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The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne
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The Archmage

Joined: 06 Nov 2000
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Location: Wakarusa, IN; USA

 PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 7:49 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Halphin Trythr moved through the rain in New Volencia. Just that morning he had been named "Ironmaster," and he was on his way home from celebrating in the local inn. The rain washed down the muddy streets and thunder rolled in the distance. Then an iron hand grabbed his collar from the shadows and Halphin was yanked into the shadows. A dark, cold voice asked, "Well?"
"Yes-yes, Milord!" gasped Halphin. "I've got the informa-"
An iron-clad hand sent the traitor into unconsciousness.
"We will take him to Minas Darhck," said one Dark Knight.
Minas Darhck was the stronghold of the Dark Knights, hidden deep within the Hellfire Mountains... Halphin Trythr was in the hands of the enemy.

Durthar Barthaenian was listening to the morning report. In his hands was his breakfast and drink.
"Oh, and, my lord," said the man, "the north gate was opened last night and the guards slain. According to citizens, they heard two horses arriving and then some hours later leaving, though it was hard to hear in the storm. The rain washed away any tracks."
"Why would anyone want to enter New Volencia at night? I was the Guard strengthened and I want to be informed when there is more information," replied Durthar.
"Yes, my lord."
After an uneventful morning of Magnate-like duties, Durthar was interupted from a top-ranking Ironmaster.
"My lord!" gasped the man. "An Ironmaster is missing!"
One hour later, Durthar was sitting with the Captain of the Guard, Weulim Fahl. The Ironmaster had informed him that the missing Ironmaster, a Halphin Trythr, had just been named "Ironmaster" when he had disappeared.
"Do you think, Captain, that this has any connection to the opened north gate?"
The Captain of the Guard frowned. He was one of the special individuals who knew about the Process, though not in too much detail. He did know, though, about it's importance. And a missing Ironmaster was grave news indeed.
"I think, my lord," said Weulim, "that we have no choice but to assume so. An Ironmaster is paid enough that he doesn't want to leave New Volencia. Something is definitely amiss."
Durthar nodded. "I wish that Thordin was here. He's know what to do. But given the circumstances... Captain, I want you to search the city and find the best tracking Ranger that you can find."
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The Archmage

Joined: 06 Nov 2000
Posts: 1822
Location: Wakarusa, IN; USA

 PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 2:54 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Darnan the Hunter sat in the Rangers Guild, working on his new bow. He was experimenting with it when the door opened and in walked a heavily-cloaked figure.
"I need a hunter," the figure said.
Darnan looked at the figure and replied drily, "Don't we all."
Darnan turned and saw an object resting on the desk. It was Processed chain mail-- light as feather, but incredibly strong.
"Now you've got my interest," said Darnan.
The figure pulled back his hood. "I am Durthar Barthaenian. Do you know me?"
"Of course. Who doesn't? But don't expect me to bow. I serve no man."
Durthar smiled grimly and told the Ranger briefly the situation.
"So," said Darnan, when Durthar of House Barthaenian had finished, "you want me to track two horsemen that might not have existed, who may or may not have a captive man with them, to a location unknown, with no tracks to start from?"
"Exactly," replied Durthar. "You reward would be, of course, this chain mail and another like it. With them you could buy half a city and could live in luxury forever.
"But, remember, the captive must either be brought back with you or killed. Either way, I want his body-- preferibly alive. Do what you want with the riders. I just want the captive!
"He'll be wearing a medallion similar to this-"
"Ah, an Ironmaster, eh? Lose something important?"
"Nevermind that. Just remember the chain mail."
Darnan's eyes glinted. "I'll be leaving in half an hour."
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2002 4:52 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Southern coast, dragon cliff ...

“If you spoke truth, our interest have been compromised, Goldfire.”
“You could say that, Archon”
“So, Tanasril was not vanquished by our seal.”
“True, I fear nothing can be a worse scourge to this land then him.”
“As we know, that one could not hide forever, and we have mastered some of his movement.”
“All wizards fear the dead…”
“About time to send that man back to his grave.”
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2002 10:18 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

The sun's light pricked out every leaf of the Dryad Forest as it rose behind in the east, sending their long shadows far across the North Plain. Remeth watched in silent appreciation. Not only was the sunrise beautiful, but he valued the time alone.
He had been chosen for the last watch. All the others were currently asleep, save Quillan, who had gone off to scout. Remeth sighed as Helia's orb drew above the trees. He squatted down, and built a fire, taking care to see that it did not smoke. Soon breakfast was cooking, and the others began to stir.

