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Old 02-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
milkmaiden38
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Tigrans' Revenge IC

King Leo Goldenmane

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There was almost no wind as Leo Goldenmane, King of the Tigrans, hero of the orc wars, stood at the edge of the Citadelle highest turret. It was dawn and the sun’s light had not yet warmed the air. But the cold did not affect his aging bones. His thick lion fur kept him comfortable. He could see most of the city of Ardalis from this view point. It spread out before him. Orderly for the most part with straight streets and sand stone houses and shops. His eyes looked beyond the city walls … into the river’s lowlands or tablelands. Again there was order, with neat rows of orchards, grasslands fed by straight organized irrigation ditches.

His eyes came back to the city. He saw the artisan quarter with its rich commercial district, foodstuffs, finished goods, and other commodities. He saw Potters’ square: where the city produced its famous pottery in the massive stone kilns.

Next he saw the merchant quarter composed of simple stone buildings, an older part of town with tighter streets and smaller markets. The two islands in the middle of the city next caught his eyes. The prefecture, where offices of the city watch, the city mint, armories, storehouses, and the guard barracks were located. The other island was the Isle of Ventulli, the place where the wealthy lived.

Finally his eyes looked at the banker’s quarter, the poorest section of the city. Foreign races lived there along with the Tigran beggars. The place was not organized and contained vacant and crumbling buildings.

This was Leo’s proof that what had made the Tigran race work best were the principals which the people held dear. Throughout its history, the Tigrans had successfully met all its challenges from the independence after elven rule, to the creation of their kingdom, through its continued survival from invasion and war. From those early days to now, two bedrock principles have carried on. They were:

Honor: A Tigran will always strive to conduct themselves in the highest ethical manner in all relationships with peers, superiors and subordinates; to be honest and truthful in their dealings with each other, and with those other outside races. The code of honor came with an uncompromising integrity, of taking responsibility and keeping your word;

Courage: Tigran’s must have courage to meet the demands placed on them. To lack honor is the easy way out. It takes courage to have honor. Maintain honor regardless of personal consequences; to be loyal to the Tigran nation. Courage is the value that gives Tigran the moral and mental strength to do what is right, even in the face of personal adversity.

The Banker’s quarter was where some tigran’s had lost their way … not followed those principals. The beggars and thieves that lived there had not followed the Tigran principles, the errors of their ways in evidence in their homes and streets.

The king glanced over his shoulder as his loyal servant opened the turret door.

“Sire … the morning royal court will begin in one hour. Shall I bring your breakfast to your royal chambers … or the throne room?” the Tigerman asked.

“I wish to have breakfast in my royal chambers … with my queen … and hopeful she will be in the same mood she was in yesterday!” the king stated with a bit of excitement.

The servant was well trained so he only nodded and answered “Yes Sire”. But there was a slightly twitch of his whiskers to indicate … the last time the queen was in a mood the King had made love to her for 2 hours and the whole day’s schedule needed rearranging! However, as the servant turned and headed down the stairs to get the king’s breakfast he did think it was nice that the king and queen were so much in love. This was rare for most kings and queens of their realm.

King Leo Goldenmane sighed. The royal court was a strain that was why he was here. Seeing the city and reviewing the principals of the people and the nation had always helped him make good decisions. He was ready now … he turned his big (Biggest of the Tigran at over 6.5 feet tall) body towards the door. His long, flowing lion's mane framing his handsome lion face … his cat-like eyes twinkled. Maybe the queen would be in the same mood … and the court cases would be delayed!
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:44 PM   #2
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Jola, Ambassador from The Nest (The Naga Kingdom)

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Jola slithered through the crumbling streets in the early morning. Dawn had emerged on the eastern horizon, and so had a few of the city’s people. She heard the sounds of carts, horses, mules, and voices getting ready for the day.

She liked the morning because there were less people around. Her snake body moved slower in the colder temperature but that was a fair trade for the great reduction in tigrans staring at her. She was an oddity. She was a Naga. Her upper half was that of a beautiful human woman with flowing red-brown hair and deep brown eyes. She wore a black vest to cover her large breasts, although a significant amount of cleavage was still showing. Her snake tail was massive, big, thick, and strong. Her snake under belly showing the trademark tracks of most serpents. The top part showed the camouflaged skin with greens and browns of an anaconda snake. She held small bag in one hand and a large sword hung from her waist belt.

She caught the thick smells of the market wafting toward her. The odors of people and animals blurred with the sweet and salty aromas of market food. The Beggar’s Bazaar had stalls that contained every imaginable food: ripe plum-berries from north, sweet cream from the Tigran dairy, moist lamb and beef from the hillside ranches. They even sold some elven wines which she enjoyed.

She worked her way into the bazaar, a place of narrow alleys and colorful tents. An old beggar sat on the ground with his hand out. This tigran did not seem scared of her. A smile crept onto Jola’s face. She slipped a small bag of coins into the beggar’s hand. “Here” She whispered as the beggar nodded in thanks.

But she had not been careful enough. The merchants on her left and right saw the kind gesture and knew the odd creature had coin to spend. And suddenly their fear disappeared, each of them clamoring for her business.

“SHIT” She hissed. She hated it when these furry balls got too close to her. The warmbloods were all poking at her … asking her to look at their wares “come shop here” They would suggest! She moved on quickly trying to get away. She ducked through an alley which did the trick. As she burst out into another larger avenue, something struck her on her side … it felt like a small warm object. The object turned out to be a young female tigran girl holding a loaf of warm bread in her hands. The girl must only have been 10 years old. The young Tigran was now on her back from the collision, staring up at the Naga.

There was some shouting coming closer, and Jola was guessing the pursuit was after this girl and her bread … which might have been stolen.

Jola lowered her human half to the girl “Are you ok?” She asked the young Tigran.

The young girl squeaked “yes” clearly scared of the human/snake monster above her.

Jola grabbed the girl’s free hand and pulled her back on her feet. “Please watch where you are going next time” Jola advised. As the pursuing voices were very close now, the young Tigran girl handed the warm bread to Jola just as the two black pantherrmen came into view. Jola turned to watch what the new arrivals were going to do.

Both of them stopped to stare at the Naga holding the bread. They both pulled out their swords as the other tigrans in the avenue backed away. One of them got the nerve to say “Snake thing … that bread is stolen … hand it over!”

“This is not my bread … this young tigran girl …” Jola said but then stopped talking as she looked for the young girl, who had been next to her but now was gone. “SHIT” Jola whispered to herself. The pantherrmen began to advance on Jola with their weapons out. One of them saying “I hear snake meat tastes like chicken … let’s find out”

Jola did not think these two could defeat her in battle … but she was the ambassador of the Naga Kingdom, called The Nest. It would not look good to be involved in a sword fight over a loaf of bread.

“My Tigran friends … the story of a young girl handing me this bread is true … ask anyone here. However, I can buy the bread from you … there is no need for violence … how much does it cost?” She asked.

“3 coppers” The pantherman stated. It seemed a bit high to Jola, but she moved closer to both men. Digging in her small change coin pouch for some coppers, she discovered all her copper coins were gone. “Wonderful” she thought “the young tigran girl must have grabbed her coins during the collision. She reached into her cleavage and pulled out a single silver coin and handed to the tigran that had been speaking. “Thank you, keep the change” She said as they put their weapons away. The excitement over the men turned away and Jola moved off from the merchants that had seen her over pay for warm bread.

Jola whisper to herself “If I see that little tiger kitten again … I’ll give her a NICE BIG SQUEEZING HUG ... I hope I don't break every bone in her little body!”

