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Random Stories and Fragments

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by KillerClowns, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

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    I've not forgotten about Samuel and Eric, but a recent game and Thewyrm's story demanded this be written:

    Spoiler :
    This was pathetic. He had once been the Archangel of Agares, feared by all goodly nations. The Elohim had pleaded for peace with him. The brave Bannor were hesitant to even approach him. The Malakim had been chased back into their wretched desert on one of his whims. Hyborem had seemed unstoppable... until he made a single, terrible mistake.

    Hyborem struggled against the magical wards that imprisoned him in the center of the massive cavern, but it was to no avail. "Untie me, caitiff!" he screamed at the nearest Balor, a particularly gigantic brute. It would have been terrifying to a mortal, even with the pastel pink ribbon tied in its horns. Hyborem, however, easily dwarfed it. But that meant little, bound as he was. "Sorry. Misstress Keelyn said you needed a time out. Forever." With that, the Balor smiled. That bothered Hyborem more then his imprisonment; Balors weren't supposed to smile. Hyborem felt an odd feeling going through him. He couldn't quite name it, but it seemed somehow familiar.

    There was something about that brat Keelyn. Every demon she summoned came back somehow changed. Like the moron that stood guard over him. It had smiled. Hyborem had even heard it humming a song. That was another thing Balors didn't do, and yet one stood before him, humming... a Balseraph lullaby, no less. It wasn't even one of the Veil ones, but a pleasant little tune that even the Kuriotates wouldn't mind. A song about birds. Hyborem would have preferred it if the Balor had simply paid back the many abuses Hyborem had doubtless given to it. That was the way of Hell; even might Balors got beaten as bad as any mortal soul when Hyborem was in a bad mood. He would have expected the same of any creature that got the chance to return the favor, and yet this beast seemed not to realize the Archangel of Agares himself was rendered helpless before him. Maybe the idiot was betting on Hyborem's victory, and expecting favored treatment when both had returned to Hell. The Balor seemed stupid enough to try something like that, humming that pathetic little song. But if that was the case, why didn't it let him go? Was it just waiting, playing both sides?

    Just when Hyborem thought it couldn't get any worse, the door to his dungeon opened. "Hello, Hyborem. You've been a naughty demon, haven't you?" Hyborem's wards crackled as the raw power of his hatred burned at them, but most stood strong, and Keelyn nonchalantly repaired the few runes he had managed to destroy. How had she gotten so powerful? Some of the demons she summoned never returned. Had she... devoured their souls? Hyborem knew demons could devour mortal souls, but had Keelyn found a way to do the opposite?

    "You shouldn't take other people's stuff without asking. It's not nice." She seemed not to care that Hyborem was many times her size, or that were she to die, Hyborem would have countless lifetimes with her soul in Hell to avenge this insult. Lita had gotten off easy compared to what Hyborem had planned for Keelyn. He took comfort in this for a second, until remembering that, like her father, the brat merely stole a new body whenever her old one grew worn out. She could easily live forever, and spend eternity taunting him in this cave. Hyborem began to understand what Hell was like for mortals. He decided he would have to take out his rage on every Balseraph soul in Hell when he got the chance.

    "'Taking other people's stuff?' What are you talking about?" Hyborem asked, but he already knew Keelyn's answer. "You made all the people in Hexam take orders from you," she said, "when they were supposed to take orders from me. They were my people, and you stole them. So I took them back. Then I decided you needed to be punished." All those Bannor crusaders, Malakim fanatics, Ljosalfar soldiers... outdone by a girl's temper tantrum. Hyborem was somewhat amused by that. It would have been funnier if that girl didn't have him tied up like a mere mortal. Worse, an animal, waiting for slaughter.

