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post #271 of 287 (permalink) Old 12-09-12, 01:10 PM
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Sol stood with Aleanatin in the empty halls of the Hetats quarters. Aleanatins eyes following Ferro, Sols manifest fury, as it soars around the training area, a smile of pride and happiness at the Tashiris accomplishment clear on his face. Sol saw the smile and thought to himself of how things had changed.

He could still remember first arriving to train under the Hetat, cautious and uncomfortable at being assigned to one who had lost so much recently, almost everything in fact. A sense of depression and gloom surrounded the quarters, quarters which not so long ago would have been bustling with activity and laughter from the lost Qalm. Aleanatin himself hadn't helped to ease his unease at being assigned to him. In the first weeks Sol would have to cross the empty halls to the Hetats room and knock for him, often several times before he would finally emerge and start the days lessons.

Back then he was dismissive, speaking to Sol as little as possible as he set him on strict physical regimes and practices, more often than not standing in silence and refusing any attempt to join in conversations Sol would try and start. Every lesson would end suddenly, with a curt dismissal and no indication as to how he was developing or improving.

Nevertheless, Sol persevered and pushed himself harder than ever, and in time Aleanatin gradually softened, not simply speaking to him to issue instructions, but to give advice or give him lectures on philosophies, eventually even engaging on conversations, to discover the two had much in common, Aleanatin himself having started off as a fire wielder.

The real turning point in Sols mind was when the Hetat began to invite him to eat with him after their lessons twice a week. It was during these dinners that they would discover much more about each other and form an initially tenuous friendship. Discussions over the nature of fire, the possibilities it held and even wild speculation on both parts as to what could be achieved with enough control and discipline.

No longer would Sol have to seek him out in his room to start a lesson, but would find him waiting for him in the halls, eager almost to start the lessons. Sol felt as if the Hetat was finally moving on and learning to deal with his grief, no longer would he remain in the empty dorm, alone in his solitude. When he wasn't sharing meals with Sol, he would leave with him at the end of lessons and go to eat with the other Hetats instead of retreating back to his quarters. Even the empty halls now seemed to feel less gloomy, even without a Qalm to fill them, it seemed less of a place of despair and grief.

"Our time together has been well spent Sol," he said, snapping Sol out of his musings "the form suits you."

"I will always be grateful for the lessons you have taught me. It's normally….difficult for me to socialise well with others, to volatile people say, side effect of being a fire wielder i've always assumed" He says with a wry smile "You've made it much easier my friend"

"I remember my early days, my disposition much the same. You are right in your assumption." Aleanatin said, nodding in agreement "Many of the masters have long theorised and the centuries have shown them to be right, that those strong in one aspect of fury craft or another, find that their personalities mimic the very elements that they wield."

He paused, his expression becoming reflective, pensive even "I too wish to say thank you. I had originally raged against the Radans insistence that I train you.... I thought it, to my sorrow, a waste of my time" He smiled, happiness shining where months ago there was nothing, "I'm pleased to say that my opinion has changed drastically. I feel more like myself.... Your companionship has been a blessing I did not know that I needed."

Sol felt a rush of pride, a sense of shared accomplishment between them. "I can only imagine how you must have felt when I first arrived, I can scarcely imagine I would appear to be the ideal student initially. I'm not sure I could ever have realised my full potential without you tough" He too now looked above to see the circling form of Ferro, his manifest fury and now companion.

He made a keen whistle and held out his arm, Ferro instantly soaring back down to land on his outstretched arm. "I have you to thank for Ferro also, I could only vaguely see his form before, not knowing back then that it was a fury trying to manifest it self to me."

He looked at the shimmering phoenix for a moment with a slight frown "It's strange, I've never had a companion before, only ever mentors and others to fight alongside. I confess even now I still have trouble connecting with others of my Qalm, despite the bond"

The Hetat nodded, "It was the same for me. It took many years and many battles for me to open up to those around me, to see them as friends. I urge you, work at it. Take advantage of them as they do you. You are a family." He sadly looked around, gesturing to the expansive room around Sol, empty save for them "You never know when those around you will no longer be there."

"Our nature is to be singular, to remain isolated, it is such for all those with the strength in fire. What we don't realise, sometimes until it is too late, is that we cannot do it all alone. It is a lesson that we must be reminded of from time to time as well."

"Sol, you are welcome in my quarters at any time. Whether it be for instruction, advice, or simply companionship, my door is always open" He laid a reassuring hand on Sols shoulder "But it is time that this part of your training come to an end. I have word from Nesrin, your Qalm will be leaving on assignment soon. Return to them. Make ready."

Sol grasped Aleanatins forearm with his hand, the Hetat doing the same. "Thank you again Tianael, for everything. Please, give thought to taking a new Qalm when the opportunity arises, do not shun the chance. As you have said, we cannot do this alone." With a last look around the quarters, Sol nodded at the venerable master and left for his own Qalms quarters.

As he left, he felt a wave flow through him from his bond and heard Nesrins voice, instantly knowing he was addressing all of the Qalm "Assemble my warriors. We must make haste to our next assignment. I expect you armed and equipped for a journey in ten minutes. Meet on Landing 9. I will explain there."

