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Re: Arrilan: A History

Postby Xydel0 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:59 pm

*The writing on this page seems rushed when compared to the rest of the book. It is still Elven, but not the elegant script previously seen. It seems almost feral by comparison.*

It is entirely pleasing to finally be past these ridiculous internal conflicts that have plagued me the past few days. With any luck my lack of obedience has not cost me too much; it is really only the blade I worry about….

Despite initial setbacks my army is stronger than ever, grabbing a foothold to the very gates of Lapis. The city will join me or burn, there is no alternative. With control of the major port, this minor continent will fall shortly behind.

Ironic that the goddess I once followed is seen as forgiving to those such as me, but I draw from her gifts and claim them for my own now. Selune be damned, the moon is my strength not hers.

They will come for me I have no doubt. I watched as they came to the foot of my lair. Curse me for not attacking them then and finishing this. My former friends will do what they must or join me in their defeat. Let them come such that my bow might sing their dirge.

-A
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Re: Arrilan: A History

Postby Xydel0 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:21 pm

Reunion

It had been days since the last incident, even longer still since Selune had forsaken Arrilan and his friends killed him to remove Tenth Lord of the Nine Garguath's lycanthropic corruption. If this new entity that seemed to be able to track him without effort proved hostile, there was certainly no certainty that he would be able to fend it off. Worse yet was their ability to enter THORN headquarters. It all seemed harmless, an owl here, an apple there, yet it was their familiarity that worried him. Perhaps some entity had crept inside the recesses of Arrilan's mind only to torment him into submission or even throw off his guard. Arrilan wanted answers.

Again they came for him while he was in his haven, this time in the guise of a spirit wolf. Addressing it in the howls of its kind, Arrilan questioned its purpose and how it had entered this sanctuary. Several half answers and deflections later the wolf stated flatly that Helena had been looking for him. Suddenly the wolf was not any wolf, but identical to one of the pair Arrilan once fostered with his beloved. Stunned into silence, Arrilan did what he knew best and stared at the wolf trying to guess its game. Not yet convinced that this wasn't some malicious ploy, Arrilan threatened the wolf and demanded to be taken to his mistress. The wolf kindly told him to sleep and then ran straight out of the pocket of reality that was Arrilan's home. With little else to do Arrilan laid back, but was unable to find sleep for several hours.

He awoke next to a glimmering waterfall in a glorious wilderness. Wandering about he came across a grove of apple trees with two wolves happily bounding about. Arrilan froze. From the centre of the grove came a beautiful Elven figure. She had golden hair, slight features, and a grace Arrilan had not in the least forgotten. It was Helena. Not a spirit, or the figments he had imagined before, but truly her. They ran to each other, Arrilan flipping back his hood, his disfigurement would not matter to her. He touched Helena's face as she said the words 'This is a dream', but that did not matter to Arrilan. Were this a fantasy he would forsake reality. She explained that a her soul had not been destroyed by the horrendous battle with Kann; that a part of it had been saved and nurtured back to strength by her Lady, the Lady of Dreams. Proud that she had regained much of her power, Helena had tracked down Arrilan knowing that he could be a boon to her Lady's cause. Need was pressing, a soul of an Elven child was being held beyond the Lady's reach. Arrilan said he would do whatever was asked of him in service of the one that saved Helena. Helena still knew Arrilan well, asking if he meant that oath above all else, even his vengeance. He swore to it beyond everything but his love for her. They kissed.

