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 Making a Point (FA vs. Fergus) 
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Once within the tower's courtyard it was not long before Taelriath encountered more guards. Had he not been in such a hurry, Taelriath may have wondered why the guards had seemingly come to be arrayed so heavily inside the tower's walls in the short time since Eltharion's appearance. As it stood however, Taelriath was concerned with other things.

I can't afford to waste any more time! Taelriath came to conclude, knowing his caution would delay him more than he could allow. Consequently, Taelriath barely paused in his sprint past a lone guard as he wrenched the helm of the soldier around backwards, kicking him square in the chest.

The racket that ensued was the price paid for brevity. I'm sure he'll be fine.

Within moments a large number of guards were converging on the source of the noise, leaving Taelriath free to search for Eltharion and Nagash.

Soon afterwards Taelriath emerged from a narrow gap in some hedges to be confronted with a scene which gave him pause.

A few steps from the spot where Taelriath stood was the back of Eltharion who was pointing his spear and full attention in the opposite direction. Beyond this form, brandishing steel, was Nagash. Taelriath had never seen him in person, but for the man to have been alive at this time spoke of the capability one would imagine such a leader would have. It seemed that the two combatants had been locked in a strange standoff and not yet come to blows.

Still startled by the current situation, Taelriath found his daggers in his hands but no action found within his mind.


Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:45 pm
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Eltharion's eyes gazed blindly as Nagash's harsh words spoke to his virtue. Inside his head, the partitions that separated Eltharion's mind buckled, like a ship's hull under too much pressure. Passively staring, Eltharion felt physically weakened by the sickening thoughts that rushed through his head. Saved me....Fire....Foret's fault...Leto...

Eltharion's wings snapped a final time, and he landed gracefully on the ground. Taelriath has done nothing. Do not malign his name. Eltharion spoke with an unwavering voice, even as his mind struggled to resolve the discrepancy in his recollection of events.

Suddenly, Eltharion became aware of Taelriath, who had finally caught up to him, appearing behind him. Taelriath. Who destroyed Eltharion? That Eltharion wavered in trusting his instincts worried him, however the partitions of his mind had already been badly damaged, and he would not concede to their blinkered view of reality.


Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:40 pm
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Just as Taelriath was getting his bearings, Eltharion spoke to him.

Taelriath. Who destroyed Eltharion?

Taelriath was taken aback by this sudden question... Taelriath had not asked directly, but Nagash had sent Eltharion's body to Taelriath's realm. It could not have been Nagash since no story he had heard of the order leader hinted at such audacity, but who else would have been able to kill him? Eltharion's martial prowess was apparent to Taelriath in all instances where he had seen Eltharion's skill displayed. No, something else must have happened.

When Taelriath finally spoke he spoke with sorrow, Eltharion,... Was that even still his name? I do not believe Eltharion died in battle. I would have thought you would remember but, perhaps it is a mercy you do not. I know one thing for certain however, Nagash sent your body to me, he did not kill you.


Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:48 pm
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The Justicar's mind shuddered as Taelriath's words burrowed into his ears like vile gnats, destroying all in their way. Eltharion, showing an unimaginable degree of weakness, staggered a step as the powerful magic that partitioned his emotions away from his martial skills shattered, leaving his body reeling to accommodate this second harsh transformation.

The realization that Nagash, though a loyal follower of the hated Gods, was not automatically an enemy confused Eltharion's inhibited senses. Only by destroying the partition that was created as part of Eltharion's transformation into the Justicar, could Eltharion hope to overcome the debilitating confusion.

Looking up from his staggered position, Eltharion's eyes met Nagash's. As he looked at the proud leader, he felt a deep and strange respect. As he stared, Eltharion's eyes slowly changed. From deep pools of darkness, small swirls of smoke appeared. New life entered Eltharion's eyes, no longer were they blank and unfeeling. This minor physical change hinted at the larger transformation he had undertaken.

Nagash, the Justicar began, uncertain of his new orientation. Your actions regarding Eltharion were of noble spirit. I commend you. A sense of unfaltering authority filled Eltharion as he spoke. Though our purposes are anathema to one another, that should not cause us to descend to ignoble conflict.

