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The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:16 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Sir Maris looked around the Square. Human Heroes strove against the Equestroden Knights, Peasant militia swung crude weaponry at Ephinmor's magefels. Behind the Knight Commander, Tanasril groaned. Sir Maris steadied him. With eyes kindled by hate, he glared at Ephinmor, who still leaned against the trough in the centre of the Square.
"Think that you have won, traitor?" growled Maris. "Your tricks may have struck down the Master for a space, but he will recover. Meanwhile, you will have these humans to deal with!"
"What about you, O Lord Commander?" purred Ephinmor.
Maris ignored thefeline Wizard. Instead, he turned his horse, and made for the gates of the Palace. With one great blow he laid the gates to ruin. Guards sprung out, a score of red-tabarded henchmen held in reserve against dire necessity. Maris dispatched with a few swift strokes, then, wheeling his demi-horse on the very steps of the Palace, he called to his Knights.
"Retreat!" he cried. "Withdraw into the Palace! We will regroup here!" Spinning his steed again, he galloped into the Palace.
Straight down the corridor he went. He flashed briefly through the courtyard, ramming his way into the main keep. Straight on he carried, ntil he came to doors great as those that guarded the entrance to the Palace, but these were ornate and ajar. Finally he dismounted, ignoring the aghast stares of Palace servants and courtiers, and tenderly lifted the wounded Tanasril from the back of his animal. Then, solemn and grim, he marched into the chamber beyond the doors, bearing his fallen Master. Still straight on he marched, up the carpet. Finally he reached the dais, and sat Tanasril down on the great seat that sat there - for this was the throne room of the Palace.
"Rest easy, Master," he said. Then, grasping his halberd more firmly, he strode to the door, and warded off all who would disturb his lord's rest.
He did not have long to wait. The Equestrodens poured into the castle, heeding the order of their Commander. Nearly two-hundred strong, they easily overwhelmed what Guards were left in the Palace. Then they attacked the gatehouse, causing it to fall and block the entrance into the Palace.
Though outside the battle still raged, the heart of Magicum had fallen.
But not yet safe for the Equestrodens was the Palace, for above them still soared the two shapeshifters in Dragon shape, spewing flames down onto the towers and walls of the Magisray castle.

[ 15. November 2003, 01:17 AM: Message edited by: Falotar ]
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:55 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"We cannot hold," gasped Toberk, pulling the last arrow of a hundred from his quiver.
"Not unless the Lady sends us a miracle," said the rasping voice of Mother Darkstar, High Priestess of Krypta. Her teeth flashed in her mask of paint. "But it will not matter much to Krypta whether we go to her this day or the next."
She lifted her horned staff, and cast a spell of dark energy that withered an enemy Warrior. But the counter-attack was terrible. A ball of lightning flew from the enemy ranks and burst upon the Priestess. Staggering, she leaned upon her staff.
It was the Phantoms that were driving them back. Ten had assaulted them, puzzling the veterans and scholars who knew the ghostly monsters usually appeared in trios. Toberk and his Rangers had managed to dispatch two; the Peasants, with help from the Wizards, another one. Three had suddenly broken off and gone past the Magicumians' lines into the town. Still, four remained, and with the fighters of Thaman supporting them, the Magicumians could not match them.
On Toberk's left, the last Wizard died, his heart pierced by a crossbow bolt. Toberk winced as the release of magical energy swept over him. Then he loosed his final arrow, felling the Rogue who had slain the mage.
A Peasant screamed as a Warrior cut him down. Mother Darkstar pointed a finger at the man, and his life energy drained into her, replenishing her health while killing him. two more Warriors came charging up; one was felled by a knife thrown by an unseen Cultist; the other by a shot from a Ranger. Two more bolts whizzed forward from the enemy, both piercing Mother Darkstar. Smiling, she collapsed, her body fading to dark smoke as her robes collapsed, empty.
The line of Peasants broke. A wall of flame burst up, melting away tgheir last resistance. The Black Phantoms glided forward, blood floating about them in a haze. Arrows and daggers poured into them, but the Phantoms did not halt. Then screams rose behind Toberk. Drawing his sword to face the oncoming wraiths, he spred a glance over his shoulder, and his heart jerked painfully.
Behind him fire had engulfed the houses, spreading south and west from the fires already set. And, coming out of the flames, eight Solari, maces glowing hotter than the fire.
Toberk stood, last of the southern guard. He raised his shortsword and cried wordlessly, daring the Phantoms and enemy Heroes to approach. The Solari paused, the Phantoms did not. They raise their translucent hands; electricity gathered about them. Then they, too, paused.
Faint over the noise of burning came the blowing of horns - horns from the east. Seemingly distant came a voice, a voice which pulled at Toberk's memory. "There is no need for strategy here!" it cried. "All units, charge!"
Understanding filled Toberk's head. That was no pride-filled Thaman warcry, nor the screams of hate shouted by Tanasril's minions. He laughed, startling the Solari, and possibly the Phantoms, still more.
"The Emperor!" he cried. "He has come at last! And not too late, for Magicum at any rate. Brother, help me now, so that I may see Magicum safe again!" Waving his sword like a maniac, he charged the Phantoms.

