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> Astari Guard- The Original., The Story That Started It All
Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:03 PM
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I decided that I am going to bring over almost all of my stories from the other forum to this one.

So I now present to you, the story that started it all!!!

Whether I continue on or just do a total revision of it has yet to be decided. *shrugs* oh well!
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:04 PM
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Chapter 1: The new Recruit

"Tazryl, wake up! someone is here to see you," A soft voice came from outside the door. The early sunlight beamed inside from the window. The room was mostly bare and empty. a pile of worn and old armor was lying in the corner next to the bed. In the bed was a young male Astari about the age of 20.

"I wont say it again, so you better get out here!" The soft voice had now become angry.

"What is it now," Tazryl said with a half yawn. He sat up and looked in a mirror. His appearance was almost human but with some elfish features. His father was a night elf, or Astari, and his mother was a human. for the most part he looked like an average human male. however he inherited his father’s dexterity and agility allowing him to travel with ease in the dense Darkwoods.

"You are being summoned to the Astari Guard Shelter!" the voice came once more. "the courier just arrived 10 or 20 minutes ago!"

New found energy surged through him, he quickly put on some clean pants and a tunic. He dashed out of the room knocking over a Astari woman who had been calling for him. Tazryl could hear a few curses coming from under her breath. Under normal circumstances he would have helped her up and plea for her forgiveness, but it wasn’t every day you got a summon to the Astari Guard Shelter.

The Astari Guard was an elite group of warriors, mages and artisan that helped supply and protected the Darkwoods from danger.

"You must be Tazryl" The man said at a table in the tavern. Tazryl had been staying at an Inn in one of the Astari towns called Dunnmarrow. The courier was wearing a run tunic with a chain mail vest under it. A bag full of mail was resting on his left side on the floor. He had dark skin and black hair, "I have a letter from Lord Xamezar, wishing to see you in person."

"Thank you, and sorry for coming so late. I was on a hunt for a few days and just returned to town." Tazryl sighed and called a waitress over and then said, "Put his order's on my tab, please."

"That was mighty kind of you, Well here is your letter and I must be off after I have some delicious venison!" the courier said as he called the waitress over as Tazryl moved to a new table. After he carefully opened the scroll he read its contents.

Greeting's Tazryl,

we have been watching you for the past few years now. We have seen you fight and help others. We hope you will accept my invitation to come to the Astari Guard Shelter to visit me, so that we could discuss this more in person.. Because of the times we live in, Talazar could get to this before it reaches you I will not give the directions needed to get to the shelter. Speak to the courier and he will tell you how to find us!

Sincerely Yours,

Lord Xamezar.

Tazryl read the letter over in his head several times.. Ever since he was a little boy in Whisperdale he dreamt of becoming an Astari Guard. No honor was greater than that.

After was finished with the letter he rolled the scroll back up and placing it carefully on the table in disbelief. After a few minutes of sitting there in silence he got up and whispered to the courier."How do you get to the Astari Guard Shelter?"

"Go to Darkfell and cross the river, travel south until you find the giant tree, whisper ‘Ot onack ovry unto Astari oarday.’ Two guards will come and take you the rest of the way" he whispered back, and then added "don’t tell anyone where its located, such acts will mark you as a traitor to the Astari race." He winked and then finished his meal.

Tazryl left the inn, the sun was bright and laughter was everywhere, Some guards were telling jokes what were highly offensive. The Town of Dunmarrow was one of the greatest Astari cities. Its docks were full of ships preparing for the voyage across the sea to do trading in far off lands.

Tazryl slowly walked from store to store buying supplies he would need to survive. While at the blacksmith he had his armor and weapon repaired so they were ready for battle.

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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:04 PM
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Chapter 2: The Journey



It was mid afternoon by the time Tazryl had finished with his shopping. He gazed around the city, the wind blew so gently making the leaves on the ground dance in the air. Birds chirped while squirrels ran around and jumping from tree limb to the next. It was a marvelous performance.

"At last you have arrived!" a small smile came across Tazryl's face, a brown hawk soared in the sky and finally resting on his outstretched arm. "So what has taken you so long Talon?" he finally asked.

Tazryl reached out with his mind and found his answer. Some Astari are blessed with a talent that can communicate with animals with there minds if the friendship between them is strong enough. "Still that bad?" frustrated that his horse's recovery was going slow, they were caught in-between a deadly fight between some renegade Orcs and elves. Tazryl got out fine, however his horse, Whitefire wasn’t so lucky. A healer was near by gathering wild ingredients and agreed to take Whitefire to her home to help with her wounds.

"Thanks Talon, here is something for your trouble old friend," Tazryl picked up some food and put his hand out revealing small bits of meat, the hawk eyed it carefully and then gobbled it up.

Tazryl watched Talon fly away into the distance, the sun set before he returned to the inn. He opened the old wooden door to his room and found a strange small red man trashing his room. His clothing was everywhere and his books scattered. The tall mirror was shattered into tiny pieces. He figured it was a imp, reports from across the land about them returning to the lands. "stupid humans! Stupid elves! And even stupider orcs! Think they can get rid of us? HAHAHA! I say!" it kept saying over again with a screechy voice, it wasn’t until Tazryl grabbed it by the neck did it notice him, "Oh its a stupid half-breed!" with this insult Tazryl threw him out of the room with a thud. The small imp ran out of the Inn in a hurry while laughing leaving Tazryl with the work of cleaning up.

By the time he was done it was past midnight, tired and frustrated he went under the olive green covers and blew the lamp out leaving Tazryl in a dark abyss as he waited for sleep to take him.

Tazryl woke up early the next morning, the sun was just rising when he got up, the sky had a wonderful red color to it. The air had a crisp clean taste to it and the birds chirped like a choir trying to do there best for some unknown audience.

Slipping out of his room while everyone else slept peacefully. He then went down the hallway listening to each noise the floorboards made, each one sounding a lot louder then they normally do. It was as if someone wanted him to disturb everyone’s slumber.

After finally arriving at the owners room he quietly knocked to hear a scream of surprise. Noises of moving papers was heard and then the door creaked open letting a small amount of light to escape and a voice came, "What is it! Do you know what time it is!" an old woman’s voice came.

"Sorry to bother you in the early morning, but I wish to pay for my stay. I believe we agreed to 100 gold pieces?" Tazryl whispered, there was a pause and the door quickly opened leaving Tazryl blind to the bright light.

"Why didn’t you say it dealt with money!" The old women was wearing a azure robe with a matching nightcap, "yes I believe it was, so where is my payment?"

Tazryl had stayed at the inn several times over the years, each time he found her more greedy, "right here," Tazryl pulled out a leather bag and put his hand out to pour its contents out. Small gold pieces fell out, "I believe that should cover it with an extra tip,"

Tazryl left the old lady with a happy expression on her face. Tazryl wanted to get a early start on his week long adventure. He left the town and went into the forest ignoring the cobble stone path. Tazryl disliked going along the paths, it seemed to easy. Tazryl enjoyed having a challenging path.

Tazryl loved the forest, being with the animals and untamed land. He loved to follow the animals until they noticed he was there. He also enjoyed leaping from one tree to the next. It was a quick way to travel, however it would be difficult with a heavy load. So Tazryl ran dodging tree’s and roots with amazing speed.

The days were similar to each, he would run until noon and then have some lunch and likewise for dinner. It wasn’t until the fifth night on his journey did anything real exciting happen.

The sun had just set and Tazryl made camp, he watched and listened to the world around him. He saw some more squirrels running around, the birds chirped there last melody of the day. The moon began to rise into the sky, and the hooting of owls filled the air. Soon sleep over came him.

Hours later the rustling of the bushes woken Tazryl up. At first he figured it was just a small animal trying to find food. He tried to go to sleep but the bushes became more wild. He went to get his sword and check it out, and then for a moment everything was still, the hooting of owls stopped and it felt as if time stood still as a powerful roar came from the darkness.

Silence returned once again and a few moments later another roar came from the abyss. Stepping back from the sound of the roar a werewolf jumped out. They stood there countless minutes listening to the sounds of the forest. Scared to death, Tazryl ran into the Darkwoods hoping against all hope to be able to out run it. Deeper and deeper he went with the werewolf close behind. Tazryl had heard of stories of a cursed island to the north where werewolves lived. He also heard of a town that's villagers turned to werewolves on some nights.

After a half-hour of running away he discovered he was no longer chasing him. Tazryl went back to his camp discovering it was empty and all that was missing was his food. An hour past, but he was to jumpy to sleep.

Then out of nowhere the bushes started moving once more. This time Tazryl was ready. Wearing his chain mail armor with plate leggings a small steel shield, a metal helm and his sword buckled to his side. Placing his leather gauntlets on he unsheathed his sword.

The werewolf must have realized he was being challenged for it jumped out and started attacking with fast blows. Tazryl did the best he could to defend and attack the beast, but the werewolf was clearly more advanced then him by far. he hadn’t noticed the werewolf’s features before, but with a second look Tazryl saw 2 powerful hind legs, sharp claws and a broad body.

Tazryl's strength was weakening with each slash of the werewolf's claws. Soon it had slashed the chain mail he was wearing and had done a number on his shield. Soon the werewolf slashed and threw Tazryl all over the place.

After a few minutes he finally got up on his feet, badly wounded he staggered back trying to raise his sword up in defense. However the werewolf disapproved of his actions and head butted him in the stomach knocking Tazryl out, leaving the werewolf to do what he pleased.
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:04 PM
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Chapter 3: The Town of Darkfell.


Tazryl was in an never ending piece. It was peaceful and relaxing, all worries and anger had disapeared. It was if the gods themselfs were making sure he was in complete peace. If only such times could last forever...

Tazryl was in complete pain when he finally woke up. Every muscle in his body throbbed with pain. Moving an inch felt like an eternity of pain, so he just laid there in an unfamiliar room.

"Oh such a poor thing..." a soft, sweet voice said suddenly, startled Tazryl jumped because he was under the impression he was alone. This caused more pain then he ever thought was possible.

"Rest you poor thing," her voice was sad and worried, "You are very lucky, Oh i know it doesnt seem like it now" She paused for a moment and then came into Tazryl's line of sight. she was beautiful, she stood about 6 feet tall and had long blonde hair, amazing blue eyes. "but its true, most dont survive his attacks most just die."

Realizing he could speak, tazryl said softly "Was that really a werewolf that attacked me? or was it the night playing tricks?" Tazryl soon realized talking to much could result in some minor pain so he stoped speaking.

"yes it was, he has been terrorizing the area. It has forced all trades to stop, some are so scared they have put there life savings to hire someone from the Astari Guard to escort them places." her voice was worried and scared but she continued, "Farmers have lost cattle thanks to him. The worst part of it is that its rumored that he is a human under it all"

This scared Tazryl, how could a man do so much evil. His mind was flooded with memories of the attack and stories of Talazar who was once human himself, but now is a cruel and mean demon.

There was a long silence until the women broke the ice, "So what is your name young one? mine is Alyssa" she said with a friendly voice. Tazryl noticed the sudden change in her tone. For some reason he never noticed how some people could be serious one second and be friendly another.


"My name is Tazryl of Whisperdale," Tazryl finaly said after a moments pause and then asked while looking around trying not to strain his body to much for the pain was strong, "Where am I Alyssa?"

"You are in Darkfell, you were brought in 3 days ago by a courier who seemed worried and was eager to leave..." she said as if she knew that was the next thing Tazryl was going to say. "Darkfell doesn't have any proper healers, in fact I am the only one at the moment and im just an apprentice." she sighed and looked away, "shoot! I was supposed to feed you this elixer, it only arived only a hour before you were awoken," she went over to a old table, Tazryl could just barely see her, "Open wide!" Tazryl did what he was told and swallowed. It was bitter with a sweet after taste.

