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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
Posts: 1710

 PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:21 am    Post subject: Apocalypse now ! Reply with quote Back to top

Ocimillium would laugh if he could. He gained a more powerful ally as the goddess of death turned away from his scheme. Unexpected, the random hand of fate delivers the world to him…

The temple of elements

Emarius watched as the staff was assembled, and its voice whispered in his mind. Then he realized the error in allowing Alexandra to complete it. She must have heard the voice too, how could he have missed it …

Emarius lunched for the staff, suddenly recalling the experience of fighting a creature unleashed with a similar incantation. Yet dark lighting lashed out of the sphere, sending him falling into the abyss below the pillars. As he fell, a voice cries out of above, not one of the young queen he came to know so well, but a voice ancient, and filled with malice.

It wishes to challenge XyraI wish to challenge Xyra … in the beginning, there was me, so in the end of ends, only I will remain. I … am … power … and I will have my vengeance.

Mayhew

Was just like any other sunny day the rebuilding Mayhew at first. Suddenly the glory of the sun vanished and a solid black disc hung threateningly in its place. First many thought was an ellipse, and then their curiosity turned to horror as the black lighting rained down. When these bolts come into contact with living matter, it drains the life’s force from the creature, leaving only parched mummies behind.

Like Tentacles the black lighting scorched the land, depriving it of life and gains strength with each additional victim. It is indiscriminate in its action; And no one was spared.

New Cheswick

“Perhaps sending him ahead was not such a good idea.” Spoke Erenull. “We are receiving reports that something strange is happening there and it’s not good.”

“Define strange!” yelled an impatient Amaru.

“I would call Ellipse and black lighting strange.” Erenull replied. “The intensity is yet of unknown, the villagers are fleeing Xyra’s rule, and if something scares them more then punishment by that abomination, I am worried.”

“Oh and why are you speaking in draconic” Amaru spoke “you are failing if impressing me is what you are trying to do”

“I ...” At the moment the door burst open, admitting a beaten Emarius in Tattered robe of an Archmage.

“I think we have a situation here.”

“Well, we can see that, but please be more clear” Malphax chuckled as Emariu’s battered form took sit in the council.

“I want to put it this way, we always thought Andraxal-Kerlazor fought Krolm because he is either vicious or proud, or both, right? Now I think my grandfather is a better dragon then we know.”

“What do you mean” Amaru suddenly appear concerned “I hope you are telling the truth.”

“Very well, I know the time is growing short so I will make this brief. Andraxal of house Kerlazor was processed by something. That thing forced him into attacking Krolm. When he was defeated, Krolm sealed the processing and the processed within the staff, and thought it was safe.”

“So let me guess, it wasn’t” Malphax laughed at the moment, drawing a lot of attention to him.

“This is no time for jest, brother” Amaru eyed him angrily and he immediately put up a solemn face.

“So when my dearest rebuilt the staff, both prisoners were unleashed. The god-king had fought the specter long enough to give us our flicker of hope, but in the end, not even he could contain its power and it has taken hold of Alexandra.”

“So how do you know that” The guardian spoke in harsh voice.

“Because the wraith, whatever it was, could not control two beings of that magnitude at once. As he processed Alexandra, the spirit of the ancient king was released, he told me the truth. Now if I so wished, I can take his form, although only briefly.”

“What else did he tell you?” Amaru suddenly became curious.

“He also told me that Xyra also had his part to play in the grand scheme of things, and don’t count on deities when you need them the most.”


Last edited by Cooker on Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total
 
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Sorotor



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 283

 PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"This is all my fault," sighed Amaru. "I should never haver given the staff to Alexandra. But there is no time for regret." He looked up and into Erenull's eyes. "Summon your council, Magistrate. We have plans to make."

"So, there are now two threats to the existence of Ardania." Amaru sat at one end of a long table, facing erenull at the other end. Between were the Heroes recruited by the Dragon, as well as Amaru's two companions. Not all of course were present; the Arbiter and Captain Lachryma were magically projected from their position under the ruined Temple. Amaru continued as the others glanced about uneasily. "First is Xyra. We are all acquainted with his immense power, his thirst for power and vengeance. Second is this other evil spirit, once imprisoned in Andraxal's Sceptre but now freed. Both are quite capable of destroying the world." He paused, silently asking for uestions, but there were none.
"Very well. In Xyra's case, we know that a direct attack will not work. Hit-and-run tactics are not effective either, for in Xyra we are dealing with an individual, not an army but with the power of ten armies. Thus I have worked out a three part strategy that will, I am certain, lead to his defeat.
"The original plan worked out by the Gods was to catch Xyra and his horde between the Barbarians in the West and the Order of Crimson in Valmorgen. That plan still has a part to play, for Xyra now has a small but powerful army. First, however, we must so weaken him that he cannot play a part in this battle. This will be my task. I and Liang will teleport to the Central Plains, were no-one lives. we shall then challenge Xyra, who will undoubtedly rise to the bait."
"Just you and the horse-Wizard?' queried Malphax. "What aboot me?"
"You, Rascal, are going to the west coast to serve as laiason with the Barbarians. Now is not your time to die, brother. For I do not expect to survive this encounter with Xyra."
"What about Master Liang?" asked Sivion. "Are you going to sacrifice him as well?"
"I go of my own accord," said Liang, "knowing the dangers. I have much to atone for."
"And it not be a vain sacrifice. As soon as we are dead -- and you will all know it -- march against Shadowood. do not attempt to wipe out the defenders, merely drive them away from the city. Continue to push them out into the Eastern Plains. There will be reinforced by the garrison in New Valmorgen. Thus weakened, the city will easily fall to the Order of Crimson's ambush. The Gods' plan will then go into effect: Xyra's forces will be crushed between the advancing army from the West and the recaptured capital."
"What of Xyra?" asked Erenull. "He's still alive, right?"
"He won't by the time this goes into effect. Depending on where he falls back after our fight, one of four scenarios will take place. Should he return to mayhew, Darac will be waiting for him. If he goes to New Valmorgen, the rise of the Order of Crimson will force him to flee. If Shadowood, then the strike force will have the same effect. If Sanctuary, then the resistance fighters hidden there will rise in the same manner as the Crimson. In the end, he will be driven back to Mayhew."
"You are so certain that this Darac will prevail?" asked the Arbiter.
"He must. He is the only one who even comes close to Xyra. Hopefully, our duel will have weakened the monster enough to give Darac a chance. It is our only hope; so it is useless to argue about it."
"But what if Xyra doesn't retreat?" persisted the Arbiter. "If he comes here, say, to Valmorgen. Are you certain that he will be forced away by our Order?"
"Erenull will insure that he is. Lady Magistrate, i trust you will be willing. In the absence of Alexandra and the other fire drake leaders, you must lead the flights. You shall support the strategy and insure that Xyra goes to Mayhew. Please, Lady, please lend me your aid. All of you must cooperate in order to achieve victory in this plan, and it is the only way.
"Now, for this other evil I have no such plan. I am unprepared. Therefore, i ask Lord emarius, as the one who knows most about this situation, to lead his kin the Gold Dragons in dealing with this evil."
 
