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Everything posted by Xarkly

  1. Hey everybody, this is just a little contest I came up with earlier and thought would be fun. It's pretty simple: What are your predictions and guesses for events surrounding the huge ice wall at the map's southern edge? Whoever guesses the closest thing (this will be decided by ET Management when the time comes) will be rewarded with a unique, signed lore item relating to the wall. Just leave whatever you think might happen, and feel free to leave some suggestions too. Bear in mind it won't be for another good while until events about the wall go down, so results won't be released for a few weeks if not months. hint: it will involve recapturing Constantinople xoxo
  2. Around this time last year, we made the transition from Axios to Atlas and to commemorate that and to make it look like I’m doing something, here’s a contest!!1!!!!!1! Following on with the ideals of our previous contest in that we’re trying to make these more relevant to the LotC universe, the theme of this contest is locations in Atlas. You can interpret that in aaaaany way you like, so like as your entry is even remotely related to any particular location on Atlas. I’ve included a full list of all Atlas’ regions below, but you can be much more specific in the location you chose (so long as you title it in your entry). THE RULES To enter, post on this thread with either your art or writing (no word limit) State clearly the region/place your entry is based off in the title or at the start (full list of regions below) All entries must be original Writing and art entries will be judged as separate categories with 1st. 2nd, and 3rd place prizes available for both categories You're free to enter both categories All entries must be submitted by midnight EST on Sunday the 13th of January The location only has to be a basic inspiration for your entry LIST OF MAIN ATLAS REGIONS (Nation Tiles & Event Regions) The Springhills The Southdowns The Sleetfells The Swaymoors Huckery Highlands The Wonkawoods The Bolemounds The Frozenpines The Loftywoods Shrieking Drake Island The Chalk Alps The Timberwoods The Yatl Wasteland The Mixed Knolls LIST OF LESSER-KNOWN ATLAS TILES The Twin Highlands The Pridelands The Barrowdowns Eastbight Tide Isle The Lobster Isles The Gules Mountains The Lochmoors Hiisht Isle Coral Peak The Serpentwoods The Jade Peaks The Wilderlands If you know a good spot but don’t know it’s name, all you have to do is head over there and type /rg info to find out. Remember that the location only has to be basic inspiration for your entry -- you could write about a whole fight scene that has no real relevance to the region other than that it occurred there, for example. PRIZES 5,000 Mina | Creative Wizard Tag | A Parrot | A signed item related to the location of your entry 3,000 Mina | A Parrot | A signed item related to the location of your entry 2,000 Mina | A signed item related to the location of your entry Unlike last time it’s a little bit unfeasible to include a screenshot of every prize items, but I’ll post a few below to give you an idea: So that’s just a flavour, bearing in mind that each region has its own item, and some of them might be subject to change depending on lore reasons. A quick question, though – is there anyone out there that fancies themselves a bit of composer? It was suggested to me that it might be worthwhile opening up a music category in future competitions, so if your skills are more in that department, post here to let me know how many people could compete in that category. While this is also the anniversary of LotC 6.0, it’s also nearly been a full year since I became ET Director (yikes). In light of that, December’s actually going to be my last month as Director before I hand it off to someone who can do a better job after burnout’s gotten the better of me since college started back up (I’ll remain on the ET, just not as bossman). With that said, best of luck with your entries, looking forward to seeing them.
  3. Xarkly

    Quick Vaeyl PSA

    Hey so just a real quick update regarding the activity of Vaeyl eventlines: As some of you will have noticed, and I should have posted this earlier, the eventline has been mostly paused for the Christmas break. It’s the busiest time of year for me, since I work over Christmas and college has exams through most of January. So come February the Vaeyl eventline will resume in full force with the blizzard, the fall of Lasthope and what lies beyond that Wall yada yada. So just hold off ‘till February if you’ve been waiting for me to hop online to get some events done. Sorry for the delay, stay tuned
  4. Xarkly

    [Accepted] Unwillingly's Event Team Actor application

    I spent 4 minutes removing your pex that's time I'm never getting back
  5. Xarkly

    A Commander's Sacrifice

    “Well. I suppose it was a success, then.” Stood atop the enormity of the Ice Wall itself, Serris of Deep Harbour’s words rang hollow in her own ears. She was only dimly aware of the powerful shriek of the wind as it attempted to pull her to her death, though her sole attention was on a blurred cluster of lights, far below her. She had to squint through the flurried veil of falling snow even to make out the vague silhouette of Lasthope’s towers. She did not really need to see, though – she could imagine the scene perfectly well. Even over the howl of the wind she could hear the din of cheers as the Descendant armies celebrated their victory. Apparent victory, a voice in her head corrected, and she grit her teeth. She could not help. Every time thoughts of the Battle of Lasthope entered her mind, she could not help but remind herself that the Descendant’s only thought this was a grand, final victory for them. She would have liked to pretend that she did not know why she kept having to tell herself that, but that would have been a lie. She knew full well. She knew full well that she told herself that because otherwise she would not be able to live with herself. So many Vaeyl dead, sacrificed, in the name of a greater plan. Toryff, Hythar, Yvn ... all dead, now. Yvn especially pained her -- the two of them had been close friends ever since enlisting in the Order, many centuries ago. It was hard to believe that Serris had spoken to Yvn for the final time just minutes before the Descendants began their assault, knowing full well that they would never meet again. ”You can’t hesitate, Serris,” Yvn said. She was one of the only other women in the Order that Serris had not come to resent as soft, yet she spoke with a disarmingly silky voice. “You can’t have second thoughts now.” Serris was stood before a low-burning fireplace. The dying flames and embers danced as warped light on the surface of her burnished bronze mail. She had her longsword in hand, and was unconsciously twisting holes in the floorboards with its sharpened point. “I feel like a coward,” she whispered through a clenched jaw. “You’re not a coward,” Yvn said stiffly, if with a touch of exasperation. It was not the first time the two of them had this conversation since they first formulated their plan for the Siege. Serris knew it would not be the last time these thoughts plagued her mind, either, but it was made worse knowing that Yvn would not be there next time her guilt got the better of her. Yvn would not even be alive. “The plan be damned, Yvn, I am a coward,” she snapped with much vigour than she had intended. “I’m leaving you all behind her to die for a plan that might not even work.” For a brief moment, Serris thought Yvn would answer with sympathy, but instead came fire. “You’re a commander, not a coward.” She barked and marched over to Serris from the other side of the room, the old floorboars creaking under the weight of her heavy snow boots. “And commanders must make sacrifices beyond those of ordinary soldiers. You’re only a coward if you can’t follow through on that.” “That’s not the same at all!” Rage spurning her muscles, she drilled her sword an inch into the floor as she whirled around to face Yvn.”You’re lying down your lives for this plan, while my role is to run! Like a gutless coward, my only task in this plan is to stay alive! While the rest of you ...” ”You misunderstand.” Yvn’s voice had softened so quickly it took Serris by surprise. “It is easier to give up your life for the greater good, rather than have to watch all your brothers and sisters-in-arms die while you must continue forward, and fulfill the duty that the rest of us cannot.” The rage in Serris’ throat began to falter, and she felt a strange tugging at her eyes. It had been many years - decades - since she felt that tug, but she knew full well what it meant. “We can forget the plan. We can hold off the Invaders right here, right now. One quick order to Hythar, and his Stormsingers will strike their siege engines to smoking dust. Then all we have to --“ She cut off when Yvn lay a gauntleted hand on her shoulder. ”Serris,” the other woman said firmly. “You know it has to be this way. We could hold them off, yes, but what then? They’d try again, and again, and we’d be here for years.” ”We’d cripple their army,” she interjected. ”And then what? We march north, and put all their citizens to the sword? Farmers, craftsmen, children?” Yvn shook her head. “It has to be this way. Only by following the plan can we win Atlas back.” ”Win Atlas back for who?” Serris said coarsely. “It will cost so many of our lives to see it done.” Yvn tilted her head inquisitively. “And do you believe any Vaeyl would hesitate to lay down their lives for Atlas? This has been a thousand years in the making, Serris. Do you know what a meaningful death means to our people?” Serris tried to answer, but her throat had gone dry. Yvn squeezed her shoulder. “It was to be this way, Serris. You’re no coward – you’re a commander. Promise me you won’t forget that.” ”I’m no coward,” she whispered as she watched the Descendant armies celebrate at the ruins of Lasthope, breath rising from her helmet as the snowstorm bore down on them. “I’m a commander!” She roared into the wind, before she took off at a march down along the ice wall, the thick, glassy ice firmed by her cleated boots. She did not know how long she walked, but eventually she left the ruins of Lasthope, and the cheers of the enemy army, behind her. She marched, fists clenched, white-fur cloak billowing in the wind behind her. Finally, she spotted figures standing atop the wall in the distance. She continued, placing a fist above her heart. “Peace and Fire,” she bellowed over the gales. “Peace and Fire,” the other figure – a male Vaeyl – responded as she drew nearer. “Did everything go according to plan, Commander Serris?” She glanced over her shoulder, though Lasthope had longed since vanished in the fog of the blizzard. Slowly, she nodded. “Yes. Everything went as planned. It was … it was a bittersweet victory.” But a victory nonetheless. That’s what Yvn would say. The other Vaeyl nodded. “Good. Shall we make for Caer Caedris then? There’s still much to be done.” “Yes. Yes.” It took her a moment, but finally Serris took her gaze from the direction of Lasthope. She was surprised when a painful pang of guilt lanced through her, though only for a moment; she knew this was goodbye. The Red Vaeyl, her friends, her family, were no more, sacrificed for a greater good. I promise. I promise it won’t be in vain. She grit her teeth. “Lead the way.” The other Vaeyl nodded. In the pale light, she could just about make out the unblemished, White Eye painted on his armour.
  6. Application placed on pending. Your scenarios are a little flat. What’s the slimey undead creature? Why’s it in the well? What’s the dark stone given at the roadside? What’s the dark creature in the forest? You don’t need to give a full script here, but you shouldn’t maintain mystery for the sake of it here – we want to see what you, as a potential ET, are thinking and planning when you’re writing these events, so you should really flesh these out more. You’ll get a verdict soon.
  7. Xarkly

