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=AQ= Truphma Camps Chronicles

 
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2/21/2013 0:32:40   
Eukara Vox
Legendary AdventureGuide!


Need to chronicle your excursions into the Truphma camps that have popped up all over Lore? Then step up, write your heart out and create something great. You never know... such creativity may help in the fight!

Remember, one post per person, just edit in new material. Commentary goes in the commentary thread.

Comment thread: =AQ= Truphma Camps Chronicles

< Message edited by Eukara Vox -- 2/21/2013 0:33:54 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 1
2/21/2013 2:21:19   
neo_manni
Member

INTRODUCTION.

Hello Lorians far and wide my name is commando manni the chosen of LORE and hero of BATTLEON! but the story is not of being the chosen or hero of battleon. it is one of my many side jobs here, to be more specific "Vox, Xov and me aka commando manni one of the original geoto clan member"

As I wake up to begin my daily adventures upon LORE, I find myself in a predicament where I am
tied to a plain boring chair. THAT could only mean one thing and that would be "THE TRUPHMA" trying to truphmatize me for like the millionth time. its kinda a long story its not really about wanting the whole universe being Truphmatized it was the statement I said to Vox's Face, she kinda doesn't want my help with the Truphma anymore as she knows I don't want to eradicate the Truphma from LORE entirely (of my own free will). let me start the story from there it will
help you to see the whole story.

CHAPTER ONE: TRUTH COMES TO LIGHT.

Eukara Vox: COMMANDO MANNI! I can't believe you did that to that poor fellow....
commando manni: it shocked him out of staying a trumpha though, right?
Eukara Vox: yes, but what did you say to the guy to make him say "I hate you, YOU TRUMPHA SYMPATHIZER!"
commando manni: well.. um... I think I said "I wonder what Eureka Vox did in creativity to make Xov to come into existence..."
Eukara Xov: I think I am gonna ignore what you said to the poor guy. as for finding Xov's camp I knew you could do it.
commando manni: thanks it took sometime, but the nature of the place is outrageous, I need some questions answered before raiding that place.
Eukraa Vox: commando manni are you sure you want the answer to Xov's existence and how she came to be...
commando manni: yes and why she chose the trumpha to combat creativity.
Eukara Vox: XOV!! I know your spying on us, come out of that dimension now!
XOV: ( Xov steps through a door out of thin air, which is both creative and serene in an eerie sort of way ) now I can't blow up your base of operation, cause my bomb gets shy on my behalf THANK YOU VERY MUCH! and no VOX! I don't think I will ever forgive you for bringing me into existence.
commando manni:....
Eukara Vox: commando manni I understand you more than you could ever believe creativity is my answer to your question and her answer to me is what you seek ultimately (Eureka walks off into yonder then teleports away to wherever she wishes).

I didn't know what she meant that day but I just now got what she meant. as for Xov she said
"I will NEVER give up on my Truphma creation they are my babies" then she slapped me and disappeared.

THE PRESENT:

as for being in a dull room and in a dull chair it ain't as dull as I thought it would be cause they keep showing me a movie on a screen which is entirely CREATIVE. I am not sure what their plan is but I think they want me to get tired of creativity to embrace a standard boredom so I exert less energy than I would on "creativity". oh I think you are gonna like where this story is going to go cause I got my answer now, which is "DESTROY THE VIRUS, WHICH IS THE TRUPHMA"

CONTINUATION...

as commando manni was surging with primal earth elemental powers to break out of his Truphma prison, droplets of his sweat ceased to be sweat as soon as it touched the ground, after a flash of light burst through the dimensions into the heavens, the sweat turned into fine emerald of pure energy pulsating from within, producing an energy grid of sorts (not sure what an energy grid is but I once heard Hollow say it, about something that looks like what is going on now) as more came out of more and more of them electrified and never dropped unless they were combining to form a sphere shape on the ground, like if it had a life of its own. Once the shape was formed a beam of pure elemental essence shot up in the middle of the prison and absorbed countless essences from the screen, which grew to its limit of its confines and exploded to leave nothing behind but the floor (to its original colorful scenery) me and the screen (which faded out of existence like if its mission was accomplished or something.) After the effects of the explosion receded back into my physical body, which was housing some serious might and magic, where my body was reacting to every particle around me and a holy glow (like holy might but all around the body but remaining stationary). as the energy was being housed in my body it was zeroing on the source of my soul to extinguishing it with minimal collateral damage. but as the energy could not locate the soul it was being willed away by the soul to the prism of my eyes elemental essences of different elements were flashing different colors till they housed on pure Earth energy.


the earth around the hero stayed motionless, but the earth about 3 meters around from him started to shake uncontrollably as spikes shot out of the crust, as if that was not the end all result of his spell as all the elements housed in the earth crust was spewing out like if it was receding from the void itself. Actually the elements were receding from something similar, which was pure dullness.

The hero grasped all the elements around him and fashioned a spherical force-field of Earth,Energy,Water and VOID FIRE (magma)(he is not efficient in anything else besides his Earth element he is using a form of Earth telekinesis to control elements for a short duration only). He then Zero'ed in on the pure dullness entity and launched the force-field at the entity before unleashing his geoto powers in a melee and magic (at the right time when the entity was trapped). The Entity an ominous cloud of unspeakable tragedy upon the hero and it only grazed the hero's pinky but did unspeakable damage with its DOT damage to his psyche. As the hero only had 87% of his life force stripped from him in 5 mins he had to think fast and so he did.....

PREPERATION

As I was zeroing in on the entity of unimaginable dullness I remembered what I saw in Eukara's journal about how dull planet seizing entity thrive off people fearing its crazy powerful dot damage so as I launched the force-field at the entity I put a count down on myself waiting till the right time to unleash my FINAL geoto skill, which can only be used 5 minutes into the battle regardless of how much life force had been stripped of me.

PRESENT

as I shifted my right arm into a dimensional earth slayer it opened a portal to the entity's blind side and unleashed a frenzy of primal earth manga at the entity, which resulted in the dullness exploding into a million trillion pieces like snow flakes of elemental essences. I however had 2% life force remaining fell unconscious in a structure made out of pure gadolinium metal (an actual element here is the link to it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadolinium.)

< Message edited by neo_manni -- 2/27/2013 2:26:57 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 2
2/21/2013 11:56:45   
Tep Itaki
Friendly!


Old Enemies, New Surprise

"So...Rixi, you ever feel like heading back to your house in Darkovia every once in a while?" the question suddenly popped up as Tep waltzed by the couch.

Rixi was lazily snoozing as she cuddled with Yuki(the small nerfkitten). She gently pried her eyes open as she squinted at her brother.

"....Hmm...?" she yawned as she rubbed her still drowsy eyes, "my old log house in those dark woods?...Now that you mention it, I should visit it every once in a while."

"Alright then, it's decided! We're gonna visit Darkovia!" Tep chirped as he ran into his room on the second floor to get some stuff. He quickly threw his door open, only to find somebody on the other side.

"So what's this about visiting Darkovia, Poms?" questioned Tetra, the red haired ponytail girl(whose age still remains a mystery, something about a lady never tells her age like a magician never reveals his tricks).

"WAH!!" Tep flew backwards, hitting his head on the wall, as he fell on his bum, "What are you doing in my room!?"

"Little ol' me? Nothing~," Tetra winked as she gracefully pranced downstairs, not before whispering into Tep's ear, "Just to let you know, I'll be tagging along with you."

"Man, I still can't deal with her," Tep sighed as he got up, rubbing his ear, "Better bring Artimix just to be safe...that reminds me, where is he today? Ever since Caether and Tetra showed up, he and Caether has been out sparring a lot recently. Eh, I'll cross that bridge when I get there."

Tep headed inside his room to pack, only to find it pink-ified(complete with hearts, teddy bears and unicorns). Tep stood motionless as he realized the reason why Tetra was in his room.

* * *

On the boat to the mainland, Artimix and Caether was deeply immersed about combat and strategy jabber. Rixi was still snoring loudly in her cabin, loud enough that it could be heard anywhere on the ship. Tep, resting on the starboard bulwark looking to the sea under the blazing sun, sighed at this as he remembered what she went through.

"Your sister tends to sleep a lot, doesn't she?"

Tep immediately turned around to see Tetra already close to his face. He backed away immediately to put some distances between him and her.

"Aww, still shy around lil' ol' me Poms?" cooed Tetra as she took a step forward.

"Don't come any closer to me you evil woman," said Tep as he pulled out his blue pom-pom to shield himself against Tetra.

Tetra's face darkened for a second before she turned around and went below deck, to the passengers' cabin. This confused Tep as he expected her to have a witty comeback for that.

"Did I hurt her feelings?" Tep pondered for a split second, only to slap his own face, "No! No! No! Get a grip Tep! She and Caether are dangerous! They tried to kill Elryn and Cataclysm back in that war! You must be on guard around them!"

"If you're so bored, why don't you help me spar with Caether instead of goofing off over there?" Artimix inquired as he held Caether in a headlock, trying to take off his helmet.

Tep immediately stopped slapping his face as he turned to Artimix, putting back his pom-pom, "No thanks, I'd rather not get involved with your methods of training, not after what happened those times."

"Suit yourself," Artimix shrugged as he grabbed Caether and lifted him upside down, followed by a pile driver. This even made Tep feel sorry for Caether. Nothing could compare to his brother's lack of empathy during his training sessions.

Tep, after watching Artimix end the training session with a suplex, turned to face the sea again. He saw the shorelines of a small isle pass by and he smiled for a second before his face turned serious.

"Artimix! Come here and take a look!"

After making sure the unconscious Caether was under a shaded area, Artimix went to Tep's side.

"Do you see what I see?" Tep pointed to the shorelines as he questioned Artimix.

"Gray tents set up by the shoreline. White guys in white suits walking about with their....plain un-expressive faces. Yeah, I see them and they're definitely the Truphmas."

"Why are the Truphmas setting up camp there? I thought you said we got rid of them thanks to all the writers of Lore."

"Well, I didn't say we got rid of them as much as showered them with a rainbow that exploded out of a book per say. But you're right, why are they here? They didn't show up for a long time after their last defeat."

The Artimix looked at Tep for a second before jumping off the starboard bulwark of the ship.

"H-hey!" Tep shouted as he quickly froze the waters under Artimix to prevent him from entering the water.

"Thanks lil' bro! You mind making a walkway to the shoreline so I can dispatch them?"

"Fine! But take Archie with you!" as if on cue, Archie(his undead archer) appeared from behind Tep and jumped after Artimix as Tep threw him a small icicle wand, "Use that to get there and get back to the mainland!"

"Gotcha!" Artimix shouted back as he used the ice wand to form a path on the waters to the Truphma's camp, a grin plastered on his face, "Truphmas, ready or not, I've got a sharp lil' surprise for you."

As Tep watched his brother use the icicle to get to the camp, the ship passed under an old bridge that connected Isle D'Oriens to the mainland. Tep sighed as a bit before he turned around to watch the unconscious Caether.

There, to the port, far into the distance, Tep could make out white tents and white figures moving about. He ran to the port side of the ship to get a closer look and confirmed that it was also a Truphma's camp. Suddenly, a thought popped him Tep's head.

"What if there isn't one Truphma camp but multiple ones? It seems reasonable considering what Artimix told me about his encounters with them and their large numbers in the west."

"So, what are you looking at so intensely?" Tep immediately knew who was behind him but this time he had no times for games. Tetra stood next to Tep, waving a letter in front of him.

"Would you stop distracting me? I'm trying to concentrate here!" Tep swatted the letter aside as he continued his line of sight on the Truphma camp far off, deciding whether or not to attack it like Artimix.

"You sure? I mean, this Euraka person is saying something about camps in the letter and this Xov lady as well as learning how to defeat her," Tetra waved the letter again in front of Tep, who took the letter and read it thoroughly.

"Where did you get this?" Tep turned his attention to Tetra as soon as he finished reading it.

"I found it on your brother's bed when I went to wake Rixi up for some girl talk," Tetra looked straight at Tep as she smiled, resting her arm on the bulwark and her chin on her hand.

Tep could hardly believe it, his brother had something this important and didn't tell him about the situation. He started to wonder all the reasons why Artimix would not have told him. The obvious ones were: He was training with Caether, thought it was more fun to take on the Truphmas again or he just plain forgot. Thinking over the obvious reasons, Tep sighed as he knew it was definitely how Artimix tended to be and let that matter go.

He started thinking that once they reached the mainland, a slight detour should be made to Eukara's place to learn more.

"It's a good a start as any."

"Hmm? What is?" Tetra tilted her head at Tep, sounding sweet with a naivety painted on her face.

Tep simply ignored her as he continued to look at the letter.

The entire trip continued with Tetra pestering Tep with "Tell me~!" and "Why so serious, Poms?"



Ms. Vox's Story




< Message edited by Tep Itaki -- 6/25/2013 0:42:55 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 3
2/21/2013 16:16:07   
UnderSoul
Member

Herein lies a chronicling of stories recovered from Lord Scorpio, ex-Commander-General of the NecroLegion, which now lies in tatters after the near-cataclysmic war against the Paladin Order. These entries seem to have been written directly following the war.

Entry One

Today as I sat in my little cabin, nestled deep in Darkovia to keep out intruders, a young messenger came up to me. At first I wondered how such a scrawny lad could have possibly made it here alone, when I looked closer. His skin had the sickly pallor of Undeath, and I could see tiny fangs protruding from his mouth. He was a fledgling Vampire, no doubt about it. The important thing however, was his message, he said that there have been spots sighted around Lore where the colour seems to have dulled. They had sent in a scout to find out the reason for the occurence, and he came back wounded and dripping... paint? He uttered one word and then passed out

"Truphma"


Entry Two

I plan on entering one of the Truphma camps soon, but for now I can not. With the ley lines in their present state, my Necromancy is severely limited. My standard swordmanship may not be enough, so I did something I never thought I'd have to do, I asked Cysero for help. He may be crazier than Shii after a mountain of powdered sugar, but he's the only weaponsmith who can do what's required. I brought him my katana, which somehow had escaped being dulled even after years of battle, and asked for a special enchantment. I told him that I wanted it to be imbued with wind, to make it faster and deadlier against Truphma, but that was not all. I wanted it to be enchanted so that on each swing of the blade, a random paint colour would be splattered along the slash. After waiting three hours for him to stop dancing with his lunch, and a further two for him to do the enchanting work, I had my weapon. On the first try, the walls were splattered with red and I feared I may have accidently hit Cysero, but then he danced into view perfectly unharmed. After a few more swings, I was satisfied. As I left Cysero asked me a question I had not considered before.

"So, what'll you name it? Looks like a Bob to me, or maybe Susie!"

"Hmm... I think I'll name it.... Creativity."

"Well, whatever floats your boat. If you ever need a paint refill, just bring back Susie and I'll be glad to do it!"

And with that odd statement, I went home. Tomorrow, I will strike a blow against the Truphma and their ungodly dullness.


Entry Three

Today marked my first excursion into a Truphma camp. Donning a suit of Samurai armour I had enhanced with bones from my no useless skeleton collection, I set off to put Creativity to the test. I could tell when I was near the camp as the environment turned duller by the foot. Though the wildlife was a bit more agressive than usual, I tried to make sure they ran off with little more than a few bruises and some paint splatters. Eventually I got to the camp's borders. As I inspected the gray and white surroundings I heard a rustle behind me. I turned around just in time. A cleaver hit Creativity, sending a blast of paint to the side. Holding the cleaver was none other than one of the persistent Truphma. He clearly was inexperienced with the cleaver and it was short work to defeat him. I offered him mercy, but of course he just mentioned how useless creativity was. Whether that was blood or paint squirting out of him I'm still not quite sure. I then decided to do things the bold way. I snuck around and tried to find some sort of announcement system. I found a white shack with a sign that conviently said "Announcements", proving just how uncreative these creatures were. I went inside and found it completely unguarded, much to my surprise. The announcement system itself was just a series of pipes that would carry the message throughout the camp. Walking up to it, I gave the Truphma my message.

"Truphma, disband your camps immediately. You can not hope to win. Stand down or I will use deadly force."

As expected, they all converged on my location. I'd like to say I fought my way out valiantly, parrying and slicing through a legion of powerful Truphma soldiers. In truth, it was more like a massacre. My wind enchanted blade spewing paint and spilling blood. In a matter of minutes there was nothing but empty buildings, a carpet of corpses, and paint splatters covering everything. As I surveyed the carnage, I realized something about the future.

One down, gods know how many to go.


Entry Four

I have decided on an odd job following the appearance of the Truphma and the loss of my Necromancy. I am paid by various people to travel around, hunting for the remaining camps and clearing them out. I have heard Truphma begin to warn other camps about me. Swift as lightning and deadlier too. They truly flatter me. They've taken notice of my signature outfit. A suit of Necrotic Samurai armour, and Creativity in my hand. In the name of honour and mercy, rather than let them suffer, I leave no survivors, which begs the question of how they actually spread the word. I will inquire this on my next hunt, but for now I am at home, relaxing for a brief time before I decide to go back to my latest occupation. Perhaps once I find a way to repair the ley lines I can get some minions to drag them all into the pit I threw those Gweens in...

Entry Five

Today was an interesting day. The Truphma are getting bolder. Today I fought one that was a full mile away from its camp. I fear they may be planning something big soon. But enough worrying about the future. In the present, I'm shutting down camps faster than humanly possible, one of the perks of settling in Darkovia, yet they are still sprouting up far too fast. My gold pouch likes it, but my heart knows that unless they can be permanently stopped, this will be an even more disastrous event than the last war. Which makes me wonder, why do they not attack? They sit in their little camps and dull the environment, but do not attack! Though people have been attacked by the dull wildlife, the Truphma have yet to lift a finger except when somebody approaches. Mysterious...

On a lighter note, I found out that Creativity's paint glows in the dark. Very useful for night battles, as the Truphma can be surprisingly hard to find at night, despite their particular shade of skin. Though I am starting to wonder if Cysero was serious that it could run out of paint...


< Message edited by UnderSoul -- 2/28/2013 16:26:22 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
2/22/2013 18:27:51   
Spendin
Member

My name is Spencer Deluxe. I am a hero and a friend of those who live in the shadows. I am writing the record because I have a feeling that the recent events may lead up to something much...bigger.

Day 1

A few days ago the map in town had a few weird pegs on it. I asked and was told that Truphma camps have been spotted around Lore. Now usually I don't get involved in events I can't benefit from so I ignored it and went on with my own agenda. The day only consisted of tedious investigations on my current target, who was just some scumbag living in Granemor. I merely accepted the job because I lacked anything to do that day.

A few days later I came back to Battleon. When I checked the map, to say I was "shocked" would be an understatement. The camps have multiplied including one that was eerily close to Battleon. I decided this would eventually become my problem one way or another. I went to my home in Darkovia and found my personal blade, Silent Demise; is a large, single edged, metallic sword forged to my desires. I also took a spare Wakizashi and went to the camp adjacent to Battleon.

My assassin training is incomplete but effective, so I had confidence that I would be able to exterminate anyone in the camp. When I saw the camp on the horizon I jumped up onto a ledge to make sure I was not spotted. It was then I first began to wonder how Assassin training allows me to make superhuman jumps. I saw two Truphmas in white suits patrolling the area I was hiding in. I didn't really feel like holding back any longer; so I silently jumped down behind them, but the second I landed one of them swung their knife at me as if they knew I was there all along. I barely dodged and was dazed for a few seconds. No one was ever able to detect me before just now. But I came to my senses quickly and swung Silent Demise at them decapitating them both.

That skirmish caused enough noise to alert the others that I was here. I saw other Truphmas in their white suits but what I have never seen before was the blandly colored beasts also rushing at me. While still holding Silent Demise I drew my Wakizashi and ran at them to close the space. I leaped in the air and impaled what I assumed was a Wolverine with my Wakizashi and swung Silent Demise at an approaching...bee was it? Two Truphma came at me from behind but I jumped and kicked their knifes out of their hands then impaled them simultaneously. Then two Truphmas I assumed to be the leaders here by their odd appearance came at me. They swung giat flails at me as the were attached to their hands somehow. The spiked ball broke my Wakizashi but I deflected the other flail with Silent Demise. I was actually losing my cool now. That Wakizashi was not cheap, so I charge at them and sliced one striaght through his chest, then I quickly recovered and sliced the other leader in the same manner.

After the camp was clear I went home for the day. I couldn't help but think I may have to take a break from assassination and turn my attention to this...threat.

Day 2

After much thought I decided to shed the leather armor and return to my old plate armor. Whatever was happening, I can tell it will make stealth irrelevant.

I unlocked a very large magically guarded safe of my own design I pulled out my Blade of Awe and my Armor of Awe. I had locked these away to make sure no one but I could get to the immense power they contained. I equipped the Blade, Shield, and Armor then went outside to practice on the trees surrounding my home. I was glad to know I rusted very little and most of my skills were in muscle memory.

I set out again equipped with Silent Demise and the Blade of Awe towards Battleon. I arrived at Battleon to check the map and find a camp to eliminate. I chose the one located in the forest, southwest of Obsidia's Lair. Before I left I went to the Guardian tower to have the Blade of Awe elementalized to wind, it appeared to be more effective against the Truphma and their forces. While I waited I had an amuzing conversation with Twig over ice cream flavors. He seemed almost offended by the fact I preferred Vanilla over Chocolate. Luckily before the conversation got any more bizzare I got my blade back and I set off towards the camp.

The walk was very uneventful I whistled various tunes to entertain myself. I was never good at whistling but no one was around to hear it.

As I passed Obsidia's Lair I began to think. Only a few weeks ago I came out of my early retirement. At the age of 21 I earned so much money from various quests and wars I thought I would just quit and be done with adventuring. But when I heard news of the war of "The Edge of Extinction" as I hear it is called now. I decided I should rejoin the Paladin order and lend a sword to the conflict. Even now I don't know why, but witnessing the Necromancers fight somehow got me to join their ranks. I began to fight my former brothers and sisters of the order, as a Necromancer. I also remember barely escaping the conflict with my life. But ever since that event, honor and holiness meant nothing to me anymore.

I stopped the reminiscing when I arrived at the camp. The clanking of my armor could likely have been heard from far away because the Truphma came to give me their unpleasant welcome. These conflicts were becoming incredibly annoying as very similar events as yesterdays played out just with less hiding. Also I think I saw a gray dragon nearby but I thought I was imagining it.

Day 3

Today I skipped the visit to Battleon because I memorized the location of my next target. My target was the mountains to the northeast. The walk to this destination was again, uneventful. Eventually I found the mountains you could tell where there was Truphma presence by the bland color of the mountain from the rest.

As I began to scale the mountain the gray dragon I say yesterday came and knocked me down. When I hit the ground I could barely breathe, clearly I broke something, I could still move my arms but one of my legs wouldn't move. When I opened my eyes, the dragon was above me and it looked like it was ready to finish me off. I grabbed my Blade of Awe in one last attempt to protect my life. But the second I attempted to swing something spectacular happened. A golden wheel with marks of all the elements on it appeared. The wheel span and grew brightly making the dragon back away. A light shined and Death himself appeared. This must have been the Powerword Die that I heard rumors of. Death rushed at the Dragon and sliced at it with his scythe. The Dragon then immediately fell over dead.

