llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: The Last War  (Read 74937 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #625 on: March 12, 2006, 09:20:30 PM »
Riding on one of the Black Hand's best stallions, Captain Kraggis cursed loudly at the men.  "Come on you milk-drinking teat-lickers!  Put your backs into it!" 

The men cursed in return and heaved on the heavy wheels of the catapault.  Slowly it groaned and moved toward Halbad.  Their backs strained, and muscles heaved with the great weight. 

There had been little success in capturing the wild horses that escaped the onslaught of the tiny demons only a day before.  There were quite a number of horses running around, and quite a few had escaped outside the city...  but they seemed somehow untameable.  Something had changed in them.  They were not like the domesticated horses of the Black Hand Riders.

In the ordinary course of things, men use their "superior minds" to subdue the clearly superior strength of a horse.  One man can do it, if he thinks ahead, and prepares a sturdy snare.  Once snagged, a dumb horse is easy to capture, hobble, and beat without mercy until it is broken and ready to train to the commands of the man, however harsh they may be.  That is how it is.  That is the way it should be.

But something was wrong here.  Very wrong.  These horses did not fall into the simple traps and snares prepared for them.  They did not ignorantly run into the corrals.  They did not simply run from men who waved their arms or shouted.  Not at all.  When cornered, they fought to the death, trampling and kicking the men who attempted to capture them with a primal fury that was never before seen by any of the "experts" within the Legion.

When they kicked, these horses struck out accurately with the bone-crushing potential that has always been within them from the dawn of history... but had never before been demonstrated before men.  Where did they get this attitude?  It was uncanny.  Unnatural.  Frightening.  Dozens of men were crippled, even killed, in trying to subdue the horses.  It got to the point that none of the Equus-Masters would go near any of the raging animals.  A few of the beasts were penned up, and several were used for crossbow practice, but most got away.

So, the men of the Legion, with as many able-bodied conscripts as were still alive, sweated and swore as they moved the siege engines toward Halbad without the benefit of all those horses. 

The men shot angry glances at the horses who grazed on the plains just outside of bow range.  You could almost hear the horse laughs...

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #626 on: March 13, 2006, 05:45:54 PM »
When all the light in the area had gone out Holly ran over to where she thought Tigra was but she was gone and so was Arthur. Holly felt around. She felt something big but it wasn't the right thing. The big thing struck out and managed to smack Holly in the face. Holly flew back and landed with a thump on the floor. Holly kept to the floor and waited for the light to come back. There is was light flashed into view and she was able to run quickly towards the large hill she had come down from. Up she went and there was Kethal "So you found it alright! Where's the others?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile Tigra and Arthur were riding off in the opposite direction. Tigra looked round for Holly and the others and also for some of her other horses. "Where exactly are we off to young man" Said tigra stopping and looking into Arthurs eye's "Are you not supposed to be going to the secret entrance? Because if you are your going the wrong way" Tigra whinnied slightly and turned in the opposite direction.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline POG

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #627 on: March 13, 2006, 05:53:54 PM »
Rory, Baldwin, and Grumple moved through the streets with a combination of speed and stealth closing in on the castle grounds with haste.  They ran along the ivy covered walls surrounding the castle until they came to area of the hidden entrance.  Problem was Grumple was the only one who knew exactly where it was.  The brothers looked at the troll expectantly...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Nobody

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 466
  • Awards Item Guild Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #628 on: March 14, 2006, 09:54:39 AM »
Arthur gaped at the horse for a moment, and then, with a cry of surprise, he fell off the horse a second time. The ground came quickly up to meet him, but this time the landing was not quite so hard as before, and he was able to breath only five o ten seconds after the landing.

When he was finally able to stand, he adressed the horse, something he would never have believed he would do a year ago. The things that he had seen changed the pssibilities that reality had to offer.

"You know where Kethal is? Lets go."

