It was early in the morning, a little before sun-up, before Athoss received a message telling him to get to Escaelus right away.
Athoss slowly arose from his slumber.
“Whaddyou want?” he barked at the servant.
Servent: “You are desired in Escaelus’s quarters.”
Athoss quickly got his usual garb on; a pair of gray slacks, a white, button down shirt, a smoke grey overcoat, and a sky blue tie, and his trademark sky blue fedora. He grabbed the book he was currently reading, "Life on the Battlefield". He walked down to his leader’s quarters, thinking to himself:
“Maybe we can prove that we are the most powerful city-state around, maybe this is finally my chance.”
Escy: “Athos! Get over here!”
Athos: “What’s wrong, sir?”
“A small group of our merchants have been attacked just outside of Spire.”
“Well, we have good reason to believe that it was a group of drifters just looking to make quick money, but to be quite honest, we are not sure. Whoever it is have been continually harassing us more and more, yet never took it as far as killing someone until now.”
“Revenge! This is THE last time we are attacked by those ruthless thugs! Have they no honor! I am sick of this non-sense!” He threw the book he had in his hand across the room. “I am sending men down there now to find out who did this! Once our men start talking and we can know who it is, we WILL get revenge. How many were killed!!”
“Calm down! Only 3 people. Th-“
“Only 3 people! How many does it take!”
“SHUT UP AND LET ME FINISH! I AM THE BOSS HERE AND YOU WILL LISTEN TO ME, UNDERSTAND?”
“Yes.” He replied in disgust.
“We will not attack, we will not kill yet. I am the ruler of this city for a reason, do you understand me?”
“Yes.” He spat back, once again in disgust.
“We will fight back ONLY under my command. There is a diplomatic way to do things and there is a stupid way to do things. I am not about to let your temper interfere with our plans. Do you understand?”
“With all due respect sir, this is sheer stupidity and you know it. We have let them push us around way too long and it is time to strike back!”
“DAMNIT! ARE YOU QUESTIONING MY LEADERSHIP!”
“No sir, but I think it is in our best interest to show them that we will not stand for this!”
“Go away Athoss!”
“Listen to me sir! If we allow them to keep walking all over us this will only get worse. I refuse to sit back and let our men get killed!”
“Our men! Listen to yourself! These aren’t our men, these are merchants.”
“These are citizens of Soldaria.”
“Didn’t I tell you to leave!”
And with that, Athoss left the room in utter hatred for the fact that the Soldevi were getting walked on, that the once had glory days seem to be in the past. Athoss was determined to bring that glory back to where it belonged, one way or another.
ooc: Soldaria is the name of the city in which the soldevi reside. Escy is the current leader. Athoss is second in command.
Wulfson was walking down the hallway towards his personal recluse of machinery he twiddles with when voices erupted into arguing in the Main Chamber. His precog was right as he thought it was Athoss and Esc going at it again.
Soon Athoss burst out of the room in his hot-tempered fury about the recent death of the merchants. A tear slowly dripped down his eye hidden by his helmet. He had known a man on that expedition.
They hadn't been best of friends but Wulf knew his family as well. He knew what it was like to be fatherless.
"CAN YOU BELIVE THIS!" Athoss yelled/talked to Wulf.
"Our men DIE and High and Mighty(Said with extreme mocking tone) sits their waiting for more to fall before action!" He continued his ranting and raving until he relised Wulf wasn't paying full attention.
"YOU TOO! NONE of you care. Soldevi is cursed to sit in shadows eating the scraps the others throw to us!" Athoss almost broke into fists but Wulf grabbed him none to gently.
"Do you know anything about their death, where, why, WHO? What they were carrying who they were?" Wulf's deep voice carried a tone with it that commanded respect.
"Well....no but" Athoss couldn't get any more out as Wulf continued his speech.
"I didn't think so. I knew one of those men's families. They showed me the site as they knew it was going to be big news. Guess what. Only 1 body was found. It was a body that had been rotting for YEARS they were carrying Lotus Petals back from a trading trip to the Lotus Citadel. Drag marks were found all over the place. No gold was taken only all the Lotus Petals." Wulf actioned for Athoss to stay quite as he rumaged in his pack. Soon the stench of death filled the hall.
"THIS WAS FOUND THERE AS WELL!" Wulf pulled out a head of ome of the men on the trading expedition. It was half rotted already and eyes were missing.
It was amazing. The head was rotted but the attack happened not to long ago. Wulf handed Athoss the head and left. He entered a room and was soon lost his boot's clicking in the distance.
