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 Inn of Briars 
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
Post Inn of Briars
As the trees grew less dense Sharaf recognised several landmarks, he may not have visited this land for almost 2 years but the memories were still vivid.

I shall enjoy a drink with my old friends, I wonder how the old Inn is doing, I hope Maggy is still the cook, I'm starving

At a clearing Sharaf caught first sight of the Inn, yet all was not right, there was no lights from the windows and no smoke from the chimney.

This cant be right, the fires burn all year round and its amost dark so there should be lights on

It took Sharaf a few more steps to realise that the Inn was closed, worse than that it appeared to have been abandoned some time ago.

Pinned to the door and somewhat damaged by the elements was the following note.

_____________________________________________________

CLOSED, KEEP OUT

_____________________________________________________

Etched in the wood read a simple message, "RKoR - RIP"

This cant be true, the Inn of Briars has stood for centuries, RKoR didnt even exist when the first mead was served here, I must find someone who knows how this has happened.......

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:20 pm
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Stablehand
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Sharaf gave the door a push, it moved barely a foot before it stuck, upon Sharafs hands small welts began to appear.

This door has been sealed by magic at some time, damned door magic always irritates my skin, I dont understand why the Inn would ever be locked in such a way

The Inn was a shambles, none of the remaining furniture was intact, there was nasty black marks along one wall that gave the appearance of fire damage, yet no marks on the floor.
Sharaf made his way towards the old bar, I wonder if they're still in the same place.

Sharaf knealt by the bar entrance and felt for the nobily piece of wood, it had been a while but in a few seconds he found it, upon pressing it a small section the size of his hand opened and a faint light shone upon Sharafs face.

I hope everything is still here, what lies within will hopefuly restore what I have lost......

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:26 am
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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Sharaf wispered an incantation in a long forgotten language that few left alive still knew, the light grew brighter and Sharaf stood up, put his arms up and shouted the final words.

WASTLANDER APPEAR, BRING FORTH YOUR SECRETS

There was a bright flash and a figure appeared, a man very tall, and very thin, as the light died down Sharaf knelt again and withdrew a box from the hidden compartment, he stood to face the man and uttered in a quieter voice.

Awake Petric, holder of the Storm, keeper of the Royal knights Shield

With that the mans eyes opened, at first there was a look of fear, then upon recognising Sharaf a broad grin spread across his face.
He made quick move in Sharafs direction and promptly dropped his sword on the floor.

Petric Sharaf laughing as he spoke I see your still the clumsiest Knight to walk these lands, it's good to see you after all this time

Sharaf, you returned, I've been far away for so long, the realms I saw would have even turned Belins head, it was glorious, Petric dropped his sword again and laughed, who are you calling clumsy

Sharaf stood there for a moment, Petric looked the least able knight you could ever imagine, yet Sharaf knew that in battle he could fell 10 men with his sword whiles drinking a flaggon of ale, he was one knight you underestimated at your peril.

Petric, the curse lifted 3 days ago, the land you spoke of was a magical place that the Storm council sent you, remember your madness and how we sent you there to save you, well he's dead and the counter curse that Cerebus cast has finally worked.

With that Sharaf cast a simple spell and 2 of the broken chairs suddenly fixed themselves.

Petric please sit, we have lots to talk about.....

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:34 pm
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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Sharaf sat besides Petric, it had been 3 years since his enforced banishment, old dark magic had finally been defeated at a cost.

It had all started at the regular meeting of the Storm Council, all the council had been present Cerebus, Conando, Belin, Petric and Sharaf, they had been discussing a rather nasty war, a week of battling with a determined foe, kingdoms had fallen on both sides yet neither guild had been able to make the decisive blow. Belin stood to give his reasons for offering the ceasefire, as GM he had decided that this war helped no one, “A week of futility” were the words he used. As he was finishing a loud bang was came from the back room, as usual only the council members were present, there was no servants so the noise startled the group.

As quick as a flash all 5 got up and made their way to the rear door, they had barely reached it when the door flung open and a tall ghostly wizard (his robes were those of the old magic priests) stood in their way.
The wizard flung out his hands and started to chant

Hamara, Creanta, Mori…..HAMARA, CREANTA, MORI….

Sharaf was the quickest to respond, he knew a few ancient words, he recognized Hamara as the ancients’ word for death. He flung himself at the nearest of the group, he caught Belin square on the shoulder and shouted to the others to run but it was to late.
Green shards of light hit Cerebus, Conando and Petric, at the same time Sharaf muttered the only powerful enchantment he knew, he hoped that the apparent frailty of the wizard would be enough.

Brekna, Practa

Sharaf had cast the impta enchantment the only one designed to kill wizards, over the years its use had petered out due to younger wizards having a aura charm that protected them.
Sharaf remembered that the older wizards relied on their Elan and their physical strength to survive an impta attack.
The blue ball of light that had emanated from Sharaf hit the wizard full in the chest, for a moment it looked like he was strong enough to absorb the attack but in a bright flash he vaporized.