Arrilan knew he would have to go back even before Helena told him. To the waterfall he was to go and back to the waking world. As if to broker a deal to ensure his return, he gave Helena his favoured bow and backed away not taking his eyes off her until it the last. He awoke where he had slept, and even the magnificence of the THORN base somehow seemed bleak in comparison to the dream. The owl that had visited him before appeared and Arrilan followed it through the Lapis portal all the way to the farmyard camp where Shaia and the dwarf Thorto were talking. Arrilan hooted to the owl who responded in turn 'Go to the priestess near my home'. The owl flew off, his home meant the island of Inthara, a lovely yet dangerous place. Arrilan stood motionless deep in thought, if he were to go, he could very well need martial aid in his task. Shaia asked of him what was going on but he did not take the time to explain. Arrilan asked her to come with him and she did not refuse. As the three (for Thorto had boldly followed) ran toward the Lapis docks for a ship, they crossed Darias leaving his shop. Arrilan simply told him to come, making the group four when they boarded the small boat to the Elven Isle.

(to be continued...)
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Re: Arrilan: A History

Postby Xydel0 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:11 am

Sentinel

Even as the four disembarked, Shaia began casting her protective magics for the journey ahead. The now familiar owl met them at the shore and led them up the steep cliff off towards the shrine. Arrilan had visited the small henge to Sehanine before and hurried the group on with unnatural speed. First to arrive, Arrilan spent little time explaining their presence, they were expected. The priestess there unveiled the task ahead. There was an empty soul jar in the depths of the burrows of this isle's shade lane, she explained. Once retrieved they would need to sneak into the realm where the poor child's soul was being kept by means of a pair of thaumaturgists in the frozen lands of Claeverness. The priestess' expression turned sad as she explained that the Baelnorn guardians of the burrows would not recognize them, and there was little she could do to aid in their journey. Shaia confirmed that that would prove troublesome, but the group was off.

On the way to the burrows the monk Karto quietly joined them; perhaps out of curiosity, or perhaps the mood of something urgent was too strong for him to resist. The five paused briefly at the gate of the small hill. Whether brave of foolish the Dwarf Thorto ran into the depths without notice, leading the group. Shaia wordlessly pointed out which doors lead to the depths for Arrilan to unlock. Without conflict they managed their way down to a subterranean pool where two narrow bridges intersected at a small altar. It was a choke point, and the danger was apparent to all in the group. Here was where the guardians would make their stand. Arrilan had just made it to the altar when the group was surrounded on all sides by a horde of slightly glowing figures. Among them were mages, archers, warriors, and rogues of untold number and skill. Though the din of battle was already heavy, Arrilan had noticed a jar slip into his pack from the altar. He sounded a retreat and had made it halfway across the bridge back towards the exit when he was grappled by some spell. It was all he could do to stay alive and strike out at what few he could find with his bow. He saw Thorto and Karto both fall after despatching a number of the horde. Even the mighty Shaia fell before their numbers. By the time the spell had worn Arrilan and Darias were the only two standing. Darias' skill and fearsome shouts drew the attention of all that remained, allowing Arrilan to slip into a cloud of darkness. He carefully tumbled back to the fallen Shaia and raised her before leaving the fray. There was a mission to attend to and Arrilan was confident that between Darias and Shaia the group would all get out safely. He left them and the remaining guardians to their fate.

A few portal jumps and a short trek North found Arrilan at the shop of the thaumaturgists the priestess had spoke of. The snow dripped gently off his hood as he made his way back to the rear of the store. He could hear voices coming from the back room. It was clear that he was expected, and that preparations had already begun. He approached the two figures standing around a glowing cauldron with caution none the less. Arrilan thought he had been unnoticed until one of the pair, back turned, asked him why he had come. He told them that he and a group were to be sent by them to the Hells to retrieve a lost soul. One thaumaturgist seemed to imply the folly of such a course, and strangely asked him if he was already there. The other chimed in saying it was something he had already done, and asked Arrilan if he would join them in finding some rabbits. The rabbits had apparently wandered into a shadowy path sometime in the future, or perhaps will already have done so. The confused timeline and speech of the thaumaturgist suggested that they were likely quite insane, but Arrilan had caught their purpose. Just then Arrilan was surprised to see Thorto was the first of the group to arrive, accompanied by the Avariel Winterhawk no less. Arrilan told them to bring the others, the sounds from the cauldron were growing louder, the thaumaturgist would soon be ready. The two returned with the entirety of the original group. Joining them were two of Arrilan's trusted team, the mighty Seryne and Amysara. A chill ran down Arrilan's spine as Amysara greeted him, but that conversation would have to wait and he was glad that presumably Shaia had called them. Arrilan addressed the mad pair readying the cauldron once more saying 'My group and I will be rabbits when we were there'.

