The Serin Mystique, Volume 10, Issue 5

Greetings all ye citizens of Serin! Here is probably the thickest
tome yet of the most scintillating scribings we Heralds have to offer.
It was a wait, but we hope it was worth it!

Please read and enjoy!

1) Battles (see GodvMan, Rumble, Accident, BalanvRadek, Confusion)
2) Cabal Affairs (see Keeper, Knights, Justice, Legion)
3) Coterie Affairs (see Heralds, Strife, Mystics)
4) News (see Myth, Humans, OnStrife)
5) Gossip (see Trouble, Strange, Lovers, Recruiting, Transformation, War, Crude, Shocking)
6) Poetry (see Changing, Stythmas, Pain, Spark, Vanisse, Taleroth, Silence)
7) Obituaries (see Zilvintra, Vinzoni, Mkatos, Tydith)
8) Stories (see Wreitha, Disenchanted, Ghost)
9) Events (see Snowballs, Riddles)
10) Interviews (see Thorgoth, Morgolta1, Morgolta2, Vella, Serelie, Wrax, Thorgoth2)
11) Talk of the Town (see Hardcore, Cities Report)
12) Serin Citizen Spotlight (see Trizz, Vaire)
13) Ask A Herald (see Wishes, Morals, Favorite, Murder, Soul)
14) The Jotun History (see The Jotuns, The Walk, The Tomb, The Revelation, The Dream, The Council)

This issue of the Mystique brought to you by:
Rimera, Wreitha, Kewlin, Prost, Trompi and Irion.

Special thanks to Vevier for fueling our brains with muffins.
Special "thanks" to Vanisse for distracting us from our work!



1) Battles

GodvMan

Fight of the Night!

Today's Fight of the Night featured one of Strife's own members,
Eldroc Venerion the Battlemaster, against the Misteress of Disaster,
The Mother of Destruction, The Matriarch of Malice, Vevier the
Gnomation of Magic!!!!!!

It all started when Eldroc was looking for someone to duel in
Seringale's Arena. I politely declined as I am no longer fit to do
battle with anyone let alone a brave member of Strife! So eventually,
Eldroc found his huckleberry challenging Vevier to combat. The
tale of the tape of physical attributes gave all the advantages to Eldroc,
but Vevier had something on her side that couldn't be measured in
height, or muscles, or even fighting style...

The ability to cook her own food and create her own water... And the
fact that she is in fact an Immortal Demi-God. No big deal really....

The battle began swift just as all who were watching, knew it would. Eldroc,
being a fine gentleman allowed Vevier to make the first move. This
would be a devastating blunder for him and the battle was over before he
even knew what hit him. Vevier smiled, closed her eyes and concentrated
and it appeared the more concentration she placed on the task at hand the
less comfortable Eldroc looked. Soon his discomfort was coupled by a
grotesque smell that covered the arena and its entrance. The look of shock
and devastation on Eldroc's face let us know exactly what had happened
and exactly what would come next. Mama Vevier initiated a war of attrition.

Hunger and thirst pangs soon became Eldroc's only reality. His stomach growled
so loud it sounded as though the very dirt underneath him was going to open
up and swallow him just to satiate the hunger. Ravaged, downtrodden, and
abashed Eldroc accepted his fate as Vevier stared down upon him from a
throne made of delicious cookies that he was not to touch. The temptation of
every tiny morsel of cookie that had broken off from the chair was like a
thousand razor blades being slowly pulled across his stomach, but he knew
that even the smallest nibble would turn his already decimated belly into a
mutilated wreck as the cookies were poisoned.

Low and behold the end was upon as and just as death was going to claim
her victim Vevier's face turned from foe to friend, allowing him to leave the
arena, feeding him, and giving him water to revitalize the body that Eldroc
now owes to Vevier. As a non biased bystander, I believe that after such a
violent display of force by Vevier and the utter domination of Eldroc without
Vevier so much as lifting a finger against him, Eldroc should pledge himself to
be a student of Vevier's tactics and as payment full time protector of the
Heralds so they are free to write, and create, and discuss with others without
having to worry about finding an unsheathed knife if their backs. But these
are the thoughts and musings of a servant of truth and understanding with
absolutely no self interest involved.

At the end of the, Vevier came out the victor, Eldroc needed new undergarments,
and I had witnessed enough starvation and self defecation to last me a lifetime.
Unfortunately for Eldroc, he was out-smarted in this instance. I am sure that he
will take this loss and learn from it and come back an even stronger adversary...

Perhaps, for starters, next time he will choose to fight someone who is more
mortal than immortal. Only time will tell...

Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Rumble

There was a battle between two Knights, Sirs Tuston and Thuf, recently.
They fought Cavos and Trizz. The battle began Outside the North Gate
in Seringale, when Cavos initiated by dispelling Tuston's aura. Trizz
failed to kick dirt into Tuston's eyes, and Tuston fled the first skirmish.
He went to the river in Seringale, reapplied aura, and Cavos attacked
again. Tuston hit Trizz, but fled again. Thuf joined in soon after, and
Tuston ordered Thuf to light Trizz up. Thuf outlined Trizz in faerie fire,
then Trizz fled.

The two Knights pursued Trizz, engaging again in Rainer Canyon. Thuf
summoned him and Tuston attacked. As soon as Trizz fled, Thuf pursue
and narrowed his eyes, attempting to do something to the ninja. Trizz
fled again, and Thuf said Trizz was cursed. Again Trizz fled, to be
summoned back and attacked by Tuston. Thuf dispelled Trizz's aura and
flight, Trizz fled yet another time. Tuston caught up with him instantly
and tried to charge into Trizz, but failed.

Thuf joined in the fray. Trizz fled again, this time Thuf initiated before
Tuston charged into Trizz. Trizz fled once more, and left Rainer Canyon.
The Knights pursued him through the Sylvan Vale, Plains, Seringale, the
Eastern Road, Timaran, the Dragon Sea, the Graveyard, Unlit City,
Enthema, and finally caught up to him in Darkhaven. They summoned
him twice, so he appeared twice before limping away briefly. Soon after,
Sir Tuston delivered the coup de grace by charging into Trizz, killing
him instantly.



As reported by Duchess Morgolta.

Accident

As most of you know, due to my many physical ailments I have put aside for
the most part my bow and sword and replaced with them with quill and
parchment. Writing stories is what I do for a living and is what I was doing
when I heard a commotion at the front door of the Traveler's Rest. There
was a Jotun Dark Knight there yelling about the Gods all being dead and that
the Jotun were going to rise and take over Serin. I figured that this was
just another person who had to much to drink and so I was going to go help
Odile calm the situation when Odile yelled that he had been attacked!

My reflexes instantly kicked in, however, my brain works a lot fast than
my body does so I had to wait for everything to get in sync again. I hobbled
to the door opened it and immediately felt a flash of heat come over me. I
has just missed getting blasted in the face with a fireball and the door and
Odile had taken the brunt of it. I turned to help Odile, but it soon became
that unprepared and my body doing what it wanted and not what I told it to
was a sure recipe for death, and I did not want to die. Not this day.

I fled to the forest right by the keep acquired myself a wolf and a bear
and then headed back into the fight only to watch Odile take his last breath
before the giant finished him off! Devastated at the loss of a brother
and concerned about the safety of our scrolls and parchments I ran up the
steps to clear off the table and put them away, but Calram and Keeb would
not let me pass even though I desperately tried to explain to them the
situation. The next thing I knew a fireball hit me directly in my back
and Calram and Keeb in their respective shoulders.

Together alongside my bear and wolf we faught and when it looked like
the battle was all but over, I fled not wanting to claim the life of
another person. I ran to the bottom of the stairs, but the giant
and tripped over something at the very top of the stairs, tumbling
all the way down and landing with his face directly on my axe killing
him instantly.

I am not sure what initiated this act of aggression towards the Heralds
or myself, but the Heralds, myself especially, do not wish to battle
any one over anything. I am sure that words can solve whatever issue
it is that is going on so our weapons can stay sheathed so we don't
have to clean up accidents like this one.

Wreitha

BalanvRadek

A Duel to the Death

Radek and Balan had a duel in the Arena which I observed last Renewal. I
may have missed the beginning of the fight, as I was walking to the
Juggernaut when the two combatants yelled they were ready. Radek yelled he
was ready just as I got to the Juggernaut, then grabbed three purple potions
from his sack before quaffing one. Both combatants scanned their
surroundings, Radek grabbed another purple potion from his sack, and then
the fight began with Balan striking the first blow and drawing the first
blood. He hurled a javelin at Radek before closing in, then hit Radek twice
with his weapon, which proved to be the Eviscerator. Balan hit Radek once
more shortly after, and Radek screamed in agony as he transformed into a
weretiger.

Radek attempted to kick dirt into Balan's eyes, but missed. In the next
exchange of blows, Balan hit Radek twice and Radek hit Balan once.
Then Balan missed Radek and Radek hit Balan twice weakly. Radek attempted
to disarm Balan, and failed. The next exchange of blows went better for
Balan. Balan tried to disarm Radek, and failed. Another exchange of blows
came which was roughly equal. Both Radek and Balan hit one another a single
time, then Radek disengaged. Balan followed and hit Radek immediately.
Radek kicked dirt into Balan's eyes, then got two 'free' attacks without
retaliation from the warrior. Balan adopted a defensive posture, hit Radek
once weakly without retaliation, then Radek fled. As soon as Radek fled,
Balan relaxed and wiped the dirt from his eyes. Radek attacked Balan, but
missed the initial attack and did worse with the next exchange of blows, so
he fled. He also yelled out a warcry to the Goddess of Earth. Balan
scanned to his north, then rushed in and attacked Radek. Radek retaliated
rather strongly, then fled.

Balan's eyes stopped watering, and he scanned his surroundings for his
opponent twice before switching from his Eviscerator and shield to Paelloran's
trident, which he gripped tightly. Balan scanned his surroundings some more,
Radek's aura faded, Radek scanned his surroundings, then quaffed another
purple potion. Balan attacked Radek, and immediately afterwords Radek
swapped out his dream catcher for a shield. One short exchange of two blows
later and Radek kicked dirt into Balan's eyes. Balan adopted a defensive
posture again, and immediately rubbed the dirt out of his eyes as Radek struck
him once.

Balan relaxed his grip on his weapon and put on his shield and readied steel
javelins, striking Radek once, then riposting an attack. He released himself
from the defense and tried to bash into Radek, but fell on his face. Again Balan
struck without retaliation, which caused Radek to flee. Radek switched
his shield back for the dream catcher and attacked Balan. During this particular
skirmish, Radek struck six times, Balan bashed into Radek, and Balan
struck Radek three times.


