Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

Evermoore - February 2018 - Prologue

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Aiden Skalgi Isle of Asgarn 1 Febris 1018 A.Order

 

The long ship with the red dragon prow was still sliding along the dock when Aiden Skalgi leapt over the rail. He landed on the wooden planks and pushed through the crowd, hurrying toward the shore. His guardsmen followed him, one falling, the others cursing as they tried to keep up with him. Aiden laughed. It was good to be home.

He passed a group of soldiers from Shorian and Kell. He paused to thank them for coming to protect his people. A Shorian officer saluted him. Instead of returning the salute, he clapped the man on his shoulder and told him to come by the great hall.

 

“There will be celebration tonight.”

 

Aiden knew where he would find his family. They would be far from the docks, likely outside of the city, gathered in a camp with others from their town. Poor folk from the outlying communities didn’t have money to purchase rooms in town, so he headed out of the city with his guardsmen trotting behind him.

 

His old friend, Gistav, had picked the guards, all young axmen from noble families wanting to become great through association with him. He did not know them well, but there would be time to win them over and ensure their loyalty. If not, Gistav intended to use them as hostages against their fathers should any raise their axes against Aiden’s claim. None of that was important right now. The only thing that mattered to him was finding his family.

 

He asked directions at the first ramshackle camp he found and was told where to find the people from his village. He could no longer jog. The pace was not fast enough. He broke into a run. He crested a hill and saw a familiar tent. He recognized faces, people from his village. He hollered down to them and his run became a sprint. A few people looked in his direction. His guardsmen hurried to keep pace, some of them falling back. He didn’t care.

 

Thora, his wife, stepped from the tent. She brushed a strand of hair out of her face, looking around to see what the commotion was. Then, her eyes met his. She started to run. They met on the road. Embracing. Kissing. She held his cheeks. “Don’t ever leave again!” she told him.

 

“I won’t,” he promised.

 

His son, Arvid, reached them and wrapped his arms around them both. “Father,” he cried. There were tears on the boys face, but Aiden did not chastise him for being weak, as he generally did. The boy would never be a fighter and that was all right. He had decided that if Arvid wanted to be a scholar, then he would send the boy to Guildhall.

Aiden looked toward the tent. His daughter Disa was limping toward them on her twisted leg, carrying a practice shield and wooden sword. After a short distance, she dropped them in the road in order to hurry. Disa wanted to be a shield maiden, so she would never cry in front of him. He could see the emotion in her face as he embraced her. She was his favorite. His tough little girl, crippled at birth by the gods so cruel, but never giving up on her dream.

 

His family stood together, holding each other for a long time. The fighting men and women of their village started to trickle in. Other families joined in happy reunions, knots of laughter along the road. A few would not be returning and he heard the grief stricken wails. Their sorrow cut him deeply, but he pushed it away. It was not his fault.

He had forced no man or woman to accompany him on the raid to the Dale. They had come on Gunther’s promise of riches and died for that mad fool’s greed. Aiden had picked up the pieces and brought them all home. If not for him and the Guildsmen of Evermoore, they’d still be killing and dying their way across the Dale.

 

“Let’s go home,” Thora said to him, she looked longingly toward the high mountains, far inland from the coast. Towards the village he had once ruled. It had been a poor place and he had no wish to return there.

 

“To our drafty house?” he asked her with a grin. “To our farm of rocks?”

 

She would not meet his eyes. “Let’s just go home and make do,” she said at last.

“Arvin?” asked Aiden. “What about you wanting to be a scholar.”

 

The young man shook his head. “I’ll help on the farm. You and mother can’t do it alone.”

“Let’s go home father,” said Disa. “I can practice sword and shield anywhere. I’m ready for you to teach me some more of your tricks.”

 

“I am sure you are.” He tussled her hair. She dodged away, stumbling slightly on her leg. A stumble like that in a real fight would mean her death.

 

“I practice every day,” she insisted.

 

“She does,” affirmed Thora, but there was a sadness in her voice because she knew that a crippled girl would never be a shield maiden. She would never pass the tests, and if she did, death would find her quickly.

 

“Then let’s go home,” he told them, smiling large to hide his concern.

 

They gathered their things. Aiden helped them, stuffing threadbare blankets, an old pot, five chipped plates, and mis-matched flatware into one sack. Some worn clothes went into the other. The bedding was tied into bundles and soon they stood in front of their tent. Arvin and Disa moved to take it down.

 

“Leave it,” Aiden told them. “Let’s go home.” He started walking back toward the city. His family did not follow. “Come along,” he motioned.

 

“Father,” said Disa, laughing. “Our house is that way.”

 

“No,” Aiden said firmly. “In that direction was the place where four of my children starved, sickened, and died. Our home is this way.”

 

Thora sighed, shook her head. “Aiden,” she said in the voice she used when he carried a joke too far. “We are done with raiding. You were right. Let’s just go home. Children take down the tent.”

 

Arvin and Disa pulled out the stakes and the cloth fell in on itself. Aiden crossed his arms and waited as the children worked.

 

Gistav walked up with another group of raiders returning to their loved ones. Gistav had never married. He always said, ‘why have one woman when you can have many.’ He was Aiden’s oldest friend. His house was down the street from theirs. He was a carpenter by trade, but fancied himself a bard. He’d spend so much time with Aiden and his family that Thora often remarked he was like another child for her to care for.

“Thanks for waiting on the docks,” grumbled Gistav. The large man was out of breath. “I bet you ran the whole way.”

 

“I did,” Aiden replied.

 

“I guess I would have run too if I had Thora to come back to.” Gistav laughed loudly at his joke. “Hello Thora.”

 

“I’m glad you’re not dead.” Thora told him.

 

“What are they doing?” asked Gistav, pointing to the children.

 

“Packing our tent,” Aiden shrugged.

 

“I see that,” Gistav shook his head. “But why?”

 

“My wife told them too. They always listen to her more than they listen me.”

 

The people in the village were beginning to gather around them. Strange looks of awe on their faces. Some were talking to Aiden’s guardsmen. Others were gesturing toward Aiden and looking back to the town.

 

“Children,” said Gistav. “Come over here.”

 

“We are working,” Disa said, indignantly folding the tent. They never listened to Gistav.

Gistav walked over and stepped on the cloth. “You don’t need this old tent.”

 

Disa stood up. “You’re in the way.” Her voice was cross, but she was not angry. Gistav always teased her. “We need that tent to get home.” She pushed his ample belly, but he did not move.

 

“You are home child,” Gistav told her. “Look there.” He pointed to the high house on the hill overlooking the town, dead king Harjen’s Hall with its beautiful woodwork and magnificent views. “That is where you live now. Your father is our King.”

