Tales of Amn **Hot Topic**

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  1. #71
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    A few weeks ago

    Riverna, the city in the sky, homeworld of the Inuiks. There are 5 main islands that the Inuiks use, the rest are smaller ones which mostly contain single establishments. On one of the main islands resides the palace of the current shaman: Yiazma. The shaman's role before the banishment of Xarxes was to choose who were the next sacrifices. The shaman was also the only one who was allowed to make contact with Xarxes. These days the shaman's role is just to lead the people and act as their guide like any leader. Yiazma became the shaman over 50 years ago, right after the last shaman had been murdered in mysterious circumstances. The culprit was never found and the only evidence they managed to dig up was a single piece of black cloth with blood on it.

    Yiazma was resting in his quarters on the top of the palace. Suddenly the door to his quarters opened and in walked a figure clad in a dark robe. Only the elf's bright green eyes could be seen underneath his hood. Yiazma recognized the person and showed them where to sit before looking out of the window and towards the city. The city was bustling with Inuiks since it was still early morning. The morning was the only free time the Inuiks had since the rest of the day was committed to work. After you were done with work, you'd return home and pretty much go to sleep instantly. Vacations or days off were unknown to them, in fact those words were largely unknown to everyone on Amn.

    Yiazma had the mark of the shaman on his forehead, like every shaman before him. The mark was a small golden disc which reflected sunlight brilliantly. Yiazma was clad in the traditional Inuik robe which exploded with color. Shades of purple, green, blue and yellow could be seen all around the robe in varying forms. It was hard to keep your eyes away from it.

    Yiazma: ”Renault, you've returned. How fares Monark?”
    Yiazma's voice was stern, filled with dignity and unshakable pride.
    Renault: ”Well, the Elder Council is more than concerned of you and your people, shaman.”
    Renault's voice however was the exact opposite, the way he addressed Yiazma as shaman was almost mocking. Yiazma however brushed it off, he was not one who could be swayed with words.
    Yiazma: ”Concerned as in they worry about our health, or that they fear we might start a war?”
    Renault: ”The latter one I'm afraid.”
    Yiazma: ”I see. Did you have something else?”
    Yiazma wasn't the talkative type. In fact his personality was similar to that of Kinos Alte's. Renault had gotten used to his type of personality through his years of service however.

    Renault: ”In fact I do have something. Kinos Alte, the elven spokesman, is devising a revolution with Nilak Venotre, the elven hero. I'm certain you're familiar with him.”
    Yiazma: ”Nilak Venotre.. Yes, he was the one who fought against my son in the old colosseum. I believe he was also partly the cause of the old colosseum's destruction? What does this revolution have to do with me and my people?”
    Renault: ”They are attacking the drag-.. Gods. They plan to take their soul crystals and use them to open the barrier that seals away the Netherworld. The whole of Amn will be against those two in their endeavor. They need support.”
    Yiazma: ”.. Why should I bother myself with the elves? Their business is not mine to deal with, even if it affects the Gods.”
    Yiazma's disdain towards the elves was clear from his words. Inuiks in general didn't care much about the other races. Renault sighed first before finally sitting down next to a small desk.

    Renault: ”.. Alright, let's play it your way then. You owe me a big favour, shaman. Lest you've forgotten how you came to be a shaman.. ?”
    Renault nibbled the side of his hood, boasting a grin in the darkness underneath it.
    Yiazma: ”You're brave for challenging me with that, Renault. However if you want our relationship to stay friendly, I advice you to never threaten me again.”
    Renault: ”With friends like these, who needs enemies? Isn't that right, shaman?”
    Yiazma: ”.. Hmph. When will they initiate the plan?”
    Renault: ”Caught your interest, shaman? During the night of the next Moon Day, about two weeks from this day.”
    Yiazma: ”Very well. You may take your leave, Renault.”
    Renault: ”Before that.. If the need ever arises, don't hesitate to summon me with this. Just pour some magic into it so that it activates, that's all you need to do. Farewell, shaman.”

    Renault handed a beacon to Yiazma and then vanished into thin air. As soon as Renault disappeared, an Inuik stepped inside Yiazma's quarters. The Inuik bore both black and white feathers, he had a very royal look about him. Before the Inuik managed to speak, Yiazma opened a drawer and dropped the oval shaped beacon there.

    ???: ”Father. Are you really going to help the elves?”
    Yiazma: ”To an extent.. You will take the lead and assist Nilak if need be. If the plan actually succeeds and Nilak manages to collect all the soul crystals.. Then you will strike him down. That will make you the new hero of Amn and we may proceed to resurrect the God of Skies.”
    ???: ”Nilak is powerful Father, probably the most powerful elf among the people of Amn. I don't think I can defeat him.”
    Yiazma: ”You fought Terra and survived.”
    ???: ”And yet I lost.”
    Yiazma: ”Terra was a monstrous human being, the fact that you got out with minor injuries is remarkable enough. Nilak was seriously injured during his fight with Terra.”
    ???: ”Yes, but Nilak also managed to injure Terra. Their battle was much more even than mine and Terra's.”
    Yiazma: ”Who says your fight must be a fair one? Overpower Nilak if need be. Strike a blade into his back while he's not watching. It is as simple as that.”
    ???: ”But Father.. !! That's-- !!”
    Yiazma: ”Enough! You are my son, Loki, the most powerful Inuik to ever have flown in the skies of Amn. Believe in yourself! Believe in me! Believe in the Gods!”
    Loki: ”.. Yes, Father.”
    Yiazma: ”Soon.. Soon everything will be back to the way it was. Our fathers are smiling to us.”
    Loki bowed before leaving the room.


    Present

    In the depths of the forest of Auburn an execution was at hand. Valham was barely breathing, such was his exhaustion. The fact that these Inuiks had suddenly arrived, as if on some cue, made Valham wonder just how far had Nilak sunk? Had he become a merciless dragonslayer? Or was there someone else who wanted the dragons dead? The proud Inuik leader finally talked after observing Valham for a long time.

    Loki: ”I, Loki, the son of Yiazma the Shaman, shall send your soul to the Netherworld where the God of Skies shall devour it and regain his strength.”
    Valham: ”You.. believe that Xarxes, God of Skies as you refer to him, is without.. his strength.. ?”
    Loki: ”He is, God of Winds. It is our duty as his loyal followers to restore him to his full might.”
    Valham: ”You will only.. doom yourselves by releasing Xarxes from his.. prison.”
    Loki: ”Herecy and lies coming from the mouth of a God. How could you betray your own kin?"
    Valham: ”I never betrayed my kin for he never was one to begin with.”
    Loki: ”Your words make no sense. Rest now, and become one with the God of Skies!”

    Loki raised his spear high up, signaling all the Inuiks to attack. In an instant, twelve spears pierced through Valham's skin.. and thus, Valham was no more. The surges of fire that had earlier escaped underneath Valham's skin suddenly activated into a constant stream of green fire. Loki ordered everyone to back down, he wasn't sure what was going on. The stream of green fire gathered into a single spot and formed into a very hazy figure, as you can expect if the figure was made of fire. The figure had a humanoid form and a pair of golden eyes, there was not much else one could make out. The green fire 'sprite' looked at Loki for a while before blasting off into the direction of the Chasm of Terra. Loki was in awe, he couldn't believe his eyes.

    Loki: ”.. Was that the soul of the God of Winds? .. Hm! Leave no trace of your existance here! No one must know until the proper time comes. Our next target is the God of Eternal Fire!”


    Reed could hear Andrim almost snicker at Nilak's justification for doing what he had done. Admittably, Reed agreed with Andrim. Nilak's out cry about people not being perfect was overshadowed with the simple little fact that he just killed Valham, one of the beings regarded as gods in the world of Amn. If it was anyone else who had for example only stolen an apple or such, it would've worked. It appeared as if Nilak had lost common sense in his pursuit of the truth.

    Reed was surprised of how calculative Andrim was. Then again it made sense, Andrim would've been a fool to attack Minathiel in the presence of all these witnesses. Andrim told Reed how much he would want to see him dead, yet still Andrim wished to strike a deal with Reed. Andrim gave Reed thirty seconds to conceal them from view of the others. Reed didn't hesitate in acting.

    Reed: ”So be it, Andrim.”

    Suddenly darkness started seeping from underneath Reed's cloak, quickly enveloping the whole world around the three of them. Only moments later everything turned dark, the only light was coming from the fire Andrim had lit on his hand. Reed took a few deep breaths, it had been some time since he was last here: the Dark Realm. The Dark Realm was Reed's own slice of heaven. It was a place which felt like home to him. The trick to the Dark Realm was that even though the world around seemed different, it actually wasn't. All three of them were still in the same place, in Valham's nest, only they had jumped on another layer so to speak. No one else would be able to see them here.

    The best way to recognize the Dark Realm was how every single color had been replaced by different shades of gray and black. It was like experiencing a bright light after a long sleep except instead of light it was darkness. Andrim seemed confused at first, and so was Minathiel. Who could blame them? The Dark Realm was a place where your own imagination was your greatest enemy. The feeling of isolation and loneliness were common, something which Reed had learned to deal with.

    Reed: ”I suggest you keep this brief, Andrim. This place is not good for your health.”

    Andrim lost his interest with Reed momentarily and even let him go. It seemed Andrim had thirsted for revenge against Minathiel longer than Reed had thought. At first Andrim was at a loss what he would say to Minathiel, yet the words still didn't stop. Andrim had regained his calm composure and was clearly on top of things. Reed grinned devilishly in the background, his light green eyes glimmering in the darkness. He was enjoying what he saw, and wouldn't dare to interrupt Andrim now. Minathiel on the other hand could only listen to Andrim's tragic tale.

    Andrim's speech was interrupted every once in a while as he checked his surroundings, his mind was clearly playing tricks with him. Reed stood still and only observed. Andrim's tale didn't seem to have an effect on him. However the more Reed knew about Andrim the more he became interested about him. Andrim certainly had the potential and attitude but Reed had to see how he would deal with Minathiel.

    Andrim revealed how he actually had the similar ideals as Nilak had, however he was only concerned about the elves. He was against the Elder Council system too, to an extent. He, and his late lover, wanted equality between the dark elves and the high elves. It was rather interesting since Andrim himself was a high elf, it was rare to see a high elf concerned about dark elves. The first step toward this goal was to have a dark elf council member. Their protest however ended in a tragedy caused by an elf who still remains anonymous. Both Andrim's lover and fairy were slain by this mystery elf and this is how Andrim began harboring hatred within himself, just like Kinrai.

    Andrim's reasoning led him to believe that the mystery elf was an assassin sent by one of the higher-ups, Minathiel being one of them. Soon after that Andrim's fairy appeared, it seemed she had been sucked into the Dark Realm too. She was against Andrim's actions, acting like a conscience to Andrim which he admitted himself. Her complaints fell to deaf ears though. Moments later Andrim ended Minathiel's life, she never had the chance to say anything back at Andrim. Reed clapped his hands lightly, his arms had slithered their way back to where they belonged.

    That was finally when Andrim turned his attention back to Reed. Andrim was blunt and said immediately that he didn't trust Reed.

    Reed: ”Distrusting me was one of the smartest things you've done today, Andrim.”


    Nilak's eyes flung open and he raised his head. He had somehow lost conciousness but he still hadn't fallen on the ground, he was still on one of his knees. Nilak slowly got up and saw Reed, Minathiel and Andrim had disappeared. It was puzzling to say the least, only moments ago Minathiel was about to attack Nilak and yet now she was nowhere to be seen. The thought that Reed had his hands in this passed through Nilak's mind, it certainly wouldn't be surprising considering how mysterious he was.

    Nilak could see how the forest had become quiet all of a sudden. Birds didn't sing their songs, water didn't run in the rivers, the wind didn't play with the leaves of the trees.. It was as if the whole forest had frozen still. It felt like it was mourning Valham, but why? Nilak was sure Valham was still alive unless.. Nilak brushed off the thought.

    Nilak: ”If only there was another way..” Nilak's attention was suddenly drawn to the only witness of this whole ordeal.

    The moon elf and her fairy were still on the scene. She had finally opened her mouth only moments before Balthazar and Falteer had escaped. She confronted the three of them instead of judging them right from the spot like Minathiel and Andrim. Perhaps she wasn't as familiar with the law, nevertheless her words stung like a blade through Nilak's heart. Undoubtedly Balthazar and Falteer felt the same. It was one of the reasons Nilak felt so fatigued all of a sudden. It also appeared she was the one who told Kinrai to come, Nilak wasn't mad though, he didn't have the right to be mad about that.

    Nilak: ”.. I know you must hate me but I beg you, grant me a single request, moon elf. Not for my sake, but for Kinrai's sake. Please take him back to Nayru. He needs a healer who can resurrect him. Liana, Kinrai's mother, is a good healer, she will undoubtedly do everything in her power to resurrect Kinrai.

    And..

    Please help Kinrai, he is struggling to contain the hatred within himself. You saw it, didn't you? He needs someone who he can trust since I'm no longer that person. The more people there are who he can trust, the better he can contain that hatred. That wraith inside him is more powerful than I remembered. It must never be allowed to awaken again, lest Kinrai will be branded as a Tainted.

    Lastly.. Don't let him come after me. I know it won't be easy but.. I never want to fight him again.”

    Nilak had a pained expression on his face.

    After finishing his speech, Nilak turned around and faced the forest of Auburn.

    Nilak: ”I am deeply sorry for the grief I've caused. There is no hope of salvation for me anymore and I don't intend to beg for mercy. My mind is still clouded and thus I have to keep going. Mark my words, if the words of a Tainted one still matter to you, moon elf: I am not out to destroy the world of Amn.”

    With those words still hovering in the air, Nilak dashed into the thicket and soon resumed flying. His destination: the treacherous Nihil Mountains where Ik'har the ice dragon resides.


