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 paper booklet to an Aesthetic standing by you. You note the spine bears the word 'Szara' scribed in earth-colored brown ink. As you glance down at the page you read..

From the pages of Szara's book..

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 14 23:57:31 2015 Subject Far from the fame part 1

'Gods of magic, though you are beyond the ken of mortals, I curse your rampaging tools to the designs of ogres.' Dusky eyes snap open once more, bathed in the starlit damped glow of Lunitari in high sanction, her cousins seeming more distant this evening as midnight had long since past, yet the silvery orb still hovered on the horizon as well, undiminished by the dawn which was hours away yet. Unsurprisingly the ebony crescent was difficult to pinpoint, well concealed amongst the sea of jewels which filled the night sky. This man with the cold heat of patient vengeance in his voice needed not to turn his chin up to observe the heavens, for his eyes had not been downcast, the typical sign of subservience most may show when they address a being beyond morality abandoned, thought not without purpose. Though she shone upon the land, light was still sparse, and little of his figure could be made out. Save, of course, for the details a keen eye or ear may delineate. A blade at his hip, a round patch of darkness sat upon the ground but leaning against his knee, one may assume it was a shield, and one would not be in error. 'Alas, I admit it may be beneath you to submit to my request, and I lack the beasts at hand.. So the flame will have to do for this one.' Was it even still a prayer? Or the rambling and taunts of a man pushed one step closer to madness by rage? More than that, perhaps, as the moments to come will reveal. He turns upon his heel, the shield hardly disturbed by the practiced motion. Deft hands are suddenly illuminated by a gentle flame, the pyrotechnic wonder one of the most reliable gnomish inventions its current user had ever come across. This spark's destiny was neither a lamp nor torch however, it was to be disdainfully flung unto a pile. Formerly shrouded by darkness, the shadows flee as the fire catches and spreads, an assortment of tinder and heavier flammables to satiate the ravenous blaze as it grows. Deeper and wider it swells, gathering strength as it blossomed into a proper bonfire. Or pyre, as it were, for upon it was heaped what was unmistakably a body. Adorned now only in robes stained with the vestiges of uncivilized life, it had been stripped of valuables. Obscured by bloodied cloth were clearly untended wounds, either they had claimed the recipient's life swiftly, or no one had cared to dress them.

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 14 23:59:44 2015 Subject Far from the fame part 2

If the joyless and harsh gaze of the survivor was anything to go by, it perhaps had been both. More now was revealed of the clearing in which these events transpired, the most obvious of which are a series of carved effigies. Caricatures of weapons, secured atop two clearly arranged mounds of stone which were bordered with freshly turned dirt. The original tools of war were valuable, likely to be picked off by looters, and, though it turns his stomach to think of such a possibility, may inspire the less scrupulous to exhume those now entombed with the hope of loot. Not that there was any to be had, filthy as though it made his hands feel, the caretaker of the dead had at least ensured that whichever bastard desecrated the resting place of his friends would at least turn up empty handed, with the unthinkable exception of necromancers. There was little he could do for this, nor had reason to. A larger pyre was a possibility, yet there was a message to be sent. It was never meant to draw immortal attention, and should the survivor consider this in the days to come, he'd scoff at the very notion. The message was for himself, a final vengeance enacted upon the killer of his comrades. As for that choleric soul, the flickering light revealed little more about him, not due to any lack of strength, for its cleansing vigor was sweeping over the corpse with fury resembling magefire. Instead there was simply nothing to see. Leave had been taken as the malodorous stench of scorching flesh began to waft from the pyre. The soft orange glow and the crackle may draw unwanted attention, and the wanderer had places to be, indemnities to pay... And a book, tucked away deep within his cloak, as of yet unopened and festering with curiosity. He was, after all, nothing if not an opportunist. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ This story unrelated to the Makarth warnote, more to come on that after I've gotten my hands on my accomplice.

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 28 03:12:09 2015 Subject Duels and devils (pt 1)

Thin whorls of {odust clouded the stars of an otherwise clear sky, a view of the heavens which would be unmarred by the meager light pollution of Pashin. The town was good for little more than its walls and horses, a place for travelers of all sorts to seek reprieve, yet few lingered for long, as the dirty border settlement had about as many luxuries to offer as a cold cell in Sanction. At the very least it was better than a pit ogres would keep their next meals in, and, with the trade routes around which the town was founded, it sustained itself even if it did not flourish. However the events which were to transpire some hours up the road from that fortified collection of dreary hovels are only vaguely related to their history or existence, with approximately as much association with the mangy tavern from which two unassociated wayfarers had departed. Though linked in the tumult that was inexorability gripping Ansalon, the pair had yet to meet, a fact the second figure who slunk out of the roadhouse was determined to change. It would be deceit to imply he had good intentions, for the irregular sellsword sought to evade the scrutiny of his mark until the moment of his choosing. Luck never seemed to hold fast to anyone whom lacked the personal attentions of a god, and so it was that the mark was a Highlord, one whose time in the Red Dragonarmy had certainly not endeared him to being trailed. However these useful tidbits were not at the disposal of the ill-fated wanderer, and so he continued his pursuit along the thinly vegetated badlands. Though he kept to the shadows which stretched all the way to the horizon, he could not forever escape the attention of the Highlord. Shadowing such a target was no easy feat, given the paranoia such a position required and instilled. Speaking of paranoia, the Highlord had his own thoughts on the matter...

