Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

Evermoore - November 2017 - Prologue

5 comments

A CULTIST-INFESTED TOWN IN THE FORLORN MOUNTAINS

 

A bubbling pit of inky slime lay before the treacherous Cult of D'khar. The well near the village had been dug out. The cultists no longer cared to keep the nature of their village hid. They had found what they were seeking.

The leader of the cult stepped forward. He barely looked human anymore. Phage spoke, his voice oddly comforting and quiet.

"My faithful followers. Those that serve Shivakas and those that have rightfully turned on their Guildhall Oaths, we have finally found a dormant Spawn of Shivakas. Most importantly, it is the spawn that blessed me with arcane powers in my adolescent years. D'khar, spawn of Treachery, Secrets, and Deceit!"

The cultists murmured, clearly uncomfortable in the presence of a fragment of Shivakas. The bubbling pit did not respond to the introduction.

A guildsmen that turned on their oath stepped forward, "Master Phage? It just looks like oil."

Phage chuckled at the remark. "Well of course. D'khar is dormant. Follower, do you know what a God needs to gain power? Sacrifice. A great and powerful magical sacrifice to awaken it from it's slumber. Bring me the heart of Atos."

Two purple hooded cultists scurried off into one of the village houses. Moments later they carried a large glass container with a still-beating heart inside. Phage lifted the heart out of the container and held it over the inky pit.

"D'khar, I give to you the fruits of a great treachery. I deceived Guildhall. I deceived one of your antediluvians, Atos. I betrayed those who sought to protect the realm from you to gain their power."

Phage drew a fist-full of different colored powders, each powder swirling with great magical power. "They have willingly given my followers this ritual powder, materials, catalysts, and rune ink. They knew not that it would be used to awaken you." Phage tossed the heart and powder into the black inky mass. "I awaken thee, D'khar!"

Thousands of teeth rose out of the ooze to form many different mouths. The mouths tore apart the heart and devoured the powder.

The voice of D'Khar was deafening. Thousands of whispers formed to create words, "My Herald. You've awoken us so quickly. We have chosen well. We thirst for sacrifices of Guildsmen. Their hearts give us strength. It is so tiring to stay awake. We require a vessel to be able to move. To hunt. To eat."

 

The cultists dropped to their knees and began praying loudly. Phage motioned for quiet as the prayer quieted to a whisper. "My Fragment, my Spawn, I have a vessel for you." A massive snake, easily a hundred feet long slithered out of the woods near the village and coiled at the pool.

"Will this suffice, Lord D'Khar? I present to you the mother to all of the giant snakes you've blessed with your power."

 

Thousands of teeth rose out of the ooze to form many different smiles. Thousands of whispers uttered the statement, "We are elated, herald. Bring me mana so we may writhe across the land again."

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

 

COURT OF GUILDHALL, VALLEY OF RAINBOWS

 

SUMMARY: Damn’s obliteration is confirmed and set for Friday night of the November Market at 1:00 in the morning.

 

DRAMATIZATION: Mordred, Appeals Judge of the Valley of Rainbows, is an old man, wizened and wrinkled, with grey wispy hair, a hawk-like nose, and the eyes of a hunting raptor. He is small of stature, but all who know him speak of him as giant. He is merciless to criminals, but compassionate to victims. He is a believer in retribution and a devotee to deterrence. His judgment in the case of Damn the Comedian is as follows . . .

 

“Comedians are devoted to destroying Guildhall. If they succeed there will be no more Inn, no more monthly gatherings of friends, no more laughter ringing and challenges met. There will only be a baleful wind blowing a world of ash.

 

We only need to review our history to understand our future. When Guildsmen turn on Guildsmen all we have goes away. This is the immutable fact of our world. One day Karthis, who was made into the God of Vengeance by mortals, will decide the world is broken beyond repair and he will end the story of Guildhall, rather than watch people suffer.

 

A Comedian has devoted their existence to fragmenting the unity of Guildsmen. They only earn their names after causing years of pain and suffering. They have become experts in manipulation, subversion, and ruin. The very act of taking a name means that a Comedian has become so twisted as to be unredeemable in any world that values justice.

 

For more than a decade, the Comedian who named herself Damn has killed, murdered, mislead, and tortured the Commoners of Evermoore in her duplicitous efforts to undermine the Guildsmen of Evermoore. Hundreds of Commoner families have buried loved ones because of her actions. Countless Guildsmen have died in attempting to thwart her many malicious plans.