    Back in the Dark Realm

    Andrim continued and told Reed he would be suspected immediately if they just left like this. That's why Reed was to take the blame for Minathiel's death. Reed nodded silently and grinned as Andrim plunged his knife through his own chest. Andrim was more thorough than you'd imagine, he was more sincere than he let on. Direya of course shouted out but her concern seemed to fall on deaf ears again, Andrim was dead set in what he was doing.

    Reed: ”So, I caused that awfully painful wound on your chest and killed Minathiel? Aww.. I thought you'd want to take the credit for such a remarkable feat.” Reed said jestingly. He took the knife Andrim threw on the ground and knelt down next to him. Reed brushed the knife gently across Andrim's cheek before hiding the knife underneath his robe.

    Reed: ”Since you spared my life, I will spare yours. After all it's awfully hard to repay your debts to a dead man. Besides I'd love to welcome you to our little group of misfits and liars, you're a perfect fit among us! Ha!” Reed let out a short laugh before facing Minathiel.
    ”Now then.. only a few things remain I need to do here. First off..”

    A black blade grew from Reed's sleeve, mere inches above his arm, as he walked towards Minathiel's now deceased corpse. Even though Andrim had been thorough in making sure she couldn't be resurrected, Reed felt the need to finish the job so that nothing could bring her back. With a swift swing Reed cut off Minathiel's head. He followed the swing with a quick thrust through her heart, cutting it in half. The amount of blood would've shocked your average elf but since everything was the shade of gray, even blood seemed less intimidating. There was not even a slight hesitation in Reed's movements. It proved he had done it before, and most likely numerous times.

    Reed: ”Oh my, looks like my charm was too much for her to handle. She is awfully pretty though, shame such beauty was gone to waste by such an archaic mind. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. I deduce that Minathiel lost here." Reed said as he watched Minathiel's head roll around before flat out bursting out into laughter. Once his laughter settled down he continued. "Killing business is always so awfully messy with my skills though. If only I had the fire element I could just burn them to ashes and sweep them aside. Now then..”. Reed walked back and knelt down next to Andrim. He took a small white oval shaped object from his pocket and placed it in one of Andrim's pockets.

    Reed: ”Keep that with you, it'll make it easier for me to contact you. You can summon me with it if you just pour some magic into it. Use it if you deem my presence necessary. Try not to summon me into a situation where I might not walk out alive, okay? Good.” Reed tapped Andrim's cheek a few times with his hand before getting back up and turning around to face the darkness. ”The next time we meet you'll meet our leader, and I might even part with my real name to you. We can discuss about your initiation in more detail then. Take care now, Andrim. Oh! Keep an eye on Kinrai, won't you? It never hurts to now where that boy is headed next. Au revoir!”

    Suddenly the darkness lifted taking Reed with it. Andrim landed back with Minathiel's corpse where they had initially been: Valham's nest.

  2. #72
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    Tale of Askari Part 2 (20 years ago)

    The female elf crouched. Carefully she placed her gloves before her on the ground before she started to fiddle with her cloak. Against the sand of Onomu her skin had an eerie black color. Askari’s eyes narrowed slightly. He had only one chance. One chance to attack and make it back to town with something worthwhile. If he messed this up than Ajabu would never even let him in again. His twin brother was not as kind as his mother. He didn’t have an endless patience like Zuri, nor the never ending kindness. Ajabu wanted to be the best and he was not about to let his twin brother drag him down even if this meant sending the said brother away. Askari wondered for a moment if the rest of the family would miss him if he left. It would surely solve a lot of problems around the house.

    The female elf had now unbuckled her cloak and was spreading it out on the ground. She was moving her hands and there was a sudden flash of blue light. Unintentionally Askari shot backwards, his instincts telling him to run away from this strange display of power. He restrained himself immediately. What if she heard him? Trying to again be as quiet as possible Askari moved forwards again and peeked to the elf. She had risen again and fastened her cloak around her neck. Within seconds she was moving away from the beastkin. Nothing in her behavior was giving away that she had heard him.

    Askari let out a quiet breath which he had been holding for a couple of seconds. There was still a chance then. He crouched low and slowly started to follow the elf. He wondered briefly where she was going and how she had ended up in this deserted part of Onomu. There were not much strangers here and when they came they always moved through quickly. This elf seemed to share the same idea as the rest. She was walking with firm steps as if she had a pinpoint destination in mind which she was trying to reach before nightfall. Whatever this destination must be Askari was sure it wasn’t a village. For all he knew there were no villages around. Although… if he had wandered east like planned he should have closed in on Paku by now, but surely he hadn’t gone that way right?

    He ducked away behind a slumbering volcano as the elf slowed down her pace for a moment. She glanced around for a moment and then returned to her former walking speed.

    He needed a plan.

    Taking is eyes of the elf for a moment he scanned the landscape. If she was to continue north (or he assumed it to be north) like she was doing now she would eventually reach the rock formation that was now rising up in the distance. If he could manage to follow her unnoticed to that place he could overtake her while she was walking between the rocks. That way there would be less chance for her to escape, and thus more chance for him to collect his money. Askari nodded to himself. This was quite a suitable plan.

    He continued to follow the elf from the side for about an hour. During that time the elf didn’t increased her speed nor did she slow down. She seemed to have found herself a good pace and with determination she placed her steps. She hadn’t glanced around anymore, though she had pulled up her cap again, presumable to shield herself from the sand. Askari was getting optimistic. With her cap up like that there was no way she could look sideways without turning her head. This gave him the upper hand. If she would move her head he could hide before her eyes would reach the spot where he was residing. The rocks were getting closer, but at the same rate as the rocks grew bigger Askari’s nervousness grew. Could he actually attack her? They were very close now. Just a little bit longer.

    “You can come out now! You’re kind of obvious.”

    Askari abruptly came to a halt. Peeking past the hill he was hiding behind her looked to the elf. She was still walking forwards like nothing had happened. Still he was sure it was her who had spoken. He glanced around to look if there was anyone else around, but there was nobody. His gaze returned to the elf. Maybe if he just remained quiet for a minute or so she would think that it had been her imagination? He would be able to catch up in no time if she walked on like this. Yes, this probably would be the best course of action.

    The elf rubbed her eyes. She must have realized her mistake. Her fatigue must have taken a toll her. However suddenly the elf spun around on her heels and stared directly to the place where Askari was hiding. He ducked and pressed himself down to the ground. His breath hitched and he clamped a hand for his mouth to silence the sound. How did she know he was here? It was just not possible.

    Yet the elf called out. And she called out to him, he was sure of it.

    “Look you can continue sitting there and follow me every move waiting for the courage to step up and attack which perhaps never comes and this while day will be a waste of time and energy for you will not accomplish anything. You can, of course, also come out now and we can have a normal conversation about when ether it is wise or not to follow a stranger for about two hours.”

    The words died down in the empty land for a moment everything was quiet. Askari looked down on his hands. Somewhere in his head his mind was telling him she was right. His head slumped down on his chest. He had failed again. Suddenly though his eyes flared up again. At least he could still try something. Quickly he rose to his feet and sprinted to the top of the hill. He looked down on the elf. She was staring into the distance as if she had completely forgotten about him.

    “How did you know I was here?” He asked with a slightly trembling in his voice. Immediately the eyes of the elf were on him. He almost felt how she was taking him in, her eyes darting over his gawky figure. He knew he was dirty with sand and sweat: the result of a daylong search. A daylong failed search.

    Her face split into a smirk. “Well you were stamping around like an angry tamba so it wasn’t actually that hard.” She said while pushing her cap back. “You can’t escape my ears.”

    Askari’s face dropped, his spirit crushed. Well that proved again that he was a good for nothing hunter. Of course the dark pointy ears of the elf were especially good, but still telling him that he sounded like and angry tamba stung. It basically meant that she had heard him since the beginning and that she had just been waiting for him to come out to attack. Instead of him trapping her, she had woven a web around him.

    “So, what are ya doing here? I don’t recall a village being close by.”

    Askari looked away stubbornly. He was so not going to tell that he was lost. “I–”

    “You are lost, aren’t you?”

    Seriously could she read minds? Suspicious Askari glared to her. The elf laughed. “What’s so funny?” Askari said irritated.

    “Getting lost in your own country,” The elf hiccupped, “that is just too funny.” Askari frowned. Sure, it was a bit weird, but to laugh about it was weird too.

    “So,” the elf stated suddenly rather serious, “where do you come from?”

    Askari continued to stare down on her. Like he was going to tell her that. What, did she think he was stupid or something?

    “Oh come on don’t stare at me like that. It won’t help you and it won’t help me.” She smirked to him. “Or do you still think you have a chance in stealing this?” She petted her money pouch.

    No, he didn’t believe that. Askari was pretty sure that if he decided to attack right now he would end up death on the ground. He didn’t think this elf would hesitate to kill him. A sigh left his lips as he gave in. What was there to lose anyway? It was not like there was anything for him to return to now. Slowly he made his way of the hill towards the elf. She didn’t seem the least worried about her situation which made Askari think even more that she was probably stronger that she looked.

    “That is a good boy.” The elf mused. Askari gave a snarl and the elf pulled a straight face.

    “So you are lost.” The elf pointed out again (much to Askari’s dismay who rather had that she would stop remembering him of that fact). “The question is: can we get you home?”

    Askari gaped. Of all the things she could ask of him she was wondering if they could get him home? He shook his head. “I don’t think so.” He mumbled. “I don’t know which way I came from.”

    “No biggie.” The elf waved his comment away. “At least,” she tilted her head a bit to the left, “as long as you know where it is on a map.”

    “Sure I know that, but I don’t have a map with me-”

    “That is great! Well then where do you live? What the name of the town? Man I’m really glad I met you. I was beginning to think that there was nothing out here. That would be no good man. It would have been wasting my time.” The elf chattered as she unclipped her cloak again.

    “Eh…” Askari stared to her. She suddenly seemed to burst with energy.

    “I mean I knew that had to be something out here, since I found some traces now and then from Beastkin, but I never actually found the village. Everybody told me there was nothing here, but, you know, I just couldn’t believe that and here you are.” The elf looked up. “Nah anyway please show me where this town of yours is.”

    “I told you.” Askari said. He was getting fed up with this elf. “I don’t have a map so I can’t show you for I don’t know the directions.”

    “Who cares if you have a map or not.” The elf returned. “Unless you have a special, very interesting map that is. Me and Nyx would be glad to take that, wouldn’t we Nyx?”

    Immediately Askari was on guard. There was another person here? Someone who he hadn’t noticed. How could this have happened? Or was she bluffing? She must be for there was no one around. Askari was about to believe that she had tricked him when he saw two frail wings appear out of Vice’s hair. The wings moved a bit as if they were stiff and then a small fairy rose out of the white locks. Of course. Elves always had fairy partners with them.

    “-but since you clearly haven’t we will use mine.”


    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir I exist."
    "However," replied the universe,
    "this hasn't created in me
    a sense of obligation."

  3. #73
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    Inpa

    Ever so blissful was Inpa's journey towards Valham's nest. He kept skipping along a blurry forest road not even realizing he had missed Valham's nest an hour ago. Tolbi was skeptical and kept looking around his surroundings, he didn't seem content with how long the journey to the nest was. However Inpa shut Tolbi up immediately and kept skipping along. The little fairy would just have to trust his master's sense of direction for now.

    However after another hour had passed, Tolbi couldn't help but notice how the woods had become much darker. Even though the sun was barely even glimpsing from the horizon, it still should be brighter than this. The trees were in much thicker formations, it was hard to see through them. Now Tolbi was certain they had ventured too far into the forest of Auburn. He started pulling Inpa's ear in order to catch his focus.

    ”Inpa! INPA! Look around you! Do you have any idea where we are?!”
    ”Eh..” Inpa stopped his jolly skipping and started checking out his surroundings. After what seemed like ages to Tolbi, Inpa gave his answer based on his superior academic knowledge. ”We are in the forest of Auburn, Tolbi.” The imaginary crowd went wild because of Inpa's genius-level intellect.
    Tolbi slammed his own hand into his face and nearly cursed. ”Thank you Captain Obvious. Anything more you could add into this brilliant deduction of yours.. ?” Tolbi said with much sarcasm in his voice.

    Inpa held his chin with his hand and put on his 'puzzle face'. An immense brainstorm was taking place inside Inpa's head, and Tolbi only sighed fearing the worst. Once Inpa was ready, his eyes lit and he pointed his finger towards south.
    ”Did you notice how the whole forest has gone silent, Tolbi? Also did you notice how the animals seem to be running towards north? See here!” Inpa pointed towards a rabbit that raced through the forest as if it was escaping something. Soon Tolbi noticed lots of different wildlife were doing the same thing.
    ”I bet something big happened in the south and the animals are escaping it.” Inpa pointed out before Tolbi managed to reply.
    ”You're not thinking of going there.. are you, Inpa?” Tolbi said with obvious dread in his voice. Inpa grinned as a response before he started walking south.
    ”Ugh.. I should've seen this coming. A-anyway, how did you figure that out? Wait.. Do you actually pay attention to your surroundings.. ?!”
    ”Nah. I just read the script.” A loud crash was suddenly heard as the 'fourth wall' was destroyed. As soon as Inpa finished his sentence his eyes lit again. ”Wait.. YES! Now I got it! I'm going to be the world's first young genius inventor and ace detective! In other words: YGIAAD! Or geniatective!” Inpa's face was beaming with pride.
    ”I think you're the only elf who is capable of going from smart to mind-numbingly stupid.”
    ”And I'll turn you into a numen if you keep at it.”
    ”NO! Anything but a numen! Those slimy things are disgusting.. !!”

