The Serin Mystique, Volume 3, Issue 1

Welcome to the Serin Mystique, Volume 3, Issue 1!
This issue brings you the latest news, noise, and knowledge from the
far and wandering corners of the realm: news of New Valour and
your responses on the restless lands, interviews with Loanir and
Zrakalon, and more. Three notable Serins perished, read about them in
Obituaries. If you are really and truly bored you can read poems.
(Oh no, not again...) Enjoy!

The sections you can 'look' at in the Serin Mystique are:

1) Serin Mystique Headlines (see Headlines, Headlines2)
2) Obituaries (see Obituaries)
3) Cabal Affairs (see Cabal)
4) Battles (see Battles)
5) Tribute to Nyemes (see Nyemes)
6) Serin Opinions (see Opinions)
7) Poems! Run for the hills! (see Poems)
8) Talks with Serins (see talks, talks2)
9) Serins talk back (see Talkback)

We hope that the voices of the past will guide your future journeys.



1) Serin Mystique Headlines

Headlines

Headlines
---------

THE RETURN OF VALOUR by Vanisse
--------------------

Lightwalkers, looking for a place to stay, away from the
noise and commotion of Seringale? Here's a new hideout for
you! The opening of New Valour has sparked considerable
praise from most everyone who's gone there, with the
exception perhaps of Vhrael, who got heartily trounced by
none other than Kailya the flower girl.

The City of Light and Law? It sure looks that way. Perched
over the gentle, glistening Bay of Vamana, the air is
filled with the sounds of waves softly lapping against the
sturdy supports. Each avenue sports its guards parading
about in bright and shining armor, and the most mind-
boggling fact of all: Look! No beggars!


Now, let me tell you, taking a carefree stroll or two
through the streets of the New-and-Improved Valour is quite
invigorating--the city is enormous, and filled with so many
new and exciting things! Shops, with all the necessities
you might need for staying here more-than-awhile, grand
arches, glorious memorials, and a majestic Palace overseeing
the city. You might purchase a guidebook or two from Ellora
the new Valour librarian, to help you in your travels. Or
rest your feet in the various cafes and pubs mixed in with
the vast array of stores. But be warned! Those who walk in
the Darkness are not welcomed here, nor are the excessively
belligerent. Should you perform acts or cause trouble that
is not to Sir Loanir's fancy, you may be Exiled or Outlawed.
And trust me, that is not a fun thing to be.

LOANIR OF VALOUR by Alehem

---------------------
A great happening has occurred for the Lightwalkers of Serin.
The ancient ruin of Valour has long been a reminder of the
marred History of the Knights. But due to their current and
un-paralleled prowess, the Gods have let it be so that Valour
was re-made, just North and East of Drakath. There is a new
side to Knighthodd, Nobles. They are a type of Non-Violent
Justice, of Lightwalking path only, whom the King of Valour
(Current Executor of Knights) names himself. The Nobles
and the King of Valour also have the unprecedented
ability to brand Lawbreakers in Valour OUTLAW. The
King may also Exile anyone from Valour (prohibit them
from entering). Any youngling (or old-ling) of the Light
wishing to be a Noble of Valour must be a Citizen
of Valour and a peaceful person. I encourage you all,
as Loanir has expressed, to visit the New Valourian
City. Come, see what the Glory of the Light can build.
It is a thing that is beyond compare in Serin experience
to this half-elf. Any further question to the Laws of
Valour can be found in the Northern part of New Valour,
in the Station of the Royal Guard. Also, criminals from
other cities are not welcome in Valour.

All Hail Valour and its new King!


THE ASCENT OF VHRAEL by Vanisse
--------------------
First came a nutsy ninja. Then came a gutsy justice.
Now...a Guide?!


That's right. Vhrael, the Kibbybitzer of Seringale, has
taken it upon his shoulders to bear the heavy crown of
King of Valour. Now, nobody's seen him sit on the Palace
throne, for he ordered a kitten to take a seat instead
(who knew he, too, had a penchant for fried kitten?) but
according to his ranting and that emerald throne he lugs
about, there he is.

Apparently, Vhrael has a pet peeve over Valour's nose-
in-the-air-ness over the alignment of the town's customers.
(This may be due to his prolonged inhabitance of Seringale,
where the merchants are quite eager to accept whatever
one might have to offer as long as it brings business.)
They're Prejudiced!! he shrieked, affronted. "These
INFIDELS have tainted my town!" Hmm...he may have a point.
Even Kailya wouldn't sell him a rose. Poor Vhrael.

