Ultima Online Event Arc

By Lady Flame

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Warriors of Destiny follows on from Kingdom Reborn and alot of relevant information and a build up to this event arc can be found within Kingdom Reborn, hence I have continued the chapter numbers on from the Kingdom Reborn events.

Kingdom Reborn 2006-2008

Index to Warriors of Destiny 2008-2009

44. Best Laid Plans (Blackrock detector put on hold due to lack of funding)

45. Intervention (The Royal tresurer Lord Francesco makes funds availible for Blackrock detector)

46. A Minor Inconveniance (Daemons come out of the moongate and attack Magincia)

47. Magincia Repels Invasion (despite good news the moongate stops working)

48. Demons Decimate Magincia (Moongate becomes black and never ending Daemons reinforcments keep coming)

49. Military Reinforce Magincia (Royal Council send canons and have reinforcments built in Magincia)

50. Demons Attack North Quarter  (Magincis slowly being turned into rubble)

51. Magincia Still Not Safe (magical Vortexs appear rong Magincia moongate, there destruction ended the invasion)

52. Blackrock Detector Unvailed (Blackrock detector fails to work)

53. Blackrock Detector Fails (Kronos killed by Shadow Lord gate opens into mirror Moonglow)

54. Military Arrive in Moonglow (investigation into Kronos death, Dexter his assistant and Melissa missing)

55. Vanguard Appear Vanguard start attacking Cove at midnight)

56. Andrew (Andrew recruits people for the Shadow Lords)

57. Vanguard Attack 3 More Cities (Papua,  Nujelm and Serpents hold are also attacked by Vanguard) 

58. The Six

59. A Short Time Ago

60. Valvakka

61. Kidnapped (Royal Council Murdered)

62 Dungeons and Flagons (Avery in jail, Casca becoming popular)

63. Mistress of Darkness (Shadow Faction causes virtue cities to be attacked)

64. I'd like a drink if you don't mind (Andrew murders inn's staff)

65. Royal Decree (Casca becomes King)

66. Sherry Hears of Casca becoming King (Sherry comes out of hiding to talk about Casca)

67. Clainin Awakes (a murder attempt made on Clainin, he is moved to a safer location) *

68. Tales of Ice and Fire (The barrier is restored, Crimson dragons falling back, destuction of  Blood Sigil)*

69. Crimson Dragon (another watches on)

70. Platinum Dragons (some new friends watch on)

71. Salvation (Casca pleased with barrier destruction and Clainan's safty)

72. Conversations (Melissa thinks of Clainin)

73. Cloak and Dagger (Melissa a servant of Nosfentor murders Clainin)*

74. Momorial to Clainin (momorial stone placed in place garden)*

75. Distraction Decision (Shadow Lords plan a distraction)

76. Aiding the Empire of Tokuno (Treasures of Tokuno and strangers changing corruption cloaks)

77. The Nature of Shadows (Fiction on Shadow Lords, Sutek, Dawn and more)

78. Peering into the Past (Fiction on Dexter and Sutek)

79. Dawn of Hope (Lady Dawn is rescued from the shadowlords)*

80. Call to Arms to Liberate Luna (Casas forces defeated at Luna)*

81. The Bell of Courage (Fiction: Platinum Dragons and Dawn set out for battle)

82. Mondain's Legacy (Fiction: Dexter writes an artical)

83. Battle of the Dragons (Final fight against the Crimson Dragons with the Platinum Dragons aid)*

84. Battle of the Shadowlords (Final battle with the Shadowlords)*

85. Justice for Casca (Lead by Dawn, Casca is finally brought to justice)*

86. Long Live the Queen (Fiction: Proclamatian and crowning of Lady Dawn as Queen of Britannia)*

87. First Contact (Queen Dawn meets Queen Zhah and moongate is opened to new lands)*

Here ends the Warriors of Destiny events.

* These were globel event that were handled on local shard levels so may slighly differ from other shards, although the story and outcome will be the same. The Shard events I am relaying this from is Europa

  44. Best Laid Plans                         

Some more information was delivered to the Guards Rest entitled “The Best Laid Plans”.

The Best Laid Plans…
Draconi Jul 27 2007 7:08PM

How had it come to this? Everything he’d worked for was slipping away, just like the coins he was letting fall from one hand to the other as he sat there, thinking. His machine, his project, his research, all of it laying unfinished back in the city, for no rational reason other than the fears of the Guild. It was like the world itself had turned against him.

If it weren’t for the blackrock scare, if it weren’t for Haven…

Kronos leaned back against the tree and gazed at the fountain in front of him. His eyes danced over the arcs of gently spraying water. It took a few moments, but a sense of serenity seeped into him as familiar patterns emerged in the play of liquid. With a splash he sent a gold crown into the top tier, dashing the orderly fall of water, which made him smile ruefully as he found a fleeting sort of pride in his marksmanship.

It occurred to him that he should make a wish, and he did, still grinning at the childishness of it all as he stood up. The evening sky was darkening into a deep purple, and he could see Trammel rising above the walls of the Lycaeum’s courtyard. A few bright stars pierced the Void above, hinting at the constellations to come.

No sense moping around, he thought, turning towards the teleporter across the yard, maybe Melissa’d have supper with him tonight.

The Guards decided it was time to visit Kronos to discover more of his plans but were unable to find him, so they travelled to Moonglow to investigate his machine. The machine was soon found curtained off in Moonglow gardens, with a notice saying “CAUTION CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY”. Inspecting behind the curtain the Guards saw a large square stone walled structure with added square sections at the corners, presumably for extra strength. The centre of the wall went down what looked like 3 steps with a small slightly raised section at the centre, which seemed about the size for one person to stand on. The machine was obviously not complete as a woodworker’s bench and scaffolding was still there. Also it seemed that no expence was spared, as the stone walls were of good quality and one of the corner sections had a mable tiled floor placed on it marked with a rune, was this because of Kronos’s extravigance or a necessity for the machine to do its job correctly? The Guards decided that this area and Kronos would need an eye kept on them and all were informed to report anything as soon they discovered it to the Guards Rest.

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45 Intervention                                             

A report was made to the Guards Rest regarding Kronos and a coversation he had with the Royal Treasurer Francesco late one evening entitled “Intervention”. It seems as though the Blackrock detector was to be completed, the survailance was obviously still needed.

Intervention
Draconi Aug 3 2007 5:06PM

Kronos nearly swallowed his fork.

The front door shook with a quick succession of poundings, iron on oak, he realized, right as they had begun eating. Melissa got up quickly, and he followed. They were almost to the foyer before a voice called out: “Hullo the house!” and the door swung open wide, spilling moonlight across the floor.

The first thing Kronos noticed was the knight, he must’ve been a knight, he assumed, given the full plate armor and regalia. The second thing was the stout, smartly dressed man standing slightly behind him and to his right. He was already talking even as the door swung back a bit.

“Avery, if you could wait for me here?” The man in the armor eyed both of the mages, then turned to face the road while his companion pulled the door closed after him, walking inside.

Melissa blinked; Kronos saw an odd look cross over her face before he realized he’d automatically begun greeting his newfound guest. He quickly devoted his entire attention to completing his greeting/question: “who are you, exactly sir?” and hoped he’d started out with “Excuse me,” at least.

“Ah, yes, you wouldn’t know me. My name is Francesco; I’m the Royal Treasurer.”
Kronos and Melissa both bowed: “M’lord! You honor us with your presence!” she said quickly.
“Yes, yes, please, what can we do for you?” Kronos was as shocked as she – when was the last time anyone from the Royal Council had visited the townships?
Francesco bowed forward a little, “Perhaps we could talk further inside? I prefer sitting when talking, you must understand…”
“Of course!” replied Kronos, waving them both back towards the dining room. His mind was reeling, and they quickly made themselves comfortable at the table.

“Now, my understanding, friend mage, is that you’ve built some sort of machine?” Kronos’s eyes widened and Melissa’s hands tensed on top of the table.
“Yes, yes I have m’lord.”
“And it can find blackrock?”
Kronos gulped. “Indeed, I believe it can find blackrock anywhere in the known world.”
Francesco took that in for a moment. “And the unknown?”
Kronos laughed politely, it was an odd question. Francesco continued on, more serious than they’d supposed.
“And it works?”
Melissa unconsciously eyed Kronos and Francesco picked up on it immediately; he shifted forward a bit, looking directly into Kronos’s nervous eyes.
“Well, you see m’lord, that’s the…”
“Forgive me,” he interrupted. “I’m familiar with the situation with your guild. Let me rephrase: Will it work?”
Kronos was amazed by the abruptness, the suddenness of it all. Why was this man here at this late an hour to ask him about these things?
“I believe so, sir.” There, he’d said it. He’d said it to the Guild, he’d say it again. It would work. He knew it would.
Francesco leaned back in the chair. Melissa breathed in visibly – it was a rather small chair and the Treasurer wasn’t a small man. Kronos wanted to follow up with something, anything, but the man looked like he wouldn’t really care what he said. He was mulling something over.

“Well then. What do you need to finish?” Francesco asked.

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46 A Minor Inconvenience                   

Britannia had been resting quietly and some time was given to repairs and training, as well as much needed holidays and family visits, but all was soon to change with the arrival of a new BNN article entitled “A Minor Inconvenience”.

A Minor Inconvenience
Draconi Oct 30 2007 3:17PM

“Milord!”

The veils and drapes were ripped aside, pouring daylight into the canopy bed upon which a much disheveled, and suddenly very displeased, mayor had been sleeping. The blinding light lessened, obstructed by a rough shadow, and the voice yelled again.

“Milord, please! Wake thyself, ‘tis urgent!”

The Mayor threw aside his blankets and wools, and grasped at the drapes, pulling himself aright. There had been the party, the long dancing into the night, the wine, the women, “Ah”, he thought, “the…”

“Daemons, milord, in the forest!” the plaintative voice continued, failing to heed the state of the lord of the house. The mayor’s eyes focused, the headache was horrendous, but he composed himself and looked up.

“Daemons? In the forest. Near the moongate?”

“Yes, milord!”

He nodded, looked down at his hands, they seemed very far away from his arms for some reason. The mayor looked up, his knuckles white as his hands clenched into fists on his knees.

“You woke me up, for… daemons?”

The soldier knew the tone, hesitated. “But sir, we’ve never seen them like this…” He was cut off.

“What do we usually, well, do, about daemons in the forest, young Belfry?”

The man’s armor clinked as he shifted uncomfortably. “We destroy them, sir. Or call the mages and dispel them.”

The mayor wasn’t even paying attention now, his hand hovering over his nightstand where an understanding servant had just placed a goblet of mead. He nodded, made an assenting sort of sound, nasal in quality, crystal clear in meaning.

“Mages? Yes, mages seem like a good idea.”

“Sir, we’re concerned that this isn’t ordinary,” but the soldier got no further.

“I said SUMMON SOME MAGES AND STOP WASTING MY TIME!” the mayor jumped up and pushed the spilling goblet against the poor man’s doublet, punctuating his point with each spilled drop.

“Sir! Yes sir!” and he was gone.

The mayor climbed back into bed, another day begun, and mindlessly worked himself back beneath the warm sheets. “Daemons. Unbelievable. What’s next?” he mumbled into a silk pillow.

A contingency of Guards were sent to decide if the situation was being over or under estimated. Upon arrival they found several demons around the Moongate and soon disposed of them, they then chatted for a while, it seemed the situation had been blown out of proportion. Later as a few Guards left another wave a Demons poured out of the Moongate. Quickly beating them back they started to realise this could indeed be the beginnings of something much bigger. A report was sent back to the Guards Rest and orders were soon given to have the Moongate guarded at all time.

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47. Magincia Repels Invasion               

An updated report was delivered regarding the situation in Magincia.

Magincia Repels Invasion!
Draconi Nov 13 2007 2:26PM

Victory cheers rang throughout Magincia today as hundreds of daemons met a swift end at the hands of the city’s militia. The mayor issued a short statement:

"This morning I was apprised of an unexpected and unprovoked invasion of daemons near the moongate. My staff and I immediately surveyed the battlefield, and our excellent field commanders were quick to repel the invasion and defend our city’s borders. A few residents are reporting minor structural damages, but we’re reporting no loss of life. I’m proud of the way our militia handled themselves, and have politely declined offers of assistance from the mainland government. At this time I would like to reiterate that while there may be a few daemons left to hunt down, there is no major, sustained threat to the city. This so-called ‘invasion’ is over."

Magical methods of travel still remain unavailable, however, and the Magincia moongate appears to have ceased functioning altogether. The BNN will be sending Sherry the Mouse, our intrepid field investigator, to the scene tomorrow.

It was good news that things were in hand at Magincia , although the Moongate still having problems were of concern.

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48. Daemons Decimate Magincia Defences!

The Guards read the latest disturbing news from Magincia entitled Daemons Decimate Magincia Defences.

Daemons Decimate Magincia Defenses!
Sherry the Mouse Oct 31 2007 7:04PM

A night of revelry amongst a celebrating populace has turned into a nightmare as daemons poured through the forest and into the city in the early hours. Dozens are dead and hundreds are missing in what may be the most incredible assault on Britannian soil since the Ophidian invasion of recent past.

The western forest is aflame and smoke hangs over the entire island, blotting out the lights of ships sailing away from the isle, desperate to escape daemons of every description heaping destruction upon them from the shore.

The docks remain a safe haven for now, and the town populace is racing to evacuate the city even as the local government breaks down. The mayor is missing, council-members rumored to have fled aboard merchant vessels, and the city’s renowned healers and mages were amongst the first to perish in the onslaught.

More information as it becomes available, this is Sherry the Mouse, reporting from Magincia.

With the dreadful news many Guards race to Magincia to aid those left behind and try and halt the invasion. The report had been very accurate with many trees just a charred shadow of what they once were. A healing post was soon set up on the docks whilst Guards pushed forward into the town to clear it as best they could. A contingency of Guards fought there way as far as the Moongate and described it as corrupted and a sooty black in color. With the rest of the Guards fighting in town it was a relief that they soon had much of the it under control, and a battle line had been set up on the far east side near the Chapel where the Daemons kept reinforcing constantly and could not be forced to retreat.

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49. Military reinforces Maginicia! Invasion strengthens!                                                 

The Royal Council sent reinforcements to aid those in Magincia as noted in the article Military reinforces Magincia! Invasion strengthens!

Military reinforces Maginicia! Invasion strengthens!
Sherry the Mouse Nov 8 2007 3:46PM

Early this morning military vessels anchored off the coast of Magincia, sending desperately needed troops and supplies ashore. The ships, under the authority of Commander Falcon, were dispatched by order of the Royal Council, in response to the unceasing incursion of daemons into the city.
Townspeople continue to stream through the makeshift barricades and defensive lines in an effort to evacuate to Trinsic. Soldiers and medics have been tending to the devastated citizens, and working diligently with the survivors to bring the situation under control.
Meanwhile, a large group of volunteers, coming from all walks of life, have taken up arms alongside the kingdom reinforcements. Support is pouring in from across the realm, and though the city’s own militia has all been but wiped out, there is hope that the tide may yet be stemmed.
On this note, however, we must warn our readers that the military has still been unable to assess the continued threat against Magincia. A surge of daemonic activity has nearly overwhelmed the defenders more than once in the last few hours. There are rumors that the Royal Guard may be dispatching a new class of naval units, but to what end this will aid the city, we cannot be certain at time of publish.

With the situation increasing within Magincia the Guards sent all they could spare. The report had proven accurate as they found wave after wave of Demons poring out of the Moongate with only a short rest before the next attack. The Demons had forced the Guards front line of defence back as far as the bank and even then some managed to push through right up to the docks. Thankfully the Royal Council’s reinforcements at the docks were strong enough to hold back all they had to offer with the inplimentation of 2 cannons, that non of the invading forces could withstand. The Royal Council also had a wooden fence with ladders built to protect the dock area which aided those fighting as well as protected the fleeing Magincians. Not only were they facing Demons but Dark Fathers that sent forth all kinds of necromanic summozings. The Guards faced some new foes as strange new creatures ventured forth, they stood tall upon 2 legs, one type was dark as soot the other as white as pure snow, but both fought as farousiously as each other. The dark creature they named Void Deamon whilst the other they called Light Deamons. It was soon noticed that when the Light Deamon was nearing the point of death if it was not dispatched with haste it would draw in a vast power and then explode destroying everything around it, thus the town started to crumble as building and people alike fell to it.

 

 

 

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50 Daemons Attack Northern Quarter    

The disaster in Magincia took on a higher level as more hordes poured out of the Moongate with increasing concerns as mentioned in the latest BNN report, Daemons Attack Northern Quarter.

Daemons Attack Northern Quarter
Sherry the Mouse Nov 13 2007 2:24PM

The northern quarter of Magincia was flanked today by daemons pouring from the corrupted moongate west of the city. Valiant citizens and militiamen alike are resisting the relentless hordes at the city’s borders, forcing the harried denizens of darkness to seek less direct routes into the city.

Defenses established alongside the docks and western part of the city have held firm so far, and officials hope to improve them over the coming days. The BNN has learned that Lord Francesco of the Royal Treasury is currently petitioning every city in the realm for relief aid and donations.

Meanwhile, mystery surrounds the Magincia moongate – our latest reports from the front lines indicate that the magical portal has undergone significant changes overnight. Its violent shimmering has certainly coincided with an overall increase in the invaders’ vigor and ferocity, but we stress that a direct relationship has yet to be established.

The Royal Guard has warned volunteers to stay away from the moongate itself, as they cannot predict what might happen in its currently unstable state. They especially warn to keep magical artifacts and hazardous materials safely out of harm’s way.

The determination of the Guards was as strong as ever despite the fact that Magincia was being destroyed around them. Many were taken up rubble from blasted areas as Light Deamons exploded only to be replaced by more. A few Guards managed to check on the Moongate that was now a dark pillar stretching up high with lightning flashing all around. Things were not looking good at all.

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51 Magincia Still Not Safe, Mages Warn 

Things had finally come to a head in Magincia with warnings being issued in the article Magincia Still Not Safe, Mages Warn.

Magincia Still Not Safe, Mages Warn
Sherry the Mouse Nov 30 2007 4:25PM

The battle for Magincia seems to have reached a stalemate. Most of the city is shattered, and looting has been regrettably prevalent, but the stalwart defenders of the city continue to push back the invading hordes.

However, all is not well, say the leading researchers of the Mage Council.

"The moongates have been warped into a form they were never intended to hold. The etheric disturbance is tremendous, and we fear that it will get worse before it gets better," warns the Mage Council's spokesman.

The Royal Guard has ordered all nonessential personnel off of the island, and is maintaining a minimal force to secure the city.

"Daemons - even big daemons - my men can handle," says Sir Brendan of the Royal Guard, officer in charge of Magincia's defenses. "But once the mages start talking 'unstable planar rift' this and 'etheric resonance crisis' that, I get my people out of the area before they get blown clear off the map."

Bringing you the latest from Magincia, this is Sherry the Mouse, reporting.

It was shortly after the release of this article with everyone available to help struggling that things came to a head. A magical Vortexs similar to the one that was at the bottom of the Tarathen keep was on guard on each of the stones surrounding the Moongate. Many Guards forced there way to the Moongate and fought desperately each Vortex one by one. As each Vortex fell to the desperate efforts of the Guard they exploded spraying small pieces of Blackrock across the ground. Steadily each Vortex fell and then the large black pillar that was once the Moongate exploded with large black chunks that could only be described as like black pillars fell to the ground. The Moongate stood once more before them but blackened and corrupted. The guards tried using it but instead of the normal menu asking which place they wanted to go it landed them at random moongates, although an extra place had been added. A gate had opened into a small space into the Void. With a very heavey heart the Guards turned to the ruin that was once Magincia knowing there work was done, they had won but at such a great cost.

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52 Blackrock Detector To Be Unveiled!   

The guards were informed that things were soon to be moving once again within Moonglow from the latest BNN article Blackrock Detector to be Unveiled.

Blackrock Detector To Be Unveiled!

Anderson the Scribe Mar 27 2008 4:20PM

“After initially losing funding from the Mage’s Council in Moonglow, progress on the "blackrock detection machine" resumed late last month with government intervention, and is finally nearing completion. Despite fears of the dangers involved in working with the still-mysterious substance, officials agree on the necessity of knowing where it is. Captain Avery, of the militia, made the following statement:

"After the destruction of Haven, we are taking any activity involving blackrock extremely seriously. After thorough and careful review, the Royal Council has agreed to authorize the completion and use of the blackrock detector to ensure the continued safety of Britannia."

The mage Kronos, Director of Alchemical Studies and the chief mage on the project, was unavailable for comment. His apprentice Dexter assured the BNN that, despite the delays, work on the project is going smoothly and they do not expect any snags.

The Guards made arrangements to be prepared for any eventuality and arrived well in advance of the detector being turned on.

The machine stood complete before them, no longer shrouded from site behind a builders curtain. Its 4 marble corners each with a rune symbol in there centre encircled a centre reservoir of water with a black spire pointing to the skies in its centre. The air was tense as the guards fully armed along with many tamed beasts waited. The Time for Kronos to arrive came and went, the tention grew. After a very long wait Kronos finally made his entrance oblivious to how long he had kept everyone.

Kronos - Ladies and Gentlemen!

Kronos - It is with great pride that I stand before you today.

Kronos - Soon, We’ll be able to focus intense magical energy in a small confined space.

Kronos - I postulate that every single piece of blackrock in the world will be made known to us!

Kronos - Imagine it! Soon, we’ll be able to gather all of the blackrock we watt and….

Kronos - Boy! It’s time!

Kronos - Hop to it then, boy!

Dexter - Yes, master

Kronos - Did you seal the resonance chamber?

Dexter - Yes, master

Kronos - Did you double check the figures?

Dexter - Yes, master

Kronos - Everyone, back away!

Dexter then flipped the switch as everyone stopped breathing in an instance. Then a black circle appeared around the centre pillar, many took a deep breath and tensed there muscles for what was to come next.

Kronos - Bet Wis Ex!

Kronos - Uh….

At this moment it became clear nothing was going to happen.

Kronos - We’ll be just a minute folks

Kronos - Well wait now! Come back tomorrow! It’ll work tomorrow!

Kronos - Kal Ort Por

With Kronos gone the Guards witnessed a dark smoke drift down onto the 4 corner runes and within a haze of darkness stood 4 black cloaked figures. This did not look good at all, then a large dark cloud exploded from the centre of the machine, followed by many bright explosions of fire and lightning raining down all around the machine. Thankfully no one was hurt but this looked far from good. At this point Inu started to wander by speaking sometimes in riddles, to which the Scholars quickly interpreted the meaning.

Inu: *frowns*
Inu: *jumps*
Inu: *laughs*
Inu: *hops*
Inu: *cackles*
Inu: *cackles madly*

Inu: Roguish eye-offending
Inu: Mewling half-faced
Inu: Mammering gull-catchers
Inu: Half-faced mammets
Inu: Grizzled folly-fallen dewberries
Inu: Spur-galled hempseeds!

Inu: Doom
Inu: Dooooooom...

Inu: The world is round

Inu: Yes?
Inu: No?
Inu: Nooo
Inu: Maybe...
Inu: Maybe.

Inu: What're *you* looking at?!
Inu: Don't you see the hole?
Inu: A machine, a very very big machine!
Inu: Spleeny!
Inu: Rudesbies
Inu: The lights, they flash! It burns us!

Inu: Ymay onguetay isway onfoundedcay!
(My tongue is confounded)

Inu: Utbay ymay indmay isway earlcay!
(But my mind is clear)

Inu: Istenlay otay emay!
(Listen to me)

Inu: Hetay arknessday illway engulfway usway!
(The Darkness will engulf us)

Inu: Hetay ordslay ofway adowshay illway elldway inway ourway eartshay!
(The Lords of Shadow will dwell in our hearts)

Inu: Estructionday earsbay ownday onway usway!
(Destruction bears down on us)

Inu: Imetay itselfway allshay ebay entray andway orntay!

(Time itself shall be trend and torn!)

After these disturbing events the Guards agreed to gather again tomorrow eve repaired for the worse..