Taramech, King of the D'tar Mordin Dwarves, raised a hand to ward off the heat and smoke as his small band of stout fighters rounded the southern edge of Magicum.
"What in Stoneback's name?" he muttered. He lifted his hammer. Warcries sounded ahead to the right, women's voices, and magic, and a single man. "C'mon, Dwarves! Let's see what's afoot!" He spurred his pony faster, and the Dwarves thundered behind him, pushing themselves faster than was the wont of their Southern cousins.
Quickly they came to an awesome scene. A single white-haired man stood, fighting alone both Black Phantoms and Solari. Two of the warrior-women lay dead already, and even as the Dwarves watched a Phantom dissipated, joiny the smoke in the air.
Taramech shook himself into action. "Let's not have him take all the glory! For D'Tar Mordin!" The Dwarves charged.
Even then the remaining three Phantoms slid back and glided around toberk. They vanished ahead into the smoke. Toberk turned to face the Solari again, but he was tired, his old body torn and bruised already by the blows of his opponents. He swung, too slowly, and a mace jarred the sword from his hand. Another swept down on his head. Blood spurted, and Toberk fell to his knees.
Taramech screamed in rage as he saw this bold warrior fall. He swung his arm, twirling his hammer as he pony galloped, then hurled t at the offending Solarus. She fell, the hammer shattering her breastbone.
"Take that, ye hussies!" he cried, and the Dwarves roared behind him.
 
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Raistlin, Archmagus



Joined: 08 Jul 2001
Posts: 1805
Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2003 11:36 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Riven screamed.
"Coward!" She shrieked the word at the corps in front of her, furious. She wanted to tear him to pieces. Shaking with her rage, she turned to her home; the palace. Her eyes widened as she watched The Equestroden storm in.
Spreading her wings, she took flight and sped forth, circling to find him. She passed of the balcony where Wodenthal's body lay, but she barely glanced down. She wanted them dead; they'd invaded her home, mutated her body; killed her mother. Admittedly, that hadn't been Tanasril - but she could blame it on him just as easily.
There. The throne room. How dare they! furious, the princess neighed, her horn flaring blue. Thunder rolled in the sky and lightning flashed, stricking the windows. The glass exploded inward and Riven threw herself inside, wings flaring. Her eyes blazed against the darkness of her mutated face. Those red organs seemed to be giving off their own light in the rainless storm Riven had created. "You will leave this place," she snarled. Completely unaware of the danger surounding her, she strode forward. If she could not avenge her mother - who she had assumed dead - she would take payment for her new form out of Tanasril's hide. He couldn't control her now; no one could. There had been too much desctruction to her home. She would stand no more. "Get out!" Lightning struck the floor between her and Maris.
 
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Raistlin, Archmagus



Joined: 08 Jul 2001
Posts: 1805
Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2003 11:55 pm    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

