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Karthan 02- Elder Wilds
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: K214 Reply with quote

K214: 1Guiaranor12: The Muster

Dana nods and the 3 gather their equipment and leave the Manor through the opened main gate and enter the forest. “The nearest village is about 3 hours south of here.” Dana explains.

The reach the village of Rylfaell as darkness falls and the village is larger than Mharfaell, its tall trees home to many exotic wooden structures on massive landings, connected by spiral stairways.

“We should rest at the inn.” Mak suggests.
“No, we have to find the crown before it leaves the forest.” Dana returned insistently. “Look you have been among them before…find someone in charge.”
“Well I have but in another village.” Mak replies.

“Did you use our swords to kill the two guards.” Mak asked while trying to determine who to approach. There were so many people about this evening, most returning home from the market and other tasks.
Dana just nods.
“Why did you do that?” Mak insists.
“I know what you are.” Kam adds smiling. Remembering he saw the wolf in her.
“Looks this crown…what are we going to do with it, when we get it.” Maks asks.
“I don’t know…up to these people.” Dana replies.
“Is the crown for the Emperor?" Mak asks.
“No…the usurper, there is a difference.”
“Right, but it will give him power.” Mak inquires.
“Yes.” Dana replies.

They meet Fahrran, Lord Ranger , who knows Myandwyr well. “Of course he is known here.”
Mak explains the reason for them being here. “The mercenaries are in your lands, crossing your territory.”
“That will explain the disturbances in the forest. Come with me.”

He takes the 3 up a spiral staircase, 300 ft above the village to a landing where an expansive lodge is built. There are a number of archers and guards around. There inside they meet the Elder, Calvywyn and Lord Beastmaster Maenwyn “Wyvern” has a large blue furred Wyvern familiar.
Both have heard of Mak and Kam and greet them, knowing they are under the charge of Myandwyr. Mak explains the immediate threat. “I chanced upon them when I was exploring a ruined manor in the woods.” He adds by way of explaining how he knew of the threat.


Dana adds “The crown, should the usurper get this, will give him chaos dominion over anyone within his presence. He could very well affect them with the chaos taint…for which I know the Church is unable to cure. I have family in Mhalafrei, they could not leave as I did. I don’t want to see them affected by this hideous creation.”

Consultation follows and bird familiars are sent to Mharfaell, Coppertown and Wynfril to organise a muster of available forces. The three get to rest…a brew is given to Mak and Kam that heals their CON at 1 pt/hr.

While they rest the muster from Rylfaell is prepared led by Maenwyn “Wyvern”
37 Ranger/Archers, 18 Beastmasters and 45 creatures, 10 Shamans, 4 Animists, Mak, Kam, Dana.

Later that evening a shaman casts a spirit bridge at a stone circle in the forest south of the village. Through the bridge arrives the musters of Coppertown, Mharfaell and Wynfril.
Coppertown: 46 Rangers/Archers, 25 Beastmasters and 47 familiars as well as 3 Therim W/fighters, Tanek, Dettar and Calfourn
Wynfril: 24 Ranger/Archers, 14 Beastmasters and 23 familiars and 2 Shamans.
Mharfaell: 18 Ranger/Archers including Gwynraell and Lhann, 18 Beastmasters and 43 familiars and 2 Shamans, including Tharnak. Led by Myandwyr.

“Can’t you two keep out of trouble.” Myandwyr remarks with a wane smiled at Mak and Kam.
“I think we have done remarkable well so far." Mak replies proudly "We have traveled a long way to get here, and we did not have to use magic to do it, though it would have been easier.”
“Well…after all that my friend, you have survived.” Myandwyr returns. "We shall speak of your travels later. Council awaits us."

Counsel held that evening at the Gathering Hall at Rylfaell. There are 20 in attendance not including Mak, Kam and Dana. A feast is prepared as the council takes place. Myandwyr is honoured as the one who will lead the attack. Once he hears of the situation Myandwyr uses a silver gem and speaks through it in a strange language and then nodding informs the council. “This crown is known of. It was taken from the ruins of Lasgalen, near the Garthang Ranges. Gaining this crown is one matter, what to do with it is also a matter of course we must take. To this end I have contacted a friend who can destroy the crown and ensure it’s power never again affects or influences the good citizens of the empire.”

Dana breathes a sigh of relief.

A plan of attack is discussed. “If the mercenary company rides hard, they could be in Thauron by the morning.” Gwynraell informed.
Dana agrees. “They are riding War Horses that are demon spawned and their power grows at night. The only hindrance I feel will be the forest itself.”
“And the spirits within.” Myandwyr replied with the others in the Gathering Hall murmuring their agreement.

What Myandwyr suggests is that archers line both sides of the trail climbing perhaps 30ft high and concealing themselves near the top of the undergrowth. The first archers on both sides are to cover the first riders and thus it goes down the line. “I do not expect our spells to influence these horses.”
“Perhaps we can have a number of the horses leading targeted by the archers.” Maenwyn suggested. “If they fall…we may cause the others behind to slow down avoiding their fallen brethren.”
Some among the council do not agree. Targeting horses was not a tactic has ever been considered, for respect to the animal than it’s rider.