Feeling more disgusted with the people of this city. She finished buying the things she needed, placing them in the bag she had been carrying. She headed back to her small rented room near the river. She entered the old converted house and made it to her second floor room. As she closed the door to her room, she felt more like a stranger here than ever before. She also felt very alone.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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Felina Zodith at Potter’s Square

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Felina was in bed and did not want to leave it. She felt the coldness in the air and knew the bed was the warm comfortable place to be. She flexed her white furred fingers and looked at them. Her father had told her she had fighter’s fingers, strong and sure. But Felina had never been drawn to her father’s profession. He had been a great fighter in the orc wars. No, she was an artist … a pottery maker in the city known for its great pottery, Ardalis.

She peeked at the small window of her bedroom. She saw sunlight starting to stream in. It was morning. Her creations she had placed in the kiln last night were ready. She needed to get up. With a sigh she threw off the covers and got up. She walked over to her dresser and looked in the mirror that stood above it.

Her friends had said she was one of the most beautiful girls in all of Ardalis. Felina did not believe it … but she liked that her friends had said it. That had made her feel good. Looking in the mirror … she giggled “if her friends had seen her in the morning … with this messy hair… they might have had a different opinion” she thought. As she combed out her messy pure white hair she thought about what to wear today. Combing complete, she opened her dresser and pulled out her corset. It was light brown and fur lined which she put on and laced up to cover her large breasts. She also grabbed her small red shorts and a matching red neck scarf. Putting these on completed in covering her nakedness. She move over to the coat rack near the door and grabbed her signature brown cloak. She put this over her shoulders and pulled her hood on. The cloak was designed for a Tigran … unlike human or elven cloaks … this one had “ear holes” so that a Tigran’s sensitive ears could stick out. She would wear the cloak for the morning hours until the air heated up. She also arranged her hair to peek out of the furry lined hood. She only stood around 5'4, but as she pulled on her thigh high boots her height increased to 5’6”. She looked back in the mirror … She looked ready to go outside and check the kiln. Her light green eyes scanned over her appearance one last time. She looked “alright” if she said so herself. But she knew that being a white tigran in this city was very rare … So the men would see her as extra beautiful because she was exotic … different from the other women they knew. Her beauty had actually intimated many men not to even talk to her or ask her out. So at present there was no man in her life.

She thought she would make a nice wife. She had a warm and friendly personality or at least people told her that. Her father had said to her numerous times “not to worry the right man will find you”. Her mother had been the opposite and tried to set her up several times with complete idiots. All those attempts to marry her off to would be suitors had ended in disaster.

Felina turned away from the mirror and left her small apartment. She step onto the Potters’ Square and headed towards the large kilns to check on her creations.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #4
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Skadu Forests surrounding Ardalis

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Skadu had been hiding in the thick cover of the ferns for four hours now and hadn't moved once. His black panther skin perfectly blended in with the shadows and the dark wood bow and arrows he had crafted, plus his dark leather armor kept him hidden from sight. He was waiting at a major watering hole in the jungles near Ardalis for the Wildebeasts. He was one of the many hunters that provided fresh meat for the hungry citizens, but he was acknowledge as one of if not the best. He was one of the few who could bring down the elusive Wildebeast regularly. One of these huge beasts had enough meat on it to feed an entire family for a month.

Skadu had already passed up several prime kills of lesser animals that would have netted him a handsome profit. He was here for only one animal. He knew a heard drank here as he had read the signs, he just had to be patient and that was one thing he was good at.

Another hour passed and Skadu had endured bugs crawling over him and flying insects landing on him, but finally his prey were approaching. Looking like nothing more than huge shaggy haired cows, these creatures stood 10 feet high when fully grown and the males had wicked forward facing horns that could skewer the unwary. Their meat though was highly prized and full of flavor. Skadu scanned the herd of twenty beasts and picked out an old female passed her child bearing days. He always tried to thin herds out of their weakest animals to keep them strong and not kill off this valuable food source.

He waited until they had begun to drink and then rose up quickly and had three arrows in his chosen target and was up a tree before the herd could react. The lead bull sounded his warning and the herd charged away, but the old female lay dead near the pool, all three of Skadu's arrows having pierced it's heart. He allowed himself a grin and then flowed down to the ground to begin the grizzly task of butchering the animal and transporting it to his forest hut. All parts of the animal would be used including it's organs and they would have to be carefully preserved. He would make a hefty profit on this one and maybe he would be able to afford that new stove for his hut.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:24 PM   #5
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Mirri Palace Grounds

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Mirri had woken up early and had been practicing with her sword before the sun came up. As it peeked over the horizon she stopped and walked over to the water barrel and plunged her head into it. Pulling it out she shook the water out of her fur and sat down with her back to the wall. Pulling out her whetstone she began to sharpen her blade.

Mirri lazily remembered her time in the palace guard. She was the daughter of one of the most famous heroes in the Tigrans history. He had been instrumental in helping them win the Orc wars. This was the reason Mirri had stopped using her last name when she had joined the army. She had risen through the ranks quickly partly due to her training with her father from a very early age and partly due to her natural talent. She had applied for and been accepted into the elite palace guards and had risen through the ranks there as well until she was now the youngest Talon leader. At 25 years of age her future looked set to her. She wanted to eventually become the youngest leader of the palace guard ever and the first female ever to hold that title.

The Morning revelry trumpet drove her out of her memories and she sheathed her sword and began jogging towards the barrack's mess hall. Breakfast was usually a telltale of how the day would be. A large one indicated a hard day of training, a regular one could mean drills or weapons training. She hoped it would just be a regular breakfast today.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:29 AM   #6
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Scar at Madame Isis

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Scar roused sitting up slowly his one remaining blue eye bloodshot, grumbling over the damnable Tigran horn blaring. ''By Mother Loona curse tha pussycats trumpets tha hissing bastards. Isis!'' the massive wolf roars out loud waking the black, spotted and tiger stripped females in his bed. He would never hurt them for anything, and for the price he paid the working girls should know it by now. ''You bellowed lord Scar?''

A gorgeous tawny Lioness was leaning against the doorway, long lean muscle and sensually built wearing white bejeweled silks. 7'5'' well over 400 pounds of grey Worgen stood nude before her, muscles rippled under rough fur as he growled as he stretched his massive frame. ''Aye I want me breakfast Isis...with the coin I pay yoou...yoou should be hand feedin meh yoorself loveleh kitteh.''

Isis just laughed musically slapping Scar playfully on his scarred muzzle with her tail as she walks away. ''You hairy old wolf, couldn't make enough coin in a year to afford me.'' Sneezing as the swat of the Brothel owner caught his nose. ''Aye unfortunatly yoou ga tha right Lass...ole Worgen's hav'ta dream yoou knoow!'' Wryly grinning he pulls on his heavy black britches, follows her out the bedroom door catching up blocking her way. ''Get out of my way, you over grown hairy devil, the foods getting cold.''

With a little mock growl Isis claws unsheathed at his nose. ''Aye...yoou have wee claws. But ifna had tha gold what a time we'd have'' Scar dunks the swat of Isis claws with a quickness that belied his size, rumbling a chuckle he sat down with the girls to eat. A huge platter of roasted Wildebeast, scrambled Ostrich eggs, fried potatoes and fruit set for him. ''Yeah yeah, whatever you say Scar, whatever you say.''

Flopping down lazily on the floor at the low table he ate heartily, the various races of females giggle at his large ''appetite'' they ''experienced.'' Isis didn't even bother with filling a tankard, she just hands Scar a huge jug of wine to drink from. The big fellow did pay her well for the girls services, treated them well and even tossed the deadbeats out.