"That was as good as the breakfasts at Castle Silveredge," declared Drexel, smiling at the Ranger. Remeth nodded, and withdrew from the now-out fire.
"I daresay it was," said Treven. "It beats Guild fare, at any rate."
"Oh?" said Toberk.
"We cook for ourselves," said the Guildmaster by way of explanation.
"Where's the Elf?" said Tomass. He was still a bit sleepy, for he was not used to resting on the ground.
"He'll be back, soon enough," said Toberk, standing and walking about.
"Unless he's been captured, said Juster grimly. The man was examing his sword, a whetstone in one hand.
"Never fear," said the Elf's voice. Quilan appeared from the chest-high grass and walked into camp. "I am never captured. Though perhaps if I were less experienced, I might have been."
"Explain," said Juster tersely.
"I saw a strange sight. A man, riding a splendid horse, was been pursued by four mounted Ratmen. As I turned to depart my vantage point, another of the creatures nearly ran his horse over me. I managed to dodge him, and after chasing me for a while, he left off, to follow the human rider."
"That is strange," acknowledged Treven. "I have never heard of mounted Ratmen. What kind of horse would bear them?"
"Only one kind," said Juster. He knelt, and quickly rekindled the fire, taking care that it did smoke.
"What are you doing?" demanded Remeth, jmping to his feet. "You fool, you'll give our position away!"
"That's the general idea," said the Warrior. "This man, whoever he is, isn't likely to fight off five of the madman's abominations, should they catch up to him."
"You mean-?" said Drexel.
"I do."
Some fifteen minutes later, Eruthac the Watcher burst into the grass clearing. He threw his cloak over the fire, smothering it, before turning to the adventurers. "That was a stupid thing to do," he said bluntly. "Don't you know there are armies on the move?"
"You were in trouble," returned Juster. "I thought to help you."
"Stupidity helps no-one," snapped Eruthac. The Warrior's pale blue eyes blazed in anger, but the Rekc'Art ignored him. Instead, he turned to Toberk. "These Plains are no place for the inexperienced. I take it you're the leader; what are you doing out here?"
"Looking for the Princess Riven," replied Toberk. "I take it you're a Rekc'Art?"
"Correct, human," said a high-pitched voice. The five remained Equestrodens stood on the edge of the clearing. "Surrender now, and hand him over, and you will be spared."
"Vermin!" cried Drexel. "We shall not surrender ourselves or our guest to the lkes of you!" He charged the one who had spoken. Without further ado, Sir Seras leveled his lance and spurred his mount forward. Sir Yll and Sir Euric raised their shields and charged Eruthac, while the other two attacked the rest of the party.
Drexel deflected his opponent's lance point with his shield, then slashed the demi-horse with his mithril sword. The creature reared and fell, Sir Seras leaping from his saddle to land on the young man. They both fell; the Equestroden quickly scrambled to his feet and drew out his sword. Drexel swung wildly; by luck more than by skill, his sword connected with that of his foe's. The iron blade snapped. and the ancient heirloom of the Silveredges continued into the Knight Lieutenant's chest.
Eruthac calmly met his two foes. As the Rohne danced aside from the lances, his staff swept off the helmet of the bigger of his foes, then cracked down on his head. Sir Yll, the smaller Equestroden, ducked Eruthac's blow and thrust his now-drawn sword into the Rekc'Art's side. Eruthac spun his staff around, and Sir yll fell to the ground.
Toberk surveyed the battlefield. All the Ratmen were dead; the other two had gone done with three arrows apiece buried in them.
"Well met," he said to Eruthac.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:02 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

The rising sun drenched the water of the Southern Sea with the colour of blood. A ship rode at anchor off the Isle of the Dragon Kings, its two masts barring the rising sun.
Ephinmor's sensitive nose wrinkled at the smell of decay from the island. "Undead," he said.
"Aye," said another magefel. Sarras, his fur silver in the brightening morning, stood beside Ephinmor in the prow, looking out over the Isle. "My scrying magic detected a powerful artifact of undead summoning and control. Unless I am wrong - and I am never wrong - it is the Ring of Twilight."
"Indeed?" Ephinmor's eyes glowed. "I should like to have that. What else? Have you discerned the nature of the binding spell?"
"Strangely enough, whatever spell holds the Master, it is not centred on this island." Sarras turned and looked at the distant coast. "However, there is something away there. It must be very powerful for me to be able to detect at this distance."
"Hmmmmm." Ephinmor stared at the Isle. He thought in silence. Then he spoke. "Fetch me the shapeshifters and the others. We have a strategy to make." Sarras nodded and padded off. Shortly he returned; fifteen other magefels and the two shapeshifters with him.
"Here we are," said Terida. "What do you require, Ephinmor?"
"This is the Isle of the Dragon Kings. Somewhere out there is the old fortress of our master, Tanasril. We have reason to believe - strong reason to believe - that the fortress is held by undead of varying strength. However, we also know what is controlling them. A powerful Ring: the Ring of Twilight."
"Once we get this Ring," said Xath, "will Tanasril be free?"
"No," said Ephinmor, "though it will further his cause. That is where we come in. While you two are infiltrating the tower, we will teleport back to the mainland. There is a large source of magical energy there; enough to shape the other winds half a continent away. We shall investigate that."
"I see." Terida nodded. "But, what of the ship? And how will we find you?"
"The ship is of no account. It may rot here forever. As to how you will find us..." Ephinmor pulled out a medallion and hung it on her neck. "Take this. When you have the Ring, trace the rune hereon engraved. It will transport you immediated to me. Understood?"
"Indeed," said the two shapeshifters as one. They stretched their arms as they started to shrink. A minute later, two night hawks winged their way over the Isle. The magefels watched them, then Quathil, the Summoner, lifted his arms, and moved all of them to the distant coast - the Dragon Coast.

