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  • Korusho
    Korusho  2 hours ago

    Rats, We're Rats, We're the Rats.

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  1 day ago

    Dwarf Night! Dwarves Assemble! In about 7.5 hours from now (8pm est)! Meet by the main gate to Hammersong

  • Cuchuwyn
    Cuchuwyn  3 days ago

    Reminder: no necro night tonight! See you Saturday for the big event!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  5 days ago

    Unfortunately, I have had something come up today and I will not be able to run Nature Night again today.

    Hopefully, life will get back to normal next week, and we can return to our regular schedule.

    Feel free to get together as The Called and have an adventure and/or some great RP. smile

  • wisdombeyondages
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    Orc Night in 2 hours! Meet at the Hellshire camp! Portal will be available for travel!

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    Story Night at the Tin & Tankard in three hours! Hope to see you there.

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  1 week ago

    Dwarf Night! Dwarves Assemble! In about 2 hours from now (8pm est)! Meet by the main gate to Hammersong

  • Cuchuwyn
    Cuchuwyn  1 week ago

    Meant to get this out earlier, but there is a Necro Night tonight, starting in about 7 minutes!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    I have to go into the office today, so I will not be able to host Nature Night. frown

    The Wild Grove is set up and ready to go, so feel free to meet up and spread Nature's Blessings if you wish! smile

The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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The book of unfinished tales

1 2 
LAN_402 LAN_403
8:06:43 pm GMT 04/11/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920

Some time, many years from now, an elderly elvish woman stood atop a dais on a platform in the lush Moonshae forest. She had returned home after centuries spent on a distant island, an island that her travels had once brought her to by chance.

Sitting cross-legged upon the platform before her were a score of young elves---the aspiring clergy of Labelas Enoreth---her charges now, as they had once been her mother’s. They looked to her eagerly, having heard tales of those she had once known and had, according to the rumors that arrived with the woman, occasionally even travelled with; heroes whose stories had carried far from the shores of the island upon which they had been born.

So young, the elvish woman thought, feeling the weight of her responsibility. So much they can do yet with their lives. She scanned the faces of the aspirants.

As she studied each of them in turn, she wondered which would go on to not only become caretakers of history, but would also help to shape it, becoming weavers of the grand tapestry of time, rather than simply its curators. Perhaps, she thought, they all will in their own manner.

But what tale to start them on their journey, she wondered. She then glimpsed an old tome that laid upon the table to her left, the book that had come to her through a friend and had so unexpectedly guided years of her life.

She smiled then, and addressed the aspirants in a voice that carried easily to all; a strong voice, but not harsh; a practiced voice, but one laced with genuine kindness. “There are times Enorethi,” she began, invoking the formal name for aspirants to the clergy, “when tales thought lost to time reassert themselves.”

Her gaze swept slowly over the aspirants, including them all as she spoke. “Like restless spirits, their ends were written prematurely. They have life yet to give. Like the frayed threads of a tapestry, they reach out from the wall they hang on toward the well-trained eye as though silently asking to be set straight.”

“In these instances, history becomes a tangible thing. We can experience those threads of distant time, touch them.” Her gaze lifted to a point over the heads of the aspirants as though now looking to some far off place or time. She reached slowly, as though for some elusive gossamer that threatened to be carried off by too quick a motion.

“And by doing so,” she said, grasping gently that imaginary thread. “We can influence their conclusion.”

“Not to alter history,” she said as she looked back to the aspirants, hushed as they listened attentively. “No. That would defy one of the Lifegiver’s tenets. But rather we do so to give that history new breath in the present; aiding that restless tale in finding the peace of a more fitting end.”

She scanned the Enorethi. “Or perhaps,” she said, “help it find a new beginning.”

“By doing so,” she continued, “we give fresh life to the lessons contained within it, making those lessons new once more for those who weave tomorrow’s history.”

She paused, looking from one aspirant to another, momentarily holding their gaze. She then spoke again, clearly, dropping all analogies. “By reviving the lessons captured in powerful stories of our common past,” she said. “We can shape the path of our shared future.”

She scanned the faces of the aspirants as she returned once more to her analogy. “By influencing individual threads---connecting past to present,” she said. “We can affect the form of the fabric in its entirety, giving new meaning to what has already been woven, and new direction to that still in the loom.”