She smiles with a shake of her head at him, reaching out gently scratching behind his ear. ''Leave a little food for my girls please? they always need extra nourishment when you're in Ardalis Scar.'' He looks up with his one good eye with a roguish grin. ''Aye...tha Lassies doo tha alright...dun ya gals?'' Their laughter and giggles floated out on the mid morning breeze, it would join the cities many various voices and sounds.

Last edited by Wolfias : 03-21-2014 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
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Mirri and Kiltgor

Kiltgor peeked into the Citadelle dining hall. The air was filled with the morning breakfast. It was a light meal of cured meats, some grass and big bowls of cow’s milk. As his eyes scanned over the massive room which held three rows of long series of tables. Each table had benches of either side for seating. He spotted Mirri seated at a table alone. He quickly pulled his head back. “Now I have her! This is going to be epic!” he whispered to himself. As he quickly made his way to one of the overlooking balconies, again peeking over the ledge to get his bearing on her. He was behind her and unless she had eyes in the back of her head. She would not be able to see him.

He slipped over the ledge and "cat like" or more properly "tiger like", the tigerman carefully crossed the large overhead wooden beam that supported the oil lamps used to light this room. He moved closer … and closer to her … silently. Once he had to stop as he saw her ears turn backwards … listening for threats. But he was completely still, he did not even breathe. When her ear went forward again … he moved again. In position, he was ready to pounce. He jumped off the beam right at her …

What Kiltgor had not counted on … was another soldier had been watching him approach and his eyes grew large when Kiltgor leapt at Mirri … that was all the warning Mirri needed.

Mirri stood up and spun around catching the tigerman’s arms. This broke the tigerman's fall ... but also allowed her to guide him to the ground and now She was on top of him …

“Nice try … Kiltgor!” Mirri laughed “Your best attempt yet!”

“I give” Kiltgor said as Mirri stood up and help him get up.

“I shall win this game yet!” He vowed. She just smiled at him.

“Want to join me for breakfast?” She asked.

“Yes … let me get some food and I’ll be right back” Kiltgor answered. He was off and quickly returned with a plate and a bowl. He started eating right away.

“So what is the latest intel?” She asked.

Kiltgor looked up from his food. “You know I can’t tell you that … you might be an Orc spy!” He said. She just looked at him a frown on her face and asked “So you think I look like an orc?”

Kiltgor smiled “well … a cute orc” He answered.

Mirri growled at him. But he ignored her. He leaned in close and whispered “You’ll find out soon enough … The humans and Garliks are fighting again. Garliks sent a huge force into the Kingdom of Palamar … Tigran intel is not sure who started it. Probably the humans … not satisfied with fighting with the centaurs … they picked a fight with the Garliks.”

Mirri looked at him “Didn’t I read the humans and goblins were also fighting … near a town called Bulkenhold?”

“Oh yes … but that was over a month ago … and the key word in that was “were”. The human’s creamed the goblins … had some help from a red dragon … and some guy called Deathsknight. Can you believe that … damn tailess humans … have dragons and the undead fighting for them!” Kiltgor stated in disgust.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:28 PM   #8
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Sir Deson Hild

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"Ah Deson, please take a seat."

"No thank you padre, I'd rather stand."

Of course the only reason he wanted to remain standing was that sitting in the soft chairs that decorated the padre's office only caused him to struggle to stand. Not only did that make him look like a fool, it was also dangerous if an attack should happen.

"As you wish Deson."

The padre sat down and ran a hand over his clean shaven head, six years senior to Deson, he was a man who held almost as much power as any king. As head of the Church, he commanded knights, soldiers and even kings listened to his council. Deson did not envy him the position though as wisdom was not something that came lightly.

"We have need of an emissary to the Tigran kingdom, it has come under our attention that there might be a surge of darkness in their region. A darkness which might rise while our emissary is there..."

Deson nodded, it was not the first time that such a task was handed to him,

"The Word was unclear as to the nature of this darkness, nor where it would come from, but she was certain about one thing, we need to warn the Tigrans as they have no idea about this pending doom."

The Word, a young girl, barely in her teens. She studied the Book, in it's words she receives visions, warnings and even at times a voice speaks to her. Deson had seen her only once, she wore a blindfold, dressed in a simple white robe with hair as black as pitch. Though most people saw her gift as magic, the Church knew a miracle when they encountered it. The padre placed two tubes on the table, sealed with his own signet,

"These letters must be given to King Goldenmane by you personally, don't allow any other to read it or carry it."

Deson picked up the letters, nodded and left...that was the scene that came to Deson's mind as he reigned in his horse, looking at the gates of the city as they loomed up in front of him. The countryside was beautiful, but the artistry of the carvings and statues was exquisite and judging from this he wondered what could ever want to threaten such a lovely place. But then again, the ways of evil and darkness was not always ones to understand. With a soft click of his tongue he nudged his horse forward as in the distance a horn blew.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:59 PM   #9
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Aziza

Aziza was born into one of rich families living on the Isle of Ventulli. Her family owns a large estate there. She has recently discovered a dirty little family secret of the name of...Sanura, her half sister. What makes it all the worse is that Sanura is half human...an abomination to the more conservative minded. When she confronted her father with her discovery, wanting to bring Sanura home and into the family...there was a tremendous quarrel. Aziza fell out of favor with her family and was disinherited.

She left with just a few personal items, including the document with the name of St. Vito Monastery on it. Apparently the monks there had been taking care of her sister since she had been born. Oh her father had seen to her welfare, he just never wanted his mistake to come out into the open. Aziza was going to find her half-sister, she still couldn't believe she had a sister, she wasn't an only child anymore.

As she left her home and got into a carrier, she leaned over and told the driver to take her to the St. Vio Monastery, taking one last look back before settling down for the ride. As she watched familiar sights go by she thought to check her pouch, to make sure she took the two magic items that her grandfather had given to her before he died. He had told her to keep them secret, and she had done what he wanted. She took them out now, the first he had said was called the Ring of Ironskin. Once placed on a finger your skin turns to iron, (looks like normal skin..and only lasts for 10 mins/day. The second item he had called the amulet of sand. The amulet was a necklace holding a single "arrowhead" like gem on it. If you touch the stone...and speak a magic word...you become sand (a thin pile of it). She remembered him saying,

"You can sense and understand everything going on in this “sand” state. Then when you are ready … you can return to being a person again by thinking the magic word."

With his last strength he made her promise to never tell anyone the magic word unless in dire straights or on her deathbed. He had whispered the word...closed his eyes and died. Poor Aziza had only been 10 at the time, but kept her word and hid the items, never using them. Now she looked closely at each, took the amulet, slipped the ring on it and put it around her throat.

Sighing she looked at the sun in the sky thinking, (it will be awhile before I get to the monastery I may as well relax for now.)
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:13 AM   #10
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Felina

Felina wandered out among the piles of clay and greenware (unfired objects) in the square. She was headed to the large Kiln which held her baked items. This time in the morning very few artists were ready to sell completed works … they were just getting organized for the day. The standard routine was to check on your work from the night before. Gather those items up and display them. Then as you waited for buyers, start working on more pots or other items … which in the evening you put into the Kilns and bake overnight with the cycle starting over again in the morning.

Felina entered the kiln which was still hot from the night's firing. She gathered up her pots and left the hot stuffy structure. She had 10 pots of different sizes in her arms. She liked to work on pots … and many thought some of hers were the best in the entire city. This was because she had discovered … the better the spinning wheel the better the pot. So her spinning wheel was perfectly balanced and she could make pots and vases very, very round and symmetrical.