Xath watched the land below him. Every so often his keen eyes picked up the movement of bony figures, far below him. Silently he drifted onward. A small mountain reared ahead; he veered up and over it, just as the sun rose full behind him.
The sight before him made him stop, hovering on an updraft from the mountain. On another mountain stood the fortress of Tanasril. Its outer walls were breached, and the four perimeter turrets were crumbled, but still the central one, the Tower itself, thrust its tortured way out of the rock.
However, it was not the wonder of seeing the Master's castle that made the night hawk pause. It was the black shadows that clung to the ruined walltops and clustered thickly about the ground that made him freeze. The sunlight shone translucent through them, revealing misty forms in cowled robes. Black Phantoms.
He saw another hawk wheeling above the old fortress. Quickly Xath flew to join Terida. Swiftly they plummeted down into a window of the Tower.
Unseen even by the sharp-eyed birds, a Phantom moved out from a corner of the chamber. A brilliant flash of electricity lit the early morning as the Phantom moved to kill these living intruders. It hissed as it saw the energy dissipate. It understood that these were no ordinary creatures, and acted accordingly. Before the Pahntom could move into striking range, however, the two shapeshifters had already flown out of the chamber.
Xath shimmered back into his own form. Terida did likewise. They were in the chamber beneath that of the Phantom guard.
"Where off to now?" asked Xath, not caring that his voice echoed throughout the Tower.
"Down, I should think," replied Terida. "The Master had his laboratory down there; I should think it would be the natural place in which to place a magical artifact."
The pair ran lightly down a set of circular stairs. Though cracked in some places, the stairs were still fairly sound, and led all the way down to the bottom story. The stepped out of the shaft, and into a vast cavern.
"Look!" said Xath in awe. He pointed. "There is the containing cave for Garelstramin - you remember, the dragon that Tanasril used for a mount?"
"Yes, I have heard that." Terida looked around. "I think the laboratory is over here." The two walked quickly over. There lay the room, hewn from the stone of the Isle, and still containing various implements of torture and magic. The shapeshifters entered, even Terida impressed at what this represented. They spotted something on a table in the far end of the room, but a voice stopped their advance.
"Welcome to the Isle," said a dry voice. They whirled around, to see the door blocked by a vampire. The powerful undead creature smiled malevolently. "I am Emon. Those wonderful dragons left me, the only truly intelligent being they summoned with their precious Ring, in charge of this island. I suppose they thought better that I should be here then marauding mortal villages. I'll get off someday, of course. In the meanwhile, I haven't dined for years, and I'm famished."
"Really," murmured Terida. "Well, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere for your feast. We're hardly a buffet." She blurred, and a giant snake coiled in her place. Terida threw her coils around Emon, even as Xath changed into a minotaur.
"Very impresive," wheezed the vampire. "But I have very good waitors." Three black shapoes glided into the room.
"Phantoms?" bellowed Xath in contempt. "I've faced them before and won." He plucked a long, barbed pole from its sconce on the wall, and swung at the Phantoms.
"Really," gasped Emon. He strained, then struck suddenly, sinking his fangs into Terida's flesh.
"Gah," he said, pulling away. "Cold-blooded reptile!"
The room then exploded as one of the Phantoms cast a spell. The fiery whirlwinds focused on the two shapeshifters, doing them little appreciable harm. Emon, on the other hand, caught as he was in Terida's coils, was burned to ashes - little black ashes which mixed with the white dust of his demise. The Phantoms, like their counterpart in the Towertop above, realized that magic did not affect these strange beings. So they went for hand to hand combat. Terida found herself faced by all three, and, twist as she would, she was sorely ripped.
"The Ring!" she hissed at the confused minotaur. "Get the Ring, cursse you!"
Xath stumbled around, changing back to human form. He jumped to the table, snatched up the Ring, and pushed it onto his finger. "Leave off, I command you!" he cried to the Phantoms. A darkly light flared, and the Phantoms obeyed. Terida shifted back to her own form, and stood gasping and clutching at her wounds.
"Well," she said after a few minutes, "let's go." She clutched Xath by with one hand, and traced the rune on her medallion with the other.

[ 25 March 2002, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: Falotar ]
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 6:45 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

The barony of Alhania was dedicated to Krolm; it contained several Temples to the Eldest God. Thus, the morning was announced by the drums of the Barbarians beating out a challenge to Helia, Krolm's rebellious daughter. It was to be the last day, for many a year, that those drums sounded.
Ramthol dressed quickly, and hurried out of the small castle which was his home. Though such activity would normally be unusual for such an old man, Ramthol was excited. Today was the day that Quivour had promised Baron Daric would return. He was not disappointed. A light wind blew up, bringing with it the sound of many heavy-shod feet and jingling metal. The people looked in the direction of the sounds uneasily.

Mung snatched up his heavy axe. He recognized those sounds; an army was coming to his town. The Chieftain of the Dryad Temple (so-called from its proximity to the Forest) considered himself to be the real Steward of the town, as he did not believe Ramthol to be truly loyal to Baron Darius. He selected a thick club, then gestured to one of the younger Barbarians to come over.
"Make Invocation of Krolm's Rage," he growled. "I charge Ramthol after battle."
The Barbarian, Wulf Shuv by name, nodded. Soon he started chanting Krolm's name; soon he joined by all the others. Mung, caught up in the chant, did not notice the small, knife-holding Barbarian coming up behind him, until the little man had already jammed the knife into his back. Mung roared, spun around, and knocked the false Barbarian's head clean off with his club. He then charged out of the Temple, followed by his clansmen and ignoring the knife, which was still imbedded in his flesh up to its hilt.

