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 Hidden versus TI, MoS, and Callineb 
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Post Hidden versus TI, MoS, and Callineb
Fingers steepled in front of him Coniuratus leaned forward in his chair. It was done. Or at least the gentle push that was needed to propel realms to war was complete. Most would not understand why these certain guilds were being attacked. Many thought they knew but did not. Those that needed to understand already possessed that knowledge. Those without that information need not know it.

In an effort of civility a short message was written and copied many times over. Those involved in this conflict, though they may not know why, would at least know they were involved.

Quote:
To those of power and influence in The Imperium, The Ministry of Stone, and Callineb, the time has come for us to engage each other on the battlefield. I should wish you the best of luck, but that, of course, would be nothing more than a lie. As such the best I can do in that regards is hope that Foret smiles upon your soul.


The letters were delivered in a variety of means. Some who are Hidden, and many others by those unknowingly working for the Hidden. Letters were found in amongst stacks of newly received correspondance and laying in plain view on tables in which plans were being drawn for an assault on the Hidden. Messages were found on the pillows of mistresses and as bookmarks in favored tomes. And, in one rather interesting delivery, the letter was found in a Lords sugar bowl as he was taking breakfast.

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~Occulo Sodalis~
[/center]


Sun Jul 18, 2004 6:51 pm
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Fujisawa grinned. He always took at least a little pleasure in watching men throw their lives at each other in the desperate struggle for land and their master's name and flag. Whether this king survived or not, did not matter, there was always another weak mind to manipulate to his own fancies. What was life but a game of reaching one's desires anyway?

Message had been sent via two paths. One to himself, and one to the king. Of course, Fujisawa would have only minor alterations to make to the king's orders, which he would give to the various leaders within the knights' ranks.

"Let all of their blood feed the land." Fujisawa whispered in his mind.

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Sun Jul 18, 2004 8:27 pm
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killed years ago, he was back once more.

in an age past, it was isonia who had determined to kill die bankier, much as he was determined to kill her; but he had failed. conjuratus had heard of this story - that much die bankier knew. he had been summoned back, once more, to play the part of the wreckless warrior.

his rage, now, was even greater than before. perhaps conjuratus had known that such would be the case. he could not be sure. what he did know, with a definiteness that was uncanny, was that conjuratus knew much - and that that knowledge had led to die bankier's enslavement, by this man.

no, not quite slave. there was at least some remaining vestige of respect for a fallen warrior, and a follower of foret, at that. but it was clear that he was to serve conjuratus. he felt compelled from within to do so. deep from within. perhaps conjuratus had known, this, too. he most likely relied on it.

irregardless, after the initial stupefaction at finding himself once more alive, and being thrown into the battle against isonia, the familiarity of the situation astounded him: calls of the opponent still being at war were raised.

he found this exceptionally humourous, most notably because defectors from some of these same armies and alliances were reporting of cessations of hostilities that had been conluded long ago - and, in fact, that these same forces were preparing new wars, under the vague umbrella of claiming being under attack.

cowards, he spat. the staff that had been allocated to him looked at him with a slight tinge of fear in their eyes: they were not sure what to expect of this half-alive, half-dead drow. he grinned slightly, and, after a slight pause, renewed with a frenzy the tasks that lay spread out before them.

it would be a long war indeed.

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ich bin die bundesbank

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Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:34 pm
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~as a new comer to these lands the Templars Thought the Warrior may be in Awe of the Strikes by Foret. He Assumed the Warrior would order to Defend seeing he had just Arrived at The Ministry, he assumed Wrong.~

Templar My Horse and Armor

The Warrior Charged on to the Battlefields and fought with Passion and Honor As Great Ministry Realms lay in Ruins around him. Before the Night had Ended his Armies had Retaken over 10,000 Isonia Acres. As he Saw the Great Realms Falling Around him .Soaked in Foret Blood he Gives the Templars their orders.

Burn The Acres to uninhabitable land. I would Rather see the land in Ruin before That of Foret lay Claim to it. Redeploy the Troops around our Moat and Prepare for a Second Charge.

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[center]~~Sacred~~
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~Agm of War MoS~
WANTON FLAYS OF PA WO NEN DEI[/center]


Sun Jul 18, 2004 10:30 pm
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Luclin sat somewhat bemuddled. Hidden had atlast declared war and he knew it would be upon the land of the Imperium. It was no secret they tried to take the mightest in the land. He would not of been surprised if it was only their lands and theirs alone. But instead they had launch a three pronged attack and though quite sucsessful on the empire only sparing attacks elsewhere. He just shock his head looking at the maps and the reports of attacks coming into the providence. The capitol had remained intact untouched in reality the enemy could not breach the walls of Tarian Dor. For the first time in a centery soldiers of the Legions were within its walls. Battle had been joined orders relayed and three of the mightest within these so called Hidden brought to ther knees.

"They should of overran the cities and not left them alive. " He said out load to no one in praticular as he studied the maps more carefully. "PAGE"

"Yes, your highness?"

