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The Prize

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Stories & Tales' started by Steel General, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    I had this weird idea about doing a fantasy mod based on this short story I had bouncing around in my head. I've come to realize that I just don't have the patience to actually build the mod itself, but I thought I'd share the story with you anyway. I had originally posted this in the C&C Forum but have asked that the thread be removed. So here you go...

    THE PRIZE

    The tabletop plateau stood amidst a vast glacial mountain range in the far northern reaches of Tomival. A brisk wind carried the scent of coming snow; small eddies slowly swirling across the plateau. Gray clouds drifted across the leaden, afternoon sky.

    The figure appeared, in that infinitesimal span of time between moments, he simply was. Nothing heralded his arrival; no flash of light, no roll of thunder and crash of lightning, nothing, he simply arrived. His long, shimmering, gold robes and white beard unmoved by the breeze, he took a moment to take in his surroundings and then spoke to the empty air, “Ah, this will do quite nicely.”

    He gestured, the long ivory colored staff in his hand glowing briefly with intensity not unlike the sun. An intricate, domed structure came into existence. White marble with a shimmering golden roof, a circular, raised dais, upon which he now stood, stood in the center of the floor surrounded by 20 ornate thrones. Although without windows or doors, the interior of the structure was lit by a soft, golden glow emanating from the walls. He glanced about the area briefly and nodded in satisfaction.

    Closing his eyes, he sent out a mental call, “Come my brothers and sisters it is time.” This mental beacon instantly traversing the various planes and multiverses, serving as both herald and guide for those he wished to attend to him. He then took a seat in one of the thrones; one crowned with a golden sun, folded his hands and waited.

    How long he waited he did not know, or if he did, it wasn’t a matter of import. He did however stand when the first of them arrived.

    The distinct odor of brimstone swept through the building, covering everything in a dim miasma of blood red mist. The mist then coalesced into a swirling column out of which stepped an attractive, powerful, male figure clad in purple and black, a huge black mace hanging from his belt. The new arrival gestured briefly and the column of mist dissipated.

    “Ah Aldamar, how good to see you, I seem to be the first to arrive, I take it you are the one who initiated this little soiree?”

    “Spare me your platitudes Vhokuun, you know as well as I that it was SHE who wanted this conclave.”

    “Ah yes, our doting mother, the multi-verse,” Vhokuun replied sarcastically.

    Aldamar’s eyes flashed, “Be careful brother, I may think as little of this whole idea as you, but I will not tolerate irreverence toward HER!”

    “Oh do relax Aldamar, and sit down.” Vhokuun walked swiftly to a throne one quarter of the way clockwise around the circle, a throne crowned with a cobra head and sat. “If SHE really cared what I thought of her she would have whisked me out of existence ages ago.” Taking a few moments to look around the structure Vhokuun replied, “Very nice, a little gaudy for my tastes but well done none-the-less. I really like the touch of having our sigils on the thrones.”

    Aldamar rolled his eyes slightly, “Thank you, I am quite pleased with the outcome myself.”

    The next instant the room was filled with sound of crashing waves and the smell of the sea. A large column of water appeared above the dais, and then splashed to the floor reforming itself into a powerfully built, blue-skinned man clad in armor of coral. Jet-black hair entangled with seaweed covered his head and he carried a conch shell and a trident. “Hail, brothers!” his voice booming like the crashing of waves.

    “Greetings Droghaan,” Aldamar answered warmly.

    “Water logged show-off,” Vhokuun muttered.

    Droghaan looked at Vhokuun briefly; one brow rose slightly, then glanced briefly around the room and strode over to a throne two chairs away from Vhokuun, his crowned with a golden sea-horse. “Where are the others?” Droghaan asked as he sat.

    “You are among the first to arrive,” answered Aldamar, “it is still early, I’m sure they will be here shortly.”

    The others Droghaan referred to began to arrive. Beroth the Learned in her hooded, brown monks robe appeared with Syrinx the Drunk, Elvaar the Fey, and Iridala the Beautiful, clad all in yellow a dove perched on each shoulder.
    Chyronn Stormlord appeared amidst a terrific thunderclap, tiny lightning’s dancing in his eyes. Falkyr the Bold clad in bloody armor arrived with Valan the Chivalrous wearing his gleaming plate armor.

    “Oh look, mother’s favorite has arrived,” Vhokuun snorted at Valan as Aldamar greeted the warriors.

    Valan glared at Vhokuun, “Quiet snake, before I remove your forked tongue from your head!” He half drew his sword, only to be restrained by the strong grips of Khurne the Hunter, Hurdaan the Earthlord and Thordonar the Smith who had just arrived and together with Falkyr escorted Valan to his seat urging him to be calm.

    Vhokuun smiled evilly, “Take your best shot whelp, I look forward to it.”

    Aldamar strode onto the dais striking the butt of his staff to gain attention glaring at Valan and Vhokuun, “Enough you two, I will not tolerate any of that foolishness at this gathering!”

    A melodious voice then filled the air, “Tsk, tsk Aldamar let them be, if they want to tear each others heads off who are we to stand in their way.” A cloud of ice blue motes of light surrounded Aldamar and began to swirl, tugging at his robes and beard.

    “Sylistra this is no time for indulging in your whimsies,” Aldamar said in a scolding tone.

    The blue motes slowly drifted away from Aldamar and coalesced into a strikingly beautiful woman clad in blue and gold. “Poor Aldy,” Sylistra laughed and patted him on the cheek, “you need to take a little more enjoyment out of things.” The Mistress of Magic laughed again and sauntered over to her seat, waving at some of the others as she went.

    “And you should take things more seriously,” Aldamar responded, and returned to his seat.

    Next to arrive were Nymdyl the Dreamer and Lunara the Moon Maiden each greeted warmly by all but Vhokuun and Chyronn.

    Several small cliques came together as the waiting continued, with the tension continuing to grow between Valan and Vhokuun who sat with one leg casually draped over one arm of his throne a smirk on his handsome face.
    After a time the stench like that of a thousand open graves wafted through the building. Iridala visibly wretched, and gasped, then cried as the doves on her shoulders fell to the floor dead. A black portal appeared on the dais a cadaverous man clad in black, carrying an ornate bone rod and a crone who appeared to be afflicted with numerous diseases stepped through, the portal closing behind them.

