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Battle and Glory

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zaine on Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:34 pm

Zelek looked up noticing that it was the Lord Commandant standing in front of him, “I am not a traitor,” he said once again “I was framed, I new a person that I knew, that I called friend. He was part of the group and when the big bust happened he told them my name. After a bit of searching around I found out why, it was because he was jealous of me and my wife… Ex wife, you people were still suspicious so I was banished from the town.” He sighed “Do as you will though I don’t care any more but I am not a traitor.” He said and then looked back down
Damn ...

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Selik on Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:41 pm

AS the cold icy water washed upon seliks face his eyes and mind shot open and awake. Just as soon as his eyes were open , he had drawn his long dagger , holding it to the young mans throat , giving a threatening stare deep into the boys eyes.
He could see the man shaking. He smiled and whispered to him slowly,
"Never , eeveer , do that again. Understand?" Selik asked fiercely
The young boy simply nodded his head and muttered words which sounded like `norry gur`. He obviously meant sorry sir.
Selik grinned evily and withdrew his dagger , sliding it into his sheath. He started walking down the corridors and arived at some marble stars , the soldier closely following behind. He arived at a polished mahogany door at the top fo the stairs and looked at the boy.
"Y-yes sir , go right in.." he stuttered out.
Selik bowed his head and walked into the fine room. He glanced to the bed and slowly walked towards it , admiring the room. He sat himself downa dn looked at the crimson sheets. There seemed to be some sort of crest or coat of arms on the fabric. It had been well crafted. He peered roudn the room and noticed all the different facilities.
There was an armour model , a weapon rack , a sink , many drawers and cupboards, a large bowl of fresh fruit and of course a pump for the water. Well fitted for Selik.
He looked up to the boy and smiled.The young soldier smiled uneasily and stammered out,
"Can i get you anything else sir?"
Selik smiled and was just about to say no when he realised something. His bed was [i]a double bed[i].
He looked at the boy with a wide grin sprawled across his face.
"Could you bring me some.....company?" Selik asked , with a sly tone.
The boy never answered. He simply nodded and started on his way down the corridor , chuckling to himself.
Selik then fell back onto his bed and muttered to himself ,
"Goddammit , i need to relax a bit..."
A wise man doesn't need advice and a fool refuses to take it...

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby PunkRockinHobbit on Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:57 am

Icienne held the crimson gaze of the Grand Magistrate of the Sanctum, more out of respect than an actual want. She knew he was assessing her, calculating her abilities, fishing about with his mind's eye for a hint of betrayal or ill intent. He found none. Icienne stood with her hands folded before her saying nothing more, content only to listen to what Halborix had to stay.

He offered her the safety of the Sanctum, and Icienne nodded only once to show that she acknowledged his offering. But then she felt suddenly laid bare, naked and alone, and she knew he was probing her powers. tapping her resources to see what sort of abilities he could sense. Her facial expression did not change, it kept to the pale, troubled face she wore upon their meeting. Halborix told her to feel free to study as much as she desired within the Sanctum, but her fire for knowledge had been extinguished by the icy chill that was growing in her gut, the chill of dread, fear.

As the Grand Magistrate took his leave, Icienne bowed low once more, showing him the respect that he obviously commanded when strolling through the Sanctum, or anywhere else he took a fancy to stroll. When he had vanished into the darkness, Icienne turned back to Lucien, who sat still studying her intently. She returned his hard gaze for a moment before sitting opposite him again.

At length, she spoke. "Why are you telling me all of this, Lucien? You turn your back on your friend just as I turn my back on my master. It seems, in our own right, we are traitors after all."

"No," Lucien said slowly, "not traitors. We were the ones betrayed, Icienne. Every person that has stepped into the Tower of Wizardry seeking Ichlaz in confidence has been betrayed. There is no one upon this earth he cares for save himself." Lucien sighed heavily, then continued. "I waited for you here from the moment I found out you were on your Test, for I knew your assignment long before you did. I knew you would pass this way. And I needed to tell you what danger lay in store for you, for all of the world, because of the weight that I carried. Knowledge can be a burden, young mage. A sorrow grew in my heart, for I have watched you even before I came to your home to take you away. And I could not bear to see a star that shone as brightly as you snuffed out by the Armagheddon that will find us all, should you fail."

Icienne rested her forehead in her hands, closing her eyes, feeling suddenly very weary. "What am I to do, old friend?" She sounded much older then, and very tired, and forlorn.

"Studying different branches of defense would be wise, very wise, but not this night. Your mind is in no state to absorb what you would be reading upon the page, this much is clear. There is a tome, the only one that exists in this world, that describes the counterspell for the Binding you will face upon the portal. It is complex and you will need to soak it into the very fiber of your being. But there is also something you must learn to do that you cannot be taught, something that cannot be learned from any tome found in any library or Sanctum that there is."

Icienne looked up at him, her look of worry replaced with one of confusion. Lucien was standing.

"Follow your heart."

He smiled weakly at the young mage, and then turned, disappearing into the shadows of the Sanctum.

Sighing heavily, Icienne stood. Knowing there was nothing more she could do here this night, she walked back down the rows and rows of books through which she had been led, until at last she found the great oaken doors. They swung open, and she took her leave of the Sanctum. The air outside was crisp, and she realized that she had felt very stuffy and confined within the towering shelves of books. She drank in the fresh air as she moved past the Gate Castellans, feeling again their piercing gaze upon her, though she could not see their eyes for their hoods. She turned to face them, and bowed in reverence to them. "I thank you again, mighty Castellans, for granting me admittance into the Sanctum, and I hope that you will give me passage through these doors again once the Keep is secure."

