The Serin Mystique, Volume 7, Issue 3

We are delighted to present you with the third issue of The Serin
Mystique, Volume 7! In this issue we cover a LOT of battles, including a
grand epic by our new recruit Soffen, about a bajillion obituaries, and of
course, current cabal affairs - as well as an interview with a young fellow
I met with a very interesting prophecy... And poems! (Yes yes.) Please
enjoy, and don't forget to kiss a toad!

- Farael and Soffen

Contents:

1) Cabal Affairs - What have those cabals been up to? (see Cabal)
2) Bloody Battles - Ferocious recent fights at all ranks! (see battles1, battles2, battles3, battles4)
3) Obituaries - So many people keep dying recently! (see obits1, obits2)
4) Poetry - For when you just have nothing better to do (see Poetry)
5) An Epic Battle - Soffen writes about a great adventure! (see Epic)
6) Thelimen the Prophet - This youngster believes something strange (see Thelimen)




1) Cabal Affairs - What have those cabals been up to?

Cabal

Cabal Affairs
-------------

[JUSTICE]

The Justice cabal has increased its ranks with a few new members including
the brave gnome warrior Tipplwise! Seringale's finest continue to keep
criminals off of the streets and out of the gutters. Recently their biggest
threats have come from Knights and Keepers, giving our officers a lot of
exercise.

Members: Arvar, Tyravel, Sertos, Aeledron, Hrathid, Tipplwise

[KNIGHT]

Knights are definitely rising strong with the induction of several young
Footmen who swiftly flew to their pinnacles, and just now the promotion of
able General Aelin to Executor. At long last the Castle has a mortal leader
once again, and the Light shines strongly across the lands.

Members: Aelin, Dargrich, Karios, Adreaf, Agrelit, Crogan, Wells

[LEGION]

After the demise of their well-respected Forsaken, Corzen, the Dark Army has
been struggling to regain some semblance of dominance in the lands. Thus far
it remains an uphill battle as the Knights' Castle bustles with activity.
Some new young Legionnaires have been inducted however, including one very
canny necromancer Aahdeya who has already earned a reputation for strewing
corpses (living and dead I suppose!) wherever she goes. As always, the
pendulum of Serin continues to oscillate, and I am sure we will see Legion
in power again in the near or far future.

Members: Volk, Occuilus, Surezel, Xenyar, Dwur, Aahdeya

[KEEPER]

I was lucky enough to obtain an interview with the Keeper Adwaud today, who
spoke about the current upheavals in his cabal due to new directives sent
from the gods above. Recently, the Keepers have been in frequent conflict
with both Knights and Justices, although their current focus is on the
Knights (who appear to be warring with everybody these days!). The Keepers'
new duty to declare war against the most powerful cabal in the lands is
being met with some resistance from the non-Keeper peanut gallery. However,
the lands continue to cycle with power shifts and the Keepers continue to
enforce the Natural Balance.

Members: Hrimoyan, Trogm, Adwaud, Callarduran, Gnobwinkle


[MYSTIC]
There are still young adventurers, but Mystic sightings seem far and few in
between save for Niusan, who is still his sprightly gnome-fighting self. We
hope to see our coterie siblings around more often!

Members: Noliperus, Ashak, Zalastran, Niusan, Elarwyn

[HERALD]

I have welcomed young Soffen to the Heraldic Halls, and we are
doing our damndest, but it sure is lonely in here...

Members: Farael, Soffen


2) Bloody Battles - Ferocious recent fights at all ranks!

battles1

Bloody Battles
--------------

1. [KNIGHT] Kashya v. [JUSTICE] Tyravel

Kashya defended the Castle from Tyravel after he appeared and found the
Iron Fist in the Holy Knight's hands. There were a few very scary moments
for both of them after a couple of skirmishes but eventually Kashya ran
out of energy to follow Tyravel about, and he retrieved successfully.

No deaths on either side.

2. [LEGION] Volk v. Vishante

Vishante was ranking with Dorgan and I in the Shire when Volk appeared
out of thin air and started beating him round the head with a staff of
storms. The very painful business was apparently because Vishante omitted
to buy protection. Protection indeed! After several rounds of such
beatings Vishante finally bought protection so we could get back to
ranking.

No deaths.