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Sorotor



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 283

 PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Xyra growled as he watched the unnatural lightning from within his lair. The sing-song vibration, like that of a cat, filled the cavern that he had shaped in dim memory of his parents' dwelling. Xyra was not even aware of the sound. Gazing through the rock, so thin it was transparent, his mind was wholly on the display before him.
The lightning drained all the life-force from everything it touched. It was black, and did not give off light as absorb it. Anti-lightning was perhaps a better term for it. The Ether Winds stank of Dragon, and something else. Xyra could not name it, but it recalled something of his childhood: a dark force subdued, used by his parents to frighten him into good behaviour. This was different. Wild and unchecked, and far more powerful. And Xyra could not fight it. Or, at least, not yet.
"Pathetic Dragon," he rasped, speaking aloud in case his assailant was paying attention. "Did you think I could be defeated like this? This is a trick to frighten children! This power you have unleashed -- my parents tamed it long ago, and I will do so again. Negative energy no longer holds any terror for me!"
Xyra reached into his robe. He lifted out a small crystal that glowed briefly before turning dull black. Xyra's whining growl stopped as he placed the crystal in his mouth. He swallowed. His stomach began to churn, and a sensation of burning spread throughout his body. Xyra hissed in pain, but kept control. And as the fires grew more intense, he began to laugh.
"Behold! I have merged with the last of my people's soul crystals. With its unique properties added to my power, I will become one with the Ether Winds. Then your skulking will no longer be able to save you -- as I will control all magic in the world!"
The light, pulsing blue, now green, now white, suffused his entire body. His lair began to tremble. Chips and chunks of rock broek away from the floor and walls and began to float around him. The glow intensified. Xyras body began to waver, dissolving into the brightening aura. Xyra's laughter grew louder until suddenly the light filled the chamber. His body shimmered brighter with the light, and dispersed into motes of pure energy.
Blue lightning crackled throughout the chamber. The walls and ceiling trembled and cracked. Rocks were pulled toward the centre of the cliud of light, only to be pushed back with tremendous force. At the heart of the cloud, a new shape began to coalesce. The blue lightning flared and began to draw the light to a single shining point. This point beat beat with living insistency -- it was the soul crystal. The lightning drew back into it, only to be shot forth anew, twining into veins and arteries. The light solidified into blue-tinged crystal, around which framework ethereal flesh began forming. Light green and translucent, the form was solid yet misty, present yet less real than the pulsing vessels of light that supported it and the crystal that was its heart. The light thickened about its chest, forming armour of banded white that fell to misty robes about its feet.
Two eyes opened. They were the colour of wine, deep red-purple, and as wells of wine in depth. On their surface floated twists of flame and darkness that spiralled down to mingle with the draughts, sweet and bitter, of his soul. The face that formed around these eyes was sharp and elegant, both more reptillian and more beautiful than the features of his old form. His horn was pure, shining light, sweeping backward and flickering with the Ether Winds.
As this figure floated in its own radiance, the black storm redoubled its fury. A weave of the anti-lightning struck around the figure, but did not touch it. Xyra laughed once more, the sound echoing and eerie. Suddenly a great column of blackness shot down and engulfed the figure.
 
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

“Dealing with it” Emarius laughed before exiting the chamber, oblivious that others may hear it. “How absurd that we are expect to deal with it, after it has effortlessly ruined our people twice. I can barely maintain enough focus on the lands so the elements themselves don’t start an upheaval. If anyone is to deal with it, it will be Agrela, not me.”

His shape shifted form blurred and transformed into bolts as lighting as the dragon leapt from the rampart, the lighting arced, forming into the natural form of a gold dragon. Sensing him, other dragons took off from various part of the fortress to join their brethren.

A dragon has little attachment to their mate. A dragon is expected to take care of herself even if she is hatching. And none of them would risk losing their pride to request a rescue. Emarius is in fact, far more concerned with losing his honor, had he fail to buy Erenull sometime. Failing his task in front of a lesser dragon is last thing he needs.

Mayhew

It seemed that black lighting was not only strange weather of the day. Within a few hours the appearance of the strange and terrifying creature the clear sky quickly turned overcast. So fast, that it could have not being natural. The cloud thickened at a supernatural speed and strange as it may sound, it rained healing potions.

Even more strange were huge meteors crashing though thick layers of clouds. The burning meteor came into contact with volatile healing potions, leaving huge burning trails that filled the sky with smoke and rained fire as they drifted.

Amasteryx revered in the power. At last the primal forces of elements are arrayed behind him. As he resumed his normal form, he could barely make out Erenull, who’s dashed in and out of the hazy sky, narrowly evading the massive barrage coming up from the surface to meet them.

