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Topic Subject:Quest for the Cloak of Zal - Part 2
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Wendoolicus
Guest
posted 05-09-00 16:45 ET (US)         
ACTIVE CHARACTERS
Chunky - a weather worn traveller, Chunky has seen much of the known world. Either moving by himself, or in a small group, Chunky likes nothing better than to remove himself from civilisation and surround himself with the wonders of nature. A loyal and honourable man.
Jayhawk - Wandering minstrel, troubadour, tall (6'4") slender, dark haired, sea green eyes, that seem to be able to change colour. Plays a 12 stringed lute, with fair competence. Has travelled the realms extensively and has an incredile knowledge of lore and myth. Some of his travels have been with Chunky. There may be more to him than meets the eye. Rides a black stallion by the name of Aran.
Wendolin - Clonmaire County Palladin. Somewhat of a mystic, experienced traveller, adventurous by nature. Friend to kings, noblemen and townsfolk of all races and types, but prefers the company of travellers. Fights for Right. Wears a long black dress made out enchanted material,
which may look like a fine gossamer web, but is in fact as hard as steel. Wears a ruby-red cloak, with deep purple & gold trim. Jet black hair - dark eyes, pale face. Also wears a magical ring on her right hand - amethyst in colour, it seems to glow when danger is near. Rides a gold coloured horse named Whispering. Close friend of Gillandra the High Priestess. Has prowess in sword and mace, and carries a golden shield.
Benson - Benson has traveled extensively never staying in one place to long but often revisiting many of the places he passes through. He prefers to be in nature and tends to befriend animals wherever he goes. He is tend to be a loner and even in when traveling with groups tries to find way to spend time alone. He does not make friends easily but is very loyal if you gain his friendship. Travels with trusted friend - the panther.
Thoren of Torvald - Norseman from the Lodge of Torvald. Son of the Lodges' Leader and heir apparent. Chooses adventure over rule. Younger brother murdered by Zordemon The Black. Is single-mindedly pursuing revenge, but can be diverted or distracted by a just cause or a woman in distress. Gruff and somewhat belligerent exterior hides a thoughtful, sometimes sensitive nature. Skilled in long sword, battle axe, short bow and knife. Unusual ancestry. Some say he is descendant from Roman and Norse stock. Rides Vorth, his Norse-bred stallion.
Marcus Lindicus - shapechanger and sometime cherub. Though only small in stature, has a heart as large as a mountain. Shapechanging ability inherent - natural shape as a cherub, but has been known to turn into an elephant. Unfortunately also eats and drinks copious amounts of food
and wine, and does a fair amount of burping. Happy and jolly by nature, tends towards some practical joking.
Randorian - Youngest apprentice to the great mage Flahdorean, Randorian studies only the magic of illusion. He has a mysterious past...not even he knows who his parents are. However, he is blessed with a magical gift, though he has no power to directly hurt anyone or anything with it.
Eme-Redser - the current alias of Wintersong, the Elven Queen. She is in the guise of a mysterious stranger. She wears trousers, a long shirt, and a long, bulky cloak. All of her clothing is muted green and brown. She carries a large bundle of things, all wrapped in a mysterious fabric that no one has seen before. She rides a beautiful horse, one that is warm cream in color, and whose mane and tail are a rich chocolate color. The horse's name is R'edaine, the meaning of which is undisclosed at present. Eme-Redser is an unknown entity at present, and her guise of The Elven Queen is also unknown at this time. She has the ability to disappear at will, and her other diverse talents will be revealed as the story progresses.
Lysette - Orphaned daughter of a Frankish family burned out of their home and murdered by renegade soldiers. Now 15, almost 16 years of age. Barely escaped enslavement by the soldiers. Attached herself, foolishly and too trustingly, to a cruel traveler she came to know as her "master." Thoren freed her from that attachment. She is bewitched by an obedience/servitude spell the origin of
which she cannot remember. Has survival skills like any road-wise child, but is relatively innocent at heart. Rides Leeta, her chestnut mare, given to her by Thoren.
Gillandra - High Priestess of Coranmaire. Mysterious character - fights for good over evil. Known throughout the realm for magical healing and spiritual abilities. Soothing voice. Wear's a deep purple and white gown, and long silver cloak, showing her coat of arms on the back. Rides a silver-grey mare named Misty. Worships at the temples of Eir. Also has a pack-horse, carrying essential supplies.
Tomas - am still waiting on your background description Titanicus!!!
Incontinentia The Wise - same for you too Incon

MAIN QUEST

Wendolin has been given a Quest from the King of Mordor to retrieve the Cloak of Z'al, which was stolen from his palace in Madrigold, and has somehow fallen into the hands of the evil king, Zordemon the Black, who resides in a palace in Zordark in the Realm of Sataerold (if the quest
fails, the 5Realms will be cloaked in cold and darkness, a world where children may not play, where life will be full of gloom and doom for evermore, where laughter does not exist.

SUB-QUESTS

Party to ensure the Staff of Purgatory is still buried deeply below the Glooming Mountains (these two items combined would give Zordemon the Black evil power over all of the 5 Realms). This wuest has been solved.

Party to retrieve the Silver Challice from Zordemon the Black (to be filled with spring water and allow the spirits of the dead Hill people to pass through and be released from their half-state).

Party to remove the "spell of eternal servitude" from Lysette (placed on her by Zordemon the Black)

Wendolin's New Map - FIXED THE LINK

Quest Part 1

[This message has been edited by Wendoolicus (edited 06-26-2000).]

AuthorReplies:
Benson
Pleb
posted 05-26-00 13:35 ET (US)     51 / 150       
About mid morning the party was still moving ever closer to their final destination. All were thinking. Wendolin about the mission and completing it, Eme-Redser and Jayhawk about their old friend now a prisoner of Zonderman, Thorn about Lysette and what he would do to Zonderman if she was harmed an any way. Randorian was wandering what he had gotten himself into while Chunky about when the next fight was going to happen. It was about the time Wendolin was ready to call halt to rest the horses that Benson and the Panther materialized out of nowhere. He did not say anything but thanked Thoren for watching his horse for him. After a few minutes he said “My brother is setting a trap for us somewhere up ahead we need to proceed with caution.” With that he laps back into silence.
MRed94
Pleb
posted 05-26-00 23:44 ET (US)     52 / 150       
As they traveled on, Eme-Redser was attempting to communicate with Incon, knowing that she was able to hear her thoughts. She sat her horse quietly, with most of her mind concentrated on sending her thoughts, but with a small part of her consciousness aware of what was going on around them.

