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  #11  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:48 AM
Rygar Rygar is offline
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Appreciate the feedback about the length. Initially I had less chapters but had broken it down to a few extra. Sometimes try to get the story to stop at a cliff hanger or good transition. I didn't mean for it all to be taken in one sitting either, just read a chapter here or there while bored at work. Like I mentioned earlier, screenshots would definitely help, just not enough time in game to manage that.

And to the poster having this remind you of your friend who has best friends online, not sure why I'm being lumped in that category. Just wrote a story for folks to enjoy, isn't that what all writers do?
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:01 AM
maskedmelon maskedmelon is offline
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it's a fun light-hearted story that read like an innocent laid-back salvatore adventure :3 the tone is unintimidating and the lexicon/grammatical construct is warm and welcoming. overall, i like it and think it ought enjoy broad appreciation among those who take the time to read it ^^

that said, I found the second chapter the most engaging. it felt a bit slow out of the gate, but after sitting through the first chapter, the story of young wedar kept me reading without any effort :3


nice work! ^^
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  #13  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:21 AM
maskedmelon maskedmelon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rygar [You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]

And to the poster having this remind you of your friend who has best friends online, not sure why I'm being lumped in that category. Just wrote a story for folks to enjoy, isn't that what all writers do?
to be honest, i don't see why it matters either way^^ the Internet allows us much greater opportunity to encounter like minds and allow relationships to develop where they otherwise would not. there is something beautiful about the resonance shared by two minds divested of geographic, social and economic constraints across the immaterial voidscape of the internet :3

that is not to trivialize the value of physical association in any way. that is important, but it's absence does not in any way diminish the value of the relationship. if anything it strengthens and validates it simply by existing in the absence of any other utility :3 some of us are simply not so fortunate to find many, or even any, like us in our day to day lives. Perhaps that is the sad part:3
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2017, 06:33 AM
Rygar Rygar is offline
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Default Chapter 6: A Fool's Plan

Wedar peered out into the large cavern before him, he clenched his teeth and fought his rage, as much as he desired to crush Master Yael to nothingness he was forced to stow those revenge fantasies for now. He needed to resurrect his friends, and fast. He contemplated the climb up, it would be long and slow, and he would need to guide Ameliorate down to safety. A plausible plan, and he did not question her heart for the climb, but was unsure about her stealth.

He had determined he had no choice, but would travel through the Overthere outpost and hopefully obtain faster return passage. He was about to hit his mallet against the cave wall when a voice called out behind him.

“It looks like you could use some help.” The monk spun around to see the faint outline of a Halfling in the darkness, the half man stepped forward and in his hands he wielded the Water Sprinkler of Nem Ankh! He got on his knees and began to say his prayers over the pile of corpses before him, his powerful artifact glowed and dripped its magical energy among his comrades. As he neared the end of his incantation 5 pillars of light exploded in the cave, the Halfling reached in his hands and as he pulled back, he saw the bodies of his close friends return!

So happy and fortunate was this event the monk nearly forgot to thank the serendipitous cleric that crossed their path, he reached in to his coin purse and turned around to pay the man… but just as mysteriously as he had appeared, he was now gone. Wedar stared in disbelief into the darkness, but he had no time to contemplate what had transpired, he returned his focus to the task at hand. “Quickly, gather your gear and make ready for battle!”.

Sadiki fell to his knees and wretched “Easy for you to say, you aren’t suffering from Resurrection sickness!” His stomach heaved once more and he turned his attention to Impermeable, “I’ll never forgive you, Blob! As lazy as you are heavy, you roasted me to a crisp all because you’re too fat to climb you stupid oaf!! I’m never going to try and save your hide again…”. He looked up to see the ogre hanging his head low and staring at the ground. “Blo… Impermeable, I didn’t mean that, I….”.

“You gunna eat dis?” The shaman interrupted the bard, his head still hung and fixated on the pile of puke. Sadiki couldn’t help but laugh and the rest of the party chuckled, their spirits needed a little brightening after this latest setback.

“Imagine the luck, finding a cleric down here!” exclaimed Bardoc. “It would seem my troubles with this quest are finally over”. No sooner did he finish speaking those words than a Dark Elf stepped forth from the shadows, wearing the mark of Rustle. Without warning he summoned a monstrous Elemental being of air and he sent his minion forth in the cavern before them!

Whether it was from the resurrection or the shock, Bardoc turned pale white, he had not even finished stripping the armor from his corpse nor regained the strength in his legs and now this unfortunate turn of events! He was about to lunge forward and strangle the magician, but Wedar stepped forth with a cooler head to parlay. “I see you wear the brand of Rustle” he said to the powerful Tier`dal before him. “I am Wedar of the Azure Guard, and these are my friends you see before you. To whom do I speak?”

“I am Shadowgrey and I see you had quite the terrible run in with the monster before us, you best leave him to me” The dark elf did not shift his focus, he instead instructed his minion to continue dismantling the 3 lesser creatures before him. 1 had just barely fell and the magician already whispered his words of magic to summon another member of his war party!

“Shadowgrey, I beg of you, let us recover, we were taken by surprise, give us our chance for revenge!” pleaded the monk.

“Our clans may be occasional allies, but on this day I call upon the law of Sirken. If you want your chance go forth and take it!” the magician smiled wryly, as the party of Azure Guard before him could barely stand, all save Wedar. The second minion fell and another member of Rustle appeared.

“I call upon your sense of honor!” the monk shot back. “Long has our journey been and bitter since the outset, allow us this one small victory! In turn, you will grant me vengeance on this being who razed my homeland as a child, he…”

“and should I tell you the story of how my parents were murdered, strung up in the gallows of Freeport? Their only crime the color of their skin and the god they worshipped?” the magician interrupted with authority. “Would that tug at your heart strings and cause you to pull your friends aside to fight another day? No, we all have our stories and all feel we are in the right. This is why Sirken’s law reigns supreme over Norrath.” The monk knew the words to be true, yet still, for Bardoc, for his friend, he tried to negotiate.