    [Pending]Dardonas's Event Team Actor application

    Pending. Decent application. We’ll be in touch soon.
  8. Xarkly

    [Pending]Jucktros's Event Team Actor application

    Events are a little lacklustre. The bandit one seems a little two-dimensional, the merchant seems to refer to a nebula of events that you’d really need to give some more details on, and while the third is a simple straightforward hunt, it doesn't really prove yourself above other ET. Bear in mind that with these apps were looking to see you show potential for doing unique and engaging events. Granted you’d got a history in the ET that’ll do you well, though your application isn’t outstanding. We’ll get back to you soon.
  9. Xarkly

    [Denied] [Pending]Dingo looks to train small green men

    Interesting idea that I’d like to try out. I’m no longer Director despite my tag but I’ll recommend you to the new one.
  10. Xarkly

    [Pending]HortonHeardAWho's Event Team Actor application

    For your scenarios you need to give a bit more structure and ideally variation, like what can happen in the event, how people interact with them, etc. You’re giving us base concepts here without applying them in an event scenario like you need to. That said I know you're a decent dude so I’ll recommend you to Treaty.
  11. Xarkly

    The September Prince Eventline

    It’s not being cancelled that’s probably the worst thing you could do with a big eventline The rest of the eventline is being overseen by ET management to make sure there’s no more lore whoopsies and to try make it more broadly enjoyable for those who disliked past installments
  12. Xarkly

    Feedback: Events and Lore

    When it comes to eventlines one thing that’s essential is passion ET need to be interested and passionate in what they’re doing in order to make it great Problem is, one of the best sources of passion and interest is that it’s typically your own writing. When it comes to the huge expanse of LOTC lore – well, obviously, it was written by someone else, sometimes a long ago. It can be really really really hard to be passionate about someone else’s writing, which is why I’ve never really looked through LOTC lore – beyond its absolute core foundations – and picked out something to make an event out of. Furthermore, the amount of times certain lore has been rewritten makes it nigh ******* impossible to get a version of it that people are happy with. For example, when I was looking at tying in some Orc lore for Vaeyl, it was an absolute clusterfuck trying to find out the old lore since so many (older) players discredited Smawton’s rewrite as pure fiction that flew in the face of old RP and lore. Example: Atlas had a bunch of lore written for each individual region so that ET could take that lore and do event shite with it. Problem was, each part of lore was written individually by LT, so no matter how nicely it was written, it was all disjointed and made for poor world-building in that it didn’t make Atlas feel like one world, or one story, at all. So I was a dickhead (and I apologize to all the LT who worked on writing that lore) and completely made my own event lore of Atlas history, and without trying to sound too arrogant, I think it made for a much more interesting story of Atlas pre-Descendant arrival. tldr; lore can often be non event-friendly, and ET tend to be much more passionate about their own writing (in my experience)
  13. Xarkly

    The Dragon's Jaws

    The Red Vaeyl gathered in Lasthope’s great hall. All four-hundred-and-thirty-two of them. Packed together between the massive pillars, they formed a wave of black-white plate, their bronze weapons in hand as their white bearskin cloaks draped over their pauldrons. As she approached the balcony that overlooked the horde of Red Vaeyl gathered below, Serris of Deep Harbour had no doubt that her mind was experiencing the exact same thing of each of her Knights. They were thinking back to a time, many many years ago, when Lashope had been nothing more than haphazard scaffolding scaling the enormity of Krug’s Folly; thinking back to a time where they celebrated their victory over Avendal and Tharax and the end of the Dragon War in these halls; thinking back to a time when they had smiled, laughed and danced. There was dead silence as Serris took her place at the balcony, bronze gauntlets resting on the balustrade as the Vaeyl below eyed her silently. That silence seemed to last forever before she forced the words out of her throat, “I know,” she began slowly, “that all of you are tired.” Tired was an understatement; it was all too jarring for a Vaeyl to simply recall the centuries they had endured. “I am tired too. I am tired of fighting. I am tired of having my home taken from me. I am tired of life.” Her words hung heavy in the hall. She knew each of them felt the exact same way. “But that is why,” her voice cracked through the silence like a whip, “we cannot give up. We cannot give up, lest we are lost. We cannot give up, lest we forget how it was us who led the Descendants to victory against the Fallen Daemon. We cannot give up, lest we forget Horen’s betrayal and the Exile of Aeros. We cannot give up, lest we forget the Sacking of Serrimor.” With each word, her tone grew harder, tempered by both white-hot anger and frozen resilience. “We cannot give up! Lest we forget the Dragon War! We cannot give up, lest we forget Yrodholm! We cannot give up! Lest we forget the Black Accord, and the September Prince! We cannot give up!” Some echoed the cry, now. “Lest we forget each drop of blood we've spilled for all Descendants! Lest we forget every time we have died in the name of Atlas and the world, only to be denied the peace of death! WE CANNOT GIVE UP, LEST EVERYTHING WE HAVE DONE IS FORGOTTEN! WE CANNOT GIVE UP!” The hall exploded in lilting shouts as the Red Vaeyl took up the cry. “WE CANNOT GIVE UP!” Despite the noise, the sound of Serris ripping her bronze blade from its sheath sounded like a warhorn. “WE CANNOT GIVE UP, AND SO WE SHALL FIGHT!” She roared, her lungs stinging. “WE SHALL FIGHT FOR SERRIMOR! WE SHALL FIGHT FOR YRODHOLM! WE SHALL FIGHT FOR ATLAS! BUT MOST OF ALL, WE WILL FIGHT FOR OURSELVES! WE WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN, CONDEMNED TO A VILLAIN IN HISTORY, NOT AFTER ALL WE HAVE SACRIFICED! AND SO WE SHALL FIGHT!” More roaring. They might have been chanting, but Serris paid them no heed. She was speaking to herself now as much as any of them. “THE INVADERS BEYOND THESE WALLS ARE BABES WHO CANNOT EVEN COMPREHEND WHAT WE HAVE GIVEN, WHAT WE HAVE ENDURED, WHAT WE HAVE SACRIFICED! THEY HAVE MARCHED INTO THE DRAGON’S JAWS, AND SO SHALL WE SNAP DOWN ON THEM! FOR THEY FIGHT FOR THEIR TWISTED PERCEPTION OF RIGHTEOUS, WHILE WE FIGHT FOR OUR LOST HUMANITY, FOR FAMILIES CENTURIES DEAD, FOR A HOME THRICE LOST!” She raised her sword. The faint pale light of Yatl glimmered on its edge. “WE WILL FIGHT FOR EVERY MOMENT WE HAVE EVER LIVED! CARAI CAS SERRIMOR!” “CARAI CAS VAEYL!”
  14. Xarkly

