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  1. Be warned! This is a long story. Maybe read it in chunks, or during a particularly boring work meeting. If you aren't familiar with my past stories, it might help to read some back story on my main character Wyndor, a supporting character Charlemagne, their connection, and Charlemagne's start. Less important is reading up on Budd-apest. If you're not scared away yet, here's my story: With the death of Pjeter, many things had changed in Dalig Ulv. Wyndor had taken over civic responsibilities and his brothers, Mattimeo in particular, had stepped up to help in any way they could. Mattimeo’s specially trained troops had been particularly helpful in defending against the Algus’ constant attacks against the towns of Mitgardia. When Wyndor received a message from the Sultan of Budd-apest asking for aid, he first thought of some of Mattimeo’s men… or woman as the case was. “Thank you for being willing to go Constance.” “Of course, I know we wouldn’t have stopped the Algus if it weren’t for the dragon Charlemagne helped you get. He deserves our help.” “Yes, and you know I would go myself if I could. But I can’t leave Dalig Ulv undefended right now. The Algus have grown bolder since that blue beam appeared in the sky and I need to be here in case they try to break through the wall. But there’s more that I need to ask you to do. In addition to trying to find Charlemagne, I want you to see if you can find the King’s son.” “So the rumors are true?” “They certainly seem to be. The King went missing after the defeat of Revolword, but now his son has returned to claim the throne! Many leaders across Historica have left their homes and the only reason I can think of is that the true Heir has actually returned. But at the same time, the Spire has grown bolder with their ranging parties. You’ll have to travel with just a few men to sneak past them.” “Don’t worry, we’re good at stealth. If there are any Spire forces we will avoid them.” “Try to find and save Charlemagne, but also lend aid to the Prince if you can. And take this blade. I had the dwarves line it’s edges with dragon steel. It’s not as effective as a pure dragon forged blade, but if you meet any Algus on your journeys, it should be enough for you to stop them.” “Thank you Wyndor, I will represent Mitgardia well.” ___________________________________________________________________________ Constance traveled across Mitgardia to the East before heading South towards Budd-apest, on the northern edge of Kaliplin. She arrived and asked for an audience with the Sultan who had sent the original message to Wyndor. “Thank you for coming.” “Of course, the relationship between our two cities is something we value. If someone has acted against one of your top citizens, then they have acted against Dalig Ulv! Do you know where he was last seen?” “Unfortunately I do. Some of the Spires enforcers were trying to win him over to their cause right before his disappearance. We’ve done some reconnaissance and now know that their base of operations is in Nocturnus, just on the other side of the Kelra Labyrinths” “I’ve heard some nasty things about the Labyrinths, but I’ll do whatever I need to. Now, I also needed to ask a favor of you. Wyndor has heard that the Prince has been found. Do you know anything about his possible whereabouts?” “Ah, fortune may be smiling on your after all. We have had many travelers pass through Budd-apest these days, and all of them have been heading to the Labyrinths. It seems that the Prince has worked out some way through the Labyrinths and is preparing to strike against the Spire. Perhaps you’ll find both Charlemagne and the Prince there. Though I must let you know that my loyalties are to the true King, the Desert King.” “I’m sure the Desert King will welcome Cedric’s heir. The Desert King has done the land a great favor in driving out those Ulandian usurpers and will be a welcome leader to the faction of Kaliphlin. It’s not as if the Desert King would want to rule the other factions as well, right?” “Let us hope that all is as you say, I don’t think any of us would welcome another war any time soon.” _________________________________________________________________________________ Constance set out from Budd-apest and made her way north through the Rakath Mountains towards the Kelra Labyrinths. As she and her men descended from the mountain pass through a forest of bone trees, a rabbit hopped onto the path. “Are you A.L.I.C.E.?” “Wait, did that rabbit just talk?” “I’m not just a rabbit, I’m the appointed spokesperson and I need to know, are you A.L.I.C.E.?” “You’ll have to forgive my friend here. He wants to know if you are part of the Allies Looking to Impede Creatures of Evil. A.L.I.C.E. for short.” “Does that mean you are against Raavage?” she asked while readying her sword. “Yes, we have long resisted his rule and now that the true king has been found we have someone to rally behind. Now, are you A.L.I.C.E.?” “Well, my name is Constance, but yes. My men and I are here to find the Prince.” “Excellent, the main force has already gone ahead. My friend here