The Great Library of Palanthas

Astinus' Office

Dominating the center of this room is a massive birch desk. Legend claims this desk has supported the thousands of volumes of history Astinus has recorded. A large pot of ink, a container of sharpened quills, and a candelabra complete the desks decorations. Small windows line the room, allowing light to trickle in and gently illuminate the entire room. A comfortable couch rests against the west wall. Tapestries hang on the walls between the windows. Shelves line the walls, filled with tomes of the more recent records of heroes and villians upon the face of Krynn.

The librarian notices you aren't reading anything... Astinus hands a large book to an Aesthetic standing by you. You note the spine bears the word 'Lahrag' scribed in unearthly black ink. As you glance down at the page you read..

From the pages of Lahrag's book..

Author: Lahrag Date: Fri Sep 18 19:09:43 2009 Subject The Calling (part II) It was shortly after dusk as Lahrag walked into the aul carrying a small sack of trinkets. With the heavy rains it was almost too easy this time it was dark much earlier and the rain covered all hope of detection. He'd been out to the nearby aghar village again, looting their useless trinkets. He'd gotten a fair share this evening but as he was finishing up one last run in a smaller home his tummy rumbled a little too loudly. He was gone before the poor dwarf even bled out. As he strolled through the aul on the way to his tent he noticed a peculiar troupe approaching the murza's main tent. The way they held themselves left no doubt they were seasoned battle veterans and were in no mood to be dissuaded from their course as the lone sentry found out. He was laid low with one swift, rock-solid punch to the jaw that sent him flying after he mistakenly stepped out to question the group. 'This should be interesting' Lahrag thought to himself as he carefully crept as close to the heavily guarded tent as he could get to watch what unfolded. He was very careful on his approach despite the heavy rain. This tent was not one for eavesdropping on easily, however as he came closer he noticed all eyes were focus on the band of dark clad warriors calling out to the leader for an audience. Gasps came from all around the tent as the impromptu request was granted, something never done in the past. Quickly the gasps were hushed and several of the bands' members were ushered into the large tent. The majority of the remaining guards fortified the entrance to the tent. Silent and as cold as the rain they stood and waited. Lahrag was already close to the tent but he felt he could get even closer, so he scanned for more cover and noticed a large stump just outside the back wall of the tent. He slowly snuck forward as the guards were distracted and he crouched low against the rotting stump. From here he could almost make out what was being said in the tent. He had to get closer! So, using his natural abilities he crept even closer, right up to the back of the tent, near a couple of chests and barrels. He squeezed in between two large barrels and congratulated himself, for not only was he hidden but it was dry as well. He settled down to wait for the show he knew would come, for the murza was a fiery one to be sure. It took longer than expected but after a while the visitors came full into the tent and began to describe the situation to the murza. It took some time to decipher the dialect used but eventually the conversation began to flow more easily. The leader of the troupe began with harsh tones and subtle demands, but the murza wasn't dumb and he saw the ruse for what it was. He countered with questions as to who the band was and why they had come to the Sikk'et Hul region. The leader angered quickly, slamming his fist to the table and growling something indecipherable. The meeting went on for quite a while and Lahrag actually dozed off for part of it when the conversation wasn't nearly as heated at certain points. He awoke to a shout from the departing party of heavily armored men... "Remember this night, Goblin! Remember my face. You WILL see me again... and when your aul lies bleeding and dead from the full fury of the Queen's armies, remember that you could have protected them." Shortly after the departure Lahrag scrambled from his hiding place and snuck back out of the aul to return to his tent from another route. He was probably being overly careful but that was what kept him alive all these years. He came upon his tent and called his friends closer together for a meeting of his own. Lahrag rubbed his hand together and sat down at the fire pit and began to tell his tale "I heard what they said..." he grunted and continued... Author: Lahrag Date: Mon Sep 21 14:08:34 2009 Subject The Calling (part V) Lahrag rubbed the tiny ruby figurine of Mwarg he kept in his pocket as he walked down the road with the other goblins and his friend Zopzer. He had stolen the trinket from an unworthy goblin he'd laid low some time ago and was drawn to it ever since. Lahrag considered his actions in the tent when Zopzer charged in. True he had expected to talk to his friend at a later time, to privately voice his concerns. It made no difference now, but he felt shame for angering his friend so openly. He had to be sure, they all had to be sure and Lahrag knew the other goblins needed strength to bolster their resolve. With the information he had given them they were ripe for the taking but he knew they lacked a leader figure and in his eyes, that was easily Zopzer. They walked in silence for a long while, each contemplating their choice and each solidifying their thoughts on the future. Slowly, the other goblins began to chatter and bicker amongst themselves. It was harmless until it got out of hand. With one sharp "Quiet!" from Zopzer, and it was abruptly ended. Yes, Zopzer was a good choice. They hadn't much time to gather belongings so most of the goblins were on the road with little in the way of gear and supplies. Fortunately the band of representatives hadn't been gone more than an hour after Lahrag's meeting concluded and he figured they would soon meet up with this crew. He would be ready to stand confidently by Zopzer's side while he negotiated with the representatives. Author: Lahrag Date: Sat Sep 26 19:51:27 2009 Subject Training CRACK! The whip sounded again. The goblin had gone in and out of consciousness several times during the beating and it was no surprise when they had to stop and revive him again. "Training these vermin is always so tough," the soldier said as he spit in the goblins face for the third time. "Ahh but my whip does get a work out don't it?" The other guards watching all gave a gruesome laugh together. After a few more strikes the goblin passed out again, and would not be revived. Two of the guards untied him and dragged his limp body over to a small pit. They summarily threw him in, allowing him to fall the ten or so feet to the dirt floor below giving a chuckle when he 'bounced' at the end. Lahrag awoke some time later to a horrified wail. Not unlike the one he'd given upon the first few strikes of that wretched whip. Lahrag had never felt such agony in all his life. Even growing up there was never punishment like this. His back was ripped raw, with countless deep gashes, many crisscrossing over one another. Some had begun to scab over but he was too weak to notice, he just laid there, cringing with every strike of the whip above before blacking out once again from the immense pain he was suffering. SPLASH! Lahrag was startled awake again, this time he was also soaking wet and he heard a cackle of glee above him at the edge of the dark pit. He'd had a rough night dozing in and out of sleep, attempting to gain some semblance of comfort with his back on fire. He'd had a lot of time to think during those long, dark hours and he had studied the prison well. There was no way to escape the pit it was too high for him and coated with a slick slime. It smelled awful, but that hardly bothered him. He did notice a small barred drain on one side of the pit but it was no use, the bars were closely spaced and think as his arm. While examining the prison he did find a sharp piece of bone and kept that with his person. He ended up curling up in a soft (relatively) pile of garbage and debris to get some sleep. That is when he began thinking about Zopzer and what had happened earlier. He went over everything in his head many times before drifting into a restless sleep. He thought of what the Emperor said and how he treated Zopzer. He thought about what he did himself and why he attacked the man. He came to no real conclusions on the matter and quickly gave up on it. He had lost track of how many days he was in the pit but eventually he was released and began to train with some more experienced goblin forces. They went through basic drills and commands and orders. This helped him adapt to the life style he was to live in this compound. The other goblins talked with him quite easily, all of them understood the adversities Lahrag had to overcome being just over three feet tall. So, over the course of another few weeks the training grew tougher and tougher as he was moved from group to group. Eventually he showed enough skill to advance to a smaller group of individuals. By this time he'd learned, quickly, the rules and how ranking worked in the compound. He was able to understand and carry out orders and became conscious of awarding respect to his superiors at all times. During his training he had little contact with Zopzer and only towards the end of the training did he finally see him more regularly. Author: Lahrag Date: Wed Sep 30 04:52:05 2009 Subject Reconnaissance Sweat dripped down his brow, for perhaps the hundredth, no, easily the thousandth time. He was drenched in it and it was hardly past dawn. This place was foul even for him. It left a nasty taste in his mouth and gave him a pounding headache no matter how much water he drank. Thankfully the commander thought it prudent to send a priest along who could summon water. That alone made the trip almost tolerable. This wretched place, the blasted sun, the deadly heat.. it was enough to kill a man, or a goblin in this case. Lahrag was never much for the sun and he cursed it still as he trudged across the barren wasteland, scouting for his commanding office and the contingent of soldiers following behind. He and a group of other goblins, apparently under his command, for they seemed to defer to him at every turn, were operating as a forward and flanking scouting unit. He took point himself to feel important, if nothing else. It was a routine he was well accustomed to performing, having done so on many occasions for the group Zopzer frequently traveled with. As he walked, he thought of the city he was leading the troupe of soldiers towards. He had gone to the city on several occasions in the past to speak with the goblin clans located north of Tarsis. It was a perfect location to gather information. On this trip he was to scout ahead and meet up with some contacts already planted in the