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Lore/Story ){[-+-]}(=){[-+-]}( Return Of The Darkness - Frostbite

Discussion in 'Your Work' started by Devourer, Aug 31, 2016.

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  1. Devourer

    Devourer Lava Warrior VIP+

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    (Yes, I know. Another lore I'm making. I think it's my sixth? I'm going to try to end this one... I hope.)

    ---

    1000 years after the Corruption was first discovered, the province of Wynn has almost won the fight with the Corruption. Gavel has opened its doors and Fruma is considering opening its doors to its two great allies. There has been a very long winter, long enough that many thought the world was going to freeze for a thousand years. But dark magic, once more dangerous than the Corruption itself, is on the rise, and the world's darkest fears are becoming true...

    ---

    Characters:

    Ifnald - One of four watchmen for Elkurn. They use a nearby tower to keep an eye on the surrounding areas. Like all soldiers in Wynn, he is a human.
    Kaydin - One of the few villager residents in Elkurn, he trades rare items for rare items. If someone sells you a rare item in Wynn, whether the item is an ancient ocean map or dung from a sacred cow, it will have passed through him... not literally.
    The King of Troms - Also known as the King of Southern Wynn, he rules the jungle and frozen valleys, the areas where the city of Troms and the village of Nesaak are. While he does not rule most of Wynn, he has the strongest fortress in all of Wynn. Like all royalty in Wynn, he is a villager.
    The King of Ragni - Also known as the King of Northern Wynn, he rules everywhere in Wynn the King of Troms doesn't. He is known to have some very strange pets, and a very heroic past.
    Putmedown - A talking mushroom owned by the King of Ragni. Nobody knows how it talks or how it got this strange ability. This mushroom has been to many different places, has many tales to tell... and probably a few secrets to keep.
    The Lonely Spider - Another of the King of Ragni's pets, it does almost nothing. Nobody knows why it acts so sad.
    Shadowbolt - The King of Ragni's pet Wybel. Like most Wybel's, it always seems to disappear for a while before appearing again as if nothing had happened.
    Ozoth - A dragon who lives in the Canyons of the Lost... at least, until now.
    Quickblade - A girl aged 19, she has lived as an orphan in Rymek her whole life. She had a master, but now, as she wishes to become an adventurer, been allowed to leave her childhood home behind, for the long adventures which await her.

    Note I: There are minor characters who I won't put on this list. This list is only of characters who are very relevant to the story.

    ---

    Contents:

    Prologue (page 1)
    Chapter One: King’s Report (page 1)
    Chapter Two: The Dragon Problem (page 1)
    Chapter Three: Beginning of an Adventure (page 1)
    Chapter Four: Emergency (page 1)
    Chapter Five: The Wybel Guide (page 1)
    Chapter Six: Hidden Power (page 1)

    ---

    Have fun reading! Oh, and just to get this started...


    ){[-+-]}(=){[-+-]}(


    Prologue

    It was a harsh winter in the province of Wynn. Snow had settled everywhere, except in the deserts of Almuj. The Passage, the hidden tunnel between Ragni and Troms, had been blocked by snow, cutting off supplies and messages between the two cities. The port of Nemract had frozen, stopping ships from sailing, disrupting trade and causing chaos. Farms had stopped for the winter and food had been stockpiled. Cities even had to close their gates in the unlikely case that an undead army should march towards them. Even teleportation scrolls were dangerous, as you might end up in a snow drift in main square of Ragni or find yourself slipping off the cliffs of Selchar.

    By the time spring came, it still snowed occasionally. Of course, the village of Nesaak was subject to an eternal winter, and it stayed that way. The melted snow made the caravan routes muddy and harder to pass through. This was normal, but still frustrating for those who wished to trade early in the year.

    In the village of Elkurn, trade started as soon as the snow started to melt. Markets opened and traders bartered for all kinds of goods. Some sold the local delicacy, mushroom soup, while others sold old books they had come across.

    One trade, however, traded items for items. He had begun this trade ever since he had found himself short of money and face to face with a customer equally short of money. However, they had both offered prized possessions. The trader, known as Kaydin, had traded an oversized boar tusk for five gold ingots. It so happened that an adventurer staying in the village saw the gold ingots and offered a rare flower for them. Other villagers, seeing his interest in these items, offered their own items. Eventually the trader gained more items and many across the province, both villager and human, had been to this town in search of valuable items.

    On this day, it was a local guard, called Ifnald, who came to Kaydin.

    “I heard an adventurer gave you one of those ‘telescopes’ which are said to have come all the way from Gavel. I may have an item to offer for it.”

    “Ah, yes, the telescope. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to ask for it. I didn’t expect the local guard to ask for it.”

    “As much as our watchtower is useful, I can’t see every detail of Nesaak or the Roots of Corruption from here. I’m willing to trade this for the telescope.”

    He took a small box out of his pocket. Ifnald opened the box, which made Kaydin gasp.

    Inside the box was a round stone inscribed with a rune. The rune was crimson red, and Kaydin looked like he would give anything in the world for it.”