As soon as Radek fled, Balan rushed at Radek and attempted to bash into him.
His eyes stopped watering, and Radek struck him once before fleeing and
attacking Balan. Balan bashed into Radek, Radek fled, and Balan searched his
surroundings twice before attacking Radek. Radek was mortally wounded, but
Balan finished him and reported he was at extremely low health. Obviously,
Balan won.

As reported by Duchess Morgolta

Confusion

Pursuit of Confusion

During a recent patrol I took but a moment to enjoy the clarity of the small
pond and, in good company of miss Wreitha as well as miss Morgolta. Our
conversation was of the late harm caused to our Beastress Herald out of sheer
malevolence by her assailant Vinzoni, a dreadful Jotun practiced in the arts
of Hrothgar himself. Vinzoni had been seen lurking the streets, and my guards
reported that he was approaching the emptied berserker guild. "HELP!!" Talon
had cried out, and I flung into pursuit as Vinzoni fled through the South Gate
of Seringale. The Jotun disappeared, a mountain goblin shaking his little fist
at me as I trampled all over a pile of leaves he had just raked up.

Soon it was reported that Niro a female ninja of the Underdark had attacked a
lawful citizen named Kizmit. As I entered the room Niro drew the final blow
and quickly began pillaging through his belongings. I summoned the faerie's
fire to make her glow, and she then darted off like a bat. This was a clever
diversion, I thought. To nay surprise the two joined together and, unknown
to me at the time, waited in a cursed area to ambush me. It must have been
a year since they were warranted. Kizmit and I searched everywhere, we had
eventually spotted them within the Unlit City. As we skirmished there one
of the Citadel guards flung himself in front of me so I could make my escape.

I have never faced a Jotun before. I was a little frightened as his strikes
made me struggle behind my shield to remain defensive. Finally I had escaped
from the Unlit City, and we soon skirmished again within Darkhaven. There has
never been such a creepier town! As I stood several yards away from the two
hungering criminals, I closed my eyes briefly and prayed to Sedgwick. Then a
sudden ball of dark energies whizzed passed my head and struck the female ninja
in the chest. I turned to give Kizmit an undecided look, as I was not so sure
he was really aiming at the criminals! He then charged forth and I joined his
side as we rushed the two. The first blow of the Jotun cracked my platinum
spiked shield, but Sedgwick allowed me to dispel his aura of sanctuary. Niro
had joined the fray, and the faeries joined her once more but Kizmit had been
forced out of the fight due to too much damage.

We had separated them, but we were also separated. I chased after the large
Jotun who ran into the Elemental Canyon where I attacked him further and was
beginning to grow tired as my swordarm ached. In attempt to give it a rest,
I entered a strange cave just outside the Canyon. "Grrrarrwwrrr!!" I lost my
concentration summoning Vinzoni as something was clearly upset I disturbed its
slumber. I left the Dwarf Forest right quickly, and noticed the Jotun heading
back to the East. So I said a prayer of word, and cut him off within the city.
As the guards took him away, Niro and I began fighting again. She threw some
sort of black matter about the area, and I lost every bit of my sight. I had
to hold my breath as I sensed poison smoke filling the room. She was quicker
than I so I went into another cave (apparently I didn't learn) and tried then
to summon her. It worked! She fell into the hole, and the apprehensions were
complete as I requested a few guards make her go endure hard labor.

-Ona the Student of the Quill


2) Cabal Affairs

Keeper

The Keepers of Balance have become more powerful than ever! Even after
Kushtok's harsh fall, they have continued to strive to preserve the Balance
within Serin. They have also inducted to new members within their halls,
Makuto and Brilser! And by words of the Keepermaster Thodun, they both seem
to be very promising. So never fear ladies and gentlemen, the Keepers of
Balance are still ever watchful of the Balance and will always be about to
keep their eyes on those in need of their protection against one sided
politics and war!

The Current Keepers of Balance are: Thodun, Crisbin, Makuto, Brilser, and Tanthian

Knights

There has been an extended time of peace in Serin as of late. The Legion
have decided to retire until the return of the fighting season and in the
mean while the knights have taken full advantage. Squires have taken their
vows and the Halls of the Knights is once again teeming with bodies. Here
are the current members of the Knights of Valour beginning with the
Executor... Euriah, Balan, Tuston, Vyrus Loritheus, Snufkin and Thuf.

When asked about what future goals and missions the Knights were going
to undertake Balan, a Knight of Valour, that their main focus currently
was to kill Anathema. During the slow times, when there are no evil
hoards to slay, the knights are spending their time in the frozen mountains
of Winter training and gaining new equipment to aid them in their cause.

Take this time to bask in the light, because I can already see the shadow
that is forming on the horizon.

Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Justice

With Fynth taking over leadership from the immortalized Eloret, the
Justice has been maintaining its small but elite group. Tydith and Ona
joined Rheloth and Zilvrintra, though both the Lovely Zilvintra and the
Brave Tydith have passed on to their god's care.

There are a few applicants, but ain't many who seem to be ready to take on
the challenge as yet.

Members - Fynth, Rheloth, Ona

Legion

The final departure of Mkatos has left the Legion with a huge leadership gap
that needs to be filled. Currently, the members are fighting over the title of
Forsaken like a bunch of whiney children. Each believes that they are the next
chosen one but no decisions have been made regarding the future of the cabal
or its leadership. I believe the Undead Princess isn't quite convinced that any
amongst the current members are worthy of the tile and unfortunately who
ever is picking up the mantle is from one of the best Forsakens of our age. I
can see the beginnings of a resurgence in the ranks of Legion, and I hope that
the trend will continue.

The future of Legion hangs on a string floating precariously in the air. The
Dark Army waits for someone with the power and prowess to grab it and lead
them into a glorious new era of domination and destruction.


The current members of Legion are: Gaelyn, Darzavius, Laconis, Lojunis,
Lucidique, Mikoos, and Kerinias.



3) Coterie Affairs

Heralds

The Heralds of Serin are once again flowing with new life! Although they
have lost a few members, they have in turned gained a fine new apprentice by
the name Wreitha. Who once was a Keeper no less! Also, a thief has joined
the ranks, by the name of Trompi, and his wit is as sharp as his dagger! As
well as bard Irion who can whip up a rhyme like no one's business! So be
prepared ladies and gentlemen of Serin, for the Heralds are as strong as
ever with the winds constantly flowing new articles and events into their
quills!

The current Heralds of Serin consist of: Rimera, Kewlin, Prost, Wreitha,
Trompi and Irion.

Strife

Strife is currently undergoing a massive overhaul beginning
the with the ascension of the fire giant Thorgoth the Battle
Leader of Strife to the heavens as their immortal leader. The
current membership includes the following according to a
current member are Gihkig, Zedylbea, Aldinio, Aaroll, Aechera,
Alexxia, Crithax, Denyek, Eldroc, Guerzo, Habbidas, and Lophos
making Strife the largest organization currently in Serin. Thorgoth
has stated that the entire dynamic of the purpose of Strife and
the way it is seen is going to change. They are going to adopt a
far more active role in recruiting those who want to fight, teach
those who want to learn, and turn the "retirement home" into a
hall full of Serin's best fighters.

Only time will tell if the giant's ideas and tactics will take root and
change the mindset of its members and accept this new lifestyle. I
wish them good luck and look forward to a successful transition.

Wreitha

Mystics

Since the last Mystique, things have changed significantly. Haseem
committed suicide, Ardalt disappeared, and we gained three new members.
Kazoreck was promoted to Annotator, we gained Countess Rakse, Eluzian, and
Raphthal. Our current members include myself (Luranita) as the highest
ranking member (Oracle), Kazoreck (Annotator), Rakse (Annotator), Alastair
(Dilettante), Eluzian (Dilettante), and Raphthal (Dilettante).

Things remain largely the same, our members have sadly been rather inactive
since Strythmas. We still handle the backgrounds of Serin citizens,
religious affairs, and to a lesser extent than before, assisting newcomers.

We do however welcome all who wish to help. If you wish a political
appointment, only Justice's seat has been taken at this time.


4) News

Myth

Well, those of you who know me know that I take great joy in the art of
casting a line and reeling in a delicious fish. So when someone told me
there was a mystical fishing hole... Well... Ain't nothing to do but go
and have a look for myself. It weren't an easy trip, fighting past all the
K'addar Faeries to get to where this magic fishing hole was, but me and
Tuston made it through, finally! (There's also a dragon there!) So we
explored around a bit and there was a couple of nice spots to sit around and
watch the world passing by, but there weren't nothing but regular fish.

I challenge anyone to find this magical hole! 100, 000 gold reward out of
my own purses if you can tell me it's location. Until that time, however,
I'm going to call this myth debunked!

-Kewlin, the Hopeful Herald

Humans

Hack, Zap, Brandish and Quaff: Human Warriors figuring out arcane items.


It has come into recent light that Human Warriors long the forefront of many
an army, have learned how to use wands, staves and even become able to quaff
potions during combat. As I myself have not seen such a thing, nor has
there been anyone about to say how such a thing works, I've asked a few
people on their opinions on the matter.

When asking Ona, the Lieutenant of Justice, how she thought Human Warriors
used such items, she responded with, "I am not entirely sure, but I feel
that they might invoke them as any other would."

Tuston, the current General of Valour, remarked that he assumed that Human
Warriors use wands and staves like anyone else that could, but how could he
begin to guess.

It seems that this matter won't be resolved completely until we have a
firsthand case.


Trompi

OnStrife

Strife... An organization built with a strong foundation - combat. Many
feel it is for combative veterans whose only care is fighting. Somewhat
true, this has been the way for some time, but is changing. Word is, there
is reconstruction taking place, better suiting it for new folk. The
fellowship of ferocity is crafted on the teachings of dignity, respect and
honor. Ranking members become mentors to newer members, giving them
guidance and insight. Prowess is key in Strife, learning to hone one's
skills and talents. To advance in the ranks, one must not only master
fighting, but master oneself. There is honor in victory, but only if the
victor is honorable. While Thorgoth did not hint at what lies ahead for
them... Change does approach.


5) Gossip

Trouble

Well anyone who's been around recently knows Lellep, she's been wandering
around Seringale, hoping to run into Commander Fynth. Well, turns out she
shouldn't have been quite so eager. She ran into a bit of trouble casting a
fireball within the city limits trying to kill someone what attacked her
first.

Well of course Fynth and Eloret didn't like this none at all. Last time I
saw her, she was pouting around North Square, not happy that she'd been
rejected, threatening me and Rakse and Trizz that we'd better not leave town
or she'd get us!

So look out!