“Never was this clearer to me than as I read through the pages of an old tome that happened, as chance would have it, to come into my possession.” She nodded toward the tattered book on the table to her left. “An odd book of stories written in a myriad of tongues, more than half a dozen. These stories were not related by culture, content, or even time. Their only connection was in their serendipitous connection to the lives of those who lived, in some cases, centuries after the tales had unfolded.”

“Perhaps it is that we simply find meaning in the histories that we encounter,” she continued in a skeptical tone that made it clear to all that this was not the theory she ascribed to. “Or perhaps history has a power of its own,” she said, “and returns to us when its lessons are most needed.”

“We will begin there,” she said. “To see what this odd book might teach us of history’s role in shaping our future.”

“For that is why Labelas Enoreth charges us with preserving the histories,” she said, looking once more to the Enorethi, smiling warmly as she concluded. “So that those histories might be reflected once more in the tomorrows to come.”
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10:54:29 pm GMT 04/18/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Letters from the Cataclysm --- The Past, part 1

The aged book was odd by any number of standards. Its leather cover had dried and cracked in clusters about its edges, but nevertheless was in extraordinary condition given its apparent age. There were no markings to indicate its original owner, and no title stamped into its leather or inscribed upon its opening pages. The contents appeared to have been gathered from a variety of periods, the parchment of each section varied in weight, the consistency and color of its tone, and the hand that had written upon it. It appeared, by all estimation, to be a collection curated long ago, but by who and for what purpose, if there had been any purpose, remained a mystery.

The first set of pages within the ancient tome where written in a blockish hand, a runic script identifiable as Dethek, the written word of the Dwarves. There were four letters written by this hand in all. This was the first.

Helgra, things be grim here. Seems more like than not that I’ll not be there to speak these words so I’m putting them here. These damnable demons are cleverer than they look. We been camped here for near on three moons now, and they just wait. Their magics twisted the earth all about here. Sucked the life straight from it. Never seen the like of such before. Naught but sand and piss here now. It gives us no water, and all those as the Peacebringer has sent back to bring us more tweren’t ever seen again. Tomorrow, we leave these walls and march on them. Least the waitin’ll be over.

--- Borgrim Oresplitter

P.S. Give the shortbeard me dad’s hammer. It’ll be too big for her yet, but she’ll grow to it.

* A note written in a different hand on a less aged parchment accompanies this letter.
Based on my readings of other letters and texts dating to this time, “Peacebringer” is a name that the Dwarves gave to Kynnonnen Faldric. In order to bring the races together in defense of the island, and aided by the common threat they all faced, Kynnonnen is reported to have peacefully quelled conflicts between those who ultimately fought alongside one another and fell as brothers.

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9:59:17 pm GMT 04/24/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Letters from the Cataclysm --- The Past, part 2

Helgra, this were the hardest day of me life, and by a long measure. Hard to write these words, but you and Noli need to know so as the halls can be prepared if need be.

The day started before light. ‘Twere a relief to be setting off knowing as we would finally see what these demons were about. We tightened our plates and formed into lines. Off to our right were lines of men, standing tall in their steel with pikes bristling. To our left were elves in their own steel, with blades and spear. We were the center, ten rows deep and near a hundred across of the stoutest dwarves as you could hope to see. The honor of being the anchor ‘twere not lost to a man of us. Archers, slingers, and spellweavers formed their own ranks behind. To look upon us then, me heart swelled. This were the best of us, all of us. I could not see as how anything, of this world or any other, could stand against all as we had gathered.

As the first light touched the sands afore us, the demon army could be seen, their lines a chaos. Some as towered over the rest stood amongst the smaller ones. I could not make out much more and didn’t have time to let me mind fidget on it. The call to march sounded. We set out, Doran beating the pace of our march. About a hundred paces in, and the call to double came. It would be a long way to run, but better’n taking our time with it.

We made it to near fifty paces off their line, near enough to see them smaller ones staring back at us, and near enough to see what seemed as the glow of the forge cracking through the skin of the bigger ones. That I remember, but after, it were all a blur.

