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Old January 31, 2015, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Ring [Medonia] "I Left My Heart in Old Medonia" (Private, PM for Invite)

Spring, Era XXII Post Fractum - In the Season of Nightmares

The Siege of Medonia was the turning point in the tide against the Xet. In a rare act of courage, even House de Lylles showed face and fought alongside the peasants. Straylor would remember those moments at the end of the siege until his dying breath. In the same way, the things he saw that day would haunt him forever. Brothers perished beside their sons, fathers, and neighbors. Brave, young men suffered and died without honor against the insects. That was the truth about war. There were no heroics, no tales of conquest, or romance.

Only death and blood.

On that cold spring morning, one of Medonia's sons returned home. The war had wearied him, his features creased with worry and burdens beyond his time. Yet those hazel eyes burned with newfound passion. He knew now that there was no peace, no true justice, or even order. One could only hope for balance. So while the gods above and below played their war games, Straylor intended to remove the pestilence he sowed upon the Midlands.

It was time he repaid that particular debt.

By now, the insatiable hunger to find newer, fresher fields of Contamination was somewhat managed by force of will. He would not let his new powers control him. Using his minds eyes, though, he peered outside the carriage and felt the raw ebb and flow of Contamination echoing across the leagues to him. He could nearly smell the foul magic he once wielded.

Dressed in finery afforded by men of his station, Straylor nearly felt out of place. In truth he only donned the clothes to remove suspicion from any patrols in the area. While he traveled aimless across the Empire following the final battle against the Xet, he was frequently harassed for looking like a vagabond. This mission was of utmost importance. He did not want to be detained needlessly.

Eventually, the Midlands bloomed before them and Straylor ordered the drivers to halt. The riders flanking him took to their positions near a small hill and dismounted. It had been a long ride from Port Alyxandrya.

"Bring out my equipment", Straylor instructed one of the footmen in his retinue.

"And the wine, midlord?"

Straylor smiled. "No, that is my last bottle of Medonian Red. I'm saving that for later." It was amusing to think that these men likely thought he was hankering for a picnic. They would be in for a rather unruly surprise.
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Old April 16, 2015, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A powerful gust of wind blew in from the west. It was much colder than expected, almost unnatural.

Caught unawares, one of the hands nearly dropped a piece of equipment. Both man and object were saved in the nick of time, however, as another footman nearby quickly grabbed it before it went crashing to the ground. Both men looked at each other, quiet but with wide eyes, hopeful that Straylor had not seen the almost disastrous mishap.

The wind quickly died down and men continued to unpack the equipment. From a distance away, Straylor would be the lone person able to see an odd-colored sky, where others would see the hazy gray of a cloud-covered morning. Normal to them, but to the spellbreaker it was a torrent of energies that he alone in this group had the capabilities to see, and possibly capture. The colors spread out over the horizon, diffusing into strains of different colors and hues altogether. It was like a cloud thick with essence, with spindly legs reaching out in all different directions.

"Döpplestraylor" Quest unlocked! This is a high-level contamination area.
... or it may just be filled with cabbits.
(Sorry, I had to )
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Old April 16, 2015, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)

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The ‘dopplestraylor’ radar sensed a massive cloud of contamination on the horizon, spread out like aurora borealis against the Enamorian skies.

While his men prepared the foundations of his repurposed arcana altars, Straylor focused on his own preparations. He brought several objects of power that were once infused with druidism, various gems and precious stones that were imbued. These imbuements were exhausted long ago but the objects that housed them should still retain a touch or spark of Druidism. Straylor would use these as seeds, Warping the object to enhance the properties he needed. To harvest contamination, one needed an attractive force -- that’s what the traps were -- a mechanism to draw the energies, siphoning them in a controlled manner to be contained. But the containers? These were vital and needed to be strong enough to encase the remnant magic as well as stabilize them whilst in transit to a more secure location.

Once he was pleased with his work, and the seeds prepared, Straylor began instructing the laborers, carpenters, and footmen in his employ to erect the structures he envisioned.

Since his transformation, he learned how to focus on the vivid visions he experienced. It was like drawing memories from a former life, a different self. These recollections created a gnawing hunger inside his soul, forcing him to act upon instincts and knowledge unfamiliar to him. Yet these new powers felt as natural to him as any spellcraft. The bastardization of his former specialization’s techniques and fundamentals was only a small part of that. Straylor understood that rudimentary traps involved constructs and creations with the help of blacksmiths and gadgeteers. But at the pinnacle of his craft, Straylor was able to produce altars and rituals that surpassed these mundane mechanisms.

