The Runes of Aera

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The Runes of Aera

Post by striDer on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:30 pm

12 YEARS AGO...


Tyria: a city of vast magnificence sitting at the heart of High Aera. Tyria was the kingdom’s capital, where the Iron Fortress, the king’s site of residence, rose above a high hill overlooking the city: a center of thriving arts, culture, and steam powered technology.
Sitting at the head of a long table within the Council Chamber, Tyrel mused about the kingdom’s current state of affairs. His right hand man, Jon of Galadia, stood attentively by his side as the other ministers at the table looked silently at the king. Finally, the king spoke with a steady voice.

-For almost a century now I’ve done my best to keep this realm safe; to keep the old families happy and the new ones loyal. Yet, you come before me today to tell me that our banners to the South have fallen to a group of rogues and no good savages- standing up from his seat, Tyrel paced around the room, his arms behind his back and his gaze looking at the floor –What am I to make of this, gentlemen? Was I the one who failed the kingdom? The one who got our men to the South killed, their families slaughtered like animals, their women raped, and their towns burned? Or was it your incompetence and inability to keep watch over your own jurisdictions which brought…-
-My Lord! No one could’ve foreseen…!-
-STILL YOUR TONGUE, SIR HAMIL! YOUR KING IS SPEAKING!- Tyrel roared as he slammed both hands on the table, drawing everyone’s attention to him –You come here, telling me no one could’ve foreseen when Lord Valenfor himself has warned me of a possible insurrection to the West, not to mention the rumors of revolts to the North and at the city of Dilios! Do you only think me stupid, Sir Hamil, or also deaf? -
-My Lord- spoke another one of the councilmen –The fall of Ragnos to the South was unfortunate, but you must understand: more and more people are joining the rebel factions, supporting their cause to resist the change you intend to impose on them. Alas, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine who remains loyal to the crown on the furthest regions of High Aera. –
-So they resist peace – replied Tyrel, averting his eyes from Sir Hamil’s terrified own –How easily do they forget that it was I who released them from Drakenguard’s reign of terror. “The Blood Emperor” some called him – the king let out a scoff –Would they rather go back to the times of war, when blood streamed down the streets like rivers of red? When the whole continent was plunged into war and only the mighty and the unfair ruled? I’m giving them a chance to come together as brothers! Not as people of the South, the North, East, or West, but as people of High Aera! We’ve sacrificed so much already; there’s no going back for us.-
-So what are your orders, my Lord?-
Walking back to his seat, the king stared at each and every one of the councilmen.
-Send word to your Houses, and to Houses Alvatros, Handelion, Valenfor, Kingsley, and Allsace. I’m summoning a summit at the city of Zikahn to decide the fate of High Aera and these so called rebels. Also, send a raven to the South Coastal Fief; I want to know exactly what’s going on down there and how they’re taking care of things. Meeting adjourned.-

Once all the ministers and councilmen had exited the room, Jon approached his liege and bowed before him.
-Is this wise, my Lord? Surely some of our so called “allies” cannot be trusted.-

Though younger in age than his king, Jon of Galadia was already older looking; a middle aged man built like an ox. He was the son of Robert of Galadia, Emperor Drakenguard’s executioner.

-Do you think I do not know this, Jon? You don’t get to be as old as I am and not know the rules of the game.-
-The summit is just a ruse; you plan to expose the traitors…- Jon murmured to himself.

Standing up from his seat again, Tyrel patted his knight’s shoulder amiably.

-Your father and I never believed in lies; lies are what brought our enemies to bow down before us. Like I said, we’re just going to decide the fate of High Aera…and these so called rebels.-
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by Torturous Flame on Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:05 pm

“Sara?”

The word was nearly lost over the sound of crashing waves against the sand, momentarily turning tan to white as the foam drained from the shore. Out where the aqua water was calm and nearly transparent, a patch of brown floated on the surface. The pale woman standing on the beach smiled, her long brown hair, the same shade as the patch in the water, blew in the wind. As she watched a small girl surfaced, her soaked brown hair hung in her face. The child pushed it back behind her ears. Her skin was a caramel color that was not just due to a life in the sun.

“Momma!”

The little girl ran through the surf and to her mother, a blue and salt stained sundress clung to the eight year old’s legs. The woman picked her up as the little girl reached her and gave her a hug.

“Your father and I are going to be leaving soon, we just received a summons from the king.” The mother said.

The little girl looked up at her, green eyes wide with a big frown on her face.

“Can I go with you Momma? Please Please Please? You’ve only just got back from that place with no beach or ocean!” Sara said.

“We were inland, darling, the word is inland.”

“Inland..” The girl repeated.

“Come along my little parakeet, lets go inside.”

The lady put her daughter down and took her hand, they walked together to a staircase that scaled a hill that rose above the beach, built at the top was a castle that overlooked the ocean and the surrounding coastal grasslands. They entered the courtyard, servants nodded respectfully as they passed. In the courtyard stood a man who was organizing the supplies for the long trip north. His skin was a dark hue, like that of the natively born servants around him, his dark hair was mussed and his dark eyes focused.

“Daddy!”

The man smiled and turned to face the woman and her daughter. He knelt on one knee and caught the little girl and spun her as he stood.

“Hey there parakeet, still chattering?”

Sara laughed and hugged her father. She leaned back to look at him, her brow furrowed and the corners of her mouth turned down, a picture of the laughably serious eight year old.

“Daddy tell Momma I can go with you!”

Her father sighed and smiled sadly at his little girl.

“Well we could take you with us...” He begun.

“I wanna go!”

“But it’s so cold up there, parakeet, you hate the cold. Supposedly there is a snow storm brewing.”

Sara’s brow furrowed again and she frowned.

“What’s snow?”

“It’s frozen water, my parakeet, that falls from the sky.”

The child’s jaw dropped open and her eyes got wide.

“The air makes water freeze in the north? Is it like that hurr..hurr..hurricame that we had last rain season?” She asked.

“It’s called a hurriCANE parakeet, and it is worse, colder and lasts much longer.”

The child looked at her father in shock.

“Um...nevermind, I think I’ll stay here Daddy” She said.

“Okay Sara, if you say so” He said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

FIVE DAYS LATER

The southern caravan road through the street of Zikahn. Sara’s father, Lord Halien Clemence sat at the head of the wagon with his wife, Lady Annalise Clemence. Both of them were bundled up against the winds and the falling snow. Halien looked at his wife with a smile.

“We should buy something for Sara while we’re here.” He said. “Her ninth birthday is next month.”
Annalise laughed and looked over at him with a smile in her green hazel eyes.

“We’ll pick something up”

After they arrived at their residence in the city and settled in, they went to the marketplace. The king had not requested an audience upon their arrival so they wanted to get out. The pair walked through the market with a few guards walking amongst the crowd. They smiled and walked into a small toy shop on a corner. As they walked through they found a stuffed, blue, cloth dog doll. It had buttons for eyes that had been carefully painted pink. It was about as big as the eight year olds head. Halien picked it up and smiled.

