. However, we did get a close look at their standards - it's the old 51st. What's more, by all accounts they are lead by a bona fide Dervish."

"A loyalist, this far south..." Demetrius shook his head. "The fact that the remnants of an Imperial regiment would set up shop in Valorim is strange in itself. That's something you would expect in the heartland of the Empire, not here. I can just imagine how Archmage Boris would react."

Cara spoke up. "And what is the state of relations between these loyalists and the Hunters in Krizsan?"

"We didn't note any hostilities, Archmage, and we suspect that some sort of truce was established between them," Celeste responded. "While we out west, the army spent most of its time consolidating power in the region. However, as we returned on the northern leg of our journey, we heard that Silvar had been taken by it. I'm not sure how the Hunters would react to that."

"Poorly, would be my guess," Tychius remarked dryly. He glanced around the council room. "Contacting this Dervish would be prudent, I'm sure."

"Of course," Demetrius replied. "At the very least, we need to get a sense of the man. As soon as Archmage Boris returns with the assurance that we can send a diplomatic party through Hunter lands in safety, we should send a group to meet with him."

At the other side of the council room, Archmage Diego swore loudly. Tychius had almost forgotten the man was there - he hardly ever spoke at the meetings. Demetrius looked at him hard, then turned back to Celeste. "Thank you for your report, Agent Celeste. You are dismissed." After she had left the room, he said, "Spill it, Diego."

"You know bloody well what I mean, Demetrius. I know you think the treaty is necessary, but it galls us all to ask permission to pass through their lands."

"It's a necessary evil, Archmage Diego," Eliza stated. "We've been fortunate enough to have the mountains to the north, but one scant river and a few patrols won't be enough to secure the western border. We need to extend the olive branch."

Diego glared at her with his one eye. "Were it any other entity, I would agree. But these are the Hunters. Surely none of you believe that they have turned a new leaf, have you? They'll still keep on lynching, murdering, and expanding - only this time they're moving back south instead of north."

Demetrius cleared his throat. "No idealist enjoys dealing with such xenophobes. But those here in this council chamber cannot afford to be idealists, only realists. There may be a time in the distant future when we will be able to secure our western border, regardless of how the Hunters feel about us. But until then, we will rely on our diplomatic relations with them."

***

"A necromancer?" Boris pursed his lips in disgust. "Surely you don't believe that the College teaches such arts? We don't consider it a capital crime as some do, but all who inquire too deeply face a harsh reprimand, and those who actually practise the black arts face an immediate expulsion."

Surprisingly for a former druid, Evergreen persisted. "But surely, Archmage, you would know of someone with some skill in the field. Or some former apprentice who did dapple in the art."

Boris shook his head vehemently. "No, I do not. Granted, I am not one who oversees such distasteful matters, but I assure you that there is no such mage or student at Redmark College who would suit your needs."

"Very well. I am sure you will make the necessary inquiries discreetly upon your return." The other man cocked his head. "And what of the Hunters' other requests?"

Boris had to think for a moment; Evergreen's strange request had driven them from his mind. "We would be pleased to provide the Hunters with a contingent of battle mages to save guard against an attack from the Anama. I agree, a military alliance may prove to be for the best. I would hope that were the Dominion to come under attack, the Hunters would respond in kind. Regrettably, we have yet to make contact with the Sanctuary." From what he had heard, the faction was far from militant, though he had to placate the diplomat. "Perhaps if these priests see the Dominion backing the Hunters, they would think twice before expanding into your territory." If expanding they were.

Evergreen nodded, and waited expectantly. Boris wanted to avoid allowing the missionaries of the Hunters into Dominion lands. Their message of racism would not gain as much of a foothold there as other places - the bulk of the fighting against the Rakshasi had occurred on the western border, back and forth across the river and in Golddale. Still, he didn't doubt that they would cause some sort of problem. However, he didn't see a way out of it. He had to ensure that the Dominion would be able to send units through Hunter lands, and so the Dominion had to reciprocate in kind. "Have no fear, your missionaries will not be accosted, though I cannot guarantee their message will be accepted. I hope that one of the basic tenants of our new treaty is the capability to send non-military units across each others land freely."

Boris paused before answering the final request. In essence, it was the same as the one about the missionaries, but targeted at the students of the College instead of the common populace. That he had to find a way to reject. Finally, he shrugged his shoulders and responded. "As for contributing to the histories, all matters pertaining to them are dealt with by the archivists of Redmark College. Certainly, we would be happy to allow anyone, Hunter or otherwise, to be admitted to the College and be trained with the histories as part of their apprentice duties." He didn't add that all the senior archivists were greybeards, stooped with age.

Boris glanced over his shoulder at a rustling sound. "Ah, the initial drafts have arrived. Brother, do you have anything else to discuss before we set ink to parchment?"

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3:00. Post OOC tomorrow.
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Shaper
Member # 3442
Profile Homepage #49
OOC: Only one bridge in 300 years. And it's wood. Whatever. I'll play along. It's no biggie :P

Delan

Gathin had read the letter from the Hunters and laughed. Only somebody shaken, or else inexperienced enough to get riled by a bit of playful diplomacy, would have risen to the bait and used such preposterous titles. And as for a meeting to be held in a fortnight, that was fine. He scribbled a quick reply, before handing it back to the rider.

"I propose I speak to somebody who wields proper authority in your "organisation", rather than a babysitter, before handing over the Imperial city of Silvar to you, but you have my gratitude at opening your markets to us. You should take the trip to Delan sometime, so that we may partake in some Solarian wine I have saved away.