"Incon, Wise One, hear me.......We need to find out what Zordemon is cooking up right now, we approach a place where we could be in grave danger if we know not what is going to happen.....Please attempt to find out what is happening in a few minutes.......We are close by, and will do what we can to assist you.....Jayhawk is close, and he and I will continue to contact you......" The Elven Queen finished her musing and looked up, noting that the group was riding with all alertness and closer together.

She noted the return of Benson and the panther, and heightened her awareness of the surrounding area.

"My friends, we need to stop for a few minutes, and prepare ourselves for what is to come. Gillandra, will you assist me in preparing a tea for us? I have some strengthening herbs for the tea, and some additives that will sharpen our senses." Eme-Redser spoke quietly, but she need not have spoken at all, the way the group had turned and looked at her when she slowed R'edaine.

They dismounted and gathered close around, so as to talk among themselves quietly.........

Titanicus
Pleb
posted 05-26-00 23:46 ET (US)     53 / 150       
Oh, okay...So I feel sumb now... Double post...I'll peice this post in somewhere later...I guess...

[This message has been edited by Titanicus (edited 05-26-2000).]

Incontinentia
Pleb
posted 05-27-00 08:46 ET (US)     54 / 150       
Incon started up from a sound sleep on her bench. She'd been having the oddest dream...as if someone from her past were trying to contact her telepathically...

Tusky was at her side in an instant. She stroked his trunk comfortingly. "I just don't get it, big fella," she told him. "All our friends are in the distant past. So why do I get the distinct impression we're all going to meet them here, in this awful Keep??"

Just then, the sounds of guards approaching were heard in the corridor outside her cell. The door rattled open, and two silhouettes appeared. "Zordemon the Evil will see you now," one of them said.

"Oh, good, Tusky and I could do with a stretch," Incon said pertly - just as she was grabbed by the guards and dragged from the cell.

Tusky trumpeted in anger. "Oi - get off!" Incon complained. "We're coming quietly! What's your damage, mush??"

"Tell your beast to stop roaring, or else!" one of the guards boomed.

The words 'Or else *what*, teeny-weiner?!' came to Incon's mind, but she refrained from saying them. Instead she calmed her friend. "Steady, Tusky. Just do as the nice guard-man asks you, or it could go very badly for us. Where are you taking us, by the way?"

"To see Lord Zordemon," the other guard replied, as he assisted in dragging the Londinium governor down the corridor towards the stairs. Tusky was led (rather reluctantly) by a third guard. He glared at the puny man all the way.

*******

Suddenly Eme-Redser sat bolt upright in her saddle. "Incon!" she gasped.

"What's wrong?" Wendolin enquired.

"It's Incontinentia," Eme-Redser replied. "She's distressed, I can sense it. And yet..."

"Yes??" Jayhawk asked in a concerned tone.

"And yet...she STILL can't stop thinking about garnering donations for the RSPCE! Oh, that silly fool!" Eme-Redser shook her head disparagingly.

"Try to maintain contact," Wendolin advised. "See if she can tell us what Zordemon's got planned."

MRed94
Pleb
posted 05-27-00 11:10 ET (US)     55 / 150       
The Elven Queen suddenly fell from R'edaine's back!

The rest of the group rushed to her to assist her up, as she appeared to be very weak. She sat up, opened her eyes, and said, "OH! I suddenly got a very big shock! Felt like it was coursing right through me.....I think Incontinentia the Wise is in the presence of Zordemon the Evil, and the two powers radiate something......something that is very, very bad....."

Wendolin looked at her, and shaking her head, said, "I hope she is wise enough to keep her sarcastic comments to herself......."

Eme-Redser and Jayhawk looked at each other, and small smiles crossed their faces....Jayhawk remarked, "Well, if I know the Incomparable Incon at all....she is busy cooking up a wonderful diversion for us, unknowingly, at best. She will use every nasty thing she can say to get Zordemon very angry with her. She has a habit of doing this, and it usually turns out for the best.....She has managed to get herself and others out of really tight spots with that mouth of hers, and her wit.....I think we should rest here, continue to watch for the trap, and concentrate on communicating with Incon...."


The rest of the group took him at his word, and they made camp. All of them were constantly watching for danger, and all were hoping that Incon would contact one of her friends within the group.

Eme-Redser, Jayhawk, and Wendolin sat close together, talking about old times and adventures, and the Elven Queen introduced Wendolin to her herbals. The cloud of smoke above their heads grew ever bigger, until it almost enveloped the entire valley that they were in. The steam from the boiling pot on the fire that was herbal tea joined with the cloud to make a dense, moist cover.

Suddenly, Jayhawk stiffened where he sat, and his face grew somber......He said, "She is baiting him........



[This message has been edited by MRed94 (edited 05-27-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 05-27-00 19:44 ET (US)     56 / 150       
Sorry all. Been away in beautiful Winona in the State of Minnesota. Interesting little town. Normally populated by 25,000 people, except when the two local colleges are in session, then the population swells to 32,000 people. The town's name is American Indian. Winona was an Indian maiden who refused to become the squaw of an Indian Chief's son because she didn't love him. So she threw herself off a cliff in order to avoid the marriage. A little drastic I think, but then those were romantic times, even among American Indians it seems.

Welcome back, Incontinentia!

____________________________________________________

Thoren stood up suddenly and walked towards the herbalized group. The closer he came the more difficult it became to breath without choking. Finally the spasms arrived. Jayhawk noticed, as usual, and whispered something to Eme-Redser as Thoren gasped for air. The two started laughing.

"What did you say?" Thoren struggled to get out between choking coughs.

"Ohhhhh, nothing really. I just told the Queen here that you were exhibiting another example of your family's Roman heritage."

*cough* *gasp* "Oh yeah, what's that?"

"Inability to handle herbals."

"That Civis person, again, right?" *cough* *cough* *gasp*

"Right," replied Jayhawk. "Where are you going?" the minstrel asked Thoren as he noticed the Norseman stride through the group and keep on going.

"To find some fresh air and either a large boulder or a big, dense bush." *choke* *gasp* It's been a long quest."

"Hey Thoren," called out Randorian. "Twenty steps forward and five to the right." Thoren acknowledged Randorian with a wave and disappeared from immediate sight as he walked beyond the camp.

