The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Ayasana.

A little gully dwarf runs by and says 'Wordwrap Off 65 80.'
The gully continues 'Eyes hurt? Turn Color OFF!! (regular story dates)

Astinus says 'Enter the main library here to view only the author list.'
Astinus gently places a small volume on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Ayasana' scribed in faded red ink.



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Thu Apr  7 17:42:05 2005
Subject Nothing to Fear

I woke up earlier then the rest,looking about for any signs of intrusion. 
Whoever was out there had left us alone for the night.  Stirring the embers
from last night's fire I was able to start it anew, and set about making a
small pot of hot water for some tarbean tea.  The sun had'nt completely rose
yet,it was still dawning.  I looked over at the Kender,wondering how he had
managed to get himself involved in this,but I remembered that most kender
always get involved in some trouble,it was just a matter of degree.  My eyes
wandered over to the still form of the girl who called herself Maire.  I still
had doubts about who she was,her temperment was more suited to a spoiled girl
af station than a woman of rank.  But still, she knew much about the
Knighthood,and had shown her power to be considerable.  I could'nt help but
wonder why our Queen would have transformed her to this state,except as some
form of punishment,but who was being punished exactly escaped me.  Was it Lady
Maire who displeased Her and was humbled by this change?  Or was it me, and as
punishment I have to watch over this insufferable child?  I'm sure I mean this
in jest, but if you had to meet this girl you would think witch rather then
wizard.  Still, she had her moments of affability, moments I enjoyed her
company.  She just should'nt expect me to know what she is babbling about when
it comes to the Arcane.  I am a warrior, not a mage, I have experience running
a household and the politics involved in the daily governing of a prosperous
estate. This Grey Gem may be the key to the end of the world,but these are
things I know nothing of.  So, until I learn more,or until we encounter
something I can run my steel through, I'll babysit the brat and her pet Kender
as I was ordered to do,and hope this will somehow further the Vision given to
me by our Most Holy Queen.  I'll write more in this journal as time provides.  
      Ayasana-Tii'MhuttarSquire to Dharisath,
      Knight of Takhisis-Baroness of House Matar-



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Tue Apr 12 00:16:12 2005
Subject Off to New Places

We started the day on the island of the Irda,which now is confirmed. The
Kender Samual and I were discussing the Grey Gem and its importance when Lady
Maire awoke from a dream, a particularly bad one it seemed.  She stood, and
was ready to leave camp for the city we had made out the night before. We
travelled light,heading into the outskirts of the town,when we noticed it
appeared abandoned.  Upon further search we located the townfolk in the
square.  An Irda Elder was warning the people about the invasion that was
occuring at that very moment.  Tidings of Dark Forces that were set upon the
land.  Turns out that the Invasion Force was a Thorn Knight,a Lily Squire,and
a Kender.  Yes, we were the massive Force,and as such, they deemed it
neccessary to destroy the Gem before we stole it.  My observation was that
these Irda were not the brightest candle on the cake.  So,whatever was in the
Gem was set free,but no one seems to have a clear idea of exactly what it is
that is happening.  We were then allowed to observe the broken pieces,when the
Kender Samual went to touch them,trust a Kender to want to touch everything. 
Upon laying his hands on the fragments, a blinding light set forth,and
yes,once again,we were transported away to Solace this time. MAire seemed
familiar with the area,and soon we found accomodations for the night,although
as to who our host is I do not know yet, but I feel it's some elvish being,by
the look of things.  Maire assured me we were in a safe area,but I will keep
watch on things until I'm sure all is right.  So,until we meet our Host and
find out what our next action is,I'll leave this journal until tomorrow.  
Ayasana,Ti'Mhutt,Squire of Dharisath,
Baroness of House Matar,Knights of Takhisis.



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Sun Apr 24 12:35:59 2005
Subject A Spring Walk

I watched from the tree line,the family had ridden out to a small
clearing and seemed to be setting up a picnic of sorts.  I saw three
children,running about as they do, the mother preparing the site,with silks
and soft woolen blankets,and fetching the baskets from the horses.  And I
saw the father,proudly watching over all,relaxed and content.  An Elven Lord
watching over his House.  How heart warming.  As the family bustled with
activity, I saw him lean to whisper something to his wife, and watched as he
approached my position, quietly walking through the deep grass, he seemed to
be at peace with himself.  I waited,silently,not really hiding,but not
making myself obvious either.  He entered the forest,looking about as if
inspecting his own handicraft.  How typical of that type, taking credit for
nature's work.  When he was rather close, I stepped out and greeted him, he
did'nt seem surprised.  Ah,Baroness,I somewhat expected you to show,but
I'm surprised to see you here, would'nt the Senate chambers have been more
appropriate?  I smiled slightly,giving him a sidelong glance and
appraising the situation.  My Lord,I had hoped to avoid any unpleasantness
that may occur,and the chamber isn't a welcome place for Her Majesty's
servents.  He tilted his head a bit, looking past me towards his
family,almost as if to dismiss me.  Well,this isn't the place,nor the
time,if you have anything to say of the treaty, you will say it with the
entire senate present, now please excuse me, I'm enjoying this First Day of
Spring.  He began to walk away,dismising me as he would one of his own
lackeys.  I stepped toward him,placing an arm around him,gently.  I held him
close to me.  My Lord,the Council of Tii'Mhut,has been most generous in
the offer,and most anxious to settle this agreement.  I do wish you would
reconsider.  I knew he would not answer,as I felt him tense in anger at my
touch,but I was ready for this,still holding him gently,I slid the blade of
my tanto between his ribfeelin the tip touch his rapidly beating heart. 
And,I whispered to him,The Council is losing patience,my Lord,so I
must remove any obstacle that may impede progress.  I felt the beat of his
heart shudder down the blade,the warm crimson flow quickly staining his
golden robes.  I heard the Nightingale singing, the children laughing in the
distance.  The smell of new grass and early spring lilac,the moist earth
fragrance tainted by the metallic smell of fresh spilled blood.  A cool
breeze carressed my cheek,my hair catching the slight wind.  I was admiring
the clear blueness of the sky, when I felt the flutter of his heart, and the
last beat of his life's rythym.  I lowered him to the ground,watching the
surprise on his face turn to sadness.  And as I cleaned my blade on those
robes of golden thread, I heard the joy of his children,as they called out
to him,searching for him.  A game they play,one of hide and seek,on this
First Day of Spring.  



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Sun May  1 19:24:32 2005
Subject A Meeting of Houses

I stood in the center dais,the semi-circle of the Council table almost
encircling me.  I looked each of the other Heads of Families straight on as
I spoke.  We have an obligation to the Knighthood,as they represent our
Queen in this venture, and as they are all that stands against the dire
threat that Chaos reveals.  We not only face destruction, but the erasure of
all that is and was, all the memories and history that has happened.  Each
of our Houses can give and dedicate themselves to this cause,as we each have
resources that are unique.  I will pledge the House Matar wing of
dragonriders and Blues, while only numbering ten, it may be of service to
the Knighthood in some capacity, be it scouting or messenger delivery.  I
also hope to resurrect the pikeman company that was used for security during
the last few conflicts, relieving more qualified troops of that duty to join
in the actual battle.  Of course the foodcrops and textiles that we have
warehoused will be at the immeadiate disposal of the Knighthood, as will any
aid our slaves may give.  I will continue as baroness of House Matar,as I
fulfill my most honored role as squire to Lord Dharisath,until such time as
I am knighted in Her Majesty's name.  I suggest we all begin preparations as
to our perspective roles in the upcoming times of strife.  I thank you for
your time.   As I stepped down, I heard the murmuring of the Council,and
knew which Houses would give support, and which would waste time and
purposfully waste time doing nothing that would'nt profit themselves.  I
cared not, my plans were already laid, and I knew who was weak and who was
treacherous,and who would not see the end of this battle.  Only the House
Ariakan stood above House Matar, and I had no qualms about that, in fact it
worked in my favor.  After all, the Council of Tii'Mhut was not ran by the
person in the Chairman's seat, but by those behind it.  
And I was only a blade's width away.
         Ayasana



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Mon May  2 19:44:31 2005
Subject Seven Places

 I walked out onto the pier, watching for any sign of who I was to
meet.  It was late afternoon, and the sun was getting low on the horizon. 
The pier was empty of the normal crowd of dockworkers and sailors, except
for a young child, a boy, no more then eleven or twelve I guess.  I watched
him,out of boredon I suppose.  He was wearing an overly large helmet, some
armor that was also a bit over-sized, and carried a kitchen knife,as if it
were a sword.  He was attacking a large crate,playing at being a
knight,yelling challenges and crying "I am Huma!  I have come to fight you
evil dragon!"  He looked comical,but was certainly enjoying himself.  He
finally noticed me,and pointing the knife at me,declared"You!  Are you a
Knight?  Prepare to fight me!"   I chuckled at this,and making a mock bow
to him, said"Why no, mighty Huma, I'm a humble squire, I would'nt fight
one so great as yourself" He tilted his head back,looking at me from
beneath the brim of the helmet"Are you really a squire?  Like to one of
the knights?  Are you of the Rose,or the crown?  Are you Lord Tyr'duun's
squire?"   Amazing how many questions a child can rattle off.  "No,I am
Lord Dharisath's squire,and I'm of the Lily" He looked very thoughtful at
this,and squirmed a bit in the ill fitting and heavy breast-plate,the leg
guards drooping around his ankles.  He looked up at me,hope in his little
eyes.  "Can you help me make this stuff fit better?  I can't reach all the
thingys that make it right."  I gave him a critical look, sizing up him
and the large plate, and figured,why not?.  He want to play at knight he may
as well get used to wearing the cumbersome items.  
          To be continued



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Mon May  2 20:19:18 2005
Subject Seven Places (part two)

I began tightening the straps and re-doing the buckles,getting the
plate and back section to fit a little better,getting it quite snug
actually.  The heavy shin plates tightened up very nicely , as did the
helmet.  As I worked on the armor, the child was very talkative,telling me
about himself and where he lived.  @ It seems he was a ward to the
Priesthood of Habbakuk.  And an orphan,but of noble birth.  He told me of
how he would be a great paladin,and how he would make the Knighthood of
Solamnia great again.  "Oh?"   I asked,"And just how do you know
this?"   I did my best to not laugh at this boy, but he was amusing. 
He looked up at me with wide eyes,"Why.  Habbakuk told me so.  Of
course" I looked into those bright green eyes of his, and saw his dream. 
There he was, a man now,wearing the bright armor of A Knight,leading his
troop into battle,scattering his foes, and singing a victory hymn.  I saw
time pass for him,the Knighthood grew under his guidence,he was revered for
his wisdom and courage.  Again the Vision changed,he stood in the
Kingfisher's nest,high atop the High Clerist's Tower,wearing the robes of
that venerable office,content that all was well in the kingdom.  He carried
a single rose in his hand.  The Vision shifted in my mind,I saw the tower
abandoned,a monument to the unyielding mindset of man, I saw the banner of
my Queen,fluttering before me,and i stood alone,watching the sun set behind
the red and purple clouds.  I watched the sky, watched as it turned to
Twilight, most Holy Twilight.  I could smell the sea,faintly I heard the
nightingale sing.  A gentle breeze cooled my soul,in the distance I could
hear a young woman clling out a name,a boy's name.  She sounded somewhat
worried,concerned.  I looked around,I was alone on the dock,I tried to
remember why I was there.  I saw a large kitchen knife laying by the edge of
the pier.  I looked into the deep water,watching the small bubbles
surface,growing fewer and fewer,until they stopped.  I looked at my
hands,and saw I had somehow aquired a rose,a soft white rose.  White was for
innocence I beleive,or I was once told.  I cast the fresh bloom into the
water,where I saw the bubbles from before.  I heard in my mind a song." 
Seven Places set aside by the Mistress's Throne.  Six souls will abide,but
the child sits alone."  Such a curious day,and still early spring.   
Sleep my precious child
Dream my precious child
Farewell my precious child
Sleep alone my precious child
             Ayasana



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Tue May 10 21:42:47 2005
Subject Spring Harvest

I stood looking out over the fields, just a league or two from the Citadel at
Schallsea. I watched as the white,billowy clouds drifted out over the sea,and
how the wind blew the green wheat, already knee high.

A warm spring day to be sure,the air full of the fresh scent of growing
things. I was listening to the nightingale sing,and the soft hum of life
around me, when I saw her. A young golden-haired girl, obviously with child,
walking in the deep grass. Still behind her, she hadn't noticed me as yet.

I watched as she examined the growth,watching the progress of what appeared to
be a healthy crop.

The sun was high in the noon sky, as she made her way toward the trail at the
edge of the field.

From the corner of my eye,I saw a shadow,the shadow of a five-headed dragon,
seemingly suspended in the air.

In the center of the shadow, like looking into a dark mirror, I could see this
young girl, older but as youthful looking as now, standing with her daughter
at her side, as they tended to the children of the Citadel.

Both wore the Sky blue robes of Mishakal, and both were revered by the
families of the Knights who lived there.

Again the scene swirled and shifted, as the two watched over students in a
classroom, lessons in poetry and artistry, useless things and nonsense.

Around them Solomnia prospered, and all was like some great commune, where no
one really toiled, and no one prospered.

No one but Solomnia, and even then no profit was made from what little labor
was done. Again a shift,and they were building temples and schools and homes
for the elderly, who could not do for themselves.

And the people were lulled by a sense of security, as transparent as the air.
Solomnia grew,and the Knighthood watched over all.

I drew my katana, Nightsong, and laying the blade on my shoulder, walked
toward the young girl,down the small hill, to where she looked out across the
land to the sea. A Spring Harvest, in these fields of green.
To be continued



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Tue May 10 22:23:16 2005
Subject Spring Harvest pt2

I lay on my back, watching the clouds pass as the setting sun filtered
through. The air was cooling, and Twilight was coming soon. I felt tired, but
quite content. Nigtsong was still in my hand,sticky and needing attention.It
never cared to be sullied for very long after it fed.

I felt her shadow over me as she walked up, sniffing the air and looking down
at me. You are such a mess,we'll have to find a pond or brook somewhere for
you to clean up some.I can't have you looking like you work in an abattoir. I
chuckled at her referance,and sat up.

The carrion birds were still feasting and squaking away further down the
trail.Very noisome birds,reminding me of how it sounded in an Inn when the
rustics came in to eat their dinners.

They were scattered about on the trail and in the field, there being an
abundence of pickings strewn about.

"I suppose you are right, again and as always,"I sighed.

"Can you take me by the sea,somwhere private?"I asked her in my most modest
voice,but breaking in to a giggle.

She rolled her eyes up and started to laugh,giving me that look,as if she were
an older sister giving in to the whims of a sibling.

"Yes, if you must bathe in the salty water the least I can do is give you your
privacy,as if anyone could get near while I'm on watch"

She spread out her arms,and I watched in wonder,as always,as she
transformed,her shape growing larger and magnificent wings appeared.

She glowed in the Twilight,her blue scales shimmered like jewels,her long neck
snaked out and blue lightning crackled about her head.

She was once again my Starfire, my wonderful blue dragon and my closest
friend. I climbed up on her back,looking around across the fields again.The
purplish sky above the emerald green grass.

The crows and a few gulls still fought over tidbits and entrails.

How odd,I thought.I would have expected some small and furries to show, so
much scattered about was everything.

I looked at myself, shamefully,Starfire was right, I was a mess.

As she used her giant wings to take us aloft into the night,I looked down
again, and had an odd thought. Who would have guessed.Twins.

*Seven Places set aside,by the Mistress'Throne.Seven souls will abide, as two
wait alone*



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Mon May 16 22:51:55 2005
Subject The chaos of fighting Chaos

I watched the forces gather for the march north toward Kalaman from the
great wall of Neraka.  I believe our objective was the capture of the port,
to allow the Knights from Storm's Keep to land and begin pursuit of this
abomination known as Chaos.  I watched proudly as the troops from House
Matar took up position along side the Draconians from House Dracart in
the lead.  The few dragonrider we had that weren't dispatched to join the
fleet flew ahead to scout and keep watch for any sign of trouble.  I would
join the task group after I took care of a small matter in Kendermore. 
Starfire and I would fly down, dispatch our task and rejoin the army in
about three days time, given no further trouble occured.  I had hoped to
hear from our Auxiliary unit sooner,being as by all reports they were
shaping up into a very adequate force, and have them join this march. 
Perhaps they have already been sent elsewhere to firther secure our
positions.  The Priesthood of the Skull still hasn't been heard from,
this may be due to the secrecy around the Order, and perhaps I can garner
some word upon my return.  Smoe of the Thorn have benn seen rushing
about in preparation, and a few are with the main body as would be expected.
I still have no knowledge as to any other forces on Krynn, be they Solamnic
Knights (The cowards),Plainsmen,Dwarves or any of the Elven
nations(weaklings) joining in defense of their homes.  I am so blessed to
serve Our Queen,and be allowed to prove myself again to be worthy of
Her Divine Favor in this upcoming struggle.  Truly She is the One
God who watches over us all.  Well, Starfire is anxious to be aloft,
and I will get to enjoy the view of our small army from the skie above,as
Twilight falls on us all.  
     Ayasana,Baroness Knight of Takhisis,Tii'Mhut,Noble House of Matar



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Thu May 26 21:59:28 2005
Subject An old friend falls...

I arrived in Kendermore with all the usual chaotic crowding and
questioning, a hundred stories assaulting my ears.  I shhoed away all but
the most persistant,which still seemed to be most of the village, and made
my way to the High Lorekeeper and Watcher of the Spoons chalet.  Managing to
get the door shut without anyone else getting in was a feat worthy of a Test
of Knighthood, but was finally accomplished at the loss of someones fingers.
Not mine of course.  I went upstairs to the Office of the High Lorekeeper
etc.  And found him atop a tall stool, aside a table piled equally high with
maps and scrolls and books and a lot of other junk.  He looked up at me,
squinted and an even bigger smile split his face.  Aya!  I haven't seen
you in years.  Why are you wearing that veil?  Are you still ugly?  You
don't look ugly anymore,where are your crutches?  You are walking fine now
it seems..  How is your family..."  And on and on he went, babbling about
a hundred things and sometimes answering himself before he asked anything. 
I could only shake my head in disbelief,recalling the time I had to spend
with him, learning Kender logic as part of my tutelage of the races of
Krynn.  As far as Kender went, he was not as horrible as most of the
rodents, I did have some small fond memory of him,as he maybe was overly
honest about my past appearance, before my Queen Blessed me, but he never
judged me by that.  Perhaps he was the only one who never did, besides
Starfire.  I don't remember.  As he rattled on about his doings since we
last met, I looked out the small window,across the forest bursting with life
born of spring.  I heard the Kenderlings palying in the street, the crowd
noise and what passed for a market crier shouting of his wares.  Thriugh it
all, the Nightingale sang, I saw a reflection in the glass of the Kender,
discovering some lost language, some tome of pre-cataclysm, discribing a
rare artifact, some powerful tool of Branchala's.  This writing told of
how to use it, and how to find it, and only the Kender knew.  And I knew
now, and my Queen, she always knew.  
End Part One



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Thu May 26 22:51:33 2005
Subject An old friend falls..Pt.2

I walked out of the chalet,Nightsong in my right hand, and tossing
the remains of my friend into the throng that had gathered about the front
of his house.  Now that quieted down the little vermin very quickly.  Very
odd seeing a number of Kenderstanding there, mouths hanging open, a look of
almost shock in those small faces.  Almost sad,was it a look of loss?  I
couldn't help myself, I started to giggle, they looked so comical.  The
realization that one of their number was in peices now, and no one had moved
to put some away in a pouch or pocket.  I raised my Katana, and let out a
short yell, as I watched three of the more bold Kender, doing their best to
look angry, riased those silly hoopaks and slowly start towards me.  I
watched that anger turn to surprise as Starfire flew over the tree tops,
and let loose a tremendous bolt of lightning.  The bright blue stream tore
across the gound,into the three, instantly incinerating them, along with a
few bystanders and a couple huts.  Starfire slwed her descent with a few
beats of her mighty wings, sending even more Kender rolling, as she landed
next to me.  I climbed on her back, and she again took wing into the sky,
turning to send another bolt into my old teacher's home, turning it into a
furnace, devouring remains and books and maps and junk..  I laughed as we
went higher up, looking down to see all the ant-like Kender running around
in confusion.  Twilight had begun to settle on the forest as we headed back
to Neraka, and I saw in the colors, a third Aspen tree fall, as a certain
tome turned to ash, and what was lost remained so.  I knew my Queen smiled
upon me at that moment.  I think his name was Foxglove, or Foxcove.  Some
Kenderish thing I think.  
Seven places set aside by the Mistress' 
Throne, Seven Places for the Chosen Ones,and Three set as stone.
                        Ayasana



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Sun May 29 13:11:19 2005
Subject A Greater Task

Upon my return to Neraka, I found that our forces had made an orderly march to
the foothills of Taman Busuk, past Telvan.  And set up camp at the Mouth of
Truth.  We are now only five days march from Kalaman,and should join the other
two groups at the appointed rendezvous.  Our dragons are already positioned to
quickly aid any of the three prongs,in force,should the need arise.  Scouts
are combing the area for miles around, ready to intercept any force that may
attempt to oppose us.  Thus far, informants have reported no movement among
the Solamnics.  An old friend,Arthas, is in Palanthas, and may be able to
report any activity in that region, should the Sols awake from their lethargy.
 And my cousin,Moonheart,when he can stay in the saddle of his mount),has
proven a good scout.  When he stays focused,sometimes.  I believe the
Auxiliary will be joining us on the final day of the march,increasing our
numbers considerably.  Our Queen has blessed me with the mantle Lady of the
Lily,leading our Knights of the Lily into this battle, and I will serve Her
Desire until death and beyond,as She wills it.  

     Ayasana,
Knight of the True Vision,Lady of the Lily,Baroness of House Matar,Tii'Mhut.



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Sat Jun  4 12:08:44 2005
Subject A Quiet Collapse

We have the city encircled, our fleet lies waiting just beyond the reach of
the cities defenses.  To the west, the main body of Knights control the
shoreline from the river south to the gate, and from the east the Nerakan
group controls the roadways.  The city has been caught somewhat unaware,having
had only a few days to prepare once the combined forces were sighted.  Our
Dragonriders are circling the city and outlying reaches,with Blues patroling
the perimeter,Reds and Greens circling the city proper,and the rest held in
reserve.  Our logistics trains are settled in,and currently siege engines are
being assembled.  I will have the demand for the city's surrender delivered
shortly, and hope that this issue can be resolved without undue blood-letting.
    Ayasana,Knight of the True Vision,Lady of the Lily.
    Baroness of House Matar,Tii'Mhut.



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Sun Jun 12 23:52:53 2005
Subject Plans of the Archaic

I walked down to the edge of the treeline,Star followed me in her human form. 
I was on my way to meet the senior dragons,and their riders,before the attack
would begin.  An attack I still hoped wouldn't benecessary.  As I approached,I
saw the gathering.  Three very large Reds dominated the center,flanked on the
left by two large Greens,and on the right by two large Blues.  A Black and a
White still had their backs to us, but turned their long necks to watch us
approach.  I walked to the center of the group,the riders moved back,what I
had to say was more for the Ancient ones than for my riders.  This may becaome
more of a battle then we originally thought.  The misplaced sense of 'Honor'
the Solamnics have may cause an unwanted battle.  Rather than surrender the
city intact, they may wish to attack our Armies with a woefully inadequate,and
doomed,force.  All for the sake of Solamnic Honor,at the cost of many innocent
lives. Therefore, if we must do battle, we shall do it concisely,uniformly,and
very,very violently.  You Blacks and Whites, stay hidden in the designated
zones, any type of re-enforcment,by land or sea,is to be assaulted,and
delayed.  Blues, two wings will initiate the assault on the gates, then cover
the harbor and the bridges by@ Volger.  The rest will continue to patrol the
perimeter around our forces.  The Greens and Reds, with two exceptions, will
cover the city and harbor when the main force begins its march.  Marsylrex and
Khemorith,our two greatest warriors, will be in a special position,one which
may prove critical in this battle.   I smiled at the attitude of confusion the
great Wyrmms had,and the look of knowing the two reds gave me.  Star whispered
to me about the sense of something not right the Great ones had.  About the
scent,or lack of it.  I knew what she meant,and knew what it meant, as did all
the wings.  Things were too normal,and our 'Friends' were about.   I think we
have a surprise for them,my sweet, a very rude surprise.  