insisted on one last sweep before going to join them. We must move quickly before the battle begins.” “Battle?” “Have you not heard? Prince Alexander has returned! He has gathered a force to be reckoned with and each day more flock to his banner. But we can talk more on the road. We must move with haste if we are to be of any help in this final battle.” ___________________________________________________________________________ Constance, her band, and the members of A.L.I.C.E. made their way toward the Kelra Labyrinths. “Let us pass, sir.” “Just because Prince Alexander has struck a deal with Lord Ssilyrrlith to allow him to rule Nocturnus after Raavage is defeated doesn’t mean you get to boss me around.” “Please Reptrian, we are in a great hurry. Let us pass.” “We labyrinth keepers gain nothing by allowing you to pass freely. It’s not fair that you Minotaurs keep leading them through the maze so quickly. We need prey! At least Kyran gave us fresh meat.” Recognizing that name after talking with the Sultan, Constance spoke up. “Wait, you said the vampire, Kyran, has sent people here?” “Maybe…” the Reptrian admitted reluctantly. “Have you seen a half-Leander by the name of Charlemagne?” “We don’t name our prey lady. No need to get attached to what you are about to eat right?” “Just answer the question!” “Alright, we did have a few Leanders running around the maze, but most managed to escape our clutches. I think one is still deep in the labyrinth, but I can’t make any promises. And if we catch him, we aren’t giving him back!” “You’ve done enough stalling Reptrian. Let us pass.” And so they entered the Labyrinth. _____________________________________________________________ Although Prince Alexander had worked out a deal to allow his forces to pass through without interference from the Reptrians, that didn’t stop the rest of the monsters that inhabited the labyrinth from trying to kill Constance and her companions. Thankfully, all in their group were skilled fighters and they were able ward off all attacks. Constance knew that meeting up with the Prince meant they had no time to spare, but she couldn’t help but look around corners and down alternate routes every chance she could. It was by doing this that she heard a groan coming from one of the dead ends that frequented the maze. She rushed to see what creature needed aid, much to the chagrin of the Minotaur leading them. Favor was on her side as she realized that against all odds, she had found Charlemagne! “Back you devils! I won’t let you take me!” “Charlemagne, it’s okay. We’re friends. I come on behalf of Wyndor and your Sultan.” “Oh thank goodness! I’ve been fighting off monsters for longer than I can remember. Can you help me get out of here?” “Yes, but we must hurry!” ______________________________________________________ On their way out of the labyrinth, Constance explained to Charlemagne about the Prince’s return. She also comforted him with the knowledge that the Reptrian knew that a number of Leanders had escaped the labyrinth and that his wife and friends were most likely safe. Soon after exiting the labyrinth they came upon the Prince’s camp. There was indeed an impressive host of people from all four guilds gathered there. There was a commotion happening on the far end of the camp, so Constance and her companions made their way over there. “As many of you have heard, my father the King, is dead.” It seemed the Prince was just getting underway in explaining what was happening. Constance listened closer. “After Revelword attacked the capital, my father was grievously wounded. We fled the Valyrian forces and made for the coast. My father had heard tell of a great healer who may be able to restore him. We sailed for many days before coming aground on an island. As fortune would have it, it was the very island where this healer lived. He worked for many days to save the King and was able to prolong his life. However, he never regained enough strength to make the return journey. He died three fortnights ago. Before he passed he made me promise to return to our home and re-take the throne.” At this there was much cheering from the crowd. “Now we have gathered to defeat Raavage and stop him from finding the Necromancers Helm. Rest up tonight, for tomorrow we attack!” ______________________________________________________________ The rest of the day was spent planning. Prince Alexander summoned many of the faction leaders to his tent to give them their orders. Constance was surprised when a courier asked her to join one of these meetings. “Thank you Constance, for joining us. Charlemagne and Glorfindel have spoken very highly of you and they have recommended you for this mission.” “Thank you sire, I would be honored to serve you.” “Excellent, now as I was saying, if we are going to stop Raavage from getting the Necromancers Helm, we will need to get a small force over the river.” He indicated the river that stood between us and Raavage main host. “Our spies tell me that Raavage believes he has located the Helm and will retrieve it tomorrow. We will send out main forces against his army tomorrow at dawn. Meanwhile, a