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Autumn 1372

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:42 pm

**************************************************************


Elric winced as he shook his arm. He could already feel a nasty bruise starting to form. Hard taught instincts continually dodged him out of the way, but when dodge didn't work, block did. Without the enchanted bracers though... blocking hurt.

Ribs were bruised, He didn't think anything was broken... but he wasn't too worried about it. Pain he could deal with, Surrounded by priests and divine artifacts, he doubted there would be any serious harm.

Gundlar seemed to revel in the combat. Much to Elric's chagrin, he quickly realized that the man was good. Apparently he hadn't been able to cut loose against a real challenge... (at least one that didn't actually want him dead,) in a very long time. It didn't take too long before Elric didn't need to leave openings to make the man look good.

The crowd were whooping and hollering by this point. Some rooting for Elric many still rooting for their Prior. The priest was standing a little taller then he was a few moments before, and despite the beating he was allowing, Elric was glad to see it.

The morningstar swung wide and Elric spun his feet out. One smacked the handle just above gauntleted hands and then both kicked hard into the steel breastplate before the half-elf finally landed.

The prior staggered back again and with a piercing look charged back into the fray. Elric spun low as the spikes from the weapon barely missed his hair, and swept the leg's out from under the priest. Gundlar went down hard, and Elric sprang back to his feet, a bit more gingerly then he'd expected. The Prior's armor was a little more enchanted then he'd expected. Even this suit had it's chinks and the Salk-sirra master could still find them, but magic still added an extra layer of protection that chains and leather didn't protect.

Gundlar got back to his feet a little more slowly and a little more awkwardly then the unencumbered half-elf, but Elric saw more. His opponent was older, and wore heavy armor... He was getting tired. His attacks were getting slower.. but pride wouldn't let him stop.

Elric shook his head and charged back in. He'd worked to hard to let the Prior pass out on him. As they raced toward each other, Elric slid to his knees and watched the morningstar glide over him again. He was a little surprised that the same trick worked twice till he felt the armored knee smack into his face.

He could taste the sadly familiar coppery tang of blood as he spit out a small glob, and raised his eyebrow to the priest. A look of self satisfaction shown on the Prior's face, but it was obvious to Elric that the cleric knew the truth. He wasn't going to win this fight. The resignation shone through his eyes as he nervously glanced at his flock of onlookers.

Ok then. The warrior had enough training for today anyway... He came on hard and fast, swinging his sword back and forth, raining blows down on the armor. Then he did it, He stepped a bit too far to the left, and swung too far to the right. The half-elf's head was vulnerable.

Eldorath would have had a fit if he'd been watching. Cardinal rule number one. Protect your head. Followed by rule number two. protect everything else! But the half-elf trusted the prior. He'd seen the man's skill with his weapon, and sure enough, it came to a sudden stop less than an inch from the half-elf's face.

He'd had faith in the priest to not go too far. He had confidence in the man's abilities.... but he still let out a relieved sigh as the priest grinned at him.

"Do you yield?" The high ranking priest asked with a wheeze.

Elric returned his grin, but let his eyes drift slowly down to the right. The cold iron longsword was pressed just an inch from the priest's armpit. That wonderful golden zone where the armor joints were always the weakest... and good thrust would lead to the heart.

"I'm willing to call it a draw if you are?"

Gundlar eyes sparked with annoyance, then settled into gratitude. The half-elf's performance had been noticed by his opponent. A tie where they both walk away with honor was better than what he had expected after only a few moments in the ring.

"That seems fair." Both weapons were removed from the vital zones, and the priest added in. "If you wish a rematch at any time... Simply let me know." The offer was a hollow one. Neither truly wished a repeat of this particular event.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:37 am

It didn't take long for Ashara to gather up and deliver a platter full of fresh fruits, vegetables and salted meats for the diligent mage. He'd fallen back into his research with renewed vigor and after delivering the meal, she slipped out of the laboratory with only a prayer for success and the hope of seeing him after Dawnsmeet tomorrow.

The gardens were largely empty. Aside from the gatherings each morning, Ashara hadn't seen it so desolate. Something must be distracting them...