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53. Blackrock Detector Fails! Mages           Reported Missing!                                        

 

 

 

The Guards arrived early and very concerned, the tention was within every movement, once again they were greeted by Inu repeating her warnings, as if that was not bad enough the Mage Kronos was late once more. Finally he arrived and stepped toward the blackrock detecter, halted And then started to say a few words to everyone gathered.

Kronos - Thankyou for coming, once again!

Kronos - I shan’t keep you waiting a minute more.

Kronos - Is Everything ready this time

Kronos - Bet Ex Wis!!!

Kronos had finally turned the blackrock detector on. Immediately the land fell into shadow, then people started to fall, one here one there. Then Dark Wisps were seen coming towards them and the blackrock detector, there fears were being realised. The darkness continued to decend upon them, screams were heard as many turned to face the attack. Kronos was heard above it all,

Kronos - What the Devil!

After fighting for a short time everyones eyes were dazzeled by a blinding light, it was at this most weaked moment the full attack started to be unleashed upon them. More dark wisps and now fetid essence as well, shortly after huminoid winged creatures attacked, then besekers found there way to the Guards, who were doing there up most to defend the blackrock detector. Normal light finally returned to Moonglow, but no one had a moment to know when it came, horror was all around, but the Guards fought unitied and slowly secured the area around the detector and started to push the assult further and further back. Then everything changed in the blink of an eye, the Guards found themselves looking at a large crater were the blackrock detector had once stood, and in its place they gazed at a dark corrupted moongate. They raced forward into the gate prepared for anything, but what meet them was an unimaginable sceen, Shadow Lords talking to Kronos!

Shadow lord - Pitiful humans
Kronos - Stay back, fiends!
Shadow lord - Why do you resist so?
Shadow lord - We are eternal
Dexter - Master!
Shadow lord - We are patient
Kronos - Don't listen to them!
Shadow lord - We are stronger
Kronos - Don't let them through!
Shadow lord - Listen to us
Shadow lord - We mean you no harm
Melissa - Kronos!
Shadow lord - Yet resistance will be punished
Kronos - Hang on! The worst is almost over!
Shadow lord - Why do you fight?
Shadow lord - Let it go
Melissa - Kronos! They're too strong!
Shadow lord - Let it go
Kronos - Just keep going! Help will be here soon!
Dexter - Yes master!
Shadow lord - Free yourselves of your burdens
Shadow lord - Or die
Melissa - I'm... I'm...
Kronos - Melissa!
Dexter - Don't...!
Shadow lord - Peace is with us
Melissa - I can't hold it!
Shadow lord - Rest now
Kronos - Melissa NO!
Shadow lord - You will know our strength
Melissa - I'm sorry!
Shadow lord - Excellent.
Shadowlord: -You.
Shadow lord - Mage.
Kronos - Back away! Back I said!
Shadow lord - Die.
Dexter - Master!!!
Time Lord - From the shadows ye came...
Shadow lord - Interference?
Time Lord - And to the shadows ye shall return!
Shadow lord - Your connection with the ether is weak, take heed.
Time Lord - Vas An Mani Hur Tym!
Shadow lord - Noooo!

Dexter was then seen with a stranger who was later named as Sutex.


Dexter - Urhh...
Dexter - Master?
Dexter - ... Melissa?
Dexter - No
Dexter - NO! NO!!!
Dexter - Corp Por!

Sutek - Stop it boy!
Sutek - You can't go back in there, they'll eat you alive!

Dexter - But I ...
Dexter - Let me go!

Sutek - Was that?
Dexter - ...
Dexter - Hey! Are you alright?

Sutek - Oh for the love of...
Dexter - Do you know him, Master Sutek?
Sutekm - Doesn't matter, he's bleeding pretty bad.
Dexter - We need a healer!
Sutek - No time.
Sutek - I'll take him myself.
Dexter - Master?
Sutek - Guards'll be here soon. They'll handle the rest.
Sutek - Dexter?
Dexter - Sir?
Sutek - Get out of here
Sutek - Go back and find Kronos' notes, you need to hide them
Dexter - What?
Sutek - I said GO!

THE Shadow Lord turned and faced everyone who were stunned in horror and spoke to them.

Shadowlord of Hatred - We have returned.
Shadowlord of Hatred - Join us, follow us. Or perish.

The Guards instantly replied to the Shadow Lords ultimatum by surging forward to attack. With the greatest of efforts by so many Guards the 4 Shadow Lords fell one by one. Some took there strange dark robes for further investigations. The Guards continued to fight the rest of the invasion. Slowly at great cost they fought outwards from the Blackrock detector, as the came to the edge of town the building where smashed and some incomplete as there was a cirlcle of nothingness at the towns borders. The Guards looked over the edge with what seemed a barrier preventing them from going any further, only darkness lay beyond. The war raged for days with more Etheral Shadow Lord appearing from time to time, then the days turned into weeks in the area that soon became known as Darkglow.

Whilst many fought the seemingly endless battle in darkglow, others started to examine the strange new objects that were discovered. Firstly the Cloak of Corruption from what turned out to be Ethereal Shadow Lords was found to drain the wearer of mana, strengh and life at an alarming rate when worn, but if you put it on in Darkglow it had the opposite effect, restoring.

Also found was threads 3 strands of Life and 3 of Fate which the Scholars had still to understand anything of them, the only things that was knew was they were only to be found on the Dark Wisps and the person investigating them sometimes heard strange comments.

From the Threads of Life was heard:

"You begin working."

"You face a dark wood with two paths, and finally choose the one you wish to travel."

"You make a new friend."

"For a fleeting moment you walk along the edge of a dream, sharing in the experience."

"A jumble of thoughts tumble chaotically through, but at last the confusion passes."

"For a brief moment you are able to believe something as someone else does, yet it doesn't last."


"You have a child."

"You are born."

"You take a moment to reflect upon the past, and find it leads you to a solution for the present"

"You protect something"

"You are imprisoned."

"You fight."

"You marry."

"You're faced by an unfamiliar problem, but experience has given you the tools to forge ahead."


"Vivid images fill your mind, and unfamilar thoughts struggle to give them meaning"

"Clarity leads you to an insightful thought, and you find yourself pleased with your rationale."

"You die"

"The sights, smells and sounds are long gone, but you can still feel them as though it just happened."

"You're blinded by bursts of color, and reality seems to bend around you."

"You find a lover."

From the Threads of Fate was heard:


"Passion dances with lust, you know what you want."

"The coldness bursts into flame: for a moment your hatred knows no bounds."

"For one pure moment absolute joy overwhelms you; you've never felt happier."

"Regret and remorse fall away at long last: you feel forgiven"

"Feelings of warmth and appreciation wash over you: you've gained something."

"Despair and sorrow sink to the depths of your soul: a precious thing was lost."

"Peace comforts you; the hand of fate gives way to your hope."

"Indescribable feelings flow through you; your love is returned by another.."

"A feeling of euphoria envelopes you: something new, something wonderful, something undiscovered!"

The the humonoid birds also had 2 items exclisive to them, a large sheild called a Planes sheild and a sword known as a Planes Sword, neither of which seemed anything special.

It was during this time that the BNN article Blackrock Detector Fails! Mages Reported Missing was released.

Blackrock Detector Fails! Mages Reported Missing!
Draconi Apr 2 2008 8:24AM

Events took a terrifying turn in Moonglow this weekend as Kronos, Director of Alchemical Studies, turned on his blackrock detecting machine for the second, and apparently, very last time. Witnesses reported a keening, rushing sound enveloping the crowd amidst magical flares, when suddenly those standing closest to the machine disappeared in a flare of light!

The remaining onlookers had only a moment’s warning before an explosion ripped through the machine itself, leaving a gaping hole where hundreds had gathered just seconds before. Our own reporter vanished in the initial chaos, leaving the BNN with little to go on for hours as a much more apprehensive crowd began gathering around the smoldering crater.

Their wait wasn’t in vain, however, when after a while a moongate, as dark as night, opened at the base of the crater. Frenzied survivors began pouring out of the portal; screams for healers and aid rang up over the ridges as they clambered up the sides. Against all reason more jumped back into the darkness, but the BNN was already confirming details on what lay beyond with our own correspondent.

We know for certain that the place beyond the rift resembles our own Moonglow, yet is infested with hordes of demonic entities. We also know that one or more of the mages working on the project, Kronos, Melissa, and Dexter, were killed within. The others, if any survive, are missing.

The rift apparently leads not to a “place” so much as a “when.” The local mages are struggling to explain this phenomenon, but claim that the rift is bound to the failure of the experiment the previous day, and has captured some slice of time in which the good people of Moonglow were trapped.

The BNN is also attempting to corroborate reports that some sort of battle took place within the so-called “timerift” between the Time Lord, and other beings of extraordinary power. We’ve also received word that the military is sending reinforcements to secure the perimeter of the gate.

We urge our readers to be wary of the rift, and not enter it under any circumstances!

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54. Military Arrives in Moonglow           

At last the Guards received some hopeful news as the article “Milatary Arrives in Moonglow” is read out.

Military Arrives in Moonglow
Draconi Apr 3 2008 9:08AM

Early this morning a blockade of cannons was erected around the crater in southern Moonglow. Captain Avery, himself on scene, tersely ordered our correspondents back and had little to say directly to us. However, contrary to expectations, the military is not stopping ordinary (albeit well-armed) citizens from entering the rift!

Despite refusals to comment on the situation, the BNN has been asked to publish a short declaration from the Royal Britannian Guard, which follows:

Attention citizens of Moonglow, the greater Britannian kingdom, and visitors. A state of emergency has been declared in the township of Moonglow, currently under attack by forces unknown. We do not advise volunteerism in the city’s defense, but under these incredible circumstances we will not interfere with attempts to enter the rift we are now guarding.

A medical station is already under construction. All contact with entities within the rift should be met with extreme prejudice. Experience has shown that nothing within has attempted any form of communication – only vicious attacks resulting in numerous deaths.

Please report any and all information gathered to myself, Captain Avery.

The BNN also regrets to inform our readers that we’ve confirmed the death of Kronos, leader of the blackrock detector project. Dexter, his field apprentice, disappeared shortly after returning to Moonglow from the rift with master mage Sutek, who arrived at the scene after the disaster. The fate of Melissa, friend and fellow mage of the local council, is currently unknown.

We will continue informing our readership about this calamity as details pour in.

So immediately the Guards travelled to Moonglow to speak with Captain Avery.

Hello - Hello. Can I help you?

Name - I’m Captain Avery of the Royal Britannian Guard, Tactical Division.

Tactical - We handle field operations like these.

Field - *nods*

Blackrock - Not as bad as Haven at least.

Shadow lord - We have no evidence of their involvement at this time.

Dexter - Our best lead, most likely. Witness saw him leave the scene in Moonglow

Kronos - It looks as though the mage is dead, though we haven’t found a body

Melissa - The woman… right, missing presumed dead.

Machine - Always had a feeling about this thing, then again, with Blackrock, I always have a bad feeling.

Rift - Well it isn’t your standard run-o-the-mill moongate, now is it?

Vortex - *flips through notes* Ah yes. Something about some vortex cube. Any leads?

Council - The Royal Council? They’ve been informed. Lord Francesco is on his way.

Lord Francesco - M’lord will be on site to inspect the situation soon.

Crater/hole - *points back at the crater* See that? This sort of thing is why tactical exists.

Captain Avery advised the Guards to speak with Numan the Mage who stood a short distance from his tent.

Hello - I’m sorry? Are you talking to me?

Name - They call me Numan. My parents, I mean they named me… oh never mind.

Job - Look, I’m just a mage. I was on vacation - I’m not even supposed to be here.

Vacation -

Blackrock - Horride stuff. Other mages might toy with it, but oh no, not me!

Kronos - Poor fellow… *shakes head sadly*

Rift - Good fellow, really. Did’nt deserve this.

Melissa - I do hope she’s alright, where ever she is.

Vacation - Oh yes! It was wonderful! The southern Isles this season are particularly… you, you don’t really care do you.

Southern Isles - You do care! Wonderful! Well, they’re absolutely gorgeous . Especially the wildlife. The rare snapping turtles are something else.

Purple - Yes, purple turtles, Incredible!

Sutek - Haven’t seen him, um, recently. Honest.

Honesty - Recently I said I haven’t seen him *recently*

Recently - Look I don’t feel comfortable with all this.

Comfortable - No really, look if you want Sutek, go find. I’m sure he’s taken refuge somewhere.

Refuge - What? No idea what you’re talking about. *turns away*

Gate - You know, don’t tell anyone, but we’re having a little trouble closing the rift…

Trouble - Sssh! We’re not ready to tell the Royal Guard yet.

Dexter - Haven’t seen him, I’m afraid

The Guards then interviewed many around the town but were sadly unable to add any more information to aid Captain Avery further, so the Guards returned to fighting with in the rift.

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55. Vanguard Appear                        

With all that was happening within Moonglow things were about to get worse as reports were coming in about trouble within the town of Cove.

When the Guards arrived they found many undead walking the town who instantly started to attack on sight. The fight was long and harder then the undead the Guards were used to in the anti virtue dungeons. Just as they thought they were coming up to half way clearing the town the Guards were suddenly surrounded by more undead arising behind them in the area they had just cleared. With more and more Guards arriving the town was starting to come under control again when a strange rider was seen in the midst of the battle. This fearsome Vanguard marched forward with every confidence shouting at the Guards. The language was not one the Guards had heard before, but a scholar who had studied many languages all his life shouted out his interpritations.

Legum Servi Sumus - You are laws servant.
Bellum Omnium In Omnes - War all in all.
Bellum letale - A fatal war.
Libertatum Est Vendere - Freedom is being sold.
Bellum... - War...
Bella Horrida - Horrible War.
Magnus acervus erit - The great heap is.

Aut Viam Invenium - Discover the path or else.
Non Est Disputant - There are no debates.
Dulce Bellum! - Great war!

He also shouted out a few things they all understood.

Beware I live...

Bellum...

I am Vanguard!

I hunger!

Beware Coward!

Run, Coward!

Run!

The Guards charged him whilst still fighting the undead that he kept summoning to his aid. He was very strong indeed and it took some intense fighting. Much to the Guards surprise at one point all his summoned spawn vanished into puffs of smoke leaving him to face them alone. The Guards too advantage of this and he soon lay at there feet. The jet black great warhorse stood a moment eyeing them, then it charged trampling all it could, the Guards started to attack it when they were suddenly engulfed in black smoke. Those that breathed in the smoke started to cough as a deadly poison took its effect on them. This deadly attack was not enough though to save the warhorse and it too soon lay dead on the ground. Searching the Vanguards copse the Guards discovered a black chaos shield and an Obsidian sword. It was noticed that the Vanguard also summoned Dark Wisps to there aid, some of which was discovered threads of life and fate. Taking these they set sentries within Cove. It was soon discovered that at midnight the Vanguard always returned and if not defeated quickly it he would summon undead. If these were not removed a second Vanguard would appear and given time also summon undead, the Guards had keep vigilant in Coves defence.

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56 Andrew

Information arrived at the Guards Rest that the rift had finally been closed in Moonglow, although the Guards could not relax as news had arrived of a most disturbing nature entitled “Andrew”.

Andrew
Draconi May 29 2008 2:31PM

Andrew smiled.

They came one after another, seemingly endless, utterly unbidden and yet so... utterly welcome.

There was a pause now, though, a break in the unending visits to his domain, and Andrew stretched out his awareness. He reached out, encompassing the slick, glassy tiles marking the boundaries of his small world. He followed the light of his candles as they shone into the darkness. Then the inevitable collision. The Ethereal Void.

His mind reeled at the sheer power and energies playing on the borders of his creation. Yet his paradise had been... despoiled. His masters had warned him, bidding him be patient, to seek first the corruptness lurking in the unwary. To reward them. To mark them.

He obeyed.

Yes, Andrew thought, he obeyed the shadows, and they rewarded him in kind. Immortality, intelligence, and power. His. It was with these abilities he found himself overcoming the sheer chaos that was the Void. There was a crack; a tear - a wrongness.

A wrongness that he knew was perfectly right. His masters had succeeded. They had found another world to consume. Now all he had to do was follow and join his brethren in service. Soon.

With a flash another hapless mortal appeared before him, frozen, completely trapped. Andrew shuffled the deck of tarot cards laid across his desk. The panicked fool was screaming thoughts inside his head, unable to speak aloud, yet Andrew heard every word.

He didn't know where this "Moonglow" was, but understood that soon enough it would be but one of many places where he showed himself. For now, it would serve well enough as an entrance to his realm.

"Ah, another one," he began.

The Guards immediately travelled to Moonglow and stared at the crater the Blackrock detector had created and at the lightning that constantly flashed down into it. Once in a while the Guards noticed the shape of a man silhouetted within a bolt as it came down. With horror a Guard vanished as he got too close and he was struck directly. Upon his return he described all that had happened. The light had filled his vision and he found himself in a small circular section of the void standing before a desk, upon the desk was some candles and some tarot cards. Behind the desk sat a man who slowly looked up at him.

You find yourself alive, yet unable to move or speak

Andrew - *looks up from his cards*
Andrew - Ah, Another one.
Andrew - And so soon.
Andrew - *Idly shuffles the deck*
Andrew - Don't bother trying to speak, let alone move.
Andrew - This is my domain, and I've brought you here at my masters' bidding.
Andrew - *draws a card*
Andrew - Are you strong enough to resist my power?
Andrew - Can you tell me your name?

He attempted to say his name but was unable to make any sound.
Andrew - ...
Andrew - Not even a syllable?
Andrew - Very well.
Guard - Guard
He spoke his name against your will!
Andrew - Very good.
Andrew - *places a card on the table*
Andrew - Your vocal chords, the wind in your lungs - I control them.
Andrew - Here I control everything but a single choice.
Andrew - *taps the card*
Andrew - Do you believe in fate? You may answer.
He felt himself able to speak.
Guard - Yes

He was silenced again
Andrew - For instance, this is a Tarot card. it represents your fortune.
Andrew - If i turn it over, and it reads 'death'...
Andrew - Surely I will kill you.
Andrew - In this manner we will both know that your Fate was correct.
Andrew - Today, Fate will offer you a choice.
Andrew - You may choose to died, and be cast back in that dark place from whence you came.
Andrew - Or you may choose to serve my master, and live.
Andrew - You will have your health and possesions restored to you, and be sent safely home.
Andrew - I will also give you a gift of exceeding beauty.
Andrew - In exchange, you will agree to swear loyalty to the Shadowlords, and serve them.
Andrew - ...
Andrew - You may decide for yourself. Speak. You have until the flames are extinguished.
Andrew - A simple 'Yes' or 'No' will do.
He found himself able to speak
Guard - No
He was silenced again
Andrew - Pity.

-- A Tarot card appeared before him, labeled "Death" --
Andrew - Begone then.

The Guard repapered near the lightning once more visible to all the Guards, he stumbled for a few seconds and then fell to the ground. Only a medic of high training could aid his condition.

The Guards kept close watch and collected reports from many who had foolishly gotten too close, some mentioned getting tower cards amongst other cards, it was also noted that some had agreed to siding with the Shadow lords and had received a Glass Dagger as a reward before being returned in complete health. Warnings were sent out and the Guards kept a close eye on the coming and goings around the lighting area.

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57. Vanguard Attacks Increase        

News was received that the Vanguard had increased there attacks. They still appeared at midnight in Cove, then at 3am at Papua, 6am at Nujelm and finally at 9am in Serpents hold. The Guards ensured each time they arrived it was meet by resistance.

It was noticed that there was a few differences in the creatures summoned by the latest Vanguard. They all summoned the same creatures as Cove with additions, Papua also summoned Crystal Elementals, whilst at Nujelum Demon Berserkers appeared when the Vanguard did and lastly at Serpents Hold the Vanguard summoned Black Order Assassin’s Of The Serpent Order Sect as well as Black Order Mage’s Of The Dragon’s Flame. The battle was becoming more intense as they were finding themselves stretched across many battle fields, but this was no time to rest.

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58. The Six                               

The Guards received some important information that had them racing toward Dungeon Despise after reading “The Six”

The Six
Draconi and Kilandra Jun 23 2008 1:47PM

He despised the cold.

Ice sliced through the air in silver streams, shrieking past the solitary figure atop the snowcapped peak. The Serpent's Spine coiled below him, its sinuous peaks and valleys dividing half the seeming world. He closed his eyes.

It seethed with malice, a chaotic surge of destruction that felt both familiar and new. The dungeon buried in its depths held things, he knew, that his kind sought. Perhaps it was there, perhaps it was not, this thing he had been sent to find, but it didn't matter. He would descend.

A woman appeared next to him, the only herald of her arrival being the sudden shift in the wind's pitch as it parted furiously in dark smoke around her. Scarlet hair whipped around in the bitter air, and her dark, metallic armor looked ill-equipped to shield her from the frost forming at her feet. Yet she stood there, regarding him easily.

"Myxkion." She waited.
"They're in my way," he replied, without turning towards her.

She looked down at the small, green glade nestled below. It was a tiny valley outside some sort of cave entrance. A small pond was surrounded by sporadic movement, and she looked back up to him, an eyebrow shifting in amusement.

"Humans..."
"Tell me, would it not be better if we just wiped them out?" He nodded to himself. "Look at them. They *scurry*."

She laughed – with a harmony that would make the finest instrument jealous. Myxkion's ears enjoyed the familiar song. Then the bitter reminder of where he was gnawed at him with frost laden fangs. The only thing that annoyed him more than the cold, was the small camp of ignorant people down below, going about what, he felt, were their meaningless lives.

"I could destroy them all with a snap of my fingers," he mused.

The fair maiden's laugh stopping slowing into a teeming smile. "Don’t forget who and what you are, Myxion. There's no need for that – simply kill those in your way and focus on our goals."

She paused for a moment to gauge his reaction.

"We don’t need the unnecessary attention. But if they’re distracting you, then by all means, do it. Our ally grows impatient."

The words rang true, increasing his annoyance.

The wind died and a ball of crimson flame appeared in front of the man. The ground steamed where snow been packed inches thick moments before, and tendrils of fire licked the air around them.

The burning missile grew smaller as it shot down towards the encampment. A flash of light marked its impact, followed by a giant plume of angry smoke and ash. The shockwave carried with it the sounds that had traveled last of all back to the ears of the two steadfast strangers, up and above the chaos.

"You didn’t snap your finger," the woman playfully mocked her companion.

Below them, a few tiny figures fled the unfolding disaster.

"How silly of me to forget..." He snapped his fingers, and several more spheres of violent flame came to life.

In the depths of the dungeon near to Ogre Lord Island they saw a figure dressed in dark dragon scale armour carrying a Wild staff, it was the first of the Six, Myxkion. As they approached they were suddenly stopped dead in there track as “Terror slices into your very being…” The Stranger did not attack and would not respond to any questioning, he just wandered around the area as if looking for something. Eventually the Guards attacked and as if noticing them for the first time Myxkion turned on the Guards. It was soon noticed that all pets accept the new Dread War Horses and Cu Sidhe immediately became very unhappy and had to be removed from the area very fast. Myxkion also had a dreadful combination fireball attack on anyone who did direct damage through weapon or spell. This slowed the battle down, but still the Guards shared there new found knowledge and continued there never ending attack. Finally when it seemed Myxkion was weaking he started to summon fire from the roof pouring down into a stream of fire with great power, causing some to fall back badly burned. Sometimes they felt like “Terror slices into your very being, destroying any chance of resisting Myxkion you might have had”. But once that subsided they pushed ever on. Finally just as they thought he was about to die he vanished and gold along with Amethysts, Citrines, Rubys and Amber fell to the floor, covering the ground. Then they heard Myxkion speak for the first time,

Myxkion - How… amusing. Surley you don’t believe you’ve won?”

Myxkion - I am amused though, how rare! Such entertainment from mere mortals? Perhaps we shell have a chance to “fight” again some other time

Where his body should have been a blue magical box appeared, but no one could move, they were all frozen to the spot. Then everyone was released and raced to see the box, but no sooner had somebody opened it then everyone was wreathing around suffering from deadly poison. Soon though it was all under control and the strange new gems along with the magical box was taken away to be studied. Myxkion though keep returning at midnight each day or other day, with the same results each time.

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59. A Short Time Ago                   

The Guards received some new intelligence entitled A Short Time Ago.

