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  1. - Top - End - #361
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AntiMatter101's Avatar

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    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    "Do you know what is threatening Fayruz? Carolinus's message was rather vague.

    Frellon accepted the bow, running his hands across it's length in admiration. "Unfortunately, no. Carolinus and I both recieved a message from Kalandor; it too was rather vague. What is threatening her is unknown, but that she is threatened was crystal clear." Frellon said simply, as if that was all that mattered.
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  2. - Top - End - #362
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tychris1's Avatar

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    Hey everybody did the news get around about a guy named Butcher Contragh?

    The next two weeks were a blur for Contragh. He had been absorbed into the process of organizing and coordinating his tribe. He hadn't tried anything risky at first, wanting to test the strength of the other warring tribes before doing anything hasty. But after repelling two of the usual invading forces that expected to curb stomp the tribe and take over Contragh decided it was time. Had the chaos beasts minions stopped fighting and communicated with each other there fates could have been changed. But their arrogance secured the notion that the failure of the two tribes was due to them being weak, not the Fex tribe getting strong. Like lightning his forces striked down on the Konpor tribe, who were known for their use of slings and rock based traps/ambushes. A quick and brutal raid was all it took to cripple the tribe like that of a wounded lamb. Their leader, gifted with the hardness and traits of a rock, would not sacrifice his tribe so easily and went out to kill Contragh in a duel. The god of war neglected it and instead sent 50 soldiers to meet the leader at the dueling grounds and butcher him.

    The death of one of their warlords sent ripples through the chain of command. Rumors began to spread of a new tribe forming up without the aid of Pikep. In reply the chaos beast bolstered his other tribes and granted them more boons. Having collected themselves from the Konpor tribe they moved on to the stealthy Jikar tribes who formed an alliance with the cannibalistic Pasar tribe. The phalanx Contragh invented was beyond the two tribes comprehension, and it quickly crushed the sneak attacks implemented by the Jikar. With it Contragh penetrated their tribe and began to destroy it, only with the intervention of the combined Jikar and Pasar tribes was Contragh sent back. With too many enemies for the Phalanx to handle Contragh opted for a different idea. With weeks of training he taught a squad of soldiers how to tame and mount Phagos and use them as beasts of war. With his new vicious cavalry in hand he swarmed the Jikar and Pasar tribes and quickly absorbed them into his growing civilization. Contragh then began a spree of attacking and absorbing other tribes in quick succession, the tactical prowess of the warlords he faced against we're little more then a fraction of what he had been used to with Tulen-Kar. They had known little other then brute force and charging into battle for glory, they did not grasp the intricacies of war, and were unable to react to Contragh's steamroller in time.

    Mulling around in his tent Contragh went this way and that as he began to plan out the next invasion. He had requested a form of desk for him to keep his necessities on top of and was given a crude less useful version of it. Lying on top of it was a Phagos skull that he had been playing with to keep his mind busy. Mumbling to himself he sat down on a wooden seat and said excitedly "Ive figured it out! I know exactly how to crush the Mondar tribe! Ahh... Just like the old days in the White City.... The white city..." he said to himself with a sigh, he had tried his hardest to push it away from his mind and focus on the now but it kept creeping its way in to his day to day thoughts. Looking around his tent he gets up and begins to say "What am I doing? What kind of child of Baz'Auran am I? I'm sitting here plotting out how to defeat some tribes when I can't even do it myself. Jongo would just turn into some monstrous creature and scare them away, Fayruz could just soothe them all into working together. And what can I do? Swing an axe good and come up with some plans. Hell Lossethir is gifted physically and he doesn't even work for it! Everyone else seems to be gifted by Baz'Auran and I'm just left behind in the dust. And why? Have they done anything more then me? Huh Father!" he yells to the air, not caring whether his father actually pays attention or not "Have I not been the most compassionate over you? Have I not listened to you unquestioningly? Then why am I not your most blessed son! Why do you grant the others such great things when thy do not work for it as I? Even Dasque, who hates you is treated the same as I! I am worthy of so much more, and yet you deem them as good as I! Why am I not your most beloved son? Why have I never been rewarded for all that I have done? he smashes his fist against the wood, causing splinters to fly everywhere and causing it to sag down.

    Slumping back down into his chair he begins to grumble and puts his hand to his head. Walking through the entrance Contragh's new general asks if everything is alright (As the old chieftain was killed in a battle against the Jikar, and his warrior daughter took his place). Looking up Contragh says he's fine and asks if the soldiers are ready, with a nod of her head she confirms it and shows Contragh to the soldiers. When the sun began to get close to sunset they mobilized their forces to conquer one of the last 9 tribes remaining under Pikep's sway. The Lucan tribe was one of the most warped and gifted tribes among them, given the ability to turn into a vicious crazed hybrid between man and wolf at any time they wanted. With the tribes defenses lowered at night it was the perfect time to strike. Wielding several large bits of wood a group of Contragh's soldiers moved into position. With the wood they began to use Contragh's specially designed weapon. Fire.

    The village was set ablaze, fires rampaging through the tents and buildings. Many people died from the fire, others from the smoke, and the positioning of the tribe on a cliff accompanied with the placement of the fires forced those who survived to enter the open where Contragh's army was set up waiting for them to tumble out. More people died before they realized what was happening, but when they did they began to wolf up and charge into the rank and file of Contragh's army. Dashing through the flames they were met with a stiff wall of shield as they raised the phalanx and began to stab at the wolf men. Yet the ferocity of the wolf men coupled with their speed and strength allowed them to crash through the shields and fight the soldiers on the inside. Yet wherever the shield wall was broken Contragh and his cavalry ran forward and beat back the wolves. The fire began to settle and most of the tribe lied dead, however some of Contragh's scouts reported a group of the wolfmen were crowding around the cliffs edge with their warlord organizing them in a last stand effort. Picking up his axe he sprinted forward to finish the fight and end this. 4 of the five wolves charged at Contragh immediately, and each was dealt with in a swift and single blow. The last of the wolves stayed to defend the warlord but soon died from a spear penetrating his rib cage and impaling his heart. The warlord wolfed up but was too slow to react to Contragh's charge, with a boot kick to the stomach followed with a bashing of his handle against the warlords jaw and finishing with a slash of the axe put the warlord sprawling across the ground.

    The beast began to beg for mercy, but the rage boiling within Contragh showed no remorse. As he prepared to decapitate the wolf lord Contragh heard flapping in the background accompanied with the sounds of weapons dropping and people running in terror. Quickly a shadow encompassed the cliff and forced Contragh to turn around. Flying above him Contragh saw a large dragon staring at him. The dragon was pink with light blue glassy eyes, it's horns twisting as it went back, and it's form seemed to be shifting and changing. As if little details were being rewritten or erased. Landing on the cliff the dragon lowered its head and boomed "So, you are the little pest that has been killing my playthings," it coughs a haggard cough "A child of Baz'Auran apparently, but I could care less even if you were my own child; no one intrudes on my lands and disturbs my food source..... Hmmm, I expected you to be more angelic, coming from the white city and all." snorting Contragh looks up at the dragon and spits "Baz'Auran wasn't feeling quite so benevolent when he made me, you scum." Anger flared across the pink dragons face, turning the light salmony pink into a darker shade of it. Gritting his teeth the dragon responds to Contragh with enviable disdain, obviously masking the pent up rage within "I see... I should kill you for your disrespect, for killing my food sources, and for being a very blight on my utopia. Yet, there is more to be gained from learning of you then merely slaying you outright." Raising his axe to point towards the dragon Contragh readies himself, circling around as the dragon began to move its neck around Contragh, encircling the godling like a snake entraps a mouse. All the while the beast crooned "Tell me all you know, show me your desires, your passion, your hatred. Let me in so that I may mend what has been broken." All the while Contragh hacked and slashed at the beast, but it responded too quickly and dodged each slice. Finally encircled upon Contragh the beast raises its head high and looks down upon Contragh "I'll never talk to some pathetic monster like you." He shouts defiantly, his anger overtaking his sense of humbleness and tact. "Who says you have to talk? I can pierce your mind as easily as I can pierce this armor, and you are all but trapped." A look of confusion fell upon Contragh, as he had expected a fight to the death, not a mental battle "What? Oh, you think me some ordinary dragon, some beast of brute force. Your first and most grave mistake godling, I am Pikep! Lord of this land and changer of ways, I used to wield so much more power before you came along and ruined this perfect chaos. But that matters not anymore, as you will soon be ended from the inside out anyway." But before Contragh could say a word Pikep's eyes began to shine like stars, enveloping Contragh in the light and putting him comatose.

    The land was empty, barren, pitch black and infinite. It was Contragh's mind, where the young godling had been wandering in for who knows how long. Maybe seconds, minutes, weeks, years! Finally a faint glow pierced the darkness and Pikep's pink glory unfolded upon Contragh. Looking down upon the godling Pikep grinned and said "Now, let us see what you fear most, besides me of course." A air of haughtiness at the end. But before he could reject Pikep he could feel his mind warp and bend, enthralled under Pikep's will. Appearing forth was Contragh's younger self, still freshly formed, and was in the form of a scrawny adolescent; a shadow of the hulking figure that is the present Contragh. Looking upon it Pikep laughed and changed his look towards Contragh. "Weakness? You fear being the weakling you used to be? Oh do implore..." obviously having fun at tearing through Contragh's memories. Snarling at Pikep Contragh forcibly says "Because I don't want to be useless and pathetic. Some of my siblings may not care for power or strength but I do." Yawning Pikep continues examining Contragh's thoughts and says "That's fine and nice and all, but it's not the kind of entertainment I'm used to.... Hold on.." and with a snap of his fingers the black landscape turned into a mutable chaotic forest in the middle of a circular opening inside the forest. Decadent followers of Pikep, mad jesters/musicians littered the opening, and warlord's stood to the side in order to protect Pikep. "Ah, home sweet home, now, delve deeper into your problem," As Contragh opened his mouth he was quickly shut down by Pikep again "Ah ah ah, explain it... In song, you were so boring and drab." Contragh's jaw was, quite literally, hitting the floor. Some of the musicians began playing a beat for the song and Pikep sat back to watch the entertainment. Gritting his teeth he curses under his breathe "Who the hell do I look like, Fayruz? Damnable dragon..." Just as the music finally got into it Contragh began to awkwardly sing, trying to imitate the grace of Sonata or Fayruz but instead coming off with the grace of a flying refrigerator. Giving up on it he instead goes for simple, rhyming poetry as Pikep's denizens mock him and mess with him.


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    When you're a weak, it's the most horrible thing in the world.
    You're always wondering what to do when trouble is about,
    And staring in at the world
    Like you got locked out.
    Nothing is worse.
    It's a crime, it's a curse,
    It's the loneliest thing in the world.

    Being weak is the sorriest
    state ever known.
    I know what I'm talkin' about.
    And when your weak only goes
    once you're gone or you're grown.

    People all roll their eyes
    and walk away when you
    get close
    You've got a fatal disease no
    one can diagnose.
    It's contagious, it's viral,
    It's a downward spiral,
    The most horrible thing in the world.