"Take word to Callineb and to the Ministry that we can out manuvere them. Peace will not come to any of our lands for the fore seeible future. They brought this war to us not us to them and no matter what between us three we command more men and have more recorces a war of attrition is our only course of action. By the time this ends our childrens children my have taken up our titles."

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 1:30 am
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A xcribe arrived with a scroll from the Guild Master. Intelligence gatherers have come to the conclusions that the armies of Isonia were soon to march upon the lands of the Hidden. This I would impede if I could. There is no time to loose. The lands of the Hidden were far from heathens. This brought peace to peace to our families, and to us. Scouts report that an army is preparing for war, the combined forces added more than 50 thousand strong men and rising. There is no time to loose if we want the upperhand.

The night is settling in. Troops are organized and marching to meet them in battle. Salamanders were marching strong, there flames were strong. Strong flames means strong warriors. The first war for the hidden is soon to take place.

Mos and Callineb lands rose in~between us and TI. To go around them would mean taking a long march to the mountains, that could take days, we couldnt risk that. We couldnt risk us being in the mountains, while TI army's could simply walk in Mos and Callinebs's land and hit our cities open for attacks, leaving only the forts and thieves to protect them.

The Generals of Hidden formed a council to determine the best course of action. To split the army, leaving troops behind while only half of the strike force headed towards TI. We risked loosing if the army split. 25 thousand strong to defend the borders, while the other 25 thousand went to the mountains. The mountains would weaken the salamanders, for them to head to the snow, would be like sending them to their deaths. Not to their deaths, but to debilitate them enough, for once they reach TI, they would be too weak to even throw a stone. The cold is not there strong points. Half the army with half of there initial strenth to go upon TI territories? Its suicide.

No. We all need to stay together. We shall march upon the lands of the Isonia, Not Mos nor Callineb shall stop us in reaching The Imperiums domains. Today, Foret shall be victorios, even if others come across. No one shall impede this long awaited victory.


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Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:55 am
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Time has a way of moving more quickly than it seemed to. It seemed such a short time had passed since she'd maneuvered her husband's Prince into joining forces with Occulo Sodalis and now here they were sending their armies out for the time under a guild's banner. The Crown Prince refused to listen to advice to stay behind in the keep and once he called for his war horse, Levi was right there beside him to saddle up as well. Kaliska stayed in her room for the opening assault, her mind locked in concentration with her brother's who's own realm he'd worked into war with the Hidden for it was their plan.

Why people think they can hide themselves behind silent peace arrangements she would never know, very little could be kept from those with the ears to hear and the eyes to see and the minds to understand. And now the illustrious, seeming, leader of the Isonians was calling for a month-long war fest. How lovely. And how so full of hubris. No matter, he could convince his faithmates to live up to his month-long or longer war plans. Even now rumors spilled from the Isonians mouth to ears that hear and mouths that spread it further and further. The most enlightening of these rumors the Isonian leader bragged about involved a banker. This banker was a pretender to Foret, a vile usurper of Foret's name who only took up Foret's banner to remain guildless for the Isonian's own gain. This banker would set up times with the Isonians and once their leader looted all he could stuff in his coffers from the Hidden realms, he would call upon his banker friend of Foret and allow that one to steal it all again and hold it in Foret's name where the Hidden could not seek it out again for themselves. When the time came that the Isonian leader needed his cash reserves, the banker simply gave his guardian thieves the night off and the Isonian was free to take his withdrawal. And what was to stop this Isonian leader from installing his banker friend in the only Foret guild in the land once the war was finished? His "honor"? A tad bit blemished now as far as Kaliska was concerned.

Was it against what the gods had planned? Perhaps not, perhaps it just showed the Isonian had far lower standards of conduct than True Forets would ever allow. If it was just a scheme to foster distrust amongst the Foret followers, Kaliska would have to see to it this banker friend was rooted out if he did indeed exist and utterly and finally destroyed.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:09 am
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It began at a meeting with the Monastery, the half dozen Brothers and Sisters of the Order who normally dwelt in the lower corridors and chambers of our mountain complex. They had surfaced to the halls above ground level, meeting with me so that they may report on their many and varied findings.

To look upon the monks was to suppose that they wore the simple brown robes out of humility and it was true to an extent for they held little value for possessions and worldly status. To hear them chant melodically and speak in soft voices, the casual observer would be convinced that these were gentle spirits who appreciated beauty, and I suppose it was undeniable that they saw a beauty in their work, although many would not. To find them cowled and kneeling, one would believe they found sanctity in their quiet devotion. And here you would be quite correct, for they were beholden to the Goddess like few others, true servants of the Goddess that tended to Her altar with nothing less than the blood and pain of the heathen.

All clad in the same plain brown uniform with hoods pulled back for the meeting; no one would disturb us here. I sat at the head of the table, in a dark red gown. No longer did I sport the flashy dresses, bedecked in jewelry and beading, that I once wore in the desert city. The severity of Stone required plainer tones, stiffer fabric, more rigid lines. The style was not so different, but the sparkle was most definitely dimmed.