I depart from you with a deep sense of respect. Let our paths never cross violently, oh noble leader.


Not waiting for a response, Eltharion snapped his wings and took flight. Gracefully gliding away with slow ease, he beamed inwardly. Though the mortal committed blasphemy of the worst kind, Eltharion realized that he could never hope to eradicate every such instance of ignorance. Rather, his purpose was one of preservation and education. Through his actions, he would prepare his followers for the coming of Angelique. He would defend her honour, and ensure she returned to him as strong as she ever stood in the ancient lands of Mo'Pri. That was his purpose.

From the Celestial Web, high in the outer planes, Thoraith pulsed with the energy of an entire matrix of the faithful. His mission to Angelique done, he had been rewarded with eternal peace and omnividence. Though his timeless mind found pleasure in every work of beauty, natural and crafted by mortals, he was especially pleased that Eltharion had completed his transformation so quickly.

Even in their final death, the faithful stand vigilant in their worship of the Gods.


Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:31 am
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Teh Spam!
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As the memories of his death came back to Eltharion, Nagash sheathed his swords. Appearently Taelriath had not used macabre rituals to transform Eltharion. Question remained who (or what) had, but this would surely be unveiled in due time.

As the Justicar departed as suddenly as he had arrived, Nagash brought his hand to the rabbit's paw. It was no longer there, and at the necklace on which it had been hanging, there now was the beak of a vulture. He cursed and threw it away. What were the gods up to?

" It means that this chapter is finished. The events have not gone as the gods had wished. Apperently the deities wanted one of you, or both, to die. You have defied fate. Both of you. "

The shaman had emerged from a nearby house and picked up the beak.

" What does that mean for us? "

The shaman shook his head.

" I cannot tell. Maybe they will send more omens. Maybe they will take us by surprise. And them too, I might add. "

He pointed at Taelriath, who still stood a few steps from where Eltharion had been.

Nagash walked towards Taelriath.

" Lower the daggers if you will. You heard what my shaman said, and he's seldom wrong.

I think it would be wise if we'd decide to try and keep ourselves out of harm's way. As Eltharion... or what he has become... said: our purposes are anathema to one another. But at the same time they serve to maintain a certain balance. A balance that just might serve both our purposes.

I ask of you to go back to your lands and warn Eltharion about the gods being irate about us both living. And to tell him that the respect is mutual. Mayhaps one day we will join forces for a greater good. Let's try to keep the conflicts to a minimum until then, shall we? "


He gestured at the city watch, whom had finally arrived to see what happened and nodded at Taelriath.

" I apologize that I blamed you for the changes in Eltharion. I figured that you were to blame because I sent his body to you.

These men will give you whatever supplies you need. And feel free to choose a horse from my stables. May your journey back be a safe and quick one. "

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Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:02 am
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Taelriath watched Eltharion fly away with a mixture of confusion, sadness, and relief. The changes in Eltharion's body and mind had taken a toll on him, and the near future would be a difficult road for Eltharion to walk.

Nagash approached. Lower the daggers if you will. You heard what my shaman said, and he's seldom wrong.

Despite Nagash's sheathing of weapons, lowering the daggers was still a dangerous move. Despite this Taelriath complied. It seemed Nagash was more interested in conversation.

In Nagash's speech to follow Taelriath could not help but find joy in the fact that the conflict had finally ended, and that the Ascension had found an enemy in cause only. Nagash's wisdom concerning the value of balance also stood out in his mind.

I apologize that I blamed you for the changes in Eltharion. I figured that you were to blame because I sent his body to you.

Taelriath was at a loss for words. He had only caught a scant scrap of the conversation that had come at the time of his arrival, though Taelriath was not entirely surprised to find he had been blamed for anything of the sort. Few understood him. For Nagash to have apologized was an entirely different matter, a rarity in one so powerful to show humility. Taelriath was pleasantly surprised.

Taelriath was again surprised with Nagash's generosity a moment later. These men will give you whatever supplies you need. And feel free to choose a horse from my stables. May your journey back be a safe and quick one.

