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A past, a home, a family...

- - - - - family home past

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17 replies to this topic

#1
Moturdrn

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[OOC: The following is largely a copy and paste from the old forums (I had a saved transcript of the thread), spanning from Jan 2005 - Aug 2005. Re-posted here to continue it on, with recent Kaldor developments.]
[23-Jan-2005]

She took a second look at the item on the table.
It had to be addressed to her, Visko was clearly written on the sealed parchment, yet...
The second name... Could there be another Visko? But... it was placed here...

Picking up the parchment, she pushed the thoughts aside and quickly opened it, the seal breaking and small pieces of wax falling to the floor. She began to read it, as with all other literature, by quickly scanning over it, searching for information which stood out.

The first paragraph she dismissed, merely an apology, she had no time for such as of late, it could be read later... or could it? She quickly looked it over, and then again, and then read it.
Sister... This can't be for me... Yet...

She jumped to the bottom of the parchment, to where it was signed.
The name... familiar somehow...
She looked around the room quickly.
No... Wouldn’t do to read it here... somewhere private...

Moving to a corner of the room, she slowly closed her eyes, opening them when she felt the warmth against her cheeks. Moving to the end of this new room, she made her way to her own bed, and sat on the end, sitting so the light from the nearby brazier flowed onto the parchment making it readable once more, and taking a deep breath, began to read from the beginning...

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#2
Moturdrn

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[25-Jan-2005]

Still doesn't make sense... How?... Why... Why now?
She turned away from the letter, now placed to her side on the bed, the thoughts in her head, a half empty bottle containing a refreshment potion in her left hand.

For the attention of Visko,
Visko, Kaldorian Sorceress within the lands of Akalabeth, my apologies for not getting in touch sooner, I had to be sure it was true. I had to be sure that the records were correct, that the one recorded as Visko within these files is indeed the one I search for, the one this letter is for, to you, my sister.


So... it must be... my name... my rank...

Yet still, something troubled her.

Why can't I... remember?


The thoughts repeated in her head, and she soon found herself speaking them, louder and louder... and louder... until...

WHY CAN'T I...
She stopped on the sound of smashing glass, the bottle that was in her hand now lay in pieces upon the floor near the wall. Stray pieces of glass glinted as she turned her head, when the light caught them from various angles, the remaining red liquid spilling over the floor.

Sighing, she stood, and picked up as much of the glass as she could, keeping her leather gloves on, and then, dropped them over the short wall the bottle had smash upon, into depths where they wouldn't provide a mess. The potion, she thought, made a fitting addition to the colour of the room, she allowed it to stay, to stain.

Placing the letter behind the bed's headboard, she lay down upon the bed, closed her eyes and tried to sleep.
Sleep would come, it always did before, it would do again, she knew so...


...it didn't.

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#3
Moturdrn

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[28-Jan-2005]

It had been four days now, four days since she'd noticed it, four days since she'd opened it, four days since she'd read it. She'd left the room only once, and even then she wished she hadn't. Lack of sleep was showing. She picked up a dull gem from the foot of the bed, and turned it within her hands. it's sparkle gone. The energy had been drained earlier, two nights back, when that cat... Aisha, was within the cooling cells.

It's a threat, it must be destroyed...

The thought came back and resounded within her head. Where the thoughts had come from, she didn't know, didn't care, too much to worry about now. The druid, Mason had turned up, and attempted to rid Aisha of this apparant curse, yet she seemed to grow stronger, or rather, it seemed to grow stronger.

The gem will have to be recharged, it won't do to have its binding power lowered at such a time...
She thought as she carefully wrapped a plain silk cloth around the gem, and placed it within her backpack.

As she pulled her hand back out from the backpack, it brushed against something. Instinctively, she grabbed the object and removed it from the backpack.
There it was... again... the letter...

There are many things I wish to say, but the swiftness with which this letter must reach you prevents such details. Finally I found you, since mothers untimely disappearance we, myself and our father, searched for you, and returned home, with the thoughts you both were taken forever from us, from Kaldor. It was not until the recent reports whereby we were informed it was possible you were still alive, did we recontinue efforts to find you. However, I write to you now in regards of our father, Kolya, who's time with us grows short every day.

Silently, she folded up the parchment and placed it carefully back within her backpack, next to a red and green object. A single tear dropped from her eyes, and the sound of it hitting the floor caused an echo within the room. Slowly securing her backpack, she placed it upon her back, and stood over on the teleporter and found herself back within the room she originally found the letter in. Then, silently, she made her way to the door, and left the building, before opening a book of runes, runes to towns and cities, to places with people...