few of us sneak across the river tonight and prepare to ambush Raavage before he can get the Helm.” Just then, the Desert King himself walked into the tent. “Majesty.” “Sire, thank you for coming. I was surprised to hear that you came yourself when I asked for forces from you, but I am honored that you have chosen to fight beside me.” “You are the King, it is only right that I should fight by your side. And I can think of no greater responsibility than to help protect you as we strike Raavage personally.” “And I’m sure having a chance to avenge Kaliphlin by killing any Ulandians who might be there doesn’t hurt.” “Yes,” he said with a glint in his eye. “It was a blow to find out Ulandus had sided with the traitor Raavage. But revenge is not why I am here. Though I will not hesitate to strike down any of the usurpers if they stand in my way.” “Alright, let’s go over the plan one more time and then we must get across the river.” _________________________________________________________________________________ As morning dawned, the forces of Raavage lined up on one side of the river opposite the forces of Prince Alexander. There was much rustling as both sides waited to see who would strike first. Finally someone yelled “For Historica!” and the rush across the bridge began. The armies of Raavage hurried to annihilate the free peoples of the four guilds. The fight to decide who would rule had begun. _________________________________________________________________ Meanwhile, deeper into Nocturnus territory Prince Alexander and his small band were approaching a graveyard. It was there that Raavage had discovered the location of the Necromancer’s Helm. “Guard the yard. Now that I’ve broken the enchantments on the tomb, it shouldn’t be long before I return with the helm. Let no one enter!” Raavage’s minions, a leader of the Algus, the Drow, Ulandus, and the vampire forces allied with the Spire set about securing the perimeter. As Raavage entered the crypt Prince Alexander struck. The battle was swift. Although each of Raavage’s men were skilled fighters, they were surprised and outnumbered. In a matter of minutes they all lay dead, scattered across the graveyard. “Huzzah! We’ve struck a great blow against our enemy, but quickly, we must not let Raavage get the Helm!” Just then, Raavage exited with the Necromancer’s Helm. He was so blind with greed that he didn’t even look around the Helm to see who was there to greet him. Alexander leapt forward and with a decisive blow, ended the life of the tyrant Raavage. The Prince turned as all present cheered. The war was over! The Necromancer’s Helm had been kept from the clutches of those wishing to use it for evil! But then, the unthinkable happened. The Desert King turned on the Prince and stabbed him. Gasps of shock were heard all across the graveyard. “Now, I shall claim my rightful throne! My kingdom of old spanned from shore to shore, now it shall again!” He placed the Necromancer’s Helm on his head. “No!” cried Osric. “I fought for you, how could betray us like this?” “Sire!” cried Charlemagne, “You didn’t have to do this, Kaliplin would have forever been yours! Why did you kill the Prince?” “There is no other ruler except for I! I am immortal. Everyone else who claims a throne across Historica is only a usurper and a rebel. I am the rightful ruler. All shall bow to me!” “You will never convince the peoples to follow you!” "You will pay!" “Hasn’t this day proved to you that the free peoples will stop at nothing to remain so?” “No one will be able to stop me.” And with that the Desert King muttered under his breath and the fallen Prince rose again. But he was no longer a healthy human being. He has a mindless zombie, now under the control of the Desert King. “Grrrr!” “You see, I will turn everyone you’ve ever lost against you. I will raise an army that can never die! No one will be able to resist me. But take solace in this. After the rebels have been dealt with, the land will know my mercy. I am a sympathetic king when my people submit to my rule.” “Are we all to become your mindless puppets today?” “No. I will allow you all to live. Take this news back to your lands. Let them know that anyone who accepts my rule will be welcome by my side. All others should fear for their life or flee this land.” And from that day on, the four guilds were ruled by the Desert King, Ark’Mora Raa.
