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08/22/2004 11:59 AM

The sword cut air over her head, hissing in the wind.
Karilla ducked, as her hair rippled in the sword's wake. She stood, and the sword cracked into her knee, leaving her hopping on one foot, swearing in pain. Her older brother, Areyus, practice sword in hand, watched her with a disapproving eye.
"You could have blocked that."
"Not with you trying to chop my head off!! Gods, Arey! That hurt!!"
Ari continued to look disapproving, stifling the urge to laugh at his younger sister.

"Think how much that would have hurt, were my sword not blunt."
She glared.
"I don't know why you think I have to learn the sword! I'm better then anyone else in town with a bow!"
Arey sighed.
"Kari, how many times do I have to say this? You HAVE TO HAVE A MELEE WEAPON! You HAVE to!"

Kari's glare suddenly disappeared as she stared at a spot behind him. She got up hastily. Arey turned. One of the Solamnic trainers was standing behind him.
"Is everything alright?"
"Yes sir!" Arey said hurriedly.
The Solamnic base in the little town of Salles offered it's training yard as a place for the villagers to train, so they too could defend themselves. Salles had never been conquered since the War of the Lance, not even in the Summer of Chaos, when Beryl had invaded the neighbouring nation of Qualinesti, or in the madness of the return of magic and the gods to Krynn hardly a year ago. Gellidus, the dragon who ruled most of the island of southern ergoth where the village was, had never bothered to conquer it.

The Solamnic nodded.
Arey shot a glance at Kari.
"Come on, we'll do some bow practice."
Kari gave a grin. Nobody in Salles could beat her for marksmanship.

The two each selected a bow, Kari her own longbow. Kari drew back, focusing on the middle of the target, and released the arrow. It whistled through the air, landing with a sturdy thud in the middle of the target. Smiling in satisfaction she stood back.

Arey drew the bow back, as a tremor shook the ground. An explosion filled the air, and the courtyard shook, villagers and knights being thrown to the ground.
Kari gasped as she hit the ground. The tremor ended, leaving her ears ringing.

People began to cautiously get up. Nobody seemed badly hurt, other then cuts and bruises.
Arey spat out a mouthful of brick dust.
"What was that?"
"Maybe a gnome came to visit." Somebody suggested, to a few responding laughs.
A second tremor began, rumbling. The towers of the barracks swayed, and the world exploded, as Kari was thrown into the air, spiralling down into darkness.


The headquarters of the Solamnic knights were in chaos. Lord Gregor,of the order of the Rose, was fuming.
"Nine! Nine villages destroyed in the past hour!"
Jaems, the cleric of Paladine assigned to advise him in matters of religion muttered a prayer to is god for patience.
"Ten, sir. Another one just reported, named Salles. Coastal village, like all the others."
Gregor swore.
"What in the name of Paladine is doing this!"
"We don't know. A message just arrived from the Conclave, who say they too are investigating it." Jaems said.
"The last thing we need are a bunch of damnable wizards shoving their noses in!!"
Gregor fumed.
"My Lord!" Jaems snapped.
"You are to give every honour to the Conclave as you would any other ruling body!"

Gregor looked as though he had been forced to swallow a bug.
"I would suggest you send a dragon rider to investigate the villages. Mistress Anitha, your ambassador to the Conclave has been sent. If you will please calm down, then this situation might yet be salvaged."

08/22/2004 12:28 PM

The door swung shut behind her, as Ambassador Anitha entered the room.
The Conclave had met in an emergency meeting, due to the attacks on Southern Ergoth.
Dalamar the Dark, no longer the head of the black robes, appeared at the end of the room in the Tower of Wayreth, brushing his robes off, taking a seat.

The heads of the three Orders each sat in an ornate chair, a silvery white one, a red, and a black.

"Ambassador Anitha, welcome to Wayreth. We understand that you have come here in response to the destruction of the villages in Southern Ergoth, as an ambassador from the Knights of Solamnia?"

Anitha bowed politely.
"Yes I have. The dragon riders sent to investigate the ruins of the villages found the explosions that destroyed them to be magical in nature. We decided it best to contact you as soon as possible....."

The ambassador trailed away.

"The Conclave understands the concern of Lord Gregor, but does he truly believe that any of our orders actually perpetrated this terrible act?"

Anitha shrugged.
"I don't know what Lord Gregor believes. I personally don't think the Conclave has anything to do with the recent events, since I've heard about mages disappearing."

"Does Lord Gregor understand that we are not the only users of magic in the world? It is also possible that this could be the work of dark clerics. More likely, even."

"That thought had crossed my mind. Unfortunately, the clerical orders are not well organized at the moment, with no official council."