    It didn't take long until the two of them started hearing unfamiliar voices further down. Inpa's steps became much more careful and silent. His back was lowered as he sneaked closer to the source of the voices, careful not to step on a dry branch. There was a small clearing right ahead of him where the voices emanated from. Tolbi had hid himself in Inpa's hair, the little fairy was scared as always. Inpa finally found a bush to hide behind and observe the situation at hand.
    As soon as he saw that magnificent beast that had once flown in the skies lying on the ground in a near-death state, Inpa let out a short gasp. He covered his mouth quickly though so that he wouldn't be heard.

    Soon Inpa noticed the smaller figures surrounding Valham. ”Huh.. ? Inuiks? What are they..” Inpa's silent question was answered brutally by the assumed leader of the pack. Suddenly all the Inuiks launched up into the air only to plunge down on Valham like a rain of spears. Inpa couldn't look at the carnage that was taking place. He found himself short of breath as sweat drops swum down his face. He could hear as the spears tore through Valham's skin, the sounds made him tremble from fear. ”Wh-what if they find me.. ?” That's when Tolbi emerged from Inpa's hair to see everything himself.
    ”L-Look Inpa.. ! Look what's happening to Valham!” Tolbi pointed out the sudden surges of flames that emanated from Valham's body.

    Inpa turned to look at Valham again and saw how some sort of hazy humanoid figure made of fire had appeared. Inpa's eyes grew large as he kept staring at the odd phenomenon hovering above Valham's now deceased body. ”What in.. What is that thing?”
    Soon the figure dashed through the air into the direction of Chasm of Terra, leaving nothing but the corpse of Valham behind. The Inuiks seemed just as baffled as Inpa and Tolbi were. The leader spoke again and Inpa listened closely:

    ”.. Leave no trace of your existance here! No one must know until the proper time comes. Our next target is the God of Eternal Fire!”

    Moments later the Inuiks left and Inpa was left with his jaw wide open. He couldn't believe what he just heard. Just what sort of conspiracies were at hand here?


    Balthazar

    Nilak's orders had been swift and just. Balthazar was never really given a choice whether to escape or not. He would've stayed, in fact he would've preferred to stay and instead let Nilak escape. It felt wrong for him to just abandon his mentor.

    Balthazar hoped Nilak wouldn't be driven to the edge by Minathiel. If that happened Nilak would have to.. Balthazar brushed off the thought. Falteer was walking slowly next to Balthazar while holding his side, a constant swirl circling his side. They had ran through the forest for a few hours before slowing their pace because of Falteer's wound. Falteer was doing his best curing the wound but it was persistent. The wound looked better than before though.

    ”How's the wound?” Balthazar asked Falteer as they walked forward a thin forest road. Falteer looked at Balthazar and chuckled lightly. ”Huh. You always seemed so cold and emotionless, Balthazar. It feels weird for you to ask such a thing of me.” Balthazar couldn't deny what Falteer had just said. He certaintly didn't look like the compassionate type but only a complete prick would ignore a companion's condition. ”Wouldn't want to ditch you into the next trench we come across.”
    Falteer had a scared expression on his face. ”Your jokes are cruel, Balthazar.. ! Do not worry, I'll be fine once I get some rest. I think I can manage at least to the basin of the mountain.” Balthazar nodded and kept walking.

    Balthazar could already make out the exit of the forest. It had been some time since he had been outside of Auburn. The thought of witnessing the grassy plains between Auburn and the Nihil Mountains again warmed Balthazar's heart which was still full of worry for Nilak. As if sensing Balthazar's concern, Falteer spoke up. ”Nilak will join us soon, don't worry about that. That's when I'm finally going to ask what the purpose of this emerald is. Actually I'm going to ask a lot more than that. It's about time we hear it from Nilak himself what he's up to.”
    Balthazar nodded silently thinking he would do the exact same thing.


    Inpa

    Both Inpa and Tolbi were speechless. The things they had heard, this was something huge and couldn't just be left alone. ”The God of Eternal Fire.. you don't think it's-”. ”Faen.” Inpa finished Tolbi's thought. ”The.. The Inuiks are after the dragons.. !!” Inpa said, his voice slightly shaking. Tolbi could feel a shiver run down his tiny spine. ”W-We need to tell everyone about this! Especially Nilak, Falteer and Balthazar! They are strong so they can defeat the Inuiks, right.. ?” Inpa didn't reply to Tolbi's question, he was shaking and looking down on the ground with terror filled eyes. Tolbi fluttered in front of Inpa's face and looked at him square in the eyes. ”S-Snap out of it, Inpa! I know you're afraid but we gotta get going!”

    ”I couldn't do anything. Why.. Why did Valham have to die.. ? Why did the Inuiks attack? WHY?!” Inpa screamed and nearly tore his face with his hands. Tolbi's gaze fell and a frown grew on his face. ”I-I don't know, but we need to move. We need to inform everyone, Inpa! There's no one else!”

    Inpa kept staring at the ground for a while. Balthazar's words floated around his mind. ”.. Life isn't always about butterflies and peace Inpa.” Inpa muttered to himself before he got back up. His hands were still shaking but he did his best to hide it. ”Yeah, life isn't always about butterflies and peace, but there's no way I'm going to let my life remain as gray as yours, Balthy. Let's go Tolbi! We can still make a difference! We can still save Faen!!” Inpa shouted and started running towards Nayru. Tolbi flew right behind him, grinning slightly.
    Calm down people, it's just me.

  4. #74
    Norrin Radd's Nerd Rage Reputation: 29
    lokuri's Avatar
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    Talking 6 EXP!!! Sorry for the wait! :D

    Vita had given voice to her troubled heart, but to no avail. Balthazar and Falteer were probably out of hearing distance by the time Vita confessed how she felt about them. Nilak had been extremely weakened in his efforts to save his companions, his knees hitting the ground with a loud thumb. Just when it looked like he would continue to witness the events transpiring, his eyes closed shut. Oddly, the rest of his body never made contact with the ground. That left Andrim, Ramvil, and the supposed victim, Minathiel. They must have heard her, but no response came. They vanished. Gone like vapor.
    *
    *
    Now that all the main players in whatever sick game that had unfolded before Vita were gone, everything seemed so...quiet. Animals hopped over burned branches, heading away from danger. The birds in the sky chirped from a distance, as if signaling that fleeing was the best option. All the noises around her were fading. In the growing silence, the smallest of sounds became louder. Wind whistled passed the leaves held high upon many trees. The sound of breathing, in and out. Vita's own footsteps as she crossed over to where Kinrai rested. Everything quiet sounded louder, and yet...
    *
    *
    "I should have never dared you to follow that trail. Kinrai, I'm so sorry."
    *
    *
    Things were becoming too complicated. Wasn't it her goal to chase after the truth? Not a sound could be heard from Kinrai. If the truth could end life so quickly, was the path to the truth so precious? Yes, Kinrai could be brought back. He could live. But...what if it happens again? The rage that filled Kinrai's eyes was frightening. Was death the only way to sooth the rage? How many times had Kinrai been brought back from death? What was he battling? Those were the answers Vita wanted answered the most, but what would they cost Kinrai?
    *
    *
    "Oren...am I doing the right thing?" Oddly, Oren hadn't spoken for awhile, and it was beginning to unnerve Vita. "Should I really...keep looking for the book, for Voco e Vorago?"
    *
    *
    Oren was hovering a few feet away, not looking at Vita. Margni had already returned into the form of the ribbon, so there was no reason to keep his distance. Still, Oren seemed as confused at Vita. Or...maybe Vita was asking the questions he had been asking himself for years. The spirit in his voice dropped significantly, and it felt like Vita should be the one cheering him up. Unfortunately, that wasn't her strong suit.
    *
    *
    "Everything you chase after has consequences. The bigger the goal, the greater the consequence. Margni can help you find Voco e Vorago, but the cost of relying on him could be too great. You shouldn't trust anyone with too much power."
    *
    *
    "Do you think someone with too much power may be behind--?"
    *
    *
    "I KNOW someone with too much power was behind what happened to Valham, because that's what leads to tragedies!"
    *
    *
    Suddenly, another voice besides Vita's and Oren's echoed from nearby. Pausing in the middle of responding to Oren, Vita glanced around her. Then her eyes locked on the person who caused Kinrai so much heartache, who stole away all the happiness that had been Moon Day: Nilak. He had regained consciousness, and he was also aware of her presence. Still, Vita wasn't about to carelessly engage in a conversation with Nilak. Even Oren clamped his mouth shut, the anger more noticeable on his face than on Vita's face.
    *
    *
    In the end, Vita didn't need to say anything. Nilak did all the talking, as if his words would repent his actions. At first, Vita wanted to push her palms into her ears, to block out any regretful words. Then, Kinrai's name was uttered, and Vita lowered her hands. Of course. Despite the suffering Kinrai endured, there was still a touch of responsibility in Nilak for his student. Or was it more than that? He knew Kinrai's mother, Liana, as a good healer. Was that common knowledge, or was that evidence that Nilak still cared for Kinrai?
    *
    *
    Vita wanted to know, and there was a way to discover the truth. The moons were no longer shining, yet Vita only needed to sample the truth. As wilder claims were tossed into the air, Vita activated Remnants of Infinity. In a moonless state, nothing about the environment would change. However, Vita could tell whether or not Nilak was lying, as if she was a lie detector.
    *
    *
    Nothing was a lie. Kinrai really was filled with hatred. He really needed someone to trust, and Nilak had lost that trust. What was it like to have no one? Hardly anyone knew that feeling of loneliness, to have no one to turn to. But Vita understood all the emotions that comes with lacking trust. Loneliness. Confusion. Fear. All those terrible, negative emotions that would undoubtedly lead to such fearsome emotions like hate. But the most shocking news of all was what that distrust lead to: becoming a Tainted.
    *
    *
    Nilak was already a Tainted...right? Did that mean Kinrai would also commit unthinkable acts? But then...could a Tainted care so much for the elf they hurt -- for the elves they will hurt? Would a Tainted feel sorry? If a Tainted elf was filled with darkness, Nilak still had light in his heart. Vita understood that much. There was still hope, just like there was still hope for Kinrai. Otherwise, why would Nilak's words ring true? Kinrai could be saved, yet Nilak wasn't aware that he could be saved too.
    *
    *
    "What are you hoping to accomplish?" Vita finally gained enough willpower to speak, but once again, they fell on death ears. Perhaps it was for the best. Nilak most likely wouldn't have answered her anyway.
    *
    *
    "Don't worry, Vita. Kinrai may have too much power for his own good, but that power isn't his own." Oren finally sounded reassuring, with a touch of optimism. "And as for Nilak, he isn't the one wielding all the power. I'm sure of it."
    *
    *
    "You're right." Vita glanced down at Kinrai. Without even lifting him up, she could already tell he weighed more than her. "What truly troubles me is transporting Kinrai to his mother..."
    *
    *
    "That and you don't have any idea where Liana lives, do you?"
    *
    *
    "...Well, I could--"
    *
    *
    Someone was screaming. It resonated throughout the forest, clinging to the air like an endless chime. Rising with the screams was a voice. Oren. Grasping her throat and covering her mouth, Vita realized the screams were coming from her. Still, she couldn't hold it back, as if the screams had a will of their own. Only when the coughs came, tears stinging her eyes, her throat closing from the strain, could Vita break free from the hysteria. Still, the shivering wouldn't stop, nor the cold chills shooting down her arms and legs.
    *
    *
    Minathiel? There were two...bodies. One was easily identifiable: Andrim. His chest barely moved, the rising and falling inconsistent. Different shades of crimson decorated his attire, gushing from a wound in his chest. But where the puncture was made, Vita couldn't tell. Oren was the only one who could take in the most detail, but even he couldn't stare too long at the corpse. A severed head scratched like a cat filing their nails on a tree. So much blood. Body parts were scattered nearby, also severed. Or were they? It was difficult to tell. There was too much blood. Too much. It was as if a red sea had formed. Too much!
    *
    *
    "Don't just stand there. Those two. Kinrai and Andrim. Help me lift them onto the jellyfish!"
    Vita glanced around, her eyes too sore to make out exact shapes. Before she knew it, Elrik's hands were guiding her to Kinrai and Andrim, helping her get them to safety. Minathiel couldn't be saved. Even though all the shapes blurred together, Vita recognized the golden hair, the pure white dress, distinct features that Mina also bore. But it was too much. Vita couldn't handle it -- even Nilak's request -- but thankfully, Elrik was nearby. He had heard her, and would help her. And for a moment, Vita didn't have to worry about the cost of being helped.
    Last edited by lokuri; 07-26-2012 at 05:42 PM.

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  5. #75
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    Takesh's Avatar
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    Verse Five
    -Pursuit-
    Nayru, City of the Elves – Morning


    | ~ ~ |

    My how much has happened since the last time we saw. How have you been? I hope you're not too exhausted yet, we still have a long way to go. The sun is peeking from the horizon like a curious little child, completely oblivious of the happenings of the world. The heroes of our story met much strife during this long night dedicated to the Moon Goddess.
    A certain dark elf known as the hero of Amn conspired with a high authority in order to bring a new age to this world of ours. In order to achieve that the hero did the unthinkable and slew one of the magnificent creatures that guard the world of Amn, while simultaneously snatching its soul crystal.

    The truth of the matter however was only revealed to a young elf and his fairy, both who had been happily skipping along the forest roads of Auburn. It breaks one's heart to witness such a cruel act, and it confuses them even more since they don't know the reason for it.
    Nevertheless it would seem that the fire dragon's fate hangs on this boy's shoulders.

    The hero of Amn stripped away all his glory and threw it into the face of the priestess of Nayru, and the hero's youngest pupil. Enraged by this, the pupil gave in to his hatred and was consumed by it. The pupil was eventually defeated and killed in order to seal the hatred within. It was done by the same hero who everyone now thought was a dragonslayer.