  2. See the previous tales: Wyndor's Saga: Chapter 1 -What Has Past- Chapter 2 -What Has Past- Chapter 3 The Green Dragon Inn Bustle at Treacleheim At the Gates of Budd-apest Dragon-Forged Blade in Treacleheim “…So you see, if the Desert King were to ally with The Black Spire, it could be very beneficial for the both of us” stated the vampire. “Kyran, I don’t see why you persist with these advances,” started Charlemagne, “I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again that while the city of Budd-apest fought on the side of the Desert King, we have no sway in his policies.” “Yes, but the rumors are well known of your involvement in the war Charlemagne, or should I say the Scarlet Magnolia?” replied Kyran. “Yes, well, rumors are just that” stated Charlemagne. “Nevertheless, were such a person of influence to recommend a course of action to the Desert King, I’m certain it would be well received” continued Kyran. “Just remember, Budd-apest is not that far from the Nocturnus borders. There is much unrest in our guild still, and Lord Raavage would be a powerful ally. I would hate for your fair city to become a casualty were another war to break out and you were found without enough… ‘protection.’” Morpheus, one of the Leanders Charlemagne rescued from the Ulandians growled, “We don’t appreciate threats, especially not in our own home.” “All I ask is that you think about,” replied Kyran. Meanwhile, at the front door, Wyndor and Valanice where met by Balthazar. “Hello,” began Wyndor, “We’ve been studying at the library and were told we might find it faster to speak to the master of the house. Is he in?” “It depends,” was Balthazar’s answer, “Who’s asking?” “We are travelers from Mitgardia” answered Valanice, “We’ve been researching…” “Say no more!” interrupted Balthazar, “As long as your aren’t from Nocturnus, I’m sure Charlemagne will be willing to speak with you. Would you mind waiting in the garden until he is available?” Wyndor and Valanice wandered around the small garden admiring the different plant life. Valanice stepped over to one of the corners and was admiring a broad-leafed bush when a rabbit hopped out. “Oh!” she said, “Well aren’t you cute!” “Are you A.L.I.C.E.?” asked the rabbit. Valanice stepped back in shock. “Did you just talk?” she asked. The rabbit just tilted its head at her and then hopped away. Valanice turned to Wyndor, “Honey, the strangest thing just happened to me!” Before Wyndor could say anything Charlemagne walked into the garden. “Thank you for waiting, I had to get away from unwanted solicitors” he said, “I am Charlemagne and this is my wife, Hildegard and my advisor, Morpheus. Balthazar tells me you have some questions for me?” “Thank you for meeting with us” replied Wyndor. “As I’m sure you’ve heard, we are facing a threat in the North by a race of beings that are nearly unbeatable. What research we’ve done has led us to believe that dragon forged weapons will allow us to combat these fiends. We were researching where we might find such weapons at the Library of Budd-apest when the librarian said you might be a faster source of information for us.” “Indeed I have heard of your plight with the Algus” answered Charlemagne. “As for dragon forged blades, I can do one better. How about a real dragon?” “Dragons are hard to come by and not something one gives up readily” said Wyndor. “What’s the catch?” “When I rescued Morpheus and Balthazar from the Ulandus, we came back to Budd-apest with dragons” said Charlemagne. “It turns out that the Ulandians had information on how to find and train dragons that had been lost to us generations ago. With their help, not only have we been able to care for the dragons we brought back from Ulandus but we’ve found signs of a small clan of dragons in the Rakath Mountains. With some coaxing we should be able to match you with one that will be willing to help you.” “And you’d be willing to do this for us?” asked Valanice. “Of course!” answered Charlemagne. “I’m something of a sucker for people in need of help.” “Well,” said Wyndor, “Please lead the way!”
  3. See the previous tales: Wyndor's Saga: Chapter 1 -What Has Past- Chapter 2 -What Has Past- Chapter 3 The Green Dragon Inn Bustle at Treacleheim After weeks on the road, Wyndor and Valanice had finally made it to Budd-apest. The road had not been the safest as Kaliphlin was still facing repercussions from their civil war. Travelers had found it was best not to declare they were for any one side because they never knew when they might meet an overzealous Ulandian or Desert King sympathizer. Wyndor and Valanice adopted this practice as well even though it seemed to them that the Desert King had the most legitimate claim to the guild. They arrived at the gate weary but safe. “We’re here to visit the library” they declared. “And how do we know you aren’t from the High Council come to cause trouble?” asked the mummy guard. “We’re from Mitgardia” began Wyndor, “And we have no allegiance to the High Council. We’ve been facing a plague of terrors across the northern half of our guild and we’ve come to seek answers from the acclaimed library of your fair city.” “Flattery will get you nowhere” was the Masketeer’s reply. “We’re not trying to flatter!” said Valanice. “We really just want any information on the Algus!” Neither guard made any attempt to open the gate so Wyndor and Valanice turned to each other. “What do we do now?” they asked themselves. Just then the gates opened and a captain of the Red Guard stepped out. “What’s all this commotion?” he asked. “Sir,” the mummy replied, “These travelers claim to be on a peaceful mission of knowledge and wish to see the library.” “At ease,” the Red Guard captain answered, “Word has reached me of two Mitgardians looking for answers. I think we can safely allow these travelers into our city.” The captain didn’t say anything else so Wyndor and Valanice followed him in.