Obliteration sends a person to the Void. It is not the murder of the Spirit, just temporary banishment because that person has committed to many criminal acts to live in a world that values law.

 

The Court always retains hope that in the Void criminals will have an opportunity to review their evils so when they are reborn into the world they will grow into a person that brings love and happiness, instead of hate and sorrow. If not, the Justice of Guildhall will be waiting, again.

This Court believes that the Magistrate Of Evermoore understood all this and fully intended the Obliteration to be carried out until completion. This Court therefore Orders the successful Obliteration of Damn to be held at the November Market Day at 1:00 am on Friday night.”

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

 

Sheriff Milton Krape says, "We have laws to punish those who murder and plunder. Last month your Guildmaster's ignored those laws. Do not let the Asgarn raiders who hurt so many escape punishment. We need Justice for the victims.

 

Evermoore needs leadership without a hidden agenda. Political campaigns are expensive, but if you want to make a stand for Justice Holt will help you become Guildmaster during the Elections this month. Sign across the face of this document and meet me in Evermoore to discuss how much you need to support what is Right.

 

I know that many of you do not like King Justin and you object to the aggressive manner in which the nation of Holt deals with their enemies, but I ask you to put those feelings aside and look at this situation without your prejudices."

 

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

BEHIND THE INN AT EVERMOORE

 

SUMMARY: Philosopher Po’s continues his research, confirms his belief that the Age of Order continues, and proves player gain +1 body as discovered last month on Adventures.

 

DRAMATIZATION: Philosopher Po held the lens up to his eye and gazed through the glass, noting the hash marks etched into form both a vertical and horizontal axis. He placed the flow of vitalic energy in the center of the lens and used the hash marks to make accurate measurements. He wrote the result down in his notebook, his fingers moving with eager excitement.

 

The results could not be disputed. Vitalic energy was flourishing. The world was healing. The free flow of order and chaos energy moving in balance together has the potential to make everything better. With chaos ending the stagnation and order ensuring change was not catastrophic, the possibilities were endless.

 

Po reached out and touched the flow. He could feel the vitalic energy washing over his hand. It was a magical tingling of health and vigor. He looked down at his notes and knew that the world was improving. Life was going to be better.

 

He was breathless, overcome by a powerful feeling excitement. There was clearly only one conclusion to be made . . . he was seeing confirmation that the Age of Order was still going strong. The Age of Chaos had not come, would not come.

 

Po believed, in that moment, the upcoming thousand years could rival the glory of the Age of Life. The Shining Star of Guildhall could illuminate the way to rebuilding all that was lost during the Age of Death. The Crystal City rebuilt with all the people united again! Conflicts ended. World Peace attained.

 

A few days later . . . All greater beings gained the potential to have nine (9) body.

 

The new maximum body for all races will be nine (9). As soon as the DataBase is updated, Players may log into the database and spend available status to make the increase for their characters.

 

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

 

WORLD PLOT SOUTHERN RANGED OF THE FORLORNE MOUNTAINS WEST OF FIVE KINGDOMS (Part 1 of 2- Asgarn-Dale Plot)

 

SUMMARY: Aiden Skalgi tells Arianna and Mathias that the Guildsmen of Evermoore are going to negotiate a peace that allows the surviving Asgarns safe passage home through the Five Kingdom.

 

DRAMATIZATION: High on the mountaintop, Arianna the Princess of the Dale sat with Mathias of the Iron Keep on a large granite rock outcropping that seemed to overlook the entire world. They were so high that small puffy clouds rolled lazily below them, pushed by the crisp, mountain wind.

Aiden Skaligi, leader of the Asgarn army remaining on the continent, walked slowly up behind the couple we did not know he was there. Aiden was not intentionally moving quietly. He always seemed to sneak through the woods. He’d grown up a simple farmer and hunting was a skill every Asgarn farmer developed as the poor soil could not support a family. He’d spent years moving quietly looking for game and would not break the habit now, besides he had been hunting for these two.

 

Arianna was wearing a simple dress of Asgarn cut and looked angelic in the afternoon sun, with her auburn hair lifted by the mountain breeze and flowing like a halo around her head. The Princess reminded him of his own daughter, both headstrong and courageous. Thoughts of his child, made him long for home.

