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Mega Story II: The Unfreezing

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by cypher132, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    1,009
    We are still accepting applications. If you are lurking and would like to join, just PM me with the civ you'd like to be. Thank you.
     
  2. Zugvogel

    Zugvogel Knight Errant

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Time jump to keep up with the up-date, hope that's alright.

    Spoiler :
    The dragon was still fast asleep, the observer sensed. But the sensation was contrary to what the observer's eyes (or whatever was used to see on this plane) reported. The dragons body had begun to move. To twitch. And to...vanish. It was nothing obvious. Just a little hint here and there, but the golden scales of the grand dragon were becoming more and more transparent. It was no rotting, but an exhaling. The dragon's body had solved its purpose, as had the snakes who had beaten, for now at least, the ambers. And now the sleeping carcass imaterialized, once more granting freedom to the spirit it had contained. And suddenly, for the first time since the dreams had begun, the observer felt that he was not alone. A mighty presence was with him, around him, was in him. Then he heard the voice, booming and hissing, wise and ancient. A lesser person might have thought it a God's voice, but the observer remembered and knew better. The voice said: “We are one again.”

    Cardith Lorda woke and for the first time in weeks, he felt really awake. Everything before seemed like a dream now. The second age of ice, the near annihilation at the Barbarians hands, the capture of the orcish remnants...it was a memory as clear as could be expected. But it seemed like another persons memory, not his own. The latest memories he could recall that weren't alien to him were the ones from the Sheaim war, shortly before the summoning of the golden dragon. He had known what would happen then, of course, for the dragon (being a creature of honesty, preservance and benevolence) had told him not only how to perform the ritual but also what it would do. The seperation had been nessecary back then to protect his people, his children. But the winter that followed had brought even the greatest dragon ever to exist to the brink of death. And in this state, Eutarabetes had been forced to abandon his body, to reunite with the vessel that had first given him hold on Mazera. The vessel, Lorda mused, that was him. Without respecting response, he thought: “Are you there?” No words awnsered him, no booming, hissing voice like in his feverish dreams – but there was something else, something far greater than mere words could express: A feeling of confidence. Together, they would once more create a world worth living in.

    For Relassi, the last three months had been extraordinarily busy. Shortly after the breaking of the orcish invasion and the marvelous victory, his first task – aside from hosting one of the many feasts given in honour to the brave heroes that had saved the city, his own nephew not the least among them – had been providing food for the many prisoners of war suddenly amassed in the city. Many Orcs had turned upon one another and even as their situation became hopeless, their great host turned into small isolated bands on Kwythellars streets, they had continued fighting, choosing passionate bloodlust over reasonable surrender. But some had proven more cunning, had tried to run. But there was no escaping within a hostile city and nor was there hope to outrun angered Centaurs in the open. Eventually, they had thrown away their weapons. It was unexpected, unheard of. When had an Orc, a creature of Bhalls fiery passion, ever surrendered?
    But it was a new age. And it presented the Kuriotate with an unusual, unpleasant question: Could there be mercy for those who sought to raze the last centre of civilization upon Mazera? Here, the multiculturality of the Kuriotate became obvious, as the followers of the various pre-Winter religions called out their versions of the truth: The followers of Junil demanded punishment, the Sironites wanted to grant even the vilest of Orcs their freedom. But since none had a majority within the hodge-podge that was Kwythellar, the one person that had been the Kuriotate's uniting factor decided: The Orcs were prisoners of war and would be treated as such: Kwythellar needed to be rebuild. Houses had to be build, roads and ships and walls. If an empire was to be created, all hands were needed, no matter what their colour. The orcs would be treated, as subjects of the Kuriotate. And as such, they would be put to work till their debt was payed, whether they wanted or not. It was not slavery, not exactly anways. The Orcs weren't without rights and the the City Guard was even protecting them against the anger of the people more than preventing them from escaping. Many orcs didn't even want to go anymore. They were better fed, better clothed than they had been under the brute's banner.
    The victory had caused a second influx of new faces within Kwythellar aswell. Many humans that had hidden from the orcs now travelled to “The City” as it was referred to more and more. The place had withstood the assault of an orcish host. What safer place was there?

    His Majesty, whose condition had become better of late, had answered immigration with expansion. He had send several companies – mostly battlehardened veterans of Kwythellar enlisted in the City Guard that became more and more a proper military every day – north. They had established several outposts, forts and trading posts mostly. One of them was in a small fishing village with an interesting red crystal his nephew had told him about. The lad was there now, researching the properties of the thing the mage guild believed to be a so-called “mana-node”. They also had begun building a second town east along the coast in an area rich with lumber and bronze. There, the first Kuriotate Trieme (fashioned after the designs of the shipswrecks found in Kwythellars shock-frosted harbour) were build. The City had been named Naggagrond, home of the sea-serpents. It was the home of the Kuriotate Navy. A navy whose ships had begun scouting the seas to the south and west. They had seen other vessels as well, but alas they never had been able to make contact for the Kuriotates shipdesign seemed to scare the strange sailors and fishermen. But that was a question of time, doubtlessly.
    Not all was well of course, there still were fierce fights in the borderlands everyday. The slain Warlord had been but a mere General, a younger brother in fact, of a creature called Toombsbane that was hounting the north. For now, the Guards were keeping them at bay. But what would happen if the Orcs mustered a new army? Would the Outposts prevail? Or would war return to the great City?

    It was question for the future. Today, he had another unpleasant duty to perform: He had to report to the king. And he'ld have to confess his lack of knowledge.
    “Your highness,” the Lamia mage said in his usual, hissing voice, “I am gravely sorry, but something unexplainable has occurred: The dormant dragon has vanished from the ministry of foreign affairs. There are neither signs of a fight nor of a thievery. Who would steal a 10 tons heavy dragon, anyway? My colleagues from the guild of mage's suspect there has been some magic done there, but as to what magic, to what purpose or even by whom we do not know.”
    Relassi ended, lowering his head (which meant he was now vis-a-vis to his sovereign) in shame. He had felt honoured when he had been granted the title of the “Spokesman of the Guild of Mages”. But of late, all this honour resulted in where unpleasant conversations with the one person he didn't want to disappoint. Not only because Lorda was king. There was something else as well...something Relassi wouldn't admit even to himself.