The gem will have to be recharged...

Muttering Kal Ort Por, she closed her eyes and waved her hand over the page, choosing a rune at random.

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#4
Moturdrn

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[30-Jan-2005]

Finally...
She though back to the past few days, where sleep had been scarce, until the previous night, the sleep had been welcoming.

She still had many things on her mind, yet, she seemed slightly more focused at the same time, almost as if she was resolved on what she would do. That said, she still needed her own time away to think and contemplate upon it all.

She made her way back to Strongholt from Trinsic, the General stating that he'd be safe, and made her way to the tavern, where she took a sat away from the... Clerics, and from Seon.

She stared blankly at the wall, recalling several events from the night, from the burning of a kilt within the Keg and Anchor, to some of the events that occured later.
HEY VISKO

She turned her head and noticed Seon who called her over to sit and drink with them. Them... the Cleric Kelen, stuck up in his own ways, seemed to follow things to the letter... the one under investigation... Nilarwen, she didn't quite know what to make of her, but she'd have to keep an eye out, could never be too careful in these times... and finally Seon. He's changed, and held a different air about him. A little too different for her own liking. She passed up the offer and left, she needed time on her own, the way things were running grated at her.

Back in her own room, she lay down and closed her eyes, relaxing, the last passages of the letter came to her mind.

...I cannot stay with him for much longer, and even though I wish to stay by his side till he passes, he wishes otherwise, that I fulfil my duty I have been set. Despite having wanted this posting for too long, reluctantly I have accepted it. I would rather that someone be with him in his last moments of his life and, although this may be too much to take in, and too short a time, it would perhaps ease his pain to know you are still alive, and where you have been, what you have done, that he may be proud that the Army survives still in Akalabeth.

Perhaps another time we shall meet, and fight side by side on the battlefield, with other faithful. Father surely has his place in the City of Steel, let us earn our own too.

Signed
Raugin Bludhaven
Sorceror of Kaldor


She slowly drifted to sleep, a slight smile on her face. Kaldor would grow strong and that would come to pass...

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#5
Moturdrn

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[07-Feb-2005]

Silently she started to pack her items into several bags, chests, boxes, crates.
How long would she be here? The answer she didn't know but, as they say, it's best to be prepared.
She's spoken to the Commander about it, who seemed to understand, who would then speak to the General.
She'd wrote a letter shortly after, and sent it from Skara, transported over the sea by one of the Britannia to Gorimdor ferries, the recipient should have it soon, if not already.
Her mind drifted back to the events that had happened, the war with Vesper, the invasion of Trinsic, the war with Trinsic after, Glory and various other events that had gone on, more recently the issue with Vapula... Possibly one of the last duties she'd have within these lands.
Laying down on the bed, she rested her eyes. The rest of the packing could wait, she was tired, still not recovered fully.
Sleep soon came, and her mind drifted through the darkness...

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

Elsewhere, far away, another was going through a similar set of actions. Packing, preparing to leave for shores elsewhere.
Two letters ontop of a bedside table, both folded but with seals broken.
One bore merely his name, the other his name and rank.
Turning slowly he looked out the door to the room and across the hallway, to a closed door. He'd let the old one sleep for now, before telling him the news, of the sister, alive, returning.
His mind turned back to packing, as he returned to face the crates awaiting him.
Seven days sea travel... Not the best method of transport... but it was bearable...
As he closed the lid on the current crate, he turned to an empty one and began to fill it.

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#6
Moturdrn

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[08-Feb-2005]

Looking over the edge, she watched as the waves rose slightly, then crashed upon the hull of the boat. Lifting and turning her head slightly, she looked back to the land she had grown to call home, where she'd lived, through the good times, and endured in the hardships. Now it would be nothing more than a memory... for how long?
Her mind wandered back to events of last night.

Some fighting had obviously broken out with some folks from other lands, which she had missed. The Commander had been injured, and that Cleric... had obviously not set her straight good enough the first time, as she later needed yet more medical attention.
She managed to speak to the General in the end, which led her to here now, his words of not to waste time, and that she should be gone already. A slight smile crossed her face. The Army looked after it's own, and those in Gorimdor would have to try pretty hard to live up to how she viewed those back in Akalabeth.