Tazryl's muscles became relaxed for a minute and then tensed. A shock of pain went through him but then it stopped. It was amazing, he was in so much pain and now it was just minor aches and soars.

"Thanks, I feel alot better." Tazryl got up and strechted and looked around. The room was small and cluttered with books and scrolls. a desk was burried under it, "nice place," Tazryl smiled and Alyssa grinned. "When will I beable to leave?" her grin turned into a frown almost immediatly.

"You need to stay here for a week at best," she sighed and then looked out a window, "You were attacked by a werewolf, we dont know exactly what will happen to you, if you yourself will become on or suffer mild side affects that can be cured" a tear rolled down her cheek and then said, "four men have been transformed, each time they were killed..." her tear had now become sobs, tears flooded down her cheeks. "One of those men were my husband, he told me he would just be out choping wood for a few hours..."

"Please dont continue," Tazryl interupted, "I wish for you not to relive your painful memories" Tazryl couldnt bare to see her in pain...
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:05 PM
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Chapter 4: The Cursed.


The next few days Tazryl spent his time talking to Alyssa and exploring the small town of Darkfell. The pain was becoming non exsistant. He also spent hours telling the children of stories he had heard and some of his own experience. The children laughed and shivered. However, he was not ready to share what happened the night he was attacked.

Tazryl felt at home in Darkfell, it was very different from home, but he felt at piece. Whisperdale had a more forest feel to it, everywhere were trees and it was shady. However, Darkfell had vines growing on the walls and dirt roads lead everywhere.

On one day a man in black armor came into town. He had untidy black hair and brown eyes, his glare seemed to pierce through you. It was hard to believe he could be considered a man. Tazryl had the missfortune of bumping into him by accedent, however instead of getting angry like everyone thought, he looked into Tazryl's eyes and laughed, this made shivers run down his spine.

Tazryl asked Alyssa about him as he watched him go to the tavern. From what she knew his name was Ganondorf. He stopped in every once and awhile to sell stuff and restock on supplies. They would rather bannish him from the town, however he was the biggest supplier. Alyssa also revealed that he spent hours in the bank crafting arrows and other various items and selling them well beyond there worth. However the gaurds and men needed arrows to hunt. he was a cruel man, but under it all Tazryl could feel there was some love.

"I hear you got attacked by a werewolf," Ganondorf said out of the blue, "Is it true?" Ganondorf asked and looked at Tazryl with a evil grin.

"You can say something like that," Tazryl looked away and tipped the waitress as she brought him another ale. Tazryl didn't want to speak to the man, only evil would come from it. However Ganondorf insisted on talking.

"Was it painful? Did you fight back? or did you let him beat the **** out of you?" Ganondorf then laughed and took a swig from his beer.

"I fought it off! The werewolf didn't have a chance." Tazryl was hoping this statement would make the man back down, however the responce Tazryl got was completely different.

"Not from my point of view, you were barely alive when I left you..." Ganondorf took along drink from his beer and then smiled with a evil glare.

"You are the werewolf!" Tazryl shouted so the whole place could hear, this sent everyone running out as fast as they could except for Ganondorf and Tazryl who just sat there in the chaos.

"Why yes, yes I am!" Ganondorf howeled with laughter, he was obviously drunk. "but can you please keep quiet? I wouldn't want to disturb any children"

"My armor is destroyed because of you! I lost a weeks worth of travel! You killed those innocent people!" Tazryl listed off several other things and Ganondorf just smirked.

They sat in silence for a several moments staring in each others eyes. Tazryl was determined to stare him down, to prove he was strong. However, Ganondorf just kept staring into Tazryl's eyes, until he finaly spoke.

"If you call those bastards innocent then yes I killed them!" Ganondorf forcefuly said, " I come from a town on a island far north, My people are doomed to stay werewolves forever. The lycnthropy potion, or whatever the damned thing is, wont work on us." he paused for a moment and then continued "Lotor abandoned us and the Astari Kingdom wont even send supplies to us. The only contact we have with the outside world is if brave warriors and mages stop by."

"That doesn't give you the right to kill them!" Tazryl spat at him and clutched his sword hilt incase he attacked, "What has happend to you and your people is..."

"Thats not even the real reason why I attacked them, not even close." A few years ago, I was at my home fighting with the permantent werewolves on the island. When several Night Elves came and attacked us!" for the first time since Tazryl met Ganondorf, tears were building up in his eyes, Tazryl couldn't help but feel sorry for him. "They slain many people, if I hadn't mastered transforming we would have been doomed. However I wasn't able to save the one person I loved!" whiping the tears from his eyes he pressed on with his story, "I followed the survivers back to this damned town. and vowed I would take down those who attacked us"

Tazryl sat there stunned, at first he thought he was killing everyone and everything in his path but now he learned that it was all preplanned and for a reason. "What... what about me though?"

"You were a mistake, it wasn't until i looked closer did it occure to me that I had the wrong person." Ganondorf took out a sack of gold and then placed it on the table they had been sitting at, "This is more then enough to pay for new armor and a better weapon. As for this town, I will leave it be if you give them a message 'Don't ever attack my people again and if they do everyone dies'" a small smile flickered on Ganondorfs face. he soon got up and placed a nice tip on the table and left the tavern.

Tazryl ran the events over and over in his head. The only thing he could come out of it was that he wasn't all evil, that he could love and be friendly. A small smile came across his face, never before had he stared down such an opponent. He celebrated that night and got drunk after buying proper armor. The next day Tazryl was hungover so he spent the whole day cursing to himself while he laid in bed wishing it would all go away.

The next day he felt better, he was also cleared of not being affected by Ganondorf's attack. It was also his last day in Darkfell before he was to leave to the Astari Guard HQ. So he spent the day gathering some food to last him a day or so and even bought a bow and arrows. Tazryl had never really trained with a bow, however he felt it was needed. So after dinner that night he went into the woods and practiced shooting into an old rotting log. He also brought his new sword and fought some shamblers, a swamp monster with webed hands and green eyes that fed on the shamble weed at the swamp.

Satisfied with his new weapons and improved skill he went back to town with a smile on his face, for he had found a wereskin knife on the shambler he had killed.

It was as if everything was going his way... for now atleast.
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:05 PM
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Chapter 5: The Attack.


The last day in Tazryl's stay in Darkfell was a rainy one. The roads and paths had become muddy. The rain pounded on the roofs of the houses non stop and soon thunder and lightning could be seen and heard shattering the silence. Tazryl spent most of the day examining the Wereskin knife he had found, he only heard of these in stories and believed them to not exsist, but here it laid in the palms of his hands, it had a smooth brown handle with a razor sharp blade with a slight curve to it. He wondered what he would skin with it.

After examining the knife for a hour he looked around, he was sitting in a corner of the tavern. it was unusualy quiet, normaly it was full of conversation and laughter but today the only sounds were thunder and the pounding rain. Everyone who was there just stared into there food or beverage, and the children just stared out into the rain thinking of the times they ran around free.

Bored and tired Tazryl got up and walked around, ever since he was a kid he could never sit still for long periods of times, he had to do something and walking around was the only thing. back and forth he paced in the tavern. He would have kept going if the warning horns didn't go off.

This sent everyone into chaos and panic. Mothers were gathering there children who were looking around for them. The warriors and archers were gathering there weapons and armor, a few mages were gathering there runes and scrolls. Alyssa quickly began to make healing potions and preparing to bandage the wounded.

The Guard Captain was bursted into the tavern and began ordering people around. Telling certin men to gaurd the entrance's to the town. He ordered the mages to beable to cast there strongest spells at a moments notice and he told Alyssa to start training others to assist her. Next he ordered anyone who can not fight due to being to young old or having children to go to the underground basement for safety in a flash.

"Everyone listen up!" the Captain said, he wore a magnificent red platemail and steel plate leggings and a polished steel helm. His sword was buckled to his side along with a poignared as a secondary weapon, "The Scouts have told us that Talazar is marching several hundred monsters towards our gates! Whether they are all for Darkfell is uncertin at this time, however we must be prepared to defend our town. I have sent word the the Astari Guard to send for backup for Darkfell and the towns around us. So until they arive fight them off like beasts!"

Tazryl geared up in preperation for the attack. Once again fate has seemed to stop him from going to the Astari Guard.
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:06 PM
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Posted - October 18 2006 : 6:34:40 PM
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Chapter 6: The Tears and the fall of Darkfell


Tazryl walked through the the crowed to see if there was anyone one in need. Tazryl had never been through an attack by Talazar or anyone else. However he was determined to help as many people get to safety as possible.

Tazryl soon came across a teenage boy in basic armor. He had a scared face, obviously he was still training to become a warrior, yet to old to be sent to the basement with his family. Tears were rolling down his eyes.

"Are you alright?" Tazryl asked the boy, he must have been suprised by Tazryl's question because he jumped and looked around, "This is your first real experience in battle isn't it." The boy looked at Tazryl and nodded. the boy tried to whipe the tears away but only more replaced them. "Fear not, you should be proud! You are defending your family and home from Talazar's army. Fight with honor and fight your hardest, and if you seem you are over taken, run towards someone who needs an opponent and im sure they will cut him down." Tazryl put his hand on the boy shoulder and this seemed to calm him down.

Tazryl left him with out any other words. for the next few hours he spent the time sharpening his sword and making sure his bow was sturdy. He buckled his quiver to his back after filling it with a bundle of arrows. After that he observed the other people in how they prepared for battle, one man was duel weilding with 2 sabres and going through some motions. He then looked at a group of mages who were placing runes in their wands and staffs and some read from scrolls. Next he observed some archers who had put up some targets on the far side of the tavern and practiced aiming and switching from bow to melee.

Tazryl then got up and walked outside, the rain still pounded on the roofs and the ground. The rain distorted his vision, but he could still make out a long line of people going into the basement for protection. Tazryl would have passed the entrance with out noticing it. It was just a trapdoor in one of the corners of the town, the door was made of greaterheart wood, strong magical wood that is hard to come by. the door would be then covered with dirt to further hide it.

Tazryl soon returned to the inn and figured he would have one last meal before the battle. He choose to get beefsteak, mashed potatoes, carrots and other stuff. he then ate his way through the food and then saw a picture on the plate, it was of a young astari boy getting his first sword. Tazryl looked at it for awhile and would have spent hours gazing at it, but the Captain returned to the Tavern again.

"Our scouts have given me word that the once large group has split into three. Hopefuly our messenger has gotten to Gulley to deliver the message that they must leave. There is still no word or sign of the Astari Guard." The captain shouted at the crowed of people prepared to fight. He paused for a moment and then said one last thing, "Good luck out there, defend your families and home! FOR THE DARKWOODS!" everyone including Tazryl shouted the phrase back at the captain.

Another hour passed until the roaring of demons and the marching of soldiers became sounds of doom in the Tavern. The captain started organizing everytone. Half of the group was sent to the west side, and the other to the north. The east was boardered by a huge river and the south was boardered by the ocean.

Tazryl was sent to the north part and saw the army, Talazarian soldiers, Reavers, Infiltrators, Warriors and shadow priest's could easily be seen. They wore black and gold armor, long jagged swords, the priest's wore black robes and a gray staff with rubies at the top. They all looked the same but with different bodies, priests were skinning but strong, Reavers and Soldiers were equiped with armor and had black faces. And the Infiltrators had 2 swords with light armor.

Big red demons with horns and giant wings were there. Giant gray Horned devils also were in the crowed. Many other demons and monsters could be found, none Tazryl reconized.

The Captain ordered anyone with a bow to get ready to fire, several men and women got theres out and anchored a arrow. Closer and closer the army got, and more restless they became the captain began to count down, on one they were to release the arrow..

5...

The monsteres roared...

4...

The Talazarian warriors began to hit there axes on there shields...

3...

The army began to walk faster...

2...

