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 Repost: The Search For The Arian [Closed] 
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Post Repost: The Search For The Arian [Closed]
[OOC] A large part of the Maxim forum was lost, taking with it most of the past record of my main roleplay. Unfortunatley this roleplay was never completed, critical characters to the plot stopped playing, and the roleplay gradually died. I thought I would add it in here in its entirety, and then write a summary of what should have happened next.[/OOC]

Jump to Part 2
Jump to Part 3
Jump to Part 4
Jump to Conclusion Summary

Quote:
The Search for the Arian : Visions

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Ruark
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The sun shone fiercely, perched like a condor upon the top-most peak of the Northern Mountain Range. Grey was the colour of the expanse of mountains, green was the tree line that ended midway up the colossal granite peak.

At the foot of the mountains lay the caverns of the Mountain People, a brotherhood of Droben warriors made up from not just the giants that were the Opulents, but also the smallest of the fleet-footed Shakes. The gateway into the kingdoms of the Rock people was a vast black expanse, seated at the foot of the mountain, and inside a long corridor stretched away in darkness to the chambers within.

Ruark sat inside one of these caverns, a vast circular room surrounded by stalactites meeting stalagmites like great pillars of marble. Branching of from the circular room were hundreds of passageways that led into the bowels of the mountain. Within the circle sat parchments in rows of rock shelving, for Ruark was sat in the 'Great Library', a place of learning, full of books and scrolls that led back to the very dawn of the ancient Droben people, back to a time before they had been forgotten by the populace of the great island Maxim.

Ruark waved away an Ingin who offered refreshment, caught up in the ancient scroll that he read. It spoke of the prophet Solas, a man of antiquity who prophesised the return of the True God Darden.

Quote:
...And as he fell, Solas beseeched the true God and was granted the power to align his spirit within the arian. The orange gem atop his staff, glowed with the fierce light of the power of Darden, and the arian accepted, both the spirit of Solas and the power of the God...

Over and over he read the passage, a slow smile slowly forming upon his lips.
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Eammon Carse
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Eammon closed his eyes reluctantly, the bitter taste of the druids tonic seemed to sit at the back of his throat, like the bile that rose at the end of each battle.

Even as the tonic started to claim his consciousness, the pain of his wounds seeping away into a drug induced haze, the bloody carnage of the day's battle flashed nightmarishly accross his eyelids. In horror he struggled to regain wakefullness, desperately climbing towards the dimming light, even as the images behind dissapeared and he slipped into the dreamless sleep that the Druid had promised....

Slowly, something intruded into Eammons slumber. As if painted on the back of his eyes a scene unfolded, a play of beings and motion began to register in Eammons imaginings, and his dreamless peace was ended.

His minds eye squinted, bringing the scene into focus. He sniffed, and recognised the damp sulfurous smell of a cave system, noting the rough, hewed out texture of the stone about him.

His vision shifted and he was in a vast cavern, the great stalegtites and stalegmite poised to close, like the teeth of Fate. Here and there the stealthy Shakes moved, weaving amongst the clumsier yet far more grotesque Opulents.

Again the vision narrowed, focusing on one solitary figure, seated amongst reams of parchment. Eammon's mind leapt at the sight, a great library, so much learning here for the taking...

The figue lifted and read one out dry piece out of the pile and Eammon cringed at the viscious smile that rose at the reading. The figure mouthed a word, one word over again. 'Arian...'

Eammon's subconscious exploded, in a mental scream, the reverbrations of which echoed here in the cavern, though his presence was only in prophecy. The figure looked up, seemingly directly at Eammon, and seeing himself thus perceived he fled.

Out through the warren of caves and tunnels into the muted glare of a discoloured sun. down the great granite cliff his mental self fled, out of the forests and timber onto the plains beyond. Everywhere he sped, war ravaged the peoples. Not the wars which had plagued the world for so long, but battles seeming to have reached a new level in destruction and attrocity. Hordes of savages, their underground-pale faces seeming to show too brightly the blood they had spilled thus far. Eammon looked to the discoloured sun, seeing it hidden in palls of black roiling smoke.

...and darkness came over the lands...

And the word again... 'Arian...'

His eyes flickered open to see the druid Dram Mallaig.
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Shade Valoria
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It was a cold, and whispy night, as Shade laid dreaming under a deep spell of sleep. The days as General of Southern Divison for TMP were finally put to rest for the time being. Tommorow, he would start his vacation, and his slumber was portaying the next few days ahead.

Then, suddenly Shade was moved into another dream. A dream that was warm yet, deadly serene. He saw the image of the prophet Diman, the great man he admired as a young lad. He saw Diman walk up to him, then as he came closer, a knife stabbed him from behind, and it passed through his chest, and blood pored down his body. Diman's Body became limp and fell to the ground, then the assassin behind him came out of the shadows and revealed himself!

Solas! The mighty Prophet Solas. Solas dropped the knife and extended his hand to Shade. Shade grinned and shook Solas' hand. Solas, then grinned as well, then a burst of energy tunneled through the both of them ,and a light shinned everywhere until it was blinding. The dream ended.
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Ruark
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Ruark turned as his friend Shade Valoria entered the library. Taking note of the expression on the face of the Obelisk he realised that he had not been the only person to have a 'strange' dream the previous night.

You Dreamt of the Prophet also?

Shade's nod of the head was taken by Ruark as affirmation of his hypothesis. Holding the parchment to his fellow Droben warrior he said

I also dreamt of Solas Last night, when I woke all I could remember was the word arian, echoeing in my mind. I knew I'd read this word in the past, so came to the library. It has taken much searching to find this parchment, that makes a small reference to the gem, but I am certain that more references to the staff of Solas exist within the Library.

Turning back to the vast rows of tomes and scrolls, Ruark sighed. It would be a while before the library had been searched for more information about the arian. All he knew was that it would be found, and bearing in mind that he now knew he was not the only person to have dreamt of it, he feared that others would also search for the artifact.
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Korin Lemire
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Korin stepped out of the shadows with narry a sound, and placed his hand on Ruarks shoulder.

Good evening my lord. Melf sent me here on an urgent matter? may i have a private word?

he stares and shade, sending a mental image of a cat urinating in fear of a dread wolf into his mind, to make his point known.

slowly Shades face contorts and he backs away, causing the image to fade in his head.

Melf sends his well wishes, he is buisy on the front, doubtless bloody and damaged... no doubt i will have to weave the spells into a new suit of arms, he goes through those so quickly... already i had to replace the wards three times, and i dont think the mithril will hold against another barage of the power.

Get to the point if you will sir, my time is precious now, and my temper is short. i've slept poorly lately. ruark snapped

Korin looked askance towards Ruark, an inward battle raging in his soul. he wished so much to control this man, to force him to bow before him, but in doing so, he would harm the one who had bought his soul by giving his life. he chose not to tempt eternal damnation, or the bowl of darden by breaking his blood oath and continued

My lord wished me to convey to you a dream... a dream about an object known as the Arien. he has stressed the need to clame this item for the good of the people. he believes an old friend has imparted a dream to him of the location, but he is a buisy man. he wished me to request permission to send me to find this artifact. what say you?
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Ruark
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Ruark turns to regard Melf's associate, noticing the raging war between the need to destroy and the need to obey, that was so apparrent from his eyes. That Melf had sent a proxy, rather than come himself meant that he was still in the field.

So, Melf dreamt of the arian also? Then that means the dream was not localised

He said to himslef, thinking about Melf's current distance from the Capital of the mountains, leading the Droben armies in war.

...and if it is not localised?

The realisation that if Melf had dreamt of the arian so far away, that it was almost certain that others, not of the mountains, maybe even not of Darden, knew of the arian

You may accompany us. But we do not leave yet, there is still much to do.

Giving the grand vizer a final glance he gestured towards the bookcases.

The quest begins here, my friend.
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Korin Lemire
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Korin looked at Ruark with indignance, as he looked towards the books. he let out a silent chuckle, and stepped up, face to face with Ruark. hot breath ran over Ruarks face as he spoke, in a slight lispy voice

Your "library" insults me... you will find no information here. look if you will wait if that is your desire, but know that time is of the essance, and yours is not the only power with a short temperment. i'll wait for now, but i will NOT waste my time looking for things i know will not be found here. there is only one place you could find such things... when you have finaly given up, i will take you there.

with that, his eyes floated into the back of his skull, a faint red glow projected from him, and he began hovering in the air, lost in a thought, or a conversation, or an action... noone was sure what.
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Kaz
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Kaz lay on a bed of grass, beside a small stream. His surroundings were picturesque, the stars shining fiercly opon the black blanket of the sky, the moon casting a glistening image apon the surface of the water.

However, he was not thinking of the beaty of his surroundings, for he slept, and as he slept, he dreamed.

He stood apon a plateau, an ornate stone alter in front of him. Walking over to the alter, he realised he was not alone. He turned but there was no-one insight to give him that impression. He should have been afraid, but he was not. This dream was unlike any other. The pain of emothion that had accompanied all of his visions in the past was absent. If he had to associate any emotion with this particular dream it would have been happyness.

Placing his hands either side of the alter he spoke words that came alien to his mouth, and the top of the alter pushed back to reveal a passageway. As he made to step into the darkness, and down the stairs into oblivion, words echoed in his head. Words he recognised in the voice of Darden, the God whom he had once cherished above all others. The God that had allowed his terrible pain and disfigurment to take place.

FIND THE ARIAN!....ARIAN....ARIAN...arian...arian...

Kaz sat up with a start, sweat drenching his face and torso.

The Arian

He did not know what it was, only that he must find it. Without knowing where to start, he reached the only decision he could. The ancient library of Toros. Here, if anywhere he could find answers to the questions that now formed inside his elven mind.

What is the arian?
Where is the arian?

Pondering these questions, he marched to the east, towards the ancient library.
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Korin Lemire
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korin convulsed, as ruark looked on in horror. but instead of dying, Korins eyes took on a red hue, which turned deeper, and deeper, swirling to and fro until they looked like pools of blood coalescing. he drifted higher and higher, and finaly let out a loud scream

AAAAAAAAARG!!!!!! TOROS! THE KEY IS ON HIS WAY!!!! AAAAARG!!!!!!!!

with that he slumped to the ground. his heart wasnt beating, nor was he breathing, and all thought he was dead. a deep chill fell across the room, as the others feared the loss would effect melf. the chill grew deeper and deeper, as a light fog filled the room. an hour passed, and Korin awoke.

we must leave! the key is on its way! without him, we will never find the arien!

quickly! we must get to him! step in the sphere!

as he spoke the last words, a blue teleportation field raised around him

leave one with a magic touch here, i sense more will join us later... but we must intercept him before it is to late!
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Ruark
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Ruark, turned as Korin fell to the floor.

The Key!

As the portal materialised Ruark ran for a scroll he had discarded, cursing that time had been taken away from him. He knew that many ancient scrolls spoke of the key but only knew the location of one. As the portal pulled him towards an unknown place of Korin's choosing, Ruark reached for the scroll.

His fingers caught the edge as the portal closed, sheering the parchment in two.

** ** **

A moment of dizzyness caused Ruark to fall to his knees, head spinning like a tornado. He looked up at his surroundings. He was no longer in the mounatins, but in dense jungle. The ancient stone structure that towered in front of him, had been consumed by great vines, the marble pillars, that once stood at the protal, now green with years of accumilated ivy.

The scrap of scroll he had managed to bring with him, fluttered in the breeze, threatening to crumble into dust at any moment. Hoping that he had retrieved the correct scroll he read what he had saved.

Dismay exploded across his face.

Quote:
...Bring the key to the top of Mac Caros, and with it open the Prophet's stone. The bones of the maker shall lead you to the staff of the arian, but beware, forgetting t...

The parchment was incomplete. Somewhere back in the mountains, lay the rest of the warning.
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Thrash
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Arian

That was the word that floated through Thrash's head. When he walked through his kingdom, through the fiedls, down to the valley and to the top of the mountains. Through the streams during the day, and back within the gates at night. This Arianwas always on his mind.

It had been ages since something so keen, so clear had come to the now aged Thrash's mind. He could grasp, or atleast thought he could grasp it, it came to his head so many times, whether he be conscious or not. It was beginning to become a part of him. Yet, what was it?

Alert my men I will be making a journey very soon. I am going to search out this Arian. I do not know what it is, nor do I know how to find it, but it will be uncovered. Thrash said to his servant.

It had been a long month in Thrash's kingdom, with the smell of burning flesh and the heathen armies always at bay, Thrash was tired of fighting. One might say he was ready for a new challenge....a new guild?

Yes, it was true, Thrash had been sought out in the coming days by advisors of his former guild, under the Foret rule. Thrash decided that the uniting with his friends may do him some good, so not only were the mountains not his home anymore, but Darden was not his God.

Thrash went towards the porsperity and chose Foret. It had been fortnights since Thrash had bowed down to Foret in his kingdom, yet with this new change came old memories, and Thrash took a seat upon the cloth laid in front of his grail to Foret.

Confusing as it may seem, this Arian had only come to him since he switched faiths and guilds. Now it was time to find of its mystery.

Off Thrash traveled in search of the future with him and what seemed as though others who might have had the same dream.
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Shade Valoria
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Shade was aghast at the commotion of this magical man. He came in, passed out, then woke up and ran off with the Megalith!
Shade heard him mumble somthing vaguely about "the key". Before he left the Library, he looked up about this key, and found its whereabouts in the souteastern territory of the continent.

That's where they teleported!?

Shade hollared out loud!

The books said nothing about the Arian, but, wherever this key was, the Arian would be there, along with Rurark. Shade scribed his old friend, Thrash, and asked him to come along, though he was not a member of the guild anymnore, they were still good friends. He would leave in a day, the scribe should get to him by midnight, Shade thought.

So, the next morning Shade loaded up a small team of Ingins to accompany him on this adventure. There were five of them, suffice for such an adventure, Shade thought. He would meet Thrash at the rendezvous place mentioned in his scribe.

Unfortuntly, just as Shade started off with his men, a young boy ran up to him, and handed him a scribe. It was from Thrash's realm advisor.

Quote:
Dear Sir, Thrash has gone off on an expidition in search of somthing called the arreen, or somthing, im not quite sure. My apologies for being unable to get him the scribe.

Thrash, had already gone in search of the Arian! Shade was excited, and knew he would eventually meet up with him. Shade and Trash had similar tacts on traveling to unknown territories. He tossed the boy a gold piece and motioned his small company to start off... on their journey in the search for the Arian.
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Korin Lemire
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Korin sneered at Ruark as he lay huddled on the ground amidst the mass of rotting flesh that made the firtile soil around this ancient structure. again the inner battle raged, and he desired to leave this inferior being. instead he just laughed.

are you such a woman that you cannot handle a portal? next time must i summon a gate, to ease your transition? hurry up, the key has gone to far alrady, if he reaches much further, he will be lost, and with him... the arien.

with that, he set a strong pace, almost a militaries forced march into the building, as Ruark cleaned himself off, and attempted to catch up.
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Kaz
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Kaz wondered towards the sensation that beckoned him. He knew his destination was, the library of Toras, and his final goal the arian, but other than that he drifted towards the east.

For want of something better to follow, Kaz had kept the meandering course of the stream to his right. Following it back towards its source in the Northern Mountains. As the lush green valley slowly turned into small hills, Kaz realised that he was not alone.

Turning towards the bush, he caught a glimpse of a female figure, who vanished back into the undergrowth.

Cursing this turn of events, Kaz readied himself for battle, it would not be the first time he was accosted by bandits in the forest. Unslinging the bow he always carried, Kaz notched an arrow to the string and waited silently. Elven senses attuned to the forest, listening for anything out of the ordinary that would give away the watcher.
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DLE
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After traveling for so long DLE comes back home to his friends. After building his realm back up in the dark forest on top of one of the mountains.He gets some rest but in his dreams he sees a staff, but not just any staff it had a orange gem on top, glowing with the fierce light of the power of Darden this staff is called the Arian he has never seen anything like it in his life. He awakes the next day and go`s the Great Library within the mountains, there he finds out that Solas recieved the power to align his spirit with the arian at hs death, merging with the crystal. After reading this he spotted a piece of paper on the ground. Picking up the torn scrap of parchment he starts to read it.

quote:
he dagger of darklight leads to certain failure.

Hmmm thats werid were is the other half of the paper.He then puts that piece of paper in his pocket. Approached by an Ingin, DLE was informed that shade was here yesterday with Ruark, but that Ruark left in a portal with some man named Korin and that shade left today to look for arian. After hearing this DLE gets up and go`s to his realm and gets as much stuff as he can carry on his shake. Mounting his shake he rides like the wind in an attempt to catch up to shade.
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Volodimire
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He was Time~Eternal. The Circles of the Constant turned so did he turn inside. While the actions that coursed through him waxed his younthfulness would grow stronger as did he, but as the actions waned he would grow feeble and old. Time, it was his greatest gift. It was the worst of curses.

Stepping away from himself, he felt the very nature of life called out to him. It pulsed in his head like a beacon of light, throbbing the essence of something unknown to him...

Arian

It all weighed heavily upon him as time leaned against Maxim. A portal shifted throught he fabrics of reality, and so he followed it. Stepping forward, he emerged from the nothingness of the ethreal to the material plane on Maxim once again. His youthful vigor turned venerable, but never did it touch his ageless eyes.
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Auralia
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You know you really don't want to point that arrow at someone, said a small voice, full of laughter, from the undergrowth. You might hurt someone with that and that would definitely not be very nice at all. Well not for the person who got hurt and I'm definitely not fond of getting hurt. It's just that it...well it hurts too much, being hurt that is.

A small female head poked out of a bush in front of Kaz, leaves stuck in her hair. Now just wait one second before you start shooting that thing, some of us are slightly stuck here. The little one's head disappeared again and for a while there seemed to be an argument of some sort within the bush. Will you just let go of my leg? Awkward bush tripping me up like that and tangling my foot up. I am most definitely not plant food. Don't you look like that at me, bush, I don't care how many leaves you have this is ust not polite.

With a final snap the little one came flying out of the bush and landed with a thud a little way in front of Kaz. Ah-ha, got out of that, silly tree root holding my foot. Well it was a very silly place to put a root really, I mean anyone could have tripped over it. You'd think that trees would be more careful with their roots.

The little elf stood up and turned around to look at Kaz, a grin plastered over her face. Aurelia was quite probably the isle's smallest elf due to a rather odd family tree, in fact she rarely reached higher than people's mid-thighs. Her mop of blond hair was all over the place, decorated with various twigs and leaves. From her belt hung a ridiculously over-sized sword, a rather dented saucepan and a small flute tied round the middle with a green ribbon.

The tiny thief looked up at Kaz and stuck out one rather muddy hand. Hello I'm Aurelia, it's nice to meet you Mr...well whatever your name is. I really think you should putthat bow down, you might hurt me by accident otherwise. She peered closely at the arrow and prodded it with one finger, That looks terribly sharp Mister.
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Monster
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Monster had fallen asleep after the long day of warding off foret armies.

The dream that ensued was a very pleasurable dream. Monster was running through the forest. His strides carried him 10 feet at a time while his arms with open hands pumped vigorously. Monster slashed down wild animals with his claws and threw them in his sack with one quick motion.

Suddenly the forest ended and when he turned around there was nothing there and his food sack had become empty. There was a dark figure there instead. This dark figure remained concealed from monsters vision. The figure threw some sort of stone towards monster, and as the stone flew through the air it changed shape to a ornage gem. While it flew through the air all monster could heard was "arian". One word stretched out for the gems entire flight.

Mnster awaoke quickly in the middle of the night. I must find this arian. It is the key to even greater power. I have so recently gained the power I have now, yet I thrive for more.

As monster left his keep with the cover of night and the myst he made one stop. He stopped at The Angels place. Angel I am going on a quest, and placing you in charge of my armies again

With that taken care of Monster stayed close to the ground. He decided it would be safer to fly at night rather then during the day.
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Volodomire
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... he slipped through the corners of reality. The shimmering gate behind him then failed abruptly. He could still see the residue of enegry swirling in the pattern of the gate, feeling it dissipitate into nothingness around him.

His eyes adjusted poorly to the pitch darkness, and so he casted nightly eyes upon himself so that he would see. Even as he casted, his age shifted ever so subtly. Younger he seemd for brief moment, and then that youthful vigor faded into venreable age.

Slipping between the shadows he followed the creator of the gate. Out of step, out of time, he followed unnoticed behind the ambiguous fates of destiny.
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Ruark
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Stop!

Ruark shouted as he finished dusting himself off. A strange light glowing in his eyes as the magma that flowed through his viens heated beyond the inferno temperatures of its usual self. That this 'Elf' dared to speak to the Megalith of the Northern Droben Mountains in this way, fueled an anger never before seen in the leader of The Mountain People.

Ruark's 9 foot tall frame tensed with the anger that coursed through him. The muscles in his arms, wider than the head of Korin, flexed with anticipation. Like a steam-roller Ruark moved like an avalanch towards him.

I have no need of you. Melf may find you useful, but be aware, as Melf is your master, I am his. You are here apon this quest by MY grace and I expect you to remember this.

Taking one more step towards his antagonist, Ruark stopped mid-stride, the movement of the foliage stopped, the wind stopped and the sun ceased its path. For a second time had no meaning.

Then the portal opened.
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Kaz
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Staring down the shaft of an arrow, Kaz watched with increduality as a tiny young elf stepped out in front of him. Lowering his weapon at her words he looked, but his burnt soul failed to see her beauty. In response to her introduction, Kaz was at least able to remember a few manners. Holding out his right hand towards her he offered his name and his welcome.

My name is Kazimirzch Longbow, Mister Longbow if you must, but i prefer Kaz

With that he smiled, but it was a half hearted attempt. He had wondered for long, searching for the Lady with the name he could not remember, seeing another female elf, caught at buried memoried of fealings, but he quickly supressed them, lest the pain returned.

With that thought, he convulsed and fell to the floor.

Pain swarmed his senses, again Kazimirzch knew the feelings of the masses, again, the future, past or present was being shown to him in vivid form. Emotion saturated the atmosphere of the vision.

Fear.

This time the vision was different to the others. The pain was his, the dream was him.

Kaz ran, blood trickled from a wound in his side. To his left a small elven women ran alongside him. Behind him the pursuit gained. The young elf tripped straining the muscle in her ankle.

Turmoil from within, assulted Kaz's senses. Years of accumalated pain, an unbreachable wall surrounding his compassion. Within, he knew that he had the ability to help her. But the fear was strong, and he was not. The walls stood tall as the vision progressed.

Caught on the spot, battleing with his mind, the pursuers approached. The young elven lady stood at his side. She had got up and was limping. He could heal her, if he cared. He could face the unseen enemy if he dared. He could turn and save himself.

Consciousness returned. Bathed in sweat, he looked up at the young elf that stood looking over him, recognition temporarily pulling down the prison-like walls of his mind.

Leave this place. You are not safe with me

Crawling over to his sack, he removed a small white tablet. The chalky taste dissolved in his mouth, his only remedy for the aftersickness that followed a vision.

And with a release from the sickness, the walls of his mind returned.
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Volodimire
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With a flourish the shadows that surrounded Crystiame dissipiated in a roar. The inky blackness faded in trails and presented him standing before the actions set before him. Ruark and Korin Lemire stood infront of him, and crossing him arm across his chest he bowed a nod slightly to the Lord Ruark.

My Actions are yours, to serve, my Lord. Crystiame had said to Ruark. It had been so long that he had served any other person, that he was unsure how to do so. His age, though youthful, was fading again to a wrinkled venerable old man. His hands became nobby and his face weathered and worn, but still his eyes gleamed of an unquenchable eternity that no fire could ever touch.

Though the hand of Deliverance could not longer be felt, Crystiame had stayed behind in the lands of Maxim. Here, he could feel the actions around him. Here, he could almost feel alive
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Auralia
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To say that Aurelia was rather suprised when the elf fell over and started convulsing was an understatement. This sort of thing hadn't happened to her before, and even though she didn't know Kaz very well, the tiny thief had to admit that she was ever so slightly worried. If she had learnt one thing over the years is was that people didn't do these sorts of things if they were alright.

But when he told her to go away, well there was just no way that Aurelia was going to take any notice of that.

Go away?, Now she was on more famaliar ground, people were always telling her to go away, especially if they knew who she was. Some people just seemed to think that she was bound to cause trouble. Not intentionally of course, Aurelia never meant to get anyone hurt or in trouble, it was just that these things sort of just followed the about. The tiny thief seemed to walk in the eye of a storm of chaos, never being affected by it.

You know Mr. Longbow...ermmm Kaz, I don't think you really want me to leave you alone. And even if you did, I still don't think I should. She nodded emphatically to herself, certain that she was right. You are most definitely not well, amybe you've got a cold or something, that always used to make my brothers cranky. And anyway it would be really bad of me to leaveyou alone when you're not well, I mean I would worry about you, even if you did point an arrow at me. But that doesn't matter, lots of people have pointed arrows at me, even after they know who I am. So yes, anyway, where was I? Other than here of course. She frowned to herself and tried to untangle her train of thought. Oh yes there I was, you can't be left alone I think, I think I shall have to come with you until I am quite sure that you are ok. After all I might be useful to you, Especially if you're going to fall over again, I mean I could stop you from banging your head on something. I bet you'd be even more cranky if you banged your head on a rock, rocks not being the softest of things.

She patted Kaz's hand in what she hoped was a reassuring manner, smiling all the time. But I will say this, you really need to practise smiling a bit more. It's not difficult and my mother always used to say that a smile is a very good things. Well except when you're not supposed to be smiling. I mean smiling at something sad is not going to make you a very popular person. It didn't matter to Aurelia that Kaz was scarred, or even that he'd told her to go away. To her the whole world was her friend, whether it wanted to be or not.
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K'Taal
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K'Taal stopped in his tracks, threw his hands to his head, then fell to the ground in agony.

She ... speaks ... to me! Isonia speaks to me!

He said as the pain subsided.

As he stood, he thought over what he'd just seen:
A large orange gem, atop a mountain burning in the Dawn.
A young elf, the key, draining his life blood, and releasing this fiery gemstone. The Key walking with the small elf he knew to be Aurelia. And words forming in his mind

"Retrieve this Arian for your godess, and you will be rewarded.
I can overcome these pretenders Foret and Darden with its power!"

At once, He knew what he had to do, he must find this company, and gain the life blood of the key. After that, the key was dispensable.
K'Taal thought back to his training as a paladin. He could track these elves without being noticed, and then when they stopped to camp he could take the blood while they slept.

Of course his training was technically incomplete, because the instructors had been uneasy with his relationship with Isonia. In fact they had questioned it, and Isonia had instructed him to call down her wrath, and their lack of belief was punished by their deaths.

Now K'Taal had reached an agreement with the so called Isonian Authorities; they left him to do what Isonia instructed him to, and he did not kill their soldiers.

So the Paladin set off in search of the elves, after a friendly (or atleast he became friendly) farmer had told him where Aurelia was last seen.

The hunt was afoot!
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Kaz
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The sun dipped low apon the horizon. A reddy-purple blotch of colour staining the dusk lit sky. The Large Blue orb of the moon Suma visable high to the east, it's little grey partner Nomi yet to rise.

Still a little dizzy after the vision, Kaz removed his pack and placed it on the ground at his feet. Untying the rope wrapped around the top of his light green travelling bundle he removed a flint, and glanced around for some small twigs to use as kindling. Sheilding a small pile from the wind, he worked the flint until a red glow started in the heart of the stack. Blowing on the embers to get a small flame he placed larger dry branches from the forest Auralia had come out of, on top, and watched in his usual awe as the fire lept up to meet the heavens.

The sun disapeared from sight just as Tonan's second moon rose to join his brother in the star filled spring sky.

He lay there in silence just staring at the heaven's. Following the patterns of the Archer and the Jolly Fiddler, glistening in the dark abyss of the sky. His back to the dark foreboding unknown of the forest, wondering if it was true that his dead friends looked over him, and whether one day he would join them in the sky, lighting the night for another pair of weary travellers.
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Auralia
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The little elf plonked herself down next to the fire and tried to figure out what her new friend was staring at. The most she could guess at wzs the sky, which was all well and good but it never seemed to do much fast. She remembered watching Syek watch the stars once, except of course the Side boy had been tryign to count them all. A rather sily thing to do and impossible if you asked her but he'd done it all the same. It had been about that time that Aurelia started to wonder about the Sidhe as a race even though she worked for one.

Aurelia unhooked a large and rather dented saucepan from her belt. Grabbing a cloth from her overloaded pockets she started to clean it vigourously. For soemthing that looked so old and broken she did seem ather attached to it, taking the same sort of care over it as a swordsman might do his sword. And in some ways that wasn't so strange a comparision.

Not so long ago Aurelia had found herself attacked by a demon. Panicking like there was no tomorrow she had use the saucepan to defend herself. It hadn't done much good and the elf had spent most of the fight in complete ignorance. But when the demon had died someone had made the mistake of telling her that she had slain the demon. Aurelia was now firmly convinced that the saucepan had magical properties and was much better than any other weapon in the world.

Looking over at Kaz she grinned, So Mr. Long...Kaz, what are you doing about in the world? Me I'm adventuring, though I'm not quite sure what I'm adventuring for. Things just seem to happen to me, it saves me a lot of time when I don't have to look for them. I mean imagine all the time I'd lose if I had to look for things to happen? And that wouldn't be good at all, nope Sorrik would not be happy. Sorrik's a banshee, she said in explanation, not mentioning the fact that Sorrik was a banshee who would quite happily strangle the little elf if given the chance.

That reminds me actually, I don't suppose you've seen another elf around here? A taller one with blond hair and feathers. Feathers in the hair that is. If she had feathers anywhere else she'd look daft. You see I'm sort of supposed to be travelling with this other elf called Helania. But I do keep losing her, wonder if I should put her on a leash. I'm sure I had her around here somewhere but now I don't and she'll be ever-so annoyed. Actually what tended to happen was that Aurelia got lost and those with her wished that they had put her on a leash. Still the little thief's memory had always been 'selective' with the truth.
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Islia
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She knew she shouldn't be working for a Mage. She knew she should have said no when approached on this new 'mission'. She knew she should be inside and comfortable.

Most people would find the warm cloudless evening ideal for a night under the stars. Islia, however had other opinions. The ground was hard, the fire wouldn't light and she was surrounded by a thousand blood sucking mosquitoes. A comfortable bed, or a seat in a cozy inn by a nice open fire would, as far as she was concerned, be far superior to another night in this gods-forsaken wilderness.

But a job was a job, And this one was paying better than usual.

Removing a scrap of parchment from her pocket, the assassin regarded the elven face depicted. Once she would have found him attractive, but now, either the artist had been mad or drunk, or indeed, as she suspected, her target had been horendously disfigured in a fire.

Her investigations had led to information that this Kazimirzch fellow, had recently been in the port town of Malanti, and that he had travelled off-trail in the direction of the Library of Toros. This assassination was rather strange however as the standard end result of a dead target, was not what she was actually employed to do. The mage had made it very clear that this Elf would be needed again at some time in the future. But. He should be slowed in his quest, and any companions he travelled with, dealt with in the usual manner.

This was not, however, the strangest part of the job description. She had been told, and then reminded on several occassion throughout the interview with the mage that a drop of blood from the elf must be obtained, and brought to the mage at any cost. The small crystal vial given her for carrying the blood had, apparently, been prepaired with magic to ensure the blood stayed warm. Dead blood, apparently just would not do.

Finally she managed to get a small flame going, and she allowed herself to sit back and consume some of the ghastly travel rations she had brought for the trip, before finally surrendering herself to her tiredness.
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Kaz
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Kaz lay there, unable to quiet his mind for sleep. The continuous voice of his small Elven friend keeping him from peace. He sat up and looked over at Auralia. She was sat happily polishing a saucepan beyond the level of gleam that most people would be happy with.

She was, he decided, easy to make friends with, and pleasant company also. However on the flipside she was very loud and, above all, remarkably odd.

He stood, deciding that he needed to be on his own for a little while, and looked down on his small companion. She seemed happy and he would not leave her on her own for long, just long enough for him to think about what had occured over the last few days. Turning his back to the flames he walked into the darkness of the forest.

Light did not penetrate the overlapping branches of the forest roof, not even sound seemed to invade the darkness. A few moments into the woodland, Kaz's elven sight found an ideal perch. A fallen tree crossed the path he trod, creating the ideal spot for him to sit and think in silence. He thought back over the two visions of the past week. The first as he slept, telling his to find the arian. The second, showing him that he was being pursued.