Author:  Ayasana
Date    Wed Aug  3 00:25:27 2005
Subject Reflections

As I stand on the hill overlooking Kalaman,watching the troops train and
practice,the engineers building the machines to tear at the walls,and the
myriad of specialists tending to needed tasks, I go over all preperations we
have made so far.  To the distant south,in Sanction, our divisions prepare
defenses and re-enforce the walls and gates of the city. The harbour is being
defended by barges that will be sunk to narrow the entrance channel into
killing zones for our archers and catapults.  Various lave tubes are being
engineered to flood certain districts should the city somehow be over-run, and
hidden passages for troops from the north are being opened.  In Neraka,our
divisions are training and building on the already formidable defenses,the
garrisons are being drilled,and rapid strike forces are manuevering across the
field for quick response.  The additional divisions there are in training for
our next target.  In Jelek,our reserve divisions are also training for the
next mission, while remaining alert for deployment with our Kalaman
forces,should the need arise.  The fleet outside the harbor is also ready to
sail at first chance,as speed is everything should we wish to accomplish our
next larger,and ,more decisive , objective. Almost daily,new members for our
forces arrive, desiring to serve Our Queen, some new to warfare, some very
seasoned.  At this rate we will have to increase our logistic trains to
properly supply this amazing influx.  But I thank Takhisis for this wealth of
new and veteran blood, swords that will fight in Her Name.  Our dragon talons
grow restless, but I have faith in the discipline of the riders.  Starfire has
proven invaluable to me as an advisor and a sounding being,taking ideas and
adding to them, helping me form the best plan and formations for this
endeavor.  Well, the Twilight sets in, time to give devotions to Her
Majesty,and practice my swordsmanship.  Ayasana,Lady of the Lily,Knight of the
True Vision,Baroness of House Matar, Tii'Mhut.  


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Wed Sep 21 20:24:15 2005
Subject Old Memories

I had returned to Vogler,after seeing Mariasana and Moonheart off for the
Manor.  I was feeling a bit anxious and decided to look about.  I ,of
course, had Starfire accompany me, in her human form as a young raven haired
girl,and two bodyguards from House Matar.  We were attired in our grey
cloaks, except Star,who always wore a blue hooded cape.  We reached the Inn
without any mishap,and upon entering, encountered a group of travellers from
Balifor I believe.  They looked at us without interest, and went back to
their meal.  However, I recognized one of them.  Someone from my past.  I
motioned the guards to a table, watching the travellers talk amongst
themselves, watching one in particular.  I went up to the table,and stood
slightly behind him.  He was wearing the White robe of the Tower I think,a
wizard or magician of some sort.  He noticed me and turned,then I was
sure,it was him.  "Why hello there,what can i do for you?"  he asked in
a merry voice.  My hood was still up, and I wore the veil given me by Our
Queen,so he could only see my eyes,peering at him.  He looked back at his
friends,laughing,then back at me.  "Well, don't be so shy,my name is..." 
 "Ko'rinst,your name is Ko'rinst" I interupted.  "You're from
Balifor,but originally from Jelek,yes?"   He seemed a bit taken aback by
this,nodding slowly,looking at me suspiciously.  "Yes,I was from Jelek,a
dismal place it was,but, I don't seem to know you friend" I pulled my hood
back, and loosen my veil,looking at him I could see he didn't recognize me
now,after My Queen had touched my Soul.  "Ah,a lovely young lady has
graced our table, lads,please join us"he laughed.  I just smiled
coyly,opening my cloak to reveal the Dragon surcoat of Matar,the grips of my
katanas protruding out.  ""I believe you do know me,Ko'rinst,don't you
remember the 'little baroness'?"  
       End Part One


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Wed Sep 21 20:44:39 2005
Subject Old Memories 2

He looked at first confused,standing he stared at me,trying to
understand.  He looked at the crest on my surcoat,the medallion I wore,then
into my eyes.  I watched as his eyes widened a bit, then narrowed. 
"No,the 'little baroness' was a crippled,homely girl,she spoke her words
slurred.  You,you can't be...."   I tilted my head turning
slightly,smiling at him all the time.  "Surprised?  I grew up,and I
was,um,well,blessed,you might say" I could see the disbelief,the slight
fear?  Was it?  He licked his lips,a slight sheen of sweat on his brow. 
"Ayasana?..  You ..."  Those were his last words,by Takhisis.  In one
smooth movement,I drew Nightsong,the fiery blue blade whispering through the
air,driving deep into his chest.  I could feel the tip of the blade grate
against his spine,the tremours of his heart vibrating down the blade,as the
blue flames drew from him his only possesion.  "Remember how you laughed
at me?"  I snarled in his face.  "Remember the names you and your
friends spat at me?  The vile things you would throw?  The jests made about
me?"   I forced the blade down, cutting him open,blood and bile spraying
on me,he still standing,unable to free himself from the feeding metal. 
"Remember how you played at being a friend, how I so wanted to believe
you,how you humiliated me in front of my family?"   I twisted the
blade,drawing a jagged wound down his body.  His friends had jumped up, but
the guards had drawn their swords,and faced them down, The Inn was deathly
quiet.  
I could see Twilight through the windows,the song of the Nightingale softly called.

     End Part Two


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Wed Sep 21 21:01:59 2005
Subject Old Memories 3

I no longer saw the Inn.
I saw a crippled girl.alone in a dark room.
It was Twilight,and she no longer believed in life.
A shadow grew in the room,and it enveloped the girl.
I watched Darkness cover all.
I watched the seasons flow,and the years burn to ashes.
An aurora shimmered past.
The boy had grown,became a man,and a powerful wizard.
The world knew Peace by his works.
I felt the warmth of his life wash over my hands.
He fell, and I stood above him,a sated weapon in my hand.
My Queen smiled upon me,and I was whole again.
  End Part 3


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Wed Sep 21 21:21:51 2005
Subject Old Memories 4

I blinked my eyes,standing over his body.  I looked down,and felt an
anger I never knew.  I begin screaming at him.  I begin to hack at his
body,viciously slashing at it,stabbing it,rending his flesh,scattering it
about the room.  Star moved toward me..  :Aya,stop it,he's dead,the memory
has run it's course."  I continued to cut at him, screaming,yelling,my tears
blending with the blood on my face.  "AYASANA!...  DESIST!"  Star
commanded.  I turned about,croached,snarling at her,my blade low and even. 
She stood straight,eyes piercing me,"Shi'raassah!"  .  I felt her magic
strike me as a hammer would,my limbs grew heavy,I felt weary,unable to stand
unsupported.  I clutched at the table,"No,don't stop me,please",I
pleaded with her.  She raised her hand,speaking the words again,and again I
felt fatigue drive me down,to one knee.  She stepped toward me,looking so
very concerned,so worried.  "That's enough now,it's time we left, you've
caused enough of a scene for one night".  She lifted me up in her arms,so
very gentle,as she did when I was a child,the folk in the tavern,already
shocked,were amazed at her strength.  I couldn't fight her,and I didn't want
to,I felt the memories slip away,I was whole once more.  She carried me out
into the darkness,the guards followed behind,watching for any who might
disturb us.  The wind was cool,the stars so bright,like tiny daggers
stabbing at the hills.  I looked up into Star's face,I saw something, I
tried to reach for it, to touch it,but she turned her head.  I was too tired
to try again,the spell was sinking into me.  I looked at her, my Starfire.  I
tried to speak,but could only whisper,faintly.  

         "Dragons never cry."


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Fri Oct 14 21:51:05 2005
SubjectTo the People of Kalaman

To the People and the Defenders of Kalaman,
The Armies of Our Queen Takhisis offer this Generous Proposal:
Surrender the Lordcity intact and we will grant these blessings

The Most Honourable Knights of Solamnia will be allowed to reatain all family
weapons,shields,and armor, being only required to remove their helmets,and
will be granted the custody of their mounts. The regular soldiers,troops and
military support persons,will relinquish their weapons and armor, and be
allowed only mules for transportation.

You will then be escorted to the town of Vogler,on the Vingaard river,where
you will be released to the plains.No harm will come to you.

The citizens of Kalaman,will at first be under a sunset curfew, until such
time Order can be established,and Administration functions can be taken over
by  the Knights of Takhisis. No retribution or acts of hostility will be
taken provided the city is surrendered intact and without incident.
Should you refuse,and take any action against
the Will of Takhisis: The Lordcity will be
razed.

The men of the city ,those above twelve years of age,will be chained and
taken to the Slave Pits in Neraka,to be held for an indefinite time.

The rank and file troops,will be impaled around the perimeter of the ruins of
the city.

The Knights will be beheaded,the skulls used to build a totem to Honour Our
Queen, and the corpse left to the carrion birds.

The remaining survivors will be the responsibility of the Auxiliary's own
Goblin,Hobgoblin,and Ogre units.

I believe you understand the implications of such an action.

I hope that the Knights of Solamnia will put the welfare of the innocent
above any feelings of personal honour,and surrender the Lordcity of
Kalaman,in a Peaceful and Respectful manner.
 
   Baroness Ayasana uth Matar, Lady of the Lily, House of Matar,
   Council of Tii'Mhut
            Knight of the True Vision of Takhisis


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Fri Oct 14 23:46:52 2005
Subject Sleep

I walked down the stairs,to where the crypts were placed.It always felt
colder down here. I passed by some of the old families tombs,back along the
furthest end. I read the names there,some from the old Dragon Army
days,some even predated those. I arrived at the memorial to our family,the
old crypts of Matar,the one used before the Manor was built,the ones from
the days of our family belonging to a different Knighthood. I went to one
that was more recent,much more.The one I had placed here. I looked at the
name engraved in the white marble,engraved with silver runes. 
    Shea'ana uth Matar 
  
  
How long had it been? Six years now? So unreal,so.... 
Quiet. 
I found myself trembling,I placed my hands on the marble cover. 
I started to chant the old song.... 
  
    Sleep my sister,through the night,sleep my sister... 
      As I feel you,as I see you.... 
    As I touch you,want to be you.... 
    we were little,constant riddle.... 
    Playing,dreaming,crying,screaming.... 
  
As I finished,in my mind,I could hear her still, from beyond. 
  
    You can't hear me.... 
    You won't see me.... 
    I am sorry,please don't hurt me.... 
    Wanting,pleading,loving,bleeding.... 
    You can't know,please don't go.... 
    Don't you leave me,stay here with me.... 
  
  
I jerk my hand back, it seems so real,so....fresh. 
I can't take it anymore,I hear another voice whisper to me from the shadows.. 
  
    Bound for Life,Bound in Blood... 
    I love you,I miss you.... 
    Ican't be without you.... 
  
I run back up the stairs,the music still in my ears,I still hear her voice,her tears. 
I return to the Arms of my Queen,I return to Aya. 


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Fri Oct 21 16:52:40 2005
Subject Daydreaming


Aya awoke with a start, the droning of the minister of supply had lulled 
her into the terrible daydream.  She looked over at Starfire, who was eyeing 
her worriedly, almost as if she knew what the dream was about.  Aya shook of 
the image of falling to her death, now more determined than ever to serve 
the Dark Queen.  Standing, the room fell to a hush, everyone looking at her 
apprehensively, the minister backing away from the podium as Aya walked up 
to face the gathering.

"I will leave for Kalaman tonight, to personally 
deliver the Terms of Surrender to the city."  Should they again refuse our 
generosity, I will completely destroy the city and all who live in it "I am 
ordering the reserve divisions in Jelek to march on the city immediately, 
and expect them to join us in three days time" I may even have our 
dragon-wing do a little pre-emptive show of force, to convince the 
inhabitants of our, heh, sincerity"

Stepping down from the dais, she quickly 
left the murmuring council, her family and friends following close behind, 
glaring at the gathering, all except Moonheart, who looked quite cheerful, 
which gave even the stoutest veteran a slight chill.  Tonight the uth Matar 
family had returned, and in the upcoming days, all of Krynn would know fear 
and despair.   

Author:          Ayasana
Date    Sun Oct 23 23:05:09 2005
Subject    Destiny's Fate

I stood before the assembled Knights, speaking to them of the coming 
disturbance with the Dwarven Kingdom.  As I begin to outline our plans, I 
felt a warm radiance behind me, on the dais that supported the throne of the 
Knighthood.  I turned, and saw my beautiful Queen, black fire framing Her 
form.  I could not hear Her words, I could only see that Her eyes were upon 
me, and She was pleased.  I remember kneeling, lost in Her presence, 
thriving in Her affection.  I heard the nightingale sing, the time of 
Twilight marked the sky, Her Blessing upon me.  My eyes cleared, and She was 
gone.  I stood and turned to the Knights. They all stared at me, eyes wide, 
and each begin to bow.  "Hail the Voice of Takhisis!"  I heard shouted, and 
the preist, the elf who's ears I had shorn offered me the Blessed Crescent, 
and my cousin, the newest to the ranks of the Thorn looked on in amazement.  
I watched the Minotaur nod his head in agreement, and the strange and dark 
monk bow his.  The veteran mage even seemed pleased, as a secretive smile 
flitted his lips.   

I am Ayasana uth Matar,
Lady of Night,
Baroness of House Matar, 
a Tii'Mhutar, 
Knight of Takhisis.  
I am the Voice of Her Dark 
Majesty, the Dragon Queen, Takhisis.   

Author:          Ayasana
Date    Tue Dec  6 20:26:29 2005
Subject Bound in Blood

 Anticipation.  It's what drives me now.  I feed upon it, thrive in it, 
live by it.  My Queen had given me the gifts by which Her Desire shall be 
delivered.  Her Knighthood eagerly awaits the upcoming battle, hungrily 
looking down at the city, eyes alit with battle lust.  By Her Grace, Lord 
Kalevi has returned from legend, to lead the gallant Knights of the Lily, 
his sword once again in Her Holy service.  Lord Ryath, Her Dark Priest, 
guides our Spiritual Brethern of the Skull Knighthood.  And Lord Jydien, has 
proven his worth as both a leader of soldiers, and as an excellent 
tactician.  Mistress Seria has worked wonders with enchantments and spells 
both aiding our mission and hindering the enemy.  The enemy.  How odd for me 
to finally call them that.  I recall the trade missions the I accompnaied my 
family on, the cities of Palanthas, Solanthus, Caergoth, Daltigoth, New 
Ports and the roads to Qualinost and Haven, Schallsea and even humble 
Solace.  I met plainsman, elves, dwarves, farmers, herdsmen and even gnomish 
tinkerers.  And of course, Solamnic Knights.  How could one not admire the 
Solamnic Knight?  Honour, Chivalry, Dedication.  What one sees when gazing 
upon the noblest of them.  But also stubborness, rigidity, entropy.   It was 
those traits that led to this war, those traits that ignore the threat of 
the ancient horror known as Chaos.  My Queen sees this, the dis-unity and 
inability to act against a common threat.  One World Order!  This is Her 
design for the world, Her Desire.  And I, and my family, serve Her Desire.  
My family.  Moonheart is so close to my heart, I hesitate to have him join 
this battle.  But I know I couldn't be rid of his prescence, he would never 
abide in safety as I marched into the fires of battle.  Mariasana, so new to 
our family, but already cherished, and perhaps a bit too eager to prove 
herself, to us, and to our Queen.  My Starfire, always by my side, Bound by 
Blood, Bound for Life.  But I ramble, perhaps my nervousness is starting to 
grow.  My anticipation.  I go know to review our prepartions, and our 
troops.  By the Blessing of Our Dark Queen Takhisis.  
* * * * * 
Ayasana uth Matar 
Lady of Night 
Baroness of House Matar 
Society of Tii'Mhut Knights of Takhisis  

Author:          Ayasana
Date    Mon Jan  2 21:28:43 2006
Subject Dividing Time


I stepped from my room over to the railing,looking down into the Grande
Hall. I watched as the demi-demon I knew as Shao, pushed the child down to
her knees,still clutching a bundle of white flowers to herself. Smiling to
myself, I wondered what threat this girl could be, that would warrant sending
a creature of the Abyss to fetch. Taking a deep breath, and adjusting my
katana, I started to walk down the stairs.

All was quiet in the Manor, as I passed Mariasana at the landing. She was
watching with some puzzlement, looking from Shao,to the girl, then to me.
Moonheart was standing near the fireplace,trying to look nonchalant, but
watching nervously from the corner of his eye.

I stood above her,she seemed calm, but afraid. She was quite young yet. No
clear idea of where she was, or what was about to happen. But, then, neither
did I.

I felt the Shadow approach me,I heard the Nightingale sing, as I reached for
Nightsong. The blade almost drew itself, reaching for the heavens, whispering
to me. I held it aloft ,feeling it's hunger, it's desire. I tilted my head a
bit, reaching up with my left hand, taking grip below the other.

I felt another hand over mine,holding the blade with me, giving me a Vision.

Time seemed to slow,nothing moved.I saw the girl as she aged,as she
learned, grew. I saw her taking vows, oathes, studying, healing, teaching, an
aure of calm about her.

I felt our hands pull the blade down, rapidly, in an arc, toward the girl.

I watched as slowly, painfully slow, she looked up at me, her eyes seeing
into mine. Her lips parted slightly, as if she was about to say
something,then decided not to. Then, she smiled ever so fragile.

The blade met some small resistance,then continued it's arc upward. Time
froze,the blade glimmering in the light of the stained glass windows. On the
tip of the sword,a white blossom perched, a trail of crimson, like a rough,
thin stalk curving down from it, down to the child from whence it grew.

I stood mesmerized by what i felt, the hands about mine fed joy, triumph,
desire to my heart. I belonged, I was needed.

I was no longer alone.

I drown in my own love, in my own pain, where I am safe. I'm held up by these
walls, I have built, this is my strength.

Time rudely started again,the trail of red fell to the floor,the blossom
floated down. I heard the muffled thump of something hitting the wall,and a
crumpling of cloth at my feet. I looked about, no one had moved, they all
stared at me,various emotions showing. I heard a gasp, from outside? From
above me? I don't know. It didn't matter. I felt tired, a nap would do nicely
about now. I went to the stairs, dragging the sated blade behind me, leaving
a scarlet trail. Up I climbed, back to my room, back to myself.

The Kingfisher would mourn.


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Tue Jan 24 21:20:55 2006
Subject Eve of War pt.2


A raven lighted upon the western tower,looking over all the commotion
occuring just outside the gates of Holy Neraka.

Its onyx-like eyes watched as men, draconians, ogres and the goblin
races toiled with everything from shields and swords, maces and axes, to
the large siege machines and  catapults used to lay waste to cities and
people alike.

In the northwest corner the mercenaries worked methodically on their
equipment,the routine so familiar to them.

From the city, singing can be heard, the martial songs of the Tii'Mhut
troops ringing down Snake road, as they rattle and jingle in unison
toward the gate,and down toward the river.

Bold Knights, in the livery of Her Dark Majesty, ride proudly in
formation toward the stark and jagged peaks to the west.Determination
aglow in each eye.

An occasional aura lights the byways throughout the city,as wizards and
casters ward off prying eyes and bolster the already formidable geas
around the citadel.

From the Temple, dark, deep chanting wreaths the shadows with words of
praise and dedication to the Dragon Queen.

Standing on the highest balcony of the Temple, a small figure, attired
in white, is surrounded by guards and what seems to be family, watching
over all the activity.

Occasionally turning to speak with one or the other of her retinue,this
one seems cautiously excited, radiating the blessing of her goddess.

The young girl looks up and sees the raven, her eyes glisten with the
same pride as the bird,a small crooked smile graces her face,as she
turns back to the busy activity.

The raven caws noisily three times, and takes flight.

Soon," it thinks, "soon we all shall feast.


Author:          Ayasana
Date    Tue Feb 21 20:16:13 2006
Subject Meeting of the Young II

A few years past,and the paths of the two met again, this time during
the Qualinsalaroth Festival at the Matar Manor.

Lord Furyon and his attendants,along with the young Tharion,cames to
join in the Baron and his family. As talk turned to the Slave Trade and
problems on the Plains, Aya offered to show the youngest Furyon the
family armoury.

As the two made their down the grand Hall,Tharion watched as Aya slowly
walked with the aid of her crutches.

"Does your family regret allowing you to live with such weaknesses?"He
asked in all seriousness.

Aya was momentarily taken aback,but understood his meaning,having
studied Minotaur culture as part of her schooling in Tii'Mhut.

I am the eldest child in our family,and as such I will one day be
baroness of these lands, and I will overcome this weakness,by being
stronger in other skills"she answered carefully.

Tharion considered this,nodding as they continued.

"What of defending yourself? Surely you are at an extreme disadvantage"
Grinning wryly,she appreciated the blunt honesty of this young
warrior,someone who didn't try to overlook her handicap.

"I'm fairly adept with a dagger,and I can use the family katana,but
yes,I am at a disadvantage in movement," as she glances at Tharion,her
eyes burn with a feral look," but this way, I never have to worry about
running from a fight,now do I?"

Young Furyon raises an eyebrow at this,then a rare grin slightly cracks
his serious face.

"You speak as a Kothian would, but brave words cannot turn cold steel"

Ayasana soberly accepts this assesment.

True,I can fight from dragonback as well, but once dismounted.."she
trails off.

Tharion looks down at the young girl,"I didn't intend to dampen your
spirit,just stating fact" Ayasana looks up at him,"You haven't",she says
grimly,"I'll find a way to be any man's equal on the field,even if it
costs me my soul."

As the reached the door of the Armoury, Tharion turns to Ayasana,"Be wary
of what you wish for,and know that my arm is at your service,should you
ever require it,as a courtesy to your family of course"

Aya looked up, her eyes slightly crossing, defiance alight in her face,"
And should you ever require House Matar at your side,know that I will be
there,and whoever I lead will likewise"

Tharion hid the amusement in his eyes from his hostess,thinking to
himself,"Brave,but what could ever become of such an oath from a
crippled human girl, albeit a gracious one?"


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Sep  9 23:30:41 2006
Subject   Journal Entry

 
Day of Shinarai,4th the Month of Bran
   We have finally arrived back in Neraka, a day ahead of schedule.
Arauko had left the night before, disappearing off to wherever he goes.
Maria'sana quickly went to the Thorn Hall to confer with the Citadel
spell-casters. I haven't seen Samual since we left the forest in Nightlund,
but I am sure he is up to his usual Kenderish practices again.

Starfire awaited me in my quarters, lambasting me for getting hit with that
arrow. If that Solamnic only knew that the wound he caused was far
overshadowed by her chastisement, I am sure he would feel a sense of
accomplishment.

The Bundesphar came into the city, but seem very ill at ease. A necessary
discomfiture, as they are to be honoured in a ceremony here in the Temple.
Dante and Arikaih both will be singled out for recognition. Nyda has been
very quiet since we crossed the mountains, have to look into that as well.

Have issued an edict regarding the city, it is to be cleaned up and out.
The Gem of Takhisis will be restored to the glory it was intended to
have,standing as an example to the lesser people of how a grand Citadel
should be.

I will have the Lords and Generals reform the armies of our Queen,
establishing groups to better serve our needs in different areas and
situations.Also the fleet will be refitted to support these changes.

It is good to be back in Neraka, I hope to visit the Manor soon as well.
 
**      **      **      **      **
 
      Ayasana uth Matar
        Lady of Night
      Voice of Takhisis


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Tue Sep 26 00:00:47 2006
Subject   A Minor Expedition

 

*Notation in Journal-Lady of Night-Aya'sana uth Matar*

I have received a request from one of the Thorn Knights,to organize a trip
to Ithin'carthia.

Apparently, some of the flora and fauna there are of interest to them.

I am ordering Thorn Commander Valliak von Vallios to organize a group, to
see to this task, and I believe  I will add a certain diplomatic element to
it as well,being as the Tarmak will likely be interested in our activities.

The cleaning and restoring of the city goes well. Slave-gangs are hauling
out rubbish and clearing drainage,work crews are rebuilding and repairing
fountains and public buildings. The gates and walls are also being
re-enforced.

Lord Saige has left on a training task for his Skull Knights,taking a
better part of the Bundesphar with him as experienced trackers.

I have assigned a blue dragon wing to overwatch his progress, and give
added strength to his detachment.

Having the pass garrisons being upgraded as well, and having the roads and
defense points re-worked.

Have made plans to add a flag-ship to the fleet, will have it finished in
Sanction.

**      **      **      **      **

      Aya'sana uth Matar

        Lady of Night

      Voice of Takhisis


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Fri Nov  3 17:32:10 2006
Subject   Sedition

 

I walked from my room out onto the balcony, high above the city
in the Central Temple.

