The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Slade.

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 heavy leather-bound book on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Slade' scribed in burnt yellow ink.



Author:  Slade
Date    Thu Oct  3 14:21:26 2002


Subject  -Life's Irony-



My life wasn't always as it is now, I was not the type to live in the bottom
of ale mugs and strong liquor...  I had a family, a respectable life and a
purpose.

That all changed during the last war when Sanction was bombarded by tidal
waves..the sea was angry and several people died, by trade I used to be a
smith and weapons trainer.

One day as I was finishing up the masterpiece of all my work, the sea became
angry.. soon waves came crashing into our city and the steam and magma became
unbearable.. The sky turned black from sulfur and the smell of death became
thick..

I dropped my work without a second thought and dashed to where my home had
once been..near the waterfront.  What I saw sent me reeling.. Then all went
black as another wave crashed, seemingly, where I had been standing.

When I awoke, later I found I had been out for weeks, then the tragedy finally
struck me, My son and wife, my life itself had been destroyed..

I've wandered the world, stealing, killing taking whatever I wanted, caring
not if I died or lived, or of any I travelled with from time to time..

All I've searched for is the cause of that mass destruction, a way to
be...happy again.  Then I found that perhaps I've been searching for the wrong
things, asked the wrong questions, a life of vengeance could never be whole
again..

It wasnt until I wandered to Kalaman that a man known to me as only Lord
Decred, made his presence a changing factor in this miserable facade I
considered a life, and now I strive to piece together again my shattered
existence.

With my Great Queen, Takhisis to guide me and a brotherhood of Knights at my
side, perhaps life is worth living again.



Author:  Slade
Date    Tue Oct  8 18:37:41 2002


Subject  The Black Sun.



Upon my arrival home from my last assignment, I was greeted by our most
honored Lords, Lord Decred, My patron officer, and Lord Konan, second only to
the Highlord himself. *not counting Deities*

They were pleased with how swift and clean I handled my first real assignment.
 I myself was well rested and ready to complete my next objective.  They were
quick to give it to me.

Lord Konan ordered that our fleet had been diminshed somewhat from the last
war and that they could use rebuilding plus new ships.  I took time enough to
gather my equipment, repair and shine my armor and weapons.

I then requested a scribe to make bulletins for me to post around the town
looking for able bodied men to recruit for labor and perhaps if interested
even soldiers.

Once completed I left early the next morning posting bulletins around inns and
stores across Sanction on my way to meet the Harbor Master.  I briefed him
slightly on our plans to make a decent fleet and told him to gather all his
adepts.

Truly as I love to work fast and precise, I would take all the help we could
get.  First, I began bringing in those with the ability in drafting to help me
sketch the making of the medium sized ships.  Layouts and blueprints were
everywhere.

I also at the time figured it to be a good idea to stress the fact that this
entire operation remain top secret.  large amounts of canvas were amassed to
cover the ships during building, gigantic tents were made from them, big
enough to cover...

a ship entirely while it was being built.  Finally we were able to come up
with a design I felt suitable to house our Dark Knights in a naval battle.

The fast black warships would definately suit as a fast sea going vessel, good
in case we must give chase to the enemy.

As far as a ship should look, which I havent much experience, the designers
assured me it would take second only to another Cataclysm to sink one of these
well armored beauties.

Being the utterly un-trusting type that I am, I sent the designers to gather
the more labor for the job at hand.  I then brought in a second set of
designers to give a second opinion, they acknowledged it was a fine design.

From there I arranged for a quarters at a near-by inn, wanting to be in range
should any problems occur that I might deal with.

As I was formerly a well known metalworker in Sanction before my..loss, my
influence, and substantial purse to pay for the project was enough to gather a
sizeable force.

I gathered several lumberjacks and also began placing orders for large amounts
of metal plating, crafters, and masive amounts of cloth for sails.

Once I was happy with the arrangements for the beginnings of shipcraft.  I
began the documents for ordering large amounts of arrows, ballistae, and other
such ranged attack gear.