    But Lorda took it with royal dignity. In fact, he even smiled. A smile full of secret knowledge, of wisdom, of superiority. A draconic smile, though Relassi himself associated it with a snake more than with a dragon.
    “There are things beyond the horizon of us mere mortals, Spokesman. Even magic is nothing against the wonders of the Gods. Though admittedly, creation itself is godly thing. Do not wonder to much about Eutrabates whereabouts, for I am certain that he is with us even though his body may have gone...” With that, Lorda went silent and he would not speak of the matter anymore.


    Gameplay summary:

    -Kuriotate expand cultural influence in Kwythellar.
    -Kuriotate found second city, Naggagrond
    -Kuriotate research knowledge of the ether, build fire node
    -Kuriotate research fishing
    -Kuriotate research bronce working
    -Eutrabates vanishes
     
  3. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
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    That's fine, Zugvogel. Like I said, not all of us have all the time in the world to write constantly. Small time jumps are fine, but huge ones (like, "We found KOTE!" to "My archmages will take you down!" in two days) will be ignored and your civ will most likely have some kind of retribution from me or Lj. Not as a hate thing, just to keep the rules set. I'm letting you know all ahead of time because I would hate to have to do that.

    Anyway, continue having fun!
     
  4. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
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    6,527
    Location:
    Dancing in the Dark
    Grimnok held his breath as he pushed aside the dead orc that laid covering him. His weak goblin arms were almost not enough to push aside the grunt. He peeked out from his hiding and noticed that not all of the Calabim had left the battlefield.

    Among the dozens of corpses, most of them greenskins, a group of 5-6 Calabim warriors stood, their primitive armours still on. Two of them were holding a third in restriction. The held men was obviously struggling to fight himself free or wiggle out of their grasp, roaring in a rasping voice: "I can smell it! Blood! One of them is still alive! Let me find him and kill him!"

    Grimnok cowered in fear and crept back in hiding, although still retaining an angle of vision that allowed him to see the men. As one of the other figures, considerably better armed and probably their general, started talking, he realized that it was in fact a woman. She said, "it seems like he's not going to calm down. You all know what this means."

    She raised her long, slim blade to the man's chest. "I can't have rogue Moroi running around like that." She stabbed the man four times in rapid succession, and his blood seeped out the wounds at an incredible pace. He collapsed on the ground as the others let his arms go to leave with their general.

    Grimnok breathed out in relief and crawled from his hiding to survey the battlefield. More than three dozen, almost fifty greenskins had been killed. Everyone but him. Three Calabim had died, two of them from poisoned weapons and the last had been put down by his own; a most humiliating defeat and one that Grimnok would not be proud to report. He walked towards the west and pondered the battle; the Calabim warriors had been filled with a rage even deeper than that of the orcs standing against them. Perhaps these berserkers were what the woman had called 'Moroi'?

    Grimnok stopped as a twig snapped just behind him. He looked back and up into the face of the pale warrior, completely smeared in the blood from his own chest wounds. He was brandishing a large axe. He growled, ferociously, "I found you!"


    The Moroi reappear!

    The feared Calabim berserkers known as the Moroi have reappeared in their armies in considerable numbers. Especially prominent are the Fireblood Moroi, and equipped with leather armours and bronze weapons, these warriors easily stand up to several regular soldiers. Losha Valas has been quick to tage advantage of the Moroi to defeat several orcish raiding squads aiming for the Calabim.

    There have been no spottings of blood-crazed rogue Moroi yet, but it is widely considered to be because Valas keeps them in a tight leash and promptly executes those who cannot accept discipline.​
     
  5. TC01

    TC01 Deity

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    Part 3 of probably 9:

    Spoiler Fortress of Badb :
    Fortress of Badb

    Boryn, full of hope, reached the gates of the ruined fortress. Remarkably, they were still standing. He was able to make out a very faint inscription in ancient Patrian carved in one of them. Fortunately, he could translate ancient Patrian, and the carving was illuminated by a pale-blue glow (some ice magic evidently remained within these walls).

    He read it and nearly exploded with joy. It said, roughly, "This fortress is the domain of Archmage Badb of Patria. Tresspassers will be turned into statues."

    He had found it! The ancient fortress of Badb, great archmage of ice and founder of the Illian Empire! Boryn wasn't entirely sure about the translation of the last part, but he realized that it was a threat. And if some ice magic was still active within these walls... he could end up as a statue. And that could not be allowed to happen. Winter must return to Erebus! I must not fail!

    He raised his staff and chanted, attempting a small ritual to detect arcane traps. And sure enough, he sensed an active field of ice magic around the walls. Any living thing that was inside the walls without first doing something- Boryn wasn't exactly sure what yet- would end up as a statue lining the walls. Amazing- to think that the magic still works after four ages have passed! Hopefully that meant that there might be something else usable here- something that could help return winter to Erebus.

    After a little more time, Boryn decided that some kind of magical sign-in was needed to deactivate the defenses. He frowned, and concentrated, projecting the word "Boryn" towards the magical source. Nothing happened.

    He tried "Priest of Winter", "Illian", and several other things that described him. Still nothing. Boryn began to panic. If he couldn't get in... his quest was doomed!

    He began to get angry. This was trying to thwart his mission! It was trying to stop him from re-creating the Age of Ice! And in that moment of panic and rage, Boryn felt something enter his mind and twist it.

    "Scion of Mulcarn!" he shouted, both physically and mentally. And mentally, his cry was accompanied by that same presence that had penetrated his mind.

    The defenses faded, and the blue light illuminating the carvings on the gate faded too. The doors swung open.