    Words of Peace

    After the parley between the Red Vaeyl Order and Empire of Man were interrupted, a lone, unarmed Vaeyl approached the palisades of the Crow’s Nest, hailed the guard, and delivered a letter – the parchment already stiff with frost. It held writing in a cursive hand in deep woad ink, but written in the Common language. It read: YOU WILL LIFT YOUR ATTEMPT TO SIEGE LASTHOPE YOU WILL RETURN TO YOUR STOLEN LANDS YOU WILL BE GIVEN TIME TO GATHER THE LAST OF YOUR STOLEN FOOD YOU WILL LEAVE ATLAS IF YOU REFUSE, THE YATL BLIZZARD WILL GROW TO SWALLOW ALL INVADER LANDS. YOU WILL STARVE. YOUR PEOPLE WILL STARVE. YOUR CHILDREN WILL STARVE. IF YOU FIGHT, YOU WILL DIE THE ORDER HAS A WEAPON REMAINING The parchment was stamped with the White Eye slashed with red. It was beneath the stamp that six letters were written in sharp block capitals: T H A R A X
  15. Xarkly

    Final Words

    It had been barely a day since the Imperial forces rallied in the Crow’s Nest, though time was near impossible to keep track of with black snow clouds obscuring the sun at all times. It had been barely a day before the gates of Lasthope opened, admitting a trio, their forms mere shadows in the whipping white winds of the Wasteland. Despite that, the sentries atop the Crow’s Nest had no doubts: they did not need to see to know the three figures were clad in black-and-white mail, a Red Eye on their breast. Black-white cloaks snapping in the wind, their march came to a halt some hundred feet from the walls of the siege camp. Alarmed shouts were muted by the wind as soldiers swarmed to the palisades, watching with chattering teeth as one of the Vaeyl suddenly hoisted a staff. Eyes widened in amazement as the wind and the snow seemed to part in a dome that encompassed the three Vaeyl, and, miraculously, the snow a few feet around them began to melt, until the three Vaeyl stood in a circle of damp grass. Then, calmly, they eased themselves to sit cross-legged on the ground, and waited. The silent message was clear – a parley. A final exchange. Final words.
  16. A SCHOLAR'S GUIDE TO THE VAEYL ORDER Written by Sefwick of Sutica, award-winning academic and author of beloved works such as 'A Month in the Westerlands', 'How to Survive a Mad Emperor-Incurred Thanhium Disaster', 'Ascended: Do We Really Need Them?' and 'Which Type of Elf is the Worst?' INDEX INTRODUCTION ORIGINS OF THE ORDER CULTURE AND ORGANIZATION RECENT INCIDENTS SITES OF IMPORTANCE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS INTRODUCTION The Vaeyl Banner - the White Eye - found on a bronze cross near Belvitz Natives, Specters, Demons. They once went by many names, but now we only know them as the Vaeyl Order, yet much remains shrouded in mystery. However, through the work of diligent academic such as myself, I will endeavor to educate the Descendant populace of Atlas on what we do know of this elusive faction. This short book will delve into both rumour and fact to determine what exactly these individuals are, from where they draw their origins, and what their aims on Atlas are. Most importantly, this book will help you decide for yourself whether the Vaeyl Order is a truly a friend - or foe. ORIGINS OF THE ORDER The Fortress of Lasthope, stronghold of the Vaeyl Order, in the depths of the Yatl Wasteland The exact origins of the Vaeyl Order are mostly unknown, even to distinguished scholars such as myself. Those who have had the opportunity to personally engage with the Order and ask such questions have reportedly been met with silence, anger or vague answers more accurately labelled as riddles. What we do know, however, is that the Vaeyl Order traces its origins to close to the beginning of our current calendar - from the time that the Daemon Iblees terrorized the ancient world. Haensetian explorers have unearthed super-ancient scriptures, detailing that an individual known as Vaeyl of Aegis was a renowned general in the service of Horen himself. This Vaeyl of Aegis earned fame on the battlefield fighting against the Undead forces, and was assigned command of the Third Banner of the Dragon -- one of Horen's most elite units. On the dawn of Iblees' defeat, the Third Banner of the Dragon was assigned to govern the human holdings on the continent of Atlas by Horen's order. Some time later, Vaeyl of Aegis was appointed as Protector of Mankind on Atlas. It is, at this time, unknown why the Third Banner of the Dragon changed its name to become known as the Vaeyl Order - or perhaps it was Vaeyl's Order, and became shortened over the centuries - but it appears that surviving members of the Order are extremely reluctant to discuss anything related to Horen, and have even been prone to anger upon such questions. Yet it was under the name of the Vaeyl Order and their white-eye banner that they went on to become the powerhouse of Atlas. Through excavations near Yrodholm, Endmoor and witness-statements from those who have met and questioned members of the Vaeyl Order, we can determine that the Vaeyl Order led an empire in all but name during the first six-hundred years of Atlas. Having originally been situated in their fortress of Lasthope and governing southern human settlements, the Order first gained renown for their intervention in the Dragon War - a fierce battle between two draconic beings; the apocalyptic Smoke Drake, Avendal, and the Red Omen, the dragon Tharax. It is understood that the Vaeyl Order grounded Avendal and imprisoned deep within the sea in the Dragontomb Temple, yet we are at a loss as to the fate of Tharax. All we know is that the Order gained great fame for their defeat, and were welcomed in all lands as hunters of powerful monsters. The Order grew further in power when they defeated the organization known only as the 'Black Accord'. Very little is known of this group - only that they were a pro-Ibleesian faction who attempted to use Undead to secure power on Atlas. It is hypothesised that all records of this incident were destroyed but for a single memorial shrine in the ruins of the ancient city of Yrodholm, which claims that if not for the effort of the Vaeyl Knights, the followers of Iblees would have been in power on Atlas. It was because of their defeat of the Black Accord and the Two Dragons that many joined the Vaeyl Order, and their numbers swelled. Many petty kingdoms of ancient Atlas relied on the strength of the Order to survive. The Vaeyl Order stopped wars before they began, sentenced even kings and queens to justice, and obliterated any lands wherein they caught even a whiff of 'Undead'. By the end of the 5th Century, it is believed that through sheer influence the Vaeyl Order controlled an effective empire on mainland Atlas. They directly ruled many lands from their seat of power at Yrodholm, and many nations were effective vassals because they relied on the might of the Order to survive. Where they did not rule, they had embassies to ensure they influence survived. It is unknown how this empire collapsed. This author speculates rebellion based on the accounts given by witnesses who encountered Vaeyl Knights; the Orders dedication to hunting Undead led to an inquisition of sorts that was tainted by zeal that eventually turned the population of Atlas against them. Rejected by their own people, the Order retreated to the depths of the Yatl Waste. Without the