Despite his shouting at both Seringale Squares and some
mild and puzzled interest from the local citizens,
Vhrael's claims have yet to be even acknowledged by the
Knights of Valour. Other than several suggestions of
insanity, and a bit of "Yup. Uhhuh" from the ever
skeptical Rori, there has been no significant notice given
to Vhrael. How insulting.

Headlines2

LOANIR AND ZRAKALON CLASH by Vanisse
-------------------------
Loanir and Zrakalon duel it out...verbally, of course.
After Zrakalon gets pummeled by a nonchalant Jeradan,
Loanir (a well-satisfied spectator) attempts to start
conversation. Well, of course, a conversation between
the head of Legion and the Executor of Knights could
only have one real topic: Which side will inevitably
rule Serin. (After the ups and downs and in-betweens,
that is.)

So Loanir comments upon the visible lack of, shall we
say, competent Legions in the Dark Halls following
Hauser's demise, and that ruffles Zrakalon the wrong
way. Even though the Legionnaires are currently in
shadow (pun not intended), Mister Overmind is
convinced he will oversee a new reign of terror. "The
Legion will never be gone," he insists. "Like the sun
and moon, it falls only to rise again. The Light
prevails briefly, only to fall into Shadow." Hmm.

Though Loanir protests, "You are fooling yourself:
your power weakens daily!" Zrakalon refuses to listen
to Elf reason and replies, "Like the Four Seasons, it
passes only to return again. You will try, but you
will fail. You cannot stop the hand of fate... It is
the way of the world." With such ominous words, how
can we not expect another wave of Darkness in the
future? (On the other hand, with such few Legions,
how can we expect one?)

THE DEATH OF SAERA by Zanderic
------------------
From what I understand, Saera was ordered by some lord, to give us
Heralds a message. This message consists of:

No more Tea Drinking, No more lovely doby, Charge!

Now you may take what you want from what Saera said, but I consider
that a threat. She told me that in order to make this change they
told her to cause chaos. So to accomplish this, Saera lured me to a
location where she later fought and defeated me. I had nearly beaten
her, till I was forced to flee. She followed me back to Seringale
where a justice waited. She was then flagged, hunted down and
killed, but not before smiting me down. I am not sure but I think
she wanted me to kill her. She did say:

They want me leave. They say, time gone. They that lived before.
Time is no more. They say, not enough done.

I think they ordered her to try to change our ways with force, in
an obviously suicidal manner. It is no wonder that she told me to
mark down her words. She wanted me to scribe what has happened.
The only thing I ask myself is, who is behind this and what do they
expect from us?


XAVERTH SYNDON - FALSE KING OF VALOUR by Alehem
-------------------------------------
As I sat peaceably in my Guild with Ugula, a young Drow whose
name is such a personal affront I will no longer pen or speak it,
asked me to rank. I was interested, as my pinnacle beckons
Drayskel fiercely. He suggested a young Halfling Thief, Herlandin. I
was, for obvious reasons, amused by the name and thought to
humor them even though the forest knights they slew gained
Drayskel little. However, when he made the disturbing claim of being
King of Valour, I rejected his offer immediately, and began to
scribe this after I poked fun at him for several hours.

He claimed he had sat on the Throne, with the Crown, and
had a vision of his dead mother naming him king. I suggested
he see Istina, or Dolgin on the matter, as he is clearly a bit mad.
Afterwards, he proceeded to become belligerent. Claims were
made, and he offered his sadly brainwashed thief side-kick
as his 'retainer and witness to his right to ascend to the
Throne.' I told him I have hard copies of the Prophecy of the
King of the Light (Valour) and offered to sell him some so he'd
better know how to forge the part. Again, to no avail. I finally
told Dolgin, but sadly the Ninja is just out of his range.

This matter is, I believe, important to the Knights for obvious
reasons. It is important to Heralds, because this ... this...
drow said we scribes know nothing of History or
Prophecy, and Valour would recognize him as King one
way or the other. So, obviously, he insulted both the Light
and the Scribes. I hope the Knights can heal his malady,
through whatever methods they choose, and perhaps
we Scribes should show him what it means to know
nothing of History or Prophecy... Idiot scribes indeed!