    Dumbfounded, Boryn stepped forward. He began to search the fortress for ancient scrolls and artifacts and other things that could be of use. But inside, he was overcome by one thought. He really was a fail-safe device! And Auric must not be truly dead!

    For, he thought, If that mental presence wasn't Auric's, who else could it have been? Who else has such power over Winter?


    I feel like I should point out that the "presence" isn't Auric- it's someone else- but Boryn thinks it is for the time being.
     
  6. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    WE MUST SPEAK
     
  7. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young King

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    811
    First Mate Nate was a good Lanun. That didn't mean he was a good man, so much: he drank and robbed and killed with the best of the landing parties. But he was generally quite good at what he did.

    "Listen up, dogs!" he yelled to the crew of his ship. They were the Sea Pack, had the tatoos to prove it, and as a man the crew howled into the air before settling into at least a tolerable din.

    "These Grigori whore-sons think they have the right to sail wherever they want! These land-lubbering little :):):):):)es think they're so impressive with their rafts and galleys. They think they're good at the sea!"

    There was laughter, and he smiled, showing missing teeth and all.

    "It's only proper of us to show them who's the real masters of the sea," he said, and threw a reverant bow to the Deep. "That's why we've been liberating their ships. Not like they need them!" There were more howls of agreement.

    "Come to think of it, they have a lot of things they won't be needing," he faux-mused. "Their gold, their goods, their women. They won't be needing them on account of we're going to sail right up and kill them and take what we want!"

    There was much rejoicing.

    "Those fools think they're so safe in their high castle. They think their troubles are on the other island, or in the barbarians coming from the north. Well, we're about to show them the truth! Not just us, boys, but the entire Armada!"

    Looking over either side showed it wasn't an empty boast. The Sea Pack was just one crew, one galley in this fleet that was sailing to the Citadel of Trials.

    "We're going to land, we're going to take what we want, and we're going to drive them into their precious Citadel! And the Masters take me if we don't take that too!"

    Around the Armada, captains were giving their crews similar talks. Some emphasized the need to be quick, lest the barbarians to the North of the Citadel come around and strike them as well. Others, specially selected, gave word about the caverns underneath the Island, and Citadel.

    Some just reminded their sometimes-forgetful crews of the proper order of pillage: rape the women, burn the houses, in that order Mr. Temp.

    But all looked eagerly to the east as the Armada entered the bay. Already the Grigori city-dwellers were retreating.

    ---

    Lanun Launch invasion of Citadel of Trials!

    To capitalize on the Grigori's troubles, the Lanun have launched an invasion of the Grigori capital-fortress. With the Grigori navy primarily in the West, securing the Settlements, the Citadel has been left vulnerable and unprotected. With little naval guard to prevent it, the Lanun have sailed in and deposited significant forces on the beaches.

    It is a trial indeed for the Grigori, for the Citadel stands alone, the Lanun preventing reinforcement from the Settlements. If it falls, the Grigori would be decapitated, and the Settlements easy pickings for the Lanun. Still, the Citadel is a mighty fortress, built for a war in which earth-shattering magics were to be expected. It will not fall easily, and this battle is not yet decided.
     
  8. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
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    6,527
    Location:
    Dancing in the Dark
    The Storm Kestrel was lying on the outskirts of the fleet, its crew lazily keeping watch out for any Grigori vessels. The sailors were relaxing, only a few of them tended to the steering of the ship, the rest were looking to their weapons, sleeping or eating.

    Captain Eightfingers was standing at the rutter, enjoying the wind wafting the few open sails rhythmically. He frowned when the rhythm was interferred by another, faster and lighter wafting.

    Comillo descended onto the deck just as the Captain turned around to face the noise of the blood-soaked wings. The Captain immidiately cried out in alarm, and almost all of the boat's crew scurred to find their weapons and aid their captain. A few of them fired flaming arrows into the air.

    Comillo stood tranquil in the middle of the circle of men. Promptly surrounded, he was adressed by the Captain; "What kind of monster are you and why should we let you live?"

    Comillo's lip snarled into a malicious grin as he slowly raised his hands in a peaceful gesture. "Because I'll make your tormented screams drown out even the voices of the Deep."
    With that comment, he gave the malicious grin another notch as he set off from the deck, wings pounding. As he curled his fingers into fists and raised them, the sailors were horrified to see the skin of their Captain ripped from body and blown along the deck. The Captain's scream of agony paralyzed most of the men as the stripped, bloody body collapsed on the deckplanks, dying in a matter of seconds.

    The few Lanun archers onboard had regained their wits; some of them fired more burning arrows to warn of the danger, the others aimed regular arrows at Comillo and nerveously opened fire. Comillo sweeped the arrows out of their path with a gesture of his arms and pointed a finger at one of the braver archers. The man's eyes, nose, ears and mouth became fountains of blood that drowned out his attempt at screaming as he fell to his knees in pain. The other archers lowered their bows to avoid the kind of attention Comillo was ready to give them.

    Hovering above the ship, Comillo raised his voice so that the entire crew could hear it; "The Grigori are watched over by an angel! But I am not an angel of mercy as Cassiel of the last age! I am an angel of vengeance and massacre! Let your Captains know that every man, woman or child of the Grigori that they dare touch will be avenged fivefold!"

    With those words, the angel disappeared towards the coast, and the stunned sailors were left to explain the happenings to the ships that were now coming to their assistance...
     
  9. lemonjelly

    lemonjelly Modding For Ethne

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    864
    Location:
    UK
    Grigori
    Spoiler :
    Part of the first group of colonists that sailed to the island, they lived surrounded by walls, soldiers positioned around the village to stop the barbarian hordes burning down their homes. This little village was the most important place in Grigori lands, supplying the capital with fresh food and water, untouched by hell’s influence. The landscape around the city was harsh and unforgiving, with sharp cliffs and hard ground. The shoreline was jagged and sharp, and the dirty blue water splashed up on the pale grey beach in a mass of white foam.