strength of the Vaeyl Order, the rest of Atlas could not survive as it had. It collapsed, and became a fractured tribal society following a severe population decrease. CULTURE & STRUCTURE The Fort of Poppyhill; site of the Vaeyl Order's encampment prior to the Battle of the Wastes The structure and culture of the Vaeyl Order is a matter which we can lay claim to greater knowledge, and it is indeed an area of interest. Most of this knowledge comes from southern expeditions launched under the patronage of King Otto II in the previous decade, and recent encounters with Knights of the Vaeyl Order. It should first be noted that the Vaeyl Order is an autocratic military body led by a 'Lord-General', whom we are led to believe is Vaeyl of Aegis himself. All falls under his direct authority, and Banner-Commanders serve as his deputies. Vaeyl Knights are observed to relatively autonomous in their own right, though sadly, we cannot observe how the Order would have engaged with the populations it once ruled across Atlas. Prior to the Battle of the Wastes, where the Order was crippled at the hands of the armies of Haenseti-Ruska, Marna and the Dominion of Malin, their forces were categorized by cavalry, infantry, stealth and magic, though this no longer appears to be the case. This author speculates that they lack the numbers now to constitute such categories. The Vaeyl language is not understood by any Descendant, and not even this author can determine what this language is called, or if it can be traced to any ancient language that we know of. They speak with a soft, musical accent of almost an Elven nature, though the dialogue itself is too harsh to be any kind of Elven dialect. What we do know is that most Vaeyl Knights tend to be well-versed in the Common tongue, though it sounds unfamiliar on their tongue. We can assume that the Order is either extremely educated, or the Common tongue was a popular dialect during their previous reign to the extent that they would be required to maintain a high standard of it. The Vaeyl Order has been recorded as using the following greeting when giving their names; "Peace and Fire to you and your kin." That they would wish peace upon anyone is oddly ironic, and fire is equally interesting. It, perhaps, relates to their ties to the Yatl Wasteland, where fire and heat is essential to survive. When reciting this gesture, they place a fist over their heart, and take minor offense if this exact gesture and phrase is not returned to them. Following wishing 'peace and fire' upon someone, they give their names. Vaeyl Order forgoes surnames, and uses places of birth to identify people. Research has revealed that those who have met with the Vaeyl Knights have recorded names such as 'Taevynd of Yrodholm', 'Eyrid of Caer Baddyn', and 'Vanhart of Caer Caedris'. In interaction, the Vaeyl Order has been observed as being zealously prideful in their duties and opposition towards 'Descendant Invaders'. They grow irritated when questioned about the nature of their Order, their duties and the fabled Ice Wall, and take issue who those found to be trespassing among their ancient sites. Should you encounter one, you should be wary -- the Vaeyl Order are fragile in their pride and custom. You would be wise not to offend them with ignorance. Thank God you have purchased this book to help you! Very little else is known of the Order's custom and culture. Not even their religion. RECENT INCIDENTS The fringes of the Waste where the sun still shines The Descendants have been interacting with the Vaeyl Order since our arrival on Atlas. HAENSETIAN EXPEDITIONS We can trace our first engagement with the Vaeyl Order to southern expeditions launched by the Haensetian Kings. This expeditions involved incursions into the Yatl Waste and the Fortress of Lasthope itself. It is unknown if the Haensetians 'awakened' the Vaeyl Order or merely were the first point of contact in an unfolding chain of events, but the Order quickly took an interest in the Descendant settlement of Atlas after an artefact known as the 'Oathstone' was stolen from Lasthope by the Haensetians. To this day, it is unknown what the exact effects of this Stone were, only that the Order greatly valued it as a relic central to their power. Following this theft, the Order began taking offensive action against the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska. THE BATTLE OF THE WASTES The struggles between Haenseti-Ruska and the Vaeyl Order came to its apex when the Order began to march in force towards the city of Markev with the intention of destroying it. The forces of the Kingdoms of Marna, Haenseti-Ruska and the Dominion of Malin rallied and successfully turned back to the Order's huge forces. The Fort of Poppy Hill stands on the spot of this battle now, on the fringes of the Waste. Since this battle, the Order has been robbed of most of its military strength. They retreated to the defensive behemoth of Lasthope, where they remained quiet for some years. THE ASSAULT ON CURON Following Curonite incursions into the Yatl Waste, the Vaeyl Order launched an all-out assault on the city of Cyrilsburg. Witnesses claim the Order used three white-stone portals to transport troops to the city for the inpromptu assault. With the aid of bandits, of all allies, the city managed to turn the Order away. THE RELEASE OF AVENDAL The defeat and imprisonment of the Smoke Drake Avendal was a critical point in the Vaeyl Order's history and elevated them to the status of heroes in the minds of most of Atlas' populace. Imprisoned deep within a temple under the sea near Sutica, Avendal was eventually released by a Haenseman known as 'Karl Amador'. Upon its release, this Drake was reported to have burnt a hole through its prison, and flew across Atlas until it reached Santegia. There, it turned the sky black with namesake smoke and terroized the city with a firestorm until it was eventually turned away with siege engines. THE TURNING OF AVENDAL Eager to finish off the Smoke Drake, Avendal was chased into the Yatl Wastelands by hunters from Markev. Controversially, these hunters were said to have formed a temporary pact with a mage of the Vaeyl Order - reportedly named Haevolt of Yrodholm - to finish off this dangerous beast. In a fierce battle in the snow, the creature was slain, but rumours claim that the mage Haevolt had tricked the hunters into taking the Oathstone with them during this battle, and the mage used the Oathstone to turn Avendal into whatever it is the beings of the Vaeyl Order are. A specter? A wraith? We do not know, but this, according to witnesses, put the Drake under the control of the Vaeyl Order. THE DISCOVERY OF YRODHOLM It was soon after this that explorers delving into portals discovered the ruins of an ancient city beneath the Sleetfells. This city, Yrodholm, can be identified as the capital of the Vaeyl Order and the seat of their power during the first half-millenium of Atlas. It was here they ruled their military empire, and it is clear that the city was a haven for trade, medicine and learning. It is a tragedy, then, that the city lies in ruins today. It has been swallowed up by the earth, which stands as testament to how ancient it is, and most of it has collapsed. The ancient streets are also haunted by fierce Apparitions, though the circumstances under which these emalgamated