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The Great War


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#1 Lyanna

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:07 PM

Note from Lyanna: I just need to post this here for linking and editing purposes. Please note that it's under revision.

-Lyn-



The Great War - Prologue

By Tumaros


Mortos paced around his chamber angrily. Every few minutes, the twisted, shadowy god of death would look down upon the mortal world below and scratch his chin in thought. Too long had the world gone by the other gods' peaceful bidding...especially the goddess of life, Aluwen. The evil god had been stripped of nearly all of his otherworldly powers, removed from his underworld empire, and placed in a chamber in the realm of the gods, set under constant watch.

Mortos groaned and looked once again over the world of the mortals below. Foolish mortals, he thought angrily. They think that without me, all will be peaceful forevermore. He growled angrily. But Mortos cannot be defeated, cannot be destroyed, no...but what can I do? How can I make the mortals cower before me once more, shivering at the mere mention of my name? How?

The god of death roared, causing some stares from the guards of his cell. He pounded his fist into the wall, not making a dent in the magical barrier around his room. Mortos grumbled and sat down at his desk, trying to remember what godly powers he was not stripped of...the ones that he developed himself. There were so many he had to choose from, but none of them seemed to please the dark god. However...there was one spell that caught the god's attention...it was more of a curse. When cast across a certain area, or a certain creature, that creature would never fully die. It could be killed through combat or magic or by any normal means, but after laying dead for a minute or so, the creature would come back to life, as strong as before.

A smile curled Mortos's wild, wrinkled face. The god of death began to form a plan in his mind...he would cast this spell across the entire realm...affecting every living creature. And then, a thought struck Mortos. If he sent a raiding party of these practicially invincible creatures to Aluwen's main empire, in the city of Tirnym...he could distract the goddess, weaken her by destroying her empire, and return to the mortal world, casting a shadow across the Lands.

No one would die, he thought, sneering. The world would overpopulate. Chaos would reign, as people would start killing each other to make room for themselves. All because of greed. Mortos laughed, remembering when the first mortals were created. During that event, each god inserted a prominent trait into their own race, that would be passed on throughout the years during cross-breeding. Mortos had created all of the foul creatures of the land, the orcs, goblins, ogres...and inserted the horrific trait of greed into each. Greed passed on thoughout the races, some more than others, and now, this would lead to the dark lord's conquering of the Lands.

Mortos let out a long, demented laugh, and cried out. "Selain! I would like to speak to you!"

A cloud began to form to the right of Mortos. He watched as it took form, the could solidifying into a hooded, cloaked man. No skin was visible on this creature, and his cloak flowed constantly (even though there was no wind). Selain, the god of summoning, and Mortos's closest ally, spoke and a whispery, aged voice.

"Yes, Mortos? You requested my audience?"

"Indeed I did, Selain." Mortos smiled and bent low. He described his plan to Selain, all the while the god of summoning staying perfectly still. When Mortos finished he straightened up again and crossed his arms over his chest, waiting for the reserved god's answer.

He saw the hood incline slowly, and could almost hear Selain's mind working through all the pros and cons of the plan. It would be dangerous, but if they were successful, the two gods would share reign over the Lands, bringing great results.

Eventually, Selain brought his head back up again, and Mortos could feel his glare. "Yes," whispered Selain.

Mortos could barely contain himself, smiling wickedly, and the two gods sat at the desk and began forming their plan for the downfall of Aluwen's peaceful empire.

Edited by Lyanna, 08 May 2005 - 02:14 PM.


#2 Lyanna

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:09 PM

The Great War - Chapter 1

By Tumaros



Mynadar

"What is it?" asked the dwarf king.

"Me lord," began the small dwarf, fumbling with his pickaxe. "The miners guard has reported a slight problem..."

The king of the dwarves leaned forward in his seat. "An' what might that be?"

"Well, y'know how we've been attacked by what seems t' be a never-ending stream of goblins in th' past few days?"

The dwarf king nodded.

"It appears that...well...after we kill one, it sits there for a minute or so, and then...well, me lord, it comes back to life."

The dwarf king crossed his arms and smiled. He turned to Ekwin, his right-hand man, and they both figured the same thing.

"Mortos," muttered the dwarf king, spitting as he said the name of the lord of evil, which was recently banished to the realm of the gods. "He's up t' his devilish tricks again."

Ekwin nodded. "We have no choice but to continue killing them. Send word to the miners guard to come as soon as possible."

"Yes, sir," muttered the small miner, and he scurried off.

The dwarf king crossed his arms and shook his head. "It's amazing...th' miners..."

"It is indeed," murmured Ekwin, nodding.

"I mean, a small dwarven town like Mynadar is now one of th' most popular trading centers in the world. It's a tough job t' rule..."

"Good thing we have a king like you, Gondric." Ekwin smiled.

"That's Gondric Mithrilfist, t' you," laughed Gondric. His laugh was short-lived, however. The dwarf king leaned back in his chair. Mortos, he thought to himself, what have you done now? I thought I had destroyed you... Gondric found himself remembering that day, many years ago, when he was just a young miner, and had his mind intertwined with the goddess of life, Aluwen, becoming her corporeal form. He had fought with Mortos on that day, and sent him to the gods realm under constant watch. For decades now, the world had lived under the more pleasant gods' bidding, its people never troubled with anything more than a vermin problem. But now, if Mortos was returning to the world...

Gondric jumped abruptly as Ekwin tapped him on the shoulder, reviving him of his personal thoughts.

"Remembering that day, Gondric?" asked Ekwin softly.

Gondric nodded, and told Ekwin of his worries. "I fear that if that blasted Mortos returns, we'll all be in for some dark times indeed..."

Ekwin sighed. "For now, we should just hold off th' goblins, so far this is the only sign of Mortos we've h ad. We can't be too sure that he is truly returning..."

"Aye," rumbled Gondric, "but we can't let our guard up either. Have the royal guard posted around th' valley, just in case."

Ekwin nodded and ran off for the barracks.

Gondric sighed and fell heavily back in his chair, his thoughts fading in and out, and within a few seconds he fell into a deep, dwarvish sleep.





Gondric's eyes opened wide and he was jolted from his sleep by an exremely loud, ground-shaking explosion, which completely threw Ekwin to the floor.

"What in th' Lands was that?" cried a flabbergasted Ekwin as he straightened himself on his chair next to Gondric.

Gondric shrugged, his throne still shaking from the aftershock of the explosion. Their curiosity didn't last long however, as a thick, fully-battle clad dwarf as he ran as fast as he could into the halls of the dwarven king.

Gondric leaped up from his throne, anxious and immediately fearing the worst, and muttered, "What is it, guard?"

The stocky guard bent over and managed to speak between labored gasps. "To...the west...orcs...creatures...flowing...endless tide..." He looked up to his king, his face stricken with fear.

Gondric attempted to make sense out of the guard's words. "An endless tide of creatures and orcs, coming from th' west, ye say?"

The guard nodded, his expression dropping.

Gondric reached for his large, rune-covered battle axe, nodded to Ekwin, and followed the guard as they hastily made their way out of the king's structure, to the tall but thin wall surrounding the city. Truly, the dwarves didn't believe they needed a wall, that they could defend themselves, especially with Mortos gone, but Gondric never took chances, and he ordered the construction of a fairly sturdy wall around the dwarven empire.

The two dwarves practically bounded up the wall's stairs and stopped at the top. The guard pointed to the west, where all of the dwarven warriors were staring, standing perfectly still and perfectly silent. Gondric turned his head, and he too fell silent, paralyzed by a fear no dwarf had ever known.

To the west, in the mountains just south of the path to Tarsengaard, a hole had apparenly been blown out of the side of the mountain range, fresh dust still in the air. However, it wasn't this which shocked the dwarvish king the most. It was the infinite brownish-green mass that was ever flowing from the hole in the mountain...a mass comprised of thousands upon thousands of orcs.





"Mortos," spat Gondric. He growled fiercely, and some of the nearby dwarves edged away in fear. Gondric spun around. "How are we t' hold all o' them off?" he shouted. "No force in all of the Lands could destroy them!" He turned back to the flowing mass and stared around, hoping for some random hope that could save them.

As the dwarven troops rushed about in panic, alerting the townspeople and attempting to form a meager defense, Gondric's eyes fell on the simple suspension bridge that connected the eastern and western sides of the Valley of the Dwarves. His eyes scanned the entire Nordflaq river, the great river that separated the valley, and he noted that this was the only connection in the entire valley. He also noticed that, save the elves, no living creature could possibly jump the rapids of the Nordflaq river. A smile curled the dwarf's face as a quick plan formed in his mind. He spun around and called a small group of nearby troops towards him and informed them of his idea.

Within minutes, Gondric was watching as the small group sped to the bridge, hoping against hope that they could make it there before the orcs. The moment they reached and crossed the bridge, they had mere seconds to attempt to hack it down, but before they could complete the entire bridge, the mass of orcs came upon them. Gondric clenched his teeth in hate as the orcs threw the dwarves into the river, and waited, sweating like a wild hog, as the first orc stepped onto the bridge. It stood there for a moment, staring around stupidly, and it began to jump up and down, apparently testing the bridge. The bridge held, but swayed dangerously, and the orc continued to jump. Gondric watched, a grim smile on his face, as the bridge broke, and the stupid orc was swept away with the dead dwarves, the first casualties of the greatest war of all the Lands.

The orcs stood there, contemplating the situation, the western side of Mynadar overflowing with orcs (the waves from the mountainside never ceased!). Finally, a group of burly, armor-clad orcs, apparently the leaders, gathered around a great tree that stood near the destroyed bridge. They shouted out something in gutteral, halting orcish, and a group of axe-bearing orcs made their way to the commanders. Gondric watched in horror as the axe-bearers chopped and sliced at the large, thick tree, and cried out as it fell, creating a makeshift bridge across the raging Nordflaq river, which the orcs immediately began running across, bound for the empire of the dwarves.





"Get every able dwarf out there to defend our city!" shouted Gondric to Nekinor, the captain of the dwarvish army. He turned to Ekwin. "Ye go and get all th' women an' young dwarflings together and have them head for the mines." He spun around, to a group of dwarven warriors. "Half of ye head east, to Kilaran Field, and th' other half head south, to Nordcarn. See iffen we can't scrounge up some allies in this fight." Everyone nodded and headed off to do what they were commanded.

Gondric groaned and straightened his helm. He stared at the oncoming mass in silence, knowing that his death would very likely come in this battle, but he would never risk his people's life for his own. Mynadar was the only real settlement of the fast-dwindling race of the dwarves, and if the dwarves of his kingdom were all killed, their very existence would vanish from the Lands completely. No, thought Gondric, he could not allow this to happen to his people, his kin...

Gondric straightened his helm once more, and gripped his axe fiercely, knuckles turning white, and prepared to die an honorable death, a fighter's death.





The flowing, pulsating orc hoard moved towards Mynadar at a slightly slower pace now, the commanders taking strategic positions on rocks, mounds, and fallen trees, surveying the city before them. They barked orders to their troops in the gutteral orcish language, and as the orcs marched they switched and re-formed ranks, adjusting for the wall ahead. They set their strongest and most powerful orcs up front with minature battering rams and other such devices that would bring down the wall.

Finally, the raiding hoard came to a halt before the seemingly feeble wall surrounding Mynadar. Only a few dwarves remained on top, relaying information to their battle-ready kin below. Gondric stood in the very middle of the western gate, staring at the closed doors with a fixed, grim expression. He hardly took notice as the orcs let out a great cry in unison, stomped together numerous times, and dove wildly forward for the wall.