 

Mathias was still wearing his tattered surcoat over his quilted gambeson. The embroidered Iron Cross barely stood out from the dirty white cloth that had been stained dark from a summer of surviving in the mountains. He’s seen Mathias many times, struggling to clean the garment in the icy mountain streams. The boy had determination, but he needed to select causes he could win. If he did, he’d make a good leader some day.

 

Arianna was resting her head on Mathias’s shoulder and he had his arm draped over her back. Aiden had watched their relationship develop from stolen glances to quite conversations, to holding hands in when they thought no one was looking. It was no business of his how the Five Kingdoms muddled their lines of succession, or was it?

 

A year ago Aiden was just a farmer leading a remote village, but that was not the case anymore. Aiden had power now, real power, the kind of power to shape the world. The Asgarns who joined him in the harrowing defection from Gunther’s doomed war had sworn him their loyalty. He wasn’t that farmer anymore and when he returned to the Island of Asgarn he would move his family to the High Throne and he would claim the crown.

 

So Aiden knew he had to think politically. He had to embrace the larger picture. He was sure that any link between the Iron Cross and the Dale would anger King Justin of Holt. The Iron Cross was the main political enemy of the Blood Cross, a division that threatened to rip Holt apart in civil war. A marriage between Arianna and Mathias, the son of Lord Garth, the main Iron Cross leader, could possibly drive a wedge between Holt and the Dale or possibly unify the two nations.

 

As much as he had grown to like Arianna and Mathias he knew they were also pieces on the game board of politics, which was why he had sent the letters to the Guildsmen of Evermoore. He had visited their Evermoore last year. He had walked among the Guildsmen for a time and gotten to know their measure.

 

Aiden approached and stepped on a large stick so that it snapped underfoot, purposely causing both Arianna and Mathias to jump to their feet in surprise. Mathias reached for his sword and half-pulled the blade from its sheath before he recognized Aiden.

 

“What’s going on here?” asked Aiden, offered them his lopsided grin.

 

For a moment they both looked embarrassed. The Princess relaxed. Mathias let his half-drawn sword drop back into its sheath.

 

“Good morning, King Aiden,” Arianna said pleasantly. “And to answer your question. We were enjoying the view.”

 

Aiden chuckled. They thought they were being discrete, but their love shown in their faces and in their every motion. The whole Asgarn encampment was betting if the princess was going to give up her innocence before the end of fall. The book keepers were laying two to one odds, but Aiden knew it was a fool’s bet at any payout, even if Arianna wasn’t the woman she was, Mathias was too honorable. Those kids represented the best of chivalry, honor, and courtly grace, all silly notions in Aiden’s opinion.

 

“Have you heard from Evermoore?” asked Mathias.

 

Aiden had not excluded either of them from his plans. In fact, he had read them the letter he sent to Evermoore asking the Guildmasters to intercede. He’d even changed a few lines based on Arianna’s suggestions. “You might want to reword that sentence to not sound so hostile,” she had said multiple times throughout their review. At one point, he had shouted, “Do you want me to send them flowers!” and they all had laughed to relieve the building tension. Of course, they had haggled for another hour over the wording and she was still unsatisfied with the letter’s final form.

“The Guildsmen of Evermoore,” Aiden paused to leave Mathias hanging on his words. The boy was so young and eager. Arianna not so much, she waited for him to get to the point with arms folded over her chest. “Have accepted our proposal and have sent the letters asking the leaders of the Five Kingdoms to let us pass to the sea. With a little luck, we can all be home by the mid-winter holidays.”

 

Mathias gave a loud cheer and hugged Arianna. For a moment they both forgot Aiden was standing there and kissed, but then quickly pulled apart. Embarrassed again, “Thank you for bringing the news,” Arianna curtsied. “You have been a fine host and we will certainly be sad to leave you.”

Her eyes tinkled with wry amusement. She was not above teasing him. It was a joke between them. She always pretended to be his guest, telling him, “It is my fondest hope that one day you’ll be a guest in my castle and I can repay your kindness.”

 

Aiden had tried to treat them well, food was scarce and lodgings makeshift. The summer had not been comfortable, but they had all braved the hardships together. He had been fair and open with Arianna and Mathias. They knew he would kill them if he had too, but that he would much rather see them go free. In many ways they had become friends, and he wondered if he would actually kill the pair if his hand was forced by treachery. The Guildsmen of Evermoore did have that reputation and Aiden hoped he would not be forced to make that decision.

