I have moved the reason why Jadziel '/quits' to the discussion forum you set-up for this story.
It is my last contribution.
Thanks everyone for an entertaining yarn, some great twists and turns and genuinely likeable characters. I will stick to writing on my own from now on though, this was the first time I tried the old Collab format, and will be the last lol.
I hope Richardb, that you manage to work through the POV problems and come up with a good story with what everyone has contributed. Great maps by the way.
Dawnstorm you have a magical, intriguing writing style and have created a fascinating character in Reed, well done.
Holbrook, as always an absolute pleasure. Albert and Daniel are wonderful characters and I am sure I will be able to buy their adventures in stores soon.
Kahn, the Berserker and Urk are fabulous characters, shame they were left in the 'dead' half of the story as things moved to Derudin.
Choppy, Expendable and others who dipped and returned rarely, you still gave us great characters to paint with.
Jadziel, Myst was/is wonderful and a joy to fall in love with (shame you killed me though) Tularis, Xhao, Xcel and indeed the race and culture created (I know Drow are not new although they were to me) have been fascinating to read and play with.
Do with Juzzza as you will and good luck with book 2.
May 25th, 2004, 09:31 AM
Boldar scratches his head. "Shite, go to sleep one night and the whole thing falls apart..."
Richardb wonders what he missed. Anyone willing to PM me as to what happened? I am at a loss. I think, with a lot of work, we have an interesting story to finish up. It was getting there. Lot's of work to do, but that is what we signed up for.
Jadziel... without you and your characters, there is no story. Please drop me a line and let me know where we are.
Juzzza, again, not sure what happened, but I was truly hoping you'd be back and writing with us again.
Maybe I'm a bit blind to the by-play here, but I thought things were moving along nicely. Can we re-group and not see a few months work lost? Anytime you work in a group, issues happen... and you gotta work them out and figure out what is needed to go forward. Let's keep moving!
May 25th, 2004, 09:34 AM
See the discussion thread and all shall be revealed.
May 25th, 2004, 04:03 PM
On the lighter side---
Boldar looks sideways at Daniel. "Wait a minute... did you..."
Daniel swooped out of reach. "No! Did I what?"
"Did you cause all of this?"
Daniel chuckled. "Maaaaaybeeeeee." He saw Boldar reach for his sword. "But I'll fix it!"
"I hope so," Boldar grumped. "My first time out in a decade... a girl to boot... and to lose it all? God's if we start again I'll be impot... ahem, well, let's just say I don't want to go back. No, I'lll go down fighting!"
Crom nodded. "Kill story cause paradox. Bad thing. Too much history lost."
Bass nodded, looking in surprise at the ogre. "Good point, I think the answer is in editing. Yes, we just need the help of the god's to put things aright, and to go back to the past and fix a few things."
Daniel began to belch...
"Oh no." Boldar seemed panicked.
Albert stood up, wiping off his hat. "God's? Who needs a god! I'll fix it!"
Boldar looked down at his mid section. "I've as good as lost you now, old friend..."
May 26th, 2004, 04:12 AM
"Why you looking at me like that for ?" Daniel huffed and then sniffed round Bolder's legs.
Did you?" Bolder moved his right leg as Daniel sniffed even harder.
"Do what...? Daniel looked up at the big man his diamond eyes whirling.
"Eat... errrr... eat... well Juzzza has gone."
"Eat, don't know what you mean?" Daniel said, frowned, ran his tongue round his teeth then picked at them with his talon. Juzzza's belt buckle flew across the carvern.
"Bass...oh Bass..." Bolder shouted backing off from the grinning drake.
May 26th, 2004, 09:40 AM
Last sidebar bit
Daniel began to cough, looking much like a cat trying desparately to dislodge a hairball. With a mighty heave, he spat up Juzzza.
Boldar flinched. "Oh, that's just nasty."
Juzzza coughed and stood up.
"So, your back. We're all back." Boldar commented. "What's wrong drake, you not hungry?"
Daniel looked at Boldar in a huff. "Always hungry. Just couln't keep it down... he tasted like... roses. Blech."
"Roses?" Boldar mused.
Juzzza looked around, his face a bit red. "It's just a bit of cologne mate..."
Boldar laughed. "Smells pretty, tastes bad. Lovable, but not edible. Oh well."
Daniel coughed again. "Anyone got anything to get this taste out of my mouth?"
I'll delete later. Enough fun.
May 26th, 2004, 11:28 AM
Sometime in the middle of the next day (though it was hard to determine such things in the underdark), a small pinprick of light in the distance foretold of an exit from the underdark.