________________________________________________

"What did you say your name was?" Incon asked with an innocent expression on her face. "Was it Zorro, or something?"

"Zordemon! Tie her up and gag her. I'm tired of her aimless babble. Now bring in the girl."

While she was being tied and gagged, Incon saw the young girl for the first time. She didn't know her name, but noticed the fear in her hazel eyes. The girl's brown hair was knotted, dirty and in need of general care. Her clothes were stained and tattered. Yet despite these outward indicaters of rough treatment, the girl seemed unhurt and reasonably healthy.

Lysette saw the gagged woman in purple clothes for the first time when being led into Zordemon's chamber. But it was the amazingly huge beast that caught her eye and held it for the longest time. What was it, this thing with huge thick legs and a nose that extended from its head to the floor? Lysette could do nothing else but stare and stare and stare...

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-27-2000).]

Titanicus
Pleb
posted 05-29-00 17:38 ET (US)     57 / 150       
Just Bringing this up to the Top.
Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 05-30-00 09:42 ET (US)     58 / 150       
The company rode on over the dead red plain of the plateau of despair. The horizon grew slowly darker as the landscape changed. Dirty grey and brown streaks appeared in the soil, puddle clogged with weeds, the white skeleton trees were draped with tufts of foul green lichen.

The air, that was hot and dry moments ago was now clogged with moisture and bugs. Thousands and thousands of them. Following Wendolin's example, most of the party had taken to wearing scarves in front of their noses and mouths. Even the horses were suffering. Only Eme-Redser and Jayhawk seemed impervious to the critters attentions.

Thoren looked at them and rolled his eyes. That the elven queen was not beset by the creatures made some sort of sense, but why would they ignore the tall minstrel.

The cloud cover hid the sun as as they drew deeper in to the marshland, wraiths of mist curled over the water, while lightning played among the cloudcover and marshlights glowed distractingly.

Now they were plodding through the ankle deep, murky water. Bubbles of noxious gas escaped from tar like mud, clinging to the horses legs. Benson's panther stayed close, looking more than a little put out by the wet and the muck. The only sounds that coul dbe heard in this twilight world was the incessant drone of the insects and the dripping of water.

"I hate this place..." Chunky muttered.

Suddenly a scream sounded, a scream like one torn from a body with hot irons. Thoren made a sign to avert evil.
"What in the seven Hells was that?"
Jayhawk looked up his eyes slowly focusing on the warrior.
"A marsh-stalker, I'd guess."
Chunky cursed.
Thoren looked at him, and asked
"What's a marsh stalker."
"A vicious predator, " the young man answered. "They are vaguely human in shape, with whipcord limbs. Their skin is mottled and they carry whaever arms they've managed to scrounge together. They don't give up chase until their dead...and are very, very hard to kill."

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 05-30-00 22:20 ET (US)     59 / 150       
Another scream. This time closer. The horses all startled as if one. The hair stood up on the panther's glossy black back. Thoren's hand moved closer to his sword. Benson reached behind himself and freed his bow and quiver of arrows. The others moved closer together. Thoren unconsciously looked about for Lysette, then remembered painfully that she was gone.

"The marsh-stalker is hunting," said Jayhawk matter of factly.

"What is it hunting?" the Norseman asked.

"Us," said Jayhawk. The minstrel's eyes began to change colors more frequently even as he spoke to Thoren.

They continued across the marsh, passing under the ghostly white, whizzened trees tufted in sickly green lichen and dripping in flaccid curtains of moss. The horses' hoofs made soft sucking sounds as the beasts extracted them one by one from the moist muck underfoot. Overhead an exceptionally dense cluster of whitish branches stretching from nearby trees formed a thick canopy that closed in, trapped and intensified the stench of decay escaping from below.

SHRIEEEEEEEK!

Three heretofore unseen green, scalely shapes suddenly moved, falling from the sky onto the company. Arms, man-like, but long and slender ending in claws, swept through the air at their intended targets. Eme-Redser was knocked from her horse by the force of the club one odious creature used in its attack.

Wendolin smelt, but did not see, the marsh-stalker that leaped from a branch behind her and raked its claws across her horses haunch. The stricken horse reared up so suddenly the unprepared Paladin was thrown in an inkling into the muck below. The panicked horse then lost its footing and on its way down nearly fell across the dismounted leader.

The third marsh-stalker leaped downwards executing a perfect hit on Randorian, who was riding close to Thoren and Jayhawk. This stalker was a foot taller than the rest and more strongly built; less gangly and more muscular. A hunting knife glinted in its hand just as the knife was plunged hilt deep into the helpless apprentices' back. Randorian lay face down in the muck, no chance ever to defend himself.

In a split second, the muscular stalker turned and hurled its knife at Benson. The bowman had set arrow to bow and was in that instant going to release it on its target. The stalker's knife flew straight and true striking Benson in the shoulder of the arm holding the wood of the bow. The force of the strike knocked Benson backwards and caused him to lose his grip on the bent bow. The strained wood snapped back and struck Benson in the face. The bowman's eyes unfocussed and he slumped over on his horse.

Chunky, surviving this first attack, drew his sword and drove his horse quickly to Eme-Redser's side. Wendolin
scrambled to her feet despite the clumps of mud and muck stuck to her body, drew her short sword and faced her attacker.

ODIIIN!

The Norse battlecry split the air, causing the tall stalker to pause ever so slightly in its relentless attack. Vorth galloped up behind the stalker who had just delivered his knife to two of the company. The stalker turned on its spread-toed feet just in time to receive Thoren's flying body as Thoren ended his leap from Vorth. Both sprawled into the muck, the stalker on its back and Thoren on top. The lanky creature could not use its claws on Thoren as the Norseman was too close, but the stalker could use its powerful, shorter legs. It tucked them up under Thoren's pressing body and kick-shoved the blonde warrior off and into the muck.

The marsh-stalker leaped to his feet and whipped its right arm at Thoren. The creature's claws raked Thoren across the chest. His tough leather clothing shredded under the impact but the claws failed to reach flesh. Thoren staggered under the blow. Even as he staggered he drew his long sword to slash at the stalker. But the Norseman lost his footing on something unseen below and fell fully backwards and onto the muck. He lost his grip on the wet, muddied sword and it fell from his hands, disappearing from sight as it sank under its own weight.

The stalker screeched its satisfaction and reached with its left arm for an unseen object at its side. Another knife!
Thoren regained his feet and stood his ground watching the creature circle about him. Its human skull-like face distorted into something resembling a sneer just as it lept at Thoren with knife extended.