“Well, you are going to have to get used to the idea.” a gruff voice says from the doorway. Turning Mak and Kam sees 10 dwarves (Tordagh) and a young faired haired human boy…perhaps 14-yrs old. But what impresses them both is their leader, tall at 5ft, their leader is strongly built, clad in reddish/silver mithril armour with a scarlet cloak, his silver hair and beard refined. There was a air of charisma about him, of strength and power that impressed Mak and caused discomfort to Kam. Across his back is slung a mighty twin bladed axe. Each of the others are also well armoured, armed with crossbows and axes, slung over their backs. The boy, Mak sensed charisma about him too and power.
“Bali, welcome my friend.”
“Myandwyr. I hope you have thought about me in this battle. ” The dwarf grins. They both shake hands and Myandwyr shows his guest to a spare chair reserved for him it seemed at the council. The others gathered are in awe of Bali’s arrival and treat him with great respect. A large tankard of ale is provided to him. “So, what is the plan?”
Myandwyr explains the plan and Bali nods. “Look let’s get real about this. What do you know of this company?”
“They are Warrior Monks, who ride demon spawned horses.”
“Right…I have heard of them. Therein lies your two problems. How many of you have encountered a Warrior Monk before?”
It was apparent no one had.

Kam says "yeah, we've kicked their arses recently. oh, wait a minute those weren't the monks they were the bandits who were hiding from the monks."

Mak says "forgive my eager friend, he gets confused and excited rather too easily. we have encountered the arrior monks as they captured us and tortured us for several days. they are not pleasant to deal with. they animated my severed hand and made me fight it. they are truly evil. it was us who brought the news here about them, with Dana."

“Animated…hmm. So you 3 have brought this matter to our attention…well done.” Bali nods. He looks to the bard for a moment, who is watching Mak and Kam closely. “They are a profession of the Church…there equivalent of Warrior/fighters, but with the arts of meditation, speed and hand combat, they are capable of attacking a foe more times than many of you can. I know that this group was influenced by the Dark Religion, so they have now become evil…something rare for any who serve the Church and the gods. Cursed are they for falling down this path. Killing them will require a 3 on 1 advantage, crowd them, force them to concentrate on defending rather than attacking. Their weapons are staff, twin blades...their hands and feet. As for the horses, you have to kill them. If you don’t they will kill you, either by trampling or their teeth. In this I can aid. We have developed a poison that will affect the horse, still flesh and blood, but tainted with undeath and the demon that possesses it. The poison, Ruilac, will not harm anyone here, so for those who have no qualms about killing the horses, tip your arrows before we leave. The poison remains in effect until it is used. Where do you plan to attack them?”
“On the road north of Thauron.” Myandwyr replies. “If the wood spirits are making their movement through the forest difficult they will welcome the south road that leads to Thauron and beyond the Elders Wilds. Do you know what this crown is, that was found at Lasgalen.”
Bali nodded. “The Crown of Corruption…a creation of a lich and thought lost for many centuries. The lich was slain by the Silver Alliance, in a time and history that the empire has long since forgotten. But records of the crown’s existence did survive and these records were undoubtedly discovered by the Crushaidhin Company at Lasgalen and brought to the attention of the Usurper in Mhalafrei. And they were subsequently tasked to retrieve it and retrieve it they have.”
“Is it’s effect on people as what Dana earlier informed…total domination of those within his presence?”
“Yes” Bali replied. “Any good people who are affected…dominated, will find that their lives are forever changed. This crown brings them to the path of evil and chaos, faster than any other item, known. If it is used against the population of Mhalafrei and even Thereck, ruled by the Usurpers son, death could be their only merciful release. The empire could not survive possible invasion by such a massed controlled army…that would only be serving Kharagh and Darkness Claw. And that my good friends and fellow warriors in battle, we cannot allow!!!!”

The council hall was quiet. Mak could sense in the expressions of those here that matters pertaining to the wide world had suddenly come into their own private forest home.
“Let’s eat and prepare for battle.” Bali suggested rising to his feet. The others nodding and the doors of the hall were opened to allow those mustered for the battle to enter and partake in the feast.

During the feast Gwynraell joins Mak and Kam. “Be wary of the 3 Therim that accompanied the muster from Coppertown. They have been asking of you and are in the company of a Sorcerer. They followed your trail to Forge Valley but found nothing. I think Olyia and others covered your investigation of the site. I lead them there as instructed by Myandwyr.”

"thanks for warning --- why are they interested?"

"... must be to do with the sorcerer's lord, the one who likes to interfere (Khios)"

chat to Dana - how does she feel in the presence of Bali? Yes. She isn't evil ... not like Kam (selfish, aloof) ... she might be a natural shapechanger.

what would the impact of the crown have been on her? she has family in Mhalafrei which is where the crown's power would have been focused. her people are trapped there by three mercenary forces. group guarding border is called Company of the Sword (20,000 in number). they were in Thereck but have been redeployed to guard the border. this her chance to free her family. we might be able to help her do that? perhaps.

Three therim? feast, chat, drink beer, "we're here to help"

Last edited by vampyre on Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:16 pm    Post subject: K215 Reply with quote

K215: 1Guiaranor12: North of Thauron

After the feast the force prepares for battle. The archers assigned to target the horses are given vials of a silver coloured oil and instructions by the Tordagh that accompanied Bali Foehammer.

I Maks asks what they are going to do.

They leave, the night sky clear and cool, two of the three moons visible in the sky and entering the forest come to the stone circle where a white mist swirls, marking the spirit bridge. The muster passes through and for Mak and Kam it is like walking through mist then emerging at another stone circle…the stones here weathered, taller…pillar like in shaped, and more in number. “Our position is about a mile from the south road and Thauron lies 10 miles south of here.” Myandwyr informs.
The young bard turns to Bali and says something and Bali nods. “We had better move. We have 3 hours to prepare.”

