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Death Field: Another Day In The War Leading To The Dark Fall

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Death Field: Another Day In The War Leading To The Dark Fall
by Narrator on Sun, 25 Mar 2007 20:43

As the first rays of cold sunshine creep over the mountains, and another night's fog recedes to the colder, deeper valleys of the land. Across the fields and hills the dead and living are brought into the silver light of dawn. Those who have survived the darkness collect their weapons and prepare to break camp. As far as the eye can see, the war stretches on. Here, a flaming pyre splits the sky with a pillar of black smoke – the remains of a whole battalion turned to ashes. There, a waking encampment discovers, with significant dismay, that their brave leader has been assassinated as he slept. The movements of the soldiers, siege engineers, alchemists, battlemages and all other sorts of people drafted into this terrible struggle are islands of vitality in a sea of gray. For most of the battle field is covered with death. Pieces of men and women are scattered amongst the bodies of their mounts and the weapons of their foes, whose own limbs invariably lie not too far off. The ground is scorched by magic, and peppered with the shafts of arrows that have missed their marks. All around, the world is a macabre theater of destruction on a scale never before seen by these poor souls. There are only two colors in this world; the gray of steel, dust and ash, and the red of blood and fire.

And yet, these brave soldiers fight on, as if this Ragnarök were their own choice. Because within them, they have an unquenchable sense of duty, despite what they might complain of to the contrary. They know that this war is hell, and getting worse every day – as wizards draw more power from the earth, interesting the lesser deities, or awakening them to vengeance, and as the number of dead piles up and yet the living still pour into the valley, reinforcements of one side or another, blasting and hacking and burning and altogether augmenting the infernal turmoil that this war will ever-increasingly be. And yet they fight on, confident of victory, for their faction if not for their own lives.

For some, the line between enemy and ally has become blurred in the repetitive cycle of kill, sleep, kill, sleep. But for all there remains one standard thought. Out there is the enemy; we are obligated to fight, and assist however we can!

(Informal List of Participants)

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This post was edited on 26 March 2007 @ 21:45.
 

 
Prepare Yourself...
by Karnas on Thu, 17 May 2007 19:42

Before the sun rose, the mage had been out on his hilltop, kneeling, his fingers stretched through the tall grass, feeling the earth below. Now, as the fiery globe floats into the sky from the horizon to his left, he stands to face his enemy to the south. Raising his face to the heavens, he channels the great energies of the plane’s magic. His lips form the incantations as he clutches his great black crystal-tipped staff in one hand, his other gesticulating arcane signs. On completion of this first spell, he thrusts the staff out in front of him, whipping it around behind him and twirling around a full rotation. The staff’s tip glows blue, and trails that light in a circle around the mage. The circle widens, then turns once itself, encasing the mage within a sphere of liquid transparency, an invulnerable globe of magic.

His second spell cascades over him like a fountain of sand, sparkling particles of white and pale orange that collect in the folds of colorless robes and his wind-licked hair. For a full minute they shower down, but like snowflakes, shimmer and melt into his clothing, leaving nothing but a faint sheen about his person to tell their presence. A single command word and a thrust of his free hand produces a ring of jagged, stone spikes from the hillside. They break the earth on all sides, halfway from the mage to the battlefield flat, two-feet high, less than half a foot thick at the base, and sharp enough to pierce the thickest armor. Another thrust of the hand calls forth another ring of smaller spikes, and yet another, and another, until the hillside all but disappears beneath a covering of black, evil-looking spikes. From a distance, the hill looks black, and fuzzy. The smallest spikes, a few inches thick, at the base of the hill, stretch wildly out of the ground and lengthen into curling tentacles, which whip about grabbing for anything they can, slapping dully against the fresh green grass of the battlefield flat.

At the top of the hill, the mage continues his casting, a seemingly endless fusillade of potent and frightening defensive spells. Silver muck oozes from the top of the hill, seeping between the spikes, only to evaporate before reaching the bottom, leaving who knows what behind? The emerald-green grasses turn white, then crumble to ash, and are blown away by the ever-increasing wind. The ground beneath the spikes is left pale and empty.

