NationStates Jolt Archive

Orm Embar

15-05-2003, 16:54
Prince Drazyen al Vvishiak arose from his throne in the deepest bowels of his fortress, which lay upon the windswept coast of Kalessin, and swept from the audience chamber. Outside, his personal bodyguard of one hundred minor nobles awaited. With a single clash of demon-possessed armour, they closed ranks around him, and the great host of drummers and trumpeters which followed him marched behind the Prince in serried ranks as he strode inland, his black cloak flapping behind him in the cold winter air.

Eventually, the entire cavalcade arrived at a great plain, which extended for many miles on all directions, completely bereft of any sign of life. The Prince stopped, and raised his sword. Then, he began to chant, terrible and guttural syllables pouring from his lips, causing the ground to resonate, and the air itself to tremble in fear. The chant grew, until his words could be heard throughout that great plain, causing the faces of all that heard to grow white with the sickly pallor of raw terror, and his voice contorted as it grew, so that not only was the volume seemingly impossible for one of such a meagre frame, but also the cadences were alien beyond imagining, beyond the rightful knowledge of mortal men.

Then, the sword fell, smashing into the ground with appalling force, and, with a mighty rumbling, the earth in the centre of the plain fell away, and reformed into a great basin, the edge of which came up to the Prince's armoured feet, as the elementals of the earth obeyed their summoner.

As the earth settled, and the din abated, a single robed figure scurried forward, and skipped towards the centre of the plain. After reaching it, he stopped only long enough to place a tiny golden item, before hurrying back to his awaiting master.

By the time Doctor Grumpy returned, the ground had begun to shake again, with the sound of thousands of drums, and millions of marching feet. First to come into sight was a great column of black-robed figures, who, with a level of speed and ease which spoke of long practice, set up a great row of dark altars upon the far edge of the pit. Following them, was a column of robed drummers, who fanned out along the sides of the pit, so the whole area shook with the steady beat which they laid out.

Then, the peasants and the slaves approached. Clad in scanty, dirty rags which hung loosely over emaciated features, their wrists were chained and their eyes glazed over, while their feet shuffled forward in exact time with the drumbeat. As the first peasant reached the first altar, the robed figures all burst out into song, but the song, like Prince Drazyen's chant, was not of this world, and it chilled the blood, and the sibilant syllables reverberated through the minds of all who listened, cutting through the air like a dagger, and twisting the very fabric of reality.

The knives of the robed figures rose and fell, tirelessly cutting through the jugulars of countless peasants and slaves, and allowing their blood to flow over the crude altars into the pit. The sacrifices continued for seven days and seven nights, and for all this time, as Prince Drazyen stood motionless gazing upon the scene, no sacrificer or drummer or sacrifice tired or faltered, and the pit filled. On the eighth day the Prince moved, and, as the blood lapped at his feet, he cried out, a single word, which slashed through the song, melding with it, and bringing it to a conclusion. Then, both the drums and the singers stopped, and there was silence. No peasants remained alive, of all the millions who had marched, their minds in thrall to their terrible masters, to the altars.

Then, the robed mages turned from their altars towards the pit, and their mouths opened to echo the single word which the Prince had spoken. For a moment, nothing happened, but then a few sharp-eyed individuals could see a slight bubbling in the centre of the pit.

With inexorable slowness, the tiny golden palace rose from the centre of the lake of blood, and hovered above it, an almost invisible spike hanging down, just breaking the surface. Then, it began to grow, sucking the countless gallons of blood into its body, until the lake ran dry, and it hung, motionless, over the land of Kalessin, now extending several miles in all directions and obscuring the sun with its shadow, casting the land into a darkness even deeper than that generated by the ever-present clouds, its gleaming surface covered in elaborate runes and baroque decoration, similar to that which could be seen on the barges of Kalessin.

