(D&D) Meanwhile...   Posted by Bard.Group: 0
The Voice of Nymuriel
 NPC, 1 post
 Her name says
 it all.
Tue 15 Jun 2010
at 00:37
Re: Meanwhile...
Aren stepped into the circle of light and knelt before his leader.

"You summoned me, Voice of our lord?" he said respectfully.

"I did.  You have heard the news from Ymars scouts?"

"I have, my lady.  I was present during their initial report to the Cleric General."

"Good.  I would hear your views on the situation."

Aren stood up to face the cloaked woman.  He stood proudly before her as he thought about how to answer.  "Their escape could not be foreseen.  There was divine magic involved, which means that the servants of another god are helping them.  They chose the Stone Table to escape to."

The woman was silent except for the tapping of a long, blood red nail against the stone of the throne.  "The Stone Table is an area of old magic, one of the few remaining places in this world where the old gods still hold sway.  They sought to use that power to blind us to their location.  They cannot remain there for long.  Where would they go next, do you suppose?"

"Your pardon, my lady, but Cleric General Ymar would be better equipped to give a tactical answer."

"Ymar is a hammer used to pound the enemies of our lord into dust, and it is a task which he is brilliantly suited for.  I need the opinion of one who is not bound to the ways of the sword."

Aren thought for a long moment.  He knew the area around the Stone Table.  It was one of the areas where he had sent his priests to convert the populace to the word of Nymuriel.  There had been little success.

"We have very little presence in that part of the world.  I have sent my priests to spread the word but there is resistance to our lords glory.  The area around the Stone Table is wild country and there is little of value beyond the forests thick with trees.  Not even hiding in the forest will elude Ymar once he has their trail."

"Their only hope would be to seek allies among the eastern kingdoms, perhaps Sorfolk, Stormhold, Ventin or Grand Treal.  We have yet to establish ourselves in those kingdoms.  Our resources to search for them would be limited.  They could try and hide out in one of the Freeports, but those are the sorts of places where money speaks louder than loyalty.  A few gold coins spread around and we would find them.
"

The cloaked woman thought for a moment, the room once more filled with the sound of her tapping talon.  "Ymar will drive all before him and burn the land so that our quarry have no place to go back to." she said authoriatively and confidently.  It wouldn't be the first patch of earth to be scorched under Ymars boot.  "I have a different task for you, High Cleric."
Ymar
 NPC, 7 posts
 Cleric General
 Leader of Nymuriels Army
Tue 15 Jun 2010
at 00:58
Re: Meanwhile...
Ymar strode into his tent, and immediately his commanders all rose up out of their chairs.

"The Voice of Nymuriel has given us his blessing." Ymar said with a predatory smile.  Those under his command knew that sort of look and what it meant.  Ymar was marching off to a fight and nothing pleased him more.  "Go now and ready your men.  We march immediately."

The commanders bowed and filed out of the tent.  All except two.  They were both women and very wild looking.  The older one wore a short skirt that was split up both sides and a top that might have resembled a bra with the bottom band missing.  Her short hair was spiky and black.  Her bare skin sported a number of tattoos, most notably one that resembled an open mouth with fangs.

The younger one had longer hair that was just a little dishevelled and wore a bandeau top bikini.  She also had a similar tattoo.  Ymar looked at her.

"Who is this, Tila?  I don't recognize her." he asked the older woman.

Tila smiled a toothy smile.  "Her name is Maeve.  It was her pack that brought back our preys scent."

Ymar smiled once more.  "Excellent.  Then you know what you must do."

Tila smiled a predators smile.  Maeve had been an unexpected surprise, a recent convert pack that just happened to run across the very ones that Nymuriel wanted.

"I do, Ymar." Tila said.  No other commander in Ymars army dared to call him by just his first name but Tila held a special spot in Ymars heart.  She was just as bloodthirsty as he was, maybe even moreso.
Aren
 NPC, 14 posts
 High Cleric of Nymuriel
Tue 15 Jun 2010
at 01:01
Re: Meanwhile...
Aren stepped through the large wooden doors into the hallway beyond.  The ornate doors closed behind him with a clank of metal.  The guards once more stepped to attention.

The High Cleric walked down the hallway once more, his retinue following him.  He followed the winding corridors to his audience chamber.  A servant was sent with a summons and Aren waited.

He stood on a balcony that provided some light to his chambers.  The High Cleric did love this room.  The sun always seemed to stream in and the warmth of it felt like the hand of Nymuriel brushing his skin.  Beneath him and off in a distance, an impressive host was gathered.  Row upon row of men-at-arms, rangers, paladins and wizards stood waiting.  There were even packs of werewolves among them.

The army of Nymuriel.  Ymars mighty hammer.  That the Cleric General had gathered such a large force and honed it into a fearsome host was amazing.  It had to be the hand of Nymuriel in action.

Slowly they began to file into a large portal that was being sustained by a large group of wizards.  The werewolves went first, running at full speed into the portal.  Aren thought that he could just hear their howling as they ran.  The others began to file in behind them.

The door to Arens chambers opened up and a member of the faithful was let in.  She wore simple clothes and her head shaven in the manner that showed devotion to Nymuriel.  Aren walked over to her as she bowed deeply.

Aren held his hand out to her.  "Come, Ula.  We have been given a special task."
Bolsa
Tue 22 Jun 2010
at 07:49
Re: Meanwhile...
=== Back in the village of Stonehaven ===

Bolsa bolted upright in his bed, his eyes snapping open.  Something was wrong, he could feel it.

It was night and the cleric had been in bed sleeping.  It had been a nice peaceful sleep until something disturbed it.  Bolsa turned and swung his legs out of bed and unsteadily rose up to his feet.  He scratched himself through his night shirt and yawned.  What in the bloody nine hells was going on?  He walked slowly out of his room and looked around his small cottage.

"Charles?  Where are you boy?" he said sleepily.  "I'm really getting too old for this sort of thing."