Frost still covered most everything, the morning sun still just
peeking above the horizon.

I could see Highlord Square, the changing of the Guard, and
Temple Plaza, where the Black Guard were being reviewed by their
commander.

I pulled my cloak tighter around me, the words from last night's
dream still ringing like the Great Bells of the Temple.

Heresy. Sacrilege. Treason.

A seemingly small handfull of disgruntled troops, sniveling about
their own ambitions and desires, placing themselves above the
Knighthood, whining to any that would listen.

Aged Knights, mourning the lost days of their youth, when they
once held the reins of power, only to let it all slip through the
fingers of self interest, greed, and jealousy. The self-indulgent
memories of priests who wore the raiment of gods they had little
use for, if it didn't line the pockets.

Once again, it seems, the Servants of Her Majesty, looked away
from Her Desires, and sought to sate their own carnal desires.

Leaning on the railing, I watched as the city awoke, the street
lamps were extinguished, shopkeeps began to open doors and set up
displays. The City Guard marched smartly throughout the streets.

The Great Gates would open,allowing tradesmen and caravans into
the Market district.

Neraka was a thriving city now, not the miserable dark home of
thieves and cut-throats, or of armed men who would stick a dagger
in your back if it would benefit their territory.

The Knighthood had brought Order, Discipline, Prosperity to the
region.

The Knighthood brought Her Vision into this Void.



Now it seemed some group of malcontented heretics, would bring
chaos and deny Takhisis Her Destiny.

The unfaithful, listening to and spreading the lies and
corruption of the lesser gods,attempting to usurp the Desires of
the Dragon Queen.

Now I had to find a way, to eradicate the vile infection of
cowardice and selfishness, the rot of sedition, from Her Empire.

And I had to find powerful souls to accomplish this.


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Tue Jan  2 22:39:44 2007
Subject     Loss and Descent

 

Standing on the high balcony,looking over the Grand city of Neraka, a lone
figure gazes west. She looks at her bare arm, the skin that becomes smoother and
paler each day, almost silverish in the starlight.

Glancing at the blue katana at her side, she feels a twinge, a sort of bond,
between what has been happening to her and the blade.

"What are you doing to me? Why now?" she asks of it. But the blade remains
silent.

More and more, her dreams are of a bleak,shadowy place, a place calling to her.

A Voice,calling her to her "home".

A harsh knocking at the chamber's doors brings her out of the shadow,as she
signals her guard to answer.

Hearing a soft rustling beside her, she turns to see one of the Thorn
Knights,completely covered in a dark grey cloak,bowing low, and holding forth a
rolled scroll.

Dismissing the creature with a wave, she unrolls the message and begins to read.
A cold feeling overcomes her, as she reads the short tale,bearing little
detail,but just a blunt report.

The Thorn Mage known as Maria'sana Celeblasse,of Silvanost,cousin to Lady of
Night Aya'sana uth Matar and Knight of the Lily Moonheart uth Matar, has died in
the mountain area between Qualinost nad Thorbardin.

No details are known, her remains are being returned to the Matar Manor for
burial by her family.

No other remains were found from her escort.

The note went on to describe the manner in which the body was found, and by who,
but no  other information.

Looking back out over the city, watching as a soft snow began to fall, she lays
the note in a nearby brazier, the hot coals devouring the parchment. Taking a
deep breath, she calls quietly for the Captain of the Black Guard to present
himself.

When he arrives, she outlines the journey to the Manor to him, informing him of
what preperations and what size escort will be needed.

He nods, steps back a pace, bows and turns to leave.

When she turns back to the balcony, a young women wearing blue attire, stands
watching her intently.

"I heard from the Others, Maria'sana has passed to Our Queen" she whispers.
Nodding once, Aya'sana looks past her Guardian,saying nothing. Starfire steps
forward, wrapping the smaller one in her blue cloak,embracing her child.

      So begins the Descent.


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Thu Jan  4 21:41:30 2007
Subject     A Final Farewell

 

I sat in my father's chair, on the raised dais above the onyx casket.

Various people came in, spoke their words over it,some from the household
staff,a few from the Knighthood.

I wanted to have her entombed as quckly as possible, no ceremony, no pageantry.

The way she would have wanted.

I was sure even this small gathering would have annoyed her,but, we needed to
finalize her life, and even this was not enough.

I had the casket sealed. The wounds she had would cause too many questions, too
many speculations. No one needed to see her now anyway. She was dead. Let them
remember her alive.

Only a few years.

I remember when we met,the small Inn, revealing to her the "other" side of her
family. The ride on Starfire that terrified her so, her first visit to the
Manor. Moonheart and the Tii'Mhut regiment. The mis-cast spells.



But that was all past now. Now we mourn her. Tomorrow we begin to avenge her.
Tomorrow we plan. Thorbardin,Qualinost,somewhere in those lands, someone had
answers. For now, a final farewell to a fallen Thorn Knight, a cousin, and a
companion.

Maria'sana Celeblasse, Servant of Our Queen, Takhisis.

May you continue to serve Her in Death as in Life.


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Thu Apr 19 02:02:54 2007
Subject     Watchful Eyes

 
The guard looks over to the shadows, nodding, rain dripping from his helm. 
A darker form skirts the streetlights, following the horseman.He makes a clicking sound,
which is answered from the walls above.
Another shade trails the horseman from the rooftops.A glint of greenlight, directed at
a small tower, is answered by a blue one.
A figure in a dark grey,hooded robe glides across the polished marble floor, stopping at
a small door. A voice from within hisses, and the figure enters.
The figure, silently as smoke, approaches another shadow, bending to whisper.
The shadows seems to nod. It hisses,"Inform the Black Guard, and the
Baroness, this will interest her I believe".

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Thu Apr 19 03:30:21 2007
Subject     Passing

 
Walking down the Hall of Memories,one is reminded of the great Knights who
served Her Majesty in battle and in rebuilding. The banners hanging above 
shields bearing the crest of Grey Order knights, Dragon Army heroes, and Knights
of Takhisis.
Archmages, High Priests, Lords and Nobility, all honoured by a place in this Hall.
 
 Aya'sana stops at one banner, one particular shield, both covered in brown cloth.
The cover of dishonour.
This was the place of Lanfer Di'Ternian, disgraced Knight of Takhisis.
 
She had read of Lanfer's accomplishments, more legend than history. 
His victories, and his failures, but always brave in battle, and true to his heart.
He had left the Queen, to serve those who misguidedly called themselves the "Light".
 
But She had reached out, and called him back to Her, for Her Divine Desire, a 
mystery to all in the Knighthood.
Where were the gods he chose to serve now? Where is the Light? Wonder if it's weeping
somewhere.
 
Noticing a priest of the Skull attending to the Hall, Aya'sana motions him over.
 
He approaches bowing,"Yes,Most Holy Servant?"
 
"Have this shield,and banner uncovered,restore the name to its place" she says.
 
The priest's eyes widen, he pales,"But,my Baroness, he was..was disgraced, by your order"
 
"And so shall he be re-instated, by my order. He is in our Queen's arms now, who 
are we to assume he is in disgrace now?" Aya'sana says with a twisted grin.
"He served us honourably, he made a mistake, he has passed to another world,we
will remember his accomplishments, not his failings, have it done, you are dismissed."
 
Turning to rejoin her escort of Black Guard Knights, Aya'sana walks back
towards the doors, out into the Square and the busy city of Neraka.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Jul  4 18:11:34 2007
Subject     Gathering Stormclouds

 
The Blue dragon circled over the city of Neraka as the sun began to set. 
Lazily she circled down, towards the large square in front of the Temple, grinning at
all the commotion that happens whenever she landed there.
Turning her head back to her rider, she hisses gleefully,"Some things never
change, do they child?"
The rider, all wrapped in furs and leathers, nods sadly, looking over the walls
to the surrounding mountains, where her home lies.
The great Blue notices the gaze, then dives the remaining couple hundred feet,wings
spreading to rapidly slow down, and gently touch the smooth stone of the
courtyard, sending goblins and guards scattering, while more than a few 
Draconians watch in envy, as Starfire raises her head, and bellows a mighty roar.
 
Ayasana dismounts, peeling off the riding clothing to reveal the blue armour and
cobalt insignia of House Matar. The katana Nightsong strapped across her back glowed
an unearthly blue, and the shadowy cloak confused her outline in the dimming light.
Looking up the Grand Stairs to to the Black Temple,she sighs deeply,then begins the long
climb she has made so many times before.
 
As she made her way up , a Captain of the Black Guard meets her, bowing low.
Baroness, we are..surprised..to see you back, your escort will meet you in the Temple
Raising an eyebrow, she looks up at the Captain as he recovers, answering him with a smirk.
"My escort...or my guards?"
The Captain looks around warily, then answers," I have no standing orders on how to conduct 
your return, so consider them... a courtesy...for your protection"
 
Laughing quietly, Ayasana nods," You missed your calling as a diplomat, 
I accept your escort then".
 
As they continued the climb, she looks around, noticing a distinct lack of activity.
"Is the Lord of Night here in the city?"
Shaking his head slowly, the Captian continues to look ahead,"We are not certain
of his whereabouts, at this time."
"You are aware that war is in the air? That Solamnia is preparing for some sort of 
campaign?" Ayasana asks cautiously.
Tha Captain shrugs uncomfortably,"We have heard rumours, but, it is not my
place to question" Eyes narrowing, she frowns, then stops, signaling a
nearby group of Squires to her.
"Have the Captains of the city guard brought to the Temple, and whoever the
senior Knights in the city summoned here as well,also, the city council.
Also find out if any of the Tii'Mhut council are here as well."
The Squires hesitated, looking at the Captain, who stood quietly still.
"NOW!" Ayasana snapped.
The Squires ran away at full tilt, scattering to complete their task.
The Captain snickered softly," Oh they will learn not to tarry again I am guessing."
The two watched as one hapless Squire ran past Starfire, who snapped her fangs at him 
as he passed, redoubling his speed to near comic velocity.
Turning to continue up the stairs, Ayasana grumbles," We should hope, now
then,shall we see about the Lord of Night,I am sure he has much to say at
this point, wherever he is."

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Jul 21 18:07:37 2007
Subject     The Darkling Sea

 
In the hours before dawn, a group of shadowy figures quickly walk down the broad 
avenue, passing the various temples lining the way.
They come before a temple made of sea green marble,the dark grey roof reflecting
the storm clouds above.
Six of the large warriors take up position just outside the doors, while the seventh,
shorter than the rest, continues in. Lowering her hood, Aya'sana approaches the alter,
examining the multi-coloured hues that light the hall.
A priest, wearing the light green robes of a priest of Zeboim, turns, the look 
of disdain on his face fading to one of trepidation.
Noticing this, she smiles to herself, eyes sparkling.
"Seems this one has heard of the consequences of my recent visits around
town", she muses.
 
Walking up to the man,she places a hand on the katana at her side. He promptly drops to 
his knees, shaking, hands held up in supplication.
"Please Baroness, this is a sacred place, I am just an acolyte of the Princess, 
I have kept to my Faith!"He then bows down, forehead touching the floor.
 
Raising an eyebrow,she smirks, shaking her head.She then looks up at the mural
inlaid in the wall, thousands of tiny seashells and coloured sand making the image
of the Darkling Sea, standing on a great stone, as the sea whips around Her.
Sighing in resignation, Aya looks down at the quivering man.
 
 "I understand the Senior Priest of Her Grace, Zeboim, Mistress of all
the Sea, will be arriving in Neraka soon, yes?"
 
 The priest looks up, blinking in confusion, then clears his throat, struggling
to speak, but then simply nods.
 
Turning to leave, she calls back to him.
 
"I wish an audience with him, please have an appointment made, and send a
messenger with the soonest available time, This is an urgent matter that
will benefit your Princess as well as my Queen."
 
As she exits the Temple, the priest feels to see if his head was still attached, then
collapses in relief.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Thu Oct  4 03:55:39 2007
Subject     Returning Home

 
The sun was begining to set as Ayasana and her escort rode through the gates
of the Manor.The Household Guard saluted as they passed, all having been made ready
by the early arrival of Starfire, who, as usuual, required all be as befitting
the return of the Baroness of the lands.
Reining in her horse in the courtyard and dismounting, the escort forms two lines
aside the cobblestone way leading to the stairs up to the main doors.
As she climbs the stairs, the Manor staff forms a review line into the Entrance Hall,
leading to the Grand Room, warmed by the large fireplace, burning with aromatic
cedar logs.
Removing her gloves and tucking them into her sash,she takes the report offered her
by the senior commander of the Guard. Reading over it,nodding,she places it on the
table nearby, as her secretary pours a little wax on it. Ayasana then presses her
signet ring into it and heads for the main staircase, curving up to her quarters.
A servant hands her a silver goblet of dark wine on her way up.
 
As she approaches her chambers, two guards wearing the livery of the Manor and
carrying a short sword and a halberd, open the doors for her, and close them behind her.
Removing her cloak and tossing it into the overstuffed chair, she walks out onto the
balcony overlooking the courtyard.
The escort had already broken up into groups and were either patroling the grounds or 
returning to the stables. The gates were being closed, and the braziers were being lit
for the oncoming night.
Looking up at the eastern horizon,she could see the city of Neraka in the distance,
small pinpoints of light already fading into view as the stars answered above.
Drinking deeply from the goblet, she walked back into the study, and started 
unbuckling the scalemail breastplate, setting it on the table. Then removing
the blue chainmail sleeves and placing then beside the scale,she looked ruefully
at her arms.
"So it begins," she thinks, rubbing a finger along the pale skin,resembling more
the goblet then normal flesh.
Sighing lightly, she finishes removing the armour, taking care to place the blue
katana nearby, and neatly arranges the pieces on the table.
"Starfire would be disappointed if I didn't put my "toys" away properly," she muses
to herself.
Wearing just the linen shift now, seh picks back up the katana, carrying it across
her shoulder and the wine goblet, she makes her way to the bedchambers.
Stretching a bit, she walks through the curtain of semi-precious stones, 
and then , mid-yawn, stops, eyes wide, as she looks about her room.
Blinking, she looks around, suspiciously, hand tightening on Nightsong, as its
whispery laugh fills the room.
Looking around for some threat, some prescence of an assassin or some celestial
agent of those accursed Preists of Light or White Robed demons, she finds all
in order, except...what in the Most Holy Queen's Abyss?
 
"Rose petals?"

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Oct  7 22:37:43 2007
Subject     akumu

 
It was the same dream, just another night.
Walking down a trail of ever shifting reality, an amorphous landscape, fulgin sun.
Perched upon the constantly changing features, cackling souls, gibbering imps, 
glaring demons, despairing demi-gods and abandoned heroes of Her Realm.
Fire erupted from the ground, sky, horizon, it was all the same here,as there
was no real direction.
She walked alone,not in fear, but more in disinterest at all the entropic chaos.
No longer wearing the blue armour of her Knighthood, she wore a gown of shadows, a
small star of five colours on the shoulder the only adornment now.
In her right hand, the one silvery from the blood of those slain, she held the
ghost-katana Nightsong, its blue light the only contrast in this realm.
In her left hand, the one wrapped by a single Rose of Sorrow, a fiery whip snaked
of its own accord, as if alive and sentient.
Here, Aya'sana uth Matar, could wield power,would serve as a Noble of Her Majesty's
Empire, no longer bound by mortal concerns, serving only the Dark Queen, answering
only to Takhisis Herself.
Here, her armies would no nothing of death, only the feeding of weaker beings, the 
devouring of Elves,Dwarves,Kender and Gnomes. And the enslaving of the Minotaur, and
the end of Mankind.
Krynn, would be her Queen's footstool, and she would stand beside the Throne, awaiting
Tiamat's Desire.
 
The same dream,a different night.
 
But this time, something rippled in her mind's eye, a disturbance on the edge of lucidity.
A sensing ,more then a sighting, some...thing running down the vaporous mountains,
a being,not of this place, but almost belonging to it.
Her apathy turned to annoyance,the warm lethargy was agitated.
 
Waking from the dream,she sat up,confused and disappointed.
What was different , what changed the promise of the dream?
Looking to the window,she saw the sun's aura just below the horizon behind
Neraka in the distance. Another day, more to accomplish.
Turning to get out of her bed, she noticed something on her pillow.
Frowning, noting to chastise the servants for a sloppy job in cleaning up
her chamber,she picked up the offending debris.
Holding it up in the growing light,shaking her head, she curls a lip, then
flicks the thing to the floor.
They had best get it right this time, or I'll feed them to the ogres.
Laughing dryly, she grabs her robe and heads for the study.
"Rose petals,whatever were they thinking," she says as she leaves.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Tue Oct  9 05:02:00 2007
Subject     maebure 1 

 
Walking out onto the balcony overlooking the courtyard, Aya'sana stood beside
Starfire, now in her human avatar form. Both watched as a travel worn man was
escorted to the fountain in front of the Manor.
He looked around at the Household Guard who stood and watched on either side,
then forward, to where two of the Black Guard stood before the stairs up to 
the main house.
The escort stopped before the balcony, prodding the man with a spear. He looked
back at them in annoyance, but held his tongue.
Leaning on the railing, Aya'sana frowned slightly then bade the man to speak.
He looked up, then held up a bag of sorts.
""I am to deliver this to the Baroness Aya'sana uth Matar,of Neraka,and no other.""
Starfire raised an eyebrow at this, then looked down.
 ""This is as close as you will get,and that thing in your hands will be examined by
our resident mage before it gets anywhere near the Baroness.""
Shaking his head, the man made to move closer, but the spears of the guards kept him in place.
  ""I have my orders, and I am paid well to complete them.""
Smiling rather cruely, Starfire laughed quietly.
   ""You will either drop that bag, or go back to your master and refund his coin,
or die here a failure,""
The messenger was taken aback a bit at this, but then shrugs, and drops the bag.
As the bag drops, Aya'sana flicks her wrist, and a concealed archer lets fly
an arrow,the black fletching whistling sharply as it impacts the man's chest,
knocking him back and on the ground the same moment the bag hits.
Starfire looks questioningly at Aya,who simply responds," He was impudent," and returns 
to the rooms behind them.
Starfire sighs a bit, then instructs the mage to examine the bag and its contents.
   ""Once you have discerned what it is, report it to the captain of the Guard,
he can relay to me later today."
She then dismisses the soldiers, who begin to drag the body towards the gates.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Oct 10 03:38:41 2007
Subject     maebure @

 
 
As the sun set behind the rocky peaks behind the Manor, Starfire enters the study
where Aya'sana sits, feet up, reading the day's reports. Hadyn, the resident
mage of Matar Manor, follows closely.
Looking up fron the page, Aya raises a questioning eyebrow.
Bowing low, Hadyn makes his report.
 
"The bag is a fairly common velvet, the Black Moon shaped Disc, is just that,
a symbol of Nuitari, our Queen's son. The contents are most odd, consisting of
some green dragond scales, and..."
 
Hadyn pauses, looking back at Starfire who nods him on.
 
"...some rose petals, Baroness, red rose petals."
 
Aya swung her feet off the desk, standing up,dropping the papers on the desktop.
Her eyes narrow at the man, causing his eye to twitch and his hand to tremble slightly.
 
"Give me that," she snaps, grabbing the velvet from him. 
 
She examines the bag, then opens it,looking in side. Her head tilts to the side, 
and she looks up at the two before her.
 
"You hear that voice? It speaks to me from this bag."
 
 Starfire shoves the mage across the room, snatching the bag from Aya's hand, and tossing
it to the floor.
Pointing one long finger at it, she speaks a single word, and a thin bolt of lightning
streams down to the velvet, incinerating it instantly. She spins back around facing
Aya, and takes her face in both hands, looking deeply into her eyes.
 
"Did you feel anything, recognize the words, what language? Speak girl!" she almost yells.
 
Aya's eyes were wide open in shock, shaking her head.
 
"N..no Star,it was a man's voice, speaking the common tongue, something about
a meeting someplace in Sanction,but you took it away before I heard it all."
 
Examining Aya once more, Starfire turns her gaze to the visably shaking mage.
 
"You did not check for triggered enchantments?" she snarls at the man.
 
He opens his mouth to speak, but becomes enveloped in a blue fire as Starfire 
speaks another spell. He disolves into the flames, then they disappear.
 
"Uh, Star, could you put me down now?" Aya chokes out, her feet dangling inches 
above the carpeted floor.
 
Star looks an her one more time, then places her back on the floor, snarling in 
the dragon language to herself.
 
"From now on, I will personally examine any objects you receive, apparently
we can not trust anyone with your safety." she hisses.
 
Aya nods carefully, then looks out the doorway to the outside.
 
"Now I have no idea who sent that, or when to meet in Sanction."
 
Starfire snorts derisivley at her.
 
"As if I would  allow you anywhere near that place. Until the ascension is
decided, you will stay here or in Neraka. Otherwise I will take you to Storm
Keep and lock you in a tower or something." she adds laughingly.
 
Aya continues to look out towards the east, curious about the message still.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Fri Jan  4 05:09:38 2008
Subject     Arrival and Suspicion

 The fire crackled noisily in the hearth. The two women sat at the nearby
table, one eatting the other reading an old scroll. The dark haired one
looked up, questioningly, as the one with silver hair quietly laughed.
"Something amusing in that old thing?" asked Aya'sana. Her 'governess'
rolled up the parchment, tucking it into a sleeve. "Just an old report on
the effect of dragonbreath on crops, not surprisingly reporting it has ill
consequences." Aya rolled her eyes, shaking her head, taking a bite of sweet
bread. A young page entered the chamber, bowed and went up to the Baroness,
tugging lightly on her sleeve. "Yes Lyra?" Aya whispered with a warm smile.
The girl whispered a message to her, then awaited the reply. Tilting her
head to Star, who merely shrugged, Aya turned back to the page. "Have the
guards kill him."  Before the last syllable left her lips, Starfire rapped
Aya's knuckles with a spoon.  "You don't outright kill visitors to the
Manor, by Takhisis I taught you better!". Aya'sana yelped at the punishment,
looking bewildered."I don't want any guests tonight, is that so wrong?"
Starfire just glared at her. "Um, My Lady?" Lyra quietly whispered,
nonplused at the commonplace relation the two at the table had. Aya turned
to the girl, calming herself and regaining her composure, nodding. "The man
wears the insignia of a Green Dragon, I don't believe I know of it."
Starfire stood up, going to Aya's side, a hand went to her ward's shoulder.
"I see, well, that is an interesting detail, interesting indeed." Aya says
with a slightly crooked smile. She sits back, as Starfire looks on with
concern. After a few seconds pass, she nods. "Have him shown in, under
escort, of course, to the Main Hall, we will be there shortly." The page
bows, backing away, then turns and runs to deliver the instructions.
Starfire follows looking back over her shoulder."I have special orders for
the House Guard, you be sure to wear proper attire for your rank, young
lady." Aya nods absently, eyes narowing in the candlelight. "Oh I will," she
thinks to herself, "But Nightsong will still be at my side." 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Mar  8 19:17:41 2008
Subject     Return to Mayhem

 The goblin scouts clambered across the boulders like demented spiders,
sniffing and peering about with squinted eyes. Raspy voices grumbling and
signaling as they moved forward. They avoided the main road, more interested
in snooping around the sides for any sign of ambush, or any other dangers
that may be hidden. An occasional rabbit or rodent would scurry out from
beneath a stone, only to be snatched up and snacked on by a hungry mouth.
About ten minutes after their passing, the steady beat of hooves and the
creak of leather sounded from behind the rise, as a long column of cavalry
crested the road. The banners they carried were white, bordered with silver,
bearing a blue dragon with outstretched wings. Following this group, rode
Aya'sana, flanked by 10 knights in black livery. Behind her group, followed
another regiment of cavalry, which in turn was followed by a long line on
infantry, wagons and various camp followers. The small army reached a level
plain above the massive city of Neraka, where one could view the majesty of
the Jewel of Takhisis' crown. But something was amiss about the scene.

Gazing down, they could see the great gates were closed, and small bands had
set up camps around the walls. Almost, in a comical manner, it looked like
the city was besieged.But, the groups were not acting in concert with each
other. More like chaos and confusion, while guards on the walls observed
with mild interest what was happening. A captain of the lead element rode
back to Aya'sana's side, nodding a salute.

"Appears the rumours were true, some sort of rebellion is in place, but not
very well co-ordinated.The city seems secure though, and not in any serious
peril"

Looking across the plains, she frowned slightly, then heavily sighing.