When their eyes recovered from the flash of the cauldron, the group of eight adventurers found themselves on a series of narrow walkways looming over a seemingly bottomless pit. It was the pocket realm the foul demigod Gargauth had used to house his creation Amras in the battle for Amysara's soul. At the other end of the walkway threatened a host of Gargauth's minions accompanied by a score of walking dead. Arrilan marched on, soon flanked by Seryne, Darias, and Thorto. They were met at full force halfway across the narrow path. Winterhawk flew to a distant platform to gain clear shot at the beasts, much has Arrilan had done when he last made siege on this hall. Arrilan knew now was not the time to lament the loss of his wings though. The battle was not going well. Thorto had fallen, Darias and Seryne were being ravaged on all sides, forces had slipped past and were now assaulting Amysara, Shaia, and Karto at the rear. Dropping more than twice their own number, each of the group fell one by one. Their skill was not in vain though, for the gap they had made in the enemy line allowed Winterhawk to rejoin and raise Shaia. The two rallied the troops again and the enemy was driven back. Once they had move pass the walkway onto a solid platform, the demons and undead stood little chance. A sudden thought popped into Arrilan's mind as the undead he most recently slain looked remarkably like a bosun he had served with before the ship wrecked on Anchorome's shores. There was no time for it though, as a new and fouler enemy appeared.

It hovered there. On the short bridge surrounded by demons that had met their end. The creature that often haunted Arrilan's mind. A demi-lich. The group simultaneously attacked in earnest, Amy brushing Arrilan's hand as she tumbled by. Magics flew to every corner of the pocket plane. Lightning, fire, and destruction abound. The chaos that ensued even threw off Arrilan's steely focus. He lost track of everything but the actions of the floating skull and THORN. Shaia was struggling to pierce the demi-lich's defences. Amysara's arrows, though truly fired, seemed to be disintegrating before even touching the creature. Seryne fought brilliantly, though her mighty sword barely nicked the skull with each powerful swing. After a half hours hard fight and their combined effort stacked with Arrilan's reserve of divinely graced arrows, the demi-lich crumpled to no more than a pile of dust.

Arrilan snuck into the throne room and quickly spotted his quarry. The entirety of the adventuring group swarmed in afterwards, completely overwhelming the remaining defences. While they fought, Arrilan struggled to save the child's soul from the recesses of the throne, but eventually the deed was done. The group returned to the platform where the demi-lich still lay slain only to find the Gargauth's forces had regrouped. Ever more were flying up from the depths and the group wearily began to fight once more. As they enemy surrounded the circle of brave souls, all went dark.

Helena greeted them all with an apology. She had taken longer than she would have liked to summon them all to the realm of dreams. Returning his bow, she told Arrilan that now he could know it was all real. She smiled and told Arrilan to follow her. Together they walked through an open corridor of youthful trees leading to a high stage and table in a hauntingly beautiful clearing. There stood the Goddess herself, Sehanine Moonbow, in all her dreamy magnificence. Having been momentarily dumbstruck by the course of events, the rest of the adventurers joined the scene with Arrilan kneeling in front of the stage, swearing an oath to the Lady that had saved the one he loved. Amysara froze in place, Seryne walking to her side. When Helena brought Arrilan his new garb, she told him that with it was a ring from her alone. Amy walked off, though Arrilan did not see her. Helena smiled once more and gently stroked Arrilan's deeply scared face before returning to the stage. A soft yet powerful voice filled the room as the Lady announced that Arrilan was to be one of her watchmen; a Sentinel of Sehanine Moonbow.

(to be continued...)
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