Our sources suggest, continued the monk slowly, that this network may be bigger than we had thought. And it spreads, Matriarch, it spreads far into the Isle. We must cut at it now, disrupt them…

But yet you do not know who they all are, is this correct? Despite your best efforts even,
I interrupted, slightly annoyed at his undisciplined compulsiveness.

That is true, we believe we know the identity of some of this hidden network, through the work of our operatives, though the longer we stay in the midst of them, the riskier it becomes. We have many in these lands that dare not stay longer. This is another reason why we need to strike soon.


Yes I have seen enough, Brother. As it happens we need not act alone, for other Isonians grow eager for heathen blood and land. And if the numbers of this network are as you suggest then we shall need them. We will march soon, the operatives will gather as much tactical information as they can before they extricate themselves. We will have expended much, both in resources and lives before this war has even begun. But the Monastery has done well.

I stood up and they followed suit, before bowing and exiting the Hall, being careful to raise their hoods before leaving.

[center]~o~[/center]

As we know now, the Hidden network proved much larger than we had hoped. A large number of Her servants risked their lives in retrieving the valuable information we required to plan the offensive. And then it became altogether too defensive, too quickly, embroiling a larger portion of bannered Isonians than we anticipated and crushing my own network of informants. One step ahead of us. This would not do. To add insult to injury, a freshly penned letter was found one night in my dining hall, propped up against the vase,

Quote:
To those of power and influence in The Imperium, The Ministry of Stone, and Callineb, the time has come for us to engage each other on the battlefield. I should wish you the best of luck, but that, of course, would be nothing more than a lie. As such the best I can do in that regards is hope that Foret smiles upon your soul.


Predictable and impersonal. That was a shame, I had thought we deserved better. The note found the fireplace as would any ignoble market pamphlet. Let us see whether the followers of Foret still smile with a mouth full of Templar mace.

Nevertheless I made sure to double the guard to my chambers that evening.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:35 am
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"Life bears remarkable similarity to the huge timber water wheels which drive the wheat mills in the East. Driven not by their own independant power, but dependant on the movement and constant energy of their environment to bolster their impetus to move, and lending their own strength to efforts which remained unseen to the wheel itself. The analogy, to extend the theme, holds water; for many of the land's warriors, the war was less about faith than it was of fear. Fear of being invaded drove the aggressor onwards to carry the threat of invasion to lands and lords previously unworried - who in turn, gathered their armies and marched forth with silvered tongues whispering of defensive measures rather than aggressive intent. And so life cycled; empires grew through conquest, and their neighbours in turn felt threatened enough to merit further conflict on their borders against the swollen lands of the newly arisen. As one Empire fell, another would inevitably arise, and would in turn be considered a threat to be dealt with. Though the peasant may exert some level of control over their surroundings, it was increasingly difficult to do so as the social rank and power of a noble increased. By the time they came to true power, the chance of a lasting change being made beyond the cycle of rise and fall was small enough to be laughable - and yet, it did not dissuade those who sought to steal the crown."

Excerpt from Chalchiuhtotolin's treatise, The History of Tonan's Conflict.

Chalchiuhtotolin had not been resident in Callineb's lands for long before the low, resonant note of the horn filled the sleeping valley with a sense of urgency and dread from it's place atop the battlements. The castle, standing atop the bluffs which overlooked the fertile vale, bustled with activity and flew banners denoting the presence of several of the area's more notable nobility. Small groups of mounted soldiery traversed the long, winding path which snaked it's way down the hillside to enter the first of the settlements and were met with wide eyed awe - and an uncomfortable silence in anticipation of the message they bore. Was war coming to the valley? Would the menfolk be called to fight a foreign war for the first time in living memory? Would the crops be burned and the livestock slaughtered in frantic retreat?

Answers were a long time coming - the soldiers moved from settlement to settlement, buying surplus produce and moving it slowly up the hill and in through the massive granite gatehouse which fronted the castle. No word came on whether the supplies were to be carried forth at the head of an army on the march towards foreign lands, or whether the castle was expecting to hold in the face of a siege. Rumours spread like wildfire around the various villages which lay scattered through the valley, only to be quashed time and again by the village counsels who insisted that if such fates awaited them, the lords and decision makers would make an official pronouncement soon enough.

And eventually, such news arrived; the forces of the largest Foret alliance had taken it upon themselves to assault the strongholds of several Isonian kingdoms. The soldiers were to mount their steeds and pack their wagons, and travel into the lands of the heathen aggressor and cut the enemy's supply trains, sabotage bridges and make enough of a nuisance of themselves to draw attention away from the homelands - at least, until the harvest had been brought in and the land could survive withstanding a siege without bringing trouble upon themselves for the next growing season. While the people feared the Foret blade, even mounted cavalry could be evaded by passage through the nearby swamps; the prospect of a year's harvest being trampled under the hooves of the cursed invaders, however, was an inescapable and slow death by starvation and malnutrition, energy sapping and bone weakening enemies which spear and shield could not hope to parry nor see off.

The people of the settlements were pacified somewhat by the news, and by the sight of the mounted soldiers in their glittering armour riding to the North where their enemies lay, beyond the horizon and some days distant. Even many hours after the soldiers had ridden out of sight, though, many a pair of eyes turned to the North, to watch the direction from which their death may come.