Recalling the dream, he ran it through his mind in an attempt to make sense of it. Darden had not foresaken him, or so it seemed. Since his township had been torched by the goblin armies of a Foret raiding party, and his subsequent misfortunes, Kaz had shut out the God whom he had always beleived in. Now he slowly started to see that perhaps he had never been foresaken after all. He had, against all odds survived being trapped within the burning prisonlike confines of his castle. Whatever the case, he had been changed. He no longer felt the way he did before. He felt stronger than ever, but, the parts of his psychie that had been burned away by an onslaught of other peoples emotion, now felt like an open would in his head.

Maybe the arian could change that. Maybe his companion would. Maybe he would remain like this for ever.

The first dream however, was of less immediate importance. He would travel to Toros, and there, if anywhere, he would learn more about the plateau and in turn the arian. It was the second vision, the vision of this very afternoon that had him rattled. He was being pursued, and, unless he could find a way to come to terms with his inner self, an innocent would get hurt. An innocent that refused to escape from his quest to safety.

He could leave her here, and continue on his own. But he knew that without his bow he would get nowhere. No, he had to return to the camp, at least for tonight.

****

His senses told him that it had been three turns of the glass since he had left Auralia by the fire. By now the smaller, second moon Nomi would have risen high in the spring sky, and Auralia would most likely be asleep.

Silently he moved back through the forest, towards the dying embers of the fire and the sleeping form of his new friend lying, face to the fire, clutching her saucepan like a child does with it's favourite soft toy. Placing more wood he had collected on his return onto the embers he took up his bow, notched an arrow to the string, and sat staring into the darkness.

He knew that he would not sleep tonight. He knew that he would not wake Auralia for her watch. He knew that tomorrow would see how his vision of pursuit panned out.
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Ruark
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Ruark watched as Korin ignored him, and continued towards the entrance to the Library, missing the arrival of the newcomer.

He watched the Young man step through the portal, age slowly returning to the mans face. Soon he looked into the ancient eyes of an old man, a man with power.

The Man spoke.

My Actions are yours, to serve, my Lord.

My Lord?

Ruark thought to himself. Who was this man to appear through a portal and pledge his allegience to him? Where did he come from? But perhaps most importantly, Why?

Stranger. There is much I wish to know about you method of arrival, and your choice of words to me in greeting. Come walk with me into the library and we can talk in comfort.

Holding his hand in front of him, Ruark motioned that he would speak shortly, and gestured towards the Library, following closely behind the newcomer, not wanting the unknown mage at his back, before he could decide whether to trust or not.

The vast entranceway to the Library loomed like a fissure in a cliff, huge oaken doors, wide open, the vines of the jungle that had reclaimed the library slowly starting to form around them, pulling them back towards the granite walls of the huge structure. Ruark stepped into near darkness.

A blue light suddenly surged in the middle of the hall, casting no shadows, but illuminating the old library in an earie blue light. Glancing at his new companion, Ruark assumed that the mage-light must have originated from Korin.

In fact

He thought to himself.

Where was Korin?

An old bench surrounded a table in what must have been the reading area of the library. Ruark gestured for the newcomer to follow him to the table and took a seat. As far as the magic light would allow him to see, were rows apon rows of bookcases. Old tomes covered in years of accumilated dust and cobwebs. Ruark wondered, why the library had been abandoned, and why the Order of Knoweldge seekers that had created the vast collection of information, had never returned to either remove the tomes and scrolls.

Turning to the newcomer the Megalith of the Mountain People spoke.

First things first

He said, a smile forming apon his lips.

Who are you? and why have you come?

As the old man started to reply, a loud crash sounded from the far side of the Library.
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Volodomire
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The loud crash echoed down the halls. A helmet from an empty suit of armor had fallen, and then the rest of it along with it straight to the icy marble floor. Quickly he glanced in its direction. Crystiames age flickered from his youthful vigor back to a more middle aged man. A shadow lurked there, but there was little he could do about it now. Shadow Lurkers were tedious, almost impossible to detect without the use of stronger magics that would more than likely level the castle walls.

Lord Ruark, the very nature of who we are and what we are to be changes in each passing moment. Cyrstiame led the way at a quick place. In his mind, he was already here. In his minds eye he had already led Lord Ruark to the library and... My name is Crystiame Volodimire. I am a servant to our gracious Lady-Goddess Isis and to the Symphony, an immortal Guardian of Time. He paused for a moment to open a corridor leading the way straight to the library. And even though I am at your service, we must find what you need swiftly.

Crystiame opened the grand library. The library was immense, grander than most would ever see. Lifetime of books lay upon it selves, that if one were to sit and read they would never have enough time to even read a half of what was there. It is a shame that after tonight all this will perish...by the flame of nightCyrstiame had said ever so faintly under his breath. A fire raged in his head, it buzzed like an angry insects nest in his mind. He could feel the urgency, but without the actions to guide him he could do nothing but wait.
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Lia
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~Thievin' must be burnin' in me soul...~ she mused, prowling through the dark confines of the ancient library. Deftly, she ran a pale finger over one of the bookspines, her eyes intent on the tome that someone had told her they were lookin' for.

"The X'elact... what the fuck would someone be needin' somethin' like that fer?" she muttered to herself, her eyes scanning the shelves. "Fuckin' black leather wit' gold writin'... who the fuck ever heard o' somethin' like that?" she stewed.

Finishing her perusal of that rack, she lightly kicked the mahagony bookshelf, grumbling curses. She moved to the next book case, her eyes looking for the tell tale black leather. "How th' fuck am I 'posed t' know th' difference b'tween the black gold book he wants an' all th' other black gold books?" she steamed, glaring at a red leather bound one.

Kicking that bookcase, a bit harder this time around, she grumbled and made her way towards the front of the library when she heard voices.

"Aw fuck." She whispered, ducking back into the shadows of the back of the library, her eyes flashing in the darkness. Taking a step backwards, she bumped into something behind her, her eyes widening. "Oh FUCK!" she cried as the table she bumped into went crashing, making a lot of noise and alerting the others to her prescence.
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Aurelia
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The tiny elf barely noticed Kaz leaving as she chattered on to herself. Once she had started talking she rarely needed anyone to be about and actively listening to her. Her mind was quite happy to listen to its own thoughts spoken aloud. As long as she had the company of herself, Aurelia was never bored or lonely.

She had heard of loneliness, well the word at least if not the actual meaning. The only time she had ever really seen loneliness was in the eyes of her old mistress. And she was quite sure that she didn't like it. It was all sort of sad and distant, the person was there in body but their mind had sorted floated off. Aurelia had always wondered what would happen if the mind couldn't find its way back. It didn't seem like a good way to live.

Don't know why he would want to go into the forest, especially not at this time. I mean it's all dark and full of shadows. Shadows are bad things, though most people don't seem to understand that, very bad indeed. I've seen what they can do, she shuddered slightly and held her saucepan closer to herself. Bad, bad things. For a little while the tiny elf had found herself more than a little afraid of shadows. There again when all was said and done the small thief was afraid of quite a bit.

She peered back at the direction that Kaz had set off in. And who knows what else is in there?, she said with a yawn. Aurelia stretched out her arms and legs before snuggling up with her saucepan and drifting off to sleep.

***

Dreams were funny old things, and Aurelia's were usually filled with strawberry ice-cream. She was quite happy with this arrangement; she'd fall asleep and the dreams of ice-cream would come along.

This evening's dream was different though, it was noisy and dark, smoke-filled as far as she could tell. She dreamed of a 'monster' of metal that roared through the night. It followed a trail as black as night and breathed out grey billowing clouds of smoke. And there were people all around but they didn't seem afraid, going into the monster and coming out of its many mouths.

Such a strange, strange dream.

***

Aurelia whined a little and turned away as the light of the slowly rising sun shone in her eyes. Slowly the tiny thief dragged herself out of the dream world, yawning even more than when she had gone to sleep. She rubbed her eyes and blinked several times before she could look at the sun properly.

Oh good morning Kaz, she said sleepily, waving at him.
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DLE
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DLE has bein riding on his shake for hours and has not see no sign of shade stoping. Soon he reached a town. So he asks around to see if shade has past through this town. He talk to few people but none seen anyone that DLE was talking about. He then thought to himself maybe shade did not pass through this town or maybe he got himself lost again like he seems to do most of the time. Then he said out loud

Hmmmm i guess i will do like always do and ask Ivan if he knows the way.

So he then pulls out his sword Ivan and ask him if he is lost and if he can help him find his way.
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Islia
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Islia had risen before the false dawn broke over the horizon. After dismanteling her camp she trecked towards the still star filled sky. She would, if all went to plan reach Him before dawn fully took hold upon the land of Tonan.

As she walked the purple-red light of dawn gradually stained the eastern horizon, reflecting in myriad colours from the surface of the small stream she followed. The grassland slowly rose, lush green forests slowing edging their way closer to her line of march. As she crested the top of the slope the expected sight apon the plateau caused a smile to cross her lips.

The dark ash remains of a fire, showed her the camp of her prey. Black standing on the green of the hilltop, like a solo dragon in a cloudless sky. The remains of the fire was not, however the main clue that the elf she pursued had spent the night here.

Two figures sat near the remains of their camp, packing thier things and readying themselves for what they would assume to be the final part of their journey to the ancient library, merely a long days walk away. Of the two, the small female elf, looked eager to be on her way, her eyes shining with the joy of the great adventure she lived in, the male elf, however looked more stressed by his journey than happy. Frown lines crossed his burnt features, and he sat there sharpening his sword with the vigour of one trying to take his mind away from something of paramount importance.

Checking that she still had the magicaly sealable vial for the Elf's blood she stepped into the forest and silently made her way towards the two elves, removing her box and placing an arrow to the strike as she walked.
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K'Taal
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K'Taal had moved quickly, using fine steed Isonia had directed him towards, left standing alone, outside a tavern; and he had soon arrived where the farmer had directed him. The landscape was that of his vision...

The Key, sitting gazing towards the fire. Aurelia, asleep clutching a dented saucepan. All set in a clearing, of a pine forest.
As K'Taal sat down, recovering from the intensity of this new vision, he thought to himself. This could not be far from here, and from the look of the land in the vision, it must be uphill from here. So,
K'Taal set off on foot uphill, in search of some tracks, or clues showing exactly where to find these elves.

As he headed uphill, he almost missed some fresh tracks, for they were well disguised. A lesser tracker would have missed them, these elves did not look that fleet of foot, or stealthy, maybe appearances can be deceptive.

Following these tracks, he noticed that their only seemed to be one set, implying one person. However if they are as skilled as appeared this could be a simple ploy of walking in the same places. This seemed unlikely for the two figures in his vision, maybe there was another with the same intention as he.

As he followed the trail, he passed a freshly beaten down area presumably a campsite. He felt the area where a fire had been, it was less than an hour old, maybe he could catch up with this person before dawn.

Following this trail started to become easier, as if less care was being taken to mask it. A sense of urgency swept across him, and he doubled his pace. Soon he came across the clearing in his vision, with two elfs packing away their kit, totally oblivious of their impending doom.

K'Taal scanned the treeline, and picked out a figure slowly apporaching the elves. Moving quickly and quietly, He crept up on the figure, finding to his surprise that it was female, not that it mattered, he had killed women before. His stealth was wasted as she seemed to be concentrating too much on her targets.

K'Taal crept up to three foot behind her, when he poked her in the back with his sword.

I wont condescend you by telling you to be quiet, we both know whats at stake. Now tell me, why you search for the Arian? and more importantly, why I shouldnt run you through here and now?
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Shade Valoria
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Shade set camp for the night at the rendezvous exlaimed in the letetr he sent to Thrash. As he sat there, eating his paltry meal of bread and a stale mug of ale, he heard a noise form the brush.

Shade quickly stood up and drew out his dagger, and standing defenseivly for what would come out of the brush. ....It was Thrash! Thrash slowly walked up to him and grabbed Shade's collar and said weakly, "They killed my men!, be careful, dont let them get to...you"

Thrash fell to the ground on his stomach. Shade used his foot to roll him over to his back. When he did, blood was covered all over his tunic. Shade bent down and closed Trash's eyes with his hands. He stood, up and drew out his magic sword, wich had a Water-Light enchantment, and he eased the blade into his campfire and the magical water from his broadsword extinguished the fire. He did not sense any darkness creatures, so he knew his weakness to them would not be a factor tonight, though somehow he knew it was a factor in the life of his departed friend.

Shade mounted his horse, and rode off towards a very dim light he had noticed earlier about 2 miles off. Though Shade had a weakness to darkness magic, from his enchanted sword, growing up as a young boy in the foothills gave him a keen sence of night vision. He couldnt tell what the light was, but since he was seeing it at a 2 mile distance he assummed it was a small tavern.


* * *


Shade dismounted his horse, and tied it up. He entered th Tavern and sat down. After having 2 or 3 drinks he stood up and was about to leave, until a man sitting next to him, siad there was a another looking for Shade on the count Shade fitted the decription given to the man.

Yeah, he said he was off in serch of osmthing, he siad you'd know what, and that you would find him "you know where". He headed North, so im sure you haver alot oc catching up to do.

Thank you Sir, here is a gold shilling for your help. I must be leaving.

Shade left North towards the ancient Library, he knew that is where DLE would be. He hoped DLE did not run into the infamous creatures that stle the live of his dearest friend Thrash. Time was a factor in this journey. If Ruark, DLE, or himself did not find the Arian first, Darden knows who would end up with it. And then that brought up another question too. What had become of Rurark? He had not seen nor heard form him in days as well. There is no telling who he ran into.
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Ivan Blade
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Ivan awakes from his sleep to DLE asking him if he is lost and if I can help him find his way. First tell me how you got here and why and i may be of more help. DLE tell him what happened.

A hour later.

So you are Searching for the Arian. You must know that many people have tryed to look for the Arian and have failured some of them are some sure they go mad. But if you want to look for it the frist place we must go to frist is the ancient library. Who knows we might meet Shade there too, but if we are to make it there be for dawn we must hurry. I will put a spell on your shake so we will move like the faster and so he does not get tired as easy. Ivan then tells him where to find this ancient library and then Ivan glows a light blue and casts a spell on the shake and then DLE puts Ivan back in to his scaberd and then he jumps on his shake and rides faster then has ever before to the ancient library.
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Bonie, Tonie and Thornie
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What DLE and Ivan did not know was that while they were talking they were something watchin them a few yards behind them and over hearing what they had to say.

So thats what there up to the master would be pleased to hear this.

Bonie says.

Tonie hits Bonie over the head with his arm that he tolk off for a sec. and bonies head falls off his body.

Hey why did u do that tonie.Don`t you remeber what the boss said.

Bonies is trying to get his body to come pick his head up and put it back on.

Ummmmmmmmmm no I forgot.

Are job is to follow them and .......And to report to him if we find anything usefull.

I was just about to say that why do you do that to me you always do that you know i hate it.

Thats cus i`m smarter then you so =P----.

Ok you asked for it

Bonie gets his head back on.

Oh no i`m so scared what are you going to to hit me with your leg again oh no.

Bonie and and Tonie start hiting one a nether with there body parts till they are all in pieces on the ground. Thornie just puts his hand on his forhead and shakers his head. A woman walks by.

Hey miss can you help me get myself back together.

The womens starts screaming and runs away in terror.

Not again u do this all the time

Thornie says. He then gets a big bag out and starts puting that bones in the bag. A hour later he has both of them in the bag.

I hate doing this more then you hate to get mad with Bonie Tonie.

He then gets out a little bag and throws it on the ground and they all disapare. Thornie apares in long hall way he walks up the hall to were a man siting on a thrown.

Master i have news for you that you must hear.

Mean while at the town a mob of man and women with pike forks show up at were the 3 were last and stop.

There is no one here the women must have bein seein

thinks one of the men in the mob says.

You calling my wife a liar

a nether man says.

YESS I AM

all a sudden a fight breaks out.
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Islia
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Islia stood not 20 meters away from her prey, waiting, silent, patient. Her Elven senses at one with the forest she listened as the lone figure aproached in near silence from behind her, he was good, he was very good, but not good enough.

She waited.

A sword touched her back.

I wont condescend you by telling you to be quiet, we both know whats at stake. Now tell me, why you search for the Arian? and more importantly, why I shouldnt run you through here and now?

Turning to face the stranger, her eyes glowed with the elemental powers of fire.

Follow me

Ignoring the sword she turned and walked into the heart of the forest, knowing that alerting Kaz would ruin everything. She listened as the stranger followed her into the depths.

Looking at her would-be 'killer' she mumbled a word of power

Hot

The hilt of the sword started to glow with the heat of the forge in which it was first forged, the sword dropped silently from the strangers grasp to fall on a bed of last years un-decomposed leaves. As the sword touched the ground the old dry foliage burst into flames.

To answer your first question, I do not search for the arian, merely the living blood of this elf. I will not allow you to kill him if that is your wish. With regards to your suggestion of running me through..

She paused, looking at the blisters that had formed on his sword hand.

You should have done it when you had the chance

Again she turned her back on the stranger.

My name is Islia, you may help me

As her words faded on the woodland breeze three things happened simultaniously. Her elven features morphed into the undead, fanged visage of a day-walking vampire. The stranger reached down through the flames towards his sword. One of Islias throwing knives quivered in the ground, a mere inch from the strangers hand.
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K'Taal
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As he followed the elf into the forest, K'Taal felt unnerved by her lack of concern about the sword pointing between her shoulder blades. Something was wrong with the way she held herself too, An air of nonchalance unusual even in elves. And her eyes, well they were just freaky.

His thoughts were quickly brought back to the present as he heard her utter HOT and felt his sword become warm, then hot. Before the pain became searing he dropped it, for there was no merit in using it now.

Quickly formulating a plan as she gloated, K'Taal bent to pick up his sword. As he predicted she threw a knife to warn him off, however as it landed, he a removed a small crossbow from his belt, aimed and fired it, pinning her arm to the tree trunk next to her. Momentarily after that, his sword was quivering in the same tree trunk just above Islia's head.
Kicking earth over the remaining flames, he walked towards Islia, noticing for the first time, her change of features.

You are a myriad of contradictions Islia, An elf and a vampire; you seek the life blood of the key, but not the Arian itself; and you stalk with skill and then set the forest alight.

Lets hope you havent made our presence too obvious.

K'Taal retrieved his sword from the tree.

I am K'Taal, Paladin of Isonia, and you may accompany me. Who knows, maybe you'll learn something more than parlour tricks.
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Ruark
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Standing became walking. Walking became jogging. Jogging became Running. Running became a sprint. Ruarks feet kicking up clouds of anchient dust as he ran through the central aisle between book filled shelving, towards the shadows and the noise. Some one was here.

In the shadows a table lay disturbed, several large tomes swimming in the dust, scattered about the floor. The helmet from a suit of armour that had once layed apon the table lying with the books, the chest peice hanging precariously on the edge.

With a second the crash the rest of the armour lost is gravity defying grip on the table and plumetted noisily to the ground. As the second crash resounded throughout the library Ruark removed the huge two handed sword he had strapped to his back.

Peering into the shadows, the huge rock formed body of the Opulent tensed for the possibility of a fight. His two handed sword, held in one hand, swang between his left and right grips finishing held by his left set of fingers. The outline of a figure slowly coalesced as Ruarks eyesight adjusted to the gloom.

He didn't know where Korin was, but Ruark sensed Volodomire slowly approaching his rear.

You cannot get away.....come out to the light

He spoke to the figure in the shadows.
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Kaz
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Good morning Kaz

Kaz turned from the beauty of the sunrise to look at the small elf with him, her innocence shining through her eyes. He had spent much of the night awake, and when he did sleep he tossed and turned remembering the vision from the day before. The morning had come. And so would they.

After returning the young elf's cheery greeting Kaz made quick work clearing the camp. His sword he buckeled loosely to his waist, his bow in hand he gestured for Auralia and him to start the final days treck to the Library.

Whilst still on the Plataue going was good, walking easy. However. Kaz knew that soon their route would take them into the forest, and eventually as the forest became more wild, the jungle. A sense of deja vu caused Kaz' heart to miss a beat. This was it, this was where the vision had showed him that his pursuers would attack. Turning back he looked into the forest lineing the sides of the plateau but could see nothing.

The birds had stopped singing, the wind seemed to have died away, clouds seemed to form malevolent faces in the sky obscuring the sun. He could feel a Darkness approaching.

With a final glance at the bushes he turned back to his companion and uttered a single word.

Run!
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Islia
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As K'Taal turned to remove his sword from the stump of a old beech tree, Islia faded into the forest. His final words, spoken before he turned, only heard by the wind rustling through the leaves.

Silent feet carried the near invisible assassin back towards her prey. Gone was the hate for the outdoors life. Gone was the thoughts of the stranger, he mattered not. She was in her element again, a hunter, the darkness about to spill the blood of the light.

She hefted her dagger. After she brought the elf down with her bow, the silver weapon would be required to extract a sample of his blood for the mage. Islia's dagger was a piece made my a true master of the smithing arts. Formed in the shape of a dragon the blade was carved like the undulating neck of the beast. The tip, splayed into thousands of sharp points, flames expoding from the open mouth of the dragon. Wings spread for flight they extended to either side of the hand grip, to protect the wrist of the person weilding the beautiful blade. The hand grip carved in the shape of two taloned limbs, a tail coiled around creating a hand shaped grip. The true glory of her weapon however, was held by the talons of the great dragon, a large black gem that seemed to suck in the light.

The DarkLight Crystal.

For most that would be it. But for someone with Elven or Magesight, the black orb emmitted a dark spherical glow three meters in radius. Within the DarkLight it was always night time, whether the moons cast their pale light over a nightfilled land, or sun shone with all its firey brightness, it mattered not. While holding the dagger, Islia could walk in the light.

Keeping to the tree-line she followed the two elves for the best part of three kilometers before finally readying her self. She had overtaken them, and carefully examined the look on the face of the Male elf. Something had distressed him. She watched as Kaz turned back towards the way he had travelled, scanning the trees for pursuit.

A smile crossed her face.

If only he thought to look forwards

She thought to herself, drawing the bow, arrow notched and ready to taken the elf in the leg.

Kaz started to run, for the 'safety' of the forest ahead, Islia's bow following his progress, her fingers twiched with anticipation.

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Korin Lemire
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Twing... Klunk.

Ruark turned his head, his reflexes taking over as the arrow hit the bookshelf next to him. as he turned back, he saw that the arrow had a message tied to the shaft...

he also saw Korin.

Korin grabbed the arrow, snapping it in half in his haste. he quickly skimmed the note.


Quote:
~Ruark~

your servant Melf has met his end... at the end of my blade. he was unfaithful, and our master does not accept that. do be aware that the bonds he forced upon his "servants" have been desolved, and they are free to do as they will....

~Shadow Stalker~


Interesting, Korin mumbled as he read the note to himself.

before Ruark could read the note, Korin cast a small magical cantrip that set the note on fire, consuming it all instantaniously.

it was a note from one of my servants, he wanted to inform me of one of my ... experiments. alas, it failed and i have many dead to deal with when i return. also, there is a thief in the library. i spotted her as i was reading a tomb.

korin knew that melf was dead, but he did not want Ruark to know as well. if Ruark knew, Korins new plans would be destroyed before they could even be finalized. he took on a calm that he had not shown as his thespian side came out.

Ruark would realize soon enough where his loyalties lied.
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Volodomire
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Stepping out from behind Ruark, Crystiame allowed the strands of energies to shimmer around him. He could sense Korin Lemire more than he was willing to admit. He could feel paths and actions changing, and as they changed so did Crystiame. The younger he felt, the younger he became.

I find it odd, Korin Lemire, that a servant would not hand you a note or deliver such a missive in person. That your servants would fear your reaction so much that they would rather tie it to a bolt and shoot it from a distance than to deliver it directly to you. Crystiame scoffed, as he planted himself firmly beside Ruark.

This man lies to you, m'Lord.

Crystiame said to Ruark in a barely audible whisper, but loud enough so that he was sure that this man could hear him. To take away the power of lies, one interjects the ideals of truth. He is not to be trusted.

Just then, a livered servant wearing the house colors approached the three of them. Crystiame caught a flash yet again of fire and hate, of lives burning. Images swirled in his mind as his youth faded slightly. Older he appeared, fatigued from the visions that unnoticeably overtook him. In his mind, he saw the images of this to come... of things to come...
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Auralia
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The day had been going rather well to Aurelia's mind. The sun was shining, she was seeing parts of the world she had never seen before and she had made a new friend. Of course she had very little idea where they were going but that didn't bother her. After all the little elf spent most of her time not knowing where she was going or where she was for that matter. It rarely bothered her, in fact she had long ago decided that there was no point in figuring out where she was. As soon as she ever figured out where she was, Aurelia would get lost again.

She never noticed the feeling of darkness that seemed to close about the pair. Such things as danger always went over her head, and not just because she was so short. Something to do having a kender grandmother had given her the ability to ignore danger, maybe in the hopes that it would do the same for her. It rarely worked but it did tend to mean that she didn't see dangr coming till it hit.

When Kaz had looked down at her, Aurelia had wondered if he was about to explain where they were going. He did seem to be a quiet travelling companion, not at all as talkative as her. In fact most of the day she had been chattering away herself with barely a word from him. So perhaps it was tiem to expect some talking from him. What she hadn't expected was him to suddenly say 'Run'.

Run? Where? Why? What's happening? She looked about from one side to another, not quite sure what she was looking for. Where they supposed to run from something, or towards it? Was it a good thing? Or a bad thing? Aurelia scratched her head and frowned, just seeing Kaz take off.

She yelled out, Hey wait for me, her little legs moving as fast as they could. You've got longer legs than me, wait up, hold on a bit. What's all the running for? Her saucepan bumped against one leg as she ran while her tiny sword hit against the other, and Aurelia tried to avoid tripping over either.

She grabbed hold of the flute at her waist to stop it from coming free, that was one thing that she could not bear to lose. What's going on Kaz?
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K'Taal
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As he sheathed his sword, K'Taal scowled, the vampire had gone before he could find otu what sort of threat she posed. He should find her before she found the key, he could not risk another party gaining the Arian.
Recocking his crossbow, and replacing it i his belt, K'Taal surveyed the treeline. Surely she woul not be foolish enough to try and shoot the Key as she had planned before, he thought to himself, as he balanced a throwing axe in either hand.
As the two elves started running, there was a movement in the bushes ten yards away. In a split second, Islias bow shattered as an axe tore through it. In that same second, K'Taal broke through the bushes, and palmed the second throwing axe to his right hand.
He was catching on them, but the shorter elf was between him and the key. As he let fly his axe towards Aurelia, he stopped and fell (as if hit in the head with a comedy frying pan).
No, not now! He cried out.
A courtyard, with two figures...
One flat on his back, helpless.
The other, standing astride ...
is a vampire...
is Islia.
She bends down towards the prone figure which...
is Human and is....
K'Taal!
She bares her fangs, and moves towards his neck....
K'Taal collapses, grasping his head.
Noooo!
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Lia MoonFlower
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She blanched, and held to the shadows a bit more, waiting for the opulent to leave.

~Bloody fuckin' buggers. Damned huge, and insanely strong. Bloody likely to break me in half with a fuckin' glance.~ she thought, her mossy coloured eyes flashing in the darkness.

Her heart began to thud in her chest, and she closed her eyes, trying to calm herself. This wasn't the first time she'd been caught in places she shouldn't be, and it sure in the hell wouldn't have been the last... but something in the Opulent's commanding voice scared her.

Trembling with actual fear, Lia stepped out of the shadows and opened her eyes, her flaming red hair flowing over her cloak like an overcloak of their own. She tossed her head in defiance at him and fixed him with a gaze that stopped most people in their tracks.

For an orphan, Lia could command presence when it came down to it.

"What the bloody hell d'ya want?" She demanded, placing a hand on her hips and staring at Ruark.
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Scott DarkMoon
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After Bonie,Tonie and Thornie tell him what they came back to tell him.So they are Searching for the Arian huh.This is good that means they will not think that anyone is following them.Go to the ancient library wait for them there and then show them your true form hahaha.Bonie,Tonie get out of the bag and there master casts a portal to the ancient library and Bonie,Tonie and Thornie walk throw it.
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Bonie, Tonie and Thornie
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Bonie,Tonie and Thornie walk out of the portal in front of the ancient library.So were is DLE and Ivan.They must not be here yet.So what do we do.
Wait thats what we do they should be here very soon now.So they wait for DLE and Ivan to come standing right in front of the door way of the ancient library.

A few hours later in the day.

Tag your it tonie.Oh drats.So were are they should have bein here by now.I`m geting bored.They must have got lost.You mean they are that dum that...shhhh I hear something its coming from inside there must be ppl in ancient library lets hide in the trees a little bite away from the library so we do not give are selfs away we we`re told to kill DLE and Ivan and none else.So they hide in the trees waitin for DLE and Ivan to reach the library.
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Radagast
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The crash and tumble echoed throughout the vast building. Whispered curses bounced off every polished surface. Footfalls followed only to be broken by the high pitched metal scraping of a sword being unsheathed.

" You cannot get away" Started a distinctly male voice. The second part of the scentence was lost in the reverberating void of the library.

"What the bloody hell do ya want?" a distinctly non-male voice imparted and filled the air.

The sounds echoed and settled on one of the Librarys eldest exhibits. The vibrations irritated it. The silence had been disturbed. Awarness of the immediate surroundings attacked the emerging senses of the dusty statue.His right foot twitched, then his left. As the being gained conciousness, a pre-ordained order took control and he struck his right foot several time on the flint pedistal. Sparks flew everywhere. Within seconds the shelves near the once unmoving statue gained a life of flickering flame.
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Islia
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The arrow poised, her fingers slowly withdrew from the string, The shot aimed at his leg to bring him down on the run. She released. An axe thudded into her bow, sending a shower of splinters into the air. The arrow left the bow, spining wildly eventually falling short of its target, and quivering like a coward, in the soil several yards behind Kaz.

She watched in horror as the stranger from earlier rushed out from hiding towards the two fleeing elves, brandishing another throwing axe. However. As he readied to throw, he stopped mid-stride failing backwards into an unconscious heap, like he had ran headlong into an invisable wall.

Cover blown, the bow was discarded for her favoured dagger, intricatly carved in the shape of a dragon. She was to her feet and moving in an instant exploding out of the treeline heading on an intercept course for the Elf.
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Kaz
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Kaz ran, not knowing, or caring if Aurlaia still followed, he knew what would happen. He didn't need to turn around to know that Auralia's sword had entangled her stride, causing her to stumble, sprain her ankle and fall to the floor. He didn't need to turn around, but he knew he would.

An arrow flew out of the forest, like an untrained cart driver, weeving and swerving across the road. It landed several meters behind him. Following the arrow, a man ran out of the forest axe in hand.

This was it. The decision the dream had told him of, he had less than seconds to make his mind up. Save himself and continue on this quest, where-ever it leads him. His memories and emotions still safely locked away behind the walls of his mind. Or. He could knock down the walls permenantly, relive the emotional scars from the time he thought Darden had forsaken him. Allowing the guilt, pain and anger to return. But saving his new friend.

The man was now gaining on Auralia, who had risen to her feet and was slowly limping towards him.

From somewhere within Kaz, something surged. Churning within his bowel wanting a release. The feeling had known escape only once before, when it had turned Kaz's thought of a portal into realitiy.
Whispering undedected through Kaz's unconscious mind it followed the pathway to freedom.

A shimmer crossed Kaz's view and was gonna quicker than it had came, a solid wall of air rushing towards the axe weilding man, throwing him backwards like a toy doll, to hit the floor with an audible thud.

Sensing the chance, he ran back towards Auralia, allowed her to put her arm around his neck, and helped her on their mad run to the safety of the forest, where kaz was at home, and felt he could lose their pursuit.

A noise caused Kaz to look over his shoulder. There he saw a second attacker, leave the trees, dagger in hand. He could sense the darkness that surrounded her. Like a sphere of pure night a few yards in each direction from her were sheltered from the sun.

She was coming for him, he would have to face her or they would both die. Releasing Auralia, he turned and gestured towards the forest. He then pulled his sword and waited for the vampire to come to him.
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Islia
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He was slowing making his way to the safety of the forest ahead, the young female elf draped along his shoulder, limping profoundly.

Easy pickings

She thought to herself.

He sensed Islia's approached and turned towards her, letting his companion continue onwards, he turned, drew sword and faced her.

So.....he wants to play then does he? .. Goody

She was near now, dagger ready to strike, flying between left and right hands in a show of true skill. She lept towards him, dagger ending in her right hand. Kaz's sword arced across and she twisted mid-flight, her dagger impacting with a spark to the sword, hit the floor rolling, and returned to her feet, already on the offensive. Kaz's swing following around causing her second attempt to be altered in favour of a wild dodge. He turned to face her.
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Kaz
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As the Vampire launched herself into the air, dagger ready to strike, Kaz knew that he was in trouble, wildly he swang his sword hoping to keep her dagger away. It struck, the dagger, and was almost wrenched out of his fists by her iron grip.

