those of you taken to roam the countryside I have a dire warning.
There have been multiple reports that brigands are accosting
citizens and demanding money. Iím told that if you hand over
your valuables in a timely fashion they let you go. Any delays,
however, result in the loss of life. The corpses littering our
highways prove that. There seems to be one common hooligan leading
this motley crew. I have no specifics on this bandit as of now.
So, please, if you plan on traveling from Britannia beware of
|Wanted dead or alive: Elle
magnet for mischief, BladeSong, sat me down the other night
and related a tale of sinister proportions. I had sent a warning
about whispers of robbery occurring on the public highways of
Sosaria previously. Well, now we have more information. I'll
let BladeSong continue:
River and I were walking the roads towards Vesper
when Highwaymen started pouring out of the buc's den gate...a
few accosted us asking for money...and the rest started running
north along the road to cove...well we dispatched the few pestering
us and headed after them.
It was a long chase through Cove and back to the North Bridge
of Vesper when we found the large den of bandits. They quickly
overwhelmed us and River was knocked out from a mace blow.
I was alone and losing strength fast when I too saw the starry
blackness from one of their clubs.
Once I regained my senses I woke to find a war being waged
by a small number of heroes who had shown up. It was a grand
battle as we were outnumbered 8 to 1.
This is when she showed up. Stepping out of the woods it
was very clear who was in charge. The bandits stopped beating
on us for a moment while waiting for her to say something.
This beautiful creature named, Elle gave us a sneer and spit
"Give me ye gold"
Well, there was no way I would ever defer to evil so I pointedly
refused. Her bandits charged us then, but she yelled at them
to stop: "I said, NOT YET." They hung back, just itching to
She pointed me out. "You, the handsome one. You look well
off. Me thinks I'd like to relieve you of your worldly possessions."
Once again I declined.
This seemed to enrage her and when she gave the signal her
men charged us. The lawful stood back to back fighting this
evil scourge off. It took us a long time, but finally we won
Elle, who looked very upset, screeched like a harpy: "You
will all pay!" and disappeared into the woods not to be seen
|Napa needs your help!
highways are getting worse with citizens robbed daily. Picked
clean of their goods and left for dead if they don't relinquish
fast enough. Guards have been dispatched, but there aren't enough
of them to patrol the roads.
This is where you can come in. Britannia needs citizens
to form a posse and put an end to these highwaymen. Is there
not a brave leader among you to uphold peace in the land?
Although I am just a reporter with little fighting skills
I suggest you go to http://www.cyboards.com/servlets/CyBoard?I=1344&A=view
and gather together. I will post something there first and
any of you brave enough should follow.
|Evil Mages, Highwaymen & Elle...oh
dear readers, here we have another appearance from Elle. However,
to get to that point we need to take a small diversion. Don't
worry, it's worth your while.
My friend, BladeSong, and his side kick River were once
again exploring Britiannia. However, I'll let him continue
I was in the Sambrook Winery sampling some of their
fine wares when the carrier pigeon came in. It seemed my companion,
River, had stumbled on to the Fire Caves near Paupa and wanted
to explore. Well, I knew that place was tricky so I offered
to lead the expedition. Gathering a few other players we met
up a short time later.
As we were packing our gear an old knight hailing from
Trinsic inquired about our destination. After I told him
he begged to join us. It seemed he was hunting an evil wizard
cult in the very same caves we were headed for. He seemed
okay, so I agreed and we headed off.
A short distance inside the caves, where the graveyard
lies, some evil mages swarmed us. The knight went mad, hacking
and slashing them into sea serpent chum while yelling about
a legendary book of the undead.
Afterwards I took him aside to see if he harbored some
ulterior motive that might cause harm to our small party
of young players. With a hollow look in his eyes he told
me of his decade long quest for this book that would save
his family. The last he heard this evil cult was in possession
So, we pushed onward until the knight opened a door to
a small room and disturbed a secret meeting between the
mages and the highwaymen. A fierce battle ensued, of course,
and after running them off we found something of interest.
It was a book lifted from a highwayman's corpse that gave
a sextant location near Vesper's gate to Buc's Den with
a passage from Elle saying: “We must take this location”
The old knight, still not finding his book, said
a farewell and left. We decided to find Elle and put a stop
Sure enough she was there. Quite surprised to see us I
might add. Going into a rage she demanded how we found out
her location. After refusing she released some brigands
that we fought long and hard. Again she threatened to kill
us if we didn't tell.