    Then the elf with more sinister intentions, with the assist of a peculiar villain in the shadows, brought down his revenge on the one he hated: the priestess of Nayru. A dubious contract was established and the peculiar villain left the elf with parting words that hinted towards their reunion someday. The elf's survival was left at the hands of an elf not born of this world.

    The moon elf was entrusted with a heavy burden. She was to save two people, the hero's pupil that now lay dead and the plotter who had struck a grave wound on his chest in order to prove his innocence. Together with the help of another moon elf, a mysterious one at that, they brought the two back to Nayru in order to be healed.

    It is a sad morning riddled with conspiracies, lies and deceit. If the morning is as horrible as this, I can only wonder what the rest of the day will be like.


    | ~ ~ |


    For some odd reason, Nayru had fell completely silent. There were no stalls being opened by the merchant dwarves, the school bells did not rang, everything was as still as if time had stopped. The news of the priestesses's and the dragon's passing couldn't have entered the city yet.
    The real cause of the silence was fear, fear of the unknown that the priestess had forewarned about.

    Liana was anxiously pacing around the throne room. Guard captain Cirno was with her, standing gallantly like a knight, waiting for Minathiel's return. He was wearing a white shirt with a shoulder plate on the left side. He had white gloves with the emblem of Nayru, a large white tree with a single apple on one of its branches, etched on the backside. His left arm was clad in armor shaped like the scales of a dragon. He wore dark leather pants and a belt with a white buckle. His eyes followed Liana's movement. Minathiel had instructed him to assist Liana in her absence.

    Liana: ”What's taking them so long.. ? Something must've happened. What if.. what if she's-”. Liana had been like this from the moment Minathiel had left. Her endurance was quite remarkable when it came to worrying about others.
    Cirno: ”Please focus Mrs. Alte. Do not make any hasty decisions.”
    Liana became flustered when she heard Cirno call her with her ex-husband's last name. She thundered over in front of Cirno and looked at him straight into his eyes.
    Liana: ”Never call me that again. What do you know anyway?! Minathiel could be dead! I should've gone with her..”
    Cirno: ”My apologies Miss Liana. Drowning yourself in despair will not solve the situation. I already dispatched guards to look for her. All we can do now is wait.”
    Cirno's voice was calm, he had learned how to keep his cool in his line of duty. Liana sighed and started pacing around again.

    Suddenly the huge double doors of the palace flung open. Light covered the huge hall almost completely. Two moon elves assisted by a few guards came rushing inside. Liana gasped and held her hand over her mouth when she saw who the moon elves were carrying. Her son and the agent whose name Liana had forgotten were both in terrible shape. She motioned the moon elves to lay the injured ones on the ground. Before she asked any questions from the moon elves, she examined how bad the injuries were. Guard captain Cirno knelt down next to Kinrai and tried his pulse while Liana ripped open Andrim's shirt in order to see his wound.

    Liana: ”It's a deep wound but with my skills you'll be fine. You're going to need plenty of rest though.” Liana told Andrim before she covered the wound with a thin layer of sparkling water. ”This is going to sting.” Liana said before she forced the water into the wound. A loud hissing noise, as if a fire was being put out, escaped from the wound. Slowly but steadily the wound started closing up. ”Hold still for a while.” Liana said as she raised her hands off from Andrim's chest.
    Cirno: ”Miss Liana.. your son has no pulse. Moon elves! How long has he been like this? Can he still be resurrected?” Cirno demanded an answer from the moon elves. Liana started sobbing loudly as she looked at Kinrai. Healing strangers felt easy but when it was your family member, your own son, who was in such a state.. the task became much more harder.

    The moon elves told that there was still time to resurrect Kinrai. Liana was shaking all over before Cirno grabbed her from her shoulders. This time it was Cirno who looked at Liana straight into her eyes.

    Cirno: ”Miss Liana! Collect yourself, there is still hope. You can still save Kinrai.”
    Liana: ”Y-Yes.. Agh.. I never could've thought.. Why.. Who would.. ?”
    Cirno: ”Whoever did this will be punished Miss Liana. No one escapes the law. My men and I will hunt the Tainted who did this to the ends of Amn.” Cirno got up and turned his attention to the moon elves, leaving Liana to do what she did best. ”You two, I'm going to need some answers from you. Come with me.”

    Cirno and a few of his guards assisted the moon elves into another room of the palace. The room was Cirno's own however Cirno rarely spent time in the room. The room had only the necessities: a table, a few shelves and a red mattress on the floor. Cirno sat down on his chair and instructed the moon elves to sit on the other side of the table.

    Cirno: ”I am Cirno Raus, the guard captain of Nayru. Let's start from the beginning. Who are you two and what is your connection to this incident? Tell me everything, don't spare any details. Also if you have any information regarding our priestess, Minathiel Amar, it would be much appreciated if you told me.” Cirno's voice was stern and demanding, much what you would expect from someone in his position.

    Meanwhile Liana was chanting next to Kinrai's body. She was calling for Kinrai's soul which had escaped from his body when he died. Suddenly Liana's hands started glowing, they were radiating extreme heat. She had found Kinrai's soul and was now holding it in her hands. She carefully placed her hands on top of Kinrai's bare back which made the glow escape from her hands and enter Kinrai's body.

    For a moment Kinrai was also glowing all over and radiating extreme heat temperatures, his soul was settling back into his body. The heat brought life to all the organs and muscles. Once the heat reached the lungs it made Kinrai cough a few times. Liana smiled and tears of joy flowed down her cheeks. She had succeeded and Kinrai's life had been restored.

    Now she turned back to Andrim and saw the wound was steadily closing up. She took a small blanket which she used to wipe away the blood that had escaped from the wound. After she was done wiping, she put another thin layer of water on top of the wound. The water worked as a disinfectant which prevented any diseases to enter Andrim's body. Once she was done, she took a deep breath and slumped down a little.
    Exhausted from all this, Liana placed her head on Kinrai's back in order to rest for a moment. Kinrai would sleep for a while before he would open his eyes again.

    Wake up you damn nuisance. What a worthless body I was born into. What? Are you trying to say something, Kinrai? What is it? That you'll resist me? That you'll never let me take over again? You're a fool, Kinrai. You can't resist me. It's the same as denying who you really are. We are like the two sides of a same coin. I can't wait till we get to flip that coin again. That's when I WILL take over and I'm going to make sure to banish that weak will of yours to the deepest pits of the Netherworld.



    Nilak was speeding through the trees as fast as he could. Even though he was exhausted, he still refused to slow down. The initial distance when making an escape was crucial, thus he pushed his body to the limit again. In the distance he could already make out the large plains of green that covered the space between Auburn and the Nihil Mountains. Nilak's thoughts kept going back to Kinrai and Minathiel. He was both confused and worried. Where had Minathiel vanished to and would the moon elf grant Nilak's wish? In order to continue his mission, Nilak forced himself to ignore those thoughts. He forced himself to forget about Kinrai and.. the whole of Nayru.

    Suddenly a bright green flash flew by him and he had to stop his flight for a moment. Nilak was barely able to get a glimpse but he was sure the figure was humanoid. Nilak saw how the figure suddenly halted its movement and turned back straight toward Nilak. Nilak summoned Angelic Hymn and assumed battle stance in the air. There was no knowing if the creature was hostile. The being stopped a few feet away from Nilak. Now he was able to see it more properly. Its body was made of green fire and it had glowing yellow eyes. Nilak had never seen such a creature before.

    ???: ”Free me..”
    A sudden voice echoed around Nilak. The creature was speaking to him but its voice was everywhere.
    Nilak: ”What do you mean? Who.. What are you?” Nilak asked, lowering his blade at the same time.
    ???: ”Free me.. Bring me back together..”. The voice echoed again. It was as if the trees, the ground, the animals, everything around Nilak was speaking to him directly.
    Nilak: ”.. Who are you?! I will do nothing until I know that.”
    ???: ”Valham..”
    Nilak's eyes grew and he found himself short of breath. This being was Valham? How could that be?
    Nilak: ”How is that possible.. ?!”
    ???: ”Free me.. Bring me back together.. Valham.. is only one part..” Now it sounded like every separate sentence came from a different thing around Nilak.

    Before Nilak was able to reply, the being resumed its dash to northwest. Nilak would tell this to his companions and see what they'd make of it. Without wasting any more time he resumed his flight towards the plains.

    Finally Nilak reached the grassy plains known as the Calm. The region was true to its name. Nilak found himself lost in the sea of green as the wind kept brushing the grass. Instantly he remembered how he had trained Kinrai, Falteer and Balthazar here. It was a rigorous training which involved a lot of footwork and.. gardening skills. A short laugh escaped from Nilak's lips as he remembered how much Kinrai had complained about this training. In the far distance he could make out the small settlement of Lojak. It was truly small for there were only around 20 people living there, most of them elves.

    Small settlements like Lojak were all over Amn. There were a lot of people who disliked the bustling of cities and thus they moved away. Nilak kept running through the fields and eventually two familiar figures caught Nilak's eyes. Falteer and Balthazar were waiting for him at the edge of the Calm. The Calm was a small region and you could easily pass through it in a matter of hours, even less with a palla. It all reminded Nilak of how small Amn was in truth. Once Nilak reached Falteer and Balthazar, he waved to them and slowed down his pace.

    Nilak: ”I'm glad you two are all right. How's your wound Falteer?”
    Falteer: ”I'm fine. I can still keep going at least till we reach the root of the mountain.”
    Nilak: ”Good. We can make camp at the root then. Let's keep going. I have much to tell you.”
    Falteer nodded and followed Nilak.

    The trio passed through the small forest and finally reached the root of the mountain. Already the temperature started dropping even though they hadn't even started climbing the mountain. There was a mountain trail which they could use in order to get to Palo. It was an old road full of dangers which kept most travelers away. Still the dwarven merchants braved the road almost daily. Nilak had always been amazed by the greediness of the dwarves. Nilak motioned for them to set the camp here, between a few tall trees. The soil was hard and there was grass only scarcely here and there. Once the camp was set up, Nilak sat down next to the fire and finally told the two of his mission.

    Nilak: ”I'm sure you want answers from me so here I am. Ask away, I won't hold back anymore.”
    Falteer: ”Let's start with this emerald then. What is this thing's purpose?” Falteer took out the emerald that had been taken from Valham's tail and showed it to Nilak. Nilak took the emerald and held it between his fingers.
    Nilak: ”It's Valham's soul crystal as you already know. With this we can break the barrier that shuts us out of the Netherworld. Naturally we're going to need all the soul crystals for it. That is their purpose.”
    Falteer: ”Well, here comes the obvious question. Why in Valham's name do you want to go to the Netherworld? What do you hope to gain from that?”
    Nilak: ”First of all, I have two causes here. The first cause.. Well, I'm not the mastermind behind that idea. I can trust you so I will tell you, however you must never disclose his identity to anyone lest our mission is a failure. Is that understood?”
    Falteer: ”Of course. You can trust us. And especially Balthazar since he barely talks anyway!” Nilak nodded and gave a smile to them.

    Nilak: ”Kinos Alte. He was the one.”
    Falteer's jaw dropped before he was able to say anything.
    Falteer: ”Him.. ? But he's the most ruthless elf around who always goes by the rules.”
    Nilak: ”I'm sure he has given it much thought. Kinos is by no means a fool. His intellect is probably his most fearsome trait. Perhaps that is the very reason why he finds the law of the Tainted flawed.”
    Falteer: ”But what does the law have to do with what we are doing? And why now?”
    Nilak: ”The dragons were the ones who introduced the word 'Tainted' to us. They were the ones who gave us the laws we abide now. Now what if the whole idea of a Tainted person is false? What if that's only a way to manipulate us into their way of thinking?”
    Falteer: ”.. And thus keep us away from the Netherworld in fear of becoming a Tainted. Is that what you're trying to say?”
    Nilak: ”Yes. Do you understand now what I'm after?”
    Falteer: ”.. Those are only theories with no proof to back them up.”
    Nilak: ”Yes, well that is only the first cause. The second cause is Terra.”
    Falteer: ”Terra? What about him?”
    Nilak: ”Terra is still alive, I know it. I also think that he somehow managed to enter the Netherworld. He must be there.”
    Falteer: ”That could explain why no one has seen Terra since that day. It's been 50 years though. Terra is a human and humans don't live as long as elves do. Even if you find him, he's most likely so old that he can't even remember you anymore.”
    Nilak: ”I.. know. But he is my rival, and my friend.”
    Nilak fell silent as he kept looking at the fire. Falteer said nothing afterwards. The camp fell silent.

  6. #76
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    Default 30 exp. I don't even know who I should give these to =D

    Balthazar

    The journey through the Calm was quick. There was no time for sight-seeing, not that Balthazar even wanted to. Falteer nor him didn't stop at any of the numerous settlements that populated the Calm. They figured it was best to just get as far away from Nayru as possible.
    It was peaceful in the settlements but how long would this peace last? Once the news of Nilak's betrayal reached these settlements people would start panicking. Nilak was after all considered a hero.. No, he was almost a symbol for the people. Children looked up to him and wanted to become like him once they grew up. It saddened Balthazar that their dreams were shattered now. It was all the more reason to ask Nilak about his intentions.

    Balthazar raised his head and glanced towards the sea of green. The gentle breeze felt good on his face. It was only a few hour walk from here to the edge where Amn ends and the Abyss begins. Balthazar had never went to the edge, something about it just felt off to him. He wanted to avoid the place at all costs. Falteer noticed Balthazar looking into the distance. ”I wonder what the edge looks like. The World's End they say”. ”Who knows.” Balthazar replied and continued on toward their destination.