"Heren, would you mind stretching your wings a bit and see if you can't find Elric?" She scratched beneath his fuzzy chin and the dragon elongated his neck to accommodate her before unfurling his bat-like wings and takng to the air.

She hoped her husband hadn't allowed himself to take too much damage though granted, in a place full of priests, permanent injury wasn't at all likely. It had been a few moments since the Sacred Guardian spell alerted her to danger to his person so Ashara assumed the 'training' had come to an end.

Following Heren's flight, she made her way around to the other side of the tower, where a large group of Seekers and allies were gathered around. The kodragon folded back his wings and dove into the center of the chattering and congratulatory onlookers. Ashara smiled. Elric always did know how to make an impression!

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:11 pm

Elric flexed his freshly healed arm. Still a slight tingle... a bit of a bruise on his ribs. Perhaps he was getting spoiled with Ashara's healing. Still he nodded to the nearby priest he turned toward the crowd. Gundlar was tending his own hurts and the surrounding crowd was cheering and laughing and some were even exchanging coins... He could feel his ears turning bright red.

"Slowing down a bit?" Came a familiar voice. Jorelon was chuckling with a wide grin. "I KNOW I've seen you move faster than that..."

"Well..." Elric shrugged helplessly. "I did handicap myself without the magic... and I [i]already[/i\ fought a behir today... I'm content!"

The priest just laughed. "Well... I'll have you know I lost a few gold there. I thought you'd have done much... Incoming!!'

"What?!?" Elric spun at the warning, but he didn't move fast enough. A furry missile slammed into him and tackled the half-elf to the ground. The gathered priests gasped in surprise and some actually reached for weapons before they recognized Elric's laughter for what it was.

"Hello Heren... Ashara's idea I suppose?" The little dragon puffed out his chest and chuffed in disagreement.

"Ohhh... Your own then?" A wide grin marked that as agreement. He tussled the hair on the little dragons' head. "Oh yes... Your going to fit in just fine in impresk... "

As he collected his small pile of treasure he looked at Heren and inquired. "Where is she? Still with Kaldric?" Heren just spun his head, in a couple of directions and then hopped into the air for a better view. By the time Elric had pulled on his last boot. A small clawed hand pointed to the east.

Looking that way, He immediately spotted that familiar auburn hair working it's way through the crowd. Grinning he hopped to his feet.

"Hey there!" He said as he finally pushed through and greeted her with a kiss. "Did you just get here? How's Kaldric? "
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:26 pm

When she saw the warrior's smiling face, Ashara released a breath that she didn't know she'd been holding.

"Kaldric is sleep deprived and half starved, though hopefully a little less the latter now. I think he and Therogeon would get along quite well." She held the half elf at arm's length as she spoke, looking him over just to be sure everything was still in tact. "It was like that research in Calimport all over again!"

The priestess smirked at the memory. Their brother had become so lost in his study that he needed to be reminded when to eat and when to sleep just to keep his body running properly. His diligence was worth the price though. Therogeon's findings had made all the difference in the battle against Cyric's assassins, destroying Shar's (formerly Myrkul's) Rod and the destruction of The Most Hated Wyrm!

"Somehow I doubt we'll be seeing him this evening, but Kaldric hopes to glean something of pertinent value from the Gemblaunt tomes to relay at the meeting with the Abbess in the morning. I don't doubt that he'll do just that.

"So yes," Ashara grinned, "I just got here! Missed all the excitement too by the look of it, though I did catch some of the choice bits...the more...violent ones. I do hope you'll fill in the gaps for me later, my dear..."

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Re: Autumn 1372

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:17 pm

"Promised I would, didn't I?" His grin faltered a bit as he realized that the mage intended to miss the funeral. He simply shook his head. Sometimes he just didn't understand mages and their obsessions.

Still, he supposed that funeral's weren't uncommon here. He was sure Kaldric knew what he was doing... and if he found a way to 'fix' things... then in the long run he was right to focus his energies elsewhere. Still the idea was very foreign to him.

"I hope he finds what he's looking for." He stated simply and threw an arm over her shoulder as they walked back toward the tower.