With my leg crippled I decided that I should forget today and let Truphma have a small victory. I slowly limped my way to Krovesport. It was definitely not one of the most pleasant walks of my life. By the time I made it to Krovesport it was nightfall; I drew Silent Demise knowing that a limping, well armored adventurer is a rogue magnet. I only ran into one thief however, he got to personally meet the razor edge of Silent Demise.

I was close to a medium sized inn that I was familiar with. But I was stopped by a young and somewhat eerie voice.

"And just where have you been?" asked a girl I quickly identified to be Shii.

I began to sweat a little. I completely forgot that I have abandoned my assignment, so I could fight the Truphma. I could already imagine Shii's dagger at my throat.

I began to panic "I-I ummm... uhhhh... but-"

"I should be real angry when I find out you haven't been working." she giggled and licked her dagger.

"B-but you see..." for once in my life I had no excuse.

Without any other option I drew Silent Demise.

"Ooooooh you're SO scary." Shii taunted.

Then Shii suddenly vanished and reappeared behind me. She pointed her dagger directly at my neck.

"Remember what I said I could do if you ever failed?"

I remembered all too well.

She must have noticed my leg because she was in a position that I could easily sweep her legs had both of my feet been working.

I screamed and used my good leg to kick Shii back a few feet, I fell on my face and tried to get up as fast I could but luck was not on my side Shii was already holding her dagger over my face. She looked angry and not willing to play any more games. I was just about ready to embrace death when a woman with purple hair came and pushed Shii over. I quickly identified her as Valencia.

"Now we're even for when you helped me open the Tomb of Awe." said Valencia

She picked me up and helped me walk to the inn. Which was an even more agonizing walk because now my pride was smashed by it.

I rented a room, drank a health potion and fell asleep very quickly.

That day was unpleasant all the way through.

Day 4

The night before was very sobering for me. The armor of awe makes me stick out and for the past few weeks I came out of retirement I haven't been making friends out of people. First I betray the Paladin Order. Then I become an assassin and made a LOT of enemies through doing that kind of work. Then the encounter with Shii for ditching my job. It was time for an armor change.

I wanted to find something that would draw less attention to me. It always irritated me how blacksmiths could never make any armor that was both strong and subtle in appearance. I went to the Armory in Battleon's Guardian Tower. Apparently while I was gone an armor called "Ultra Guardian" was forged because of some crises or another. So I traded in my Armor of Awe in exchange for it. I was sure the Guardians could do SOMETHING right and secure that armor. I had the armor colored black to my specifications. The spikes on the armor were bright yellow. I knew there would never be such things as powerful AND subtle armor. I sighed then took my new armor and left.

My leg still ached from my fall yesterday but I did not want to give up my quest I have already sacrificed my job for. I decided to attack one in the more eastern areas so I could at least spend some time on a boat and rest. So I got on a transport ship and it sailed over the Great Sea towards the southeast per my directions. As I sat down in one of the ship's cabins I began to think.

"Why am I doing this anyway? I have only just now heard of the Tuphma."

In fact all I knew was that they want to remove color and fun, and they launched an attack on Battleon before. But that was as far as my knowledge extended about these people.

"Why am I getting so involved with a threat I know so little about? It's not like me to wander blindly into fights like this. They certainly aren't friends of Lore but still."

I let my mind wander on this until nightfall when I fell asleep. By morning I should be ready to head for the camp.

< Message edited by Spendin -- 2/25/2013 23:25:28 >
AQ DF  Post #: 5
2/23/2013 15:07:21   
Disc Lorde
Member

Chapter 1

Disc Lorde was in Yulgar's Inn, sipping a glass of moglinberry juice and reflecting on the outcome of the most recent war, when he saw Astreaea and Cerrana, two of his comrades in the war, walk in. He waved. They nodded to him, then ordered got themselves a glass of moglinberry juice each and sat down at Disc Lorde's table.

"What a war," said Astreaea. "We lost, and necromancy was destroyed."

"Paladin magic too," said Disc Lorde. "I did not like how that turned out."

There was a pause. "Where's Undersoul?" asked Disc Lorde. "Last I saw him he was with you."

"Probably at the Ninjutsu Temple by now," answered Astreaea. "With necromancy destroyed, he decided to train to become a Ninja."

"Good for him," said Cerrana. "Nice to see someone learning to rely on their strength instead of fickle magic." Astreaea rolled her eyes.

Another pause. "Ah, it's not so bad," said Disc Lorde. "We'll get paladin powers and necromancy back somehow. I've never known the creativity of Lore's magic users to fail."

"Message for Hand of Fate!" called Yulgar. Cerrana momentarily glowered at the use of the title, then got up to get the message. She sat back down, opened the letter, and read it, her expression apprehensive.

"What is it Cerry?" Astreaea asked.

"See for yourself," Cerrana replied, and handed Astreaea the letter.

Astreaea read the letter, her expression turning sour as she did so. When she was finished, she passed it to Disc Lorde.

Disc Lorde, now apprehensive, took it and read it. When he was finished he passed it back to Cerrana. "Perhaps I spoke too soon," he said darkly.

"Trumpha," said Astreaea, loathing in her voice. "What are we waiting for? Let's get them! For creativity!"

"I heartily concur," spoke Cerrana. "Vile creatures, going into other creatures minds and altering them. I'll destroy them."

"Uh, what both of you just said," said Disc Lorde. "Let's ask Warlic where the nearest camp is."

On their way to Warlic's shop, however, they were interrupted by the plucky Pomeranian Daimyo, who barked frantically.

"Did you get any of that?" Disc Lorde asked Astreaea.

"I understood two words," replied Astreaea grimly, "'children' and 'danger'."

It took only a moment for Disc Lorde to process this. "To the school!"

< Message edited by Disc Lorde -- 2/23/2013 23:07:09 >
AQ  Post #: 6
2/24/2013 16:57:01   
battlemaster25
Member

Chapter I: The Discovery

Scene: Skraeling Desert, midnight. Storm Silverwing is sparring with a skeleton.

Storm dashed forward, two black swords in his hands. A third sword, this one enormous and golden, was strapped to his back, gleaming in the moonlight. He wore a simple white tunic, with a green bandana around his neck, and green pants. The skeleton drew back an arrow on his bow, and as he released, the arrow split into ten, which flew towards Storm. Storm leaped to the side, and dodged most of the arrows. However, one struck his right leg, and bounced off, although not before tearing a hole in his pants. A glint of metal could be seen where Storm's leg should have been. He continued his charge, coming within a few feet of the skeleton. The skeleton went to ready his bow, when Storm tackled him and pointed a sword at his head.

"I believe I win again, Isaac."

"We've been at this all night. What are we training for? Also, would you please get off of me now?"


Storm immediately jumped off of the skeleton, known as Isaac, and snapped his fingers. The black swords vanished.

"You're right, it's time we took a break. We're sparring because I need to improve my melee combat, what with my magic being so badly weakened."

"Ah. That makes sense. I thought there was some big upcoming battle that I didn't know about."

"No, no. If I knew about something like that, I'd tell you. By the way, would you try not to scratch up my new leg?"

"Heh heh. Sorry about that. But hey, you're the one who did the dramatic leap, I was aiming for your chest."

"Yes, because that's so much better."


Storm and Isaac looked at each other for a moment, before they both started to laugh. Out of the corner of his eye, Storm spotted a white figure in the distance, observing them. He quit laughing immediately and turned towards the figure. The figure turned and began to walk away.

"Is that what I think it is?"

"What?"


Instead of answering Isaac, Storm ran off in the direction of the figure, who had begun to climb a distant, steep sand dune. As it vanished over the top of the dune, Storm reached the bottom. He began to walk slowly up the dune, being careful not to slip. At this point, Isaac had begun to chase after him. Storm reached the top of the dune, and simply stared down at what he saw. After a moment, Isaac arrived next to him.

"Master, what are you looking..... oh."

Below them was a huge field of gray tents, with hundreds of identical figures with solid white faces and white suits milling about. Several odd, gray dragons stood watch at the camp's borders. A few of the native monsters were wandering about in the camp, but their skin was an unnatural dull brown.

"I knew they weren't gone forever."

"But master, who are they?"

"Ah, yes, I forgot, you've never seen them. These are the Truphma, arch-enemies of all things fun and creative. They were defeated badly in the past, but I knew they wouldn't stay gone. I hope Ms. Vox is aware of this."

"Didn't we get a letter from her recently?"

"Yeah, but I hadn't gotten around to reading it. I guess I should've done that...."


End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter II: Preparations

Scene: Skraeling Desert, Midnight. Storm and Isaac are still overlooking the Truphma camp.


"Isaac, go get me my portal amulet."

"The one linked to Battleon?"

"I don't have any others. What do you think?"

"Sorry, master..."

"And please stop calling me master, you aren't bound to my will."


With that, Isaac scurried off to where they had set up camp for the night, though they were too busy training to sleep. A few moments later, he returned with a silver amulet, which would not be at all notable, if it weren't emitting a faint white glow. Isaac held out his hand, and Storm took the amulet. He put it on, and grasped it with one hand. The amulet began to glow extremely brightly now. Storm's hand began to pulse with red energy. Freezing cold wind began to swirl around them, picking up bits of sand. Then, there was a sudden flash of red and white light, and Storm was gone. Where he had stood, there was a strange spiral pattern drawn in the sand. Amazingly, none of the Truphma down in the camp had noticed the light.

With a similar flash of light, Storm appeared in Battleon's town square. As it was late at night, nobody aside from Storm was awake and outside. Even Twilly had abandoned his usual post to catch some sleep. Although it was nearly Spring, a layer of snow still blanketed the town. Storm shivered, wishing he'd worn more than a sleeveless tunic. However, he shrugged it off and walked over to the door of the inn. He raised one hand, balled it into a fist, and pounded loudly on the door. A light lit up inside, and footsteps could be heard. After a moment, Yulgar opened the door, wearing a deep pink sleeping cap. Storm struggled to stop himself from laughing.

"Dear gods, man, do you have to make such an infernal racket?"

"You're an innkeeper, you should be used to late-night arrivals."

"Used to it? Yes. Appreciate it? No."

"Fair enough. Now, can we please go inside, I'm freezing."

"Serves you right, wearing no sleeves in this weather...."


However, Yulgar stepped aside and let Storm enter, closing the door behind him. A candle flickered on the bar, but other than that, the room was dark and silent.

"Alright, Storm, what's so blasted important?"

"The Truphma are back. You remember them, I'm sure."

"Bloody creativity-stealing fiends. They've returned, you say?"

"Yes. I found a large outpost in Skraeling Desert. There's no mistaking it, even the sand was duller than usual around them."

"Ah. Do you know if they have any other camps set up?"

"I don't know. But it is certainly possible, and it would make sense."

"But why come to me? Shouldn't you be talking with Ms. Vox first?"

"I get the feeling that she already knows. She sent me a letter just recently, although I neglected to read it."

"That's a pretty big oversight, yes. So, I take it you're here for your stash?"

"Indeed I am. Hopefully, by morning, that camp will no longer be there."


Yulgar turned and walked into his back room. A minute later, he returned, carrying a large wooden box, which he handed to Storm.

"Thank you, Yulgar. I'd better head back now."

"Wait, how are you going to get to Skraeling by morning?"

"Two-way teleportation amulet. How do you think I got here?"


Storm then turned and exited the inn. A moment later, Yulgar saw red and white light flash through the windows. Meanwhile, Storm appeared back in the desert, standing exactly where he had been when he left. Isaac was sitting on the ground a few feet away. Storm set the box down on the ground and opened the lid.

"What's in the box?"

"Anti-Truphma weapons."


As he said that, Storm pulled a glowing, rainbow-colored longsword out of the box. Isaac stared at it, noticing something odd. After a moment, he realized that the rainbow pattern seemed to be flowing down the blade.

"Wow...."

"This one is mine. Hand crafted. But we have plenty of other weapons here, feel free to take some."


Storm then proceeded to pull out two paintball guns, which he strapped to his belt. Isaac reached into the box and pulled out a bow that was, upon further inspection, made out of soggy books. Then, like Storm, he grabbed two paintball guns. He stood up and looked towards the camp.

"All ready, then?"

"Yes."

"Alright. Let's go kill some Truphma."


End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter III: Destroying the Outpost


Scene: Skraeling Desert, Midnight. Storm and Isaac are about to attack the Truphma Camp.

Storm looked down upon the camp, planning his attack. He noticed one of the gray dragons patrolling near the dune he an Isaac were on. The dragon left large footprints in the sand, which was a bizarre gray tone, rather than the light brown sand of the rest of the desert. Storm gestured to Isaac, and pointed at the dragon. Isaac nodded, and drew back an arrow on his bow. He released it, and the arrow flew downwards, and with impeccable accuracy, struck the dragon straight in the eye. It roared out in rage and anguish, a sound that could be heard for miles in the otherwise silent desert.

Storm leaped down from the dune, his paintball guns in hand. He blasted the dragon with paint over and over again, until it eventually staggered backwards. Without missing a beat, Storm slipped the guns back onto his belt and drew his rainbow longsword. He charged forward and stopped a few feet short of the dragon. He swung his sword in a wide horizontal arc, and a massive rainbow-colored wave blasted out of it, smashing into the dragon, and several Truphma who had gathered. The dragon fell to the ground, and the Truphma were sent flying backwards. After a moment, both the Truphma and the dragon disintegrated into multicolored sparkles. Isaac sat up on the dune, raining arrows and paintballs onto the Truphma below. The entire camp had been alerted to their presence now, and Truphma were swarming around Storm. He whirled around, slicing at the air with his sword, which continued to emit waves of color that destroyed the Truphma in droves.

Eventually, however, he was surrounded. Isaac was picking off individual Truphma, but it was not enough. Storm would attack and destroy five or ten at a time, but twenty would soon take their place. They advanced on Storm slowly, their rusty cleavers shining in the moonlight. As soon as they came within a few feet of Storm, however, the tables quickly turned. Storm stabbed his sword into the ground, and a beam of white light shot up into the sky from the sword. After a brief moment, a much, much larger beam comprised of every known color blasted down, destroying all of the Truphma surrounding Storm, and leaving the camp a smoking crater. Storm stood in the center of the crater, now clad in shining, rainbow-colored armor to match his sword.

"Ah yes, very impressive. You've somehow turned pure color into a weapon. How vile."

"What?"


Storm looked over at where the voice had come from, and saw an unusually tall Truphma, who had spiked metal spheres instead of hands. How this particular Truphma survived the camp's destruction, Storm did not know, nor did he particularly care. He charged towards the outpost master, which is what this particular type of Truphma were called. The outpost master responded by lashing out one of his arms. The spiked ball detached from the arm and swung towards Storm, a thin thread connecting it to arm. The spiked ball smashed into Storm's chest, but to the outpost master's horror, Storm was not even winded. Instead, the ball bounced off of Storm's armor and disintegrated.

"This armor is made of the exact same magic that just obliterated your buddies. Seriously, same spell and everything. Did you really think you stood a chance?"

"It seems that your powers of creativity have made you arrogant. Yet another reason that it should be destroyed."

"Yes, because you Truphma aren't arrogant at all, noooo. Seriously, if my gold stash was as big as your ego, I could probably buy my own personal galaxy."

"Shut up and die, creative filth! You are nothing compared to us!"

".... I rest my case."


The outpost master screamed in rage and charged towards Storm, its intact spike ball raised. Storm sighed and flung his sword at the approaching outpost master, who was promptly skewered. As the outpost master disintegrated, Storm walked forwards to pick up his sword. Isaac approached him.

"Good job, master. Seems like that's all of them."

"Tell me, Isaac. Why didn't you just shoot that Truphma while he was distracted by me?"

"Your way was much more entertaining."

"Fair enough."


Storm's armor faded away, the spell having run out. The desert winds had already begun to replenish the sand that Storm had obliterated. Storm suddenly realized that he was incredibly tired, the battle having drained most of his energy. Isaac noticed the change in his body language, and his next sentence sounded slightly concerned.

"Come on, master, let's get back to our tent. You need to rest."

"But we need to speak to Ms. Vox immediately."

"If you're correct, she already knows. At the very least, it can wait until tomorrow, if only so that you don't kill yourself through exhaustion."

"Fine. Logic prevails. But we're going to pay Ms. Vox a visit as soon as we can."

"Agreed."


End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter IV: Complications


Scene: Skraeling Desert, Late Morning. Storm is asleep, while Isaac stands outside.

The sun had finally risen over the desert, bringing extreme heat with it. Any small creatures that lived there had scurried back into their dens. Isaac was glad that his undeathly state made him unable to feel the temperature of the air. As soon as he had entered his tent, Storm had fallen fast asleep, and remained like that for the entire rest of the night, not to mention a good portion of the morning. As always, Isaac had stood watch while his master slept.

Isaac suddenly realized that they had left their box of Truphma-killing weapons on top of the sand dune overlooking where the Truphma camp had been. He ran towards the dune and climbed to the top, seeing that the box was right where they had left it. As he bent down to pick it up, however, he noticed something entirely more shocking. He let out a gasp, dropped the box, and ran back down the way he came, sprinting as fast as he could. After a minute, he arrived back at the tent.

"Master! Master! Wake up!"

Storm sat up and looked around wearily.

"Huh? What do you want?"

"The Truphma camp is back!"

"What!?"


Storm bolted out of the tent, towards the dune, with Isaac in tow. As he arrived at the top, he looked down, and saw that Isaac was correct. Somehow, the Truphma camp was standing before them once again, the crater having vanished entirely. In fact, it seemed as if nothing had happened to the camp at all. Storm was frozen in shock for several long minutes, before he was finally able to tear his eyes off of the sea of gray tents. Instead, he turned and stared at Isaac.

"How is that possible? How did they rebuild so quickly?"

"Perhaps they have a method of teleporting in?"

"That would make sense, but it would also mean that there's no point in even trying to destroy it."

"We could at least prevent them from spreading."

"No. Not now. We need to get word to Ms. Vox about this immediately."

"How do you plan to contact her?"

"Good question. What address was her letter sent from? We could always send another one."

"I don't think it had an address on it."

"Well, lovely. I guess that means that we need her portal, but it only shows up if it wants to."

"What is it with you and that portal?"

"It hates me! Anyway, perhaps we should actually read the letter?"

"That might help, yeah. Letters are generally meant to be read."

"Don't get snarky with me, please."

"Sorry, master."

"Yeah, whatever. Anyway, let's go start packing up the tent. We're heading back to Battleon."


With that, Storm and Isaac turned and headed back to their tent, although not before grabbing the box of weapons. Over the course of roughly an hour, they took down the tent, bundled it up, and gathered all of their supplies into a few bags. By this point, it was almost noon, and the desert was practically blazing with the heat. Storm would be glad to be out of it. Isaac stood directly next to Storm, their shoulders practically touching. They bunched the tent and supplies around their feet, and then Storm once again activated his teleportation amulet. One flash of light later, and they were standing in Battleon's town square. It was mostly unchanged from how it had been the previous night, although a few people were out and about, and Twilly was once again standing upon his hill. Yulgar was outside of the inn, cleaning the windows. He turned around when he saw the flash of light reflected in the glass.

"Ah, Storm. You're back. How'd it go with that Truphma camp?"

"Well, I've got good news and bad news."

"Let's start with the good news, then."

"Alright. The good news is that I successfully destroyed the camp."

"That's great. What, dare I ask, is the bad news?"

"The bad news is that the Truphma have some way to rebuild their camps extremely quickly, so it's already back again."

"Ouch. That's some pretty bad news."

"Anyway, Yulgar, do you know how I might be able to contact Ms. Vox?"

"Afraid not. I'd suggest you interrupt a class, but it's the weekend, so that's no good."

"Alright. Thanks anyway, Yulgar."

"What will you do now?"

"I don't know. Head back home, maybe get around to finally reading that letter, etc."

"Okay then. Best of luck to you, then."


Storm and Isaac then grabbed the tent and all of their supplies, and began walking away from the center of Battleon, towards Storm's cabin. Several minutes later, they arrived, and Storm pulled a silver key from his pocket. He unlocked the door, and entered, Isaac following behind him. The cabin was exactly how it had been when they had left. Storm payed particular attention to an envelope sitting on his nightstand. He picked it up and opened it, pulling out the letter, which he read silently for a moment.

"What did Ms. Vox write?"

"She knows about the camps, but not what their purpose is. And her only real advice is to keep fighting and try to hold them back."

"Ah. So, should we head back to the desert, or should we see if we can't find any other camps?"

"Let's try to find some other camps. I've had enough sand for one lifetime."

"Alright. When do we set out?"

"This time tomorrow. Make sure that you're ready."

"Understood, master."


End of Chapter.

-----------------------------------------------------

Chapter V: The Fighting Begins


Scene: Frozen Northlands, Just Outside Frostvale, Late Afternoon. Storm and Isaac are scouting out a reported Truphma Camp.

Storm and Isaac had spent a few long days just walking along a path, towards the snowy north, in search of Truphma camps. Eventually, they had arrived at Frostvale, where Chilly had told them of a strange gray camp that had appeared overnight, to the west. So Storm and Isaac had left Frostvale immediately, and gone looking for the camp.

Due to the cold weather, Storm had switched out his tunic with a thick, heavy brown coat, with a light gray fur trim at the collar. Isaac was dressed as he always was, in simple leather armor, dyed black and red, because Isaac was not bothered by the cold. Instead of carrying the huge box of Truphma-killing supplies, Storm and Isaac had selected a few weapons to bring along, namely the soggy book bow, and of course Storm's rainbow sword, as well as some strange bottles of rainbow-colored liquid.

A few hours before, a nasty blizzard had started up, and it had only gotten worse over time. Storm and Isaac could hardly see two feet in front of themselves, yet they continued to trudge on, even as snow bombarded their faces. Eventually, their determination paid off. The blizzard slowly died down, and they found themselves within sight of the Truphma camp they had been searching for. This camp resembled the one in the desert, complete with gray dragons, although it was considerably smaller.

"Well, master, I think we might have found it."

"You don't say."

"Anyway, what should we do now? Should we go ahead and attack it?"

"I don't see why not."

"Well, I thought you might be tired or something."

"I'm fine, Isaac, really. If I can walk through a blizzard, I can take out a tiny camp."

"The problem is that you just, well, got done walking through a blizzard."

"Oh, give me a break!"

"That's what I'm trying to do!"


Storm stopped and glared at Isaac for a moment, before continuing onwards to the camp. Isaac followed him. After a moment, they arrived directly outside of the camp. A Truphma saw them, and sounded the alarm. The entire camp was running towards them now. Isaac pulled one of the bottles of rainbow-liquid from his belt, and threw it at the approaching hoard of Truphma. When it hit, it exploded into a flash of multicolored light, disintegrating any Truphma caught in the blast.

Storm drew his rainbow sword and charged forwards, once again swinging it around like a madman, the resulting magical waves destroying the Truphma in bunches. Then, when he was certain that most of the camp was present, he stabbed his sword into the ground, and a beam of white light shot up into the air. Isaac, who knew what was coming, laughed at the puzzled Truphma. Once again, the entire camp was swiftly obliterated by a giant rainbow beam of death. This time, no Truphma survived. Storm was wearing his shiny rainbow armor again.

