July 2003 - Mail Archives

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July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:58 pm

a letter to the magistrates
Author: Aridia
Date: 1 July 2003



{{A letter written to the magistrates}}

Aridia smiled a bit as she dropped her letter off to the Magistrates office to request citizenship in Drache.

Honorable Sirs

I am formally requesting citizenship here in Drache. Tho I know one such as myself is not normally allowed citizenship i implore you to consider my application. I came to this fair city a couple years ago and did what I could to obey the laws and help when needed. I also fought in the Dread Mist War in the Drache Militia beside then Armsman Quetzocal as well as Nos Diesel and several others. As for my race which I know will weigh heavily against me is this: I am what is now considered a Fallen. I was once a vampyre but am no longer as I was changed. I do not feed from others and do what I can to prevent other vampyres from feeding on the citizenry of Drache. If you have any further questions for me I will be glad to come to your offices to answer them.

Respectfully

Aridia

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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:10 pm

The meager beginnings of Parmilod House
Author: Lil Smidget
Date: 2 July 2003

NOTE: Perhaps ties into Southside, due to mention at end. Consider?

Lord Deschaine is an aging man; now in his late fifties. Jet black hair, clean cut and greying at the temples and always seems to remain perfect in spite of the hot, humid weather. Not a hair out of place even if and when a breeze blows. A silk shirt, a vest and formal black pants, as well as a formal cloak fits the man's body perfectly. Fit for his age, its evident he holds much pride for himself.

"May I inquire as to why a beautiful young woman such as yourself is interested in this old building I own? Furthermore, why would she wish to even risk crossing through the Iron Gate and into this hellacious area known as the Back Alley? Surely she has heard of the horrors that take place day in and night out."

His voice is smooth, his words spoken methodically, as if he ran through this very scenario before a mirror whilst his servant shaves his chin, to be sure his words were chosen carefully and enunciated with just the right inflictions.

Sasha Parmilod hails from Sresar Vale originally. The family vineyards suffered greatly in a massive fire that swept through the vines and trees like there was no tomorrow. The winds only helped to fan the flames, sending thick clouds of roiling, choking, black smoke into the air that could be seen for miles around. Unknown to most, the house was set ablaze as well and her older brother, Cade, had been killed when the second floor collapsed; trapping him on the first floor where he burned to his death. There are many nights still to this day that Sasha awakens in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, screaming out Cade's name. After all, she witnessed his death after he hand busted into her bedroom and literally threw her out of her bedroom window where she hit the roof of the wrap around porch and rolled off to the ground below. She's always felt as if it were her fault that Cade was killed. If she had been awakened by the smoke earlier ....

One station above a peasant is what she supposes she could be 'labelled' as, whatever term that may be. Dressed in a slender black skirt whose hem comes to a rest against her shins; a midnight blue blouse of silk neatly tucked into the skirt at the waist and black suede flat-soled boots to match. The only jewelry she wears is a solitary heart-shaped pendant on a thin chain of gold. Hair the color of chestnut brown, gently highlighted by the sun's kisses, giving a subtle shade of a reddish-blond to those strands of hair here and there.

"To be perfectly honest with you Lord Deschaine, I hope to renovate it through donated materials, volunteered time by those who have the skills necessary to do the reconstruction and decorating, so that I may convert it into a halfway house for the children on the streets of Drache. Those who are between the ages of thirteen and eighteen to be more precise."

Lord Deschaine is quiet for a few passing minutes, nodding his head but once; more or less so she knows that he heard her every word.

"Arangoth has many churches and orphanages for these wayward members of society. You are aware of this, I assume?"

He finally asks.

"Aye. However, thirteen is considered the legal age of adulthood. These children who have been cast aside know no other life than that of the streets. Their skills involve thievery, the art of conning, fighting and forgaging for meager scraps of food. The idea behind Parmilod House is to first make sure that these children have proper food, shelter and clothing; then after they have remained at Parmilod House for thirty days, been looked over by one of the local doctors whom I hope will donate his time as well; they are considered full-time residents. This allows them to take advantage of learning a new skill or trade so that they may be placed with employment and become more productive members of society."

Again, Lord Deschaine nods, bringing a hand up to slowly stroke his neatly trimmed beard that sports a salt and pepper coloring with his age.

"This all sounds well thought out Miss Parmilod, with noble intentions behind it as well. Allow me ask, and please; do not take this in any way other than a question. Can these street children be taught to become productive members of this society? Especially in an area as rough and tough as this here Back Alley?"

He eyes her for a moment, then continues.

"There are many influences in this area, those that would feed off of the children and their naivete`, Miss Parmilod. You may succeed in saving some, but you must be prepared to face the reality that you may lose more to the darker side of street life."

They approach the building now that has laid vacant and dormant for the past five years. A few doors down from the infamous Cutpurse Inn and centered between the Dockyards and the Back Alley. The building was once used as a brothel until the lessee lost his lease due to a disagreement with Lord Deschaine late one evening. The lessee hasn't been seen since.