spirits were created are unknown. Those who have visited the city have also reported super-ancient Golems performing various duties, security included, with crumbling stone exoskeletons. THE DETERIORATION OF THE DARKWAYS The Vaeyl Portals, scattered throughout Atlas, seem to have suffered damage over the centuries. No longer does one white archway lead to another, but rather a portal will bring the user to an otherwordly dark world known as the Darkways, where, supposedly, speech sounds as if it comes from underwater and lights shines like it is admitted by blurred, blemished glass. This world has been recognized from long ago by some, and is said to be inhabited by twisted shadow-beings known as Travellers who prey upon unwary users of the portals. In these Darkways, one could locate other portals that lead throughout the rest of Atlas. It is indeed convenient for travel, but dangerous. It is unknown how the portals now bring a user to the central nexus of the Darkways. PACTS & SEARCHES In recent months, the Vaeyl Order seems to have diverted its attention from scouring their homeland of Descendants to searching for something across all Atlas. Vaeyl Knights have been sighted in the territories of the Dominion of Malin, the Warnation of Krugmar, the Dwarven Chalk Alps and the Haensetian Sleetfells without violent intent, though without much more enthusiasm towards Descendants. It is reported that the Order has formed pacts with the Dwarves of Holm and Humans of Markev to aid them in some kind of search for an item. However, what this item is, alongside the nature of these pacts, is unknown. Is it wise, though, to trust the Order? This author thinks not. SITES OF IMPORTANCE The Great Hall of Lasthope, stronghold of the Vaeyl Order As should be expected as a faction that once ruled an effective empire, Atlas is home to many ruins that tell tales of the Order's past. It is from these ruins that a great deal of information for this book is gleaned. Though rubble tells few stories, the merest traces of a monument or scrap of a manuscript from these ruins have told us much of what we know. This author would suggest that curious readers visit these locations themselves for a greater understanding of the Order, but caution should be taken. Ruins many of them may be, but not all are empty. LASTHOPE & THE ICE WALL The Fortress of Lasthope lies at the southernmostt edge of Atlas, at the foot of a colossal wall made entirely of ice. While it is unknown why the Order is concerned with this wall of ice, the interest in Lasthope is much more understandable; the fortress is a titan of stone, though age has robbed it of its architectural beauty. Even if an army could survive the scathing blizzards of the Yatl Waste, the walls of Lasthope seem nigh-impregnable, and any King would surely break his might. It is no surprise that the Vaeyl Order have made this place their home. This author cannot in good faith suggest even the hardiest of readers visit; even should you avoid frostbite from the sub-zero temperatures, the Vaeyl Order does not take kindly to those who trespass uninvited. YRODHOLM Once believed to have been an independent city-state, the Vaeyl Order ceased control in a coup-de-tat when rumours began to circulate that the city's governor had ties to the Black Accord. After their violent uprising, the Vaeyl Order made Yrodholm the capital of their ancient empire. It was from here that the banners of the Order rallied and marched, and it was from here that the entire political landscape of Atlas was shaped. Time and earthquakes have stolen most of the city today, but a sizable ruin of it can be found beneath the city of Markev. Though, visitors should be incredibly wary - Apparitions creep along the city's streets, and old, rogue Golems. ENDMOOR Very little is known about the fortress-city of Endmoor found along the road to the Dominion of Malin, other than it was some kind of site of magical importance. It is also unknown whether this was a land ruled by the Vaeyl Order or one of the few cities that remained beyond their jurisdiction. It is known, however, that the Vaeyl Order played some kind of role in the city's downfall and abandonment. Conveniently, it is also one of the safer ruins for readers to visit. DRAGONTOMB TEMPLE The prison of the Smoke Drake, Avendal, prior to his release by Karl Amador. Located deep beneath the sea off the coast of the Shrieking Drake Isle, it was first discovered by explorers using the Vaeyl Order's portal network. It is a temple of white stone seemingly preserved in time, though with the Smoke Drake released, it is now defunct. However, this makes it a safe location for readers to visit themselves - if they can acquire diving gear, or the bravery to traverse the Vaeyl portals. THE DARKWAYS Perhaps the most frightful and dangerous of the Vaeyl sites is the Darkways; the otherwordly nexus of portals used to traverse all across Atlas in very little time. Yet while convenient for transport, it can be fatal to an unwary user. According to those who have traversed the Darkways, the darkness in this nexus is oppressive to the point of maddening, and the paths are prowled by shadow-beings with blazing eyes known as Travellers who prey upon those who stay in the Darkways too long. To date, portals leading into the Darkways have been reported at Holm, the Knolls near Krugmar, the ruins of Endmoor, the ruins of Yrodholm and several lie within the Yatl Waste. OLD SEVENNA An ancient Vaeyl Order site that has not yet been discovered, but has been referred to in existing evidence. Signs from the Darkways would place it somewhere beneath the sands of the Orcish desert. KAL'RIAD An undiscovered site relating to ancient Atlas and the Vaeyl Order. Its name would suggest Dwarven origin, and therefore place it somewhere underground. But where underground is anyone's guess. CAER BADDYN A yet-undiscovered Vaeyl Order site. It has been reportedly cited as a birthplace for several Knights of the Vaeyl Order. CAER CAEDRIS A site relating to the Vaeyl Order that no Descendant has yet laid eyes on. It has been cited as a birthplace by one 'Vanhart of Caer Caedris'. DEEP HARBOUR An ancient and undiscovered Orcish city from ancient Atlas, apparently razed by the Vaeyl Order. It supposedly lies beyond the Ice Wall. FIRSTHOPE An undiscovered Vaeyl Order site. UNANSWERED QUESTIONS The site upon which Yrodholm once stood There is still a great deal, perhaps too much, that we do not know about the Vaeyl Order. Who are they? Where did they come from? Why did they abandon their former title of Horen's Third Banner of the Dragon and become the Vaeyl Order? What is their purpose? What lies beyond that Ice Wall? Perhaps the most important question is this: does the Vaeyl Order intend to reclaim their homeland? It is the opinion of this author that they should not be given the chance. However sad it may be to leave history undiscovered, the nations of Atlas should band together to march on Lasthope and finish off the Order once and for all, before they can finish us off. Our questions may never be answered, which comes as a heavy blow to a scholar like myself. However, even I can agree that it is better to be alive than labelled as an invader of Atlas, and killed by the zealous relics of the Vaeyl Order.
  17. any experts on orc lore want to hit me up rq