"What the hell... we shouldn't be to the surface for at least another day!" Boldar remarked.
Daniel, swooped in. "Told you I knew a shortcut!"
"Crom no care how we get here, just glad to see light." Crom chimed in happily.
Quinot dropped the lantern on the cavern floor. "Finally I can stop carrying that heavy thing!"
"Pick it up, Quinot." Bass ordered.
"Quinot." Bass put emphasis on the name.
"Pick it up, carry it, do this, don't do that...I hate adults..." Quinot mumbled.
Mik walked by. "Me too lad, but then, I hate kids too. Just pick up the damned lamp and quit whining."
Bass smiled as Quinot bent and picked up the lamp rather quickly.
A few minutes later, they were squeezing out a small opening into the bright light of noon. Eyes accostomed to darkness were bleeding tears.
A voice boomed. "Don't move!" It was an ogres voice, and it sounded familiar.
"Nedrak?" Crom yelled. "Is that you? I can't see!"
"Bloody right it's me! And against all hope, you return from the dark!"
Mya, who was first to clear her sight, looked around, seeing about a dozen ogre behind an earthen wall. She realized that they had come out of the small opening on the north side of the valley. She turned to Daniel. "If you knew how to get here so quickly, why didn't you say something when we were going down into..."
Daniel, who was flying about in small circled overhead suddenly stopped flying about and hovered. He cocked his head, as if listening, though it did not appear he was listening to Mya. He seemed to bulge a bit and looked startled. "Oooh, time to go!" He darted back into the tunnel and was out of sight without another word.
"Damned drake is insane." Boldar grumbled.
Bass looked thoughtful. "I have a bad feeling all of a sudden..."
Crom smiled. "No reason to worry about drake. He be fine. We go Nedrak's house and have ale now!"
Nadrak nodded and dropped a large ladder down the steep embankment to allow them to climb over easily.
A few minutes later, Boldar, Mya, Mik, Crom, Quinot, and Bass were walking with Nedrak and two other ogre's towards Nedrak's home. As they approached the door, it burst open. The large ogre that had thrown the door open came to an abrupt halt finding his leader directly in front of him. He looked a bit panicked.
"What problem?" Nedrak asked him calmly.
"Uh... well, not problem really, but not normal." Replied the ogre.
"What not normal?"
"All dark elf prisoners just died."
"Why kill them, I said to hold them!" Nedrak was becoming angry.
"No kill them, Nedrak. They just died."
"Oh no." Bass whispered. "That sone of a... It can't be..." He turned as if to go back, then stopped, his shoulders slumped. He shouted into the wind of the valley "We failed old friend, we failed, and Varsnya shall never forgive me this..."
May 26th, 2004, 10:40 PM
placeholder for the ending -- just pasting in what we had from Juzzza
Juzzza felt Xhao stiffen and the Rogue gripped his arm tighter around the elf's waist. He looked at the elf's eyes, which were wide. A single tear traced its way down his ebony cheek and then his eyes rolled and his legs gave way.
"Xhao?" said Juzzza and then he saw the hilt of the dagger, which was buried deep into the base of the elf's skull. The Rogue whipped round and drew his blade. He searched for the assassin looking left and right, he looked down at the still form of Xcel, where had the blade come from? The only person standing within range was... Myst.
Juzzza stepped forward, lowering his blade. He shook his head, not wishing to believe what he knew to be true. He waved a hand over the body of Xhao and tried to mouth a question but no words came to him. Myst looked crestfallen, almost heartbroken and she wiped tears from her cheeks. Without a word between them there was chilling recognition.
Juzzza fell to his knees, his sword falling from his hand, tears now falling freely. For the first time, one of them spoke, it was Myst.
"Juz... I... Forgive me," she said keeping her distance.
"Why?" was all the Rogue could manage.
"Humans. Our people will never be free Juz, I can't allow an alliance... My family, Dargeth... I am so sorry but my love for one can not outweigh my hatred for all... Forgive me my love and understand that this is the ultimate sacrifice that I could ever make I... Love you more than life itself and what I do now means that I can have no life because without you I... Am nothing."
Myst drew another throwing blade from its scabbard and raised it past her ear. The Rogue simply watched, spreading his arms wide and sobbing once before the blade buried deep into his sternum.
The crowd had swelled, watching the spectacle and on the dais, the lone assassin turned to face her people and paused once to blow a bitter kiss at the fallen human.
The war was about to commence.