All as I can say is that the demons opened the hells and threw them down on us. I saw your brother, Fundin. He was there, seven shields to me left. Then there was and infernal roar, and a swirl of fire. To a man, each as was touched be the fire were more gone than there. Just a few bits of armor, twisted by whatever infernal magics the demons had summoned. That were the first of it, but then those roars kept on like the beat of Doran’s drum. More fires, and more of us as were turned to dust and ash or nothing at all. We pressed the pace, or tired to, but I did not make five more paces afore I were knocked from me feet as the earth beneath me tossed us to the sky.

As I picked meself off the sands, I heard the call for the return. We did not so much as scratch one of the damnable beasts. I had a mind to run on toward them meself, just to draw the blood of one. Just one. But I kept me head and followed the tails of me brothers as we did what we had never afore done. Just flat ran back to where we had came. By the time the counting was done, we had lost near one for every three as had marched.

The camp is quiet as the grave. There are none as have the stomach for talking about the day. We’re trying to patch ourselves as we can, and those as are smarter than me are huddling to figure how we can end this madness. We still have no water, so what comes next is like to come soon.

---Borgrim Oresplitter

Another note accompanies this letter:
The magic that Borgrim refers to here sounds much like the spell of the 9th circle known commonly as implosion. The barrage of such spells that Borgrim refers to in this letter suggests the presence of a great many Balor, or arch-demons. The apparent ability of these demons to project such carnage at the distances referred to is troubling and warrants further study.


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9:44:47 pm GMT 04/28/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Letters from the Cataclysm --- The Past, part 3


The ale and mead be making the rounds in camp tonight. We took our losses to be sure, and part of what’s drunk be to honor those as fell. But for each of our fallen, I figure near on six of the demon-kin were sent to whatever hell as those who’re already damned go. Today, ‘twere the demons’ turn to show their backsides.

We learnt our lessons from the last, so Peacebringer called for any as would be prepared to lead the charge ‘gainst the demons this go. Given the hells slung upon us, you might think few would come forward, but a score of us dwarves, and near the same count of men and elves stepped out afore the Peacebringer could finish explaining all as would be asked of us.

We was then paired off, each among us set with a shieldbrother. This weren’t a pairing as sat well with me afirst. Prefect Mayne, a human woman as had some years of service and were named second in command to Peacebringer, made a point not to match any two dwarves or elves or men together. I were paired with a pointy-ear who, not a year back, I woulda been more likely to split in ‘twain than spend ten words with. But Prefect Mayne knew none as stepped forward were going to step back now. Tall bugger, that pointy-ear, and fair-skilled with his blades too. I woulda preferred a dwarf by me side, but as that were not an option, I figure fortune did me no harm in the pairing.

Each of us as were paired were then sent to the spellweavers and priests for some magicking. We were none too aware of what exactly as was being done, but the priest as cast his magics on us explained that the full lines were too many for them to properly protect. The weavers magics would be spent on us pairs, and ‘twould fall to us to get into them demon ranks deep enough that the rest as followed behind could do so without the hellfire that was sent down afore.

As the march was called, we pairs were scattered about, near two hundred paces ahead of the main lines, enough to be sure as the demon’s infernal magics could not reach them ‘till we pairs had chance to bite hard. Helgra, I cannot say as how hard me heart pounded under me plates. Not from fear, though, truth told, there was some bit of that too. But me heart pounded to have some of the demons’ blood for all as they took from us at the last. And it beat for you and Noli, and knowing that if we failed again, ‘twould not be like for us to get another chance. And, maybe because I was with that pointy-ear, it beat for what were done to the land. When we marched in, ‘twere all lush green and rolling with wildflowers, and now ‘twere naught but sand to be blown through the gaps in me plates and getting into me skin. It made real all that these demons were like to do if we did not do as was asked of us. I could tell pointy-ear felt same as me. So we marched and then we ran at a dead sprint into the teeth of them demons that rose from the realms below to where they did not belong. We set to do some death.