She'd pinned her badge, which made clear she was of the Army in those lands to a door of the inn, where the Commander was. Should anything happen... it would be safer there with them, than with her where she may lose it.
There had been one final article to rid herself off. She had removed it slowly from her backpack and went to throw it, throw it over to the fires below in her room, when she had frozen. Screaming occured, but there was no-one around to cause such noise. Then she had smirked slightly, knowing what it was, the problem, the cause, and her hands slowly released their grip on the book, as it plummeted downwards and disappeared beneath the hot flames and molten rocks.


She turned to face the front of the boat, leaning slightly on the side railing. Home... what would become her home... lay ahead of her...
...and so did answers.

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#7
Moturdrn

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[12-Feb-2005]

He stood out on deck, looking out in the direction he had travelled from, leaning on the railings at the stern of the ship.

Quicker than I had anticipated.

Indeed, the weather had provided a fine few days of sailing when he had set off, but entering the seas surrounding Britannia, the water had become that bit more unwelcoming. Still, he was making time, at least a day ahead of schedule, and the ship was a fine one indeed, the Ward of Melana.
He'd ask a bit about the lands from the locals, find out as much information as he could, and then find his way to wherever the army was...
Serpent's Hold was it that he'd been told? Nevermind, he'd check later.

That ship...
Two days ago, they'd passed another ship, headed in the direction from which he departed.
He thought he could recognise the faint image of the person standing on the bow of that boat, looking forwards.

Perhaps...
With that thought he made his way to below deck, to his sleeping compartment. Slowly gathering his items, he still had a day, but he wanted to be ready.
Placing everything into the corner by the door, which he then locked, he walked over to the bed, and proceeded to lie down.
Resting his eyes, the room became still. Tomorrow was a long day...

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#8
Moturdrn

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[16-Apr-2005]

She docked at the port a week later.
It was somehow as she'd expected it to be, the look, the atmosphere, the ways. Upon arrival she was shown to a nearby authorities building, where she found directions... or more so a ride, waiting for herself.
She sat inside the open aired cart. Advancements had made travel easier, yet old ways were perhaps still the best.
Carelessly she watched the passing scenery, eventually closing her eyes to rest for a few minutes... which extended themselves to several hours.

Opening her eyes, she found herself at what seemed to be a little village, most likely just a point to change the horses. The drive had departed, but he didn't return.
Instead, a second figure made their way to the cart. Visko noticed a familiar smell in the air, something she knew from somewhere, someplace before, but was unable to place a source to it. Feeling slightly uneasy with the new driver, she resorted to staying awake, curiously watching.

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

It was almost two months after she'd reached the shores of Gorimdor, two months after she'd found... home.
She had been given two months leave to stay with him, her father, Koyla, and in those months she found answers to some of her questions.
But the answers just left more space to fill.
Her routine was the same. Being out of the way to others, she'd wake up early in the morning, making her way to the nearest town, or village, and then back home to prepare for the days chores. Day in, day out, like clockwork. Koyla would wake sometime after midday, and she'd stop and talk for the few hours he had consciousness, bringing food and drink when she went. Often he'd drift back to unconsciousness halfway through their talk, but Visko just made note to return to that point the next time they spoke.

[FONT="]She also found ‘him’. A surprise, or was it? There had to be a reason, else he’d not be there. They talked, questions on both sides…[/FONT]

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#9
Moturdrn

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[19-Apr-2005]

Walking home, this time from Kaldor City, Visko played through the recent happening within her mind.

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

He walked down the steps of the Great Library slowly, leaning heavily on his staff. He was growing used to people looking at him, finding it strange that such a well built man would need a staff just to walk, but out the corner of his eye he could see one person staring harder than mere curiosity warranted. A slight smile formed on his lips at the sight of such a familiar face.

‘Visko,’ he said, approaching her slowly. ‘Well, this is a bit of a surprise.’

‘Aye te right. What are ye doing here?’ she asked, looking surprised. ‘Why are ye carrying that staff? 'n where’s yer armour?’

‘A lot has happened since you left us, you ken. Your brother has told you nothing of it?’

‘Nay..I’ve heard very little from him,’ she said.

‘It’s a long story, one I dinnae have time for just now.’ He looked up at the sky, blinking in the glare of the sun. ‘I’m here for some time now, but I have a lot tae do before I get back...if I get back...’

‘What do ye mean “if”?’ Visko frowned. He narrowed his eyes, looking around warily. Leaning down, he lowered his voice to almost a whisper in her ear.