Moving through the forest the muster reaches the road, a well traveled and cared for wide avenue sided by the forest. “Just where will they emerge, do we know?” One of the rangers asks.
“Send our bird familiars…track them down.” Mywandwyr instructed.
An owl hooted…seemingly approving of the suggestion.
The familiars return and speaking with the Shamans and animists, the Beastmasters say where would emerge is 2 miles south of here, so the muster moves along the road at a steady pace, Mak and Kam given potions to enable them to keep pace. The Tordagh easily keep pace with the Woodmen, Bali and Myandwyr talking like old friends.
Kam overhears Bali saying. “So that is them…I thought so. Elatan told me as such.”
“Elatan?” Myandwyr inquires. “Is that the bard with you?”
“Yes…and don’t ask my friend. The answer may change your life forever. What of the other Therim?”
“They have volunteered their services it seems. But we know they in the company of a Sorcerer and interested in our guests.”
Bali spat on the ground. “That damned interfering know it all. What is his interest in them?”
“We do not know.” Mywandwyr replies.

Stopping after some time, the Beastmasters confirmed with their familiars the approximate location given a 300yrd radius where the Crushaidhin Company would emerge, so traveling south for another 1000yrds approx Mywandwyr and others of the council checked the forest on either side of the road and moving another 200yrds, determined this would be the best place for the ambush. The Ranger/Archers move to the closest trees on both sides of the road and using climb spells they easily spider climbed until they were above the undergrowth and positioned themselves.

Myandwyr and other leaders group the muster into 3’s with Gwynraell teaming with Mak and Kam. Then each are given potions. “Drink this when the riders reach us.” Bali instructs. “It will enable you to attack twice against them or one possible vital strike.” (enables 2 attacks/rnd, or 1 attack with the critical threshold lowered by 10).

“Beastmasters, arrange your familiars so that 2 are attacking an individual target.” Myandwyr added.
The Shamans and animists gather together and move into the forest to prepare.

Mak, Kam and Gwynraell are positioned at the southern point of the attack, close to Myandwyr and Bali. Gwynraell informs that the Shamans would ensure that none of the muster is detected. “Through their own special magics.” he says confidantly.

The bard, Elatan is there beside Bali and he does not seemed concerned about the coming battle. Bali’s 10 Tordagh are on the opposite side…and Mak saw the 3 Therim positioned on the opposite side too, further up, conveniently by Myandwyr himself.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject: k216 Reply with quote

K216: 1Guiaranor12: Betrayal

Dettar leaves the group and rendevouz with Rhan, who is concealed close to the ambush. The Sorcerer has used new developed spells that use the essence without creating the slightest disruption in the Essence natural flow. Dettar speaks of the attack plan and Rhan communicates with the Dark Sorcerer.
“So…Bali Foehammer is there, this intrigues me.” The Dark Sorcerer was pleased with the news. The damned spirit attack was still reverberating in his mind!!!So, the former Tordagh adventurer of the Empress Lonarwaen was there at the site of the proposed battle…yes proposed indeed. Who is this Tordagh Lord? There was one way to find out. Arrangements had to be done swiftly.

“Rhan, you know what to do. But this I will tell you. Hire intelligent capable guards next time. These fools are now fodder to me. I will assign you my own to assist in your tasks. Meet them at the LaKinMaer Inn in Thauron. They will be there in 9 hours.”
Rhan nods and turns to Dettar. “Remain with me. The others will represent us in the battle. I need to get to Thauron immediately, guide me there now.” And once there…you are dead for failing ME and MY MASTER!!!

The Dark Sorcerer takes but a moment to engineer his plan. A small game of what is real and what is not. He communicates to the Crushaidhin Mercenary Company. It is all about KNOWING who is who in this world.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: k217 Reply with quote

K217: 1Guiaranor 12: Ambush

The thundering sounds of horses is heard advancing down the road towards them. The riders approach…Mak and Kam can see them under the star lit sky…they get close and when the lead black cloaked riders are about 50 ft in front, the archers fire. The first of the horses stumble to the ground, legs collapsing beneath them crashing onto the road and they disappear, the riders tumbling onto the ground, their mounts taken from beneath them. The riders themselves rise to their feet turning to see the others descending upon them and disappear as archers fire arrows where they once were.
“That was not supposed to happen.” Bali says. “What is this?”

Kam looks and realizes that something about this is not right also …he just cannot figure it out. More horses fall, collapse and vanishing as they do. The riders fall but they gather themselves quickly their masterful skill in athletics and prowess noticed by everyone watching. They look for their foes, their black robes concealing everything including their intentions. Then for a moment he sees their dark forms shimmer and they are gone. Kam thinks on this. This smells of an elaborate one at that. He makes the suggestion and Bali turns to him.

“That is IT" the Tordagh Lord exclaims. "How foolish of me to fall for THIS!!!” With a flash of his blade, a sound emits that seems to distort the horses and riders…blurring them and then they disappear. The road is empty…it was like nothing had happened. Silence falls…everyone feels it. “I sure miss this.” Bali muttered bitterly disappointed.