The nemesis slowly withdraws, knowing it is now at a disadvantage. Firstly, the dark lighting become sparse, then stopped entirely as the great, ominous sphere seem to fade out, like a bad dream.

The flight of firedrakes vanished into the clouds with the strange creature, to the disappointment of the troops below. The rain of healing potion soon weakened to a drizzle, then stopped. For two agonizing minute the troop waited, then it started to rain swords, and hammers, and scythes.

With a great cry of horror Xyra’s forces fell back into the city, bared the gate and took cover behind everything that can be used as one. The weapon came crashing though roofs and loges themselves into anything they happen to fall on.


New Cheswick

Emarius voice echoed, though he did not bother to project his form.
“Guardian, I assume you could see what transpires though your mind’s eye. This is but a taste of the power the temple could unleash. But before I brag on, you have a job to do; the teleportation gate should take you where you wish to be. And may the parliament pay for our expenses.”

Outside the keep, the last rune on the teleportation locked into place. They glowed, then the ghostly landscape can be seen as reflection or mirage.

The final battle has just begun.
 
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Sorotor



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 283

 PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Amaru and Liang stood in the vast, desolate expanse of the Central Plains. Behind them, the teleportation gate closed.
"Now, Liang. With the Tridusa, you must attract Xyra's attention. Do not waste your energy, but he must be convinced that we are a threat -- or at least an amusing challenge."
"At once." Liang raised the ancient staff. Rings of energy emanated from it, flashing through the sky and the Ether Winds. Slowly the bands of colour filled the heavens, expanding outward to be seen throughout Ardania. "This a beacon spell as used in the East," said Liang as he lowered his staff. "Xyra should be intrigued enough by it to search out the source."
"And so I am." The two started. The light rasping laughter burst out as Xyra materialized before them. "You seem so surprised," he said. "You shouldn't be. After all, you are dealing with a god."
"You have changed," said Amaru warily, "but you are still no god. Nor will you ever be."
"So you say. I take it, then, that you did not signal to me to announce your surrender?"
"Quite the contrary." An arc of light, and the Ancients' Sword was in Amaru's hands. "Your reign of terror ends today, Xyra. Here, on these Plains, and by this Sword."
"Arrogant as ever, O 'Guardian'." Xyra laughed again as Amaru stepped back. "You think I didn't know? Even while I spent my long centuries in the place you call the Labyrinth, I keep watch on your surface world. I watched your feeble attempts to halt the Dragon Wars. I could have told you it was futile. Those beasts will stop at nothing for power, and what they can't control they destroy."
"Like you." Amaru crouched. "Enough words. Come at me -- or must I begin our duel?"
"What? So eager for death?" Xyra sighed. "I had hoped that you would value life more. It is so short for you mortals!" He thrust out his hand, fingers spread. Four beams of light shot out, hitting Amaru in the chest. The apparition was flung back, vapour rising from his wounds.
"Master Amaru!" Liang swung the Tridusa in a wide arc. Ethereal shields, like blue-violet bubbles, formed around them both. Then the Wizard lifted up his staff. Lightning flashed from it into the sky. Then it fell, striking Xyra, who shook his head in amusement.
"This is the best you could come up with for magical support? I'm disappointed, Guardian." Xyra turned his hand palm up. The shields around Amaru and Liang sparked and dispersed.
"What? How could - "
"My mastery over the Ether Winds is complete, Wizard. You can't begin to compete!" Xyra both his hands, palms out. Twin beams of concentrated energy shot out. Liang raised the Tridusa. The energy hit it. The Tridusa glowed terribly. Liang cried out and tightened his grip on the staff, which seemed to have obtained a life of its own. Xyra lashed his tail angrily and redoubled the outpouring of energy. As this new blast hit him, Liang was knocked and and sprawled on the ground. The Tridusa spun through the air. Striking the ground, it sank a foot into the dust, energy still coruscating over its length.
"What manner of weapon - " Xyra's words transformed into a scream of pain as Amaru caught him unaware. The apparition pulled the Ancients' Sword from Xyra's side, and brought it around around for another stroke. This time, however, Xyra was ready. With one hand he caught the weapon, with the other Amaru's arm. He twisted, forcing the apparition to dorp the weapon, then kicked him in the stomach. Bone snapped as his arm was twisted still further, and Amaru howled in pain. Xyra swung him around and slammed into the ground. Grasping the Ancients' Sword in both hands, Xyra lifted it up.
"What a perfect victory, to slay you with your own weapon!"
He started to plunge the blade down, but suddenly sidestepped. A blast of energy flew past to explode on a dessicated old tree. Snarling he turned around. Liang was on one knee, gathering energy for another blast.
"Wretched human! How dare you try those tricks on me!" Xyra parried another blast with the Sword. "Very well, your friend's blade shall lap your life first!"
Liang teleported as Xyra blurred. "Overconfidence has slain many more worthy than you." The words hung in the air as Xyra slashed it. Liang materialized him, and sent a wave of flame crashing into the monster.
Xyra hissed as the flame washed over him. Spinning around, he cut a gash through Liang's abdomen. Before Liang could react to the injury Xyra struck again. The Sword flashed as it delivered seven invisible cuts, each fatal.
Liang's ruined body fell to the dust, which thirstily drank his blood. Xyra, panting with rage, stepped over the corpse to face Amaru. The apparition was staning, though his legs were unsteady. Mist rose from over his body as he weakened will began to lose its focus.
Xyra held up the blood-stained Sword. "Ironic, is it not?" he hissed. "You meant to protect him with this, but here it has been the cause of his demise. Now, to complete my victory and end this little skirmish."
"Not with my blade." Amaru held out his hand. "Ancients' Sword, come back to me!"
Xyra snarled in surprise as the Sword ripped free of his grasp. Amaru's fingers closed over the hilt. He raised the sword, shook off the blood. "Now I will atone for my fault! Xyra, you have slain tens of thousands, and are guilty for as many more! Justice demands your life! Now repent before death takes you!"
"I will never die!" xyra raised a hand and threw an energy ball at Amaru, but the apparition threw himself to the ground, rolled beneath it, and sprang up.
He rushed upon Xyra. Once again Xyra caught his sword, but Amaru was prepared he flipped, kicked Xyra in the face, pulled his blade free from the weakened grasp, and swung it up. The Ancients' Sword sang down upon Xyra's skull. But Xyra ducked forward, catching the blow on his horn. For an instant the two were locked together, shining sword on shining horn, with Amaru actually standing on Xyra's shoulders. Then Xyra grabbed the apparition's feet and flung him away. Before Amaru hit the ground Xyra was there, was knocked him high up into the air. Then he sprang up after the helpless apparition and sent him back down with a kick that shattered his breastbone. Then Xyra landed on him, digging his clawed feet into his mangled chest before stamping on his body. The Ancients' Blade spiralled through the air, and Xyra caught it.
"Back to where we started," he said, smiling and running his tongue over the fangs. "As I was saying -- perfect victory!"
He thrust down, coming to one knee. The Ancients' Blade pierced through the shards of Amaru's breast, his heart, and the hard earth beneath. The apparition opened his eyes, which shone with pain and sorrow.
"You know," he whispered, "that you can never win. Even if you destroyed the world, you'd never destroy the spirits of those who lived and died there."
"Shut up!" Xyra twisted the blade savagely and pulled it out. Amaru sighed and closed his eyes. His body began to dissolve into motes of light and mist. The Ancients' Sword, too, began to evaporate. Soon there was nothing left of the apparition.
"Now," growled Xyra, rubbing his hand together to rid them of the sensation, "it is finished. I can go back to Mayhew and show those worms how it feels to have your world ripped apart!"
He prepared to leave, but suddenly a thought occured to him. He turned to where the Tridusa stood, still glowly brightly. He reached out and yanked it free. He snapped it in half, and flung the pieces away. Then he disappeared.
 