The wall itself was down in minutes, but the battle had just begun. Dwarves became transfixed berserkers, swinging their axes and warhammers wildly (it didn't take much to hit an orc, they were everywhere!). Ekwin must have gotten the women and children out safely, thought Gondric as he took down three orcs in one swing, for he didn't hear any screams from inside the houses as the orcs destroyed and burned the structures of the city. Gondric tried not to let his emotions overcome him, and continued to concentrate on the battle itself.

At one point, however, a group of five orcs had Gondric cornered in front of a burning shop. He held his axe ready, preparing for the orcs to lunge at any moment, and watched curiously as they all looked upward, above Gondric, at the same moment, and appeared to be watching something descend. Gondric paused for a moment, and reluctantly, keeping his axe ever ready, he too looked upward...just in time to see a beam collapse above him and come plummeting down. He attempted to jump to the side, but the beam caught him and knocked him to the ground, trapping him beneath. Gondric cried out as the orcs approached eagerly, and his mouth fell open as he saw one of the orcs jerk violently and fall forward, an arrow through his stomach.

"Yes," rasped Gondric, his breath lost in the impact of the beam. "Archers...from Kilaran Field."

Gondric listened, a smile on his face, as the sound of the battle shifted from the screams of dwarves to the sounds of archers, swords, and some occasional orc screams. He listened as more of the same types of sounds emitted from the southern end of the city...the allies from Nordcarn had arrived as well, it appeared.

Gondric attempted to lift the beam, but only managed to edge it to a more uncomfortable spot, near his groin. He groaned in pain, and then groaned at the sheer futility of it all. Curse Mortos and his powers! Every time an orc was killed, he was replaced by at least ten more from the mountain to the west. Gondric rose slightly to see the mountain (which he could, now that the wall, and most of the city, had been reduced to rubble), and he noticed, though it brought little comfort, that the orcs were no longer flowing out endlessly...only replacements for the dead ones.

Gondric fell limply to the ground and laid there for a few minutes. He saw a dark form loom over him, and it took his brain a moment to register that it was the form of an orc. It held its sword high over the dwarf, a twisted grin upon its face, and brought the sword down barely a second before Gondric could realize what was happening. The dwarf king managed an insane burst of adrenaline, and he lurched to the right, slipping out from under the beam, and out of harm's way. He roared, spun around, and caught the orc directly in the rear with his axe. The orc toppled, head over heels, into the burning house before him.

The dwarven king grumbled, and quickly moved away from the inferno next to him, not wanting to be caught by another falling beam.

He strolled through the streets of his city, some buildings charred, most still raging fires, and combat everywhere. Even with the allies from the two neighboring areas, the orcs horribly outnumbered the dwarves and their friends. Gondric shook his head...the city was lost. Fighting would be in vain, the orcs simply respawned seconds after their death. The dwarf king slumped over in a dark, burnt alley. What was he to do? The orcs would surely take over the city if his men stopped fighting! At least the women and children would be safe in the mines...

The mines!

Gondric slapped his forehead, causing a considerable bruise from his helm, and he immediately started sprinting southward, as fast as dwarvishly possible, to the rich gold mines. He had forgotten about how Mortos's former chamber was linked to the gold mines by a tunnel, that was how he and another miner, Urungt, one of his dearest friends, discovered the nightmare of Mortos. It had taken Gondric quite some time to realize that the same mountain the orcs had begun flowing out of was the spot where Mortos's empire once stood. That would mean that, if he was not mistaken, some orcs would be flowing out of that tunnel, into the mines, where Ekwin and the women and children were waiting...





Ekwin sighed and leaned back on the walls of the cave, as the sturdy miners that had been in the cave before he arrived closed off the entrance to the outside world. He looked around at the women and children, all perfectly still, trying to listen to the battle outside. They could barely make out any details, but they all knew that the orcs outnumbered the dwarves, and they knew that their great city would fall.

None of them even noticed the orc hoard that was steadily making their way through the tunnels, to their very location, until a miner came hollering down the tunnels, headed to the entrance. He rammed into the rocks that were now blocking their exit, screaming, "Lemme out! Lemme out!"

Ekwin managed to get ahold of the miner, and asked, "What is it? What's wrong?"

The miner tore free of his grasp and continued to slam into the rocks blocking the entranceway. "Lemme out! Lemme out! Orcs! Orcs in th' tunnels! Lemme out!"

Cries of "Orcs!" flew in the air, as some of the more tender dwarf mothers held their children closer. Ekwin turned to face the tunnel where the miner came out of, and sure enough, he could see dark shapes looming down within it. He turned to the miners.

"Close th' tunnel! Don't let them through!" he shouted, his hands shaking. As the miners ran down to the tunnel and started hacking madly at the rocks, Ekwin realized the full danger of their situation. He wiped his forehead and nearly passed out with fear, hoping that some good god out there would smile upon the dwarves.





Gondric finally made it to the tunnels, and he doubled over, out of breath and horrified. He was too late...they had already shut the entrance. He slammed his head against the rock, and was surprised when he heard a slam in return, from the other side.

The dwarf king let out a shout. "Can ye hear me? Anyone?"

He heard muffled cries from the other side, and then he could make out Ekwin's voice amidst it all. "Gondric! Help! Orcs, coming up the tunnel! No escape!"

Gondric threw his axe into the rocks and growled like a wild beast. The situation seemed hopeless. He threw his hands up in a last hope and shouted, "Aluwen! Iffen ye can hear me, help me! Please, goddess of life! Save me people!"

The dwarf king smiled, the first true smile that day, as he felt a familiar warmth in his body, followed by an ominous chill. The sensation repeated over and over numerous times, and finally it settled, Gondric feeling stronger than ever and practically invincible, now that he had the blessing of Aluwen upon him. He reached for his axe, shouted a quick "Stand back!" and lurched forward with all of his strength and might. The axe tore through the rocks as if they were made of sandstone, and the rocks crumbled to dust.

A great cheer went up on the other side, Ekwin cheering the loudest, as he and Gondric led his remaining people out of the mines. When all of the miners, women, and children had escaped, Gondric simply tapped the rocks above the mine, and the entrance closed once more, trapping the orcs behind them.

"Well, what do we do now, Gondric?" asked Ekwin.

"Well," muttered Gondric, "we can't head back t' th' city, that's suicide. An' same with the mines behind us." He looked around, and suddenly his eyes fell on a large house, built in the mountains a little to the east of the mines, practically invisible, and Gondric smiled.

"I bet that ol' hermit Banouck wouldn't mind having a little company." He smirked and spun to Ekwin.

"Banouck? Why he's the most ornery, grumpy, selfish..." sputtered Ekwin.

Gondric held up a hand. "He's got a house that could fit us all, an' I say we're going whether he likes it or not."

Ekwin muttered incoherently, and then he spun on his heel and began relaying the plan to the remaining dwarves as the headed off.

"Oh no!" cried Ekwin.

"What now?" muttered Gondric, grabbing his axe reflexively.

"I just remembered...isn't Banouck's house across the Nordflaq river?" Ekwin's face started to grow pale.

Gondric scratched his chin and attempted to figure out a plan to cross as they approached the river. His eyes drifted along the bank, up to where the orcs had crossed by chopping down a large tree...

Chopping down a large tree!

Taking a tip from the orcs, Gondric yanked out his axe and, with the power of Aluwen to assist him, began cutting down a large sturdy oak near the river. Within a few seconds it was down, and the dwarves cautiously made their way toward the mountain pass that led to Banouck's house.





"What in th' name of Thrunvor Swordcrusher is all o' this?" screamed Banouck, the hermit of Mynadar.

"Banouck, me friend, I be Gondric Mithrilfist, the current king of the late empire o' Mynadar..." began Gondric.

"I don't want no company, ye fools, I be a hermit, I live a..." started Banouck, but the he suddenly realized what Gondric had said. "Th'...th' late empire o' Mynadar?"

Gondric stood expressionless and indicated for Banouck to listen. Banouck cocked his head to the north, and he could hear, on the wind, the sounds of the horrendous battle in Mynadar. He could smell the smoke, and see the fires, and he realized what Gondric meant by the late empire of Mynadar.

"Oh...oh me achin' bones...what's goin' on over there? A battle?" whispered Banouck, shaking at the knees.

Gondric nodded, and explained the past events of the afternoon to Banouck. Within a few minutes, the grumpy hermit had reluctantly allowed the remaining dwarves to come into his large home in the mountain.

"Thank ye, Banouck, yer a real dwarf," said Gondric, smiling, and for the one of the first times in his life, the hermit humbled. He had to turn away to hide his blushing expression.

Gondric sighed, and regarded his people. "Fellow dwarves!" he shouted. "We can't remain in this place forever! Our empire may still be rebuilt, but first we have t' get rid o' all these blasted orcs! An' the only way we can do that is with allies...so I need a group of volunteers t' come with me, and head across the land, to get help, to cleanse and rebuild Mynadar!" A loud cheer went up.

"But sir..." whispered Ekwin, tapping his king on the shoulder. "If you're gone, who will rule over the dwarves?"

Gondric smiled and put a hand on Ekwin's shoulder. "Ye seem like ye'd do a pretty good job, Ekwin. Ye'll be their leader."

Ekwin stuttered. "Bu...but...me? Why, I'm...I wouldn't...I'd never..."

Gondric laughed. "Ye'll do a fine job, me friend." He turned to a group of volunteers, made of some of the strongest of the remaining dwarves. "Well, we'd best be off!" he said, and he gave one last shout. "We shall return, with the greatest force ye've ever seen!" The dwarves roared, and the roar never ceased, even after Gondric and his dwarven group had begun heading south, towards Nordcarn.





"Mynadar has fallen like a leaf in the autumn, Mortos," rasped Selain. Mortos could sense a maniacal, twisted grin beneath the hood of the wispy god of summoning.

Mortos let out a long, insane laugh. "Excellent!" he cried. "This is going to be easier than I thought!" He laughed again, as he and Selain set about controlling the orcs again, and bidding them to head west, to their next target...Kilaran Field.

#3 Lyanna

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:10 PM

The Great War - Chapter 2

By Tumaros




Kilaran Field



"Fall back!" shouted Kenocen over the roar of the fierce battle at Mynadar. "There are too many! Back to Kilaran!" The agile commander made his way through the battle, hacking and slashing madly from atop his steed to clear the pathway, shouting for his troops to return to their base. He stuck his head up over the wild blur of the battle and saw the other commanders from Mardyn and Baarg employing similar tactics. Soon, the remaining warriors that had come from Kilaran Field had all regrouped and began making a direct cut to the west.

As they neared the border between the two lands of Mynadar and Kilaran, Kenocen stopped and spun his horse around around for a moment. He stared at the grim destruction as the orcs continued to destroy all that the dwarves had built, leaving the prospering town in a pile of rubble, and shut his eyes in anguish. If only he had listened to that dwarf, perhaps the battle would have been won...Kenocen's mind drifted back, to that time just a few hours ago, when a lone dwarf stumbled into Kilaran Field...



* * *



"Halt, dwarf!" exclaimed one of the surly guards at the entrance to Kilaran Field. He strode forward, clad in a complete suit of dark, engraved plate armor, drawing his sword defensively and blocking the dwarf's passage. "What brings you to Kilaran Field?"

The dwarf paused for a moment, surprised at the actions of the guard, and grumbled, "I be here looking for allies...I'd like teh see yer commander."

The guard raised an eyebrow. He looked to his sides, where other guards (clad in a chain armor with markings that matched those of the front guard) stood, and turned back to the dwarf. "Why would a dwarf be looking for allies?"

"I'd like teh speak t' yer commander about that, and yer commander only," said the dwarf stubbornly.

