Signs and Portents

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Peter Levy
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Signs and Portents

Postby Peter Levy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:30 pm

In Sinya Palurin, while many shelter within the Bastion of Sanga, others have ventured out into the wider world. A party return from the remains of Ingolé with information; barely any good news. Silas Sage cannot be located, his body not recovered. The University is gone. Among the rubble are a few scrolls and one ancient artefact: a large glass sphere wrapped in chainmail. The returning party speak of visions seen within the glass; visions of the Hopewastes, of the Void, and of an individual who crosses these worlds. The same men have told the tale of how their return was marred by bandits, and how the scrying orb was stolen from them. Some identified the Cult of Ch'Wan, others suspect the Order of the Pure Heart, the rest believe it to be simple opportunism. Word spreads that a powerful divining tool may find its way to the black market, to less than transparent auction houses.

On Coshwood Isle, the Elves have made the best use of the time they have bought from the Soulless. With new access to greater magic granted to them, the mages of the Font of Power and Knowledge have seen a way to end the wars. A single gambit that can bring victory for the living over the undead. One act that could ensure Elven supremacy in Velmaneth, or unite all of the people in peace and prosperity. Debate strikes up over the future of Velmaneth: what is to be done with the Humans, how should that war be resolved? Should the Elves take their rightful place at the top, or should they perhaps show their benevolence? Erathil is uncharacteristically silent. Is he for once without an answer or a plan? Such a question is never aired publicly, but burns in the minds of some. The debate continues, and Erathil remains calm, considering his options, perhaps?

In Serke Kemi, the warriors have been putting their years of practice into action, and have successfully defended their shores. But they cannot survive indefinitely. Their Haran has led them in new practices, and they have found power within to withstand so much of the assault. But now, the fear is building. A strange aura seems to cloud the air near the Sting. Something far away seemed to be pulling at the fabric of the land, and at the blood of the people. They have cleared the area around the Sting, fearing a return of the old Daemonic hordes. No warrior was strong enough to stand tall, to take up arms to his full effect. Something was wrong. In time, this aura faded, moved on. The Humans of the Blood remain apprehensive, as some orders of Absent Blades have seen a plot in their meditation. Cloaked, hooded, masked, some evil dwells within Velmaneth. Perhaps they have seen the last of the Quarin, yet to be met, perhaps they have seen something else. A consensus builds: there is another threat beyond the undead horde. A few voices question whether this force could be helpful, but their views are widely dismissed. Serke Kemi will stand firm.

In Noore I'Meles, the Orcs strike camp and march through the Erda Ridge to Sinya Palurin. An army of constructs, built of stone and metal walks beside them. The Celebrants and devotees of the gods feel an aching in their souls. With the Realm of Faith broken, and the gods seemingly sleeping, talk turns to the work of mortals. Rumours spread through the ranks of a Rodera plot to exterminate the Orcs, but are aggressively denied by General Gungrol. Shamans have seen visions of a window; a window in time. They have seen a great flash of light wipe the land clean of the walking dead. They have seen a dark, shimmering mist gather around a gateway. They have seen the Zeppelin fall from the sky, crushing the Roderan city of Ronas. They have seen thousands die, but they have seen victory. They march on with purpose, focus and a belief that victory will be won.
Meanwhile in the sky, the Rodera consult maps, plans, blueprints. A 'machine' which can extract the power of a potion and use it to re-create a life was once here, and it had been carefully deconstructed and re-aligned. The records had been well kept, and now work was well underway to reproduce the weapons that had been crafted from the 'machine'. Lorax and Mollal oversee life, as Farrek becomes more and more distant and occasionally unpredictable. The Rodera are calm, ordered, almost unnervingly serene. They know what is coming, and they seem to believe the future is bright.

A meeting takes place. With their guards on edge, the men of the Kor tribe sit with a woman dressed in black.They seem to agree. Those who did not attend the meeting will never know what was said or agreed, but both tribes return to their people. Dolen Talath remains within its sandstorms. A few days pass, and a group of men approach the Kor who had attended the meeting. The men, lips stitched shut, skin leathery and wan, bow slightly to the Kor mages, before swiftly cutting them down. They catch the women of the Kor by surprise, and none of the group survived. Save for one Shirakan, who had hidden herself. She spread the word that something is wrong: these were not like the other Silent Ones. There is another force lurking in the desert. Some tell of the dead rising, others speak of an ancient agreement with the gods, of a reckoning for Velnashar's fall. The Scorching Wastes fill with a sense of dread. But a date sticks in the minds of those who have hope for the future: the twenty-second day of the sixth month of this year.

In Pharon Glos, a small humanoid figure stands in the snow. His skin is black, and shimmers slightly golden as the sun touches it. He smiles as the Midari approach. They sniff him, circle him. He holds out a hand, and one nuzzles his outstretched arm. The dark figure continues to smile as a dark mist emanates from the area. The Midari freeze, and are consumed by the mist. There are howls, screams, cracks of dark lightning, and as the mist recedes, the Midari remain. They have changed, grown. Their skin is torn and blackened, they spill blood upon the snow, and steam rises from their fur. A large creature faces them. He looms over his new fiends and growls a single word. 'Piddling.' The dark Midari scatter. Within the Elven camp, word reaches the captain 'Proditor' that the great beasts of the icy wastes have been quiet of late. A good omen, he believes. Within the Tsimshian camp, visions are seen of the Gyrfalcon flying south; of the Fox pointing out to sea; of the Bear floating away on an iceberg; of a pack of Wolves tugging at the ropes of the tents. Some of the men chose to depart, nothing is known now of those that did not.

In the Hopewastes, Kan Slaar paced up and down. Something was missing. Something important. He came to the old shrine to Velnashar, that had been closed by the Fey of Death. Or so it had seemed: this shrine was now a portal, a doorway to somewhere beyond the Hopewastes. Such a thing is unthinkable, and Kan Slaar reached out with his newly restored power, and stitched the fabric of the Wastes back together. The last trace of Death's power is sealed away. The Hopewastes stand once more as the resting place of dead and unquiet souls. But there was still something missing. Something important. A focus, a talisman, a key. A name came to his mind: Dimitri Tyler. Questions were asked, and answers were found. Dimitri Tyler's soul had passed on beyond the Hopewastes, perhaps to the Deep, perhaps elsewhere? The last time he was seen, he was being hunted by the Gorgers, but the outcome of their struggle was unclear; the Gorgers do not talk. A bird; a stone bird. That is what is missing. That is what is awry. Kan Slaar resigns himself to this unsolved mystery. After all, he had control of the Wastes once more, what business is it of his if a dead man's trinket is missing?

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