    But when you're strong,
    When you're strong, you've
    always got a crowd.
    You can break the rules
    'cause your allowed.
    You can sway the group in
    any direction -
    You've got a high-speed
    connection
    When you're strong.
    You're the epitome of charm
    and grace
    When you want to bash in someone's face
    If you're strong, you know
    you've got a shot,
    But oh! If you're not,
    It's a waste, its a drag
    It's "suck" in a bag,
    It's the most horrible thing in the world

    But It's just your life when your weak!
    But when you're strong!
    You can rally when the blues
    attack.
    Every problem just rolls off your back.
    You can handle every slip
    and slide
    Without breaking your stride!
    When your strong!
    You don't care that family disappears
    You don't care that your Father's not here.
    You don't care that your
    life's been uprooted and bent
    Without your consent!

    A weakling's afraid it's never gonna be okay,
    But a strong man knows it doesn't matter anyway.
    It's the difference between
    Being able to lead
    And the most horrible thing...
    I said it's the most horrible thing...
    I know it's the most horrible thing in the world....


    Pikep began to chortle, rumbling the area around it. Uncontrollable bursts of laughter violently spewing out of the beast's mouth, oblivious to everything around it as he continued laughing; eventually losing control of the dream realm and causing Pikep's forest to disperse. Gripping his fist Contragh feels the instinct to punch Pikep in the face. He begins to raise his fist, but feels a stern hand hold it and push it back down. Turning around Contragh see's a memory of Tulen-kar before he went mad. Gripping Contragh's hand with both of his Tulen-Kar looks upon his brother and says "Do not give in to Pikep. You are stronger then this, you are not a puppet to be used, you are my friend, my brother, my keeper, my liberator... And you must break free of this instead of getting entrapped in this chaos like me." Contragh looks upon his imaginary brother, nodding in agreement as he accepts his presence and embraces him for a moment. As Tulen-Kar fades back into Contragh's mind Pikep waves his claw at the godling, finally done laughing and regaining his all seeing presence "Hah, you know you are very amusing. Your skill at fighting isn't bad either, I think I might keep you as as a pet, a servant of mine." Staring upon the beast with contempt Contragh says "I'd sooner be some smoldering pile of ash then serve you, you worthless scum." Which caused Pikep to flare up and snarl at Contragh "Take your choice of words wisely. The sky goes blue and the sky goes black, but no matter what you will ever do you cannot take it back..." Which was met with a glob of spit to the nostril.

    Coming forth from the emptiness was a legion of soldier fashioned after Contragh's armor, all equipped with battle axes, swords, flails, horses. Pikep looked upon them and roared with fury "YOU DARE FIGHT ME! IN MY OWN REALM OF POWER! I SHALL CRUSH YOU LIKE INSIGNIFICANT ANTS!" A tornado of fire and dark corrupting essence shot out of the dragons mouth as it obliterated the army. Armor clattered onto the ground as they all dropped dead, Contragh shielding himself from the dragons wrath as best he can. When the fire cooled down Contragh chucked the corpse he was using as a shield aside and stood up. Surveying the grounds he sees his imaginary army decimated, none survived the fake flames. And then it struck him. Imaginary. Imagination. This was HIS mind. Turning back towards Pikep Contragh says cockily "No, you are mistaken Pikep. This is not YOUR realm of power, it is MY MIND. And I shall not let chaos corrupt it as it did my brother," As he talked the dead remains of his soldiers riser back up as undead warriors, their bodies powered by Contragh's hatred towards Pikep and they swarmed over him like a flood. "I cast you out! This is a sanctuary of order, the headquarters for your kinds total annihilation, and it's time I take it back and kill my first chaos beast! I expel you from my mind Pikep!" he shouts as the undead tear Pikep asunder, expelling him from Contragh's mind.

    And with that Contragh blacked out.
    Last edited by Tychris1; 2014-04-16 at 01:45 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #363
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

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    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    Under the Hills

    There came a time when all the villages nearby were empty and silent, and Nieve's people were forced to return to the land for their food. They hunted, and scrabbled in the dirt for grubs and roots, but mostly they starved. Soon they began to squabble and fight, for they were used to taking what they wanted, and now had no enemies to unleash their tempers on. It was not an easy time, and worse still for Nieve.

    She was lacking. Unwhole. With nothing to test herself against, she ebbed.

    Restlessness drove her hard over the hills, heedless of her people's complaints and their gaunt cheeks. She could not sleep; when she lay down and closed her eyed she wanted only to rise and walk again, and when exhaustion finally dragged her down her dreams were full of emptiness. She woke gasping and sore, still wanting. Sometimes she took to wandering the camp by night instead of sleeping, and roused her people long before the sun crested the fog-shrouded horizon.

    It was on one such troubled night that Nieve felt something answer the hollowness inside her: echo, echo, echo. A little thing only, just a hunch; a sense that she should go this way and not that. But to one who had been aimless it resounded like bells and wolf-howls. What could she do but answer? She walked out into the dark, and two men rose to follow. (They were Aruin and Essen, of course; who else would follow her at such an hour without even a word of persuasion?) They crossed bramble-streaked hillsides, and walked down into the fens where the ground splashes with each step, and then back up into the hills. The feeling grew stronger as they traveled; it coiled itself around her insides like a serpent, greasy and thick and black. It dragged her on, and she chose not to fight. The men drew close behind her, and she knew that if not for her they would turn back; but she had snared them just as surely as she was snared herself.

    At last they came to a place where the mist thinned, and from thirty paces they saw it: a stone doorway in the side of the hill. It was not truly a door, merely three stone slabs, two upright and one set atop them. Within was blackness, deeper than a moonless night. That halted even Nieve for a short time; but Aruin produced a flint, and Nieve and Essen tore plants from the ground to make a brand. Thus armed, they entered.

    The tunnel stretched down and into the hillside. Musty earth pressed down close above their heads, forcing them to duck and scramble. The damp brush-plants they had used for torches soon died down into flickering embers, leaving them with only a dull glow to stave off the choking dark. The dread of the barrows lay strong around them, choking and blinding, and several times they might have panicked and fled if they had only been able to remember which way was out. Then they would freeze, trembling, until one recovered and pushed the others onward. After a while—perhaps only a short distance from the entrance, but it felt much farther—the floor became flatter, and the roof rose up somewhat and allowed them to stand, and then wet earth gave way to cold rock.

    The dull ash-light showed them a chamber with stone walls, perhaps a dozen paces across in each direction. Treasures were stacked against the far wall, not carelessly piled but laid deliberately: a rusted sword with a golden hilt, a tarnished crown, a moldering once-regal mantle of fur, a silver amphora. Along the right wall was a small table set with food, oddly untouched by the years that had withered the rest of the room. In the center stood a stone bier, starkly plain.

    Nieve laughed.

    "Well!" she said. "This doesn't seem so bad."

    But Aruin was glancing uneasily around, as if fearing that the sound might have awakened or offended something, and Essen looked at her in terror. "Shhh! You'll—please, don't do anything that might... that might... "

    "Might what?" she said, amused.

    "Can't you hear it? They're calling us. I can hear something whispering to me."

    "I hear nothing," she said, but Essen was no longer listening. He stared at the stone bier transfixed.

    "Gods and powers above, it knows my name. My name. It is... look. It is just my size. Head to toe, as if I was meant to lie there. How can you not feel it?" She shrugged and looked to Aruin, who shrugged back. "It's there. It's mine, my tomb. Oh—gods, Nieve, take it away, take me away! Why did we come here?"

    "You don't have to be afraid," she told him. "This place is empty. Can't you smell it? The air is too still, the room too small. Nothing lives here."

    "No," he said. "But they die here. Nieve, this place will be my death."

    "And so what if it is? I can think of worse places to die. You would have a bed to lie on, and though it be cold and hard I don't expect the dead mind such things. There's a roof to keep the rain out, and no beasts will come in here to eat your bones." She laughed again, heedless of the way the cold stone walls swallowed the sound without even a trace of an echo. Merriment was foreign here, but she did not care. "Not that the dead would care about that, either."

    "And if we do leave, what then?"
    She pointed at him with the crumbling remnants of her torch, sending fitful sparks to the floor below. "It's not going to leave you alone, you know. You'll remember. It'll be in your dreams tomorrow night, and the night after, and the night after that. Maybe forever. When you go to battle, you'll ask yourself: 'is this the day? Will it claim me today?' And when you lie down to sleep you'll wonder: 'will I wake?' Because you'll never be so safe that you have nothing at all to fear."

    He stared into her eyes, and she read the truth of her words in them. She drew a knife and laid it softly against his neck.

    "Better this way," she told him, and leaned forward and opened his throat. His mouth tasted of copper and salt.

    When he was still she laid him down on the floor, and looked at Aruin, who looked back. "If you try to kill me, I'll fight you."

    She laughed a third time. "Not today, I think! Come. There's no reason for us to linger here."

    And she took his hand and led him out of the barrows with a light heart, and did not look back.
    Last edited by The_Snark; 2012-03-17 at 08:18 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #364
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kasanip's Avatar

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    Prelude IIII: Sonata

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    The dragon lord who lived beneath the lake had been a servant of Baz'Auran in the long days before. For his service, he had earned the title of [Rainbow Keeper] and dutifully it was his office to bring the rain to the people of this land. But since the white moon had become red, he had turned from duty to greed. Hoarding the rain clouds for his purpose, he punished those who did not pay tribute to him and had grown very wealthy. In his growing greed he had withheld the rain, causing great trouble for the surrounding lands. Now, even the poor said that the richest place was Madako, for there was water. When you search for something lost, even now it is said that the lake of Madako is the place to find things, if only because of this song, passed down from ancient times.

    When you are want for drink,
    or love, or riches and wealth
    it is said the dreamer goes,
    and swims in the lake of Madako
    for the dragon lord there
    hoards everything
    that can be desired

    The dragon king had three daughters, beautiful maidens whom he doted on and had spoiled with great treasures. Of these, the greatest was the rainbow coat, carrying the splendor of the rainbow, and adorned with gold and pearl leaves. The three daughters, spoiled as they were, always wore their great gifts and went out to play among the mountains and the valley. But they never shared their riches. The three daughters from the youngest to oldest were Shito, Para, Bisho.

    Now the plan of Sonata was concerned most with the youngest, who often played upon the cliffs looking down upon the lake. When she had asked the villagers, they had showed Sonata where she could observe without being seen. Sonata observed the dances and behavior of the dragon princess for several days, and then began her plan.
    When Shito next came out to dance in the rain, this time Sonata revealed herself from the bushes, and sang a song of carefree happiness. Her song was something like this.

    "On a thousand leagues of lovely hill clouds suddenly close;
    But by one tower the bright moon shines in a clear sky."
    Far off, Kodama in seasonal robe,
    Truly a pleasant season, on the pine-wood shore
    Here, a rainbow shows itself, fox laughter together
    Early mist clasped to the valley of Gozan;
    In the painted sky a dim, loitering moon.
    Sweet sight, to gaze enticing
    Oh, unforgettable! By mountain paths
    Down to the lake I come
    And look on five lakes, graced Madako's glow
    There fishers drive boats to shore
    singing songs of fish and rain
    Come, hear a fresh spring song
    Of a dancing dragon maiden

    It was a song of foxes and a far away mountain, pleasures in spring and simple joys. A cunning song, with secret promises and loud laughter. And Sonata's song was piercing and beautiful, so much that the dragon princess was soon dancing here and there, lost in the music.
    And when Sonata finished, the Dragon princess approached her and greeted her proudly.