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Outskirt of Shadowood

The guardsman fell without a sound. The explorer stepped by the limp guard was equally silent. Each explorer wore a mask to conceal their face, and their leather tunic painted as well to match their desolate surroundings. Like whispers then vanished into the night quickly as they appeared.

Shadowood

Fabulariax was surprised when the earth beneath the town begin to shake. First it was a slow rumble but then it soon turned to a violent vibration. First he suspects a foul sorcerer turning against him, and then in a second he realized the in intensity was beyond anything a mere sorcerer could muster.

He activated his amulet of teleportation before the palace was swallowed by the very earth beneath it. Before he recovered from the shock, the wall of the city disintegrated before his eyes, replaced by massive war machine plowing though as if seen though the twilight vision of a madman.

It wasn’t a pretty sight. The metal giants cleaved though already crumbling buildings like whales breaking though thin ice. The guardsmen are already feeling backwards to avoid being crushed under their titanic feet. And though ruined walls men clad in strange armor leapt forth, cutting down the fleeing mass with lighting fast strike.

Fortunately, the quakes has stopped for now, and some building, especially the imposing citadel is still standing. The lord did not hesitate to flee into the structure. He was right. A massive ballista bolt landed a mere second later, impaling a screaming guardsman to the ruined cobblestone.

Mayhew

The situation did not get any prettier. As soon as the rain of weapon stopped, huge clouds of black scarabs swarmed out of every sewer and attacked Xyra’s minions, but oddly left the common slaves alone. Those who were stun were quickly turned into feasting corpse at terrifying rate, leaving caustic ooze. If the minions of Xyra did not need him before, he is needed now.

If his minions were not a concern, his items might be. Quickly the swarm moved forth and towards the abode of Xyra, borrowing into the structure and begun secreting a strange acid that seem to melt though items, magical or not.
 
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Sorotor



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

All of the city's forces fled to the Cathedral, the only building that offered even temporary safety from the onslaught. Once inside, their commanders quickly rallied them, and they prepared to defend the great gates.
Fabulariax held a hurried council with Yimabaaph and Areex. The Chaos Mage was quite at ease, but the former Shamaness was not. She switched her tail and licked her lips. Her nerves were about to give way, and she could not hide her fear, though she tried to mask it with anger.
"What is happening?" she demanded of Fabulariax before he could begin. "What's going on?"
"We're being attacked," replied Yimabaaph.
"I can see that!" she snapped. "By who? I thought we destroyed the Parliamentarians!"
"These don't seem to be Parliament's forces," said Fabulariax. "I think that their draconic masters are taking a more direct approach. But in any case, we must think of a way to defeat them."
"Oh really?" Areex jumped from her seat and began pacing. "It's a bit too late for that, isn't it? We're already under attack! We could be dead any second - "
"The Xyr-Mares could help," said Yimabaaph, oblivious of the one ranting beside him. "Two more are ready for action. Plus, there are some monsters left under the palace -- if the shake didn't kill them."
"Right. Release them all. Areex, why don't you leave? Go to Valmorgen and inform Iscara. Your illusions should get you safely away."
"Fine. First sensible decisions yu've made, human." She whirled and marched out of the chamber, her tail limp with relief. Yimabaaph frowned.
"Why send her? Any of us could contact Lady Iscara with our communication thingies."
"Because she's about to snap, and I needed an excuse to get out from underfoot. Now go tend to your teratogenics."