“Please, Shadowgrey, perhaps some arrangement can be reached if…” but Bardoc grabbed a hold of Wedar’s wrist as he sat along the cave wall recovering. Half dead and a broken man, he looked up at his friend.

“Do not lose your honor, Wedar. Let them be, the day is lost. Once again, the day is lost…” the barbarian drifted off and looked away. In the darkness, the monk made out the glimmer of a tear in his friend’s eye. To see the great, hardened Northman overcome with such emotion wounded the monk to his core. The last minion in the cavern fell, and 2 more members of Rustle had appeared.

“Ready your wards, gentlemen, in but a moment we charge into battle” instructed the magician to his war party. He began to turn, “Wedar, I am truly sorry for your plight, I hope you understand…” he stopped and looked around but couldn’t find the Iksar. “Wedar..?” He then looked out into the great cavern and couldn’t believe his eyes “What madness..?!”. The monk had charged out ahead into the cavern and scaled the wall behind Master Yael as only a lizard with his agility could.

“He fights!” Exclaimed Bardoc, with as much shock as excitement in his voice. He propped himself up using his axe as a crutch. “On your feet Guardians, we do battle today after all!” He began to walk and nearly stumbled, Ameliorate rushed to stop the barbarian.

“Bardoc, no!” the cleric pleaded, “What little mana I’ve gathered is already spent trying to heal our wounds! And look around you, I’ve still much mending to do!” He saw Sadiki’s hands still trembling, a bad problem indeed for a bard. Nishoba was still on his knees and Impermeable couldn’t harvest a bit more of his flesh to his earthen gods before collapsing.

“Besides…” the cleric continued “in our current state we are no match for Yael’s Death Touch magic”. Rustle also knew this to be true, and was preparing to call the monk’s bluff. He began his incantation to call forth a bolt of magic against the demi-god in the cavern before him, and then, without warning, Wedar let loose a shuriken that skipped off Master Yael’s shoulder and leapt from the wall, landing on all fours on the ramp leading up to the Elemental king. He interrupted his spell, dumbfounded by what just transpired.

Wedar stood up before the creature that towered above him. Yael’s thoughts pierced his mind like a knife, “Gooooood….” He whispered, “You pitiful fool, you come here in defiance looking to slay me and take my treasures, but in truth you are just another insect to be crushed by my might” Wedar pulled back his cowl and looked at Yael with a cold, deadly stare.

“You..!” cursed the elemental, “Bane of the Elements, Defiler of Brell, the Banisher of Earth..! My minions have told me much about you, slayer, and many names have they given you…” He clenched his fists and let loose a cackle of maniacal laughter, “…but I know your true name!” With that Yael raised his arms and began to call forth his Death magic.

Wedar planned long and hard for this day, but he had not anticipated this particular situation. He only knew he owed it to Bardoc to try his hand in battle and hoped that Yael may reserve his Cazic Touch for later in their fight. However, seeing the great Elemental begin to cast his spell, he knew his end was near. He closed his eyes and gave in to his fate. They say when you resign yourself to death, your life can flash before your eyes. And so Wedar gave in and tried to achieve inner peace before Master Yael disintegrated him with his Cazic Touch. His Cazic Touch…

In an instant Wedar’s eyes shot open… He remembered reading of the Cazic Touch in an old tome in the Paineel library! Ancient ones say Cazic himself gifted the gods and their stewards with a familiar in his image that granted the Death Magic. Kept hidden away in another dimension, the familiar was also blessed with powerful magic that could only be disrupted by another god. Quickly he devised a plan, a fool’s plan, but his only chance.

He rummaged through his satchel and brought forth his magical mallet and a shiny idol made of brass. He placed the idol on the ground and smashed it with his mallet, in the same instance that he began to vibrate and slip through another dimension towards the Overthere the idol’s magic enveloped him, preventing further alteration of his body and spirit. His shaking core stabilized and his body came to rest in this inter-worldly dimension, if only for a few moments! He had gained access to the other realm, but would it be the proper plane he needed..?

Surrounded by a mist of mana and other magical energies, he focused his eyes. He began to have doubts of his plan, but then he saw a green glow and pushed towards it, his limbs seemed to behave as if he were in slow motion. The mist cleared and there he saw a shadowy outline of Yael with the faceless familiar perched atop his shoulder, arms raised, conjuring the death energy. Wedar knew he was no god and could not harm the creature, so he rummaged through his satchel once more and pulled out a shuriken he had carefully wrapped in linen. Long ago, he obtained this shuriken while on a crusade in the Plane of Hate. Many historians and prophets had analyzed the weapon and determined it was a shuriken crafted by the Tranquil one herself, Quellious. He had saved this artifact for a special occasion, and he knew of no better time to use it than now…. His only hope was the goddess imbued enough of her magic in weapon to make the difference he needed.

He felt the magic of the idol begin to wane, his vision shifted between the dimensions, his limbs and his eyes betrayed him. He grabbed hold of the shuriken and took aim as best he could. “Glox guide my hand… and Cazic forgive me!” he let the Shuriken fly. Just as he began to see the light of the Overthere, Yael reached in to the dimensional pocket and plucked Wedar back to his domain, but not before the monk saw his weapon hit the mark and decapitate the foul familiar!

“Coward!!!” screamed Yael with his hand wrapped about the monks throat. “You are wise to try and flee from my wrath but foolhardy to think you’d succeed… Now to make an example of you, mortal. Let all in my hall know I have claimed the life-force of the great slayer of the elements…” He raised his other hand high and screamed with a great bellow, “WEDAR!!!”. His voice echoed through the chasm and when he looked down, he didn’t see a shriveled corpse but instead a defiant smile.