    Aldamar stood and stepped toward the dais. “Dyrge, Tyrannah welcome,” his voice strained with an effort to be civil.

    “Brother,” the cadaverous man rasped, “let us dispense with the false pleasantries and get this over with.”

    The crone cackled hideously, “Oh come now Dyrge, I think Aldamar was being sincere, at least as sincere as he is capable of,” she cackled again.

    “Nonsense Tyrannah,” Dyrge replied, “we all know there is no love lost between the two of us. We are polar opposites and if left to our own devices would probably be at one another’s throats.”

    “He’s right Tyrannah,” Vhokuun said from his seat, “they are the eldest and have forever been rivals, Aldamar’s light to Dyrge’s darkness. I actually find it quite refreshing.”

    “You would Vhokuun,” the crone shot back, and took her seat in a throne crowned with a black sickle.

    Aldamar, ignoring the conversation, turned his back on the two newest arrivals and returned to his seat.

    “So whom are we waiting for?” Thordonar rumbled from his seat.
    From his throne Vhokuun interjected, “Yes who are we waiting for, let’s get this party started,” and chuckled.

    Aladamar shot the Tyrant another disgusted look, “It appears we are waiting only for Jackandys and Syth.”

    “I’m here,” a laughing voice spoke from the air. A cascade of gold coins began to fall out of mid-air onto the dais eventually piling up nearly five feet in height. From out of the pile emerged the young goddess of adventure, gold coins spilling everywhere.

    “As am I,” a soft whispering voice came, seemingly from everywhere in the room.

    “Syth, would you please show yourself,” Aldamar asked.

    “Of course Aldamar, whatever you wish.” The shadows beneath the thrones began to gather near the dais slowly forming into a slender, dusky man surrounded in a flowing dark gray cloak, his face hidden by the shadows of the cowl. “I’ve actually been here for quite awhile and am quite amused by the lot of you, with the way you carry on,” the sarcasm nearly dripping from each word.

    “Would you all please take your seats,” Aldamar interjected, “then we can get started.”

    As each took their seat Aldamar rose and stepped to the center of the dais. He looked sternly at the young goddess of adventure and cleared his throat, “Jackandys, the coins?”

    “Oh sorry,” with a wave of her hand the pile of coins disappeared in a puff of gold smoke.

    “As you all know this world, Tomival, is completely uninhabited by what any of us would consider ‘intelligent life’. SHE wishes to change that.”

    “Oh joy,” Vhokuun snickered.

    Aldamar spun to face his brother, “Vhokuun I have warned you once already, I will not tolerate such interruptions!”

    “Oh but I do apologize dear Aldamar,” Vhokuun bowed from his throne, “Please continue,” a smug look lingering on his face.

    Chyronn and several of the others chuckled quietly.

    Aldamar leaned upon his staff slightly, “This time it is different, this world will be a ‘prize’ in a contest of sorts.”

    “What kind of contest?” Jackandys asked.

    “I was just about to get to that,” Aldamar responded. “We will each be allowed to ‘seed’ a ‘tribe’ on to the planet. We can migrate this ‘tribe’ from any other world where we maintain worshippers. However, there is a catch.”

    “There always is,” Vhokuun muttered.

    Aldamar continued, ignoring the comment, “The tribe is allowed only the most basic of knowledge and survival skills. No magic, no scientific advancements, nothing to give them any advantage over the others.”

    “Sounds ridiculous,” Syrinx interjected, “what is the point of having a bunch of primitive mortals running around on an empty planet?”

    “The point my dear Syrinx, “retorted Vhokuun, “is the potential power gain. Is it not Aldamar?”

    Aldamar nodded slightly, “Essentially Vhokuun is correct, imagine if you will, an entire world full of worshippers devoted to a single deity. That is what awaits the winner of this contest. Whomever’s tribe succeeds in dominating will gain complete control over all worship on Tomival. The rest of us will be unable to interfere or intervene on Tomival.”

    “Still seems ridiculous to me,” Syrinx added.

    “You don’t have to participate drunkard!” Chyronn thundered, “any of your wine besotted worshippers would be lucky to last 5 minutes down there!”

    Syrinx rolled his eyes at Chyronn, “Spare me your histrionics Chyronn, I said it was ridiculous, not pointless. Besides I’d put any group of my followers up against your savages.”

    This instigated more heated discussions between various individuals, eons’ long rivalries and hatreds coming to the fore. Syrinx and Chyronn nearly came to blows before Falkyr stepped between them. Sylistra and Tyrannah shouted insults across the room at each other. Others still were holding quieter discussions amongst themselves.

    Vhokuun sat quietly on his throne chuckling at the whole thing.

    After a time Aldamar again struck the butt of his staff on the dais, a brilliant glow and the crackling of power drowning out the cacophony.
    “Enough of this bickering! You’re acting like a bunch of spoiled children. Grow up!!” With this last statement an intense flash of energy erupted from his staff encompassing the entire building in a golden radiance. A silence fell across the room, broken only by Vhokuun’s laughter.

    The radiance slowly faded and Aldamar strode over and stood over Vhokuun, his eyes still alight with the same intense golden glow, “and just what is it that you find so funny?”

    Vhokuun stood, gently pushing Aldamar out of his way. “What I find so funny, dear Aldamar is our doting mother’s sense of irony. Always in the past she has ‘encouraged’ us to cooperate, to discuss our differences and find a solution that wouldn’t case waves. Now she has come up with this…this farce of a contest which is intended to cause nothing but problems. Do you not see the irony in it?”

    Aldamar stood quietly, a thoughtful look on his face, the glow slowly receding from his eyes. Sighing, he replied “As much as it pains me to admit it Vhokuun, you are correct. Though, while I see the irony I do not find it humorous in the least.”

    “You wouldn’t, you’re not capable of it,” Vhokuun snickered.