Belin stood up and rushed to his fallen comrades, he reached Conando first, Belin fell back as he realized that not only was Conando dead, he had already began to decompose, he did not pause but quickly reached Cerebus. Belin saw that although Cerebus was alive, all was not right, his skin was pallid and his black hair was quickly going grey.

Belin, I haven’t much time, Conando is dead, killed by a particularly quick bury curse, I think I was hit by an aging curse, check on Petric.

Belin stood and realized that Petric was indeed alive, he could see no physical harm but saw to his regret that Petric had been injured in an all together different way.
Petric stood there, foaming slightly at the mouth his eyes wide open and a puddle getting larger by his feet. He spoke, in slured, almost illegible words.

What happened, why noise, head hurt, who are they, the birds, why Conando laughing at me.

Petric drew he sword and started attacking thin air, Belin threw one of his sleep darts at him, he could not cope with all this and Petric waving his sword in all directions, also the smell from Conando was already becoming unbearable.

Sharaf stood slowly, the energy required to cast the impta had left him weak and for a few moments after casting it he had passed out.
The scene was of a white haired old man who was struggling to his feet, a rotting corpse and Belin stood facing Petric who was now slumped to the floor.
Cerebus called out

Belin, Sharaf, there is no magic that can bring Conando back, there is no counter curse to help me, however Petric has been hit by a very powerful dementia curse, I may have time to reverse it before I die, take us quickly to the Wastelanders Inn……

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:54 am
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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Sharaf, Cerebus, Belin and Petric arrived at the Wastlanders Inn, Petric had been half carried, half dragged for most of the way, Cerebus was growing older at every step, his black hair was now white, his features bent with old age, he had struggled bravely on.

Sharaf bring me the old book, it may have the enchantment that we need, hurry old friend for I shall surely be dead within the hour

Sharaf raced up the stairs and quickly located the book, he also found a vial of youthfull elixia, he recalled that Cerebus described it as a big hoax, tis true that Sharaf only gained a bad case of acne when he tried it out, maybe it would be of help.

Sharaf found the other 3 in the main room, Petric had been placed on one of the table and Belin was stood next to the stooping Cerebus.

Cerebus take this, I know you think it cheap trickery but every second counts, it may give us a few extra minutes

Keep it for now, when we have no choice I’ll try it, I don’t see any point in risking it killing me before I can complete the Petrics cure.

There was now only silence as Cerebus sat and began to read the book, he moved quickly thru pages, he would occasionally mutter something then he would move on.

As he sat both Sharaf and Belin could see the wrinkles growing before their eyes, his hair had began to fall out rapidly and his skin was almost translucent.

After almost 50 minutes Cerebus stood and hobbled over to Petric, he stopped just short of the table and turned to Sharaf.

Sharaf give me the potion, I wont live long enough to complete this, we have nothing to lose.

Sharaf passed him the vial, he made no effort to speak, there was hardly time, he knew that Cerebus would never take a potion he had no faith in unless he had no option.
Cerebus put the small bottle to his lips, the instructions stated 3 drops on the tongue yet Cerebus emptied the whole bottle.

Within seconds there was a transformation, his skin started to regain color, his hair began to quickly grow back and the wrinkles began to smooth themselves out.
Belin stood up, smiling,

Cerebus, I thought, its…

No Belin, I’m surprised this concoction actually works, however I fear that it will not last long, I can feel it, a struggle that will most definitely end my life.

As Belin sat again dejected Cerebus stood and continued to help Petric, the chanting began to get louder and the magic was so dense in the room you could almost touch it, Cerebus finally stood there and placed a hand on Petrics chest.

Petric go to another land far far away, there you will feel no pain, no maddnes, no regret, one day you shall return to us…..so long old friend.

Petric vanished in a bright flash and Cerebus turned towards Sharaf and Belin.

On the day that the counter curse finshes you shall receive a vision, on that day you may bring Petric back, he may be gone for days, maybe even weeks, I will not be here to see his return

Cerebus stood there, in the last 30 seconds the aging process had sped up, he sat down
He turned to face his 2 friends, tears had began to flow down his face, he could no longer see, however he sensed in which direction they were.

Goodbye my friends…

Cerebus lay his head down on the table and died……

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Thu May 12, 2005 6:41 pm
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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Petric had gone white, he looked to Sharaf and then looked around at the walls of the Inn.

Sharaf I remember the meeting, and the noise, however my last memory is of the green light, Cerebus's charm finally brought me back to this place.

Sharaf looked red eyed, his recollection of that night had brought back memories he'd had hidden for 3 years. Were Petric looked unchanged Sharaf had changed considerably, his clothing was ripped and tatty, he had a look of a man who'd aged 10 years in 3. He also spent very little time in his kingdom, the rumours about his drinking were actually untrue. He had lost so many of his comrades that he no longer had the same fight.

Where is Belin, you say he was not harmed in the attack, do you know were he is?