Having stood for the past seventy-five years in the same spot and passed through the hands of numerous owners, it's become rather run down and decrepit looking. Bricks were missing from the outside walls, the mortar chipped, cracked, and broken and the roof was sinking in. Gutterspouts missing, shingles and shudders hanging precariously from their hinges and threatening to break free with each blow from the wind.

"Lord Deschaine, I have put much careful thought into all of this, including the downsides. I am prepared as well as I can ever be, but I must be honest with you. These children have been dealt a rotten deal in life; cast away like trash to fend for themselves amongst these dirty and dangerous streets; some of them since they were barely able to tie their own shoes. They need to know that they are not trash, that they do matter and that there are some people in the dark world that they live in who do care about what happens to them. Parmilod House can and will do that. I know it will take much hard work, patience and there will be times when I may simply break down and cry; but if one child's life is turned around as a result of the blood, sweat and tears poured into this place, then it has succeeded."

A thick brow lifts as Sasha speaks her words so eloquently and with such passion! His facial expression remains stoic for the next passing minutes spent in total silence; not another word uttered between either of them. The fire in her eyes burns bright, telling Lord Deschaine that this feisty young woman standing before him amongst the scoundrels and cutthroats of the Back Alley. He admires her and finds a respect for Sasha that he never dreamed he'd feel again. Especially to a woman. Lord Deschaine is of the times, firmly believing that a woman's proper place is in the kitchen, bare foot and pregnant with child; should it be his, the better. Lord Deschaine has sired around twelve children during his years here in Drache, never once has he wed, preferring the lifestyle of a bachelor over that of a kept man.

"Miss Parmilod, you are a magnificent creature. Forgive me for asking such a personal question, but whom is your husband and does he approve of the tenacious, fiery spirit you possess?"

Now it's her turn to loft a brow slowly, tightening her jaw to stay her tongue. The business woman side of herself has to smile inwardly, she has him and her response now will either make or break this deal. Her expression gives nothing away to the fact that she would like nothing more than to spit in his face and draw a sword, to prove to him just how much of a woman she truly is by running him through before he could so much as blink.

"Lord Deschaine, though it is none of your business, I take no offense to your question."

Ok, so she lied but she did it so well its very believable. She was quite offended that this man has the audacity to dare think that she must be kept on a short leash by a man.

"To answer: No, I am not wed."

Short and simple. Unless he dares to hit on her, there is no need to mention that she has been seeing Kota the Wolf for the past few months now, thereby taking this vivacious, fiery woman 'off the market'.

"Miss Parmilod, I believe that you will dine with me this evening, at my place. Be there promptly at eight of the clock and not a moment sooner nor later. Over dinner we will discuss the terms of this hefty and sizeable donation I am about to make so that Parmilod House may have a permanent home. Good day to you, Miss Parmilod."

Lord Deschaine nods to her politely then heads off from whence they came. Sasha bestows a curtsey to the man then watches him until he is no longer within her sight. Only then, does she outwardly smile.

By the looks of the sun, she best get out of the Back Alley as well, so she heads off down to the docks to meet with BirdDog and his Dockhands to discuss the next shipment due to arrive in a week's time.

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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:48 am

A Call in the Wild
Author: Marek Swiftblade
Date: 8 July 2003
Part 1

The Mist had subsided many months ago, leaving it's mark over the city and a veritable pall of the common folk as the massive clean-up efforts began. The burying of the dead, repairing of that which was broken in the final battle, and the still lingering effects of the destruction of Astyrum's tower. The effects being the circle of null magic within the Forest Reserve. A Dead Magic area, if you will. It was not hard to see, either, considering that the entire area was still blackened by the force of the explosion.

Nothing grew to replace that which was burned, destroyed, damaged. No animals dared to step upon the altered ground. Nothing disturbed it, for fear of what would happen if they did. Magic was not exactly a trusted thing at most times, even when the source was a known and trusted one.

But the Black Robe was neither known, nor trusted, save by one. His reasons for staying out of the Dead Magic area were his own, namely loss of his power and the ability to defend himself properly. Of course, there was nothing out here. Nothing of note, at least.

For him, it was the place that best suited his needs, his ability to search for another. Without the extra magic flying around to disturb his thoughts. Indeed, magic was everywhere, or so he believed. Enough, at least, to cause a bit of disruption. But it still didn't matter, he could sense nothing of the one whom he sought. Well, he sensed too much to properly locate the figure. It still perplexed the Black Robe.


Elsewhere in the Forest Reserve...

A simple stone, just about three feet tall and slowly coming to a point near its top. Long forgotten and moss-covered, the old altar was once an icon of great power. Magic had been harnessed inside of it long ago, awaiting for the touch of one to energize it once again. That touch had come several months ago, by one no one else knew of, nor had they seen at the time. In days of old, when it was first created, it had served as a beacon for forces of darkness to gather. Or forces of light if such was used by their means.