"I'm beginning to think that the armor part of that spell is a waste of magic."

"Yeah. The Truphma are all dead before you really get a chance to use it."

"Ah well. I'll have to look into it."

"Now then, master, are you sure you're alright? That spell drains a lot of energy."

"I'm fine, Isaac! When did you turn into my grandma?"

"Since you walked through a blizzard for several hours, then immediately destroyed a camp, with a spell that we both know exhausts you."

"Fair enough. Now let's get back to Battleon. We'll take a day or two to rest, then head out to Dragonstone."

"Alright, master. Let's go."


Storm grabbed his teleportation amulet, and after a moment, he and Isaac vanished in a flash of red and white light, and appeared in Battleon. They began to walk towards Storm's cabin, their quest to fight back the Truphma having only just begun.

The End.....?

-----------------------------------------------------
Bonus Chapter: The Truphma Strike Back!


Scene: Outside Battleon, late night. Storm and Isaac are walking towards Storm's cabin.


"Phew, fighting the Truphma is exhausting work. I look forward to getting to sleep."

"Indeed. Some rest would make a nice change."

"Wait, do undead even get tired?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, we do! Just because we can't sleep normally...."

"Okay, okay, sorry! Don't get all offended."


For a minute, Storm and Isaac were silent, as they trudged through the dark woods. Even so late at night, Storm was always able to find his way directly to his cabin. Suddenly, he stopped and sniffed the air.

"What is it, master?"

"I smell smoke. Something is burning nearby."


As soon as he finished saying that, Storm dashed forwards. He emerged in the clearing where his cabin stood a moment later. Much to his shock, the clearing was filled with Truphma, and his home was engulfed in a roaring blaze. He yelled out in anger, and the Truphma noticed his presence. As they swarmed towards them, he went to reach for his rainbow sword, but apparently changed his mind, and instead grabbed the golden claymore from his back. He swung it around in a huge arc, bashing several Truphma down to the ground. At this point, Isaac arrived, and instantly assessed the situation. He began providing Storm with covering fire, as Storm carved his way through the Truphma.

Roughly half an hour later, and all of the Truphma were dead. Storm had cast a basic water spell, and the fire had died down, leaving the house a smoldering wreck. Storm and Isaac looked at it sadly.

"So I guess we're out of a home."

"Yeah...."


Storm walked into the wreckage, stepping carefully to avoid injury. He looked around to see if any of his personal items had survived. He was glad to see that his fireproof wardrobe had served its purpose, but other than that, very little seemed to have escaped the inferno. He looked around sadly and walked back outside.

"Let this be a lesson, Isaac."

"Huh?"

"We are not safe, for as long as the Truphma are lurking about. We must always be on guard."

"Agreed. But what will we do about housing?"

"I don't know. For now, I guess we'll stay at the inn."


The End (for real)

< Message edited by battlemaster25 -- 3/9/2013 23:53:21 >
AQ  Post #: 7
2/24/2013 23:36:29   
Trainz_07
Member

Truphma Invasion: The Creative Campaign


Prologue: Chromatic Deluge


Scion Feurig surveyed the camps below him, down in the once lush valley of Elodean.

A sad wind blew through the valley, echoing the same melancholic requiem that filled the air. The wind was the voice of the land, mourning her helplessness at resisting the vile disease that had taken root in her womb, an ashen cesspool that drained her of her vigor and vitality.

Overhead, the sky was garbed in chaste pale blue, not a single wisp of cloud clinging to her azure gown. Her suitor, the glorious sun, whose love she had spurned, glared down at the world with a fiery gaze. Instead of feeling the usual warm radiance of the solar sphere, the land was bathed in an intense heat that made Scion miss the chill of winter, which had surrendered governance of the realm to spring.

Muttering arcane syllables, Scion began to bend the air before him, channeling the light into a single focus. With a flicker of thought, the focus was magnified tenfold, producing an enlarged albeit poor image of the encampment below him. Scion then chanted an additional string of verses, enhancing the resolving power of the spell and thus improving the quality of the image.

Scion decided there and then that he would have to properly thank Warlic for teaching him that spell, which was aptly dubbed ‘The Telescope’. On more than several occasions, the spell (whose ability vastly surpassed that of any conventional telescope) became an invaluable asset to him.

Scion studied the encampment with keen eyes, noting the deliberately neat and organized arrangement of the white tents and pavilions, each of equal austerity. The troop who had set up the camps comprised of strange-looking individuals. From head to toe they were ghostly white, wearing simple, alabaster clothing. What troubled Scion was not their visibly achromatic appearance, nor the rusty cleavers that they carried, but the cruel, emotionless countenance that every one of them wore.

As Scion continued his scanning, he couldn’t help but lament at the state of the land. The valley of Elodean, once praised as one of nature’s hidden paradise, had been reduced to a barren wasteland. The few trees that remained were dull and languid; a far cry from the arboreal monarchs that once ruled the valley. Whatever verdure that had once existed was wiped out, in its place a colorless expanse that sickened Scion.

Beauty, elegance, artistry…such things had no place in the utopia envisioned by the Truphma.

The pallid beings were once a mystery to Scion, any knowledge of them having acquired from the lips of innkeepers and wandering heroes. Though accounts varied, it all boiled down to the singular fact that the Truphma were a species bent on expunging all forms of creativity and imagination from the face of Lore.

In the beginning, Scion had thought the notion ridiculous. How can someone remove creativity? When it was gradually explained to him that the Truphma had an uncanny ability to smother one’s creative spark and even assert their banal dominance, Scion became infuriated. Who are they to dictate what should and should not exist in the world?

In addition to his blade and magic, creativity was an instrument of great significance to Scion. When strength and speed failed him, he could always rely on his capacity to think of creative solutions no matter the circumstance. In his battle against Lumina, former High Priestess of the Paladin Order, the redhead had trounced said priestess with not brute strength but a combination of wit and imaginative prowess.

Worse yet, Scion discovered that their unholy influence was futile against certain individuals, particularly children, whose innocent minds often housed the wildest, most capricious of imaginations. When met with such circumstances that their conversion was useless, the Truphma would always resort to the one alternative: Murder.

What utter fools. They cut their lives short by even considering harming one of Lore’s children.

According to several credible sources, Scion also found out that the Truphma had strategically taken advantage of recent events to rally their forces, building and setting up a multitude of encampments which were scattered across the face of Lore, excluding the kingdom of Deren. Matters were vastly exacerbated by the fact that Eukara Vox, Loremaster and Guardian of Imagination, Creativity, Learning and Thinking, was still in the midst of recovering from the previous battles against the Truphma.

Yet the temporary loss of her ladyship had scarcely deterred the heroes of Lore; on the contrary, her incapacitation and fueled them with a boldness and determination to strike back at their despicable foes.

Though Scion was not beholden to Eukara, he was drawn to her cause and mission, to rid Lore of this vile infestation, as well as for the sake of creativity and the children.

If the Truphma persist in their folly, the only thing they will accomplish is the extinction of their pitiful race.

Scion muttered a simple verse, ceasing the Telescope spell. The wind started picking up, and he felt the subtle flow of magic. As he turned around, he was met with a swirling aggregation of…sand, as it would appear. The swirling gradually stabilized, transforming into the shape of a doorway.

A young man suddenly stepped out from the sandy portal, dusting the sand off his tattered clothes. Shimmering blue eyes peeked behind a pair of round spectacles, while a felt hat partially hid his platinum blonde hair. The most distinctive feature about this individual was the array of potions that were slung across his shoulder.

Scion gave him a polite smile as he accosted him, “So good of you to come, Kastio. Once again you have demonstrated your adherence to punctuality.”

The one known as Kastio responded with a curt nod, “You honor me with your words, Lord Scion.”

Scion closed his eyes as he pinched the bridge of his nose in mild frustration, “Kastio, how many times must I remind you that I hold no lordship. Preclude that title.”

“As you wish, Master Scion.”

Scion started to protest, but then decided against it. Perhaps it was just in Kastio’s nature to display deference to those he deemed his superiors.

Kastio was one of Eukara Vox’s assistants, whom she had assigned to accompany Scion in his mission to eliminate the Truphma camps. Eukara had wanted him to further observe the enemy and record their goings-on. Polite as he was terse, the blonde lad showed a strict devotion to his principles as well as an unwavering loyalty to his mistress.

“Mistress Vox bid me to send you her regards,” said Kastio in a rich baritone. “She also wishes to thank you for joining her cause.”

Scion waved a hand. “Tell her to think nothing of it. She and I share the same ideals, and that is enough for me to render her aid.” Scion stopped to appraise his companion, noting his colorful paraphernalia. “Did you remember to bring the item I asked for?”

“Of course,” answered Kastio without hesitation, reaching out into a pocket for a leather pouch, thereafter handing it to Scion. The redhead offered his thanks as he pocketed the pouch.

“If I may be so bold,” continued Kastio, “How many camps have you successfully dismantled thus far?”

Scion looked upwards as he performed a mental count. “Ten, I believe.”

Kastio was taken aback, his eyes widening in surprise, “Within this week?”

“Within today actually.”

There was a palpable silence, followed by Kastio clearing his throat as he recovered from his shock, “Forgive me, Master Scion, I had not known that you were learned in Spatial Transportation.”

Scion shook his head, a faint smile adorning his face, “You are mistaken, Kastio. A generous friend simply offered to fly me around Lore.” By friend, Scion referred to his undead companion, the dracolich that was once known as the terror of the sky: Vrael Ironfang. The colossal dracolich had greatly aided Scion during the war between the Paladins and the Necromancers, and had expressed a desire to continue serving him after the war.

“But still,” protested Kastio, “Ten camps within a day is a puissant feat; the tales did not lie, you truly are the great Scion Feurig.”

“Oh pish posh,” said Scion as he smiled at Kastio, who wore an expression of awe. “Rumors are like weeds, prone to grow uncontrollably yet bearing no fruit. I have done nothing impressive. The Truphma may have chosen their locations strategically, but the position of their camps is hideously predictable, a testament to their drab, uncreative thinking. Finding the camps and destroying them is simple. The main problem is one that we have yet to overcome. I’m sure that you are aware of it, yes?”

Kastio nodded his head in reply, “The Truphma seem to be able to rapidly replenish their ranks, to the point where they rebuild their camps in the exact same spot.”

“Correct, which is why I have contrived a most devious way to remedy that problem,” said Scion, a hint of mischief coloring his tone.

“Truly? And what might that be, Master Scion?” asked Kastio tentatively.

Scion responded with a wink, “You’ll see. Come with me.”

The two of them walked a few paces north, where they were met with a relatively large pit. The fissure had been dug by Scion an hour ago, its size approximately equivalent to that of a large pond.

“Behold!” exclaimed Scion, his arm spread out in a grandiose fashion.

Kastio adjusted his spectacles as he peered into the pit, no doubt aspiring to discern any trace of magic. After a few seconds, he concluded that there were none. This was a common, non-unique pit.

“This is the solution to our problem?” asked Kastio, failing to hide the skepticism in his voice.

Scion then proceeded to confound the lad with a look of mock horror. “Heavens no! Keep your wits about you, Kastio. I was merely pointing out that this pit is part of the spell that I will be weaving.”

“Oh, I see,” said Kastio, understanding flooding his face. “My sincerest apologies, Master Scion.”

Dear Lorithia, will he not cease his endless flow of courtesy?

“Yes, well…why don’t you repent by jumping off that cliff?”

A pause.

“Kastio, it was a joke,” said Scion when he realized that the young assistant had taken it seriously. “At any rate, I will need to fully concentrate during the spell, so I’m going to need you to defend me, just in case.”

“As you say then,” replied Kastio, relieved that he was saved from an untimely demise.

Scion turned his attention to his pit as he took a few deep breaths. A faint light gradually began to emanate from him, as an arcane glyph of shining blue flashed into existence beneath him. Like an operating surgeon, his gestures were deliberate and precise, while a stream of verses flowed from his lips.

Flow.

There was a rumbling in the earth, followed by gushing water that flooded the pit before him to the brim. Scion then knelt down, a hand upon the ground as he drew from the earth the essences of several minerals and ores, mixing it with the water. Green earth, azurite, yellow ochre, umber, titanium white, viridian, cobalt blue, cinnabar…Those would be the pigments.

Next he emptied the contents of the leather pouch Kastio had handed him: Acacia gum, made from the hardened sap of the acacia tree. That would be the binder.

Scion gently made a twirling motion with his hand, and as he did, the mixture in the pit slowly began turning as well, increasing in speed until it became a miniature maelstrom. Scion noted that though there was a plethora of pigments present, the spell had maintained the clarity of the water.

Heat.

Scion infused the mixture with a continuous stream of thermal energies, wisps of fumes trailing from the pit as the liquid gradually disappeared, undergoing an accelerated evaporation into a gossamer mist of vapor. When he ascertained that all of the mixture had evaporated, Scion willed the vapors to rise up into the air, towards the cloudless sky above.

Condense.

As the vapors continued their ascent, the air around them suddenly chilled, causing them to cool and then condense, transforming into the puffy, white masses called clouds.

“Amazing,” commented Kastio as he observed the unfolding scene in absolute captivation.

Gather.

With a grunt of effort, Scion channeled more of his magic, causing more vapors to condense. The lone cumulus, which started out as a meek little cub, rapidly grew into a lion of a cloud as it fed on the neighboring clouds. The sky, which had been a pure expanse of endless blue, was now suffused with a voluminous white conglomeration of clouds.

As Scion continued to expend the reserves of his magic, the clouds suddenly mutated; surging and billowing as it darkened in shade. Like the ominous clouds from the previous war, the dark mass overhead began expanding its territory, snuffing out any trace of blue or white. The cumulonimbus was rapidly swelling, almost saturated with vapor.

Scion decided that the time was now.

Fall.

By his command, the sky wept; though what fell from the sky were not exactly tears.

“By Lorithia!” exclaimed the young Kastio, his spectacles falling from his face. “It’s raining paint!”

The storm clouds released the pigments in a chromatic deluge, beleaguering the Truphma camps with an unstoppable volley of colorful paint. As Scion and Kastio observed, the valley of Elodean was inundated by colors, the blankness of its landscape now artistically rectified.

The valley was filled with the screams and yells of the bewildered Truphma, who ran around trying to escape from the ‘rain of death’. Despite their supposed logical thinking and calm rationale, they were powerless against the unfaltering onslaught of creativity.

Scion thought it the highest of irony, how something as innocuous and artistic as a rain of paint, something that all children would delight in, would ravage the Truphma and cause them such harm. That is proof enough that they are an unnatural, aberrant blight to Lore.

Scion and Kastio continued to watch for half an hour, as the last of the ignoble Truphma fell and color slowly returned to the valley, albeit in an exceptionally disorderly fashion. Scion was pleased with the results of his spell. The influence of the Truphma was all but extinguished, and the valley would gradually be restored. Additionally, the binder Scion inserted into the mixture would ensure that the paint would remain for a long time, preventing any Truphma to set up a base here.

“Well, Kastio,” said Scion as he stretched his limbs, “Now that we know the spell works, we have a lot of ground to cover for the next few weeks.

“Yes, Master Scion,” said Kastio, who was eager to witness the chromatic deluge once more. “Shall I prepare a portal then?”

Scion shook his head, “No need, I sent Vrael to monitor the Truphma from above earlier on. He should be arriving here soon. Ahh, there he is –”

Scion did not bother stifling his burst of laughter, as Vrael Ironfang, renowned dracolich and Terror of the Sky landed on the ground, his skeletal frame covered in pink paint.


Chapter 1: Deren


The grandeur of Deren laid before him, sprawled in luxurious elegance.

Scion sauntered through the streets, the thrill of returning to the city blossoming in his heart. His skin felt warm against the gentle rays of the sun, as a playful wind danced around him like a graceful ballerina, waltzing on the cobblestone road. The song it sang was a melodious serenade, of dancing kettles and jovial dwarves.

His face broke into a grin as he glanced above, enthralled by the sight of a herd of ovine clouds grazing in a field of calm cerulean. Below, a darker shade of blue swam through the extensive canals, which ran throughout the city, channeling bodies of water. The canals served to irrigate the surrounding wheat farms, which from a distance appeared as a blanket of spun gold. Scion had always held a fondness for the waterways, its lapping waters imbuing him with a sense of serenity.

What’s more, the city of Deren was also clad in a coat of verdure so pronounced that no other city in Lore could lay claim to sharing the same prestige. Trees of various species were carefully cultivated, dotting the city and shading its inhabitants from the occasionally garish light of the sun. From oak to alder, birch to maple, the city was flushed with trees, in spite of the harsh salt winds that blew from the sea. Under the care of a supposed elite team of gardeners and botanists, the plant life in Deren had flourished, casting a natural resplendence upon Deren.

“Isn’t Deren just enthralling, Kastio?” commented Scion as a breeze blew through his crimson hair. “The city just exudes beauty.”

The aforementioned assistant was trailing ponderously behind him, a rather large and bulky backpack strapped across his back. Kastio’s face bore the sheen of gleaming sweat that somehow veiled the exhaustion in his eyes. As he shuffled along, the clinking of his array of glass bottles drew several intrigued gazes.

During a previous conversation, Scion has politely made an inquiry of why Kastio was so insistent on carrying so many glass bottles. The young assistant had explained that before he pledged his services to Eukara Vox, he was apprenticed to Lucretia, the potions master, studying the art of potions brewing in her apothecary. Though he never became nearly as good as his former mentor, he was fond of mixing ingredients and brewing all sorts of potions.

Kastio’s rejoinder contained the vigor and strength of a wheezing old man. “Quite…quite so, Master Scion. But why…why must we fly all the way to Deren of all places…We could have…have replenished our supplies back at Battleon.”

Scion whirled around, critically regarding his junior as he waved a finger in admonishment. “Now, now Kastio, while our duties will always remain, you must also master the ancient art of enjoying life. Look around you, become a sponge and soak the beauty around you. The city of Deren has much to offer, and far be it for us to show ingratitude. Besides, we have exterminated quite a number of Truphma camps. High time we took a little vacation.”

“But the enemy is still at large!” exclaimed Kastio, finally catching his breath. He was unaccustomed to bearing such a heavy load, especially one that was almost the same size as him. “We should be on Battleonia right now; there are no Truphma camps on Deren.”

A twinkle suddenly sparked into existence in Scion’s eyes. “Funny how you’ve brought that up. I don’t suppose you or Lady Vox has any inkling as to why no Truphma has been sighted on Deren soil?”

“None I’m afraid. In light of her injuries, we have done our best to carry out her duties and have launched several investigations. Yet despite all our resources, we have yet to determine the reason behind their absence here. Maybe they are just focused on Battleonia.”

“I see,” remarked Scion, the twinkle dancing in his eyes. “Has it occurred to you that perhaps that’s exactly what they want you to think? Perhaps their forces are here, only in hiding, and they plan to use the chaos in Battleonia to draw everyone’s attention away from Deren. And when the time is right, they will emerge from their hiding and conquer the continent, right under our noses.”

Scion laughed when he saw Kastio’s eyes widen, acutely aware that he had taken it seriously. “Relax Kastio, it was but a joke. Harmless conjecture aside, I believe that King Tralin is fully aware of the situation and has taken suitable precautions.”

“Ahh I see, you have a point there,” said Kastio as his shoulders sagged in relief.

“Now, even if there are no enemies here, I still have a couple of errands to take care of, including retrieving an important object.”

“Oh? Might I ask the nature of the object of which you seek to retrieve?

“A weapon, albeit an unconventional one,” replied Scion as he smoothed out the wrinkles on his navy blue tunic. “As to what type of weapon exactly…you will just have to find out later. Follow me.”

As they made their way around a corner towards the city square, Scion recalled the last time that he had visited Deren. Not since The’Galin departed, that is certain…Countless wars and internal strife have ravaged this land, and yet Deren has endured it all, evolving into one of the most prosperous kingdoms in all of Lore. Oh how I’ve missed this place.

After dismantling dozens and dozens of Truphma camps and depriving them of their resources, Scion and Kastio rode their dracolich companion as he took flight from the Skaerling desert. Vrael had veered southeast, flying over the Great Sea and the Middle Isles, a continent sprawling with ancient trees and uncharted mountains. It was in these lands that the conniving Seekrat orchestrated his schemes, unleashing the terrors of another realm and leaving a portion of the Isles changed indefinitely.

As they traversed the Great Southern Ocean, they were met with a sizable storm that forced them to alight and find shelter on the small island of Neld. Neld was a queer place, filled with foreign plants and strange, shy creatures that kept to the shadows. The island was a mystery to Scion, and whatever Kastio knew of it was acutely limited to whatever he read in books.

The storm had persisted for two days, battering down with an unceasing barrage of rain and buffeting winds. Scion had briefly entertained the notion that perhaps the Truphma were behind the storm, a form of revenge against him. After all, the damages that the Truphma had sustained from his Chromatic Deluges were quite substantial, especially given the fact that they had yet to form a counter-strategy. Nevertheless, Scion dismissed the thought. Draining creativity was their forte, but creating storms were out of their league.

They were eager to leave the island, and as soon as the storm passed, Vrael practically leaped into the sky, flying a straight course towards Deren.

By midday, the sun had reached its peak, its rays obscured by the mass of white clouds around it. As they made their way past a string of merchants selling their wares, they were greeted by the soothing sound of flowing water.

An intricate two-tiered fountain lay before them, its variegated stonework giving it an aura of refinement. In the middle of the fountain stood a sculpture of two intertwining fishes, their scales wrought masterly. Both of their open mouths spouted a stream of pristine water which poured into the pool, creating unending ripples. At the base of the pool were coins from different countries, each carrying a silent wish.

Scion fumbled through his pockets and threw a single bronze coin into the fountain, making a wish as the coin fell in with a soft plop. “Do you know the legend behind this fountain, Kastio?”

Kastio furrowed his brow in puzzlement as he glanced at the fountain which, while beautiful, did not remind him of any fables. “Truth be told, I had not known that there even was a legend behind it.”

Scion startled the young lad with an expression of mock horror, “How could you not?! By all means allow me to recount it to you.” He then proceeded to clear his throat in the most exaggerated fashion.

“Long ago, when humans had yet to roam the land, there were the Amilani, creatures of the sea who had bred with the Elves and thus brought into existence the Water Elves. Within their underwater kingdom, it was said that there were two prominent Amilani who boasted fantastic magical powers. They were revered and celebrated, and all the praise and prestige had gone to their head.”

Scion threw another coin, this one minted from silver.

“As their powers grew, so too did their hubris, until one day they decided that they were entitled the gift of immortality. It was that day that they sealed their fates. The Amilani mages stormed the sacred temple of the Water Lord, desecrating it with the deaths of his priests and communicants. The Amilani then demanded that the Water Lord appear before them and make them immortal.”

With a flourish, Scion threw a third coin of gold, this one creating the largest ripple of all three.

“Instead of smiting them there and then, the Water Lord spoke to them and assented to their request. The Amilani were overjoyed to hear this, never stopping to think that it was a trick. With but a thought, the enraged god turned them both into stone, silencing them forever. The Lord of the Seas then decided to bestow the sculpture to the then King of Deren, who ordered it made into a fountain. For centuries now, the fountain has stood in this very spot, the Amilani having gotten their wish.”