2) Obituaries

Obituaries

Obituaries by Zanderic
---------

ISTINA

The Halls of the Heralds have suffered a tragic loss as the High Herald
Istina passed away. Great sorrow echoes through our halls as the absence
becomes more apparent. Our memories of him flow through our halls floating
on the ever moving winds of Zephyr. Istina's strong advice and master
penmanship have proven his title as High Herald. His guidance has taken
many novice Heralds from the shadow of inexperience and has guided them
into respected literature. His ability to scribe was only matched by his
fighting skills. He was one of the most competent fighters the Heralds have
seen in quite some time. He has fought through thick and thin and even
managed to overcome a deadly case of midget pox. All of the Heralds
looked up to him and will hold Istina in their hearts as they excel in all
that Istina has taught them. I myself, Zanderic Gibzxioc, have learned from
Istina and took to heart the wisdom he bestowed upon me. I owe Istina my
gratitude for what he has done for me, even though his humor was .....
well, let's face it, pretty dry. Istina's wisdom and dedication as a Herald was
well worth recognition. May the Winds of Zephyr guide you safely to an
ever peaceful afterlife.

ARANETH

The Warlords bow their heads in memory of the recently deceased Araneth.
This remarkable stone giant was mentioned to be incredibly persistent in his
ways. His strength and knowledge was passed on to many who knew him. He
even spent some time giving me a few pointers. His awareness of the
surroundings was as sharp as his blade which I have tasted in fierce duels
once or twice, all in which he has bested me in mercilessly. His fellow
Warlord mentioned a note of grace within Araneth. He had his own sort of
grace as well as his own sort of wit. It was only after he succeeded in
achieving his goal of one-hundred and fifty duels that he realized that his
work here was done. That is when Araneth chose to depart this world for the
last time. Araneth was not much of one to speak much, but when he did his
words carried much weight. Your death will not end what you have left
behind. Your drive to better yourself will live through us all.

JHOL

As the enforcer of Valour, Jhol was considered one of the most feared
Justices in Serin. His great strength and remarkable fighting ability
earned him respect from many of his fellow Justices. His old age did
not stop him from bringing the most deadly of criminals to justice.
Jhol was confident of his ability and carried out his goals with little
struggle. It is most unfortunate that Jhol has passed away. We will no
longer be blessed with his protection by law. But is legacy shall live on
through his fellow Justices. Jhol was responsible for the arrest and
punishment of many criminals. I think that we all owe Jhol our
gratitude for the hard work, sweat and bloodshed that he had to endure for
the enforcement of the laws. I hope that Jhol finds peace in retirement
amongst the other great Justices of Serin history.


3) Cabal Affairs

Cabal

CABAL AFFAIRS by Alehem

Welcome to the Cabal Affairs section, where you can find out
what the Elite of Serin are doing, and who those Elite are even.
Battles of note, rosters, rankings, and such can be found here
straight from the Leaders and Immortals of the Cabals.

==================================================
Warlord- The Masters of Honor and Combat:
Current Members Are-
Blademasters: Aerandir, Tolmir and Taurth
Challengers: Dumuzi, Gneumal and Zharek
Proven: Daritas.

==================================================
Justice- The Iron Fisted Keepers of the Law.
Grathin, Jutazz, Loryth, Vakarath
Jezikapine, Argoris, Verikoz

Congratulations to the newly accepted Loryth. May he keep
up with the fine law keeping we've been brought to expect
of Serin Justices.

==================================================
Knight- The Light of Heaven and Keepers of Valour
Knights: Dolgin, Emela, Kol and Rori
Squire: Edynarius, Nattfjod, Nubal and Prastin
Executors: Loanir, Meriando

A sad note, as reported by all interviewed. Apparently nothing
of note is happening recently. Lets hope, for my careers sake,
that something happens so I don't have to stand with a hat
and beg!


4) Battles

Battles

Duels

-----
Vanisse vs Gneumal
------------------
Silly little bard. She really shouldn't be fighting. Anyway even though she was
wielding Bucket of Doom and pulled off a fine Devil's Dance as an opener, she
forgot sanctuary and 'got squished.' Yes, bashes hurt.
Gneumal wins!

Vanisse vs Gneumal
-----------------
In the middle of a lull in the day the two had at it again. A bit of an
improvement
on the part of Vanisse as she actually remembered the purples
this time, but still too much running around and not enough singing! More
bashes and there was another bard pancake. Seringale's invisible janitors are
getting tired of cleaning up her mess.
Gneumal wins!

Nyemes vs Vanisse
-----------------
The dreaded vampire comes swooping down out of nowhere on the poor little
bard while she's busy writing some nonsense and kills her without any
resistance. Easy victory for Nyemes.
Nyemes wins!