  4. Over thirty years ago a Leander woman had fallen in love with an Avalonian Elf. They were married and had a son. The other elves disapproved of the marriage and looked on the baby with scorn. When the baby was still a child, the father met an untimely end in the Mystic Isles. A few months later the mother died of grief, having been cast out of society after her husband died. She was buried in a pauper’s grave with nothing but a small bouquet of scarlet magnolias to mark her resting. The child was taken in by a peasant family and raised as one of their own. They were kind, but the child still felt the cruelty of the Avalonians around him who did not approve of his parent’s union. This child was Charlemagne. When he was old enough to travel on his own, Charlemagne left Avalonia and headed for Kaliphlin. He ended up in Budd-apest without a penny in his pocket. The monks of the Red Guard took him in and gave him a home in their compound. He grew up learning chivalry and how to fight from the knights of the Red Guard and he learned to love the God of The Way from the monks. During all these years he learned to forgive the elves of Avalonia who had treated he and his family so poorly. He had moved on and had built a new life for himself and in so doing he removed himself from both Elvish and Leander cultures. He wanted nothing to do with either of them. When reports started coming in of the coming war, Charlemagne assumed he would remain uninvolved. He heard about the unrest within the High Council, of the rise of the Desert King, and of the strange Ulandians. When reports came through Budd-apest about how the First Centurion kept Leanders as slaves, servants, and warriors, Charlemagne tried to ignore them. “What does that have to do with me?” He would ask himself. But each night as war drew ever closer Charlemagne could not get the thought of his people being subjugated by the cruel Ulandians. He talked about his concerns with one of the monks who had been his friend for many years. “Methuselah, I have had nothing to do with the Leanders since my mother died, why would I trouble myself about the fate of one group of them now?” Charlemagne asked. “Perhaps you were born for a greater purpose than you think” Methuselah replied. “Maybe you are supposed to free those of your people who are in bondage.” “I know how to fight, and I know how to behave at dinner parties, but how does that help me do anything to help the Leanders of Ulandus?” Charlemagne continued, “I would have to take on the entire empire!” “There is an ancient proverb that says, ‘The most impressive stain glass window can still be broken by a single stone.’” Methuselah stated. “Be that stone.” Charlemagne still wasn’t convinced, but he didn’t stop thinking about his brothers and sisters in Ulandus. He had started to change and hadn’t even realized it and his actions started to show the change. He went to the Masketeers and asked them for a rapier because he needed a less conspicuous weapon. He began to gather information about Ulandus and the First Centurion. He followed the unrest in the High Council at the death of Flagg. He listened as the Sultan of Budd-apest asked the Masketeers and then the Red Guard to fight on behalf of the city if the Desert King called on them. He then asked to see the Sultan himself. “I’d like to be involved in the war” began Charlemagne. “That’s a little preemptive since the Desert King hasn’t officially declared war, but I appreciate your desire to serve” answered the Sultan. “The Red Guard has had only good things to say about you. I know you will bring honor to the city.” The next day the emissaries from the Desert King showed up and Charlemagne took his place alongside the Red Guard outside the city gates. After the skirmish against the attacking army, the Sultan asked Charlemagne to go on a mission to the Dune Sea. After he returned from the Dune Sea, Charlemagne found himself back in the library reflecting on how far he had come since his mother’s death in Avalonia. He thought about his mother’s unassuming grave, his new life in Kaliphlin, the words of Methuselah, and the suffering Leanders in Ulandus. He had fought on behalf of the Desert King, but he knew now that he needed to do more. He made up his mind at that point that he would go to Ulandus and would do everything he could to be that stone that broke the window. Charlemagne knew he couldn’t just walk into Ulandus so he devised a plan to go as a supposed emissary from Budd-apest, seeking to change the city’s alliance with the Desert King to Ulandus. Once he got into the country he would then stage his attacks and claim they were the work of a terrorist known as the Scarlett Magnolia. In this way he would protect his identity and with some irony, honor his mother. There was no denying it, war had changed Charlemagne. OoC: This will make much more sense if you read my minichallenge entry as well as my Cat. B entry. Lots more pictures on my flickr!
  5. The half-Leander Charlemagne, a soldier for the Desert King, began his soldier’s journey in Budd-apest. He was born in Avalonia, but after his father and mother died, moved to Kaliphlin and took up residence among the Red Guard of Budd-apest. There he learned the basics of chivalry and fighting. As the certainty of war grew, Charlemagne started preparing. He first went to the Red Guard’s rivals, the Masketeers for a sword. The Masketeers favored the rapier and Charlemagne thought he might be better equipped for the coming battles by having a lighter, quicker blade than the Red Guard were want to use. As the war began, he took on the name of the Scarlet Magnolia to honor the memory of his mother. He became more and more determined to help his fellow countrymen, enslaved in Ulandus. He hired the services of Uriako who was able to sail him through the Serpant’s Crawl to Ulandus. Once he arrived he was able to enter Ulandian society by posing as an ambassador from Budd-apest to Ulandus. He