Peace at Last!

Autumn Sam

UP: Lake Superior

    Before the holidays, the Gelidum issued a note stating, "The time of negotiation has drawn to a close. For months we have watched you flail about pointlessly, run when we come calling, and pontificate half-heartedly over the loss of your beloved shrines. Knowing this, for the moment we will proceed with the next phase, a comprehensive survey of our new domain."

The note was no bluff. That night a dozen fiends and several wyrms escorted Zaruk, the ice fiend, and Mylfalydd, the ancient frost wyrm, on a surveying expedition through the northern area. The ice fiends dispersed to the area surrounding the Shrine of Sacrifice. Tipped off by criers, many swarmed to the shrines in hopes to vanquish these surveying creatures.

The battle raged on for nearly an hour solid. At the Shrine of Justice, Zaruk had fallen after a glorious fight. Over at the Shrine of Sacrifice a different drama unfolded, as several watched in horror as the ranger Theron offered Gavin's research to Mylfalydd before perishing in the battle. By the end, Mylfalydd was also slain along with his minions. Trailed by sympathizers curing and healing him all the way, Niflhym had arrived at the shrine hoping to reason with his brother, but he was too late. Briefly addressing the crowd, he vanished to safety before the confused mass could descend upon him.

Peace had come to the lands, but on what terms?

The answer came clearly the next week. Many at our offices expressed concern the night of the shrine "survey" of the Gelidum, yet none appeared so outwardly calm as Deborah as she wrote about it. But as our artists rushed in with renditions of the increasing slaughter of the Gelidum, none could have predicted the moment she slammed down her quill, yelled, "That's it, I'm tired of having to pretend, there's no point anymore. I'm going home", stormed out of our offices, turned into an ice fiend before our very eyes and flew off to the north!

Although search parties were sent, none witnessed any sight of Deborah until the next week. Deborah appeared at the next High Council meeting in Magincia alone with the snowflake engraved bracelet of the Ambassador firmly locked upon her wrist, an ice crystal necklace around her neck, and her once deep blond hair now an icy blue. She thanked the council for vanquishing the former leaders of the Gelidum and expressed the new leadership's desire for peace on behalf of her liege, Niflhym, the ice wyrm.

The first draft of Terms of Cessation were issued by the High Council shortly after this appearance. These terms included the issue of the silver arrow, an object stolen by the ranger Theron and fired upon Kyry, the frozen ranger on the night of her release. This item was later removed upon the return of the arrow to the representatives of the area. A continual presence at the next two High Council meetings, Deborah made brief statements but was often drowned out by jeers and taunts as she spoke. However, the night of the peace talks as she stood flanked by her two guards Valiar al'Issex and Keritak al'Firek, many appeared more attentive as the Ambassador addressed the Council and crowd.

The conditions of peace as outlined by the High Council were stated again after Lord Sten Hunter called the meeting to order. "Knowledge of any kind regarding the Shrines frozen by the last government of the Gelidum and a means in which to unfreeze them if any will be shared" was one of them. The Ambassador stated "no technical assistance will be provided" on this issue. Ambassador Deborah of the Gelidum has maintained this position since her first appearance before the High Council last month. In a surprising move, Deborah offered the knowledge and wisdom of her 'people' and wished them luck in this quest.

The High Council requested the current representatives claim responsibility for the attack in Minoc leading to the death of Chief Ironside. This term was rejected flatly with no room for compromise.

When asked what the Gelidum now sought, Deborah stated, "We seek peace. We have spent far too long being exploited. Certainly the High Council can make efforts, can they not, to discourage anything but peaceful exploration?" Although the Lady Adai officially represented the High Council this evening, she deferred commentary on this topic to Lady Geneveve Orseau, the eighth seat of the High Council. "Specifics of any plan will have to be formulated, however we will do what we can to educate Britannian citizens to the true nature of your people," replied Lady Orseau.

After that, the High Council stated that peace had been reached, and all parties were in agreement. The Ambassador turned to her guards, and with their dismissal, the trio disappeared. Commentary from the crowd was diverse, as some wondered what had been accomplished, others expressing relief the job was done at last.

Peace from our neighbors in the north has come to our plagued lands after many months of terror. However, new dangers appear to be lurking on the horizon and for all the latest, stay tuned and keep reading.

From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Thursday, March 9th 2000