With a clanking of chains, a tall figure, his noble features frozen in a mixture of fear and rage, and his powerfully muscled limbs bound tightly, was lead forward by a score of guards, to stand before the Prince. Drayzen fell silent for a moment, and addressed the captive.

“It is time for you to meet your fate, you who are no longer my son. May you serve our house with more ability in death than you displayed alive, in your pathetic attempt to kill me.”

“And may your soul be tortured for all eternity by a thousand demons in the deepest circles of the plane of chaos.”

“The chance of that is remote, although fate is often cruel. Your eternal suffering however is certain. Farewell.”

The Prince motioned to the guards, who presented the captive’s throat. Drazyen sheathed his sword, and, having drawn a wickedly curved and serrated dagger, began to chant a rune of ending, of sealing, of permanence and of eternity, before slashing through the jugular of his eldest son, sending a bright spray of blood into the air, where it flew upwards, defying the laws of gravity, to meld in with the great palace hovering above.

Then, finally, the robed mages fell silent forever, their power expended completely in this great work. The sound of their corpses hitting the ground was barely audible over the roar of the great anti-grav engines supporting the palace. The Prince pulsed a thought into the ether:

It is done

He had barely finished, when the silence was broken by the sound of a thousand dragons popping into existence, led by the Emperor himself, seated upon his great red drake. Each dragon seized hold of some part of the structure, obscuring its golden beauty with their wings. Three minutes later they, and the palace, vanished with a great bang, as the air slammed back into the space previously held by the towering golden edifice.
Orm Embar
15-05-2003, 18:00
Prince Solyan al Vvishiak reclined on his golden throne in the heart of the great sky-palace of Orm Embar, now just settling into its orbit directly above the region known as Arda. He stretched out his mind, until he found Doctor Grumpy, hard at work in the depths of Minipax.

Everything is going as planned. The thralls are not impeded noticeably by the lack of oxygen, and my late brother's soul is performing adequately. How is the breeding of the altered dragons proceeding?

They shall be ready in a matter of days. I trust that our...other arrangements are still going to plan.
16-05-2003, 18:57
17-05-2003, 14:34
Aboard the SWS-BB Scolomorph, Sky Marshal Hayes looked at the new blip on the strategic indicator board. "What's that?"

The sensors operator shrugged. "I dunno... it's huge, for one thing. Spectrometry reveals it to be... gold? Gold-plated? And it's trajectory brings it out of Kalessin."

Hayes took off her green officer's wheel-cap just long enough to scratch her auburn hair. "Kalessin? The medieval dragon-riders?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Can they accept RF transmissions?"

"I don't rightfully know, ma'am."

"We can at least try. Communications, send a message to Sensor Contact 320."

[RF transmission, audio only]

Unknown contact, this is Sky Marshal Lisa Hayes of the First Titan Expeditionary Force. We're just curious, please identify yourself.

[transmission ends]
Orm Embar
17-05-2003, 14:44
Hayes heard a voice speaking directly into her mind:

Greetings Young-Kingdomer. I am Prince Solyan al Vvishiak of the mighty Empire of Kalessin, ruler of Orm Embar. Why do you dare to disturb me?
17-05-2003, 14:45
A previously unseen MISAT (there are thousands of the little buggers in orbit) swivels into position not-too-distant from the golden object in orbit above Arda. A pale-green light sweeps over the golden object, and the MISAT desperately relays information to the ground on-the-fly - the onboard AI (a very simple affair) making the determination that the moment that its laser-scanner fired, it was as dead as... well, something that no longer is alive.
Orm Embar
17-05-2003, 14:51
All that the satellite can determine is the fact that the palace appears to be made of solid gold. Surprisingly however, the satellite remains unharmed.
17-05-2003, 14:55
All that the satellite can determine is the fact that the palace appears to be made of solid gold. Surprisingly however, the satellite remains unharmed.

The MISAT promptly explodes in a tiny hail of glory.
17-05-2003, 15:05
Hayes shouted across the room. "Get an OPO agent in here, on the bounce. The dragon-riders are talking in my brain, and I find it vaguely disconcerting."

