Z M A R A G D O S

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Quill, Nov 10, 2012.



  1. World (open)


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    The Poisoned Land (open)




    In the idyllic Elysia, what is now Zmaragdos and most of the ocean surrounding it was actually two separate countries: Agdos and Zmara, watched over by the Western and Southern gods, respectively. Now in the Poisoned Land of Zmaragdos enormous meat-eating flowers burgeon forth from sickly green moss permeated with parasites, and giant poisonous flowers spread their infectious pollen. Though these and the endless array of poisonous snakes that slither slowly across the forest floor, perfectly camouflaged, may be avoided at nighttime, that is when the huge bloodsucking insects reign the night, spreading diseased blood from victim to victim. Still there are those who hang on to the hope that the curses on the soil, plants and animals might be lifted … but the toxic, corrosive anathemas can only be satisfied with the restoration of the D'la, an ancient and mysterious arcane object of a mysterious nature that was destroyed during the Cataclysm and had preserved the western world's fragile ecosystem through magical means … until it was burnt to ashes at the hands of gods who did not wish any force of man or nature more powerful than the divine.



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    Quelt

    Quelt is the newest Zmaragdosi city and a somewhat shifty and liberal one, an unusual thing in the traditional and conservative Zmaragdosi culture. Bohemian artists, musicians, actors, atheists, courtesans, and people of peculiar and rare spiritual persuasions thrive in the Queltish community. Called by traders and travelers as the "Last Stop", it borders the northern mountains closely, and few venture there who do not intend to stay. As such its population is very diverse and home to many nomads who wander, stay somewhere a couple years, and then set off again, and its government, though imposed by Zmaragdosi regulations, does exist and keep it from becoming the criminal hotspot it might be without such laws, none of the officials are entirely reputable, and Quelt has all kinds of illicit parts of town tucked away where a guard patrol rarely strays. Gambling, prostitution, and the black market are all found here. For obvious reasons, the noble and refined have made a point of staying well away from the cold city of Quelt.


    Host

    Host is a major trade city, very old, with a colorful history and a dozen names, populations and allegiances peppering its past. Originally it was known as Hosrel and was constructed along with Yessel as an Aquarial city perhaps 350 years post-Cataclysm. Its history and exact dates are easy to discern because of the giant waste disposal pit in the forest to the west of it, where many layers of different style and quality pottery, abandoned clothing, coins, broken musical instruments, cooking utensils and the like are often explored by curious historians. Together with Yessel, Hosrel monopolized the naval passage through the heart of Zmaragdos and almost to the edge of its western side, an area which has always been rich in trade routes and natural resources. The Aquarial city-states joined in an alliance probably quite early in the cities' history and became an independent nation modest in size and extravagant in affluence and quality of life.

    This lasted many hundreds of years and made the "Prosperos River", as the passage was called, a site of many important cultures, revolutions and political events. Yet the great nation and the Aquarial's rising monopoly of the west was destroyed when, without warning and completely catching the peaceful Hosrel by surprise, eastern nomads from the desert land that is now Kausteira invaded the Aquarial nation Hosrel-Yessel with peerless ferocity. The savages, seeking more stable climes, massacred the elite citizenry, and Aquarials fled northern Zmaragdos in vast numbers, seeking shelter in the south and building an army. The Easterners, however, were disinterested in further military conquest: they had found their land of plenty. From about 750 to 880 years post-Cataclysm they dominated the large port city, renamed Hoskilla. Without exclusive control of access to internal Zmaragdos, Yessel entered a long period of poverty and unstable government. Even as Hoskilla and Yessel suffered, a new city developed where the Prosperos River ended: Edel in the farthest west of Zmaragdos, causing the Forest Kin to become the major racial representatives of Zmaragdos as they had been in Elyria.

    Edel quickly became the vast nation of Zmaragdos as it is known today, and spread north, south and east to envelop what had once been the Hosrel-Yessel territory. As soon as they were able, they invaded the struggling Hoskilla and took back the city, renaming it Host. Once more joined with Yessel, both cities grew prosperous again as they became major centers of trade, but, subservient to the Zmaragdosi government, their monopoly serves a larger nation. Still, the Eastern influences in Host are impossible to escape: traces remain in art, music, architecture, customs, fashion, and, most notably, Host's populace. It was the nomadic invaders and the Eastern settlers that followed them who introduced new races to the west, among them the Felleons and the Drakes.