    "Those people were mine to take!" Hyborem argued, since that seemed his best option. That didn't seem to affect Keelyn, so he tried rational argument. "They worshipped my lord, just as you do. Really, they belonged to Lord Agares all along. He was just letting you borrow them, and he decided that I could do better with them." Hyborem had hoped this simple, intentionally childish argument would make Keelyn free him for the few seconds needed to take her to Hell. For all her insanity and evil, her soul had that innocence that was so rare in Hell... there were many demons who would enjoy destroying it. But Keelyn ignored his argument. "If Agares wanted them to serve you, he could have told me so himself."

    Hyborem was tempted to try and explain the Compact and the Godswar, but he knew it would be no use. Keelyn wanted her cities like most children want their toys, and nobody would be allowed to take them. If Agares himself were to fly in and demand that she hand over so much as a border town, Hyborem suspected Keelyn would probably find the Godslayer and skewer him with it. Or have one of her many idiot, slavering demon henchmen do the job for her.

    Hyborem shook the thought. Agares would not be pleased to know his Archangel had imagined such. "Release me at once, mortal!" Hyborem said and then, realizing he was in no position to give orders, added, "my friends miss me. I want to play with them. I can take you to play with them, if you let me go." It was not technically a lie; he hadn't specified what he meant by "play." Keelyn smiled. "Sorry. You've been a naughty demon, and I'm too busy to play with your friends anyways. Besides, some of them are really mean. That is, until I teach them to be nice." Hyborem glanced at the Balor with the ribbon. Nice. What had she done to it? Was she planning on doing it to him? Would she make him wear a pink ribbon? Make him come to tea parties? Have him dance ballet? Another twinge of that odd emotion went through Hyborem.

    Hyborem sought an escape with his mind. There... one of the runes was weaker. The ones binding his body were incredibly strong, but that was only due to the weak state his body was in. Keelyn's lunatic soldiers had left his body near dead, but hadn't been foolish enough to finish the job. Instead they let Keelyn bind him, mind, body, and soul, to Erebus. His physical form had become his prison. But one of the runes, one guarding his mind... that one, he could break if he was careful. He focused on it, envisioning it slowly giving way to entropy. It fizzled out and died. He couldn't return to Hell, but he could at least extend his mind enough... he focused on the pink-ribboned idiot, seeking to return it to its true nature.

    He had often seen the minds of the Balors under him. They were full of hatred, of fury, and, although none would ever let any mortal know this, despair. The only way they could cure this despair, even temporarily, was to inflict it upon others. That was the way of Hell. Torturer and victim were no different; each, in time, would torture another, and each, in time, would be tortured. All Hyborem had to do was release that pent up despair in the Balor before him, and it would go mad, even by the standards of the fearsome Balors. It would be forevermore useless, but at least Hyborem would be freed.

    But he couldn't find it. As soon as he entered the Balor's mind he heard... that damned lullaby. Sung, as a mother sings to a child. "Look at all the birds fly... free up in the sky..." The once mighty Balor had been transformed, inside and out, into a hollow, happy, giggling puppet. It had been reduced to the mind of a small child, a small child in a demon's body. A child that had never felt hate or despair, who didn't even know what they were. Somehow, by some ritual horrifying even by the standards of Hell, its mind had been wiped clean and replaced by... a lullaby. A few simple emotions of Keelyn's choosing. Nothing more. As he heard that song, Hyborem felt another burst of that emotion. But now Hyborem recognized it. He should have known it all along. That emotion he had been feeling... was fear.
     
  2. Tyrs

    Tyrs King

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    heh, that story actually made me giggle. Keelyn is such an adorable badass
     
  3. xienwolf

    xienwolf Deity

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  4. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    me too...

    but not a bad story.
     
  5. El_Duderino

    El_Duderino Warlord

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    haha nice story i never play as the belseraphs but i think ill try keelyn for my next game, on a side note is it ever explained why keelyn is so good at summoning?
     
  6. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I'd say is in part because her mother was Sheaim (the worlds best summoners) and in part because she inherited magical powers of her father (the strongest of Kyorlin's students, whose magical skills nearly defeated his master), but mostly because she was raised demons from infancy, learning the art from demons themselves and being more familiar with how a demon's mind works than with a mortal's.
     