    Aldamar shot his brother a withering glare, but said nothing. Vhokuun looked right back at him unflinching, a characteristic look of smugness on his face.
    Khurne left his seat and inserted himself between the two, gently separating the two. “So now that we know what SHE has in mind, when does this contest start?” the Hunter asked.

    “Ten Tomival days from today,” Aldamar answered. “We will return here and announce what tribe we are ‘seeding’ to this world.”

    Suddenly Aldamar was alone in the room, the others having returned wherever it was they had been. He looked upwards and said into the empty air, “Mother, I hope you know what you are doing.” Then in that infinitesimal span of time between moments, he simply was gone.
     
  2. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    OK...no comments so far, would anyone like me to continue this?
     
  3. North King

    North King blech

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    Yah, this looks interesting. :)
     
  4. jalapeno_dude

    jalapeno_dude AKA Panda Judo Eel

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    Yes, continue it!
     
  5. jalapeno_dude

    jalapeno_dude AKA Panda Judo Eel

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    By the way, this would definitely make for an interesting mod. I'd be willing to help with it, though it would mostly be logistical stuff (unit names, stats, etc), since graphics aren't my strong point.

    What if you played it as a regicide game- sort of like in the Senguku conquest? You could say that each tribe had the ability to summon the god they worshipped, and that as they discovered new technology the gods could manisfest themselves more strongly.
     
  6. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    First off, thanks for the interest...

    Secondly, like I stated at the beginning of the first post, I don't have the patience to make a mod out of it. I've fiddled around with it some and have concluded its just way to much work. However if someone wanted to run with it I'd be more than willing to provide them any background info, etc. I have.

    I never really intended to have the gods involved in the mod at all, they were really there just for the background story.

    I will try and get some more of the story posted in the next day or so.

    Story wise, I suppose I could start a game using either the EmbryoDead's WarHammer mod or TJEdge1's Mystara mod and use who ever I play as the point of view. All I would need to do is match up the gods with appropriate Civ's in whatever mod I use.
     
  7. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    THE PRIZE Part II

    Aldamar sat alone in the pavilion, staff leaning precariously against the arm of his throne, awaiting his brother’s and sister’s arrival. Today was to be the start of the contest with Tomival as the ultimate prize. What tribe would they each select? Some of them, like Iridala and Valan, were predictable as they had definitive favorites among their followers on various worlds. Essentially they all had their ‘chosen’ people, those that they actually took a great deal of interest in, whose path through history they subtly nudged and guided as much as was allowed. Even the gods had rules they must follow, though some like Vhokuun, Chyronn and even Syslistra bent or even broke the rules when it suited them. He chuckled to himself briefly; even he had resorted to bending the rules slightly a few times over the ages.

    A soft chime sounded, a recent addition he had made to the pavilion, heralding the arrival of one of his siblings. A soft rustling, like wind through the leaves of a tree could be heard then faded away as Elvaar in his grey and green appeared. “Greetings eldest Aldamar,” Elvaar said in a voice that was nearly musical.

    “Greetings Elvaar, you are the first to arrive.” Of all his siblings, Aldamar understood Elvaar the least, he was lord over all things fey, and rarely interacted with the others except for Sylistra, Hurdaan and Khurne in rare instances

    Elvaar nodded and took his seat, the crown of his throne a silver bow and arrow.

    Next to arrive was Beroth, accompanied by the smell of ancient text and scrolls. Aldamar greeted her warmly; they had always gotten along well. Then came Droghaan and Hurdaan embroiled in their never ending but mostly good natured argument about which was the more powerful force, the earth or the sea. After them came Tyrannah, preceded by the rank odor of putrefying flesh.

    “Aldamar,” the crone goddess cackled.

    “Tyrannah,” Aldamar choked out obviously disturbed by her appearance.

    “What ever is the matter Aldamar, you don’t approve of my appearance, is that it? Its how my followers perceive me, so why change? Or would you rather see me like this?” She gestured slightly and her form was replaced by that of a beautiful leather clad dominatrix. “Is this how you’d rather see me brother dear? I am nothing if not true to my nature.” The dominatrix shape dissolved to be replaced again by the crone. “Really Aldamar, why do you always appear as a stodgy old fart, looking all high and mighty wrapped in your own glory? Perhaps you’d have a better outlook if you changed some things.”

    Aldamar said nothing and turned away. Tyrannah cackled again and took her seat.

    The next to arrive accompanied by the soft sounds of a harp were Iridala and Syrinx. The goddess of Love looked thoroughly annoyed with the Lord of the Grape. It was obvious that Syrinx again was trying to seduce her. Aldamar greeted each in turn.

    “Oh Aldamar can you not convince him to leave me be, he’s been trying for ages to take me to his bed and I keep refusing him.” She looked pointedly at Syrinx, “Can’t you take a hint?”

    Syrinx smiled broadly, “Well of course I can…” he hesitated, “but I don’t feel like it.”

    Aldamar shook his head then looked at his brother eyes flaring slightly, “Syrinx, at least put your lusts on the shelf for the duration of this gathering, and that is not a request.”

    Behind Aldamar, Iridala looked relieved. Syrinx stared back at his brother a heated retort building.

    “Yes, you have something to say?” Aldamar asked, one eye brow raised the glow in his eyes increasing ever so slightly.

    “No I guess not, “ Syrinx replied. “I will not forget this slight Aldamar, this was between Iridala and myself you had no right to interfere.”

    “Speak to me not of rights Syrinx, do you forget I am the god of Law? It became my right when Iridala asked me to intervene.”
    “Typical goody two shoes *****,” Tyrannah interjected from her seat, “can’t fight her own battles, always running and hiding behind someone.”

    “Quiet Tyrannah,” Aldamar responded, “This is most definitely none of your affair and your comments do not help the situation.”

    “Yes you old crone, keep out of this!” Iridala hissed.

    The crone cackled again, “Make me you over-perfumed tart.”