He employed a trio of wooden pyramids seated inside a faux circle of magic. The edges, lines, runes, and sigils that formed the three circles were carved into the earth of the Midlands by Straylor’s own hand. Like a man possessed, he lost all semblance of control as his mind drifted. From the Void, he conjured the runes required for the task: the Knight, the Magister, and the Queen marked the northernmost points on each pyramid respectably. These marked each individual pyramid in the parallel traps to ensure that they worked in tandem but independently from one another. Then Straylor infused the runes and sigils of the circles to life. His intention was for the pyramids to serve as lightning rods to the contamination, channeling the energies to his seeds seated in the center of the faux circles.
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Old April 16, 2015, 12:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As the workers set to building the site as Straylor had directed, the spellbreaker would find that he began noticing movement in the corner of his eye. It played tricks with his peripheral, staying out of his gaze and disappearing into the shadows that were popping up as the contraptions were erected.

As the pyramids began to take shape, a shadow moved out from behind it. It stared at Straylor blankly, but still had an eerie human-like quality to it.

"Lookit!" said one of the workers, his attention diverted from the job he was performing. "It's a cabbit!"

The cabbit grabbed a tuft of grass and leaned back on its hind legs, nibbling. It quickly spat out the brown grass, then threw the remainder behind its back. The ground it came out of was dusty and dry, as if it didn't realize it was spring. Perhaps the contamination (even though slight here as compared to the area Straylor could see in the distance), simply didn't allow it to.

The cabbit, mostly white with a patch of brown over one of its eyes, took a few hops towards Straylor. It continued to stare at him, with his head cocked to the side.
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Old April 16, 2015, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)

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Cabbits were curious things. Straylor owned one named Pikachu some time ago. Unfortunately, it died during the Longest Winter.

The earth surrounding them were gray and barren, as if the Midlands refused to be awaken by spring's tidings. This was another result of the catastrophic spells employed during Medonia's retaking. Kel'rondar's touch was prevalent here, evidence that Straylor's magic was definitely corrupted by Xenarius in his final days as a druid.

Cabbits were magical creatures capable of transformation. He watched it sadly refusing some of the dry grass.

"Keep it away from the pyramids", he ordered the men around him. Then to his guards he had them prepare a perimeter around the encampment.
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Old April 16, 2015, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The cabbit sped away as a pair of armored footmen neared it, finally getting lost in the fields beyond.

As Straylor turned away, presumably to continue to oversee the construction occurring around him, he would find that he was, once again, being stared at.

Three cabbits, all of different colors and sizes, stood several paces away. One was on a wagon, another underneath it, the last was several paces away.

They remained motionless, except for the flickering of their whiskers, their beady black eyes focused intensely on the spellbreaker.
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Old April 16, 2015, 04:02 PM   #7 (permalink)

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Straylor reached out to the cabbits with his mind's hands.

Could there be something to be revealed about the creatures while he was in Focus?

Otherwise he'd keep on working and urge his men to do the same.

Preparations had to be done!
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Old April 17, 2015, 08:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Of course! Preperations!

Straylor would notice that the cabbits were dripping were arcanic contamination.

The same pair of burly blokes that chased the white and brown cabbit away found easy prey of the other three, chasing them into field much as the same as the first.

Straylor went along his business, pointing and giving orders, as all hands on deck milled about like perfect little ants. The spellbreaker would eventually turn around once again, to find not one or two, but rather seven cabbits, all in different positions around him. Staring.

A voice came to Straylor.

"They're just hungry, you know...."

The sound drifted lazily in the breeze, floating down to barely reach the man's ears.

"Why don't you be a chap and give them something to eat?"

The search to find the origination of the voice would be easy. It was a butterfly, with blue and violet wings. It sat on Straylor's shoulder, looking at him with tiny insect eyes, its wings twitching.
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Old April 20, 2015, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)

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Straylor did a doubletake when more cabbits came into view. Odd. The creatures were also slathered with contamination. Under the lens of Focus, Straylor tried to identify what contaminants were present. He hypothesized that it would be derivatives of the essences used during the Battle of Medonia: namely, druidism and elementalism. But there were reports of something else in Medonia ... which would make for a very fascinating find.

His men made short work of the handful of cabbits, chasing them off into the Midlands.

Straylor was content to keep working and directing his men. Until a butterfly began speaking to him. He glanced over at his shoulder to find the insect unapologetically glaring at him. Whispering things. Weird things.