General Thaman calmed his nervous horse as the echoes of the Invocation died over the plains.
"Your Assasins do not seem to have accomplished there mission," he said icily to Quivour.
"No?" said the dandy, rather put out. "I'm sure they tried." All five Thamans were reading at the head of their army. Erias was in the centre, flanked on his right by Daric and on the left by the spymaster. Behind them rode his mother and brother.
"No matter," snapped Queen Alarica. "What is a little rabble of Barbarians?"
"Barbarians?" said a man behind her sharply. Errias noted coldly to himself that he had not counted on how this would affect their Rangers. The man, of course, was a Ranger; Tendann Farjourney was, in fact, the leader of the Rangers in the General's force. "You said nothing about fighting Barbarians."
"You will follow my instructions, Farjourney," stated Errias without turning.
"Not in this matter," retorted the Ranger. "We follow the Treaty of Ravenswood, and we shall not violate its terms."
"Very well. You will allow you to stand aside from the combat this once. Do not presume to cross my will again."
Soon the Barbarians came roaring around the corner of the Forest that had blocked the village from view. The Rangers in the foreguard parted silently, but they were not the only scouts Errias' army had. Adepts rushed in; soon they outnumbered the Barbarians three to one. Palace Guards rushed past the Thamans to help the followers of Lunord.

Mung swung his axe, breaking the wooden staff of his foe. His club then connected with the Adept's head, smashing him to the ground. Another fell, and another. Mung fought, oblivious to the wounds inflicted on him, the wrath of the Eldest God burning in his veins. Soon the Adepts were being replaced by swarms of men in red tabards bearing halberds. Mung snorted; Palace Guards should stay in their cities. Soon he had felled a dozen of the weaklings. But still they kept coming. Eventually, even the Barbarian chieftain had to succumb to the superior numbers, and he fell, unconscious, beneath a pile of slain Guardsmen.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 8:08 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"I must go," said Eruthac. It was barely fifteen minutes after the fight with the Equestrodens, but already the Rekc'Art had bandaged his wound and was prepared to leave.
"Go?" said Drexel, rather crestfallen that this powerful man was leaving them. "Where?"
"That I cannot tell you," replied the Watcher. "But I can tell you that I have already spent too much time here."
"Wait," said Toberk. "Before you go, I wish to say something to you."
"Speak quickly then."
"Do not go." Before Eruthac could object, Toberk went on. "We need you. The Rekc'Art are skilled in magic, and where we go, we will need such skill."
"Where is it you go?" asked Eruthac. "You said you searched for the Princess. Why do you need my skill?"
"We have reason to believe that Tanasril the Broken is mixed up in this." Toberk noticed the Rekc'Art stiffened at the name. "We search for his lair."
"Even if he were," returned Eruthac, "I cannot throw in with your party. I have my orders."
"Do you indeed?" snarled Juster, coming over to the Rohne. He held up a gauntleted fist. "Do you see this hand? Once it was the twisted claw of a neowolf. Tanasril seeks to transform Princess riven, as well as the other Magisrays, and to destroy their kingdom. If the fate of Magicum means nothing to you, then at least consider this. I know the Rekc'Art were formed to track dangerous monsters; well, if we fail in our quest, then Ardania will be overrun with this madman's creations! No man will be safe; all shall lay shivering in their beds wondering when the aergoblins will come to take them to the laboratory. And not necessarily Tanasril's. If he is successful, it will encourage more Wizards to succumb to the temptations of the Forbidden Arts."
"Juster is right," said Toberk. "By helping us you help yourself. Well?"
"Make your choice quickly," warned Juster. "We may already be too late."

Indeed they were too late. Whatever Eruthac's decision, it would not alter Riven's fate.
"Wakey wakey, Princess," said a cruel voice. Riven sat up from her mossy bed. "What is it?"
"Time for your transformation," said Yquellar. Keys rattled, and the cell door came open. Two aergoblins came in and grabbed her arms. They dragged her struggling body out. In the corridor stood the hunched shapoe of Tanasril and his Chief Engineer.
"Take her to the laboratory," ordered the archmage. "We will follow."
Riven soon found herself in a strange chair, her arms bound to its arms. The aergoblins left, leaving her Tanasril and Yquellar.
"Here I have a mirror," said Tanasril, moving a large specimen of the named object into the centre of the room. "Take a last look, Your Highness, while I run through your current abilities." He placed his hands on her shoulders. Warmth spread from them throughout her body. "Ahhh," murmured Tanasril. "Let me see." He removed his hands, and pulled out a book. "Yes, yes; though my mount will need wings..." Snapping the book shut, he turned back to her. "You have no doubt heard of Garelstramin? He was a mighty dragon, and perhaps my proudest creation. He was killed however by your mother's heroes. Now I need a new creature to carry me over my army."
"I suppose that means me?" She asked. "What evil shape have you planned for me?"
"Evil shape?" laughed Tanasril. "As in ugly? You do not flatter my skill. However , you will soon know better. Yquellar, her legs." The Eldwarf pulled two thick boards up from the chair on which she sat. He then bound her legs to them.
"Now?" he asked.
The Eldwarf pulled a lever on the chair's side. The boards moved on hidden hinges, forcing her legs to bend inwards on themselves. They could not take much of this. Riven screamed as they broke, her eyes black with pain.
"Take her up," ordered Tanasril. Yquellar unbound the weeping girl, and placed two slings under her arms. Hoisting on ropes, which ran through pulleys on the ceiling, he lifted her up, and swung her away from the chair.
"Now," said Tanasril, "I will truly begin." He lifted his hands as he began to chant. Riven began to scream, keeping pace wih the madman's incantation and the insane laughter of the Eldwarf. She felt her head begin to ache, and her back. Her hands smashed together, and she started to itch all over. Finally, as in her dream, she fainted from the unbearable pain.