Myandwyr looks at Kam who says. “So is that it? Is there going to be no real attack.”
Bali breathes deeply. “There will be boy…there will be. We have to find them. Myandwyr do something…you have birds that sort of thing. How I miss this, I could use my power...but not here, too revealing.”
Myandwyr nods and a number of familiars are sent up. "How did they know? Tharnak assured me we would not have been detected by their magic.”
Bali shrugs. “Who knows…who cares. We can worry about that later…but those 3 Therim you were talking about. You might want to check on them.”

The familiars soon find the Crushaidhin Company and report back. The mercenaries had crossed the road further north and heading west, towards the hills, there trail destroying life in the forest before them.
"This way...I know where we can intercept them. And there is somewhere there who can assist us." Myandwyr informs. Returning to the stone circle, another spirit bridge is cast and they emerge at another circle before tall forested hills. Nestling the hills is a large tower, standing 300m tall, of black obsidian, the sparkling stone structure covered in starlight.

Kam notices one of the three Therim is not there. He points it out to one of the Tordagh. Bali is informed and walks across to the two, Calfourn and Taneck and says. “Well where is he and what has he said to that scum sorcerer you work with.”
The other two are scared out of their wits. One of them says he had to leave to talk to Rhan…that was his orders.
“Elatan.” Bali calls. “Was this illusion the Dark Sorcerer’s work.”
“Yes…he is intrigued by your presence here…Bali, and who you are.”
“Hmm…he will know soon enough, when I am good and ready.” Bali says. “Chain these two scum and put them far away from me.” And it is done. They get tied and sleep spells cast on them.

From the captured it is soon learned by questioning from two Tordagh that Rhan is a Sorcerer in service to the Dark Sorcerer. He is interested in the two that are one...Mak and Kam. They do not know why.

While this is happening the muster is visited by an elderly gentleman in flowing blue robes, dotted with silver stars. He is carrying a silver staff. “My…my…so many guests.” He says politely. “Welcome to you…such a clear beautiful night to view the beautiful creations of Elenmire.”
“Indeed old friend.” Myandwyr smiles. “We intend to be the area for some time…and may require your aid.”
“Oh…of course, Myandwyr…so nice to see you again my old friend.”
Myandwyr smiles. “Good to see you again Ryen. We may need you aid in the coming battle, will you assist my friend?”
“Oh…a battle, oh my…well of course. The stars are so clear tonight. The beauty of Elenmire is here for us to see and take heart by.”
Myandwyr nods respectfully “Indeed my friend. We need to know the direction that evil riders are taking…”
“Oh them…I felt there presence an hour ago. Do you see the tall alm tree, where the clearing meets the stream. They will be there in…oh let me work this out…yes…less than 2 hours from now. Oh they are so hideous, their horses are more so.”
Myandwyr nods. “Thank you, can you aid us against them Ryen.”
“Of course. I am a servant of the blessed Elenmire, the Star Queen. Light will always succeeds over darkness. I will accompany you as well as my elementals. I think between us my friend we will have a few surprises for our foes. Oh surprising to see Tordagh among us.”

Bali joins them with a nod of respect to the astrologer. "You may provide us with that which will enable us to succeed. Our previous plan is compromised, but with you and you elementals, I think we can give them a forest welcome they will not forget."
Ryen is somewhat surprised but acknowledges with a smile. "I have 20 elementals of Elenmire at your service. I can further make the night very unpleasant for those who tred an evil path."
Bali smiles. "I like this man." he says to Myandwyr. "No wonder you are friends."

Myandwyr sends orders for scouts to be sent. Kam volunteers and groups of 4 are sent, while bird familiars are sent to the alm tree so that a renewed ambush could take place.

I Kam who is this to Mak;. Mak speaks privately to Elatan and Bali later on
"I am do you do?"
"So where did you come from?" kam asks.
"I am with Bali." the young faired haired boy replies.
"Aren't you a little bit too young to be running around with soldiers in the wild?" kam says.
"No." he replies.
"You seem pretty ceratin fo a child"
"I am certain."
"So what do you do, other than sing and make up stories?" kam stirs.
"I do not make them up. There are plenty of stories to be told." He then proceeds to tell a story about a person in the desert named Marerandas Krysilryn who mets Lazar...

Kam says "whatever, sounds fairly far-fetched to ordinary people."
Mak overhears and say s "Just shut up Kam," Don't make him talk about things like that.
Mak asks Elitaan if he can have a private chat ... away from Kam's prying ear s and mouth?

They do so and Mak speaks about the story. "How many people have you told that one to?"
"Only Bali."
"Good, when did you tell him?"
"Soon after you arrived."
"OK - so you saw our arrival in what? a vision?"
"No Marerandas, I do not need visions to see."
"Then how do you see it? how do these thoughts come to you?"
"What makes you think they come to me?"
"You're a strange child Elitaan." Mak tells him "I beg of you not to repeat what you know to others. it seems dangerous types are looking for the two of us and we really don't want more knowlege of our origins being spoken ofg than people need to know. we're brothers and that's all your story should be. I think you are not really a child are you? are you a god? or a greater spirit? more than that?"
"I am two that are one also. Law and Chaos, one controls the other. I am the sum of both. I do not make visions Mak I see all that happens. Including you and Kam splitting, though that was not my doing. Indeed you were not ever to be that time...that place. Now you are."
"So what stopped you from stopping our arrival?"
"You are here as two and are split because of another power and I let it come to pass."
"Then for that we should be grateful. Thank you for sharing some of the greater mystery that's a valued insight."

Kam goes out with a patrol to track the riders.

