March 2009

Poisonous Giants

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 30, 2009 at 12:00 AM CDT
Royal Seal

Originally posted 03-30-09 by EM Iatu on the Great Lakes EM Site:

Tomas Savos called together some Volunteer Royal Guards to speak about a new threat in Britannia. When they gathered, he first spoke briefly about the death of Clainin, and of the desire to establish a Volunteer Royal Guard Headquarters. After that, he explained that the Royal Guard had been issued a challenge from a Mage claiming to have great power that was residing in Shame.

Tomas and the Volunteer Guards left to Shame, and searched for the Mage. He was found in the lowest level, surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of giant scorpions, spiders, and serpents. The mage, later learned to be named Imperus Noxum, had set up a small encampment on one of the islands in the river of the lowest level. After a lengthy battle, the Guards vanquished the creatures the mage had summoned, and felled the mage as well. After he seemed to have died, however, the mage’s voice was heard from some nearby communication crystals, taunting the guards before fading off.

After a quick search of the mage’s camp, Tomas gathered the Guard back up, and returned to Britain. Tomas explained that he found the mage’s Journal. He read a few snippits, and said he would place the journal on display whenever a new headquarters for the Volunteer Royal Guard was established.

Tomas thanked those who assisted in the battle before requesting suggestions on where the new headquarters might be located. Those interested in offering suggestions followed Tomas through a bit of a tour through some of Britannia’s larger buildings. Most seemed happiest using an area in Serpent’s Hold, but other suggestions were also gathered. Tomas thanked people for their suggestions, and requested that people continue to think of more, explaining that he would accept a few more the next time he called for help, and furnish whatever location was chosen shortly after that.

"Shame Journal

by Imperus Noxum

Day 1
I must be sure to keep hidden, at least for now. I cannot allow my research to be disrupted.
So far, I have not had much promise. The dungeon is too crowded with creatures beyond my control.
Thankfully, only some of them are even smart enough to notice my presence, and those don’t seem to care enough to investigate more.

Day 2
No luck today. Too busy fending off that bothersome oaf that dares call himself a Mage Lord.
He should be much less of a bother now that his corpse rests at the bottom of the river.

Day 3
Oh what joy! No luck at all finding the necessary components, but I can now search without fear of interruption!
I witnessed a group of mages preparing before heading out of their tower, and now know their secret to staying safe from the monsters in this blasted hole.
Now that I can safely pass the gazers, I can move deeper into Shame if I continue to have no luck up here.

Day 4
I came across a bag full of some fresh nightshade, but it did not seem to be the kind I was looking for.
Most likely just lost by some clumsy adventurer.
With all the poison elementals in the area, I would’ve expected to the components here.
Tomorrow, I head beyond the rooms of gazers.

Day 5
Success! The nightshade I was seeking was growing in the Gazer nest.
Tomorrow, I will work my way onto the ‘islands’ and gather the rest of what I need from a kraken.
When I no longer need fear death, nothing will be able to stop me!

Day 6
All is done. Now to lure in some adventurers to test my new power…"

New Britannian Armes Forces Logo!

Submitted by DaKaren on March 29, 2009 at 9:52 PM CDT
GL High Council

Brand new logo for a new age!

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Clainin Murdered!

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 29, 2009 at 5:25 PM CDT
Library of Sosaria

Several weeks ago, the Royal Mage Clainin awoke from his years-long coma - only to be beset upon by one of the healers charged with his care. Fortunately, the traitorous elvin woman was fought off by another healer loyal to his patient, and Clainin survived the assassination attempt. Lord Casca had the Royal Mage whisked away to an unknown location for his protection while he recovered further.

Lord Casca & the Crimson Crystal
Last week, rumors ran rampant about an announcement by Lord Casca to be held at Empath Abbey. Our Liege did indeed speak to the citizens there, and personally led them on a quest to end the Shadowlord invasions of the cities. In the depths of Hythloth, a large crimson crystal pulsing with mystical energies was located and then destroyed by Lord Casca. Several people left with souvenirs of this day, as tiny crystal fragments pelted most of those assembled.Broken Crystals

Once the party had returned to the Abbey, Lord Casca proclaimed that he was victorious in ending the crimson dragon threat, and that the war would be won readily. Our Liege disappeared, however, when a crimson dragon chose that moment to make itself known by taunting the crowd.