“She’ll love the blue, same color as her bedroom.” He said.

Annalise nodded. It would be a perfect birthday gift for their little girl. After more browsing they walked back to their mansion to retire for the night.
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by Artorius on Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:36 pm

A hierarchy emerged from the demonic horde. They first conquered the remote north- the icy permafrost from which no seed, nor any man may take root. The nomadic peoples of this harsh land were subjected and slaughtered. And so, in the far north, a demonic king rose. Unbeknownst to the "Immortal King" and his High Aera.

The wind whistled in the cracks and crevices of the damp, dark cave. From deep within the rock cavern, there was a stirring. Since the dwarves had abandoned the dry mine centuries ago, it had not seen life for quite some time. Yet, now, there were stirrings. Dark, foul creatures climbed from the dark recesses of a secret path- a gate to the world below. They had been summoned to this world by an insatiable desire to recover what was lost. Common man had claimed the demon magic for their own long ago, but never had they learnt its deepest, most guarded secrets, until the Immortal King came along.

The wretched demons from the world below came in several forms; large, small, and everything in between. Some were smart and cunning, others were slow of mind and weak. Yet, still they came, searching for the Rune Stone- the secret to the Immortal King's power. Long had they attempted to enter the world of man, elf, and dwarf, and finally succeeded. As they emerged from the darkness of the cave into the light of the world, their purpose became two-fold, exterminate all life, and retrieve the Rune Stone.

The beasts roamed aimlessly, not so much as a general, or a clue to lead them. They raided farms, villages, and small forts of the north. However, the keeps of the ancient feudal lords remained strong. But even these walled fortresses were in danger. As the demons slaughtered, and discovered the runes of their world emblazoned upon objects and skin, they devoured such things, and in doing so, gained their power. The keeps held, and being cut off from High Aera, no word slipped through. Only whispers of these foul beasts, and strange tavern tales told of the coming of the demons. 

--------------------
“... and he rode off into the sunset. The princess begged him to stay and accept the duties of king-to-be, but he refused. The dragon knight was never seen again, but they say his sword rests in the far north, beyond the Black Mountains. The end.”

With the conclusion of the lengthy tale, the young listener’s eyes beamed with curiosity. He could hardly contain his excitement and his questions. The teller, his father, chuckled. The young boy stood in awe of the dragon knight, perhaps a machination of his father’s, but to him, the most tangible figure in the universe. He was imposing, a literal giant among men, standing eight feet tall. He wore a dragon bone helm upon his head, and dragon scale armor encapsulated his whole body. He had in his hands, a massive sword, etched with the language of the ancient dragon-beasts. The sword spit flame and ash, and was sharper and stronger than any that had come before it. The boy could see all of this in his mind’s eye and more. Finally, unable to hold back, he flung a volley of questions at his father.

“Will I get a dragon sword papa!? And armor?! And... and... be a knight?! And save a princhess!? And fight w-w-hwi-hwisards? And deemons?”

“Of course Monte! And you know what?”

Young Monte looked at his father in pure bewilderment and shook his blonde-haired head.

“You are going to be BETTER than the dragon knight. You can have your own sword and make it famous, and go on your own adventures and maybe even save a princess or two!”

Young Monte scowled at his father before firing a reply.

“I don’ wanna! I want a DRAGON sword! And I want to go on the same aventures as the dragon knight!”

Monte’s father, Danark, frowned in a similar manner to his son. He then patted the young boy on his head before getting up from the lavish cushion on which he sat. The two were in their dwelling in Zikhan, the capital at which all royal assemblies took place. Zikhan was a curious city, guarded and protected, yet strangely naked to invasion. It lay in central High Aera, amongst the steppes, with nary a city, or fort surrounding it. Save for its high stone walls and meager city guard, the place was devoid of any real fortifications. This aside, the Allsace estate was quite luxurious. It sat as the highest dwelling in Zikhan, save for the royal palace erected for the Immortal King, where the council met and the summit was going to be held. The home was quite airy, having no doors, and always open windows, the weather was rather mild in central High Aera, though winds did get violent once in a while. House Allsace were retainers of the Immortal King and had houses loyal to them in turn. One of these houses was House Ferdinand, one of the oldest families in High Aera, though one of the least distinguished. It was a Ferdinand boy, about Monte’s age, who then was noticed by Danark listening to tales of the dragon knight. Danark beckoned him over.

“Come here, boy,” Danark commanded, sternly.

The vassal boy did as commanded, both terrified and confused. That was, until Danark smirked and began speaking to the boy.

“What is your name, boy?” asked Danark

The little boy stumbled on his words but finally managed to reply. “James Ferdinand, My Lord.”

“James, eh. Well... James, tell me, would you like to accompany Monte and I in two days time to the summit? I’m afraid it will be terribly boring for poor Monte here and he needs someone to keep him company.”

The face of the young boy glowed as he smiled a sincerely joyful smile.

“Of course, My Lord!”


After the excitement and the stories, Monte was put to bed, and Danark retreated out to the patio. He sat solemnly on a cushion placed on the patio, legs crossed, and eyes shut. Seven years ago, Monte’s mother died in childbirth. Now Monte was all Danark had. A nobleman, a rich, affluent nobleman, and all he cared about was the well-being of his son. Tomorrow, Danark would secure his future, and the future of the Allsace household.


Last edited by Artorius on Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by AnlmA on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:14 am

Jonathan Graves could barely put one foot in front of the other. Every step was agonizing, torture to his mind. Ragged breaths slipped through pursed lips as he crashed through the underbrush. He was running again, running away from his home and people he thought of as his family. He had learned a terrible lesson, there was no honor among thieves, success only brought a target upon your back. So he ran, away from Anselem and the danger brewing in his own brotherhood. Stopping rarely for rest, he finally collapsed, weary and exhausted from his flight. A boy of fifteen and he had already ran away from home and became a noteworthy thief in a faraway land, and yet look at him now, a heap of rags in a forested land alien to his senses. “Humph, see what you’ve gotten yourself into this time Jonathan, runnin away til you can barely stand on yer own two feet anymore. Run away from home and made it all the way across Aera only to die in this forsaken forest.”

For what seemed like hours the lifeless body lay unmoving, the soft rise and fall of its chest the only sign of life, until a soft growl shook the quiet of the forest. “Get up ya bastard, just get up, put one foot in front of the other, keep goin, that’s all ya need to do.” The body came to life, one arm straightened itself and placed itself palm down in the dirt, then the other, and slowly the pile black rags stood up. He caught himself before he went to crazy, “First things first. Gotta find yourself some water. Cryin ‘bout this horrible life won’t make it better. This forest’s got plenty of streams, there’s water somewhere.” So Graves walked, heading east into the forest. It wasn’t long until he found a stream, if it could even be called a stream. It looked more like a water skin had been emptied, but that didn’t deter Graves as he attacked the water like a dog, drinking until there was nothing left to drink. The muddy water was honey on his tongue, quenching his thirst and reinvigorating his will to survive. With his overwhelming need for water filled, Graves turned towards his next problem, food. For the first time since he had run away from home he was alone in the wilderness, with no guide, no group around him. He was clueless. He stole his way from the Northern wastes to Anselem, he hadn’t the first idea on how to find food miles into the western woodlands. All he had on him were his lock picking tools and knives, and they wouldn’t do much good short of skinning a rabbit, if he could catch a rabbit. So he resumed his relentless walking, hoping to stumble upon some woodland town, maybe finding some salvation in its hospitality.