    “ENOUGH!” Aldamar thundered, “I am sick to no end of the constant bickering and the snide comments. I will not tolerate it at this gathering. All of you sit down and keep quiet until the others arrive”

    “Oh calm down Aldamar,” Syrinx said over his shoulder on his way to his seat. “We’ve squabbled like this forever, and we’ll keep squabbling regardless of any silly contest.” He cast another leering look at Iridala. “We’ll talk some more later dear sister.”

    Iridala harrumphed, and sat down in her chair next to Beroth who had taken in the whole exchange impassively.

    Soon dreamy eyed Nymdyl arrived with the shadowy Syth. The two seemed to be deep in discussion about something. Aldamar greeted each before they sat. The three warrior gods Khurne, Falkyr and Valan arrived next, Valan glancing around room an angry look in his eyes.

    “Where is that serpent Vhokuun? He and I have some unfinished business from our last meeting.” His voice as sharp as the great blade he carried.
    Aldamar spun to face Valan, “There will be none of that nonsense during this gathering Valan! So put your sword away and sit down.”

    “Oh let the whelp try Aldamar,” an oily voice spoke from the air. “I have no fear of hyper-active child in a tin suit.” Vhokuun appeared in a flash of brimstone, an evil smile on his face, his heavy black mace hanging casually from one wrist.

    Aldamar looked to Khurne and Falkyr, “you two, keep him under control.” He then spun to face Vhokuun, “You know very well what I said before, there will be none of that at this gathering, how many times must I repeat myself!”
    Vhokuun feigned a look of innocence, “Dear, dear Aldamar I didn’t start anything. I was merely prepared to defend myself.”

    “Spare us the melodrama,” Aldamar retorted. He then closed his eyes and let out a long breath, “and for HER sake sit down.”

    “Of course dear brother, anything for mommie dearest,” Vhokuun chuckled evilly and took his seat while Khurne and Falkyr escorted Valan to his seat at the far side of the circle.

    The others arrived in short order with no other outbursts other than a strained moment between Aldamar and Dyrge.

    Once they all had been seated Aldamar, stepped to the center of the raised dais.

    “Brothers and sisters,” he began, “when last we met I informed you of the contest we are all to participate in regarding this world. In review, each of us is to seed a single tribe unto this world with only the most basic survival skills. These tribes can be from any world where you have followers. The tribes will contend for control of this world, with the winning tribe gaining complete control for their patron deity. We may not interfere in the development of the tribes, any of us caught ‘tampering’ will be disqualified from the conquest, and their tribe removed. Does anyone have any questions?”

    Lunara stood, her silver and black gown shimmering in the golden glow. “Who exactly is going to make sure none of us ‘tampers’, you Aldamar?” She returned to her seat.

    “No Lunara, not I. The judge for this contest will be Tempus, Lord of Time.”

    There were a couple of gasps, and quite a few more grumbles.

    Chyronn shot to his feet, “Tempus? Who here even thinks he still exists? Dreamer Boy over here,” he gestured toward Nymdyl, “has had guardianship over time for ages. Is this one of your oh so clever ploys Aldamar?” Lightning crackled from Chyronn’s finger tips.

    “I assure you it is not a ploy Chyronn,” the voice that spoke was deep and rumbling, but at the same time gentle and comforting. Fine, white sand began to pour out of thin air onto the dais next to Aldamar, slowly forming into the form of an ancient man. He was dressed in soft, grey robes his pristine, white beard and hair hanging to his waist. He held a staff topped with an hourglass in his left hand a small white cat in the crook of his right arm.

    Chyronn stood open mouthed before finally sputtering, “Impossible! You’ve been gone for ages, forgotten by mortals and immortals alike.”

    “Not gone Chyronn,” Tempus replied, “just busy, but I am back now.” He stepped down from the dais and approached Nymdyl. He looked back over his shoulder at the god of Storms. “Please sit down Chyronn, you look a little silly standing there with your mouth hanging open.” Chyronn sputtered a few more times, then finally sat.

    Tempus turned back to Nymdyl, “Rise little brother it is time you returned that which I gave to you to safe keep for me.”

    Nymdyl rose, looked at Tempus, “and a difficult burden it has been Tempus, I will be glad to be rid of it.” He cupped his hands and a translucent sphere appeared then gently floated over to Tempus and sank into his chest.

    “Ahhh, thank you Nymdyl, I shall not forget this.” Nymdyl sat, his face looking as though a burden had been lifted. Tempus then returned to Aldamar’s side on the dais.

    Beroth stood, much to the surprise of all, for she rarely spoke, “But Tempus, why Nymdyl?”

    “Gentle Beroth, he was the only one I could truly entrust it to. He has no ulterior motives, any of the rest of you that I considered would have attempted to use it wrongly, regardless of whether your intentions were good or not.”

    Beroth nodded and sat down.

    Tempus turned to Aldamar, “Brother, please take your seat and we can begin the first phase.” Aldamar nodded and returned to his place in the circle. “Each of you has had 10 of Tomival’s days to decide what tribe you will seed to the planet. I will pick names randomly, when I have called your name you will rise and state the name of your tribe and the world from which they originate. Let us begin!”

    to be continued...
     
  8. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    Ooops...double post.
     
  9. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    OK...having a bit of a creative block here, hence no updates over the past couple of days. So instead of this sitting thread sitting here idle, here's a bit more background on the characters introduced so far.

    The gods of this story are members of a pantheon called the Ythrak Nyn or Exalted Ones. They were originally created as pantheon for a D&D Campaign I was working on years ago. They are considered to be a large family, with their mother being the universe and their father unknown. Below is a list of the gods, their portfolios and associated symbols.