Icienne made her way through Valmorgen Keep, walking aimlessly to take in as much fresh air as she could. Most of the inhabitants of the street paid her little mind as she walked, and she reciprocated the gesture. She found herself near the southern gate, where there seemed to be a bit of a to-do, and as she watched, she saw the tall Nathil stride through the gate, taking in for the first time Bellurdan, the Warleader. She watched him, memorizing his appearance in that same habit, her icy eyes watching him as he followed a marine of the Keep with purpose. She imagined he required the audience of Arkhann, and though she wanted desperately to speak with him herslef, she thought it best to return to the barracks and await his return there. And so, with that slow, fluid grace, Icienne turned to make her way back to the barracks.
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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Azmodai2 on Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:37 am

“Do as I will? Oh believe me, I have found a use for you… my good friend,” He turned to the Confessor General, “you won’t like this, but take this man to the barracks and have him equipped with whatever weapons he cares to use, keep him there till I am done seeing to whatever seems to be the matter at the Southern Gate.” The Confessor General looked nearly livid and he wheeled on Zelek as Arkhann strode out. “You are one damn lucky son of a bitch, you know that? Get this filth to the barracks and do as the Lord Commandant says.” Matthias strode out after Arkhann with a whirl of his thick black cape.

He caught up with him just as they neared they stepped outside of the Keep, facing the Southern Gate. “Milord, how can you let that man free? He is traitor scum, and deserves to punished!” Matthias said to Arkhann as they walked. “Because I don’t think he’s completely guilty and because even if he is where he’s going it won’t matter.” The Confessor General sighed and they continued to walk towards the Gate.

They spied the huge Nathil tribesman almost immediately and they walked over to him, he was being lead towards the dungeon by a more than frightened recruit. Arkhann sighed as he realized the state the army was in, the boy, for there was lack of a better word, accompanying Bellurdan looked positively ecstatic to be rid of the enormous man as Arkhann neared.

“Why are you here, plainsman, I do not wish war on two fronts, nor do I have time to make idle chatter with the nomads of the south.” Arkhanns voice was curt but cold, the history between Bellurdan and him was… strained at best. The disastrous campaign into the plains led by the previous Lord Commandant was when Arkhann had earned the name Wardancer among the plains people, for his battle prowess. It had taken all of Arkhann’s skill to salvage what was left of the army after his predecessor had been killed. Matthias was clearly on edge around the Warleader and his hand had come to rest on the handle of a double bladed ax, hung at his belt.

A group of soldiers positioned themselves behind Bellurdan to block his way, although Arkhann doubted this group would stop the big man, they were made up of a few inexperienced guards who had ingested some ‘liquid courage’ a few moments before. To Arkhann’s right, however, stood a squad of his finest men, the Black Guard, these soldiers accompanied Arkhann in battle whenever he decided to meet the enemy head on, ad they were veterans of countless battles. The Black Guard wore thick black plate mail and long black cloaks, their weapons of choice varied from man to man but they always seemed to work perfectly in concert, a veritable symphony of death.

As they stood there Arkhann’s thoughts wandered for a moment to Icienne, and he wondered how she was. Whether she was still in the Sanctum or had left its dimly lit corridors for more homely surroundings. His attention snapped back to the man standing in front of him and he let his hand come to rest on the hilt of his sword.

*The Barracks*

The soldier hurried down the stairs after acknowledging Selik’s wish for… company. He strode over to General Sturmgeist and whispered something in his ear. The General laughed and motioned over the quartermaster. “Find a good wench for my friend upstairs, but make sure he treats her nicely.” The quartermaster nodded and strode through a door in the side of the barracks. It led into a finely furnished room full of extravagantly dressed women.

They giggled as he walked in and shot him sensual glances. He ignored them and walked over to a woman sitting at a vanity in the far corner. “Madame, please send a girl up to the fifth room on the left, there is a man who desires some… company. This one will be paid by the treasury.” The woman, who was obviously a little older, but still unmarred in her beauty by the passing of time, motioned to one of the girls, “Gloria, dear, see to the fellow upstairs.” The young girl curtsied and walked out quickly, hurrying up the stairs. She knocked on Selik’s door.

The quartermaster walked out after the girl and moved over to the General, “Sir you do know that the Lord Commandant doesn’t approve of brothels.” Sturmgeist nodded, “Yes but at this point morale is deteriorating that he won’t put a stop to it, it’s good for the men but bad for his morals. Times are tough, he’ll live.” After this exchange a guard stepped inside, “Sir, a Lady is coming, she looks to be a woman of the Court, possibly that one that came in with the Lord Commandant.” The General nodded and sat back in his chair, thinking.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zee All Knowing Peacock on Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:13 pm

Bellurdan stood there, surrounded on all sides. He noted the vulnerability of those behind him, yet the steely hard resolve of those to his left. He stood facing Arkhann, the leader of Valmorgen's hard visage reflecting Bellurdan's own. Bellurdan smiled than, normally a gesture of kindness, yet on his bestial features it gave him a maniacal look, as if he was ready to attack. He looked Wardancer hard in the eyes, then his eyes turned skyward.