We made straight for one of them big demons, one of the ones with the forge-glow coming through its skin. With all the magics from the weavers, me axe hardly slowed in cutting through some of the smaller demon-kin, and pointy-ears’ two blades were the same. Once upon it, I went straight afore forge-glow and me shieldbrother rolled ‘tween its legs to come up behind it; how he did that in his plates, well, ‘twas something to see. Our edges cut deep to its skin. It beat upon me with its own blade, but me armor and the magics upon ‘twere up to the task. We kept on. Soon forge-glow let out an unholy roar, sinking to a knee. Me pointy-ear shieldbrother had drove one of his blades to the hilt into the demon’s leg. That gave me axe a chance to find its throat.

That were the end of it. Nearly. These demons, they don’t die easy. The fires within, those as had been the source of the forge-glow, those unholy flames burst through in a mighty blast. It took me eyes a moment afore they could see again, and the blast blew me shieldbrother from his feet to the sands. I cut me way to him, and stood firm, bringing a quick end to any of the demon-kin as came near. It took some time, but pointy-ear came back ‘round and got his feet under him again. And then, to see us there, ‘twere a beautiful chaos.

After the blast, I could not say if our lines were ahead or behind. My feel for direction had been all mucked about. There were smoke everywhere and fires here and there. I could not see more than five steps from where I stood. With shouts, infernal roars and the sound of steel struck hard on steel, I could not hear neither. I could not have said whether the call of return had been sounded. But it did not matter. Whichever way out might have been, it were too far from us. Pointy-ear and I just stood fast where we were, and struck down any of the demon-kin that came at us. And there were a good number. Then, as quick as that, there were a great roar above all the others, and those demons as were left took to the sky or ran fast as their infernal legs would carry them.

As the demons made for the distance, pointy-ear looked to me. I could tell, without a word being spoke, that he knew his days would like have ended but for me axe and armor standing over him following forge-glow’s blast. And Helgra, as we made our way back to the lines, he were a true shield-brother then, same as any dwarf.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. The demons are not done yet. Far from it, there’s many more where these buggers ran off to. Like that we march to see if we can send them back to their hells at sun’s light tomorrow. But for now, there is a mug of ale waiting for me, and a new shieldbrother to raise it with.

---Borgrim Oresplitter

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6:17:58 pm GMT 05/03/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Letters from the Cataclysm --- The Past, Part 4


Much has passed since me last note, and little good.

After the last, our spirits rode high, and we were set to take the fight to the demons. Peacebringer feared they gathered more from the hells through a tower far west, so we marched to close whatever unholy gate as they had opened. We made it near enough that the tower showed itself on the horizon just as the sun were setting behind it. We meant to make camp there, but were never given chance.

Afore we could begin to set to digging in, walls of fire sprung up all about. Many fell to the flames. Those of us as were unburnt were all divvied up nice and neat by the fires for the demons to do with as they pleased. Dozens of them forge-glows then come at us from above. I swear they weren’t there afore, or maybe they was but they had been magicked so as we could not see them. Whichever, we was none prepared for so many. Before you could blink, them unholy fires was ripping through, turning us to burnt metal and dust.

We was trying to fall back, regroup and make for ground as was not afire. But demons were coming down at us with their magic and blade while others came at us from across the land. With the sun so low and smoke thick as the veil of the pyre, you could see naught but the shine of metal reflecting unholy fires. I fought what I could see and sent a fistful of them demons to their end. Then I caught sight of Peacebringer’s banner. I set to picking me way there and got near, but then were struck fierce in the back of me helm and went to the sands.

The rest is mostly a fog. I could not get meself back upright. Me body had stopped answering what me mind was shouting to do. I felt sure this were me end, and I were cursed to watch it from the ground as another, and another of us were cut down. But me elven shieldbrother t’would not let it be so. He had made it back to Peacebringer, and had set out from those as had rallied there. What I saw then, I can not rightly explain.

The fires and bodies of those as had fallen made it so as the demons had to pass through a space ten longaxes wide. ‘Twould take three or four men to plug that hole, but me shieldbrother did it single-handed. He covered the space from edge to edge with the reach of his blades and the way he moved. His steel and plates flashed the firelight in the darkness as he spun and danced all while making the demons as came at him pay with their life. I felt arms under me, pulling me back toward the Peacbringer’s banner. I tried to pull away, to lend me axe to me shieldbrother, but me body still would not answer the call.