Scion turned towards Kastio, and was surprised to see him scribbling down on a notebook, his hand furiously writing everything Scion had uttered.

“That was an interesting tale, Master Scion,” said Kastio as he finished writing, his notebook tucked away in his pocket. “Thank you for sharing it.”

“You’re welcomed, Kastio. After all of this is over, I suppose you will add that tale to Lady Vox’s library?”

Kastio nodded earnestly, “Indeed. My mistress has often reminded me to record any interesting stories or fables. She is fond of reading any creative work from around the world, and doesn’t want any of them to disappear just because nobody bothered to write them down.”

“I see. That is certainly a noble ideal. Memories may wane and fade, but the words of books and tomes will endure the test of time.”

“Very good Master Scion,” said Kastio as he wrote that down as well.

Has he been doing that all this time?! What a bother, who knows how many profanities I have uttered for the past two weeks? Maybe he will turn it into a book. The Colorful Vocabulary of Scion Feurig.

After a few minutes of respite at the fountain, Scion and Kastio continued their course, weaving through the myriad stalls that flanked the boulevard before them. The fragrant smell of freshly baked bread wafted through the air, mingling with the aroma of a boiling stew chock full of herbs and spices. The scents were so potent that they awakened a ravenous hunger in Scion, who longed to partake of the local delicacies.

Food was aplenty in the stalls of the Derenian market. Fruits of all shapes and sizes bedazzled Scion with their array of bright colors. To his right, a merchant argued with a customer over the price of a cut of deer meat, while another advertised the magical properties of her herbs. Several peddlers walked about, pushing around their carts and wheelbarrows, which were filled to the brim with clams, oysters and scallops. Several housewives were busy about their business, filling their straw baskets with eggs, cheese, ham and other such foods.

Further ahead, another group of merchants purveyed an extensive variety of cloths and fabrics, their cries augmenting the din that already surrounded the market. Tailors were seen as well, their measuring tapes perpetually in their hands as they made countless measurements. In addition to selling fabrics, some of the merchants also sold various kinds of jewels, ranging from the brightest of sapphires to the darkest of onyxes.

A group of children ran past him, their ringing laughter permeating the air and creating a convivial atmosphere. Scion’s keen eyes quickly took note of what all of them held in their hands: A short white stick with a gossamer cloud of spun sugar around it.

And thus, with implacable force, Scion dragged Kastio towards the stall that sold the wonder that was cotton candy. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that the vendor also sold a multitude of other desserts and confectioneries. Bars of sweet caramel and sticky toffees hung below the awning, while large glass bottles contained an assortment of crunchy biscuits. Chocolates of various textures were on display, beside baskets of licorice and colorful gumdrops.

What’s more, customers could also order fresh crepes, drizzled with chocolate syrup and stuffed with honeyed fruits, along with a side of puffy whipped cream. A workstation was attached perpendicularly to the stall, where a pâtissier produced all manner of pastry, his clothes covered in flour. Working with a speed and skill that came with experience, the pâtissier created a range of pastries, from dainty strawberry tarts to elaborately crafted profiterole filled with whipped cream and garnished with powdered sugar.

Adjacent to the dessert stall was another, smaller stall, which served hot drinks. As Scion approached the stall, his nostrils were immediately assaulted by a pungent wave that could only be attributed to that of coffee. The barista was a young girl with raven black hair, a few pimples marring her otherwise perfect face. Customers of the male variety frequented her stall, lingering and oftentimes buying several cups of coffee.

The barista welcomed Scion with an endearing smile, and offered him and Kastio each a free drink. Scion’s eyes widened in delight as he took a sip of his coffee, a harmonious medley of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup and a dash of cinnamon.

In front of the two stalls were several wooden chairs and tables, where patrons could sit while enjoying their desserts. A family of six were seen, the husband and wife struggling to control their rambunctious children. Seated at a smaller table was a handsome young couple, barely touching their food as they stared lovingly into each other’s eyes. At another table was a group of finely dressed women huddled close, no doubt meeting to discuss the daily gossip.

What a glorious sight...who knew heaven could be so easily found?

Scion and Kastio finally left the market as the clock struck three, having restocked their provisions and furnishing Kastio with a new set of clothes. When Kastio asked Scion why he hadn’t purchased any of the sweets, the latter calmly explained that he had bid the vendor to deliver a rather large amount of confectioneries to his estate.

“I can’t carry all of it on my person,” Scion remarked. “Else I would finish everything within the hour.”

After passing the Museum of Lorian Natural and Cultural History, they finally arrived at their destination. A round, concrete building stood before them, painted in shades of blue and orange. A metal roof crowned the building, exquisitely crafted in the shape of a polyhedron, a testament to the crafter’s superb skill. Below the roof hung a large sign, etched with the words Bernard Longsire’s Artificiary.

“What is an artificiary?” asked Kastio, his clothes now soak with sweat.

“A place where artificers work,” replied Scion.

That only served to confuse the blonde assistant even more. “My apologies, Master Scion, but what exactly is an artificer? Is it a blacksmith?”

Scion shook his head. “Crafter would be the more appropriate word, although there are certain connotations which would invalidate even my example. Basically, an artificer is someone who crafts all manner of objects and imbues them with magical properties. A prime example of such an object would be the polychromatic lantern.”

“I see, that is certainly enlightening,” said Kastio as he characteristically whipped out his notebook, a quill appearing out of nowhere.

“It certainly is. At any rate, if you’re done scribbling, let’s head in. I want us to be finished with all our errands by eventide.”

“Very well, Master Scion. I am eager to be rid of this burden as well; the sheer weight of this bag is killing me.”

Scion turned around, feigning incredulity. “Kastio! Why do you persist in tormenting yourself?”

“I...I beg pardon?”

“The rocks,” said Scion as he gesticulated meaningfully. “Do you mean to say that you have yet to remove the rocks that I had placed inside your backpack last night?”

The puzzlement on his face slowly gave way to pure shock. “Excuse me?!” The assistant promptly flung his backpack to the ground, a little army of rocks and stones rolling out of their leather barracks.

For a while, neither one of them spoke, their silence punctuated by the ramblings of a drunkard who milled about the city, asking for a golden goose.

Like a cracking whip, Kastio’s tirade was sharp and unforgiving. “Master Scion. I have a lot of respect for you but this is far too much. For the past two weeks I have had to deal with your antics and childish behavior without complaint or protest. Have you no love for propriety or consideration for others? Do you revel in exhausting the tolerance of others, toying with them with impunity? Why on Lore would you do this to me?”

Scion merely looked at him, his eyes as calm as the ocean, his voice as clear as the sky. “To teach you a lesson. Vigilance is a blade that one must consistently hone. You may not know this, but in the past two weeks alone, thrice did the Truphma attack us in the dead of night, and thrice did I dispatch them. Yet in the midst of battle, you barely stirred, content to sleep through the clangor.

You chose to join me in this dangerous mission, but how can you, when you are so oblivious to the perils around you? I do not ask you to forsake slumber, but to remain vigilant and alert. Those rocks might very well have been explosives planted by the enemy.”

In an instant, the anger that had so consumed Kastio’s being diminished and disappeared, replace with a profound sense of guilt and repentance. “I…I did not know at all…I’m…I am truly sorry, Master Scion.”

The redhead’s features softened as he approached Kastio, a hand placed upon his shoulder. “You are still alive, and that is what matters. One day, I believe you will go on your own adventures, fighting dragons and saving princesses. When that day comes, I might not be there to protect you.” Scion’s eyes bore into Kastio’s pale blue ones. “Never let your guard down. That is the best advice that I can give you now. And perhaps also to stop calling me ‘Master Scion’.”

“I understand…thank you, Ma- Thank you, Scion.”

Scion smiled as he chuckled inwardly. Since when did I become a mentor? Obsidia’s repulsive influence must be rubbing off on me.

“You’re most welcomed, Kastio. Now, what say we head inside?”

With that, the two of them stepped into the artificiary.


Chapter 2: Message at the Artificiary


Kastio’s eye twitched to a staccato rhythm as he stared at Scion.

“A pen,” said Kastio simply.

“Yes, a pen.”

“That’s what you wanted all along. A pen.”

“Yes, a pen. Is this conversation going anywhere?”

“I just want to be absolutely certain.” Kastio cleared his throat of his growing frustration. “We flew all the way from Battleonia, weathered a harrowing storm, just for a pen.”

“Ahh,” said Scion, his eyes winking with mischief. “There is also the matter of what’s hidden inside the pen.”

“Oh really?

Scion nodded in affirmation.

“So what does the pen contain?”

“Ink.”

As Kastio went to mend whatever was left of his sanity, Scion continued to examine his new possession: A black fountain pen, crafted from chromium. He ran a finger down the length of the pen, admiring the engraved embellishments, which depicted a scene in a forest. The tip of the pen, called the nib, gleamed under the lamp light, its golden point dipped in a special metal known as iridium, which conferred strength and resistance to corrosion. As Scion twirled the pen in his fingers, he couldn’t help but feel at awe at the superb craftsmanship; exquisite and refined, it was a true gentleman’s instrument.

Displayed around him were a multitude of other objects and tools of an extensive variety. Lamps and lanterns of various designs were hung on iron hooks, radiating a spectrum of different colors. One moment they were a sullen red, and then the other they took on a greenish hue; some shone with the vigor of the sun, while others emitted a soft, soothing luminescence.

A large shop window had been built in the front façade of the shop, displaying peculiar mannequins that were engaged in different poses. Made from enchanted wood, the mannequins could take on a person’s appearance and even their clothes, essentially becoming a sculpture of him or her. These were particularly expensive, given the complex runes and mechanisms that they were composed of.

Standing on the ground was a group of clay garden gnomes, an array of jolly expressions carved into their faces. While ordinary garden gnomes served as adorable decorations, these enchanted gnomes were professed to be able to clear weeds, water plants and other such chores, much to the delight of gardeners both amateur and professional.

The most ubiquitous of the objects was the renowned ‘Whimsy Dome’, which was essentially a glass sphere, situated upon an ornate base. Looking closely, one would see that each globe enclosed a miniature scene, be it a frontier village or an aristocrat’s manor. The Whimsy Dome’s most unique feature was its ability to shift the environment within, changing seasons and switching backgrounds. Scion was particularly fond of these.

A man with dark brown locks approached him from behind a counter, its wooden surface glossy and smooth as his hands were rough and worn. His lips curled into a smile as he noted Scion’s admiration of his work, which had taken him a moon’s turn to complete. “I take it that the pen is to your satisfaction?”

Scion glanced at the man, responding to his smile with one of his own. Bernard Longsire was very much different from his brother. While Barrett, the elder brother, towered over people with his stocky build and rippling muscles, the younger sibling was short and slender, his face comely and his smiles ever charming. Even their personalities were polar opposites. With Bernard, you could always expect soft words and polite conversations; Barrett on the other hand would spend most of the time guffawing and slapping you on the back. For all their differences though, the two brothers shared a passion for crafting. While one was a blacksmith in the lands of Darkovia, the other settled in Deren, honing his skills as an artificer.

“Indeed, the sheer amount of detail you put into the engravings alone is staggering. I must say, you’ve outdone yourself this time, Bernard.”

The artificer chuckled softly as he pushed a brown lock of hair aside, “You flatter me, Scion, but I don’t think this was my most detailed work. There was one time when a duke came to me and commissioned me to make him a scepter that could tell the time as well as the weather. He demanded that it be as intricate and as elaborate as possible, and then gave me a twelve day deadline.”

“Really? I don’t suppose that it was meant as a gift for someone?”

Bernard nodded at him knowingly. “You are as astute as ever. I never heard it from his lips, but I soon found out that he had given the scepter to the King as a sign of goodwill. No doubt also to curry His Majesty’s favor.”

“Such is the game of politics,” remarked Scion as he leaned against the counter. “Have you ever seen the King holding your scepter then?”

With a wistful smile, Bernard shook his head slowly. “Would that I had. I’m not surprised though; the King does not strike me as ostentatious.”

“That is true...Whatever happened to your scepter then?” There was a soft chime, and a sideways glance told Scion that two potential customers had entered the shop: two young girls who had the trappings of nobility.

Bernard shrugged in a fluid fashion that only he was capable of. “Only the gods know, but in any case it hardly matters to me. So long as my creations do not fall into the wrong hands and cause misfortune to the innocent, I am content.”

Scion gave the artificer a wry look. “Just how much did you extract from the duke?”

Bernard responded with an uncharacteristic wink. “Just enough to make him learn the ways of humility.”

Scion rolled his eyes, turning sideways to see where his exasperated companion was lurking. As he suspected, Kastio was analyzing a rectangular device of a soft, grey hue. Scion recognized the device as a crystal tome, an ingenious contraption that could somehow ‘store’ the writings from multiple books. At the user’s will, the device would produce the writings of a particular book on a glass display. As such, the crystal tome was a favorite among book lovers.

“Kastio, if you’re done surveying the merchandise, how about I demonstrate to you how the pen really works?”

The assistant turned around and appraised Scion, his face a rigid mask of doubt and wariness as he slowly moved towards the counter.

“I pray that this isn’t one of your jokes, Scion,” said Kastio, his eyes narrowing into thin slits.

Scion held a hand to his chest in mock bewilderment. “Why Kastio, whatever have I done to warrant such hostility? Must you always repay my kindness with skepticism?”

“Scion,” chided Bernard, “must you always plague your companions with your dry wit and raillery? I had thought you better than that.”

“Fine, fine,” the redhead conceded, “I will cease my quips. For now.” He then turned his attention back to Kastio. “In regards to your question, no, this is not a joke. I seem to recall telling you that I came here for a weapon, and I did stay true to my word. This pen is a weapon, and a deadly one at that. Watch.”

From his breast pocket, Scion drew a piece of white fabric and showed it to Kastio. “This was part of the shirt that one of the Truphma wore.”

With a ‘pop’, Scion uncapped the fountain pen, thereafter flourishing it in front of Kastio. There was subtle, almost unnoticeable shimmering in the air, and as Kastio peered closely, he noticed the presence of…threads, that seemed to pulsate with a soft, sapphire shine. Affecting professional showmanship, Scion swung his hand out in a sweeping motion, holding the piece of fabric in front of him. Then, he let go of the fabric, allowing it to fall towards the ground, as gentle as a feather.

There was a sudden vibration, followed immediately by an explosion of sound as the piece of fabric ignited in a burst of blue light, transforming into a haze of ashes. The entire explosion happened so quickly that it took Kastio several moments to register exactly what had transpired.

“That was astounding,” commented Kastio, his voice dashed with genuine surprise. “But how is that possible? Is the pen some kind of wand?”

“Not exactly,” responded Bernard in his mellow tenor.“Allow me to explain. You see, the nib is enchanted so that when the pen is used to draw something in the air, such as a line, a phantom thread is produced, distinguished by its subtle blue glow. Anything that comes into contact with the thread triggers an explosion, as you have just observed.”

“But isn’t that dangerous?” inquired Kastio, “what if a civilian unknowingly walked towards the phantom thread?”

As if expecting the question, Scion grinned as he offered an explanation. “Ordinarily yes, but there is also the matter of the ink. Whenever I flourish the pen, a small amount of ink is ejected from the barrel. The ink is a concoction that renders the phantom lines effective only against the Truphma and anything related to them. So if I were to pass my hand through a phantom thread, no explosion is triggered.”

Slowly but surely, Kastio’s face lighted up as understanding dawned upon him. “I see, so essentially the pen and its function work only against the Truphma?”

“Exactly.”

“Even so, would it not be a dangerous weapon against anyone else? A person could merely remove the ink cartridge and use the pen against anybody.”

Scion made way as the two girls suddenly walked towards the counter, each carrying a Whimsy Dome in their hands. Bernard immediately assumed a polite smile that he reserved for most of his customers, flashing his perfect white teeth. Opening her purse, one of the girls counted the coins several times before making the payment. Scion keenly noticed that all the while, her gaze never left the artificer, barely masking her infatuation for him. Scion mused that this wasn’t the first Whimsy Dome that she had purchased.

With the soft chiming signaling their departure, Bernard exchanged his smile with a grin as he regarded Scion. “You have found yourself a very shrewd friend, Scion, I approve.” The artificer then turned his head to address Kastio. “You propose a valid point. The pen can indeed turn into a murderous weapon, which is why I have entrusted it to none other than the great Scion Feurig here. If anyone can resist the urge to use the pen for any wrongdoing, it’s him.”

The blonde assistant looked at Bernard with a meaningful look, adjusting his silver-rimmed spectacles as he did. “With all due respect, I fail to see the wisdom in that decision.”

That particular quip elicited a hearty laugh from the artificer, who held his hands across his abdomen, while Scion’s face crinkled into a peevish expression.

“Oh stop laughing, I don’t see how that was very funny.” Evidently, Scion was unaccustomed to role reversals and becoming the subject of a joke.

“Oh but it is,” Bernard remarked in between laughs. “Cheer up Scion, it does one good to laugh at oneself every once in a while.”

Scion glared at the artificer. “Something I’m sure that you’re all too familiar with.”

Ignoring the redhead’s witty jab, Bernard again addressed Kastio, his laughing fit having died down. “All jokes aside, what do you think of the pen, Kastio?”

Shifting his weight, Kastio briefly wondered how best to answer the question. “I think that it’s an ingenious device, and your craftsmanship is undeniable.” He then directed his gaze at Scion. “Though I am a little confused. Of all the weapons you could have had crafted, why a pen? It doesn’t really strike me as a weapon, barring its unique ability.”

Scion then flashed him one of his signature smirks. “Then you obviously have never met Elizabeth and her merry band of ninjas. Almost anything can be made into a weapon; it just takes a little creativity and imagination. And besides, what better way to fight the Truphma than with an enchanted –”

A gentle tug from behind cut his sentence short. Scion turned around and was surprised to see a young boy, probably no older than ten years. He had a head of ruffled brown hair, and a pair of slender arms that were hidden within his ash grey cloak. Though he was garbed in simple, rustic clothes, a pendant holding a bright amethyst hung below his neck.

“Umm…are you Mr. Scion Feurig?” the lad asked in a timorous voice, his hazel eyes filled with uncertainty.

Scion promptly bent down on one knee as he gave the boy a reassuring smile. “Yes I am, and who might you be little one?”

The timid boy averted Scion’s gaze, obviously intimidated by him. “I’m Jarl. Jarl Willows.”

“Well hello then Jarl, what brings you here?”

Jarl briefly fumbled through his pockets, producing a scroll with a wax seal that was devoid of any emblem or crest. “A strange man asked me to give this to you.”

Though he was confused, Scion accepted the scroll. “Thank you then, Jarl. Let me compensate for your trouble with a shiny gold coin, go treat yourself to some ice cream.”

Muttering his thanks, Jarl proceeded to speed out of the door, no doubt questing for the nearest ice cream stall.

“Well that was a bit strange,” said Bernard, who had been busy attending to a customer himself. “Don’t keep us waiting now, open it and read it to us.”

“Yes, yes, no need to be impatient.” Scion removed the empty seal and unfurled the scroll, eager to see what message it contained. The message was a short one, but the very nature of it sent a ghostly chill running down his spine.

“Well? What does it say?”

Instead of saying it aloud, Scion merely passed the scroll to the artificer, who took out a pair of spectacles to peruse it. The normally calm and easygoing expression that had so long adorned his face suddenly melted away, giving way to one of horror and shock.

Scion Feurig, no longer shall we abide your transgressions against the Truphma. In the name of Xov, we will hunt you down, and we will kill you.


Chapter 3: The Hunt


“Where exactly are you going?” asked Kastio as he raced along Scion, who hummed a cheery tune to distract himself from the fury that tore through his mind. He moved northwards from the artificiary, taking a road that was lined with all sorts of street performers plying their individual crafts.

“Hunting for the Truphma, of course,” replied Scion matter-of-factly.

“The Truphma?!” exclaimed Kastio, his voice reaching an unnaturally high pitch. “How do you know they’re nearby? They could very well be leagues away from the city.”

Twilight was rapidly approaching, bringing with it a vibrant cascade of colors that splashed across the sunlit sky. Crowds of people emerged from buildings, no doubt eager to return to their families after a hard day of work. Scion looked at each of them in turn, his piercing eyes burning with his determination to hunt down his foes, as well as the anger that raged within those emerald pools. He could feel the tide of ire that flooded the very fabric of his being, threatening to burst out through the seams.

“Are you….all right, Scion?”

Realizing that his expression must have changed, Scion reassured the young assistant with a wave and a grin. “Very much so, Kastio. I’m merely a tad bit livid that the Truphma have become so audacious that they condescend to send children to do their dirty work.”

Kastio rubbed his chin meaningfully as he finally managed to keep up with Scion, his paraphernalia of glass bottles creating quite the clangor. “I would venture to say that they don’t possess the mental capacity for basic ethics and morality as you and I do. They aren’t exactly human, as you know.”

Scion gestured in assent, taking a shortcut through an alleyway. “In regards to your previous question, you’re right, they could very well have left the city. I’m acting on the hunch that they haven’t, that they wanted to personally make sure I received the message.” His thoughts turned to the amethyst pendant Jarl wore, which he deduced was an amulet that magically allowed the Truphma to observe them all. No wonder I felt a faint magical signal when he entered the shop. The Truphma seem to not want for cunning and guile.

“I see,” said Kastio. “Why do you think it was so important for you to receive the message?”

Scion shrugged as he began moving a little quicker. “Scare tactics maybe? Prior to just now we thought that Deren was free from the Truphma, and perhaps choosing to reveal their presence, rather than waiting to be discovered, was their way of intimidating us. Or at least their attempt to.

Kastio nodded, understanding slowly surfacing upon his countenance. “So now we’re going to pursue them ourselves?”

“Exactly,” answered Scion with a smile.

“Then do you have any idea where they are?”

Scion abruptly stopped in his tracks outside a bakery, prompting Kastio to follow suit. He turned around slightly, regarding the blonde lad with a mask of calm composure, tempered by the mischievous glint of light that danced in his eyes.

“No,” said Scion flatly.

“No?”

“No.”

“No?!”

“No, and before we doom ourselves to this eternal cycle of repetition…While I don’t know where they are, all this walking has inspired me to devise a way to find them. Do you still have the scroll on you?”

“No, I mean yes!” Kastio ruffled through his pockets, no doubt digging through the quills and scraps of paper. Without ceremony, he produced the aforementioned scroll and promptly handed it to the redhead, who took it with a flourish.

Though it was of substantial risk, Scion decided to take a gamble and cast a tracking spell, one that required a relevant object to act as a link, allowing the caster to pinpoint the target’s exact location within a specific radius. Scion closed his eyes, muttering each verse with careful precision, his hand clutching the Truphma’s death notice. As he continued weaving the spell, he steadied himself against a nearby wall. There was a sudden explosion of pain as he felt a surging wave of emotions slamming into his mind. He mumbled a curse. The spell functioned by expanding the caster’s mind and allowing him to telepathically locate the target, but to do so, the spell had to scour through any and every other mind that was nearby. Thus Scion had to contend with the collective consciousness of hundreds of minds slamming into his own.