Unknown to her daughter, Alhana had been carried to a guardhouse to be protected until she regained conciousness. The healer had sewed her broken flesh back together with help from his goddess.
The queen stirred, sitting up with a gasp. She reached for her sword and found it lying on a table beside the cot she'd been placed on. Standing, she stumbled away where two men stood guard. One reached out and steadied her. Alhana straightened herself and nodded. "Errias?"
"Dead, my lady."
The queen frowned. "How? Was it-?" She'd seen Riven, hadn't she?
"No, my lady, he killed himself."
Alhana shook her head. "The coward," she muttered, echoing her daughter. Frowning, she headed outside, nad hesitated at the window. A smile lit her face as she recognized banners of D'Tar Mordin. "The reinforcements," she crowed. "They're here. Excellant." Quickly, she strode for the door before the guard stopped her. "Your Majesty, the healer cautioned us warn you; you will not have your regular strength. You should stay here."
"Like hell I will," she said, unsheathing her sword and marching back into the battle. Quickly, she found herself nearing Tarmyln. "Glad to see you made it," she called, running through one of the Thamans's minions.
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:05 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"How dare you!" said Sir Maris, staring in rage at the Princess. He pointed his halberd at her; it shook with his anger. "You are not content with betraying your Master, but you must hound him when he is wounded!"
"He is a monster, and not my Master," Riven spat. Maris laughed.
"By common usage, it is you and I who are the monsters here, though he be the more deformed. That is not the point."
"No, the point is that you leave, or I kill you before dealing with your Master."
"Kill him, you mean?" said Sir Maris. Shifting his halberd to his left hand he pointed at the throne. "Look at him! He is so weak that he cannot maintain consciousness! Treachery brought him to this pass -- were it not for Ephinmor, Magicum would have fallen by now! Aye, and you would have remained loyal. I don't know what sorcery Ephinmor worked on you, but it is obviously what is clouding your mind."
"Clouding my mind?" she repeated. "Ephinmor freed me from the control of Tanasril. If he was my Master, it was by force of mind-deadening magic. Now I am free! And I warn you, for the last time, get out!"
"I shall never desert my Master!" cried Maris. He swung his halberd through the air, and grasped it with both hands. "Though all else betray him, my loyalty remains firm. You shall not approach him, unless you manage to slay me!"
He lunged at her. A blast of wind knocked him down, but he sprang lightly back onto his feet. Riven then thrust her horn at him. He dodged, and swung the haft of his weapon at her forehead. But she blocked this easily, and, pushing with her her weight and strength, managed to sprawl the Knight Commander on the ground.
Maris rolled until he was between Riven and the throne. "You shall not approach him," he repeated.
Riven tossed her head. Electricity stabed from her; at the same time lightning pierced down through the roof. Both bolts struck Sir Maris, who reeled, the halberd slipping from his grasp.
Riven charged, head lowered. But Maris recovered. With one hand he grabbed her horn, with the other her neck just below her muzzle. Electricity surged through him, but he ignored it. He strained, and Riven's momentum broke as the mighty Equestroden lifted her forequarters from the ground.
She screamed and lashed out with her front hooves. Both blows landed fully on Sir Maris' chest, and his gasp on her neck was broken. But still he clung to her horn, and as he fell she fell with him.
Riven quickly pushed herself to her feet, but Maris lay gasping, his system struggling with the overcharge of electricity that coursed through it. His fingers twitched as he reached out an arm to grasp his halberd. Then he painfully pushed himself up, his body spasming.
"This - " he began, then gasped as if he'd been stabbed. He clutched his heart, and fell face-forward onto the floor.
Riven paid no more heed to him. she set her eyes on the hunched figure slumped on her mother's throne, and started to pace towards him. Her path was barred, however, when suddenly part of the roof collapsed in a billow of fire. Outside, the Dragons still circled, pouring down gouts of flame on the Palace and the Equestrodens who tried desperately to find some way of beating them off.
Riven snorted.Creeping plants sprouted from the floor, growing quicker than the flames could burn, and smothered the fire. Then the pulled the rubble to dust. Riven stepped forward once more.
Her ears swivelled backwards as she heard metal scrape on the floor. She turned quickly to see Maris rising, his halberd clasped in his blackened hand that still trembled a little from the electricity that tingled in his nerves.
"I am not dead yet," he growled. "It will take more than a little lightning to put me down, traitor."
"My lord!" said another Equestroden from the door. A squadron stood there now, anxiously looking as their Knight Commander prepared to fight the Princess once more. Sir maris shook his head.
"Do not help me," he said. "If I cannot -- cannot stop this traitor alone, I deserve to die. But -- the Master - " Riven screamed again, and Sir Maris could not finish as he had to fend off the enraged blows of her sharp hooves.
 
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Raistlin, Archmagus



Joined: 08 Jul 2001
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Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:58 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

He was not her master, no one was her master. She was wild, green hair falling around her face in a tumble.
"You deserved to die the moment you attacked my home," she cried, furious. Weeds and fines grew from the floor, straining to reach the Equestroden. The encircled his feet, closing around him. Riven lunged forward, her horn blazing green. If storm had not worked, she would use growth. She'd strangle him if she had to. Leading with her head, she stabbed at Maris. "I won't let you walk away from this room," she snarled. "Not alive, and not with him" She looked away from her opponent for a moment to glance at Tanasril. He was hurt, but he'd regain strength and conciousness, and then she'd fight him.
The plants were creeping their way up Maris' body. "They are my hands," she spat. "I'll choke you through them."

[ 29. November 2003, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: Raistlin, Archmagus ]
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:51 am    Post subject: The Sovereign III: The Broken Throne Reply with quote Back to top