The rain started pouring harder then ever...

1!

a few hundred arrows were shot and it only managed to kill a hundred or so. All hell broke loose. Tazryl dodged and slashed at a Warrior, killing it with ease. Dodging and blocking his enemies and he began to kill more. Soon he ran out of warriors to fight with so he got his bow out and started shooting a demon along with a few others. Soon enough it fell to the ground. Soon lightning crashed into the crowed killing several Reavers and a priests. The dead bodies began to pile up, most of them were friends and allies.

The battle continued for hours, for awhile they were winning, but two huge black demons showed up. Powerful they were, arrows didnt seem to affect them, lighting attacks only seemed to stop them for a moment. mages tried to ensnare him but to no avail. one of them roared with pain, "We are Knights of Talazar! We may have fallen but Lord Talazar shall win!"

Soon the north gate was full of bodies and the fighting stopped. They quickly raced through the town trying not to slip in the mud. Some however did and died on there own weapons. Tazryl was got lucky and only recieved a slash in his right arm doing nothing serious.

When they finaly got to the east gate they discovered 3 ships with black sails had landed and 2 more followed. The east side's defences were destroyed. The Captain ordered archers to try and kill as many as they can from the ships while the mages were ordered to destroy the 2 ships. However both attempts failed.

Tazryl was fighting off a Reaver when it happened. "You fools! you shall die for killing so many of my army!" A loud roar echoed through the town. Soon hundreds of lightning bolts came crashing down on the army, it killed some demons and Talazarian warriors but mostly friends and Allies.

The Captain was one of those killed by the powerful attack. He fell to the ground and the rain caused the blood to flow everywhere. They had no choice, Darkfell has been taken over.

The Second in command began shouting to leave Darkfell and get out. And so it was done, what remained of Darkfells small army began to fled the town. Tazryl couldn't leave the people locked in the basement. Running fast to try and get them he uncovered the door and opened it. It was cold down there and creepy, cobwebs were everywhere and a cave rat ran across the floor. The braziers were lit so everything could be seen... However no one was there.

He looked around and saw old stone walls that were crumbling, mold was growing all over. Then he saw it, a small passage way lead out. He figured where ever they were they were going to be safe and that it was the plan all along.

Tazryl quickly got out and snuck around the Talazarian army and made it safely out. He traveled for 10 minutes to the west and there was the whole town, or what was left of it. Tears were running down there eyes. There lives there homes were gone. He also discovered that the young boy he talked to hours earlier died.

The rain stoped and the sky became clear, the change from rain and thunder to clear sky disgusted him

The town had no choice but to go to Lord Verzryl's lodge to seek shelter for the rest of the night and get the wounded healed and bandaged.

Within the next few days Darkfell became a camp for Talazar's army. Guards were placed at all entrances, scouts were sent out and they began repairing the ships....

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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:07 PM
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Chapter 7: The Lodge of Vezryl


The journey to Lord Vezryl's lodge went smooth. Nothing bothered them and they were grateful for it. Even though the lodge was only a day away it seemed like forever, yet the events leading up to this were still fresh in everyones memories. Some were determined to forget them, however they found it about as easy as erasing words from engraved stone. Some where still crying and others were just numb. On most times Tazryl would enjoy the scenery, try and communicate with the animals with his ability. However his mind was lost within the chaos that happened only a few hours ago. His mind ran the events over and over in a never ending cycle.

When they finally arived at the Lodge they were greeted by the children of Darkfell, the tunnel Tazryl had found must have lead to the lodge. Then the wives came out and most of them broke into tears after searching desperatly in the crowed to find there husband and loved ones. The elderly who couldn't fight all wore expressions of great sorrow. The children seemed oblivious to it all. They were running around playing games. Some chased a cat around. Tazryl was thankful for it, there was no reason he could come up with that they should remember these events.

"So... it is true," A man stepped outside the lodge, he wore a purple shirt and pants to match, his hat was also purple. He had dark skin and his face was full of sorrow and fear, "Come in, you must all be tired. You are welcomed to stay at my lodge until you are ready to go."

The lodge was huge and beautiful. It was 2 stories high. It was even more elagent inside. Apple pie could be smelled from every corner of the lodge. The walls were full of magnificent paintings of warriors fighting off hordes of monsters and mages.

Tazryl couldn't help but look around so he wandered off from the group. For the first 10 minutes he found only spare bedrooms and rooms to weave and spin cotton and string. Another room was full of large and small hides on the walls, he figured this was for leatherworking. He eventualy found the kitchen where a maids and cooks were preparing a large dinner The smell was amazing, roasted pig, fresh pastries, duck beefsteak and venison. lettuce salad was also being prepared with cut carrots tomatoes and other vegetables.

"Hey you can't be in here!" a man came racing at him with a large knife and waving it in a threatening way. Tazryl almost laughed but held it in and just left.

"Ahh, there you are!" Lord Vezryl came towards him and looked at what he was wearing. Tazryl was still wearing his armor he wore from the battle, it had blood stains and dents all over. "Here take these clothing and come to the dinning hall to eat!" Tazryl was trying to seem happy, but was failing. He still wore the sad and fearful face and his voice was kind of shakey. 'You can have this room while you stay here" He opened a door to his right. Tazryl said his thanks and went to dress.

Tazryl put on the clothing he was given, a soft green tunic with amazing designs on it, green pants that was just right for him. he then placed his armor and weapons in a pile next to the bed and went to the dinning hall which took him several minutes. The dining room was yet the largest room in the place. 4 long tables ran down the hall and there was still plenty of room to walk around comfortably. Several torches and braziers were in the corners and the walls that lit the place. A second later he noticed the food that were on the tables with amazing decorated plates with sparkling silverware.

"We have lost a great city today, nothing at the moment can be done about it. So i beg of you, feast tonight and stay for as long as you need before you are ready to travel to the other great cities of Darkwoods and start your life again." Vezryl said trying to sound supportive.

That night everyone feasted, some were eating in tears and others with sad faces. They all ate until everyone was full and they all went to there beds for the night. The next few days were the same, some began to leave after gathering supplies for their journey. However most just wanted to stay in peace there for as long as they could. As for Tazryl, he sent Talon to search for any large numbers of warriors and mages traveling together to give them a letter. telling them about the attack and how they lost and where everyone was staying. and so... Tazryl waited
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:07 PM
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Chapter 8: Lord Xamezar and the Astari Guard.

The next few days Tazryl was rather silent, only speaking when he had to. The battle had affected him more then he had ever thought. He had not seen so many people die, the loud booming voice of Talazar himself. The look in the Talazarian soldier's eyes and the relentless of the attack and he will never forget the tears and sad faces of the people of Darkfell.

"Tazryl? Are you in here?" a young maid knocked on the door, her voice was calming, it seemed to ease his pain. Tazryl sat in silence savoring the sound of her voice hoping it would erase the memories of the battle of Darkfell. After that failed he finaly found his voice.

"What is it you want?" Tazryl said as nicely as possible. He sat there for a minute and then called out "Are you still there?" he got up and went to the door and opened it, to his suprise a tall man with light gray skin stood on the other side of the door. He wore a crimson plates that sparkled in the sun, wore a helm with the Astari Symbol, a moon with stars. In the old language Astari means Night Elf. His blade was at his side, it had a big ruby on the hilt. Behind him several other people were behind him, some were in leather armor with a bow and quiver while the others had similar armor with various types of weapons.

"Greetings Tazryl, my name is Lord Xamezar. I was first told that you were attacked by a werewolf and needed to stay in Darkfell for longer then expected. Then there was the dreadful attack on Darkfell, obvious you couldnt just abandon them so you stayed and fought. From what I hear you fought with great strength and bravery." Xamezar's voice was deep and confident, "We were late arriving to aid you in the attack but we discovered the ships on the way... So we destroyed 5 out of 8. We were in much larger numbers but the 5 ships were full of monsters and soldiers and it cut us down in size by a great margin," he sighed and looked around at the room and discovered the damaged armor, "So this must be the armor you fought in" He examined it and then put it back. Now speaking to the others he told them to see if Vezryl has any food to spare.

"So, in the letter you sent me you wanted us to speak in private, did you not?" Tazryl asked after a moment of silence, "You wouldn't give much more detail because you feared of someone intercepting the message? which means you had an idea Talazar was going to attack"

"Hmm you are clever. Yes, our informents told us Talazar might be attacking several locations, however they said it would be months before they did. We were wrong." He sighed and looked out a window and stared at a bird that was chirping happily in the morning sunlight "We have been watching you Tazryl and you have demenstrated your skills in fighting are good, you are clever, and above all you will go to great lengths to protect people you care about and anyone else for that matter. You have shown this again in the past week by defending Darkfell as you did." Xamezar went outside the room and to a chest that Tazryl hadn't noticed, he picked it up and gave it to Tazryl. Almost having his knees cave in from the pressure, he managed to get to the bed. Slowly he opened the chest and discovered a sword with a saphire on the hilt and a sheath to match it. a crimson red plate and a silver helm with the Astari symbol, next to it were platemail leggings. He lifted it up and found it amazingly light yet sturdy and strong. Besides the armor and sword some other cloth clothing was in there.

"This is... amazing!" Tazryl unsheathed his new sword and it was felt light. he moved away and went through some standard moves and was simply amazed. "Thank you so much!"

"That armor is made of Talenite, a powerful and strong ore. Our miners take long time to get enough ore to make that. Then our smelters had to be very careful with it and try not to ruin it. Then our forgers spent months working on it." Its a long process but the blade will never break or become dull. That armor is strong and will give great protection, yet it is light enough to beable to move with deadly speed." He paused for a moment gazing at the armor and hten said, "Of course you will have to pass some tests and go through some training."

"I will make you proud, when do we leave for the Astari Guard Shelter?" Tazryl asked, at times Tazryl can be patient and then he could be impatient all the same.

"Soon..." Xamezar said with a smile. For the rest of the day Xamezar told Tazryl what kind of training he would get, like knowing how to make certin potions and cures. Being able to use simple spells to heal or do other easy tasks. To learn about the lands history and secrets... and many more. he would then have to prove himself he could survive in the wild alone for a week. After dinner that night Tazryl went back to his room and lit a lamp, and looked at his new armor and weapon.

That night, the pain and sorrow he had been feeling for the past few days finaly were gone. He made a vow, that once he was finaly apart of the Astari Guard he would rid the Darkwoods of Talazar's forces.
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:08 PM
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Chapter 9: The Start of training.


The next day Tazryl put on his new armor and buckled his sword on. It was early in the morning, only a few maids and servants were up preparing for the day. As Tazryl exited his room he could see soft beams of light shining through the windows.

Tazryl stalked up and down the hall ways for awhile, waiting for breakfast. A few hours later Lord Vezryl woke up and entered the kitchen after passing Tazryl, who was hidden in the shadows. Soon Lord Vezryl left the kitchen with some food that Tazryl didn't see.

"Hello Tazryl, How is your morning?" A calm voice came from below, standing there was a small grey mouse. Tazryl picked up and examined the mouse and then shrugged, He looked around for a second to find where the voice was coming, and then the voice came again, "Well if your not going to answer, atleast put me down,"

Shocked, Tazryl dropped the mouse and it ran a few feet, then in a instant a man appeared. He was one of Lord Xamezar's escorts, in his right hand was a rat skin that was glowing a light blue. "My name is Mazrath,"

"Greetings, where did you get that skin," Tazryl pointed at the rat skin that was still in Mazrath's hand.

"Oh you know, I was given a Wereskin knife when i was just a boy. It was sort of a present from my parents for being accepted into the Astari Guard academy." He shrugged and put it away in a pocket. "So what are you doing out?"

"well I got up and I couldnt get back to sleep if I wanted to. So I have just been walkind down the halls." Tazryl shrugged.