‘Xathos.’ He glanced around again. ‘Cultists. Shrines tae the dead god have been springing up. That’s why I’m here. Too dangerous, you ken? I got injured, I cannae defend myself right. The Commander sent me here...I didnae have a choice. Ye ken whit they’re like, if you remember whit they tried tae do tae me and the Commander in the past...’

‘Aye, I remember,’ she said.

‘All the disciples could be in danger, including your brother, but the Crimson Star will watch over him, I’m sure,’ he said, subconsciously tapping the small tattoo on his wrist. He suddenly smiled wickedly, his eyes flickering brightly. ‘Their faith is in a dead god, Visko. Our god burns brightly inside us.’



He had left then after a short goodbye. His training would consume his time, there was no point in arranging any sort of meetings. He had changed a lot since she had left. No longer a warrior or soldier he was now a proud scholar, at least until his wound healed. One thing still remained though. The fire of the Crimson Star still burned in the eyes of Ulran Kilvare.

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

It was then, on the way back home, that the penny dropped. The smell that day...
...the smell of death.

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#10
Moturdrn

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[20-Apr-2005]

The leave was nearly up, and soon she'd be expected to continue service to the Army within the lands of Gorimdor. All that was left was to be informed of her new post...
...she knew it wouldn't be quite like the one she once served in... In Akalabeth.
She awoke that morning as usual, early. She readied herself and set off to... the village she decided.
She wasn't expecting the sight on her return...

The door was open, almost off of the hinges, and something else was odd.
That smell... it was back.
She hurried inside and made her way to where she normally hid a stash of reagents... Gone, and although she carried some around on herself, she didn't know what, or how many she may have to face.

She made her way slowly, carefully up the stairs, and heard voices from Koyla's room. Standing beside the frame she listened. She listened to their speech, to their paranoia, to their... fanaticism.

She peered slightly around the frame, before darting back. The sight was worse than expected.
A group, perhaps of 5, dressed within dark robes, and tough... it must have been bone, helms concealed their faces. No doubt their faces with twisted grins. The furniture in the room had been shifted, and some abomination built in the centre, Koyla lay motionless on top of it.

The distress turned to sorrow, turned to fear, turned to anger. Anger which built up within herself. Anger, which she'd channel, in his name... for Raza...

She flung herself around the frame, chanting loudly as she did so, as the 5 stopped and turned sharply, unaware that she was back already.
She heard them mention something, that she was the one from Akalabeth that she would know, she would know and tell, before one fell to the floor, clutching at the bone helm, the effects of the mind blast kicking in.

She kept herself alive, as did they, but slowly as her anger built up, so did her advantage, until...

Fizzle

Her hand darted quickly into her bag of reagents, only a handful remained. This was it...
The 5 advanced, malicious grins on their faces, laughing abruptly.
20 paces...
Slowly they were advancing closer
16 paces...
Pulling her hand from the bag, she looked at what remained
14 paces...
She closed her eyes and took a breath, concentrating within the laughter coming from the 5
10 paces...
She began to chant
The five reached out and grabbed sharply... grabbing thin air.

Opening her eyes, Visko noted the teleport spell had worked; she stood in her own room down the corridor from the room they were in.
Her eyes darted about when she saw it. The pouch of reagents she'd made her way to before. She was unsure why they were here; possibly they had placed them here, assuming she'd not make this far to find out.

The voices became louder again, the laughing distinctive. As she reached out to the pouch, the voices reached it peak. The door, kicked open, revealed them there.
Smash, crash, bash. The noise grew louder; the voices grew louder, the questions. No, the demands, yes demands.
Then, silence.
As a body slowly fell to the floor.


Hurriedly, a group of 5 made their way towards the woods, leaving the house, ablaze, and two bodies near the shrine inside...

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#11
Moturdrn

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[21-Apr-2005]

*A letter with the seal of the Kaldorian Intelligence Services of Gorimdor*

For the attention of: Commander Cal Soulshadow

Commander,

I send with this letter my condolences for the new is not good.

In regards to recent concerns over the well being of a member of the Army, Visko Bludhaven, Sorceress, I was also made aware of the fact that she had not returned to the offices within Kaldor City to recieve details of her new posting.

With these two concerns in light, it was decided to investigate both matters, and having found the appropriate records, Investigator Vanderheyden was sent to oversee this.

