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> In Darkness he returns
post Jun 28 2020, 09:18 AM
Post #1


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Member No.: 54

All across Ishma people looked to the skies. A darkness was passing across the sky, it was as it the Sun was being devoured and consumed by the night sky.

Deep in the desert two men stopped and looked up, the air becoming cold as the sun was consumed. Around them the sand began to swirl and rise into the sky, and then slowly fall away. Suddenly before them stood a patch of green grass, and lush trees. Bird song could be heard, and the sweet smell of fruit. In its centre large square temple made of stone stretch into the sky. On each side the statues of twelve people could be made out. However no entrances could be seen.
Four haunting voices began to ring out in the desert, one after the other.
“So it was written as the sun is consumed will he return”
“So it was spoken as the sun is consumed will he return”
“So it was remembered as the sun is consumed will he return”
“So I will it as the sun is consumed will he return”

Forming from a grey mist that appeared from no where a man in simple garb appeared on his knees. As he stood the two men saw he was wearing a mask and simple necklace. As he turned the men fled.

The pirates had been successful. Not only had they managed to secure the entire cargo of one of the Empires prized Cogs they had taken one of Ishmas Clippers, the crew fleeing. So as they returned to the Walled Isle with their booty and a new ship they felt they had been earnt the tavern and the pleasure it would bring.

“Baron we have a problem”
“What is it Mikel?”
“The purgatives seem to have stopped working?”
“What do you mean?”
“They have been tampered with, or poisoned Baron”
“What, how!?”
“I do not know, but five people have died this morning when we have given them to them”
“How can we combat this plague if the cure kills? Send work to the Mount of the issues, and to Waldgraf Lokyen”

The figure walked up the steps of the temple. Still no door exist. Instead four spectral figures emerged from the walls and stepped forward. They all knelt before the masked man.
“My lord, we are prepared for you”
“Has the blessing been bestowed on those that would fight with us?”
“It has my Lord, but those that serve the memories of the old Gods have resisted”
“They claim they wish freedom. I believe they have listened to the lies of the Laiu servants and been deceived”
“I will travel there when I am prepped”
And with that the four figures stood and all five walked through the walls of the temple.

The mob rounded on the traders.
“Get out of here”
“Don’t bring your plague back”
“Get back to the desert scum”
The watch moved in and calmed the situation.
“How many now?”
“Fifth mob this week Sarg”
“Just against the Ishmaics?”
“No sarg. Been targeting Baronials as well. Word got out they go it bad”
“Not a good day. I’ll get word we may need the militia as well”
“Can’t we just close the port sarg?”
“Close the port? In the Empresses name, that would bankrupt the city in weeks. And we’d starve more than likely”

He slowly drew his knife from the victims back. That will teach a rich guy to come into stab street without paying tax to Trundleberry. I mean he probably hadn’t paid tax, well Trundleberry didn’t mention any tax being taken… so it must be ok.
The man walked away and headed off into he shadows. Opening the pouch he began counting his grulls. Not a great deal, just other a thousand maybe, so enough for a while. Then he froze.
“Tangle tax” the voice behind him said
Damn he thought, just when he didn’t need a Kallah to tax him. He really needed to pay off his debts after the last Gobbal bet.
“Look, I need to pay a debt or Anath will have my legs broken. Can I just owe you”
“If you can’t afford the grulls, we can just tax your body..”
Resigned the man handed over half the grulls
“And the rest, for refusing first time”
What a day the man thought. As the Kallah left he returned to the body, hoping he’d missed something. Searching the body he found a small gold Ishmaic looking necklace on him. He might get something out of this in the end.

The Hagrath gathered. Twice they had been attacked by mercenaries, and twice they had held strong. Even the great Saladin couldn’t defeat them.
Stepping through the portal the fey arrived.
“So you wish a trade?”
“Yes, you turned me, now I wish you to turn more of my kin!”
“You know there is always a price. Yours was out safety, and all you have done is bring mercenaries here”
“And driven them off!!!”
“True, but what need do we have for more, as you have been so successful”
“We offer not just safety. We will strike out, and attack the Barons and the people. Tear down their Iron Horse shoes, break they pathetic chain fences. Remove the boundaries that prevent you returning to these lands”
“Why would we return when the Circle still stand, and the Grayve hunt us?”
“Because we have an ally, and they will stand with you. For a small price”
“You want more than just six more green nails!!! Who is your ally, the Empress?”
“No, better”
Stepping from the shadows came a man in elegant robe, a mask and a necklace.
“Who are you?”
“I am your freedom. I am he that will bring down the children of the Laiu and remove the shackle on this world. I will break the prison this world finds itself beholden to. I will give you freedom”
“Why would we help you? We are safe. What you prose sounds like war”
“If you do not wish to listen then perhaps we simply shake hands and be done”
“No, I am curious now. What else do you wish?”
“Simple, you to carry word to the courts of the fey to the North”
“The time has come to break the covenant and denounce the power of the Laiu”

“Scribe, what is the latest on the Pep situation?”
“It is still spreading Sir, but the action seems to have slowed it dramatically”
“Any news from the Lord Inquisitor?”
“He was with the Senior Mennihafts representatives sir”
“Has any one seen them recently?”
“No sir, not since just after the dawn”
The doors to the chamber broken open, a man in elegant robes, a mask, and a necklace stood there.
“Interesting, this is how Halgar detects if it is being ritually assault”
“They are dead, and if you do not remain silent so will you be”
The figure walked to the desk the scribe had been at. The fragments of Nagrech on the ritual board vibrating with every shift in the ritual makeup of the city.
“And this feeds to the Lord Inquisitor himself? Answer me”
“Yes… who are you?”
“I am your salvation”
The Inquisitor drew his dagger and stabbed the man square in the back, but as he did the figure turned to mist and the blade passed straight through him.
“I applaud your loyalty, misplaced but you tried at least. So you will live” Turning to the scribe “You however have a chance to live. How do I use this?”