    Edel

    Dominated by the Forest Kin, Edel is Zmaragdos's capital city and a major trading point. Erected before the waterfall that the Prosperos River culminates in, Edel is a marvel of engineering, a beautiful city home to Zmaragdos's elite. Aristocrats with ancient noble bloodlines and wealthy merchants, architects, artists, writers and scholars all make their home here, at the heart of what, no more than a century ago, was Sunnepheia's most powerful nation. Yet even as southernmost Zmaragdos slowly begins to recover and eastern Sunnepheia grows more and more hospitable, the thick forest and rainforest covering most of Zmaragdos seems to grow sicker every day. Divine curses slowly leech out of the earth as it purifies itself, but some deep poison is unable to leave the land in the same way.


    Yessel

    Largely an Aquarial city, Yessel was founded along with Host around 650 years ago. Together with Host, then called Hosrel, Yessel monopolized the naval passage through the heart of Zmaragdos and almost to the edge of its western side, an area which has always been rich in trade routes and natural resources. The Aquarial city-states joined in an alliance probably quite early in the cities' history and became an independent nation modest in size and extravagant in affluence and quality of life. However, about 250 years ago, Eastern invaders conquered Hosrel, renaming it Hoskilla, and the prosperous trading nation the Aquarials had built up collapsed. Yessel became a shady city of poverty and corruption. When the capital city, Edel, rose in the east, and promised Yessel that they would recapture Hoskilla if the two cities swore allegiance to Zmaragdos, the Yessel government eagerly agreed and once Hoskilla had been taken back from the Eastern foreigners and renamed Host, both major port cities were absorbed into the Zmaragdosi nation.

    The shelter of Aquarial survivors of Hosrel when the Eastern savages plundered, raped and murdered hundreds of the wealthy, ruling elite, Yessel has always been a strong symbol of terrestrial Aquarial culture. Full of broad canals and public fountains, it is famed for its aquatic beauty. Canoes shaped like white and black birds, called a swan boat in the Common Tongue or gondola, meaning swan in the language of the Aquarial, transport citizens throughout Yessel. The elite Aquarial noble families who live in this expensive city are supported by the elitist system of the Zmaragdosi government founded by western Forest Kin, but few of them are much convinced of the Green Lord Brention's Zoën religion, preferring their own aquatic deities.


    Ooma

    Ooma, far to the southeast of Zmaragdos, in the turbid swamps to the north of the Mossy Gulf, is home of the Unguis. Their race has presided there since the dawn of their evolution among the murky marshland they have adapted to. After the Cataclysm, the temperature changed from stiflingly hot and humid to breezy, slightly moist and in winter, even frosty. Vast amounts of plant species, unable to tolerate the new climate, went extinct, even as spells and curses which polluted the land mutated the animals resident here, turning them into unrecognizable monsters: among them massive three-headed pythons nigh three feet long and nigh fifteen times as wide; red-tongued lizards the size of crocodiles, wart-ridden and sharp-toothed; and giant disease-carrying insects. Still, below the surface of the water things remained somewhat tolerable, and certainly not that drastic compared to what had happened to the rest of Elysia; but even as the horrific mutations began to fade as the corrosive magic tainting them gradually lifted from the land naturally, the unguis left their habitat for millennia in large groups, seeking shelter elsewhere in Zmaragdos. Today Ooma is known as the home of the unguis, and with a more stable climate many are content to live there in peace, secluded from the rest of the world.


    Riven

    The birthplace of the Green Lord Brention, Riven provides the exotic recluse of the southwestern rainforest which draws in not only curious tourists but also the unguis who prefer a warmer climate than that afflicting their eastern marsh, as well as Edelian aristocrats who seek a peaceful retreat from the busy, politically incendiary Zmaragdosi capital city. With Brention's dramatic rise to power, Riven has become Zmaragdos's religious center, as he has erected most of his churches there, and indeed lives more in his private home in Riven than the elaborate palace erected for him in Edel.