“The roads of this world belong to us.” she
spat at which I replied:
“Not this road and not this day.” and chased
her into the woods to which she was able to make her escape.
is like the Britain hedge maze. Wandering lost most of the time,
you find a few rares along the way until the big neon “Exit”
shows up in the form of a dirt nap and you're gone.
Last Friday a band of heroes got together to rid the roads
of the Highwaymen once and for all. Using Lord British's meeting
hall they gathered together and made plans. It was decided
a scout party would gate to Elle's last known location and
try and lure her into an ambush.
Upon arriving near Vesper the scouts were ambushed themselves.
A great battle took place near the graveyard, but Elle never
made a peep that night. Victorious, but antsy the party retired
to begin anew the following day.
Saturday was much different. Employing much of the same
tricks as their enemy, the heroes took them down in combat
amongst the trees near the Buc's Den gate. Elle was captured
alive and there was much rejoicing.
They braced themselves for the difficult trek of escorting
such a hellcat to Yew's prison, but in an about face Elle
was withdrawn. Quiet. Melancholy. They expected a trick and
kept a steady watch for any remaining brigands, but no one
Then near the Yew winery Elle burst out into tears. Sobbing
and falling to her knees she refused to go on. BladeSong was
quite puzzled at this behavior. Being a man's man he had little
experience with a crying woman. So, he took her inside and
gave her a stiff drink. Dirk, pacing non-stop, was on the
look out for trouble. Through her tears Elle refused to divulge
information. She kept saying over and over: “You wouldn't
Fed up, BladeSong led her to the awaiting jail cell and
locked her in tight. And in a game of good cop, bad cop Dirk
brought some bread for her, trying to gain her trust. After
a long while she confessed that her family was being held
captive as a means for her to follow orders.
She didn't know where they were being held nor who was holding
them. “If I knew that I would have killed them all already!"
she snapped when asked. All we knew is that was their names
(Sir Johnson, Lady Jamie and a sister Sara) and that a mage
was involved. This mage, Disturputus, had been whispered about
before...and the person who did had ended up dead.
A picture is worth a thousands words.
This is the one waiting for us when we got back from the Fire
Caves near Papua.
Last Tuesday I was on hand as the heroes met in Lord British's
castle to discuss finding information on those behind Elle's
forced reign of terror. Going off the tiny bit of information
that the evil mages might be involved we took a scouting party
to the caves.
Many dead orcs & evil mages later we had nothing. (Ok, maybe
someone got some cool red sandals...snatched right out from
under my fingers, but that's a different story) So, we headed
back to the meeting hall to be confronted by a terrible sight:
Equipment strewn about and other signs of struggle. BladeSong
was gone and in his place was this awful book. With no idea
who the Merchant's Guild is we can only pray for our friend's
Wednesday a master merchant made inquiries in Britain for the
warrior Long Dong Silver, one of the heroes of the Elle quest.
Upon finding him he stated if Elle wasn't released BladeSong
would be put to death within 24 hours.
Immediately he and Vylnt J escorted the merchant to the
Sometime later Thoem Bisul received a message of a fierce
battle at the jail. He raced over to find Long Dong and Vylnt
J trying to drag Elle out of her cell. Their hearts in the
right place, but clearly not thinking logically Thoem put
a stop to them. As they debated in the hall, a poison elemental
snuck up and forced them in the cell with Elle.
After they dispatched this creature Elle claimed it was
not an elemental, but some sort of shapeshifter. They pressed
for more details, but she demanded they leave. Standing just
outside, while she wept, they spoke in low tones about how
confusing everything had become.
A few minutes later a man dressed as a guard tried to enter
Elle's cell, but they stopped him. He explained he was just
doing his job, but seemed suspicious and when he took off
running Thoem and Long Dong were on his tail.
Finally catching up with him in the new lands the ‘guard'
was forced to confess. He said he was hired by a follower
of Minax to ‘get' the girl at all costs. Claiming to
be paid as much as Thoem for this deed.
Long Dong came to the realization that Thoem was wearing
the same clothes as the master merchant who demanded Elle's
release in the first place. With shapeshifters on his mind
they argued while poor Thoem maintained his innocence. Unfortunately
the faux guard used this time to escape.
Since it's been a while since I last
posted about this adventure I thought a minor recap might be
in order. First we had Elle terrorizing the countryside, but
she was captured and locked away in Yew prison. She confessed
her family was being held hostage which forced her to commit
these crimes. There were numerous attempts on her life. Then
BladeSong was kidnapped. A ransom note was delivered by the
Merchants Guild to Long Dong Silver saying if Elle wasn't release
in 24 hours BladeSong would be put to death.