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-Chalchiuhtotolin, advisor of Espial
And thus I clothe my naked villainy
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And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.


Mon Jul 19, 2004 9:43 am
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She tasted blood in her mouth, metallic and warm, as her teeth sank into the flesh of her tongue. Nowaki glared ahead her breath steady and even, belying the rage that was trying to shake her body. She refused to allow it to show outwardly other than the expression she chose to wear.

Why were the troops not instructed to guard against such attacks? We had taken a great deal of enemy territory last night and now we have less than what we began with. Her voice was barely loud enough to reach the ears of the ninja before her.

Mistress, we could not reach them. Our communication was cut off from them until it was too late.

That is not my failing, I am not the one who has lost today. When I retired after the battle last evening I turned command over to you. If you could not have reached them you should have come for me. Did you doubt my ability to span the reaches of this place of heathen magics? You failed me.

I know Mistress, which is why I would ask this only of you.

The man looked up and pulled out a small knife. Nowaki remained motionless as he thrust the blade into his belly and slowly drew it across. Impressively he never screamed, cried out or made any more sound that a single gasp. there was a great deal of blood, and as his insides began to pour forth he looked up to her. Nowaki watched for a moment, letting his suffering grow as he struggled to remain silent. Slowly he bowed his head forward and she drew her katana as she moved behind him.

The storm shall be appeased and carry you on. She spoke as she raised her blade. She paused only a moment before bringing the weapon down, severing all but a small expanse of skin, enough to keep his head attached to his body. The small tent filled with a disgustingly sweet and rank smell, the body of the ninja now white as death. The blood from his body filled the floor of the tent, sticky and thick, now surrendered in it's entirety to ensure the fault of this loss would not fall upon the face of the Storm.

Nowaki exited the tent, and went in search of her other ninja. They would have to move quickly if they were going to rebuild the losses.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:31 pm
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Nether sighed with boredom as the fields burned and the walls shook. The young demon had been through this sort of thing before. Hardly fortified his realm went down without much of a fight. The months of traveling from the darden lands had delayed its progress.

The heathen armies invaded and piliaged, destroying just about everything, and still the young demon looked on, a look of boredom on his face. This cycle was getting old. Build destroy, build be destroyed. Surly there had to be somthing new.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 3:16 pm
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Taff read through the note for a third time.
Quote:
To those of power and influence in The Imperium, The Ministry of Stone, and Callineb, the time has come for us to engage each other on the battlefield. I should wish you the best of luck, but that, of course, would be nothing more than a lie. As such the best I can do in that regards is hope that Foret smiles upon your soul.

It puzzled him, Wendy knew nothing of it, yet it appeared in place of a bookmark in a tome he was reading the previous day.

How ever it had gotten there, he could recognise the insideous taint of the new brand of would be puppet masters. Their stench was more rank than that of the usual foretians. Manipulators, for the vicious soulless god they represent. It disgusted him.

However there was little to be done until the puppets started to move. So Taff walked to his office, and sent short messages to his network to learn of any troop movements towards Callineb, or his enforced allies. As soon as one was found it would feel his wrath. Until then they could wait, and sure up the frail defences, left severely battered but the last invasion of the city.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 5:33 pm
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Gong!

Allonon put down the book he had been reading. He walked towards the window and looked out.

Gong!

There it was again. It could only mean one thing. Heathens were once again on the outskirts of Callineb. He thought to himself, "Hadn't a treaty been signed with the Fury of Ten? Were they so dishonorable, being the barbaric heathens they were, that they would break it so quickly?" It just did not make sense. Allonon strapped on his scimitars and rushed out the door.

Getting to his appointed location on the eastern wall, he saw that his guesses had been wrong. It was not the armies of TEN marching against the peaceful city of learning. It was an army of gray. Knowing of only once such alliance of worshippers of Foret, reason led him to learn that this was indeed Occulo Sodalis. He saw the wizrds they had at the rear, and the large trebuchets they surrounded so protectively. He then turned to look at the newly patched walls of the city and groaned. Once these heathens were dealt with, he would once again be involved in the rebuilding effort. Oh how monotonous masonry was. He took a deep breath and waited for orders to be relayed to him.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:08 pm
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he watched in pure excitement as every minute passed. News had come to the king that war was inevitable. the armies of Foret had remained dormant for too long and while control of the lands rested with the king, the king rested in his hands. Too much influence would create chaos, too little and the loss of land and life would be devastating. the kingdom had seen prosperity, trading was superb and the peasants from far off kingdoms came by the thousands. But for every day of peaceful prosperity, a day of war must follow. In a sense, he almost felt bad for the followers of Isonia for they knew not the strength which hunted them. The armies were incapable of defeat, a lesson learned long ago, and his lands would be vitually inpenetrable. Thieves and warriors trained and retrained, rest was not an option. tactics had been refined and the leadership seasoned. If nothing else, it was too easy. None would be given a chance to regroup, and those that attempted would lose more. a pity, but a necessity.