    Brention teaches of a Nature Spirit called Zoë who is the soul, breath and beating heart of all life. She may not embody our motives but can be found sleeping in the depths of our consciousness, waiting to be awakened. Once the world is seen through Her neutral eyes, an enlightened individual can begin to appreciate the simple, natural beauty of things, and grows aware of how everything is connected. While Zoë has always been a cult goddess of Forest Kin nobility, it wasn't until recently that She became a public fascination. Her monotheistic religion has spread like wildfire and many have high hopes that She is the answer to curing the Zmaragdosi land of its impurity.





    CHAPTER ONE
    Forest Council


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    Theme Song (open)

    [video=youtube;O0YxeTjFn70]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0YxeTjFn70[/video]


    Overhead, the thick foliage of a myriad towering trees intertwined, casting the tall spiraling trunks into dreamy green shadow. It was, Brention thought, rather like a cathedral, with an endless dark ceiling held aloft by sloping columns. Every time Brention passed through Edel's impressive entry thoroughfare, he was awed by the immensity of nature. Bounding beside his dark chestnut horse, Felurain moved swiftly, a blur of honey and shimmering gold against the emerald green scenery. What do you suppose the Council will be about? the stag asked his lopos with soft curiosity. It is unusual to be summoned on such short notice.

    I wish it were another small matter, Brention told him warily. Yet I'm afraid it's serious. They have never called me away from a religious service before.

    Felurain responded with a thoughtful silence. At last they reached the great thorny gates, which parted at once when the guards caught sight of the silver amulet glinting across Brention's chest: the symbol of the Lord, not that his face was unfamiliar. Felurain loped through and Brention followed on his steed, pushing the stallion and keeping away from crowded main streets. When he charged through a road, the bustle of Edelians going about their daily business cried out his name and parted like a flower at dawn's first light to let him through. Soon he reached the Council building, and already stablehands were helping him dismount and leading the horse away. Felurain stood calmly beside him, reminding Brention that Zoë protected Zmaragdos now, whatever ill news the Council might bear.

    Brention walked into the Council room and was struck by the paleness and gravity of the diverse faces surrounding him in a perfect circle, with his seat, a head taller than the others', vacant and the mahogany wood polished. Brention tensed and his optimism plummeted. "Is it raiders from the East?" he asked hoarsely. That would be the end of the peace he and his nation had worked for hundreds of years to achieve. Without the barbarians they would be benignly ruling the world now, but no, they had to ignorantly interfere…

    "Not this time, my Lord," the white-haired Minister of Treasury said darkly. "There's been a flood in Yessel." Around the circular table, worried mutterings toned, and a nightingale keened a note of mourning.

    The Minister of National Defense cut in, methodical, his voice pragmatic. "Prosperos River flooded its banks four hours ago in the morning hours, very suddenly and without warning. Host is somewhat removed from its banks and closer to the Gulf, so it escaped relatively unscathed. But Yessel's canals swelled and spilled over, ruining hundreds of homes and flooding the city whole." A mottled brown and tan wolf curled a bushy tail around her lopos's arm, her soulful cocoa eyes seeming overlarge for her small head as they regarded her soulmate comfortingly. "While surprised, the overwhelming majority of citizens were Aquarials who were unscathed; many went so far as to rescue the hurt or drowning, and the most valuable items were largely recovered, although many are greatly damaged."

    With rather undignified volume, the Minister of Records wailed: "And all the writings are gone! The books in the homes and libraries alike, all drowned! It is a great loss for history!"

    Brention turned with a quiet sort of dread back to the Minister of National Defense. "How much damage to property?" He locked eyes with the Minister of Internal Affairs. "And how many seeking asylum?"

    Virtually the entirety of Yessel, he learned, was on the way to Edel and would arrive within three days. Meanwhile the floodwater was creeping steadily southwards, though it was expected to recede again by dusk. For now, Yessel was an algae-coated, crab- and barnacle-littered muck, though perhaps the Aquarials might not mind that as much as the rest of its sentient population. Finally he asked, "Is the cause known?"

    Uncomfortable silence greeted him.