Whew! You got all that? So, then after many hours of detective
work in the field our band of heroes were able to ascertain
BladeSong was being held in the Ice Dungeon by a cult of evil
mages (they keep popping up!) who belonged to the Merchants
Guild. The 24-hour time frame had passed so we hoped for the
tagged along as we met on the Paupa docks. Dirk Fireslinger
had come down with a mysterious illness so the paladin Aranath
took his place as group leader. Before jettisoning our vessel
into the ocean kamikaze mages with a zealots fire in their
eyes stormed us. Fearful of bringing a full scale attack on
the population of Paupa we left immediately.
The journey was long and difficult. We were attacked by
creatures the whole way. A powerful force trying to stop us.
Upon landing, a pack of drakes and evil mages tried to repel
us, but to no avail. Inside the dungeon the usual array of
ice creatures halted our progress with their frozen outer
shell causing frostbite to all they touched.
We eventually found the ghost of BladeSong tied to an energy
vortex. He spoke to us from beyond harking for a resurrection.
But before we could proceed a whole army of mages popped out
of nowhere. I don't know how we finally broke through their
ranks, but we did. There were many lifeless bodies lying upon
the ground...some of them ours. Racing to where BladeSong
was being held (in the middle of a pentagram) there was one
last surprize: Ice Fiends. Nasty creatures they were. Huge
beasts who took forever to kill. As some of the party was
holding them off we brought our friend, BladeSong, back into
the realm of the living.
With danger still lurking around we made haste to transport
our version of Private Ryan back to Paupa. He thanked us for
our bravery, but had no further knowledge of those who took
him. Only time will tell...
past weekend was a celebration of sorts. Those involved in rescuing
BladeSong met for festivities at the new city of Liberalis during
it's grand opening. It was a night of relaxing, showing off
and other oddities.
First we were overrun by daemons that couldn't be killed.
Then I met a talking Ettin. Some dimwits kept throwing up
walls of flames so I couldn't see and that doesn't even include
the variety of contests to be had.
I tried my hand at the dart contest and did horribly. Then
I was sure to be a shoo-in for the fashion contest, but MacMichael
beat me. Hmmm...he did dress a lot like Dirk who was the judge.
Could there have been a bias? No matter.
A scavenger hunt consisted of finding teal bags placed in
the surrounding town and forest. Even before I started some
enterprising player found most of the bags. So, I came home
empty handed, but it was still a fun time.
We had one incident where a rather ominous representative
of the Merchants Guild came by to make threats against BladeSong,
but we sent him and his gang of ruffians packing. Most of
them were too sleepy to escape and instead took a dirt nap.
I just wished they had carried more money because I was trying
to save up for a stone oven deed. It was priced very reasonably.
Someone had mentioned a group from the Man/Mongbat Love
Association was going to show up, but that never materialized.
Perhaps they got sidetracked along the way.
|The Jury is Chosen
was sent to me by my friend, Aranath the Paladin. If you notice
there is a slight change of time for the trial of Elle.
From Sir Aranath,
I send you my greetings friend. May the Virtues bless your
deeds and thoughts. I write you this letter to inform you
of the events that transpired Tuesday night. I thought that
since you could not attend yourself, you would be interested
in knowing what was decided.
We all gathered in Lord British's briefing room at approximately
10:00pm Eastern time. There were many new faces present,
which I consider fortunate, seeing as we seem to need all
the aid we can gather in this on-going struggle against
evil. However, due to the fact that they were not privy
to all the information that we older campaigners were, many
questions were asked that most of us knew the answers to.
Finally Sir Hoyt, a guard of Britannia, and Lord Tremain
(who had helped us originally subdue Elle) spoke up. After
some time, Elle's judge, prosecutor, defender, and jury
were chosen. I will not go into detail now on who fits what
role, as I know not if this letter may be intercepted by
the dark lady's minions. I will say only I believe Elle
will be fairly tried. The trial has now been set for Thursday
the 27th, at 11:00pm, Eastern time. (8 pm Pacific) This
is one hour late than originally stated. It will be at the
Yew courthouse in Trammel.
After Sir Hoyt and Lord Tremain finished choosing the court,
many of the gathered quickly departed. Those of us who stayed
behind, however were told by the Britannian guard that a
large group of spiders had been terrorizing the citizens
north of Britain proper. Without wasting much time, the
rest of us (there were roughly 5-8 of us left) rushed out
of the castle, and headed to the coordinates we had been
given. On our way there, much to my delight, we met Dirk
Fireslinger, who had not been at the meeting. Over half
the group went on ahead to a possible lair of the spiders,
while a few of us searched the town for clues. Not finding
any, we all headed to the original coordinates. I got separated
from Sir Dirk and Lord Hawkwing, and found myself somewhat
lost. A pigeon from Dirk though, put me back on their trail.