When she came too, she was collapsed on the floor. She struggled to her feet, feeling odd. The first thing she saw was the mirror. She screamed again.
She felt odd, because she was standing on all fours. Cloven hooves supported black-haired legs, which attached to an equine body. He neck was elongated, and she was staring down a long muzzle at her reflection. However, that was not the extent of the transformation. A twisted horn, seemingly of green crystal, sprouted from between her ears. The green hair of a forelock curled around it; the rest of the mane spilled down her neck. Were the lastt strands of the mane ended, there sprouted her wings. Currently they were folded across her back; great pinions of alternating green and black feathers. Her tail - for she could see she had one - was green also.
"Well?" said the teratogenitor's voice. "Are you not beautiful?"
Riven studied the mirror again. "Perhaps I am," she admitted, then stopped. Her voice, though it echoed oddly from her mouth, chimed and rang wondrously. She swallowed. "Perhaps I am. But this is not me. I am not zRiven Magisray anymore."
"Oh, but you are." Tanasril came to stand next to her. She towered above her; she must have been twice as the hunchback at her shoulder, and her neck stretched almost a foot beyond that. "You are a Magisray. Would I have made such a ghastly mistake?"
She breathed deeply. "As you say. But, if I am still Riven inside, then you have not conquered me. My spirit remains free."
"Of course it does," snapped Tanasril. He remembered a day long ago when a newly transformed neowolf had said much the same thing. "However, I trust that does not mean you are ungrateful. See, I have increased your affinity with nature, unearthed it and brought it into prominence."
"Affinity?" she said, puzzled. "With nature?"
"Yes," replied Tanasril, surprised she was not aware of her talent. "Remember the moss in your room? When you were first put there, it was but a small patch. Now it is a thick carpet covering one corner of the cell. Of course, you will not be staying there any longer. My main fortress above-ground is complete; a special stable has been prepared for you there. Come, follow me."
Riven complied, not knowing what else to do.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2002 10:44 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Thoughts sped through Riven's mind, chasing eachother around and around again until she ended up at the begining again. She clopped along behind Tanasril, struggling to get used to walking on four legs. She kept a passive face (She didn't even know if her equine features could show emotion), but emotions raged within her. She didn't know what to feel; certainly she was enraged that Tanasril had changed her, but she could not deny the beauty of his creation. And what he said was true; she was in tune with nature, almost able to feel every plant that had managed to creep it's way into the fortress. She felt almost happy in her new shape; but she resented it as well, knowing that at some point, Tanasril would try to control her. They soon came to the stable where Riven would be residing. It was larger, far larger than any normal stable would be. There were also plants as well, and her drooping head perked at the sight. She inhaled deeply, breathing in their moist scent. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Tanasril smile, looking frightening on his twisted face. Riven's ears pricked forward in a sense of warning, and she satamped her foot. Smiling even broader, Tanasril laid a knarled hand on her back. She whipped aorund, teeth bared, and tried to bite him. BUt the old man was much quicker than he looked, and was out of reach before she had even turned all the way.
"I will leave you here then," he said. "Familiarize yourself with your quarters." He left. Riven kicked at the door, but it was locked from the outside. Desparing, she clopped over to a group of plants, laying down among them. Almost as soon as she touched them, they began to grow. Soon, the green vines were thick enough to act like a bed. Riven laid her head down, pulling A blanket of plant life over her back and wings. Closing her eyes, she thought. There were still aching pains in her shoulders and head, as well as numerous other places that had been changed.
He'll not control me, she thought vehemently. I'm my own self. No one will control me. Ever. She looked around sadly. I wonder if I'm even reckognizable...
Wearily, she laid her head down and slept the sleep of exahustion.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 12:32 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Dragon’s Cave, Southern Coast
“Well fought” Snored the great wyrm as he smashed another phantom with a craw, sending it embedded into the obsidian cave wall. The floor of the sanctuary is littered with black dust and fallen scales of all colors. Inside caves, mighty creatures continued to fight their mighty foes, dealing out damage unthinkable by man. Gold dragons strike down one and another undead with their mighty craws and melting fire. Black dragons employ magic mirror and control undead, sending phantoms against each other. Frost dragon charges their enemy with their frost field, turning them into ice cubes. With the element of surprise gone, the dragons are now gaining the upper hand. Wisps summoned by the gold dragons and imps summoned by black dragons already started to repair the damage.