    “How did you find this?

    “I thought you would want it. As you know, my son became an adventurer just two years ago. He’s been everywhere. The moment the snow stopped, a strange rabbit creature ran straight towards me, presented a note and then disappeared so fast that it could have run on water. This stone was pressed inside the note. My son told me that I should give the rune to you and see what I could get from you in return. But I have to have a look at something, so I’m just going to give it to you even if you don’t give me that telescope.”

    “I wonder how much troll hair I could get for this… It might be enough to buy myself my own ship. Or I could gain access to libraries you could never hope to enter – and then make a copy of some very valuable books!”

    Ifnald sighed. “Even after a long, cold winter, you never change.”

    “I certainly hoped I hadn’t.”

    They traded the two items, the rune inscribed stone and the telescope, and then Ifnald left.

    That afternoon, Ifnald took over from another local sentry and served his six hour shift at the tower.

    It was simple tower, one of many which can be found around Wynn. Many were found in this particular region, as it was close to the Roots of Corruption, a mysterious place with blood red stone and a purple portal to another realm. However, the Corruption had fallen many years ago, first to Bob and then to a mysterious hero, who was now in Gavel like many other adventurers. This hero had saved Wynn from a secret organisation of villagers who were foolish enough to draw on the powers of Corruption.

    Ifnald climbed the tall ladder up to the platform above. Once there, he took out his telescope and scanned the snowy forests of Nesaak.

    His fellow watchmen had reported nothing. When he questioned them, they told him that Nesaak was unchanged. He himself had agreed with them, but he couldn’t shake off that sense of dread that something was wrong.

    Ifnald’s suspicions had been put to rest when a caravan had been driven past his tower just yesterday. The driver had told him the same as the other watchmen. There was nothing wrong, yet something seemed wrong to him.

    However, it was clear to him now. The winter had been long enough for him to notice the change.

    The snowline around Nesaak had moved since last winter. It had moved towards Elkurn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
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  2. Devourer

    Devourer Lava Warrior VIP+

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    Here is the first chapter!

    ){[-+-]}(=){[-+-]}(

    Chapter One: King’s Report

    “The snow is moving?!”

    It was late in spring in the great Citadel of Troms. Troms was a large city, defended by two gates. The north district had an extra gate. There was also a hidden passage to the Pigmen Ravines, which were very close to Ragni, the other capital of Wynn.

    While most accepted the castle of Ragni as the capital of all of Wynn, it did not rule over all of Wynn. All of the jungle and the icy regions of Wynn were ruled by the King of Troms. This smaller section of Wynn functioned as a second province, though it was still considered part of Wynn, as the King of Ragni and the King of Troms were the closest rulers in the known world.

    And right now, the King of Troms was attempting to destroy a wall of the Citadel with his ceremonial staff.

    His advisor said, “Sir, should I find you another item to knock your citadel down? Perhaps one of those dwarven war machines you imported last year?”

    The High General chuckled. “No, I think he needs to learn magic. Then he could shatter his keep more quickly.”

    The advisor sighed. “I was hoping he could at least let his staff last for a few months. Our kingdom is becoming bankrupt from buying Llevigar quartz, Rymek gold and Detlas emeralds.

    The King of Troms spun around. His face was not a happy one. “Bankrupt? My most loyal servant, you claim my kingdom to be bankrupt.”

    “I’m sorry sir, but I decided to bring in our High General before we discussed the Wynn economy.”

    The King sighed. “Very well. I want to know your reasoning behind this.”

    “Sir, almost everywhere else in Wynn has profited in the past year. Selchar found a place filled with treasure. Now everyone there is trading in gemstones, rare items, and anything else they get their hands on. Nemract has benefited from sailors and from hiring out these new ‘official ships’. They’re property of the King of Ragni, and are extremely cheap because the King would never tax himself. This all means that any money from trading in Selchar now goes into the King of Ragni’s purse. And there is a lot of money there right now.”

    “And this affects Troms?”

    “Of course sir! Many traders who would go to Troms now go to Nemract instead. We sold those traders rare items explorers find in the jungle. Then many workers have now gone to Nemract or Selchar. We also rarely export goods.”

    “So I should raise taxes again?”

    “Sir, if we raise taxes, the people will riot. Then we will go from a bit of money to none. We need to find goods to export, and quickly.”

    “And what do you suggest we sell? And how?”

    “Sir, we have caravans. Yes, war caravans, but we have more than enough. Send them through the Pigmen Ravines, and we will be the only city able to send trade caravans through there. What we will have to sell the greatest weapons in all of all traders.”

    “You mean the dwarven weapon which could attack the Roots of Corruption from here? I was thinking of making that an official King’s Possession.”

    “No sir, I mean architects!”

    Both the King of Troms and the High General looked surprised.

    The advisor said, “Yes, I know, the caravans would be used to transport them. But our architects here are becoming bored and are running out of money. Join them together as a company owned by you, the King of Troms, then send them to every city in Wynn. Every city would approve the help of the architects of Troms. But think of the money we would gain from that! Just a single building plan from the best human architects in the world could get an architect enough money to last the rest of the year without working and would get us enough money to outmatch Ragni.”