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

Arianna Dale, Princess of the Dale Capital City of the Dale 1 Febris 1018 A.Order

 

SUMMARY: Arianna, Princess of the Dale, arrives home safely accompanied by Mathias of Iron Keep.

 

DRAMATIZATION: Arianna, Princess of the Dale, was coming home. She road up the main street, astride a gallant white stallion, wearing green velvet riding breaches and a matching vest. A hooded mantle covered her shoulder, but she wore the hood down, letting her hair flow out unbraided behind her.

 

Mobs of cheering people filled the streets, calling out her name. People on the rooftops and in the windows tossed out handfuls of flower petals. They fell all around, like a colorful fragrant rain, blanketing the cobblestone streets. Young mothers held up their babies so she could brush her hand along their cheeks. Young men dropped to their knee to swear fealty to the Dale.

 

Ahead trotted a mixed honor guard of the Order of the Dale and the Iron Cross of Holt. Behind marched the Dale soldiers who had met them at the coast and escorted them home. At her side rode Mathias in a beautiful new surcoat emblazoned with the iron cross of his nation. His new armor was polished to a high sheen. Handsome and confident, he looked every bit like a king.

Queen Elizabeth was waiting at the great fountain in the center square, standing at the top of the steps. The bright sun shone down from the blue cloudless sky. The white marble of the fountain sparkled. The spouting water cascaded behind the Queen, and the sunlight formed a rainbow in arcs of mist. Her mother was smiling. It had been such a long time since the Queen had smiled.

Arianna jumped down from her horse, sprinted up the steps, and enfolded her mother in a hug. Decorum be damned, she was home.

 

“My dear,” spoke the Queen. “Are you aright?”

 

“I’m well, mother.”

 

“The Asgarns?” The Queens voice was tight.

 

Arianna stepped back from her mother. “The Asgarns could have done me great harm, but they did not. Aiden Skalgi protected me, and he released us as promised.”

 

The Queen nodded and shifted her gaze to Mathias who had come a short ways up the steps. Arianna waved him forward. He moved to stand by her side.

 

“Mother,” spoke Arianna. “This is Mathias. We are engaged.”

 

The Queen frowned and fixed Mathias with a very cross stare. It was a look that had made strong men tremble. To his credit, Mathias did not flinch before her gaze. “It is customary to gain permission from the parent before making an offer of marriage.”

 

“Mother,” Arianna said, “I asked him.”

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018Edited: Jan 31, 2018

PHILOSOPHER PO ESTATE OF KENDRICK KANE, LUNDELLE 15 Janis 1018 A.Order

 

SUMMARY: Philosopher Po asks Kendrick Kane a few questions about the ceremonies the Karthydians are performing at the energy flows near Evermoore. Kendrick brushes him off, but Celeste explains that the Karthydians are likely trying to use the wellsprings to spread chaos through the world. Master Po is not worried because the minor flows won’t have a major effect, and the Guildsmen of Evermoore control the wellspring nodes around the Inn.

 

DRAMATIZATION: Philosopher Po walked amid the sprawling green lawns of Kendrick Kane’s luxurious estate. Fountains bubbled arcs of spraying water. Evergreen topiaries of exotic animals ran through the yards; a predator croc, a cave bear, a grave beetle and so many more. Tall marble statues lined the long drive denoting heroic Five-Sworn from the Age of Life. He passed many statues recognizing the faces of people he’d met last month in the market at Evermoore. The statues were of older men and women in the twilight of their lives, their faces somber with the troubles of ancient Evermoore, but he could still mark the resemblances.

 

He could just see some of the ocean between the three-story house and the trees along the shoreline. The surf pounded, a soft roar almost covered over by the music from the band playing in the ballroom. The former Charter Sponsor of Evermoore had done well for himself. The house was almost as large as the palace of the Emperor of Shoria.

 

Finely wrought carriages lined the drive, Po gave up counting at thirty-three. It was clear Kendrick was having one of his world famous parties. At the entrance, the doorman refused him admittance, saying in a curt tone, “You must have an invitation.”

 

Po bowed to the man. “I am from Evermoore on dire business from Guildhall.” The door slammed in his face. Po waited patiently.

 

Long minutes later, the doorman returned with a kravynn who was wearing a triangular white tabard and a friendly smile that showed its long needle sharp fangs.

 

“You will accompany the kravynn,” spoke the doorman. “Try not to disturb the guests.”

 

“Thank you,” Po spoke politely. The doorman said nothing.

 

“This way!” The kravynn led the way through the crowded house. Po recognized some of the richest, most powerful people in the realm; high ranking guildsmen, military leaders, wealthy business owners, the sons and daughters of great lords and ladies. The last time he had seen so many important people gathered in the same place was four years ago when Guildhall celebrated the defeat of the antediluvian priests of Shivakas. The Great Hall had been converted into an immense ballroom. Kendrick had been there, too, one of the guests of honor.

 

A band played in the ballroom. Through wide open doors he saw couples dancing in great circles, two steps to the right and two steps to the left, everything in time with the music. A woman offered him finger foods from the silver tray she carried. He declined, politely. Moments later a man with a silver tray full of drinks in fluted crystal approached him. “No thank you,” Po spoke and the man pass him by with a smile.

 

The kravynn admitted Po to a small study where Kendrick waited. The historian stood by the window holding a wine glass and staring through the glass at the silver moon hanging over the ocean. “What can I do for you, Philospher Po?” he asked without turning.

 

Po was surprised at Kendrick’s flat tone. He’d seen the man give lectures and knew him to be an animated speaker. Kendrick took a long drink from the wine glass. Outside the ocean rolled, white waves crashing on the shore.

 

“For the past few months,” began Po, “the Karthydians have been performing violent ceremonies at nodes near Evermoore. The guildsmen have been stopping them, but they keep coming back. I’m an academic, but you’re man who has seen action. You’ve dealt with these dangerous radicals for more than a decade. Help me understand them.”

 

Kendric turned to face him, “Philosopher Po.” His words were slightly slurred by too much drink. “I agreed to see you out of respect for who you are, but I don’t have any information to give you.”

Kendrick was lying. The historian was full of information. Anyone who knew the man, knew he never shut up. He had an answer for everything, and if he didn’t have the answer, he would make one up that sounded so good you’d think it was true.

 

“Mr. Kane,” pressed Po. “I’ve been to the Guildhall Compound. They told me you burned all of your books and notes. That was a labor of a lifetime. Records and information that could have been invaluable to Guildhall, but you burned it all. I know you are leaving much unsaid.”

 

Kendrick slowly took a sip of his wine staring at Po over the rim of the glass. “I can’t keep my guests waiting all night.”

 

Po did not want to be impolite, but this man could help him. “Please, I know there is something I just can’t see.”

 

“There is a lot you can’t see,” said Kendrick. “So much has been forgotten that people don’t even have a reference anymore. Go back to Evermoore. Tell them everything is fine. Let them have as much fun as they can until their world burns. That’s what I am going to do.”