"I see, well, we have one of our own Infantry regiments in the city, along
side the city militia, and the preparations we made for what we thought was
going to be a Solamnic assault seems to have served us well, and I see no
threat to our present force. Give the troops two hours to rest, eat and
prepare. We will move down at the noon sun. I doubt any of that rabble will
deter us, if they do, make an example of them."

The captain bowed his head in affirmation, then turned his horse back to the
lead regiment. Glancing at her own squires, they set off to inform the rest
of the force. Looking back down at the city, she wondered if it may have
been better to have stayed at the Manor, then smiled.

"No," she mused," This should prove very entertaining....maybe worthy of a
Holiday even". 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Fri Mar 28 20:14:09 2008
Subject     Journal Entry

 Journal Entry-Neraka

All "rebels" either killed, arrested, or chased from the city. The ones who
escaped were last seen heading north, towards Jelek, in a very disorganized
manner. Executions to begin at sunrise. May use Highlord Square for stage.

Defenses for city being repaired and redone, curfew at sunset, all Main
Gates closed.

Patrols around city by cavalry units, infantry manning city defences. All
supply trains and livestock located and stored. Local forges and artisans at
work building and fabricating surplus goods.

Once Order has been completely restored, will resume trade and allow for
some areas to be opened to outsiders. Local militia and constables did a
fine job keeping the inner Temple and offices protected.

Summary- Neraka is still a formidable fortress, our small army has greatly
bolstered its defenses. Expecting Lord Kalevi to return with his forces,
will then discuss future actions. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Jun 22 02:03:00 2008
Subject     Scattered Remains

 Starfire looked across the Temple Hall, her ward sitting on the steps in
front of the throne of the Lord of Night, busily reading the reports that
came in. Every so often, Aya'sana would lean toward one of her captains,
rapidly utter some words, pointing at a map at her feet, sending the men off
to their various units. The reports that came in were confused, disjointed,
but all had the same theme.

Someone had either murdered or displaced Lord Aurius, Lord of Night of the
Knights of Takhisis. And someone was taking full advantage of the lapse in
leadership up in Jelek.

More notes of a mutiny came in, and more news on the movement of a new army
in Her Majesty's service. The Dragon Armies were returning. The little
Baroness has reinforced the massive city of Neraka with her own army, and a
contingent of her own House Guard. Messengers were sent north, to Kalaman,
to contact Lord Kalevi and whatever Knights remained loyal.

Return to Neraka with all haste, treason and assassination has wreaked havoc
on the Knighthood!

Matters were made worse when the new self-proclaimed Highmaster was
identified. At first, Aya'sana smiled to herself, her old confessor-priest
had returned to the light. But she covered it well, casually remarking that
maybe this time she would have him flayed and roasted at the gates. But
Starfire had been around long enough to know that would never happen, not
between those two.

The blue dragon stretched a bit, causing a bit of a stir in the hall, and
watched as Aya leaned back, drinking deeply from a crystal goblet. This had
become more frequent since that strange sorceror had visited the Manor.
Aya'sana and Starfire had many arguements since then, Star insisting she
entertain the idea, Aya loudly disclaiming any interest in any sort of
arrangement that would take her from Neraka or the Manor. More likely take
her away from a certain former slave/elf was her protest.

Starfire closed her eyes. dozing a bit. Just as well, However, she would see
that it was a viable alternative, one that would hopefully tame her
warrior-child, and help avoid undue scandal. Time would tell. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Jul 26 05:08:31 2008
Subject     New Realities

 "You should have done that in your office, the light is better", said
her companion from the darkness. Aya nodded absently, squinting at the paper
under the small lantern. ""I know, but I might have missed the sunrise, and
it's quieter up here."" Looking up, she could see the eastern horizon
getting lighter. Below their vantage point, the city of Neraka was begining
to show signs of awakening. Starfire sighed heavily, laying her massive head
back down," It's not like he will read that the first thing anyway, probably
wan't be awake until well after morning meal." Aya signed the bottom of the
parchment, chuckling at her friend's observation. She leaned back against
the side of the blue dragon, watching the sun crest the landscape. ""True,
but it's just one more thing to annoy him with. The more efficient I am, the
more it rankles him to have to catch up"" Starfire rolled her eyes," You
live to torment that man." Basking in the warming sun, Ayasana adjusts the
katana at her side, and smiles. ""Yes. yes I do, where would he be without
me?""

Later that day, and well after the morning meal, Aya is sitting on Lord
Saige's desk, awaiting his arrival. Documents and letters cover most of the
surface. The Blue Dragonarmy was a complex organization, more so then the
other wings in many respects. The main aspect was it's stronger adherence to
a knighthood type of structure. The other wings were very military, and very
strict, in their ways. But the Blue wing sought to set itself apart, and
above, the others, by adopting more formal rules of conduct, and appearance.
The ranks were set up to reward the maturation of its members. Lord Saige
was in a continual struggle to improve the wing, and seek out the most
skilled and talented in the lands. But more often then not, this would put
him at odds with the other Highmasters, who accused him of being a bit
arrogant and domineering.

Aya laughed to herself. If they only knew. Lord Saige wanted to insure the
survival of teh Dargonarmies, by instilling discipline across all ranks, to
prevent in-fighting and the petty squabbles that constantly side tracked any
plans to expand Her Majesty's empire. But, each wing had its own ideas. And
how best to accomplish the desires of Takhisis was always a point of
contention.

Looking up, she could hear the grumbling and purposeful strides of her
commander. She glanced over at the large pot of tarbean tea on the side
table, hoping it would be enough to get them through the morning reports. 

It promised to be a long day, yet again. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Fri Nov  7 02:27:50 2008
Subject     The Sins of Boredom

 The goblin soldier raised his rusty sword and once again struck down on
the slowly dying farmer. The VERY slowly dying farmer.

Starfire sighed heavily, and with a slight tone of disgust, addressed her
rider. "Shouldn't you have them taught by now to sharpen those things if
they want to be of any use?"

Aya rested her arms on the pommel of the saddle, gazing down into the
valley, where the newly formed goblin company were performing their first
raid. In a most disorganized manner. "They know how to kill, eat, make
messes, and take directions, if worded simply, should I expect anything more
from those near beasts?"

Starfire snorted, turning away from the near comedic scene below.

"Besides, they are for causing terror and confusion, not much else, and they
enjoy what they do."

Aya continued watching, noticing that a few brave farmers were doing an
adequete job defending themselves from a stronghold in a nearby barn.

"Let's go help them a bit, then get back to the city, I'm sure I have work
to do there."

Starfire spread her wings, then fairly fell down the precipe, gliding near
vertically before swooping up mere feet above the valley floor. Rearing up
in the air to an almost complete stop, she then launched a bolt of
blue-white lightning into the barn, causing a huge explosion that knocked
goblin and farmer alike flat. Using her massive wings to catch the
shockwave, Starfire was propelled higher up into the sky, where she twisted
about, and with two mighty sweeps of her wings, cleared the surrounding
ridgeline, heading east back to Neraka. 
 
Clutching the reins tightly, Aya looked wild eyed at her companion.
"Can you give a little warning next time you plan to grandstand like that?" she snarled.
 
Starfire laughed darkly, each wing beat taking them further from the scene.
"Getting squeamish on me Little One? You're getting soft in that Temple,"
 
Aya smirks at the response, but wisely keeps quiet. One should never annoy a dragon one is riding
hundreds of feet above the ground.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Nov 15 16:46:50 2008
Subject     Work to do.

 After the strange meeting with Dante in the courtyard, I continued my
way to Lord Saige's quarters. He had just returned the night before, calling
for all the senior officers to report to him for briefing. Having
anticipated his return, I compiled all the recent reports and sent them to
his office the previous afternoon. Armed with those updates, his appraisal
of his company leaders would be easier.

As I walked down the hall towards his work area, I could hear his deep voice
bellowing out questions, the answers, and then a rather harsh appraisal. The
door flew open, follwed by some lower ranking victim of Saige's notorious
boot. A lieutenant by the look of him, he grabbed up the papers that
followed him out the door and took off at a run down the corridor. The
remaining officers in the hall looked at one another, nervously, awaiting
the call that would bring them into the grasp of the angry Dragon Lord.

Dropping the latest dispatchs at the aide's desk outside the waiting area, I
went into my office to review the updates from our Western Frontier posts,
sending one of my squires to find out where that scout Dante was going.
Neraka had many eyes, and most in the service of the Blue wing, or my own
Guard. Curious the man shows up now, and who would he report to, if not Lord
Saige? I'd soon know.

Looking over the reports, I saw a small, rolled message, the wax seal
bearing the mark of the Temple of The Dragon. Looking out the window, I
realized how much time had passed already, since my last visit. Well, my
obligation must be met. I wondered if Lord Saige would want to attend this
ceremony, but about then, I heard another crash, a yelp of pain, and Saige's
voice booming out more curses and oaths. No, he would be busy all day. I
would attend this by myself. I 'll just report to him what occurs this time.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Mon Dec  8 03:12:50 2008
Subject     Poisoned Sun

 
Crows. Noisy birds. 
All else was quiet, maybe an occasional snap or crackle as a 
fire burned itself out. A horse snorting outside the ring.
Looking around, the scene was somehow comforting. The skeletal
remains of destroyed buildings, half burned houses. 
Bodies laying here and there, scattered like leaves. Some
with arrows protruding, some with limbs mising. Slain
animals, shattered wagons. All in all, carnage and smokey debris.
 
But, silence, mostly. A wonderful peace that only exists after
a slaughter like this.
 
I stood up from my perch, the katana Nightsong still unsheathed
and humming, satiated from the feast of lives it took.
I walked down the littered street, to the west side of the town, toward
the small command group that escorted me.
Upon my arrival, I looked up, seeing Starfire floating overhaed.
I lowered my gaze, looking west, out over the far reaches of 
the Plains of Solamnia, the mountains at my back.
Thos town was on the edge of the two nations. Owned by neither, but
begining to lean a bit too far West, as we say in Neraka.
Well, now they belong to no one. Except perhaps Chemosh.
 
I walked up to one of my guards, taking the light lance he bore, with 
the pennant of the Blue Dragonarmy attached.
I went to the body of the mayor of this town, spread out beneath 
the Gate where she died earlier.
I drove the lance, back end first, into the corpse. letting the pennant
flutter in the wind.
I turned, watching as Starfire landed nearby. I spoke to the
captain of the escort.
 
Take the Assault Group back across the Pass, into Neraka. There
is a small Road Outpost just across the second river, Leave 100 of 
the Infantry with the Frontier Guard, You and the rest return to the
city,where I'll meet you again.
 
He saluted and went to move the Group, as I walked down to Starfire, 
and the ride back to Neraka to make my report.
2

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Fri Dec 12 03:53:19 2008
Subject     Knife of Dracart and Consequences

 
*clink*
The tip of the dagger tapped the granite railing of the balcony again,
the sound carrying freakishly loud through the domed chamber.
*clink*
The gathering of knight, cleric and spellmaster stood quietly, nervously
as the sound reverberated yet again.
*clink*
Some winced, as if thunder boomed, echoing the mood of the wielder.
Finally, a sigh came from the lone figure on the balcony.
Which only elicited more anxiety.
 
"It has come to our attention," a voice whispered,"..that a 
certain...important tool, has been stolen, and misplaced by the thief."
 
Someone's foot shuffled, a few heads hung down.Silence still held otherwise.
 
"That a thief, somehow entered these Holy walls, deeply concerns me."
 
Silvery eyes glared down at a man laying nailed to a large wheel in
front of the gathering. His body showing signs of violent abuse, blood 
 running from his hands, feet and mouth. His severed tongue nailed just
above his head.
 
"Also, it has come to our attention, that information of this theft,
of this important tool, has gotten out, and is fast becoming common knowledge,
not only to the rest of the Dragonarmy, but to our enemies, and any 
thief, knave, Kender, Gully, or fool with ears to listen".
 
The voice still whispered, but the intensity had multiplied.
 
"I find this most distressing as well.."
 
The eyes glanced over at a priest, prone next to the man on the wheel.
The priest's eye sockets still smouldered from the coals burning in
them, the silent screams morbidly still mouthed by the still living wretch.
 
"I trust, you will ALL, give this situation, your unwavering dedication,
and find this artifact, before it falls into our enemies hands. Failure
is an unacceptable outcome, one our Queen,will not allow mercy for..."
 
The silver eyes flashed over the group.
 
Am I understood?"
 
Three score fists saluted in unison, as the gathering silently retreated 
from the Temple.
As they filed down the stairs to the huge central square before the 
palace in Neraka, they passed rows of guards impaled on iron stakes,
remains of priests still hanging over smouldering fires, and the crucified
bodies of lower mages, still alive as ravens pecked at eyes and open
wounds, feeding on liver and intestine.
While displays like this were usually reserved by the Baroness for enemies
of the State, today, it was for the traitors and betrayers of the Queen.
And Aya'sana uth Matar, did not tolerate those who betray Takhisis.
Today, it was not for amusement's sake.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Dec 13 00:08:20 2008
Subject     The Knife, and many like it...

 
Another report, another probable dead end.
A strange blade was reported to have been found by farmer near the 
Nordmaar region.
 
Kender swears to have said blade in one of his pouches, or one of his 
cousin's , he can't remember.
 
Dark, wraithlike being heard to have been mumbling about a wereblade..
 
Ship under curse while transporting short stock subject, knife seen.
 
Throwing the pages atop a growing pile near her desk, Aya sat
back in the chair, rubbing her eyes.
Bad enough it was stolen, and even worse to be lost, but now.
Now to have to deal with every idiot who sees a filet knife in  some
fishmongers hands being identified as THE artifact.
 
Turning the chair so as to look out the window over the city, she 
contemplated the possible courses of action.
Find a certain thing, in a certain place, likely in a certain someone's
hands.
What would that certain person do, if they knew what it was they had?
Recognizing it for what it was, only likely by someone who knew of such
things...
Using it as a comon tool? No, it would let on to what it really was
sooner or later. It was corrupt, and would change the wielder.
Sell it? Possible. If the person was clueless enough to resist it.
 
Even it it somehow miraculously found its way to one of the Queen's 
Servants, would that person be likely to return it?
 
Looking at the map across an adjoining table, the task was made more
formidable by all the distances involved, and the lack of Loyal and
discreet Blue Dragon operatives to cover all ports, cities, caravans...
 
Aya threw a nearby vase against the wall in frustration.
 
Nearby, in a chair closest to the massive fireplace, Starfire, in her
accustomed human form, raised an eyebrow, looking at her little charge over a
book that she was reading.
 
"That really helps nothing, and at this rate, the manor will be completely
littered with remains of your childishness."
 
 Aya turned glaring at her companion,"You have any suggestions on this?" she
snarled angrily.
 
 
Starfire quietly closed her book, stood, walked over to Aya, and as
fast as the eye could blink, slapped her across the desk.
 
"First off, do not speak to me in that tone, I taught you to behave more politely.
Second, if this incident is beyond you, then go join the commoners in the 
search...if you can not think straight.
Third, this is quite a masive task, perhaps, as with the running of the estate, if
you lack the proper manpower to achieve the neccessary assignments, you should
hire outside contractors. You have met with those Mercenaries recently. Put
them to work."
 
The regal dragon-being then returned to her chair, and continued with her book.
 
      To be continued...

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Dec 24 22:23:31 2008
Subject     Knife of Dracart and other False sightings.

 
Grabbing the last of the documents, and cramming them into the
mapcase, Aya headed out the doors, followed closely by her guards.
 
"Of all the inconsiderate foolishness..." she fumed.
 
Walking down the Grand Staircase to the courtyard, she snapped the
shadowy cloak from an attendents hands, flinging it around her shoulders.
Starfire waited patiently with the six other blue dragons and
their riders, the escort for this journey.
 
I hate Sanction, I hate Sanction in the winter, that foolish...
 
She continued to grumble as she took to the saddle, fastening the straps.
The courtyard was quiet otherwise,no one wanting to draw the attention 
of the enraged little baroness. Not this time.
 
"How could this happen?" she thought to herself.
"First, sightings of too many knives, so obviously false ones were 
being reported."
 
She looked back at the other riders, nodding, then bowing head in prayer,
she asked the Great Blue to take wing.
Starfire nodded, and with a mighty roar, launched up with powerful
wings into the sky, as the others took their cue and followed.
 
"Now," she continued in thought,"Now my Queen is being sighted by
every lunatic and Gully on Krynn! Such Blasphemy! Taking so
lightly the Holy name of Takhisis!"
 
Someone would pay for this, and dearly. For now, her ire was directed at her
Highlord, Saige. That fool! Sanction of all places. 
This was going to be a long flight.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Mon Jan 19 01:49:51 2009
Subject     To the Emperor

 The trip back to Neraka was uneventful, unlike the meeting with Lord
Saige earlier that week. The Highlord had requested an escort back to the
city, then decided dragon-flight was not to his taste. The Knife had been
found, the alert toned down, now back to routine things...like preparing the
Grand City of Neraka for the return of the Dragon Emperor and his retinue.
Not that the Emperor traveled with an army, rather, with a very special
group of knights. Aya looked back at her escort of ten such knights.

The knights who insured she would stay with the Blue wing, and in the Lands
of Taman Busuk, by order of the Emperor.

They also provided protection, a rather twisted way of saying her position
as Governour-General of the city placed her in a dangerous situation.
Although the Lord Mayor pretty much ran the city, Aya had to oversee the
military population and how it interacted with the civilian populace.
Another trick the Emperor used to keep her out of trouble and away from the
lands around the nation.

Starfire landed in the Central Square, followed by the rest of the
formation. All dragon gave a great bellowing roar to announce their arrival,
then all the knights dismounted and headed to the Temple. A lieutenant from
the Emperor's Guard ran up to Aya, handing her a scroll, wrapped with a
black and silver ribbon. A message from the Emperor's secretary. Unrolling
it, she scanned over it, grimacing. A summons to appear before the Council,
the Emperor and his Highlords, at sunset.

Highlord Saige, of course, would have to be in attendence as well. Likely he
received his summons from the Emperor directly.

Looking back at Starfire, she saw the great blue avoiding her gaze, and
looking amused. That damn lizard knew about this! Taking a deep breath, Aya
headed to her quarters, and the ceremonial armour all knights in the Blue
Wing wore to appear before Queen and Emperor.

Sanction wasn't looking so bad right now. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Mon Mar 23 00:57:59 2009
Subject     A Knight's new Direction

Starfire circled over the new headquarters building for the Blue Wing.
Below, about 100 troops led by 20 mounted knights marched into the
courtyard, awaited by an equal number in formation. The changing of the
Northern Frontier Guard was about to take place, Standing in front of the
formation was Aya'sana, preparing to be presented the Blue Frontier Guidon,
so as to present it to the replacement Troop. The arriving Troop made their
way throught the wgates, past the patiently, (in most cases) waiting
families they left behind three months earlier. The families of the soon to
depart Troops waited outside the walls to bid their sons, daughters,
husbands and wives farewell.

The Captains of both Troops stepped forward, taking position on either side
of the tiny Baroness. The Captain of the retiring Troop stepped forward,
saluted, and presented the Guidon to Aya'sana, who turned, and presented it
to the departing Captain, who in turn saluted, and recieved the flag.

Aya looked up at the first Knight, saying his duty to the Queen and the
Dragonarmies was appreciated, and, after turning in their gear, were
released for a 70 hour pass, and then report for garrison detail for the
city of Neraka. They were free to rejoin their families. At this, the
returning Troop cheered, but not as loudly as their families.

She then turned to the newly appointed Frontier Captain, informing him to
stay mindful of his duty, and to honour the Queen in all actions and deeds.
The Captain nodded, stepped back, and saluted. He then turned, signaled his
Troop, and watched as they marched towards the gate, remounting his horse as
the last man passed.

The Baroness looked up at the circling dragon high above, anticipating a
good flight, when something, or someone, caught her eye. He was standing in
front of the doors of the main building. A blond haired man, no, an elf,
wearing dark raiment. He looked up, and pale blue eyes looked mockingly into
hers, a bit of a sneer on his lips. A flash of a Green sash could be seen
around his waist.

"Damn, " she thought," What in the Abyss is he doing here?". 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Apr  4 16:28:52 2009
Subject     An Unwelcome Visit

The meeting with the Highlord of the Green wing went about as
unpleasently as I thought it would. Having to kick his toadie out he window
was about the only bright spot in that miserable session.

Now, I had to go over the papers Luerk left, and make plans to somehow get
Starfire and myself to Palanthas and inside the city. As we currently were
not at odds with the Solamnic Knighthood, and that Order was in a bit of
disarray, I see no threat from that quarter. Still, a large Blue dragon and
the Highmaster of the Blue wing would not be welcomed with open arms and a
parade, 

I started making plans for the trip, perhaps joing one of the many merchant
caravans or boarding a ship out of either Sanction or even Kalaman to sail
into Palanthas Harbour. My family has many Trade groups heading west at this
season, both by land and sea. I think I may opt for land travel, as it would
be more likely to blend in with other groups upon arrival, a ship being a
bit more noticed when docking. I was sure we had a caravan loaded with silks
and other textiles headed that way, where we trade our merchadise for the
heavy woolen cloth and other durable items.

It would also be easier to have two or three of my household to weave
through the streets and gather information for me as well.

Looking out the window that I left open, (the stench of elf still in the
room, damn Leurk), I looked up to see my dragonmount still gliding
effortlessly high above. Sighing resignedly, I knew I'd have to tell her
about the mission. Which would likely result in some injury to myself, her
temper not really tolerating placing myself in this kind of danger, or of
dragging her into this.

I also had to make contingency plans, for my Brigade. No doubt my exit from
Solamnia would not be an easy one, and most likely I'd have a few people
trying to follow me back across the mountains. (A few VERY upset people no
doubt.) 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Jul 26 02:18:42 2009
Subject     The Arrival of a New Emperor

Due to recent changes in personnel, previous timeline/events have changed

The Main Courtyard was crowded with every type of artisan, yelling,
building, moving stone and wood back and forth, pavilions erected then torn
down. Whips cracked as slaves, mules and oxen draggged platforms, benches
and whatever else needed dragging from one place to another. The chaos was
further enriched by Gnomish designers babbling away at builders who
uniformly ignored them

This was the scene for the Coronation of the next Emperor of Taman Busak.

Aya'sana walked through the pandemonium oblivious to the crowd. Her escort
followed, glaring at any who came too close, using the occasional poke of a
barbed lance to enforce the glare. Six Squires, six lances, with an eagernes
to use them, created a wide path to the stairs of the main cathedral. The
cathedral where the next Emperor awaited his day. 
 
She looked up at the tower clawing into the sky. Dark clouds loomed heavily
overhead, but would likely not rain down any time soon. It was hot, dry, 
and dark. Someone was setting the stage in the proper mood.
 
Jumping up the stairs, the Black Guards nodded her entrance as she strode
through the gates and then the massive doors into the Temple proper.
Here was eerily quiet, as dark priests made the Altar ready, and the Throne
consecrated.
The block of black marble was polished to a high gloss, eagerly thirsting for
the first sacrifice to the New Age of...whatever his name would be.
Whoever it was to be, he would serve her Queen, and that was all that mattered.
 
And all Aya had to do was, keep him alive, keep him informed, and keep the Imperial
Palace in order.
But first, she had to meet this new Emperor-to-be.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Sep 26 04:35:05 2009
Subject     Into the desert...

 The Shrine at the Matar Manor was set away from the main hall. Across
the parade yard, at the edge of the eastern section of the plateau,
overlooking the plains to the city of Neraka on the horizon. A square
building constructed of granite with a tiled roof of bronze plates, it had
one opening, facing the manor, one window facing the east and the
constellation of the Dragon-Queen, and one occupant.

That one occupant was who Aya'sana had come to visit. Or more accurately,
who she was summoned to visit.

Ducking through the low opening, she entered the dimly lit hall. Inside the
large building was only the one room, a finely crafted statue of the
five-headed avatar of Takhisis, wrought from six precious metals and covered
with gems, dominated the center. At the base of the statue sat the priestess
of the manor. She had no name, not one any alive would know at least. Aya
was not sure if they were related or not, just that she had been here since
her grandfather's time. Perhaps longer. The old woman motioned for her to
approach.

Once Aya had kneeled before her, the priestess looked at her. 

"Remove that blade you carry, and hold it before me", she whispered.