    "That was beautiful, beyond anything that has been heard! I have known many beautiful things for I am the third dragon princess of this lake, but I desire that voice more than all of the jewels of the lands!" Sonata thanked the dragon princess and replied.
    "You are a fair princess, beautiful to see and beyond what words can convey. I would trade you my voice, if you would give me your own, and that rainbow coat. Surely it is a fair trade?" The dragon princess, who was eager to have the beauty of the song for her own, answered quickly without a thought.
    "Of course! Let us trade quickly, for I want to make such a song!"

    And so Sonata took a bowl of the lake water, and singing into it, she gave it to the dragon princess, and took the rainbow coat.

    The princess of music
    knowing now it's worth
    and her own value,
    gave her voice willingly
    to dupe the dragon lord
    and save the lake people

    The dragon princess was pleased to have such a divine voice, and entertained herself upon the cliff, while Sonata hurried away with the rainbow coat. But soon the dragon princess realized that though her new voice was beautiful, she didn't know how to make songs. So, a lesson should be learned: Fair voice and words are not music. For music cannot be traded like jewels, but must come truly through practice and hard work.

    Wearing the coat, Sonata came to the entrance to the great dragon's palace beneath the sea. There the royal guards stopped her, but she commanded them to stand aside.
    "For I am your princess and daughter of the great dragon lord!" The guards, hearing her voice and seeing she was wearing one of the three rainbow coats, apologized and gave her entry.

    When Sonata came into the hall, she was surprised by the splendor. Not since her youth in the white city had she seen a majesty like this. And the servants came to dress her with silvers and gold, and fine perfumes to bathe with. And for a time, Sonata was pleased and imagined she was home.

    But the other sisters were suspicious of Sonata and tried to find the truth, and in their greed decided upon a dark plan.
    "Our youngest sister seems odd today."
    "It is true. Come, let us see her clearly without her rainbow coat. Indeed, if it is our sister, then by taking her rainbow coat we may play a trick on her, and holding it hostage while she is distraught, demand service from her."
    "Yes, let us go quickly elder sister." The second agreed, and the two began to scheme silently, for they were always trying to gain more jewels and wealth, even if it meant betraying each other. The two dragon sisters in their rainbow coats came to Sonata, who sat in a room of pearls and jade.
    "Little sister, it was said by the servants that you are behaving oddly." Bisho said, putting her arms around Sonata in a viper hug.
    "It is true, are you unwell sister? You should take off your rainbow coat and rest upon the bed." Para implored, tugging on the rainbow coat.

    But Sonata remembered the arguments and battles with her own sister Nieve, and she silently thanked her sister that she had become strong and sharp like a blade. For in her feuds, she had often made thoughts like this, to take Nieve's sword, or find some trick to play. And she thanked her twin Fayruz, who had always shown concern and care, and had always healed the wounds between Nieve and Sonata, and now these two treasured sisters Sonata used for her purpose.
    "Of course I am fine, you silly sisters!" She said, removing the hands with a graceful spin. With her hands and eyes, she tried to match the look of worry that Fayruz could do so perfectly. "But I am worried about you. I fear that your suspicious nature is because of an illness. Shouldn't you not rest now? I will tend to you dutifully as a youngest sister should! Here, let me help you with your coats and sing you a lullaby."
    Startled and duped by the graceful reply, the two sisters agreed, and Sonata sang them a soft lullaby from the white city that soon put them to sleep. Then, once she had gathered their rainbow coats, she put on the eldest sister' Bisho's rainbow coat, and went to her room. There, she commanded the servants to gather the wealth there and bring it to the hall. The servants were fooled by the rainbow coat, and soon were busy with this task, for it would take a long time to move. Then she put on the middle sister Para's rainbow coat, and repeated this to her servants.
    There was a great procession of jewels and coins, of enormous wealth, she entered the hall of the dragon king.

    A dragon princess
    a fox princess
    or a moon princess,
    to know oneself
    and not to become lost,
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  5. - Top - End - #365
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    The Dreaming Rocklands

    The rocklands of the Fayheran were a bright flame in the shadowed dreams of the south. While there were many barbarian tribes that managed to eke out an existence in the desert, and there were always strange oases and cave-kingdoms stretching across the continent, the rocklands were the only place where various tribes worked together under the tutelage of a true goddess and hoped for more than mere survival, and dreamed of more than victory over their enemies.

    The Fayheran weaved for themselves a mythology born of many different traditions: the strange and magical beasts that had been encountered by the northern tribes, the lyrical hero-epics of the hill-born tribes, and the superstitions and monstrous foes of the southern tribes, who had seen wonders half-glimpsed from ancient days, built by those who crafted the Olm, perhaps, all mingled together to make such dreams and stories as could be found nowhere else in the world.

    Their dreams were not all fantastic, of course: some dreamed of food, of scrumptious banquets and of their children not going hungry. Sadly, the feasts they dreamed of would not even pass for a pathetic snack in the White City. The Fayheran were becoming a lean people in a time of famine, hungering not only for food but for what they could become. They trusted their goddess, and they hoped that she would provide food from the dust, conjuring up quail and boar from the rocks of their land. Her glory was their glory; her battles their battles and her dreams their dreams.

    There are, of course, dreams of war and battle among them, as well. The Fayheran are, after all, human, and humans are drawn to the glory of battle and the legend of those who cannot be conquered. The demon with his scars and his long horns, the wolf who became a man and led his pack in standing upright, the glass-armed queen and the strong-armed archer... they stride across the dreamscape, larger than the humans they were born from. But they are eclipsed by the Dragonslayer, the Maiden of Dusk, who is everywhere; where she stands, the earth is healed, and where she touches, nightmares are banished and corruption is cured. Her face beneath the white veil is so blindingly bright that it cannot be looked at, and her six arms sing with melodies that The Weaver had thought lost. Within her stomach writhes a shadowy serpent in torment, and from her fingers flow rivers of sweet water. On her left is the horned hammer-king whose scream is the dragon's cry and who has been collared and leashed, on her right is the healer-prince who has been touched by the river and gives of his flesh until he has been consumed, to rise again at dusk. Such is Fayruz's reflection in the Dreaming, her legend among her people.

    The reality is not so grandiose, of course. There is still barely enough that none might die from hunger, and the people are not as clever and strong as they think they are. Fayruz, should the Weaver see her, has only changed in the color of her once-grey eyes, and the sure conviction and effortless grace of her movements. Her pet is barely a man, without horns or a thousand scars, and her perhaps-consort does not carve himself up physically to care for his people. But The Weaver, the dream-seer, can see them and many others as more-than-human, as legends.

    Perhaps, in more than one case, legends that have yet to come to pass, stories that echo back with the voice of their creation.
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  6. - Top - End - #366
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    "come with me." beckoned Amanda as she lead Frellon out the door from which they came and into the mess hall. Giving him a knife she motions for the god to begin cutting several vegetables for the stew as she prepared the meat "Well if you are even half as good at fighting as Jongo is at being Jongo or as Haramhold is at making stuff then I don't think that Fayruz has much to worry about."
    Last edited by shorewood; 2012-03-18 at 01:37 AM.
    Sometimes it is useful to know how large your zero is. ~Author Unknown

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    Frellon smiled a little at that. "I certainly hope so." He accepted the knfe, and began carving out sizable chunks for the stew, focusing on the task. "It would not do, to come so far simply to be too late, or to fail my sister."
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  8. - Top - End - #368
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    Dark power pumped through his veins. The band clamped on to his arm, and strength coursed through him. His feet rose from the ground, flickering power pouring off of him. From the stump on his arm, a new hand grew, a hand made of shadows – there yet not there.
    In the back of his mind, he could sense bright sparks hiding among the shadows of his thoughts. To the northwest, a flickering white-blue spark must have been Lothessir. To the south, he could sense more sparks, red, orange, and a bright purple one that could only be Jongo. He was accompanied by two others – Aramar guessed that they were Haramhold and another, probably Frellon. The red might have been Kalandor, if not for the sharp green spark far to the southeast. It seemed impure, however, somehow twisted with tiny cords of black. Aramar fervently hoped that it was nothing – he and Kalandor had shared many an adventure, and should any harm befall Kalandor…well…there would be no place on the Disk that would be safe from Aramar’s vengeance.

    But first…there was a matter of blood to be settled. Aramar’s eyes flared purple –those who had murdered the Nightborn, who had slaughtered them in their sleep. They would pay. Balls of shadow appeared in his hands, crackling with his undimmed anger. He jumped, taking the form of a gigantic shadowy bat. Wheeling, he raced towards the opposite end of the road.

    It took him only minutes to cover what he had taken hours crossing earlier. His wings beat a whirring tempo as he sped across the darkened landscape. Reaching the crevice high on the wall that he had seen earlier, he landed and strode forward, having become a man again even as he touched down. The first creatures he saw were a pair of guards – Blind-Folk. They were killed before they had even noticed the threat. Aramar kept walking. At some point, the alarm was raised – he faintly heard the horns sounding the alarm through the fog of his rage. Guards appeared, trying to tackle him, but each time they came close the shadows around him flared and threw them back. Other shadows grabbed the guards’ feet and pulled them down, smothering them. Warriors, women, children – they were killed or smothered by the dozens. At last they broke and fled, abandoned. Alone, Aramar strode into the throne room, and then stopped there, the sight breaking through even his fog of rage.
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  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Aid from a Dark Soul
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    "Nothing, at least that I know of, is truly pure. Even the greatest evil can and will do good things, for evil shares virtues with good."

    Wisdom of Kalandor.

    After many days trekking towards Olm, Kalandor reached a town besieged.

    The Day, so bright had a patch of cloud so dark to make it night. Once bright sand sparkling as stars beneath his feet, were under the cloud, dull grains. Men stood fighting to protect their wooden huts with burning brands and sharpened spears, their faces alight with distress and alarm.

    They fought the Jackal Men. Ghouls whose heads were replaced with that of dogs. Were it not for their cowardice, the men would already be overrun, just 5 minutes into the fight, with foul beasts who with one slash of their claws shatter bones.

    And the beast that held Kalandor stopped. Taking but a moment in internal monologue.
    "I may need real injuries for my act. This is a perfect opportunity. Surely wouldn't resist me helping some strangers, Kalandor."
    "I couldn't trust you to fight properly, you would get me killed."
    ["So it really is the best time to practice. You wouldn't want to die, would you?"
    For a moment Kalandor considered it. But it was a moment so small in part of the mind so small only a god could notice it. And it troubled him.
    As so, the thing that was in his mind, had a chance to practice. To gain control over his form.

    Bones cracked and shifted. Flesh split as claws and spikes sprouted. Bones just thickened, groaning under the strain of muscles that weighed more than any muscle should.
    And blackened eyes looked out from a deep brow, as an unholy beast charged towards the ghouls.