It wasn't until he was halfway back up on the horse that he realized what he had just said, but it didn't matter any more. He had to reach-His thoughts were interrupted as Tigra took off towards the others.

He looked at the sky, now clouded over with what he hoped would not be rain, and he thought of retribution. The memories of his dreams followed him now like a shoud of fog that clung to him. Unconsciously, he rubbed the ring on his finger...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2006, 10:02:34 AM by Nobody »
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #629 on: March 14, 2006, 07:39:33 PM »
Grumple stroked his chin thoughtfully with his left hand, and tried to remember where Hol-lee had come out from the castle.  On the castle side, it had been a hidden wooden door, but he had been far away, up on the tower at the time.  And he was smaller then, so things here looked smaller now.  Where had Hol-lee come out?  Where?  Grumple reached up with his right hand, to rub his head, too, in case it would help the thinking process.  It didn't...  It hurt.  The battle-axe Grumple had in his hand "klunked" on his head, sledge-end first.  Um, yeah.  Grumple had forgotten he had picked it up before he ran from the Twins.

Still, as a man freezing in the cold can sometimes coax a dying ember into the flicker of flame, Grumple's troubled brain finally remembered.  (Or maybe the hit on the head helped after all.)  "Dere," he pointed with a knobby finger.  "Door."  It was up a hill behind a clump of small trees in the City Centre, consisting of a concealed brick wall that was a mason's work of art.  Not a mark on the wall to indicate a lock or latch.  Ingeniously hinged to swing open when pressed just right. 

Ingenious, of course, meant "`Way, WAY beyond a troll". 

There were noises of hot pursuit coming up behind them.  Baldwin said impatiently to the troll, "Well, how do you open it?"

Grumple shrugged and picked his nose thoughtfully.  He had no idea.

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #630 on: March 14, 2006, 10:07:55 PM »
Rory had been ignoring the others, his face an impassive mask as he studied the doorway.  He fell into the mage sight.  It was too easy.  He pressed with both his hands and his mind.  They door flew open.  The quartet scampered in just as a score of soldiers came careening around the corner, just in time to view the unbroken wall of stone and trailing ivy.

OOC:  Hey guys.  I'm leaving tommorow to visit the UK for about nine days.  I don't know if I'll be able to post during that time.  Rory and Baldwin are along for the ride.  I assumed Odat accompanied us.  Dream go ahead and control Rory and Baldwin if you need to.  I'll try to post if I can find a computer though...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #631 on: March 15, 2006, 05:59:25 AM »
Holly turned quickly to see Rory, Baldwin, Grumple and odat followed closely by a couple hundred guards up the hill and into the secret door "So i guess Grumple remembered where it was then" Holly said quietly to no one in particular. She walked forward slightly and then stopped as thunder seemed to pour out of the ground. It shook terribly. Holly looked over to the hill top and there was Tigra her hooves pounding heavily on the ground and not far behind but five of the other horses which had escaped. The soldiers where working furiously to keep the secret door open. Holly took her sword out of it's scabbard and waved it in the air. Tigra turned and saw the glint of the weapon in the sun. She whinnied, Reared and charged forward into the group of Legion at the door. It was a nasty sight men flew each and everyway as the horses kicked bit and trampled the soldiers into the ground. The door closed with a bang and it was no more, disappered into thin air. Soon those soldiers who were still alive had fled and others lay dead on the floor never to move again. Holly walked up to the door and it swang open immediatly. If anything Rory Baldwin Grumple and Odat may have heard the tiniest scuffle outside the door. Holly stood in the doorway looking in and smiling. "Well i think it's about time to save our friend right?" She walked into the door and through the other door not far from the beggining hopefully being followed by the others. Tigra had managed to squeeze herself into the hole as well it may be that Arthur is knocked off her back because she is quite tall. Holly pushed the other door open and walked out onto the large courtyard opposite the castle. This wasn't going to be easy.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3481
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #632 on: March 16, 2006, 03:49:00 PM »
"Cut him down." The king said, his face cold and haggard. The ermine cape seemed rumpled and stained, not surprising considering that the castellian and the Headmistress of the Linens were among the devoured dead and shamblers. Tantus sagged on the rack, lost to the peace of unconsciousness. "you have done well Royal Inquisitor. Many men lack the conviction to use the tools of persuasion with enthusiasm. Skill can be taught, but there is a certain mettle the art requires." The King drew his sword, a silver blade with a large ruby set in the pommel. "Enough games, he knew nothing."