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Pond


      @_Jandy_ probly knows a lot, I might be able to help you

    3. Ougi


      try talking to Catarrh (Catarrh#5549)


      absolute legend

    4. _Jandy_


      This man is an ET, he can not be trusted. 

  18. Joker I’m not gonna comment on the merit of the app but I will say this Applications are open for criticism for a reason, and you’re shooting yourself in the foot with your responses.
  19. Xarkly

    Give the Order

    Vaeyl of Aegis raised his hand, bringing the column to a halt. Serris let out a shaky breath as she eased her own horse – a mare she called Beard due to his hairy fetlocks – to a stop just beside Vaeyl himself. The Lord-General was the image of grandeur in his burnished bronze mail and his immaculate white tabard, emblazoned with a black dragon.That same design was depicted on the banners that flew overhead; a black dragon a field of white, the emblem of the Third Banner of the Dragon. As such, all of the warriors who stood ready behind Serris and Vaeyl wore snowy-white cloaks, some stained with mud, upon which the black dragon stood starkly. It was a sight to behold: one thousand mounted warriors in white cloaks and burnished bronze mail, their spears and lances silhouetted in the autumn sky, turned amber by the setting sun. Yet Serris’ attention was not on the warriors of the Third Banner of the Dragon; her eyes were snared by the scene unfolding in the valley before them. The battle. It must have been some hours now since it started, for corpses littered the field. She could make out the banners of the two armies clearly from here; one was grey cloth, emblazoned with a pair of black, curving arcs. The very sight of it sent a shiver down her spine – the Black Wing Banner of Iblees seldom did not. Beneath that banner, a savage horde of creatures in spiked black mail and rotten, decaying flesh threw themselves at a line of enemy shields. Those shields were painted red, much like the banner they flew, depicting the same black dragon only on red cloth. The Second Banner of the Dragon, and their brothers-in-arms. “We’re here in time.” Relief flooded Serris, so much so that she did not realize she had spoken aloud until Vaeyl nodded beside. “Just in time,” the Lord-General of the Third Banner said mildly, his tone so casual it was as if he were discussing the weather. “Any longer and we might have found the Second Banner defeated, and raised from the dead to meet us.” Serris’ hands shook as she gripped the reins of Beard. She had been raised by Vaeyl as one of his sergeants some months ago for her valor in battle, yet her legs still turned to jelly at moments like this, in the seconds that seemed to drag on forever right before battle. She scolded herself – she was a warrior, a sergeant of the Third Banner of the Dragon, a hero of humanity. She could not be scared, not now, never. Not before the charge, not after. The slow seconds passed, but the cry to charge never came. The sounds of dying men in the battle below seemed to be growing louder. “Lord,” she said hastily, looking up at Vaeyl’s visored face. “We should charge.” Vaeyl inclined his head. “We should,” he said morosely. He made no move, and uttered no other word. Serris’ gaze anxiously flickered between Vaeyl and the battle below. The Second Banner were losing ground, and fast. “Lord,” she urged. “We need to charge now!” “We do.” Vaeyl did not stir on his saddle. “You will do it, Serris.” She blinked. “W-what, Lord?” “You will give the order, Serris. You will lead the charge.” Serris almost toppled from her saddle. Her mouth moved wordlessly for a moment before she managed a spluttered, “M-me?!” ”You. There is no other Serris in my ranks that I recall.” For a moment, she stared at him, waited for him to burst into laughter, to reveal it was a joke, and lead their charge to the Second Banner’s rescue. When silent seconds passed, she stammered, “L-lord, I-I don’t understand, we need -“ “We need to charge, yes, and I said you will lead that charge,” Vaeyl cut her off sharply, though he did not turn to look at her. Behind him, warriors shifted uncomfortably on their mounts. ”Lord,” she pleaded, “the men of the Second Banner are dying, we -” “And they will all die if you keep stammering like a fool girl.” His calm composure had vanished in the face of icy intensity. “Lord,” she whispered feebly. “Why? I – I can’t ...” If her legs had been jelly before, now her entire body was numb. It was one thing to charge into battle, and another thing to lead. Never in a million years could she manage that. “Are you good for only telling when I should charge, or can you order the charge yourself, Serris of Carrondal?” Vaeyl roared, his helmeted head finally turning to her. “Give the order, Serris.” ”Lord-” “Do you wish to be a leader, or a follower? Give the order!” ”Lord! I-” “Are you a pawn or a commander? Give the order!” No words came now. She was heaving deep breaths, as if she could not fill her lungs fast enough. He was serious. The screams of dying men seemed to be right in her ears. She did not need to look over her shoulder to knew one thousand men were watching her in anticipation. She cast one last look to Vaeyl, who met her stare through the slits of his visor. “Give the order, Serris.” She did not know with her shaking hands, but she raised her bronze spear. A streamer of black-white cloth flew from the shaft in the wind. She did not how she conjured the words, but she turned, and she shouted. ”FOR HOREN! FOR HUMANITY!” “FOR HOREN!” Echoed one thousand voices, like a thunderclap. Startled heads of both Second Bannermen and Ibleesians looked up in surprise from the field below. The sounds of battle subsided for the briefest of moments. “FOR HUMANITY!” Her whole body was jelly, yet she found the strength to heel Beard forward. She charged into battle, the Third Banner of the Dragon at her heels. Serris sighed as she looked over the ruined banner. White cloth, rotted with age, emblazoned with a black dragon. It had taken magic to prevent the thing from turning to dust, but it had been worth the effort: it was the last copy that she could find of the Third Banner of the Dragon. The last reminder of her old life, before she was turned into what she was now – before she became a Vaeyl. Before the Third Banner of the Dragon had been exiled, before they became known as the Vaeyl Order. She reclined in her seat with a mirthless laugh. All that had been so long ago – well over 1,500 years now, yet she could remember it was if it were yesterday. She felt guilty to think of those days as the good times, but in truth, they were: constant war waged between Iblees and the Descendants, yet she had been a simple human then. She had a people who accepted her, worshipped her as a hero. She shut her eyes gently. It had been that battle that had started it all for her – the Battle of the Amber Valley, as it had been named. She had never commanded more than a dozen men before Vaeyl himself forced her to lead that charge. She had almost been unable to do it. But if she had not found the courage, somehow, deep inside her, she would never have been promoted to Vaeyl’s chief officer. She would never have become of the most senior commanders of the Vaeyl Order. She would never have vanquished Tharax and Avendal, the Black Accord and the September Prince. She would never had ended up in the war she did now, against the Descendants that invaded Atlas. She would have liked to have convinced herself that she did not know why that particular memory came to her mind now, but that would have been a lie. No; she knew full well why she suddenly recalled the momentous decision to give the order, to lead the Third Banner into battle. She had the same feeling in her body now that had plagued her back then, on that day over a thousand years ago, when she had been unsure if she could give the order to charge. That memory had come to find now because when the inevitable great battle came between the Vaeyl and the Descendants, she was unsure if she could do it. She was unsure if she could give the order.
  20. Xarkly

    Of Princes and Kings

    Word of a new King of Malin’s Children reached Serris of Deep Harbour barely an hour after she and a hundred Red Vaeyl Knights had stepped out of the Darkways Portal at Endmoor. Sitting beneath a white eye banner slashed with red, she growled in irritation. It did not matter, though. No, not truly. Whether they called themselves kings or paupers, the Children of Malin had denied the mercy of the Vaeyl. She had given them fair warning. You cannot be king of a land you do not own, she thought solemnly, before she glanced over her shoulder and watched the Vaeyl Knights spar in preparation.
  21. Xarkly