He allowed his swing to carry him round half circle, almost inmpacting with the in-human speed of her recovery and advance. He regarded the Vampire for a few moments, once elven and beautiful, she exuded an eary aura of death. He sheathed his swod and drew a dagger, taking in the smile in reaction he got from her.

A heartbeat later the fight was on, she lunged with incredible speed towards him, dagger raised for the juggular. He was lucky to deflect the blow, his leather armour not so lucky, as the blade tore through an unprotected area of cotton, causeing a gaping hole of unprotection to open across the top right of his chest.
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Islia
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She watched, with an amused grin as Kaz exchanged Sword for Dagger, taking her on as if he was her equal. She almost snorted with laughter before lunging again towards him. Bringing her dagger in a downwards slash towards his exposed throught.

I'm going to have to kill him

She thought, as his and hers daggers collided, deflecting her blade to the shoulder strap of his breast armour, leaving him horriblly exposed. She launched a sweeping kick towards his face, and watched as he narrowly ducked, and returned a kick of his own, which she deftly avoided.

He had fallen into her trap. As his foot left the ground she sidestepped, pivoted, and then slashed towards the exposed area of his chest.
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Kaz
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As Kaz returned her kick he realised what she had planned all along. Her change of tactics was nothing more than a ploy to take advantage of his inbred elven sense of honor, as he lifted his leg in a high kick towards her, she dodged and came in with a swift slash across his exposed skin.

He felt the hot tingle of pain as the dagger bit deeply into his flesh, causing a shower of crimson as she burst an artery. The silver glistening blade, now red with his blood.

He knew it. He was going to die.

His chest burnt like hot coals, as he twisted away from the dagger in a last attempt to save his life. Wildly he swang his arm towards the blade, hoping to knockit from his course, his other arm, bent at the elbow swinging backwards in pain.
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Islia
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With a surge of illation, she felt the dagger drive home. It's blade cutting a red tear into and across the elves chest. She gloried as the blood of the key, sprayed across her blade. She had succeeded. Now she just had to finish the swing, and retreat to the forest with the blood.

Something went wrong. He should never have regained his balance so quickly, the reactions of a man close to death, almost able to compete with her inhuman strentgh and speed, caused his arms to travel in directions that on their own would have been fine, but together, proved to be her undoing.

The dagger was deflected again by Kaz's arm, the strain on her wrist bearly bearable. An elbow thudded into the side of her head. For a moment her vision swam, and she felt the telltale signs of the blade slipping from her fingers.

As the shadow defense of the dagger followed it's source, Islia felt the sunlight for the first time since she had been turned. Her skin itched and blistered burning red in an instant, hot like flames crawling across her body.

With a scream of pain she fled towards the darkness of the forest, dagger still trembeling in the grass.
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Kaz
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Kaz flet his elbow connect with something solid, and noticed a slight lessening in the strength of her grip. With all his strength he gripped the blade, blood dripping along his hand and through his fingers, and renched it from her grasp hurling the dark object away from the two of them.

He did not expect the reaction he got. All pressure suddenly left him as the Vampire jerked back severely, skin suddenly burning from the sunlight.

The dagger?

He thought to himself.

It must allow her to walk about at day

As suddenly as the thought had come, it was replaced with the very real urgency of escape. One of the attackers had fled to the forest at the side of the plataue. The other lay unconscious. He turned towards the woods at the far side of the grass, no less that 50 yard away, forgot the dagger, and ran for Auralia, the forest, and safety.
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Auralia
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It had not been the pain in her ankle that she had noticed first, rather it had been the mouthful of grass that had come to her attention. Grass was not supposed to be in the mouth, it was supposed to be under the feet, unless you were a cow or a sheep and she was quite sure that she was neither of those. So quite how the grass had gotten into her mouth was rather puzzling, until she'd noticed that the world was set a different angle and she was no longer moving forward.

She knew it was the sword's fault, it always was. Silly sword, she muttered to herself, not seeing the attacker behind her. Whatever's going on I am not using you to fight it.

Aurelia struggled to her feet, and it was at that point that her ankle managed to politely point out to her brain that it was in rather a lot of pain and she should really notice it. She hobbled along, trying not to put too much weight on it, missing everything that T'Kaal and Islia were doing. The pain in her ankle had decided that it was going to provide the overwhelming feeling for a while and so stopped her from noticing anything. The sky could have turned green and she probably wouldn't have noticed it.

There again there were some who would say that Aurelia wouldn't notice if that happened most of the time.

The little elf was very grateful when she found Kaz helping her. Though she did find it odd when he pointed her towards the forest and yet stayed behind himself. Still, she decided, whatever was behind was probably dangerous and might very well eat small elves. In which case not even a sprained ankle was going to stop her from moving forward.

By the time Aurelia had made it to the forest and turned about, Islia was already running for the safety of the shadows. Ooooo she does not look happy, she said, stating the obvious.
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Monster
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Through his endless searching he had come up empty handed. He had been flying for what seemed like ages now. Then he saw an image, and image of two elves one not so pleasent as the other fleeing for their lives. Then it suddenly changed to a group of people in a large library somewhere.

Well what should I do. Who to entertain first. Both places must be important to finding this gem I search for.

with that he flew to where he had seen the two elves fleeing for they looked more deserving of his help. He flew high in the sky towards where the vision was leading him.

He eventually found the forest and was able to sense both of them running. As his flight took him ever closer to his target he sees one person lying on the floor unconcious. Laughing he thinks he must be near.

The rest of the chase will be by foot for the trees are to close together for me to open my wings.

As he walked he came across a vampire that was obviously out in the sun for a while.

Hello it seems as if you forgot that vampires are not allowed to sunbathe.

monster chuckled before speaking again.

How are you out during the day and what are you doing here?

Monster kept one had on his back so if he needed to he could quickly draw his axe if the situation turned ugly.
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K'Taal
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The world slowly drifted into focus, and K'Taal clutched his head and the pain subsided. He watched as the Vampire in his vision flew off towards the trees, shrieking and smoking.

He got to his feet groggily, seeing the two elves head off into the distance. Breaking into a run after them, he smells elf blood near by. Would it be too much to hope that the vampire had done his job for him?

He almost missed the dagger, for it did not reflect the sunlight as an object as shiny as that should do, almost as if the sun did not touch it, but fortunately his trained nostrils led him to the blood and the dagger. As he touched the blood, he knew in an instant that it belonged to the Key, so he let the blood drip from the dagger into a phial, then wiped the dagger clean.

He turned the dagger in his hands, feeling there was something strange about it, the way the serpents entwined was strangely familiar. He could not place where it was from, but he knew who could, and that troll could probably help him with his vision too.

Time to visit an old friend, Methinks.
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Ruark
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As Ruark looked into the shadows at the dark outline of the figure he had addressed, Korin's return was heralded by an arrow being shot from the doorway into a bookcase. Leaving his sword ready he turned, and was rewarded by seeing Korin emerge to take the arrow from the shelf. Ruark watched as Korin read the missive then magically set fire to it, before Ruark could react.

As the question formed apon Ruark's lips, Korin explained the petty nature of the message, and pointed out the obvious, that a theif was in the building. However, the near silent statement from Volodomire kept him on egde, the precarious relationship that tied Korin to Ruark through Ruark's absent friend and advisor Melf, remained as untrusting as it had previouly been.

What the bloody hell d'ya want?

Ruark, pushed the thoughts of the message aside and turned to face the intruder, and was faced with a surprise. Her red hair flowed over the top over her cloak like red waterfall cascading over her shoulders.

She was obviously a theif, her boldness nearly drawing Ruark's attention away from the faint trembles that threaded through her body. Signs that she was not as confident as her speach suggested.

What do I want?

Ruark replied.

What an interesting question. However another equally important question is why are you in a building that has been swallowed up by the jungle, and forgotten by all but the most ancient of scrolls?
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Post Re: Repost: The Search For The Arian
[OOC] By this point I had disbanded The Mountain People (my droben guild) and my storyline was continuing under the TEN instead. The second part starts where the first left off. Ruark and Company are in the Library, Kaz and Aurelia in the forest, both injured. K'Taal has fled with Islia's Dagger. [/OOC]

Quote:
The Search for the Arian : Ancient Knowledge

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Kaz
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The day had progressed from the early dawn that heralded the attack, to the mid-day sun at the apex of its daily journey. Kaz and Auralia had spent that time fleeing into the depths of the Forest.

The wound on Kaz's shoulder, red and sore had long stopped bleeding, but his left arm was still hanging useless at his side. Auralia's ankle sprain causing little more than a slight limp, but Kaz could see it was paining her.

Feeling safe, Kaz decided it may be a good idea to stop for a short rest. It was his first available moment to inpest the dammage he had taken in the fight for his life. Red stain coated the torn material of his leather chest protection, his once white undershirt, now changed beyond recognition. The break in the skin crossed his shoulder from neck to the very edge, and was swollen and purple. It needed to be treated or it would go swollen. An archer, kaz could not affor to lose the use of the hand that held the string.

His shoulder could wait for now however, he knew they were only half a day's travel from the library, and it was not slowing them down. Auralia's leg, however was a different matter. Striking the palm of one hand across the other to awaken the healing magic within every living being, he beckoned Auralia to come sit and proceded to hold a hand either side of her ankle, and inch above the skin. Heat passed from one hand to the other, through the swollen and strained muscles of her ankle, loosening and healing the damage.

After he bandaged his shoulder and the two had eaten a small snack they continued on their trek. The last five miles had seen the forest gradually become more wild and overgrown. The types of vegitation had gradually morphed from the classic ferns of the forest outskirts, to the vines and huge leaves of the jungle.

Kaz removed his belt knife to help clear a path towards the ancient over grown building that called to him. They would be there before the sun set.
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Auralia
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She was rather surprised to have her ankle working again properly, not surprised in a bad way but rather a good way. Aurelia had always said that you should take care of your feet and, by association, your legs. After all those were the things that would walk you round Maxim, though obviously not all at once. Not to mention that if you got in trouble it was your legs that would help you make a swift exit. It was very difficult to crawl away to safety at any great speed.

Danger was definitely not something that should be examined too closely. Hence the fact that Aurelia tended to like having full use of her legs if only to run away. If you ran away fast enough then you never had too look to closely at whatever was dangerous.

She skipped along to catch up with Kaz, rather glad that she had stuck with him now. This male elf was unusual to say the least and he seemed to be in some sort of trouble with very strange people. Someone like this was definitely in need of her protection, and she was sure that her blessed saucepan would come in handy. Whoever had blessed the saucepan probably wanted her to keep an eye on Kaz for them. Now if only she could figure out which of the Gods it was...

Aurelia looked about the jungle, most in awe of the variety of things she could see. She had never seen some of these plants before, had never even dreamed that they could exist. This is really interesting Kaz, I've never been to the jungle before. been to a lot of forests but nothing like this. I wonder why the plants decided to grow like this? Or maybe the Gods put them here like this? Or even, the Gods might have put them here but in a different form and then over time they changed and became like this? What do you think Kaz? All sorts of questions were bubbling into her mind, most of them getting lost in the mess of thoughts that made up her mind.

Oh where are we going Kaz?, she said, her train of thought jumping to an entirely new subject. Is it going to be interesting there? I know, is it one of them piles of ruins that I've heard stories about? The ones with loads of ancient treasures and weird carvings and curses guarding them and...Her voice trailed off before starting up again after a moment's pause. There isn't a curse is there? I don't think I'd like that, I mean curses are like eally bad things. A friend of mine is cursed, well sort of anyway, he's trapped in a beastie-shape. Of course it's not a proper curse because no one meant him to turn into a beast, it was an accident. But I'd really not like to end up as a beastie or a frog or anything else other than me really.
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Radagast
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Smoke rose from around the bookshelves that had enclosed the once statue. Radagast listened carefully to the air, hopeing to catch voices above the sound of fire.
Mumbles seemed to eminate from the corridor leading to near the enterance.

Slowly and surely the tall rock creature moved his way towards te sound of voices. His unshoed feet pounded the stone flagged floor of the Library.

'I am the Guardian, this library must not be disturbed'. simple thoughts ran through the beasts core. For centuries Radagast had remained silent upon his podium of polished granite overlooking the centre of the building. Eversince his bondage to the Lord Darden his task was to stop the pool of knowledge from falling into the wrong hands, either by forcing off the intruders or destroying the library.

The current set of intruders had not entered the building appropriately and set off his summoning wards.

Radagast was coming
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K'Taal
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K'Taal had left the forest as quickly as possible, but making sure he was always in direct sunlight; for his latest vision had given him cause to be afraid, at least until he was able to contact his associate. He had then acquired a horse, from a farm which had carelessly left its horses unattended.

He had ridden through the night, for he did not want to give the vampire any chance to catch him, and as dawn broke he was riding through a sparse grassland. He tied the mare to the one tree he could see, and then lay down to catch a few hours sleep in the relative safety of sunlight.

As he lay down, he thought of Kinachi, his freind, whom he now was travelling to. They had been close, or as close as a troll and a human can be, but then they had left on bad terms, following an argument over one of Kinachi's experiments. However, Kinachi still owed him a blood debt, and maybe the Trollish Sorceror would still value that. Particularly when K'Taal appologised for objecting to his experimentation on the vampire.
K'Taal then fell asleep, where he dozed fitfully for a few hours.
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DLE
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DLE and Ivan are over half way to the library.When all of a sudden a arrow hits DLE`s shake in the neck make the shake fall to the ground.DLE and Ivan fly a few feet in the air and land on the ground a few feet away from were the shake is now laying.DLE Gets up and a few sec. after he gets up a group of goblins jump out of the trees.

There we`re 10 goblins fully armed with chain mail armor and a short sword in on hand and a dagger in the ether.DLE knew that he was greatly out numbered.He Could problie take on two at a time but that all changed when there leader walked out of the bushs.He wore full plate mail with a long sword.

DLE pulled out his sword.Then waits for the goblins to charge him.
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Radagast
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The smoke from the smoldering books hugged the high ceilings as Radagast slowly trudged his way to the sound of voices. It seemed that he had lain dormant for such a long time. The clutter of bookshelves amazed him, so much wood had been cut shredded, dried and stretched to provide the acres of paper that now lay before him.

A memory tugged at him, harking back to the days of season watching from his homely rockface. The ever present forest reaching for the skies with each green season. Getting taller and taller untill the Oaks reached there full 90 feet.

Then they came. Within a blink the forest had gone. The once proud Oaks had been whittled to a few lonesome trunks. The humans. The nature killers, time for revenge.

His mind raged with fury as he rounded the next corner and saw the gathering of figures.
To his astonishment, Radagast was not the tallest present
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Ruark
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As Ruark stood waiting apon the female theifs response to his question, heavy trod footsteps sounded behind him. He whirled towards the echoed footfalls and was surprised at what he saw before him. A Droben. Ruark stared at the 7 foot tall red-rock coloured Ingin in disbelief. No Droben were known to live so far from the Mountains, more strange was that the natural rock patterns that marked the face and arms of each Droben, suggested a clan of Droben that had been long gone from the known Droben empires, only recognised now from the old scrolls of the Library back in The Northern Mountains.

Ractkha!

He greeted the newcomer

I am Ruark, Megalith of the People of The Northern Mountain. I recognise your clan from ancient scrolls, your people are thought to be dead. Why have the Sarion Droben hidden their continued existence from their Northern Brethren for so long? And why now do you show yourself in such strange a place?

Remembering himself, he added.

I forget myself, I mean not to demand answers to so many questions, but your presence defies beleif.
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Islia
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Islia cowered in the darkness of the forest, the occasional bean of light shining onto the floor like a trip wire for the unwary. Hate. Hate was what she felt for the Elf Kazimirzch, he had bested her. That had never happened before, they never got away. Not from Her. But He had, and she hated him more because of it.

Something entered the clearing, her eyes closed to protect them from the light of day.

He spoke

Hello it seems as if you forgot that vampires are not allowed to sunbathe.

He Chuckled then continued

How are you out during the day and what are you doing here?

She was not in the mood for company, the last person she had seen had caused this entire mess by making her miss her initial shot at the elf. Had she got him then, then she would not be lying here without her dagger, wishing for night-time so she could retreive it. She hated him too.

Go away

She replied to his humour.

I do not wish for company

She listened as the figure slowly started to walk away from her, and a thought crossed her mind.

Wait!

She called back out to him.

On the plataue, you will see a figure lying unconscious on the grass. 50 yards to his north, aproaching the other treeline a dagger lays on the floor. Shaped like a silver dragon, talons holding a black crystal that seems to suck in the light. Please bring it to me. I will be eternally grateful
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Volodimire
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Time swooned around him in a pendulous moment that somehow reached deeply within him and stirred something even more anceint than what he believed he had in himself. Then for that brief moment he caught a true glimpse of himself within another, one he would dare to call kindred. It terrified him. In all this time, only this kindred had brought him so close to the taste of what his home had once been.

He could feel its presence as his own. A brother, a kindred. Radagast, the Guardian of Knowledge. If it were to come to blows, these mere mortals would not survive the struggle. All would be lost. All would be destroyed.

Crystiame spyed quietly at Radagast. He couldn't help but wonder if he sensed him the same way the he had him. He wondered if this Guardian could see the knowledge in his head, could hear his thoughts, could sense his desires. It made him wary, cautious.

Crystiame stood steadfast next to Ruark, unmoving, unwaivering. Without even thinking, he accidentally touch Ruarks arm. A touch by his hands had a strange affect on those of this mortal world of Maxim. He had not meant to, but fate had its own way of working itself into the Fabrics of Time.
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Monster
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Monster was not taken kindly too untill he began to walk away from the vampire in the shade. As he was walking away the vampire made a seemingly easy request for him to carry out. All that he needed to do was pick up a dagger and bring it back.

Monster took to the skies and saw what he was looking for and wondered why he was even doing this vampire a favor in the first place.

Why should I be doing this at all. This lady was not very nice to me at first so there must be a reason why she changed her heart so quickly.

Monster quickly turned around at the thought of gaining something from this deed. He quickly reached the sunbathing vampire and did some inquiring.

This dagger must posses some special power if you need it now, doesn't it? And since it does and you need it so badly what is it worth to you? I will get it if your price is right.
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Shade Valoria
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It had been a long night thus far for Shade. It would become much longer before it ended its duration. Shade was riding on his Shake as fast as he could through the night with a decent amount of light illuminating from one of the moons. 3 of the moons were full tonight. That and the cool air flowing through his upper-body was the only thing keeping him awake. He suddenly saw a fight going on. It was DLE! Shade grabbed the reins of his shake and slowly stood on the sattle, trying to maintain balance, then as he approached one of the Goblins he did a moonsault off his shake while drawing his sword. As his flip came horizontal, he swung the sword downward through the golbin splitting him into 2. The rest of the goblin pack started to close in on DLE and Shade.

How ya been? Let's take care of these Goblins and meet up with the rest of the crew; how does that sound?

Shade said, grinning. He was now fully awake with a the thirst and rage of war. It excited him and,frankly, he enjoyed it.
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Radagast
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Radagast stood dumbfounded. One of the intruders, a nine foot tall, Rock Beast with fiery eyes utterered the Droben words of Greeting. The creature held it's posture with such confidence, his words carried great assurance as to his stature and status amoung those near by. Radagast was entranced by this Being's charisma and in awe of his physical presence. The Being itself was beyond doubt a Droben, but not one that Radagast's memory could place.

Radagast's throat rumbled a few words, 'I am Radagast, the first ...... '
The wardings flared on Radagast's back sending a searing pain through his aged body, enraging his cooling temper, and kickstarting his dampened brain.
' I am Radagast, Guardian of Knowledge. YOu have trespassed upon this library. YOu must leave.'

Radagasts anger began to build. As his anxiousness grew, his awareness caught the sense of an intelligence flitting near the 9 foot Droben. The sense only hinted at a deeply magical individual both wanting to be recognised yet hidden. Whisps of smoke from the earlier fire had drifted this far and hugged the high cieling.
Radagast lunged at one of the bookshelves nearby scattering tombes hither and thither.

' I must repell all invaders to this library, YOu all must leave' Radagast's Voice bellowed, echoing off the stone walls.
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DLE
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DLE was able to kill 2 of the Goblins.Then they surounded him.He was he maybe be able to kill a few more before they kill him.Just then he heared a man on a Shake riding this way.It was Shade.

He approached one of the Goblins.Then did amoonsault off his shake while drawing his sword.As he flip came horizontal, he swung the sword downward through the golbin splitting him into two.He then joined DLE with the goblins around him.

He then said How ya been? Let's take care of these Goblins and meet up with the rest of the crew; how does that sound?Better since your here.Sounds good to me lets have some fun.So DLE and shade start to kill the goblins.After kill there leader the rest of the goblins start to run.So should we go after them or let them go.
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Shade Valoria
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After killing the last goblin that was unable to retreat, Shade turned to DLE and replied,

We follow them. Goblins never surrender. They retreated for backup. If we dont hunt them down before they reach the Goblin Army camps, we will be the ones hunted. Lets go!

While Shade said this, he was quickly remounting the stolen steed. He knew it would probably be the end of this journey before he saw his Shake again. His Shake was well trained, so he knew it would find its way back home. But for now, he had other things to worry about: staying alive.

H'yah!

Shade shouted as he kicked his heel into the stolen steed's hip, and he was off. Shade grabbed DLE's hand and quickly pulled him up. DLE saw his shake get killed. It made Shade wonder about his own shake as well.
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Radagast
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The runes burned on Radagast's back pushing the stone warrior into a deeper rage. The nearest object felt his wrath as he lashed out at a nearby bookshelf sending books in all directions. He started to stride towards the small band of intruders, taking wild swipes at the vast wooden storage structures sending yet more tombes and wood splintering.
With each approaching footstep, the sound of his solid foot diminished, the air thickened, and his vision to an ever increasing glassy feel.Radagast's awareness of his surroundings began to wane, a flailed arm passed silently through a highly steeped bookshelf.

' I have sensed your presence, fellow Guardian ' A voice spoke inside Radagast's head, ' Your mortal Quarry is no match for you. Our quest would be in vain. See how they continue as though you are not there. ' The voice took on an ittististable quality, and Radagast found himself squinting at vague shapes running around the galleries in search of something. Soot from the fire had already began to stain the embossed cieling.

' I have eased you out of this time loop and guided you to a place where you can fully understand your Being' The Voice's tone had taken a different quality which unnerved the Droben Warrior. Instead of it's quiet insistant murmur it had become more forcefull, more aggresive, yet it seemed to promise much more. Radagast's vision of the library swam in front of his eyes living him in complete darkness. Radagast waited for voice to continue.
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Islia
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Islia cowered in the shadows cast by the great trees that surrounded her. The creature, what ever it was had gone to find her dagger, soon she would be able to continue after the elf, after she had 'thanked' the creature appropriatly of course. She allowed a sadistic smile to pass along the lines of her face.

The dagger was more than just her weapon, it was her lifeline, she was as attached to it as she was her head, without it she would be forced to find shelter throughout the daytime. To anyone but a vampire it was but a knife, admittedly very sharp, exquisitely forged and worth a lot of money, but it would only do the same as every other dagger, no matter how ornate. She must retrive it, no matter the consequences for her mission.

A beam of sunlight shot through the tree coverage like a lightening bolt, she rolled to cover as it illuminated the part of shadow she was sat within. Cursing she looked over to where the monster had just landed.

The dagger! you have it?

This dagger must posses some special power if you need it now, doesn't it? And since it does and you need it so badly what is it worth to you? I will get it if your price is right.

If my price is right!!

Islia exploded.

You merely had to pick it up, price indeed. I could wait till sunset and get it myself

Unless?

She thought to herself

Unless it was already gone

Islia stopped to allow the realisation to fully sink in. She could not continue after the Key without being able to travel diurnally, she would be limited to her natural nocturnal state

My request for you has changed

Slowly standing she looked at the huge winged creature, and continued.

As you can see I am not human.

She chuckled

Not that I ever was of course. I was born in the elven village of Fernabergia before it was destroyed by a goblin raiding party. I did not know the significance of the dagger at the time but it saved my life many times as I escaped the burning ruins of my homes. I will not stand here giving you my life story, but needless to say later I became what I am now, a vampire. Shortly afterwards I discovered that my blade had a rather strange power that only effected vampires. Why it was in the elven village of Fernabergia I do not know. What I do know is that it allows me to exist in daylight without having to hide from the sun. I would ask you to find it for me and report its whereabouts, if I can only travel at night I will need daylight eyes so that I do not lose the trail.

Not that she thought she'd lose the trail, but a spy in the sky so to speak could come in handy.

As to your payment, I dont have much, but I can offer the blood of the person who has stolen from me
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Kaz
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Kaz's shoulder ached from the strain of travelling through the dense foliage of the jungle, he could could not see the sun through the canopy above, but knew that it was nearing sunset, the trek was taking longer than he invisaged.

Throughout the journey from the plataue Auralia had plagued him with questions, many that had no answers, he tried to keep his answers short and closed ended, he didnt think his head could manage getting caught up in an intense discussion with the elf. Although it may be interesting to see where the discussion led.

He smiled.

Something about the attacker was playing with his mind, a memory repressed and hiden behind the walls he had errected around his mind. The walls that this small elf was slowly but surely pulling down. Where had he seen the knife the vampire fought with before? He could not seem to place it, only that the memory belonged with the other painful childhood memories he had striven to forget. Trying to shrug it of he continued to use his sword to hack away at the foliage. Surely the Library could not be much further.

The swing of Kaz's sword suddenly became easier, as if the vines no longer wanted to hold up his progress. Losing his balance he tumbled through the gap he had created and landed in a heap on the floor. Looking up at Auralia he saw her stop mouth open, eyes staring straight ahead. Turning to see what had caught her attention caused him to grin, and sigh with relief. Thoughts of the knife faded as he got his first look at the Library of Toros.

Toros reminded him somewhat of his childhood home. Only where the buildings of Ferbaergia had been built from the living wood of the forest, the great library was a collosal stone structure that seemed to have been reclaimed by the jungle. Huge vines thicker than Kaz's thigh wound their way around the circumference of four huge marble pillars that stood atop a great flight of stairs that were as wide as the building they served. Ivy covered nearly every inch of the ancient grey rocks of the building, creating large fissures on the outer walls. It looked like something out of a story, as infact it was.

The slight urge that had pulled him towards the Library like an itch on his soul had disappeared, but Kaz was too busy to notice. Even forgetting his young companion he started to ascend the stairway to the vast oaken doors. The sight that greated him at the entrance was, however, about as far from his imagination as posibility could be. As expected, rows of bookshelves stretched as far as the eye could see, covered in a thick layer of dust. Even the siderwebs - of which there were many - were covered in thick grey dust. What he had not imagined was that the Library would be occupied. He was almost knocked to the floor as a young elven woman scampered out of the Library past him without stopping and into the jungle.

Hey!

He called after her, but she didn't stop. Turning to see what she had fled from Kaz heard a raised voice coming from the shadows at the far side of the Library.
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Ruark
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Ruark stood, mouth open in flat disbeleif at the sight of the Ingin, waiting for the ritual response, from one of the rock brotherhood, and answers to his questions.

What was he doing here? and why?

The thought was cut off as the Droben started to reply to the ritual greeting.

I am Radagast, the first ......

The Ingin stopped mid-sentance what looked to be pain, showing in the eyes of he who had just introduced himself as Radagast. In a slightly different voice and tone he continued.

I am Radagast, Guardian of Knowledge. You have trespassed upon this library. You must leave.

That was not the response Ruark had expected, not even another Megalith would reply to such a greeting with such strong a challenge. Ruark tensed, The Ingin were strong yet slow, a weary foe to be faced in numbers, but one on one against an Opulent of Ruark's strength and size would be as good as committing suicide. This Radagast was either very sure of himself, or stupid, and he did not look studid.

I must repell all invaders to this library, You all must leave.

Radagast repeated his warning, the earlier pain now vanished from his eyes, replaced now with hatred and anger. Realising that a fight was about to errupt, Ruark drew his massive sword in a huge two handed grip, and gently tapped the tip of the blade on the floor in front of him. Ruark stared into Radagasts eyes waiting, a slight flicker to the side and Ruark's sword swung in an arc towards his neck.

In the same instant Radagast changed. He did not seem as if he was all there, slightly diminished, faded as if he both existed and did not at the same time. The bookcases behind the Ingin were suddenly visable, but visable at the same time as Radagast, almost as if he was partially transparent.

Ruark's sword continued its arcing sweep through were the neckline of the great rock creature should have been. Lightening glistened across the edge of the blade as it passed through the Droben, changing the look of the blade. One moment it was as it had always been, the next it seemed to become a dull orangey brown colour, small flakes whisping from its now dull blades. The blade passed through the other side of Radagast's neck in a small shower of rust.

Ruark blinked.

Radagst stood where he had, head still attached to his shoulder's ghost-like. Ruark looked at his sword expecting to find it rusted to the hilt, and was surprised to see it gleeming in its silvery way, edge still razor sharp. He watched in awe as Radagast spoke silently and moved without moving, turning to question Volodimire if he was seeing the same thing, Ruark discovered his second surprise.

Like Radagast, Crysiame Volodimire seemed to exist and not exist simultaniously, he span trying to find the theif and Korin lemire to find both absent.

What's going on?

He thought to himself, slowly starting to panic. Where was he? he had not felt any kind of change in himself, but he clearly did not exist in the same place as the others. He had not felt this alone for a long time. A sound echoed across the dusty library, like the thump of wood striking rock, and he spun to face the doorway which was now opened to reveil the light of the setting sun. A shadowy figure stood in its center, staring into the shadows that cloaked the Droben. He was not alone after all, and he did not recognise the shape of his 'companion'. Ruarks voice sounded from the shadows, echoeing around the vast chamber.

Who are you? where am I? what have you done with the others?
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Kaz
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Who are you? where am I? what have you done with the others?

The voice from the shadows, a deep rumbeling barratone echoed throughout the halls. Kaz stepped back in surprise.

Is he talking to me?

He thought to himself, straining to make out where the voice had come from. Taking a couple of steps into the library kaz's senses were filled with the musky smell and taste of centuries old books and scrolls. Inhaling the pure smell of knowledge reminded Kaz of periods of a happy childhood spent in the great library back home, at least before the raid. Looking deeply into the shadows Kaz could make out the outline of a huge figure, although he could not see them, he could feel the eyes of the creature within the shadows burning into his skull.

Holding his bow so it would be clearly visable from the far side of the shadows Kaz tossed it to the side in a gesture of friendship. His right hand however did not leave the scabarded sword hilt at his side. There was no point in being careless.

I wont harm you

Kaz called into the shadows.

I have come here to seak information, that is all. I don't know where your friends are, but you are in the great library at Toros, in the centre of the Kario Jungle. My name is Kazimirzch Longbow, a wanderer....I'm coming in.

Slowly Kaz made his way along the dust covered central aisleway, shelves toward to either side of him, making him feel strangley claustraphobic. Movement ahead caused him to stop in his tracks. Stepping out of the shadows was something from a nightmare, standing 9 foot tall the beast was collosall, arms thinker than Kaz's waist the rock creature moved towards him with profound grace and lightness of step for a thing so large.

harm you? yeah right

Kaz thought to himself.

What the hell have I got myself into this time?
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Ruark
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Ruark watched the figure hold out his bow and cast it aside.

I wont harm you!

The silhouette said.

I have come to seak information, that is all

Ruark listened, waiting for the rest of the sentance to fade from the newcomers lips, before stepping out of the shadows. The sight that met the fierce Droben's eyes was not he expected, not that he actually had known what to expect in this strange place.

So where are the others?

He thought to himself, glancing back over his shoulder at the two half carporeal images of his reaining travelling companions.

Ruark chuckled, a deep sound that penetrated the very corners of the room causing great clouds of dust to come unsettled and fill the air.

Harm me? no I very much dount that. Pick up you bow young Longbow, it cannot harm me.

Ruarks giant arm rose and gestured towards Kaz's discarded weapon. The cogs of Ruarks brain whirled in a fury of action,

If this elf has come from the real world, then I am where I was.

The cogs continued to turn.

So in that case, it is Radagast, what did he entitle himself? ah yes the Guardian of Knowledge, and Volodimire who are no longer fully here.

The thoughts appeased some of the questions that had plagued Ruark's mind for the last few minutes.

But that still leaves Korin, Volodimire said not to trust him, where is he?

He looked again at the elf and continued.

I am Ruark. Megalith of the Northern Mountains Droben, and I welcome you to Toros. May I ask what brings you so far into the jungle
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Monster
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A little bit of cash and blood should do well for me. Blood is my second favorite beverage after all. I will help you follow this fool.