She was headed back to her selling stand and make shift art studio, when Fopelo, a fellow potter came up to her. “Felina … I found a new boyfriend for you” She said grinning from ear to ear.

“Oh really?” Felina replied somewhat concerned about Fopelo tastes.

“Yes … first off he is handsome … with a beautiful coat and he had great whiskers and his tail is so long I think it can wrap twice around the city!” Fopelo said. (Male Tigrans with longer tails are considered more handsome … no double meaning here ...I’m talking about their tail … nothing else!)

“Next he is rich … works as one of the youngest dock masters for the upriver supply barges.” Fopelo added.

“Fo … What about his personality?” Felina asked as they had now arrived at her artist stand and she was placing the pots out for sale.

“Who cares about that! He is handsome and rich!” Fopelo joked. When she finished laughing she answered felina question “He has a nice personality … he is funny too!”

“This guy sounds too prefect … why haven’t you snatched him up?” She asked.

“Because I’d need your amazing good looks! He is a prime hunk of tiger-meat … WAY OUT of my league. I’m just hoping to get some of his friends as leftovers!” Fopelo concluded. “I set up a date for both of us tonight in the Merchant Quarter. I know a small café there that cooks exotic “human” dishes. It will be fun!”

“Ok … I’ll go …” Felina said as she completed placing the last pots near her stand. Suddenly the ground started to shake … her pots falling over and breaking … she was trying to catch them but she only had two hands.

“WHAT IS HAPPENING?” She asked suddenly afraid and certain this was going to be very bad.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:13 AM   #11
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The Portal Opens:

In the imperial garrison castle a lone soldier walked across courtyard. It was here the soldiers of the garrison practiced and held ceremonies. As the soldier reached the middle of the yard … the ground began to shake. It was so violent that he could barely stay on his feet. As the soldier looked up he saw that the whole city was shaking. “By the cat whiskers … what is going on?” He shouted as cracks appeared in the courtyard’s sandstone bricks … beams of light shot out of the cracks … violet, red, blue, purple these light beams grew stronger and more intense. Then there was a sharp cracking sound and the cracks turned to fissures, hot gases spitting out. “AHHH” the soldier screams as the gas burned his one leg. There was more rumbling … and the ground explodes open sending huge sand stone slabs in all directions. The soldier fell into the black glowing pit that had just appeared. His screams ended immediately.

The shaking of the ground stopped. On the sides of the pit were small orange flames, boiling mud and smoke. The pit … or more accurately the portal … had a diameter of about 100 feet. Tigran soldiers came out of their barracks to see what this strange portal was. As they peered into the darkness, a noise could be heard. A thud, thud, thud, noise … it took only a few seconds to realize what it was. The footsteps of thousands of Garlik and Shadow Demon warriors!

“TO ARMS” One Officer yelled as the evil creatures poured out of the portal. One of them cut the officer down before he could turn to get his weapon. The Tigrans in the courtyard were unarmed, but they had their claws and teeth. They bravely fought against the garliks and bigger shadow demons. But claws and teeth against swords and shields … it was a foregone conclusion as to how the battle would turn out. It had however, given the rest of the Tigran imperial garrison some time to arm and put up a better defense. The Tigrans on the walls were soon firing arrow into the massive of garliks in the courtyard. Dead garliks started to litter the ground. But the castle was design to repel invaders from outside the walls … not invaders from inside the courtyard. So the boiling oil (which was not hot in any case) could not be poured on the garliks. The catapults could not be fired at them either, only arrows could be used.

Inside the castle … the garliks and tigrans fought in hand to hand combat. But hundreds could not stop thousands. Soon the imperial garrison castle was over run. Once in the hands of the demonlord soldiers, the main gates opened and thousands of garlik and shadow demon warriors began to take over the city. Two thousand shadow demons headed towards to King’s citadelle and the eastern gate. Another thousand headed for the western gate.

King Leo Goldenmane had been headed to the royal court, when the earthquake hit. He took command immediately. Ordering all military units of citadelle and prefecture (the city watch and the guard barracks) to go into the city and help tigrans whose houses or shops had collapsed. He head up to the tallest tower of the citadelle as his castle had suffered almost no damage. His chief military advisor Lord Haki, a puma tigran, asked “sire, shall we also send out the imperial garrison?”

The king thought for a second “No … not yet. We don’t know how serious the damage is yet.” Soon the King was at the top of the tower and looking over the city. There were collapsed houses all over the city, more in the banker’s quarter than anywhere else. A few warehouses had collapsed roofs … and one of the spires on St Vito monastery had fallen. But all in all … the city had survived the earthquake well.

Then he noticed smoke coming from the imperial garrison. He saw troop on the walls firing arrows into the courtyard. There appeared to be fighting at the imperial garrison! He turned to Lord Haki.

“Send someone to the imperial garrison … something is going on over there.” He ordered. But he did not need to wait for the messenger’s return. In less than a minute he saw thousands of garliks and shadow demons heading for the Citadelle.

“OH NO!!” He screamed as he and Lord Haki knew they had made a terrible mistake. “Secure the main gates to the citadelle” the lionman king ordered. “I’ll be there in a moment!” he said as both of them ran down the stairs of the tower.

King Goldenmane burst into his royal chambers.

“Shella …” He called to his lovely wife as he threw opened his weapons chest. “Sharpen your claws … garliks … thousands of them!!” He roared as he threw on his armor and grabbed his sword. The king’s sword, a massive two handed weapon was in his hands as he moved towards the main entrance to the Citadelle.

He bounded downed the stairs as fast as he could. He could hear the fighting at the entrance to citadelle. He ROARED a challenge to the invaders and rushed to attack them. His small remained guard force cheered as they heard their king join them.

“YOU TAIL PULLERS … MEET YOUR DOOM!!” He roared as he jumped into the large force of Garliks and Shadow demons. Pieces and parts of Garliks and Demons flew off his swords … as he was determined to reseal the doors to the citadelle.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:46 AM   #12
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Jola

"I really HATE this city!”

That was the last discernible sentence Jola uttered before the wall collapsed. It had been yelled after she realized it was a powerful earthquake that was causing all the rumbling. She slithered towards the door way that led into the kitchen.

She made it with seconds to spare as the whole structure seemed to buckle and collapse around her. The building was perched next to the riverbank and she could hear parts of the building falling into the river. As the whole structure fell over, her snake body which had been on the floor was now on a wall. The floor squeezed around her and the ceiling did the same on the other side. The space she was in ... was only big enough for her as the building stopped moving.

It was quiet … except for Jola sputtering cough. Her lungs and throat tried to clear away the dust that had filled the small space she was in. Successful for now … she stopped coughing.

Her head ached and she felt liquid drip down the back of her neck. She had banged her head on something but she did not think it was too bad. Her bigger problem was the two stories of house on top of her.

"Wait until those warm bloods find me … or take the chance and get out myself?” She asked herself. The stupid cats would probably just flatten the building … assuming everyone was dead inside. She needed to get out. But it was probably best to wait … make sure the house did not shift anymore before she moved. So she waited. She worried a little bit about there being enough oxygen, but she could hear things such as the river flowing. So some air should be getting into the tight spot she was in.

She waited … she heard tigrans and other races shouting for help in the houses near hers. But there was no noise coming from her house. After about 30 mins she heard something she had not expected. It was the sound of soldiers. Then a voice “All Tigran and non-tigrans … the demonlords have control of this city. You will not be allowed to leave the city. The demonlords have a short term need for this city’s resources. When that need is satisfied … we will leave.”