city. He would then report to the commander waiting out in the field, just beyond the city limits. It was a simple task and besides that, he felt most at home inside the city itself. His thoughts had brought him to the edge of the city territories and he realized it was already dusk. He relayed a message to his liaison and quickly dashed into the city through an entrance in the sewers, out of sight from the gate. It was always best to be cautious, especially at city gates. It took him no longer than an hour to meet up with the contact and, after a quick meal on the Dragonarmy's purse, he was back out heading to report his findings to his commander. He carried a scroll with him which was still sealed upon delivery. There he retired to his camp, the same group of goblins who had been scouting all day with him. They were exempt from guard duties because of their other talents. The desert cooled dramatically at night and so he quickly feel into a deep sleep. Author: Lahrag Date: Thu Oct 1 14:34:53 2009 Subject In the Fray We crept into the city slowly at first, a few at a time, gathering numbers. We traveled in groups of no more than half a dozen to keep things quiet. Lahrag started out leading a small pack himself, but before long a big brute of a man stood and claimed that responsibility for himself. Before long we were moving quickly through the streets in search of our target. We had crossed paths with several other units, all reporting the presence of those foul knights in the area. One such group carried Zopzer with them and a higher ranking officer. The officer, upon receiving new orders to eliminate the Solamnic intrusion quickly dispatched half his men with us to their last known location. To Lahrag's surprise one of the soldiers with the new recruits was Zopzer. With a quick greeting and an exchange of orders they regrouped and were on the hunt. It happened so fast, the group came into an open square and there before them was their main target. Something was wrong though, he was being attacked by another. The group quickly rushed to the aide of this stranger, who was quickly identified as a Dragonarmy operative upon closer inspection. It was far too late for pleasantries however, because before they could fully close the gap, Lahrag's group was intercepted by a group of knights. The skirmish was brutal, Lahrag landing a couple of fine blows to one of the knights who, oddly, looked familiar to him. Before he had time to contemplate this discovery however he was struck heavily in the back of the head. Head pounding, feet wobbly he some how managed to stumble away from the battle before blacking out completely. The sound of weapons clashing and the rough, almost frenzied shaking of a soldier woke Lahrag up quickly. He found himself in an alley, just outside a full scale battle. It was crazy; the city was turned upside down with the commotion. He took a moment to gather his things and began to search for his party, and more importantly Zopzer. It didn't take Lahrag long to find the small band, they were resting in a safe house a few blocks away. It had been a bloody first foray for them and they were regrouping. Within minutes of his arrival they received word that the Emperor had joined the battle and that all units were to converge on the main target, last seen near the docks. With that the band quickly set off towards the docks to join the fight once again. They saw very few knights along the way and it looked as if the Dragonarmy hordes had driven them back from this part of the city. They came upon the scene and with little hesitation, and with typical goblinoid lust charged into the battle head long. Within moments the target was surrounded by troops and severely outnumbered. Lahrag had no trouble slipping in where he was needed since most of the combat was done just above his head. He slipped in behind the target to deliver a nasty cut across his shoulder. With a quick swing and an abrupt turn from his foe, Lahrag was sent flying. The figure quickly regained his footing and turned to meet the remaining foes. Lahrag came back at the figure but this time he focused on kicking and tripping the foe. This would set him off balance and make him a much easier target. The strategy worked marvelously and before long Lahrag saw an opening he could not refuse. Whipping a dagger out, after knocking the foe to the ground, he brought it down and low striking hard at the back of the neck and laid the fellow out cold. The soldiers all around were amazed; half of them hadn't even noticed the goblin in the fight. With a quick survey of the area, the battle was won and Lahrag was carted off on shoulders with the celebrating band, back to the camps outside the city. He had not even had the chance to speak with the Emperor. It didn't matter, he would soon enough, he was sure of that. Author: Lahrag Date: Mon Oct 5 03:54:29 2009 Subject Again to Tarsis Lahrag nodded his understanding to his brutish friend as he headed off towards the east entrance of the city. After Zopzer left he turned to assess his troupe of goblins. With a few quick hand signals they were off into the tunnels below the city. Zopzer didn't know the city as well as the goblins, particularly Lahrag. As they walked through the wet tunnels goblins peeled off one at a time, turning down side tunnels. Soon goblins were appearing in dark alleys and shadows all over the city. There were only six of them including Lahrag and each quite skilled at stalking and scouting, especially at this dark hour. Lahrag came out of the sewers near the docks and made his way up to Harbor Street. He began looking for a local, low profile tavern where he could go relatively unnoticed as he probed for information. He found a pair of 'tin-cans' as Zopzer would say, walking down the street and he quickly ducked down a side alley out of sight. He poked his head out after they passed by and began to creep along, pacing them. It didn't take more than a few minutes for them to approach an inn. The sign outside said it was 'The Stormy Sea Inn.' Shortly after they entered he went around back down a side alley. It was a simple matter to slip in through the stables and into a dark, unused corner of the half empty tavern. He would observe these fellows and learn what they might know. After a few minutes he began to listen in on other conversations, the knights had went on about some drabble concerning someone named Coria, the name didn't register and Lahrag quickly moved on to another group. He crept right up behind a small table of rowdy drunks all yelling about the recent events that transpired in the city. Lahrag found it rather amusing as he slipped a bag of coins from one of the men in his pocket. Suddenly he froze. A dark cloak hung on a peg just behind the men. He recognized the emblem on the cloak. He snuck closer to get a better look. It was indeed the very same cloak he'd seen before. He quickly rolled the cloak, complete with a scorch mark on it, into a ball and retreated back to the alley behind the inn. It was getting late by the time he made his way back to the rally point just outside the eastern gates. He rolled in quietly to find a handful of goblins waiting for him, but no Zopzer. Just like him to be late, Lahrag thought to himself. So, he sat down, at the small fire made by another goblin and pulled a flask of wine and some bread he had borrowed from the drunken fools at the inn. He absent-mindedly patted his pocket and smiled at the extra weight there. Soon after Lahrags meal Zopzer stormed into the camp with a sinister smile upon his face, dragging something, or rather someone by the looks of it by a foot. It was time to return to Neraka, and with good news by the looks of things. Author: Lahrag Date: Tue Oct 20 15:21:59 2009 Subject Plains of Dust Such a foul place he thought to himself for the countless time that day alone. He had been ordered into the great desert, yet again, to search for a reported oasis. Lahrag had no idea what an oasis even was, and had seen enough sand to last a life time, no ten life times. At least this time he was with Zopzer and company. There had been quite a few excursions that had split the two apart. Apparently Lahrag's scouting abilities were becoming well known around the legions and many commanding officers requested the wily pack of goblins, typically run by a brutish hobgoblin to accompany their own missions. This was much the same; he had been assigned to shadow a group of soldiers lead by an upcoming officer in the Dragonarmy. It all meant little to Lahrag and from what he could tell even less to Zopzer. The whole ranking system; it was too complex for them. Just point them in the right direction, give them some basic orders and off they went. That was how they worked best, the old adage of keep it simple stupid, really did apply to the goblinoids in this case. So, they found themselves out, searching, in the daylight, and the hot sun, for days on end. It had been so long in the desert for Lahrag that his body had finally gotten used to the stress of the tremendous heat during the day. The goblins had learned to wear very light clothing early on, to blend in with the environment, but quickly realized it also warded off some of the terrible heat as well. It was an endless search at first and the company crossed many miles of terrain devoid of life except for a few spiny cacti and some rarely seen poisonous snakes and scorpions. And just when it didn't seem it would get any worse, the land soon turned to scorched earth with red colored sand, it was dry and cracked, and the environment indeed became even worse to traverse. After several days of this miserable climate and many empty reports to an increasingly frustrated commanding officer, Lahrag finally arrived with what seemed to be promising news for Yrkril. Reports came of a small watering hole just ahead and to the south of the troops performing the highly ineffective grid search of the land. The scouting party had not ventured close to the location but decided it was better to inform the commanding officer since it was off his intended path quite a ways to the south, even deeper into the plains. That was the task of the goblin pack, shadow the main party and keep a wide circuit around them to cover more ground. Author: Lahrag Date: Wed Oct 28 15:00:48 2009 Subject A Timely Encounter The sandstorm whipped around violently, obscuring all visibility. It was so dark it nearly blotted out the sun at its peak intensity. It lasted for over an hour. Lahrag and the pack of goblins he always seemed to have in tow were crouched high on a dune among some large rocks, using them as a meager shelter to weather the winds and sand. They had been watching the caravan for most of the morning, having tracked them several miles from the Dragonarmy camp. It appeared they had just come from the very oasis that Lahrags band had found not three days past. By the clothing worn it was easy to tell they had come from Tarsis recently. It was a rag-tag group with only few armed guards; who would really need many guards in this desolate land anyway? They