Mak is approached by Bali. "Well I see you and Elatan seem to be getting along."
"Yes Bali ... he has told me a lot, more than I expected he would share. In fact, he shared some surpising revelations about me and where I am from. He also said he had adventured with you for a long time."
"Yes ... we go back a long ways."
"How did you meet Elitaan and was he always a child ?"
"Oh always ... 30 years now. Has he told you about what he may be."
"Yes he has - where I am from, he would most certainly be thought of as a god or of god-like nature"
Bali smiles. "Let me put it to you this way - when you come to my realm you will know who he is. My realm is the only realm that has a temple to him in true form. Yes he is a god and he is more than one and Khios has not put you here - The High King has not put you here - he has put you here - he has done that for a reason and only he knows what that is. Not me, not the Dark Sorcerer, not the High King...not even the Star Queen, Elenmire. They are all to him...creations."
"Then I look forward to seeing your realm. Clearly that is our destiny.."
"No, not quite. I will unveil my realm when the time is right. your destiny lies beyond it. Elitaan is keepng that tightly to himself. I gather until you arrive to us you have things to do here." He points to te falcon crest. "Do you know what that represents?"
"Not really, I am trying to unravel the clues."
"What you have on your hand is very important." Bali says. He informs that there is a situation in the empire of vital importance. The Empress Lonarwaen has discvered beneath imperial capital that spirits of 10,000 people who served the ancient kings known as starfire kings long before Karthan was even founded the descendants of Starfire Kings who later became known in legend as the Ralconers. In the near future the Silvarana High King, will return their spirits to a physical form. (an agreement was made). The reason is that the Empress Lonarwaen has fallen in love with the last of the kings (Alladan) and he has been advising/helping her for a number of years. A male heir is important. getting elidaan his physical form back is vital. The falcon crest Mak has reminds Bali of stories he had heard of possible survivors...the Silver Alliance. Bali believes their leader was a Falconer. if these survivors could be found they would rally around Alladan and serve hm, this could increase the empires chances in the war. "Who knows what powers they will bring with them because they existed long before Khios did, in the days of legendary creatures and when gods walked the world."

"What else do you have apart from ring and sword" he asks.
A compass, missing one needle. I am looking for the lost needle." Mak shows the compass to Bali and he instructs how to use it. It points towards hills in a south-westerly direction. Mak asks what what that means.
"It's a pointer." Bali summons Ryen, the Astrologer. He concentrates...mountains, plains either side...grasslands...night...guard tower...the place is hidden...Sardion...Hills of Sardion. "That is where the compass point ends." Bali says. That is where you will find what you seek."

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: K218 1Guiaranor12 - Battle and Separation Reply with quote

K218 Battle and Separation

The next ambush attack is similar to the last with the archers armed with poisoned arrows positioned in the trees over the trail the riders are expected to pass by. Ryen and Bali will halt their forward momentum with an array of blinding lights spells and lightning bolts. “Believe in the light for it will always succeed over darkness.” Ryen says.
“Whatever it takes to eliminate the horses.” Bali replied. “The monks will be bad enough on their own. From what Elatan has told me, they do not know what happened with their illusionary ruse. The Dark Sorcerer has been unable to contact them…what a shame.”
“He who meddles in the affairs of men has found such affairs involve more than just men and himself. A lesson he has learned this night.” Ryen agreed. “of just how involved the others are prepared to be.”
“Hmm…it would seem the forest spirits have made their presence felt indeed.” Bali said nodding.

Myandwyr used birds to track the advancing mercenary company. The shamans activate spirit shield spells to prevent the muster from being detected, enhanced by the forest spirits who unveiled themselves, aware of the situation. Beastmasters positioned their familiars for maximum impact, for that was the basic plan to overwhelm the mercenary company forcing them to defend against multiple targets.

Dana joined Mak and Kam, positioned near to where Bali and Ryen stood, preparing to cast their spells.
“Wait until the archers have fired Ryen, to allow the poison to take effect.” Bali instructed. Ryen nodded in reply.
“Here we go again.” Dana commented as she joins Mak and Kam.
“We are ready.” Mak says.
Kam just grunts in acknowledgment

The sound of the horses approach. The air grew cold and the forest became calm and silent. Mak could sense the evil of the mercenary company…and the taint of chaos, but this time, he felt fear, trepidation and dread…his own. The riders emerge, the mounts thundering through the undergrowth at speed, riders cloaked, the glint of steel and silver illuminated briefly by the starlit sky above. Mak could see arrows taking flight and moments later was blinded by intense flashes of lightning that struck the riders, engulfing them within a cone more than 300m in length. Mak saw the cone was emitting from Ryen’s staff, the elder astrologer concentrating uttering what seemed to be an incantation. Then from Bali’s Great Axe, a sliver of 50 shards of light explodes into the advancing riders, shards ….

