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 On the wind... (Riders vs. SO/INSANE) 
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Location: Hall of the Golden Gryphon
Post On the wind... (Riders vs. SO/INSANE)
((*sheepish* Forgot to grab the stats...but both SO and Insane were above us and together have one more member.))

The Gryphon, like that golden creature of myth, perched upon the high wall, wind playing in her hair. Victory and sorrow mingling, care and concern, her body language spoke of that sad knowledge that only the canny saw in the golden gaze she presented the world. Watching the fires on the distance, a hollow sigh escaped her lips.

"I choose my children, my Riders over you, but no less worthy. One follows their heart, whereever it is bound." Her duty was to keep the Hunt alive. At whatever cost.

She spoke the words of sorrow to none present, thinking how they were tools for the whim of the gods, aye, only tools. To feed their vanity, to pave their way. Yes, she a tool of Isonia, as they labored for Darden. Neither evil, neither good. All a mixture of that which was worst or best. But a choice of sides had been made, and alas, not all could be allies. She prayed, with fervor born of desperation, that she had done enough. This time. Enough to keep the Riders, those who did not know her heart anymore than did that distant enemy, safe.

But this road would not be easy she knew. The war before them would be nothing of ease and much of hardship. She had seen the blood, in dream, in memory, in reality. Safety was hard won, be it long or short. She saluted the forces of darden and prepared the valley for assault.

_________________
[center]The Golden Gryphon
Warder: Riders of the Wild Hunt
And golden rays will usher in the dawn.
Who conquers now shall rule the coming years.
[/center]


Mon Nov 18, 2002 12:54 am
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Location: The Battlefield
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Carnage, that was one word that got close. The exhausted warlord lay slumped on the stump of a newly felled oak.

He sighed for lately the running of the Giant's armies had proven as much fun as poking himself in the eye with a sharp stick.

The blood soaked battlefield remained, half elves lay slaughtered, the stench of death filled his nostrils, that familar old smell. Gazing upwards, the sky was an angry red, and that matched the mood of the Warlord.


He had been awoken to reports of those of the Vurumai being seen approaching the south-western border. This was hardly surprising as surveilance had been stepped in recent days by Gunthor himself, he knew that the Vurumai would be engaging soon.

But Salisk had also left reports of smoking Groves, left with the mark of Riders of Wild Hunt. Once he arrived on the Battlefield via horseback, it was crystal clear what had actually occured.


But it was time to look forward, not in the past, the Vurumai had crippled his army, taken his land, but still the Riders left him with too many resources.

"Time to remind these Riders of what the Officium truly stands for, memories of our last clash have obviously been forgotten. To the end, the bitter end"

The Warlord mused to himself, picked himself off the oak, and trudged up the hill to see Zorban, for the Sorcerer always shed a different light upon such occurances.

_________________
Leader of the Giant's Armies

Elf sized entertainment for all

Following SO, somewhere, and somehow, whenever and wherever


Mon Nov 18, 2002 1:56 pm
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Location: The red desert realm
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The mist was thick and tangible, it almost seemed as though it could be sliced open with a blade, leaving behind a physical doorway that anyone could pas through. Not that the wraith that made its way through the lands needed anything like that, no barrier, nor wall, nor door could keep it out. The creature drifted across the lands, not aware of anything save the terrible cold that permeated its very soul. What did the ghost care if there was thick fog about? Or if it was day or night? None of that mattered, if it didn't affect Ivory then it was of no concern, and there was so little that could act upon the wraith.

Ragged wisps of spectral vapour that occansionally took on the image of delicate feet seemed to toptoe over the dew-laiden grass. One moment each part of the wraith seemed real, etched out in perfect detail, the next it was no more than a swirling, boiling mass of white fog, merging into its surroundings without even thinking. Not that the creature could think, whatever it had once been was gone, all traces of a personality had been wiped from the ghost at the moment of its mortal death, however long ago that had been. Now it was just a mixture of needs and desires, forced into continued servitude to Darden by some unknown and forgotten pact to the God.

So cold, so very cold, do not leave Ivory so cold, the sibilant hiss of the wraith's voice not making it more than five feet from the creature. But those that met Ivory rarely understood what it was that they had crossed the path of, so even a little warning would not have aided them. Poor Ivory, come love it, let it hold you close, hold you close and never let you go.

The walls of the city posed no problem to the wraith, it passed through them without even pausing. Perhaps there had once been a time when it would have thought moving through solid walls was a strange thing. But in death all that was gone, the world of the physical was there but at the same time to Ivory it was not. Maybe the ghost saw the world as mortal creatures saw the spirit world, sparse and foreign, seen but never felt, the two worlds might cross occansionally but they would never be one. Those of spirit and of flesh would be aware of one another but they would never be truly together, affecting the other's existence only barely.