    ”Not interested, huh? That reminds me.. I hope Jovan is safe.” At first the name 'Jovan' rang no bells to Balthazar but he then remembered Falteer had tamed a Xeloain for himself. ”You left him in Nayru?” Falteer's eyes fell to the ground before he responded. ”Yes.”
    ”Xeloains are beasts. He'll survive on his own.” Balthazar said, a hint of comfort in his voice. ”Thank you, Balthazar.” Falteer said before the two continued their journey.

    Nilak caught up with them on the edge of the Calm, near the root of the Nihil Mountains. There was no talk between them until they reached the root and set up camp. Falteer handled most of the questions and Nilak seemed to answer them truthfully. The fact that the mastermind behind this was Kinos Alte shocked even Balthazar. The man is the most prominent member of the Elder Council, the ones who uphold all the laws.

    Most of the things Nilak told them was all just speculation, even Nilak himself acknowledged that. To think that Nilak would jump into such conclusions without a shred of evidence.. It worried Balthazar. The final reason however explained a lot. Nilak was looking for his long lost human friend: Terra. It didn't surprise Balthazar that Nilak would go to greath lengths in order to find a friend, he knew it all too well.

    Once the camp fell silent, Balthazar formed a chisel stone from a few pieces of rocks and started sharpening his katanas. He wouldn't sleep tonight, he knew it from the beginning. Falteer fell fast asleep while Nilak kept watching the flickering campfire. Nilak didn't have that usual easy-going look in his eyes, on the contrary. After sharpening his blades some more, Balthazar finally spoke. ”Do you regret anything?”


    Inpa

    It was early morning when Inpa and Tolbi reached Nayru. As they climbed up the stairs towards the city, both of them noticed how silent it was. Usually by this hour it was already bustling with all sorts of dwarven salesmen. Once they entered the city they were greeted by two of the blue-suited guards that held the law in the city. ”Who are you? What is your business in Nayru?” Inpa was confused by this sudden interrogation. ”I-I'm Inpa ni Thesas. I live in Nayru.”

    The guards looked at one another before turning back to Inpa. ”Keep going then. I suggest you return to your home. It's not safe outside.” Inpa had a puzzled expression on his face. Did the people already know about Valham's death or was it something else? Curious that he was, he asked the guards about it. ”Why isn't it safe? Did something happen?” The other guard sighed and then replied. ”Were you here when Minathiel told everyone of the attack on Valham? We don't know much about it yet but.. Kinrai Alte's body was brought back from Valham's nest. He is being resurrected as we speak I presume. Hopefully we'll learn something new from him.”

    Kinrai Alte? He is.. the son of Kinos Alte, isn't he? Hmm.. He might be exactly the one who I should tell about the Inuiks' plan. Inpa raised his head and thanked the guards for their information. He then rushed off towards his home in order to get some supplies. He hoped to meet Balthazar on the way too.

    Inpa checked Balthazar's ”crib” before going home but didn't find him there. It was as if he had vanished completely. Tolbi scratched his head a bit before sighing. ”Maybe Nilak left somewhere and took Balthazar with him?” Tolbi suggested but Inpa was quick to deny it. ”No way. I know all of Balthazar's plans. I don't spy on him while he's sleeping for nothing, y'know.”
    ”You are such a creep. Who stalks their friend while they are SLEEPING?!” Tolbi almost yelled out. ”I do.” Inpa replied innocently and started jogging towards his home.

    Inpa's home was as regular as a high elf's home could get. It was round and white from the outside with a big marble round door on the front. Inpa walked inside and went straight into his study room. ”Hmm.. I think I'll take a bottle of Jolly poppin with me. Ooh! And some Reezy weezy too!”

    Tolbi looked at Inpa with a bored expression. ”You need to give those potions better names. I know what Jolly poppin does since you made me drink it.. you barbarian! But what's Reezy weezy?” Inpa pondered about it for a moment and then his eyes lit up. ”Ah! It restores your stamina.”
    ”I guess it's a handy thing to have on a long trip.”
    ”Hm? Yeah, I guess. I'm just going to do a little prank with it.” Tolbi's face was instantly filled with dread. ”A prank.. ? On who?! Besides, how could you play a prank with a potion that restores your stamina?”

    Inpa giggled devilishly before answering. ”You need to be careful not to drink too much. Otherwise you get.. jittery.” Tolbi dared not delve further. Actually he was almost certain Inpa would target him with that prank now. Inpa turned around to check if he needed any more potions.
    ”Oh, bugger. I don't have Raise all resistances by infinity for eternity -potion here. Faen could use one right now.” Tolbi slammed his hand on his face. ”Congratulations, you just won the originality award in naming potions. Who puts the description of the potion as the NAME of the potion?!”
    ”I do.” Inpa answered innocently, again. ”So what did I win?”
    ”A punch in the face.. ” Tolbi muttered and looked away.
    Calm down people, it's just me.

  7. #77
    Norrin Radd's Nerd Rage Reputation: 29
    lokuri's Avatar
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    Talking 9 exp! Oddly, everything I planned to write never made it in this post. o.o

    Elrik had warned Vita that hauling Andrim and Kinrai on their backs would cause quite a stir, but the reactions of the guards still stunned her. The instant their hawk eyes locked upon Elrik's jellyfish, their weapons were raised and their bodies were poised with alertness. If it wasn't for Elrik's powerful command for them to lower their weapons and assist them with the injured, purposedly revealing Kinrai's face for all the guards to see, Vita was certain it would have taken hours to enter the palace. Unlike the rest of Nayru, which was emptied of all activity, the guards around the palace seemed more vigilant than ever.
    *
    *
    In no time, a sea of blue armor carefully lowered Vita and Kinrai onto their feet, the jellyfish quickly darting high into the sky the moment it was free from the additional weight. Then a few guards lifted the lower half of the bodies, Elrik supporting Andrim's upper half while Vita cradled Kinrai's breathless head. Tears were once again swelling in her eyes, but Vita did her best to supress them. Elrik had suggested to carry Kinrai, sensitive to the fact that Vita was emotionally distraught, but she refused to exchange Kinrai with Andrim. Vita still felt responsible for what happened to Kinrai, so she secretely swore to do all she could to keep him away from as much as possible hence forth. Also, even unconscious, Andrim still held a dangerous aura, as if he was aware of the darkness he carried in his heart.
    *
    *
    Two of the guards closest to the massive doors jerked them open, both shuddering noisily in the silence of Nayru. Combining the brilliance of the sun with the stunning white of the inner halls of the palace created a blinding effect. Someone gasped from nearby, their silhouette closing the distance between them and the throne. Blinking, Vita was able to finally make out strands of yellow, two bobbing green eyes. Kinrai's mother, Liana, quickly had Kinrai and Andrim on the floor in a matter of seconds. Another few seconds and Liana's fingers shredded Andrim's shirt with an anxious violence that surprised Vita. Someone else, a guard dressed in clothes superior to the rest of the guards, checked Kinrai. Elrik muttered the name "Cirno" before Liana began to speak.
    *
    *
    "Odd. I assumed Andrim was unconscious, but, judging from the manner of which Liana spoke directly to him, Andrim must have been only lightly resting."
    *
    *
    For some reason, the very thought of Andrim being awake the whole time sent chills throughout her body. Had he seen how vulnerable she had been, how the thought of Kinrai never opening his eyes ever again had shaken her to the core of her being? Death in Amn terrified Vita. The body remained ever present, merely dwindling away into the earth. And the soul. What of the soul? Certainly, the soul would remain trapped in Amn. For beings born in an endless chained called family in Amn, the endless cycle would never be questioned. But...what of those born elsewhere, only sent to Amn upon adulthood? What of the souls of the moon elves?
    *
    *
    "Of course, resurrection is still possible." Elrik's words snapped Vita out of the abyss of her thoughts. Glancing at his face, Vita could tell that his easy-going, happy-go-lucky attitude was all but a glimmer of the past. His voice was sharp with the longing for answers to the growing mysteries. Obviously, he had no problem having his own secrets, but like Vita, it troubled him when the truth was obscured.
    *
    *
    "Yes...as soon as --" Vita caught herself before uttering Nilak's name. For some reason, it felt like taboo here. Instead, Vita lowered her head a bit, feeling heat flush her face as she altered her sentence. "-- the danger around Kinrai disappeared, Elrik and I hurriedly headed here." It was for the sake of avoiding further torment. Liana was clearly suffering enough. Still...was this why lies easily masked the truth?
    *
    *
    And there it was. The unresolved promise to "punish" the one who took Kinrai's life. What would they think if they knew Nilak, Balthazar,and Falteer were behind all their pain and sorrow? Even though Kinrai could still be resurrected, the gravity of the situation still held the weight of true death, and Minathiel's corpse flashed in Vita's head. That's right! Everyone was so concerned about Andrim and Kinrai that no one inquired about Minathiel. Well, that was for the best. Cirno still seemed stable, but if Liana learned of what happened to Minathiel as she was, Kinrai may never be resurrected. No, she had to focus on bringing her son back.
    *
    *
    As if on cue, Cirno motioned for Elrik and Vita to follow him. Nodding his head at Vita, Elrik was the first to obey. She knew it was best to do as she was told as quickly as possible, but Vita couldn't help but steal some of the precious seconds to gaze back at Kinrai. Nilak...was he still haunted by all that happened to Kinrai? Or was there some greater event that required all of his concentration? What were his thoughts when he faced Valham? When he faced Kinrai? Were those thoughts the same, or was there a heavier burden upon him when he took -- no, when he sealed Kinrai's wrath? And just what was Kinrai's wrath? Who or what gave birth to it? So many questions, not enough time.
    *
    *
    Once again, guards were all around Elrik and Vita, but this time, they were going to be questioned. Vita could feel it. Glimpses of Elrik's face confirmed to Vita just how stubborn he was towards interrogations. His face was nearly unreadable, but his eyes were calculating. For some reason, Vita got the impression that Elrik was about to flip the interrogation into a debate. Information for information. And what if Vita spoke? Would Elrik silence her, or would he simply twist her words to fit his argument? If there was ever a chance for answers, Cirno might be the very person to get them from.
    *
    *
    Sitting in the only two chairs available for them, Vita skimmed the room. Judging from the red matress on the floor, it was Cirno's bedroom, but it certainly didn't offer much in terms of personality. Perhaps he was simply organized, meticulous, and, above all, carefully guarded. Getting answers from such a man would require much skill. Besides, he was the guard captain, leader of the guards who even flocked his very room. One false move and the little trust they were given would dwindle. Even so, Elrik was the first to begin.
    *
    *
    "As you can clearly see, we are both moon elves. So, identifying ourselves won't benefit you much." Was Elrik mocking Cirno, or was he being brutally honest? "I was also born recently. I call myself Elrik, and the gold fairy beside my shoulder is Mina."
    *
    *
    Mina merely bowed to Cirno, the both of them quietly staring at Vita. "I call myself Vita Vero." Suddenly, it felt very strange that Vita had given herself a last name while Elrik only had his first name.
    *
    *
    "And I am her dear friend, Oren." Oren obviously was preparing himself for a grand speech, but Elrik cut him off before he got the chance.
    *
    *
    "Vita encountered Kinrai seconds after I departed from the colosseum. Considering we had both witnessed the teamwork of Nilak, Balthazar, and Falteer in the colosseum, I can only assume that Vita told Kinrai of what we witnessed, right?"
    *
    *
    Vita's turn again. "Correct. I did so innocently, unaware of the fact that Kinrai knew the three. However, I admit that Kinrai later told me he knew them. Forgive me, but I encouraged him to meet them, along with his fairy, Issat."
    *
    *
    "I, on the other hand, went to reunite with my fairy. When I found Mina, she had found Vita's fairy, Oren."
    *
    *
    Vita knew Elrik had left out an important detail on purpose, but Oren immediately blurted out, "I was with the Weiss family. We were waiting for Vita's return, but she never came back. Luckily, Elrik showed up and took us all to her. But, well..."
    *
    *
    "It was complete chaos near Valham's nest." Elrik must have felt he was losing any chance at bargaining for information, because he took control of the conversation. "Nilak, Balthazar, and Falteer were in the sky battling Valham. Fire was scorching the nearby trees. Andrim tried to interfere, but nothing could be done to stop what was happening. Valham fell, and a few more people arrived." Elrik looked straight into Cirno's eyes, signalling that he should know who came.
    *
    *
    "Minathiel and a few guards did their best. There were golems that were summoned to attack us. Ramvil was the name of the one who summoned the golems, but..."
    *
    *
    "Ramvil may have not been his true name. Then again, he may not have a true name after all..."
    *
    *
    Again, the stare. "...Ramvil is also a moon elf, but..." Vita still had trouble saying their names.
    *
    *
    Elrik was quick to fill the gap. "He was with Nilak, Balthazar, and Falteer. We're not associated with him in any way."
    *
    *
    "Andrim held him captive for most of the time, but..."
    *
    *
    Yet again, Elrik took his turn. "Something happened to Kinrai." Elrik's eyes met Cirno's to see if there was any reaction. "Kinrai seems to be harboring a wrath deep within him. He became...wild, unresponsive. I had to quickly get everyone away, leaving Vita and Oren behind."
    *
    *
    "Matters only worsened. Minathiel interrogated..." Gulping, Vita forced the name from her lips. "Nilak, and then...she, after witnessing what happened to Valham, she declared him a..."
    *
    *
    "Tainted."
    *
    *
    "But she didn't attack him right away. Kinrai, he...because he was...not, in many ways, himself, they...N-...Nilak..."
    *
    *
    As if Oren couldn't take it anymore, he finished for Vita.
    *
    *
    "Nilak struck Kinrai to seal his wrath. Minathiel approved, regardless of whether Nilak was a Tainted or not. It was the only way!"
    *
    *
    Before anyone could stop him, Oren went on the offense, his words like daggers in the tense air.
    *
    *
    "But if we're going to just blurt out facts, then yes, Nilak killed Kinrai, Ramvil chocked Minathiel with his severed arms, and before we knew it, Minathiel, Andrim, and Ramvil vanished. Balthazar and Falteer escaped, and Nilak told us to take Kinrai to his mother, Liana. When Andrim and Minathiel reappeared, Andrim was severely injured and Minathiel was a corpse beyond revival. Ramvil never returned, and Nilak also got away."
    *
    *
    Just when everyone thought Oren was finished, he also took over Elrik's role in terms of asking the questions no one else had yet to ask outloud.
    *
    *
    "But, despite all those facts, we still don't know why Nilak attacked Valham, why Balthazar and Falteer supported him faithfully, where Ramvil came from, how Ramvil vanished so suddenly, whether he did what happened to Andrim and Minathiel or not, what happened when they vanished, why Kinrai went beserk, why only Nilak to seal his wrath, and who planned everything that happened because Nilak certainly didn't seem like the leader of it all! But you don't have all those answers, do you, Captain Cirno?"
    *
    *
    Elrik just slumped in his seat, his mouth opened and his eyes seeing nothing in particular. Oren continued to fume, not caring that he just broke Elrik's train of thought and shattered all his plans. As for Vita, she had snapped in her head many times for Oren to stop speaking, but she never gained the nerve to do so. All eyes fell on Cirno, waiting for him to speak.
    Last edited by lokuri; 07-26-2012 at 05:40 PM.

