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Kalia_Majere
06/26/2006 12:35 PM

Several weeks ago, a strange planar anomaly occurred, resulting in a rift that breached the very structure of the multiverse for a short time. This tear in the fabric of reality had numerous effects, one of which was the creation of a short-term connection between the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia and the Material Plane. On the night this anomaly occurred, a bright light appeared in the night sky above the small hamlet of
Elton. The brilliant celestial event awakened the residents of the village, who emerged from their dwellings to marvel at the new star in the skya star whose light seemed to bring feelings of peace and well-being to all who gazed upon it.

Upon reaching the village common, the villagers found a young man, barely more
than a boy, lying naked and shivering on the ground. Though he resembled an elf, there was an almost unearthly beauty about him. They asked him who he was, but his reply came in a musical tongue they had never heard before.

This stranger was in fact an immature trumpet archon, barely an infant by the standards of his kind. The planar anomaly had ripped him from his home in the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia and transported him here. Afraid and confused, the young celestial
knew neither where he was nor why he had been transported here. Who were these people dressed in such simple garb? Was this event a sign that he had erred in some way? Was he being denied the heavens because of some flaw in his nature? Or might this situation be some sort of test of his purity?

The people of Elton knew nothing of the strangers extraplanar nature, but they did understand that he was weak, cold, and in need of help. So they found clothes for him and provided him with food and shelter. Calling him the gift of the star, they accepted him into their community.

Over the course of several weeks, the young man began to learn the language of his benefactors. Deciding that the celestial powers had placed him here for some reason, he accepted Elton as his new home and did his best to fit in. He told his benefactors only that his name was Arithel, deciding that it was best not to reveal his true origins.

The young mans presence proved a balm to the community, and the residents of Elton began to remark on how happy they felt. Old quarrels with neighbors were forgotten when Arithel interjected a few calming words, and the villagers found peace and ontentment in one anothers company.

Meanwhile, sinister plans were afoot in the nearby hills. Some years ago, Brath the Greater, the leader of an ogre tribe in the nearby hills, began to perform breeding
experiments tainted with dark magic upon his charges. The result was an unholy fusion of insect and ogre. Pleased with his success, Brath continued the experiment, hoping to build an army of these insectile ogres with which he could conquer the surrounding
territory. The new ogres were highly industrious and worked diligently to alter their cavern home in the hills near Elton to their leaders specifications.

On the night of the planar anomaly, Brath the Greater vanished from his home, sucked through a rift that appeared in the cavern wall. His son, Brath the Lesser, caught a brief glimpse of the realm into which his father had been pulled. Always a studious youngster,
he had read much about other planes and decided that the realm his father now occupied must be one of these. Unable to rescue his father (and disinclined to
do so anyway, since he dearly wanted to assume leadership of the tribe), he decided to investigate the anomaly further and see whether any of its effects could be turned to his advantage.

Creeping forth from the caves, he saw the star and decided to find out what had
occurred just beneath it. He followed the light to Elton and took up a hidden position where he could see what transpired. He witnessed the boys adoption by the villagers
and heard his first words. Having heard the Celestial tongue before, when his father had angered a celestial, he recognized the language and decided that the boy must be a celestialalbeit a puny onethat had been torn from its home in the same manner that
his father had.

Realizing that a young celestial lay practically within his grasp, Brath hurried back to the caverns to make plans. His fathers magical tomes revealed that the tears and blood of an angel could be used to create powerful weapons of evil. With such weapons at their disposal, he and his tribe of insectile ogres might be a match for the humanoids of the area. He could reap the fruit of his fathers lifetime of labor and rule all the lands nearby himself! Thus, he became determined to kidnap the young celestial, extract as much useful material from him as possible, and then sacrifice him to a dark power. Such a sacrifice, he hoped, would grant him power and prestige far beyond that normally attainable by an ogre mage of his tender years.