He gritted his teeth, sweat trickling down his brow as he considered ending the spell before it killed him. In a desperate attempt, Scion expended a large portion of his mana to create a mental barrier to shield his mind from the onslaught of thoughts and emotions. Relief poured over him like rain on a hot summer’s day as he wiped the sweat away. Incanting an extra stanza, Scion drew more aggressively from his reserves of mana as he redoubled his efforts. Though he could not be certain, he knew he was getting closer, and his heart couldn’t help but beat faster.

Yet even as he thought he was about to glean the Truphma’s exact position, something seemed to hinder his efforts – a blockade of sorts, preventing him from viewing the location. Though he knew he could very well break through the blockade, Scion couldn’t afford to compromise his concentration, which was already preoccupied with maintaining the spell and the mental barrier. Instead, he modified the spell so that the magic would create a trail leading to the Truphma’s approximate location. Better that than nothing at all.

As he opened his eyes, Scion could perceive a shimmering lavender trail racing in front of him, weaving through the streets like a giant, slithering serpent. It passed through objects and people alike, without rousing anyone’s attention; only Scion himself saw the trail.

“Right,” said Scion as he adjusted his cloak about him. “Follow me and try to keep up. And for goodness’ sake keep it quiet, we want to have the element of surprise, not the element of noisy bottles.”

Ignoring the peevish look he got from Kastio, Scion swiftly strode along the magical trail, vaulting over any crates and carts that barred his way. As he ducked under a shop sign, he couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was terribly amiss. Whatever the Truphma proved to be, they certainly were not reputed to be spellweavers. However they created the scrying amulet or disrupt his spell, Scion suspected that they did not do so alone.

As they ran around a bend, Scion narrowly evaded an enormous marble orb that rolled down the street, while Kastio practically flung himself aside as he gave a yelp of shock. As Scion went to help Kastio up, he saw with surprise that the giant orb was being pushed by a rather muscular dwarf, whose constant grunts reflected the strain that he was under. The orb itself was a galaxy of swirling whites and black, crafted with the utmost of care and unsurprisingly worth a fortune. Scion’s shoulders sagged as he sighed; he knew without a doubt that the dwarf was delivering the orb to one of the various nobles, who would rather spend his riches on petty decorations than putting them into a worthy cause. While the poor and downtrodden struggled to live through the day, the aristocrats showered themselves in extravagance and debauchery.

Nevertheless, he had no time to worry of such matters now. Now was the time to hunt.

Twilight swiftly gave way to dusk, and along the sable horizon, scintillating stars peeked from their hiding spots, eager to roam the night sky in pursuit of all manner of mischief. Scion and Kastio hurried along the labyrinthine trail, their quick footsteps kicking dust into the air.

Eventually, the spell led them to an alleyway, where two stray cats were engaged in a nocturnal duel, before scurrying along at the sight of the two young men, climbing up the walls and disappearing into the night. Scion shivered; though he held no vendetta against the feline creatures, a childhood experience had left him permanently cautious of them.

Scion moved past a clump of garbage and frowned at the stark grey wall that stood before him. A dead end?

A hissing whistle of sound tore through the night as a silver bolt ripped through the flesh on Scion’s arm. A curtain of blood spewed forth from the wound, splattering the wall in macabre crimson as
Scion howled in pain. Beside him, Kastio stood frozen on the spot, his mouth agape in shock. Scion could feel his muscles tighten as rage poured across his being, overwhelming any other emotion. He whirled around, hand outstretched as he readied to incinerate whoever dared loose a bolt on him. The fury within honed his thoughts into a single focus, a single directive, a single blade that negated the need for words; His intent alone was enough to unleash unspeakable horrors on all.

In the darkening light, two figures stood before them, their faces obscured by the shadows. One was garbed in a brown robe of austere design, his feet firmly pressed against each other in a rigid stance. Worn gloves of greyish-black hid his hands, which seemed to be engaged in an endless fit of fidgeting. Despite his subtle efforts, Scion managed to discern the palpable air of magic that gently ebbed from his being, marking him as a wizard. So that’s what happened, he must have shielded their exact location from my spell. Devious.

Standing a few paces in front of the wizard was no man, but a caricature of one. Dressed in naught but ashen white, the Truphma leveled his gaze with Scion, an ivory crossbow in his hand. He walked two steps towards them, his movements slow and deliberate. Lamplight shone on his face, revealing the razor-thin smile that every one of his kind wore at all times, a mirthless grin that evoked horror and dread. Slung over his shoulder was a young boy, eyes closed in unconsciousness, an amethyst pendant dangling down his neck.

Jarl!

All the fire that burned inside him was abruptly snuffed out, replaced by a growing panic over Jarl’s safety. He remembered just how cruel the Truphma were, and what fate they had for every and any children that they managed to capture.

“Ahh…I see that even the great hero bleeds,” said the Truphma in a strangely hollow voice, devoid of any inflection or emotion. “I knew you would come hunting us the moment you saw the message, but alas, it would seem as though the hunter has now become the prey.”

Scion glared defiantly at the Truphma, ignoring the blood trickling down his arm. Though he was loathe to do so, he had to give his foe credit; though it would have been much easier for him to shoot to the left, the Truphma had deliberately fired at Scion’s right shoulder, rendering him almost incapable of using his weapon. “What have you done with Jarl?”

The Truphma tilted his head, glancing at the Derenian child sideways, as if he were nothing but a sack of potatoes. “This one? Nothing at all, I simply asked my friend here to put him under a sleeping spell. Makes it much easier to carry him around. At least, for the time being.” The Truphma’s ghostly smile seemed to grow even more sinister.

“You monster!” snarled Kastio suddenly as he pointed at the Truphma, his voice laced with an uncharacteristic venom. “How could you? He’s but a child! Why must you involve him in all this?”

The Truphma remained silent for a while, his eerie gaze affixed on Kastio as he studied the blonde assistant. “Such gusto coming from Vox’s little servant. I am surprised that you would accuse me of being a monster. You of all people should understand that we are not, seeing as you have been spying on my people for ever so long.” Though his expression stayed placid, Scion could detect a faint flow of reproach emanating from the Truphma.

Kastio shook his head, though in regret or in derision Scion could not tell. “What I understand about your kind is that you are all cruel and insidious creatures who have plagued Lore for far too long. You have hurt my mistress, you have hurt my friends, you have hurt every decent soul that had the misfortune of standing in your path. I despise you.”

The Truphma chuckled, a sound reminiscent of a banshee’s dying wail. “Your hatred is exquisite, Kastio. Reminds me of my own loathing for your children.” His lips slightly twisted, as if repulsed by the word itself. “Ignorant, meddlesome brats with their blasphemous creativity. They are the true monsters, they are the –”

“Heed my words, Truphma,” interjected Scion. “I swear on the Galin himself, if you so even harm a single strand of hair on that boy’s head, I will rend you apart –”

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said the Truphma, a hint of impatience creeping into his voice. “If you were to act rashly, my friends here would not appreciate it.” He gestured to the top of the walls, where six Truphmas, three on each wall, stood with loaded crossbows trained on both Scion and Kastio. “And even if you somehow overcome my crossbowman, which is unlikely considering your injury, there is still my wizardly friend whom you will have to contend with.”

Scion licked his chapped lips as the weight of their predicament sunk in. Fool! How could you let them so easily outmaneuvered you? Since when did the Truphma become so cunning anyways? Gah! If only Jarl wasn’t part of the equation, then I could simply smite the bloody lot of them! I just have to think of a way out of this…let’s see….perhaps that might work. It will have to.”

Noticing that his cloak of Eternal Twilight was soaked with blood, Scion removed it from his shoulder and flung it to Kastio. “Would you be so kind as to fold this? I don’t want the weight of my blood weighing me down, seeing as there’s already a gaping hole in my shoulder.”

Kastio held the bloodied cloak in his hands, sporting a look of confusion and mild irritation, as if questioning why the redhead thought it was a good idea to have him fold his clothes at that moment. Nevertheless, he complied willingly, fingers moving deftly as he handled the cloak of shadows.

Scion muttered a few words, initiating a minor healing spell on his shoulder. He cocked his head, now focusing his attention on the wizard. “You there, why are you a cohort of these vile creatures? Have they somehow bewitched you?”

The wizard stirred, stepping into the light which revealed his features. He stared at Scion blankly, his cold hard eyes tinged with grey, which complimented his head of salt and pepper hair. “What I am is of my own volition. I choose to join the Truphma, simply because we share the same ideals.”

“Share the same ideals?” scoffed Scion with just a hint of incredulity. “Are you even aware what the Truphma seek to do? They intend to wipe out all traces of creativity, to fill the world with naught but stark monotony and tedium. They will spare no one, not even an innocent child. Are you really going to allow that to happen?”

The wizard waved a hand, dismissing Scion’s words as nonsense. “Your words evince your ignorance. There are always casualties in war, and the Truphma pursue a much higher goal than what you presume. They seek to create a world of order and balance, one that is not disrupted by the wildness of creativity. Look around you, countless disasters have arose from failed experiments that mages perform. Their creativity has led them to take risks and undertake dangerous projects. Imagine if that were not so, if the world was governed by an absolute system, if everything followed order. That is why I have joined the ranks of the Truphma, to build a glorious new world.”

The redhead frowned as he folded his arms, letting the wizard’s words to sink in. What troubled him were not the words per se, but that the wizard very much believed what he said, and that he would not stop until his goal was achieved. How could a human even consider aiding the Truphma? Scion briefly wondered what Eukara Vox would think of it if she knew. This is madness! As if we didn’t have enough trouble with them, now they have a wizard on their side. Scion decided there and then that this man would have to die.

“So,” said Scion as he turned to addressed the Truphma. “Both Kastio and I are still alive, so I have to assume that you still want something from us. What is it?”

The Truphma chuckled once more, this time a sound reminding Scion of fingernails scraping across a blackboard. “Very astute, Scion. Rather than shedding blood, we decided to strike a deal with you.”

Scion shifted his weight, shooting the Truphma a wary look. “Go on then.”

“Once we realized that you came to Deren, we knew it was only a matter of time before you found us. Since asking you to join us is out of the question, unlike my friend Adelbrand here, I ask that you keep our presence here a secret from the Derenian Royale. In exchange, we’ll let you keep your lives, and Jarl Williams gets to see another sunrise.”

Scion stared at the Truphma, not sure whether to be enraged or amused. Clearly they were oblivious to the fact that he almost never agreed to deals proposed by the enemy, especially by one whose entire race earned the animosity of almost all Lorians. He calmly reached for the fountain pen in his pocket. With ceremonious fashion, he removed the cap, much to the confusion of everyone present. Scion gave a quick flourish, and all of a sudden there was a rush of swirling lights that engulfed the pen as it instantly transformed into an ornate spear, its golden tip gleaming under the moonlight.

Even without looking, Scion could feel the crossbow-wielding Truphmas stiffen as they prepared to fire at him, fingers inches away from the trigger. In front of him, Adelbrand the wizard did not stir, choosing to quietly observe the unfolding scene, while the Truphma’s lips curled into a frown, his arm growing rigid as he wondered whether or not to draw his own weapon.

Scion stepped forward, pointing his weapon at the Truphma. “You presume too much if you think that I would obey commands from the likes of you.”

“Are you so foolish that you would think that you have a choice? I have the leverage here –”

“What leverage?”

The Truphma’s stoic countenance abruptly mutated to one of horror as he saw Jarl disappear right before his very eyes, a cloak of shadow enveloping the young boy as it spirited him away. Without wasting time, Scion jerked his spear upwards, releasing a beam of azure light that shot up into the sky, bursting in brilliant flash. Immediately after, the air above Adelbrand and the Truphma was ripped apart as a magical fissure appeared, eddies of sand spreading from the portal as it howled like a miniature sandstorm. There was a slight tremor, followed by the portal disgorging a giant marble orb that sped towards the ground like a comet, crashing down on the redhead’s adversaries in a violent maelstrom of brick and stone.

No sooner had the giant projectile suddenly appear than the Truphmas up on the walls loosed their crossbows, the sound of snapping springs filling the air as a barrage of bolts flew right towards the redhead. Having anticipated such an outcome, Scion made a swift gesture as he released a portion of his mana, halting the bolts in their trajectory as they hovered in the air, mere inches away from his face. With but a flick of a wrist, Scion willed the bolts back to the Truphmas. Thud.Thud.Thud. In almost an instant, every single one of the Truphmas fell to the ground below as the bolts pierced through their chests.

Yet even as Scion thought that the danger had passed, he was abruptly assailed by an unrelenting mental attack that slammed into his mind, causing him to double over in pain. What on Lore?

As he looked up, he saw the bruised and somewhat bloody face of Adelbrand the wizard, his expression contorted in pain and fury as he renewed his telepathic assault. Scion hastily raised a mental barrier, blocking the brunt of his attack. How in blazes did the Truphma get a telepath? Like the crashing ocean waves, Adelbrand’s attacks came in spades, each like a mailed fist pounding on Scion’s mind. He gritted his teeth and closed his eyes as the pain worsened, putting his hands on his temples to maintain his focus. The world around them suddenly melted away in a blur of irrelevance; nothing else mattered to Scion at that moment save defending against this powerful telepath. An excruciating eternity seemed to have passed when only a few minutes lapsed by.

“Unpleasant, isn’t it?” mocked Adelbrand, who now appeared to be utterly at ease, no physical sign suggesting that he was struggling at all. With a malicious grin, he sent a mental Morningstar hurdling towards the already hard-pressed redhead, causing him to stagger with a cry of pain. “I must say I am quite impressed,” remarked the wizard as he stepped closer towards Scion, who felt a hot jab with every step that he took. “I have crushed the minds of countless mages, and none have put up such an obstinate resistance as you are doing now. A pity that I will have to end your life; you pose far too great a threat to the Truphma.”

For the first time in almost ages, Scion felt a rising sense of terror. Never had he faced a telepath in combat, let alone someone of such high caliber as Adelbrand, and whatever he was doing now was purely instinctual, a desperate attempt to protect his mind. Slowly but ever surely, he felt a crushing pressure enveloping his defenses, as if the hand of the Rock Lord was coming down on him. To his utter dismay, no matter how hard he endeavored to rebuild the walls around his mind, they were like butter before a hot knife. He felt his entire body shaking in fear, sweat pouring forth like a flood as blood flowed freely from his wound. Though his entire being fought and raged against the danger before him, deep down, Scion knew that sooner or later, his shields would crack and fail, and his mind would succumb to the cold embrace of death.

There was a moment of silence, followed by the sound of a sharp object burying itself in flesh, a gruesome twist and a gasp of surprise, and then all was still. Scion opened his eyes as he felt the pain vanish from the realm of his mind, in its place a confusion as to what had happened. He stood up with a grunt, his eyes widening in genuine disbelief as he saw what was before him.

Adelbrand laid face down on the ground, a pool of maroon blood spouting from the knife wound on his back. Though he remained motionless, his hand still shook in spasms, giving off an eerie sight. Without a second glance, Scion knew that he was dead. Towering over the telepath’s corpse was a blonde lad, who appeared even younger than he usually was. Specks of blood marred his new clothes, while crimson rivulets trickled down his hands. The very same hands with which he held a rusty knife with an iron grip. The very same hands with which he killed Adelbrand.

Kastio’s face was of a sickly pallor, as if a vampire had drained him of all his blood. Trapped in the grip of fear, Kastio’s body shook violently as his chest continuously heaved, his breaths slow and shallow. A few seconds passed by before he dropped the knife, its ugly blade clinking on the pavement. Then, as if realizing the full extent of his actions, the young assistant who had spent his entire life surrounded by books instead of blood, began to sob uncontrollably, salty tears gushing forth from his azure eyes as he futilely tried to wipe them away.

Oh Kastio…Without hesitation, Scion closed the distance between them in a few strides and wrapped the younger male in his arms. And to think I lectured him this morning, when he just saved my life. Kastio’s sobs grew louder, but the redhead scarcely minded as he rubbed a hand down Kastio’s back, comforting him with soothing words. He knew all too well the sudden surge of emotion one experiences after the first kill, and how many were simply incapable of dealing with it alone. It was never a matter of choice of whether one remained calm or not. Kastio held on tighter as he buried his face in Scion’s chest in an attempt to muffle the sound of his sobbing. “It’s okay Kastio,” cooed Scion. “Everything’s fine now, you did nothing wrong.”

Scion briefly glanced at a corner of the alley, making sure that the unconscious Jarl was still there, enshrouded in the Eternal Twilight. His plan had, for the most part, gone well. Kastio managed to read the instructions on the cloak when he passed it to him, written in his own blood, and his cloak’s secondary ability worked like a charm, spiriting Jarl out of harm’s way. Though if truth be told, when he asked Kastio to prepare to drop something heavy on the Truphma, he hadn’t expected the marble orb. The only real problem was, of course, the telepath.

After a while, the sobbing gradually stopped, and Kastio stepped back, his eyes rimmed with red as he wiped away the remaining tears. “I’m sorry for just now,” said Kastio, choking on the words.

Scion slowly shook his head, putting a hand on his friend's shoulder. “You have hardly any reason to be sorry, Kastio. You performed excellently just now, not to mention you stopped that vile telepath from churning my brain into butter.”

Kastio managed a weak laugh as he gave Scion an appreciative look. He glanced around the surrounding, eyes lingering on Jarl. “So what are we going to do now?”

The readhead turned around and went to pick up the little boy, who weighed no more than…a sack of potatoes. Rolling his eyes at his own dry wit, he walked back towards Kastio, who was visibly trying to compose himself. “We are going back to my estate, where the servants will take care of Jarl here and where you will rest immediately. No ifs, buts or any other outrageous conjunctions.”

The assistant merely nodded, too tired to even argue. “What of the Truphma then?”

Scion groaned as he looked around at the piles of corpses. “I think we’ve done enough for tonight. Let’s leave the garbage disposal to someone more qualified. In regards to the presence of the Truphma…I’ll have my butler draft a letter to the King. No doubt he will have some idea on how to properly approach this problem. In the meantime, I need a long and quiet bubble bath.”

With Jarl safely in his arms, Scion led Kastio back to his estate. As they shuffled away weary, wounded but very much alive, Scion couldn’t help but wonder if there were others like Adelbrand who willingly joined the Truphma. Whatever the case, Scion made a silent vow to hunt them down and to put an end to their schemes.

But first, a bubble bath.


< Message edited by Trainz_07 -- 5/12/2013 10:25:28 >
AQ  Post #: 8
2/25/2013 15:40:56   
Darquess
Member

Introduction.

Ahem. To all of you enlightened people of the AQ universe, hello!
If you are unfamiliar with the many (and somewhat varied) adventures of Lord Dyson and Commander Grey, please follow the link to the duo's first encounter in the Necromancer and Padlin war.

http://forums2.battleon.com/f/tm.asp?m=21070799

Go about half way down the first page to read their exploits.

To everyone else, enjoy the (atmitably small) story from me.


The Trumpha Tale


Chapter One
Well, it just gets better...

The swell from the river cooled the burning thighs of Dyson. He sighed, the brief respite brought on by the Mana Avatar had given them time to escape the sight of the scouts.
Grey was behind him, trying to avoid directly looking into the piercing golden eyes of the Griffon who had borne them away from the perils of his former companions.

Dyson reflected on the aftermath of the war. The necromancers had gone underground. Scion and Zorback had vanished, and Obsidia had not been seen since her escape from Artix. He sighed at the foolishness of the padlin once again, then brought his mind back to the current moment.
There was a breeze in the trees adorning the river. His ears pricked as he heard the mumblings of foul language, mis-used grammar and insane laughter that meant only one thing.

Well, two things if you counted that (literaly) Go- awful play by that sicotict director.

Lord Dyson Yasden edged forwards, and peered over the low bank of sand and grass.

It was a Trumpha camp. A massive one.
He swore under his breath. This was going to delay them somewhat.
Normaly, he would stride in, smash the skull of the leader, devour the souls of the rest then tear the camp in two with the shadows.

Now however...

Commander Grey looked at the still figure of Dyson mumbling to himself whilst lying low on a sand bank. He turned away shaking his head. The man had gone a bit mad since losing his two great powers, that of Darkness and Light.
He turned back again to see Dyson prodding the earth, sending sparks of energy through it. Before the ex-commander could start forwards, the ground cracked. The cracks shot down towards the valley of tents.
Grey came up to Dyson, "What the hell are you doing?" he asked.
Dyson motioned for him to remain quite, by punching him in the stomach.
He then turned his attention back to the cracks.

The earth rumbled and split, sending tents and creatures, food and weapons, into a dark, deep ravine.
Then Dyson straightened up.
The ravine closed, trapping the screams of the crushed bodies within.

"What are they doing in such large numbers?" he asked Grey.
The commander shifted his weight onto his other enlarged foot, "Its not really our problem. We have to leave this continent, at least for a while." he stated.
"Im so glad that the padlin's so called responsibility for protecting others evapourated as soon as you used that excuse to slaughter my kind." Dyson replied tersly.
The commander hung his head, "You know even Artix regrets that now."
"Yes, because his powers are gone, I wonder?" Dyson shot back.

They moved away from the massacre, downstream. The griffon followed, her eyes watching Dyson with a motherly expression in them.
She screeched as the supply group from the camp emerged from the tree's, anger welling in their faces, claws ready to tear apart their brothers and sisters murderers.

Dyson caught the air in his palm, felt how it connected to the wind and everything else through its subtleties.
He took it in his grasp and splayed the air into the attackers.
Grey smacked his axe pommel into the eye of a monster, knocked him to the ground before slashing him across the chest.

The attackers run away and Dyson denies Grey the oppertunity of pursuit by clambering onto the Griffion and waiting for Grey to climb on behind.
With a sigh, the padlin got onto the beast and she pulled away into the sky.

End of Chapter One



Chapter Two
Spies in the mist

They met at Twilight.
In the mansion of Dyson, they plotted their neferious scemes against Lore.
Their necromancer powers had faded away from them, but they temselves were all the more powerful now the padlins had been removed as a threat.
The cloaked figure at the end of the table inclined his head to the disturbed door.
"Thankyou for joining us. We relise you are in demand all over Lore at the moment, but our need was great."
The man who wasn't there said nothing.
He never spoke.

The figure continued, "We need to find someone. Someone you have had dealings with in the past. You know of who I speak."
The man who wasn't there stayed motionless, observing the empty space between him and the mantle wearers.
"You shall be rewarded with your standard fee, in adition to gaining access to the second book of Ramstard.
The man who wasn't there considered, paused at the door, then vanished from the room.

"Can we trust him?" a younger wearer asked the spokesman.
"Oh, no. He is a being untouched by such trifling human attachment as loyalty. Think of him more of as gravity or the wind. A constant presence."
"Then, why do we use him?"
"Because, for now, we can control him with information. Soon however, that shall not be enough.
Dyson and the padlin have emerged from the Western Continent unscathed by the recent invasion."

Laughs echoed around the room. The fire behind the table gurgled with intensity. The mansion they sat in was once their enemy's home, now, an abandoned relic for the taking.
The invasion had been most fortuitous: had the necromancer lord been not waylaid by meandering camp guards, the scouts following them would not have been able to determine where they were going next.
Now however, the question was not where they were going, but how they themselves could follow.

The man who wasnt there flickered past the flying griffon in the air.
He observedthe two sleeping figures on the beautiful creatuers back, before continuing onwards, searching for his quarry.