The patrol turned and paused on their horses. The priests had been assigned to them to check everyone travelling from Takalia to Thimon was free of the disease. It wasn’t helping with Bulaslavia, but they were sure if they could stop it spreading north Shaehan would be able to travel south.

“Stop, we need to check you”
The wagon pulled to a halt.
“Who are you and what’s your purpose”
“Well sir, we are just relocating to the north to get away from the plague”
“Does your Baron know”
“Sir… please, I have a family”
“You know the law” Looking at the wagon. “Three of you on the front, and a lot under the cover. Open it up”
“Sir.. please”
The patrol pulled his swords.
“Step off the Wagon and do as instructed”
“Very well”
The man got down and stepped around the back of the Wagon, the leader of the patrol followed. Pulling back the cloth the patrol leader gasped.
“What is this?”
“This is undead for Thimon” As the body jumped off the wagon.
The fight was brutal, and despite being outnumbered the demonic power the three wagoneers called upon made them easily a much for the patrol.
And so they continued to the north.

“Another report Sir”
“The same?”
“Yes sir, every Waldgrafine in reporting efforts to cure this Pep disease are resulting in people dying. It’s not everyone, but at least 25% of cases now die as soon as it is cured”
“Have we found out why?”
“Not yet”
“And the Seven?”
“Word has been sent to summon them sir. We have also sent word to the Drachyul, Grayve, and even Experditus to gain insight”
“Now I understand why the north offers prayers to the unknown”

The Inquisitor lay in the corner. The burns on his body were extreme, but he was alive.
The masked figure stood touching the fragments, visible power flowing through them and the ritual power.
The scribe stood in horror. This shouldn’t be possible, there is no one someone should be able to use this.
Turning the masked figure looked at the inquisitor.
“I promised you’d live for being loyal, and I keep my word. Those you are loyal to are not worthy of it though. You scribe however. You served me for fear of your life, rather than do your duty. I trust your gods will forgive you”
With a wave of his hand the scribe exploded in lightning and fell dead.

The traders came across the dead patrol late in the evening. The Shaehan priest with them checked, all were dead.
“Get back” He shouted “They have the plague of pep”
“Who did this?”
“Wait he’s alive”
Rushing to the body the Shaehan priest knelt down and tended to his wounds.
“Who did this to you?”
“The Faca’s”
“Here let me cure this plague” and he began. “..Begone”. Suddenly the tears filled the Shaehan priests eyes as the man took his last breath as the plague was purged, and he cried.

The orc turned
“Who the feck are you elf boy!”
“I am your salvation, your freedom”
“Yeah? You look like a ponce in a mask and pretty dress”
“True, but I ask you this. Your leaders refused to allow you my blessing, they refused to allow you to gain strength. They tell you to stay in your lands and not strike at your enemies. They tell you to live in peace and not make war. Yet at the same time they claim to have formed a great host. Why form a host if it does not fight?”
“And what? You’re going to give us a fight?”
“No, give yourself one. Walk from these lands, tell those that claim to lead you they have a choice. Lead you to bring down the city of Sellaville and prove they will stand against those htta enslave you. Or do it yourself.”
“How can we win that war”
“Win? It is bot about winning it is about glory. And victory is each. I will gift each of you the power you need”
“And you will lead and claim the glory?”
“No, you will. People will remember your name for years. Who are you and what is the name of this great tribe?”
“Drake, and we’re the Skulking Monkey tribe”
“We can work on that”

“You can feel him?”
“I can, he is returned”
“Will he be a threat to us?”
“I don’t think so, it is the Throne he is after”

“What do you want Drake?” The Ogre said
“Things have changed, I’m not Drake anymore”
“Yeah right skulker”
“Things change, we might eb the Skulking Monkey Drake, and I might be Drake, but I’m going to be remembered”
“And why’s that?”
“Because I have the means of destroying Sellaville”
“You’re going to attack the Empire, and the Moot?”
“They can join us, step aside, or side with the Empire. Their choice”
“How many tribes you got?”
“Lets get going then”

And so the slowly growing host began to march east.
The robed figure returned to the Temple. Already the grass was wilting, and the trees leaves had turned brown. This was the price Ishma had paid. Death and desert, thousands slaughtered, and now that debt would be paid.
“Are the rituals ready?”
“Yes my Lord, though we warn you they will expose this temple”
“It is a building, they can come by then it will hopefully be to late”
“You know the Inquisition can trace our rituals and follow them?”
“I am counting on it”

And slowly the sun emerged from behind the darkness that had devoured it. A full day the sun had not been seen over the sands of the confederacy.

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