Aya drew Nightsong, holding it eye level, parallel to the floor. The faint
reflection of the braziers glimmered from the silvery-blue blade. The katana
strangely quiet.

"You carry this for your Queen, yes?" she asked.

Aya nodded slowly.

"To where ever She may send you, be it here or in the Abyss, you carry it
for Her?".

Aya bowed her head," Where ever Her Desire wishes me, I carry this for
Her".

The priestess nods slightly," Then to the city on the Edge of Sorrow you
must go, for it is there you will best serve Her, and there you will see
thine enemy".

Aya'sana stands, then bows low to the priestess, backing away slowly. "I
will leave at daybreak, messengers will be sent to the Emperor, he will
decide who to send from the city.".

The fires in the room flare brightly, as the old woman's voice admonishes
the baroness.

"PROTECT the Emperor, Aya'sana uth Matar! Put aside your prejudice, or it
will become your downfall in the Queen's Holy Eyes! I will say no more of
this to you".

Aya bows again, stiffly, biting back any comment. Then turning, she goes to
seek her dragon companion, and find the city of Tarsis. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Thu Oct  1 22:58:00 2009
Subject     The Tarsisian Affair

Sitting at an Inn near the Central Square, staring out the window.
Tarsis...a city in a wasteland...how appropriate.
All had been made ready for the arrival of the Emperor, rooms
comandeered, provisions for His Majesty taken, mostly at swordpoint,
some purchased.
Guards set, wards and spell-sentinels made, all was ready.
 
Then these soldiers from the plains appeared, dusty and worn, 
but still in some order.
One was most certainly a knight, the others, well trained, but, 
not quite there yet.
Solamnics. All that armor looked out of place here, but, you 
had to admire their tenacity.
 
But, they shouldn't pose a problem here. We weren't currently
at war with Solamnia, yet. So unless they become bothersome, we'll 
ignore them for now.
 
We had several human and goblinoid types with us, not our
regular first line fighters, but, it was reported to me that they 
had potential,so, we would see.
 
I had just settled down to a fresh goblet of mead, when all
sorts of noise, coomotion, cursing and general mayhem broke loose.
I could see a very disheveled human, fists and feet a-flying, 
battling a thin dar figure, a familiar looking person at that.
My eyes widened and rolled in disgust as I realized that
it was one of our "informants", one who gathers sensitive
information for us, the Dragonarmy that is, chasing and
pummeling the vagrant across the square.
 
"Damnation and the Queen's Ire!" I muttered. This was not the 
"low profile" prescence I wanted here. And by the looks of it, 
the vagrant was giving as good as he was receiving.
Stand up and heading to the door, I loosened Nightsong
from it's saya, intent on stopping this nonsense before the 
local constabulary became involved.
 
Once I reached the square though, I saw it would be impossible
to swing a blade at either of them without , in all likelihood,
killing both. So I kicked and bashed with my shield, trying to 
seperate the two. This caused both of them to run down an
adjacent street.
 
I gave chase, but upon turning the corner, I could see a grimy
little goblin, in a Dragonarmy uniform, to add to the disbelief, 
visciously stabbing at the vagrant, hopping up and down on it's
bloodied...corpse?
A hobgoblin, also in uniform, and equally bloodied, but grinning,
stood nearby.
Our "informant' lay nearby, beatened and bloody, but alive.
Well, alive for now, I'd deal with him later, his cover blown he
was of little use to me in the near future. Maybe for arrow practice,
maybe for entertainment for these two "heroes" who ended
this small riot.
 
Looking at the two, I saw one was wearing a flowing cape, similar to
what I saw earlier being worn by those Solamnic types.
Knowing he didn't get that from our quartermaster, and thinking
that the coincedence was too improbable, I pointed to them, 
about to ask where and how, then decided, maybe best not
to ask then right now. As excited as they were, I'd likely
just get a lot of goblinese babble and noises.
And I already had a mild headache at this point.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Oct  4 15:10:17 2009
Subject     What we lose....

Aya'sana watches as the vagrant, now known as Berem, fades away,
screaming. "What in the Abyss....? You two!" pointing at Lahrag and
Zopz..Zoop,, whatever damned name he called himself," ...search for that
thing, find him, bring him to me alive, can you do that? Alive!!" she near
shouted.

She turned to the few other soldiers who wanderd to the scene, yelling at
them to do the same. The beatened agent, his name was Supai or something,
tried to stand, and go, bit the point in Nightsong was quickly at his
throat.

Oh no you don't. You and I have a few things to discuss, bastard. Back down,
dog.

From the corner of her eye, Aya notices one dark robed figure not running to
follow her commands. Actually, it was approaching her. Taking a quick slice
at Supai's kneecap, Aya effectivly hobbles the man, keeping him from
escaping very fast or far. Turning to the newcomer, she asks," Why aren't
you looking for that thing?"

The figure extends a hand from the volumnous sleeve of the robe, and quickly
slaps Aya across the mouth. A weak slap, but more stunning her more than
hurting.

"You...dare?" Aya'sana snarls.

"Yes, I dare, and will again as it is needed. You foolish, foolish child.
You have lost him. You lost that which you were to keep safe. You have
failed your Queen."

Quickly recognizing the seeress from the Matar Manor, Aya realizes what the
old woman alludes to. Looking up again, she sees the seeress has left. Faded
like the hot wind.

Looking around, almost feeling lost, she sees one of the squires who
accompanied her to this accursed city, running around store front to store
front.

"YOU!" she bellows," Here! NOW!".

The startled squire stops, then runs to her, kneeling as he arrives.

Yes, my Baroness?" he pants, out of breath.

"Find me any competent squad leaders, have them report to me here now.
Then..then' She thinks quickly, then grimaces in distaste.

"Then go find that Solamnic knight who rode in with those others, tell him I
want to meet with him. Tell him I want an explanation, no, damn."

Aya'sana hated diplomacy at a time when violent reaction was what was
needed.

Sighing, she continued."Tell him I'd like to discuss a few subjects of
mutual interest."

The squire looked up, shocked at her concilliatory tone. Aya smiles briefly
at him," Just go do as I said, lad. And quickly." as she regains her calm.

This was turning out to be just one clustered mess after another. Time to
call Starfire from the desert.What those Solamnics understood was implied
power.And a noble blue dragon was a symbol that even they could understand.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Oct 11 21:45:02 2009
Subject     A Rose meets A Lily in the Desert

So much had happened so quickly, it was appalling. The Queen was really
testing Her Devout this season.

First, the rush to get to Tarsis, find this Berem fellow and what the'old
seeress alluded to. Then the brawl in the city, the conflicting stories
about what happened, who was where. Added to the already tense situation,
the Emperor goes "missing", undetectable to our casters and even to
Starfire, who rarely loses at least a trace of anyone she chooses to scrye.

The Solamnic prescence was contributing to the hostile local population in
hindering our search and investigation.

This idiot so-called "spy" Supai was more of a mercenary than any useful
informant. As a note, it was amusing to watch the Dark Priests "question"
him. As his mind was being probed, he was relieved of excess body parts. Now
all that is left of him is a blubbering shell devoid of mind or memory.
We'll turn him over to the Solamnics as promised. Let them figure out what
to do with what's left.

Then our goblin/hobgoblin troops came upon a squire of the Crown, and
managed to beat her senseless, having her hauled away to the slave-pens in
Sanction before reporting the prize to me. I didn't know whether to have
them commended or condemned, but rewarded them anyways and had Starfire fly
at speed to intercept the group returning to Sanction. They had worked her
over fairly well, but at least had the sense not to violate her. Or lacked
the time to, at any rate, I had to work on her wounds myself, and give her
lots of water, as the heat had taken its toll on the hapless squire.

We flew back to our camp outside the Northern gate, where I dispatched my
own squire to the Solamnic camp, requesting that two represenitives from
their side meet with two from ours, sending a list of "requests" for the
return of their property. I had already decided the Starfire and myself
would represent the Dragonarmies, knowing the Solamnics had no dragons
anywhere near the desert, and that a great Blue dragon would keep them
humble. And keep them cautious.

I needed to complete this mess as soon as possible, appoint someone here to
run the search of the city, then get back to Neraka, where I heard there was
already talk of another round of succession meetings were being made. And
the Emperor not even confirmed missing or dead as yet. Bastards. I would not
be so accomodating this time. Someone's head was going to be mounted before
the throne this time. 
 
To be continued....

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Oct 11 22:45:12 2009
Subject     A Rose meets A Lily in the Desert Act II

The meeting between the Solamnics and I was to take place the next day at
noon. Precisely what I would want, as I would be coming from the North, with
the sun behind me, and Starfire acting as a shade for me, while glaring down
upon the knights who would be standing in the full light of high noon.

The squire, (her name was Etilyn di Delgaard, typically Solamnic), had
recovered quite a bit from her ordeal, although one could see she was quite
distraught at the present situation. Her run-in with the rank and file of
the Dragonarmy had left her uncertain of what kind of treatment she would
further receive. Everytime I moved or looked at her, she seemed to cringe
and expect the worst. Which, under normal circumstances, would be
appropriate. But I needed her to be intact. I needed to deal with these
drones of Solamnia and having co-operation would be easier on us in the long
run.

My plan was to have them leave the city for a full day and night. Then we
could search and question whoever we wished. The knights leaving the city
willingly would look as if they were complicent to our actions, and bring
some animosity upon them as well. And, by agreeing to hand over Supai,
should we find him, (such a joke) we look as if we are more agreeable in
their eyes. And of course, the required ransom for valued members of any
Order. I disagreed with this practice, as it frees those who can pay while
condemning those who can't to the slave pens. Not a very equitable
situation, but, nobility does have it's benefits.

My squires carried in the evening dinner, and set the table for my "guest"
and myself. After they left, I motioned for Etilyn to join me, which she
seemed both reluctant yet eager to do. I knew she must be hungry, and the
thick stew and fresh loaf of dark bread was certainly calling out to her.
She still hesitated, though.

Don't insult your host by refusing to break bread with them. That would be
most uncivilized, my dear. I playfully said.

She looked up at me, some small defiance in her eyes, but her resolve
weakening. You are mine enemy, and captor, I owe you no courtesy, m'lady.

Interesting, I thought, this was someone of some small upbringing, no doubt.
Protocol dictates that when you are the guest of a knight and nobility, you
should accept the offered hospitality. And as you are my guest, you should
feel obliged to show courtesy, yes?

She looked a bit confused, but she did approach the table, and seat herself
before a steaming bowl of mutton stew. After a brief, very brief, prayer,
she attacked the stew and bread as lustily as a hungry minotaur. I laughed
airily and poured some dark red wine into her cup, then attended to my own
meal. 

Tomorrow, I will return you to your comrades, as dictated by knightly
honour. After you finish your meal, you should clean up some, then rest for
the night. You will be safe here, in my quarters. However, I can not
guarantee your safety should you try to leave this tent. The troops here are
quite lively, and would no doubt find you, shall we say, entertaining?

She looked up, mouth still full of food, eyes wide. You're letting me...go?
Back to my company?" she said with some mist in her eyes.

I merely nodded, sipping from my wine-cup, watching her reaction

Th..thank you, m'lady."she stammered.

Don't thank me yet, I thought to myself. No doubt your comrades would not
find you so adorable or treat you so kindly once you returned. The Solamnics
were merciful, but, very strict on those they deem as causing them trouble.
No doubt that burdensome Code and Measure, or whatever it was called, had
some "just" punishment for her planned. 
 
 To still be continued....

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Mon Oct 12 00:27:26 2009
Subject     A Rose meets a Lily in the Desert Act III

The time of the meeting had arrived. Etilyn sat in fornt of me on the
back of Starfire as we flew to the agreed upon place. It was amusing how she
was more frightened of the altitude then the dragon. As Starfire turned she
would clutch at me, staring petrified with fear at the dots of people
below.

Starfire landed softly before the knights, stirring up just enough dust to
put the two a bit off guard. As I dismounted, one of the knights made to
approach us, but prudently decided to keep his place. One of them, a Sir
Segwarides T'orgh (Not so typical a Solamnic name) introduced himself and
another knight, one of the Rose Order, a Sir Lanfer Di'Ternian, a rough
looking sort, unaccustomed to the desert.

I helped Etilyn down from Starfire, and, upon reaching the ground, turned
and became sick. I smiled slightly, and Starfire snickered as only a dragon
can. This seemed to cause the knights some concern, as they rushed into
discussion of terms. They were visably uncomfortable . Exactly as I hoped
they would be. 

After some discussion, they thought to ask my name, which I willingly gave,
trying to ignore their obvious state of agitation and lack of simple
manners. As the demands were quite simple, and on the surface, agreeable to
them, we quickly came to an understanding.

They would leave the city of Tarsis for a period of sunrise to sunrise,
while the Dragonarmy searched the city, (They never asked what it was we
were searching for), watching the two gates outside the city. They were
agreeable to allowing us the opportunity to find the dread (more like dead)
spy Supai, and believed we would work with them in his datainment.(We had
him datained alright).

And we agreed to the required ransom for prisoners of noble lineage. Which
was where things went badly.

This Lanfer Di'Ternian, seemed to think casting a bag of coin at my feet,
acceptable in polite circles. I was fully prepared to teach him otherwise. A
common knight of the rustic Solamnic Plains showing such disrespect to a
noble Baroness and Knight of Queen Takhisis and the Nerakan Emperor....
outrageous!

But, a calming voice, that of my guardian, Starfire, told me to behave as
nobility would. Kill him outright?" I thought. "No," the voice said, "make
him know his place.

So I pointedly asked him if that was the way a knight in Solamnia behaved,
treating an emissary so shabbily. His face reddened at this, whether in
shame or in anger, I do not know. He weakly attempted some poor excuse for
his action, blaming the prescence of the dragon, and thoughts of his safety.
Again I shamed him, asking if he did not expect honourable treatment, and if
he feared me so much as to place dignity and chivalry beneath his own self
concern.

This seemed to hit a sore spot, as he came forward, picked up the pouch, and
handed it to me, properly.

I smiled a small victory, and bowed a bit to show a modicum of humility. He
grumbled a half hearted apology, still glaring at the Great Blue dragon,
with some trepidation. As I allowed Etilyn to return to her comrades, Lanfer
gruffly said the situation would not occur again, he hoped. I proffered my
invitation for Lady Etilyn to visit me anytime, that she was always welcome.
More grumbling.

I took my place in the saddle astride Starfire, waving a farewell to them,
as Sir Lanfer admonished me for serving an empty cause. As the dragon took
wing, I could not help think that, as a knight, an empty suit of armour was
certainly more lacking a soul . And it seemed the Knights of Solamnia, were
empty shells indeed. But, perhaps they had hope. In Etilyn's eyes burned the
virtues of the old knights. And that Segwarides....

Best to keep notes on that one. Something was there... 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Oct 21 01:34:13 2009
Subject     A Rose and a Lily Part Ways

The small desert pony trudged through the sand at a slow, but steady,
pace. With each step, the bundle across it's rump gave a small whimper.
Which was about all it could do, having it's tongue removed, plus a few
other parts.

Looking up the dune, Aya'sana mused about the spy's fate. Would the
Solamnics try to save him, so they could execute him later, or let him die
on the sands? Solamnics were a strange lot. Beat a man senseless, then go to
the bother of making him healthy for trial, then hang him or cut his head
off.Interesting that they thought WE were the brutal ones.

She could make out Sir Lanfer Di'Ternian, Knight of the Rose atop the dune.
He still looked very discomforted in all that armour in this heat. Oh well,
style before function, I guess. As she approached, she could see him glaring
at her already, quietly chewing his lip in frustration at having to meet
with her again, no doubt.

""Well met, Sir Rose ! "" she called, smilingly, just to hear a grunt and
see a slight snarl on his lips. Aya noticed him looking around and up,
probably looking for Starfire, her dragon companion.

""What do you want?"" he asked gruffly.

""I have a present for you," she relied slyly, dumping the vaguely alive
body onto the ground. "This is the dread murderer, Supai, I think you were
looking for him?

Lanfer looks down at the mangled heap of flesh," Is he..is he dead?" he
stutters.

"Not yet, although he is missing a few things, not that he'll need them
anymore

Lanfer's icy blue eyes snap up to meet Aya's steely grey gaze," What, what
have you done to him?" he sputters with rage.

"We merely put him to the question, very minor technique, to arrive at the
truth. Well, my Inquisitors did, I never soil my hands with such matters."

"You call yourself a knight? Outrageous!" Lanfer growls, as he signals to
one of his taodies to help with the pile of torn flesh. "Looking away while
your men torture a soul does not make you clean. Although this confirms my
thoughts on you, you foul smelling ogre"

""Who looked away?"" wondered Aya'sana, but graciously she let the comment
slide. Laughing quietly, Aya says lightly," Ah, still as charming as ever I
see, Sir Rose, oh well. We did get information about that, Cadilla,
Cordillia..whatever, anyway, we have the information about her murder."

Lanfer's brow shows the inner storm that is raging, but he asks tight
lipped," And what did you find out?""

Handing him a thick scroll, wrapped with a blue ribbon, Aya'sana informs him
of it's contents. ""You will find who you want in a place called Yarus? I
believe it was called. Anyway, this killer was hired by a man there who had
some grudge against the Holy Order, and this little cleric seemed to be a
target of his ire."" Aya watches the man Lanfer called bound down the dune,
with the body of Supai, no doubt looking for a healer to tend to the wounds.
"Better be Mishakal Herself."thinks Aya.

 
 To be continued...

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Oct 21 02:23:41 2009
Subject     A Rose and a Lily Part Ways II

Coming back around to Lanfer, Aya smiles again. "Of course, the scroll
only has the information regarding that little cleric, we wouldn't bother
you with his other babblings"

Lanfer sneers at her."It is funny we are even having this conversation,
Aya'sana, your words are more then likely nothing but venom regurgetated
from the bowels of your "Queen"' I would love to say I appreciate your
assistance but weeding through the lies in this, " as he shakes the
parchment in the air". will take even more of a scholor then the great
Berem

Ayasana again chuckles, "Alas, this did not concern my Queen, and I felt
obligated to provide you with this. We in Neraka respect the works of
Mishakal's priests

He frowns," You have given them much to do with the state you left that man
in," as heshakes his head" You are nothing but a scoundrel and a fiend'

Ayasana tilts her head a bit, looking at the enraged knight," I promise you
Sir Rose, those are his accurate statements.You may believe that or no. It
does not affect us either way. That scum was a free lance spy and killer, no
loyalty to anyone.. She brushes her hair from her eyes," He deserved all
that he received. It's that simple."

Ayasana turns her pony to leave," I hope the next meeting we have finds you
in better humour, Sir Rose. I regret not experiencing the chivalry of
Solamnia's Finest. "she adds with a grin. 

Lanfer turns to her, hissing," I do hope our next meeting finds us crossing
blades, Lady Aya'sana, you are deserving of NO chivalry, honour or respect
from me." as he dips into a condescending bow.

Ayasana looks over her shoulder at the fuming knight, "Ah, spoken so
poetically, 'tis no wonder the knighthood is held in such...esteem ", as she
mockingly salutes Lanfer. 
 
This is extracted froman RP Lanfer and I had today, 
with many of the lines being pulled from the rp transcript
Lanfer kept. My thanks to Lanfer and all the KoS
for supporting our storyline in Tarsis.
We look forward to working with them (and any clan interested)
in the near future.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Tue Oct 27 01:24:35 2009
Subject     Where to now....

After the Emperor's protege' left, I mulled over the map, such as it was,
of the wasteland to the north of Tarsis. Mostly it was a blank page, with
notes giving vague directions like, follow the peak star for two days as the
camel walks, a day and night as the horse trots. All in all, not very
precise. It did appear there was a regular meeting place for caravans to
meet and, no doubt, deal in items that even this foul city wouldn't allow,
plus the added benefit of no tax collectors. Just "protection" fees.

And, we did have information of a caravan leaving the day HE went missing.
Something an ex-captain had missed, and subsequently lost his head over.
Which may have been a bit hasty on my part, as all I had here were mostly
irregular troops and a gang of goblins and near mercenaries. My own small
group being the only full time experienced detail here, which only numbered
ten.

I decided to break up the new troops into two groups. One would take the
western route nortrh, the other the eastern trail. They had a better chance
of finding any clues or someone who may know something that way. They had
five days to make it to this oasis, where I would rejoin with them, with
Starfire, and attempt to detain the caravan, if it was still there.

Lacking any real evidence or hints at what happened, pretty much made this
our only hope. And with things going chaoticly in Neraka, I knew I had to
get back and cool down a few pretenders to the Emperor's Throne.

I appointed one of the new troops to Brevet Captain, as he had some past
experience as a militia captain. As all these troops were still fairly new
to the Dragonarmy, he should be in fine company. There are a few old
sergeants in the group whho will bang heads if things get too out of line.

For now, I will patrol the skies, keeping an eye on the Solamnics and where
they move to. I doubt they had anything to do with this, as they appear
unimaginative, and quite uninterested in much outside their own circle I do
think they will be a bit distressed at the state we left certain sections of
the city in, after our search. They seemed...squeamish...after seeing how we
questioned Supai...ah well. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Tue Nov  3 22:48:21 2009
Subject     A Change in Direction

Starfire wheeled suddenly north, shaking her rider out of the deep
contemplation she normally went into during these flights.

"What are you doing? Neraka's eastways still." she inquired.

Be quiet, child," the dragon admonished," I know better than you where you
should be right now.

Aya'sana recognized that tone, and wisely remained quiet. Starfire was
keenly aware of any disturbances of the arcane kind, and for the great blue
to change course from their home, without explanation, meant something very
important had occured.

The dragon picked up speed, slightly diving towards the horizon. After about
two or so hours, a spot of green and the blue of a small pond, one of those
infrequent oasis, became visable. As they approached, Aya could see the two
groups she had sent to search the desert making their way to the same spot.
One from the west, the other from the east. Several smaller groups were
arriving as well. They circled the area, making signal contact with the
units before the dragon slowly landed at the highest point overlooking the
main gathering place around the water's edge.

Aya made to dismount, but Starfire raised a folded wing, stopping her.
""Stay where you are, little one, I am not sure what this portends, so we
should be ready for anything.""

Aya'sana remained seated astride the dragon, as the units of the Dragonarmy
flanked either side, all facing the oasis in wait for, something, something
that seemed to call out... 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Nov 11 02:03:45 2009
Subject     Returned Goods

Starfire circled the lone Rose Knight once again, then softly touched
down a few meters from him. Once the Great Dragon settled, Aya'sana helped
the two Solamnic warriors down. The pair, clad in linens, shuffled over to
Sir Lanfer, heads hung low. Lanfer ignored them, concentrating his glare on
the Baroness. 

Hmmm..." she thought," ..if looks could kill, I'd be sharing a glass of
absinthe with Lord Chemosh about now "

Aya merely tilted her head, smiling, then looked up at her companion.
Starfire looked down, humming, opening a cloud of mist, in which Aya reached
and, with some effort, pulled out two large bundles. Aya merely tilted her
head, smiling, then looked up at her companion. Starfire looked down,
humming, opening a cloud of mist, in which Aya reached and, with some
effort, pulled out two large bundles. ""I think you will find all in order,
and accounted for, have your servent deliver the promised, uh, fee, for
their return, he will be unharmed, of course" she added with a grin. 

Lanfer fumed even more, biting his lip.

Looking done the hillock, Aya spies Etilyn, by a small fire,
roasting...snake?..something unappetizing at any rate. Etilyn stares up at
her, as Aya'sana gives her a wink. The young Solamnic blushes, looking away,
but returns her wondering gaze up at the Blue dragon 
 
"Lady Etilyn! You are still welcome to join me at my table. I am sure we can 
find something more...delicious..for you."
 
 
Etilyn's face turns beet red, and she concentrates fully on the cooking
scraps.
 
Aya'sana chuckles at the girl's discomfort, her eyes raising to totally
 enraged Lanfer, trembling in anger.
 
""Ah, I see, well, I will be leaving then, if we find any more..how should
 I say...confused..followers of yours, we will be more than happy to return
 them again. Good day Sir Rose"" she adds bowing slightly. 
 
She climbs back upon the dragon, waving as if in a parade at the outraged 
Lanfer, then with a leap and mighty flap of her wings, Starfire put altitude 
and distance between the two factions. 
 
ooc Some of the story is disjointed, tried to "copy and paste" it when it was vaped during a "mini-crash"

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Wed Nov 11 02:31:13 2009
Subject     Returned Goods

 Starfire circled the lone Rose Knight once again, then softly touched
down a few meters from him. Once the Great Dragon settled, Aya'sana helped
the two Solamnic warriors down. The pair, clad in linens, shuffled over to
Sir Lanfer, heads hung low. Lanfer ignored them, concentrating his glare on
the Baroness. 