Pelle, what I write next is not in jest. You know I would
not lie. When I arrived at the scene, the group was already
deep in combat with a tremendous swarm of spiders. They
were being led by vile Black Widow spiders, a particularly
lethal breed. The corpses of the monsters piled high around
the group, and I found myself knee-deep in their filth as
I waded into the fight. We made our way from the field where
we dueled them into their very lair. I do not joke when
I tell you I believe there were more spiders against our
small band than there had been mages the other night when
we rescued Sir Bladesong. The sheer number of the things
astounded me. Fighting forward when we had the advantage,
and falling back when we were poisoned were our key strategies.
Black Widows joined the fray, making it more complicated.
We were all fighting five or six spiders at once. Luckily
we held out. The Virtues were indeed with us tonight. As
the last spiders fell, we all breathed a sigh of relief.
It was short-lived however.
Not moments after I wiped the last remnants of spider blood
and juices off my blade, Frost Spiders and Dread spiders
emerged from their holes. The number of frost spiders was
so great, it seemed an entire sea of white rushed to take
us. We fought our way farther into the lair, when we saw
an incredibly large group of the beasts headed towards us.
I called for us to form a line, with each person healing
the person he stood next to. With this tactic, we were able
to hold off the horde of eight-legged monstrosities. With
the lair now clear, we were able to walk back outside, and
finish off the last pockets of spider resistance, with help
from newly arrived allies. After we were finished, Dirk
generously transported us to Liberalis for a free round
of drinks, to celebrate our hard-earned victory. Some of
the warriors found it amusing to pick on my preference for
milk over ale. It does not bother me though. I am used to
As you can see, friend, tonight was a night of unexpected
twists, but the primary goal was accomplished. Elle's court
was chosen, and the trial was scheduled. I pray to the Virtues
that it is a just trial. For her, and for the Realm.
May the Virtues guide your actions and words in all the
ways of your life.
Paladin of Sosaria
|Trial of the Century
Murder most foul occurred today in
the Yew Courthouse, a once sacred spot where the King's Justice
was handed out according to the virtues: Justice tempered
It was a warm summer day and speculation was ablaze among
the crowd that gathered. The court appointed guard, Hoyt,
bade us to rise as the honorable Judge Arthur Pendragon took
his place. He was followed by the prosecution, River, and
the appointed defender, Thoem Bisul. The jury was rounded
out by Aranath, Arthur Hawkwing, Arlin, GreyBlade and Nukem.
Soon the center of controversy was led out in chains: Elle,
leader of the highwaymen. She was stunning in her orange
clothes, but her eyes were stained from crying. Seeing this
frail creature it was hard to believe she could have committed
Taking her place next to Thoem, he tried to convey her excellent
prospects in winning this case, but she wasn't swayed. According
to what little facts I have heard about Elle...I wasn't surprised.
Cynics are born of tragedy.
Standing at attention Hoyt read the charges: Destruction
of property, theft & the deaths of innocent people.
"How do you plead?" inquired Arthur Pendragon. Thoem gathered
himself up. "Not guilty, your honor."
The courtroom went silent. Broken finally by Elle's pleas.
"I fear most for my family. It has been too long. Please someone
help me!" She eyed Aranath who was sitting in the jury box.
"You promised to help me. Why aren't you doing anything?"
I could see Aranath's conflict racing across his face. On
one hand if she was telling the truth we would have taken
up arms at that very moment and gated to the end of the earth
save her family. But was it the truth? That's what we were
here to find out.
The first witness was Dirk Fireslinger.
River: What do you know about the accused?
Dirk: What I know to be true or what I have heard?
Dirk: I first met Elle when we went on our second search for
her. She was at the winery over yonder.
River: And why were you searching for her?
Dirk: She was leading a band of brigands.
During the course of the trial brigand assassins would invade
the courtroom, but were defeated before any harm could be
done. This first one interrupted the testimony only for a
Dirk: I never saw her raise her hand to attack anyone.
River: As I recall you came late to the battle.
Dirk: She was at battles but I never saw her attack.
River: You believe she was being controlled?
Dirk: I believe she was being blackmailed and used by a mage
of high power.
When River was finished Thoem took his turn. He tried to
discredit Dirk's standing, but that was a difficult process.
Next River called BladeSong to the stand.