"Milord, the creature muttered some sort of warning..." Damar said.

"Lies, no doubt." The King said. With a hard jab, he pierced the bugbear through the chest. The blade sank mercilessly into the warm flesh, blood bubbling up from the wound. The bugbear spasmed, arms flailing as a new pain, seared into his body. The king was dumbfounded, despite the flailing, no cry issued from its broken lips, and indeed the foul beast looked content. The King jerked the blade free and swung the sword, cutting deep into the bugbear's neck. The blow lacked the power of a healthy man's arm and the head did not come away clean, instead the sword caught in the bones of the neck and stuck. The king cursed and tried to jerk the sword free again, only pulling the creature forward, spraying him across the face and arm with fountains of arterial blood.

The king released the blade, wiping frantically at his face, wiping the blood from his eyes and nose. Damar was pale as the king kicked at the corpse of the bugbear until his sword came free. He glared at the blade and then at Damar, after a moment the young former guard understood and gathered the bloody blade up from the floor and presented it to his king. The King took it, sniffed indignantly and left the room in a swirl of grubby cape.

Damar was left alone with the body...



Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #633 on: March 16, 2006, 06:50:48 PM »
OCC:  NOOO!  Grumple was almost there!  You brute!   <whine, sob!>

IC:  Grumple was in a hurry.  Many precious minutes had passed since the carved bone in his pocket had awakened him earlier this morning.  The gnawing in his mind (no, not in his stomach this time) came from knowing Tantus needed help.

There was a guard standing with his back to them as they emerged carefully from the hidden doorway.  Grumple sprang forward and covered the 10-foot distance with a single jump... but the 'chink' of chain mail gave the troll away.  The man turned.

He had only a split second to realize a large, mail-clad knight of a particularly ugly order was dropping out of the sky at him.  The next moment, the flat of Grumple's axe knocked him unconscious. 

Looking around but seeing no other guards, Grumple left the others behind.  Time was running out.  Grumple sprang back up impatiently to the castle wall, and quickly started climbing.  Handy things, those sticky toes.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #634 on: March 16, 2006, 07:18:51 PM »
Lord Belzar drank the last of the boy's blood from the bowl at the exact moment he died.  Perfect timing, as always.  Belzar wiped the crimson smear from his lip as he stood up.  He had to bring Phase Two of his plan into effect to crush Halbad.  There was work to be done.

But something felt wrong.  He still felt less than fully restored.  He should have felt beyond energized, more than fully alive with the strength of a young man combined with his.  Belzar summoned a mirror to hand and examined his face.  Better.  The drained wrinkles of hideous old age were nearly gone, and his dark and cruelly handsome features were returned, the skin taunt, the hair grown in black and shiny again. 

But, no, there were traces of the wrinkles, which should have been fully gone.  Worse, the traces were starting to show signs of deepening.  One or two gray hairs were still there... no... there were three, then four, then five.

"CURSE THAT MELGRITTZIGYM TO HELL!" he shouted, then realized that's where the demon was now, no doubt, and probably laughing at him as well.

What was he to do?  What?  Belzar realized he needed some way to stem the loss of his life force while he found way to appease or defeat the demon.

"My lord," hissed Voramis.  "The men I encountered in the forest coming here are now inside the castle walls.  Many of my own noted them as they entered through a hidden door.  And there seems to be a troll climbing the West Tower."

"A Troll!"  Belzar's mind raced.  That would do it!  He had to capture the troll, then...