The drake fell from the air with a thump, without a word. The LRI stopped in their tracks and watched with a blend of fascination and fear as the white, scaled, belly of the creature began to bubble and pulsate.
Quinot dropped the lamp and was about to run to the creature's aid when Bass placed a gentle hand on the boy's shoulder keeping him by his side.
Boldar looked at Mya and shrugged.
"It's that purple fungus I'll bet, serves him right for making me eat the blasted stuff... I was shitting through the eye of a needle for days!!!"
Daniel's form stretched and crunched three times until the drake was the size of a large bull. The drake retched, crawling forward on his belly. Retching once again with a 'bleurgh!' a man fell to the floor of the dimly lit cavern.
Standing, the man held out a hand towards the drake and burping, Daniel spat out a large brimmed hat.
Albert dusted himself down and turned to face his companions who were wide-eyed, astonished and a little disgusted.
"Mik," said Crom. "Remind me not to eat old man with hat."
"Daniel," said Albert to the drake, who was beginning to shrink back to his original size. "Hand it over... Now."
"But the powers that be will..." the drake was cut short.
"NOW," repeated Albert, his eyes sparkling with menace.
The drake sucked in some air, belched and spat out a chunk of what looked like purple mother-of-pearl.
"The Kult'ar," gasped Bass.
Albert scooped up the item and buried it deep into his pocket.
"Bloody people, it's always the bloody people. We worry about powerful items, which can destroy worlds and the problem is never with the bloody item at all, it's the bloody people."
"What is going on?" asked Mya.
Albert turned to face her then without answering he paced towards Quinot who cowered behind Bass's legs.
"Come Quinot, it's time to use those powers of yours," said Albert holding out his hand.
"Leave him be mage," warned Bass.
Albert growled and a blue light blasted Bass from his feet, sending the old man crashing into the cavern wall.
Boldar drew his sword and howling, he ran towards the Hat Man. In one smooth motion, Albert drew his basket-hilted blade, parried the viscous strike and punched the giant in the jaw, dropping the big man like a sack of potatoes.
Mik and Crom came upon the Mage together, the Ogre swinging a spiked mace and Mik his broadsword.
The blast of light was blinding and when Quinot peered from beneath his fingers, the only figure still standing and conscious apart from himself, was the man in the hat.
"Daniel, Quinot, come... It's time I collected my son and addressed the balance on this soon-to-be elf-less planet."
"With or without the Kult'ar, we can remove the human threat from our world and the drow can rule above and below ground... I have seen the sun and I felt its warmth upon my face, a warmth wasted on the pale complexion of man. Our Emperor can lead us to victory and as the only surviving heir to the Yassassin's rule of the assassin's guild, I promise that as a people we..."
An explosion sent screaming elves high into the air, parting the crowd and silencing Myst's speech.
The Hat Man walked casually through the crowd towards the dais, at his heels riding the drake side-saddle, was Quinot. the boy stared at the dark faces and he wondered why no one attacked them. He reached out with his power and read the minds of those he passed. Some wanted war, some simply wanted to return to their homes to kiss their children and tend to their business.
Quinot looked up at the Hat Man and hesitated before reaching beneath the hat with his powers. He screamed and almost fell from Daniel's back, the power contained within the mind of the mage was staggering and the boy pouted as Albert chuckled.
"One day boy, one day... But right now, keep your nose out of my business," said Albert as he approached the assassin.
Myst drew her sword and the blade rippled with power. Albert gestured with his hand and the steel screeched and looped into itself, creating a mockery of a blade, which resembled a bow of dark steel. Myst dropped the ruined weapon and reached for dagger.
The Hat Man stepped onto the stage and slapped her hard with the back of his hand, she fell to her knees and held a hand up to her swelling cheek. Quinot winced, he didn't like the Hat Man hitting the woman.
The boy reached forward with his power and entered the mind of the elf. Inside, hatred, confusion, passion and regret raged like molten lava. The woman was broken, her mind fragmented like a shattered mirror. Quinot saw flashes of memories, felt the pain and torment and the under-current of hatred and blame for humans.
Quinot snapped back to reality when Albert broke the silence. The Hat Man turned to face the crowd.
"Your mages created the Kult'ar to eradicate the human race from this world, every man, woman and child. Genocide to win a war over greed. Nature has a way of scuppering such plans, such is the way of the universe. I carry the guilt of destroying worlds, I have done so on a number of occassions. Now I must destroy a race, to save this world but you should know, not that it matters I am sure, that I find no pleasure in doing so and I will mourn for you all as I mourn for others who have perished as a result of my actions."