The king had glanced out over the battlefield when the attacks began, smiling with content over the near flawless strike. I sat back with a devious smirk, for though my physical form was not within their ability to see.. my power stretched far beyond the simple minded beings doing my will.

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Mon Jul 19, 2004 11:53 pm
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A servent messenger brought Fujisawa word the King would see him at his soonest convience. "Please m'boy, what do they call you?" inquired Fujisawa. "Sir, I am Roland, son of ...", "That is quite enough, I did not ask you who your father was. Please, rest yourself here untill I return." snapped Fujisawa.

Fujisawa looked the boy in the eyes and exerted but a trivial amount of will over him. Almost naturally the boy moved to a chair and closed his eyes, to do just as Fujisawa had "requested".

Leaving his study, Fujisawa traveled to the King's tactical library. Moments later he had arrived, giving three brisk raps on the iron wood.

"Please, come in my friend." answered the King. And so Fujisawa did.

"This battle is running It's course quite nicely wouldn't you say?" asked the King. "Sire, what I would say means so little, but if you must have my reply, then I would say it has. I would however caution complacency just yet, we are but two nights along." . o O (Your kingdom is obese, just like your lard encrusted shell. You are truely a man, seeking only to gorge yourself endlessly.)

"Yes, I agree. I know you heard word of this battle with the Isonians going on for quite a while, but why would they want this, surely they recognize our superiority." gloated the King.

Fujisawa smiled musingly. "I believe they are merely showing their faith in Isonia. Giving up now would mean a lack of belief in anything, even themselves. Besides. Surely it would be difficult to digest the failure of three guilds against only one." "Is that all you would have of me?" Fujisawa questioned, hiding the impatience reeling inside.

"Yes, you may go Fujisawa." the King answered as if not having done it from his own mind.

Fujisawa left just as briskly as he had come, returning to his study, momentarily surprised to find the boy still sitting there.

"This war is boring, very very boring. Amuse me young Roland, amuse me with your life." Fujisawa said in quite the monotone fashion of disinterest. There was something about the boy he felt uneasy of.

Roland stood, staring blankly at Fujisawa, then with a broad smile, he stepped backwords untill he reached the window. The boys eyes suddenly seemed to register the machination in which he had become the star, yet his smile never faded as he flipped himself backwards out the window. A drop of over a hundred feet.

"hah hah hah hah ha... ahhh." Fujisawa laughed in fine regalement.

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Tue Jul 20, 2004 3:28 am
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"my lord, its time." said the corp captain to kagiron. "my lord?" the captain ask back as he notice kagiron was thinking elsewhere. "what? oh, sorry. okay, in my signal, i want our left flank on the east part of the target and our right flank to the west part. The front rear is ours. get ready with the sorcery, call in our enchanters."Kagiron says. "Aye my Lord." As the corp captain orders all the flanks, he raises a sign to the enchanters to begin the casting. Then the enchanters starts, a massive hurricane hits the target and damage it defense. but still the target manage to stand. Kagiron gives another signal to its captain as the captain raises a signal to enchanters to cast one more time. Enchanters cast one full blow on the target. Another massive hit which destroys alot of fortress and many walls divided and fall. It was a success as the the targets defense was pummelled hard and left few men standing. Kagiron signals his captain as the captain raises the red flag, as a sign of full attack. One by one, flank by flank, kagirons men attack the target with full massive attack. Kagiron went next to attack on the kingdom. he notice alot of villagers were still alive. and alot of it were injured."Captain, tell our medics to heal the wounded and spare those wounded soldiers life. they need to live so they can continue their life. our mission here is to follow orders from our guild master and included in that mission is that no civillian/innocent lives be attack. We will follow that." Kagiron says. "Yes my lord, will do." the captain replied. "another victory for us, another win." kagiron says as the battle continues for another victory.

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Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:59 am
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Somewhere near Callineb...

A figure balanced upon the remains of a broken stone wall, a rough coarse cloak draped over the body while a heavy hood kept the face in shadows. Only the very tips of the fingers could be seen, scarred here and there though the marks appeared as if the wounds had happened long ago. Nothing more could be seen, nothing at all that would spill any secret of the figure, not even whether it was male or female. And although the wall was barely three finger-widths wide the figure apparently had no trouble keeping steady. Indeed they did not sway nor seemingly need to adjust their position, instead just remaining balanced there, as still as the stone itself.

The sun had long since set although that didn't seem to bother those who fought and clashed. War, it seemed, cared little for night and day, death came as easily now matter whether Intop was in the sky or Numi and Soma. The Isonians and the Foretians pitted their wits and their strengths, each seeking to hide their own weaknesses and seek out those of their foe. Even though the battles could destroy both sides utterly they fought on. Still they brought their forces to bear against one another, and men who had seen the sun set never lived to see it rise again.

And some of us never see Intop at all, the figure smirked, the voice apparently female, though coarse and unrefined. Her accent was strong and would most certainly not have been a welcome sound in the courts of the wealthy and regal. Not that it mattered to her, she hadn't cared whether she was 'welcome' anywhere in a very long time. She supposed when she was young she had cared about all that, she must have done at some point, but she couldn't remember it anymore. Besides whether she was welcome or not didn't matter, she would enter where she wanted to, doors and guards made little difference, they were all just more food for the rage that danced so close to the surface within her.