Did any see Ivory move through the streets of that Isonian realm? Or did they just feel a cold presence pass behind them? The faint scent of a dusty old grave tantilising their senses for a second and then vanishing altogether? Or maybe no one saw the ghost's passing, its present as forgetable as its past? All that was left in its wake were the frozen corpses of a few thieves, their eyes not open enough to warn them of what stalked the night. Their bodies would not be found till the sun rose over the horizon and even then who would know how they had met their ends? There were no marks upon their bodies, no blood loss to explain the deaths of so many so quickly, only cold flesh, icy crystals decorating their eyelashes.

Ivory moved on, the temples now firmly in its sight, Yes, yes, that is where it must go, to the temples, nasty places, nasty, full of sickness. The Master wants them destroyed, Mistress tell Ivory to destroy them, make the Master happy, reward Ivory they will, oh yes, reward Ivory so well. Non-existant hands formed, fingers rubbing against one another as it thought of the reward that might be its if only the wraith done as it had been commanded. Must not fail, no, no, no, hurt it then they will, hurt it so badly if the nasty temples are not destroyed, make it so cold. And Ivory is so terribly cold now, does not want to be like this, cannot be cold anymore.

It meandered up to the first of the temples to Isonia, its few features twisting in what might have been a parody of hatred if anyone had thought the spirit capable of feeling such a focused emotion. Passing through the barred doors the wraith moved up the aisle, hissing and muttering to itself the entire way. At the front, just before the altar, an old priest knelt in his devotions to his Goddess, drawn from them as the spirit's rambling speech reached his ears. What in Isonia's name are you?, he said as the colour drained from his face.

The wraith looked into the old man's face, wide open eyes that at first seemed as innocent as a child's and only gradually revealed the depraved longings within. Help Ivory, it mewled, pleadingly, So warm you are, spare a little for Ivory, help it banish the cold, make it warm again. Full of life you are, give just a little, all it askes for, just a little to take away the pain. The priest was frozen to the spot by his fear, blood running like ice-water in his veins as he beheld the ghost that served Darden. Ivory ran its hands over the priest, the very life leached from him with each caress, his flesh growing ever colder as the wraith's touch grew more insistant. His limbs seemed to grow heavy, filling with lead at each passing second, his eyes falling shut as the cold that was a part of Ivory's existance spread out into every corner and cervice of his body. The old man fought against the growing chill with every fibre of his flesh, he knew that to fall asleep now was to commit himself to death. But there was no denying the cold, all the heat was being drained from his body as the wraith sought to restore some sembalance of life to itself.

Finally the priest's eyes fluttered shut and his thin chest took one last rattling breath before failing altogether. The ghost let the body slip to the floor where it landed no more gracefully than a sack of potatoes, limbs all askew. Already the heat from the man's body was leaving it, Ivory's brief moment of respite from the eternal cold of death was all too fleeting. It moaned as the cold claimed it once more, but there were more priests waiting in the temples, Waiting for Ivory they are, waiting to give it their warmth, and they would feed the ghost's hunger whether they wanted to or not. The temples would be left empty and silent, the tainted soil that they were built upon rejecting each building that Ivory entered, shaking the very stones that they were made of. And all that would be left when the sun shone down would be the rubble of the temples and the corpses of the priests, their eyes open in horror at the last sight they ever saw.

_________________
[center]SO
Sing a song of Darden
I'm playing all the right notes...
...Just not necessarily in the right order[/center]


Mon Nov 18, 2002 3:58 pm
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She paused in the act of licking the juices of the meat she'd pilfered from the kitchen off of her fingers to look at the messenger with a narrowed, speculative gaze. She then, delicately, finished the job, purring in satisfaction as the still bloody flavor of her treat lingered on her tongue. Tossing her hair over her shoulder, she swaggered over to the young man and tilted his face up with her index finger and grinned at him in such a way that he paled and began to shiver.

We are at war again? With Rider's? Did they not learn the futility of marching against us once before?

The messenger gulped and took a deep breath to calm his quaking.

I do not know what they learned m'lady. However, our people had to leave their homes. As is their custom- they made sure none of the land left would be of any use to the invaders...

She grinned at him, letting her finger rub under his jawline provacativly before leaning in and kissing him deeply. He drew back confused and licked his lower lip at the taste of her earlier meal before a terrified look entered his eyes and he looked around to make sure there was no one else to see what had occurred and take news back to the demon she made her home with. Meanwhile she began to laugh with a childish giggle. She enjoyed tormenting the servants. Turning from him she went to the window and looked out.

Ready my horse. I feel a need to make the heathens feel my presence more fully.