Already prepared from his lessons, Sol made his way straight to the landing platform, calling Ferro back into himself for the time being.

Last edited by Angel of Blood; 12-10-12 at 10:21 PM.
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post #272 of 287 (permalink) Old 12-10-12, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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All: All of you make your way to Landing 9 as a group and you see that the Talissariat is a buzz with activity. Tashiri warriors and order serfs rushing too and fro, each intent on whatever business they are about. There is an air of nervous energy that seems to have permeated the Temple, the source of which becomes apparent as you cross through the main entrance hall as you pass from the direction of you quarters to the stairwell into the northeast tower, the tower that contains Landing 9.
Standing in the main hall, are a collection of Woodelves, all of regal and noble bearing, but what stands out to you is the fact that each is accompanied by a massive, shining, silver furred Stag. To the majority of you this is merely a curiousity, the fact that these animals stand in the entrance hall an oddity to be reflected upon as you pass. You do notice that there are several black sashed Masters, speaking with the delegation, and the importance of this envoy is not lost upon you even if you don't fully understand its significance.

Fae'en: You and Aalrik walk together towards the back of the pack, Aalrik's dire wolves trailing behind him, from the Qalm's quarters and unlike the others who are around you, you are almost floored when you see the delegation of Glade Riders standing in the entrance hall. These mounted warriors are the personal bodyguards and retainers of the Wood Elf royalty, meaning that one of the reclusive leaders of your race has actually deemed it necessary to leave their great forests and seek the aid of the Tashiri Order. Whatever it was that brought one of the Queen's household to the Talissariat, must be dire indeed for one of such importance to come in person. You can relay this information to the group or keep it to yourself as you see fit. Aalrik will say little, his eyes merely taking in the group, filing away its presence as a bit of information to be called upon later.

All: Making your way through the rest of the Temple, you finally find yourself once more on Landing 9. reflections of the fight in the Vicery hive fresh in your mind as you take in the repaired air carriage in front of you, you wonder what it is that you will be dealing with this time. You all go about checking your own equipment and the Qalm's supplied in the cargo compartment of the air carriage as you wait for Nesrin to arrive. After what seems like forever, Nesrin finally appears, his massive frame once more girded for battle, his expression severe.

"We must make haste younglings," he says without preamble, "The forest home of the Wood Elves is under attack by the Taroug." He sees the skepticism in your eyes, for you all know that the last time a true Taroug warpack was seen most of you were all either infants or just a gleam in you father's eye. "To make matters worse, this is no mere roving pack of the beasts. They are a great contingent and with the information that I have been provided the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they wish to decimate the elves and take Caratad for themselves. How the managed to breach the walls of the Fortress COuntry to begin with is unknown, but the Crown Prince of Elorain brought this entreaty to the Radan himself, that alone gives all the credance to his report that is needed."

His heavy gaze will fall on you all, passing from warrior to warrior, "Something dark stirs these things. First the Vicery in a strength we have not seen in a century, now the Taroug rampaging unchecked inside the walls of fortress country. We must be on our guard my warriors.... Something about these events makes me uneasy. They are linked in someway I can feel it." Shaking his great head," Mount up. We fly straight through the night. We must arrive with all haste." Those of you without the capability of flight take your place in the air carriage. The rest of you take to the skies a mere second behind Nesrin. As you clear the parapet of the Landing platform, you look around, whether from the window of the air carriage or from whatever vantage point you have in your own flight path, and see that there are no fewer than 15 air carriages taking off from various places around the Talissariat. The enormity of what you go to face suddenly dawns on you as you realize that each of these carriages, and accompanying flying warriors, all turn to the northeast, and begin a hasty flight toward Caratad. No less than a dozen Qalms.... The Tashiri are going to war.

[I really want you all to focus on your characters thoughts and reactions to your newest mission. Talk to each other and work out conversations. Remember that you are all comfortable with each other after the communion that you all have shared over the last several months. If need be I can facilitate convos.

Jackinator, Lord Ramo, Santaire, and Revan- I understand that this time of year gets busy and posting time comes at a premium. I would love for you to cover both updates in your next post. Get with me if you have any issues.]

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post #273 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-01-13, 08:00 PM
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Gandogar strode through the halls of the Talissariat grimly, noting the huge amounts of activity, causing the knot of anxiety in his stomach to grow tighter. The nervousness which suddenly took over him seemed to have at least a hold on most of those about him, and he sighed until he felt Torag’s presence draw near. The sound of hard paws on the floor of the corridor grew in volume until it felt that it was all the dwarf could hear. The dog-shaped Fury appeared to his right and circled him three times anti-clockwise, with the dwarf’s hand trailing across his back, which cracked with every move. The heat the Fury made manifest slightly eased the anticipation he was feeling; just being close to Torag helped him to relax.

The dwarf was mystified to see the wood elves in the main hall, and the stags added even more to that; he’d not seen a gathering like it in all his time training or since becoming a fully fledged Tashiri, but he knew that Nesrin was awaiting their presence and he dared not dally long to attempt to figure out the reason for such a regal-looking visitation, and the fact that there were a number of masters speaking with them, apparently earnestly, caused the dwarf concern, but he realised he could do no good by attempting to puzzle it out. ‘If it is for me to know, I will be told,’ he decided, with a shrug of his shoulders, which also served to settle his chainmail more comfortably over his shoulders. Shaking his head, and running a hand through his beard, made his way towards Landing 9, and duty.