"What of you? What's next for you today? Sketches next?"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:47 am

Ashara nodded. "I think so. It'll help clear my mind and organize all these thoughts before delving into the heavy study. Just over there looks like a lovely spot!"

The priestess lifted her hand to indicate a lonely oak that stood defiantly just within the compound's walls. The wall bowed outward at the site, hinting that the Seekers had purposefully encompassed the ancient tree. A perfect spot for sketching and reflection.

"So your turn!" She nudged him playfully as they made their way down the stone hall to their room. "Do you plan on seeking out any more 'training' partners this afternoon? I mean you've hardly broken a sweat..." A single mischievous eyebrow arched skyward. "Or maybe you'd rather sit out in the sun with me and be my muse for an hour or two?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:02 pm


"Ahhh no contest!" he said stretching out a kink in his shoulder. "I think playing the muse sounds like a lot more fun than getting my head bashed in some more... It's not nearly as fun as I had expected!"

By now the crowd dispersed back to their regularly scheduled chores. The Everdawns were free to come and go as they wanted, and soon the found themselves relaxing under the old tree. Elric leaned back and basked in the sun and shade as the gentle breeze blew the branches here and there. Tension just drifted away as the days of pain and blood evaporated under the warm sun.


Being a muse was easy it seemed. Ashara sketched away with her charcoal and parchment. Cityscapes, singing flowers in the garden right before Elric's mishap with the portal. Some she showed him, some she insisted weren't 'ready' yet... and occasionally some were a bit more mischievous then others. It soon became apparent that many of her favorite memories, were going to be when his shirts just 'fell' off... and with a slightly reddened ears he occasionally tried to snatch some of what he referred to as 'overly exaggerated' pieces away. Never 'quite' getting them away...

All in all it was lovely afternoon.

"I had him Melamin... I'm sure of that." He said softly as he lay in the soft grass looking up at her quickly moving fingers. He looked to his own attempt lying under a stone and shook his head. It was a laughable attempt at the Dawnspire. He simply couldn't seem to make what he drew look anything like what he was looking at. One of many skills that was just beyond him.

"I could have ended that a lot sooner, but..." He clicked his teeth in annoyance as he finished the story of his training with prior as promised.. "I dont' think it would have done anyone any good if he'd been humiliated. I think I may have pushed a little too hard in the beginning. It was getting a little ugly. Definitely not how I saw that going...

"I just had to let him get a few good shots in... For morale. I'm pretty sure it all worked out though."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:51 am

She was a child of Spring, that much couldn't be doubted, but each season had its own magic, and Fall not the least among them. Fall in Myth Drannor? How could that not make every season more memorable!?

A slight breeze whispered amongst the leaves overhead and subtley bent the tips of the tall grasses that grew beneath them. There was a distinct chill in the air, though not an unpleasant one. Not nearly to the extent of what it must feel like in Impresk at this time, but thanks to the Mythal's care for those beneath her, Ashara's bare toes were comfortable enough as they crawled through the blades of sun-dappled grass, slowly and methodically making their way toward the basking half elf's unprotected side. They abruptly halted their approach as Elric broke the silence.

"Definitely made the right call there," Ashara responded after he'd finished his story. "Humiliation certainly wasn't the intent." The sounds of charcoal scratching on parchment began again as she continued to work on this newest sketch. Her toes also continued their stealthy crawl toward their ticklish destination.

"It surprises me that a man who knew you'd fought toe to toe with a molydeus and LIVED....in a dead magic zone no less, and still had the gumption to challenge you, couldn't bring a better game. That takes some confidence in one's abilities, does it not? I mean I certainly wouldn't want a piece of that action!"

The young woman looked over the edge of her parchment and clearer her throat awkwardly.

"Well...um...that is to say...I would," she sputtered, turning a little red, "but...OH, you know what I mean!"

Hiding her blushing face behind her sketch once again, she continued. "Maybe he did know what he was getting into... The prior is not a senseless man by any means. He's probably not had a real challenge here among the Seekers for some time.

"Did he know that you were holding back?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:49 pm

"I think so." Elric nodded lost in thought. "In fact I'm sure of it.

