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The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne
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Joined: 22 Jan 2001
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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

As Magicum itself had been nearly destroyed, so had its eastern outpost -- now duly renamed Alhania -- been ravaged by the thaman army. although most of its buildings were still intact, the Temples to Krolm had been demolished, as well as the homes of those who had complained of the general's harsh treatment. With the new temples to Dauros unfinished, the village bore the appearance of being deserted. An impression not far wrong, for most of the village's inhabitants had been Heroes and their families who had been slaughtered by the Thamans. Ramthol, regent of the town, had committed suicide upon hearing of Daric Thaman's death.
Alhana, preoccupied with the reconstruction of Magicum, had neither resources nor people to spare to Alhania. Those who had a strong desire to were allowed to move into the deserted Outpost proper; of these, Mung was the leader. He ruled as well as he could, and, with help from the Dryads, managed to maintain a modicum of authority in the region. It would be several generations, however, before Alhania could ever hope recover from the ravages of the war.
On the other hand, Castle Silveredge could well be said to have prospered. The loss of Wodenthal hit the townsmen hard, and several of their Heroes perished in the Second Battle of Magicum (as the fray had been called); still, the settlement was largely untouched by the war. Drexel assumed the title of Baron. He generously supported Alhana in the rebuilding of Magicum, allowing her to stay in his Outpost while the Palace was refurbished, and selling all of the valuables in his family's possession (save the ancient sword) in order to help pay for the new buildings. Still, he gained money just as fast as he gave it away, for Castle Silveredge, its infrastructure intact, quickly filled the void left by Magicum. Even when the capital was restored, Castle Silveredge remained the economic and agricultural centre of the kingdom. Indeed, had Drexel been less devoted to his Queen, he could easily have pushed House Magisray aside and gained control of the kingdom. However, his loyalty to Alhana was fierce and unswerving; although there were whispers that it was Riven that he was truly loyal to, and perhaps more.
Early in his rule, he was advised by his uncle Toberk, but he never truly recovered from either the death of his brother or the wounds he received in the battle. Three years later, he died. He commended Drexel to Treven, the level-headed Guildmaster who had moved in with them after the destruction of his Guild.
As for Juster, he seemed nearly as affected by the war as Toberk, but in a different way. Rather than losing his will to live and slowly dieing, however, Juster seemed possessed by a dark spirit that drove him on a tireless search for traces of Tanasril. After the first hard years of reestablishing Magicum, he was rarely in the kingdom, wandering throughout Ardania, travelling from the remains of Tanasril's tower on the Isle of the Dragon Kings to his old laboratory in the ruined Old Palace of D'Tar Mordin. When he did return, he did so by darkness, allowing himself to be seen only by his kinsmen or the Magisrays. At these times, he seemed to have himself under a tight control, and the fire in his eyes warned what would happen if ever that control should be relaxed.
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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Joined: 22 Jan 2001
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Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

In the west, New Volencia was slowly recovering. With Iohcarael's guidance, the Barthaenians managed to restore order, assuring the various financiers, merchants and lords invested in the city that the Secret was safe, and that production would continue as normal. However, in the chaos of the several months this process took, a number of men managed to slip into various positions within the city; men who used the turmoil to avoid the scrutiny that normally would have been applied. From Innkeeper to Deputy Master of the Golden Guild, these agents infiltrated every level of the Volencian system. Save only the Iron Guild; where the watchful eyes of Durthar made sure that, even in this state of confusion, the Secret was not breached.
Still, that did not hinder the plans of the one who had sent these agents. One night, as the Guards were drowsing at the West Gate, a large man on a tall horse rode up to the circle of torchlight surrounding the entranceway.
The Guards snatched up their weapons, irritated at this unwelcome visitor. "Halt!" one cried. "State your name and business!"
"Those are no concern of yours," said a cold voice. "My business is my own, and I suggest you keep out of it. In fact, I suggest you forget ever seeing a stranger ride through your post after midnight. Otherwise, you might find yourselves out of a job ... or worse."
The Guards glanced at each other. There was something in the voice which told them that he never made idle threats. Silently they stood aside, and the man rode through.
Since that night, New Volencia experienced a recession in its economic affairs. Accounts were lost, files mislaid, reports garbled. Unrest began to grow among the populace, its cause never able to be pinned. Guards vanished in the night, Caravans never reached their destinations, Peasants would be found strangled in alleyways. Slowly, surely, New Volencia began to fall under an impalpable yet omni-present gloom. Beseiged by unseen foes, the Barthaenians and their adviser became more suspicious of their neighbours, tightening security on the Secret, and restricting trade to all kingdoms save Magicum, for even the Magnate would not forget their alliance. So the city dwindled, while around it a darker force grew stronger.