Yesterday, Brath the Lesser led his insectile ogres in an attack on the village of Elton. the town was plundered, but only one resident was carried offArithel. The surviving
townsfolk are desperate, and they appeal to several local mercs for aid. Surprisingly, however, they are more concerned about ensuring Arithels safe return than they are about getting their own possessions back.

Kalia_Majere
06/26/2006 5:00 PM

Illia woke with a scream on her lips. Her silvery hair fell in loose waves over her shoulders and dangled in her vison. "Damn!" She gasped as her pounding heard gradually began to slow to a more reasonable pace. The sun was just now clearing the far horizon, in a cloudless sky.

The force of her exlamation had quieted the forest around her, and a single bird let out a tentative chirp, followed by others as they realized there was no danger. Glavian, The light grey warhorse snorted and shook his head at her outburst. Illia gripped her blanket with a white-knuckled grasp, her breathing coming in short pants. Quickly, they too slowed.

"That Damnable Dream!" She gasped and stood, Clad only in the mithril chain shirt and a pair of loose breeches. The second morning in a row... She had drempt of a falling star that turned into a tiny infant. The child screamed in torment as it plummeted towards a dark shadow that reached up to snatch the infant from the sky. The darkness itself was grinning with a glee that made Illia grit her teeth in disgust.

She knew that this wasn't a normal dream, and she headed in the direction she felt the pull of the dream, the trees whispered to her of a great danger, and she pushed Glavian to his limits every day, and she knew that she would reach her destination by midday...

Quickly Illia broke camp and packed Glavian up. The Gelding snorted and pranced, oddly egar to be off. She scattered the remains of the campfire, and mounted up. She turned Glavian's head to the east, and rode into the rising sun....

JawHun
06/27/2006 1:44 PM

Ben collapsed on the road, fatigue finally setting in. Ben hadn't slept in days; he had wandered across the countryside in a zombie-like trance in no real direction, stopping sparingly for food and rest. The dreams attacked whenever Ben fell asleep now, and the only solution he could see was to stop sleeping altogether. He laid on the ground for a few moments before hauling himself back up to his feet. Downing completely the sour-smelling contents of a vial, he took one step before collapsing, snoring, on the side of the road.

The dreams rushed to him, flashing like the lightning of an angry sky. They were more vivid than ever, he could hear voices, names...

"Arithel!" a tearful voice cried, "They've taken him!"

A flash of light, shape of a boy.

Images and sounds flew around Ben like a whirling thunderstorm, images of a town, of an army of disgusting creatures...

***

Ben awoke to the sound of footsteps. He jumped to his feet too quickly, only to find himself spun out of control and back on the ground. He still felt terrible. Glancing quickly around, he noticed that it was dark out - he must have been sleeping a long time. There were three men around him; scruffy, dirty men. It was safe to say they weren't going to help him. Ben frantically reached for his sword, only to find it gone. Not only that, as he patted his person down, all of his possessions were missing. He looked up to find his precious belt in the hands of one of these burglars. He reached to his chest, feeling the familiar lump of his key pressed under his tunic. At least he had that.

A glinting in the corner of his eye revealed his sword in the hands of a different thief. To Ben's dismay, the sword was drawn, reflecting his own terrified expression back at him. He whirled around again to see the other thieves' dagger's drawn as well.

[i]This is not going to end well,[/i] Ben thought as he reached into his pocket for any semblance of weapon. There he fingered an empty flask and a ball of twine he had found in an alleyway just a few days ago. [i]This is not going to end well...[/i]

[Edited by JawHun on Sunday, July 9, 2006 8:21 PM]

Kalia_Majere
07/08/2006 2:41 PM

It took about a candlemark (hour) past middday for Illia to reach the moderate sized town that she felt drawn to. Glavian seemed tireless, and refused any stop she tried to make, stubbornly pulling his head away every time she tried to lead him to water or other fodder.

Finally taking the hint, She mounted up and allowed him his head and he raced across the open plain towards the east, only slowing as the town came into sight.

