Saturday, December 16, 2017
   
Text Size
image
Welcome to the home of House Ancora! House Ancora (HA) is a fellowship of online gamers dedicated to promoting cooperation, role-playing, and merriment in company with one another across the varied landscapes of today’s online gaming environment. We firmly believe that friendship transcends any gaming environment and is independent of any specific style, genre, server, or realm.

Book Three Pt 2 - The Reckoning

Written by - Tempyst Page 28 Book 3

As Dorve took a swig of her ale, the glass was shattered by one of the guards, who had over swung his sword. Her eyes narrowed as she took her staff and thumped the man on his shoulder, lettting out a soft, low whistle. He turned, sword still in hand and glared at the dwarf before him. Glaring, he raised his sword ready to strike. Dorve shook her head and nodded down to the floor. The guard looked and found that swarming up his legs wer dozens of large sewer rats. Dorve stepped back and smiled while the guards attention turned form her to running aorund like a crazy person, trying to get the rats off of him.

Written by - Ardwen

“Ardwen behind you!” A voice rang out. Ardwen spun around, noticing the two soldiers who had been skillfully slain by an arrow apiece. Ardwen’s thoughts flashed quickly through his mind, given haste by the chaos of battle around him, “The archer warned me, even knew my name. This skill, no human could have done this!” Ardwen attempted to pivot to face where he thought the voice had called out only to find he was staring at another armed soldier.

“Do you so enjoy death?” Ardwen snarled as his new opponent vied for superior footing.

The man had the presence of mind to bark out, “I saw what you did to Salm, you bastard! Killing him while he was begging for mercy!”

Ardwen let his lips curl into a thin smile and he said simply, “By attempting to withhold the Abbess from me your lives are forfeit!”

The man swung, his strike coming in for Ardwen’s head, Ardwen blocked, his sword held at an angle to deflect the blow to the side, to the man’s credit he recovered quickly, but not quick enough. Ardwen unsheathed his second sword, sweeping it out in one smooth motion that knocked the soldier’s blade wide, first right, then left. Before he could bring his sword back around to block Ardwen was already pushing the longer of his two swords through his chest.

The man had no more words, the light in his eyes extinguished, and he died with a gurgling shutter. Ardwen wrenched his blade free and whipped the blood off with a quick twist of his wrist. Trying once again to locate the archer that had helped him Ardwen finally laid eyes on his benefactor during the fight. He opened his mouth to say something, something important, something that was stolen away as his memory provided a concrete name; all that came out was, “Vylia?!”

Written by - Pharsalus

What began as an attempted arrest had mushroomed into an all-out melee in the sleepy, urban tavern. Pharsalus dared not take the time to count faces, but a quick survey of the room between blows revealed at least a dozen people, some well armed, some with naught but broken bottles and small knives, some drunk, some not were flinging themselves into the fray. Now was such a moment. A guard fell limp and unconcious beside him as he resolidified his form: legs together at the ankles, aft arm bent in an L behind his back, fore arm bent in a V before him, fingers open and tight together in an earthen blade. His face remained grim as he let his senses remain totally open. He didn't need mental agility to know from where these bungling guardsmen would next assail. This was too easy. This was a waste of time.

He spun and dropped low, throwing his leg outward in a wide semi-circle behind him. He felt the impact, stone against flesh, God-forged rock against fleshling bone. The guard cried out and fell forward, slamming into the planked floor, now stained with spilled foodstuffs and dust and blood. Pharsalus allowed his momentum to continue as another guard stepped forward. Where the bloody hell are they coming from?? He flexed in the middle and pushed off with one hand, sending him into a low horizontal spiral. He twisted hard, letting his leg fly out and upward, again feeling it connect against the chin of his target. The guard stumbled, gurgled, eyes wide and watering, and fell back. Pharsalus caught himself as he landed, very low, the bulk of his weight supported by one hand, fingers splayed against the dusty wood, and his legs, bent and spread to provide stability and launch thrust.

