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(RP Post) Just to liven it up a bit, another tale from RavenOak

Discussion in 'UO Sonoma' started by Guest, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The doors started to open with a hellish screech, then the ancient hinges gave way with a dry snap. The old oaken doors crashed inward, pluming up dustbunnies and dirt collected since a time most had forgotten. The resounding boom traveled upward through the tower, echoing in the floors above like giants walking 'cross the roof. Dahakon coughed, waving his hand in front of his face and only managing to stir the choking cloud more.

    "Ne'er much fer housekeeping, was he." He started to chuckle, then choked again. "Damn and blast, let's wait for that to settle a bit."

    The others in the party sat on the rocks fallen from the parapets and slowly chewed a cold lunch. All gazed at the tower, forming their own visions of how it once looked. There wasn't much left, with most of one eve laying about them, and a crack wide as a man's shoulders twisting up the side like black lightning. Soon, the dust had settled, and they placed the remnants of the forgotten lunch in their packs. Why must the mage drag them along on his wild fancies? That was a question discussed over many an ale, but none of them really minded. They came along most every time, didn't they?

    Dahakon walked into the gaping maw that once had been a doorway, and the top of his staff lit like a small sun. He squinted, muttered a few words, and torches along the walls burst into flame, casting a pleasant glow on a most unpleasant sight.

    The halls were covered in grey dust. A blacks tone table lay against one wall, a half-melted candle upon it. Spread across the table were books, some opened, some enatly stacked. Another table lay to the right, goblets and plates set upon it, almost as if the undead were preparing to sit down for e'en supper. The place didn't look as if it had ever been touched, as expensive brass fixtures and paintings hung unmolested along the walls. For some reason, looters had never bothered with this place. Or maybe they had forgotten it, as most would the minute it was out of sight. The tower had a peculiar effect on people, almost no effect, if that made any sense. But, whoever had lived here had obviously lived in splendor, and it didn't look as if he left in a hurry. A book lay open on the desk, with a quill and inkpot laid neatly beside it. Whoever had left it wasn't panicked, he just.... left....

    The old mage picked up the open tome, and blew the dust off it in a small cloud. The script there was open and flowing, an old script, almost calligraphy, almost cursive, a cross between the present tongue and the old one. He flipped the pages, scanning quickly. The others stopped their gadding about and looked at him expectantly. A gruff voice spoke from the far side of the room, where most gruff voices spoke to him from.

    "Well, mage, what is it? Is THAT what we came out here to the ends of Felucca for? I'm anxious to get back, this place gives me the willies."

    "Hold your tongue, Horace. I doubt we'll be bothered here." The rest knew they wouldn't, somehow. What business would someone have out in this area to start with? "And yes, this is part of the answers I seek."

    Another voice spoke from the group, this one deep, slow, and steady. A voice used on animals when they shied away, a voice that made even dragons halt their hunt and perk their ears.

    "Well, Dahakon, let's have it. What does it say?" Lich Reaver stepped closer and peered over his shoulder. "That script I can't read, so you'll have to translate."

    Dahakon led them back outside, blaming the poor light, but everyone there knew his vision was only poor when he wanted it to be so. They suspected he liked the tower no more than they. As he walked out, he gestured absently with his hand, and the torches doused themselves, almost like the fancy gas-lamps at the inn. This always gave the younger warriors a chuckle, for some reason. His mere tricks always impressed them more than his greater magics, such as raising the dead. Odd lot, warriors are....

    They walked a little piece from the tower, and sat upon stones. Sone reclined in the grass, soaking up the sun and enjoying the smells from the bay. Birds screamed out there, crying in triumph after snatching some small fish which had wandered too close to the waters surface. Dahakon picked a small boulder, his sandaled feet nearly a foot off the ground. He paged through the book, looking for a spot to start, then nodded when he approved of what he read there. The rest listened in, some with eyes closed as he painted a picture from the novel. He began to read....

    "Jereked from deep alumber with a snap, I became aware of too many things in too short a time to comprehend. The chill of sweat, the cottony feel in my mouth, the hammering in my chest, the tangled bedclothes; each accosted my senses with an unrelenting subdued fury demanding attention. Through the rushing of blood in my ears, piercing my dullened awareness with the clarity of a bolt of lightning, I hear....

    "It has come again...."

    With painful suddenness, the gauze lifts from my reality as I regain focus. A flash of anger and fear splashes me, both hot and cold. As lashes form a ox-driver's whip, jagged thoughts fill my head. "Again he sits in grim vigil. Again I fulfill some measure of his cold vision. damn his patience!" And fleeting as quick as is rose, my anger melts away. In it's place... fear.

    "Yes, the same dream, no more... and no less" I say. *No hope* I feel

    "Speak of it once more"

    "Why? For a moon's turn I've had this same dream, each and every night without end. And every night, you sit there and watch me, without end. why?"

    "You know."

    "I know what, old man?!" My anger was back, quick as it usually was. "Know that I've been chosen by you as a sacrifice into the unknown? Know that my fate is sealed, that shadowy murmurs are all I get from you on the subject?! Know that I'm destined to follow your last pupil into whatever hell snared him from you? No, old man, tonight you will speak of new things to me. I am tired of telling the worn tale."

    Like quicksilver, the old man's face twisted in anger. His aura seemed to drown out the candlelight, and he seemed to fill the room with his presence. "PEACE!! You will keep a civil tongue with me, stripling. Think you your few years of toil and strife makes you wise with that of the ages? WHEN I tell you WHAT I will is for me to decide. Knowledge is the keenest sword, boy, I would no sooner arm you beyond your ability in that than I would with steel." Vented of passion, the old one seemed to age into the quiet scholar I've come to respect.
    "Yet, the dream is a sign of Power, one you have and refuse. You can see what I do, if you'll open your blasted eyes. but, your spirit is strong, even if your head is dense. We shall begin the studies in the morning."