  7. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

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    It's all covered in Keelyn's 'pedia entry. Short version, she's the child of Perpentach and a Sheaim spy. She was raised all her life by summoned creatures, since Perpentach's advisors weren't sure what he wanted done with the kid. If Perpentach wanted her dead, getting too close to her would be fatal. If Perpentach wanted her alive and well, then not giving her anything would also be fatal. So they summoned creatures to take care of her instead. An imp named Puppy suggested that she should learn how to summon her "friends" for herself... turns out she's pretty good at it.
     
  8. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    Speaking of learning from Demons, here are a few of my interpretations of her early life. I call these

    First Impressions

    Part 1
    Spoiler :

    Puppilgrantz hated his job. How many different ways were there to torment a soul? He had seen and tried them all. How the Balors never got sick of it all he would never know. His master, the Dread Balor Giggloshgrün may he reign in misery for a thousand years, was particularly fond of using mind magics to twist pieces of a soul's memory. You would amazed how terrible it is to have your memories of a loved one warped and changed. This is where Puppilgrantz came in. As an imp, he was tasked with the actual performance of the magical spell. His master didn't like getting his mind full of dirty mortal thoughts. It was no more pleasant an experience for Puppilgrantz than it was for his master, but if his master ever took his opinion into account for anything it would be the first time. It was because of all this that he was not immediately enraged at finding himself trapped in a warded summoning circle, staring at a mage in an absurd costume. Where those bells on the mortal's feet?

    “I have summoned you foul beast, and you must heed my will!” the mage exclaimed theatrically. The imp stared at him blankly, too afraid that if he said something he would burst into laughter. He was, strictly speaking, at the mage's mercy. This meant going through the motions and making his captor happy was in his best interests. At least for now anyway. The imp took the time to look around and noticed this was no ordinary summoning room. It appeared to be a bedroom, and a particularly extravagant one at that. The walls were decorated with ward runes, it would take him weeks to find a week spot to escape. That was fine he thought, I have time. “What task have you summoned me to perform for you mortal?” He asked. Just a few months ago some Sheaim adept had summoned him to wash his back. There will be a reckoning for that.

    “A simple task really. We want you to watch a child and see to her every need.” the mage said. Puppilgrantz looked at him quizically. “Truly?” “You would trust me with your children?” He asked. The mage looked at him and just shrugged his shoulders. “As long as you do not physically harm her I couldn't care less what you do with her. Just don't make yourself a nuissance like the last imp.” And with that the mage waltzed out the door. It was then that Puppilgrantz noticed the child, sleeping in her huge bed. She was maybe six years old. Her skin was very pale, like she had not seen much sun and this contrasted beautifully with the dark hair on her head. As he approached the bed she rustled and lazily opened her eyes and took her measure of him.

    “You're littler than the last one.” She said in a voice so soft and melodious it was all he could not not to burst with joy at the prospect of tormenting her. He would corrupt her fully, and savor this memory for centuries. “What's your name?” She asked. “Puppilgrantz, little one.” “Puppy Crayons?” she looked at him dubiously. “What kind of a funny name is that?” the imp smiled at her. “Call me Puppy.”


    Part 2
    Spoiler :
    “Let me see if I have this straight.” The Balor stared daggers at the imp. “The fool mortals gave you one of their children to corrupt and instead you played tea party and taught her magic? My patience is limited dog, tell me why I shouldn't destroy you?”

    “Master, if you would only spend some time with her you would understand. This one is different. She. . .”

    “Silence!” The Balor growled. “Nothing you can say will excuse you for teaching an eight year old girl how to summon a demon. Now, tell me exactly what incantation you taught her.” The imp did as he was told. “You know the system just as well as I do imp, if her wards are in place, if she speaks the right invocations we would be bound to her will. Luckily now that I know what you showed her I can prepare a trap. When she summons me as you so foolishly instructed her too I will consume her soul.”

    “Master no!” the imp cried sheepishly. “Don't hurt her!”