 

“If you have a solution, you should tell us.”

 

Kendrick laughed. The sound was short and bitter, and more of a snort. He shrugged his shoulders and strode past Po toward the open door of the study.

 

“You have an obligation to Guildhall,” Po said firmly.

 

Kendrick stopped as if struck. The historian placed one hand on the frame of the door to steady himself. Then he turned, sloshing wine from his glass onto the carpet. The kravynn, still standing by the door, squawked in horror, pulled a rag from it’s pocket, and started rubbing at the stain. The creature crawling at Kendrick’s feet scrubbing and muttering in offense might have been comical, but Po was drawn to the fury on Kendrick’s face.

 

“An obligation to Guildhall!” Kendrick shouted between clenched teeth. “I have given my life to Guildhall. To the study of our history and the preservation of this realm, but I realized something a short while ago, Philosopher Po. Nobody cares what I have to say. So I’m done telling them how the Five-Sworn wrecked their world. I’m done making suggestions on how they can use history to build a better future.”

 

“Mr. Kane, that is most unfair.”

 

“To the Void with them! And to the Void with my obligation to Guildhall.” Kendrick threw the wineglass against the bookshelf by the window, shattering the glass and splashing red wine everywhere.

 

The kravynn screamed in horror and ran to the book case. It tried in vain to soak up the dripping wine with its little rag. As the kravynn pulled the books from the shelf, Po saw they were not really books, but just leather bindings with print, cheap decorations to give the appearance of a library.

“Unfair? Was it fair when they chopped off the Charter Sponsor’s head at the Guildmaster’s meeting. Was it fair to hold up their palm to another Charter Sponsor and tell him to ‘talk to the hand’ during a Guildmaster’s meeting? Is it fair to me that every time a new person comes to Guildhall they tell that new person, ‘Ignore Kendrick Kane, he almost destroyed the world?’ I guess I should be happy the Guildmasters didn’t sign a petition of incompetence against me . . .”

 

“It was non-confidence,” Po interjected. “A petition of non-confidence.”

 

“To the Void with competence. To the Void with fair! Some things can’t be fixed, Po. Some things are broken beyond repair. It’s done. It’s over. There is nothing left, but the slow slide to oblivion and I’m not going to be a part of that. Now get out of my house and let me enjoy the final days.”

 

Kendrick stumbled away, and a half dozen more kravynn flowed into the room with rags and cleaning sprays. They were all Kravynn of the White. Po had wondered where all the Kravynn of the White had gone. They’d not been seen in Evermoore for a long time. He wondered how Kendrick had found them to hire as his servants. He was thinking about this because he did not want to think about what Kendrick had just said.

 

Was there any truth in how Kendrick felt? It is true, one of the Guildmaster’s had murdered Charter Sponsor Al’tar Shariz in the Guildmaster’s meeting and others had been very cruel to Charter Sponsor Raheed. In fact, almost all of the Charter Sponsors had either met dire fates or been pushed out of office by misguided individuals. The real question was . . . was there any truth to what Kendrick said?

 

No, Kendrick Kane was wrong. Po’s own studies had shown that magic was on the rise. The world was resurging. Skills that had not been seen since the Age of Death are coming back. Magic is stronger than ever. The world was at the dawn of a new renaissance where great things were possible.

 

The air grew chill. The kravynn startled, squeaking they stopped their work and huddled together, ears twitched and eyes grew wider. The air grew colder, and they fled the room, leaving their rags and bottle of cleaning solution lying on the carpet amid the wine stains.

 

Po’s breath misted in front of his face. The bookshelf on the wall opposite the window slid open, pushed by an ethereal hand. Po tried to remember his spell verbals. He had not cast in many years.

“Be not afraid,” spoke a woman’s voice, tight with anger or grief. The quasi-corporeal entity entered into the room from the secret passage, trailing frosty mist behind her. This was Kendrick Kane’s fiancée. She stared at the shattered crystal on the floor and the wine looking like blood. The features of her face twisted in anguish, her emotions rolling off her body chilling the air.

 

“Celeste,” Po spoke to her kindly. He had met her before at a social function. “Are you well?”

 

“I was listening behind the wall.” She turned to face him. “I was hoping for news of Evermoore. Hoping that maybe something would change his mind.”

 

“What has happened to him?” asked Po.

 

“He found something . . . something that changed him. I think it broke him,” she whispered, “It happened last May. He won’t tell me what it was. He won’t even talk about it. I found him standing next to the bonfire of all his work.” Tears of blood began sliding down her face and the room grew colder. “It was the labor of a lifetime. Everything he loved. Everything that made him who he was. He just burned it all, and we came here . . . Here to this empty life of endless parties.”

 

“I’m sorry.” Po said, feeling helpless in the face of her pain.

 

“The question you asked Kendrick . . .” she said softly, wiping her eyes. “I can answer that for you. The Karthydians are hoping to taint the world with chaos in an effort to bring about the Age of Chaos.”

 

“Is that what’s affecting Kendrick?” asked Po. “Does he think we made a mistake in releasing order and chaos?”

 

“No, Kendrick believed if the guildsmen had not released the energy, or had released it incorrectly, it would have lead to a cataclysmic explosion. Kendrick believes that the guildsmen at the start of the Age of Order intended to release the magic after the world was stabilized. He thinks later guildsmen may have destroyed the records in the hopes of leaving these magics uncovered.”

 

“So what do we do?” Po asked.

 

“The nodes outside of Evermoore are important for the local area, but not to the world,” explained Celeste who had lived during a time when ceremonies were common and people used the fundamental energies in everyday life. “The wellspring nodes at the Inn are the real danger. If the Karthydians can reach those nodes, they can affect the world. If they can’t reach those nodes, then they cannot accomplish any real damage to the world with their ceremonies.”

 

Po understood immediately. “The Karthydians are attacking the local nodes to destabilized the area around Evermoore so that the Inn is weakened. Theguildsmen will spend resources and exhaust themselves dealing with other problems and when Evermoore is weak . . .”

 

“They will strike for the Inn.” Celeste finished the sentence for him.

 

“Just like how the Shivakans attacked us to gain control of the energy flows at the Inn!” gasped Po.

 

“We need to stop the Karthydians from affecting the local flows.”

 

“Yes, but be careful,” warned Celeste. “Tell the guildsmen not to kill the Karthydians on the energy flows, that just makes them martyrs for their cause. Their violent deaths at the nodes will negatively affect the flows you are trying to protect.”

 

“The guildsmen will have to push them off the nodes first,” Po mused.

 

“Exactly,” agreed Celeste, “You can’t kill on a node, and then say a few words to erase the violence of your act. Ceremonies don’t work like that. They react to what is in your heart.”