Me shieldbrother yelled something in his elven tongue, something as I could not make out. There were some others as yelled over the din back to him in the same. Then I felt meself pulled over the sands at pace, away from the fighting, but all the while I could see me shieldbrother, a shadow among the fires that burned behind. He held the ground, even after a forgeglow came to the sands. He fought as a dozen men, and struck down more demons than I could count. It tore me heart to watch it as I were dragged away. The demons were too many. Though no bit of steel I had seen before moved as that, it were not enough to stand forever against that mass of demon-kin. Me shieldbrother fell, but he bought distance enough for those of us as remained.

We are so few now, no more than six score. But the priests have put our bodies right, and an angel atop a great Silver came to Peacebringer not a week past. Then, just last night, infernal horns have been sounding. Seems as though the demons have gathered all they can or care to. We are set to march and do what we must. We make for a pass southeast, as the demons will have to get through it to reach all that each man of us came here to protect. We will hold there.

I swear no demon will cross the pass while I have air yet in me lungs. We are too few to turn the demons aside, but we are enough to cut so deep as they will have no hope of making this land a part of their hell. When those demons do spell me end, me pointy-eared shieldbrother Fehrien will have a ale poured and be waiting for me to join him.

Helgra, these will be the last words from me, but do not cut your beard. Light a candle for me in the Hall of Ancestors, but let me pass. I stand tomorrow to give you and the shortbeard many more years, and I’ll look forward to watching them all from halls beyond. I’ll keep a place aside me warm, me love, but you take your time in comin’.

--- Borgrim Oresplitter

A note written in common on parchment far less aged accompanies this letter.
There is much of historical significance to Borgrim’s letter. The ‘angel’ that Borgrim refers to is almost certainly Lord Draxus, the Celestial who joined Kynnonnen Faldric on the 107th day of his encampment, according to Kynnonnen's own writings, and who now resides as a protector of Greenvale. The ‘great Silver’ would be Gzalmash, Lord Draxus’s companion and steed who, long after the events described here, was wounded" >-Clickedy- terribly by Fhelkorn the red, and then slain at the hands of assassins from the poisonwood.

The pass to which Borgrim refers seems likely to be that known commonly today as the Pass of Ashes. Perhaps this is the origin of the pass’ name, though that name is largely attributed to the presence of Fhelkorn’s former lair. Based on the histories, we know the demons succeeded in breaking through those that stood, and wreaking carnage on the island, particularly the ancient city where Steinkreis now stands. But it is clear from the descriptions here and in other histories that the demons suffered great losses before reaching the island proper, else it seems difficult to fathom that they would have failed in their ends when so much of the island’s defenses had already fallen.

Those hundred or so who survived to fight in this last confrontation are collectively referred to as “the remnant” of the original force. They are interred in a place of honor within the Empyrean encampment to symbolically carry on their watch. The exception being Kynnonnen Faldric, whose remains are now interred near the Queen’s tower in Greenvale.

Borgrim’s wife Helgra never remarried. Their daughter, Noli, grew to become the First Shield of Hammersong's royal guard. Borgrim’s line continues today with two, Dalin and Yuna, who serve among the Hammersong hoplites, and another, Lumis, who serves as a member of the clergy. The line of the elf, referred to by Borgrim as his “shieldbrother Fehrien,” also continues today, with the blade dancers Kellendill and Lauerelanthialii, and the archer Tarkka all representing the youngest generation of the House.

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9:45:21 pm GMT 05/16/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Letters from the Cataclysm --- The Present, part 1

~@~ ~@~ ~@~
Our most precious histories are not those found lining the shelves of great libraries and keeps. They are those that reside in our hearts. ---A.E.
~@~ ~@~ ~@~

“Excuse me,” Aeryth said, uncertain if the dwarf she approached was who she sought. He fit the description, and wore priestly clothes, but it was difficult to be sure.

“Eh?” the burly temple dwarf replied, surprised to be addressed by the stranger, an elf no less.

“We dunna get many of yer kind ‘ere. What’s it you need; ‘ealing?” the dwarf began. Then, upon noticing that the woman was uninjured, he continued. “If yer lookin’ fer the merchant ‘alls, they’re down thataway, then left.”

The Dwarf looked away then, taking a few more steps toward the parchment holes carved into the stone along the temple’s east wall.