A great section of the town square trembled and slid away. These standing on it fell down a long ramp, and were trampled by the creatures racing up towards the sunlight. Horrors of horn and claw rampaged through the disentegrating town, overwhelming the startled attackers with insane ferocity. Winged monstrosities took to the air, whence they dived upon friend and foe alike. The orderly assault quickly became confusion. Still, as Fabulariax watched from his shielded window, he knew that they would not last long. A few dozen monsters could not stop these elite troops -- not with their strange, powerful weapons.
Below, at the gate, the City Guard had been slaughtered. Harbingers with their burning swords now occupied the massive front hall. Suddenly a section of the floor slid away, much like the larger section in the courtyard. Out of the hole rose three figures. In the centre was Yimabaaph, dressed in full regalia as a Xyres Chao Mage, a twisted cypress staff in his hand. On his right was reptillian creature, naked except for the tattered remains of a Valmorgen surcoat worn as a kilt. In his hands was a halberd, wrought of black steel. His green scales still pulsed with the fiery blue lines of the Ether infusion. On Yimabaaph left was a more human form, save that she too was marked by the blue lines. She was garbed in a faded banner of the old Imperium; obviously Yimabaaph hadn't cared as much for their attire as his own.
"Stand die or scream!" commanded the Chaos Mage. His voice, amplified by magic, echoed threateningly around the vast hall. The Harbingers readied themselves. Yimabaaph, seeing they weren't abou to comply, crossed his arms. "Fine then, be that way! Attack! Take as many alive as you can!"
The two Xyr-Mares bounded past him. The lizard-man engaged three Harbingers, dodging their shinging weapons wielded his halberd with sinuous grace. The woman bounded forth, to be surrounded by eight Harbingers. They paused; there was a madness in her glowing eyes. she smiled, opened her mouth, and spewed a black liquid forth upon one of the Harbingers. The man's scream ended in a gurgle as the powerful acid melted him away.
More Harbingers poured in through the gates. Yimabaph raised his staff. Vines broke from the floor, entangling them. The men struggled, shearing through the vines with their weapons. The vines hissed, and their tips began tonrip open, displaying mouths full of thorn-like teeth. The Harbingers screamed as the vile plants began eating them, chewing through their armour and bone with ease.
The lizard-man had brought down five Harbingers and was engaged with a six, a man of much more skill. Both had lost their weapons, and were wrestling on the floor. The Xyr-Mares had his tail around the other's throat, strangling him, but the harbingers slammed his kne into the lizard's stomach. The tail relaxed, and the Harbinger, perhaps oout of admiration, or pity, knocked the xyr-Mares out, sparing his life.
Four heaps of melted flesh puddled around the woman, but then, two great scorched wounds were open in her back. She screamed, and curled in on herself. The Harbingers, disconcerted, stepped back. The wise ones set up draconic spells of protection. The less wise were caught in a shower of acid as the Xyr-Maers' body exploded.
"No! Nonononono! No!" Yimabaaph hopped up and down angrily. "Stupid lousy pathetic useless worthless mindless slobbering excuses for Xyr-Mares! How dare you kill them!" He swung his staff rapidly through the air, still hopping. The floor shook. There was a crash from below, and suddenly a wave of things came pouring up out of the open section of the floor. These horribly mutated beings were the failed Xyr-Mares projects. Once intelligent beings, their inability to cope with the infusion of Xyra's essence had driven them mad and brought them lower than the beasts outside. On the other hand, the mutations were far more dangerous. The harbingers were swept out of th Cathedral and into the square. But there the matter was ended, for the great golems trod the mutants into the bloody cobbles, then strode in through the gates.
Yimabaaph shrieked with rage as the first construct entered the Cathedral. The high-pitched shattered the golem, but it was followed by another, and that by a third, and a fourth. Yimabaaph continued to cast his chaos spells, decimating each as it entered, but soon he ran through his repertoire and his energy. The twentieth golem broke through the wall of enchanted daggers he had set up, and ground the Chaos Mage into the floor.

Fabulariax ground his teeth. He slipped away from the door into the great hall after witnessing the demise of Yimabaaph. He hastened to the elevator, and slammed in the directions for the bottom-most level.
"If you want something done right," he muttered, "do it yourself."
He stepped out of the elevator into the long, dimly lit corridor of the Xyr-Mares project. He turned right into the central laboratory. His eyes scanned the shelves, until they came to a row of green-tinted bottles.

The Cathedral was captured. The Harbingers had spread to every level of the the building, including the lowest. They had no need of elevators.
However, when they got to the lowest level, they discovered that Shadowood had one last defender.
"Who -- or what -- are you?" demanded the leader of the squadron, lifting his blade fearfully. Before him a solitary figure stood, bathed in green light given off by pools of liquid. Two pairs of leathery wings folded about him like a cloak. Thick black hair shrouded his bowed head. A trifurcated horn arose from the back of his skull.
"Fool. Did you think I would hesitate to use every means at my disposal to safeguard my city? I have administered to myself the essence of Lord Xyra. These are my results!"
The dark wings opened to reveal the finery of an Ardanian lord. The dark hair was tossed back, to reveal the aristocratic face of Lord Fabulariax. He drew out his sword. He swung it once, and as it whined through the air black flame ran down its length.
"Offer yourselves for the glory of Shadowood!" Black fire clahsed with red. Fabulariax cut down the three harbingers in as many minutes. He stepped out into the chamber, spread his new wings, and leapt into the elevator shaft.

Iscara stirred as something scraped against the sill of her window. She was in one of the Inns of Valmorgen, great stone affairs with both pomp and delicacy.
"Shadowood has fallen," said a harsh voice. "Give me an army so that I can go back and wipe out the insolents fools who did it."
"What the - " Iscara sat up, staring at the window. There crouched a familiar shape -- familiar except for he wings. "Fabulariax! what happened to you?"
"No time to explain. Just give me the men."
So you can lose them too? Oh, don't worry, we'll recapture you town. But I'm leading the army personally."

By the next morning, the elite forces of Xyra's army had reached the barren eastern reaches of the Central Plains.
 