A grey-uniformed Office of Psionic Operations agent, dull metal grapefruit psi-amp jacked into his arm, ran in and stopped abruptly. "Whoa... something powerful is around."

Hayes nodded. "Telepathy from that sensor contact." She pointed to the spot on the indicator board.

The OPO Agent shook his head. "Telepathy at this range? I'm out of my league, ma'am. I can probably deflect an incoming attack, but..."

Hayes decided to experiment, and thought hard. I am sorry, Prince. We merely wished to make contact and ascertain who you are. Now that we know, we shall respect your privacy if you wish. However, it is possible that we could take this possibility to engage in a dialogue between our two nations.
Orm Embar
17-05-2003, 15:16
A dialogue? About what? Speak swiftly lest you try my patience.
17-05-2003, 15:32
A chance to improve relations between our two powers. Conflict would be... ill-advised, given the circumstances. If there is not to be conflict, then why not mutual support?
17-05-2003, 17:25
Lidia Serrano, Ambassador of Cetaganda, had agreed to come with Prince Drayzen. She had watched as the thousands of peasants and slaves died at the hands of the priests. Her face showed no sign of the revulsion she felt inside.
'How can a people seem so welcoming one moment, and then do something like this the next?' she though, being careful to keep her thoughts sheilded. She had told the truth when she said she had no magic, but never mentioned her psionic Talent. They were virtually non-existant, just enough to speak with another telepath or sheild herself. 'I must remember my duty. Protocol demands we try to retrieve the children. We rescued them from Sauron, and we must insure their safety. If it means making a deal with these people, than so be it.'
Now she was sitting in the audience chamber of Prince Drayzen in Orm Embar. She could tell he was communicating with someone.
'No doubt the First Titan. They're probably confused as hell about where this huge thing came from.'
17-05-2003, 17:25
[ooc: I must say, this may be a record for the /longest/ RP. Hey everybody-- There's a summit ( on the II forum that we (EOTED, etc.) want you to attend...]
23-06-2003, 16:45
Now she was sitting in the audience chamber of Prince Drayzen in Orm Embar. She could tell he was communicating with someone. 'No doubt the First Titan. They're probably confused as hell about where this huge thing came from.'

OOC: Drazyen (and Lidia) are currently in Drazyen's palace in Kalessin. Solyan (Drazyen's son) is the guy in Orm Embar.

IC: Prince Drazyen looked into Lidia's eyes, his cold eyes boring into her.

Hmmm, what is it that I see in there? Fear? Awe? Disgust?

"Now, I hope, you see our true strength my lady. In your nation, do you have so many people who so love their rulers that they are willing to give their lives, nay, their very souls, on their behalf?"
Orm Embar
23-06-2003, 17:01
Mutual support? Support against who? No young kingdomer could ever threaten me. How would I be able to benefit from helping you?
05-07-2003, 22:07
Why must support be against someone? There is always the possibility of trade in resource, commerce in goods.
Orm Embar
07-07-2003, 18:12
Trade? Commerce? Do you believe me to be some honourless merchant?
07-07-2003, 18:42
No. We think you are a man with needs we may be able to fulfill. In addition, we think you are a man with resources and knowledge that might fulfill our needs.
Orm Embar
08-07-2003, 11:54
I would be happy to accept any slaves or humanoid corpses you could send me as a gift. And what sorts of gift would you find pleasing in return?
08-07-2003, 11:56
OOC: Sorry to disrupt, but Mrs. LeGuin is my all time favorite writer, and your nations names are awesome.
08-07-2003, 12:46
Information is always useful--we love to learn. One would suspect that raw materials would be difficult to obtain, given your position. It may be possible for us to alleviate that difficulty.
09-07-2003, 03:13
"Now, I hope, you see our true strength my lady. In your nation, do you have so many people who so love their rulers that they are willing to give their lives, nay, their very souls, on their behalf?"