    A hunting party walked out of the gates. They ran down the hillside, eager to get under the cover of the trees that surrounded the city. As they passed through into the undergrowth, they relaxed. The hunt went well; there was enough food from this one trip to supply the village with deer for at least a week. They were almost back when one of the men tripped. He fell down onto the beach, a relatively short distance, but the fall could have easily broken a bone. The healer quickly got over to the injured man, the fall didn’t damage him, but his hunting knife had slit his leg open. The beach was full of sand and pebbles, and there was no sort of bandage to be seen. In desperation, the healer quickly searched in the shallow waters. There was nothing, until she got to a particularly clear section of the sea. In there, as if by some sort of miracle, was a massive clump of pale purple kelp. Quickly grabbing a strand of the rubbery material, she bandaged the cut up, and they made their way back to the city.

    The best healers on the island examined the wound, and all thought that he wouldn’t walk again, unless a mage could be found to heal the wound. But, a week later, the slash is just a faint scar stretching up from his knee. Further studies are planned on the kelp, once more samples are brought back.


    Ljosalfar
    Spoiler :
    The sunlight streamed through the leaves, and in the Council room, six elves sat in a circle around a translucent green crystal, with ornate golden writing carved into the smooth surface. An ancient relic from the previous age, some believed it was the only reason the forest survived the Ice.

    The elves were all muttering, when another elf walked through the archway. Her fair hair had a butterfly sitting in it, and the leaves on the ancient tree bent towards her. She walked over to the other elves, and all conversation ceased. She sat down, and pulled out an ancient scroll from her cloak.

    She slowly unravelled the worn parchment, carefully laying it down flat. It was an ancient text, written in Arendel's Elfish. Only some parts made sense, and these talked about a war that threatened to shatter the Empire, and how the priests hid away massive parts of Ljosalfar knowledge in important sites where even the Svartalfar wouldn’t dare look.

    At the bottom of the scroll was a short poem, all the elves leaned in to read the inked words.
    The trail starts
    At the end
    Of our end.

    When nature lost
    And the whole
    Divided.
    She carefully rolled the scroll back up. “I suggest we keep this a secret until we know where this place is. Amelanchier, look through the histories.”
    One of the elves stood up. He was tall and graceful, and bowed down in front of the elf. “Anything for you, Eldarwen.” He stood up, kissed her on the cheek and walked out of the room.


    Sheaim
    Spoiler :
    The scouts had arrived back at Galveholm. They quickly walked into the Palace, hoping that Os-Gabella wasn’t there, but she was. She looked down at the scouting party from her obsidian throne. Legends said that even Mulcarn was scared of her, and that’s why the crushing ice didn’t dare grip the land as strong as it did everywhere else. They started their report, listing what they had seen in the wilderness. She looked down at them, bored, until they talked about an ancient pit that looked down into hell itself. “Go and tell Tebryn to cleanse the pit.” Her cold voice echoed around the room. The scouts quickly ran off, eager to get out of the freezing room.

    She stood up off her throne, and went into her private chambers. There, she collapsed to her knees and cried, harder than she had cried for 150 years. She felt the gods pushing against her soul, and today, one god’s pull was stronger than the rest. Os-Gabella looked up; across the room was a beautiful lady, dressed in a flowing white robe. She put an arm around Os-Gabella, and together they wept. Another presence filled the room, the shadows warped. They both instantly knew who it was, Ceridwen. The white-robed lady stood up, and whispered to Os-Gabella. “You know what to do, you, better than anyone can feel the imbalance, correct it. Correct it and I’ll see what I can do to help you. I know you’re not a bad person, please…” Os-Gabella looked around the room, both gods had disappeared, and she felt more alone than ever, but she unclenched her fist, in there was a pure white lily. She concentrated, shut out her soul to the corrupted gods, and focused. Slowly the lily grew, sprouted roots and leaves, and she collapsed onto the floor. It was possible, but she wasn’t strong enough. She needed to correct the imbalance, and then find a way out of this misery.

    Tebryn cast a rune, and de-materialised in front of the scouts eyes. Deep in the wilderness, he saw the pit, flying through the ether towards it; he re-appeared on a blackened field. The world just stopped, and as the light fell into it, it got separated, and he could see the dimensions, all warped around it. He recognised it, a place where reality got distorted. A planar gate, but this one was uncontrolled, and through the Age of Ice, the edges of the world had frayed, increasing the size of the hole, and blurring the line between the dimensions to such a degree even the presence of Ceridwen was weakened. Imagine the power that the Sheaim could achieve with a controlled gate the size of this!
     
  10. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young King

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    811
    Numbweed classified in Grigori Lands

    Grigori herbalists have come across a new crop of great potential: a type of seaweed that seems only to grow in the seas where pure Creation borders Hellish lands. Called numbweed for it's plentifulness in the Kelp forests and it's pain-killing and healing properties, this new type of harvest will put wounded Grigori soldiers back into the fight, sooner than any other peoples.

    The Grigori government is leaping at this discovery while it has the chance, sending guarded expeditions to the bays to harvest as much as can be retrieved. Soon, however, the barbarians still coming from the Maw will sweep south, and as long as the Lanun hold the seas no Grigori will be able to bring in this new harvest.



    ---

    (OOC: Good job, Lemon! Those were some creative throw-ins.)
     
  11. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

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    Dec 7, 2008
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    1,009
    (OOC: Not entirely Jemon's idea, Dean :D)

    "For too long this land has been ruled by the civilized nations of Erebus. My savage people have been thrown to the wastes, hunted for combat practice, and persecuted to the point of a holocaust. This will end. We will strike with overwhelming force. We will strike with strategy. All of your people, all of your lands, will be mine." - Vorug Tombslay, letter sent to all leaders of Erebus​
     
  12. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
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    1,009
    I search my heart and soul and all I find is shadows..Dark places that have long been forgotten.