    “You are lucky imp, that I am still amused by this. Tell me, why shouldn't I hurt her?”

    “Because. . . I love her.”

    “You WHAT!” The Balor stared at him. He had commanded legions of demons for millenia, he had never heard even the most pathetic of his minions say such a thing. He was so surprised he almost didn't notice the magic permeating the air, the beginning of a portal ripping into the material plane. “Her incantation has begun. I'll deal with you when I return, but first I'll deal with your friend.” the Balor began sketching a rune on the ground below him.

    “Nooooooo!” the imp leapt for the Balor's hand to prevent him from finishing the drawing. In his rage the Balor screamed a word of command, wiping the imps life force from the very plane. " I hope she was worth it imp. You sacrificed your very essence to protect her." The Balor realized in his fury he had wasted too much time and could not prepare himself fully. It was too late, he found himself trapped in a warded summoning circle. An eight year old girl stared back at him with huge innocent doe eyes.

    “Who are you?” She asked. The Balor realized her incantation had been perfect, and he was bound to answer her truthfully.

    “I am Giggloshgrün the Hollow, Lord of the Fourth Host, Master of the Twisted Scepter and Corruptor of the Innocent.”

    The girl laughed. “You're funny. Can I call you Giggles?”
     
  9. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    ohh... can i have some more?

    (more stories, i mean...)
     
  10. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

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    :lol:
    Nice. I second Tyrs' comment. That wonderful mix of absurd, brilliant, and unspeakably terrifying... makes Keelyn...
     
  11. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

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    As for the new trick up the Elohim's sleeves...

    Spoiler :
    General Barthan had been leader of the Fourth Bannor Regiment for thirty years, but he knew the task before him would be his hardest. The city of Grottisburg looked like any other Sheaim city, and Sheaim cities bore an unsettling resemblance to Bannor cities. He understood, however, what needed to be done. They could not be allowed to stand; those untainted by the Ashen Veil would be accepted into the Bannor Empire, while the rest, the vast majority of people, could only be cured by blessed steel.

    Barthan was not a cruel man. He had a wife and two children, who he would unhesitatingly sacrifice his life for. He did not enjoy killing the Sheaim, and was always ready to offer redemption to those who could earn it. Not a single Sheaim child had died by the blades of the Fourth Bannor Regiment, even when the Confessors warned they would grow to be a threat to the Bannor empire. Barthan would rather deal with that threat then have a child's blood on his hands.

    But the Elohim were too compassionate. They offered mercy and forgiveness to the most wretched of dark sorcerors. They offered solace to women whose husbands had been slain by righteous steel after killing hundreds of innocents for their dark rituals. The Sheaim cities were allowed to stand, wretched temples and all. The Bannor had tolerated this oddity for some time, but it was clear that Grottisburg had to be burned to the ground and cleansed totally in holy flame. Here, the dark mages of the Sheaim had founded the Ashen Veil. Here, even the children were born corrupted and twisted...

    This meant, of course, that Barthan would have to break the unspoken, unofficial oath of the Fourth Regiment. It wasn't a legal or religious oath, of course, but Barthan still found himself fearing Junil's wrath, even for doing what was necessary. Killing children... Barthan hoped they would not look human. He prayed that they would be as corrupted on the outside as they were on the inside. Demons possessed every soul in this town, or so he had heard. Wretched imps feasted upon the fury of the lowest beggars, slitting each other's throats for a bit of bread, and dark princes guided the hands of magistrates and kings.

    So the city needed to be burned. He knew that. But the Elohim were another matter. Which was why Barthan was going now, to meet the leader of the Fifth Temple of the Order of the Stallion. As he entered the tent, Barthan hoped the leader of the Fifth House, one Brother Andrews, was a sensible man, not some academic who sent his brother monks to die while he prattled on about poetry and beauty. Looking upon the man, Barthan also suspected this was true. Brother Andews had several nasty scars, and although he was an old man with a long beard and hair longer then any Bannor, man or woman, would ever have, he was also suprisingly fit, and nimbly leapt up to great Barthan. "Ah, yes! Barthan, is it, of the Fourth Regiment? Your reputation precedes you! I have heard many good things, both about your leadership and your character. Sit, sit! If you like, share a meal with me!"

