Morn of War

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Morn of War

Unread postby Nekogami » Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:18 pm

<.<;;; Because crackhead people like my fantasy. Started this freshman year of highschool.

Chapter One
Corrs bolted upright in his bed. An ill feeling had suddenly washed over him. His cool blue eyes searched the room yet feeling did not go away with the assurance that he was alone. The beginning of a cold sweat on his wrinkled forehead spread to his flushed cheeks. His breathing was labored and quick. Corrs closed his eyes for a moment and swallowed before opening them again.

The ancient man laid back in his bed and stared at the ceiling, his thin grey hair sticking to his scalp. His stomach still churned and his nerves were tense. He sensed a strong wrongness in the air. His dreams were wracked with horrible images of death and destruction. All of the images seemed so life-like they threatened his very sanity. What had caused such horrible images to come to him?

He forced his breathing to slow and his heart to calm so that he could listen to the sounds of the night. Corrs' hearing was still sharper than any younger than him but the only noise was that of the water clock an the occasional guard going about his rounds. Nothing out of the ordinary. He paused for a moment and searched the room once more, to be certain that there was nothing that he had overlooked the first time. The window above his desk illuminated the room. The moment caused the innocent shadows to look eerie but not dangerous.

Corrs swung his legs from the bed and rested his feet on the fur rug. The night air chilled his old bones and they creaked in protest but he was still strong, still quick. He took several deep breaths and grabbed his cloak from the chair beside his bed and wrapped around his slumping shoulders. Again he hesitated and looked towards the desk, he scratched his head. Resolutely, the old man stood and walked over to the desk. There was a sheet of clean parchment and an ink well placed nearby. The sand grains across the surface danced and twinkled in the moonlight. Smiling at the reassuring items, he looked upwards at the clear spring night. The curtains fluttered with the push of a light breeze. Corrs closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, letting the smell of the sweet grass and wildflowers comfort him even more. He opened his eyes to look up at the pinprick stars and the constellations they formed. Corrs' smile faded as the ill feeling soon had a name, Darath. The constellation of a harpy with a single red eye. The whole constellation glowed a shimmering red as did the largest and brightest constellation of a dragon, Hargathian, the High Lord God. A harpy and dragon locked in a stellar battle.

Hargathian's stars pulsed then returned to their infallible pearline glow. Darath's stars remained red like smoldering embers for a time longer. Corrs knew the dark god well. Better than many would think, they shared a past- a dark, painful past. Darath never let any grudge go without serious penalty. Even the High Lord God, who feared no one, tried to keep on his good side. Though Darath, or any god for that matter, would never directly harm the Elder god, Darath could make life in the heavens and on the earthly plane very miserable. Corrs smiled without humor. He had already paid for his insolence and paid dearly for it.

Corrs felt his legs give, as he leaned on the stool at his desk to steady himself. He sighed heavily. The effect of the omen grew stronger. He looked to the firmamment once more calling upon his powers. Power that linked him to his past greatness, a resourceful ability to see into the heavens. His eyes became two empty white orbs as he sent his soul into the heavens searching to see who attened the godly meeting. Darath was not there amongst the others nor was he off sulking in a remote corner glaring at them, plotting a devious rebuttle. His absence only seemed to better the mood. All were glad that he had gone. Corrs closed eyes and slowly opened them, his eyes returning to their icy blue. He briefly rubbed his eyes then glanced hopefully out of the window but hope was not available as he still saw the embers of Darath, perhaps, growing in intensity.

* * *
A shadowed figure stood in a secluded corner of a dark room. The chamber was small and only one window on the west wall offered light. It was late-afternoon, the small slit in the rock offered little illumination. There was a small wooden chair but it's rickety legs would not support anyone's weight. It had out-lived it's usefulness a long time ago and sat against the wall, forlorn and forgotten. A tall, well-muscled guard walked in. His armor of oiled leather creaked when he moved. His tan, weathered skin was taut about his muscles, gleaming. He was unsmiling when he entered. Alerting his lord's readiness, he cleared his throat. The visitor turned slightly, regarding him from under hood the as one might a companion in idle talk. The guard nodded curtly and moved aside, clearing a way through the door. Words were scarce in this town. The gray-cloaked form moved silently and gracefully out of the room. The guard took them down the modestly decorated hallway to a large study.

