Author Topic: The Alliance of Shador  (Read 4711 times)

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Offline Maggot

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The Alliance of Shador
« on: August 11, 2005, 04:53:03 AM »
A century and a half has passed,and at last the Old Ones are ready to exact vengeance on the hated Sons of Acqua,whom in an ages past,dared to dispossess them of the precious ancestral island home lands,leaving their erstwhile occupants to fend for themselves as best as they could in the dire waters of the ocean. Now the Shura are eager to avenge this old wrong done to their ancestors and they will stop at nothing in their zealous quest to make the the thieving dry landers pay for crimes that have gone unpunished for far too long.
 Though long divided by their ruthless rivalries and quarrels over ownership of the best ametyst deposits,kelp grounds,hunting grounds,each and every Shura chieftain has always dreamed of a time when the most powerful tribes would come together to make a compact to take back their stolen heritage. But for a long time in the history of their people,it seemed that this dream was but a desperate longing for that which had been taken from them,one bereft of any reasonable hope. For how could they hope to strike a killing blow against the dry lander usurpers,when the ones capable of uniting their warring people among them were engrossed in waging war against their old rivals or the hapless People of the Coral? Unless the Shura put away their traditional enmities and devoted their most fearsome warriors wholly to the cause of returning the old home lands to their control again,their true foes of eld would forever continue to occupy that which they had most vilely plundered.
 Many years later,commitment to this hope has come in the form of the Alliance.  It may still be long before it can truly claim the allegiance and loyalty of all the tribes,but already it has taken this dream to an extent previously though impossible by any Shura Chieftain,something that does not bode well for all human kind. Credit for this remarkable accomplishment belongs largely to the chief of the Waliganroo or Reef Shark tribe of the Shura.  
 One of the most fearsome tribes in existence,they were instrumental in putting togther the Alliance when a young chief by the name of Shador succeeded to the leadership of his people following the death of his sire in a disastrous attempt to annex the Kingdom of the People of the Coral. Away on a separate raid on a rival tribe,he was summoned back by a warrior sent by the elders of the tribe who had convened shortly after learning of the crushing rout that had befallen their warriors from the cowed and dispirited remenants of the attacking force that had returned. Hastening back as fast as he could,young Shador was immediately besieged by wrathful elders demanding that he avenge his sire's death at the hands of King Alamaric of the People of the Coral,and the fell weapon they had wielded to such devastating effect. Shador however,knew better than to attempt this. If the tribe's most seasoned warriors led by none less than his sire,the most feared Shura warrior chieftain there ever was by the estimation of a great number of his foes, had been destroyed almost completely by a weapon that struck terror into the hearts of its foes,what chance did he and the young braves stand? No,the People of the Coral were under the protection of a higher power,at least for now,and to send their remaining warriors against them would be suicidal. It would also provide their arch-foes,the Hurnai or Wobegong tribe with a tempting opportunity to destroy them for good. This was a risk that could not be taken,and so he dismissed the passionate entreaties of the elders to mount another assault.
 But his heart was heavy for the fate of the tribe was now uncertain. The loss of his sire was a grievous loss indeed. That night as he slept in his cave,he was visited in his dreams by a spectral white shark. A true titan that seemed to dwarf the largest Kraken his people had ever seen,it begun to circle him. Overcome with terror,he cringed,expecting at any moment that the enormous jaws of this leviathan would close over him,completely forgetting that dying in a shark's mouth was the most sacred of all fates one of his race could hope for. Only to forget his fear in astonishment,as the great shark begun to speak. It was only in his mind,the silent words reverberating in his skull,but they were filled with such awesome power and straight that he knew immediately knew who the shark was:The Shark Spirit,Eternal Hunter of The Sea who had come to his people in their most dire moment of need so long ago,thereby saving them from extinction. The Shark Spirit was sacred to all Shura. This was a voice of great power indeed. He listened awe-struck as it instructed him to forsake the old quarrels his people had with their tribal foes. They had to unite to defeat their true foes,the cursed dry landers and the only way this would ever come about was if the Shura put aside their petty fueds and united under the leadership of a great warrior,a task that would fall to none other than him for he,Shador of the Reef Shark tribe,was destined to lead his people to ultimate victory against the Sons of Acqua.  Then it vanished as suddenly as it had appeared.