“We understand some houses were damaged by the earthquake. Please assemble here for medical assistance and if you need new housing that will be found. We also are arranging for food … but that will take a few hours. All weapons are to be taken from you for safe keeping until we return the city to the tigrans. You can understand why we must do this. Now please assemble … and state your medical and housing needs”

“The demonlords armies have taken over the city. Where had they come from? Why hadn’t the Tigrans fought back? Something was very strange was going on. But as an ambassador she was protected from these kinds of leadership changes. She would just need to tell the garliks who she was and they would not touch her, unless the Garliks were at war with The Nest … which seemed unlikely.

She first needed to get out of here. She carefully turned and pivoted, braced her powerful snake body against the wall/floor. Took a deep breath and pushed ignoring the throb in the back of her head and neck. There was an upward shift as an opening developed between the wall and the floor. She was able to create a gap large enough to let her snake body slide out. Below the gap was the river. She grabbed her diplomatic papers as she quietly slipped into the river and swam out from under the tipped over house. She headed for the shore.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:57 AM   #13
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Mirri and Kiltgor: Prefecture

Mirri and Kiltgor had been enjoying training. It had been a relaxing bout of sparring and as they were two of the best in their Talon they were having some fun. Mirri was especially in her element. She was running an expert eye over her own claw when the quake struck. The Guards were well trained and after a few moments of panic they flattened themselves and rode out the quakes fury. As soon as the rumblings stopped Mirri began roaring orders.
"Scouts to the walls, I want reports in two minutes on what that was and what is happening. Fighters to your barracks and gear up, full war uniforms people I am taking no chances. Claw leaders report to me here in two minutes to discuss strategy. Now go."

The training grounds became a hive of activity as everyone ran for their assigned place including Mirri and Kiltgor. As they strapped on their armor with practiced ease and buckled on their weapons Kiltgor looked at her worriedly. "What do you think is going on?"
"We will know soon enough. The scouts will find out. Let's get back out there and look like we know what we are doing huh," she grinned at her friend.

By the time they got back to the middle of the training grounds almost all of the Talon was assembled and the claw leaders were waiting. As the last of the fighters assembled the scouts came bounding down off the walls and through the gates. They all gave their reports quickly to their chief before he walked over to her. Mirri waved at them to go get armored and they took off. "Ma'am it appears as if a large quake has hit the city. A lot of damage has been done to buildings and we would presume that there have been casualties. Also there is a strange sight of smoke coming from the imperial garrison."

Mirri thanked Harkel and sent him off to get changed. Looking at the other 9 officers arranged around her she outlined the situation. "Gentleman This is no ordinary earth quake. We have all heard the rumors of the humans fighting the Garliks in several places and now we get an earthquake and the garrison is on fire. This smacks to me of an invasion. Well we will not be caught like a cub at the teat. I want claws 2 through 7 to head straight for the citadel and protect the royal family. If I am wrong I look foolish and we can always say I sent you there to get orders from the king on how best to help the citizens. Claws 8 to 10 go out and get as many citizens out of the city as you can or into shelter and safe. Resist if possible, Kill as many as you can, but if it becomes as bad as i fear get out and meet at the old forest training grounds. I will go with squad 1 to the citadel to rescue the king if possible. We only have a thousand troops so use your initiative gentleman, do not get swamped and do not loose your men for no reason, but fight with Honor and Pride."

Turning to the assembled Talon as the officers resumed their posts she raised her voice, "We go to save the city my warriors. Sharpen your claws, prepare your weapons and fight with honor. We go."
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:02 AM   #14
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Sir Deson Hild

He had barely cleared the gate when a massive earthquake struck, the horse bucked under him and he barely had time to kick himself free from the stirrups when it reared up. He slide down the back of the horse, ducking aside because he knew panicked horses kicked as this one did. For the first time on this journey he wished he had rather taken a warhorse. But moments later it seemed that the panicking horse had saved his live as a statue that was affixed to the gate crashed down onto the horse, killing it instantly. The tremors died down a few moments later, Deson stood up and pushed back the hood of his concealing robe of office, the robe of office is a plain brown robe tied with a rope at the waist, the color of the rope denoting rank. Deson wore no rope around the waist, only those who knew the Church order knew that denoted him as a knight. Under his rope he wore his armor and weapons, his shield fitted to his back, the over large robe covering it all. Then the voice came from almost everywhere, telling the citizens that the city had been taken by the demon lords and that nobody could leave.

Deson gave a wry grin, if they thought that they could stop him to leave, they were mistaken, but the gate behind him had crumbled and was filled up with debris. This left him with only the other gates to exit, exit he would, his mission was a failure and the Church had not send him here to fight demons. Of course deep inside he chafed at this restraint, but his life and service belonged to the Church now. He kept the hood down to increase his hearing and line-of-sight, at a quick walk he headed off towards the nearest gate.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:56 PM   #15
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Sanura

Sanura had lived her entire life in the St. Vito Monastery. She had always been treated well, but sadly felt her life was lacking something that the monks could never give her, a feeling of family. Oh yes they treated her well, were very kind, but she knew she was different. When she was 12 years old, the Senior monk, who was her guardian, took her aside and explained her heritage, that she was half Tigran and half human. Unfortunately because of that she would not ever be accepted by the general people of Ardalis. He felt it was best to stay at the monastery where she was safe and yes loved. When she asked who were her people..at least the Tigran side, he shook his head and said, he was not at liberty to say. She had to accept this, not knowing what else to do.

That was five years ago, of late Sanura had taken to daydreaming about having a family, and that someone would one day come and get her. At seventeen, she was a pretty girl, her fur was not thick, showing that she was not full blood Tigran. She did have the tiger strips but they were much lighter then you usually saw, and her face was more human then Tigran. Her build was much lighter as well, but she was athletic, due to plenty of physical work. She had recently been given the post of head gardener. She had a busy full life in the monastery, what with her studies and job now.

Today was a lovely day to be in the garden, even though she could assign the work to someone else she looked forward to getting outside, where she loved to be. From there she had a good view of various activities that were happening in St. Vito. The garden was located on the south side, in order to catch all the sunshine resulting a good crop of vegetables every year. Today her task was to stake all the tomato plants, so they wouldn't fall to the ground, she had a few dozen stakes and rags in a small wagon.

As she leaned down to tie a tomato plant to a wooden stake she had just shoved into the ground Sanura felt the ground beneath her feet tremble. The walls nearby started to shake, she quickly moved away from them, then fell to the ground as the shaking worsened. She was very frightened but knew enough to stay where she was, the buildings and walls were cracking and falling down. Dust was everywhere making it hard to see what was happening. Once the earth stopped shaking she coughed wiping her eyes. After a few minutes she was able to see better, there were monks on the ground moaning near fallen debris. She jumped up and ran to see what she could do to help.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:59 AM   #16
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Skadu: The forest fringes

Skadu was bringing in the first of his wildebeast meat when the Earthquake hit. He had made it to the fringes of the forest with his small cart when he felt the first of the tremors begin.Stopping immediately he had bounded out of the forest and into the relative safety of the small plain in front of the city. After they had stopped he was going to go back to his cart and continue on to the city when he noticed the smoke over the Imperial garrison. He stopped to watch and it only got bigger and denser. What could be going on in there. Surely the earthquake couldn't have started a fire so big that the whole imperial garrison was having trouble putting it out.