Charles was still sleeping in the makeshift bed that Bolsa had laid out for him.  The child was still sleeping.  Bolsa decided to let him sleep and he walked into the main room of his cottage, yawning.

The front door was open to the night and a figure was standing in the doorway, looking out.  Bolsa blinked a few times and then rubbed his eyes.

"Gheleanna?  What are you doing?" he said, walking up behind her.  It was then that he noticed how stiff she was standing, board straight and tensed.  He promptly forgot about how tired he was.  This was a warning.  "What's wrong?"

Gheleanna, the young werewolf girl, turned to look at the Cleric.  Her eyes were narrowed and her jaw was tightly clenched.  This wasn't a good sign.  "Can't you feel them?  They're here." she said, her voice a low growl.

Bolsa looked outside.  He saw nothing, but then he knew that werewolf senses were much sharper than human.  Bolsa had known Gheleanna since she was a little girl, her older sister Maeve as well.  They were wild children who ran about the forest with a small pack doing werewolf things.  Bolsa had kept an eye on them, letting them stay so long as they did no harm to villager or village crops.  If Gheleanna was growling and saying that someone was out there, he believed her.  "Who is it Gheleanna?"

"We need to close the village gates.  We need to do it now!" The girl hissed.  She looked franticly out into the night and grabbed Bolsa's nightshirt.

"The village gates haven't been closed is ages.  I don't even think that they oil the hinges anymore." Bolsa said.  The village of Stonehaven was old, almost ancient, and they had grown lackluster in their defenses.  The village was out in the deep forests with nothing of great value and little strategic importance.  It's only claim to fame was the nearby Stone Table religious site, but it belonged to the old gods and was little used.  The valley around the village was protected by the power of the old gods as wielded by their chosen Cleric Bolsa.  All these factors combined to make the village feel safe and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.  "What is it, Gheleanna?  What do you sense?"

Gheleanna looked back at Bolsa, that frantic look in her eyes, and she ran out into the street, running towards the nearest gate house.

"I'm really getting too old for this." Bolsa muttered as he ran after her.  "Ghe...leanna!  What's...out there?"

Gheleanna stopped in her rush and turned back to the pursuing Cleric.  Her reply chilled Bolsa to the very bone.  "Werewolves.  All of them."
Bolsa
Wed 4 Aug 2010
at 16:25
Re: Meanwhile...
Bolsa stood in one of the old dilapidated guard towers that rose above one of the village of Stonehavens main gates.  The old gates, which had not been closed in a generation, had been wrestled closed but they were a small comfort for many knew that what was outside their towns walls, would only find the closed gates a minor annoyance.

Villagers lined the walls, watching with a mix of trepidation, terror and curiousity.  Stonehaven was a small village deep in the woods and out of the way from any main roads.  The villagers were content to live in relative peace, harmony and isolation, unbothered by the strife that would often consume their much larger neighbours.  Other than the ancient standing stones known as the Stone Table, there was little of value in the valley beyond tall trees and good soil.  Their lives were good.

As a result, the villagers were justifiably nervous when a large army appeared out of the woods surrounding the Stone Table.

"Where did they come from?" a villager standing near Bolsa asked the cleric.  The villager held a bow in one hand and an arrow nervously in the other.

Bolsa put a hand on the mans shoulder, trying to reassure him, but his eyes never left the long procession of armed men and horses.  Gheleanna had disappeared into one of the village buildings and Bolsa was glad for it.  She had partially shifted into wolfen form, her hackles raised and her teeth bared as she saw the first of the werewolves run across the fields.  One had actually stopped and stared at her, almost smiling before it ran into the woods on the other side.

That was almost an hour ago.  Then the first of the armored men appeared.  They marched out of the woods in perfect step, the cadence of their boots on the soil resounding.  There were men-at-arms, cavalry and enough supply wagons for a very large host on a very long campaign.  The speed and precision which the army moved was very impressive.

Bolsas eyes locked on one of the many banners that the army was flying.  The banner flew proudly and with grim purpose, baring the jagged mark of Nymuriel.
Kasha
 NPC, 1 post
Fri 20 Aug 2010
at 22:18
Re: Meanwhile...
Thin rays of sunlight reflected off of the womans armor as she stepped across the stone floor to kneel before a large coloured window.  Her god had no formal temple here, not even a small shrine, but she didn't need such a place.

She drew out her long sword and held it out in front of her, the hilt facing upwards.  Her eyes closed and her head bowed as she muttered some words of praise for her god.  In her mind she could see all of the little pieces of her grand plan slowly falling into place.  Her plan was almost complete.

Ymar and Aren were more favoured before Nymuriel than her and her name was hardly as well known, but they had let their charges escape.  Those that they were to capture had vanished from within their grasp.  It was divine protection that allowed their prey to escape and Kasha had not been surprised that the two men had not been prepared for such an occurance.

It was almost insulting that all of her careful planning and manipulations were soon to be handed over to another, but she trusted in the wisdom of her god.  It still rankled at her.
Let rumours fly
Fri 20 Aug 2010
at 22:42
Re: Meanwhile...
It had started out, like all things do, with a simple family.  A mother, a father and two daughters.  Their house was deep within the woods where the father spent his time as a wood cutter.  The mother tended to a small garden and made simple pieces of furniture with the aid of her daughters.

Every few weeks the family would take their small wagon, load it up with some wood and a few home made chairs, and ride into the nearest settlement to take part in the local markets.  All in all it was a good and quiet existence, for they were far from important in the greater turnings of the world.

That all changed one morning.

The father had set out late that morning, having to settle an argument between his daughters, one that only the strong hand of a father could.  With his axe over his shoulder, the man made his way through the woods.  The mother set about finishing up a rocking chair that she was paricularily proud of, when her husband came running back, frantic.

Quick words were exchanged and the man ran to get the horses tied to the wagons while the mother ran to gather up her daughters.  The girls were still upset at each other but there was a sense of urgency in their parents that they had rarely seen and it was infectious.