"Find this troll.  Bind it.  I have need of it.  Go."  he commanded to the Kras-Minion.

Voramis silently gave a short bow and left the room, moving silently. 

Belzar thought, "I have much to prepare before I receive my guest."







"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #635 on: March 17, 2006, 08:10:50 AM »
Holly watched as Grumple threw himself on the guard and then up the wall. Holly smiled slightly before running to the main door and throwing it open banging it into the wall. Inside a young guard was standing at the bottom of the stairs. Holly grabbed the guard and thrust him into the wall "Where is the king hidding the bugbear?" The guard wimpered slightly as holly pushed him harder into the wall "i i i don't know!" Holly launched the man across the floor and followed close behind skidding along the polished floor. "I'll ask you again where?" The guard pointed shakily up the stairs "In the tallest tower" He panted Holly dropped him back to the floor and began to jump up the stairs two at a time. It took her time but she finally got to the top of the stairs. Holly ran forward into a spider web hanging from the celing. She coughed slightly and brushed it out of her face and countinued to run down the long hallway towards the torture chamber in the tallest tower.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3481
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #636 on: March 17, 2006, 03:29:21 PM »
Damar looked up, his hands and clothing splattered with blood. He had a haunted look in his eyes as he looked at Holly and her entourage. "I'm sorry, the King has slain the one named Tantus." Damar said, holding the plain medallion of St. Logan that Tantus wore around is neck. The chain was cut in half and the metal all but hidden under a crust of blood. "He told me you would come."


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #637 on: March 18, 2006, 07:11:58 AM »
Grumple followed the scent of his friend's blood.  It was a terrible thing to smell, and so much of it.  Even before Grumple clambered in the window, he knew.

There was Tantus' body, cut down and lying on the floor.  The bugbear's head was beside it, eyes open and staring off in the distance, as if seeing in his last instant the beckoning hand of his Lord.

Grumple roared once, then collapsed over Tantus' body.  The thoughts rushed unbidden into the troll's simple mind.  Grumple's friend.  The one who cared.  The one who saved Grumple's life from the terrible, terrible spear.  The only one who ever understood Grumple.

And Grumple had failed again.  Grumple had not been there to save his blood friend.  A few minutes too late.  A few too many enemies, as before.  As before when Grumple had failed to save Elwina, and her father.  Memories long suppressed welled up and overflowed.

Grumple pressed the lifeless head to the severed neck, and bent over it, grumpling loudly and grinding his teeth in sorrow and shame.  He pulled out the bone statue from his pocket and gripped it firmly into Tantus mangled hand.  Grumple sat cross-legged on the floor and rocked back and forth, grumbling and grinding, back and forth.  Black oily troll tears dripped down off his severed nose and onto Tantus face, splashing and mingling with the blood smeared everywhere.

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3481
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #638 on: March 18, 2006, 07:50:50 AM »
Damar was taken back but the display of trollish grief and he felt his own face darken with shame. His king had commanded him to do something, and he had. But the bugbear was a holy man, and Damar knew it now. Should he survive there would have to be some sort of atonement made. He looked to Holly.

"Milady Mayleaf, I revoke my alliegance to the King of Halbad and would pledge myself to your service," Damar said. "The king is no longer fit to rule."


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #639 on: March 18, 2006, 10:27:44 AM »
"You did what you were ordered to do. That is what any trustworthy allie would. your service is excepted" Holly looked to the floor tears welling up in her eye's a huge lump in her throat "He shall pay for this" Holly turned and swept out of the tower sword in hand anger in her eye's, her cheeks red with frustration and determination. Her cloak swept out behind her as her long legs took her striding down the stairs towards the main throne room of the castle. He would be there and if he wasn't she would find him. She would hunt him down and she would kill him.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #640 on: March 19, 2006, 08:38:41 PM »
As the vile Voramis glided down the hallway to the stairwell, he suddenly stopped.  An urgent, nearly silent message vibrated toward him in whispers, in pulses of unseen energy, from various spiders up in the tower just ahead and high above where he stood.