Fortunately for Britannia, an apparently rival species of platinum-hued dragon also chose that moment to reveal itself and challenge the crimson's boastful nature. After trading barbs, both dragons abruptly vanished into thin air.

Secret Underground Room
This brings us to last night; a source that shall remain nameless had infiltrated the Shadowlord faction ranks and witnessed shocking events that took place in Felucca. Apparently, the Shadowlords sent the mysterious Andrew and the believed-to-be-dead Melissa to meet with their faction at their base in the Yew Crypts.

A moongate within the base led to an underground chamber where Melissa announced that they would be dispensing powerful weaponry to lay siege to a location in Trinsic, their ultimate goal being the assassination of Clainin. The Shadowlord followers descended upon the Trinsic Training Hall, slaughtering any paladins brave enough to defend their city.

The True Britannians also strove to fight back the Shadowlord army, and for a while it looked like the tide would turn in their favor. Strangely, Clainin stood on the second floor of the Training Hall seemingly dazed and somewhat confused, unable to even speak properly. Andrew ordered that he be softened up for Melissa, as she would strike the killing blow.

Clainin fights back

Clainin fought back with unusual magics, unfortunately, they were insufficient to deter his attackers. Melissa appeared behind the Royal Mage and proceeded to murder him, the killing blow sent out a concussion wave which damaged the Training Hall.

Melissa assasinates ClaininRoyal Mage Clainin is dead; Melissa and Andrew have crawled back under their rocks. For every step forward that Britannia appears to take against the despicable Shadowlords, we are dealt a morale crippling blow.

I spoke with several citizens regarding recent events, and they all gave a similarly dim view of the King Pro-tempore Administration's actions of late. One man, who was present for the shattering of the crimson crystal, had this to say, "That wily elf dinna seem a'all surprised by the big red crystal, as if'un he placed it there himself... A mite suspicious if'un ye be ask'n me!"

Conspiracy theories have ran rampant since the ascension of Lord Casca to the throne, yet until there is evidence to corroborate even the least improbable conjecture I shall refrain from giving them any copy space here. However, one high-ranking High Council Official speaking on the promise of anonymity had this to say, "What in the Abyss was Casca thinking, sending a recovering man to the tender mercies of Felucca? Is he mad?"

The crimson dragon threat may be gone for now my friends, but Britannia has lost a hero to the Shadowlord's insane quest for chaos and dominion. This war is far from over, and I fear we may face darker times ahead. Keep your blades sharp and your reagents stocked!

Yet, I ask myself, in a world where magic flows as readily as water, and resurrection is commonplace... Is anyone ever truly dead?

Martyna Z'muir, Library of Sosaria

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Submitted by UO_Herald on March 28, 2009 at 1:00 PM CDT

Originally posted 27 Mar 2009 18:21:33 by Draconi on the UO Herald:

Our Lord Casca, ruler of the realm, bids all Britannia to hear, and have the following news be made known to them:Let it be known that after great struggle and sacrifice, Lord Casca has personally shattered the wicked artifact that weakened the world’s magical barriers, allowing invasion into our fair lands.

Let it be known that he is thankful to all who aided the effort, in both the defense of our cities and to those who demonstrated their loyalty in the assault on the hidden lair of our cowardly enemies.

Let it be known that Clainin, of the royal court, master magician, yet lives! His survival warms the heart of our liege, who, having ensured Clainin’s protection from nefarious villainy, has entrusted him into the hands of Britannia’s finest soldiers while he recovers.

Soon, our greatest wizard will return to our ranks, ready to stand against the tide of darkness, ready to strike down with brimstone and flame all who dare oppose that which is right and true!

Rejoice, Oh Britannia! Though the final battle is yet to be won, our salvation is nigh!