 

Po gasped, “The guildsmen have been doing just that! They’ve been killing the Karthydians on the nodes and then doing peaceful ceremonies. There was only a little improvement in the nodes. I will tell them of your advice, and I am sure their ceremonies will be more effective. Thank you.”

 

She nodded. The room was growing warm again as her anger and grief was fading. “If you or the other Guildsmen have any questions about ceremonies, you may contact me with the mana mirror. I was no Five-Sworn, but magic was everywhere in the Crystal City during the Age of Life. Even us common people learned a little about how to use the flows. I will tell what I remember, but it has been two thousand years. Memories fade.”

 

The room chilled again as she grew melancholy. “If only some memories would fade . . . ”

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018Edited: Jan 31, 2018

MILTON KRAPE, SHERIFF OF HOLT CROSS TOWER KEEP, EVERMOORE 31 Janis 1018 A.Order

 

SUMMARY: Holt forces at Cross Tower Keep are frustrated with Sheriff Krape’s failure to find the Shorian Assassins who killed Marshal Weiss in Holt last fall. Ser Ebon and his military units are assigned to help Sheriff Krape find the killers. He plans on searching villages around the ring fort.

 

DRAMATIZATION: Sheriff Krape walked into Marshall Miles Strand’s office at Cross Tower Keep. Miles was seated behind his desk. Ser Egon sat in front of the desk reclining in a leather bound armchair. The men were laughing, but stopped as Krape walked in.

 

“Sit down, Krape,” said Miles, all business. “How is the world ambassador these days?”

 

Miles was petty and jealous, with political ambitions that had led him to Evermoore in the hopes of gaining fame. Last year, the Guildsmen at the Inn had thwarted his effort to bring highlanders to justice and he hated them for it. He also hated Krape for a long list of reasons. Foremost was that Krape been summoned to see King Justin and was able to negotiate with the Asgarns. Miles wanted that fame and glory for himself.

 

“I am well,” Krape replied.

 

“I want a report on your efforts to find the Shorians who murdered Marshal Weiss last fall.”

 

“There is nothing to report,” Krape replied. “I have not located them. The Shorians I have interviewed say the assassins are like smoke fading away in the air.”

 

“I don’t care about the mysticism. I need results,” Miles snapped. “I expected this failure. I do not know why King Justine thinks so highly of you. You’d still be cleaning the pig pens if not for his majesty’s favor.”

 

Krape said nothing, even though an “Eldin, protect the King” was the socially required response in such a circumstance.

 

Miles cleared his throat and continued, “I need action on this matter so I am assigning Ser Ebon to act more directly. He will enter Shorian villages under the extradition powers and search for the assassins. I want door-to-door searches. You and your deputies will assist the soldiers by identifying the locations of the smaller villages.”

 

“The Guildsmen of Evermoore will see this as an instigation of violence,” Krape said.

 

“We are within our legal rights,” said Ser Ebon. “If the Guild Council at the Inn passes a law to stop us, we will press an accusation of our own, Obstruction of Justice. We will see 13 Guildmasters purgated!”

 

“We must ensure that our search is lawful,” Krape said. “Otherwise, we may be the ones purgated.”

 

“Do what you need to see it done,” snapped Miles. “You Guildsmen and your shortsighted laws. We need action. Not more lectures on legal policy and morality. Both of you get it done. Find me those assassins!”

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018Edited: Jan 31, 2018

Mistress Sabine in her Xanadite Meetinghouse at the End of a Sermon 21 Janis 1018 Age of Order

 

“...and that is the true way of Xanadu. Thank you.” The final words of Mistress Sabine’s sermon were met with raucous applause. Her loyal congregation sat before her in the Meetinghouse, and some were in tears as they clapped. Sabine smiled and waved at the crowd and then began to organize the papers on her lectern. Just as she was about to grab them to leave, she was stopped.

 

“Mistress, I need a word.” It was her most faithful and trusted advisor. Knowing it had to be important, she put the papers back on the lectern and went to speak with the wizard.

“What is it?” She asked as she was lead off stage. Her congregation was slowly exiting now and the hall was growing quiet. The wizard spoke softly, “Our efforts to reach out to Lydia have failed again.”

Sabine exhaled sharply and adjusted an ornate, beautiful dagger that always hung from her belt loop, “She is the only Guildsmen who seems to be on our side, you must keep trying. We need her here. Especially for Xanadu’s Tryst.”

“Yes, Mistress,” the wizard lingered silently for a moment too long. Sabine narrowed her eyes, “What else do you want.”

“We can no longer stay in this Meetinghouse,” the wizard replied.

“This Meetinghouse has stood here for hundreds of years,” Sabine batted away the suggestion, “it’s passed the hands of Xanadite Clerics for generations, and when I swore to be its next steward it was an oath I took for life.” Sabine turned away to start back to the stage and lectern.

“Mistress, it’s not safe for you. For me. For your congregation. We’re too out in the open here,” the wizard seemed to be pleading. “Everyday I expect The Order of the Rack to come marching up to our doors to destroy all of our… all of your hard work,” the voice of the wizard was reaching exasperation, “and all because of THAT woman!”

Sabine stopped, her back turned on her advisor. Her silence was heavy. It propagated a tense energy that felt like a heated argument, but the room was empty and Sabine stood seemingly alone. Again, Sabine absentmindedly handled the ornate, old dagger always by her side. The wizard shrank. This was the worst part about working with Sabine; her personality pivots were volatile, and that deeply ruminative silence that felt like an invisible feud was worrisome. But before Sabine could turn to respond and reduce her advisor to a quivering puddle, a dreadful knock came to the door.

Without waiting for an invitation, in strode three armored and decorated members of The Order of the Rack. The wizard nearly fainted at their approach, but Sabine only looked furious. Her feet remained planted as they made their way to her.

“Mistress Sabine,” the most decorated soldier spoke up, “we are here to inform you that your affiliation in the sacred Order of the Rack is terminated. All funding, resources, protection, archive access, social associations, and honor granted to you by your membership therein is terminated. We ask that you relinquish your position as Cleric of this hallowed Meetinghouse. If you understand, say yes.”

Sabine’s initial fury with the wizard had subsided, though the wizard still stood by Sabine’s side absolutely stunned and trembling. With almost a smirk, Sabine complied, “Yes.”

The soldier nodded, emotionless, “We grant you 24 hours to remove all personal items and to restore the Meetinghouse to the clean and orderly state in which you first received it.”

“You want me to fill-in the new basement too?” Sabine looked like she was going to burst with laughter.

The soldier shifted the weight of his feet, “The… ‘basement’ you’ve since built will most likely be evidence when Guildhall decides to indict you.”

Sabine let out a laugh so uproarious that it sounded like it had been storing up for ages. “You’re going to let glorious Guildhall dispense the justice for you, huh?”