The guard's knuckles turned white as his grip tightened on his sword, a fierce expression creeping across his face. He looked to the others for support, and one of the guards simply shrugged and said, "Let's take him."

The front battle-clad guard jerked his head back towards the dwarf and narrowed his eyes. "All right, we'll take you. But if you make one sudden move, and you will find yourself meeting the blade of my sword."

The dwarf returned the look in hatred, and remained silent as the guards, flanking him on all sides, led him southward, towards a looming fortress.



"Commander Kenocen, sir, there's a dwarf here to see you," said the armored guard, adding a very obvious distaste to his phrase on the word "dwarf."

Kenocen sighed. The thin, agile, half-elf commander rose from his seat within the fort and strode over to the dwarf. He looked down with a curious expression, as if he was surveying the dwarf's soul. The dwarf shifted uncomfortably, and stared up at Kenocen.

"Who are you?" asked Kenocen in a calm but battle-worn voice. "What is it that you want with us?"

"I be Nolchor Gravebreaker, o' the Valley o' th' Dwarves, and I bring disturbing news to ye," muttered he dwarf.

"Well, what is it?" asked Kenocen impatiently, fidgeting anxiously, his eyes every now and then darting to the northwest.

Nolchor closed his eyes, trying to summon some amount of patience to deal with these rude warriors. He then described the situation with the orcs emerging from the eastern mountains and making their way towards Mynadar.

Kenocen's eyes opened in disbelief, and his attention focused completely on Nolchor. Even the rough guards that had escorted him from the border were stunned silent.

"An' that's why I came here...lookin' for allies to try an' save our city." He wrenched himself free of the primary guard's grasp and brushed himself off. "Not teh be treated like dirt." He glared at the guard and turned back to an amazed Kenocen.

"I...I don't believe it," he stated. "Impossible. Thousands upon thousands of orcs? Surely you're joking..."

Nolchor, exasperated, put his hands on his hips. "You think I be joking? Ye're a fool...would ye like to come and see the army for yerself?"

Kenocen shook his head. "Even if you were telling the truth, which I still doubt...it would be impossible to assist you. The past five months have consisted of all three of our guilds making preparations for this battle, and now that it’s upon us, we can't risk losing it to help some dwarves who can't even kill orcs!"

Nolchor lunged forward, enraged, but was restrained by the guards who threw him back onto the ground. The dwarf growled furiously.

"Yer going to let some guild war stop you from destroying those menaces?" he screamed, brushing himself off and rising.

Kenocen nodded. "For too long have the members of the guilds Mardyn and us, Garisn, been at war with the scum of Baarg. Baarg has been attacking and killing many civilians for no reason but to make money selling them secondhand! Surely you agree, this is not nice indeed, and now is our chance to rid the world of the blasted guild of Baarg forever!" He picked up a sword lying nearby and threw it up into the air. Nolchor and the guards watched as the sword spun around, and, as if everything was running at half speed, the sword slid perfectly into a hilt on Kenocen's belt. The guards laughed at Nolchor's stunned expression, as if this happened every day.

Nolchor shook his head and regained his composure. "Aye, Baarg has been terrorizing the lands quite a bit lately, but tha's no excuse! The future of the Lands may be at stake, if our guesses are correct, and the orcs plan to rampage across the entire continent!" He looked up wishfully at Kenocen.

Kenocen regarded Nolchor with that curious expression he had given him when they first met. He stood perfectly still for what felt like quite some time to Nolchor, and finally he shook his head.

"I am sorry, dwarf, but..."

Kenocen stopped short. His hand immediately went to the hilt of his sword and he looked off to the northwest. The guards followed suit, some even drawing their weapons completely.

Nolchor, not wanting to be defenseless for whatever may be happening, gripped his warhammer around the handle. Then, he heard a violent noise, off to the northwest, and he knew why the warriors were acting so defensively.

The noise he heard was one of a great battle beginning...the battle of the guilds.



Kenocen sent his guards around the fortress to start gathering warriors and horses, for them to ride off for their pre-planned cavalry assist to Mardyn. Nolchor followed Kenocen as he scurried around his large tent, making last-minute preparations. Finally Kenocen seemed to realize that he was being followed and he spun around.

"What do you want, dwarf?" he demanded, his eyes appearing to glow red with battle-lust.

Nolchor frowned. "Are ye so sure ye're doin the right thing?"

Kenocen opened his mouth and shut it again, at a lost for words. He wrung his hands, and finally snapped at the dwarf, "Go! Just go, and fight your little orc hoard, dwarf! I could care less if you all died, weaklings!"

Nolchor growled like a wild beast of the forests and, pulling out his warhammer, lunged at the rude commander.

Kenocen dodged the wild, off-coordinated lunge, and countered by tearing his sword from the hilt and slapping it to Nolchor's back. Nolchor rolled over, the sword not even penetrating his tough chain armor, and hurled his hammer wildly at Kenocen's sword.

Kenocen let go of his sword, and both of their weapons went flying across the length of the tent and sliced out through the side. He turned to Nolchor, and they locked enraged stares.

"Leave now," repeated Kenocen, indicating the exit. "For your own good, dwarf, just go!"

Nolchor rose, retrieved his warhammer, and kicked Kenocen's sword into another room, all the while his gaze never straying from the commander's. Finally, he spat at Kenocen, muttered something about guild wars, and sprinted back to the Valley of the Dwarves.

Kenocen retrieved his sword, his mind whirling, and looked up as a guard entered his chamber.

"Commander...your horse is ready," said the guard flatly.

Kenocen nodded and, returning his sword to its sheath, strode oustide and mounted his large brown steed. He looked behind him, to his cavalry, and beyond, to the mountains that separated Kilaran Field from Mynadar, where he could make out a figure of a dwarf rushing back to assist in the defense of his homeland. He sighed and looked forward, to the battle on the dimming horizon, and Nolchor's words began to sink in. In his mind, he could hear the dwarf's voice, repeating "Are ye so sure ye're doin the right thing?" over and over. After a minute, one of the guards came up to Kenocen and aroused him from his thoughts.

Kenocen shook the words from his head, and with one last look at his warriors, he set off to the west, where the battle was calling to him...



From the warriors of Garisn's viewpoint, the battle was a fierce and bloody one indeed, each side taking their fair share of casualties. Kenocen smiled, his eyes gleaming with battle-lust, and with one look at his warriors, the cavalry charged straight into the great guild war. Fighters from Mardyn backed away from the battle, smiles gleaming on all of their horribly scarred faces, as they let Garisn make their first wild bezerker-like attack on Baarg.

Kenocen, the most violent of his warriors, screamed out a strange, secret command, and his warriors fell back as the fighters from Mardyn all drew their bows, now at a safe distance from the close combat, and the confused warriors from Baarg found their number dwindling at an alarming rate.

"Arrows!" came a strained, gruff shout from the Baarg warriors, and the warriors all dropped their close-combat weapons, followed by the sound of multiple bowstrings being released towards both Garisn and Mardyn fighters. The riders from Garisn managed to ride off without too many casualties, but the already weak Mardyn force crumbled. After only the first volley, it seemed only ten or so Mardyn warriors remained. A group of Garisn riders made their way over and offered the Mardyn warriors to jump on the back, which they did immediately. By the second volley, all of the remaining Mardyn and Garisn warriors had ridden well out of range.

They listened carefully as they heard the bows being returned and the close-combat weapons sliding out of their sheaths once again. Kenocen waited until he heard a cry of "Charge!" and immediately directed his troops to the south. The warriors followed his lead as he led them (and the oncoming fighters from Baarg) in a horseshoe-like curve that passed by the Mardyn warriors' fortress. Then they continued eastward, towards the Garisn fort, and began the horseshoe curve again, Baarg still following relentlessly.

Kenocen looked back and laughed at the stupidity of the warriors as his plan began to unfold.

His laugh was cut short when there was an ear-splitting roar from over the eastern mountains, and the ground shook beneath the warriors' feet.

The Great War had begun.



The chase stopped, as fighters in all three guilds began whispering among each other, wondering what had just happened over in Mynadar. They strained their ears to listen, and finally Kenocen motioned for his guards to follow him over to the borderline between Mynadar and Kilaran Field. They strode over and were greeted by a horrifying sight off in the city of Mynadar. The entire city was being overrun by an apparently infinite number of orcs!

"Nolchor was right," rasped Kenocen, and his guards nodded solemnly, humbled at the way they had treated the dwarf. Kenocen spun around and found the commanders of Mardyn and Baarg making their way towards him. The moment they saw the insane battle in Mynadar, they realized why Kenocen had turned white as a ghost. He explained to them about Nolchor and his request for allies.

"And now...I think we must stop this fighting. It is rather senseless anyway..." sighed Kenocen.

"Indeed, we must put aside our differences for now..." muttered Tasyl, the commander of the Mardyn army, glaring at Nekinor (the Baarg commander).

Nekinor sneered at Tasyl. "Yes, I agree, we can't let the dwarves suffer like this. However...if we do go over there and fight for them, and return alive, keep in mind that we are at war!" he growled.

Tasyl nodded and both he and Nekinor looked at Kenocen for the final word.

Kenocen reared up his horse and drew his sword. "Then off to assist the dwarves, with haste!" His eyes glittered once again with his trademark battle-lust, but this time, there was a more sensitive feel to this combat craving...like a debt that had to be repaid.

The commanders returned to their armies and spread the information, and soon, Kenocen in the lead, the three guilds made for Mynadar to assist the dwarves in the first battle of the Great War.



* * *



"Hurry up, Kenocen!" cried Tasyl over the roar of the battle, jolting Kenocen from his thoughts.

Kenocen sped his horse forward over the border and took one last look at the fallen empire of Mynadar before he turned and the mountains obscured the valley completely. Kenocen turned back and found that he was flanked on either side by Tasyl and Nekinor.

"I suggest we head to one fort," said Tasyl, "where we can regroup a-a-a..." Tasyl's eyes opened wide and he fell silent.

"What is it?" shouted Nekinor, yanking out his longsword. He turned to where Tasyl was facing and nearly dropped his weapon.

Kenocen turned as well, and understood why the other commanders had acted the way they did.

An army of skeletons, casualties from the battle brought back to life by Mortos's evil curse, was headed straight for the three guilds, the smoky ruins of their fortresses looming on the horizon.

"Undead!" shouted Kenocen, and he sprinted away from the oncoming force, towards southern Kilaran, beckoning for the other commanders to follow.

Once they had gotten out of range of the skeletons, the three commanders huddled around each other in deep conversation.

"Lord above, undead, what are we to do?" cried Tasyl.

"Toughen up, Tasyl," grumbled Nekinor. "I say we fight them to the death!" He suddenly realized the futility in his statement, and fumbled for the right words. "Uh...to the...their defeat..."

Kenocen shook his head. "There's no use. We could keep them at bay, but it would take some very powerful magic to destroy undead, especially those ressurected by Mortos."

Tasyl snapped his fingers. "What about that wizard that lives in Carmien Manor...Osouri...he knows some pretty strong magic..."

Kenocen nodded. "Excellent idea, Tasyl." He looked to the south and saw the mountain pass that led to southern Kilaran. "He'd probably be able to counter this curse easily."

"Bah!" snorted Nekinor. "But how will our troops survive? We need to form a stronger army...a more formidable force, to at least hold these undead skeletons off until that wizard can relieve us of this. Then we can continue our fight."

Both Kenocen and Tasyl shook their heads, surprised at the commander's unrelenting thirst for combat.

"He has a point, though," said Kenocen, scratching his chin. "We should start forming a good, solid army, especially if the orcs start heading our way once they wipe Mynadar off of the map."