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  8. #78
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    Takesh's Avatar
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    Default 25 exp. Incoming long post.

    Cirno

    Elrik started the explanation of the events that had transpired. The fact that both Elrik and Vita were moon elves indeed wouldn't benefit Cirno, just as Elrik had told him, but their identities were required. Cirno didn't say it though, he only listened. The gold-haired fairy known as Mina bowed slightly to Cirno to which he responded with a nod. During the course of the interrogation Cirno found out which one of the two elves was clearly on top of things, something the elf might even use to his advantage. Vita and Oren introduced themselves shortly after Elrik and Mina. Before either had the chance to say anything more, Elrik continued the recap of the events.

    Cirno listened quietly as the story started from the events that transpired in the colosseum and little by little moved on to the pinnacle. It appeared that Vita was responsible for luring Kinrai to Valham's nest which confirmed her as a suspect. So far their story matched with the facts. Cirno had managed to get something out of Issat but he had discarded most of it because it felt so ridiculous. Now however he could no longer look away. When Elrik told him the same thing Issat had told him about how Nilak, Falteer and Balthazar had attacked Valham, Cirno's eyes fell momentarily.
    When Elrik mentioned of someone appearing to the scene, Cirno knew who he was talking about judging from the stare he gave him. Vita confirmed it only moments later and also introduced a new character: Ramvil. Cirno closed his fists, disappointment was plastered all over his face.

    The name 'Ramvil' rang no bells to Cirno and just like Elrik, he had his doubts of the moon elf's real name. Elrik was quick to correct that neither of them were in any way associated with Ramvil or Nilak. Andrim had also played his part and restrained this Ramvil but it would appear his efforts had been fruitless. Next came Kinrai's part which was disturbing to say the least. Cirno knew what it was for it had happened once before, and Nilak had been the one to eliminate the threat that time too. For now Cirno kept silent however, he'd rather hear the whole story before opening his mouth.

    Minathiel had declared Nilak a Tainted which sealed his fate immediately, Balthazar and Falteer would soon follow. Cirno motioned one of the guards to spread the word. It would take a few days for the news to arrive to everyone on Amn but after that the trio would have no hiding places anymore. Cirno could only hope that he would he able to catch Nilak before any more tragedies occurred.

    Once Kinrai's part had been explained, Vita's confidence seemed to vanish and she started stuttering. It was obvious she had witnessed something shocking. Cirno could already guess what it was however even he wasn't prepared to hear of Minathiel's fate. Her death was filled with mysteries, the most prominent one being the sudden disappearance of Ramvil. Andrim was naturally a suspect however the grave wound on his chest told that he might've been protecting Minathiel while Ramvil had attacked. He didn't want to admit it but Kinrai was also a suspect, not necessarily in Minathiel's but in Valham's death. Cirno couldn't possibly just ignore Kinrai's relationship with Nilak.
    It was still hard for him to even accept the fact that Valham had been defeated.

    After Oren's outburst ended, Cirno was silent for a moment, seemingly unfazed. Elrik looked crushed, perhaps he was going to bargain some of the details before Oren destroyed his plans.

    Cirno: ”I respect your honesty, fairy. I want those two worthless guards Minathiel took with her, and I want them now. Send a team to scout the forest around Valham's nest. They can't have gone far. If we're lucky they came back to Nayru. Also send a few to collect Minathiel's body. We will hold a funeral for her at a later date.” Cirno told the other guard who was still standing behind the two moon elves. After that he turned his attention back to the moon elves.

    ”No, I do not have all the answers. I can however shed some light on a few things for you. Take it as my way of saying 'thank you'. Indeed, what Nilak did was necessary in order to bring Kinrai back from his berserk state. It has happened once before and because of it.. someone died. I will not go into details. I presume the sword Nilak uses has ethereal fire somehow mixed into it. It is said that ethereal fire can banish evil spirits like Lurkers back to the Netherworld. It's not too far-fetched to presume that the same would work for a a wraith inside someone."
    "Kinrai still doesn't know about his.. illness, at least it would seem that he isn't aware of it. His mother insisted that no one can ever tell him about it. I expect that you will keep this to yourselves. Miss Liana was so adamant about it that I began to doubt that the berserk state was simply a manifestation of Kinrai's hatred towards his father. I've said too much already though.”


    After a brief pause Cirno continued.
    Cirno: ”Before I let you go.. One thing sparkled my interest. You said that Nilak didn't seem like the leader of this attack. Why do you think that? If that's true then this Ramvil's role in all this becomes much more important. Also from what I can gather from your story is that Nilak still cares for Kinrai. Becoming a Tainted didn't apparently kill his feelings towards his subordinates.” A clear advantage for us, Cirno thought. ”Stay in the city. I might need you for some more questioning at some point. Now I have some more pressing matters to attend to. Farewell.”

    Cirno called out another guard who directed the two moon elves back to the main hall where Kinrai, Andrim and Liana were. Cirno himself walked the other way towards the room which Minathiel used to communicate with the elders. He walked inside the room and went through a narrow walkway to the middle of the room. The room itself was shaped like a globe with three man-sized crystals on the northside wall next to one another. There were no other furnishings since the room was quite small.
    The crystals on the wall use a type of summoning magic where the person you wish to speak with is temporarily transported inside the crystal. These crystals are scarce so not many have them. Cirno shot a blast of fire into each crystal, activating them, and then spoke.

    Cirno: ”I wish to speak to the elders. Summon Garmilio, Ka'Tar and Kinos Alte of the Elder Council.”

    (( OOC: If you can't remember what happened to Ka'Tar then this short summary is just for you. Otherwise just move on to the actual chapter.

    Ka'Tar left without a word from Monark in order to see the barrier to the Netherworld with her own eyes. Apparently she wanted to get into the Netherworld for reasons still unknown. Her chapter ended with something appearing behind her as she studied the barrier. ))


    Ka'Tar

    The beast's eyes glowed bright yellow as it studied Ka'Tar. The black slits in the beast's eyes peered into Ka'Tar, she felt like the thing saw right through her. Eventually the beast raised its head and sighed. The shadow that had emerged behind Ka'Tar was Arlith, the earth dragon who was the guardian of Zenith. Ka'Tar kept looking at Arlith, not once did her sight waver away from him. Arlith's golden scales shimmered in the moonlight. Unlike the other dragons, Arlith didn't possess wings but instead it had 4 strong arms. The beast yawned and scratched its belly, completely ignoring Ka'Tar for the moment. After a few minutes the dragon finally spoke and Ka'Tar felt like the whole earth shook as the words came out of his mouth.

    Arlith: ”What are you doing here, beastkin? This is no place for a weakling like you.”
    Ka'Tar: ”Nothing, and I'm not weak.”
    Arlith roared once, causing Ka'Tar to almost lose her balance.
    Arlith: ”I despise liars. Most of all those who do not understand their limits. You are weak and the reason you're here is because you want to see the Netherworld. Is it love you seek? Or is it that obnoxious curiosity that all the people of Amn share? I have seen pitiful people like you more than I care to count. Each of them have died in the hands of the colossi or other manner of beasts that roam this chasm. You are no different.”
    Ka'Tar: ”Don't you know who I am? Even though you're a dragon, it gives you no right to treat me like.. like this!! I am Ka'Tar of the Elder Council, one of the three who rule all of Amn!”
    Arlith: ”You are nothing but an ant to me, an obnoxious ant I'm supposed to protect. I don't care about the people of Amn, I just want to be left alone. Now leave this place.”
    Ka'Tar: ”I.. No! I have to-”
    Arlith: ”LEAVE!!” Arlith's shout made the trees sway and the earth shook violently.

    Ka'Tar realized it was time to go. She wouldn't achieve anything by angering Arlith. She vowed to herself to return someday though. Once she started walking away, Arlith spoke once more, his voice more gentle this time. With the flick of his wrist, something seemed to change in the environment and suddenly a palla came running from the forest, stopping right in front of Ka'Tar.
    Arlith: ”Though you beastkin prefer to run on your own four feet, your speed still doesn't match that of a palla's. The forest is far from safe during the night so use it.”
    Ka'Tar was surprised of Arlith's behaviour. It seemed the dragon after all cared, he was just one of those who never admitted it. It made Arlith look more humane and less godly which in turn made Ka'Tar smile.
    Ka'Tar: ”I knew you had a soft spot for us!” Ka'Tar shouted before hopping onto the palla and rushing off towards Monark. Arlith only grunted loudly and kept walking.

    As soon as she reached the busy streets of Monark, a guard approached her and told her that the Elder Council was requested to gather for a summoning. Without even a chance to do some shopping as she had planned, Ka'Tar went immediately into the tower that housed the Elder Council. She climbed the steps hastily and was greeted by Kinos's cold stare at the top. His long gray hair was swept back behind his ears and his pointy nose seemed sharper than usual. The wrinkles on his forehead had multiplied since Ka'Tar last saw him, they made Kinos look much older than he was. Kinos was wearing the traditional elder clothes that consisted of a silverish robe and a gold chain with a golden disk hanging from it.

    Kinos: ”Where have you been?”
    Ka'Tar: ”A girl needs her privacy.” Ka'Tar waved her hand a few times as if dismissing Kinos.
    Kinos: ”Foolishness! Where is your sense of responsibility? Have you no consideration of the obligations you were given?! You can't just leave without a notice!” Kinos raised his voice, there was frustration in his voice.
    Ka'Tar: ”Stop lecturing me. You're not my father. I'll go get changed and meet you in the council room.”
    Kinos: ”Your actions have severe consequences here. You were chosen as one of the elders because of your wits and intellect, not because of that rashness which you seem to share with your kin.” Kinos's words were harsh which made Ka'Tar snap at him.
    Ka'Tar: ”What do you claim to know about my people?! Have you ever lived in Onomu? You take a daily meal for granted but in Onomu we fight for it. Do you have any idea what it's like to fight for your life every single day?! Do you?!” Ka'Tar almost hissed at Kinos.

    That's when Garmilio stepped in and separated the two before they tore each other's throats open.
    Garmilio: ”Kat! Good to see you back safe and sound. Go get changed now, we have business to attend to.” Ka'Tar turned around and smiled when she saw Garmilio. She knelt down and hugged Garmilio, whispering a 'thank you' into his ear before rushing to her room. Garmilio waddled over to Kinos and pat his lower back, subtly turning him towards the council room. ”Let's go now, Kinos. We shouldn't let Lady Minathiel wait.”
    Kinos: ”.. Hmph. You can't protect her forever.”

    Once the two reached the council room, Garmilio spoke again.
    Garmilio: ”You are too harsh on her.”
    Kinos: ”She has responsibilities which she can not just ignore. This city needs her and we need her as well.”
    Garmilio: ”We've had this conversation far too many times..” Garmilio sighed. ”Any idea what happened? Minathiel doesn't summon us very often. It's usually the other way around.”
    Kinos: ”Whatever it is it better be important.”
    After a few minutes Ka'Tar opened the door and sat on her seat around the round table.
    Ka'Tar: ”Okay, I'm ready.”

    In an instant she was no longer in the council room, but in one of the crystals that were on the globe room wall. She had expected to see Minathiel, but instead it was Cirno Raus who greeted them. Anxiously, Ka'Tar listened to what Cirno had to say. She had a bad feeling about this.


    Nilak

    When Balthazar started sharpening his swords Nilak knew who would be taking the first guard shift. It didn't surprise him though, none of them would sleep too well tonight.. at least he thought so before he heard Falteer's snoring. Nilak chuckled before laying his back on the grass, looking at the stars. It was around that time when Balthazar spoke his first words to Nilak since they departed. Nilak kept a sullen face.