“Your excommunication from the Order is justice enough from us,” the soldier responded harshly, but the severity seemed to fall on deaf ears. Sabine was positively grinning.

“Okay, okay,” she relented, controlling her laughter, “I’ll see you in 24 hours.”

“No, you misunderstand,” the soldier replied, “We will be stationed here to oversee your eviction and to ensure the preservation of this consecrated site.”

At this announcement, Sabine’s amusement ended. A serious look returned to her face. “You will? Interesting…” the wizard recognized a change of pitch to her voice, and then that calculated silence. “My dear friend,” Sabine turned to the wizard, an odd calmness to her expression, “our devoted servants should be informed of our eviction and begin cleaning this mess up right away.” The wizard hesitated, confused at first, and then realization flashed over their face. The wizard left in the direction of the basement.

“I appreciate you coming here yourselves to personally deliver an eviction. It’s sweet. I bet you think it preserves my dignity,” Sabine began to saunter nonchalantly around the three soldiers. The decorated soldier looked on, unfazed, “We were comrades once, Sabine. We’ve fought alongside each other. You’ve brought me back to life. But you’ve forced our hand. We will not condone your actions if it misaligns with Guildhall’s laws. Not to mention your sermons--”

“What about my sermons?” Sabine interjected.

“Your teachings have become radical these past few months. Don’t be coy. I hear what you’ve begun preaching to your followers. I know about the content of your ‘fight pits’ and the people you let in now. It’s almost heresy,” the soldier shot back. His two companions voiced their assent. Sabine seemed unaffected by his accusations and continued her nonchalant saunter, now resting her palm on the pommel of her dagger. “You also know I have happy congregants, and many of them. We all have different ways to worship. If my memory serves me correctly, I know you have a very… expressive… way of worshiping our goddess Xanadu,” Sabine leered playfully.

“We’re done here,” said the soldier, with just a passing hint of bashfulness. “No one enters or leaves this Meetinghouse, are we clear? Be grateful we’re not dragging you off to Guildhall. They’ll find you soon enough.” The soldier turned on his heel and his two companions followed suit.

Once they turned to leave, they stood face-to-face with a dozen weathered looking fighters. They wore a jumble of mismatched armor, grasping a medley of deadly weapons. Some were wearing tattered brown tabards, others had strange elaborate costuming, like they were about to perform on stage. They all looked a little filthy, but no less intimidating. There was a glassy far-off look in all of their eyes, as if they weren’t fully present. Or not totally in control. This frightened the soldiers most of all.

“What is this?” The decorated soldier demanded. He turned to Sabine, “You wouldn’t stoop this low. We knew each other once, Sabine. You wouldn’t do this.”

“Oh, comrade,” Sabine smiled, “we’re only following your orders. No one leaves.” At that moment, a beautiful woman walked to Sabine’s side. She had no weapons, no armor, not even shoes, and wore the colorful, jingly attire of a young Giovy. She seemed tired but unhurt.

“Mistress, what would you like me to sing to you today?”

“So kind of you to ask. What a pretty song bird you are,” Sabine brushed a strand of Marcella’s hair back.

The soldiers unsheathed their weapons and took a strong defensive stance, eyes darting between the fighters and Sabine. They were surrounded.

“How about…” Sabine mused, eyeing up the soldiers like a hot meal, “Your loveliest rendition of Resilience. NOW!”

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

Player Prologue For Murkon Whitetail The Whitetail Estate Desk of Murkon Whitetail 30 Janis 1018 A.Order

 

Summary: Murkon Whitetail sends a letter to Kendrick Kane to invite him and Celeste to Lover's Day which is returned by the carrier to Murkon, unopened.

 

Murkon is sitting behind his strong oak desk. He keeps adjusting and fidgeting in his seat. The mark of a man who would much rather be up and moving than sitting here. He looked out his window at the fields bare for the winter. Before he knew it he'd have more work than he knew what to do with once the ground thaws and the planting season begins. He longs for those days. With Spring comes rebirth and the Dale could use some rebirth after the past year they've had. A return to the normal would be good for the people of this country.A year without war and destruction.

 

He is snapped back to reality to a knock on the door. "Come in." It's his messenger! He's been eagerly awaiting this letter. Murkon stands to greet him. "Come in sit down take a rest."

 

The man comes and sits down but doesn't seem nearly as happy. Murkon reading the room recognizes something hasn't gone as he'd hoped. "What's the matter? Did he not reply? That's ok as long as he reads it and hopefully shows up he doesn't need to reply." He says sounding a little disappointed.

 

The man's face turns more somber. "Not entirely Mister Whitetail." He reaches into his satchel and pulls out an envelope.

 

Murkon can see immediately his hand writing on the envelope. He reaches out for the letter he looks at it examining the outside. "Unopened?" Murkon says.

 

"He wasn't even interested in reading it sir. The doorman took the letter from me read who it was from and then took it to somewhere in the house. Then he returned and handed it back to me and slammed the door in my face."

 

Murkon turned the letter over hastily written across the front "Return to sender" Murkon looks to the man. "Thank you for your help you can't make them read it all you can do is try and deliver it. Head to the main house get some food and take some home for your family. Speak with Raze to get your payment, thank you."

 

As the man leaves the room Murkon opens the letter and places it on the table. "If only he read it." Murkon stands up from his desk grabs his cloak hanging off the coat rack and his bow and quiver and leaves the room

 

The letter reads:

 

Dear Kendrick Kane,

 

I'd like to formally invite you and Celeste to our Lovers day market. I think your presence would be greatly appreciated as the love you two share for each other is rivaled only by Noctis and Lumina themselves. I can say confidently that the Tradesmen of Evermoore would love to see you and what better way to teach newer tradesmen about love than a pure example such as yourselves. I hope this letter finds you well.I hope to hear from you soon, and see you shortly after that.

 

In Love, Truth, Honor, and Eternal Fraternity,

Murkon Whitetail Mayor of Evermoore

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

Player Prologue For Sam, with Ought, Murkon, Avies, Alistar, Cloud'ku During Janis, A.Order. At the Whitetail Estate

 

Summary: Sam's purgation punishment is carried out by Ought Whitetail as a result of her trial for crimes committed against Merry Mistletoe and her property during Yule.

 

The day was unseasonably warm for winter, when Sam met Ought at the Whitetail Estate. They made their way to the garden, (one of the small mana nodes on the vast property). Making forced small talk along the way, they tried to discuss anything but the reason they were meeting. Ought’s pouch felt heavy, even though the only thing in it was a small vial of ritual powder. Eventually, the pair ran out of things to say, so they walked in comfortable, albeit worried silence. Wordlessly, Ought put his arm around Sam’s shoulder. They met up with Murkon and Avies on their way to the garden. “There’s a couple more people waiting at the garden,” Avies let everyone know.

