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Old 11-11-2000, 01:24 AM   #21
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Beautiful, friends! I love the way the words are woven among us. It reknindles in me the fire anew to seek the Mavin Next I shall post a brief interlude, my first encounter of substance within the entwining woods.
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Old 11-11-2000, 02:06 AM   #22
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---- Part 1: Outside the gates.

We gathered, all of us, at that ale-soaked, well-worn table. Strangely silent, for ones on so important a quest, we perhaps realized that idle words would lessen the gravity of our expedition, diluting the true vanguard of our mission with untoward levity. Despite our desire to begin our noble journey, it took most of the day to outfit ourself for the rigors ahead; squabbling over a few coppers with the local armorer, our meager wealth allowed us only the barest of necessities; a frayed doublet, a second-hand sword, a dented water canteen. Still, what we lacked in coin, we compensated for with enthusiasm. It was nearly twilight when we began our initial sojourn beyond the town's walls, a decision to wait until dawn foolishly swept away by our naivety. We have learned much since then, but you must remember, we were as ewes then, as pigs before the slaughter. Much has changed now.

We headed into the woods, captivated by the lushness around us; the trees, dripping, heavy with moisture from the recent rains; butterflies, seeking shelter from the approaching night, fire-bugs starting to appear, dabbling the sky with their glowing trails, as they lazily floated by, oblivious to the troubles in the land. I thought of their carefree buzzing, and wondered, not for the first time, if our intelligence really worked against us; their lives were short, but filled not with uncertainty, or injustice, or cruelty. Their lives were filled merely with seeking a brief sustenance, a place to rest, before the long cold blackness. Lost in my own thoughts, I hardly noticed our progress, as we left the town far behind, the blanket of night settling around us. Our company grew nervous, and the unease was only slightly alleviated when our wizard companion, Laysis, sought to cast a lighting spell to help dispel some of the darkness. Given its ineffectiveness due to his inexperience, Jackass remarked that the fireflies appeared to do a better job of lighting the land than did he; a remark met with nervous laughter from all, except Laysis. Had I noticed then, the rift that began to form between the two, I might have been able to intercede later, when our resolve crumbled against the weight of our enemy. Still, I throw the cart before the horse in these dark hours; there is much left to tell, and my eyes grow weary. Best to pen while I may, and save the ruminations for a later time, if fate permits me such a luxury. I have my doubts, after all that has happened. I have my doubts.

After many hours of wondering, we approached a windmill, seemingly out of place; a strange testament to mankind's irrepresible spirit, even in these seemingly irreproachable wild-lands. We were startled to find a young woman there, who introduced herself, and spoke of a bauble she had lost; begging its return. We worried for her, out alone in these lands, but she seemed content with her lot, so we left her, to explore the inside of the forgotten windmill. An unpleasant, mouldy odor assaulted us as we entered, and we were at awe that the ancient mechanisms still worked; the pulleys still seemed to function, spinning the mighty, worn blades of the mill around, providing power for noone, yet still grueling on, their task absolute, their purpose, lost in the dusty ground for decades now.

Jackass spied a ladder, leading down into a musty basement; though reluctant, we agreed to follow him down at his urgings. As we started down the ladder, though, the worn rails broke, and we tumbled down, collapsing to the ground below in a heap. Fortunately, no bones were broken, though we were all bruised and frightened. Nervously, we got to our feet, and began to examine the small area. Suddenly, a slight scratching was heard from a corner of the mill's basement; we all froze, hearts pounding, uncertain of what the origin of the noise. "Probably just rats", spoke Vasago. He strove hard to contain the nervous cracking in his voice, and almost succeeded. Jackass struck a match, and peered into the darkness; seeing nothing he turned toward the rest of us; "Well, friends? There's nothing down here but us and the mice. Let's get out of here before we die of fright, ok?" and laughed nervously. It was then that I caught a glimpse of our Whiskas priest, Yizzy, her eyes wide with terror, a thin rivulet of drool running down her cheek. Had I noticed her expression sooner, the outcome of that fateful night might have been different. But I did not, and our lives were forever changed in that one flickering moment of match-light.