"I mean... I don't want to criticize his skills or anything. He was... IS an excellent fighter. He's been doing this a long time... but, Yeah... I... " The warrior stammered a bit as he tried to describe the fight without appearing either disdainful of the prior's skills or boastful of his own. It was more difficult that he expected.

"I think that his motivation was more about testing than just seeking a challenge. You have to admit... some of your stories seem pretty far fetcHED ahhAHHAA!!!!" he flinched suddenly as wandering toes found his unprotected side. Hands like lightning snatched her ankle and her pulled her across the grass towards him.

"You..." he began, but left the thought unspoken, his hands quickly found her own weak spots. Giggles and peals of laughter filled the courtyard.

A wonderful afternoon it was, but too short. Soon enough the shadows began to lengthen and all pleasant thoughts gave way to bittersweet goodbyes for their fallen friend.

The ceremony was brief, but heart wrenching. Jorelon spoke beautifully both of Durlan's last adventure and many earlier ones. They spoke of courage and strength, things the dwarf had in abundance.

Elric hated funerals. He'd been to few himself... but the ones he had upset him. He'd only known Durlan for a few days, but in that time they had bled and fought together. They had quickly become fast friends. Or so the half-elf had thought. For all he'd spoken with the forthright dwarf, hearing all the old stories only showed how little he'd known his friend at all. He tried to focus on the vision of the Dawnstone, but even knowing his friends final reward didn't ease the loss of his presence.

He wasn't the only one who felt the loss too. Despite the Morninglord's belief of Death being nothing to fear, He still saw few dry eyes as they lit the torch and sent the stout body 'back to the forge.'
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:01 pm

The Everdawns were among the last to file out of the ceremony. Ashara had stood transfixed for some time as the flames devoured the physical body of the dwarven warrior. She'd seen burning bodies before...too many burning bodies for one lifetime, but she'd never seen a funeral like this one. Most faithful to Lathander were buried. Most faithful to Moradin were interred in tombs. But here...where the bodies of their fallen comrades could be raised by their enemies and used against them? Yes, she decided. Burning was better.

Ashara slipped her arm through her husband's as they walked silently back into the Dawnspire. When they reached the fork in the stone corridor where one direction would take them to the sleeping quarters and the other toward the library, she hesitated for a moment then turned and leaned against the wall, rubbing her tear-swollen eyes to try to erase the scene of the pyre from her mind.

"Melamin..." Her utterance of the familiar endearment was as much a gentle sigh as an address. Elric looked as if the Going Down was weighing on him as well.

"Why don't you go get some rest and I can deal with the research stuff. From what I saw earlier, there isn't all that much information on the alhoon anyway... Some basic tendencies, weaknesses, a few first hand encounters that have been recorded but reading through all that shouldn't take long.

"Its been a long day and tomorrow promises to be more so. Besides...I can practically see that knot in your shoulder from here," she smiled sympathetically as she reached up to press two fingers into that stubborn lump of tension that would invariably collect there. "What do you think? Go relax and I can meet you back upstairs in a couple of hours?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:49 pm

He debated a moment before he relented. "Ehhhh... not a bad idea." he reluctantly admitted. He wasn't a fan of research anyway, and he doubted he'd be much use with mind as distracted as it was.

They said their goodbyes and soon Elric was back in their room stretched out on the bed. The battle against the trolls and the Hezrou kept playing through his mind. He'd been Front line.. Durlan had been behind him... the rust monster...

The half-elf had made the call to switch opponents. Durlan had seemed grateful at the time... but moments later he'd be gone. Had he made the wrong call? He tossed and turned to such thoughts and though he wanted to wait for Ashara to return, he drifted fitfully to sleep.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:24 am

About an hour and a half later Ashara returned from the library, little comforted by the snippets of information she'd found. Alhoon could not be turned, nor harmed by holy water or sunlight. Silver and cold iron held no detrimental affects either. It only got better as she started reading the reports of the rare encounters within the city, as it seemed that the undead illithids were both powerful psionicists and wizards. Thankfully, the dead magic area would mitigate some of that threat, but if one of the creatures had found a way to Dominate victims under the Mythal, which normally prevented such things, and could also create an enchantment that would hold within an area of dead magic? That could be a very dangerous position for them to be in. Sure the Arm of Valor would make her immune to psionics but what about Jorelon and Kaldric? What about Elric? What if he was Dominated by an alhoon and forced to attack them, there would be no chance of a draw...