 

“I will never understand,” mused Ought, “why people want to witness the purgation of a friend. I don’t even enjoy performing them. Especially in such a large quantity of skills. Guildhall has sent a few representatives, in case we don’t have enough for the casting itself, but... ” He trailed off...

 

Murkon took a breath, “They come to show support. They’re not here for a show. You don’t have to be anxious. No one holds any illusions as to why we’re here, what’s going to happen, or what lead us to this point.”

 

Sam was uncharacteristically silent during the discussion. Her stomach turned. She knew what would happen when she acted that Yule night. She knew what she was risking, but in her mind, she had decided the actions she took were worth the risk. Her mind flashed back to her first purgation. She could remember being in pain during the ritual, but could not remember the pain itself. Maybe that was for the best.

The group made it to the garden, and greeted those who were there. After everyone was done saying hellos, Murkon gave Sam a hug and a kiss, and stepped back. Ought cleared his throat and started to speak.

 

“Before we begin, a purgation requires at least 5 participants to act as conduits, through which I will purgate the requested skills from the recip…” He stopped, took a breath and continued, “from Sam. Does anyone wish to act as a conduit?” He looked to those who stepped forward, “thank you for your contribution.” Distributing a few packets of ritual powder, he states, “Now we can begin this ritual of purgation!”

 

Ought opened his vial of ritual powder, it was only vaguely different from the rest. A bit darker, with a bit more sparkle to it, “First we will combine the powders together with our intent, and the grace of the Five.” As he poured the vial into a small wooden bowl, he called out clearly, “I call upon the power of Karthis, God of Chaos and disarray. Through you we see the confusion of lawlessness, and in your honor, we acknowledge the acts that brought us here. Laws were broken, promises to keep peace went unfulfilled. While we acknowledge the benefits of inconsistency, we ask your blessing to make this injustice right.”

 

A young man from the Guildhall Compound poured his powder into the bowl. He narrowed his eyes at Sam, as he bellowed, “Lady Lumina, Goddess of Light, though it is a dark day when we must subject someone to a purgation, illuminate our task, that we may see the path towards justice.

Alistar followed in suit, and called out, pausing for thought every so often, “Noctis, Lord of Night.... It is in the dark cloud of emotion that these transgressions were made.... We ask that you inspire empathy and discipline so we may learn from this... endeavor of justice."

 

Murkon poured his powder into the pile in the bowl, saying, “I call upon Natallis, Goddess of Nature and creation! We ask that you dedicate your nurturing essence to cultivate peace within Sam. May your grace help her reap what has been sown."

 

Taking a deep breath, Cloud’Ku added his powder to the bowl. “Solnus! I call upon you, God of Order and Righteousness! We ask you to guide Sam to her justice. May it be deserved and true.”

Finally, Avies added his powder to the bowl. “We ask that the realm lend it’s energies to this ritual. May the forces and flows of Mana move freely, and unhindered to their goal.”

 

Wincing, Ought took the bowl, ready to begin the next part of the ritual. He instructed the participants where to stand, and showed them how to place their hands, outstretched at their sides, with palms facing inwards.

 

“You will act as a conduit of the will of the Five,” he exclaimed. “Through You, the ritual’s magic will find it’s true target. This ritual is an arduous journey for everyone involved. This will not be a pleasant experience, and for that, I am sorry.” He turned to face Sam. “Are you ready” he whispered, barely audible. Sam nodded and braced herself.

 

Ought took a handful of the powder, and tossed it over her head. Shivering, she looked up to him, waiting for the next part of the ritual. When Ought placed a hand on her head, the shivering turned to spasms, and Ought guided her safely to kneeling.

 

Sam writhed in pain, as the Cleric narrated when he was removing each skill. The conduits stood strong, but, acting as a channel for mana takes it’s toll. Every once in a while, one would wince, or cry out in pain or anguish as they would get a backwave of what Sam or Ought was feeling. Visions of the sea, of maps, and wind flashed through them as the memory of skills learned flowed out of Sam’s mind, through them, and harmlessly into the realm.

 

At the conclusion of the ritual, all participants were exhausted and drained. Sam crumpled to the ground, and Ought held her until she could regain her footing. Murkon joined them, helped her to her feet and walked them back to the house so they could rest.

Jarod T.
Feb 2, 2018

Player Prologue for Fallion Bloodclaw In the Fertile City

The sun was just starting to hit the horizon, sending a strong red glow over the Fertile city. Fallion Bloodlcaw adjusted himself in his seat to avoid the glare and peered down at the parchments in front of him once more. His classroom was empty except for him and his piles of work to be graded. He sat in a long robe of red and black, a quill twirling between his fingers. “By Raptus...did none of them study? I literally handed them the reference sheets on navigational tools and cartography! How do you do this bad with a reference sheet? And they want to be navigators?”

He made a few marks on the exam and looked up from his work to see a two young Rakarrins staring at him from the open doorway, a male and a female. They were two of his now-former students. Fallion waved them in as he added the marked exam to the growing piling beside him.

He chuckled as he addressed them, “Cora and Vernic, you do realize you don’t need to come to class anymore right? I have your finals for your law class over here. Good job, I expect great things of you. Just be careful not to confuse some of the laws of individuals versus businesses, Vernic. That could be nasty when you get a job.”

Cora was calico colored, slim, and handled herself with grace. Vernic was slightly taller than Cora with solid black fur. Both approached Fallion’s desk, looks of slight apprehension on their faces. Cora asked, “Professor Bloodclaw, we had a question for you...but we thought it would be best to wait until the semester was over.”

Fallion continued to look over the exams in front of him and gestured with his hand towards the two of them. Cora and Vernic exchanged a look before Vernic sat down on one of the desk in the room. Vernic addressed Fallion, “Well you see...we heard a rumor about...well you.”

Fallion smiled to himself and chuckled, “Oh I assure you. Rumors are just rumors. I’m sure one of my past students was just making fun of me or trying to scare the freshmen.” Cora looked from Vernic to Fallion before blurting, “You were a Rogue for Guildhall! You used to be called ‘Stripes’, and you belonged to the Jade Skull! You fought the Void Beast, the Comedy of the Damned, Shivakins, and undead armies even!”

Fallion stopped marking the exam in front him and leaned back in his chair, a smile across his face. “Oh, that is an interesting rumor. I wonder who has an imagination big enough to come up with a story like that. Come now, can you imagine me being a Rogue of all things? I’m just a professor here at the university.”

Vernic gestured to Fallion and looked at Cora. “See? I told you it was baseless rumors! No offense professor, but I don’t see how you being a Rogue is possible. You don’t have that air about you.”