The wagon rattled through the woods along an oft travelled dirt road, dangerously bumping to and fro, often threatening to keel over.  They arrived at a cross roads where upon sat a small inn.  Some men were standing outside, smoking long pipes and hovering over a boardgame.

The father quickly shouted his warning to the men.  There was a long pause and some scoffing at the news but the man had an honest reputation and was not known to be a troublemaker.  Disbelief turned to confusion before finally becoming incredulity.  While the wagon rattled off down the main road towards what was considered the safest fortification in the principality, the men playing the board game ran off to carry their own warnings and gather up their families.

This pattern continued and multiplied.  More and more were told the woodsmans news.  Some disbelieved, but many took the warning to heart.  A few even tied in the news to some ill omens that had been seen over the past few nights.

The news arrived at Parselton, riding upon a wave of fleeing folk.  The city was spread out and word started to spread slowly but it was gaining momentum.  Townsfolk began to gather their things and make for the citadel at Grand Treal.

There was a great host of men on the march, an army the size of which had not been seen in almost a generation.  Their purpose was unknown but such an army could only mean one thing.

War.
Lander
 NPC, 6 posts
Tue 31 Aug 2010
at 22:34
Re: Meanwhile...
"I'm telling you their over this way." Lander the dwarf said.  His tone was a little annoyed.  He had been jostled about quite a bit in the panic that had gripped the town at the army's approach and was none too thrilled about it.  "I caught a glimpse of Lilit, you really can't miss her, eh?  What a woman that is."

"...yeah...she's very beautiful." Dolan said slowly.

"A woman like that must be a real tigress in bed.  Am I right, Dolan?"  The dwarf continued.  He glanced back and noted the pained look on the humans face.  Dolan had a hand up, covering his eyes and his lips were curled in a soft grimace.  "Hey, you okay, matey?"

"I'm fine.  Just a headache." Dolan replied.

Lander shrugged.  Humans.  They could be so delicate at times.  Nothing at all like the sturdy dwarven folk.  "I'm so jealous that she's spent so much time with you, Dolan.  I'd love a crack at that beauty.  Sure she's taller than me but that don't matter so much in the bed.  Aw well, good for you that..."

There was a soft sound of metal scraping against hardened leather, a blade being drawn.  That he could hear the sound over the noise of the town meant that it was close.

"Look out!" Dolan shouted.

Lander whirled around, his hand going for his own blade.
Donner
 NPC, 25 posts
 First Mate of the
 Silver Siren
Fri 24 Sep 2010
at 04:07
Re: Meanwhile...
Donner leaned against the railing of the Silver Siren, his eyes trying to trace Revias whereabouts on the shore.  He couldn't of course but that didn't stop him from trying.  He was amazed once more at the effect that the little sorceress had on him.  Donners appearance and 'appealing' aura attracted men and women alike and he had never really felt a connection like the one he felt with Revia.

The thought of the wonderful night that they had shared brought a smile to his face.  In fact, it had turned out to be a wonderful day as well.  The sun was out and shining down upon them all, the seas were calm and looked as though they were made of sparkling jewels.  He turned to look back at the activity on deck, humming a light tune to himself.

A few members of the crew were cleaning the ships deck.  Another was repairing a length of rope.  Up on the stern castle, Captain Rhea was looking out over the deck, humming to herself.  In fact everyone seemed to be humming a light little tune.

That suddenly struck Donner as odd.  They were all humming the same tune?

It was probably nothing.  On such a nice day he was sure that everyone would be humming as they worked.  Only, that tune he couldn't identify.  And Captain Rhea never hummed, not when she wasn't with her lover Iris.  No, there was something off about this.

Donner stood up from the railing, feeling a sense of growing alarm.  This was not natural.  It was almost as though...

He never finished the thought.  A dark shape appeared suddenly in front of him, materializing out of thin air and struck the man with a heavy club.  Donner crumpled to the deck of the ship.  None of the others seemed to notice.

"That's one, Lady Kasha." The soldier who had struck Donner said.

Kasha, dressed in fine light armor, strode the deck.  She struck out with her mailed fist and dropped another unwary crewman.  "Excellent.  Round up the rest of the crew and take them below.  Try not to kill any of them.  Aren wants them mostly unspoiled."

She glanced around the deck of the ship, watching her soldiers rendering these pirates unconscious.  her soldiers moved about with impunity, the pirates not even reacting to them.  Kasha climbed her way up to the command deck and stood looking at Rhea for a moment.

The enchantment was doing its job very well.  Nymuriel be praised.
Garyn
 NPC, 6 posts
 Captain of the Guard
 of Grand Treal
Wed 13 Oct 2010
at 04:28
Re: Meanwhile...
Prince Saban, ruler of the Principality of Grand Treal, was not in a good mood.  He demonstrated this by slamming his fist into the table for the third time.  Garyn, Captain of the Princes Guard, had been counting.

"Blast them!  How is this possible?!" Prince Saban growled.  His other hand, the one that had not been slammed into the table top, crumpled up another report from his scouts and he turned his scowl to the map that was laid out on the table in front of Garyn and him.  "Have you seen these troop numbers, Garyn?!"

Garyn gave a sober nod.  "I have, my Prince.  They have not been disguising their movements.  They want us to see their strength of numbers.  Our walls cannot hold them off if they attacked."

"How could they have gathered so many?  No army of that size has come into the Marches in ages.  No army of that size has been gathered since...I can't remember anytime outside of tales told by Bards."  The Prince glared down at the map.  "We can't hold them off.  There're too many.  Our walls will only be a minor hindrance to them.  Have you heard of this man that leads them?  What was his name?  Ymar?"

Garyn nodded gravely.  "I have.  I wish it were anyone else but him, if the stories are true.  He's razed towns and cities in the name of Nymuriel.  He means to do the same to us, to Grand Treal.  Your Guardsmen stand ready to defend the city, my Prince.  We will not let him harm a single..."