"Wardancer," said Bellurdan, "Is this any way to treat guests to your home? I'll admit, last time we saw each other the conditions were... a bit different. You surprised me with that rout though, and now we're here, I guess, once again standing face to face." His accent was perfect, despite the language differences between his people and these, because he had spent the time to learn this language well, for to kill ones enemy, you must know ones enemy. "But I am here for good reason, not to make formalities." He looked around noting the men there, wishing they were somewhere more private. "It is because we do not wish war on two fronts either. We have come to aid you in your fight against the green-skins, as they have desecrated our lands with their presence. I have brought with me five-hundred of my finest horsewarriors, along with my personal retinue of thirteen generals and seven shouldermen... uh, as you would call, mages, I believe." He looked to Wardancer, wondering what was running through the Lord Commandant's head. Bellurdan looked around then. "Please, is there somewhere we could talk under less... private conditions?" He indicated the soldiers. "Besides, you could probably hold me off long enough for your guards to come help, of course?" Bellurdan smiled inwardly, almost wanting to laugh. He had learned much since they'd last met, and while he was not cocky, he was quite confident. He was feeling glad, because everything was so close.

Not long now, not long at all...
"Some things are important. Others are not. Yet all would claim a mortal's attention. It falls to each of us to remain ever mindful, and thus purchase wisdom in the threading of possibilities. It is our common failing that we are guided by our indifference to eventualities. The moment pleases, the future can await consideration." - Steven Erikson's Midnight Tides

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zaine on Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:32 pm

Zelek watched as the two men left, "I would like my weapons." he said to the remaining gaurds, they hauled him from his chair and began leading him to the exit of the dungeon. Zelek's hair covered his face now, and his wrists were beguining to hurt from the chains. As they reached day light he looked up the sun blinding his vision. As his vision cleared he could see a bunch of guards surrounding a big fellow, "Warleader!" he shouted at the big man, breaking free from the grasp of the guards he scrambled forword, the chains on his wrists were bitting into his flech from all the movement.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby PunkRockinHobbit on Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:47 pm

As the fates would have it, Icienne rounded the corner and had disappeared up the street toward the barracks just before Arkhann had appeared, making his way toward the Southern Gate, and, more importantly, toward Bellurdan. Just as Arkhann's thoughts had turned to Icienne, so too did the mage's mind fall upon the Lord Commandant, and she wondered where within the Keep he was. Dread fell over her as she realized again she must tell Arkhann of her master's treacherous designs. Would he try to stop her from completing her Test? Would he insist upon hiding her away to keep her "safe"? A cruel smile filled with sorrow crept over her porcelain face. Safe, she thought. I would never be safe from him.

Her footsteps led her back to the barracks as her mind wandered away, and she was suddenly and sharply reminded by a pain in her stomach that she was in need of her drink. She wondered just how long she had spent in the Sanctum. It felt to her like only a matter of minutes, but the stars that began to one by one twinkle in the sky told a different tale. Shades of red lingering into purple before dying in the night sky cast a dull evening light over Valmorgen Keep. Her gaze turned to the heavens for a moment, and she could see the faint outlines of the Constellations of the Gods beginning to show themselves above. With a shiver, she wondered what Ichlaz's constellation would look like, should she fail.

Thrusting the thoughts of despair from her mind that threatened to overwhelm her, Icienne disappeared off of the streets back into the hall of the barracks through which Arkhann had led he, and her eyes scanned the pillars as she passed them until finding the one she sought. She stopped, her long, golden gown swishing about her thin legs before coming to rest around them. The mage stared long at the pillar depicting the battlemage bringing utter chaos and destruction upon not only the soldiers of Valmorgen, but some clad also in armor Icienne did not recognize. A slender hand reached up to touch the carven mage, and she knew in that moment who she gazed upon.

"The bond of master and apprentice allows me to feel who you are," she whispered to the column. "Why, Ichlaz? Why are you portrayed here? What were your duties before taking the role as Master of the Tower?" Her eyes held the column, unfaltering in their gaze, as she understood the past of the master had been kept hidden, perhaps from the whole world.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zee All Knowing Peacock on Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:46 pm

Bellurdan's head turned, and he looked upon Zelek. He smiled broadly then, and said, "Oh, and I almost forgot, you must release my dear companion here," he motioned towards Zelek, "for I was told by our mages he had been imprisoned." He turned back to Arkhann then, his face becoming hard. "Alright, enough of these formalities though, my patience is running thin. He walked forward, to be greeted by the sound of grating metal as weapons leapt from their sheathes. He looked over to Zelek and said in the Nathil native tongue, "I hope we need not fight our way out, Bloodletter, but if needs be, then I hope you have not been softened by your absence from our tribe." He turned back towards Arkhann, the massive hammer strapped to his back, swinging round, until he held it in front of him. The head of the hammer was twice the size of a human head, and looked as if it could smash walls. "We shall talk in private, or the orcs shall rule the world. The menace they present must be extinguished, snuffed out immediately. We have come to help, and have been greeted by swords. Well, my hammer thirsts for devastation, and if your men do not sheathe their weapons they shall have it." He moved forward then, lowering the hammer, until he stood less then a pace away from Wardancer. He looked down on him, his eyes showing nothing but dull rage, not becoming of his ever-hidden intelligence.

Now, we shape the path of the world. Should a drop of blood fall here, it shall be as a tear of the earth, ripping out in sorrow, as the world shall be torn in two by its cataclysmic outcome. They do not comprehend the vast scale upon which the war is fought. But I shall do all I can to prevent such a thing. Blood may fall, but I will shall find another way, and I shall kill those who try to stop me. His eyes focused on Arkhann, and he searched the Commandant's face. No, he is smarter than that. He shall reconsider. Fate has a way of unfolding in unexpected and ironic ways, and nothing would be more so than this unholy alliance.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Azmodai2 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:33 pm

Arkhann stared at Bellurdan in cold regard.He watched Zelek walk over to him and didn’t bother halting the man. “We shall talk in the great hall, bring your… companion.” Arkhann snapped his fingers and the Black Guard fell in behind Bellurdan and Zelek. He guided them to the doors of the great hall, Matthias at his side, and the doors were opened promptly by two guards.

