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 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR

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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:24 pm

Eyes unseen by Tiphereth and Augustine watched the strangers with a mixture of curiosity and excitement. While the being watching the two men was no where near the place the males occupied, the vision they saw was as clear as though they were standing right next to Tiphereth and Augustine. From a distance, the being observed the travelers content to merely watch for now. However, if these males tried to reach beyond their boundaries and take things that simply did not belong to them, they would find themselves in a very bad predicament. One the watcher was uncertain an intervention would aid the strangers.




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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:32 pm

Far to the east of Rohan, across the Wilderlands and beyond the Mountains of Erad Lithui, the Sea of Ruhn and the Plains of Rhun lay the Mountains of ORON_D_NARR. The western bonder of Oron_D-Narr the ancestrial lands of Lac'Nala and the last of the Duedain race. Deep in heart of Mnt. Oron_D_Narr the last of a once might race sleeps. The mighty dragon "URU'LOKI" Loki and his ancestors have been the protectors of both Oron_D_Narr and Lac'nala's family centuries. He has watched over and protected Lac'nala since he was but a child. Even when Lac had been secreted away to live with the elves for his protection, Loki had watched over him. Their bond with one another was strong. So strong that when Lac cried out in anguish at the loss of Ssinjin, his pain awakened the sleeping dragon.

Loki was not alone deep within the mountain in his lair.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:54 pm

Curled near Loki a smaller form stirred when the massive green dragon was awakened. The smaller form was dark, in fact, it would have been mistaken for a shadow at first, but with the awakening of the massive form beside it, the form stretched languidly, stretching leathery wings to their full expanse.

Another dragon rested comfortably with Loki and as it awakened from its lengthy slumber it realized two things. One, it had grown in size considerably. While it was no where near the size of the giant green beside it, it was no longer the puny looking dragon it had been when Loki had found it, nearly dead.

The second thing it realized was that it was hungry. Down right starving, in fact. The black form turned it’s head and elongated neck to cast red, glowing eyes upon the massive green form beside it. While the smaller of the two scaly forms was not near as big as the green one, it was just as formidable looking. Perhaps even more so. What the smaller black form lacked in size, it made up for in down right evil looks.

Walking upon talon feet to the lair entrance, the black dragon sniffed the air then turned the hateful red glowing eyes to Loki once more. The voice that Loki heard in his mind was far from what one would think should be coming from the form that stood glaring back at him. It was gentle, and unmistakably female.

Jalisa, the gravely wounded black dragon Loki had saved after she fell from the sky as she battled a large black bull dragon had recovered from her injuries and had flourished. Just as Loki had said she would. While she was still youthful in age compared to Loki, it was obvious she had matured in both body and mind as they hibernated, waiting for the time they would be called upon. And now, as Loki had stirred awake beside her, she could only imagine that time had come.

~I shall return shortly with food for us.~

Flapping her wings a few times in preparation for using them after some time of dormancy, the black dragon took to the air easily and disappeared into the darkness. It wasn’t long before she returned with a large cow for Loki to eat. Her own hunger satisfied for now, the black dragon sat at the edge of the lair guarding the entrance while her green companion ate his own meal. When he was done, she looked back at him, tilting her head.

~The time has come?~


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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:21 pm

Loki finished his snack, then stretched his neck and spoke to Jalisa's mind. "Yes, it is time, I must stay here and gaurd these lands. The darkness draws closer and the threat closer. Go and find Lac'nala and his companions and watch over them. If you will do this I will be forever in your debt. Protect Lac'nala and tell him I and his people await his return. Preperations are are going foward as planned and we shall be ready. The alliance is strong those that stood before once more will stand and fight.

You have grown strong and your power shall strengthen, return safe to me and Oron_D_Narr my friend."

Loki stretched his neck and snout close to Jalisa and nuzzeled her cheek.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:38 pm



Jalisa closed her eyes and tilted her head towards Loki when he reached his snout close to nuzzle her dark cheek. Loki was the last of his kind and Jalisa was a bit of an anomaly. It was rare dragons could change forms, but she was able to and thus it made it impossible for her to live as a true dragon. Because of this, she knew she would also be the last of her kind. The burden placed upon the shoulders of her and Loki was a heavy one but one they knew would be theirs to bear.

Returning the nuzzle, she opened her red eyes and studied the wisdom in the depths of Loki’s eyes for a moment. Once more her mind reached out to Loki’s.