Athoss held the head in great disbelief.
“What the hell is this!” he yells to Wulf.
“Decide for yourself, Athoss.”
Athoss walked away, head in hand. He set it on his mantle above his fireplace and said to himself “I will get revenge for you. You had to suffer. Now I shall avenge your death, one way or another.” He walked over to his cotton, bearskin chair. Then he fell into a deep sleep in his chambers, and had a dream.
“Who are you?” Athoss said as he looked at the man in front of him. He was an average fellow in appearance, though he did look aged.
“I am doing the talking and you are listening.” This was a man to be respected. “Understand? You do not speak unless spoken too.”
“Yes, but I would like to respectfully ask just one question.”
“Who are you?”
“I am an immortal, and that is all you need to know. Now let me begin.”
“There is a dark past of the world, in which many things happened that were completely avoidable but because of certain people, mass destruction was brought about. Women and children died first, leaving the few men left to do the fighting. The men fought, and they wiped each other out. Then the last surviving man killed himself by jumping from a cliff. I am warning you that there is an evil force once again roaming Somnium.
“Shut up. This is not like folk tales you read that say the character has a destiny, because this is not true. There is a group of people, if you will, trying to balance the forces of mana from overtaking the world. Too much of one type, and the world will become unbalanced. Understand?”
“Shut up! There has been a death in the ruling forces. I said that these ‘people’ are immortal, but that is the shocking part. This has never happened before. EVER. Evil is again allowed to float around as if it were free, and horrid things may come of this. This is where you come in. Though you might think that all forces acting against you are evil, such as the raid that was committed on your merchants, it is not true. Some things will happen because that is the way races are. Other things happen because they are natural. When nature gets ugly, Evil things happen. Do you follow?”
“Your “boss” will not fight off these people and you know it. To keep the “natural forces” in check you must keep the people in check as well. Given what I have told you, do what you think is right.”
And Athoss woke up with sweat dripping down his face. He looked over to the mantle…The rotted vile head was gone!
“Wulf! Where the hell are you!” he said, obviously extremely mad.
ooc: Feel free to continue Wulf. Ill post something later tonight if you dont, really later like 12 am CST.
Athoss: “YOU SONOFABITCH TANK! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!”
Tank(wulf): “Hold your horses, Tyson.”
“Tyson? What gives?”
“Never mind. What were you babbling about now?”
“The skull that you showed me earlier is gone.”
“I know it is, I threw it out. Did you honestly think that I would keep that nasty, stinky, vile think in this building?”
Athoss thought about this. “Good call.”
“Oh, and one thing. We are having a little pow-wow with Escy, Me, and You. Looks like Kaidel is invading Tel Varon, and we have to decide what to do.”
“What do you mean decide what to do? Tel Varon has valuable resources, namely their economy, that will prove very useful to us. Why wouldn’t we defend them?!”
“Things are more complicated than that, Athoss. We cannot just go attacking and defending as you wish.”
This is what set Athoss off.
“You mean to tell me that our business interests are just going to get taken over by these “people” from Kaidel! What the hell is that! We have people out there, we have influence out there, damnit we have money out there! All of this that we had to work for is just going to go to waste if Kaidel is even remotely successful with their invasion! And where is Morticus in all of this? Did they just pass right around Morticus and head straight for Tel Varon!”
“You raise an interesting point. This will all be talked about later.”
“Tomorrow morning, 10am. You absolutely MUST be there.”
Tank walked away. “Things definitely aren’t looking good,” he thought to himself. “The meeting should be interesting.”
ooc: Tank, whats your email address? also, Morticus is north of Telvaron. check out burn's map in the planning mill.
OOC:Click on the Tank over all posts. It shows the E-Mail address I have at the moment(They change constantly)
ooc: my computer says "default mail client not set up." are you ever in the chat room: #bdchat?
My Current one is TheMrSz***t@o***l.com=OOC
It is the morning of the meeting.
Servant: “Mr. Golias, wake up or you will be late to your appointment. You have a rather important meeting today with Escaelus and Tank. You can NOT be late for this.”
Athos: “Shut up and don’t tell me what to do old hag.”
Athoss once again got on his usual garb. Today was special, though. Today he would finally be able to present his side of things in a forum which would allow him to do so respectfully. “Finally.” He thought to himself.
::half hour later::
Escy: “On behalf of all of the people of the Soldevi Guild, I call this emergency meeting now in session.”
“What a crock,” Athoss thought to himself. This might end up being a longer meeting than expected.