End of Chapter Two


Chapter Three
Cirles within circles

The monster in the tent looked up as the zard scout rider brought back news.
Bad news.

As soon as the rider was finished in his report, the monster stood and thrust his sword straight through its head.
The two unknown attackers had escaped into the wilderness.
Those murderes who appeared from nowhere and eliminated the main camp in the forest.
And killed his brother and father.
Blood rage melted into sadness for the upteenth time that day.
He was broken up over the death toll.

Vengence would be swift to these attackers.
The camp packed up and moved out.


The beat of wings woke Dyson from hhis slumber.
He had trouble sleeping since the removal of the control of darkness.
Grey slept on , strapped to the bag harness to stop him from toppling over.
Dyson shifted to the kneck of the griffon, flying on through the night sky.
He stroked her neck while viewing the situation on Lore.
He needed to know what was going on, particularly when he would be out of the loop when in hiding.

The camp fires were clearly visable beneath the clouds.
They were clearly warming the bodies of monsters.
Dyson's eyes widened as he saw the extent of the occupation.
The Trumpha had control of the southwestern forest but the way the camps were positioned suggested they were expanding into the north as well.
He felt a shift in the wind, the tiniest whisper of air that anyone else would overlook.

But not him.
His eyes flicked up, to see somthing that wasn't there flicker across the horizon.
This didnt bode well.

As he considered this, black arrows suddenly filled the sky around them.


The monster general snarled.
"Fire agin!"

The stupid, braindead archers tried again.
After they missed, the mages leapt forwards.
And immediatly tripped over their robes trying to aviod the massive fireball sent crashing down into their midst.

Morons.
The main penalty of the monster general's army was that the creatures under his command were awful.
It had taken all his skill through tatics, pushing through undefended swamps, forests and plains to get here.
Even so, it had taken him a week, and that was with most of Lore on holiday from that last war.

Pathetic.
Cursing under his breath, he stalked away from the dead and dying soldiers.
One tried to get up.
The general shot a punch through her head, coating his green hand with goo.
He wiped it on his shirt, still muttering as he retreated through the camp.


End of Chapter Three



Chapter Four
Into the blue...


Forest fires flew through the branches, devourering the dry twigs and leaves of the forest.
Below, the monster horde advanced on an elven alcove.
The defenders shot arrow after arrow into the throng of zards, zombies, orcs, giants, transmorphs and golems.
Rock golems smashed through the flimsy wooden facade of the first glittering home in the settlement.
The owner ran out, screaming war cries and throwig magical blasts onto the broad back of the rock form.
It peered down from on high at the angry little figure, before crushing him like a beetle underfoot.

The monster general grinned as he chomped his jaws round a elven maid's neck.
Her life force left her as he snapped her neck.
His now crimson teeth grinned in savagery as he ordered another foray into the defenders.
The zard riders smacked into the cloaked elven rangers, removing the long range advantage the settelers had.
An orc warrior barged into the midst of battle, smashing a mace down on an old elf warrior's skull.
His other arm grabbed the arm of an archer and crushed the bone before tearing it off completly.
An arrow found the visor gap in his helmet, sending him stumbling to the ground.
The monster general trampled over him and beheaded the now reloading elf.

All around the forest, the smell of burning bodies, trees and homes filled the air with their stench.
Elf and human settelers in the region were running, flat out, to the nearest city.
Most villiges in the area were gone, being attacked or being evacuated.
The previous battle grounds from the Devourer Incident were overrun by monsters driven insane by the Trumpha.
When the Guardian task force eliminated one camp, another sprung up elsewhere.

Civilization was being eradicated across the Greenwood forest, and with the entire Western Continent on its knees from the last two wars to plague it's citizens, there was a real danger of being over run by these simple minded, insane hordes of monsters.

Dyson was concerned about it's fate but as the ocean opened up in front of the trio, he set himself forward in his seat, willing the Griffon onwards towards a safer haven, and hopefully, a re-discovery of older powers.
Behind him, Grey was even more torn between flight and fight.
They both had discussed it and knew they had no choice but to keep going.
But they had not left the people left behind undefended.

A shadow fell across the monster general's face.
He gawped upwards as a boulder smashed into his face.
He was dead before the screaming began.
Behind his ruined corpse, the forest came alive as Earth Golems and the Free Elf Army charged into battle against the evil hordes of the Trumpha.

End of Chapter Four


To be continued....
But Dyson and Commander Grey shall be back.

< Message edited by Darquess -- 3/1/2013 18:16:33 >


_____________________________

IN DARKNESS TAKEN
AS I WILL
SO MOTE IT BE!!!
Post #: 9
2/26/2013 0:08:01   
flashbang
Member

Introduction

It was a fine day for adventuring. I saw a lot of Trumpha today which was unusual. Staff was at home today. Then, I went home and Staff gave me a letter.

"Pitiful Humans. You shall not win. Be prepared for DOOM."*
"What was that about Staff?" I asked him.
I think it is about the Trumpha. I also got this letter Wyrm."

"Wyrm and Staff! We need you! There are multiple Trumpha camps all over the place! If you clear one out and leave it instantly gets refilled by more! We need all the help we need!
~Hero

"Well then, let's go make our parents proud." I said.
* highlight


"Wow it's so dull here isn't it Staff?" I asked
"Yeah it is." Staff replied
I stuck my sword in front of Staff, to which he was hit in the face with the flat part.
"OW!! WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" Yelled Staff
"Tell me what's wrong..... WATCH OUT!!!!" I yelled and the tackled him in the chest. We landed in some bushes. A Trumpha passed by using an anti-painball gun, shooting out grey paintballs. I threw my sword at him which cut his head off which was splurting out grey blood.
"Let's go on." I said.
"Oh OK." replied my brother.
When we reached the camp, I ran in there with my blade slashing every Trumpha I saw. I was about to get attacked until Clear-Cut, my pet IceWere, slashed the Trumpha. Staff was at the gates blocking off any Trumpha with his Energy magic shocking everything into submission. We cleared the entire camp and left while leaving a marker I made in my spare time.
"What does that do Wyrm?" asked Staff
"I met up with Lord Scorpio a while back and we discussed the ley lines and how Necromancy is disabled. I asked him to help me make those. They will shoot a beam of pure Wind Magic at any Trumpha within a mile radius. Now let's head to the next camp." I replied
Every mile, I placed a marker to clear the path.



< Message edited by flashbang -- 3/1/2013 1:31:01 >
AQ DF AQW  Post #: 10
2/26/2013 12:02:46   
kors
Member

An Unexpected Letter.


Part I: The Delivery
Kor sat in his study at his Deren estate, looking at the docks. It had been a long time since he had spoken with Ms. Vox. Her injuries should be well on their way to fully healed by now.

Ever since the Paladin and Necromancer war, things have been too calm. The only things he has had to deal with lately are a few issues with Snugglefest. It had been a boring day so far. Kor rose from his chair and moved towards the other window, hoping to see if anything interesting was happening around his estate.

A lone Bun-bit had wandered into his wheat field and was harassing the skrow worker. The guards had yet to notice and likely would not assist the skrow. Before he could do anything, a stranger showed up in the field. The stranger managed to slay the annoying creature before Kor even got to the door.

When he opened the door, Kor noticed the armor she wore. It was the Paladin Order’s traditional plate armor, steel with some bronze trim around the edges and across the chest. That was quite a surprise. “Hello...,” he spoke to the stranger. Few Paladins were left now, those who were still alive had become largely divided.

The young Paladin girl held out a letter. “You are Kor, correct?” she asked the Chronomancer, “I asked around and they told me that this was your home. I am sorry if this is not the home of the man I am looking for!” She definitely was very nervous about this. When Kor nodded, she breathed a sigh of relief.

“Will you tell me who you are and why you're here? I was not expecting any visitors today. Even less so from a Paladin, I thought that they were still in disarray from the recent war,” Kor probed into the lady’s business with him.

She began to dig through her bag and pulled out a letter. “I was asked by a few kids in Battleon to bring this letter to you. They told me it was from their teacher and she needed to get word to you because it was important.” It was almost certainly from Eukara!

“If she had sent a letter like this, instead of just teleporting me to her, then she must be to busy right now...,” he thought as he took the letter and offered some food and a short rest to the mysterious messenger. He said, “Come in if you came from Battleon then you must be tired. You may stay for a little while but it looks like I may just end up leaving for a few days if I know what this letter contains.”

Rinia jumped with joy at the idea of having a meal somewhere other than Yulgar’s inn for once. A nice dinner here sounded like a decent payment for her transcontinental delivery. She stepped in and watched and waited for the meal to be served. A servant was busy preparing it as Kor read the letter and prepared to leave.

It had been a hectic couple of weeks for the Paladin. Rinia was largely alone now, the Order was excommunicated and their leaders were missing or dead. Those who were left had all formed into different factions that blamed the others for their ill luck in the war and the Lady’s displeasure in their Order. She left them to go and seek the Lady’s favor once more.

Kor found it quite odd that the Truphma had managed to make so many camps across Lore without anyone noticing a single one. This was going to be interesting. Maybe he would finally learn some more about Mrs. Vox’s connection to Xov and the Truphma.

Part II: First Raid
Eukara Vox was kind enough to send a map of Lore with the letter. There were camps spread all over the western side of the inhabited Battleonian continent it seemed. They had really moved quickly in the last few months. Traveling all over the world just to fight a horde of uncreative aliens did not sound like too much fun this time.

Kor paid special attention to his gear. This time he would not let up any of his more useful weapons. Last time had been a total disaster for all involved. He finished packing everything he would need up and decided now was the best time to leave; the Paladin was still busy eating and everything was set for him being gone for a few days.

He decided that his first target was to be on the western edges of Greenguard forest. It was the closest to the portal between Deren and Battleon. The Truphma would not know what was about to hit them. Kor had made up some very creative ways to take them down.

His guest was just finishing the last of her moglinberry cider as Kor came down from his armory. When Kor saw the massive pile of dishes and his guest, his eyes widened in shock. Rinia turned and saw him standing there, a foolishly large grin came across her face. She giggled and said, “Sorry about the mess! I have not had a good meal in almost a month!”

Kor only looked on in silence. After a few more moments, Rinia looked a bit more closely at her host. All the gear on him seemed a little odd, and the fact he was going to be leaving for a couple days...

“Hey,” the young lady spoke, “where you’re going there will be a bit of good gold right? I could really use some cash soon.” She was eager for gold to hold her over until she found a few more Z-tokens to buy a home in greenguard. Sleeping in the Paladin Barracks just felt wrong now that few slept there any more and those who did were the types Rinia always hated, the zealots who see all that do not serve the Lady as horrible monsters.

He was stuck with her now it seemed. Kor was not the type to refuse a request from someone. “I guess there will be some gold lying around, but you have to promise that you will at least help with the fighting,” the Chronomancer told her.

Rinia’s face shifted from a sly smile to a look of annoyance. “Why does every job I seem to find have to involve me slaying something other than the annoying Bun-bits...,” she sighed and decided that this was better than trying to find another job here. “So where are we going? Oh...,” She realized that she had yet to properly introduce herself or thank her host for the meal, “My name is Rinia Paladius. I am sorry I did not tell you earlier!” She bowed her head in disgrace.

“Paladius?” Kor asked, “I thought that the Paladins dropped the whole name similar to the Order means automatic acceptance into the Order.” Those words stung Rinia quite deeply judging by the look she gave Kor for saying them.

Her face was bright red with anger. Kor backed off quickly, a nervous smile on his face. “Don’t talk about my last name ever again! I should never have said it,” Rinia’s face shifted to one of embarrassment. It was obvious now that she was hiding something about her name.

Before it could end up any worse Kor decided that now was the time to be heading for the portal. Rinia followed shortly after. “If this keeps up,” Kor thought to himself silently, “this will be a long day....”

***


The house servants were all panicking as their master left. The kitchen was a mess and so was the dining room. His guest had almost literally eaten them out of house and home. It would take forever for the gardens to produce all the food she just ate. How anyone could eat so much so quickly was baffling for the workers. She had made quite the raid it seemed.

Part III: A Will to Fight
The walk to the portal was going to be a long one. Rinia decided after a few minutes that it was time to ask what this little quest would involve. “You haven’t told me where we are going yet...,” she started, “What sort of creature are we going to fight? Or will there be more than one?” The last option seemed less than desirable to Rinia. She never was very skilled at fighting, even one on one fights were sometimes oddly difficult for her.

“We are heading for a camp filled with Truphma. They have not been too active lately but you must have heard of them right? An insane planet conquering cult that wants to destroy all creativity and imagination. Me and Ms. Vox have lead several attacks on them in the past but she was injured last time,” Kor replied. He hoped that this would not scare her off, the Truphma were definitely not something take on alone.

Rinia recognized the name, even though she feared what they were she needed the money. The former Paladin tightened her grip on her sword. She had fought Undead and other closely humanoid monsters before but they were naturally more creepier than others she met in her travels.

She swallowed the fear she had and told Kor, “I see... I’ve seen a few of them, and fought one that got too close to me.” Rinia shivered at the memory of the bland assailant. Silence followed the two for what seemed like hours.

***


The portal stood over the site of the old temple of hope, long since cleared. The beach looked pristine once more without the temple covering it’s sands. Rinia looked over the beach one last time before they crossed through to Greenguard forest. "So much happened here didn't it? So empty now...," she said in a very distracted tone as she looked across the beach.

Kor walked close to the portal. It had been activated more recently than he thought, and was still active. A trap or fellow traveler was nearby. He hoped it was the former. "Rinia! Get ready to cross back to Greenguard, and to fight. They may not have a camp to close but someone was messing with the portal not too long ago, so it may or may not be a trap," the Chronomancer told her as he looked through the magical screen showing the forest all around the portal's twin.

Some hints of the recent winter still had a small presence in the thick foliage of Greenguard. The many trees still lacked the vibrant buds that they would sprout near the start of spring, some even had yet to sprout the green leaves that inspired the forest's name. Without the feeling of true spring yet the forest was largely void of life beyond the still recuperating trees and grass as they grew used to the idea of warmth and sun. It was a calming sight to see the dreariness of winter fade to brilliant colors that made up spring.

The sounds of footsteps in the sand brought the time mage's attention away from the portal for a second. He looked behind him to check on the strange Paladin girl. She had turned as well, and drew her weapon at the same time. A beautiful sword of silver with bronze and gold flowing along the center into the silver hilt with the most common symbol the Paladin's former god, a golden sun releasing its light to all, at the edge gold and bronze. Kor looked back further and saw what she was preparing to fight; a Truphma wielding a large knife.

Kor quickly leapt away from the portal and ran towards the impending fight. As he ran the world around him phased out, the blue aura his magic produced surrounded him. It came unbidden, pulling him forcefully through the timestreams. His attempts at breaking the magic's force was futile and only made it more difficult to cast a marker to make his return trip easier. The instant his struggling ended, Kor found himself standing in another place, in another time.

***


Rinia saw from the corner of her eye the events that transpired. The famous adventurer vanished into thin air, completely surprised as the pale blue light absorbed him. She gasped as she saw the light vanish, he left her all alone now with a dangerous enemy coming for her.

Her hands shook as did her blade. The grip she had tightened into a death grip that would not falter or move. Sweat began to bead down her forehead, some aiming for an eye and others ignoring them. Her brown eyes stared ahead at blank face and expression of her enemy. "Can they even feel pain?" she asked herself as she took a more offensive stance, "Lord of Light please tell me they do!" The ex-paladin charged ahead, her weapon ready to destroy the unholiness before it.

Part IV: A Beach Stained by Battle
Kor found himself standing on the beach he had just left. The temple of hope stood over the white sands as an army the likes of which he had not seen in a long time. Cartwright and Nightbane were fighting not too far from where he stood. It was that day oh so long ago; one that changed much of Lore irreversibly: the day Ryuusei became Omega.

A cry from the Portal that he did not recall snapped him out of his flashback. A girl in Paladin platemail leapt through the Portal onto the sands. The same look of rage that Kor himself had at that moment long ago covered her face, a look that stated to others that she was going to make Cartwright pay for what he did to Galrick. Only Falerin's hold on her kept her back. She waved a sword angrily as he held on, one that gave her identity away as well as a confession. Rinia had been meant for a role Kor had played once, and still does.

***


Rinia dodged the first thrust of her fight with surprising ease. Her foe was slow and predictable, even more so than some Undead she had seen. The only thing that kept it from losing the instant she struck back was its blank stare, never moving from her and never changing. Another thrust from the creature's knife, and this time the ex-Paladin parried the blade.

The knife pushed down on Holy Might harder than she expected for the rusty weapon. It inched its way to the girls chest, and its owner continued staring at her with the blank determination that it wore since they met. Then it spoke in an empty and dulled voice, "You will not disturb Xov's plans. I will bring you and your friend down and ensure our victory. Your world will be ours!"

Rinia grunted and pushed back at her attacker, "Too bad for you!" With a burst of strength, she pushed the knife and her attacker back. The Truphma soldier staggered backwards for the split second she needed.

She plunged the blade into the inhuman monster's chest. The enchantment on the blade flared and gave her some of the extra power she needed. Even with the extra strength it failed to slay her foe. With a kick, she pushed her foe off her blade.

The blood that coated her weapon was just as dull as the outside. White as a sheet of paper, the blood freaked the young woman immensely. The humanity this creature had diminished in yet another Lorian’s eye.

Her foe staggered a little more and then steadied himself. It looked down at the oozing wound with the same face it wore during the whole battle. A shout of rage and pain erupted from the Truphma, as it leapt at her. "You just got lucky girl! You just got lucky!" it repeated the words with each slash.

Each attempt got sloppier and sloppier, after the first dozen Rinia found it oddly easy to dodge almost everyone. The rage it was unleashing was doing nothing for its accuracy fortunately for her. Only a few ever came close enough to worry her, but only if she kept moving. Rinia was sure that if she moved in for another blow a counterattack awaited.

The sound of sand crunching under their feet interrupted Rinia's concentration. Another slash came and sliced some of her long brown locks, narrowly missing her body. She could not afford to become distracted again.

***


Kor hid himself away from the fighting, involving himself in this fight again was too much. What he knew now as fact only served to depress him. "How much have I changed the timeline? This just isn't right," he thought to himself.

He began preparing to go back to the when he just left when a familiar voice called him. "'ou're not going anywhere!" the Moglin's voice was impossible to miss as always. "Do you know how mad the Library is at 'ou right now? They are upset with just how crazy things have become, and 'ou find 'ourself at the very center of it all!"

Both of them sighed, they knew the arguments the other had by now and were going to hear them once again. "We both saw that just now, right Zarmak?" Kor asked as he looked back towards the battlefield, "We both saw just how much I changed that Lore, made one person go from the hero to a bystander, I just can't aband-"

"'ou can abandon the timeline and 'ou know it! 'Es it might fall, but everything 'ou worked for will be destroyed too! 'ou are lucky I followed 'ou before anyone else came. Who knows what they would do to bring you back?" Zarmak sighed. Neither one liked the idea of fighting in a real fight today, or ever. The sound of clashing warriors and exploding spells and arrows striking in almost every direction.

“The sounds were almost entirely the same as that day...,” Kor thought as he turned back and looked onto the battlefield that ignored them entirely. Rinia had already fallen once and come back as The’Galin walked towards the temple and chaos consumed everything around them. All as it was when he was the one leading the charge.

He shook his head, at this point the changes made would be unable to heal themselves. Kor had created a timeline of its own merit, one worthy of preserving. Leaving it now would be tantamount to genocide. “Come on, Kor, it is suspicious that the timeline we just left only split after ‘our arrival to it! Even if ‘ou are not the only cause it stills seems ‘ou only made things worse, and the whole Library knows it at this point! Don’t ‘ou get it? Only more trouble awaits if ‘ou keep on fighting for only a few timeline’s preservation!” the Moglin was getting noticeably upset now. Anger contorted his face, and his grip on the magic staff he has used for an age or more tightened almost to the point of cracking the wood.

Kor turned away disgusted by what his friend was saying. This war had truly created much change among his friends. Letting even one timeline, and the Dragon of Time who held its Hourglass, fall to the corruption was just wrong. Kor finished putting the coordinates in and activated the spell. "I can't yet. Whatever is to come, let it," he said as he faded into the pale blue light.

***


Water splashed around the combatants as Rinia slipped. Her foe had lost it's weapon in the water and was trying to get away from her for a chance to regain its composure and weapon. The instant that Rinia got back on her feet, the Truphma fled. It lifted itself into the air and flew towards the Portal, without the knife it once wielded.

Rinia walked back onto the dry sands and looked around for Kor. She was upset that the famous hero would just leave her alone to fight an enemy she had little experience fighting. A second burst of light enveloped the beach. The same light that Kor had vanished into.

The former Paladin sheathed her blade and she walked towards the Chronomancer. He better have a good explanation for putting her through this.

Part V: Trial of Trust, Jury of One
"Just what was that?" Rinia said as she approached her "ally" who abandoned her at the start of a fight. Her face had turned a bright red as walked up to Kor. Both hands were balled up into fists. Rinia's gaze was hot enough to set anything on fire if she looked at it for too long.

Kor backed away nervously, overshooting the temporal coordinates always gets those like him in trouble in such time sensitive matters. A troubled smiled had forced itself onto his face as he said, "I... I can explain, just just calm down." It was obvious that the girl would likely not hesitate to punch him in the face if she did not calm down. "I guess it's time I reveal one secret to you," Kor said as he stopped, "It would explain much about what just happened, Rinia, if you just calmed yourself and listened!"

The girl stopped and glared suspiciously at the Chronomancer. It was a step forward, at least for making it through the day. She looked expectantly, waiting for whatever he was to tell her without dropping the frightening glare.

Kor took a deep breath and started, "Okay, where to start with this? I guess where it all began, but that would take too long. The fact is... I am and know people with a magic that is very rare on this world.” He felt like he was living a cheese fantasy story now, explaining such things to one who did not have such magic. He already learned that it would not end well at first, the trust he had forged would be gone and perhaps return even stronger.

"Just how cliche will this get before it ends?" he sighed and then continued, "I can alter the flow of time and cross to other universes, Chronomancy." A stare of scrutiny formed on the girls face, doubt and anger simmered together to make it even more difficult to absorb the truth. He half expected her to either hit him or just up and leave.

When she stayed, Kor took that as a vote of confidence. One step closer to keeping things from exploding violently in his face. "I am from another time, a universe that does not exist anymore...," he trailed off as he thought back to the events that changed his, and many others, life.

It was almost the same as then. A threat from another world, slowly streaming in. All hiding in plain sight, and turning those who fight against them against each other. Always interested in the conquest and using swarms of soldiers to overrun each and every trophy of civilization they chose. Nothing new, nothing original, the dogma of the Truphma

"I have been on the run for a while now. But I guess to them, I would have only just left their timeline," he paused as he let that sink in for him to gauge her reaction to the story so far. The events that lead to him running were turning into a murky haze in his mind, from both just how long it feels like it's been and from his distractions on this timeline.