Investigator Vanderheyden reported back promptly with news of the family residence having been razed. Therefore a larger investigative team, overseen by myself, went forth.

This brings us to some unfortunate news, Commander. A search of the remains uncovered two charred bodies. One has successfully been identified as a Kaldorian Male, Koyla Bludhaven, father to Visko and Raugin. The other has been identified as a Kaldorian Female, but lack of records on Visko herself give us little to go by on identifying whom it is. The concern that there has still been no contact from Visko however could be an indication that she is infact the second victim to this fire.

There is disturbing news however to this. The bodies were found in the centre of the master bedroom, the furniture having seemingly been placed around the edge of the room, except for one which is unidentifyable, it was mostly ash upon discover, but within the ash is where we discovered the body of Koyla.

There is still ongoing investigations into the matter, discovered around the ash were discarded body parts and bones. From where these came from it is unsure, so that is being uncovered as you read this.
It is a sad loss when a member of the Army is lost.

A formal letter is to be expected from the War Office, to yourself, General Paladis, and to family member Raugin Bludhaven, Sorceror.

Be assured however, that the investigation shall continue.

Signed
Intelligence Officer Úistean

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#12
Moturdrn

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[26-Apr-2005]

[Originally Posted by: Cal Soulshadow]

Cal read the note and sighed deeply. Almost everyone she cared about seemed to be dead or missing or gone. This news was yet another bitter blow. Visko...dead? No, it couldn't be... Yet that was how it looked....the bodies...the arrangement of the furniture...the modus operandi of Xathos cultists.

She wondered how Raugin would take it. She would have to tell him...

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#13
Moturdrn

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[22-Jun-2005]

He knows... He knew... Of the events 2 months ago.
The figure in the darkness, in the corner, sat bolt upright as though just woken from a dream.

The time was nearing, it was now or never. Rising, the figure reached for a darkened shroud and wore it over their already present clothes, the face concealed by a piece of cloth with slits for the eyes.
As quickly as the figure had woken, they set off towards the distant golden walls.

It was half an hour later when the figure reached the city of Trinsic.
The guards payed no attention to the shrouded figure, slight hints of of a blood red visible below the jagged edges of the shroud as they passed. Why should they? A slight twist of the arcane forces would allow one to create the illusion of there being nothing but air. Of course, one would still have to walk softly, and slowly, lest the illusion be shattered through noise of the footsteps or lack of concentration to keep it active.

The figure made their way towards the bank, but continued to walk past it, to the waters edge. There, the figure lowered themself and pulled back a sleeve of the shroud, the shadow leather of the gloves and sleeves below hiding any features of the arm and hand, and reached into the water. A few mere seconds later, and the arm had resurfaced, with a pouch made from a treated walrus' skin, water tight to keep whatever was inside dry.

The figure muttered, the words muffled behind the cloth face covering, and a ball of flame emerged from the other hand. Hovering the damp arm and hand over the flame, the figure waited till the leather had dried and dismissed the flame, placing the pouch inside a pocket within the shroud, before slowly turning to leave the same way as they had entered. Once outside of the cities walls, the figure turned and, walking slowly, made their way towards Strongholt.

The time draws near... Now... or never...

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#14
Moturdrn

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[28-Jul-2005]

*a letter with the seal of the Kaldorian Intelligence Services of Gorimdor*

For the attention of: Commander Cal Soulshadow

Commander,

It has been three months since we started the investigation into the deaths at the residence of Koyla Bludhaven, and within this time we have made progress.

Our investigation into the cause of the fire, and the deaths of the two Kaldorians within, lead us to a disturbing discovery. We had suspected as much, but we are now positive as to the perpetrators of these actions - a band of Xathos Cultists.

Our investigation lead us to their hideout, which we found to be abandoned, save for a male body outside of the entrance. Examinations, and the Coroner's report point to an impact to the throat, by some burning object, as the cause of death. The body is thought to be that of one of the cultists - his face was covered by half of a bone helm. Inside the hideout was evidence of a struggle. Pieces of bone helmets and torn, dark cloth were found, but there were no more bodies.

The body of the Kaldorian female, found at the Bludhaven residence is still yet to be identified. She is however to be around 5 foot in height, with an estimated age range of 16-18 years, although these at present may be incorrect due to the damage caused to the body from the fire.