"the life-filled she-human with the light silk who moves like a he-human is up here with the taste-bad swamp creature. she coming down fast fast much warmth-energy-juicy-sustinence passes by we-hungry. too bad..."

Like individual humans, individual spiders know very little and accomplish even less.  Their interests lie in what moves and can be trapped in a web or successfully hunted.  Unlike most insects, (and like most humans), spiders speak to each other and discuss such mundane matters to no end.   But until they were summoned into a single form by dark magic, they had no collective purpose.  Voramis was such a summoned form, a refined 4th-level summoning; with a combined intelligence equal to most humans, and superior to many.  When joined to the vast information network provided by the distributed spiders in the nearby area, his cunning and alien ways of thought made him a formidable enemy.

Kras-Minion Voramis instantly understood the message meant that Princess Holly Mayleaf was decending the tower stairs he was about to climb, and that Lord Belzar who had summoned him into this human form would be extremely interested in capturing her as well as the troll.

Perhaps even MORE than the troll.

In two seconds, the cloth covering Voramis' "body" had collapsed upon the heavy wooden floor of this level of the castle.  The "body" flowed out and up the walls at a remarkable speed, then it moved into the tower.  Thousands upon thousands of spinnarets spewed forth as one, creating webbing which was, ounce for ounce, stronger than steel.  The billowing cloud formed across the stairwell with several feet of sticky, fibrous goo, cutting off the exit downward through the tower into the castle.

When she decended this far down, Holly Mayleaf would have to leave the tower and move across this corridor high in the castle wall toward the room where Belzar was waiting.

In only a few more seconds, the figure reformed into the clothing, and the crawling mass became man-shaped once more.  Voramis.  He ran as fast as possible to warn Lord Belzar that his salvation approached. 

Oh, but oh... if only Lord Belzar would save a taste of this one -- this perfect she-human -- for faithful Voramis.  How delicious her juices would be...
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #641 on: March 20, 2006, 12:27:12 PM »
Lord Belzar looked up from the collection of items he had summoned into the secret room to see Voramis burst in from the corridor.  "My Lord!" the rasping inhuman voice hissed into his brain, "the princess you sought is coming this way.  She will be here... in moments."

Straightening up quickly, Belzar smiled wickedly.  "Excellent.  Excellent.  This is really so fortunate.  Go now.  Seal off the other end of the corridor so she must enter here.  Do not be seen." 

He grinned to himself.  "We have much to talk about, Holly Mayleaf and I."

  -------------------------

Someone else was thinking about Holly Mayleaf.

On horseback, Captain Kraggis led the procession of sweaty men dragging the heavy siege engines into the now-cleared North Gate of Halbad.  Under their breaths, the men cursed at him and his horse, but he did not allow any of the sturdy mounts of the Black Hand Riders to be used to drag the catapaults along.  No, no, his men rode on fighting horses, not to be confused with lowly draft animals.

That was the excuse.  The truth was he didn't like the way the horses were behaving.  More skittery than usual.  Harder and harder to control.  More... independent, it seemed.

"DOWN!" he snapped at his charger, Nightstorm.  "WHOA!"  He yanked on the reins hard;  the bit dug into the horse's soft tissue in the back of its mouth.  The horse fought, then settled down, but only a little.  And this was the sharpest bridle and bit set that the Equus Master had available this morning!

"D****t!" he said to himself.  "What's got into the horses?"  Whatever it was, it was spreading like a disease from the wild horses to the docile draft animals, and now to the cavalry mounts his men rode.  If these horses became any more able to think for themselves, they'd all have to be broken again and retrained... or killed -- assuming Kraggis could find men brave enough to try. 