She gave only a vaguely aware look at Kor, no external hints to what she was thinking beyond "get on with it already!" Now was the time to tell her of what just occurred, from both viewpoints, "A friend of mine had found me when I vanished. He is more adept at moving objects or even other people across the time-stream than I could ever hope to be, and used his skill to draw me to where he was in another time. I..." Kor paused as he thought back to then, to seeing another Rinia. He couldn't tell her about that, not now not ever. "I got away before he could drag me back to where we came from, but the fact he did not drag me back the instant he could tells me he only did it halfheartedly. I put the coordinates in for this timeline and day in but I must have overshot the hour and minute huh? I am sorry but that whole thing is why. If you think I am crazy then go ahead I won't stop you, but that is my story and I have no choice but to stick with it."

She only blinked once before turning towards the portal without so much as a word. It was impossible to tell what she was thinking now, but she must have felt betrayed still. Only time could possibly tell.

Part VI: Dull Moments
The knife stood straight up in the glittering waves of the Derenian sea. The waves tried time and again to knock the knife over, and each time failed. Kor looked towards its resting place, the center of the Truphma assassin’s attack on Rinia. The rusty blade glittered oddly in the midday sun and drew his attention.

Rinia walked on and climbed through the portal. She was done with this. “Back to Battleon. I won’t go to one of those camps, not now,” she thought as she landed on the other side of Lore, “What is the point of helping someone who might just disappear when you need him? I am through with this.” She vanished from sight and continued on her way to Battleon.

The Chronomancer walked towards the knife. Letting it find its way back to the Truphma would only strengthen them, admittedly not much, but it would still be of more use with him than with them. The rusty knife seemed to be calling him, magic or not it was impossible to resist. Kor knelt down and stared at it for several seconds.

He reached out to the bland weapon. Its calling subsided as he lifted it from the sands. Things changed than, colors became duller and Kor watched as it all happened without so much as a thought. He ignored the red flags going off in his head and stowed the knife away in his bag.

***


Kor ignored the vibrant colors of the forest as he walked towards the dull camp Vox told him about. He was going to destroy their attempt at taking this world at any cost. With only his goal in mind he walked for several more hours ignoring the colorful world around him.

What little life he passed were docile or afraid the man passing through their home. They avoided the determined time mage with vigor. Those that were unlucky enough to run into him were quickly slain on the spot. “I have no time for this. Let’s just get this done soon.”

***


The ex-Paladin walked into the large tavern that was center for everything outside of war, and even then just barely. As always it was busy serving various people, both regulars and adventurers waiting for their next big break. Hans was occupied with what sounded like an unruly guest, arguing for a better room or something similar with what little she overheard implied. The same as she left it.

Rinia patiently waited for the crabby merchant or adventurer to finally storm out spewing nonsense about how Yulgar’s was nothing and would likely never see the likes of him ever again. The little exchange ended abruptly with a dagger being forced into the counter, intentionally missing Hans’ hand by mere nanometers. Everything hushed at the sound of the short metal blade going through the front counter.

The room quickly became charged with tense energy, everyone looking to the violent man standing in front of Rinia. A hand reached for every weapon in the room, including Rinia. No one moved for several seconds. “So, will you give me a better room? Or does this have to get messy?” he glared at Hans and ignored the various other people waiting to see how Hans responds.

One man quietly attempted to sneak back to Yulgar in the forge as soon as he entered the room. Rinia was the first to notice him, and made direct eye contact immediately. He did not make it out of the room before the overly aggressive guest noticed him. “Yeah that's right,” he shouted at the unlucky adventurer, “Go and get Yulgar and tell him to give me a better room or this here lad gets....”

Rinia took her chance and kicked him in the back of the leg. He collapsed, mid sentence, and hit his head on the front desk. “You okay Hans?” Rinia asked as she walked over the now unconscious guest and pulled his dagger from the table. Only a couple twitches from the knocked out guest hinted to him being alive still.

Yulgar walked into the scene as cheers came from the crowd. He looked around and saw his rowdy guest being thrown outside. “What happened here? Hans, tell me,” he looked at his apprentice with an almost unsurprised expression on his face. The former Paladin had disappeared into the room that ended up being forfeited by the obnoxious traveler.

“Well, Yulgar,” Hans started, “That guy tried to get a better room, but all the better rooms were taken already and his was already a very good one too. The girl that has been staying here for the last couple of weeks ended up taking his room since he already paid and she stopped him. Things certainly never get too dull here anymore.” He sighed, almost impossible to notice as he thought of recent events.

In her new room Rinia just finished taking her armor off. "It feels good to finally take that thing off for once," she thought as she walked towards the door. A meal now sounded good to her, almost a full day between her last. Her clothes needed a little cleaning but would do well for now.

A day without so much stress, like she hoped tomorrow would be, would do her some much needed good. Everything going through her head made her hunger only more obnoxious. She was going to have a small feast with the gold she got from her "fight" with that merchant. It was a nice sum of gold too, she felt a little guilty until Robina told her it was okay.

The table she sat at attracted more attention than she expected. She became a celebrity in the bustling tavern, and the story had already mutated out of any sense of realness. Several guests had gathered around her and were even offering to pay for the meal in exchange for a fight with her.

***


The Truphma ran into the tent. The commander sat there enjoying his meal of dulled soup. His injuries still had not fully healed after the several day run to camp. The commander looked up at the bloodied assassin. "Did you kill the Chosen? Or the messenger? They are not to be coming here," the commander said in the same flat tone as the assassin.

His lack of a confirmation only agitated the black and white humanoid. "The girl bested me. She knocked my blade out of my hand and into the waters. She made a lucky strike and injured me beforehand, so I fled," the excuse did nothing to quell the anger growing in the commander.

"How long?" the flat tone he used despite his anger was one of the reasons he led those here. Nothing of the creative power of mortal kind was left in him, a true Truphma.

A sigh left the assassin's mouth. He should already know the answer to that. "Not more than an hour."

***


The black and white camp was in front of him. Line after line of tents and hastily built structures made up the camp. Few Truphma or their dulled slaves were out and about at this hour yet. The element of surprise was on his side.

A lone sentry walked by Kor's hiding spot. The sentry did not even suspect a thing from the way he walked. He went by, walking like one does on a relaxing stroll, completely unaware of his surroundings. A perfect target.

Kor pulled his personal weapon off his back. A dual-bladed sword made of the exact same materials that had become readily available to those who traveled across time like him. It looked much like the armor he wore. Blue glass revealing several gears spinning made up the central parts of both blades, the outer part was made of brownish metal that proved much more able to cut than the glass. Both provided some useful boosts to his magical abilities.

The Chronomancer leapt at his unsuspecting foe. A single hit from the flat of either blade was more than enough to knock out the inhuman creature. "Heh," he said almost silently, "If all of you go down this easy..." A siren echoed in the distance. "Just don't make this easy then. For the least creative beings I have ever seen, you certainly make sure there never is a dull moment when you are around." He charged the newly awoken Truphma and began his assault on the first camp.

< Message edited by kors -- 6/4/2013 17:42:26 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 11
2/27/2013 0:00:50   
Daimyo Daimyo
Member

Removed.

< Message edited by Daimyo Daimyo -- 8/25/2013 1:30:09 >
MQ  Post #: 12
2/28/2013 1:05:21   
AXTG2000
Member
 

The life and times of an adventurer: The heck is a Truphma?!?[


Introductions!

Hello reader. The story you are about to read is about my latest journeys into the Truphma camps. Due to my nature as a wizard though...some of these journeys differ in ending from others. So, while others can slice down armies by themselves, I'm forced to use a limited supply of spells to get by. Good thing some cosmic force heals me every so often...that or Twilly accidentally cast a permanent healing spell on me. That would explain a lot...

Oh, I forgot to tell you all my name! It is Alexander Oric Mania. I prefer to just call myself Xombie though, and that is what I'll refer to myself as in this journal. Unless I decide to do this in first person. Oh wait, I could do it in second person! Nah, third person is probably for the best. I don't have anybody following me around to write for...

If it isn't obvious, I'm a wee bit...chaotic...meheheheh...

Chapter 1: Hey, get the heck off my lawn!

We find our protagonist (Or antagonist. Matters on how you view my methods.) lying inside his cozy little tent. Outside his tent, are the dark forest lands of Darkovia. Currently, Xombie was sleeping quite soundly, resting his head in a fluffy white pillow...with a few bloodstains from the person he stole it from.

In his sleep, Xombie lightly groaned, mumbling words and gibberish. "...Mmm...best ice cream fight ever..." His current dream was of him against an army of twenty sentient bowls of giant ice cream. He was dressed in an armor not of mana and steel, but instead one of thousands of different spoons linked together by some form of string. In his hand, was a giant spoon designed solely to destroy the ice cream swarms. In his other hand, was a large bowl with tightened leather straps inside it, allowing it to be held as a shield. In his dream, Xombie dubbed this set of armor: The Creaminator.

As Xombie stared down at the foes below, his short dark gray hair blowing in the breeze his dream created. Currently, he was standing on a tall hill, able to look at the approaching army of ice cream before him. Due to his foes lack of legs though, they merely hopped forward, a happy gleam forever trapped in their beady little eyes. Instead of charging forward to attack, Xombie merely watched as they reached the very bottom of his hill...only for the first to try to hop up to tilt back and roll down, getting dirt and grass mixed into its icy contents. At this sight, Xombie chuckled. "Hey, maybe I should go down and slay them all. I mean, I am wearing something made JUST to kill them... Or I could just watch them do this all day..."

As the rest of the bowls caught up to the hills edge, they all continued the cycle of hopping up and falling back down. At first, Xombie enjoyed watching them all uselessly jump up. Their mindless charge soon grew boring however, and Xombie found himself sitting on his arse waiting for something to happen. In a few more minutes, he was shouting profanity at the ice creams to try and get them to hurry up. Obviously, the creatures only kept hopping up and rolling down the hill over and over.

Seeing the uselessness of waiting for them to attack, Xombie stood tall. Raising the end of his spoon staff into the air, he called upon the primal forces within him. 'Alright, all I need to do is speak the proper spellword... Then I'll unleash destruction upon all of these annoying bowls of delicious...ice...cream...' As the energy within him spread into the tip of his staff, the spoon glowed a bright white color. Sparks of energy then shot out, as Xombie stared emptily into space, his tongue hanging out of his mouth. Without a proper command, this energy shot out in the form of white lightning, arcing into the air, striking at the ground, and even disintegrating a few ice cream monsters on the spot.

- - -

Xombie woke up to the sudden sound of a scream. Not the fear kind like when you trap someone in a box with an archdemon, but rather the kind you get when you zap someone with raw energy. Sitting up, he pushed his baby blue sheets off of his body, and grabbed the purple robes near his bed. With a quick look around his tent, he noticed that their was a large whole in the right 'wall'. The size of said hole was large enough for a small child to cannonball through, and the edges of it were noticeably burnt. The view through this hole revealed a man in the distance, looking down at another man. Both of them seemed to wear all white...except the one on the ground, who was now a charcoal black color.

Blinking, our protagonist realized that he had just unleashed energy while sleeping again. It was always embarrassing, and sometimes he wished he only wet the bed. He then crawled out of his tent, put on his standard issue wizard robes, a colorful cloth of purple, white, and orange, and cursed the fact that he never slept with a weapon nearby. Deciding to 'apologize' (Heh, more like destroying all witnesses...), Xombie waved at the person in white. To draw even more attention to himself, the wizard even shouted his words out. "Hey! You two okay?"

The man in white merely turned to Xombie. For a few brief seconds, the man looked at his charred pal on the ground, back to Xombie, and back to the charred man once more. At this, Xombie smiled at how slow this guy was. Most would put together the dots easily, and would be rushing to attack him before he could prepare any spells. Once those seconds were over though, the man raised a rusted butcher knife in his right hand and ran towards our protagonist.

Only for our protagonist to raise an opened right hand towards the foe and send forth a blast of invisible energy. The energy smashed right into the running mans face, and actually caused him to fall backwards. From the loud crack that echoed out, Xombie knew that guy wasn't getting back up. Well, until the guy actually did get back up, with his head cracked back at a very painful angle.

"...Okay, where is the necromancer pulling this act? Cause I want to learn this trick!" As he said this, the man in white grabbed both sides of his head and...well...pushed it back into place with a loud bone crunching crack. At that one, Xombie winced slightly. No, not cause it was gross, but because fighting a whole lot of screaming foes over the years made his ears quite fragile, and that cracking noise hit his pain mark. The man then began running at Xombie once more, without a scream even! At his foes lack of a battle cry, Xombie felt his brow curve in annoyance.

Raising two open palmed hands, the wizard began the casting for a certain combo of spells he liked to call... 'Air minigun'. Basically, he waited with his hands aimed at the man, holding back the energy that was about to be released. The white suited man grew closer and closer, his very steps seeming to turn the dark ground beneath him...brown and dull. Heck, the trees the man ran past changed from an odd night black to...well...what a normal tree pretty much looked like. When the man was merely a few feet away, Xombie smirked widely enough to reveal his carnivorous teeth. "Eat air, dirtbag!" Where he got the line, nobody on lore will ever know. What they would know, was that the spell Xombie unleashed was basically a very rapid-firing version of invisible blast. Basically, small orbs of wind formed in front of his opened hands, only to shoot out at the approaching foe and form once more.

When the enemy reached Xombie, it fell at the wizards feet in a beaten and bruised pulp. Said wizard looked down at his hands, which were now letting out a steady supply of smoke for some odd reason. "...While this may be a symptom of my body being harmed by magic, I think I can live with how cool it looks." Looking back up, Xombie saw a man wearing some charred outfit standing before him. In the left hand of the man was a wooden club of sorts. Knowing what happened next, Xombie's natural wizard instincts kicked in. A powerful force that was created the very second ones magical training began. Raising his hands before his face, he spoke a powerful incantation. "NOT THE FACE!"

Nobody travelling Darkovia heard the loud thud as Xombie was struck on the head and knocked out. To his eventual hate, the white clothed men struck him in the face anyways.

KO! Knockout of Chapter 1!


Chapter 2: Alright, just ooooone more try...

Xombie sluggishly raised his eyelids, a sharp pain stabbing into his face. On his upper lip was an odd warm liquid, which the wizard quickly poked his tongue out to taste. From the familiar metallic taste (Which, he oddly enjoyed), he could tell it was blood. He would look down and see how badly he was beaten, if not for the fact that the room he was in was pitch black. Plus, he realized he was currently sitting down on a hard surface of some sort. Raising his legs up, of which his feet were tied together by either rope or some strong material, the wizard experimentally tipped forward. The chair or stool he was on tipped with him, and both of them would fall if he didn't immediately place his feet back on the floor. Another problem was the fact that his wrists were tied behind his back, which would make spell casting quite awkward. Still, at least he wasn't tied down or anything, just really restricted in the realm of combat and movement. By stomping on the ground with both feet, he could make out that it was probably stone, due to he rough nature of the floor and the fact that his right foot now ached slightly.

Blinking in the dark, Xombie felt an itch form on the top of his head. Oh, and curiosity, I guess. "Well, this is new. Instead of killing me they stick me into a room. Guess I won't need to owe Death favor #643." Looking towards the left, then slowly to the right, he considered his mistake of not becoming a vampire. "Then again, that night vision thing may just be a scam. Could just be a spell they put on you..." By the word spell, Xombie chuckled, realizing how to easily escape from here. Or, at the very least, be able to see his surroundings. "Alright, strobe light spell, don't fail me now!" Snapping the fingers in his right hand, several sparks of magic formed in a slightly wobbly circle around their caster. These sparks of magic slowly grew in size and brightness, soon becoming several orbs of light. Xombie grinned, sending the orbs to the ends of the room. Now, he could properly see.

Oh, what did he see? Well, it was actually a pretty boring room. The floor beneath him was a dull gray rock, with small rough bumps spread across its entirety. The walls were the very same, each bearing the same state of boring rock. Well, cept one wall which had several bumps lined up to where they made the image of a sword, or at least to what Xombie saw them as. The ceiling, was practically the same dang thing. Nothing of interest, except the small orbs of light that Xombie sent up to it. The final, fourth wall, had a smooth door of pale brown. There wasn't a small window on this door, sadly, and there seemed to be no handle on the inside.

"Wow, I've never been so bored in my life. Even Artix yammering on about paladins was better than this." With a bored, and slightly annoyed, expression on his face, our hero realized what kind of scene he was in. "Wait a second. I'm trapped, inside a pitch black room, and have most normal means of attack restricted..." With a prolonged 'hmm', he looked down at the ground. One moment of thinking, and he quickly snapped his head up, a open mouthed smile on his face. "I'm going to be interrogated!" This happiness only lasted a second though, as logic kicked in. When it did, he 'hmm'ed again. "Or I'm going to die from lack of oxygen, because that door is actually a fake and they put me into a room without any exit. Wish I had a mirror, a table, and...something else right now... I think I'll wait and see!"

- - - 3 boring, mind numbing, and downright painful hours later. - - -


Standing near the wall, Xombie leaned his head back. Currently, his forehead held several marks and bruises, caused by him being smashed into a wall repeatedly. "Fifteenth times the charm? A...hah?" Nervously laughing, Xombie was just about to give the wall another headbutt, when footsteps could be heard from outside his door. Light ones, but footsteps nonetheless. Hearing these, Xombie quickly ran back to his seat, sat his arse down, and killed the lights. Hopefully, when the person came in they wouldn't notice the bloodstains on the walls. Escape by death is a tricky business.

Slowly, the door creaked open, bright light from the hallway shining unto Xombies face. In the doorway, was a shadowy figure, his form obscured due to the light being right behind him. So all Xombie saw, was a shadow of a man. Looking up at said person, the wizard felt rage grow inside him, rage that was caused by being put through such a boring form of torture. Speaking with a slight growl, the wizard questioned the figure before him. "What do you want? My gold? My clothes? Heck, maybe my soul?"

"Nothing like that. We actually want you to do only one thing." The man stepped forward, to which Xombie had to hold back the urge to incinerate him. Not that it would easy, most likely. Oddly enough, Xombie could notice that the mans voice sounded far away, yet right in his ear.

"Only one thing?" Xombie raised a brow, curious what kind of cliche this foe had. Arrogance? Overly dramatic? Was he the wizards father!?! (Spoilers: No, he is not the father.) "Okay, I'll bite. What do you want me to do?"

"Oh simple. We only need you to kill those white men you encountered earlier."

"Alri- Wait a second! Aren't you one of them? I mean, you are most likely in their base, and I haven't heard any sounds of fighting in the last...gazillion hours."

The man chuckled, turning his back to Xombie. "Why fight, when you can kill?" With that said, the man simply walked away, leaving the door open.

Blinking, our hero stood up and walked out of his dark room, and into a hallway. Like usual, the hallway was quite boring, made of rough stone on all four walls and lit by some magical means. Oddly enough, looking from direction to the other, he didn't see any sign of his rescuer. All he did see were a few bodies on the ground, all of the wearing white, and most of them missing a limb or two. Odd how they had no blood though. "...Huh, guess I'm getting out of here Scot free!" It was then that the base, camp, or building, began to rumble. Slapping a hand to his face, and shouting a curse when his nose was hurt all over again. "Remember, never, EVER, say what I did again."

Suddenly, a large pale white hand smashed through the ceiling and struck a few feet away from Xombie. To be exact, said claw blocked the east(?) direction. A second later, and another hand smashed through the ceiling in the west end. Both were very familiar, in the fact that each were at least as large as Xombie. The odd thing was that these hands were both humanoid, and they both raised up to the ceiling. Once up there...the fingers grabbed on, and began to...heh...raise the roof, as they say. No, literally, the thing tore the stone roof off and chucked it into the space behind it. With the ceiling gone, Xombie could see a powerful foe before him. Far worse than a mere ordinary dragon. It was a freaking giant. Wearing the same outfit as the men before.

Xombie's jaw limply fell open, as he felt his body begin a fear reflex. Thankfully, he had went without anything to drink for a while, so he wouldn't have to fight with wet clothing. Still, tilting his head back to look up at this being, the wizard had only a few words. "...Oh *Beep!* me..."

Chapter 2 finished!


Chapter 3: Get off my lawn 2: revenge of the wippersnappers.

While I would like to say our hero stood his ground, raised his hands up towards the giants head, and unleashed an array of magical strikes, felling the giant in supreme combat, I am sad to say that didn't happen. Instead, the giant merely looked down at Xombie, and raised its right hand high into the sky, almost high enough to scrape the clouds. Seeing this, our wizard turned to the east and began running as fast as he could. Looking towards the giant for a moment, he saw that it was bringing its arm down towards our hero, and said hero's sprint began to really kick up. To make matters worse, a fork was coming in his path, and said fork was being filled with several men in white. "Oh come on! I thought that guy killed all these people for me! Meh, nothings ever easy." Grunting, Xombie leaped up once he was within spitting distance of this roadblock, pointing both hands down at the ground beneath him. Fire shot out from his hands in a condensed, narrow blast that shot him higher into the air.

Unfortunately, the troops below brought out simple bows and crossbows, firing mundane arrows at our wizard. To make matters worse, the giant was keeping up with Xombie, and it's arm was just about to hit him. At this time, Xombie tapped into his skills as a wizard. "Meteor drop!" Said skills involved surrounding himself in elemental magic, said magic forming into a thick rock shell. To be exact, it resembled a gray turtle shell. Once he was safe though, the giant smashed its fist down unto the shell, and the arrows snapped upon striking the stone. The strike from the giant kinda sent the stone down near instantaneously into the group of suited men below. To say the least, it caused a strong enough shockwave to scatter said group.

The giant slammed its left arm down, in a faster manner than its right, striking the stone prison directly. In fact, this strike drove it halfway into the ground, and cracked the outer shell. In a finishing blow, the monster raised both of his arms into the air.

Only for Xombie to punch his fist through the outer layer of the damaged shell, his other hand wielding a shining orb of white light. Seeing the giant's hands coming down, and mere seconds away from impact, he chucked the orb of light towards the monsters face. Due to magic and its absolute hatred of physics, the ball of light cut through the air like a laser, and smashed into the things right eye. Upon contact, the orb exploded into a rainbow of color, which tore the eye apart, even sending bits of it down to the ground below. Once hit, the giant stopped its attack and covered its eye, shouting in pain.

With his foe distracted and now able to apply for cyclops insurance, Xombie got out of his shell and to the fork in paths. Choosing right, he soon found himself back underneath a stone ceiling, with the sounds of shouting ahead and behind him. Here he stopped for a moment to sit down, catching a few heavy breathes. "Come...on...why...a giant?" What came for him now, wasn't one of the white clothed men. Instead, it was one brown colored forest demon and two dull brown wolverines. From how the attack was, the forest demon was providing a shield for the wolverines, and the wolverines were around to keep the demon alive. "Oh come on, do I really deserve to fight these things? What have I done that was so bad!" Opening both hands, Xombie pointed each at the enemy party before him. Before casting his spell, one word brought a smile to Xombie's face. "TROGDOOOOOOOOOOOOR!" Whilst screaming this, two blasts of flame shot out of his hands in a wide arc, engulfing the forest creatures alive. When the flames died down, the only thing standing before him were two piles of ash and a wolverine skull. While he would like to keep the skull, Xombie decided to leave it behind and ran past these defeated foes.