Landing 9 was just as busy as the rest of the Talissariat, but the dwarf wasn’t concentrating on where he was going, trusting Torag to lead him through the crowds, and his mind was months in the past, fighting in the Hive. Fire, metal, water, earth and air. All swirled, all dealt death ... And yet it was not enough, despite all their years of training, to stop death reaching them. He almost stumbled when Torag stopped, but realised quickly they had arrived at the air carriage, and whilst he awaited Nesrin’s arrival, took out a whet stone and ran it along the blades of his axe, the constant, repetitive motion soothing. Torag had settled, curled, at his feet, molten eyes watching unceasingly from his canine head, which he rested on his paws.

It was more a feeling than anything else which made Gandogar look up when Nesrin finally reached them, but he quickly stowed the whetstone and took up his axe, looking at the Qalm’s leader expectantly; the look on his face caused the tension in the dwarf’s stomach to coil tighter once more, and a concerned frown crossed his own rugged face.

"We must make haste younglings. The forest home of the Wood Elves is under attack by the Taroug. To make matters worse, this is no mere roving pack of the beasts. They are a great contingent and with the information that I have been provided the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they wish to decimate the elves and take Caratad for themselves. How the managed to breach the walls of the Fortress Country to begin with is unknown, but the Crown Prince of Elorain brought this entreaty to the Radan himself, that alone gives all the credence to his report that is needed.” Gandogar’s frown deepened considerably at Nesrin’s words; ‘Indeed, these are grim tidings,’ he thought to himself, ‘And easily explain the unprecedented delegation.’ shaking his head, causing his intricately braided beard to wag, and then he focussed on Nesrin’s words once more.

“Something dark stirs these things. First the Vicery in a strength we have not seen in a century, now the Taroug rampaging unchecked inside the walls of fortress country. We must be on our guard my warriors.... Something about these events makes me uneasy. They are linked in someway I can feel it. Mount up. We fly straight through the night. We must arrive with all haste."

Quickly, Gandogar collected his items and entered the air carriage, more than glad to have the relative safety of the structure about him rather than relying on maddeningly difficult skills and his own concentration over such a distance. Once all the others had prepared themselves, and the carriage had left the Landing, the dwarf looked grimly out of the window. ‘Fifteen? This is worse than I thought ...’ The depressing thought was gone as soon as it came, for Torag brushed his head against Gandogar’s hand, and his fiery nature reminded the Earth-Mover of the power such a force represented. He smiled dourly, and remembered Glion’s words:- Remember where you come from, lad. Instantly, the anticipation became determination. Whether his Clan liked it or not, he was Tashiri. And he would make them proud.

"Wait! I... I know that uniform... These are Glade Riders! They're the Queen's personal Guard!" Fae’en’s voice sliced through the dwarf’s thoughts; and he started to listen to what was happening around him.

"Fae'en I think we all recognise the uniform from our teachings, but I guess they mean more to you, but I guess that all the action around us, indicates that something is happening or something is going to happen. I don't recall anything in my education that tells this has happened before." Gandogar snorted quietly at Eldur’s comment, shaking his head and absent-mindedly stroking his beard with his left hand. With his right, he took the axe off of his back and placed it blade-head against the floor and leant on it.

"Of course there's something going on, lad. Have you seen such activity here ... Ever? This is off, and that's an understatement. If we're not prepared ..." The thought disturbed him; if the Tashiri were unprepared, and could be defeated ... ‘Then what left could stop the rampaging and pillaging hordes now in the Fortress Countries?’ He left the thought unvoiced, the thought was unwelcome in his own mind, to force it on the others would be unfair, and regardless, they could easily come to such conclusions themselves; all of the Tashiri could.

When Aalrik replied with, "I agree Gandogar. It is almost unheard of for one of the royal court to leave Loth'Loren, and that is the only reason I can think of for the Glade Guard to be here. Something is definitely amiss my friends." The dwarf could only reply with a nod; he didn’t trust himself not to say something off-putting or disturbing. He sank into deep contemplation. Torag had once more curled at his feet, and he drew comfort from the warmth. Despite his comfort with the others of his Qalm, the quiet of contemplation felt much more appropriate. His mind was split between the past and the future; the Vicery hive and the Taroug to come.

“Come what may,” he muttered accidentally, unsure if the others heard him or not.

Malochai von Carstein; Terror of Hunger Wood, Lord of Lichenhof Tower

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post #274 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-05-13, 05:51 AM
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"Glade riders..." Sven muttered to himself as he checked his kit. Though he had never seen one in person, he had heard tales of their prowess. The magnitude of their mission began to sink in as Sven passed by one of their regal Stags. The news of a Taroug attack itself would not have been as disconcerting, but the news that the realm of the Wood Elves was under attack was inconceivable.