"Yes well, I had just been given word that I will be the one who will be training you." He stared into Tazryl's eyes as if he was trying to see something, "I assume you and Xamezar had talked about what you are going to learn and the basics. Well, I am going to have you learn more then the basics in most of what you are going to learn. You may see this as being strict, however times have called for such things"

"I understand master, I have seen what you mean. Talazar is planning something." Tazryl sighed and looked out a window, it wasn't until just then did he realise they were standing in the middle of the hallway, "When do we start training?"

"Hmm well lets go out back and see what you already know, then i can see what i need to teach you," Mazrath said as he began walking down the hall, Soon they were in the back. The area was clear from trees and had short grass, some of it came up to there knees. In the distance were some archery targets, a cauldren with a pile of ingrediants, also there were some animals in cages. "To begin lets see how well you do in archery, here is a bow and 10 arrows."

Tazryl took the bow and arrows. He nocked the first arrow and took aim, after a second he released the arrow, He had managed to get close to the middle circle. 9 more arrows were shot, he got 2 to in the middle circle and the rest were close.

"Well done, a little more practice is needed, but nothing more. Now You see that rabbit?" Mazrath pointed to a cage with a brown rabbit in it, "Your goal is to try and catch it." Mazrath went over to the cage and counted down from 10 and let the rabbit go.

Tazryl ran after it, the first 10 minutes of this was horrible. He kept triping and falling as the Rabbit quickly evaded him and making sharp turns. Soon he became used to the game, yet it was a after a hour passed did he even get close and Mazrath finaly stopped it.

"hmm you need to work on your speed and making sharp turns while running, all in all you didnt do that bad," Mazrath then went over to another cage that contained two deer "Your new goal is to skin these best as you can," He counted down from 10 and let them go, Tazryl quickly nocked a arrow and shot the deer hitting its neck. Tazryl quickly nocked another arrow and shot the second deer, this time he had to shoot it twice. After they were both dead, Tazryl took the skinning knife and carefuly tried to skin the 2 deer as best as he could. It was only his third time skinning something so he wasn't expecting much.

"Not bad, although we are going to need to do alot of work on your skinning skills, I assume you haven't done much tanning or leather working either?" Mazrath said and Tazryl nodded, "Yea well we will spend some time on this skill along with blacksmith and carpentry and tailoring and some alchemy.

END OF PART 1
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:10 PM
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PART 2

Our Story continues five years after Tazryl's training started. In the 5 years that has passed he has become quite skilled in various skills. After the first week or so of training at Lord Vezryl's Lodge Mazrath and Tazryl began to travel. To be an Astari Guard is not only to protect the Darkwoods, but also to protect all of Dransik from the evil forces. To do this one must become familiar with the land he is sworn to protect. Thus each master must travel the land with his or her apprentice. They have helped many on there travels and Tazryl has learned alot.

Some other things have also happened in the 5 years since the fall of Darkfell. Talazar has put up several Talazarian Camps in the northern region who are under Atraxis control. Redwake has openly declared their alliance with anyone who supports Talazar. The criminals that were in jail have been freed. How they were freed is not clear at this time, some say Talazar himself set them free, however must claim two ships with black sails attacked the island. The world is in chaos as Talazar slowly takes over.

Now to continue the story...

Chapter 10: Mining Company Conspriacy!

They had been staying in the great city of Ethera's Palace, famed for its mining company. They say it has the oldest mining company still in buisness. 4 feet thick walls protect the city from invaders and a massive fleet of ships protect the harbor. No one army has ever managed to take control of the mighty city. Here Tazryl and Mazrath felt safe after the weeks of traveling the roads. A few times they had to deal with a ogre or two. Other times they had to fight a mob of thieves. Either way it felt nice to finaly sleep in a nice warm bed with a sense of peace.

The day was young and the sun was still rising from the east. The early morning birds chirped with joy. Tazryl got up and yawned as he looked around. Next to his bed rested his armor and weapons. He slowly got up and dressed in his green tunic and green pants. As he buckled a poignard at his side a loud knocking came from the door.

"Tazryl, you up yet?" Mazrath yawned and then commanded, "If not get up, we have along day ahead."

Tazryl stared blankly at his boots for a moment then said, "I am up, just getting dressed."

"Well whats taking you so long? you know we have a meeting with Ross today" Mazrath said, "we do not want to make a bad first impression by being late now do we?"

"Sorry I must be running a bit slow," Tazryl responded. The truth was, something did not feel right. Everything seemed to be fine, but a feeling of dread was in the air. He shrugged it off and opened the door. Mazrath stood there with a sleepy look, he had almost the same outfit as he did, only difference was that Tazryl had lighter colored skin. At his side was a small short sword. Tazryl chuckled and asked if they had time to get something to eat before the meeting.

"Yea I suppose we have time, but we are really cutting it close" The went down the hall of and into a big room with several tables. They sat down at one closest to the kitchen and told the waiter our order. A few minutes passed in silence, when a messenger came barging into the room with a loud noise. Out of reflex Tazryl had drawn his poignard and readied for an attack.

"Sorry about that!" The messenger was wearing a pale green tunic with the mining companies insignia of a Pick axe a tall mountain. "I am new on the job and city. Took forever to find the Inn, walked into 3 different buildings by mistake." he panted and pulled out a small scroll. "Wait... I am in the right place right? You two are Mazrath and Tazryl of the Astari Guard right?"

Tazryl smiled and saw Mazrath try and hold back a laugh. They had become close over the past 5 years. They were like brothers. After finaly controling his laugh he said, "Yes, I am Mazrath and this is my apprentice Tazryl. Now may I see that Scroll?"

"Here you go, hope that was not important..." The messenger's voice trailed off as he found a table on the far side of the room. Mazrath sat there and read the scroll for a minute and then swore loudly scaring a lazy cat in the early morning sun.

"What is it?" Tazryl inquired.

"Commander Ross has moved our meeting back a hour. He is saying another miner was found slain in the mines late last night." Mazrath sighed and looked upset. The feeling was the same. They both hoped this was going to be a easy task. "Well I guess we have to go now, sorry but duty calls."

Their stomachs growled the whole walk there. It did not help much when they passed a small out-door resteraunt serving delicious looking foods. When they finaly arrived at the mining company H.Q. building the gate was heavily guarded.

"HALT! What buisness do you have here?" One of the heavily armed guards shouted.

"We have buisness with Commander Ross" Mazrath shouted back. "He will not like it if we are to be late. So let us through!" A smile of amusement was on his face. Tazryl had learned that his master enjoyed giving orders to gate guards with out completly telling them who he was.

"How dare you speak to me like that!" The guard shouted as he drew his blade, " No one gives me orders, especialy a foul Night Elf!"

"What is wrong with being a Night Elf?" Tazryl shouted, he hated when he heared trash talk about Astari.

"Oh don't mind what he says Tazryl," He said in normal tone of voice and then shouted, "he is just jealous that he couldn't kill a triddle."

This must of angerd the guard because he shouted "Guards capture them and send them to the jail house for assaulting a Guard Captain and trying to gain access under false pretences!"

The guards grabed there weapons and charged for them. Anger was boiling in Tazryl's stomach. They were being accused of crimes they did not commit! he slowly glanced at Mazrath and saw a small smile on his face. he must have seen his expression because then he said "Allow yourself to be caught, they wont hurt you much."

So Tazryl did what he was instructed to do. he sheathed his poignard and alowed himself to be beaten for what seemed like ages. Bleeding and bruised they were dragged into a small jail house.

Hours passed before either of them spoke to eachother. They had been locked up in small jail cell. The walls were damp and cold. Tazryl had been watching a small beetle running around when Mazrath spoke.

"Tazryl, do you know what happened?" Mazrath questioned with a slight smile.

"Yea you made us get caught!" Tazryl exploded with out meaning too. He was furious that the guards would accuse them of crimes they did not commit and then just to have his men beat up on 2 men who were not even defending themselves.

"Sorry about this, I did it for two reasons." Mazrath said, "One of them is that we were late for the meeting with out any real reason-"

"it is because of that damn messenger we are late!" Tazryl shouted with anger, "I mean thats a damn good reason to be late."

"That is true, however he is new to the city and the job. For this i felt pitty for him and decided to come up with a new reason why we were late. The real reason we are late to the meeting is because of that Guard Captain and his men." Mazrath explained trying not to cause his apprentice to snap at him, "The second reason is the more important one. If you notice he keeps a close eye on his gate. He also does not allow people to just enter here."

"So he is a good guard captain, so what?" Tazryl asked trying not to sound angry,

"Well the murders we are about to investigate happened within his gates. At the Mining Company HQ." He continued to explain, " This means the murders are more likely to be a inside job rather than a outside job. We wont rule out the possibilty that it was a outside job, but we should focus on a potential conspiracy."

" I see, so this was just testing to see how well guarded this place was?" Tazryl asked, already knowing the answer. "This means that we can't trust anyone other than the Commander."

Mazrath studied his apprentice for a moment before answering. He disliked crushing his sense of security. "In most cases I would agree, however I have fallen into that trap more than once. In situation's like this even the person in charge could be in on a conspiracy. Who knows maybe he heard we were in town and decided to ask our help on these murders. Who knows maybe he wants to kill us before he wants to kill us before we start investigating on our own? Wait does that even make sense?" Mazrath thought for a moment. It wasn't uncommon for him to go off into some scenario and then have it make no sense what so ever. " Either way we can't trust anyone until we have more info."

Another hour passed and eventualy a tall man walked into the jail house. He was wearing white armor with the companies insignia on it. A broad sword was at his waste. He had short brown hair and a thick beard.

"Greetings Mazrath and Tazryl of the Astari Guard," he said as he began to open the cell door. "I deeply sorry for the way my Captain of the Guard acted. He hates it when someone challenges his authority. I would soon rid myself of him it it were not for the way he manages to keep this place safe." He told us as he gave back our weapons that were confinscated.

"No problem, I am just sorry we were late for our meeting." Mazrath said, " I guess I am to blame. I should have told him who I was and what I was here for."

"No, it is his fault. He needs to learn to ask more questions before he uses force." The man said as we left the building and entered a much bigger building. "I am sorry, I don't think I told you my name. My name is Commander Ross. I am the current leader of the Mining Company of Ethera."

"Greetings, I am Mazrath and this is my apprentice Tazryl" Mazrath said. " Now lets talk about these murders shall we? No sense in wasting more time now is there."

Tazryl remained silent as they walked down the hall. Large braziers lit the hallway. It was decorated with paintings of previous leaders of the company and amazing tapestries. Every so often we would pass a group of miners talking about the latest murder. If it were not for the feeling of dread he would have been enjoying the walk to Commander Ross's room.

After several minutes of walking down several corridors we finaly reached 2 large iron doors with 2 guards on each side of the door. both carrying a broad sword and shield.

"Open" was all that came out of Commander Ross's mouth as they approached. Two armed guards grabbed a hold of each door and began to pull back. Slowly revealing his office.

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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:10 PM
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Chapter 11: The Meeting.


As the guards opened the doors to the office Commander Ross's office was revealed. A large desk sat in the middle cluttered with papers and other items. Behind it stood a giant bookshelf with books crammed in.

"Please, sit down." Commander Ross gestured to 2 chairs infront of his desk. "Again, I am deeply sorry for the acts of my Guard Captain. The only reason we allow him to stay is because we need tight security. Because of our great company's success we have made some many enemies." He sighed and then sat down in his chair.

"It makes perfect sense, with such enemies you need a strong captain. Even if he does have a bad temper." Mazrath smiled as stared at Ross. "Now before we get to buisness I have a request. We were still sleeping when your messenger got to us," Mazrath gave Tazryl a small wink and continued, "We were forced to skip breakfast and sadly we were not even offered a scrap of food while imprisoned. So-"

"You two must be hungry," Ross interupted, "Here let me go see what we have in the kitchens." Commander said as he got up and opened the doors with ease.

