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  1. #51
    Junior Member on3h3av3n4all's Avatar
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    Fyevia, Daughter of the Warborn

    It was cold; cold and silent. So silent that even a single breath was as loud as the roar of the Red Dragon. The only accompanying sound was that of constantly dripping water crashing into the stone floor. Darkness consumed everything around this forsaken cell. Its very presence was all but a friend: it stank it smelled, it talked and mostly certainly it was inescapable! Of all things, today was different however: a storm was coming.

    Storms were a thing of dread. Around here, nothing good ever comes from a storm. The rain was deafening. Worse yet was the rainwater would seep through the small cracks in the concrete walls dampening the air making it wetter; colder as if this hellhole wasn’t terrible already.

    Then there was the flash of lightning, which couldn’t be seen by anyone here, but followed was the resounding and inevitable voice of thunder. If rain was deafening then thunder turned sanity and silence into madness. The walls of this erroneous cell would tremble and in turn, this cold bed rocked uncontrollably as it was embedded in the wall. The ice-cold solid steel bars would reverberate from the thunder and hum; a maddeningly sweet overture to the screams of crazed inmates that ensued afterwards.

    Eventually there would be the sound of boots striking and skewing across the wet concrete floor. Around these parts, usually, you’d hear a person coming before you ever saw them. The door to my cell flew open. Light poured into my cell piercing the darkness as my light deprived eyes stung with pain as if daggers were thrust into them. Standing there was a fat heavily bodied man in a greasy and dirtied gray uniform.

    He held a half cracked wooden tray in one hand and a torch in the other. The light of the torch illuminated his misshapen face. A long scar stretched across his face from his clefted chin to his right eye. He was bald with a stubble of facial hair. His nose was crooked and bent in two, a present of having too many broken noses.

    “It’s meal time murderer,” the guard sneered at me, his grin revealing missing and rotting yellow teeth.

    “Set it down over there,” I said, “and I’m NOT a murderer,”

    “Says the one confined in this hellhole, you’re nothing like the rest of us,”

    “The only things we share in common is that we all die and that we’re all confined here. The only difference is that you’re here by choice and I’m not. Honestly what’d you do to get this crap of a job? Angered the Warden? Did you steal too many cakes again? Wait, I bet this was the only job that was willing to hire an overweight hunk of meat like you with the face of a man too beaten to marry any proper lady,”

    I laughed long and hard as the guard’s face flushed with anger. He raised the torch and slammed it into my shoulder. I keeled over onto my side as the pain of the hit and the searing touch of the torch enveloped me. The guard laughed once before saying,

    “Not so funny now is it?” There was a loud clatter as the wooden tray and my meal dropped to the floor. “Enjoy your meal, murderer,”

    The guard spat down at me before leaving with a howl of laughter as he slammed the door shut. Darkness enveloped me again as did the deafening sound of rain. After a while, I managed to sit up and walk over to my bed. I didn’t bother with the meal that was dropped on the floor since by now the leftover soup would have mixed too well with the dirty rain water. Instead I opted to sleep. When I next woke up it would be meal time again or so, that’s what I was thinking.

    Author: Lorest
    Server: Kadum
    "The summer sun is clouded and the wind fluttered. I shall sing the proof that life once existed for those who do not have a name."
    - Euterpe, Guilty Crown

    " 'Fore, ever, Eternity was; was it not just a figment of our imaginations?"
    - The Book of Prophecies, Chapter XCVIII

    Lorest of Dauntless, Tahyang East
    Lorest affiliate of Archangels, Conviction East
    Lorest affiliate of Archangels, Kadum East

  2. #52
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    The Enchanted Rings
    Author: Moonstone
    Server: Kadum

    Swirling snow clouded the great gates of Andelph, and Moonstone shivered in a bitter wind, yet he stood as if rooted to the spot. In truth, he was afraid to enter. He had ridden slowly from Sanddeep, ruminating on the finality of his plans. Now he had to choose his path.

    "Idiot." He cursed himself, shaking his head. "You know damn well you're goin' in. Gonna stand out here till ya get frostbite first?" With that he stepped into the passage. Inside, plumes of steam drifted across the immense hall, and he soon found their source. Casually stripping naked, he waded into the pool, letting the hot water dispel the chill.

    Half an hour later he was warm and hungry. Wandering under the vaulted ceiling, so high that he couldn't quite see the upper reaches, he came upon dining tables set out on the plaza. The food vendor seemed surprised that an Elf wanted to try the local specialties.

    "What brings ye to Andelph?" she asked him.

    "Lookin' for a metalsmith to make some rings. They say Dwarves are the best there is."

    "Aye." She smiled. "Go see my cousin. Beautiful work he does."

    Following her directions through the lower levels of the city, he at last came to a small sign that read "Fine Metalwork, Ornaments, Blades" and he went into the shop. The proprietor looked up from his workbench.

    "What can I do for ye?"

    "Need some rings made; they gotta be perfect though. I got gems to set in 'em too." Moon went on to describe the rings in detail, saving the most important one for last.

    "Who's the lucky lass?" the Dwarf inquired.

    "He ain't no lass." One side of Moonstone's mouth curled into a smirk. "I can vouch for that."