The room was, like most areas in the keep, not overly decorative. There was little furniture, a small oak table littered with papers and a chair, and a small wooden bed with a straw mat and blanket. A few walls were covered in weapons ranging from swords to axes. The far wall contained only a fireplace with the crest of the Warrior-mage Guild: the goddess of magic Druya riding an armored dragon. Its gold edges glinted in the warm firelight.

Curled up by the fireplace was a riverlion, old and battle scarred, much like its familiar who sat beside him on his haunches warming skeletal hands freckled with age spots. Though the hands were still as fatal as any younger warrior. He gave the large cat a gentle pat and stood, paying the others little mind. Sitting on a tall stool, he stared into the blaze, his blue eyes dreaming.

After a long pause, the figure coughed and moved forward a step. "Lord?" a prominent female voice inquired. "You summoned me?"

Corrs turned, his wrinkled face to greet her. "Hello my dear. Come. I have summoned you, but business shall wait. Come and sit with me."

Upon stepping in range of the firelight, the stranger become the half-elf, Daril Skylance, her royal blood slight but recognizable. Unlike many elves she lacked the fair skin but instead was a deep brown. In perfect contrast was her long, silvery hair that cascaded down her shoulders and back. About her slender neck as a silver griffin's claw, a shaman's gift inherited from her mother. Other than the pendant she was clad in nearly all leather, for the constant travel she endured. She wore a velvety deerskin vest and a white shirt that ballooned at the shoulders and dipped slightly to her chest. She was not in a hurry to find a husband as others her age were, so she kept her breasts protectively hidden, usefull in the right areas. A short leather skirt covered her slender hips with a belt able to hold numerous daggers and pouches hugged her waist. She wore high boots that were clean and shined in the dancing light. Hidden, a tattoo of the guild seal was burned into her shoulder. It gained her entry to many places.

Sitting on a nearby chair, her forest eyes studied the fire for a few moments. They were silent lost in their own thoughts. Corrs sighed and looked at her. A beautiful and deadly siren. "Would you like tea, Daril? The autumn cools the air and the bones with it," he offered casually.

The half-elf looked away from the dancing flames and smiled slightly. "I'm nearly a woman, my lord. Wine would warm me better." The old man nodded and stood, much to his body's chagrin.

"Oh. My body isn't what it used to be. I find it harder and harder these days to get it about," he mused, pulling the gold crest aside revealing a pantry. He squinted at the labels before finally taking a red bottle. In his free hand, he grabbed two glasses.

"Nearly a woman indeed," he chuckled carefully pouring the clear bubbling liquid into one of the glasses. "You are a woman. Just as stunning as you mother. If not more so."

Daril took the glass he handed her with a gracious nod, clasping the cup in both of her hands. She took a small sip. The wine warmed her through. Her cheeks flushed. Corrs finished pouring his glass and took a sip as well. He looked at her, into her staring beryls and instantly knew that something troubled her.

He looked into the fire. "Tell me about your travels. You have been away for a long time, nearly three months. Surely, you have some tales to relay."

The half-elf stared into her glass, watching the bubbles shiver then rise to the surface. After a deep sigh, she began."You are right, my lord. I have seen many things on my journey. Most I would like to forget. I was traveling north on a mercenary assignment, a merchant wanting to avenge his murdered wife. I accepted having finished a tracking job and not objecting to an extra coin or two. My mark took me from Fort Dreyan across the Lorie.

"After crossing the Crystal River, I rode to Bethren to refill on supplies. I was shocked to find that it was gone. Yes, gone. Nothing more than a black mark on the earth. The ashes were cold and wet but I could tell that they were no more than a week old. At first I reasoned that a rivaling manor had sought to take control of it or punish the occupants but they weren't any occupants left. Hardly, a territory battle. Then I figured Trolls. There was a tribe nearby they could hope to gain by ransacking the town and destroying it's occupants. Yes, that must have been it. So I rode on. But the farther north I went the more towns....were.... destroyed. It was if Death and his cohorts was just that...there was evil thick enough to cut....," Daril stammered, searching for words.