These new concerns weighed on her mind as she quietly pushed open the door to their room. Elric was already fast asleep. She ignored the twinge of disappointment, glad at least that he'd be well rested for tomorrow. Potential run ins with an alhoon or a molydeus or both would make an alert mind quite necessary!

Beside the half elf, lying on Ashara's pillow, was a huddled ball of grey fluff. Evidently Heren found the soft bed a much better sleeping place than the pile of gold from the other night. He snored away happily and she found herself unwilling to disturb either of them.

It wasn't due to this temporary displacement that the priestess turned around and headed up the stairs, rather it was her restless thoughts that were keeping sleep at bay this night. Ashara climbed to the top of the Dawnspire to sing the ritualistic prayers over their family blade and to seek out the peace that could be found in the presence of the Endless Dawn.


**********************

Uktar the 28th

Morning came quickly and with it the jittery anticipation of the day ahead.

At the conclusion of Dawnsmeet, Ashara pulled on her robes along with the dozens of other priests that were gathered to observe the morning ritual. It hadn't come as surprise that Abbess Alaecathra kept the discussion to business as usual. There was a lot riding on the outcome of this next foray into the city, but who knew how long it would take to completely thwart the threat... There were still so many questions yet to be answered!

Ashara waited until the crowd dissipated before approaching the Abbess.

"Good Dawn to you, Sister." The elder priestess smiled as she approached and looked about with curiosity. "Elric decided not to join us this morning?"

"He's at his usual morning routine," Ashara explained after rising from her curtsy. "Some training and meditating to help focus him for the day ahead.

"Speaking of which... I intend to prepare a Heroes Feast this morning before we head out into the city. I know it won't do us any good within the dead magic area of course but it can't do us any harm either and you just never know!

"Perhaps we can all meet to discuss the situation over a summoned breakfast?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:13 am

"A marvelous idea sister." The abbess said as she herded various priests onto their duties for the day. "Come inside and we'll prepare for the others."

****************************************************

The air outside was brisk, but pleasant. Elric tried to focus, but it wasn't as easy as he'd hoped. His mind kept wandering as his body snapped through the techniques he'd learned so long ago. Today was a big day...

Not such a bad thing he supposed in annoyance. If he could only fight when focused, then an enemy need only distract him... If he could still fight while his mind wandered...

Nope. That kind of logic wasn't going to get him anywhere. He could almost feel Eldorath smacking him in the back of the head for even suggesting such a thing. That thought brought a smile to his lips. He couldn't help but wonder where his old teacher was now? He had so much to tell him when next they met...

Finally, he pulled his boots back on and went in search of his wife. He hadn't heard her come in last night...and she was gone when he awoke. If others hadn't seen her going to Dawnsmeet, he would have been worried. He'd thought about joining her again this morning... but, decided against it. He knew the Lathandrites each held their own rituals... but, the Seekers... he felt extremely 'Awkward' watching theirs.

Entirely too much nakedness there... And he really needed the training.

Carefully, he peeked around the corner to the courtyard and with a sigh of relief saw a large group of dressed morninglords. It didn't take long to find where his wife and the abbess had gone to.

"Hey there..." He said entering the small room that was being prepared for a hearty breakfast. A quick kiss on the cheek and he whispered in her ear.

"Didn't hear you last night.. Sleep ok?"
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:59 am

"Fitfully," she admitted with a tired smile. "I spent some time with the Dawnstone last night and then was up early so I decided to walk around the grounds a bit. I'm sorry I didn't wake you, Love." Ashara pulled him close for a proper morning kiss, making no mind of the fact that they weren't alone. "You seemed so tired that I figured I ought to just let you sleep, and this could prove to be a long day indeed..."

A few divine words spoken as she grasped her jeweled holy symbol and a large table complete with chairs and utensils, serving implements and foods and drink enough to feed a score of men stretched from one end of the room to the other.