    "Right," he said. "We're going to need a search party, plenty of supplies and volunteers, and our prayers…"







    FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT

    The noble Council
    seeks volunteers of distinguished Zmaragdosi citizenship
    to aid the flooded city of Yessel
    and join the Green Lord in prayer,
    to help build for those of able body
    and to help restore torn magics for those of arcane power.
    Also wanted are wise men, investigators and naturalists,
    to discover the source of this scourge.
    This message has been authorized
    by the Green Lord Brention and the Forest Council
    of the great Empire of Zmaragdos.




     
  2. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings></xml><![endif]--> The wagon bumped along the cobbled road, carrying more cargo than the driver was aware of. The wagon was carrying supplies to Yessel, to aid in its recovery. It also carried a small fae and her aenigma. The two hitchhikers were asleep, curled between sandbags and tools of various kinds. They stayed that way peacefully until the wagon came to a stop just inside the limits of Yessel.

    The ground was soft with a mud like silt and it was clear the horses and wagon could go no further without risking getting stuck. The driver stepped off the front of the wagon and came around to the back, intending to begin unloading until he could find one of the many gathered volunteers to help him. When he reached the back of the wagon and threw off the covering, he nearly leapt back with shock when he was greeted by the sight of the sleeping fae and her orchid mantis aenigma Athanesia.

    “What’s this? Two stowaways! As if my poor horses need to be pulling more weight!” Each of the broad man’s exclamation was colored by a dramatic gesture.

    Chloe and Athanesia sat up bleary eyed, terrified from being awakened by such an angry man. Chloe pulled herself up, attempting to fly off but the driver reached out a hairy knuckled hand and snatched her by the collar of her dress before she could get anywhere.

    “What do you think we should do with them?”
    He asked his Gecko aenigma, who was perched on his shoulder.

    “I think they should help you unload, since they obviously have no money to pay for their ride.”

    “I’m not here to be some brainless laborer.” Chloe said angrily. She was here to help with her magic, something this man seemed to know nothing of.

    “Is that so? Well, unless you can pay you’re just going to have to help unload.”

    Before the little fae could reply, the man had already roughly set her down and dropped a heavy sand bag in her arms. It was only a fraction of what he was carrying, but Chloe struggled with it nonetheless.

    “Just follow me and I’ll show you where to drop it off,” the driver hollered over his shoulder as he trudged toward where the flood relief volunteers gathered.

    Chloe followed dismally, the muck and grime squelching beneath her feet and between her toes. If she didn’t have to carry such a heavy load she’d simply fly over the whole mess. She shot an angry glare at Athanesia.

    “You’re lucky you don’t have to carry anything,” she spat. Athanesia only grinned in that strange way of hers, a certain narrowing of those bulbous eyes.

    “I just hope I find my parents here.” This disaster was actually a wonderful opportunity for her. Brention had called everyone who was able to help, so her parents must have come. They’d know she would come too.
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  3. Not too far from Yessle a damp and nearly chilled through a young Avian Numa Sode scanned the horizon for others like him but found none. Again his hopes were dashed. It would seem that he was forever alone. At a time like this he needed the comfort of others and naturally he only had one comfort. It was better than none at all. Turning away from the marshy view that was once the likeness of a peaceful valley his eyes came to rest upon Nox. His beautiful Aenigma. His eyes werent actually open really. For the most part they were closed. He was intouch with Nox. He could feel her and see her even if others couldnt or she choose not to show herself. Thoughts of her brought him peace.

    For Numa had an uneasy feeling about the world now. Not only was it nearly drown but it was beyond tainted. So many things all came to the dirty surface. Looking to the sky he could see Nox and feel her with him. "I know, I know we are going." He was waiting on something inside him to move him forward but it wasnt coming easily.

    “We must help I know. I fear we have no choice. If nothing else we must help ourselves and in this hour it seems that would include the others.”Numa nodded. Nox spoke the truth.


    In a whispered motion he took flight, Nox with him as always. Numa thought about havig to walk a bit longer down there and a shiver ran through him. He would need rest soon but he would fight on til he found a warmer and drier place to land and rest for the night.

    “Let’s head for Yessel proper and see what we can do Nox” “I’ll follow you.”
     