    Aldamar - Goodness, Life, Law, Sun - 3 concentric suns
    Vhokuun - Evil, Strife, Tyranny, Nghtmares - Black cobra
    Droghaan - Sea, Sea Creatures - Golden Sea Horse
    Beroth - Knowledge, Learning, Bards - Scroll
    Syrinx - Music, Revelry, Wine - Harp & Goblet
    Iridala - Beauty, Love, Family - White Rose
    Chyronn - Chaos, Storms - Lightning bolt
    Falkyr - War - Falcon
    Valan - Chivalry, Honor, Justice, Courage - Lion
    Khurne - Hunting, Tracking - Wolf
    Hurdaan - Nature, Elements - Maple Leaf
    Thordonar - Craftsmanship, Fire, Dwarves, Gnomes - Anvil
    Sylistra - Magic, Arcane Arts - Blue-white Snowflake
    Nymdyl - Sleep, Dreams, Time* - Open Eye on Cloud
    Lunara - Night, Moon, Stars, Lycanthropes - Crescent Moon
    Dyrge - Undead, Death - Skull
    Tyrannah - Disease, Pestilence, Sickness - Rat
    Jackandys - Luck, Travel, Merchants - Rabbit
    Syth - Thieves, Shadows - Scorpion
    Elvaar - Elves & Other Fey - Silver Bow & Arrow
    Tempus - Time - Hourglass

    * Temporarily held the portfolio of time
     
  10. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    Part III

    Tempus looked quickly around the circle of his siblings. “Where to start?” he pondered. “I need to remain as impartial as possible or someone will carp about me playing favorites.” One more quick scan about the circle and he had decided. He would alternate his picks based on the general disposition of each of his brothers and sisters.

    “Hurdaan, stand and announce your selection,” Tempus announced.

    The Lord of Nature slowly stood and quietly gazed at his brothers and sisters. “My tribe shall be derived from the Druid Kings of Aspor,” he then returned to his seat.

    “Tree huggers,“chuckled Chyronn.

    Tempus nodded at Hurdaan and announced his next choice, “Chyronn.”

    The Storm Lord surged from his seat; small lightning’s crackling about him. “I choose the Blood Moon Orc tribe of Kythaark!”

    Iridala gasped loudly. Chyronn turned to face her and grinned. “Why Iridala does my choice frighten you?”

    The Lady of Love composed herself and looked Chyronn in the eye. “Frighten me, no Chyronn it doesn’t frighten me. You surprised me, I was certain you’d have picked the Storm Kings of Angbar.”

    Chyronn looked surprised, “Storm Kings hmmm,” he spun to face Tempus, “Brother I wish to change my selection.”

    Tempus slowly shook his head, “Sorry Chyronn, all choices once made are final.”

    “What!” Chyronn bellowed, “Final! You never said that!”

    “None the less,” Tempus responded, “That is my final decision, you chose the Orcs, you are stuck with them.”

    Chyronn continued to sputter, “This is unbelievable, you have no right to dictate what my choice is to be.” His voice continued to rise in volume and a sharp wind began to whip about the chamber.

    Tempus stood calmly on the dais, “Mind what you say and do Chyronn, I have been appointed mediator over this contest and I will do things as I see fit.”

    Chyronn continued to rage, a lightning bolt began forming in his fist, his arm coming into position to throw.

    “Let the thunderbolt go brother,” the gravelly voice of Falkyr cut through the now howling wind. The Lord of Battle stood to the side and slightly behind the Storm Lord, his great blade pointed at Chyronn’s throat. “We have never clashed in the past, and I would not have it now. But if you do not let go of the storm bolt their will be contention between us.”

    Chyronn looked at Falkyr, his face red with rage. The anger slowly faded from his face, the wind died, the lightning bolt fading to a sputtering spark. “I will not forget this Falkyr, should my tribe come to encounter yours their will be no peace between them.”

    “As you will,” Falkyr responded, then lowered his great blade and returned to his seat.

    “Chyronn, sit down. Another outburst like that and I will take steps,” there was a hardness in Tempus’ voice not usually present.

    Chyronn shot another sharp glance at Falkyr, who pointedly ignored him, and then returned to his seat.

    “Let us continue,” the Lord of Time said from his place on the dais, “Jackandys, you are next.”

    The young Goddess of Luck leaped from her throne and cart wheeled her way to the dais, kissed Tempus on the cheek. “Thanks Tempus,” she spun in a quick circle then looking up at the ceiling thoughtfully, “I choose the Edians from Virag.”

    “Those gold hording sods,” Chyronn guffawed from his chair. “They wouldn’t last 5 minutes outside their manor houses!”

    Jackandys smiled at Chyronn “We’ll see brother, we shall see.” Continuing to smile she returned to her seat.

    “Tyrannah, your next,” said Tempus.

    The Crone Queen stood and cleared her throat. “I choose the Dagat of Buusak.”

    “Elvaar, your selection please,” Tempus spoke again.

    The Fey Lord stood and in his lyrical voice chimed, “I choose the Teleri Elves of Ghoraja Juun.”

    Again Chyronn interjected, “Ahh elves, my orcs love to slay elves.”

    Elvaar looked at Chyronn, raised both eyebrows and grinned, then returned to his seat. Chyronn was confused, slapping Syrinx, who sat next to him and asked, “What was that smile for, he never smiles like that?” Syrinx merely shrugged and turned away. Chyronn sat back the confused look lingering on his face.

    “Droghann, your turn,” Tempus continued.

    “I choose the Pirate Kings of Rhule,” the Lord of the Sea replied.

    “Lunara?”

    The Moon Mistress rose looked down at Nymdyl to her left and Aldamar to her right. “I choose the Wolf Lords of Arborea.”

    “Humph, shape shifters,“muttered Chyronn.

    “Very well,” replied Tempus, “Khurne?”

    “The Khaitani of Ghamphyr,” the Hunter answered.

    “Dyrge?”

    The Lord of the Dead stood looked directly at Aldamar and whispered, “The Lich Kings of Tamphor.”

    Aldamar’s head snapped up, eyes wide but focused on his brother. “But they were destroyed!’ he blurted.

    “Not so dear brother, “Dyrge answered. “Your followers failed to find the cache of phylacteries thereby failing to completely destroy them. It was a valiant effort on their part however,” Dyrge chuckled, a sound closer to coughing than any real laughter. The Lord of Bones returned to his seat, a pleased look on his face.

    “Beroth?” asked Tempus.

    “The Mordanti of Palas,” the Great Scholar replied.

    “Vhokuun?” Tempus looked to the Tyrant Lord.

    Vhokuun looked up at Tempus and asked, “May I pass my turn brother? I would prefer to go last.”