looked like slave traders with a few cage-wagons full of people and some nasty looking animals chained up as well. Shortly after the intense storm began, Zopzer had arrived with more soldiers. After a brief meeting with Lahrag and on strict orders from Yrkril to capture, not kill, anyone they found, the band had surmised a strategy. Once the storm was in full effect and the caravan was forced to stop and seek shelter among the wagons, the band of goblins would surround them. They would wait out the storm and seize the mangy beggars before they could recover from the storm. It was a simple plan and proved highly effective and was easily executed. A while later, after the merchants were secured, word was sent to the base camp, Yrkril himself returned to further question the merchants. The wagons had not been searched and none of the merchants were harmed up until that point, however they were angry with the delays and their subsequent capture during the storm. They had no idea the danger they were in or the severity of the situation. Author: Lahrag Date: Tue Nov 3 16:03:48 2009 Subject Wretched Desert Lahrag nearly choked on his evening meal as he overheard a high ranking priest of the order demand that the company, his company, head back into the desert once again. He had been casually listening to the commanding officers over his meal; it was always pleasant watching them squirm under the pressure of dealing with one of the arrogant priests. He had worn a smirking grin on his face up until the conversation turned sour. So, it was with much trepidation that he grudgingly nodded to his next in charge (of the goblin pack he seemed to lead) to ready the others. He knew full well the priest would not have him, or any of the others wait a moment. By the sounds of it, his screeching that is, it was even more important than usual. And, as he thought, within the hour a large band, much the same as the previous trip not so long ago, was headed back out into the filthy plains again. He palmed his ruby statuette as he walked, thinking to himself. They had barely left Stone Rose more than an hour ago when he was approached by an office with his expected (and well known) duties to the band. Lahrag had already detailed the orders to his group of scouts before ever leaving the gates, but nodded to the office anyway, attempting to look like he cared what the man said. It wasn't more than a few days of travel the priest had said, just like the last priest, and the priest before that and the captain and well it didn't really matter at this point did it? He would walk the sandy wastelands a thousand more times if needed, though he hoped it would not be needed. At least they had left at dusk for he was most comfortable traveling this wretched place at night. The priest had ordered another of the order to accompany the troupe explaining something about knowing the exact location or having a tracer beacon or some prayers or some such nonsense. It didn't concern Lahrag in the least. He could not have cared less about the details. Just point and he would go where ever was needed. It took only two days, less than the priest predicted at first, which made it a pleasant surprise since they usually grossly underestimated the time allotted to the task at hand. It was nice to be at one of these 'oasis' locations again. There was something soothing about them, especially after a hard couple of days march. The priest and commanding officer went ahead and approached a small cabin, to speak with whoever was inside. They would probably 'question' the occupant mercilessly even if he did cooperate. Lahrag shrugged to himself, not his business, and turned towards the small spring to sit in one of the few shaded areas in all this desolate land. He took out his ruby figurine of Mwarg and held it gently as he leaned against a great palm, soaking in the shade, he waited. Author: Lahrag Date: Tue Nov 17 02:12:08 2009 Subject Tempered Resolve Sitting atop a ledge high above the city Lahrag sat idly, feet dangling over the edge. It was easily a thousand foot drop to the jagged rocks below but he didn't seem to mind his precarious perch. He was transfixed, looking at the masses below. He studied the landscape carefully. The shape of the city, a bowl dipping down between three massive mountains, all of which were active volcanoes, was lain out clearly below. He was in a meditative state, having just met with several high ranking officers and the Emperor himself. He had come up here to ponder the upcoming war; a war well past due by his understanding. In the distance another horn blared, a long rumbling call. With it came the soldiers, like ants running drills and exercises. They ran those day and night constantly training. His gaze drifted over the valley below, silently counting the camps and tents. He estimated several legions in one clearing alone. His gaze continued past the battalions, out over the citadel towards the walls and the watch towers. All of these were heavily armed and fortified quite well. He finally surveyed the harbor, with its array of finely crafted war galleys and quick running schooners. It was an impressive fleet and growing by the day it seemed. He sighed to himself; sitting alone up there he wondered what role he would play in this epic campaign. His gaze continued to roll past the harbor back around to a more secluded area higher up on the hillside of the valley below. It was where the dragon riders and their counterparts were kept. Lahrag shivered at the thought of what they were capable of on the battlefield. Lastly he focused on the temple district. As he looked out at the scene before him he reached into his pocket, as he often did and grasped the tiny figurine in his small hand and for just a moment he thought he felt it pulse just once. After a while, he walked back down the treacherous trail, past the slow moving lava flows, back down into the city below. He had much to do before departing with his commanders on the morrow. He was confident that their victory would be absolute. Author: Lahrag Date: Sat Nov 21 03:11:58 2009 Subject Frustrations He had been out to sea for a long time and once he finally got a report from the mainland troops he was disappointed. It seems there had been a few battles in the early stages of the war already. Nothing too concerning but he was upset that he had not been a part of these obvious slaughters. The sea travel was nauseating to say the least and many of his troops, goblins mostly were getting antsy with the wait. They had to strike some where soon or he would have trouble keeping order. It was quite frustrating to sate the bloodlust of these wretches when he himself had as much, or more of his own thirst building. Within the same day Lahrag and his troops landed and were immediately dispatched inland to meet up with other forces. As they traveled he heard countless tales of some of the other commanding officers and their triumphs over the pathetic Solamnic knights. This was fast turning into a rout and he wanted some action. Upon arriving at the main camp, where nearly a third of the front line was entrenched he spoke with several higher ranking officers and it was decided they would make a move to attack further inland still. It was a quick meeting and before long the entire camp was packed and ready, each heading out within an hours' march from each other. They would all arrive at their location ready to crush those slow moving, dim-witted dolts. Lahrag wore a sinister grin during his entire march that day and he assured the goblins in his troop of the glories they would see when they finally got to shed some blood in this devastating war for the Solamnic lands. Author: Lahrag Date: Mon Jan 4 17:02:18 2010 Subject A Quick Skirmish The streets of Palanthas were quiet that day as the goblin walked along Garnet. He had just come from the dock district and decided to stop in at a few choice shops to pick up some supplies. As he rounded a corner he noticed someone of interest. He crept back out of the shop entrance hoping he had not been seen. He was using some minor devices to prevent just such a sighting but he held little faith in magicks. He scurried down a side street heading around to another part of the city as he gathered his thoughts. What was she doing here? How did she get into the city? Where are all the guards? - He was interrupted as he crossed through the square in the center of town and the very same person bumped into him. He cursed his luck for having not noticed her and being ill prepared for an encounter. He offered a quick pardon in as polite a tone as he could manage without spitting in her foul face and dashed down another side street out of sight, but not before she evoked a mighty hex on him. His head was swimming as he spun in circles trying to orient himself and figure out what had happened. He quickly found his wits and darted out the western gate, deep into the wilderness to recover. Before too long he was back in the city searching for the woman, he had a score to settle after all and he was ready for a brawl. Unfortunately she was detained at her headquarters and he was unable to locate a safe way into the stronghold. After a few moments of lingering, and some heckling through the gates the goblin dashed off to finish his errands at the local shop in town and near the library oddly enough. He was confident that she would not be seen in the city any time soon. He reached into his pocket and clenched the small statuette of Mwarg in anger at his unprepared-ness for the battle earlier that day. He would have to speak to a priest of the order regarding that dastardly hex that was used on him by the knight. It was certainly well beyond her powers by his memory, perhaps she had grown some in her abilities. Author: Lahrag Date: Tue Jan 19 02:25:14 2010 Subject Damn Mages - A Thief at Heart "Damn mages," he grumbled as he spat on the ground in front of him, "into the the tower he says..." he kicked aside a stone in his path, still grumbling. "it'll be easy he says lots of treasure to be had he says..." The goblin looked up and noticed the gates into Tarsis looming before him. 'That was quick' he thought to himself. He slipped into the city in a throng of travelers, completely undetected by the guards and continued on his way to the lands north of the city. "Mage? Mage you here?" he looked around carefully for signs of what he knew to be there and before he could blink the air shimmered and the mage appeared. 'Always invisible' he thought to himself. 