"Desert pines would probably be our best bet there," said Nekinor, looking off to the west where the great Kamara Desert loomed over the mountains.

Tasyl nodded. "But what about Osouri?"

Kenocen held his head, which felt as if it was about to explode from all of the events of the afternoon. "We'll have to split up," he said at length. "Nekinor and I will head west, to Corren, to try and establish some sort of army. It would take both of us to convince them," he added, as Tasyl started to protest. "It only takes one person to convince Osouri, and you know him the best out of all of us."

"But...what if he demands payment? Everyone knows that wizard's greed makes up most of his personality..." asked Tasyl.

"Pay him anything he asks for that's within reasonable range...nothing more," said Kenocen, as he lowered his horse to let Nekinor hop on the back.

"But..." began Tasyl.

"Tasyl..." sighed Kenocen, putting a hand on the commander's shoulder. "Ride south...for Mardyn, for Garisn," he spun around, "for Baarg...for Kilaran Field." He reared his horse up and spun around, and with a last wink at Tasyl, sped off to the west and disappeared from sight.

Tasyl sighed and looked off across the fields, where more violence had broken out between the undead and the remaining warriors (their number decreasing drastically every second). He sniffed the air...fresh with the blood of his own kin...

Tasyl spun his horse around and headed off for southern Kilaran without a sound.



Mortos roared with glee. He spun around to Selain, floating next to him, and cheered. "Kilaran Field is ours! Foolish warriors...no one can withstand the undead warriors of Mortos!"

"Indeed no," muttered Selain, his hood bobbing ominously, "no one but Mortos himself."

Mortos eyed Selain curiously, wondering what Selain meant by his remark. He could not subdue his smile, though, and he turned back to his window above the lands, his full attention on the battle between the undead and the humans on Kilaran Field. He never noticed the three commanders heading off in their attempts to destroy Mortos's armies.

Selain, however, did notice one lone rider, bound for southern Kilaran. His normally expressionless face twisted into a smirk, and he began uttering a chant...the beginning of one of his evil spells of summoning, directed straight at southern Kilaran.

#4 Lyanna

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:11 PM

The Great War - Chapter 3

By Tumaros




South Kilaran



"Whoa," called Tasyl. He tugged on the reins of his dull gray steed, Tutine, and made a quick survey of the rich, fertile land around him. For a place so close to combat in the North, this farming community seemed almost too peaceful to exist, even during Aluwen’s rule. He tugged on the reins once more, and his horse reared up slightly. He directed Tutine southward, towards where a small outpost stood, and they sped off.



Tasyl slowed the horse as they neared the outpost, next to a large bridge. He spotted two guards coming his way, leather-clad and equipped with old rusted iron broadswords and splintery wooden shields. He leaped off Tutine and approached them.

"A northerner, eh?" muttered one of the guards. "Hmm, and by the looks of it, a commander..." He took a long sweeping look at Tasyl, eyes widening at some of the elvish commander’s fresh, sleek weapons. Finally he whispered something to the other guard and asked, "What brings you here?"

Tasyl stretched his shoulders, looking off at the sunset, and began to recount the battle that was held just minutes ago.

"Ah," said the second guard somberly. "We could hear it. We were wondering what all the commotion was about..."

The first guard nodded. "I understand that you’d want to see the great wizard Osouri, but..." he looked off to the east, towards where a great white manor stood, and fell silent.

Tasyl looked questioningly at the guard, but remained silent as well.

Finally, the first guard let out a long sigh, and turned to the other guard. The muttered among themselves for a minute or so, and finally the first guard spun around and spoke. "I’m Colan Lothede, and this is Rados. We’ll take you to our village leader, Therdyn. He might be able to help you somehow in defending your people."

Tasyl was shocked at their kind nature. He nodded, "That would be wonderful. Is the village far?"

Rados spun around and indicated the bridge behind him, and the shore beyond. "Just across this bridge," he stated.

Tasyl jumped onto his horse. "All right," he said, "let’s go."

Colan and Rados bowed low and mounted two horses that stood near their outpost, and together they headed off for Carmien Village.



By the time they had reached the village, the sun had completely set, but the village seemed as active as if it was still day. Citizens were bustling around, bringing in the last of their crops, selling their wares, and flowing in and out of the tavern. Tasyl wondered why the rest of the world couldn’t be more like this place.

As Tasyl was gazing at the tavern, he had a feeling like he was being watched. He looked up, towards one of the windows in the upper floor of the tavern, and he saw the face of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She had long, flowing gold hair, a youthful face, and an almost surreal effect around her. She winked at Tasyl, and before he knew what he was doing, Tasyl had nearly crushed a garden outside of one of the houses. The inhabitants looked at him curiously, and Tasyl nodded in apology. He took one last look at the woman in the window, and rode back to Colan and Rados.

They approached a large, gray-stoned building, dismounted, and entered. Inside, seated in a simple wooden chair, was a tall, black-haired man, who seemed no older than 40 years.

"That’s Therdyn," whispered Colan.

Tasyl nodded.

"Therdyn, sir," said Rados. "We have a northerner with us who would like to see Osouri."

Therdyn raised his eyebrows and spoke in a deep, but kind, voice, "Indeed..." He examined Tasyl, giving him the same sweeping look Colan gave him, and asked, "And why might you want to see Osouri...uh..."

"Tasyl," said the commander.

"Right. Why would you want to see Osouri, Tasyl?"

Tasyl closed his eyes, and for the second time that night, told of the respawning undead warriors that were attacking his troops in Kilaran Field, to the north.

"...And so, I came here looking for the help of one of the worlds greatest wizards, Osouri."

Therdyn shuddered. "Please...do not speak his name so loudly..." he looked around uneasily.

"But...may I ask why, sir?" questioned Tasyl.

"Well," Therdyn lowered his voice to a whisper, "It is rumored that his magic was often used for evil...that in the age of darkness he assisted Mortos a great deal...besides, we fear his capabilities. I swear, he could be the god of magic himself! That’s why we don’t like to mention his name."

Therdyn drew a deep breath, and brought his voice to a normal volume again. "But, if you really would like to see him, I can have Colan and Rados here escort you to the entrance of his manor." Colan and Rados shivered and looked pleadingly at their lord. "But from there, you’re on your own." The two guards eased a little.

Tasyl bit his lower lip, questioning his decision to look for help from Osouri. He wouldn’t risk his people’s lives, however, and he nodded. "I’ll go."

Therdyn nodded. "So be it. But please be careful."

The two guards and Tasyl headed back out and mounted their horses. As Colan and Rados took off for the bridge again, Tasyl paused to look for the woman he had seen before, in the tavern window. Sure enough, she was there, and she laughed as Tasyl nearly trod into the garden again. He shook his head in disbelief and made for Colan and Rados.



"Well, this is as far as we go," whispered Colan. He and Rados spun around and began heading back for their outpost. Tasyl heard Colan call out, "If he starts muttering in a strange language, run!"

Tasyl turned back and found himself in awe at the awesome architecture of the manor. Great statues and gargoyles adorned the whole place, which itself was constructed out of the purest white stone.

He made his way through the courtyard, which was filled with exotic and rare flowers, and came to a great wooden door. Cringing slightly, he knocked once...twice...three times. He waited for what felt like an hour, and just as he was about to leave, the doors swung open.

"Come in," came a raspy, withered voice from within the manor.

Tasyl felt his bones chill, and sweat began to pour down his body, and as he entered the doors shut behind him. He spun around instinctively, and nearly cried out when he saw two gargoyles, staring at him...two living, breathing gargoyles. He shivered in fear and began to grab for his sword.

"I wouldn’t do that if I were you," came the same raspy, intimidating voice from behind him. "Those two would make an ogre seem like an insect."

Tasyl slowly let go of his sword and spun around. He saw a small, lithe man, bearded, and clad fully in purple attire, seated in an intricately designed throne.

"Have a seat," he offered, indicating a chair directly across from him.

Tasyl looked curiously at the diminutive figure. "A-are you the great wizard Osouri?" he asked, making sure not to seem disrespectful.

"Were you expecting Mortos?" The small figure laughed, wrinkles cracking across his whole face. "Of course I am," he said seriously. "And what would you like?"

"W-well, you see...Osouri the great..." began Tasyl. Somewhat annoyed, he told the story for the third time in a few hours.

"...and I figured that you might be able to help us. Is there any spell that you know that could assist us?"

Osouri scratched his chin. "Well, I know of a relatively simple spell...dismiss undead...which could probably aid your skeleton issue. This service does not come freely, however..." The wizard sneered and prepared for his usual routine of harsh bargaining.

Tasyl nodded vigorously. "Yes, yes, anything! I’ll pay whatever you want!"

"Hmm...all right...this spell should cost you about...oh...fifty thousand rubies."

"FIFTY THOUSAND!" shouted Tasyl. He glared at Osouri. "Now isn’t that a bit much? I’ll pay one thousand rubies, nothing more."

"Pay me one thousand rubies, and not one skeleton will die, my friend." Osouri sneered again. "Fourty thousand rubies and one hundred diamonds."

"Fourty th...that’s even worse than the first deal! You must be kidding, Osouri the great," he said, filling his last word with sarcasm.

"Osouri never jests," laughed Osouri. "Thirty thousand..."

The night rolled on, and Tasyl and Osouri continued their fierce negotiating. Finally they settled on a (fairly) reasonable price.

"It’s a steal, however..." grumbled Osouri, "Give me two nights, the first being tonight. At dawn, on the third day, the spell shall be complete."

Tasyl raised his eyebrows. "That means we have to wait one whole day...I’m not sure if my men can hold out long enough. Can’t you finish any sooner?"

"Now look here, Tasyl!" shouted the wizard, pounding his fist into his throne and turning red. "I’m already giving you a spell for an insane deal, and now you want me to hurry up! These things take time and cost much...and I can’t be deprived of both! Now leave, before I turn you into something...unnatural." He growled fiercely and began muttering in an ancient, forgotten language.

Remembering what Colan said, Tasyl spun on his heel and sprinted out of the building like the devil was behind him.



"How’d it go? Did he threaten you? Did he start muttering in some strange and peculiar language...?" asked Colan.

Tasyl shook his head. "I can see why you fear him. But, we managed to strike a deal, and he asked that I give him two nights, including tonight."

"Ah," muttered Rados. "You should probably stay in the city during that time then, since you can’t exactly head back north."

"An excellent idea," said Colan. "We can get you a room in the tavern, free, if you like."

Tasyl smiled and nodded. "That would be wonderful." He found his mind wandering to the golden-haired girl in the window, and wondering how far his room would be from hers...



Tasyl and Colan entered the tavern, a lively, bustling place, full of music and laughs. Over in the corner, a group of farmers were discussing their crops ("Bet I’ve got better corn than you do!" "That’s because you’re the only farmer who hasn’t been attacked by those cursed insects! I swear, they’re out to get us all..."). At the bar, two guards were having a drinking contest, downing mug after mug of light ale. Finally, Colan approached the two and grabbed them by their ears.

"Ow! Ow! Oy, Colan! Off!"

"Ahh...Colan leggo..."

Colan sighed and threw them both outside ("I don’t think Colan likes us anymore.") and offered Tasyl a seat at the bar.

"If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a drunk guard." He slammed his forehead with his fist. "I mean, I know we never have any need to fight, but it’s always good to be prepared, what with the constant combat in the north and all."

Tasyl sighed guiltily.

"What can I get ye gents?" asked the barkeep, a big burly man, twice the size of Tasyl.