In the north, D'Tar Mordin was quickly rebuilt. Untroubled in the main by the woes of Magicum and New Volencia, the Empire had still suffered, first from the mercenaries, then from the unexpected draconic raid. Tarmyln, determined to prevent thing happening again, strengthen his city's defenses beyond what they had been before. In an effort to reclaim lost Dwarven technologies, he began excavating the many catacombs and galleries beneath the city. Further, he held numerous tourbaments, attracting many skilled heroes whom he then persuaded to join him. He expanded the High Temple to Krypta and the Imperial Wizards' Guild, increasing the funding alloted to these Heroes who had saved his city.
His main focus in these later years, however, was the developement of an elite organization whose true purpose was known only to himself and his family. While he trained Prince Tarmyln for the throne, he assigned his second son, the charismatic Tarfulth, to finding and recruiting the creme de la creme of the Northern Heroes. Also at this time, his youngest son, Tarmoran, began researching all the lore of Dragons he could find. To accomplish this, he travelled throughout ardania, much as his father had done. But the scholarly prince's mission was not a diplomatic one; he was accompanied not by politicians, but by Wizards. They studied in Libraries, they examined old sites associated with draconic legends, they acquired artefacts made either by dragons or to destroy them. Eventually Tarmoran returned to the Empire, possessed of more draconic knowledgethan any other man in Ardania -- perhaps even more than the Dragons themselves.
Throughout it all, the rebuilding and recruiting, the plannig and the scheming, Tarmyln supported Alhana. In was in large part due to the prestige of the D'Tar Mordin Empire that the shattered kingdom was allowed to recover. After witnessing the destruction of Ferring and Thamos, kings who might have been inclined to prey on the weakened nation thought better of their ambitions.
Tarmyln was feared and respected, and, in some cases, honoured by all the Ardanian monarchs until his death. Upon that occassion, the Crown Prince was declared Emperor Tarmyln IV. A wise and ambitious man, he and his brothers continued the work of his father. He reaffirmed the ancient alliance between House Mordine and House Magisray, and was often in Magicum, discussing their situation with Tomass and the Queen Mother. When in D'Tar Mordin, he was often occupied with matters relating to the founding of what he and his brothers had come to call the 'Cadre'. Its purpose still secret, even its existence was relatively unknown below the Hellfire Mountains. Still, rumours spread, and the tales of the Cadre added to the mystic, awe-inspiring aura of the Empire of D'Tar Mordin.

If Tarmyln III and his son was building a new secret organization, an older one was disappearing. Nothing was seen or heard of the Rekc'Art after the Second Battle of Magicum until the coronation of Tomass. After the ceremony, the Rekc'Dar, Warder, appeared among the royal family as they were discussing the future of their kingdom.
"Warder!" cried Alhana. "Where have you - ?"
"Don't ask," he interrupted. "Suffice it to say I have been busy. Tanasril may be gone, but there are many threats still for the Rekc'Art to combat. From the shadows. My brethren and I have talked it over, and we have decided that the Rekc'Art Order has become too involved in Ardanian politics. So, Alhana, this is good-bye."
"Will we see you again?" asked Darius. Warder looked at him coolly.
"Maybe. It depends on the future. Before I go, however, I have one thing to say: beware the Dark Knights!"
"The what?" said Jager, but Warder had vanished.
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