Of course, the forces of light had never had to use such means for their advances, and the altar became more and more corrupted. With each passing use, it became darker in its root, and the stone itself changed in color. Beneath the moss covering, the stone had taken become blackened in spots, and once it was complete, the darkened altar could be used for any means.

The first use of the altar in years came those few months ago, activated by some power and drawing certain minions to its call. The Slaadi. There was only one attack that they launched, a minor one at that dealt with quickly at the Inn of the Black Dragon. Up from the sewers they came, bursting forth into the kitchen from below. Coming from below.

The Black Robe was there that night, watching as the beasts were killed with relative ease. A test, obviously enough, but for what? That question had plagued his mind for the months since it happened. Avner had his own theory as to what had drawn them to the city, though he had no proof and he had studied long and hard on the topic. His own quest had been halted recently, as a presence was felt within this same city.

And even now, unseen by any others, the altar was pulsing with a dark light. Not so different from that cast by the Black Robe's staff. A present day black light, if you will. It was beckoning for others to come, and others had arrived already. Soon...very soon. The call would be answered.
Last edited by Jayne on Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jayne
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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:52 am

On the Winds of a Storm
Author: Marek Swiftblade
Date: 8 July 2003

"A storm is coming, Tespin. Perhaps tomorrow night."

The words echoed in the mind of the elven Commander as he listened to the winds howl outside, rain pelting the main window of his small cottage on the edge of the city. It was private, which was how he preferred it. No disturbances and close to the forest. It was not until the next morning that he heard what the storm brought with it.


The winds did rage as the sailing vessel made its direct path towards the port city of Drache. Lightning pierced the sky and thunder boomed overhead as the wooden craft was knocked about on wave after wave. The sails were torn, nearly to shreds though that did not alter its course. It seemed as if the ship was steered on its own, despite the raging seas. When the storm had finally calmed, the ship was found in port, though no crew could be found.

Blood was everywhere aboard the ship, at least below deck. The rain had managed to clean away most residue above deck, though some still stained the sails that hung limply from the masts. It was quite evident that the ship would not be leaving port, not anytime soon. Repairs itself would take a couple weeks to complete, and without a crew, the ship seemed destined to be used for scrapwood, unless another came to purchase and repair the broken vessel.

Guards from the Wharf District that were called to the docks finally did uncover the remains of the ship's captain, throat torn away and one arm barely hanging to his dead body. The skin was pasty, sticky, evidence of being dead for at least a couple days. Within the hold, the flies seemed worse of all and the distinct scent of decay filled the area. Boxes upon boxes lined the inside, though the first ones checked held dry goods and clothing. The smell surrounded them all so nothing more was done immediately.

And so the ship remained anchored at the docks for at least a day, though that would be plenty for the true cargo of the ship. Come nightfall, a new crew would arrive to unload the merchandise, taking it by way of carriage away from the docks and to some unknown destination. During the travels, one of the boxes was damaged, at least partially though that went unnoticed by those moving it. And on the ground where the box sat briefly before being loaded was a small pile of earth.

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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:54 am

A Call Answered by the Shadow's Caress ( Celina )
Author: Kat Boutwell
Date: 9 July 2003

“Intriguing…” The voice of cool, smooth and rich satin echoes amongst many that poured from the gray mage’s lips. Thickly lashed, ashen lids open as the woman looked to the distance. The eyes were pitch black in their entirety, pool of writhing shadows briefly captured and brought together in harmony and order in this slight female. She lowered the hood as if it would somehow make her able to ‘feel’ the beckoning better. It touched her empathic sense of magic that was inherent of all magi and at times, like this, felt only for those of a certain creed. Perhaps that was why her interest was so peaked. Normally a call such as this would not be felt so strong. True her work had, as of late, been more of the black robes then ever before in her quest to further her knowledge and power but the ever logical and analytical mind that was Celina surmised that this was an indication of something more. A chance perhaps to further her studies and experimentation beyond the confines of the ruined Obsidian Lake Manor.

“ Yesss… very intriguing.” Once more the shadows speak from the woman. She herself had not spoken since her child’s ‘birth’ and her teacher’s disappearance. She turned from the large wooden table neatly stacked with papers, tomes, vials and jars and faced a large basin atop a pedestal in the middle of her laboratory floor. The viscous, silver liquid within swirled like quicksilver as it cleared to show the mage the stone, which was activated. The slender brow lifts, dark against the pale flesh and picturesque features of the woman who’s face looked devoid of all color, rather like a charcoal drawing. Seeing and sensing no obvious form of confrontation she lifts her arms slowly, words spoken in harmony, in order, weave the words and gestures of magic as the mage dissipates in to the shadow beings which she both controls and uses to slowly solidify near the stone, hood drawn. Hands enfolded into gray velvet sleeves trimmed with the silver embroidery of runes she awaits an explanation and of course, the logical reasoning behind the call.