'Damn mages' "So we're off to that blasted tower again huh?" he feigned interest as he looked over the mangy heap of rags and robes covering the mage. A mage he knew quite well unfortunately, too well. "Well we had best get going it's a long walk for your soft little feet and it will be dark soon," he muttered the jeer softly under his breath. He glanced towards the mage to see if he had heard him, and noted the mage was deep in concentration. A moment later Lahrag was floating gently and seconds after that he couldn't see his hands or feet, or the mage he noted. He heard a soft chuckle and grumbled to himself again saying an all too common phrase as of late, "Damn mages." After what seemed like hours of walking he finally found the archway to this elusive tower that always seemed to be hidden in a different location when he ventured out to find it. A few curses and he turned around several times looking for the mage and finally, with a sigh, motioned in the general direction of where he had last heard the noisy mage for him to lead on while he quickly used a potion to see the invisible nuisance. The tower was always a daunting place with its traps and locks and monsters and mazes. Lahrag didn't mind the locks so much or the traps, or the monsters or really the mazes come to think of it but with the mage leading he was on full alert this time. The mage had this crazy idea to pay a visit to the foul lich deep within the tower. Why ever for was well beyond the comprehension of a simple goblin thief. It took several hours and quite a few back tracks to find the location and once there it was a simple matter, for the mage he noted, to locate a secret passage. A few taps, raps and a click, a phrase and the wall slide open. 'Now that was useful, ' the goblin thought to himself. A tunnel climbed up and around a corner to a large room with some furniture and a small cabinet. A quick inspection revealed no traps and inside the goblin found a fine cloak. He rolled that up around a corner to a large room with some furniture and a small cabinet. A quick inspection revealed no traps and inside the goblin found a fine cloak. He rolled that up looked around and noted nothing else of value in the room. The mage had gone ahead to scout out using his magics. A waste of time to Lahrag but if it appeased this mage so be it. After taking quite some time the mage came in a huff, looking pale as a ghost. "Found him eh?" the goblin chuckled lightly before muttering "damn mages." under his breath once again. "Well? Where is-" -a piercing wail broke the silence in the distance and Lahrag found himself standing fully alert with both daggers in his hands and somehow managing to end up in front of the pathetic mage. He didn't consider his misfortune for long as he regained his composure and felt the tingling of defensive spells settling on him and the comforting mumbles from the pale-faced mage in the corner. With a sigh he braced for the inevitable attack to come. Not to bore you with details, the battle was successful to say the least. Shortly after the lich had died Lahrag began a more robust search of the grounds. He found several chests, some with locks beyond anything he had ever seen, other with locks a child could open. He found several trinkets of interest, one in a skull, another in a back room and still more things. He quickly gathered his treasures as the mage poured over some writings or some other such nonsense. 'Damn useless mages, ' he thought again to himself. After packing up a large sack of goods Lahrag pried the mage away from his studies and headed out of the tower the way they had come. On his way past a particularly long hall the glint of steel caught his eye, as it would any reputable thief naturally. He stopped dead and the mage tumbled into him still studying a book he'd himself pilfered. 'A book?' the goblin thought. The goblin hardly noticed the collision with the skinny mage and shrugged it off. He jabbed the entranced mage in the ribs and pointed to the object made of solid steel in the alcove near a window. "So Ebby, how's about we take that too?" he moved over to examine the treasure with glee. The mage sighed heavily before reluctantly following the smelly goblin into the alcove. After several attempts to loosen the object, a telescope according to the damn mage, Lahrag surmised that it was stuck. He began to whittle at the bolts holding it in place and just before he'd begun the mage grabbed his hand to stop him. "Get out of the way you damn fool mage!" the goblin roared. Just then the mage showed him the trap that would be set off if he had connected the blade to the telescope. Some time later, the thief and the mage exited the tower and began their trek back to the city of Tarsis. The goblin was less than pleased at having to leave the steel contraption behind. It was solid steel after all. Author: Lahrag Date: Sun Feb 21 04:32:19 2010 Subject Back to the Roots The goblin found himself walking along familiar trails again. He had been some what rogue for a while now but had been assigned to check the goblin controlled areas near Palanthas and to make a report. So he was out, scouting with his usual group of fellow goblins in the hills east of Palanthas. It didn't take long to make contact with the local goblins, they spoke a slightly different dialect but it was easy enough to pick up on the differences and as it turned out one of the goblins in the group was from a tribe with nearly the same variance in the guttural language of their kin. After some boring questioning and some dancing around the pleasantries Lahrag decided to step out of the main tent for a breath of air. And also to avoid stabbing the poor fool leading this tribe to ruins. They had declined to completely side with the queen and had instead insisted on sending only half of their finest warriors to the cause. That would have to be dealt with eventually; their insolence was appalling to say the least. However, this close to the Solamnic stronghold it was more difficult to casually slaughter an entire village with little notice even if it was only goblins. A short while later word came of a mage traveling the lands. The description fit with some other intelligence from the Tarsis debacle many months past. It was definitely worth a look around for this supposed threat. Within a few days it was apparent that there was a mage in the area and not long after that discovery he was located. It was hardly a struggle with the pack of goblins surrounding the oblivious mage from all angles. Lahrag reached into his pocket to grasp the figure of Mwarg tightly and steadied himself. With a simple hand signal it was done. In a sudden rush the mage wearing next to nothing and looking rather pitiful at that was knocked out clean and quick. That was the best way to handle these dangerous folk who cast such potent magic with ease. It took some time but eventually they group brought the mage in for questioning and it was later revealed he was indeed one of the same order as the mage apprehended long ago in Tarsis. That was intriguing in itself, that he would be tracking the movements of the Dragonarmy again was troublesome. No matter, he was as good as dead once the interrogating was finished this time. Author: Lahrag Date: Thu Sep 16 00:33:23 2010 Subject Full Circle As he approached the aul he felt superior, dressed in his uniform, surrounded by well trained allies. He made a straight, determined path toward the obvious murza tent. It was twice as large as any other, surrounded by guards and near the center of the small camp. Lahrag knew what to expect and as he strode steadily toward the tent his thoughts cascaded back to what had seemed an eternity ago... He saw himself, creeping towards a tent not unlike this very tent he now approached himself. He could see full around the other side of the tent as well and see too the group of armor clad men walking toward the tent. The entire aul was focused on these men and faces were blank with a haze of confusion... A shiver ran down his spine jarring him back to reality and he redoubled his focus on the task at hand. It was the same for him now, as he made his approach. My how the tables have turned he mused with a wicked grin. A grin that no doubt sent shivers down the spines of many of the onlookers today, as well. He was here for the very same purpose of recruiting members or giving the order to slaughter the reluctant ones if that was the will of Mwarg. Each aul had a choice, if you could call a quick death or enslavement to the Queen a choice. He handled each refusal differently, having learned much can be accomplished with a few well placed blows rather than the typical full blown slaughter tactics generally used. The objective was to amass an army of minions not fertilize the country side on the way to war. These wretches were hardly more difficult to combat than children but with minimal training they would make excellent fodder. With a conviction like no other he strode through the tent flap to meet with yet another murza. As he did so he clutched tightly his ever-present companion, a ruby figurine of Mwarg, which had grown quite smooth with age. Author: Lahrag Date: Sun Oct 24 22:21:53 2010 Subject Shift of Power After meeting with a group of priests, one of his least enjoyable duties, Lahrag was sent to his quarters to prepare for a journey to the fields. The priests had decided a particular band had been growing too bold with their movements and it was Lahrags job to handle them. There was to be no bloodshed if it could be helped but an example or two could certainly be made if the occasion called for it. With those orders he struck out, down the hall and out of the temple towards his chambers to pack. He was going to pack light of course. He didn't need much; this band worked closely with the main force and had been well supplied. It would not be a routine check up on the mischievous band of thugs as was the norm. This would be more of a secretive task designed to gage their current depth and entrenchment with the forces. The priests were worrisome of a coup for power amongst the troops. They needn't have been concerned with this group. Their eyes sought only the easy gold of pillaging. The priests however, were out of touch with the brute force and the life of the men on the frontlines. The priests were the hand, often the driving force behind any attack but the men, the long arm of the Queen, were the muscle to be sure. Lahrag was simply to engage the small band of hired men and evaluate their stability and any posing threat they may harbor towards the Queen herself or in this case the petty priests who have placed spies in and around their own armies. Not something Lahrag himself hadn't had in place himself. However, the priests spies were either loyal to Lahrag himself or far too inept to be any real threat. Often the priests' attempts to keep order undermine the very structure that keeps the force united. Lahrag would simply join with the band and accompany them on various missions until he was more openly accepted amongst them. It would be a welcomed change to the rigorous duties his station afforded him. He was leaving his duties in his capable seconds' command with well detailed instructions. Lahrag was certain he would be away for quite a while on this 'scouting' mission. Most were quick but this, he had a feeling would be anything but routine. He was on the road within an hour, with nary a glance back to what he was leaving behind. His only companion was the small ruby figure of Mwarg he always carried with him and his twin pair of deadly daggers. Author: Lahrag Date: Sat Mar 24 23:15:32 2012 Subject Power Shift