It was exhilirating. He hated to admit it to himself, but he was thoroughly enjoying himself. He had trained every day for the past two centuries for just such a brawl, but he'd never known anyone against which he could test himself. He took note of bad footing, weight too quickly shifting to one side to dodge a blow, weak balance, lost leverage in a kick. But even as flawed and inexperienced as his technique was, the priest remained terribly agile, spider-like. He had no connection to this world, and so he was not to heavy, not to stuck to the ground as he was on Aerynth. He was lighter, faster, more capable in ways he never thought possible for himself, and he never got over it. It thrilled him.

He corrected himself during a lull in the assault, returning to his rigidly prepared stance and took inventory of himself. He was still together, his clothing untouched by hostile hands. It almost amazed him that he'd gone so long without staining his new clothes. He liked them, and he loathed to think of how he'd get blood out of his tunic anytime in the immediate future. A sound from ahead and to his left - wooden doors slamming, quick feet on a cobblestone road.

A runner! he thought, turning his eyes to the sound. What his eyes couldn't see, his mind could clearly. A guard now sprinted, prepared to call for aid. More guards. More lives lost to those far less hindered than himself. He took a final note of the guards he'd felled - all breathing, none conscious. He nodded, satisfied, and focused his energies to his legs. One guard still stood in his way, his face stricken with a fear for his comrades. Pharsalus addressed him, almost a whisper in the roar of the battle royale around them.

"I give you an offer boy, and I give it only once. Your comrade seeks to worsen a bad situation, and I cannot allow it. You will either move, he paused, flaring the light seeping from his eyes, more for dramatic effect than actual hostility, ...or I go through you.

The man's mouth fell open and eyes widened as he dropped his sword, taking a shaken step backwards. He was young. Too much time wasted. Time to go! He didn't give the man a chance to respond. He blew forward, keeping his head low and legs moving with speed that belied his statuary make. The gap between him and the fear-frozen guard closed almost instantly, and Pharsalus flew left, stopped, and then threw out his right palm. It was white and cut the air around it like fire from the skies. He felt his palm flatten against the guard's ribs.

BOOM!

The man flew, limp, unconcious, to the side into a table of onlookers. The priest didn't stop to ensure the man's safety - it had become a secondary priority. He sprinted forward, bursting through the tavern doors, following the path of the guard. The sounds and scent of the city outside, hundreds of eyes drawn curiously to the commotion in their beloved pub, sat as a haze in the air. The man hadn't gotten as far as originally feared, most likely slowed by heavy armor and the weight of a standard arrest gone bad. Pharsalus could read the fear in the air, like a trail of scent, as he closed the gap between them. He ducked and dodged and wove through curious crowds, keeping his mind and energies focused on his legs and feet. He moved with magical speed now; not so much as to risk injuring bystanders, but quickly enough to easily overpower a formidable sprinter.

The man ahead of him stopped and turned, uncertain, like a deer in a trap. He wasn't even trapped, really - he had plenty of road left to run, plenty of places to hide. But he didn't. Pharsalus smirked. On his last hurried step, he pushed off and lunged, sending himself airborne at immense speed. He drew up his legs beneath him and threw forward his knees, rearing back a fist, the whole of his person burning with white, illuminous vapor.

CRACK!

Contact. The man cried out as two stone knees slammed into his left and right shoulders, and gurgled as a fist imprinted itself into the flesh of his left cheek. His head wretched hard right as his body fell quickly beneath the weight of the stone priest. The two impacted with the smooth stone, stil wet from the morning dew and daily drizzle. Pharsalus rolled forward, springing forward on his hands, twisting in the air, and correcting himself as he landed in a crouched position facing the fallen guard. He waited a moment in silence - crowds had gathered around him, hushed and wild-eyed - standing slowly as he kept himself poised, tugging the cuffs of his gloves and tightening his hands to fists. The air smelled of rain and unwaashed bodies. His spectators stared at the little man in white clothes, almost mystified. Pharsalus puzzled as he felt the clinging to the dome of his head. Then it occured to him, and he suddenly looked and felt ridiculous and sheepish.

His hood had come off. He was exposed to the public eye, small beads of mist clinging to his earthen craft head, pooling around his blue gemstone eyes, and streaking down slate cheeks. Men looked at their wives, whispers began to circulate as eyes turned from the priest to the fallen guard and back again.