So Straylor stared back. Stare. And while he was at it, he tried to distill the contamination that would very likely be on this blue-violet butterfly as well.
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Old April 21, 2015, 09:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The butterfly fluttered up, dripping with both elemental and druidic contamination, fluttered and around Straylor's head, finding a perch on the other shoulder. He stared once again at the man.

"Oh, that wasn't very nice," its wings twitching as the cabbits, steeped with the same contamination, scampered off. "Not very nice at all. My master said that you might be very nice. Either very nice or very powerful. No other reason to have so many mens working for you. Oh well. Thank you for nothing, I suppose. We will look for food elsewhere...."

It seemed to nearly sigh into Straylor's ear as it began to flutter off. However, it stopped and dropped quickly back down.

"Oh yes! I almost forgot! My master told me to tell you that, wait... what was it? Oh yeah! 'You and all of your mens are going to die out here.'"
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Old April 21, 2015, 10:25 AM   #11 (permalink)

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It wasn't everyday that a butterfly got Straylor's attention.

"Wait", he called after the blue-violet messenger of death. "Who is your master?"

Begrudgingly, he called over some of the men and instructed them to spare some horse feed for the cabbits. If anything, it would at least give the butterfly a reason to stay.

After all these years, Straylor learned to take death threats very seriously. One never knew who employed talking butterflies these days ...
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Old April 21, 2015, 11:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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As the feed was layed out on the ground, the cabbits came back out from the fields, quickly munching it down. The butterfly fluttered back down.

"My master? Oh, like you, he is very powerful indeed! And now that you have shown us a mercy, he will show you the same! We are to have a party!" The butterfly fluttered happily back up and down, hovering near Straylor's face.

"Oh wait, no... That's not right. A parlay. That is what my master is offering. A parlay before he and his army come to destroy all of you for... what was it? Oh yes! Trespassing."
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Old April 21, 2015, 11:10 AM   #13 (permalink)

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Straylor frowned. A parlay was definitely not as good as a partay. But it was better than a massacre.

He motioned for the butterfly to lead on. “I accept your master’s offer. Please show me the way.”
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Old April 21, 2015, 11:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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"Oh good! That is wonderful to hear! Let us go then!"

The butterfly fluttered off, and without any type of command, the cabbits dispersed as well.

As they made their way into the dusty fields, a multitude of cabbits could be seen bouncing up and out of the grass, like a wave of furry creatures around them. The walk took some time, but eventually Straylor and the butterfly were standing atop a hill, his makeshift camp still visible behind them.

As he looked down the other side, however, would see a huge crater in the earth in front of him, like it was carved out with some gigantic godlike spoon. Inside of it stood a forest, the only green left in the desolate ground that had once been the scene for a massive battle. Straylor had never seen it before, and if it had been here previously, he certainly would have.

Out of the middle of the forest watered sprayed up and dispersed into the clouds. It appeared to be a geyser, but the water itself moved upward much more slowly, as if it were a waterfall.

There was something very eerie about the scene, and something that the spellbreaker would possibly be able to investigate if a little closer. At this distance, however, he would only be certain of one thing: that forest was a huge puddle of arcanic contamination, one of both druidic forces and elemental.

"It is not far now! Let us hurry! My master is awaiting your arrival!"

The butterfly's voice seemed jovial, as if he truly didn't know the difference between a parlay and a partay.
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Old April 21, 2015, 11:49 AM   #15 (permalink)

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The damage to the Midlands grew more and more evident as they traversed the dusty fields. Before he left, he relayed orders to his knights to prepare camp and set up defenses as needed. He did not like the idea of leaving his men unprepared for what could become a terrible ordeal. And to think that they hadn’t even reached the city proper yet.

They ascended a hill, Straylor and the butterfly with the camp and his men behind him. On the other side was evidence of a massive battle with the earth scarred and broken. A crater was in the heart of it all with a forest having grown in its midst. From afar, Straylor estimated that the same twin essences ran rampant here: Elemental and Nature. Clouds hung overhead, born from a geyster that sprouted in the center of this newly formed forest’s heart.

Then the strange sense of eeriness filled his senses. Straylor learned long ago never to ignore these small hints provided by the fates.

“Your lands are beautiful, untouched by war”, he said to the butterfly. “Please tell your master that I wish to meet him on this hill, where we can enjoy the view of your home.” The silver tongue of a politician was often a dangerous weapon; but in times like these, it might fare better than sword, shield, or spell. Straylor’s intention was to remain on the outlook, far from the maelstrom of contamination so evident in the forest, and potentially remain where he had some kind of tactical advantage.
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