Thoren grabbed the creature's left arm with his right, then smashed a powerful left fist into the creature's solar plexis. The stalker's yellow tinted eyes bulged outwards as the creature's stench ridden breath whoooshed outwards. Thoren slammed his fist into the creature's gut once more and once more again.

Gurgling sounds came from inside the stalker. Red-tinted slime began to froth around the stalker's mouth. Somewhat weakly, it managed to swing back its right arm and in a strong return swing, it drove its 2-inch claws like knives into Thoren's exposed left side. The Norseman screamed in pain, but even so managed to move his left hand near his heavy leather shirt. From nowhere, he materialized a knife with runic markings, and whipped it across the stalker's exposed arm that had its claws embedded in his side.

The creature's arm was severed. The stalker spun leaving its limb dangling from Thoren's side. As it spun it tore its left arm loose from Thoren's weakened grip, continued its spin and slashed with its knife at Thoren's neck, missing by just inches. Thoren painfully but deliberately shifted his knife to his right hand. The force of the creature's spin had carried it all of the way around with its back to Thoren.

The Norseman saw an opportunity and hooked the stalker's horrid face from behind with his left arm, locking the creature's face in the inside bend of his elbow. The stalker tried to reach behind itself with its long knife wielding left arm but could only flail fruitlessly. Then Thoren drove the business end of his knife into the base of the creatures skull where its backbone began. The marsh-stalker immediately went limp. Thoren pulled back and shoved the knife upwards one more time, just to be sure. No movement. It was finished.

He threw the stalker's inert body forwards and fell to his knees, senses swimming, consciousness ebbing and flowing. Finally he fell forward and lay with labored breathing in the wet muck, blood flowing from his side. He had no awareness of any other part of the battle raging about him. This battle was ended for the Norseman and the now dead marsh-stalker.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-30-2000).]

Titanicus
Pleb
posted 05-30-00 23:47 ET (US)     60 / 150       
Tomás' horse had been spooked out of it's wits at the very first sign of the marsh-stalker, and it now had thrown him off into the sludge and had sped off through the mist out of site. He had tried chasing after it, but after awhile...had given up hope of catching it. He heard the sounds of the small battle on ahead of him, and to tell the truth, he wasn't to sure he wanted to forge into what was left of it...but his traveling companions interested him, and he didn't want to leave them stranded in unlikely case that they did need his help. He kept walking, towards the now quiet area where he had last seen the group, following a horses whinny. As the mist cleared and he pushed a branch out of the way, he saw what was left of the little group...all alive, but all in miserable disposition...

[This message has been edited by Titanicus (edited 05-30-2000).]

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 05-31-00 05:33 ET (US)     61 / 150       
As Tomàs was chasing his mount into the swamp, the first stalker took another swipe at the prone elven queen. It's club hit her shoulder with enough force to press her into the soft ground.

Wendolin screeched and slashed at it's side. The stalker turned lightning fast as the metal bit deep in its side and swung the cudgel in a wide arc crashing into the paladin's side. Wendolin staggered under the blow, her left arm hanging useless at her side. Her face white with pain she desparately tried to stay out of the long reach of her opponents arms, backing away slowly, leading the creature away from her prone friend.

The other surviving stalker was keeping Gillandra and Chunky at a distance, neither managing to gain the offensive.

Marcus landed on Jayhawk's shoulder and grabbed a lock of hair to steady himself.
"Shouldn't you do something?"
"I am doing something, " the minstrel replied, his eyes the hue of a dying fire.
"You'd better hurry." The little cherub said as the second surviving stalker managed to score a hit, that tore through Chunky's chainmail like a hot knife though butter.
"I am hurrying, " came the terse reply, "have you ever tried to summon salamaders in a swamp?"
"Oh...no... Is it difficult?"
Jayhawk rolled his eyes, then muttered
"So be it."

The tall minstrel dismounted and walked over to where the panther sat, protecting Benson's prone body. He picked up the broken bow, his hands moved over the wood, which flowed back to it's original shape and strung it with a practised movement. Then he picked up one of the scattered arrows, blew on it's head and watched the fletching turn a bloody red. Placing the arrow on the bow, he lowered it in one fluent move and let the arrow fly.

The arrow sped towards the stalker that had now cornered Gillandra and hit it between the bony shoulder blades, where it burst into flame.

Jayhawk knocked and loosened the second arrow in a single breath. It too flew staight at the remaining stalker, and hit it in the lower back. Flames curled up from the stalker that now started howling.

Its companion was now enveloped in flames, a cloak of fire that seemd to reach with burning hands and coal dark eyes. Seconds later it tumbled forward the fire feeding round the hoe in it's back, feeding outward consuming the flesh. Little tongues licking the marrow from the bones.

As the stalkers stopped twitching the flames rose once more and a shape could be seen inside them. A shape with bony limbs and ridges. They looked at the minstrel, boowed and winked out.

"That was impresive" Marcus chimed.
"Hush, we need to see to the wounded."
"Tomàs, " he called out, "help Gillandra, please?"

Wendolin staggered out from the swamp as the minstrel sank to his knees next to the wounded young wizard. His slender hands reached out to feel if there was any pulse.
"What did you do?" the paladin asked.
The minstrel looked up while his hands continued working near Randorian's wound. His eyes flashed.
"I? I guess, I was lucky. Look to Eme-Redser, will you. Her shoulder's probably broken."

Wendolin shook her head and stumbled towards the elven queen.
"He shot those two, didn't he? " she wondered, "Or did he?"
She shook her head and nearly lost concious.
"I must be seeing things..."

Jayhawk carefully turned the wizard's apprentice over on his back. The young man was breathing slowly, but steadily.
"Will he live?" Marcus asked.
"He'll live, " the minstrel replied, "but he'll be asleep for the rest of the day. Let's see to Thoren's wounds."

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 05-31-00 16:06 ET (US)     62 / 150       
Suddenly all time and motion came to a stop for all but Jayhawk. Before him a shimmering image began to form spreading from a pinpoint of brilliant light. The image took the form of an ancient man with skin stretched and tight as if in the prime of youth, but whose white hair directly implied the impact of time immeasurable. Beside the ancient one, a second bright pin point of light began and spread as did the first. This image manifested itself as a mature woman, well-formed, healthy with the flush of youth, but also with hair white as the aged.