"You must be strong! The way you opened the doors with ease. It took 2 men each to open a door!" Tazryl bursted out admiring the Commander's strength.

"What? Oh yes, well these are magic doors." Ross began to explain, "You see the doors are much heavier when you enter the room. It then becomes almost weightless when exiting." He smiled, "This helps protect me if lets say someone were attacking. If my 4 guards fall, they still have to get past the doors. This allows me to get prepared." he smiled and left the area, leaving the doors to bang loudly.

"Damnit Tazryl," Mazrath swore, "The only reason I even asked him for food was so we could do a little research." He sighed and then began searching through the papers on the desk. "Now you can make up your mistake by searching those books" He pointed at the bookshelf.

Tazryl quickly moved towards the book shelf and flipped through the books. Book after book he looked for any papers hidden. occasionaly he would stop at a sketch of something and would read the passage.

"I think i found something," Tazryl said suddenly as a piece of paper fell out of a book, "It says something about shipments of thralenite, Brimidian, and Talenite to Meroven." Tazryl scanned the paper again for anything else.

"Well now we know a bit more whats going on here." Mazrath said as he pocketed some folded papers in his pocket. He than grabed the paper in Tazryl's hand and then folded it and stashed it in his pocket.

"What is so important about Meroven?" Tazryl questioned, "Sounds like a legit thing to me."

"Meroven is the Citadel of Talazar," Mazrath began to explain, "It is located in the far north. It is a very dangerous place to be alone. It also contains some of Talazar's best smelters." He paused when he heared the doors begin to open.

Quickly trying to put everything back in the right order. Soon Commander's Ross voice boomed, "Well, there wasn't much but I managed to get roasted venison, steamed vegetables and-" he paused and looked at his desk closely.

could he know that we know? Tazryl kept thinking to himself. What if all this effort was to go to waste? Will these criminals get away with this smuggling of valuable metals?

Commander Ross sat down after giving them there food. Tazryl couldn't help but not trust the food. but a quick nod of approval from Mazrath and Tazryl took a reluctant bite. it was delicious! He had not eaten food like this since he was back in Whisperdale. After finishing his plate in a matter of minutes, he noticed something was off. There was a bitter after taste.

"Now that you are done, let us discuss this matter." Ross said as he looked through some papers. "So far all we know is each victim was killed in same mine. we had discovered a good vien of Talenite in there. So we doubled the miner working at a time in the mine." he paused and looked down at the papers in his hands, "We have also learned that the victims were new to the mine. My guess is that a miner got greedy and decided to kill the miners for their ore and claim it as their own."

The conversation went on from there to discuss how we plan on to solve the crimes. Commander Ross kept steering us away from any conspriacy theories. he would bring up occasions where similar things would happen. How it was not common for miners to steal from each other. However, as the conversation went on they were becoming more and more convinced of some conspiracy.

Tazryl was also becoming weaker and weaker. Something was wrong. It felt like this body was being attacked... it then hit him. He had done a week of studying on poisons and diseases. One of them was very powerful but did not start taking affect until 40 minutes after taken.

Tazryl was poisoned, and he could do nothing to cure himself
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:11 PM
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Chapter 12

When the meeting was over, Tazryl could hardly walk. Event he simpilist tasks became hard, his breathing was coming in deep gasps. It wasn't until they left the room did Tazryl collapse.

"You fool," Mazrath said as he turned Tazryl over to his back. Mazrath then reached into his pocket and pulled out a viel of orange liquid. He pulled the wooden stop out and poured its contents into Tazryl's mouth.

choking on the strange substince, he began to feel better. Still weak he sat up and thanked Mazrath.

"This shouldn't have happened," Mazrath replied sharply, "I have told you, never accept food from someone who might want to kill you. The traiters within this company are going to want us dead." Mazrath said as he helped Tazryl up. When you have no choice always make sure you have a potion of poison cure. The stronger it is the longer your body is immune to the poison. Simply put it in your drink, it will have a slightly sweeter taste but it will keep you safe while you eat." Mazrath continued with his lecture as they walked down the hall.

"what if they ask you what you are doing to your drink?" Tazryl asked, "If it is poison then they might just kill you anyways,"

"You merely tell them its flavoringa or some other reason. In some cases they might just kill you, however in this case they don't want us to die until we leave the building." Mazrath replied as they began to walk to the Inn. "Having two Astari Guard die in a closed room with only one other person would mean a full investigation by the Astari Guard."

They spent the rest of the day planning what their next move was. Tazryl thought it would be best to ask around Ethera about anything strange. Mazrath wanted to snoop around in the building. Hoping to find anything that would help them solve the mystery.

"Alright Tazryl, you ask around Ethera while I sneak around and find more clues." Mazrath said the next morning, "If I find anything I will come search for you."

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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:12 PM
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Chapter 13: Mazrath's discovery

As Mazrath walked to the front gates to the building he considered the best plan to get in unoticed. He looked up at the gate and stone walls. Two guards every 10 feet, each having both a bow and some form of melee weapon. The wall was about twenty feet high.

oh this should be fun mazrath thought. I could disguise myself. No that wont work. perhaps find a ogre or two and have them form a distraction? But where am i going to find 2 ogres that would want to help me? Mazrath paced back and forth trying to figure it out. Its not that he couldnt get in, by order of Commander Ross Mazrath and Tazryl were allowed in freely; however it was important that no one knows he was there. This way he would not be interupted and be persuaded to leave certain things alone.

Suddely the gate started to open. Quickly thinking, he hid behind a tree and dug out his wererat skin. A must for all Astari Guard in the field. Holding tightly onto it, he pictured himself as a small gray rat. Suddenly his body began to change, even his armor changed with him. His light skin began to grow gray fur, whiskers began to form and sprouted a tail.

Well thats dissapointing... I should have thought of this in the first place Mazrath chuckled to himself, he couldnt believe he forgot one of the basic techniques in how to get into high security buildings. I guess its because I am worried about Tazryl. At first I was not fond of having an apprentice. But these past 5 years have proved to be some of my best. We share a friendship thats more then just teacher and student, but as friends, no as brothers.

"I really do prefer to be a cat..." Mazrath squeeked testing out his voice. He quickly ran around and tested out his new body. Its been along time since he had to use it. Then he rememberd why he turned into a cat into the first place. He looked towards the gate and saw a wagon lead by two black stalions. This could be just regular buisness, but I dont think so. Something seems just off

Mazrath quickly ran towards the wagon at full speed. Mazrath enjoyed being this small at times. It gave a man a whole new respect for the life of smaller creatures. When he reached the wagon, he quickly jumped into the back. What he saw confirmed his thoughts and shocked him deeply. There in the back was Commander Ross gaged and tied up. So it wasn't Commander Ross who attempted to poison us.Well I guess getting some answers I will just have to ride along
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:13 PM
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Chapter 14: Chaos in the Streets

As Tazryl waved good bye, he felt a cold shiver run down his back. Something wasn’t right. All of sudden he felt as if someoone was watching him. Trying to ignore the feeling, he walked down the street trying to listen to everything.

"Did you hear what my Timmy did?" One old lady said.
"You couldn’t even kill a triddle," A guard said teasingly to his partner.
"Hey give back my doll!" a girl said to a boy that was running away.

Tazryl sighed, after walking up and down the streets of Ethera he did not hear anything interesting, let alone something to do with the happenings in the Ethera’s Mining Company. There was one thing that kept popping up everywhere.Writing in a language unknown to Tazryl. They had been tattooed on every guard and men. Several women had it too. It wasn’t uncommon to have tattoos of your guild’s insignia, but this one was unlike any Tazryl had seen. Something about it made him queasy.

A few hours passed and still no word of anything strange happening. He even began asking around. He asked the guards down at the docks if they’re were any strange ships that had been there recently or if they had seen containers with no markings on them, possibly rare and valuable ore. Both answers were no, and again he saw the strange writing tattooed on their arms.

It wasn’t until Tazryl went to the pub for a drink, did his search lead anywhere. The place was crowded with people laughing and telling stories. While walking towards the bartender he heard two men whispering, "That’s right the next shipment is going to Redwake." One of them said as the other took a swig from his mug, "I hear Lord Redwake is planning an attack." He continued.
"So that’s why they need the extra ore, they plan on making weapons," the second man said as he placed his mug on the table. The two men wore almost identical clothing; dark blue tunics with no sleeves, Tazryl assumed this was to show off their massive biceps. What surprised Tazryl was the same writing he had seen all over the city was tattooed on their right arm. "So where do they plan to attack?" the second man said as looked around for eaves droppers. Lucky for Tazryl, he wasn’t looking just then.
"That I don’t know yet." the first one mumbled.

This was what he had been hoping to find out. As Tazryl finished his Dragon’s breath, he quickly made his way outside. The Astari Guard must learn of Redwakes activities! But before he could make it three feet outside, his shoulder was violently jerked back. Behind him were the two men he had over heard. One was holding a small mace, the other a short sword.
"Where are you going?" questioned the one with the mace, "You seem to be in a hurry."
"You think he heard us, butch?" the one with the short sword said, "If so, our boss is not going to like this.
"No, Charlie, he wouldn’t," Butch replied.

"So who are you anyways kid?" Charlie asked.
"Wouldn’t you like to know," Tazryl teased, "All you need to know is that your no match for me," Tazryl continued to tease, "So if you think holding those weapons is scaring me… well lets just say I seen a triddle scarier then you two."
The triddle comment was the last straw; both Charlie and Butch raised their weapons to attack. But Tazryl was faster; he quickly unsheathed his sword and jumped back words just in time too, any slower and he would be dead.
"Aww, look he is too scared to attack," Butch said twirling his mace, "I hate punks like you, all talk and no play." As he finished his sentence he dashed towards Tazryl with his mace ready to attack; however Tazryl jumped to the side just as he swung towards his head from above. Butch then lost his balance and came crashing to the floor.
"Going to have to do better then that," Tazryl teased, "So, when is this next shipment?" Tazryl asked Charlie.
Charlie looked at Tazryl closely before he replied, "Who exactly are you?"
"My name is Tazryl of the Astari Guard." Tazryl said as he sheathed his sword. "Now, are you going to tell –"
Charlie quickly dashed towards Tazryl. Sword in hand he thrusted his blade at Tazryls stomach. As Tazryl dodged, Charlie quickly swung his blade only to have his attack evaded. For a few minutes this went on. Charlie would swing and slash at Tazryl while he just dodged and evaded.
"Ak Un Ta sa!" shouted Charlie. Suddenly everyone looked at him, puzzled he lowered his sword, a big mistake. The next thing he knew they all drew a weapon: Swords, hammers, maces, scythes, and bows. Some of them were replacing the runes in their staffs and began to cast. He quickly raised his sword in defense but a mind shattering scream forced him to drop it and fall to his knees. His mind felt like it was exploding, he knew this feeling all to well. Mazrath had taught him to shield his mind from psychic scream and other mind spells. It took what seemed forever for him to master it.
Silently, Tazryl began to close his mind off. The technique seemed easy in theory, but it took a strong will to block it. A simple way to do this was to picture one thing and one thing only. Concentrate everything it can do, its scent, its color and its shape. Only think of that. Tazryl choose to think of his house. Soon enough, the screams stopped. The trick behind Psychic scream and other mind attacks was to get the target off guard and puzzled. To focus on one thing and one thing alone allowed you and your brain to defend it. Once again Mazrath’s training saved his life, Tazryl made a mental note: Thank Mazrath.

Slowly getting up, he grabbed his sword that was lying maybe three feet away. He wiped the tears from his eyes and looked ahead. Some had impressed looks on their faces and the others had seemed to have a thirst for blood.
"I suppose saying I’m sorry is a little late…" Tazryl said, "I mean what will killing me do?" he continued, trying to persuade the crowd. Somehow he got the impression he failed… or maybe it was because soon they were rushing in on him.