~The debt is mine to pay, Loki. If not for you, I would have died. This is the least I could do to repay you for what you did for me. I will return with Lac’Nala. This I promise you my dear friend.~

With one more nuzzle to the soft scales of Loki’s green cheek, Jalisa stretched her wings once more then launched her large, reptilian form into the air. The journey was going to be a long one but she was prepared for it. As the air currents lifted her high over the lands of Oron_D_Narr, it felt good to spread her wings and glide through the night sky as she was meant to do in this form.

When the time was right, she would take on a more pleasing form to Lac’Nala and his traveling companions but until then, she would remain in her dragon form. It was much safer for her that way. The only thing she hoped was that Loki would be able to fend for himself while she was absent. He was a mature, green dragon yes, but that didn’t stop her from fretting over his health and safety.

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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:57 pm



Tiphereth was please to stand watch over the druid while he meditated. Aware now that they walked in an ancient labyrinth of the Dark Elves he was on guard, and stretched his senses into the dark corridors about them.

The strange sound had passed and only the steady cadence of running water echoed through the blackness. A damp wind played with Sorrelwind's golden orange locks as he turned toward the open gateway that lead into the narrow canyon they had plummeted part of the ways down earlier. The flicker of lightning flashed into the darkness and drew long shadows of the two intruders while the druid continued to meditate.

As all that was green responded to the druid's power, Tiphereth's own body could feel it well within him. A simulacrum of flesh and blood, he was like all of his kind an elemental to core, born of fire, wind, earth and water. His element was the air, but the spirit of the greenery coursing through his veins could hear the sacred song of the Oak Man as it touched upon all the plants around him.

Tiphereth moved toward the gateway, and found that it had been recently opened. Something or someone had entered via the two great doors and they knew the charm to unlock them. Upon both doors, were magical inscriptions, silver etchings embedded into the black stone and with no signs of forced entry those who passed through them spoke the Druidic tongue.

Wet tracks, trailed off into the darkness and Sorrelwind's Deithrin eyes, meant for the night could see only so far within the subterranean black.

"We are not alone." The Phaerikin, whispered to the druid as he rose from his meditation.

Sorrelwind pointed to the wet tracks that made their way across the polished marble floor and further into the unknown passages of the forbidden world of the Drow.

Tiphereth shook his head, and began to walk toward the open gateway. "Best we make our way through the chasm, it will be safer." he stated but then just as he finished speaking a rock fell from above and tumbled through the opening. A low rumbling could be heard and both the Phaerie and the Druid exchanged troubled looks, then a mass of rock and debris thundered down, burying the doorway and sealing them in.

A small rock rolled toward the two. Sorrelwind stopped it with his foot and looked to the druid. "It appears that our way has been chosen for us, Augustine. May the Aelaeydium guide us safely through this dark underworld."
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:03 am

Loki rose and walked to the entrace of the lair. He watched as the youg black dragon, Jalisa, circled and spirualed upwards then turned towards the western horizon. Loki lifted his head and streched his neck. Spread his wings and gave a mighty roar. He then sat upon a large boulder watching her slowly fade into the distance.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:27 am



Augustine had only just risen to his feet as the rocks fell in and cut he and the Phariekin off from leaving the Drow passages.

"From the cooking pan to the fire..." The druid said quietly.

Augustine picked up the silver lantern once again and held it up. It's blue light reached a good twenty or more feet in front of them. Augustine was pleased to have it, and comforted that at least this time he would not face any of the deadly Drow alone.

"Do you know much about the Drow Tiphereth? They use deadly weapons and magic abilities, their blades and arrows are always dripping with a potent poison and their magic is a powerful sort. They are raised to be equal parts warriors and black magicians they never forget an enemy and never forgive a trespass."

Augustine's dread was evident in his words as he walked slowly along the passage.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:49 am



Verin and his 14 had climbed up from the canyons and much to their relief had located an ancient Drow gateway to an almost forgotten part of Underdark. The group opened the magic locks and slipped into the forgiving darkness.

Once inside Verin quickly found his bearings and lead the group further into the mountain.

"We will bypass the canyons of this wet rock and use our passageways to go through the mountain, just beyond is a shortcut to a pass that the Elves and humans use. It is the only safe passage out of these mountains, we will travel there and wait for my dear sister..."

Verin could not feel his sister at all, she was hidden from his magic. He focused his power, her signature was invisible to him, she was either hiding with magic of her own or gone from this world. Verin hoped that it was the former, he would be most displeased to miss the opportunity to end her life himself.

"Where are you now Ssinjinn?" Verin whispered to himself.