-Kewlin, the Hopeful Herald

Strange

Well, I was chatting up a knight today when I saw Zephyrus wandering
around looking real sad. Crisbin was about, so I asked him why he kicked
out his guildmaster and all he had to say was that Roslefusio was teaching
him just fine.

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but it don't sit right with me to
just accept a coup of my guildmaster what had taught me everything I knew up
to that point.

It may be related, but Crisbin has also been seen riding giant pigs around
the world. Could these strange happenings have anything in common? Keep
reading to find out!

-Kewlin, the Hopeful Herald

Lovers

In my time here, I have never witnessed such a thing such as a Drow and a
Knighted Half-Elf falling in love, but it has happened and that love is
very, very real.

Duchess Morgolta and Sir Tuston Flecker have formally announced their
engagement to be married. It appears that the bonds of love outmatch the
the epic battle that rages between light and dark. This love was blossoming
when the Duchess told me about her feelings for the Knight. I sprang at the
opportunity to assist in what I thought was going to be a difficult quest, but
after I delivered the anonymous not that the Duchess had written to him their
love forged as though the hottest flames combined with the purest of metals.

I know that all are excited about the wedding, but as of now a date has not
been set so you will need to hold on to your horses, literally, for the time
being.

I am very proud to have played such a small part in such a historic event
and look forward to the event being one of the great events of the season. I
will update more as information slowly comes in.

Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature and Matchmaker Extraordinaire

Recruiting

Well, I was going out to winter today with a few people and this
illusionist was invited. I saw he was a duke, but I was sure I remembered
him as being a Legion. I won't tell you his name to protect his anonymity.
Well, I woke up and heard a powerful voice speaking, inviting him to return
to the army. Whispering promises of leadership.

Has the Legion fallen so far that there is no recruitment save from their
nobility? Is the power of this once Legionnaire so strong that it cannot be
denied?

Only time will tell.

Keep reading to find out more...

-Kewlin, the Hopeful Herald

Transformation

There was a storm a couple of days ago that I was helping a young
child in the forest with learning when a dark knight named Tridic
appeared and attacked this child. I of course was frustrated by
the whole situation as it was unwarranted, but the child I was
with was defeated on the spot. Then after reclaiming his goods
he decided to go after the dark knight again, and fell once
more.

A couple of weeks later that same dark knight, Tridic, came
to me and asked if I was still mad. I explained to her that I was
not completely over it but I was getting there. She asked me to do
some research with her on a book that is in the Chapel to the
south of Timaran. I went there and the Vampires did not bother
me, however they did appear to enjoy the scent and taste of Tridic
and she was soon bitten and fell to them. When she returned he stated
that her transformation would soon be complete and that she would now
become one of them. I am not sure if these are just the musings of
disillusioned child or if in fact the young girl will grow into a
powerful vampire, but I for one hopes that she stays human.

Wreitha

War

I have it from a very reliable source that the members of Legion are in the
middle of a civil cold war. There is a power struggle with Mikoos the Mad
and Gaelyn, Betrayer of Valour battling for surpremecy and the title of
Forsaken. My source tells me, "He (Mikoos) attempts to usurp and overthrow
Gaelyn, whos is a Drealord. But the powers that be want a certain Earl,
who for his safety, will remain unnamed, to be Forsaken." It is believed
that most of the members of Legion and the nobility of Darkhaven follow
Gaelyn. When I asked my source if this hostility was open, my source
replied "Oh, I'm certain, one hundred percent. If the two were around
each other at the same time they would be at each other's throats."

More hopefully to come soon!

Crude

It was a lovely day in Serin until it was graced by Mikoos the Mad.
Unfortunately enough for me, I happen to be in a position where I had to sit
and talk to him and he proved again his inability to be normal. He told me
a story about a relationship that he and the current Justice Ona are having
that sent chill bumps up and down my spine. How anyone, especially someone
as classy and rational as Ona could fall for such a vile creature is beyond
me but he told me stories that would make even the most aged of
streetwalkers blush about their escapades in the Tavern. He swears up and
down that these stories are true and that the only thing keeping him and Ona
from making it offical is that Rimera, the High Herald, does not approve of
him.

When I tried to bring him back to the task at hand which is obviously trying
to have the Dark Army regain their foothold in Serin, he was to wrapped up in
his carnal conquests to even give the situation any great mind. He believes
himself to already be the Forsaken of Legion and expects to be treated as
such, however, titles, honor and position are earned not just randomly
requested and expected to be adhered to. There is absolutely no love loss
between Gaelyn and Mikoos and while they fight over being the strongest
warrior in currently the weakest cabal, the rest of the world is growing
around them and they are to blind to see. Gaelyn seeks the title. Mikoos
believes he already has the title and in the end, each day that passes
sees the world around getting stronger and the Legion diminishing. I
for one seek the return of a proper Forsaken, currently in the Legion
or not. A habringer of order to something that currently seems beyond
repair.

As I was finishing this note, Gaelyn decided to show his face and call
Mikoos out to fight. Mikoos of course ran his mouth relentlessly but
decided that once again words would be far more powerful than actions
and turned tail without even a single encounter. Not even he can
believe those are the actions of a Forsaken, maybe even a member of
the Dark Army.

Mkatos has departed for good and no one knows what the future holds.


Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature, Herald of Legion

Shocking

It seems that not all lightwalkers are as virtuous as they seem. I was
standing around the North Square of Seringale when Ona, a woman of the cloth
and wife to our dear Editor, Rimera, had something that I would not dare
think to have. I was shocked to say the least. That she would have such a
foul thing. The color of it doesn't really surprise me though, most tend to
prefer one of that shade. But this doesn't stop there. No, it does not.
Duke Holba the Invincible was giving a strip tease to me in North Square,
while I cheered him on sure, the idea of a Noble of Valour doing such a
thing?

The shocking things that come to light.
Trompi the Rumormonger in the Shadows


6) Poetry

Changing

Leaves Changing

'So many of us fight with sword,
'And strike with fists against the hoards,
'But now my time in fray is done,
'My scars are healed my fight was won.

'I take my bow and hang it high,
'Above my sword and say goodnight,
'To all the blood that it has brought,
'And all the battles that I've fought.

'So here's to all the friends I've lost,
'The vanquished, dead, and all it cost...
'Was everything I had to give,
'The price I paid, just to live...

Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Stythmas

The Night Before Strythmas

'Twas the night before Strythmas, when all through the land,
Nycticora was stalking and had her a plan.
The elves and the drows all hid in their homes,
And prayed that this devil would leave them alone.

The dwarfs and the duergars laid in their beds
With nightmares of water filling their heads,
While Olyn and Knights all dressed up in white,
Made easy targets for dinner tonight.

When out of the shadow, came such a sight,
It looked like a specter, a ghost, a blight...
The light from the lamps disappeared in a flash,
And the ghosts of the past stood before them as ash.

The mood of the fallen was clear as day,
They came for a price, one that had to be paid,
Their intentions were made and their weapons all drawn
They would feast tonight as wolves on a fawn.

When all of a Sudden, there came such a boom,
When a voice from the sky, called out full of Doom,
As scary as death, did that voice sound
And all of the shadows fell to the ground!

Hail Camo! Hail Ugula!
Hail Ygin and Groq!
Ho Rigwarl! Ho Lothgar!
Ho, Katreina and Kolok!
Put down all your blades!
And go back to the depths!
Nycticora! Its Stryth's day
So away with your pets!"

As quick as they came, they all disappeared,
And the darkness was lifted and replaced with a cheer.
From the sky did come falling, some bright rain and snow,
Illuminating all that it touched with a warm winter glow.

And then in the dazzle, there was a loud scream,
And entrails and armor filled up our bright scene,
I guess poor Nycticora paid the toll for us all,
She stretched out for power and took a big fall.

Then Voice took a body and there Burzuk stood,
With Davairus, and Vanisse, and Ghost covered in wood,
Vevier making cookies, and Tork with his goat,
And the Undead Immortals one of whom had been smote...

Their eyes full of knowledge of power and grace,
Their clothing all shiny, pressed and newly replaced
I saw them all smiling except for the one,
That Resatimm held by one lifeless tongue.

The angel's behind them, together they spoke,
Praising Stryth and his greatness to all of the folk.
They exalted his name as the citizens gathered,
And the thumping young ones little feet pattered.

They stood there in awe at God's before them,
And sang their own song, voicing how they adored him.
Together they came when the time came along,
And the mortals and Gods forged a beautiful song.

When the songs had been sung, and the food had been ate,
The gifts opened and shared and with their children and mates,
The God's all departed leaving one in their wake,
The one who whose voice made everything shake.

Burzuk spoke again and all grew still,
Quaking mirrors and windows right out of their sill,
The nighttime was filled, with his power and might....

Merry Strythmas to all, and to all a good night!



Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Pain

This is dedicated to Perth, because she's a Geezer.

The Pain of Life

What are the things that tear you apart?
Is it love, is money, is it something you lost?
Is it time that you spent doing nothing at all?
Or the fact that we all will answer deaths call?

Is it ice, is it fire, is it plague that makes you cower?
Is it beast, or a foe, or a dragon in it a tower?
Is it the want of someone who buckles your knees?
When you find they've been sworn to someone you're beneath.

Is it hate for something that you don't understand?
Or the fear of a God that is greater than man?
Does the sun going down grasp you in fear?
Cause the things in the dark bring you to tear.

All I know, in the end when my time has come,
That I lived my whole life as an honest one,
That I gave those around far more than I took,
And my name is in gold in the Heaven's book.

Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Spark

A spark is such a tiny thing,
A flash of light is all it brings,
But where it lands makes all the difference in the world.

Were it to land upon a stone,
That spark would be always alone,
And all the powers it possessed would never be unfurled.


Lest though it land among the trees,
and nestled in the dried up leaves,
The devastation that's brought forth could never be described.

The spark that grows into a fire,
The forest acting like a pyre,
And everything it's touched is turned to ash and then imbibed.


A mad man's thoughts are just the same,
His spark will soon become a flame,
Consuming all that comes within the sweeping of his blade.

He's entered in the Army now,
His first request is that we vow,
And pledge our lives to his Dark Lord embracing life in shade.


Wreitha

Vanisse

The Glory that is Vanisse

I've never seen a pair of eyes,
So blue, so deep , so very wise
With grace and charm she melts the night,
She outshines all invoking fright,

In those who came to do her harm,
But not with brawn or weapon drawn,
It's with her glow she shakes the faith,
Of men and beasts and even wraiths.

The sun seeks shade when she's in sight,
And begs to borrow from her light,
She offers up her warm embrace,
And summer comes and fills this place.