A day later
The army of the dead is finally fought off. Black dragons sealed the gate with the ultimate sphere of power to prevent further invasion. With the incredible loss, black dragon and frost dragons are losing confidence in their alliance, and are now summoning a meeting of archons.
“I speak for the black dragons of the underworld, this chaos can not be allowed to continue, I recommend the use of spire of death to terminate this tragedy, here and now!”
The speech was well welcomed by the gathered frost dragons, they breathe out a storm of snow to show their eagerness in vengeance.
“We agree, black one, spire of death, here and now!”
“But we may first need to consider more ‘mild’ approaches, such act may not directly violate treaty between us and those mortals, but releasing the spires again may be the end of the mortals on this land.” Called out a gold dragon, loss of scales was still visible on him.
“So you expect we to defend them while suffering a manifestation of dead and damned alike?” The black dragon answered.
“Do you fear a few altered wolfs and mounted rats? They are victims, not victors!” The gold dragon answered.
“You are talking some ‘courage of Krolm’ nonsense while any of us can end up in the madman’s cage. Anyway, according to the treaty of the alliance, you are outvoted, gold one.”
The hall is silent at first, and then a yell of victory broke out from the sector where black and frost dragons stood, the yell echoed the cave like a storm.

A week latter…
A spire of death was planned near the dark valley; it soon summoned another, yet another duplicate of itself. The spires soon started to spread across the land, summoning a force of evil of their own, no one have noticed them, before they are too late.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 12:39 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Quathil and the other magefels appearred on the brink of a great cliff. Far below, they could hear the waves of the Southern Sea pounding against the rock. They could not see them, however; about halfway between them and the water a large shelf thrust out of the cliff. On that shelf lay a dragon, a dragon of monstrous size.
Ephinmor looked down at the slumbering beast. Behind it, he guessed, lay a cave leading into the cliff. His tail lashed in mixed excitement and anger.
"This is it, I'm sure it is," he whispered. Though the dragon was more than two hundred feet away, the former Wizard knew the uncanny sense abilities of these ancient creatures, and took no chances. "When first we joined with Tanasril, I was told the history of the first Magicum War. In that battle, Tanasril and his forces were attacked by dragons; he also briefly lost the use of his magic. It seems logical that the dragons who guided the attack were the same ones who robbed him of his spells. It is also logical that the same dragons robbed him of his spells again."
"Perhaps," said another magefel softly. Relfiras had been a budding teratogenitor in his own right when Yquellar had contacted them. When he came into the caverns of Tanasril, recognized by contempory practitioners of the Forbidden Arts as the equal of the Ancient Masters - even Andramus and Pyrog - he quickly became the apprentice of the madman. Now he was recognized, if not as the leader of the magefels, at least as Ephinmor's right-hand man. "Perhaps, but perhaps not. Could not a third, unknown party be toying with the Master's control of the ether winds?"
"It is possible," acquiesced Ephinmor. "We shall soon know beyond a doubt. Sarras, please."
The silver-furred magefel concentrated, his eyes losing their focus as his mind skimmed the ether winds. "Yes," he said some ten minutes later, "there is definitely a binding enchantment of epic sized being maintained in there. The strands the actually settle the shield on someone flow away to the north."
"Were you detected?" asked Quathil.
"No more than you were with your teleportation. Dragons may have a fine feeling for the ether winds, but the amount of energy in that spell sort of overrides everything else."
"Good." Ephinmor folded his arms in his wide sleeves. "Now we must get in. I fear that this will alert them; and all we can do is disrupt the spell for a while. Whatever its liabilities, here is my plan." He whispered to the others, and they nodded.
A second later, seventeen fireballs tore into the dragon on the ledge. He leaped up, screaming in pain and anger. He spotted the white-robed figures above him on the cliff-top, but before he could breathe on them, another volley struck him. And another volley. The ceaseless magical fusilade soon had its effect; the dragon plummeted down into the Sea.
Quickly Ephinmor led the others in casting a Meteor Storm. Fiery rocks began to bombard the cave entrance, preventing other dragons from emerging.
"What do we do when the spell runs out?" gasped Quathil.
"We shall see," said Ephinmor grimly.
"What in Tanasril's name," said a familiar voice, "are you doing?" The magefels turned and saw the two purple shrouded shapeshifters.
"Ah, Xath, Terida," said Ephinmor. "Do you have the Ring?"
Xath pulled a band of dark metal from his finger, and tossed it to the lead magefel. "Here you go."
"Ahhhh," breathed Ephinmor. He began to purr.

The Black Phantoms on the Isle of the Dragon Kings stirred as the ether winds pulled at them. They began moving over the rocky soil and toward the coast of Ardania. The Sea proved no obstacle; they simply glided above its water. Less intelligent undead also heeded the call; zombies and skeletons marched stupidly into the waves.

As the Meteor Storms died down, a golden dragon leapt from the cavern. He twisted in the air, and was hit full in the face by a barrage of fireballs, Fire Blasts, and Energy Blasts. Unnoticed, two night hawks flew over him, landed, and began scratching at his scales. He fell, and the disappointed shapeshifters pulled away.
Two more dragons came out; they met another withering magical hail. But only one fell. The other dragon flew above the magefels, and shot a stream of fire at them. When the smoke cleared, he could clearly see that he had done some damage. Of the seventeen creatures originally there, only twelve now stood.
"Ha!" he roared. "Fools! Where is your army? Surely you must realize that a few Wizards are no match for a city of dragons?"
"I am not a Wizard any longer," called Ephinmor, "and there is my army!" The dragon looked out across the Sea. It was being darkened by wave upon wave of Black Phantoms.
"No!" cried the ancient creature. "You must have the Archons' Ring! How could you possibly-"
"You'll never know, will you?" said a voice close to his ear. Pain lanced through his head as he felt two scales being torn away.
"What-?" he reached up to swat at whatever creature was there, but at the same moment, another burst of magic brought him down from the sky.
The Phantoms swept across the Sea, and onto the cliff. The vertical slope proved only a momentary obstacle; the Phantoms quickly flowed up it and onto the ledge. From there, they disappeared inside. Soon, all would be chaos within the Archons' city.