A Short Time Ago
Kilandra and Draconi Jun 25 2008 12:19PM

A short time ago...

"My Lord!" came the voice of a woman both poised and beautiful as she addressed her superior, while bowing in the proper fashion.

"Please, My Lord, send me to look for the information we need."

As she spoke, she raised her head, and her long, deep red hair parted to reveal her beautiful face.

A massive dark figure - a Great Lord - nodded in approval.

"That's the last one, six is a good number," the Lord thought to himself as the young lady stepped forward from the masses of others that were like her - but different. She joined the previous five that had been selected.

"Make your preparations, he will arrive in the hour and we will meet then." The Great Lord spoke to them all with a smile of satisfaction.

Everyone else then took their cue to disperse - save the six.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Valvakka, why do you smile so?" the woman asked one of her companions.

"Because, my lady Kealdia," his smile widened to display gleaming teeth, "My task has the highest of all honors: to destroy the weak ones that succumbed to... that human."

He clasped his hands in a quiet, but powerful, show of anticipation, his words trailing off in a whisper. "Weak... Fake..."

"In that case I think I'll go in first," another one interjected, breaking Kealdia's fascination with Valvakka's eagerness. She noticed this other of her new companions seemed to give off a magical aura, flickering at the edge of her vision in shades of scarlet.

"Myxkion, you are the youngest of us, do you intend to rob your elders of that privilege?" This voice was different from the others, the barest whisper of a shadow, like the wind calling forth fear through one's ears on the blackest of nights.

Myxkion smiled calmly, and replied, "Oh, Rivatach?, Vaector and Krysan are still your elders... If you care so much for privilege..."

"Silence! Our lord returns," Vaector commanded in a firm voice, noting the arrival of their leader, who ignored the dying conversations in the room as he entered.

"You six will be the first, the first of us to go home in many years," he began without preamble. Their eyes were fastened on him.

"You do not go for the pleasure of simply returning home, however. Each of you have a mission. Complete it quickly. Your time, our time, is short. You all know this." Their master finished, and gestured to a cloaked figure to step forth.

The hooded one placed his hands, if they could be called that, together, and a swirling vortex of magical energies tore into existence before their eyes. Light and darkness suddenly existed as separate things, twisting and stretching into each other, spraying shadows and images throughout the chamber.

Their Great Lord's eyes now visible for the first time glowed in deep blues and purples. These energies were being summoned and manipulated from the Void itself. He saw the promise of the cloaked one unfold before him. It cried out to him, a world of chaos given voice, and he remembered. The gate would open soon, bending both time and space, feasting on the energies being unleashed. And so he fed it as well, adding to the technique of the cloaked one a power as vast as the oceans of the world he sought to return.

Energy erupted between these two entities, growing with a shockwave that forced the six strong warriors to secure their footing.

When the power stabilized, it was clear. A portal had formed by the combined forces of the Lord of the six and the nameless, shadowed one.

"You may arrive at different times, and in different places. Go, my chosen."

One by one the warriors walked into the portal between worlds - Myxkion the first.

A few moments later...

The Great Lord of the Six contemplated his plans for the future. He was exhausted now - opening portals between worlds takes incredible amounts of energy. The dark one had left as quickly as he had come. That suited the Great Lord. He was already planning the fall of the three shadows anyways.

In a moment... barely a moment, a small flash of silver light flashed like the single twinkle of a star. The great Lord saw it only from the corner of his eye. The flash didn't even give off any magical energies. "Of course," the Great Lord smiled a bit to himself. "Braxyion. So, you know. That means they will now know."

"Perfect."

The Guards went in search of any more Strangers and they soon discovered the next one in Luna, her name was Kealdia and she wore the same dark red tipped dragon scale armour, but this time held a “Bladed Staff”. She responded with the same silence as she wandered around Luna’s bank and shops. Eventually after ignoring many warnings to leave she was attacked with the same inevitable results. It was only the same pets that could attack her, she held her foes in terror many times too, and her fire field attack was even more deadly spraying out on the ground into 8 directions. The Guards kept up the battle though till she too disappeared to be replaced by another blue “magical box”. Kealdia kept reappearing at midnight for a few more days then she stopped returning. Where was the next stranger to appear?

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60. Valvakka                              

Some more information reached the Guards and they read the words of “Valvakka”

Valvakka
Kilandra and Draconi Jun 27 2008 9:16AM

The great beast was confused, and when it was confused, it got angry.

The large dragon of the dungeon Destard, as the Britannians called it, was focused on the small man that had suddenly appeared through a dark hole just a few feet away from him.

For his part, the stranger from the portal was surveying the dragon-infested dungeon with a growing smile. He felt like a young one again, the feeling of adrenaline coursing through his veins being something truly rare and wonderful.

He would have been shaking with excitement if not for his training.

"How kind of you all to be here; waiting for me," Valvakka spoke aloud to the nearby dragons that were now gathering to investigate his appearance. He knew their pathetic minds could barely understand him, perhaps considering him a mere morsel for their afternoon meal.

Valvakka whispered long forgotten words of power and focused his energy.

A yellowish red rain began to rush down from the ceiling of this cavern. The dragons, having never seen anything like it before, arched their heads upwards, watching as it descended to them in meteoric streaks. Scales and claws smouldered with each touch of the liquid fire from above. It burned hotter than the inferno of the depths – showering everything in sight.

The few dragons that managed to run free from the deluge of crimson death were met by Valvakka’s halberd.

He seemed to know their every move. Valvakka was slaying each escaping dragon with ease, taking great pleasure in their deaths as if satisfying some old vendetta.

Taking a moment to admire his work - he felt a new presence closing in...

"A human." Valvakka acknowledged his thought in words as he turned to face the intruder.

"How utterly despicable..." Valvakka thought as he saw the adventurer standing at the ready with his "dragon" companion, this new pair looking ready to engage Valvakka at any moment.

After studying it they formed up ready for another inevitable encounter with another stranger and travelled to Dungeon Destard. They were shocked by the carnage that meet them as they entered as burned corpses of dragons laid all around. Carefully they moved deeper and deeper till they finally saw Valvakka. Once again he wore the same black dragon scale armour but his weapon of choice was Halberd. He again did not attack the Guards and would not respond to questioning, then he turned and looking toward the centre of the dungeon he cast a spell, the cave became awash with flames that did not touch any Guard, but the sound of instant pain rang out from the dragons as the flames burned them and once again the area was filled with dead dragons. The Guards decided to form up and attack this silent stranger with the same inevitable long battle. Valvakka had another surprise for them as he cast a spell of fire that rained down on them in a random pattern. Despite this the Guards prevailed and were left looking at the same blue magical lockbox.

A few days later Valakka stopped returning so the Guards set out searching for the next Stranger and found Rivatach in the Fan dancer Dojo. Once more dressed in black dragon scale Rivatach preferred weapon was a set of sharp blades that came out like long sharp fingers called a Tekagi.

The surprise spell he had was to duplicate himself many times when he became weak, these duplicates would strike down anyone with one hit if they did not hide themselves fast enough, but once they lost contact with there prey they would harmlessly wander the dungeon. Least to say there was many duplicates before the battle ended, when the vanished along with Rivatach and once more they had the blue Magical Lockbox.

After Rivatach stopped coming the Guards soon raced to Heartwood as reports had come in of a Stranger wandering its branches. The forth Stranger to arrive was Vaector this Strangers preferred weapon was Rune Blades, but his armour was once more the dragon scale. His attack only differed from the others by being able to use unnatural forces to free them from the ground and swirl them around. But something was not quiet right with Vaector as when he was about to drop in defeat he vanished and no chest appeared, nor did he return, very Strange indeed.

The sixth and final Stranger to appear several days later was Krysan who was very adept at using an Ornate Axe. He was discovered near the entrance of Dungeon Hythloth and like the other Strangers had a special attack the other Strangers did not use. This attack was similar to those the Guards had seen for the first time when fighting the Void and Light Demons in Magincia. Deep dark holes would appear around the Guards and they pulled any one or thing into them depositing them in a random graveyard. It was only with great struggle and dodging that they evaded these holes till they vanished and the fighting commenced. This tactic was used on a regular basis, but he had yet more skills the Guards were soon to discover. When his health started to diminish Krysan would remove his Ornate axe and cast a most terrible attack, this attack would almost always kill any Cu Sidhe or Dread horse causing there owners to have to withdraw them from the fight. If any fighter got close they also suffered from this attack, so the battle took on a slow continues casting of summonings in order to defeat Krysan. Once again once defeated he gold fell all around along with many gems and the inevitable trapped Magical Lockbox. After the battle a few Guards commented that “Terror sliced into their very being, destroying any chance of resisting Krystan they might have had”. Krystan returned for many more times before he too stopped coming. What was each of there tasks? Had any or all of them succeeded in what they had been sent to do?

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61. Kidnapped!                            

The Guards read the latest BNN article entitled Hope for the Future with absolute shock and immediately after reading it raced to the Britans Town Crier for more information.

Hope for the Future

Draconi

11 Jul 2008 20:40:52 EST

Francesco rose grandly from his chair. My Lords! Ladies! Please, he implored the assemblage, we must stand together!

The Royal Council, representing the nobility from every shore of Britannia, had gathered again in Castle British. Events of late were chaotic, dividing their time and resources away from each other. The militia of a half dozen cities had been sent scurrying across the land, trying vainly to meet each new threat often only to arrive just as their foes departed. Even the Elves of Heartwood had been attacked. A single man adorned in dragonscale armor had appeared in their midst, and, for all reports, had done nothing until he had been provoked. Oh, but what a response, Francesco inwardly mourned, noting the casualties and devastation wrought high up in their sacred wood.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, a woman spoke, standing to counter him, It's your fault, after all, is it not?

After all he had done, tried to do, won and lost, he knew they condemned him. For an experiment gone awry, for rumors of the Shadowlords loosed on their world, and for the ceaseless attacks on their sovereign territories.

And if it is, I will bear it! But we must act as one!

The noblewoman leaned forward over the table and hissed, What good is acting together when we have nothing left to give! Our cities, not yours. Our cities are the ones besieged!

Let us hear our lord the treasurer! called Ambassador Casca.

Voices rose in a torrent of dissent, arguments erupting around the table. Francesco stretched out his hand and, surprisingly, they quieted. Francesco had the answer, they thought. He always seemed to know what to do.

Francesco did know. This was the moment he had been waiting for. He would soon speak, proposing that the larger cities volunteer their own local militias to serve with the kingdom's, creating a military force the likes Britannia hadn't seen since the wars of Lord British's time. They would rush to the defence of the smaller townships and secure the hearts, minds, and, most importantly, the lives of the oft neglected people.

Britannia would be stronger that ever. In a way, their struggles and conflicts had at last offered them a chance to heal into a stronger nation, even without the heroes and legends of the past.

Someone screamed.

Francesco looked down at the shining blade protruding from his chest. It was transparent, with small rivulets of crimson blood streaming down the edges, distorting the image of his feet like glass. Glass... He opened his mouth in silent surprise, the blade shattered, and darkness rushed in from the corners of his vision.

Swords were drawn. The nobles rushed, at first, against the invaders cloaked in their dark robes. Panic set in after the third or fourth man died, impaled on a breaking sword, or sliced apart with ease by the merciless and silent enemy.

The guards were long dead. The doors of the chamber too far away to escape in time, but the survivors tried, desperate for escape, rushing together and falling together. The doors opened! The last noble crawled forward, looking upwards into the horrified face of a guard who had heard the confusion from outside.

The guard turned jumped back and turned.

Later, some would wonder whether the last sentry had cowered and attempted to run, or if he had bravely attempted to warn the castle. The assassins in their cloaks had little care for heroic tales, and simply slaughtered everyone who had seen them.

The Royal Council was no more.

 

 

 

Thee Guards were shocked by news from the town crier.

Crier - Extra! Extra! Hear all about it!

Crier - Terror, mayhem! The members of the Royal Council have been assassinated!

Crier - Royal Council dead! Inspector Jasper looking for leads!

Crier - The Royal Council members have been slain. Speak to Jasper to assist in the investigation.

Crier - Murder at the Castle!! The members of the Royal Council have been murdered!

Crier - The Council is dead! Murder most foul at the Castle!

Crier - Inspector Jasper is in charge of ongoing investigation at the Castle!

Crier - Mews! Horrible, blood chilling news!

They raced to Castle Britannia and discovered Inspector Jasper within.

Morning - If you wish to assist in the investigation, speak to me other wise do not disturb the evidence.

Assist - Thank you! We can use all the help you can give. We must find clues that will lead us to the culprits.

Clues - Bring me anything that can track down the murderers and find the four people missing.

Missing - Aye, Lord Casa, Captain Avery, Lady Aileen, Sherry the Mouse are nowhere to be found.

Casca - Ambassador Casca was seen entering the Council room last night yet he is not among the bodies.

Avery - He leads Lord Francesco’s personal guard and has lead many a raid against the FOA.

Aileen - A noble who has been residing at the castle, her room has been ransacked.

Sherry - She is a close friend of Lady Aileen, where ever they are we believe they are together.

Clues - Bring me anything that can help us track down the murderers and find the four missing people.

FOA - The Followers of Armageddon: a group of crazy fanatics dead set on the destruction of our world.

In the South meeting room many people lie dead in pools of there own blood and “broken glass” beside there bodies. Lord Francesco body was collapsed on the centre chair. A red skull had been left behind on the table with a note saying “A Token Of Our Respect To The Shadow. For The Eternal Glory Of Nothingness! - FOA”

They used Forensic Evaluation and discovered a “Bloodied Scroll” on Lord Francesco’s corpse, which they immediately took to Inspector Jasper.

Jasper - There seems to be a message written on it. Olivia might be able to help you decipher it.

Olivia - She’s an alchemist with the illusionists Guild on the island of Moonglow.

On Inspectors Jaspers advice they took the scroll and showed it to Olivia in the Illusionist Guild Hall just outside Moonglow.

Olivia - I can thin the scroll and the blood covering but I will need some ingredients to do so.

Ingredients - I need a sack of speckled poison and a zoogie fungus to thin the blood on this parchment.

The Guards soon collected these ingredients and handed them one by one to Olivia.

Olivia - Ah perfect! This poison can lose it’s potency way too quickly.

Olivia - Excellent! This should be enough fungus.

Olivia - Alright I’ve thinned the blood, I suggest you see Althara next.

Althara - She is a highly respected Scribe in Moonglow

The Guards took the now “Soggy Parchment” Olivia handed them and took it to Althara in Moonglow Lyceum.

Althara tentatively took the soggy scroll.

Althara - I rather not know how it came to be in this state, here’s a clear transcription of the message.

They took the book with the translation and carefully read it.

A Transcription

By Althara

Milord Francesco,

I have strong reasons to believe that you and the entire Council are in danger. Avoid tonight’s Council meeting if at all possible or shorten it and come meet me at once. I have fled the Castle with Sherry, as both our lives have also been threatened.

I beg you to hastily come to my Trinsic residence. I will tell you more. Do not speak of this to anyone. There are traitors within the Castle walls.

Sincerely,

Lady Aileen

Once they finished reading they travelled to Trinsic and soon discovered Lady Aileen’s house southeast of West Trinsic bank. Within a chest of draws they discovered a book called “my Journal” which they soon read out aloud.

My Journal

MONDAY

I am beginning to share Sherry’s suspicions. The strange hooded man was meeting someone in the Council chamber again. Nobody seems to know who he is. And as always, Lord Francesco has been whisked away from the castle, by Captain Avery before the strangers arrival. This seems a little too convenient.

FRIDAY

My efforts are paying off at last. Anselm has finally discovered more information about Soldier Brian, the traitor who killed so many of our loyal Royal Guard during the raid against the FOA in Blood Dungeon. It offends me that someone from my home town could do such a horrible thing.

I wish I had told Anselm to meet me at my private residence rather than the Mess Hall. Fortunately, it is a short stroll from my house and hopefully no prying eyes will notice me.

They were just about to go to the Mess hall to speak with Anslem when someone pointed out a “Hastily Scribbled Message” on the bed, which was also read out to all.

A Message

By Lady Aileen

Milord,

The hooded man I told you about was once more at the Castle tonight. Sherry overheard him tell someone that the Council would be disposed of tonight as well as Sherry and myself. And so we’ve fled…

We will remain in hiding for a while, until we know better who is friend or foe.

We waited as long as we could. I can only hope that my first message found you and that you are safe.

Aileen

 

 

 There was a sigh of relief as they realised both Lady Aileen and Sherry the Mouse had escaped the Castle in time. With this piece of good news they went to the Mess Hall to speak with Anslem.

Aileen - Ah, yes! She asked me to gather some information for her about the Council and Soldier Brian.

Council - There is a lot of tension and suspicion between the council and the Royal Guards.

Brian - He was the polite, quiet type. No one would have suspected him: in other words the perfect mole.

Tension - There was always a certain distance due to the hierarchy, but now it’s greater than ever.

Mole - He was spying on us on behalf of the FOA. His team had their HQ near the castle.

FOA - The followers of Armageddon, a group of lunatics, if you ask me!

Team - They were a little cell operating from a small farmhouse west from Britain Castle by the mountains.

Farmhouse - Brian’s three cohorts live at the farm. So be careful going there.

Immediately they searched for the HQ the Followers of Armageddon had set up behind Britain Castle.

They saw Barret The Follower and Wynona The Follower at the farmhouse, neither spoke a word. The farm looked like any other but entering the farmhouse they soon discovered the floor had many traps and they had to be very careful searching it. Finally there searching was rewarded as in a chest of draws in far West wall was a book entitled a journal. This they also read out and it soon had them rushing to Britain Graveyard.

a journal

by Erik

TUESDAY

Sara is trying to be strong but I see the redness of her eyes. She has been crying over the loss of Brian. It is unfortunate he had to be sacrificed for the cause but he did us the FOA proud. Richard could have used his help disposing of that nosy Aileen and her wretched rodent friend but I know he will handle them fine.

THURSDAY

I took the documents Captain Avery had in his possession and buried them in the graveyard. They are too incriminating to be allowed to just randomly float around. In the wrong hands, they could hurt our cause.

FRIDAY

We act tonight…

In the South West corner just below the wall holding back the water is a grave which the Guard dug up in their search. Just below the surface they discovered “A Corroded Box. ”The box however was trapped with deadly poison and great care had to be used when opening it. Within the box they discovered “A Damaged Book,” “A Journal” and “A Scrap Of Paper.” Each of which they read out aloud.

 

The damaged book contains four names: Erick, Sara, Richard, and Brian.

 

A Journal

By Avery

I’ve received yet another report of strange activities taking place below the City. I keep meaning to investigate but there never seems to be enough time or enough available hands to take care of things.

I’ll try to have a look after this Council meeting nonsense is over.

The Scrap has a single word scribbled on it: Eored.

 

They then took them to Inspector Jasper to make a progress report.

Give Jasper the damaged book - it was found during a previous raid. It shows a partial list of the FOA members we are trying to catch. You should follow up on his comment. If it is related it might give us a lead on the assassins.

Give Jasper the Scrap Of Paper - This seems a password of sort I wonder where it should be used.

Whilst at Castle British they took the opportunity to see if the traitor Guard had left any clues. Whilst checking in the North East bedroom just beyond the crafting room in the grounds they discovered a book entitled “A Journal” in the chest of draws, taking just a moment they read it out aloud.

A Journal

By Brian

 

Everything is going according to plan.

Avery was instructed to escort Lord Francesco to an “important” gathering of nobles in Nujel’m.

Lord Francesco is starting to get suspicious of these repetitive meetings that don’t fully require his presence.

We will need to act soon. Erik thinks our contact will be giving him a date for our actions, when they next meet.

I hope it is so.

The Captain was ordered to lead an expedition to the Blood Dungeon tonight.

I have no way of warning my brethren in time.

Whatever the outcome, I take comfort in knowing our deaths will not stop our plans.

We are nothing and to nothing we gladly return.

Death to the Council!

 

After reading the Journal they continued following the leads from the Corroded box and travelled to Britain Sewers.

Within the sewers along the south wall they discovered a picnic basket containing some “Shackles, Slab of Bacon and a note.

a note

By Sara

This should keep you warm while you watch the prisoner.

Sara.

 

  

 After reading the note to Sara they continued till they exited into the Lost Lands. Just outside the entrance they discovered another “Note” written by Erik explaining how they were pressing on to meet there contact in Minoc.

A Note

By Erik

 

  

I don’t know what’s delaying you but the prisoner is just too difficult to keep under control. We have to keep pressing on. I am hoping things went well taking care of the Lady and her pet friend.

We are proceeded as planned and meeting our contact by the Minoc cave.

Be there…

 

 

 They travelled through the Lost lands till they reached the exit nearest to Minoc and found “A Message” written by Sara left on the ground.

A Message

By Sara

Erik has gone ahead with our “guest” and our contact. They are going to the Ethereal Fortress as planned. Erik still doubts anyone will bother searching Inu’s former cell, but your absence has made him extremely nervous. He has decided to reinforce the security adding 2 other passwords to reach the cell on top of those already existing. I had to sneak this note for you so don’t tell him I warned you. It should not be too hard solving the passwords. They’re Jeebus or Rebus or something “bus”, I didn’t quite understand the name. But Erik said you’re the one that showed him a book about them at the Lycaeum.

Please be safe.

Sara

 

 

 It was very important that they got to Inu’s old prison in the Lost Lands but they needed the information from the Lycaeum to get to there destination. Uncomfortable with the delay they went to Moonglow Lyceum where in the Eastern room on a table they discovered a book called “The World of Rebus”.

The World of Rebus

By Unknown

THE REBUS

The Rebus Puzzles are a mind titillating, amusing invention. They are usually images, often made of letters, words, images or a combination of them to make a cryptic representation of a hidden message. Here are a few examples:

HIJKLMNO

These 8 letters probably seem to mean nothing at first glance, but think differently! We have the letter H to the letter O, so H to O or H2O. This is a Rebus representation of H2O or water.

Here is another example:

Yourself

Yourself

C Yourself

Yourself

We have the letter C and 4 times the word “yourself”. So the answer is C 4 yourself or “see for yourself”.

And here is our last example:

   R

   O

ROADS

   D

   S

We have the words “roads” crossing each other which would translate to “Crossroads”.

I hope this will have stirred some interest in you discovering more of the world of Rebus Puzzles!

 

 

  Now at last they had what they needed to continue to track down the murderers and raced to the Ethereal Fortress in Ishena.

Downstairs within the Ethereal Fortress they stopped on the sword tip on the floor tiles and read out aloud the words written on the scroll of the floor there, “masteropenthydoor”. Immediately they found themselves within another room. Exiting the room they followed the corridor entered a room on the east which had gas pouring out of the floor and a “Pedestal With Crystal, Engraved O_ER_T_O_”. Applying the Rebus formula to it the pedestals clue they concluded the password included the word “operation”. Now turning there attention to the gas, the answer to this evaded them for a while till someone said that gas given at an operation makes it painless, so the first key words to pass the first door was “painless operation”.

They tried this out and no sooner had they said it at the west door they found themselves within a room full of undead. On the West wall they noticed 3 plaques, the important one was “Engraved 123SAFTY456”

Using the Rebus formula they hastily stated “Safety in numbers” in front of the north door and were immediately teleported to safety to the other side.

Passing along a short corridor they opened another door to a room with a great tree, daemons and a ghost. In the west side of the room they saw a music stand with some music notes that say “futile”, this was the password to enter the north door. Going along another short corridor they reach a room with ettins and trolls, which they could enter. On the far wall was a decorative shield called “concerto”, the final password to enter the East door.

At last they found themselves once more in the cell that once held Inu. They were surprised to discover Lord Casca outside the cell door.

Royal council - It was a bloodbath! That traitor Avery!! He did this to us!

Avery - All these months, pretending to be a hero, he was in fact spying on us for the FOA.

FOA - They dragged me here to ransom me. Avery left with the others to a secret meeting.

Meeting - I just know there is a portal which requires a password. And there they summon something.

Portal - I do not know its location. Captain Ulrich knows more about the FOA.

Password - I’m sorry. it’s a word unknown to me. I only remember that it began with the letter “E”.

Summon - A guardian or divinity of some sort. Someone or something they both fear and revere.

Ulrich - He’s Captain of the Royal Guard. You will find him at Britain’s Warrior’s Guild.

