June 2003 - Mail Achieves

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:57 am

The Warrior's Child
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 13 June 2003

Alexander Elcrys was at loss for what to do, his family was ripped apart and he was alone to fulfill both his duty to protect Ashlan under his father's contract, and the world itself under the laws of the High Ones. he wasn't ready for all this, he'd been a toddler just a few days ago. now he was a man, with man sized troubles.

He walked through the forest near Drache, looking at the full summer bloom and sighing. he wasn't ready for all of this, but he accepted the responsibility. but there was more, he was the last High One on this planet, and there had to be more. he was powerful, but he couldn't protect the world alone. he needed a wife, and he needed children. but how to go about it? sure he was attractive, he got that from his mother, but did he have what it took to be a husband? he didn't think he did.

A dragon roared and charged at him, but he held up a hand and the beast calmed, even went so far as to walk beside him on his journey for self discovery. Alex sighed and looked up at the sky, it was too bright to see the stars but he knew they were there. "Father...what should I do? it isn't fair that I have to do this...but I will. I'll make you proud to call me your son" he looked over at the dragon and smiled, waving it off so it could continue on it's own business.

He looked over his shoulder when he heard the dragon move away before heading back towards the city, head down and mind clouded with thought. Aunt Lay would know what to do, but she was lost to him. he didn't know why she was so cold to him now, but he couldn't expend any energy into making her like him again. she said she put family first, well he needed to see the proof of that, she had left him to his own devices. he sighed again as he entered the city limits, looking at all the people and creatures he was to protect; feeling both proud and trapped at the same time. it was a great honor, but also a terrible burden. he wondered how Jackal did it...but then he knew his father always had a way of getting things done no matter how impossible it seemed.

The new High One looked towards the famed Black Dragon Inn and sighed before walking into the darker parts of Drache; The Red Lantern District and the Back Alley, all but ignoring the people as he thought. once someone tried to rob him but he snapped the man's arm without thinking, it was a surprising reflex action. Alex shook his head and moved on, walking into the Mingit District and then right back out again, not wanting to upset the locals. he sighed and headed for the Inn, deciding to start trying to find a wife as soon as possible.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:21 am

Retrospect: The Journey to Hell begins
Author: Lil Smidget
Date: 14 June 2003


Arahisie is a beautiful lass. Long, chestnut brown hair that's been kissed by the sun is always done up in some ornate do and adorned with fresh sprigs of baby's breath. Impeccable clothing, her parents were rather wealthy, she's always a lady. They met during a jousting tournament held in the lands of Dygwyn. He the dashing knight, she his maid marion. Only . . . she wasn't aware of this.

***
Nine Years Ago -

Sir Cerrach Kao, general of the Dygwyn Militia and undefeated for the past five years in the jousting tournaments, notices her in the crowd as his mighty horse takes to a parade trot before the citizen's gathered to enjoy the fair's festivities. Upon reaching Arahisie, Cerrach dismounts; taking her hand from the rail while he bends upon one knee and places a tender kiss to the back of her hand.

"M'lady, would you grant me the honor of your name?"

A subtle yet proper dip of her chin is bestowed upon the Knight presenting himself so openly before her. It was not her voice that graced his ears; it was the voice of Sarah, her Lady in Waiting.

"Sir Kao, may I present to you Lady Arahisie of the House of De Montefort."

The Knight's stoic dark eyes never leave those of the fair maiden whose hand he has yet to release. His head tilts off kilter, a gentle canting to the left as a dark brow rises.
"House of De Montefort?"

A smile comes over the man's face, holding a touch of ... a touch of what? Arahisie cannot quite place it, but it sends a cold chill racing up her spine.

"Your father - he was a good man, Lady De Montefort. We met on the fields of battle. May his spirit rest in peace."

The mentioning of her father causes the Lady to lower her gaze, motioning the symbol of the cross with rosary in hand, concluded by a light kiss placed against the Saint depicted on a small charm that rests at the end of her rosary beads.

"Forgive me. I did not mean to summon painful memories." Sir Cerrach glances over towards his Squire and nods. "I must go. I shall seek thee again, Lady De Montefort. I do hope that thou wouldst like to see my other . . . lance in the near future."

With that, Sir Cerrach Kao rises, kisses the back of her hand. Arah gives flashes the man a warning look, uttering "Filthy Pig, " under her breath.