    In that moment, the men broke, and rallied, and stopped in confusion, as a huge beast, larger than any man ploughed through surprised ghouls.
    A snatch and crunch took a burning brand, a man left torchless as a ghoul had its eyes burned out.
    Wild blows sent ghouls through the air, landing with sickening sounds and bent forms.
    Men retreated in fear and confusion, yet in great relief. What was this monster that saved them from ghouls? Would it turn on them? Should they help the beast?
    And so the first wave of ghouls, surprised lay in broken heaps, mouths unbroken let out gurgling whines and howls.
    They were death, why did they die?
    Where was their master?
    Where were their comrades?

    And all this time, Kalandor stood behind eyes his own that he could not use. Sickened by the nature of his attacks, that he would do in a way less painful, and flinching at every wailing arm and flicking cudgel, forced to murmur what he could to help, for despite this dark thing within him, he still wanted to live.
    Last edited by Erik Vale; 2012-03-18 at 06:10 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #370
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    "It would not do, to come so far simply to be too late, or to fail my sister."

    "I wouldn't worry about that, Green MorningStar is fast. She'll carry us swiftly across the ocean and to Fay ruz. Am I pronouncing that right?" said Amanda as she scooped up the newly diced vegetables and added them to the stew.

    After a few minutes she reaches up and rings a bell Frellon isn't sure was there when he walked in the room. Calling the other two children of Bez'Auran to dinner.
    Sometimes it is useful to know how large your zero is. ~Author Unknown

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    "Very close. It is 'Fayruz', all one word."Frellon pulls up a stool to what served as the table. He then waits, with his meal before him, for his siblings to arrive.
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  12. - Top - End - #372
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    Halls of the Rocklands
    Such a beautiful place. So green. I've never seen such green in my life. And the air is sweet and pure, not burning like our desert. And...my. Those tall things, like cacti, but brown, and topped with green. I think they're called trees.
    I love this place. It feels good to be here.
    Wait, someone's coming. A traveler, like myself? Wrapped in brown cloth, with no weapons? Who would be foolish enough to travel alone, without any protection?
    "My appologizes, servant of my sister. I did not mean to commandeer your slumber, but I have need to speak with her."
    "Your sister?"
    "The Dragonslayer. The Madien of Dusk. Fayruz." The man smiled. "Though I've always called her Little One."
    "Then you are also from the White City? Fayruz sang to me about her home. It sounds like a beautiful place." I looked around. "Is...is this the White City? Am I dreaming? Or dead?"
    The man laughed. "Be at peace. You are indeed dreaming. And this place...well, it is drawn from the memories of the White City, but it is not truly that place. This is your place. It can be whatever you want it to be." The stranger lifted his hand, and strands of woven threads flowed from under his robes, tying themselves together, weaving a door in the middle of the field. "Sleep well, and know that you, and all those who follow Fayruz, are also blessed by The Weaver." And he opened the door and walked out of my dream...

    The Weaver smiled at the sleeping man. He had been heavily injured, and his nightmares had been terrible. The Weaver might not be as skillful a healer as his sister, but giving the man a full night's rest was something. The Weaver left the infirmiry, walking down the torchlit halls of the Olm. Little One had grown up to be a strong leader. The Weaver looked forward to meeting this Dragonslayer he had seen so much of. Eventually, he found his way to the door to his sister's chambers. The door was guarded, of course. But The Weaver knew his sister lay awake behind it, for were she dreaming, he would have seen her dream alongside that of her subjects. Hiding his eyes from the guards, he called out. "Hail, noble Fayheran. I have come seeking audience with the Dragonslayer. Tell Fayruz that one has come with whom she has often sung, and who seeks to exchange tales with her, so that he may continue his weaving."
    ATTENTION ANYONE WHO I'M PLAYING WITH:
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  13. - Top - End - #373
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    Halls of the Rocklands
    Such a beautiful place. So green. I've never seen such green in my life. And the air is sweet and pure, not burning like our desert. And...my. Those tall things, like cacti, but brown, and topped with green. I think they're called trees.
    I love this place. It feels good to be here.
    Wait, someone's coming. A traveler, like myself? Wrapped in brown cloth, with no weapons? Who would be foolish enough to travel alone, without any protection?
    "My appologizes, servant of my sister. I did not mean to commandeer your slumber, but I have need to speak with her."
    "Your sister?"
    "The Dragonslayer. The Madien of Dusk. Fayruz." The man smiled. "Though I've always called her Little One."
    "Then you are also from the White City? Fayruz sang to me about her home. It sounds like a beautiful place." I looked around. "Is...is this the White City? Am I dreaming? Or dead?"
    The man laughed. "Be at peace. You are indeed dreaming. And this place...well, it is drawn from the memories of the White City, but it is not truly that place. This is your place. It can be whatever you want it to be." The stranger lifted his hand, and strands of woven threads flowed from under his robes, tying themselves together, weaving a door in the middle of the field. "Sleep well, and know that you, and all those who follow Fayruz, are also blessed by The Weaver." And he opened the door and walked out of my dream...

    The Weaver smiled at the sleeping man. He had been heavily injured, and his nightmares had been terrible. The Weaver might not be as skillful a healer as his sister, but giving the man a full night's rest was something. The Weaver left the infirmiry, walking down the torchlit halls of the Olm. Little One had grown up to be a strong leader. The Weaver looked forward to meeting this Dragonslayer he had seen so much of. Eventually, he found his way to the door to his sister's chambers. The door was guarded, of course. But The Weaver knew his sister lay awake behind it, for were she dreaming, he would have seen her dream alongside that of her subjects. Hiding his eyes from the guards, he called out. "Hail, noble Fayheran. I have come seeking audience with the Dragonslayer. Tell Fayruz that one has come with whom she has often sung, and who seeks to exchange tales with her, so that he may continue his weaving."
    The Healer and the Dreamer

    The Olm had once been some grand temple, with mighty halls and great passages and dark stone altars to some unknown god, perhaps crafted by the Titans themselves who had once ruled the world from north to south. And the Weaver could see that it would rise again, that the Fayheran wished for it to become a grand temple for their goddess, if only they had the power to match the craftsmanship of the Titans. But, alas, now it was open to the sky and the rain, and the people had erected many long and winding tentways, making their small camps all about the enormous ruins.

    Fayruz's tent was close to a smaller shrine, directly above the sound of flowing water, and there were four guards swathed in dark robes standing watch, and the human who gave off the reflection of the Scarred King sprawled across the entryway, his arms folded across his chest. As the Weaver revealed himself, shrouding his eyes, the guards started and drew sharp glass blades, each one about as long as their forearms. "Halt," they cried, angrily. "Show your eyes to us! Do it now!"

    Except for the Scarred King, who stood - looking for all the world like a horribly-marred version of young Llassar, with his gangly limbs and his scrawny frame - with his own glass blade held idly in his hand. "Our apologies, ruttin friend of the goddess," he said, languidly. "We here fear to let our lovely goddess be taken by those who are under the thrall of the ruttin black sand - come, show us your eyes, lest we remove your ruttin head over a ruttin fool's misunderstanding. That would... be ruttin unfortunate, but not amusing, I must admit." He chuckled to himself, while tensing his body like that of a wildcat, ready to cut - or to attempt to cut - The Weaver's head from his shoulders should he make a false move.

    Just then, however, the tent's veil was pulled back, and Fayruz emerged from the tent, guiding out a mother and a father with their now peacefully slumbering child wrapped up in swaddling clothes. Fayruz herself was dressed plainly in white robes, masking all of her but for a small glimpse of sun-baked skin and bright golden eyes, eyes that widened in delight as she saw The Weaver. "Brother? Is that you, my clever Weaver? It is you!" She rushed to him, past her guards, and enthusiastically embraced him. "Have you, too, found your destiny, brother?" Fayruz asked, as she held him tightly to her, and the guards lowered their long blades.
    -build that wall and build it strong-
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  14. - Top - End - #374
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    Reunion
    "It would appear we both have, Little One." The Weaver laughed with joy to see his sister safe, and his hood was thrown back by the force of her hug. His bright blue eye twinkled with the light of the stars above them, and his red eye glowed with a warm fire. "And I do appologize to your fine guardsmen. I had no idea that such suspicion could be gleaned from a person simply hiding their eyes. Though perhaps seeing mine would not have given them any relief, eh?" The Weaver winked his red eye towards them, to show no harm had been done. "But my how your spirit has grown, Fayruz. It is wonderful to see you again. We have many tales to share, I think. But first I must know. Have you heard from the others? I could see many dreams of our sibilings, but I know not if those are of recent events or long ago."
    ATTENTION ANYONE WHO I'M PLAYING WITH:
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  15. - Top - End - #375
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    Shadowed Sand

    Faden had never been the most comforting of Baz'Auran's children to be around, but a thought on how to cheer Dasque up did come to mind. Calling up the sprites that had returned to him so far, he let each of them speak, one after another, in the voices of his siblings as they whispered their affirmations of survival. When they finished, he gave Dasque a quick hug, simply adding, "And the rest are still searching."

    When both had recovered, and while Pyra slept, Faden related the story of his fall, of his path through the Kophic Expanse, his meeting with the fragmented First Spirit of Magic and the thirteen Clans, of how he had tricked the the greedy spirit into sealing itself away and the price he had paid for it.

    And he told her of his encounter with the black sand. "I've run into it twice now, and both times got the sense that it is by nature a possessive, corrupting, dominating force - but a pile of robes and wrappings cannot be dominated, and neither can... whatever passes for my body now. The sand itself is nothing more than sand, so it can be... purified, I suppose, if the magic animating it is damaged or broken, but beyond that I know very little about it. Certainly brute-force assaults on the sand won't work." He paced, his eyes shining out from beneath his hood. "But then... I see everything in terms of enchantments and the bindings of the universe these days, but that isn't the only viewpoint. What did you think of the black sand? What did you do to provoke it into a whirlwind? It didn't do that when I fought it."
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  16. - Top - End - #376
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    Aboard Green Morningstar

    Jongo had been staring.

    The waters down below were eerily calm. It took Jongo a bit to figure out why they fascinated her so.

    That's where I landed. This is my Sea. Which means, somewhere down there, might be Merilain. Or Dorph and Gwenie. Has it... has it really been that long? It doesn't feel that long. Would they still be alive? Jongo was smiling, which wasn't unusual. What was unusual was it was a small smile, almost regretful.

    "Soon. After Fayruz. Then I'll come back here." Jongo spoke aloud for the first time in hours, and the nose-ring that he was wearing bleated the odd note of reassurance.

    Then the dinner bell rang, and Green Morningstar swallowed Jongo.

    Well, to be fair, the Living Ship only created a hole right above where Jongo was standing, and she wasn't quite ready for it. Still, Jongo could feel the warped wood move in the darkness, and couldn't help but giggle. There was a hallway that Jongo fell through, and then into his own room, and finally, a hole opened up above a chair in the mess hall.

    Besides being disorienting, it was rather fun.

    And seeing Amanda's mildly surprised face - even if it only lasted a second before she realize that it was only Jongo - was worth it. Jongo beamed at her, and then turned to Frellon.