She's offers up herself to all,
And picks us up if we should fall.
Vanisse gives all she has to give,
And all she asks is that you live,

A life worth living in her eyes,
The Great Myth Weaver, The Director, The Architect of Treachery, Deception, and Lies.


Wreitha the Dastardly Dedicated Devout Minion of Vanisse

Taleroth

The Toad to Taleroth

There is a man his quite soft, the records show he's Taleroth.
Not everyone can make the switch, he used to sing but now a witch.

The Heralds used to be his home, but now he's nothing all alone.
There's never been a smarter guy, except for everyone beneath the sky.

He stinks of beer and stale old mud, he drowns his failures in the suds.
There's no denying that he's bad, a thousand children call him Dad

When something's broken he's to blame, it doesn't matter he has no shame.
When barnyard animals are around, you bet your gold that he's in town.

There's not much left for me to say, he won't comprehend it anyway.
So here's your Toad and a joke, I hope you and the Mystics croak.


Wreitha the Dastardly Dedicated Devout Minion of Vanisse

Silence

---------------
Living Silence
---------------

Beautiful.
Silent.
The knife that strikes unseen in the night.

A sound.
A breath.
Ain't nothing but the wind.

I wait.
I wish.
I expect you to emerge.

The silence is the same in your death
As when you stalked it in life.

You will not appear, but I wait.
I wish.
Breathless.


7) Obituaries

Zilvintra

Zilvintra, the Mistress of the Miyama Ryu, Captain of Justice

Zilvintra was Fynth's right hand at the time of her death. She placed the
respect of the law above all else, even her own pursuits. Never a finer
Justice walked the streets of Seringale. Though she rarely managed to kill
offenders with a single blow, no matter how many it took, she would always
eventually hit her mark, striking down criminals with an iron fist. Though
she worshipped Sakuragi, I know she would have done Odoacer proud. She was
certainly the pride of Justice.

Though she was reserved to the point of seeming cold, there was a warmth to
her that few were privy to. She favored the soup served in the Inn and was
a connoisseur of great wines. She was known for her skill with a blade, but
that is not all she will be remembered for. She survived the loss of her
family, becoming a ward in Darkhaven before she came to the Civilized
Cities. It was there that she learned the true meaning of the law.

With her death, there is a hole in the fabric of Justice itself. Criminals
rejoice and those who value the law above all else mourn. She will be
remembered fondly.

Vinzoni

Vinzoni was a Jotun Dark-Knight who adventured the realm with much
aggression. He liked to pick fights with anyone he could. Whether it was
Legion, Justice, Knights or other adventurers. He sometimes was alone and
others he was others. He had a knack for fighting despite his kin's
weakness to piercing weapons. At one point, the Knights tamed him into
taking the oath, but he soon broke that and was hunted down by Valourians.
He met his death at 1 o'clock pm, Day of the Great Gods, 9th Renewal of the
Celestial of the Winter Wolf after entering some kind of maddened state
where he went after anyone he saw. To some Vinzoni was an ally, to most he
was a niusance. But he had quite a fighter's spirit and prowess to go
against many.

Mkatos

On the tenth day of the celestial of the winter wolf, Mkatos the Conduit
of Darkhan's life ended. Mkatos' reign of the Legion of Darkness was known
quite well throughout the land of Serin. Many Serins feared even the mere
sight of him, for just knowing his presence was there meant the end of your
life. He was a formidable opponent and also had a silver tongue that would
sometimes best even the most quick witted of Heralds. I am sure to some his
presence will be missed, however I am sure there are a few that may be
silently thinking that his death is a step up for Serin. But let us all
hope for peace's sake, his soul now walks beside Darkhan as he truly wished
it and he found the Order he truly wanted.

Rimera Galanodel, the Editioral Queen of Heralds

Tydith

Tydith the Holy Knight, Sergeant of Justice

Tydith was an officer of the law and one of the first lightwalkers to be
welcomed within the halls since the Justice decided to Balance their ways.
He walked a fine line, balancing the needs of the law with the his own moral
code, but in the end, I know his soul was accepted by Odoacer to rest in his
eternal Iron City. He was a sergeant among the Justices but didn't seem to
make many friends during his time here. Even so, the other Justices will
mourn his passing.


8) Stories

Wreitha

My Week of Thanks

I have been pacing around this desk that holds my parchment and quill
trying to compile a list of things that I am thankful for during this Week
of Thanks. The first thoughts that I had were all negative and sarcastic.
Unfortunately, this cruel world has a way leaving us disparaged about our
lives and many choose the easy way out. Deep scars, both physically and
emotionally take their toll on even the most hardened of warrior and often
leaves us ladened with scars and jaded.

I quickly dodged that volley of negativity however and I began to think of the
good things in my life as my dragon nuzzled the back of my neck with his
sticky snout which brought the memory of all my other animals. My wolf
whom is always by my side, the falcons who watch over me, the boar who
shares my meals, the panther and the bear always ready to fight by my
side at a moment's notice. I began to think of my friends Thodun, Crisbin,
whom Diocletian brought into my life to teach and mentor me. I thought of
the epic battles I was able to witness and be a part of and how important
each day truly was.

This week has been a truly chaotic for me. I was stripped of most of my physical
abilities due to a malediction that has taken deep root in my body. It has made
my body lame, slow to react to even the most simple of tasks. Things that used
to require no thought at all now consume my entire concentration just to
complete. I was no longer fit to be a Keeper and asked to be removed because I
did not wish to sully the name of the order that I fought for so long to uphold. My
life was a dilapidated building that was literally falling in itself. That is until
someone reached into the rubble that was my life, grabbed me by the arm,
and told me that just because I couldn't do what I was used to doing, didn't
mean that I had the right feel sorry for myself. I was told to train my quill
as I trained my bow. To sharpen my mind as I would my sword and out of the
ashes has been forged a new person. My physical abilities are severely limited.
In fact, it took me about a week to walk back and forth from getting the egg
from that turkey to feed that gnome family, and the good Lord Vevier knows
I didn't get it right on the first try, Or second, Or third, Or even fourth try...
In fact, by the time I finished cooking the final product, it looked like a massacre
had occurred in that kitchen there were so many blown up turkey pieces all over
the place, but I did not give up.

I spent more than a month just walking back and forth from the Isles and
the Gnome Village with these ailing legs and after all of that, it was completely and
utterly worth it. I accomplished the task and now will move on to the next one. My
challenges and priorities have changed, but the spirit that drives me forward no
matter the situation remains and above all, I am very Thankful for that.

Wreitha the Thankful Poetic Beastress of Nature

Disenchanted

This is the story of a poor little girl that no one wanted. She was
bright in hear own right, and eager as a beaver, and believed that if she
worked hard in this world that all of her hard work would be rewarded. Not
in gold or praise, or even in adoration, but just that those around her
would see her potential and be grateful for the hardwork she was putting in
while others tended to their own personal matters. She thought that what
she was doing was a good job and that at the end of the day it would gain
her the trust and respect of the other members of her group, but instead
every thing she did, every word she said, every line she wrote took her
farther and farther away from the only thing that she wanted, which was just
a home.

At her weakest point, when all her friends were found to really be wolves in
sheeps clothes, when all hope was lost and even the thing that she cared
the most about was robbed from her, an unlikely hero surfaced and lifted
her up when everyone else was pulling her down. This hero, an oucast
himself offered opportunity where others only brought doubt. The only
choice the little girl had was to follow the path of promise to a
brighter tomorrow for herself.

The little girl did learn a lesson though and she will take that lesson
with her everywhere she goes from here on until the end of time. So I in
this instance even when everyone turned their back on this little girl she
still kept her head held high and her quill on the parchment. The little
girl now had the opportunity to create as her heart desired, when her heart
and without any censorship. The little girl had finally found happiness even
if that happiness had to be in the recesses of the darkest shadows.

The Poor Little Girl

Ghost

Have you ever seen a ghost get killed? I have. . .

A fight that ended in disaster for me was compounded when I decided
to test my wings to rise to the heaven's on my own. Larav and I fought
for what must have been weeks all over Serin, but in the end she bested
me. Prior to the cunning drow appearing however, I was summoned by an
unknown entity to the heavens, handed a book and a unicorn heart and
sent back...

I got sort of distracted when Larav was dropping meteors on my head
and shooting icicles at my heart, but after I fell, I decided that the
book and heart were handed to me for a reason.

I had collected the rest of the necessary items in the Emerald Forest
before the battle with Larav and I don't know what came over me...

Maybe it was anger...
Maybe it was revenge...
Maybe it was sheer stupidity...

Whatever it was, I took the herb of invicibility, I opened my mouth, I
shoved it inside and fully expected to grow a pair of angel wings and
ascend into the Heavens to be with my new brothers and sisters. What
really happened is far less glorious. I died, even as a ghost, I died
and instead of opening my eyes to the pristine view of my new home in
the clouds, I ended up back at the Temple of Neutrality in Timaran.

Now don't get me wrong, I mean, the temple is a nice place... But I
was expecting Heaven. Disappointed? Of course! Devastated? Ohhh yeah. One
step closer to eternal slumber... You betcha. The God's giveth and they
taketh away. In this case, they giveth a book and a heart, and they
taketh away with them a life and a good hearty laugh.

So the next time someone asks you if ghosts can die... I tell you
without a shadow of a doubt and with experience and evidence. . . Yes,
ghosts can die.


Wreitha, The Dead Ghost


9) Events

Snowballs

The snow battle to end all snow battles began when the treacherous
Immortal Vanisse began launching snowballs with her trebuchet, from
the North Square at an unsuspecting Vevier and Wreitha. Immediately,
Keosi, the brown-noser, joined in with Vanisse believing that she would
be able to side with the stronger team and gain the rewards that go to
the winners of battle. What Vanisse and Keosi did not take into account
is that Vevier and Wreitha had been working in tandem for so long that
they instantly formed the unbeatable team, Team Veveitha!

The onslaught that flowed for from the South Square covered the entire
northern part of Seringale in white powder and rocks. Snowballs
fell out of the sky on Vanisse and Keosi like meteors from the sky forcing
them very quickly into hiding. When the two cowards realized that
they would not be winning this battle the conventional way they
soon turned to dirty tricks such as shooting super-sized snowballs,
gumdrops, meatballs, and other items that they could fit into the trebuchet.

Then when they realized that even with these underhanded, dirty,
shameful tactics, the dirty northerners could not get the upper hand.
Vanisse even filled a purse with snowballs to surprise us from close
rangr, but even that attack was turned back unsuccessfully.

Team Veveitha forged their bond even further when they drove Vanisse
into submission with a barrage of snowballs and forced her to join the
glorious team from the South, because as we all know, everyone loves a
winner. With Vanisse's failure complete, Keosi departed quickly fearing
the reprisals that were sure to come when she was left alone to fend
for herself.