****

She'd left not long after and ridden to the nearest enemy encampment, stopping short of actually entering in, and observed the sentries. She had no clue who they were. She did not care. All she cared was that they learn- as she had learned- the glory that was Darden. She had been lost once, as they were. She had turned her back on the one who she should never have turned from to follow a weak caricature of a god. Just as they were doing by following Isonia, she had made a mistake. But Maledict had found her and brought her home. He had made her see the truth and wrongness of her rebellion against Darden. Now the prostitutes of the bitch-goddess would see the truth as well.

First she had rendered them unconscious using the poisons she was so familiar with. She was always best when she was being quiet. They never knew what was coming. She had then cut out their tongues, making sure to cut far enough back that screaming out would be next to impossible. Staking them to the ground, she had grinned at the way their bodies made crude x's marking the boundaries of the Isonian camp on Darden's land. It was about that time they woke up and the horror of their situation became known to them. Of course by then it was too late. She'd already begun practicing what her teacher had taught her so well.

When she returned home that night, her hands gloved in drying blood and her face painted with macabre red symbols, she had left the only call to repentance for the Isonian's she knew how to give. When the sentries "relief" came in the morning, all they would find was the skinned corpses of what had once been their comrades in arms- the men's souls sent out for Darden's pleasure in the darkest of the night while the rest of their army slept.

_________________
It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe...
...the night belongs to us.


Mon Nov 18, 2002 5:45 pm
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The storm parted before her, not disturbing her path, letting her into the hidden valley that held the final grounds of the Riders. Or rather, one storm parted before her; another storm rode with her, more dark than the winds that closed behind her as she passed. The horse beneath her was wet and muddy, her cloak spattered with the same mud, and marks of a redder tone that would bring many a second glance.

But under the shadow of the hood was where the real storm raged. In the eyes, in the face, in the very mood. Saidh was annoyed, to put it politely, something she was not quite in the mood to do. Her mind raced through the information she brought back with her even as the horse sped wearily through the valley, towards the fortress within. Close now, as well, Saidh reining in the horse beneath her as the slate grey of stone walls came into view. Her anoyance bubbling up through the cracks her in facade, resolving into a deep snarl, feral and only vaguely human.

It was only as the horse beneath her shied with as much alarm as he could muster in his weary state that she came to herself again. Suddenly on edge, on guard, alert before she realized that she was in the refuge of the valley, and that it had been her own noise that had alarmed the horse, one unfamiliar with her and chosen only for the once rested legs that had been able to carry her here more speedily than the tired mare she'd left behind. Hands moving from a preparation for battle to a gentle touch on the neck to reassure the horse before urging him into a steady walk towards the fortress below.

But her mind still dwelled back there, on the storm that still rode within her mind. How on earth could it have happened ... The fever of many a believing soul, raised to anger and sometimes even hatred, stood between the various guilds that wandered this realm; there were also a set of unwritten rules, of honour, of faith, that most followed. Before she'd lost her easy way amongst them and separated herself from the Riders as she had, she'd often joked with the Gryphon, suggested things that broke these rules just to see herself get shot down. The Gryphon was a true believer in honour. Relied on it, above all else except Isonia almost.

How would she react to know that, though by accident, something had happened that would go against such honour? Saidh didn't know. Would have preferred never to find out. But, she didn't have that choice, now did she? Even as she reached the gate, sliding from the horse to hand him over to the stableboy that rushed out, that resolution pushed the storm and anger back. The only visible traces being in the sharpness of each movement showed that now contained frustration as she moved swiftly up the stairs.

Mud and blood spattered cloak trailing behind her, The Wolf prowled down the halls, heading straight to the Gryphon's chamber. She received many a second glance - but no one disturbed her stormy path.

_________________
Night falls, I fall, and where were you?
Warm skin, Wolf grin, and where were you?
I fell into the moon and it covered me in blue ...
The Wolf Who walks in Twilight
Riders of the Wild Hunt


Tue Nov 19, 2002 10:33 am
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[center]The Journal of Sir Vincent Rhenquest Servant of The Gryphon and the Shark. Friend and bondservant of Richard Lancaster. May Isonia be praised.[/center]

[center]Entry 1 ~ Night one of the Tempest Malus campaign against The Order of Insanity and The Sanctum Officium[/center]

~ The day has been fairly tranquil, or at least as much as can be expected in preparation for war. As usual, Richard had trusted me fully to the captainment of his armies. We were encamped about one hours march from the enemy as night fell. I still had not received word from the Gryphon or her Shark. As the night grew on I paced. It was not so much with nervousness as it was with anticipation. All my life I've lived for the one thing I know, and that is war.

The closer the battle grows the more I anticipate it. It's not so much the killing as it is the nature of the beast in general. The idea of putting ones own life on the line for a cause, or simply for the loyalty to tose you serve is something that many can't grasp. I know it well. Very well.