Help - Give this to Captain Ulrich and tell him to come get me. He will reward you handsomely.

Taking “A Note From Casca the Guards immediately sort out Captain Ulrich in Britain’s Warriors Guild. They soon found him asked for information.

Ulrich - I am the captain of the Royal Guard. Since Avery’s disappearance, I have inherited his duties.

Casca - The Royal Guards are eager to rescue him from the hands of the wretches that have abducted him.

FOA - We have been pursuing them for a while. But they always flee through their portal.

Portal - It is deep in Wisp Dungeon. A password obtained by solving the clue on a jewel is required.

Password - Rumor had it that the combined name of some people must be spoken on an altar as a single word.

Jewel - A rare necklace in the Dungeon which apparently gives the order the names should be spoken in.

Altar - I am sure you will have no problem finding one, or many, within Wisp Dungeon.

Once they had the information they handed him Casca’s note - By the Virtues! I will send a rescue team at once! Please accept this as a token of our gratitude.

They were given a 25,000 Spring Clean Token.

Gratitude - I gave this to you. Use it to redeem it.

When leaving Captain Ulrich a Guard mentioned the Dragon Helmet he was wearing which they found most strange. But more pressing matters needed there immediate attention , so they made there way to Wisp Dungeon in Ishenar.

Within a room in the South West Mage area they found many items of jewellery on desks, a silver necklace brighter than the others on the South wall desk stood out “A Silver Necklace Inscribed With The Letters MVKP”.

Then going to the room where the Followers of Armageddon they read the statues manes as “Miron Vehl, Junin Pince, Zendella Kxiss, Martoo Saul” taking the names in the order found on the necklace they now had the Password: martoovehlkxrisspince.

Saying the password on the Alter in the room they were teleported to another area within Wisp Dungeon. It was the room where the Belron spawned and was now sealed off by any other access. Some of the Guards kept fending off the Belron and imps whilst the others prepared themselves for trouble by the Alter in the centre. They started chanting “Eored” to summon what or who was behind these murders. It was a shock when Melissa the Servant of Nosfentor appeared and calmly started to talk to them.

Melissa - Ah…

Melissa - Looking for something?

Melissa - Kronos, perhaps?

Melissa - Oh wait, he’s dead.

Melissa - *smiles*

Melissa - Or maybe it’s someone of a more… manly demeanour. Avery, was it?

Consecrus Arma

Melissa: Pity - You came all this way just to die.

Melissa then attacked, after a very hard fight and they thought they had defeated her they were left with her “human corpse” whilst Melissa stood once more before them.

Melissa - Fools!

Melissa: -This

Melissa - Isn’t

Melissa - Over

And she suddenly vanished once she was gone the Guards were surprised to see Captain Avery in the room..

Avery - I’m free! You’ve saved me! They’ve had me…

But before he could finish his sentence William the Guard and Thomas the Guard appeared.

William - Avery! We’ve caught you at last!

Avery - What’s this!?

Thomas - You are under arrest for the murder of the Royal Council!

Avery - Help me!

Thomas - At last, we’ll bring the criminal to justice.

Thomas - Your kingdom thanks you.

It was discovered by a Guard that “Melissa’s cloak” with a 5% fire resist had appeared in there bag, also someone found a pearl necklace, a red tunic and some shoes on the corpse.

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 62. Dungeons And Flagons             

The Guards recieved new intelligence as to the situation of Captain Avery and Ricardo as they read the BNN article Dungeons and Flagons. It was also with interest they saw how Casca quickly became a hero within Castle British.

Dungeons and Flagons

 October 20, 2008
 
 
Avery woke up in a crumpled heap, his head lodged up against moist brick and legs pulled askew by iron shackles. He’d been thrown here, he realized, probably after he passed out during the last round of interrogations.

His eyes were still closed. He listened, carefully, keeping his breathing as regular as possible, trying to determine whether he was being watched. It was darker, wherever he was, unlike the bright room where he’d been held for hours previously.

Memories began swimming back into focus – tracking down Casca, the glass knives, that woman… the woman, what was her name? Started with an M… didn’t matter, the witch had practically thrown him into the arms of the guards. Then the questions, the accusations, why did they think…

"Hey there," the hoarse voice cut through the fog in his mind - Avery barely maintained his feigned incapacity. Metal rustled and clinked, someone moved forward. The other man coughed deeply, trying to clear his throat.

"I know you’re awake," the other man began, "Look, I’m not one of them, see." The other prisoner punctuated his sentence by shaking his chains, then coughing again.

 Avery remained silent.

 "Oh come now, Captain! Don’t you remember old friends?"

 Avery cracked an eye open, even the dim light of the cell was still blinding, but he could just make out the man cuffed to the wall across from him. "How do you know who I…" he began to ask, rising to his feet, as his vision came back into focus.

"You!"

"Aye, m’lord, Britannia’s finest thief, at your service." Ricardo smiled.

--

"To victory!" Casca raised his mug. "To Britannia’s finest!"

"Hurrah!" the chorus broke out around the room. The celebration of Avery’s capture was an event to be remembered. The dining hall of Castle British resounded with cheers and loud voices, soldiers and guards and nobles all brought together by Casca’s call to mark the glorious day when justice had been done, and the Royal Council avenged.

 A soldier nearby hoisted his own mug, "To Casca! A true hero!"

Casca tried to admonish them amidst the shouts and clamors, meekly refuting the honors they were heaping upon him. "But remember! Remember my friends! It was you who were the true heroes!"

 Shouts, laughs, clapping.

"And we remember who betrayed us! And who betrayed them, our loyal leaders!"

The shouting overtook the clapping, turning angry, defiant.

 "What was his name?" Casca yelled, knowing the answer.

 "Avery!" A reply in unison.

 "What shall we do with him?" His voice rose above the fury, clear as thunder over the rain.

 "Hang him!" "Kill him!" A dozen other retorts and cries for vengeance.

 "No, no! My friends," Casca dropped his voice, and the crowd followed suit, waiting upon his next words. "We will not murder him in cold blood."

 The crowd breathed in as one.

 "We will not butcher him as he did the innocents of the Royal Council!"

 Nods, murmurs, solemn fists jammed into the air.

 "But we will have justice!"

The crowd erupted into applause, and Casca smiled.
 
Try as they might the Guards were unable to track down the prison that held there Captain.
 
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63. Mistress of Darkness               
 
Some urgent news was delivered to the Guards called the Mistress of Darkness.
 
Fiction: Mistress of Darkness
October 31, 2008
 
“She will be pleased,” Melissa softly intoned, accepting the shimmering jewel from the dirtied hands of a weary soldier. Her followers pressed together in the dark chamber, the light from their torches didn't seem to penetrate far into the darkness where their newfound leader stood.

“This,” she began, raising it up above her in outstretched hands, “is the key to our victory!”
The faction sigil glowed a deep red, casting a malevolent light down into Melissa's hooded face. “With these at our command, we will conquer the cowards who fled this land so long ago!”
“Their haven, their precious Trammel, shall crumble before us!”
She brought the sigil down to her chest and began chanting. Her followers caught its rhythm and joined in a growing chorus. Words flowed and were forgotten, yet magic gathered around them, seeping through the midst like tendrils of fog.
“We will wake the sleeping Britannia!” and the darkness behind Melissa burst apart.
A dragon had appeared before them, standing, vast and majestic, behind the small figure of their leader. Knees, heads, and hands hit the floor as the dragon fear took hold. Never had any of them seen something, felt something, of its like. A crimson dragon, the very embodiment of chaos.
Melissa gestured behind her: “You witness our allies! Our Mistress promised: 'That the peoples of Britannia shall know fear!'” She eyed them as the dragon breathed, “We are that promise!”
Voices erupted as the magical fear subsided, shouting, screaming, tinged with bloodlust.
“We shall wake them into our nightmare!”
She turned, proffering the sigil to the entity behind her. A single talon stretched out, and gently touched the artifact. The room went dark, then exploded with energy.
A rift had formed before the humbled followers of the Shadowlords. Beyond the hazy outlines they could see green pastures beneath an azure sky. A world they had never been to, a world they knew they hated.
The dragon roared, commanding all, "It is done, go forth!"
 
The Guards had started to hear word of attacks within the town's of Virtue, these attacks soon became known as the War of Shadows. It did not take long to form a link with the attacks and the Shadow Lord faction within Felluca. It seemed each time a cites Sigil was successfully captured and corrupted by them then the relevant Trammel town would become invaded. It took great effort and courage by many to either retake the Sigel or to recapture the relevant town from the invaders. Each town had its own type of invaders, but they all ended the same, a great fearsome Crimson Dragon that struck fear into anyone coming near. Upon its death gold and gems would fall to the ground, but each death came at great effort and cost. It was also soon noted that no sooner had a town become invaded that the residants would fall under one of three spells, they would either act Coeardly and run away, or with Falsehood and steel from anyone, or become Hatreds and attack anyone on sight. The only way to break the spell was to first clear the town of its invading force, in which each town differed.
 
Britain was infested with Dragons.
Skara Brea was filled with elementals.
Magincia whilst still haveing ghosts of the previouse invasion still roaming the streets were also infested with undead.
Minoc suffered from plague spawn.
Moonglow was over run by creatures from the void.
Trinsic was infested with Orcs
Vesper streets again were filled by Ophadians.
Yew became infested with Daemons.
 
One thing they all had in common were human and elves that accompanied the invasions and made up what became known as the Shadow Army. These were warriors, rangers, mages and healers, of various ranks. They could be either rank Recruite, Scout, Corporal, Lieutenant, Captain or Genral, each wearing armour of various colours, and carrying spell books or weapons of great quality according to there type or rank.
 
It was only once the Shadow Army and the infestation of each town was finally cleared that the Crimson Dragon would show itself to face the Guards. When the Crimson Dragon was defeated the towns people would have the spell lifted off them and the town once again returned to normal. These invasions returned again and again upon the cities, but the Guards never gave up the fight.
 
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64. I'd Like a Drink of you don't mind
News had reached the Guards of some tragic murders done by Andrew who had left the void.
 
I'd Like a Drink if you don't mind.
Joanne Laroche
November 5, 2008
 
Andrew stepped over the corpulent body.

The tavern had been mostly empty when he’d ducked inside – a few bar maids, a grizzled old cook – little to look at, and few witnesses.

“Help! Murder!” a girl screamed, bolting for the doorway. She didn’t quite make it to the threshold before an energy bolt caught her square in the back. What was once a red-cheeked, outgoing young woman became a heap of crumpled skirt strewn over wine-soaked floorboards.

Andrew stepped over the corpulent body.

Andrew sighed, turning back towards the bar, sighting on a lonely stool in the corner. He continued walking at an even pace, pondering. The cook had come at him first, and with a rolling pin at that. So futile…so predictable.

No doubt the man hadn’t even known why he’d attacked Andrew, why the rage had overcome his reason and left him bereft of both mercy and kindness. The influence of the Shadowlords could leave any weak man daft, and apparently his master had already corrupted many of the townsfolk here.

He sat down, noticing that the other two serving girls had been edging towards the door, much more carefully than their ill-fated friend. Fear was etched across their features, as though any sudden movement, any stumble, any sound could seal their deaths.

Andrew casually pulled out a deck of cards and splayed them out across the counter.

“I’d like a drink, if you don’t mind.”
 
Despite there best efforts they were unable to discover Andrews whereabout.
 
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65. Royal Decree                                                           

The latest BNN article was received with shock and horror by the Guards entitled Royal Decree, it revealed that Lord Casca was declared king pro-tempore.

Royal Decree
Draconi
12 Jan 2009 18:59:49 EST

Citizens of Britannia!

Know that the Royal Council, in unanimous and glorious unity, has elected from amongst their noble selves a new man of the people, and for the people. Know that the Royal Ambassador Casca has been raised up to lead the people of Britannia in her times of peril and peace, as King pro-tempore, with all rights, statuses, and honours thereof.
Know that Lord Casca, ruler of the Kingdom of Britannia, shall lead his people with humility and grace, always striving for the greater good, always seeking to honour the Virtues our most just and magnanimous founder, our once and future king.

Know that this decision comes at a time of great uncertainty and trouble for the Kingdom, and that even our Lord Casca has been touched by these events. He hath survived the evil designs of evil men, who sought only to rain chaos down upon fair Britannia. Even as his noble brethren fell to fates most ignominious, he hath been preserved through his own power and prowess, an exemplar for the common man!

All hail Lord Casca, All hail our King!

The Guards went to the castle in Britain to learn that he had made Lord Blackthorns castle his new home and had reinforced it with a new regiment of guards as well as 2 canons. The town criers called out :

All hail Lord Casca, All hail our King!!

As time passed notice was given that Lord Casca was to address the people, so everyone gathered outside of the now Guarded and secured Lord Blackthorns castle. Finally Lord Casca appeared atop a pedestal to a mixed reception and started to address the people.

Hail all citizens of Britannia!

It seems like it was only yesterday....
The day the evil Followers Of Armageddon Attacked!
When they splayed my noble brethren of the council.
When they took me captive!
For days they held me
In a cold, dark cell
Tormenting me, with their sinister laughter echoing through the night.
Waiting for me to finally break.
*lowers his head*
*looks up again*
But I refused to bend and most certainly would not break!
No matter what fate awaited.
I knew I had to persevere
For I alone posed information on the Portal
used by the Followers of Armageddon in Wisp Dungeon.
This vital message had to be conveyed
It was my duty as a council,
For the deaths of my colleagues had to be avenged!
It was my duty as a counsellor.
For the Followers of Armageddon had to be brought to justice!
It was my duty as a citizen of Britannia,
For the kingdom was in grave danger!
Lead by the Virtues, the Brave Citizens of Britannia came to my aid.
You rescued me from the clutches of chaos
You made the Followers of Armageddon pay the price!
Thanks to you Truth, Love and Courage prevailed
And it is you, the Citizens of Britannia, to whom I owe my life.
By the virtues I now pledge to dedicate that life to you!
This day I greet you, the Citizens of Britannia
For the first time as your King!


At this point most of the crowed gathered shouted letting Lord Casca know that they disapproved of his Kingship.


The members of the Royal Council have cast their votes
Unanimously they have Elected
And bestowed upon me the honour of being King!
These are the times of our greatest trials
The Followers Of Armageddon returned
Townsfolk are fleeing their homes
Afraid of being assaulted by their fellow man!
Once law-abiding, loyal citizens corrupted by Greed and Hatred!
The Kingdom's defences are crumbling
You know me as a man of the pen
With this pen I have fought
And won great battles for the Kingdom!
But
Hear me now!
All evil men who intend to rain chaos upon the Kingdom
I will not hesitate to reach for a sword!
Together we will face the trials that await us
Today is the beginning of a brighter future
The cleansing reign will sweep the Kingdom
Together we will prevail!
May the virtues be triumphant!
Now my friends!
What better way to celebrate this glorious day
Than a Royal Hunt!
You are all invited to join me in the great forest south of Britain
Lets  go!

The Guards were shocked at this announcement, but decided to stay close to Lord Casca to learn all they could.


Lord Casca got down off his podium and started to make his way through Britain to the forest.
Once in the forest Lord Casca instructed everyone further.

Go ahead and take home some game for dinner.
Have fun my friend!
Hunt!
Its a Royal Hunt
So we kill deer!
Its always good to have a surplus

Many took the opportunity and killed a lot of deer. It was not till the last moment that they noticed a blue Balron called Deceit rushing towards them. Soon after though before it lay dead before them. Two more were discovered, one called Greed the other called Pride. These too were quickly slain, dropping notes as they died.

Note one was:
 "Blood stained note, by Unknown"

That rat!

That rat!

Where she is going next I don’t know but spies tell me its Trinsic!

Note 2 was:

"A note, by Unknown"

Thar rart In Trinsic

We must kill it!

The Guards searched Trinsic and found nothing, but decided to return again the next day to search again.

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66. Sherry Hears of Casca becoming King

The Guards arrived in Trinsic the following evening to search for Sherry the Mouse. It was not too long before Sherry was discovered and she started to converse with the Guards. It was soon discovered that Sherry was very hungry and some cheese was brought to her. They wasted no more time and started to explain to Sherry that the assassins were after her.

Sherry - Assassins
Sherry - Oh my!
Sherry - Tell me what doth happen in these times

The Guards quickly updated Sherry on Casca being declared King by a new unknown Royal Council.

Sherry - Casca is only just become a Lord!
Sherry - Gather the people!
Sherry - The rule of kingship! Who taught Casca?
Sherry - Who watches the watcher?

Some new people arrived at the scene and not knowing of Sherry before asked who she was and if she was a threat.

Sherry - I am no threat
Sherry - Just a small mouse an I

They then asked for information about Sherry’s stay at the Castle and if she noticed anything odd. But Sherry knew nothing that would aid them and she returned to Casca becoming King.

Sherry - He is King? This is most unbecoming of the people!
Sherry - Casca?
Sherry - Did anyone else but Casca survive the massacre?

The Guards explained that only Casca and Captain Avery survived.

Sherry - Who was found guilty of the massacre?

The Guards explained how Captain Avery had been arrested and charged with the murders of the Royal Council.

Sherry - Where is Avery and Ricardo?
Sherry - A prison where?

The Guards where unable to answer these questions so Sherry continued.

Sherry - Who doth stand trial for the massacre?

The Guards repeated that it was Captain Avery who will face a trial for the murder.

Sherry - Avery is on trial for the massacre?
Sherry - Oh my!

Sherry the picked up on a comment made about the Followers of Armageddon.

Sherry - Who are these Followers of Armageddon?
Sherry - The Followers of Armageddon what doth they desire?

The Guards stated that they sort to take Sosaria and the destruction of all human kind.

Sherry - Our world?
Sherry - This is terrible!
Sherry - And what dost thou do to save it?

The Guards explained that they fought to defend it.

Sherry - You are the guardians!
Sherry - Are you not?

Leavening the Guards with that thought she proceeded.

Sherry - Do you know who that hooded man was in the castle?

The Guard offered suggestions but Sherry was unable to say who it was she saw when she stated.

Sherry - He had upon his head a hood!
Sherry - I could not see

Progressing further she asked,

Sherry - So what did Lord Casca say?

They stated that he had thanked them for saving him and that the Virtues would triumph.

Sherry - And doth he earn your trust?


Many said no and that they trusted Sherry.

Sherry - And I trust you!

When asked about her time in the Castle Sherry mentioned,

Sherry - In the castle I heard whisperings long ago
Sherry - And we did flee
Sherry - we...
Sherry - Fled to safety
Sherry - Casca is not yet fit to be King!
Sherry - How has Casca become King?

They explained how Casca was declared by a new unknown Royal Council and some asked Sherry for advice and guidance.

Sherry - I cannot guide thee at this time
Sherry - Sadly I am just a solitary mouse.

After a moments thought Sherry continued

Sherry - Find out all you can
Sherry - I shell do my best also!
Sherry - Where to look? That is the question.

With those last comments Sherry left the Guards to think on all they had heard.
  

 -------------------------------------------------------------

 Lord Casca had gathered everyone once more in front of Blackthorns Castle to repeat his speech. Once he had finished he mentioned a note he had discovered during the Royal deer hunt he had arranged, the note read:

Recruite! We need more. Untangle!
At it's you will find.

After a little discussion they decided the note was referring to the hedge maze. With in no time the Guards were fighting demons and imps in greater numbers than normal. After a time the Guards had gained control and another note was discovered reading:

C### that damn nasty little Orc infested fort.
So she hides there.

It was quickly realised that Sherry the Mouse had left Trinsic and her new location was known to the enemy. They all agreed that they would travel to Cove the next evening to warn her.

 -----------------------------------------------------

 

 Just as they had expect, Sherry the Mouse was wandering the streets of Cove. Soon a crowd had formed and after Sherry had been given some cheese she requested the names of each Guard. Once the introductions were out of the way Sherry started to ask questions.

Sherry - So can you tell me of this King Casca?

The Guards explained hoe Casca had been voted King by an unknown council. Sherry realised though that some did not realise who she was.

Sherry - I am Sherry the Mouse a friend of he who is gone - the King!

Going back to her discussion on Casca:

Sherry - Casca is not yet fit to be King!
Sherry - Casca is only just become Lord!
Sherry - Does Casca have friends in high places?
Sherry - The Council was rebuilt!
Sherry - Who watches the watchmen?
Sherry - Did anyone else but Casca survive the massacre?
Sherry - I escaped with Milady
Sherry - Milady still hides
Sherry - Safe
Sherry - Safe she is very safe.
Sherry - I cannot say for fear of her life.
Sherry - Who was found guilty of the massacre?
Sherry - Help your lands
Sherry - Help them by defeating the enemy we can see.
Sherry - Help me please.
Sherry - In the castle
Sherry - There was a hooded man
Sherry - And he was always whispering
Sherry - I dare say it could have been a women
Sherry - But was always hooded.
Sherry - I did not hear what they whispered
Sherry - Who are these followers of Armageddon?
Sherry - Who was found guilty of the massacre? Will you follow this new king?
Sherry - No trial!
Sherry - Why has there been no trial do you demand one?
Sherry - So who will you follow?
Sherry - Your own council!
Sherry - Wise men and just!
Sherry - And women?
Sherry - And mice!
Sherry - It seems the people are ready to speak?
Sherry - You have a plan!
Sherry - Let the people rise up against him!
Sherry - But?

The Guards discussed if Casca had any right to the throne and agreed they could see non. They then went on about the need to release Captain Avery for more information and guidance, as well as speak to Lady Aileen to see what information she held.

Sherry - Maybe she will return
Sherry - And the gentleman here does make good points
Sherry - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Sherry - It seems to me that you have some wise men and women here gathered
Sherry - And you have some nobility to lead you
Sherry - And I have heard plans
Sherry - This gives me much happiness
Sherry - I love this land more than anything in it
Sherry - As do you I think
Sherry - Vesper and Cove don't follow the King?
Sherry - Oh my!
Sherry - Now could you do me a small favour?
Sherry - Rid this place of rats?
Sherry - I will sleep here tonight and stay hidden until this Sunday when I will be somewhere new
Sherry - If there are dangers I must remain vigilant for my lord's sake.

With that the Guards set to clearing Cove of rats so Sherry could rest safely that eve.
 

 ------------------------------------------------------

The Guards meet once more to hear Lord Casca's speech to see if he had anything new to add. Lord Casca however repeated the very same speech but this time followed it with an excursion to Destard. After fighting there way through Lord Casca left them, but soon after a Guard mentioned discovering a book saying how Sherry was returning to Lord British castle.

 ------------------------------------------------------- 

The Guards returned to Britain the following day and once again searched for Sherry. They soon discovered her crossing the bridge near the bank and escort her to the castle.

Sherry - People of Sosaria and mouse-lovers
Sherry - I have travelled a little across the lands
Sherry - Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Sherry - And no trial
Sherry - And you have searched long and hard?
Sherry - I do not know where they are sadly
Sherry - Spying
Sherry - I may be able to do that
Sherry - Let the people rise up against Lord Casca and ask him for themselves.
Sherry - I have not seen Lord Casca but it seems his rule needs questioning
Sherry - Now let me ask you all a question simply answer yes or no please?

Sherry - Will you accept Lord Casca as king

Sherry - So it seems that you would follow my Lord
Sherry - But some of you will give him a chance?
Sherry - Then may I make a suggestion?
Sherry - Watch him and judge him by his actions first and foremost
Sherry - I understand the eleven problem a little
Sherry - Someone just said a good line
Sherry - We are all Britannia
Sherry - Keep a close eye on him and I shall do the same also
Sherry - And when the call comes will you be ready to follow your hearts?
Sherry - It is good to see so many who love these lands
Sherry - And the lands are in the hands of fine men and women
Sherry - Now I will go to my bed and sleep soundly thank you all!
Sherry - Good Night Britain

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67 Clainin Awakes                                         

The Guards received some exciting but also disturbing news when the read the report “Clainin Awakes”

Clainin Awake
Calvin Crowner
13 Mar 2009


Maron sat stirring his cup of water with his finger. Water. Still wet. Not much had changed with the rules of the world or the rasping shape clinging to life in the bed next to him.