"I’m fine, Tononos, but I bet Tasyl here would like something...he’s had a pretty rough night so far." He looked over at Tasyl.

"Uh...you don’t happen to have any mead, do you?"

"O’course!" roared Tononos. "Any partic’lar brand, or just plain mead?"

"Well, evermead would really help quench my thirst..."

"Evermead it is, then!" shouted the barkeep, and he turned back to his drinks and began preparing the evermead.

Tasyl spun around in his seat and leaned on the counter. He scanned the establishment, catching snippets of conversation every now and then, and after a minute realized that the golden-haired girl was sitting on the stairs, staring at the elvish commander.

"Who is she?" whispered Tasyl to Colan.

Colan looked up. "Who?"

Tasyl indicated the woman in the corner.

Colan turned and laughed. "Oh, you mean Ceranna? She’s my sister." He chuckled. "She hasn’t stopped talking about you since you arrived, you know."

Tasyl leaned back and looked at her again. "Really?"

Colan nodded. "Oh look, here’s your drink."

Tononos handed Tasyl his evermead, and when the commander reached into his pocket to pay, the barkeep held up his hand. "On th’ house," he smiled.

Tasyl nodded and rose. He strode over to the stairway where Ceranna sat, and smiled, leaning on the fireplace.

"Hello," she said quietly.

Tasyl nodded. "Hello. Colan was telling me about you..."

Ceranna nodded, "I know." She sighed and leaned against the wall. "So, what brings a handsome commander such as yourself down to Southern Kilaran?"

Tasyl could feel himself blushing, and he took a sip of mead in an attempt to regain a cool body heat. "Well, I’ve already told the story in detail three times tonight...but..."

Tasyl reached over and pulled up a chair, and began to recount the events once more (what he hoped was the last time for a while). "Well, we were in the middle of a guild war...a massive one...our guild, Mardyn, and the guild Garisn, we had teamed up to fight an evil guild, Baarg, whose members attacked and killed innocents to take their gear and make money. Anyway, during the main battle, a horrible thing happened over in Mynadar...an unstoppable army of orcs erupted from the mountainside and attacked the dwarves’ empire. We rushed there in an attempt to help, but it was too late...so we fell back. However, we were greeted by something we did not expect...those who had fallen during our guild battle had risen from the dead and were laying waste to the land, attacking all of our warriors. The three of us, the three commanders, regrouped, and I suggested that I head south to possibly get the help of Osouri."

"Osouri!" gasped Ceranna. She turned white. "Osouri is an evil wizard...he is driven by greed and power..."

Tasyl held up his hand. "I know, I’m aware of that, but we’ve already settled on a deal, and in a little more than a day, he will have a spell ready to destroy the undead warriors."

Ceranna looked around uneasily.

Tasyl gave her a comforting smile. The two looked at each other for a long moment, and then Colan broke the silence.

"Tasyl!" he called. "I’ve got a room for you..." he rose from his seat and approached him. "Follow me."

Ceranna moved out of the way to let her brother and Tasyl pass, and before Tasyl went through the door she whispered, "I’m in room 4..."

Tasyl smirked and nodded, and followed Colan to his room...room 3, directly across from Ceranna’s. "How convenient," he thought to himself.



"Mortos," muttered Selain.

The god of death tore his gaze from the carnage in both Mynadar and Kilaran field. "Yes?"

"A rider, from Kilaran field..." he looked out of the window of their chamber and indicated a small figure riding southward from Kilaran Field.

"So it is...well it does not matter...South Kilaran is weak. You can deal with them if you like, I would like to enjoy the show of death at this time." He turned back and watched excitedly as countless warriors died below.

Selain nodded and pulled out a large book from the many shelves in the chamber. He poured over the contents, finally discovering what he was looking for...

"Perfect...I think trolls will do...and maybe an ogre..." he whispered.

"Planning a summoned attack?" asked Mortos.

"Yes...like you said, they are weak...even if they knew of this attack, they would not be able to defend."

Mortos laughed. "I love the way your mind works, Selain. You are truly a god among gods."

Selain’s hood bobbed as he chuckled. "And now, to prepare the rampage..."



Tasyl screamed and pulled back the covers. Ceranna, who was in the bed next to him, jumped up.

"What’s wrong?" she asked nervously. "Osouri?"

Tasyl panted wildly. He looked at Ceranna.

"Nothing..." he muttered. "It was just a very vivid nightmare."

Ceranna put a hand on Tasyl’s shoulder. "Just a nightmare?"

Tasyl nodded and looked out of the window of his room at the rising sun. "Just a nightmare."

Ceranna sighed and dropped back down, falling asleep instantly.



Tasyl did not fall asleep again, however, and it showed as the tripped down the stairs as he and Ceranna headed down from their rooms.

Ceranna caught him just in time, however, and straightened him back up. "You should get back to sleep, dear..."

Tasyl shook his head. "No, it’s ok, really..."

"Ah, good morning!" came a familiar call from the tavern below. Tasyl looked up weary-eyed at Colan, seated at the bar.

"’Morning, Colan," muttered Tasyl, sliding into a seat next to Colan, Ceranna right next to him.

"What’s the matter, Tasyl? You look like you didn’t sleep at all last night." He leaned back and looked at Ceranna, her arm around Tasyl. "Were you two..."

"Oh no..." said Tasyl, a little more forcefully. "Well...we slept in the same room...but that wasn’t what kept me awake..."

"Of course not," laughed Colan, winking. "Anyway, you were saying how much you wanted to see this place during the day...and right now I’m off duty, so if you like, I’ll be your personal guide through Carmien Village." He smiled.

"Ah...I’d love that...but I’m just so tired..." mumbled Tasyl, rubbing sleep out of his eyes.

"Ceranna can come too, if she wants..." said Colan slyly.

"Barkeep, give me something that energizes, please" said Tasyl quickly.



"And this is the main market..." said Colan, indicating a building with stalls out front. Here a great mass of people stood, selling and buying goods. "And this is the church...and right here is where the members of the guard, like me, meet, and..."

As Colan continued to explain each area of the village, Tasyl couldn’t seem to escape the dream he had the previous night. Ceranna could tell his internal struggle, and she interlocked her hand with his.

"That dream you had last night...what was it?"

"Hmm? Oh..." muttered Tasyl. "It...it wasn’t important."

"It must be, if you keep fretting about it. If it really wasn’t that important, then just let it go..."

Tasyl smiled, but it was a forced smile. All through the "tour" he continued to look to the north, towards Osouri’s castle, waiting...



That afternoon, Tasyl and Colan were once again all sitting in the tavern, the "tour" finally complete, and Colan’s voice completely worn.

"More ale, Colan?" asked Tononos, reaching for another mug.

Colan grunted and grimaced, rubbing his throat. Tasyl couldn’t help but giggle, and when Colan glared at him, Tasyl said, "It was a great tour, though. I think I’m going to give up being a commander to come and live here, with these great people."

A cheer went up around the tavern, and Colan couldn’t help but smile.

Their cheer was cut short, however, when a group of screams were heard from outside. Everyone inside the tavern rushed out, towards the western entrance of the city.

Therdyn came out of his home and made his way to the front of the group, where there were five young teenage farmers, screaming and weeping.

"What happened?" he asked.

"Oh! Therdyn!" cried one of the farmers. He latched onto his leader and cried into his cape.

"Therdyn..." began one of the boys, "we were off near the border, just...having a bit of fun...digging for treasure...you know, how there’s supposed to be buried treasure out there...the legends...you know..."

"Yes I know! Now, what happened?" roared Therdyn.

"Well, we were digging, and, oh...tell him Herus..." He closed his eyes.

Another one of the farmers spoke up. "We saw these...ghastly creatures...horrible...something I’ve only seen in stories. They were coming down out of the mountains...they just appeared out of nowhere, and headed for us! Most of us made it...the other three..." he lowered his head and a tear streaked down his face.

"These creatures...what did they look like?" asked Therdyn, patting him on the shoulder.

Herus continued. "Well...most of the looked like these...big brown guys...ugly, smelly...bushy beards...carried these huge clubs...and then there was this big, fat one...four times our size...oh they were horrible."

Tasyl turned white. Ceranna grabbed him suddenly.

"Tasyl! What’s wrong?" she cried.

Tasyl’s voice came out as a whisper, "I know those creatures..." He tried to moisten his throat. "Those...those were trolls...and...and they’ve got an ogre."



"Everyone calm down!" shouted Therdyn. He, Tasyl, and the members of the guard began running around, trying to keep the panicking citizens under control. Finally, with much difficulty, they managed to group them together. Then, Therdyn, Tasyl, and Colan met inside the guard building.

"Does anyone have a plan?" asked Therdyn.

Tasyl and Colan looked at each other.

"Tasyl, you’re a commander, you must have some idea about how I can save my people. We couldn’t possibly fight them, you’ve seen how ill-equipped we are."

"Before, Osouri protected us all...we never had any need to fight anything stronger than a particularly violent beaver!" said Colan, looking uneasily at Tasyl.

"And now, Osouri is too engrossed in his current spell," said Therdyn, also looking uneasily at the elvish commander.

Tasyl sighed guiltily. "Is there any way to escape...a boat...something..."

Colan looked up. "There is a boat...outside of Carmien Manor, where Osouri is..."

Therdyn nodded and indicated a map on the wall, where the location of the boat was marked.

Tasyl frowned, and a plan began to form in his mind. Finally, he spoke.

"Ok...here’s what we do...we group them together, and get them on the boat. Easy as that."

"Not that easy, Tasyl...the boat can only hold about half our population, and there’s only one," muttered Therdyn.

Tasyl scratched his chin. "Well, have the rest stay in the tavern...or here...and just lock it up."

"It’s a risky plan, Tasyl..." said Colan. "So risky, that it just might work."

Therdyn stood atop a pile of hay and addressed his people...at least, those who had gathered outside. He told them of Tasyl’s plan, and an uproar went up.

"I know, but there is a chance we may still survive, if we act fast enough. Now, go to your houses, prepare your stuff, an..."

"Look!" shouted one of the townsfolk. He pointed off to the east, and a scream went up, as a group of six lumbering figures made their way towards the village.

"And that, Colan, is a troll," muttered Tasyl solemnly, drawing his sword and heading out to regroup as many villagers as he could.



As the villagers scrambled to their homes, the first group of three trolls entered the village. Behind them, two trolls flanked a larger, bloated form...an ogre.

One of the trolls dropped his club and roared. He spotted Therdyn heading for his home, picked up a pitchfork nearby, and sprinted after him.

Therdyn lunged into his house and locked the door behind him. He heard the troll grunt as it smashed into his door. He reached for his sword under his bed, a feeble weapon indeed, and watched in fear as the troll tore his door to shreds and came in. It smiled evilly, pulled the pitchfork back, and threw it lance-like at Therdyn.

The leader of Carmien Village fell limp, impaled by the pitchfork, and died within a second.

The troll grunted and regrouped, he and the other two catching up with the ogre and his guards. They continued to tear apart and lay ruin to the village and its citizens, all the while Tasyl and Colan and trying to regroup as many villagers as they could. Rados managed to get a large group in the tavern, and they locked themselves in the upper floor. They listened as Tononos put up a huge struggle, and heard the sound of the shelves upon shelves drinks falling upon him...and then...silence.

As the trolls and ogre ravaged the village, Tasyl, Colan, and Ceranna managed to regroup a small amount of the villagers and began to cross the bridge.

"And I thought it couldn’t get any worse!" shouted Colan. "Look!"

Tasyl, rubbing Ceranna’s hair, looked up and froze.

The skeletons had moved south.