A violent sweep of his hand knocked a goblet off of the table, spilling the contents over the floor.  "Damn them!  They back me into a corner and give me the illusion of choice, but there is nothing I can do."

"My lord.  You don't mean to..." Garyn started to say.

"I have no choice.  It goes against everything that I believe in but if we refuse, that blasted army will turn Grand Treal into nothing more than a memory." The Prince growled.  He threw up his hands in frustration and turned to walk a few paces away from the table.  "Maybe if we had time to gather up the armies of the neighbouring...but there isn't time.  If I dispatch riders tonight, it'll still take several days to gather up the armies.  And Stormhold is in the midst of the power struggle.  If the Duke sends his army to our aid, he leaves himself vulnerable to the Barons.  This can be no coincidence.  Someone has worked to weaken our alliance."

Garyn glanced down at the map on the table, a troubled look on his face.  He was prepared to defend his city, even die for it if necessary but as valiant as his Guardsmen were, there were not enough of them to adequately defend the city.  "If we pull back from the outer walls, concentrate our defense around the keep." he started to say, grasping at whatever glimmer of hope that he could, but he knew the effort would be futile in the end.

The Prince stood straight, staring up at a banner that bore the symbol of his house.  "For Grand Treal to survive, I must give those priests of Nymuriel what they want.  I have no choice but to give them your former companions, Garyn." the Prince spoke with a grim finality.  The decision made him feel sick and he slumped wearily into a chair.  He had been trying to find some way out, but there was none.  Everywhere he looked he could see the plot against them.

"I believed them, you know." Prince Saban continued.  "At dinner tonight.  The way that they spoke, I could feel the weight of their purpose.  I dared to hope that they might be able to end this Nymuriel nonsense.  In my heart, I wish that I could help them but not when it will cost the lives of thousands.  Those damnable priests have backed me into a corner that I can only escape from by betraying those under my roof.  Lose my honour or lose my people.  I have no choice."

The Prince sat in silence for a long moment, his chin resting on a fist and he stared at the table and the Captain of his Guard.

"I have no choice.  But you Garyn.  You can act where I cannot." he said slowly.  Prince Saban rose up from his chair, his eyes locked onto Garyn.  "It just might work.  Gather a handful of your most trusted men-at-arms.  Here is what you will do..."
Aren
 NPC, 20 posts
 High Cleric of Nymuriel
Thu 21 Oct 2010
at 02:38
Re: Meanwhile...
Aren stood on the high balcony that looked over the city of Grand Treal.  The High Cleric of Nymuriel was pleased with both himself and the view, as he stood easily, his hands on the stone railing of the balcony.

"It's a beautiful sight, is it not, my Prince?" The High Cleric made a sweeping gesture with one hand that took in entirety of the army that was arrayed beyond the thick city walls.  The troops were arranged into battle formations, organized into large units rallying around colourful banners.  There were soldiers, pikemen, horsemen of all sorts and cadres of priests and wizards.

"Thousands upon thousands of Faithful, gathered together and fighting for our grand dream.  They fight to blaze the way to paradise."  He turned to look over his shoulder at the prince.  "Does it not make your heart swell with joy?"

The question was rhetorical of course and the handsome Aren expected no answer.  Indeed, all he got in a response from the downcast prince was a look of cowed anger.  It brought a smile to Arens face.  His eyes swept over to Kasha.  She stood to one side of the prince, clad in her shining plate armor.  The armor did little to hide the womans beauty and the thought of so beautiful a woman swinging a sword onto a battlefield in the name of their god made her seem even more attractive.

Kasha had done her job well in laying the foundations for his victory and Aren had to admire the way that the woman had plotted.  She was so different from Ymar, the Cleric General of Nymuriels army.  Kasha was subtle and quiet where Ymar was forceful and loud.  If you wanted something destroyed, you called Ymar.  The man was a warhammer given human form and rarely had an enemy defeat him on the field of battle.

Kasha looked apathetically at the two men.  Aren could tell that she was still upset over Nymuriel giving him credit for her work, but it had been his idea to bring Ymar and the army along as enticement.  Her being upset was of little concern to him of course.  Arens thoughts were on getting the Chosen to the sacrificial pit and using them to open up a gateway to paradise.  He would forever be known as the man who lead his people to a new land, one where they could live in peace and prosperity, all under the compassionate eye of Nymuriel.  The faithful would build statues to him.

It was best not to get too far ahead of himself.  The Chosen had proven themselves to be a right royal pain.  With Ymar and the army, there was no way that they were going to escape this time.

"Ymar will be at the main gates soon.  Please make sure that our esteemed Cleric General is made welcome.  The sooner that we escort the Chosen from your dungeons, the sooner you can go back to ruling your little part of the world.  We will leave behind a few missionaries of course.  I've heard how your hospitality has been lacking towards our previous efforts but that ends now."

Aren smiled as the prince turned and sulked away.
Kasha
 NPC, 9 posts
Thu 21 Oct 2010
at 03:00
Re: Meanwhile...
Kasha watched as Prince Saban left the room.  The prince was not in a happy mood and she could not blame him.  She was the architect of his current misery after all.

"Kasha.  How is your sister and her family?"

Kasha turned at the polite tone.  Aren asking about her sister?  What was the man up to?

"She's fine and her family are fine." she replied, hiding the suspicion in her voice.

"That's good.  She did us a great service, leading us to the Chosen.  You should be proud."

"She did as was asked of her.  I am proud."

Again Kasha wondered why Aren cared about her sister or her family.  Aren pretended to care about everyone as the High Cleric of Nymuriel and many he did care about, but Kasha doubted that she and her family were one of them.  Aren was her rival and even he was aware of that.

Aren was silent for another few minutes, looking out at the advancing army of faithful.  Even Kasha had to admit that it was an impressive sight.

"Your sister will be coming with us.  Her family as well."

Kasha looked at Aren with surprise.  "My sister is coming with us?  Why?  I was going to send her and her family on their way."