Petric I've not seen Belin for over a year, he left on a crusade, it is rumoured that he went far east to a different land, he to was affected deeply by the attack 3 years ago, we did not speak for 6 months prior to his departure due to our different views.

Sharaf began to unroll a parchment, it was with heavy heart as he knew it contained news that would affect all of these lands.

Petric I have news that may make your return even more sorrowfull, let me get drinks before we begin....

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:19 am
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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The lands that Sharaf owned were meager compared to most, however due to his absences it proved difficult to expand.

During his current leave he had instructed the harvest be brought in from the fields. The land protector by the name of Rederob had been in charge of Sharafs land for as many years as he could remember, he withdrew from his pocket a scroll that kept details of previous years harvests and made note on what was expected.

Tis a good year for barley and wheat and even corn, the labourers all report a larger than usual crop, it may even be higher than 3 years back when we made much gold from selling our excess at market

Last years report read as follows

Barley = 800 bushels
Wheat = 760 bushels
Corn = 400 bushels

Potatoes = 70 hundred weight
Carrots = 20 hundred weight


Orchard

Apples = 8000
Oranges = 4000

Sharaf had been pleased, it always made Rederob proud when Sharaf heaped praise on him, this year he would be no exception.


Rederob waited the first report, every year the barley would be harvested and counted a day earlier than the other crops. When the parchement was placed in his hands he had to question the result.

There is a mistake, it says here only 20 bushels of barley, I know from only last week that the prediction was nearer 1000, has someone stole from our fields whist the guards slept

A rather nervous farmhand shook his hand and produced a basket of barley, at first glance it looked like the finest barley around, however the farmhand picked up one piece, peeled back the ripe leaves and revealed blackened and rotton barley below.

Sir most of it has been like this, however it is strange as only yeterday we checked the quality, it appears that it has gone bad overnight

.....The next day and a rather pale Rederob receives all the reports from the harvest, his reation to the barley had been bad, however as this was mostly used to make the towns ale he realised that the food crops were more important. The report arrived and it read like this

Wheat = 160 bushels
Corn = 100 bushels

Potatoes = 20 hundred weight
Carrots = 3 hundred weight


Orchard

Apples = 700
Oranges = 200

Rederob ran to the orchard, yesterday he had counted just the apples from the top end of the orchard and had passed 1000, he saw a tree still full of apples and made a rush to the half dozen pickers all standing looking forlorn.

What is this, you leave trees full of apples yet tell me there is only 700, explain yourself now or wait till our master returns and he will deal with you all.

The youngest picker walked to the tree and shook it, at least a dozen apples hit the ground, however there was no resounding thud, instead they hit with almost a splash, apples looking so perfect yet inside a rotten putrid goo.

Rederob collapsed to his knees, the people would starve, how can a crop fail where all that came before was plentifull......

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:50 pm
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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So Petric our crops failed, at that moment my heart was not as heavy as Rederob as we had planty of gold to buy at market, however the market was closed, it seems that all the local kingdoms had suffered a simmilar fate.

Petric looked thoughtful, a frown and then a hint of releif showed on his face

Sharaf do you still hold crops from previous years?, surely you should manage even if it means simple rations to for a year

Your memory is good, however our reserves from last year are barely enough especially as more than normal is going bad, we should survive if rather hungry, it doesnt help the fact we have to keep a fair amount for next years replanting

Lets leave this old Inn and head to your kingdom, we shall at least be able to drink ale as that wont keep till next year

They both stood to go, they did not realise what lay ahead, they would be both tested in the weeks ahead.....

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:07 pm
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
Posts: 26
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Sharaf arrived back to his Kingdom a day later, the atmosphere was heavy as news of the bad harvest had reached everyone. There was however rather a lot of noise coming from the temple, many of Sharaf sorcerers were running about with look of fear.

As Sharaf stood with Petric he noticed one particular sorcerer, he had lost an arm during battle and now served as a healer. The Sorcerers name was Betran and today he seemed even more agitated than the others.

Betran what is the matter, I know the current crisis is bad but why do you look more worried than everyone else, have you.... Sharaf was cut short by Betran who seemed both angry and scared.

Sire, I have been called to 6 births in the last 2 days, every baby stillborn, I have examined them and find that they bare more resemblance to the crops that have failed than to human beings for a moment Betrans anger evaporated, replaced by revulsion and an even stronger sense of fear.

I cut 2 of them open to examine their insides, I had the revealing spell all ready, it has never failed to find the cause of death. I noticed the smell at first, it was putrid, their insides were almost fluid, their organs had not formed, yet Sire they looked perfect, perfect.... and the revealing spell could find no cause

Betran did not stop to wait for further questions from his master.
Sharaf just stood and surveyed the scenes around, many things were different and a memory was beginning to nag the back of his head......

_________________
One dark day in the middle of the night
2 dead men got up to fight
back to back they faced each other
drew their swords and shot each other.


Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:52 am
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