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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:01 am

A Call in the Wild
Author: Lil Smidget
Date: 9 July 2003
Part 2

A few nights prior:

[Dreamstate]

Falling. Falling into a bottomless black void as two large hands reach upwards from the center and all she can do is scream. Paralyzed with fear, those two hands grasp her firmly by the shoulders and draw her down deeper; deeper into its black fanged gaping maw.

~~~~

Her thrashing in the bed had awakened him, her scream piercing his ears as he clutched her shoulders; shaking her to wake up.

"Flame! Wake up." His voice echoed from far away in her head.

Eyes the color of copper, swirling like molten lava, snap open as her scream ceases and a deep gasp is heard. Looking franticly to the 'Black Robed One' as her hands untangle themselves from the bedsheet to clutch the backs of his elbows. Another few waking blinks is what it takes to fully come from that state of being that lies somewhere between sleep and consciousness.

****

Call it fate, chance or destiny, but Moriah's path has collided with Avner's for a reason; a reason which has yet to be revealed to both of them.

Avner left at dawn's break to tend to matters of his own, leaving Moriah to her own tasks at hand. Much preparation is taking place and there is still much more to be done.

Today's chores have led her near the Forest Reserve. Moriah wasn't in Drache during the siege of the Undead; a terrible war that gripped the citizens with fear and killed many. The after-effects of the war are still evident. Mounds of earth marking the freshest of graves slowly ebb with help from natural erosion. One day, they will appear as all other graves, level with the ground and covered over in grass and weeds. Unless their loved ones continue the upkeep, that is.

She hadn't noticed it at first, subtle as it was, a headache building from the very center of her mind. It's when she's closer to the Reserve that it becomes so overwhelmingly painful that her hands are brought up, clutching at the sides of her skull while tears begin to shimmer in her eyes. Stepping back a few paces, the pain eases drastically, reducing itself to a dull, throbbing ache.

The young woman looks around, seeking the source of her pains. Only one other time in her life has she ever been affected in such a way, and the events surrounding that are only known to herself. Her eyes befall upon an area that has been blackened and charred by fire. Curious, she starts to move forwards until the headache threatens to overwhelm her once again, forcing Moriah to move no closer.

The air around her seems to drop in temperature, enough to raise gooseflesh along her bare arms and shoulders. No birds sing their songs in the area nearest that charred circle where something once stood. Even a doe that strays from the trees turns back and darts off into the forest. Odd.

Something brushes across her left shoulder, featherlight. Strange. It felt like a loving hand. Looking over, there is nothing there. The same sensation caresses her right shoulder, which she immediately snaps her attention to. But again - nothing is there.

Manicured brows knit gently, wrinkling her forehead some while she tries to tap into a bit of magic which would allow her to see what cannot be seen. Brows knit deeper as something is preventing her from tapping into a spell she mastered long ago, early in her training with the Order of Montara.

A cool breath is blown across the back of her neck, drawing a sharp gasp from the woman as she whirls around to see whom or what is toying with her.

No one is there.

Her left hand is lifted, fingertips rub lightly across the back of her neck as her eyes continue to dart about, seeking the cause of such creepiness.

For apparently no reason at all, her heart rate quickens, her pulse thickens and she holds her breath, listening.

A deep cold penetrates her heart; like long dead fingers securing a hold around her beating heart, preparing to slowly squeeze until she's a crumbled mass on the cobblestone street near the Forest Reserve. Trembling, she decides to bolt just as quick as she can, with an echoing laughter resounding loudly in her own ears.

Imagined? Possibly, but not likely.

He was here. But for how long?

Avner. She must find Avner.

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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:03 am

Letter to Von Stahl - Redfeather
Author: Joe Biggs
Date: 10 July 2003

Posted by Karyn Redfeather, scribed at the Royal University

To Captain Von Stahl: This is being wrote to inform you that I, Karyn Redfeather, former royal guard of Arangoth of the rank lieutenant, have returned from my self imposed exile. I return with no ill intent towards the city or it inhabitants and request my position back within the roster, preferably with the rank I left with. Should you feel a need to question this or speak about it, contact me as I will be around the city.

Karyn Redfeather

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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:43 am

First defense against evil . . . open your eyes
Author: Lil Smidget
Date: 12 July 2003

[Several Weeks Ago]

The Wharf District- Drache Docks:

The lighthouse keeper stands against the railing, arms folded across his broad chest. Almost an imposing figure as his visage is shadowed from the glow of the beam projecting forth far over the seas. Graying beard that comes to a point near the center of his chest is full and unkempt, his moustache, curled upwards at its very ends, allows a thin wisp of a lip line to be visible. Eyes lined with age and crows feet, scan the horizon as distant memories fade in and out of his mind. Once, he was a Captain of an ill-fated ship known as Triton's Ten. Now, his prized ship lies in a deep, dark grave at the bottom of the sea. One amongst many which were thrown into the jagged rocks jutting skywards along the cliff edges and shorelines.