The effect lasts a few seconds, then ends, plummeting the area into darkness. Everyone is temporarly blindned and Mak can sense rage from in front of him, one of the mercenaries…a fallen monk and he strikes Mak…2 chopping blows to the head, the third a kick to the ribs…Mak is stunned by the sudden swiftness and strength of the attacks. Kam moves in knowing there is fighting to his left, Dana has encountered a foe. He moves and the figure turns to face him, face covered in a black cowl. The foe is too quick and strikes Kam twice in the chest with its clawed fist, and a kick that misses. Kam misses in his attack and his foe stumbles trying to position for another attack…giving Kam initiative, which he takes striking the foe. The foe attempting to rise to his feet stumbles again…the undergrowth proving difficult to him. Kam strikes him again wounding his back. The foe rises to his feet…Kam has a free attack and misses, his foe avoiding, moving like a blur. Kam is attacked twice, two armoured fists striking his chest and shoulders. Gaining initiative Kam attacks and strikes his foe and is struck again by two fist attacks, swift and powerful…before seemingly loosing sight of him for a second…a blur. The foe misses, his fists glancing off Kam’s armour. Kam strikes a powerful blow staggering his foe slightly. Kam presses his attack, striking again, stunning his foe. His foe removes two long knives, the blades moistened red and Kam attempting to attack nearly loses his weapon, perhaps realising what the moistened blades might mean. Mak has eventually come to his senses and attacks the foe with the Glimmer Sword. Realising the swords power, the foe turns and strikes Mak with one of the long knives…the slashing wound across the arm weakening him…making him feel dizzy. Mak and he disappears detects the compass marker was responsible. The foe attempts to attack Kam with both knives and misses…Kam attacks and slays the foe, the form disappearing leaving just the black monk’s habit.

Kam can hear combat around him…but next to him Dana is in combat with one of the fallen monks. Dana is presently using her two swords to defend the heightened 4 prong fist attacks. Sensing a advantage to his attack, Kam approaches and preparing to attack drops his sword…surprised…how did he do that. You retrieve the weapon avoiding a horse rearing next to him before it being impaled by an arrow. About him monks are in combat with familiars, beastmasters and Rangers. Mywandwyr and Bali together cutting them down as they advance down the trail. The ground is littered with the carcasses of dead horses.

The foe squares off against Dana and Kam. Kam attacks and strikes and the foe replies by attacking twice, with one armoured hand against Kam and twice with the o ther armoured hand against Dana, which she defends. For some reason they are not using their feet. Kam attacks again, severing the foe’s leg. The foe falls and dissipates…leaving just the monk’s habit.
Dana nods, breathing deeply. “Even with haste, these monks are very fast.”
All the horses are dead…bodies shriveling to mere carcasses. There is still combat on the trail…wolves, bears and the likes with their beastmasters and Rangers are attacking the remaining foes in groups of 3 or 4.

Two monks are seen leaving, one carrying a faded bronze box. “That the crown.” She says and Kam says “Get help I am going after it.” Dana nods and Kam takes chase entering the forest…hard to hear anything with the noise of battle behind him, but he attempts to listen for them.
“Over hear.” A voice says ahead of him. He looks and a small silver fox appears from the undergrowth and leads the way into the depths of the forest. Kam follows it…easily because it is almost glowing.
“Did you see where they went…the men in black. I need to stop them.”
“Yes…follow me.” The fox replies.
Kam breaks into a clearing, in which is a waterfall, before a pool that breaks into a small stream. The monks are “flying” over the stream. “Follow my trail.” The fox approaches the stream them runs over the water, leaving silver imprints. Kam follows and notices he is literally walking on water…the water soft and spongy beneath. The monks are still flying…until attacked by a number of hawk like birds…and they are forced to the ground, their spells neutralised by the lack of concentration. They crash to the ground and you are upon them. The hawks descend on one of them, their wings flapping, claws digging into the monks face and beaks pecking at him. Kam has a free attack on the other. The box is lying between them both. He attacks and strikes his foe, who is slightly stunned…but quickly leaps 10m to the edge of the clearing. His cowled face looks at you and the box and he removes a staff from his cloak…which clicks to its full 3m length. The foe attacks hitting twice from four intended attacks…each blow solid. Kams attacks and hits his foe and as the foe attacks again, Kam’s weakened body is healed substantially by magic…from the silver fox, who is watching nearby. Kam can hear movement behind you…crashing sounds of two large bears. The foe attacks hitting Kam three times from his four attacks. Kam attacks successfully again, staggering his foe slightly…and able to attack again and as before he sever’s his foe’s leg right leg. The monk collapes…robes falling to the ground. Kam turns to see the hawks rising to the air and two bears crash into the other monk…crushing his body immediately.

The bears turn and look at you then at the box. The silver fox joins the bears and…communicate?
Kam says. “Don’t be alarmed. This is what we need. We have liberated it. For the good of all people.”
“Interesting for one of evil.” The Silver Fox replies. “Can you resist the temptation of what the box contains…power absolute within eye’s sight.”
“You mean can I resist looking at it….well actually I am quite curious. Would it be a bad thing for me to open that.”
“Depends on whether you wish to look…if so, the chance of you coming under its influence is greatly increased because of your disposition.” The Silver Fox replies. The bears look on intently.

Kam is thinking where is everyone and realizes the place he is in…is one almost of this world and not of this world. The forest around you is solid…but the pool, clearing and waterfall is almost ethereal.
“So you are telling me, that the thing in this box aligns itself with its finder’s nature, or it knows it’s nature, when it finds it.”
“What lies within the box is already aligned…and one of evil would gain much from controlling it.”
“So it gifts power”
“So this is a test…a test of my self control is it. Are the bears really necessary?”
“Why…do you really feel threatened by them, only one of motive would feel threatened.” The Silver Fox replies.
“Not particularly, but would it be a problem if I were to just glance inside?” Kam remarked.
“That is your decision to make…only your inner will can control what may follow.”
Kam nods. “Its gifted power does sound benevolent.”

