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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Story Archives » New Story: 'Quest for the cloak of Z'al'
Topic Subject:New Story: 'Quest for the cloak of Z'al'
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posted 03-11-00 21:09 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.
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.

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 5Realms)

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)

The drizzle continued to fall; the night was sterotypically windswept as a rather large man in a black robe walked humming to himself. It had been a long time since he had conversed with his friends, and he was looking forward to seeing the motley crew again. On a hillside an inn shone like a beacon, and the man headed towards it. using his gnarled staff to keep his footing, Chunky made his way up the twisting path, wondering why all the settings for stories had to be depressing. With a sigh of relief, Chunky knocked open the door to the inn with his staff and stumbled in. The inn-keeper looked up.

"Bloody hell, you're dripping blooming water all over the floor!"

Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori
Wendolin's New Map

Wendolin's Map

[This message has been edited by Chunky (edited 04-12-2000).]

posted 04-16-00 23:42 ET (US)     126 / 145       
Eme-Redser IS my given name.....Wintersong is the name I was given when I was crowned Queen of the Elves. That is a name that only the elves call me now....Please continue to call me Eme-Redser. I am much more comfortable with that when I am out and about.

Now, what say you? Onward????

She wheeled R'edaine, and led the way up the winding path....

Civis Romanus
posted 04-17-00 20:41 ET (US)     127 / 145       
As they road to the Maze Hills, Thoren urged his horse forward a little to catch up with Wendolin and Jayhawk. Eme-Redser was riding further ahead with Benson and his panther. Chunky, Lysette and Randorian and Gillandra brought up the last collection of riders.

Abreast of Wendolin, Thoren leaned over in a quiet voice and said, "Wendolin, do you think she's a bit put off at your question about her name?"

Wendolin considered for a moment. "No, I don't think so. Elves are very direct people once they've accepted you. She is behaving as I would expect. She will take some getting used to, though. Elves think differently than we humans. Elfen ways are often obtuse and mysterious. But I can assure you, as mysterious as their ways may be, if they have accepted you, then you will not be harmed in any way by anything they do, even if it looks like you might."

They then heard a rustling from within Jayhawk's long coat. Out from a pocket flew the cherub. He yawned and looked about then stopped when he saw Eme-Redser with Benson. "Who's that?" asked the pink cheeked cherub.

"A new member of the troop," replied Jayhawk. "Why don't you fly up there and make her acquaintence. Oh, one thing... Remember, she's an elf queen."

"Ohhhhh," nodded Marcus. "An elf queen..." He gave Wendolin a wink and flew up ahead. Soon, Eme-Redser, Benson and the flying cherub were enjoying a pleasant conversation on various subjects well out of earshot of the others. The conversation halted just as they all reached a piece of ground that seemed to begin a gentle rise to the north.

Eme-Redser turned in her saddle to address the others. "Behold, my friends... The Maze Hills, gateway to the Glooming Mountains and the areas that are strongholds of the Lich. Be on guard at all times. Silence is best. Paladin, by your direction, how do we proceed?"

Thoren, Lysette and the others waited for Wendolin's instructions patiently.

posted 04-20-00 20:09 ET (US)     128 / 145       
er, um....we are still waiting patiently for the wise Paladin's instructions.....
posted 04-23-00 20:47 ET (US)     129 / 145       
Wendolin surveyed the purple maze hills, and a shiver ran down her spine. The hills were not only infested with the Lich and other enemies, but lore has it that many a troup have gone into the hills and become completely lost in the maze - never to be heard from again!

Wendolin decided that before proceeding they should camp for the night, to ensure all their armour and weaponry were in the best order. She called a halt to the party, and with that, she and Benson rode forward to find a safe haven.

They travelled only a few short leagues before they came across a cooling pond in a small close, hidden by boulders and bracken from the main road leading into the Maze Hills. "This will be perfect for the night" she told Benson "will you and the panther stay here and set up camp?" On receiving his quick reply, she turned her horse and returned to where they had left the others.

As she turned the last bend, she pulled her horse to a halt. What she found before her was...

Eminence Grise
posted 04-26-00 10:24 ET (US)     130 / 145       
Something that looked very much like a small party. She could hear the little cherub giggling as he was making runs for Eme-Redser head. Jayhawk had dismounted. He had found a perch on an old tree stump and was playing riffs and jigs to accompany Marcus' antics.
Lysette had cornered Randorian and was asking him about flowers. Gillandra and Chunky were watching the others with a small smile. Thoren was frowning.

Wendolin moved closer.
"Ahum, " she cleared her throat loudly. In the ensuing silence she continued.
"We've found a safe place to spend the night."

Civis Romanus
posted 04-26-00 22:38 ET (US)     131 / 145       
Marcus Lindicus flew above the party as it made its way to Wendolin's and Benson's selected camp site. The Cherub could easily see the twists and turns of the Maze Hills and gave perfect directions to the group as they navigated the confusing pathways.