Arahisie turns her attention to Sarah, the Lady in Waiting, an embarrassed blush coloring her cheeks. A snap of her wrist spreads a satin and lace fan open, which Arah uses to cool her flushed face.

"There is something about that man I do not like." Sarah only nods with agreement, squaring her shoulders and placing one hand atop of the other in her lap, a look of disgust on her chubby face as her grey eyes follow the uncouth Knight General.

The sound of a heralding bugle blows, silencing the crowd, providing the perfect way to make the two women forget the audacious Sir Kao.

"The final tournament is about to begin. Sir Severik Silentwrath and Sir Cerrach Kao - prepare your lances!"

Sir Severik Silentwrath, Knight in the King's Militia of Dygwyn has been courting the Lady De Montefort for the past three months. It's on the eve of this very day that he plans to ask for her hand in marriage, so seeing Cerrach making the moves on his Lady doesn't bode well for the young Knight. As the facial protection plate of his helmet is lowered with a quick snap, Severik utters something under his breath, then nods to his Squire to let the judges know he is ready to begin. Sir Cerrach's does the same.

Horses in place at opposite ends and sides of the metal pole stretching vertically along the length of the field, the bugle blows; blaring out its call to begin.

Both horses take off; their hooves thundering against the ground, kicking up plumes of dust in their wake. Each man levels his lance, aiming to strike his opponent effectively to knock him off of his horse. As the horses meet, lances strike. Sir Cerrach's lance tip hits right against Sir Severik's left front shoulder, knocking the Knight backwards; but Severik manages to regain his balance despite the heavy armor threatening to aid in spilling him to the ground.

Again, they rush towards each other, lances levelled. Sir Severik Silentwrath manages to stab his lance tip near the center of Sir Cerrach's chest, shoving hard as his horse stampedes past. Sir Cerrach is knocked to the ground with a loud clang/oomph.

The match is over.

As the bugle sounds and Cerrach is helped to his feet, his fingers curl into a tight fist; swearing vehemently while snapping the protective faceplate up. Cold, dark eyes hold promise of retribution as he shouts:

"NO ONE beats Cerrach Kao! NO ONE!"

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:23 am

Ba'ta'he al-Kathari
Author: Igor Kossov
Date: 15 June 2003



Be`ial Gervaisius did not quite reach his residence. He was within two minutes' distance when he heard footsteps behind him, headed directly for him. Light footsteps of quick, dextrous feminine feet. He slowed down his pace of walking so that the other may catch up. People responded differently in various situations. The street was dark, and the instructor's eyes exuded a soft blue-violet light, as miniature lanterns to help him on his way. The footsteps came up alongside and he turned his head, with an amiable nod.

"Atma Khalimee."

"Good evening Theorn" smiled the girl. She was slightly shorter than him, at her 5'8, in the full blossom of nineteen-year-old human beauty with much eastern element. Black hair cascaded past her shoulders, her lithe and nimble body was that of a dancer's. The pretty face was half-hugged by the shade of the night, the other illumined faintly by a dying street torch and Be`ial's eyes. The clothing she wore: a pair of wide pantaloons and a sleeveless garment, tied around with a wide sash matched her perfectly. A faint smell of flowers hung in the air about her.

"Good evening." Be`ial stopped and took a small bow as was custom. The younger female returned his bow and stepped back, all her motions full of natural grace. And what was not natural was probably learned from dancing and various martial arts possibly taught by her father. Speaking of whom...

"My father wishes to know if he can have your time in conversation," she uttered respectfully, yet at the same time canting her head a little sideways in an endearing gesture. Be`ial nodded. Seemingly a casual meeting but old habits died hard and Khatabr still adhered to tradition. Something inside the psionics instructor's mind grew tense. What occurred back home this time?

"I'll be joyful to speak with him," he said to Khatabr's daughter, mind already going towards whatever news the monk-psychometabolist had.

Gaidea Khalimee omw-Khatabr bowed again, a rosy smile on her features. "Follow me Theorn."

It was much like he pictured it to be, but less so in the sense that the thirty-eight-year-old psychometabolist whose actual age was hard to place by appearance alone, was waiting for him midway. He seemed as tall dark and saturnine as previously, with his height, his imposing physique, and his entirely bald head covered with those black psionic tattoos. Be`ial contemplated tattooing himself in the past, but preferred to rely on extraneous crystal lattice structure of his craftsmanship, as a true native of Amas'kyaa. The Wyrdant-trained Buhuchan Aldar had different views, and for each view there was a unique style. The tall psychometabolist with sea-green eyes bowed slightly and extended his hand to shake. Be`ial returned the bow and grasped the huge hand in a firm and brief grip.