Aren turned around to fully face the Paladin.  "Her life has been marked by Nymuriel and she has been given the honour of taking part in our grand journey.  Your sister, my dear Kasha, is one of the Chosen.  Does that not make you happy?  Both of your lives given to service of our lord."

Kasha kept her face impassive but it was difficult.  She had no idea that her sister was one of the Chosen, and she wasn't sure how she felt about that.  They had been on shaky terms since Kasha had pledged herself to Nymuriel but she thought that they had patched up their differences when she helped to heal her sisters family.  While Kasha was prepared to give her life for her god and his cause, her sister was something else.

"Of course, Aren.  I'll go and see that they are made ready to travel."  Kasha lied.  Aren could be telling the truth but she wouldn't put it passed the man to make up the story just to try and gain some leverage over her.  If that was the case, Kasha was not going to allow that.
Aren
 NPC, 21 posts
 High Cleric of Nymuriel
Tue 21 Dec 2010
at 08:03
Re: Meanwhile...
Aren was not happy.  He had been standing on the balcony overlooking the Army's progress as it marched into the city of Grand Treal and was feeling very good about everything.  Kasha had laid a very good trap with some ingenious restraints and he had to give the woman credit for that.  Aren had even been boasting a little to Prince Saban.  He was in the middle of a strong 'suggestion' that all the temples and shrines in Grand Treal be converted over to the worship of Nymuriel when the alarm sounded.

At first Aren couldn't believe what he had been hearing but then the gravity of the situation had begun to sink in.  Kasha had failed.  His prisoners, the ones that Ymar was here to escort back to the Temple of Transition, were escaping.  Even worse, no one could give him a hot clue as to what was going on.

"...and tell Kelruna that I want those prisoners alive and she is not to go blasting everything in sight." He said in a very stern voice to a messenger.  The messenger somehow managed to bow and back out of the room, an impressive feat.  Aren wheeled on Prince Saban.  "Was this your doing, Saban?  If I found out that you had anything to do with this I will level your heretical city to the ground."

Prince Saban looked taken aback.  "Of course not.  I know nothing of this.  With the army of Cleric General Ymar poised to destroy my people, do you think that I'm going to risk letting a gang of peasants go free?"

Aren looked at the man, not sure if he was telling the truth or not.  "You'd best remember that.  Your city exists at the pleasure of Nymuriel."  He leaned on a table gathering his thoughts and then called for another servant.  "Find Captain Kasha and tell her that she is to restore the prisoners at once.  And get me a runner for Cleric General Ymar."

Could Kasha have something to do with this?  Even she would not dare go against him.
Prince Saban
 NPC, 3 posts
 Prince of Grand Treal
Tue 21 Dec 2010
at 08:13
Re: Meanwhile...
Prince Saban stood to the side watching as Aren tried to regain control of the situation.  He had not been lying when he told the High Cleric that he knew nothing of this.  It was partly true of course.  It hadn't taken him long to realize what was going on.  He didn't like Aren, Ymar or this Kasha woman.  Nymuriel was a pushy bully of a religion and he had done his best to drive away his missionaries.

If Aren wanted these prisoners, then Saban didn't want him to have them.  Aren might think that he had the upper hand, and in a way he did for the threat of Nymuriels army was great, but Aren had not counted on Saban moving against him.  The final straw had been the dinner that Saban had with them.  Garyn had spoken often about his adventuring companions and when they spoke of finding some way to defeat Nymuriel, Saban could feel a truth in their words.  If there was a chance that they could end Nymuriels reign of terror then he would help them.

Covertly of course.  He couldn't move openly against Aren, not with Ymar just waiting for a chance to destroy something.  Instead he'd set his most trusted Captain of the Guard, Garyn, to free the prisoners.  Saban did not want to know the plan, in case Aren decided to try and torture a confession out of him.  Better to have Garyn take his most trusted men and throw a rock through Nymuriels window.

The sounding of the alarm gave credit to Garyns' efforts and he hoped that his Captain would be successful.  It was worth it to see the smug confidence bleed from Aren.
Aren
 NPC, 22 posts
 High Cleric of Nymuriel
Sat 8 Jan 2011
at 00:17
Re: Meanwhile...
Aren stood at the balcony, his hands gripping the stone so tightly they were turning white.  His soldiers and clerics were scouring the Keep for the escaped prisoners but so far none had been found.  His great plan was in danger of failing, again.  It was the perfect plan though, what could have gone wrong?

He turned and shouted at a cleric, giving some vague order that was more a sign of the High Clerics frustration than anything else.  Aren turned back to the balcony just in time to see a group on horseback slipping out the side gate.  His eyes narrowed.  What were they doing?  Who were those riders?  Then his eyes locked on to a woman in shining armor.

She had her horse stopped just outside of the gate and was looking back at him.  Kasha.  It became clear to Aren in that moment what had gone wrong.  The plan was perfect, his planning was perfect.  He had been betrayed.  Kasha had turned traitor to the cause of their god and freed the prisoners.

Anger welled up inside of Aren, melting his normally calm expression.  He uttered a few soft words of prayer to his god, begging that Nymuriel strike down his traitorous paladin.  The call was answered with a large pillar of flame that exploded where Kasha had been standing.

"Burn you traitor." Aren sneered.  He turned and shouted at another Cleric.  "Kasha has betrayed Nymuriel and escaped with the prisoners.  Find Ymar and order him to surround the city.  I want no one getting in or out."

With Ymars...no his army surrounding the city, Aren would search each and every house for the escaped Chosen, and woe be to any who got in his way.
Ymar
 NPC, 11 posts
 Cleric General
 Leader of Nymuriels Army
Mon 7 Feb 2011
at 04:10
Re: Meanwhile...
Ymar stood outside of a burning temple.  He wasn't sure which god it had been dedicated to but that hardly mattered now.  High Cleric Aren's priests were moving through Grand Treal and destroying the temples to gods other than Nymuriel.  That hadn't been part of the plan but Ymar suspected that Aren was angry over losing the Chosen and was trying to make it up to Nymuriel with this act.  Aren had taken some of the larger temples and reconsecrated them to Nymuriel, even going so far as to place some of his priests into them.

