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[center The Arch-druid has sent out invitations into his home city within the Akishish Forest. Its these invitations that have many denizens across Esos worried, excited, and fearful, as no one has been allowed to enter the Celestial cities before. Many of the invitations have been sent out to the Dignitaries and rulers of the other countries within Esos hoping to preserve the peace within the land, however others have a different perspective.]
[center Many wish to see the Celestial race put into shambles with their traditions and their culture influence among the other kingdoms even to go far as Akishish's dominance. Many would see the Celestial rulers dead and so have sent assassins, rogues, knights, and warriors to disturb this so called council of peace, This meeting of rulers, even the Celestial people are upset and wish to see one of their own dead and will stop at nothing to get it achieved.]
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Ra'sha had been informed the Mother of monsters had arrived in his domain long before her Slime creatures even appeared close to the city. It was Rulian however who had her guard up and it was quite understandable as to why. These creatures were putrid in the eyes of anyone who had not seen them before. Their smell was like that of allowing a wound to get infected, then let it bust and boil and just pester, it was like a slow stench of rot and death pored from them. Ra'sha however seemed only to step closer as the dark lady appeared from one of the creatures.
[#079acf "Endo Fala, Great Lady Seraphina. It is a pleasure to see you again."] Giving a bow in his own manner, as Ra'sha's feet didn't actually touch the ground but floated just above them so he stood taller then the rest of the Celestials. It was an odd thing to witness from Rulian's end as one could tell that Ra'sha and Seraphina were speaking to one another, but it was in a language that no one could hear or see or even to be exact speak.
Ra'sha and the Mother seemed to communicate with each other on a telepathic link the two shared and have bounded it seems for ages. It was likely why they made such a fighting force that made the Trolls and humans both cower in fear, it was also this bond that would allow them to speak in great distances if they so wished. Lifting his head Ra'sha had returned his gaze upon the lady with a devils look to them. [#079acf "I am told you have important news to give to me that concerns the Vale and its safe keeping."]
turning just slightly to his left the male held up his arm and waved it across to motion for the lady to walk with him. [#079acf "Come to the private study while the other guests arrive. I expect they will all be here by dinner time."] Rulian had caught the subtle hint the druid had put into place of figuring out where the lodging for the lady would be, but Ra'sha had already chosen for her. It would seem she would be the closest to the citadel. Perhaps it was a fools errand to try and reject the idea of a being not of Celestial origins or race to be allowed in the very center of their city, to the very heart of their magical advancement.
Ra'sha just kept his body next to the lady and spoke before she could. [#079acf "I have made a villa available for your stay in Morkedluin, The very heart of the city."]
ust as the flight to Aspect Azadun had taken a few days, the flight back to Emperor Casha took a few days as well. Lira flew back along the route she had used to fly here, it was the mos straightforward route which meant it was the quickest route of them all. A few times she made small detours to avoid groups of various creatures, she was unsure of their intentions but it was better to be safe than sorry.
By the time she had arrived back in the courtyard of Emperor Casha, half of the sun had disappeared under the horizon. The sky had lit up with various shades of orange, pink, purple, and red, all reflecting off the medium cloud cover. It was a beautiful sight.
A few moments later, Emperor Casha joined her in the courtyard. He looked up at the sky for a few seconds, before turning to face her. Lira could see the question on his face, and she also knew that he knew that she had understood what he was asking.
Taking a deep breath, Lira told Emperor Casha that Azadun had chosen her as the representative for the Obsidian Dragonflight. A few seconds of silence followed between both of them before Emperor Casha nodded his head. For Lira it felt awkward since she was not sure whether he knew that she was an Obsidian dragon who had partially grew up in the Obsidian Dragonflight.
He didn't ask any questions. Instead, he invited her to eat. Lira answered with a deep bow of her head as well as a graceful "thank you".
During dinner, Lira talked with Emperor Casha about the future, mostly about the festival. Lira had been planning on going off all alone, she didn't mind going off alone, but Emperor Casha proposed for her to go with him. This would be a new experience for her. Lira had never traveled in a group, not once.
Lira paused, thinking. Going alone would allow her to traverse over the land faster instead of being stuck with a slower moving group. But then again, travelling with someone with the likes of Emperor Casha would make quite the statement visually when going into the festival.
Looking up at Emperor Casha, Lira responded that she'd be happy to go with him.
They left a few days later. Emperor Casha had his retinue of guards, and she was a guard, in a way, as well. Lira spent most of the time flying up high and scouting the area. They didn't run into any hostiles at all. Seemed no one was crazy enough to try and take on a dragon.
The travel took awhile. Length wise it would've been better to go alone. But travelling in a group was fun, which gave Lira the opportunity to chat with Emperor's Casha retinue as well as with him. It was interesting to hear the various perspectives of the world from the various elves. Well, the perspectives by themselves weren't that varied, but the way each was told was varied. Somewhat different backgrounds, personalities, and a few other things influenced the way each of them thought about the world.
It was quite the eye opener once they arrived. Lira had never seen such a combination of forest and light together. No one had ever entered into the Celestial's territory before, and now the Celestials had given such an opportunity. What sort of wonders were hidden inside the cities?
They weren't the first ones to arrive. It appeared that there was a sort of line in front. Evidently the Celestials were making sure that nothing that they didn't know about would enter into their territory. That wasn't paranoia, that was just being safe.
Aleria had been far from the battle, but had heard the rumors that her brother was planning on a fight far grander then some invasion of goblins. She had set her eyes upon the fallen section of the city once her business with the opal dragonflight was done. It was a short lived matter however as Ra'sha had finished clearing the city of the filthy poisonous creatures before she even reached the walls of the city. Deciding it was best to make sure the city was actually cleared of them she had strolled around the section.
It was her brother's voice that had drawn her away from her search however as he called for her to walk with him. He had spoken of matter of factly instead of questioning. It was like he had already preplanned the list of people who would come to the festival like he knew who would come already. What drew her attention more so to his words however was when he spoke up of the dragon flights and the leaders. It was uncommon for the leaders to leave matters of home in another's hands, but it was on occasion they would. But to think many of them would be showing up in the vale was indeed a rarity, especially if more then one showed up.
Knowing this the opal dragon flight leader would very likely show up themselves to make sure their kind honored the rules that bound the dragon flights where they were. Even more so the pact they made with their father to not fight one another unless necessity dictated it. Aleria was about to sign something to her brother, however a feeling of joy came off him as a wicked war cry came from over the walls. Walking with her brother up the wall and seeing the band of goblins aleria looked to the guards who all appeared.
It was however to late, Ra'sha was down in the river on a platform fighting the goblin king and several men. A blink of an eye and the fight was over, Ra'sha had turned the goblin king to dust, but it wasn't until then that Aleria finally understood to what extent her brother would go for his own power. While considered a more tame Celestial Ra'sha was hellbent on retaining what magic he had and anyone that threatened that he looked at with distrust, all but Rulian. And if anyone ever took any piece of his magic from him without his consent he was focused on them until he was done destroying them through and through.
It made Aleria shutter a little to think her twin was far more vile then Celestials, even more ruthless then the humans could ever be. It was then her eyes snapped back into focus to see her brother on the wall with her again, a Giant boom sound coming from the border to signal the arrival of guests.
silence, a single bright moment among the dark all within her life. It was the silence before the battle. The Dark Mother, or also known as The phantom had but a small glimmer of hope remaining to her for vengeance upon her sibling that had betrayed her. She would rule a country and force her sister to bow to her will, but first she had to convince her brother who had joined her on Esos to side with her, even without use of her wings they were still a deadly reminder of who she was, of who her parents were. She was The Dark Mother Ellena, to some she was known as the vengeful spirit, to others she was known as The phantom.