    I arose from my bedchambers with a lonely revelation. I am a stranger in this century. I am a product of a different age, still alive through magical means. A stranger in a time that is not my own, among people who are my own, but are not at the same time. I know that this time is not for me, nor is the light. I know with certainty that someone can uphold my mantle, but I no longer belong in a land that has long evolved from what I once recognized. It grieves my heart to see my friends and family die from age, my son die at the hands of the Infernal, as I continue to live. I shall return to the catacombs under the earth, and I shall live out my immortal life there. Hopefully, I will be able to die, surrounded by the shadows that I have felt in my heart for more than a century.

    - High Chief Votakara, former Chief of the Austrin, former Chief of the Sidar​
     
  13. Asthix

    Asthix Prognosticator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Ow! don't hit me!

    Link to pt.1

    Spoiler :
    The execution was performed on schedule.
    Returning to the Khazad capitol without incident, the prisoner escort made directly for the gallows plaza. Wasting no time the fourteen prisoners were led right up the wooden steps to the row of nooses. Word of mouth cast its spell, creating a crowd seemingly from nothing. There had been no hints of trouble in the few days leading up to the execution, which pleased King Morarr for it meant he could avoid attending, sending a message to his people that some upstart Luchirp might be a nuisance, but it was nothing overly serious.

    Morarr kept thinking about the execution up until the appointed day and it did not displease him for he thought it a reference to his lucky number fourteen. On impulse he arranged travel at the last minute to a house where he could overlook gallows plaza from afar. When he looked out at the slaves being readied for the drop, Morarr
    realized something. That it was not this execution that had been reoccurring to him, but the Luchirp. It would have been reasonable to expect some sort of outburst from them considering the public matter he himself had made of the incident, yet the outriggers had all been united in stoicism for their brethren according to the reports. One of his yesmen, on the lowest tier of most trusted, had remarked only yesterday that the Luchirp slime was surely already crushed under his mighty heel.

    The King only allowed the yesmen into his presence to keep the obvious in perspective, however. He knew the truth of the budding rebellion despite the assurances. He had felt it in his gut when he looked at the three slain
    slave guards- and Jarent Morarr was a man that had a trustworthy gut.

    He was already contemplating what he would say to his minister of finance, (who was really his spymaster) when the drop came for the condemned. At the same moment the executioner thrust the bar backward, a stone arced out from the right side of the plaza. It flew high into the air and soared far, not at the condemned, but past them to strike near the roof of the imposing facade of the debtors prison. The stone struck true, disturbing a small pile of stones arranged to conceal a rope strung just under the topmost crenellations all along the front of the building.

    King Morarr gripped the railing of the he was on tightly and leaned over, peering intently. Something was happening and whatever it was, it was bad! His eyes scanned the edge of the square for the culprit even as the small pile of stones fell away, taking with them a fair sized weight attached to the rope.

    Morarr spotted the cloaked figure moments before it darted from sight out of the square. As the king filled his greedy lungs for a powerful bellow to alert his guards the weight dropped, pulling the rope taut. The ends of the rope were not tied to the building, but rather to two large bricks, one on each end of the prison.

    The ropes' momentum tipped them right off the edge and behind that... an immense banner began to unfurl over the top of the roof, carried down by the brick couterweights and spanning the entire broad face of the debtors prison. It unfurled almost majestically, revealing a terrible image. Well, an image terrible for any Khazad anyway.
    It had been carefully dyed and sewn to show an open vault door, traditionally round to accomidate any sort of treasure, but with only a pittance of coins strewn across an otherwise bare expanse of floor. The sheer size and expressiveness of the thing was- hideous!

    An invoulantary shudder arose from the crowd of Khazad citizens. For them this image was akin to the prophecy of armageddon! Morarr (as momentarily taken aback as anyone else because the thing showed an empty valt- a vault with a thousand thousand candles!) realized that to associate himself publicly with this debacle now would prove folly. He didn't yell out. Looking at the awful banner he knew that no Khazad would dare put something like this up in public, not even the reformers hinting at a recession.

    Jarent Morarr then looked down to the fourteen slaves (one twitching wildly) and saw the fires and blood that he had broght upon the Luchirp a hundred and fifty years before with his own head and hands reflected on the scene before him. He knew, he felt it in his gut, the Luchirp resistance had done this- and at the worst possible time!
    Could they have known?

    How many others would know? Could they be controlled?
    He turned from the balcony and growled out pursuit orders to his personal guard captain regarding the cloaked figure and the removal of the banner ASAP, noticing as he did so the owner of the house listening to the conversation.
    "Can you believe th' insolence o' them!" the King spun, roaring at the now uneasy homeowner as he strode into the house away from the scene. "Those left wingers think I'm going to bankrupt th' country and this treasonous banner is th' kind of stunt they think up to try an' muscle some leverage?" Morarr fell into the deception almost
    instinctively, sensing how to use this event against his political rivals even though they were innocent of the deed.
    "You're not aligned with these foolish rumor-mongers are you?" he asked the citizen while his nondescript carriage was brought up close to the back entryway.
    "No Lord. I had not heard much about them." The dwarf replied, trying not to look relieved at the King's departure. Morarr furrowed his brow and glared at the middling noble from under it. "It is good that yer not. Good. Because any more stunts like this outta them and they'll be th' ones to replace th' Luchirp in my mines."

    With that Morarr was off, leaving the homeowner to spread the tale of the King's ire against the Khazad reformers to combat the truth of the Luchirp- what? Menace?
    Back at the castle, not only the 'Finance Minister' was summoned, but the Overseer of Mines after him along with the First Slavemaster. Even the royal Blacksmith. Hours after the scene at executioners' square runners were dispatched to the outrigger camps to issue further abuses, the slave barracks inside the capitol were ransacked and other, less tangible resources issued forth from the castle to learn (and thus to control) the nature of the Luchirp resistance. Morarr was not worried, but eager to root out and truly crush the life from this rebellion.
    If Mammon willed it he could turn their stunt to his complete advantage.

    He did not appreciate that the first move in the struggle for Luchirp freedom had been made.