    The King of Troms thought for a moment. “I think you have a very good idea. High General, tell your troops to prepare five war caravans. Assign six soldiers to each caravan, as well as four horse riders. Use the Mountain Regiment for this, and make sure to have them alert so extra forces can be deployed if necessary. Send the Special Services to tell five different architects. Choose the ones with the least money for now. We will soon prepare more caravans, but only five for the time being.”

    The High General saluted, then left.

    The advisor said, “Have you made sure there is no-one else here?”

    “Yes, I have, as you requested.”

    The advisor breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank the Bovine Lord. I hate formalities, and we wouldn’t want anyone eavesdropping.”

    “Actually, there are people listening, but they are from the Special Services to make sure no-one disrupts this meeting. I would have gone to the panic room, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to go back there again.”

    “In that case, this is the news. As we discussed with the High General, the snow is moving towards us and towards Elkurn. However, I did not choose to say the full extent of the problem. The problem is, while this seems suspicious and dangerous, both Nesaak and Lusuco have not been affected. In fact, Lusuco has recently sold ten tonnes of explosives. That very transaction is being investigated as we speak. Oh, and we got a hefty sum from the tax on those explosives, but it isn’t the time to celebrate when that many explosives are somewhere we don’t know.”

    “Quite right.”

    “However, while the snow has not reached us yet, we know how close it is. The mountains above the Great Bridge snow, as they are high up, so it is not affected by this. However, the snow reached Elkurn yesterday, which means Ijobu Village will be the next settlement to be affected. After that, the snow will reach this city and Detlas.”

    “You think the snow will go as far as here?”

    “We’ve always known that frozen areas are unnatural. Nesaak has books telling of a time when it was just a normal forest. The old tomes recovered from the Icy Islands also say a similar thing, that they were once rocky islands. If the snow is moving, the magic creating it is moving too.”

    “Is it dangerous? And if so, how do we stop it?”

    “I’m not sure if it is dangerous, as Nesaak was never affected badly, but it moved right after a long winter. It seems suspicious. As for stopping it, scouts are exploring Nesaak. There have always been rumours of ghosts roaming the hidden valleys and tombs around Nesaak, but something seems to be stirring them. Some of our scouts haven’t come back either.”

    “We’ll wait a little longer before deciding on anything. I don’t like this, but I have a feeling my army won’t enjoy a trip to a cold and haunted valley.”
     
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  3. Devourer

    Devourer Lava Warrior VIP+

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    Chapter Two: The Dragon Problem

    The King of Ragni was having a bad day when the dragon decided the palace square was a convenient place for a nest.

    The first few minutes of the day had been fine. That was when the Troms architects had appeared.

    Dressed in grand clothes they were obviously unused to, it wasn’t long before they had suggested building new, impressive gates which would cost a fortune.

    Of course, the King of Ragni did need new gates. The current ones hadn’t been replaced since Bob was alive. After a few dozen swarms, and lots of repairing, they were starting to become notorious for collapsing the moment a zombie touched them.

    However, the King of Ragni was working on improving other things, such as the defences of all the villages he ruled over. Many of them were on the brink of destruction, while Ragni had a fine army to defend it.

    He had, of course, accepted the offer. If he had turned them down, Ragni could find itself the only settlement without Troms architecture.

    Soon after, a horde of rats had appeared near to the north gate – again. It had taken the rest of the afternoon to clear the streets.

    And now, there was a giant sleeping dragon in the square.

    A crowd had gathered on the other side of the dragon. It was halfway down the street to the east gates, as they didn’t want to go anywhere near it, but they still watched it.

    As the King walked past the palace gates, it was obvious that the crowd was trying not to laugh at the situation. Maybe the King would have to accept his fourth palace pet? After all, he had been forced to accept first the ‘Lonely Spider’, now called Bob the Second, then the talking mushroom which was a gift from an adventurer, now called Putmedown after it suggested this as its name, and finally the Wybel the King had called Shadowbolt, which had apparently run away from its original owner.

    The King of Ragni was also wondering the same thing. Would he have to make the dragon his fourth pet? No, the better question was, would he have to wake it up?

    The answer came rather quickly. The dragon, which was likely dreaming of eating a herd of sheep, suddenly breathed out a stream of fire, which just missed Shadowbolt, who was playing nearby.

    Yes, he would have to wake it up before it accidently burned down his citadel.

    “Guards, wake up the beast.”

    Nobody moved.

    “WAKE UP THE DRAGON OR I WILL PUT YOU ALL ON PUTMEDOWN CARRYING DUTY!”

    All four of the Citadel Gate Royal Guard rushed towards the dragon. No matter how dangerous waking up a dragon was, tending to His Majesty’s Prized Mushroom Lord Putmedown was by far the worst job you could ever be assigned.

    One guard gently poked the dragon’s underside with the shaft of his spear.

    The dragon’s eye’s opened.