JawHun
07/10/2006 12:05 AM

A sudden flash of light lit the countryside as it began to rain. The thieves began to circle very slowly, lightning flashes momentarily revealing their grimacing faces. Ben was frantically fiddling with the contents of his pocket, his mind spinning. He fumbled with the string, trying to tie it around the lip of the flask...

At the crash of thunder one of the theives bolted toward Ben, dagger arm forward. Ben screamed and whippied his hands out of his pocket into the protective stance similar to that of many women when they're in danger. This frantic gesture sent the flask flying out of his pocket and toward the oncoming thief, shattering as it connected with his forehead. The two remaining thieves stood in shock as their comrade collapsed to the ground, unconscious. Ben continued screaming, his hands outstreched and his head turned. When no blow came, Ben slowly opened his eyes and turned his head to see the man lying on the now wet grass. It was the thief that had his belt! As he moved toward the unconscious body, the other thieves snapped back to reality. The theif with Ben's sword sprinted toward Ben from behind, preparing to slash him in the back. The thief swings the sword, but Ben had bent over to retrieve his belt. The force of his swing and the wet ground below work to throw the thief off balance, who stumbles to the ground. Ben returns to his feet and turns around, holdhing the belt out in front of him, just in time to deflect the blow of the third thief's dagger. To Ben's horror, the dagger collides with one of the red vials strapped to the belt, blasting it's contents all over the ground. The thief prepared to strike again when the ground began to sizzle; the water was boiling. Ben, taking advantage of the distraction, shoved the thief to the ground. Ben, abandoning his sword, sprinted away. The thieves got to their feet just in time to be blown to bits; the liquid had combusted violently, blasting Ben 15 feet, and the thieves to smithereens.

***

Ben, having walked for nearly 30 hours with no sleep nor food finally arrived at a town. He had severely chastized himself for drinking the wrong potion (a potion for sleep, rather than to keep awake), but more importantly, he had forgotten about his dagger that was on his wrist throughout the entire encounter with the thieves. He was lucky, in a way, that one of his most powerful potions had saved him, but it had cost him lots of time and money to create.

[i]At least I didn't hurt myself too badly,[/i] he thought. [i]And, at least it wasn't -that- potion...[/i] He fingered a deep black potion on his belt. It was in a vial that looked like it could survive a hurricane, and would take no less to open.

It may have just been the fatigue, or sleep deprivation, or hallucinations brought by the serious pain of having the majority of his backside covered in burns, but this town looked uncannily familiar. So familiar, in fact, that he knew exactly where the tavern was. He had just enough energy to push open the door before he fell unconscious to the floor.

[Edited by JawHun on Monday, July 10, 2006 12:12 AM]

Dark_Master
07/11/2006 8:16 AM

Ashtallion stood within the woods, standing still as marble with his hands out to the sides slightly. Silence surrounded him, eyes closed, mind closed to the world around him. Suddenly his robes stirred violently, caught up in a wind driven by sorcery, his hair whipped frantically. Yet the expression on his face, one of cool indifference, never wavered. No sound came from the sorcery, no blade of grass nor leaf moved. Just as suddenly, his robes and hair calmed, falling back into perfect alignment.

The Sorcerer sighed, a weary and drawn out breath. " Not far, Spirit. Then we can sleep. ", the large war horse trotted up to his side, nuzzling into the Elf with its nose. Ashtallion absently rubbed the bridge of Spirits nose before saddling up once more. " I can't say I like the feel of the village... ", Spirit merely whuffed in uncaring response. " I know, I know..I've been hard on you ever since the dreams, a little patience more is all I ask dear Spirit. "

Horse and Sorcerer made their way to the village, Ashtallion watched every shadow with more than just his eyes. Magical senses stretched further than even his elven eyes could see, and in better detail. Eventually they came to the village and the Sorcerers' feeling of unease was hardly lessened. He wanted answers... but who to ask?

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