The group had not walked very far when Verin, who was traveling at the rear of the group stopped still for a brief moment. The black elf walked to the walls of the passage and pulling of his gloves he began to etch runes into the damp walls.

"Now my eyes and ears are written upon these walls, none shall pass without my knowledge."
Verin slipped his black glove back on and moved down the passage.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:23 am

Far away, in a place the travelers had all but forgotten, Ssinjin lay motionless. Around her a from slithered as though keeping watch over the prone Drowess. The injuries that had been so evident when the mud and rock slide occurred were no longer visible. Her body was stripped of all garments and nothing but a thin cloth of white covered her body. Her white hair splayed out beneath her head like a white halo. It appeared as though she had been laid out in a burial tomb.

A dark, wet hand reached out and the fingers slowly eased over the Drowess’ face seeming to memorize each area with detailed precision. When the hand slowly moved away Jin’s eyes flew open and she took a quick, sharp intake of breath.

Soft light filtered in from….somewhere, illuminating the area in a moon like light. As her eyes adjusted to the dim light in the dark place, Jin seemed to stare at the ceiling for the longest time. Her breathing slow and steady, it was almost as though she were in a trance like state. Finally she blinked and stirred.

Slowly rising to a seated position, she held her arms out studying them from every angle she could. The cloth burial shroud had fallen from her body and her eyes slowly examined every aspect of her form from head to toe. Her hands reaching up to gently move over her face and head.

Standing slowly off the rock she had been laid upon, she still could not believe what her eyes were seeing. Before her a large, dark form slowly rose up and towered over her nude yet incredibly healed body. There was no fear in Jin’s eyes, only admiration and a deep rooted respect. Jin lowered herself to her knees and bowed her head as her voice drifted through the cavern.

”I owe you my life, Great and Wise One. I shall forever be in your debt. I know what it is you need of me and I will gladly embrace the task.”

That same dark, wet hand reached out and tapped Jin’s left shoulder. The Drowess rose and looked upon the massive form once more. The form pointed Jin to another area and there Jin saw her weapons as well as fresh clothes to wear. Looking at the being before her, she then turned and walked to where her things awaited.

A little while later, Jin was dressed and prepared to leave. A new cloak covered her form and within she found the same, secretive pockets like her old one. When she was ready to go, the form gestured for her to another place. There Jin saw a clear pool of water. The creature gestured again and Jin knelt down at the edge then leaned over and peered into the water. At first, she didn’t see anything. But then, as the light faded slightly Jin saw her reflection within the still water and gasped softly. Her fingers instinctively rose to caress what she was seeing.

When she slowly leaned back and looked at the creature, she tilted her head in puzzlement. What sounded like nothing but a soft whisper was clearly heard by the Drowess and understanding filled her gaze. Leaning forward once more to look one last time, she gave a small smile then stood and smiled at the creature.

”It will take some getting used to but nothing I cannot handle. Thank you again….I shall never, ever forget what you have done for me.”

The being nodded and gestured to the opposite side of the cavern and with a final nod, Jin started on her way. She had just walked into what was a narrow corridor and turned to look at the creature she was leaving, only to see it was no longer there. It was time….time for her to return to her companions, but the journey was going to be long and arduous. She could most likely port herself back to that place, but Verin would pick up on that right away and she didn’t want to give him that satisfaction. So instead, she would travel by foot. Using the passageways the creature had told her to use would take less time than if she were on the surface, but the under ground world had it’s share of dangers as well.

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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:52 am



Tiphereth ran a finger of his gloved hand across one the tattoos on the side of this face while pondering the druid's question. The talisquetric skin charm, as they were known in his lands, reacted and briefly glowed with dancing orange light of a dying ember.

"The Dark Elves lurk in the shadows of my realm as well." he answered, as he continued to study the Drow architecture around them, "They are a fascinating people." he mentioned, and the druid could sense that the Phaeire had some admiration for their kind.

Sorrelwind then turned to druid. "Black as their skin are their hearts, but my own kind was not different from them once upon a time." he recounted and his luminescent lavender eyes narrowed, giving his fine features an almost sinister look. "Let me tell you of my people." he offered as they started to walk through a vast chamber of ornate black columns.