3. [KNIGHT] Kashya v. [LEGION] Volk

Volk and Kashya fought in the usual epic Evil vs. Light kind of way twice
today. The Knight, being at a disadvantage in both equipment and ranks,
fell both times.

4. Braqgrun v. [LEGION] Volk, [LEGION] Occuilus

Occuilus went to beat Braqgrun into protection. As he was aiding some
young Knight and healer at Drkshyre, he was given some healing assistance
and so Volk entered the fray as well. Braqgrun was squashed shortly
thereafter.

5. [LEGION] Volk v. [KNIGHT] Kashya, Braqgrun

After the Legions made paste out of Kashya and Braqgrun, the two of them
tried to team up to kill Volk. But it didn't succeed, and both fell again.
Oops.

6. Noliperus v. [LEGION] Occuilus

While I was scribing some obituaries today I heard Noliperus' concerned
call from our guildhall as the Legion Occuilus advanced to force protection.
With some powerful displays of pyrotechnics Noliperus was able to send the
illithid running. Guess he didn't need protection after all!

battles2

7. Innedus v. Nelhakra, ([JUSTICE] Tyravel)

Justices Arvar and Tyravel were taken from town to hunt the wanted Knight
Kashya, which gave Innedus the fire giant warrior perfect chance to take
a shot at Nelhakra, a human thief. Unfortunately he wasn't able to seal
the deal before Tyravel appeared back in town, so he was flagged, but
since Kashya took precedence (it appears we are entering a Justice-Knight
war) he was able to keep his head a little bit longer.

8. [KNIGHT] Kashya v. [JUSTICE] Arvar, [JUSTICE] Tyravel

Somehow Kashya gained a wanted flag and was able to elude the Justices
with her camouflaging skills. Arvar went to capture her item just after
she departed the realms, and was blackjacked by a young thief for his
efforts, which was quite a feat of skill on the youngster's part. Later
Kashya returned and the Justices gave chase yet again. What with her
familiarity with the lands and her skill of concealment, however, it was
quite a battle for the Justices even with their special guards.
The Justices eventually gave up chase to hunt Innedus instead (see
previous battle) as at least he didn't skulk about covered in leaves.

9. [KNIGHT] Galad v. [JUSTICE] Arvar

Now this was a interesting battle. It took place in the Seringale arena
with me and a few others watching. It started off with the two smacking
into each other like a couple of raging bulls. They fled back and forth
jousting with each other, until finally Galad quaffed a purple potion and
charged Arvar, However Galad was unable to hold off Arvar's strength and
fell in battle.

10. [KNIGHT] Kashya v. Vishante

This battle happened while I was traveling with Kashya.
We were fighting Shamans of blood. When Vishante came out of nowhere and
hit me over the head! Well I took off running as I'd rather not fight.
However Kashya stood her ground and started raining down arrows at Vishante
until he fled for a moment and hid. Kashya used this time to gather her
thoughts and supplies. Then she turned the tables on the thief by
surprising him and ended his life.

battles3

11. Ocalia v. Asilis

Two young combatants around the thirtieth rank dueled in the arena.
Unfortunately, it happened so fast I nearly blinked and missed it. This is
what happened: Asilis, a werebeast ranger, and Ocalia, a human warrior,
walked into the arena, both yelled they were ready, and then Ocalia TOOK
OUT HER SLEEPING BAG AND WENT TO SLEEP. Well obviously Asilis won that one.

12. Ocalia v. Asilis 2

Our two combatants did a second round in the arena. This time Ocalia
remembered to stay awake and use a weapon, but all the effort made her
forget to quaff a potion. After the first couple blows she couldn't
recover from the slashes she had taken and fell again, Asilis at quite
a few wounds.

13. [LEGION] Dwur v. [NOBLE] Mirrana

As I chatted with Dame Mirrana at North Square, the young Legionnaire
Dwur popped out of the shadows and knocked her unconscious. After a few
seconds, he hefted a pair of daggers in his hands. Everything else kind
of blurred and suddenly there was a blood shrine at my feet in her stead!
Mirrana is an elf healer, Dwur is a duergar thief, both of the 40th rank.