“Lumis?” Aeryth persisted. “Might you be Lumis?”

The Dwarf stopped cold, immediately suspicious of the stranger. He turned to study her more closely.

Noting the sudden tension, Aeryth quickly explained. “That is a name I learned from the Hall of Records: Lumis, son of Thorin, second of Borin, son of Halli, daughter of Hilde, who herself was the first daughter of Noli, who was the first and only of Borgrim and Helgra.”

He Dwarf’s eyes narrowed, more curious now than alarmed. Convinced she had found who she was looking for, Aeryth extended a bundle wrapped carefully in a blue silken cloth. “I recently came across letters written long ago by Borgrim,” she said. “During his time serving under the Peacebringer, Kynnonnen Faldric in the age of the Cataclysm.”

She offered the bundle to the Dwarf as she continued. “These are copies, three of them. One for you, and one each for your cousins Dorin and Yuna, who I have been unable to reach in the halls below.”

Aeryth searched the dwarf for reaction. “There is a fourth book within as well. It contains the originals; the letters in Borgrim’s own hand. These letters were meant for Helgra, Borgrim’s wife,” she explained. “But I cannot say whether she ever received them.”

“I thought,” she continued, “if you felt it fitting, these could be placed so that they rest beside her candle in the Hall of Ancestors.”

Aeryth offered the Dwarf a warm smile. She squeezed the burly Dwarf’s shoulder. “I have made many more copies,” she said. “Borgrim’s tale will be told. Neither he, nor his deeds, will be forgotten.”

She turned then and began to walk from the temple to leave Lumis with his thoughts. But as she reached the temple’s exit, she turned to face the Dwarf once more. “I travel from here to Greenvale,” she said. “To inform those descended from the one Borgrim called shieldbrother. They have long sought to learn of their ancestor’s fate, and Borgrim tells of it in his letters here.”

“Find me if you or your cousins ever care to meet them. I stay at the old Celestial Temple. You can find me there.”
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3:28:17 am GMT 05/29/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
Letters from the Cataclysm --- The Present, part 2

Aeryth studied the parchment before her yet again---a rough map of the Wastes. With a finger, she followed the route indicated on the parchment to its destination, and again she shook her head in confusion. There was something she was missing. She was certain of it. There were too many intersections for there not to be a common link.

She reviewed the facts.

She had met a member of House Fehrien shortly before being gifted a book by Rianna… that book was a collection of letters, songs, and journal entries in more than a dozen languages, the first of which happened to hint at the location at which the Fehriens’ ancestor had fallen during the Cataclysm.

Aeryth glanced again to the map before her once more.

Tracing the path of Kynnonnen’s forces as described in those letters led to only one possible structure known to have stood at that time, the ancient Celestial temple in what are now known as the shadow dunes… the very same temple that, not two days past, Lord Draxus had instructed her to enter and explore for clues that might reveal what evil now threatens the land.

It all seemed too much for mere coincidence, but any possible connection eluded her or would be dismissed by most as fantastical speculation. She rose from her makeshift desk within the temple ruins atop the hill in Port Galena… the other Celestial temple; far more recent than that in the shadow dunes, but also a nexus to much of Thain’s most pivotal histories.

She paced around the ruins, letting her thoughts settle to the background. The pitted and shattered marble of the pillars and floor reflected the moonlight. Despite the ruined temple’s state, there was serenity to be found here; a peace befitting Andarus, for whom it had been built to embody.

She found herself at the center of the temple’s ruins near the obelisk, the motion of a butterfly having lured her back to the moment. Instinctively, she reached a hand toward the nearest, its wings ghostlike under the moon and night sky. But then, without warning, the earth trembled, nearly causing her to lose her footing.

Aeryth recovered and turned in time to see the three jagged fingers of a planar gate reaching skyward. Before she could collect her thoughts, a figure stepped through a blinding light.

As the light faded, Aeryth was left facing a celestial, its wings unfurled in their full glory and bared sword glowing with divine power.

“I have been watching, Aeryth Elowyn,” the Celestial said. “And I have questions.”