"Long ago, during the Time of Greyness, when my world of Arkauld was frozen and locked in an eternal struggle of darkness and light an order of Earthly Angels came and freed us. They were the Aelaeydium, and they brought life once more to those beings that were forgotten and cast aside by the mortals of that world from which we took our forms. My people had not yet been born and when our time of awakening was at hand we adopted the semblance of the most powerful minions of the Aelaeydium, the Aidral. Our coming into being was un-foretold and could not be undone in creation, and born of such power we were quickly corrupted. So powerful were the Deithir that we plagued the lands and so we were banished to Forests of Perpetual Night and there we remained for a thousand years, until we found the way to the sunlit world. Our skin paled and marked by our Aidral eyes we would always be known for what we were, but we persevered through persecution and proved that we could be as noble as the Angelic blood that flowed through our veins."

Tiphereth paused for a moment before a grand column carved into the semblance of a Drowess. "I understand not to trust their kind, but I cannot hate them for what they are." he told the druid.

The Phaerie then continued on his way, an arm resting over the wooden spear balancing over his shoulder. "My lands touch upon the Northern seas of this realm and it is by those waters that the Drow found our shores, but they are far less a threat than what our own societies breed within." Sorrelwind continued, his calm features turning to anger as he recalled his own lands, but he did not elaborate. His face quickly softened and turned expressionless once more.

Tiphereth then stopped in his tracks. His eyes widened and appeared as if attempting to strain his ears to make sense of some inaudible sound. "The Drowess." he whispered, "White veils blow before a sea of black.... she is one but then two..."

The Phaeire's cryptic words echoed through the vast underworld and he could make no sense of what he uttered. He looked to the druid for his wisdom in deciphering this riddle as he could only feel that Jin had slipped away into the slumber of death.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:12 am

Lac turned to Othargen and Breanna, the lines of anguish still upon his face and determination in his eyes. "Come my friends it is time we continue our journey." He then started back down the eastern mountain side of the Misty Mountains and into the plains of Lothlorien. "Once we pass into Fangorn Forest we will make our way to the Eastern Gates of Wellinghall. There with luck we will find Tiphereth and Augastine. Then we shall travel south past the ruins of Derndingle to Angremost at the Gap of Rohan. Then we turn east into the Westmnet."


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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:46 pm


Augustine listen to Tiphereth, he seemed to be listening to something the Druid could not sense, the Phariekin's eyes opened wide as he said the cryptic words.

"White veils before a sea of black, perhaps our friend has passed from this world. This is a dark, dark day if she has passed, our friendships have failed her. Did you know that she defended me against her own brother's attacks? She is a unique and strong woman...I pray that she lives still."

Augustine was quiet again as he continued walking with the Pharie lantern, it's blue light danced across the stone walls and etched spiders as he and Tiphereth walked deeper into the Drow passages.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:53 am



In the cool blue light of the silver lantern, the Deithir's eyes were almost human like, the luminescent quality diminished. Caught in between dark and light one could discern a purplish coloured iris against a background of a slightly lighter shade of the same hue. This revealed more emotion to the druid, and he was able to see the sadness in the Phaerie's eye when he spoke of death, as if the word itself warranted remorse.

After a while, their path diverged into three at a prominent junction. Druidic writings and pictographs adorned the walls of the hexagonal shaped chamber and Tiphereth wondered if the language told of the destinations to each passage.

"Can you read these symbols?" The Phaerie asked of the druid, "Do they speak of which path to take?"

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Beyond the subterranean world of the Drow, the three remaining companions prepared to embark in Fangorn Forest. Much to the protest of the Dwarf they abandoned the Drowess for dead for even though Lac suffered a loss greater than any, he could not accept leaving behind a fallen companion. Time was against them, and though the Dwarf would have taken the time to move the mountain to find her, he had to abandon his code of ethics for the quest and lord he had sworn to serve.

The rain had let up, but continued to fall and the sky still blazed with lightning and echoed with low rumbles as if the Gods themselves mourned her loss. "Let us be off then." growled the Dwarf, "I cannot stand to linger about, the despair on this ridge is foul!". That said, the Dwarf put heel to rib, and his sure footed, giant ram skipped down the mountainside, toward Fangorn.

"So Master Lac'Nal, what do ye know of the dark passages ye believe the druid and our light-steppin' Elfling have found? Long ago me people walked beneath these mountains, but 'twas ages ago and I've no idea what now lurks under 'em."
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:09 pm

Brianna's heart was heavy, the loss of Jinn weighing on her. This surprised her, for she knew the drowess did not care much for her, at least, that is the way Jinn had always come across. But, to see the anguish on Lac'Nal's face and in his stance tore at her. She considered him a friend and as a friend wanted to ease his sorrow, but she knew that there was nothing she could do for him except be there when he needed a friend. Sometimes, she knew that just the feel of someone close by would help. She kept quiet, following behind him and Orthargren, bringing up the rear.