Then other noises started drifting to him on the breeze. Sounds of battle. The clash of steel on steel, the cries of the fighting, the wounded and the dying. Skadu was tempted to join them but he knew his two arms would not turn the tide of whatever battle was going on in there. He would return to his hut and wait to see what tomorrow might bring. If he was needed then perhaps he would hunt a different game.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:21 AM   #17
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King Goldenmane

The king was fighting with the strength of 5 Tigrans! He was unbelievable … the mighty two handed sword removed heads and severed limbs ... at one point he even used the weapon with only one hand ... as his free hand struck with its claws! It was like the song the bards sang of the old heroes!!

Lord Haki was at his side and protected the king exposed flanks and back. They had managed with the aid of the remaining palace guards to prevent any more Garliks and Shadow demons from entering teh citadelle. But they could not close the gate … and as the fighting continued … the Garliks would win. They had already lost several fighters and no more were showing up to help shore up the defenses.

“If we don’t get help soon … we’ll need to retreat!” Lord Haki gasped as he cleaved a Garlik in half.

“Agree … I've been a FOOL to think this was a normal earthquake!!” The King grunted as he pulled his sword from the crushed chest of a shadow demon.

“Let hope help arrives soon!” Lord Haki prayed.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:57 AM   #18
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Mirri and Kiltgor : Ardalis

Mirri led her reduced Talon of 7 claws through the streets of Ardalis from the Prefecture towards the Citadelle. So far all the had seen was damage from the quake and she was beginning to think she may have been mistaken. They were already three quarters of the way there and the most they had had to do was clobber two looters on the head and leave them for the locals.

Looking ahead she saw one of her scouts come bounding back over the rooftops traveling at speed. He fell in beside her and gave his report on the run.
"You were right Commander. Even now the Citadelle is being attacked by Garlicks and Shadow warriors. They have managed to keep them out but they are sorely pressed."
She acknowledge his report and sent him on ahead again. Turning to Kiltgor she grinned feraly. "Well it looks like we will see if our training pays off my friend."
Raising her voice she yelled "To the Citadelle, CLAWS OUT."

The Talon hit the enemy all down it's flank ripping into it with speed, precision and silence until the last second until their battle roars went up. They had split up into their individual Claws and each had taken a block with Mirri the furthest from the Citadelle. Charging in they had ripped through the Shadows line with ease. They had not been expecting an attack from this quarter and the troops had been relaxed. They had then all swung towards the Citadelle and charged towards the gates, mopping up any survivors as they went and grabbing their wounded. Mirri was the last to enter the gates and they swung shut behind her. Looking for and finding him Mirri walked over to her King.
"King Goldenmane, The Palace guard is reporting for duty sir," she said saluting him.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:07 AM   #19
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The King was resting against his sword as Mirri saluted him. He stood up straighter and saluted back. Then he did something unexpected. He reached around her with both his big arms and hugged her. “You saved us!!” The king yelled. Releasing her after a moment … realizing she was a bite uncomfortable getting a hug from the huge lionman.

Lord Haki was next both of them when the hug was over.

“Mirri what is the situation around the city?” The lord asked.

Kiltgor was there too an answered “Lord Haki … I have the latest intelligence reports. Scouts have report the entire Imperial garrison has been captured or killed. A strange portal has opened up inside the garrison courtyard. It was from this portal that the Garliks have attacked.

“The whole garrison … wiped out?” The king asked a bit in shock.

“Yes sire” Kiltgor stated. “Garlik forces moved quickly to capture the western and eastern gates … and this citadelle. The western gate has collapsed. But the Garliks have captured the rear turrets … which both still stand. The invaders are now spreading out to collect weapons from the citizens. Basically the western part of the city is now in Garliks hands. The isle of Ventulli has also been captured. The Prefecture was still in our control … but the bulk of the defensive force came here to rescue you. The Prefecture will fall quickly when any large force attacks.” Kiltgor explained.

“Mirri sent Claws 8 to 10 out to help citizens get out of the city. Their rally point is the old forest training grounds. I do not know what has become of those units. The eastern part of the city continues to have pockets of resistance … but our forces cannot mass at this time … and the Garlik continue to get stronger as the portal remains open. Our largest force is here … at the citadelle.” Kiltgor explained.

“This is not good news” Lord Haki said shaking his head.

“Tigrans have been in tighter spots … although I can’t think of any tighter ones right now” The King said. “But if we stay true to our principals … Honor and Courage … we will make it through this. Lord Haki, I need recommendations.”

The Pumaman … scratched his head. “Sire … stating the obvious … these gates will not hold long … we must retreat … into the forest. Try to rebuild our army … hopefully the other tigran cities have not been attacked. Perhaps the draconian will come to our aid … or we can find other allies.”

“Haki … have you been sniffing Halocus!! Retreat!?” The king asked in puzzlement.

“Sire … we cannot hold against this force … this citadelle will fall.” Lord Haki said with confidence.

King Goldenmane looked around the long corridors of the glorious Citadelle. The paintings of Kings past hung on the walls and there were paintings of battles fought and victories won. The King shook his head.

“The great Tigran men on these walls would not retreat … they would stand and fight. Holding this castle will give the people hope … they will raise up … and kill the Garliks with their claws!” The king said.

“Sire … the Kings on these walls were not foolish … it takes courage sometimes to back away from a fight you cannot win!” Lord Haki said.

The king thought for a few seconds “Lord Haki take the queen and the bulk of the force out the secret way. Start to rebuild the Tigran Army. I shall remain here and defend the castle. Anyone who wishes to join me … is welcome. That should buy you some time to escape.”

Lord Haki “Sire … the army needs you … their king ...to lead them!”

King Goldenmane shook his head “that was not a request … it was an order” He stated.

Lord Haki wanted to argue more, but the king had made up his mind. “Yes Sire” he turned to Kiltgor and Mirri “What said you … are you going to stay or retreat?” The lord asked.

“Stay” Kiltgor answered.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:31 PM   #20
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Sir Deson Hild

Sir Deson Hild quickly walked towards the first bridge across the river, the Thoba Bridge. Before he got to it … he heard moaning coming from a collapsed sand stone house. He diverted his path and pushed aside some of the broken sand stone wall uncovering a Tigran woman. She had a broken arm that was clear from the way it bent strangely.

“This is going to hurt … but it needs to be done!” He told her. As he grabbed her two arm pieces and aligned the bones. The poor woman groaned in pain as she was close to going into shock. Then soothing cyan blue light emanated from Deson hands to the wound. The woman groan changed to an “Ahhhh” of relief as it was clear she started to feel better.

Deson stood up and continued his journey entering the Plaza Camponi. It was a large plaza full of merchant’s carts. But most of the merchants were not there. They must have headed to their homes to check on damage caused by the earthquake. In the center of the plaza was a statue of the founder of the Tigran nation, Rajah Tigris. At the opposite end of the Plaza was the Thoba Bridge which leads to the Prefecture. The small island/castle structure had smoke rising from it. Through the gates he could see the smaller Garliks and the human sized Shadow Demons. He could sense they were not living things … they were evil spirits … from a different plane of existence than the people of this world. There were a lot of them and soon they would cross the bridge and enter the plaza.