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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Xyra halted in his flight. Before him lay the wreckage of Mayhew. And the unnatural weather which afflicted it.
"What in the name of Ether?" He looked about for the source of the madness, but could not see it. Then he felt the hated, familiar presence. "Miserable wretched worms! Are ou all such cowards? Can't you even fight these little monkeys face-to-face? May the Void swallow you, you gutless maggots! May darkness take you and your infantile tricks, together with this cursed city!"
He lifted up his arms and began gathering energy. Just as the deadly orb blossomed above him, however, he paused. smiling, he lowered his arms.
"No. I can come up with smething more original ... yes, I believe that I should wash away this filth and rebuild Mayhew as the fitting abode for the King of the Stars!"
This time raised up one hand. The Ether Winds instantly responded. The currents flowed far out into the ocean. As Xyra clenched his fist together, the Winds stirred up the deep water. Xyra drew his arm back, and the ocean began to rise.
In the city panicked men ran about trying to escape the magical insects. Suddenly the gloom deepened even more. Fearfully they looked up to see a wall of water reaching from the bay to the clouds. The first droplets fell like rain, than the monstrous wave crashed down, bringing the cloudy canopy with it and deluging the remnants of the once prosperous city.

"Oh great," snarled Darac as he saw the great wave from afar. "Nice way to do urban renewal. I guess I won't be sitting in Xyra's den waiting for him." He glanced up at the glowing figure hovering above the inundated marshes. "Well, I guess I won't have to find him."

Xyra laughed as the water slowly receded. Except for a few water-logged craters, Mayhew was no more.
"Now," he said, addressing the once more clear skies, "maybe you'll come out. Or not; suit yourselves. I can play this game as long as you can."
"Has the power gone to your head, freak?" Xyra turned. Below, standing on the edge of the salt marsh, was a lone Lycolongus with his arms crossed. "Or were you always in the habit of talking to yourself?"
"It's an easy habit to develop when you've lived alone for eons." Xyra glided down to land in front of the newcomer. He eyed him. "You're an insolent young pup. I don't believe I know you?"
"The name's Darac, son of Tarac, and King of the Lycolongi since my father died in battle. A rumour that I happened to pick up on my way here. Since you also murdered my mother, you could say I'm here for revenge."
"I see. Well, I don't know how your death will help them, but maybe the royal family should be united." Xyra raised a hand and began focusing his power. But Darac shook his head..
"Wait. Before we begin, I have a story to tell you."
Xyra lowered his arm. "I'm intrigued," he said. "Tell away, but remember that I have other things to do."
"It's not too terribly long, so indulge me." Darac uncrossed his arms and took the pose of a professional story-teller. "Once, long ago, there was a powerful Magelord named Cao En. His great desire was to rule Ardania, and to that end he created the ultimate warrior. He captured several families of Barbarians, and infused them with the essence of Dragons and Werewolves. Thus were born the Lycolongi, the warrior race. But the price paid was high, and the Lycolongi could not forgive Cao En for the torture he subjected them to. One Lycolongus by the name of Tarac led a rebellion of his kin against the Magelord. Cao En's remaining minions were scattered, and Tarac struck down the evil Wizard in the Magelord's own chambers. As he lay dying, Cao En rebuked Tarac.
"'How could you betray me?' he gasped. 'I have given you power beyond imagining! A warrior's spirit you had, and from me strength! And stronger still, if you can escape my fate! For I die, but if you could only elude death and return victorious from his grasp, then would your power transcend the lost gods', and my name be immortal as they were not!'
"These, the dying words of Cao En, were known only to Tarac and those of his people he shared them with. They became known as the Magelord's Promise, and were interpreted to mean that if a Lycolongus should survive a fatal blow, he would somehow grow to a new level of power undreamt of. And it proved to be the case that whenever a Lycolongus recovered from a wound he was stronger, but none ever achieved the heights of which Cao En spoke. So many doubted their truth and regarded them as a madman's babble, but Tarac was not so certain. He instructed that every Lycolongus learn them, and taught his own son, Darac, the words so that they became engraved in his memory. To this day, every Lycolongus knows of the promise, and secretly hopes that it might be vindicated in him."
"A lovely tale," said Xyra in bored tones, "but what was the point?"
"The point is that I have fulfilled the promise. Cao En's last words were true, and here is the proof!" Darac began to glow fiercely. The Ether winds sighed and hissed, much as the surf had doen before xyra had summoned his wave. "My only regret is that you, my enemy, shall be the first to witness it!"
 
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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Outskirt of Shadowood, Command tent

“Lord Sivion” A man entered and bowed. He was bruised and cut in several places. Never the less, a hint of smile could be seen on his face. “Your lordship, the enemy has being routed; the city is in our hands. We have lost many good brothers today, but their honor is still with us.”

“As you wish sir, I will survey the city. Bind the wounded, and make sure they are well looked after.” He turned and asked before he left the tent “how goes their lord.”

“Sire,” the man bowed again “he escaped; we had your order to capture him alive. We could not strike him down. His second in command, however, did not escape as he did.”

“Oh, are we holding him?”

“No sir, one of our war machines seemed to have misplaced his step. Let’s put it this way, there isn’t much of him left for questioning.”

“Captain, the wizard frowned, please be more careful.” As Sivion said it, he heard chanting, a huge blast of magic flew into air and one hail of monster guts come showering down. “Oh, I think our wizards can use some rest, as well.”

Shadowood

The city is a sorry shape. Only the citadel was still standing, the giant heap of smoking rubble was the only reminder of once center of the imperium. The priestess was seen along the roadside, conducting the final rite for the passing. The harbingers themselves are standing valiantly at guard for any insurgence while the warrior monks rush about, passing food, water, bandage and various potions to those who still lived.

The smoke has hovered above the doomed town since the battle begun, only trickle of sun light filter down into the groom. Within the shadows there was not a sight of bright colors, even the bright red robes of the priestess were tainted to near black with the dust from the burning buildings.

The only voice beside the mummers of Kryptain rites were the cries of the common folk. The grievous cries of loss, the desperate cry for help, were all distant and drowned out think smoke. The dwarves commandeered the golems to act as execrators, and seek out each victim by tapping on the stones and listening with their keen ears.