Serrano shakes her head. "Oh, the imperial family and many nobles are loved by their vassals, but not with such fervor. At least not in such numbers, not now. There have been times in the past were a great Emperor or general has held the hearts of millions." She pauses to consider. "I think the new Emperor is a man who the people might love. Of course, in the past it has often taken a crisis or war to fully bring out such feelings and sacrifice. And if that is what it would take to rally the people, I hope I do not live to see it happen."
Lidia sighs, shaking her head once more, and holds up a hand. "Make no mistake, I do not fear war simply because it is war. There are times when it is needed. Before I became a diplomat, I served in the Battlefleet like twenty-one generations of Serranos before me. However," her voice grows bitter, "there is a difference between the battle between two groups of warriors and the senseless slaughter of millions. I think that is exactly what we, and all the world, could be draw into by this eternal idiocy between Melkor and the elves." Serrano's face leaves no question that she is disgusted by both sides of that conflict.
09-07-2003, 03:24
09-07-2003, 03:27
The Archmage of Roke would never approve of these actions.
09-07-2003, 05:02
The Archmage of Roke would never approve of these actions.
High above Roke, a Cetagandan warship is doing target practice. Seeing the convient island, it opens up with all energy and missile batteries. The island ceases to exist a moment later. :D :D

j/k. If you want to complain, tell it the the dragon. If it doesn't eat you first.]
13-07-2003, 16:51
"Indeed. A war where both sides lose is truly a disgusting concept. But now, you have given me a gift, and it is only proper that I give one to you in return."

Drazyen stood, and led Lidia to a door near the back of the room. It was constructed of solid iron, yet it opened easily as Drazyen placed his hand on its surface. They continued down a long spiral staircase, and then through a gigantic maze of passages which seemed to go on forever. Eventually however, they came to another steel door, this one with a large symbol of a snake engraved upon it.
Melkor Unchained
13-07-2003, 18:27
"While we realize this should have been done a lot sooner, Lord Melkor would like to extend his congratulations to the mighty Empire of Kalessin in this new advancement. Certainly Orm Embar will serve to usher in a new era of military dominance for Kalessin and her allies.

We would like to use this station as a 'base of operations' for the Arda Combined Fleet, once finished. If this is OK with you, of course."

--Ambassador Jay Reaven
13-07-2003, 18:34
Message from the Kalessin Ministry of Peace to Melkor Unchained:

"Orm Embar has no oxygen creating capacity, and thus will not be able to house any of the crews from your fleet. However we are sure that Prince Solyan al Vvishiak will be most willing to make a few areas available for fuel and ammunition storage, and the Palace should serve as a safe docking facility for the vessels of the Arda combined fleet."
Melkor Unchained
13-07-2003, 18:38
Message from the Kalessin Ministry of Peace to Melkor Unchained:

"Orm Embar has no oxygen creating capacity, and thus will not be able to house any of the crews from your fleet. However we are sure that Prince Solyan al Vvishiak will be most willing to make a few areas available for fuel and ammunition storage, and the Palace should serve as a safe docking facility for the vessels of the Arda combined fleet."

"..Interesting, to say the least. Separate facilites will no doubt be a necessity for crews that wish [or are ordered to] disembark from their ships, since they won't be able to breathe in Orm Embar. However, we will certainly take you up on your offer to dock there, and store munitions."

--Jay Reaven
13-07-2003, 23:55
OOC: I'm off on holiday in internetless parts for 10 days now. I'll continue this when I get back.
11-09-2003, 00:16
Drazyen raised his right hand, which, as Lidia now realised, was adorned with a single silver signet ring, bearing the same snake emblem as the door. He pressed his ring to the forehead of the serpent on the door, which swung open with a faint hissing sound.