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Submitted by UO_Herald on March 28, 2009 at 12:57 PM CDT

Originally posted 27 Mar 2009 15:45:13 by Calvin Crowner on the UO Herald:

Winds change and rain falls on the just and unjust. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve watched this realm burned. I’ve seen siege and pestilence; birth and death; love and murder. And I can never have enough.

What matters should one minor breath cease, when an entire land can join under one banner? I see myself as simply a person of ambition. I see myself as a person who understands balance. I see myself as the one person who truly understands sacrifice … not mine of course … but I do understand it.

Melissa stood before the full-length mirror, her slim form twisting almost awkwardly as she took in the regal plunge of the backline and gracefully returning to set her grey eyes – the color reminding her of the slivers of iron she’d once watched a smith fashion into her first dagger. She smiled considering how fate works … and how she felt herself a crafter in her own right with her influence over it.

She fawned and practiced her looks of shock, dismay, disappointment and glee -- gesticulating and morphing from one pose to the next. With a flourish an ebon blade appeared at her fingertips, her eyes betraying the sudden sense of peace at its weight in her hand. She purred examining both edges: a lioness stalking the weakest member of a small herd.

Turning on her heels she plucked at the tip of the blade, walking until she stood over a collection of spy reports. Some of them written hastily, others in the steady hand of those knowing their business well. Nothing new or tasty -- her own plans so much more delectable than anything her network had managed in the last few weeks.

She returned the dagger to its place without effort searching across the room for …
“Ahhh,” she rasped, “there you are.” Her sway across the room was noticeable, almost coquettish. She stood before painting she’d had “removed” from the archives depicting Clainin. She pouted mockingly opening the conversation.

“You’ve served your purpose so well fine mage. Britannia owes you its eternal thanks for your duty and service.” She almost scoffed as she straightened herself readdressing the image. “And eternal shall this nation’s thanks be.” In an easy motion her body lunged forward, pressing the tip of the blade into the cheek of the mage’s image, her mouth drifting to the ear of portrait, her voice squelched into a venomous hiss: “And in showing my personal appreciation I shall have complete … job … satis … faction …”

Darker than her own thoughts, shades moved in hushed steps through the false dusk of the crypts. Whispers and messages passed between them without voice or acknowledgment. Cloaked shadows slipped like corruption through the low arches, the smell of oil and incense hung in the air, falling on senses deadened for millennia.

From within Melissa’s apartments her dulcet laughter drifted down the halls.

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Cloak & Dagger

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM CDT
Royal Seal

Originally posted May 28th, 2009 by EM Iatu on the Great Lakes EM Site:

Nosfentor, Shadowlord of Cowardice, made a call to members of the Shadowlord Faction to meet with Melissa in a new gathering area. Melissa, with some assistance from Andrew, sent the Faction Members off to Trinsic to take care of Clainin.

Unfortunately, the Shadowlords met some resistance before even arriving at their new gathering area. True Britannian faction members attacked the the Shadowlords outside of the entrance, and made it difficult for them to meet with Melissa and Andrew.

After being sent to Trinsic, the Shadowlord Faction members had to fight off the Royal Guards protecting Clainin, as well as some forces from the Minax and True Britannian factions that arrived to thwart the Shadowlords efforts. Melissa, seemingly upset with the poor performance from her help, crept behind Clainin and killed him before the Faction Members could secure the area.

Before fleeing with Andrew, Melissa cast a spell… “In Vas Flam”, causing a large explosion, and forever destroying Clainin’s spirit so he can never be resurrected.

Platinum Dragons

Submitted by UO_Herald on March 25, 2009 at 2:43 PM CDT

Originally posted 25 Mar 2009 13:15:22 EST by Kilandra Cotten on the UO Herald:

Swords clashed in combat between two humans – one male standing 6’2 and a female around 5’7. The young man was wearing typical battle gear, bright chrome armor lined with golden hues that seemed to fit every curve of his muscled physic. The young woman, who seemed to be matching every strike he put towards her, was almost identically dressed with the same style chrome armor. The two combatants were engaging each other in almost harmonious melee combat, neither one losing footing to the other.
A few feet away, a dark cloaked figure seemed to be presiding over the contest. Without motion, nor words the figure stood perfectly still. In this stoic state the figure monitored every step, swing, and motion of these two.