14. [LEGION] Dwur v. [KNIGHT] Dargrich, ([NOBLE] Mirrana)

Next, Legion Dwur fought young Knight Dargrich in his hometown of Darkhaven.
Having four ranks, the dwarven healer found it quite easy to place spells
upon his opponent. The Noble Mirrana had also followed to Darkhaven with
blood boiling from her recent death, and when Dwur managed to blackjack the
Knight, she intervened to protect him. After several circuits of running
about Darkhaven streets, Dwur finally fell at the end of the docks at
Dargrich's hand.

15. [JUSTICE] Aeledron v. [NOBLE] Mirrana

Newly appointed shaman Justice Aeledron fought Mirrana in the arena. The
battle was rather lengthy and involved a lot of spellcasting on both sides,
as Aeledron held only one rank advantage and Mirrana used her elvish talents
as best she could. Unfortunately, Aeledron managed to land a faerie fire on
her, and subsequently blasphemied her and gave her a nasty bout of dysentery.
She yielded at half health and near full mindpower, while Aeledron was still
in good condition. Aeledron was a 42 duergar shaman, Mirrana was a 41 elf
healer.

16. Gahlia v. Lentira, [JUSTICE] Aeledron

Gahlia, a half-elf warrior of the 32nd rank, awoke looking for blood.
Specifically, Lentira the dark-knight's blood. He even asked us in town
whether we had seen her. About five minutes after his query, who should
appear at east gate but Lentira! She walked right up to North Square where I
sat with Aeledron the Justice and Tristram, enchanting some items, when
suddenly Gahlia pulled out a sword and started stabbing Lentira in the face.
Well that was quite a surprise I can tell you! Good thing Aeledron had very
sharp reflexes and he nailed a flag on that warrior straight away. Gahlia
tried to run to his temple to hopefully retrieve his wares, but the special
guard was too quick for him!

An interesting event happened after the apprehension had taken place -
Gahlia was unable to hold all of his items without replacing his set first
and to return his items, Aeledron ordered the guard to drop his armor.
Lentira sacrificed a piece although Aeledron had requested no one to touch
the items, and Aeledron mistakenly flagged the dark-knight. The flag was
removed hastily thereafter.

battles4

17. Krydus v. Kaelana, [JUSTICE] Tipplwise

Krydus, a young fire giant, wandered through Seringale and suddenly started
shouting about being attacked. Tipplwise, the new gnome warrior Justice, went
to see what was happening. Well, it turned out Kaelana was trying to make some
trouble. Once Tipplwise found out what was going on, the special guard turned
her into paste pretty quick.

18. [KNIGHT] Crogan v. Grizit

A moderately lengthy battle composed of several skirmishes between the storm
berserker Crogan and the avian necromancer Grizit. Several times Crogan managed
to send Grizit running, but soon he ran out of gyvels. Even so he continued to
battle the necromancer, and the battle might have lasted much longer had his
legs not run out of energy. He fell at the entrance to Drkshyre, blinded and
exhausted.

19. [KNIGHT] Dargrich v. Janae, [JUSTICE] Tipplwise

Some exciting things happened today. Crogan and I played Whack-A-Mullet at
North Square, some mysterious machine that fell from the sky and gives you gold
for hitting a duck with a hammer. Meanwhile Dargrich was busy chasing the
bountied Janae around Serin. She hid in her guild and briefly became visible,
so Dargrich went to attack her cabal.

Unfortunately, at that precise moment Tipplwise awoke and flagged him. In fact
Tipplwise had many things to do since Janae is bountied, Aahdeya is wanted from
a previous crime, and now Dargrich as well. So Janae got away laughing as usual,
while everyone else is running wildly about in the streets...

20. [KEEPER] Gnobwinkle v. [KNIGHT] Crogan

Since the Keepers are currently at war with Knights, Gnobwinkle awoke to find
himself fighting Crogan. The battle lasted quite awhile with both combatants
running all over Serin. Eventually though Crogan ran out of leg strength and
fell at his temple.


3) Obituaries - So many people keep dying recently!

obits1

Obituaries
----------

DERIIC, one of Legion's senior members, took his life after a battle with the
Justice Tyravel on the Day of Thunder, 31st of the Month of Shadows. He was a
soldier with both determination and honor, and was as near of a friend to me
as a scary Legion could be. He will be missed.

JAQR, Champion of the Knights of Valour, fell for the final time on the Day of
the Great Gods, 33rd of the Month of Nature, to the Keeper Trogm's blade. He
was a Paladin of pure faith and unsurpassed perseverance, with a kind heart
and honorable soul. His loss has cost the Castle greatly.