Ultimate victory was claimed by Team Veveitha the Snow Princesses of
Serin securing their names in the history books for all time!

Riddles

Greetings Serin,

I, Trompi, am pleased to announce the winners of the first Riddles of the
Miscellaneous. Winner of the first riddle, Growing, budding, reaching for
the sun, this little bird has a place where all dwell in pleasure. But now,
it rises, living with the fae, is Liref! Liref was the only one to answer
saying that the item is the bird of paradise flower, which when consumed
grants one sight of the unseen.

The winners of the second riddle, I am made by the hand of a shipman,
splattered black, from a monstrous beast I come from. Script bound, read me
aloud and see what I do, are Liref, Rheloth and Draxi in that order! They
answered the question with a scroll written in octopus ink, when read
properly aloud, the scroll grants one the spell of sanctuary.

The winners of the third riddle, I am small and pretty, carved from a block
of green stone. Held by a master who makes minor things strong. Wave me
about, see what may come, are Xiriem, Rheloth and Draxi! They answered the
question with a Small Figurine, which is held by the Master Enchanter in the
Tower of High Sorcery. The figurine, when brandished properly allows one
three uses of cure serious.

Thank you all for participating in the Riddles of the Miscellaneous. All
winners will receive a prize in coins and a Herald Quest. Congratulations
on conquering the riddled trivia!


10) Interviews

Thorgoth

The Giants' Giant (part 1 of 3)

The first thing that flashed through my mind, when I was asked
to see if I ascertain an interview with the newly immortalized fire
giant Thorgoth, was a fairy tale from my youth which involved
another giant eating people whole and chewing on their bones for
sport. The next thing that crossed my mind was, is this supersized
individual even going to speak with at all or is he just going to step on
me like some sort of pestering bug and get rid of me without a word.
Being as how I don't feel like I would taste very good for super and
I'm more than likely to slow to get out from under his feet if I did
not announce myself from a far I made sure that he knew I was
coming and took every precaution to smell as unappetizing as possible.

I made my way from the Traveler's Rest to the arena where this beast
of a giant sat tending to his thoughts on a giant throne right outside the
entrance. The first words out of his mouth, before even greeting me,
were that if I was going to ask him boring questions then he was going
to go to sleep. I took this as a personal challenge with the knowledge
that my first round of questions were of course going to be the most
tedious for him to answer but I carried on anyway with hope that he
was more grumble and mumble than bite!

Fortunately for me, at least for the time being he was in a playful
mood as he responded to my first question with a jest! I asked him
what are your personal goals and the goals for Strife? He mumbled
and grumbled under his breath that it was a secret. As I stared up at
him and he down at me, I believe he realized that was never going to
satisfy me for an answer and answered me again with substance. His
deep grumbly voice stated "Mes want make Strife place for people
come to learn how fite real good!" He continued with "If not know
how fite, then you come me, me show you." "Show how fite with
honor, integrity and respect," as he vocalized his mission statement.

This answer was exactly the opening I was looking for to interject
and get a clearer picture of the vision that he had for the Strife now
and the Warlord cabal that we lost so many years ago. I asked him
probably with more energy than I should have, "So are you seeing it
as sort of a training center as opposed to the retirement home it
has been?" His upper lip curled just slightly and I wasn't sure if I had
offended him or entertained him or if he had bad gas. Either way I
held my breath hoping for the best.

When he did grumble his response I was left with a slight bit of
satisfaction because I had hit the nail on the head. He said, "Yub! That
great way put it." I prompted further explanation out of him by saying
The lands have been missing the Warlords... knowing that would
Make him answer the question further and reveal more of himself and
Strife to me. He grumbled "'We be different." He explained that
Warlord dink magic bad. "Warlord dink wid sword." "Mes not teach
that magic bad, mes teach to rely on own heart, mind and body," and
he followed this with a mighty yawn.

Realizing that I was losing his attention, I decided to cut my loses and
try to dissect and make sense of all the information he had given me so
far. When I was finally able to strip away everything and get to the
meat of the matter, I saw that Strife was now under the leadership
of a great fighter whose main purpose is now to forge more great
fighters. On top of that, I think the casual attitude of "business like
normal' no longer applies. I see Thorgoth running a tight ship and the
Strife becoming almost a ludus in many ways training both green and
veteran contestants. I believe Strife will become a new force within
Serin and Thorgoth and his trainees will be taking center stage.

Unfortunately this was all the information I could gain from him
before his heavy eyes shut and we were separated as he took to
the heavens. However, fear not because this is the first of a three part
series that I intend to scribe on this new Immortal and I will be keeping
a close watch on his progress.

Till next time...

This article has been brought you by Wreitha's Watch

Morgolta1

I was wandering through the woods the other day when I heard
one of my falcons calling down to me. I looked up and it was Atrius
letting me know that there was a young drow in the area. I made
my way back to Seringale to work on some documents, I wanted
no battle, when I was approached by Morgolta the invoker drow.
Morgolta, being somewhat squat and stumpy , with her dark skin
would be very gentle on the eyes to human's I believe. She has what
are referred to in their circle as child bearing hips, but I was not able
to ascertain if she in fact actually has any. Her speech produced a
wave of white smoke as she told me her story and I have transcribed
word for word.

Morgolta began in her wispy voice. . . 'I am a citizen of Darkhaven,
before that I lived below the surface.' 'I have already told my story
before coming to the surface to the gods.' 'Since I came here, I have
found that the world has been harsh.' 'I had protection from Legion
when it was still offered.' 'But I was ordered to strip myself of some
items.'

She continued on. . . 'I grew to hate them.' 'And because of the first two
friends I made, I also have a hatred for the undead.' 'They were both
necromancers.' 'Veladia was the first, I killed her when she showed a
weakness.' 'Keegan was the other.' 'Keegan used me as a tool to try and
gather souls.' 'I grew tired of this.' 'I left the realms for a time.' 'When I
returned, Vella had become undead.' 'I killed her in anger.' 'I am likely
contracted now.'

She explained further. . . 'I took the oath a long time ago.' 'And seeing as
I was not yet pinnacled, I decided to see what the Knights could offer
me.' 'They helped me gain two of my last three ranks, and most of the
last one.' 'The subject came up about converting to the Light.' 'Darkhaven
and Legion have nothing left to offer me.' 'Valour however, may become
my new refuge.'

She then asked me if I had any questions of what she had told me so far. . .
While I promised her that I would not judge her and I try to write all of my
articles without bias, I was at first a bit skeptical. I, like so many of my
readers have had had a great amount of dealings with drows in the past and
for the most part, they have ended up in bloodshed.

I asked her the most straight forward question I could think of. 'You keep
saying that the Legion doesn't have anything left to offer, what do you have to
offer the light?' This was her reply. 'I have much to offer.' 'Iam doing this in part
because I wish to fight Legion and the undead.' 'And if Valour's citizens are to be
my allies, this is the next logical step.'

My second question was to ask what price the drow was willing to pay for her
transition to the light. The Gods see a transition of this magnitude as working
against nature and its laws. Some must be given in most cases in order to
receive what has been requested. I point blank asked her, 'What are you willing
to pay?' She replied quickly, 'I do not fear death, nor the Light.' 'If I feared death
I would not choose to take this path.' 'I know full and well at some point I will die.'

I adjusted my question a bit because I think the arrow missed its target. . . 'I do
not speak of death . . .' 'This sort of transition usually costs that person something,
a skill or something. What if it makes you impotent to fight the dark.' I think at
that point she understood what I was trying to say. She replied, 'It is a risk to
take.' 'But again, I am willing. 'Even if I become an outcast, that is a minor price.'
'Vella and Gaelyn are not outcasts after all.' 'So I do not expect it to happen, but
am prepared for it if it does.' 'I must prove myself anyway.' 'And I have no idea
what that might entail.'

As we came to the conclusion of the riveting interview I asked Morgolta, 'Is
there anything out there you want the readers to know?' 'To further pledge
your case.' She straightened her entire body and held her head up high and
said, 'Everyone who truly believes in a cause should be willing to die for it.'
'That is one of my beliefs.' 'And what I want to do is take down Legion and
any sentient undead I encounter.'



END OF PAGE 1

Morgolta2

Then a crack in her face showed for the first time since we began talking and
she slowly said, 'One question which was asked was whether I would come
to their aid (the Knights).' 'And the answer to that is yes.' 'I have been talking
with some of the Knights, it is clear to me that some already support me.' She
then affirmed, 'I have no friends in the darkness and I do not expect to be fully
accepted even if I convert.' 'But I feel this is what I want to do.'

I closed the interview telling Morgolta should follow her heart and told her that
it will usually lead her in the right direction. I also told her to not give up. Those
instructions are ones I recently received myself not too long ago. She closed
with 'I seek to join the religion of Lord Soluminus one day, if I am accepted into
the Light.' 'Whatever the cost, I feel it is worth it.'

I beamed at her and told her that, 'I am sure that would make the Lord
Soluminus very happy.' 'I want to wish you luck in your adventure and quest.'
This light seeking drow thanked me with a lovely smile, and I thanked her putting
away all my parchments, quills and ink thinking about what the future might hold
for this little creature. She is raging against everything the world is telling her to
do by following her heart instead of her mind. . .

There is something to be said about an act of lunacy like that. Some of the greatest
people scribed in history are the very ones that have taken the mold and smashed
it to pieces. I for one will wish this young one good luck and praise her for following
her instincts against the grain and hopefully this underdog will become successful in
her quest.



Transcribed and Recorded by,
Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Vella

Throughout the ages there have been many brother sister combinations to
walk the lands of Serin at the same time. None of those can even hold a
candlestick to the amount of love, compassion, and the strength of the
bond that Vella and Gaelyn have. These two have literally forsaken
everything in this world to be together and to protect one another. I
have never seen a familial bond like that of these two and this is
the story of the sister, Vella.

Vella and Gaelyn were raised in the home of her Grandfather. The family
had a deep dark secret that was not known to the two children. They
were raised in secret and constantly refered to as an embarrassment
and kept out of sight from others for many years.

It was around the age of twelve that Gaelyn, Vella and their father
left the home of their Grandfather and stuck out on their own. They
wandered from place and this is when the bond between the brother and
sister were truly forged. Gaelyn would not let Vella walk on the roads
and spent all the money they had to maintain her comfort on these
travels. Sometimes that would mean hiring a driver for her to ride
in coach, other times they would leave her behind in inns, but Vella
was always taken care of the best that they could afford for her.