"You come at a welcome and crucial time, Theorn" spoke Aldar with his bassy voice as they resumed walking almost immediately. "I've been known to commend promptness in men but you so far surpass everyone I have met."

"All to the thanks of your lovely daughter" replied Be`ial, casting a side glance at Khalimee who already managed to run ahead forward and out of earshot. She turned around, smiled to both of them, and vanished into the night. "Judging by the swiftness of the endeavor, her smile is not indicative of something positive is it?"

"Limee... she tries to stay in spirit and I commend her for that" Aldar replied a little absently. "But seriously, Theorn, thank you for coming. You are one of the few so crucial minds in the city who understands the relevance..."

"Like I said when we began our correspondence, I am only happy to assist"the instructor commented, his eyes containing tiny points of blue: hints of his light as previously manifested. "Still I did not know you were guiding some sort of meetings, Adur Khatabr."

Aldar shook his head and smiled faintly. "To tell you the truth Theorn, this meeting is not mine. I am holding guest status as you. However..."

"However.."

"However there has been a fake uprising outside Sh'hazrid. The Emir sent out the militia to deal with the conflict, only to have the city overrun by a group of fifteen. The gates have sealed, no messages have been getting in or out..." Aldar pressed his lips together. "But I'm sure you'll hear better details on the spot."

"I'm sure" Be`ial replied thoughtfully, feeling the touch of the crystal blade of the Ekrinam near his body. His body walked an empty Drache street towards the outskirts, and his mind was there... on the sands of Sh'hazrid.

There were twelve of them, none very young. With the exception of Khalimee, Be`ial turned out to be the youngest. Several elderly men, a very tall and hairy ex-slave identified as Rashid, a middle-aged woman... By the mark of silence that rested on her tight lips and tighter eyes, the psionics instructor identified her earlier profession. 'Soulknife?' he thought to himself. 'No... slayer.'

If the woman knew what he was thinking, she did not give a sign. Greetings and introductions were ceremonious as usual, as they all sat around the dastarhan, cups of hot tea passed all around. The man who had called together the meeting: a dark and wrinkled man with already-graying hair spoke up how happy he was to see them all, how he was glad they had come in this hour of need...

"... and I grieve that I must inform you of the events that have transpired recently. Wanderers from homeland! Hear me, for no matter how remote a place, it affects us all. Friends, Sh'hazrid has fallen."

Murmurs around the dastarhan. Quiet murmurs, of those who had heard about it before, or heard something similar, but lacked the details. Be`ial sat, there, eyes partially closed. Visualizing... Visualizing...

The desert that stretched all the way from Basij to the twilit crags encompassed within it a wide, currently dead area with odd, random fertile oases here and there. The area was once alive, but for one reason or another, all life vanished entirely save little pockets where running water fostered plant growth and settlers could live. The largest such place was occupied by the fortified city-state of Sh'hazrid. True to an Arab-esque design, a wall surrounded the main city, with several outlying farms and slums. Inside the gate stretched the streets of the city, eventually leading to the marketplace and the palace: a grandiose structure with a garden, and many unnecessary decorations, and even elevated aqueducts. The Emir was a self-serving, lecherous man: a flail to the populace, whose constant taxes and heavy soldiery presence hurt the economy and livelihood of his entire domain. He did not care. It was all his to do with as he pleased. Perhaps that is why he grew so red in the face when he found out of a peasant uprising against him. And perhaps that is why he sent such an overwhelming force out of the city into the outlying provinces to take care of the situation with much blood and bronze...

It was towards sunset when the group of fifteen: a shrouded figure on a camel, its assistant, four robed figures, and nine bronze-clad bodyguards stopped at the gate. The tassle did not take long: the entrance guards wanted to rob the travellers blind for getting inside. The travellers apparently had their own views on the issue. Horrible scars lined the bodies of the city guard and the customs nobleman overseer remained laying on the ground with a huge black-and-bluemark on his face, as the group passed into the city and advanced straight towards the palace. The gates to the palace itself were breached with no lesser difficulty. They strode down the hallways towards the governing chamber: Shrouded one in the middle, apprentice running behind, hunched over and nervous. The robed ones formed a square around them, and the bodyguards a circle when they came in.The Emir gripped his throne and his breath grew wheezy and livid. How -dare- they.