    --+--

    In a cavern twenty miles out from the Khazad Capitol, Isak sat where Jessop Hammerhead had left him, listening and thinking. In short order he heard the familiar shuffle step, shuffle step that the Luchirp resistance used when approaching any of their hidden cubbyholes.
    "Ansel, that you?" he called out as the figure came into sight.
    "Tsk. My dear Blindingstone, why do we have codenames if not for these circumstances?" The new arrival replied with a sigh. "What if it had not been me?"
    "Right, right. Okay, Igneous, that you?" The hot blooded young dwarf muttered sarcastically.
    Ansel let the comment pass, knowing well how much Isak liked to argue. "You'll be happy to know that our first move in this war went well." He offered instead as he crouched down next to Isak in the gloom.
    Pretty much anything was the wrong thing to say to a dwarf of his mindset however. "Oh I'm happy! I'm just tickled that I could put everyone and your plan in harms way! Then I was kept from doin' anythin' about it and told that it was 'My penance', like it was my fault that we didn't try to rescue 'em!" Ansel opened his mouth to respond but Isak would not be deterred.
    "See I'm still not understandin' this 'big picture' of yours. I'm all fer strikin' a blow, but I want it to be a real blow on a Khazad face! Not sneakin' around doin' all I can to stay hidden! That was my squad that just died so that what, we could hang the world's biggest political post?!"

    He stopped at Ansel's raised hand, who locked Isak in a stare before replying.
    "It is my intention to give our people a chance to determine their own destiny, not to take revenge for the fallen. Though I would like nothing better!" He added to forestall another outburst. "Freedom is a difficult enough goal and one that we all must be united in to have any hope of achieving. Wouldn't you agree?"

    Isak, reminded of how loud he had been getting by Ansel's measured tone, shifted on haunches before responding. "Yer probably right. Gotta grease th' wheels before we get this minecart rolling, but how exactly do we get from here to there? What is the big picture? I know I'm young, but tell me sir, when can I get my hands dirty?" Isak said quietly, his words and tone combining to lend him a momentary maturity.

    Ansel considered what to tell him.
    His pause created a moment of stillness and into that pause came the realization of a- a what? A noise? A vibration running through the rock? For dwarves living so long underground it could be hard to distinguish between the two.
    "Blindingstone..." Ansel began, then immediately switched to hand code. 'You hear that?'
    'No' Isak threw at him, immediately on his feet and producing his hidden dagger. 'What is it?' He signed with his free hand.
    'You don't hear that?' Ansel frowned.
    'No.'

    There was something, not a vibration but a... throbbing seemingly coming through the stone, though it had no form and Isak was right, it made no noise. Ansel had hardly noticed it at first but now, focusing his attention, he was sure he wasn't imagining things. He turned slowly, sussing out this feeling until he came to a stop facing the wall of the cavern.

    He furrowed his brow in confusion, once again unsure of the reality of this sensation. Beside him Isak remained silent, knowing that his level headed companion didn't overreact to things. Ansel decided he should report this to Hammerhead. After all, he he didn't necessarily want to understand this feeling any better, it made the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. He even turned to the exit, signing 'come let us go.' before looking back. The wall, the source of this feeling, faced east. Probably due east.

    From the direction of the Khazad capitol.

    Could I have been tracked? Ansel thought quickly. He had switched his cloak and boots in the city and doubled back three times out in the caverns to foil pursuit but had perhaps been overconfident in his ability to foil a determined khazad military detail, for that is surely what would have been sent if the Luchirp were suspected like
    they now believed. They had been given such 'practice' before.
    'I have a bad feeling.' was all Ansel signed as an explanation, not knowing how to adequately express this
    sensation using the hand language. 'If we see trouble will you help me try escaping?' a grin on his face at the expected- and delivered reaction.
    The young Luchirp shook his head, 'I'm fer bustin' heads. You know that. Any men sent will likely be from the king and know more than they should.'
    Ansel nodded, thinking fleetingly of how well Isak used the hand language he had devised. 'We will know soon if you are correct. Now, silence.' he sent as they made their way back towards enemy territory.

    --+--

    The one listening to them sat comfortably in darkness, his eyes closed. He had found them using a Kilmorphian variant of the floating eye spell which allowed the user to listen through stone instead of seeing. His familiarity with the routes all around the capitol had let him fly to the most likely intersections the Luchirp spy would cross
    until he heard the sound of footfalls running. Definitely humanoid.

    Knowing the fork that the runner had taken was a connecting passage several miles long that had no branching, the disembodied awareness receded, back to the dark apartment in the Khazad capitol and the body of the spymaster. (who was sometimes called the finance minister but was really the highest ranking wizard in the nation) He turned toward the unseen figure at the window and said, "He's in the tunnel linking the lower Riglar caves with the Gold river connection. Send the riders to search both ends." He then settled back into his fugue and before long was speeding
    back towards the spot he had just left.
    The figure at the window moved behind the curtain and out to a balcony where a brazier burned brightly with a mirror suspended above one edge. He then used the Khazad's own silent code to signal to the party ready at the edge of the long cavern in which the Khazad city was squeezed. Moments later the boar riders rode out towards the west, taking a direct route to the intersection which the runner had been discovered in.

    When the floating ear was back in the tunnel the listener caught the runner's footsteps doubling back away from the underground river. The chase began in earnest then with the prey never knowing it was hunted and the mage having to maintain his control ever more rigidly as the footsteps traveled farther and farther from him into the
    numerous passages of the lower Riglar.
    Normally one could not maintain such a spell too far from ones person, but years of practice using it to spy on his rivals had increased his mastery with it to the point where he had amazing range and acuity in the area so familiar to him around the capital. But using it out in these tunnels was very much like chasing a rat through the
    dark, if you lost track of it even for an instant it would scurry down this crack or that and could take hours to find.