As the group walked inside he spied the elegant and beautiful form of Icienne inspecting one of the pillars, “Milady! Please, accompany me and my… guests, we have important matters to discuss.” He had them sit at a large dining table, He directly across from Bellurdan, Matthais to his right, the captain of the Black Guard standing to his left, and the rest of the squad arrayed around the table, he offered Icienne a seat to his left and turned his attention back to Bellurdan.

“So why are you here? What purpose could possibly have for aiding me, and why should I not have you killed where you sit and your men slaughtered by the Home Guard? And how do you know that traitorous filth named Zelek?” Arkhann’s voice was filled with venom as he lay out his questions for the plains-chief.

He turned to a servant to his left and brought him closer, “Fetch General Sturmgeist, I want him here for this.” The servant nodded and hurried off towards the barracks. Arkhann peered across the table at Bellurdan, taking in his expression, and making sure he had men posted at all the exits. The Black Guard captain had done his job quietly and efficiently.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby PunkRockinHobbit on Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:34 am

"So you have found it, then..."

Icienne's head snapped up from gazing at the pillar, her eyes searching around her for the source of the voice. She recognized the voice immediately, and, turning, she saw Lucien standing there behind her, gazing sadly over her shoulder at the pillar. "I had hoped you would not come across it, but you are more perceptive than I give you credit for."

"It is Ichlaz, isn't it?" Icienne asked him slowly, already knowing the answer herself.

Lucien nodded. "Indeed, it is."

Lucien moved to stand beside Icienne, and she turned to gaze upon the pillar once more. A heavy silence hung between the two of them, and though Icienne wanted answers, she feared what she might hear.

"Why?" she asked at length, not taking her eyes from the stone depiction of her master. "Why is he displayed here in such fury? What did he have against Valmorgen?"

"Ah," Lucien said, a grim smile playing over his face. "This event occurred long ago, during The War of the Gods. Ichlaz was fresh from his apprenticeship under Methla, the mage responsible for the construction of the portal, as you are aware."

"The War of the Gods?" Icienne looked over to Lucien, confusion prominent upon her slender face. "But, Lucien, that was--"

"Nearly two thousand years ago. Yes, I know."

Icienne shook her head. "I seek answers, only to stumble upon more questions. Enlighten me, friend. How is this possible?"

Lucien took his eyes from the pillar and stared intently at Icienne. "During the War of the Gods, armies of mortal men were formed to fight on the ground, to aid in the acceleration of the dominion of the prevalent God, if you will. The mages and warriors pure of heart fought under the banner of Polana, the Goddess of Light, and those harboring evil in their hearts joined the cause of Shirak. Even during his apprenticeship under Methla, it was becoming apparent to those around him that Ichlaz's designs were of malcontent, and he cared only for serving his own purpose, feeding his own needs. It is a wonder to me that Methla even allowed him to fulfill his apprenticeship, but he did, and the moment Ichlaz was no longer under the command of Methla, he left the Tower, seeking power elsewhere. None of us were surprised when he turned up on the frontlines under the Dark Banner, and he was indeed a force to be reckoned with. But Polana and the forces of Light won out, and Ichlaz, tail tucked between his legs, cowered at the mercy of Methla and the Tower, and begged forgiveness, feigning remorse for all he had done. Methla was a great mage, but niave, and, believing Ichlas had truly repented, he allowed him to resume his stay at the Tower. He was present for the Opening, when Shirak nearly gained entrance into our plane, and it was in this moment, I believe, that the seed was planted for the mangled designs he is having you fulfill to this day. At the closeness of their God, all of the evil things in the world were re-awakened and came out of hiding, and their numbers have grown over the centuries to what we have now. Shirak never forgot the power of his faithful battlemage, and, swearing fealty to the God of Darkness, Shirak grants Ichlaz extended life, until his task of re-opening the Portal has been completed. Together, the two of them will undo Polana and all she has done, and once Ichlaz has established himself in the heavens, Shirak will descend upon whatever is left of this world."

Icienne felt as if she had just been told an extravagant fairy tale. She let it all sink in, but somehow, she couldn't believe it. "I don't know what to say, Lucien," she finally managed to stutter, feeling a great weight of burden descending down upon her shoulders.

"You must not fail, Icienne. For, if you do, the world will fall. You know this. I will return to the Sanctum at first light tomorrow and seek the tome that holds the counterspell to the Binding Ichlaz has prepared for you. When you are ready for it, you will find me there."

"Thank you, Lucien," Icienne replied, nodding to her friend. "I asked for enlightenment, and you have certainly granted it."

"When you are ready, Icienne..." With that, Lucien took his leave from the hall.

Icienne returned her gaze to the pillar, sorrow filling her heart. She had trusted this man with her life for eight years, admired him for as long as she could remember, read his books and his teachings and thought him to be the most benevolent man there ever was. But a new light shone upon her master now, one that did not suit the portait Icienne had painted of him in her mind and in her heart. It was a cold light, and though the picture it painted was an undesireable one, it was the truth, truth icienne was only now fully understanding.

The doors to the hall opened then, and, looking up, Icienne saw Arkhann stride inside with several men she did not know. Her cheeks burned as he addressed her as "Milady", but when he asked her to join him, she did so gladly. She did not understand what was going on, but she jumped at the chance to be in the company of the Lord Commandant. It was only now, seeing him again, being able to look into those hazel-green eyes, that she understood just how much she had missed being in his company.