“On our agenda this morning, we have the budget, in which we will be putting a new ordinance on the books raising taxes, we will be discussing the increased harassment of our merchants, the attack on Tel Varon, and the rising prices of metal from dwarves of Khalud-Khazir.”
“Cut the crap, damnit. We are only here for two things and you know it.”
Tank: “Athoss, Have some respect. We aren’t five minutes into this and you have to open your mouth? Please, keep it down.”
Athoss sat back down. Tank was right, Athoss’s temper was already pretty hot, and no need to add fuel to the flame of animosity between him and Athoss.
“As I was saying, we have a growing conflict in Tel Varon. The Kaidel are attacking, and we must decide on the matter before this meeting is over. There is also the issue of 3 of our merchants being slain, in cold blood. These are the two most important tasks at hand. Then there is the issue of the raising metal prices, but that can wait til later.”
“Escy, may I suggest one thing?”
“I think that it would be in our best interest to help defend Tel Varon. I can see why you wouldn’t want to, but the advantages outweigh the risks.”
“And what exactly are the advantages, may I ask?”
“Well, for one, our business prospects there. We have A LOT of merchants in Tel Varon, which produces a lot of revenue for us. Tel Varon has long been at peace with us despite that mistake you made a few years back when you had one of their citizens executed. Their citizens were calling for war and their gov’t chose to remain peaceful.”
“He was convicted in our courts of murder, damnit! He deserved to die!”
“Maybe so,” chimed in Tank, “But we have extradited criminals to Kaidel, Khalud-Khazir, and even Morticus. It was only fair to send him back to Tel Varon.”
“Tel Varon has been doing business with us, and vice versa, for a long time. Defending Tel Varon in a time of crisis would only be the right thing to do!”
“I am not about to throw my men out for a Guild that in the past few years has done NOTHING for us!”
Their voices were raising with every sentence.
“You aren’t about to risk our men for ANYTHING! SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO FIGHT REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE WANT TO OR NOT! IT IS A PART OF LIFE!”
“DAMNIT YOU DON’T TELL ME WHAT IS A PART OF LIFE AND WHAT ISNT!” I LOST MY BEST FRIEND TO A SENSLESS WAR AND I AM NOT ABOUT TO TOAST THOUSANDS OF OUR MEN!”
“I GIVE TWO S**TS ABOUT WHO YOU LOST! THIS IS NOW AND IF WE DON’T FIGHT THIS WAR WE WILL LOSE A LOT MORE THAN JUST OUR MEN. WE SIMPLY CANNOT LET THEM GO INTO AN IMPERIALISTIC RAGE!”
“HAVE YOU NO HONOR!”
“HONOR! YOU ARE GOING TO LECTURE ME ON HONOR!”
“Damn you both! Where is the honor in yelling like little girls! Both of you are acting childish, now sit down and sort this thing out like men!”
“He is right, Athoss. Now listen. We have been told of a magical ship, a ship that has been lost for a long, long time. Only “the chosen one” can stop this ship. Not all our artificers, not all our troops, nothing. To send our troops would be suicide, plain and simple.”
Athoss let this sink in. “What do you mean “the chosen one”?”
“ “The chosen one” is the one destined to cleanse Tel Varon of all enemies past, present, and future.”
“What the hell does that mean!”
“It means that we don’t need to waste our men to “kick a dead horse” if you will!”
Escy had Athoss in a corner and they both knew it. “Well what about our merchants in the south?” There wasn’t any confidence in Athoss’s voice anymore. He had just been shut up, a thing which didn’t happen very often.
“That has yet to be resolved.”
“Then what are we waiting for?”
“We have to decide on the Tel Varon- Kaidel conflict.”
“We are of no use, right?”
“Screw it, it’s a dead issue then.”
The rest of the meeting was a blur to him. Sure, they discussed typical politics, and he gave his two cents on a few small things but it wasn’t with the passion that had once come before. All he felt now was pure hatred toward the man that had help him rise to the big leagues. The man he used to look at as a brother was now his worst enemy, and it gave him a sick feeling. A feeling of power, a feeling of vile hatred, a feeling of disappointment.
As he left the building and headed to the market, he had an eerie feeling that one day, things will be different. It was a dark day, a very grey sky, and gusty wind. Leaves blew around him, and the breeze flew threw his grey beard. As he looked up into the sky, a piece of paper fell onto his left foot. It read:
Johnathon Bender also known as “The Snake”, work for hire. Dirty jobs preferred. Contact me at the cave with the X on top outside of Soldaria. No job too dirty, no price too high.
“Hmm,” he thought to himself. “This could solve ALL my problems.”