She however had her subjects call her the dark mother as that is what she was, she was a dark Akla, a creature not found within the pages of any history, It was however not unheard of. a mix of a primal race with fae. She was the first born, she should have ruled the land on high, but her sister betrayed her and forced her to break her wings to get free, she then fled to the lands below to rekindle her strength and to reap vengeance upon her sister and the people who so gladly threw her away like nothing more then old rotten meat.
It was the scuffle of feet slapping the alabaster stone that had broken the great women's concentration. [#6705ad "Halt."] her hand went up in the air and the person stopped dead, quickly kneeling before their dictator. [b "Great Dark Mother, a message form the vale."] Ellena's eyes lit up with intrigue, it had been nearly sixteen centuries sense her last word with Aleria the Dragoness, and the sibling that now ruled Ra'sha. snapping her fingers a person appeared out of the corner wearing a white robe hood drawn up to far to make any details out. scanning the letter the person let out a gasp. [b "Lady you will wish to read it for yourself."]
Even more interested now Ellena stood up from her kneel before the idol that her people had put up of her gods. Taking the letter and scanning it over she looked both confused and the shine in her eyes seemed to grow bigger then her eyes. [#6705ad "It seems Ra'sha has invited the leaders of the lands to hearth and home."] nodding the guard turned to look at the others around. [b "What should we do my lady?"] rolling up the message the Dark mother looked to her guards with a smile., this was her opportunity; this was her single glimmer of revenge.
[#6705ad "Why we attend the Festival. Kalik will go with me."] it was then one person stepped forward out of the group and kneeled. [b "Yes my lady."] [#6705ad "Kalik that means leaving the cowl and cloth behind. We will need our armor and be ready for anything. I am sure my brother will be attending to his lands like always, I however expect him to send someone close to him for it. Be sure however King Edward, and Warlord Zang, both deserve to know the news as well."]
Several hours later the Dark mother Ellena was on the road to the single city that claimed neutrality from all three parties of the war in Colarurum, it was there that her and the other two would meet if they decided to go, or they would send their ambassadors to do so.
[center [b ~]]
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King Edward was loosing power, and not to the one person he has made an enemy of Warlord Zang, but to the third member of the war, The phantom. Who that person was no one could tell. All that rumors had was that it was a female of a none human race, part Primal, but her wings were as black as a raven's her skin as purple as a fae her eyes as red as scarlet. It was however not the focus of his attention, he was loosing his kingdom everyday and it killed him knowing that his people were turning away from him and his throne, What little bit of land he had was held onto by his ancient name claim to the land.
He did not start out as a king, no his family was low merchants, who became nobles eventually reaching the height of power of ruler, and emperor of the land, even bringing to bear their might upon the mountains and Silveria, even the elven lands of Kaleswood, it diminished on his father's reign and his grandfather's even more slack of an iron fist. The elves regained control of their forest and force the emperors out.
The dwarves of the mountains forced them out, only to follow shortly behind when Silveria's warlord orc took control and the goblins were forced into the tunnels of the mountains. it had sense been going down at a fast pace. The dwarves under their new leadership Warlord Zang had control of the northwestern part of the land, while he held the northeastern lands, the phantom's power was growning as she now controlled all of the southern part of the country.
Drawing his eyes up from the map of the country it was the messenger dressed in white that caught his attention. Of course on either side of the messenger was a fully armored and skilled guard. [b "My Lord, the phantom sends her regards, along with a message."] the king leaned back in the chair he sat and waved his hand to the table. [#d41411 "Step forward and deliver the message, before I send your head back as an answer."] the person stepped forward and put the letter on the table.
picking it up he turned it over and over in his hands. [#d41411 "Well?"] the person in white removed their hood and sat down in the chair across from the king. [b "The Dark mother sends that Ra'sha from the Vale has sent an invitation out to the rulers of the land an invitation to his home, She will meet you within Polris keep in two days, from there she will leave to go to the festival that the druid has invited everyone to. She also says the invitation is extended to you and one guard with you."] the king looked up at the person in confusion.
[#d41411 "Why would the Phantom inform me of this?"] the messenger only shrugged [b "Her interest in the festival is her own, however the guess would be that she is inviting people to see the inside of a Celestial city."] the king's eyes grew wide, he had rumors only of the festival from traders. How traders were allowed to set up outside of the citadel but never to enter foot into it, Now the Arcdruid was inviting strangers into the forest festival at an unusual time, but to allow them to see the inside of a Celestial city as well was something no one could ignore.
[#d41411 "Be gone. Tell your Phantom I will join her to travel."] it was a few hours ride of his land's to Polaris keep, but he would make the trip with his best guard and his child Calen.
[center [b ~]]
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Warlord Zang, a dwarf miner turned warlord and warrior. Tired of the oppression from the human nobles who ruled the land his family and house were upon. House Two hammers had been a strong family, a dwarven house of leaders, nobles, warriors, minors, and traders. It was however the fall of their halls in the mountains of Mwyn'Dor that had driven a wedge between the clan. it was silence for ten years before the dwarves had heard the call of war from their king. He was tired of the humans treating the dwarves no better then slaves, and even worse then the animals they kept as pets.
The first skirmish between the humans of dwarves of the land was for freedom the dwarves had won the fight, but at a fatal blow of the loss of their king, and with no child to follow him upon the throne the dwarves went into hiding in the caves and halls they had carved out in the underway. While peace lasted for a time humans and dwarves once again went to war over the land and the resources he would bring. It was then the dwarves from two hammers were forced to once again become a clan and fight along side the other three houses of dwarven families.
They claimed surface land, but did not push their luck, however recently in an election the house two hammers was to put forth a leader for them, and Zang had been chosen among them as he was a Paragon among his people, he had done the unthinkable and sealed off the underway of Colorurum from the rest of Esos. And so to his people he became King Zang, however to the other races he would be known as Warlord Zang, which had a better ring to it even to his ears.
[b "My lord, a messenger from the Phantom has appeared at the gate, with a letter for you."] he king nodded and waited a few minutes for the person to be seen into the hall of kings. [#d47d11 "Tell me what is it the deceiver wants?"] The white hooded figure removed their cowl and showed it was another dwarven figure. [b "The Dark mother wishes to extend a peace for a time to the three parties of Colorurum."] the warlord raised an eyebrow. [#d47d11 "And what would The Dark mother want with peace? She hasn't raised a finger to stop the fighting between King Edward and me before, why would she now?"]
A smile appeared upon the dwarves face as she produced a scroll from inside her sleeve. [b "Its an invitation from the Vale. Ra'sha the druid has invited the rulers to the Dragon festival within the vale."] the warlord leaned forward on his throne and shrugged. [#d47d11 "And what reason would we have to go to a festival, when we can hold one ourselves here, With King Edward and the Phantom gone we can take their lands for our own without any hesitation or without any trouble."] The female dwarf nodded. [b "Your correct, but then you would be denying yourself a chance to see inside a Celestial city."] Zang had instantly heard the whispers of the nobles present about the ideas of what the inside of the city could look like.
Holding up both his hands to quiet the room Zang went from looking at the nobles to the messenger and nodded. [#d47d11 "Go on."] Taking a deep breath the robed figure replaced her cowl upon her head. [b "The Dark mother will meet you at Polaris keep in two days. From there she will depart for the Vale She sent the same invitation to King Edward. She also says that Ra'sha has allowed a single guard to come."]