Gneumal vs Araneth
------------------
A tough match, both of them testing out their newfound skills. Gneumal sticks
with his trusty ice polearm, while Araneth swaps weapons constantly. It seems
close, with Gneumal being beat around the Arena, but a single round reverses
the situation and eventually Araneth falls to a grand cobra strike.
Gneumal wins!

Loanir vs Grathin, Kolok
------------------------
Loanir, previously marked a criminal for fighting Victur in Seringale while on
Grathin's watch, was hard pressed by the dual shaman's forces of Kolok and
Grathin. Not only was he battling against the odds, he was forced to retreat to
the Castle, where the Justice took the opportunity to make the final insult by
stealing the Knights' Cross and dashing off with it across Serin and back into
the Shrine of Justice.

The battle petered out into a monkey-in-the-middle sort of dancing hop as Isil
joined the Cross- collecting fray. Between Grathin, Kolok and Isil, Loanir was
unable to reclaim his Cross as it passed as it passed from Justice to Legion halls.

Wilibald vs Isil
----------------
At first a bit of poking and prodding at Gahlu and Isil with a heavy sack of lead
prompts little response other than some snoring...After Gahlu leaves the realms
Isil gets annoyed and goes after the thief with a handful of pixie dust and a lot of
earthquakes. Finally Isil catches up to his prey in Gnome Village, where he
exacts quite the punishment.
Isil wins!

Victur vs Kida, Grathin
-----------------------
Upon seeing Kida's battered appearance in the realms, Victur decided to have
some sport with the barely clad Fire giant. Grathin hastened back to town in
time to chase the ranger, but was overpowered and defeated, leaving Kida to
flee across the realms.
Victur wins!


5) Tribute to Nyemes

Nyemes

TRIBUTE TO NYEMES by Vanisse
-----------------
and how is it that the fire burns so bright,
so still, casting shadows upon the winded cove
it is but a susurrus of song
this flickering flame of remembrance
wrapped with mists stealing bone and blood alike
feeding the living with ambrosia of the dead

She felt as if the cold mist was stealing into her body, usurping her warmth,
replacing her living marrow with ghostly vapor. The fire was no salvation.
When she awoke from her intense concentration she felt only a numbness in her
fingers, though the skin on her palms was withering in the heat. She watched
without watching as the darkness ascended from the black ocean waves,
spreading like a purplish bruise across the expanse of empty sky she observed
impassively as the shadows from the unseen waning sunset battled weakly from
the fire-cast figures in the sand behind her and lost. The water gleamed in blades
of gold-tipped night as they approached the land and whispered sweet evils into
her deafened ears before soaking into darkness.

In her soundless mind the darkness sang to her, a wordless tuneless melody of
invisible colors. And from thence appeared a figure shrouded in the night, a
figure without sound or shadow, only a barely perceptible outline against the
ebon sky. Nyemes, the Stalker of the Living, Dread of the Night, come to claim
his prize of blood.


6) Serin Opinions

Opinions

Serin Opinions

--------------
[Concerning the return of Valour and Loanir:]

It is truly sickening. - Darvian
The Elf is a major pain in the a... - Zanamar
It's as if a blistered and foul-smelling foot has finally been reunited with the
worn boot it has known as 'home' after a long absence. - Vhrael
More blood to spill... It is not a negative change. - Isil It is right to praise the
Gods of Serin. 'Ware their wrath, should you spurn them! - Teryn
It is a strong blow to the underdark... One that has echoed in the hive - Vykil
It shall not last long, the Legion shall soon rule. - Bersi Valour, like all the cities
of light, shall perish when the armies of darkness rise once more. - Niquaen
I feel we need Valour and Loanir. Of course to help keep the Knights at bay. I
think it is wonderful someone can achieve his position. - Schuylkill
Hearing of Valour's return has my heart soaring. - Nevhrin
We aren't too interested at all about that. - Sethronu

[Amusing quote of the Mystique:]

'Twiddle at your own risk, wench!' - Nyraath

[What is your opinion of the changing landscape in Serin?]

I suppose I'll get used to it. - Kashin
It's a bit confusing already - Courinier
If it's the wisdom and will of the Gods that it be done, so be it. - Vakarath
I believe that it makes the realms a bit more interesting - Jastor It is indeed
confusing for us of old! - Gawain
A lot of what I have learned must be forgotten. However, I believe it levels the
field in the end - Antinus
All these shifts of land cause me to continuously run into mountainsides. It is
most embarrassing' - Jutazz
All I can say is that we must've done something very wrong to warrant such
punishment. - Isil
I don't like it really. It's possible to relearn and run away just as fast for combat.
- Anon


7) Poems! Run for the hills!