Ashara pulled out one of the crimson-cushioned seats and sat beside her husband as everyone started digging into the meal. Nearly everyone involved with today's push into the city was here. Nearly everyone... She hoped Kaldric would make it for the meeting and that he might have some additional insight to share about what they might be up against!

"How are you feeling?" She spoke softly to Elric as she lay the napkin on her lap. "I know that last night was..." With pursed lips, she searched for a word that could embody all of the emotions that were stirred during the Going Down. Finding none, she simply shook her head and settled for simplicity. "Hard..."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:58 pm

"Not my best night," he admitted reluctantly. "I lost track of how many times I ran that fight through my mind." He sighed in frustration, then forced a grin.

"But that was last night! Today's a whole new adventure." He glanced around at the gathering priests. Most were familiar higher ranking Seekers, a few new faces seemed grim and determined. Where they going on the mission with them?

Jorelon was sitting down the table from him, Kaldric was still absent. The prior had taken his place next to the Abbess. He suspected whatever was about to happen would happen soon.

"Any idea what's going on?" he whispered low as he took his seat.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:23 am

Ashara scanned the crowd of priests that had joined them at the table and shook her head subtly.

"None..." She answered under her breath. "The Abbess mentioned nothing out of the ordinary at Dawnsmeet either and that...that just makes me more nervous for some reason!

"It feels a little like a tribunal..." Ashara was piteously unfamiliar with the inner workings of the clergy, being raised as she was by a single priest at a humble shrine. Even if she had been, it had taken exactly one Dawnsmeet to figure out that the Seekers did everything just a little bit differently than most temples she'd been too. Or heard of! What was going on here was anyone's guess.

Jorelon would know, she thought to herself as she swallowed a bit of poppy seed muffin. Not much got past that man's uncanny gossip sense...

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:39 am

'Mmmm... probably not that..." Elric whispered back. Concern... excitement.. but not a lot of judgement. Whoever these new people were, he didn't think they were on any kind of trial.

"Volunteers." The abbess said answering their questions. "The five of you barely made it back last time you faced the Molydeus." She glanced around at the varied expressions around the room. "It has been discussed that this time there should be more going with you."

"Indeed." The prior agreed. "This could be the most dangerous expedition in the history of the Dawnspire." A quick glance at Elric and he hastily added, "Not that we doubt your abilities..."

"We didn't doubt Durlan's abilities either. Or Sub-prior's Telcharr' s... but things Happen under the Mythal." The abbess took the lead. "Falling in this city is no source of shame."

"But we can't let the arm fall into your enemy's hands." Elric stated the obvious as the Abbess spread her arms in acknowledgement.

"Both the Abbess and myself would go with you if we could..." Gundlar added with an obvious note of frustration. "But we can not. There are however, no shortage of priests willing to fight this fight with you."
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Kaldric

Post  The Sub-Creator on Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:38 am

Kaldric swept into the chamber of priests and warriors, his robe currently a deep shade of violet but still with the customary golden sash dipping about his waist. Even still, the mage appeared naked without the assortment of pouches, vials, and scroll cases adorning him. The sleep-deprived indicators upon his face had disappeared from the day before, courtesy of a well-used cantrip. He held a crystalline goblet of crimson wine which he swirled while making his entrance.

"My apologies for the tardiness," he said, finding an open seat and occupying it. "I certainly hope you weren't waiting on me to begin."

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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:46 pm

Ashara's reaction to the Abbess' announcement was immediately one of concern. They were going in to face something that was able to dominate people's minds even within a magic dead area. More people equated to more possible threats... Still, when they ran into the inevitable army of thralls, that extra help could prove necessary. The Arm had to be kept safe at all cost!

While she hated the thought of putting more of the Seekers' lives at risk, this was their home and they had every right to defend it. Who was she to stand in their way?

"Good morning, Kaldric!" The young morninglord cheerfully welcomed the mage at his fashionably late arrival. She was glad he was glad he'd come, and from the look of him he'd even managed to get a good night sleep! From the look of him anyway... The familiar, mind reviving spiced wine and the early hour at which he was drinking it, undermined the appearance of restfulness. Ashara grinned.