Sven felt something in his stomach, like butterflies. He hadn't felt that way in a long time, since his initial training, before joining his Qalm. Sven knew in his mind that they were going into the maw of something the likes of which he had never imagined. Though he was confident in his recent training, he knew full well that they might not come back from this one. He had already had a run in with death in the Vicery hive, and had no intention of letting that happen again. Whereas before he had fought recklessly, now he could rely on his Qalm for strength, and his training to guide every stroke of Avalanche.

As Sven strode up to the air carriage to depart, he knelt to touch the ground. Sven was never a fan of air travel, preferring to stay closer to the earth. Reaching out, he communed with Asher. We go to battle once more my friend. Soon I will call on you.

After entering the carriage, Sven reflected on Nesrin's words. Looking out the window, seeing nearly a score of Qalm's heading to battle, the largest in a century, Sven tried to stay any worries he had.

As they departed, Sven produced a whetstone to sharpen one of his throwing axes as Aalrik and Gandogar conversed. Eventually, Gandogar muttered something to himself.

"Come what may," he said.

Piping up, Sven thought to assuage any fears he or his Qalm-mates were feeling. "Aye, Gandogar, come what may. But of this I am sure: as individuals, we would surely fall. But we fight as a Qalm! We are unshakable in that! I will be there for you, as we all shall be."

Though he knew not what was driving the Taroug, nor the disposition on the ground, he was ready. If it was confidence, or bravery, or fear hidden behind strong words he did not know, nor did he care. The Tashiri were going to war, and Sven would be no other place than riding into the maelstrom with his family.

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post #275 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-05-13, 10:20 AM
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Master Getmin was truly a genius at his craft and though often bumbling and awkward with his words he would often spin tales of his past experiences which usually left her in tears of laughter. He was a strange, eccentric fellow, but his reclusive nature spoke to the shy, isolated nature in her in a way that she couldn't help but return. In the few months of learning she had grown fond, and even, perhaps, close to the kindly old master.

With his guidance she found mastering the tempest, not only enjoyable, but almost easy to see how each factor of the storm interlocks and affects everything else, how one simple mistake could throw the whole thing into an uncontrollable fury of destructive force. It had come to her with the same ease once she had understood it as her abilities had once come to her when she needed them.

As it comes to the time for her to leave Getmin pushed a small, hard, rounded object into her hand. She felt a smile break as she got a look at the strange object to see a storm in a glass, much like the one she had seen the first time she had visited Getmin. She smiled warmly at the gift, it had been the first one she had ever recieved and upon her return to her quarters took pride of place among her possessions.

It wasn't long before Nesrin's voice rang through her mind "Assemble my warriors. We must make haste to our next assignment. I expect you armed and equipped for a journey in ten minutes. Meet on Landing 9. I will explain there."

The fortress was busy, busier than she had ever seen it, but the sight that truly amazed her was the group of tall, noble woodelves, each accompanied by a stag that stood taller even than their statuesque forms. They radiated an aura of confidence and hidden power and the diminuitive high elf struggled not to shy instinctively away from them.

What came next was even more unexpected, the Taroug! They hadn't been seen in decades, not in any great numbers at least, and now there was a force within the Fortress Country, one powerful enough to threaten the home of the wood elves it seemed.

The news was ominous, and Isira could tell the others felt the same. She felt a strange tightness in her chest, anxiety? Fear? She didn't know, and pushed it aside, she wouldn't let her own fears stop her, she looked around at the others, and couldn't prevent her thoughts from straying to Belak, it had been months, but of all of them, she had struggled the most to accept his death. She still hadn't truth be told, she struggled to sleep, often found herself sitting in the corner of her room, filled with a strange emptiness that she couldn't explain.

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post #276 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-05-13, 03:02 PM
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Five months had passed since the Vicery hive, though it felt like five weeks to Zacarish as he passed from the corridor into his room. He had noticed an air of anticipation in the air as he strode through the halls, though anticipation for what he did not know. What unnerved him though, was that he could feel it too.

His training with Master Hammerfist had been uneventful. He and the stalwart dwarf seemed to have had nothing in common other than their shared affinity for metal furies. Zacarish could not understand it, for despite the fact that he had a great deal of skill in manipulating the furies attuned to metal, it had been Daruk who had truly connected with Hammerfist. But then, they were both dwarves. At the weak stab of jealousy that had entered his mind Zacarish shook his head and smiled ruefully.

After all, he had learned what he came to learn. However he had learned little else, other than a few shortcuts usable when working metal in a forge. Sitting at the desk, he rested his head on his hands. This time, when he smiled it was grim. Five long months had passed, yet still the pain was fresh in his mind. An excellent memory was a blessing at the best of times, but at the worst it was a curse. He could still see Djinn beginning to glow, could still see the ferocious smile of the man just before the flame within broke free of him, immolating him and the Vicery guardian that had held him. He could still see Belak lying still on the ground, his once grey skin pale in death and an expression of utter peace on his face.

He clutched at his head, trying to banish the memories by sheer willpower. But he was too weak. The memories never left him, not even on his dying day.