    He was starting to feel the strain that told him his limits were approaching when the footsteps were far out from the city. Abruptly there was a shuffling noise and the footsteps disappeared.
    Only for a moment however. Since movement in this non-corporeal, sigtless state was akin to drifting through a pitch black sky the spymaster simply followed where the noise had gone and the footsteps returned in his ears, receding into the distance.
    He realized with dismay as he caught up to them that he had not only missed the beginning of a conversation, but an all important name! Picking up on the voices as one of them, the runner said "...Blindingstone, why do we have codenames if not for these circumstances?"

    So, these are indeed Luchirp resistance members, the spymaster mused. He also learned that the one he had tracked here was the perpatrator of the act at execution square earlier.
    Then came the sweet moment when the people who had no idea they were being overheard revealed too much. "What's th' big picture?" the other one asked once, then again, piquing the interest of the Khazad noble. This must be a high
    level resistance member if the other was pressing him for information.

    He eagerly awaited a response but what he thought was just a pause stretched into long silence. The spymaster grew very confused. Conversations did not just end like that, yet the silence continued. He wondered for the first time in ages if his spell was working correctly, but just then caught the sound of them shuffling around.

    He could not know, but at that moment the spymaster felt the same odd chill as the Luchirp he had tracked through the tunnels. His instinct told him he had been discovered but that was impossible...
    The soft echoes of the two were leaving the chamber, so the spymaster too left and before long was wholly back in the lightless apartment. He again spoke to the figure waiting by the balcony. "Torune, go and rendezvous with the unit. Tell them the quarry is eight and a half miles into the north section of the lower Riglar and to strike hard.
    Capture them preferrably. And Torune," he added with a pleasing growl, "Take th' beastie with you."
     
  14. Zugvogel

    Zugvogel Knight Errant

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Spoiler :
    Hey you fellows,
    green or pale,
    legged or not,
    Get up, Get up!

    Hey you fellows,
    scaly or furry,
    There's work to do
    And 'tis time!

    Hey you fellows,
    In shipyards and mines,
    on sites and on roads,
    Get up and get going!

    Hey you fellows,
    let's build us a road,
    a road to glory it is.
    For we're children o'the dragon!
    (Scaly and furry,
    legged or not,
    green and brown and pale)



    -Kuriotate Worker's Song
    author unknown
    year unknown



    And all this while listening to "Worker's song" by Dropkick Murphys. If that isn't shizophrenia, what is?
     
  15. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young King

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Messages:
    811
    Two weeks after the Storm Kestrel's encounter, Lanun still waged war against Grigori, still lay seige to the Citadel of Trials. Comillo had not come, had not broken their fleets. Perhaps the tales had been exaggerated. Perhaps the Speaker's servants from the Deep kept him away.

    Perhaps he was occupied in the Grigori Colonies, where diversionary raids had been launched, to try and seize the Colonies. Perhaps he searched for the Lanun home ports, to the north.

    Grimjaw didn't know. Grimjaw didn't care. Grimjaw just knew that he hadn't been able to kill a Grigori in two weeks, and that should put him past any threats of retribution in his book.

    Pathetic Grigori. Those that had been too slow, too stupid, or too brave to flee had died long ago, and all the good looting from the harbor was long gone. Now the Grigori sat in their Citadel, snug as you please, and Lanun sat in their inns and harbor, fat and squabling over the loot that hadn't been sent back. A siege to starve them out was what the Masters demanded, and that was what they would get.

    Grimjaw cared about that, but only in so much as it meant he got to get fat off the Grigori larder. But that larder was getting pretty old, and the shiney bits rarer.

    That was why Grimjaw had left the camp on his own time, and gone to the cliffs. While the Lanun hadn't circled the Citadel and it's eastern settlements, they commanded the coasts and cracked sea walls. Cracked walls with caves, caves that could mean hidden treasures.

    Grimjaw wasn't the only person looking through the countless caves. Half the fleet seemed to. The Captains encouraged it, on the faint hope that one of those caves would lead into the Citadel. They had promised a ship to the man who found one that did.

    Grimjaw, through means not of his own creation, was soon to get his own ship.

    Grimjaw didn't suspect what subtle attraction had drawn his attention to this particular cave mouth. Perhaps it was the way the stalactites and stalagmites looked like the teeth of a shark.

    Grimjaw didn't know why he had gone as far into the cave as he did, after finding nothing but a few oddly shaped bones in the first few turns. Perhaps it was the odd way the wind blew, sounding as a seductive whisper urging him on.

    Grimjaw didn't dwell on why he moved as quietly as he did, rather than his normal boisterous ambling. What had compelled him to stop singing his bawdy song, to creep from corner to corner well before the first hint of light had shown through.

    Grimjaw didn't know what drove him on, when he crossed that line between Creation and the Hell Terrain under the citadel. Why he pushed on despite burning rocks and oppressive, soul-wrenching atmosphere.

    Grimjaw didn't once have the feeling he was being watched.

    Grimjaw did know, however, the value of his discovery after he heard the first Grigori voice, and saw the first flickering human shadow on the wall in front of him. He knew it very well when he saw the Grigori guardsmen going through their drills in a Cavern of Perdition, unaware of their hidden observer.

    Grimjaw knew he would be very valuable indeed. He just didn't know to who.
     
  16. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,009
    There will probably be a small explosion of writing from me in the next few days. It'll likely last three days and I'm predicting 7 writings of some sort, starting with a Nortek attack on a Scorpion Clan settlement, establishment of some important Nortek characters, and stuff like that.
     