Ymar watched as the wooden roof of the temple collapsed and then he turned and walked back to the house that was serving as his command post.  The streets were quiet now, with the soldiers of Nymuriel in control of the city.  They had imposed a curfew on the citizens and were brutally quelling any signs of resistance.  This was the price that Prince Saban was paying for refusing Nymuriels priests entry into the city.

Several of Ymars officers were waiting for him, standing around a table with a map spread out on it.

"Our High Cleric will not be joining us.  He has gone to pray to Nymuriel for guidance." Ymar said flatly.  "Now, what do you have to report?"

The officers reported on various items, mainly on how the Chosen had escaped and where they may be going.  The escape was obviously orchestrated by some anarchists trying to make Prince Saban look bad, or at least that's what he said.  The Prince had been reluctant to help but the weight of the army was enough to force his cooperation.  The methods of their escape were many, by sea, sneaking over the walls, hiding out somewhere in the city and finally sneaking out through the sewers.

Where they were going was open to debate, which meant that they had no idea.  Ymar wasn't surprised.  These were military men, used to seeing the world through logical eyes, but there was little around Grand Treal that would help the Chosen for long.  The surrounding cities were obviously cowed by the presence of Nymuriels army occupying the greatest of the cities of the Marches.  There was little north of the Marches except for the Oracle and Kasha had seen to it that the Oracle was not going to be an option.  The Chosen might have fled south but that would take them back into lands controlled by Nymuriel.

It was this problem that occupied Ymars thoughts as he dismissed his officers.  "Where are you going?" he muttered to himself.

"Lost something have you?"

Ymar turned towards the door, one hand reaching for the mace that hung from his waist.  Leaning against the door frame, her arms crossed, was a coppery skinned woman wearing a leather bikini.  "Tila.  What kept you?"

The woman smiled as she righted herself and walked boldly into the room.  Most who met Ymar were intimidated by the powerfully built man, but Tila was not one of them.

"We've been out hunting.  Food is just not as good unless you chase it down and rip its throat out yourself."  Tila put an emphasis on the word 'escaped'.  She'd found it amusing that Arens plan hadn't worked.  Really, the man was a little too arrogant and need to be brought down a few pegs.

"I hope that your packs are well fed.  I have a task for you."
Aren
 NPC, 23 posts
 High Cleric of Nymuriel
Sun 6 Mar 2011
at 21:23
Re: Meanwhile...
Aren pulled himself up into his horse and turned to look at the small procession that was getting ready in the courtyard of the Keep of Grand Treal.  There were a number of priests in robes and Clerics in shining mail coats.  A group of soldiers formed up into ranks to prepare to march out.  Several wagons were loaded up with some supplies.

"Inform Cleric General Ymar that I am departing for our Griffonsford temple." Aren addressed a servant standing nearby.

The servant bowed low.  "And what of the prisoners, Lord High Cleric?" the servant asked.

Aren turned to look at a wagon that held a cage.  The cage was filled with a motley assortment of prisoners that the army of Nymuriel had taken when they campaigned against Grand Treal.  Each wore a sturdy collar about their necks that was chained to the bars of the cage.  Some were clerics of other gods, who would be made to renounce their faiths and join Nymuriel.  There were also a collection of pirates that Aren had ordered Kasha to take captive.  They might prove to be useful.

"We will take these prisoners with us." Aren said dryly.  "We'll need additional guards for them.  I will not take any chances."
Captain Raea
 NPC, 45 posts
 That's Captain to you
 swabby.
Sun 6 Mar 2011
at 21:30
Re: Meanwhile...
Raea sat in the cage feeling justifiably miserable.  She strained against the collar around her neck but the short chain that tied it to the cage bars did not allow any great movement and her sitting was very uncomfortable.  She briefly locked eyes with the High Cleric before he turned to trot his horse towards the front of the departing column.

Raea looked around at the others in the cage with her, most of them were from her ship, The Silver Siren.  Donner looked downtrodden as he stared at the hands folded in his lap.  Birdie was muttering something using some very colourful language.

She thought back to the last time that she was on her ship.  They were waiting to hear that Iris and the others had landed safely and the next thing that anyone knew, the ship was over run by soldiers wearing the symbol of Nymuriel.  Her crew stood no chance in the surprise attack and most were killed.  Some had managed to jump overboard to safety but she and her officers had fought to the very last.  Their best efforts were not good enough and that elvish looking Paladin had taken them prisoner.  Apparently she had some sort of plan that involved them but Raea could not see it.

Raea twisted to look up at the sky as the wagon started to move.  "Oh Iris.  I hope that you're okay."
Ymar
 NPC, 12 posts
 Cleric General
 Leader of Nymuriels Army
Sun 6 Mar 2011
at 21:48
Re: Meanwhile...
Ymar stood and watched Aren's little procession leave Grand Treal and start marching south.  He had taken some of those prisoners with him, which Ymar supposed was lucky for them.  Ymar would have just killed the prisoners as examples of the fate of all those who stand against Nymuriels might.  Then again, perhaps letting them live was the crueller fate.

Ymar finished making an inspection of a regiment of Elvish archers and then returned to his command tent.  Reports were coming in from some of the surrounding cities and the status of the search for the Chosen.  Ymar could have cursed Aren for letting them escape.  Now he'd have to go and find them again, instead of bringing the light of Nymuriel to a few of the holdout regions.  That irked him.

"Captain!  Has there not been any word from Tila's packs?" he called out to one of his aides.

"You could ask me directly."

Tila, still wearing little else beyond her leather bikini, walked into the tent followed by two other members of her pack, a large man wearing a cloak of furs and a much smaller elvish woman.

"Tila.  What have you to report?  Have you found the Chosen?"