Those with whom we are about to engage are not so much different from me. Often times I've discussed with my lord their seemingly endless devotion to their God. It is a devotion that is so strong that it shows no care for anything or anyone. All those which stand in their way must be purged through pain, through suffering, through sorrow.

My lord it seems finds them to always be worthy opponents, the Order of Insanity, however, he's never marched against nor have I. My thoughts are wandering now, and I have heard news of a rider approaching the camp. It's near now.


Tue Nov 19, 2002 10:29 pm
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The storm had passed and left his realm basically unscathed. His armies had invaded and taken over much land and things were going well. All that remains is to send his condolences to the lords of the lands he has conquered.

<edit>Posts in the Maxim forum must consist of 3-5 paragraphs with three sentences per paragraph -- that's nine sentences at the minimum. Edit your post to reflect these requirements, as it is only 3 sentences currently. -Evangeline.</edit>


Fri Nov 22, 2002 8:47 am
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Location: Hall of the Golden Gryphon
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Reports were still spread before her as she sent orders out to first one Rider, and then another. The storm which had blocked their path in the previous mobilization had dissipated and in its wake the armies marched deep into the heart of Sanctum Officium's lands. She pursed her lips over a particularly plaguing problem, brow furrowed in deep thought as she heard a rustle in the door way.

Glancing up, she found Saidh. Muddy...tired...bloody. The Wolf's mood was obvious, though her face was not. Perhaps it was merely a mark of how well the Gryphon knew the Rider but she saw well the anger in her abrupt entrance. Whatever the case, Gryphon knew that it did not bode well for the news her Rider of the Twlight brought.

She halted any comment from the Wolf with a slight gesture, pouring her tea and handing it to her mutely before at last gesturing her to take a seat. The Gryphon herself stood with her head tipped upward slightly, golden eyes glimmering with knowledge.
"As bad as all that?" she finally chimed, after watching Saidh for a stretch.


Sat Nov 23, 2002 12:46 am
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The cup of tea warmed her frozen hands, the taste of bitter herbs sweetened just to the point of comfort meant to be soothing as it trailed warmth down to the depths of her weary soul.

However, it wasn't working fast enough.

Belatedly she realized she'd been asked a question, and that pushed her out of her reverie. Reaching under her cloak for a satchel, bent but clean and dry - unlike the rest of her. But then again, the content of the satchel, hastily drawn maps with scout reports dotting it in Rider's code, was more important than anything but the words that were caught in anger, stalled by the parched throat that drank eagerly from the tea in order to be able to manage words again.

But the satchel she tossed over first would answer most of the question. As would her expression. Another swallow helped ease the way of words, even as she watched the Gryphon open the leather pouch, watched keen eyes skip over the markings on the page.
"Do you really want to know?"

A silly question that, given that the Gryphon would see the first signs of it in the notations, the scrawled maps. But it was the only thing she could say right now that fit, that vented a bit of her frustration without letting it pour unguarded.

Another sip of the tea. Another deep breath. That would relax her enough to continue. As long as the Gryphon herself was not riled to the same level ...


<edit>Signature lines, in all forums of Temper's Ball, are to be a maximum of four lines, including spaces. Edit yours to fit these requirements. -Evangeline.</edit>

_________________
Night falls, I fall, and where were you?
Warm skin, Wolf grin, and where were you?
I fell into the moon and it covered me in blue ...
The Wolf Who walks in Twilight
Riders of the Wild Hunt


Mon Nov 25, 2002 7:05 am
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Location: Hall of the Golden Gryphon
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The Gryphon poured herself a cup of tea first, sipping the soothing liquid, suspecting that she would need a dose of the calming herbs before the hour was out. She rubbed her neck, stretching slightly before she set the cup beside the satchel, deft fingers slipping through the tie neatly to extricate the reports.

She read slowly, thoroughly, paging through the reports without changing her expression a hair. The golden warder was still for a long moment as she finished, her head slightly lowered, golden hair falling over one cheek. Finally she shook her head, slowly, angrily.
"No, I'm quite sure I don't really want to know." Turning, she tossed the pages into the fire, its hungry flames devouring the Wolf's notations. She'd committed it all to memory, the uncanny trick of the spirits of the Storm.

She looked at Saidh, and the breath of a sigh escaped her lips, though her expression remained serene.
"Damn," was all she said, all the further evidence of discontent she would allow.

And she sent out a call, a whisper of summons which touched the minds of Riders. To pull back, to wait until they knew what the enemy would do. For they were not the only ones on the hunt. For Nyamafu Vurumai too had that night...and there destinations had been the same.

_________________
[center]The Golden Gryphon
Warder: Riders of the Wild Hunt
And golden rays will usher in the dawn.
Who conquers now shall rule the coming years.
[/center]


Thu Dec 05, 2002 7:04 pm
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