The Prince led Lidia into a vast, windowless circular chamber, the walls of which were made entirely of cold, black stone. Although there were no torches or any other normal light-sources, the entire room was lit by a malign green light, which emanated from a gigantic carving of a snake, identical in form to the creatures on the door, and on the al Vvishiak signet ring, which lay inside a circle in the centre of the floor.

Around this circle, on all sides, treasures were piled high. Gold and silver coins and ornaments by the thousand. Rubies, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds and all kinds of precious stones. Suits of finely wrought armour, and weapons of all shapes and sizes, inscribed with ancient runes from before the world was born.

Drazyen swept his arm around him, the faintest glimmering of a smile on his face;

“Here is the treasury of house al Vvishiak. In here is enough wealth to buy an entire nation, or to hire the services of a demon from the deepest plane of Hell, and it from here that you shall choose your gift.”

He gestured with his hand, and a massive diamond, the size of a man’s head, floated towards him;

“Here, I offer you wealth beyond imagining. As many gems and precious metals as you can carry.”

He gestured again, and the diamond floated back towards the pile, to be replaced by a simple silver mirror, covered in carvings of intermingled serpents, twisting and coiling around one another;

“This mirror belonged to my grandmother. Look into it, and you will see whatever you wish to see. State secrets, hostile plots, an unfaithful husband? Nothing shall stay hidden from you while you have this mirror.”

He waved his hand casually, and the mirror was replaced by a pair of shining silver swords, and a suit of fine armour in the same hue, its helmet adorned by a white crest;

“But you are a warrior. Maybe you would prefer a warrior’s gift? Here! You may have a suit of armour capable of withstanding even the claws of a demon, yet it is still as light as silk, and swords that can cut through the finest steel as if it were but empty air.”

He smiled faintly, as a simple scroll took their place;

“Naturally, I am willing to grant you this, a meagre and ungenerous gift compare to the others. This scroll would grant free access to Cetagandan citizens to the port of Asj-Kailarte, which stands within my realm, on the single condition that no weapons be borne. In addition, all of the elves who are currently in residence here will be given the opportunity to visit Cetaganda whenever they wish, and they shall be given Asj-Kailarte as their own.”

He flicked his fingers almost in contempt, and the scroll fluttered away.

“However, that is not a true gift, now is it? I believe that you deserve more than that, for the wonderous gift of the anti-grav technology which you have given to us. Thus, last, and most certainly not least, I offer you this.”

And a simple copper goblet floated forward, slowly and sedately, and as it reached Lidia, she could see a clear liquid filling it.

“Here is the greatest gift of all. Here, is the cup of eternal life. Guarded by the house of al Vvishiak since time immemorial. Should you accept this gift, you will be the first not of the Royal House of Kalessin to drink from this goblet.”

And his cold, black eyes bored into hers, seeming like great dark wells, full of ancient memories, and terrible knowledge.

Now you must choose. And choose wisely.
14-09-2003, 04:30
As the prince presented each potential gift in turn, Lidia was slight more interested. When the scroll was explained, she was elated at the thought to succeeding in her mission, although her face showed it not. When the cup was levitated, however, she became deathly pale.

"You are most generous, my lord al Vvishiak, and I find myself with quite a difficult choice," she says slowly. "The offer of wealth, while appreciated, I do not need. I have more than enough to last my life, as Cetaganda is generous to those who defend her."

"The mirror, I have no need of either. My husband died in battle years ago, and he was never unfaithful. I have no interests in spying on anyone, as most of my enemies are long since gone. I leave that to those who enjoy such things."

"The weapons, I must admit, I would enjoy. Such finely crafted armor and swords are rare in this world, even more so than it once was. But I grow old, and would not carry them long. Fine gifts for my children, perhaps, and I would choose this gift if it were not for the remaining two. And those two present me with a quandary."

"On the one hand, I have what I came here for: a guarantee of safety from those who we took responsibility. Not giving them to us, true, but we never expected that in any case. I will admit, my lord, that we were unsure what their fate would be here, and that is why we took such measures as we have. I now think we may have been quick to judge, but that is no matter. The terms you propose are just, and our obligation of honor would be met. In most circumstances, I would not hesitate to accept."