River: When was the first time you met Elle?
Blade: After a battle with a band of bandits along the roads
of Vesper she came out of the woods demanding our gold. She
swore she would see us all dead.
River: Before her capture did you ever see her again?
Blade: We had just found a book she had written and as I recall
there were a few merchants dead by the time we got there.
The book BladeSong referred to was admittedly written in
Elle's hand and mentioned ‘taking the roads by force'
if necessary. There were other maps that pinpointed guard
posts to be attacked. This was damning evidence indeed.
Suddenly a gate opened behind Elle. She could have easily
escaped, but instead pleaded with the judge. Asking to approach
the bench she had this to say -
Elle: I could have escaped many times as I demonstrated
(re: opening of the gate), but I'm here to help my family.
Arthur: Elle, I promise you a fair trial.
At this point, BladeSong who obviously did not like Elle
and believed her to be guilty spoke out:
Blade:Sit down woman!
Arthur: Either you agree to abide by this courts rules or
else the trial can not go on.
Elle agreed and sat back down. Thoem, having trouble (OCC
- with his computer connection) was unavailable to question
BladeSong, who was tired of the whole process anyway and sat
down before he was dismissed.
Then it was Elle's chance to take the stand. The tension
in the courtroom noticably increased. Dirk took over the questioning
Dirk: When was your family abducted?
Elle: It was...a...month or so I think
Dirk: How did you find out they were abducted?
Elle: We were having our dinner and all of the sudden a gate
appeared in our home. Citizens of the nether world did come
through. They said they had a message for me. I was most shocked
that they would have any message for me...for who am I?
Dirk: How did you get pulled in with the Highwaymen?
Elle: They said they had heard of my ummm...arts and that
the master had use for them.
Dirk: Did they ever say who this Master was?
Elle: No. They didn't. They grabbed my parents and my little
sister and said they would assure my ‘cooperation' they
called it. They said with my skills I should be able to obtain
30k a week easily enough.
Dirk: Where were you to get this 30k?
Elle: Well, sir...'tis well known that although I am a fair
merchant I have other...ahh skills.
Dirk: What other skills would those have been?
Elle: I think you can guess at those.
Dirk: Yes, I think I can. So, after all the witnesses who
have placed you at the scene of the crime and your admitted
skills in thuggery what can you say to convince us of your
Elle: unfortunately...'tis my word and the lack of my parents
in their home.
Dirk: What about this ‘master'? Can you tell us more?
Elle: Not much sir...only that the master was spoken of with
much fear by those who gave me orders.
Dirk: You gave me a name before. One that people have been
killed for speaking.
Elle: I dare not speak that name. There be a very disturbing
evil...that of shapeshifters which are associated...I know
not who to trust. Which means I am in great danger, but i
am here to help my family.
Dirk: Shapeshifters that have been seen in this prison, yes?
Elle: At least once that I know of. The shapeshifters could
Dirk: If you had to make the choice with what you know now
would you do it again?
Elle: I would do it again...for how could I not with my family
at risk? But alas, tis likely too late for them. Ye have held
me too long.
Dirk: Be strong Elle for what is right shall prevail in the
Thoem was able to be there for the closing argument which
he did with style:
Thoem: Before everyone here tonight passes judgement I
would like to say Six of the virtues have been answered by
Elle. One of those virtues will be given by the jury. The
last depends on if Elle walks away a free woman. I ask the
jury give us their compassion. And I believe she did what
she knew best.
With that the jury walked into the inner chambers and deliberated
for what seemed like a long time. When they came back one
person placed upon his steed remarked: “I'm on the edge
of my horse.” which I found very appropriate.
Judge Arthur Pendragon asked the jury if they had reached
a verdict. Aranath, the head juror nodded in affirmation.
Reading from a piece of paper he announced that Elle was not
guilty of the larger charges of murder, but guilty of the
smaller charges of thievery.
None of that mattered for there was an assassin in our midst:
Dyastro Farkas! I had been sitting next to him during the
trial and hadn't noticed any strange behavior. The next part
was a blur and then Elle was dead. Pendragon called the guards
and immediately there was a posse hot on Dyastro's trail,
but he was never caught.
Poor Thoem mourned the loss, thinking he might have done
something to save her, but I assured him there was nothing
that could have been done. Aranath took it upon himself to
gather Elle's belongings and vow that he would find her family
and set this whole mess straight.
As for myself, watching Elle's lifeless body on the table
I couldn't help but to think of the larger universe around
me. Often times we get caught up in our own lives...Slaying
orcs, looking for a larger house, finding rares. But there's
more than that. There's a thread that stitches all of us together.