It was raining as the goblin scout dashed across the clearing headed towards the officers tent. It was dark and he nearly ran right into a mage who had recently joined the campaign against Silvanost. The goblin wore the emblem of one from the well known scout group commanded by Highmaster Lahrag. The foul smelling creature looked weary but seemed determined to give his report and earn his well deserved rest before heading back to his commander who was still in the field. Despite his rush he paused to examine the mage closely. "Master Teague is that you?" the goblin asked the mage who was distracted by his own thoughts and appeared to be in a hurry himself. After confirming the identity of the mage the goblin quickly delivered a request from Lahrag, for the mage to join him at their camp as soon he was able. Before the mage could respond the goblin shoved a small note into the mage's pocket and ran off to the officers tent to report his findings. * * * * * It had been over a week in the wretched forest and the rain had been nearly constant for the past three days. The nights were full of thunder storms and as miserable as it was, the rain was also a blessing for the scouts. It allowed them to travel relatively unnoticed throught the elf infested forest. This morning the rains had cleared up and Lahrag stood on a bluff overlooking a swollen river of fast moving water. He had decided upon this camp south of the abandoned village known as Alinosti for the added protection the river gave along with the quick escape down river and also for the fact that many of the elven refugees had traveled the river on their way to Silvanost. The seasoned scout group had made good progress searching the villages and there had been several reports of the elves fleeing the unsecured villages over the last few days. He was expecting another report this morning from the scouts he had sent further south and as if on command a scout began to climb the slope to Lahrags personal tent just then. Lahrag noted the scout was alone and correctly guessed that the other goblins had been slain by an elven scouting party, even this goblin looked injured. 'An extra ration for him' Lahrag mused as he palmed his ruby figurine depicting Mwarg softly. Lahrag had to adapt his scouting strategies early on to double and triple the scouting parties. Weeks ago it was much less dangerous for the scouts and they were able to travel alone, swift and quick. Now, with the elves on high alert it was necessary to send groups of no less than two usually four on a single mission to ensure any substantial success rates. This scout gave a similar description of the village known as Balinost. It was nearly deserted. The commoners were panicked all over the forest, most having fled to the city for protection. Lahrag wore a wicked smile as he thought of the city swelling well beyond its natural capacity. The elves were weak to allow the villagers refuge and protection. There would be a great famine once the Dragonarmies began their march. By all accounts the pathetic elven force was far inferior. After his meeting with the scout Lahrag made his way down to a cave near the main scouting camp. Inside was a formidable creature tending a badly beaten elven scout. The Kapak snarled at the intrusion but yielded at once when it noticed who had entered. Lahrag snarled fiercely showing no fear of the foul creature, just as the cleric had instructed him to do. "Has it given any useful information yet?" Lahrag demanded from the Kapak. The beast shook his head slowly and kicked the elf in the side. Lahrag turned and walked out of the cave, "Kill it slowly..." he said drawing a wicked grin from the beast. "Once you are finished come to my tent for your orders."