"We were just sitting down to eat, so please...dig in! The Abbess and Prior were telling us about those who've volunteered for the mission today."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:34 am

"Indeed Kaldric, thank you for joining us," the abbess said cordially. Turning her attention back to the rest she swept her hand towards the new faces.

"I believe it would be for the best if more than just four went in again. That is if Kaldric intends to to go. I know Magic Dead areas are not his favorite places to be." Elric grinned as he looked toward the mage.

"Regardless, this is a delicate mission. I want more bodies to go in, but too many is just as bad as too few. We have found three volunteers who were eager to join in your adventures.

"Tirtero, Adaldo, and I believe you've met Mairlen."

Elric nodded at the young woman who'd met them outside the gate with Jorelon. She seemed quite excited as she shared glances with Jorelon down the table.

"I trust I'm not too late...." Elric shivered as the cold grating voice permeated the room. Whatever warmth the room had fostered seemed to dissipate in the new 'guest's' presence.

Spinning quickly in his chair Elric started in horror at what he saw. An elf in dark tattered robes, skin stretched tight where there was skin at all. Occasional polished white bone showing through cheeks and bald head. One ear was half desiccated, but there was no doubt this... thing was once an elf.

As he leapt to his feet, fists clenched the Abbess voice stopped him cold.

"Elric NO. Lord Sym..."

"Ilrune. If you please..." the lich interrupted.

"Ilrune... " the abbess corrected herself, "was invited." Slowly Elric sat himself back down under the watchful glare of the bright white eyes.

"Invited, yes... We shall speak some time about your 'invitiations'." Ilrune spoke with disdain. Slowly he reached inside his robe and pulled out a burned and scarred holy symbol. The Abbess' lips drew tight together.

"I received your message, but one of your messengers is being treated below by your minions... the other did not survive."

"What did you do?" The prior said with tightly controlled anger.

"I did nothing to harm them, per our treaty. However, trespassers find my home most... inhospitable, and I was not expecting company."

"If you gave us a way to contact you...."

"I am not to be summoned." The baelnorn stated with rage creeping in his voice. He stopped and pulled out a scroll with a wax seal broken. "However... what troubles you, troubles me... I am here to listen."
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:02 am

Time slowed to a near standstill as the stench of undeath filled her nostrils. Topaz gems, left pouch. Holy water, right pouch. Dawnspeaker in hand. False Dawn on her lips. She didn't have her shield but maybe that was better in this case....Ashara wanted to be sure to have a double grip on her holy mace when she blasted this abomination to dust! Ooooh and she was going to ENJOY it!

The Abbess' unyielding word of halt, stayed Ashara's hand if only out of sheer shock that the woman would do so.

"Treaty?!" The young priestess sputtered in horror and disbelief, her body tensed in a sort of half standing position. Eyes burned bright with righteous indignation. "You... It... This was an INVITATION?!"

Her skin crawled at the nearness of it. Her heart pounded deafeningly in her ears. Baelnorn. 'Good' elven liches who'd willingly done this to themselves in order to 'protect' their families and their holdings. Rubbish... Tommyrot... To Ashara, the reek of the living dead was inseparable from evil. Since entering the ruins she'd wavered between praying that they wouldn't run into one of them, and praying that they would... And this one! To willingly walk into a room full of morninglords?! This lich had...

Well...

Considering the state of what remained of its body, she doubted it did. Best not to mention that though. Undoubtedly a sore point.

White-knuckling the thrumming Dawnspeaker, Ashara somehow lowered herself into her seat though tension hardened every muscle in her body.

"Forgive my ill-manners in your house, Abbess," she managed to hiss through her teeth as she brazenly stared down the ancient, withered husk of an elf, "but I'd count it as a kindness if you could make the guest list available next time. Such surprises could lead to...unpleasantness."

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Re: Autumn 1372

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:42 am

Elric put a comforting hand on her shoulder as he leaned back into his own chair. They were both trembling, though only one was with nervousness. Perhaps it was his elven half, or perhaps it was merely his mortal nature... but the presence of undead chilled his bones. Looking around the table he knew he wasn't alone. Fear, disgust, and anger filled the room. His wife was obviously in the last camp.

It was... unusual, to see Ashara that angry... Rosemorn temper or not.