She paused a few moments before continuing. As she speaks, her voice grows softer and softer, and while her face is a stony mask, her eyes betray an inner turmoil. "But your other offer...eternal life is nothing to be tossed aside without a thought. How can one turn such a gift down? It comes at a high price, though. To take the cup that floats before me would be to forsake the mission I have been sent on, and for the gain of none but myself. Still, who need ever know? I simply omit the fourth offer from my report to my liege lord, and no shame would fall upon me."

She slowly lifts up her hand, almost but not quite touching the cup. "But I would know," she continues, her voice trembling. "I would remember my act, for as long as I live. I would know that my honor was stained beyond redemption by my betrayal of my oaths. The question is, would it be worth it? Eternal life, at the cost of mere idea?"

Serrano is silent for a minute, contemplating the object hovering before her. Eventually, she speaks again. "No, I think not. Years ago, when I was young and naive, before my children were born, I might have taken it." She pauses, then speaks with a stronger voice, "But better to die and meet the fate my creator intended for mortals such as I than live eternally, knowing that I was no longer worthy of the respect others have for me, knowing that I had sacrificed something so important to me for my own life.

She paused once more. "Better than living on, and watch as time withers away my children, their children, and all else I hold dear while passing me by. I have no desire see that. No, my lord al Vvishiak, I fear I cannot accept you final offer. I will accept the offer you made the city of Asj-Kailarte, both for myself and on the behalf of my emperor."

"Your generosity is great, but I fear I am not strong enough to take what you could give," she finished, meeting Prince Drazyen's gaze. Serrano's face is once more calm and collected.
17-09-2003, 19:01
"You put your honour, and your loyalty to your Emperor, above everything else that this world has to offer?"

Drazyen smiled faintly, as he handed Lidia the scroll;

"Would that all my vassals were like you. If they were, the al Vvishiak banner would now fly over the Imperial Palace in the Shining City, and the Empire would hold sway over the entire world."

He gestured towards the door as he continued, in a more solemn tone;

"And should you ever begin to regret your decision, as I'm sure you will, when death's cold fingers begin to claw at your soul, and your hairs go white with age, and as honour and loyalty becomes but a pale memory, take into your heart the knowledge that while immortality is a great gift, it also comes with a terrible price."

The door closed after them, as the two began the long climb back up the the main part of the Palace, and that faint smile returned to the Prince's face.

"Now then, I believe that you were planning to arrange a meeting for me with one of your mages."
Orm Embar
29-11-2003, 23:58
Upon the surface of Orm Embar, its golden surface glowing brightly in the clear, pure sunlight, unclouded by the sky or the clouds which hung below in the gigantic blue orb that was Nationstates Earth, had grown up many tall and slender towers, gracefully spiring out into space, topped by elegant turrets and minarets, too delicate to have ever existed in the unrelenting gravitic pull of the world below.

But one of these, taller and thicker than most, glowed not with the light of the sun, but with an inner luminescence, coating it's golden surface with a faint, jade sheen, and as the enormous Palace flew along, on its endless path, keeping perfect time with the land of its makers, which lay, shrouded in thick and turbulent cloud, upon the globe below, this tower seemed to strain slightly at its foundations, its glow intensifying, and the runes which covered its surface standing out slightly, as they shifted and slithered around its circular column.

Then, with no sign of a tear or a fracture, the tower swam free of its mother, and, spinning gently, began to hurtle through space at a terrifying speed, heading toward the lands of those who, in days long past, had had the temerity to cause pain to the being known as Orm Embar.
30-11-2003, 15:05
A small pulse of an electromagnetic field makes itself evident above Arda for a fraction of a second - and then a flurry of communications eminates from the very same spot.

A second passes, and the comms signals are replaced with... white-hot heat. Another MISAT detonates in Arda orbit - after revealing itself, it is absolutely useless.