Deep down, he knew Princess Mayberry (or whoever she called herself) was somehow to blame for the horses acting up here in Halbad.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2006, 08:32:13 AM by Dream »
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #642 on: March 22, 2006, 06:56:23 AM »
Holly jumped down the last two steps which lead to the corridor where lord belzar was but she didn't know that. In front of her was what looked like a giant spider-web blocking her path downwards Holly grunted with annoyance as she turned to go down the long corridor lit only with a few torches in brackets on the wall. She had never liked this corridor and had avoided going down it at all costs but now was a emergency. Holly ran quickly down the corridor only to come to another block at the end she was trapped. Holly spun round wildly and stared at either end of the corridor. She walked the length slowly looking for door's on either side. The only door she found was a large oak one with strange symbols carved on the outsides of the rim. Holly nervously pushed the door lightly and it swung open like a huge gust of wind had just gone past her blowing it open with a click of the finger. It was dark inside and Holly really didn't want to go in but she had no other choice. Holly pulled her sword out of it's holster and entered the room. The darkness closed in on her as the door slammed shut behind. Holly turned quickly and blindly tried to find the door handle but it seemed to of disappeared. This wasn't good thought Holly as she stood in the darkness waiting for her eye's to adjust to the light change.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #643 on: March 23, 2006, 08:29:52 AM »
A low baritone voice quietly spoke in the echoing silence, sounding like it was perhaps 30 feet away.  "We meet, Princess".  Suddenly, without any movement, a number of lit candles appeared in holders set around the perimeter of the large room, probably 50 x 100 feet.  It was sparsely furnished with a heavy chair resembling a small throne on a platform at one end.  There were two heavy wooden tables and a few solid chairs against the walls at Holly's end.  The heavy wooden door behind her had a tiny hole for a door-handle, but strangely, the door handle was missing.

The strangest thing was that Holly knew this room didn't belong here in Castle Halbad.  It appeared to have been brought here, walls, floor, furnishings and all from her father's castle in Palaten.  To be precise, from the inner Keep.  Even the paneling on the walls had familiar wood grain; the tapestries were the same as well; even one of her father.

Up on the "throne" sat a middle-aged man, his hand on his chin, evaluating her with steely eyes.  Average size.  Jet-black hair with a few gray streaks showing.  He wore ornate red and black robes with several pockets, but no armour, and no weapons were apparent except a knife in a sheath at his waist.  There were a number of shields and weapons of various types mounted on the walls around the room.  Next to the chair and around on the dias were numerous items, rather cluttered.

"I am Lord Belzar," he spoke again.  "The Emperor commanded that I bring the Legion to Palaten, which I have done.  As well, to Halbad, which I have done."

He shifted gently in his seat, and continued.  "Halbad will fall and the surrounding country in all directions then will be under my Lordship.  Your Uncle will fall as well.  He is too old and stubborn to serve me.  But..."

He stared even more intently into her eyes, as if trying to reach inside with his message, and smiled maliciously, "...You could rule here, as Queen.  You were supposed to marry some prince or other anyway, and settle down for once in your undisciplined life.  The groom was chosen to take your hand, the marriage date was set, but I understand you... spurned his "love"."  Belzar chuckled.

"So impetuous.  But here is your chance to redeem yourself from the wild passions of youth.  You can still have the throne, and marry any one or more of the thousands who will seek your hand." 

"Two conditions: 
One.  You will consent to be summoned by me at any time or place. 
Two.  You will obey my commands.  I will not make them often, but you must be prepared to carry them out without question.

As a token of your wisdom and full obedience, right now, bring the troll here.  As you will be mine, he will be mine.  But your existence as the new Queen will be much more pleasant than his!  Ha, ha!  More pleasant indeed."

His eyes narrowed again.  "Do not think that you can hurt me.  I am hundreds of years old and have dealt with whelps such as you and your wretched rag-tag friends for centuries before you were born."

As if to prove his point, he waved his hand, and the portcullis from the castle at Halbad suddenly appeared halfway down the room between them, imbedded in the wood and stone walls sideways, cutting the room in two, and preventing her from getting any closer.  Holly could see through the interlocking iron bars as he spoke from the other end.