Hmmm..." she thought," ..if looks could kill, I'd be sharing a glass of
absinthe with Lord Chemosh about now "

Aya merely tilted her head, smiling, then looked up at her companion.
Starfire looked down, humming, opening a cloud of mist, in which Aya reached
and, with some effort, pulled out two large bundles. The armour and property
of the two she delivered . ""I think you will find all in order, and
accounted for, have your servent deliver the promised, uh, fee, for their
return, he will be unharmed, of course" she added with a grin.

Lanfer fumed even more, biting his lip.

Looking down the hillock, Aya spies Etilyn, by a small fire,
roasting...snake?..something unappetizing at any rate. Etilyn stares up at
her, as Aya'sana gives her a wink. The young Solamnic blushes, looking away,
but returns her wondering gaze up at the Blue dragon 

"Lady Etilyn! You are still welcome to join me at my table. I am sure we can
find something more...delicious..for you."

Etilyn's face turns beet red, and she concentrates fully on the cooking
scraps.

Aya'sana chuckles at the girl's discomfort, her eyes raising to totally
enraged Lanfer, trembling in anger.

""Ah, I see, well, I will be leaving then, if we find any more..how should I
say...confused..followers of yours, we will be more than happy to return
them again. Good day Sir Rose"" she adds bowing slightly. 

She climbs back upon the dragon, waving as if in a parade at the outraged
Lanfer, then with a leap and mighty flap of her wings, Starfire put altitude
and distance between the two factions. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sat Nov 21 03:54:34 2009
Subject     War is a Symphony

(Covering the first two battles, Railen and Lanfer)

We charged through the countryside at what can only be called a mad pace.
I'd fly ahead on Starfire, scout the terrain and whatever was assembled
before us, circle back, quickly land, sketch out a plan, mount a charger,
hurl ourselves against a patrol, a company, either kill them all in place,
or drive them back, regroup and do it all over again.

I admit I drove my regiment hard, but they rewarded me by accomplishing each
task to near perfection. Our first encounter of a sizeable force was against
the formidable Lord Railen. Fortunately our shock attack drove him from his
position, and into a small open pastureland, where our speed and mobility
overcame his heavier forces, as they broke and finally withdrew, suffering
heavy losses. We took our share of deaths and injuries as well, but haste
was our ally as we crossed into yet another district. 

I took to the air again, seeing what was over the next ridge. I spotted the
force ahead of mine, and spied the flapping pinion of the Rose. This was
going to be a more difficult battle.

I went back, explained what we needed to do, and lined up my light cavalry
to charge directly into the heart of the opposing knights. I gave them leave
to attack, then went back to Starfire and flew low around the ridge. Timing
had to be close, as my cavalry had to appear before I did, to distract the
knights, then the appearance of a blue dragon coming from the sun in the
west would distract them from the charging cavalry to their south.

As I rounded the ridge, I saw that the impromptu plan worked. The Solamnics
were looking south as I came in, then a cry sounded, and they looked west.
The confusion was rampant, and my cavalry struck hard and deep into their
stunned front, as Starfire let loose with a bolt into their flanks. We
landed, not wanting to use the lightning breath anymore lest we hit our own
force. The two of us waded into the flanks, I swinging my katana, Starfire
swinging tail, talon and tooth. The battle was pure carnage, as both our
sides took heavy damage. 

As I scythed my way into the Solamnics, I saw a familiar form. Grinning, I
whistled, getting my dragon-companion's attention and started to work my way
closer to this old "friend". He was shouting orders, and holdin his own
against some of my troops. I slashed down a squire, and shouted to him.

Sir Rose! Well met! I see your wish came true, we cross swords this day!

He turned, looking my way, almost in disbelief, then snarled, and, then he
smiled, charging at me. Now, I am not one to shy away from anyone in a
battle, but, this was a mismatch. He in armor, wielding a large sword, and I
might add he had more than a few stone on me, plus height. I was wearing my
usual light armor, carrying a formidable katana, and little else in the way
of protection. 

His first blow I managed to block, but, it numbed my arms, the force was so
great. I used my advantage in speed to take three quick slashes at him,
doing little to the armor but managing to draw a little blood. We danced
like this for what seemed an eternity, when I heard the trumpets of my
cavalry in unison with the roar of the dragon. The forces were routed, and
in retreat. The Rose Knight, paused, looking across the field, then back at
me.

I stepped back carefully, then slid Nightsong into it's saya.

It seems you need to follow your command Sir Rose, until next time, let us
see after our wounded. You have lost the field this day.

 He gave me a look that would have frozen a river solid, growling about the
next time we would meet, then went after his command. 

I staggered back, thankful it ended when it did. Even Starfire looked
battered. Only a few troops were not wounded, and not many were left alive
at all. It was time to go back, and regroup. We had come far very fast, now
we would heal, and prepare for the next battle.


Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Thu Nov 26 03:25:23 2009
Subject     Sanction Still Stands!

Standing atop the wall by the mighty Main Gate I watched as the latest
group of Solamnics scattered and fled from my Light Cavalry. Just below on
the field, mighty Konan and his warriors pounded the remnants of a proud but
foolhardy charge against the city. A short distance away, Celuvan played his
prowess in battle while his comrades hunted down any who were not quick
enough to escape.

Some young knight fed his small army to the fires of Sanction, and his only
reward was escaping with his life and a very few wounded followers. I could
only shake my head in mild disbelief. Was he attempting to avenge the fall
of Palanthas? Trying to embarrass the Emperor by taking his capitol?

As if I would allow that, even with the fatigued state my regiment was in
after defeating Lord Railen and Lord Lanfer. And this, what was that name
again? Sedgewick, Sedgerow...Segwarides! This knight Segwarides dared his
hand at the Queen's city, while three of Her Majesty's most devout....

It boggled the mind. 
 
They lacked a central figure to lead them. That was to be their downfall.
I wondered how Lord Railen fared now that his city was gone.
I would pay good silver to see Sir Rose's expression about now.
And poor Sir Segwarides, such a long and dangerous trek to anywhere safe.
 
 
I looked behind me in the courtyard below. Starfire looked well rested,
having not really been needed this last incident.
That was good though. She and I would fly over the area, see how far the 
defeated had run. Maybe give them a little new incentive to run further.
 
Yes, Star would enjoy that. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Dec  6 00:45:51 2009
Subject     A Victory for Her Majesty

Glory call us
With trumpet's tongue,
calls us do great deeds
on the field of valour, 
call us to give our blood
to the flame,
to the ground,
the holy fire.

The Song rang out as the troops marched throught the strrets of Sanction.
A song was an old battle songsung by the victors in their moment of
triumph,a song of reminiscence sung by the old soldier telling his tale of valour.
 
Today it was a song sung by the Dragonarmies of the Dark Queen.
The slave pens were filled with the vanquished, who listened with
heads hung low.
Once proud men and women of Solamnia now stood as property of the Emperor.
Well, a few were property of a certain Baroness, as well as a heavily laden
wagon train of relics, furniture, scrolls and books, holy artifacts and
historic items from Solanthus, trophies from the recently conquered former capital
of Solamnia.
These items would find a home at the Matar Manor, high in the mountains.
 
 
For now,the armies would celebrate, loot divided up, valiant deeds recognized,
wounded tended to, and the dead burned in pyres, souls released to the gods.
Then the work of domesticating and subjugating the rest of the lands, collecting
taxes, building temples and outposts to keep the Solamnic dog in it's place.
 
And the victorious return of the Emperor to his capital had to be prepared for.
Sacrifices made to Her Majesty, feasts.
 
A good time to return to Neraka, and some semblence of quiet.
*********************
Victory song from "Dragons of a Fallen Sun"

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Jan 10 18:44:29 2010
Subject     Retruning Home

Visiting Palanthas used to be quite an event. We were not at war with
them back then, just another trade caravan trading silks and spices for
woolens and textiles. This visit was different. The city belonged to Her
Majesty now. 

And Her Majesty's minions were not treating Her property very well.

I'd seen cities damaged by war before. But this was blatant and random
destruction combined. Not content with looting the city, it seemed that it
was being punished as well. Ah well, to the Victors etc.

I had already ordered my Regiment to move from Sanction to Neraka, leaving
in Konan and Celuvan's ables hands. I took a small guard company with me to
Palanthas, to finish business with the retiring Emperor before returning to
the Jewell in Takhisis' Crown. The Emperor, somewhat non-chalantly, approved
my plans to continue building the city into a formidable citadel, as a
crossroad for inland trade, and a central governing city for later plans.

For now, all I could do was look sadly on what was once a great city, and
hope to build Neraka into a grander vision for my Queen. 
Once we left the city, I would send the escort on to Neraka, and
meet with Starfire near the Vingaard River, and fly back from there.
We would pass over the High Clerist's Tower, and see what happened there.
Likely the same as here. The main army didn't behave with the same
restraint my regiment had in southern Solamnia.
A shame really. Hard to win hearts and souls that way.
Our tactics had won some respect from many corners,rewarding us
with more than a few recruits and converts,who would join us for
training back home.
We would need these people, to build adequete defenses for the city.
I had a feeling "Sir Rose" would make things interesting for the
Dragonarmies very soon.

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Sun Sep  5 16:21:36 2010
Subject     The Blue Regiment on the March

The sun rose over the smokey skies of Neraka, as people began their day
in the large city. Merchants opened shops, artisans hurried to their
respective job sites as cooking fires cooked the morning meals. The relative
quiet of the daily routine was, however, disturbed by the jangle of
harnesses and the steady thud of hooves on the cobblestones.

From the gates of the area known as the Blue Quarter emerged the reknown
Blue Regiment, the Knighthood of Takhisis. As the long column of well
equiped troops marched, a mighty Blue Dragon flew overhead, emphasizing the
power of the force. On down Snake Road they marched, arriving at the
Southern Gates of the city.

When they reached the gates, a number of high ranking officers of the other
Orders awaited, Red, Green, Black and White sashes bordered with silver. A
short rider mounted on a pale horse rode forward to meet them, a small smile
of condescension greeting the group.

"I see you are here to bid farewell to us, I am honoured" she said
mockingly, a slight bow to the gentlemen.

The officers looked sneeringly at the rider, but stayed their distance. The
one in the Green sash spoke first. "Do you seriously think we'd allow you to
leave on this folly? The Dragonarmy needs all of its resources, nor we can
lose a whole regiment now." The others nodded their shaggy heads in
agreement.

The rider sat back in her saddle, a smug look adorned her face. "The Queen
wishes to have this Keep built, and readied for when She needs it. That
alone renders any needs of yours, meaningless. And gentlemen, " she leans
down to glare at them," ...nothing your combined numbers will attempt can
stop me." Sitting back straight, she looks over her regiment, then up at the
soaring dragon. Looking back at the wavering soldiers, she admonishes them,"
You haven't even searched for your respective dragon companions with any
seriousness, you rattle your swords, drink your ale, bellow out war
cries...and do little to nothing." Signaling the regiment to continue, she
returns her attention to them. "I travel to the Dairly Plains, there I will
meet with my Estate's ships, and we will sail to Kothas, Mithas and Karthay.
My forces will grow, and I will take artisans, stone masons, smithies,
whatever we need, and I will fulfill the Queen's wish for a Keep amongst the
Storm. One day, perhaps not my lifetime, when it is complete, a mighty
Knighthood will grow there, and the world will tremble at the mere mention
of its name." She adjusted the katana at her side, guiding the pale horse
past the glowering men.

One of the officers stepped forward, "Baroness Aya'sana uth Matar! We will
look on this as treason! You will be cast out of the Dragonarmy if you
persist!"

Turning to look over her shoulder, Aya'sana laughed softly. I have my
Queen's desire to fulfill, you can keep your Dragonarmy. 

Author:    Ayasana        
Date:      Mon Mar 19 00:23:58 2012
Subject     The Fallen and the Fallacy

The mission in Kern had turned more into a negotiation and less the show of force I had anticipated. These ogres were slow, but by no means stupid. They knew I had enough of an army with me to raze Styx, but not near enough to battle my way through Kern. I knew that on their home ground they would seriously impede my movement, but that they had not the resources to battle out on the small plain on our side of the border. With that stalemate making us more or less even, we were ably to equally discuss some alliance terms. Some of the lawmakers from Neraka had joined us after the first several meetings, and were hammering out the details while I waited with the rest of the Division. This gave me good opportunity to obeserve the Draconains as they went about their duties, quite efficiently I might add. I had received updates as to the progress the Red wing was making near Silvanost, and how the plans were shaping for that front. The Red Wing was very capable, but I still had a small premonition that the Blue Wing would be drawn in somehow. That, or we would have to redirect back towards Kalaman to support that drive. Of course, marching west to point the third tang of the trident at the heart of Solamnia. There was still no word on any Solamnic Forces making any movement, but some interesting news had come from that quarter. Seems Lord Rose, the venerable Sir Lanfer, had met his fate. Added to this tale, was the assertion by some self-promoting young knight, that Lord Rose had died at the hands of the Dragonarmy, by no less a personage than our own Blue Wing commander Lord Konan. The boastful squire (or knight, though that seemed dubious)went on to somehow defeat the mighty Konan. That of course was utter nonsense. Lord Konan was not one to fall easily to some young dandy in shiny ceremonial armour. But, as the reports trickled in, it appeared this story worthy of a court jester had some threads of truth in it. Lord Konan was returning from the far south, where he was bringing a rogue white dragon down, after it had been rampaging the lands, killing its rider and the like. Lord Konan was still suffering the maladictions of the beast, as well as many serious wounds, when, according to some bystanders, this Solamnic upstart frightened a line of horses carrying supplies, and knocking the wounded minotaur down, whence the upstart took the opportunity to knock Konan on the head. This would warrent more investigation until a satisfactory explanation was found.

Author: Ayasana Date: Sat Mar 24 00:32:38 2012 Subject The Road Back

The trade route back to Neraka seemed to go on forever ahead of us, while the columns of troops, cavalry, wagons and followers stretched seemingly as far behind. My Personal Guard of Minotaur had went far ahead to scout the hiway, followed by my mounted regiment, and then a league further back I rode among my newer Guard of Draconians, leading our infantry of the Blue Wing, and followed by the long lines of our new ogre allies. Tag on our supply trains and we made for an impressive small army. Starfire flew high overhead, watching all. I had word sent to Neraka to prepare the Rally Point near the Blue Quarter for us, and to bring in the mountains of foods and livestock it would take to feed all. We had been called back for a meeting with the Emperor, as had been the commanders I left in charge for the Kalaman Assault. I was unsure if the Emperor had asked them to bring back that contingent or to continue to occupy the city, but I made sure to have provisions brought for them as well. If the Kalaman Force did not all return, I could take the excess with us when we deployed to our next assignment. I had a feeling we would move west over the mountains into Estwilde, then south to Haligoth or further west into the Throtyl Gap. Or perhaps even just south to Sanction to hold in case we were needed in Silvanost. Either way, the Blue Wing would be ready.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Mar 27 16:25:46 2012 Subject New Urgency

My advisors walked with me to where Starfire waited, listening as I gave the list of orders to accomplish while I was away. I looked up at the wise blue dragon and saw she was almost napping, not at all ready to go. This was more than surprising, as she was the one who demanded promptness and preparedness from me. Before I could say anything several of the Emperor's staff came rushing out the gates of the city, waving and calling out to wait. The senior officer came up to me, bowed formally and handed me a satchel of papers, while the others dealt out map and scroll cases to my staff. "The Emperor requires you move your forces south, in support of the Red Wing, as soon as you are able." he said, still short of breath from his little run. "I will have to restock my supply cache and we can be ready to move..." I started but, all the while still gasping for air, the Emperor's aid waved his hands. " No, no, Baroness, supply trains have been sent from Sanction and Kortal to meet up with you on the march south. They are already moving, you should overtake them in two, maybe three days at most" Well then, I thought. Interesting how that came about. I cast a glance over at Starfire, who gave a wink, and what passes for a little smile amongst dragonkind. Not here a week and already she knew more about what was going on then I did. Turning to the group of Imperial Advisors, I gave a little crooked smile of my own and a half bow. "Please tell His Imperialness we leave at the setting of tomorrow's sun, my Light Horse will depart at dawn, to meet up with the trains." I then nodded to my staff and they took their leave to start the task of moving our small army. The Emperor's people bowed and rushed back into the city. As I turned to make my way back to the command tent, I saw Kargoss, the Ogre commander from Kern, giving orders to his lieutenants, pounding each on the chest to emphasize his authority. An idea came to me, and I walked over to him. Maybe Kargoss could add a few more of his kind along our way....

Author: Ayasana Date: Wed Mar 28 16:34:51 2012 Subject The Enemy of my Enemy...

We had marched steadily for five days, into Blode and alongside the river that ran by Pashin into the forests of Silvanesti. The climate was steadily becoming cooler and our troops seemed more refreshed. We had traded out our light uniforms that we used in Nordmaar for regular uniforms for better utility in the cooler south . The supply trains we caught up to were not only well stocked for our Blue Wing, they also contained needed resupply for the Red Wing, who were already engaged in minor skirmishes with elven scouts and small pockets of resistance. Kargoss had come through for us, calling on further groups from southern Kern to meet us by the edge of the forest just north of Silthelnost, and would likely arrive just a couple days after we did. The promise of slaughtering their old enemies rallied many around Kargoss' banner, elevating his status and insuring his continued reliance on Blue Wing's support and cooperation. It also allowed him to enjoy supplies from the ogres in Blode, which without Dragonarmy's influence there would not be possible. The Blode ogres as yet had not commited any forces, but were willing to trade with us and provide some support in haulage. Our Draconian Host seemed eager to enter the forest, seeming to be uncomfortable in the wide open areas of Taman Busak and Khur. And also were as much wanting to hunt elves as were our ogres. I looked up to see Starfire circling over our position and the forest, more vigilant than before. The previous night, while speaking with her, she had warned me to beware of a possible Gryphon presence. She detected a slight scent of the monsters, and while not a match for our dragons, groups of them could be most inconvieniant. I alerted our archers to keep watch above as well as what was in front of us. The commanders of the rest of our units were advised to refresh the troops about manuevers regarding such attacks. I had not as yet met with any Red Wing commanders, but had brief talks with scouts and lower level sergeants. they kept me informed about the basic positions of the red Wing, so I was able to better settle the Blue into a proper position. Now to await the next phase of our conquest.

Author: Ayasana Date: Thu Apr 5 16:15:32 2012 Subject Change of Pace

Takes place after an RP with Zeke The subject most discussed in a meeting with my commanders was "Why is that Solamnic here?". Seems the entire encampment saw him brought in, and, as soldiers always will, gossip was allowed to spread like some disease. When I explained the mistake, how he was to be turned over to me for imprisonment in Neraka, but we left before they arrived and his dim-witted guards decided that taking him to me was the priority over the jailing, they decided on their own to bring him to Silvanost where I was. So far one of them had already been executed for being disruptive, the other fled the camp that night for safer refuge with his original unit. Which still left me with one battered and abused knight, a Sir Zeke di Almaar. I had our physician tend to his injuries, (apparently the commander up north still derived some amusement from abusing prisoners), saw to his feeding and assigned a squire to him, as well as putting him under camp arrest, more to keep him from further harm than anything else. While he ate, I was able to gleen some information as to what was going on in Kalaman. In the morning, I informed him he would be allowed to accompany me through the camp. He was surprised I would share this with him, which told me he was not accustomed to a force this size. He was under the impression we were a small covert company not, combined with the Red Wing, a massive army of several thousand. This was a welcome revelation to me. But puzzling as well. Were the Solamnics so self absorbed that they still were unaware that we marched towards them, that cities and towns were falling? Where were those champions of the past, those denizens of Light? Had time decayed the once shining example of knighthood? I would be seriously disappointed should this campaign turn into a bloodless conquering of mere sheep. We had trained too hard and too long to stroll into Solamnia without the glory of battle. I laughed to myself to think that all we would encounter would be soft, pudgy little land owners who wore armor on holidays to impress their serfs, whose blades were dull so as not to cut themselves. But then again, this knight, this di Almaar, did stand at the ramparts in Nordmaar, even managing to put an arrow in me. I rubbed my leg where that arrow had found its mark. Perhaps they had a few who could still fight. Best to keep that in mind.

Author: Ayasana Date: Fri Jun 1 01:26:40 2012 Subject Neraka Bound

Standing atop the small rise in the center of our camp, I watched as the troops hurried to roll tents, pack wagons and make all the necessary arrangements to pull out and move back north. With me were the Highmaster of the Heavy Cavalry and my my second-in-command, along with two of the chieftains from the ogre division we had formed on our trip here. Messages had been sent to the Highlord of the Red wing, and replied with tokens of her appreciation for our support. I would have to make sure Lord Saige didn't find out about the two score of kegs with Silvanost's finest vintage. We had done little but divert the elves attention from the Red Wing briefly, but enough to affect the outcome. Most of the ogre division would stay behind, with perhaps two to three companies attatched to us. This group had proven able and were easily trained in more advanced combat techniques, and showed promise of further advancement, so they would accompany us back to Neraka to undergo more training and perhaps play a role in my future plans for this slow moving war. I had some reports of the new Grand Master of the Solamnic Knighthood, but his seeming lethargy and lack of inspirational leadership was proving more annoying than the more dynamic role played by his predecessor, who I had frustrated on several occasions before. Albeit he did manage to keep me from my goals at one point or another. Anyway, time to prod the sleeping bear that was Solamnia, after the fall of Kalaman did little but make them engage in a battle of words and grumblings from behind those ridiculous lip hairs. The bulk of the Blue Wing would refit in Neraka, while I took my own regiment back into the mountains and the Manor. From there, once rested and recovered, we would rearm, and move across to the western slope facing Estwilde, and overlooking the Throtyl Gap. This would likely take a couple months to accomplish, but, we were in no hurry.

Author: Ayasana Date: Sat Sep 15 03:37:32 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales.

"Now what do I do?" The question, whispered, was more to herself than to anyone in the tent. She watched as the priests chanted incantations, applied medicines, and worked healing spells on the old knight before them. The elder cleric looked over to her, his eyes telling a grim diagnosis. She looked outside the tent, towards the three archers in red livery. When they first arrived they were cocky, smug, celebrating the capture of their prey. Unceremoniously they dumped the Grand Master's body on the ground before her, furthering the already devastating wound he had suffered. Sitting there as if expecting some grand reward. Now they looked about nervously, the senior knights and men at arms, all of similar age to the man who now lie upon the cot, surrounding them. The warriors who served with this man, when he served the Queen. When he led Her armies. Those three reds knew their lives depended on his. "Now what do I do?" Again she asked herself that question. Lord Dharisath, Lord Saige, and this man had shaped her life. Trained her, guided her, and watched as she rose up the ranks. They taught her they ways of the sword, of knighthood, of a dragonrider. They taught her the way of Victory. Lord Dharisath had ridden into the wilds, never to be seen again. Lord Saige had returned, but something drove him back to his search. This one had been bewitched, she was certain, and joined her enemies, and of course came to lead them. As one would expect of such a knight. And became her most powerful nemesis. So much had happened in those months. The wars, the staged capture, more battles. Now by some stroke of ill-fate, here he was again, in her custody. Not the way she would have wanted. The elder cleric came over to her, interupting the reminiscences. "We have done what we can here, he is in no pain. We can transport him back to the manor and continue treatment, but, such a wound, and so much blood lost. I fear there is little we can do but make him comfortable, and leave his fate to the gods." One of her generals came up to join them, having heard the conversation. "I can have the regiment ready to return by mid-morning, if you wish to return with them Baroness, or if you wish to travel with Starfire back?" She looked at the wounded knight, then at her general. "No, I will ride with the regiment, it's only two days ride."She pointed at the old knight. "He would never let me live it down if I left my command, after all." The general gave a grim little laugh, "NO, no I suppose he wouldn't" and turned to make the preperations for their return. She then looked at the priest with a small crooked grin"He had better still be alive when I get there.' The cleric bowed, then went back to his patient. They would make a spell ready to take him back to her home, where her personal staff of clergy would take over, and then.... And then... "Now what do I do?" To be continued...