[ image disabled ]

~@~ ~@~ ~@~ ~@~ ~@~

The Celestial had given her name as Sol’edrial, and she and Aeryth had spoken through the night and well past the dawning of the new day. They spoke of motives, sacrifice, shared purpose and hope. By the time Sol’edrial departed, Aeryth knew no more of the elusive connection between the letters, the Fehriens and Lord Draxus’s request, but it mattered not. Those details would be learned along the path that lay ahead. What she had learned was that a greater truth encompassed it all.

She returned to her makeshift desk. After carefully returning the map to its case, she then put quill to parchment. There was much to be done and, even with Sol’Edrial’s aid, she could not do it alone. With renewed verve from the night’s events, Aeryth penned letters to those she knew of similar spirit.

// OOC Note: Aeryth is sending notes around fairly broadly. If you’d like to be involved in a storyline to help restore the Celestial temple in Port Galena, please feel free to send me a PM. If you play a character that would actively try to prevent that restoration and want to get involved, please also feel free to send me a PM. Either way, I’m sure we can find a way to get you looped into things!
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9:08:10 pm GMT 06/30/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
The Fury of the Forest --- The Future, part 1

The Enorethi were gathered with legs folded to sit on the platform nestled in the wood. Their elderly instructor paced among them, extolling the virtues of the histories and the need to marry judgment and action with the pursuit of knowledge. Despite its gentle tones, her voice carried a fiery passion.

“It is not enough to document events or uncover lost knowledge to then simply stow that parchment on the shelf,” she said. “There, on that shelf, even in the most glorious of libraries, that knowledge will likely do little more than collect dust.”

“No,” she shook her head as she continued to pace among her pupils. “Instead you must be not only a keeper of history and lore, you must also be a master of it.”

“You must be a curator of the histories. Seek connections within and between events that time might divide by ages. And most importantly…” she said, lifting a finger in emphasis. “Most importantly, you must seek connection between those histories and the present moment.”

The elderly elvish woman ceased her pacing, turning where she stood to look each of her students in the eye. “For it is only that moment---that precious, present moment---that you can play a hand in shaping.”

She allowed a moment’s silence to pass so that each of the Enorethi could think on what she had said before begining to stroll once more among them.

“Our histories belie the name we give them,” she continued. “They do not live merely in the past.”

“Time does run as a stream from one point in our history through to our future,” she said. “That analogy, which we have all heard countless times and will hear countless more, is accurate.” She let her gaze scan slowly over each of the Enorethi in silence before continuing.

“It is accurate,” she said. “But it is incomplete.”

“We have all seen streams… strolled alongside them, waded through them,” she said. “And while it is true that a stream’s waters do follow its current, they do not do so in an unbroken line. Those waters swirl. They dive and they rise. And, at points, they encounter objects in that stream… and they eddy.”

She made a circular motion over one palm. “When they eddy, they circle. They flow back on themselves against their current; against everything that the analogy alludes,” she said. “It is the same with time.”

“As waters might eddy when they strike too large an object to be moved, so too can time eddy around pivotal events, places, or, in some cases, individuals. And in the midst of these temporal eddies,” she said. “Moments that might be separated by years, or even ages, can bleed into one another, allowing the past to effect the present.”

The woman’s pacing brought her to the desk upon which the odd, untitled book laid; the book that contained Borgrim’s letters. “We saw one such example with the legacy of the Fehriens and the events that followed.” she said.

“We will see another with our next reading,” she said, letting her gaze go to the book, which laid open to a set of entries written in an unartful, almost childlike hand, with smudges so pervasive as to make the writing nearly illegible. “Though these entries are far more recent,” and written by the hand of a friend dearly missed.

She left the last unspoken.
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2:05:20 am GMT 07/04/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
The Fury of the Forest --- The Present, part 1

It had been a surprise, while on her regular patrol throughout the temple grounds, to hear the Taur’otharie call down to her. It had been a greater surprise still to learn that Lady Syrissia had requested her presence and aid. But the surprise of each of those moments paled next to the shock she felt now that she had come.

Loremaster Darius had looked at the odd book that she had kept in her possession these last months, thumbing through pages to a set of entries written in a jagged, inconsistent style, much like a child might write when first learning their letters. A smile had bloomed and he had stabbed a finger toward the open page, turning toward Lady Syrrisia. “Indeed, it is here Lady Syrrisia,” he had said, barely able to contain his excitement. “Rarin’s entries just as he had told you.”