    Maybe the guards decided that it was better to carry Putmedown, because they all ran straight into the palace, leaving the King of Ragni alone with a dragon. And two mighty Guard Golems, but they seemed to break down almost every day, indicating a need for repairing or replacement.

    In a rumbling voice, the dragon said, “And who dares to wake up Ozoth, Queen of the Canyons of the Lost?”

    The King flinched. So did the crowd. Even in the royal gardens, Putmedown, who had been to many places in various adventures, flinched.

    In fact, even the Guard Golems around the city flinched. The only thing which didn’t flinch in all of Ragni was Bob the Second, who had allegedly been in a cave in the middle of nowhere for a few years.

    Ozoth was a fire dragon from Gavel. She had, for many years, sat on top of a mountain, named Ozoth’s Spire. She had laid eggs, many of which had hatched.

    And the King of Ragni could see that Ozoth was preparing to lay even more eggs, likely her last, as her mate had been slain by dwarves many years ago.

    Ozoth had even terrorised Thanos, arguably the richest dwarf city in all of Gavel. Now, she was in Ragni, and was looking at the King as if he had ordered her to be kept from sleeping.

    The King was now trembling. He knew his life was in the hands of the most infamous dragon in the world, and also the lives of all of his subjects.

    “Ozoth, the Queen of the Canyons of the Lost? I had no idea you wished to visit me. May I ask why you visited our humble city?”

    If a dragon could scowl, Ozoth did. “You changed the subject, but I will answer your question. I thought it was time I let my children roam free across Gavel. Once again, dragons will live everywhere. But not Wynn. No, not here. However, while those of Gavel would hunt me, I ask you, the King of Wynn-“

    “Your Highness, I am only the King of Northern Wynn-“

    “It does not matter. You are recognised as the King of Wynn, even if there is another King ruling the south. Now, I ask you to allow me a safe haven in this province. I will choose the location myself, and you will leave me alone, save for the few times I will request an audience here in Ragni.”

    “Your Highness-“

    “Oh, please, I have no patience for formalities. Do you agree to my terms?”

    “Ozoth, I fear I cannot-“

    “Oh, I’m running out of time! I need to lay my eggs right away!”

    The King of Ragni paled as a gigantic egg was deposited on the streets of Ragni.

    “Ah, much better. Now, what were you saying.”

    The King of Ragni realised he didn’t have any choice. If he need not agree, Ozoth would find her place anyway. She wasn’t even asking for permission. She wanted to know if she would once again have to defend her eggs, or if she would be free.

    “Very well, you may choose where you will have your nest. I fear, however, that you have already chosen.”

    “Oh, I forgot to mention… for accepting me, I thank you. I will leave my little gift with you. I will not meet you until all my eggs have hatched. However, if you find my nest, visit me.”

    And Ozoth, once Queen of the Canyons of the Lost, unfurled her gigantic wings, and hurled herself into the sky, leaving behind the huge egg.

    The King’s subjects were smirking.

    It happened that, at that moment, the four guards from earlier brought out Putmedown in his flowerpot, which he had declared the ‘Sacred Mushroom Carriage of His Majesty, the True King of Ragni, Not the Imposter who sits on my True Throne’.

    “Hey! I was enjoying my chat with that little blue flower! Now you’ll probably put me in another place in the garden, and I’ll never be able to talk to her again!”

    Then he started laughing. “So, the King of Ragni’s almighty dragon, gift of Ozoth? Some adventurer dropped me off along with this nasty little flower inside her stomach. It put her to sleep. Little did he know, I actually have the power of waking up dragons! Her little dragonlings loved me. Ozoth herself thought they treated me as a toy, but I was more like a friend. Of course, I was nearly burnt… except I can’t be burnt, because I’m actually fireproof! Imposter King of Ragni, I request you to bring me to this egg. When it hatches, I will tame it, and I will become the world’s first dragon rider!”

    The King sighed. “Very well. Guards, you are relieved of mushroom carrying duty. Place Putmedown next to the egg. Don’t let him fall into the sewers, or you will regret it when the dragon finds him.”

    As the guards placed Putmedown carefully next to the dragon egg, the city of Ragni shook violently, and the southern road collapsed into the sewers.
     
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  4. Devourer

    Devourer Lava Warrior VIP+

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    Chapter Three: Beginning of an Adventure

    At the same time, the other side of Wynn, a teenaged girl was preparing for an adventure.

    Her name was simply Quickblade. Here in the canyons of Rymek, many were given simple titles instead of names. In her case, Quickblade was an orphan, so her master had not bothered to give her a proper name.

    For her whole life, she had lived on the streets of Rymek, avoiding death so many times that she had lost count. Here in Rymek, you had to fight to survive, and your enemies would find so many different ways to kill you without being caught.

    Now she wanted to leave. She wanted to explore.

    And besides, other than her master, who had been kind to her here? She had a strangely unnatural grey skin and was taller than any other children, and now was taller than many adults.

    With her, she had six bottles of water, two bags of coyote meat and her two daggers. She also had the few emeralds she had managed to save.

    Her master was waiting at the edge of the town.