    Tempus pondered a moment, “Very well, you will go last, Syrinx?”

    The Lord of Revelry stood slowly, a thoughtful look on his face. “This is not an easy decision, nor one I considered lightly. However, I do have a question to ask.” He looked at Tempus, “It can be any civilization from any planet correct?”

    “That is correct,” Tempus replied.

    “How about from any time, can I pull a civilization out of a world’s past?” Syrinx said still looking at Tempus. “This falls under your purview you know.”

    Tempus pondered briefly, “I see no reason why not, and who did you have in mind?”

    Syrinx looked down at the floor, then up at Tempus’ face. “The Romans from Earth, they were always one of my favorites. Bloodthirsty savages at times, but they knew how to enjoy themselves.”

    “Very well Syrinx, the Romans it shall be,” Tempus answered.

    “What?” Chyronn bellowed from his seat, “How can you allow that, and not allow me to change my decision.”

    Tempus whirled to face the Lord of Storms, an annoyed look on his face. “Because Chyronn, he didn’t make a choice until after he had asked his question. How can you be so dense? I always felt you were a bit irrational, but never stupid. It seems my opinion was incorrect. Now do shut up!”

    The rest sat there somewhat stunned, never had they heard Tempus address any of them that way. He had always been one to keep his emotions muted.

    “Now then,” Tempus continued, “let us get on with the rest of it, Falkyr?”
    The Lord of Battle shifted slightly in his seat, and then glanced at Chyronn, “I choose the Seynoreans from D’Jara.” The Storm Lord’s eyes flicked to Falkyr’s face briefly eyes slightly widened.

    “An interesting choice,” Tempus replied, “Sylistra?”

    The Lady of Magic stood and walked the circumference of the circle motes of blue, sparkling lights drifting behind her. When she had returned to the area in front of her seat she looked at Tempus, “The Mage Lords of Shalla-Bal,” then sat.

    “Very good,” intoned Tempus, “Nymdyl, your turn little brother?”

    The Dreamer stood and looked thoughtfully at Tempus, “I have little desire to participate in this contest so I have forfeited my pick to Syth.”

    A tumult arose from the others, “What he can’t do this,” “What is he thinking,” “That’s not within the rules.”

    Tempus returned Nymdyl’s gaze, “Are you sure about this little brother?”

    “Yes, Tempus quite sure,” Nymdul answered

    “But why Syth?” the Lord of Time asked.

    “We were talking earlier, and I mentioned how little interest I had in participating and Syth asked if he could have my pick. I told him that was fine as long as you agreed to it.” Nymdyl glanced over at Syth, “If someone else had asked me then I would have given it to them, Syth asked first.”

    Tempus took a moment before answering, “Very well I see no breach of the rules in this. Therefore Syth will be allowed two tribes.” He looked pointedly at Chyronn, “Any objections?”

    The Storm Lord shook his head, “No, no objections.”

    Tempus turned to face the Lord of Thieves, “Very good, Syth make your first selection.”

    From the depths of his shadowed cowl Syth’s voice whispered, “I choose the Shadow Lords of Nynd.”

    “Very well, Iridala your next.”

    “The Shire Lords of Urdaan,” spoke the Lady of Love, a confident look on her face.

    Chyronn chuckled, “Midgets, my orcs will eat them alive.”

    Iridala shot him a severe glance then relaxed, “We shall see brother, we shall see.”

    “Valan, you’re next.”

    The young warrior god stood, armor shining in the golden glow of the pavilion. “I choose the Myronites of Turpin,” then sat down.

    Tempus nodded, “Very well, Thordonar it’s your selection.”

    The powerfully built Smith of the Heavens lurched to his feet, his heavy leather apron rustling slightly. He looked across the room at Chyronn and rumbled, “I choose the Earth Lords of Zur, I will not have Chyronn’s maggots burrowing unopposed beneath the surface of Tomival.” He sat resting his great smith’s hammer across his knees.

    Chyronn, lightning crackling in his eyes sputtered, but did not speak. The look on his face speaking volumes about what he thought of Thordonar’s words.

    Tempus spoke again, “Aldamar it now falls to you.”

    Aldamar stood, his gaze slowly moving from one sibling to the next, finally falling on Dyrge. He spoke softly but with purpose, “I cannot allow Dyrge’s undead to spread unopposed across this world so I choose the Seraphim of Tamphor.” Aldamar slowly sat, his gaze never leaving Dyrge’s face.

    Dyrge chuckled, “How predictable Aldamar, how very predictable.”

    “Syth, its now time for your second pick,” Tempus announced.

    The Lord of Shadows sat silently for several moments then whispered, “I choose the Sand Kings of Thyatis.”

    Tempus nodded, “Now the final selection, Vhokuun if you would.”

    Vhokuun stood, stretched, then strode to the dais. “I’m sure you are all very curious as to whom I am going to select and why I chose to select last. The latter is quite simple, curiosity. I wanted to see what all of the rest of you selected; this would help me narrow down the list I had made. Some of your choices were obvious,” he glared at Valan. “Our chivalrous little brother’s selection was obvious; he chose his favorites, as did many of you. The selections that actually surprised me some were Iridala’s and Syth’s.” He strode over and crouched down in front of Iridala. “Why dear sister would you choose such an insignificant race of child-sized farmers?”

    Iridala was about to answer when Valan snorted, “Get on with this Vhokuun, and stop wasting our time.”

    Surging to his feet and advanced on Valan, “Silence whelp!” Vhokuun sneered at Valan. “If I want your opinion beat it out of you.”

    Valan snarling, started to rise, only to be held in his seat by the strong hand of Hurdaan.

    Tempus stepped in front of Vhokuun, a stern look on his face. “Enough Vhokuun, get to the point, make your selection and sit down.” The tone in Tempus’ voice was the same as he had used earlier with Chyronn.

    Vhokuun relaxed, stood and stepped away from the young Lord of Valor. “Very well my dear Tempus, you did say our choice could be from any world, in any time, in any of the multi-verses?”

    “That is essentially correct,” Tempus answered.