In a weird way it was Elle. Her tragedy brought a community
together. One I see growing stronger each day. I feel a little
guilty thinking this way, her being dead and all, but happy
over all the new friendships I've made recently.
I guess everything happens for a reason, right?
|Who killed Elle?
as we all know Dyastro pulled the proverbial trigger, but who
was behind this awful scheme? Some answers came clear last Monday
night. I spoke with Alvien over some drinks at the Yew Winery
where he related a somewhat jumbled tale of deceit so terrible
I shudder to think.
I guess they saying is true – you can't pick your
family, but you can pick your friends.
The usual suspects gathered in Felucca with Lord Tremain
at their head. Most of you may not recognize this name, but
this particular person was at Elle's trial in an ‘official
capacity'. What he does exactly, I'm not sure.
He planned to take a scouting trip up to the dungeon of
Wrong where he had heard Elle's family might be located. Upon
arriving the group was assaulted by the gang of usual evil
mages, so they knew they were close. After dispatching these
scraggly bearded, sandal wearing excuses for human beings
the heroes entered the dungeon. The first few minutes were
quiet, but as they made their way onward they came in contact
with an evil priest who was summoning up all forms of foul
Behind that priest, chained to the wall, was Elle's husband,
Lars. Next to the priest, but very much acting on her own
free will was Elle's sister, Sara.
Okay, what's wrong with this picture? Elle's sister was
a bad guy? Well, the heroes slaughtered the priest into meaty
chunks and Sara took his place. Speaking arcane incantations
she summoned a large, blood red daemon. Its name: The Keeper
I won't bore you with the inevitable details on how the
daemon was eventually slain. You all know how that goes. After
it was over, Sara ran to hide behind Lars, but Lord Tremain
stepped up and shackled the wicked woman. Lars was set free
and Sara was taken someplace safe in Trammel for questioning
at a later date.
So, like I said...although Dyastro pulled the trigger was
Sara the shadowy person with his purse strings?
week on the Elle quest: Lord Tremain led a group of valiant
heroes to the dungeon, Wrong, where they found her sister, Sara.
She was holding Elle's husband, Lars, hostage. After a long
battle Sara was taken prisoner and whisked away to a secret
Our episode opens up in front of the Yew Winery in Trammel.
The usual suspects are all here, including myself. However,
there is one surprise! Lord Tremain chuckles that getting information
from Elle is like “squeezing blood from a stone”
so he has recruited Elder Tzeentch to be a special guest star
We took one look at the mystery man in the red robe and
shuttered. His eyes were black as coal and seemed to pierce
your body whenever he looked at you. I almost felt sorry for
Just as we were about to leave Dyastro Farkas sprang out of
nowhere and attacked BladeSong. It was a short battle with
Dyastro recalling away before anyone got killed and laughing
at ‘The stupid heroes' as he called us. It was a strange
incident that left you scratching your head.
They gated us to a secret room previously never seen and
unrecorded on our maps. Tzeentch was being protected by his
paladins, Randolph and Brutus. They escorted the prisoner
to our little circle.
Watching Sara strut forward she reminded me of everything
the Elle was not. Surly, unkempt and a soul full of ugly.
The only similarity was their taste for orange clothing.
The Elder started the proceedings right away. “You
are here on charges for conspiring with cultists.” She
laughed a little too harshly. “And? I hope you have
a point to all this.”
He seemed disarmed for just a moment, but quickly regained
his composure. “We can do this one of two ways: easy
or hard.” She lowered her gaze upon him. Much like a
mongoose to the snake. “Why don't you make like Lord
British and disappear.”
Oh, the Elder didn't like that one bit. Not a bit. “Your
secrets will flow to me without one word traveling from your
mouth. Your mind is like a children's book.”
With a giggle she started to recite: “Roses are red,
violets are blue. Mongbats smell...JUST LIKE YOU!” The
paladin, Randolph, got in her face. “Trifle not with
the Inquisitor!” But the man in the red robe smiled
and waved him back.
Rolling up his sleeves, he hands started glowing a dull
purple. “Very well, the hard way it is.” He turned
to his escorts. “Paladins, remain with the woman at
all times. Do not flee her side.” Both Randolph and
Brutus nodded. “No matter what odd effects are produced.”
The air seemed charged with ozone. It became hard to breathe.
A slight tremor twitched in Sara's right eye. She spat out:
“All these guards for one woman? HA!”
The Elder continued: “Now then...we'll start simple.
I want to know why Elle was carrying out her highwayman campaign.”