There's a young couple, lost in love, enjoying a walk along the piers. The woman, coy with her laughter and batting of her eyes as her 'knight in shining armor' woos her heart with his whispered words of love and promises of a happy life. Pausing, he stands before her and takes to one knee. A small box is removed from the inside of his coat pocket and opened. If one were close enough, they'd see a beautiful diamond engagement ring has been presented to the lovely young Miss.

A full moon looms high over head, almost red in color. For those who like to lay in the grasses and make pictures from the clouds and stars above, this moon would seem to hold a look as well; one of evil with unspoken promises of doom. Dark shadows appear to be like those of the sunken sockets of a skull, empty from years of death. It's grin, malicious; filled with evil intent.

"Pardon the interruption Sir and Ma'am; but there's a Demon Moon out this evening and it'd be best if ye kept moving. Tis safer away from the harbor during a Demon's Moon."
A young guardsman on patrol informs the newly engaged couple.

"Aye! But of course, good Guard. I was just askin' M'lady here for her hand in marriage and this lovely creature hath accepted; making me the happiest man to walk the realm on this night."

Clearly, they do not share the same beliefs in superstitions that many share concerning a Demon Moon. If they had, they never would have been out of their homes.
The guard, nods formally to the Lady and then to the Gent.

"Congratulations to ye both and May the Gods bless thee with life's joys. Just, keep moving. Tis not safe here."

Cordial thanks are bestowed the guard then the Gent scoops his lovely lass into his arms and dances down the pier to the docks, where he sets her down then lifts her once more, twirling around thrice as she giggles with glee and tears of joy rain down her cheeks. Eventually, they fade into the distance; along with their merry laughter.

The guardsman takes his time, walking the length of each pier and peering over the edges; just to be sure. Soon, he fades into the distance as well, continuing his patrol.

The Harbor Master; snoring loudly while sitting in his chair which is lent back against the wall behind him, balancing precariously on the rear legs of his chair. All is quiet. Nothing seems to be unusual or amiss on the night of the Demon Moon.

****

The sound of the waves lapping gently against the shores and breakers seems to quicken; only noticeable if one were truly paying attention instead of being lulled to sleep by its rhythmic sound. Whisps of fog begin to waft from the surface of the waters, like ghostly tendrils that may have once been fingers, searching and seeking for anything solid to grasp upon. So subtle is this, the lighthouse keeper and anyone else along the docks hardly notice. Until . . .

The fog becomes thicker, rising higher over the waters now white-capped wave tips, forming a blanket that somehow seems . . . alive. Roiling and rolling, coiling and curling as it grows in density; twisting violently as if caught in the throws of some epic battle of which it will not win nor escape.

The eyes of the harbormaster narrow as he pushes off the rail, booted steps carrying him closer to the large panoramic window. Did he just see it? He cannot be sure, the fog makes it nearly impossible to see more than a distance of . . . nevermind. He can barely see anything at all now.

The foghorn sounds, almost constantly, sending out its warning signal to any ships in the area to keep away. Something's not right, this isn't natural and the heart rate and pulse quickens in the Harbor Master's veins. The clock tower bells begin to chime, breaking the eerie silence that has engulfed the lands.

BONG!

The harbor master mutters something inaudible under his breath as a brilliant flash of lightning blinds the man, forcing him to lift his arm to shield his eyes. Storm's a brewin' and this one'll be bad. The foghorn sounds, warning ships in the area of its location and the breakers; perhaps the shipmasters would be smart and divert from their path that may be leading them straight into Drache's Port.

BONG!

The skies afire with a decadent light show, lightning crackling madly like some mad scientist cackling with mad laughter over his new, hideous creation. Thunder rolls, starting out long and low in the distance; rolling in towards Drache where it crashes loudly; rattling the shutters and windows of any standing buildings. Horses whinny and neigh in the stables, some rear up in fear, pawing at the air with front hooves as stable hands do their best to keep the beasts calm. One kicks over a lantern, instantly setting the straw ablaze and soon the entire stable is up in flames.

BONG!

The cry from the stablehands brings forth many, roused from the comforts of their beds to come help douse the fire. They form a human chain, leading from the stable to the nearest source of water, passing full buckets of water up the line as empty ones come down to be filled once more. A fire is devastating to livelihood, not to mention threatening to the other buildings nearby. A lantern kicked over could destroy an entire city . .. just like that. If'n ya' dun believe me, jus' ask 'bout Mrs. O'Leary's cows. But that tale is for another time and another place; both of which are far, far from here.

BONG!

With all the excitement, not a soul had seen it arrive. Tis when the winds die down, the waves ebb back into their normal gentle rhythm and the fog seems to fade to nearly nothing that everyone soon notices it. Startled from his sleep, the Port Master comes crashing to the floor with two thuds, the second being louder than the first. Above these though, his exclamation of 'Damn' is louder. Rubbing his head with his hand as he gets to his knees and uses the windowsill for balance as he pulls himself to his feet, sleepy eyes suddenly spring open full and wide at the image just outside of his window.