There were, indeed, many threats till for the Rekc'Art to combat. Tanasril was dead, but many of his creatures still roamed at large.
In the Black Valley, self-appointed Knight Commander Skraxis led the remnants of the Equestrodens through that land of nightmare, struggling north in the hopes of finding a free land where they could lay the foundation for a new kingdom. Ragged, wounded; their discipline held them together as they sought for their dream.
In the now desolate lands of what had once been Ferring, the people fled before the rumour of an unnatural army. Whispers spoke of the ghosts of Ferringburg, for the terror seemed centered in its ruins. It was Ephinmor and his magefel followers, as well as the Black Phantoms he had conjured. This dark company haunted the ruins as Ephinmor searched for books on necromancy that he might gain still more control over the restless spirits that he summoned.
On the North Downs, in the ever-growing fortress founded by Tanasril, the Aergoblins and Eldwarves waited. Their psychic bond having informed them of the death of their Master, Grannok and Yquellar had decided to remain within the fortress, slowly building up their power ... and waiting. The Aergoblin population continued to grow, as did that of the moronic Kelnomes. The fortress, too, expanded as the Eldwarves delved new galleries below and added new courts above. And, all this time, they waited. They waited, for both Yquellar and Grannok knew that they had a part to play yet, they or their descendents; they knew that, somehow, the Master's will would be carried on despite his death. so they waited, waited for the day when they could once again serve the Master who had led them.

The Master. So had his creatures called him; some with devoton, some with admiration, some with disgust, some with hatred. In the same varying manner, his peers had called him the Broken: broken in body, but not in will. No, that will had endured for centuries, and it endured still.
Tanasril had been entrapped in stone and magic by the semi-divine magic of the Gold Archons. They had robbed him of his victory just as it was in sight. Enraged, with magical energy crackling around, he yet could do nothing until freed from his prison. To be freed from the prison, however, meant death, for it was his own petrified body wherein he was trapped. So, in one last spell, wherein he combined his own insane magic with Riven's nature power, he destroyed his body and freed his spirit.
Tanasril was then plunged into an unholy existence: the Limbo of undeath. Refusing to accept the peace of Krypta, his bodiless spirit fled from the Magisray throne-room, from the lingering stench draconic magic and divine power. Down he plunged, deep beneath the earth, where even the gods look seldom. There he found an ancient network of caverns and corridors, built by no man or god. This strange world was inhabited by many things; many creatures of awe and dread, wonder and disgust. Here were beasts both natural and unnatural; subterranean beings either made for the depths or driven there by gods and mortals.
From this wealth of raw materials, Tanasril began the laborious process of costructing a new abode. Once considered the greatest of teratogenitors, the new-found knowledge of life and death granted him from his own demise made his work all the more potent. Slowly he mutated creature after creature: combining, severing, creating, destroying; searching for the perfect combination of physics and magic to house his ethereal form.
Meanwhile, in the lands above, those he had once known, both friend and foe, continued their lives. Some mourned him, some cursed him, but all ived in ignorance of his continued presence. All, except perhaps for four. One, once a neo-wolf and now a venge-crazed Warrior, who believed he heard the hated voice mocking him from afar; another, a young girl transformed into a winged horse-like creature with powers rivalling those of a demi-god, who heard his voice whispering to her in her dreams; and the two who were born and bred by Tanasril, loyal to him since before their briths, who, though now ancient in years, still waited for a sign from the man they had once called Master.
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:39 pm    Post subject: might :D Reply with quote Back to top

The loss of entire flight over D'Tar Mordin was the single greatest defeat on draconic history, after the tragic defeat of Vendral the great at the hand of the high king himself and the defeat of Andraxal-Kerlazor by Krolm. Yet the servants of Krypta were not to be receding into the darkness once and for all.

Three robed and cloaked figures entered Shovrah-Dan via the front gate a week after Tarmoranís return. There was a rumor of a secret meeting, soon thereafter, a great project begun at temple of Krypta. All construction was done by undead, and the nature of the project was shrouded in great secrecy.

Unknown to northerners, the southern kingdoms knew it all too well. A couple donning golden robes entered Caer Sydrian on the same day the shadowy visitors arrived at the great city of the north. In a matter of month, the immense of wealth of City of Crowns was poured into the Tribunal of light.

The tribunal is the greatest of all southern temples; it occupies almost 300 Arce of land, has more then two thousand marble pillars, its roof are covered in more then a ton of gold leafs, and the temple employed thousands during its construction. Once completed, it would become headquarter of the new templar order and a shinning monument of Sydrian might.

Unknown to mortals, there new projects would spark the second dragon war, the greatest conflict Ardania would eventually endure. But that is the story of another era.
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