I'm not sure what I heard first; the scream of Jackass, or the animal scream of the spider as it launched into our midst. Nevertheless, I will not forget the sound of the beast as it bore down on us; a guttural roar, a skittering, a clashing of fangs. I remember the sound of its mandibles tearing into Jackass, his terrified cry as the beast injected its poison. For several minutes, there was no sound but the clashing of sword, the hastily cast spells, the parrying of shields and the grunts of shock as the beast tore into us. The fight seemed to last for an hour, though in reality, and restrospect, it was probably less than a few minutes. When it fell, all we could do was stare; the giant, hairy beast, fully 3 feet in diameter, with legs adding another 4 feet to the total size of the beast; a monster, a mutant, a relic from a forgotten time, lying in a grisled heap before us. Everyone was shaken, bloodied, and frightened nearly beyond rational thought; the only one who was collected enough to do more than breathe heavily and gaze wide-eyed at the corpse was Vasago. Vasago stood, and approached Jackass, who lay in a crumpled heap, blood dripping from the hideous wounds inflicted by the spider. "Jackass.. Jackass?" he spoke, his voice a tremulous, hoarse whisper. When there came no response, the mighty Lizzord sat, cross-legged, on the ground, and gathered him in his arms, and held him to his breast. Slowly rocking back and forth, Vasago emitted an eerie keening, a lamentation for the dead, a mournful dirge to vlifiy the enemy and honor the fallen hero. I have seen much since that night, friends, accursed demons, horrific trolls, souls sacrificed to an evil darker than I thought possible. But that sight shall never leave me, the sight of that mighty warrior, holding the small, broken body of his friend in his huge arms, a single tear running down his cheek, as he vindicated the death of his companion with a song centuries old. It was then, I caught a glimpse of the sorrow we were headed for, of the incredible sacrifice we had yet to make, of the dreams we would lose in our quest for meaning and justice. In that moment I felt my innocence shatter, and flutter away into the night, as the butterflies sought shelter from the breaking of the night. I will never have that back, but perhaps, I can still exact vengeance from the foe that took it from me. I will never be whole again, but I will do what I must, with my small cadre of remaining, damaged friends, to set right the things that were set wrong so long ago. This is my hope, my courage, my grail.

I am closing the book for now, and I will try to drive these demons away for the rest of the night, for I need my sleep. Kerah willing, I shall write more tomorrow night. We have much to do, and so little strength left. Please, Kerah, lend us strength. Lend us strength. Lend us strength.

--Zohd's memoirs
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Old 11-11-2000, 03:25 AM   #23
Lily the Ranger

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I sit raptly at your feet (all of you) unable to speak or move. Sigh. Wyv - WOW. I'll have to save the last two stories for tomorrow, I am so tired and I don't want to miss a word. WOW.
Old 11-11-2000, 04:48 AM   #24
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Glad you enjoyed, Lily Justr imagine when you get to the later episodes.. no telling what we shall say
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Old 11-11-2000, 07:31 AM   #25

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You guys are all awesome writers! I have to second the WOW for Wyvern. It would take me several CHAPTERS to pull a characterization like that off. Now, another humble offering before the workday consumes me.

"Be done with it rogue, and quickly!"

Grin crouched by the chest, his nimble fingers playing deftly over the trapped lock's mechanism. He paused in his efforts just long enough to cast an annoyed glance over his shoulder at the Warlock who stood close behind him. "Quit breathin' down me neck and I mighta been done yesterday by now. And put an end to that infernal tappin', you!"

The Warlock's slippered foot had been beating a steady tattoo upon the stone floor. No more than a faint scuffle in my own ears, but I supposed it must have been quite a distracting clamor in the ears of the Ratling.

"I don't see why we need to open every single chest we stumble upon, really I don't..." the Warlock mumbled under his breath, his eyes roaming nervously around the shadowy, torchlit chamber. "Surely we -"

"Be still, Albuzar, let him finish his work." Elyssia's voice was soft, her tone commanding. "Do not forget how it was you came by that staff you hold so dear."