I must also warn you to be on your guard. It was brought to my attention that a chipped bone helm was found, just outside of the boundaries of the port that the Gorimdor ferry to Akalabeth docks at. It indicates that a cultist may have made, or be making, their way to the shores of Akalabeth.

The investigation shall continue, and I will inform yourself of any further discoveries.

Signed
Intelligence Officer Úistean

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#15
Moturdrn

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[28-Jul-2005]

[Originally Posted by: Cal Soulshadow]

Cal looked at the letter and felt a weight lift from her heart.
Visko was both taller and older than the dead woman. Could it be possible that she still lived?

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#16
Moturdrn

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[03-Aug-2005]

*a letter with the seal of the Kaldorian Intelligence Services of Gorimdor*

For the attention of: Commander Cal Soulshadow

Commander,

I write to you with information in regards to the female body found at the residence of the Bludhaven's.

Whilst the identify of the body is still unknown, it has however been confirmed that it does not belong to Visko Bludhaven.

Another body, suspected to be that of one of the cultists has been found, this time not far outside of the port where the Gorimdor-Akalabeth ferry docks and sets sail.

The chipped piece of bone helm has also gone under examination, and we believe it to be several months old at the most.


I shall write to inform you of any further progessions in the investigation.

Signed
Intelligence Officer Úistean

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#17
Moturdrn

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It had been over two and a half years. Two and a half years since she the first time she'd set foot on the soil of Gorimdor. Well, the first time since she was left in Akalabeth as a child at least.

Two and a half years since the betrayal. Betrayal by her own family, her brother, a cultist. She had fought in Raza's name before, against many in Akalabeth, but that night she had truly been baptised in fire and blood against the cultists of Xathos. Yet, one still eluded her, Raugin.

She'd travelled to and from Gorimdor and Akalabeth, constantly in search, chasing him. But when she arrived, he'd either move on and left destruction and death in his path, or had been fended off. She'd grown weary of these cat and mouse games. The quicker this was over with, the better. Then she remembered that tome.

Two and a half years since she had gotten rid of that... Well, to be honest she didn't actually know what it was. Sure, it was a tome, that much was known. But it felt much more, and it still called. Perhaps she just imagined it. No... It felt much more... real. She saw it plummet, disappear into the fiery depths of the molten rock, yet still it was here. Yet still it was unscratched, untouched by the fires, the red and green colouring as deep as it was the day she came into possession of it. She thought back, possession was rather ironic. The tormented screams that returned with it, seemingly replacing the parts of her being that left with its return. The presence had returned, and whilst not controlling, it didn't prevent it from staying quiet, from retreating.

It's a threat, it must be destroyed...

Such thoughts still lingered with her. Thoughts not her own. She'd deal with it another time, however. For now, she wanted every advantage she could use against Raugin. It had become like an obsession. One that must be stopped, no matter the cost.

Carefully wrapping up the Soul Trap Gem into a silk cloth, she placed it delicately into a pouch suspended from the belt on her kilt. The light emanating from the gem still visible, until the pouch was securely closed.

NIKO
She called out, the Armourer hurriedly answering the call.

Y..yes Visko?

Ye all set for the journey?

Aye, everythin' be packed up and ready to go.

Grand... Go on ahead, I'll catch up with ye later.
Niko nodded, then left as quickly as she had entered.

She put down the notice from the General. The recall had been given. The timing couldn't have been better. Raugin had apparently been setting up camp once more in Gorimdor, and this time there'd be no escape.

One way or another, this would soon end...

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#18
Moturdrn

Moturdrn

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She looked up. The walls were higher than she'd imagined they'd be. Steel, all the way up.

You did your best...
She turned around and noticed the figure becoming darker, retreating into the shadows as it spoke. The voice trailing off, she till it was almost a mumble. The shadows soon enveloped her.


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


Ye best be hopeful as that's the truth...
She turned away from the cultist she'd been interrogating. Well, interrogating wasn't quite the word. To be put simply, he'd been through hell and back. Still, she had her answer.

It is... Not that it'll do ye any good. He knows you're here. He knows your plan. You have no hope to survive.

I'm aware. I'm also aware that he knows my whereabouts, else ye'd nay 'ave found me. No, he want's me to seek 'im out, else someone more adept would've been sent then yeself.
She turned her head slightly to look at him out of the corner of her eye.

Release me and I'll show ye how much ye've underestimated me.
He snarled through clenched teeth. Or at least he would've, had most of them not been knocked out. Visko raised an eyebrow. She had to admit, this one was entertaining at least.