BONG!

"Bugger me ..." He whispers with dumbfounded awe. A ship like that hasn't been seen in nearly 400 years; definitely not in his lifetime. Twelve sails open. All twelve were nearly ripped to shreds; full of huge holes and billowing in the gentle breeze that remains from the freakish storm that blew in, blew the ship in. By all laws of physics, this ship should have crashed into the breakers or the docks themselves; yet here she sits, as if she just eased in on a bright and sunny day without a care in the world.

BONG!

Snapping his jaws shut and tugging on his uniform to straighten it out, the Port Master summons the Port Authority Captain. Whilst waiting for his arrival, the Port Master grabs all vital and necessary documentation and men, then heads out of his office and onto the dock. Walking along the wooden planks slowly, he tries to remain focused on the task at hand. It's difficult. The ship is magnificent in a ghostly sort of way. Which makes no sense to his mind at all; but that's the first thought that is conveyed while his eyes continue to roam along its hull. His men are just as awed as he is, making comments under their breath and some go so far as to making the symbol of whatever God they believe in across their chests. One runs off, screaming something into the night about a ghost ship bringing ill omens to Drache with it.

BONG!

The Port Authority Captain was stopped dead in his tracks upon taking in the magnificent sight of the ship. The fact that the sails are practically shreds of fabric flapping in the breeze is easily attributed to the storm that welled up from nowhere, then vanished just as fast. Perhaps it was raging out at sea and batted the ship around; but that would not explain how the rest of the ship looks as if she is brand new out of the construction docks.

BONG!

"Cap'n. Whaddya' make of it?"

"I . . . Storm must be bad at sea. Let's get the formalities over with. Got a warm brandy to get back to."

The boarding plank lowers with a loud thud to the dock and a shadowy figure emerges forwards. Cloaked, its hard to tell at first if its a man or woman, but when the breeze pushes the cloak against the figures left side, it's easily surmise that it is in fact female. No man has curves like that.

BONG!

They never did see who set a trunk down on the dock near the boarding plank. It just 'appeared'. Then again, their eyes were completely focused on the cloaked woman standing above them. Another figure emerges from the blanket of the shadows. Slightly larger than a wolf and standing on four legs. Definitely part of the species of canine.

BONG!

"Come, Lazerus. We only have a few hours before dawn is upon us." The men didn't hear this, of course. The breeze making the tattered and torn sails flap drowns her voice out. The Worg nods its but once then accompanies her as she seems to 'float' down the boarding ramp. Small and slender hands rise, curling silky fingers around the hood's hem then easing it back from her head to rest against her shoulders. Hair the color of a fiery, copper red spills down her back, which the breeze catches and sends swaying towards her right against her back. Quite a beautiful face, with eyes a man could easily get lost in, now looks to both authority figures.

BONG!

"Good evening, Gentlemen."

Her voice. Soft-spoken, her tone; even and unhurried. If there were a storm raging at sea and this ship had been through it, they'd never know. There was no quivering of fear, or the labored breaths that come with exerted adrenaline from having to strain all the muscles of one's body in order to keep the ship afloat in rough waters.

BONG!

The final bong of the clock tower bells indicates it's midnight. Midnight. A Demon Moon and a freak storm. A few other men, white as sheets, run off mumbling incoherently. Mayhaps they were praying to their Gods or citing scriptures from Sunday Services to ward off evil. The woman's eyes follow those leaving in such a hurry, a brow lofting in mild curiosity.

"They are quite jumpy, yes?"

"Ahem. My Lady, is the Captain of the Ship aboard? There is paperwork to be completed and a search must be conducted." The Port Authority Captain interjects. His counterpart, the Harbor Master, had been struck silent for the past few minutes. Idiot.

"Aye, he is. As I was coming up from below, I noticed he was heading into his study. I imagine to retrieve that papers you will be asking for." She responds. "I am but a passenger. Would it be alright if I continue on my way? I fear I am tired and a bit ill to the stomach from traveling for the past year about the ship."

Though he shouldn't, he nods and allows the woman and her Worg to move along.

"Thank you. Would you be so kind as to having one of your men take my trunk to this address?"

She hands him a piece of parchment. Scrawled upon it in neatly calligraphy writing is the address of an old estate house, left abandoned for the past several months since its owner had been killed during the Siege of the Undead, known by most as The Mist War.

"Of course Madam."

He nods to her then watches the way she moves when she and her pet head off. A hint of seduction in the way her hips sway gently, methodically, from side to side with each fluid step she takes. She moves as if she were liquid silk, floating mere centimeters above the ground than actually touching it with the soles of her feet. Silent, not a noise is made from her shoes and he is sure he noticed her shoes peeking out from under the hem of her skirt.

Clearing his throat and pulling his unclean thoughts back to the present and the ship, he turns to look at it once more.

"Well. Let's see if the Captain's around, shall we?" He ends up jabbing the Port Master in the ribs to gain his attention.