Monster turned and was about to fly away when he remembered something.

There was a man by where you dagger was and before I came back he took it and began to run away very rapidly. In that direction. I will be back by nightfall to tell you where he is.

Monster then turned and took off to follow his soon to be prey. Flying very high and far behind he followed this man till it was almost nightfall, and that is when he returned to where the vampire had been.

He has left the forest and found a horse, but we should be able to catch him by the time he falls asleep. Now the question is how do we move out and follow him.
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K'Taal
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The sun was high in the sky when K'Taal awoke, much higher than he had intended. He lept quickly onto his horse, hoping that he had enough time to reach Kinachi before sunset, for he did not want to risk a second night riding with a tired horse.
He rode surprisingly swiftly until just after dusk when he pulled up at Kinachi's extravagent trollish dwelling. He rang the bell hanging by the door. He had an eerie feeling that he was being watched, and he was sure he had heard someone tracking him earlier. As he heard a twig cracking back up the track, K'Taal tried the door, and finding it secured, rang the bell again more urgently
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Radagast
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Disoreientated and angered, Radagast was only really aware of the Voice that spoke to him in a reassuring manner,

' I am your brother, the Guardian of Time.... '

The sounds reasonated in the Ingin's head. Although the words were just spoken they carried deep meaning. A feeling that Radagast had always known it to be true. A look of wonderment passed over his craggy features, as he finally began to understand.
A vision began to stir in front of his eyes. Still maintaining the glassy complexion Radagast viewed his own hands. They were steeped in a salty thick red liquid, the smell of burning filled his nostrils, and the sound of screaming assualted his ears. Radagast looked up from his hands and serveyed his surroundings.

It appeared to be a Human village. The Smithy had crumbled under the emmense heat from a fire which had now spread to other dwellings. The soft Humans were running around in a fright. Some were considering to fight the fire, others were gathering loved ones looking to flee. Directly around him lay the broken bodies of many men. The farmers and been brutely slain, and were only armed with pitchfork's and sythes.
Radagast could feel his own anger and the dispear in the short lived ones.

The image changed instantly. His view was of a vast valley. Rich with green leaf, radient in the summer sun. As the Sun moved its way over the sky, the leaves turned brown and fell. Auntum came and went, and winter was coming to an end as the glowing ball setted.

Vision after vison fluttered in front of Radagasts eyes. Each one different. Each one invoking a feeling.

The final vision held much. It was an agonising recreation. The forging of his Being. The scene of a rolling landscape was quickly being eaten away. His memory recalled a faint murmur radiating through the rock. The sound reasonated widely throughout the Rock, a second murmor added to the first. A different frequencey, yet it Radagast heard it harmoniously interconnect. Sound after sound generated deep within the earth all converged to one point. The interplay of the noises created a changing, almost music like symphony. It shaped his form, it gave birth to the first of the Ingin.

Then and only then did it fall through Radagast's mind. He now knew, that it was not the Humans that had fostered his creation from a feeling of hate and anger, but he was created by the Symphony. The Voice. He knew that he had always Been, and will always be. If that was the case then he knew everything, yet nothing.

Radagast stood speechless and motionless
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The Inferno
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Flames roared through the 7th circle of the Demon realm, waves of fire crashing against a molten volcanic shore, the sky, a fiery red-orange mass of burning gasses, roofing the infernal landscape.

A hot wind blew north-easterly towards the twin peaks of the great volcano of Infernola, across parched and burnt soil the wind blew, and if it looked to promise rain it was of the acid variety or liquid fire that would periodically fall from the red fury above. Down through the vents that led to the bowels of Infernola blew the wind, through the magma chambers where molten rock bubbled and steamed in a state of constant fire, and along the lava filled corridors that had been blown out in huge expultions of pure energetic power, until it emptied in a room of flames. It was not alone.

Something long gone from the mortal realm of man, lay dreaming forever of it's banishment, re-living the moment, re-fealing the anger, vowing revenge and waiting for the prophesised time of returning, where power eternal would once again by his.

The Inferno stirred.
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Islia
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The sun was setting on the horizon as the Monster returns to the sheltering branches of the forest that hid Islia from the sun. As the shodows beneath the bows started to lengthen Islia and Monster slowly moved towards the plataue at the forests edge. Joy filled Islia as she watched from safety the sky darken through purple into black.

Night.

Her Elven and Vampire senses combined as the blackness enveloped the land. She could feel the dagger, somewhere, a faint echo of a feeling pointing towards the north, the same direction Monster had returned from.

It's out there. I can feel it

she spoke the thought aloud without realising. Shock, or was it surprise spread for a milisecond across Monster's face but Islia payed it no heed. All that mattered was the dagger, and she knew wear it was.

She setted out into the darkness, not really registering if the monster was still at her side. Onward they marched as the plataue started to descend towards a valley, bisected by the river. Grass land became pebbled road. Pebbled road became dirt track. Dirt track became fields of wheat and corn.

For the last few hours the dagger had grown closer with every stride. The man who stole it from her obviously asleep in a false protection. Before dawn she would catch him, or at least be very, Very close indeed.
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Aurelia
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She had never seen such a place as this before, the building was unlike anything that she had ever seen in her home. Though admittedly from what she had heard home no longer looked like it had anymore. Staring at the library Aurelia was for once speechless. It was a most unusual condition for her to be in and one that didn't happen very often. Her companions usually appreciated these silent times more than anything else when they had travelled with her for too long.

But as with all her speechless tiems it was over far too quickly. Wow, I mean it's just huge and all, well, it's all very impressive. I wonder who built it? I mean no one would build a great big place like this in the middle of the jungle, would they? Or maybe they would, you know, to keep it safe. Though I suppose the jungle might have grown up around the building, I mean that it likely. Did you say it was a library? I think that's what you said wasn't it? Kaz had walked on in front of her and couldn't hear her prattle, though that didn't stop the tiny elf from talking.

I've been to libraries before, full of books and dust if I remember rightly. Not that that's a bad thing, I mean I really like books, very useful things they are too. I mean it's much safer to read a book about something dangerous than actually going out there and looking for it. I mean, personally I'd rather read about a lion than go and ask one what's it's like to be a lion. I think if I meat a lion in real life it might eat me, and I don't think that a lion's stomach is where I wan to live. I mean it'd be full of antelope and stuff, you'd never get any space to yourself.

Aurelia looked about the jungle, she wasn't too happy about being out here by herself. There were all sorts of strange noices out here and things moved in the undergrowth. Who knew what might be out there, watching the tiny thief and licking their lips as they thought about making her dinner? Or would it be lunch at this time of day?

Hmmmm, think that maybe I should go in there and see if he's alright. I mean I'm sure I'm supposed to be looking after him and all. She chewed her lips for a moment and wished that Helania was here with her, for one thing the taller elf would be a good person to hide behind.

Ok Aurelia, she said to herself outloud and with more than a slight tremour in it. You've got to take all your courage in both hands, even if you don't think that you've got enough to hold in both hands.

She unhooked her saucepan from her belt and held it in both hands like a club. Then she shut her eyes and slowly avanced towards the lilbrary, praying to any of the Gods that were listening and that she hadn't offended recently.
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Radagast
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As Radagast stood frozen in the hazy, time distorted bubble, a small whispering voice penetrated the silence. At first he could not make out the voice, but it slowly grew in stature and volume. It twisted around his body, vibrating the silicone laden skin that covered the Ingin.

" Guardian....... Guardian...." the voice implored, " Do you not remember......" The substance of the sound began to take a form unlike anything Radagast could remember. He could feel it encircle his lower limbs and wind itself up his body. " You must remember..... You must Remember...."

The insistance got stronger and stronger. The pitch and frequency of the sound had harmonised with his cellular stucture. Radagast could feel his very Being vibrate. The sensation was so intense it gave the feeling that he was literally going to explode.


The voice encircled his head and ablated itself through the side of Radagast's skull.
" You are the Guardian of Knowledge......Your presence has been in many forms...........I, The Symphony, created you it is now that you are needed...... The path to remembering is painfull, but needed...."

With those parting words, the voice ceased. Radagast stood for a moment, untill a blinding light sent searing pain through his rock skull. Radagast collapsed to his knees, holding his head in agony, as memories of the past exploded in his brain.

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Helenia
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The elven archeress knelt down by the small set of footprints, one hand placed beside them to gues at their size. Not that she needed to, Helania knew that Aurelia had passed this way just by the sight of them. She had been tracking the tiny thief for some time now, cursing each hair on Aurelia's head as she did so. Helania had no idea what crime she must have committed against the Gods that she had been punished with looking after the little one. All she knew was that it to have been bad, no one deserved to have to put up with the thief for a prolonged amount of time.

She looked up at the surrounding jungle, looking at the scar of a path that had been forced through the undergrowth. Well at least she isn't making it difficult to find her, the archeress muttered under her breath, trying to make as little noise as possible. Many would have thought it weird, how Helania could moan about looking after Aurelia and then throw all caution to the win in order to find her. The truth was that however much she might complain, Helania cared for the little one like she would a younger sister. Not that she would admit that to anyone else, preferring to say that "well someone has to watch after her, otherwise she'd no doubt manage to start a war".

Helania checked her bow as she stood up, making sure that the string was still tight. The humidity of the jungle was more than likely to rot the thread if she wasn't careful. And she didn't fancy being caught by whatever creatures lived here with a faulty weapon. The sounds coming out of the undergrowth had made her more than a little wary, that and the remains of other beasts's meals that she had come across. Anything that could prey on the carcasses that she'd seen was definitely best avoided.

Though no doubt Aurelia's gotten herself caught by one of them, knowing my luck, she muttered dourly.

She unshealthed the plain short sword from her waist and held it carefully as she followed on Aurelia's path. Aurelia and her companion's path, she mentally corrected herself. Where ever Aurelia had gone, she had not gone alone, she had met up with someone else some way back, someone who had lead her here if Helania was any judge of the matter. Silently she wished Aurelia's companion luck and patience, whoever they were would need a lot of both to survive the little theif.

The feathers that were plaited in the archeress's hair danced on the warm wind of the jungle, one fluttering in front of her eyes for a moment. They moved in a strange parody of the flight that they had once taken while still attached to their avian creators. Each was a memory to the blond-haired elf, every one a keep-sake from a hunt. Sometimes when Helania found herself after prey, things were just different, even she couldn't explain it properly in words. Her senses would seem to heighten, everything becoming clearer just for a few moments, and the elven woman would just find herself at one with her weapon. From those hunts and those alone she would take something, a relic of kinds that would connect her back to that one perfect moment of clarity.

But this wasn't one of those times, no this was just a matter of trying to find Aurelia again. Just don't have gotten yourself into any trouble, Helania hoped as she set off deeper into the jungle.
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Kinachi
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Kinachi was reading in his library when he heard the bell. Unsually for a wizard he was not reading a magic book, nor any other tome, he was infact studying a small book he had bought on his last visit to a human village. It appeared to be about a dog caled Ben, and a big red ball, it had large illustrations but seemed to lack any plot whatsoever. As there must obviously be more to this book, Kinachi had checked for any magical writings hidden in it, and was in the process of checking for any secret codes when the bell rang.
Blast, who can that be? I'm expecting noone!
Kinachi exclaimed, for living alone he spoke all his thoughts aloud, noone was around to hear. He waved his hand over his seeing orb to show a view of his doorstep, with K'Taal standing there.
Son of a baghta, I knew he was in the region, but I had hoped he was just passing through.
He muttered, not without a hint of bitterness. He was just about to pick up his club, when something in the orb caught his eye and he grabbed his staff, making his way towards the door.
He pulled himself to his full height (all 4'2" of it), before he answered the door. K'Taal was facing towards the treeline when Kinachi opened the door, taking his chance, Kinachi swung his staff at K'Taal, catching him on the side of the head and knocking him to the ground.
The small round goblin, had his staff aimed at K'Taals chest before he could move.
K'Taal, you better have some damn good reason for being here.
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Auralia
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She climbed slowly up the steps, her hands shaking so much that it was amazing that the little elf didn't hit herself over the head with the saucepan. Her imagination was coming up with all kinds of nasty images as to what was waiting within the dark recesses of the library's entrance. If nothing else Aurelia had a very active imagination and it seemed to delight in making her jump at every sound and shadow. The little elf had lost track of the times that she had been startled by her own shadow, it had a nasty habit of following her around. Anything that stuck to her heels like that really couldn't be trusted, besides Aurelia had good reason to fear the shadows, she'd seen what they were capable of.

Just as she made it to the top step a breeze played through the trees, sending the tiny elf's hair over her face. Arghhhhhh, she cried out, dropping the saucepan and tumbling back down the stairs, It's got me, it's got me, help, help, don't let it eat me. Her little hands flayed about wildly as she tried to get rid of her imaginary attacker, never realising that it was her own hair.

Finally one of her hands got tangled up with the little necklace that she wore. It had been a gift from an absent friend and was currently keeping her hand well and truly still. The little gold wolf charm dangled in front of her eyes, a reminder of Silverwolfe and his promise to return. Oh, Aurelia said in surprise, Where's the monster gone? It was here a minute ago and now it's just me and my hair and the little wolf. It must have gotten scared off, maybe the necklace is magic, though Silverwolfe never said anything about it being magical. Of course he could have meant it as a surprise, which was nice.

She swept back her hair and peered out into the undergrowth looking the 'monster'. Seeing nothing Aurelia scuttled back up the steps, grabbing her saucepan as she finally made it to the top again. Well I don't know what's inside the building but it's got to be safer than the hair-monsters out here. And Kaz! Oh my, I almost forgot about him, he might be in danger. Don't worry Mr. Kaz I'm coming, waving the dented saucepan she ran into the library.

Her little legs were moving so fast that she actually went right past Kaz, moving solely on momentum with a healthy dose of fear she found herself with out any way to stop. The thought passed through her mind that she might never be able to stop. What ever would she do then? Running forever across the lands because her legs had forgotten how to stop running. It definitely didn't sound like the sort of thing she wanted to spend her life doing. For one thing she was going to get rather tired with her little legs moving so fast. And she didn't even want to think about what would happen when she reached the ocean.

Of course the presence of Ruark solved the problem soon enough.

Owwww, Aurelia managed to say after her collision with the massive Opulant. She rubbed her head furiously, I'm going to have one heck of a bump there, still at least I stopped moving. Though this seems a very odd place to put a stone wall, she said reaching out and patting Ruark's shin. There was definitely something very odd about this wall, was all she could think, something that didn't seem too wall-like. For one thing this 'wall' wasn't at all wall-shaped, in fact the bottom of it looked an awful lot like a pair of feet. Her eyes trailed up from the feet, noting how the wall seemed to look like a pair of legs then a waist, then a torso, with very arm-like appendages.

And there was a head, the top of the wall definitely looked like a head, it had eyes and everything. Aurelia scratched her head and dug at her memories, sifting through things that had happened a while ago. She looked up at the stone-wall's head, it had to be at least 11 foot tall by her reckoning, much, much taller than the little elf. On most people the elf at least reached their mid-thigh, standing next to Ruark she barely reached his knees and that was standing on the tips of her toes.

Ooooo you're not a wall are you? I know, I know what you are, I remember you see, I remember the first rumours of the Droden and their armies. In fact I was going to go on an expedition to see if we could meet them when we first heard about you lot. We didn't get very far though, in fact I think we only got as far as the great hall, but there was food, which was nice. The miniature elf patted Ruark again, You are a lot taller than I'd heard your people were, I bet you have no problem reaching the top shelves in the kitchen.

Oh I'm Aurelia by the way, she offered a hand towards the giant Opulent, and realised that she was still holding her saucepan in the other hand. She blushed quickly and hooked it back into her belt. You don't need to worry about the saucepan, it's only blessed agaisnt demons, or at least I think it is.
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Rorshach
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The sweet scent of freshly bake rolls roused Rory from his slumber. Yawning, stretching, and taking a peek out of his window, it looked to be an hour or so before dawn. A few minutes later, he had picked out a fresh shirt—something decorative, but not garishly ostentatious—and checked in the mirror that he was presentable. Sneaking down to the kitchen, he helped himself to a healthy portion of the cook’s labors, then politely made enough noise so that his actions did not go otherwise unnoticed and let the rather hefty Matron of the Kitchens chase him from her demesnes with a wooden spoon. “And a fine top o’ the mornin’ to you, as well, me beautiful Mistress O’ the Meals!” he called laughingly over his shoulder as he danced beyond her desire to follow all the while juggling pieces of fruit and sweetbread. “Methinks I’ll be back for an early supper—do try to have something ready!”

Making his way to a small hill on the outskirts of the town, the large centaur hummed a happy tune as he nibbled on his bounty. No sooner had he settled in to enjoy both his feast and the sunrise than did the familiar squeaky little barks of two fennec foxes warn him of company. Complacently ignoring the sounds Rory munched away on a pear. The dogs acted as a familiar team-- one came in on a high airborne assault intending to land in the middle of the feast; the other went outside and low, heading for the still-steaming sweet roll.

“Lads, praytell, how do we be seemin’ to end up in this very same very predicament every mornin’?” asked the obese centaur as he held the little canines several feet away from the meal. “You do be knowin’ I always hav enough t’share with me politefriends..”They looked up at him with forlorn eyes and a little bit of drool trying to escape from behind smiles of wickedly sharp teeth. Setting them down he scratched them fondly, portioned out a fair share for each, and commented, “Don’t be lettin’ yourselves get to full; Festival be but a day away and today be a day for great fun! There’ll be many a story to tell and many more a woman to woo!”
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Ruark
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Kaz's response to Ruarks question was left hanging unsaid as Auralia walked past him in a world of her own, bumped into Ruarks leg and then started talking at the Huge Opulent. He chuckled his booming chuckle as she spoke of her saucepan. Deciding there and then that he liked the talkative little elf.

It is obvious you come searching for some information. Unless you managed to become lost and stumble across the library by accident.

Turning his head so he could look at Kaz and Auralia at the same time he continued.

I shall help you in your search for knowledge, If you help me in mine. I seek information on an ancient jewel that is, or was, sat apon an oaken staff. It is called the Arian

Ruark studied Kaz's face as he spoke of the Arian, noting the tension that crossed it at the mention of the word.

Interesting

He thought to himself.

From your response I see that you too search for the Arian. This, I hope is a good thing, unless our uses for it clash. I would appreciate your help in my quest. If our paths are destined to be the same, then travelling together is better than apart, my friends, if they ever return, and myself can protect you
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Volodimire
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Things were beginning to wear upon Crystiame. The longer he stood in this place, the more drained he began to feel. The energies around him felt like heavy fishing weights, that he was submerged in water and if he stopped focusing long enough he woudl surely drown.[purple]

The temporal time rift fluxed around him as it surged. Time was catching up to the present. He flooded Radagast with imageries of the past, forcing the memories into him of what he had once forgot. Some of the memories were good, but most were not. Slowly, he began to ease time forward...

Life is but a leaf on the Tree of Life, but look and see how many branches mortals dream to have. [purple]Crystiame said to Radagast as he cast an image of the Weave that is Life upon the Wheel of Time. From here, all life can be seen, all actions can be felt weaving and interweaving through the Tapestry of Time.
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Rorshach
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The sun was reaching its noontime apex when Rory finally reached the market square. Voices rang out, and from ever direction could be heard the praises of “the most exceptionally forged weaponry,” “mouthwatering fresh fruits,” and “the hardiest livestock this side of the ocean!” Ignoring those and others, Rory calmly removed the 50 casks of tobacco from his underneath the cloth covering his old, wooden cart and stacked them haphazardly in a clear, remote corner of the square. Finishing this task, he pulled out his pipe, carefully packed it, and proceeded to take several long, relaxing drags. Watching the small smoke rings blow away from him and dissipate in the breeze, he waited calmly…

The big centaur only had to relate his “no haggling policy” once to the press of buyers as the obviously limited supply lent a sense of urgency to the proceedings. One fight did break out, but further altercations were quickly stopped by the announcement that any persons involved in such activities would not be considered civilized enough for this fine product. As the last cask was exchanged for coin and Rory stuffed the three full purses into his coat, he called to the dozen people that had either not been fast enough or did not have enough money, “Don’ be so fast at runnin’ away! Be bringin’ yourselves out o’this blasted hot sun, an’ be lettin’ me fill up a pouch or two for each one o’you; it be no good for me conscience if you come all this way o’er here with nary a smoke to show for it.” And with his broadest smile, he produced one more keg that he had hidden away to be shared and not sold.

The group wandered through three taverns, losing a few at each stop, but always leaving as a larger crowd than when it entered. Men and women alike laughed at the centaur’s stories and gasped at his feats of juggling; no hand was without a drink or a pipe. Tavern owners and bar maids greeted him with a smile and a shout (and there was no shortage of kisses either). No sooner had the crowd – now 50 strong—entered The Wounded Soldier tavern than Rory’s eyes were covered by stong, delicate hand and a familiar scent of rose-petal soap wafted into his nostrils. “Festival starting a day early with Rorshach’s arrival?” came a soft, female voice in his ear. “Do you think that and a song will be enough for a woman to dance for you….?” Her sentence trailed off as he pulled her around and lifted her into a great hug.

“I did be missin’ that sweet scent o’ rose petals, my darlin’, an’a man can die dreamin’ o’one dance with you, lass!” The big centaur’s smile only slipped a little as he felt the cold press of sharp steel in his mid section, “Indeed, I was hopin’ t’find you at Festival, just do be takin’ that knife a wee bit further from me ribs, an’ I’ll be tellin’ you all about why I did have to be leaving town in such a great hurry the last time..”
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Fri May 16, 2008 9:01 pm
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Post Re: Repost: The Search For The Arian
[OOC]Part three continues with Aurelia, Kaz and Ruark inside the Library, and Volodimire and Radagast in a time field of sorts. Islia has convinced Monster to come to her aid, and retreive her dagger from K'Taal. Niruin has stirred. Helenia is approaching the Library following Aurelia, and the centaur Rorshach has just being introduced.[/OOC]

Quote:
The Search for the Arian : Prophecy

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Kaz
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The library was even larger than Kaz had anticipated. He had been searching for hours, slowly working his way through the various old tomes and scrolls at the far side of the chamber. Ruark and Auralia were searching in different areas, but so far nothing useful at all had been found. Flicking through another scroll detailing prices of grain in the northern region over a 25 age period Kaz nearly screamed in frustration. Kicking the bottom of an ancient bookshelf caused a cloud of dust to bellow out, filling his nostrils. He sneezed, and proceeded to wave his hands in front of his face to clear the airborn dust particles. The words 'needle' and 'haystack' sprange often to his mind. He placed the scroll on top of a large pile which he had already looked through and picked up a bound book entitled 'Before the Gods'.

The book detailed a small section of the history of the religious wars between the three prophets Solas, Diman and Mina. Written from the point of view of one of the generals serving the prophet Diman it looked to be an interesting read. But it didnt help. Sighing he threw it atop the heap, sending several pages flying out across the floor.

Damn!

He thought as he bent to pick up the few loose pages, to place them back inside the cover. The thought, however did not remain as he picked up the final scrap of parchment from the grimy floor.

Ruark! Auralia!

He called

I've found something

The bookshelves rumbled as the huge rock creature made haste to answer Kaz's summons.

Quote:
Bring the key to the top of Mac Caros, and with it open the Prophet's stone. The bones of the maker shall lead you to the staff of the arian, but beware, forgetting the dagger of darklight shall make you fail.

Kaz's expression of joy faded as he read the prophecy, it was the same as that carried by the Opulent.

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Volodimire
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The strain from holding this reality together was starting to take its wear on Crystiame. An action is only as limited by the power of the circle that drives it. He could feel the actions beginning to wane as he waited for Radagast to receive his final vison, but Crystiame started to doubt he would be able to hold out for that long.

O, magic. That delicate dance that balances the very essence of life upon your breath. It sings as you whisper, pulls at the very air that shimmers infront of you. It also pulls for more than what the frail body of a mortal was meant to be. Though Crystiames spirit lay eternal, it required the host of a living body. O, magic, you tempt me! He thought.

The Symphony resounds in the essence of all things. He could feel time slipping forward ever faster, catching up to the constant of what is called change. Tho the magics lured at him, he knew his weary soul could only bend that immortal constant of what is time.

Like an otters dam, his insides felt brimmed to capacity, yet somehow empty at the same time. The magics were as water during a storm, ragging against the tatters of that dam. And he knew that if it broke, it would take him down with it. More he held to hold on to the strands. All he needed was just a couple moments more... just a couple momments more...

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Deep in concentration, Crystiame was beginning to lose track of time progressing around him. Sweat beaded heavily upon his brow as he scrunched his eyebrows together in mental conflict. The chambered ley-lines were crumbling around him an an accelerated rate, one that he was having extreme difficulty in maintaining.

Only for a few more moments... Just for a little while longer... before everything would turn to chaos, before everything he was holding back would deflagerate. Here, he held Radagast to see visions of things to come, of things to be. Here, he allowed him to break the bonds that held Radagast to this library. He would hold on until they left, until they were safely away, giving them time to find the articles that they needed.

But time was catching up faster than what Crystiame could keep track of. The images around him blurred in movement, slowly coming back to sinc to the altered timeflow.

Gritting his teeth, he felt the lines surge and buckle around him and...

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Aurelia
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Aurelia looked at the pile of books and scrolls that lay littered upon the floor. It had been a long while since she had seen as many pieces of parchament in one place for a very long time. It wasn't like libraries were a common thing in the places she tended to visit. Or if they were people didn't tend to want her to stick around for long; she still didn't know why everyone always thought the worst of her. After all it wasn't her fault that things tended to go missing when she was around, was it?

Did you find something? Did you?, she asked excitely, this was as good as any treasure hunt to her, even if it was a tad dusty. Aurelia had begun to wonder why someone hadn't thought about dusting this place a little more often. She looked up into the dust-filled air and rubbed her nose furiously. There again I suppose that not many people get out here very often to clean it up, she muttered to herself.

The little elf peered up at Kaz who was holding a piece of parchment in one hand. Erm you don't look too happy? Did you find something or not? The only thing I found was this really interesting book about butterflies, though... her words trailed off and she looked slightly embarassed. Well I suppose that isn't the kind of thing that we were looking for, even if it does have some very nice pictures in it.

Just as all the others, Aurelia had been looking all over in the library for some clue as to where they should be going to look for this 'arian'. If truth be told, the little thief still wasn't entirely sure what an 'arian' was but she was guessing that it had to be important if they were looking for it. There were lots of books about the old Prophets here so she was betting that it was something to do with one of them. The elf remembered the Prophets, there had been Mina, who was a warrioress, and Solas who had been a young boy, and Diman, the noble who her city had supported. Aurelia wasn't entirely sure but she had always thought that her friend Sorrik had secretly been rather impressed with Mina though she never said it.

Does it say where we go? Where the arian is? Or do we have to go looking through the dusty old scrolls again? She put her foot on the lowest rung of a nearby ladder, preparing to go up and start looking again. You know I would never have thought that a library could get so mucky. The lady never used to let her library get all dusty, but there again she could always ask the servants to tidy up and everything. I guess it'd be more difficult to get the serving girls to come out here. I mean by the time they hacked their way through the jungle they'd probably be so messy themselves that they'd have to clean themselves up first.

Aurelia peered at the spine of the nearest book but was only met with the title of a book that appeared to be relating the history of a small skirmish out along the eastern shores. Somehow she doubted that it would be much use, and nor would it's follow-up books about the ecomony and rebuilding work that had occured afterwards. The elf shook her head, she really couldn't understand why people wrote such boring books. She'd always thought that it was better to write about interesting things, like brave rescues and daring exploits. Writing about how a townful of business men had made money in the aftermarth of a battle seemed like a waste of parchment to her.

Not to mention that she doubted it had anything to do with the Arian.

The small elf rubbed her nose again and almost lost her balance on the lower rungs fo the ladder. So what now? There's an awful lot of books around here and if that isn't what we were looking for, she pointed at the piece of parchment while remembering to hold onto the ladder with the other hand. You know these kinds of things go much easier when the people who wrote them aren't so cryptic. If I ever hide something like this 'arian' I shall make sure that I'm not so mysterious about the clues. Though I suppose that sort of goes against the whole point of hiding something in the first place.

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Ruark
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After the discovery of the original prophecy, more hours of joyless searching had filled his last hours in the library. Ruark looked up from the tome he had been scanning through, again he had found nothing of relevence to their quest and was starting to think that perhaps spending a little longer in the library back in the Northern Mountains would have been better than this random search through an unknown library. If only Korin had not opened the portal while he was still unprepared. With the disapearance of the mage Volodimire's words stating that Ruark should not trust the mage started to make him think. Was he wasting his time at Toros, had Korin known that something else would be found in the Great Northern Library and diliberatly taken steps to avoid Ruark discovering it. What was the mage hiding, and perhaps more importantly, where was the mage hiding?

Kaz was out of Ruark's line of site, most likely working his way through more scrolls and books like the Opulent had been. Auralia was at the top of a ladder stretching out to try and reach a large bound book on the top shelf of the case she was currently working apon, saucepan dangeling loosly at her side attached to her belt, her oversized sword hanging in counterpoint from the other side. The faint outline of Volodimire and the other droben Raagast, still unmoving but something seemed different about the two ghost-like figures, he could not quite put a fingure on it, but then he didnt have a clue as to why they were only half there anyway.

Ignoreing them he walked over towards where Auralia was struggeling to reach the vast book, missing a slight flicker of movement from the two silent figures. Auralia was not going to be able remove the book balance precariously as she was. Lifting his arms up he placed one either side of her slim waist and allowed her to gain a little more height and leverage to remove the book she was so determined to take down from its dust covered position in the library.

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Helenia
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The archeress regarded the overgrown building from the depths of the nearby undergrowth. Aurelia's trail clearly led this way but Helania could not understand why the little one would be entering such a place. This part of the world was hardly the safest of places and Aurelia tended to avoid danger like the plague if she could at all help it. What had the thief gotten herself into this time? And more to the point, was it too late to undo whatever damage she had already managed to create?

Another worrying thought crossed her mind, a frown creasing her brow at its passing. What if the little elf had not come here willingly? Though it was true that she could not think of one reason why anyone would drag Aurelia with them, it still made as much sense as the thief coming here of her own free will. The little one was hardly a fighter, anyone determined enough could easily overcome her. Of course they'd need more than simple determination, patience in an almost infinite supply would be a necessity as well. The frown was replaced by a faint smile as Helania imagined Aurelia sending any kidnappers mad with her incessant talking.

Still can't leave you here now can I?, she breathed, the words barely registering in her own ears. Would hardly be fair to your captors to leave you with them.

Her bow was unslung and an arrow fitted without even thinking, the movements were practised and smooth, it had become almost a relex over the course of her life. Some of her first memories were of her father introducing her to the bow. He had held her so tightly, wrapping her child-fingers about the weapon, using his strength to pull back the arrow. And then they had stood there, watching the arrow's flight together, laughing as it struck a tree or landed in the stream's running waters.

Good times, Helania muttered, stepping silently from the thick greenry, grasses crushing underfoot as she picked her way towards the building. Now, that was the key, to think only of the now, senses alert for even the slightest changes about her. She had to be aware of everything, from the movement of the winds to the smallest insect in their grasp, silence had to be maintained in case those within had posted a watch. If the archeress was to reclaim the thief from her 'companions' she had to move quickly and quietly.

Nothing made a sound at her passing, Helania had been taught these skills well enough by her father. What would he say if he saw her now? "Careful of your step girl, watch out on the stone, can't be letting your prey know you're coming". The thought of the old elf comforted her, it always did even though it brought back the memories of that night with it. The night when he and the rest of the archeress had disappeared without a trace, leaving only Helania behind.

The dark opening to the building swallowed her up, elvish eyes adjusting to the shadows within. Movement caught her attention, the racks of books barely registering on the edges of her consciousness. Someone was definitely here though they appeared not to know that she had been trailing them. The archeress clung to the shadows becoming one with them, her steps falling softly as she crept further into the library. Where are you Aurelia?, she thought to herself, ears alert for the voice of the tiny thief. Helania knew better than anyone that the best way to find Aurelia was to listen rather than look.

That was when she saw it, tall and imposing, living rock within the library. And it was reaching up, grabbing something, no someone about the waist.

No, Aurelia!, The archeress shouted, leaving the shadows and aiming her bow towards the opulent below the thief. Stand away from her Droben, harm one hair on her head and I swear by all the Fates and Gods that you'll not live to see sunlight again. Her voice was cold and steady, she had realised long ago that she would protect Aurelia with her life if needs be. Helania knew how precious Aurelia was, her innocence was a rare quality in the world, it was a light that could not be allowed to be extinguished.