"What I think my wife means... " he said as diplomatically as he could, "Where we're from, Morninglords and the undead don't form 'treaties."

"Things are different here..." Alaecathra said defensively. "And Lord Ilrune is not like the undead you may have encountered before."

"No, we've met liches." Elric answered matter of factly. The undead elf sneered in their direction.

"Baelnorn are more than mere 'liches' boy." Ilrune stated with an edge to his voice.

"And less." Alaecathra interrupted before things got out of hand again. "Baelnorn have their own agendas, their own desires. They're less evil then the standard liches, and rarely do our agendas come to cross-purposes.

"We are not enemies."

"Nor are we 'friends,' Alaecathra." The lich spoke softly his gaze never flickering from the antagonistic Everdawns. "Keep you dogs on a leash if you wish to keep them."

"Watch your tongue lich, if you still have one!" The half-elf said bouncing to his feet with his well scarred knuckled turning white from clenching. Now it was his turn to get angry.

"ENOUGH!" The abbess said in frustration. "Everyone take a seat..." She looked as Elric hesitated but slowly complied. "EVERYone."

Ilrune sat at the end of the table.

"Need I remind you Ilrune. Our goals are similar. We have no interest in your treasure or family estates, we do what we can to steer other adventurers away from you. In return you do not act against those under the protection of the Dawnspire."

"I need no history lessons woman... I am history." The lich scoffed. "I apologize for my rudeness. Truth be told, I prefer the Dawnspire to continue. If nothing else it serves as a focal point for my other enemies. Life was more... difficult without your army here."
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Kaldric

Post  The Sub-Creator on Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:16 pm

Kaldric swirled the wine in his goblet and listened as the tempers in the room escalated to a boiling pitch. Though he refused to look at the baelnorn for a long time, his opinion on its presence here hardly disturbed or upset him. Quite the opposite, in fact, which he chanced to express after things cooled down a bit.

"I, for one, am glad Ilrune is here," the mage confessed, setting the goblet on the table before him. "We have no inclination of what's going on with the Dead Magic currently creeping at our borders, and none here better understand the Mythal than he. The baelnorn may very well have answers that the rest of us--and I point to myself chiefly here--have failed to grasp. His knowledge could very well be indispensable for us at this critical juncture."

He peered about the chamber with ever-changing, prismatic eyes. "I suggest we put aside our normal prejudices for today and work together to attain a goal common to us all."

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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:55 pm

With teeth grinding together, Ashara peeled her fingers from the haft of Dawnspeaker fearing that if she did not, she wouldn't be able to keep from using it.

"Our understanding of that fact is the only reason we are still sitting at this table," she snapped back. After a deep breath, she clutched Elric's knee beneath the table for support and finished in a more calm...if strained voice.

"Let's just get down to business then shall we?"

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:33 pm

"Something all can agree on it seems..." the grating voice agreed. Elric just sighed and turned his attention back to the table. This was going to be long morning.

Alaecathra took the lead, and began the meeting. For the benefit of the new members, she started at the beginning. She spoke of how they had first noticed the ever-growing Dead magic zone, how it threatened to cut them off from the rest of Myth Drannor.

Then the story of what had happened after the Everdawns had arrived. Kaldric's idea of communicating with the mythal, Ashara's vision that there was 'more' to this DMZ than they first suspected.

Even collecting the Arm of Valor, which caused Elric to tense. He stared at the lich for any sign of interest, but long dead muscles made his face unreadable. The baelnorn simply stared silently, staring patiently till the Abbess finished her story.

"So, that's where we are now." she finished as she sat down.

"You believe that someone or something is specifically attacking you through the mythal itself?" the Ilrune spoke absently. "It's possible..."

"Do you know how?" the Abbess asked hopefully.

"Not yet, but the idea intrigues me."

"So what's the plan now? Is... he coming with us on the next attack?" Elric asked with some difficulty. A gutteral laugh was the lich's reply.

"Me... go into a dead magic zone with you? You speak foolishness boy. I have no intention of joining you on that fools errand."

The half-elf's jaw clenched tight. While he was glad to hear that response... this thing may need to be taught some manners...
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