The warlord looked out across his nobles and nodded. [#d47d11 "Very well tell your Dark mother we will be there."] The king watched as the dwarf left, but called out [#d47d11 "Azadili"] To the dwarves it was an insult that was far worse then being called a traitor. The nobles all went into an uproar, but before any of them could speak the king was gone. He already knew who he would take. The captain of his body guard and his wife.
[center [b ~]]
Upon the arrival of all three parties at Polaris keep the Dark mother had kept her cowl drawn to her so no one could see her face, King Edward and his guard were on horses to her left, and Warlord Zang with his wife were on rams to her right. All three parties ready for a fight at any moment. The group set off for the vale.
It was almost half a month time before they had gotten across Colorurum, The Nhorn plains, and the Vrynheld desert to get to the vale. The three had entered separately, but waited for the other two to join across the border before continuing on the journey. While they did not like one another they all represented the ruling faction of the Colorurum lands and would act as such. It was then that the three of them could see the city ahead of them, however the road was lit and many people were on the path ahead of them. it was almost reassuring however to see people still arriving behind them as well.
Dozens of squelching noises akin to a small army marching through thick mud announced their arrival, as a trio of colossal slime creatures slithered through into the clearing of the forest. While their speed was impressive it was their maneuverability that proved more useful as they all were able to stop in an instant. Their countless eyes scanned the clearing even as each blink seemed to shift the location of the sickly green organs to a new location, and as soon as the lead slime seemed happy with what it saw it opened a hole at its front that seemed far too large and empty to be a mouth.
Levitating out from the shadowy opening was Seraphina, eldest of the Greater Eldritch Abominations, founder of the Duskgate, Empress of Novrehold, and The Mother of Monsters. Followed by Lady Silver the Captain of her Royal Guard on her right, and Lady Grey her Lady-in-Waiting on her left. Once they were all clear of the opening of the beast it closed its maw, and went back to using its many eyes to scan over the clearing like a watchdog. While her slime child kept watch Seraphina took the opportunity to add an additional protective shroud to the minds of her entourage to prevent any unwarranted probing from the Celestials.
Once she was certain that they were safe Seraphina turned her attention away to whisper to her colossal slime child. While her voice was almost silent it was clear she was speaking to the creature as her voice created soft ripples against the surface of the giant creature. With her instructions delivered she waited for the welcoming committee with as much patience as she could muster for her close allies.
One thing that made the wait easier on her was the knowledge that she had sent ahead to Ra'sha. The reason for her early arrival in the Akishish Vale was one of importance to the stability of the Vale. She was also keen to find out just how her friend Ra'sha would respond to the news. All of the possibilities running through her mind helped to keep her entertained as she waited.
[h3 [center Gaul]]The day of the departure was the most peaceful day the Stronghold had seen in months. Gaul's mood could not be better given the lack of response from his allies to the South and it was clear from the relaxed atmosphere that his servants were aware of it. Most kingdoms would send a second request to be certain that it was responded to in time, but in Gaul's case it meant that he felt free to do what he wanted to do in the first place. Which meant that an extra fleet was prepared to fly out with his ship.
Should Blackbarrow complain about his action he had diplomats who could try to smooth things over with them. Of course if they failed he would just set to work with a plan to level their country with his monstrous mechanized military. A win-win scenario for the unyielding Gaul and Bleakhaven. Also standard operating procedure for them when it came to diplomacy.
Accompanying his flagship would be two of his most respected fleets. One to reinforce his own border and help the first fleet sent to deal with the rebellion in the southeast. Along with one that would position itself on Blackbarrow's southern border to be prepared to help should anything happen during the festival. While the flagship would be on its own for a while Gaul and Vorlash were both confident that it would be able to last long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
With all of their preparations in order Gaul boarded his flagship along with his wife. Given the time of their departure they might be the last to arrive at the Festival, but they would arrive in time. Not that Gaul cared about appropriate arrival times.
[b “Commodore Perry I'll be in my room with my wife,”] Gaul said as his energy flared up. [b “Handle things well enough that you don't need me to come out.”]
[b “Of course my lord,”] Perry said confidently. [b “Between the two fleets there will be nothing to worry about.”]
With control of the ships in Perry's capable hands Gaul headed below to the torture chamber that was his room. The only room on the entire ship that was equipped with any sort of comfort.
Alican had remained in his position sitting at the right side of the throne where the Emperor would sit normally, however due to his absence that meant the Litch priests of the desert were in control of the land, and would be so as a council until the emperor came back, or there was but a single litch priest remaining like back in the days of old when Setra ruled. Hearing the click click click of bone upon stone Alican looked up to the doorway from the chair he now sat in. As the door swung open came in a series of skeleton like figures all of whom wore the same garb; a light white robe adorned with their own symbol in black.
Each priest was followed closely by two guards all of whom took up positions around the room to guard not only the priests from the outside, but from each other as well. While the land itself was peaceful and could even be seen as fruitful it was well known among the undead that those at the top were always hungry for more. More power, more land, more wealth; the only known way to get it was to destroy another priest or to destroy the emperor himself, however with the emperor tightly sealed away in the Black temple, and Setra the person behind the magical barrier returned to the sand no one knew how to break the emperor out to best him without destroying the pyramid, and in turn their oasis of sand.
Alican had heard the rumbling of the group as it started chatter of who would go in place of the emperor for the ambassadorship to the vale. While the two were allies many wished to see the forest returned to the fold of the desert as quickly as possible, and there were few who would leave the desert for last and start a more outward advantage. It was during this talk that Alican stood up and with his calm voice [b "I will go to the vale."] the priests began to prepose their own candidate, however alican cut them off before any could really say anything. [b "I will go, as the black pyramid is on my land, there for the emperor is on my land, I hold the power while the emperor remains entombed and Setra's whereabouts unknown. If you wish to challenge this step up."]
None of the priests reacted only nodded their agreement, as they feared alican known the power he could marshal under his banner within a mer few minutes. While his lands were small his power was far beyond that of even his predecessor and maker Setra. Stepping out of the room the dead creature snapped its fingers and a servant appeared. [b "Prepare the sled we will be leaving soon."]
Not even an hour latter alican had left the capital and arrived shortly after at the border between the vale and the desert. It was ominious the giant trees edge right up to the desert like the trees were giant sentinels waiting. It was then the guards had appeared. Out of the guards came a face Alican had become overly familiar with. Rulian, Triplet with Ra'sha and Aleria. Younger sibling to Orion and Casha. Without a word to Rulian's regard the dead celestial continued his journey into the vale a giant boom going off behind him. He would once again see the great giant city of Riverbend, Its faint starlight glow in the distance already drew his eyes.
It was shortly before dawn that Fuch arose for the day's journey, While He had many a times on the field of battle with the King, even the princes it was hardly a place for a lady of the Royal family to be found, and so Fuch's presence around Princess Elizabeth was a rarity, but more so when the Great Pale lady the queen demanded that she go with Fuch to the vale. Was their daughter that meaningless to them that they would send her to the vale? No that wasn't it Ra'sha was a highly respected creature to Fuch and even more so to those who knew him outside of his reputation.