The rage...it was always there, almost like it slept just beneath her skin, so close to the surface, so ready to leap out at the earliest opportunity. But it didn't really sleep, no it was always awake, always ready, always seeking some outlet. She'd met others who'd fought against it, trying to keep it quiet and hushed, pretending to be oh-so refined even as the rage had burned within them. It burned, yes it burned inside if it wasn't allowed it, burned enough to kill.

Or worse.

A small group of armoured figures appeared through the gloom of the night. They hadn't seen her yet, their eyesight was poor without the burning light of Intop in the skies overhead. They might as well have been blind compared to her. The hooded head was raised a little and she sniffed the air carefully. Blood, yes the men were bloodied, though not with their own. No, the blood was old and stale, it had dried and grown hard upon their clothes, armour and weaponry. Still she survived on worse before, she wasn't exactly picky about her food, not when there were more important things to think about. Besides the scent of dried blood reminded her that the men were carrying far fresher stuff within their veins. Beneath the hood her mouth opened in a wide, toothy grin.

Who goes there?, finally the men had noticed the figure upon the wall and had angled themselves towards her position. For her part she made no move, she didn't want to appear as a thread...just yet. The men drew closer, close enough that they were barely a metre or two from where she perched. Still she had made no more and still she had not answered their question. She just remained balanced upon the wall, head down once more, shoulders hunched. With her eyes looking down at the ground she couldn't see if the men carried the marks of any banner upon them. Not that she cared, what did it matter if they fought for Isonia or Foret? They were mortal and they probably served mortals, that was good enough in her mind to take what she needed from them. If they'd wanted to stay safe they should have remained with their comrades rather than wandering off into the night. Little children shouldn't go wandering into the night if they didn't want to find the monster in the shadows.

One of them men, braver or perhaps just more foolhardy than the rest, stepped closer to her, prodding at her with the end of the long bow that he carried. Oi, you, we asked you a question. You deaf or something?

Quicker than their eyes could follow she moved, her right hand lashing out towards the archer, gripping him around the throat even as she jumped off the wall and landed on the ground. Standing, she was taller than most women, tall enough that in a crowd she would have stood out for that fact alone. The archer dropped his bow, gurgling and bringing his hands up to her wrist in order to try and loosen her grip. Her grip upon his flesh though was like steel and the most he succeeded in doing was to push the cloak further up her arm. Her arms were scarred even worse than her hands, not that it seemed to be affecting her ability to cut off the unfortunate archer's breath. I heard your question just fine.

The archer's companions watched on dumbfounded, rooted to the spot and unable to do anything as the woman moved again. To their eyes it seemed almost as if she merely disappeared from one place only to reappear in another without any connecting movement in between. But there was movement, it was just simply too fast for their minds to take in. Let alone react to. From gripping his neck she had moved to behind him, arms around his body, pinning his arms to his side. The scarred woman already had her mouth buried into the archer's neck by the time that his fellows realised what was happening. Hot blood spurted from the wound and not all of it made its way into her mouth, it ran down her chin and splattered on the ground below, more than a little staining the already filthy cloak that she wore.

She heard them unsheathing their blades before any of the remaining soldiers had even dared to talk a step towards her. The archer convulsed in her arms, his eyes rolling back as pathetic little moans seeped from his mangled throat. She dropped him unceremoniously to the ground, pushing back the hood to get a better gaze at the soldiers. They looked at her with wide eyes, the blood of their comrade running down her chin, a grin plastered across her face revealing teeth that might have been ivory white under the coating of her meal. Boo, she spat the word out at them, advancing suddenly enough to cause them to think better of attacking her, retreating a step or two rather than letting her get too close.

Her face was not scarred like her arms and hands, but even so it was not exactly beautiful. She was...ordinary....well other than the blood and fangs. Her features would always be just a little too harsh to ever attract attention for that reason alone. Curled and untamed hair ran down to her shoulder-blades now that it was free of the hood. A long scarf of fabric was wound about her throat but even its presence did not quite disguise the end of the ugly scar that it was meant to hide. A scar that seemed to run from just below her jaw-line into well beneath the scarf.

The archer on the ground breathed his last, all sound of his distress fading away, Murderess, one of his fellows shouted accusingly at her.

The woman shrugged, And? Her question seemed to puzzle them a little, it wasn't exactly what they had expected. Run along back to your war...or perhaps Jacqueline will decide to make one of you my dessert. The men didn't need a a second warning, taking to their heels and leaving their unfortunate dead companion behind.

Jacqueline sat down upon the stone wall once more, watching them fade into the darkness, carrying the fear of the vampire with them. War certainly did make feeding so much easier...of course it didn't do the same for her personal quest to find her sire. He still remained hidden to her, But I'll find you, one of these days, no war or peace or guild will hide you and then you'll be mine. In the end all the running in the world won't save you.

