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01/31/2004 10:45 AM

A small city lay nestled in the corner of three snow peaked mountains. Twin gurgling rivers each coming down from the surrounding mountains and then merged together at the front of the village provided water and, when need protection for the village. A stonewall roughly fifteen feet high protected the city on three of the sides with the bare mountain face forming the third. A wide-open meadow covering several miles to the north and south surrounded the city. Woods bordered the meadow on all sides with the closet part of the woods to the city being about 1,000 yards away.  The majority of the houses were made of wood with a mud-thatched roof. However, several houses close to the wall were made of stone and could possibly be used as a military barracks. An elven scout on a hill about 500 yards away from the village took this all in, his fingers wrapped nervously around his short sword. This city would be a hard place to take. The people walked about in their daily manor of living but the scout could tell everything was not normal. No hunting parties were sent out. No children were seen playing, only men and the occasional woman. The men always walked about armed and fingering their swords nervously. Obviously not used to wearing them. The scout taking in all that information slowly backtracked his way through the waist high grass and into the nearby woods. There he met another scout, elf as well, guarding his horse and together they galloped off into the woods and the rest of the army.

*Back in Zurkh*
“Did the guards search the southern end of the meadow?” asked Kichak peering down from the wall at the mercenaries below.
“Of course, some hoof prints were found but no men.” Responded the tall dark Ergothian named Murmal.
“So they have already been here and gone” Kichak responded. “Your guards have failed it seems.”
“My guards failed only because of your ignorance to the fact that the Tartari guards were already here.” Murmal replied his tone rising in anger. Easily provoked and well-experienced Murmal would have easily cut Kichak from ear to toe.
“My scouts last communication said they were well over a fifty leagues away." Kichak cooly replied.
“These Tartari are not men they are demons of the abyss, sent out to kill men and claim their souls" Murmal's voice grew softer at the word of souls, "I fear no man or beast, but what good is a sword when a demon can wrip out your soul and force you into the abyss for an eternity of unending suffering."

“Lies and Superstitions are for the gullible and the stupid.” Replied Kichak smartly
“Only those who refuse to admit the truth are stupid” With that said Murmal turned on his heel and looked at the city laying spread out below him.
With a knowing sigh that he would never convince the barbarian Mural to disown his heathen and superstitious beliefs Kichak said “Have your guards search the northern point of the meadow and the southern forest. Send two guards to cross the river on the northern side and watch the hills.”
“Very well” replied the Ergothian. As he trotted off to give the orders, a dark figure appeared from inside a wooden hut.
“My orders” he said in a snake like hiss.
Kichak looked around quickly before responding, "Keep your wretched face out of sight, Hopefully, neither the barbarian or the scouts have seen you. You are going to be my surprise attack on the army." 

“And what of the Barbarian and his mercenaries, they will want a large share of the plunder, a larger share then I care to give them” The dark mage glanced at the barbarian figure now well over a hundred yards away.
“Once the army is crushed by both his mercenaries and your magic, his usefulness has been outlived…Kill him and all of his followers and then you will receive your reward” Kichak said in a heartless tone of one who has seen and gotten used to death.

01/31/2004 5:12 PM

"And what of my reward? You seem overly vauge of late, be it perhaps that you are lying to me, that you are seeking to fool me, oh wise leader?"
said the black robe, his voice dripping with malice, and sarcasm.

"Maybe a look at it, at this artifact you promise me, would be enough to cement my loyalty."
hissed the mage.

"Your tricks have no effect on me, fool of a mage, you will see your precious reward, only when I have been assured of your ussfulness in defeating my enemies."

The mage scowled beneath his cloak, and then turned abruptly, marching back to his hut.

"I will have to watch that one" muttered kichak "snakes are best kept on a long leesh"

The mage, heard this, and hissed at the irony of the statment. As he entered the comforting dark of his hut, he sighed with relief. Then, magically locking the door, he went into a chest at the foot of his hamock, and withdrew a small crystal ball. He removed his hood, revealing a slightly deformed face, and leering, bloodshot eyes. His hair was grey and thin, though he could not be much older than 35.

He grasped the orb in two hands and spoke the magic words.

"kazsh nas drimpatuy, call nehay farimpatuy, speex speex"

The small orb soon revealed the scarred face of a warrior. "What do you call on me for?" spoke the face and the mage replied in a hiss "I suspect trickery, we need to move up our plans. The stone I gave you can no longer keep you hidden. You must move into the camp, mix in with the defenders armies. Then, they will be surley in my grasp, though the fools will not know it."

"And what of my pay?"

"you will get it, there will be enough of it to go around. There is only one treasure in this vile place that I am intersted in."

"yes" spoke the face, and with that the mage dismissed the mercernary leader.

He spoke the end words to the spell of communication, and then sat back in his hammock. Yes all of his plans were falling into place.