The furies coursed through him, the struggle a welcome distraction from the pain of the memories that faded but never vanished entirely. He manipulated the caldrite whip, using his combined metal and air furies to use it faster and faster until Zacarish himself had almost disappeared behind a blur of metal. But working the furies in such a way was draining and Zacarish released his grip on them, sitting down on the bed with a thud. But all through that, the anticipation was still in the back of his mind. A feeling that had no doubt been spread through the bond, a feeling that the time of calm study was coming to an end.

This feeling was proved as a presence flared in the bond and Nesrin’s voice followed it soon afterwards. “Assemble my warriors. We must make haste to our next assignment. I expect you armed and equipped for a journey in ten minutes. Meet on Landing 9. I will explain there..."

***

The Qalm gathered and it was as a group that they made their way to Landing 9. Zacarish noted the increased levels of activity in the Talissariat, servants and Tashiri rushing to complete whatever task had been appointed to them. An air of nervous energy permeated the Temple and the source became apparent all too soon. As they passed through the main entrance hall they saw a collection of Wood Elves, all of regal bearing. But the Wood Elves themselves were not what drew stares, but the huge, silver furred stags that stood beside each one of them. To Zacarish this was merely a curiosity, for he knew next to nothing of the Wood Elves. But the black sashed masters speaking with the delegation confirmed the importance of the Wood Elves, even if the reason for the respect given was unknown to Zacarish.

Moving swiftly through the rest of the temple, the Qalm finally found themselves on Landing 9, the second time they had stood upon it for an outward bound journey; the last occasion one that Zacarish had no doubt the rest of his Qalm members felt as he did, that it would be better to forget it and move on. But the holes in the bond were palpable and if Zacarish had forgotten, he would never have forgiven himself

We went about checking our equipment and the supplies in the repaired air carriage’s storage compartment. It seemed to take a lifetime for Nesrin to arrive but when he did he was garbed for war and his expression showed a terrifying seriousness and an astounding focus. "We must make haste younglings," he says without preamble, "The forest home of the Wood Elves is under attack by the Taroug." He may have seen the scepticism in our eyes, or merely felt it through the bond but he forged onwards, ignoring our disbelief. "To make matters worse, this is no mere roving pack of the beasts. They are a great contingent and with the information that I have been provided the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they wish to decimate the elves and take Caratad for themselves. How the managed to breach the walls of the Fortress Country to begin with is unknown, but the Crown Prince of Elorain brought this entreaty to the Radan himself, that alone gives all the credence to his report that is needed."

His heavy gaze passed all of them, settling for a moment on each warrior. Zacarish almost shivered when the Hetat’s gaze settled on him.

"Something dark stirs these things. First the Vicery in a strength we have not seen in a century, now the Taroug rampaging unchecked inside the walls of fortress country. We must be on our guard my warriors.... Something about these events makes me uneasy. They are linked in some way, I can feel it." Shaking his head, he continued speaking. "Mount up. We fly straight through the night. We must arrive with all haste."

Zacarish called the air furies, let them rush to him and opened his soul to serve as a conduit. He watched as those who could not fly entered the air carriage. He lifted from the ground a mere second after Nesrin himself, as did the others. As they cleared the parapet Zacarish took the opportunity to look round and saw that no fewer than 15 air carriages were lifting off from various other landing platforms. A dozen Qalms or more. No doubt about it, the Tashiri were going to war...

We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment - and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.
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post #277 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-06-13, 01:07 AM
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Barely had he returned, washed and changed than duty required Adam to move out once again. He took a few quick moments to prepare his mind for the coming conflict before stepping out into the hall. Exchanging a few greetings with the others also on their way he wasted no time and made his way to Landing Nine. The familiar setting was not an unwelcome sight, but of interest was the group of tall fancy dressed newcomers.

They were elven, that was clear, and each was accompanied by a large white stag. There was little doubt they had something to do with the upcoming mission and Adam suppressed his curiosity as he continued to where the Hetat Nesrin was awaiting them. There was only the briefest of acknowledgements before Nesrin began instructing them.

'We must make haste younglings. The forest home of the Wood Elves is under attack by the Taroug.'

Adam narrowed his eyes at the mention of that name, the Taroug. These creatures had been unheard from for many years now, well before Adam himself was born. He could feel much the same from the others but Nesrin was already aware of the confusion.

'To make matters worse, this is no mere roving pack of the beasts. They are a great contingent and with the information that I have been provided the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they wish to decimate the elves and take Caratad for themselves. How the managed to breach the walls of the Fortress COuntry to begin with is unknown, but the Crown Prince of Elorain brought this entreaty to the Radan himself, that alone gives all the credance to his report that is needed.'

Adam shook his head as he tried to dredge up the memories of his studies long ago. He remembered that these creatures rarely attacked in force as they were now, so for something to drive them to this...

'Something dark stirs these things.' Nesrin's words echoed the thoughts in Adam's head. 'First the Vicery in a strength we have not seen in a century, now the Taroug rampaging unchecked inside the walls of fortress country. We must be on our guard my warriors... Something about these events makes me uneasy. They are linked in some way, I can feel it.' He shook his head as he concluded his thoughts. 'Mount up. We fly straight through the night. We must arrive with all haste.'