Days began to run together as Graves journeyed deeper into the forested hills. His sanity began to leave him as he began to starve. Each step seemed longer, each foot heavier. Eventually, he collapsed. “Hehehe, back where we started John, takin a nap face-down in the dirt, not a piece o meat to fill yer belly.” He managed one last glance up and saw his salvation crawling along the forest floor. He grabbed hungrily at the ants as they scurried across the leaves of the forest, grabbing at as many as he could, trying to eat them all, he would eat them all. He sat there for as long as the ants kept coming, grasping for as many as he could get, eyes mad with hunger, brain no longer functioning in a human state of thought, everything was primal, the hunter would survive.
After eating his fill, Graves resumed his search for humanity. Stumbling through the forest as if he’d never been in one, Graves knew he would have to find some semblance of civilization, and quickly. His newfound energy wouldn’t last much longer, and random insects wouldn’t sustain him forever, so he searched for any signs of life. An abandoned campsite, tracks, a skeleton, anything to suggest that human life was nearby. He needed to before the night fell, he needed real sustenance, something more than the ants he had devoured earlier. His mad scramble almost caused him to miss the most important find since his haphazard journey had begun.

It was luck when his foot caught something hidden in the underbrush and he crashed to the forest floor with a thunderous crash. “GRRRRRRAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” His anger soon turned to joy as he noticed a bag attached the offending strap that had tripped him. He ransacked its contents, finding some moldy fruit and stale, maggoty bread. He picked out the best of the fruit and ate. The taste that flooded his senses was the nectar of the Gods. And the bread, it filled him to the brim, chunks of maggot slipping from his jaw and dirtying his shirt as he consumed his feast.

Pleased with his find, and now with a proper meal in his belly he set off once again. It wasn’t long before he ran across the campsite that the bag belonged too. It was abandoned but seemed fairly recent. There were ashes in the fire-pit, and holes where tent pegs had been driven into the ground. Graves guessed that this camp was headed north, and he set out to find it. As night fell Graves continued to move along the forest floor, searching for the group that had been the originator of the campsite. If he hadn’t been looking for it, he might have stumbled right into the very center of it. It was a well hidden camp, making use of the forest foliage and bush cover, disguising the camps location very well, even for a trained thief. He didn’t see any guards, but he could guess they were out there, so he stayed at what he considered a safe distance, merely looking in on the camp to see what he could discern.

He noticed at least twelve individual tents pitched in locations to make them all but invisible to the outside world, with a single fire at the approximate center of the camp. Around the campfire were four men, all wearing long cloaks of mottled green and brown, with cowls that hid their faces. They all had large bows resting somewhere near their body, within easy reach if they came under attack. For all the restlessness of the camp, the jovial laughter arising from the men around the fire gave the camp warmth of life that matched the forest. The forest was as much a part of these men as they were of it. But Graves dared not venture any closer, he couldn’t see the guards, and those four woodsmen around the fire certainly weren’t the only men out there. So he would wait, and follow the camp around the forest living off of an excess they may leave behind.

For the next several days, Graves followed the band of men from camp to camp, living off the few scraps of bread and strings of meat, still hanging to bone. He counted at least ninety men travelling in this group, all wearing similar cloaks of mottled green, and all carrying that outsized bow. He didn’t dare get close enough to make them aware of his presence, surviving off their scraps was good enough for him. So he followed them tirelessly, never letting them get too far ahead, but never close enough to be seen. Graves settled into the daily routine, always making sure to fall asleep hidden from sight. After another day of trailing the band of adventurers, Graves settled in behind a tree and went to sleep.

Waking up the next morning was unpleasant for Graves; of course finding oneself upside down hanging from a tree isn’t the most settling of ideas. His head was filled with blood, and his arms were sore from hanging unnaturally above his head. Graves thought to himself, “Oh god, oh god, I’m going to die.” He started praying.

“The Gods won’t save you from your fate,” came in gravelly tones from a man standing in front of Graves. He was one of the woodsmen that Graves had been following. His cloak hid his face, save for a scraggly beard peeking out of the cowl. “In fact, the only thing that can save you from your fate right now is your voice. So it’s better that you don’t waste it praying.”

“Well, yes, I guess that’s a fair assessment.” This voice was sweeter than anything Graves had ever heard, he would have wept had the comment in question not been so sarcastic. “I mean your ranger skills certainly won’t save you. You rely on our scraps to survive, and when you traipse through the woods you’re as quiet as an overexcited dog breaking every last possible twig and leaping through every bush just to fetch his particular stick.” It was a shame Graves couldn’t see this man, so he could kill him sometime later. “I mean we’ve known about you for several days since I saw you following us, it wasn’t exactly hard to see what you were up to.”

“Well it’s time for your tongue to decide if you get to live or not. I’m going to ask some questions and you’ll give me answers, if I like these answers, you live, if I don’t like them, you die. Really your options are quite simple. First Question, are you working for the Immortal King?”

“No, why would I?” Why would woodsmen care about the Immortal King?

“Because you’ve been following us, that might have a little something to do with it, don’t you think?” The unseen voice again, smug, and sure of himself.

“Not well, you said it yourself, I aint no woodsman. Don’t ya think anyone sent by the Immortal King would know how to survive in this place?”

“He has a point. I doubt they send someone so easily tracked.” The question master spoke, stern and unwavering. “I think his ineptness and reliance on us to survive proves that he’s no agent of the king. So that begs the question, if you’re no agent of the king, what are you doing out here?”

“I’m runnin for my life from Anselem. I’m tryin to survive.”

“Well, I guess survival depends on one question, how skilled are you and how much do you like the Immortal King?”

“I think that’s two questions there sir, not one.”

“Well, I guess you’re right, looks like you have some intelligence boy. We might make a ranger out of you yet. Now, as for your affinity to the Immortal King?”

“Well, I ran away from home when I was a boy because of his abuses, if that means anythin to ya.”

“How would you like to join our band of merry men?”

“One question before I say yes to yer offer. Can I hit the annoying one with the pretty voice?”

“You could try, I doubt he’d let you. Welcome to the Western Wolves.”

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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by striDer on Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:44 pm

The carriage moved slowly, making its way through the busy streets of Zikhan. Inside, a mother and her teenage daughter awaited impatiently for their arrival at the Valenfor lodgings. Attired in elegant dresses of silk and satin, both dames displayed a beauty and grace not unlike any of the most portentous families of High Aera.
As the girl looked out the window, her eyes wandered across the multiple-storied buildings of polished granite and limestone. Indeed, the former capital of the Arvakian Empire stood as a fine example of King Tyrel’s ambition to rebuild the old world anew.