[OOC: Two remaining, by the way. I put those there months ago, if you were wondering, and not specifically to watch Orm Embar... but they'd spot this for sure.]
20-01-2004, 16:37
[Survival bump]
31-01-2004, 03:49
Blue Office, Imperial Palace
Home District, Imperial Union of Cetaganda
The Ring of Powerfulness, Sol VI

"You wanted to speak with me, Gregor?" Across the informal office from the emperor at his , his cousin Kyle flops down on a couch.

"Yes. There's a...situation that I need you to deal with. Outside the empire, in fact." At this, Kyle raises an eyebrow.

"I'm not exactly an ambassador, Gregor, and I've got a lot to do just in my own jurisdiction. Why can't State handle it?"

"State doesn't have anyone qualified; and its not like you're completely inexperienced, just look at how good you did mediating that dispute between the dwarves and Baron Meckhelvin's wolves."

"I suppose so. Still, what would require the Archmage to deal with outland?"

Gregor grimaces. "Have you ever heard of Kalessin?"

"Mmm, of course," responds Kyle, lifting an eyebrow. " One Ring conflict, they picked up some refugee children. We tried to mediate between Menelmacar and ToY and the Kalessini and Ardan forces there, and in the end sent people to inspect the conditions along with Kn-Yan. We officially said there wasn't anything wrong, but unofficial suspected there was. mental conditioning. Same thing with Kn-Yan, official statement was nothing wrong, but the head of the delegation was executed. A few of the older kids left, and ones that came here were trying to grab grav tech. I think we eventually had to all but lock them up in a country estate and put considerable effort into breaking their conditioning; I could look it up if you want, but I think it worked only to the point where they stopped trying to spy. Why do you ask?"

Gregor sighs, and tosses a perscomp to Kyle. "One of the last acts of my mother before her assasination was to enter secret negotiations with one of the top Kalessini princes. Ambassador-at-large Serrano was sent, along with...a gift. Specifically, plans and operational gravitic drives."

"SHE WHAT?" exclaim Kyle, bolting upright. "Why haven't I heard of this?"

"Like I said, a secret. She didn't even inform me, although the ambassdor left only days before explosion on Enterprise. I didn't learn of it until Serrano returned with a treaty. By which time, Kalessin had already launched Orm Embar and, because of some strange time warps, used a grav shuttle to try and frame Menelmacar for some massacre. The only people who know are some of our top military officials. Possibly the SIS as well, I know the Scolopendrans know the unidentified ship had a Cetagandan drive signature. We just told them that we were looking into it."

"What did we get out of it?"

"The children have been moved to an open port where we can get at them; who knows where it will go from there. They tried to bribe the ambassador, but you know how stubbornly loyal the Fleet families are to the empire. Prince Drayzen al Vvishiak, the one we have contact with, also requested a meeting with one of our mages."

After a moment of silence and a pointed look on the part of the emperor, Kyle says, "I think I can see where this is going."

"Indeed. Thanks to some odd temporal thingy, its only been a short time since Serrano returned. I want you to go, meet with the man, and see what he wants. Maybe make another try to grab all the children, but don't push. More open relations would also be nice; if the Dread Lady and Devon Treznor can have relations with Melkor, we certainly can have some with Kalessin."

"Is this really necessary? I mean, hundreds have been killed thanks to an only partially successful attempt to help the children."

"I'm counting on you, Lord sa'Diablo. This matter impacts heavily on the honor on the family and the union. When we rescued those children, it became our responsibilty to try and keep them safe."

"I'll just pack a bag, then."

A few days later, a transmission is sent from a vessel orbiting just beyond the outermost perimeter of the Ardan defenses.