Icienne took the seat Arkhann offered to her, looking across the table and finding Bellurdan, the man she had seen at the Southern Gate. She wondered what his business was here on the eve of battle, and as Arkhann addressed him before her and the Black Guard, it became apparent to the mage the Lord Commandant and the Nathil were not exactly on the best of terms. She sat there silently, a statuesque sponge, absorbing everything said, trying to fully understand what was going on, though plagued by what she had just learned. She hoped this meeting would be over quickly, for she had much to discuss in private with Arkhann.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zee All Knowing Peacock on Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:08 pm

Bellurdan stood on the other side of the table, noticing the chairs were too small. He noted Icienne's approach, but failed to notice the Black Guard for a moment too long. He silenlty berated himself, while looking around at the luxurious great hall. His eyes then fell to look upon Arkhann. He stared the Commandant in the eyes, meeting his piercing stare evenly. He felt the same on the inside as he looked on the outside; cold and detatched. He heard what Arkhann said and his gaze swept the room.

"Wardancer," Bellurdan began, "You cannot afford to have your men attack me. Five-hundred of my finest warriors would take far too much out of your untested recruits. They are cavalry, from what I have seen, you have little to no cavalry. Sure, my men would lose, but with such a dent in your numbers the Green-skins would sweep through here. It is the same for the Nalthil, you see. We cannot hold back the Orc hordes with the threat of Valmorgen. We pose a solution; that we destroy the Orcs outright, and form a treaty, where Valmorgen no longer attacks the Holy Desert, and we shall no longer raid your lands. It is of mutual benefit; and besides, there are more pressing matters at hand." His eyes shifted to Icienne then, and he wished he could smile, but to give emotion would be to show weakness. So he held his baleful glare on her a moment longer, long enough for recognition to flicker in her eyes, before his head swung back to Arkhann. "Well, Wardancer, what will it be?" his voice was even, controlled, and yet very powerful. He felt anxiety rest within him like an anvil upon his soul as his hands itched to reach behind him for his hammer, and swing it down upon the man across the table, with that subtly smug look upon his face.

He waited then, waited for the right moment. The masters were falling into his lap, to see he was much taller than he looked…

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Azmodai2 on Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:48 pm

After Bellurdan's little speech General Sturmgeist walked in, led by a member of the Black Guard, and accompanied by his personal guard, soldiers handpicked from the regular Army. His eyes read anger and hate and he looked at Bellurdan with disgust as he took up a position directly behind Arkhann. He leaned in to whisper something and Arkhann shook his head, said something back to which the General seemed to reluctantly nod to. Arkhann turned his attention back to Bellurdan, his cold demeanor remaining, "I will accept your aid on some conditions, one, your men must remain outside the walls in their camp, if somehow an enemy gets to you before we mount an offensive I will send some of my men to aid you. Two, keep your men in line, I don't care for rape stories or mysterious murders. Three, you will attend all of the councils of war and if I see fit to give you and your men a specific task I expect it to be done, however, I will accept input for better ideas. In the event of a pitched battle with the Orcs I will NOT tolerate insubordination. I have been combating these monstrosities for untold years, I know how they think and I know how they fight so it would be best for you to listen. Four YOU will be accompanying me and several others on a special mission, that should end this war. Five, your little friend I had in prison goes too."

He leaned back in his chair and Matthias and Sturmgeist stared at Bellurdan, cold fury in their bright eyes. The Black Guard seemed to relax a bit now that the General was with them, as his attendants took up positions around him and Arkhann. Arkhann took out a small dagger at his belt and set it on the table, he looked up at Bellurdan, "I will take nothing less than a blood oath on this." He stared directly into Bellurdan's eyes to gauge his reaction to the 'request,' his other hand fingering the hilt of his sword lightly.

He regarded Icienne, smiling and said, "I do hope these politics aren't boring you, you seem a little anxious, are you alright?" He looked at her with a tinge of worry in his eyes and tried to discern what was troubling her. His eyes met her and he could see the anxiety in them and he looked at Bellurdan again as if to voice his impatience to be done with the meeting and leave. The General and the Confessor General seemed to be having a heated discussion ad a flurry of military jargon mixed with a special code language flowed out of their mouths as they argued. He looked at Bellurdan, to see the man was probably about to respond, "Silence, I believe our guest has an answer."

OOC: Short I know, sorry, too much too do.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zee All Knowing Peacock on Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:08 pm

"A journey north, you say?" His gaze once again flickered past Arkhann to regard Icienne. "That is fine with me, of course, though I will have to bring my private retinue along. As to your other terms, they are more than acceptable, as total war would break out should my men place a foot inside this fortress. Unfortunately, I have a demand of my own. We must make haste, for the threat the Orcs present grows ever greater on my lands." He looked around, growing more and more weary of this conversation. They had ridden far, and now he began to feel the effects. "I expect, of course," said Bellurdan, "That you will be allowing me to remain in your fair city? It would be quite inhospitable if you wouldn't. I will ride out to my men and relate the orders, then return here. Of course, I expect to be treated courteously, along with my good friend here." His head nodded in the direction of Zelek. "There's one other thing," he continued, looking to the two men fighting behind Arkhann. "I expect you to honor the non-aggresion agreement that we will form once this is done."

After that he reached into the folds of his telaba and drew out a long hunting knife. He pressed it against his hand, and with one quick motion slid it across his hand. Blood slowly dripped out, and he reached the hand forward, stabbing the knife point-down into the table. He held out his hand, his gaze searching. The chamber was cold, and smelled of dust. The drip of blood made an even pitter patter on the table, the only sound echoing through the room.

