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The Sovereign IV: Savior
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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Tarmyln strode forward, flanked by his brother and son. Behind him, the other ambassadors fanned out to take their positions among the courtiers. Both Azraella and Zarrial worked their way as close to the throne as possible, and stood glaring across the chamber at each other.
The Emperor stopped several yards in front of the throne and bowed slightly while Tarmoran and Tarkiel made a somewhat deeper genuflection.
"Your Majesty," he said Tomass. "Your Highnesses." He nodded to Riven and Damian.
"Emperor Tarmyln," replied Tomass, nodding. "Welcome to Magicum."
"Thank you, Your Majesty."
"You're here early, Imperial Majesty," said Damian. "May I ask why?"
"Mind your manners, nephew," said Riven. Tarmyln laughed, but it was a sharp sound which filled the court with unease.
"No need to reprimand him, Your Highness," he said. "He has a right to ask why, and I have every intention of telling him." He paused. Beside him, Tarmoran clenched his hands into fists. "I must tell you all," he continued, looking around the court. "Hostility is growing between the Empire and Shovrah-Dan. We now know that Grov-Urtat is being used as a pawn in a bid by King Sevelin to gain control of the Northern Reaches." Azraella's breath hised between her teeth. Tarkiel, watching her, noticed that throughout the rest of the audience her stance was more rigid than before, but that she said nothing. "Soon," went on Tarmyln, even though he was also aware of the Priestess' reaction, "we believe sevelin will make his first great stroke against us. In good conscience, I can no longer keep this from you, my allies. There is no doubt what the consequences will be, should Sevelin continue his course of action. A war between our two states will not be contained in the Northern Reaches, and Magicum will inevitably be drawn in."

Outside the throne room, Twilight hid in the shadows and waited for a cue from either Tarmoran or Tarkiel, both of whom could contact her if there was danger. she was not surprised when suddenly a voice spoke in her mind. However, it did take her an instant to realise who had contacted her.
-Blood Fox?- she thought incredulously.
-That's what I said,- was the impatient reply. -Pay attention!-
She collected herself, focused on the link. -Continue.-
-Cloud's uncovered a definite plan by Sevelin to seize Gur-Mechina. In other words, open war.-
-I realise that. I will inform Tarmyln as soon as he comes out of the throne room.-
-He's in there right now? Too bad. I guess you can't just burst in with the news?-
-Certainly not. Is that all?-
-No. Cloud's been ordered to return to D'Tar Mordin to aid in the battle, but he refused and broke off contact. The General was hoping you could stop him from doing whatever he's planning and get him back here.-
-I can try.-
Blood picked up on her dubious tone.
-You'd better try! Contact me as soon as you can. Over-
Twilight sighed. This was not going to be easy, balancing so many problems and assignments.
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Raistlin Archmagus

Joined: 22 Jun 2004
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Location: Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, Krynn

 PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The silence in Magicum's new throne room stretched on and on. War? The words of the emperor echoed in the minds of Tomass and Riven - war? How oculd he possibly ask them to war? He knew their history, didn't he? Magicum would perish in another war, perish completely! The kingdom would siappear from the maps. Especially now, when even their saviour was gone, when they had no one for the people to look to, no one to inspire hope.
Riven turned her head slightly, eyes taking in those with her. Tomass and Damian - and an empty space, where Laurent would have stood, beside his uncle. Tomass could not rule the kingdom well enough now - he would be lost in a war. Damian? No, her young relation would be bloodthirsty - he'd refuse to sit in a leading position. He would fight - he would not even take orders well.
And she? She could not have anything to do with Magicum, in that sense. How would the people feel, being ruled by a teretogenic? So many of them still believed her to be int he clutches of her maker. And, a little voice asked, was that so far off? These dreams kept coming, and refused to depart...
Coughing, she sent a glance at her cousin, an unseen gust of wind prodding him in the back. Tomass seemed in a daze. The king shook himself slightly, staring at the Emperor. "Surely," he started, "surely you can't need our help." They could give none! "D'Tar Mordin must have other more powerful allies. Magicum is on the verge of collapse - we can't possibly offer you our armies - we have almost none, the morale of my people is non-existant, our savior is-"
"Is there no one else?" Riven's quiet voice cut in, stopping her cousin before he made a fool of himself. They all knew that it would be destructive for Magicum to offer any aid. "I am sorry, Emperor," she said, nodding to Tarmyln. "We cannot help you."
She waited - waited for the Mordine family to go into a rage, to express their displeasure in a way she was sure would not be welcome. It was not fair, she knew. They had helped Magicum, in its time of need, and now they were asking for the same. But how could they give it, even if they wanted to?