"DEMON!" a shout came from the quickly angering throng. "He has attacked a guard! Beridane! Beridane will kill us all!"

"It is a Wizard, seeking to destroy us!"

"No no - a daemon, says I! Lookit 'im! 'Is oyes burnin' whoit 'ellfoyre!"

Pharsalus took a step back, his hands out reassuringly.

"Good people! I assure you I am no demon! And this guard attacked me fi..."

"IT SPEAKS!! COVER YOUR EARS! HE WILL CORRUPT YOU!" The perpatrator was a man toward the front of the crowd in black and white robes with the most brilliant green eyes Pharsalus had ever seen. Much to the priest's chagrin, the foremost of the crowd, angered by the assault on a city guard, fearful of what such an assault would bring upon them from the Great Usurper, began to charge, shouting as they came, arms in the air.

Pharsalus didn't know what to do. His mind exploded outward, desperate for the sake of these citizens. He wished them no harm. ARCH! He was already sprinting full tilt - no magic, for fear of drawing even more attention to himself - down the avenue, a roaring, tumbling, shouting mob close on his heels.

ARCH! My boy! We... we have a situation!

He ducked into an alley. The tavern. He had to get back to the tavern.

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya felt the rush of battle fill her and it felt good. It has been far too long. She took out several guards, rushing to the ones that were coming in through the door. Then she remembered the cracked opend back door. As she looked in that direction she saw the runner. [We can't have that go on now can we A'lanthear.[/i] But Before she could make her move towards the back another guard lunged at her, weidling two nasty looking curved daggers. Kaya turned her attention back to what was in fornt of her, but determined to get it done fast and to take off after the runner. The guard sneered, the look on his face told her everything. He thinks I'm just some inya*. I'll show him. She feined a look of fear and dropped her stance. The man took the bate and lunged. But his bravado and enthusiam put him off balance and Kaya immediately dove forward, tucked up into a ball and rolled behind him. The man let out a sound of surprise, then a gutteral sound of death as she plunged both daggers upwards between his ribs. Quickely she pulled out A'lanthear and dashed towards the back door.

Running hard through the alley to the street she looked around, but the runner was no where to be seen. She sighed and started to turn back to the tavern when she heard a shout. "DEMON! He has attacked a guard! Beridane! Beridane will kill us all!" Kaya froze, her senses immediately going up. A'lanthear, do you sense any demon?

No Mistress, but there is trouble brewing and magic...I feel it.

So do I my friend, We must check it out. Kaya ran to wards the shouts and soon found a gathering of people.

"Good people! I assure you I am no demon! And this guard attacked me fi..."

"IT SPEAKS!! COVER YOUR EARS! HE WILL CORRUPT YOU!"

Kaya barely heard the shouts above the crowd. THen she saw him, Ths short, strange being, with brilliant blue gems for eyes, running right at her, an angry mob right behind him. Kaya reached out with her aura but found the strange creature to not be demonic...but how to convince the crowd. she whispered to the air, A'lanthear, show them our might. The two daggers in her hands glowed brightly and formed into one, large brillian long sword. Kaya flung off her cloak, showing her black and green armor, the symbol of Nyrondis prominent on her chest. As the little man ran past her she brought A'lanthear up above her head, the sword still glowing, and yelled "HALT. This creature is no demon."

"MORE MAGIC AND TRICKERY! SHE MUST BE IN LIEAGE WITH THE DEMON! GET HER TOO!" Unfortunately, the crowd seemed to be listening to the priest kept on charging. Kaya looked at them, then decided the strange little man had the right idea. I cannot fight all of them and I must get in a more defendable place. THE Tavern! Kaya turned and also headed back towards the tavern. Kaya turned back down the alley and saw the little man just reaching the broken doorway. She hoped she could make it back in time as well.

Written by - Turin Wallace

As the brawl continued, and old acquaintances met with new in the now expanding melee, Turin focused his attention on the guard in front of him. The man's eyes told him he didn't want this fight, most didn't. They were doing the job they were paid for, some still in the guard after the assassination of the royal family. This was the only job they knew. In some way, Turin regretted that some good men were going to not go home to their families today.