    “Ar’ ye sure ye wanna leave?”

    The people of Rymek spoke with a strange accent. Maybe it was a dialect bandits had made over the centuries. Quickblade, however, spoke in a way no-one in the rest of Wynn spoke.

    “Yes, I’m sure. I’ve been sure for my whole life.”

    “Then ye’d better take this here thing.”

    He handed her something she had seen in his shack from time to time. It was a box he kept hidden. Even with her stealth, he always caught her in the act of trying to find it.

    Opening the box, she found a strange key. It was large and black, but surprisingly light.

    “Is this the key to your house?”

    “No, this be the key to somethin’ I haven’t seen. It was given to me when ye were.”

    “Who… who gave this to you?”

    Her old master shrugged. “It was some cloaked man, and I guess soon after you were born. You looked like you’d been born for only a few weeks at most. I think whoever it was wanted you to have it.”

    She put the key deep into her bag, then thanked her master.

    As she walked away, he said, “Oh, and one last thing. The cloaked man told me that you should go and find a big dragon and show it the key. I dunno why, but that’s what he said.”

    A few hours later, she reached the lift to the top of the canyons. She paid the engineer making it work.

    At the top of the canyon, she took a small drink and ate some of the meat, before walking through the desert.

    Just before nightfall, she reached the city of Almuj.

    In Rymek, she had been told stories of Almuj. It was said to be a place filled with rich people who wanted to oppress Rymek. Which was probably true, considering bandits ruled Rymek.

    What she didn’t expect was the size of the city.

    There were thousands of houses, with sewage running between the streets. There was a gigantic building above, which seemed to be a palace. However, she knew from the few Rymek residents who had been to Almuj that this was the Bank of Almuj, the largest bank in all of Wynn.

    As she walked down the streets, she immediately noticed the market in the centre.

    And she knew what she had to do. The key was supposed to be brought to a dragon. She had heard stories of how rare they were. If anyone in Almuj knew, they would be in the market.

    But first, she had to rest. It was late, and Quickblade knew where the inn was.

    It was on the north side of the city, on the second tier of the city. It was larger than most buildings in the area, but still looked like any other.

    Quickblade went into the inn, and paid for a small room. The room she found was small, but surprisingly comfortable for such a small price.

    Just as she was about to close the door, she heard the owner of the inn shout, “Where are you, Sandy? Come on, it’s time for you to sleep. Don’t hide from me, please.”

    As she wondered who Sandy was, a cream coloured, fluffy, mouse-like creature with horns.

    Quickblade recognised it as a Wybel, the mysterious but friendly pets found in Gavel. This must be Sandy, likely the innkeeper’s pet.

    She said, “Come on, I’ll take you back to your owner.”

    Sandy had in fact come to find Quickblade. It had a mission from the Big Boss, and it would pay a lot in Wybel Snacks, especially considering Sandy was based in Almuj.

    It felt the telepathic link from the boss before it heard it. “Sandy, give them the note, then go back to the innkeeper and have a rest. We’ll send you your reward in the morning. It is vital that the target should meet our agent tomorrow. Do not fail us.”

    It was a simple task. Sandy dropped the note on the floor and left for its owner.

    Quickblade frowned. Had the Wybel just dropped a note on the floor?

    She hadn’t had much time to learn to read in Almuj, but her master insisted she had at least tried to in her spare time. Quickblade picked up the note, and read it.

    “At long last I can finally send a letter to you. Darkness is free in the world once again, and I need your help. I’m sorry I couldn’t have met you sooner, but you would be surprised at how hard it is for someone to take me seriously considering… well, you will find out soon enough. I have asked my old friends, the Wybels, to send you this note. At dawn, you must go to the Almuj wall. Go to the southern part of the wall. Another Wybel will be there and they will lead you to the dragon. If the wrong person is reading this note, burn it. Or if you are a force of evil, you will need a certain item with you, or you will not succeed in your task. I believe, if you are the one I hope is reading this, you will already know what that item is. Now, good luck, and I hope you will come here as quickly as you can.”

    Before Quickblade went to sleep, she wondered who had written the note. Maybe it was the mysterious person who had brought her to Rymek? If it was, they had a lot of questions they would answer to her.

    ---

    Note: Now I've added the main characters (or at least, all the different 'perspectives' this story will look through), you may start to put together several pieces of the story. As you have probably seen, there are already a lot of unanswered mysteries (or maybe you worked them out?) in all of the Chapters so far, and some hidden things are possible to work out, but if you do, I will be really surprised.
     
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    Chapter Four: Emergency

    At midnight, the King of Ragni held an emergency meeting.

    It wasn’t his idea. He needed sleep after a long day. However, Putmedown had insisted that the explosion had been a crisis which needed to be dealt with quickly.

    Nobody else attended the meeting. The only other person who would have been present was his advisor, but he had been killed by the explosion.

    The mushroom said, “King of Ragni-“

    “You called me King of Ragni for once?”