He could not use that bridge to cross the river there were far too many of them. But he saw something that might be a solution to his problems. There, tied up to the dock, on the side of the river was a boat. If he could reach the boat, he could row up stream and through the two guard turret. He would be out of the city.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:20 AM   #21
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Mirri

Mirri Looked at her King, Kiltgor and Lord Haki.
"My Lord my heart tells me to stay, but my brain tells me to go. If Kiltgor and the King are going to stay here then someone must lead our forces and as far as I know I am the last Talon leader left. My King I wish you all the skill of the hunt in your defense of the Citadelle. If you can hold out until we can form our resistance we will join up with you. If not do not despair, we will rescue you. Keep the citizens moral up and be ready to strike back. Farewell King Goldenmane." Mirri bowed to her king, nodded to her friend and then addressed her troops.

" Alright you wet behind the ears, milk in the whiskers, yarn chasing cubs. I need two claws to stay behind to help defend the King. The rest of you will be coming with me, The lord Haki and the Queen to the Jungle Training grounds to start planning our revenge. We will pick up as many citizens and troops as we can on the way. I want volunteers people now."

At least three claws volunteered and Mirri was forced to choose between them. Finally all the Tigrans going were assembled.
"Second claw you are in charge of the Queen. No harm is to come to her do you hear me. Third claw you take the lead with lord Haki. First claw we have the rear. The rest of you surround second and keep your eyes open. Any citizens you see get them to the centre and get them moving. Any troops integrate them into the fold. Lord Haki we are ready,lead on please."
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:56 AM   #22
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Sir Deson Hild

THIS was not how he had expected his day to go, he had been prepared to go to the castle, get taken in, quartered in the diplomatic wing and wait for the king to receive him. Instead here he was freezed up, caught up between untying a row boat to take escape the city as demon spawn had taken over the city, or to fight a bloody battle to the death. Of course he was supposed to be safe from any sort of regime change, but the obvious fact that demons and the Church was archenemies only made for the fact he was not safe from this particular regime change.

He looked dubiously at the boat, trying to decide if it was better to take his chances with the Garliks and Shadow Demons than to trust the boat to carry his armored body. Well he was no coward, if he was, he would not be there, but he was no fool either and the fear of the boat capsizing with him just overcame all logical senses. He cast about, found a building and rushed into it's half-collapsed structure. Moving quickly he pushed aside debris, created a hole big enough for him to fit in and pulled most of the debris back over him. Though it did feel cramped, he could breathe and that was the most important thing of all. Soon Garliks and Shadow Demons came into the plaza, using his magic a smell of blood and death filled the room, he stuck one hand out from under the debris, it was covered in blood and Deson knew that it would seem like he was dead and buried under the rubble.

Two Shadow Demons came inside, followed by five Garliks, they looked around carefully, noticing the stench and the hand sticking out at wrong angles. One of the Garliks came closer and used a spear to stab Deson's hand, the blade impaled his hand so suddenly that he only had time for half a breath and used his magic to slow the blood to his hand as the Garlik withdrew the spear, blood oozed from the wound, but did not flow. The Garlik grunted,

"Dead"

The group turned and left and Deson heaved himself out from under the debris after a few minutes. The smells disappeared, the same cyan light enveloped his hand, closing the wound to leave only a scar behind. He flexed the hand to make certain that it was still work-able and then cautiously exited, the force that had entered was doing a building search for survivors, at the bridge there was four guards, at the gate there was ten. Much better odds, he could see archers making their way to the turrets to climb onto the wall through the stairs leading upwards. He waited a few moments more, slipped from the building and headed for the bridge, as he drew near, weapons leveled at him,

"Halt! You are not to leave this city."

Deson stopped, then took two steps forward, the guards moved into positions to block him. The beautiful thing about the robes were that they could be removed so easily, with his right hand Deson gripped the cloth at his left thigh, with an upwards and over motion he pulled the robe free. As the four guards started in surprise, his left hand already drew his shield free and as the robe fell to the ground he drew his long sword.

"Nobody stops a Knight of the Church when he or she wishes to leave."

He did not issue a battle cry, he offered no other words, he just rushed them. His shield pushing aside three of the spear tips, his sword deflecting the other, moments later four beheaded corpses lay on the ground. Without stopping her rushed the guards at the gate, they cried out in alarm, but his timing was perfect, there was no archers ready, most of them inside the wall climbing the stairs. The group who had entered the plaza was rushing to their comrades' aid, but there were already too far away. His fear of the water behind him lend speed and power to his sword arm and soon he had broken free of the guards, he had not killed all of them, but none of them would be giving chase anytime soon.

And uncharacteristic to his knighthood, he made a tactical withdrawal...in other words...he fled.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:14 AM   #23
milkmaiden38
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Aziaz

Aziaz sat in the horse drawn carriage. She was leaving her family … her home … it had been a hard decision but … it had been the right decision. What had her teacher told her in school … Courage … Tigran’s must have courage to meet the demands placed on them … Maintain honor regardless of personal consequences … Tigran must have the moral and mental strength to do what is right, even in the face of personal adversity. To lose the only family she had … to connect with
the family member she did not know … This was her personal adversity. She needed to do the right thing. THIS WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. She knew it. Hopefully her family would understand it in the end.

As she laid her head back against the cushion of the carriage … a voice entered her head. It was her dead grandfather’s voice!

“Aziaz … I’m proud of you … you have become a fine woman … doom comes to the city … save your sister … fight … fight with all your heart … use the tools I have given you!! And always remember you are capable of great things … believe in yourself!” Her grandfather’s voice spoke in her head.

“Grandfather!” She gasped aloud … but suddenly the carriage started to rock strangely … the driver above yelled “Earthquake … !!” The horses pulling the carriage became spooked and uncontrollable. Aziaz had to do something and quickly. She opened the door and jumped out … tumbling into the street. The carriage bounce down the street ahead of her… the horse turned the corner … too sharply … and the carriage smashing into the corner of the building. The wooden vehicle broke into the pieces. The driver smashing into the building … and fell to the ground, He did not get up.

The earth stopped shaking. She stood back up. “My grandfather … talking to me … did I imagine it?” she thought “and then an earthquake … this is crazy!” She was going to see if the driver of the carriage was ok … when she heard a noise. She glanced down the street. One block away was the St Vito Monastery. The structure was so beautiful with its high spires … but the noise was coming from one of the spires … suddenly a crack appeared in it … the cracking sound grew louder. And then the whole spire fell crashing into the ground of the monastery.

“OH NO!” She screamed … racing toward the monastery as fast as her feet could carry her. The place was in a panic … monks were running back and forth … trying to account for everyone … trying to figure out if anyone had been in the spire. Aziza was just as frantic. She had thrown her old life away to be with her sister … if her sister had been killed in the collapse of the structure … it had all been for nothing! Her grandfather had told her to “save her sister” … she was not sure that voice was real … but that just added to her panic. Dust was everywhere making it hard to see. She ran in the reception hall … her sister was not there … she ran to the music area where the large organ was played … still no one. Aziza saw a dazed monk sitting on the steps ... blood dripping from a cut in his head. She ran to him … “Have you seen Sanura”

The monk nodded “The gardens …” he said weakly.

“Thank you …” She said as she left the crumbling Monastery and went along the side into the gardens. There was Sanura … helping one of the injured monks.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:13 AM   #24
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Aziza and Sanura

Aziza stopped when she saw the half Tigran that was her sister Sanura. She looked more human then Tigran, smaller in build, lighter fur and skin. Her face was flatter, very human-like. There was another crash as another part of a building collapsed, Aziza came out of her preoccupation of her sister's appearance. She ran over to Sanura as she tried to help the fallen monk, he wasn't moving. Aziza stopped quietly asking,

"Sanura?

When the stricken girl looked up she saw a Tigran girl, wonder and concern written on her face. She tentatively put forth her hand towards Sanura. A tear fell down her cheek as she said,

"It's old Tom, the head gardener, I think he is dead...I wanted to help him....."