-Where has father gone to?- inquired 13 year old Arya, her gaze still fixed on the marvelous world outside.
-Your father has some very important matters to attend to, dear. I’m afraid he won’t be able to join us just yet.

The young girl let out a sigh; disappointment was obvious in her bright green eyes and her mother knew why. Earlier that week, right before their departure from Evereth, Jonathan Valenfor had promised his little girl a tour of one of High Aera’s most notorious cities. Arya loved urban environments: their splendor and vivacity differed much from the boring quietness of rural provinces, one of which was, much to her misfortune, Evereth. Thus, where most people saw just a busy and loud ambiance, Arya saw limitless potential.

-He always does this- complained the young lady –Why doesn’t he just tell that he’ll be busy? Why does he always have to make false promises?

Smiling sweetly at her daughter, Elena Valenfor stood briefly to take a seat beside her.

-Maybe it’s not his intention to fall short of his promises.- she said as she caressed Arya’s hair gently –You know your father loves you, Arya, and one day you’ll understand just how hard he’s worked to procure us a good life.-
-Yeah, well…I think I’d rather have harsh truths over lies.

A saddened look crossed Ms. Valenfor’s expression as the weight of such words pressed on her heart. There were so many things Arya didn’t know about their family, and she could only hope that it would stay that way.
Unexpectedly, the carriage came to a full stop.

-What’s going on?- inquired Arya. She was sure they couldn’t have arrived to their destination so quickly.
In that moment, the compartment door swung open and her father’s head peeked in from the street.

-My ladies- he said in a jesting manner, exaggerating a gentleman persona –Hope I’m not interrupting.-
-Daddy!- Arya squealed, leaping from her seat at lightning speed to embrace him. Her mother could only watch with a smile on her face.
-I know I haven’t been around lately, beautiful, so I just had to make it up to you somehow.
-What do you mean?- Arya asked, awe taking over her features.
Her parents exchanged a glance with smiling expressions.
-I mean not only am I going to give you a tour of the city, but also you’re coming with me to meet the king.

Arya couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Not only had her father surpassed all her expectations, he had completely torn them asunder.

-Are you serious?!- she exclaimed like a small child, turning around to look at her mother –Oh my gods, did you know about this?-

Ms. Valenfor let out a few chuckles.

-Just don’t be late; remember that tonight we’re having dinner with the Allsaces.
-Sure thing, luv.- said Jonathan before kissing his wife’s lips tenderly.
-And don’t let her get into too much trouble- she warned him, even though she was looking at Arya.
-I don’t know, dear; as I recall, you and I used to have quite some fun whenever we got into trouble…

Elena smacked her husband’s mouth playfully as she tried to contain her laughter.

-Jonathan Valenfor! You’re incorrigible.
-Yeah, I like to think that that’s what you like about me.

Arya’s parents kissed again as she watched them happily. She hadn’t seen many couples that were still so in love after that many years of marriage. She wondered if she would be like that too someday.

-Right; time to go, rabbit. The king may like me, but he doesn’t like tardiness as much.
-Goodbye, mom! I’ll see you tonight!

And clinging on to her father’s arm off they went. This promised to be the greatest day in Arya’s life.
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by Artorius on Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:51 pm

“Come, Monte. Jonathan Valenfor and his family have invited us to dinner tonight.”

Young Monte Allsace wiggled unceasingly in his finely woven silk clothes. Being a nobleman’s son, he had to dress accordingly when visiting other nobles. The rather tall collar of the boy’s red dress jacket approached the midpoint of his head and the white cuffs of his undershirt were comically full of ruffles. His pants were laughably billowy, perhaps big enough for a boy five times his size, but such was the style. A dark leather belt was wound around the boy’s waist to keep his pants suspended and on his feet were black leather shoes so shiny that the gold buckle upon their top seemed tarnished in comparison. Finally, the boy wore rings, and earrings, to accent his look.

“Papa, when can I change?”

Danark Allsace simply smiled at his son, the kind of reassuring smile that tells a son exactly what he doesn’t want to hear. Monte knew he would not be able to change that night and wiggled all the more for it. It was as if Monte believed the clothes would just fall off if he wiggled enough. Reluctantly, the younger Allsace accompanied his father, via horse drawn carriage, to the Valenfor estate, a much more traditional dwelling than that of the Allsaces. It featured arches and columns as its main stylings. The younger Allsace and his father exited the carriage and entered the mansion. At the door, a manservant greeted them, dressed as finely as the nobles themselves. He led them personally into the parlor before bowing, and taking his leave. Jonathan Valenfor had not yet arrived in the parlor. Danark simply took a seat on one of the Valenfor’s overly comfortable sofas, while Monte proceeded to examine and investigate every object in the room. The youthful noble through his examinations, found himself particularly attracted to a singular object, a marble larger than his head. The clear marble seemed to house an undying flame of blue hue; it reminded the young boy of the dragon knight.

“Papa! Papa! Look at this!”

Monte picked up the marble, quite a bit heavier than he had anticipated and nearly dropped the marvel en route to his father. Luckily, the artifact of untold value landed safely in Danark’s lap. The Allsace patriarch was getting ready to scold Monte when the Valenfors’ manservant reappeared.

“This way,” he said.

Danark placed the marble back in its proper place before following his son, who was anxiously following the manservant.

The great dining room where Monte and his father were taken to was indeed worthy of serving nobility. Paintings of Jonathan's ancestors hung from the walls, as well as a mural depicting his manor back at Evereth. Jonathan and his family were already at the table; however, the man himself remained standing, waiting for his guests to arrive.

-Ah, Danark!- Lord Valenfor saluted, pacing around the table from his place at the head to approach his visitors -You dastardly devil; how long has it been since we last saw each other?-

Danark clasped his hand around his old comrade's fore arm. With a broad smile planted on his face he replied to his old friend.

"Not since the Vellondian Rebellions my friend! You seem to have put on a little weight! Is that from the beer, or the food?"

-It's from all this money that's filled our pockets so deservingly; the beer and the food came later.- Jonathan patted his friend on the back and turned his attention towards Monte -My! What have you been feeding this kid?-

Mr. Valenfor stirred the young boy's hair with his hand -Last time I saw you you still suckled from your mom's bossom, Master Monte.-

-Jonathan!- called out Ms. Valenfor as she too stood up to greet their guests -Forgive him, Danark; it's like living with a teenage lad!-

Danark smiled at Mrs. Valenfor, before approaching her in the usual custom. He gave her a slight nod of his head and kissed her fingers.

"Ah, Elena! You look stunning, as always. I still wonder to myself how a brute like Johnathan could manage to obtain such a fine wife as yourself. And IS THAT baby Arya? My goodness, she is going to be quite the heartbreaker soon enough. As beautiful and as graceful as her mother. Monte come here."

The timid seven year old crept behind his father, using him as a hiding place.

"Monte, this is Lady Valenfor, and her daughter Lady Arya, say hello. Poor boy, I don't bring him to these sort of things nearly enough. Well, come on, Monte!"