As those without flight bean to enter the carriage, Adam detected the Wind Furies going to work around Nesrin and Zacarish and followed suit. His feet left the ground moments after those of his master and other flying companions and they flew out of the Hangar and into the sky. Taking up a position near the air carriage, Adam surveyed the skies around them and counted fifteen carriages. That could mean a dozen Qualms, an unprecedented number of tashiri warriors.

The implication of this was without question. This was not just going to be some small skirmish, some in and out mission. This was very likely to be a protracted battle, the presage to what could fast become a war.


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post #278 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-08-13, 03:22 AM
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The world was changing.
Eldur could feel it. Walking through the Talisariat to landing 9, had shown Eldur that much. The fortress had been busy with frantic activity, not unlike the activity he had witnessed, as the qalms had prepared for the Vicery Hive. But still the activity seemed to be of a larger scale. And Eldurs mind could not quite let go of the image of the regal wild riders of the wood elves, talking with black sashed tashiri masters. Eldur had recognised them instantly, even thou he had only seen pictures of the wild riders from one of the books he had read during his education. Master Mirran had during Eldurs many years of training insisted that Eldur also had a more academic education. Never good to know where one ends up, as Master Mirran had said back then.
The same education and some gut feeling that told Eldur that the world was changing rapidly, not unlike the world had changed back in the time when the fortress nations had been created, or when the Tashiri order had been founded.

Going over to the air carriage, Eldur adjusted his armour. As the 10 minutes Nesrin had demanded they were to be ready in, wasn't quite time enough to dress in his armour probably. He wasn't a air walker all, be as most other he had a bag packed at all times, with what he needed to travel, camping gear and the equipment to maintain his arms and armour. Placing his gear in the carriage storage compartment, helping the serfs milling around packing the carriage for its voyage. Every now and the Eldur spotted others from his Qalm all preparing for the travel there own way.

Waiting with the rest of the Qalm for Nesrin he finally appeared, and his word echoed Eldurs thoughts. The wood elves was being attacked by the Taroug. And the presence of the wild riders told everyone how severe the attack was. Nesrin also voiced his concerns that something dark was behind the situation something greater, echoing Eldur's thoughts that the world was changing.

Eldur placed himself inside the air carriage with the rest of the non-flying part of the qalm.
"Wait! I... I know that uniform... These are Glade Riders! They're the Queen's personal Guard!" Fae'ens voice seemed slightly shocked as he spotted his countrymen's elite royal guard, Eldur turned his attention to his qalm brother.

"Fae'en I think we all recognise the uniform from our teachings, but I guess they mean more to you, but I guess that all the action around us, indicates that something is happening or something is going to happen. I don't recall anything in my education that tells this has happened before." Eldur more felt that heard Gandogar's snort at his comment, and Eldur could understand that, Nesrin had just been outside telling as much. But Eldur couldn't quite get into his right mind, something was way off, so he hadn't really thought about what he had just said.

"Of course there's something going on, lad. Have you seen such activity here ... Ever? This is off, and that's an understatement. If we're not prepared ..."
Eldur was thankful for the dwarven company, there way of being, just seemed to ground Eldur, knowing as long they were alive, he would be alive.

"I agree Gandogar. It is almost unheard of for one of the royal court to leave Loth'Loren, and that is the only reason I can think of for the Glade Guard to be here. Something is definitely amiss my friends." Aalrik replied, echoing the concerns Eldur was sure they all felt, but was afraid to voice. Gandogar just saying. “Come what may.”

"Aye, Gandogar, come what may. But of this I am sure: as individuals, we would surely fall. But we fight as a Qalm! We are unshakable in that! I will be there for you, as we all shall be." Eldur smiled at Sven's comment, there was someone ready to go to battle for his qalm, just like they all were, but dwarfs seemed to have an ability to voice what everyone needed to hear. At least what he himself needed to hear. As he told 15 Air carriages taking to the air, Eldur knowing they were going for war, not containing a small incursion.

Communicating more through the bond and with the furies he could sense, than with use of his voice Eldur spoke. "Friends and family, I believe the world is changing, lets do ours to make sure it changes for the better, for our families, friends, the elements, our nations, our people. Lets go out and deny the darkness Nesrin spoke off. And I don't know about you, but I plan to live through the change."

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post #279 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-12-13, 12:55 AM
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Robb had found his training with Mistress Frendel to be fascinating, and a little disturbing compared to the training that he was used to as a metal walker. Mistress Frendel kept her emotions in check the entire time that he trained under her, not being like the other few water walkers that he had known whose emotions were clear and everyone could tell. She had kept her emotions neutral, barely smiling if she was pleased with his efforts or a tiny frown if she was not pleased. It confused him to no end but he endured as he tried to learn the ways of the water walking.

He remembered for the first couple of weeks that she had tried to teach him, how annoyed and discomforted he had been with the little amount of praise or criticsm, finding that that normally would be the most helpful thing for him in training. She merely watched as he tried to perform the exercises that she had set him as she studied his methods and results critically.