Without thinking he charged at them. Slapping blades away with his own and performing perfect parries he ran right through the crowd. Soon enough the arrows began to rain on top of him. Dodging each arrow; perhaps it was because he was fast on his feet, or maybe it was just dumb luck.
"Ak un ta sal af da!" Charlie roared and they all charged, this time the crowed seemed to double. Soon enough arrows were being fired down from the roofs of buildings, and darts whizzed by. Running fast Tazryl had to think. What to do… there is no way I am going to be able to fight them all off. He considered every possibility, I could run, but for how long? It seemed like the whole town was after me and on top of that Mazrath is going to be p issed. I know! He quickly dug around in this pocket and found his werecat skin. [i] Lets see how far they can find me now He quickly ran into a alley and concentrated on him turning to a black cat and soon his form changed, his weapon and armor forming with him. Where Tazryl had just been standing a small skinny black cat stood. He quickly ran down the alley and hid. He stretched and then lay down. A perfect place to hide, in plain view. Tazryl laughed silently to himself.

Just then arrows and bolts whizzed down the ally, probably expecting him to be still there hiding. Tazryl jumped and dashed away like any other stray cat would have done. He then walked around the city thinking things over. [i] Well, this was unexpected. Looks like the whole damn city is in on this conspiracy… could Commander Ross be involved? Hell how high up does this actually go.[i]

Tazryl found his way on top of a general store and faced the sunset, it had been hours since he eluded the mob, but he enjoyed being a cat. Besides, they could have wanted posters up. As the sky turned to brilliant shades of reds and blues he truly enjoyed the scenery. The sun was lowering behind the giant mountains that surrounded the city. The town was large, full of elegant buildings and he hopped that it usually had wonderful people. Tazryl sighed as he bathed in the last of the sunlight.

"Well I suppose I should go look for Mazrath… something tells me he is going to be both pleased and p issed at the same time…
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:14 PM
Post #16


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Chapter 15: The Ogre Tamer.

Mazrath slowly made his way across the wagon's floor. The two men who were driving the wagon were two buffed men, with ogreish features. At first glance they almost appeared to be ogres, they definitly had the strength to compete with one. Mazrath chuckled at the thought of these two men competing against ogres. Would be a site worthy of paying for, if only ogres had the brainpower to understand such a simple task. Another odd thing about them were strange writing on their arms, the same words in an unknown language.

Mazrath sighed... he had been waiting in the wagon for nearly an hour now. They had just recently left the feilds in the southern part of the city. They were now traveling near the shore. After half an hour, the wagon stopped. Quickly jumping over Commander Ross to get a better view. what he saw was amazing.

There in front of the wagon stood two adult ogres slowly removing boulders from the path. A fully grown ogre are about 10 feet, able to lift things twice their weight. Most ogres have grayish skin. They were also known as one of the dumbest creatures in Dransik. The only thing they cared about was when they were able to feast on human flesh... or even better Night Elf. Its almost unheard of for ogres to help people. They normaly would kill and feast on their flesh. Only one person was ever to tame ogres other then Lord Talazar, and she was only of legend.

"Hurry up you stupid beasts!" Shouted the man on the right. In reply the ogres grunted and continued to work. "Ogre help is so hard to find these days..."

"Dya, telled me adout dit." Mumbled the one on the left.


As soon as the path cleared, the ogres got out of the way and the wagon slowly began to move. Mazrath was sure the 2 ogres would come and smash the wagon to pieces, but it never came. As soon as the wagon got passed the place where the boulders once stood, the ogres slowly began to place them back.

After thirty minutes of traveling they finally came to another halt. By this time Mazrath had fallen asleep but was quickly awoken by loud shouting.

"Dwat dis dgoing don!' The man on the left shouted in a deep voice. Mazrath moved around to get a better look, they had stopped infront of a gate. The place gave Mazrath the chills, something about it was wrong. Behind the gates was a large building made of black stone. The Gate's and a small glow to them, almost unnoticable. The walls surrounding the place were an easy twenty feet. Every ten feet were large posts, he figured it could fit a fully grown ogre...

"Damnit! What is taking so long?" the man on the right bellowed, "We have what you want!" he continued to rant.

Suddenly adult ogres began to come out of the large building. Each equipped with a very large club, steel helmets rested on town of their heads. They had also steel plates protectiing varies parts of their bodies. They slowly moved towards the gate and opened it, pushing it outwards.

Slowly the wagon moved behind the walls, once inside the ogres closed the gate and slowly walked up the stairs that lead to the guard post.

Mazrath was dumbfounded. he had heard of this place only in rumors. The place had many rumors about it. One of them told that the place had only ogre's but one person, their master. The rumor claimed that it was in an almost unreachable place, not even by ship. The nearest bay had a very dangerous whirlpool, where that couldnt reach large boulders made a barrier making it so that no ship could pass. Hiking through the mountains was also rumored to be impossible. Rumor had it that ancient ogres, the fiercest of all ogres, lived in the mountains. No warrior would ever want to challenge one on his or her own.

The place of rumor, was the castle of the Ogre Master. The only known person other then Lord Talazar, to have been able to tame ogres. So the rumors and legends were true. The Castle of Crystal actualy existed

Suddenly the two men got out of the wagon and slowly made there way towards the large wooden doors. The Doors slowly open and from the darkness came an attractive woman. She wore rather risque clothing, leaving much of her skin exposed. She had long dark brown hair. She had smile on her face that almost seemed friendly, but her eyes told a different story. her eyes were light gray and had no warmth in them. No sympathy and no love for anyone.

Mazrath quickly got out of the wagon and ran close enough to hear their whispers, "Garlin, you have finally arrived..." she whispered seductivly, "I hope my ogres didn't scare you, the last time Talazar sent men they nearly wet themselfs..."

Mazrath almost laughed out loud, she was trying to minipulate them. Anyone could see through it. anyone from Talazar's army that would wet themselfs over a few ogres would be killed on the spot. After all... Ogres can be scary but nothing compared to what Talazar has hanging around his castle.

"They didn't scare me one bit," Garlin replied, "If anything the ogres were scared of me. yea thats right, I saw the way they hesitated before they opened the door," he said trying to sound impressive.

"Were you scared Ogdar?" Crystal asked gently.

"Don't De Didding! Does dumb deasts dar dothign!" He replied also trying to be impressive.

This time Mazrath did chuckle out loud. He couldn't help it. Crystal was toying with them. Mazrath doubted if she was even remotly impressed.

But this was what almost costed Mazraths life, the small chuckle gave away his location. He tried to get out of the way but was to slow.

Crystal had taken out a small wand. suddenly Mazrath's mind burst with pain. for several minutes this lasted. It felt as if his brain was being stabbed with several daggers repeatedly.

Then he lost his rat form, if the wearer of the skin was severly hurt he or she was reverted back to their original form.

"Well... well... well..'" Crystal slowly moved towards where Mazrath was laying, the pain had subsided, "It appears you had an extra passenger," She looked down at Mazrath and kicked him in the side. Pain shot through his body, "You know not many people ever get the chance to see my castle." She smiled and kicked him in the face and again in the side, "So what is your name?"

"My name is none of your buisness," Mazrath said dryly, and for that he recieved another kick. coughing violently, Mazrath slowly tried to get up. When he was on his hands and knees he heard a small laugh. Crystal put one of her leather boots on top of his head and pushed down, sending Mazrath's face into the hard cold ground.

"You will tell me your name... I might just spare your life," she whispered in his ear.

A few moments passed and Mazrath weakly said, "My name is Mazrath of the Astari Guard." He could have left out the Astari Guard part... but he felt she would find out eventualy.

"How interesting... Maybe I will keep you alive, for now." she said, "Ogdar and Garlin, come with me and take our new prisoner and take him to the dungeon... I believe you know where thats at right?"

Garlin and Ogdar did as she asked. They dargged him into the castle and down a dark gloomy hallway and down some stairs. and into a damn musty dungeon with four cells, each had a prisoner inside them but one.

As they threw him into his cell he heard them laugh, "Dumb bastard thought he could actualy sneak into Lady Crystal's castle..." Garlin said as they went up the stairs.

As Mazrath whiped the blood from his nose he only hoped Tazryl was safe...
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:15 PM
Post #17


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Chapter 16: The Fall of Ethera's Palace

It was well after midnight by the time Tazryl stopped looking for Mazrath. Apparently Mazrath must not have returned… Well that’s what Tazryl wanted to believe. He knew something wasn’t right, it was unlike him to go for so long with out finding a way to tell him what’s going on.

"Oh where could you be," Tazryl meowed, he was still in his cat form. Tazryl slowly made his way down the dark street, some idiot had put out the Lamp posts. After walking slowly for a few minutes he saw movement. A large figure had entered a small building. Curious Tazryl moved closer to learn more. As he got close to the building he jumped up on a crate and onto the window seal. Casually laying down he peered inside. What he saw was very interesting. There before him were two Talazarian Warriors standing in front of an old man. They had dark gray skin, with feathery wings with a wingspan of three feet by the looks of it, both of them had a wooden shield hanging down from their waist, on the other side of their waist a large battle axe hung.

"Have you got what we have come for?" one of the Talazarian Warriors said.
"Oh yes, it took me quite awhile to make it" An old man said as he moved towards his shelves full of wooden objects, "You don’t come across these things everyday, what a thrill it was to be able to make one!" The old man sounded exited as he pulled out a small box .
"What exactly is this for anyway?" The second Talazarian asked as he opened the box, "Why does Master want such a small object?"
"Oh you don’t know what it is do you." The old man chuckled but stopped immediately when he saw them reach for their axes, " Its a powerful ring, very rare and very valuable."
"What so important about it?." the first Talazarian Warrior grunted.
"This ring may not look it, but it’s magical!" The old man said with glee as the two Talazarian warriors glanced at it unsure. The old man went on explaining, "Lord Talazar came to me one night, requesting me to make a ring made of this dark stone I had never seen before. At first I thought it was Talenite, but it had this… aura of sorts…." The old man looked at the ring thoughtfully, for a second Tazryl thought he might keep it. "well you best be off, Lord Talazar does not like it when things arrive late, especially things of this value."

Well that’s interesting. I wonder what Talazar plans on doing with this ring. Tazryl thought as he jumped down from the window seal as the two Talazarian warriors left the building. Now where could Mazrath be, its almost morning. Tazryl sighed as he walked back up the street watching the sky turn from black to wonderful colors.

By lunch time Tazryl had finally gotten out of his cat form. Stretching his legs and arms out. Tazryl was in a small shop near the sea. The room was dark with shelves running all around the walls. They were full of miscellaneous objects. What he was looking for was parchment and a feather pen. After locating them he made his way to the counter and paid.

As he walked out the door and into the bright sun he thought of what he was going to write. How am I going to explain that one of the Kingdom’s greatest mining companies has fallen into Talazar’s hands. Or how the whole town seems to be under Talazar’s control and that Mazrath was missing Tazryl stopped in his place… Could Mazrath be dead? Could he have found out something he shouldn’t have! Tazryl suddenly felt sick, could his teacher and best friend be dead.

After finally stopping to sit on a bench he began to write, after several failures he finally got what he needed.