HECET, a former Knight who was discovered as a traitor, was purged by Lady
General Rosellin on the Day of Deception, 9th of the Month of the Long Shadows.
He was damned by both Gods and mortals for his treacherous deeds, his corpse
left as a warning against those who might follow in his footsteps.

CORZEN, Forsaken of Legion, took his own life after a long and successful
reign of the Army on the Day of the Great Gods, 19th of the Month of the Heat.
He was feared by many and respected by even more, and his leadership of the
Legion Cabal was invaluable to Olyn, the Lord of Darkness. The Legion have
suffered a blow from his loss, especially at this time of rising Knight numbers,
but as always there will soon be another...and so the tide continues to change...

KASHYA, recently promoted Knight of Valour, gave up her faith in life to the
necromancer Grizit on the Day of Thunder, 17th of the Month of the Battle. She
was a pleasant and friendly soul who was so dedicated to the Light that she
thrust aside her phobia of cities and pledged her sword to the Castle. Her
short career as a Knight saw many battles with Legions and Justices alike - and
yet, in the midst of all the bloodshed, she still had time to see the beauty in
the world, picking wildflowers and singing. Such a friend was Kashya. She will
be missed.

HOBERN, a civil servant of the Justice Cabal with a fairly long and
distinguished career, took his life on the Day of Deception, 9th of the Month
of the Dragon. He was a fellow with an odd sense of humor and an unwavering
dedication to the Iron Fist. Like all of us, however, he also had weaknesses. In
particular his fondness for the Legion Deriic. The death of his unrequited love
threw him into despair! But now they dance together in the daisy fields of the
Next World, so all is well again...

VERIANDE, a relatively new recruit of Legion, took his life on the Day of
Thunder, 17th of the Month of the Ancient Darkness. I suppose he had some secret
madness that was never properly diagnosed - but he seemed an alright chap when we
hunted together a few years ago. Too bad.

obits2

NYDIGOLGRIN, a young Justice, took his life on the Day of Deception, 9th of
the Month of the Grand Struggle. He had worked quite tirelessly from induction
to his pinnacle, despite constantly fighting against Knight onslaughts (Eeevil!
Diiiee!) and there were high expectations for him. Unfortunately one day a God
played a prank on him and his head exploded. Oops.

BORGAT, once a Knight and then not and finally a Footman, was beheaded by
Lordana the Vampire of the Illusory Isles on the Day of Freedom, 32nd of the
Month of the Spring. I believe he had a distinguished career in the Knight
Castle but he was taken away from his duties for a long time, and when he
returned he worked hard to join them again. Only to fall to a creature of the
undead! I suppose his will and fortitude had been eroded over the years...

ROSELLIN, esteemed Knight Lady General, retired on the Day of the Sun, 20th
of the Month of the Shadows. She had a long and fairly successful career
guiding the Knights following the suicide of Executor Casden, and inspired a
whole young generation of Squires-turned-Knights to carry her beacon forward.

GALAD, a young and upcoming Knight of Valour, asked the Priestess Jijit to
take his life after failing to cleanse a shadowspawn. Unfortunate incident!
for Aelin remarked that he seemed to be learning quite well. It seems that
the Knights will need to rebuild their Castle again, now under the guidance
of General Aelin, but I've seen quite a number of new Squires running about
so this is probably not an issue!

LUCIERO, a young Legionnaire, (although honestly at this point everyone
seems young to me!) was slain by Adwaud the Keeper on the Day of the Sun,
27th of the Month of the Ancient Darkness. Unfortunately I did not have a
chance to interact much with him before he took his life, but I am sure
someone misses him. Rest in peace.

LENORE, a shadowstalking Vampire of old, was crispified by a stray sunbeam
when a few termites dug a hole through his coffin on the Day of the Moon,
7th of the Month of the Spring. His remains were found by some spelunkers
several years later, and nearly mistaken for a mummy's. I do not know much
about him personally, but vampires are generally quite terrifying so I am
not sure if anyone is sad that he is gone!


4) Poetry - For when you just have nothing better to do

Poetry

Poems by Farael

1. Consciousness.

Sinking stickily into soft tissue,
a viscous heartbeat murmurs.
We pulse; our minds align and disperse.