I thank you for your understanding, mi'lord, and also for your hospitality in providing me with what I would require for the return journey... Taelriath began with a bow, not conscious of the fact he took his eyes off the man before him, ...and I shall indeed warn Eltharion of that which your shaman has decreed, but I ask only for the horse you have offered and the chance to take a rest, as I have come a long distance on foot with very few stops along the way.

After a moment's thought, Taelriath appended another request to the list, Though, it might be best if I could take my rest in a place removed from the stations of your guards. I incapacitated a few on the way in, and ... I doubt they are pleased by the current situation. A weak smile came to Taelriath's lips.


Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:50 pm
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As Taelriath lowered his daggers Nagash nodded. He meant the man no harm, and apperently this was mutual for a change. He glanced to the street behind Taelriath, where a few bloodied guards were emerging. Some lay still though.

" It matters not. The men you killed outnumbered you and should have been able to overpower you. WHat use are guards that cannot stop an army of two, no matter how powerful or cunning these two are? "

He cast an angry glance at the guards who were in turn looking at Taelriath with fiery hate burning in their eyes. The events that had unfolded were drawing quite a crowd in the meantime. The people who lived near had been watching from their balconies from the beginning, but now a small crowd had gathered and watched in awe as Nagash forbid his guards to take in or slay the heathen he was talking to. The one that had humbled their watchmen.

" This man stands under my protection now. He shall stay with me, in my guest chambers. The one that raises a finger, or a sword, against him will not live to tell the tale. "

He turned to Taelriath then and gestured to the street leading westward.

" Follow me, we're done here. You shall be protected by my own bodyguards, none of whom bear grudges against you. Once we arrive you can get some rest and select a horse from my stables... "

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Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:13 am
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Despite the intruiging grandeur and sophistication of culture and art Nagash had surrounded himself with in his city, Taelriath knew he could not stay there long. Having followed Nagash back to the quarters he had been given for the duration of his stay, he thanked Nagash for his generosity, and expressed his thankfulness for the resolution which had been gained. Now each side could rebuild that which had been destroyed without fear of each other, and in this land, ever single ally was significant.

Looking over the guards and evaluating how loyal they seemed (and how capable as well), Taelriath rested the remainder of the day, preparing for the long ride home. It was important that he not leave his people without a leader after the weakening the wars had brought upon them.

When the sun had set and the air cooled significantly, Taelriath rose and looked out the window, finding familiar stars and basking in the cool breeze a moment. Then, dressing and securing his daggers on his person he strode from his room, startling the guards stationed there.

It is best I leave your city now, it is likely there have been developments in my absence. Can you direct me to where I might find the stables, that I might choose a mount for my return journey?

One of the guards, regaining his composure nodded, We shall accompany you as has been ordered of us, until you leave these lands. Please, stay your desires while the sleeping are summoned. At this the other guard vanished around a corner, minutes later bringing the other guards assigned to Taelriath's protection.

Soon Taelriath was riding back to his people, pleased with the quality of the horse below him. Nagash had good taste in the equine, and the beast below him was trained well indeed. The horse's sable coat glistened in the moonlight as the creature ran across the lands, despite its lack of sweat. It would have been nearly impossible to aquire a better steed to carry him home in any corner of the isle, much less in the kingdom of his recent enemy.

Upon his return, Taelriath calmed his people's nerves, explaining what had occurred to the best of his ability concerning both Eltharion's apparent death and rebirth, as well as the steed he rode.

A few days later, when all had returned to normal, Taelriath sent Nagash's horse back to its home with a proud rider who carried with him a message of thanks to Nagash, and a set of barding for the great steed that Taelriath had deemed complimenting to both the steed's disposition and Nagash's taste for fine art.

Hopefully the peace fostered between the Ascension and the Order of Almighty Fishing Rods would continue with time, allowing both guilds to prosper. With Taelriath's current understanding of Nagash, this seemed the best outcome he could hope for.

All that was left to him was to deliver Nagash's warning to Eltharion. The gods meddled in the lives of mortals every day, pushing and pulling them to whatever fates they wished. If possible, Taelriath would end that, but for now, defying the gods through the message would suffice...


Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:18 am
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