Dear Xamezar

I write with terrible news. As you are well aware Mazrath, my teacher and mentor, and I are currently on an assignment dealing with deaths in the Ethera’s Palace Mining Company. We first arrived here a few days before this letter was written. This was after several weeks of traveling. The second day we were here we paid a visit to the mines. We met with Commander Ross and I was almost poisoned to death. Don’t worry, Mazrath gave me a lecture over not freely accepting food from possible enemies. The next day we split up and I am afraid we have not met up. I fear the worst for Mazrath for I have not seen nor heard anything from him. To make matters worse, I discovered something interesting. It appears everyone in Ethera’s Palace has the same tattoo. They are aggressive, I insulted one and he soon had everyone in the area after me. I believe these people are Minions of Talazar. I believe this for two different reasons. While meeting with Commander Ross, he left the room and Mazrath and I began to snoop around. What we discovered was shocking. Shipments of various ores have been sent to Meroven, a place well known for activities relating to Talazar. Another is that I spotted two Talazarian Warriors doing buisness with an old man, a man with that same tattoo no doubt. From what I could make out they were picking something up that was to be created for Talazar. It is some sort of ring, what purpose it serves I do not know. For now, I am going to lay low for awhile. I imagine my face will be on wanted posters soon, if not already. I will continue to search for Mazrath… hoping I am wrong.


Sincerely
Tazryl

P.S. Also it would be very much appreciated if you send word to King Lotor. I feel he needs to know about this… I also believe he has the resources to stop this, otherwise we may completely lose this city to Talazar.


Tazryl read the letter over again, he knew he could do better if he had the time. But he felt that wasting any more time could prove to be a mistake. He then rolled the parchment up and sealed it with magical seal, a seal that only a high ranking Astari Guard could open. He then mailed it via pidgin to the Astari Guard Head quarters. Tazryl sighed as he watched the bird fly into the distance… he could only hope it would make it in time.


A week passed, no reply from the Astari Guard and no sign of Mazrath. Tazryl had paid the Inn bill after sending the letter and been living on the streets as a cat. Wasn’t exactly the best way to live, but the whole town knew about him, a whole town full of people wanting to kill him. When he was not in cat form he had been almost caught twice. Each time he fought for a little bit, but always fleeing and turning into a cat. He would have loved to stay and fight but he was way out numbered.

Another week passed and still no letter. His current situation did not get better, infact it got worse. More and more Talazarian Warriors were seen in the city. It became a common sight to see them marching up and down the streets. Tazryl assumed it was now official, Ethera’s Palace was under Talazars complete control. Anyone who was not a minion or servant of Talazar was immediately killed.

Tazryl could only hope he would not be discovered again, for if he were it could mean the end for him.

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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:16 PM
Post #18


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Chapter 17: Ogres, Ogres and more… Ogres!

"Well how is my favorite prisoner doing today…" Crystal said as she slowly made her way to the cell. It had been two weeks since his captured. The dungeon was damp and mold grew everywhere. He also wasn’t alone. There had been two other people each in different cells.

"Oh you know, same thing as yesterday," Mazrath said. "I woke up to a triddle nibbling at my toes. then your ogre buddies tried to scare me, heh if only I hadn’t been dreaming I was killing a dragon.' Mazrath sighed, "Well lets just say they might be still alive." Mazrath said as he looked up at the ceiling.

"What are you talking about!" Crystal demanded, she appeared almost shocked.
"See…" Mazrath held up a large severed Ogre Head. it had scabs, scars and bruises all over its gray face.
"But how…" Crystal asked curiously. Crystal had never known a person who could take down one of her Ogre guards.
"Well you see, I have these very vivid dreams," Mazrath began to explain as he watched two triddles fight over bread in the corner. "I assume I picked up this piece of wood." Mazrath pointed over to a medium sized plank of wood that had mold all over it. "I must have used this like a sword…" Mazrath said coolly. Truth was the two ogres killed each other trying to fight over who got Mazrath’s piece of meat.
"Well I guess I will need to keep a closer eye on you…" Crystal said as she left.

The first few days in Crystal’s Prison were like a nightmare. The ogres would freely move in and out of the dungeon. The food was almost unbearable, so he would often refuse to eat it. Mazrath was thankful for his spare rat skin. The usual one he wore was taken away, but Crystal’s Ogres didn’t bother checking for more. At night Mazrath would run around the castle looking for better food. His first time sneaking around was actually an escape… but for some reason he could not pass through the gates. Mazrath figured it was some kind of magic barrier.

After the first week it became a regular routine. Crystal would come to see him and she would try and get information out of him. Mazrath would come up with some quick smart *** remarks, which followed by a short beating. She would often let the Ogres pound on him. there were two other people, they had died when the Ogres were told they could kill them, a gruesome sight to see.

"Hey you dumb ogre over here!" Mazrath shouted at his new guard… time for fun he thought.
"Urghhh!" An ogre groaned. He was a large one, with thick light gray skin. He had scabs and scars all over his body. He also had a giant club resting on the floor next to him.
"What did you say? I don’t think I heard you!" Mazrath shouted, "Try actually speaking,"
"Urghhhh urg aurghhh!" the ogre said sounding threateningly.
"Is that anyway to speak to a guest?" Mazrath asked, "I mean if your going to have guests you might want to learn to speak properly,"
"Urgahhh! Urganah!" The ogre cried frustrated, "Uargarah! Ungarahara! URGHHH!"
"What is that? Your afraid of triddles?" Mazrath teased, apparently the ogre could understand him, "Aww how sad a big ogre afraid of a triddle," If you tell an ogre he’s afraid of triddles, you will soon have a very angry ogre.

Just then the ogre picked up the Giant club and swung it to the ground sending the ground shaking while large cracks formed near where the club met the ground. that’s right big guy… Mazrath thought with amusement. "That’s right! You show them itty bitty triddles whose boss! Would hate to see what your fellow ogre thought about your fear," This sent the ogre into another rampage. He struck the wall with such force that a large whole was in it. Thrashing wildly he came closer to Mazrath and soon the bars torn away. Quickly thinking Mazrath found the rusty pocket knife he hid under his mattress. A triddle was carrying it around back to its nest. Mazrath quickly jumped at the giant ogre. Quickly dodging the club Mazrath rolled under it and swiped at its legs. Blood gushed out as the ogre flailed wildly in pain, while swinging his club smashing everything in its path.

"Now, now is that anyway to treat a guest?" Mazrath said as the Ogre turned around to face him, but was to late. Mazrath jumped on its back and started stabbing repeatedly into the ogres large back. Soon Mazrath was drench in ogre blood.

The ogre thrashed around frantically trying to get Mazrath off, but to no avail. Then the Ogre got the bright idea to use his club. After noticing the club coming up and around towards its back, Mazrath quickly placed his feet flat on its back and held tightly on its shoulder. He then launched himself off the back of the ogre and landed safely on the other side of the room. As for the Ogre, the force from the hit shattered his backbone, heard by a loud cracking noise, the ogre fell down dead.

"One ogre down… way to many more to go." Mazrath sighed as he looked at his fallen victim. He almost felt sorry for him, but then he remembered he would sooner kill him then spare his life whether he be in the wild or under someone else’s control.

When the fight was over the room had drastically changed into nothing but rubble There used to be three cells, each separated by three feet thick brick walls. Now only a mound of rock and twisted iron stood where the cells were. Mazrath surveyed the room for a moment looking for a weapon. When he found nothing he sighed.

"Of course there is no weapon in here… other wise it would be to easy." Mazrath mumbled aloud as he quickly looked out the door. He saw short hallway to the right leading to some stairs, "Rusty pocket knife, don’t let me down!

Mazrath slowly made his way down the hallway and up the stairs. At the top he was at the far end of a corridor. Large torches hung from the walls giving it a creepy look. No ogres or any signs of life were seen anywhere. Not a good sign Mazrath thought bitterly. Mazrath quickly looked around for some kind of weapon but found nothing.

Mazrath quickly made his way down the corridor, looking into any room with the door unlocked Each one revealed an old abandoned bedroom. Wow this place would actually be nice if the stench of Ogre’s wasn’t here Mazrath sighed.

"URGAHHH!" An ogre roared in the door way, Mazrath was looking for some kind of weapon. "URANGAH! URGAHHANAH!" Mazrath quickly brought the rusty pocket knife in front of him as he twirled around.
"Oh its you, weren’t you the one who brought my food to me?" Mazrath said. "Oh you remember that time when that green triddle came out of no where and you nearly pissed yourself?" Mazrath smiled wickedly at the thought of another challenge.

The Ogre was too large to get into the room through the door. So it took its massive club and started swinging it at the door frame, nearly destroying the wall. After giving a rather nasty victory roar, he came barging in throwing the bed across the room. A slight shiver went down Mazrath’s back when he saw the raw power the ogre had… for a second he almost regretted the insult.

The Ogre thrashed around wildly. The club came crashing down completely destroying a dresser that was not even three feet from where he stood. As the ground shacked Mazrath leapt into action. Quickly jumping to the left and then forward he got a clear shot at its leg. Just before plunging the knife in its massive leg the ogre brushed him away, almost throwing in, with his left hand.

"Well your a big one," Mazrath mumbled under his breath as he spat blood onto the wooden floor. Getting up to his feet, he looked at his opponent. "When this is over I am really going to hate ogres…" a loud roar was the ogres reply. "Yea, yea, your a big bad ogre." Mazrath teased, "Yea, a big ogre afraid of a triddle!" Mazrath leapt toward the door, but was cut off by another ogre, which was bigger if possible.
"Oh great more of the ‘I am afraid of Triddles club.’" Mazrath said bitterly, "So which kind are you afraid of, blue or green?" Mazrath looked at his opponents. The feeling of regret for insulting them. They answered with another nasty roar and a swing with their giant clubs. An odd thought came through Mazrath’s mind as he jumped backwards narrowly escaping the attack, Where do these guys get these clubs…

Mazrath looked for an escape route, but found none. When it suddenly hit him. "You know, maybe you're not afraid of triddles, but who knows maybe…" he clutched the rat skin in his pocket and where Mazrath once stood there was a small little gray rat. How could I forget this again… Oh Tazryl will give me hell over this if he finds out. A perfect escape for tough situations. Mazrath quickly zoomed under the ogres and out the door and down the corridor. They never knew what happened, worlds dumbest creature… too bad their strength makes up for it. Mazrath shivered. It must be all over the castle by now. He had escaped and every last ogre was after him, a scary thought. But not as scary as what Crystal might be like in battle…

After a half hour of roaming around the castle with no luck of finding anything but more ogres then he cared to see in one place. Finally he found the armory… with his armor and sword neatly piled in a corner. After getting out of his rat form, and closing the door behind him he walked over to his armor and hugged it.

"You don’t know how much I missed you," Mazrath said. His armor composed of magical chain mail vest, Magical chain mail leggings and a magic chain mail. coif with a steel metal helm to cover it. Magic chain mail armor is far more comfortable then regular. It fit your form perfectly and it was weightless. He then buckled his sword to his waist and picked up a nice round steel shield. "Now for some Ogre slaying."

Mazrath dashed out into the open corridor to find the two ogres from the bedroom standing in the hallway. "O.K. boys, time for some revenge." Mazrath ran towards the two ogres and shoved his blade into the ogre's chest, blood spilling everywhere as he yanked it out. The ogre roared with pain. The second ogre lifted its club and let it fall right on Mazrath. Quickly thinking, he lifted his shield to defend himself. Suddenly his arm felt like it shattered from the hit. His legs felt like jelly as he tried to walk away. After several moments of trying to stand up straight he looked over his shoulder and saw the one Ogre dead and the other ready to attack.

"Oh I am going to enjoy this…" Mazrath said as he lifted his sword in the air and ran towards the giant ogre. The ogre in response lifted his club and thought he would swing it from side to side. Mazrath jumped on the moving club. Before the ogre realized what was happening he took his sword and sliced the arm off. The ogre flailed in pain as crimson blood was everywhere. "I could spare your life, but even with your right hand off, you could still prove deadly. Nothing personally," Mazrath swung his sword at its neck. The ogre’s head went flying off.

"Damn, you were a tough one, hope there aren’t more like you." Mazrath said as he looked down at the two dead ogres.