Soon...

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby PunkRockinHobbit on Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:53 pm

Icienne's face was unreadable as she sat to the left hand of Arkhann, listening intently to all that was being said between Wardancer and Warleader. Those porcelain features were turned in Arkhann's direction, but as Bellurdan spoke, her icy orbs shifted in his direction, taking him in from the corners of her eyes. She noted as Bellurdan's eyes fell upon her, she noted the significance of that gaze, but it did not occur to her just what that significance might be. A fleeting thought that perhaps the Nathil had been hired by Ichlaz to keep a watchful eye upon her in the final phases of his preperations, guised as a war treaty with Valmorgen, crossed her mind, but she did not let it linger. She would seek out their intentions in due time. The reasoning of Warleader would not go masked forever.

Though Icienne did not avert her gaze from the current discussion between Arkhann and Bellurdan, she felt the presence of General Sturmgeist and his personal guard behind her, taking their places to further solidify the intimidation factor. It did little to ease her mind, but none of this was discernable on her cold, calculated face. She played only the role of the observer, and would not interfere in what was transpiring before her.

Arkhan regarded her then, and her eyes shifted back to him, being caught and held by his hazel-green hypnosis. She was swept away in his smile, which she returned to an extent. Perceptive, she thought, as Arkhann inquired about the anxiety that was ever-lingering in her eyes. "We must speak in private once this affair is over," is all she would say, and as Arkhann looked to the Nathil seated across from him, so too did the mage take him in once more.

The terms had been laid before Bellurdan, and, taking the blood oath Arkhann required, Bellurdan sliced his hand open. The slow, steady drip of his blood upon the table seemed to echo like a thousand war drums in Icienne's ears. This was too easy, she thought, and a feeling of foreboding entered her heart. Something is not right...

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Azmodai2 on Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:50 am

Arkhann's eyes were drawn to the bright red liquid, a liquid he had seen far too many times, now seeping from Bellurdan's hand and he listened as it dripped onto the table. He slowly picked up his knife and, opening his palm wide, he drew the blade across it, drawing open a thick red wound. His blood began to run down the side of his hand drip onto the table in mimic of Bellurdan. He could smell it, as his life slowly dripped out of him onto the old wooden table. He could almost taste that salty-sweet taste on his tongue and knew far too many battles had forever ingrained his sensory responses to blood.

He held out his hand grasped Bellurdan's firmly, their blood mixing slightly, forever bonding them, a bond that was bound in blood and could only be broken in blood. After a moments hold and a stern glare into his counter-parts eyes Arkhann withdrew his hand and ripped small piece of black cloth off the bottom of his cloak to bind his wound. As he wrapped his hand he stood, "You may lodge in the Barracks, the good General will find you a room to your liking." He then turned his attention to Icienne, "M'lady if you would please accompany me we can talk in private." Arkhann stood, turned on his heel and strode out, with the Confessor General and the Black Guard on his heels, leaving General Sturmgeist and his personal guard with Bellurdan.

The General did not look at all happy to be with the enormous tribesman but shrugged and motion for Bellurdan to follow and politely pointed Icienne towards the Lord Commandant. Arkhann cast a cold glare at Bellurdan btu a warm smile at Icienne, "Come M'lady, you seem rather anxious to discuss something with me."

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby PunkRockinHobbit on Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:03 am

Drip. Drip. Drip. Icienne's eyes followed each drop of blood that oozed from Bellurdan's hand, splattering upon the table. But then Arkhann picked up the blade he had set upon the table, about to slide it over his own hand in an equal gesture. Icienne suddenly looked away, unable to watch Arkhann bring bodily harm to himself. This, the mage that had stood and watched opponent after opponent in all of her training descimated until they were nothing, the mage that had watched the very flesh melt off of the orcs they had fought on their way here, could not bring herself to watch the Lord Commandant slice his palm open. The thought of Arkhann's lifeforce oozing out of him sent a stern shiver over her insides, and her stomach lurched. She wished there was some other way.

It was not until she heard the ripping of Arkhann's cloak that Icienne dared to look once again. His hand was now bound, and he was standing. Icienne stood as well, her eyes back on Bellurdan as Arkhann addressed him for the final time in their meeting. She looked from the Nathil back to the defender of Valmorgen, and she could almost feel the warmth that radiated from his eyes as he gazed upon her again, beckoning to accompany her to more private surroundings so that they could discuss what seemed to be troubling her so. As they walked away from the table, Icienne peered behind her, between the shoulders of the Black Guard directly behind her, to look upon Bellurdan one final time. The calm, almost stoic expression upon his face unsettled her greatly. She would rather he had shown some sort of emotion, rather than nothing at all, no trace of a hint to give away what was going on in his mind.

Icienne turned to face Arkhann as he spoke to her again, expressing once more the apparent urgency she held to talk with him in private. The Black Guard, as well as the Confessor General, were still with them. Not exactly private, she thought with a frown, but she said nothing of their presence. She was certain they would not be allowed to remain with them when the got to where they were going. "Indeed, Lord Commandant. My eyes are open wide for the first time, and I see everything around me clearly. What I see frightens me beyond all comprehension."

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zee All Knowing Peacock on Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:44 pm

Bellurdan grasped Arkhann's hand, his own closing over the smaller man's. He stared down at him as he felt the blood ooze between his fingers, then he released, letting air reach it again. He looked at Arkhann, then looked at General Sturmgeist. He smiled a wickedly evil smile, then the two set out. They walked through the marble halls, and Bellurdan noted the lavish designs.