She agreed with Orthargren's words of despair, but kept her thoughts to herself. She kept looking back to where Jinn had disappeared, hoping beyond hope that she would see something....anything that would indicate the drowess was alive and trying to get back to them.

Even the thought of heading for her village could not lift her spirits....which was understandable considering that her adopted parents were no longer there. She wondered if she would be accepted back into the village now that they were gone. Even though no one in the village had been cruel towards her while she grew up, they still tended to treat her differently, making it known to her that she was not one of them. Her sweet mother would always try to dry her tears when she was a little girl and her heart was heavy knowing she wasn't like them. When she became a young woman, that was when he caught her eye.....her blond warrior, but he didn't even seem to know that she existed.

Brianna absent mindedly stroked a lock of her dark hair, thinking about growing up the only dark headed person in the village. She stood out like a sore thumb amongst the blond heads. Sighing, she once more looked back to where Jinn has disappeared then, whispering words of loss and blessing Jinn's soul for the Goddess to watch over, she continued to follow Lac and Orthargren, not looking back. She turned her thoughts to finding Augustine and Tiphereth, even putting her village out of her mind for the time being.

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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:15 pm

Lac although the pain of the thought of losing Ssinjin was strong, he knew he must not let the other feel his dispair, When Othargen asked what he knew of what lie deep in the mountains and passageways that Augustine and Tipherteth had taken he said "Aye Master Othargen the ridge is foul but there are far fouler things that lie within the passages once frequented by your people. Things that should not have been forgotten or rewakened. But you must not let your heart be troubled for along with the darkness a great light even now grows within the heart of the Misty Mountains. I sense it has already embraced one of our companions." As a calmness came to the lined face of Lac'Nala. "The time has not yet come for us to feel the cold chill embrace of what is to come. There are still pieces to be placed upon the great chess board, before the match begins."
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:49 pm



"I can read these, the script is very old...we no longer use this cypher but I can read them. The first passage leads to an underground lake, there is nothing beyond the lake according to these glyphs. The second passage will take us past an ancient Drow burial area, it says that angry spirits haunt there but the way goes through the mountain. The third way...strange...these glyphs are not complete, I am afraid that the last passage is a mystery."

The druid ran his fingers over the incomplete Druidic symbols, the first few were etched deep into the stone, the last few were simply not there as if their placement upon the wall had been interrupted.

"I see no reason to travel to the lake, and the third way could lead but into darkness and death. The glyphs have given us our way, I feel we must pass through the burial grounds."

The druid seemed sure in the lantern's blue light.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:34 pm



Sorrelwind scrutinized the Drow symbols and wished that he could decipher them. He had no reason to doubt the word of the druid and in fact trusted him implicitly but his Phaerie blood burned with curiousity of the unknown passageway. How he wanted to travel the path less traveled, but Augustine was wise and correct in his decision. Nodding, the tall, Elfin-like being lead the way down the passage that would take them to Drow tombs.

The passage they traveled soon opened into a large cave, which was adorned with many columns and decorated with ancient wall paintings. Sorrelwind, paused and approached the druid and very quickly taught him two magical words that allowed the holder of the silver lantern to dim or increase the brightness of the blue light. Speaking the word then for 'greater', Augustine found that the tiny lantern could increase it's glow ten fold and by twisting the bottom could focus the light into a beam.

The lantern revealed that the architecture of the cave was not Drow, but Dwarven. The carvings upon the columns and the pictorials depicted those of Durin's Folk who long ago dwelled in these dark passages. On the other side of the ancient hall, were hand carved stairs descending to the exit and evidently the way to the Drow burial grounds.

Sorrelwind wondered why the malicious Drow had never defaced the Dwarven remnants, but then again they were Elves and perhaps a respect for art yet lingered within them. It was evident that they took pride in their own works and so he chose to believe that there was more to their culture than just preparation for battle.

"Perhaps we may yet come across a clan of Drow that may wish to share the culture with us." Said the Phaerie innocently as they entered the other passage and continued their journey.

An hour elapsed and they could hear the sound of running water. As they rounded a curved passage, the sound became louder until they found themselves in a small chamber with a natural basin of fresh water. A tickling water fall cascaded from the rocks above and filled the dark pool which must have flowed into a buried stream.