During these long journeys that her brother and father were away, Vella
became quite devout in the teachings of the Immortal Myria whom their
mother's family held in high regard. She adopted the principles of Myria
and spent all of the time she was alone in deep in meditation and
learning. Then disaster struck the family. The family's patriarch
died leaving Gaelyn and Vella alone to fend for themselves.

Vella's life changed immediately and she now spent every day with
Gaelyn and his entrance into the Knights provided them with a new
and what they thought permanent home. Squired by Euriah and Knighted by
Rodak, Gaelyn began his career as a Knight and helped Vella come
up with enough money to donate to the Knights to earn the title
of nobility. Things were once again looking good for the brother and
sister.

Then Mkatos appeared and everything changed. Everything.

Mkatos summoned Vella away from her friends but instead of initiating an
assualt he just spoke. He offered protection from the Dark Army, but
Vella had faith in the Knights and they soon rescued her. On the second
visit from Mkatos, Gaelyn ordered Vella to the palace for protection and
Gaelyn set out for battle. However, it wasn't long before Gaelyn returned
and told her to come out of the palace. When Vella met Gaelyn she
Mkatos standing in the shadows nearby, but her brother was unafraid and
instantly she knew what her brother had done. He had struck a bargain
with the Legion and the main stipulation of the agreement was Vella.

At first Vella was confused, scared, and a bit offput by the entire idea,
but she had ever trusted in Gaelyn. Even though he told her that he had
outgrown the Goddess Myria she followed him into the unknown. So Gaelyn
disavowed himself from the Knights and took his place among the Legion and
Vella was bade to drink of the cup Nycticora handed her. Darkhan's blood
flowed from the cup, the gift was granted, and Vella was never the same
again. All that she had known had changed. Everyone she knew no longer
thought of her as a friend. Even the love of her life, Vinsont, who had
asked for her hand offered only cruelty after the change. Exiled, hated, and
disgraced Vella decided that Nycticora had given them far more than Myria
ever offered. They switched allegiances to Nycticora and fuly embraced
their new lifestyle.

There is a struggle that remains within Vella that seems to reach deeper
than that of a good versus evil, a light versus dark, even friend versus
foe. Vella embraces her and her brother's new life as a means of survival
and a path to future in which they can remain together. However, she misses
what she can no longer have. Vella has been qouted as stating that "I feel
as isolated as I was in my youth. But I would not do anything to change
it." Her and Gaelyn's decisions have always been for the best of each other
to ensure their survival because that is what family does.

I believe that there are many lessons to be learned from the story of
Vella, both good and bad. We must all ask ourselves what lengths we will
go to in order to protect those we care about and love. Vella and Gaelyn
have answered the question... Have you?

Serelie

A woman of ferocious attribute, Serelie, the Freckled Fury... One who
fights to fight. This braided beauty prefers the solitude of frenzy, the
calm within the storm. Truly a fighter of favorable finesse, her interests
are quite simple - to fight. An advocate of conflict, a seeker of skirmish,
she roams to find "that great battle". There is no particular reason that
she fights, aside that it's a fun event to partake. Such is the way of a
fabled berserker, one would imagine. Prowess and conquest, seeking finesse.

Wrax

Wrax the Fourth, he proclaimed. A sea-faring, booty wearing man of some
fame. Or was it infamy? It could be, for his intent was to plunder all of
the sea. His vicious band with swords in hand, they pillage and raid the
land. Shiny gold, priceless loot, new or old, and with gems to boot. It
matters not to him, he takes on a whim, most who cross him - their life
grows dim. A pirate, a knave, one tentacled terror whose reputation is
ablaze. Careful where you step and watch where you stand... He may leave
you dead in the sand.

Thorgoth2

Thorgoth! The butterfly-chasing, battle champion of Strife. Muscles
make him Thorgoth. There are few who compare to his strength and size,
lumbering above the rest. The giant is driven to conflict, considered among
the best fighters in the lands. He enjoys fighting, teaching others how to
fight, and of course chasing butterflies. Long ago, he said, a butterfly by
the name of Giggles landed on him. Such a pretty butterfly. All he wished
to do was cuddle it, but his massive muscles simply squashed the creature.
After, all the other floating beauties scattered away, leaving him cold and
alone... So, Thorgoth decided it best to slaughter them with love. Because
floating is terrible, and bad. So flee, butterflies. Flee, if you hear a
distant thump. Fly away, if a clamor howls on the horizon. And if you see
an approaching giant, the whole ground shattering in his step... Well, fly
faster.


11) Talk of the Town

Hardcore

I am Xiriem. I am a disciple of the Lau Kuan, and I have only one life
to live. Early in my life, I decided I wanted to live my life to the
fullest, so much that I only wanted to die once. I asked the Immortals
while I was in the Academy if they would grant me my wish to live life to
the fullest and only be granted one death. They quickly agreed. This
lifestyle is known to some as a hard one, or even hardcore. It used to be
done in ages past. Aranoth the Master Sailor in the Dragon Sea was one such
example of a man who lived life in hardcore mode, but before I asked, it was
largely forgotten. The requirements are simple. First, you must ask for it
specifically. Second, you must ask to live this lifestyle by your ninth
rank. I know life will not be easy. I have been training quite a bit and
waiting for the right time to advance to my last title. I choose to enjoy
life and also train as much as I can before I advance, rather than rushing
myself. The rewards can be great I hear. All I care about is that I get to
live life to the fullest, knowing every breath I take could be my last.

- Xiriem of the Lau Kuan

Cities Report

Seringale: Lately people have been victimized by the aggressiveness or perhaps
the stubbornness of stray dogs about the city of Seringale. Now this is a big
issue for those who are allergic to kanines, because there is nothing worse
than a big old sneeze going accidentally into your guildmaster's face. Rumors
of a dog catcher has been spreading across the plains of the North, I mean even
the Sylvan Vale has had to take drastic dog control measures to keep the peace.

Timaran: It is true that the undead have walked among us, but for how long? As
it is known, guardians of the guilds in Timaran have long been extinct. One man
however, still remains at his post unnoticed by the hustling merchants and the
curious consumers. It is insanely odd that the only protected guild within the
city of Timaran is the vampire guild. Work has begun to finance the return of
the other guild guardians, but it is a costly process indeed. A sign for hire
was posted somewhere about the square, but only chunks of the sign was later
discovered, well.. chunks of the sign with odd claw marks I might add.

Solace: Long has it been since the wrath of the Chaos Dragon. It has become a
myth that he was actually slain, and that Taurth collected the heads of all the
elder dragons. However now, among the Crystalmir Lake, rumors have grown of a
creature of the deep. "Sure the Karakken is scary, but this thing has five heads!"
Said Alran the Fisherman. Farmer Samuel also weighed in, "I don't believe it. I
just don't believe it I say!" Even poor Laudwin was stirred up over the matter,
and her dear Dinswel was sure that the Hydra exists. "I know it is there, I saw
it with my own two eyes! After all these years... ages! I have finally located
the Crystal Staff!" This concludes our reports about Solace and..*scribbly marks*

Written by Ona


12) Serin Citizen Spotlight

Trizz

The race of drow's has always been a very curious one to me. It seems
that as soon as you feel like you have one of them pegged with a certain
personality, perhaps even a certain way of thinking they go and change
it right up on you leaving you confused and with your mouth agape.

Perhaps it is their natural ability for stealth, or maybe it's just because
many of them do not prefer to sit in a city's town square and have open
discussion the drows just seem mysterious. None fit this model more so
than Trizz, a ninja of the highest rank in his guild and one that is often
seen, but hardly ever heard from.

Until today . . .

I was able to not only speak with Trizz about life in general, but what his
goals were and what his ambitions are! It was fascinating to watch him
open up about how he sees himself and what he is trying to accomplish.

The first thing Trizz replied when asked what his goals in life were that
he enjoyed killing those who kill in the name of power. This immediately
made me take a step back because the in itself is sort of a catch 22. The
logic in my mind was that if Trizz wanted to bring down the most
powerful wasn't that in essence Trizz exuding his power over others
himself? He told me he loved to challenge himself and fought only to
even the odds. Sort of like a Keeper He agreed but stressed that he
like the fancier things in life and showed me some of his wares.

I asked him about his friendship circle and he said he had none that
were very close. He said he tried to get along with everyone, but had
some issues with the knights. He considers himself a True Neutral at
heart and from what I have seen, I would have to agree. I have watched
him rank countless warriors to their pinnacle and asked for nothing in
return.

Trizz has set himself apart from the rest of the Serin population and
that is why he is my in my Spotlight!

Wreitha the Poetic Beastress of Nature

Vaire

Vaire, an avian warrior, seems to enjoy terrorizing and fighting those
who follow the path of light. He is a quick to skirmish and engage with
favorable circumstances. One should be on the watch if you find yourself
within his blade range. He has felled Secillio and has giving one a good
chase over Seringale against Trinidelle. He chased the elf paladin around
town before giving the chase up. One can be sure there is more to see from
this young avian.


Trompi, Baron of Blather


13) Ask A Herald

Wishes

The first ever question for the Ask a Herald column came from Duchess
Morgolta. She asked, "If you were given three wishes, what would you
wish for and why?"

I guess the first wish would be that Serin would grow in population. I
spend all my time writing and talking to people so I know how great
the current people that walk the lands are and I wish that more would
come to enjoy this home as I do.

My second wish is a one that I think that we all agree with and that
I recieved the gate skill so I could get away from all those that want
to try to kill me all the time, non stop. I'm not a fighter!!!!

My third wish is to open up my very own tattoo parlor and bring beauty
and color and life and art to all who wish it from me in honor of their
Gods.

Duchess Morgolta was kinda enough to share her answers as well.

Morgolta said 'My answers would be first happiness for myself and my
friends.'

Second, 'Then a specific peace which is not tyranny.'

And lastly she said, 'Finally, I would want to be remembered when I die
for all the good things that I did."


I believe those all to be worthy wishes and if you have your own take on
the questions and would like to share them, I would love to read about it.

Wreitha

Morals

Radek the Ranger asked the following question.

'Do you think morals are universal or relative to the beliefs, traditions,
and practices of individuals or groups?'

Wreitha's Response

I do believe that morals are in fact universal across the board. Where
the differences in behavior come in are those exact things that were
pointed out. The beliefs, traditions and practices or cultures of certain
individuals and groups as well as the social and physical experiences
each person is subject to. For example, an elf raised in Valour by
Nobleman and Knights is going to have a belief system that is similar to
the individuals they were raised by. The will more than likely share the
same religion, holidays, understandings of society and how their
particular group fits into it. This is especially true if that individual is
sheltered from other cultures, experiences, and people.