He found it difficult to begin with, failing almost miserably everytime as he was so used to being a metal walker, the feel of metal and not the water. However she never lost her patience with Robb, only calmly explaining to him where he had gone wrong, and encouraging him to try again until he got it right. Although he had a hard time of being able to sense the feel of the water, its fluid movements required even more mental discipline than he was used to in his studies of metal he didn’t give up or allow himself to become too frustrated.

He took early morning meditation like he normally did, but would get up even earlier than he used to and meditated until it was time to train under Frendel, taking 3 months of patience on both their accounts before he could finally begin to feel the furies of the water in the small training room that they had. The second he got a feel for the nature he progressed rapidly, allowing himself to work in concert with the furies, leading to a much greater improvement in his control of the water. When he wasn’t training with Frendel or meditating he would normally be found in the sparing arena, keeping his metal walking abilities at their peak condition so that they wouldn’t be neglected. He had barely anytime to socialize due to this, but knew that the qualm would only get stronger if they all worked their hardest.

On his last day of training with Frendel he stood in a dense cloud of fog, something that had been conjured from the water particles in the air around him, in an instant, finally mastering the control of water. Frendel moved into the fog, dissipating it with a simple wave of her hand. "You have done well Robb. I am surprised that you were able to turn your focus to the skills of Water, but it is a pleasant surprise. Perhaps we shall see each other again, and of course you are free to visit me at anytime, but you must go, your Qalm will have need of you soon."

Robb bowed low to her, “Thank you Mistress Frendel. Your training and patience will help me further my studies to the Tashiri.” He turned and returned to his room, knowing that if the Qualm needed him then it would be for a mission. He quickly got dressed in his repaired chainmail armour, and placed his helm on his belt with that of his two glistening swords. It was time to get back out there, to take the fight to the enemies of the Tashiri. The time of peace was over for him.

Like water in his head Nesrin spoke telling them to get to the landing pads, urgency in his voice. Robb frowned but did as instructed jogging through the halls to get there quick enough. He arrived in time to see some strange looking warriors, noble bearing wood elves unmistakingly. He heard his qualm remark about the warriors calling them Glade Riders, the household guard of the Wood elf royalty, the most feared troops of the wood elves. It was unmistakeable to him, if they were here something big was going down and it had to be in wood elf territory. He took his place in the air carriage as the rest of those that couldn’t fly did, and settled down into a long journey of anticipation.

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post #280 of 287 (permalink) Old 01-26-13, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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All: As you cruise along either in the carriage or outside riding the winds, you can't stop your mind from continuously returning to the unease that recent events have caused. Thoughts come unbidden to your mind as you contemplate the meaning of all these strange occurences. Nesrin's voice ripples through your thoughts, the concern that these things have raised in your Hetat enough to get your hackles on edge regardless of your own thoughts. Those of you that are in the air carriage are more than welcome to speak with your Qalm mates should you choose.

This ride is much longer than the one that took you into the desert. It seems like forever, the endless plains of Borkan stretching for miles around, the seas of grain and corn and wheat waving like the tides of the sea in the wind, the effects of soporific. For those of you flying, especially Adam, it would be very easy to lose your bearings over such a featureless expanse, the only landmarks are the tiny buildings of the well spaced farmsteads. Sticking close to Nesrin's wings, you trust in your Hetat's ability to navigate you to the place that you are supposed to be. The hours stretch and even though you left the Talissariat in the early hours of the morning, mid-day is soon upon you, with no end of your journey in sight.

[Those of you in the carriage: What is your character feeling and thinking about the coming mission and the implications of it? What does your character do? Do you nap? Do you converse with your fellows? Do you grab a bite to eat? Those of you in flying: Do you feel fatigue? aimlessness? Boredom? I want you all to delve into those characters and give me something good to read.]

The abruptness in the change of landscape as you cross into Caratad catches you by surprise. The farms and fields coming to an abrupt end as you reach the end of Borkan, replaced by the border land between the two fortress countries and despite the fact that it is but a few miles wide at this point, the twisted wilds that span the gap between the walls has an almost palpable sense of foreboding about it. A few of you have been this way in the course of your training, but even in the relatively short span of time that has elapsed since your own journey's to the wall here, the borderland seems to have changed, warped, the conifers that used, trees similar to the mighty oaks and well tended groves of Caratad, have been replaced with twisted evergreens. You feel surprise and disgust travel through the bond from Nesrin further increasing your own trepidation. What force, what foul power could twist the wilds in such a way?

You have a few moments to contemplate it before the relative calm of the journey is replaced by the chaos of combat.

Adam (Serpion5): You are flying to Nesrin's left when a warning from Kike screams at you. Your instincts and trust in your connection with your Fury saves your life as a pair of heavy ballista bolts pierce the air where you had just been. Each bolt is almost as long as Nesrin is tall and you watch in horror as another bolt takes one of the Tashiri Aria carrying the carriage through the chest, the bolt's broad head pinning him to the carriage, its bladed point travelling a good foot and a half into the carriage itself. You feel no hint of pain or injury through the bond, but you feel surprised panic. You have no time to contemplate on that though as you watch Nesrin take the burden once carried by the dead bearer. Nesrin's voice screams in your head, "To the ground my warriors! Tashira Aria converge there!" His hand flies out and a pulsing orb of flame streaks from his hand toward the ground, its light guiding you to the place where your Hetat wants to regroup, a clearing ringed by mammoth Fir trees. As you streak to the groud you are forced to dodge another ballista but you are able to make the clearing without injury.