"You've been betrayed,Kamilbek" he was told summarily. While he gaped at the steaming corpses of what used to be a fraction of his royal guard contingent, he was gripped powerfully by invisible forces and drifted towards the shrouded figure which suddenly threw off its hood. Horror choked up the vocal cords of the once-Emir. He gazed into a horrid set of features of gray, leathery, moist skin, bulbous eyes, and instead of a mouth, four hideous tentacles which snapped into a canopy to engulf. He barely managed to rasp out a pained 'who are you..' before his body jerked several times and fell limp to the ground, same black and blue stain on his face. His brain had been consumed, and the figure whipped around, pointing the traitor to the throne. The sly old vizier who helped orchestrate the ploy, mounted with full authority and a smile.

"You will not betray us like you betrayed Kamilbek" spoke the be tentacled master of them all. "You will run the city, organize our labor force and provide us with legitimacy. No messengers will get in or out of the gates, lest I do unto you as I've done unto he." The vizier gulped visibly and hastily complied, happy with his new seat of power, though so much of a pawn.
"Go re-institute the city. Discover the ruins. Thus spake Iznagar."

"And that, friends is how it happened, as stated by a very reliable source" the elderly Khalatosh concluded and cast a sidelong glance at the middle-aged woman who said nothing. So she's the source, the psionics instructor thought. He glanced around the faces. Some were calm, others, determined. Rashid looked agitated in the way he tapped his fingers and looked at the tea bowl. His emanations were practically tangible.

"So what we have is a fully-mobilized city-state" spoke Aldar rationally, with that strange nonchalance and sage-sounding quality of voice present in a wyrdant monk. "Afew days away from the imodei-vceg-paenim ruins. How long ago did this happen?"

"Three times seven days," spoke Rashid grimly, and flicked his finger at the ground. He made a dent. Be`ial noted his frustration, he also noted that he must have been travelling with the woman.She hid her essense well. Neutral-appearing, but serious enough she sat quietly, eyes lowered to the surface. She did not wear a cloth around her face. She did not need to. More murmurs. Apparently three-times-seven was a long time. But the ruins could take over a year to find. Perhaps more.

"But if that is the case, we should able to gather a reliable force and make-force them out" spoke one of the younger members of the conference. Aldar looked at him and smiled.

"I don't think you heard, adur. I said several days away from the imodei-vceg-paenim ruins."

"So what? They're Ruins. Dead. No one has use for dead ruins."

Be`ial closed his eyes and awaited the explanation which he already knew. The elderly man smiled at Aldar, mirthlessly, urging him to say it. The large psychometabolist raised his hand. His tattoos seemed to shift in the darkness, acquiring new patterns and forms.

"The imodei-paenim of the long-gone people of Gith that resided there... gone with the formation of the desert and the annihilation of life within the dead sands..." Aldar spoke, his voice, saturated with a certain quality and presence, made everyone listen. "The Gith whom we know as Githzerai and Githyanki had a stronghold against illithids... on this plane. I'm sure you have all heard stories regarding to what led to the cataclysm" he calmly continued, looking over their faces. "But not a single trace of Gith artifact remains at the ruins or around them. Now why is that?"

Several murmurs, whispers, lack of knowledge, no doubt. Be`ial waited. Here it came.

"Because in the center of the ruins, buried beneath a structure known as the Onyx pyramid, lies the Zoed-ulkhul-reissit. Or if you will...a star gate."

Voices. Loud now. Mutual excitement, fascination, surprise. Fear. Three being the exception. Khalatosh. Rashid. The woman. The former raised his hand to have silence.

"Adur omw-Kahabt speaks the truth. And knowing our invader, it is crucial to end the standoff with the situation as soon as possible, before excavations begin..."

"Knowing our invader?" Be`ial spoke for the first time, his brilliant blue-violet eyes of an Amas'kyaan native sweeping over the gathering. "Who is our invader?"

"Illithid. High-ranking," replied Rashid. "It was all over town before I escaped. Thus spoke Iznagar."

Be`ial suddenly froze and his eyes nearly seemed to flare to light."Wait... is that his name? Iznagar?"