 

“Enjoy your morning,” he told them. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” He chuckled the whole way back to camp, remembering how it was with his wife when they were courting all those many years ago. Mathias and Arianna were both too honorable to enjoy life as he always did, mores the pity for them.

Jarod T.
Jan 31, 2018

 

CROSS TOWER KEEP, HOLT EMBASSY IN EVERMOORE (part 2 of 2 Asgarn-Dale Plot)

 

SUMMARY: Miles Strand, leader of Cross Tower Keep in Evermoore, reveals how King Justin will ensure Mathias and Arianna do not survive to reach the coast with the Aiden and the Asgarns. Sergeant Milton Krape, ranger of Guildhall, is sent to Evermoore as the instrument of King Justin, intending to undo the peace the Guildmasters tried to create in October.

 

DRAMATIZATION: Milton Krape, Ranger of Guildhall and Sheriff appointed to the Court of Swords in Holt, stood in the pigsty knee deep in the reeking mud. His thighs were splatted with excrement and rotting food. Around him the pigs protested his presence with short squalls and threatening snorts. He ignored them, raking the larger pieces of refuse into piles and shoveling them into buckets that he would later carry into the fields to be used as fertilizer.

 

This had been his life, all through the summer, slopping the pigsties as punishment for siding with the Guildsmen of Evermoore and for embarrassing the great nation of Holt. Of course, Krape did not agree with his superior Miles Strand. In fact, he disagreed with Miles over the punishment and almost everything the evil man had done since King Justin appointed Strand leader of Cross Tower Keep last winter.

 

Krape had come to Evermoore with Strand hoping to do the work of Eldin in this great and historical place, but instead of righteousness and justice, Krape found disgrace and deceit that had called into question his faith in Eldin and in Holt. If not for the words of Mriyeh Clawbright, a guildsman of Evermoore, Krape knew that he would have surely have been lost. He would have forsaken it all, perhaps even tossing away his guildhall oath, but Mriyeh helped him to see that the problems in faith were not in the teachings of his noble god, but in the teachings of the modern Church of Eldin. Their modern interpretations of the sacred Word of Eldin had become flawed. The Church was in fundamental error.

 

Eldin was pure and good, full of light and right, but it was the elder priests who had corrupted the Church into a thing that was not Eldin. Krape was sure Eldin wished to save the whole world and that was why Eldin fought against Grotar. Eldin wanted a world of Order and Unity, not a world of stagnation and discrimination. Eldin led humanity in cooperation with all the peoples of the world, and in cooperation with Guildhall. Mriyeh Clawbright had helped him to realize the Church of Eldin and King Justin were the antithesis of the teachings of Eldin. Of course, all that realization got him was assigned to cleaning the pigsty.

 

Krape raked the stinking slop into another pile. The pigs squealed. One pressed up against him, rubbing more filth onto his pants. He pushed the beast away and his hand came away dripping. He had no choice but to wipe it on his chest, and ruin the only patch of cloth on his body that was not yet defiled.

 

“You having fun today, hero-Ranger?” That was Dickel, reeking and toothless, the man had once cared for the pigs, but Strand had placed Dickel in charge and now he was forced by his sense of duty to follow the filthy man’s every instruction. Dickel was a bully and braggart, and rotten to the core. The foul man thoroughly enjoyed having him to abuse.

 

“I am well,” replied Krape.

 

“You must go and see Marshall Strand,” said Dickel moving close and whispering in his ear. “I heard they are going to execute you. The poor pigs will be so sad to lose you as their friend, but at least your corpse will provide them a good meal.” The foul man laughed his breath smelling worse then the pigsty.

 

Krape stepped over the low wooden fence surrounding the pen and walked toward the keep. People gagged at his stink and moved away. A few cursed him, one threw an apple core at him, but a few cast him looks of sympathy. He was well-known to everyone in the tower complex. The Ranger of Guildhall cleaning out the pigsties, lugging manure into the field.

 

Krape went straight to Marshall Strand’s office making no attempt to clean himself up. The guards at the entrance chuckled as he past them. Krape was actually popular with the common solders. Perhaps, they sympathized with his plight, having so often suffered the unfair abuses of their own officers.

