News of the Fall

Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: News of the Fall

By Malach Thornwode on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 11:41 pm:

(OOC: Hey folks, it's Rhisiart - I'm back, sort of. I've managed to reclaim a portion of spare time on a regular basis...not really enough to bring back my main characters, but enough to dabble. Thought I'd try playing a "from-the-shadows" villain for once; his plans should be subtle enough that I can pop in infrequently to advance them. Here goes.)

Malach Thornwode, Knight of the Fifth Degree of the Order of Tenebrae Aeternae, scowled at his grimoire. Since the Cataclysm of Light - which those in the service of light called the Black Monolith War - his powers had been greatly diminished. He still understood advanced necromantic theory, but his mind clouded when he tried to apply it.

"If only House d'Riveroak had left well enough alone!" he cried. "Those accursed meddlers! Had Rhisiart Moonwalker not intervened, my powers would have increased thirtyfold by now! But instead I must hide like a coward in my study from the zealots who roam our land, seeking to bash in the head of anything they call 'evil'. With the Black Monolith capped, I am all but powerless against them." The necromancer shifted his gaze to the window and stared out at the vast wastelands of Traknur, the region that occupied the southern half of this continent. There in the distance was the Monolith. A few years ago, it had glittered like black ice, offering immense power with its seductive beauty. The cap placed upon it had been like a second skin. The Monolith shone no more; now it seemed to be nothing more than dull black rock.

On the exterior, that is.

Malach knew that the old power still lurked within the shield placed over it. He had tried time and again to reach it, but had only succeeded in rousing the attention of the entity trapped through the capped Monolith between Phaema and an extradimensional hell. He knew not what the entity was, though he suspected it was the foolish creature that had drawn the attention and wrath of the light to the Monolith.

Thrice-cursed, that one. If it is the so-called First Evil, may he suffer eternally for bringing ruin upon me and my designs. Malach heard a scratching at the door just then and roused himself from his brooding. Listening carefully, he detected the code he had invented. Quietly he walked over and opened the door. A figure in a hooded robe entered, and the door was closed.

The figure removed its hood, revealing an exquisitely beautiful face framed by long black hair. Melantha Rowangard had started her studies with a different aspect of the Black Arts - specifically, enchantment and illusion - but had moved on to scrying and eventually necromancy. Malach was intensely proud of his gifted apprentice - when he wasn't intensely jealous of her innate power.

"Yes? Yes?" he said impatiently. "What do you have to report?"

Melantha bowed deeply, though not quite deeply enough for one of Malach's station. She was mocking him again; he began to contemplate an appropriate penalty.

"Patience, Master," she said with a smile. "This will require some explanation.

"I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a conversation at Stoneshield during my morning scan. The reception in the crystal ball was fuzzy, of course, and I'm sure I'll never be able to see Stoneshield again - it's too well warded - but I heard the most intriguing news.

"House d'Riveroak is, for all intents and purposes, dead."

"WHAT!" All thoughts of punishing his apprentice for her disrespect flew from Malach's head. "How? What of Rhisiart, Artemis, the brat?"

"Rhisiart Moonwalker was questing for scientific innovations to bring back to New Avalon. He had an appointment at Justice Keep, which he was nearing. He didn't keep it. A search of the surrounding area turned up his cloak and traces of dark magic.

"Artemis d'Riveroak was on a treasure hunt of some kind, from what I gather. She was due to meet with an officer of New Avalon Intelligence at a port city from which she was to sail to the eastern continent. She also vanished and dark magics were detected where she was last seen. Her companion, Abharrach, was also gone.

"Cassandra d'Riveroak was being cared for by an extensive staff. The wet nurse heard her cry in the middle of the night, but when she went into the child's bedchamber, she wasn't there. The crib was tipped over. The entire castle stank so badly of dark magic that they had to have it purged.

"Preacher, as you know, has been missing for some time."

Malach cackled. "Excellent! The gods are smiling on me, Apprentice. With House d'Riveroak out of the way, I can launch my schemes in earnest. It will take some time for Rolshin to put someone new in Riveroak Castle. I shall require some items which should be in their vault. Are you up to the task?"

"Were the Prince and Princess and their pet wizard all at their full strength and waiting in the castle, I could still infiltrate it and retrieve whatever you wished. I thought you'd never ask."

"Pride is a very deep pit to fall into, child - stay away from it. Now, then, here's what I'll need you to find..."

By Torlax on Wednesday, January 03, 2001 - 03:26 am:

Umm, could you put this back about a week? At least in game time. I've got some more posting to make in prelude to the NASS. Your chars can't disappear yet!

By Ravyson on Wednesday, January 03, 2001 - 03:37 am:

There isn't a date in the first place. This could be in a month, or tomorrow.

By The Book on Wednesday, January 03, 2001 - 03:49 am:

Melantha had gone to prepare further for her task, and Malach had turned back to his grimoire. He started again where he had left off, but after a few words he realized the startling fact that this was not his grimoire. He supposed he must have picked up the wrong tome. He closed the book to see which one it was. The title, however, Häs Naledák, was not one he recalled being in his collection.

Suddenly, the book sprang from his hands, propelled by some unidentified force, and fell to the table. The cover flipped open, and a rapid "clat-clat-clat" sounded--pages were flipping over. Finally the book came to a rest.

Malach took a step back. He concentrated, searching for magic, traps, wards, anything even remotely suspicious. But, as far as he could tell, this was just an ordinary book. Malach sighed, sat back down, and examined the open page before him.

"Prophecies of the shadow: renewal.
When time has passed somewhat, a great oppurtunity shall arise. A great house, for ages untaken, shall fall. The house will become open to darkness, and darkness shall make a flood upon it. Their leader may then come and lay claim to them."

And then the book slammed shut, and no amount of effort on Malach's part could change the situation.

By Rhisiart OOC on Wednesday, January 03, 2001 - 06:01 pm:

Actually, folks, I left the date out completely by accident - at first.

When I recognized my mistake, my first thought was to rectify it, but then I realized that Torlax hadn't played out the disappearance and/or arrival of the news of same to Stoneshield yet. So: consider this my own little prelude. The date of this incident will be the same as whatever date Torlax puts on his later post.

And Shadow...hmm. Interesting. Yes, yes, perhaps I can do something with that little tidbit...

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