"Nonsense," ground out Sir Maris. He wrenched away from the grasping tendrils, pulling the plants out from the floor. More grew where he now stood. Shaking himself to clear off the straggling remains of the last assault, he pulled his feet clear of the groping growth that sought them and raised his halberd.
"You seek death, girl? Then I will grant it!" He charged. Riven reared. Vines, covered in sharp thorns both short and long, burst anew from the throneroom floor, writhing desperately at Maris. He swung his halberd; the vines grasped it and tried to pull it away from him. Angrily he jerked it away, ripping them out roots and all, but still more snaked up his legs.
"Curse you, traitor! Curse you!" He lunged forward once again, ignoring the pain as the thorns broke off in his flesh. Riven's horn burned brighter still, blue and green. A wind arose -- the wind of a storm, a tempest, a gale enclosed, and Sir Maris was thrown back. As he fell, a hedge of maddened thorn bushes rose to meet him, clutching at him, drawing him in.
Riven trumpeted angrily. Lightning coursed through her and over her, crackling in the sky above and in the throne room. She reared again. Her horn burned white. Lowering her head, she charged.
Maris struggled. The thorns had him enmeshed in a painful net. As soon as he pulled free, as soon as he snapped one branch, another would take hold, and another. He was pulled, stretched, taughtened; and the blazing apparition of the princess was rushing onto him.
The electricity streaked out ahead of her. Maris groaned involuntarily as the bolts surged through him. His body spasmed; then taughtened in a near arch.
"Commander!" cried a dozen voices. The hedge was slashed in five places, and the Equestroden Knights poured through. Two threw themselves in Riven's path; they were both slain by her mere aura. Lightning leapt from their falling corpses, bringing down two more of the altered Ratmen. But the remained eight Stood before their Knight Commander, ignoring the electricity which played with their nerves, and the thorns which reached for their backs, and the wind which rose again as Riven's wrath grew at the interference.
"You will not have him!" they cried with a single voice. Unnoticed, behind them, Maris shook his head.
"No," he whispered, saliva trickling from his twitching mouth, "do not . . . save me. I deserve . . . ahh . . . " His head lolled. He was unconscious, and dying. But his followers did not know, as they faced the enraged, transformed Magisray, their own eyes reflecting the crimson which blazed in hers.
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2004 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"They are my hands ... " The voice penetrated the dark haze of Tanasril's pain. He moaned, his consciousness saved from being overwhelmed by the searing fire in his belly. around himself he felt her power. It coruscated through the air, arcing over his mystical awareness, comforting him with its familiar touch. He did not recognize the pattern, nor did he seek to. He clung to his creation's energy as does a drowning cling to a rope, no matter who casts it to him.

Riven was annihilating the Equestroden guards who opposed her. Their taining and devotion to Tanasril were no match for power and blind fury. Lightning cracked, thorns stabbed, vines choked. Riven herself crushed the skull of one Knight with her hooves, and speared another with her horn. As the last guard fell, Sir Maris spasmed horribly, gave a gurgling cry, and died.

None of this touched Tanasril. Only the power of Riven, surging throughout the throne room. Exerting himself, he knitted together the wounds of his belly, and focused his powerful will on overcoming the pain.

Riven turned from the carnage she had wrought upon the Equestrodens. Their corpses were quickly being obscured, as the burgeoning plants covered them and dragged them down. An impenetrable hedge barred the entryway; a dome of vines and storm magic shielded out the shapeshifters' rampage. It was just her and her "Master", now. She turned to him, her heart burning with anger yet reluctant to strike even Tanasril while he was helpless. She turned -- and froze.
Tanasril gazed at her. His eyes were feverish, filled with burning pain and hotter emotion. He smiled at her, his hideous face twisting. He held out a hand, blood-stained from clutching his horrible wound.
"Riven." His voice was cracked, distorted more than ever, but the word was plain as were the tones of joy and gratitude. "Riven. You've returned to me. I thought you were lost forever -- but here I see you!"
"I'm here," she spat, "but I haven't come back to help. I've come to destroy you!"
"What madness is this?" he asked; his voice was now hurt, surprised. "Riven, you cannot mean this. Destroy -- me? No, my ears deceive me. You are here. You have chosen ... Come to me, Riven. Lend me your strength, your beautiful power ... " He stod up from the throne, left hand over his wounded belly, right hand still extended. His eyes blazed, locked on Riven's own, ignorant of the apocalyptic chaos which raged around them.
"My 'beautiful power' shall destroy you, madman," she snorted, but she hesitated.
"No," he said, his voice filled with the same intensity as his eyes. "No, my Riven. You would not harm me. I am your Master, your maker. Think what you are saying. Look in the mirror, my Riven. I have made your body a fitting vessel for your soul. I brought forth your potential, made your spirit soar. Look in your heart, my Riven. Would you deny me? would you truly betray me?"
"It is not treachery!" Still, as he advanced, she began to retreat.
"Riven, look in your heart. Riven, think of your gifts; the gifts I gave you." His voice began to take on a wierd, hypnotic rhythm, backed by the suddenly muted sounds of fire and lightning. "Riven, our bond is stronger, stronger than hate or anger; Riven, come back to me, come back to me ... "
"No! Never!" She reared, her wings spreading. Lightning struck down from the ceiling, outlining her in its terrible radiance as all other light was darknened. Yet, over the sound of the thunder, Tanasril's voice rose, powerful and eerily enthralling.
"Riven, you know it -- Riven, you feel it: Riven you came here, because in your heart you need me ... need me ... "
"No!" The lightning cracked again, but Tanasril's voice rose still higher.
"Riven, you came here; that our souls might be joined as one ... In your heart, you've already decided; now, admit the truth, you've already decided ... Come to me now, do not look back -- Riven, O Riven ... "
The echoes of his voice, commanding, pleading, mesmering, fading in the foliage and draperies. Overhead, a cloud of mist and magic shrouded the throne room, while the only light came from the auras of the two figures, each one's eyes trying to pierce the other's soul.
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Raistlin Archmagus



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Location: Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas, Krynn