01/31/2004 6:11 PM

Kichak was unworried about the mage, Ravina. That damn fool actually thinks I would just hand over the treasure once we repel this army. Thought Kichak. He snorted to himself when he pictured what would happen to the mage when he recovered his "treasure". He slowly walked around the parapet examineing his city. His city. When he had came here it had been nothing more then a low trading town made up of mud and sticks building. He had been quick to build the wall and start mining the caves. He brought in an expert miner from Gwynned, a dwarf named Bronzehammer, who with his help he had turned this town into a major Iron producing city. Caves crisscrossed for almost a mile in every direction and Iron veins were found at the end of everyone. Normally, he sent the ore out for being smelted elsewhere, but now with the impending doom, he needed every iron arrow, spear, and sword he could get. At the corner of the stone wall where the wall meets the mountain he looked off to the left in time to see a small shadow dart into a niche of the mountain. He squinted to make sure his eyes were fooling him. He had saw something. But, who in his right mind would venture outside the protection of the stonewall. He turned to watch a disgruntled youth of 17 years by his reckoning fall with a sharp rap to the knuckles by a giant of a mercenary teaching the civilians of the city to fight. He realized to late that what he had seen was a spy. He turned about abrutply his hand fumbling for his sword. A splash of water was all he heard. The spy had gotten away. Mumbling to himself about the lack of security that Murmal provided he walked down the stairs, and into the main square. Twenty young lads were learning how to properly sword fight while another thirty or so practiced spearing. He walked past them all with a small smile on his face. He headed to the smithy where black smoke belched out of the chimeny on the south. The only stone house not next to the wall was the blacksmith and also Bronzehammers house. There Kichak smiled as ten apprentices pounded, quenched, and reheated the iron sticks that would soon be swords. Overseeing them all was Bronzehammer, a thick brown beard and hair covered all but his eye and nose. His beard a little lower then his breast was burnt at the edges and scraggly from not sleeping in the past three days. He had said that he would personally oversee every sword being made and apparently he had. His red bloodshot eyes peered out over his bushy beard and his thick nose, going from sword to sword, apprentice to apprentice until they finally landed on Kichak. Kichak nodded his head and with a wave of his arm, gestured him outside. With a final yell of "If I see anybody slacking, I'll burn their hide to pieces" He heaved himself out of his chair and walked out to meet Kichak.

"I see the swords are coming along well." Kichak stated.

"Well! These damn goblin childs couldn't attach a spearhead to a staff let alone forge a sword." Replied Bronzehammer. Although his words completely degraded the swords made. Kichak knew that each and every sword would be perfectly balanced and deadly.

Kichak smiled at the statement but it quickly disappeared. Looking over his shoulders before talking he said "I was hoping I could talk to you for a minute about...."Before he could finish a loud cry went up from the front gate. A small ,but stocky man was ushered into the square. In his thigh was an arrow and his right hand clutched a longsword that looked oversized for him. Blood was splatterd on the sword. Murmal walked over to him and demanded to know what happened. "Well, sir I was guarding to the north of the city about a hundred yards from the meadows. I heard a sound almost beside. When I looked down their was a small kender, his hand already in my pocket. He took off runing my money pouch in that bastards grubby hand. I chased after him and soon got lost in the maze that is those forests. I gave up and was about to head back when I heard low talking. Thinking it was some fellow guards I called out to them. Instead I received this instead." Gestureing to his arrow wound. He continued, " I pulled out my sword and charged into the bastards. Their were two of them. One with a bow and the other with a mace. I killed them both. The sound of the attack must have attracted some of my fellow guards and I was carried back" Kichak listened carefully to every word. He called for a soldier in training to run and get the mage to heal this man.

02/01/2004 5:01 PM

Rovina impatiently opened the door, more to end the incesent knockign then out of any real concern for the knocker.

A small boy of about seventeen stood at the door, and timidly looked up at the mage. Rovina reckognized this as one of the few people privy to the secret the mage and kichak shared. The leader had need to send mesangers after him from time to time.

The mage scowled ta him, "what do you wnat?" he hissed.

"k-k-k-ichack wants you. Needs you in his hut. sir mage....." stammered the simple boy much too loudly..

The mage slapped him. hard. The boy leapt back, and turned to flee, but was caught by the mages thin, but surpringly strong hand.

He squirmed.

"You are an idiot. next time you have somthign to say from Kichak, make sure you keep your voice down, or you find yourself slowly burning, from the inside out. you will cry for mercy as you inards burst into flame, as your fat becomes lamp fule. but no mercy will come, understand boy?"

"yes sir, p-p-p-please d-dont harm..."

the boy was too overcoem with fear to say anymore. The mage shoved him away brutaly and then spoke a few words of magic.

In instants he was in kichaks hut. The leader was there, as well as a stocky, well built man. The man was bleeding from a wound in his leg, and the mage instantly knew what the fool wanted him for.

He sighed and spoke a few words of magic before the man could note his presence.

The man slumped to the ground, the sleep spell tkaing its effect.

"If you are going to ask me to perform every triflign little service for you...."

the leader cut him off "hold your tounge worm, heal this man, and then i need you to make a magical search for me...."

the mage was soon filled in on the details of the attack.

The mage healed the gaurd and agreed to check it out.

In moments he stood in the area the man ahd bene attacked in.

It was clear that that fool of a man named kichak still thought that it was the enemy. It was obviuosly some of his hired cronies trying to take place in the defenders forces. He would ahve to reprimand the fools for there error. he knew they often used kender to do their work for them.

There was omthign else that bothered him, somthign he had detected earlier.

He raised hsi hands in the air, palms up and spoke in a loud, clear, hissing voice that would ahve turned cow milk sour.

"askh detectes nojth seg hdsy aiuw sesteus inecx detectous"

The area aroudn him began to glow, and the face of a minotaur, and a blakc clad man were revealed to him.
He spoek the kill words to the spell.

He had discovered much. The attacxkers were now revealed to him, and they were now revealed as being not demons.

They were merley using a stone similar to the oen the mage had given his men, to remain invisible.

He would keep that to himself though, there was no need to do kichak any huge favours. He was most certainly not loyal to the man, who he knew would just as readily double cross rovina as rovina would double crooss him.

He also knew that armies wer a few kilometers away, that they were preparing for open warfare.

he would wanr the leader to to prepare his fortifications, he still needed him and his city if he was to get his prize.

but let the man fear demons. he owed him no great favours.

In moments he was once agin in the leaders tent.

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