    “Well then,” continued Vhokuun, an evil smile crossing his face, “I choose the Vyrkonites.”

    There was a tumultuous uproar immediately following Vhokuun’s selection. Iridala sat in shock on her throne. Valan, nearly frothing at the mouth needed to be restrained by Hurdaan, Sylistra and Elvaar. Dyrge and Tyrannah, though initially shocked sat in their seats looking amused. Aldamar sat quietly in his seat, stunned.

    Tempus smashed the butt of his staff onto the dais, a thundering crack issuing forth. “QUIET!” His voice though civil was deceiving in its power and gathered everyone’s attention. When silence returned to the pavilion Tempus spoke again. “The Vyrkonites, Vhokuun? That is surprising even from you, however the selection is valid.”

    “Valid?” screeched Valan straining against those who held him. “How can you possible him let select the Vyrkonites! They nearly destroyed an entire universe the last time they were loose!”

    “Nonetheless,” responded Tempus, “they are a valid selection. If you’re so worried about them you’ll have to make sure that your tribe understands how dangerous they are, without interfering of course, and keep them from taking control. He turned to Vhokuun, “You can wipe that ridiculous grin off of your face Vhokuun. Now all of you take your seats.” Turning back to Valan he said “If you do not calm down I will restrain you myself.”

    With a visible effort the young God of Valor gathered himself and sat quietly in his seat, his temper simmering like a pot on a stove.

    Once order had been restored Tempus continued, “All selections have been announced. I will see to it that the tribes are distributed across the planet equitably. Let the contest begin!”

    Within an instant the pavilion emptied leaving only Tempus and Aldamar within it. The Lord of Law looked at his brother and asked, “Are you sure it was wise to allow Vhokuun to select the Vyrkonites brother?”

    “Wise or not SHE had an idea he would choose them and did not forbid it,” Tempus answered. “I’m only following HER instructions.”

    “I do hope SHE knows what she’s doing,” responded Aldamar, then he was gone.

    Tempus looked around the empty pavilion, “So do I brother, so do I,” he said to the empty room. “But I will be watching,” and then he to vanished.
     
  11. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    OK, in a bit of a quandry here :confused: ...Since none of the Civs in the story currently exist in game (except the Romans) I have no way to actually continue it. The only thing I can come up with is to use either EmbryoDeads WarHammer mod or TJEdge's Mystara mod.

    I'm open for some ideas here folks. Unless of course people think the story stinks and I should just drop it.
     
  12. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    :bump: OK, anyone interested in me continuing this? Or should I just let it die the slow death of uninteresting threads?
     
  13. jalapeno_dude

    jalapeno_dude AKA Panda Judo Eel

    Joined:
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    I'm interested...
     
  14. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

    Joined:
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    I'm interested...looks cool...no :bump:

    ...means don't :bump: it...
     
  15. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    OK, finally managed to get around to writing some more of this. Not sure I'm completely happy with it, but here you go....

    Part IV: New Beginnings

    Seraphim of Tamphor – Patron diety: Aldamar

    Gabriel woke with start, his lingering dream both extremely vivid and disturbing. His god, Aldamar, had spoken to him, instructing him regarding some unsettling changes for himself and his people. Gathering himself he took in his surroundings; this was not the hard bunk in his cell in the Seraph abbey of Cetbal. This was some kind of tent, and he lay amongst a small pile of blankets. Several of his brothers lay in their own blankets elsewhere in the tent. In the dim light he could barely make out the sleeping forms of Michael, Julian and Azrael and a few others.

    He recited the simple prayer that would grant him the use of a small ball of sunlight, but nothing happened. Then the words of his god came back to him.

    “Gabriel, I have chosen you for a great task. You are to lead a group of my followers in the settling of a new world. But you must do so with only the most basic of skills. You will be unable to call upon the priestly gifts I have bestowed upon you as one of my devoted. You must rediscover things that were common place to you in the past. You must learn the secrets of this new world and make them yours. Most of all you must lead your people!”

    “But my Lord Aldamar,” Gabriel had responded. “Why me? I am but a simple priest, there are others much more fit to lead than I. They will not follow me just because I say they should.”

    Aldmar answered, “Why you Gabriel? Because I have faith in you, as you must continue to have faith in me. Even when things are their bleakest remember that I am with you. Even though I am forbidden to assist you, trust in yourself and in your faith, they will carry you through. I have instructed your brothers and sisters to aid you, heed their advice and the advice of others you come to trust.”

    Gabriel was awed by what his god had just imparted to him. He was at a complete loss for words and stood staring.

    Aldamar had then smiled gently and rested his hand on Gabriel’s shoulder. “Hold to your faith Gabriel, but do not become blinded by it. There are other groups scattered across the land, be cautious but fair in your dealings with them until they prove otherwise. But beware; an ancient enemy of our people stalks this land too. They cannot be allowed to conquer Tomival as they did Tamphor. Be well Gabriel and remember I am with you always.”

    Aldamar had then faded and Gabriel had drifted back to sleep.

    Gabriel carefully made his way to the tent entrance and stepped outside into his new world. It was a beautiful day; clear skies, a slight breeze, a perfect day for a new beginning. The job ahead of him as immense as any he’d ever undertaken. But deep in his heart he knew if he kept his faith, things would be all right.

    Blood Moon Orcs of Kythaark – Patron diety: Chyronn

    Vhossk chuckled quietly to himself slowly closing his hand around the haft of the club he had fashioned. The tribal council was its usual disaster, each clan chief bragging loudly about how they were they only ones fit to be named the Blood Moon Warlord. Vhossk chuckled because he knew something they did not. He had been chosen by the great storm god to lead the Clan and conquer this new world.

    Vhossk turned slightly and looked behind him, standing several feet away was a group of shamans led by his own clan’s shaman Yrgrut. They were his backup plan should he not be able to bluster and bully the other chiefs into accepting him as warlord. He nodded at Yrgrut and the old shaman bowed slightly. All was in readiness.

    “Warlord,” Vhossk muttered to himself, “Warlord Vhossk, yes sounds good. Vhossk, Warlord of the Blood Moon Clan, soon to be Vhossk, Warlord of Tomival!”