Author: Lahrag Date: Fri Sep 11 19:23:01 2015 Subject Price of Freedom (part 1)

(This is a link to Teague and his flashback, used to re-introduce some old players back into the storyline. In this case Lahrag with a link to Tesnos and his storyline as well.) Lahrag stood outside his tent as the wretched sun peaked the horizon just to the east, over the tree line. Lazy trails of smoke rose from many the camps below, closer to the tree line. The scouting camp was home to a few score or more of the dragonarmy scouts, mostly goblins with a mix of some hobgoblins, an ogre or two and a handful of various draconians. It was an extension of one of the larger forces further back. The scouting camp was incredibly close to the dangerous elves. That was the way of a scout he had supposed, always flirting with danger, right up close and personal with the enemy. As he gazed down upon the camp, it seemed calm and quiet and he could make out the sentries posted along the perimeter close to the forest. As Lahrag gazed over the camp his eye caught a small group making their way up from the trail behind the came, slowly. He could not quite make out the nature of this troop, but it was moving too slow to be a courier. He studied the group a while longer until they approached the entrance to the scout camp on the east side, away from the forest-line. A smart decision to approach from the open lands and steer clear of the thick forest, full of the elven archers. Lahrag could see now that there was an officer of some import in the group, a mask wearing mage it would appear. 'Always a mage' he muttered, 'Damned mages' he sighed. The goblin pulled his cloak up over his head to shield from the rising sun and began his descent into the camp, towards the visitors. Shortly after his approach, Lahrag caught something out of the corner of his eye, movement along the tree line. Suddenly there was an awful ear splitting screach from up above, in the sky. Lahrag instinctively took cover behind a barrel just outside his tent. The nasty creature dove low over the mage and his small band. A closer inspection of the creature revealed it to be one of the griffons the elves had been using and it was carrying an elven archer. Lahrag watched as the elf released several arrows down upon the small group. One scoring a direct hit on the masked man. He stumbled to one knee. Just as sudden as that attack was, the griffon turned sharply and came in hard upon Lahrags position, landing just out of melee range, too close for comfort. The goblin eased himself back a few steps. Just then the sivak he had under his command, the one he used to torture the elven captives, came charging out of his tent towards the now grounded griffon. Thankful for the foolish distraction, Lahrag let loose two well aimed knives towards the elven rider just before ducking inside his tent. Inside the tent, the goblin quickly gathered what he could for his impromptu supply list. A few more replacement knives, some food and water, the last of the camp's reserve coins. It all went into a small satchel he slung over his shoulder. It was done quickly but even before he was finished he heard what he considered a painful screach-like howl from the griffon. The sivak must have connected with his deadly two-handed axe, Lahrag thought. A crippling blow no doubt, for the griffon. He stepped outside the tent a moment later to find that the griffon and rider had taken flight. The massive axe lay on the ground close to a body of an elf with an arrow through it's eye. Lahrag did not have time to consider where the sivak went or why there was now an elf lying dead near the bloodied axe apparently with an arrow through its skull. As he made his way towards camp it became clear that he would not be able to escape through that wild battle. There were several other griffons diving low into the mass of goblinkin and countless elves within the tree line peppering the throng of chaos. Elven warriors had begun slicing through what was left of the ranks and even as he surveyed the field a group of elves were rushing up the hill in pursuit of a group of goblin scouts, headed right towards Lahrag. (continued in part 2)