Corrs raised a gentle hand. "I know child," the lord said softly. His firm hand grasped hers. "I know very well, for it is the reason I have summoned you. The villages were devastated, yes? Mere piles of rubble and debris. The people faired in no better shape, I take it?" He paused and look at her. Daril nodded slowly.

"What people were left. They were miserable piles of bones with little flesh," she whispered clearly recalling the devastation. She looked up at him, her eyes shimmering. "What happened?"

Corrs paused and breathed silently but his pain was evident. "The generator of this horror is the one you know as Darath. One of the most vengeful and powerful of the gods.......Powerful indeed," he mumbled more to himself than her.

Daril nodded in agreement. She had seen numerous of Daraths black-cloaked clerics poking aroung the destrution, some even converting the helpless and lost people. Most to converted were humans, the Trolls, fearful, for their lives begged to become apart of the force. Daril scorned herself for not piecing together the eveidence. Though it would hardly matter.

"Hm. His name rings bells I don't yet hear," she commented blankly.

"It should, my dear. It is the name of your parents' murderer. Your father, you might say, owed Darath a debt and he paid it with his and your mother's life. I am glad that you made it out alive. Until now, Darath has remained in hibernation, as far as activity goes." Daril remained silent a dark shadow spreading over her face. "I know that you are young, and I regret to see your life so early scarred but..." He could bring himself to speak. Corrs had protected Daril since he rescued her from the attack and loved her like his own.

"I understand, Lord," Daril said softly.

"Please, in such a moment, formalities are the least of my worries. Call me Corrs, if you would," he said, placing his cold wrinkled hand over hers.

"Yes, Corrs," she spoke softly. There was a short and reflective pause before the half-elf spoke again. "I remember the one you speak of. Darath is truly the darkest of beings, esecially to have destroyed the two most wonderful people Hargathian ever created. However, I still fail to see why I have been summoned. At such a time who could possibly need my services explicitly?"

"Gaergon needs you. You are powerful enough to defeat this evil. Of all my students you have been my favored. None have showed the prowess in magic and battle as you. I know that you can do this. I would not be sending you into this if I thought you would fail," he told her reverently. Daril merely stared at him dumbfounded at first.

"Seriously, Corrs. A god! One who has destroyed whole villages. He annihilated Coldwake. The towns looked as though a several hundred flights of Darks descended upon them at once!" She stood suddenly, shaking her head. What he asked of her was too awesome. Above all too impossible.

" No, Corrs, this man is-is is a god! I couldn't-I wouldn't!- last five minutes on the field with him, alone. Not to mention the vast army he obviously must have. An army that grows by the very second. Druya only knows what he's going to do next."

"But there will be others to aid you in your struggle. Others who also have the power to defeat him," Corrs proceeded. "You will not be alone on this quest but it is you who will, in the end, be his undoing." Daril looked even more shocked.

"Coldwake, Corrs, Coldwake! The largest city in the north-no!-on Gaergon, next to Metha! He practically just passed by and was done with it in less than a water mark! He timed himself. Some clocks stopped when he began and the ones not obliterated stopped when he was finished. A field day! as amatter of fact Coldwake wasn't the only city that he times his destruction is in nearly all of them."

"A braggart, then. He was merely testing his powers." Corrs said angrily. Daril nodded. "Nonetheless, I have seen in a vision that it will be you and five others that will save Gaergon and, ultimately the world."

"I really don't think so! Foothill went so fast it's not even a memory. Darath grows in power, Corrs. A flight of dragons of Light wouldn't even cause enough havoc to make a statistic. And me! Little ol' me. HA!" She turned on her heel and leaned on the chair's back.

Corrs stood, not yet giving up in his persuasion. He moved toward her and placed his mottled hands on her shoulders. "I believe you have heard of this prophecy. The Legends...."

"I've heard of it, yes, but not as prophecy. For me and the vast majority of Magelynn it's been no more than nursery rhyme. Something told to children at night so they feel safe, something knights mutter under their breath to keep going," Daril explained.