    Andrews' meal was a simple offering of bread and water, as befitted a monk. Barthan knew of so-called Elohim monks who would die without their fine wines and venison, and Andrews' relatively simple meal helped Barthan's opinion of the man. He probably ate no better then his troops, and that was a good sign. The spent some time discussing philosophy, after which Barthan finally broke the question. "If the Fifth House takes Grottisburg, what are its plans?" Andrews looked girm. "It's out of my hands. The Fifth House is withdrawing tomorrow... they're sending in..." Andrews paused, and briefly studied Barthan. "Tell me," Andrews asked, "have you heard of the Order of the Blank Banner?"

    Barthan's cup tumbled to the ground. After a moment of shocked silence, he spoke. "I thought... that... I thought..." "You thought," Andrews said, "it was just a rumor we made up, to scare the Svartalfar and keep them off our backs? I assure you, the Order of the Blank Banner is quite real. I have heard much good of you, General Barthan, and speaking to you, what I have heard is true. So I shall tell you about them. I must ask that none hear of the truth about that Order. It does not exist in any of the records. It is not spoken of. You will find it to be... unique. I very much doubt you will like them. If I send you to them, do you swear by your Junil that you will not speak of them to any?" Barthan swore it, and Andrews nodded. "Very good. Go about one mile northwest, until you see a lone obelisk. Ideally, go alone, but if you bring an escort, bring only those you trust, and make them swear as you have sworn. Wait there until a Paladin approaches you. He will be like none you have seen before, with unmarked armor, but I assure you, he is a warrior of Good. When he asks who you are, tell him you are nobody, going nowhere, seeking nothing. He will take you to meet the leader of the Order of the Blank Banner."

    Barthan had heard of the legendary Order of the Blank Banner. It was said that they were not bound by the same vows binding the rest of the Elohim army, that were sent in to do what the Elohim could not otherwise do. They were said to be ruthless, killing without hesitation and not hesitating to lower themselves to the level of their foes in order to defeat the forces of Evil. It was rumored that others in the Elohim military were forbidden to even speak to them, for they were so deadly they had to be treated like threats as much to their fellow Elohim as to those they were sent to destroy. So it was with sword drawn that Barthan found the obelisk.

    He waited only a few minutes before the promised paladin came. He was a giant, easily nine feet tall and wearing enough armor for a knight, horse and rider. The proportions of his body were odd and unnatural, and his armor was plain steel, decorated with only a handful of holy enchantments. The Paladin bowed before Barthan. "You have travelled long and far," the Paladin rumbled, "to find this place. Who are you?" "I am nobody, going nowhere, seeking nothing," Barthan replied. The Paladin got up. "Follow me." "Wait," asked Barthan. "How do I know this isn't a trap." The Paladin took off his helmet, revealing a grotesque, horrifically deformed face. "This," he said, "is what the Balseraph's experiments did to me. My body was twisted, my mind corrupted, my soul crushed. The Elohim could save the last two, with many painful years, but my body remains as you see it. I am stronger than any mortal man was meant to be, but at the cost of great agony. I fight to assure my place in Heaven, to be rid of this body and be freed. If you doubt my intentions," the Paladin said, kneeling so that his head was within easy reach of Barthan's blade, "send me there now." Barthan nodded, and sheathed his sword.