Far away, Tanasril walked the parapet of his keep. The Eldwarves had worked quickly, constructing this mighty citadel. Now he watched as they constructed the new fastness' inner wall. Suddenly he stiffened. On the Dragon Coast, the Phantoms had penetrated to the Archon's inner sanctum. Not even those powerful creatures could maintain such an intricate spell while fighting for their lives. Tanasril was free.

[ 25 March 2002, 03:14 PM: Message edited by: Falotar ]
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 11:29 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

The Temples to Krolm were razed. So were the two Rangers' Guilds, who had rebelled when Ramthol had surrendered the city. Now the town was left with only a Warriors' Guild and a Rogues' Guild, both of which had fallen prior to the battle thanks to Quivour's subversive tactics. Already, now, Temples to Duaros were being constructed atop the remains of the Krolm Temples, and another Marketplace was constructed.
General Errias sat in the castle of Thaman's Point, the name being restored after the conquest. His chair was part of a semi-circle arranged before a fireplace; winter was drawing nigh. On his left, sat Alarica. On her left was Prince Perovil. Then Quivour, then Ramthol, then Darius, who sat across from the General.
"Our first battle was successful," said Errias to open the conversation. "Thaman's Point is ours once again. Now we must settle on who is to rule it."
"Why, the Baron, of course," said Ramthol.
"He cannot rule both the nation and the province," said Errias. "My cousin is not destined merely to retrieve his former position, but to surpass it: to become King of Magicum." Ramthol, gasped, and sat open-mouthed.
"What about me?" whined Perovil. "What will I get out of our conquests?"
"You think too much of yourself," chided Alarica in her sharp tones. "Can you not see the greater glory at hand? When Magicum falls, yet another kingdom will be under our sway. We will then have enough power to proclaim Thamopolis a Great City, to rival the others. When we colonize the empty lands to the east of here, then we could even challenge the Sydrians for the High Kingship!"
"Indeed," said Errias. "Brother, have patience. When Mother is called to the gods, you will be ruler of Ferring."
"Ferring?" asked Perovil. "But I'm Prince of Thamos! I thought your capital was at Ferringburg?"
"For now, it is," replied the General. "But when the Magisrays have paid for their crimes against us, I will return to Thamopolis. I shall build it up, to rival the Great Cities as Mother said. I shall have settlers colonize the lands beyond our borders, bringing them under my sway. And, of course, I shall still be General of the United Kingdoms."
"Meanwhile," said Quivour, "we've still got to capture Magicum. I fear that bribery will not work there, as all the Guildsmen are too loyal to their precious Queen. I also have reports that Alhana is gathering an army; whether she knows of our presence is uncertain. Caution is in order."
"It is indeed." Errias lookedover at Daric. "You have been very silent, cousin. What have you to say?"
"I was dreaming of my revenge on that 'Queen'," answered Daric. "Then I heard Quivour say that she was gathering her army. Why? I do not think she could know yet of our presence. There is but one answer."
"And that is?" asked Errias.
"She fears Tanasril is about to attack her. I doubt not that her fears are well-grounded. That mad archmage is far more keen on vengeance then I ever could be. If we attack, it will not make him pleased with us, that we have robbed him of his vengeance."
"What of it?" demanded Alarica. "Neohew, are you afraid of a few flying goblins?"
"It is many years since I saw his army," answered Daric. "More abominations arte likely to have been conscripted into it."
"Very well," said Errias, standing. "Quivour, have your spies infiltrate Alhana's Palace. Do not have them attempt assassination;merely have them watch all that happens. I also want you to send out spies and see if you can locate this Tanasril. We wil be greatly weakened after Magicum falls. We cannot afford this 'teratogenitor' to catch us by surprise."
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 5:12 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Tarmyln looked out from the parapet above the gatehouse of the New Palace. The last few clashes between his heroes and those of the mercenary army had finished just that morning. The South Quarter now lay in ruins, and even the Dwarven Quarter and the Guild Quarter were damaged. Half his heroes lay dead, for, although the mercenaries boasted no religious, their Guild heroes had fought well. He silently swore that he would discover who had sent these mercenaries against him, and raze their kingdom to the ground - even if it meant marching into the far South to confront the High King Sydrian.
"Imperial Majesty," said a voice behind him. Tarmyln turned and saw his Chief Advisor, Lord Calliar.
"Yes, Calliar?" asked the Emperor.
"We have captured several of the mercenaries, among them a Rogue, Mayvar Foulbolt. He claims to have been their General."
"A Rogue, eh?" said Tarmyln, smiling. "Perhaps it will not be so difficult after all to discover who sent them. Calliar, take 2,000,000 sovereigns and go to the High Temple to Krypta. Inform Mother Shadespawn that she is to Reanimate all the heroes of ours that fell in the battle. Any cost not covered by that money will be paid her later. I am off to the Dungeons, to question this Foulbolt."