The three Heads stared at her in silence.
Finally, a decision was reached.
"A delegation of mages will be sent to investigate the recent...events. Ambassador Anitha, since she is personally invested in this matter will be asked to join it-"

Anitha gave a startled yelp. The Head continued without paying attention.

"-asked to join it until a decision is reached. Volunteers will be asked for."
"This session of the Conclave is dismissed."

Anitha, still in shock, made a polite bow before fleeing the room.

08/22/2004 4:09 PM

Jadrek was heading for the council, he was summoned there and was now running dreadfully late. his bond-wolf Saia waited with his charger, Ghost.

His cloak flowed around him as he walked, his long platinum hair fell unfettered around his shoulders. His blue-violet eyes were friendly enough, but there was something in their depths that made most that stared into them shudder and look away.

Jadrek wasn't human... or rather, wasn't completely human. His father was a full-pureblood, Asuli or Vampire in most languages. His mother was half Asuli, half Human.

He had just rounded the corner in the corridor that lead to the Council Hall when someone slammed into him. Startled, he didn't even attempt to regain his balance and fell backward.

Kynia wiped at the sweat on her brow, leaving a trail of soot and blood across her dusky skin. Her long hair was bound in a thick braid down her back, and she looked around. Too many were hurt, even for her abilities... She used common healer remedies for most of the patients, but the ones who were really bad she used her power... and right now she felt as if she had nothing left to give.

Kyel snorted and pushed his broad head against her back as she swayed, steadying her. Kynia rested against the stallion for a long moment, relying on his strength.

:: Thank you my friend:: She sent.

Kyel pawed at the ground and snorted audibly. ::No worries, youngling... but you spend too much of yourself...soon you will fall unconcious from overusing your powers....:: Kyel's deep, rich voice filled her mind and she sighed. Raising her hand, she summoned one of the other healers, and she was replaced by a blue robed cleric, who shooed her away with impatience.

"Please, go rest Lady Kynia... before we're forced to tie you to the cot in the healers tent...." Kynia smiled at the woman and nodded, her hands shook as she caught hold of Kyel's saddle prow, and pulled herself onto his back. Kyel tossed his head and turned, without the aid of the reins that dangled from the bitless hackamore that he wore. He headed for the main building that stood in the center of town, it was the gathering building, and that was where she had set up camp herself just before the quakes. It was also the only building that withstood the quakes...

08/22/2004 5:21 PM

Anitha was furious. Absolutely furious. All she had wanted was to deliver Lord Gregor's message, and now she had been wrangled into scuttling off on a mission with a group of mages!!
The half-elf turned a corner in the tower, and crashed straight into someone.......

Kari drifted slowly back into consciousness, hazily becoming aware of her surroundings. She was laying on the ground, a bitter cold wind freezing her, the smell of ash and burning distinct...
Memory flooded back. The explosion. Burning. Arey.
Kari opened her eyes. Ash met her gaze. Everywhere, ashes danced on the wind. The trees that had been bare with winter's coming were black, rattling in the wind like old bones. Kari gasped, sitting up.

Salles was gone.

Her entire village had been burned to the ground. A few stone chimneys and charred walls remained, but almost everything was reduced to scorched timbers. The sky above was overcast, and a few snowflakes drifted down. She shivered in the frigid wind.

What had happened? Had Gellidus attacked? Arey had said-
Kari turned, staring over the wreckage of the training yard.
A ragged scream tore itself from her throat. She clawed wildly at the scorched bricks and burned timbers, trying to tear everything out of the way. A large chunk of stone fell away, revealing a familiar face. Arey had died on his back, one arm flung over his face.

Tears streamed down her cheeks as she gently turned him over. Glassy eyes stared upwards to the dull grey sky. She wiped blood off of his face, smearing ash in a black streak. A sob tore out of her throat, doubling her over.
Kari sobbed, tears smearing the ash on her face. The tears passed finally, leaving her feeling drained and empty. She stood again, wandering aimlessly through her ruined village.
Nobody else was alive, no building left intact. She picked up a ragged blanket, wrapping herself up against the cold. Finally, she had circled the village, returning to the rubble of the training yard, and her brother.

"I'm back." she whispered to her brother. Pretending her brother was alive to talk to seemed better then silence.
"The whole village is gone, Arey. I don't know what could have done this. It's all destroyed. Everybody's dead. All the buildings are gone.In some places, it's still burning."
"I feel so alone, with everybody gone. What could have happened? What could have done this?"

08/22/2004 5:42 PM

Jadrek groaned and then looked up at whomever had knocked him down. He stared into the woman's green eyes for a long stupified moment before he remembered what he was there for. He stood, and brushed his white silk tunic off.

"I'm sorry, I should've watched where I was going" He apologised. Then he realized where she was coming from. "The meeting over? Damn!" He cursed, and his eyes flashed golden for a breif moment. "I knew I was going to be too late. I'll just have to make a request for them to see me. I had heard of the problems and wanted to help."