“It would seem your powers have abandoned you, wizard” quipped the monk. Yael let go of Wedar and looked down at his hands.

“Nooo.. how could this be?!” screamed the wizard. “How could a mere mortal reduce me to… to… this?!”

Bardoc assessed the situation and couldn’t believe the good fortune that had just transpired, and that his friend still stood with the demi-god. “He’s leveled the playing field!” Exclaimed the barbarian. “Come, no more excuses comrades, to BATTLE!” and with that Bardoc lead the charge. Wedar had bought them precious seconds to recover and they had just enough strength and mana to be dangerous. Yet still, everyone knew the truth: This would be a bloody battle.

Yael saw the reinforcements coming and gathered himself, he was stronger than any of them and still had access to the other spells he had prepared. “Good….” He whispered and turned towards Wedar, “What better way to make you pay for this than with your friend’s blood!”
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2017, 02:57 PM
skarlorn skarlorn is offline
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there is some nice writing in these pages, to be sure [You must be logged in to view images. Log in or Register.]

I for one, appreciate you sharing the projected fantasies experienced while playing EQ. It's a great game for that, for imagining the deeper textures, like how the ranger is tracking the dragons in the frozen wastes, and what it would be like to actually encounter a quest giver.

I could only read 1 chapter and a bit into the wedar part before I stopped for now. i'll probably try again later. something about the writing feels like it's pulling FROM me as opposed to FILLING me. it's like when you see somebody being a real "tryhard," you want to put your hand on them and say relax... it's okay lol

Definitely, if you want readers, use about 10% that much text and start using a lot of screenshots.

If we're surfing the p99 boards we are looking for casual entertainment. threads may go on for a long time, but most people are just skimming here and there looking for a smile.

So when they see text-walls (when a lot of us are already at work) it does'nt feel fun

Also, think about CHARACTER. How are any of these characters actually special? We think that descriptions of fantasy might be alluring, but when writing to this audience, who is saturated with fantasy, I think it's really important to create very strong anti-archetypal quirks, or flaws, or whatever, to add some spice into a style that can be lusterless.

Anyway pal, I really appreciate you sharing these stories. Maybe once i'm off work i'll keep reading. Just ask yourself who you are really writing for =)
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2017, 02:59 PM
skarlorn skarlorn is offline
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Also, long character backstories up front SUCK ASS.

It's so trite that people will just walk away when the story starts with a long backstory.

Far better seems to resume in the middle of a character's life, and then through the process of relating with this engaging and interesting character, the audience may gradually learn of their deeper histories.
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2017, 08:07 AM
Rygar Rygar is offline
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Excellent feedback Skarlorn, thanks for taking the time to give it! Question about the 'pulling from' as opposed to 'filling' you... are you saying that's a bad thing? I kind of like letting some people fill in the gaps with their own EQ experiences with spells, items, etc... such as not exactly explaining what the OT mallet is or the Field of Bone alchemy potion. My audience is definitely the well-versed EQ player and not people outside the game.

I tried to develop some quirks and such with the characters (particularly Cheich who has a reputation like that in our guild!), but there were definitely times where I short cut it just because I wanted to get on with the story.

I know it is a big wall of text, soooo wish I had patience like Sneaksy or Kraddok to develop the shots, its a lot more work than I thought. I could have broken it into smaller parts for the audience at large, but I guess its my personal preference to see it as a longer story with some heft to it.

I hope the later chapters win you over! Would love continued feedback, I have a few more stories after Bardoc's Quest in the works, will try and keep those trimmed down.
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2017, 08:17 AM
Rygar Rygar is offline
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Default Chapter 7: The Battle Begins

Wedar did not wait for Yael to make good on his blood promise, he removed his staff from his back and engaged Master Yael in combat. He lunged his staff straight into a small fissure in the sternum of the wizard and then torqued to one side, creating a small opening. Yael growled in pain and Wedar quickly shot his open hand into the slot and stung his foe with a small but mighty blow. Yael answered in kind with his fist and landed a blow square on the jaw of the monk that should rightfully have knocked him unconscious if it were not for his years of training, he rolled with the punch and swung his foot around to land a kick that chipped a small bit of rock from the wizard.

Bardoc reached the landing first and plowed his shoulder straight into Master Yael’s backside. The wizard staggered and spun to face the warrior. Anticipating his arrival, his hands were already glowing with blue energy and sent a bolt of frost directly at the barbarian’s chest! Whether it be the natural hardiness of the Northman or the magical protection from Sadiki’s beating drums, the spell shattered upon impact and dissipated into nothingness.

“Ho! Let me show you how it’s done, you pathetic chunk of dirt!” taunted the barbarian, and with that gripped his axe and swung it deep into Yael’s shoulder. The wizard unleashed a cry so visceral that even the members of Rustle cusped their ears trying to drown out the screeching from their minds. Wedar relished in the pain and mounted the back of the elemental and worked his fists against the granite exterior, cracking the thick outer shell natural to all elementals and revealing traces of the softer mantle below.

Yael retaliated and swung his gargantuan fist at the barbarian, as skilled at combat as he was, Bardoc could only raise his arms to deaden the blow. He gritted his teeth as he heard his forearm snap beneath his bracer. With another hand he grabbed Wedar by his tail and threw him clear across the cavern, smashing into the rock. Nishoba had arrived, and with all his might struck Master Yael dead on. The wizard had puffed out his chest, welcoming the blow, the shards of obsidian covering his body nearly split the monk’s fist in two. Nishoba screamed in pain and was nearly rendered unconscious when Yael slammed his fists down square on his head. He gathered himself, knowing his fist was flayed as it were, he leapt up and grabbed a hold of Yael’s limb and applied a painful arm-lock. With his arms squeezing the wrist and his legs around the shoulder he twisted with all his might. The many cracks and fissures in the limb closed against one another, and with one final arch of his back the pressure was too much to take and the outer crust of the arm exploded into a hail of rock and dust!