I turned from my bickering companions and resumed my inspection of the mural, mainly in an attempt to conceal the smile that had suddenly found its way to my lips. Though a proven and capable acolyte, I had sensed the air of trepidation that had been slowly gathering around Albuzar since we had entered the Temple of the Serpent earlier that evening. It was no secret among us that the Warlock harbored an unusually irrational fear of snakes. For him to dive headlong into the very lair of the Naga herself with so little hesitation impressed me greatly, though his increasing impatience to leave the Temple was beginning to cause me more than a little concern. He seemed to be slowly coming apart at the seams. I silently thanked Kerah for blessing us with the presence of Elyssia, who always seemed unflappable even at her worst.

"Albuzar, if it will help take your mind off of it, I could use a bit more light over here," I said.

"Ah..." The Warlock quietly spoke a short incantation, nodding as the air around my body shimmered and flashed into a dull coruscating brilliance. "What have you found? Certainly not another chest...?"

"Nothing of the sort, my friend," I laughed, tracing a finger along the graven contours of the mural. The scene depicted a throng of vile creatures, half man and half serpent, congregating around a beast that was so hideous as to defy the imagination: A giant serpent with the head of a hag and the twisted face of a demon. Venom (or was it blood?) poured in a thick wave from the mouth of the beast, and the creatures who appeared to be praising her reveled in the unholy torrent. A chill coursed through my body then, for I imagined I could hear their voices calling her foul name; and for the briefest of instants I could feel those cold, scaly bodies pressing in around me and the feeling was not entirely an unpleasant one. I quickly spun away from the mural to escape the vivid hallucination, my breath coming in short gasps.

Alarmed, Loren took my elbow and gazed questioningly at me, her eyes dark with concern. "By Kerah, you've gone pale as a wraith. What did you see Glaven?"

The remnants of the waking dream clung to my thoughts like sickly blackened tar, the voices of the serpent-men gradually hissing and fading into obscurity. "I - Nothing..." I stammered, and my own words sounded strangely foreign to me, as if I were hearing the voice of someone I used to know from a time long past. Perhaps it was Loren's use of my birthname, Glaven; the name that was mine before Gaijin, before my ascension to Samurai. Certainly that had to be it...

"Tell me, what has troubled you?" Loren spoke sternly, and from the edges of my frayed consciousness I noticed that Elyssia and Albuzar were also watching me with worried interest.

"Nothing, love... Evil trickery, nothing more." My senses were returning to me, and not a moment too soon. I had scarcely finished exhaling my last word before I heard the warning of Saethra, who had been keeping watch on the northern corridor.

"SSSHHAAAH!" The Lizzord's angry hiss reverberated harshly throughout the small chamber and beneath it I heard an unfamiliar voice speaking in a steady, rhythmic chant. Someone - or rather some THING - was invoking a spell.

Squealing a curse, Grin rose and darted for the safety of the shadows near the back wall of the room as the first sounds of battle reached my ears. Pulling my katana from its scabbard, I sprinted to the chamber's northern exit with Loren and the two Wizards close on my heels. As I barreled through the doorway into the corridor itself, I was momentarily blinded by a haze of putrid green mist that seemed to instantly clog my nostrils with its foulness. I squinted through the poisonous veil that hung in the air and saw Saethra not five paces ahead, her twin axes swinging furiously at the cloaked and hooded figure that stood before her. At least a half dozen cobras twined around her mailed legs, their fangs seeking gaps in the plate armor and, for the moment, failing to find the flesh beneath.

Without a further thought for my own safety, I leapt into the fray beside the noble Lizzordess, swinging my blade in an upwards arc that should have caught the unsuspecting robed figure just beneath the chin. The robed one turned my katana aside with an effortless flick of his staff, finishing the swing with a solid, square blow to Saethra's midsection. The barbarianess growled, her axe glancing harmlessly off the robed figure's shoulder. I noticed in my peripheral vision that the snakes coiled around the Lizzord's legs were one by one bursting into flame. The Wizards were at work. Oily smoke from the charring serpents added its own unsavory tang to the already nauseating atmosphere and I had to struggle to keep myself from retching.