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 28 03:16:30 2015 Subject Duels and devils (pt 2)

Luck, to be frankly honest, was a fickle bitch and far more likely to wear his face than Contessa. In his company or not, she was constantly setting her ill-begotten hands upon him. Such as today. Here he was, dressed down to appear much less than he was, determined to have a look at these so-called flawless walls with his own eyes...And being hunted. Whether they knew who he was or considered him an easy mark, he was uncertain, but he was sure that they would get far more than they expected if they intended to meet him with further misfortune. He wasn't far from the city, having stolen away on Akadin's horse in the dead of night in an attempt to keep the overly-protective man from blowing his cover, when he lost his patience. Aching from a little action after the month of bullshit and wild fuckery that had befallen him. He wouldn't call them out, he would simply pull his horse around and wait, a soft mutter bringing a temporary gleam across his shadow-draped eyes. Stalking mounted quarry had not been on the merc's list of things to do tonight, but what's a man to do? His interest had been snared, and this is the price he is paying for such curiosity. He wasn't particularly surly by the time his mark hauled around, having spent many of his preceding years trekking the breadth of southern Ansalon. The clear message that his presence has been noticed was also a matter of minor concern, for it saved him from having to hail the man. They were far enough from the tavern, in any case, and the walls were distant yet. Seclusion was theirs, and this one emerged from his cover, striding forward confidently. Unarmed as well. Gentlemen needn't greet one another with steel before words were exchanged, after all. Nevermind the skulking about and the skullduggery it implied; some people just want their privacy. Halting a dozen paces away from the steed of his potential adversary, a curt nod is rendered, though the darkness may mask the gesture.. 'Good evening sir, I took note of..' Pshah, as if he'd waste time bandying words, the man is direct when he speaks, "You have the look of a wielder of magic about you. Is this the case?"

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 28 03:18:32 2015 Subject Duels and devils (pt 3)

Teague did indeed have the look of a caster to him, nondescript as he was. He was curious enough to allow himself a reckless moment. One never knew when their Queen and her allies came to call, as they were often cryptic and seemed devilishly delighted by unexpected means and methods. The more uncomfortable the better. He tucked his chin down as the beast below him snorted and broke earth with impatient protests towards their stop and the presence of the stranger. So like her owner, this one. She wasn't keen on random afternoon roadside discussions. A slow sigh of breath came as the mage reached forward to calm the fretting creature, his voice soft and somewhat road-weary, "Well, it seems we have a master observationist with us today, girl. Tcht. Calm yourself." Of course, he spoke to the horse, but it was more than loud enough to carry. When he did finally speak to the other man, he didn't appear to even give him a glance, "Please. Do be quick." It would take more than the snide side remark to bristle the wanderer, though the few words the miser had doled out were enough to paint part of the Highlord's measure. 'So much for the pretense of pleasantries', the thought crosses his mind as he once again drifts into a dispute with himself, albeit a brief one. He had a mage to deal with after all. Once more the most direct route wins out, as his hand drifts into his cloak. "I'd know your name, for it is brigandish to test the steel of a man without first addressing him." One might ask what business a man for hire has with these words, and the odds were about even that the interrogator would receive a backhand and a sharp retort, as a storyteller he is not. The facade of chivalry was all well and good, yet beneath it was a man ready for the encounter to turn dirty in a hurry. On the flip side, he wanted a fight, so the worst outcome was for his target to flee, and Red pride lessened the odds of this option, didn't it? Not that he would know.