Too much money on niceties, not enough on military, thought Bellurdan. Bellurdan had to walk slower than normal, to keep in stride with the shorter legs of those around him. His hand stung, though it was more annoying than actually painful. The air smelled musty and dry, and his eyes casually glanced into the gloom not illuminated by torchlight. All sounds he could hear were the steady clang of metal knights' boots on the stone floor, along with the rustle of armor. They reached a large mess hall, and Bellurdan saw as everyone there stopped, seeing the giant's massive presence enter. But they kept walking, the raucous voices of the soldiers silenced. They reached a hall at the far end of the room and walked in. The General pointed to the right, and Bellurdan saw which room he was referring to.

"Thank you, good General, I can remember where to go now, I think. I'm afraid I must return to my men first, else by morning they will launch an attack," he said, then turned and strode back into the mess hall. He moved outside, and looked up at the sky. Clouds had formed, casting a greyish veil over the world, and rain had begun to fall. Bellurdan revelled at the feeling of the drops hitting his face. He strode through the town, watching as people moved out of his way, and mothers pulled their children aside. He stopped when he saw one boy standing in his way, a defiant look on his face. His hair looked as if it had been red once, but was now so dirty as to be unrecognizable. His face was scratched and scarred, and bore an equal amount of dirt. He wore rags, which hung loose on his gaunt body. He looked to be no more than ten, but he stood there, up against the monstrous Bellurdan.

He was clearly an orphan, and Bellurdan took a step towards him. He knelt, but still towered over the small child. A tiny fist flew at him, but his hand shot out and caught it, enveloping it completely. "Why do you stand here?" asked Bellurdan, as he tried to give the warmest smile he could.

The child glared, trying to appear menacing. "I ain't afraid of no one. Especially you," he said.

"Well, I respect that, you know, " said Bellurdan, "but I don't understand why you would mention that your lack of fear for me is particular." He laughed then, a rich, hearty sound, which rang through the deserted streets. "How would you like to see my army?" asked Bellurdan.

He saw the child's eyes light up, and then he said, "I really would."

"Well, then, I'll just have to take you there." He lifted the boy then, high, until he rested on Bellurdan's shoulder.

"My name's Dog," said the boy, "I'm called that cause my only friends are dogs. So I'm always with them." He paused, then smiled, "I like that name."

They arrived at the camp a short while later, and Bellurdan handed the boy to Natthis. "Take care of him, and raise him in the Nathil way." That was all he said, before moving into his own tent. The seven shouldermen were there, and Bellurdan looked at them, his expression once more turning cold, savage even. "It is done. We shall be heading north right after the green-skins have been taken care of." He had resumed speaking in his native tongue now, the guttural language being a stark contrast to the smooth Valmorgen language. He gestured then, issuing them out of his tent. They filed out, and he was alone once more. He sat on the bed and put his head in his hands.

It is almost done, soon I shall no longer have to deal with them...

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zee All Knowing Peacock on Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:45 pm

Bellurdan grasped Arkhann's hand, his own closing over the smaller man's. He stared down at him as he felt the blood ooze between his fingers, then he released, letting air reach it again. He looked at Arkhann, then looked at General Sturmgeist. He smiled a wickedly evil smile, then the two set out. They walked through the marble halls, and Bellurdan noted the lavish designs.

Too much money on niceties, not enough on military, thought Bellurdan. Bellurdan had to walk slower than normal, to keep in stride with the shorter legs of those around him. His hand stung, though it was more annoying than actually painful. The air smelled musty and dry, and his eyes casually glanced into the gloom not illuminated by torchlight. All sounds he could hear were the steady clang of metal knights' boots on the stone floor, along with the rustle of armor. They reached a large mess hall, and Bellurdan saw as everyone there stopped, seeing the giant's massive presence enter. But they kept walking, the raucous voices of the soldiers silenced. They reached a hall at the far end of the room and walked in. The General pointed to the right, and Bellurdan saw which room he was referring to.

"Thank you, good General, I can remember where to go now, I think. I'm afraid I must return to my men first, else by morning they will launch an attack," he said, then turned and strode back into the mess hall. He moved outside, and looked up at the sky. Clouds had formed, casting a greyish veil over the world, and rain had begun to fall. Bellurdan revelled at the feeling of the drops hitting his face. He strode through the town, watching as people moved out of his way, and mothers pulled their children aside. He stopped when he saw one boy standing in his way, a defiant look on his face. His hair looked as if it had been red once, but was now so dirty as to be unrecognizable. His face was scratched and scarred, and bore an equal amount of dirt. He wore rags, which hung loose on his gaunt body. He looked to be no more than ten, but he stood there, up against the monstrous Bellurdan.

He was clearly an orphan, and Bellurdan took a step towards him. He knelt, but still towered over the small child. A tiny fist flew at him, but his hand shot out and caught it, enveloping it completely. "Why do you stand here?" asked Bellurdan, as he tried to give the warmest smile he could.

The child glared, trying to appear menacing. "I ain't afraid of no one. Especially you," he said.

"Well, I respect that, you know, " said Bellurdan, "but I don't understand why you would mention that your lack of fear for me is particular." He laughed then, a rich, hearty sound, which rang through the deserted streets. "How would you like to see my army?" asked Bellurdan.

He saw the child's eyes light up, and then he said, "I really would."

"Well, then, I'll just have to take you there." He lifted the boy then, high, until he rested on Bellurdan's shoulder.

"My name's Dog," said the boy, "I'm called that cause my only friends are dogs. So I'm always with them." He paused, then smiled, "I like that name."