Corrs sighed and looked at the floor. The slight pity in her voice spoke volumes. He sat once more, the lion, sensing something wrong, moved closer. He scratched it behind a torn ear. Daril looked at the floor also. That impenetrable silence, louder than a harpy's scream, echoed throughout the room.

"Tell it to me. Recite the prophecy," Corrs ordered quietly. Daril looked at him but complied.

"All right.
When Magelynn meets her foretold death, evil shall arise,
But heroes of a greater good shall alight from the skies.
When the world seems most cold and bleak,
First our heroes, the legends, meet.
Wielding the weapons of good's own,
Evil's king shall be overthrown."
Corrs nodded, silent at first, but he then spoke, "You will leave tomorrow." He raised a hand before she could protest. "That's an order. You will at least attempt to try. Since you see this not as fate then I assign you to it."

"Well, Corrs, but how exactly will I know where to go?" She asked shocked and seething.

"You will know," he said simply escorting her to the door. He opened it, the armored guard peering sidelong at them .To the guard he said, "Show her out." The guard walked behind her and gently guided her towards the exit.

"Wait! How will I know who the others are?" She called before she was out of earshot. Corrs form was silhouetted by the light.

"You will know," he said cheerily. "You will know." The latter was more to himself that to her. After a few moments, he heard a door close in the distance. Sighing, he shambled wearily to the stool. The cat growled silently, placing his massive head in his master's lap.

"Yes, Puur. She may not like it but she'll go on with it," He answered. Puur looked skeptical but settled down at Corrs feet. He smiled and leaned toward the fire to throw in more kindling. The dry wood crackeld and popped. Now, brother, I believe this is my payback.

Daril found herself on the streets of the appropriately name village, Guild. Normal looking people moved about doing their ordinary jobs. A passerby new to the region would never realize that these people were all skilled in some aspect of magic and were trained mercenaries and fighters. Even the old and frail could get along in the face of danger.

Guild was nestled in a flat admist the Seperent Ridge. It over looked the Elven forests of Sylvai. It was startegically placed by the first founders of Guild in the center of the Gaergon mainland. With the Serpent ridge on threes sides and the well protected elven forest on the other Guild was virtually unapproachable.

The day was almost over and as the light lessened so did the number of people milling about. Soon the lax city would shut it's eyes for the night. Only the Guard of Druya remained in a constant and steady number. The sound of the leather creaking and metal clashing in a steady jingling lullaby made Daril yawn. She shook her head and entered the stable. A stablehand nodded at her and continued to talk to some friends through a mage globe. She smiled at the youth's apathy to his duties. Better not get caught, she thought. She walked down the main hall and turned to her right and passed few stalls. A black horse with a mane like molten silver tossed it's head and whinnied joyfully as she came into view.

"And a good day to you, Lady." She chuckled, opening the door to the stall. She took a saddle that she had been using off the right wall. She placed it on the back of the horse gently and tightened the girth and adjusted the stirrups.

Lady pawed at the ground eagerly. Daril had saved the horse from near extermination by being the only one able to control her. While others tried force she tried a mutual respect. Lady was every bit the lady she was named but she could have easily been called Deadly. A bit overzealous, she was still a reliable mount. She was intelligent and seemed to understand Daril like no other, human or animal.

Slipping on the complicated system if straps they call a bridle over the horse's head, she began to mutter off a list of supplies to herself. Lady nudged her a few times but was met with annoyed swats. Eventually the slowness of the two-legged creature got to her and she shouldered passed and began to walk out the stable. Daril somewhat surprised, shrugged and followed.

Lady was standing by the weapon's shop nibbling at some wild flowers that grew unchecked in the cracks of the wooden slats of the porch. Having heard many of the items before and recognizing where they led she had automatically stood at the shop. Daril stared surprised at the horse. Lady looked up her and snorted. That was all the motivation Daril needed. She gave the horse a pat as she passed and entered the store.