“Valec!” came the soft but obvious yell from the young woman towards the man in a voice that almost sang as she spoke. Pausing from her combat she now looked for an answer from the seemingly distracted man. For some reason, Valec lowered his sword and now stood in front of his sparring partner looking down at the ground as if focused on something far away. “What is it?” She pryed.

Valec’s eyes were fixed upon the ground and his free hand opened wide as if he felt something radiating from the foundation beneath him. His beautiful fingers quivered slightly.

“Tilas, someone approaches…” Valec responded to his companion. “And something is very wrong”. A worried look twisted his face and pursed his lips.

The cloaked figure who had until this moment not moved a hairs breath now stepped forward towards the pair, pulling down the hood of the cloak, it was clear, the figure was a beautiful yet aged woman with waist length silver hair. She was dressed in armor like the two called Valec and Tilas but seemed that she had no need of a sword.

“Good young one, you are learning to be aware of your surroundings while in combat, but tell me, how do you know something is wrong?” she asked the young man.

Looking up at his mentor Valec replied “The footfall - it’s hasteful for a dragon of our brood, not only that but, the wind it moves with him – a sign of trouble.”

“Is that all?” She asked as she looked at him with mildly inquisitive eyes and a bright smile. Then turning her gaze and smiling at the young woman who now seemed to be concentrating her thoughts to the full extent of her abilities as if not to be outdone by her friend.

“I do feel something but, it’s the spirit aura, this dragon’s magic, it’s shaking almost, I can sense it” The young woman Tilas’s face now showed small signs of being slightly proud of herself. But her pride lasted only for an instant, as the realization seemed to drop upon her shoulders with great weight. She now shared the look of worry her partner had before.

“Good Tilas, Good Valec, both of you, when you learn to sense all these things at all times, even in your sleep, then you will have progressed to my liking” The older woman responded.

Quiet crackles like steel sparks dancing in the air emerged from the skin of the older woman. A magical aura glowing dark blue, purple and silver glistened around her body and hummed with intensity while giving new form to her. Within little more time than it takes an Ophidian to blink an eye, the once human woman transformed into an immense Platinum Dragon Matriarch.

She was adorned with elaborate horns ending in perfect points, a blue sheened chest plate with assorted jewels covered and protected her front, and a matching jeweled head plate of armor that had a cut away to accommodate for the large frilled ridge that lined her forehead and continued down her back sat high upon her massive head. Her shoulders would easily clear four sturdy human men – if they stood each on the other’s shoulder.

The two younger dragons followed suit after their mentor, calling forth the proper magics needed to undo the spell that held their human transformation intact. Now the draconic combatants in their true form, while not nearly as large nor decorated as the elder female, still an impressive sight to behold two young platinum dragons as they stood behind their mentor awaiting the arrival of another.

The rush of wind Valec had predicted arrived with a flurry as a fourth dragon finished his approach towards the group. This one was larger in size than Tilas and Valec but obviously not the same stature as the Matriach. Giving a revered bow towards the older female, the adult male platinum dragon with a concerned look upon his face spoke.

“The Crimson dragons have found a way to return home”

Silence fell upon the group. Each individual seemed to be reviewing the statement “The Crimson dragons have found a way to return home”. It seemed as if everyone there suddenly understood some disturbing fate.

“Aesthyron, what will we do?” Tilas addressed her teacher by her name with a mixed display of concern and fear.

A gentle smile pulled away the lips that covered rows of gleaming teeth into a crescent moon as Aesthyron’s eyes quietly closed and her head tilted down. The massive elder Aesthyron seemed to comfort the young ones by her calm presence. All eyes looked to her for guidance.