    Barthan wasn't precisely sure how he had reached the camp of the Order of the Blank Banner. Their road was one with many twists and turns across the barren wastes, and every twig, rock, and gnarled tree seemed to be a landmark for the mysterious Paladin. Finally, they reached the camp. True to its name, a banner of Elohim blue flew above it, but it had no insignia. A dark figure appeared suddenly before Barthan, holding a sword to his throat. "Someone must have trusted you, to tell you how to reach us," the mysterious man said. Barthan noticed the man had a thick Sidar accent. "I hope his trust was not misplaced." With that, the sword was withdrawn and the figure vanished. Barthan decided not to ask any questions, but the Paladin answered his unspoken one. "That was Saeth. Our Sidar assassin. They say shades don't have emotions. I think they do. Just not in the same way as us. They're dulled, simple emotions, but they are there. Saeth feels, as much as he can in his state, regret. Of course, I could be wrong. But if he did not regret his present state, he would not be fighting alongside us, seeking his redemption as we all do."

    Barthan took a moment to look over the shadowy camp before getting up his courage. He didn't want to know the answer to his next question, but he had to ask. "Who is in charge here?" The Paladin pointed towards the tent in the camp's center. "Morthas. You'll know him when you see him." Barthan went up to the tent. The first thing he noticed was its guard. A vampire. Barthan pretended not to notice, but the vampire smiled. "Curious, aren't you? Wondering how a shade, a freak, and a vampire ended up fighting with the Elohim?" Barthan studied the vampire, then decided to satiate his curiosity and listen. "You heard of the Elohim conquest of the Calabim's western colonies, yes? Well, when they freed us, the so-called feeding stock, we wanted to get even. So we did it the only way we knew how. The monks tried to stop us, but... we feasted. We had our way with the vampiric women. We slaughtered the men like pigs. And then, some of us, the maddest of the mad, drunk on newfound power, found out how the Vampires had attained their state. So... we turned the tables. We became vampires ourselves, and repayed our former masters a thousand times over. The Elohim did there best to stop us, but we sealed quite a few of the scumbags into crypts and let them spend eternity suffering. Unfortunately, cattle's blood didn't exactly do the trick like we'd hoped. Turns out it has to be the blood of a sentient... some of us became criminals, disappearing into the lands of Esus. Some of us became mercenaries. And some of us... joined the Order of the Blank Banner. We go hungry a lot. It's rare that anyone really deserves death. But it happens... however, I have held you long enough. Our commander awaits."

    Barthan wondered what lay within the tent as he entered. It couldn't be any stranger then a freak paladin, or a vampire guard. Could it? The Order's commander was a relatively young man, sitting in a simple chair, face towards the ground. At first, he seemed to be wearing a rough leather helmet. Then Barthan saw that his head was uncovered, but criscrossed with countless scars, burned into his flesh. "They're to cover up the unholy symbols," the man said without looking up. Barthan shuddered. He should have known. It'd be a Sheaim. "State your business." "It's about Grottisburg..." "You're Bannor. You want me to burn it to the ground. Am I correct?" Barthan nodded, before realizing Morthas still looked towards the ground. "Yes, you are. You see..." "Stop," Morthas commanded. "I already know what must be done. Grottisburg will burn. Keep your men out of it. I will summon fire elementals to do the foul deed. That way, none of your men need corrupt themselves with the slaughter. I have nothing to lose, so I will take whatever punishment the gods deliver to me." Barthan went silent.

    Morthas sat in contemplation, and then asked, "have you any regrets?" Barthan gave the thought a moment of honest contemplation. "None." "Do you remember Tongurstad?" "Yes," Barthan said. It had been his men that had taken the city. "Do you remember," Morthas continued, "what you were ordered to do?" "I was ordered," Barthan said, unsure of why he was answering, "to kill everyone there." "Did you?" "No. I spared the children, the slaves, and all the other innocents who had suffered under Sheaim oppression." "Why did you spare the children?" "Because they were children. One does not slaughter children. I disobeyed orders, but luckily, the Overcouncil supported my decision. I was reprieved."