    "So. How do you like our Niece, Frellid? Isn't she a dear? She makes Haramhold go all fuzzy and soft, which is amusing, and I find that she blushes quite nicely if you find the right naughty joke to tell her. And she's cute too!"

    "Unnncllle!" Amanda was starting to blush now.

    "See? Oh, hold that thought. Green Morningstar, would you be a peach and bring Haramhold to us? It's dinner time."
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    BladeofObliviom said:
    I've only seen a character at anything resembling this level of absurdity thrive exactly once, and he/she/what-the-jongo had the advantage of being written by Gengy, who I look up to as a writer.

    "What-the-Jongo?"
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  17. - Top - End - #377
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    Prelude 5: Sonata (Finale)

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    By now, the dragon princess Shito had become tired from her play and singing on the cliff, and desired to return home. But when she came to the palace of the dragon lord, the royal guards stopped her.
    "Who are you, who would arrogantly enter the palace?" They demanded. The princess protested, but without her coat or her voice, she could not convince them. Returning to the shore, she sobbed and cried at the injustice. There, Renard the fox comforted her.

    Silly rain princess
    what is the worth of a voice
    compared to the value
    of your loving family?
    Tears for things you have lost
    are surely treasures themselves!

    The dragon princess begged the fox to aid her, and Renard was moved to pity by the sadness in the beautiful voice, as was expected in the plan of Sonata. With his fox speech he tricked the guards, and told Shito to go to her father and explain truthfully.

    Now, at this time Sonata had come before the dragon lord, and sat as his daughter on the throne's side. Before her was unimaginable wealth, of pearls and gold, silvers and more. And Sonata adorned herself with it and dressed in the finest clothes. Not since the white city had she seen this much, and her heart was moved by it. Now listen to this song!

    Why return
    a rainbow coat
    and all of the world's riches
    for a voice?
    Wealth like this is powerful
    throw away a throne for another
    what is the difference?
    Beneath the water, the moon
    is hard to see

    But here the plan of the Fox and Sonata had been well prepared. It had been made when she had been thinking of family and home, and so it's warmth was clear. For Sonata had learned with fox cunning, that even a child of Baz'Auran can find the wealth corrupting. To know what are true treasures, and what are simple treasures, was a lesson for everyone to learn.

    Here, Sonata sat dressed in the rainbow coat of a dragon princess, and she admired her wealth and the dragon lord spoiled her.

    But the plan's action continued, thanks to the faithful fox! At this moment, the dragon princess Shito approached the throne. The court officials began to mutter. The guards began to stare. And Sonata's attention was brought from the wealth to this girl, who spoke in a beautiful voice of the white city. And the voice's beauty called to Sonata, for it seemed more beautiful than the riches, but she did not recognize it as her own. And Shito spoke with tears.
    "Hear me, father! I am your true daughter, not that one who sits by you!" Shito cried out in Sonata's voice.
    "Father, this one tries to fool you. Surely if she is your daughter, she would have received your love and blessing. If I am not your daughter, what is this coat I wear?" Sonata answered. Renard the fox laughed, and the court laughed as well. The dragon princess cried again.
    "You stole that rainbow coat from me!" She accused. Sonata stood with a haughty, proud dragon-like glare.
    "I did not! Everyone in this room can know your lie. There is no truth in it. You are just a thief, who has come for my treasure!" By chance, Sonata's glance passed across a copper mirror of great value. And she saw the green in her eyes, and for a second could not recognize herself.
    "Fox or dragon, human or goddess, all must be careful when it comes to greed." Renard said with a sly grin. But Sonata hardened her heart. The pearls and gold were heavy, but it was hers. Everything was all hers.
    "You tricked me, trading this voice was a treasure! But what is it worth?" The dragon princess cried out, falling to her knees. "A beautiful voice like this is appropriate for me, but how can I live with a life like this?"
    Compared to the fall, this anguished princess was pitiful in Sonata's eyes. But she had a sister who had taught pity, and in this memory of a face, of a gentle harp played together, the sound of rain brought by rainbow coats, echoed like the melody of trickling fountains in the plaza of song. So, like the rain and fountain water, the greed fell away, and Sonata felt herself returned. She stepped forward, and looked at the dragon lord and at the daughter. Then she approached the dragon princess and said.

    "This coat was given as a gift from a father to a daughter. No true and smart daughter would give such a treasure away. A voice by itself is no different. You took it thinking it's divine music would come, but music alone is a treasure that can only be shared and not traded. You desired the voice for something that it is not. And so you also valued the rainbow coat as something it is not."
    Saying this, Sonata returned the rainbow coat to the dragon princess and her voice was returned to her.

    A fox princess' plan
    to steal a dragon's treasure
    truly the lady musician
    plays a tempestuous song
    but at the end only
    do we learn the true purpose

    Sonata wrapped the second sister's rainbow coat around herself and turned to the dragon lord.

    "Truly, my voice is a gift from my father! A gift that is beyond any rainbow coat, or fox coat, or great riches. My voice, and not only it, but my very existence is a gift from my father, Baz'Auran, to this world. And as long as I remember that, I will never lose myself, or those things most important to me! The treasured love and memories of my brothers and sisters, and of our hopes and our dreams! O dragon lord, he is your father too, and he gave you this life and this duty, but you have abandoned it!

    I would sing a song of regret to you. A song about a dragon girl and a fox princess, and of a daughter of the white city who fell and lost herself and her music!"


    And the song Sonata sang was piercing and lamenting. She sang of a girl proud and full of energy, playing next to fountains and among family and friends. She sang of the terror of the fall, and of how she had lost everything. She sang of a fox princess who had become cunning and sharp, but whose trickery had stolen herself away. She sang of a dragon princess' rainbow treasure, and the lord of the lake who had fallen from grace to greed. And she sang how that princess who had fallen was no longer the same, but had found a treasure within it all.

    All in the court were moved to tears by her song, and as she finished, the dragon lord stood up.

    "How this song has pierced me!
    The world under the red moon had grown
    so cold and distant,
    It froze my heart away,
    until it had become like these stones!
    My ancient duty forgotten,
    now in the song's lament do
    I find my own regrets number more
    than the pearls about me!
    Woefully I abdicate in favor of one more noble.
    Divine daughter, princess of song
    For I perceive it was surely
    the plan of Baz'Auran
    to give this throne to you some day.

    Step forward, daughter of Baz'Auran,
    and receive the rainbow crown from me."

    But Sonata stopped before him with a frown.

    "Be careful with giving treasures rashly, dragon lord of lake Madako. I will take your crown and wealth because it is freely given, but my ambition is much greater than to rule a lake. Stay, dragon lord, and redeem yourself with good service to me and my family. I will give your daughters my blessings and instruction, so that they may become wise and good rulers, and skilled at making music. Of the wealth here, it shall go to the villages whom you have wrongfully taken it from. Let the five lakes be filled with wealth, and let the rainbows signal my coming. To bless their dutiful service even under a tyrant, I will take the humans to my care. Of the wealth of the three princesses, I will give it to the foxes to distribute."

    In sorrow
    a shamed dragon lord
    offers his treasure
    but lofty ambitions and
    noble desires beckon.
    A glorious song waits
    to be played

    Stepping forward, Sonata received the rainbow crown from the dragon lord. Placing it on her head, about her the brilliant rainbow aura only further reflected her divine beauty. Now her radiance revealed, all in the court paid her respect and bowed. But Sonata turned to Renard the fox.

    "Cunning fox lord, I know that the robes and flute I gave to you are still in your keeping. Keep them, in my gratitude I ask for your service and of your clan. For a time I was a daughter to you, and you treated me well. So I will bless you and give to you the honor to hold onto the divine treasures that are my robe and my flute. You will help me to deliver the wealth gathered here, and advise me well on the affairs of the world. So I ask of you this service. Let it be known that foxes are fortunate creatures, for they helped me when I was alone and when I struggled. And I hope again, in the future for eternity."

    Slyly the fox looked at her and spoke with a bow.
    "Of course we of the fox tribe will always see you as our own daughter. Maybe someday you may leave some pride and come to wear the fox coat again? You have become proud and greedy like a dragon princess, but cunning and smart like a fox, Lady Sonata. Of this I am both proud and in awe. I never dared to what a majesty I would meet.

    But that dress is tattered and ugly, and the flute is like a child's toy. If I didn't see you or hear your song, I would think moon treasures are not so great." A smile came to Sonata's face.
    "Treasures like those have value that cannot be shown by appearance. How foolish was I to not understand that before, but I know it now! And I know that my memories of those times are the true treasures. And those I will never surrender!" And the fox laughed.

    "How miserly!
    How well you
    have learned the fox game!
    truly Renard would say
    this was his intention from the beginning!
    but this lie from a fox won't fool anyone.
    It is better to chase one's tail,
    than to sell it!"

    Renard laughed, and Lady Sonata did too.
    It was the first time she had laughed since before the fall.
    And that laughter was like a melody that echoed from the court, and around lake Madako, rain began to fall again. In the sky, a brilliant rainbow was revealed.


    She has sang many songs,
    but not yet are they numbered,
    the songs of the white city.
    and now she, whose beauty is as the rainbow,
    shines on us in the gentle rain,
    with ambition and desire,
    the splendor of wealth,
    the gifts are fulfilled, and the land we live in
    rich with many treasures,
    by this song rained down on us,
    The gift of heaven.

    Sing nobly, daughter of Baz'Auran,
    Of the nostalgic white city days past,
    Nightmares and sorrows of the fall,
    All the joys and cunning of the foxes
    Together with dragons and humans
    And of your family's struggles to come!





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    Quest Artifact: The Rainbow Crown: The rainbow crown commands the rain, and sparkles with a halo of light like the rainbow about the wearer. The air around the wearer smells fresh, like after a spring rain. Often it is worn as a halo or silk scarf, for the rainbow crown may change it's shape and length to the desire of it's master. Commanding the rain to be heavy or light, long or short, the rainbow crown is a remnant of the ancient age, a treasure rewarded from Baz'Auran himself to his worthy subject, a sign of authority for Sonata.
    Kasanip's Sketchbook 2 Thread
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  18. - Top - End - #378
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    VonDoom's Avatar

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    Shirvan - Turn 0
    Ascension Quest - Final Part
    Shirvan Ascended


    The smoke stung so harshly it made his eyes water. But he refused to flinch or look away. He had come too far, braved dangers and mastered many a foe; now was not the time to look away from the very thing he had sought.

    To call Shirvan's current vantage point a dangerous precipice would be an understatement at best, folly at worst. Beneath him, surrounded by a circle-frame of blackened stone, broiled fiery red lava. Bubbles rose to the surface occasionally, releasing the poisonous gas that had doomed a civilization Shirvan had ruled many years ago.

    His lungs burned, too, but Shirvan paid that sensation no heed. Instead, he stared down into the golden-red glow, relishing the natural power and energy of the volcano. In his reduced state he could hardly feel anything beyond the natural awe it evoked, but he knew of the destructive force within all too well.

    And he knew what he had to do. It was a dangerous gamble, uncertain and to the point of madness, but he would suffer mortality no longer. Shirvan theorized that, if presented with such a huge quantity of energy, his form might be able to absorb some of it to re-spark his innate divinity. If it held up long enough, that is.