Tila walked over to a table with a bottle of wine and sniffed at the bottle.  "Not yet, but I know where they are going." she said casually.

Ymar frowned.  "How do you know this?"

Tila motioned for the Elvish woman to step forward.
John Maxwell
 NPC, 82 posts
Sun 6 Mar 2011
at 22:02
Re: Meanwhile...
The woman walked forward and gave a respectful curtsy.

"I am Alyissia, Lord Cleric General." The woman said.  "I know where the Chosen are going because I was one of them."

Ymar looked over at Tila with a questioning expression.  The coppery skinned woman smiled and stepped up beside Alyissia, putting her arm around the elvish womans waist in a fond gesture.

"Alyissia recently joined our pack.  She has found contentment in following our ways." Tila said.

Alyissia smiled, though there was a wild look to it.  "I don't want to deny what I've become, and Nymuriels paradise will let me enjoy the freedom of the hunt."

Ymar leaned back against the table and looked at the woman.  Tila had been very persuasive in recruiting Lycanthropes to Nymuriels side with the promise that they would never have to hide what they were when Nymuriel took all of his followers to their Paradise.  Werefolk would be free to hunt without fear or prejudice and never have to deny the animal blood that flowed through their veins.

"The Chosen are going to the Oracle of Versimy." Alyissia said.  "The Oracle has some information on how to defeat Nymuriel, or so they've been told."

"The Oracle?" Ymar spun around and looked at the map.  Of course.  Kasha had anticipated that someone might try and gain guidance from the Oracle and ordered a fortress erected to keep people out.  Kasha was very good at covering all the angles.  "Excellent work, Tila.  Alyissia, you have secured yourself a favoured seat at Nymuriels table in Paradise.  Captain!  I want you to find our commanders and have them ready their troops to march."
The Last Cleric
Sat 28 May 2011
at 23:16
Re: Meanwhile...
The Cleric lay prone in the tall grass, unmoving.  She had been part of a scouting troop sent ahead of the main army to find the Orc settlements.   It hadn't worked out as planned.

She wasn't sure just how long it had been since her scouting party had been ambushed by the Orcs, but it was long enough for the sounds of battle to be replaced by her laboured breathing.  She didn't think that it was possible for a troop of the faithful to be laid low so easily by the Orcs but the followers of Gruumsh had proven that point in a very violent way.

Her hand felt sticky, slick with her own blood from where the Orc axe had chopped into her side, as she tried to cover her wound.  She didn't dare to sit up for fear of aggravating the mortal wound and quickening her departure from this world.  One of her fellow Clerics lay close by, his lifeless eyes staring at her.  How had it come to this?  With Nymuriels protection, they should have been able to repel the Orcs.  They were just barbaric Orcs after all and no match for the Army of Nymuriel.

She fumbled for a small dagger at her waist and raised it into the air.  At the very least she could avenge the honour of her god.  She could use the last of her ebbing life to power one final spell.

"...vengeance upon...your enemies...oh Great...Nymuriel...Even in defeat...your enemies shall suffer..."

She said a few words of power and plunged the dagger into her heart.  As her eyes closed for the last time, a wave of power swept over the plains.
Rinda
 NPC, 171 posts
 Gruff and mysterious
 warrior woman
Tue 9 Oct 2012
at 01:52
Re: Meanwhile...
Rinda lay on the simple bed, moaning softly.  The Orc healer that was tending to her took the moaning as a good sign.  She was taking extra care with her ministrations of the human, humans being fairly delicate compared to Orc physiologies.  Rinda's eye patch had been removed to better tend to her and the Orc thought that the humans missing eye and the faded scar that hinted at the manner of removal was also a good sign.  Scars meant that the human was strong enough to recover from injuries.

Rinda knew none of this as she moaned.  Her body felt hot and sweat beaded her bared flesh.  Her body may have been still but her mind was racing.

"...Siloman...no..."  Rinda moaned, her voice raspy.

Rinda was cradling the body of a young man.  Her eye hurt like hell and the skin on that side of her face felt warm and sticky.  As much as that and the other injuries that marred her once shining armour and stained her tabard crimson, the young man that she held in her lap had taken much worse.  The mans eyes stared up at the sky never to see anything ever again.  A vicious gash drew a thick crimson line across his face, the skin puckered up on either side.  His throat exhibited another deep gash where his opponents weapon had finally brought the mans life to an end.

"...don't...die......Siloman..."

Her eye felt raw with tears as Rinda sobbed into the chest of the man who less than an hour ago had been her lover.  Her fingers tightened around Silomans torn and bloodied tabard, the symbol of Fharlagnhn barely visible.  She could feel her chest tightening, her breathing growing shallow as her grief took the fore.

"We have to go, Rinda."  Levith put a calming hand on Rinda's shoulder.  He did not want to look at his friends body for fear of his own demeanour crumbling, but he couldn't leave Rinda alone, not in this place.  "They'll be back."

Rinda knocked Leviths hand away and glared at the man who had been their adventuring partner, murder burning in her one remaining eye.  Grief boiled over into a rage that Rinda had never felt before.  Her whole life had been torn asunder in one single encounter and she knew who was at fault.
Egarth
 NPC, 1 post
 Paladin of Nymuriel
 Captain
Tue 23 Apr 2013
at 02:53
Re: Meanwhile...
Egarth stood before a wide table in his tent, looking down at a map of the countryside.  He was clad only in a simple pair of trousers and tunic, with the only item that looked of any value being the symbol of Nymuriel that dangled from a chain around his neck.  He stared down at the map and ran a hand through hair that was starting to show white.

The Chosen of Nymuriel that Ymar and Aren had been pursuing had gone beyond the mountains.  What Egarth wanted to know was why.  There was nothing of great value beyond the mountains and the place was crawling with Orcs.  So why would a small party brave a land full of Orcs?

In a corner of the tent, Egarths servant was polishing his armor.  On the battlefield, Egarth, a Captain in the army of Nymuriel, had to look impressive, but alone in his tent he could just go back to being the simple man that he thought himself to be.  The servant was quiet as he ran the stiff bristled brush over the plate armor.  The other man in the tent with them was less than silent.