Leaving his small cabin within The Farling woods in Blackbarrow lands Fuch had gathered his mare to travel to the capital. While he was unaccustomed to riding an animal anymore as it was much easier for him to just run he had to keep up appearances of what little humanity remained inside of him. it had been a short distance from his cabin to the capital. Perhaps a matter of ten minutes For the farling woods was the land that separated Blackborrow lands from Silveria and Bleakhaven. It covered most of its northern border and was used sparingly as many of the Primals were found within were not friendly to those who would defile the woods.
Upon his arrival many eyes appeared to look at him with questioning eyes. It however did not surprise him many were use to seeing him just walk into the capital in his normal clothing, however he was now dressed for war and ridding a mare. Patting her side he only whispered some words into her ear. Upon seeing the gleaming pearl towers from the citadel he pushed his way forward into the courtyard.
Seeing off to the left Princess Elizabeth dressed for war was a sight to see. She was a fine lady, tall even for her family's standards. Red hair with strands of gold running through it to give it an orange tint in the rising sunlight. Her figure while not as slim as many women found within the realm she had a warrior's pose, on her right hip hung a blade, her left a whip, both he guessed she was very deadly with.
[b "Lord Fuch. I see you have arrived just in time. The carriage should be ready in but a moment."] Fuch nodded to the great lady and got off his mare. A stable hand came and took her away. Fuch had joined Elizabeth and her father as she gave him a hug goodbye and jumping into the carriage for departure. The king turned to face his commander and held him in his firm grip very tightly. [#621c8d "My Lord we should be off if we are to get to the vale by nightfall."] Of course Fuch knew a fast route to the vale from the capital that he would have them take.
A normal travel from the edge of the vale to the Capital was a matter of three days and to imagine that this would be the first time Fuch, or anyone for that matter would see a city within the great forest, more so the Capital of it all Riverbend, even Fuch wondered many a times what the place looked like that the Celestials had called home, but to imagine it from the way Ra'sha described it was hard, as his words wove an image that there was no way one could figure.
The king released fuch with the words [#1c278d "Fuch you are in command here, do not let Lady Elizabeth dictate how our country is represented, You are in command as you have dealings with Celestials, more precisely Ra'sha in the past, and so you know him better. I wish to remain his friend and ally for another generation."] nodding fuch stepped up into the carriage and they were off. Of course Fuch gave directions to the couchmen as he went down the bumpy dirt pathway through the countryside.
The travel was silent for the most part other then the occasional request to stop from the couchmen to fed and water the horses. It also allowed the princess and himself to stretch their legs, her two and his four, along with get a bit of sunlight. It also allowed them to eat on the way there as well. Upon arrival at the edge of the vale Fuch was greated with a site he thought he would never see. Trees taller then the mountains stood over them, however the site that had caught his attention was the many elves and celestials that seemed to appear out of no where in front of them. There were hundreds of them; looking across they all had arrows knocked and ready to fly at a moments notice.
Stepping away from the crowd however was a single giant creature in armor. [b "En Taro Ra'sha. My name is Rulian. I must ask for your invitation at this point."] reaching his hand out the giant creature waited, eyes not blinking even once. Fuch had made his way back to the carriage and pulled the letter out of his bag and returned to place it in the armored hand who seemed not to even bother unrolling it, but more checking the seal on the outside of the thing. Perhaps it was to check its validity. [b "You may processed. Follow the path and do not stray."]
Fuch nodded and returned to the carriage and spoke to the driver telling him the words of Rulian. The man nodded and clicked his tongue for the horses to continue. Shortly after entering the vale a giant boom sounded behind them and it seemed the vale grew dark once again on them so there was no turning back at this point. Looking forward it was then Fuch noticed it. the soft glow of lights ahead of them on the path. It seemed the vale was much smaller on the inside then it appeared, but there was no way. Perhaps this was the power of being a druid inside a domain you control completely.
Ra'sha had seen the messenger owls off just as quickly. The inside of the Citadel had been cleared out. Raundaros had been returned to the celestial control, although to say that the celestials had lost part of their city would be a lie. A strategy was at play from the head of the council Ra'sha and it seemed to have not worked the way it was planned. The goblin king was yet no where to be seen, even among the thousands of bodies that now lay burning in piles all across the sector. The bodies burned just as easily as the torches did in the human camps burnt with oil. It reminded Ra'sha that goblins blood was just like Oil, only far worse their blood and saliva carried a poison on it they covered themselves with and would use with deadly force if necessary the only known antidote was to get a goblin to remove it themselves, and they weren't in the business of doing so lightly, and if they did it came at a very hefty price.
Shuffling through the now occupied streets of the sector Ra'sha had found the single person he was looking for. His twin sibling [#079acf "Endo Fala Aleria. How goes the preparation of the festival grounds this year? it must hurt the opal flight to give up part of their hunting grounds so we can hold the festival right outside the city here."] Of course Ra'sha knew he was speaking to himself, His sister was mute and that fact never escaped him and had even caused many fights between the two of them that seemed to always end in a draw or a pointless result. [#079acf "Walk with me dear one. We have matters that need attending before the guests begin to arrive. And from what I am told many guests will be arriving. I guess I should have mentioned that each kingdom's leadership is allowed to come and be accompanied by one guard each. However I am told that the Dragon flights will be joining us as well on their own accord. I am told several of the leaders will be in attendance."] He had started walking north towards the edge of the city eventually reaching it in perfect silence. He had been looking for the other members of the council, but they seemed to be else where.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/736x/a4/0f/d6/a40fd6a06cba6dc63f9e5adffa10a774.jpg]]
It was then Ra'sha had heard the war cry come from outside the wall. [b "Stupid thing will come to die again. You owe me a city."] Ra'sha's face would have a giant smile from ear to ear if celestials had a mouth like humans. The one person Ra'sha had been hunting sense his rebirth from his second death. The goblin king had finally appeared after the slaughter of his kind endlessly. While they swelled their ranks rapidly and even worse didn't care who died as long as they replenished them faster then the loss it didn't matter. It seemed however he had finally done it. The Celestials had killed enough Goblins that it would take them a good while to make up the numbers. It was their annoying trait is that they ate anything that was dead including their own kind, and if one ate enough it would generate a second self, It was the goblin's way of reproduction. [b "Stupid shinny creature killed to many of goblins now you must pay. Price very very high this time. You die and stay dead. No come back now."]
Ra'sha's face didn't seem to change any, but he walked up the steps closest to where the voice was coming from and called out. [#079acf "Single combat goblin. Me against you and four others."] The king seemed to think this over and only answered back. [b "Stupid to refuse offer in my favor. But make it nine and me."] Ra'sha just looked across the field at the army the goblin king brought with him and nodded. [#079acf "Fine, but no magic either."] The goblin king looked confused and so did a few of the Celestials that had joined the guard on the wall to look across the black flood of goblin bodies that were forming on the edge of the river.
Jumping down from the wall Ra'sha had landed softly in a sense snapping is finger a single stone rose out of the river. Its shape perfectly round and sized enough to be a duel arena. Stepping on the stone Ra'sha drew out a single curved blade made of the Celesital design. The goblin king pointed to nine people; all of which joined him on the stone. Ra'sha however had other plans, as the goblin king and his lackies charged at Ra'sha he cut off most of their heads. Leaving only the goblin king who had been smart enough to duck the blade. He tried to stick a knife into Ra'sha's side but failed as the celestial had side stepped and drove his blade down the goblin's back to disconnect his spine from the rest of his body. The only thing keeping him upright was the fact Ra'sha had placed his blade into the creature acting like a spine.