"Go now.  Bring the troll to me.  Then we can, shall we say, 'work out the details'."

The door handle suddenly appeared in the door behind her and the door opened with a 'click!'

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #644 on: March 23, 2006, 10:18:16 AM »
"And what if i don't" Replied Holly defiantly watching the door swing open. "What do you do then? What if me and my 'Rag-Tag friends'" She said waving her hand absently through the air "are closer than you thought. I know if i do this then something will happen wether it be good or bad i do not know." Holly paused her eye's glaring "why should i serve you? What have you done for me?" Holly turned to leave the room.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #645 on: March 23, 2006, 08:12:25 PM »
"Why serve me?" Belzar called out after her.  "Because it is better than have your juices sucked from your body while you sleep."

"And I know where your friends are.  The ones you met in the forest.  The would-be wizard and the one with the glowing sword, and the others.  They are here, in the castle.  I know all."

"So go, and make your decision.  Protect your friends and you will all die.  Or decide to rule here at my command and live as a Queen.  Be wise.  Bring me the troll."

  --------------

After Holly left, Voramis glided into the room.  "You let her go."

Belzar glanced at the dark form.  "For now.  Later, when I have forced her to violate every shred of conscience within her idealistic blonde head, I shall feed her to Melgrittzigym.  He shall have that which he demands, but the taste will be bitter and stick in his throat.  Still, by the terms of Alhambra-Zurleg, he will be forced to release me.  My status will be elevated in the eyes of the demons, and I shall be greater yet."

"Prepare for the troll."
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Nobody

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 466
  • Awards Item Guild Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #646 on: March 24, 2006, 08:41:46 AM »
If one had been observant, they would have noticed that Kethal stayed in the exact center of every room and hallway, and her expression was worried.

Odat, of course, certainly did not notice. He was busy stumbling about some more, as normal. It really did seem to defy the laws of physics that he never fell. He almost fell again and again, but never quite fell all the way down.

"Dice?" was his only word, as he brought out some intricately carved six sided dice made from what appeared to be a metal and clay mix.

_________________________________________________ _________________________

Meanwhile, outside the castle, Arthur waited. He never was able to find the door. Only moments ago he had been in a quiet rage that they had left him behind. Kethal would not have done something like that, but maybe some of the others had tricked her. He intended on finding out who.

However, he was no longer concerned with that. He was reading, completely absorbed with his new book. It was fascinating. The amount of things that Healing and Necromancy had in common were uncanny. He did not actually want to know how to practice necromancy, could never even imagine such a thing, but already he had found four different ways to improve his own weaves.

And, he could stop the undead if they ever returned. He could break the bonds that animated those corpses. The reading was slow though. He had already been at this for half an hour, and he had only got through maybe a hundred of those large, thick tomed pages with small print. And it was only slowing down...
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #647 on: March 24, 2006, 07:47:56 PM »
"My lord," rasped Voramis.  "Someone new is in the castle.  A she-human, in armour, but, she does not seem human to those who watch."

"If she is a danger, then have her bitten and be done with her.  If she is not a danger, then do not bother me" Belzar replied.  He had summoned a large and extremely heavy rack from some torture chamber.  Its heavy leather straps and iron chains were streaked with old blood stains from prior use.

With a wave of his hand, he positioned it against one wall.  It instantly winked out from where it was in the center of the room and reappeared next to a tapestry of a royal-looking man in armour with a crown and a large sword.

Concentrating, Belzar then closed his eyes, and spoke several words under his breath while holding his hands before him with the fingers in certain positions.

There was a glowing spot on the floor that grew, and then the light took shape and swelled upward, forming into a bog-shambler.   It had the appearance of a huge mass of wet vegetation, dripping from its many woody limbs.  Leafy vines twirled and shifted about as it turned and "saw" its surroundings.  Focusing somehow on Lord Belzar, it stopped moving in place except for a few vines which continued to wave slowly.