"Jayhawk..." the images called to him. "Come here, Jayhawk... We wish to speak with you."

The others of the company were frozen in place, each unmoving. Marcus, too. Thoren lay where he fell, eyes frozen in their last view; blood flow stopped like time itself. Jayhawk looked at all of the company in turn, then heeded the glowing couple's request and walked to their position. As he approached he slowed his step, then suddenly stopped and fell to one knee with head bowed and ebony wings tucked to his back. "Jayhawk of the Seraph obeys and honors you."

"Rise Angel Jayhawk..." He did so. "The ancient image of a man continued. "You have committed violence, Seraph, on these creatures called marsh-stalkers. It is not for a Seraph to do such things. It is forbidden."

"I am aware that violence by the hand of a Seraph is forbidden."

"Why have you done this?" asked the image of a woman in a less imperious voice.

"My friends, the mortals, were in serious danger and were at risk of failing a very just cause. I called for the help of the Salamander. I gave muscle and direction to the arrows. The stalkers would have survived the impact of the arrows; they are, as you know, very strong. But it was the fire of the Salamander that consumed and destroyed two of the marsh-stalkers. I laid no direct hand on the creatures nor used my powers directly on them. Lord and Lady, I thought it the most correct action. I beg your understanding and forgiveness if I have been wrong. These mortals are in my care. I could not abandon them to this fate."

The ancient ones looked at each other in silent communication. The glowing woman nodded her head and the image of the man turned its head to speak to Jayhawk once more. "We find your intentions noble and honest, coming from the better side of your intellect and emotions. We will not speak of this matter any further; but be cautious Seraph, do not forget your true nature and your role in regard to these mortals. Do not allow your love for these... humans... to undermine your judgement."

Jayhawk once more fell to one knee. "I honor the word of my beloved parents." The images promptly faded away. Time began again.

A sober-minded incognito angel walked deliberately to the fallen Norseman to render what aid he could. The Norseman lay there having observed through blurred eyes Jayhawk's attention to Randorian and others and now felt the minstrel's handiwork on himself. In his feverish mind, the Norseman felt it was time to learn the truth about Jayhawk; and he would be the one to do it, he decided.

Wendoolicus
Guest
posted 05-31-00 16:25 ET (US)     63 / 150       
Practical as ever, Gillandra silently rushed about, busy tending each of the wounded in turn. This was the most serious attack that had befallen the group.

She beckoned to Wendolin - "We must get everyone out of here now - the gaseous swamp will surely poison us all, and the wounded have no resistence at this time".

Benson scouted over to the west, and had found a dry stretch of land only a half league away - but safely out of the swamp. They were only about 2 leagues away from the River of Darkness.

With that they gathered some sticks and made some makeshift stretchers. Surprisingly, the little Cherub Marcus Lindicus (who was no bigger than a man's hand) had enormous strength and managed to drag each and every one of the fallen's stretchers out of the swamp, one by one. Those who could, waded through the deadly waters.

Over and over again Marcus flew back and forth, pushing and pulling, grunting and groaning occasionally, but still maintaining his cheerful disposition.

Once the last of them was safely on dry ground, Gillandra tended to the wounds, while the rest sat forlornly, putting on brave faces despite their pain and suffering.

As the camp settled, they made some strong stew in which Emredser threw a large handful of her leaves and herbs. They had, at least survived.

"I would suggest we rest here for 2 days - at least until Emredser's shoulder begins to knit" said Wendolin.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 05-31-00 22:07 ET (US)     64 / 150       
Note To Fellow Writers: Just for clarification... I would not have permitted Randorian to 'die'. He was to benefit from a 'miracle' revival performed by Jayhawk's character.

______________________________________________________

Thoren's wound, deeply made by the fallen marsh-stalker's claws, failed to knit as expected, even after Jayhawk's early ministrations. The 'minstrel' further examined the the warrior's wounds as the Norseman's fever climbed and he babbled intermittently in his delirium.

"Gillandra, I think there is a poison at work here. Maybe prepared, maybe not. What do you think?"

"A poison it is, Jayhawk," she said after examining the oozing wounds. "But not manmade. It is a substance of the swamp, a natural thing. It is far advanced. I think it entered as he lay in the muck during the battle. It may be beyond the aide of potions and poltices, I fear. We may lose him." The others in the company who were awake took immediate note of the conversation. Lose Thoren? That would be a severe blow to their quest.

But if not man-made and not ingested, it is not beyond my help, thought Jayhawk. But I risk revealing my nature. So be it... But, there may be another way.

"Let's try something, Gillandra. Please apply your most powerful healing poltice. I will ask Eme-Redser's help with this." Gillandra did as she was bid and returned with the poltice. Eme-Redser, noticeably in pain, nonetheless agreed to assist. Jayhawk held Thoren down. Gillandra applied the poltice to the wound. Jayhawk told Gillandra to stand 10 paces back and Eme-Redser to place the hand of her unbroken arm on the poltice, pressing it tightly to the wounds in Thoren's side. This she did as Jayhawk turned his head away from the company so they would not see his eyes and they would think he was straining to hold Thoren down. Then Jayhawk's eyes changed into varying shades of gold co-mingling with shades of grey and blue...

Thoren found himself in a stone keep. Before him rose into the black sky a great double oak door hinged and reinforced in iron. He stepped forward but halted immediately as he saw the great door begin to swing open. Two shadowy figures emerged, a small, slight figure of a girl-child with her hand firmly in the grasp of another figure taller than Thoren.

Light from a flickering candle stand illuminated their faces and bodies. The girl-child's face was first to be lit. LYSETTE! It was Lysette! And the man now illuminated... it was the evil face and figure of Zordemon the Black.

Thoren drew his sword, but Lysette all of 16 tender years, raised her free hand palm outward and smiled brilliantly as if to say 'no, do not do this'. Thoren hesitated even as the sword was freed from his scabbard. Zordemon waived his hand. The sword in Thoren's hand simply disappeared. Lysette's smile spread broadly and even more prettily than before.

Zordemon's image began to change... It waivered, shimmied, spread outwards as if dissipating into some unknown gas. Then it coalesced once more into a figure of the same heighth. But the figure was not Zordemon. Instead, before Thoren stood Jayhawk. But not the Jayhawk of his recent memory. Here stood a magnificent being radiating light in all directions, dressed in a brightly emanating robe and displaying, in contrast to his lighted brilliance, a pair of openly spread shining ebony wings. Jayhawk still held Lysette's hand in his, but nowshe was metamorphosing. The girl-child was changing into a beautiful woman, displaying the youthful maturity she would achieve in her 22nd year. Thoren was dumbfounded.