The middle-aged woman looked at the instructor curiously. "Yes, it is. Why?"

"Then the problem's much more serious than we thought" Be`ial spoke slowly as he cast a glance around them all. He knew something they did not now. Screaming memories passed through his mind. The sound of crystal cracking asunder.Khalatosh raiseda bushy eyebrow.

"He's not with the illithids" Be`ial spoke. "He's with a certain brotherhood. By name..."

"I knew it was a good idea to summon you Theorn" Aldar was saying as they headed back up the winding streets back to the location of the Blkdragon District. "The information you gave knocked them off their feet and convinced the few of the urgency to act, but in a certain, cautious matter. Though you must tell me... some day, what has transpired. And what is of this... brotherhood."

"I shall tell someday" Be`ial agreed as he walked, hood thrown over his head, the billowy vestre cloak making his form nebulous from behind. "And I was but establishing a life here..."

"How go your courses?" inquired the Wyrdant monk, making a signal to his daughter who appeared off to the side somewhere. She nodded and walked towards some destination in the night.

"They are advancing, my pupils" Be`ial stated, expression becoming contented. "Though recently it's been.. strange."

"Strangeness is not without ordinarity" commented Aldar

"She is a gifted empath-telepath. Curiously enough, her abilities are manifested through touch. An elf named Lexa," stated the instructor, thoughtfully rubbing his chin. "A broken case with a fragmented psyche in the middle stages. Fourth aspect. Lots of trauma."

"If I do recall, if I do recall," Aldar said, face brightening. "I do remember speaking to one like that inside Black Dragon Inn. Yes. Touch empathy. Quite surprised to discover others like her. I believe it was then that I pointed out your name as a suggestion."He did not ask if Be`ial was angry. Why pointing out a professional for help with something was a high compliment to that professional. In their culture at least.

"It must be then, adur. She spoke of a man mentioning my name to her. Quick learner. Apt student. Very sensitive mind. I have not seen such as of yet." He shook his head.

"Ahh... you best be careful Theorn.She is the type to grow quickly attached. With her state of marriage, that may prove very troublesome," the monk said shrewdly, eyes focused ahead.

"Her state of unmarriage" corrected Be`ial. "It ended days ago."

"In that case, the peril is greater. But I am not one to talk about such matters to the Namadin." Aldar stopped and took a bow. "It was pleasant in your company, Theorn Gervaisius."

"In yours alike, adur omw-Khatabr. If ever I am needed, my location is known."

The two psions bowed sincerely to each other and walked off in opposite directions.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:34 am

A High One's path for retrobution
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 15 June 2003

Alexander Elcrys was a lost soul inside of himself, his father gone to protect the star and leaving Alex alone to restart their race. And now, to make matters worse, Alex had done something that no High One had done in eons: he called upon the gods. They listened to his pleas and granted him still more power so that he could better protect the people who lived on the planet he watched over. But there was a price, his mind would not be able to stand the immense power completely so he would experience periods of insanity to balance himself, losing his power and great strength to become mortal during that time.

Alex accepted the price fully, knowing what would happen should he dispute the gods themselves. He stood and bowed his way out of Shirshano, what the High Ones called the Home of the Gods. It was incredible that he had been granted with so much power, but his soul and heart was pure, unlike the last High One who was his father, so he wasn't very surprised. He returned to earth and walked silently to the Black Dragon where he had a room to sleep in. he wouldn't abuse this power, he swore to it. But even as he swore he felt doubt raise it's ugly head, what if he did abuse his power? what if he couldn't control it and fell to evil? The newest High One shook his head, he was lost in his own sea of doubt and worry.

Alex hated himself for his weakness, a protector of the earth shouldn't doubt what the gods perceived as fair and just. He shook his head and limped along on his crutch, refusing to be healed by magic or any other power of the sort, deciding to accept the scars and pain natural healing would bring. He knew it wouldn't be accepted by his friends and family, other than Jackal, that he'd been granted enough power to recreate the world if he wished, so he knew it must remain secret, the power unused unless needed. The High One pushed the door of the inn open and made his way through the room, too deep in thought to pay attention to the rest of the people. He would forget he ever met the gods in person, knowing only that he would know and feel things he shouldn't and hadn't before.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:41 am

Beginning to a story line
Author: Cade'Mun (Maybe)
Date: 17 June 03

The world came back like a rush of icy wind. First, the stale air once again assaulted my nostrils. Next, the dimly lit tomb came slowly into a wavering focus. The giant guardian laid before me in a heap of mangled flesh. My glowing spear stood erect from out the abdomen of the felled beast.