  4. Through the branches of the giant oaks. The moons purplish glow cast across the ground, transforming simple shadows into unending voids. Small animals skittered around on the forest floor, taking shelter from the upcoming storm. The air was thick as large droplets of rain plummeted from the charcoal sky, hitting the leaves with such a force that tore them from their branches.

    She could see the entrance to the cave from twenty feet back, knowing the camouflaged entrance by heart. Her boot heels snapped the fallen twigs as she walked briskly over the ground. The rain soaked through her within seconds, leaving her long silver plastered to her perfectly shaped face. The long woolen cloak that kept her skin dry sucked in rain water, adding to the weight of the pack held tightly to her body by thick leather straps hugging her shoulders. After reaching the entrance, she lifted a thick layer of vines and moss; entering the darkness of her make-shift home.

    Standing in the silence of the cave, her slender fingers drew around the nape of the heavy cloak; pulling it from her pale skin. The white surface of her body seemed to glitter in the ambient light entering the cracks of the dense vines covering the entrance. ElleLunia wiped some water from her black, tight fitting armor, keeping her eyes locked in on the darkness. She took a couple steps towards the deepest part of the cave and clicked her tongue. The lithe Forest Kin lowered herself to her knee, dead branches cracking under her weight. From deep within the cave a soft rumbling echoed off the walls.

    She stood slowly, her toned body shifting positions so she was baring most of her weight on one leg, ready to spring into action if need be. The low rumbling continues and she rolled her eyes; dropping her defensive stance. She groaned with impatience and tapped her foot on the moist cave floor.

    “Orion, uncover the lantern” Her voice was stern. She reached her hands out, running her fingers along the dimpled cave walls. The rumbling faded slowly and the clicking of talons on rock replaced it; growing louder as it carried out her command and pulled back a leather cover to reveal a brightly glowing oil lantern. The soft glow of light lit the cave just enough for comfort. Ellelunia had covered it before leaving with cautious protection, not wanting to draw attention to their hiding spot. "It's about time you've returned...The child has been most annoying..." Orion's voice echoed within Ellelunia's mind, making her roll her bright blue eyes.

    A small mew for attention drifted through the air as Z'Harli, a Falleon baby crawled her way over to the Forest Kin, wiping sleep out of her eyes as she greeted her newly found Mother figure. Ellelunia reached down, letting her fingers wave through the fur of her adopted child. The baby Falleon looked up at her, it’s eyes wide with curiosity. Her lips curved up into a playful smile she it lifted her arms to be held.

    "Yes Z'Harli, I am home for good" ElleLunia smiled, grabbing the Falleon baby by the tuft of grey fur on the back of her neck, pulling her up into an embrace. Picking the child up was difficult now that she had her one arm in a sling, cringing as she remembered the way she had fallen on it while running from danger. "She's only a cub...what do you expect?" Ellelunia shrugged her shoulders at herAenigma, smiling playfully as she nuzzled her nose against the Falleon snow leopard.

    "I suppose your right, not all things can be independent..." Orion was Ellelunia's Aenigma and only friend. His presence in her life was crucial and as he walked up to his companion and rubbing against her legs, her heart was lifted. His large head reached her thigh, brushing his silky black fur against her lovingly. As Ellelunia set the child back down, Z'Harli grabbed to Orion's back, crawling up and latching to him. She rumbled loudly as she purred with affection for the thick framed cat.


    Ellelunia smiled at her strange family, thinking back to the day she had first stumbled upon the Falleon child:


    The sky had become dense with smoke, peeking the curiosity of the wandering Forest Kin and her Aenigma. They had traveled on swift feet, keeping a keen eye on their surroundings as she kept pace.
    "Something is wrong..." She said slowly, fighting the urge to immediately show herself. Orion had stopped behind her, sniffing the air cautiously, nudging her leg with his broad head.

    "We'll check it out together" She said in an attempt to reassure her that she wasn't alone.
    As they grew closer, the sky became darker, turning into a foggy dark dreamscape. Ellelunia narrowed her eyes, getting on all fours as she heard the low rumbling noises of men speaking at the bottom of a hill. Orion hunched down as soon as Ellelunia lowered herself to all fours, his footsteps becoming light and silent. Ellelunia eased off the large pack and gently set it against a tree as Orions ears flicked downwards when he heard the voices speaking.