“ENOUGH!!” cried the wizard in a rage, and he spun around so violently that he launched Nishoba head first into the heavy metal door behind him! The monk hit with such force that a splatter of blood exploded from his head and his lifeless body hit the floor: the first of them had fallen. Ameliorate had been careful to keep her distance for just such an event, yet the monk's body was too close to the battle for her to call back his spirit. Sadiki continued his soothing songs to ease the flow of mana to his comrades but found it difficult to resist charging into battle. The Blob however, did not have the patience nor the mental acumen to make such a decision. He waddled forward as fast as he could and stood at the landing before the wizard.

“Bad rockman will pay for dat, you hurt us no more!” he cried and began a chant to his god, and then shot forth a jet of disease from his hands that landed on Yael’s back and seeped into the cracks of the elemental. “You not so strong now, my magics hurt you good!!” Yael spun to face the shaman and whispered a brief word of magic and teleported to stand right before the ogre. He wrapped both hands around the shaman’s neck and began to squeeze. With his voice taken away he could not cast the next spell he had planned, so instead he took his Spear of Fate and plunged it into the arm Nishoba had made vulnerable. The poisonous magic crept forth from the powerful artifact and began to burn the wizard from the inside.

“How many lessons must I teach you insolent worms?!” the wizard exclaimed, and ripped the weapon from his arm. In a flash he swung the serrated spear across the ogre’s gut. His flesh gave way to the weapon and he stood there helpless as his organs cascaded forth from his belly and he fell face first into a pool his own blood and filth. Bardoc had just finished setting the bone in his arm when he saw the shaman fall.

“Crude construct! You will pay for these transgressions against the Guard… now come! You will not so easily vanquish a warrior from the Wolves of the North!” Bardoc picked up his weapons and stood tall with his arms out wide, the Elemental King seemed to welcome the challenge and charged towards the barbarian. Yael swung his mighty fist but hit only air, as mad as he was Bardoc was fighting smart. He clipped the wizard with his short sword and followed up with a slash from his axe. He crossed his feet as he circled the demi-god, once again the wizard lunged but the barbarian scored a riposte. Yael managed to land his next blow but it glanced off Bardoc’s shoulder.

“You feel weaker, wizard. The shaman’s poison runs deep indeed!” Bardoc taunted, scoring yet another blow. The wizard indeed was beginning to show signs of wear, but he was far from finished.

“You may be quick like the pathetic insect you are, but how will you fight when you cannot run..?” whispered the wizard, and no sooner did he finish speaking that a great score of roots rose out of the cavern floor and entwined the warrior's legs. Slash and hack as he did, the barbarian could not free himself before Yael was upon him. The wizard hit him with a flurry of powerful strikes, it was a great testament to the make of his armor and his strength of will that the barbarian stood standing.

Meanwhile, hiding in the shadows, Ameliorate began to cast her spell of healing to mend Bardoc’s wounds, but she was stopped by Sadiki. “No, right now we need to remain hidden, should we reveal ourselves we will not be able to resurrect anyone” the bard tried to reason. But Ameliorate shot back, “It’s no use, I can’t get close enough to their bodies, we may as well stand and fight and die together!”.

“Don’t worry, stay patient and wait here, when the time is right I will get you close enough to make all the difference” the bard reassured her, flashing a small grin as he watched the battle unfold. His soothing psalms had almost completely replenished the clerics supply of mana, and so he ventured out into the cavern to aid his friends.

Wedar groaned as he sat up, he had hit the cave wall with such force that he had been knocked unconscious. As his vision came into focus he saw Impermeable eviscerated on the floor and Nishoba crumpled in a heap, a trail of blood dripping down the door he lay against. He then turned to see Bardoc on the verge of death, practically beaten to a pulp. He propped himself up on his staff and rushed to save his friend. With all his strength he leapt in the air and brought his staff straight into Yael’s back. The wizard screamed as bits of magma shot forth from the wound, flail as he did to try and toss the monk he could not overcome the lizard’s agility. Wedar held strong to the staff and with his free hand pounded it deeper and deeper. He knew soon that he would pierce his core and send his foe back into the abyss.

As the wizard continued to fight for his life Bardoc, barely able to see through the swollen slits of his eyes, had managed to free himself and joined in the fight. Yael’s hands were focused on Wedar’s staff, and so left him vulnerable. With all the strength he had left cleaved at the wizard’s chest, knocking bits and pieces of his protective earthen shell to the ground. Wedar closed his eyes and torqued on his staff, hoping to split the wizard in two. So focused was he that he barely noticed the flash of light that filled the cavern. He opened his eyes, and to his horror saw an enormous comet of ice fill the sky above him. It hit the monk with such force that he was sent flying straight back and his body was crushed against the cavern wall from the celestial blast!

Bardoc tried to deliver a death blow amongst the chaos but Yael caught him by the wrists mid-thrust. In his weakened state the barbarian could not get free from the iron grip. With all his might Yael spanned his arms wide and there was a hideous pop as the warriors arm’s dislocated from their sockets. His screams echoed throughout the chamber and then Yael tossed him towards the monk’s limp body. He reached behind him and pulled out the staff and threw it to the ground.

Master Yael raised his arms and cackled as he looked down and the broken shells of Wedar and Bardoc. “It has been pleasurable punishing you, but now your time has come to an end. But do not say that I am not kind… I have the decency to give you a funeral pyre!” He summoned forth a great sea of fire beneath the men, they barely had the energy to scream before their life was snuffed out in a fiery blaze a sizzling flesh.