    Invaders' End

    INVADERS’ END “Again?! You dare to attempt to skip your tithe again!?” Savius felt the veins throbbing in his forehead as he surveyed the Renatian peasants with a glare. They stood before him, clad all in rough wool, skull caps and muddied boots, nervously twiddling dirtied fingers. They stared down at the ground, refusing to meet Savius’ gaze. Savius would have struck them with the back of his gauntleted hand, but it would have felt like striking a child. For a moment, he let his rage subside as he paced back and forth. This was just his luck; sent to far reaches of the Crownlands to collect tithes from the most isolated of peasant farmsteads. This was not what he had in mind when he enlisted in the Imperial forces; the first years had been an adventure, cutting down pagans and bringing God’s light back to the world. Yet his luck had changed when his regiment’s quartermaster had died to a Norlandic arrow due to the last crusade, and he had been assigned as the acting replacement. Of course, he had done such a good job that, upon the crusade’s end, he had been moved to requisitions. No more purging savages in the name of God; now he rode from hamlet to hamlet, collecting tithes and taxes. If not for the higher wage, he thought he might have desserted long ago. What stoked his ire now was that nearly all the farmsteads of the northern Crownlands had hardly any crops to pay their tithes in for the second harvest in a row. And now this morning, he rode into this hamlet only to learn that the peasantry claimed they had not a single bushel of grain to give. ”What am I meant to say when I return to the Capital!?” It took him a moment to realize he, in his vexation, had spoken out loud. Frustration welling in him, he jabbed a finger at the peasant spokesman. “Well!? What do I say? That the peasants of Bambrooke or Amberfield or whatever shithole this is can’t even reap a single bushel for their Emperor?!” Growling between his teeth, he resumed his pacing. “M’lord, please ...” the oldest of the peasants, a burly man with a magnificent grey beard. “It ain’t our fault. The soil … this evil cold’s killed the harvest.” “The cold! That’s your excuse?! The cold?!” Savius shot back. True, recent years had grown colder than normal – thanks to that wretched magic of those Vaeyl people that had already swallowed up Haense – yet it was nowhere near frigid enough to murder a whole harvest. Admittedly, he himself had no experience with farming, but surely a little bit of cold would not make such a difference. “It’s them Vaeyl, m’lord,” the bearded peasant insisted. “They’s making this cold every year. Folk’ve already started starving ‘cross the river in Oakford.” ”It’s the Vaeyl, is it?!” He jabbed. He marched out of the small hut that the peasants took for a town hall, and was greeted by an unseasonal wall of cold air as he stomped towards the barren fields. “So you’re telling me the Vaeyl came here – to the middle of bloody nowhere! – stole your harvest and buggered off back south, did they?” With his steel-toed boot, he kicked at the ridged soil, and recoiled in surprise; it was hard with frost. He spun around as the roar of thunder echoed from the south. He watched the southern sky with white eyes as dark snow clouds moved far faster than clouds should naturally move, twisting and churning like tumultuous waves. The sea of black clouds rushed north at an alarming speed, their thick darkness alleviated only by lances of lightning that sparked to life sporadically. He could only watch as a chilling wind picked up, sending the oak and ash trees that ringed the farmstead swaying and sighing. A shiver ran down Savius’ spine, and his hairs shot up on end. The pale, warmthless sun suddenly blinked out of existence as snow clouds swarmed in front of it, casting the farmstead in darkness. The wind only picked up until it howled in Savius’ ears, and snow immediately began to spew from the dark veil overhead. The temperature seemed to be plummeting by the second. ”Aye, m’lord,” the peasant sighed wistfully over the roar of the wind. “It’s the Vaeyl.” As the Yatl Blizzard raced further north, Serris of Deep Harbour drew her thick-bladed bronze sword. “Excellent work,” she called to the Stormsinger Mages who stood ringed around her, their black-white plate cloaked in a raven-feathered robe. In unison, they dipped their heads in acknowledgement as the wind howled. Serris stared up at the stormy sky, robbed of all trace of sunlight as it surged further north, before she raised her sword. “With me! Death to the Invaders! For Yrodholm! For Serrimor! For Atlas!” she roared. Behind her, her modest legion of Red Vaeyl – the white eye on their breastplates slashed ceremoniously with red – raised their bronze weapons in reply. “Death to the Invaders! Yrodholm! Serrimor! Atlas!” Taking one last breath, Serris stepped through the Darkways Portal, and her legion followed her.
  22. Xarkly

    Hacking During Nordengrad Vs Empire

    idk what happened but isn’t it redundant to screenshare someone the next day
  23. Xarkly