Poems

Poetry Corner by Vanisse
-------------

ALCHEMY

Let's face it:
the it that is unspeakable
the it that is locked here
under my throat like a stone.

Though I cannot uncast my granite
I let a not-quite-petrified finger draw
in the dust, so that it's
misplaced particles might
take those unformed tears
and turn them into diamonds.

ODE TO INSPIRATION

Because the sound of an imagined hum
illuminates upon these gentle keys
a light so softly clear
and in the peace
and silence of a midnight reverie
immortal forth our combined creation
appears, a humble dogging of your feet

the tension striving for perfection stays
(each feathered finger's touch so ginger in
its own progression, cautioned not to step
awry--it might disturb this surgeon's hand
that tugs not only puppet bodies' hearts,
but also tethers to our naked souls)
the one manipulation I would find,
of all temptations, irresistible.


8) Talks with Serins

talks

Talks with Serins
------------------
TALKS WITH LOANIR by Vanisse
Seeing as he's the Executor of Knights and the new head of this shiny city of
Valour, I took the first chance I could to interview him. Apparently, though, we
have been misled: Loanir is not the King of Valour, rather the current Regent.
Supposedly there is a legend that the true King of Valour, the heir to the
treacherously murdered Queen Victoria, is still somewhere in these realms.

Someday a new King will arise, Loanir uttered solemnly. Only he will be able
to sit upon the Throne of Valour. Mysterious. Missing King...murdered
Queen... At any rate Loanir currently retains both positions as Regent of Valour
and mortal Executor of the Knights. His duties are to protect Valour and
maintain its pristine glory for the prophesized Heir's return. In the event of such
a happening, Loanir is to relinquish his position as Regent immediately and
return to sole Knight leadership.

As for non-Lightwalkers, Loanir accedes that Valour does extend its welcome
to those who walk the path of Balance, but there will perpetually be a watchful
eye upon them to ensure that calm is maintained within the city. "Above all, this
city is a safe haven for those who crave peace. Violence will not be tolerated
within these walls," Loanir stated firmly. "Those who continue to show violent
intent will be outlawed and then exiled forever.

What does this bode for the Legion? No doubt, Loanir comments, Zrakalon
must be worried about these new changes. "All of Serin can now see the
glory of the Light embedded within these city walls," Loanir smiled. Surely
many will now be drawn to the forces of Good in greater numbers than ever."
He reiterated several times the importance of the Knights in protecting his new
city and all of its inhabitants, also voicing his anticipation for the new Nobles
that will soon be populating Valour. "Together, the Knights, Nobles, and
Citizens of Valour shall live here, in this glorious city, the living tribute to the
glory of the Light."

(Continued in talks2)

talks2

TALKS WITH ZRAKALON by Liraleyn

Everyone is excited about the new city that has claimed itself as a haven for
those who follow the path of light, with its strict laws and nobles that are trained
to ensure the protection of citizens who seek shelter there. This great city is an
important new factor in the battle between Legion and Knights. New Valour is a
trophy signifying the increasing power of the forces of light and the fall of the
army of darkness. Or so we think. What does Zrakalon have to say about New
Valour?

I gathered the courage to speak with the symbol of all that we should fear. In his
presence my courage fell as questions came slowly to my lips. Zrakalon's stare
penetrated my soul as he convinced me of his fearless intentions. Zrakalon
calls New Valour a toy.

Zrakalon describes his minions as this plague that infects all of Serin. In this
view, New Valour is nothing more than another limb to infect. Zrakalon's
intentions with New Valour are the same with his intentions for the rest of
Serin: Infect, conquer, dominate. However, if the Legion is the infection, then
the Knights are the cure. I could tell that Zrakalon could sense his strength
failing. But, even if Zrakalon's forces are defeated they will only return again to
infect our lands. Is resistance futile? Is the end imminent? Zrakalon would like
us to think so.


9) Serins talk back

Talkback

Serins Talk Back
-----------------
LOVE POEM by Dalton

Let the burning bridges tumble down
Let the water come flood the ground
I only want to be walking by your side

When I see tomorrow I see you there
When I look around I see you everywhere
Your face is etched into my mind

Let your darkest spirits fly away
Come again, but you won't come today
I only want to walk by your side.



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