_________________
[center]Brute force is a philosophy
Drink of the power that is within you
The anger, and the scars, never fade
The Damned Coterie[/center]


Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:38 am
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the battle raged on and the Walls of Castle Exodus had as yet to be breached. as he prepared for the days battle a Templar Arrived.

~M'Lord the treasury has been looted and we found the guards murdered~

And That of Isonias Great Enclaves

~They are secure to this point M'Lord. Shall i Double the Guard Around our Mighty Enclaves Sire~

No Gather what Templars you can Find and meet my Battalion outside the Castle Gates.

~as you wish M'Lord~

The Warrior Knelled as he knew this may be the last Charge for his Legions. He Says a Small Prayer and vows to Double the number of Foret Dead that he Knew he was about to Lose. He Stands and Prepares for Battle against the Foret Heathens who had invading the lands of his Brethren.

_________________
[center]~~Sacred~~
~ Knights of the Sacred Order ~
~Agm of War MoS~
WANTON FLAYS OF PA WO NEN DEI[/center]


Tue Jul 20, 2004 12:08 pm
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My lord Steven!

It reports that our allies have begun a strike on the heathen armies of Isonia. They seek our Aid. I have been spending the last two days offering our scummers and our guerilla raiders. But they need support. It is evident that the heathen army is not considering peace any time soon. They need our realm to help sway their opinion. With your permission, I'd like to send out a full attack on the enemy.

"I choose not to hit the enemy for they have yet to touch our realm. Why should I instigate a fight? I am much better than this"

My lord you are young merely 13. You do not know the harm that you put us in. If you are not willing to fight we will lose our allies. The enemy will kill us soon after. Either we save our people by hitting the enemy now. Or we sit back wait to be attacked and then you can go to all the mourning famalies and tell them why they are mourning.

"You speak a lot of truth. I trust you like my father trusted you. Now go and save our people.


Tue Jul 20, 2004 8:36 pm
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Mystryl crouched low on the stone wall and waited for his adversary to step over it, unaware that Mystryl lurked just out of sight.

A foot, a leg, a yes the crotch.

Mystryl thrust upward with his sword stabbing the man through the left side of his body, straight up through the groin and into the innards of the torso - just like Grandad had taught him.

Before the man could utter a cry of alarm - or pain - Mystryl's major domo Tygil had wrapped his meaty hands around his face and silenced his very breath. A quick snap of the man' shead and Tygil lowered him to the ground.

Two sentries down, none to worry about on this side of the encampment now.

Mystryl turned ot his men that were crouched much like he was. Each was poised with thier sword or mace ready. Each had placed upon thier faces the marks of the souless warrior, each was willing to die this very night. They had already given thier souls up to Isonia and so had nothing more to worry about.

A few carefully crafted hand signals and Mystryl's men dispursed towards the camp, each seperate group targeted for a seperate portion. In a few minutes it would all be over....

War is hell, Mystryl thought as his muscles rippled as the change took over him. Soon a man-like beast stood where Mystryl had only a moment before. It's eyes were the only thing that showed intelligence.

Mystryl wrinkled up his muzzle at the smell of the heathens before him as he tilted back his head and gave a long mourneful howl.

That was the signal! His men sprang upon the unsuspecting warriiors of the Hidden and Mystryl loped into camp biting and gnashing his teeth, slashing with sword and claw as he and his men wrecked havoc upon the heathens.

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Believe in something
Reality is a choice


Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:20 pm
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That which he controlled was not invisible to those of the Foretian armies but other than a few scouts he was over looked. Why was it what were they waiting for. He should not really complain though as he waited he got some reports that were needed and found some interesting reports as well. He would much rather sneak around in the shadows then be on the actual battle field. Whatever service he could be to Isonia is what he would do with no complaint and no worries. That is how he believe one should serve thier Goddess is with out complaint. She was divine in her own right and he would follow the Goddess till the day that he died which he hoped was a long way off. He continued to move about and then he grinned realizing that he had more work that he could do.


Tue Jul 20, 2004 11:13 pm
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it was during the planning of the tertiary offensive operations that he slammed his fist into the face of the man beside him.

what do you mean, we haven't broken through? i wan't those lines pierced at these junctions, and cavalry deployed through the gaps to attack their lines of communcations. where did you learn tactics, fool?

he grabbed the man by the collar and slammed his fist into the man's face twice more, his target's left eye beginning to swell up.

what, were you thinking i would be satisfied with these limited gains? i want the war to be over today, NOT TOMORROW!

and with that he faced the table once more, upon which were spread out the various maps and sets of orders that had were in effect, that had been issued but had yet to reach their destination, and previous orders which had been superceded by the continuing changes to the strategic situation.

but it wasn't long thereafter that he received word from his superior, conjuratus: it was time to make peace. the entreaty had been made. it was now up to him to conclude the negotiations, in person.

his face contorted at receipt of the message: the double meaning was implicit. there would be no peace for him. the internal war was still raging, and, as yet, no battle nor offensive had quelled some of the fire that burned deep within.

he, an instrument whose sole purpose upon being resurrected, was to wage war.

and now he was to be the instrument of peace.

how ironic.

and so it was that messages were sent out. he was not sure how; he was merely told, 'it is done'. he was to meet a part of their command on an isolated plateau. he understood the significance of this plateau: it would be difficult to stage a large-scale assault within the plateau, both because of the difficulty of concealing the assault forces on the approaches, as well as the inherent weakness of the position: anyone caught within the plateau, after having launched an assault, would find themselves hopelessly exposed to any force held in reserve outside of the valley.

orders were duly dispatched, and a force kept close at hand. he brought with him two riders, two of his staff officers who had been thus far indispensible in planning and execution of operations, with him. they were due the honour of being present at the cessation of hostilities.

he set out for the plateau, it taking nearly a day's ride to arrive there from his current position. they set up camp, and began waiting for the arrival of the delegation...