Ra'sha grabbed the king's bottom jaw and forced the creature to look deep into his starlight white eyes. [#079acf "You will give me back the power you took from me. And everyone will know what it means to take from me what is mine."] At the end of those words the goblin king slowly seemed to decay before everyone's eyes. But his aging seemed to fade into Ra'sha like it was nothing. While Celestials would normally consume their prey slowly they had other things to get ready for and this was something Ra'sha could not delay, especially knowing a few of the people who were coming. Solas and Lunos, twin princes From the elven courts of Kaleswood, King Edward, and the Phantom both from Collorium. A few of the Litch priests from the Sands of Vrynheld. An Arch priest from the tech Nhron plains. And that was but a few he knew of, even Fuch the witchhunter from the Blackborrow lands was coming. Others were questionable however.
As Ra'sha finished with the goblin king his body turned to ashes. The other goblins scurried away in fear of the druid. He had been returned to his full might of magic. He boomed his voice all across the city of Riverbend. [#079acf "We have guests arriving at any time now. The festival of the Dragon will begin tomorrow. Rulian, Guards are to be placed upon the vale's borders, nothing moves without me knowing of it. Orion You and the other mages need to finish making lights around the city so everyone can see, make sure they do not hurt anyone's eyes upon seeing them. Aleria your to welcome the dragonflight leaders as they come in. Use your opal dragon to talk to them. Cashia and Kain you are to be sure the villas are set up for guests upon their arrival. I want everyone in a good mood upon arrival, so do not place people who dislike one another close by. Do it timely and quickly as I'm sure those who travel a long way will be tired after a preparation of food."]
It was then the first horn sounded from the border. The guests had begun to arrive a lot sooner then even Ra'sha had expected.
Caepa the Progenitor, that was his name according to the history books taught across the land of Esos. He was Caepa the red, Mate to Mandora the Mother of Magic, and now mate to Murvol The red Aspect and dragon flight leader. He was believed to be the oldest living creature now in all of Esos. Older then the elven Templar Kain, older then the Mother of monsters. Older then the land itself. It's what had given Caepa his name, he had birthed the land of Esos out of nothing. He forged the land in an image he wished and would wisely guide it from his perch on high.
That is what the legends spoke of, and while many legends are littered with truth Gaepa had no high perch to watch and guide the world from, but he had indeed forged it out of the sea. He made the mistake of breathing his molten breath into the sea and forced land to appear in mass. It let him and his kin to rest for a time being. It was then the plethora of Gods had come to him and those of his ilk and given them powers beyond a normal dragon even intelligence over the others of their kind. In all there was at the start seven of them.
Anshura, The Ancient of earth, scales as brown as the very dirt covering the earth crust. Considered the god of earth to many living now a days Anshura's also called the earth bearer. he was cool collected, but very manipulative and always calculating. The next to be given powers by the gods was Anshera, The ancient of Fire. Scales as gold as the mid day sun. Considered the god of Fire and chaos to elves Anshera is also called the Fire tongue. He is arrogant and very self centered. Next was Anshira, The ancient of water. Her scales as green as the sea she roams. Considered the wraith of the ocean She is also known as the wave maker. She was the mate of Anshura and was also cool and collected, but was outspoken and very stubborn. Next was Anshora, The ancient of Air. His scales were bright white like an untouched fallen snow and more of a feather then a scale. Considered now as nothing more then a dragon to the people he is sometimes called the Angelic dragon. He is air headed, and very controlling, but sly and overly intelligent compared to the others.
The others were Ando, The aspect of death. was one of Caepa's first spawns and was a little smaller then him, but was expected to be just as large. His scales as black as the night sky Ando became the god of life to those within the place he held himself up and so has become lazy for the food he is given by the people in the mountains. Ando was also called the death harbinger Considered brutish and conceded by many he is very bright and a quick learner. The last dragon given magic over the realm was Esa, The aspect of Life. Her scales as blue as a clear sky or a still pond. She was considered the reason Esos became something more then what it was. Also known as the Life bringer Esa was also intelligent, collative, and coy. It was however to great surprise that his mate Mandora was given great responsibility. She had been given the greatest gift of all. She had been given the power over magic in the land. In turn Caepa had been granted one thing and that was to be forever the largest dragon in Esos and he would forever be considered father earth. A living god forever.
It was during the first age that their work had taken on a turn for an interesting fact. Esa had began to sprout life across Esos at first slowly, but began to quicken as she went across Esos. Plant life bloomed around her as she went across the land. Flourishing as it went it began to overtake itself. Eventually Esa had gone to her siblings asking for help. Ando had given each planet a life, Anshura had given her the dwarves, Craftsmen of the earth. Anshera had given her the orcs, The war brutes. Anshira had given her the elves. The graceful treefolk. Anshora had given her unicorns, The beautiful Creatures. It was these four creatures that split Esos into their own realms. however Ando was jealous of his sister's gifts and so tried to take them and manipulate them to his own, but he failed over and over. From the Dwarves he was given Imps. From Orcs he was given Goblins. From the elves he was given trolls. From Unicorns he was given worgs. He placed his own version of the races on the realm and it had caused destruction among it all.
It was in this first age that Mandora had been corrupted, she had allowed Ando to whisper into her hear lies of how her mate would take another and another and another forcing Mandora to watch as his spawn littered the earth while hers would forever be but one. Mandora had set out to destroy the other aspects and in the process Purge Esos of all life. She had nearly succeeded as well had the six great dragons not banded together even Ando who had corrupted her to take her down. Her bones had been bound into the Spine mountains and from them sprouted life.
It was during Mandora's reign of the world however that Esos turned into one giant desert. At first man ruled the great desert, as they adapted to it quicker then the other races. They first enslaved Dwarves. Next to fall was the Elves who gave no fight. Next was the Trolls and orcs both. Then the worgs and unicorns herds started to become rare or were hunted for game. Humans ruled for a long time, however after centuries trolls rose up with orcs and forced man out of the empire and built up their own, however the brute strength of orcs was no match for the magic of trolls. Trolls ruled the desert empire they built themselves for quite some time.
That was until once again human's reappeared and forced their way across Esos, It was then that humans signed their peace with dwarves to make a great alliance and the goal was to restore the empire of men. Releasing all slaves and killing orcs and trolls alike Humans and dwarves marched across the Troll empire, only to be stopped at the half way point. Now split in half Esos was in termoil. It was then a great uprising happened again only on both sides of the empire. Elves had broken away from their shackles and retreated to the edge of the known world closest to the Ado woods.
It was there the second age started. The mother of magic had been defeated and the desert had begun to slowly return to its lush lands, only the elves had reappeared and forced both the human and troll empires to bow to them. Elves had become superior fighters then both and forced all other races under their control accept those who did not do so to them.
Caera had at this point come back to Esos from the lands to the east with many more of his kind behind him. He had given birth to eight other children sense then and they each had given birth. They had made home in Esos like they always had, but it was then the elves had attacked and killed many of them. It was the start of the greatest war Esos would face. The age war. On one side of the war was Dragons, Orcs, trolls, humans, etc. on the other was the overlords of it all the elves.
The age war lasted for aeons. It was ended however when Caera could not take anymore of his kind being hunted and killed and doing the same to elves. He had taken it personal and hunted down many scores of elves, even lead entire dragon armies to destroy elven citadels that now littered the world in ruins. Six millennium had passed between the start and end of the war and it had costed both sides very dearly. elves were recruiting young children and forcing them to fight. It was because of this the elven leader Aliri had called for a truce and a treaty.