Author: Lahrag Date: Fri Sep 11 19:29:06 2015 Subject Price of Freedom (part 2)

(continued from part 1) Lahrag let out a sigh and drew two blades. He sat low near a barrel, waiting for the elves to get closer. He was close to the path leading down to the river below. He knew he would not make it with these elves fast approaching his position, so he prepared for combat. The goblins had made it to his tent and seeing their leader, they rallied to the cause. They turned to face the elven warriors as a unit and Lahrag noted that these were some of the more seasoned goblins in his own, personal scouting unit. As he scanned the group of elves, looking for an opening, he saw a peculiar elf using an odd weapon choice. This elf was wielding what looked like a tomahawk and a knife of some sort. As the elves approached he saw an opening and stood to let loose a quick choice. This elf was wielding what looked like a tomahawk and a knife of some sort. As the elves approached he saw an opening and stood to let loose a quick Lahrag silently commended the brave, yet foolish goblin for his aid and drew another set of blades ready for the coming strike of the elven swing. It was too quick for Lahrag to comprehend what happened next. Suddenly he was doused with a spray of blood and sent tumbling over the edge of the hill some twenty feet below. Only his reflexes saved him from being severly injured as he came to land in a tuck and roll, absorbing most of the impact. He took cover near the wall of the cliff face and caught his breath a moment. What just happened, he wondered and as he wiped his face of the blood splatter. A quick search of his person revealed no mortal wounds and he felt no pain so he was confused for a moment until his gaze fell on the goblin corpse sprawled out before him on the path leading down to the water's edge. The goblin had at least three arrows protruding from him, one directly in the skull sticking out the back. That, he thought, would account for this mess, as he wiped yet more blood from his face. Just then he heard the commotion of the fight above and some shouts in elvish and some gutteral howls for a retreat from the goblins as well. Within moments he found himself retreating down the hill towards the water, several goblins at his back, but he did not wait for them to catch up. He knew all to well the range of those elven bows. He made it to the river and dove in without hesitation. The water was fridged and moving swiftly, he took a moment to look over his shoulder and noticed at least two other goblins had fallen before making the water. It was not clear if any others made it to the river at all. Lahrag was soon well out of range of the elves and as the camp began to fade away he began to make his way to the far side of the river, to avoid any other elven parties nearby. To his disbelief two other goblins had made it down river with him as he crawled to land near the mouth of the river two other goblins were doing the same. They had escaped the slaughter at the camp like Lahrag by rushing into the cold waters. As he walked along the beach towards the others he noted a ship in the distance. He quickly inspected his satchel and was pleased to find he still had the coin purse but unfortunately he had lost most of his food and several of his knives. It was not important, he turned to the two goblins and noticed one was badly injured and barely able to stand. He went to the goblin and casually slit its throat. 'Weakness is not tolerable.' he said, glaring at the other goblin, who wore a questioning look, if only for a brief moment before producing its own wicked grin. The two made their way to the ship in the distance, known by the crew as the Tempest and spoke to the firstmate to arrange passage west, far away from this warring regions. Lahrag produced a sizable coin purse, about half of what he carried on his person, and handed it over as payment and boarded the ship. The crew was already preparing to depart before his arrival so his timing was, by chance it would seem, perfect. Lahrag was now headed away from the war, off towards his mercenary contact far away from those wretched elves and the needless dangers of a poorly constructed war. He reached into a secret pocket grasping the tiny ruby figurine, it was well past time for something new, he mused to himself as the ship quickly approached the open waters. He gave the statue a gentle but firm squeeze and gazed out over the water and the freedom they represented for him.

Author: Lahrag Date: Tue Oct 27 22:11:38 2015 Subject Blood Magic

Gods how he hated the desert, the heat was unbearable and travel was miserable at best. He had a dead line to meet though and his latest contract was time sensitive, for this filthy mage would only be in Lantern for a short time. Lahrag did not have the luxury of traveling only at night when this blasted, infernal sun was not determined to burn him to cinders. He could not fathom how any of his kin could stand to live in these lands full of dust and scarce else. He had spent a day in an aul not far back, they were happy to have him, mostly because of the horse he left behind for them to enjoy, he had ridden it to death to gain some time. That fool in Tarsis was a pathetic excuse for an apprentice mage, Lahrag shuddered just at the thought of the mage feebly attempting to cast a worthless spell upon him. He had dispatched the weakling before his fingers even began to waggle their disease ridden magics. With a sigh he drank from his water skin, one thing he was given during his short stay with the aul. The murza he had met with was delighted to meet a goblin so well-traveled and full of knowledge. Once he saw that Lahrag carried a figurine of Mwarg he had assaulted Lahrag with a great many questions concerning the Queen's armies, her forces and her plans. It annoyed him to no end, but Lahrag had casually bluffed his way through most of it anyway, the murza had eagerly taken it all in, wide eyed in disbelief. In truth, Lahrag had no idea about what that pathetic and disappointing representation of Takhisis' power were up to the past two years after he escaped. It was all run by unworthy priests and dim-witted mages who had no concept of actual combat or even a hint of tactical planning truly an embarrassment to her Majesty. Lahrag came into Lantern around dusk, as planned and began making his way to a particular tavern. His contact said the mage frequented. It was no doubt a haughty place of nobles, claimed to house some relevance to a magical order or some such ridiculous nonsense. He didn't care for those details, they were a waste of his time. The goblin came around from the back alley, taking note of any potential escape routes, best to be careful after all, these mage-folk were not all stupid. He found a table in the back and ordered himself a meal and plenty of drink to bide his time, he patiently waited, observing, he watched closely. It was not long before the foul mage, wearing excessively extravagant and overly elegant robes, entered the common room. He was directed to one of the few private booths enclosed with curtains and ushered in hastily, too. It would appear there was a degree of secrecy about for this fool. Lahrag caught the tavern wench for another round and asked if she knew who the fancy man in the robes was. The wench was tight lipped until Lahrag produced some coin. A short while later, Lahrag was in the wretch's room upstairs, biding his time, waiting for the foolish, drunken mage to retire. It happened suddenly for the mage, the door barely clicked shut, the lock secured and then there was blood, so much blood. Lahrag had deftly snuck up behind the drunken mage which was no difficult task for he was barely conscious at that point, and quickly slit his throat wide using one of a pair of daggers blessed by Nuitari while he simultaneously used the other to pierce the fool's heart. The daggers were an expensive pair but a necessity when dealing with mages. They were one of few weapons that could pierce through many of the mages defensive wardings. It was by no means foolproof and Lahrag had learned that lesson in the most unpleasant terms long ago having nearly been incinerated by an immolation spell. Never-the-less it was a very effective way to kill an unsuspecting wretch like this poor fool, now crumbled in a pool of his own blood. Lahrag was out the window and on a stolen horse headed out of town within the hour. He had no time to waste, there was a contact waiting in Stone Rose for him. He did not notice the statuette in his pocket glowing a dull red color.