“We will consult with the elders” Pausing for a moment with a heavy inhale of her massive lungs she spoke again softly “My precious young ones, you do not know of the lands from which the elder of our brood came nor why for more than 300 years, most of you have never seen battle despite the daily training – the lands from which we came from are now called Britannia- though it was not always named as such. If our wayward Crimson brethren have left this void for that home there can be only one purpose for their return. They intend to conquer the lands. Conquest, power, treasures, these are the motivations of your lost cousins. Britannia still hosts bountiful life. The Crimsons will pay no heed to this fact, in order to achieve their goals they will slay every living creature that stands in their way.”

Valec’s eyes seemed to flicker with intense blue light at hearing this information. Restrained anger presented in his voice “So, the land of our ancestors is going to be ravaged.” Valec paused for a moment.

“Would you defend that land if there were a way?” Said a young woman as she walked into the group of dragons. The petite woman seemed to come from nowhere and walked among the giants as if she felt no fear. Her ebon hair flowed from under her black and blue shimmering cloak, gently kissing the ground beneath her as she glided to the center of the meeting.

“Lady Bryxion…” Tilas called to the woman as if she were asking for confirmation.

“The portal with which the Crimson brood has entered Sosaria has not been completely shut.” She smiled “It seems that it was kept open ever so slightly after the Lord of the Crimson flight left it; I leave it to you to decide what you will do with this information”

With a formal bow Lady Bryxion disappeared like a shadow.

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Crimson Dragon

Submitted by UO_Herald on March 23, 2009 at 7:30 PM CDT

Originally posted 23 Mar 2009 19:15:04 by Kilandra Cotten on the UO Herald:

Some time ago…

Taerlstratar looked intently into the shining orb he held with refined grace between two of his foreclaws. Despite being an immense creature his ability to move every muscle in his body with poise was unsurpassed, and holding the twelve inch orb eloquently was as simple a task as breathing.

To himself he thought, “The Shadowlords will be the ones to do it, they are going back home. And I will go back as well; its past time to take my true place in the lands now called Britannia. Curse Mondain, foul little human. Perhaps, it’s time to kill them all.”

While pondering the destruction of every human in existence, the orb changed its scene, shifting from showing an image of the works of the Shadowlords, to some of the younger looking Crimson dragons. Taerlstratar peered a bit closer into the orb, his large cat like pupils moving as if by command – fluxing out and then in slightly to get the best view possible from the small scrying orb. “The young ones… they too have a purpose for me.”

Taerlstratar knew all too well the bloodlust that lingered in the hearts of the young Crimson brood; he also knew the lack of wisdom and restraint that came without years of knowledge and experience. Make no mistake however; the young ones were not simply mindless killing instruments. Young Crimsons were still smarter than any human, gargoyle, or elf back home. They simply desired the very thing that was their birthright – to rule the lesser species.

The brood was too big now – a new home was needed, new conquests, new terrain – out of this endless void where Mondain had trapped them. Taerlstratar moved his massive wings out to their full length, a full hundred and fifty feet by human standards, stretching himself out a bit before returning the orb to its pedestal and collecting his legs underneath him. There was work to be done.

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Fire & Ice

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM CDT
Royal Seal

Originally posted March 21st, 2009 by EM Iatu on the Great Lakes EM Site:

After learning that the barriers that protect Trammel cities were starting to be restored, Casca took the opportunity to strike at the crystal believed to be used to help the Shadowlords and Crimson Dragons invade in the first place.

Casca called for volunteers to meet him by the Empath Abbey in Yew. When a group arrived, he took them to a moongate leading to a small dungeon filled with monsters. The volunteers went into the dungeon, and attacked the monsters. At the heart of the dungeon was the crystal that Casca had come to destroy. Once the monsters were all defeated, Casca stepped forward and started to break down the crystal. On the final cut, the Crystal shattered and spread shards throughout the room.

Casca asked for those gathered to come back out of the dungeon with him, so he could make a speech. Casca thanked those gathered for their assistance, and let them know they had helped give a lasting protection from the Crimson Dragon threat. Before he could finish his speech, a young Crimson Dragon charged at the crowd.