"Captain Egarth."  A younger Cleric, a woman clad in fine chain beneath a tabard bearing the sigil of Nymuriel, spoke in an annoyed tone.  "Priest Furen requests more of your men to help with the reclaiming of Temples in Great Treal.  He has been asking all day and has yet to receive an answer."

Egarth sighed and ignored the woman.  He was not here to burn temples dedicated to other gods, rather he and his men had been left behind to secure the cities of the Marches.  The woman repeated her demand several more times before Egarth finally replied.  Like a parent dealing with a nattering child, the older man turned to the woman.

"Tell Furen that he cannot have any more of my men.  It is bad enough that I had to send out parties searching for some fairy girl that our lord wants but I'm not going to spread our forces even thinner because Furen is inciting the populace.  What did he expect when he started to burn their temples?"

The woman started to respond, uttering something about Egarth being present to serve Furen but a ruckus outside cut short their conversation.  Presently, a pair of soldiers dressed in the livery of Nymuriel entered, carrying a small woman between them.  One of the soldiers, a dwarf, yanked at the small woman.

"Quit your struggling, girl.  Try and bite me again and I'll knock out some of those teeth of yours."  The dwarf said angrily.  The other soldier, an Elf from the thin build, kicked at the small womans legs to force her to the floor of the tent.

Egarth stepped towards the pair, hands clasped behind his back.  "What is this now?"

The Elf saluted.  "We have the fairy girl, milord.  She was in a caravan like the seers had predicted."

"She's a real wild one, she is."  The dwarf said.  "She hasn't said a word and just hissed at us like a cat the whole way here."

Egarth knelt down before the small woman and lifted up her chin to face him.  He studied her for a moment.  "She can't say anything.  Her tongue has been cut out." The paladin said, casting accusing glances towards the two guards.

"We didn't do it." The Dwarf said quickly.

"She is also the wrong girl."

The Elf and the Dwarf looked at each other quickly before the Elf reached down and grabbed a handful of the cloak that the smaller woman was wearing.  "She was wearing the grey cloak.  We were told to grab the fairy girl in the grey cloak."

"This young woman is a halfling.  A halfling is not the girl that you were supposed to capture."  Egarth stood up and took a deep breath.  "Report to Priest Furen in Grand Treal until you learn the difference between a fairy and a halfling.  No, do not take her.  Leave her here."  The elf and dwarf saluted and quickly left the tent.

Ghee got to her feet and hissed at the departing Elf and Dwarf.  If she still had her tongue it would have been an impressive curse.  She turned back to Egarth, scowling.

The paladin smiled at the halfling woman.  "Please accept my apologies.  My men can be over zealous at times but they do mean well.  Before we release you, perhaps you could be so kind as to tell me why you were travelling towards the mountains..."
Rinda
 NPC, 183 posts
 Gruff and mysterious
 warrior woman
Fri 21 Mar 2014
at 03:59
Re: Meanwhile...
Rinda glanced back at Izzavin as she took a few steps towards the crowd of Orcs.  The Drow was up to something and she wasn't sure that she liked this plan of his, but she was the logical choice.  Izzavin had to remain back, the Orcs only tolerated Hurzar and Curin looked like he'd fall over at any moment.  She looked over at Muffin who simply smiled at her.  He was not going to be any help.

Rinda pushed her way through the crowd of Orcs, some of whom parted if only in surprise.  She shouted out to announce her presence and pursed her lips.  How did she get talked into this?  What was she even doing here?  Muttering a light curse under her breath she shouted to the leaders of the Orc tribes.

"I am Rinda Trevallin, warrior of Stormhold and sword of the Marches.  I come to challenge for leadership of the horde."

The Orcs gave the smaller human amongst them a surprised look.  Ker'Shun grinned while the other leaders looked confused.  They began to argue amongst themselves when Muffin pushed his way towards the group.

He stood tall and placed a large hand on Rinda's shoulder.  "As son of Ker'Shun, I appoint this human to stand in my stead."   Ker'Shun looked amused but one of the other tribal chieftains stepped boldly forward and growled in Rinda's face.  He put on a fearsome display, baring his large jutting fangs at her, which Rinda just scowled back at him.

Orcs.  She'd spent enough time fighting them and travelling with Muffin that she had some idea of their idiosyncrasies.  Izzavin better know what he was doing because this could hurt.

The Orc backhanded Rinda across the face, sending her to the floor.
Rinda
 NPC, 184 posts
 Gruff and mysterious
 warrior woman
Fri 20 Jun 2014
at 01:36
Re: Meanwhile...
Rinda turned and strode away from the gathering of the Orc Clan chiefs, both fists tight little balls.  Her chest felt tight and she was suddenly having trouble breathing.  She couldn't show any sort of weakness in front of the Orcs or they might decide to take advantage of her momentary weakness.  It was a momentary weakness, that she was sure of.  It had been years since she'd felt like this.

She passed Izzavin, his soft self-satisfied smile barely noticeable.  Rinda wanted to slap that smile right off the Drows face.  What had she been thinking, agreeing to this crazy plan?  She stormed right passed Izzavin and into the hallway outside of the Great Hall.

Taking a deep breath, Rinda leaned back against the wall.  What the hells had she just done?  Challenging for leadership of the Orc horde, and winning it.  Only, it was not an honourable way to win.  By all rights, Rinda should not have been able to do what she had just done.  The Orcs should have bounced her off of the walls and the floor.  Yet she had let Izzavin use his magic to rig the challenge.  Now it did not seem like such a good idea.

She had been travelling with Muffin for many years now and in all of their wanderings she liked to think that she lived by a certain code of honour.  Would she have even thought about using magic to win a contest like this before she'd been caught up in all this Nymuriel craziness?  Probably not.  But this was necessary, wasn't it?

"Crap.  Now what..." she muttered to herself.