"Huh?! Oh yes, yes. Right. Let's do that." With a whistle and a hand motion, his men are sent aboard.

*****

The men sent aboard divide into two groups. One to search above deck, the other to search below. Those above deck take careful count of how many crates are still neatly stacked, barrels are still upright. This isn't possible for a ship that just blew in from stormy seas. By all logics, these crates and barrels should have been smashed or washed overboard, considering they weren't even secured to the deck railings.

Those below deck send a man up to summon the Authority Captain and Port Master at once.

"Sirs! Come quickly, you must see this!" The young man's face is quite pale, his breathing quickened and he looks as if he's just seen a ghost. Both men waste no time in boarding and heading below the deck. When coming upon their men, they notice that some have slapped their hands over their mouths, hoping to prevent themselves from vomiting right then and there. The stench was overwhelming. Rotting and decayed flesh is what it reminds the Port Authority Captain of. Ignoring his own nausea, the Authority Captain moves into the Ship Captain's quarters and rummages through the papers strewn across the desk.

"Everyone off this ship! NOW!" He shouts, his voice deep and commanding.

No one hesitates as they rush to the plank, knocking each other over and shoving each other out of the way as they hurry to the docks then flee to the safety of the offices.
"What is it?" The Port Master asks of his partner.

"This ship is hereby taken into custody. No one is to board this ship. Is this understood?"

"Aye, of course, Sir."

"Good. Get off the ship. You and your men go home for the night."

The Port Authority Captain would get no argument from the Port Master who does as he is bid. The P.A.C grabs a few papers off the desk then disembarks himself, making haste to his own offices. No one noticed that the trunk seems to have disappeared; all men were busy and no one carried it off to woman's new residence.

****

Sitting near the fire, his body was chilled to the bone even though it was a hot and humid night out, the P.A.C tosses back snifter after snifter of brandy. The first rays of dawn's new sun begin to break over the horizon and the P.A.C glances out his window. The ship is no longer there, just as he'd suspected it wouldn't be after his research ended at around four o'clock this morning.

The Medon, the name of the ship that mysteriously arrived in their port just hours ago, hasn't sailed in 400 years. In fact, its remains are lying at the bottom of the sea just off the coast of Raspith, where it sank during a battle with another pirate ship. Stories of the Medon abound. Tales of vampiric creatures, ghosts and more are known by many throughout the realm. The P.A.C was never one to believe in such wives tales; but now? A woman had walked off of that ship. Something that shouldn't have been possible. She was very alive, as was her pet and he had seen the two with his very own eyes. How did she survive on a ghost ship, in rough seas, and come off looking as if she had just bathed and been to the parlor?

Something evil has come to Drache. He can feel it deep in his aging bones. He notes to himself to mention the woman and her pet who disembarked from the ghostship to the guards; but then he questions that. Would they see him as crazy? Perhaps accuse him of seeing things in a drunken stupor when they would inevitably notice that the bottle of brandy is empty? Probably. Spending a night in jail, possibly losing his position as the P.A.C and if his wife ever found out! Oi, there'd be hell to pay.

Jayne
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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:57 am

Tales from the Past
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 13 July 2003

The legend of the Bloodbane starts as most others do, a child of murdered parents vows revenge upon their killer. But this legend is even more amazing for two reasons: the child and his parents were Red Rounders, and the child became the Bloodbane, the warrior who never killed.

First, to those who do not know, Red Rounders are a race that prefer to hide away from time itself rather than interact with others. They are humanoid, with many of the same characteristics, save for the fact that they are a deep red in color. not just their hair or eyes, their entire bodies are red. The race as a whole is peaceful, running rather than fighting even in the face of terrible injustice.

Now, back to the legend.

The child's name was Delsai and he, like his brethren, was sweet and innocent, unable to understand the concept of war. He and his family, a mother and a father, lived happily in a dark, perilous forest that few ever ventured into. One day, Delsai was out exploring and play, as children his age did, when he smelled smoke and blood from the direction of his home. He gave pause, his young brain working overtime to finally come to the conclusion that something bad had happened. Young Delsai ran home only to find it aflame and his parents dead, their heads gone. There were men still roaming around and Delsai, quite unlike others of his kind, used his small sling to hurl a stone at one of the men, yodeling for the family friend, a gryphon by the name of Kinsi. The man who had been struck by the stone struggled onto his horse but was knocked off by the huge gryphon as it made it's appearance. With tears in his eyes Delsai asked the man why he had done this, remembering the reply and hating the name forever. "I was told to do it by a collector named Narcician, he needed Red Rounder heads"

Delsai looked away as Kinsi killed the man, crushing the head with his beak. Delsai returned to the headless bodies of his parents and held them close. "Mother....Father....I know you would never approve of what I will do....but I will avenge you. I shall bring back the head of Narcician. of this I swear"