By the time the treaty had been signed the humans had regained a large empire to their own, Trolls orcs and the like split off and were once again fighting humans and the dwarves had joined the humans. The terms to the treaty were that elves and dragons would forever be at peace. Elves would give up their god like magic and be given immortality. Dragons would give up claiming large masses of lands and be given the god like magic elves gave up. Slowly things had evolved, however Caepa had once again flown across the great waters to his homeland, he had seen to much bloodshed in Esos.
It however had called to him Esos, and so he today was making the return journey to the land he left his children to. With him was an array of fully grown dragons that wished to start a new life or wished to see the oldest of their kind protected from whatever could be ahead of them. It had been three ages sense he had been in Esos, and each age was at least as long as the second age of Six millennium. [b "Caepa we are ready to depart."] called a young dragonelle as he stared out across the blue waters.
Nodding he jumped into the air and down the long drop cliff to open his wings and have the wind catch him forcing him up into the air just before crashing into the waters. Even the air which had forced him up pushed the water out and away from the giant body of the dragon that now scratched its surface. It had caused a wave to crash against the cliffs the group had just left and a riptide across the water in the other direction.
It had been centuries sense his last Visit to Esos, and while the journey was bound to be a long one as may of his brood would require periodic stops to regain their energy and hunt had he been going alone he could make the trip in but a few strong flaps of his wings and a few hours, but his pace would have to be majorly slowed down due to all the dragons both young and old that were coming with him.
Taking to the high air above the clouds where one could see both the sunlight and the night sky the great giant dragon looked out across the stars as he glided along. He would forever love this sight as only his kind could fly so high and not suffer any affects from the cold of being up so high. It was a sight he would forever remember as it was what had driving him away from his second mate was knowing that he could not stay in Esos forever as he had other dragon lands that he called his own and had to protect.
He could never stay in one place for long, but instead he was the great red dragon that would fly across the world for eternity until the world itself died or until something bound him to one spot forever. He was the reason that the world had lands and was not one massive piece of water. and he would forever be written in history for it.
It brought her immense joy to watch the hatchlings run around and play with each other. There was something in watching the young ones run around, not completely understanding what they were doing. The hatchlings had this aura of innocence around them, an aura which would slowly disappear as they grew into adults and began to understand the world around them.
But she could not stay long, for she had business to attend to.
Lira was, in a certain way, in a home away from home. Obsidian Barrow, home of the Obisidian dragon flight group and led by the mighty Aspect Azadun. This had been her first home, the place where she had been raised as a hatchling by her parents. Those had been the days of exploring and knowing what it was to be loved by parents.
But humans and dragons had never been especially friendly to each other, what with the habit of dragons to raid settlements or other places and the human's fury at it. Lira had seen the devastation that humans could wreck when angered enough. It had been a night to remember.
She did not remember all the details, but she still remembered her parents yelling at her to run as they stood protecting her. She had watched in horror as her parents' lifeless bodies plunged to the ground. Fear and panic had taken over Lira, and she had run away never once looking back.
And from that point on came a life that seemed hell bent on making her life as hard as possible. A young dragonelle on the run, suddenly thrust into a world where there was no one to teach her as she grew up. She would have to learn everything by doing it herself.
Lira should have already been dead several times, but she somehow survived. To Lira it had felt as if she had been lucky when surviving those life/death moments. One of those moments had been when searching for food while starving, and had run into a wild creature. The creature, she did not remember what it was, had been bigger and stronger than her. She should have not been able to kill that creature, but at the end of the fight the creature lay dead.
Lira was scratched and bleeding in multiple places, but she was alive. The dead creature had plenty of meat, so she had been able to rest and recover for a few days without having to range out for a source of food.
And it was that way for many years, travelling all alone from one place to another and never staying in one area for too long. Picking fights with various creatures, improving her fighting skills. Having encounters with various races across the vast land, and learning what talk worked and did not work with on race or another.
And while journeying, she managed to access various libraries and read the information presented within the many books. There were two main categories of books that had interested her, cartography and history. Studying the numerous cartographical books, she had memorized the layout of the land and she could not get lost. The history books provided the history of all the races, or at least of those written down, which made dealing with those races easier since history allowed to figure out what in general would make someone angry or happy.
She had found herself at the court of the Elven Emperor Casha, who had been kind enough to let her go through the royal library. As usual, she had looked through cartographical and historical books.
Even though she had already memorized the layout of this entire land, it was always interesting to see how various races mapped the lands out. From the different language, to the different names were given to things such as lakes and mountains, to the different art style in drawing the map.
As it concerned the historical books, one had to be careful with those. History was in most cases written by the victors, so one had to look out for embellishment of the victorious side. There was the also curious fact that in some parts of the land, some of the history would be lost while in other parts of the land was where it would be found.
She had been reading through a book on the war between dragons and elves when one of Emperor Casha's messenger's had come to tell her that Emperor Casha requested her presence.
Lira first put away the book from where she had taken it with great care, before allowing the messenger to lead her.
The messenger led her to a courtyard. It was around noon, the sun was up and there was very little cloud cover. Up ahead, she spotted Emperor Casha pacing to and fro, no doubt waiting for her to arrive.
Walking up to Emperor Casha, Lira bowed respectfully. She was very curious as to the reason of this summon.
Now this was very interesting. Emperor Casha wanted her to fly to Kaleswood and deliver a message to Aspect Azadun, leader of the Obsidian Dragonflight. The message was an invitation for Aspect Azadun to select one of his dragonflight members to go along with the Emperor to the festival.
Lira pondered this for awhile. A few minutes of silence passed between her and the Emperor before she nodded her head, agreeing to be the messenger.
And a few hours later, she was flying in the general direction of the Obsidian Dragonflight in Kaleswood.
It took a few days of travelling to reach the border of Kaleswood, since she could not fly all day as well as having to eat and drink to maintain her energy.
After crossing the border into Kaleswood, she hadn't been flying for too long when two dragons had intercepted her and forced her to land. These two dragons were a pair of scouts of the Obsidian Dragonflight, overseeing their territory so no one trespassed.
It was no surprise that they questioned her as to her business crossing into their territory. Lira truthfully replied that the elven Emperor Casha had sent her to deliver a message to Aspect Azadun.
The two dragons looked at each other, than back at her. There was a short moment of silence, somewhat tense as Lira was unsure of what was going to happen, but one of the dragons finally nodded their head.
She flew in between the two, following the two while being sandwiched between them. Lira did not mind all this, she knew that dragons were territorial creatures and did not exactly welcome intruders.
A mountain range came into view, and they descended towards it. Flying lower and closer, openins came up in the mountain. These weren't small holes, they were all big. Big enough to fit a huge dragon through one.
The three of them landed outside one of these openings. Lira still found herself somewhat sandwiched in between the two dragons, who led her through the complex maze of tunnels. Hopefully, they were leading her to Aspect Azadun so she could finish her business.
It did not appear as if Azadun had been extremely busy, for she did not have to wait long.
After being let into the 'chamber', Lira walked slowly forwards. Azadun was in front of her, towering over her with ease. He was bigger in size than her, a few times bigger at least, but Lira felt no fear. She had done nothing wrong, except maybe that one bit about trespassing, and had complied with the scouts who had interdicted her midair.
Stopping a few paces in front of him, Lira bowed politely. Her head dipped down and forwards while settling on her front legs. Raising her head only slightly, she said to Azadun what she had said to the two scouts.
A moment of silence followed. Lira waited patiently, for there wasn't any reason to rush; this was not a life or death situation.