    The last part had been said outloud, his voice a deep rumbling that cut through the noise of the other chiefs arguing. A silence settled over the gathering, each of the other chiefs staring dumbfounded at Vhossk.
    Finally Ghorak, chief of the Boar clan, stood and blurted out, “Bah! Why should you be Warlord? What makes you better than me?” Ghorak puffed up slightly and brandished the crude spear he had fashioned. “I challenge you claim to be Warlord!”

    Vhossk smiled evilly, “You Ghorak? You challenge Vhossk? Vhossk will squash you like a bug! Vhossk is the only one here fit to be Warlord!”

    Ghorak snarled and charged, lowering his spear to skewer Vhossk. Vhossk waited calmly and at the last possible moment brought up his club deflecting Ghorak’s spear. He then spun quickly to the left, letting his momentum bring up his club in a great roundhouse swing that caught Ghorak across the back of the neck leveling him like a pole axed cow.

    Vhossk kicked the unconscious clan chief over on to his back. Looking down he spat on Ghorak, “Well Ghorak, looks like you lose.” Raising his club over head with both hands he brought it down in a powerful blow that shattered Ghorak’s skull like an overripe melon.

    Vhossk bent down and removed Ghorak’s clan totem from around his neck. He slowly raised the necklace of boar tusks and lowered it over his head. “Vhossk now claims himself chief of the Boar Clan!”

    The other chiefs muttered, but no one argued Ghorak had been considered the strongest chief in the tribe. Vhossk stood proudly in the center of the circle of clan chiefs and asked, “Are their any other challengers?” When no one spoke up he continued, “Good, then Vhossk declares himself Warlord of the Blood Moon Tribe!”

    Vhossk whistled sharply, a warrior from his own Wolf clan came up behind each of the other chiefs. “Vhossk declares the tribal council disbanded,” he announced. This brought much confusion to the gathering, several of the other chiefs declaring that even the Tribal Warlord could not disband the council.

    Vhossk reached down and picked up Ghorak’s spear, then raised both it and his own club over head. “Vhossk say he has the power now!” He brought the weapons back down to his side, “Now!” He bellowed. At his signal each of his warriors struck down the clan chief they stood behind. In one swift action he had eliminated all of his most dangerous rivals.

    “They should have listened to Vhossk, they didn’t take Vhossk seriously enough and Vhossk had to prove that what Vhossk says is true.”
    The chant began slowly, with but one of his warriors, “Vhossk! Vhossk! Vhossk!” Gradually other warriors picked up the chant and in a matter of minutes the news had spread throughout the encampment, and a great roar went up. “Vhossk! Vhossk! Vhossk!”

    Shire Lords of Urdaan – Patron diety: Iridala

    Yingol Puddfellow, or ‘Pudd’ to his friends, sat quietly beneath the spreading limbs of what appeared to be an oak tree, or at least whatever the equivalent was on this new world. He puffed lightly on his pipe, and then drew in a long toke, letting the sweet smoke of fine Brightwater longleaf fill his lungs. In the distance he could faintly hear the arguments going on among the various heads of families, shirrifs, reeves and burghers over what should be done, and who should take charge.

    Pudd cared little for any of that which was being discussed, as long as he had a plot of land to farm, a nice burrowhouse and food in his ample belly he was content. This new land that they had been brought to, Tomival, appeared to be perfect for farming. He already had his eye on a small plot that he figured would be perfect for some corn, beans and potatoes. No, let the elders and their cohorts figure all those other things out. He was content where he was.

    Pudd finished his pipe, tamped out the bowl and settled in for a nice nap. Just when he was beginning to drift off to sleep, he was shaken violently awake.

    “Pudd! Pudd!” The warbling voice of Samwise Buckleford shattered any hope of sleep. “Come on wake up Pudd! You’ll never guess what’s happened!”
    “Ok, ok Sam I’m awake,” Pudd grumbled. “What’s got you in such an uproar?”
    “The council Pudd, the council has elected a leader,” Sam said, his voice climbing in his excitement.

    “Oh joy,” replied Pudd, “I’m so excited, and who is the blockhead they’ve elected to lead us?”

    Sam grinned like the proverbial cat in the cream. “Why Pudd, you’ll never guess. C’mon try and take a guess.”

    “Oh get on with it Sam,” Pudd replied. “Can’t you I was busy here trying to take a nap, just tell me who it is so I can get back to it!”

    “But Pudd, there’s no time to nap. The person they elected is you!” With his last statement the stupid grin on Sam’s face only grew wider.

    Pudd sat stunned, “Mmm..me?” He sputtered, “Why in blessed Iridala’s name would they pick me?”

    Sam continued to grin, “The priests all had dreams, the same dream actually. The blessed lady came to each of them and said you were to be the one to lead us. Isn’t that fantastic?”

    Pudd groaned, “No Sam it isn’t. What do I know about leading large groups of shirelings? I’ve been a farmer since I was old enough to help my Gaffer in the fields. It’s all I know. The only thing I’ve ever lead is the line to the keg at the pub!”

    Sam’s enthusiasm couldn’t be curbed and helped his friend to his feet, “Awww Pudd you’ll do great, I think you under estimate yourself. Just think, you’ll be the guiding hand behind our people’s new lives here.”

    Pudd just stood quietly, the whole situation becoming overwhelming, the more he thought about it the more it terrified him. Him, leading his people, impossible! Within a minute the whole idea became to much and he simply collapsed.

    Sam stood there momentarily, looking down at his unconscious friend. “Poor guy, he must’ve really needed that nap he mentioned earlier, it’s a good thing he has me here to help him.”

    Sam squatted down and picked Pudd up in his arms and began walking toward the council’s gathering place, the shirefolk’s newly elected leader passed out in his arms.
     
  16. Steel General

    Steel General Master of Temporal Fugue

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    Well I'm sorry to say, that I think this story is going to die. I just don't have the time to work on it.

    Thanks to those who read it, hopefully it gave you a few minutes of enjoyment. :)
     

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