Casca fled while the Crimson Dragon taunted the crowd. After a few taunts, a man in the crowd warned everybody to get away. The Crimson Dragon seemed to recognize the man, and asked why he was there. After a few words were exchanged, the man transformed into an Elder Platinum Dragon. With a quick spell, the Platinum Dragon sent the young Crimson Dragon away, before departing from the area himself.

Tomas Savos rushed towards the crowd, just barely missing the Dragons. He climbed up onto the Winery to thank the crowd once more for Casca, and offer a gate back to Britain for those interested. Unfortunately, there was too much noise in the area, and many in the crowd did not hear Tomas. He has since requested that his apology be passed along to those who thought he was being silent.

Tales of Ice and Fire

Submitted by UO_Herald on March 20, 2009 at 5:18 PM CDT

Originally posted 20 Mar 2009 18:56:58 by Calvin Crowner on the UO Herald:

Battles are sometimes won with bloodshed. Others are won in the silence between dawn and dusk. And sometimes there is a peace that lasts centuries. This is not one of those times.

Often even the boundaries of an uneasy peace are tested with time. But not even time can heal the wounds of a battle fought between this plane and others.

Spring was early this year. With the eyes of his companion set more on their destination than the means of getting there, the pace they strode would collapse a knight’s steed. Any onlooker would gather that the two shadows moving in the lavender light must be planeshifting to move so quickly. Blink. A league passed. Blink. Three leagues.

Each silver-grey cloak gathered about the massive shoulders of each slender form. At this distance they could have been taller than shire horses. Then again, the light at this time of evening did play tricks on the eyes. They strode shoulder to shoulder, never breaking stride, never checking to see if the other were lagging or tired. They moved with purpose, and as if they’d known each other longer than the sun, or any other thing in the heavens.

They stopped. Their motion coming to an immediate halt seemed not out of place, nor did their breathing seem labored. They … simply … stopped. One crouched as if testing the earth for a place to lay, his palm outstretched his body and eyes set on the ground beneath, and what stretched to the horizon before the pair.

An ancient language swept from one, “Tenpiswo ui wer ouith …”
“I feel it too,” his companion agreed. “The wound is here …”

***** ******* ********

Casca had been playing this game for several weeks now. The moves of his opponent were methodical. The pigeon brought one move each day for one player. With the latest, Casca had lost a knight to a pawn. Sloppy, he thought. Sloppy play. Where was his mind? Perhaps the invasion and all his machinations were having an effect on his decision-making.

Panting, Threwort ran in and brought himself quickly to attention. Opening his mouth to speak Casca raised his hand.

“My liege …” Threwort tried to interrupt.

“What are you up to?” he spoke to himself. He traced each path of every piece with an extended finger, forming move upon move in thin air.

Threwort rocked on his heels impatiently. Exasperated Casca turned to Threwort. “What is it?”

“The Trammel Barrier, My Leige. It is restored. The Crimson are falling back, as if they suddenly found more pressing matters.”

“But I didn’t. There was no word to…”

Casca’s stomach churned. Looking at the chessboard, his tongue folded against the roof of his mouth, as if tasting iron and oil.

“What do you mean, it’s restored? Of course it’s restored! Certainly, all according to plan. This! This is the era I have spoken of. Our planets are aligned. Our destinies sing of prosperity, magic, and muffins!”

“Our next step is now easy. Onward now to Yew Abby!”

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Clainin’s Escort to Safety

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM CDT
Royal Seal

Originally posted March 16th, 2009 by EM Iatu on the Great Lakes EM Site:

Immediately after being notified that Clainin was attacked, Lord Casca ordered that Clainin be escorted to a Safe House. Casca asked for volunteers to assist Tomas Savos in escorting Clainin from the New Haven Healers to the New Haven Moongate. The escort was ambushed shortly after leaving the protection of the New Haven Guards, but Clainin was defended.

Clainin safely made it to the Safe House thanks to the assistance provided near New Haven.