All the while Shadowgrey and the rest of Rustle watched the gory scene unfold. A few even pleaded with the Dark Elf to lend their aid, but he dismissed the suggestion. “This is their battle, either they will perish or have such a tale of victory that it will be sung throughout the Karanas! While our hearts may be with them, we must not interfere, besides…” he looked out into the cavern, assessing every angle of the battle and noticed Sadiki making his way towards Master Yael. “…something tells me they are still in this fight”.
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2017, 07:26 AM
Rygar Rygar is offline
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Default Chapter 8: A Grim Outlook

Yael had barely finished reveling in the blazing carnage when his body shook violently from a bellowing chorus sung by Sadiki. He spun in a rage to see the bard standing in the middle of his cavern, the audacity to have his back turned to the demi-god! He plucked the strings of his lute in a taunting melody. “Any requests? I’ve never played for a boulder with arms… do you even have ears?”

“You’d be wise to watch your tone with me, Elf, else you shall…” began the wizard.

“My tone?! Oh!! Good one Yael, I didn’t think you had it in you!” laughed the bard. “But maybe leave the jokes to me from now on..?”

Sadiki began to walk away which infuriated Yael even more, he charged in a rage and with all his might punched at the bards back. The minstrel blew a few quick notes into his magical piccolo and disappeared into the shadows before the blow landed. He appeared a short distance behind his foe and delivered a few quick strikes with his short swords.

“Tsk tsk tsk… Too slow!” he taunted once again and he rattled his tambourine, sending his magical notes cutting through Yael’s mind. The wizard cringed and spun to strike in frustration, but he only heard the echoes of the taunting piccolo tune. The bard had reappeared up upon the ridge, the wizard wasted no time in running him down, but with another whistle he was just out of reach.

Ameliorate recognized that Sadiki was leading their enemy away from the fallen, she saw her opening and sprinted forward in the shadows…. Finally she would be of good use! With the demi-god distracted she reached Impermeable and brought forth her magical flail and began to whisper her prayers of restoration. The artifact began to glow and its magical energy began to surge forth and bath the ogre in a blue light. She looked into the swirls of mana and began to call his name, through the ether she saw the vast marshlands of the Feerrott. Her vision narrowed to the edge of a small river bed where she saw the Ogre sitting, he turned to look towards the cleric and she grabbed his hands and pulled him through the portal as if he was weightless… and in that instant he had returned to their side!

Meanwhile, Sadiki continued his taunting dance with Yael to buy the cleric time. The wizard conjured bolts of lighting and a maelstrom of fire, yet the beating rhythm of the bards drums provided him enough protection that his skin was barely singed. He had many tricks up his sleeve but he desperately needed reinforcements if they were to defeat the great Elemental.

Ameliorate began to tend the shaman’s wounds to help him recover. “Impermeable, we need your magic to help slow down this creature and tilt the odds in our favor!” pleaded the cleric.

“Me do wut we needz, you trust in Blob!” and he began to cannibalize his own flesh as an offering to his gods for more precious mana.

Sadiki scored many more stinging blows, but Yael stood a moment and gathered himself. “I have played your game for far too long, minstrel. Your shadow stepping days are over…” Sadiki wasn’t so sure about that as he reached for his piccolo, but he felt a tug of magic at his very core that he could not protect against. “You will not evade me!” cried Yael, and Sadiki was transported right before the great wizard! He tried to put his instrument to his lips but Yael grabbed him by the wrist. With a mighty squeeze he reduced the bones in the bard’s playing hand to dust!

“AAARGGGH!!!” yelled Sadiki, never feeling such pain before in his life. He sensed his time was over, so he did not want to give Yael any satisfaction from seeing him broken in spirit. “I… suppose I… won’t be playing in the streets of Freeport tonight…” He clenched his teeth and fought the pain, “It looks like my playing days are over thanks to you… it’s only fair that I return the favor!” With his free hand he swung around his short sword with all his might and lopped off Master Yael’s fore finger that was around his wrist!

Yael screamed mightily and grabbed his hand, a stream of lava pouring forth from the wound. He swung his good hand around Sadiki’s throat and crushed his trachea, but was careful not to break his neck. “You will SUFFER for this indignity! Let this be a lesson for ANYONE who dares to defy me!!” He then proceeded to hold his open wound over the bards mouth and let the molten lava seep down into his throat! He held him up as the bard convulsed from the pain and his body burned from the inside out, then once the twitching ceased threw him to the ground as if he were nothing more than trash to be discarded.

The wizard turned to see who else stood before him and noticed Ameliorate pulling Bardoc’s body from a smoldering pit of flame. He began to cast his powerful spell of summoning to bring her to him, when he was overcome by a crippling magical spell! Carbon and granite built up on his joints, his arms stiffened and felt heavy. He could barely contemplate what transpired when a bolt of frost struck him from behind and caused him to stagger. He turned to see Impermeable standing defiantly, he rubbed his belly as he laughed, “Hee hee hee… ugly rockman slow like Blob now!”

The wizard was flush with hate seeing his previously fallen foe restored and filling him with this odd disease, so wasted no time in heading right for the shaman. He unloaded a heavy right hand directly to the ogre’s gut.

“Ho ho ho” laughed the Blob. “Tickle me more rockman! Me has another present for you!” He once again took his Spear of Fate and dug it deep into the wizard and let loose its powerful magic. Yael staggered and let loose another mighty blow directly at the shaman’s face. His head hung low, but the Impermeable looked up and smiled as half his teeth fell out of his mouth! The elemental continued to pound the shaman, even though his pace was slowed his strength remained and he was wearing down the ogre.

Unexpected to Yael, Impermeable dug his clawed fingers into his wrists and sent a stream of blood to the ground below. “Drink Earth Mother, grant me power…” He harvested more mana and chanted some words in an ancient tongue, he was surrounded by a blue haze and fell into a state of torpor. Yael couldn’t believe what he saw as the ogre’s wounds closed up and stood rejuvenated before him!