Approaching the water, Sorrelwind immediately knew it that it was fresh and clean. The water elementals were incapable of lying and so he took the opportunity to re-fill his water skin and canteen which he pulled from his compact shoulder satchel, even though it seemed that it was not possible for it to fit in the first place.

"We must be close to the sarcophagi of the Drow." Sorrelwind speculated as he peered down the continuing passage.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:01 am



Augustine was fascinated by the caverns and hand dug passageways, there were traces of many different cultures etched into the stone here.

"Dwarves, Drow, Elves and even Druidic symbols, this place has seen some interesting traffic over time."

The druid filled his modest waterskin with the clean, cool water. He and the Phariekin had been walking a while, surely they were near the burial area. Augustine was eager to find it and eager to pass quickly and have that part of their travels finished.

Augustine was drinking the cool, almost icy water when he saw a faint glow on the chamber wall on the far side from where they were. It lasted only a part of a second, the small flash on the walls before the passage that they were about to explore.

Augustine held the lantern up but he saw nothing unusual. The Phariekin on the other hand saw the world around him quite differently, the Drow runes upon the wall were completely revealed to him. They had been placed there recently, they burned brightly on the stone to the Pharie's eyes. They were the eyes and ears of Verin, although the Pharie did not know who had placed the magic upon the walls he recognized their purpose.
--------------------------------------------------

Deeper in the passages, Verin and his group were moving quickly, they had passed through the burial area and were nearing the Drow gates that lead back to the sunlit world.

Verin felt his magic tug at him as Tiphereth and Augustine came near the runes. Verin smiled to himself, the magic did not only tell him of the strangers location but it gave the murderous Drow an idea of who he was sensing.

"We meet again druid, I feel your power and your fear...ah but you are not alone, I sense the aura of one who has traveled through the misty veil that separates this world from the world of the Deithirin."

Verin gathered his group near the sealed and magically bound exit of the mountain.

"We will wait for a time here, some welcome enemies of ours approach, they travel just behind us. There are two, the druid and a Deithirin.

The other drow seemed surprised by this. Being Drow they did not fear the druid and the Phariekin but none of them had encountered a being like Tiphereth before. Their attitudes changed somewhat, they now seemed more eager to do battle.

"So we wait here and in a short time we will destroy the druid and the Pharie."

The drow warriors nodded, a few of them were smiling, well as much as black elves do.

"At last we will be of use." The large dryders croaked together pounding the poms of their large weapons onto the floor.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:25 pm



Tiphereth Sorrelwind was indeed a dangerous opponent. Trained in the five forms of combat within the halls of the Autumn Temple he had never met his match. This of course meant little to him as his master had always reminded him that, "it was not possible to know thy limits unless one could challenge the universe", and one never could. Thus, Sorrelwind knew his limitations. Physical strength, speed and finesse were his advantages, powerful assets in any battle, but magic evened the field. Though adept in the arts of mysticism and enchantment, as a Phaerie, a being born of magic he could not wield it as those who were not. His spirit afforded certain advantages against the power of incantations but also left him with greater weaknesses and so he was wary of those who could employ wards which were beyond the grasp of his kind.

The sigils upon the wall burned bright before his eyes, existing in both the realms of the Material and Faerie. Immediately he stretched his arm before the druid to ensure he did not pass before them, but little did he know that they had already served their purpose.

"There is a Drow ward set here." Tiphereth revealed and gently laid his hand on Augustine's shoulder allowing his sight to pass to him.

"Do you see?" he asked, then explained, "So long as we remain in contact the world as I see it passes to you." Even as he spoke the words, Augustine's eyes became as Tiphereth's, only his turned a vibrant green in the light of the lantern.

Tiphereth then stared down the passage before them. A presence hung heavy in the air one that he knew the druid felt as well. He gripped his spear tightly in his hand.

"Augustine, it is regrettable that we may soon be forced to take lives in the defense of our own. The passages are narrow and so if the fates will it, I may be a dam against their weapons allowing your magic to flow freely. Whatever approaches us, I do not know it and I shall require your wisdom to guide my hand."

The Deithir was confident and calm, but the druid could sense a subtle anxiousness in his voice. Even beneath his garish blue coloured coat the tenseness of his powerful muscles was apparent. Unbeknownst to those of this land, poisons had little effect on his kind but if in fact what lurked in the darkness were Drow, he had yet to fight such creatures. He expected them to fight as Elves, and so it would be hard to keep clear of their blades, but knew nothing else of their strengths and weaknesses.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:06 pm

Augustine and Tiphereth walked another quarter mile down the narrow passageway and eventually came to the drow burial area. The huge chamber was paneled in a jet black polished stone, there were life size carvings of Drow men and women everywhere. The Drow faces looked upon the druid and the Pharie from every corner of the vast room.