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

She was scared, and she didn't know what to do. It was not treachery to betray him.
Was it?
He had made her into a monster!
But, weren't monsters ugly, hideous? Indeed, it would be a slight to the mage's skill to say she was a monster now.
He had given her power. Real control. He had made her into a creature with an incredible amount of power.
He had caused damage upon damage to her family; but, then, hadn't her family caused him pain in turn? They had insulted him, in a way -
But was it an insult to refuse to be turned into a creature, to have their humanity taken away?
If it was a creature like she was now, Riven thought, it was well worth it. Though, she did miss having fingers.
She took a step forward, toward Tanasril. She was hesitating; she was confused. She could not see anything with total clarity. It was all muddled in her mind. Ephinmor's spell had not finished itself; she was still attached to her maker.
Another step was taken. Why did she continue to move forward? The air around her swirled, winding sweeping one way, and doubling back on itself. It was a show of confusion, one she was not trying to make. She could not kill him; that would be wrong. Wouldn't it? To kill the one who had given her so much - it was almost unthinkable!
But, he had put her through so much pain to do it, pain that she shuddered to even think about. He had tried to crush her home.
Her mother...
But no; it was not Tanasril who had tried to murder her. And it was not Tanasril who had killed Wodenthal. It had been the Thamans.
Unwittingly, she had moved forward while she thought, until she stood in front of the archmage. Falteringly, she lowered her head, until her bloodstained horn rested on his shoulder.
"You have given me much, Master." The title was neither reverant, nor sarcastic; it was said almost grudgingly, and yet willingly, at the same time. "But I will not allow you to destroy Magicum. My family is attacked on all sides; I will fight with them." Her tone was finite; she was not opening a discussion.
Pulling her head away, she bent her legs, kneeling in front of the teratogenitor. "I ask your aid, Master."
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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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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"So you return to me," he whispered hoarsely. "Once again, you are mine." He put his arms around her neck, and leaned his head into her chest. "Riven, I will help save your city from the Thamans. But remember, you and your family are mine, now and forever. You've made your decision -- no going back now. We are united, indissoluble; so as I give help to you, so you will give your help to me." He sighed, and began to weep. "So long, Riven ... so long, I've waited for another chance ... "
"It's all right, Master," she said, disturbed and yet further compelled by this display of weakness after his mesmeric chant. "I know you're weakened now; I will let you rest."
"I cannot rest! Not with Alhana in danger!"
"Master!" cried another voice. The hedge shuddered; freed from Riven's power, it no longer thrashed about enraged, and had become vulnerable. Sections began to fall away, and several Equestroden Knights stumbled through.
"Ah, my Knights!" cried Tanasril, lifting his head. He hobbled around Riven, who turned, her eyes glimmering with a rainbow of emotion. "You can help me and my daughter! The Queen of Magicum is in danger, and you can save her!"
"Save her, sire?" asked one of the Equestrodens, puzzled. "But - "
"Do not try my patience!" barked the teratogenitor. "Alhana and whatever other Magisrays you can find, protect them and bring them here."
"As you wish, Master," said the Equestroden, and bowed. Tanasril laid a hand on Riven's flank.
"Go with them. Your family may be reluctant to come here; you can persuade them. Know that I am with you in spirit -- I will always be with you."

Darius had fought a long and torturous duel with Quivour Thaman. Heedless of and unheeded by the fighters in the square below, the two had fought through all the portals of the gatehouse. darius always kept the Rogue in front of him, for he knew better than to let quivour slip away into the darkness where he would have the advantage.
At length they emerged onto the balcony again. Smoke from the burning homes and businesses wreathed around them; above the heard the sweep of wings as Xath and Terida circled the Palace. Then, from below, they both heard Sir Maris' shout: "Retreat! Withdraw to the Palace! We will regroup there!"
"What could that mean?" asked Darius, leaning against the stone doorframe. Quivour, weary as well, lounged up against the parapet.
"I do not know," he drawled, "but I daresay nothing good for you."
The gatehouse shuddered; the gates gave way under the supernatural strength of Maris. The two combatants could hear the pounding of feet and the clicking of claws as the Equestroden army pounded through the Square and into the Palace.
The gatehouse began to shudder again. As the last of the Equestrodens came through, their comrades began pulling down the structure, in order to prevent the humans from coming after them. The balcony began to shake horribly as its supports were destroyed.
"This is it," said Quivour, roused from his indolence. "Sink or swim!"
"Fight or die!" retorted Darius, leaping in front of the suddenly unstable doorframe. Quivour stumbled back and fell to one knee.
"You're mad! We'll both die if we stay up here!"
"You'd probably die if you went down there. I suppose that could be your accursed cousin, but it's more likely Tanasril's forces. Either way, I'd gladly die if I could bring you down with me! Wodenthal was my friend!"
Darius lunged at the spymaster, who attempted to roll out of the way. But a violent heave of the stones threw him down, and Darius' sword pierced his throat.
Quivour gurgled, blood pouring from his opened throat and mouth. Ignoring him, Darius knelt at Wodenthal's side.
"It's over, friend. I avenged your murderer, but either Tanasril or Thaman has taken the Palace. Magicum has died, despite all our efforts. Forgive me for failing you and Alhana, and give me the strength to bring justice to the evildoers!"
He tried to stand, but the floor began sliding out from under him. He fell as masonry crashed around him. Struggling to his feet, he leapt clear as the hgiher levels of the gatehouse crashed upon the balcony. Then something struck his skull, and darkness took him.