The jolly Cherub enjoyed himself that evening as the group settled in for the night. He flew here and there telling funny stories and entertaining them all. Then he disappeared and returned with a flower. Flying low over Lysette's head he dropped the flower onto her lengthening light brown hair. Exhausted, he finally flew straight away towards Jayhawk and dived into the Seraph's coat pocket, there to pass away the rest of the night. Jayhawk shook his head, but said nothing to the Cherub. He was good to have around. Good for all of them.

The girl glanced at Thoren to see if he saw what the Cherub had done. Nope. As usual, the Norseman was withdrawn into his own little world... He treats me like a child, she thought. If only there weren't so many years between us. Suddenly something occurred to her. She turned to Randorian to explore her idea...

Thoren deliberately forced himself to look elsewhere. Why does she spend so much time with him? After all, I was the one who freed her from the 'master'. Well, he is closer to her age. Like Annika was to me back then. What are they talking about? Thoren! Are you jealous?! Why, you're like a brother to her! Stop it! You have a mission! Right, he responded to his own thoughts. I have a mission, but she makes it hard to think about it. Would Annika approve? The blond Norseman sought sleep as a means to force these conflicting thoughts out of his mind.

The Seraph saw the interplay of thought and emotions on the Norseman's averted face. Jayhawk said nothing. There was an answer to this dilemna he thought. But it is yet to be discovered. He would have to do it on his own.

Thus, the evening passed.

The Cherub guided them out of the Maze Hills into the abbreviated valley between the Hills and the Glooming Mountains. Job done, he swooped over Jayhawk and dived into his waiting coat pocket. The travellers rode to the foot of the Glooming Mountains and straight into a large party of Lich cavalry sporting for a fight. This time it was no illusion...

Civis Romanus
posted 04-28-00 20:56 ET (US)     132 / 145       
Hey writers: We're kind of slowing down here. Time constraints? Plot problems? Story too slow? Something wrong? You're welcome to share. Need a sidebar comment thread? Anything I can do to help? Just ask.
-Civis Romanus
Pharaolympics 2000 Competitor
posted 04-29-00 19:30 ET (US)     133 / 145       
Time constraints...I'll have more time over the summer
posted 04-29-00 22:04 ET (US)     134 / 145       
The group quickly gathered closely together, and waited for Thoren or Benson to throw out a battle plan.

Eme-Redser kept to the back, waiting to see what the rest of the group was going to do. She knew that she was capable of taking care of the whole mess herself, but hesitated, as she didn't want to step on anyone else's toes. She had learned the hard way long ago that men have feelings about women getting in front of them and handling things themselves.....and she really didn't want to alienate anyone yet......

posted 04-30-00 20:23 ET (US)     135 / 145       
Time constrants..too many exams. I do feel we need to 'survey' who is active in the story, and to perhaps speed up the action. It would be a shame to let it go to waste. If anyone e-mails me a list of stuff we need to do, I will post it, helping new people (and those who are lost!)

Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori

Civis Romanus
posted 05-01-00 21:17 ET (US)     136 / 145       
Don't worry, Chunky. This story has too much potential to let it go to waste. But I better understand the slow going right now. There was a story in Pharaoh Heaven about Tut that did the same thing... very slow progression. Then it suddenly took off in a variety of ways and even spawned a sequel. The writers of the sequel, I think, did an even better job with the sequel. But that's just my opinion. Well, let's whip some excitement into this thing!


"Randorian, stay with Jayhawk! Protect Gillandra and the supplies!" yelled Wendolin. Jayhawk had already taken up a position near Lysette and Gillandra. His work was best done there.

Benson checked his quiver. Good, its full, he thought and he withdrew an arrow to load up his bow. When they're in range, he planned.

Suddenly there were two Bensons, then three Bensons, then four. Likewise, four Wendolins, four Chunkys, four Thorens and four Eme-Redsers. All four of the Wendolins looked behind themselves at the Eme-Redsers, winked and laughed.

The Lich sat on their horses dumbfounded. In the distance they saw the little party double, triple and then quadruple. "What manner of witchcraft is this?!" cried out the Lich leader in disbelief. But in the manner of the Lich, he ordered the cavalry to charge anyway.

"Charge what? Which one?"

"All of them, fool!" the leader screamed. Spurs were set into horses' sides and the Lich charged forward. So did the Paladin and her troop.

The distance closed rapidly. Soon they collided and the Lich swung their swords. The weapons struck, passed through and had no effect. No damage was done except when the real Thoren countered, or the real Wendolin struck back, or the real Chunky swung his sword. Then the Lich fell. And those that didn't feel the bite of the sword soon found an arrow in their side, chest or back as Benson's unerring aim sent an arrow home.