Monte slowly emerged from behind his father. The young, eloquently dressed, little lord approached Lady Valenfor and did exactly as his father did, before approaching Arya and doing the same. He then tugged at his father's blouse.

"Can we eat now, papa?"

"Monte, how rude!"

Arya let out a few chuckles as her parents exchanged a pleasant glance.

-No, he's right.- Jonathan spoke as he clapped once, telling the servants that it was time to start serving the food -Please...- he continued, inviting his guests to take a seat - You know this is your home, old friend. Should you need anything, do not hesitate.-

The evening wore on with a pleasant meal augmented by pleasant company. As darkness crept over Zikhan the Allsaces and Valenfors rekindled old friendships and discussed old memories. The wars of the past were distant and gone. Danark and Jonathan were men of a different age. However, the conversation shifted when Danark grew curious of Jonathan's recent visit.

"So tell me Jon, what does the Immortal King have planned for us at the summit?"

Looking at his wife and daughter, Jonathan smiled kindly before replying.

-I think such matters would be better discussed at my office, don't you think, old friend? After all, we wouldn't want to spoil everyone's meal with such trifle topics.-

"Excuse us, please. I do apologize, Elena, we'll only be gone a second."

Danark shifted his attention to his son.

"Behave yourself while I'm gone, Monte. Lady Valenfor and Arya will keep you company."

-I'll watch over them, Danark, don't worry.- replied Ms. Valenfor.

In that moment, Arya leapt off her chair and began to run away.

-Arya! Where do you think you're going?-

-Awww, mom! I'll be close by, I promise.-

That's when Jonathan spoke.

-Maybe that's not such a bad idea. Arya, why don't you take Monte with you? If that's okay with his father, of course.-

Danark nodded. The children disappeared into the house as their fathers convened quietly in an adjoining room, leaving Lady Valenfor to her own devices- though she was attended by servants.

"Jon, speak candidly, what did you two discuss?"

Walking into his study, Jonathan´s affable features suddenly changed as he closed the door behind them. There was something grim in his expression.

-Danark...tell me, old friend, can I trust you?-

Danark seemed taken aback. "I've always been trustworthy. Of course you can."

Approaching his desk, Jonathan promptly opened one of the drawers and reached for two glasses and a bottle of liquor.

-It seems that the rebel movement is gaining momentum even as we speak; the Qüitz H'adek they call themselves: "Old Flame" in the elven tongue. Some believe that their leader is someone close to Tyrel, thus the king has gathered us all at the summit.-

"...to weed out the traitor..."

Jonathan nodded, pouring some of the amber colored liquid into both glasses.

-I'm afraid, Danark; I fear for my family's safety. But what was I supposed to do? Leave them in Evereth? That would've only arisen Tyrel's suspicion- he said, offering Mr. Allsace his drink -But if the rumors are true, I fear a siege as soon as the traitors are revealed. This will not end well, my friend, one way or another.-

Danark sat down and accepted a glass. The look on his face was shocked.

"The city is naked... the traitors would be killed in the night without so much as a fuss... What if he catches the wrong people?"

-Our immortal king does not fear for his life, Danark, and those who write history will never set the blame on themselves. You and I know this; our families saw so many innocents burn in the fires of Arvak; people in no way related to their mad emperor. "Sacrifices must be made", our king's favorite motto.-

Danark buried his face in his hands.

"The summit will be a bloodba-"

Suddenly, a sharp pain shot up from Danark's stomach; his windpipe muscles contracting as he was barely able to breath.

-I'm sorry, old friend, but I must ensure my family's safety above all.- revealed Jonathan as he took a sip from his glass, not even bothering to look at his guest -Even if I must gain Tyrel's trust with a lie.-

Leaving the empty glass on the desk's polished surface, Jonathan approached the agonizing Danark with cold, distant eyes.

"You.... b-gah! sta... huff... huff....rd..."

Danark fell to the floor with a blunt thud. The liquor glass shattered as it met the wooden floor. The nobleman lay cold, lifeless. Meanwhile, young Monte Allsace played joyful with the younger Lady Valenfor. Rain fell that night. Such rain hadn't fallen since the days of the ancients.

And just as Jonathan Valenfor stood over his best friend's corpse, stern and unmoving, the man watching them from the shadows suddenly emerged from the darkness of the room, like a specter of ill omens, cloaked and unseen.

-I never thought you'd have it in you, Lord Valenfor. My condolences.-

-Spare me your feign sympathy.- replied Jonathan as he frowned, clenching his fists.

-May I remind you that it was you who sought us, Mr. Valenfor, not the other way around? I hope you do not blame us for your current predicament.-

-No harm will come to the boy, you hear me? Danark Allsace may go down in history as a traitor, but Monte needs not share his father's fate.-

-Of course not- replied the shadow, taking a few steps towards Jonathan -As long as he doesn't realize the truth, that is.-

-He won't.- replied Jon, his gaze fixed on the body at his feet -I'll see to that myself.-

-Good. Then no harm will come to your family from our part.-
As the man spoke those words, two more individuals emerged from the shadows; elves, by the look of their ears: masters of stealth. They promptly took the body and made away with it.

-Ready?- inquired the shadowy figure as a silver glint became visible under the rim of his sleeve. Jonathan simply nodded before the figure stabbed him with swift precision.

-Welcome to the Old Flame, Jonathan Valenfor.-
--------------------

The slaughter continued through the night and through the year. That fateful year would come to be known as the Year of Terror. Many noble houses were eradicated, some of the old forests were set aflame, and the Immortal King’s spies were everywhere, trying to uncover the conspirators behind the Qüitz H'adek. The Year of Terror yielded countless orphans and led to a bitter resentment of the Immortal King. It is now eleven years since that Year of Terror…
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by striDer on Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:24 pm

SAARLA’S BASIN, 200 MILES EAST OF HIGH AERA’S CAPITAL, PRESENT DAY

As darkness descended upon the sands, dressing in hues of blue, the men on the fortress’s wall-walk scanned the distant dunes with diligent scrutiny. It was a silent night, more than most of them would’ve liked.

“Are you sure of what you saw, Jaques?” inquired the captain, his eyes fixed on the remoteness of the vast desert.
“Aye, captain. I saw me a red light, as bright as the devil’s eye, rising through the air before it vanished, I swears!”

Reaching into his jacket for a pair of binoculars, the captain scouted the desolate landscape one more time.

“Wait! I see it…” focusing the image, the captain saw that a lone figure was slowly approaching the fortress “Who is that?”
“YOU THERE!” vociferated one of the soldiers “YOU LOST?! DO YOU NEED ANY HELP?!”
Stopping dead in his tracks, the cloaked figure lifted his head to look at them.
“Evening.” he greeted, his voice was handsome and deep “Pardon the lateness, my friends. I seek an audience with your commander. Think you can arrange it?”
“That so?” interrupted the captain, more as a rhetorical question than an actual inquiry “Who asks to meet him?”
Calmly, the figure raised his arms to remove the hood which covered his face. The soldiers were horrified by the aspect of his hands: pale as the moon, with long fingers and razor sharp nails. Upon revealing himself, the man showed them his gruff features; long black hair falling lankly down his back, and eyes as crimson as fiery embers. His deathly white skin almost seemed to gleam under the moonlight.