When people that have been raised in these closed of societies are
freed into the general population that you have people labeled as
outcasts or individuals from races that normally serve one faction
exclusively began to investigate and sometimes even embrace their
natural enemies due to the fact that their initial prejudices have been
set aside and tolerance, growth, and/or understanding have taken its
place. Recently we have examples of this in Vella, Gaelyn, and Morgolta
and there have been many before and I am sure there will be many
after.

The question of nature versus nurture has raged on for years and the
truth of it is, it is a combination of the two things that make the one
psyche. They work together and the end result is each and every person
that you have the opportunity to interact with. Embrace each experience
with an open mind and an open heart and enjoy the ride, because
unless you are a God, it isn't a very long one.

Favorite

The most recent Ask A Herald submission came from a younger Serin
citizen and I am still not very sure if he actually meant it to be a real
question, but I will field it as one because I thought it was quite
interesting.

The question was "Which one of the Heralds is my favorite and why?"

Wreitha

The question in itself is sort of divisive. I'm not sure that I have a favorite
Herald because each of them is so very different. Rimera, our leader has
assumed a sort of matriarchal role and sees each of us as her children. She
watches over us, takes care of us, and ensures that we are all doing the best
we can in every task. She watches over us and provides us with guidance.

Kewlin is like that crazy drunk uncle that shows up when the family comes
together and makes everyone laugh. He struts around all of Serin like he owns
it and can always be counted on to protect you from all the bad things that
want to hurt you. His words are slurred, his speech is crude, but you would be
very hard pressed to find a more trustworthy and reliable friend.

Prost sort is a different story. He sticks to himself and is sort of scary. My
interaction with him has been rather limited, but I know that at the end of the
day, I am glad that he is on my side.

Each of us brings our own flavor to the Heralds. We bring our own thoughts,
writing styles, and beliefs. I think that's what makes our group so good and I
look forward to meeting new faces, enjoying new adventures, and telling
fantastic stories. The entire group of Heralds including Vevier is a big melting
pot of fantastic individuals who are here to spread news, entertainment and
most of all fun.

Murder

I was recently asked an incredibly morbid question by Illiard. He asked
me 'If you could kill one person within the realms, who would it be? '

Wreitha

The answer to this question was really hard for me to decide on. My initial
response was Zigos, but that was just out of anger for him blackjacking
me all over Seringale the other day. In truth, I do not really wish to murder
anyone. There are a couple of people whose death I wouldn't mourn, but I
do not actively seek to end anyone's life for my own purposes. I will say
that unfortunately some of my future works will end up with people dead
or dying, but that is not my ultimate purpose or goal. That will just
be a by-product of my life's path.

Soul

Asya asks "What happens to the lost pieces of your soul when defeated in
battle? Do they await you like a puddle to be stepped in when crossing from
this world to the next? Or are they funneled back into the creation of
other creatures throughout the world?"

Wreitha

I would like to think that every time a death occurs, that the small part
of that person that is lost in the transition stays with that person almost
as a spiritual aura. I believe it stays around helping to guide and protect
that person until it has been rejoined by all the other pieces to once again
make the soul whole and then it makes its transition into the afterlife. I
think that this helps explain why most individuals get better and better as
time progresses. Of course their is the obvious conclusion of that person is
simply learning, but I think it is much more than that.


14) The Jotun History

The Jotuns

This is the story of how the Jotuns learned about the art of the Paladin
guild. I submit it to your approval before it goes anywhere else. It is
very long and I apologize, but I felt it was a story that needed telling.

THE JOTUNS

In the near frozen tundra, far north of Seringale, beyond the wooded
hills and just below the permafrost is a race of people newly
rediscovered in Serin. The Jotuns were thought to be long lost race of
near-giants that had originally been the pawns of the Eternal Army
whose plan was to dominate all of Serin's citizens and land. The Army's
failure to complete its mission of dominance and ultimate disbanding
leaving people spread out across the map.

This dissemination of the army led to eventual tribes, camps, and
eventual colonies. These colonies were so far north that they were cut
off from everyone except for a few pockets of other Jotuns. They
developed their technologies slowly even though they seem to be the
smartest members of the giant race due to a lack of resources and
communication with the rest of the Serin population, but they grew
extremely competent and lethal at their various forms of combat and
the tools that they had at their disposal.

These colonies however did not exist without internal civil strife. As is
the case with so many cultures that are separated from the mainstream
of society the social hierarchy forms around a certain belief structure
and is maintained that way through fear of heavenly reprisal, politics, or
just plain old force. The remnants of the Army maintained this structure
for years ruling by the sword and the promise of the Dark Lord's wrath if
any opposed their ideas and teachings, however, time changes all
things.

There was a Jotun man, Matcar, whose life had for 24 years had been
very ordinary. He was not a leader among his tribe, nor was he a warrior
of great ability or prowess. His perceived inability to be a leader or
a soldier forced the council that ruled his colony to treat him as a
lesser person as they did so many other man who were not up to the
standards of a Jotun Soldier. These "trawnks" as they were called in the
Jotun tongue were forced to work alongside the woman and children in
a support role of hunting and gather food and resources for the
colonies. The term "trawnks" was used as a sign of disgrace and many
fights began with the ruling and fighting class mocking the working class
and taunting them with name calling. It began many, many fights
normally ending with the "trawnk" either beat up so badly they couldn't
move or dead on the hard frozen floor.

Matcar didn't mind being called a "trawnk" or any of the other names
that were hurled at him. He left the colony each morning in search of
game to hunt and berries and other wildlife to eat. In his absence he
thought of what life would be like somewhere else, maybe even with a
different Jotun tribe. He had only seen one other tribe's camp and that
was from a far distance. On one of his hunts, he saw some smoke far
ahead of him and decided to go out and venture towards it to see what
he could find.

Please go to the Chapter 2 "THE WALK THAT CHANGED IT ALL."

The Walk

The Walk

Mactar walked in a north westerly direction for a couple of hours
watching as the small amount of vegetation turned into near none. The
walk was treacherous and he soon began to think he should turn around
and head home he saw something that intrigued him. There was
a large circle that seemed to be cut out of the very ground before
him. He slowly approached and saw that this hole was about 20 foot
deep and 60 foot in diameter. In the center of the hole was a large red
stone about 4 feet high and 3 feet wide. This stone was surrounded by
12 smaller stones about 10 feet apart each with the 12th being taller and
appearing as more of a place to sit than a place to stand. Beside
that chair was a large mace, made of stone with many skulls intricately
carved into it.

As he made his way even closer, feeling more daring because no one
else was around, he saw that the center stone wasn't truly red, but
covered in blood, and that the rubble surrounding it was ash and bones.
This was a place of sacrifice and Matcar immediately decided it was
time for him to leave this place. As he whipped around he saw out of
the corner of his eye a ladder made of what appeared to be femur bones
which was used to climb in and out of the pit. He had seen enough
and decided to make a run for it.

He made it all of five steps when he heard some drums and immediately
hit the ground. He looked back towards the circle, and back
towards and saw a line of 13 Jotuns walking directly for the circle. The
night was growing dark and the moon was coming out in full light
making it to were the torches the procession of Jotuns were carrying
unnecessary. Twelve of them marched in stride while the one in the
middle appeared to be dragging and was even being pushed forward to
maintain speed with the rest of the group. Matcar was about to witness
a sacrifice and there was nothing he could do about it. If he stirred from
his hiding spot he would be seen in the moon light so he resigned
himself to watching the carnage that was about to be on display before
him.

Upon arriving at the opening of the sacrificial pit, their victim was
moved to the front of the line and thrown into the hole, landing with a
yell, and thump, and a crunch that can only be identified as broken
bones. As the victim was wailing and writhing on the floor of the pit,
each of the other twelve dressed all in black garb made their way slowly
down the bone ladder and took their places around the center stone
standing on their own stones and the largest giant sitting on the
twelfth next to the mace with the multiple skulls on it.

The 12 then began a harmonious chant in a language that that Matcar
had never heard before. It was as beautiful as it was scary and it sent
shivers up his spine. The beginning of the chanting sent the victim into a
new found frenzy and he desperately crawled towards the ladder as if his
broken bones would even allow him to make the first rung. Then as quick
as the chanting had started it stopped and an eerie silence took over
as even the victim stopped sobbing. The giant that was sitting, the largest
one grabbed the mace which had a large spike on the bottom of it and
grumbled deeply in the language that was close enough to Matcar's
to make out the words, "It Is Time."

Without another word the giant on the exact opposite of the giant with
the mace in hand walked over to the victim picked up his shaking body
and moved him to the center placing his head on the center of the rock
with his body knelt up beneath him and then backed away from the
sacrificial altar. Again, all at once the chant began and the victim
appeared to be mumbling something, perhaps a prayer of his own to
different Gods. The fact was that the Gods of these people performing
the sacrifice did not have mercy or forgiveness in their hearts. His fate
was sealed.

The giant approached wielding the mace in both hands and stood tall
next to the stone and the victims head. He looked reverent as though
this was a task he was very proud to perform. The chanting stopped and
as if this had been done a hundred times the final sound was the spike
of the mace piercing the skull and brain of the victim and the sound
of rock on rock as it hit the altar. The second sound was sound of the
spike being pull out and then the sound of the wind as the mace was
quickly delivered to the back of the victims head.

The Tomb

THE TOMB

The combination of fear, bile, and self preservation took over and
before Matcar even knew it he was running in the opposite direction as
quickly and as reckless as imaginable. His goal now was not to be quiet
and steal away, but to get as far away from these barbaric people as
possible and just return home in one piece. A small part of him knew
that he had been heard fleeing the scene, but all that did was drive him
on harder and faster than he had ever run before. He ran for a straight
hour in any direction that was clear and allowed him to pass easily
steadily making his way south and away from the perceived danger.

His legs weary from running and his adrenaline slowing ebbing forced
him to eventually slow down and take in his surroundings and get his
bearings. He had somehow made it far enough south that there were
trees littered along the path and small amounts of grass and vegetation
was starting to grow. This was the furthest south Matcar had ever been
and he immediately knew that he was lost and with the stars all but
disappeared he knew it would be at least 14 hours before he would be
able to use them to return to his colony. He decided to eat some of the
berries that he had collected before witnessing that nightmare in the
circle and sleep in a small recess that had two trees next to one another
that he could lean against.

He dreamt all night about what he had witnessed and decided that he
would not tell his own council because they might incorporate it into
their own practices. He gathered his things ate some more berries and
began exploring a bit. He still had a few hours before dark and he
wanted to take the time to explore this new region and see if he could
find anything of worth. Using the position of the sun, he estimated that
he was walking in a south easterly direction. South to see what more he
could find and easterly because this was the way home.