Frustration set in among the remaining Lich, then fear, then panic. Their leader fell to Wendolin's thrust and the remaining Lich fled out of sight.

The phantom fighters disappeared one by one as Eme-Redser terminated the spells that created them. Finally, the flesh and blood members of the party were all that were left on the field. They rode their horses back to the place where Randorian and Jayhawk protected the others and stepped down off their horses for a moment.

Nicks in skin and tears in clothing was the worst of the damage done by the Lich. Nothing serious. A cleaning there, some salve here and some needle work a little later and all would be well. This they would do in their camp in the Glooming Mountains, and that is where they went straightaway.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-01-2000).]

Civis Romanus
posted 05-02-00 21:07 ET (US)     137 / 145       
Benson struck the metal on his flint and small licks of flame began to crawl up the kindling. The campfire grew into a steady blaze as more and larger pieces of wood were added. They settled down beside the fire to cook their supper and chat about today's and the next day's events.
posted 05-03-00 05:32 ET (US)     138 / 145       
After all the repairs to their armour and weaponry were completed, and Marcus Lindicus had eaten his normal two servings of everything, the group settled in front of the fire. Wendolin decided it was time to call a Council of the Travellers.

Where they had camped at the foot of the Glooming Mountains their campsite was almost at a cross roads, and it was time to divide the group, to meet again later on the other side of the mountains.

"Fellow travellers" she said, "it is time for a small group to go north and west to check that the Staff of Purgatory is still safely buried deep in the mountains. I know where it is buried, which is deep in some caves underneath the mountains themselves. Unfortunately this must be done on foot, as our horses and supplies will not fit through some of the narrow caves through which we must travel. In all fairness, I must tell you that this side-journey will be filled with peril, for beneath the mountains lie some fairly dreaded wardens of the deep". She paused to ensure that this message had sunk in.

"I will need two of you to volunteer to come with me" she continued. "At least one of you must have the fighting skills needed if we are to make it alive through the caves. When I have checked that the sword is safely buried, we will continue on through more caverns under the mountains, until we reach the other side."

The group sat in silence listening to the Paladin. Their faces showed that no-one wished the breakup of the group, even if it was only for a short while.

"It is also imperative that the rest of the group travels with the horses and supplies north and east through the mountains, and sets up camp just before the Titan Hills on the other side, just in case we need repairs and recovery on our return. This in itself will not be without danger, as the Glooming Mountains can also be as dangerous on the surface as they are below.

I would now ask Thoren if you will lead this half of the party through to safety on the other side of the mountains (before we all go - as one united party again - through the Titan Hills)." Thoren immediately nodded in agreement, understanding the great responsibility the Paladin was placing on his shoulders.

"What say you my friends - what two will come in my group to go under thr mountains, and who will travel with Thoren over the mountains?"

[This message has been edited by Wendoolicus (edited 05-03-2000).]

posted 05-03-00 13:58 ET (US)     139 / 145       
Benson sat on his horse considering his options, should he stay with the main party or go with Wendolin. After a few moments of thought he made up his mind. He would go with Wendolin.

"I'll go with you Wendolin." came his monotone reply.
"Thoren look after my horse while I gone if you don't mind."

With that he lapsed back into the silence of his thoughts.

Civis Romanus
posted 05-03-00 20:57 ET (US)     140 / 145       
Thoren, saying nothing, accepted Benson's horse into his keeping. The horse was quickly secured by rope to the pack horse led by Gillandra. The Norseman looked about the company. First he looked at Jayhawk, then Chunky and lastly at Eme-Redser.

It was Lysette's young voice who was next heard. "I'll go." She quickly glanced at Thoren only to see a deep frown form on his face. He was about to protest when Wendolin cut him off with a question directed to Lysette.

"Girl, you are awfully young for this errand."

Lysette responded, but I am the smallest among everyone here, except for Marcus Lindicus, and there may be reason to have someone my size along... and I'm not afraid. Once again the young girl glanced at Thoren. His frown deepened.

Wendolin considered, then she said...

posted 05-03-00 22:08 ET (US)     141 / 145       
"OK, Lysette, You will come with me. The rest of you will go with Thoren. Eme-Redser, keep in tune with me, in case I need your assistance."

Eme-Redser nodded slowly, and looking solemnly at Wendolin, moved to the group surrounding Thoren.

The two groups took the supplies that they needed, and slowly drifted apart.

Eme-Redser sent thoughts winging to Wendolin, and, without the others seeing her, had given the Paladin a small bag of her special herbs, with quick instructions on their use.

She sat looking at the small group disappearing into the caverns, watching till they were unable to be seen. Then she turned R'edaine, and followed Thoren along the path.