No... Ye'll be more use te meself alive. For now at least. We move.


-------------------------


The flaming cultist was a great success as a distraction. Granted, it had also shut the sap up, but that was merely an added bonus. She slipped into the tunnel network undetected, the guarding cultists now pre-occupied with this sudden appearance of one of their own in a ball of flame.

For several hours she travelled deeper and deeper into the tunnels. She sensed the power closer with every step that she took... Every step, until there she was at the ledge.

I'd say I knew ye were comin' 'ere, but ye already knew that, sister.

She looked around, she was on a stone platform, in a large stone cave. Below was only darkness. Opposite was another ledge, upon which was...

Raugin...
Visko snarled.

In Vas Por!

The cave hardly shook.

Raugin tilted his head to the left slightly and laughed.
Ye nay thought it'd be that simple did ye? These tunnels were chosen fer a reason. A simple earthquake spell will nay bring then down. 'n what's this, no friendly greetin' fer yer own brother now?

Ye quit bein' family when ye became a follower of yer dead God, when ye 'ad our own father murdered, when ye made attempts on nay only myself, but also the army.

Pity. I was prepared to give ye one more chance te redeem yerself. One more chance te be able te fight side by side, how we both once wished. One more chance at true power.

Ye know I'd never accept.

Then ye know what comes next...

Aye...

The fighting commenced. Spells were flung back and forth. The darkness below illuminated briefly as the spells were directed to the opposite side.
Necrotic death spell, after necrotic death spell. Raugin continued to cast the spells woven of chaos at Visko.
Visko retaliated each time with her own compBluent of spells. She harnessed the power of the withering cold, and the burning fire, and cast them effortlessly towards Raugin.
Each deflected the others spells, until they were all but finished.

Ye've improved... It would be a pity te 'ave te kill ye, but alas, such is fate.

I'd say the same about yerself. Visko looked around herself, at where the spells had missed. But yer couldnae even 'it a non-moving target.

Raugin laughed.

Nor could you, sis.

True... or at least it would be, were ye the target.
Raugin looked surprised, taken off guard by this. He looked around himself, giving Visko the chance to begin casting uninterrupted once more.

In...

Raugin glanced at the stone walls that surrounded them, where the frost and fire spells had impacted, and whisper to himself.
What possible purpose could...
His eyes widened as he realised.

Vas...

Panicked, he looked at the platform he stood on, where more of the spells had impacted. Sure enough, he began to see the cracks. The constant freezing and heating up of the stone weakening it.

Por!

Quickly he looked over to Visko, realising the plan all to late, as the earthquake began to take effect on the weakened stone.

Small pieces of rock began to fall, followed by larger and larger pieces, until eventually both platforms gave way under the stress, and both began to fall to the darkness below.

*****

She looked around. She was no longer in the tunnel network. Around her was rivers of fire and blood. Infront of her stood a great city of steel.

Impressive isn't it, child?

Visko turned and stepped back in shock.

F...ather?

Koyla nodded.

Aye, tis indeed.

Visko looked around.

It's greater than could ever be imagined... I'm speechless.

Koyla smiled.

Ye did well, Visko.

Raugin... is he?

I cannae say. He's too far gone from us te know. All that surrounds him is death and decay, but I feel there's nay more te fear from 'im.

Visko closed her eyes.

Ye did the right thing. He'd turned his backs on us all, distorted by the power of Xathos. Tis better it were yeself 'n nay someone else te end it.

She nodded and opened her eyes, turning back to look at the city. She looked up. The walls were higher than she'd imagined they'd be. Steel, all the way up.

You did your best...
She turned around and noticed the figure of her father becoming darker, retreating into the shadows as it spoke. The voice trailing off, she till it was almost a mumble. The shadows soon enveloped her.


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


... but it is not yet your time.

She awoke with a start, the room was silent, save for the sound of her breath. She was lying on the cold stone floor. The cold stone floor that was bathed in a crimson red and littered with rocks. She looked over to a large pile of rocks. Blood still dripping from inbetween them, directly below where Raugin would've fallen from. It was done. All there was to do now, was to leave. For now, she'd close her eyes and rest. It hurt to move, it hurt to think. Infact, it just hurt like hell. But she was alive. No, she'd rest and close her eyes for now, and move when the pain had dulled. She was in no rush now.

She closed her eyes, and for the first time in a long time, drifted effortlessly off to sleep.

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