Aziza could see her sister was in shock, she would have to take matters into her hands,

"I am sorry, but your right Tom is no more, you must come with me, the monastery is no longer safe, the earthquake had made all the buildings and walls unstable. Come with me, I have news of your family but first we have to find a safe place. Come!"

She bent towards Sanura putting her arm around her shoulder, the girl nodded her head as she got up off the ground and let Aziza lead her away. Sanura looked back once mumbling,

"He always treated me well, unlike some of the monks here...I will miss him. Wait I have a few things in my cell, can we go get them?"

Aziza wanted to say yes, but knew it wouldn't be safe, the sooner they got away the better, she shook her head,

"No, I am sorry, maybe later on when all the danger is gone we may get a chance to come back here. For now we must hurry to find a safe place to stay over night, the carriage I came in has been destroyed, we have to find another way to get around."

The girls left the crumbling monastery behind and soon came across the broken carriage, then Aziza saw the horse further down the street, seemingly unhurt, the reins trailing behind him. She looked at Sanura quietly speaking,

"Wait here, if I can catch the horse, we could have a way to get around...it's better then walking."

With that she quickly made her way over to the horse, speaking softly when he looked at her. He shivered once but remained where he was until Aziza was able to take bit in her hands and stroke his fine muzzle. She waved for Sanura to come over as she spoke,

"Easy boy...easy."

Looking behind she saw Sanura coming in close, she too patted his neck speaking softly. Aziza smiled for the first time,

"OK...we now have a horse, you help me get up first and I will then pull you up behind me. I hope you have been on horseback before."

At Sanura's nod, Aziza rearranged the reins and put her foot into her sister's cupped hands and hoisted herself up. Once in position she put her hand out, clasped Sanura's hand and hauled her up and over the horse's rump. It was lucky the horse was mild mannered. Once they were in position, with Sanura's arms around Aziza's waist, a gentle nudge and word and the horse started moving. They turned back towards the city, not knowing where else to go.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:45 AM   #25
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Mirri

Kiltgor grabbed Mirri, giving her a big hug. “You take care of yourself … You cute orc spy!”

There were signs of tears in both their eyes. As Mirri said “You too, Kiltgor! And stop calling me an Orc!”

Kiltgor pulled back and faced her … “I’m not calling you an Orc … I’m calling you a CUTE Orc!”

Mirri smiled … it seemed like she wanted to say something more … something about how she really felt towards Kiltgor … but she did not say anything … she turned back to her units. “Ok ... let’s move out” Mirri ordered and the Tigrans began to move up to the level of the citadelle which ran level with the protecting wall. This was the fourth floor.

Lord Haki was in the lead … the queen had joined them. She was not happy about the king’s decision. She wanted to stay with him. But Lord Haki had pointed out … the shadow demons would use her against the king. Best she escape into the forest. Lord Haki walked over to the torch hanging from the passageway, twisted it, and a secret passageway opened up. This passageway led to the outer wall.

“Nice trick!” one of the tigrans standing near Mirri stated.

Everyone hurried across the wall … when arrows started to fly overhead. “They have seen us!” the Lord whispered as he hurried along. There was a “CLICK CLICK” noise as the shadow demons fired more and more arrows at the large group of Tigrans. Several arrows struck … causing the Tigrans to fall off the wall with a scream. But the bulk of the unit made it to the exit tower … and out of the city. They all ran into the forest.

King Goldenmane

The battering ram would soon make it through the citadelle main door. The King had deployed the claws above the entrance way. All were armed with arrows and spears. They were under orders to continue to fire arrows and kill as many Garliks as possible and then make a retreat over the wall and into the forest. The king would stand alone against the invaders. Well … not exactly alone, Kiltgor would protect his back during the fighting.

“Kiltgor … may I offer one piece of advice” The king said to the young officer as both of them pulled on their armored gloves as the battering ram struck the door with increasing force.

“Certainly Sire” Kiltgor replied, wondering what combat trick or technique the king was about to tell him

“It is my experience” The King said somewhat fatherly “That calling a female …. An Orc … or even a cute Orc is not the most successful way to woo them”

Kiltgor laughed “Sire … Mirri is just a good friend … and although I long for her … she has no interest in me” Kiltgor explained.

The King shook his head “I saw the way she looked at you … the feelings between both of you … she cares for you … deeply. She may not even realize it herself … but she does.” The king said.

Kiltgor said nothing … thinking about their interactions … and some of the things she had said. The tears in her eyes as they said goodbye. Finally He answered the king “well, I’ll need to survive this battle and asked her that question myself!” He said.

Minutes later … the king heard the sound of demon horns and trumpets blowing as the door began to crack. There was also the sound of a steady drum beat. The moment had arrived. The door gave way … and flew open … and the mass of shadow demons strode into the Citadelle.

“Halt” the king ordered and the attacking army stopped. The king’s eyes glared at the foul creatures. “Who speaks for you?” The king asked.

An extra larger Shadow Demon stepped forward. “I’m the leader … you may call me Ludite”

“Ludite … you and your race are tailess! Your little trick … will not be able to sustain your victory … the tigrans will reclaim this city … they will rise up and kill every last one of you … it is only a matter of time!!” The king stated in confidence.

The shadow demon saluted the King. “Brave words … from one who is about to die!”

“My death … will serve as a rallying cry for the Tigran’s … Kill me … and the Tigran’s grow stronger!!” The king said

The shadow demon thought for a second “You may be right … but you are a fool to tell me. We shall capture you … and use you to control the people of Ardalis!”

“NEVER” The king screamed

“The imaginative and entertaining ways … we can force you to do as we request … will shock you!” The demon laughed. Then it shouted “Nets!”

As nets were thrown at the King and Kiltgor.

“ATTACK” The king ordered as both him and Kiltgor slice the nets in half with their swords. Arrows from the second floor over hanging balcony fired into the front ranks of the demons. The battle was joined as the demons attacked the two lone fighters. The battle was epic … for two hours … they fought ... then the claws finally ran out of arrows and spears.

The king shouted at them to leave. But none did. They pulled out swords and plunged into the fight. The floor was thick with the dead Demons and Garliks. But after a while there were dead tigrans too. Then there was only Kiltgor and the King remaining. Kiltgor had cuts across both his legs and his left arm no longer functioned. He had been fighting with his right hand only. The King had a broken collar bone and a spear stuck out of his right leg.

The shadow demons and Garliks carefully entered the citadelle, fear written across their bug like faces.

Kiltgor shouted to the king as they continued to fight … back to back … “See we have WON ... the enemy fears us! They come here to meet their doom!”

More nets were thrown … again they were cut down. Ludite, himself, had attacked the king in frustration … only to be cut down …the king removed his head … in a powerful blow and flung it atop the overhead chandelier.

"I think he just lost his mind" The king joked.

It was at midnight … when Kiltgor was stabbed through the heart … his last words “I guess I shall never know Mirri's true feeling!!” Kiltgor gasped. “Tell her I love her” He paused for one second … his life leaving him “It has been my honor to fight besides you!” He told the king … Kiltgor lunged forward driving the blade all the way through his body … but this allow him to sink his teeth into the neck of the attacking shadow demon … killing the bug that had killed him!

Minutes later without cover from behind, King Leo Goldenmane fell. Knocked on the head and covered in nets. The last thing the king saw was Ludite’s head staring down at him from the chandelier. Before the shadow demons knocked him out and dragged him off to the dungeon.
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