----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
Meanwhile back at Kinachi's Hut

K'Taal looked up at Kinachi, knowing better than to try and move when a mage is pointing his staff at your chest.

Kinachi, devoted one, I understand you are angry with me. You can never understand fully why I had to leave, but I did. Now, I come to you in need of help and this is the courtesy you extend to a fellow Isonian? I expected better of you

Kinachi moved his staff back a little, and glanced around; satisfied that noone was close he returned his attention to K'Taal

So, the great K'Taal need my help? I'm sure that's how it started last time.

I am being pursued by a vampire, a powerful vampire, who's dagger I have. It has a large black crystal in it, and it seems quite valuable to her. I thought it might interst you.

The words 'Black Crystal' had a marked effect on Kinachi, he drew back from K'Taal, and helped him to his feet.

You have the dagger of darklight? I must see this for myself. If it is true, I imagine that it is ever more valuable than you think. Show me!

K'Taal was slightly bemused by this sudden change of attitude, but drew the dagger and handed it to Kinachi. As Kincahi took it wide eyed at what he was seeing, K'Taal hears a noise to his right, and turns to see a figure charging towards them. He drew two hand axes, just before the figure lept teh final few feet to him.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Islia had not made it all the way to the village the first night and for that she was angry. Angry at the delay to her mission, angry that Esharee may get to the target before her and angry that that damned busybody had made off with her dagger. She wasn't sure which anger was hottest, but which ever she would finally decide apon was very likely to mean death for K'Taal. He had held her up, possibly cost her much, and he would die horribly as his blood was slowly drained from his body, while he still lived. She would then feast apon his blood.

The second night broke, darkness enveloped the world and Islia was ready for it. Cursing her new found inability to walk during the day she started apon the final few miles to the village. The forest had opened out into vast fields of corn and maize interspersed with other fields of grass, bovine and sheep. The flickering lights in the distance told her the town was nearby, she knew not what it was called, only that K'Taal had gone there with her dagger. As the town grew larger apon the blackness of the horizon rowdy sounds of music and laughter filtered through to her ears. Something was going on in the village. She hoped it dd not hinder her plans, for she was ready to kill all that stood in her way.

She stopped under the overhanging branches of an ancient oak tree and slowly removed her travel wear. Brown and green forest clothing was cast aside as she slowly pulled on her black leggings and hooded sleeve-shirt. Re-fastening her black leather breastplate she checked at her side to ensure that her lockpick and soft black grappel ropes were where they should be. She doubted that she would need them, but she had been taught to be careful before she entered a situation like this. Placing her hand at her other side where her dagger should be Islia screamed a screram of pure rage and torment. Rusting around her, gave note to hundreds of sleeping birds launching themselves to chatter noisily at the intruder. Even the sounds from the town stopped for a few seconds before resuming louder and bowdier than before. A final check to ensure her throwing knives where well placed, and her cross bow was cocked ready for easy loading of a bolt, saw Islia disappear into the night.

She slowly slunk into the shadows of the slate-roofed townhouses, amking her slient route towards the center of town, looking for anything that would give away the location of K'Tall, and more importantly her dagger. The dagger, and then she saw it, or at least, she saw him. Standing outside a residence talking to a stranger was the theif K'Taal. His back was to her and she could not see the dagger. He turned, giving view to the stranger at his side, in the strangers hand was the dagger of darklight. Her dagger of darklight. Without thinking she unhitched her crossbow, set a bolt to the mechanism aimed at K'Taal and pulled the trigger, at the last second checking her aim allowing the bolt to thud harlessly into the wooden wall to K'Taal's right. She wanted the savoiur his death, she wanted it to be personal, he had made it personal. All these thoughts happened in less than a heartbeat. With a roar she exploded into action, hot on the heals of the bolt as it flew towards the side of it origianal target. Solid blackness swarmed out from blackness and moonlight glistened on the throwing knife in her left hand.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
As she stood there in a great bear hug from Rorshach, the slender elven girl let a wicked smile reach across her face and touch her eyes. “Why, Rory. Dear, sweet Rory. Does this little old knife make you nervous? You always said I never kept them sharp enough; and you still have a pound or two of good flesh to spare…” She emphasized her words by pressing the blade a little against his soft flesh, but that infuriating smile and glint in his eye never wavered. Meanwhile, her mind races: It have been over a year and now he would come prancing back into this town at Festival time, leading a motley band of farmers and miners (people who would normally not even say hello to each other this time of year.. and now they were buying each other drinks!). He always had nerves of steel, but to waltz into a town sworn to Isonia while he openly dedicated himself to another god, and then act like the pied piper and drown old feuds in a mug of Meade and a pipe of good tabac! Well, I have grown, my darling Rorshach, and this pretty little heart doesn’t dance to just any piper’s song.

Finally relenting, she withdrew the knife and it disappeared into her midnight blue dress. Glancing down, the faint red line of blood made her feel a mixture of satisfaction and guilt—this was Rory, after all and she wasn’t sure how long even her temper could last with the “Centaur Doll-Bear”. “Well, buy me a drink and sing me a song.. a dance will not be cheap, but as I remember you were more than willing to pay the price when last we met” she called out while swirling her dress and returning to her table.

Not even glancing back over her shoulder, she knew that Rory would politely follow, as it was his nature. Her mind raced with thoughts of what she was dong, and what she wanted; it was always so easy to manipulate people when you knew what you were trying to accomplish, but when the goals are undefined the result is always trouble. And Breasha knew that trouble was drawn to Rory like a bee to a springtime flower.

Do I need more of that kind of trouble?

----------------------------
Kinachi
----------------------------
Kinachi was so surprised to be holding the dagger of darklight, an artifact he had long given up any hope of ever seeing, that he took seconds to react to the bolt quivering in his doorframe. However, as soon as he realised it, his anger became obvious.

He had spent many moons buidig this house exactly to his liking. The way the doors were tall enough for other people to walk through, but not comfortably. The small skylight in his 'operating' room, which allowed the sunlight to pan slowly along the bench. His library, in the deep cellar, such that the house could be levelled by wizards fire, and the books would not even be singed. But most importantlythe way no crossbow bolts stuck out from it, anywhere.

For a powerful vampire, her aim isn't very good. I suppose it's better than getting blood on my porch though.

As he said it, the short goblin raised his staff towards the charging figure, and muttered softly thornicate . Two barbed vines erupted from the ground in front of the charging figure, causing her to trip and stumble. He then raised his staff to block K'Taal, who was about to charge at her before she could regain her footing. To any onlooker, the squat goblin, effortlessly halting a giant of a man must have appeared comical, were it not for the vicious look in his eyes; and to those who looked carefully enough to notice the thorns, that had sprung from the ground through the soles of K'Taal's boots, stopping just before they peirced his skin.

KT, she looks awfully cross. How exactly did you acquire this dagger?

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Charging towards the goblin and the theif Islia did not see the vines that entangled her feet until it was too late to stop. Checking her speed so that the entangeling thorns did not penetrate he skin, she allowed herself to fall to the floor, using the right hand side of her body to carefully cusion the impact of the unexpected end to her run for the dagger. She growled with frustration, an inhuman growl that would quite probably have suited a tiger much better than her well formed red lips.

She stared at the goblin mage with hatred showing clearly in her red eyes. He held her dagger, he must know it was her dagger, therfore he would die just like the theif K'Taal. But first she had to remove herself from her predicament. Feeling down towards her ankles Islia cut her finger on a thorn. Her entire lower leg and foot was wound up within the vines. After licking the fresh blood from her finger she reached over toward the throwing knife she had allowed herself to drop when falling. The theif and the goblin where speaking and their full attention was not on her.

The theif had tried to run at her and stopped in his tracks, looking carefully Islia coul see vines also encasing his ankles. 'Good!' she thought to herself 'When I get free he shall be easier to kill' . Slowly she used the knife to saw through the vines untrapping her feet. She was halfway towards releasing her first ankle when the goblin spoke to K'Taal. Stopping what she was doing for a moment she listened to the question he asked. "KT, she looks awfully cross. How exactly did you acquire this dagger?" She chuckled to herself and continued to try to free herself from her entanglement. She would look forwards to K'Taal's answer.

----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
The vines entangling his feet had K'Taal's full attention for a few seconds, as he unsheathed his sword and cleaved their stlems from their roots. His feet free to move, if not free of vines, he replaced his sword and pulled his crossbow from behind his back, and levelled it at Islia. He kept his eyes on her as he spoke.

She sought the same prey as I, but not in our Goddess' name. We both sought the blood of the key. As I was about to catch the key, when Isonia spoke to me. The vampire took advantage of this, and tried to take the blood for her own dark purposes. However, our lady, balanced this evil by resting this dagger from her hand, and into my possession, while leaving her to burn in the sunlight.

He saw her working herself free of the vines, took a more defensive stance, and continued:

I then came to seek your knowledge on this new gift Isonia sent to me. This heathen, has been hunting me, attempting to halt our lady's plan. She is a deserving candidate for your research, don't you think?

As he spoke these last words, he turned to face Kinachi, and immediately realised his mistake.

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
Watching Breasha sway as she walked away, Rory once again marveled at the wonderful creations called "women." So may shapes and sizes, tempermants and styles.. and almost all of them made him feel alive. But watching one such as Breasha.. a woman who knew how to do the simple things, like walking. Men (and males of al races) seem to stomp about mostof the time, seeing it merely as a means to move from place to place. Women, however, could make that simple act into an artform!

Prancing afer her, he made sure to make sure that his new found friends were all enjoying themselves and ordered a bottle of wine from the barkeep. Sitting at her table, he looked into the cold green eyes and knew that he'd have a harm time explaining anything to her-- and that the chances of her accepting a story he came up with as the truth were somewhere between slim and none.. Instead, he decided to try a different tact, "Breasha, beautiful darlin', I won't be borin' ya with details o' me life-- me heart has been with ya, and now we be again able t'share a table and wine, and perhaps a laugh and a dance.. an 'tis such a beautiful evenin' for both, mayhap we ca jus' be thinkin' ol'that!"

Raising his glass ina toast, and his lips in a smile designed to make the word "grumpy" itself be removed form the dictionary, he could pracitally see her heart rate increase. He knew her stubborn will wouldn't allow her eyes to reflect her feelings, et; she'd defiately have ot be angry for a while longer. But a dance or two later had tehm stealing away to a dark conrer and then on to her room above..

----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
Monster had not been completely out of the picture all this time.

Monster had been sitting on the outskirts of the town watching the festivities when he noticed the lady vampire he had been travelling with had suddenly disappeared into town. Monster was not as easily disguisible evne during the night as a vampire is, so he stayed in the shadows or hopped across the rooftops. Occasionally he did take food or a cup of wine out of the hands of the people passing by.

He did keep a eye on both his prey and the vampire. Monster sat on a rooftop watching the confrontation between the three people.

Those vines are a nice trick but unfortunately too easy to get out of has this fellow has with his sword.

As the man turned his back on the Vampire he knew that was his cue to do his part.

Monster jumped down from his perch and hacked K'taal's crossbow into pieces with his axe.

Pardon the intrusion but in order for me to be payed that nice vampire over there has to retrieve that dagger you have. Be a nice guy and return it unless you want it to get even uglier around here.

Monster stood at his full height of 7 feet and with his wings fully out but pointing directly behid him. His eyes were glowing red with anticipation of a tasty meal of human flesh and blood.
----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Islia had just cut herself free as Monster showed himself, leaping down from the rooftops wings spread she watched as he decimated K'Taals crossbow ignoring the mage Kinichi. She listened as Monsters booming voice, dripping with implied threat addressed the mage and theif. She cursed, knowing that by showing himself Kinichi had diverted his attention away from K'Taal's mistake of taking the dagger from its guardian. As she looked into Kinichi's eyes she could see that he held more knowledge about her blade than she herself did, maybe he had even visited Fernabergia to study before the destruction.

She watched as the vines that she had just freed herself from entangled her once more, and sat down with a plump, knowing that it was most likely best to wait and see what Kinichi intended. If he took the blade from K'Taal she was pretty certain that after he had examined and tested it he would pass it back to her, The Kelios, the guardian of the dagger not wanting the grave responsibility that came with the blades possetion. If, however he allowed K'Taal to escape with the dagger she knew now that it would be a much easier prospect to gain the blade from the thief, when his mage friend was not available to bail him out.

As Monster finished his sentance she knew that the mage had cast a new spell, a forcefield that would block the monsters great reach from K'Taal and Kinichi was the most likely defence that the mage had utilised, and the tingle on the back of her neck she often got when magic was cast had continued too long to have been caused just by the vines that also now entangled the un-aware Monster. Feeling defeated she waited to see what would happen next.

----------------------------
Kinachi
----------------------------
Kinachi listened patiently to K'Taal's explanation of events. The problem with zealots, was they tended to put a religious spin on everything, and this artifact was far from godly. Nevertheless it was probably not a good idea to return it to the vampire either, at least not before he had a chance to examine it properly.

He reinforced the spell holding Islia and K'Taal while he thought about this problem. However, this thought was quickly interupted by the sound of a splintering crossbow, followed by a rather uncouth threat.

Pardon the intrusion but in order for me to be payed that nice vampire over there has to retrieve that dagger you have. Be a nice guy and return it unless you want it to get even uglier around here.

Uglier than your presence has just made it? I find that hard to believe.

He subtly increased the vines to encompass Monster's legs, as he summoned another spell. Pyratum , he entoned, as he leveled his staff at monster's chest. The look on Monsters face, changed from one of confidence, to one of uncertainty, as the staff flashed briefly.

Then, Kinachi let the spell loose, a small, but incredibly fast fireball, shot from the end of his staff, and staright towards Monster's chest. The force of the the impact actually snapped the vines around his legs, (which was no small feat) and threw Monster back a few feet. As he landed, Vines burst from the ground, and encircled his chest arms and wings, aswell as restraining his arms.

In a final extravagant gesture, seven wooden spikes, thrust themselves into the air around Islia, forming a cage of sorts.

You're not expecting anyone else are you, KT?
KTaal shook his head.
Well then, you should go. Consider my debt payed!

He then slipped into an ancient Isonian tongue.

You remember Breasha, don't you? She's in the next town, and I'm sure she'd be happier to see , and more willing to protect you than I.
The dagger you carry, is dangerous, I suggest you seriously consider whether you really want it as a trophy. It has little value to you, otherwise.

He watched KTaal stride off, once he had released him from the vines. Satisfied he was out of ear shot, he returned to his 'guests'.

Now, you two! what are you going to do about the damage to my house?

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Surrounded by seven large wooden stakes Islia fumed. Her theory about the forceshield had proved incorrect as Kinichi finished intoning his spell. A fireball had launched itself from the mages staff to strike Monster in the chest causing him to fall to the floor. Vines had them entangled the great beast. Feeling around her cage for weaknesses Islia looked carefully at the mage. He was short and tubby round the waist, his features obviously marking him as a goblin, which she thought passing strange as the goblin race was not known for its strengths in the magic arts. His attire was classic mage garb. a long ancient looking robe of a green woolen fablic that had seen better days. All in all he looked rather pathetic without his gnarled wooden staff that set him out as a magic user. His eyes however, were what drew her attention, two brown orbs that bespoke of vast amounts of knowledge and antiquity. There was another emotion trapped within those dark pupils however, great sadness and regret seemed to leak from within the mages very soul. He looked at her and spoke a question thats very nature seemed to contrast with his obvious lack of self esteem. "Now, you two! what are you going to do about the damage to my house?" he spoke in a roughly toned alto voice.

"Mage" Islia started in response "I feel that we have got off to the wrong start and you are, perhaps not knowing exactly whom you address" Shifting her weight so she was more comfortable inside her prison she continued "I am Islia Lightsbane, trained by the Silent Flute..." At his obvious surprise and recognition of that title she continued "Not only that, but I am the last survivor of Fernabergia, and as such am the guardian of the blade which you so easily allowed to leave my person. Also it is pretty obvious that I need the dagger to continue my quest. Regarding the damage to your house, I see a single crossbow bolt which a mage of your skill can no doubt remove." Feeling the mage was starting to have second thoughts of the correctness of allowing K'Taal to escape with the blade, she pushed home her point, hoping that he would release them. "You canot keep me locked up in here for ever unless you wish to kill me, we both know that soon the sun will rise and I must have the dagger back in my possetion before that time, you also seem to know more about the blade than I would have thought possible, and as such are likely to understand the danger that lies in the dagger of darklight resting in the possetion of one that is not the Kelios. I would return to you to allow you to examine the blade further and would pick your brains on information you may know about my destiny. But in order for that to happen I must catch up with K'Taal and reclaim my birthrite" Finally words stopped flowing from the vampires lips and she stood in silence waiting for the gobin to respond.

----------------------------
Kinachi
----------------------------
Kinachi listened intently as Islia put her case forward, his composure changed when she mentioned the Femabergia, a look of guilt swept over him. Fortunately she carried on, and he had time to put back on a placid face

The last of the femabergia, eh? Well one must have slipped through the net somewhere or the darklight dagger wouldn't still be at large I suppose. As far as letting you die, no that bothers me not, I have seen more of your kind die than you have seen live.
Fortunately for you, the times when I would have killed you myself have passed.

He walked towards her, loosening the vines, whilst leaving the cage in place.

If, as you say you are the Kelios, then I have done you a great injustice. You should go to recover the darklight dagger immediately. Return to me, and I shall let you know what I know of it.

He released the caging spell, and the wooden stakes returned to the ground.

Go!

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
Relaxing in her bed, the exhausted elf closed her eyes and bathed in the scent of Rory's pipe. It was always so easy with the big lummox; he was straightforward and honest, but yet full of promise at teh same time. There was never an illusion that last would last forever, but it alwyas seemed that only the moment was important.

Chuckling to herself, Breasha thought about how much of what she had learned about Rory had become useful when she had been called upon to gain the trust of Prince Heir Beaumont. Maybe she had picked up too much of Rory-- she had not planned to have him seek her hand in marriage or become quite so upset when she left.. maybe there were a few things she hadn't picked up properly from the centaur.

Watching him sort through the things and tidy up the room, she noted that he was admiring a jade broach. "Rory, my little doll." She called to him. "Don't even think for a second that I might not miss that little trinket. It is one of the few things I kept to remind me of Beaumont.."

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
" Prince Heir Beamont?" Rorshach asked with just a hint of incredulity in his voice. His face split open into a broad grin as he continued. "Methinks you do be having a few tales to be telin' then, me darlin'. And do no be tellin' me I should be fearin' teh door to be crasin' open at the hand 'o a jealous lover who be havin' an army and a half at his side!"

Pantomiming a futile attmpt to duck behind the dresser that was less than a quarter of his massive bulk, the big centaur had some laughed heartily. But part of him stil felt the hairs standingong the back of his neck, for his network of eyes and ears had told him of a particular interest from the royal house in the form of a bounty on an elf. Some sources reported that it was a jilted lover of the Prince Heir, but as many sources supported the ten dozen other rumors. He made a mental note to investigate further and make sure that the girl wasn't in over her head, again.

His gaze drifting again to her, she did look lovely enough to start a war. And she was just silly enough to let him do such to ineffectuality prove a love that had little chacne of being returned. Those capable of causing wars who were not smart enough to control themselves, would never be able to catch the heart of the wily little elfin spy. No, she was a wild spirit-- more unsual because she was such despite being of a race where such traits were a rare find at best. Rory wondered how long it would take for another guardian angel to show up if he couldn't be there to help her?

----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
K'Taal found it was a reasonably short walk to the town, but long enough for him to muse over Breashe. He thought back to the last time he had seen her, a fair few years ago.

It had been in the last days of his prophethood, The last of his followers had grouped in the chapel in the academy. Among them was a young elven woman, Breashe, whom he had become very close to and intimate with; and for whom he forsaken many who had offered themselves to him.
The academy authorities had seen his prophecy as a threat, some Isonian doctorine they did not control, so they sought to destroy his following, 'A cult' they had called it.

And so, they had layed siege to the chapel which he had retreated to. On the fourth day of the siege, just as it looked as if the authorities were resigning themselves to let his small band be, their last remaining mage left. Kinachi had been one of his most stalwart followers, and their last magical defence. With no magic protecting them, the chapel was quickly overcome.

K'Taal could still see each and every face as they were dragged away from him. His mind settled on Breashe's beautiful face, tears pouring down it as she was dragged by two hefty guards down the corridor.
'I'll never forget you! I'll always believe'

The words echoed in his head, and he was so distracted he almost fell into a river, only a pebble he had knocked ahead of him making a splash alerted him to its presence, and he stopped mere inches short of its bank.

Of course, that was the start of his exile, and he had not seen Breashe since. The authorities had discussed killing him, to 'make an example of those who would challenge authority', but had decided not to make him a 'martyr'; K'Taal knew that even those who perverted the work of Isonia so, still could not reconcile killing one so close to her. That had not saved them, no, he had slaughtered every last one of that comittee.

The last had been a very tricky shot with his crossbow. The very crossbow that now lay in pieces on Kinachi's porch, he would repay that monster for that, but now he was nearing town.

His first enquiries, were fairly productive, and led to the name of a small group of lodgings where she may be staying. He quickly assertained which was her room, in a manner that only one of large bulk, and openly carrying many weapons, can pull off.

However, as he started towards her room, a fairly large troll, who seemed to be employed for purposes of standing in the way of people headed where they shouldn't, stood in his way.

Ye shudn't be goin thur. she got a visitor.

K'Taal had not really though about whether she would have found another mate, he hadn't really expected her to stay celibate for all these years, He certainly hadn't, but he was unprepared for her to have a man in her room at this moment in time.

And now she has another...

The troll showed no sign of moving, and K'Taal was in no mood for games. He drew his axe, and still seeing no sign of movement, brought it swiftly round in an arc, and cleaved the trolls head from his shoulders.

Before the body hit the floor, K'Taal was past it and most of the way up the stairs. He proceded to knock heavily on the door.

Breashe, It's K'Taal, I need to see you. Now!

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
The smirk on the pretty elf's face turned into a snorting sort of laugh at the bulky centaur's antics. Opening her mouth to tell him to stop acting like the court jester and come back over to the bed, a loud knocking and K'Taal's urgent insistance to be let in cut her short. The world seemed to stop for an instant.

Memories crashed down on her-- The Chapel, the siege, the moment she heard of her lover's death, her own impisonment and escape. Earlier memories followed--her time in the Academy and meeting "KT", she had been so young and swept up in the emotions yong girls have; there is something of those emotions that never goes away.. her heart leaped up out of her chest and Rory was already at the door knife in hand by the time the instant of shock wore off.

"Rory! Wait!" she called out, worrying that the big centaur might think his silly thoughts of Beaumont sending someone to hunt her down were true. "If that is who he says he is, then he is an old.... friend. Let me get the door..." Gently slipping past the protective centaur, Breasha settled a deliberately calm look on her face. Taking one extra second to subconciously fix her hair first, she opened the door and with a sly smile asked "What ever could a martyred prophet want with a silly elf girl in the middle of Festival? I am certain there must be plenty of younger women who would be more than happy to spend the evening with you.."

----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
The mages blast had knocked monster a little loopy. While not fully there he thought of how he had changed from a good looking person to a ugly thing like that crazy mage had implied.

Suddenly coming to and realizing what happened he noticed he two was now completely ensnared by the vines. The mage and Islia were having a conversation and it seemed as if things were less hostile. The mage let her go and seemed to forget about him.

Excuse me mage, are you going to let me free as well or do I have to break out of here on my own somehow?

damn mage you got lucky this time. If I had my axe drawn that pesky spelled would have been averted. Note to self don't let hostile mage close unless axe is drawn.

Monster sat and waited for the response hoping that he would not have break the vines with his strength because that might hurt and take some time.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Islia turned away from the mage and was immediatly shocked. The village in which she had come through to get to the mages house was gone, replaced by a circluar clearing in the midst of a forest. Surprised she turned back towards the large town house in which the mage lived, to see that it was now a small hermits shack. Cursing all mages and illusion spells, she turned towards the direction K'Taal had left in. There must be a village nearby or he would have stayed with Kinachi. In his haste the thief K'Taal had made no effort to hide his tracks, brush and sticks were broken underfoot, leading a clear path through the forest.

Less than an hour had passed of tracking K'Taal through the forest, when the sounds and lights of another, more 'substantial' town filtered through the dark branches of oak and beech. Bunting hung in reds and gold from between the roofs of the many residences and children ran through the streets with bags of candy and grusome costumes. Monster, when he finally caught up with her would be able to fit in to the hallows eve celebrations without causing distress. The trail ended on the verge of the town however, and Islia started to worry. Finding him in such a large population may take more time than she had to spare. It was not yet half way through the night but the sun would rise soon enough.

And then she saw something that made her heart leap into her mount. In the flickering torchlight that illuminated an Inns stables a squat grey mare stood muching on some hay. Nearby was a small horsedrawn cart, black paint scratched and worn, but still recognisable. Rory was in town. Her old mentor, the one man, or centaur, she could rely on in an emergency, and in all likelyhood he was very nearby in the fiddler and flute tavern. The aptness of the taverns name made her smile.

The front of the tavern was much like any other tavenrn in a merchents quarter, where she assumed she must be. Wooden beams painted in a bright orange colour to attract patrons, sign maintained with oil for the hinge and varnish and laquer for the wood. Inside the smells of wine and beer mixed with the intoxicating smell of fresh tabacc and roasting meats. Rory, however was not to be seen among the many customers sat drinking from their cups on the scatterd round wooden tables. A flight of stairs led up to the rooms for paying guests, she ascended with a feeling that Rory was nearby.

The corridor atop the stairway branched out to left and right, seven doors on each side numbered 1-7 and from 8-15. Door 13 seemed to not exist. Scanning the corridor she immediatly knew which room rory was in. A much larger door than all the others that would allow the centaur to enter and leave with ease was not the only clue, a second clue was the array of weapons left outside the door. The final clue, and perhaps the most worrying was that firstly the door was adjar, and secondly a headless troll lay outside in a pool of blood.

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
THe knocking on the door occured almost as if in response to his thoughts. Knives appearing instantly in his hands, he turned to Breasha with a raised eyebrow. The small elf called him off, and answered the dooor with what appeared to be nervous trepidation. An old lover or friend appearing out of nowhere when there might well be a price on her head? Coincidence alwyas did seem to follow this girl around, but Rory himself had made too many "coincdences" occur over the years to really trust any of that sort of thing..

Glancing out the window he did not see any signs of an ambush or trap, and while the sight of a centaur and a alven girl climbing out of the second story might appear comical, it would not be the first time the master theif had needed to use a second story exit. There was some sort of commotion building in the common room as well, the faint sounds of panic and shock could be heard from even this distance. In addition, the unmistakeable braying sounds of his two small traveling companions, a pair of fennec foxes, could be heard from down outside the Inn somewhere.. it was a warning call, nad one of an urgent message to be delivered. Speaking softly so that only she might hear, the centaur warned the lady elf, "De be careful, B. Trouble be brewing up-- an' no just the usual effects that Festival brings.." Why is there always somethign that has to interrupt these vacations?

----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
the mage just walked back inside his hovel as the scenery faded and left monster to struggle himself free.

Thanks for nothing mage.

Monster flexed every muscle in his upper body making it seem as if his body grew several inches and broke the vines pinning his arms down. With his claws he ripped the vines off of his legs and began walking to the door of the hovel then thought otherwise.

I hope you can hear me in there. I will be back to talk to you one day. It will be friendlier terms. I need to learn some new spells like the ones you used today. That and I need to follow the purse that pays me.

Monster picked up his axe and too one look in the direction of where the others had run off to. Opening up his wings and flying as fast as he could and as low as he could he reached the town that the tracks had led him to.

How lucky the town is in costume and dancing around in joy, I can finally just waltz into a town without people screaming and cousing me to use them for food

Monster meanderd around the village looking for any sign of Islia and the dagger thief.

If I were a vampire hunting someone were would I be. In the alleys or out in the open.

Monster traveled through many alleys and decided to take a break behind some taverns. He pulled his leather sack off of his shoulder and began eating the bloody meat that he had kept in there. He fealt danger near him though so he kept one hand open to quickly grab the axe so he could use it either as a weapon or his source of magic either way he felt safe.
----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
K'Taal looked past Breasha into the room, and noticed her companion, knives at the ready.

Breasha, my dear, while there may be younger women. There are certainly none fairer than you. But that is not why I am here.
I thought you chose bedfellows better than this, one who would brandish weapons unprovoked.

Noticing he still had his axe in his hand, dripping blood, K'Taal placed it back in his belt, but within easy reach, and stepped through the doorway.

As he closed the door behind him, he turned to Rory.

Centaur, I'd really appreciate you putting those knives down!
He stepped back, so he could face Breasha, whilst still keeping a eye on Rory.
As I said, I come here seeking help. If only for old times sake, I hope you would be able to help me.
A mad vampire is chasing me, making demands of what Isonia gifted me with. All I ask is food and shelter for a while, but if you chose to help in any other way, I would be very grateful .

As he said these last few words, he winked at Breasha; as an after thought he turned back to Rory.

Of course, if you have more to offer than knife wielding, I would appreciate your help too. I am K'Taal, The Chosen Paladin of Isonia.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
K’Taal had barely changed—still as forward and arrogant as ever. And not very conscious that his axe was bloodying his tunic.. it was not very proper for a prophet to go around with a bloody tunic.. but this was not the time for those sort of thoughts..

“Yes, why don’t you come in and join us?” she asked.. her voice just a touch shrill as she let her sleeping gown slip open even a trifle more. “This is Rorshach,” she paused slightly giving him a sidelong glance, “merchant and grower of the legendary Tabac, and he has some human qualities and well as equine that a girl might like.” Turning to the centaur, she continued, “Rory, meet K’taal, not-so-martyred Prophet of Isonia and my former mentor.

“Now, KT, you are welcome to wrestle Rory for whatever crumbs he may have left, and I can offer a glass of wine.. but you must tell us about this insane vampire.. it sounds like a delightful tale, doesn’t it Rory-bear?”

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
The large centaur slipped his face into the usual smile as the man that had Breasha so obviously rattled and startled burst into the room. While the girl made her quick introductions, Rory began juggling the knives which changed in the blink of an eye into colored juggling balls. The man bore an arrogance about him, but there was fear, too. He was not accustomed to being hunted, this one.. and the blood on his axe was fresh.

“Aye, good neighbor. The lady do be speakin’ the truth, for I be here for Festival an’ to sell me tabac. Methinks I can be findin’ ya some food,” he patted his ample belly for emphasis, “But by the looks o’ that axe and the commotion I be hearin’ headed up the stairs I no be thinkin’ that this be the right place to be thinkin’ o’ for shelter… Would, ya prefer to be leavin’ by the window in a few minutes, or the back stairs now?”

Quickly gathering up the loose things in the room, the centaur made ready for a quick exit, and headed for the door. “B, let me be taking a quick look and then head for the stair with your friend. I’ll meet up with ya both in the common room we did be dining at last eve..” Turnign to K’Taal, he offere d one last thought, “and I too do be interested in your vampire tales.. I do be knowin’ a few meself—and one that surely do be mad!”

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Words filtered through the slightly adjar door that strengthen the smile on Islia's face. "I am K'Taal, The Chosen Paladin of Isonia." So not only would she see her old Mentor momentarily but she would aslo catch up with the thief. She removed the crossbow that hung suspended from her belt and notched a armour pirecing bolt to the release mechanism. The hefty ebony monstrosity was then held out in front of her as she edged towards the door.

She could not make out the scene on the otherside of the door through the crack, so carefully and silently she pushed the door open a little bit more. On the other side she could now make out a small room, back to the door stood K'Taal dagger hanging from his belt, the crystal dull and lifeless as it would be when held by anyone except its rightful guardian. Two other figures were in the room, also holding drawn weaponary was Rory, the old centaur stood slightly heavier than she remembered but still looking like he could run for days without rest. Daggers graced the palms of his two hands. Next to Rory and facing the thief was an unknown women, she obviously knew both the other occupants in the room, and her face contain a mixed look of anxiety and pleasure whenever she looked at either Rory or K'Taal.

Throught the window at the back of the room she heard the sounds of Rorys fennick foxes, so they were here also, and, unless she was very much mistaken the large beast out in the courtyard was none other than her monstrous friend. The thief had no where to run. A commotion started downstairs as the inn keep realised that his guard Troll had not reported back from his routine scout along the hallway. Soon the body would be found outside the door, and she decided that she would rather be with company when that happened.

Placing her foot to the door, she kicked it open. As the heavy oaken pannel swung inward it caught the theif on the leg, causing him to stumble and end up on his knees. Pointing the heavy crossbow at the back of his head, she nodded a greeeting to Rory who was also close to the door, and reached down to grasp the hilt of her dagger hanging from the theifs belt. As her hand touched the hilt, darkness burst out from the gem enveloping the room in an eary dark light.