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ich bin die bundesbank

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officially endorses MoP's candidacy


Wed Jul 21, 2004 5:30 am
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As the Warrior had Feared his Walls were breached . He Stood on the Hill Top with what was Left of his Battalion's. The Great Cities now Lay in Ruin. The Warrior Seethed his Sword.

First Knight Approached him

~Fret not M'Lord , Isonia will show thy Justice. Our Armies Alone under your Command, Liberated over 40,000 acres from the Foret Heathens~

As the Warrior looked at the Burning Cities he Turned to his Loyal Knight and with a Stone Face replied

Tell that to the Widows and Fatherless Children who have no Homes now My Brother. I am Sure our Valor will comfort them.

Knight Drops his Head

No my Brother hang not thy Head, I am Honored to Command Such a Fine Knight. Gather the men and send them to the City to gather what supplies you can and comfort the Widows.

_________________
[center]~~Sacred~~
~ Knights of the Sacred Order ~
~Agm of War MoS~
WANTON FLAYS OF PA WO NEN DEI[/center]


Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:08 pm
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Standing on the elder ledge of the Jequasen cliffs the council met with the king, a practice as old as the lands themselves. The council identities never revealed, their words nearly deafening but their wisdom unparalleled.

Eucles had been here before, but not under such favorable terms. The council had probed his soul and found him clean but those with influence had banished him. Now, after decades of poverty, loss to foreign militia and uprising he had been summoned. Life as a herder had grown upon him but the calling for power was great and greatness was his blood.


"Mortal, we have seen the lands march to battle. Your victories were greater than we could have ever prophesized. Pride has once again been brought back to this great land and yet you stand here before us with a troubled spirit"

"Bearers of knowledge, my mind does trouble me. The need for war in me can not be quelled. I have tasted blood and fear my need for it is too great to stop. The men seek expansion and the peasants seek wealth. Am I to cease all this success based on word from distant allies? Have we not come this far only to barely flex our wings of might.. I seek advice yet fear the answer.."

"Mortal, your limits are only defined by your ability to recognize them. You see yet you do not project. Strides are only made over time for energy is wasted beyond a level of success only attainable by impatience. Your choices we can not control, your mind will show you the path to greatness. Yet let it wander and the cloud which plagues your thought will only grow stronger."

In a moment of dense fog, the very bearers of knowledge he had come to speak with were gone... their retreat haste and abrupt.

"If I am to give my enemies a moment to rest, then I shall be sure they get no mercy upon our next meeting."

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Wed Jul 21, 2004 2:08 pm
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A call for peace. Hostilities would cease to allow leaders to negotiate.

The Ministry of Stone had been fortunate. Our geographical location made it more easily defendable as the mountain range, although low, ran long and close to the eastern coast. To cross straight over it would mean to first traverse leagues of uninhabited jungle and so our defense could be concentrated to the north and south. But to have our armies caught before we had ridden out to find a superior position had exposed us to much greater losses than we had anticipated.

The steady forces of Lord Exodus and Lady Judiama cut into the lines of the enemy aligned kingdoms alongside their allies among the Imperium and the mages of Callineb. But the lines could not hold, and we fell back at last, separated. We had long lost contact with the original network of informants behind the lines of the heathens armies, no doubt they were dead or unwilling to risk communication. Yet slowly our unseen army reforms, in the shadows. New identities and new contacts grow in the hell of heathen citadels to Serve the Goddess, sending back what news they can to grant us any advantage. This day, it is not enough.

I ride with two Templars, soldiers of my personal guard. The other forces of the Ministry have been ordered to fall back, to bury the dead, tend to the wounded. All who fall in Her name are exalted, their names carved into the Stone to be always remembered.

I ride to meet with the Priff Call of Callineb, wearing a riding gown of darkest crimson, more loosely corseted with no crinolen. The only adornment this day is the black lace edging at the wrist cuffs and high neck of the gown and the ebony and silver hair clasp that keeps the dark plaits in place. A thick black cloak with fur-lined hood for added warmth spreads over the back of the chestnut steed as we ride at an easy pace. We fear no interference from the heathen as we ride to the rendezvous, not so much because we have been promised none, but because I have chosen not to be seen by them. The subtle magick of Illusion has a myriad applications and I have not forgotten my Art.

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Ministry of Stone

~Maxim Code of Conduct~


Fri Jul 23, 2004 2:45 am
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