 Shador awoke the next day,filled with a powerful sense of destiny. He knew what to do. The Shark Spirit had shown him the way.
 Overriding the outraged protests by the tribal elders,he made up his mind to send emissaries of the Wobegong people,proposing to share control of the ametyst deposits and kelp beds that lay at the heart  of his people's bitter quarrel with them. All he asked in return was that they be his allies. Somewhat suprised by this unexpected gesture,the chief of the Wobegong tribe agreed to convene a tribal session where both tribes would go over this proposal and reach a suitable compromise. His people too,had lost a great many warriors in battle recently.
 After hours of intense negotiations and deal making by both sides,the two tribes agreed to form a united alliance. The amethyst mines and kelp beds would be shared jointly by both. It was only at the conclusion of these negotiations that he revealed his vision to all who were assembled there. Many of them immediately proclaimed him the champion of the Shark Spirit,the one who would smite the cursed dry landers into submission. Even the Shamans were forced to accept the veracity of his vision,knowing the signs of a genuine message from the Eternal Hunter of The Sea when they heard them described in vivid detail. Signs known only to them,zelaously guarded secrets that none other than the Shamans were allowed to know. A stealthy probe of his mind by them confirmed what they already knew:It was fated that this young chieftain put an end to all the disputes that plagued his people and lead them united,to a resounding victory against the enemies of ancient time..  
 The years of peace proved to be productive for the Alliance. The population swelled and their warriors were numerous,making them without question the most powerful force among the Shura in existence. It wasn't long before they were sending heralds to smaller tribes inviting them to join the Alliance. To the surprise of none,they joined only too eagerly,knowing that they had much to gain by doing so and everything to loose. This second fact was amply demonstrated when Shador and his allies had all the members of a rebellious tribe sacrificed to the Shark Spirit when they refused to answer his call to join them,from the smalest child to the the chieftain himself.
 But his efforts to recruit allies in the coming struggle against the usurping dry landers,did stop with rallying his own people to the cause. There were powerful forces that he could rely upon if only they were made aware of the spoils that awaited them if they but joined him. For there were still renegade Krakens around,resentful of the success their larger kin had enjoyed with the inhabitants of the Kossier Islands. They had no people to worship them as gods,no adoring population to rule over which would provide them with a constant supply of amethyst and willing meals. Those bloated,envious monsters of the deep would have to sacrifice nothing by joining his struggle. Nay,they would only be too willing to join him in his wars against the dry landers. Envoys were dispatched bearing gifts of amethyst and news soon trickled in that at least forty of them were willing to fight by the side of his forces.
 On the sacred day that Jovians commemorate Jove's chastisement of the fallen Ashervati Sargash,the Alliance launched  a blistering assault against a major fleet of the DeMadden Company stationed off the Fire Peaks. In the dead of night as the crews slumbered in their cabins,glutted with roast pig and grog,the Shura and their allies attacked with the ferocity of demons spawned in the bowels of the night sea.
 Hundreds of Shura wielding giant stone rams measuring 15 feet by twenty five and led by Shador himself,smashed massive holes in the wooden hull of many a ship,causing a great number of galleys to sink to the bottom immediately even as other smaller ships were pulled apart into matchwood by ravenous Krakens hungry for an easy feast. But the worst be far,were the hordes of undead Sea Spiders  clambering over the decks to sow terror and death among the confused and  terrified ranks of sailors,many of whom were so dominated by utter horror at the sight of those vile abominations,that they could only watch rooted to the spot as this decaying doom came upon them. The Shamans of the Alliance had been busy,summoning these horrors and putting them in their thrall,in preparation for the grand attack that had been carefully planned for so long.
  That was about a month ago. More ships have been attacked since,regardless of whether they be merchant,Regulator or DeMadden. Many have perished and precious cargoes of amethyst and other riches have been lost,a most painful loss to bear. Worse still,there have been a rash of dreadful stories of entire costal villages being overrun by armies of monsters that have forced the residents into  hithero unthinkable state where they are worked and eaten just like so much cattle or pigs. Yes,eaten...
  In an omnious sign of the things to come for everyone,vessels dispatched by the DeMadden Company to verify these stories have never come back. To date,no less than eight ships of medium size have been lost to these voyages. And in the temples of both Jove and Ulamnia,some clerics clutch their rosaries to their breasts and mutter fearfully about the return of the Old Ones..
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