Author: Ayasana Date: Sat Sep 15 17:21:09 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales pt.2

The long line of the regiment arrived at the mountain pass that held Matar Manor. The village that was home to many of the soldiers lay just outside the gate of that fortress, the main street lined with family and friends . The welcome was a bit subdued, but still joyful as wives re-united with husbands, parents with children. Snow had dusted the pass already, somewhat early this year. Horses steamed from the long climb, chimneys spewed sweet smelling smoke from dried cedar logs. All would be as normal as ever, except for the guest inside those gates. Aya'sana continued to ride ahead, her general staff following, as troops broke off to be reunited with their family and homes. These knights, as well as her personal bodyguard, would enter the gates, into the grand courtyard, and dismount as one. Several of them would accompany her into the manor, two would follow her up to his chamber, to see how he fared. The High Priest of the manor was waiting for her, and gave his report. It was not good. The damage was great, beyond worldly healing. He would die soon. She went on past him, to the bedside of the Grand Master. Looking down on him, she was surprised how old he looked, how grey his skin was. Not frail, but tired. His eyes opened, and he looked up at her. The eyes quickly regained their fire, and his face regained some colour. And their humour. "Damn you girl, I expected better from Hell than to have to greet me" he growled raspingly. She grinned a little, "As if I would waste my time greeting you anywhere, Sir Rose." That caused him to smile a little, but then he became serious. Locking his eyes on hers, he asked, "How bad?" She shook her head slowly, "Fatal". He nodded, accepting his fate with the same quickness he made all decisions with. "I don't want to die in a bed in this.." he gestured around disdainfully, "..this monument to your ego!". She nodded slowly, understandingly. "I could have the grand Master slide down the mountain if you wait for the snow to fall a bit more." His eyes narrowed fiercly, then softened. "You know what to do, Baroness. You had those orders from long ago, when you served as my aide. Carry them out, if you would." She dropped her gaze to the floor, pausing a few heartbeats."All will be as you wish, Sir Rose." "You are only sad because you didn't run me through, quit looking so disappointed." She looked back up at him, a sly grin on her face. "Hey now, you're not dead yet." 2...to be continued.

Author: Ayasana Date: Sun Sep 16 23:27:38 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales pt.3

Looking out the balcony window into the night, one could see the White moon dipping below the horizon, just as the red moon peeked over the opposing sky. The cold air was sharp and clean. The stars stabbing like like small daggers at the darkness. She turned at the scuffling of feet of the guards and the laboured breathing of the high priest. The guards carrying the litter, the priest carrying the potions and a small lit brazier. Starfire stood at the center of the rooftop court watching the procession with some amusement. The old knight glared at her, then cast a dark eye at the dragon, before turning to her again. "Feeding me to that beast? That's your idea of the Last Rites? I'd rather you DID slide me down this damn mountain, maybe when I thaw out someone will then bury me" She smirked at this, walking over to him, "I wouldn't risk giving her indigestion, a sour, tough old bird like you would give even an ogre an upset stomach" She turned her head to look at the priest, the Grand Master's eyes followed her gaze. Taking a deep breath, she spoke quietly, yet firmly, "You have maybe a few days left in you, before the damage and maybe infection sets in. We can do what ever to keep you comfortable, but in your present state, moving you would just exacerbate the problem.", she turned her eyes to his. "Or...we have an alternative...". The knight's eyes lit up, but a skeptical twist of his lips betrayed his wariness. "Just what do you have planned? Make me one of your undead pets or pickle me to display to whatever passes for a friend in your book? he growled . Aya looked up at the sky, tapping her lower lip contemplativly."Now why hadn't I thought of that?" She looked back at him, mischeif dancing in her eyes, "I must be getting soft" she teased. "Soft!" he snorted, "I should have had you beheaded when I had the chance." Tilting her head and smiling brightly, she retorted, "Which is why I never gave you the chance, Sir Rose." Grunting at her insolence, he sighed,"So.... what is this plan of yours?" 3...to be continued.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Sep 18 02:00:04 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales pt. 4

It had taken most of the night to explain, then explain again. The look in the old man's eyes was one of total disbelief, and with it much distrust. But for the small Highlord, it was pure entertainment. "So that's how it would happen, you can move on your own, slowly, but by your own power," she explained again, "... this will last four or five hours, and in trade, for lack of a better term, you will forfeit the few days you have left." He heaved a raspy sigh, his lip curling slightly, letting the notion sink in. He looked up again at her, eyes narrowing."Why in blazes would you concoct something like that?" She shrugged, enjoying the little game. "Now now, I am not the one that dabble's in magic, or holy conjurations. Something my priests cooked up to while away the winter I guess." She leaned over him, her demeanor more serious, "Now, the question is, do you do this, go with me, and die a knight's death, or I swear, I'll have you draped in satin and minstrels singing your deeds until you choke on honeyed wine and molasses bread and the smell of brandied peaches!" The look of pure disgust nearly had her laughing in hysterics. He sputtered and fumed, the blood on his throat gurgling his rage. "Damn your eyes! What kind of sick mind do you have, to threaten someone, on their deathbed, with kindness pushed to the limits of perversion?!" He stopped only to a fit of coughing, the attending priests try to settle him down. "Or you can die while trying your best to throttle me, it's up to you." Breathing heavily, he looked at her darkly, the old adage, "If looks could kill..." came to mind. "I'll do it," he gasped, "I'll do it just for the chance to throw you off that that damnable wyrm..." only his lack of breath kept him from finishing his tirade. "Well then, let's get this started before I become bored, these ceremonies tend to be dull." His look said it all, but he had to speak anyway, "You are amused and bored by the strangest, most bizzare and dire things Aya. You were never dull to be around, but, also quite unnerving to observe." He looked to the priest then, "Well, let's not keep her High Lordliness waiting, get to it, you bastards," he sighed as he lay back deeper into the cushions. "She gets restless when she misses her nap." 4...to be continued.

Author: Ayasana Date: Sun Sep 23 02:49:30 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales pt. 5

The actual casting took only a few hours. The old knight stood slowly, shakily. It was progress, but at a cost. An elder knight of the Blue Wing and two squire helped dress him in woolens and soft leather armour, a sable cape across his shoulders to ward off the frosty mountain air. He look down at the dark leathers, an eyebrow raised at the emblem. A white lily with a blue dragon overlaid, surrounded by a silver wreath of holly. "What is blazes..." he started to grumble. "My family's crest.."she replied, " Your solamnic armour is too heavy, and I knew you would complain about Dragonarmy leathers, so, this will have to do." His visage softened, then he gruffly mumbled something, and chuckled. "This will do girl. Sometimes I forget myself where I belong. And I could do worse then wearing this." he added quietly. Aya simply frowned, turning to Starfire who was starting to stand up and prepare for flight. Another of the Baroness' knight came up to her, handing her a bundle. Turning back to the Grand Master, her familiar crooked grin adorning her face, "Almost forgot, can't have you going on a flight without this.". As she walked towards him, she unwrapped the bundle, bring out a large, battered scabbard, with a well cared for long sword. "I think you tried to kill me with this, once upon a time." she winked. As she buckled the sword on him, he chuckled, "And I damn well would have, if I didn't have that monstrosity set of plate on, couldn't even begin to keep up with you swing for swing." "Psh, that was what saved you that day, I would have cut you in half if I could have found an opening." He laughed a bit at that," I seem to remember you having a tough time deflecting my attack as it was, you were dancing around all over the place." She tossed her hair back and snorted,"I was trying to stay awake, you were so slow with your two handed swing, I had to do something keep myself occupied." She stands back, critically looking him over, then nods, more to herself than to him. "There, now then, are you ready for this? Anything else?" He holds his head up, his demeanor proud, looking around at the assembled knights. Nodding to an old comrade here, giving a wink to an old drinking buddy there. Perhaps a tinge of regret in his eye, quickly disappearing to a steely, commited gaze. "We've wasted enough time, I am not going to waste any more with empty words." as he strides firmly yet carefully towards the awaiting dragon. "Tonight we ride one last patrol." 5...to be continued

Author: Ayasana Date: Wed Sep 26 01:04:09 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales pt. 6

The night air rushed past them, cold and sharp. Starfire kept a leisurely pace, staying about a hundred feet above the treetops. The old knight looked around himself, view unobstructed by the shorter knight sitting in front of him. He refrained from making any comment, those old taunts seemed as faded as his life was becoming. Occasionally the black ribbon of a river broke into a clearing, a waterfall would glow a reddish tint from the moonlight. But it was the quiet he revelled in. The darkness seemed to devour any sounds, except the soft creaking of a leather strap from the harness, or the soft rustle from the rare wing beat the dragon would use to follow the contour of the mountains. "I forgot the joy of flying at night, you truly feel that the world is yours to have from up here." he mused aloud. The smaller knight merely shrugged, inhaling the night air and simple sighing. "Have you ever thought of what it was you battled for, Baroness? Was it for land, wealth, an idea?" Again she shrugged, answering quietly, "I have land, and wealth, ideas? I fight for my Queen, you know that." He stared ahead at the horizon, barely perceptable in the far distance. "I, too, fought for Her, and won many victories for Her. Then one day, l looked at a map, and thought to myself, how many died for these little lines on this parchment? How many beings did I lead to their deaths, how many families did I sacrifice, all for those little lines?" He sighed heavily, sadly. "I questioned my reasoning, my need to cause all that carnage, and I blamed Her for my lust, my desire to conquer, at any cost, all to move those little lines." The dragon banked gently, breaking into the lowlands, covered in mist, the trees now showing in little clumps through the mist, like islands in clouds. "I had lost my meaning, my reason to fight then, She rejected me, and I fell from Her graces." he smiled grimly to himself." all in all, She was quite merciful, I suppose, looking back on it." The small knight nodded , a slight chuckle sounding her agreement. "I looked to the Triumvirate, I thought I saw reason, rationale, a cause nobler than I had before. The Light to chase away Her Darkness....I thought I had found my meaning again. I worked hard, trained, fought, led troops. became a new knight, with a cause." He hung his head a bit, ruefully laughing at himself. "And after that day on the field, when you drove my legions away, when you lay Solanthus low, I found myself looking at a map again, moving those same damn lines, allowing those same damn lives to be lost for those lines." They flew in silence for a while, until a gossamer line of silvery gold begin to seperate the land from the horizon's sky. "Aya'sana, I have a Rose on my shield, you have a Lily. But they both do the same thing, no difference. My sword bears the silver triangle of Paladine, yours the Black Crescent of Takhisis, yet they both draw blood of our enemies. Again, no difference. And those lines, both our maps have the same ones." The old knight's voice becomes more raspy, his breathing more laboured. Still, he manages to sit straighter in the saddle, eyes firmly on the brightening sky. "I now know, it never mattered , not a bit, what the oaths taken meant, where the banners we followed led, the colours we wore represented, what gods we prayed to, or who we trusted. It didn't matter to us the lives we sacrificed, homes destroyed, treasures stolen, or even the friends and loved ones we lost. All that mattered were those damn, cursed lines." Again , as the sky grew brighter , the silence covered the pair again. Lanfer nodded to himself, grinning whimsically. "And even knowing that, I don't regret one minute of my life, not a single one." Aya'sana smiled softly, nodding slowly. She guided the great dragon towards the river delta ahead, as the sky became a rosy red with the risng of the sun. She felt Lanfer slump against her back, as the last sigh escaped his body. No longer did she hear the hoarse breathing behind her, as the silence enveloped them again.

Author: Ayasana Date: Wed Sep 26 21:33:10 2012 Subject A Rose Fades, a Lily Pales...Epilogue

They landed on the east bank of the Vingaard Delta, by Thoradin Bay. Just west of Kalaman, east of the Moors. A fitting place, so much conflict over this area, changing hands with the changing fortunes of wars past. "A place where the lines on that map constantly move," she said to no one in particular, smiling at the irony her choice had created. With the dragons less than enthusiastic help, she had managed quite a bier for the old knight. There was quite a bit of dry driftwood and log remnants already piled by the water, so it was just a matter of shaping it for the occasion. Placing the body was the real effort, and it had to be perfect, she thought. He would have expected no less, whoever it would be for. For such a scruff, you always demanded things by the numbers, didn't you?" she muttered. She adjusted the cloak of the Grand Master around his neck, placed his family's sword in his hands, then covered him with the cloak of a Dragonarmy Highlord. Again the irony struck her as quite amusing. As she stood to admire her labours, she looked at the long black sack, embroidered with a red rose, a crown, and a shield. She had carried it up to the top of the bier, but, with a careless grin, picked it up and carried it back down again. The great Blue Dragon watched curiously as she swung the sack onto her shoulder. She merely winked at Starfire. "Well, that's that. It's all yours." she chirped. The dragon stood, spreading her massive wings wide. The red of the setting sun gave her blue scales a purplish tint. With eyes shining bright in the growing darkness, Starfire growled low, then hissed a line of silvery blue lightning at the bier, increasing the intensity slowly, covering the entire structure. The wood began to burn quietly, ethereally, not with a flame, but with a light. When she was done, the dragon sat back. Aya'sana went to her, leaning against her companion. Aya was always impressed to watch her guardian create the fire she was named for, the light that burned without sound, without smoke. Not even ash would survive that light. All that would be left from that inferno would be the sand, melted into a bluish glass. A glass that the coming tide, over time, would bury deep under the sand that would wash over it. Now that the sun had completelt set, the light from the bier competed with the stars themselves. Starfire looked down at Aya, searching her face for some expression. "What are you thinking now, little one? Sadness? Triumph? What is this to you?" the dragon asked. Aya shrugged, looking thoughtful, then answered. "I don't feel sadness, I might miss him someday, but, he lived a full life, I guess, at least he had no regrets. Triumph?," she tilted her head a bit, a mildly perplexed demeanor took her over, " I feel no triumph. I never defeated him really, just that lame army he was forced to use. He was still fighting me while they ran from my regiment. They failed him, he didn't fail them." She paused for a bit, watching the sand form the crystal in the center of the light. "I guess...I respected him, and in the end, he respected me. That was what I wanted. For him to know his pupil did learn, and could put that learning to practice. It was never about defeating him, just...showing him." The dragon looked back up at the bier, eyes unblinking. As the light begin to burn down, the large slab of glasss glowed white, as it would until the coming waters quenched the heat.After sometime Star sighed, wondering how much of this child was taken, to give her ....a life? The dragon shook the thought from her head, then looked back down at Aya. "Alright, now then, why did you keep that ? Isn't that the Blade of the Grand Master?"

Author: Ayasana Date: Wed Sep 26 21:39:13 2012 Subject Epilogue Correction

Should read east of Kalaman, west of the Moors... map was mirrored on my screen.

Author: Ayasana Date: Mon May 6 01:38:08 2013 Subject Rampart

Not much had happened since the ceremony for Lanfer, the former teacher and knight of the Dragonarmies-turned-traitor. Aya still had the sword, the Solamnics were still defeated and in disarray, not even a drunken brawl to show they even noticed the demise of the man they called their Grand Master. She still had not tended to the Red soldiers who had been the cause of his eventual death, although her counselors advised rewarding them, not executing them. Even Starfire reminded her they were doing what they were supposed to, despite how she felt. Aya'sana bristled at that. How did she feel ? He was one of the three who had trained her, a former friend of her father's and her family. But he betrayed the Queen, and that was not permissable. Yet, as a knight, she felt some small loyalty to those who shaped her. Lanfer, Dharisath, Saige. Where were they all now? Lacking an Emperor, or even another Highlord, was the Dragonarmy doomed to fading away on it's victories, becoming the thing of legend? All Aya had that could be counted on was the Blue Wing, based at her family estate. She had the city of Neraka under her command, until a suitable heir to the throne was found. Neraka was more of a problem than a positive, though. A city of merchants was loyal as long as profit could still be made. Perhaps it was time to move things along, in the absence of a central leader. Jelek was to the north of the Matar Manor, and Kortal a bit further south from Neraka. Controlling those passes would generate revenue from the caravans that travelled through, and they would not complain overly much at the rise in taxes for a more safe and patrolled journey, with troops from the Blue Wing acting as Escorts. Plus it would give them something to do other than the constant training here on the mountain. Aya opened the door of the library, signalling for one of her secretaries. Time to build on her personal empire, until the one in Sanction needed something conquered again.

Author: Ayasana Date: Mon Jul 1 19:18:09 2013 Subject An Abrupt Change of Plans

The transition from the high mountains to the hot, dry plains was uncomfortable at best. Just three days out from the Manor, the Blue Regiment would stop and take time to acclimate itself for the march on to Kortal, a dry, dusty city, but located in a strategic pass to Sanction. The hostlers were setting up the command tent, as the knights and cavalry begin to make camp. About this time, a trumpet sounded, announcing the approach of a herald-rider . Judging by his pinion, he was from the Manor itself. Aya'sana's aide-de-camp peered down the road, then grunted. "Seems to be from the Manor, judging by his livery. Were you expecting a message from the Fewmaster you left in charge this soon?" he chuckled. "No, and no idea, unless someone forgot to lock their house," she joked. The rider dismounted before the Command Guards, then made his way to the two officers. Bowing deeply, he handed a scroll-case to the Highlord. As Aya opend the case, the herald spoke up/ "Forgive me Baroness, but you are to return to the Manor immeadiately, with due haste." Aya's head snapped back as she scowled at the boy. "No one is the Dragonarmy has that kind of authority over me...who would dare assume.." Her eyes went to the now unrolled parchment, as she began to read, her eyes widened, then narrowed. "Is this some kind of joke?" she hissed. The herald began to shake, unsure what was happening. "No m'Lady, the Fewmaster is certain, and he took quite a beating for not following orders fast enough." Aya looked back at the scroll. The Seal was correct, but it was the wording, and the hand it was written in.... Looking up at her aide, who was both angry at the herald and concerned at her reaction, she could only whisper her orders to him. "Turn the regiment around, Break camp, we make our way back to the Manor. Forced march." The aide paled.."Turn..around?..But.." looking confused at her then the scroll. The whisper turned hoarse.."Turn it around and make ready to march now..." The aide ran down to the officer's tents, yelling orders and kicking down tent poles. As the word spread, the well disciplined troops began to make ready for movement. The herald looked at the Highlord questioningly. "Oh don't think you are going to leave my side. If this turns out to be one of Moonheart's tricks or if this is someone's grasp at power. yours will be the first head I litter the ground with." she snarled.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Oct 1 14:24:37 2013 Subject The Emperor Marches

The two regiments of the Blue Wing stationed in Neraka began their march from Emperor's Square to the North Gate. The large bronze gates opened, and led by the Blue Highlord, the regiments moved in a line of Blue knights, archers and foot soldiers. Behind them were wagons of supplies and artisans, livestock and followers. Overhead the Blue dragon Starfire flew watch. The Blue Wing was assembling and prepared for a long campaign. The meeting with the commanders of the Black, Green, White and Red garrisons proved informative as well as encouraging. Red was the big concern, but there was no love lost between the Red Fewmaster and the "Highlord" in Bloten. The garrisons were far removed from the politics in Sanction, and preffered to stay out of the power struggles that existed there. Not one to leave things to chance, Aya had kept the Tii'Mhutt Guard in the Temple. The spy network they controlled would make sure it was business as usual in the city of Takhisis. Also, she had to accept an escort from the Holy Knights of The Queen, having left her personal guard to keep watch over a protesting Saige. One of the few times he had to surrender to her reasoning. Besides, Saige was leading her own regiment, and someone needed to keep an eye on things in her absence. Emperor or not, she had invested a lot into having the finest group of knights and troops in the Dragonarmy. And investments needed watching. About an hour from the city the group came upon the area known as Repentance Stage. Actually just a headsman block for executions that were better performed outside the city. Crows were pecking at a body that appeared only a few days old. "Wonder when that happened, " Aya thought. "I ordered no execution, must have been one of the city commanders." Giving it no further thought, she gave her attention to the road ahead. It would be a day, maybe day and a half before they joined Highlord Saige at the Grand Trading Route crossroad. "EMPEROR Saige, " she mentally corrected herself. Shaking her head and with a wry grin she looked up at the circling crows. "More for you to feed on if this works out," she thought.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Oct 1 20:31:51 2013 Subject A Weapon Assembled

The first night had passed uneventfully. This close to the city one could hardly expect any serious dangers, and not against such a sizeable force. Still, guards were set patrols scheduled, all to keep the routine of vigilance sharp and prepared. It was reaching noontime when scouts reported first contact with the outriders from the Emperor's group. Those riders were escorted to Aya'sana's place the the front of the column. She noticed these were some of the troops Saige had brought with him to the Manor. They fell into place with the guard around her. One, the leader of the small group, eyed her, lip curled in a sneer. She returned the gaze a bit coldly before asking," You have something to say?" He sat back into his saddle, chuckling. "No..no, just seeing if you are as arrogant as he said you would be....you are." Her eyebrow shot almost to her hairline. "That old bastard has been saying that since I was little." She straightened in her own saddle. "Besides, not like that is anything new, not easy being this perfect you know." She turned a crooked grin to him with a wink. The veteran laughed, nodding. "He also said that your knights rivaled, hell, even surpass, the Solamnics." Looking back along the marching troops, he turned back to her. "Judging by the lot you left him with, and this lot, I could believe that." He looked her over, the armor, the katana, the ease with which she rode, he continued. "Given the tales I heard of you and this Wing, I now understand why he puts so much trust in you. I thought it was mad, but, you people look to know your business." He then gave a half salute, and broke off back to his riders, and on towards the dust in the distance, likely where Saige and her Regiment were riding to the meeting area. Aya looked to one of her commanders and giving the signal, watched as the banners were unfurled and the group took to a more cadenced march. She knew Saige hated pagentry, but also knew he had better get used to it. It's one thing saying you are Emperor. But it's also looking the part that most instills fear and respect. That and a certain ruthlessness you rain upon your detractors. And Saige could be ruthless, when he chose .

Author: Ayasana Date: Sat Oct 19 19:06:05 2013 Subject The Hour Approaches

We had been on the march for eight days now, just reaching the city of Bludgeon, next to a sluggish stream that flowed from the mountains in the north south towards the river that eventually ended up in the Silvanost forest. The weather had improved, but had slowed us down earlier causing an adjustment to the Emperor's schedule. He had grumbled and glared at the fewmasters and commanders, but was well aware they were not at fault. If anything we had moved such a large force in good time considering the rain and the terrain. Bloten lay some 8 leagues to the northwest, and given the rapid retreat of the small Red regiment in Bludgeon, would be fully aware of the size and depth of our force, this before our heavy cavalry or the appearance of a blue dragon even occured. The rout of Bludgeon was accomplished by the forward scout group and our light cavalry, the Emperor and I watching from a rise south of the city. Not that we were surprised, the prime of the Red wing was scattered between Sanction and Neraka, having no desire to 'rescue' the much despised ogre Highlord and his ilk that were holed up in his fortress. The force that was the Highlord's was one that, while good brawlers lacked strategy or tactics, being accustomed to using brute force on a weaker foe, one that would not or could not fight back. It was a shame the largest wing of the Queen's Army had fallen to such a state. Saige had told me to plan for a siege, all the while hoping it would not be neccessary. The irony of this was Blue wing built its reputation on first being highly mobile and second on defending against a siege, while Red wing once were masters of the siege and extended battles and the less defensive minded. I had misgivings but followed his instructions. This was now his army and these were his orders. We would also be taking my regiment and guard along with his guard out to within a league of Bloten to size up the defenses and what we were up against. The main body would move to join up with us the next day. We had scouts fanned out watching for any incursions. Our experience marching past the Silvanost forests was a bit unsettling, having discovered we were being shadowed going north. Going back south could be a bit more adventurous should those elves find the courage.