    The Eve of a Reckoning

    THE EVE OF A RECKONING With a hazy, blurred vision, Serris of Deep Harbour glanced around. Everything about Caer Caedris was exactly as she remembered it; the pale walls rising out of Serrimor’s frozen forests, the proud blue-slate towers flying the white eye banner of the Vaeyl Order, the enormity of the Caer itself, built into a jagged mountain, looming over the capital of all Serrimor. Pale-skinned people, most light of fair, thronged the paved streets below as large stone boxes sailed over the streets on wide stone rails that criss-crossed all throughout the city. Everything was the same; the smell of searing meat, the tangible heat resonating from the Heart Tower that prompted the frost to melt from the stone as soon as it stuck, and the warriors idly patrolling, mounted atop white bears and clad all in black-white plate. Yet before she could so much as process what she was seeing, everything shifted; chunks of rock seemed to rain down from a roiling sky of dark clouds, smashing down into the beautiful buildings, sending blue-slate and pale stone flying in all directions. Sheer rock speared out from the ground out of nowhere, shattering the foundations of towers and houses alike, sending them toppling to the frozen earth with a deafening quake. People screamed out as the falling and rising earth swallowed them like monstrous teeth, yet those screams were nigh muted by the shrill song of metal as blades clashed. At first, the sound seemed to come from nowhere, and then everywhere as dark shapes bloomed to life in the streets; tusked Children of Krug, swinging cleavers, axes and maces, Vaeyl Knights charging through the streets atop their bears, skewering the attackers on bronze spears. The earth shook all around Serris as the city collapsed whilst great mountains simultaneously rose up from the ground. Men and Orc fought, dying in their hundreds to the swinging weapons and collapsing towers. Her breath caught in her throat, her heart clenched tight as if squeezed in her chest, Serris’ eyes frantically shot to the Caer, where its fluted columns were slowly toppling over onto the city below. “Luin!” She called out. Her own voice sounded foreign in her ears, yet at the same time, she hardly noticed. Everything seemed so quick, so hazy, as if she were watching events unfold through smoke. “Luin!” She cried out again as she began to stagger towards the crumbling Caer. “Luin!” Her legs felt as heavy as lead. She stumbled past Orcs and Vaeyl locked in combat, but none seemed to notice her, and the buildings seemed to collapse around her, yet never on her. “Luin! Where are you!?” Then, through a veil of raining stone, she caught a glimpse of a small, golden-haired figure. “Luin!” The stiffness in her legs melting away, she moved to run. It was then that she became aware of a long knife thrust through her stomach, already drenched in her own blood. She felt nothing as she followed the hand clutching the knife. Serris was a tall woman, but the Orc that had stabbed her was at least two feet taller. He wore little armour, only a black-metal pauldron over his right shoulder fashioned like a scorpion, and tassets sewn from some kind of studded animal hide. Bloodied tusks jutted from his mouth, and twisting horns sprouted from his head like a crown, lending him a look of malevolent grandeur. Even as blood pumped from her stomach wound, Serris could not help but stare at his eyes. They seemed to be a battleground of sheer rage and profound sadness. ”You … will … pay for this,” she hissed at him. Her breath still came out in a plume of frozen mist. ”I know,” the Orc said simply. He pulled back his knife, spraying Serris’ blood across the rubble, before – in one swift motion – he slashed through her throat. Serris woke with a start. Leaning forward in the unremarkable wooden chair, she hastily flung her gauntlet to the floor and fumbled with the screws that secured her helmet in place. Vaeyl never removed their armour – not since the invaders arrived from Axios – but she simply had to check. Flinging her visor opened with a creak of protest from the bronze plate, her fingers reached to her neck. She heaved a sigh of relief to find only the marred flesh that all Vaeyl had, but her throat was not cut. As she slowly lowered his visor and pulled on her gauntlets, she struggled to determine what had shaken her so about the dream. Even had her throat been diced apart, her flesh would have mended itself. She had once died to throat wound before, when the Black Accord assaulted Sevenna, yet she had not been so startled then. With a vain attempt to banish the dream from her mind, she pushed to her feet and kicked the chair aside with a grunt. It had been her fault for falling asleep – Vaeyl did not need to sleep, yet some of the Knights still did, claiming it help them keep their inner peace. Serris had no time for such nonsense, and yet she had come here seeking a moment of solitude only to drift off herself. With slow steps, she moved to lean against the wall. There were no windows in this small room, tucked in towards the back of the castle of Lasthope – its only light afforded by a low-burning candle in the corner – yet she could hear the winds of the Yatl Waste howl through the thick walls. The wind of the eternal blizzard that had once been created to fight the September Prince, and now had been enhanced to fight the Invaders on her orders. Her scouts had delivered her the latest reports just the day prior, though ‘days’ were difficult to keep track of: the blizzard had brought with it widespread famine to the Sleetfells, inhabited now by the Invaders of Haense, and the cold had already killed hundreds. Soon, starvation would claim thousands. Once the blizzard spread further north, that would become hundreds of thousands. Hundreds of thousands dead. She blinked at that. Not because the number of deaths she hoped she would cause shocked her – in fact, it was the opposite: back in the days of the Yrodholm Imperium, when the Vaeyl Order ruled all Atlas, she would have been the first to raise her weapon at anyone who planned to inflict such mass death and destruction. What truly shocked was that she felt nothing when she contemplated the deaths of all those invaders. A numb absence. “Kaef!” She called, still slumped against the wall. The door into the room opened to admit a Vaeyl Knight, clad all in the black-painted bronze plate trimmed with white, the white eye on his breast slashed with red. “Yes, Lord-General?” Kaef of Caer Baddyn spoke with the harsh accents of his home. Serris sighed. She was still not used to the title of Lord-General. Yet there was no one else to take the mantle now – she had no choice. “Have the Children of Horen answered our ultimatum?” It had been against the advice of her counsellors to issue the ultimatum to the human invaders to lift their attempts to siege Lasthope, yet though she herself knew it was futile, she knew she had to try. She simply had to offer them one last chance to lay down their arms. She had prove to herself that she had a scrap of humanity left. ” … No, Lord-General,” Kaef answered slowly. “They show no signs of lifting the siege.” She clenched a gauntleted fist. She was not the same woman who had served as standard bearer for Vaeyl of Aegis back when he was the General of the Third Banner of the Dragon, driving back hordes of Undead on Aegis; she was not the same woman who had married and birthed two children on Aeros before the Third Banner had been betrayed and exiled; she was not the same woman who had taken up the mantle of Second Bannerlord of the Vaeyl Order, commander of the Order’s infantry in Serrimor; she was not the same woman who had led the charge against Avendal and Tharax, against the Black Accord, against the September Prince; she was not the same woman who had saved Atlas. Now she would be the one who would destroy it. ”Summon the Stormsingers.”
  24. A MISSIVE TO THE CHILDREN OF MALIN It was the fourth day of the Deep Cold, though the evergreen treetops of the Loftywoods still seemed a summer paradise compared to the blizzards of the Yatl Wasteland that had grown to cloak all of the south in frozen darkness. That night brought with it a chill wind, and a banner on the road. The banner’s cloth was jet black, and emblazoned upon it was a White Eye, the iris ceremoniously slashed with red. The banner, stirring in the night’s gentle but bitter wind, flew above a party of three riders. Each rider was clad in black-painted plate with trim, and that same White Eye slashed with red on their breastplates, and each rode mounted atop a hulking, white-skinned bear. They moved with no urgency, bronze lances raised skywards except for the rear rider who carried the banner. Black-white cloaks spread over their mounts rump, they lumbered towards the gates of Caras Eldar before coming to a halt. Narrow slits of painted visors affixed on the city’s gates, a moment of tense silence reigned before two of the riders heeled their bear forward another few feet, leaving the standard-bearer at the back. Then, one called out in a strange, musical language. “Kvaeth yv Tyne, Malinyr.” A second later, the other figure spoke in that musical accent, but in the Common Tongue. “Peace and Fire, Children of Malin.” The accents of the two riders were nigh indistinguishable, excepting the deeper voice of the first speaker. “Yffir Vanhart car Caer Caedris,” the first speaker proceeded. “Aevynd huir lhor saien Serris car Daein Lund, Riacht carai Vran Vaeyl vyssai Malinyr.” “I am Vanahart of Caer Caedris,” the other rider translated with smooth, if not fluent, Common. “I carry the words of Serris of Deep Harbour, Lord-General of the True Vaeyl, addressed to the Children of Malin.” As soon as the translator finished, the first speaker – Vanhart – took up his spiel once again, almost impatiently. “Syr Riacht rand hyf hein riacht varassai Endmoor. Cvain hath ydvryr vaix vhar aiien hhysar rand saeduil.” ”The Lord-General summons your leader to the ruin of Endmoor. While this summon stands, your trespassing upon Vaeyl lands will be pardoned.” As soon as the translator spoke the last word, all three riders guided their bears around, and charged down the road. The bears moved at alarming speed and soon the riders vanished beneath the canopies of the Loftywoods, their Red Eye banner with them.
  25. AN OFFER TO THE INVADER REALMS Word spread quickly throughout Atlas. It had begun in Haense, but word soon spread to Adria, Renatus, Sutica, and every land to the south. Riders clad all in bronze plate painted black with white trim, with white eyes ceremoniously slashed with red on their breasts, called for attention in market towns and at crossroad taverns. They preached of an ultimatum that echoed throughout Atlas in fearful whispers, and on an odd leathery substance that was not quite parchment pinned on noticeboards indiscriminately across Atlas. Soon enough, even hawkers and criers began to tell the tale of the what the strange folk in black-white armour had said, though whether it was because they sought to warn their fellow Descendants, or had been slipped a few minae to spread panic and awareness, was anyone’s guess. The missives, all of which appeared to be handwritten, held bold words written in a cursive hand with the rich blue ink of a woad leaf. TO THE INVADER; THOSE WHO CAME FROM AXIOS AND USURPED THE LANDS RIGHTFULLY BELONGING TO THE VAEYL ORDER AND THE YRODHOLM IMPERIUM THE TRUE VAEYL ORDER, THOSE UNAFRAID OF VENGEANCE AND PURSUERS OF JUSTICE BENEATH THE BANNER OF SERRIS OF DEEP HARBOUR, ISSUE YOU AN ULTIMATUM THE CHILDREN OF HOREN, OF THE INVADING REALMS OF HAENSE AND RENATUS, MUST LIFT THEIR SIEGE ON LASTHOPE AND END THEIR ALLIANCE WITH THE ‘WHITE VAEYL’ TRAITORS ALL INVADER FORCES MUST WITHDRAW NORTH OF THE RIVER CZENA IN RETURN, THE TRUE VAEYL ORDER WILL END THE ETERNAL BLIZZARD THAT HAUNTS THE INVADING REALM OF HAENSE, ALLOWING CROPS TO GROW ONCE MORE THE TRUE VAEYL ORDER WILL ALSO BESTOW, AS A GIFT OF GOODWILL, THE BLACK SEED TO THE INVADING REALMS, THE WEAPON THAT THE ORDER USED TO DEFEAT THE SEPTEMBER PRINCE OVER A MILLENNIA AGO YOU HAVE UNTIL THE YEAR’S END TO ANSWER REFUSE THESE TERMS, AND THE YATL BLIZZARD SHALL GROW TO COVER ALL ATLAS AND CRIPPLE THE INVADING REALMS WITH FROST AND FAMINE REFUSE, AND YOU SHALL HAVE NO WEAPON WITH WHICH TO DEFEAT THE SEPTEMBER PRINCE REFUSE, AND YOU SHALL DIE - SERRIS OF DEEP HARBOUR LORD-GENERAL OF THE TRUE VAEYL ORDER