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 28 03:19:33 2015 Subject Duels and devils (pt 4)

Pride. That was far more than a double-edged sword, both strength and sin in make. Foolish men let their pride draw them into situations they could not control. He was not known for his brash behaviour, but he was as guilty as any other man. No one was free of the grip of that particular aspect "Human Condition." Whether this was the case, or the man had measured his potential foe and found him wanting, the mage threw a leg over his saddle and slid to his feet as he drew a long wicked blade of blackened steel from the barding's sheath. The smile was unseen, but it infiltrated his speech, for it had been a while since someone had been foolish and/or lucky enough to be able to so much as attempt such a thing upon him. "I see. And to what aim do you believe you come to blows against me, sir?" Not that it mattered. Incrementally disappointing, but expected, a blade was drawn in response to Teague's, not all too dissimilar, this one was made to be polished, yet smudged it often found itself, as it was this night, only the cutting edge left bare to twinkle in the dim moon and starlight. A hand and a half and tempered to ruin someone's day. "Dueling mages is hazardous to one's health, and thus it is all the better to sharpen the skill. You're no stranger to tumult, it is clear." And today was on his own terms, for the most part. This was ever so much more pleasant than a casual stroll turning into a comrade suddenly combusting after all. Pleased with the coming conflict, he waited a moment more for his nameless adversary to clear the horse before approaching as the fires of discord began to boil his blood. His cloak is thrown open as an aggressive stance is taken, to match the ferocious grin which is concealed by his skillfully tooled mask. It wasn't every day he went to battle wearing his finery, but tonight his dull faced backup remained with the rest of his belongings. It was obvious to the unnamed mage that this was clearly no mere highwayman looking to rob the common merchant on his way into Pashin. Despite the fine steed and barding, there wasn't much to Teague at the moment. Not at first glance. No bandit he had ever come upon spoke in such a manner or held such a stance. There was something almost formal to the motion, and the mage slid a foot to the side to brace himself as he ushered the horse off the road with a slight tap of the blade's flat and a click of the tongue. She was far more disciplined than the Highlord, or else they would have still been en route to their destination, of course, shifting out of the way to watch the odd men and their silly posturing. It was beyond the time for talk, perhaps, but what was a good fight without a little banter? "I think you will find that your assumptions of me are ill-begotten, boy. There's no shame in changing your mind. I assure you, on my word, that I won't tell the tale." Cocky? You bet your ass he was.

Author: Szara Date: Tue Jul 28 03:22:01 2015 Subject Duels and devils (pt 5)

A barking laugh foreshadows a reply of "You mean you won't be a worthy opponent? Such a shame that, but we're here and may as well settle the matter definitively." In other words, sire, your presumption may throw itself off of the nearest cliff. "You're into this as much as I am. Lets have our fun." It would be good to test himself against a foe above the regular riffraff and scoundrels he'd oft found himself enduring, bored with their lack of imagination and polish. Of course, at its heart was the purpose of the encounter. Mage. The greatest threat he'd yet met on any battlefield, as even the goblins could not match the unpredictability of a caster. And what was a quantity such a foe would prize most? Concentration, time distance. Much like an archer with an arsenal as varied as Mt Nevermind, and luxuries that must be denied if victory was to be secured. And so he lunged and lashed out at his brass opponent, a shallow overhead strike that needed to be dealt with, but which did not excessively open himself to reprisal. A querying probe, testing the waters of defense as it were. Distance was not a commodity he was heavy-handed with, nor did he expect it or even seem inclined to take some. No, this mage met his opponent's blade with a heavy slap with the flat of his own, likewise throwing himself directly into the heat of the conflict. Along with his momentum, came a gloved fist. A right check, intended to make the man rethink how close he actually wanted to be. There wasn't anything frail or cautious about this one, his mossy green eyes burning with the delight of the evening's unexpected activities as steel broke the silence and echoed across the scrubby landscape. Of course, he wasn't nearly as reckless as he appeared, but like any self-respecting black robe, he made a habit of putting up false fronts. Eager, though, he very much was. Akadin was going to just kill him when he heard about this one... It wasn't going to be the human before him who did the deed, not today at least. A pleasant dual wasn't meant to end in death, but that doesn't mean the other swordsman wasn't going to give it his all. He countered the parry to his own blade by using the momentum it imparted for his own ends, his rear hand working a circle to bring the flat of his blade to buffet the offending arm. This alongside with a sliding step back negates the attack, a hop to his left placing himself slightly on the flank of his opponent. The crunch of the pebbles and dirt which claimed the title of road is a distant thing when compared to the tumultuous motion of the combatants, which was enough to mask anything short of another fight. "No esoteric mutters, mage?" The cool autumn night was bound to swelter before long, no matter how long the sun has been hiding below the horizon.

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He states simply 'You might start with that one.. or you could take a look at the latest story..'

The Latest Entry

Highwaymen (2/2) by Verita, posted on Tue May 14 23:51:33 2024.

"'Go water the horses, go water the horses,' every day," the goblin griped, leading a white mare by the reins to t(read more)....

The Storytellers of Ansalon, The DragonLance MUD

Astinus points to the massive wall of books behind him and bids you to make a selection.

Authors: All|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z





Astinus says 'There are 71 authors starting with the letter S who have stories in the Palanthas library.'