The ideal tactical set up for the fleet was about 1/3 of the ships used as
cover fire for the much larger force that would establish the beach head and
hold their ground till more could be sent to reinforce the area.

So as I stayed up late into the night, the documents for the materials were
all finally filed and completed, every "i" dotted, every "t" crossed, as they
say.

The next day was mostly me interviewing more and more workers that came to
take up the workload in Her Dark Majesty's name.  I said a silent prayer to
help me keep my sanity as the day progressed.

The original desginers of the ships had come to me after they found out I was
sending out requests for ranged equipment, they said they could "compromise"
the boats that would be used for the ranged support.

Add more portholes along the sides, raise the skull carved railing a bit and
add murder holes in the in the large cabin up top in case we were sieged and
boarded.  I gave the ok, it was quite an idea I must admit, and this was
definately...

not the first time these men had designed such a professional battleship.



Author:  Slade
Date    Tue Oct  8 20:43:49 2002


Subject  The Black Sun.



Many months later (and much hair being torn out) the ships were being built,
though progress was slower than I would have liked, it was done right to say
the least.  A thought hit me one day as I saw the last 2 ranged cover ships
being built.

All of the famous fleets in history always had a crowning achievment, a ship
to top them all, A Flagship, The Flagship.  The ship to guide it's fleet into
war and crush the enemy.

Our fleet would have such a ship.  I gathered all of the designers from
before, and told them of the final crowning achievement that would finish our
lengthy and tiring project.

My Queen must have approved of the idea, because as I relayed the idea they
mentioned to me a master shipbuilder, reknowned for his ability to make
masterpieces of the sea, was in our fair city.

I humbly requested his services, though his payment was much higher than I
would have liked.  He got to work immedietely drawing up the designs and
blueprints, needed materials, and other various details that must be
accomplished.

We spent many long nights working, arguing, and in the long run becoming
friends, speaking of old journies, quests, rumors, many, many other things as
well.

About another month later we began the work on the ships that would be holding
the footsoldiers. (A large earthquake had caused us to delay a bit before
resuming work)

Again, many many long months, full of sickness, fatigue, and sore muscles.  It
took men chock full of grit to stick to and complete a task like this, and
best believe, grit was something we were chock full of.

The work was mind numbing.. staggering.. but the more we did, the stronger I
began to feel, my physique was noticably larger now, well toned arms and legs,
I then began to realize what else this mission was assigned me for.

I was here to better myself, better my Knighthood, my Queen's cause.  I began
to ironclad my faith in these times, they were a life memory I would cherish,
a staging point to keep achieving my goals, a foundation to start from.

With my mentality and body renewed with a new faith in my Queen and my self,
we continued.  Hauling large planks, nailing them in place, pulling up masts,
and sewing sails.  These were the things that consisted of our daily routines.

We took breaks when we needed them, though short ones.  And soon began hauling
the iron plates which would be covering the flanks of the boats.

It was then I started daydreaming while I was working, I thought of entire
boatsmade of iron, impenetrable by arrows, fireproof.  A durable ship like
that would have huge advantages over normal ones.

It was then I halted our work.  The idea hit me like a bolt from a crossbow. 
I told everyone to rest and take the rest of the day off and ran straight to
my warhorse and charged back to Storm Keep.



Author:  Slade
Date    Thu Oct 10 15:10:42 2002


Subject  The Black Sun Fleet.



Shortly upon my arrival to Storm Keep, Lord Konan greeted me.  After all the
formalities I informed him of my idea to enhance our ships through magic and
prayer.  The idea seemed to have struck true.

He ordered me to dispatch messengers to Lord Aelroth and Lord Saige to seek
assistance in the matter.  As I finished the last letter I had them approved
by Lord Konan and had both of our seals placed on them.

After a bit of a ride and a long day I decided I would stay the night in Storm
Keep and leave upon sun rise tomorrow.  I silently prayed for the fleet's sake
and fell asleep almost instantly.

Upon daybreak I had my horse saddled and ready then took off at a lightning
pace back to the project at hand.  I arrived a few hours later to find
everyone had already begun to work again.