Staring the man down, Turin waited for him to make the first move. The guard came at him, more trying to knock him down with his shield than to actual hack away at him. Standing his ground, Turin leaned into the blow and stood the charging guard straight up. Locking his eyes to his, Turin saw the look of surprise in them, until they were extinguished by a swift chair leg to the top of his head. The man crumpled, unconcious, at his feet.

Seeing a runner dart out the door, with Pharsalus at his heels, Turin let a slight chuckle for he knew Pharsalus could catch him with ease...either by sheer speed or with his spells. Turning his attention back to the room, he saw his companions and friends still fighting what was left of the guard sent to stop them. Seeing a movement in the corner of his eye, he turns around in time to parry the swipe of a guards hand axe. From years of fighting, Turin instinctively buries the sword to the hilt in the man's chest. In a whisper, Turin says,

"

"Sorry lad, but you shouldn't have done that."

Just then Kaya sprinted to the back door, and seeing the room was well under control, he decided to follow out back. Upon reaching the alley way, he was almost knocked down by the speeding Pharsalus as he ran inside. Kaya was hot on his heels, and Turin somehow knew he would regret doing it, but he decided to go outside and see what was going on.

What was going on was a mob that he literally bumped into! The first few stammered back, recoiling from the crusader as if he were a source of terror. Turin glared at the crowd, they had quieted for a brief second, as many still knew what a servant of the All-Father was. Using the brief moment, he says,

"So, I see all of Westgale has gone mad. Is there none among you that still serves the All-Father, or Tinorb?"

The green-eyed priest at the front shouts,

"He serves and protects demons, slay him!"

Turin locks eyes with the priest, a stare that would melt iron, and replies to the on-rushing throng,

"I have never, nor will I ever be a thrall of the dark! Your words are as venomous as your soul, priest. Those that die this day will be upon your head."

With that, Turin stands just inside the doorway, letting the crowd come one at a time. He would spare those he could, but this was going to cost them precious time they did not have.

Written by - Archeantus

With each grisly death, which happened in stunning frequency, Archeantus flinched in growing pain. He was aware of who each man was, he knew their hearts despite himself. He knew who would miss them. He knew the now orphans that had lost a father. He knew what they had done previously. He knew whether their deaths were justified. Long ago, deep in the reaches of the void where his God had kept him, his mind had ascended to a place that had unlocked many things within him, creating as many difficulties as strengths. But it was the will of his God and so he had obeyed.

His mental powers poured outward, entering all hearts in the room. It had become his sight.

A guard darted out, and the warlock detected Pharsalus heed the chase. He perceived the fear in the room from many of the patrons, the longing to end such things because of a memory of times past.

They were winning, the guard’s hearts were not in the fight, but the sudden voice of Pharsalus pierced his thoughts, filled with warning and danger. Archeantus refocused his mental channels and sent them outward toward his friend. Once he realized the grim situation, his grayed eyebrows raised in alarm. They lowered then in determination.

Stepping toward the middle of the chaos, oblivious to the fight around him, he held his staff in front of him, steadying himself. Lowering his head, he built up what was needed to perform a very difficult skill. Collecting each consciousness, mentally cueing all with the immediate intention to lay harm on his friends, he grimaced as the action began to drain his mind. He trembled as it strained him of most of his energy.

“It is time to end this.” He whispered through gritted teeth. “For her sake…”

He was aware of Turin’s clear voice, then, declaring the truth to all who heard. "I have never, nor will I ever be a thrall of the dark! Your words are as venomous as your soul, priest. Those that die this day will be upon your head."

And as Turin’s words escaped his lips, the old warlock unleashed a mental wave.

Instantly those that bore intentions to kill forgot what they were doing. They stared blankly as if in a trance. The priest, the mob, the guards. Yet there were a very select few who still sat, fully aware of what had happened. Deep inside them, they still possessed their faith, but had not the strength to follow it when they had seen the symbol of the All-Father, and heard the words spoken by those that bore it. They had been spared, intentionally, to know what was done. They had not seen any willing to face the guards in a long time, nor had they seen any who would be willing to show their honor by acting upon it. Seeing the fight had given them courage…

“Come Turin,” came a very weak voice amid the sudden silence. “I can’t hold such an effect for long. We must escape.”