“Me too powerful for you now rockman, you weak and slow. Me kill you soon!” taunted the shaman. For the first time the wizard felt a sense of panic, he knew he lost the advantage. He needed to tip the scales in his favor again, but how? He saw Ameliorate begin to cast her prayers on Bardoc’s body and knew he had to act soon, he peered up at the open air above him and then back down at the massive hunk of flesh in front of him.

“Powerful as you are heavy, indeed…” whispered the wizard. “And that shall be your undoing!” He began to chant his words of forbidden magic, and the shaman felt his core begin to shift and feel light on his feet. He looked around and noticed the small pebbles strewn about the cavern floor begin to levitate before him.

“Uh oh…” grunted the Blob, and he heard a sinister laugh from the wizard before he yelled, “AWAY WITH YOU!”

He felt the flow of gravity reverse, and in an instant him and Ameliorate were sent flying high into the sky! The behemoth of a shaman flew nearly to the ridge above in Paineel, and for a brief moment his robust physique eclipsed the sun and blotted all light from the chasm below. The shift reversed and slowly the companions began their deep descent to the rocky floor below. Luckily, the gods had just granted Ameliorate access to her magical spell line of invulnerability and she surrounded herself with her Divine Aura of protection.

The Blob, on the other hand, was not so lucky. His years of gluttony were now his worst enemy as he hurtled towards the cavern floor, the rush of air stung his eyes and his body flab shook violently. He barely caught a glimpse of the wizard below him before his body hit the ground like a meteor, causing a massive crater filled with his liquefied remains! Dust and debris filled the cavern, making it difficult to see.

Ameliorate landed unharmed and thought this cover of darkness would aid her, everyone’s hopes now rested among her, the last remaining member of the Azure Guard. She felt her way over to Bardoc’s body and brought forth her flail and whispered her prayers with a panicked haste. The dull blue aura covered his body, she whispered his name and began to see the snowy Everfrost Peaks. A campfire came into focus and she saw the warrior standing before it. He turned and saw the cleric and reached out his hand, she reached through the portal but at the very moment their hands were about to touch Master Yael summoned her across the chamber! Her spell was interrupted and she was now in the strangling grasp of the wizard, a great sadness filled her as she knew they had failed.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:27 AM
Rygar Rygar is offline
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Default Chapter 9: A Quest Completed

Shadowgrey signaled to his comrades huddled in the cave, they all stood waiting to attack on his mark. The wizard held the cleric by the throat and raised his other hand to the sky, ready to crush her skull.

Then, to everyone’s surprise, Nishoba stood up and jumped on the back of the wizard! He placed the wizards hand under his armpit and leaned back, the hand twisted with a hideous crunching sound. Wracked by the pain, Yael screamed and dropped Ameliorate to the floor, he spun and flung the monk from his back. He turned to look in disbelief at the sight before him: Nishoba stood there rejuvenated. A green fungus was sprawled out from his tunic and had covered his wounds as he laid in wait under his death deception, waiting for his opportune moment to return to the fight. A better moment could not have been chosen!

Ameliorate rushed over to Bardoc’s body and began her prayers once more. Nishoba continued his assault on Yael, he learned from his mistakes and carefully picked his punches, avoiding the sharp obsidian that was sprawled over his body. Even though Yael was weakened, he was still deadly. Every blow he landed hit with force, even to an agile monk. He channeled the spirit of Quellious and mended his wounds with her magical energy, but it only yielded a brief advantage. Yael still had mana reserves and he called them forth, shards of magic ripped the monks flesh and he was bloody once more. Another mighty blow landed and Nishoba went flying against the door to the Underfoot Plane! He fell to his knees and Yael rushed over to deliver the death blow.

As a last resort, Nishoba pinched a series of nerves on his chest, shoulder, and arm and he felt a massive rush of adrenaline that shrunk his pupils and heightened his senses. The world seemed to move in slow motion, and he was able to dodge everyone of Yael’s blows! He knew this state of voidance would not last, so he made the most of it, landing all manner of counterstrikes to weaken the wizard. He chipped away at his core, bit by bit. Behind the wizard he noticed Ameliorate pull Bardoc through the blue mist portal and back to their side… once again the tide of the battle shifted back to the Azure Guardians!

He saw Bardoc begin to suit his armor and knew he needed to buy his comrades a few more precious moments. He felt the adrenaline begin to dissipate and his world began to speed up. He could not avoid the powerful strikes for much longer. With a final surge of energy he tackled the great Elemental and isolated the rocky limbs between his legs and arms. Yael rose with the monk stretched across his back, with his gargantuan hands he grabbed the monk by the hands and feet and began to pull him towards the ground.

Nishoba felt his ligaments and tendons stretch to their limits, he tightened his core as best he could but the wizard’s strength was too much. Ameliorate looked over and began to cast her words of healing. Nishoba interrupted her.

“N-n-noooo!” he cried, “Our hopes… lie with Bardoc.. save… Bardoc!” She knew her words to be true, Bardoc was still weak and in need of tending. With teary eyes she turned her back on her longtime friend and began to cast her wards of protection and healing prayers on Bardoc. As she finished her spells, she heard the unmistakable sound of Nishoba’s spinal cord snapping in two. There was no cheating death this time: The monk had fallen.

Bardoc stood, a mystical glow of green and blue emanating from his body, he unsheathed his weapons and glanced down at Nishoba’s lifeless body. “By the blood of my ancestors I swear that will be the last life you take. I’ve stood before greater beings than you, pitiful wizard, and they’ve all fallen by my hand. Now to dismiss you to the void so you can stop pretending to be a god and go back to being your master’s errand boy!”