    Putmedown sighed. “I guess it’s time we got down to business. I have been around long enough to know how bad your situation is. The blast destroyed the south street and damaged many nearby buildings. A few dozen people were killed. Luckily it wasn’t the east street, or more would have died. However, the blast was at the south road, and this points the blame towards Troms.”

    The King thought about it. “They did recently send architects here in guarded caravans, didn’t they?”

    “Yes, and that’s exactly what those who carried out the explosion wanted you to think. They want you to turn against Troms. I don’t understand why yet, but I’m getting there.”

    “You sound like you’re in charge of the investigations.”

    “My lord, I am at least trying to find out. However, I think those responsible have already left Ragni. Anyway, whatever happens, you must not let your generals decide to attack Troms. I’m predicting more things are going to happen. Troms might be attacked. Of course, they likely won’t listen to you if you warn them, but keep an eye out.”

    The King thought for a moment. “I want to get to the bottom of this. If someone can smuggle that much explosive power into my city, they cannot get away with this. Putmedown, you will be my new advisor.”

    “Is it a sign of weakness that you decide to hand your power to me.”

    “No, I realise that you may be more useful than you look. I’ll watch you carefully when I come back.”

    “You’re going somewhere?”

    “I have to go to someone. But send word to Detlas that I will be there in a few weeks.”

    The King left the meeting room, and called for his private caravan.

    The driver looked both rich and poor at the same time. It was obvious he was from the town of Nemract and wore clothes which suggested this. However, he also wore a special robe and several rings, bracelets and necklaces, as if he were hoarding them.

    “Your Majesty, you called for me?”

    “Yes, Barin. I need you to bring me to Nemract. We have to go immediately.”

    While Barin prepared his caravan, the King of Ragni went to the Royal Chambers.

    He found what he was looking for in his secret room. The room was dusty and filled with cobwebs. At the back of the room was a simple chest, which he opened. Inside were some simple clothes he had worn so long ago, but were surprisingly in perfect condition. There was also a worn stone hammer.

    The King of Ragni quickly changed into the clothes and grabbed the hammer.

    The caravan was waiting for him outside. Unlike the architect caravans from Troms, it was a simple, wooden caravan with a chest and some chairs inside. It was drawn by two horses from Ternaves.

    They rode out of Ragni with no trouble. The King, in his travelling clothes, looked nothing like a king. The driver knew what to say, and described the young King of Ragni as his apprentice. The caravan was soon making its way down the Coastal Trail, and towards Nemract.

    As they left, they were unknowingly watched from a tower on the citadel of Ragni.

    Anyone seeing the sight on that tower would have thought it was odd. The King’s three pets, Putmedown, Shadowbolt and Bob the Second were on the tower. Bob the Second was sitting in a corner, looking lonely and sad. Shadowbolt was watching the caravan moving away. Putmedown was in his flowerpot.

    Putmedown said, “I thought he would leave. Even if I could, I wouldn’t have stopped him. He would have always found a way to slip out of the city, and slowly made his way to Nemract and then Detlas. He was always like that.”

    Shadowbolt said, “He will come back, won’t he?”

    Bob the Second said, sniffing, “Some people never come back… I’ve seen too many die to the Darkness. And now it’s rising again.”

    Putmedown said, “I’m sorry about your family, but there was nothing we could do. They sacrificed themselves so we could escape.”

    “And what good has that done? We’ve been pets to the King of Ragni. Before that, I was hiding in a cave, while you went off on adventures you couldn’t control and eventually you found Shadowbolt.”

    Shadowbolt said, “I have to agree. We have been hiding for far too long.”

    Putmedown said, “Oh, it’s almost over. I’ve been waiting for a long time for this, and we can wait just a little longer. Ozoth knows what we plan to do. You know, she almost killed me when she found out who I was. Then she realised I hadn’t tried to kill her, so she spared me. That was a close call.”

    “Oh, and speaking of Ozoth, that girl from Rymek is now in Almuj.”

    “Ah, good. I would go myself to that meeting myself, but I have other things to do. I have someone to meet.”

    Bob the Second said, “Who? You’re supposed to be running Northern Wynn for the King of Ragni, not meeting someone!”

    “There won’t be a Northern Wynn, or Southern Wynn for that matter, if I don’t meet my old master.”

    “Master? Ha! Nobody can be your master. You never let anyone tell you what to do.”

    “That’s true, but I always regard them as my master. It was thanks to him I knew the others, and therefore thanks to him I’ve survived this long. That is why I call him master.”

    And with that, Shadowbolt unrolled a scroll and placed it on Putmedown. The moment Shadowbolt did so, Putmedown vanished.

    Bob the Second said, “You know, I wonder what Ragni is going to do now both its King and advisor have gone. Especially his advisor. He’s going to kill himself if he comes back to find Ragni in ruins… again.”
     
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  6. Devourer

    Devourer Lava Warrior VIP+

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    Chapter Five: The Wybel Guide

    At dawn, in Almuj, Quickblade left her inn. As she left, she noticed the creamy Wybel, Sandy, watching her innocently, as if that note had never reached her.

    While Quickblade had slept better than ever before that night, she had been troubled by the letter for many reasons.