Written by - Vylia

Vylia spared Ardwen a smile, but even she was uncertain if it was pity for what he may have become, or the fact she was glad he had remembered her. She had just been about to speak when suddenly all of the fighting stopped. The majority of the crowd stood there stunned, unsure of what had happened, but all of the guards and some of the taverngoers were practically frozen still. It was then she noticed that Pharsalus and Turin were no longer in the tavern, then she heard Arch's voice, “Come Turin,” came a very weak voice amid the sudden silence. “I can’t hold such an effect for long. We must escape.”

Vylia turned toward the voice to see the exhausted Warlock leaning against his staff. She slung her bow over her shoulder and across her body, drew her the shorter of her two blades, and ran over to help hold Archeantus up with her other arm to help get him moving toward the exit, sparing a glance over her shoulder at Ardwen, and then at the girl-child Ariel, "Come on you two, time to go."

Written by - Vylia

Keeryn was feeling very woozy from the smell of so many unwashed bodies. It smelled very like rotting flesh to her nose. When the group stopped before the door that Teran was fiddling with she was visible swaying on her feet, her hand held over her mouth and nose to try and filter out the smell, and her eyes barely open. The moment the door opened however, the smell of blood was so overpowering that she became instantly alert. While a very worrying thing, a pool of blood instead of a floor, the smell was so strong that she could no longer smell the bodies, and it was a smell she was both used to, and slightly ashamed one she enjoyed.

Blood meant a fight, and her ears perked up listening intently for anything coming at them from the sides, her eyes piercing into the drizzle of blood coming from overhead for anything hiding above them. She saw the thing just as Teran called out a warning to Sabbatine, and visibly flinched as she saw the creature crush Sabbatine like a rag doll. As it tossed her body aside Keeryn circled wide around it to the right of the group, studying it's speed as it moved and then swung at Teran. She was worried about that large arm with the pole, and those smaller ones were a little hard to pick out amongst the miscolored skin all over it's body.

Written by - Turin Wallace

Turin had prepared himself to fight those who came through the back door of the inn, but he heard a familiar, yet weak voice speak,

“Come Turin, I can’t hold such an effect for long. We must escape.”

Turin turned and nodded his agreement, only to realize his old friend could not see it. As Vylia reached Archeantus' side, taking him by the arm and encouraging everyone else to leave, Turin replied,

"Aye, master Archeantus, let us leave. We seem to have worn our welcome thin here. I will follow, the rest of you leave first."

As the group quickly filed out, Turin reached into a pocket and threw the money pouch upon the bar table, saying,

"There should be enough to pay for the damages incurred, our food, and our drink. Good day, innkeep."

With that, he followed his friends out the door and into the foreign town. Looking about, he states the obvious to his friends,

"We need shelter to hide from these people and the guards until we are ready. Something near the town square is preferable. Anyone know of such a place?"

Written by - Ardwen

Ardwen saw Vylia's glance, and her smile. It was tinted with something more than a simple smile though, and Ardwen could not decide if her look was one of joy or pity. Inwardly Ardwen grimaced, he expected anger from his former companions, resentment, even rejection, but pity was something he was not prepared to face - not now.

Ardwen tried to focus back on the battle, but the morale of the enemy soldiers, indeed everyone in the tavern, seemed broken. Many stood in a silent stupor, none attack. Ardwen thought to capitalize on this odd development until he heard Turin say, ""Aye, master Archeantus, let us leave. We seem to have worn our welcome thin here. I will follow, the rest of you leave first."

Ardwen complied immediately with Turin's order, flinging the blood off his blades and stepping outside the Wounded Lion with the rest of the reunited Hands. It was then Turin posed another, much stranger request, "We need shelter to hide from these people and the guards until we are ready. Something near the town square is preferable. Anyone know of such a place?"

Ardwen "hmphed" to himself softly and addressed everyone in the group, "Commander Turin, I must . . . humbly disagree with this course of action." Glancing around at the others Ardwen continued, his voice soft and persuasive, "It is true that in time we might have a more opportune moment to strike at our foes in this city, but we must weigh the benefit of such a . . . course . . . with the downside."