With that, the past crashed like a wave into the present, memories of an earlier time flooding her thoughts and mixing with the moment. It had been a time shortly after she had first arrived to the island when the Tel’Varataurie had taken her under their collective wing and taught her of, and shielded her from, its many dangers. Rarin had been like an elder brother. But Rarin was gone; dead at the hands of the Blood Cabal for years now. Emotion swirled with so many questions---how had he spoken with Lady Syrrisia, how had he known of the book, and that it was in Aeryth’s possession?

All in its time, Aeryth thought, trying to concentrate on the moment. The answers will reveal themselves in their own time.

“…reverie by the source,” she now heard Lady Syrrisia say. “He pierced the veil of Arvandor and came to me in a dream.”

Pierced the veil of Arvandor, that does sound like Rarin, Aeryth thought, recalling how much like a tempest he could be when he set his mind to something. If any could pierce the veil of Arvandor through sheer will, it would be Rarin.

“…could not read or write,” Lady Syrrisia had continued. “But Talla Gweth had encouraged him for years, and he kept a secret journal. Somehow those pages have found themselves in the book you now carry. Rarin had said that is where we would find it.”

“We need you to decipher it,” Lady Syrrisia continued. “One entry of it in particular, then find Rarin’s daughter Callisto and help her understand it.”

Aeryth had recovered enough from the initial shock she had felt to think on what was being asked of her. Transcribing a father’s journal for his daughter, she saw the purpose and good in that but… “Why one entry in particular; which entry?” she asked.

“One entry, the second from last,” Lady Syrrisia explained, “describes a ritual I taught Rarin and Nadya. Rarin must feel that ritual is needed now, and needed sorely enough to find me in my reverie.”

“Do you have a celestial crystal,” Lady Syrrisia continued, cutting off and answering Aeryth’s as yet unspoken question. Aeryth searched her possessions, but found no such crystal among her belongings. Fortunately, Cildir carried a small supply. He passed one to the Lady of the wood.

Lady Syrrisia took the Celestial Crystal from Cildir and then produced another crystal that pulsed with an angry red energy; a riftsone. “The ritual is the only known means to destroy a stone such as this,” she said, placing the riftstone and celestial crystal next to one another upon the dias. She motioned for some distance. As those around complied, she began an elaborate druidic incantation.

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For a moment, a powerful nimbus burst from the two stones, like the light of a clear dawn beaming through the lustrous canopy of the deep wood. Aeryth squinted against its intensity trying to keep her eyes on the stones atop the dias. The light was nearly blinding, but as it dissipated two porous gray stones could be seen where the celestial crystal and riftsone had been.

“The stones are no more,” Lady Syrrisia said, crushing what remained underfoot, leaving nothing more than a harmless gray dust.

“We can put an end the threat posed by the rift. But to do so,” Lady Syrissia said, “I need you to transcribe the ritual, Aeryth. And then I need you to find Callisto and help her learn it. As Rarin’s daughter, she carries his ring, and with it, the means to do as I have done.”
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8:32:45 pm GMT 07/06/17
Vaedryan Registered Member #345 Joined: 2:28:49 am GMT 11/25/04
Posts: 1920
The Fury of the Forest --- The Present, part 2

The night was pleasant. A cool, light breeze from the west had run off the day’s heat, and temple hill was quiet, or relatively so; one could not expected complete silence with harpies still clamoring about in the trees above.

Aeryth had conjured a workbench and stool atop the dais immediately southwest of the temple, and focused there on the smeared journal entries from the odd book. She had long thought of words on parchment as familiar friends, finding peace in old tomes ever since her earliest memories as a child on the Moonshae. But this was different. These words were a friends. Though she struggled at times to decipher them through the jagged handwriting and the smears, whenever she grew weary from the effort, she had only to remind herself of the tenacity it must have taken to commit them to the page. If Rarin could will himself to write these words, she could find the will to understand and transcribe them… for Lady Syrrisia, for Calisto, and for herself.

Aeryth sipped from her tea, a concoction of herbs and spices to aid her focus, and committed herself anew to the effort. She worked through the night.

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