He’d read the same book four times in the last month or so. He hadn’t been permitted to leave his solid and miserably made oaken stool with the exception of severe physical need or until released from his thirty hour vigil. Each “Watcher” was given eight hours to sleep after a thirty hour post. Maron had not slept so soundly in his life, nor had he been so completely bored.
“Anything could happen,” Casca had directed him, his face uncharacteristically dour. “You must be alert, you must be prepared, you must change the bed sheets.”

Maron grumbled with the memory. What was there to worry about when you were nothing but an over-educated nursemaid for a comatose Archmage?

Jessa Leis was a very skilled healer. She’d come to the group of care givers in the last three weeks and had shown more than a bit of talent healing both body and dispositions. She stood in the doorway carrying what seemed to be a picnic basket. Her sharp yet graceful elven features brought an immediate peace to the otherwise dull setting. Maron was glad to see her.

“You’re early,” he managed after taking in her slim form. She’d pulled the chestnut tresses that normally hung about her shoulders, into an elaborate braid, a fine golden cord gathered across her forehead, vanishing in the mass of curled locks behind.

“Nice hair.” He grimaced unable to fashion a better form of compliment.

Her smile pushed from the center of her lips and tugged the corners sweetly as she spoke, “Oh my Maron, that’s four words already today. Do you feel dizzy?” She took a few cautious steps into the room looking over the still bedridden mage. “Nothing today?”

“No. Not even wet sheets.”

“Well that’s something to be thankful for. See what I’ve brought you for lunch …”

And in that moment Clainin stirred, shocking and setting the two healers on their heels as if they’d been beset by rabid mongbat. “By the Virtues,” Jessa whispered.

Jessa spun, dropping the basket, and gripping Maron at his shoulders. Her smile broad, Maron captured something … offsetting in her gaze. “Go …,” she commanded shaking him, “tell Father Heatherwix our charge is awake!”

Maron found himself almost at a sprint before he caught himself a few steps down the hallway. Casca’s words catching in his memory.

“You must be alert.”

Younger healers don’t dismiss more senior healers. He paused and felt a knot forming his throat. His mind caught the gravity of the scene awaiting him as his eyes again adjusted to the dim light of the room.

Jessa had pressed one knee into the mages side as the golden cord that had moments before held her hair, was pulled taught around the mage’s throat. His already pale flesh now threaded with blue and bruised veins on a death march toward his bulging eyes.

Jessa’s back arched as the pressure of the cord turned in her delicate fingers.

Part rage, part fear Maron’s voice pierced the normally tomblike silence of the halls, “Guards! … GUARDS!”

In a surge, and without thought, Maron gripped the stool at its legs and smashed the seat across Jessa’s temple. With a viscerally satisfying “thop” she fell in a heap above Clainin.

Shoving the elf to the floor, Maron’s training took over and he set himself to the immediate care of the victim.

Rasping and thankfully choking, he cleared the obstruction from Clainin’s throat looking for further signs of trauma.

Not taking his eyes away, he heard boots gathering in the entryway. The sound of swords returning to sheaths.

His voice was quiet and scalding. Dangerous. “Take that,” he inclined his head toward Jessa, “and feed her to a cell. Send word to Casca. He’ll be happy to know he was right.”

 *** *** ***

The message arrived in the clutches of a hawk. The courier set itself on its perch just inside the window of Casca’s chambers, overlooking the gardens below.

Casca’s jaw set tightly, as he turned the parchment in his hands. His ministers stirred seeing his countenance washed with concern. “Clainin is awake. With haste, secure him. The future of Britannia is in danger.”

Casca’s troubles seemed to be mounting. And now, the race was on.

 

They immediately travelled to New Haven to discover Clainin still asleep with the healers. A few days later Commander Nathan Hawke arranged for Clainin to be moved to a safer location and called for everyone’s assistance. Soon after arriving Clainin was helped fro the bed, still very frail he was supported by 2 strong Guards and taken towards the public moongate. No sooner had they reached the outskirts of town then they were set upon by  hordes of Orcs and Ettins. After defeating wave upon wave of attacks the Guards finaly made the area safe and Clainin was supported within the moongate. It was then that Nathan explained that Clainins destination was to be kept a secrete between himself, his personnal guards and Casca. The Guards were shocked that they would be playing no more part in Clainin’s protection as they saw him vanish within the gate to an unknown destination.

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68. Tales of Ice and Fire                                  

The spys informed the Guards on some ineresting events within Castle Blackthorn, the report was entitled Tales of Ice and Fire


Tales of Ice and Fire
March 20, 2009

Battles are sometimes won with bloodshed. Others are won in the silence between dawn and dusk.  And sometimes there is a peace that lasts centuries. This is not one of those times.

Often even the boundaries of an uneasy peace are tested with time. But not even time can heal the wounds of a battle fought between this plane and others.

Spring was early this year. With the eyes of his companion set more on their destination than the means of getting there, the pace they strode would collapse a knight’s steed.  Any onlooker would gather that the two shadows moving in the lavender light must be planeshifting to move so quickly.  Blink.  A league passed. Blink. Three leagues.

Each silver-grey cloak gathered about the massive shoulders of each slender form.  At this distance they could have been taller than shire horses. Then again, the light at this time of evening did play tricks on the eyes.  They strode shoulder to shoulder, never breaking stride, never checking to see if the other were lagging or tired.  They moved with purpose, and as if they’d known each other longer than the sun, or any other thing in the heavens.

They stopped.  Their motion coming to an immediate halt seemed not out of place, nor did their breathing seem labored. They … simply … stopped.  One crouched as if testing the earth for a place to lay, his palm outstretched his body and eyes set on the ground beneath, and what stretched to the horizon before the pair.

An ancient language swept from one, “Tenpiswo ui wer ouith …”
“I feel it too,” his companion agreed. “The wound is here …” 


*****  ******* ********


Casca had been playing this game for several weeks now. The moves of his opponent were methodical.  The pigeon brought one move each day for one player.  With the latest, Casca had lost a knight to a pawn. Sloppy, he thought. Sloppy play. Where was his mind? Perhaps the invasion and all his machinations were having an effect on his decision-making.

Panting, Threwort ran in and brought himself quickly to attention.  Opening his mouth to speak Casca raised his hand. 

“My liege …” Threwort tried to interrupt. 

“What are you up to?” he spoke to himself.  He traced each path of every piece with an extended finger, forming move upon move in thin air.

Threwort rocked on his heels impatiently.  Exasperated Casca turned to Threwort. “What is it?”

“The Trammel Barrier, My Leige. It is restored.  The Crimson are falling back, as if they suddenly found more pressing matters.”

“But I didn’t. There was no word to …”

Casca’s stomach churned. Looking at the chessboard, his tongue folded against the roof of his mouth, as if tasting iron and oil.

“What do you mean, it’s restored?  Of course it’s restored! Certainly, all according to plan. This! This is the era I have spoken of. Our planets are aligned. Our destinies sing of prosperity, magic, and muffins!”

“Our next step is now easy. Onward now to Yew Abby!”
-Calvin Crowner


After which the were informed that Nathan Hawke was gathering everyone at Yew Abby.

Nathan - Good evening
Nathan - I have sombre news to tell you all
Nathan - It seems that there has been some interesting developments
Nathan - I no longer have much faith in King Casca
Nathan - Please please
Nathan - We will not be killing the King no
Nathan - We will be cleaver
Nathan - It seems the King may be implicated in the murders
Nathan - NOW listen up PLEASE
Nathan - PLEASE
Nathan - DO you understand
Nathan - Right
Nathan - Two things
Nathan - Firstly we must watch him closley
Nathan - And unless it seems we damage the kingdom we do what he says until such time
Nathan - as we have more evidence.
Nathan - Not tonight no
Nathan - Tonight we have a mission
Nathan - And as soon as this is done I must go and check on Lord Clainin.
Casca - Excellent, you are already here
Casca - And so many of you!
Casca - Have you told these people of our mission yet?
Casca - We have found the source of the evil that has washed over our lands.
Casca - Now we must extinguish it!
Casca - Then let us charge!

Casca and Nathan lead the Guards away from the Abby and after a while of roaming the woods a gate was cast and they all entered a long dungon corridoor. Carefully they made there way along killing demons and poison elementals as they went, till they faced 2 iron doors, from which they heard dreadful sounds as a large force awaited there arrival. Bracing themselves the doors were opened and they were immediately charged by undead, creaturs from the void, elementals, ogres and demons. The battle raged for some time till they had taken the room.

Nathan - SECURE THIS AREA
Nathan - SECURE THIS AREA
Nathan - SECURE THIS AREA

Whilst some checked out another set of doors and the corridors they lay beyond, others searched the room they had just captured. In the center stood a towering blood sigil crystal, standing on a pentagram.

Casca - Good work everybody!
Casca - Here before you
Casca - This is the source of evil!
Casca - Your evil has plagued us for long enough!
Casca - Evil begone!

Nothing seemed to happen as Casca waved his arms in the air and hit it with his staff whilst shouting at it. Till suddenly it exploded throwing everyone backwards against the walls and then dropping them all to the floor. As the Guards recovered themselves they discovered broken red shards of the crystal laying around the room and gathered them up for further investigation. Cascas interest lay else where as he gave out instructions.

Casca - I feel we must not stay here too long.
Casca - Everybody meet me outside!

Once outside the Guards noticed that Nathan Hawke had left them as expected, but the juberlant Casca started to address them.

Casca - Victory!
Casca - VICTORY!
Casca - We pushed back the enemy
Casca - The rip that facilitated the evil has been mended
Casca - The corruption that invaded our cities has finally called a halt!
Casca - Today is a most glorious day.
Casca - For despite our differences we prevailed
Casca - The Citizens of Britannia may sleep soundly once again
Casca - For the evil has been vanquished from our Kingdom!
Casca - Hurray!

Whilst Casca was still cheering a Crimson Dragon strolled up to them.

Casca - A Crimson Dragon!
Casca - Call the Guards!

With the words Guards still exiting Casca’s mouth he fleed. Instantly the Guards went into action, but nothing they could do would pentrate some magical barrier surrounding the Crimson Dragon Syrak, so it strolled amongst them, taunting them.  Then he seemed distracted by a young Lady dressed in a pale blue gown.

Syrak - You! How did you get here! When did you get here!
Fayaxion - It is vital to your mortal lives to vacate this area immediately!
Syrak - How dare you ignore me!
Fayaxion - This is no reason to which I should answer your questions my young red cousin.
Syrak - Sosaria belongs to the Crimson Flight! It’s time for your weak race to perish!
Fayaxion - Young Crimson, it’s past time for you to leave
Fayaxion - Humans! This is your last warning: Leave Quickly!

Suddenly where Fayaxion had stood now stood a Platinum Dragon staring at the Crimson Dragon. Then right before there eyes the Crimson Dragon Syrak vanished, turning to the Crimson Dragon Fayaxion  the Guards were just in time to notice her vanish into the trees with great speed that none was able to catch her. The Guards stayed there a while debating on what had taken place that day.

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69 Crimson Dragon                                    

Whilst the Royal Guards rested another watched things happening within Britannia

Crimson Dragon
March 23, 2009

Some time ago…

Taerlstratar looked intently into the shining orb he held with refined grace between two of his foreclaws. Despite being an immense creature his ability to move every muscle in his body with poise was unsurpassed, and holding the twelve inch orb eloquently was as simple a task as breathing.

To himself he thought, “The Shadowlords will be the ones to do it, they are going back home. And I will go back as well; its past time to take my true place in the lands now called Britannia. Curse Mondain, foul little human. Perhaps, it’s time to kill them all.”

While pondering the destruction of every human in existence, the orb changed its scene, shifting from showing an image of the works of the Shadowlords, to some of the younger looking Crimson dragons. Taerlstratar peered a bit closer into the orb, his large cat like pupils moving as if by command – fluxing out and then in slightly to get the best view possible from the small scrying orb. “The young ones… they too have a purpose for me.”

Taerlstratar knew all too well the bloodlust that lingered in the hearts of the young Crimson brood; he also knew the lack of wisdom and restraint that came without years of knowledge and experience. Make no mistake however; the young ones were not simply mindless killing instruments. Young Crimsons were still smarter than any human, gargoyle, or elf back home.  They simply desired the very thing that was their birthright – to rule the lesser species.

The brood was too big now – a new home was needed, new conquests, new terrain – out of this endless void where Mondain had trapped them. Taerlstratar moved his massive wings out to their full length, a full hundred and fifty feet by human standards, stretching himself out a bit before returning the orb to its pedestal and collecting his legs underneath him. There was work to be done.


-Kilandra Cotten

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70 Platinum Dragons                                 

Could the Royal Guards have unseen friends starting to move to there aid?

Platinum Dragons
March 25, 2009

Swords clashed in combat between two humans – one male standing 6’2 and a female around 5’7. The young man was wearing typical battle gear, bright chrome armor lined with golden hues that seemed to fit every curve of his muscled physic. The young woman, who seemed to be matching every strike he put towards her, was almost identically dressed with the same style chrome armor. The two combatants were engaging each other in almost harmonious melee combat, neither one losing footing to the other.

A few feet away, a dark cloaked figure seemed to be presiding over the contest. Without motion, nor words the figure stood perfectly still. In this stoic state the figure monitored every step, swing, and motion of these two.

“Valec!” came the soft but obvious yell from the young woman towards the man in a voice that almost sang as she spoke. Pausing from her combat she now looked for an answer from the seemingly distracted man. For some reason, Valec lowered his sword and now stood in front of his sparring partner looking down at the ground as if focused on something far away. “What is it?” She pryed.

Valec’s eyes were fixed upon the ground and his free hand opened wide as if he felt something radiating from the foundation beneath him. His beautiful fingers quivered slightly.

“Tilas, someone approaches…” Valec responded to his companion. “And something is very wrong”. A worried look twisted his face and pursed his lips.

The cloaked figure who had until this moment not moved a hairs breath now stepped forward towards the pair, pulling down the hood of the cloak, it was clear, the figure was a beautiful yet aged woman with waist length silver hair. She was dressed in armor like the two called Valec and Tilas but seemed that she had no need of a sword. 

“Good young one, you are learning to be aware of your surroundings while in combat, but tell me, how do you know something is wrong?” she asked the young man.

Looking up at his mentor Valec replied “The footfall - it’s hasteful for a dragon of our brood, not only that but, the wind it moves with him – a sign of trouble.”

“Is that all?” She asked as she looked at him with mildly inquisitive eyes and a bright smile.  Then turning her gaze and smiling at the young woman who now seemed to be concentrating her thoughts to the full extent of her abilities as if not to be outdone by her friend.

“I do feel something but, it’s the spirit aura, this dragon’s magic, it’s shaking almost, I can sense it” The young woman Tilas’s face now showed small signs of being slightly proud of herself. But her pride lasted only for an instant, as the realization seemed to drop upon her shoulders with great weight. She now shared the look of worry her partner had before.

“Good Tilas, Good Valec, both of you, when you learn to sense all these things at all times, even in your sleep, then you will have progressed to my liking” The older woman responded.

Quiet crackles like steel sparks dancing in the air emerged from the skin of the older woman. A magical aura glowing dark blue, purple and silver glistened around her body and hummed with intensity while giving new form to her. Within little more time than it takes an Ophidian to blink an eye, the once human woman transformed into an immense Platinum Dragon Matriarch.

She was adorned with elaborate horns ending in perfect points, a blue sheened chest plate with assorted jewels covered and protected her front, and a matching jeweled head plate of armor that had a cut away to accommodate for the large frilled ridge that lined her forehead and continued down her back sat high upon her massive head. Her shoulders would easily clear four sturdy human men – if they stood each on the other’s shoulder.

The two younger dragons followed suit after their mentor, calling forth the proper magics needed to undo the spell that held their human transformation intact. Now the draconic combatants in their true form, while not nearly as large nor decorated as the elder female, still an impressive sight to behold two young platinum dragons as they stood behind their mentor awaiting the arrival of another.

The rush of wind Valec had predicted arrived with a flurry as a fourth dragon finished his approach towards the group. This one was larger in size than Tilas and Valec but obviously not the same stature as the Matriach. Giving a revered bow towards the older female, the adult male platinum dragon with a concerned look upon his face spoke.

“The Crimson dragons have found a way to return home”

Silence fell upon the group. Each individual seemed to be reviewing the statement “The Crimson dragons have found a way to return home”. It seemed as if everyone there suddenly understood some disturbing fate.

“Aesthyron, what will we do?” Tilas addressed her teacher by her name with a mixed display of concern and fear.

A gentle smile pulled away the lips that covered rows of gleaming teeth into a crescent moon as Aesthyron’s eyes quietly closed and her head tilted down. The massive elder Aesthyron seemed to comfort the young ones by her calm presence. All eyes looked to her for guidance.

“We will consult with the elders” Pausing for a moment with a heavy inhale of her massive lungs she spoke again softly “My precious young ones, you do not know of the lands from which the elder of our brood came nor why for more than 300 years, most of you have never seen battle despite the daily training – the lands from which we came from are now called Britannia- though it was not always named as such. If our wayward Crimson brethren have left this void for that home there can be only one purpose for their return. They intend to conquer the lands. Conquest, power, treasures, these are the motivations of your lost cousins. Britannia still hosts bountiful life. The Crimsons will pay no heed to this fact, in order to achieve their goals they will slay every living creature that stands in their way.”

Valec’s eyes seemed to flicker with intense blue light at hearing this information. Restrained anger presented in his voice “So, the land of our ancestors is going to be ravaged.” Valec paused for a moment.

“Would you defend that land if there were a way?” Said a young woman as she walked into the group of dragons. The petite woman seemed to come from nowhere and walked among the giants as if she felt no fear. Her ebon hair flowed from under her black and blue shimmering cloak, gently kissing the ground beneath her as she glided to the center of the meeting.

“Lady Bryxion…” Tilas called to the woman as if she were asking for confirmation.

“The portal with which the Crimson brood has entered Sosaria has not been completely shut.” She smiled “It seems that it was kept open ever so slightly after the Lord of the Crimson flight left it; I leave it to you to decide what you will do with this information”

With a formal bow Lady Bryxion disappeared like a shadow.
-Kilandra Cotten

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71. Salvation                                                 

A message is sent out from Casca

Salvation
March 27, 2009

Our Lord Casca, ruler of the realm, bids all Britannia to hear, and have the following news be made known to them:

Let it be known that after great struggle and sacrifice, Lord Casca has personally shattered the wicked artifact that weakened the world’s magical barriers, allowing invasion into our fair lands.

Let it be known that he is thankful to all who aided the effort, in both the defense of our cities and to those who demonstrated their loyalty in the assault on the hidden lair of our cowardly enemies.

Let it be known that Clainin, of the royal court, master magician, yet lives! His survival warms the heart of our liege, who, having ensured Clainin’s protection from nefarious villainy, has entrusted him into the hands of Britannia’s finest soldiers while he recovers.

Soon, our greatest wizard will return to our ranks, ready to stand against the tide of darkness, ready to strike down with brimstone and flame all who dare oppose that which is right and true!

Rejoice, Oh Britannia! Though the final battle is yet to be won, our salvation is nigh!
-Draconi

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72. Conversation                             

Melissa turns her attention to Clainin

Conversations
March 27, 2009

Winds change and rain falls on the just and unjust. Or so I’ve been told.  I’ve watched this realm burned. I’ve seen siege and pestilence; birth and death; love and murder.  And I can never have enough.

What matters should one minor breath cease, when an entire land can join under one banner?  I see myself as simply a person of ambition. I see myself as a person who understands balance. I see myself as the one person who truly understands sacrifice … not mine of course … but I do understand it.

Melissa stood before the full-length mirror, her slim form twisting almost awkwardly as she took in the regal plunge of the backline and gracefully returning to set her grey eyes – the color reminding her of the slivers of iron she’d once watched a smith fashion into her first dagger.  She smiled considering how fate works … and how she felt herself a crafter in her own right with her influence over it.

She fawned and practiced her looks of shock, dismay, disappointment and glee -- gesticulating and morphing from one pose to the next. With a flourish an ebon blade appeared at her fingertips, her eyes betraying the sudden sense of peace at its weight in her hand.  She purred examining both edges: a lioness stalking the weakest member of a small herd.

Turning on her heels she plucked at the tip of the blade, walking until she stood over a collection of spy reports. Some of them written hastily, others in the steady hand of those knowing their business well.  Nothing new or tasty -- her own plans so much more delectable than anything her network had managed in the last few weeks.

She returned the dagger to its place without effort searching across the room for …
“Ahhh,” she rasped, “there you are.”  Her sway across the room was noticeable, almost coquettish.  She stood before painting she’d had “removed” from the archives depicting Clainin.  She pouted mockingly opening the conversation.

“You’ve served your purpose so well fine mage.  Britannia owes you its eternal thanks for your duty and service.” She almost scoffed as she straightened herself readdressing the image.  “And eternal shall this nation’s thanks be.”  In an easy motion her body lunged forward, pressing the tip of the blade into the cheek of the mage’s image, her mouth drifting to the ear of portrait, her voice squelched into a venomous hiss: “And in showing my personal appreciation I shall have complete … job … satis … faction …”

Darker than her own thoughts, shades moved in hushed steps through the false dusk of the crypts.  Whispers and messages passed between them without voice or acknowledgment.  Cloaked shadows slipped like corruption through the low arches, the smell of oil and incense hung in the air, falling on senses deadened for millennia.

From within Melissa’s apartments her dulcet laughter drifted down the halls.  
-Calvin Crowner

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 73. Cloak and Dagger                        

News had arrived that the members of the Shadow Lord Faction in Felluca had started gathering so spies were sent forth. Within there base a new bark ominouse gate had appeared above a blood red pentegrame.The spie waited in the shadows till sdomeone came to enter the gate and he listened carefully for the passord to be muttered. "Chaos" the man intoned as he entered the gate, soon to be followed by the Royal Guard spie.
Inside the innner most rooms of there lair the gate was now standing on a blackened pentagrame. Entering the room further two sets of stone steps lead up to a platform of stone with black curtains either side, beneath a pool of lather bubbled. To the right was a single display case ontop of which laied black Obsidian Daggers.
Concealing himself the spie waited to see what was to unfold whilst the room filled with the Shadow Lortd followers.Soon after Melissa the Servant of Nosfentor appeared on the platform.

Melissa - But Winter's chill suits them best of all.
Melissa - Hello lovelies.
Melissa - *purrs*
Melissa - Welcome to my lovely coup.
Melissa - I so adore balance don't you.
Melissa - *pouts*
Melissa - But it seems there are a few... obstacles
Melissa - Well one really...
Melissa - Oh, don't worry lovlelies
Melissa - As a lady I still don't mind doing my own dirty work.
Melissa - But I'll ask you to do a simple task for me...
Melissa - Each of you take a Dagger from the display
Melissa - I'm sure you understand how to swiftly dispense justice in your own fasion.
Melissa - But I find these a more elegant appreoch.
Melissa - Life ceases where these strike.
Melissa - You'll have to act quickly
Melissa - But I'm certain your patience is already worn with little detour.
Melissa - Taste the elegance of the mayhem.
Melissa - We are about to wreak on Britannia.
Melissa - Savour agony in the hearts of the multitude as they watch their hopes purged...
Melissa - Apologies my dark and noble friends, go now!
Melissa - Feast on the blood that falls beneath these blades...
Melissa - But save Clainin for me
Melissa - I'll follow along shortly...

They raced through a gate to paladine isle in Trinsic where news had already spread and a force swere awaiting them.The battle between those that tried to defend Clainin the Royal Thaumaturgist and the followers of the Shadow Lords was intense. Both threw all they had into there jobs. Whilst Clainin himself lay in the bed on the top floor of the Paladins keep, a strange aura surrounding him.

Clainin - Jtxm rs w. Jd!

It was then that they realised the aura surrounding him was like that around a wisp.

Melissa - Clainin must not be allowed to live!
Clainin - Zr ep t bzh tgy!
Melissa - Clainin can not be allowed to survive. Kill him! I command you!

The battle continued to rage around Clainin.It seemed at some points that a follower of the Shadow Lords would strike down Clainin, but whether it was the chanting, the aura or perpaps the assasin rethinking things they could not tell, as each time they stopped without harming him.

Melissa - Safe? I want him dead!
Clainin - M s V kxm lm m, Ytmcy,
Clainin - Iy cb yn x.