Yours,

Imperial Dervish, and Emperor-in-Waiting, Victor Gathin Solarius the First, Scion of Aizo, Light of Pralgrad, Champion of Vantanas and Saviour of Valorim."


He chuckled again as he signed his preposteriously long title, and also at the complete crap that Barleycorn (that name again) had signed his name with, ("Doctor Judge Conquistador?") and leaned back in his chair. He closed his eyes and let his thoughts drift.

* * *

Suddenly, there was a rapping at the door.

"Enter."

A tall runner entered the room, and immediately began talking. "Sir, sir, we have a letter from the north. Midori province," he said, catching his breath. "We were given to it by a runner, who is staying away from our cities. He came from the north, apaprently."

Gathin took the letter and read it. Huh. So there was a need for an Empire force up north. Just then, he was interrupted again as another soldier entered the room.

"Sir! The bridge to Silvar has been lost. It's been burnt. We have no way across!"

The news hit Gathin slowly. He blinked twice, before standing up, and striding to the soldier. "You're absolutely sure?" he hissed. This wasn't good...

"Yessir, everything's gone there..."

At that moment, the rider that Gathin had sent to Krizsan also strode into the room, taking up what little space was left.

"Err, Sir?"

"Yes, I know, the bridge." Gathin snapped. Wait! Something occured to him, and he made his way to the bookcases that lined the northern wall of his office. He had spent some time in Krizsan as a soldier, before being promoted to a Dervish, and that, coupled with his upbringing in the area led him to a deep knowledge of the land. He was sure there was a ford to the north of the bridge. Positive of the fact. He located an old map, and moved his finger along the river, spotting it immediately.

"Right! You," he pointed to the rider. "Go tell Captain Archibald to gather two dozen men, and make for this point. Go with him. Once there, you are to continue south to Silvar to inform Captain Unwin of the ford. Then, continue to Krizsan. DO NOT tell anybody apart from the people I have mentioned how you crossed the river. And tell the Captain he is to hold the ford at all costs. Understood? In fact, give him this letter."

Gathin grabbed some paper, and scribbled a quick note: No bridge, so hold the ford, lest we're trapped here. I'll brief you properly tomorrow. - Gathin

The rider nodded the assertive, and left. Now, Gathin turned to the soldier who had come in to tell him of the bridge. "You, it's Samuels, isn't it?" The soldier nodded, and Gathin smiled. "I want you to go and find Sister Clarice. She will probably be in the temple. Tell her I wish to see her. It's time to find somebody else on this continent, now that the Hunters are playing their tricks."

The soldier must have looked confused, for Gathin continued, "I recieved a letter from the Hunters that was, shall we say "less than friendly", just before the bridge "gave out". It doesn't take a genius to add two and two together. Go find the Sister, and return with her. We're going to find out what's happening in Sharamik and Golddale."

The soldier ran off, leaving Gathin and the runner with the letter from Midori. Gathin sat down, and read the letter again. He couldn't go running off up north, despite the potential gains - firstly he didn't want to leave Delan and Silvar vulnerable, but also, until a bridge could be built, he had no way to get across. Fortunately, about half of the supplies from Silvar had already made it's way into the saftey of the Crown, so nobody would starve for a while, but large scale military actions would have to wait. He scribbled a note in reply, and handed it back to the soldier:

"Derek,

I can only suggest that, at this time, you report this activity to a governor of a nearby Imperial city. At this time the Empire cannot make a journey to the north, due to the activities of certain factions closer to us, but know that we will ride up at the earliest opportunity. Until then, fly the banner of the Crown high.

Imperial Dervish Victor Gathin, leader of the Phoneix Empire.
"

It was unfortunate, but until word come from somebody with real authority, Gathin wouldn't risk any of his men. He sealed the letter, and handed it to the runner. "Take this to the messenger, wish him luck, and then return to me. Oh, and bring a carpenter, too."

The soldier left, leaving Gathin to his thoughts.

Silvar

Things had gone smoothly since Umwin had taken back the city. Krizsan had been quiet, and a small force of refugees had made their way from Delis to help rebuild. With a population of about 100 now, Silvar seemed to be entering a new, productive phase.

That night, however, the city was awoken by the ringing of the alarm, and a blazing fire could be seen to the west. Immediately, a small band of soldiers went to investigate, but too late - the bridge that spanned the river back to Delan had collapsed. The people of Silvar were cut off...

* * *

A few hours later, as dawn approached, a rider heralded from the north, bearing the a flag with a golden crown upon it. As the gates opened for it, Unwin strode from the barracks to greet the rider. The two men talked for a while, before the rider continued south. Unwin re-entered the barracks, and shouted to the troops inside. "Everybody, up. We need wood, and we need it now."

New Sumar

Things were going well, and the first shoots of the crop were beginning to creep out from the dark earth into the salty air of the town. The crop fields were extensive and varied, and in a few months, after the first harvest, the Empire as it was would be self-sufficient.

Krizsan

Gathin's rider approached the city gates, and called out to the Hunter forces inside. "I have a reply from His Imperial Majesty, Dervish Gathin..."

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Dintiradan/Nioca: I'm a-coming for ya. Also, yah, sorry for the length, but it's mostly planning, and I wanted to get it done with.

[ Saturday, January 19, 2008 02:58: Message edited by: Hey, Jude. ]

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Nikki's Nook - forget about your house of cards, and I'll deal mine.
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00

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