He came to, bound and gagged. He recognized the inner space of the gatehouse. On his left was a fallen mass of rock and mortar, on his right the twisted remains of the inner portcullis, at his back a cracked wall, and before him two tailless Ratmen.
So, it looks like Tanasril won, he thought. he struggled mightily, but managed nothing except to draw the attention of the strange Ratmen. One of them, wearing a short cape and a longsword, paced over and inspected his bonds. Satisfied, he walked back, all without words.
Suddenly a wave of heat swept over him. The courtyard outside erupted in flame. The cape-less Ratmen looked out in annoyance.
"The Master had better do something about those traitors. We won't be able to hold out long against Dragons."
"Maybe there's a limit to the amount of time the shapeshifters can maintain that form." The other Ratman did not sound hopeful. Even as he spoke, however, the flames died away. There was a screech of rage from above, and the two strange guards' mouths dropped open as they observed something coming across the courtyard.
Darius twisted his head to the right. Through a sudden intense rain he saw a winged horse walking towards the remains of the gatehouse. Something about the shaoe was familiar ... then he remembered. Riven! She had been transformed into this creature by Tanasril. again he struggled; again in vain.
Riven stepped delicately over the gate. She looked at him, her eyes a shade he had never seen before.
"Father?" she asked, her voice indescribable. Darius' heart thrilled; his spine tingled in fear. What would happen now?
Riven turned her head towards the guards. Five more of the peculiar Ratmen followed her, flanking him. Outside thunder rumbled and Dragons roared.
"By order of the Master," she said to the guards, "this man is to be freed. He is my father and a member of the Magisray. You are to escort him to the throne room. She turned her head, and stared longingly at him with deep blue eyes. "Father," she whispered. "I beg you to trust me. Tanasril has promised to help us, and we have no choice."
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"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
 
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Raistlin Archmagus



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

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Darius stared at his daughter, shock overcoming any other emotion. Trust that monster? Tanasril had almost destroyed his family - and Riven wanted him to trust the madman?
Seeing the look in her father's eyes, Riven leaned forward, brushing her muzzle against his cheek. "Please," she said. "Trust me." When he nodded hesitantly, the Equestrodens moved forward, untying and leading Magicum's king to the throne room.
Sure her father would be safe, Riven turned to exit the gatehouse. There weres till others she needed to find, others of her family. And, those she considered family. First and foremost in her mind, though, was her mother, and her cousin's family.
Spreading her wings, Riven leapt into the rainy air, staying out of sight and range of the dragon changelings. She could see the D'Tar Mordin banners, and fighters; there was Tarmylyn. And - there, Alhana!
"Mother!"
The Queen turned, searching first the ground then the sky for her child. Lightning flashed, and the Solari who'd been about to strike her down fell, sizzling.
Landing, Riven created a barrier around herself and Alhana. "Mother, you must come to the throne room; Tanasril has sworn to help us defeat the Thamans. You must trust us both." Before Alhana could even open her mouth to voice her horrified protest, Riven shook her head. "Please, don''t argue. At least not until the Thamans are defeated, and Magicum is safe." Equestrodens approached, and Riven let them through her sheild. There was enough to create an honor guard, to lead her to the throne room. Grudgingly, Alhana let them help her to her palace. She did not defend them, but neither did she strike them down. Not listen to her daughter had started this mess; she would not make that mistake again.
Assured that her mother was safe, the princess moved onward. In time, both her uncle Jagard and his wife had been found, explained to, and escorted back to the throne room. But every slow-passing moment had her worry growing for her cousin. Where was Tomass?
And then she saw him, battling atop a guardhouse. A ranger had pulled out a dagger, and was trying to lay a hand on the youngest Magisray. Tomass was darting around and back, doing his best to avoid his enemy. But he was only seven; even though he was well trained, since he was very young, he could not hope to take on a fully grown man. A sound issued from her mouth, somewhere between a scream and a neigh. Lightning struck the ranger; he fell over the railing, burnt beyond recognition. Tomass stared in shock ahead of him, before turning his head to look up. Riven swooped lower, landing in front of her cousin. "C'mon - get on Tomass." she knelt so he could pull himself up. The boy hesitated.
"Riven? You - I could've..." He trailed off, knowing the man would have killed him.
"Get on, plesae, Tomass - you need to get to the throne room; Tanasril has sided with us, to defeat the Thamans. we're gathering in the palace. Hurry!"
The boy obeyed, and soon the Magisray line had gathered in Magicum's throne room. But it didn't feel right. She looked around the room, looking first to her mother, then to Tanasril. "The Silveredges," she said. "Where are they?"
_________________
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 Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:07 am; edited 1 time in total
 