Melissa - If you will not rid me of Clainin I will do it myself.
Melissa - *Skips and hums*
Melissa - *Kisses Clainin on the cheek*
Melissa - *Whispers in Clainin's ear* Where are your preciouse Virtues now my friend?

Clainin - Mmc mc, Kj, Ly s l pc.
Claini - Y rl Tdsl Xl

Melissa - Here is only Chaos!
Melissa - This is where you...

Clainin - *Clainin is wracked with extreme pain*
Clainin - Sy mrm G tim.

Melissa - Die!
Melissa - die!
Melissa - die!

Melissa thrust a dagger into Clainin's back and he collapsed to the ground. Just then Nathan Hawke the captain of the Guard entered the room and addressed Melissa.

Nathan Hawke - Melissa no!
Melissa - No evidence shall remain...
Nathan Hawke - Unhand him!

Melissa removed the dagger from Clainins corps and turns to face Nathan.

Nathan Hawke - You!
Melissa - You are too late
Melissa - *purrs*
Nathan Hawke - And I will track you to the ends of the lands
Nathan Hawke - For this

Melissa - Clainin has passed
Nathan Hawke - Arm yourself!
Melissa - *A glistern appears in her eyes*
Melissa - You'd best get out sir

Nathan started to move back slowly watching Melissa intently.
Melissa - GET OUT NOW!
Nathan Hawke - I am not afraid of you!
Melissa - In Vas Flam

With the last word leaveing her lips there was a vast explosion in the room sending debis everywhere. Once the flames had subsided the scene that Melissa had left behind was of death and destruction. She had succeded in what she had come to do, the death of Clainin and gotten away too. Fighting continued between the Guards and the Shadow Lords followers till Trinsic was once again clear.

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  74 Mormorial to Clainin                    

Nathan Hawk The Seeker of Truth stood beside the throne in castle British, a black cloak hung down the back of his charcoal leather armour, across his chest he wore a purple sash embroider “Clainin I Will Not Forget Thee”, he smiled sombrely to the crowd that was gathering, then seemed to return to his own deep thoughts.
A mutter came from the crowds that drew his attention “Reckon Casca will show ‘Is face?”, looking up to the crowd he stated “Aye he will,” “this is about Clainin not Casca.” As if on cue Casca appeared before the throne and nodded to Nathan before addressing those gathered.

Caca - Citizens of Britain we have gathered here today to pay tribute to a most honourable man! With many great deeds Lord Clainin has served the Kingdom to his dying breath, a terrible loss.

Casca looked down as mumbles came from the crowd, once silence was restored he continued.

Casca - In his honour a memorial has been created in the gardens of the castle.

Once again mumbles erupted from those gathered and Nathan had to order Silence before Casca could continue by raising his hands to the heavens and stating:

Nathan Hawke - By the Virtues I give you… Lord Clainin!

The name Lord Clainin was repeated amongst the people gathered till his name rang in the hall. Once silence was once again restored Casca spoke to Nathan.

 Casca - “you wanted to say a few words?

Nathan Hawke -  “thank you.

Nathan moved to the centre of the daises to face the crowd. Tension filled the room as Casca turned and sat upon the throne, but out of respect of Clanin and seeing the sombre figure of Nathan standing before them they remained quiet.

Nathan Hawke - Thank you, I am not going to talk about the virtues, although the Bishop of Trinsic sent me a nice book on the subject.:
Dear brothers and sisters of Sosaria. I would like to make a short speech in commemoration of our dearly departed Clainin.

Nathan bowed his head a little as he said Clainin’s name and then continued.

Nathan Hawke - “You may learn something of him tonight we hope. As you maybe aware Clainin recently awoke from his troubled sleep and was rescued from Haven under the command of King Casca, and we escorted him to a safe house for his own safety, even though we were attacked during this mission. It seems that mission was undertaken in vain for Clainin was shortly after murdered by Melissa despite my best efforts to save him.”
“Clainin was a great man, he was apprentice to none other than the legend Nystul. It was Clainin who assisted in the building of the structure still found in the courtyard, built to aid in the detection of Minax.


Nathan stopped a moment to scan the faces of the crowd.


Nathan Hawke - He was a member of the Royal Council after Nystul left and indeed was a comrade of mine and one of those who gave me orders and read my communiqués always with interest. Indeed it was Clainin and Dupre who rallied the people when left without both Nystul and Lord British. He forged the first alliance with the Meer against the Juka. It was he who assisted the Meer to cure the plague of Yew with the aid of the Guardsmen. He helped cure the Commander of the Royal Guard of a dreadful poison., which was inflicted through Keeonan after several treks into various dangerous places assisted by  the Royal Guard.
In other times he built the abortive magical barrier designed to defend Britain against the magical  attack when Yew and Cove were overrun by orcs and the Waker of the Dead had been summoned by Belo Ondariva not long before.


Nathan paused and looked down, a single tear rolling down his cheek.


Nathan Hawke - He revealed Ramuz the Shadowlord in the guise of Odric to the assembled Royal Guard! It was Clainin who also led the Royal Guard to meet with Inu the Crone in Tokuno to face her challenges, so she would translate the journal of Merebella. He was present at the time of the Blackrock explosion that destroyed Haven, due to the concentration of volatile metal within its walls, being collected by the traders from adventurers while the detector was activated in Moonglow. It was this which caused him to go into a coma for a long time only recently recovering. To be murdered at the hands of Mellisa, I saw this myself. Finally he was the author of Observations of the Shards, A chronicle of the remains of the of the Gem of Immortality and will be dearly missed by all. That was the life of Clainin.

Amongst mutters about Clainin from the crowd Casca once again took centre stage.

Casca - Thank you Nathan, Would somebody else like to say a few words?

Shuffling and murmurs came fro the crowd but nobody stepped forward.

Casca - nobody? In that case we will proceed with a procession to the Memorial.

A voice suddenly came from the crowd saying “I wouldst.” Nathan realising this spoke out.

Nathan Hawke -  wait, Attorak wishes to speak.

Nodding Attorak thanked Nathan and moved to the centre daises, whilst Casca returned to the throne.

Attorak - Thank thee, People of Britannia, People of Sosaria, we have lost a great man. The mentor of Dawn and the defeater of the plague of Yew, his deeds art countless. We shalt never forget his words. We shalt never forget the deeds. He wert good to us. And on this day, we art here, to remember him. But we shalt also remember the circumstances how he died. Little we doth know about his murder… Or… whom might be behind her. The truth is, we knoweth nothing. The case is closed, thanks to our King Pro Tempore, Lord Casca.

At this Casca jumped up from his throne stating.

Casca - That will do sir, thank you very much.

Whilst being hastened off the diases Attorok was still heard.

Attorok - “But there art still evils out there, despising… We shalt never forget Clainin. And his deeds. So the murder what wert done.”

Casca - Very touching indeed.

Casca - Dose anyone have anything else to say?”

 With the mumbling about the murder he watched out but non came forward to speak.

Casca - No?

Obviously uncomfortable with the situation he continued.

Casca - “Then we will proceed with the procession.

At that moment Nathan came to stand beside Casca and looked at the crowd.

Nathan Hawke - One moment milord.

Casca - Again? Very well go ahead.

Nathan Hawke - Just to say, NO stone will be left unturned in the hunt for Clainin’s killer.

With Casca looking at him he continued

Nathan Hawke - Let us go then.

Casca then lit a candle and stood in front of the crowd with Nathan beside him. He then gave instructions to the crowd

Casca - All of you follow me and Nathan please, and walks slowly to the castle courtyard.


The procession walked slowly and silently to the north eastern corner of the castle gardens where they all saw for the first time a marble pedestal beneath a Bust of Clainin, Everyone respectfully gathered round whilst Casca placed his candle at the foot of the monument.

Casca - Lord Clainin

He slowly bowed his head. Many others including Nathan also bowed there heads whilst the name Lord Clainin once again filled the air. Both Nathan and then Casca stated for the crowd to feel free to place flowers. Flowers were soon gathered and the monument was surrounded by them with the air filled with there perfumed fragrance. Once the last few flowers were placed Nathan again addressed the crowd.

Nathan Hawke - I think that looks grand, the flowers will stay, we will rearrange them as best we can. Thank you to all who gave flowers and other gifts, you will be remembered.

Casca - I will order the gardeners to re-arrange and water them.

Nathan Hawke - Good night for now this sombre evening, it is time for reflection.

 A voice came from the crowd

Wokhoss - god bless ya soul and let u arrive on the other side in peace.

Nathan Hawke - well said Wokhoss, that is my sentiment also.

He then left whilst many paid there last respects with bows and comments. Casca soon after took his leave.

Casca - I shell bid you a good evening as well. Thus concludes the memorial to Clainin.

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75. Distracting Decision                               

The Guards had saved Britannia from many things recently, so much so that unbeknown to them the Shadow Lords had decided that they needed to be distracted.

Distracting Decisions
Start Date: June 17, 2009

Three figures emerged from the darkness, displacing the stagnant air that had long ago settled in the catacombs. Their sudden entrance was unmarked by the usual din of sound and light that accompanies teleportation – unlike the haughty mages of humans and elves they were not bound by tradition, circle, or spell.

Indeed, they defied physical existence, or perhaps even transcended it. Under their hooded visage lay burning coals instead of eyes. Billowing cloaks tossed by an unseen wind held nothingness, yet a nothingness that filled and defined them.

They resembled mankind only because from man’s heart was born the darkness they embodied. They were the antithesis of Virtue, the despoilers of Lord British’s legacy.

The Shadowlords.

“The search continues.”

The voice was female, soft and alluring, subtle. Any mortal might be ensnared by such a siren voice, lured to do the bidding of Fear and Betrayal incarnate. She was Nosfentor, the Shadowlord of Cowardice.

“It must be found.”

A second voice, this time male, had rejoined her brief statement. The words seeped through the air on hidden currents, circling and twisting amongst each other; convincing words, sincere words. He was Faulinei, the Shadowlord of Falsehood.

“Yes.”

The third and final of the three spoke. The terse response penetrated the depths of the catacombs like steel, carried onward without echo and then lost. He was Astaroth, the Shadowlord of Hatred.


Nosfentor stretched forth her voice again, motioning as she did so. Beneath her Sosaria appeared, like a map being unrolled upon a table.

“We are interfered with.” She pointed to the capital city of Britain and a glow overtook the slumbering town. “There.”

The other two regarded the pinprick of light below.

“Yet our servants have performed… adequately,” began Faulinei.

“Have they?” Astaroth interrupted, daring the other two to contradict.

The Eight Cities of Virtue had been besieged, their peoples slaughtered, the barriers between Felucca and Trammel weakened – Trammel itself invaded, then lost and sealed off again.


This had been foreseen, as the Shadowlords were not prepared to begin their dark work in earnest until the last artifact binding their powers was found. Yet their search had been in vain, none of the cities had held it, and so their methods changed.

“Britannia, old and new alike, is all but ours,” replied Faulinei.

“What of the rest?”

“There are too many… complications,” Nosfentor replied quietly; a hint of complaint.
 
“Agreed,” the others replied.

For a time they regarded the world below.

“Let us distract them. That our agents become free to pursue their tasks, and end this interference.”

“It must be something small, lest our hand is discovered early.”
 
“Let me, then.”

This time it was Faulinei who reached out, speaking into the mind of his chosen servant, commanding him to make… arrangements.

-Tim “Draconi” Cotten

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 76. Aiding the Empire of Tokuno              

The Guards were watching closely for the Shadow Lords and there accomplices next move. When finally Casca sent out a Royal Decree.

Aiding the Empire of Tokuno
June 18 2009

It is hereby declared by royal decree that the people of Britannia shall assist the Empire of Tokuno with the incursion of hostile beasts that once again have begun roaming their lands, stealing their wealth and spreading destruction.

The Treasures of Tokuno must be redeemed from these foul monsters by any means, be it blade or spell! Speak with Ihara Soko, the Imperial Minister of Trade in Zento, should you recover any lost artifacts of the Empire.

By the hand of your Sovereign and Lord, Casca

-Tim

It was strange that these treasures were once again in the hands of the beasts of Tokuno seeing as there had been no new storm to disturbed the  sunken treasure wreck. But the Guards were impelled to remove these treasures from the beasts to stop them falling into the wrong hands. When collecting the treasure another strange thing was noticed, items that had not been seen before in either of the 2 previous collecting sessions. Once was a mempo, marked Leurocian’s Mempo Of Fortune, the others were strange new dyes, these included Fresh Peach, Silver, Deep Brown, Burnt Brown, Light Green, Rose, Pale Blue, Noble Gold, Pale Orange and Chaos Blue.

It was also noticed that 3 strangers were to be found throughout the lands interested in the Cloaks of Corruption. The first was at Yew Abbey named “Bishop The Seer”. On approaching he started to speak.

The time is at hand, wilt thou hear me?
I have seen the end of days, my child. The final battles that edge ever closer haunt my dreams. Canst thou stand against the fate of this world? Will ye? If so, I shell aid thee with the gifts of those born upon a distant shore. Go forth! Slay the spawn of the shadows! Bring unto me a cloak of corruption and the Threads  of Life. I shell turn Fate itself aside and weave thee an Artifact of Healing… that thou might stand stalwart and strong against the coming nightfall.

He requested them to give him a Cloak of Corruption and 10 threads of  Life which they quickly supplied.

Thou hast done well! Though the world forsakes thee, know that greater forces act to preserve thee. Take this, then, and wear it well.

The Guard took the offered blood red Cloak of Life and left to seek the second of the strangers. This Stranger they found outside of the Lyceum, his name being Alphonse the Seer.

Dark falls low across the land - destroying the hopes and dreams of all. Wilt thou rise before the challenge, take up arms and fight the last fight?  I shell aid thee, if thou choosest so. For this path alone holds the sweet promise of a future, a future made bright and glorious by the sacrifices of many come before. Bring unto me a Cloak of Corruption and Threads of Thought. I shell give thee an Artifact of Hope… thou might rise above the darkness, and never let it fall upon us again.

The Guards did as instructed and presented a Cloak of Corruption and the 10 Threads of Thought.

Thou hast done well! Though the world forsake thee, know that greater forces act to preserve thee. Take this, then, and wear it well.

Alphonse the Seer then presented the Guard with golden Cloak of Power. Takeing there leave of Alphonse the Guards sought out the last of the strangers and soon found Augustus the Seer in Serpents Hold.

The end draws nigh, but for whom? Even a single soul such  as thyself may tip the scales, Perhaps not. Yet if thou be willing, then ye shell receive aid! Bring unto me a Cloak of Corruption and Threads of Fate. I shell bind these remnants of power against the cloak’s influence. I shell make thee an Artifact of war… that thou might destroy thine enemies and thwart the corrupters of men.

The Guards soon returned with the requested cloak of corruption along with the 10 threads of fate.

Thou hast done well! Though the world forsake thee, Know that greater forces act to preserve thee. Take this, then, and wear it well.

Thanking Augustus the Guards took the black Cloak of Death and departed.

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 77. The Nature of Shadows                               

Information was delivered to the Guards and they eagerly read it.

The Nature of Shadows
August 20, 2009

Britannia lay under siege, both from forces without and within. Her borders marred by intrusions by daemonic horde and mortal traitor, her fields in ashes, homes empty, deserted. The great cities still moved on, unheeding the carnage consuming the countryside even as voices rose in protest, only to be cut down by the merciless enforcers stalking the streets.

The agents of the Shadowlords moved freely amongst the common people, subverting their will with insidious guile. Their earliest attacks had taken a toll on the will to fight, and now the very people of Britannia were becoming part of their own downfall. Every day the Shadowlords themselves grew stronger, preparing for the day they could convert the world into yet another dark jewel in their ever expanding collection of conquered shards.

Worlds without number had fallen thus far, and now, this shard too would be stained with the darkness eternal. A few, a precious few, strove to fight back against this dying of the light. Hope had returned in our future leader Dawn, a savior in times beyond saving, who began rallying the faithful for our final stand.
 
Unlikely allies appeared, and pieces moved across the great, unknowable battlefield of fate. Even then we were helped and hindered by forces beyond our reckoning.
 
Amongst the chaos one man had sought out the secrets of the Shadowlords, willing to sacrifice anything to discern their true nature: to learn how to defeat them once and for all.

I, Dexter, write the following account of the Elder Mage, Sutek, a man I was proud to call my mentor, and in those days in hiding, my only friend. These are his words, the words that taught us how to defeat the monstrosities by our own hand.

“A bargain has been struck… we shall know what must be known.”

Sutek’s eyes stared into the pool of liquid light, I remember his face, blank, serene, his eyes piercing through the very ether.

“There are three, as we have known, and they are Astaroth, Faulinei, and Nosfentor. They are creatures of Hate, of Falsehood, and Cowardice.”

“Yet they are not… creatures, they simply… are. Hate, Falsehood, and Cowardice.”

“They are the very embodiment of the Anti-Virtue, they are everything… that the Virtues are not.”

“They are… not eternal, they have been created, as an… archetype, a shadow of a greater… danger. One which has not yet turned towards us, not yet…”

“Their mortal hosts… live, and yet live no longer.”

“Slaves they shall become… these agents of chaos.”

“Beware them, for though pawns they are yet power…”

“The Murderer, the Betrayer, the Fool.”

“Beware their masters greater, their shadows of shadows.”

“Our world was shielded from… their influence, their power. The great rift, in Moonglow, allowed them to pierce the veil.”

“Yes, it was then that the Lord of Time attempted to thwart them…”

“And is now cut off from the ethereal void as are they. That is why they are weak, all of them! They are all trapped here, in our world, without…”

He sagged, yet kept speaking, possessed of a stranger’s will.

“They feed on us… they grow stronger while the Time Lord weakens.”

“ The rift must be re-opened so they can be cast out…”

“In another world there was One who was known, one, who, who fought them, and defeated them. For that world was saved.”

“It is at once another world, and our own world. My mind… cannot…”

“They are the antithesis of everything the Virtues are… and thus, they too have an opposite.”

“This… Avatar, he is destined to defeat the greater… power. While we in our worlds…”

“Yet we are aided, still.”

His eyes tightened, as through blinded by an unseen brilliance. After this, his voice changed, the meaning of his words shifted as though another were speaking through him, and no longer merely to him. They echoed in rhythm, filling my mind with images.

The dawn of hope comes; a light to fill the void,
and with her ride legions forgotten.
The cold of platinum against crimson fire,
elder ones return to the world of men.
She shall take in hand the icons of power,
The Book, the Candle, and the Flame.
She shall pledge herself to Virtue,
She shall descend into the darkness, and with her,
all the chosen kingdom, and there,
 end


At this point, Sutek collapsed, and struck his head against the table as he fell into a crumpled heap atop the dirty floor. The scrying pool went dark as I rushed to his side. Only time would tell if he had said all he had hoped to say…

He awoke some minutes after, barely remembering his ordeal, or his breakthrough. He seemed a bit muddled, but quickly took command, and soon enough we were on our way to meet up with the resistance movement.

It was with this message I had written that we met our new leader, Dawn. And as she meditated upon these words a strange thing occurred, something we have never forgotten. A beautiful light seemed to enshroud her, transfiguring her before us into the very embodiment of our hopes. It was as though, in that moment, we all had a moment of perfect clarity, of what must be done, and the assurance we would succeed.

And that’s when the Dragons came.

Elsewhere, a filthy figure clawed at scraps in the gutter of the street, clutching a chewed apple core greedily. Grime was combed through her hair, her fingernails black with the detritus of a hundred nights without a warm bed or shower. She was dressed in a ragged kimono, out of place in the Britannia city, but uncaring.

Inu the Crone’s eyes focused. She straightened, lifted her head slowly, and with a newly clear voice and unburdened eyes stared into the heavens. She had only two words, two words she had longed to say for many years, that now spilled out so humbly.

“It’s gone.”

-Tim “Draconi” Cotten

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 78. Peering into the Past                              

Whilst the Guards continued to protect the lands more information or even a vision, was delivered to them entitled Peering into the Past.

Peering into the Past
August 12, 2009

Dexter’s brow creased in worry.

Across from him sat the elder mage Sutek, his constant companion in their self-imposed exile from Britannia. Not exile, he thought, bitterness welling up, but their flight. After Moonglow’s devastating events Sutek had latched onto the younger mage and the injured stranger, rushing them into hiding.

But why?

Sutek let out a soft groan – he had been hunched over the scrying pool for hours now, eyes unblinking, locked in an endless stare with nothing. It had given Dexter plenty of time to consider their plight, and the recent freedom they had found in the resistance movement.

The “why” had become obvious when Casca’s men had come for him: not guards, he remembered, no, these were people who ended… threats. He shivered, recalling their dark armor as they surrounded him in the small, cramped home. He remembered slamming into a chair, rocking back, the knife at his throat, the questions –
 
Sutek had gotten him out then, and they hadn’t looked back.

The third member of their trio, Sutek called him Hawkwind, was still unconscious. Then again, Dexter wasn’t sure the word applied to… him. He looked human, but the vision of the glorious personage he had seen inside the rift persisted in his mind. He could still see the white robe, the burning eyes, and the pillars of fire he had unleashed on the Shadowlords so long ago.

Yet this was no immortal, at least, not anymore. All Dexter saw was the husk of a mortal man laid across a stained bed, propped up by pillows smuggled to them by loyal sympathizers.

Dexter turned back towards the bowl just in time. It came on quickly, without forewarning, as magic flowed into the bowl and out from it, enveloping the tent in a diffused glow. A light blossomed beneath the surface of the rippling liquid mirror.

And then Sutek could see.

-Tim “Draconi” Cotten

 

79. Dawn of Hope                                           

Information had reach the Guards on another vision, this time it was regarding Lady Dawn.

Dawn of Hope
August 4, 2009

She kneeled in front of the wooden chest, gently brushing her fingers atop the aged mahogany.  The corner of the house was quiet; her only company the tiny motes of dust spinning in gentle pirouettes down an errant shaft of light.

Pulling the old brass key from her skirt sent a glancing ray around the room to play across the ceiling. She gazed at it for a moment, remembering, and lowered it towards the chest. A sound, suddenly familiar, greeted her efforts with a soft click.

The chest began opening upwards, revealing the treasures she had placed within so long ago. In her mind the familiar refrain of an old song began: a song of strange places, of lost peoples, and of Stones.

The jewels and gold atop the velvet sparkled in the light returned, but her hands slipped beneath them, gently setting them aside. As the tales of her Lord and King awoke within her the humble tune carried on, rising in fervor. She lifted aside the smooth cloth, her fingers grazing against the cherished treasure beneath.

The door crashed inwards.

One hand had already ripped her armor from its resting place within the chest, the lid snapping closed, as the other leveled a sword towards the intruder before she realized this was no foe who had interrupted her impromptu reverie.

“We must go!”

She picked herself up, holding up the iron and oiled leather armor, shining despite the years. The man paused then, her determination, her calmness blunting his message. He realized what she held and turned around, suddenly modest, but spoke on.

“The madman let them loose on Luna,” he moved to make a spitting motion, and frustrated by the indoors, jerked his head to the side instead. “No place is safe, not even here.”

Dawn stepped beside him, cinching a band of leather across her waist, and strapping her sword to her hip.

“Then we ride for Luna.”

After the pair had left the old farmhouse a cloaked figure stepped from the shadows to regard the empty room. They never would have felt his presence, let alone seen him, and yet he had been there throughout. White hair with streaks of platinum spilled from beneath the hood as he pushed it back. He regarded the lonely chest, now emptied of its great charge.

“Such things should not be left to perish,” he mused, waving his hand, “When her work is done she will have need of you again.”

The chest vanished, and then so had he.

-Tim "Draconi" Cotton

Soon after reading it a messenger arrived informing them that Nathan Hawke needed there assistance at the Council Hall. Once they arrived he wasted not time.