    True to his nature, however, he wasn't overly worried. Failure was not something he considered. If his actions would lead to an early, fiery grave, so be it.

    As he stood on the frail edge, his thoughts once again drifted back to his journey. Three powerful siblings he had faced: the witch, the ogre and the nightmare creature. He had united tribes and created a people and city far greater than anything this continent had ever seen, only to lose them to a natural disaster caused by the very thing whose power he now coveted.

    He had journeyed for years to reach this point, faced the terrible Stone Men of Dra'Geth, outwitted the two-headed, human-faced Serpent of Moyar, and sampled the pleasures of the Enchantress of Yies. In all this, not once had he bent his knee or lowered his head, ever true to his heart that told him that in all the lands there was no man or woman who was truly his superior, though there might be such he would call equal, or teacher.

    To the cave people, those who lived underground and thus escaped the continual trials and tribulations of the volcanoes, he had brought knowledge of fire and tools, aiding them to understand their potential and bring it forth; to take pleasure and pride in what they could accomplish, rather than be content with mere survival from day to day. To stand tall and submit to no danger, be it monster or rival and live a life that one could look back upon with no regrets.

    He recalled them fondly, at this moment. They had neither grown as powerful, nor as magnificent as the civilization he had guided with his own hands, but they would remain. They wouldn't fall prey to an unwitting death none could have foreseen.

    The son of Baz'Auran then took off his clothes, to stand in all his naked glory, his physical form still chiseled and perfect despite the many conflicts it had weathered. He thought that he shouldn't be weighted down by the filthy rags he had worn during his travels, to meet the lava below in the same shape he was born in.

    He opened his arms wide, took a step forward and plunged down below.

    The hair upon his brown and head singed almost immediately, burned off by the intense heat rising from beneath that immediately enveloped him. It hurt, but Shirvan knew it was nothing compared to the moment in which he would actually reach the lava. Before his eye, images appeared; old and almost forgotten. A brilliant light, so much like his own; Dasque. A playful kiss at blade's edge; Nieve. The faces of all his brothers and sisters. Soon, Shirvan thought, he would once again join them.

    And then, there was sheer, excruciating pain. Only for a brief instant before the nerves themselves were singed and burned away, but to the fallen godling it seemed like forever as his flesh turned to coal and his eyes boiled.

    For a moment, a vision came upon him. It was Dasque, his sister, climbing the top of a mountain. Torn apart, dissolved by a light so intense that even he could not bear it. If he still had the use of his muscles, he might have smiled at the irony, as his own body was consumed by molten fire.

    And then, there was nothing. He could no longer feel his body, yet the pain persisted. With a hitherto unknown intensity, he latched onto that sensation, trying to draw it in, to gather it and pull it into himself -- and as he did, the pain turned into something else. Something indescribable.

    It flowed through his very being, washing away his perception of self as he incorporated more and more of it. He was no longer Shirvan; he was molten fire and rock, he was power beyond even that which he or any of his siblings had possessed in the White City. With this, nothing could stand against him, he realized. All the power that had been invested into this Earth could be his -- and with that realization, he forced himself to stop. Already his mind had reached further than it should, his ego, his self, stretched thin. Any further, and he would become a force of nature, true, but he would no longer be Shirvan.

    It was hard to deny the greater flow, to force himself back into a smaller being, but that was a prize, a power he didn't need. It was slow work, excruciatingly slow, but eventually he rose from the molten rock, hair ablaze, eyes terrible and bursting with power.

    Shirvan was reborn.
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  19. - Top - End - #379
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    shorewood's Avatar

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    Steering the ship high above the clouds Haramhold stood tall and proud. Hearing the dinner bell the god could see Jongo fill with excitement and promptly fall through the deck.

    Eying Green MorningStar nervously "I'm coming, no need to get..." but before Haramhold can finish the deck beneath his feat tilts downward and the god finds himself rushing down a twisting and turning wooden slide.

    Down in the dinner Hall Amanda has begun to ladle out the stew when suddenly a hole appears in the wall and Haramhold is shot out of it and into a chair. Recovering as quickly as he can Haramhold straightens his shirt, trying to regain some dignity. "You know I could have sworn that I built some stairs when constructing you Green MorningStar."

    "Good evening father, would you like some stew?" asked Amanda failing to cover up her amusement at the situation.

    "That would be lovely."
    Sometimes it is useful to know how large your zero is. ~Author Unknown

  20. - Top - End - #380
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    AntiMatter101's Avatar

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    Frellon barely flinched when the ceiling sprouted a hole for jongo to fall through. When it came to Jongo, one learned to expect literally anything.

    He chuckled at Jongo's teasing, "She's not a bad cook either." He gustured with his bowl, "there is pleanty for all, I think."
    Last edited by AntiMatter101; 2012-03-19 at 05:45 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #381
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "It attacked me as soon as I arrived. It was bad timing I believe." She looked away, thinking aobut how vastly different her ascension had been than Faden's. "It tested me. It's smart. It's cruel. It's a coward. It knows what we are. It's old." She paused for a moment, considering her next words.

    "I intend to kill it." However, she knew the time was not now. She had to train, had to become stronger, had to understand her nature better for she dared face the monster again.

  22. - Top - End - #382
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Vale View Post
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    Aid from a Dark Soul
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    "Nothing, at least that I know of, is truly pure. Even the greatest evil can and will do good things, for evil shares virtues with good."

    Wisdom of Kalandor.

    After many days trekking towards Olm, Kalandor reached a town besieged.

    The Day, so bright had a patch of cloud so dark to make it night. Once bright sand sparkling as stars beneath his feet, were under the cloud, dull grains. Men stood fighting to protect their wooden huts with burning brands and sharpened spears, their faces alight with distress and alarm.

    They fought the Jackal Men. Ghouls whose heads were replaced with that of dogs. Were it not for their cowardice, the men would already be overrun, just 5 minutes into the fight, with foul beasts who with one slash of their claws shatter bones.

    And the beast that held Kalandor stopped. Taking but a moment in internal monologue.
    "I may need real injuries for my act. This is a perfect opportunity. Surely wouldn't resist me helping some strangers, Kalandor."
    "I couldn't trust you to fight properly, you would get me killed."
    ["So it really is the best time to practice. You wouldn't want to die, would you?"
    For a moment Kalandor considered it. But it was a moment so small in part of the mind so small only a god could notice it. And it troubled him.
    As so, the thing that was in his mind, had a chance to practice. To gain control over his form.

    Bones cracked and shifted. Flesh split as claws and spikes sprouted. Bones just thickened, groaning under the strain of muscles that weighed more than any muscle should.
    And blackened eyes looked out from a deep brow, as an unholy beast charged towards the ghouls.

    In that moment, the men broke, and rallied, and stopped in confusion, as a huge beast, larger than any man ploughed through surprised ghouls.
    A snatch and crunch took a burning brand, a man left torchless as a ghoul had its eyes burned out.
    Wild blows sent ghouls through the air, landing with sickening sounds and bent forms.
    Men retreated in fear and confusion, yet in great relief. What was this monster that saved them from ghouls? Would it turn on them? Should they help the beast?
    And so the first wave of ghouls, surprised lay in broken heaps, mouths unbroken let out gurgling whines and howls.
    They were death, why did they die?
    Where was their master?
    Where were their comrades?

    And all this time, Kalandor stood behind eyes his own that he could not use. Sickened by the nature of his attacks, that he would do in a way less painful, and flinching at every wailing arm and flicking cudgel, forced to murmur what he could to help, for despite this dark thing within him, he still wanted to live.
    Aid from a Dark Soul

    Ghouls were terrible creatures, almost pathetic, with their pathetic frames and nigh-skeletal limbs, the fur on their shoulders mangy and filth-ridden, their loping gait awkward and shambling, as if they cannot remember how to walk, caught continually between the running of a hound and the striding of a man. If not for their disease-plagued fangs and their long, filthy claws, they would be some pathetic nocturnal predator easily driven off. But these ghouls had strength in numbers, and for every one that Kalandor broke, two more took his place.

    Dark mist curled around his legs as Kalandor continued to fight, even as the villagers fled before the army of ghouls. For an hour, perhaps, he fought the horde, beast after beast falling to him, perhaps one in a hundred managing to injure him, before the clouds fell back, and the ghouls descended into the sands, burrowing like worms, leaving nothing but their dead to burn away in the bright light of the third hour of midday.

    Afar off, a figure could be seen, commanding the clouds to retreat, before descending down into the sand himself. Within moments, the desert was as peaceful as it had been before, leaving Kalandor wounded among the brightly-burning corpses of those ghouls he had slain.

    Quote Originally Posted by THEChanger View Post
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    Reunion
    "It would appear we both have, Little One." The Weaver laughed with joy to see his sister safe, and his hood was thrown back by the force of her hug. His bright blue eye twinkled with the light of the stars above them, and his red eye glowed with a warm fire. "And I do appologize to your fine guardsmen. I had no idea that such suspicion could be gleaned from a person simply hiding their eyes. Though perhaps seeing mine would not have given them any relief, eh?" The Weaver winked his red eye towards them, to show no harm had been done. "But my how your spirit has grown, Fayruz. It is wonderful to see you again. We have many tales to share, I think. But first I must know. Have you heard from the others? I could see many dreams of our sibilings, but I know not if those are of recent events or long ago."
    Reunion

    Fayruz considered The Weaver's request for a moment, and then she began to sing to him, softly, her voice growing as she continued. Her guards behind her sheathed their weapons as she did so, and the scarred one - the only one with his face unveiled, though out of all of them, he needed it the most - grinned as he listened to Fayruz's song.

    And this is what she sang:

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    We fell from heaven, brother
    And here in the wild, we find
    The strength of our bright soul
    I awoke before the Olm, as I spoke
    To a warlike people.

    Their troubles were assuaged
    And I lifted their heavy burdens
    And so a princess they named me
    Fayruz, the Dragonslayer, the Healer
    Of all ills and wounds.

    But I burned brightly on that day
    And my radiance was bright, sunlike
    So did I awake, brother, but if I could
    Bring my soul to its throne, my siblings, too
    Could rise and be kings.

    Jongo, my brother-sister is alive, well,
    And powerful beyond measure, and comes
    With our brother Haramhold, who knows craft
    Enough to carve words into the wood of our fires
    And I hope and yearn for them.

    Avyra, too, has gained power enough
    To bring life to clay and give it a heart
    And so, too, Kalandor youngest has risen
    And at this moment has gone into the south
    To find black sand's source.

    My people are weary and wounded:
    Brave travelers returned to us, with eyes
    Bleeding black sand, and they sought to kill
    Or enthrall all my people, and myself; we fought
    And survived at great cost.

    Faden still stands, and I hope to see him
    And all of my brothers, and my sisters too,
    But of the others, only those have I heard from.
    Now, though, my clever brother has come to me!
    Come, sleep in my tent.

    In the morning's light, I will show you
    The works of my people, and their beauty
    And we will give you what food we have, Weaver
    And give to you the songs and stories that we have,
    Once night is over and done!