Clainin Awake

Submitted by UO_Herald on March 13, 2009 at 6:21 PM CDT

Originally posted 13 Mar 2009 16:56:48 by Calvin Crowner on the UO Herald:

Maron sat stirring his cup of water with his finger. Water. Still wet. Not much had changed with the rules of the world or the rasping shape clinging to life in the bed next to him.

He’d read the same book four times in the last month or so. He hadn’t been permitted to leave his solid and miserably made oaken stool with the exception of severe physical need or until released from his thirty hour vigil. Each “Watcher” was given eight hours to sleep after a thirty hour post. Maron had not slept so soundly in his life, nor had he been so completely bored.

“Anything could happen,” Casca had directed him, his face uncharacteristically dour. “You must be alert, you must be prepared, you must change the bed sheets.”

Maron grumbled with the memory. What was there to worry about when you were nothing but an over-educated nursemaid for a comatose Archmage?

Jessa Leis was a very skilled healer. She’d come to the group of care givers in the last three weeks and had shown more than a bit of talent healing both body and dispositions. She stood in the doorway carrying what seemed to be a picnic basket. Her sharp yet graceful elven features brought an immediate peace to the otherwise dull setting. Maron was glad to see her.

“You’re early,” he managed after taking in her slim form. She’d pulled the chestnut tresses that normally hung about her shoulders, into an elaborate braid, a fine golden cord gathered across her forehead, vanishing in the mass of curled locks behind.

“Nice hair.” He grimaced unable to fashion a better form of compliment.

Her smile pushed from the center of her lips and tugged the corners sweetly as she spoke, “Oh my Maron, that’s four words already today. Do you feel dizzy?” She took a few cautious steps into the room looking over the still bedridden mage. “Nothing today?”

“No. Not even wet sheets.”

“Well that’s something to be thankful for. See what I’ve brought you for lunch …”

And in that moment Clainin stirred, shocking and setting the two healers on their heels as if they’d been beset by rabid mongbat. “By the Virtues,” Jessa whispered.

Jessa spun, dropping the basket, and gripping Maron at his shoulders. Her smile broad, Maron captured something … offsetting in her gaze. “Go …,” she commanded shaking him, “tell Father Heatherwix our charge is awake!”

Maron found himself almost at a sprint before he caught himself a few steps down the hallway. Casca’s words catching in his memory.

“You must be alert.”

Younger healers don’t dismiss more senior healers. He paused and felt a knot forming his throat. His mind caught the gravity of the scene awaiting him as his eyes again adjusted to the dim light of the room.

Jessa had pressed one knee into the mages side as the golden cord that had moments before held her hair, was pulled taught around the mage’s throat. His already pale flesh now threaded with blue and bruised veins on a death march toward his bulging eyes.

Jessa’s back arched as the pressure of the cord turned in her delicate fingers.

Part rage, part fear Maron’s voice pierced the normally tomblike silence of the halls, “Guards! … GUARDS!”

In a surge, and without thought, Maron gripped the stool at its legs and smashed the seat across Jessa’s temple. With a viscerally satisfying “thop” she fell in a heap above Clainin.

Shoving the elf to the floor, Maron’s training took over and he set himself to the immediate care of the victim.

Rasping and thankfully choking, he cleared the obstruction from Clainin’s throat looking for further signs of trauma.

Not taking his eyes away, he heard boots gathering in the entryway. The sound of swords returning to sheaths.

His voice was quiet and scalding. Dangerous. “Take that,” he inclined his head toward Jessa, “and feed her to a cell. Send word to Casca. He’ll be happy to know he was right.”

*** *** ***

The message arrived in the clutches of a hawk. The courier set itself on its perch just inside the window of Casca’s chambers, overlooking the gardens below.

Casca’s jaw set tightly, as he turned the parchment in his hands. His ministers stirred seeing his countenance washed with concern. “Clainin is awake. With haste, secure him. The future of Britannia is in danger.”

Casca’s troubles seemed to be mounting. And now, the race was on.

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Boat Race a Course in Success!