Nathan Hawke - I mentioned the trouble in Yew the other night?
Nathan Hawke - Well since then things have moved on
Nathan Hawke - And tonight I hope that once I leave you there will be a friend to help you in your search tonight.
Nathan Hawke - An old friend
Nathan Hawke - *smiles*
Nathan Hawke - For it would seem there is someone who has returned to us
Nathan Hawke - A new hope
Nathan Hawke - We shell have to see wont we?
Nathan Hawke - Let me contemplate a few moments please
Nathan Hawke - Ahh yes
Nathan Hawke - Mystery upon mystery
More strangers returned
Nathan Hawke - And older ones
Nathan Hawke - Your mission tonight is this
Nathan Hawke - I will make a gate to Yew
Nathan Hawke - and from there you will meet up with an old friend
Nathan Hawke - Who hopefully can tell ye more
Nathan Hawke - But beware Casca
Nathan Hawke - the traitorous dog.
Nathan Hawke - Once you get out of the gate seek ye the
burning house.
Nathan Hawke - Good luck.

Nathan wasted no time and soon the Guards were in Yew before a small burning house. They tried to gain access but found the door locked and were soon beaten back by the ever growing flames.  They tried as they could to quench the flames when Fayaxion the Platinum Dragon approached them.

Fayaxion - Good evening young ones
Fayaxion - I am a friend of Sosaria yes small one.
Lady Flame - Do you know where the owner of this house is?
Fayaxion - I do indeed
Fayaxion - But first do ye know who I am?
Konan - I do believe you are of the mystical platinum dragon race
Konan - At war with the Crimson dragons?
Fayaxion - We have walked amongst you in human form for many years
Fayaxion - We try to observe and help where we can.
Fayaxion - And sometimes it is necessary for us to show ourselves
Fayaxion - In times of great danger
Fayaxion - This day we go to rescue one who has been taken from this house.
Fayaxion - The dark Ones known to you as
Fayaxion - What was the words
Fayaxion - Shadow Lords?
Fayaxion - Ah thank you
Fayaxion - They have taken her and I believe she is frozen
Fayaxion - But the Shadow Lords have her under their spell
Kenon - Is she in mortal danger wise one?
Fayaxion - She is indeed
Fayaxion - Are ye tough enough to fight the Shadow Lords little ones?

As one the Guards announced they were ready to do there best.

Fayaxion - All we ask is you try your best
Fayaxion - Get ready to fight my little friends
Fayaxion - You will need all the virtues with you this night
Fayaxion - Stand back one moment please

Fayaxion took the Guards to a dark dank corridor and they raced forward. Soon they were face to face with a Shadowlord manifestation and the battle commenced. The battle was slow until Fayaxion arrived with reinforcements. This gave the Guards the edge and soon the Shadowlord manifestation lay motionless upon the ground.

Fayaxion - We need to search this things body.
Fayaxion - Look for clues

The Guards pushed forward through door into a large room, where they saw the Lady Dawn, standing still upon a red pedestal with crystal. The pedestal was standing on a pentagram and had 4 runes surrounding it. No sooner had they taken the scene in then 2 more Shadowlord manifestations appeared and the inevitable fighting ensued. The fighting was intense and when a third Shadowlord manifestation appeared the battles outcome hung on a knifes edge with them chanting a spell over and over again.

Shadowlord (Manifestation) - Anh Mi Sah Ko

But the virtues shone on the Guards as one by one the manifestations fell

Fayaxion - Aye you did well.
Fayaxion - Did you find anything?
Reob - I find a book named ZU
Fayaxion - ZU?

Fayaxion - Anyone find any other books?
Vaentorian - Zu is a magic word for sleep
Fayaxion - Sleep
Fayaxion - Ahh
Fayaxion - Keep the book please
Fayaxion - Are there any others
Reob - I have 2 books
Fayaxion - read what does the other say?
Rrob - An Zu
Fayaxion - An Zu
Fayaxion - What does An mean?
Vaentorian - Ex is…I suppose, release?
Fayaxion - Zu Vas An?
Vaentorian - Ex An Zu may be roughly translated as “free, remove sleep”
Fayaxion - Ahh
Thunderz - An ex zu
Fayaxion - Use the spell

With the Guards saying many combinations of the words they found on the Shadowlord manifestations, they soon noticed Lady Dawn starting to slowly open her eyes. She then blinked and looked around the room

Fayaxion - She awakes!
Alyx Astarsis - May I suggest we get out of here?
Fayaxion - Aye Alyx we should indeed
Fayaxion - grab her!

Dawn was hastily helped down off the pedestal and ushered towards a gate Fayaxion had made.

Fayaxion - Get her into the gate please.
Fayaxion - I will see you all soon
Fayaxion - When Dawn calls
Fayaxion - I shell come
Fayaxion - You have your New Dawn of Hope
Fayaxion - Listen to her wisely
Fayaxion - I almost forgot!
Fayaxion - I must come with you a moment

Dawn looking confused slowly made her way to the gate, whilst getting some answers as to why she was there.

Haphazard Scrawl - You were kidnapped
Haphazard Scrawl - And frozen in place.

Dawn - Kidnapped? By whom?
Haphazard Scrawl - Fayaxion says it was the Shadowlords.
Dawn - Fayaxion? Who is that?
Haphazard Scrawl - If you look over your shoulder
Haphazard Scrawl - you will see a platinum dragon.
Dawn - WOAH
Dawn - And we follow it??
Haphazard Scrawl - Apparently so.

Everyone followed Fayaxion through the gate to the Council Hall in Britain. There Fayaxion stood before Dawn looking down at her whilst he looked up at him.

Fayaxion - Dawn you are back amongst us.
Fayaxion - I will tell ye only one thing
Fayaxion - Well
Fayaxion - Firstly the man who is now King is none other than Lord Casca
Fayaxion - And he is a traitor
Fayaxion - To the memory of those gone before us.
Fayaxion - He will attack Luna
Fayaxion - As he has done before
Fayaxion - And once ye are recovered ye must decide if ye can lead the people.
Fayaxion - Please Dawn
Fayaxion - The people will inform ye more fully than I
Fayaxion - Tell her of Casca’s armies!
Fayaxion - Whistle and I shell come.

Dawn - It’s good to have a powerful ally like you.

Smiling up at Fayaxion Dawn smiled and patted him.

Fayaxion - I will return!

With his last words still hanging in the air Fayaxion vanished. Dawn visibly blinked and touched the air where Fayaxion had just stood before turning to face the people.

The Guards briefly updated on recent events before informing Lady Dawn on the fate of her friend Clainin.

Flame - Clainin survived the Council murders
Dawn - So Clainin is still alive?
Dawn - My old friend.
Flame - Only to be betrayed by Casca
Flame - and murdered by Melissa
Flame - A follower of Nosfentor

Dawn - Oh no, poor Clainin.
Haphazard Scrawl - Nathan Hawke tried to save Clainin but failed and got injured when Melissa set off an explosion.
Haphazard Scrawl - To destroy the building.

Alyx Astarsis - He is laid to rest in the grounds of the castle.
Dawn - At the Castle? I must go pay my respects.
Dawn - I have been gone so long… it would be unwise to rush into battle right now
Dawn - So I will spend the next few days getting up to date with current events.
Dawn - Then, I will call for you!
Dawn - And we will rid the land of this so called King Casca!
Dawn - But now…
Dawn - I must pay my respects to an old friend.
Dawn - Be ready though, the call will come soon!
Dawn - For Sosaria

With her shoulders slumped Dawn left the Council hall whilst the Guards called out her last words “for Sosaria”. Once she had gone too soon departed to prepare for the battle they had waited for for so long against Casca.

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 80. Call to Arms to Liberate Luna                   

The Guards finally heard the news they had long waited for, a call to arms from Lady Dawn to liberate Luna from Casca’s attacks. They gathered within the Council hall prepared for battle, the air was tense but the determination on every face was like iron. Fayaxion stood behind them, Lady Dawn in front, the only sound to be heard was Lady Dawn addressing them on what lay ahead. She finalised the address with the words they were prepared to fore fill.

Dawn - Tonight we will send the daemons that  have attacked Luna back to the shadows.
Dawn - YES! Ready your arms!

Lady Dawn opened a gate to the centre of Luna and everyone  charged through. The Bank sitters were unaware of the approaching battle as the Guard numbers before them grew. The Guards wasted no time as they surged out of the market area and straight into the path of Casca’s invading forces.  The air was soon thundering with the sounds of battle, fire lightning flashed all around, the smell of burning leather and bodies filled the nostrils. Casca’s army of faster than normal Ogres, Belrons and the inevitable Shadowlord manifestations giving all they had. Fayaxion fought along side the lesser tamed dragons, and Lady Dawn encouraging the Guards, slowly they pushed forward taking every foot in blood as they pushed them further and further out of the gates of Luna. Smoke bellowed in the air every time a Shadowlord manifestation fell, ever encouraging them on. Casca himself appeared but for a brief time calling them all traitors and bellowing his hollow threats. But as his  army was falling ever faster around him he soon vanished once more from sight. The end of the battle came ever quicker as the Guards took the few remaining enemy before them.

Once the last foe fell and the air had started to settle once more Lady Dawn opened a gate and told the Guards to fellow her. They did so without question and soon found themselves within the star room where she praised and thanked them. As a reward everyone was given a green cloak of silence to aid in future battles. Slowly one by one the battered but victorious Guards returned home to prepare for the inevitable battle against the Crimson Dragons that must lay ahead of them.

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 81. The Bell of Courage                                 

The future was seen crystal clear and written down in an article entitled The Bell of Courage.

The Bell of Courage

The dragons had come, and with them, power.

The power to end wars, or begin them anew. Even as the platinum dragons pledged aid to the battered armies of Dawn, behemoths of crimson red had appeared alongside the agents of chaos, fulfilling vows made in the dark recesses of the void.

Distractions and diversions had been tossed aside, strategies abandoned. A veritable army now answered her call, surrounding her beneath the ramparts of Serpent’s Hold.

The dragons sought to pacify the threat of their crimson enemies, in a bid to give Dawn the time she needed to take her army into the Underworld and destroy the Shadowlords in their hiding place.

The greatest of the platinums had spoken to her, telling her of the power each artifact held – that through them she would take on the mantle of virtue and pierce the veil that protected the Shadowlords.

There plan was simple, for time had simply run out. One part of her army would aid the dragons, while the other made their way to the daemon template of Fire Island, and there, confront the Shadowlords deep beneath the earth.

Now she held the last of the sacred treasures. The Bell of Courage was cold in her hands, heavy, as though weighted with the ages, and yet it resonated still – a new magic slowly intertwining with the power of the other two within her. At last, she was assured.

She looked out upon the assemblage below, a sea of faces all now familiar. Her friends, her followers, simply strangers a few weeks before, now bonded together by blood and fire. Beyond the crowd a slow mist rolled in from the shore, and for a moment, in that deepening fog, she could see all who had ever stood beside her, all who were left behind.

Her eyes caught those of her most loyal comrades, among them a master thief, a grizzled soldier, a young mage, and even a tiny mouse.

She lifted the bell forward, holding it aloft, even as the crowd kneeled in reverent awe, quieting to hear her.

“Britannia!”

“Today we shall conquer! In Virtue’s name!”

The crowd roared in approval.

“We go not now to die for our kingdom!”
“Nay! We shall live to see her free!”

From the heavens a rushing sound descended upon the fortress city, as shining meteors of silvery light appeared above, in moments the platinum flight had descended upon the parapets, roaring their approval.

Dawn pulled back her hand, and threw it forward with a powerful snap.

The bell rang, a crystal note of righteous fury speeding through the crowd. The dragons roared again, their voices rising in a symphony of ancient song. The mortal throng too began to shout, and this was their refrain:
 
“Rule, Britannia!”

And so on they sang, even as their ships set out across the ocean towards the Isle of Fire, where at last their struggle could end.

-Tim “Draconi” Cotten

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82. Mondain's Legacy                                    

Dexter takes up the pen to write notes entitled Mondain’s Legacy.

Mondain's Legacy
September 4 2009

I, Dexter, continue this work of history by my own hand, writing only that which is known unto me.

Herein I shall expound upon the great legacy of Mondain, the secret that brought the platinum dragons to our aid. For what could compel those most ancient wyrms, avatars of age and power, to help the weak and inferior races of men and elves?

Oh, some shall say, that these great dragons are simply altruistic, the embodiment of good without motive to question. They speak as though these beings, whose intelligence dwarfs our own, could be cast into only one simple mold. This is folly, and an insult to these great immortals who fought so valiantly alongside our own lines to defeat their crimson brethren.

Some shall say the threat was never the Shadowlords, but simply the crimson dragons.

Nay, the threat was real.

For the Shadowlords had not simply feasted upon the suffering of the world for their own gluttony. No, they had discovered a greater power, and in their avarice sought it to the very extinction of all life upon our world.

The Three, those cursed in name, had begun creating a Gem of Immortality even as Mondain had so long ago. They had found, after great effort, a ruby gem capable of harnessing the power of our beautiful sun, and in their vileness corrupted it: feeding it hatred, cowardice, and lies.

This they had done in world after world, binding them time after time, consuming their power and leaving it to wither and perish.

And when those Three were defeated, what was left of their wretched mortal shells but shards of the very same Gem? A Gem forged on a distant world, long dead…

No, the dragons have returned to Britannia, and their claim to this world is as strong, if not stronger, than our own. They fought to save this world, and we, we are but a small part in their plans.


-Tim “Draconi” Cotten

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 83.Battle of the Dragons                               

 

 

 

 Lady Dawn was not going to waste time and let the enemy of Sosaria regroup, so she called everyone to arms only a few days later. With the sweet taste of victory still in there mouths the Guards answered her call and gathered to meet her at Cove in Felucca. Knowing that Lady Dawn and the Guards would be gathering there some Sosarians that had been converted to serve the enemy waited in ambush. The Guards soon defeated the ambush but Lady Dawn decided not to wait for them to receive reinforcements and hastily opened a gate so they could engage the Crimson Dragons. With the gate open before her she shouted a simple command.

Dawn - Then Attack!

With a swamp to there rear they faced there first Crimson Dragon. Some Guards still getting there footing from passing through the gate were quickly injured before they could even face the beast. But the Guards far out numbered it and though there muscles were tired from defending Luna the adrenalin more than made up for it. Fire flashed around the dragon but it was a last desperate attempt as it fell to the ground.
As it was still falling Lady Dawn shouted more orders.

Dawn - THERE IS A BATTLE GOING ON TO THE NORTH.
Dawn - CAN YOU HEAR IT?

The Guards did indeed hear it and surged towards the fight. When they reached the source of the noise they saw a large Platinum Dragon entwined in battle with a smaller Crimson dragon. The air rang with there raws and the ground juddered underneath. Without hesitation they raced forward to aid the allies and together they defeated the Crimson Dragon. Lady Dawn’s instructing them as they went.

Dawn - ATTACK THE CRIMSONS!
Dawn - THE PLATINUMS ARE OUR FRIENDS

They fought there way slowly further and further north, fighting crimson dragon after crimson dragon. The air was filled with smoke from the dragons fire, explosions of blue gas puffed out in billowing cloud balls from the centre of fights and the land continued to shake beneath them. Indeed if it was not for the Platinum Dragons that came in ever greater force the day would have probley have already been lost. Even the aid the converted Sosarians gave to the Crimsons was not enough, the Guards knew they would have victory if only they could keep going till the bitter end. Soon they saw a gate of deepest black with circles of purple red and green within. This must be the gate they were using to enter Sosaria, they had at last reached the Crimson Dragons entrance way. The fighting more intense here took what seemed an eternity before they held the area. Lady Dawn lead from the front and could be seen swinging her sword over her head with adepitude. Her skill was great and she bellowed orders as she did so.

Dawn - WE NEED YOUR HELP TO THE NORTH.

As always the Guards answered her by pushing ever deeper north. The Crimson Dragons and there accomplices were now far out numbered and had started to spread out. But the Guards were determined to leave non alive and track each and everyone down. Finally Lady Dawn saw the battle had been won and ran to each group shouting out for a regroup.

Dawn - EVERYBODY GATHER SOUTH OF THE SWAMP.

The Guards did as instructed telling others as they followed Dawns order‘s. Finally a large group stood together, but hounded by the Crimsons associates so Lady Dawn quickly cast a gate.

Dawn - IN HERE

The Guards soon found themselves in the safe area of Cove Trammel.

Dawn - Well done everybody!
Dawn - The Crimson Dragons have been defeated!
Dawn - Tomorrow we finish this!
Dawn - We will go directly for the source of evil
Dawn - So get some sleep and heal your wounds

With that Lady Dawn left and the Guards departed. They were hurt, tired and it they were really starting to feel it. But they were also overjoyed that victory was there’s for a second time and looked forward to making Sosaria once again safe.

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84. Battle of the Shadowlords                       

As requested the Guards filled the Council hall ready  for the imminent battle with the Shadowlords. When it seemed the hall could hold no more Nathan Hawke arrived.

Nathan Hawke - Anyone have any bandages?
Nathan Hawke - Please

He was soon followed by Lady Dawn who quickly moved to the stage and spoke to everyone.

Lady Dawn - Yesterday evening we helped our friend the Platinum Dragons.
Lady Dawn - In their fight against the Crimson Flight.

More and more pushed forward towards Lady Dawn.

Nathan Hawke - PLEASE SHOW RESPECT FOR LADY DAWN.
Lady Dawn - And we were victorious!
Lady Dawn - The Crimson Dragons have been banished from our lands!
Lady Dawn - BUT
Lady Dawn - We have yet to face their masters!
Lady Dawn - Tonight we will confront the Shadow Lords
Lady Dawn - HEAD ON
Lady Dawn - ARE YOU READY?

No sooner had the word ready left Lady Dawns lips then a gate appeared in front of her which the Guards raced through.  Immediately they reappeared at the Demon Temple on fire Island and charged up the stairs. The area was full of tamed beasts and people huddled looking for the entrance which was buried in the centre of the throng. For each person that entered the gate 2 more pushed forward to replace them. Once at the centre within a blink they were each teleported to an underground dungeon. Casualties mounted  so fast as multitudes of Shadow Lord manifestations were awaited them. Amidst them all was Nosfentor the Shadow Lord of Cowardice and Faulinci the Shadowlord of Falsehood prepared and ready for battle. The Shadowlords kept sending out waves that struck fear into the Guards.

An unfamiliar fear washes over you, and for a moment you’re unable to move.

Knowing the Shadowlords would have a field protecting them the Guards came prepared with hands full of Blackrock, the very regent needed to cast the Armagedon spell, the only spell that could penetrate the shield and thus make the Shadowlords venerable to attack. The dungeon was filled by steady hmm of people casting.

Vas Kal An Mani In Corp Hur Tym

seemed an age Nosfentor seemed to start to waver and then collapsed never to raise again. The battle was still not won as they were stillThe chants were constantly being over  shadowed by the screams of agony and pain as the Guards fought to there very limits just to get a foothold and secure an area for the injured. No area was truly secured for long as the Shadowlord Manifestations kept being summoned, but they were able to hold little pockets for a few moments at a time to heal all they could. Mean while the sounds of the battle ever increased, along with the Guards desperation. Whenever the Guards succeeded in killing a Manifestation whilst it was still falling to the ground an ever growing ball of black smoke would surround it followed closely by fire. It was a very long time before the Guards started to get a true footing with the dungeon. Some had headed Lady Dawn and Nathan Hawkes words when they gave out the cloaks of silence, that they would be useful in future battles. As those that did wear the cloaks went unnoticed by the Shadowlord Manifestations and could concentrate on the Shadowlords themselves.  Very slowly Faulinci showed signs of weakness which gave the Guards heart and they increased there efforts. It was still some time though before Faulinci finally succumbed to the Guards attacks and fell to the ground. The very cave shook and was filled with fire and thick black smoke. But it was done, they could be defeated. With added heart they doubled there efforts on  Nosfentor. Even so it was a desperate battle they knew they had to win, but struggled to bring Nosfentor down. After what  being attacked endlessly by the Shadowlord Manifestations and they still had to defeat Astoroth the Shadowlord of Hatred. Whilst the Guards were still divided between the defending of a healing area, the battles with the manifestations, the vast majoratory were fixed upon the fight with Astoroth. Every muscles was aching, there bodies were covered in blood sweat and grim, every pet had wounds, and magic users voices sounded course. Despite so many now cantered on Astoroth they were still struggling. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion as finally Astoroth started to waver. Then at last Astoroth too succumbed to the Guards attacked and fell to the ground.  The Guards chocked as the air again turned black and fire raged from around Astoroth lifeless corpse. They had won, victory was there’s, but there was no rejoicing, the dungeon was still inhabited by Shadowlord Manifestations that had to be defeated. Slowly they worked there way through clearing the cave tunnels as they went. The message was passed through the Guards that Nathan Hawke wished them to gather in the room they first entered at. Once there they could finally take time to see what the Shadowlords were guarding, a large Ruby Gem sat atop a dark shadow pedestal. The pedestal was standing on a floor that looked like the void and surrounded by black spikes, all this accessed on all four sides by 3 steps.  The Guards pressed in to have a closer look whilst Lady Dawn entered and climb above them on the cave wall, she then raised her sword up high. She stood there in her solute of victory until they all had turned to face her.

Dawn - The Shadow Lords have been defeated.
Dawn - Nosfentor the Shadow Lord of Cowardice.
Dawn - Faulinel the Shadow Lord of Falsehood.
Dawn - Astaroth the Shadow Lord of Hatred.
Dawn - They have all been vanquished by the might of BRITAINNIA!
Dawn - The road has been long.
Dawn - But we were driven by a common goal.
Dawn - And with combined efforts
Dawn - We the people of Britannia, have taken back what is ours!

The cavern rumbled with the deafening cheer from everyone. Lady Dawn paused to let them all enjoy the moment and waited for silence once more before continuing.

Dawn - We pushed back the Shadow Lords!
Dawn - And now once again our lands may bask in the light!
Dawn - All that remains now…

She looks towards the red gem on the pedestal.

Dawn - The Shadow Lords use to make their Gem of Immortality
Dawn - I will see that it is destroyed!
Dawn - Some of you hold a SHARD of the Gem
Dawn - Guard it well
Dawn - NEVER let it fall into the hands of evil again!
Dawn - Tonight we have ore victorious!
Dawn - FOR BRITANNIA!

The cavern once again shook with the cheers from the Guards and whilst the cheers still echoed Lady Dawn bid them good night and took her leave.

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 85. Justice for Casca                 

A couple of Guards saw Sherry the Mouse in Britain Council hall and went to say hello. After they greeted each other and Sherry had been given some cheese she shared some disturbing news with them.

Sherry - Oh that nasty dark dark place!
Sherry - Nasty place right here in the heart of the Kingdom!
Sherry - Oh dear!
Sherry - Oh me oh my!
Sherry - Right here in the heart of the Kingdom
Sherry - They mean to take away our Dawn of Hope!
Sherry - Under the ground beneath our paws
Sherry - Dark nasty place                                                
Guard - The sewers
Sherry - I think so yes
Sherry - I heard them plotting I did
Guard - Have you been in there?
Sherry - I think so
Sherry - Have been confused recently
Sherry - But we must protect Lady Dawn
Guard - We should take a look
Sherry - No good looking now Iljan
Sherry - No one there yet!
Sherry - But scouts must be sent
Sherry - To seek out their way in to the capital from the sewers
Sherry - Before they come
Sherry - They come tomorrow
Sherry - I overheard
Sherry - My mouse holes are too tiny for big ones like you
Guard - Do you know if Lady Dawn will be here tomorrow?
Sherry - She will await thee in the throne room tomorrow night
Guard - She must be warned!
Sherry - Aye warn her you must!
Sherry - I suggest you map out the sewers
Sherry - Find the way in and out
Sherry - Spread the word across the lands
Sherry - to protect Lady Dawn
Sherry - And
Sherry - Investigate the sewers
Sherry - They are hard to navigate through
Sherry - Bad people will be coming tomorrow.
Sherry - I must be away now across the Kingdom.

The Guards immediately went and checked Britain sewers but there search proved fruitless. They then sent a message to Nathan Hawke on what had transpired and spread the word across the lands on what they had been told.

The next evening many filled the hall in Castle Britain prepared for a battle. Standing before the throne in her black armour Lady Dawn stated to address them.