Kinsi, while young among his kind, took Delsai away from the carnage and fire to live in his erie until the the young Red Rounder was able to care for himself. But Delsai wanted more than a home, after months of pleading he convinced Kinsi to teach him the way of war so that he might avenge his parents.

Twenty years went by and Delsai grew into a strong adult, and a fearsome warrior. But there was something missing from the Red Rounder's life, his vow was never met. So he and Kinsi, his lifelong friend and mentor, set out into the world in search of Narcician. They came across an aging mage, whose name they never found, and stayed with him for the last years of his life. As a grateful gift, he gave Delsai a weapon that was suited to his kind; a long metal cylinder that took the will to fight from any it was used upon, and to Kinsi he gave metallic claw coverings that could shear through any substance.

Thusly armed, Delsai and Kinsi again left sanctuary in search of Narcician. They had a great many adventures, each making Delsai's name grow more and more famous. He was not known by his true name, he was known either as Red, or as the Bloodbane for he never killed those he fought. Instead, he stole their will to fight and let them be. But Delsai cared nothing of prestige, he only sought word of Narcician's whereabouts. Soon his name was uttered in the same sentences of other great warriors, those whom the people remembered and revered. Delsai used this to his advantage. Whenever he and Kinsi approached a new city, he would give money to the first person he met and told them to spread the word of the Bloodbane's arrival. The messenger, whether it be a man, woman or child of every social standing, would run throughout the city shouting "the Bloodbane approaches!" and all within the city would lock up their weapons to prevent raising the Bloodbane's ire.

Despite his heroism, Delsai never found the one he sought and after time, simply disappeared with Kinsi. Many believed that the Bloodbane had aged and died, for none knew the lifespan of a Red Rounder. His name passed into legend and ballad alike, told on stormy nights at inns and taverns to pass the time and after time, he was never spoken of again, only the old remembered the legend.


Twenty Years Later....

The small port city Camon was in an uproar, a small child came running through the streets shouting at the top of his lungs "the Bloodbane approaches! lay down your sword and bow!" The eldest members of the city remembered the old legend and commanded the leaders to issue an order to the people, telling them to lock their weapons away and close up any shops that sold weapons of any sort. The leaders, not understanding the urgency, did indeed issue that order and soon every sword, spear, bow and axe was locked away. The people waited anxiously for the arrival of this 'Bloodbane'. Then, a woman standing on her balcony let out a cry and pointed, coming through the gates was a young man and an aging gryphon, neither looking to anyone they passed. The young man was undoubtedly a Red Rounder and he carried a long metal cylinder across his shoulders. The gryphon, while having a bit more gray in his feathers than the legend told, wore metallic claw coverings upon his talons. These must be Red and Kinsi! While the duo was a source of much interest and curiosity, neither spoke, they only replenished their supplies and left.

Word passed quickly from every mouth to every ear; the Bloodbane had returned.

Jayne
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Re: July 2003 - Mail Archives

Post by Jayne » Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:54 am

A High One's Quest For Retribution part 4 (the final chapter)
Author: Jack Allen
Date: 13 July 2003

Alexander Elcrys knew his time was up, Keytar would be having his child in a few days and that meant his duty was complete. But due to his edict by the gods, he couldn't return to his life as a toddler. Instead he would take his father's place on the High One star, protecting the enormous power that would be wielded by every High One on the planet. He couldn't face his family to tell them of this, nor could he tell his few friends, so he wrote letters before disappearing. He arrived on the star in time to see his father off, then he set about making himself at home. It tore at his heart to leave Keytar alone, but she was needed in the material plane, she had to raise their children to be strong. Her job would not be a long one either for the children would grow up rapidly, spanning several years in a few weeks time. But that would make it no less difficult for her. Alex had pleaded with the gods to allow him to stay in Drache with Keytar, but it was in vain.

The High One rearranged the furniture his father left, and began hanging paintings of his beloved wife on every space available. But that wasn't enough. Using his power, Ales created a viewing glass, similar to that which the gods used, in order to watch those he cared most for. His life would be a long and lonely one, unable to leave the star unless he was summoned, and then only able to stay for two hours time. but he gained still more power, enough to protect the star from those who would destroy it to steal the power of the High Ones. Were he to do so, he could easily proclaim himself a god, though he would then be forced to deal with the present gods, and that was not his wish.

He spent his time gazing into the looking glass, watching the people go about their small, unimportant lives with much sadness and regret. Were it not for his birth, he would be down there, thinking their problems were great and wishing he had the power to help. But he could do nothing but watch, a silent observer of history....

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