{Tightbeam Transmission; m14 Security Protocols}
x Archmage Kyle sa'Diason (aboard IMV Yawning Angel)
o Prince Drayzen al Vvishiak (Kalessin)

Lord al Vvishiak, I am Lord Kyle sa'Diason of Cetaganda. I am here in response to your reques to meet a Cetagandan mage. Please have my vessel cleared to pass through your defences at your convenience.

{Transmission Ends}
03-02-2004, 20:46
A cold voice whispered into Kyle’s mind.

You may approach. Land your vessel on this plain.

And as the voice left him, Kyle was suddenly able to see the exact course that he needed to take in his mind’s eye.
06-02-2004, 04:46
Following the path, the small ship glides down through Ardan airspace towards Kalessin. It lands at the plain, and after a few moments a hatch opens. A young raven-haired man in his mid-twenties gracefully drops to the ground and looks around, his eyes seeming to observe everything. To any who can see such things, there seems to be a hint of enormous power deep within him. Kyle's clothes are simple black pants, shirt, vest, and a midnight-blue cape. The only weapon he carries is a long dagger at his side.
08-02-2004, 18:43
<OOC: "For my first trick, I shall perform the spell Thread: Bump.'">
07-03-2004, 04:08
{Initiate Program: Bump
<> Bump Method: Orion
<> Deploying force-field thrust plate analog
<> Loading reaction mass injector
<> Loading fusion device
>>> Initiate primary firing sequence
<> Bump successful
07-03-2004, 04:15
{Initiate Program: Bump

<> Bump Method: Orion
<> Deploying force-field thrust plate analog
<> Loading reaction mass
<> Loading fusion device
<> Initiate primary firing sequence
<> Bump successful

End Program}
13-03-2004, 23:41
Kyle gazed out from the hatch of his ship. The plain stretched for miles in every direction, flat as a plate and equally lifeless. Not a single blade of grass poked its way up through the ground, which was stained red as if with blood. To the east and west, the plain ended with a dense forest, which continued on as far as the eye could see, while to the north, the forest marched up toward a tremendous range of snow-capped mountains, rising up to the sky like a row of jagged teeth, biting through the clouds. Overhead, carrion circled. Not far to the South of where Kyle stood, the plateau fell away rapidly, and he could hear the sound of surf crashing against rock, and it was to the South that the voice urged him to go.

Eventually, he found himself standing at the very edge of a great cliff overlooking the Southern shore of Kalessin. The storm clouds were thick and black overhead, and far below him, a titanic fortress of black granite reared itself up, dark and brooding, surrounded by the turbulent sea, its towers bleak and forbidding in the dim half-light, and from within a malevolent emerald glow could be seen flickering. From the highest tower, a flag waved in the breeze, depicting a green serpent writhing in the darkness. The thunder rolled ominously over the scene, followed by a chill wind, the flash of lightening which preceded it illuminating a sheer cliff-path which led down to the fortress gate, winding and steep, more fit for goat than man.
14-03-2004, 04:10
'It looks like the Prince should have asked for a landscaper,' thinks Kyle to himself, 'rather than a mage. The castle certainly is impressive, though. And, say what you will about their other practices, the Kalessini certainly have a flair for the theatrical. I'd best keep moving. Wouldn't do to spoil my entrance by turning up sopping wet.'

Kyle begins to make his way down the trail. Despite the weather, lighting, and poor quality of the trail, he proceeds with a calm confidence as the trail winds back and forth, until he eventually reaches the gate. Standing before it, he takes another look around the fortress, his gaze eventually settling on the gate before him. He stands there before the gate, his cape flowing behind him in the wind, and silently waits for it to open.
15-08-2004, 20:13
12-08-2007, 02:10
He waited for a very long time, as the thunder rolled, and the waves crashed relentlessly upon the rocks below.

The gates themselves were vast, seemingly designed to accomodate some long-dead race of giants. Each was made up of a single black iron plate; featureless and perfectly smooth, without a single dent or speck of rust, they seemed to suck in the light from around them, and, even in the midst of that howling gale, not a single drop of water clung to their surface.