Tasyl and Colan scrambled to get the villagers onto the boat, trying hard to keep out of sight of the undead warriors (who could not seem to find a way into the castle...the magic protecting it was impenetrable. However, when only Tasyl, Colan, and Ceranna remained, they were discovered. Ceranna clung to Tasyl as he drew his sword.

"Tasyl! They’ve discovered us! We’ll never get the boat off in time..." shouted Colan.

"Colan, take Ceranna, make sure she’s safe," muttered the elf commander, equipping his shield.

"Tasyl!" she cried as Colan separated her and began dragging her towards the waiting boat. "Tasyl! You can’t...you’ll die!"

Tasyl looked at her longingly.

"So be it. I would rather die than see you or your people suffer. Go...before it’s too late."

"Tasyl!" she screamed one last time. "I love you!"

Colan eventually untied the boat and leaped on, and they began sailing off. All the villagers watched as Tasyl gave the skeletons a glare that could kill them...again...and saw him charge fearlessly into the waiting mass.



"Excellent job, Selain! I can sense their suffering, even from here!" cried Mortos with glee.

"Were you expecting anything less?" said Selain, a sneer visible under his hood. He and Mortos looked over the smoky ruins of Southern Kilaran.

"This is much easier than I first imagined," muttered Mortos, pacing around his chamber. "I’d almost say too easy."

Selain rose and headed over to where the two evil gods had set out a map of the Lands, various markings etched on it.

"So where do the orcs head next, Mortos?" asked the god of summoning.

Mortos raised his hand, and with a flourish, landed a finger on Desert Pines.

#5 Lyanna

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 02:12 PM

The Great War - Chapter 4

By Tumaros




Kilaran Field



"Now what?" grumbled Nekinor, bumping around on the back of Kenocen's horse.

Kenocen looked around. The two enemy commanders hadn't spoken a word to each other during the entire trip, but finally the half-elf muttered, "We're here."

"Thank the gods," said Nekinor, squinting as he rubbed his rear. "This trip's done a number on me."

Kenocen couldn't surpress his smile...he purposely rode as violently as possible, if only to agitate Nekinor. He remembered that they were there for a common cause, however, and his expression grew serious.

"Well?" grunted Nekinor impatiently.

Kenocen muttered something and directed his horse to the south, where the town of Corren's stable stood.

As they approached the entrance, the eyes of many of the citizens of the mining- and farming-based town on them, Nekinor whispered, "They don't seem to happy to see us..."

Kenocen nodded, curious at the anger in the citizens' eyes. The two commanders leaped off of their mount, and Nekinor followed as Kenocen led them into the tall wooden structure of the stables.



Inside they found a small group, tending to the many horses inside the stable. Kenocen sniffed the air...surprised at how decent the structure smelled, compared to most stables he'd been in. Over in the corner, he saw a tall, fair, brown-haired woman, gently stroking a graceful horse with the same color hair as her. Intrigued, Kenocen approached her, tapping her gently on the shoulder.

"Ah! Oh...hello there..." she spun around. She was a half-elf, like Kenocen, and was clad in high, soft black boots, with a brown cape and gray trousers. Her brown eyes shone in the light of the waning sun, as did her hair.

Kenocen was stunned by her sheer beauty. He could hardly believe such a beautiful creature existed. He almost lifted a hand to stroke her wavy hair, but a grunt from Nekinor kept his hand back.

"Um...can I help you?" asked the woman sweetly, looking at Kenocen with similar admiration.

Nekinor grunted again and jabbed Kenocen in the side, breaking the love-drenched silence.

Kenocen lowered his head. "We only ask for a place to leave our steed, and to speak with your village leader...miss...er..."

"Larallan..." she said, giggling. "Feel free to leave your horse here...I believe we have a stall open in the back there..." she indicated an empty stall with her finger. "How long do you plan to keep her here?"

"Him," said Kenocen quickly, giggling also. "And..." he scratched his chin, "I don't think we'll be here too long, but..." he looked at Larallan longingly, "I think we can prolong our stay a little bit..."

Nekinor grunted warningly. "Kenocen...our men our dying like flies, remember?" he muttered angrily under his breath.

Kenocen didn't seem to hear him, however, as he continued to gaze at Larallan lovingly.

Nekinor rolled his eyes and, throwing up his hands, headed off to set their horse in its stall.



After Nekinor had managed to drag Kenocen out of the stables ("Let GO, Nekinor...arrgh! Goodbye my dear Larallan...we shall meet again!"), the two commanders made for a grey, stone, manor-like building, where Larallan had told them the village leader, Meyel Iss'gar, lived.

"Hold..." cried one of the two ringmail-clad guards in front of the large structure. "State your name and business with Meyel, leader of Corren village."

Kenocen sighed grimly and briefly told the two guards of the great battles that had erupted in the east.

Both guards' eyes opened wide and seemed about to pop out of their sockets.

"Of...of course...come...follow us..." stuttered one of the guards, his face pale with fear.

The commanders looked at each other curiously, shrugged, and followed the two guards into the large stone building. They passed through a great hall, where many shields and tapestries hung, depicting the many legends of the lands...the tales of the dragons...the gods and the creation of the races...it was all enough to make Kenocen's head whirl.

Finally, the two commanders, after ascending a spiral staircase to the upper level of the structure, found themselves before a wooden platform, no more than a foot high, on top of which was an elaborate jeweled and rune-covered throne, and Meyel Iss'gar.

Although he seemed around 50 years of age, he was bald, with brilliant electric-blue eyes, and wore a brown-themed outfit, with a brown tunic, brown trousers, a brown cloak, and low, hard brown boots. Laying next to the throne, Kenocen and Nekinor noticed a full suit of sturdy ringmail armor, a broadsword, a lance, and a longbow that seemed to shiver with whatever magic had enchanted it. On the other side of the throne laid a large elven shield, with runes and gems that matched the throne Meyel sat upon.

"Hum? What's this?" asked Meyel, examining the two commanders.

"Meyel, lord, sir..." stammered the guard that seemed the most fearful. "These are two commanders from...Kilaran Field...two of the three in the great guild war sir..."

Meyel's eyes opened wide, not much unlike what the guards had previously done, and he rose from his throne. He stepped off of the platform, and drew himself up to Kenocen and Nekinor. He stared both of them down simutaneously, and sniffed the air.

"You carry a heavy stench of death, Kilaran scum." His face twisted even more as he stepped back.

Kenocen raised an eyebrow at the rudeness of the village leader. Nekinor snarled quietly, so only Kenocen could hear, and made for his sword. Kenocen held a hand out, and Nekinor paused.

"Meyel, lord of Corren," called Kenocen, his voice echoing, "We come bearing news...ill news...which I believe you may want to hear."

"He's right, you know...very very disturbing news it is..." whimpered the other guard in a high, childish voice.

Meyel cocked his head to the side and strode over to the commander, his eyes glistening.

"Why," he asked, holding his hands out to his sides, "would a leader of a peaceful mining community, a peaceful farming community, such as Corren, want to learn of the evil, barbaric ways of your people?" He dropped his hands to his sides and made his way back to the platform. "You people and your battles...killing your own kind, your own people...YOUR OWN PEOPLE!" He roared and slammed a fist into his throne, causing it to nearly topple over. The two guards scrambled to hold it upright, and cowered behind it, looking fearfully at the commanders, as well as their leader.

"If it is death that you bring to Corren, then be gone! We have no wish for violence..." he looked over his shoulder at the commanders, who were boiling silently. "Your problems are your own."

Kenocen closed his eyes, almost considering letting go of Nekinor, who was attempting to charge at Meyel, sword drawn. Finally, both commanders' rage subsided, and Kenocen opened his eyes again. He spoke, trying to keep his breath at a normal rate.

"Lord Meyel, please hear us out, otherwise, you may very well find death coming to Corren, weather you like it or not."

Meyel glared. "Are you threatening to slay my people?" Kenocen could see him subtly reaching for his broadsword.

Kenocen had to close his eyes to calm himself again, and spoke. "It is not us, or 'our battles', that are threatening you, Meyel Iss'gar..." He opened his eyes, and told, in full, the story of the war that had begun in Mynadar and Kilaran field.

When he finished, all of the people in the room had their mouths hanging open, even the rude Meyel stunned silent. He did not remain silent for long, however.

"I...I am sorry..." stated Meyel. "I apologize for my rudeness...it's just...we have heard of nothing but death from your people, but this..." He hung his head.

Kenocen and Nekinor smiled grimly, their lips tight as they crossed their arms.

"This is not something that you can handle alone..." said Meyel quietly. The two commanders waited eagerly for the words they had hoped to hear all evening...

"We must form an army."

Kenocen smiled widely. Now they were getting somewhere.

"I am afraid we do not have much of a force assembled at the moment, but as you know, we are largely dependent on mining...I am sure many of the miners would make excellent fighters," Meyel said.

"But I thought you didn't want to put your people in d..." muttered Nekinor. He was answered by a slap from Kenocen.

"Shh!" whispered the half-elf commander. "We've got something here...I don't know what changed his mind, but let's keep quiet about it, eh?"

Nekinor nodded, turning back to Meyel.

"I will see what I can do in gathering a force...in the meantime, I would suggest that you two visit Orodeth Sáralondë, our village priest. He's one of the main priests and a follower of the goddess Aluwen...he could be her corporeal form, I swear...he could aid you greatly in this war." Meyel called for a guard and instructed him to take the two commanders to the temple of Aluwen.

"Aluwen's priest? Excellent...this might be exactly what we're looking for. Even if Tasyl finds Osouri, and they manage to dismiss the undead warriors...we'll need her for the orcs!" whispered Nekinor.

Kenocen smiled and nodded, and the two followed the guard to Aluwen's temple.



"Orodeth Sáralondë?" called Kenocen.

A figure, seated at a desk, spun around and rose. "Y'urah!" he said, opening his arms out wide.

Orodeth was an elf, with golden hair and brilliant green eyes. He was slim, with a green tunic, brown pants, and a white cape, one of the rare few blessed by Aluwen that Kenocen recognized as a cape which protected the wearer from any monster attacks. It took the commanders a while to recognize where the priest was in the chapel room, as he appeared to blend in with the blinding white light that the whole temple was bathed in.

"Y'urah! Mus or'nosinueh ell yus'n?"

Kenocen blinked. "Excuse me?"

Orodeth laughed. "Ah, I thought that a half-elf such as yourself would understand the language of the elves! No matter...what brings you here?"

Kenocen scratched his head, in a subtle attempt to brush his hair over his barely-pointed ears, as Nekinor told the elven priest of their purpose.

"...and Meyel told us to see you, seeing as how you're one of Aluwen's primary priests and all...correct?"

Orodeth, astounded, nodded. "Yes...yes I am...we had heard of this...we could sense the distress in the heavens..."

"We?" questioned Kenocen.

"Oh, Aluwen and I of course! Here...come in...have a seat..." Orodeth offered the two commanders seats next to his desk, and sat down. "Funny you should mention that...like I said, we had sensed a disturbance above...something didn't feel right...I must alert Aluwen of this immediately...pardon me..."

Kenocen and Nekinor glanced at each other, and watched as the elven priest began setting up candles and pillows, preparing some sort of ritual. He hummed an elvish tune, and muttered to himself, "Aluwen e'oret...yus'n sus! Yus'n sus! Orusju'erse sus, iss'ih es myih'r orusju'erse ell!" He sat down, and fell deep into a meditative state, communing with the goddess of life.

"Do you understand what he's babbling about?" whispered Nekinor.

Kenocen closed his eyes. The words took him back many years, to his childhood, where he heard that language every day...an age he had forgotten, brought back by the words of the elf...

"Do you?" questioned Nekinor.