Angered beyond belief, Yael summoned Bardoc before him, but before he could deliver a strike Bardoc stunned the wizard with a powerful headbutt, then followed up with a few precise strikes of his short sword. The wizard was still weakened by the shaman’s magic, but he felt the poison running its course. His limbs began to loosen, strength returned to his arms, and he felt his speed return. Faster than anticipated, the wizard grabbed the barbarian’s forearm and with a mighty blow struck his elbow. There was a hideous crunch and blood immediately poured out from Bardoc’s bracer. Instead of crying out he dug his blade into the elemental and twisted it. The wizard reeled from the blow but seemed intent only on delivering punishment, he swung his mighty fist once more and dislocated the barbarian’s jaw.

Ameliorate abandoned her prayers over Sadiki’s body and casted a spell of healing to mend Bardoc’s wounds. She knew she had to keep Bardoc alive and resurrect the rest of her party. But both her and the wizard knew if her collection of mana was drained and Bardoc fell, then the day was lost. It was a simple question of who could overpower the other. With each clobbering blow landed by Yael the barbarian answered in kind, shockwaves emanated throughout the cavern and a hail of magma and sulfur filled the air from the gruesome death race. Ameliorate felt weakened, her brow began to sweat as she channeled what little magical energy she had left. Persevere as she did, she knew they were losing and she had no way to shift the tide back to their favor.

Meanwhile, high above the battle, Wedar rematerialized in physical form. His life-force was always bound to here, his home. He felt the winds of Odus pass across his face and he looked to the sky and smiled. He uttered a prayer of thanks to Cazic-Thule, his reincarnation took longer than usual, perhaps a stern warning from the god for slaying the familiar in his image. Perhaps, but whatever, life was his once more! Without further hesitation he leapt out over the gorge that was before him and plunged into the darkness.

The battle raged on below, molten lava and slag dripped from wounds all over the wizard’s body. Bardoc was no worse for wear, but he knew Ameliorate had just mended the last of his wounds. He drew Yael in with a few quick feints then swung his axe deep into wizards chest, instead of a scream of pain his mind was filled with maniacal laughter as the elemental clasped his hand around the axe an clutched it to his chest. His lava blood enveloped the weapon and Bardoc was forced to release his grip from the heat. He swung around his short sword but the elemental now had both hands free to block the blow. He grasped the barbarian by the wrist and let the molten blood flow into his bracer. There was the awful sound and smell of sizzling flesh and Bardoc was forced to drop the last of his weapons.

The wizard laughed and toyed with the barbarian, “You are no man, but a child who has lost his toys... And now, boy, it is time for your punishment!”. He grabbed Bardoc by his breastplate and held him up high and proceeded to punch his body, careful not to kill him outright, but make him suffer as much as possible. His ribs cracked, his gut ached, his joints burned, and he struggled for breath.

“Now, once more you shall burn!” he held his hand back and began to conjure his magic. Bardoc opened his eyes and saw an object speeding towards him, at first he thought it to be another massive comet of ice to send him to his ruin, but then he saw Wedar come into focus from above and smash into Master Yael! His knee hit the wizard with such force that it drove him into the earth and a massive plume of dust filled the cavern. Wasting no time, the monk jumped out of the crater and grabbed his staff and his magical Celestial Fists from his charred remains, he stood before the crater and waited. The mighty blow must have stunned the wizard immensely as the cavern remained silent for some time, save the trickling of debris raining down on the cavern floor. For a moment Shadowgrey thought the Azure Guardians had finally achieved their victory, but then slowly the wizard rose as an orange glow filled the dusty air.

“So, the Defiler returns… it will be a pleasure to destroy you a second time.” He raised his hand and once again began to conjure his magic. “It is a pity I must vanquish you so quickly, but unfortunately my time is limited and I’ve much blood yet to spill!” He then launched a massive ball of fire at the monk, but right before impact he was enveloped in a magical aura and the fireball dissipated around him!

In disbelief Yael turned around to see none other than Sadiki, tapping an ancient rhythm on his magical drum. “Well what do you know… it still works!” exclaimed the bard as he twiddled his playing hand in the air. He shook his tambourine and the mystical notes tore through Master Yael’s mind. He unsheathed his short sword and stood between Bardoc and Wedar as he quietly sung his chant of battle.

Bardoc reached into his magical satchel and pulled forth a massive war maul, he tapped it in his palm as he spoke to the wizard: “You may have had success in smiting us individually wizard, but you’ll have no such luck under the assembled greatness of the Azure Guard!” Yael turned to see Nishoba perched on the ledge above him, and Impermeable standing guard over Ameliorate as she meditated.

The wizard was feeling weak and worn from the long battle, and now he had 6 battle hardened veterans to deal with. “Perhaps my time is coming to an end…” he whispered, “…but I’ll take as many of you with me to the abyss as I can!” Shards of obsidian sprouted from his fists and he lunged for Sadiki, the sharp bits of rock would have slashed his throat if Wedar hadn’t redirected the blow with his staff. Sadiki slashed across with his short sword and cut down the newly sprouted shards on Yael’s hands.

Before Master Yael could make his next move the heavy war maul came crashing upon him and leveled him to the ground. As he lifted himself up Nishoba swung his legs about Yael’s arm and bent his elbow backward, bits of rock flew through the air and the sound of smashing rock drowned out the screams. The wizard pulled a hidden shard from his body and would have put it through the monk’s eye but Sadiki grabbed a hold and blew on his piccolo, transporting Nishoba to safety.