claimed the city wanted to be free of the Desert King’s clutches. This caused him to be well received in high Ulandian society. He was able to use this as a cover for his true purpose, the liberty of the Leanders. He began by providing bread to the starving Leanders. When war began, resources grew scarce on Ulandus. What resources there were never found their way to Leanders who were more slaves than citizens. His next mission was to help free some of the key, Leander leaders who had been imprisoned for talking against the government. The Scarlet Magnolia had struck again! The city was abuzz with the talk of the Scarlet Magnolia, high society included. As Charlemagne talked to the other Ulandians they asked him, “Who could this Scarlet Magnolia be?” Charlemagne responded with, “Whoever he is, he’s making life nearly impossible for all of us who aren’t Ulandian! I can’t go anywhere without being quizzed on my identity for fear that I may be the Scarlet Magnolia. In fact, I’ve written a poem for the occasion, They seek him here, they seek him there. The Ulandians seek him everywhere. Is he from Mitgardia, or is he from Avalonia? That darned, elusive, Scarlet Magnolia.” He continued his subversive activities and continued to help Leanders throughout Ulandus. He was a soldier for the Desert King, but a secret one. After a couple weeks he heard about the orders of execution for some of the Leanders he had personally helped as the Scarlet Magnolia. It seemed that the Ulandians where trying to flush him out. He took the bait and went to the wilderness where the Leanders where sentenced to die. He found them guarded, chained to rocks, and waiting for their death. Charlemagne didn’t know how they were going to be killed, but he knew he needed to save them. He charged the guards, and made it through their defenses to race to the prisoners to break their chains. As he ran he saw a large shadow pass overhead. He freed the first Leander and shouted at him to dive to the ground. Charlemagne heard a commotion behind him, but he focused on freeing the Leander’s first. All of a sudden, two more beasts landed, and Charlemagne saw that the beasts were wyverns. All three prisoners were now free and laying still on the ground. Charlemagne looked around and saw that all the Ulandian guards had been consumed. The wyverns seemed pacified for now. He urged the Leanders up and one of them said to him, “Please, I’ve worked with dragons for my whole life. These are a loyal breed. It is most likely that they see you as having fed them. They can be ridden if they are willing to take you, and I can think of no better way to get out of here!” Charlemagne trusted the Leander and approached one of the wyverns. The wyvern were seemingly passive now that their bellies were full and Charlemagne was able to mount it easily. The other Leanders mounted up as well and they flew off to safety. Charlemagne continued to harass the Ulandian army, using the wyvern whose trust he had earned all the while furthering the Desert King’s cause. OoC: This will make much more sense if you read my minichallenge entry as well as my Cat. A entry. Lots more pictures on my flickr!
  6. The people of Ulandus were starving. Their leaders had tied up all their resources in the way against the Desert King and the High Council. The result of this was that commoners were without even the most basic of necessities, like bread. A mysterious stranger appeared in the streets one day handing out bread to all who needed it. No one knew his identity, but when the guards came to try to arrest him, all they found was a bunch of scarlet magnolias. This led the people to call him The Scarlet Magnolia, and he became a symbol of freedom amongst the oppressed peoples of Ulandus. OoC: If you've ever seen The Scarlet Pimpernel, then you'll know my source material. Otherwise this will probably seem pretty random to you. If you are into witty, older dramas, I recommend the movie to you. I haven't read the book so I don't know whether I can recommend it or not.
  7. In Qarkyr, there are two distinct cultures. In certain parts of the city these two cultures can be seen across the street from each other. When it became clear that their city was not only divided culturally, but only in which war-ing faction they supported, the merchants of the city took up arms against each other. Having only knives and their fierce passion to win whatever the cost, the fight promised to be a bloody one. The sultan of Budd-apest had heard about the coming conflict and had sent one of his men to help the western merchants in the defense of the Desert King's right to rule. A dwarven captain stood on the side of the eastern merchants, urging them on to fight for the freedom that Ulandus offered. OoC: So I found out I'm really bad at building Asian style buildings. This was the best I could come up with. I hope you all like it.
  8. When Aymeri ordered that the buildings be turned into movable fortifications, not all of the soldiers correctly understood his order. One unlucky man, using what little brains he had, set to mobilizing the most needed building in the town. The outhouse. When his commanding officer found out his soldier's precious time had been wasted he wasn't to happy. Though, he was about to be less happy. What he didn't realize was that the Desert King troops were badly in need of re-leaving themselves and were tired of using cactus for toilet paper. They saw this movable outhouse as the most important fortification they could acquire! OoC: Sorry for the crummy photos. I'll take better ones tomorrow. But now, for bed. Pictures updated now.
  9. After helping Charlemagne through the desert, Cyprian traveled to the northern territory of the High Council. He had been tasked with poisoning the wells in that area with a poison that had been procured from Nocturnus. It was designed by a master poisoner to be able to contaminate a well for months on end with but a few drops.