----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
Meanwhile back at the library.

Ruark looked up at Aurelia precariously placed atop the ladder stretching for a large dust covered tome. Fighting against gravity she lost her balance on the top rung and Ruark reached up to steady her. As his hands touched the small elfs waist, another female form entered the library, and she was not quite so friendly as Aurelia. "Stand away from her Droben, harm one hair on her head and I swear by all the Fates and Gods that you'll not live to see sunlight again" The new arrival clearly had not seen that Aurelia was in danger of falling, being so preoccipied with the massive sight of Ruark's Rock form.

He looked over towards where Kaz was standing and his eyes caught a flicker of movement by the forms of Volodimire and Radagast that had recently half appeared. They were no longer still, but moving incredibly slowly. Lights started to flicker around the two images until all sound stopped. For a few seconds the room became silent, the sound of the wind outside the low murmurs of breathing from his companions, the creaking of the doorway hanging open behind the newcomer. All these sounds seemed to be sucked into the silent flickering of light and the figures whose movements were starting to speed up.

Then sound returned. Lightening escaped from the time bubble in several directions at once. Flames exploded into the library and dust that had settled on the floor for milenia cloaked the air in darkness, only illuminated by the flames now courseing through the infinate dry parchments inside the library. The shockwave rocked Ruark on his feet, not careing what happened to Kaz or the newcomer Ruark dived towards where he had last seen Aurelia atop the ladder. There was no way she would remain balanced againt this shockwave. Grasping her waist he pulled her down with him, and sheltered her from the explosion.

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
“Islia!” the large centaur exclaimed.. “I gues it do be true.. Be thinking o’the devil and she do appear!” Grinning Rory continued, “This do be no proper way for a humble merchant to be enjoying his vacation.. Can we be havin’ someone else rush into the room, an’ if so, will they at least be havin’ somethin’ to eat?” Sparing time for a wink at the ladies and gesture for them all to be quiet, he took a quick look out the door and noticed the greasy looking Innkeeper waddling up the stairs with a a crowd of five or six guardsman at his back. Sighing, the centaur rushed out into the hall.

”Innkeep! It did be awful! They be runnin’ up to the roof—ten maybe twelve men, dressed in green and black.. One lout did be having awful breath and a scraggly beard; he di wave a bloody sword at me and steal me breakfast! How could he be stealin’ a starving centaur’s sweetrolls??!” Anxious to avoid a confrontation with the irate centaur, the Innkeeper was more that happy to charge up the roof with a quick promise of more sweetrolls to be sent up to the room.

Re-entering his bedchamber, Rory again sighed and politely asked Islia, “ Do be a dear, darlin’ and let the man up so that we might be retiring’ form this establishment and makin’ our way to someplace where we might be lighting a pipe or two of tabac and sortin’ out what tales that do need to be told.” Winking at Breasha, he continued, “How be it that life is never dull around you, B?”

----------------------------
Kaz
----------------------------
Kaz was starting to regret following the 'pull' that had led him to this Gods forsaken Library. The last few hours had dragged by in methodical sameness. Pick up book, scan book, discrd book, pick up book. His nose was filled with ancient dust from disturbing the rest of tomes and scrolls that had not seen use for millenia. Finishing the shelf he was working on, he moved across to a case nearer to the faded figures of the rock creature and mage, Directly between Ruarks sight of the bubble, but out of sight of the door. He did not see Helenia enter.

He watched the bubble fascinated. It was spherical, in the center two faded images stood in still silence, once, like Ruark a Droben, but unlike Ruark, the Droben in the bubble was smaller and had runs carved into him, which were glowing and flickering like they were drawn in lightening. The second figure looked to be a mage of indetermined age, sometime he looked ancient and other times he looked no older than a teenager. The mages eyes were constant however, paused in consentrated effort they showed centuries of strain held up by a vast amount of knowledge.

A shout from near the door way caused Kaz to turn his head. Annoyed that he was placed where he could not see the newcomer who had challenged Ruark he stepped to get a view. As he turned his eyes caught movement in the bubble. The faded images were no longer still, but starting to move ever so slightly. Within seconds they were moving faster yet still seemed to be slow motion. Lightening raged inside the bubble emminating from the two figures to touch the edge harmlessly.

Then with horror Kaz watched the bubble burst. No time to find out what the commotion near the doorway was, Kaz dived to his left as a lightening bolt pierced the bubble and struck the floor where he had been standing. The bubble collapsed in on itself in a blinding flash of light and thunderous sound, as Kaz lept for safety.

Flames spread like wildfire as they touched age old parchment and soon the two figures were engulfed in an inferno. Fear filled him. Memories of being spared the flames in the past haunted him, but this time he knew that he would not be spared. Finguring the burnt scars of his face he crawled through the smoke-filled darkness to where he thought the doorway would be. Ruark would have to take care of Aurelia, for he had no idea where he was in relation to them. His only thought now bent of survival as flames lept up cutting him from his direct escape route. Trapped by the flames Kaz started to walk away from the door into darkness.

Lightening filled the air as his panic stricken elven body strived to find some form of escape from the fiery nightmare he had found himself in. He could not believe that he had been spared the fires once, only to be drawn towards his doom in a second infernal death trap. Kaz travelled below the smoke line towards the center of the Library, where the huge bones of an ancient dragonlike monster now lay in a crumpled heap from a stray lightening bolt. The jaws of the beast were wide open and vast. A strange idea crossed his mind when Kaz saw the pit that was the beasts mouth. Climbing inside the skull he pulled the jaw down behind him to serve as a sheild from the flames, and waited.

----------------------------
Helenia
----------------------------
Helania's cold anger turned rapidly to confusion as the ground beneath her began to swell and flame and lightening took their toil upon the library. She couldn't understand what was going on here, magic was about all she could think of as a sensible thing to blame it upon. Long forgotten buildings in the middle of the jungle did not simply start to tear themselves apart for no reason, no someone here had started a reaction that would likely bring down the very stone of the place upon their heads. Right at that moment though she could hardly spare the time to worry about the whys and wherefores of what was happening, not when her life was in such danger.

The elf caught a glimpse of the Droen creature reaching up to grab Aurelia, almost seeming to protect the smaller elf from the destruction that rained down about them. Did the creature have some reason for wanting the thief alive? Or had she so completely mis-read the situation when she had first walked into the library? Could the Droben have actually been looking after Aurelia rather than trying to harm her?

The archeress couldn't think, the questions where hardly relevant as her reflexes took over. Bow and arrow were both lowered, though not released and allowed to fall, she knew better than to leave herself without them in these lands. As the library began to fall the elven woman leapt and dodged between the falling masonry, almost feeling rather than seeing the dangers about her. If any had been looking towards her they might have thought that she had forewarning of which blocks would threaten her life and which would not, so accurately did she move, tracing a path to safety.

She had known that she hadn't taken more than a handful of steps into the library, a fact that she was thankful for now. The short distance gave her a fair chance of getting back to the outside, though only if she didn't stop or move herself from that path. If Helania dared pause she knew that losing that tiny fraction of a moment would be her downfall, she would quite simply never make it to the entrance. And unlike the Droben, she could not survive the falling stonework, her bones would break and crush beneath the weight of such things.

Choking and coughing on the dust she rolled back out from the gloom of the library, her lungs desparate for a breath of clean air. Suddenly she felt so very tired, the shock of seeing Aurelia in 'danger' and then having to flee for her life had given her a jolt of energy that was now rapidly fading. Her lungs complained and screamed in her mind for air, red hot webs of fire lacing through them as she laboured with each breath.

The archeress rolled onto her back, laying there for a moment till her chest stopped heaving and the dust seemed to clear a little. She pushed herself up to stainding once more, no matter how much the various parts of her body moaned. Aurelia?, she called out hoarsely, setting herself up for another fit of coughing for even attempting to say a single word. Helania reached for her water canister, sipping at the pure liquid before spitting it out into the undergrowth. Aurelia?, she tried again, her voice clearer now, Can you hear me Aurelia? Are you alright? She had no idea if the tiny thief could hear her, or even if the destruction within the library had stopped, all was chaos within.

----------------------------
Volodimire
----------------------------
The Time-Slip that he had held between himself and Radagast had finally broken. Violently it tore free from the dimensional fray, casting lightning across the library, filling it with plumes of smoke. He fell back into existence with his hands upstreched, casting a spherical bubble around the epicenter of the devistation, then another around that, and yet another around the second.

The heat from it was so intense that it seared his hair and face. He backed away from it, bumping into a bookcase behind him. His hand lifted up an anceint tome and used it as a shield between himself and the heat. The action was reactionary, and futile he realized, as the book smoldered into flames. Two more sphyical bubbles he cast around the epicenter to staunch the effects and reduces the effects of the explosion that would inevitably happen.

He was drained. He knew he had pushed himself to the limits, but he had no choice, even if it meant sacrificing his own life. The Arian must be found.

Several more spherical shields he casted around the inferno, the fire raged in a deafening roar. He could see it bubbling within it, turning in a fiery haze. His youth was fading him as he turned into a venrable old man.His skin looked drawn, wrinkled, and parched. He looked to be almost a skeleton. Never before had the magics backlashed upon him as such. He struggled to maintain his feeble connection to the source, but it waivered, and with it his own consciousness.

His youthful vigor returned breifly as he crawled a few more paces away from the heat. His shoues and robes were smoldering from it, and he knew it would not be long now until this whole place was consumed in flames. Reaching out, he casted again, creating a dimensional fold under several of the bookshelves. Bookshelf after bookshelf seemed to fall into a black nothingness, those closest to the epicenter he dropped first, then the next, and the next. The protection that kept these book safe was failing, and with that meant the books would soon be caught up in the flames.

The inner bubble ruptured, the heat from it spilled out into the next. It shook the library like an earthquake. The floor cracked underneath it as his strength failed him once again. Elbow upon elbow he crawled back, hopefully somewhere towards the door. His age slipped away even more violently from his, but, out of sheer will alone he maintained his hold upon the source and forced his youthfulness back.

The second bubble burst, sending even more intense shockwaves through the place, the crack spreading like a spiderweb across the floor. Concentrating with all of his might, he dropped several more book cases into the black nothingness of the dimensional pocket. A wide space now lay in the center of the library, and in the center of that was this emmense fiery sphere issuing a tremendous plum of smoke.

He regreted now his decision to cast the time-rift between himself and the library. But if he had not, the library would of already had been consumed in this fiery backlash. He had hoped it would have given them enough time to find it, but he knew they had not. Now, his only hoped was that they all got out safely.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
Breaha watched as the events quickly unfolded.. wasn’t it like Ror y to always taek charge of the situation and quickly find a diplomatic sway to “make things right”.. the infernal beast would talk to the headsman on the way to hi sown beheading and end up being honored at a feast! But he was usually right, and better to gather up the few important things and make a quick departure.

“K’Taal, darling, I think that Rory may be able to help with more than just a spot of breakfast… trust him to get us to a safe, quiet spot to talk..” She said the last with a sly grin and quick wink. Blushing as she realized that the habits she had picked up from Rory might be a bit of a shock for her old companion. Turning to Islia, she continued, “And I would venture a guess that you are another of Big Rory’s acquaintances? Evidently KT has offended you in some manner, but perhaps you can dispense with this dark light show and we can retire someplace and figure out just what messes our silly male friends need us to help them out of this time? My name is Breasha, and the ruffian you about to take for a midnight snack may have many gruff and bad habits.. but he is a man of his word, and if he agrees to come with us and sort this matter through, I’m certain he will not try to escape.” Flashing a quick look in Rorshach’s direction she continued “and everyone knows Roy makes a fair judge (even if he is a little more lenient and less bloodthirsty than most of ladies would prefer….)”

Confiedent that evenif her words had not mollified the vampire, Rory would be able to straighten things out.. she gathered her things, pulled herself up straight and headed out of the room proclaiming loudly “No! I will NOT stay in an establishment that can’t even protect a guests breakfast! How do you possibily expect me to spend an evening here never knowing who might come and go with what of my belongings! I’ll not spend five more minutes here!” With a huff she strode down the stairwell, letting out a shocked gasp and exasperated huff at the sight of the dead troll. Sparing only time to shoot a look back toward the room almost daring anyone to refute her, she quickly by serenly made her way out of the inn.

----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
Ruark lay under the rubble of the Library, Aurelia still safely underneath him sheltered from the debris by a cocoon of his making. Silence rang in his ears and he knew that it was over. How many had survived the catastrophe was the question, and he was in two minds whether he should find out. He had only been able to save the little elf, and the others surely were not strong enough in themselves to have survived the crumbling remains that would have buried them. He just hoped that most had made it out before the roof came down on them.

The large book Aurelia had been holding was still clutched between her fingers, and her breathing had now slowed to the faint breath of an exhausted sleep. The giant Rock creature did not know how long they had lain together under the remnents of the library, he had been knocked unconscious at some point and had not regained consciousness until very recently. But he feared it had been too long. Had he remained conscious then maybe he would have been able to save more than just the little elf.

Carefully, so as not to crush his new found friend, Ruark shifted the weight that pinned him down. Stones fells off him in an avalanche of dust but soon light pierced the rocky grave. Taking a deep breath, Ruark filled his lungs and stood. Rocks flew in many directions as he powered his way through them to the outside. As the dust settled Ruark got his first look at the remains of Toros.

The sun had finally risen on what had been the libraries final day. Nowhere did the ancient structure remain standing as marble and sandstone filled the entire jungle where the library had stood. It was not even recognisably a building, just a heap of rubble, just a graveyard. He knew that not everyone would have made it out alive, but he had hoped that more would have made it out before the final moments. Of Kaz, Radagast and Volodimire there was no sign, only the unconscious form of the new comer, gave fact to the library even having a population inside. Picking up the limp-but-alive form of Aurelia he lay her clear of the rubble, and fell to his knees, head hung low.

Not only was his quest over, but it had ended in the deaths of some of his newly found freinds.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Islia finally breathed in the taste of air without light, the crystal at her side releasing pent up weight that she had not known was holding her down. Now she would finish what she can for, the theif would die for his crime. Tension built in the finger that clasped the trigger of the hefty monster of a weapon in her right hand, and then, at the centaurs words she released her finger from the mechanism and allowed the crossbow to drop to her side. "You taught me too well Rory, that I will not disobey you. However, this theif has cost me much, possibly even a kill if I cannot find my prey once more. If he cannot explain his actions I 'will' kill him."

She turned and watched as the female who had been in the room, turned and walked out of the door. She listened as the female made a point about being disturbed and considered the look in her face as she made her way down the stairwell. "It's been a long time Rory". She said the the centaur, still stood looking at her. "Shall we follow your lady friend? You know how I hate to stand around aimlessly". Just before turning towards the door she caught sight of the theif K'Taal slowly rising from the floor. And You, my new aquaintance, you have some explaining to do". With her words still hanging on the air, Islia turned and followed the path Breasha had taken from the bedroom, the atmosphere slowly becoming less threatening.

As she walked down the stairs she got a better look at the Tavern in which Rory 'had' been staying. It was not noticably any different from the usual tavern, walls contained the occassional picture portrate of the owner in his glory days, and several old but still cared for battle-axes hung from sporadic places around the outside. Some of the patrons had left since she had entered, most likely due to the ruccous she had helped to cause upsatirs, but still the level of sound was reletivly high for this time of night. The odd decoration hung around the room, a pumpkin carved into the shape of a demonic face stood atop the bar, flames flickering through its eyes from a candle stub in it's hollowed center. Torches burnt at regular intervals, and masks lay discarded on table tops by their owners who had dicided that drinking was easier without them.

The sound of Rory moving down the stairs behind her, caused her to turn slightly and look over her shoulder. Waiting for her old friend to pass, she followed him out into the night.

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
The reverie of the Festival made the wide town streets seemed no more than a deer trail as Rory slipped through the crowd. Entertainers told stories and played music, potions of magical power seemed to be commonplace, and fireworks illuminated the sky. Rory noted that the common cutpurse and pickpocket was also out in full force on this night. Not the guilded, organized crew.. the big centaur had made certain that they knew he was in town and that he meant to make them keep to the terms laid out in the Treatise of Unlawful Law. Grinning he remembered the long talks with Islia and the others he trained, as well as the arguments with heads of the “less legal” professions he had spent years organizing. “we hold ourselves not without law.. but to a different, at times even more stringent, set of ethics and honor.”

Chuckling as his chubby fingers relieved the ill-gotten booty from a pick pocket and returned it to the purse of the rightful owner, he nodded to the young spy initiate barely visible peering from the thatched rooftop of a building just down the street. “See Islia? They still be noting the indiscretions of the louts who do be thinking to profit o’the enjoyment o’Festival! Harumph!” His words were barely out or his mouth before a yelping bark and the gently of nipping of tiny razor sharp teeth brought his attention ot his hooves.

“Aye, me little friends, I be knowing ye be keeping to the pledges! Even ye little foxes be knowing the truth o’ honor!” The gentle hands of the centaur scratched one behind the ear and the other on its soft underside as it rolled over and stared up at him. “Now think ye can be checking on the young lasd we did leave int eh room, an’ seeing to quietly makin’ sure the rest o’ Breasha’s nice things do no get left in the Inn? Be creative if necessary, lads, but do no be doing anything rash..” Watching the fennec foxes dash off wrestling and tripping over each other as they went, Rory hummed a dancing tune as he lead Islia on a wandering route through the town eventually ending at a fenced garden in an alley behind an Inn called the The Monarch’s Melody. A slight metallic flash gave the only warning that a slim bladed knife had leaped to the cenataur’s hand, and it was there for only the few seconds it took to release the latch on the inside of what could now be discerned as a gate. Swinging it inward, the ear-to-ear grin blossomed on his face and he called out, “I hope ye did be saving me a dance yet, B!”

----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
K'Taal didn't move for a while, he was still in shock from being caught quite so easily. Granted he hadn't been too subtle on his way here, but being captured through a doorway, that was a rookie mistake, and he was furious with himself for letting it happen. His mind was too full of anger toeven pray for guidance.

Nevertheless, KT still had the keys blood in a phial hanging around his neck, a fact which Islia had not worried about. Thanking Isonia for small mercies, he got up and followed Breasha's trail downstais and into the festival. He took a moment to notice the inconvenient troll had been removedfrom the foot of the stairs and then continued after Islia whom he could see leaving the inn.

His temper had calmed to a level at which he had enough peace within him to call upon Isonia. My goddess, I know I deserve not your forgiveness, but as ever I am your servant and I shall continue on thie quest you have asked of me. I pray for your insight and guidance.

He felt no answers but KT still felt her presence, and taking this a a blessing he resolutely chose the best route open to him. He quickened his pace and soon came abreast of the vampire.
Islia, you know why I did what I did. You too seek what I seek, the blood of the key. Whether it be for money or for the one true goddess; unless our intentions are at odds I see no reason why cannot work together. You are a more than worthy adverasry, and I would rather not work against you unless it is absolutely necessary.
He let his cloak slide back over his axe for the first time in days as a sign of good faith.

----------------------------
Tovarn
----------------------------
Tovarn and his friend Tylorn have been traveling the vast expanses of Maxim for days when Tylorn starts pleading with Tovarn to give up the journey. Being a headstrong person Tovarn disregards his friend's advice and convinces him to continue on with the journey. Feeling weary from the long days walk Tovarn decides to set up camp along the riverbank of the river they have just come across. Tovarn and Tylorn pitch their respective tents and fall asleep.

Shortly after falling asleep Tovarn has a dream about being in temple. The temple is a grand one with ornate drawings of the diety the people worship, marble columns line the entrance way and hundreds of golden statues are carefully placed around the temple. Suddenly the temple fills up with fog leaving no visibilty. After the fog is lifted he soon finds himself face to face with one of the largest dragons in the world. "So you seek that which is lost to the world an ancient book known only to a few due to the fact the that only a few scrolls have survived since your people took on when they went into exile. You will only find it by trusting your instincts and faith let that guide you but only after completing several tasks will you be deemed worthy to find the book which holds the answers you and many others seek."
After the dragon in the dream is done speaking he vanishes and a short flash of a city where a festival is being held is the last thing he sees before waking up.

He could only think about the dream the next several hours and maybe the fact it was a vision who knows only time will tell. During the next several days the two friends pass many towns but never the one from Tovarn's dream. Completely exhausted and ready to turn back home Tovarn finally spots the city from his dream. He sends Tylorn to the busier part of town while he looks for a place to enter the town unnoticed. Finally spotting a part of town where nobody appeared to be he starts walking down the street when he is approached by two men bearing daggers demanding all of his valuables. Infuriated by their demands he refuses to comply with the demands. The two men suddenly start laughing saying he was going to regret his last statement. After one of the thieves composes himself he lunges at Tovarn but at the last minute Tovarn dodges. Unable to control his rage Tovarn loses the battle to keep the dragon blood's transformation effect from occuring again. His eyes start glowing red while his skin starts to turn into jet black dragon scales. Suddenly wings erupt from his back will his hands and feet are changed into those of a dragon with deadly razor sharp 5 inch talons on each of the three toes. His head turns into that of a dragon with dagger like teeth. After the transformation is complete a 50 foot tall dragon stands in the middle of the street where Tovarn once stood and the two men who had watched in horror run away as Tovarn the dragon starts breathing fire with his head tilted towards the sky.

After about two minutes Tovarn reverts back to his human form. He kneels on the ground to regain his senses about 10 seconds later he knows where he is. Quickly looking for any escape route he finally finds an alley and runs as fast as he can to avoid being seen. After running through the alley he comes out unto the next street and proceeds down another alley. Stopping a bit to catch his breath he starts thinking "I hope no one saw me."
----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
Monster finished his food and drink and decided to continue his search for the vampire that was to pay him. He began wandering around the city poking his nose around here and there but continuosly came up empty handed. With this large crowd around him he could not smell her or sense her anywhere. Suddenly a very strange odor and feeling came over him from the outskirts of the town and monster quickly took to the air in that direction. What he saw was not what he had suspected. A dragon was there with two men standing in front of it. The dragon lifted his head and blew fire into the air causing Monster to stop his in midair.

muttering to himself he said Lord that is one hell of a beast. I have not seen one of those for ages. Not since I was just HolyAngel have I been near a dragon.

Monster then continued his flight closer to the rooftops to where this beast was. Monster became excited not knowing what kind of strenght it possesed and the fact that a possible fight could be had.

Monster then landed on a rooftop near where the dragon was but instead of a full fledged dragon it was changing into a human form. This reminded him further of his past as HolyAngel when he rode with Bartholamew Fatima (sp?) because there was a mage in that guild able to do the same thing and she was a very powerful women.

Monster decided to follow him and see how this ended up. Caught up in the excitement he totally forgot about the vampire, the money and the dagger and could on think of this person or thing.

I wonder if I can befriend him and fight or just fight full out. Either way it is going to be fun. I can't wait at all. This should be better then sitting around and trying to have fun with these crazy festival people that is for sure.

----------------------------
Tovern
----------------------------
After standing in the alley way Tovarn gets the feeling he is not alone anymore and someone is following him. He starts thinking of ways to draw out this person or being. With his friend Tylorn in a different part of the city chosing a course of action will be rather difficult. Finally Tovarn decides to head towards where the festival is being held. Pausing frequently to check out the crowd for his friend Tylorn and watch the fireworks he hopes whoever flows him would just show themselves. Finding another alleyway he grabs a piece of paper and writes a note. Written on the paper is "Who are you and why are you following me." Tovarn tucks the piece of paper into a hall that is in the wall and exits the alleyway. As he continues on his search he is confronted by people selling magical potions. He never always refuses to buy anything as it interrupts his quest. After about a half an hour of searching Tylorn comes running up to him describing what he saw of Tovarn's transformation.

"Tylorn it is good to see you."

"You know you should really get that power of yours under control before it consumes you or you destroy a whole entire village. Well at least things are back to normal."

"I'll get my powers under control once I learn more about the Nalus Aldorn ritual and we should meet someone new shortly since I can somehow sense someone following me. Maybe it is another side effect of the ritual who knows. I''m going to find an inn or tavern since all of this nonsense has made me hungry." Tovarn then gestures to Tylorn to follow him into the crowd. The two wander around for 15 minutes before they spot an inn. Tovarn gets the innkeeper to show them to the dining room where they order a pheasant and some water. After eating Tovarn gets Tylorn to follow him back to where he transformed into a dragon to draw out the person or being following him.

----------------------------
Aurelia
----------------------------
Aurelia quite happily dreamed in the ruins of the library, book still clutched in her tiny hands. She almost looked like a young child who had curled up and fallen asleep holding tightly onto a book of fairy tales that she hoped some kind person would read to her. The tiny elf was truly an innocent of the isle, a light in the darkness of war and despair, a beacon to those who needed hope that there was more to life than destruction and chaos. She had been well-named in the high tongue of the elves, Annúnannoniel, the Light Bearer.

In her dreams the world was as she percieved it, war did not touch the lands of her mind and death was a forgotten nightmare there. She dreamed of the good things of life, of the joy of friendship and the excitement of harmless adventure. As she slept Aurelia no longer found herself in the library, no instead she seemed to run through the forest surrounding Gyppeswyk. But not the city as it was now but as it had once been, its walls tall and fair, its gates open to all who sought it out, the stone of the buildings gleaming with an inner light while the sound of waves crashing against the cliffs filled the air. Banners still flew from the highest towers of the castle and all was well, the sickness that had inflected the real city had no place in this dream. The dreaming elf laughed, knowing that she was at last home.

But all dreams must end, even those of the innocent.

The little elf murmured in her sleep, twisting and turning asif she was trying to find a more comfortable spot. Eventually she opened her eyes and blinked slowly as she tried to remember where she was and exactly what had happened. At the sightof the ruined library her eyes grew wide, Oh I didn't do this did I? I definitely didn't mean to if it is my fault, though I don't know how I would have broken something this big though I've been accused of worse. People had often found that thing that the tiny thief came into contact with broke soon after, though she had never intended it to happen. It was almost as if the aura of chaos that the little one trailed after her somehow affected the world around her.

She spotted the kneeling form of the Droben, Ruark, not so far away from her. Shaking her head and rubbing the sleep from her eyes with one hand she got to her feet and slowly made her way towards the massive creature. In the other hand she still clung to the book that she had been trying to look at when the library had begun to fall, like a child holdingonto a teddy-bear for comfort. Mr. Ruark?, she said gently as she tried to get his attention, placing one tiny hand on his side. Are you alright? After all you did end up with a lot of stone falling on top of you, though I guess you are a kind of living rock yourself so that might not hurt you. Though I think that even if I was made out of rock myself it would hurt me, or at least give me a very nasty knock on the head. Do you have a headache because of that?

Where is everyone else? I thought I heard Helania just before everything got broken you know. Not that you'd know Helania but I would, she's an elf, a tall one, always carrying a bow about and she's got feathers in her hair. She once tried to tell me about the feathers, apparently they have some meaning but I can't remember now what it was.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
As Rory stepped outside into the crisp night breeze blowing northeasterly through the village Islia followed him. She smiled as Rory noticed a young street boy attempting to pick the master assassin's pocket and chuckled at his reply. She then stood waiting in the small square out front of the tavern as Rory sent his foxes inside to harry the return of the theif K'Taal. After a few moments K'Taal slowly stepped outside, several small creatures yapping at his ankles.

"Islia, you know why I did what I did. You too seek what I seek, the blood of the key. Whether it be for money or for the one true goddess; unless our intentions are at odds I see no reason why cannot work together. You are a more than worthy adverasry, and I would rather not work against you unless it is absolutely necessary."

She regarded him as he covered his axe with the edge of his cloak in a gesture of peace and contemplated a reply.

"You took that which you had no right to, watch your step 'friend'

She said spinning the Dagger of Darklight between her fingers in a swirl of steel, before it disappeared into a hidden sheath on the inside of her cloak. Turning from the paladin she followed Rory as he made his way through the partying revellers out celebrating the festival.

What news from the Flutes?

She questioned her mentor as they turned into an alleyway.
----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
Ruark knelt by the rubble of the once magnificant library of Toros. Palms flat against the debris he allowed his mind to merge with the rocks, mapping the remains, looking for signs of life from those who were still in the library when the time bubble imploded in fiery fury. Nothing breathed under the rock, Kaz, Volodimire, Korin and Radagast buried and cold. Radagast, the Droben whom Volodimire had shared the time bubble with may well have survived the collapse. Like Ruark, his rock composed frame would not have been damaged from the falling building. However, Ruark's search into the rubble was only able to locate flesh amidst rock, rather than rock amidst rock, and he also knew that Radagast may turn out to be incredibly unfriendly now that the library he was set to defend had been destroyed. Of Kaz and Volodimire there was no sign either, no sign to the point were he could not even locate their remains.

"Mr Ruark" A voice from somewhere regestered upon Ruarks senses but did not call his mind back from the hopeless search to find the living bodies of his friends. "Are you alright? After all you did end up with a lot of stone falling on top of you, though I guess you are a kind of living rock yourself so that might not hurt you. Though I think that even if I was made out of rock myself it would hurt me, or at least give me a very nasty knock on the head. Do you have a headache because of that?" A touch on his shoulder brought him back to consciousness with the sudden-ness a snapped twig. The young elf Aurelia whom he had protected from the collapse had regained consciousness, and was addressing him. Struggling to recall what she had said he mumbled a generic response and hoped she didnt notice. She didnt. "Where is everyone else? I thought I heard Helania just before everything got broken you know. Not that you'd know Helania but I would, she's an elf, a tall one, always carrying a bow about and she's got feathers in her hair. She once tried to tell me about the feathers, apparently they have some meaning but I can't remember now what it was" . Continued Aurelia, her words spilling out her lips almost faster than Ruark could assemble them into meaning before they changed subject again.

"Gone!" Ruarks voice broke whilst speaking betraying his overwhelmed emotional state. "All Gone, Korin and Volodimire who entered the library with me gone. I'm sorry, of your elven friend Kaz there is also no living sign, I hope you two were not too close." Ruark watched as Aurelia's face sank. Unknowing if she was more upset over the loss of Kaz, or over the fact he had not mentioned this Helenia person that she had spoken of he turned towards the young elf. [color=orange]"I did not see anyone arrive, she may have got out safely before hand but if not, then she does not survive under the rubble, I'm sorry.

Turning from the young elf in a need for his own company, Ruark walked towards the jungle and away from the rubble knowing that his quest for information about the arian was over.

----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
Monster followed this person that he was so curious in. Moving from roof top to roof top as smoothly as possible. He noticed that the man had written something on a piece of paper and slipped it into a alleyway. Monster waited till it was clear and came down quietly by the use of his wings.

It read "Who are you and why are you following me."

well he is not only going to be one hell of a strong opponent but he is a talented one as well. One that can notice someone following him from high up during a carnival of sorts is a skilled man.

Then suddenly this person had found a friend of his and began wondering back to the place of the transformation. They spoke a little but it was not loud enough for monster to make it all out.

After jumping from one rooftop to another the cieling that monster landed on was not well constructed and Monster fell down taking some of the roof with him. The fall took him by surprise so he could not open his wings in time to break the fall well at all, but that was ok because the man he had been following did the job nicely.

Standing up and brushing himself off monster said Damn cheap carpentors, doing shoddy workmanship around here. They just ruined everything. Turning to the man he just fell on Well I am the one that has been following you for a while now. I am following you because you spark excitement in me with you power and ability to transform. I wanted to meet you and possibly spare or fight.

Monster then sat there waiting to see what kind of a reaction he would get.
----------------------------
Tovarn
----------------------------
Shortly arriving at the spot he had an encounter with the thieves earlier in the day out of nowhere something fall on Tovarn. He could he the cracking wood and falling debris but could not get out of the way in time. The crash left a big cloud of dust that took about a minute to dissipate. As he was getting up he could hear someone talking to him saying they were the one following him and they wanted to fight him. He could feel another transformation starting to occur fighting to restrain from tranforming was taking its toll on him. I not going to be able to fight him until I recover from fighting the transformation process he thought to himself. Upon standing up he finds himself facing not a person but a monster.

"Why did you fall on me? I do not want to fight out the moment since I am not into fighting people I have just met without a good reason. The only reason I can turn into a dragon is an ancient ritual the Dragus Invari tribe of Vitari Nalus pratice. This ritual is named after the human Nalus and the dragon Aldorn who were the first to practice it. Aldorn the dragon gave some of his blood to save Nalus who protected him from people who misunderstood Aldorn and his kind. A fight ensued and Nalus was severely injured but Aldorn took Nalus to a priest who preformed the magical ceremony called the Nalus Aldorn thus saving his life. The priests in the city of Nalus say the friendship between Nalus and Aldorn was so strong Nalus was able to become part dragon. Every so often they say a human comes along like Nalus with a fierce loyalty to the protection of the dragons.
Where I come from dragons and humans coexist peacefully but I came down from the mountains on a quest. So I have no time for a fight hopefully we can resolve this peacefully. He watches as Tylorn waits anxiously for the end result of this new development in thier quest to meet new people. Tovarn then waits for the monsters reply.