“By the gods…” muttered the captain, his eyes as wide as his own men’s.
“My name is Lucius Grimdusk, and I bring a message for your king.”
“ARCHERS!!!!” exclaimed the captain, readying his men for battle. But before any of them could even draw their weapons, the whistling sound of enemy projectiles preceded the fall of every man on the wall with the exception of the captain.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. I’m disappointed. I thought we could handle this differently, with just the necessary amount of bloodshed.”
“I know you, Lucius Grimdusk…” spoke the captain, doing his best to feign courage “You lead the Qüitz H'adek: just a bunch of has beens and elven scum. You know, we’ve been putting the likes of you underground for years now, stomping every insurgence, crushing every attempt to disrupt the peace our king has worked so hard to upkeep. It’s men like you who make my stomach churn and my hand grasp the sword tighter as I drive it through your shit-ridden skull!”

As Julius listened to each and every word the captain uttered, a malicious grin began to appear on his undaunted face. Finally, he started to applaud as if he was giving the commander’s words an ovation.
“Well said, commander. No wonder the Immortal King has managed to stay in power for so long when he has valorous men like you watching over the safety of our kingdom. It almost makes me forget how many innocents he’s sacrificed, how many unarmed women and children have fallen, accused of crimes they didn’t commit. I’m sure your blade has pierced such skulls. Tell me, commander, what does it feel like to rob a child of all he will ever be?”
“YOU CALL US MURDERERS WHEN YOU’RE GUILTY OF THE SAME CRIMES!!!! WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN? WHAT ABOUT OUR FAMILIES?!” barked the captain.
“The dead need respite, and only the blood of those who’ve wronged us can wash away our own. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool or a liar.”
“MY SON DIED IN THE TAKING OF SICAROS, NOT BY SWORD, BUT BY ELVEN ARROW!!!! IF WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE, LORD GRIMDUSK, THEN WHY DON’T YOU COME HERE AND LET ME WASH AWAY MY GRIEF!!!!”

Slowly, the smile disappeared from Julius’s expression.

“If that is your wish…”
Within the blink of an eye, the leader of the Old Flame transmuted into a thick cloud of smoke and cinders, shifting through the air before materializing again on top of the wall. By this point, the captain had already drawn his sword and assumed a combat stance.

“Your archers may strike me down, but by Saint Adila, I will take you with me!” exclaimed the commander.”
“Bold words for a man who reeks of fear!”

Without another moment’s hesitation, the captain lunged himself at his opponent. This last one merely evaded his swings without much effort. Then, with a swift movement of his arms, Julius drew a pair of small blades from within his coat and drove one into the man’s femoral artery, the other into his liver.

“Message delivered” whispered Julius as he closed in on the commander’s ear.
In that instant, the features of the Old Flame’s leader morphed into more beastly ones, resembling those of a bat-like creature. More soldiers arrived just then, but only to witness the horrible demise of their commander as the vampire drove its fangs into his jugular. It was only a matter of seconds before Julius sucked him dry; even the wound on the captain’s leg had stopped bleeding.

TeLl TyReL tHaT tHe TrUe ImMoRtAl KiNg Is CoMiNg!!!!” croaked the monster, blood dripping from his mouth all over his chest. Then, with a violent swing of his arm, Julius tossed the commander’s limp corpse at the fleeing soldiers.

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

Word of the burning at Saarla’s basin wouldn’t reach King Tyrel’s ears until the next morning. When it did, he realized that things were getting out of hand once again. Sarlaa’s basin was one of their most important strategic points to the east. The fact that a fortress guarded by approximately 1,000 soldiers could be overwhelmed by a few hundred rebels overnight was concerning.

“We just cannot explain it, sire.” spoke one of the councilmen.

Sitting at the head of the table, Tyrel’s unamused expression was only complemented by his languid stance, his head resting idly on his hand.

“Who is this Julius Grimdusk? Why wasn’t he in our sights ‘til now?” he inquired.
“Apparently, he’s the new leader of the Qüitz H'adek. He used to be one of Galen’s lieutenants, but it seems that after his death in the suppression of Helios, Julius stepped up. Some say he’s even more reckless, but far more effective than his predecessor.”

The king let out a long sigh before placing his hand on the table.

“Just like a Hydra; cut off one head and another one will take its place.”
“We had managed to keep the Flame under control for almost a decade now, my lord, but it seems that Grimdusk has kindled it again.”

After pondering on the situation, the king finally gave his orders.

“Contact house Valenfor. If someone knows how to deal with the Qüitz H'adek, it’s them. For far too long have these silly games dragged on; it’s time we put an end to them, once and for all.”


Last edited by striDer on Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by Artorius on Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:39 pm

The sound of clashing metal echoed through the vast halls of Valenfor manor. As Jonathan approached the fencing quarters, his thoughts went back to that terrible night; the night his wife Elena was murdered. When everything was silent and he found himself alone within the confines of his study, he sometimes could still hear her screaming. Opening the great doors to a magnificent chamber, Lord Valenfor's attention fell on the pair of youths who sparred together. Both of them wore fencing helmets and gear, but her daughter's more feminine attributes were unmistakable. The other youth, a young man of well-worked complexion, was none other than the only remaining Allsace. Taking a seat at the margin of the room, Jonathan observed as both his son and daughter continued their training. Suddenly, it was Arya who stopped and glanced at him through the corner of her eye, whispering to Monte shortly after.

"Father's here; what do we do?"

Young Monte Allsace-Valenfor seized an opportunity and tagged Arya while she was distracted.
"Win," Monte jeered.

The young knight could hear his surrogate father clapping. A smile crossed his face as he removed his sparring helmet and bowed towards his father.

"What brings you here this morning, father?"

Jonathan's expression was undaunted; ever since the tragedy, not Monte nor Arya could remember him ever smiling.

"A raven from the king arrived this morning. My presence is recquired at the Iron Fortress."

Removing her own helmet, Arya punched Monte's arm grudgingly. Monte smiled at Arya, but that smile quickly faded.

"The... Iron Fortress? Why? What is going on father?"

Jonathan raised his hand to his forehead and sighed. "The Qüitz H'adek has returned..."

Monte's expression grew concerned. He looked at Arya, then back to his father.

"Let us go with you."

"Nonesense" replied Jonathan as he stood up to approach them "You're to stay here and await for my return" placing a hand on their shoulders, a faint smile appeared on Jonathan's features "If there's something I learned long it’s that a Valenfor should always stay here in Evereth. Monte..." in a very bizarre moment, Jonathan's eyes seemed to gleam with pride. Arya could not remember the last time she'd seen something other than sadness in his stare "As soon as I step out that door, you'll become the lord of this manor. You must ensure that everyone under your care stays safe; that includes your troublesome sister.”

"Dad!" Arya yelled, blushed with embarrassment "I'm not a child anymore! Tomorrow I'll be 25, you know."