More than an hour later, the mage still casts on, turning his attentions away from himself and protection of the hill. He focuses on the advancing armies of the south, and shouts his enchantments into the turbulent air. Almost a mile away from the direct physical confrontation, his voice is lost over the battle sounds. But behind his mere vocals comes the raw power of the plane…

Karnas

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This post was edited on 17 May 2007 @ 19:43.
 

 
Another Comes
by Aetor on Wed, 13 June 2007 17:27

When dawn broke over the eastern vales some miles from the main conflict, a similar though lesser carnage was revealed throughout the once grassy and wooded area. Still despite all the dead, at least a hundred times as many living moved about the valley, marching slowly towards the main conflict. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, it was a far smaller force than either of the two major ones still fighting though perhaps larger than many of the smaller ones who had participated in the many battles within the last year. Yet unlike the two major forces who had been fighting for days and weeks, this force was fresh, showing none of the fatigue that constant battle accrued. They moved quickly, employing means of transportation other than simply marching and it was just before midday that they began to crest the final hill that separated them from the great plains where the great battle of death and destruction was being played out.

* * * * *

Down in the bloody plains below, the agonized screams rivaled the sounds of battle for control of the field. The bodies and various clusters of battle went on to the horizon it seemed, as if all the worlds population had gathered on the great plains to act out the darkest of mortal fantasy. It was difficult to tell if there was any order anymore or if the battle even had a purpose. Still, Though there seemed to be no longer any overall leader of either army, there were generals and others who had command over large and small bits of each army and constantly threw them against the perceived opponents. The wild magick wove in and out killing indiscriminately charging the land with far more power than it should ever be given.

It was on this chaos that the first shadows appeared over the easter crest. Twelve hundred humanoid shadows stood in a row on the hill looking down on masses below, but they alone drew no notice. It was the great shadows that moved quickly past them like clouds that caused some hesitation among those battling close to the hillside. Airships, built as if they should fare the sea and yet clearly floating hundreds of feet up with full sails soared over the hill and the edge of the battlefield, if it could be considered the edge. The forward most ships showed battle-worn damage, some barely managing to stay up. There were 19 of these, the last remnants of the Delous Fleet which had ravaged the Airfleet of the Northern Alliances early on in the war, though now they seemed little threat.

Yet is was the airships that appeared behind them that garnered the most attention. The peaking sun was all but blotted out by their shadows as a fleet of over 300 ships came to a standstill over the calmest part of the battle. Their sails shone in the wind, traces of rainbow appearing when the light struck them at the right angle. These ships were the Qualero great fleet; large golden wood ships with 6-8 masts each, some of the largest airships ever built. Both fleets came to a slow halt and then stayed passive where they were, ignoring the incoming fire from the armies and war-machines below save for mages on board shooting down various projectiles.

Far behind the Quelero fleet, a much smaller fleet of only 24 ships came up. The central of these of these was a massive ship which actually seemed composed of three ships connected together with the central one so massive as to have 12 masts. Gold decorated its hull and its sails were royal blue, allowing no mistake about its purpose.

* * * * *

Within the Triple-ship, Prince Aetor sat in his darkened cabin looking out one of the windows onto the blackened and bloody ground below. This was the first of the three-room Royal cabin and was meant for holding audience and meetings. For that reason while it was rather spartan in furnishings, those it did have were of the highest quality, even if not the most ornate. To the left of the Dais where the Prince sat was a table with charts and maps sprawled all over it and spilling onto the chairs around it. On the other side was the door to the inner chambers and a pedestal on which stood a iron-wrought stand holding a light green crystal. The area before the dais was clear of furnishings save for a royal blue carpet which led from the double doors onto the deck past twin columns which were centered halfway across the room and ended at the base of the Prince's seat.

A light rap came from the doors into the cabin and he turned in his throne-like chair to face them. "Come." He called as he straightened in his seat. The left door opened, light from outside silhouetting the man who entered. "Your Highness," The man bowed stiffly, before striding to the columns and standing at attention.

"Admiral Cyrus. Have we arrived?"