Kenocen shook his head. "No...not at all."



The two commanders waited for nearly an hour, until finally the elf rose, muttered his thanks, and rose.

"Well...this is interesting..." he said, rising, a grave expression on his face.

"What is it? What's interesting?" asked Kenocen and Nekinor.

Orodeth held his head and sat down at his desk. He held up a finger as he rifled through his papers.

"The prophecies...the prophecies...Umi'se-ohs...where did I put those prophecies!" He leaped up and went over to a cabinet where more parchment sheets laid, and began to tear through those. Finally he reached one, and after a quick scan, nearly passed out. He made his way back to the desk and took a sip of a small flask of what appeared to be evermead.

"Orodeth, would you mind telling us what's going on?" questioned Kenocen impatiently, rising.

"Oh...of course...yes...well...you see..." He coughed, took another sip of the evermead, and continued. "Well...to sum it up...it appears that...after Mortos was driven from the world years ago, he sought revenge, and forged an alliance...somehow...with Selain, the god of summoning. I never trusted him! Anyway, these two have set a curse upon our lands...no living creature can ever fully die...as you have witnessed with your own undead warriors over in the field. Everything respawns, so to speak. Then, using Selain's powers of summoning, they created a massive orc force, which you have also seen...and since no living creature can fully die, they always come back to life...that's why the battle was so difficult."

For once, it was the commanders' turn to turn white.

"Is there...any way we can stop these...invincible beasts?" asked a stunned Nekinor.

Orodeth frowned and looked down at the sheet of parchment. "That's what I was trying to find out. Aluwen spoke of a prophecy, made ages ago, about this exact event...that would help us on our quest to find out the purpose behind this menace, and defeat the orcs before they lay waste to all of the Lands!"

Kenocen bit his lip. "Well...what does the prophecy say?"

Orodeth sighed. "That's the problem...I haven't the slightest clue."

"Wh...what? Why not?" asked Nekinor, a little more fiercely than he intended, as he made his way towards Orodeth.

Kenocen followed suit, and all three of them looked at the prophecy.

"As you can see," said Orodeth, holding it up, "it's written in a very old language. The ink itself has even completely faded in some spots, making it harder to translate. This will take a long time, even if we find someone who knows what it says..."

"But who? Who could know?" asked Kenocen, glaring at Orodeth.

"We have only one choice..." said Orodeth, leaning back in his chair. "We have to take this to the south, to the empire of Aluwen herself...in Tirnym."

Kenocen looked at Nekinor, then at Orodeth, and back at Nekinor. His head felt as if it was going to explode, a feeling that, to the commander's regret, was becoming all too familiar.

"All right then..." he said. "We do it."

"But what of the orc hoard?" asked Nekinor. "Are we just going to let them attack at will until we can get to Tirnym? The trip is going to take a while, Kenocen, days at least...we're going to cross the entire continent!"

"He has a point." said Orodeth.

Kenocen wrung his hands helplessly. Curse Mortos! Why did he ever have to do this? Kenocen drew a deep breath, and turned towards the other commander and the priest.

"Let's talk to Meyel. Let's hear what he has to say about this."

The others nodded, and Kenocen, Nekinor, and Orodeth (prophecy in hand), made their way back to the great stone structure that housed the leader of Corren.



Meyel grumbled and yawned for the third time in a row. "Why did you have to wake me up, Kenocen? What could you possibly need now?"

Kenocen sighed, rolling his eyes, and told Meyel of what he, Nekinor, and Orodeth had discovered in the temple.

"So...then what?" asked Meyel impatiently.

"Then we decided to come to you, to hear what you had to say," said Nekinor.

Meyel shrugged. "What is there to say? It's obvious, isn't it? Just head south, decipher the prophecy, and save the Lands! Fair enough?"

Kenocen rubbed his forehead. "It's not that easy. We still have the orc army to deal with."

"I told you, I'll assemble a force to deal with these creatures. Don't worry...it's all under contro...o...ol," said Meyel, finishing with a big yawn.

"I don't mean to insult you or your citizens, but...I doubt you can deal with this army alone. Three fairly powerful guilds, an army of dwarves, and some allies from Nordcarn, couldn't deal with this army...what makes you think an army of miners can?"

Meyel opened his mouth to protest, but had to surpress yet another yawn. Kenocen took advantage of this opportunity to continue.

"Someone has to go with Orodeth...I can assemble a small force, if you'll allow it...just a few villagers, preferably some of your strongest, who can handle the trip..." He looked at Nekinor. "I would suggest that you stay here, and help out Meyel...he's going to need it."

Meyel squinted in anger, and finished his yawn. "Kenocen, I swear..." he shook his head. "You have to be the craziest...most insane person alive..."

Kenocen smiled. "I'm proud of that."



"Ah! Welcome back, Kenocen! You're not...leaving already...are you?" asked Larallan, an upset frown on her face.

Kenocen smiled warmly. "No...not yet." His face became serious, and he told Larallan about how he planned to gather a group of villagers to assist Orodeth on his journey to the south.

Larallan scratched her chin. "Well..." she began, "Myself, I've always had a thirst for adventure...even Kesele here has begun to fidget, eager to stretch her legs..." She looked at Kenocen hopefully. She smiled as she saw him nod. "But...I'd have to ask my father..."

Kenocen put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm sure he'd approve."

Larallan bit her lip. "I don't know...Meyel can be stubborn at times..."

Kenocen felt his jaw drap as he stared at Larallan, astonished. "Meyel is your...your father?"

Larallan giggled. "Don't act so surprised."

"I just..." began Kenocen, but he trailed away.

"What? You just what?"

Kenocen looked up at Larallan, at her innocent, brilliant electric blue eyes...just like Meyel's. "I'm just surprised that someone as kind as you can be the child of someone as stubborn as him."

Larallan squinted her eyes, torn between admiration at the compliment and anger at his insulting her father.

Kenocen realized what he said, and he sighed apologetically. "I'm sorry...it's just that I've been under so much pressure lately, my patience runs thin."

Larallan rubbed his hand, which rested on her shoulder. "I understand. Here, not only will I join you and Orodeth, I'll also help you gather together some villagers for the journey. I know who the best riders are." Larallan winked and smiled.

Kenocen smiled as well as he grasped the beautiful woman before him and held her tightly in a tender embrace.

"Thank you, Larallan." said Kenocen, his eyes watering. "Thank you."



Back at the large stone capital building, Nekinor was meeting with the captian of the Corren guard, Taiumor Thigowen, discussing the army they were soon to create. Taiumor was a fairly young human, with very short, neatly trimmed blonde hair, which brought out his bright, almost yellow-tinted eyes. He wore a red tunic and trousers, with a brown cape casually hanging over it all. Along his waist, Nekinor caught the gleam of a sleek shortsword, practically screaming for action.

"Even if we gathered every last able villager together, I doubt they wold be enough to defeat this...unbeatable orc army you speak of," shouted Taiumor, pounding his fist into the table.

Nekinor sighed, shaking his head gravely. "Indeed no, but we can at least hold them off, without suffering too many casualties, therefore giving Kenocen, Orodeth, and the others a head start."

The captain groaned. "Then what? We can only hold out for so long..."

Nekinor shrugged helplessly. "That we have yet to figure out. We could fall back..."

"To where? And to what end? The fighting would only continue, if not get deadlier!"

Nekinor opened his mouth and stopped suddenly, as he heard the sound of someone making their way up the stairs.

It was Kenocen.

Nekinor breathed a sigh of relief. "Ah, Kenocen! For once, I'm glad to see you." He told him of the problem he and the captain faced.

"Well," stated Kenocen. He thought for a moment, then spoke. "Our group is nearly assembled. During our journey, we'll be passing through Portland. If all goes well, perhaps..."

"...we could work out a plan to fall back and set up a barrage there." finished Nekinor.

Kenocen smiled. "Exactly."

Taiumor simply stood in the middle of the room, amazed. "You two are truly great commanders," he stated.

Kenocen and Nekinor smiled at each other, humbled.

"Well, Orodeth, here are your escorts!" said Kenocen, indicating a group of sturdy men and women gathered in the stable.

There was, of course, Larallan, leaning casually on her magnificent brown steed, Kesele. In the far corner, an elvish ranger by the name of Etnali Windhorse readied his white, grey-spotted horse as he chatted with Larerran, a female half-elf, Larallan's sister. Sitting atop his black bull-like steed, not making a sound but looking around expactantly, was a dwarvish miner that went by the name of Darkkiller. Reclining among the bales of hay near the entrance was Garond Craugos, a male, human, sometimes cocky guard member.

"Excellent, excellent! Nui'umeh orus yelnile'uh!" cried Orodeth in glee. "We should set out immediately."

Kenocen laughed and looked to Larallan for the confirmation.

Larallan shouted out to the other four, who had already mounted their horses. "Are you all ready?"

There was a shout of approval, and Larallan, Kenocen, and Orodeth mounted their horses. "Then we're off!" cried Larallan, and the seven riders bolted out of the stables.

They passed through town, waving to the villagers. Kenocen spotted Nekinor, waiting at the southern border of the village. He slowed his steed and dropped to Nekinor's side.

"Farewell, Kenocen," grunted the commander, making no eye contact.

Kenocen laughed and patted Nekinor on the back. "Farewell, my 'enemy.' Until our paths cross once more...which I assure you, they will."

Nekinor smiled ever so slightly, looking at the half-elf, and for that moment, the two commanders completely forgot that they were enemies.

"Kenocen?" asked Larallan, waiting patiently.

Kenocen nodded and jumped on his steed. He took one last look at Nekinor, at the village of Corren, and followed the rest of the escort party south, into the vast, looming Kamara Desert.



The emotional departure did not sit well with Nekinor. The typically brutal commander found that he was changing, but for what reason he could not tell. He shrugged and headed back to the center of the village, where Meyel and Taiumor were waiting, the rest of the villagers and soldiers surrounding them, battle-clad, ready for war.

"So...now what?" asked Meyel, looking around curiously.

"Well, either we go to the orcs, or we wait for them to attack us," said Nekinor, slipping on his titanium chain armor.

"I prefer the latter idea!" cried one of the villagers, and there was a grumbling of approval.

Nekinor rolled his eyes.

"Well, then, we wait," stated Taiumor, looking directly up at the bright moon in the heavens above, making the surface world below appear as bright as day in the cloudless night.



After hours of waiting, the makeshift army began to grow restless.

"When'll they come already?" grumbled a dwarf.

"The suspense is killing me!" cried a farmer.

"Nekinor...are you so sure this orc army is planning to come this way?" questioned Taiumor, a skeptical expression on his face.

Nekinor paused for a moment, lifting his iron helm slightly to scratch his head. How could he know if they were coming this way or not? Perhaps they went south, instead of west, leading them straight through South Kilaran.

No sooner had Nekinor thought this when there was a shout from the south. The group stirred, and turned to see a lone, battle-worn merchant, running for his life, straight at the group.

Meyel managed to get ahold of the struggling merchant and asked him what the problem was.

"Oh! Meyel! Terrible! Orcs...orcs...so many of them! Pouring out of the mountains...comin' from South Kilarn! They attacked us, burnin' all our tents...fire...fire everywhere!" He broke down in a heap, and the villagers murmured among themselves.

Nekinor turned white. South Kilaran...Tasyl! He feared the worst, and spinning around, shouted to the army.

"South, men! To the Kamara Desert! We have no alternative...to the battle!" He roared, battle-lust sparkling in his eyes, making them appear to glow red, and, along with Meyel and Taiumor, directed the army of soldiers and villagers southward, towards the hot, dry, Kamara Desert.