  17. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,009
    Spoiler :
    Arza Kinslaughter looked at the Goblin encampment situated at the edge of a forest. The forest gave him and his men excellent cover and camouflage, making the coming assault much easier. Arza had received an order from the Goblin King, Deremei Diranth, saying he wanted the Scorpion Clan settlement which was rich with sheep and silver resources. They had been studying the encampment for days. It was far more fortified than the scouts originally reported, making Arza believe that the Scorpion Clan knew they were coming and were ready for a fight.
    Yuler Madburner was further ahead with a large scouting party. The original party had been 2 to 3 men, this one had the size of 100 Goblins, not to mention the tactical prowess of Madburner, likely a gift he received from his grandfather, the revered Mojin Madburner, leader of the assault against the Fane of Lessers. His knowledge of the surrounding area was vast and he always seemed to know of a hiding spot no matter where they were.
    And so Kinslaughter waited with his forces behind the trees as Madburner's party crept up the western flank of the encampment. The only thing by the western flank was a mountain, and the Scorpion Clan must have considered them protection, not possible cover for enemies. Kinslaughter saw Saboteur Goblins scale the walls of the encampment, placing small gunpowder bags by the walls and hiding within the city. These bags would go off and there would be an entrance for his forces. However, these bags were very rare to come by and it was purely luck that they happened to find a sack with a few of these "green aides", causing them to be revered by a cult in the Nortek known as the Following of The Green Aide.
    Kinslaughter was interrupted from his thought as a loud explosion rang through the encampment, sending sections of the walls plummeting to the ground and leading a large entrance for Madburner's forces. Kinslaughter moved his platoons to the previously agreed upon location and waited. He could hear the sounds of combat within and the emotionless cackling of the Madburner Clan cutting through the Scorpion Clan. It was one of the unnerving parts of participating with the Madburner Clan, they reveled in violence, cackling as people died, the blood causing their frenzy to heighten. Only the greatest of the Madburner Clan are allowed to rise to commander and Yuler was one of those Goblins.
    Soon the front gate to the settlement was raised, obviously the signal from Madburner to commence the second phase of the assault. With Scorpion Clan forces focused on the Madburner Clan, defenses of the main gate were light, allowing the Kinslaughter Clan and the Bloodear Clan to easily slip into the city, attacking the exposed flank of the Scorpion Clan, who soon surrendered. Several Scorpion Clan Goblins swore fealty to the growing Nortek and the Goblin King and proved their allegiance by personally slaughtering the dissenters and assisting in the reconstruction of the walls. The governor even sent Deremei Diranth a fealty present of a magnificent silver monument, which Deremei has had placed in the main hall of his palace. The settlement of Ogazar now belongs to the Nortek and their forces have swelled.
     
  18. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,009
    World Update

    Slavers Arise


    Nomadic tribes have banded together and have begun enslaving farmers and hunters in the wilderness outside every major tribe. They have gained a large following of fellow slavers and are using these slaves as warriors. How each leader decides what to do will have different effects. Will you join with the slavers? Will you covertly free the slaves? Or will you sacrifice hundreds of slave lives to make sure these slavers cannot form a major tribe of their own? The choice is up to each leader. May the Gods have mercy upon your decisions.

    Massive Waves and Flooding


    Settlements located near lakes, rivers, or on the coast of the ocean are experiences slight flooding. The worst hit are the major tribes that depends on the ocean for their food, as the waves can reach 6 feet high, causing major damage to coastal buildings. The citizens of these tribes are panicking and trying to regroup. Without government help, many people could die.​
     
  19. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,009
    Spoiler :
    The fortifying of Ogazar was difficult, but it was finished quickly. The Goblins under Arza Kinslaughter were well-trained and respected their commanding officer. He never overworked them, knowing that overworked workers and soldiers lead to loss. He had begun paying attention to the psychology of his people, trying to find a way to keep them entertained while they continued to work. He didn't know what it was, but the fortifications of Ogazar went quickly and there were small bon fires being constructed before the sun completely sank.
    There had been a few retaliations, small parties of Goblins thinking they could retake their newly renamed Fort Ogazar, a purely military and mining encampment. Others had come to the gates, seeking refuge within, starving and hurt by the vicious Scorpion Clan who had grown incredibly in power during the second Ice Age. They had less fear than their Muris Clan predecessors and had shown that they were at least a little smarter than the Goblins of Old.
    Those swearing fealty were allowed within, the Goblins inside Fort Ogazar saw these withered and weak immigrants and immediately set out stirring some stew for the starving Goblin and begin construction of a tent for them to sleep in until their abode had been constructed. Many immigrants cried from the treatment, never having been treated this way it had been as if they had reached the Heaven that some Scorpion Clan Goblins spoke of.
    With these immigrants came those that were willing to give their lives for the kindhearted Nortek that had saved their lives, some of them believed beyond help. Their armies have swollen considerably. Wild men from the forests helped the Goblins train the wolves they used to ride in olden times, leading to a Nortek cavalry should they ever need it. Archery was taught, palisades were built from the archers to stand upon. Fort Ogazar had truly become a fortress and would be a difficult nut to crack. The only redeeming quality for other tribes is that a river runs through the middle of the Fort and the Nortek have opened it for foreign traders to come sell their goods.
    The capitol city of Oren soon followed Fort Ogazar in creating intricate walls that are tough to break. Scorpion and Bloodsail Goblins tired of living off scraps have started migrating to this great Goblin city. Oren is quickly becoming a major trading zone, as Deremei has offered the Mazatl and the Grigori to set up some shops to help their economies as their great tribes continued to flourish.


    For the leaders of the Grigori and the Mazatl only.
    Seriously, follow the honor code. :>
    Spoiler :
    Send me a PM in character and we can set up the trade route. The position of Fort Ogazar and the capitol of Oren are offering some space in their cities to set up trading posts of your own. So yeah, just PM me.
     
  20. cypher132

    cypher132 Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,009
    Spoiler :
    Deremei looked intently at the map, A few of his villages bordered the ocean, but he needed a true trading post. "Yuler!" The Goblin standing nearby approached Diranth. "How many men do you think would be required to settle a trading post on the coast. Preferably to the north." Yuler looked at the map and said "I would suggest 500 men. That area is infested with wild Gnolls and we don't know if they're friendly or hostile." Deremei looked out the window and pondered this. Gnolls, bipedal creatures resembling hyenas that were excellent hunters and flankers. "Yes, continue with the plans. Send Tojara Ironraider with you. Convert those you can, kill the rest."
    Yuler nodded. "Yes, sir."
     

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