[b "Lira Alk, after all these years."] Lira gasped, even looking up at Azadun in surprise. She had never introduced herself, but Azadun had somehow knew who she was.
Azadun could see the look of confusion on Lira's face, and he chuckled a bit before his face turned serious. [b "That one time humans attacked, not many died that day, most of us managed to escape and regroup. We found the bodies of your parents, but never yours; we assumed that the humans had captured you. But over the years, we heard very curious things about a dragon travelling all alone across the land of Esos."]
Lira was less confused now, but she was still astounded that word of her activities could travel around no matter the distance.
[b "The other dragonflights did get curious as to why a lone dragon was flying through their territory, for a lone dragon is quite the rare sight."]
Now it made sense. Lira nodded her head in silence as how her movements had been tracked.
[b As to the answer to the invitation, out of all my dragonflight I choose you."] Lira's jaw dropped open, it would have dropped off completely if it hadn't been for the limitation of how far the jaw could go down. Out of everyone, Azadun had chosen her. She had not even lived with the this dragonflight at all, and there had to be some other members whom Azadun knew better than her.
[b No one of us has traveled the land as well as you have done. You understand the culture and customs of the other races much better than anyone in my dragonflight. That is why I have chosen you."]
Lira's mouth closed slowly as she thought about what Azadun had just said. His thinking did make sense, was there any better ambassador than one who had spent most of their life constanstly travelling and constantly in contact with the various races of Esos?
[+purple "Aspect Azadun, I accept the responsibility of your choice. I will carry this with honour."] Lira made a deep bow, as deep was possible for a dragon.
The next day she was flying back, all the way back to Emperor Casha.
Alican Crow was the name whispered in all the temples recently across the dunes of the last remaining desert of Esos, The Dark steppes. The reason behind his name being whispered among the camps was perhaps more revealing, he was the only known survivor of Settra's children to live within the population of the Vrynheld kingdom. While its lands is seen as a wasteland to the outsiders the Litch priests and the few living races that call it home find an oasis in the lack of interaction with others. Alican was now the oldest of their kingship, that at least only to the Emperor Yg'ka the troll undead Emperor and the old Troll Empire ruler.
Alican had taken his place sitting at the head of the crowd at the coliseum. Today was draft day for the Desert and those among the living races would pick future warriors for their parts of the army and potentially future men that would serve under the Litch priests in the afterlife if they were blessed by those whom they served. The Celestial undead Alican was far pickier then the other six Litch priests and just as much so as the Emperor when he would pick his own force. The difference however between the others and Alican was none of them had several Amber dragons within their forces.
Watching as the crowd gathered in the arena Alican sensed someone behind him and only held out his bony hand waiting for whatever would touch his hand. Fear had escaped him in his last moment's of breath when his student Ra'sha had drained him of magic and left him alive. Alican however felt defiled and left the Forest to wonder into the desert. Blessed by Settra the Black prince with his magic once again in afterlife. Once a leather bound scroll touched his hand Alican's eyes sockets scanned it quickly like it was reading it. [#09243e "So Ra'sha has invited everyone to the Festival. I have always wished to return to the vale."]
Closing the scroll Alican watched in the coliseum as many of the young men fought each other to show their skill. While killing wasn't allowed beating each other inches from it was not. It would go on until nightfall or until only one victor stood among them all. the male's focus however was not on the games going on below. [#09243e "Make sure the other Litch priests know of this, however do not inform The Black prince. He does not need to be awoken yet. Be sure the Pyramid stays sealed. The Emperor will stay there until the land returns to the fold of the sands. This is where we shall start."] holding the scroll up Alican threw the thing into the oil pitch that would be lite later on to bring a glow to the arena.
The chaos outside didn't bother her as much as it should have. Despite the attack on the city, Aleria knew her brother had it under control. This was Ra'sha they were talking about. With all the power he had, very rarely was there something that could stand against him- and with the other celestials by him, there wasn't anything that could stand against them. Besides, she had other things to think about rather than the orcs outside.
With the upcoming festival, the lands the Celestials used had to be expanded out past their usual zones. That meant less lands for the other races that lived within the forest. One such race, and the one Aleria was most familiar with, was the dragons of the Opalflight that lived to the southwest. Due to the expansion of the festival lands, the hunting grounds they used was being restricted, causing unrest among the dragons themselves. Their leader had sent in a message, asking the celestials to move the grounds or cut the festival early to ease the strain.
Despite her sympathy with the flight, she knew how important this festival was to her brother. Ra'sha had something planned, and while she might not know what it was, she knew that he'd have it go through by any means necessary. She had reassured the Opalflight that the festival was only a temporary event and that their hunting ground would be returned to them soon. Until then, they had the rest of the grounds and a part beyond that to make up for it until the festival's end. It has appeased them for now, though she wasn't sure how long it would ease their thoughts. It would be something she'd bring up to her brother the next time she saw him.
[b "Devastation, murder, genocide,"] the lead sang with overly clear enunciation.
The finale drew thunderous applause at the clever use of a stagehand to form the key twist of the story. It was an incredibly creative use of the medium on the part of the playwright, and all of the Abominations in attendance were particularly loud in showing their approval. Especially the most important Abomination of all, as the Mother of Monsters saw it as the most creative use of the medium encountered to date. Very high praise coming from someone who is believed to be older than the Duskgate, especially when the praise is being given to an Imp.
[b "See to it that everyone involved in this production is appropriately rewarded for keeping me entertained over these last few hours,"] Seraphina said to one of her handmaidens. [b "Be sure to let them know that I am looking forward to their future endeavors."]
While her handmaiden was giving praise to the production on her behalf, Seraphina sneaked outside to find a courier patiently waiting for her. Once handed the letter the courier made themself scarce leaving Seraphina to read the message sent to her by Rasha the Archdruid of Akishish Forest. The letter seemed to be of simple design, as she could tell by the way it was worded that she was not the only sovereign being invited to the famous festival.
However the way the invite was phrased left her with a peculiar conundrum, as the ruling faction of Novrehold consisted of a vast government compared to the simpler countries that made up the rest of Esos. If she were to bring the entirety of the ruling faction she would be bringing the population of a city, and while Rasha would most likely accept that from her it would be considered rude by the standards of most species. There was also her capital to worry about, as leaving it unattended for too long was not a good idea even with the overall security of Novrehold thanks to the enemies she had made over her life.
[b "Lady Grey see to it that my cabinet and council are ready to meet at dawn tomorrow,"] Seraphina said to her Lady-in-Waiting. [b "We have a number of preparations to make if we are going to be ready in time for the festival, and I will not turn down such an interesting invitation from such an important ally."]
The clash of metal broke the wind's hollow that passed between the foothills and the battle that was going on. The first side was the Ruling families of the land pushing their way to Nhorn Plains from the sea line in Blackbarrow Lands. Their target was the barbarian raiders who had been taking citizens of Blackborrow in hope to draw out the leader and his forces. The opposition was the remnants of the previous ruling family, and that of those loyal to him after several lost battles. The battle had lasted days it seemed as the forces where evenly matched for the most part, The only advantage the current Ruler had was his hidden force of Witch hunters specifically meant to hunt down magical creatures or beings. Their training consisted of being pumped full of so much Catril or the drug that forced mages into what they call The Glimmer.