Fallion chuckled and pointed his quill at Vernic. “You’re lucky you’re not in my class anymore or else you’d be feeling that remark on your next writing assignment. Now the two of you should run along. Go celebrate. I already checked with your other professors. Your grades are in and you’re graduating. You should have some fun.”

Cora and Vernic nodded and walked towards the door. Cora lingered in the doorway, observing Fallion at his desk. “I know it’s true. Rumors like that don’t just appear out of thin air, Professor Bloodclaw. So thank you for your work at guildhall...but I don’t understand why you came here. Don’t you think you should be back out there? You know...fighting?”

Fallion stood up from his desk and fixed the papers on his desk. He offered a gentle smile to the young Rakarrin. “My dear, I’m right where I’m supposed to be...working with the future of our world. Don’t let rumors get to you. A rumor is just a rumor…”

Cora stared at Fallion for a few more moments before frowning and turning down the hallway. Fallion sighed and walked over to the window in the room. Outside he could look over most of the Fertile City. He produced an unsealed letter from his pocket and rubbed its edges with his fingers. “Maybe...maybe a visit wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

Fallion slung a pouch over his shoulder and left his classroom, taking one last glance around the empty seats before closing the door.

New Posts
  • Jarod T.
    Feb 21, 2018

    PHILOSOPHER PO QUAY, EVERMOORE SUMMARY: Po sends a group of angry Shorians home and reaches out to the guildsmen of Evermoore to patrol the roads around the Ring Fort to try and deter the Stick-Killer from striking again. DRAMATIZATION: The mob of angry Shorians surged forward. Their leader was a big man, dressed in a fur-rimmed conical hat, a fur vest, and deer hide breeches held up by a belt of flat metal disks. He was from the steppes of Shoria and carried a large heavy curved sword with jingling rings set into the back edge. The others in the mob were Shorians from the northern coast wearing cloth jackets held closed with little knotted ties and Shorians from the southern coast wearing their jackets held closed by sashes around the waist. All were armed with make-shift weapons, mostly farming implements. Po Quay stood in their path and raised both hands. For a long moment he thought the mob of angry Shorians would try and push past him, perhaps even trample him in their frustration, but at the last moment they yielded, stopping an arms distance from him. “We are hunting the Stick-Killer!” shouted the man in front. “The murderers of our people must be found!” Other voices cried out in support. ‘What good will your anger do?” Po raised his hands to try and quiet them. “You are a mob who will do violence to anyone you find in these woods.” “We must do something,” shouted a woman from back. “Your anger is righteous,” Po told them, “but it is not productive.” The murders had started a month ago, Shorians and Asgarns killed on the road, by a maniac who left sticks at the scene of the crime. The bodies were beaten to death and horribly mutilated. Investigations revealed little. The killer or killers had wiped away any forensic evidence of their identity with swishing branches. The only clues were the sticks and the violence of the scene. “You will not find anything wandering these woods as you are.” “The land around the ring fort belongs to the Northern Confederation,” the big man looked down at Po. “We are going to question travelers.” “You do not need clubs, pitch forks, and axe handles to speak.” Po met their eyes, one by one. “We do if we meet the Stick-Killer,” boasted the big man. “You’ll never meet the Stick-Killer,” countered Po. “We have a right to patrol.” A small man stepped to the front of the group and addressed the big man. “Peng, Philosopher Po is right. We are doing no good out here, blundering down these trails. The killers will see or hear us coming and move into the shadows.” “Shut your coward mouth, Xing,” Peng raised a meaty fist. Xing was not intimidated. “Your anger is more than justified. Peng, your brother was among the slain. We all feel his loss, but truly, the only people we will find out here will be innocent travelers. We will accost innocent people to no purpose. While we are out here, our families are in danger.” “Xing has the right of it. Go home to your families,” said Po. “The guildsmen of Evermoore will be patrolling your roads. While you are out here uselessly wandering, your families are undefended. Protect them and leave the hunting of the Stick-Killers to the guildsmen of Evermoore.” “Let us all go home,” Xing implored them. “We can protect those who we love and let the guildsmen handle the roads.” Peng looked around him. Already his support was fading away. “Philosopher.” He spoke the word like a curse. “You talk overly much. Those of us who want action have sent for the Oathbound. There have not been Oathbound in Evermoore in many years so others think us easy prey. That will change when the Oathbound arrive.” Peng and the others left. Xing remained behind to confide in Po. “Peng is a sore man, but he speaks the truth. The Oathbound will not allow our people to be killed without an answer. They will demand blood for blood. Whoever did this will pay dearly when the Oathbound arrive with their retinues of honor and glory.” Po knew Xing spoke the truth. Though the Oathbound were honorable men and women, they took honor very serious. Their whole lives revolved around their oaths of service to a person or sometimes a cause. There were not as many Oathbound in Shoria today as their once were, but there are enough to make them a force in their society. Those who remained carried on a heritage established in the Age of Life. Their lore is steeped in mysticism and the people of Shoria idolize them. They wear colorful armor of cloth, cord, and laminate and carry two special swords pushed through a belt tied at their waist. The Oathbound would be hard to handle, but they could be managed so long as their honor was not offended. The real problem would be the Oathbroken. These are men and women with broken oaths coming for a chance to atone for their dishonor. They will come to Evermoore as well, following on the heels of the Oathbound, seeking to end their disgrace by doing some act of glory. Many Oathbroken are drunkards and criminals who have fallen far from the honor they once held. They are an uncontrolled, desperate element of Shorian society. “Perhaps we will be able to have the situation in hand by the time they arrive,” Po said. “That would be best.” Xing agreed. “You had best go home.” Po bowed to Xing who returned honor and withdrew, rushing home to his family. Po pulled his mana mirror from the pocket of his pants and began typing out a message, “Guildsmen of Evermoore. I spoke with many of you last market day and you promised to help patrol around the ring fort to protect the Shorian and Asgarn who live in the area. I would like to coordinate our efforts. If you will be spending the time between this market patrolling, please send me a message on this thread.” “I know many of you are already busy. Groups are researching the sticks to try and find out as much as possible about the Stick-Killer from academic sources. Others are dealing with the Karthydian problem, examining the maps discovered during the Sunday morning raid into the Tar Field in order to determine the locations of the nodes the Karthdyians will be trying to convert to Chaos. These task are very important and will likely require your full effort, but there were over 100 guildsmen at the last market and at least a dozen of you promised to help me.” “Guildmasters not researching the sticks or examining the map, gather your guilds and bring them to patrol. Those of you who have military orders, please assemble them. We may not stop every attack, but we can try. Guildsmen assemble!” [Out-of-Play Note: If you want your character to participate in the guarding of the roads around the Ring Fort send Philosopher Po a real-time, in-play message on this thread and your character can then roleplay at the event that you spent the intervening time protecting Shorians and Asgarns. The number of Guildsmen "patrolling" will affect the number of attacks that occur between the events so your between event activity will have a direct relation to your world.]
  • Jarod T.
    Feb 21, 2018