Only to be stopped by the shadow figure. Or to be exact, A shadow. How did Xombie know? The fact that the man was completely pitch black, and had eyes of blazing red were an obvious clue. Seeing this guy again, and with foes hot on his trail, Xombie gave the man a wave as he ran past. What? Standing to talk wasn't a good idea right now, and with a shadow imitating a human? Even worse. "Sorry, cant talk right now. Being chased, bye!" In a few seconds Xombie was going down the hall once more.

Finally, this hall ended with a door. Same kind as the one from his cell, smooth and quite bland. Said door was destroyed by a leaping kick from Xombie. Past it, was the familiar land of Darkovia, with Xombie's tent visible far into the distance. Turning towards his tent, Xombie made a break for it as fast as he could, taking one quick look behind him. "Huh, so thats why the mountain looked so boring. Probably why there was earthquakes every so often as well." Looking ahead again, Xombie saw his home...surrounded by at least twenty other tents, each having the men walking in and out of them.

"...H-how... did they set up so fast..?" Jaw dropping again, Xombie's right eye twitched in rage. His heart demanded vengeance, his mind demanded slaughter, but his gut said to run away to fight another day. "...HAH! Like I'll just leave them to mess with MY tent!"

- - -


"You again? I thought wizards were supposed to destroy everything with spells." Currently, the reaper had his back turned to Xombie, sticking some papers into a file cabinet. Currently his Gondola was parked to the left of Xombie, and the reapers scythe was leaning against the file cabinet.

"Yeah, well I took a good chunk of them out. Problem is that giant came around and stepped on me."

"Squashed like a bug?"

"Yep. So which one is this?"

"Eh, probably 640 something. I'd keep count, but you die way faster than the others."

"Ah. Well, can you hurry up and revive me? I want to get my revenge and see if my insurance covers giant stompage."

"Yeah yeah, just gimme a second."

Chapter 3 crushed!


Chapter 4: The filler episode.

A familiar warmth began to fill Xombie's body. A warmth that was not of elemental or physical origin, but one that came from the living beat of a heart. The warmth of blood running through ones veins. To be simple, it was the warmth of life, bringing Xombie back up to the world of the living. From darkness and emptiness, to light and fulfillment.

While others would jolt awake, adrenaline pumping through their blood from the battle they died in, Xombie always had a different way of awakening. Just like one would from sleep actually. He merely opened his eyes, viewed the slightly cloudy sky above, and pushed himself into a sitting position. Like always, he could see the small town of battleon in the distance, a place he was always dropped near when revived. It was odd, but nothing that Xombie would be bothered by.

It was staring at Battleon that caused his memories to begin stirring once more. His house being mixed into one of the camps, his own body being smashed underneath a massive giants foot, and his tent...ruined. All things that caused rage to simmer behind his eyes, for his arms to shake with anger. Nobody, not even the most powerful of evil beings, would destroy his tent and get away with it. Not without losing a limb or two, at least.

Standing up, he began to walk towards town. If he was going to really fight those people, he needed his armor and weapons. He needed his shields and items. He also needed his faithful pets, each loyal till the end. Every single one of these things were in Battleon, stored away for emergency use only. "They are so going to pay..."

- - - In Aria's pet shop - - -


"What do you mean you sold them to someone else!?!?" The wizard slammed his hands down on the counter, frightening a small trobble nearby.

Aria lifted a list off of the counter, looking it over once. "Well...this is a store. Not an animal shelter..."

Xombie's eye twitched. "BUT YOU TAKE IN ANIMALS ALL THE TIME!"

"I release them too, you know."

Groaning in defeat, the wizard rubbed his forehead with his forefinger and thumb, trying to drive back the headache in his mind. "Can I at least get the names of the people you sold them to?"

"Sorry, a firezard snuck in and burnt the records. So you're going to have to look for them yourself."

Suddenly, the cry of a crow could be heard in the back of the shop. Hearing this, Xombie glared at Aria for a moment. "...Please tell me you didn't plan on selling my companions."

"...I wasn't planning on selling your companions?" Aria smiled, nervously chuckling as she did so.

"...Yeah, I'm going to have to take them back now. Good thing I have a spell just for this occasion!" With a snap of his fingers, a blinding flash of light came into existence before Aria's eyes, effectively blinding her. With this chance, Xombie ran to the back to save his animal pals.

- - - One DEX and INT check later - - -


Sitting on the ground, Xombie looked at his animals. The first, was a crow he had found whilst adventuring for a set of darkness armor. For some reason, the crow had bright blue eyes, and was quite clean. Maybe it was actually a raven, but Xombie could never tell. Said crow was named Skel, and it was resting on top of a rock nearby. The next animal was a variation of shark that swam through sand, except that it was merely a child. Xombie could never think of a proper name for him, but someday it would come to him. As of now, it was happily swimming circles in its sand box home. The last organic creature, was a pet that Xombie had picked up from Warlic, instead of Aria like one would usually do. Surprisingly, it was a blue baby dragon, capable of creating blasts of electricity via a combination of inherent magic and biological organs. Again, no true name for it yet. This creature was a curious fellow, and was poking a claw at the final companion on Xombie's journey. A heart shaped machine, capable of receiving and delivering letters quite rapidly. Xombie obtained it from a small event where the original version of this machine paired him up with...a stone. It still had its capabilities of automated speech though, amped up a bit by a few payments to the drakel black market.

["Stop that. My circuitry is unable to withstand electrical shock."] The machine spoke in a robotic tone, but to Xombie it seemed to have some small bit of a personality. It better have, or else those drakel's are getting a meeting with fiery pain.

"He's just curious. Not like it's going to shoot you with magic. Well, unless you hurt him or something." The energy hatchling poked the machine again, this time tilting its head to get a better view of the object.

["73% Chance that the dragon will electrocute me anyways. Remove the beast immediately."] The hatchling poked the glass portion of the machine with its snout, something that Xombie liked to call 'cute'. Someday, the wizard planned on turning the hatchling ebil. ["Please get it away from me."] The machine pleaded out, if only in words.

"Fine, fine. C'mere boy." Xombie whistled, causing the dragon to turn around and happily run towards him. With a single leap, it landed right inside Xombie's lap, its eyes staring up at its master. Said master simply rubbed its head, and looked at Skel. "Alright, I think we've had enough down time. Aria has to have given up chasing me now."

- - - Yulgars Inn - - -


Opening the Inn's door, Xombie walked into the wooden shack, most of his animals in tow. His sand shark was far back, pushing it's sand box to try and catch up to his owner. Said owner looked at Yulgar, who was currently speaking with what was obviously a new adventurer.

"Hey, why are you not letting me have any of the cool stuff?!?" The adventurer was wearing steel plate armor, and in a sheath on his hip was the generic metal sword all adventurers somehow get. On his back was a round wooden shield, further confirming the persons newbishness.

"Simple. You're too inexperienced. If I gave you any strong weaponry, you would probably end up hurting yourself." Yulgar's arms were crossed, and he had a stern look on his face. The kind a father would give to a son who wasn't listening. Yulgar then noticed Xombie, and pointed a finger towards the mage. "Example: He stole high powered weapons from me once, along with a few sets of armor. Wonder what happened?"

The newb (As Xombie mentally dubbed him), turned his head towards Xombie, looking at the robes he was wearing. "Lemme guess, he was so weak that a fly could kill him?" Xombie chuckled, knowing something that would probably surprise the newb someday.

"No, actually. He was actually able to defeat most of the foes in his path, despite how his armor wasn't nowhere near strong enough to do so."

"What? How did he do it then?"

"Don't know for sure. Thing is, he came back one day, looking starved and bloodied, and returned the armor. All he mentioned to me was that he would never try it again. Kept mumbling a bit as well."

"If thats all you're going to tell me, I'm gonna just go now. See ya, weirdo's..." To Xombie's greatest joy, the adventurer left the Inn. Of course, he would probably return to be an annoyance once more, but for now Xombie would be safe. Safe from arrogant newbs.

"Hey Yulgar, still got my stuff in storage?"

"Sure do. Give me a minute to get them out."

- - - On the road out of Battleon - - -


Mentally remembering how to access his MISS (Mobile. Inventory. Storage. Spell), Xombie cracked his neck, looking out at the dirt road before him. His purple robes were equipped, his pets were all in the MISS in stasis, and his wooden staff was in his hand, the green gem atop it dimly glowing with his own energy. "Heh. Looks like it's time to get going. For my tent, I ri-" Realizing he had no transportation, he made a quick change to the end of his sentence. "For my tent, I walk!" Walk is what he then began to do. Walking down the road of adventurers, driven by the smallest of desires to face the greatest of challenges.

For adventurers do not think of risk. They merely think of reward, and how to manage all the cool things they get.

Chapter 4 filled up!


< Message edited by AXTG2000 -- 3/1/2013 3:57:59 >
Post #: 13
3/2/2013 16:39:18   
The Ranger Protector
Member

Chapter I: Introduction
The Ascendant stood in the sunset, his hand grasping the air. He wore a black mantle, which destroyed all light near it. No one could ever see his face. Not that it would matter much. He had a skull instead of it. But he was... a paladin. Protector of the light and good, the innocent, the rich and poor alike. And he felt the great disturbance. The Truphma were here once again.'Did you feel it as well?'

'Indeed I did, older brother' said the second-born, Count von Derpenherp, which is also known by the name CVD. He was wearing a deep blue armor, given to him by the mage of the Zodiac, Cancer. It was indestructible. His weapon of choice was a blood-red sword. Some say it had a mind of its own.'Truphma are here again', he said smiling. We shall destroy them swiftly.

Chapter II: First camp

In the distance, all but the sky was dull. Gray. Weakened. Creativity had to be restored there.

'Heheh. This shall be fun. Like the old times, am I not right?' questioned the shadow. He took out his faithful staff. The air began to get colder.
'Oh, they will not stand our strength', responded the water-engulfed man standing beside him. He took out his Rage, and fed it some blood. 'This will do'

Then, they attacked. But the truphmas seemed to be unending and immortal. They would get up as soon as they were struck down. The Ascendant was swiftly dancing around them, but it wasn't enough. CVD was cutting back and forth, but no damage appeared to be done.
'This... is not good!' the younger brother said.
'I've had enough of you! You are boring me!' The mantle was surrounded by a rainbowy air, and paintbrushes appeared everywhere.
The truphma, who were so confident of their victory, were beginning to look startled. The Ascendant grew large, then brushes started painting everywhere, turning truphma into colourful corpses. Then, the dull dragon appeared. He didn't seem impressed.

'I'll take it from here, now!' Said CVD. Rage flickered as it disappeared. A pony-tail-like-sword appeared in the hands of the hero,
extra-fluffy and extra-colourful.'Say your prayers to Cyrus now, Dull Dragon! You are nothing but a mere shadow of your true self', he said as the wierd weapon struck the dragon, who fell to its knees. The brothers grinned.

But they smiled too fast, as they hit the ground as soon as the dragon dissipated.
'Well, that did hurt. Who could've...' another blow was felt by the mantle-wearer paladin.
'Pity you, puny heroes. You will be dulled, along with Lore itself!' Said a giant white truphma with flails instead of hands.
'An outpost master!' yelled the two brothers. 'And we thought we were gonna have a good fight. Meh. There go our expectations...'
'What?! You fools! I am undeafea-OUCH!'. The creature looked down to its 'hands'. They were no longer there. 'What did you-' Another hit. The truphma was cut in half.

'Kinda messy, don't you think, CVD?'
'Maybe a little, Ascendant. I don't regret it though.'
'I'm gonna get a good nights sleep at Yulgar's. Maybe he heard some rumours about what's going on. Oh, and let's read Eukara's letter.'
'Don't you think we should've done that earlier?...'
'Maybe... Sorry, I've been busy practicing my new skills.'

He opened the letter, read it, then his armor changed. He was wearing a golden armor, with lion heads on it. His skull was raging.
'It's an infestation!' he yelled. 'We must split! Now! Call Protector while you're at it!'
'But-'
'No but! DO AS I SAY! NOW!'
Chapter III - Great danger lies in front of us
'Not good...not good at all... What can I do? What must I do?'. Ascendant was in a small room, with nothing in it but three chairs.' They replenish their numbers faster than I can re-defeat them. I cannot face Xov yet. They don't attack though. They just stay there. Think, think, you gotta think. You're Lore's most powerful magician, save for the Archmagi. I know! I will dig a great hole after I defeat their camps and seal it with magic! That ought to work! But my brothers... They are too direct to do this, and I do not own so much magic after the ley line damage... They will find a way, I know'.

A loud bang was heard outside, then a crack in the room and Ascendant woke up uncoscious in a white room.
'Well, fluff! This can't be good!'
'You can bet you are in a bad situation, Adventurer. I am Ludascrious. I am a Plain General' said a nicely dressed truphma in a monotonous tone.
'Heh. So what do you think I will do? Become a bored guy like you? Or tell you about my plans?'
'The first one implies the second. You will be turned, worry not...'
Chapter IV - A not-very-true hero
'That can't be good...They just keep regrouping... We just own them all, and two hours later they're back again... Dang! How I'd wish Ascendant was here...' , CVD thought out loud.
'I sure agree with you there, brother... We can't do this on our own.'
Meanwhile, in the white room...
'See? I told you that you will be turned, sooner or later... You are weak, One.
'You are definitely wrong... and blind as well, if you think that wasn't part of my plan. Meh... how dumb you Truphmas are...'
'Us?Dumb? We have discovered your little secret, One. The other Ones are nothing but you Avatars. They-'
'STOP IT, YOU IDIOT! YES, THEY ARE A PART OF ME!*cough* but they have their free will!'
'That is what you say, but we know the truth.'
'Well, you asked for it... FEEL MY WRATH!'
_____________________________________________________________
'What is happening to us?...Wait...I know this feeling! He needs our powers!But-'
A dazzling blue light teleported the two avatars to the blank location, inside Ascendant's body.
'Now you, weak truphma, will feel my true power!', said the hero, removing a blood-like staff and a black sword. Ludascrious took out his knife, but he was disarmed quickly.
'Do you know that you are nothing but mere extensions to Xov's body? You are nothing but little avatars with no special powers whatsoever.'
'No. That is not true.'
'Those will be your final words.'
He cut the Plain General into one thousand pieces and scattered them across the camps, so they can all know that he is a force to be reckoned with, then he retreated in Yulgar's Inn to get a good sleep.
'Oh, Yulgar, what will I do? This is getting out of control? How do I destroy them?'
'Well, I don't really know that. But I do know that this letter is for you, from the Changeling.'
The hero read it and went out, saying goodbye to his old friend.
He rode for a few miles, then he met with his not-Truphma buddy.
'It's good to see you resisted!'
'Well, I couldn't have done it without you! Your actions gave me hope!'
'Now, what was it that you wanted to talk with me about?'
'They have discovered me. I need your help to destroy their camps. I know how to do it, but I can't do it by myself.Each location has a generator. Destroy it and they'll never re-Watch out! They're here!'
20 truphmas, 15 bored buzzers, 15 washed-out wolverines and 10 dull ramleons came from nowhere.
'This is where the fun begins!', said the hero.
He began slashing and slaying everything in his path, not caring how much innocent animal blood he shed. His hatred towards the truphma was unending. After clearing the road, he realized that his friend was badly injured. He wanted to take him back and help him treat his wound, but right then Eukky's portal arrived and took the hurt one to an unknown location. It left after telling Ascendant that Ms. Vox told him to blend in.
Chapter V - The General
The hero, dressed as a truphma, arrived at the camp.
After having found the camp, he confronted an Outpost Master. These guys were truly tough, as Ascendant was bruised pretty hard.
'So, how do you like your truphmas, fried or fired? You and Xov will never win this battle! I promise you this.'
'We shall see, One. So far, we haven't sent our good troops in.'
'And you won't! I will crush every portal before you get a chance to do anything!', said the hero, who then destroyed the encampment.
He then set on his quest to cure Lore of the bland creatures inhabiting it.
To be continued...





< Message edited by The Ranger Protector -- 3/8/2013 11:18:02 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 14
5/6/2013 18:04:43   
Elryn

Custodian (DF)


As sailors wander the sea



A foot landed on the soft sand and the sand fled from it. Seaworthy winds melded with the mage’s own as he stood on the beach of the Great Sea. The humid air and salty air was soothing as it ran through his airways, opening them much like he felt when he breathed the year’s first cold and crisp winter wind. The waves crashed and the wind whispered inviting to the sea that displayed, as painter did his most intricate master piece, its most beautiful blue-green and tempestuous grey clouds. All promised adventures that had no doubt tempted the spirit of sailors so many times before.

''Hmmm…'' mused the Mage.

He shook his head, spun around and dash the way he had come. Through the forest of trees, Mankees looked as he flew by their trees, oranges in their hands. One of them blinked and stared:

''Ook?''

For his own, Elryn did not think much of where he went, only that of the way he came.

It does not sit well with me.

He thought back to all the pain that had resulted of the Paladin vs Necromancer war. In truth, the war between themselves had been more damaging than any war against any sort of monsters they had beared witness to. Rixi, Cataclysm and a number of other friends that had been dragged into the fray and injured as a result. Although friendships were mending, the outcome of the war had not been without consequences. The loss of Necromancers' and the Paladins' magics was no light matter and repercussions would be felt for some time. Now was a time to rebuild and fortify, on many different levels, the events seemed too fresh to leave to train now…

Something caught his eye however. On his left, a number of trees looked off. He steered towards them and, having sufficiently approach the oddity presented, broke into a walk as he found himself amongst the odd flora. Their demeanour immediately seemed uncanny: while the parts of the forest from whence he came were bustling with all kinds faunal life, the silence of a morgue plague these parts. No bird sung, no mankee fooled around in the tree tops, even Darkovia had more life, dark or unliving, than this place. The mage placed a hand on the truck of one of the tree: the tree lived still despite its odd demeanour. Elryn had found that the best way to describe this strange occurrence was the tree seemed sick. Indeed, like a man struck by an ailment, this tree seemed pale, its colours slightly drained. He frowned.

This is familiar.

His head twisted and eyes eyed deeper into the patch of odd trees. With a decided gait, he went. His suspicions seemed confirmed when the conditions of the trees worsen. Soon, not only the trees but the lands as well seemed patched with blotches decidedly lacking of colour. Elryn wondered for a moment if Kamui might not have had an accident with that strange chemical of his again. He called it ''bleach'', an appropriate name seeing how it seemed to drain the colour from any which fabric much like how leaving things in the sun too long seemed to do. But no, this was different, and familiar.

Colourless trees opened upon an equally colourless shoreline. There, just before the open sea, white tents lain in a plain fashion doted the beach. There was no doubt about it.

''Truphma…'' muttered the mage as though he had tasted something rancid.

Suddenly, the memory of the Truphma's savage assault came fresh to the mage's memory. A strong wind surged from the forest and swept across the dull trees. The wind was cold as deep winter, the humidity froze and made tiny flakes of ice that followed by. As the wind was walking onto the camp so did the dull thud of the giant's feet join and walk with it. However, a calmness suddenly reassumed itself when he noticed something odd. For one, no Truphma could be seen at the outskirts of the camp. He saw none from his station. Secondly, the majority of the tents seems misplaced and battered as though a battle had recently occurred. With feline prudence, Elryn snucked up to the tent nearest him and peeked over the side.

The camp had been devastated. Truphma lied beaten in a mess, ironically in chaotic fashion quite similar to that of a paint brush flick, and the tents had suffered a similar fate. In a corner of the camp, nearer the beach, the mage spied Artimix trotting off to an ice walkway on the water that lead to a boat. Elryn chuckled.

''It seems I have been beaten to the Truphma buffet.'' said he all too pleased.

Some time later, after having left the camp that had already been taken cared off, a similar series of events reproduced themselves. Bleak trees and terrain this time lead to a camp hidden in the middle of the forest. It had been clearly laid to waste. Tents and Truphma alike were marked by the strike that resulted of the swift swing of a blade weapon. Oddly enough, gashes of paint of all colours similarly accompanied the former.

The mage found this most bizarre and unsettling. The presence of Truphma camps and these varied locations meant they were on the move, yet the two he had found so far had been already dealt with.

''Either way,'' muttered he out loud. ''This is not a situation to take lightly. And to think I considered to wander at these times…''

TRAAK!!!

Elryn turned and looked up. Odd, dark clouds gathered in the sky some distance away. He started in their direction, making his way through the trees, coming upon the exit of the forest.

Far in the distance, in a valley clearly suffering from the Truphmas' presence, the dark clouds he had seen previously swelled to some considerable size. The matter was peculiar as these clouds were separated from all the rest. As the dark colour of the clouds had predicted, it soon began to rain over the camp, yet this in a most peculiar manner. Rain fell from the clouds in a pied assortment of colours. Where it landed, blotches of colours spread like the brisk and adventurous brush of an artist. If the last camp had seemed peculiar, this event was all the more, yet it made a point that using colour was an effective strategy against the blight of the Truphma. All around the camp, which up to this time had remained unscathed, the Truphmas ran frantically about, helpless against the colourful assault. The creative dispatching made Elryn grin.

Mayhap I worry too much some times.

Elryn sat down against a tree that had regained its former splendour. He reflected on the mission he had given himself.

Power comes from within.

Such was a proverb taught by his elders. One in particular said with a smile:

Power comes from protecting that which is dearest to us.

The mage grinned at the thought of the sentence. It was certainly true, yet there was also another thing. The warmongers trained constantly in their fervour to protect Battleon and other friends.

Ulthair leans one knee, his breathes comes quick as he stares hard at his trainer. The giant taunts his lack of spirit, crossing his arms over his chest, a long sword at his back. He grins when Ulthair, determined, totters to his feet like the apprentice he knows so well and of which he is so fond.

For their next battle.

The stalwart BlackAces smiled as Kaminari Ryu and Hikariken facing him were about to set off the day's sparring. All around them, a void filled with various time pieces.

****

Once again at the beach, Elryn headed for the shore. As he did so, his boots turned cold and froze. Hoarfrost appeared and crawled across their surface.

''Remember the feeling of your first winter.'' said a gentle voice. ''Remember the white expanse, the blanket that earth had donned for the occasion. Remember your first breath of the cold air, how it rushed into your being, filled your lungs.''

The wind grew colder and fresher.

''Remember the first time you found ice, how hard yet smooth and slippery it was. Remember the first time your feet stepped onto a frozen lake and how it crunched under them.''

A cracking sound was heard as his foot jumped again from the ground and broke the ice that had formed. In synch, the other twin landed and the ice that accompanied it immediately explored new grounds, growing and spreading like a plant, freezing the sand around the foot into a patch of ice.

Remember your first winter.

Gently, gently, snow began to fall from the sea's clouds. Soon caught by the wind and the snow began its winter dance. Elryn had reached the shoreline, his next step reached for the water.

Remember the first time you walked open a frozen lake.

And his foot landed on the water with a crack. Ice reached out from it, growing on the water and spreading like a tree's branches branch out. The icy limbs stretched and crisscrossed. The next step arrived, the ice hardened and the ice limbs fused into uniform ice path.

Let us see what things await in this direction. Who knows, mayhap I may both train and visit Truphma camps at one time.

And the winter storm went out to sea.


< Message edited by Elryn -- 5/10/2013 16:39:27 >
AQ  Post #: 15
Page:   [1]
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