Sitting in a room that had housed her brother so often, Ellaria stared out the window, white eyes dull. The white fabric that served as a blindfold was in her hand, fingers wrenching at it's edges. It was all she could do to help her nerves.
Looking at her lap, she saw the red marks the cloth had made against her hand, and scowled. Why was she just sitting here, when she could be searching for Laur? He wasn't dead, he couldn't be - she'd feel it, wouldn't she? She'd feel her other half...and she had not felt him die - surely, she'd have felt that!
Or maybe she had only convinced herself so. Maybe he was gone...and this kingdom that she had hoped to see him pull to greatness would just deteriorate...she'd never be more than what she was, the sister of the Hero - who died. The sister that did nothing for him...
Closing her eyes, Ella placed her head in her hands. She prayed silently, hoping with all her being that her brother was all right...that she would find him.

Gods, where was he? This stupid, fog, he couldn't see a damned thing! Worse, he didn't know what he was doing there. How had he arrived at this spot? Squinting into the gray-white fog surrounding him, the young man ran a hand through his dark hair, and shivered. Where could he possibly-?
Whipping around, the young man stared, hands coming up ready for some sort of defense, magical of physical. When he saw a simple, unassuming man - albeit odd - in front of him (was that fur?), the boy let his hands drop slowly. "Who are you?" There was a command in his tone, a sound that insisted respect, and the expectation of it.
The older man smiled crookedly, hands clasped behind his back. "I old family friend. Yes, that title works wonderfully. You, are the boy that should not have been born, aren't you? You take glory upon yourself that does not belong to you. But, perhaps you will prove yourself, in time - we shall see how well you have learned your lessons."
As suddenly as he had appeared, the man was gone, and the boy stood at a loss, confused. Who in the world was that? Then, skin tingling, chills running down his spine, he heard an answer to the silent question, as if it had been whispered in his ear. "I am Tanasril, reborn."

And, somewhere far from Magicum, Laruent's eyes lfew open, jerking awake with a gasp.
Raistlin Majere, Archmagus of the Hourglass Eyes

I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment. - Raistlin Majere

Last edited by Raistlin Archmagus on Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

To the surprise of Alhana and Tomass, Tarmyln merely made a deprecating gesture with his hand. "I am not asking you for aid, Your Majesty. I fully realize that Magicum is in no condition to dispatch Heroes to the Northern Reaces. That was not my meaning. As our ally, you will inevitably be drawn into the conflict -- not by us, but by our enemies."
He inhaled deeply, and sighed once again. "Back when Magicum was nearly destroyed, my father, Tarmyln III, swore that he would avenge the kingdom on all those who had brought it harm. The Thamans are all gone, and Tanasril is also hopefully dead. That leaves only the Dragons. As you know, D'Tar Mordin itself was assulted by Dragons that day. This in turn led to the Dragonsbane Oath."
Zarrial shifted uncomfortably. The Dragonsbane Oath -- as Tarmyln was preceding to remind the King and his sister -- forever pitted House Mordine against the Dragons and all who sided with them. Shovrah-Dan was in league with the Black Dragons under Archon 'Naqui. This, combined with their ancient rivalry with Shovrah-Dan, had now pushed the two countries to open war. But what about Sydrian? The Emperor and the High King were rivals as well, and his father had allied with the Gold Dragons. He shivered as he realized that Tarmyln was coming to the same conclusion.
"And so, Your Majesty," he concluded, "we are not only in danger of going to war with Sevelin Dan, but with High King Sydrian as well. Your kingdom, small and weak as it might be, is strategically located in both geography and politics. For Sevelin, this is a perfect base for which to launch invasions even deeper into the South, and at the same time eliminate the Empire's influence below the Hellfires. For Sydrian, this kingdom is perfect as a northern base from which to assault either Shovrah-Dan or challenge our supremacy in the border states between North and South."
Tarmyln glanced around, taking in the stiffened Priestess and the shuddering Prince. "I tell you this in public," he said, turning back to Riven, "because everyone in this kingdom deserves to know the grim reality of the situation. As for the agents of our enemies, if they do not know this already, it is time they heard the truth as well."
"You say 'our' enemies," said Tomass. "But, so far, we are at peace with both Shovrah-Dan and the High Kingship. We prefer to remain that way."
"As do I," replied Tarmyln. "But I do not think it possible. In any case, I thought it best to warn you. I am not going to ask you to fulfil your alliance, King Tomass. But there are other things we must discuss. If we could meet later, in private - ?"
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Raistlin Archmagus

Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 93
Location: Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, Krynn

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

No answer could have relieved the Magisray king more. They were not asking for his armies, not asking for something that would send his kingdom spirlaing into nothing. He did not, however, realize that this was just as destructive to his kingdom. Surely, he thought (he even sounded unsure to himself!), the kings would not want to decimate his small home for their war, surely there was someone else, some other way.
Obviously, this is how states and kingdoms fall, led into an unassuming confidence in their safety. Luckily, someone in the room knew better.
Watching Damian smolder silently, ready to explode at the prospect of battle, Riven shook her head to herself. All wrong, she thought. Everything was going wrong. Before her cousins could say anything to ruin their stature before the emissaries present, the teretogenic nodded.
"Of course, Emperor," she said politely, ducking her head in a bow. "After dinner, once you've had the time to settle down, and return to the ways of Magicum - Tomass will gladly take an audience with you." Ugh, she thought. It was terrible, her speaking for the king - but the king seemed to have lost his ability to speak entirely.
Flushing slightly, Tom ran a hand over his short beard, and nodded. "Yes," he said, as if approving a suggestion made. "Enjoy Magicum, Emperor Tarmyln, and we shall continue tonight." Enjoy...enjoy what was left of it. He was glad Riven had opted for after the evening meal - he wanted to avoid this as long as he could.
Rhysallie watched the entire meeting, eyes and ears wide. Ah, pieces of the puzzle: Zarriel and the priestess, looking so uncomfortable. Something was indeed happening her, something that was not boding well. But where would Tholaria stand? Something she must send onto - though she hated it - her husband. The king had to be well informed, of course...and choose wisely in this growing war. Though, wisdom and justice were never always on the same side.

Ellaria echoed the gasp. Her heart was hammering against her ribs, threatening to stop completely - adreniline ran through her limbs, ready to give her strength enough to halt a dragon.
He was alive, she knew it!
The elation and bodily drug had her out of her chair, sending it tumbling over backwards. Blindfold forgotten, she left her room, hurrying through hallways. She had to find her grandfather, to tell him that Laurent was alive, that her brother lived...
It wasn't long before she was entirely lost. In the thrill of the moment, the Princess had forgotten that she'd never been in this castle before. Gods, she thought, almost naseous. Her arms were shaking with nothing to exert herself upon, and she did not know which way to turn.
Wandering through the palace, Ellaria found an unassuming door, and took a few hesitant steps toward it. Well, there were no guards...did that mean much? Turning the doorknob, she peeked in, and saw the back of a throne, a crown, and...and a green tail...?
Eyes widening, she jerked back, closing the door as silently as possible. Throne room...why were there no guards at the throne room's door? (Actually, the pimply faced young man from the night before - or perhaps hearly that morning - was still a bit too confused to do his duty properly...but she didn't know that.)
Biting her lip, Ella moved to pace in the hallway, waiting. Would they be done soon? Was it fitting to burst in? No, no, that would be ridiculous. What to do!
Raistlin Majere, Archmagus of the Hourglass Eyes

I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment. - Raistlin Majere
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