Sivion wished for another miracle, A healing shower perhaps, yet he was unanswered. A battle of far greater magnitude now took place in the draconian sit of power.
 
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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Temple of elements

Stop the madness, here and now” Emarius howled at the source of dark lighting “You cannot imagine what you will unleash” He did not expect an answer, yet he did acquire one, one farm more composed then he had expected in any shape or form.

I undo the temple, I undo us all. The balances of elements will be lost, and with it the world. Xyra is a fool. He seeks to dominate what I only wish to destroy. I have no respect for this world, more then any to thousands others I destroyed.

You have destroyed thousands of worlds so you can die here. What a coincidence.” Emarius sent forth a healing spell as he narrowly avoided lighting from a black form of a dragon atop the throne. The healing water evaporates as it comes into contact with the black form, emitting a loud hiss.

No, when this is no more, I move on. Others will embrace power, like your kind once did, and with it they embrace me.” Another black lighting shot forth only to be blocked by a shining shield. “This is a battle of mind, you cannot win. I am power.

You are a little more then the abuse of it. You speak to us during our long hibernation, poisoned our minds, and we did your bidding. Nemesis, you are but a wraith now, the celestial power is rallying behind us.” Emarius spoke as he circled his opponent for a weak spot. The nemesis, however, did nothing.

Celestial powers, you mean one that have defeated you. Truly they have little authority outside their perspective realm, certainly none here.” The Nemesis launched another well placed lighting blot, yet it was blocked by a solid shield of earth that appeared from the thin air. The shield cracked and fell into the abyss.

You are parasite, without your host you are nothing but a bad dream. Even with a host, you are no more then a clouded vision, I see your end, I do.” With that, a massive ring of life’s energy shot forth, dislodging the dark creature, a black lighting lashed out at same precise moment, sending them both spiraling down into darkness.


Last edited by Cooker on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:45 am; edited 1 time in total
 
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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Valmorgen

“Brothers, together to victory” Karth hold his grail high before his men before he drunk deeply from it. Upon emptying the grail, he tossed it aside and drew his hilt. A blade of fire came alive with a hiss and he leapt forth, brother Lachryma following close behind.

The revered mother had become disturbingly silent. She muttered as Karth drew his weapon. Dim rune appeared in a circle on the stone around her. She then point her right arm straight upwards. There was a whisper as if a thousand tormented souls screamed in union then a staircase woven of bone grew out of the ground below, it twisted as it grew upwards, eventually penetrating the floor above. A loud cheer was heard among the men as they rushed to the surface to deliver the judgments.

All who attended the ambush numbered below two dozen. But they were the very finest. The templar and warrior monks of Dauros, the harbingers of order of crimson cut a bloody swath towards the paliment before the guards had a chance to react. Behind them, the draconian wizard, priestesses and a single Alchemist launches a hailstorm of destruction.

So starts the uprising.


Last edited by Cooker on Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
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Sorotor



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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"M'name's Malphax, and I was sent here tae tell ye that the time's finally come. We're tae move out against Xyra's armies in the east Central Plains."
"Yes." Trolban nodded. He had returned to the camps of his people and the townlings. With Ravenna and Father Reinherz of the Agrelan Priesthood as his lieutenants, he had slowly began leading their forces east. "Krolm has spoken to me. I have been expecting you. The townling Sorcerors and my shamans are ready. When the Sun rises, we shall shift to the Plains and end this evil.'

Iscara marched through the dust at the head of her Lycolongi. They held the right flank of the army. The metamorphed Fabulariax led the central column, composed of the Xyres Guard and whatever other warriors they had managed to draft. Finally Vaseetinju commanded the left with her half-bestial fighters and nature spirits.
Iscara's antennae twitched. A powerful wave of magical energy swept over her. Ahead, her keen eyes could see the flashes of light that accompanied teleportation.
"Mace," she snapped to her lieutenant, "go tell Lord Fabulariax. I think the enemy's coming to us."

"It seems that we greatly outnumber them," send Ujinn, Master Explorer and commander of the scouting force. He snapped his telescope shut and saluted. Trolban grunted.
"Then we have no need of strategy. A frontal assault will be as effective as anything."
"Yes," agreed Ravenna, "but we must defeat them swiftly before the Sun has fully risen."
"Nae problem there," said Malphax comfortably as a staff materialized in his hands.

The two armies rushed together. Fabulariax had quickly deployed his forces in a wedge formation and drove forward. Trolban and the Berserkers let loose a terrible battlecry and surged upon them, hoping to break the formation with sheer strength and numbers. The wedge held, but its momentum dissipated and the two forces became locked together.
The other Barbarians, led by Ravenna, broke off to the side and hit the right flank. There they were met by the Lycolongi, who decimated the lightly-armed warriors despite being outnumbered. Ravenna was struck down by Mace in the first assault, and her forces scattered. Iscara then led a counter-charge into the melee in the centre.
Vaseetinju, however, could not do so well. The "townlings" as the Barbarians disdainfully called them were veteran fighters. Unlike the Barbarians, the Templars, Paladins and Elite Guard were all trained for pitched combat, rather than the guerilla tactics the tribes favoured. Supported by Elves, Dwarves, Priests, and the various magician classes, they slowly ground away Vaseetinju's horde of misshapen beast-men. Although they suffered heavily, especially when they got to her elite unit of Daemonwood and Rock Golems, they managed to completely annihilate the left flank. Malphax himself fought a duel with Vaseetinju, and after fourteen rounds of spell-casting finally took the Dryad Xyr-Mares captive.
Now in the centre a fierce battle raged. In the midmost of all were Trolban and Fabulariax. The two had each felled scores of the enemy, Berserkers and Xyres Guard, and now fought in an arena walled off by the slain. Trolban fought with both ferocity and cunning, but Fabulariax had gained equal strength, and had always been renowned for his skill.
The two weapons grated on each other, steel on stone. The two champions stared into each others' eyes as they struggled, but neither could gain an advantage. Finally Trolban broke away, and swung his sword in a great arc. The ancient, holy sword struck Fabulariax's neck at the same time that the transformed noble drove his blade through the Avatar's belly. Trolban stumbled back, clutching at the hilt as Fabulariax's headless corpse slid to the ground. Uttering a final yell, the chieftain fell to his knees, pulled the sword from his gut, and fell beside his foe.