Somewhere, two photons
born of different stars
collide and shatter.

What matters?
Where do we fit?
What roles do we play?

Seven years ago
a cat bore her litter
beneath the tree
whose apples we picked as children.

So crisp, so sweet:
here and there
we left imprints of innocence.

2. Creation.

before the clock learned to spin,
there was sound. we gathered it
in our mouths like fishes
and ruminated forth morsels
of blindly feeling fingers.
thus, hand over hand, we pulled
from each other's ears
ropes of consciousness.
(everyone was a magician then.)

when our curiosity was sated
we let light spill. it pooled
around our pitch-black footprints
and revealed perfectly circular paces,
but our eyes had not yet evolved,
so no one noticed. instead,
we commented on the unusual warmth
and gently, evenly, panicked.

by the time we realized our folly
seasons had sprouted,
and days,
and lives,
and madness.
by then it was too late to walk straight;
our minds curved infinitely upon themselves
and free will had been relinquished.

3. Elegy.

Descend, o wing'd ones,
and open your eyes.

The branches where I taught you flight
no longer stretch to the sky
and the rivers lie full of the fallen.

Yet, surrounded by bones,
already the grass rises green,
and their spidery shoots yield to seeking lips.

Sodden, unsightly, a squirrel braved the rain
some days past to find its cache here,
where your nest lies broken
and your babes give their youth to the spring.


5) An Epic Battle - Soffen writes about a great adventure!

Epic

The Battle of a Knight and Legion - Soffen Windfury
---------------------------------

Hear ye! Hear ye! Come read a tale of a Knight's battle! It was a midsummer's
eve when I was traveling with Aelin, General of Valour. He was explaining to
me some of the traditions of the Knights, when he learned that Occuilus was
roaming the lands. As one who walks in the light, he had to vanquish this
evil!

The honorable Knight flew to Legion's head quarters with the velocity of an
avian. There he infiltrated the Legion's cabal and took their ancient
artifact of power. It was then that the Illithid's deep dark thoughts turned
to the very soul of the Knight. What issued next was the latest battle of
this horrible war. It seemed that the very fabric of Serin was being torn
apart at the seams with the clashes of these entities.

As I tried my best to keep up with their flight, I witnessed Aelin try to
smash Occuilus into the muddy soil. Of which I don't think the Illithid
would have cared, since I hear they are mud-suckers. Nonetheless Aelin's
smash missed him by inches. Aelin was having her hands busy dodging,
parrying, and enduring the raining attacks of Occuilus's illusions. After
the valiant Knight destroyed those creatures of void. Occuilus just vanished.
My eyes could not find him. So I continued to follow Aelin. We managed to
make our way to the beautiful castle of Valour. There the general locked up
Legion's artifact in Valour's vault.

We knew it would only be a matter of time before Occuilus made his counter
attack. It didn't take long before we felt the dark hatred of the Legion.
Watching his movements, with his conjured shadows, was like watching a giant
black wave of the night crash upon the rocky shore. One could smell the
lightning and feel the shudder of thunder as he made his way into the castle.
He managed to tear down the fortified vault and took back Legion's precious
artifact. Then he sped as fast as his tentacles would take him to Legion's
capital.

But his journey took a sudden stop in Seringale. Aelin is not easily defeated.
They fought up and down the streets, along the walls. It seemed nowhere in the
city was safe. Until at the strong southern gate of Seringale, I heard the
screech of death from Occuilus as he fell at the feet of Aelin, and so Legion
lost their power that day.

Later on that night I was resting up on a bench in Valour. The only sound in
the night was the flickering flame of a lamp. I noticed Valour was sleeping
easy that night, but as I gazed up at the stars I thought to myself...

Evil never sleeps.


6) Thelimen the Prophet - This youngster believes something strange

Thelimen

Thelimen the Prophet
--------------------

Thelimen is a young shaman who speaks of an ominous future!

He says soon everyone will turn into cosmic mush squished between the
toes of some ancients and taste like tormented tapioca. And that "blood
sparrows will consume souls on that night." He also declares that bodily
harm to beggars induces the voices of ancients. I tried it, but it got
stains all over my shirt. I think maybe the voices just don't like me.

Well I am sure there are some ancients somewhere that would love to turn
us into tapioca but I sincerely hope it doesn't happen!


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