Sara looked up at the ceiling without any response. “What
made her think it would help win her families freedom?”
He reached out and placed his hand upon her forehead. She
cringed. “I have nothing to tell you.”
All of the sudden, a half dozen wraiths appeared. The crowd
sprang into action and cut them down to size. The elder kept
his hand rooted to her head. “Her mind is strong.”
She tried to pull away. “I would advise against continuing,
fool.” He smiled once again. “Too late. I have
found my answer.”
As the wraiths before them we were treated to skeletal knights,
their leader a blazing red color. The Elder's face began to
pale. “DAMN!” he shouted. All around us more creatures
appeared. Mummies and skeletons. The warriors tried to protect
the Elder from any harm. I could hear E-bolts echo in this
dark dungeon and the sound of metal clanging off bone.
Soon, the monsters were dead and the Elder had taken his hand
off of Sara. They were both sweating. “The answer is
so simple. It should have been obvious. Elle was under the
assumption that she could buy her families freedom. The cult
would have never let them go. Sara intended to slay them all.”
Sara made a face. “Yeah, if you believe that I have
a tower in the Lost Lands I want to sell thee.”
The Elder grabbed her chin and forced her to look into his
eyes. “You would have taken Elle prisoner the minute
she delivered the money, wouldn't you?”
“If you think you're getting anything else out of
me, think again. My mistress has taught me well.”
“ Why are you loyal to Minax in the first place? Elle
was not. Why are you?” Sara almost spat in his face.
“I have nothing to tell you.” The Elder clicked
his tongue. “ Sure you do. I'll just go in and take
what I want. You might as well stop resisting.”
He placed his hand upon her forehead again. She screamed.
“STOP THAT!” And it almost seemed as if her pain
made the elementals appear. Air, Fire, Water and Efreets.
“Continue at your own risk.” She mumbled while
rubbing at her temples.
“But, my dear, I already have your secrets.” She
smiled through her pain. “You think you do, but you
don't.” All around them a battle was howling as we fought
off the elementals. The Elder shouted to be heard above the
din. “Before the war in Trinsic. Before the undead took
over you were a mage's apprentice there.” Sara gritted
her teeth. “So, I was. Tis no secret that.”
“The mage was a Minax cultist. He helped betray the
city and corrupted your soul in the process.”
“He did not corrupt me. I serve my mistress willingly.”
The Elder seemed not to pay attention to her claims. “When
the undead moved in you kept your family behind in the city.
You wanted to corrupt them as well.”
“They were fools. They could not see what benefits
that could be had.”
“But Elle escaped and fled to Trammel as many did,
but you kept her husband behind and her parents. Why didn't
you let them go? Perhaps you were angry that Dupre had defeated
Juo'nar's army?” These two were locked in mortal battle
although neither brandished any physical weapons. “Bah,
he did not defeat them. Temporarily set them back perhaps.
My Mistress will prevail. I am loyal to her.”
“Your own insane actions led to your sisters death
and maybe the death of your parents. Where are they? You must
know.” After a moment with no response the Elder placed
his hand upon her again. “This is a simple question.
All I want is the location. This shouldn't be so hard.”
With a blank look in her eye: “I have nothing to tell
you. Stop while you still live.” Well, this was the
straw that broken the camel's back. The Elder lost his temper
and pulled back on her hair. At that moment ALL HELL BROKE
LOOSE. Spiders of every variety and their equally poisonous
cousins the giant scorpions attacked.
Sara spoke in whispers, her head still wrenched back. “Tis
not that I am insane...I serve and obey she who taught me”
As we fought the new wave of beasties, I could see the Elder
concentrating. He started to shake and finally came to a rest.
Letting Sara go, he stumbled back. Brutus was instantly there,
supporting his weakened body. “I have claimed another
secret from that mess.”
“What is that, sir?” Brutus asked. The room was
silent, the last monster impaled upon the flagstones. Elder
Tzeentch straightened himself. “The location of her
parents. They are alive!” A great cheer rose from the
crowd, but the Elder waved them down. “There is bad
news. They are slaves of Keenoean.”
The shock was audible. Brutus spoke first. “Then they
are doomed.” I countered that. “Doomed? Never!
Not while I live and breath.” Artur Hawkwing concurred.
“I will sink my blade into that rat!”
Looking around I tried to rouse the crowd into a frenzy.
“What are we waiting for? Lets go!” But the Elder
in his absolute wisdom calmed us down. “It would be
foolish to rush head first into this. Keenoean has an orc
army at his disposal. We need to contact Lord Tremain, who
has a knack for military operations, and plan this rescue.”