    Now, Quickblade decided to put that behind. She had made the decision to become an adventurer. If she had to meet a dragon, that might be her first quest. Maybe she could become an official recruit at Ragni, which would give her access to an adventurer’s basic needs.

    It was an hour later, after getting lost several times, when she managed to reach the part pf the south wall the note had told her to go to.

    A green Wybel was sitting impatiently on the wall.

    When Quickblade reached the Wybel, it turned away from her and started running along the wall.

    Quickblade wondered where it was taking her. The dragon was likely to be somewhere dangerous.

    A few minutes later, and they climbed down the far end of the wall and entered Ternaves.

    The Wybel directed her to a horse merchant.

    Quickblade said, “I’m sorry, but I could never afford a horse! I don’t have anything to sell, except the key, but I need that, don’t I?”

    The Wybel sat on the ground.

    Quickblade decided she should leave. It was probably easier to walk anyway. Horses didn’t want to be helpful sometimes from tales she had heard from others in Rymek.

    She walked towards the exit of Ternaves, which went towards Detlas.

    She suddenly found the green Wybel blocking her way.

    “I don’t have time for this! We have to go to the dragon now.”

    A man from the stable walked towards her. “Is something wrong?”

    Quickblade turned to them. “I want to buy a horse, but I don’t have enough money.”

    “Ah, I see. That reminds me of many other adventurers. A lot of them can’t afford horses, so they do a quest for me instead. I’m the stable manager, Enkser. Normally, horses cost twenty four emerald blocks. However, if you can do a quest for me, I’d be happy to give a horse for free.”

    Was this why the Wybel had brought her to Ternaves. Looking at the Wybel, it had the same innocent expression Sandy had earlier that morning.

    “Okay, I’ll do that quest for you. What do I have to do?”

    The stable manager grinned. “I knew you would be able to help. Now, there is a shovel inside the stable. I need you to clear the stables.”

    While Quickblade had been given many similarly horrible jobs before, she knew the man was taking advantage of her. He knew she wouldn’t leave without a horse, and he would be able to have a nice, stable free afternoon.

    After a few hours of hard work, the stables had been cleared and were clean.

    Enkser said, “Impressive work. Here, take this horse.”

    He gave her a brown horse. It already had a saddle. Apparently the stable manager knew she would have completed the job and had already saddled the horse for her.

    He said, “Goodbye! If you come back, remember you can breed horses! I’m sure you will easily breed a white horse using very little money at all.”

    Quickblade noticed that her little green guide wasn’t climbing onto her horse. “Come on, this horse is going to outrun you if you don’t climb on. How are you supposed to guide me if you can’t keep up with me?”

    At that, the Wybel fell over, making a strange a squeaky sound.

    Quickblade didn’t know it, but the Wybel was laughing so hard it had fallen over.

    Once it got up again, the Wybel suddenly shot into the distance.

    Quickblade frowned. She hadn’t expected the Wybel to be that quick.

    “Come on… uhh… Sandstorm! You can beat that Wybel.”

    She directed the horse to go west along the path.

    The horse moved very slowly west.

    It moved faster as it moved. Quickblade soon realised that Sandstorm needed to become used to having Quickblade ride it.

    An hour later, the horse was starting to move faster than a zombie and had finally caught up with the green Wybel, who was waiting outside a strange hut.

    A strange man stood outside. He said, “Ahh… an adventurer… I need mushrooms to… contaminate a potion…. I will give you some of my master’s… treasure as a reward.”

    Quickblade knew better than to find mushrooms and give them to strangers, so she moved on.

    When Quickblade finally reached the east gate of Detlas, the horse was moving a lot faster.

    But not fast enough for what was to come.

    Suddenly, a dozen strange, mushroom-infested cows charged over a hill.

    Quickblade leaped off the horse. The horse wouldn’t save her in time. She was still too far away from the gates of Detlas, even if they were in sight.

    She leaped over a cow’s head and onto its back. As it tried to throw her off, she stabbed down with one of her knives.

    The knife didn’t even pierce its hide.

    The cow threw her off and straight into another cow’s horns. She screamed as it stabbed into her back from behind. She felt the warm blood gushing out of the wound.

    Her vision blurred as she struggled for consciousness.

    As her vision went black, she just had time to see the green Wybel run through the gates of Detlas. It least it didn’t suffer the same fate…
     
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  7. Shiazzu

    Shiazzu Well-Known Adventurer

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    That was....


    AMAZING
     
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  8. Devourer

    Devourer Lava Warrior VIP+

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    Chapter Six: Hidden Power

    In Troms, the King of Troms had attended a meeting about the explosion in Ragni. The Head of the Secret Services was present.

    The King of Troms said, “You think the people of Ragni might try to attack us here?”

    “It’s only logical. The people behind the attack were obviously trying to point the blame at us. It definitely wasn’t the King of Ragni either, because he would never secretly blow up his own city. We looked into the transaction, and found that the explosives were bought by a man called ‘Rick’. The explosives merchant said that he looked like he was from the area around Nesaak, as he seemed to be used to the cold. He was cloaked, and seemed slightly suspicious, but then again, nobody in Nesaak is suspicious.”