Jayhawk smiled and released the woman's hand. Lysette ran to Thoren and threw her arms around him. She wordlessly placed a warm, loving kiss directly on his lips and then looked deeply into his eyes, tears streaming down hers. Then she spoke at last...

"Get well, my love... Get well... Get well...
Get well...
Get well...

Thoren awoke, fever gone, pain gone. But so was Lysette. He saw Eme-Redser painfully straining and pressing something to his side; and he saw Jayhawk above him now slowly relaxing his grip on the formerly thrashing warrior. He stared at the minstrel without saying anything. Which Jayhawk is real? This one? Or the one he imagined he saw in the Keep with Lysette? Lysette... so beautiful. He missed her like none before.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-31-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 06-01-00 22:47 ET (US)     65 / 150       
The company sat around the campfire and listened to each other get well. Marcus noted that since the moaning and groaning had descended the "M & G" scale they all must be getting better. The cherub deftly dodged the object Thoren threw at him.

The cheerful cherub had promptly reported on the status of things just as soon as the battle with the marsh-stalkers had ended. Thoren's father was approaching with the Torvold Host. As Marcus flew back with the news, he could see in the distance the disturbance being caused by the passage of the Army of Brightsparians into Safaervold, Zordemon's lands. This was no patrol, Marcus reported. It was the entire military might of the Land of Brightspar: archers, pikemen, swordsmen and mounted knights.

But the cherub also brought disturbing news. Streaming from the Glooming Mountains he thought he saw a host of Goblins moving generally northwards. He also feared that he had seen moving northwards a great mass of Lich cavalry. It seemed, the cherub reported, that all would be enjoined in the plain before Zordemon's Keep near Zordark.

Thoren said nothing but reached beside himself and picked up his long sword, grateful to Chunky for finding it in the muck of the marsh as Thoren lay wounded, fevered and unconscious. He picked up an abrasive stone and began to rub it back and forth across the blade sharpening the edge. Scrraape, scrraape, scrraape, scrraape...

Now where have I seen and heard that before, thought Jayhawk with a bemused smile on his face. Thoren ceased to sharpen his sword and laid it down. He looked up, a frown on his face, then rose and sat beside the minstrel. "You're the one, aren't you?" he quietly asked so no one else would hear.

"The one what?" countered Jayhawk.

"The ageless one of the legends my ancestors related to me when I was a child. The one who always seemed to be there when needed. The one who first appeared when my distant ancestor, the woman who was descended from the Roman general and Celtian woman, made her 'final journey'. I remember her name now. It was Romana. Simply that. Romana. He is said to have appeared to keep a promise he made centuries before to the Roman general, something to do with the Celtian woman and an easement of grief. Are you the one?"

"You speak of centuries gone by. These legends take on a life of their own. They can be made fabulous by the talents of storytellers," argued Jayhawk.

"But you know my background too well. You are familiar with the Roman general. You know his name where I did not. You are a minstrel, yes. But you are more. Jayhawk, I am Prince of my land and direct heir to the House of Torvold. My ancesters call out to me through my lifeblood. Are you the one? The one they call "the Angel?"

Jayhawk hesitated, thinking deeply before answering.

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 06-03-00 18:13 ET (US)     66 / 150       
Just a brief post to keep this thread in view. Are we still on track with this story?
MRed94
Pleb
posted 06-03-00 19:14 ET (US)     67 / 150       
Civis--temporarily brain dead, I am a grandmother today.....see Pharaoh forum "Free" thread....

Eme-Redser and Gillandra had their heads together, and were quietly talking between themselves. Every few minutes the Elven Queen would take something out of her carrier, show it to Gillandra, and then put it away.

None of the others could figure out what they were doing, except for Jayhawk. He sat watching them, and was reminded of a far away time, when he had sat and watched this same thing happen, and remembered all the wonderful things that had come out of that time.

The women turned when they felt the minstrel's gaze on them, and both smiled briefly and turned back to what they were doing.

Meanwhile..............

[This message has been edited by MRed94 (edited 06-03-2000).]

Wendoolicus
Guest
posted 06-04-00 16:46 ET (US)     68 / 150       
Wendolin stood quietly and surveyed the travellers. At this point, despite the fact that they all maintained positive dispositions, they were indeed in a pretty sad and sorry state. Many of their weapons were in very poor shape, their clothing tattered and torn, and she had noticed that their supplies were also getting low.

"Friends, I have come to a decision. While it is impossible to travel forward until we have recovered, we are in dire need of supplies and weapons' repairs. It is my observation that Tomas, Benson & Chunky are in the best of health amongst us, and I would therefore ask you three to set out at dawn for the town of Gardath in the east" she declared.

"If you head east, go along the southern side of the River of Darkness, then head south after the Murky Swamp, you should be able to make the town of Gardath in a day's travelling" (providing you don't meet any more enemies she thought to herself).

"What say you?" she asked.

Immediately Benson & Chunky stepped forward and replied "Your wish is our command lady paladin", almost in unison.

Tomas paused for a while looking puzzled, then he also stood "Of course" he replied "they will need my magical powers to help them on the journey. But why wait till dawn? It is better we should start our journey now, to take full advantage of the darkness while we travel" he said.

Wendolin looked at him, worrying a little at his impetuous nature, then replied "Ah, well its settled then. Gillandra will provide you with a list of herbs, potions and salves she requires. We also need some warmer clothing, some food supplies and repairs to our weaponry. I suggest you take the pack-horse with you. Here are the last of my travelling funds - spend them wisely and well my friends". With that she handed over her pouch of gold coins to Benson.

The three immediately packed the pack-horse with all the damaged weaponry and shields, and with Gillandra's list in hand, they bid the rest farewell.

Chunky, Benson, the Panther and Tomas rode off to the east. After about 50 yards they turned, waved at the group they had just left behind, then sped forward on their important mission. Who knows what stood between them and Gardath? At least Benson was well familiar with the lay of the land.

Wendolin turned to the rest of the travellers. "Well my friends, we have 2 days to wait. Jayhawk - how about a tune and a story to brighten our spirits?"