... The old throne room. Of course. They had left the old throne room much the way it had been after the final clash with Tanasril, to remind them of what nearly happened to Magicum and the Magisrays. So, while everyone else went to the new throne room, Juster went to the old.
It was just as it had been on that distant day, save for the roof which had been restored. The carpet was stained with gore from the Equestrodens slain there. The throne was a caricature of a royal seat, its wood splintered, metal twisted, and velvet slashed and now faded. And, near the centre of the room, the pile of fine dust which was all that remained of the archmage. Kneeling down, he ran his fingers through the dust, and looked upon one of the memories that seared his mind.
He stood staring at the statue, all that was left, apparently, of Tanasril. But he could still sense the Ether Winds swirling violently about the uplifted arms and staff, still coruscating about the petrified form.
"Is it over?" asked Darius cautiously. "Just like that?"
"It can't be," replied Alhana. "It was too ... easy. Tanasril's too powerful -- I can't believe he'd just be petrified."
"But he was," said Jager. He shrugged.
"So, apparently, was the Princess," said Juster. He pointed at the rigid equine form. Riven was facing Tanasril, and she appeared as lifeless as he. Suddenly the Ether Winds swirled out from the statue, caressing her, and she tossed her head in answer.
"What the - ?" cried Jager, stepping back as both statue and Riven's horn began to glow. Drexel, seeing a look of pain and horror on Juster's face, laid a hand on him.
"What is it?"
"I ... do not know. But I feel ... " he clapped his hands to his head, and collapsed to his knees. In his mind, he could once more sense Tanasril; he could feel the archmage's rage and longing. Finally, with a flash of energy greater than the Archons', the statue crumbled into dust, leaving Juster with the hated voice ringing in his head.
"Mother," Riven said softly, "I'm back. I've been living in a nightmare, but now Tanasril has gone for good."
"Is he?" growled Juster. he climbed unsteadily to his feet, helped by Drexel. "Just before that - " he stabbed a finger at the crumbled statue " - fell apart, I swear I felt my old teratogenic bond with him re-emerge, and I heard the words 'Fear not, my children. My spirit shall be with you, and one day, I shall return.'"