I lifted my head slowly off the cool stone floor. The creature's green colored blood clotted my torn clothes. Trembling fingers traced over the gash that this terrible monster had managed to deliver across my armored chest His talons had shredded the plate mail into ribbons with an uncanny ease. The wound felt as if it blazing with fire every time my lungs expanded for a breath of air . Who knows only by the grace the Gods have kept my spear at ready and landing that killing blow.

My muscles protested with my struggle to feebly regain my balance. My vision swooned as I fought to center myself after the vicious injury. I stumbled forward to grasp the shaft of my spear and dislodged it from the lifeless body of the guardian. Using the weapon as a make shift support, I began to approach the Relic.

The pedestal was chiseled out a shard of polished obsidian, with sharply defined planes culminating in faceted points. I could see my reflected expression on the glossy black planes, a reflection that was distorted, twisted, yet completely recognizable as being a reflection of myself.. I could hear voices surging closer ... like a thousand whispering souls beckoning from the shadows of the cavern. Bloodied fingers recovered the treasure from my pouch.

The key's jeweled surface sparked as I brought it into the shaft of brilliant light that encircled the pedestal. A similar looking sunburst was inlaid into an ornate golden box. I set the sunburst gently into the keyhole. My eyes fixated on box, hoping for any sign of activity. But to no avail the box sat motionless on its pedestal. An eternity passed before the box abruptly came to life with the sounds of metallic ringing. The box unfolded slowly to form a large star burst across the surface of the pedestal. A silvery mask is left levitating several inches above the pedestal.

The shimmering surface seemed to consume all the surrounding light. A large intricate sigil was etched on the mask's face. The eyebrows and cheekbones were accented with slight curve to resemble a enraged expression.

My quivering fingers were some how compelled to grasp the mask. The whispering seemed to echo through my mind, the symphony of voices softening as the mask came closer to my face. I could feel the cool touch of the mask against my flesh. A limitless void now spread out before me. An ominous presence consuming all my being. Some unrelenting torrent of power embraced my mind. I could no longer control my body.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:46 am

A High One's Quest for Retribution, part 2
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 17 June 2003

Alexander Elcrys was faced with a new dilemma, he'd suffered his first loss of power and sensible mind. What had he been thinking when he went upstairs with two drunken women, when he himself was drunk? luckily nothing had happened, there had been a furious pillow fight that left Mac unconscious and Cat uncomfortable. Alex knew his father had a reason for chewing him out, he was being foolish, acting the holy avenger or something to that extent. But it was in his nature, he explained, but Jackal didn't listen. "You must continue with your training, you are still young and there is much you do not know of the world you must protect." It made Alex wonder if his father had gone a little crazy with duty now that the star had been reformed. But there was something else now, High Ones from another planet had discovered the plight faced by Alex, the only High One on his planet, had transferred some of their power to one in Alex's family, his sister Katalin.

The High One was at a loss, how could he deal with both a mortal life yet also with the incredible responsibility of defending the entire world? How had the others done it so admirably? He walked silently through Drache and the surrounding forests, trying to clear his mind enough to concentrate on his power, but there was a block. The gods, high in their home of Shirshano, were preventing him from using the immense power he'd been granted. Alex sighed and trudged through the Red Lantern, ignoring the hookers and scaring off the thieves as he passed into dark alleys and various buildings. He needed answers, guidance for the task ahead of him, but who could he turn to? His own father told him not to look to him for advice, proclaiming that Alex must seek knowledge on his own. On his own? Alex wasn't even supposed to be an adult!

He caught up to one of the men working the docks and persuaded the man to sit down and talk a while, listening to the stories and such the man had to tell. He had nothing to tell, he could tell nothing of what troubled him. After a while the man from the docks went back to work and Alex went to the guardhouse, hoping to find his friend there, but she was out in the Forest Reserve and Alex didn't want to disturb her. He wanted to talk to someone about his problems, but there was no one *to* talk to. It wasn't fair, this burden on his shoulders, and he couldn't stand it. "It's not faaaaiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!" people looked at him as if he might be a bit insane and moved away, leaving him in that dank solitude borne of depression. He was alone in his struggle, fighting to protect the world and it's people even though if they knew they would hate him for it. It wasn't fair, he hadn't asked for this job, it was forced upon him because of what he was, it just wasn't fair. Even so he felt compelled to do his duty, despite his own doubt and self hatred.