 

He left stinking footprints down the polished wood corridors and the horrified commoner caretakers rushed forward with their rags to clean the mess. A heavy set woman screamed, “You can’t go and see the Marshall looking like that!” He passed her by she trailed in his wake, gagging so much she could no longer protect.

 

“What is that stink?” shouted Strand’s as Krape barged into his his office.

 

“Good evening, Sir,” spoke Krape. “You summoned me.”

 

“I summoned you! I did not summon the pigsty. You filthy slob, you sorry excuse for a soldier. Why didn’t you clean up before coming?”

 

“I apologize, Sir,” Krape said. “I rushed right here to you summons as any soldier would do.”

 

“I tried to stop him,” cried the heavyset woman. Strand waved her away and she retreated to fresher air without another word.

 

Strand eyed him, suspiciously. Looking him up and down. Strands eyes stopped on his feet. Filthy water was seeping out of his boots into his floor. Strand’s mouth tightened in furious anger. Krape wondered briefly if he’d pushed Strand too far, but then realized he didn’t care. What could the Marshal do to him that was worse than cleaning the pigsties? You could not execute a man for messing your floor.

 

Stand seemed to master himself, apparently decided to just get things over with. “Did you make friends with some Guildsmen last spring.”

 

“I made the acquaintances of some,” Krape replied.

 

That was apparently good enough and Strand continued, “I want you to use those contacts in the pursuit of Justice. Last month, the Guildsmaster of Evermoore voted to convince the leaders of the Five Kingdoms to allow the murderous Asgarn horde that plundered the Dale to escape without facing justice.”

 

“Our King, wise and fair Justin, is appalled by the criminal conspiracy underfoot. The Guildsmen of Evermoore are treacherous and may be able sway the leaders of the Five Kingdom to this unjust path. As a man of Law yourself, as a sheriff of the Guildhall Courts of the Sword, I am sure this rankles your sense of righteousness. Does it not?”

 

“I do not let criminals go free.” Krape said, honesty. “I believe the guilty should be punished.”

 

“Good,” purred Strand, “So it’s seems destiny is on our side. November is when the Guildsmasters are elected. You will go to Evermoore and use your contacts to find Guildsmen willing to overturn last month’s the decision and finance their campaigns to become Guildmaster.”

 

“Finance their campains?” Krape asked.

 

“Give them money! They can make posters, hire dancing girls, whatever it takes to get them elected,” Strand said, magnanimously. “King Justin wants the newly elect Guildmaster to re-vote on the issue and draft new letters advising against any peace. Justin wants Justice for the Dale. He wants the Asgarns to answer for their crimes, trials for each and punishments fitting their crimes. Can you do this?”

 

Krape nodded. “I can do this. It is right to set the Asgarns free, to let them leave with all their stolen loot. They will only go home and tell tales of their butchery and death without repercussions. That will encourage more raiding.”

 

Krape felt legitimately perplexed. He did not understand why the Guildmasters of Evermoore would make such a unfair decision. He would go to Evermoore and investigate. The law requires retribution and restitution.

 

Two Holt soldiers entered the room and placed a large chest on the desk. The soldier withdrew quickly, smirking at the scene of stinking Krape standing in their commander’s officer. The pool of filth leaking from his boots was spreading under the desk.

 

“King Justin sent this chest of coins.” Strand opened the lid and Krape gasped. It was more money than he had ever seen in his life. A fortune in gold and silver.

 

“You will use this money to finance the campaigns of Guildsmen willing to bring justice to the world.” continued Strand. “You will sign a contract between yourself and the individual Guildsmen where you will agree to make monthly contributions to their campaign funds. Any Guildsman who helps Holt to see the Asgarns punished will become wealthy and powerful.”

 

Strand reached down and ran his fingers through the coins. They jingled and glittered. “The Asgarns must not reach the sea. If these invading army, escapes unpunished the Guildsmen of Evermoore will set a terrible precedent. Nations could begin to think that they can act with impunity against each other without repercussion. Such a statement undermines everything Guildhall stands for.

 

Don’t you agree?”

 

For once in his life Krape agreed with the toady who ruled Cross Tower Keep. “The guilty must have retribution. The victims must have restitution. That is the purpose of the Law. I will finance the campaigns of new Guildmasters in Evermoore who will hopefully value justice enough to see the murdering and pillaging Asgarns punished for their evil acts.”

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.
    Feb 2, 2018

    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.”

2017 by Mystic Realms, LTD.

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