The storekeeper nodded at her. The people of Guild weren't much for greetings and idle talk. Glass cases adorned much of the store. Runes protecting some of the more powerful weapons, such as staffs. She glanced quickly at the swords, she had her own which was very reliable. Instead she looked over the daggers, having lost hers in a battle with one of the north's crazed inhabitants. Though mercenary jobs were rare for her, given the right price and reason she'd often took them.

She choose one lightweight dagger with a silver blade and ebony handle with gold filigree. The handle attracted her eye, it was of elven make. The second dagger was plain steel with a smaller blade. She placed them on the counter and looked at other weapons but found none that she would need. Handing the portly storekeeper a few gold pieces, she grabbed her new weapons and left.

Outside the store, she untied her scabbard and slipped in a slot on the saddle that would let the sword go parallel to the horse's body. It was fixed so that is would cause the rider or the mount no discomfort nor hinder their movements. She then slipped the steel dagger in her belt and the elven blade into her boot. Checking the straps once more, she slipped her foot into the stirrup and swung her body over in one graceful motion. Lady tossed her head as Daril brought her to a trot. They made their way slowly to the edge of the small town. As she left she heard the conversation of two weary travelers. One a merchant and the other an inhabitant. Had this been any other time she would have disregarded there talk but not now.

"There's been talk that the vamps from the plains have been stirring up," the merchant told the Guildsman. He was dressed gaudily and his nondescript accent made him no stranger to Gaergon or anywhere else. He pulled thoughtfully at his braided black beard.

The Guildsman was thick muscled and listened intently. He wore a vest typical of the plainsmen. He wore his hair in two plaits. His skin was deep. Deeper than hers. He looked at Daril unsuspiciously. However, she pulled her earlobe. A sign that meant 'listening for information'. He turned back as if she wasn't there. He respected her desires.

He spoke," The Vampyres, say you? I find this hard to believe. The Vamps keep to themselves usually." His deep voice vibrated through the air as he spoke. "And from where did you get such information?"

"Why from my brother Uther. A renown and reliable shiplender," the merchant explained indignant. He lifted his chin his braids sticking out like arrows, pointing accusingly at the Guildsman.

"Kaine, you know I mean that in no way but what was said. Even if I did it'd be justified. Your sly tongue is smarter than you and half of Gaergon." The tall warrior chuckled in spite of himself.

"Well, what I say is the cold, hard truth. Why Uther had nearly escaped a Vampire attack. Took half of the cargo, weapons and magic thingmajobbers."

"What would Vamps need with all those weapons and magic paraphernalia?" the burly man asked himself more than to his companion. It indeed was a good question. The Vampyres usually kept to themselves and had their own magic. Not to mention, they don't usually resort to piracy.

"I can't say but their leader Jamen, Jenenn....something like that gave 'em all a cold look and-poof!- disappeared without a trace! They were all left in the spooky and eeeerrry fog that always surrounds the iiiiisland." The merchant lowered his voice and motioned with his hands for added melodrama. Both Daril and the Guildman, looked at him with great cynicism. The Guildsman however burst into laughter.

Seeing the merchant turn a fiery red, Daril cantered away seeing that the conversation was about to become personal. She smiled as the arguing and laughing died away as she left the city. The skies were finally turning the royal blue of night. Nighthawks searched the skys looking for unwary prey down below. She rode northwest for no particular reason but that it felt right. She couldn't divert it nor did she want to. She gave Lady a pat on her neck and led her into a gallop.


Words to live by:
OMG PRIAM: ninja sex would be neither felt nor seen by either partner
OMG PRIAM: each would just suddenly need a smoke
Choark: Good luck there. You'll have to shit out darkness and send people into oblivion.</p>

Posts: 900
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 11:20 pm

Re: Morn of War

Unread postby Banjooie » Sat Feb 08, 2003 2:13 am

I'd just like to say, for the record, that I thought that said 'Mom of war"

Image <p><Chat> <Matto says, "What's up?"
<Chat> <Prince_Herb says, "Angst."
<Chat> <Prince_Herb says, "Drama."
<Chat> <Prince_Herb says, "Betrayal."
<Chat> <Prince_Herb says, "Plushies."</p>Edited by: [url=>pd]&nbsp; Image at: 6/11/05 17:22

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