MRed94
Pleb
posted 06-04-00 17:53 ET (US)     69 / 150       
"And," added Eme-Redser, "I have a potion or two that should relieve some of the pain we are all feeling. I remembered that I had a small stash of these herbs stuck in a pocket. I have also called upon the creatures of the forest to gather round and let us know if there is danger. There are some very big creatures out there, so if anyone needs to leave the immediate campsite for any reason, please tell me first so I can warn them. They will watch and warn, and they will defend to the best of their ability, so we can all rest easily."

With those words, a small reddish purple bird landed on her shoulder, and with a few chirps and whistles, reported that the campsite was secure and that they were safe for the time being.

Meanwhile............

Titanicus
Pleb
posted 06-04-00 18:12 ET (US)     70 / 150       
Okay, well, I haven't been posting for...ever. Sorry, I just am overwhelemed at all of you and your great posts...I feel almost unworthy... but now my-dear-Incon () is back, so I have a bit more courage...If I mess up, I'm sure you all will warn me!

Tomás rode along, a bit behind the group, on his horse of which the group had scrounged up for him before they had been sent off. He had been quiet, saying few words to the rest of the group, those only words had been thanking them for getting him out of the tunnels.

Tomás' horse/conversation partner was almond colored, save for his long Mahogany tail and mane. He had named him Abbot, and so far, his only conversations to be heard, were with the horse.

He had been thinking back, reviewing the past few weeks and its abrupt changes, when he noticed that the group ahead of him had stopped. He trotted Abbot up to them, and stopped in front of Chunky.

"What's Wrong? Why have we stopped?" He asked, his voice cracking as he spoke.

Chunky replied:

"The Road up ahead is blocked. It seems to trail off into a dead end...See for yourself," He pointed ahead, and he looked as he spoke. "It has grown over, as if someone suddenly decided that they wanted to plant their garden in the middle of the road..." Tomás looked ahead, sure enough the road was overgrown with sprouting trees, brush, and a few flowering bushes.

"Are we lost? Could this be a wrong road that we turned onto somewhere?" He asked, confused.

Benson shook his head, "No, There is No other way... This was the correct road. There is no other around this..." he trailed off, again looking at the brush in disbelief.

Tomás stepped forward, pulling some herbs and a few vials from his pouch.

"We shall see," he trailed off, stopping to pop the cork off of a rather ornate looking vial, "What this is the work of... It surely isn't right." He smiled, and began combining the many ingredients into a small bowl from his bag...

Okay, I am not sure where to go from here...this could do something fun though...I guess. Oh Yeah, and Tomás is a smalltime Magician. I wasn't planning on making him a magician (i dinna know what I wanted of him) but Wen put that on him, it's fine with me. Now he has a purpose.Just keep in mind that he isn't as powerful as the others in the other group...

[This message has been edited by Titanicus (edited 06-04-2000).]

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 06-05-00 10:01 ET (US)     71 / 150       
Sorry, Civis, horribly busy weekend...no time to post even a little, let's see where we can get from here.

The camp fire had burned down to a few embers, insects were throwing up a wall of sound, punctuated by the croaks and whistles of many a different frog.

Thoren awoke, as his eyes got accustomed to the gloom he noticed the minstrel sitting close to him, watching him. Jayhawk's hands were wrapped around his lute, his eyes had a golden glow in the light of the dying fire and were fixed upon the Norseman.

"You still haven't answered me" Thoren whispered.
Time passed, just as Thoren thought he wasn't going to get an answer the minstrel answered.
"I know..."
The melodious voice sounded sad.
"I don't think I can give you an answer, as any answer I'd give would change who you are and what you do.
Sleep my young friend, " he whispered, "know you're ancestors are looking over you're every move."

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 06-05-00 16:23 ET (US)     72 / 150       
Jayhawk et al: No apologies required. I was just checking pulses. It appears we are all well and just needed the break. The truth is, I've been known to wink out from story threads from time to time as things happen. I wasn't very concerned, just curious.

____________________________________________________________

Thoren's eyes closed involuntarily as the melody of the lute carried him off and away on a return trip to the land of sleep. The land looked incredibly familiar. The more he surveyed it the more he was convinced that he was back home in Torvold.

The mistiness cleared and before him appeared the Lodge of Torvold. The great oak door to the lodge was closed but soon began to move. It swung outwards ever so slowly. A hand appeared on the door's edge pushing outward with greater leverage. The figure of a mature woman walked out of the now open entrance. His mother. She smiled and walked down the stairs stopping at the foot of the stairs with arms open and welcoming. Thoren ran to greet her. The woman said nothing but continued to smile warmly. Then she glanced backwards over her shoulder.

Another figure appeared... His brother! Alive? But how? He greeted his brother as well, grasping hand to arm and arm to hand. But his slain brother's image began to fade and his brother's eyes began to expand and form a rigid stare of expectation. Thoren stepped back, despairing and uncertain. He called to his brother not to leave; but the image of his brother continued to fade until only his staring eyes and their expectant look were left floating in the air above him.

A third figure walked out from the lodge. A young girl from his own youth. He tried to call her name, "Annika"; but his voice could make no sound. The young girl's melancholy expression planted sadness in the heart of the Norseman. She looked at him once more from sadly lowered eyes and turned so that her back was all he could see.

A fourth figure appeared. A familiar feminine shaped figure emerged from the edge of the nearby grove of trees and walked directly to Thoren. In her hand she held a flower. Later peoples would call it 'edelweis'. As she walked she whispered her own name every few steps... "Lysette... Lysette... Lysette."

Standing before Thoren she wordlessly offered him the flower and pointed to her hair. He understood. Taking the flower he placed it in her hair near her right temple. Her face began to change, to mature, and her clothing changed in consort with her overall change in appearance. Finally, Thoren could speak. But only one word... "Lysette." Upon saying this word the young woman who was Lysette melted into his arms. He looked over her shoulder to see his mother smiling in approval, the eyes of his brother changing from expectation to affection.

Annika's image turned about to gaze at Thoren once more. She too smiled, then waved and turned about to re-enter the lodge. She hesitated and looked at her wrist. She removed the gold bracelet she wore and slowly handed it off into thin air. The handcrafted bracelet, bearing the letters A and T, floated through the air towards Thoren and into his outstretched hand. Lysette stepped to his side holding his other hand. Thoren looked down at the bracelet. Letters were there engraved in the gold as before. But now the letters were L and T. He looked up to where Annika stood. She waved once more, smiled, then turned and entered the lodge. The door closed smoothly and quietly behind her.