  10. Back when the Queen of Kaliphlin first entered Queenscross the inhabitants had built many celebration arches for the Queen to walk through, showing their support for her. Many of these arches can still be found in Queenscross today. It was at one of these that the men of Budd-apest found themselves battling against the High Council soldiers. The decorative flagstones that had once been carpeted with red flowers when the Queen passed over them now were carpeted with the red blood of the High Council's best soldiers. OoC: The arch is attacked to the base. That was the hardest part of this build.
  11. Charlemagne was on a mission for the Desert King that had led into the Dune Sea. He had hired a guide to help him survive the harsh climate. They traveled early in the morning and late in the evening, setting up a canopy in the afternoon to shield them from the beating sun. The guide had warned Charlemagne that there were all many of nasty creatures in the Dune Sea, though he wasn't sure how they managed to survive. All of a sudden a ROUS (Rodent of Unusual Size) had come galloping over a sand dune at them. It had obviously smelled them and thought it had found a quick dinner. The ROUS quickly found out that it had met it's end instead of it's meal. OoC: This is a very unconventional base, I know. I have a limited number of tan base-plates and I didn't want to stoop to using dark tan for this desert. So this is what we got
  12. Captain Uriako had just survived one of the worst voyages of his life. He had been smuggling supplies to the Desert King troops within Ulandus territory for weeks now and had quickly learned how to navigate the Serpent's Crawl. This time through though he had had to navigate those treacherous rocks with only half his crew. The other half had come down sick with the plague. It wasn't until the first few crew members had fallen ill that the captain had discovered the rats on board his vessel. He finally made it into port and sold his cargo to a rich Ulandian. Rather than warn the Ulandian buyer of the plague infested rats, he purposefully kept quiet knowing that the rats would soon spread their disease throughout the city. Captain Uriako knew that this would be far more effective in hurting Ulandus than his supplies would have been to the Desert King troops. Now, the captain was off to a healer to try to get his crew back on their feet. OoC: If you counter this, please leave the captain alive. I need him for future builds and it would be awkward to have to bring him back to life first
  13. The Salamanders of Ulandus were putting up a bold defense. The men of Budd-apest thought of a creative way to sneak into the city to take down the invaders. On a patrol some of the guards found a strange object in a field. They pulled it back to the city gate to bring it inside the city as a war trophy...
  14. Many people within the territory held by Ulandus enjoy a little entertainment every now and then. The Monkey Grinder was one such entertainer. He would turn his music box while his trained monkey danced around the courtyard. What the Ulandars didn't know was that the Monkey Grinder was a trained agent of the Desert King. While the people were distracted his monkey would steal coins from those most loyal to Ulandus. OoC: The 2nd to last picture with the monkey balanced on the pillar used no tricks. The monkey is actually balancing like that.
  15. This is the counter against Bregir's guerrilla build. When the dwarves started pulling treasure from the tomb, what they didn't realize was that the hieroglyphics lining the courtyard held a curse for robbers such as them. With a rush, the hieroglyphics started moving and moved inwards towards the tomb entrance. Then the darkness came. An incarnation of Apep emerged from tomb, consuming the robbers.
  16. When the Lonely Mountain erupted it left behind much carnage. Many building had been overtaken by the lava. The Mummy Captain found himself fighting in one such building. There were little battles taking place all over the city right now thanks to this hair-brained idea of Lord Abrim Kar'dani. The Captain had been walking through the archways of what had once been windows of a residence, but now acted as lonely sentinels of the former beauty that was now mostly hardened lava. A masked Ulandar leaped up to challenge him. A swift kick from the Captain and a fast slash of his sword and the fight was over faster than it took to begin.
  17. All through the forests of the Nestlands there are shrines and monuments dotting the landscape. The natives know how to navigate through the forest as if it were a talent they were born with. Visitors to the Nestlands though, found these monunments very helpful in finding their way through the bamboo forests. The Ulandus troops wandered the paths through the forest on regular patrols, watching for insurgents. The Desert King's men heard the call of the Nestlands clans and came to their defense. The Masketeers and the mummy guard learned the Ulandus patrol times and set up an ambush to take out the foreign invaders.
  18. The forces from Ulandus had taken as many aqueducts as they could, knowing that whoever controlled the water supply would be in the best position to continue their attacks. A small force of the Ulandans had decided that it would be faster to press-ganged some of the local farmers into hauling water for them to increase the flow instead of fixing the water-pump. The men of Budd-apest, fighting for the Desert King, saw the slavery in action and decided to do something about it. OoC: I originally wasn't going to build for this WZ. But then I got this idea in my head. I hope it works as a "medieval pumping station." The instructions just said to make it realistic based on what they had available back then. And what was more readily available than men?