"Yes my prince. The wild magick is far more powerful than we expected, there is much more run off and many more mages than our reports suggested."

"That is both a blessing and a curse. It is time we begin then. Bring me the twelve."

Admiral Cyrus hesitated. "My Lord..."

"What is it?"

"The Swift Tide did not return from its mission."

Aetor shifted in his seat, gripping the the armrests and pulling himself more rigid. "No word at all?"

"None, my prince."

Aetor stood up abruptly causing Cyrus to take a step back. Ignoring the Admiral for the moment he moved quickly past the table and to the built in cabinet beyond it, fumbling for a key and unlocking it. He pulled out an ornately painted box and shoved some papers off the table clearing a space to put it. Opening the box revealed 12 circular amulets each inscribed with a different beast. He sifted through them for a second before grabbing one inscribed with a Sphinx and moving over to where the Admiral stood. "Take this to Muad's Apprentice. If the amulet activates, send the twelve to me. If it does not, Muad may yet still be alive and we will hold off the attack a while longer."

The admiral bowed. "I will see to it immediately, your highness." Straightening up, he clicked his heels and moved quickly from the cabin calling orders out the moment he reached the deck.

Prince Aetor sighed as the door clicked shut, cutting off the noise from the deck. He turned and walked over to the window, pulling the drapes back and staring out once more to the smokey bloody field below. "Where are our gods now?"

Aetor

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This post was edited on 14 June 2007 @ 14:37.
 

 
The Broken Curse
by The SkalvedersPM MemberMember Profile on Thu, 14 June 2007 06:24

The Skalveders had been, for lack of a better word, intrigued into this great battle. They were giant hulking skeletons from the Lower Throes. These giants in life were ones of ungodly sloth, and rather unfairly or justly—depending on your viewpoint—cursed to an eternity of unlife. They simply didn’t want to do anything, and had no cause or driving purpose. Over the centuries they had been tricked into moving here of there, but had become quite incensed about it when they realised they had moved for no real good reason.

Ordinarily they did not move and knew little activity, but lately they had been motivated by the sheer level of noise in the world. Their curiosity would serve to make them move—a rare feat—and this decision would in effect break their curse.

But they did not pass away in reparation.

Perhaps their movement realigned their souls to life. Ambition returned much as flesh and muscle began to grow again on patches of their bones. It seemed then that they were returning to their original giant forms, even if they looked in pretty bad shape meantime.

So it was the Skalveders awoke, were intrigued, and came up from the Throes and upon the great battle, quite frightening-looking and towering in appearance. At first they were horrified at the level of activity: so many warring deeds, such a fatal wash of blood. Then they realised they needed to stop it. They waded deep into a thicket of soldiers, uncaring of sides, their skeletal limbs thrashing out only to try and separate fighting factions. Their sweeping limbs collided with the men and skulls of many fighting, knocking them to the floor. Many suffered concussion and were exempt from causing carnage. But the giants’ actions did not escape without incident. With so many bodies pressed in, the Skalveders stood occasionally on a solider or warrior here or there, inadvertently killing them. And those fighting below were quick to slap their blades and hurl their magic against their boney limbs.

It was a selfless act, but the sea of bodies was an ocean, and theirs was a futile quest. Fell magicks collided with one of their fellows, a black number which turned his bones to naught but dush and ash. Set in grim resolve, the rest continued in what would likely be their first and last spurred outting.

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A Gathering
by Prince Aetor on Fri, 15 June 2007 17:16

Prince Aetor rubbed his eyes as he glanced away from the maps of the battle below while his advisers continued to bicker.

"The Calhari are inflicting heavy losses on the North's West Flank. With our aid, they could break through."

"Its the South we should worry about. Reports say they still have 90 percent of their Main Airfleet and that its on the move towards us as we speak."

"The Qualero are more than a match for the Southern Airfleet."

"Not with all the ground fire. we've already lost two of the Delous ships and one of the Qualero to them."

"Thats because we've been forbidden to strike back, only defend. If we do not go on the offensive soon, we will be at a grave disadvantage."