Kynia moved with Kyel's gentle gait, till she overheard someone speaking. "Look, it's Seline, wonder what she wants?" Kyel snorted and raised his head. The healer ran towards Kynia and Kyel, her white robes stained with ash, dirt and blood. "Lady Kynia... word is that Salles has been destroyed. Lord Crae wants to know if you and Kyel would scout over there and see if there are survivors, You are the only rider we have that could make it before nightfall.

:: you really should rest...:: Kyel mind-spoke, but he made no further protest.

:: I can sleep in the saddle, I've done it often enough...:: She retorted.

"Alright, I'll head over there, I'll be back as soon as I can with news..." She said and gave Seline a salute as Kyel wheeled around and made a break for the road, his hooves churning up ash and mud. Once his hooves struck the stones of the road, he lowered his head and raced with all his strength and speed towards Salles...

08/23/2004 7:08 AM

(I had my post all typed up last night, before the power went out!!!)
"The Conclave members are probably still in there now." Anitha said.
"Though why anyone would want to join them is beyond me..." she muttered. The half-elf straightened herself.
"I am Anitha Sulitar, Ambassador from Lord Gregor, head of the Knights of the Rose."

Kari stared blankly at the ashes the drifted on the wind. Ashes. Everywhere ashes. Her world was ashes. The snow was starting to fall thick and fast now, as the girl huddled under a ruined part of the training yard, wrapped tightly in her blanket.
"Blessed Paladine" she whispered "what have we done to deserve this?"

08/23/2004 2:19 PM

Jadrek smiled and extended his hand in greeting. "pleasure to meet you ambassador, Lady Sulitar. I am Lord Jadrek Drache, and my people who live in a valley in the Kalkist mountains have experianced problems, and some of the most powerful of us have dissapeared, this includes my little sister. I made the journey here to offer my help in finding out what is going on."

He paused and looked Anitha over. "You look upset, anything I can help with?"

Kyel paced slowly into the ruined villiage, as Kynia rubbed her eyes clear of the smoke. Kyel stopped, one hoof raised as though he intended to move again, his head turned sharply to the right, nostrals flared as he scented the air. Soot and smoke made the stallion sneeze violently.

:: To the right... I catch a human scent... alive:: He called, even his mind-voice sounded stuffy.

Kynia slid off his back and patted his shoulder. "Go on and see if there are any others." She said aloud and Kyel snorted, tossed his head once and paced off to the left, now and again nosing through the ash. Kynia pulled her sword loose in its sheath and moved on, moving in the direction that Kyel indicated.

Broken, still burning timbers gave off heat and melted the snow... Kynia pushed her way past a ruined gate, and entered a clearing that was once a part of a training yard of some sort... broken wooden practice swords littered the ground, half covered in snow.

A soft sob caught her attention and she rushed forward, keeping in a half-crouch. She heard the sound again as she reached a part of the wooden fence that had miraculsly remained standing and she turned. Seeing the young woman she moved forward cautiously.

"Ho there, are you alright?? I am Lady Kynia, from the villiage about ten miles to the north, I was sent to see if there were any survivors." She called, and as she finished speaking, Kyel walked into the enclosure. A slight shake of his head told Kynia all she needed to know.

08/23/2004 3:05 PM

Anitha shrugged.
"I got commandeered to accompany the delegation of mages."

Kari jumped at the sound of a voice.
I'm going crazy!

"Ho there, are you alright?? I am Lady Kynia, from the villiage about ten miles to the north, I was sent to see if there were any survivors."

Kari scrambled away, eyes wide, staring at the woman on a white horse.

08/25/2004 2:18 PM

"To attempt to figure out what has happened no doubt... well since that was what I wanted to do in the first place... You wouldn't mind a non-mage to accompany you would you?" Jadrek asked. It was true that he wasn't a mage, but that didn't mean that he didn't use magic.

"Please, there's no reason to be afraid, come on, lets get you warm and fed before we head back okay?" Kynia said, and then looked back at Kyel. Their silent conversation was lost on the girl, and with a nod that probably astonished Kari, the Stallion turned away and began to rumage around the rubble.

Kynia rummaged through her pack and pulled free a flint striker and then her packs of travel food... she glanced around and wondered if she would have any chance to hunt, a rabbit perhaps. Kyel made five trips back to them, each time either carrying sticks or other burnable fodder in his mouth or rolling some other kindling ahead of him with his nose.

Once Kynia had gotten a spark, she fanned the tiny fire till all of the wood was burning as cheerfully as it could in the midst of all this destruction.

"Come on, I'm not gonna hurt you. I don't have much in the way of food, but you're more than welcome. Are you okay? Have you been injured?" She asked, the girl's panic and distress was palpable to Kynia.

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