The burial area was in a catacomb design and the Drow sarcophagi were placed with great care in open 'oven' style graves. The masterfully carved black stone coffins were all carved to look like the Drow that lied within, the beauty and technique of the stonework was exquisite. The 'oven' graves were dug out in the walls of the chamber and laid out 4 high. The first level of graves could be easily seen for they were at ground level, the next was 6 or 8 feet above the first and so on for two more graves.

It was hard to estimate how many were interred here, the catacombs were full of the beautiful polished black boxes as far as the two strangers could see and always four high. In between the rows of graves were many life size statues, they all appeared to be representative of proud Drow warriors, male and female.

The statues held various daggers and crossbows their carved faces lacked any emotion, this did not surprise the druid at all. The black stone walls were covered in Drow symbols, on one wall was a large depiction of a giant spider devouring a large number of human looking beings, the massive spider was shown to be shoveling the small beings into it's mouth. On another wall there was a depiction of a giant spider creature spinning a black sheet of webbing over what appeared to be the moon. There was very little space in the burial area that was not covered in this dark themed but beautiful artwork.

The chamber was very quiet, the light from the Pharie lantern made the whole place seem even more sinister than it probably was.

Augustine walked stiffly near a set of the graves, his footsteps even though slow and deliberate echoed in the chamber.

"We should not linger here, but so few outsiders have ever seen these wonders."
The druid reached out as if to touch one of the sarcophagi but withdrew his hand. He could not help but think of when Verin had burned the monastery and killed the others. Augustine, with the help of some kindhearted villagers had buried every last one of his brothers. But the druids had no elaborate caskets, no exotic artwork, their blackened bodies were placed in the ground. Augustine had buried them inside a ring of yew trees, the Yew being an ancient symbol of sorrow and grief.

A subtle heat was rising in the pit of Augustine's stomach, this feeling was new but he had felt it before. Hatred was growing inside of the druid, it was slow and small but it was real.

"I hate them you know..." Augustine's eyes were wide as he spoke, his tone was different then before.

"Even now I contemplate the destruction of this sacred place." The walls groaned slightly as deep tree roots pushed and squirmed in the dark soil behind the massive stone panels.

A small piece of polished black marble like stone broke away and fell onto the floor near Augustine and Tiphereth, the sound of it's landing echoed loudly in the chamber.


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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:43 pm



Tiphereth marveled at the beauty around him. The Drow had indeed perfected the art of sculpting black onyx and obsidian achieving such intricate details that the Phaerie had first expected the figures to speak and move. Moving about the chamber with the wonder of a child, the outlander was ever aware of how the red jeweled eyes of the guardian statues seemed to watch him and respectfully he heeded their warning.

The Deithirin felt at ease in the catacombs, he could not explain it but he had always felt at peace where the dead were laid to rest and he also felt privileged to gaze upon the wondrous burial chamber of the Drow. The same of course could not be said for Augustine. Watching him as he recoiled from a sarcophagus, Tiphereth saw flames within his eyes, the image of fire and of his brother's smoldering bodies. The raw memories that stirred within the druid were as perceptible as a voice to Sorrelwind's Deithirin mind and how Augustine's thoughts screamed. Even before the druid admitted his hate, the Phaerie could see it dancing in the air about him. He too had felt such anger before, so much so that he futilely attempted to quench it with the blood of those who took from him all that he had loved.

The walls shuddered as the druid's will released but a fraction of the rage within him and to Tiphereth's eyes Augustine was ablaze. The utter force of his magic pressed against the chamber that contained it and continued only until the the resonating sound of a falling fragment tore his mind from memory.

"You tread near a dangerous path my friend." Said the Phaerie, "One that I have walked before; one that I need not say is not the druidic way."

Tiphereth then turned his pale Elfin face upon it's uncharacteristic bull neck and stared into the face of a Drow statue. He looked upon it as if it might tell him a secret that would quell the sadness within the druid's heart but not even the most soothing of words could ease his pain.

"This place is but a tangible moment of time; a lesson left for interpretation. It is not for us to deprive others from one day observing what else the hands of the Drow may be capable of. Perhaps, one day these artisans may cast aside their dark ways as my own kind did.... as Jin did."