Author: Ayasana Date: Thu Feb 6 16:34:25 2014 Subject On The Move

Hear Ye Hear Ye! Or lose your ears, you low lives. The Blue Army will be returning to Sanction, Kortal, Neraka and Jelek. One regiment of the Red Wing will be returning to Sanction with us for further training, while a regiment from Sanction will arrive in Bloten to bolster and train the Red Wing there. The Emperor Saige will be escorted by the First Nerakan Regiment to Sanction, where His Majesty will further consolidate his claim to the throne.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Aug 26 15:45:15 2014 Subject Timesteps

The city of Neraka was once again wrapped in the cloak of night, the darkness hiding its flaws just barely. The smoky haze that hung over the city grew heavier as hearths were lit and burning coal and hardwood belched dark plumes into the air. Nights were cold on the plain, and a city this large had many living within its walls. The price one paid for comfort and security. I leaned on the stone rail, the tower high above the city and as the citizens sought their comfort, my Wing provided their security. The watch would be on the walls, the patrols marched the streets, the guards stood at the gates. All was in order and proper. As always. I looked to the northwest. On the horizon, atop the moutains in the pass stood my home, my manor. More comfortable, more secure. And more remote. The price I paid for my 'well being'. I could return there with my own regiment, keep watch and wait out time. The same as those before me, and likely those who would come after. One either accepts their Fate, or carves it out for themselves. Jelek lay beyond that pass, too. Again I was reminded there was no Emperor here to command me. I wielded the most powerful army in the land once again, alone. The elves were hiding in their forests, the dwarves locked in the stoney caverns of their mountain homes. Treaties with Lacynos and Kern were set while Bloten was tamed by the Red wing. Even the much vaunted Knights of Solamnia cowered in lowly taverns and barns, scattered across their lands. Was the passing of Lord Lanfer also the passing of those knights? The bands of mercenaries who roamed the lands were more of a concern than the few Solamnics that remained, wandering aimlessly through the Vingaard mountains. "Marshal your forces" the voice had said. "Learn what real power is, the dragon will teach you." Or words to that effect. Power. What would more power bring me? I didn't need the crown to have that. The crown needed me. That gave me reason to carry on. But the one who would wear that crown was gone, again. Jelek was such a miserable place. I turned to seek out Starfire. I had questions now.

Author: Ayasana Date: Fri Sep 19 13:28:52 2014 Subject On The Move Again.

The commanders of the five Wing garrisons were standing around the table as I laid out the plans for the Blue Wing's next movement. I would leave each garrison in its place, with the Green unit tasked to keep the route to Sanction patroled, and the Red to patrolling the northern frontier towards Nordmaar. I would leave about 200 infantry behind to bolster the city guard. I told them it was to keep our training in rapid movement sharp, having learned much from the campaign to Bloten, and that we wanted to assure ourselves that Jelek didn't fall apart like Bloten did. The garrison there was more militia than regulars, and tended to be lax in their duties. Having the whole Wing march in and see to their training would show our resolve to keep all our holdings well prepared. That and our masters at arms would work them until they dropped. The real reason was yet to be seen. It could just be an exercise, or more. Starfire had advised I go, but to agree or commit to nothing. She had some things to research at the Manor before she would join us in Jelek. For now I was to be cautious and rely on my Queen's guidance. Several thousand knights, cavalry, infantry, archers, support units, with more than a few priests and dark mages all descending on little Jelek. How careful would I have to be?

Author: Ayasana Date: Fri Sep 26 16:08:19 2014 Subject Arrival at Jelek

I watched as the wing divided and took up positions at each of the four gates outside Jelek. So far the only activity had been the local militia running around the walls and outside the gates, obviously confused and unprepared. We had not entered the city yet, except for the few spies that went in under cover of darkness. Reports were about what we expected about a lack of vigilance and a fairly lax population. Once we had the camps set up, we would gather up these misfits and start remedial training. For now my personal guard were assembling for our entrance into the city proper, find the mayor, find the towm commander, flog them, set them to work, appoint new leadership. Pretty much the same we did in Bloten, but without the unneccessary siege and confrontation. Also, now that I was here, I had to find this eccentric, conceited elf or lich or just plain trouble-maker that was the reason for bringing the better part of the Blue Wing to this muddy and ramshackle excuse for a city. But then again, the silver lining would be cleaning this place up to the standards of a possession of the Armies of Takhisis. The way it was now, I wouldn't be surprised if my Queen dropped a mountain on Jelek and just ordered me to start over. But that was up to Her. I did sneak a hopeful glance up at the sky though.

Author: Ayasana Date: Wed Oct 8 13:33:59 2014 Subject And the Cleanup begins.

I had my pavilion set up on the northern hill outside Jelek, in the center of my regiment's encampment. Down below, I could see each encampment around the town, one at each gate, while one group busily trained the local militia on the field outside the south gate. Inside the town specail units had the towns people engaged in cleaning up the streets, buildings and monuments that had been allowed to deteriorate ocver time. The walls were being repaired as were the gates. Jelek was a filthy little town, and had been run by a filthy little group of appointed townspeople who had little if any idea how to run a town. Now, however, the mayor and his lackies as well as the former militia commander were hanging from crosses just below my camp, facing the town so they too could watch the town and its transformation. At least I think they were watching, they may have expired sometime over the past week. Suppose I should have that checked. At any rate, the Wing was doing well, keeping up with their training and keeping thing in order in the surrounding areas. Reports were still arriving daily from Neraka with an occasional report from Sanction thrown in. Nothing from Bloten since we had left it months before. We had left Bloten in good hands, and the Red wing seemed to have recovered well, so no news etc. Not my problem anymore anyhow. Still no word from the Emperor. And still no sign of the Lich who requested this movement. Not that he really mattered at this point, I had planned to get Jelek as well as Kortal back into fortress worthy shape before the winter. Maybe I could place the White wing in Kortal, better to keep an eye on them. Starfire had sent a message, again warning me to agree to nothing and, if possible, wait for her to rejoin us before I did meet with the Lich. Which was fine with me, I didn't care for elves much and even dead ones were not very good company. A scream from below distracted me from these thoughts, as one of the hanging councilmen pleaded for someone called 'Mercy'. Must be his wife or something. I noticed my chalice was empty. Have to get a new cask of silkwine.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Oct 14 13:20:33 2014 Subject Cleaning Up A Mess

I watched as the former troops of Jelek busily mucked the streets of the filthy town. And mucking was the best term to describe the job of cleaning out the years of neglect and sheer laziness of the garrison and townspeople who lived here. A good number of those townspeople were in the surrounding hills now, working the new quarry under the direction of a few of my engineers. Stone cutters formed new blocks for the walls and cobblestones for the soon to be paved streets. Others cut the curved rock needed to make the culverts that would drain the water and filth out of the town. In the nearby forest, trees were cut and dragged to the woodshapers, to repair buildings and boardwalks. Another group was re-digging the lone well, expanding it and allowing it to purge itself once again. Still no sogn of the lich, but at least I would have a suitable outpost in the Taman Massif region. And with the hard labour and training the old militia was receiving, a decent force to man it. Even the draconians that were more or less exiled here by the old emperor were showing more pride in their bearing. They had purpose now, and were being treated as the asset they were, not monsters to cause fear to the populace. I had a couple lieutenants who showed promise that I would promote to captains for duty here. I was already re-routing a few caravans from the trade route to make a stop here, in hopes of restarting the local economy. There might not be profit right away, but, over time, Jelek could pull itself out of ruin, and stand proudly with the Dragonarmies once again. Reports were still coming in from Neraka. There was some Solamnic activity on the frontier, in the area near Last Tower. Some minor grumbling from the elves. Various mercenary gangs were gearing up. For our part, we were expanding our maritime ventures, both in trade and moving special units around. Sanction was starting a program of readiness, working on defenses and mobility, which went hand-in-hand with the ships we were scheduled to hire. I had recommended that the bulk of the Red Wing forces that were in Bloten, freshly retrained, move to Sanction and free up some of the Green, White and Black wings to patrol the trade routes and frontier areas for the time being. Would have to wait for word from those highlords to accept the responsibility of certain regions again. Black wing was somewhere in Abanasinia up to who knew what, Green seemed scattered all over, hopefully they would consolidate and re-deploy. White was still patrolling the mountains and the area near Icewall, which suited them. Still no word from Saige. Now, where to build our Queen's Temple in Jelek....

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Jul 21 16:05:01 2015 Subject Do it Over

Hurrying down the stairs to the Cathedral, the small group of special guards followed the small Highlord down to the Holy Sanctuary of the Foundation Stone. They passed several priests laying prostrate, arms out reached in the direction of the relic. as the entered the Great Room, it appeared as if all the clerics of the Dark Queen were gathered in this one spot. Yet, on the Stone itself sat a figure cloaked in shadows. The guards stopped, and dropped to their knees, faces to the floor. Aya'sana continued toward the Stone, some disbelief in her eyes. Once at the foot of the Stone, she dropped to one knee, head bowed to her Queen. "My Queen" she whispered. Takhisis smiled slightly. "My favourite pet. Come, sit with me. We have much to discuss." Aya'sana looked up standing and climbing atop the Stone next to her Queen. The Dark Quuen put an arm around Aya'sana, drawing her closer. "You see, one of my pets ran away. He ran to my..our enemy. You defeated him, which i commend. And you buried him, thinking him dead. But I have his soul you see. And I want him back. You will meet with the Lord of Death and one of his minions. He will tell you what needs to be done, you will do it , and bring him back to me.Yes?" Aya'sana nodded , barely whispering "As you wish, my Queen." Takhisis nodded, and began to fade into the darkness. Her voice still filled the Temple. "Then off you go. Bring him here. Willingly, or in chains. Bring him to me, my dearest pet." As Aya sat on the Stone, the priests all began standing up, and chanting prayers to the Queen. As she sat there, Aya wondered what the Queen would want with the hero traitor. She resigned herself to never knowing, but her mission was clear. Damn she thought. A meeting with Chemosh. Enough to dampen anyone's spirits. But, her Queen needed her, and that more than raised her spirits.

Author: Ayasana Date: Thu Aug 13 14:24:17 2015 Subject Return of the Past

So I had my commands from the Dark Queen, and a direction I knew too well. I sent two regiments of Blue Wing to sanction to help with this maritime mess that Red Wing had gotten us into. Pirates of all things. One regiment held in Neraka and one at the Manor, and my own Home regiment with me. Starfire soared overhad watching our movement. How this would all play out depended on a little known Holy Knight of Chemosh. I believe I met her in Bloten, but had little time for people that played with dead things. For now, it was to be a speed march past the borders of Nordmaar, west of Teyr and past the Peak of Clouds to our own west. We were headed past Ohme to the Dragons Graveyard, where I had left my old teacher. The mission was to bring him back, and then back to our Queen's warm and dark embrace. Or bring him to my Queen's temple, where She would speak with him. I knew what that involved, and almost felt a pang of regret. But then again, it would be entertaining.

Author: Ayasana Date: Fri Aug 28 17:49:24 2015 Subject Bringing Back a Legend...Or a Curse

We finally brought the Regiment to the coast, and had no incidents worth mentioning. A Solamnic patrol dared to challange us, but we left them to feed the scavengers. As we came upon the area I had left the old man, a large murder of crows flew overhead. This was to be expected, as the Lifebane and his ilk were supposed to have been here before us. But now the beach was empty of anything besides the crows and the crystal. I could see that it had been opened rather crudely, and the tide was starting to lap at the base. Drawing a deep breath, I nodded to my escort, signaling the rest to set up a defensive perimeter (in case any other nuisance should come along) and we rode on toward the water. I checked my belt for the elixer that i was to use to heal the wounds he had before his...death? What ever the dark priests wanted to call it. He had died, but not a death as we knew it. Perhaps having him enchanted then entombed was not the best of my ideas, but, it had unexpected results, and my Queen had to make some accomodation to retrieve what was lost. Which was more effort than I felt was neccessary, although I was curious what choices he would make now. For now I was satisfied that I could flaunt my victory over his forces, and perhaps someday do our personal battle over again. That thought made me smile. As we reached the crystal, I could make out his form, still covered with one of my cloaks. My guard stopped, leaving me to cover the last few yards alone. I dismounted my horse, and walked up to the crystal. I looked overhead to see Starfire lazily circling above. She was lucky to not be involved in this any more than she had to, and she did not feel she had to be involved with anything so tiresome. I peered down at the slumbering knight. He appeared to be not so old as I remembered. I leaned over him, uncorked the elixer and poured it into his snoring mouth. He gulped some, sputtered the rest all over himself. He did that with wine as well, when he had drank too much. I stood up and watched, awaiting his first words. Wonder what he would say to his situation now.

Author: Ayasana Date: Thu Nov 12 22:29:45 2015 Subject A Rare Visit

They rode up to the edge of the cliff, over looking the sprawling city below. There were 13 riders, 12 in a column behind one smaller knight on a pale horse. She reined in her mount and those that followed formed a half circle around her. Two of the knights took position on each side, looking down at the city below. "What a mess" grunted one of the knights. The smaller one slowly nodded. She sighed heavily the turn her horse back they way they came. "Let's spend the night here, then we will lead the rest into the city." The other knight looked ahead at the encampment, then laughed. "You know the new Emperor will likely soil his robes when he sees this lot marching down on him." Aya'sana raised her head up, looking over the two regiments setting up a security perimeter. Tilting her head slightly she observed "Maybe he will feel safer now that we are here...to protect his person." She turned to look at the knights. The three looked at each other, then began laughing wildly. They were still laughing when they rode into the camp. Sanction would never be the same.

Author: Ayasana Date: Sat Jan 9 16:38:56 2016 Subject Impatience

I looked at the position of the sun for what seemed the hundredth time. I was growing tired of waiting, as were my troops Keeping over 3, 000 war-trained knights and foot soldiers still made them restless and regardless of their discipline, aching to do something to someone. I made my decision. I rode forward abot a league, to an out cropping of lava-rock. There in a fold was a dark shrouded being, who slowly nodded to me. I leaned over to whisper my orders, and explain the urgency of the matter. The srouded one bowed slightly, a scaled hand to its forehead. It slipped quickly away toward Sanction. I turned my mount back to the waiting regiments, signaled them forward. I could see the relief on the faces of my soldeirs, lead by my personal regiment, to be finally on the move. As they approached I motioned to my commander, and he rode up to me. I leaned forward to him. "Find him! He will need our help. Do as he telles you, and either hold in place, or make for the gate again, with whoever is with him." ""What of you Baroness? Will you be rejoining us?" I looked up into the smoky skies then back at him. ""I will be along later, I have business here, you follow his orders until then. Keep flying my personal standard, you are my personal guard, keep the rest of the Wing out of this. If this does not work, they should be held blameless." The commander saluted, and rode off. I turned to one of the squires I had as as a messenger. ""You. Go to the other regiments and tell them to hold this gate, and be quick!" The squire rode off as if the demons of the Abyss were after him. I hurried to rejoin the head of the column, slowing to speak with my scouts. ""Take the gates, try not to kill them, but if you have too...." I trailed off. The lead scout gave mme a toothy grin, speeding off to overtake the head of the march, off to the gates. I reached the front of the march, we had a few leagues yet to cover. I was surrounded by my commanders and sub-commanders. ""Take the key points along the way inside the city. Secure the Council hall, be sure the Emperor is safe and replace his guard. Carefully guard the other Highlords, those that are there. I will be a fast declaration. Again, keep the Emperor safe. Treat him with the respect one chosen by our Queen with your lives." They all nodded and saluted with their standards, and rode to rejoin their commands. I did see a few faces, darkly taking this command, but I had no doubt they would honour their orders. They may not like their duties, but these were loyal knights, and would never dishonour their loyalty to Queen, Oath, Wing and would not disappoint me. I took a deep breath, and sat straight in the saddle. This was going to be a long, stressful day.

Author: Ayasana Date: Fri Feb 19 23:25:38 2016 Subject At the Lair of the White Sepulchre..or Sanction

"So, let me understand this. A wing of the Dragonarmies, one whose loyalty to Our Queen has never been questioned, one whose bravery has been shown to the Queen's enemies on the battlefield many times over, not hiding and murdering from behind as thieves and cowards would do, " which caused a few heads in red attire (and red faces) to droop " ...is being denied in a city that once desperately opened its gates for us to defend it from Solamnic aggression ?" I looked up at the walls of the city, remembering when we were a united front. When the city had bravery residing there. Not fear. Not cowardice. I look over my shoulder at the commanders who follwed me, the true warriors of Takhisis. Knights of Tii'Mhut. "Did we take the turn to Sanction, or Wayreth? ", I ask with a grin. After the laughter had died dowm (from my troops, the red ones just looked ashamed or with cow like faces), I turned to the messenger. "Inform...your Emperor, we wish a word with him here, at the gate. If that would not cause him too much ... Ah, wait a moment.." I paused as two members of my scouting unit rode out from the city, through the gates, stopping only long enough to give me some much wanted information. Then they cast off their grey cloaks, showing their blue uniforms, and rode to speak with my High Masters. So, I was to have a visitor, hmm, this gave me pause. I turned back to the red cloaked messenger. "Tell him we shall await him here, this side of the gate, by midnight." I turned my mount back to my command, making to ride to the commanders. "After midnight, I will make for Neraka, or meet him on that side of the gate, depends on my mood and how well dinner goes." Then a horse and rider sped by me, yelling "Wait! Wait!" stopping the red messenger, who still sat stunned where he where he was. Having the messenger in his grasp, he looked over to me, "Baroness, please, come sign this and we can let this poor lad on his way." One eyebrow arched on its own, as I recognized my yeoman, and the vellum in his hand as from my own house. Vellum from my desk! "What.." I managed to spout out. "The Lady wanted me to give you this, she anticipated you would be difficult, so she prepared this for you, I was to ...tell you to just sign it, and .." Waving my hand is resignation, I took the quill he offered and signed the missive, "You do not wish to read it?" he quietly asked. "Would it do me any good?" He shook his head. "Give it to him, let him be on his way." I turned around, again, quietly riding back. She was right again. I was still too showy. I am sure it was far more polite than he deserved, but still, have to follow protocol. Was about all he was good at, painting pretty faces on...well, Hiddukel would have been proud of him. Seriously.

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Feb 23 20:07:44 2016 Subject The Black Tide Rises

Facing the Black Highlord, Aya return the grin with a crooked one of her own. She knew before he arrived he was close. While her troops shifted around nervously at the approach of Obsidian, she knew the touch of dragonfear and what it heralded. Really have to work more with the army on that she thought. "So you did decided to show up, " she quipped. "Must admit, I was...concerned. I did hear Her call, but this was just a happy coincedence, I hoped, but now it is our reality. So Khariif, what do you propose?" Meanwhile, Aya turns to her commanders, holding up three fingers, then nodding watches as the group returns to their mounts, riding off to the different regiments they commanded. Turning back to the Highlord and the Emperor, she brushes back the blue cape, and rests her hand lightly on the exposed katana. It whispers quietly the words of the Queen's ambition. Her eyes rest upon the Highlord, showing no threat, just a calm determination. She glances at the Emperor, who glares through slitted eyes at her with barely contained contempt, before turning his eyes to the Black Highlord. *More to come Later*

Author: Ayasana Date: Tue Mar 8 20:01:34 2016 Subject A Vision and a Direction

Already some of the Highlords were were bellowing oaths of loyalty, recounting past deeds, proclaiming their 'right' to be the scion of the Queen. Aya turned from them, making way to the great doors that exited the grand hall. She motioned to her commanders to follow, as her bodyguard did as they left the noisy gathering inside. Upon reaching the stables set aside for the Blue wing, she spoke to her captains. "Alright, first, there are two slaver ships that unloaded in the harbour still, two that belong to our "commercial" interests, awaiting whatever cargo they can get. Comandeer them. Then assemble two seperate companies, an expeditonary group if you will. One to land at Gwan, the other to continue to march to Haligoth. They will prepare thos towns for our visit, and accumulate whatever goods they can, food stuffs, spare clothing, the whole lot. What we can not trade for, we will take. The rest of the Blue army will march through the pass neat the Singing mountain, first to Gwan then Haligoth. There we will begin to ready and reconstitute, for a march to Two-Creek, and south. However, we will proceed as not an invasion, but as a liberation." The other knights grinned at each other knowingly. The animosity of the people in the Lemish lands towards their Solamnic neighbors was the stuff of legends. They all knew that a little encouragement and the chance for squaring old scores was about all that was needed to start another uprising against the people up north. And with a force like the Blue army to back them, it would be a mutual task ahead of them. Perhaps even a compant or two of irregulars would come of it, plus the added trade and industry that it could bring. They all nodded to the Baroness thier approval of the implied plan. Good, she thought. They remembered the scenario that was discussed in one of the many tactics discussions they had sat through in Neraka during the winters past. All participated in playing out possible outcomes to they many obstacles that faced the knights. Now the logistics would be planned, the how, when and where all the pieces that made up the Queen's most elite force such a threat to Her enemies. The ability to receive any mission and have an outline how to overcome whatever faced them with a plan. While some would storm in at great loss and expense, or overthink situations as valuable time slipped through thier fingers, Blue would adapt to any situation, anything, to speed victory to their Queen, and then be prepared for Her next Task. Becoming Her Champion was not thier first priority, victory was. Victory was always the first priority.

Author: Ayasana Date: Sun May 1 16:14:43 2016 Subject Chamaeleonidae

To begin with... Ayasana uth Matar, last known living Servant of the East, the Knights of Tii'Mhut, looked down into the valley where the Blue Wing was assembled. They were ready to march and sail to the Lemish zone, but this had changed. With the Dragonarmies in some state of disarray, and no firm hand in control, she had prayed to her god for direction. And the answer she received was haunting and cryptic. The scene from a week earlier... The wizards serving the Dark Queen had positioned themselves at the Five Points around the Wing, forming the Star of Darkness, providing the secrecy needed against outside arcane interference. Priests prayed and made sacrifices at positions of the Six Pointed Star inside, setting the stage for the arrival of the Queen's Abyssal Ministers. All the commanders and Holy Knights of the wing stood in front of their companies and sections, all in full martial regalia, ready for war. Starfire was beside her, eyes ablaze, her aura shining. Aya'sana's appearance mirrored that of her companion. All awaited the Falling Star, the sign of Her Majesty's presence. As the Constellation of the Many-Headed Dragon made its rise, a pin-point of light, constantly changing colured, came from the stars' heart, bearing down on the army. As it approached, the land around them became lit up by the blazing light. Every one present looked up and stared and received thier Queen's Word. To each was their own message, their own Destiny. To each was the history of their Sins and Triumphs, their Past and Potential Future, given. Lifetimes passed as if all relived those days. Before the Greater Body of the Army, three Ministers appeared, revealing their Task. Two appeared before the Holy Knights and Commanders, outlining what was expected of them. One appeared before Aya'sana and Starfire. The scene now... The movement was to start befire Dawn, the route and all logistics, supplies, everything the army needed secured. It was time to follow a new Future, One given by Destiny. One Dedicated to The Dark Queen. The road led to a city, one far away. The Missing City. (Sooo.... As directed and suggested by some of the Imms, the good idea of restarting the old RP before the misnamed Siege of Sanction or Rebellion is over for the Blue Wing. Only flaming we will be involved in is the burning of the cities standing in the way of Our Queen. Thank You for your Patience.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWmkuH1k7uA

Author: Ayasana Date: Mon Jun 27 02:45:33 2016 Subject But is it art ?

He adds a stroke here, a light brush there, then steps back to judge his work. Looking at it this way and that, he finally gives it a quiet grunt of approval and takes it from the easel. Placing it in press-frame, he then slips it into a case with the others, just as the 'artist' from the other side of the river arrives in a stout plains cart. The other gives a nod and another sketch is added to the collection. Their collected works are then placed carefully into an oiled chest, then a wax seal is applied to the latch. The two settle themselves into the cart, then start their way back to the road, and head towards a neat yet temporary looking encampment a few leagues away, where two score or so soldiers are awaiting them. Several other carts, or wagons are there as well, preparing for the trip back to the main body, again a few more leagues (or a day's ride) away. As the smaller caravans travel, they pass other groups labouring to improve the roads, building way stations. Some transporting great logs, while others are taking notes on the activities or special numbers given to them by hurrying pages. The countryside was alive with activity. But the towns were a bustle of exercise as well. The adepts of landscapes and structures pass many a tradesman or teamster, drovers and farmers, stonemasons and wheelwrights along the way. The roads all led to The Great Road of Taman Busak, like tributaries to a grand river. The winter had been more or less gentle, or what could be called gentle in the Khalkist Range. Many of the passes were open early, the rivers had not laid waste to as many towns or villages. The future harvest seemed promising. The Hub of all this activity was Jelek, rebuilt and repurposed by the previous Empereor, who had the foresight to see the value of his northern territories. Like Neraka and Kortal to its south, and soon the city of Telvan to its north, Jelek was a fortress that over-watched the trade routes and were strategic strongholds of the Queen's Empire. Far from the decadence of the south, these cities represented the real growth of Her Empire, one might even say the future of Her Vision. And Her Empire needed to grow, to provide the land and produce the bounties of the labour of Her subjects to further that Vision. To seize that land was the Holy priority of Her armies. The means to do that was the immediate task.

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