Author: Lahrag Date: Sun Mar 20 20:44:17 2016 Subject Queen's Calling I

Lahrag arrived in Stone Rose early in the morning after he'd slain the mage in Lantern. His contact would meet him with the early morning market crowd setting up their stands. He was to find the one selling trinkets, much like the one he carried of Mwarg. The gates were crowded as he entered the city, all the merchants rushing to the market stands to set up for the day. It was too early for most of the common residents to be awake but not uncommon for a traveler to come in with one of the arriving caravans at such an early hour. He made his way to the market intent on meeting the woman selling trinkets. It was not hard to find the stand it was already set up and had countless little figurines and statues adorning several large wooden shelves. The woman was busy in the back whittling away at a wooden carving she was working on but she noticed him approach and quickly perked up at the thought of such an early sale. As he approached Lahrag pulled out a scroll from inside his padded leather vest and began to unravel it. At once the merchant recognized the emblem and did not hesitate to give Lahrag the signal. He continued his movements and placed the open scroll on the counter asking if she had seen any trinkets such as the one drawn on the scroll, it was all for show but did seem convincing to anyone watching the exchange. The entire conversation was encoded with a message and directions for Lahrag's next target. This merchant was far more than a simple dealer of trinkets after all. After a little discussion over the scroll the woman asked if Lahrag needed any trinkets of his own, now playing her part as a real merchant. Lahrag laughed loudly at the absurd question, he told her he did not. Then he moved his hand to where he kept his prized figurine of Mwarg in a small, hidden pocket on the inside of his vest and gave it an unconscious pat. The movement did not go unnoticed and the woman tried hard not to draw attention to what she saw when the goblin patted his chest. There was a soft glow emanating from the area. She knew of the goblins trinket, she had made it after all and even now she felt the Dark Queens presence through the powerful magic deep inside that particular trinket. She was calling him back to her side. Thankfully, the normally alert and cunning goblin had not noticed the glint in her eye as she mused over what it meant. She wondered if he was even aware of the call yet. The informant confirmed what Lahrag had already suspected, his target had already departed the city heading towards Bloten to meet up with another mage in the group Lahrag was systematically eliminating as he made his way back to Sanction. Two mages, he thought to himself, two mages would be trouble. 'Damned mages' he thought to himself, a mantra it would seem when dealing with these foul magic wielding beasts. He would have to be careful once he arrived in Bloten, he had left a trail of bodies already and they would be weary of an attack. He had taken far too long on his mission despite how quickly he traveled through these wretched desert plains. He left the merchant and only stopped to gather a few light supplies after heading out the opposite gate, again on the road. It was a much quicker road to Bloten and Bloten was one step closer to his Queen and home.

Author: Lahrag Date: Sun Mar 20 20:49:58 2016 Subject Queen's Calling II

Turning the bend on the trail Lahrag could see the gates of Bloten up ahead, it would not be long before he was within the city. It was late and he was tired, he would need a room before he began his search for the two mages in the morning. He would do his reconnaissance during the day and strike the following evening under the cover of darkness. At once it happened, he was startled but felt it keenly, the statuette hummed almost a whistle. He quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out the figurine. It was glowing! He had never seen such a thing in all the years, the figurine was a deep red glow. It was beautiful, if such a thing could be considered to have beauty. He felt a presence within the ruby, it was magic, he was certain. He loathed magic but this was different. He began to hear a voice, it was faint but it was clear. 'You are needed in Sanction, forgo the Bloten mission. I need you.' It was enough for the goblin to question, was it a trick? Did those foul mages enchant the trinket? Even as the questions formed in his mind, they were answered by the trinket. 'I am your Queen, you will come to Sanction at once.' Lahrag nearly dropped the figurine startled that the dark queen would speak to him directly, a lowly goblin. Such a worthless wretch, he had deserted the cause long ago. He found himself skirting the city before he even realized what was happening. His head was spinning and in a fog but he was determined to get to Sanction as quick as he could to figure this all out. * * * Lahrag crested the ridge, it was one of his favored places to survey the city. It had been a long, long time but much was the same in the city. It was earlier in the day and he could see wide and far. There was an army outside the gate and it appeared to carry the banners of the Blue wing. That was odd, he thought to himself and continued his study of the city. There were more ships in the harbor than usual and the city itself seemed to be on high guard. A grand hall was the center of attention and there was much activity surrounding the building. Lahrag instinctively knew he must venture to that building before days end. It was important, somehow, but he was unsure what role it played for him yet. He began the trek down the mountain side cliffs towards a lesser known entrance to the city. Best to not to be rash and enter quietly he thought. He arrived later than he had anticipated and many people were exiting the great building. Most of them appeared to be high ranking officers and as he looked on he noted several highlords and it appeared all five wings were present. That is very strange for such a high concentration of the Queen's forces to be in one central location. As he observed he noted several familiar faces and quite a few he did not recognize. Lahrag sighed heavily as he counted many more new magic wielders in the line of newcomers. He decided he would get closer and see what else he could learn from this gathering and quickly found a vantage point behind some crates, within earshot of the main doors. He heard mention of the Blue wings plans and even made note of a few comments from the pathetic White wing vagrants. He recognized Ayasana and her entourage but on a second look he felt a rage build within him. It couldn't be him, the Dark Queen would not tolerate, she couldn't. Did these fools not know who he was? An obvious plot against Mwarg, Lanfer was at Ayasana's side? The goblin rushed out without thinking and called for the guards, for anyone. Yellling 'Traitor, traitor, he is a spy you fools!' The goblin drew his blades and rushed towards the Solamnic knight in hiding... (To be continued)

Author: Lahrag Date: Mon Sep 4 08:53:30 2017 Subject Changing Tides

The gull soared through the air on an updraft, looking out over the sea. Below it were a cluster of ships it had recently come upon. The gull had come from the island nearby. There were five ships, two appears to be war galleys and the others were loaded to the brink with cargo. They carried the Dragonarmy sigil and bore the Queen's flag high into the air, prominently. Making haste, the ships sailed towards Schallsea. The ship groaned against the constant rocking of the sea. The goblin adjusted his new uniform, it was snug and still needed to be broken in. The black sigil was a symbol of status, but he had enjoyed his time in the red wing. He reached into his pocket for the ruby figurine, worn almost beyond recognition after all these years. With a sigh the goblin scanned out over the horizon, he had to squint a little. The sun was high and it reminded him of his time in the vast deserts, wandering with that fool of a priest. Oh but it was on the Queen's orders he said, over and over. The goblin wondered where that pathetic wretch had disappeared to after all these years. Perhaps another was more fortunate than he and landed a dagger square in the foul priest's back. This goblin had a hate for priests that nearly rivaled that of a mage. A deckhand approached, "Commander, the captain reports that we'll reach land by dusk." Abruptly awoken from his daydream, the goblin stared blankly at the man for a moment. "Is that all?", he snarled. Lahrag hated sailing and his latest orders were absurd. "Yes, Lahrag, sir...", the man stuttered, "That is the captain's report." then he dashed away without another word. As Lahrag gazed, lazily over the ocean waters trying to gather his thoughts, there was a cry from the crow's nest. "Hail, a ship to on the horizon!" the lookout shouted. "Three masts", a pause and then he yelled, "Aye, it's got Three masts, looks like a galley... ", the man trailed off a moment. "It bares a black flag with a white moon...", he bellowed, "Looks like pirates, good thing we brought the war galleys!" With a lengthy sigh, Lahrag turned and began shouting orders to the crew. He and the captain had discussed the mission at length and they were to circle around the backside of the island to deposit the supplies and meet up with a contingent of the Queen's forces there. At least he would make land soon, he thought, even if it was amongst a bunch of mindless undead, it was still an improvement. * * * Lahrag stepped off the gang plank on to dry land, if felt good to be on solid ground again. He left the captain to his work unloading the cargo, thankfully they had not seen that ship again nor did it look like it had followed them. It was of little concern to him now, but he would have to report it to whatever scum was in charge of this festering dung pile of a camp he had found himself in. The mud was thick here, a clear sign that this had quickly become a prime landing zone and a make shift port of sorts. The goblin stormed off into the camp, heading straight for the largest tent, always the largest he thought to himself with a chuckle, a perfect bullseye.

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Third Update by Ayasana, posted on Sat Apr 20 03:09:54 2019.

Concerning the White Dragonarmy wing. The Wing will continue with operations around Icewall Castle while c(read more)....

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