    Nilak: ”Yes, I do. I regret how I had to fight Kinrai again. I also regret facing Minathiel back there. I'm glad though that Kinrai's death was the only one, and he can be resurrected so there were no casualties. Valham definitely survived the fall, dragons are hard to kill as you very well know now.”
    A robed figure suddenly emerged from the forest, his green eyes almost glowing underneath his hood. Nilak was about to pull out his sword before he recognized him.
    Reed: ”Wonderful morning gentlemen.”
    Nilak: ”Oh, Reed, welcome. Looks like you got out unscathed.”
    Reed: ”Yes! My beautiful skin is still as smooth as ever. Regrettably I bring some bad news with me.” Reed sat down in front of the campfire and continued. ”First of all Nayru has lost her High Priestess.”
    Nilak: ”What?!” Nilak blurted out.
    Reed: ”Yes, it's true, I saw her body. She was in no condition to be resurrected anymore. However not all is lost! The Inuiks are on our side and they will make sure that at least the old cranky dragon survives.”
    Nilak: ”But who killed Minathiel?!”
    Reed shrugged in response, acting like he didn't know.
    Nilak: ”Damnit!! I didn't expect..” Nilak fumed and punched the ground.
    Reed: ”There's no point in regretting over it. Besides she would've been our enemy.”
    Nilak: ”I know, but she..”
    Reed: ”Look. Here's the deal. We are the bad guys here. The less resistance we have, the better chances we have to survive.”
    Nilak kept silent for a moment before speaking again.
    Nilak: ”So why are the Inuiks helping us? They share nothing but contempt towards us.”
    Reed: ”Yiazmat owes me a favor. Trust me, they'll be a big help.”
    Nilak: ”Well, I won't deny any help that is offered. Anything else?”
    Reed: ”Hmm.. Kinrai was safely transported to Nayru so you don't have to worry about him. Nayru is in high alert and Cirno Raus is undoubtedly already after us. That's about it.”
    Nilak: ”I'm glad the moon elf did what I asked of her, though I doubt she did it just because I asked. Cirno is going to be difficult to deal with though.”
    Reed: ”Ah, yes. Cirno is indeed known of his burning passion to catch the Tainted, no matter the costs. But enough of the sad and depressing things! I haven't been introduced to the rest of the team yet!” Reed turned to Balthazar and extended his arm in order to shake hands. ”You're Balthazar, correct? Pleasure to make your acquaintance. I hear you're the brute power of this team.”


    Kinrai

    In all that darkness that surrounded Kinrai, he suddenly felt incredibly hot. It was as if his whole body was engulfed in flames from the inside. The darkness started moving away from around him and so did the wraith. I'll haunt your every dream until you snap, Kinrai. This is my body now. The wraith said before vanishing from sight. Kinrai opened his eyes, trying to make out where he was. He could feel something on his back. Was it a head? As he kept turning his head, he recognized his mother's golden locks scattered all over his back. She was sound asleep, she looked peaceful. Andrim was also there, only a few feet away from Kinrai. He was resting too.

    Kinrai tried to move around a bit but his body felt numb. He still wasn't sure what had happened. His memory was foggy, as if something had been taken away. He could scarcely remember where he even was before everything went black. Kinrai's mother woke up to his son's subtle movements. She gasped once before tears started streaming down her cheeks. Kinrai smiled and then managed to turn himself around and into a sitting position. His body was rapidly gaining its strength back. Liana was staring at Kinrai with swelled up eyes. Kinrai noticed she had bags under her dark brown eyes, it was obvious she hadn't slept much. Her hair was also a mess.

    Kinrai: ”You look terrible, mother.” Kinrai managed to say with a silent voice. It felt weird for him to talk, it was as if he was doing it for the first time. Liana wiped away her tears and nudged Kinrai's face with her fist.
    Liana: ”Don't talk to me like that. Sheesh! You have no consideration for women, do you? But.. how could you get yourself killed?! Who attacked you.. ?!”
    Kinrai: ”I.. died?” Now Kinrai knew why his whole body felt stiff.
    Liana: ”Two moon elves brought you and Andrim back from Valham's nest. Don't you remember?”
    Kinrai: ”.. Moon elves? V.. Vita? Wait.. I called out to her, but I can't remember why. Did Andrim.. ?”
    Liana: ”He was just severely injured. I managed to patch him up.”
    Kinrai: ”I see. I can't remember anything. Feels like I don't even have memories from that time.”
    Liana sighed before slumping down. Kinrai caught her and placed her head gently on the mattress. She was still exhausted and could barely stay up.
    Kinrai: ”Get some sleep. I'll be okay.”
    Kinrai turned to Andrim and saw he was still resting. He didn't want to bother Andrim so Kinrai kept silent. From the corner of his eye he noticed his shirt was on the floor. He was about to put it on when he saw the backside was stained with blood and there was a hole in the middle. That's when something triggered inside Kinrai's memory. He jumped up with a confused look on his face.

    Kinrai: ”N-Nilak.. ? He.. he did this.. !! Ugh..” Suddenly another memory came back to him, the one where he saw Nilak fighting against Valham. ”T-This can't be.. I have to go after him.. !” As soon as Kinrai took his first steps his head started spinning and he had to kneel down. He couldn't move too well yet. Still after a few moments he forced himself up and started moving, one step at a time. Since there were no guards posted in the main hallway, Kinrai was able to proceed all the way to the front door. He opened it and walked outside, breathing in the fresh morning air. For some reason there were no guards outside either, instead once Kinrai stepped outside a voice called out to him.

    ???: ”Going after NIlAk VEnOtRe?”
    Kinrai turned around and saw a person with a golden mask which had two horns. The mask covered the person's whole head and it had an androgynous face carved into the front. Oddly there were no holes for eyes or mouth, the mask was solid. It shone brilliantly in the sunlight as the person approached Kinrai. The person was dressed in ragged green clothes, the clothes looked ancient to say the least.
    Kinrai: ”Who.. ?”
    Ignoring Kinrai's question completely, the masked person continued.
    ???: ”I would pLaN my next step CaReFuLlY if I were you. You may think yourself as iNnOcEnT to the events that transpired, but this pAlAcE is filled with people who think you're just as much GuIlTy as Nilak is.” The person's voice felt almost mechanical, there was no way to pinpoint whether it was a male or a female voice.
    Kinrai: ”What? Why?!”
    ???: ”Don't YoU see? You're Nilak's sTuDeNt. That's all they nEeD. After all Nilak and both his older students BeTrAyEd us.. Why not you ToO?”
    Kinrai: ”But that's.. that's insane! Nilak killed me!”
    ???: ”In times of cRiSiS people look for someone to BlAmE, it blinds them from the truth. They see what they want to SeE. It comforts them to know who the cUlPrIt is. They drive pleasure from bLaMiNg someone and dealing 'JuStIcE' to that person. Does that sound fAmIlIaR? It should, after all that is what the law of the TAiNtEd essentially is. This behaviour grows more vIoLeNt when the real culprit manages to slip through their fingers and eScApEs.”
    Kinrai: ”.. Just who are you.. ?”
    ???: ”.. I am the voice of ReAsOn. There are people you can tRuSt in Nayru, but I still advice you to be careful of who you trust the MoSt. I hope we mEeT again, son of Kinos Alte.”
    The masked person said and proceeded walking down the stairs. Kinrai didn't go after them, he felt dizzy all of a sudden. He turned around and went back to where his mother was resting. He sat down with a puzzled look on his face, the masked person's words still lingering in his mind.
    Last edited by Takesh; 06-09-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  9. #79
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    Listening to Ramvils babbling Andrim felt himself weakening by the second, he hadn’t believed he caused such a severe wound but his body seemed adamant to prove him wrong. What was even more unsettling was Ramvils attitude towards the situation; it seemed to be nothing but a big laugh to him. Maiming such an important figure as Minathiel with nothing but a joke to add to the gruesome scene as he splattered himself with the moon priestess gray colorless blood. And this was the man who had invited him to a group of most likely similar individuals, and he had accepted. What did that say about him, what did it say about him that he had even been invited?

    The world where Ravil taken them had been dark from the beginning, but it was growing even darker. Somehow this darkness was far more terrifying than any shadows it had thrown at him before, without any other friends or allies there was only one he could call out for.
    “Direya” he tried to shout, no more than a whisper emerging from his lips.
    Immediately the old familiar blue light zoomed up from below. What had she been doing there? Looking down the gray cut in his chest kept pumping out gray blood through his fingers. Oh yes, he was injured in.

    Get a hold of yourself Andrim he told himself, his thoughts were getting murkier by the second. Trying to ignore this fact he focused instead on his fairy’s light, the drone of her voice chasing away the fear creeping over him. Suddenly Ramvils face entered his vision, putting something in Andrims pocket, lips moving. Andrim didn’t even try to listen, focusing all his attention on what seemed the only source of light to him even if it was without color and the only sound that could comfort him but one word the mysterious elf said caught his attention. “Kinrai, popular boy”

    With those words out he felt himself slumping over. He couldn’t hear anymore, not even Direya. Even her worried light was fading away from his vision. Was this what dying was, lonely, dark and terrifying, was this what Minathiel had felt before he killed her?
    Curling his lips he savored the thought.
    Served her right.
    __
    Flying close to Andrim she inspected the wound, her own face almost becoming as white as her friends, with nobody to staunch the wound the blood flowed freely. And while she was nervously trying to inspect the injury through the life force being pumped out she tried to ignore that horrible voice behind her and the sounds coming with it as Ramvil did something, what she didn’t even want to think of. Hearing her name, even barely audible to her she flew up towards Andrim and if she hadn’t already been alarmed by the blood flowing out of him she had been by the dullness of his eyes.

    "It’s alright Andrim just stay awake and you see we be laughing about it next week. Perhaps with some food to it, a citrus pie would suit, you always liked those pies didn’t you? Been a while, my treat. Well if I had money you know, but if I could treat you I do so just stay awake alright?” Pure blabbering with no true sense into it as she focused on the tone of her voice instead. Calm and happy as she said whatever came to mind, she wasn’t even sure if he heard her anymore. A glimpse in her eye made her fly away just in time not to be carelessly swapped away by Ramvil. He was now standing next to her friend smacking his chin the way a teasing friend might do, by purpose or mistake almost knocking her away at the same time.

    Listening to the conversation she wasn’t at all sure she liked where this was going, and she did not trust this strange elf. Giving them an item that could teleport him to them in an instant with no further catches, she doubted that. Everything had gone downhill, Andrim mortally wounding himself of all things and Minathiel dead together with the blacksmith they visited before. It had been one thing to plan all this but now, first now the enormity of the situation was beginning to seep in and at the worst possible time. But now was not the time she knew she took control over her own mouth again instead of letting it go on autopilot, as much as something for Andrim as for her to focus on instead of the horrible reality of what was happening.
    The horrible reality…
    Was an elf really meant to smile in the face of a grievous injury and horrible reality?
    ____
    Shuddering Andrim opened his eyes and sat up, blinking in confusion. He was in a small glade with trees forming a circle around and above him and what more was that the colors had returned in all their glory. His wound had also closed, no disappeared, not even a faint trace of a scar was left. Standing up he closer inspected his surroundings, what he formerly taken as a mere glade of trees proved to be much more. It was virtually an army of tree enclosing the glade so tightly that not even the thought of getting out would cross one’s mind with its soldiers of ash, elm, oak and every other sort of tree he could and plenty of others that he couldn’t name encircling him. Except for him the glade was as empty as the area surrounding it was full, not even a bush just a carpet of smooth grass.

    Alone and somehow transported to an unknown place, was this the work of Ramvil? Then there was the issue of where Direya had gone. The tree felt rough under his hand as he placed it, some small part hoping it turns out to be an illusion of some sort. He could try to burn his way through but doing that when surrounded by nothing but grass and trees wouldn’t turn out well for him. All in all he seemed temporarily stuck. Walking round in a circle hoping beyond expectation that he find a small gap through which he could squeeze through he found nothing, the trees themselves were far too tall to climb for him as well. Let’s see, first I came to Valhams glade where he was injured, then I was transported into some kind of shadow realm by Ramvil where I kill Minathiel, oh yes I did that he thought with a smile. Gloating wouldn’t help him though, whoever said a smile always helped had apparently never been in this situation.

    Noting a certain dampness at his feet he looked down in wonder. The ground was suddenly pushing up water making the whole grove a giant puddle within seconds. Next something hit him in the neck, seconds ago cloud free sky was now amass with clouds all pouring down their load on him. Encouraged by the liquid flow his own wound had opened.
    And from nowhere came a voice “This might sting a bit”
    And stung it did.
    ____

    As Kinrais mother worked her magic Andrims back suddenly arched only for him to fall down unconscious again. The treatment done Linea immediately forgot Andrim and focused her attention on Kinrai, despite knowing she couldn’t really blame a mother for caring about her son and should be thankful for having healed Andrim first at all Direya felt a pang of annoyance. Was he just supposed to lie on the floor now?

    Approaching one of the guards inches from his face she raised an arm in a wave if that wasn’t enough to gain his attention.
    “Could you go and call someone to bring a stretcher? My friend can’t lie on the floor all day you know”
    “The sisters have already been called. They should arrive for your friend any minute”
    And with the kind of timing that left one wondering if they waited for those exact words four of the temples sisters arrived with stretchers, one for Andrim and presumably the other one for Kinrai who was being resurrected. Lianas hands were glowing and shimmering with heat but as she placed them on her son’s body the dreadful smell of burned flesh one would expect did not come. Resurrecting somebody you loved, some people were just so lucky.
    Discarding those depressing thoughts she made thoughts and body follow the other depressing matter, Andrim being carried away on a stretcher.

    Despite her not really paying attention it was impossible not to marvel at the walls they passed. Engraved in them were the stories and legends of the three moons Pent, Ura and Satir that the priestesses worshipped. It was as if the temple itself boasted with these scenes “other temples merely house the spirit of its religion, mine is carved into my very stone” a bit pompous in her opinion, nice pictures though.
    Turning left the sisters walked into what appeared to be the sickbay. There were already a few preoccupied beds and two attendants keeping a watch but except said attendants they were all asleep, carefully sliding Andrim from the stretcher to one of the beds and walked out without a further word. Now that wasn’t right was it?
    “Hey where are you going? You can’t just leave him with weapons on him like that, and where’s the doctor? Linea is great and all but you can’t just leave him!””
    “We have other duties to attend to, and Lady Linea is a most skillful healer. You have nothing to fear. But one of our healers should already be on her way. Ah there is her fairy, she can’t be far behind”

    A green fairy was swiftly approaching them wearing a smile with her face and an extremely small pen and notebook in her hands.