Bardoc brought his war maul down once more and flattened Yael’s hand, bursting the shard to bits. The wizard began to murmur a desperate spell against the barbarian but Ameliorate stunned the wizard with a spell of her own! Before the wizard could turn he felt shaman magic enter his blood, once again his joints stiffened and felt heavy. Everyone closed in to finish off the wizard when he exploded into a fit of rage! The carbon and granite deposits on his joints burst and he unleashed a flurry of strikes in all directions, this took everyone by surprise and the great Elemental king landed many heavy strikes against his foes. Bardoc fell to his knees, the Blob stood stupefied as he tried to look at his nose which collapsed in on his face, Sadiki felt his forearms fracture, and Nishoba’s flesh was ripped from a hundred cuts.

Wedar, however, stood back in wait. He firmed his stance, he cleared his mind, and when he saw the wizard turn towards him he struck with an ashenhand. His fist plunged straight into Master Yael’s chest and would have pierced his heart if the demi-god had such a thing. The wizard hung in disbelief, molten lava poured forth from the wound, enveloping the monks arm. The monk simply stared at the wizard and leaned in close.

“For my mother” he whispered, and he snapped his hand back, a stream of lava following in its wake. A hideous shriek filled the cavern that shook the very walls, Yael’s body convulsed and an ethereal cloud gathered over him. A green wave of energy burst forth from his body then a pillar of light opened a portal above him and his life-force was sucked into the abyss. The wizard’s body fell to the ground and he turned into a colorless husk. Wedar shook the lava and slag from his body and opened his hand, in it he held the piece of Elemental Ore that Bardoc had so longed for.

Before anyone amongst the Guard could say anything, Shadowgrey and his companions of Rustle stepped forth from the cave. “My friends, I offer you my most sincere congratulations! Given the state you were in when the battle begun, I thought for certain you were doomed. Yet instead, you gave witness to the most glorious display of heart and strategy I’ve ever seen!” exclaimed the magician. “That is a prize I value more than gold or jewels… May the bards of Norrath sing your praises! Come comrades, let us leave this place and see what other adventures Norrath has to offer!” And with that their wizard opened a magical portal, one by one they began to step through.

“Shadowgrey!” Wedar shouted, and the magician turned. “Next time, feel free to help!” the monk said with a smile.

“Oh, I think I helped enough…” he replied with a smile of his own. Wedar seemed puzzled and was about to protest, then one of the final members of Rustle stepped towards the portal… it was the same Halfling cleric that resurrected his friends before the battle began! Before he could utter thanks the little one hopped into the portal and was off. Wedar looked at Shadowgrey in astonishment. He straightened himself, then knelt in a sign of respect. Shadowgrey nodded in thanks, and then stepped through the mystical portal and was gone.

The Azure Guardians gathered around the remains of the wizard, Ameliorate rushed to Wedar and inspected his arm. “You aren’t even burned! How is that possible?”

“I’ve spent half my life slaying these creatures, with each strike a fine mist of their magical energy is transferred to my scales. Over time, my limbs have developed an immunity to the intense heat of their core” he explained. “But enough about that, we were victorious today! Always a hair’s breadth on the verge of defeat yet we did not give up, we did not abandon hope. We persevered and now Bardoc is one step closer to completing his quest!” He held out the ore in his hand to his warrior friend.

Bardoc held up his hand and shook his head. “My friend, today’s victory does not belong to one man. Everyone played their part in this epic battle… we should let the gods decide the reward.” He reached into his pouch and brought forth his magical die and insisted everyone grab theirs as well (despite Wedar’s protests). They all gathered round and cast their faceless die on the cavern floor.

One by one as the die landed before each of them the blank face took shape with a number. 142 for Ameliorate, 544 for Impermeable, 322 for Wedar, 798 for Nishoba, and 297 for Sadiki. Both Wedar and Bardoc held their breath as the number of Bardoc’s die took shape.

“17!!” exclaimed Bardoc. “Ho! The gods always smite me with such luck!” laughed the barbarian. He grabbed the ore from Wedar’s hand and passed it to Nishoba. “Well earned, master monk. May this quest show you more favor than it has me!”

Wedar stood there confused at what he saw, he gathered the rest of his armor and goods and then came to approach Bardoc. “Why aren’t you upset? You have been consumed by this quest since you discovered it, and now you are once again not a step closer to completing it?”

Bardoc pulled Wedar to the side to speak with him. “My friend…” he began. “For Northmen like myself the greatest quest of all is to search for the perfect battle, one I can share at the campfire with my children and the elders of Everfrost alike. I believe I’ve found that here today! The world of Norrath will always be here, in every corner of this ancient land there is some artifact more powerful than the last. I ask you, when I’m old and sodded what use will I have from a set of pauldrons? I’d much rather be warmed by the memories I made here today with my friends… a prize such as that cannot be rewarded by even the most powerful wizard!”

The words hung heavy over Wedar’s head… what did he value most in life… Revenge or friendship? He looked back to see Sadiki and Impermeable laughing and recounting the battle to one another. Ameliorate hugged her timely savior Nishoba and then opened a mystical gate back to her home city, he caught a brief glimpse of her family welcoming her back as the gate closed behind her. Bardoc’s druid companion, Borobe, had just arrived through a portal of his own. They gathered in a circle and held hands, waiting for the druid to summon the mystical winds of Karana to carry them away.

Wedar thumbed the notches on his staff and looked at the dark cave before him, the familiar walls calling to him. With the sun still high he had the time to kill many more elementals before the day was done. But for perhaps the first time in his life, his quest of revenge seemed hollow.

Borobe was nearing completion of his spell when Wedar placed his hand on the druid’s shoulder. “Room for one more?” he asked.

Bardoc smiled and held out his hand, “Always, my friend”. They joined hands and a western wind crept into the cavern and carried the companions away in search of more adventure throughout the magical land of Norrath.
__________________
Wedar - Level 60 Grandmaster <Azure Guard>
Check out my Zone Guide to The Hole
The Hole wiki now fully updated and accurate: Hole Wiki Page
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