The Beginning
 

Prellis the scribe

UP: Atlantic

    Kraltch, the imp of Nostur’yl, followed his guides across the face of Sosaria in search of the obsidian posts. His guides had informed him they knew the location of all eight posts, and while Kraltch was not strong enough to lift even one, he would be able to report the location of each to his daemon lord.

Five such posts had been shown to him in all, before he was forced to summon the aid of Nostur’yl. The imp thought it was most unfortunate that he had run into trouble, as he knew he was close to finding a sixth, and had hoped to please his master with the location of all eight. It was not to be so. Nostur’yl manifested himself and immediately chased off those who sought to harm the imp and then left just as quickly with the imp in tow.

Not too far across the land, deep within the crypts housed on the outskirts of Yew, a group had gathered at one such obsidian post. The tinker, Gregory Ironhand, had been brought to this post to examine it so that a course of action could be determined. After close examination it was found that the post was near, if not entirely, indestructible; having been crafted by magical means of a much larger piece of obsidian and compressed to its current size. Being individuals who would not give up so easily, several attempts were made at destroying the short black post where it rested. Each met with failure.

As the hall lay quiet for a moment, a sound echoing off the stones of the old crypt caught the gathering’s attention. Coming from further down the passageway could be heard the unmistakable pounding of hooves on stone. Any who could not discern the noise soon discovered what had caught the others’ attention as Nostur’yl came into view.

The daemon spoke briefly, demanding all to step aside so that he might lay claim to the post within. Much to his and the imp’s pleasure, they refused. Battle raged throughout the stone halls, beginning with Nostur’yl calling forth a horde of hellhounds and a daemon while Kraltch unleashed magical attacks on any nearby.

The defenders fought bravely, slaying the hounds and daemonic minion in short work with few casualties of their own. It seemed almost as if they might win this battle as they took in the scene and noted the corpses of the vile creatures and many injuries appearing readily on the imp’s body. Their hopes were soon dashed, however, when their eyes took in the visage of the towering daemon of the deepest grey, who to this point had attacked none. A menacing laugh came from Nostur’yl before he lifted a sword larger than an average sized man and walked into the fray, cutting down any brave enough to face him.

It did not take long before the room was cleared of any living defender, mercy being shown to those who fled or did not attack. Stepping across the corpses of many brave men and women, Nostur’yl stood before the obsidian post. “Now the first post shall be mine!” the daemon’s voice bellowed throughout the stone corridors as he hefted the obsidian post into the air. Then as fast as they had entered, Nostur’yl and Kraltch left the crypts, only to vanish once in the open air.

Throughout the night and across the realm, guards were placed to watch over each of the stone posts found. While most locations remained calm and peaceful, two such groups found themselves under grueling attacks from the minions of Nostur’yl.

The first such attack took place at a hidden room deep in the heart of the maze of hedge. Hellhounds and daemons attacked the group gathered, in a barrage from differing directions, but were no match for the mages and warriors assembled.

The second attack came a short while later, only this time at the Lycaeum in Moonglow where a post rested upon a desk. This attack came first in the form of a single balron, its rank shown in the light grey coloring of its hide, the mark of one of Nostur’yls elite daemons. Ranking or not, the defenders would give not an inch in this battle and help arrived from the defenders at the hedge maze, just as the balron was slain.

A third attack took place again at the center of the maze of hedge, the guards having grown lax in their duty while some remained at the Lycaeum, believing it to be the more threatened area. The defenders who stood their ground had little hope of victory, as two balrons appeared, again marked as being of the elite. The first daemon kept the guards occupied outside long enough for the second to make its way into the hidden chamber and claim the obsidian post for its master. Before reinforcements could be summoned, the two were gone from their sight.

The final attack took place some time later, as, after delivering the captured post to their daemon lord, the two balrons made an attempt upon the post at the Lycaeum. Greed would become the pair’s undoing, as the defenders were better equipped and better prepared than those at the maze of hedge. After a long battle, the muscles of the heroes strained to their fullest, the pair of balrons lay dead at the feet of the guards.




From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online,Sunday, August 6th 2000