Civis Romanus
posted 05-04-00 15:45 ET (US)     142 / 145       
Jayhawk remained strangely silent all of this time. He seemed distant and preoccupied. The others knew his tendencies towards deep thought, reflection and contemplation. On occasional evenings, the others noted he would remove himself from their vicinity and sit by himself oblivious to what was transpiring in the camp. To them it was a harmless habit on his part. He never shirked his duties or avoided what work was necessary or requested of him. Nonetheless, he seemed extremely distant at this moment and responded almost mechanically to Thoren's lightly applied leadership as the Norseman guided the remaining company through the pass in the Glooming Mountains.
posted 05-07-00 13:24 ET (US)     143 / 145       
Wendolin, Benson, the panther and Lysette moved along the narrow path that led north and then west. It was hard trekking, as the path was uneven and appeared not to have been used for quite some time.

As they progressed, the mists of the mountains slowly moved in, and before long their visibility was reduced to about 20 feet in front of them. Wendolin relied on her knowledge received from the old mage Flahdorian, as where they were heading was uncharted territory.

After about 2 hours, it was Benson who noticed a small track leading off the main path - it seemed to be overgrown with brambles, and would not have been visible to the untrained eye. "Wendolin, we go this way" he said to the Paladin. Without questioning, Wendolin and Lysette followed him as he hacked through the briars and brambles, until they came to a small clearing where the path seemed to come to an abrupt finish.

Before them was a huge boulder in the side of the mountain, lying underneath another rock shelf. At the side of the boulder was a narrow crevice, which appeared to lead into a narrow cave.

Without speaking, they lit their lamps and proceeded into the damp unwelcoming cave.....

Meanwhile, Thoren and the rest of the party continued north and then east, heading into the Glooming Mountains. Randorian noticed there were many hawks and eagles swooping the sky above them. Their progress was also slow, as the paths were uneven, and partly covered with thickets. Suddenly they came to an abrupt halt - EmRedser had heard a sound, which appeared to come from the around the next corner.

posted 05-07-00 22:35 ET (US)     144 / 145       
She motioned for the rest of the group to stay where they were, and very slowly dismounting, she crept forward.....

All of a sudden, there was a very loud rushing of wings, and a huge flock of eagles appeared in front of her.

She stood there, and the eagles landed one by one until they were settled in a circle around her. These did not look like ordinary eagles, in that they were very large, and had some slight irridescence to them....

The largest of the eagles hopped forward a few paces, and stopped when he was nose to nose with her.

She looked intently at him, and he began to appear to speak to her. She suddenly cocked her head to the side, and appeared to be thinking hard....

Then she whirled around, ran to R'edaine, mounted him, and yelled, "FOLLOW ME!!!!"

The rest of the group was in motion in seconds, thundering along behind her as they went around the corner.

Suddenly in front of them appeared a large cave, and Eme-Redser didn't hesitate to head straight into the cave.......

Civis Romanus
posted 05-08-00 15:49 ET (US)     145 / 145       
In the cave they all stopped their mad gallop behind Eme-Redser for two good reasons. First, the cave was in fact a deeply hollowed out opening with no known exit except through the way they entered; and second, Eme-Redser halted her horse within the cave and motioned to the others to stop as well.

Thoren spurred his horse forward towards Eme-Redser. The Elven Queen steeled herself for whatever Thoren had in store for her. She needn't have worried. While Thoren still sported the warrior's spirit, especially in time of conflict, his behaviour had been subtly changing ever since the incident with "The Master" in the woods at the journey's beginning. She tried to determine the cause, but could only fathom that somehow, someway Lysette was at its center.

The Norseman guided Vorth up to Eme-Redser's side. The Elf tensed, momentarily. Thoren made no untoward move in her direction. "Elven Queen," he said. "Why have you led us here at a gallop? What is it you know?"

Eme-Redser relaxed. This is not the typical Norseman, thought the elf. He is made of better stuff than I thought.
"Thoren, the eagle king warned me of an ambush set in the mountains immediately ahead. There is also a large contingent of Lich waiting for us beyond the point of ambush. There are far more Lich than we met the first time and we are three less. I have no spell of replication strong enough to counter that many this time. I thought it wise to act immediately lest we be seen and lose our cover. Have I acted improperly? I forgot you were declared leader of this group by Wendolin."

Thoren's expression took on an unusual form. He smiled. "My complements on your horsemanship, Eme-Redser," he said. "I was hard pressed to keep up with you." Then he did another uncharacteristic thing. The Norseman winked. The Elven Queen had no response prepared for such unusual behavior. Thoren continued, "Well, let's dismount and put our heads together and see what can be done about the Lich, shall we."

Chunky looked at Jayhawk. The angel was amused by the exchange. He felt it would soon be time to pose the question to Thoren he had held back so long. Chunky dismounted ready to join the general discussion. It would not be a long discussion, because elements of the solution already were forming in Eme-Redser's magic versed elven mind. The solution would involve... the deepest sleep.

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 05-08-2000).]

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