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Ephinmor leaned idly against the watering trough. Slowly his wounds were regenerating, his energy returning. All around him the battle still raged, but he could tell the Thaman fighters had lost their spirit. Nothing but a major victory could give them that, and Ephinmor doubted that that could be achieved now, with the Mordine reinforcements pouring in.
He glanced up at the castle, where Xath and Terida circled angrily. The fools. he thought, picking dried blood off his claws. I shall let them stew here. In this rainstorm they simmer nicely, and they deserve it; if they wish to go their own way, I shall allow. Suddenly his feline eyes narrowed. It seemed that he saw A winged shape dart above the Palace ramparts without the shapeshifters' noticing. Ah yes, it was Riven, and she was returning now with a young child on her back. Probably her brat brother -- whatever his name is. I wonder, though: if Sir Maris took the Palace for Tanasril, why is Riven brnging in family? Could she have defeated the Knight Commander? Or had fallen back under Tanasril's spell?
Ephinmor shrugged. He didn't care, and wouldn't have cared much to learn that something like both had happened.
"Sarras!" he whispered.
"Yes?" said his de facto lieutenant, limping up. He had apparently been engaged in the melee. "What do you wish, sir?"
"We are leaving. Gather up all of the magefels and the Black Phantoms, but forget Xath and Terida. They are being unruly and must be taught a lesson."
"Yes, sir." Sarras bowed, then added, "I take it we are also abandoning the humans to their fate?"
"Indeed. They are of no consequence now that the unlamented General Errias is gone. Our strategy now is to withdraw and let our dear Master and the beloved Queen tear each other's throats out."
"As you command, Ephinmor."
So saying, Sarras raised his arms and sent a message to the Summoner. Instantly the two winked out of the town, and the Heroes who had been fighting the Phantoms blinked to find their opponents vanished.
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Falotar



Joined: 22 Jan 2001
Posts: 2579
Location: Yaro'on the Fair

 PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Where, indeed?" muttered Tanasril. "Both houses, to the last of the line ... " His misshapen gaze rozed over the assembled Magisrays, who met it with mingled awe and horror. His eyes gleamed still brighter as he turned to Riven. "I believe the Baron is dead. What others were there?"
"Yes," she replied, nodding, "Wodenthal is dead. But the others -- Treven, Toberk, Drexel, and Juster -- they're still out there, somewhere."
"Then you must go, quickly, and find them." She nodded, and trotted out of the throne room. Tanasril turned to Alhana, his face leering horribly.
"So, destiny has brought us together again," he said. "Magisray and Tanasril, face to face for one final test. I offer you my services, Your Majesty; will you have them? Remember your daughter has already submitted to me."

Drexel's sword flashed with a white fire of its own as he hewed down the Guards and Warriors that had been part of Alarica's retinue. No armour, no shield, no weapon could withstand its potency as it was kindled by his anger. Dozens of men had been cut down by him, and it seemed as though dozens more might be. Then, suddenly, there were no more enemies.
"Good work, young man," said a strangely accented voice. drexel looked up warily to see a tall man sitting astride a horse, a blood-stained sword in one hand and the reins in his other. His face was noble, and reminded Drexel of Alhana, although its lines were harsher and his eyes promised cruel justice to those who trespassed his laws.
"You must be ... "
"The Emperor of D'Tar Mordin? I am. And, by your sword and the skill with which you wield it, you must be a silveredge. Heir to old Wodenthal, am I right?"
"Yes," said Drexel tightly, clenching his hand around the sword's hilt.
The Emperor looked at him strangely. "Are you all right? Where is your father?"
"With the gods," answered Drexel. "Those vile Thamans took his life because he was protecting Queen Alhana."
"I see." The Emperor sat silent for a while. Then he smiled down at him, the lines of his face softened by sympathy. "He died well, then Don't worry; Krypta will see that he is properly rewarded. As for you, he must be proud to observe what you have accomplished." The Emperor waved at the scattered bodies. "You must have destroyed at least a quarter of the Thaman army single-handedly."
"I doubt it, sir, but thank you."
"It is less than you deserve. Alhana should reward you richly. Speaking of which, where is she?"
"I don't know," replied Drexel. His heart chilled. Maybe she's dead as well. The Emperor laughed.
"Not her. I'm sure we'll find her. For now, though, go to our camp. we've taken over the south-west part of town; its nearly undamaged. You'll find your relations there already -- those who live, anyway."
"Why didn't you move into the Palace?" asked drexel. "With Thaman gone, there's no need for an armed camp - "
"Thaman's not your only problem, lad," said the emperor. "Move into the Palace? That's the last place I'd go, considering that I'd have to fight an army of mutated Ratmen to get it."
"Tanasril took the Palace?" asked Drexel in shock.
"So it appears. Now -- Lady of Death! What is that?"
Flying towards was a shape burned into Drexel's memory. Black body, green tail and mane, striped wings, spiralled horn -- "It's the Princess!"
"Princess?" repeated the Emperor, shocked in his turn. "Not Riven?"
Drexel nodded as the creature landed before them. Riven lifted her head, her strangely luminescent eyes locking on Drexel.
_________________
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
 
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
Posts: 1710

 PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:05 pm    Post subject: dragons ! Reply with quote Back to top

Suddenly there was a shout
“Fire drakes! More fire drakes! Run for cover!”