Looking at his daughter, Lord Valenfor's smile grew even wider. He could still remember himself carrying her over his shoulders as Elena watched them from a distance, laughing herself. This last thought immediately erased the smile that had managed to appear on his face after so many years.

"That reminds me, I've got something for you, Arya. I think it's better if I give it to you before I leave.”

"You won't be staying for my birthday?" she inquired. A grim shadow crossed Jonathan's features as she asked this question.

"I'm sorry, but I can't make the king wait. This concerns the whole kingdom. At any rate, would you both please follow me to the study? I've got something for you as well, Monte."

Monte followed his step-father and his sister to the study. The walls were lined with countless books and volumes upon volumes of information were contained within the vast study. Monte was eager to learn what his father had in store for him. Walking up to his desk, Jonathan promptly opened one of the drawers and got out a small box. The box was wrapped neatly and a small green bow had been set on it.

"Here" he said, offering the small present to his beloved daughter "I want you to have this, Arya, and I want you to wear it at all times."

Taking the box with her hand, Arya glanced between Monte and her father before unwrapping it. Inside was a small case containing a most exquisite ring: platinum with silver inlays of beautiful design, and a lavish stone of the deepest azure set on it.

"It's gorgeous." she said, smiling as she put it on.

"This ring has been in our family for a very long time now." her father explained "It was given to your grandfather by a mystic of the northern lands in gratitude for his aid during the Siege of Belengard. It is very important that you never take it off, you hear me? Promise me."

"Why? What does it..."

"Promise me." her father repeated sternly as he grasped her shoulders.

"Alright, I promise."

Giving a nod, Jonathan proceeded to pace around the room until he reached a large case that was on display over an elegant stand.

"Monte..." he called out to the young man "This one's for you."
Jonathan presented Monte with a claymore engraved with the rune for wind. Monte beamed at the presentation of this gift.

"Monte, be wary of the power of the runes.”

"I know father, you don't need to remind me. It's... the dragon sword of legend?"

Jonathan shook his head. "No, of course not, but a perfect replica. It's of excellent make and battle worthy. It will serve you well."

The Valenfor patriarch embraced his adoptive son and then put his hands on the shoulders of both his children.

"I must go at once. I'll send a raven when I arrive at the fortress."

...

The next day in Valenfor manor was pretty much uneventful. Arya didn't really have any friends, and most servants were busy taking care of household affairs. Her father was also away, so the only person she could rely on was her step brother, Monte.

Monte strolled down the tapestried walls of the Valenfor estate. Earlier that morning he had been traversing the gardens. Now, he was simply thinking of activities to keep himself busy. He decided to go visit his sister, Arya, clear across the manor. On his way there, he visited the kitchens from which he was able to acquire a couple fresh cinnamon rolls. In the distance, Monte could hear singing. He made his way to Arya's room and opened the door, only to find her getting dressed.

"Oh my..."

Monte turned bright red and slammed the door shut.

"Sorry, sis!"

"WHAT THE HELL, MONTE?!" she yelled, brusquely opening the door as she covered herself with her blouse "Don't you know it’s proper courtesy to knock on the door of a lady's room? What's wrong with you? You're now the lord in charge of this house, please start behaving as such!"

Slamming the door angrily, Arya finally finished getting dressed. Her mood seemed fouler than usual. In fact, her mood was almost never foul. She'd always been kind to Monte, embracing him as her little brother since day one.

"Whats wrong, Arya?" asked Monte.

Monte couldn't remember a time when Arya had been so angry at him. Save, for the time that he had accidently shot her pet dove in archery lessons.

"Nothing! Just..." after a few moments of silence, Arya opened the door again. She had an apologetic look on her face and her beautiful green eyes had begun to tear up "Could I...could I just hang out with you today?"

Monte looked taken aback.

"Um, sure. I uh, brought you a cinnamon roll."

Monte outstretched his hand with the cinnamon roll in it. She took it shyly, embarrassed by her previous behavior as she turned her eyes away from his.

"Thanks..." and after a brief moment of silence, she spoke again "So...what is it that you usually do, Monte?"

Monte straightened up, scarfed down his cinnamon roll and spoke with his mouth half full.

"I usu-" he swallowed a portion of his cinnamon roll. "-ally go hunting. Sometimes I'll wrestle with the older servants. Other times I like to just walk through the garden, but I did that already. We could go see a drama in town. Though, that would leave old Ciprian in charge and we both know he isn't the most capable man. What do you think Arya?"

Taking hold of his arm, Arya dragged him away towards the entrance.

"I think it's my birthday, and that taking a stroll into town away from this house doesn't sound like such a bad idea."

The siblings entered the town of Actium. It was bustling with liveliness. He escorted her to the local theatre, where a play was being staged. It was an old tale about warring feudal states. In the play, a man and woman from two warring states fell in love. It was typical and cliché, and totally boring to young Monte. He turned to his sister in the middle of act two.

"So, do you actually like this stuff?" he whispered.

Like Monte, Arya didn't seem amused by the play. However, it wasn't because she didn't enjoy it; it was because she wasn't paying attention. She seemed distant, deeply immersed in her thoughts.
Monte frowned. Never was Arya so distant and down. He then smiled.

"Let's get out of here."

He took Arya by the hand and scurried out of the play house.

"Monte! W-where are we going?"

"Look Arya, I know I've been a terrible brother today, but I did remember it was your birthday. Come on!"

Monte started running back towards the manor. Following after him as she was dragged, Arya apologized to the people at the theater who seemed annoyed by their sudden departure.
As she was about to arrive at the entrance, Arya was cut off by some sort of creature she'd never seen before: eyes like blazing coals, salivating fangs, and a mad look on its face. Rumors had arrived from the north about such creatures, but that's all they'd ever been, just rumors. And now here it stood, a little over eight feet tall, musclebound and feral. Taking a step back, it appeared that Arya would be overwhelmed by the creature. However, with a simple movement of her hand, Arya commanded the earth underneath the demon’s feet to sink in as two slabs of solid rock crushed the monster from both flanks. How she'd done this, Monte didn't know, and it was doubtful that their father knew about either.

"By the gods-"

Arya stepped into the burning manor, and Monte gallantly chased after her. That display of power over the earth, he'd never seen such magic. He'd only ever heard of it in the tales and legends which he held so dear. Runes were a dangerous game. As the thought of runes drifted into Monte's thoughts, he remembered the claymore his father had bestowed upon him. He immediately ran towards the study and retrieved the sword. He then began to look for his sister once more.

"ARYA! ARYA WHERE ARE YOU!?"