Iscara puled her halberd from the Berserker's lifeless body. She blocked a swing from an Enforcer's shortsword with the haft. She thrust the blade aside, and broke his neck with her left hand. She ducked another blow from an Elite Guard, tripped him as her antennae tingled in alarm, and stabbed him lay he lay. Before she pull her trident free, another Berserker had come up, and she had to parry with the haft still sticking up from the body.
She snarled and kicked the brute away. She yanked her halberd free and channelled a blast of energy through it, finishing her latest opponent. Suddenly she felt the rush of energy unleashed by the death of Fabulariax. Dodging another blow, she lifted her voice so that her troops could hear her above the clangour.
"Retreat! We will fall back to the city! Retreat!"
 
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 PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

New Valmorgan
The uprising of the order in the capital city of New Valmorgan was soon joined by disgruntled citizens. The rank swelled and within hours the parliament buildings, or what’s left of it, was retaken. They cheered, but not for long. An army flying the Standard of Xyres guards was soon spotted marching towards the city at great speed.

Mother Lifebane has however, anticipated this. With great haste she arrived at cemetery, she chanted in a guttural tongue. The chants quickly multiplied, as if joined by thousands upon thousands voice singing out in union. Then she lifted her arm, the entire cemetery was basked in eerie darkness. Silence fell.

And then sounds of thousands of hands digging though earth could be heard. The cemetery was quickly populated by a horde of undead, standing still and awaiting order in tattered, rusting armor.

“Champions of ages past, I address you in name of the dread goddess. I would not disturb your rest if not for one last chance for glory. Whatever wrong you have done in life should be forgotten if you fight valiantly this one last time. This is the war to end all wars, and you should forever be remembered, as the land’s finest!”

There was a silent murmur among undead before they slowly arranged themselves into what could be considered a formation. The mass of bones picked up speed, and before long, they rush forwards as a solid tied of death to crush their enemies.

And like ill omens, the sun above the undead horde was blotted out by great wings as all that can be spared among dragon kin moved in to burn their enemy into history.
 
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Gods!" swore Iscara as darkness shrouded her battered force. She swept her trident at the press of undead and the wheeling Dragons. "Attack! Kill them all! Send those zombies back to their graves, and let the wyrms join them!"
The Lycolongi hastened to obey. The front lines leveled their weapons and charged. They crashed into the undead, shattering their formation and trampling them into the earth. The rest trained their sights on the Dragons, launching a valley of ethereal attacks.
It was not enough. Few were the Dragons who were brought down, and they numbered in the hundreds. Undead poured out of the city in waves, joined by the Order of Crimson. The Lyco line halted, wavered, and began to fall back.
Iscara cursed again and charged. "Stand firm!" she yelled. "You are the finest in the world! These walking corpses are no match for us!" To demonstrate, she obliterated ten skeletons with a swipe of her trident. "Come on!"
The Lycoes, thus encouraged, rallied and began another drive towards the city. Their orderly line had fallen apart, but that did not stop them as each teratogenic became an army unto himself. Scores of undead fell in seconds, and the Lycolongi moved closer to the walls.
Then the dragons changed tactics. One after another they swooped from the skies and seared the struggling Lycoes with their breath. Gold Dragons assumed elemental form, engulfing knots of the Xyres Lycoes in lightning. Worse, perhaps, the ballista towers in the city had acquired range. A hail of the wicked bolts, some charged with magical explosives, began falling upon the Lycoes. Slowly, their number dwindled.
Iscara released a shockwave of energy that reduced some thrity undead around to bone dust. Panting, she leaned on her trident, and warily eyed the lone warrior who approached her.
"I have been watching you," he said. "I am impressed. Will you forsake this doomed cause and join me instead?"
She shook her head, too weary to be amused. "Don't play the fool, human. Even if you win this battle, Xyra will triumph in the end. Fighting gives me more of a chance at life than surrender." She drew herself up and readied her weapon. "Besides, a Lycolongus never betrays her master."
"Except for Cao En." The man, dressed in the crimson armour of the First Sword, raised his own weapon. Unlike the swords used by most in the order, his was not made of flame but of black steel. The pommelstone was not a red crystal but an onyx. The entire blade flickered with the same fire that burned in his dark eyes. "Very well."
Iscara thrust with the trident, probing him. The man caught the prongs with his sword and threw it to one side He freed his sword before she could recover and in the same motion brought it down again on her arm, cracking the bone, making it useless.
Iscara dropped the weapon and staggered back. She tried to focus her energy to heal the wound, but her mind was clouded with pain and fatigue. Through this haze she saw the men lift his blade. She closed her eyes and sank to one knee. As Dauragon brought the sword down, she whispered her last words.
"Forgive me, Lord Xyra."
 
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The temple of element

“Ah, behold the master of the elements, he who hides behind the life of his kin.” Nemesis spoke as its lighting was deflected by another wall of fire that flashed out of thin air and deflected its black lighting. “Your number grows thin with each shot and that it’s only matter of time before you fall.”

“Perhaps,” Emarius replied “But I think I will have found a way to defeat you long before that. “We are guardians of the land, and there is no more glorious end for them.” With that, another massive healing wave fanned forth, shaking the creature.

Alexandra saw the world as if colors were inverted, light is darkness, and darkness appear as light. It was a nightmare that she cannot awake from. Vaguely she remembered sending bright lighting against dark shapes to bring them shift death, but much more. But then suddenly she remembered Dauros, and the Argela, as if their presence were close.
 
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