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 3, 2009 at 4:03 PM CST
Library of Sosaria

Last Sunday, EM Malachi hosted the first of what may be many boat races in Britannia. As usual, the event started in the Counselor's Hall in northern Britain where the teams were given a race pack containing a map of Britannia, a sextant, a red and a blue bag, a book titled Island Hopping (race instructions), and lastly a book titled Boat Race Activities (things to do while sailing). (Both books are available for viewing in the Luna white box in the Library of Sosaria.)

The start of the race lay in the open waters just east of Brittany Bay so as not to interrupt shipping lanes. Each participating vessel had a lantern affixed to the deck to ensure that the same vessel docked at the finish line. The first leg of the race was to swiftly sail to the docks at Buccaneer's Den.

Once reaching the Den, a sea green lantern directed the crews to follow more lanterns to the west and into the infamous Smuggler's Tunnels - unfortunately those lanterns had mysteriously disappeared. Thankfully, one prepared sailor managed to open a gate into the tunnels, and another lantern was discovered with a set of coordinates so the southeast.

There a Serpent Pillar rose majestically out of the water. A somewhat perturbed looking alchemist perched upon a scaly coil directing ship captains to the docks at Serpent's Hold.

Lord Paris stood on the dock of the Fortress of Courage waiting to give the coordinates for the next leg of the race...for a price. Paris demanded that a gem be brought to him from the corpse of a firesteed. Fortunately, the nearby crack in the hillside led to the Fire Dungeon, and an ample supply of the blazing equines. The Lord took one gem and gave racers the next coordinates, the docks in New Haven. Any remaining gems were to be placed in their red bag.

The New Haven leg was my personal favorite, as a lantern there directed the crews to obtain the delectable peppercorn fishsteaks for their blue bag. Another lantern directed racers to coordinates on the island nation of Nujel'm.

On the small jetty on the eastern side of Nujel'm, another lantern led crews to the Debtor's Prison. There, a man named 'Tim' requested one of the delicious fishsteaks to quiet his rumbling stomach. He suggested that sailing to Dagger Isle and investigating the Shrine of Honesty would be advantageous.

At the Shrine, the lantern there pointed towards the snow cave on the northwestern tip of the isle. Inside the cave, the last lantern divulged the finish line - the docks in nearby Moonglow.

The winning crew was the crew of the USS Pwnager, a mix of PunkTe and Unforgotten Phoenix: Herro Striker, Beethoven, COCOPUFF, Larry Laffer and Mr Amazing. An engraved ship model memorializes their victory in the Counselor's Hall in northern Britain, and an engraved lantern sits on the main dock in Britain. An impromptu celebration was held at the Cat's Lair tavern by EM Malachi to congratulate the winning crew.

A second race may take place two months from now, weather permitting.

Martyna Z'muir, Library of Sosaria

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Short Story Literary Contest Winners Announced

Submitted by Martyna_Zmuir on March 2, 2009 at 5:30 PM CST
Library of Sosaria

I would like to announce and congratulate the winners of the first Library of Sosaria Literary Contest of 2009. We had many fine entries submitted for the Short Story Contest and it was hard to choose only three winners. After much debate, Lady Kazola, Lady Silverbrook and I finally settled on who would be named victorious.

Renee of the Guild of Friends took first place and 2,000,000 gold pieces with "The Last Human", a tale regarding the secret purpose of a certain sticky Elvin delicacy.

Willa of the Yew Wood of Yew took second place and 1,000,000 gold with "Skylar's Sea Adventure", a story from the days of old when the world was not quite as stable...

Zephyrus of the Sosarian Mages took third place and 500,000 gold with "A Weathered Journal", an autobiographical account of a past potentially marred by dark magicks.

Each winner received an engraved golden pegasus statue along with their check(s).

All submitted entries are available for public viewing in an engraved metal box at the Library of Sosaria. You may find the Library directly south of the Yew moongate (72o 26'N 39o 18'W), directly east of the Nameless Rune Library.

The next Literary Contest will be poetry, the style of which is still under consideration. Expect this event to occur in April - so you have ample time to find your muse.

Martyna Z'muir, Library of Sosaria

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