Over the lodge a bright light rose and the vague image of a man with ebony wings could just barely be discerned. The image winked out as quickly as it appeared. Immediately he felt something or someone tapping on his shoulder. He turned to see Jayhawk standing there. The minstrel returned to strumming his lute. The melody continued on and on and on...

Another tap on his shoulders captured his attention. But this time he awoke to the reality of dawn in the land of Zordemon, but with a difference. Thoren was well rested and at peace. His only thought was a quiet curiousity about how Benson, Tomas and Chunky were faring.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 06-05-2000).]

Wendoolicus
Guest
posted 06-05-00 16:35 ET (US)     73 / 150       
When Thoren awoke, despite his dreams, somehow he was eased by the words uttered by the minstrel during the night. When the rest awoke, the travellers went into their normal routine, and cooked a warming breakfast of oats and honeymead.

Emredser still had her broken shoulder, but seemed to be healing amazingly fast. Thoren's wound was deep and nasty, and he also looked a little green around the gills - probably the after effects of the poisonous gases. Randorian was quiet, looking tired and also suffering still the effects of the poison. Gillandra and Jayhawk had their surface wounds - cuts and gashes, and Marcus Lindicus was bedraggled and worn after his almighty effort of dragging everyone from the swamp.

Wendolin and Gillandra filled up all their pots with water, and heated it on the fire. After the water was steaming hot, they all bathed and washed some of the surface grime off (much to Marcus Lindicus' chagrin - he HATED water and bathing!!!!). When this was completed, they then set about repairing the weaponry that hadn't been taken off to Gardath for repair. It was like any normal campsite, busy, but the travellers were now comfortable in their familiarity with each other.

None were aware they were being watched.
______________________________________________________

Meanwhile in Zordemon's Castle, the two bedraggled prisoners, Lysette and Incontinentia, stood watching the evil king as he stared intently at the cauldron in front of him. They were in his great drafty hall, lit by gargoyle torches .. it was still a gloomy and drafty place.

Zordemon was using his evil magic, and was observing the travellers in the cauldron's mist. "Ha ha" he cried "their numbers have dwindled. Soon they will all be mine!!!" he cackled.

Incon snorted involuntarily, but said nothing for once .... fascinated by the magic with which the king had summoned the image of the travellers. Lysette watched forlornly, staring intently at one in particular in the campsite.
______________________________________________________

Unbeknown to Zordemon, Chunky, Benson and Tomas were about 15 leagues to the east of the campsite. Tomas continued with his magic, while Benson grew impatient. Just as he was about to protest at their delay a HUGE puff of smoke blew up in front of them.... and Tomas' magic had managed to reveal the pathway through the thick brushwood in front of them. Benson even managed a smile at Tomas, before they quickly sped their horses forward...on towards Gardath.

[This message has been edited by Wendoolicus (edited 06-05-2000).]

Civis Romanus
Angel
posted 06-06-00 15:53 ET (US)     74 / 150       
Zordemon walked around the chamber in which could be found the cauldron, a mirror, the two prisoners and Big Tusky. Zordark guards were posted at all doors and arched entrances.

The dark wizard stopped in front of the mirror lost in thought. He paused, looking at its reflective surface. He waved both hands in front of the mirror, each hand moving in opposite directions. The relective surface promptly lost its shine and an image appeared. The image was an overhead view of the land of Safaervold.

Zordemon stared intently at the image. He could see the tiny advancing figures of the Brightsparian Army to the Southwest. In the Southeast he could see the Torvold Host approaching the border of his domain. In the South he pinpointed the locations of the Goblins of the Glooming Mountains and the cavalry of the Lich.

"So... they come. The Brightsparians and the Host of Torvold. If they knew the nature of the reception they will receive they would turn about now and save themselves from the misery. It's not like I didn't warn them; but they chose to ignore my warning. The fault is theirs for not heeding my words." Zordemon waved his right hand and the mirror surface returned to its customary sheen.

He strode directly to Lysette. He stared fiercely into her hazel eyes. The young girl shrank back but could no longer move her feet. Zordemon had exercised full control over her and she was powerless to resist. "I have anticipated this time for many years, girl, and you are soon to fulfill your purpose. I end the spell of "eternal servitude" with this elixir. DRINK!"

Lysette could not stop herself from accepting the vial and drinking it down completely. Moments later the room began to spin and dizziness dominated her being. It passed quickly, as did the eternal servitude spell. She shall be servant to no one ever again she said to herself, except for one person and one person alone. She told herself it was by her own choice that she attaches herself to this person, forever, to do his bidding and see to his wellbeing. She had made her choice and that choice was wise, she thought, because the man is great and deserving of such devotion.

She looked into the cauldron and saw the remnants of the company working on their weaponry. She saw Thoren sharpening his sword and checking his bow. She smiled. Still smiling, she purposely walked to Zordemon and said,
"My lord, how may I assist you?"

Incon stood in horror. "Lysette, NO!"

Lysette turned her head and shot the tied up Incon a withering glare full of hatred and ill intentions. "Silence, wench. I serve only one, and the one I serve is far better than you or any of your ill begotten friends. Silence now or I will silence you myself!"

Zordemon said nothing but beamed approvingly at Lysette as she took a place closely by his side. Zordemon turned his attention to Incon. "Now... Just what shall we do with you and your annoying animal?"

Jayhawk
Eminence Grise
posted 06-07-00 08:08 ET (US)     75 / 150       
Incon swallowed hard as Zordamon chuckled hideously. She looked at the air and muttered.
"Titanicus? Are you there? If you are please help me...this is no longer funny."

Tusky trumpeted madly, but couldn't do much to help his mistress.

Then the air began to shimmer in the room, the light flickered, strobed. Darkness fell...

A soft voice said, in a language not heard in ages:
"Bugger!"
Then there was silence.

Zordamon started to curse and his magic called light into being. The sickly green glow cast horrible shadows through the room. Incon looked sick, her arms wrapped tight around herself. Tusky was there and the wickedly armoured guards.
But where was Lysette.
Zordamon screamed with anger and frustration.
"Lock this one up, I need to find that pesky girl!"


Lysette growned, her head hurt. As she opened her eyes she saw a kindly looking, elderly gentleman. Bright eyes and smile framed in silver hair and beard.
"Hello Lysette" his deep voice sounded.
"Who are you? Where is my liege?"
"My name is Randorian, " the old man replied,
"We met 50 years ago."

------------------
Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of Eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy."
-- Book of the Dead (1240 BC)

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