Alex walked to the inn and sat there, watching the patrons go about their lives as if they were on fast forward and he was a viewer to it all. Nothing was different, but nothing ever the same. Fights, arguments, love and lust...what was the point of it all? Sure Katalin was there for him, and so was Aunt Lay when she was on leave from Hell, but it didn't help. The life of a High One was always difficult, but that difficulty had once been shared between many different clans of High Ones, now there was only Alex. He was alone, not by choice but because there was no-one else to be with him, to shoulder some of his burden and understand him. He wanted to do good, but at the same time his lust for power and warfare counteracted his goodwill in the most violent of ways. The High Ones had always had their test of wills, but Alex's were far more severe now that he was the soul barer of the power, along with the voice of the gods. It was so hard...so hard...why did he have to be born as he was? why did he have to accept the burden? That single thought is what kept him sane, and depressed. He loathed himself, but he loved the world around him. Nothing could have prepared him for this, nothing.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:49 am

The Life of a Human
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 17 June 2003

Wayland Stone worked hard every day, usually falling into bed dead asleep before he even said goodnight to Rhy. Haven was flourishing far beyond his wildest dreams, the equine retreat was hugely popular among the people of Arangoth as well as the surrounding countries. Wayland worked hard for every last scrap of success his business gained, crediting it all to his staff and helpers. He was so in love with Rhyannae but he was a very busy man and it saddened him that he couldn't spend much time with his wife. Haven was expanding to other regions now, Tip had to travel a lot to make sure everything was running smoothly. His skills were much in demand, even some of the King's personal horses had been trained by Wayland's careful hand. It was a common rumor that Tip could train a normal horse to fly if he wanted to, he just had a natural gift with equines of all shapes and species.

But his success wasn't something that had been caused by a magic wand, it had been caused by the hard work of dedicated employees and thoughtful customers. But Tipper was getting older, he was only human, and would be celebrating his 35th birthday on the following Monday. He didn't mind getting older, it was just something that happened, and he was still in the prime of life and proud of it. He was happy, the original Haven was full of trusted employees who'd already shown their loyalty when a certain force of soldiers attacked, only to be driven off and right into the prisons in Arangoth for violating the laws barring military action within the boundaries of the country.

He rode a wild horse to a standstill before climbing off and speaking in soft tones to calm it down some before feeding it a carrot and leading the breathless animal back to the stables. He smiled as he caught sight of Rhya, heading towards Drache with a basket in her hand. She was the light of his life, his beautiful queen who bore him a child and love to make him feel like a teen again. He smiled again as he caught one of the stable boys catching a quick peek at Rhy's rear-end before walking up and swatting the lad lightly on the shoulder,"hey there, keep your eyes where they should be Jafe` or else Rhy might come back and bury you in the manure pile." He grinned at the boy's quick reaction of diving back into the stables as he walked towards the house, wiping his hands on a rag to get the sweat off his fingers and palms. Another day another dollar, as the saying went, and each day netted more and more for Haven.

Wayland was quickly becoming the richest man in Arangoth, with the start of two new stables, the entire area. But he didn't care about money except that he had it to pay his workers and keep his businesses running without a hitch. He gave a great deal to charities and the local churches, knowing that most of the money wouldn't ever get to those the charities claimed to be serving. But that was alright, sometimes people stole things because they were insecure and Wayland was never one to make fun of insecurities.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:51 am

Kharees' dismissal
Author: Kel Russell
Date: 17 June 2003

Kharees had waited for this, knew it was coming once she heard what she did. She couldn't remember anything past seeing her foot trapped, then the red.

She returned her things and left the guardhouse, wearing her normal gladiatorial armour and sword. They couldn't take her sword away; it was private property. Resting her hand on the ruby pommel, the woman thinks back to her brother. He was the only reason she'd joined the guard in the first place. He'd laugh at her if he found out she'd been kicked out. Ah, well.

Now begins her quest to get that damned berserk under control. The Guard had given her a chance and she'd blown it. Temples might be able to help. But would they want to?