Aetor could take no more of it and he smacked the table with his open hand. "We are already at a disadvantage. Waiting a little longer will not ultimately change that one way or another. Besides all of this is immaterial to the wild magicks. What is the status of the magi?"

The six advisers looked among themselves a moment before one cleared his throat and spoke. "All sides are using magi without reserve. The amount of loose and excess magick is reaching dangerous levels. Reports coming in from the South suggest that there may still be an overall Ruler in charge, though who that is, is still unknown.

"How is that related?"

"Your pardon, Prince Aetor, I was arriving at that. There seems to be a rather large sect of magi under this leader who are working together on a battle ritual. The amount of magick involved would be astronomical."

Another adviser raised his hand and stepped in briefly. "Highness, truth be told, all sides are doing or have done something similar. The Southern Sect just happens to be the largest our informants have discovered."

Prince Aetor thought a moment as he regarded his Advisers, but before he had thought of a response, a loud rapping happened upon the Out doors of the Cabin. He turned and waved his hand at the door. "Come." He called.

The doors opened, admitting Admiral Cyrus, and allowing the silhouettes of several beings to be seen behind him. "High Prince, The Twelve have come as summoned."

"Muad?"

Cyrus shook his head. "Nay Highness, His Under-General, Myro."

Aetor frowned and nodded. "Send them in Admiral." He then turned to his advisers. "Wait outside, when I am finished, I will call you back in and we shall begin this war in earnest." They exchanged glances among themselves before bowing and hurrying to the double doors and out onto the deck beyond. Aetor cast one last glance at the maps and troop movements on teh table before moving over to the chair on the dais and taking his seat, awaiting the twelve, though it was a very short wait.

The double doors to Room swung open and a managerie of humanoid animals entered, the doors closing of their own accord behind them. Each of the beings was dressed in battle armor, though the style and typed varied wildly from battle robes to full plate. The humanoid animals were just as varied from one resembling a lizard to a Panther. Aetor recognized all of them save one which looked to be a Bull. The Bull chose that moment to step forward, lifting up his hand and opening his fist to reveal the Sphinx amulet. Aetor paused, then took the amulet carefully, closing his own fist around it as he set his arms down on those of the chair.

"Welcome, Zodiac Circle. It is time we involve ourselves in the world's affairs. There is no time left and too many events are already in motion." The Bull had stepped back and moved towards the back of the crowd as Aetor paused, considering and watching. He didn't blame it, after all the others here were the last of their kind, far older than anyone else in his fleet.

The black feathered hawk stepped forward, his steel breast plate reflecting the candlelight illuminating the room. "High Prince. We are at your command. It is the end of the world and we will do as needed to secure that a new circle is begun, this is our nature."

Aetor nodded, knowing that none would disagree. "Very well then. You are my most trusted Generals. You twelve shall lead my army and fleet into battle so that they will know victory." He pointedly did not look at the Bull. "When you leave here, you will send your Under-Generals to me so that they may receive your amulets should you fall. In this way shall we will have a secondary wave of defense." The assembled bowed their heads once in acknowledgement.

"Force, Order, Chaos, Life, Death, Water and Earth, You eight will lead the ground forces and Flying Infantry. Each of you have your specific orders?"

"Yes Sir." They echoed in unison.

"Good. Air, Divine, Arcane, and Mind, you four will be guiding the Qualero into battle. You too have your specific orders."

"Yes Sir." Again, the Zodiac spoke as one.

"Very well. Our fate is in your hands then. Go to your respective ships or camps and prepare to move out." The Twelve bowed and made their way towards the door.

"Oh, Order, Chaos and Mind, stay a moment longer." Aetor spoke as the doors were being pulled open. An Elk, Leopard, and the Bull paused and turned, moving back to the columns halfway 'cross the room while the others vanished onto the deck, the doors shutting behind them.

Aetor stood and moved over to the Elk. "Chaos, you have one of the most dangerous tasks - to absorb and channel the wild Magick. It has never been done on such as scale as we are asking and we have no idea what the outcome shall be but there is no one I would rather put my faith in in this matter."

The Elk bowed his head. "Thank you, your highness."