The Hat Man turned away from the crowd and beckoned for Quinot to step up onto the dais. The boy did as he was told and kneeling before the boy, Albert placed something into his hand.
"Now Quinot, I want you to reach forward with your power for a moment, I am going to ask you to do something for me, don't be scared, it will only take a moment."
For a few seconds, Derudin was silent. The small boy gasped and from his open mouth, a purple light flooded forward, gaining in size until with a boom, a blast rippled from the boy, sweeping across the crowd, across Derudin, through the caverns and across the world like an ocean.
Myst looked up and sobbed. The square was littered with the lifeless bodies of her people.
"What have you done?" she asked, tears streaking down her face.
Albert ignored her and walked over to Juzzza's body.
"Daniel, take him you know where." The drake grumbled, doubled in size and carefully lifted the Rogue between his teeth and with a pop, vanished.
The Hat Man crouched before Quinot and smiled.
"You did well boy, soon I will take you back to Bass, who will watch over you as you develop your powers." The mage turned to Myst and walked over to stand above the elf.
"You are probably wondering why you still exist, whwn the rest of your race has perished?" he said.
Myst did not answer.
"You are cursed with being the last of your kind and worse for you I am sure, you carry in your belly the first of a new race, a half-breed. Your own blood merged with that of the race you hate so passionately... And when you look into the blue eyes of your son, you will see his father, the man you loved and murdered. It is the child, which saved you from the power of the Kult'ar. Within your womb you carry human blood and human flesh, the son of the Rogue and far more importantly, the Grandson of the Hat Man. He will become a powerful mage and one day will unite worlds, or destroy them. Congratulations." Albert scowled then walked away from her.
Quinot whimpered when the Elf screamed, he watched as she reached for the blade, lifted it above her belly and tried to drive the blade into herself. A light flashed and the blade shattered into shards. Albert turned back to face her.
"The child will not allow you to harm yourself Myst, now we have two things in common you and I. We both loved the Rogue and we must both live with our guilt for the things we have done."
May 26th, 2004, 10:41 PM
In a place that was no place, outside of time, and outside of human understanding, the spiritual form of Bass kneeled in front of his master. She looked at him unspeaking for a moment.
During that time Bass noted several things that surprised him. The first surprise was that kneeling next to him was the unmoving form of Tularis. His spirit seemed… insubstantial, and his head lolled on his neck and his eyes were closed. The second surprise was the distant rows of floating bodies, dark bodies stretching out of sight, lying unmoving in the dim light of this place.
“You both failed me.” Varsnya’s voice was quiet but undeniable in its power.
“I was tricked…”
“You failed.” Insistance, power, compulsion.
“Yes. I failed.” Bass replied.
“Tularis made his sacrifice, and it was true, and yet he too failed ultimately.”
Bass looked at his friend, but there was still no response nor sign of awareness. “I am ready to pay for my mistake.” He knew Varsnya to be a vengeful goddess and his life force was in her hands. He accepted this.
“You will not pay. You will FIX IT.” The words blasted Bass’ mind numb. “Albert will not be allowed to make a fool of me, nor my minions.”
Bass simply kneeled speechless and awaited further instructions.
“You will not be alone in this, however.” She waved her hands and a form appeared before him on the floor, a real physical form; it was Juzzza.
“He’s dead.” It was a statement.
“Irrelevant. He is a tool and I will use him.” Varsnya answered. “Juzzza as you know him is dead, but none shall know that. I will return this body to life, and he has been trained in certain skills that you will need to reach Albert.”
“How did you get him… what will I tell the others about…” Bass stumbled with his questions.
“I TOOK him from where he was sent before HE could come for him. And I don’t care what you tell them. Tell them YOU brought him back, they’ll believe you. He’ll be the same in most ways, they won’t know.”
“Lady…” Bass began.
“Why is Tularis here? Has he not earned rest?” Bass inquired carefully.
“He has earned nothing beyond what I will give him. I must send his soul back to inhabit the body of another.”
“One who will be near another that has a role to play in this some day. That is all you need to know.”
“Who are those?” Bass indicated the rows of bodies.
“Others I have selected as possible tools. I will hold them until I need them. If I need them. They too may serve, if I desire.”
“Have you preserved the last of the…”
“I have done nothing you need worry about, Bass. Do not presume too much.”
Bass bowed his head. “Yes Lady.” He raised his head fractionally. “How will we find him, what must I do?”
“He will return when the time is right. And you will know what to do when you need to. Until then, you will follow Juzzza.”
“And Bass. Do not fail again, the cost is far higher than you can imagine.”