Then reddish shapes dropped out of thick layer of cloud and ash. And then there was loud noise of large wings slicing though air. Have a dozen firedrakes descended, wings folded back and claw outstretched. Their wings unfolded as they near the city, leveling out their flight path. Great wall of fire leap skywards wherever they flew pass. Whatever building that was left standing quickly crumbled under the onslaught of the great beast of wind and fire.

Then nearly a dozen gold dragons followed out of the stormy sky, they divided themselves into three flights. Two of them immediately broke off to engage the shape shifters that circled the palace; half a dozen folded their wings and went after the firedrakes in a steep dive. And the rest leveled out and slowly circled upwards.

Mean while, the firedrakes spread out after their initial assault, crisscross the town in search of anything of value. The gold dragons crashed down from above to halt their pillage, lighting and fire leapt as the great lizards engaged in massive aerial skirmish. A Gold dragon rammed a firedrake in mid section, breaking its spine. The doomed creature fell out of its path over the market place, rammed into the office building, which crashed down into the stands below in a great cloud of dust and debris. Across the town, a gold dragon’s wing is set on fire by its opponent; it spirals down and crashed into a residential area, demolishing a dozen of houses. Its burning body came to rest in a royal garden, setting it ablaze. A few miles away, a gold dragon nailed a firedrake with ball lighting as it made a dive on the troop of D'Tar Mordin. The fire drake disintegrated, its ruin rained down on the troops below.

The shape shifters seemed to stand little chance against what appeared to be leaders of the dragon flight. One was caught on a claw and send crashing into the palace, creating a large hole in the process, the other one narrowly dodged a lighting sphere as it attempt to escape, the sphere caught the last remaining watch tower, sending it crashing down to the courtyard below.

Above them, more dragons appeared, black dragon flight dart though cloud and attempted to overrun the rear guard element of the gold dragons. The gold dragon side stepped and then began chasing the black dragons that went by. The blacks now found themselves at a severe disadvantage even though they out number their gold counterparts, as they could not shake off their opponent or bring their dark breathe weapon to bear. The entire mess lost attitude rapidly, and then each black dragon broke off in a different direction in order to confuse their opponent. But one of them wasn’t fast or lucky enough; it slammed into an inn, completely decimating it.


Sensing the immediate danger, the gold dragons broke off engagement with the fire drakes and left them to the rooting, and turned toward their new adversaries. Dragons of both color now raced between various high raising building in the town in a deadly dance of death and destruction. Once in a while a dragon would come crashing down, fatally wounded, and destroy whatever it landed on.

Soon the gold dragons find themselves in trouble, the surprise is none gone, and the black dragons almost outnumber them three to two. A daring plan was made, two of them suddenly disengage their opponents and went after the black archon, and one was shot down immediately, splintering against side the wizard guild in a shower of scale, blood, and rock. The other one took a glancing blow at the black leader, which immediately set after her. She dived for speed and lured eight black dragons away from the town, leaving the remaining gold dragon on equal footing.

And the battle continues …
 
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Raistlin Archmagus



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

 PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Alhana's hand was resting on her sword - though there was not much rest going on. Her arm musceles were taught, as if she were ready to run him through at the first moment. "Aye, it seems fate has been bittersweet, today." She watched the archmage warily. "Depending on what you see as your 'services,' I'll wait to give you an answer. And my daughter is still herself; the very fact that she saved us all should be proof enough of that." She hoped there was some alterior motive to Riven's manuvers; the thought thet she was under Tanasril's control was horrifying.

"Drexel!" He was there, and he was safe; the weight in her chest lightened slightly. Shaking hair away from her face, she stared at the young Silveredge. "It's not safe here," she said, not seeming to take in her surroundings. "Come - you have to come to the palace with me - where is the rest of your family?" She saw Tarmylyn and turned to the Emperor, bowing her head to him; propriety be damned, it was too hard to offer a proper bow when she towered above him. "Emperor Tarmylyn, you are welcome as well, but we must hurry-" he heart was beating faster and faster. Where were the other Silveredges?
"Princess!" Her thoughts were brought back to the present with Drexel's voice. "Princess, the Thamans are defeated. Look around you!" Riven's eyes whirled, color somewhere between yellow and orange; confused.
"Defeated?" She turned her head, gazing at Drexel's handy work. Shaking her head, Riven turned back to the two men. "No matter, you must still come. Please, Drexel; we have sided with Tanasril. Where is the rest of your family?"
_________________
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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