    “Who do you think he could have been?”

    “This Rick could have been anyone, your Majesty. However, I think he could be with the Resistance. After all, they have suddenly quietened down. It’s possible that, while we turned our heads towards our allies, they simply took Nesaak in secrecy. But then again, everything seemed to be normal.”

    “Nesaak… why is everything happening around Nesaak? Is it possible that the Resistance is somehow responsible for the expansion of the snow?”

    The Head of the Secret Services’ face darkened. “About Nesaak, we encountered a major problem on our way back to Troms. I don’t know how to say this, but… Nesaak is gone.”

    What?

    “We went back north to Nesaak to inform the Mayor, but when we reached the town, we found ice spikes everywhere, like the ones near Lusuco! Pieces of rubble were lying around. We searched for survivors, but I think we were too late. I didn’t stay to find out the cause.”

    “Something is very wrong. Just when we thought Nesaak wasn’t a part of this, something destroys it. Put extra guards at both sides of the Great Bridge. Then fortify Ijobu Village. Find out what is happening with the snow, and make sure Ragni doesn’t go to war with us at the same time.”

    “I will go at once.”

    Both the King of Troms and the Head of the Secret Services left the room.

    The Head of the Secret Services went to his office, but the King of Troms was not going to stay in the Citadel. He had other plans.

    The King of Troms had heard about the disaster at Nesaak before the Head of the Secret Services had. He had only pretended he didn’t know. Now, he was going to the… thing which had told him.

    The King of Troms went into an abandoned house. It had been a laboratory, but now was abandoned and had a sign on the front saying ‘condemned’.

    Inside was a green Wybel, which the thing had called Honeydew.

    The thing was inside a small flowerpot in the centre of that same room. In the flowerpot was a mushroom.

    Putmedown said, “Now you know it’s true. I don’t know what caused that either, but I’m here to stop it.”

    “You? Stop it? You’re a mushroom. In fact, you’re the mushroom pet of the King of Ragni. How would you stop this?”

    “Maybe I can’t directly, not for now at least, but I can help those who can. In fact, you are one of those who can. You are the King of Troms. I’ve already left Ragni trying to stop this conflict. Now it’s my turn to tell you. Ragni is definitely not part of this. Whoever was behind the explosion wanted everyone’s attention.”

    “And what do I do to stop the conflict? Tell my people that a talking mushroom with delusions of grandeur knows that Ragni isn’t responsible for anything either? Anyway, I think it could be the Resistance. They haven’t been around for a while.”

    “And they won’t be around for a long time after this either. But anyway, that isn’t the only reason I’m here. Actually, there are three reasons. Second reason, I’m here to find someone. My friend here, Honeydew, will take me where I need to go. And finally, your life is in danger.”

    The King of Troms chuckled. “You think I didn’t know that? I already know how much my life is in danger. A King is always in danger of being killed.”

    “Well, someone is going to try to kill you in a few minutes at most. Now there is tension between the two largest cities in Wynn, caused by attacking one of them, what would be a better way to start a war than kill the King of the other city?”

    “How can you be sure it will be today?”

    “Firstly, they have to attack both sides and the quicker the better. Secondly, I can sense someone powerful in this very city. You don’t have long. I would help you, but you have to be able to do this alone. At least for now. Anyway, goodbye!”

    Honeydew swiftly picked up the flowerpot and ran away with Putmedown faster than you could say ‘Wybel’.

    The King of Troms sighed. This was not going to be a fun day.

    As the King walked out of the abandoned building, he realised that the Citadel wasn’t very far away. If he could reach it in time, he would be safe.

    However, the attack came quicker than expected.

    Someone leaped from behind a bush holding a dagger. They lunged straight at the King.

    If he hadn’t gripped his own hidden weapon, he would have been dead. However, he unsheathed a hidden sword out of his robes and blocked the daggers.

    The next few minutes were a whirl of blades and slashing. The King of Troms heard someone nearby cry for help, and he heard guards running towards his location.

    However, he knew they would be too late. His arm was already heavy, and it was obvious his attacker had trained for months.

    The King of Troms now had his back to a wall, so he could not escape.

    However, the King of Troms also knew he had a way out he wouldn’t have used in any other situation. But he was desperate.

    He spoke a single word. A glowing, purple rune in the shape of an ‘N’ flashed in front of him.

    Suddenly he felt a surge of energy. His attacker was surprised as he was when he thrust his sword into the ground.

    A column of darkness thrust upwards from the ground underneath his attacker. The assassin screamed as it lifted him into the air, never stopping.

    The King of Troms immediately collapsed under the power of the rune. He knew that he could still die, though, as the attacker didn’t seem to be the one Putmedown had mentioned.

    However, he was in no shape to tell that to the guards as he went unconscious.
     
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  9. Rawb

    Rawb Count of Fox, Disciple of Bak'al, The Denier

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    Bumpity bump bump
     
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