    “Hello, nice to meet you. Well obviously not nice to meet you under the circumstances but it’s always fun to meet new people, even though it is unfortunate, but fun. Oh and I am rambling again I fear, I tend to do that. Let’s stick to the basics shall we? Like questions, those are easy to follow. Since you’re with these two am I right in assuming you are our newest patient’s fairy, Andrim the elf was called, yes?
    “Eh, yes I am Andrims fairy. Direya, and you are?”
    “Oh yes of course, I’m Silne. Now I just need to ask you a few questions about our patient. So, gender?”
    “…. Male. It is a male name you know?”
    “yes yes” Silne said irritably waving her pen at her “Still protocols must be followed. This will just take a moment”
    Why did one of the elves who carried Andrim cast such a sympathetic look at her?
    Later she learned why. She had just met the fairy who if not the best liar then at least close second.
    __
    Groaning Direya flew back into the sickbay, how could one fairy possibly remember all those questions, and for that matter what did it matter what his favorite food was? At least the questioning was finally over.
    Leaning over Andrim, now dressed in a gown like all other patients, were one more of the sisters. She appeared to be a middle aged high elf, her blond hair tightly snared as a rope trailing by her neck. Watching for a while her carefully prodding his chest at where the wound had been she landed on her shoulder.

    “How is he?” .
    “You’re his fairy?” said a face dotted with two brown eyes and a mouth drawn into a thin frown at the fairy perching on her “he is doing well. He lost a lot of blood but Lady Linea replaced most of it, all that’s left now is for the wound inside to heal properly. Shouldn’t be long unless there’s any complications”
    __
    Trembling all over Andrim tried to force some warmth back into his hands, the rain had stopped but by then he was soaking wet. Teeth clattering and feeling cold all over he looked for anything to start a fire with, one dry branch, something, anything that could be used.
    O-kay… What am I thinking?
    Snapping his fingers he produced his own flame, already the warmth was flowing back and the water retreating. That was so much better.
    __
    With the gloves removed the symbols on Andrims hands had nothing to prevent their activation from being shown, for some reason his magical talent had been activated.
    “Quick, what is his magical talent?”
    “What? I just told that fairy?!”
    “She’s not here, hurry what does he need for his talent to focus on, it need a way to get out”
    Scanning the room she saw with relief none of Andrims equipments had caught fire yet, if his talent had activated though it was just a matter of time before he caught one of his belongings on fire, and then they have a problem.
    “That sword” she said and pointed “give it to him and then stay back and be ready with some water”
    Following her instructions the high elf drew the sword out from its scabbard but before she could put it in his hands the light from the symbols disappeared. And nothing in the room was burnt.
    “What just happened?”

    “A complication. Sometimes while being healed if the person in question experienced some strong emotional trauma beforehand their magic can act against the healing by instinct though it doesn’t happen often , this time through what I assume was his art. What is it? I need to know so nothing has been damaged”.

    “Well, Andrim can take any item he has familiarized himself with and infuse it with his element as long as he is holding it” she lied, the lie having become much of a truth these days. Continuing she said “items such as his sword, hammer or his….” First now she noticed something. All Andrims items were lined nicely on one of the tables, probably supposed to be moved soon, his sword, hammer, the small box in which the moon metal resided and that thing Ramvil gave them but one thing missed. Suddenly she remembered, balance was missing, he had thrown it against Nilak before and hadn’t retrieved it afterwards. It was still lying in the forest.
    “Is something the matter?”
    “Oh no nothing, nothing at all. I just remembered something” I wonder what happened to balance she thought, Andrim had never unconsciously activated his magical art so powerfully before.

    And in the glade that had previously been Valhems home in a spot of scorched grass with smoke rising above it lay a small puddle of metal which one might, if really trying, might imagine once having formed the shape of a circular blade. But for those who couldn’t it was nothing more than a round puddle of molten metal.
    Last edited by Befram; 07-04-2012 at 01:12 PM.

  10. #80
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    Default 10 EXP - Finally in Nayru

    The early morning light was spreading its rays out over the country as Vice and Askari got the city of Nayru in sight. With their pallas trotting peacefully over a sandy side road Vice found herself marveling at the city’s beauty as it was almost shining there high in the treetops.
    _
    She liked Nayru. It was her father place of birth. And now every time she climbed up the stairs that lead to the city she could imagine him walking through the streets, talking with people, mocking about. She often wondered why he had left it for the rougher main capital of Amn. How could any city be possibly better than this one? If she could only ask him. But that time had gone past. Too long had she waited with questions, not thinking about them at that age. Now the answers were lost forever. Her father hadn’t been the type who wrote in a dairy, but many times after he had died she had wished that he had been. To read his words would have been a consolation and a guidance perhaps. Of course he had already told her everything about the map, but it was never enough.

    It would never be enough.
    _
    Within minutes they had reached the main road leading to the city. Vice looked around. It was quiet. Her eyes went to the sun. Surely normally this road was bustling with activity. Salesmen from all over the country were seemingly always on the move towards the elven capital to earn some good money. But now the road was practically empty. Askari shifted restless on his palla, a feeling of uneasiness washing over him. Vice adjusted her cloak but made no further comments about the quietness that seemed to surround the city. They left their pallas at the therefore designed stables below the city. The animals did not fare well on the high walks of Nayru.
    _
    Upon entering the city they were, surprisingly, stopped by two guards. Their blues suits were a sign of the law.

    “Please state your name and business here in Nayru.” The guard spoke sternly.

    Vice narrowed her eyes. “Since when does Nayru demand this knowledge from their travelers?” This she had never experienced before.

    “Since our peace was threatened yesterday. Now your name?”

    “Sirilia Rhuimiel.” Vice spoke slightly twitching at the name. She had been cast out by her family, forced to discard her name but it was still hers and it had remained her entrance fee to the library set up by her father. “And this is Askari from the lair of Zuri.” She gestured to Askari. “We are here to visit the library.” The fact that the library was only one part of their objective this time was something that Vice rather held back. No need to spill all your beans right away.

    The left guard scribbled something down on a piece of paper and then the two parted and Vice and Askari could move on. “We suggest that you quickly take care of your business here and that you stay inside as much as possible.” The right guard said.

    "Can we ask why?” Vice asked.

    Much is unknown, but yesterday Valham was attacked. There have been severe causalities under those that wished to protect him. There is not much information yet, but this attack has shaken the foundations of this city.”

    “The attacker?”

    But the guards walked away as another traveler entered the city. Vice shot Askari a look before officially entering the city. They had things to do and seeing the state of affairs maybe it was indeed wise to do them quickly.
    _
    The Elven Library was situated in the inner circle of Nayru as it was one of Nayru’s most prized buildings and also one of Vice’s favorites. The idea that practically every piece of knowledge was stored inside these walls always send shivers down her spine. No wonder therefore that the color blue was present around and in the building. At least five pairs of eyes were following them as they entered. Vice didn’t seem fazed, but Askari was fumbling with his cloak. His eyes shot from the left to the right as if he was trying to watch every guard at the same time. With firm steps Vice marched to the reception desk where every visitor to the library had to state his or her business.

    The woman behind the counter looked up and adjusted her glasses as Vice halted before her. “Yes?” She said brushing a few strands of her brown hair out of her face.

    “My name is Sirilia Rhuimiel.” Again Vice twitched slightly. “I’m here to complete a map.”

    A small smile played around the lips of the elven librarian as she replied: “A map of what?”

    Vice unbuttoned her cloak and placed it on the counter. “Of everything that is and everything that will be in this ever changing world.”

    The receptionist nodded. “Please go ahead. Have a nice stay.”

    With a nod Vice turned away from the counter and began climbing the stairs to the third floor where all the maps were located. Of course those were all laughable items. She had gone through most of them to see if they held something hers did not, but they all had been highly disappointing.
    _
    The Map Room lay silent in the quietness of the library. Not many people visited this room. As they walked past it Vice’s eyes shot to the wall with the (very bad, not accurate, worst, there were too many ways to describe the worseness of it) map of whole Amn. One day when she would be finished, her map would be hanging there. That was a promise.

    There was a small alcove next to the Map Room where a guard was situated. As he noticed Vice he smiled and stood up from his comfortable chair. “It is nice to see you again.” He said nodding to the two.

    “Same.” Vice replied. “Now if you don’t mind we are in a bit of a hurry. I just need to check some things and we will be on our way.”

    The guard nodded and stomped with his foot on the ground. A chair rose out of the wooden floor and the man gestured Askari to sit. The Beastkin smiled grateful and sat down after handing down his cloak to Vice. The female elf disappeared through the door with the cloaks and the two men were alone.

    “So man how it is going?” Rorin, which was the guard’s name, asked, sitting down again.

    “All good.” Askari replied. He liked Rorin. The guy was extremely laid back for a guard and was fun to talk with. The man had seen adventure, lots of it, and was now practically a living storybook. If you only so much as hinted that you wanted to hear a story you already found yourself within an exciting tale with monsters and fearies. Askari doubted that everything was real, but that didn’t bother him one bit. On one of his adventures though he had lost his fairy and an arm, making him unfit for the live of an adventurer which was how he had somehow ended up as a guard here. Askari didn’t know the details and he had never bothered to ask them. Rorin’s mood never seemed to be bothered by his one arm; only the fairy seemed to drag him down sometimes.
    _
    But today Askari wasn’t in the mood for a funny story. He looked to the door again and then back to Rorin. “What happened?”

    Rorin sighed. “Nilak killed Valham.”

    Askari’s mouth dropped and for several seconds he could do nothing but stare. “B-but wasn’t Nilak a hero or something?”

    “‘Was’ is a good word yes.” Rorin said. “Now he is Tainted. Declared so by Minathiel herself.”

    “Serious? Why did he do it?”

    “If we knew that things would not be that complicated, but no one knows.”

    “From a hero to a criminal. What will happen to him?”

    Rorin shrugged. “He is cast out. No one is allowed to help him etcetera etcetera. The usual stuff.”

    Askari was silent for a moment. “They said there were causalities…” The Beastkin trailed off.

    “Yes some seemingly fought to aid Valham. One of them was Kinrai Alte, he is currently being resurrected. Or maybe he is already awake.” Rorin shot a glance to the window on his left. The sun was rising.

    “Who is he?”

    Rorin let out a laugh. “No surprises there. I see you haven’t changed much.”

    Askari grumbled something. He couldn’t help it that he just didn’t have a memory like Vice. He just couldn’t remember names.

    “He is the son of Kinos Alte, a member of the high council. Funny,” Rorin stretched his legs, “a day ago he was in there.” The elf pointed to the Map Room on their right. “Wanted a detailed map from the land between Auburn and Monark. I tell you that boy was up to something. I remember thinking that it would have been something for Vice.” He let out a laugh. “I bet someone like him would have paid enough for a guide there.”

    “For a guide to where?”

    The two men looked up, Askari with a shocked expressing, Rorin as relaxed as always. Vice threw one of the two cloaks she held to Askari, who failed to catch it and got it straight in his face. There was another stomp on the ground and another chair sprung out of the wooden floor. Vice crashed down on it.

    “So who needs a guide where and is able to pay some money for that?”

    “Kinrai Alte.” Rorin said. “He was one of the causalities of the fight with Valham. He was here not a day ago looking for a map to Monark.”

    “Kinos Alte’s son, hm?”

    Rorin smirked to Askari and the Beastkin huffed. Of course Vice did know who this guy was.

    “What was he doing there?”

    “Nilak was the one that attacked and killed Valham.”

    Vice actually froze at those words. “Valham is dead?” She asked shocked.

    Rorin nodded. “His soul crystal was shattered.”

    Vice was silent for a moment. This was quite shocking information.
    “And what is Kinrai’s roll in this?” She asked then.

    “We don’t know. We only know that there will be a trail for him for being an accomplice to Nilak.”

    “A trail.” Vice repeated. “I see.” Her eyes darted around the room before she asked another question. “What about Balthazar?”

    Rorin frowned at that question. “What about him?”

    “You don’t fight a dragon alone and the only two that Nilak would trust to fight with him would be Balthazar and Faltheer so I am asking if they did fight.”

    “Nilak, Balthazar and Faltheer were proclaimed Tainted.”

    “Now that is a problem.” Vice mused.

    “And why is that?”
    _
    Vice rose to her feet and swung the cloak over her shoulders. “Say Nyx,” she said, “do we know the location of his house.”

    The fairy emerged from Vice’s hair where it had its usual hiding spot. The small creature blinked a couple of times in the sunlight as if it had been sleeping. Rorin felt a small tug in his chest. Nyx reminded him quite a bit of his own fairy. They both had shared that quiet personality. He missed her. “We do.” The fairy said.

    “Great.” Vice fastened her cloak before turned to Askari. “Let’s go. We buy you a drink if we come back Rorin.”

    Askari gave Rorin an apologizing smile before rushing after Vice. The male elf waved it away. He was used to it. Vice was just not someone who sat around doing nothing.

    “I’ll place it on your tab.” He called after the disappearing figures as he mentally added another drink to the twenty-one he had earned before. If she came back she would surely give them to him and they would have a nice night.
    _
    Vice, Nyx and Askari walked back past the receptionist and soon found themselves outside again. Vice was conversing with Nyx. Askari felt lost, but decided to go with the feeling. Most of the time he didn’t get half of the plan that Vice was forming in her head. It was better to just go with it though Askari had the idea that this time it was big. If they didn’t watch it they would get involved in things that concerned the world but somehow Askari too had the feeling that Vice would actually like it. They walked through the city. Guards were still present, but didn’t give them a second glance. Without trouble they arrived at a small house.

    “When looking for someone begin at the source.” Vice muttered to herself. She urged Askari to halt and walked over to the door. With a firm fist she struck it three times.


    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir I exist."
    "However," replied the universe,
    "this hasn't created in me
    a sense of obligation."

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