Ardwen waved one of his swords in a circle in the air, the gesture meant to indicate the whole of Westgale in its expanse, "Ariana is still in the enemy's grasp. We know that she is in danger. Should we then delay? What have we to fear? We are more than enough to handle whatever pathetic resistance these humans wish to throw at us. I advise a more aggresive course, let us take the fight to them! Our options are manifold: a little torture would yield more information we could use. We're in the slums, we could set fire to the surrounding buildings and stage a distraction."

Ardwen smiled slightly and nodded his head as if delivering the end of an eloquent argument, "I do not mean to rebuke you commander, it is not my place. But, what benefit would we garner from waiting and stealth?"

Written by - Turin Wallace

Turin waited for Ardwen to finish, then answered,

"Ariana is in danger, however, this Beridane is surely going to have his security forces massed in and around the place of her planned execution. It's not the danger posed to us that I worry about, Ardwen, it's the danger posed to her."

Pausing a moment, to let the thought sink in, he continues,

"If we would bound into the square, as we are, all it would take is one brief moment for the life of our Ariana to be extinguished by a guard. Whether it be by blade, spearpoint, or arrow shaft. We must use guile, let him believe he has his way until the right moment, then we deliver the humiliating blow to him. We thrust out our hands, in unison, and take back our Ariana."

Pondering, he then says,

"However, you are correct on two points, we need to be quick and we need a bigger distraction. However, Ardwen, we will not use torture nor will we burn down the houses of these people."

His words were stern, but not harsh. Looking ahead, he could see a guard house, more than likely the place were those they had dealt with came from. Pointing, he says,

"There, burn it down. Spare those you can, kill those that resist. Grab armor and cloaks, we will enter the courtyard square as disguised as we can be. If Archeantus has the strength for one more of those spells that affects the minds of the mob, then we may have a chance to get Ariana clear, once we free her."

Before Ardwen went to move away, Turin grabs his arm, and says,

"Your thoughts are always welcome, though you know we only take life when we have no other choice. We will save Ariana, even if it takes our lives first. Believe me old friend, I want to rush into that square and cut down all in our path, but the sheer weight of numbers would overwhelm us. Our numbers are few, Ardwen, and I would prefer to get all of us out in one piece. You may not like my plan, Ardwen, but I need you with me to pull it off."

Letting his gentle grip on the elf's arm go, he waits for his answer.

Written by - Tempyst

Kaya ran back through the broken door, the mob lcose behind. She saw Turin take a look and speak his words. Then, those they had been fighting stood quietly and she heard the soft voice of Turin's friend. Taking advantage of the lull, she and Dorve both made their way outside with the others. She watched Turin and knew, felt in her gut that this was a good man, a leader, one to be respected and listened to. She listened to his words, and wished she knew more of the town so that she could help them find and rescue their friend, but all her experiences were in Beridane's dungeon area. Then she saw him point towards a guard house.

"There, burn it down. Spare those you can, kill those that resist. Grab armor and cloaks, we will enter the courtyard square as disguised as we can be. If Archeantus has the strength for one more of those spells that affects the minds of the mob, then we may have a chance to get Ariana clear, once we free her." Kaya spared no time and bolted towards the shelter.

Written by - Ardwen

Turin had waited for the warrior to finish. Ardwen looked at him, curious as to his answer. “Ariana is in danger,” Turin began, “however, this Beridane is surely going to have his security forces massed in and around the place of her planned execution. It's not the danger posed to us that I worry about, Ardwen, it's the danger posed to her."

Turin paused, and Ardwen turned his head slightly away, as if he were trying to penetrate the clouds hanging over Westgale with his gaze. Turin began again after, and explained how easily the humans in this city would end Ariana’s life, an overt attack would give them too much warning to execute her. But then Turin took Ardwen by surprise with his next directive: they would use a distraction, a nearby guardhouse was to be burned and the equipment inside purloined and used as disguises.