But it was not his sister who responded to the call. Instead, a demon arose from the fire, its body merging with the flames as smoke gave it shape and form. Monte battled the monster. He matched it blow for blow while the manor was consumed around him. Yet, while he was weakening, the demon grew stronger in the flame. Monte would not last forever. The demon bludgeoned Monte as his strength failed him and the heat sapped his stamina. Each blow knocked down the hope within the young man. Then, the demon's mouth grew wider and wider, filled with razor sharp teeth from its mouth and all the way down its throat. With a loud roar it sought to engulf all of Monte in one bite. However, the young man's tragic fate would not come to pass, as he was suddenly pushed out of the way. Upon recovering from the commotion and for a brief instant, Monte would see Ciprian looking at him, the servant’s eyes relieved to see the young master out of harm's way, only to be consumed by the beast himself. A single tear ran the length of Monte's face as he heard Ciprian, the old manservant whom he had met at dinner so long ago, screaming in agony as a thousand sharp teeth tore his flesh to shreds. Monte closed his eyes, silently counted to three, and opened them.



A green aura enveloped his claymore, and as the monster advanced towards him, he charged in anger.

"GRRRRRRAAAAAHHH!! YOU BASTARD! I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU!"

With a vertical slash a wave of wind flew from his sword dissipating the smoke demon and the entire manorial fire. Monte would not reduce himself to tears, but felt defeated. Worst of all, he had drawn the attention of the demons and still hadn't found Arya.

"ARYA! ARYA!"

"I'm here." she replied, emerging from one of the transversal corridors. Her beautiful face was completely smudged with soot.

Monte ran over to Arya, quickly embraced her, and grabbed her before retreating from the manor. It was him who spoke first.

"What do we do? Where do we go?"

"We have to tell father, and more importantly, the king. Monsters like these have only been sighted in the far north.” Arya took a quick glance backward to make sure they weren’t being followed.
-------
They ran for several days, stopping at familiar villages and inns. Finally, they reached the Iron Fortress. It was there they sought an audience with their father. They approached the gatekeeper of the fortress. Monte was the one to talk to him.

“Gate keeper, we are here to speak to our father, Ser Jonathan Valenfor!”
The scruffy Gate Keeper scratched his disheveled beard and picked his teeth before answering the young nobleman.

“Ser Jonathan departed from this place many days ago.”
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Re: The Runes of Aera

Post by Torturous Flame on Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:40 pm

Gabrielle sat a writing desk, her back to the sun that hung in the western window of her bedroom. The full sized bed took up about half of the room, the other half containing the desk and an amour. A worn stuffed dog sat on the back edge of the desk, it was blue cloth with buttons that had been painted pink, once upon a time, these days it had faded beyond recognition. Gabrielle was writing quickly with a long white quill, a stack of folded enveloped stacked on her right.

“Goodness, I simply must finish these letters. Sara has the worst penmanship. Pity Mother and Father died; maybe they would have knocked manners into her. ”

There was a knock at the door and the woman’s eyes glazed over for a second. Then Sara stood, her shoulders were slightly slouched.

“C’mon in!”

There was a slight change in the wind, blowing harder for an instant before the curtains fluttered softly beside the window. Moments later, a pair of fiery eyes appeared in the darkest corner of the room, their attention fixed on the young woman.

"Sara..." whispered the silhouette in the shadows; the bright rays of sunlight were all that kept them apart in the room.

She turned and walked toward him, she gave him a hug.

"Julius." She smiled. "How've you been?"

Slowly, the vampire's arms rose to embrace her as he rested his head on her shoulder.

"I'm...fine." he spoke darkly.

Taking notice of the ponytail behind her head, Julius pulled away from her.

"I like it" he said, running his cold long fingers down the strands of brown hair "Though I like it better the other way."

"How on earth did it get like that?" She asked.

Sara paused and thought. She vaguely remembered putting it up a couple hours prior when she had started to work on letters.

"Guess I put it up when I started working on the letters to the ambassadors..." Sara said.

She reached up and pulled the leather cord from her hair. Sara's brown hair fell over her face, she smiled at him.

This in turn drew a smile upon his face as well. However, the next few words that left his lips were not joyous ones.

"Three nights ago we took Saarla's basin for our own. Tyrel's forces have retreated from the eastern border, but no doubt he'll send that lapdog of his, Jon of Galadia, to reclaim it. I don't know if the men will be able to withstand the wrath of their paladins. Our own use of magic pales in comparison to theirs."

Sara frowned.

"We've lost so many men already, Jules. What do you suggest we do?"

Letting out a long sigh, the vampire turned his gaze away from hers.

"We have a man on the inside: Jonathan Valenfor. He's the one who's been providing us with intel. The only chance we've got is if we set a trap and ambush them, but..."

“But what, Jules?” She asked.

Leaving her side, the vampire approached the filtered daylight and extended his hand to touch it. Immediately, a sizzling noise reached her ears, accompanied by the smell and sight of smoke.

"If the attack takes place during the day, I won't be able to support them."

"I know, Jules." She said. "So we'll launch it at night, it's better anyway. More cover:"

"It's not that simple" he replied, balling his hand into a fist ".It will all depend on the enemy's position during the attack. The timing has to be precise, but only once they come across the ambush site. That's why..."

Turning around, the vampire looked at her with a grim expression.

"You have to come with me and lead the attack if I'm not able."

"You're so melodramatic, you know that?" Sara said. "However, I'll see what I can do about getting out of here inconspicuously"

Nodding, Julius walked back to the shadows.

"The men are gathering a few miles north of here, at Blont's Peak. We'll meet you there."

And with that, the vampire was gone, almost as if he'd never been there in the first place.

Sara smirked. "I know that trick, you don't have to be all mysterious with me you know"

She chuckled and sat back down. For a moment she looked, wide eyed, at her desk, her head cocked to the side. Curly handwriting, worthy of a noblewoman’s pen, covered pages and pages of reports due to the lord. She shrugged her shoulders and neatly folded it. She signed it in hasty, mussed penmanship and stood up.

The young woman rifled through her closet and pulled out a simple blue wrap gown. She donned it and checked herself in the mirror. Sara frowned slightly and grabbed a brush from her vanity. She ran her hair through it a few times and fluffed it with her fingers. She shrugged to herself in the mirror and left the room. Sara walked through the halls of the castle and ran her fingers along the rough, slightly damp, stone. She passed servants as she walked, the ones from the north, their skin light, nodded respectfully to her. The servants who had grown up here, caramel skin standing out against white uniforms, curtsied or bowed to Sara as she passed. She sighed and kept walking.

Soon Sara stopped in front of a pair of giant wooden doors, with a guard posted on either side. They nodded respectfully and she nodded back. She pushed the door open and slipped inside. A tall light skinned man sat on the jewel encrusted golden chair at the far end. Guards were posted on either side of him and every few feet along the hall. Sara approached the platform the chair sat on and curtsied when she can come within a few feet of it.

“My lord, I have the summation of the reports from the troops defending against rebellion, sir.”

The man smiled.

“Thank you Sara.” He said.

He stood and took the folded paper from he and sat back in his chair. She stood up, shoulder slightly slouched forward and left. As she left the guard's field of vision she stopped, Sara’s eyes faded for a moment, then Aden smiled. She tilted her head forward and swung her hair into a high pony tail and walked back to her room. Aden grabbed the swords that hung from the bed and ran out into the practice arena.
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Mist
Mist

Join date : 2011-04-09
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Posts : 48
Age : 25
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