Kam reaches for the box. “I will take this back to the others for safekeeping. Mak would be very interested in this.”
Kam leaves the clearing and enters the forest, leaving the surreal lit clearing behind him…realising he is not been followed. Half way back he thinks that he would like to have a look at what is inside the box.
He opens the box…inside is an ornate crown of shiny black glass, with gold inlaid with gems. Immediately, Kam feels a sense of longing and purpse…with this I could have power!!! He touches it…it gleams and a voice whispers…let me join with you for I can be your path to power and greatness. Kam likes that…wants that. “Tell me more.”
Let me take you to a place of safety…there are those who have never trusted you…that wish to slay you!!!
“Yes…very well, show me this safe place. Led me there.”

Kam and the crown disappears.

Back on the trail with the Shamans close by the young bard looks back and says to himself. “The one that are two are now two.”
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: K219 Reply with quote

K219 1Guiaranor12 Elder Wilds

Bali Foehammer and Myandwyr broke into the clearing and saw the Silver Wolf watching them intently. “What has happened here?” Bali asked seeing the robes of the monks lying empty on the ground. The box was gone. Bali knew the wolf was a forest spirit…Valandor.
“The one who pursued them killed one…the familiars crushed the other. The human was returning with the box and its content. You should have met him.”
“We did not.” Other rangers emerged from the forest and Myandwyr looked at them and they shook their heads. They had not intercepted Kam. “Mak and now Kam.” Myandwyr stated. “Dana has informed me that Mak is not with the muster.”
“The one who was here expressed an interested in what was within the box.” The Silver Fox informed.
“Damn…the crown draws those of evil towards it. And Kam is evil.”
“If he expressed an interest…he could have opened it.”
“Not here.” The Silver Fox informed. “But in the forest between here and the trail…yes he did. Its presence was felt for a moment.”
“For a moment.” Bali repeated. “Then it teleported Kam somewhere. But was Kam willing to allow this to happen…did he accept the power of the crown, for power it had and would have offered, it is intelligent.”
“Surely Kam would not have allowed this…evil he is, but he is bound to Mak.”
“He was.” Bali returned. “Perhaps the crown, compass marker or both has changed that. If Kam was not interested in the crown, then it would be in our hands now. That he was interested, was enough to make the crown aware and thus influence him. There are intelligent items, mostly evil, that waits until the wielder, shows a willingness, interest or curiosity in pursuing what the item was designed for. And when that happens, the item almost seduces the wielder to what powers it offers.”
Myandwyr nodded a concerned expression on his face. “Then Kam has become…fallen.”
“I would say so.” Bali nodded. “I know more of the crown that I have let on. I did not expect this to happen. The crown was originally known as the Crown of Dominion. It’s powers are known to me, I have records on what it has done in the past. However, the location of where it is now, is the most important matter for now. I believe the crown may have taken him to its place of origin…either Darkhold or Lasgalen. Legends speak of the crown being in both places before the War of Chaos…when the Dark Religion tried to take hold there. The crown was used by their High Priest, whose name escapes me for the moment.”

“What of Mak?” Myandwyr asked. “Could the crown reach out to him through Kam.”
“I do not know.” Bali admitted, scratching his beard. “Hmm, I hope it cannot. As to Mak, I sensed the use of the essence…just briefly.” Bali replied. “I was too involved with killing these things to bother, but now…I think the Compass Marker was used somehow. It is the only magical object that uses the Essence, rather than its weakened derivatives, essence, channeling and mentalism. Valocar had to adjust the true Essence to enable humans, Tordagh and other races to use magic. No human can use the True Essence and I am among a number of Tordagh who can. The Lord Magic Users of Karthan have a theory of a 4th magic…that being True Essence, but they have not developed the idea that the 3 realms came from this 4th they are proposing.”
“Where has Mak gone…do you know?”
Bali thought for a moment and nods. “Yes, the Hills of Sardion…that is all I know. That region is unknown to me. The hills represent the northern border of Mhalafrei and the vast plain lands of the Talan-Kosteyn. Both lie west of here and border Kharagh’s domain. When I knew the Compass Marker was pointed there, I got the feeling that was where Mak and Kam would be going, their next journey on whatever road they are taking. But Kam…and the crown, this might not have been expected at all, by anyone.” Except Elatan.

Brunnar, one of the Shamans entered the clearing with a solemn expression. “I sense a change in the balance of all things.” He said to Myandwyr. “Though I do not know the event that has brought this about. The death of these evil monks could well have shifted in favour of good, but it is indeed evil that has gained this night.”
“Unexpected.” Bali says to Myandwyr. “Why could you not stop him?” he asked the Silver Fox.
“We have interfered yes, against the Dark Sorcerer for he attempted to defy us…and we told him WHO is more powerful in this world. We are not here to correct the perverted desires and mistakes of humans. We are not their caregivers.”
Bali nodded. For a Valandor, you sound for a moment VERY Sulthalion. I had met enough of them to know their attitude against humans. Indeed the weakening of the essence by Valocar was met with hatred by the Sulthalion who used the True Essence as their realm of magic. Subsequently Alnuathor, the High King, broke all communication with the gods of Karthan but maintained communication with Arias, who seemingly was the overseer of the gods. Yes...there is bitter competition between the Sulthalion and the gods over the control and use of the True Essence and there are certain places in the world where the True Essence is at is most powerful, raw, primeval and these places are carefully guarded by the Silvarana, both Sulthalion and Valandor. The gods lost there dominion of these places when they were away from this world for a time.. “But you seem to help the Woodmen.”
“Of course, we have a close affinity with them.” The Silver Fox replied. “As we do with others. But we are not going to pick them up whenever they fall…they must look after themselves.”
“And the leaders among us understand this.” Myandwyr adds. “It would seem Mak has taken his journey as it would be, but Kam, what he had done, could have consequences in the future. I gave you my word, spoke up for him as did Niessar.”
“Do not worry my friend.” Bali replied solemnly. “You were not to know. The Crown of Dominion in now in Kam’s possession and he could become a new power to contend with in the future.”
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: K220 Reply with quote