"Not if I can help it," he muttered. Grimly he reviewed what he had learned of Tanasril's past.
Born in an obscure hamlet in the Northern Reaches, Tanasril had been gifted with a rare intelligence and great magical talent. However, either through some defect in his makeup or the ridicule he suffered through his physical deformities, his mind became twisted. He turned to the Forbidden Art of teratogeny, destroying his own village when one of his experiments escaped his control. He disappeared for twenty-nine years, only to re-emerge in the employ of the ambitous Requistor. After Requistor's rebellion against Emperor Tarfulth and his defeat, Tanasril vanished again. When he reappeared centuries later in the Isle of the Dragon Kings, he had completely mastered teratogeny.
The gaps between his appearances in history had been a secret, until now. Juster learned that Tanasril, after fleeing his home, went to Krolm's Anvil, where he studied with another teratogenitor. After surpasing his master, Tanasril left for D'Tar Mordin, where he enrolled in the Wizards' Guild. After being expelled for practicing forbidden magic, he was found by Lord General Requistor.
The span of time between Carmen and Alhana had been harder to fill in. His fortress on the Isle of Dragon Kings Juster knew well; having been transformed there. Although he discovered it had been built soon after Requistor's fall, he found little evidence of teratogenic practices there until just before he himself had been captured. Perplexed, Juster had gone back to the Old Palace in D'Tar Mordin, whose ruins served the Mordines much as the throne room served the Magisrays. There, he finally found clue: a few burnt pages from a journal Tanasril had kept. He learned that the madman had intended to go to "a Fair Valley near to an Ancient Forest, where my master once said there were many skilled practitioners of the Art, as well as many resources wherewith to conduct Experiments."
This, Juster guessed, was the Black Valley. It turned out that, at the time of Tanasril's journey, the accursed place had indeed been fair. It was Tanasril and his ilk who had turned it into the haunted waste it was today. Due to a magical anomaly, Juster had been unable to investigate the valley, but he guessed from research done in the Libraries of D'Tar Mordin, Tholaria, and Valmorgen that it had once been teeming with life of all kinds, monstrous and mundane. There had even once been a prosperous kingdom there at the time of Rendishire and Garuta, which was destroyed during the Ten Thousand Arrows War, leaving behind many powerful artifacts. The perfect place for Tanasril to acquire experience in his "Art".
He also acquired knowledge of other things. Juster discovered that Tanasril had his own Library on the isle of the Dragons Kings. When he first discovered it, the shelves had been empty save for a few illegible scrolls. However, he knew that Tanasril had been attacked by Dragons, and guessed that the lost books rested in the horde of some wyrm. With luck he located the draconic colony in the Southern Cliffs. He had to fight a powerful fire Dragon, but when he had slain the monster, he at last laid his hands on the archmage's books.
It was not a pretty collection. Juster did nothing more than glance at their covers, but that was enough. Tanasril had been interested in other things besides teratogeny. He had studied deeply the mysteries of life and death, as well as the dream world and how to manipulate people through visions. The only book which he had taken away from the sordid collection was Tanasril's second journal, which was dreadful enough. In beween minute descriptions of his experiments, the tome was filled with ravings about the insult he had endured at the hands of Carmen, and oaths to destroy Magicum and transform every member of the Magisray bloodline.
"Are you finished, my child?" The voice was deep, with a richness of tone that almost hid the madness which entwined it. Juster jerked his head up, and froze as paralyzing rage rushed through him.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Revealed before Juster was the figure who had taunted him in his most recent dreams. Tall, slender, dressed in a silken knee-length tunic belted with pale cloth-of-gold. The face was handsome, aristocratic, covered by fine, silvery fur. His hair was deep brown, falling to his shoulders. Luxurous fur of the same rich colour covered his arms and legs, tufted his pointed, and formed a bushy tail. His eyes were gold and intense, the teeth in smile pointed. The hands were long, delicate, fingers supple, bare skin sensitive. Nothing was as he remembered it, and yet there was no mistaking the presence: Tanasril the Broken.
"Tanasril Reborn," the creature chided, gently correcting his thoughts. "You have spent so many years searching for me, Sir Juster. And now, you have found me at last. Welcome home, my child."
Juster snarled and rose to his feet. "I ... am not ... your child!" His hand clenched over his swordhilt. "I have been searching for you to slay you, once and for all!"
"Slay me? But why?" Tanasril held out his hands. "Cast away your sword, Sir Juster. Cast aside the hatred that mars your vision. It with me that your destiny rests. Yours, and all of Magicum's. In this time of chaos, when all the land slides toward destruction, only I can safeguard the legacy of the Houses of Magisray and Silveredge."
"I'll see that legacy destroyed before you defile it!" Juster drew his sword from the sheath in an arc of lightning. "Your madness will die today! Nobody will ever suffer through you again!"
"Nothing can be gained without suffering, my son. Do you think it was easy for me to give up my mortal shell, and wander houseless in the deeps? But behold the glorious transformation. I am Broken no longer! At last, one of my great dreams has come to pass, and I have worked my Art upon myself! Now, all that remains is to fulfill my other dreams. I shall recreate Carmen's progeny and her kingdom in my image. And you, Sir Juster, shall help me!"
"Never in this life nor any other!" Juster swung his sword above his head and lunged at the teratogenitor. Tanasril shook his head with a sad smile. The sword slashed through the figure and clashed against the floor. The figure vanished, leaving behind an echo of Tanasril's voice: "Not yet, my son, but soon."
Juster hurled his sword across the throne room. Collapsing to his knees, He covered his face with his hands, and screamed in frustration.

The Emperor and his kin bowed once more and turned from the throne. As they passed out into the hall, Twilight detached from the shadows and came to join them.
"I have ill news," she whispered to Tarmyln. "Cloud has confirmed that Sevelin is mobilizing his forces to capture Gur Mechina. Full-scale war is only days away, at most."
"Blast! So soon!" The Emperor turned to Tarmoran. "Brother, you must go to Volencia. Bring back the Magnate or his adviser. We must determine the roles of Magicum and New Volencia now, at this evening's - "
He was cut off by a horrific sound that ripped through the Palace. It was a bestial cry of anger and despair. All three Mordines blanched, as did Twilight.
"What in the name of the Goddess was that?" breathed Tarmyln.
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