The tall Emperor stooped as he entered the cell of the mercenary general. When his eyes adjusted to the dimmer light, he could see Mayvar sitting ona bench on the far side of the cell, one of his legs shackled to one of the bench's.
"You are Mayvar Foulbolt?" asked Tarmyln conversationally.
"I am. And I suppose your His Imperial Majesty?"
"Quite right." Tarmyln sat down on the bench next to his prisoner. "Now, I wish you to tell me something."
"Who sent you to my city?"
"Why should I tell you?" The Rogue looked at him calculatingly. "What's in it for me?"
"2,000 sovereigns if you answer me here and now. An unpleasant experience if you don't, after which you will tell me anyway."
"Hmmmm." Mayvar stretched. "Not too hard a decision, is it?"
"I shuld think not." Tarmyln smiled encouragingly at him. "So who sent you?"
"A man who called himself Quivour Thaman."
"Any relation to Daric Thaman?" asked the Emperor smoothly.
"Never heard of a Daric Thaman. He could be, though. This Quivour paid me 10,000 crowns to lead my force against your town. Naturally I accepted."
"Why?" asked the Emperor. "Surely you knew the risks of taking on the greatest power in the North?"
"Yeah, but this Quivour promised me that his cousin, General Thaman, would back me up with troops. The scoundrel lied to me."
"General Thaman?" said the Emperor with interest.
"That's what he said. I don't know too much more about it, save that this General Thaman ruled the country my army was camped next to."
"Which was?"
"I see." Tarmyln got up. "Well, thank you for cooperating, friend Rogue. You will be released in the morning, and given your gold. Make sure you are never so foolish as to set foot in my Empire again, for there will be a 20,000 sovereign reward on your head."
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 9:28 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Erriathrillia, Queen of the Dryads, was holding court in a glade within the Dryad Forest. She was concerned with many things, primarily the increasing amount of monsters in the Dark Valley. Also worrisome was the unusual and powerful spell of transformation she had felt effected in the far western corner of the North Plains.
"It felt like the spell activated by a Shapeshift Potion," she mused, "but much more energy was used, else I could not sense it at such a distance."
"Perhaps-" said Vlilmeora, one of her advisors, but she was cut off by an immense rippling of the ether winds. It felt like the spell used when a Wizards' Guild or Sorceror's Abode was constructed, but much stronger and with a dark, sinister taint. Momentarily the feelings vanished, but the whispers of a cloaking field were felt by the assembled Dryads.
"What in the name of Sylvestra," said Erriathrillia, recovering from her shock, "was that?"
"I do not know," said another advisor, her brow wrinkled, "but it was felt by all of us, so it must have been quite strong, and quite close to us."
"at least it was not in the Forest," said Vlilmeora with a sigh of relief.
"It might be worse than that," cautioned the Queen. "It came from the Dark Valley. Nothing good can come from there, and that spell had an evil feel."
"From the Dark Valley?" asked the second advisor, whose name was Dcavarithe. "But no monster there has that kind of power."
"That is why it is all the more disturbing." Erriathrillia rose from her throne, and motioned to one of the other Dryads.
"Tnocaernontha," she ordered, "take ten of our best scouts and investigate this."
"But, your Majesty," protested the Dryad, "such a powerful and evil spell must have quite deadly results! Besides, the Valley is crawling with the creations of that Tanasril and others of his ilk!"
"It is high time we cleaned up that blot," said Erriathrillia firmly. "Think of this as a punitive expedition, if you will."
"Very well," said Tnocaernontha, with a sigh like the wind threw trees. "But I fear we may not return."
"We must all do what we can."
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 10:57 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Southern coast, Dragon’s cliff
“The hammer has fallen,” Said the leading black dragon as entered the cave. “Once the spires scorch the land, we will summon a permanent earthquake with the ancient barrow to destroy them, then the land is again within our grips”
“The spires have been planed, and are increasing in number, krypta will be pleased.” Its followers continued to babble to gathered frost dragons. They were gathered around the entrance to hear the news, they knew it went well, but they still question every act of their black siblings.
“I wonder what if those mortals go on a quest to destroy them as they did before.” Muttered one of the frost dragons as the black one continued towards their hive.
“The situation is rather different this time, they are divided, and divided they fall.” The black dragon grimed, and leaped towards the heart of citadel
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 7:48 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"Well?" inquired Tanasril.
Dragun replied, "The traitor as been captured. We are beginning to produce Processed weapondry and armor as fast as we can."
"The secret formula created by the New Volencians. It is what makes their armor so strong. With it, our army will be invinsible."
"Excellent," replied the Broken. "But what of the traitor?"
"The Dark Knights have placed in under guard at their stronghold of Minas Darhck. He will not escape. No one escapes from Minas Darhck."
"Good. See that he doesn't and the Dark Knights will be well rewarded."
"Of course," replied Dragun.
"Soon. Once I have equiped my army with the Processed weapons and armor, I will have my revenge on Magicum!"

Eruthac replied softly after a moments silence, "Very well. I will go with you. But not to save a little princess, but to cause damage to Tanasril."
With that Eruthac mounted his Rohne horse.
"Where are you going?" asked Drexel, surprised at that the Rekc'Art would be leaving so quickly.
"To scout ahead. I will return shortly."
With that, the Watcher road off. The Company was complete.
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