    She stepped back, then, and asked the Weaver, "Was that all right? I have been missing my sister... and I felt the song come to my lips, unbidden, like all great songs. Everything in it is true; I want you to stay here, sleep, rest from your travels. I have rested enough already," she lied, for she had not yet slept, but she said to herself that she had not planned to sleep that night, and that there was still more work for her to do.
    -build that wall and build it strong-
    Kasanip - best artist; Rarity - best smile; Thanqol - good Question
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    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
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    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
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    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
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    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  23. - Top - End - #383
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    The Challenge

    As Carolinus' challenge echoed though the meadow, the thralls of the titan froze in place. Seeing their furtive glances at each other, Carolinus thought he detected a glint of hope in their eyes, though it was buried beneath a thick layer of dread. Even the lesser titan seemed surprised, his eyebrows rising perceptibly as Carolinus threatened his master. Yet Khar Melkhan said nothing, his attention turned fully to the meal before him. Cutting a long sliver from the boar's flank, he chewed slowly, savoring the flavors before swallowing with a discernible sigh. Only then did he turn his ruby eyes on the god at the edge of the clearing.

    "Please, my lord Carolinus, there is no need for such theatrics. I would invite you to share in my repast, but it seems you are eager to test yourself, and I cannot deny a similar desire."

    The Khar stood from his seat, and in so doing cast a shadow across the clearing of such length as to cross Carolinus' line. Stretching his neck, the Khar let loose a pop that more closely resembled the shattering of a boulder before staring down intently at his new opponent.

    "I must admit, it is a relief to see you here. There is no challenge to be found in this human rabble - I have not encountered a single warrior of substance, let alone a passable panoply. I've been forced to fight ten at a time just to keep things sporting. But you are here now, and I can finally fulfill the duty set me by my lord. As the challenged, it is my right to choose our weapons, but as it seems you have but sword and shield I shall not disadvantage you."

    The Khar snapped his fingers, and Kelmeris disappeared inside the tent. He emerged moments later bearing a massive iron shield embossed in the same bronze as the Khar's armor, as well as a helm resembling a snarling dragon. Taking both, Khar Melkhan gripped the shield with a practiced hand and fitted his helm comfortably atop his head. His visage thus made even more intimidating, he drew his sword and brought the blade to his face. It was a beautiful thing, twelve feet of rippling grey steel that came alive in the sunlight.

    "There is but one thing for you as challenger to decide, my lord. Do we duel until surrender, or to the death?"

    The Dark Traveler

    Standing in the ruins of the human village, Kalandor felt ready to collapse. Divine blood seeped from the few wounds the ghouls had managed to inflict, staining the ground. Yet despite his exhaustion, the dark presence within him refused to allow his body rest, and as he stared in horror the ground where his blood pooled turned black and tumescent, the black sand spreading in the direction of the villagers' flight. Within the prison of his mind, Kalandor heard his tormentor's chittering laugh, though he could not discern its terrible eyes in the gloom.

    "You see now, slave, how completely you are mine. No part of you is beyond my control - neither heart nor eyes nor blood. Whatever you touch in infected with my will, and invariably falls under my sway. The sand is a poor vessel, lifeless and meager, but the blood of a god..."

    The voice trailed away into a lisping hiss, as though the dark force were tasting of Kalandor's vitae even as they spoke.

    "The blood of a god is strong. Strong enough to corrupt a city. Strong enough to turn another of your ilk, even without the benefit of my touch. But come, morsel - we have tarried far to long on these distractions. Your sister awaits your return, and I do so look forward to tasting her."

    The voice fell back in cackling laughter, and Kalandor felt a smile spread across his face as his steps turned once again towards the Olm. He marched, unhindered by his wounds, and in his path he left the seeds of new corruption.

    The Void

    The ripple of ghostlight sent shadows spilling down naked flesh, two bodies tangled in the throes of desperate passion. A feminine voice screamed in the dark, platinum hair tangled and matted, yet no flush touched the pale skin of the lovers. For in her heart dwelt naught but emptiness, and its hunger devoured warmth and sound and light in turn. It spread through every fiber of her, to fingertips, to lips, and through hungry kisses it spread to her paramour, to take root deep in his core.

    Their dark chamber was timeless, yet eventually both were spent, the wild energy of their lovemaking dissipating into the bitter wind, leaving desire in its place. Yet even in their emptiness, they took comfort in each others company, and so her sworn knight cradled her against him. Minds drifted, but as sure as sunrise the wickedness returned to her eyes, for her spirit was old and cruel, and she turned their black fire upon her chosen servant.

    "Oh gallant knight, you have freed me from the thrall of boredom yet again. But I fear a greater task remains to you. Our great work must be prepared, and through your labors our glory might be assured."

    He was displeased, she saw. It was to be expected, but he could no more deny her than he could stop his own heartbeat. Smiling as he grunted assent, she lifted her lips to his once more in a kiss colder than the blackest night. But that chill woke a fire in him that no other could conjure, and as she lay down again her empty eyes twinkled.

    "But you need not go just yet."

    I was old when the pharaohs first mounted
    The jewel-decked throne by the Nile;
    I was old in those epochs uncounted
    When I, and I only, was vile;

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    ...one could possibly refer to you guys' elaborate dance of allies-to-enemies-to-suicide-of-the-universe as some sort of weird art form.

    If one were on drugs.
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    Behold, the mighty slayer of strangely coloured mutant equines! The thwarter of forum woes! The! Dark! DM!

  24. - Top - End - #384
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    War

    I will not tell you of the last desperate alliance between the villages of the settled-folk, how Beven persuaded Maltek and Esh-Ka-Nin to set aside their feud and face the Daughter of the Red Moon as one. I will not tell you of the battles at Ederoch and Addenhall, nor the long bloody skirmish along Selden Plain, where men turned snares and hunting-spears upon one another like beasts. I will not tell the tale of the messengers' courage, though it pains my heart that their bravery in crossing the brigand-haunted moors to bear one chief's words to another will be forgotten. I will not tell you of the sworn vengeance-oaths that Maltek's people made after he fell, nor of how they went unfulfilled. I will not speak of the falls of Beven and Curai, Adden and Esh-Ka-Nin, Balasan and his daughters, or any of the rest. I will not tell how the trickle of refugees and glory-seekers who joined the Daughter of of the Red Moon became a rivulet, and then a stream, and then a flood, sweeping all before them. I will not tell you how Brymhide Isle's hunters became warriors too late.

    These things are unimportant. Names and places and times are all washed away in the tides of war. The faces of the dead are forgotten.

    What I will tell is this: how the bloodshed was not terrible in Nieve's eyes, but beautiful, even sacred. She looked into the eyes of the dying and saw her own death, and knew by this that she was alive. The wind above the killing-fields was cold and sweet, the earth green and welcoming, and she knew herself to be young and strong and beautiful. I will tell how the spark that had lain dormant since she fell from Baz'Auran's court flared to life, fierce and joyous, and kindled in the hearts of tired warriors like wildfire in dry grass. Outcasts and settled-folk alike gave themselves over to the battle-madness, laughing and killing and dying without thought of friend or foe. The promise of lives unlived spilled out upon the ground alongside the blood, and the air grew rich and heavy with the passions of the slain. Nieve drank them in, and was transformed.

    This is the promise that her followers saw: that they could have a happy life, if not a long one.

    This is the promise that she made herself: that she would never again let fear touch her, nor grief, nor shame.

    The flood became a tide.
    Last edited by The_Snark; 2012-04-29 at 11:32 AM.
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  25. - Top - End - #385
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Gengy's Avatar

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    Aug 2005

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    Jongo merrily ate his stew, and continued to tease Amanda by telling Frellon about the paint fight they had when the Living Ship was being made.

    "...and I swear, Squid, she was covered head to toe in orange paint. It looked a lot like some sort of pumpkin girl! I'm still -" Jongo became eerily quiet.

    Bursts of the Spark flared in Jongo's mindscape. Another four in total.

    First, to the south, far from Fayruz, Jongo suddenly felt very sleepy. The Band of Chaos seemed to exult in the change this sibling brought, as they appear to have altered the minds of everyone - everywhere - all at once. But... how...? Ah! Their dreams. Whoever this was, had just altered the dreams of all mortals everywhere. It was... calming. And interesting! Rodney, maybe?

    Second, a burst of song and music, very close, to the east. It was getting further away as Green Morningstar kept moving. But it sounded so... sweet. Like the clouds opening up and crying tears of joy. The Band of Chaos wanted to respond, but it's off beat sounds were a delightfully pale comparison to true music. Could that be Sonata? Little Iris? Jongo would have to come back here and investigate some time. The potential for change was difficult to gauge.

    And then, burning in flames, but full of confidence, another flare of change to the northwest. It felt like a lion, surveying it's field. Like a Raptor, flying high and free. Like one of Haramhold's workers in Salus, after they have finished a carving. It was a proud feeling, impossible to mistake for anything else. Jongo didn't like it. It could be manipulated too easily; one word from the wrong place, and pride would demand that nothing alters. Jongo did not know for sure who this was, but of all her siblings, he suspected Shirvan. No one else would be this complete of a grassblade. Not even Carolinus.

    But as bothersome as that was... it was the fourth burst of what Jongo now thought was the Divine Spark that was the most troubling. It held a great deal of potential for constant Chaos. In that, Jongo had to admit, things were all right. But it was unrestrained. The lion, unleashed; the raptor, diving for prey; the worker breaking from stress. Others would try to talk things over. This sibling - if they were a sibling - felt like they just wanted to live in the moment, whatever that moment was... and it felt drenched in blood and battle. Jongo shuddered. For a brief second, she hoped it wasn't a sibling. That he was feeling something else, something new. But no... that was probably just wishful thinking. Could one of Jongo's brothers or sisters have become so changed? Thinking of the others, Jongo knew the answer was yes.

    They'd been lucky so far. It seemed their luck had run out. But who...? Contragh? Neive? One of those two seemed likely. But it could really be anyone. Could Soreal have been so altered to now seek out battle? Could Llassar have fallen into the wrong crowd? Would Rumel build a machine that would war on others?

    Jongo didn't know. And if it weren't for Fayruz... Jongo gulped, forced the mindscape away, and came back to the dinner table.

    Frellon, Haramhold, and Amanda likely noticed Jongo holding her wooden spoon in midair, frozen in place. Flicking his eyes down at it, Jongo could see her skin was as white as a sheet.

    Dropping the spoon with a clatter, Jongo stared at Haramhold and Frellon both.

    "Did either of you feel that? Please tell me you did! Please tell me I don't have to explain. I... I... don't know if I have the words."
    Spoiler
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    "Fear the Gerbils, lads! For they will destroy you!" ~ DOOM

    BladeofObliviom said:
    I've only seen a character at anything resembling this level of absurdity thrive exactly once, and he/she/what-the-jongo had the advantage of being written by Gengy, who I look up to as a writer.