This will continue tomorrow, kiddies. Same Elle time,
same Elle channel!
|Path of Glory
after the fact carnage still littered the ground. The air was
thick with smoke and rotting corpses. I wandered towards the
orc fort near Yew trying to make sense of it all. The echoes
of battle haunting me. Death screaming in vain.
It started last Wednesday. I was late to the heroes meeting
at Lord British's castle. Many volunteers were there listening
to the battle plans drawn up by Aranath and his trusted advisors.
They were dividing up into battle groups. Each picked by their
There were reports of harassment by agents of Minax, but
the congenial atmosphere betrayed nothing. Warriors were smiling
and joking around. Testing weapons or praying to the virtues.
It mattered not for tomorrow was show time.
A two pronged attack force was to be utilized. One was of
warriors who would draw Keenoean and his orc forces away from
the fort while the other would sneak in to rescue Elle's parents
being held as slaves. They would meet at dusk and attack under
the cover of night.
What happened next is the subject of much speculation.
"...I was in the first assault group led by Aranath. I hate
to say anything, but I had this feeling something was wrong.
Two brothers were next to me: Kestral & Dustin. They seemed
to be blissfully unaware, so I thought it was only me..."
"...after Aranath gave the command I took my unit and charged
along side. I was helming the second assault wave and from
the get go it was complete chaos. Half my team was lost and
by the time I made it to the fort I felt a stone in the pit
of my stomach..." – ArthurK
"...I saw the main force fall back to where we were waiting.
The orcs right on their heels. Someone starting yelling: "Attack
the fort!" over and over. I called to my reserve troops and
joined the fray..." – Martin Longbow
"...plowing into a horde of orcs I let loose. Many men around
me were dying. I could hear the screams. If it weren't for
MacMichael healing me I might have suffered the same fate..."
"...early in the fight they knocked me down and looted my
body, leaving me for dead. But I wasn't. Next opportunity
I tore into the next orc I saw. Tooth and nail. Using his
armor I rejoined the battle. This was a do or die situation..."
"...worse day of my life and best too, you know? I knew
what was happening to the troops, but I couldn't go to them
no matter what. We had a job to do and that was rescue Elle's
parents. Many of my men looked green around the gills. I probably
did too, but I gave the command and we stealthed down there.
Our destination...inside the fort...." – Mors
"...I saw Keenoean plunge his black sword into the back of
a man. Then he directed his troops to kill a dragon we were
using. ‘Don't let it burn the fort!' I heard him say.
The tamer was being attacked. I raced over to him, but felt
hard steel in my side. Keenoean's second in command, Olath,
the Dragon Slayer smiled at me through yellow teeth..." –
"...chaos, utter chaos. I saw Aranath throwing orders around.
Trying to keep the army together, blood splattered upon his
armor. But it turned into a frenzy. We were not men any longer.
We were animals. A killing machine. I saw red and don't remember
much after that..." – Vladimyr
Soldiers gone mad. Pillaging, looting. They dared to look
into the abyss and went insane with bloodlust. There was no
control. No order.
After many of the orcs had been routed and Keenoean had
disappeared a small band of Minax supporters came to arrest
Aranath in the name of all that was unholy.
"...his eyes were the thing that bothered me most. The general...whatever
his name was. I spit upon thy virtues, yes, but this was something
more disturbing. Disturbing because I recognized it. It was
familiar. Pure hatred. I guess I always figured those virtue
fools to have a code of honor or some such nonsense. This
would have been our upper hand. But by the time we got to
the fort there was an orgy of lust and murder going on. I
would have joined in, but they turned on us like a pack of
wild dogs..." – Aman'Ra
I'm told Elle's parents were taken through a gate and are
safe now. That comforts me. Having chronicled these sad events
of late there is that at least.
I continued to wander through the orc fort. Hoping to find
clues to the madness. What could have caused such ferocity
in the heroes?
Beside charred orc corpses there were human remains. Strung
up and tortured. This is a place marked. Cursed. I quickly
flee for I do not wish to become tainted.
On my way out I spy a man on horseback. It's only a quick
glance, but I think it's Aranath. His image stays burned upon
my brain. A man troubled. I don't dare speculate.
That night I have the dreams again. Of a shipwreck. As a
young boy I was the sole survivor and washed ashore on Fire
Island. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I see the same
blank stare that was upon Aranath's face.
There are times I yearn for ignorance. A nice little villa
somewhere in Trammel. It would be nice...but I dare not let
myself get soft. For there in lays the path to madness.