    "Ach, yer one o' them."

    For that, the smith was met with a glare that would have made roses wilt. "Guess somebody else might want this 5000 gold then."

    "Now, lad, I meant nothin' by that!" It was comical how quickly he changed his tune at the mention of gold.

    Three days later, Moon rode out of Andelph carrying two tiny velvet pouches. Nestled within each one was a pair of exquisite rings. The food vendor had been right about the quality of her cousin's work.

    Moonstone had sworn he would never return to Gweonid, yet here he was, on his way to the very place where the worst years of his life had been spent. He knew only one mage who could perform the enchantment he wanted, his old teacher.

    The shabby cluster of buildings was tucked into a clearing in a remote corner of the forest, and he had been standing looking at it for even longer than he had stared at the gates of Andelph. A voice behind him interrupted his thoughts.

    "Is that really Moonstone?"

    He spun around and was face to face with Yanoris, the most powerful mage and alchemist he knew of.

    "Uh, yeah, obviously it's me."

    "And still surly as ever, I see." But his teacher smiled as he said this. "I am most surprised to find you here. In fact, I am surprised to see you're alive and well." Moonstone had been sent here to study alchemy and magic after his troublemaking had transgressed even his mother's minimal limits.

    "Come inside and tell me what brings you here, for it surely cannot be simple nostalgia."

    To explain his visit, Moon laid the first pair of rings on the small table between the teacups. They were identical in design, engraved gold bands, each set with an emerald.

    "Remember when my mother took me to the Rum Runner festival? She did that 'cause she was goin' away to sea for a long time. She married some Harani merchant, been a client of hers for years." He paused, looking doubtful."You do know about her, uh, profession, right?"

    Yanoris looked amused. "You were born in the Entertainment District of Caernord. When I asked who your father was, she said she didn't know. I did not require a mage's sight to discern what she did for a living."

    "I still got no idea who my father was." This had always bothered Moonstone. Back in Caernord, though, he'd considered himself lucky. He had a home and a mother who didn't come in drunk and beat him. That was more than most of the kids who ran in the streets with him could say.

    "I do not know who he was either, but I can tell you that he was human. I can see that in you, and so could the other students who were gifted with the sight. It was why they treated you so abominably."

    From the first day he had arrived, they'd bullied him mercilessly, until he snapped and broke someone's arm. For the remainder of his years at the school, everyone avoided him.

    "Anyway, my mother..." He tapped the smaller of the two rings. "This one's just somethin' nice for her. She cared for me, I owe her for that. Nobody else did. But her husband ain't a young man." Moonstone held up the larger ring. "Can you enchant this to make him live longer than normal? Give 'em a few more years together?"

    The mage nodded. "This can be done. But it is not your true purpose here, is it?"

    Moonstone shook his head. "I got another set of rings." He set them on the table too. Both were crafted of electrum. One was set with a milky white moonstone, the other with a ruby. The gem merchant at Glitterstone Mine had told him it wasn't valuable because it was a purple-pink color rather than a true red. But it was a perfect match for Mulberry's fuchsia hair and violet eyes.

    Yanoris studied them for a moment. "Someone managed to pierce the armor that clad your heart."

    "Pierce ain't the right word." Moon was now staring intently at the floor. "He's more like water wearin' down a stone. After I finished school, I drifted for two years, stole stuff, sold potions that...I don't even want to know what they did with those. He saw what that life was doin' to me, and he built me a house." That house had turned Moonstone's life around, and slowly he had learned to trust and to love.

    "I almost lost him once by my own stupidity. Took that much to make me see. I ain't gonna go on livin' without him."

    "Tell me, why does he love you?"

    "Insanity, maybe? I got no friggin' idea." Ordinarily Moon would have used a much cruder term.

    "Moonstone." This was the stern teacher's voice he remembered. "You are a grown man now. There is no need to look at the ground the way you did as a child. Look up."

    He raised his gaze to see a blue light blaze in the mage's hand, and the world tilted out from beneath him. Through a misty veil, he could see Mulberry's mischievous smile.

    "Ask him why he loves you."

    "Aside from you being the most beautiful man I know?" Mulberry giggled, then became somber. "You're everything I could never be. I feel free with you. I don't have to live up to anything."

    Then Moonstone was back in the forest hut. He no longer had secrets; they'd all been exposed by the charm.

    His teacher regarded him thoughtfully. "You are sure you want to go through with this?"

    And so he rode home carrying three parchments written in his own blood, and two rings inextricably entwined. The first spell would unbind them physically, so they could be worn. Once put on, they could only be removed by casting one of the other spells, or by death. Mulberry would live longer than normal for a Harani. But if he died or removed his ring, it would cost Moonstone his life. And this, he thought, was the best bargain he had ever made.
    Claw to earth, blood to water, fang to wind, heart to Tahyang.

    Mulberry ~ <Archangels> ~ Kadum East
    Moonstone ~ <Odyssey> ~ Kadum West
    Snowberry ~ Cinnabar ~ <Sakura> ~ Kadum East

  3.   This is the last Archeage Team post in this thread.   #53
    ArcheAge Associate Producer Tinen's Avatar
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    Closing this thread, and gathering up the submissions.

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