    Morthas nodded. "Yes, the Overcouncil. The Bannor have never been entirely fond of them, have they?" "No." "Well then, Barthan, it may interest you to know that while some of the children you spared grew up to live perfectly healthy lives, others were... tainted. One child in particular, the son of a great archmage, secretly plotted to avenge his father's death. For many years he practiced the forbidden Sheaim arts in secret, before killing his adoptive parents and rejoining his people. Countless innocents died by his hands. Countless murders that could have been prevented... had you killed but a single child. Do you regret your decision, Barthan?" "No," Barthan said firmly. "Then it may also interest you to know..." "Let me guess. That child sits before me now, a changed man, right?" Morthas looked briefly suprised. "How did you guess?" Barthan grinned. "I kind of figured where that old yarn was going. You Elohim are huge fans of the whole redemption theme." Morthas smiled, although it looked a bit odd on his face. "You called me an Elohim, not a Sheaim. I take that as a high compliment. You seem to have adjusted rather quickly to our... eccentricity. If ever your kind acts earn you the wrath of the Bannor... there's always room in the Order of the Blank Banner."
     
  12. xienwolf

    xienwolf Deity

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  13. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    Yeap, I agree. KillerClowns always has such a cool take on Erebus. I love the idea of a cursed Elohim regiment that is occasionally called on to do the unthinkable and raze cities. Really helps highlight their culture.
     
  14. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    Great story KC. You need to spin off your freak paladin into his own story. I'd like to know a little more about how he got to be where he is.
     
  15. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

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    great story...
     
  16. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

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    Yeah, I lways knew the Elohim must have a steel fist somewhere.
     
  17. 25_Hour

    25_Hour Chieftain

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    I'm definitely a fan of Part 2. 'Specially those last two lines. :lol:


    Now then! I had this spinning around in my head, and decided to give it a shot. Although I'm not sure about the titles held by Mahala and Charadon. Also not sure if it's canon. (We don't know much about Mahala, do we?) Anyway.

    Charadon meets with an Amurite trade delegation. Good times are had by all!

    Spoiler :

    The Doviello lands are harsh, their people even more so, and neither have much kindness for travelers passing through. As can be imagined, traders from other nations tend to be few and far between; what few things the Doviello cannot scrounge up (or conquer) for themselves are traded for from the local barbarian tribes, and even they are hesitant to enter Charadon's territory for fear of being robbed and gutted by the local strongmen. No, the Doviello have always been self-sufficient, and it always seemed (to Doviello and outsiders alike) that this would forever remain the case.

    Well... until today, that is.

    The negotiating table was made of bones, bound together with strips of leather-- human bones, or at least humanoid, a fact not lost on the Amurite trade delegation. Mahala, Charadon, and their closest advisors stood on one side of the table; the visiting merchants on the other. They were dressed in the finest robes their country had to offer, and carried the gaudiest and most obviously enchanted staves that the Doviello ruling council had ever seen. Mahala noted this with diplomatic silence. Charadon was less tactful.

    "Wizards!" Charadon spat, talking to no one in particular. "Limp-wristed pansies, the lot of 'em. Aye, throw one in the pit without their coward's magic 'n fancy trinkets, and our lowliest Beastman could show 'em their insides!" He sat down with a satisfied guffaw, and motioned for the Amurites to have a seat as well. Mahala managed to restrain herself from rubbing her temples in exasperation, but it was a near thing.

    The mages he was referring to glanced uncomfortably at each other, and a tall female (who, judging by the glowing, metallic staff, Mahala took to be the leader) started up hesitantly. "Ah, yes. Well, we have noticed that you Doviello seem to have an abundance of furs in your lands, and we would like to make a deal with you to trade them for our own gems. We think that this could be a mutually beneficial arrangement for all involved, and it would likely be excellent for relations between the Amurites and your own civilization. As for the ratio of..."

    Charadon waved his hand, cutting him off. "Aye, sweet miss, but do ye have the gems on ye? I would very much like to see them. To assay their quality, see." He smiled, in what he likely thought was a reassuring way. Or maybe not-- it was hard to tell with him, Mahala reflected.

    The merchant brightened up, and nodded at one of her associates. The man she nodded to, a nervous-looking mage in his late twenties, produced a fist-sized gem from the recesses of his robes. She nodded proudly. "And we've got three cartloads of these outside your palace."