Dawn - My friends we have defeated the Shadow Lords…
Dawn - But…
Dawn - Despite the rumours you may have heard…
Dawn - That traitor Casca is still on the loose!
Dawn - Yes, we have to find him!
Guard - He is planning an attack tonight…
Dawn - A plot?
Dawn - What plot is that?
Guard - Your Majesty, it is rumoured that Lord Casca will plan to attack through the Sewers Tonight!
Dawn - What did Sherry say?
Guard - That she over heard the Elf’s plan to attack from the sewer…
Dawn - The sewers eh?
Dawn - That sounds like Casca alright…
Dawn - I suggest you all put on your high boots
Dawn - We will be going to investigate the sewer!
Dawn - Lets move out!

The Guards moved out as ordered and were soon in Britain sewers. The smell hit there nostrils as soon as they entered and they could hear the flow of the waste waters passing them by as the travelled through in the dim light. They made there way up to the northwest corner to the area with switches. It was here they found a gate and rushed through it. On the others side of the gate they soon recognised the pirates cave that they had cleared years past. Now though it was in use once more, and they were attacked by elite ninjas. Slowly the Guards pushed there way forward, till they came up against great towering Eater of Worlds. These jet black demons proved strong and it took a lot of men to over come them. But the Virtues were with them as slowly they continued there move forward. Finally they reach a room with creates in it, and Casca stood  there looking at them all.

Guard - Lord Casca, in the name of the Virtues, you’re herby under arrest.
Dawn - TAKE HIM OUTSIDE
Lord Casca - arrggghhhhh!
Dawn - BRING HIM OUTSIDE

Amongst shouts of  “hang him” the Guards dragged Casca into the larger cave area. There all including Lady Dawn looked at him.

Dawn - Finally we meet face to face…
Dawn - You CRIMINAL!
Dawn - LUCKY FOR YOU…
Dawn - I AM A BETTER WOMAN

Lord Casca - NO YOU ARE AN INSECT
Dawn - AND A FOLLOWER OF THE VIRTUES
Lord Casca - YOUR VIRTUES MEAN NOTHING TO ME
Dawn - THEREFORE, I SHALL NOT RAISE MY SWORD AGAINST AN UNARMED MAN
Lord Casca do your worst
Dawn - NO MY FRIENDS
Dawn - WE WILL NOT STOOP TO HIS LEVEL
Lord Casca I have an axe now
Dawn - THE VIRTUES WILL DEAL WITH HIM
Lord Casca - WHAT WILL YE DO NOW LADY DAWN?

Amongst cries from the Guards for justice and revenge Lady Dawn raised her arms to the heavens.

Dawn - BY THE POWER OF THE VIRTUES I SUMMON THEE
Lord Casca - BEGONE WITCH

The form of an ethereal Guardian descended from above them, wings moving gracefully.

Dawn - TAKE HIM AWAY!                                                         
The Spirit of Virtue swooped down on Casca and the cave echoed with his screams. Then there was silence and both the Sprit of Virtue and Casca was gone.

Dawn - IT IS DONE
Dawn - THE SPIRIT OF VIRTUE TOOK CARE OF HIM
Dawn - CASCA’S BLOOD SHALL NOT DIRTY OUR HANDS
Dawn - THE SPIRIT OF VIRTUE TOOK CASCA
Dawn - MY FRIENDS THE BATTLE HAS BEEN WON
Dawn - LET US RETURN TO THE CASTLE

They all returned to Castle Britain the same way they had come and was joined by Nathan Hawke also.

Dawn - The power of the virtues proved to much for him!
Dawn - His smell still lingers though…
Dawn - We will have to give this place a good cleaning

Lady Dawn then gave Nathan Hawke a smile before addressing him.

Dawn - I take it you have heard the news?
Nathan Hawke - Aye milady
Nathan Hawke - Lady Dawn
Nathan Hawke - I have a proposal for you

Dawn - Let’s hear it
Nathan Hawke - I have a proposal from myself on behalf of the people
Nathan Hawke - If you will all hear it?
Dawn - I am listening

Nathan with everyone watching then knelt before Lady Dawn with his head bowed low.

Nathan Hawke - Will you become our queen?

Some immediately started to applaud at the idea whilst others started to mummer that they had not been consulted before Nathan spoke on there behalf. A few even put themselves forward as  a candidate for ruler. Lady Dawn looked out upon the crowd and made her reply to them.

Dawn - IF you will have me… then I will answer the call.

But the murmuring was getting loader as some from non Loyalist towns started to call for elections.

Nathan Hawke - THERE WILL BE NO REPUBLIC

One known to Nathan kept screaming “REPUBLIC” till Nathan could take it no more

Nathan Hawke - ESCAFLOWNE PLEASE SHUT UP
Nathan Hawke - THIS IS NOT A REPUBLICN
Nathan Hawke - NOR WILL THERE BE AN ELECTION
Nathan Hawke - IF YOU WISH TO NOT FOLLOW QUEEN DAWN
Nathan Hawke - YOU WILL BE REGARDED AS REBELS

With control restored once more and the crowd cheered there approval of make Dawn there Queen.

Dawn - For the virtues and for Britannia!
Nathan Hawke - LONG LIVE QUEEN DAWN!

The throne room now rang with cheers for there new queen.

Nathan Hawke - PRAY SILENCE FOR THE QUEEN
Dawn - I promise as queen I will let the virtues guide me
Dawn - Together we will rebuild! And clean the lands of the stench Casca let behind.
Dawn - In he following weeks we will rebuild our army
Dawn - And appoint a new captain of the guard
Guard - Nathan!
Guard What happens to Nathan?

Dawn - If Nathan wants the job… perhaps
Dawn - I will have a word with him
Nathan Hawke - Milady Dawn you must reinstate Avery
Dawn - And I hope all will be ready when I call on you again
Dawn - Until then my friends!

Lady Dawn saluted the crowd and left whilst everyone was cheering and shouting long live the queen.

Nathan Hawke - LADY DAWN 
Nathan Hawke - WILL BE OUR NEW QUEEN AND WE SHELL FOLLOW HER
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL TALK TO THE REBELS OF VESPER
Nathan Hawke - AND WE WILL SEE WHAT TEARMS WE CAN COME TO
Nathan Hawke - LADY DAWN WILL LEAD US IN THE REBUILDING OF OUR KINGDOM
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL LOOK AT RIGHTING ALL WRONGS AND RETURNING JUSTIC TO THE LANDS
Nathan Hawke - TO THIS END
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL BE PETITIONING PEOPLE
Nathan Hawke - TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU NEED US TO DO
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL LISTEN TO ALL
Nathan Hawke - THIS IS A NEW KINGDOM REBORN
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL LISTEN AND WHERE WE CAN WE WILL ACT
Nathan Hawke - TO BRING PEACE AND PROSPERITY TO THE LANDS
Nathan Hawke - NOW
Nathan Hawke - I THINK WE NEED TO BEGIN PLANNING LADY DAWNS CORINATION

Nathan Hawke - BUT

Nathan paused and pacing a finger he made a mock whisper.

Nathan Hawke - Lets all keep our silence until the body of Casca is found
Guard - It is outside
Nathan Hawke - What?
Nathan Hawke - where is this body?
Guard - It’s laying outside the doors.

Immediately everyone rushed outside and formed a tight circle around a body on the castle lawn.

Nathan Hawke - MAKE SPACE WE ARE NOT ANIMALS
Nathan Hawke - MOVE BACK
Nathan Hawke - MOVE IT I SAY
Nathan Hawke - GET BACK

Once everyone had done as ordered Nathan took a closer look at the corpse.

Nathan Hawke - SO CASCA IS DEAD
Nathan Hawke - LONG LIVE QUEEN DAWN
Nathan Hawke - LONG LIVE QUEEN DAWN
Nathan Hawke - NOW WE SHELL BEGIN TO HAVE MEETINGS SOON TO DISCUSS NEXT STEPS
Nathan Hawke - SOON
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL LET YOU WHO WANT TO TALK
Nathan Hawke - KNOW THE TIMES AND PLACES
Nathan Hawke - WE SHELL TRAVEL ACROSS THE LANDS
Nathan Hawke - AND SPEAK TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS LAND

The crowds started to thank Nathan for his service to the kingdom.

Nathan Hawke - NO YOU HAVE DEFEATED AN EVIL TYRANT
Nathan Hawke - NOW GO BACK TO YOUR HOMES
Nathan Hawke - WE WILL GIVE HIM A BURIAL SOON
Nathan Hawke - FOR TONIGHT
Nathan Hawke - THIS IS OVER

Looking at Casca’s body on the ground he stated:

Nathan Hawke - LET IT BE A LESSON TO ALL TYRANTS

Then looking at the Guards he said his farewell

Nathan Hawke - I SHELL RETURN SOON MY FRIEND

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 86. Long Live the Queen                               

A proclamation was sent through out the lands entitled Long Live the Queen and the Guards read it with eagerness.

Long Live the Queen

Let it be known upon every isle of the Great and Illustrious Kingdom of Britannia that our own shining jewel, that radiant Star of Hope, our own Lady Dawn has been crowned Queen of the Realm by the common consent of Her people.

In turn, let the works of Casca – the usurper, the murderer, the fraud and betrayer – be forgotten and driven into the dust beneath our heels even as we turn our eyes towards our new Queen.

The False King is dead. Long Live the Queen!

Sherry the Mouse

 

 

The day of the coronation finally arrived and the Guards joyfully prepared to attend. Whilst many made there way to castle British to wait for the coronation, a few made there way to the fountain near east Britain bank to escort Lady Dawn. They were not kept waiting as Lady Dawn arrived on time looking radiant in the whitest of outfits and the brightest golden cloak cascading down her back.

Lady Dawn - Good evening my friends
Lady Dawn - So nice of you to join me on this day
Lady Dawn - We will parade to the Castle
Lady Dawn - Where the coronation will take place
Lady Dawn - Follow me please

With a radiant smile Lady Dawn lead the small orderly procession to Castle Britain. A Guard of honour stood on the steps and saluted her as she approached. Lady Dawn took a moment to acknowledge them by returning there salute before proceeding into the castle hall. Within the hall she took a moment to look at so many that had come to this most important ceremony and then made her way up to stand in front of a nervous looking Archbishop Thomas Lord.

Lady Dawn - Good day Lord Thomas
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Lady Dawn are ye ready?
Lady Dawn - I am
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Welcome to the Coronation Ceremony of Queen Dawn
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Sirs and ladies, I present unto you
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Queen DAWN
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Your undoubted Queen
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Wherefore all you who are come this day
Archbishop Thomas Lord - To do your homage and service
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Are you willing to do the same?
Archbishop Thomas Lord - GOD SAVE QUEEN DAWN

The Guards joined in the chant and the Archbishop did not continue till he had silence once more.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Madam, is your Majesty willing to take the oath?
Lady Dawn - I am willing.
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of Sosaria to any of them belonging
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?
Lady Dawn - I solemnly promise so to do.
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?
Lady Dawn - I will
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of the Land and true profession of
Archbishop Thomas Lord - The Avatar?
Lady Dawn - I will
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in Sosaria the virties as taught to us?


Lady Dawn gave a firm nod as she continued to speak.


Lady Dawn - I will
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you maintain and preserve peace within the Kingdom?
Lady Dawn - I will
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you maintain the army in a state of readiness should evil attack our lands?
Lady Dawn - I will
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you promise to listen to the words of the people and take their just council?
Lady Dawn - I will
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Will you promise to faithfully perform these actions in time of prosperity and famine with equal
Archbishop Thomas Lord - vigour?
Lady Dawn - All this I promise to do. The things which I have promised I will perform, and keep.
Lady Dawn - So help me

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Behold, O Avatar our defender
 Archbishop Thomas Lord - and look upon the face of thin Appointed
Archbishop Thomas Lord - For one day in thy courts
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Is better than a thousand elsewhere
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Almighty Avatar,
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Unto whom all hearts be open
Archbishop Thomas Lord - all desires known
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And from whom no secrets are hid
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Cleanse  the thoughts of our hearts
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And may virtues  be the inspiration of thy ways
Archbishop Thomas Lord - That we may perfectly love thee
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And worthlly manifest thy Name
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Through the Avatar, Amen

 

The room once more erupted with the word “Amen”. Archbishop Thomas Lord waited for silence once more before continuing.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - O Avatar
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Who providest  for thy people by thy power
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And rulest over them in love.
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Grant unto this thy servant DAWN, our Queen
Archbishop Thomas Lord - The spirit of wisdom and government
Archbishop Thomas Lord - that’s being devoted unto thee with her whole heart
Archbishop Thomas Lord - She may so wisely govern
Archbishop Thomas Lord - That in her time thy church may be in safety
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And true devotion may  continue in safety
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And true devotion may continue in peace
Archbishop Thomas Lord - That so preserving in good works unto the end

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Amen
Lady Dawn - Amen

Lady Dawn nodded as  she spoke, but Archbishop Thomas Lord was showing signs of stress and everyone could see beads of sweat on his brow. Then he takes the holy oil out of his pack whilst  everyone looked on a little unsure at what he was going to say or do next. Lady Dawn then Extends her hands and Archbishop Thomas Lord pours oils on the palms of both her hands.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Be thy Hands anointed with holy oil

He then pours oil on the breast.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Be thy breasts anointed with holy oil

The crowd started to mumble in surprise at what they had been hearing and seeing as the Archbishop Thomas Lord continued, he next pours oil on the crown of her head.
Lady Dawn still in full control holds her head back.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Be thy Head anointed with holy oil
Archbishop Thomas Lord - As kings priests and prophets were anointed

Whilst still speaking these words the crowd watches as he takes the Royal Sword of Protection from his pack and Lady Dawn extends her hands towards him. Archbishop Thomas Lord  hands her the sword. Lady Dawn then turns and shows the sword to the crowd.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Hear our prayers, O Avatar. We beseech thee
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And so direct and support thy servant
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Queen DAWN  that she may not bear the Sword in vain
Archbishop Thomas Lord - But may use it as the minister of the virtues
Archbishop Thomas Lord - For the terror and punishment of evildoers
Archbishop Thomas Lord - And for the protection and encouragement of those that do well
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Through the Avatar and his teachings. Amen

Whilst a few echoed the amen Archbishop Thomas Lord took the Rod of Equity and Mercy from his pack and put it into Lady Dawns hands that she had extended towards him. Lady Dawn then turned towards the crowd to show them the rod.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Receive te Rod of Equity and Mercy
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Be so merciful
Archbishop Thomas Lord - that you be not too remiss
Archbishop Thomas Lord - So execute justice
Archbishop Thomas Lord - that you forget mercy
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Punish the wicked
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Protect  and cherish the just
Archbishop Thomas Lord - and lead your people
Archbishop Thomas Lord - in the way wherein they should go.
Archbishop Thomas Lord - O Avatar the Crown of the faithful:

Everyone watched attentively as Archbishop Thomas Lord raised his hands high and Lady Dawn bowed her head towards him. With Archbishop Thomas Lord visibly sweating he now reached within his pack and removed a crown. Firstly raising the crown up before the crowd he then continued his speech.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - Bless we beseech thee this Crown
Archbishop Thomas Lord - and so sanctify thy servant DAWN
Archbishop Thomas Lord - upon whose head this day thou dost place it
Archbishop Thomas Lord - for a sign of royal majesty
Archbishop Thomas Lord - that she may be filled by thine abundant grace
Archbishop Thomas Lord - with all princely virtues
Archbishop Thomas Lord - AMEN

Lady Dawn - Amen

Archbishop Thomas Lord looked at the crowd noticeably shaking a little. With a gulp he then looked to the face of Lady Dawn and reverently placed the crown upon the Queens head. Queen Dawn then rightened herself.

Archbishop Thomas Lord - GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
Archbishop Thomas Lord - GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

The throne room then erupted with shouts of God save the queen intermixed with calls for the virtues to guide her.


Queen Dawn - Thank you Lord Thomas
Queen Dawn - And thank you, citizens of Britannia for placing your trust in me
Queen Dawn - I will do my best to fullfill all my duties
Queen Dawn - You have my word

Whilst Queen Dawn was still talking everyone started to notice that Archbishop Thomas Lord was at first unable to answer Queen Dawn’s thank you and then started to waver, which soon began a sway.

Queen Dawn - Lord Thomas
Queen Dawn - Are you ok?

Archbishop Thomas Lord - M M M
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Milady
Archbishop Thomas Lord - Aye

Queen Dawn - You look a bit pale
Queen Dawn - Maybe you should retire

Archbishop Thomas Lord - I thank thee

Whilst Queen Dawn nodded toward him he immediately looked relieved and colour returned to his face, he then almost ran from the stage. Some in the crowd murmered that perhaps he had had a little too much to drink.

Queen Dawn - I think we could all use a drink!
Queen Dawn - There are food and drinks on the table in the back.

Pointing towards a fest laid out she then made her way in amongst the many well wishers. She mingled with them for a while before taking her leave, and thus started the reign of Queen Dawn.

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87. First Contact                                            

Information of an invite to the Gargoyle Queen Zhah by Queen Dawn was given to the Guards.

First Contact
October 20, 2009

Queen Zhah took the scroll her royal guard was presenting her. Their eyes met for a brief second as she silently thanked him with a slight nod. The guard lowered his eyes respectfully and with a slow bow of the head, as he quietly exited the room.

The Queen ran her fingers over the seal that bound the exquisite parchment the message was written on. She had seen such a seal before in the archives… a seal not of this world. The room was filled with tension as her Council stood staring at her intently, no doubt as curious as she was about the content of the missive. But were they as concerned?

She broke the seal and began to read. When she finished, she exhaled loudly and realized she had been holding her breath. She hoped it didn’t reveal the extent of the relief she was feeling. She lifted her eyes from the parchment and offered a restrained smile to Surnem, her Minister of Magic.

“Her name is Dawn.” she said calmly, then looked around the room at Hon-Aur, her Minister of Commerce and Uskadesh, her Minister of War, observing their reaction.

“Dawn?” repeated Surnem, with curiosity. “Yes. She’s the leader of our… visitors. Their Queen.” replied Queen Zhah. “She sends her respects and requests the pleasure of meeting with the leader of the magnificent world her people recently discovered.”

“She wants to come here?” inquired Hon-Aur. “No. This is an invitation to come visit her palace in the lands beyond the Abyss.” said Queen Zhah. Uskadesh stretched his wings nervously and said much louder than he had intended “This could be a trap!”  He winced and lowered his eyes in shame at the scolding look the Queen gave him. He thought to himself “Control, you fool... Control!”

Surnem suppressed the disdainful smile that threatened to blossom on her lips as she shifted her gaze from the chastised Minister of War to her regal Queen. “This could be good for us, my Queen. Since the Elves and the Humans have entered our realm, our battle against the void creatures has been far more successful. The number of new refugees has diminished by almost half!” Hon-Aur walked over to Surnem and stood by her side in sign of support as he declared “Commerce has also exploded everywhere in Ter Mur. Even the Holy City has reported a huge increase in sales and trades. The people are regaining a sense of hope!”

Hope… Queen Zhah wouldn’t let Hon-Aur see how his innocent comment stung her. That the mere appearance of these strangers and rumors of a foreign Queen would give her people more hope than she has despite all her sacrifices and all her struggle to protect them…

She walked off to one of the terraces of her palace and her Council followed her quietly. Down below, Humans, Elves and Gargoyles were noisily going about their business. It had been a long time since there had been such joyous activity in the City. “Passion and Diligence, Zhah… for the people” she thought to herself. She resolutely turned to Uskadesh and in a tone that suffered no arguments she said “Prepare my royal escort. We leave in the morning. Surnem, round up your Mystics and find a way to rebuild the gate.” She turned her back to them again to face the city. Dismissed, they left without another word.

“Hope…” she whispered. 

-Sakkarah

Soon the date arrived for the royal visitor and the Guards ensured they were on hand at the palace early. Queen Dawn looking radiant in an ice what outfit and a cloak of bright gold that it almost blinded those with sensitive eyes.

Queen Dawn - Good evening everybody!
Queen Dawn - Since last week there has been a lot of talk about gargoyles
Queen Dawn - In order to find out more about them. I have sent a letter to their leader
Queen Dawn - An invitation
Queen Dawn - For an open discussion
Queen Dawn - Queen Zhah has accepted my invitation
Queen Dawn - And tonight she will visit the court
Queen Dawn - I would like to ask you to go collect her in a moment
Queen Dawn - And make sure she is treated well
Queen Dawn - Please, let’s not make any enemies
Queen Dawn - Specially not enemies we do not know
Queen Dawn - We are in the process of rebuilding the Kingdom after the war against the Shadow Lords
Queen Dawn - Our efforts should focus on rebuilding right now
Queen Dawn - Not on waging war
Queen Dawn - I ask you, please go collect Queen Zhah and give her a safe escort back to the castle.
Queen Dawn - She will be arriving at the Moongate shortly

The Guards did as instructed and made there way to Britain Moongate. Soon Queen Zhah arrived also dressed in gold, and was welcomed by all with great respect.

Queen Zhah - Can you please  take me to your Lady Dawn?

They all travelled along the road and into the City of Britain itself. Moments later they were entering Britain Castle with the Gargoyle Queen.

Queen Dawn - Queen Zhah!
Queen Zhah - Queen Dawn
Queen Dawn - Welcome to our city
Queen Zhah - I thank thee for welcoming us.
Queen Dawn - Please, Queen Zhah, approach
Queen Zhah - May the crowd part for us to move towards thee?
Queen Dawn - Make way for Queen Zhah please.

Instantly the crowd moved to leave a wide path to the steps. As the Queen made her way forward the crowd closed back behind her.

Queen Zhah - We thank thee people of Sosaria
Queen Dawn - And we thank you for accepting our invitation

Whilst Queen Zhah looked at the crowd Queen Dawn to a look at Queen Zhah’ wings.

Queen Zhah - Two Queens it makes a welcome sight
Queen Dawn - Indeed

Whilst Queen Dawn was smiling at Queen Zhah’s last comment, Queen Zhah turned to speak to everyone gathered.

Queen Zhah - Please be silent for I may not shout
Queen Zhah - And I want thee to hear my words
Queen Zhah - Firstly I would like to thank Queen Dawn for inviting us here
Queen Zhah - We come in peace
Queen Zhah - We mean you no harm
Queen Zhah - We shell endeavour to work with thee
Queen Zhah - Not against thee
Queen Zhah - I can see a glorious time of trade, peace and prosperity
Queen Zhah - That is a reassuring thought
Queen Zhah - For us all to share in
Queen Zhah - As you will know we are masters of gate technology
Queen Zhah - And we will hopefully be able to open the gates later to
Queen Zhah - What you will see as new lands
Queen Zhah - New opportunities

Queen Zhah - With new horizons
Queen Zhah - indeed a new dawn
Queen Zhah - If you excuse us our pun
Queen Dawn - You are excused
Queen Zhah - For long our people have fought the creatures of the void
Queen Zhah - And this battle has become somewhat easier
Queen Zhah - Since your arrival here
Queen Zhah - We welcome those of you who will travel in peace to our lands
Queen Zhah - And we extend to you all a warm welcome

Queen Zhah solemnly bowed to everyone.

Queen Dawn - Thank you Queen Zhah
Queen Dawn - It seems the Gargoyles have indeed chosen a worthy leader
Queen Dawn - And a wise one too
Queen Dawn - We, the people of Britannia, welcome friendship with the Gargoyles
Queen Dawn - And may the cooperation between our people be long and fruitfull
Queen Dawn - Trader between our people will greatly benefit from easy travel between our lands
Queen Dawn - So let us proceed and open the pathway!

Queen Zhah - And Milady Dawn we will talk a little in private
Queen Zhah - Another time

Queen Dawn - We have much to discuss
Queen Dawn - Please now follow me

The Queens made there way to the center of the throne room where at gate was opened to Britannia Moongate. Everyone eagerly followed. Queen Zhah sttod in front of the Moongate and after a few moments vanished. Everyone awaited prepared for anything to happen. After only a short few minutes which seemed like hours Queen Zhah reappeared and then step back from the gate.

Queen Dawn - Thank you Queen Zhah
Queen Dawn - IT IS DONE
Queen Zhah - I thank thee
Queen Dawn - The gate to the Gargoyle Lands has been opened
Queen Dawn - I will retire now and wait for Queen Zhah to return
Queen Dawn - Good evening to you all

During Queen Dawns farewell Queen Zhah made her way through the gate back to her homeland. Finally Queen Dawn saluted everyone and left them to go and explore the new lands.

Here ends the Warriors of Destiny event.

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