They arrived at the camp a short while later, and Bellurdan handed the boy to Natthis. "Take care of him, and raise him in the Nathil way." That was all he said, before moving into his own tent. The seven shouldermen were there, and Bellurdan looked at them, his expression once more turning cold, savage even. "It is done. We shall be heading north right after the green-skins have been taken care of." He had resumed speaking in his native tongue now, the guttural language being a stark contrast to the smooth Valmorgen language. He gestured then, issuing them out of his tent. They filed out, and he was alone once more. He sat on the bed and put his head in his hands.

It is almost done, soon I shall no longer have to deal with them...

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Azmodai2 on Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:24 am

Arkhann looked at Icienne with slight confusion and gave concern, whatever frightened this woman would probably be bad news. He sighed and waved his guards away and quickly turned to Matthias, "Keep an eye on the Nathil people, and keep contact with General Sturmgeist, if they attack it will be a joint Military-Arbiter defense." The Confessor General nodded and turned, walkign away with two men following him and took her down into one of the empty hallways. "What is troubling you M'lady, you can speak openly to me, did my Magi threaten you?" He looked into her eyes searching for the answer. Perhaps it was Bellurdan... no, the man was monstrously huge but for a practitioner of the arcane that would be of no concern, perhaps something to do with the Sanctum.

Arkhann let these thoughts run through his mind as he stared at Icienne, his concern growing. He hoped the General and Matthias could keep the Nathil in check, he didn't relish the thought of the disgusting tribesmen roaming his lands freely. In fact that was the last thing he needed right now, as the Nathil were tenacious warriors. Thankfully if it came to that he was on his turf, and the Nathil way of fighting was not suited to the thick forests and rolling hills. The Orcs however, were just at home in the forest as they were in the desert and plains, and that wasn't making this war any easier for his men.

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Re: Battle and Glory

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby PunkRockinHobbit on Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:37 pm

Icienne watched as Arkhann sent Matthais and the remaining guards away. It was just the two of them now, and somewhere, deep in the pit of her stomach, a voice cried out, wanting it to always be this way. Just the two of them. No wars, no magic, nothing but the pure simplicities that made life worth living.

But they were far from that.

"For the first time in my life," Icienne began, her eyes meeting Arkhann's briefly before looking away, "I wish that I had not heeded Lucien's call and gone to the Tower to study under Ichlaz. I wish that the hunger had not fallen over me, I wish that I could have led some sort of normal existance back home, with my parents, and my brother. But I understand, even now as I speak to you, that it was not meant to befall me to have a normal life. Not yet."

Icienne sighed, fear and worry seeping into her voice, as she looked back up into Arkhann's eyes once more.

"Ichlaz desires the Stone of Ice hidden in the North. This much we have known. But his reasons for obtaining the Stone were unclear to me until I visited the Sanctum, and I found Lucien, my old friend, there waiting for me, as he has done since I set out on my Test. He had information for me, that has uprooted everything I thought I knew concerning my master." Icienne paused a moment, her eyes becoming distant. "I should have seen it, in that dream, he was so frightening, yet so frightened himself. Frightened I would fail him."

Blinking, Icienne returned to the present, her eyes fixed upon Arkhann once more. She opened her mouth to speak, but her voice faltered. She swallowed, willing it to convey what she must tell the Lord Commandant. "He wishes to... to become a God, Arkhann. And he cannot do it alone.

"It harkens back to the War of the Gods, two thousand years ago. My master was then the apprentice, under Methla, the mage who created the portal to open a gateway between our world and the next. Ichlaz was concerned only with his own designs, and so once his Test was completed, he sought the dark forces and joined them. There is a pillar in your grand hall depicting him in mortal combat with your soldiers. When his side was destroyed, he returned to the Tower, begging forgiveness, falsely leading Methla to believe he had seen the error of his ways. But, when the portal was opened, when Shirak was so close to gaining his dominion, Ichlaz did it. He made a deal with the God of Darkness. Ichlaz agreed to hand over our plane to Shirak, in return for Shirak giving Ichlaz his place among the stars. Until his task is done, Shirak grants Ichlaz unnatural long life. That is how he has managed to sustain himself over these two thousand years."

Icienne began to tremble as she continued. This was the part she dreaded telling Arkhann the most.

"In order to open the portal, Ichlaz must have the five Stones of the Elements. Four of them he has already. The final, I will deliver to him. But he does not need the stones alone. The spell of Opening requires the binding of a warrior and a woman pure to the portal, through which the spell must travel. It will kill them both." Icienne paused, trembling more visibly. "The woman pure, well, that is me. Ichlaz never allows his apprentices to live once their Tests are complete, I know that now. And the warrior, it is you."

Icienne looked away from Arkhann now. "It was not happy chance that led me to you. I sought you. Over all the weary miles, I searched tirelessly for you. Ichlaz had shown me a vision of you, telling me you would be the one able to help me gain passage north and acquire the Stone. I know now he did not want me to find you for your sheer courage and skill. He needs you as much as he needs me. When I have the Stone in my possession, I will be transported immediately back to the Tower, as will you. We will be Bound to the portal, and then, it will begin."

Icienne seemed to be lost in deep thought a moment. "Lucien told me there is a counter-spell, a defense measure, to the Binding, that he will look up for me in the Sanctum. I am to meet him there once the Orcs have been taken care of. But he also said to follow my heart, and I do not understand..."

Icienne looked back up into Arkhann's eyes, strangely finding comfort in that gaze. She took his hand, her own still trembling. "I am sorry our paths crossed. I am sorry to have to drag you into this."

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