It was then that I first looked upon the countenance of a Chosen Priest of the Naga. As Saethra's axes bit deeply into the creature's chest in a powerful counter-attack that shattered her victim's staff into kindling, the cowl of the robe fell back, exposing the horror beneath: The visage of a man, twisted with the features of a serpent. Its nostril-holes flared, expelling tendrils of venomous mist, and its evil eyes held me transfixed.

"You will join ussss... Or you will die..." the Serpent Priest spoke to me in a monotone hiss, its gaze driving a dagger of ice through my spine. It opened its mouth to speak again, but nothing issued forth save for a croak and a wheeze as Saethra planted her foot against its chest and fiercely pulled her axes free, sending the carcass skidding down the corridor. I was unable to move for what seemed an eternity.

"Is... Is it over yet?"

Grin's head poked into the corridor, his whiskers twitching as he sniffed at the pungent air. "Eeeew what a smell you made, Saeth! Fer shame on you, naughty, naughty Lizzie! No more Trollie toe snacks for you!"

I turned slowly and made my way past the Ratling back into the chamber, still pondering the words of the Serpent Priest and unable to shed the unrest that permeated my entire being after the encounter. I felt a wave of tingling warmth as Loren purged my body of the Priest's venom, but I silently feared that there was something hideous within me that no mere magic could dispel. What it was exactly, I could not say then and I surely cannot say now.

"Well, that wasn't so bad," Albuzar stated flatly, nudging a blackened cobra corpse with the toe of his slipper. "Did I ever tell you how much I HATE snakes?"
Old 11-11-2000, 01:06 PM   #26
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Glad you've joined our little literary circle, Vincewind! I liked your story; as you've noticed, I , and others (no offense intended at all! I love it! I think my tendency comes from reading too much Poe and Hawthorne hehe) tend to wax a bit prolix and effusive; yours was a nice change; to the point, but still very interesting, and humorous.

In fact, given the great response, I've been thinking about devoiting part of my website to a "fanfic" for W&W.. would any of you like to be included? Previously, I used the section for poetry (most of which was for my ex-girlfriend; after she cheated on me, I became keen on exorcising the nostlagia-demons from that slice of cyber-space, by bringing in new things )

If you are interested, please post here with "yea" or "nay" as to your inclusion. If you want to be posted tehre, please email your story (or story excerpt), to :

I think it would be interesting to also send along a picture with your email, to "identify" you; it doesn't necessarily have to be of "you", per say, but just something so that visitors can think "Hey, that's Wyvern!" or "that must be one of Scronan's stories!"

If there is any interest, I can have a working prototype up within just a very little bit; it's my day off, so I plan to hit the boards, nip a little bubbly, and listen to some music

Peace, and happy writing!
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Old 11-11-2000, 01:47 PM   #27
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Yea, verily Yea!!!

Enclosed a song from my game which I will preface with a few remarks: I was never the Game Master(GM) for my game. Officially I was Aeom, one of the moons that circled the world. I could look down and describe all to be seen but never was I master. The players were masters of their own souls.
Sul - was my world's name for the sun.
Nem - is an androgenous pronoun meaning either male or female as distinction was considered often times of no importance. So you could have Chairnems, or Forenems, waitnems, or pernems. There was no history, there was nemstory. Pernemally speaking, I think many languages would benefit from an androgenous pronoun.
Another day I will tell you about osts, but for now the song:

Have you seen Mt. Tari?
Felt the winds that blow there?
Wandered its valley,
or up to its peak?
Have you climbed Mt. Tari
in morning or evening?
It is said you can find there
what everynem seeks.
I've seen Mt. Tari
clothed in mist in the morning.
And bathed in gold
as sul goes to bed.
You can find great treasure
on the slopes of Mt. Tari
if your mind will but listen
or so it is said.
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