    "Wa'nt much 'ah a good haul..." one of the men said in a gruff voice. Orion growled for a moment and gently touched Ellelunia’s knee with his paw, signaling for her to wait. He crouched low beside her, motioning towards the direction she heard the voices coming from. A loud smack could be heard as one of the men smashed a long, wooden staff into the side of a caravan, wheels broken and a Falleon woman sitting beaten and weak against the side. The men had piled up some belongings, burning them for a reason that was unknown to the Forest Kin and herAenigma.

    "There are at least four men..." ElleLunia said quietly, blinking slowly as she continued to listen. Orion's nostrils flicked a bit as his eyes darted around at the ragged looking thieves, rummaging through the goods that were held in the back. A sudden cry cracked the silence in the air as one of the men tossed a blanketed bundle to the dirt, squirming and rolling in the dust of the path as it hit hard against the ground.

    "We have to do something..." Orion growled through clenched teeth. Ellelunia rolled over and reached into her leather pack, pulling out two V shaped pieces of ornate wood that when she twisted them together proved to be a threatening bow. She pulled out a small leather quiver with arrows and placed it over her shoulder.
    "Bastards" she whispered, looking down on the men. Springing up from where she hid, she pulled back on the arrow and held it steady, melding her body against a tree as she took careful aim.

    Orion shot a sideways glance towards Ellelunia, giving her a feline smirk before turning back and glaring down towards the men.

    Ellelunia let her arrow go, shooting it straight into the back of the caravan, missing the man's head by mere inches. The thief let out a scream, which made Ellelunia giggle childishly. His comrades came running, hearing his cry of terror as the arrow scared him so badly that he fell to the earth and scurried backwards on his palms. One pulled a long staff from the inside of the caravan and searched for the archer hiding in the trees. Ellelunia turned to Orion and smiled, a slight blush to her cheeks and began descending the slant. "Teach them" she said quickly, smiling wide at him then pulling back on another arrow and waiting.
    Orion watched as the men began to prepare themselves for a fight, shaking his head slowly and doing what his companion asked. He opened his mouth and let out a fierce roar, practically shaking the ground he ran over. It was as easy as that. The sight of the giant panther nearly made the men soil themselves. Petty bullies... Orion thought to himself, bright silver eyes narrowing as he barreled forward, grunting and growling as the three idiots grabbed at their clothing, running as fast as they could away.

    "That seemed almost too easy..." Ellelunia murmured as she walked down the hill to meet up with herAenigma, who had begun sniffing and cantering off towards the bundle that had been discarded from the caravan. The lithe woman moved around to the front of the caravan, noticing the front was tilted down, burried inside a trap hole that had been dug and covered with a net and leaved. "That's why..." She grumbled, eyes suddenly taking in the form of the Falleon female, leaning against the side of the cart. There was no movement in her whole body, and her head was bowed down. Ellelunia approached slowly, cautiously reaching out her hand to tilt the woman's head up. There was no resistance as her head rolled back and to the side, throat slit completely across.

    "Gods..." Ellelunia gasped, quickly stepping back and covering her mouth with her hand. She was reduced to her knees, shaking her head back and forth as she felt her heart sink in her chest. Orion had come in to her field of vision, his eyes cast down and terrified, padding to her quickly. "A cub..." His voice, though only in her mind, reflected the sadness that his eyes could not. Waivering and cutting off as he set the blanketed child down in Ellelunia's lap. She was quick to unwrap the cloth, the wiggling cub's naked body seemingly unharmed from the tumble it had taken before.

    "It's a girl..." Ellelunia looked up at it's mother's lifeless body, the two of them sharing the same markings, snow leopard; black and grey. "We can't just leave her Orion, we have no choice but to take her with us..."