  19. The banks of the Arkbri River were very muddy and sometimes it was hard to tell which way was the deeper water and which way was the bank. Some High Council soldiers had been spying on the men of Budd-apest who were traveling with the Desert King's emissaries. The High Council soldiers had been hiding in the rushes of the river and had heard enough so they turned around to wade away from the Desert King's campsite to find a safe place to climb out. They had been wandering for a half hour and both soldiers were worried that they may never find the bank when the Desert King's men found the spies. (I would like the next WZ to be D7 if I win)
  20. Budd-apest, a city in the foothills of the Rakath mountains between Sultan’s Gate and Qarkura, is rich in Kaliphlinian history. Many decades ago the monks of Cedrica had proclaimed the need for a crusade to make holy the creatures of Nocturnus. Many minor lords saw this as an opportunity to claim new land in the name of the crusade. The forces gathered and marched for Nocturnus. They planned to travel through the Rakath mountains but found the way blocked by the Kelra Labyrinths. Many tried to brave the Labyrinth and were never seen again. Others headed south to attempt to cross the mountains closer to the Kaliphlin border. Few made it through the harsh mountains and those who did found the inhabitants less than happy about their reason for being in Nocturnus. The monks heralded the men as brave souls, but agreed that the venture should not be attempted again any time soon. A small band of these crusaders, as they headed south to avoid the Labyrinth, found themselves caught in a fierce sand storm. The sand storm raged for days and the small group of travelers found themselves thoroughly lost. They eventually found themselves at the Sultan’s Gate and, assuming they were still heading towards Nocturnus, climbed the path up the cliff. The traders at the top were more than happy to sell the weary travelers provisions at a marked up price and to direct them further into Kaliphlin knowing the next traders would be able to profit as much as they had from these crusaders. It wasn’t until the crusaders arrived at the little city of Budd-apest that someone honest told them how far from their destination they were. The travelers were broke and exhausted. Having pity on them, some of the town leaders opened their homes to the foreigners. The monks among the troop shared their beliefs in the sect known as the Way. Many natives of Budd-apest believed the monks and accepted their faith as their own. The knights among the crusaders saw first hand that sharing their beliefs through peace was far more effective than through conquest. So when a band of raiders attacked the city, these knights placed themselves in the front lines of the city’s defense. After their successful victory the Sultan gave all of the knights the honorary title of “The Red Guard” and told them they would always be welcome in Budd-apest. A few of the band decided to leave for home, but most of the troop stayed. A compound was built housing a church, barracks, and a few other buildings. The monks made it a welcoming place and the knights made it a place of safety. In Budd-apest today many of the original crusaders still live in the compound. New converts have joined their ranks, some opting to join the monks and others the knights. The city itself is divided between followers of the Way and the other predominate religion in the city, followers of the Destroyer. After the favor shown to the crusaders in allowing them to have the Red Guard, the leaders of the Destroyer sect demanded equal privilege. They formed a group known as the Masketeers because of their use of masks. The Red Guard and the Masketeers did not like each other, but they tolerated one another because they knew in-fighting would only cause problems for the city they loved instead of solving its problems. As war began in Kaliphlin, it was no secret that Budd-apest supported the Desert King. They knew that without the leadership of the Pharaoh all those years ago, Kaliphlin would probably be ruled by the Drow. They also knew that the Ulander’s promises were too lofty for them to actually keep. Promising the throne to Mitgardia alone proved that they didn’t know how things worked in Historica and that they were only interested in their own devices. Mitgardians were too focused on events within their own borders to care about ruling all 4 guilds. As for the council, they fought more than they accomplished anything of benefit. The Desert King was the obvious choice for the people of the city. The Desert King, knowing of the opportunity for alliance with Budd-apest, sent some of his eastern-mountain mummies to parlay with the city. Eastern-Mountain mummies are very different from desert or regular mountain mummies, preferring to use the katana over the khopesh. When the Desert King ruled, he was over those who used both the khopesh and the katana so when he rose, the eastern-mountain mummies heard his call and answered the same as their desert brothers. The Sultan, with representatives from the Red Guard, the Masketeers, and a half-Leander known as Charlemagne meet with the mummies at one of the city’s gates. The Sultan was agreeing to assist the Desert King with both supplies and men when an assassin attacked. Charlemagne was too quick for the assassin though, and dispatched him with ease. A note was found in the assassin’s pocket with details of a meeting of soldiers with plans to attack the Desert King's forces. A plan was quickly put into place for the men from Budd-apest to prove their worth to the Desert King. They marched out to meet the soldiers and managed to take most of them prisoner with minimal casualties. It was unclear whether these men were from the High Council or from Ulandas for none of them would talk. But the Sultan of Budd-apest knew that the prisoners would come in handy eventually. And as an added benefit his men had proven their worth to the Desert King.