Sure enough, as the first members of the army rounded the mountain range that blocked off the Kamara Desert, they could see nothing but the greenish mass of orcs among the inferno of a hundred fires, could hear nothing but the cracking of burning tents, and the screams of countless merchants, as they died a crispy death.

Many of the villagers cried out in fury, their eyes squinting in hatred. Taiumor managed to keep them under control (for the most part), as he, Nekinor, and Meyel discussed a plan for the battle.

"What do you say...we just dive right in, swords, axes, hammers swinning wildly...?" suggested Meyel, earning glares from the captain and the commander.

"Not likely. But whatever we do end up doing, we have to figure out soon, because eventually they'll spot us, and if they catch us without a strategy..." began Taiumor.

"Enough babbling!" roared Nekinor. "I have a plan...well, actually, it was a strategy that was used against me during the guild war in Kilaran...but I think it just might work." He bent forward and whispered instructions to the other two, who simply nodded in agreement.

When he finished, Taiumor gathered a third of the army together and took them to one side of the mountain range, out of view. Meyel took another third, and imitated Taiumor's actions on the opposite side. Nekinor, with the remaining third (who all happened to be mounted on horses), told the three groups of his plan. He sighed, made sure once more that the other groups were position just out of view, and spun around, just in time to meet the orc army.

One of the commanders spun around, spotting Nekinor and his small group of riders. It sniffed the air, and roared, slamming his chest like a wild ape. Numerous orcs spun around at his call, and readied their orcish weapons. The commander roared once more, and the orc force he rallied together charged at amazing speed at Nekinor's group.

"Follow my moves!" shouted Nekinor once more, as he drew his large, powerful broadsword. He listened as his riders drew their weapons, and charged forward at the orc force. At the last second, he and the rest of the first row spun in the opposite direction and made a direct cut through to the back. The orcs hesitated for a moment, giving the rest of the riders enough time to cut through, swords and hammers low, decapitating most of the orcs in the group. The rest were either wounded severely or trampled upon.

Nekinor smiled at the success of the maneuver, and gave a cry towards the other two groups, who were waiting at the mountain range. He listened hard, over the sounds of the battle, and could barely hear the sounds of the two groups heading off, around the mountain range.

The commander smiled once more, and spun around to find his riders waiting, smiles on their faces as well, with only a few wounds.

As Nekinor expected, another group, this time a larger one, was fast approaching the group. He almost considered trying the same strategy, but figured this group was at least twice as big as the last one, making it harder to pull off. He thought hard, and suddenly he sheathed his sword and grabbed for his shield, informing of the group of his latest attack plan. The riders who had shields followed suit, and with an indication from Nekinor, charged once more at the orc force. At the last second before contact, he held his shield low and parallel to the ground. They passed through the orcs, the shields cutting them severely, making large X-like marks on their chest. With a shout from Nekinor, the last two rows, who had yet to enter the fray, drew their swords, and using the X marks as guides, plunged their swords into the dark, evil hearts of as many orcs as possible.

Once the riders had followed through with the manuver, however, another group of orcs waited behind the first. Nekinor had no time to think of a strategy, and simply hollered, "Weapons out! Single line...cut right through!"

The riders understood immediately, and, drawing their swords, the group formed a line and cut through the orcs like a knife through cheese.

As soon as they passed through the most recent group, Nekinor directed them to a safe spot to figure out a strategy.

"Are you sure you haven't fought before?" laughed Nekinor. "You people have talent!" The villagers beamed. "But on a more serious note...we need to figure out a strategy...preferably some kind of feint, to keep them occupied until the others arrive..."

Over the course of a minute, the group had managed to figure out a strategy which they hoped would be effective enough. They rode out once more, and were greeted by a more organized orc force...all of the orcs were heading in their direction, weapons drawn.

Exactly what Nekinor was hoping for. Remembering Kenocen's old manuver that almost had Nekinor defeated, he raised his sword in the air, and cried out. He then began riding to the east, towards the entrance of Southern Kilaran, but with a distinct, horseshoe-like curve. The orcs, not being the brightest of creatures, followed them relentlessly. Nekinor smiled, continuing the curve, passing by the borders of the desert, and heading back towards where they started, praying to the gods that the others would be ready.

To Nekinor's great relief, they were.

The orcs were surprised indeed when they arrived back where they began...running directly into the three groups of Nekinor, Meyel, and Taiumor, all of the villagers and soldiers gearing up for the final maneuver.

The three groups had branched out, Meyel's group of miners on the right, Nekinor's riders in the middle, and Taiumor's soldiers on the left.

Meyel, Nekinor, and Taiumor looked at each other grimly, knowing that they would lose many of their number in this final, wild, suicidal attack, and with a single, horrifying, battle-hungry shout, the three groups dove right into the orc force, swinging wildly, with the sole purpose to kill as many orcs as possible.

Hours passed, and as the first rays of sunlight began to shine on the blood-stained desert below, Meyel, Nekinor, and Taiumor met together.

"We cannot keep on fighting like this...fatigue is setting in...our people are perishing faster than the orcs..." moaned Meyel, one of his arms bleeding profusely from an orcish blade.

Taiumor nodded in agreement. "We have to fall back."

Nekinor looked up at the rising sun, just on the horizon. "I only hope Kenocen and the others managed to settle on an agreement with Portland."

"Well, we're headed there, whether they like it or not!" shouted Meyel. He spun his steed around and cried as loud as he could to the remaining troops. "Fall back! To portland! Fall...back!" He cringed in pain, clutching his wounded arm.

The three of them pulled as many fighters away from the fierce battle as they could, dragging them onto horses (there were now enough horses for the remaining fighters to double up on). They took one last look at the insane orc force, which seemed to be as thick as ever, and rode south, to Portland.





"Curses!" roared Mortos. "Curses upon them all!"

Selain simply remained silent, his head low.

"They will never translate that prophecy...I will make sure of that..." growled Mortos. He headed off, writhing in anger, apparently in telepathic communication with someone. When he finished, he spun back around, a smile on his face.

"What sort of devilry has Mortos come up with now?" asked Selain curiously.

"Oh, you will see...when the time is right. Meanwhile, I have to deal with this blasted army over in the Kamara Desert."

"As you wish, Mortos," rasped Selain, as he and Mortos gazed at their next target...Portland.

#6 Brom

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 07:25 PM

OK, copy > Paste into Openoffice writer and ran spellcheck (most basic but it works for a first edit)

NOTE:Best way if my hints do not work is to use the "find" ability and search for the mispelled word. Its usually Ctrl+F in any browser window.

Spelling Errors

Fourth paragraph down in the Prologue
practicially > practically

5th paragraph
thoughout > throughout

Gondric's eyes opened wide and he was jolted from his sleep by an exremely loud, ground-shaking explosion, which completely threw Ekwin to the floor.
exremely > extremely

To the west, in the mountains just south of the path to Tarsengaard, a hole had apparenly been blown out of the side of the mountain range, fresh dust still in the air. However,
apparenly > apparently

The orcs stood there, contemplating the situation, the western side of Mynadar overflowing with orcs (the waves from the mountainside never ceased!). Finally, a group of burly, armor-clad orcs, apparently the leaders, gathered around a great tree that stood near the destroyed bridge. They shouted out something in gutteral, halting orcish, and a
AND
The flowing, pulsating orc hoard moved towards Mynadar at a slightly slower pace now, the commanders taking strategic positions on rocks, mounds, and fallen trees, surveying the city before them. They barked orders to their troops in the gutteral orcish language, and as the orcs marched they switched and re-formed ranks, adjusting for the wall ahead.
gutteral > guttural

paragraph as the second gutteral above.
minature > miniature

ahold well, its not really a word but I like it so keep it :D could change it to "grasp of" or "a hold" but I like it as it is.

Chapter 2
Kenocen shook his head. "There's no use. We could keep them at bay, but it would take some very powerful magic to destroy undead, especially those ressurected by Mortos."
ressurected > resurrected

Kenocen nodded and, returning his sword to its sheath, strode oustide and mounted his large brown steed. He looked behind him, to his cavalry, and beyond, to the mountains that separated Kilaran Field from Mynadar, where he
oustide > outside

Chapter 3
"Pay me one thousand rubies, and not one skeleton will die, my friend." Osouri sneered again. "Fourty thousand rubies and one hundred diamonds."
"Fourty th...that’s even worse than the first deal! You must be kidding, Osouri the great," he said, filling his last word with sarcasm.
Fourty > Forty 2 times

Chapter 4
fourth line down
surpress > suppress

debateable, As you wish.
After Nekinor had managed to drag Kenocen out of the stables ("Let GO, Nekinor...arrgh! Goodbye my dear Larallan...we shall meet again!"), the two commanders made for a grey, stone, manor-like building, where Larallan had told them the village leader, Meyel Iss'gar, lived.
grey > gray

ringmail? its debatable. could change it to better known chainmail or according to this lovely spellchecker it should be "ring mail" this one is up to you, I say leave it.
Its in there several times, use Find.

Meyel opened his mouth to protest, but had to surpress yet another yawn. Kenocen took advantage of this opportunity to continue.
surpress > suppress

There was, of course, Larallan, leaning casually on her magnificent brown steed, Kesele. In the far corner, an elvish ranger by the name of Etnali Windhorse readied his white, grey-spotted horse as he chatted with Larerran, a female half-elf, Larallan's sister. Sitting atop his black bull-like steed, not making a sound but looking around expactantly, was a dwarvish miner that went
expactantly > expectantly

ahold again, I say live it.

Once the riders had followed through with the manuver, however, another group of orcs waited behind the first. Nekinor had no time to think of a strategy, and simply hollered, "Weapons out! Single line...cut right through!"
manuver > maneuver

Exactly what Nekinor was hoping for. Remembering Kenocen's old manuver that almost had Nekinor defeated, he raised his sword in the air, and cried out. He then began riding to the east, towards the entrance of Southern Kilaran, but with a distinct, horseshoe-like curve.
manuver > maneuver

Also I will be printing off this...well it more like a book. at 52 pages in Openoffice and reading it for flow and clarity. but it looks good from what I have read. good Work! Very good work, you could publish this ;) (All donations to Eternal-Lands :P)

Edited by EWQ222, 10 May 2005 - 08:03 PM.


#7 Brom

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 11:23 PM

Ok, Read the prologue and first chapter, wow. My goodness this is Very good. Has Tumaros considered writing a book! Im not joking at all. anyway. not much to edit, but these I found.

Selain, the god of summoning, and Mortos's closest ally, spoke and a whisper, aged voice.
Selain, the god of summoning, and Mortos's closest ally, spoke in a whispery, aged voice.

The dwarf king crossed his arms and smiled. He turned to Ekwin, his right-hand man, and they both figured the same thing.
It seems to me that the dwarf king should not have been smiling, since in the next sentence he curses and spits about Mortos. I suggest the word scowled in place of smiled

Their curiosity didn't last long however, as a thick, fully-battle clad dwarf as he ran as fast as he could into the halls of the dwarven king.
Their curiosity didn't last long however, as a thick, fully-battle clad dwarf ran as fast as he could into the halls of the dwarven king.

You use a lot of ... in your story, where I think they should just be comma's for pauses, but that is up to you.

#8 Lachesis

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 02:16 PM

I'm going to put this into ELWiki. If further changes are going to be made, please edit the story article there. Yes, the wiki is intended to replace the forum in actual story development.* I think there's also good reason for a concise article about the Great War that focuses more on a historian's point of view, drawing the most important facts and relationships together.

P.S. Story article is ready now.

Edited by Lachesis, 02 December 2005 - 07:13 PM.





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