<"I require your service again, Atta-frema-vernus,"> said the wizard, speaking in the seldom-heard language of the shamblers.  <"I am expecting company, including a Troll.  If my visitors become belligerent, you may devour any but the Troll, which must be clamped to this rack.  Understood?">

About a ton of rustling greens and browns shook with agreement.

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #648 on: March 25, 2006, 07:38:30 PM »
Lieutenant Abraxos had been assigned to personal orderly duty in service to General (Centurian) Fellstrom.  "Sir! I mean, Your Honor, I mean, Your Centurionship!... he stammered.

"Shut up, you idiot." said General Fellstrom quietly, but firmly.  Lieutenant Abraxos bit his lip.

"Where is Lord Belzar?  Why haven't we heard from him?" the commander of a Legion thought out loud to himself.  "I was supposed to meet with him today to coordinate the final assault on the castle."  It was already 5:00 in the afternoon.

"Lieutenant Abraxos, here is an order.  Set twenty men to build an enormous bonfire outside of the castle's main gates, outside of bowshot.  Make sure these men are very muscular and good looking.  Hmmm.  Yes.  Have them wear red and black.  And, oh, yes!  Have them stake twenty beautiful young girls from Halbad rather close to the fire so that they twist and squirm in the darkness tonight.  Make sure they're virgins -- assuming any virgins above the age of three exist in this godforsaken dung-heap.  If the men get frisky with the captives, so much the better.  Make sure there are lots of soldiers about to cheer them on."

"That should bring out Lord Belzar.  Don't you think?"  He suddenly looked at Abraxos.

Lieutenant Abraxos stammered out, "Sir, Yes Sir, I mean, Right, Sir!"  He bit his lip again so hard that it bled and practically ran from the room to carry out the order.

Centurion Fellstrom sat in the balcony of his "appropriated" manor-house, staring upward at the enormous castle gates.  Without looking down at all, he stroked the long, razor-sharp broadsword he held across his lap.  With a "Zzzzinggg!" he repeatedly slid an oil-soaked sharpening stone along it until the blade could -- without any damage whatsoever -- shave an errant whisker like soft butter from a freckled face. 

"Zzzzinggg!"

"Zzzzinggg!"


"Zzzzinggg!"

"Where Are you, Balfors Belzar?" he murmured to himself between strokes.  "Where are you, thou "Dark Lord" of the unholy "Rictus of Excratian"? 

"Show yourself.  We have business to attend to, you and I."

The absent-minded sharpening continued...  "Zzzzinggg!"


« Last Edit: March 25, 2006, 10:31:59 PM by Dream »
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
Re: The Last War
« Reply #649 on: March 26, 2006, 08:34:52 AM »
Holly walked slowly from the chamber. The thought of becoming queen creeping up on her like a thief in the black of night. But the thought of betraying her friends haunted her even worse. Holly thought quickly staring blankly ahead as she walked through the castle. Suddenly there came a bump as Tigra jumped down from one of the upper stairs "Holly there you are been looking for you everywhere" Holly didn't listen. She carried on walking silently up the stairs towards the highest tower. Tigra looked at the floor "whats wrong Holly?" She asked pulling along side her and turning her light brown eye's towards Holly. Holly stopped and looked at Tigra "I'm so confused" Came Holly's voice small and timid. "I have met with lord Belzar and he has asked me to do something! And if i don't do it then the others will be killed is it selfish of me not to do it?" Holly looked up thoughts flooding her brain. Tigra looked wisely at holly and began to talk "It is only selfish if you are doing the thing for yourself! if you are helping another and are not getting anything for yourself then no it's not selfish. You have to look in your heart Holly and ask yourself what should you do! Always trust the instinct of your heart not your head!" Holly glanced down at the floor and smiled slightly to herself. she knew her friends words were true. And she knew what she needed to do.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"