Ardwen began to walk toward the house but Turin grabbed his arm and stopped him, "Your thoughts are always welcome, though you know we only take life when we have no other choice. We will save Ariana, even if it takes our lives first. Believe me old friend, I want to rush into that square and cut down all in our path, but the sheer weight of numbers would overwhelm us. Our numbers are few, Ardwen, and I would prefer to get all of us out in one piece. You may not like my plan, Ardwen, but I need you with me to pull it off."

Ardwen was facing away from Turin, and for that he was grateful, his face was undoubtedly red with shame. “My lord Turin,” Ardwen began, “I’m sorry . . .” Ardwen paused again and turned so that his left side was facing Turin, the warrior’s body was silhouetted by the dying light of the evening, “Your plan is fine. But know this: I won’t lose any of you again, and hell take the costs in life!”

Ardwen turned once more, fully facing Turin, “I tried Turin . . . on Aerynth . . . I tried.” Inhaling sharply and sighing Ardwen gave voice to a question, “We have some catching up to do I’m afraid. But first, the warlock you met . . . is is really Archeantus?”

Written by - Turin Wallace

Turin could sense the change in Ardwen, his body spoke volumes even if he spoke little. Answering his question, Turin says,

"Aye, it has to be Archeantus. His words, demeanor, and spirit remain the same though his body bares the scars of time, violence, and age. We all have these scars, I'm afraid, though some are easier to see than others."

As he watched the others of the group begin the work of taking the guardhouse, he took a step next to Ardwen, placed his arm around the elf's broad shoulders, and said,

"I share your feelings, old friend. I won't risk losing all of you again as well. Our enemies will once more quake with fear at our approach, their sleeps hindered by the nightmares we shall give them! Now, let us continue our bloody business this day and take back what is ours. Then, my friend, we can sit around and catch up on all things."

Turin felt kinship with Ardwen, he could see the fire and sorrow in his eyes. Unless one was themselves once a slayer, no one could understand. Turin was one, merciless and unforgiving, but that story could wait. Suffice it to say he could understand Ardwen better than anyone else at the moment. Giving Ardwen a broad smile and slight shake, they head off to deal with the guards and their base, curious to see how the others are faring.

Written by - Tempyst

The cries of woman and children could be heard through the air. Cries of fear and uncertainty. Kaya knew those cires very well. They tugged at her heart and made her blood run like fire thorugh her veins. She remembered being afraid and uncertain.

Several guards came from the shack she and the others were approaching. She veered to the left and found herself facing two guardsmen, one, young and wide eyed, barely strong enough to hold the sword in his hand, the other old and tired. She could see in his eyes that he was weary. As they circled her, she drew forth A'lanthear. The young one charged first, eager and green, not waiting until he had the upper hand but wanting to get in the first blow. Kaya easily sidestepped his attack and as he passed her she turned and kicked him in his ass, pushing him down into the mud. The older guard then charged, his experience telling him when the right moment would be. Their swords clashed, the sound of steel ringing through the air. But the guard was old and weary, Kaya was still fresh and full of vigor and had a purpose.

The young guard rushed her again, thinking that her occupation with his comrad would give him the advantage. But she easily swept her leg and knocked the old guard down and stomped his gut, knocking the air out of him while keeping the young one at bay with A'lanthear. "IS BERIDANE WORTH ALL THIS?" she shouted. "IS HE WORTH YOUR LOYALTY THAT YOU WOULD DIE FOR HIM?" She parried the young guards moves then knocked the sword from his hand, A'lanthear pointed directly at his throat. SHe looked at the young man, her eyes almost pleading with him. "Are you willing to die for a monster?" The young guard shook his head and ran.

Kaya turned back to the old guard who still lay on the ground, out of breath. She held a hand out to him. "Are you ready to die for him? Or will you join us?" The old guard looked at her, she could see contempt in his eyes. For a moment, her heart began to sink, fearing she would have to kill this veteran.

"Beridane is a fool and I do not die for fools. I will stand with you and yours." He took Kaya's hand and she helped him to his feet. She could now see a fire in his eyes that was not there before. The man now had hope. He picked up his sword and with Kaya turned to see how the others were fairing and hoped more had heard her words and would join their cause.

Restore Default Settings