    February 2018 | Epilogue (4 Febris 1018 Sunday) “You WILL help and get them,” Shannon [ Kathleen Burns ] looked defiantly into Sabine’s eyes. The merriment of the Dance of Colors whirled around them. Sabine’s stomach turned. “Yes… I will,” she replied. Xanatos [ Alex Pertgen ] laid a kind hand on Sabine’s arm. “I’ll come with you.” He was instrumental in her freedom from Ionnes’s possession and was one of her biggest advocates. This consoled her. “And you have my help, as well, if you want it,” said a familiar voice from behind her. It was Rex [ Mark Ion ], another generous Guildsmen responsible for her return. “Hey! What are we doing?!” Piped up the cheery, musical voice of Tristan [ Robert Park ]. “Dance of Colors after-party? ...Xanadite style?” The tension roiling between Sabine and Shannon subsided for a moment as they both smiled at his suggestion. Shannon cleared her throat and regained her serious tone, “We’re freeing the remaining Tradesmen of the fight pits who are still imprisoned. Sabine has agreed to guide us there. We leave tomorrow afternoon.” Tristan nodded, “I’m in.” And so the plans were set. And their mission was clear. But that night Sabine didn’t sleep. Was it the silence? Ionnes’s furious voice was no longer filling up her mind for the first time in 6 months. He knew everything about her since he had been pretending to be her for so long. He had access to every memory, every fear, every dark corner of her, and even the food she liked and her favorite song. Was it wrong to say she… missed being so known? “No! No! No!” Guilt, shame, remorse; wash, rinse, repeat. The morning came and she rose out of duty, ready to begin her first day of atonement. Sabine stood in front of the Roasted Dragon Inn, waiting for Shannon, Xanatos, Rex, and Tristan as they said goodbye to their comrades gathering into their caravans to leave the Market Day. She absent-mindedly kicked the gravel to distract herself from her nerves. Knowing she’d soon look into the faces of those she had hurt… she kicked and kicked and kicked the stones. “Um… what are you doing?” A gentle, inquisitive voice asked. Sabine looked up and saw Lydia [ Valerie Fairchild ]… but it was Wisteria who looked back at her with a puzzled look on her face. “I’m, I…the rocks…” Sabine stammered lamely, caught off guard. Not a moment too soon, her party arrived. The three gentlemen greeted her with a smile, while Shannon frowned, all business. “Lead the way,” she said. “I’d like Lydi--Wisteria to come,” Sabine said. “Of course, we could always use more Guildsmen to free the imprisoned,” replied Shannon, “You alright to join us, Wisteria?” Wisteria nodded, still giving Sabine a curious, searching look. The party of 6 started on their journey into the Forlornes. Along the way to pass the time, the group started a discussion about what it means to be a Xanadite. “Well, of course Xanadites have more fun--” laughed Tristan. Xanatos shared his experiences when it came to worship, and even had Sabine blushing. Shannon recalled one version of Xanadu’s creation story, “As the story goes, Noctis sacrificed himself for the creation of Xanadu so that brother would not turn against brother, and that the Age of Order would last for eternity.” Rex, though not a Xanadite like his other 5 companions, showed a lively interest in the lore. Lydia--Wisteria--remained in silent rumination. For the most part their journey was undeterred, though they did encounter the occasional hungry Cold beast. Finally, after weaving through miles of densely grown trees, Sabine stopped at a cave. They were standing in a deeply forested area, so canvased with tall, old evergreens that it made their midday journey appear like a shadowy twilight. “Here we are,” said Sabine, beginning to unlatch a ring of keys from her belt. Her hands shook. The unusually night-like afternoon and the chill in the air sent a eerie tingle down everyone’s spine. Rex lit a lantern, and the party entered the dark cave. Something was wrong. Whenever Ionnes had possessed Sabine to come here, the pleading, tired voices of the prisoners was the first thing she heard. She waited for those voices, their curses, their prayers. In a panic, she stole the lantern from Rex’s hand and ran ahead with it to the captured Tradesmen’s cells. The warm light of the lantern cast down onto empty cells, doors swung open. Sabine’s eyes widened and she fell to her knees on the earthen floor. The rest of the party caught up to her and examined the dozen empty cells. “Where are they?” Asked Shannon. “I don’t know…” Sabine replied softly. Shannon saw the devastated look on Sabine’s face and asked gently, “Are they somewhere else? Do you have more holding cells? Who else knew about them?” Sabine replied, “No more cells, I’m sorry, I don’t know…” she stared with unfocused eyes at the cell before her. “Could this help?” Lydia/Wisteria’s gentle voice chimed in from the dark. She walked over to Sabine and held out a note. “It was tied to a cell.” Illuminated under the lantern light, Xanatos crouched down next to Sabine and read the note aloud: [Attached as Image] Shannon was the first to speak, “Freya [ Kat A Lindia ]… I helped to dispel her subservience last night. She inspired me to come here with you, to save these Tradesmen.” Sabine still seemed to be in a daze. Xanatos spoke up in the dark cave, his words almost haunting, “She wasn’t looking for reconciliation when you dispelled her, Shannon. She was looking for revenge.” Shannon’s matter-of-fact response rang in Sabine’s ears: “Yeah, pretty obvious. She said she wanted to kill Sabine…”
  • Jarod T.
    Jan 31, 2018

    ISLE OF ASGARN, LANDS OF THE ANCIENT PATH SUMMARY: Many tribes of the Ancient Path were ready for war. They wanted to swoop down and drive the Asgarns into the sea, to reclaim their island. But they saw the nations of Shoria and Kell landing troops on the coast of Asgarn. They also heard that Holt did not hold up their end of the bargain in destroying the Asgarn army on the continent. Further, Ancient Path Guildsmen from Evermoore came to the Island of Asgarn and spoke out against the attack (see player prologue). Additionally, there is a potential for a reunification of the Northern Confederation and shifting political alliances in the Five Kingdoms. The Ancient Path were also told of valuable gold deposits on their lands. The shiny metal is very important to outsiders. Together this was enough to stop the planned attack for the foreseeable future (The decision to attack or not was determined by a dice roll with assigned percentages giving weight to the above and other considerations based directly on the actions and inactions of players.). The ancient path army is melting away leaving Vynira, the priestess and her son, Vicaryl, a great war leader, bitter, angry, and seeking revenge. Vynira says, “We shall go to Evermoore and deal with these Guildmasters and others who have prevented our rise to greatness, but only after visiting Holt and dealing with King Justin's betrayal.” DRAMATIZATION: This dramatization will be completed after 2018 rules update.

2017 by Mystic Realms, LTD.

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