K220 1Guiaranor12 Blue City

Both priority markers each S68723894…gone, last together in the Elder Wilds as of 44 minutes ago. As a psi-cartographer, Lt Lucius Altairo responsibility was the empire of Karthan. In his 2nd year on Tshallos IV he had been involved in remap the geography of the world using 235 new Type 183 orbital recons specifically designed for this task, why, the Lt was not privy to that information. He had learned with texts and information gained by contacts in the empire names, locations. The language data base of Terieth and Latherin, the main languages used by humans in the empire was extensive and yet unlike the languages he knew within the 5th Emperium, no root language had been discerned as yet. The origin of the human languages remained a mystery, certain words had no translated meaning they were just known by the humans. Eliniel for one, the name given to the star, no translation…it was just part of the vocabulary of 8 known human languages and referred to the large star Tshallos IV orbited. The 3 moons too…no translation but part of the vocabulary of the 8 known languages. They were just known by their names Tyrinor, Pelinaros and Kalosirinn. So yes, he had a side project to keep him occupied but for the moment, S68723894. Two individuals with the same marker, unique indeed, within his empire…his area of responsibility.

One marker has reappeared far from the original location. In this task, he only had one individual to report to, His Grace himself. Never had Lt Altairo known such…normally the command structure would be observed, but not on this matter. Before him was a Psi screen on which was a detailed terrain/geographic map of the empire. On another screen was an visual lookdown as recorded by stealth flying drones, this one dated 23.18.07-13 (23 days, 18 hours 07-13 minutes) ago.

The visual landscape was hills, forested in rich foliage of mauve, orange, green and shades thereof. This world was one of visual colour, an extraordinary ecosystem as one new arrival concluded, the sentient races being included in that ecosystem. Checking the terrain map the drone was close to the marker, the only marker to have reappeared. Location, Lasgalen, marked as a ruin. As the drone got closer, the Lt increased the screen more, so that it became 3m wide dome around him, the 360 degree image now in full view. Ahead he saw the first signs of civilization, amidst the forest, tall towers covered in creepers. He pulled up the other screen just off to the side and checked the marker location to the location of the drone…754m away….now 734m. He slowed the speed of the terrain as he would slow the drone if the imagery was live. A quick calculation verified the drone would pass within 72m, the marker to the right of the drone’s course. More of the ruined city appeared through the foliage and undergrowth. A city, reasonably intact, buildings of stone and brick, so much like the cities of the empire today, vast, expansive…43m away. He could see a spire of smoke rising behind some trees…a camp fire perhaps? Remember this imagery is 23 days old.

33m away and angled at 71.3m to the right he moved the imagery and stilled it so he could see where the marker is. A building, partially covered in foliage, which he removed using a parameter change. What he saw was a two storey, residential home, similar to a typical house that would be the residence of a merchant, or bureaucrat, common in the cities throughout the empire. He confirmed the marker position and over laid it onto the visual screen. Below ground…3m…a cellar perhaps. Confirming the position, he sent a communiqué to the Grand Duke.

Last edited by vampyre on Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: K221 Reply with quote

K221 1Guiaranor12: Mharfaell

At the gathering hall, Bali Foehammer and Myandwyr sat before the hearth in counsel. Elatan was outside under the watchful gaze of beastmasters and their familiars.
“How soon can it be confirmed whether Kam is in either of these cities you speak of?” Myandwyr asks.
“Depends on who within the empire can act on this.” Bali replied. “I will inform Empress Lonarwaen but outside that, it will very much depend on her. I cannot do anything now, least that I could compromise my position with concern to other matters ongoing. At least here in the Elder Wilds, I was able to flex my muscle without causing to much attention…the spirits shielding much of the effects. But outside the Elder Wilds, I will not have that protection.”
“If Kam perishes, so I fear, will Mak.” Myandwyr said. “If Kam can be reached quickly…before he can use the crown…”
“All I can advise is that Kam is taken alive. He will be easier to get if he is in Lasgalen. Darkhold is a city full of evil denizens, surrounded by swamp. Lasgalen has not suffered that fate. There are numerous groups that could be employed to find him, from paladins to military orders and mercenary companies…not of the persuasion of those we have just destroyed. From a distance I might be able to help, call in a favour or two. I don’t want to particularly put this problem on the Empress, knowing she has other matters more urgent on her mind.”

Outside Dana paced outside the lodge waiting for the counsel to end. Not that it mattered, what was I going to do now. She had overheard the conversation between Bali and Myandwyr in the forest earlier in the evening. Lasgalen or Darkhold, Bali had said the crown was possibly located. She thought about the prospect, but no. Home…I need to get home and to family I had not seen in 9 years. And also, to take the fight back to the Usurper and his servants.
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