The head Witch hunter was of course the most loyal, and so was the king's right hand man and commander of the Guard to the capital. The down fall was however that he was usually hunting a target when he didn't hear for a few days from pupils or several which hunters. He was regent and an unlikely one. Not many think of a Kitsune to be in commend of a household guard or even an army in Blackborrow as their rarity and even more so that the common folk were cruel to no end when they saw one. Perhaps it was his position that commanded respect from the men and Citizens of Blackborrow, but he would have none of it within his ranks either. He accepted all races and would train them, if they could survive. [b "Fuch, The king has summoned you."] came a male voice calling out to what looked like a young boy who looked out across the battlefield.
Fuch had been one of many people to live amongst the Royal castle, however he is also the first one to make it past a year with advising the king. Fuch had been the lest likely to live as well. He was under aged when he joined the royal court, and upon his seventeenth birthday he had been given the position of power from the king. The queen had given the Kitsune promise, and attention to more then she should have, but fuch never gave it chance. The king however watched his queen with close eyes, the boy however he watched with even closer eyes. Fuch had however kept an eye on the king as well. The clash of metal had rung from Fuch's blade that had hit another man clad in armor's blade. The man seemed to think he could take on the adviser by himself. the kitsune took the first hit when he let his blade down and allow his enemy to draw closer and nearly cut off his own arm, only to grab the plating of his armor.
[b "You fool, I shall end you."] Fuch laughed and stuck his blade into the left eye of his enemy. at first it didn't seem to do anything, however upon closer inspection the eye seemed to boil and sizzle away. It at first had no affect on his enemy, and instead he drew his blade out of the grip of the male's guard to try and push it into a different part of the body, but instead he felt the affect of the burning eye. The man fell to his knees and eventually landed face first into the grass and rolled around screaming. He had turned to the messenger and nodded, dismissing the man just as quickly as he had appeared.
[b "My eye, my eye, what did you do to my eye?"] called the man as his voice cracked before he was dead himself. Fuch just watched as the man's body seemed to wither and dry up for a few more seconds after the man had died. He dried up pretty quickly and it seemed that nothing else happened until his bones broke and shattered into dust. The man was gone, nothing remained of him including the dust that his body had turned into. Yelling into the battlefield Fuch spoke in his deep voice [#621c8d "Perhaps you should have done more research on those you consider your enemy. I am Fuch Krieger, the Void Kitsune and adviser to the King of the Cantel family, and ruler of the Blackborrow land and the seven isles. I am master of poisons, and architect to the fall of the Nasa to the Barbarian tribes of the east."]
The men that filled the enemy ranks seemed to understand his words and they turned around to retreat, only to be greeted by warriors into their rear as well. The enemy turned to both sides and once again were hit with troops from the forces of the Cantel family. The enemy's forces were dwindling and eventually disappeared all together only to have its last member broken down by an axe to the head from the king himself.
[#1c278d " Lord Fuch, I did not expect you to be on the field of battle."] Fuch just bowed to his king. [#1c278d "I have received news that Lord Ra'sha has invited the Royal family to go to the Dragon's festival within the vale. I wish for you to attend us. Ra'sha is as I always say a weapon I would rather wield then to face. And one day we may need yet to face him."] Fuch knew what his king meant. The human had a feeble mind of having all of Esos under the Cantel family banner, even if it took generations, even if it took their entire family line to do it they would make it happen, or so the king dreamed. Fuch nodded; his deep voice could be heard over the heavy breathing of the men on the field. [#621c8d "I am also told lord that Bleakhaven has requested that they be allowed to put a fleet near our Southeastern border for the sake of Ra'sha."]
The king nodded a slight yes. [#1c278d "I haven't given them an answer yet, however I do not see the advisor Vorlash taking no as an answer to kindly, if not just putting the fleet there and declaring it as a matter of state for his country to have a warning if Ra'sha does sail from the Vale."] the king looked up to the sky for a moment before his eyes returned to the young man that now stood in front of him. [#1c278d "I am told its because of you Fuch that we are allies with the Vale. What do you think of this plan from Vorlash to place a fleet of men at our borders?"] thinking long and hard fuch came back.
[#621c8d "I do agree with lord Vorlash. Ra'sha is a constant potential threat to most of Esos. He is the only known being to have consumed a piece of the Mother of dragon and live. While Gaul and the Mother of Monsters, along with his siblings Rulian and Aleria could give him a good run for his money Ra'sha would still win in a duel between any of them."]
Nodding his approval the king clicked his heels on the horse only to have Fuch swing up on a horse next to him. [#621c8d "However I do not approve my liege of Bleakhaven placing a fleet at our borders and would feel more comfortable knowing that we had our own men watching the borders. If Ra'sha does intend to attack us we need to be warned quicker then a mesage from Vorlash's fleet. On top of that the land of Novrehold is yet between us and the Vale, and we are between the vale and Bleakhaven. If a war was to happen we would be dragged into the middle of it and both sides demanding our help."] [#1c278d "Your telling me we are in the perfect position then."]
Fuch only gave a quick yes nod as a women in crimson red armor rode up. Her rapier hung low in her hand. Her blonde hair flowing in the wind. [b "Husband, the capital awaits us. Fuch you will go to the Vale as our ambassador. Take our oldest child Elizabeth with you."] [#621c8d "Yes my lady I will depart in the morning."] It was there on the battle field that the army made camp. The king however rode through the night to return to Blackborrow's capital of Dadith Keep.
Quiet. That was the thing that was always hardest to get used to for new prisoners of the Stronghold. Despite the size and activity of the massive fortress it was always deathly quiet by the design of the vicious Vorlash. Gaul liked it that way as he could taunt them with the fact that no one would hear their screams as he tortured them, and Vorlash preferred it for the sake of being able to work while Gaul was busy torturing the prisoners. Of course it also had the added benefit of making it easier for Gaul to corrupt its inhabitants as the maddening quiet weakened their resolve.
Today was no different with the Stronghold as quiet as always as Gaul made his way to the small throne room. Inside he interrupted a meeting already under way between his council and his right hand Vorlash. A meeting that he had actively chosen to ignore as he preferred to leave the boring day to day management of his territory to the reliable Vorlash.
[b “You are all dismissed,”] Vorlash said.
Despite the arrival of their ruler the council members were quick to make their way out of the throne room. Even as Gaul slumped into his chair they made sure not to pay him any mind as they knew to leave the job of updating him on affairs to Vorlash. Seeing as Vorlash was the only individual seen as invaluable to Bleakhaven by its monstrous ruler.
[b “So what do you have to tell me?”] Gaul asked.
[b “The rebellion in the southeast has gained a renewed zeal and appears to have gained support from one of our enemies,”] Vorlash replied. [b “In addition you have been invited to the Dragon Festival in the Akishish Vale.”]
Despite having had over a century worth of experience as a ruler Gaul was still just as easy to read as ever thanks to his lack of control over his power. It was clear as day from the raging energy around him that he was furious about this latest news about the rebellion. At least the news of the festival seemed to soften the impact somewhat based on how his aura changed..
[b “I have already sent one fleet down to tackle the rebellion and provide added security should the festival turn bloody. Additionally I have sent word to Blackbarrow requesting the right to position another fleet on their southern border,”] Vorlash said to quickly assuage any concerns. [b “Given that it will help provide them security I doubt they will mind. They may be allies of the Vale, but I believe I was quite persuasive when explaining the benefits of the security that our fleet could provide given the danger Rasha poses.”]
That seemed to be enough to calm Gaul's aura. [b “So will you be coming along?”]
[b “I will be handling matters here my lord. I thought it best to keep one of us here in the Stronghold, and besides if things do go bad I would not want to get in your way.”]
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