    "What-the-Jongo?"
    Before you insult someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, you'll be a mile away, and have their shoes!
    ~avatar by myself

  26. - Top - End - #386
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    VonDoom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vienna, Austria
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    Spoiler
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    Major Acts:
    Gain Ability: Fire Mastery
    Up Domain: Pride ->2
    Alter an existing race (local human tribes - physical and mental enhancement, longer average lifespan, increased fertility and resistance to volcanic hazards)

    Minor Acts:
    Create philosophy/religion (The Path of Excellence)
    Create city
    Change landscape (lay rivers)


    Shirvan - Turn 1
    And The World Shall Gaze In Awe


    Birthed from light, reborn in fire. Perfect in shape; bright and warm to his leal friends, uncompromising and blazing to his foes; beautiful and terrible to behold. All that, is Shirvan.

    Once more, Shirvan stood before the cave people, a mortal no more. They recognized him, but also recognized the change that had come over him and rather than welcome him as their friend and mentor, they knelt to him as their master.

    "You will be my people," the god proclaimed, bold and decisive as ever. "As you now kneel before me, know that I am Shirvan Silverhair, Shirvan Brightfire; Shirvan, the Golden Flame. The Warring Hero, Child of Baz'Auran." He raised his hand, birthing a bright fire within his palm. "I am light, and fire, and will. Flame and sword, pride and power -- and what is mine shall be yours in turn."

    They gazed upon him in awe, not one of them speaking a word.

    "Take that knowledge into your heart and be strong," the God of Pride continued. "Rise! As I bow before no one, as I will never suffer to bend my knee to another, so shall you stand tall! You are my chosen -- to stay true to yourselves and your path, to take joy in what you do and walk with your head held high!"

    And so, they did. And were blessed for it.

    "As long as you follow these simple rules, you shall grow tall and strong, live a long, blessed life -- the volcanoes shall hold terror for you no longer!"

    He turned, then, leading his new people out of the caves to survey the large plains beneath the mountain range. "This shall be your new place, to build and thrive until you call this entire continent that is the center of the world your own -- a continent which I now name Fiero."

    Spoiler
    Show
    The term 'fiero' was coined by Italian psychologist Isabella Poggi to describe the pride experienced and expressed in the moments following a personal triumph over adversity.

    Also, he's totally not being egocentric here. That continent is literally the center of the world. Heh.


    And then, with a mighty roar and wave of his hands, the land split and water flowed, rivers and streams spinning a net through the land so that it would grow rich and fertile. A black wall of molten stone-glass rose from beneath the earth and formed a huge circle, a wall that would always remain warm to the touch and provide shelter. And inside that circle, stone structures rose -- base shelter, however, nothing more.

    "This shall be your home, the city Ates. Once again, man stood in awe, but none knelt before their god's power, nor lowered their head. "But let it be your hands that make a wonder of it, that make it truly great. A gift can make one proud to hold so dear a friend and so fine a possession, but will never mean as much as the result of one's own hard work. Now go and live as you would, learn and grow. I will come to you soon, and impart my full teachings onto a few worthy of them, to lead you -- my people -- to a greater age."

    Spoiler
    Show
    Ates is an Arabian name that means fire. I was going to name it after Shirvan, but didn't like Shirvanna or Shirvania.And, to use my namesake as an inspiration, Shirvanstadt ... would be a horrible thing to inflict on the game and DarkDM would likely strangle me for it.
    Characters:
    Spoiler
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    Inactive:
    Mikado, Villainous Businessman
    Shirvan, God of Pride
    Roshan Sarini, Cheliaxan Summoner
    Jhael'dril, Necromantic Drow Warrior
    Olethros, Messiah of Oblivion


  27. - Top - End - #387
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    shorewood's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Male

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    "Did either of you feel that? Please tell me you did! Please tell me I don't have to explain. I... I... don't know if I have the words."

    Closing his eyes Haramhold concentrates on his divine spark and sends forth his senses. To the northwest the god could sense a city rise from the earth, driven by fire and pride. He could only guess that this was Shirvan's work.

    Almost directly east Haramhold sense a great industrious force growing and expanding in an alarming rate. Molding metal and whistling steam this force continued to build and build. But it did so without dedication or love. This frightened the god of crafting, for there was no joy within this power. Could this be Rumel's doing? No, no it could not have Haramhold convinced himself, Rumel could never become this heartless. Not his dear Rumel.

    Although Haramhold searched long and hard he sensed nothing from the sparks of rain and war. For they are outside the god's domain.

    "The most troubling thing I sense is a growing nest of machinery. It is an unfeeling force that never sleeps. It is disturbing I grant you but I don't think it is what you are referring too." said Haramhold as he examined Jongo's stark terror. "It feels like Rumel's work but he would never create a monstrosity such as this. Perhaps some demon has captured him and is forcing our brother to build these things. After the business with Fayruz is complete, I'm going to investigate this."
    Sometimes it is useful to know how large your zero is. ~Author Unknown

  28. - Top - End - #388
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Australia

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkDM;12926693[B
    The Dark Traveler[/B]

    Standing in the ruins of the human village, Kalandor felt ready to collapse. Divine blood seeped from the few wounds the ghouls had managed to inflict, staining the ground. Yet despite his exhaustion, the dark presence within him refused to allow his body rest, and as he stared in horror the ground where his blood pooled turned black and tumescent, the black sand spreading in the direction of the villagers' flight. Within the prison of his mind, Kalandor heard his tormentor's chittering laugh, though he could not discern its terrible eyes in the gloom.

    "You see now, slave, how completely you are mine. No part of you is beyond my control - neither heart nor eyes nor blood. Whatever you touch in infected with my will, and invariably falls under my sway. The sand is a poor vessel, lifeless and meager, but the blood of a god..."

    The voice trailed away into a lisping hiss, as though the dark force were tasting of Kalandor's vitae even as they spoke.

    "The blood of a god is strong. Strong enough to corrupt a city. Strong enough to turn another of your ilk, even without the benefit of my touch. But come, morsel - we have tarried far to long on these distractions. Your sister awaits your return, and I do so look forward to tasting her."

    The voice fell back in cackling laughter, and Kalandor felt a smile spread across his face as his steps turned once again towards the Olm. He marched, unhindered by his wounds, and in his path he left the seeds of new corruption.
    The Dark Traveller
    Spoiler: Quotes!
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Sun Hunter's Recruitment
    Quote Originally Posted by Sliver View Post
    Saying no to a Sun's Hunter is as close as it gets to an invitation to have your place destroyed by them)\
    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
    In other words, be nice to the murderhobos so they don't murder you?
    Quote Originally Posted by JanusJones View Post
    The professional, well-funded, well-backed, card-carrying, licensed murderhobos, yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Congrats, you made me laugh hard enough to draw my family's attention.

  29. - Top - End - #389
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Australia

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkDM;12926693[B
    The Dark Traveler[/B]

    Standing in the ruins of the human village, Kalandor felt ready to collapse. Divine blood seeped from the few wounds the ghouls had managed to inflict, staining the ground. Yet despite his exhaustion, the dark presence within him refused to allow his body rest, and as he stared in horror the ground where his blood pooled turned black and tumescent, the black sand spreading in the direction of the villagers' flight. Within the prison of his mind, Kalandor heard his tormentor's chittering laugh, though he could not discern its terrible eyes in the gloom.

    "You see now, slave, how completely you are mine. No part of you is beyond my control - neither heart nor eyes nor blood. Whatever you touch in infected with my will, and invariably falls under my sway. The sand is a poor vessel, lifeless and meager, but the blood of a god..."

    The voice trailed away into a lisping hiss, as though the dark force were tasting of Kalandor's vitae even as they spoke.

    "The blood of a god is strong. Strong enough to corrupt a city. Strong enough to turn another of your ilk, even without the benefit of my touch. But come, morsel - we have tarried far to long on these distractions. Your sister awaits your return, and I do so look forward to tasting her."

    The voice fell back in cackling laughter, and Kalandor felt a smile spread across his face as his steps turned once again towards the Olm. He marched, unhindered by his wounds, and in his path he left the seeds of new corruption.
    The Dark Traveller
    Kalandor luaghed. It was an odd sound, atleast, he thought so. It must just be the situation he thought.

    You only have as much controll as you can force, and when I choose it I have dominion. You only continue to walk towards Olm because I allow and want it. Have you wondered why many of my priests no longer pray? Do you wonder why some of the corrupted have even stopped mid prayer? Do not kid yourself in thinking you have controll. Besides, without my will you won't even be able to perform the theatricle entrance you desire."

    And so the body of Kalandor kept walking, wounds scabbing over, his mind speaking with confidence he didn't entirely feel. He hoped that when he arrived that Caro' or Frel' was there. It would probaly be the only way he could be restrained from harming Fayruz. Hopeful Haram' would be there, that would make it much easier to work.... I hope one of those preists manages to get through to Frel'....
    And so went Kalandor's innermost thoughts, a serries of of ifs and payers...
    Spoiler: Quotes!
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Sun Hunter's Recruitment
    Quote Originally Posted by Sliver View Post
    Saying no to a Sun's Hunter is as close as it gets to an invitation to have your place destroyed by them)\
    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
    In other words, be nice to the murderhobos so they don't murder you?
    Quote Originally Posted by JanusJones View Post
    The professional, well-funded, well-backed, card-carrying, licensed murderhobos, yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Congrats, you made me laugh hard enough to draw my family's attention.

  30. - Top - End - #390
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    THEChanger's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Heroes of the Fall

    Reunion

    The Weaver closed his eyes as Fayruz sang. Her voice had grown even more beautiful on the Great Disk, having become full and rich with experience. As the last chord began to fade, The Weaver darted his hand outward, and caught the chord before it could escape. Pulling, carefully, ever so carefully, The Weaver drew forth a single, silver thread from Fayruz's voice. It had been some time since he had drawn colors from the world around him, and never had he tried to do so from something so ethereal as a song. But he was a creature both of shadow and light now, of substance and subtly, of dreams and of reality. And so from the song of Fayruz, and from the very rock around them, and from the red light of the torches, and from the inky black of the night sky, The Weaver plucked thread after thread, and brought them together, and wove a tapestry of what he had seen. He wove a picture of Carolinus' grand citadel, and of the mighty palace of ice that belonged to Lossethir. He wove a portrait of Brandis' new revelry, and of the orcs who now followed Frellon, and the massive ship which even now brought Jongo, Haramhold, and that hero closer to the Olm. But so too, did The Weaver weave of the darkness to the east and south of them, for it was just as important.
    But The Weaver saved that silver thread, for he thought he would have need of it soon.
    After his art had drawn to a close, The Weaver smiled, and breathed heavily. "I thank you, Fayruz. This is what I have seen. I pray you, take my tapestry. It is the first I have woven upon this world, and I should like for you to keep it. As to sleep," The Weaver chuckled at the idea, "I no longer sleep. I am a being of dreams, and so I need it not. I gain the rest I need whenever I walk my new realm. But if you like, I will stay, and talk with you. For our siblings arrive soon, and I wish to be here to greet them with you." But The Weaver frowned, for something troubled him. He knew Fayruz had not slept this night, and her eyes, though joyful, contained a certain weariness. "Tell me, guardsmen, has my sister rested enough this night? Or has she been pushing herself to exhaustion, both this night and others?"
    ATTENTION ANYONE WHO I'M PLAYING WITH:
    No news is good news.

    Awesome Hex avatar by kpenguin

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