Sol (Angel of Blood): You are flying above the air carriage and as such are afforded a bit more time to see what happens to your fellow fliers. Sudden surprised flares through the bond from Adam and you watch as a series of ballista bolts, each as long as Nesrin is tall, streak toward your group. Adam defly avoids two of them, but one of the Tashiria Aria bearing the air carriage is not as lucky. The heavy bolt pierce him through the chest, the bolt's broad head pinning him to the carriage, its bladed point travelling a good foot and a half into the carriage itself. You feel no hint of pain or injury through the bond, but you feel surprised panic. You have no time to contemplate on that though as you watch Nesrin take the burden once carried by the dead bearer.Nesrin's voice screams in your head, "To the ground my warriors! Tashira Aria converge there!" His hand flies out and a pulsing orb of flame streaks from his hand toward the ground, its light guiding you to the place where your Hetat wants to regroup, a clearing ringed by mammoth Fir trees. As you streak toward the ground, the air carriage borne now by Nesrin and the three remaining Tashiri Aria, your slightly protected view allows you to see what Adam cannot. The treetops swaying in a most unnatural fashion as if something was travelling from treetop to treetop, its path clear.... directly toward the clearing that you shortly thereafter touch down in. You are about to have company it would be a good idea to warn the rest of the Qalm.

Isira (Jackinator): You are off to Nesrin's right, the carriage obscuring your view of Adam, but his sudden surprise that flare across the bond probably saved your life. Your curiousity at what had happened to your Qalm mate instinctively drew you closer to the carriage and slightly higher than you were flying before, trying to get a view over the carriage's roof. A sharp pain flashes across your right arm, spinning you slightly off course, sending you careening into the side of the carriage. You are quickly able to recover and snapping your head around behind you you can see the bolt that did you injury. It is a superficial wound, a moderately deep cut on your right shoulder, but had you not moved closer to the carriage it would have taken you just above your midrift. Taking in the situation you see that one of the Tashiri Aria that was bearing the air carriage has been pierced through the chest with one of the heavy bolts, he bolt's broad head pinning him to the carriage, its bladed point travelling a good foot and a half into the carriage itself. You feel no hint of pain or injury through the bond, but you feel surprised panic. You have no time to contemplate on that though as you watch Nesrin take the burden once carried by the dead bearer.Nesrin's voice screams in your head, "To the ground my warriors! Tashira Aria converge there!" His hand flies out and a pulsing orb of flame streaks from his hand toward the ground, its light guiding you to the place where your Hetat wants to regroup, a clearing ringed by mammoth Fir trees. Streaking to the ground with the rest of the Qalm you are forced to dodge another ballista bolt but you are able to make the clearing without furhter injury.

Zacarish (Santaire): You pulled rear guard, your sharp eyes scanning the horizons, you spot the bolt flying at you in enough time to avoid it. You trace the path of the bolt back until it disappears into the the twisted trees below you. You are unable to make out the enemy, but you can tell by the unnatural movement of the treetops that something is moving, and moving toward you. You feel the sudden surprise from the rest of the Qalm just as you hear .Nesrin's voice screams in your head, "To the ground my warriors! Tashira Aria converge there!" His hand flies out and a pulsing orb of flame streaks from his hand toward the ground, its light guiding you to the place where your Hetat wants to regroup, a clearing ringed by mammoth Fir trees. Moving with the carriage you streak towards the ground and as you approach you see that the movement in the trees has wheeled to make directly for the clearing that you and your Qalm touch down in. Most importantly just before you pass below the canopy you make out beings, far too large to be wood elves, springing through the trees, nimbly from branch to branch. It seems the enemy means to ambush you. You are uncertain as to what the beings are at the moment but it is a good bet that they are a Taroug War Pack. Sound the alarm and prepare yourself for battle.

Gandogar (Malochai), Sven (Therizza), Eldur (Anilar), Darruk (deathbringer), Robb (Lord Ramo), & Fae'en (Firedamaged): The calm of the air carriage ride is suddenly interrupted by flaring surprise, momentary pain, and disorientation through the bond. You all crane your necks to see what may be happening outside when the head of a Ballista bolt, covered in sticky red blood comes blasting through the wall of the air carriage, inches above Sven's head. The air carriage rocks wildly before it stabilizes and begins a rapid decent towards the ground. Nesrin's voice rings in your head, "To the ground my warriors! Tashira Aria converge there!" Quickly followed by a flash of light. Looking out the window you can see an orb of fire streaking towards a clearing. Since you all have nothing else to do but try and take in as much information as you can, you see that the tops of the trees from the northeast move in an unnatural way, as if something is traveling through the trees towards the clearing that the carriage touches down in. Make ready for battle for something is definitely coming. without any sort of preamble Aalrik suddenly shouts," to the Northeast." An arrow already nocked, drawn, and fired before the words finish leaving his mouth. The streaking shaft disappears into the trees, but it is answered by a howl of pain that is soon answered by many more howls.

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