    Charadon nodded, evidently impressed. "Very well, very well. But who are ye, who brings these treasures from beyond our borders?"

    "Abdulkani, founder and current head of the Amurite Entrepreneurial Society. We are held in the highest esteem in our own civilization, and--"

    Charadon stood up, and gestured leisurely with one hand. "I've heard enough. Beastmen! To arms!" And at that, two dozen crossbowmen filed into the chamber, one quickly dispatching a chanting magician with a bolt through the neck, while the others trained their weapons onto the rest of the party. The merchant-wizards quickly put down their staves, while their unlucky companion bled out onto the council chamber (which, they noted grimly, had grates along the floor for just such an eventuality.) Charadon laughed, a deep, ominous noise that differed only slightly from a growl. "Beastmen! Lead the rest of these... mages to our border. Except for Abdulkani-- leave her here. Take the carts to the treasury." He turned towards the delegation, and chuckled darkly. "Ye may tell your 'society' that, if they want to see their leader again, they shall send six more cartloads of gems to the front gates. And ye can tell them where they can stick their 'civilization'--"

    "No."

    Mahala, who was silent up to this point, stood up. A strange mix between exultant and furious, she cast a finger at the Doviello King. "Charadon, this is madness. Our population grows daily, and we can't survive alone on what we can gather for ourselves. Yet ye shall frighten off all traders what may come to us, and for what? A few pretty gems? Some trinkets, the likes of which our people could mine or plunder in a week's time? Ye speak madness, and such will be the death of our nation."

    Charadon glared, and hefted his axe. "Ye dare question my judgment, in front of my own council, in front of outsiders? I am sorry, my old and trusted advisor, aye, I am. But there is only one way to avenge this insult. Beastmen. Shoot her down."

    His men stood still, some of them ashamedly avoiding his gaze, some meeting it straight on. Mahala laughed, a rather unusual sound coming from the normally quiet baroness. "They all know it. Your advisors, aye, they've known it too. For years, we have stood by whilst ye shunned diplomacy, and destroyed what strength we had accumulated over these years since the Long Winter. No more, cur." She considered for a moment, then yelled across the mob of soldiers. "Mag!" The crowd of beastmen parted, to let through an small, hooded figure in the unmistakable uniform of a Speaker of the Overlords. Mahala grinned, and threw her arm wide. "Gentlemen! All ye here, I present to ye the future of the Doviello!" Her voice softened. "The Overlords' prophecies shall guide us in these dark and chaotic times. Aye, so they will. Mag Tuireadh, honored Speaker, this" she said, pointing to Charadon, "shall be your first Drown. A sign of the goodwill of our people."

    "Ye skulking cowards!” the former leader of the Doviello screamed, swinging at the guards with his axe as they tried to restrain him. He yelled this and worse insults, but still the guards, with some difficulty (and a few severed limbs), slowly drug him from the council chamber and to the temple where he would meet his fate. The Speaker bowed at the waist to Mahala, and followed after. It was several minutes before Mahala and the gathered beastmen could no longer hear his enraged cursing.

    A minute passed of utter silence, and Mahala looked up, appearing to notice for the first time the huddled mass of trade delegates. "Beastmen, leave us." She gestured, and the merchants-- still shaking-- sat down again at the table, their associate continuing to ooze blood onto the chamber floor. Mahala smiled warmly.

    "So, we were discussing furs?"

     
  18. nadszyszkownik

    nadszyszkownik Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Poland, EU
    THIS IS SPARTAAAA!

    sorry, I had to :mischief:
     
  19. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,449
    Location:
    Celtia Atrebatia
    Unfortunately I don't think Charadon and Mahala existed at the same time, did they?
     
  20. Pyr0mancer

    Pyr0mancer Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    542
    In the Age of Rebirth, Charadon exists because he's been brought back by some arcane ritual. Mahala thinks it was a stupid idea :lol:. I think it's in one of their pedia entries, not sure though.
     

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