She recalled a temple to Lathander on the Wharf. She knew the guards there would have a grand time poking fun at her for getting kicked out. An angry expression settles on her face as she makes her way toward the wharf. Regardless, she had to get back into the guard.

If nothing else, for her own self-respect. She just prayed that they would teach her to control the rage that had come with the enhanced strength.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:55 am

The (Temporary) Return of Mara
Author: Jayson Marsh
Date: 18 June 2003

She arrived at roughly midnight, raven-feathered wings carrying her lightly southwards from her new home in Nuel Aeros (in mitsukaian: New Sky). The reconstruction of her homeland, formerly Cal Aeros (in mitsukaian: Home Sky), was going along smoothly, and it pained her to leave the half-build palace she'd been chosen to rule from. But.. this was family business, and family business took precedence. Always. No questions asked.

Reido had seemed worried, almost panicky when he had contacted her through the mental link the siblings had always shared. She knew that when she saw him, he would appear calm, collected. He probably had been that way around his daughter and wife -while- mind-speaking with her. He'd always been that way, stoic and calm, the only emotions showing were usually anger and worry. Never fear. But, Reido's mind was not something he always had complete control over, and it had shown her, clearly, what he was feeling: terror.

Not 'there's a big monster chasing me to eat my head off' terror, or 'oh no I'm going to fall off this cliff' terror... but the terror of helplessness, one of the only things he'd ever been afraid of. His daughter was in trouble, and he was way out of his league, whatever the problem was.
So, he'd called her. Knowing her psychic powers were far more potent than his (after all, she'd birthed a god less than two years ago, at a disgustingly young age, and the experience had left her... enhanced), Reido hoped that she'd be able to help defend his child.

That thought stuck her funny then, as the clouds cleared to reveal the clear, full moon. Reido Burizaado.. a father of two. A husband. The girl laughed out loud, the sound lost in the wind she was causing in her quick flight. Unfortunately, such thoughts almost immediately brought her back to her own past. Yago, Mors, Alden, all people she'd betrayed, people she'd lost. Ayame and Ana, abandoned to their own devices in far-from-safe city. Gendo, Reiten, both dead. Orion... lost forever, beyond anything she could comprehend.

The laughter ended, fading away uncomfortably.

So, silent once more, she crosses the night sky. She had someplace to be, and she needed to be there fast. Though Reido had told her not to hurry, that he could deal with things... she knew he was lying. He really wanted her here now, and was wishing she hadn't moved back north with Erie and the other survivors--who she still had forgiven him for not telling her about.

But, he was family.

And his daughter was family, even if she'd never met her. Si Howe. What a strange name. And, from Reido's description, a strange package completely. Yeah, she was her aunt now, apparently, and as such had certain obligations.

Well, she was almost there. No need worrying about it. With a small smile, she lands gracefully and glances around her surroundings. Yeah, she was back.

Anamaria--or, as most knew her and as she preferred, Mara Burizaado had returned, for now at least, to Drache.

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Re: June 2003 - Mail Achieves

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:57 am

A High One's Quest for Retribution part 3
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 19 June 2003

Alexander Elcrys was a victim of time, after so long if he couldn't find a wife and get her pregnant, he would grow old and die. But if he did find a wife and get her pregnant, he would revert back into an infant.

The problem was time, and his was running out. How long did he have before his deadline was past? two weeks? would that be long enough?

Alex sighed and shook his head as he lounged in the Silver Swan, yes he was at the Swan and while he wasn't exactly welcomed, he was able to move about unhindered. A pretty waitress asked for his order and seemed a bit disappointed when he said he needed nothing and sent her on his way. Dammit Alex, there was a candidate right there, that girl could have bore you a child and you would have completed your first 'mission'.

The High One left the Swan shortly after that incident, disliking the thoughts in his head. What good would it do to have sex with a woman only to leave her to become a child again? He didn't like that option, nort the thought of dying without accomplishing anything. Then he stopped, what if he could freeze time in such a way that people were still able to move around normally, but they wouldn't age and the date never changed? He contemplated that idea, perhaps just until he could find a woman who would accept his fate and still have his child...but what if that never happened? or if it took him years to find that woman? He sighed and walked on though the time freezing idea didn't seem too bad...

He began thinking of the components he'd need for such a powerful spell, consulting the ancient books and writings of many different cultures. He found the spell he needed in a High Elven book that was thought to have been destroyed. It was perfect for what he wanted. Now all he needed were the components....

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