The Phaerie turned to Augustine and offered him a small smile. "Let us remain here for a while longer. Meditate my friend and purge your mind of hate. The Drow would not dare attack us in this most sacred place, let us take advantage of this to prepare for any encounters that may yet occur."

Sorrelwind then walked away and continued to inspect the craftsmanship of the catacombs. He did not believe the druid was ready to cast aside his vengeance, nor should he, but the Phaerie had learned that hatred for an entire people for the acts of a few lead to regret and madness. He wanted to spare him such anguish but he knew that very few could bend an Oak.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:33 am



The Pharie's words echoed in Augustine's mind like the sound of the small bit of stone that struck the floor. The way of a druid is a peaceful one, one filled with compassion and respect for all living things.

Augustine breathed deep and closed his eyes.
"I seem to have forgotten myself..."

The sounds in the walls were fading, the chamber grew silent again.

"I think I will sit for a moment, your idea is a good one. I will meditate again and forget these feelings, they are new to me and a terrible burden."

Augustine pulled his robe close around him as he sat on the cold stone floor. Folding his arms in front of him he began to relax. For some reason the druid was thinking of Autumn at the monastery, he and his brothers were farmers and there was always a good deal of work to be done in the fields. The young druid had always enjoyed the hard work, especially at harvest, there was wheat to stack and apples from the small orchard would soon become cider. Sometimes the drink was strong and some of the others enjoyed it a bit too much. The druids had to grow their own food and they did it well, they grew more than they needed and shared the surplus with local villagers, including the strong cider.

"I have always enjoyed the Autumn season, I believe it to be the finest of the seasons."
The druid said very quietly.

His thoughts drifted to Ssinjin, here surely was the finest soul the Drow race had to offer. Tears pushed at Augustine's eyes as he contemplated the idea that she may have died alone somewhere on this mountain.
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:08 am

As Othargren, Brianna and Lac made their way down the mountainside and into Fingor Forrest a small smile seemed to cross Lac's face and the sorrow seemed to ebb slightly. "Destiney may yet bring the fellowship back to strength. ............... I sense another near." Yet in his mind's ear the words of Gladrial still echoed "The quest stands as on the edge of a knife.....wander but a step from the path and all will be lost." ............ "Come we must not linger, the darkness that threatens the world grows closer. We must find Sorrelwind and Augustine."
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PostSubject: Re: 2: ACROSS THE PLAINS OF AZANULBIZAR   Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:16 am

Jin found that traveling alone, in the deep recesses of the underworld had its share of ups and down. Quite literally. The being that sent her on her way had told her the way she must travel to reach her companions once more but as the Drowess moved with silent efficiency, she was beginning to wonder if perhaps she didn’t follow the instructions as she needed to.

The few creatures she’d met along the way had either been avoided or dispatched under extreme circumstances thus allowing her to make fairly good time. Stopping only a couple of times to make sure her water skin was filled after drinking the contents, Jin kept moving through the tunnels and catacombs that were so familiar to her.

In fact, as she stopped to look around her, she saw her surroundings were beginning to become very familiar to her. Jin had been here before. And not all that long ago. As she studied the passageways surrounding her, she began to realize why this place was familiar to her but not all that memorial. Dread settled about her and a profound sadness filled her heart. It had been just months ago and yet it seemed like years had passed.

Her pace slowed as she moved along the dreaded tunnels now. The last place Jin wished to return to was there and yet she was headed right in that direction. Was this some sort of test the being was having her do? If so, Jin didn’t find it all that amusing or necessary. Still, the Drowess kept moving making sure she used silent foot steps and each foot was place carefully before the other.

Even now as the underground world seemed to grow eerily quiet, it was like even the air knew what was up ahead of her. Jin paused to take in the area around her again. Yes. There was no doubt she was headed there. And while it was the last place she wanted to be, she knew there was no other way than through there.

Jin had just started moving once more when she stopped abruptly. In the distance her sensitive ears heard the groaning and creaking of the solid roof over her head followed by the faint sound of something falling to the stone floor and shattering. Surely there was no earthquake happening up here. Was there? If the roof caved in she wasn’t certain she could survive and the length of time it would take her to find an alternative way around would be too long. By then, it could be too late.

Jin knew she would need to proceed with a great deal more caution now than she had been. Unfortunately that meant she would have to slow her pace even more thus causing her to grit her teeth in hopes she would arrive when the being said she needed to. But Jin was determined. If nothing else, she would be at the designated place the being told her to be at, at the exact time she needed to be there. What ever for, Jin didn’t know yet, but she was sure it would be revealed to her soon enough.

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