Aetor then moved over to the Leopard, stopping just to his Left. "To you as well, Order, Have I bestowed a task of great risk and one that has never been done, let alone tried. To seek out and kill the greatest Mages of our time is not small task but you are uniquely suited for it. As well, you will be guided and aided by the Shadowwalkers. They are the best of the best and will serve you well. But the second part of your task, that of stopping the Rogue Gods, you are alone and my prayers are with you."

The Leopard gave a rigid bow. "Thank you Highness."

Finally, Aetor moved over to the Bull. "And you, Mind. Are you ready for the shoes you have stepped into, are you prepared for the tasks ahead?"

"Your Highness, I may not be the Mind who you had planned on as your General, But Muad taught me well and I am well prepared to take on his duties do this position proud."

Aetor pursed his lips and nodded. "So be it. The faith I placed in Muad is now placed in you. Lead the Qualero into victory. You three may go and finish preparations."

The three bowed and made their way out. One of the advisers poked his head through the door as the last of them made their way out. Aetor shook his hand and waved his hand. "In a moment." The Adviser bobbed his head and ducked back out.

Aetor moved over to the table and the charts laying there. "And so it begins.....and most likely will end..."



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This post was edited on 15 June 2007 @ 20:26.
 

 
Green Gathering
by Karnas the Green on Wed, 1 Aug 2007 23:53

Karnas incants. He enchants and evokes and does a whole lot of other silly nonsense that results in the discharge of a ridiculous amount of magical energy.

he throws fireballs, he throws lightning. He produces flashes of light, flashes of dark. He reworks energy, matter, gravity. His magics energize the local temporal field - around him, time accelerates.

And all this power no longer comes from him. He has run out.

Oh, he's still going strong, mind you. And at first, it was his own soul, his own magic that propelled his spells. But he used that up long ago. Now, though he doesn't know it, he is a spout of energy in a inflated world. He is a whole in the fabric through which air escapes. But behind him, the pressure is rising, and though he is an exhaust pipe for the increasingly chaotic magic of this world, he will never empty it of the metaphysical anarchy that it is collapsing into.

And so as he siphons magic from the earth, it spills out of him, and pools at his feet. Excess magic drips from his spell-flinging fingers, running down his arms, pouring like sweat down his back, like tears - cold, electric tears - from his eyes and water falling from his beardless chin.

And the plants do their best to soak it up. Little dandelions, grasses, weeds and wildflowers, normally stationary and unable to react are freed from their stations by the temporal distortion around them. In a week, they feed their roots to the surface to grasp at the wet magic collecting there. But a week passes in a mere moment, and the wildflowers feed. They grow thick, strong and fast. They rejoice in their new sentience, in this new power they have, this motion, this LIFE! They reach for the source.

Karnas can no longer feel his body. His mind is in the air above him, only his hands have meaning for him, physically. And they only feel the cool, fast flow of magic. When the plants pierce his shoes, he takes no notice. When they squirm, green, wet and lively into his boots, he is busy summoning dragons. When they pierce his foot, diving root-first into the flesh of his heel, he is far away driving a cleric's thunderstorms back.

The plants taste his hot blood, almost as rich in magic as the pure pools that they have long since drained. Vines and roots curl under and around his feet, fettering him - as if he had the slightest inclination of moving. Mutated dandelions, thick-petaled and sharp, bore through his boots, and latch like leaches onto the flesh of his calves. Grasses lengthen up to his thighs, and saw away, a thousand knives, shredding his boots, the bottoms of his robes, his skin. They plaster themselves against his bloody legs, and soak him up.

Tender roots pump his blood, crawling up his veins and siphoning the magic from him. They shoot through his arteries, climbing, filling, replacing with xylem and phloem. They replace every single blood vessel in his abdomen, sprouting petals through his stomach and back, tearing him apart, cell by cell, replacing his flesh, with their own hungry circulatory system.

His torso, suspended and rooted above a seething mass of green, continues its actions, drawing even more power than before. And still, Karnas does not notice until his magic is suddenly gone.

He tries to cast a spell, but his hands won't move. Before he can speak a single word of magic, a dandelion eats his heart.

Karnas the Green

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