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
Smiling conspiritorily at islia, the palamino centaur added a broad wink. "Business be good, darlin'. Things do be almost boringly well. But then again, it seems that there be always a thing or two of interest that be fallin' in me lap! " His grin took in Breasha and thevampire both, 'and there always do seem to be a woman or two the be involved in the fallin'" Scampering playfully back, he feigned ducking behind K'Tall to avoid a possible blow from either of the women.

The little graden grotto was empty save for the people and lush trees adn flowers. The benches and chairs were even anodd sort-- trees and bushes that had been carefully trimmed and pruned into services and even comfortable livign furniture. Motioning the others tosit and relax, the big centaur explained, "This place do be one designed for a special sort of meeting. see how there be no noise o'the celebrations you be hearin'? I do be havin' a business gatherin' on the morrow-- at theequinox this festival be celebratin'. We can be talkin' here and now without fear o'others listenin' Now, Iam sure that breasha do be as anxiousas I to be learnin' what is of such import thatthere be three people to be crashin through the door. A tale of mayhem and intrigue that do be a saga for the ages to be sure. " A twinkiling smile crossed his face, buta deadly glea entered his eyes. "An when it do ebtold, we can decide who do eb needin' killed or robbed or otherwise after the peace o'the festival do belifted " At the terse sound of the the last, the ears laid back on both o fth efoxes and the let out long, if high-pitched, growls.

----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
monster stood there listening to everything that was said to him.

That is a very interesting story and I have not heard any story like thins before. Since you can not control the power yet the fight will not be as fun as it could be. I tell you what I have a debt owed to me by someone somewhere in this crazy town, but after I have found her and recieve my fee I shall search you out and see if I can help in your quest.

With that Monster turned away and took to a slow jog to find the vampire women who he had helped to track the man she seeked to this town. Although Monster was quickly unable to find where she had gone and was not able to spot her from the ground, so to the rooftops he went. Jumping from roof to roof looking for his money.

I need to find this damn vampire woman and collect my purse so that I may help this dragon man become stronger, so we can have on extremely fun fight. A fun fight is something I have not had in some time now.

----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
K'Taal contemplated the response
You took that which you had no right to, watch your step 'friend'

She had not tried to kill him, which was a pleasant change from their previous meetings. However the spinning blade, she held, spoke volumes. The vampire was not to be trifled with.

As KT watched the centaur cantered around like a village fool, he suspected this was not the case, if one looked closely, Rory could be seen to be balanced, even when engaged in the most precarious folly. It was apparent that Rory and Islia weremore than aquaintances, and KT would stand more of a chance of surviving if he could explain away the vampire's version of events.

He positioned himself between Breasha and the others,

I too would be interested to know what supposedly happened, mayhap we could even share knowledge of our shared quest

----------------------------
Aurelia
----------------------------
They're gone?, her bright smile disappeared even though the information didn't quite manage to sink in. How could everyone be gone? No that just wasn't right, everyone was alright, they had to be alright, they couldn't be...dead. However happy and bright the little elf seemed to the world still she had known her share of death. Many might have looked at her and thought her niave, untouched by the death and ruin that so often seemed to plague the isle. But the truth of the matter was far from that, Aurelia had watched as four elder brothers had marched to war and returned covered in a shroud. She knew death, she knew the bitterness of grief, she had experienced it enough. But unlike others she did not let it rule her, if death existed then life was to be lived to the fullest extent, every joy to be taken, every happiness to be explored.

Aurelia looked down at the book that she still held in one hand, its spine dragging along the floor. Oooops, must not do that, it's bad for the book and you have to be so very careful with books. I remember the lady used to tell me that, she had a wonderful library, filled with all sorts of books, about the isle, about legends, my favourite were the storybooks. Sometimes she'd let me go into the library and read one of the books, but only if I promised not to ruin it. And I never did, she exclaimed proudly as she picked up the book and hugged it to her chest.

She saw the Droben move off from the ruins of the library and back into the jungle, Mr. Ruark? Where are you going? They can't be gone, they all had so much to do. And Mr. Kaz was looking for the Arian, so he can't be gone because he hasn't found it yet and I'm sure that he wouldn't give up just like that. And Helania can't be gone because...because...well because who else would travel with me through the isle? Her lower lip started to quiver as she thought of Helania not being around anymore. Helania was always there for the tiny thief, it was the archeress who made sure that when things went wrong they both survived. Helania was the one who looked after Aurelia, she paid attention to the dark things of the world that Aurelia seemed to miss.

No Helania can't be dead, I won't let her be, Aurelia said suddenly, her face set in a look of determination, her voice firm and resolute. It would just be far too careless of her to go and die on me like that and Helania is never careless.

The little elf adjusted the book that she still carried and attempted to pick her way out of the rubble, sneezing every now and then as her movements kicked up even more dust into the air. The fallen stones would occansionally threaten to shift and slip under her feet, grumbling and grating against one another as she passed by. For once her little sword seemed to decide not to try and trip her up, behaving itself so that Aurelia could make it safely from the ruins. Perhaps the sword weighed up the possibilities and decided that it was better to exist in the care of the elf than be buried forever under cold stone.

She could just about make out the jungle ahead of her though the sight of most of it was blocked out by the figure of the Droben. Skipping to catch up, Aurelia ran by the side of the much larger Ruark, So what are you going to do Mr. Ruark? You're not going to give up are you? You can't do that, they are all alright really, we've just got to find them, she said brightly, her mind no longer believing that Kaz and Helania could really be dead.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
K’Tall stood protectively between her and Rorshach’s pale skinned friend. Why was it meant always felt they had to “rescue” or “protect”, when usually it was they who needed to be helped? Stubborn, foolish pride that went ot filling up those bulky muscles most likely. Well, a honey-laced tongue has always been as effective a weapon as ever was invented..

Gliding gracefully over to her hold mentor, Breasha laid a gentle, seductive hand on his arm. “Why, I never remember you being quite so tense..” she whispered with her face close to his ear. Maintaining that closeness without allowing any other contact between them, she traced a finger delicately down his arm. “Let me get you a goblet of wine to whet your throat and we can listen to what the lady has to say.” A heartfelt warm smile adorned her face, and she shared it equally with K’Taal and Islia. The conspiratorial wink, however was reserved for Rorshach’s eyes alone.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Islia inwardly raged at the 'request' to explain herself, it should be enough that he had her dagger. Turning towards Rory, she glanced at K'Taal standing protectivly between herself and Breasha 'does he really think i'll harm Rory's lady friend' she thought to herself. Resigned to the fact that she was going to have to explain Flute secrets infront of outsiders she started to speak.

"I was hired by a mage for a mission for the Flute." after speaking the first sentance she waited for the centaurs nod of approval before she continued. "He empowered me to one end, to locate the elf Kazimirzch Longbow and to retrieve a sample of his blood, but to keep him alive so as to not interfere with his journey, but to retire any of his companions" Again she paused to look up at her mentor, to make sure she was not talking of things she should not, at his silence she continued. "I located the mark on the forests outside the plateau of Garamoor a days ride from here to the west. Before I was able to make contact, K'Taal here showed up and nearly blew my cover, by putting a sword to my back. I used a word of power, something I promised I would never do, and for that I appologise Rory, but it was enough to make him drop his sword. I then drew my longbow, prepaired to take the elf in the leg so i could retrieve his blood for the mage" Almost out of breath Islia looked at her enraptured audience before continueing. "As i was about to release, your 'friend' K'Taal here disrupted my shot, and ran out after my target, giving away my cover. I was forced to fight hand to hand with the elf, and succesfully gained his blood for my mission, however I lost hold of my dagger during the fight, and had to run to the safety of the forests to escape the fury of Intop. By the time it was dark, K'Taal here had made of with my dagger, which I notice is now clean of blood"

Turning towards K'Taal, fury now written accros her face. "So my Chosen Paladin of Isonia 'friend' where is Kazimirzch's blood?"
----------------------------
K'Taal
----------------------------
K'Taal shivered slightly as Breasha gentle touch on his arm, it had been a very long time since he had last felt her touch. The moment stetched out for a eternity, and then was gone and KT gave his attention to Islia.
He listened carefully awaiting a chance to reply.

So my Chosen Paladin of Isonia 'friend' where is Kazimirzch's blood?

He drew the smaller phial of blood from his blood, and let it swing by its leather cord for a few moments before grasping it in his fist.

The blood is safe, but do not fear, this is not all of it.
He paused to let this sink in.
I was tasked by the one true goddess, Isonia, to acquire the same life blood of the key, or as you call him Kazimizch Longbow. I had been tracking the elf for a while when Islia appeared. As I questioned her intentions, she used powerful magiks, which started a fire, which would have surely made the key aware of us had I not put it out.
After such reckless use of powers, not meant for those of mortal origin,
He glared at Islia as he spoke the last few words.
I could not trust her to refrain from destroying my chance to complete Isonias quest. So I stopped her shooting the key. As I charged towards him, Isonia spoke to me again, warning of the danger within your vampiric ally. Once the vision was over, everyone was fleeing the clearing and the bloodied dagger remained. I took this gift from Isonia, and was then harrassed and chased by Islia and a companion I know not, until I came here to seek refuge.
K'Taal laughed to himself at this thought, before becoming serious again.
I would consider keeping my valuables safer before throwing around accuations of theft. You should be more careful in future.
He dangled the phial by its cord again, and then held it out to Islia.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
At K'Taal's response Islia almost choked. Although she could not refrain from spitting out the word "Liar" , before she consciously regained control of her sense of speach, she did manage to settle her outrage for a few moments before she next spoke. "I seem to recall matters a little differently, Chosen Paladin of Isonia " Her red eyes bored into the paladin K'Taal causing him to blink. "The utterence of a word of power I recall, was to force you to drop a sword which you had held to my throat. I do not recall any flames. I also seem to recall you rushing out headlong at my prey and ending up unconscious on the floor. Is this how your Goddess informed you of danger, by rendering you unconscious. Not the most suitable form of keeping you safe from someone as Dangerous I as am." Looking back at him, she could sense that he was going to lose this arguement. "Well?" she continued.

----------------------------
Helenia
----------------------------
She dared to take another sip of her precious water supply, eyes still firmly fixed upon what remained of the entrance to the library. This time the elven archeress didn't spit out the water, letting it instead make its way down to her stomach. It was still quite cool though not cold enough to sit in her stomach like a lead weight, something she was grateful for, after all the last thing she needed right now was to get a stomach ache. Helania didn't need to be distracted by the weaknesses of her own flesh while little Aurelia might need her help if she had survived the terror that had ripped through the library.

There was no doubt in her mind that Aurelia had survived even if she had nothing to prove that thought. The little elf couldn't die, that was simply ridiculous, she had even enough to make a cat's nine lives seem a fleeting and dangerous existance. Besides she couldn't imagine that the Gods would be able to bear having Aurelia in the afterlife. Helania could just imagine the scene in the heavens after the little elf had been around for an hour or so. Foret, Isonia and Darden would probably willingly lay aside their differences and make an alliance just to send Aurelia back down to the isle. The archeress was quite sure that there was not a being on the isle or in the heavens who had enough patience to deal with the little one.

Besides not even Aurelia could get so lost as to take a wrong turning between life and death.

The two of them had travelled so far and experienced so much that Helania could not bring herself to belive that it could be over. They had seen wonders and bedevilments, the great and the good as well as the lowest of society. Carrying the banner of none the two elves had been free to travel through the lands of all guilds, stopping to visit some while they passed through others unnoticed. All that could not now be at an end? The light of Aurelia's innocence could not have been extinguished in this way.

It was then that she heard the first footsteps, heavy and sure of themselves, stone against stone. Reflexes, rather than thought, took over, bow and arrow coming easily to hand and already lining up at the point that the sounds were coming from. They seemed to be emanating from the rubble of the library, something it seemed had survived its destruction. But what was it exactly that now left the ruins? A friend? A foe? The creature that had caused the trouble or only one that had been caught up in it? Well she couldn't take any chances, or at least that was her main thought as she took a more careful aim at whatever was making its way out of the library.

Hey there, she called out, wondering if perhaps it would not have been a wiser move to stay silent just in case it was an enemy. Who comes from the ruins?

----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
Ruark ambled along towards the dense foliage of the jungle, Aurelia chattering at his heels. Her intense optimism was even starting to get to him, but he knew deep down that had anything other than himself and the little elf he guessed was now his responsibility to protect, had survived the destruction, the rocks would have told him so. Any Megalith ought to know that rocks would not lie to one such as he.

Startled by a sound, he pushed Aurelia behind him, and looked over towards the jungle. Nothing seemed to be amiss, but he had the strangest sensation that he was being watched. He was about to turn towards the noisy little elf and ask her, ever so gently to both, stay where she was, and to try and remain silent, when a voice sounded from the bruch ahead of him.

"Hey There....Who comes from the ruins?"

Straining, Ruark finally managed to get a look through the shelter of branches and leaves, at the newcomer who had arrived just prior to the devistaing collapse of the strange bubble that Christiame and Radagast had been inside, and the subsequent destruction of his hopes of finding a clue in his quest.

"Maybe, this is the friend Helenia, Aurelia spoke of" Ruark thought to himself. Although his thought did not have to stay in his mind for long, as a squeal of recognition sounded from his small and friendly companion behind him.

----------------------------
Tovarn
----------------------------
Tovarn watched as the monster left leaping from rooftop to rooftop. "Tylorn lets leave this town and focus on finding the Inval." As soon as the words left his mouth Tovarn saw a large flash of light. When the light had subsided a mage was left standing in the center of where the flash had occurred. The mage is wearing expensive robes but his face is blurred by some sort of magic field.

The mage just stares at Tovarn and motions for Tovarn to follow him. He starts walking towards the western end of town. Tovarn follows him to the exit but he disappears just outside of the town. Tovarn then writes a note telling the monster he is going on a quest.

--
Monster I am going on a quest to find the mysterious mage and a book. you are welcome to join if you want. Tovarn
--

He leaves it on a rooftop and goes to retrieve his belongings. "Are you ready Tylorn we need to find out what that mage wanted."

"If you insist but I feel we are going to get into trouble when we meet this mage."

----------------------------
Aurelia
----------------------------
Helania? Helania!, the tiny elf exclaimed and rushed towards the taller archeress, grabbing onto her lost companion with a surprising strength. I knew you'd be alright, I just knew it, you wouldn't let yourself get crushed by all those rocks. I mean if you'd let that happen it would make you all clumsy and you're not clumsy at all. Mr. Ruark thought that you were dead but I knew that you weren't, I knew you wouldn't go off somewhere without me, especially not somewhere like the afterlife. I mean what would you do there without me to keep you company and stop you from getting lost? And if you're alive then maybe some of the other survived too.

For her part the archeress looked stunned, she couldn't have been more shocked by the sudden fury of words and limbs. All the Gods Themselves could have appeared before her and yet still Helania would not have been quite so lost for words as she was when confronted by her small friend. She stood there looking most bemused by the whole situation, waiting for Aurelia to perhaps calm down and explain what was going on. Of course if she'd been thinking straight she would have realised that Aurelia never calmed down.

See Mr. Ruark?, she said, her arms still firmly wrapped about the leg of her friend. Being so small Aurelia tended to find that it was just easier to hug people's legs than wait for them to come down to her level. And if anyone disapproved, well it was their own silly fault for being so tall. I told you that Helania wasn't dead, I said she wouldn't be so careless as to go and get herself killed without me. That's just not like her at all, so I was right because here she is and she's all alive and unhurt and...

The little elf's words trailed off as she peered at the archeress suspisciously and removed herself from the other elf's leg. You are still alive aren't you Helania? I mean you've not become a ghost or some undead icky thing have you? Because that really would be careless of you if you'd let that happen, most irresponsible. But I suppose that you can't be a ghpost because they kind of aren't here, you can put your hand through them and everything.

While Aurelia took a breath Helania took the chance to jump in and speak, I assure you that I am quite alright. I managed to escape from the library as it fell, though it was by the skin of my teeth. it's an expression Aurelia, I don't literally mean 'the skin of my teeth', she cautioned as soonas she saw the little one begin to open her mouth. Now why don't you introduce me to your new friend here? And perhaps one of you can explain what just happened back there.

Oh of course, my manners went and wandered off there for a moment. This is Mr. Ruark, he's a Droben, you can tell because he's all made out of rock, makes it very easy to figure out that does. And Mr. Ruark this is my good friend Helania of Silverethorne, she's an elf, you can tell by the pointy ears. Aurelia grinned to herself, glad that she'd made everything very clear for her friends. As for what happened, I'm not entirely sure, I was reaching for this book, she held up her new prized possesssion, And then everything fell down. You don't think that the book was holding the library up do you?, she asked in sudden horror at what she might have been responsible for.

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

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Post Re: Repost: The Search For The Arian [Closed]
[OOC]And so to the final part of the unfinished tale of the Arian. Ruark, Aurelia and Helenia search the rubble of the Library. Of Kaz and the others there is no sign. Islia has regained her dagger, and is now in the company of K'Taal, Rory and Breasha. Monster has encountered the dragon-shapeshifter Tovern.[/OOC]

Quote:
The Search for the Arian : Pursuits

----------------------------
Shelgyr Kione
----------------------------
Shelgeyr wondered slowly and silently southwards, the grey moon hanging low upon the eastern horizon, the purple almost directly overhead. Between the two, eiry shadows danced through the night time forest through which he travelled. The thin whispy breeze causing tree limbs to move in a whispered shuffle createing a sense of danger in the air.

Shelgeyr was not worried about danger however, he strived for it. Working as a head hunter was fun, much more fun than it really ought to be, but the excitement and thrill of the chase could not fail to bring a tingle of anticipation everytime he set out. This mission was no different.

He had been summoned by the Earl of a realm now several months walk away. Although much nearer by horse, Shelgeyr had always been of the opinion that if you walked for 100 paces then ran for 100 paces, you could cover distance almost as fast as on horseback, and you didnt have to feed the damned thing. His current prey was due to an embarrassing personal matter for the Earl. His bride had ran away the morning of their wedding under mysterious circumstances. Shelgy had been employed to find the beauty called Breasha, and bring her back.

A village a day or two previous had directed Shelgy towards the small forest encapsuled town which he headed towards. One of the villagers remembering a lady fitting Breasha's description from when he had recently been working for the smithy in the other town. The chase was now on.

98, 99, 100 Shelgy finally counted the hundredth step and started to move faster through the forest.
----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
"Ahhh, the exuberance of youth!" chided the big centaur s he listened Islia and K'Taal bandy words "Did I ever be tellin' any of you that at one time I did be travelin' through this village along the western shoreline-- a place thtat did be called Epicurean? " Taking a sip of his \wine he went on, "A lovely little hamlet, where the people be truly appreciatin' the finer things.. like certain tabaac.. Anyway,in this town, they did be havin' a device which would be movin' in small increments simluating the daily progeression o' the sun. It did be a massive thing" he gestured widely with his pudgy hands, "in the center of town--it could be seen from either end! Five poeple did be doing nothing else but make sure that it did be workin' proper. When I did be askin' one young lady about it.. she did be tellin' it was a device to be trackin time. 'A sunless sundial?" i had replied, incredulously. And, of course, I did be proceedin' to ask why they would be goin' throught the effort to be maintainin' such a thing..but they did be a people of many strange customs.

"As I be listenin' to you now, I do be reminded of a thought I had wihle I had been lookin' at the Sunless Sundial.. In different places, among different people, there do often be a similarity in purpose at the end o' different paths. And sometimes, there do be a chance that the two can be meetin' up and travelin' together before the end.. for a road that dop be made from joined paths be offtimes easier to travel.

"We seeem to be havin' a common purpose in this, no? Wether for the needs o' Gods or mortals, we be seekin' the same ends and our means do be sure to be better served together. Mayhap I shall be acompanin' you in this, islia? an you no mind o' course.. I do be thinkin' a conversation or two with "The Chosen Paladin of Isonia ' may well prove to be enlightenin'!" the big centaur let the last fall softly over the rim of his wineglass so that his audience might make their own guesses as to wether it was questions about the goddess or Breasha he might have in mind.
----------------------------
Shelgyr Kione
----------------------------
Shelgeyr slowed back down to a walk, the denseness of the forest had dwindled to sporadic woodland as he approached the small settlement where he hoped to find Breasha, or at least sign of her. For the past few hours he had followed a small brook of fresh water. Earlier he had stopped to eat trail rations and refill his water bottle, he had not had time to waste for much more than the neccesities however. The night was illumintaed by the two moons, allowing him to see clearer than his developed night vision would normally allow.

As quickly as the forest had become woodland, the woodland opened out into a flat grassland, puntuated by the occassional oak that had wondered a little far from the woods edge. In the distance he could see the wooden buildings that made up the town. Bunting was strewn between buildings in a calidascope of bright colours. The decor of the village could only mean that a festival was taking place in town. Wiping a thin layer of sweat from his forehead, Shelgeyr started his final approach to the town and Breasha.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
Listening to Rory's speech, the svelte elven woman both admired the easy way in which he could bandy words about in a soothing easy fashion.. and hated the cocky confidence with which he expected people to be swayerd by his words. Hearing the lack of music in the common room, though she noted the late hour. "Rory, darling?" she implored the centaur. "Are the festivities here done? I do want to get a few hours of sleep in before the mornign Festival end celebrations.. you know I never miss the dawn-break fireworks.... and you are sure to be wanting to get up and raid the kitchens at teh same time..." She trailed off with a look that smouldered tempting heat. Pausing only long enough to say good night ot the vampire and offer a chaste kiss to K'Taal's cheek, the scent of Rory's pipe telling her he was still behind her.

She even felt slightly sorry that she would be leaving in teh middle of the night to continue on to her next assignment...

----------------------------
Monster
----------------------------
The night was beggining to come to a end as Monster continued his search for the vampire lady. He often got sidetracked on his search though. He would walk the grounds and steal an ale or two from passers by. Or the smell of blood would lure him to find only a rotting animal or nothing exciting at all. When he stopped for the fifth time only to find a dead woodlands creature it dawned on him. He should follow the smell of blood to find this Vampire and he better do it quick for he was unsure if she had her weapon yet and would have to hide even better durning the day.

Monster followed his nose as best he could usually it ended up with him in a vacant alley somewhere. Then he caught a whiff of some unusual smelling blood and he began to follow that. Thoughts started running through his head. All he could think about was getting paid then trying to catch up to Tovarn the man that was able to change into a dragon. All he could think of was being able to fight a real fight finally and have a fun time doing it.

He was going to have to follow the scent for some time because it was weak where he was for now and hard to determine as blood.

----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
As Aurelia's flow of word tumbled out of her mouth like a stick floating along a white water river, Ruark struggled to keep up. He was introduced to Aurelia's friend 'with the pointy ears' in a fluffy of excitement, but before he could speak a greeting the small elf contiued unabated. As her final words lapsed into what seemed an immense wall of silence, Ruark could not contain himself. Aurelia's last words causing him to bellow a full throughted chuckle that sounded very similar to an avalanch.

"Don't you worry my little friend, I'm pretty sure it wasn't your fault that the building fell down."

The look of releif that covered Aurelia's face at his reasurance, however was enough to add a little extra, just for fun.

".. At least, I dont think so."

Ruark looked Helenia up and down slowly and methodically, trying to gain a little insight into this new character that had arrived. He decided that the young women was likely well able to handle herself in a tricky situation, and, perhaps more importantly based on her choice of companion, gifted with immense patience. He decided he was going to like Aurelia's friend.

"I'm glad your friend survived"

Ruark said to the small chatterbox still clutching the taller elfs leg.

"But I'm affraid my quest has failed. With the destruction of the library, there is nowhere that remains that would contain scrolls pertaining to the time in question. The Arian will not be found by me I fear."
----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
Leaving town in the middle of the night was not one of teh more honorable habits seh had picked up, but slipping silently from a city often served her career. The peculiar , underrground world of the Flutes was host to many stragne professions, and all manner of spying was neeeded. Somany wealthy nobles and merchants needed either a wife or a mistress, and it was amazing that they were so free with words when alone with either. And when the needed information was gathered, or the job completed, well if she did her job as well as she could she woudl leave town in broad daylight at teh haed of a parade. There were other times, however, that required a midnight departure.

But this was different. In a way she worked for the big centaur, althoguh too far removed that reports woudl ever go directly to him or that he would even know what she mightbe working on. No, she was leavign now to avoid the man's foolish fears of her dangerous lifestyle. She woudl always volunteer for the risky assignments, to twist the mind of the most powerful or closely watched or the strong minded. Life waas electric withthe thrill of the chase and sublte nuances and hints that would draw every last detail from the mark. And worst of all was teh fact that Rorshach would never interfere- but she could see in his eyes that he wanted to! "Never be gettin' too close, adn be working not form teh mins be the heart" he had been the one teach her. And that was how she found herself slipping a quickly penned note under the door to K'Taal's room:

"I must leave like this, my darling. Stick close to Rorshach-- I trust him with more than my life and his reach goes far beyond what you might imagine. I am certain that your goddess led you to him for a reason. Fare well in your quest, and I will find you again someday. ~~Breasha"

Donning the garments of an old midwife, she looked once in the mirror and barely recognized any of her own features thtoughthe mask of bes and paints that now adorned the leven features. Gnarled hands graspeda cane as she hunched over to reduce her hieght. Shuffling throughthe gates dragginga pack mule, she huttered to the gaurds about young women needing to have babies in the night whil years ago, when she was young, they had the decency to wait until the morning! Rude laughter and jokes about what Age that was were the only sound s following her into the darkness.

----------------------------
Helenia
----------------------------
The archeress smiled knowingly as Ruark added At least, I don't think so , onto the end of his sentance. The worry on Aurelia's face was priceless especially considering that the little on never seemed to notice when she did break something. It was always the things that she didn't break that the tiny elf thought were her fault. Sometimes Helania wondered how on the isle Aurelia had ever risen to being the chief spy in her homelands. But whenever she wondered that the taller elf only had to remember how accident-prone the little elf could be. Probably all they'd had to do in the past when they needed a heathen's temples destroyed was to tell Aurelia to go and visit them, nothing would be left standong after a `visit' from her.

I am rather glad to have survived myself, Helania said gently, Though I had feared that no others would. When I saw the building begin to crumble I thought that no one would escape its ruins intact, yet as always you prove me wrong Aurelia, the archeress reached down and ruffled her smaller counterpart's hair playfully. It seemed that no matter what Helania thought to be impossible the tiny thief would always prove her wrong. It was almost tempting to tell Aurelia that no one could ever leave the isle for almost certainly the little one would find some way to do so.

She looked over the Droben who had apparently saved the little elf, he seemed a trustworthy enough soul. It was a pity she that could not travel back to when she had seen him reach up for Aurelia and tell herself that he did not mean to hurt the little one. But still that mistake was rectified now, he had saved Aurelia's life and that was more than enough to make him down as a friend in her books. A friend or a madman to save the little elf after her nearly continuous chattering.

Helania listened as the Droben spoke of what they had been searching for in the library, The Arian? And what would that be? I have never heard of such a thing on any of my travels and I have journeyed many a mile since my earliest days. Would it be a place or an object? The least she could do was help the Droben after he had saved Aurelia's life, though she feared that she would have nothing to help in her quest for this `Arian'

Scrolls, the little elf suddenly exclaimed, almost making Helania jump put of her skin at the unexpected cry. You need scrolls to tell you where to look for the Arian don't you Mr. Ruark? Well I know where there's lots of scrolls and books and maps and tomes and all sorts of things written down on paper. I know where there's a library that's really old, one that's existed since the time of Mo'Pri. Have you ever heard of Mo'Pri? It was another land, a very nice land too, well it was before it got all broken, then I suppose it wasn't so nice but of course I wasn't there then, I was here. If I'd been there then I would never have made it here, stands to reason really.

The archeress crouched down by her litle friend, suggesting, Aurelia why don't you just tell Mr. Ruark where this library is rather than wittering on about things that aren't relevant?

The tiny thief blinked a few times as if the concept was an alien one to her, then she smiled brightly and looked up at the Droben. Why it's in Gyppeswyk of course, the lady had a huge library, filled with all the books of the isle that she could find. And she'd read every one as well. If there was ever a library that could tell you where the Arian is it'd be that one.
----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
Another ancient library, dating back from before the prophets if Aurelia wasn't exagerating, could it be true? As Aurelia explained that the library at Gypswick still stood, and, that she knew the way there, Ruark's low spirits lifted. Maybe this damned repetitive thought in his head telling him to find the Arian would stop if he could get to the place. Maybe he'd find more than just confirmation of the prophecy dug up in the Library back in the Northern Mountains, thousands of miles away to the east. He had been regretting allowing Korin to transport him away from the Mountains so quickly, even contemplating that maybe the mysterious figure that claimed to be Melf's servent had been hiding something he didnt want the Megalith to discover. Maybe there had never been any information at Toros after all.

Taking things one at a time, Ruark first responded to the question posed by Helenia. "I do not know much about the arian, supposedly it is a crystal of power that once sat upon the staff of the prophet Solas. I do not know why I must find it, nor what to do with it when I do, only that I must find it before others acheive the goal. The very existance of my people may depend on it" Turning next towards the small elf Aurelia, who still looked a little disturbed at his previous comment he said "Gypswick? Can you take me there?"
----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
The big centaur awoke to find Breasha gone. Surprise mixed with fear washed over him and he hurried himself ready, barely stopping to lift soem food form the kitchens as he hurried out into the still dark eary mornign sky. The fireworks had yet to start, but Breasha had taken her belongings and was off on another of her Flute's maters of import. He knew she would be going, and the centaur was not one to keep someone form doing what neded to be done. NO, he would not try and change anybody from who they truly were-- especially a friend and lover. People take their risks in life with eyes wide open and embrace the dangers of it in order ot truly live. Sighing, he sent word that he would not be attending this year's Flute meeting, but that he would expect reports form all of them-- he knew that he woudl actually be gettinga more detailed and elaborate report from Poet anyway, but none of them knew that the gaunt man was really the co-ordinator fo all the senses (eyes, ears, nose, and hands). ONly Rroshach was privy to what the man's true function was.

In the meatime the palamino centaur ate and apple while waiting for the fireworks and the members of the odd party to arrive that they might plan out their next step.

----------------------------
Shelgyr
----------------------------
Dawn arrived in the small settlement. Revellers still reeling around the streets drunk, Shelgeyr had spent the entire evening trying in vein to make sense out of the intoxicated fools. He just hoped that the mornings investigations into Breasha's whereabouts would bear a juicier fruit. Several taverns and questions later, Shelgy found himself stood outside the Tavern where Breasha was rumoured to be staying. Like all the other taverns in town, many patrons were still lying comatose on the floor passed out from over-indulgence. Seeing no sign of the bar keep, he decided to have a little nose around the upstairs quarters. The Fiddler and Flute Tavern was quite opulent and airy inside as tavern went, Shelgeyr suspected it was due to its location, the top of the mahogany stairs was carpetted in a thick dark green furyness of a floor covering, and he padded along it slowly, peering into each of the rooms along the way. Most contained the richer remnants of last nights festivities, but none contained the women he searched for.

Finally Shelgeyr arrived at a much larger door, inside the room was deserted, as if it had been lived in for a while, and desserted only very recently. A dried pool of blood stained the expensive carpet outside. A tingle ran down his spine in anticipation. Without even needing to speak to the bar manager he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, deep down, that she had been here not very long ago at all. Now all he had to do was to find her.

The sound of movement downstairs indicated the retaurn of the owner of the estanblishment, and Shelgy retired back down the stair-well to meet and question him about the location of his prey.
----------------------------
Helenia
----------------------------
Gyppeswyk? Can I take you to Gyppeswyk?, The little elf seemed almost insulted by the question for some unknown reason. She placed her little hands on her hips and looked up at the much larger Droben, forgetting the book that she had been holding. It was all Helania could do not to laugh at the sight of her little friend though it took all her self-control to manage it. My dear Mr. Ruark I am quite possibly about the only elf who could get you there anymore. Used to be that there were hundreds of elves who could have led you to the city but well, Helania watched as Aurelia shrugged her little shoulders, Not anymore.

Once Gyppeswyk had been a thriving city, one well known among bards and seekers of knowledge for its library and the lady who had formed it. Some had whispered that all the tales ever told resided in the library of Gyppeswyk and though that was not true, after all no library could hold all the stories of the isle, still it was true that it did hold a fair number. Storyspinners from all over the isle would search out the city, seeking to have one of their own tales enter the library or just to read those that they had never heard of before. At times even Aurelia had been found in the depths of the library, curled up in a chair with a book bigger than the tiny thief on her lap.