After an hour of running through out the castle he found no sign of any ogre. It was as if they had disappeared. He looked in every room and in those rooms there was nothing but a few stray triddles.

"Well, look who we have here," Said a cold voice from behind Mazrath, he almost knew exactly who it was. "You have defeated some of my best ogres…a pity that you wont consider joining me," the voice continued as it came closer.

"Oh hello Crystal," Mazrath said as he turned around, "Those were your best? What a pity, I thought you could at least produce stronger ogres." Mazrath continued, "But if that’s your best then well I guess I have no worries."
"Oh, really," Crystal said as she placed a hand on a large black whip.
"So tell me, what do you get out of this?" Mazrath said as he eyed the whip, "What did Lord Talazar offer you in return for your services?"
"Well what do you think?" Crystal replied as she slowly circled Mazrath, "If I provide my ogres to help protect Ethera’s Palace, and my castle to store and house certain things… I would be given power and gold beyond your wildest dreams!"

"So you are not strong enough to get this on your own?" Mazrath said as he unsheathed his sword, "To weak are you?" Mazrath said smiling.
"How dare you!" Crystal cried as she grabbed her whip and began to attack with it, "I will make you regret saying that!"
"Oh come on, is that all the great Ogre Tamer can do!" Mazrath smiled as he dodged the whip. ‘Quite pathetic," Mazrath continued as he dodged the whip once again, furious Crystal took out a small wand with a blue crystal on top of it. "Oh, so your bring out the magic do you." Suddenly the wand began to glow red, which could only mean she was very powerful in the art of magic. Then a bolt of lighting appeared out of no where striking Mazrath directly. Pain shot through out his body causing him to fall to his hands and knees.
"How do you like my Thunderstrike?" Crystal asked as she bent down and lifted Mazrath’s chin and looked into his eyes, "Not so cocky now," Crystal said as she stared into his eyes.
"How cliché…." Mazrath said as he pulled out the rusty pocket knife and with a quick thrust he shoved it into her gut, "I can’t believe that actually worked," Mazrath said as he smiled while blood began to cover his hand.
"Damn… you," Crystal said as she fell back clutching her stomach, "My ogres will have their revenge!" she shouted as Mazrath got up holding his sword firmly in his hands. "Every ogre in the world will be after you!" Mazrath looked into Crystal’s eyes.
"If only they were that smart…" Mazrath plunged his sword into Crystals chest, blood spilling everywhere as he pulled it out. "Some how… I feel disappointed."

Mazrath wiped the blood from his sword and sheathed it. He walked down the corridor and into the entrance hall. He then pushed open the giant wood doors. It was sunny out, not a cloud in the sky. The large gate was wide open. A giant ogre, twice the size of those inside the castle, stood in front of the gate. Its club appeared to be a tree it ripped from the ground.

"Something tells me… Your not afraid of triddles." Mazrath frowned as he looked at the ogre
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:16 PM
Post #19


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Chapter 18: The World of Darkness

Tazryl slowly moved his way down a dark alley lined with old filthy crates stacked high. As he made a left turn he sighed. As far as he knew, he was the only good person in the whole town. Everywhere you went you would could see Talazarian Soldiers marching up and down the streets with large swords. the once innocent looking children were no longer there, instead they were replaced with children practicing combat. Some spent hours throwing knives at a dummy.

"Well, well, look what the cat dragged in…" A cold voice said from behind Tazryl. Tazryl quickly looked around thinking he was caught. But then realized he was in his black cat form, perfectly safe… "Oh don’t act like you can’t hear me…" The voice said as Tazryl tried to act like a innocent cat. "I can see right through your wereskin…" the voice said with amusement in his voice. Tazryl looked back and saw a tall figure that had a black robe and cloak on. In its left hand he held a long staff with a red jewel on its tip, with four claw like things hovering over it. Tazryl was dumbfounded, the person was a Talazarian Shadow Priest. He had learned about them from Mazrath. They were High priests of the gods of Darkness. They almost never leave Lord Talazar’s castle, and when they do its with guards, and lots of them. The Talazarian Shadow priest sighed, "Do you think that can fool me?"

"No I suppose not," Tazryl sighed as he transformed back, "So why have you not killed me?" Tazryl asked as he placed his hand on his swords hilt.
"It has been to long since I have been able to wander the lands…" the Shadow priest sighed, "Well these lands any ways. As you must know Shadow Priests almost never leave their dwellings, we are only allowed within Talazar’s Castle and strong holds. Well we are also allowed in the world of Darkness, where the gods of Darkness dwell." The Shadow priest smiled, only it had no warmth to it.
"Then what are you doing here?" Tazryl asked as he shifted his weight, "You must be far from your temple," Tazryl stared into the shadow priests cold gray eyes.
"Yes, I am. But of course every once in awhile we are allowed into the lands of Dransik, usually when Master Talazar is attacking a city, or when he has a special assignment for us." The shadow priest said.
"So what is the special assignment?" Tazryl asked as he slowly drew his sword.
"What makes you so sure I am on an assignment?" The shadow priest replied with amusement.
"Well If you were going to join in on an attack on some city, you either got the wrong place or extremely late." Tazryl said smiling and then frowned. I guess I picked up on a few of Mazrath’s habits… Where are you my friend? Tazryl thought to himself.
"You have a smart mouth… you really should keep that thing shut." The Shadow priest teased as he slowly walked slower, his staff began to glow a dark red.
Tazryl started to walk back slowly. For a long silence, Tazryl stopped. "You know you never did answer my question."
"I suppose I didn’t, I am to bring you to the world of Darkness" The shadow priest replied simply, "I do not know why either, but I can only guess." The priest said with amusement, his eyes began to glow a blood red, "You are most likely going to be a sacrifice to the great God Agon! Oh he loves to have sacrifices, he loves them even more when they have a pure heart." The priest said.
"Yea well who said I was going to go with you?" Tazryl said as he started to run towards the shadow priest, blade held high ready to strike. But suddenly couldn’t walk any further. Tazryl looked down to see a white mist tangled in his legs.
"No one said you would." The shadow priest said and laughed.

Then there was silence. Every sound around them had stopped. You could no longer hear the shouts from the children being trained to kill, the sound of Talazarian soldiers marching could no longer be heard. Even the stray rat that Tazryl had been considering eating not 20 minutes had been silenced. The world was in silence… everything was quiet, all but the low muttering coming from the Shadow Priest. He was talking fast in a language Tazryl could not understand.
"Ak Un onuwel! Oktint af yav! Zartnaught AGON!!" were the only words Tazryl could actually make out, and he didnt even know what they meant.

Suddenly the world around him became dark and cold. Chills were sent down his back as he looked around once he could see. He was in a large stone room. He had been transported to a new area. Once he could see, he wish he couldn’t.

The Walls were lined with shelves running from floor to ceiling. On the shelves were skulls of humans, astari, and orc. In the corners of the room were piles of bones. On the floor around him, laid decaying bodies, some were fresh, while others appeared to have been there for ages. Near the back wall stood a alter with a stone large stone bowl. Tazryl slowly made his way over the bodies trying not to see there horror filled faces, he looked inside and found blood. It was nearly to the rim full of blood.

Almost throwing up, he quickly turned around to discover he was not alone. On the other side of the room stood a large metal door. Infront of it stood a large man, his eyes were black. He stood at least seven feet tall, and was wearing a large sword with strange symbols on its blade, that dully glowed red. His armor was blood red.

"Greetings young Astari," The man said giving a low bow, "My name is Valekar,"

Tazryl was amazed, so he truly was in the world of Darkness, the place where the Gods of chaos lived and dwelled. He was standing in the very presence of the Rune Warrior General, Valekar who was holding in his hand the infamous blade… the blade that was known as ‘Symbol Blade of Destruction,’ the nickname it was given by Talazar when he was on the side of good…

Tazryl dropped his sword in defeat, he was not nearly strong enough to even scratch him.
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Mazrath
post Apr 1 2008, 10:17 PM
Post #20


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Chapter 19: Mazrath vs the Ogre King


Mazrath slowly moved closer to the giant ogre. All around them stood smaller ogres at their station. Each of them waved their clubs wildly in the air, as if they were cheering for a fight. Mazrath examined his enemy for a long time. It had a large battle helm with a red ruby in the middle, It had metal shin-guards, and metal bracers around his arm. The ogre bashed the ground from the tree down into the ground forcing Mazrath to struggle to stay standing.

Mazrath looked around for some advantage, but found nothing. Mazrath turned around and started to run towards the door, but found 3 normal sized Ogres guarding the entrance, with what appeared to be grins. Mazrath felt like a trapped rat with no where to go… Mazrath grinned and held onto the rat skin tightly and tried to turn into a rat. After several moments, nothing happened. damn it, the one time I remember and I can’t! Mazrath thought bitterly. He was to scared to concentrate.

"Puny human not turn rat!" the large ogre’s voice boomed, "No human will eva get passed meh!" it boomed again as he lifted his foot and stomped sending large cracks sprouting from where the Ogre’s foot was. "Me be Orgtah King of Ogre!" its voice boomed again, "I break human back like twig!" he laughed this time. It echoed back for a moment that seemed to last a lifetime. It was as if the mountains themselves were laughing. "Orgtah here to free slaved Ogre! You must be Crystal! YOU DIE!" Orgtah announced as he tore a large branch from the tree he was holding and threw it directly at Mazrath…

Mazrath quickly jumped up just barely dodging the branch, thank Ulthien for Astari reflexes Mazrath thought neatly landing on the ground in front of the branch. "I am not Crystal, she is dead!" Mazrath yelled at large Ogre, "Get it through your thick skull, Crystal is dead"

"Don’t ever lie to me!" Orgtah roared as he ran toward Mazrath causing the ground to shake violently. "You Crystal! YOU DIE!" he roared again as he raised the tree and swung. Mazrath was directly hit on the side, the pain was unbearable. It felt like a stone wall fell on him.

Mazrath was thrown across the courtyard and into the stone wall. He glanced up for a second and saw the gate to freedom… if only he could move his body… Mazrath figured every bone in his body was shattered. Mazrath’s breath came in short deep gasps as he laid on the ground. Every second felt like a lifetime.

"Me Told you no human can beat me," Orgtah grinned as he moved closer. "Now you die," Orgtah now hovered over Mazrath’s limp body. The giant ogre stared at its fallen enemy. Then he raised his weapon into the air ready to strike when…

"That is enough," A cold voice said just in time, the tree was only inches from Mazrath. Mazrath forced his head to look to where the voice came from, he saw a tall man in a black robe, a staff just as tall with black staff with a red ruby at its tip. A shadow priest Mazrath flinched, what could he be doing here, "Master wants him alive. As I promised you can have your Kin back. Talazar may need you for future services, so do not go far." The shadow priest warned. Orgtah looked at Mazrath for a second and went into the castle. A few minutes passed and he left, followed by hundreds of ogres.
"Me not done with you yet puny human!" Orgtah roared as he marched out into the distance.

"So you must be Mazrath…" The shadow priest said as he walked over to where Mazrath laid, "Sorry for Orgtah, I had to have him weaken you." The shadow priest explained, "I had him think you were Crystal, otherwise he would do nothing to you." The Shadow priest sighed, "Ogres are so annoying to order around."

"What do you want with me?" Mazrath said weakly.
"I was ordered to take Tazryl and you somewhere, apparently my master feels you two could be useful for the future of Dransik," The priest explained simply. Then out of no where, he began to chant something under his breath, something Mazrath couldnt understand nor tried to. He was to weak.
Suddenly the world around him became dark, nothing could be seen for a long time. Just as suddenly as the darkness came it disappeared… almost anyways. He was in a room full of bones and decaying bodies. Mazrath looked around and what he saw amazed him. Standing before him Tazryl stood, his sword was on the ground. Near the door was someone in red armor… A man Mazrath knew all to well, Valekar.
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