The woods line grew fuller. The vegetation greater and soon Matcar was
finding an assortment of fruits and berries he had never seen
before. He knew better than to try these fruits in the wild because he
did not know which of these were edible and which weren't and he
walked on until he found something he had never seen before. Here
was a large stone building in the middle of the woods surrounded by
trees and nearly over grown. He decided this needed a closer
inspection and slowly moved his way towards his target.

The stone was white with a darker marble highlighting and a simple
cross in the middle of each of the walls. Matcar had seen this cross
before in the drawings of his people. They were always on the armor of
the warriors that lay dead on the open fields of battle as evidence of the
history of the domination of the Eternal Army over its enemies. This
brought Matcar's interest to a fever pitch. The top of this structure
was just at his head and he circled it looking for an entrance. The
wall seemed to not have any doors so Matcar climbed up to the top
to see what he could see from that vantage point. Again he saw a large
cross that spanned the entire roof of the slab and some other symbols
he could not read, but no way to get inside. He jumped back down
and with his curiosity completely taking over he pushed on the top slab
of the building, the roof and was able to slide it over a couple of
inches. The small bit of success rejuvenated his spirits and he pushed and
pushed until an opening wide enough for him to squeeze through was
made. By this point, the sun had hidden itself in the trees and the night
was quickly approaching.

Matcar got back up on the roof, walked over to where he had pushed
the slab aside to slip through and with some great effort as able to get
inside. However when he stepped down to the floor his he was
immediately disappointed because all he found was the skeletal corpse
a man in the center of the small room, whom had been laid here to rest.
Obviously, if this entire room had been built for him here, he was of
great importance, but there was no more writing on the walls, no more
clues as to who this man was lying around. Then he moved closer to the
corpse and saw a silver shield with a faded red cross, a silver sword
with a white hand guard, and a compiled set of parchment laying across
his chest and down towards his feet.

Please see Chapter 4 THE REVELATION.

The Revelation

THE REVELATION

He slowly walked the couple of feet over to the corpse ducking his head
so it would not scrape the ceiling. He lifted up the shield and sword with
his right hand and carefully removed the parchments with his left. They
came free from the place that they had been resting easy enough and
Matcar walked back over to the exit he had created to enter through
and scrambled his way out in order to look more closely at what
he had found. Unfortunately the sun had completely faded and the
moon was being covered by clouds, so he decided he would begin his
journey back towards the colony, but take his time doing it, spending
one more day in the wilderness to closely inspect what he had
found before he returned home.

The walk back to the north was quiet and uneventful, his journey the
previous day added another two hours worth of travel time to the
north, but it was worth it. With each step he took the weight of the
parchments he carried grew heavier. Several times he found himself
going slightly off of the course the stars were providing him because he
was looking at the papers. When he finally reached an area that he
recognized he sat himself down and rested waiting for the sun to come
up so he could examine the documents. He blindly reached into his bag
grabbing some more berries out and ate them while he waited.

Shortly after he ate, the sun slowly appeared and the second there was
enough light he dove into the papers. Many of them were covered in
some sort of symbols that he did not understand, so he set those aside
and continued to look through until he found some with drawings. What
he saw on the parchments astonished him. He saw an exact replica
of the exact picture that he was used to seeing in the religious books
of the Jotuns except in this picture, the man with the cross on his armor
was standing over the fallen Jotun.

Stunned, confused, and shaking he set that document aside and
continued to look at the rest of the documents. He saw a painting of
two armies separated by the future battlefield. On one side, he saw the
standards of the Jotuns and all their symbols and on the other creatures
smaller than that Jotuns dressed in armor, riding other even larger
creatures that walked on four legs.

The final picture in the stack of documents was a drawing of a man
dressed completely in white, with what appeared to be the sword and
shield that Matcar saw in what he realized now was a tomb. He was
kneeling on ground surrounded by people of the same dress over the
body of the biggest Jotun Matcar had ever seen. All the other men had
their head bowed, but there was a air of confidence and victory about
them and grace that kept the drawing from appearing as though it was
drawn out of boast or gloating.

It was at this moment that Matcar, a man of no great knowledge, no
special skills, or ability understood that the stories that had been told to
them for generations were a lie. The Jotuns had not defeated or run the
ancient enemies off as it was told in every version of their historical and
religious stories. If anything, it appeared that in defeat the Jotuns were
driven north by these small men dressed in white and left to starve
in the wilderness. They had been defeated by these men, and
immediately he knew it to be true. The food was better to the south.
The trees, the water, even the dirt was better to the south, but his
people never moved. There they stayed on that same frozen ground for
how many generations and no one ever argued. They just accepted it
as it was a prison sentence, which I guess it truly was.

All these things plus plenty more rushed into Matcar's head all at once
and the clarity that these documents had brought him was soon
replaced by cloudiness, lethargy, and his eyes closing on him without
him being able to keep them open. He knew immediately that he had
eaten the wrong berries and had either poisoned himself, or killed
himself.

Please see Chapter 5 The Dream.

The Dream

THE DREAM

Matcar felt himself being lifted up and placed on a board of some sort
and they started marching with him in tow. He was able see, hear, and
smell but not move a single inch of his body. All around him were
unfamiliar sounds and voices speaking a language he had never heard
before. He could tell he was wearing different clothes by the flashes of
white that ruffled up near his face with the coming and going of the
wind. From time to time he could even see some golden hair fly into his
eyes and face. He was not himself and these were not his people.

The group carrying him entered a clearing and he immediately
recognized where he was. Before him was the marble tomb and large
group of people dressed in all white with the red cross on their chest. A
man moved forward and began speaking, and all of a sudden he could
understand his words! The speaker for the dead gave a brief history of
the Knight's life and all of his great deeds. He spoke of his bravery,
chivalry, and honesty and made sure that the listeners knew he was also
very merciful. So merciful in fact that his compassion was what led to
his death in the battle with the Jotuns.

During the battle, the Knight had stumbled across a group of Jotun
women and children that he knew would be caught in the middle of the
battle. The Knight quickly sheathed his sword and strapped his shield to
his back to help usher them towards a safer place. What the Knight did
not know, what he could not know is that each of these Jotun women
were armed with maces and had been instructed to protect the children
at all cost. As the Knight approached them with his arms raised in
a sign of peace they took his gesture as meaning he was going to try to
grab one of the children.

The story teller tells of how the entire group of woman descended
upon the Knight and the only reason he was not completely
bludgeoned to death on the spot was because his Squire and a fellow
Knight acted quickly and fought back the women trying to not hurt
them but gain access to the Knight who now laid on the cold hard
ground and pull him out of the melee. Their training soon outmatched
the Jotun women's anger and they Squire was able to pull the Knight
out as the second Knight protected their retreat.

The speaker then tells of the Knight's final words stating that he prayed
for the forgiveness of all the wrongs he had done, the lives he had
taken, and then he pardoned the Jotuns who had struck him down and
ended his life so abruptly. The Squire placed a small wooden cross
hanging by a braided necklace into his hands and the Knight took his last
breath. The speaker then stepped back into the crowd, Matcar could
feel himself being picked up, set inside the tomb, a prayer was said,
and the lid was lowered down by a pulley system.

As soon as the lid shut, Matcar felt as he was floating through the air in
every direction possible. There was no up, no down, just floating
through time and space. Seeing flashes of someone's memories or
maybe he was just hallucinating but he saw battles and destruction and
life and rebirth. He saw a castle built completely out of white stone and
a group of Jotuns wearing the white armor with the red cross on it. He
saw Jotuns battling other Jotuns and himself standing in the middle
being pulled by the arms by those wearing white and those wearing
black and just as he felt he would be ripped in two he woke up.

Please see the upcoming Chapter 6 The Decision.

The Council

Confused and alarmed Matcar jumped to his feet and quickly looked
around to get his bearings. He immediately regretted doing this and his
head pounded so hard that he came close to retching, and his body
ached so bad that even breathing hurt. He collapsed and landed on his
hands and knees. For the first time he realized that there was
something in his right hand and after regaining his composure he
looked. There was a wooden cross hanging by a braided necklace balled
up in his right hand.

He was completely convinced that the experience he had were just a
hallucination brought on by him eating the wrong berries in the bag, but
he could not for the life of him explain how the cross that he had seen
in his vision was now resting in the palm of his hand. Had it been hidden
in with the parchments? Had he taken it off of the Knight's corpse
and not remembered? Either way, he know possessed this ancient
relic and he could not allow any of the other Jotuns to see it. He slowly
stood and once he had his feet under him made his way to his bag
and hid the cross at the very bottom underneath some clothes.

Matcar assumed he was out for the entire day because the sun was
slowly going down again and he was absolutely starving. He grabbed
some berries and some meat that he had dried out and packed for the
voyage and ate until the stars were shinning bright above him to guide
him home. He gathered his items and the parchments hiding them next
to the cross in the bag and made his way home not having a clue of
what he was going to do next, if his vision was a sign for him to do
something, or whom he could trust with what he had experienced.

The walk back seemed to have gone by faster than Matcar was
expecting because by the time he reached the colony, he still did not
have any idea as to what his next course of action would be. As he
approached the gate, two gate guards spotted him and called him over.
They asked him where Matcar had been for the last week, which
stunned Matcar, but he was able to maintain his composure. He told
them he was following the trail of some deer to bring back because food
was getting so scarce around here. They told him that the council wanted
to see him immediately and let him pass.

He nearly sprinted to his shabby tent, pulled out the parchment and
cross hid it underneath his bed where he kept the extra stores of food
that he brought home for the children who never seemed to get
enough. Then he made his way slowly and confidently to the council
chambers. Word of his return must have spread quickly because as he
was entering the hall so were all of the other council members. A
meeting of all the council members meant that there was something
very important that was about to happen and instantly Matcar's insides
felt like jelly.

When they saw him they all grew quiet and took their seats and a hush
took over the crowd. The largest of the Jotuns began to speak and all of
sudden the entire scene felt all too familiar and his mind instantly went
back to the sacrificial circle. Matcar's entire body went even colder than
his Jotun body would normally be. The walls and the circle felt like they
were closing in and collapsing on him. Soon the only question in his
mind was whether or not he was going to try to run for his life or just
give up and die. He thought about the Knight in the forest and decided
he would face what he had coming to him as a man.

Matcar's world turned silent and he felt completely out of his own body.
Then he heard his name and was instantly brought back into reality
as the sentencing portion of this impromptu trial began. The Jotun
in charge stated "Matcar, you are deemed to be unworthy of the clan
and involved in practices that are subversive. The clan cannot trust you.
We cannot trust you. Those we cannot trust, we cannot bear. You no
longer serve a purpose and you are no longer needed."

Please read Chapter 7 The War.


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