Of course what Aurelia had not told Ruark was that she had no idea how much of the library remained. Many ages ago a great magical storm had rocked the city, unleashed by the very woman who was meant to protect it against all enemies. The majority of the realm had been destroyed, all but a few of the people killed and those that lived were no more than children. Of the city itself little was rumoured to remain, its buildings fallen, the bones of its people laying unburied in the cobbled streets.

But that was just rumour, less than a handful of people had seen the ruins of Gyppeswyk since its fall and they had kept their silence for the most part.

The forest that had once loosely surrounded the city had grown thick and unmanageable in the years since the settlement had lived. Anyone who tried to simply force their way through the trees found themselves pushed back, wandering in circles till they found themselves back at the point where they started from. And that was the best that could happen to unwary wanderers. The truth of the worst that could happen was another matter entirely, no one ever heard from those souls again. There were whispers of strange and twisted beasts within those forests, creatures that had once been selkies but were now no more than ravenous monsters.

But all these things slipped seemed to have the little elf's mind as she proclaimed herself the only elf who could take the Droben into the city. The archeress wondered if perhaps she should remind the tiny thief but decided against it, perhaps after all the little elf did know something that she didn't. Well come on then, Aurelia called, picking up her book and trotting off through the jungle, We've got to go east to get to the city and the library.

The archeress walked over to the Droben and, never taking her eyes off the little elf, said, Do you think we should tell her that east is the other direction?

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
A new morning broke over the settlement, Islia had already risen and was outside watching the sky turn from the blackness of the night to the orange and red glow of Intop rising. Someone had entered the town during the previous night, and Islia had spent a few hours following him after Rory and the others had retired to bed. The newcomer was dressed in leather travelling garb, with a rapier attached to his belt, several conceiled knives and an elven crafted longbow hung over one of his shoulders. It seemed he was looking for someone, and Islia had decided it was her business to find out who. Maybe there would be money to be made.

After following the newcomer for a while, she managed to get together an idea of what he was searching for. Apparently he was searching for his lords runaway bride, and he thought that she might be around here somewhere. "A bounty hunter" Islia thought to herself "Just my kind of person" , whistling a jovial tune, Islia walked over to the bounty hunter and introduced herself as a 'seller of information'.

*****

A short time later, Islia ran back towards the gathering place. The bounty hunter had introduced himself as Shelgeyr Kione, and Islia knew of him as a man that would not give up, she had come accross his handy work in the past, but luckily, never previously met the man. The person he was searching for, was Breasha, Rory's friend, and Islia knew that they needed to leave right now, or kill the hunter, and from what he said there may well be others searching, at least knowing who one of them was would be an advantage. Islia had tried to save a little time by sending him back to the tavern they had vacated on the far side of town, but she also knew that he would get back onto the trail soon.

Entering the small building in which they had relocated to the previous night, to talk Islia discovered Rory looking a little worried. The Paladin was still asleep, and Breasha was gone. "They must know of the hunter already" Islia thought to herself slightly releived. Looking at the centaur, Islia tried to soothe his worries. "I sent the bounty hunter away from this place, she should have time to get away" . The look Rory gave in response, suggested, perhaps that he didn't know about Shelgeyr after all.

----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
Rory had finished the apple, and several of its peers, when the fireworks began. Always such a beautiful sight. He waited throughthe show,munching on the red fruit, until Islia arrived. The pale-skinned assassin brought news of a bounty hunter in town, one of honor but not associated with the corresponding division of the Hand of the Flute.

"He do be keepin' to the peace of the festival, no?" Inquired the big centaur. He nodded assent to the vampire's assertion that th man's mark was Breasha. "Aye, I do be sure that there be no few of his ilk in search for the lass. She do be grown and she do be able to be takin' care of herself. Word do need to be sent to her order, but likely it'll be another on a long list of those seeking her. " He paused to remove another chuck from the core fo the apple. "We all d be knowin' o'the risks the be commin' with our choice to be livin' life on the road we do." His chubby face split into a grin as he wiped the trickle of juice from his breakfast off his chin. "An' he be commin' even close to catchin' B, I'll be makin' sure he do be gettin' an offer from the Han.. adn offer he'll no be likely to refuse!" The cheerful grin restored to his face, if not his heart, he inquired of his old pupil where she thought there next move would be in their search.

----------------------------
Sofcur
----------------------------
Sofcur shielded his fire from view of the city. He always hid the signs of passage.. no more than that, he sought ot covet the signs of his exietence wherever he could. People did not understand or seem anxious to forgive his existense. Part leopard and part rabbit, he was still a man somewhere deep inside, although he did stride upright on two legs.. at least most of the time.

Watch the city he did, for he sought to leave his charges with those who could protect and raise them. He had rescued the human babes from drowning at sea, but could not say the same about the parents. The father had been flung from the tiller when the small craft had scraped a reef; the barracuda had finished him in minutes. Sofcur had retrieved the children frst.. twin babes less than a year off their mothers teat, still swaddled in blankets. The mother was drowning, but the leopard-rabbit-man had her to the shore with life still in her body. Three days she fought to live, but there was water in her lungs and life was not her destiny. So now he watched the city and the people and waited.

It was late in the night that the gates opened to admit an old woman into the night with comments fo her being a birthing woman. Luck was never so generous! He would follow her and leave the two with the new parents. They would know the proper care for childrenadn be able to provide a proper upbringing.

----------------------------
Shelgyr
----------------------------
Coming out of the tavern Shelgeyr now knew that Breasha was nearby. She had stayed with the centaur Rorshach here for several months, only leaving during the festivities of the previous night. Questioning a few of the heavily hungover patrons he got the distinct impression that she had headed towards the eastern residenses of town. Slinging the barman a few gold coins to keep his customers happy for a few more hours, Shelgy set out into the pre-dawn stage of the night.

The journey accross the town was pretty uneventful, occassionally he would stop and speak to one of the few people still with their wits about them, showing them the skecth of Breasha, but it seemed no-one really knew of her. He assumed that such a lady would keep a low profile. The other thing he learned during his treck to the eastern side of town, was that a fireworks display was set to comemorate the dawn as a finale to the festival. He wondered if he woudl still be around to see it.

Stopping in a large empty square, likely used for a market, Shelgeyr spotted that he was being watched by an attractive elven women. Her skin was pale white, and her eyes, if he was not mistaken, seemed to glow with a faint red colour in the darkness. "Interesting" he thought to himself. Turning towards the closest non-comatose stranger, Shelgy removed a copy of the Breasha sketch and showed it to the stranger. As he had expected, the stranger professed no knowledge of the beautiful female in the sketch. But that was not the reason he had shown it. Shortly after showing the sketch, the white skined female that he suspected now may have followed him unseen for a while, walked over towards him and introduced herself as a seller of information.

***

As the 'information seller' departed, Shelgeyr turned as if to walk towards the tavern indicated as the hiding place of Breasha. The tavern he had just been to, and the tavern that had informed him that Breasha's party, now slightly larger than during the best part of their stay, had left shortly after the arrival of a pale skinned elf with long mousy brown hair and eyes that seem red in the darkness and grey in the light.

He waited until the 'seller of information' had almost passed from sight, and then, keeping his distance, started to follow her.

----------------------------
Sofcur
----------------------------
The leopard-rabbit-man had lost track of the women an hour gone, but he still had the scent of her; thast was more then enough to identify her or pick up the trail a day or so gone by. Strange, though, by scent alone, he would have pictured her younger. These human women were a disparate late and more than one seemed to be able ot maintain youthful spirits well into their later years. Or mayhap it was the fact that she work so closely and often with the newly born cubs.

Thinkign of the infants, he stopped yet agasin to check on their wellness. Travel was slow with these, despite how well behaved they were. Rarely did they cry out, they slept mot of the time and ate when he fed them-- soft fruits and berres that he partially chewed for them. Still, this type of burden and his obsessive need to conceal himself and any trace of his trail made for impossibly slow movement. He hoped that it was in the frist or second village that the mid-wife was to help with the birth, else it might take him several days to find her. Pondering these thoughts, he watched the grey sky turn to dawn. Preparing the children to journey futher through the forrest the ran parallel to the road, he heard sounds of a rider approaching and the hackles on his neck began to rise.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
The tall elven woman almost laughed and skipped as she rounded the turn and left sight of the town. It was good to be on the free road again and pulling the strings on the puppets called men. An hour's journety saw her to the small stream and a small cove in which to bathe. A poultice darkened her complexion, and from head to toe her once glowing fair skined form now stared back as a light brown. Quick work with a case of powders accentuated cheek bones and lips, and dulled downthe ipression of her eyes. Sighing, she looked at the rreflection of that face and regretted that she had not yet founs a way to change the eyes. Wrapping he long raven tresses in a bun, she slipped into the tight-fitting, close-cropped wig that went with this persona.

A fire burned the old womens clothes and the ashes were scattered into the stream, floating away downstream. A tight-fighting leather coat and breeches "Breasha" would never think to wear made her look more lithely athletic and less of a court lady. Adding a walking staff, she was ready to continue on her trek.

----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
It had been several hours since the small group left the remains of the library of Toros, eventually heading east towards the ancient realm that the young elf had spoken of. As they had marched eastwards the elevation of the ground had been climbing slowly, by the time the sun broke fully over the tops of the trees they were much higher up than they had been before.

Ruark, plodding along slowly at the back of the group was actually stating to enjoy his adventure. For too long had he been cooped up in the Northern Mountains acting as the monarch of a now discovered Droben people, that he had not had the chance to really leave the homelands and explore. Even in his youth his explorations had been limited in their distance in order to mantain the anonimity of The Mountain People.

As they climbed Ruark started to get a sense of the enormous variety of plantlife in the jungle, all around him were a myriad of colours and the air was filled with the sounds of a million singing insects. Just as he thought the locality couldnt get any better, he was surprised. The treeline ended for a short distance leaving a large green clearing. To his left rose an almost verticle blue-grey rock cliff at its foot the beginings of a river welled up within a small cave flowed across their path and then dropped away over the shear edge to his right. It was beyond beautiful.

----------------------------
Shelgyr
----------------------------
Shelgeyr followed the pale skinned young elf to a old looking house in the middle of the merchent quarter. once she had gone inside he snuck over towards the window to try and see what was happening inside. The window was covered in a thick layer of dust which he carefully wiped away. The sun was not behind him so he had little to fear that the difference in the window would be discovered unless someone was to look directly at it. The interior beyond the window seemed to be a single room, almost like a workshop. Inside were three figures, one asleep in the corner, the pale female and a rather large centaur. He had missed the majority of their conversation, but it seemed that Breasha had already left them. Shelgeyr put his ear up to the window just in time to here the centaur speak.

"An' he be commin' even close to catchin' B, I'll be makin' sure he do be gettin' an offer from the Han.. adn offer he'll no be likely to refuse"

'The Han?' Shelgery thought to himself once he was several streets away from the building, he vowed to try and find out a little bit more about this Breasha and the centaur as he was able, before he finally caught up with her. He just wished they had mentioned a direction. He just hated it when he had to search the entire vicinity trying to pick up a trail again.

----------------------------
Sofcur
----------------------------
Hiding in the deep brush, Sofcur held the infants silent as the horse and man rode into view. A guard or mercernary, he had well maintain weaponry and sat his saddle with a steady confidence. The rider's head barely turned, but Soficur could see his eyes scanning warily. The scent that reached the leopard-rabbit-man was not one of fear or concern; however, it was more the typical concern of the lone traveler. And wise was the man's wariness, bandits were home in these parts. Not the honorable lot either, this region was despoiled with those who killed when they could, rather then when was necessary. Definately not an area for a woman to be travelling alone, even if the woman was a old, poor hag. As soon as the rider was out of site, Sofcur resumed his silent trek through after the midwife's scent.

----------------------------
Aurelia
----------------------------
Oh that's so very pretty, Aurelia exclaimed as she caught sight of the river flowing out from the small cave. It's strange how there's so many things that are beautiful isn't it? I mean you'd think that they'd be just one thing and that would be pretty but there's not, there's lots of things that are all beautiful. And they aren't even all the same. There's not one thing that you can just point at and "that that's what pretty means". There's little things that are pretty and big things that are pretty and then there are some things that some people think are nice and other things that other people think are. It's odd how the world works like that isn't it, well I think it is anyway.

The little elf sat down on the ground, smiling up at the Droben and her fellow elf as she unlaced her boots and took them off. Aurelia then proceeded to dangle her feet over the edge, paddling them slowly in the cool waters of the river. At first she winced at the temperature of the water, idly wondering to herself why something that cold wasn't already a block of ice. To her mind anything this cold couldn't still be a liquid, not unless the river was playing a trick on her and that was hardly very nice of it to do that. Slowly she got used to the cold of the water and even managed to splash some of the water towards Helania, who stepped away on reflex and put her hands up to ward off the water.

Aurelia giggled to herself, Don't worry Helania, it's only water, though it's extremely cold water, colder than I prefer in my bath.

Hey can we stop for something to eat? My stomachs making all sorts of noises and none of them sound too good. I think it means that I'm hungry, though I suppose that it could mean that it's about to explode as well. I hope it doesn't mean that second thing, I'd rather not explode right now, not when I have so much to get done. After all I have to help you find Gyppeswyk and then find the Arian now don't I? If I left you to find it yourself you might get all lost and never figure out where it's hidden, that wouldn't be good at all. So hopefully I'm just hungry and not anything else, She placed one hand on her stomach and cocked her head to one side as if listening to the gurgling sounds that were coming from within.

There again, she looked towards Ruark, What sort of things do you eat Mr. Ruark? Do Droben eat? I mean you're all made of rock and stone and stuff like that so why would you eat normal stuff. Maybe you eat little rocks and pebbles, that would make sense wouldn't it? Or is it like eating littler versions of yourself? If it is I'm really sorry I didn't mean to suggest that you would eat little Droben because I'm sure that you wouldn't. Actually talking of little Droben, where do they come from? Do you just mine them from the rocks or do you give birth to them? Not you personally of course because you're a male...or at least I think you are.

Aurelia went back to paddling her feet, wondering what Helania would be able to russle up for their meal. After all the archeress always looked after her, making sure that the little one managed to stay in one piece. It was beyond most people how Helania managed to ensure that the tiny thief stayed alive and healthy, sometimes it almost appeared as though Aurelia was subconsciously trying to come to a sticky end. But no matter what Helania was always there for her, always making sure that danger avoided the little one and that nothing came close to harming her.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
The mornind crowd bustling about the small town was a breath of fresh life to the lithe elf's nostrils. Striding purposefully through the streets, her head was up and she spared no one from the haughty stare or raised eyebrow if they so much as made more than a passing glance in her direction. An older woman was not fast enough to look away and Breasha reached out and caught her arm just above the elbow. A wild look of fear entered the older woman's eyes and her lungs filled as she readied a scream, but something in Breasha's eyes silenced the note in her throat.

"I am new to this town, hag." Breasha spoke in a soft, firm tone. "There is a man I seek. A merchant of timber and steel. He is called Tobias Lighthand. Tell me where I will find him." The elf's grip on the older woman tightened at the last.

"Lighthand the Merchant?" the old woman stammered. "He lives on the west side of the main plaza. Three streets down. The large house with the tile roof." Looking up pleadingly, she relaxed as Breasha's grip loosened.

Without so much as a word of thanks, the elf turned and headed in the indicated direction, her tall form cutting a quick path through the people.

----------------------------
Sofcur
----------------------------
Teh scent trail led Sofcur to a town. And a large sized one at that. It was strange that so large a town did on thave their own midwife, but Sofcur was sure that the scent led here. There was a bustle of activity and trade; signs of large caravans were present, so this town must be along a trade route.. probably a nexus between several cities. There were many people in the town, adn the leopard-rabbit-man paused at that; he did not like to travel openly among men. Using the pause to care for the infants, he look down at the angelic little faces and felt an odd pleasure at the way the smiled when he stroked their chubby cheeks with his soft fur.

As the sun grew in the sky he decided to wait until nightfall. This town was not guarded from the nigh; there was neither a watchtower nor gate, He could enter easily under the cover of darkness and find the house that the woman was visiting and leave the children at a place where they could be safely cared for and protected. In the meantime, he would wait were he could watch unobserved, watching the town and the road as always for those he knew were either hunting him now, or woudl be if they knew of his existence.

----------------------------
Shelgyr
----------------------------
Following Breasha's trail away from the village had been easy once he had found it, what he had not expected to discover were the signs that another woodsmen was following the tracks as well. The newcomer certainly had a great amount of skill at hiding his trail, but at various times along Breasha's trail, Shelgy had uncovered definate signs of the other persuer. He wondered whether he would catch up the other hunter, and hoped fervently that when he did, he would not have to kill him. It wouldn't do to find breasha only to discover that she had been killed. It wouldn't do at all.

The trail had led through the forests for a couple of days, before finally emerging on the eastern edge of another small settlement. Wearily, he approached the new village. Unlike the prevous village, this showed no signs of any recent festival. Based on the time of year, Shelgeyr found this passing strange but shrugged it off. Again he withdrew the portrate of his quarry and started to circulate throughout the village asking about whether anyone had seen the young lady. It did not take long to discover that Breasha had been asking about the whereabouts of a merchent named Tobias Lighthand. A few more questions, and Shelgy started off towards the merchent quarter, and Lighthand's residence.

----------------------------
Sofcur
----------------------------
The day had passed by without event. Once true night had fallen, Sofcur easily slipped into town with babes in tow. The scent trail led to an evidently wealthy merchant's house. Nodding to himself, the leadoprd-rabbit-man was certain that this would be cause for a midwife to travel so far. The security at teh residence was laz, and although he prefered the rural setting, he easily slipped into the residence and located what must be her sleeping chambers. carefully he set the toddlers outside her door and saw that they had nourishment and needs for what was likely to eb a few hours wait. Gently he stroked their faces and bade them well in their lives and then slipped away.

His mind told him that he should depart without a backwards galnce, but his heart made him find a secluded place to watch so that there would be no trace of doubt; the children would eb cared for. In the silent darkness, his eyes, ears, and nose furiously scanned the area.

----------------------------
Breasha
----------------------------
It had not been difficult to convince the merchant that he needed a strong woman to help with security. A flash of a pretty smile and the hint of danger seemed to always attract a man's eye, but offereing to add to this one's purse as well made it child's play. Lodging was offered and accepted; she was certain he woudl try to sneak to her bed soon and finding the information on his illicit smuggling would prove similarly easy once she had him fully caught on her strings. She lounged on the bed and hummed a happy tune when a soft whimper outside her door caught her ear. Suddenly alert, the elven woman cautiously opened the door and peered outside. It took a moment and another soft whimper for her to look down and notice the babies. Her startled exclamation urned to a soft sigh. "What precious little ones!" she said barely aloud. A glance each direction in the hall produced no parent, so she took them in her arms adn set out to find the merchant and see about an explanation.

----------------------------
Islia
----------------------------
Islia and her companions had left the village shortly after Breasha, and had travelled back along her trail of the day before, in search of the place where she had fought with the elf Kazimirzch. For some reason the return journey had seemed to take less time - possibly due to the fact they were able to travel both during the daytime as well as the night.

The plateau where Islia had met K'Taal and fought with the elf had not changed much in the couple of days since she had last been there. Even the grass below where the fight had taken place was still bent and trodden as a result of the fight. Quickly the group made their way towards the northern side of the plateau where Kazimirzch and his companion had dissapeared into the forest.

They had camped for the night at the point where the forest noticably changed into what could only be described as jungle. Here the trail had become much easier to follow, as her prey had been forced to hack his way through the undergrowth, leaving them a clear path to follow. After travelling through the jungle for several hours they finally arrived at the place where Aurelia and Kazimirzch had stopped. It was clear from the signs that at this point the two elves had stopped and dealt with the wounds they had received earlier. Islia, K'Taal and Rorshach moved onwards.

The day came to a close, with Soma hanging high upon the northern skyline, bathing the world in its full blue light. Islia and her companions had finally found the edge of the jungle and come upon the remains of what was once the great library of Toros. vast marble blocks littered the clearing where the library had once stood. Some even melted slightly from extraoridnary heat. With great resignation Islia followed the tracks towards the rubble, noting that other, heavier tracks had joined the party she pursued. Surely they could not have escaped the devistation. But if the elf had been killed by the destruction of the library, her entire pursuit was in vain. Turning towards K'Taal, she looked at him in such a way that her eyes told him, that had he not disrupted her, she would already be on her way back with the blood of the elf.

With a great sigh, she sat down on a vast marble boulder and lay her head between the palms of her hands.
----------------------------
Rorshach
----------------------------
The journey that Islia had led them on in retracing her steps had been exhilerating. It had been too long since he had taken the opportunity to travel. Surely, poet had taken all the details of the meeting and would be able to provide him an account of the pertinant details, as well as any Foretelling he may have had. But, then again it was the fruits of that talent which led the large centaur to be so interested in the vampire assassin's current search.

In the meantime, he had manged to get a few details form K'Taal during their travel. Devoted to his goddess, he was a charismatic man. Although teh laws of the land forced that there be a choice made to follow a particular divinity, Rory was not an ardent follower of Darden. Poet had stood high in the order for the master of despair before his malady had cast a shadow on his life, and he still sterved that cause in its own way. But they had both seen another god, from a time adn people long forgotten-- even before Poet's millenia of lifetime began. Gods' power waxed and waned as did the moon it seemed. Rorshach had tolerance for many belief's in his goals, and the goals of the Flute.

As Islia led them past the point of the initial encounter and onwards to track the target, Rory became wary of the sorroundings. The animals cxalls had a nervous wail, adn many species that should have been present in this area gave no signs of existence. His nose detected a hintof char in the air and the dusty haze was not from any kind of sandstorm. So it wa snot a surprise to him when the charred remains of what had evidently been one fo the world's greatest libraries came into view. He barely noticed Islia's sulky petulance at being stymied in her search as she sat on marble boulder giving KT a malevelont look.

Moving sprily, despite his girth, Rory climbed among the remains surveyign teh damage. A sulfer-like residue on several darp etches in stone spoke of the presence of lightning. Illegible fragments of burned and crushed books all but dissolved a tthe touch. And tracks leading from the rubble further into the jungle. Thumbing his pipe full of tabac, he lit it and tooka couple of strong puffs. TH escent of burnign tabac a welcome perfume to the acrid odor of the semi recent destruction.

"Let me be sending a message to Poet-- he can be seeing about salvaging anyhtign from here-- an then we be folloing the tracks, no?" he asked Islia as he made his way over to where she sat. "They may no be the path o'the one we did be following, but the do be leading somewhere and the time do be close enough that a there be reason to be thinking they have information enough to direct us."

----------------------------
Sofcur
----------------------------
The woman found the younglings and, as expected, set off to find the merchant. Servants roamed the halls smelling of freshness and clean in their green and white uniforms. The hustle of activity in the manor house was a melcome example of society functioning to provide better cumulatively than an individual on his or her own. The leopard-rabbit-man was about to leave when another scent drifted toward him. A scent less clean, but familiar to him. Several times on his journey did was he aware fo this presence and so far had shrugged it off as coincidence. But his was now too implausible. This must be a hunter, out in serach of the children. Probably, this hunter had been the cause of the river accident that had claimed the lives of the parents and was now seeking to finish the deed. A guttural growl died in his throat as he pulled even deeper into his hidden alcove. Warily, he waited for the hunter to sow himself as his mind raced through possible scenarios he could use to divert this hunter's path.

----------------------------
----------------------------
Ruark
----------------------------
Ruark turned to look at the little hungry elf. It was quite obviously to him that she was wasting away before his very eyes, at least it was obvious that that was what Aurelia was thinking. Ruark smiled, a mischeivous little smile and reached down towards the ground, picking up a large spherical stone.

"So you want some food do you little one" Ruark said, lokking her straight in the eye. "How about a rock cake?" Holding out his hand to the little elf he offered her the stone which he had picked up from the river bed. "It really is quite good you know"

Watching Aurelia's face was a picture, mirth quickly building up inside the large opulent as he fought to keep an obvious grin from forming on his face but failing miserably. Thuderous laughter escaped unwittingly from Ruark's mouth as he lost control.

"No little one, we dont eat stones." With all seriousness he then looked at her "They are much to small for a large creature like myself, a nice sized lump of granite goes down much nicer"
----------------------------
Aurelia
----------------------------
Aurelia looked at the rock curiously, it certainly didn't look like any kind of cake that she had ever eaten before. Why it hadn't even been cooked, Mr. Ruark had just picked it up off the ground, which wasn't good either now that she thought of it. Picking stuff off the floor to eat? The ground was all dirty, which was probably something to do with the fact that it was primarily dirt. And although Aurelia had heard that everyone was supposed to eat a 'peck' of dirt before they died she wasn't entirely sure that she wanted to eat it all at once. Not to mention that she wasn't really sure exactly how much dirt a 'peck' was. After all it could cause all manner of trouble if she ate too much...or not enough. The tiny thief didn't want to cause any kind of trouble along those lines, especially not when she didn't know what the penalties for breaking that kind of saying were.

The rock in Mr. Ruark's hand looked, well it looked rather rock-like, which was to be expected she supposed. If it had looked like anything else then it would have just been confusing, unless of course it looked like a large pebble. And that wouldn't have been the same thing at all, a pebble and a rock were certainly two very separate things in the little one's head. Not that she could have given anymore than a vague idea exactly what those differences were, she was just certain that they existed.

When Mr. Ruark started to laugh the little elf was almost afraid that something was wrong. A Droben laughing was not at all the same sound as elven laughter. She had thought for a moment that she was suffering from some kind of internal avalanche. Well he was a rock after all, a moving, living rock, but a rock nonetheless, it was only to be expected that he could suffer from the same kind of problems that a mountain did at times. And well it had to be internal as she couldn't see any of his outside sliding down, though now she thought of it that might have been rather embarrassing for him, if a Dorben could get embarrassed of course.

You don't eat stones but you do eat slabs of granite?, she let the thought trickle into her memory, clashing against all the other chaos that made up her mind. The fact met other thoughts that the little elf had squirreled away over the years, meshing together to form a whole new set of questions. Doesn't that cause problems for your teeth? I mean you must have very strong teeth to be able to eat that sort of thing, if you had teeth like mine they'd just break every time you took a bite. Unless of course they were growing continually, I've heard that rabbits have teeth like that. Of course if your teeth were continually growing then they'd have grown out of your mouth by now because you haven't eaten anything since...well I can't remember seeing you eat since we've met.

She mulled over her words for a moment, not giving anyone the chance to speak before she started again. A normal state of affairs for the little one, she seemed to have so many words and thoughts and questions inside her that it was almost impossible for her to stay quiet for long. So I don't think that your teeth are made of the same stuff as mine. No I think that your teeth must be made of something stronger. Like troll's teeth, they have really strong teeth, I've heard some people say that troll's have teeth made of diamonds. I guess that they must be really pretty but there again it's got to make them targets for thieves and hunters which means they could definitely come to an ugly end.

Unseen by Aurelia her companion disappeared off into the forest, unslinging her bow with a silent look towards the droben. Perhaps if the archeress could find some food for the little one it would fill her mouth for long enough to keep her quiet. At least for a little while.

Or maybe your teeth are made from metal, that would be strong as well, the tiny elf continued to mull over the subject of Droben teeth.
-----------------------------
K'Taal
-----------------------------
K'Taal had been moving almost in a dream since he had received the note.

Quote:
"I must leave like this, my darling. Stick close to Rorshach-- I trust him with more than my life and his reach goes far beyond what you might imagine. I am certain that your goddess led you to him for a reason. Fare well in your quest, and I will find you again someday. ~~Breasha"

It troubled him on a number of levels. She left him so quickly, he wasn't sure what he had expected, some sort of joyous reunion was a foolish idea, but she was special to him and he'd have liked longer to recapture what they'd once had. They're paths had grown apart so much, but he still had hoped that there was some of the devoted woman, who had believed in him all those years ago, left. It was not to be, instead it seemed she had turned from Isonia. She did not even call her 'The Goddess', but his goddess. He wasn't sure what this meant.

He had spent much of the morning in his room, praying for guidance, but none had come. Instead he had ended up reminiscing about Breasha, the first time he had met her, he knew she was special, she would help him serve Isonia. He mused on that, maybe she had to stray so that she could be here to guide him to the centaur. Once this was over, he would find Breasha and lead her back to the true path. Perhaps that was Her plan, he prayed for more guidance, but when none came, he assumed that he should go with them. If he were wrong then She would tell him soon enough.

His doubt plagued through the day. Through out his life he had known that he was doing Isonia's will, and now the lack of guidance troubled him a great deal. So he let the vampire track the Key, which she seemed to do adequately, up until they reached a the remains of a library. One that had been burnt to the ground, and by the looks of things, burnt a little more to make sure. She turned to him and gave him a look more akin to a wolfs snarl than one would expect from a vampire. He shrugged it off, she had wasted his time, and now he had missed his chance. Maybe that was why She had stopped talking to him, he should prove himself before She would counsel him again.

So when the Centaur suggested that they follow the other path, he awoke from his dream like state witha new fevour. His doubt was gone, and now he was on a quest to prove himself worthy.

Yes, They are not here and they did not travel back down that path. We have wasted enough time, let us catch them before they realise we are on them.
-----------------------------
Rorshach
-----------------------------
Well, this certainly was a fine situation in which Rory found himself: Islia somewhat petulantly exasperated and K'Taal set to dash off headfirst off a cliff swooning to the call of his goddess. With a deep drag on his pipe and a rueful shake of his head, he set to looking more closely at the tracks and markings of the area. The large prints from the later arriving individual continued on accompanied by an incredibly small set. As it had been at times necessary to follow his mark, and other times necessary to hunt his food, tracking was among the more important skills the bulky centaur had voraciously pursued.

"This large print can a'been made by naught other than a Droben. Big too.. Mountain by the looks o'things. Odd, there be not many o'those walkin' volcanoes" he paused to ponder yet another odd fact thrown into the this whirlpool. "And it do be travelin' with a child. Look how small them prints be..and the spacin' oh how it do be walking.. to and fro, side to side, interwinin'. Reminds me o'my canine rascals and they playful romps they be constantly engagin' in..." His voice trailed off as he noticed something he had almost overlooked. "And this! There be a third.. this be an adult.. one who do be knowin' how to be walkin' with a light foot. See how there be a light impression o'er them leave, but that branch do be remainin' unbroken? An' not so many tracks that be left at all.. I do be wonderin' if this third be with te other two or following. Mystery that do have mystery hidin' another mystery..

"What say we be takin' them one by one. Eh, Islia? Priest?"
-----------------------------

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Location: The Vinyards of Fernabergia
Post Re: Repost: The Search For The Arian [Closed]
That's as far as the quest got. Gradually the cast left one by one. The main loss contributing towards it's untimate end, being that of Reverie (Volodimire and Vret), without him it became aukward for Kaz to return to the roleplay. With Lyssia, Taff and Matrim now also gone from these lands - both making it clear in the past that they would not like others writing actions and history of their characters - there is no real way of finishing the story.

It's odd having reread the series, because I seem to have recalled writing a post as Kaz, coming out of the dragon skull into a bubble created by Volodimire to contain the remnants of the Library. Anyway, Kaz was not killed obviously, once the party had moved on we were to reintroduce Kaz and Volodimire and their search through the rescued knoweledge. Eventually they would have been pointed towards Fernabergia and left the bubble.

Aurelia was to lead Ruark et al to see Lyssia in Gyppeswyk where they were also find information that led towards Fernabergia. Islia, Rorshach and K'Taal would have been unable to get through the forests to Lyssia's domain, but would have picked up the trail again once they left the forest and headed towards Fernabergia.

In Fernabergia, the main cast was set to reunite. Kaz and Islia were to discover that they had been children together in the village, prior to its destruction at the hands of the goblin raiding party.

The subquests that had branched off; Shegyr's pursuit of Breasha and Tovarn's quest for the book would have gone one through the story. I am not sure if they would have concluded within this story, or gone elsewhere.

The route from Fernabergia to Mac Toros was not yet fully decided, Kaz was to have found the prophets staff inside the skull of the dragon - the bones of the maker - and it was to have been combined with the crystal from Islia's dagger to open the tomb.

Inside the tomb the walls were to have been made of the same crystal, and would have started to glow in the pressense of the staff, leading them into the centre of the tomb.

The final result, being Niurin - posted as the Inferno back then - posting with increasing frequency as the end built up, eventually taking control of Kaz's mind, and freeing himself from his banishment to hell. This set the scene for the rise of TEN - the Cult of Intop.

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Sat May 17, 2008 11:33 am
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