    *Finally!*, I think. *A time of change is at hand* His next words drowned out my short jubilation.

    "But first... I'll hear you give an accounting of tonight's dream. There are eyes beyond those in that dullard's skull you wield so poorly that see beyond the telling of a tale. Speak"

    "As you wish." With tired lackluster I let myself drif waking into the nightmare that now posesses my sleep. I again fly over green hills and vast forest, skimming above the trees like some phantom spirit. And there, as before, on the coast... a ship made of black timber, it's tattered sail flapping in the breeze. At the tiller, no man sits, tis but a skeleton. His lipless grin beckons me, welcomes me, and it's oddly comforting. I take my stand by the mast, and the ship skims over the water with oily speed, and I see the great isle of ice ahead, growing ever larger with the eery speed of this dreamship.

    Like a feather in the wind, I'm carried against my will towards a rotting pier, past remains of ancient houses and frozen carcasses of animals best left unseen, I race towards the ebon mouthlike gap of the dungeon. I enter, racing through halls of dead kings, echoing laughter of the long-dead echoing around me. I travel here, through the abandoned keep, great halls and mouldy walls left to decay.

    When I think the depths of despair have been fully delved, I see the cauldron again. A brew boils within. Lacking either head to turn or eyes to close in this dream state, I view with burning clarity the human parts simmering in this unholy stew of the dead. Straining with all my soul, I wrench my eyes away, and make for an exit, any exit. Just when freedom is within my grasp, cold bony fingers clasp me from behind, dragging me deeper into darkness. And, in panic and terror, I awake.

    Once my telling is complete, I look up, and see the amge's eyes closed in meditation. The purple glow seeps from his closed eyelids, that eery yet beautiful glow.... and it fades as his eyes open.

    "You are chosen" He states with finality.

    "Yes, I know, you chose me from the lot, hence I am your pupil..."

    "No, lad, not my choosing, not for this. It is you who will bear a curse, you who drew this lot from fate's hand. The doomed life. Your dreams of the undead tell of it." His eyes took me in wiht unsettling candor. With a "hmph" and a shake of his head, he began to tell a tale of his own. One I wish I had never been told. One I wished to make a lie my whole life, yet here I sit, the prophecy fulfilled. And this is what I was told, as much as I can remember.....

    "Very well. First, you must sieze every notion you have of this world, and cast it away. Get a firm grip on all your knowledge of the makings of Sosaria and the Cosmos, and toss it out the window into the gutter with the rest of the refuse."

    *Stars, what have I started this night?*, I wonder to myself, *to make it worse, I but begged for this...*

    "This world, the one you see around you," the old man continued, "is not the only one. What you call Sosaria is actually Felucca. This and another much like it, and possibly more, make up what is called the Prime Realms. The other one like this, called Trammel, is the stronghold of Order. This one will become a stronghold of Chaos when the other land is opened. But, that is far off yet, we have years to go with only this one."

    "Now, 'tween these two realms is a region called the Veil. but, like any container, it has weak points. These points I and my order shall assault some years from now. There are those here who already seek to lift the veil, and in their vanity, they think lifting it will save this land, but it will cast it in shadow. But, that is a long way off, and they are wrong. When they try, I shall try and convinvce them otherwise, but will help them in my own vanity."

    "As for you.... my dear boy...." the priest seemed shaken by some unseen blow, but continued. "You will become lord of a kingdom. There shall be three kingdoms when yours is awakened, and you shall unite, and this shall be the last great time of this land. You will bear the scars of many battles before this kingdom comes to you, and your respect as a warrior is what will draw them together. However, when the High Brethren of my Sect lift the veil, and Trammel is opened, your kingdom will fall. And you with it. You will move into exile, and your attempts at reviving what you;ve lost will drive you further away from the people of this new land. Your fortune will be squandered, and you will suffer in penance for the greatness you enjoyed."

    "Yet, not all is cast in stone. After your penance, you will ne'er have a lordship again, but you might form an army. That is up to you. This I have seen, lad, and I am deeply sorry it is your burden to bear."

    Dahakon slowly closed the book, and gazed around. The group was silent for a while, then the deep steady voice spoke again.

    "The mage was you wasn't it? And the pupil was Nexus."

    Dahakon slowly nodded, then another voice spoke. "But Nexus is old, and lives in solitude on hte Bay of Sorrow... if you were his teacher when he was just a lad... that makes you..."

    "Aye," spoke Dahakon. "I'm showing my age." With that he gave his dry chuckle. No more needed said. He slowly folded the book in oilcloth, and placed it in his pack.

    "That is the prophecy he bore, and true it came. Now I cannot see what lies ahead, for fate left it to him. Even prisoners are granted a pardon before death, I suppose. Let us be gone before dark, for worse things than monsters loom out here in the night"

    And with that, the party picked up their rucks, mounted, and set off for Vesper. For who knows what lurks in yon forest in the moonlight.....
  2. Excellent tale, friend.

    Once again, a bittersweet and well-wrought read.

    Thank you so much for the writing of it.
  3. T'ari

    T'ari Guest

    *claps* That was a terrific read. Thank you!
  4. Very well written and interesting tale. Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Good Fortune!
  5. Calell

    Calell Guest

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for such an interesting tale! I would love to read more.