    The pair stayed at the sight for a good hour or so, collecting useful items and possibly some of the child's belongings, they had no idea what was what. The caravan had been stripped of most things, but there inside Orion had managed to find a couple more blankets and linen wraps, making it easier to cloth and carry the cub. Ellelunia had taken to the forest, picking fresh flowers and cloves, wrapping them into a funeral wreath, setting it atop the childs mother's head and dragging her body to the fire, saying a silent prayer as she set her body free.

    "I never pictured us as parents~" Orion purred as they started their walk away from the caravan. Ellelunia looked down to the child that they had bundled and wrapped to Orion's back, small fingers with sharp black nails clutching to his fur for comfort. It was strange how life worked out. Her unwillingness to take a husband and settle down made her unattractive to males in her own home- but now that she outcast herself, she found herself with a child to care for.


    And now here they were, at least a months time after taking Z'Harli into their care, completely and utterly in love with the child.

    (( for those not desiring to read the entire post, here is a quick summary: ElleLunia is reflecting on how she came into possession of the Falleon child. A travelling caravan was attacked and Z'Harli's (the Falleon cub) mother was killed. ElleLunia and Orion stopped the thieves and found the cub- taking her home with them.)
     
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  5. PART II
    The White Blight


    [​IMG]

    Soundtrack (open)


    [video=youtube;yuUbbVwxNFM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuUbbVwxNFM[/video]






    Lord Brention exhaled heavily and swiped the sweat off his forehead with the ruffled lace protruding so ridiculously from under his velvet coat, a muddy brown color to suit his environs should unseemly spots of muck soil his clothes, which by now had surely occurred several times. He would much have preferred a worker’s practical clothing, but he had to be presentable to his people. A lord did not lead in rags, whether or not he was apt to get dirty doing it. Beside him, Felurain shimmered quietly, immune to the heat but as mentally exhausted as Brention was, with his elegant bronze head hung low and his eyes tired and plaintive. It never failed to amuse Brention to see the poor creature looking exactly like he was feeling. That symptom was the reason why politicians liked to keep their aenigmae out of sight when debating with an opponent.

    Resigning himself to his murky fate, Brention bent his back and scooped out another wet shovelful of stinking river mud. All around him, hundreds of others were doing the same, and over the past week, Yessel had indeed been improving greatly. After the floodwaters receded, an astounding amount of volunteers had shown up to restore the city to a rehabitable state. Most of the buildings had been built of soft, polished dark lumber, fine to behold but easily swept away by the riptide flood. Still, the important edifices were solid stone, as were the long half-tunnels crisscrossing the buried city, which had once been spotless, clear-watered canals filled with colorful fish. The receding water had taken most of the spoiled, bloating corpses with it, but those that remained, despite the speed with which they had been collected and given proper burial, had permeated the area with a heady stench, and some sweet local children had brought large bellflowers and other exotic specimens with fine smells that managed to clean the air well enough. Still, when Brention resigned to his tent by nightfall, his clothing stank of decay.

    He hadn’t planned on also being a volunteer, but he had been anxious to set an example for the other Zmaragdosi aristocrats. Too long the nobles had expected the commoners to unquestioningly perform the dirty work without justifying what elevated them above the rest. Brention taught that Zoë judged men by their deeds, not their words or clothes or education; and how could he prove to his people that he was a spiritual leader, if he never did anything besides talk to the Council behind locked doors? Still, he had deeply regretted his decision in the days to come. He clearly didn’t fit into a muddy trench clearing out a swamp from the former city theater. It was not his responsibility at all, really. And in the evening he had to make haste to flee to his tent, lest he be caught in the middle of a lusty influx of ferocious bloodsucking insects, huge and black and thirsty, some larger than bats. They would crowd around the tent, too, their buzzing wings filling the night with a thick, endless, ominous drone. The former insect wards of Yessel had collapsed when the mages maintaining them had evacuated or died, and those who could and would return were not able to uphold such wards over both the ruined city and the volunteers’ camp, consisting of well over eighty-five tightly knit tents.

    His feet shifted suddenly. He started and looked around to meet the puzzled faces of many others. A deafening crack echoed from somewhere in the distance, quickly followed by the sound of tumbling stone. Far to Yessel’s southern outskirts, shouts and shrieks suddenly broke out. Brention’s grip around his shovel tightened and Felurain stood taut and rigid with apprehension. All around him, frightened volunteers dropped their supplies and ran for the protected tents. Athletic men and women with sturdy weapons banded together, shouting for the able-bodied to aid their cause. Soldiers, ready to stand up and protect the people from any threat. Among them, the arcane flexed their hands and muttered spells as sparkling shields sprang around them and weapons glowed with enchantments. Quickly Brention abandoned his shovel and clambered up the slippery side of the amphitheater, loosing large gobs of muck. Emerging over the edge, he lithely jumped to the swampy bottom. The canal-streets still lay under several feet of mud but volunteers had strewn pebbles and laid out logs to walk over without sinking. He turned to run with the screaming crowd.

    Behind him, an incredible crashing sound had him veering to see what could cause such tremendous clamor. To his horror he watched the earth beneath the rocky ruins of the former Museum convulse yet again, before breaking apart to make way for the bulging, oily white body of the terrible lindwyrm, a disgusting blight that the Cataclysm had planted deep within Zmaragdosi soil. Like a colossal maggot it reared its slippery upper body out of the mud, its huge, glassy blind eyes reflecting the scorching blue sky. Its cavernous maw opened to reveal rows upon rows of jagged, splinter-thin teeth, and an especially horrifying pair of thick incisors. Brention could imagine the creature wallowing beneath the earth for at least three hundred fifty years, soaking up rot and decay sinking through the forest floor, and shuddered to think of the pestilent diseases permeating its ugly white body. With a sickening squelch the horrendous titan hit the marshy earth beneath it and the ground convulsed further to reveal yet another burgeoning segment of slick, greasy wyrm. If they did not stop it now, the massive burrowing scourge would surely break apart the earth and terrorize the Zmaragdosi people throughout the continent for eons to come; they feasted on everything in sight and were known to become as huge as physically possible before bursting. Every lindwyrm corpse absolutely had to be burned: the contents of the lindwyrm were sticky white decay, and it would leak contagious infestations into the already plague-ridden Zmaragdosi soil for decades, poisoning the world and its rivers for centuries to come.

    His people would have to fight fiercely. One lindwyrm could fell an empire, but his empire had felled countless wyrms before.







    Battle I: Giant Lindwyrm



    Lindwyrm
    Neutral Ancient Poison


    High susceptibility to fire
    Blind
    Massive; slow-moving; cumbersome
    Naturally slick and slippery skin, resists iron well
    Poisonous


    ElleLunia
    Female Forest Kin


    Not very physically strong
    Injured arm
    Naturally good archer (racial); expert marksman
    Kinship with the Earth (greater poison resistance; racial)


    Numa
    Male Avian


    Not very physically strong
    Low endurance
    Fast, quick reflexes
    Flight (racial)


    Lynnaiyah
    Female Forest Kin


    Not very physically strong
    Easily distracted
    Naturally good archer (racial)
    Attacks well with many different weapons
    Natural affinity to Forest (greater poison resistance; racial)


    Y'sorgoss
    Male Draken


    Not very clever/strategic
    Slow-moving
    High endurance (greater poison resistance)
    Poisoned weapons
    Naturally thick, protective scales (racial)
    Very physically strong


    Cor'ag
    Male Draken


    Not very physically strong
    Does not work together with others well
    Naturally thick, protective scales (racial)
    Intelligent


    Swordsmen
    Blades


    Susceptible to lindwyrm poison
    Very close to enemy; easier to attack; vulnerable position
    Faster and more agile than enemy (can dodge)


    Archers & Spearthrowers
    Incendiary Projectiles


    Susceptible to lindwyrm poison
    Far away
    Large, slow target


    Shield-Casting Mages
    Protective Magic


    Susceptible to lindwyrm poison
    Easily exhausted
    Close to enemy
    Faster and more agile than enemy (can dodge)






    COMBAT LOG (open)


    This is where all turns and dice rolls will be recorded!



    ROUND I


    Shield Mages

    1 - Shields Not Raised (5 rolled; 3 needed)


    Archers & Spearthrowers

    1 - Missiles Launched (4 rolled; 4 needed)


    Swordsmen

    1 - Shields Not Raised (2 rolled; 3 needed)