Of course I immedietly shed my heavy leather shirt and cape and packed them
away.  I began work feeling revitalized yet again from the spontaneous idea of
the previous day.

I spent all that day in silent contemplation, wondering if it would work,
hoping our hard labor would meet the the expectations of our newly honored
Highlord.

I had spoken to Sir Lotari the day before as I was looking for Lord Aelroth
and Lord Saige. I was told by our Highlord Konan that he knew the location of
massive amounts of lumber that had been put to storage awhile back.

It was for earlier construction projects of which minor miscalculations had
ended up a boon for me and my current project.

Once the supplies were recieved and the messages received by our Honored Lords
of the Night of both Thorn and SKull, I felt more at ease, comfortable in
knowing I would complete such a huge project.

It had amazed me that only after my first mission I was granted such an honor
as to construct a fleet for our Dark Queen's grace.  So much trust had been
placed in my abilities and judgement, these men were looking for Knight
material.

I would prove I was just what they were looking for by constructing a fleet
worthy to crush our foes.  During my work I had earned the trust and
admiration of the workers, the builders, and designers.  They had taught me
many things of sailing.

The sea's, myths, how to handle a ship, tides, current, wind, and using the
stars to guide you.  These various things were interesting to me, and I vowed
one day I'd retire to a ship and spend my last years sailing the world.

Months had passed during which various events had happened, some good some
bad.  And after about a year plus some change, we had finished an armored
fleet of medium attack ships all carved to suit the glorious Knighthood of the
Dark Queen.

It was time to really put ourselves to the test.  The crown jewel of the fleet
was our last goal, The Flagship.



Author:  Slade
Date    Thu Oct 10 15:49:40 2002


Subject  The Black Sun Fleet



Immedietely we began arrangements for large platforms to be made, this ship
was going to be a juggernaut of ships.  One for the world to admire.  To know
our Queen's power, and fear it.

The platforms took close to 2 weeks to construct and set up.  We began work on
the frame, instead of using the lumber we had originally brought, I specially
requested Ironwood, the hardest lumber in the world.  This boat would have
only the best.

It's power would only be surpassed by it's appearance.  And the appearance,
well who could say how it would turn out till we saw it.  IT would have a 5
headed dragon for the prow.

The rails would be carved and blackened with skulls also having thorned vines
runing up it and Lilies sprouting from the top of the vines.

The idea was to capture our Queen's current glory and that of our Knighthood
all at once, and strike fear into our enemies.  *This ship is the Chronic* 
Upon the sides just beneath the rails would be where we attached the metal
siding.

That would serve as armor vs catapults and other projectiles.  The metal
itself was shaped into metallic folded wings, the twin masts towered several
feet higher than most normal boats and was also made of ironwood, there were
gigantic billowing

-black sails with the emblems of all the respective branches of our
Knighthood.  There was rom enough on this ship for close to 300 men, not
including the crew itself, and by no means would she be made slow.

The designer was reknown for his ships for a reason.  The shape of the boat
itself was not like that of a tub, more like that of thick arrowhead, but
again, we would have her enhanced magically as well.

There were several peepholes for archers, a storage room big enough to arm a
decent battallion, and a large sleeping quarters.

My idea had been to make this ship for reserves for the main force at first,
but that would be decided by whomever captained the lovely vessel.

At the back of the ship was a carved black wooden tail coiled around a large
metal shield which was shaped into a large black sun.

The shield was large enough for a dragon to hold as a knight would.  and the 5
headed medallion of Takhisis Herself was emblazoned on the shield.

The way the ship was designed and armored she could take a small wave of
dragon blasts and be in good shape.  And durability was my first concern,
secondly I would have the deck set up for easy access by the crew and also
that of archers.

We worked hard on the ship, this one would take nearly as long as 4 of the
normal fleet.  It was the work of love I should say, because I loved doing it,
I loved having a cause to do it for, and most of all, The honor of building
for Takhisis.

2 months had passed Since we had set the frame for the large beauty, we had
the entire body molded and were raising the masts as I write this story to my
journal.  The sails had been completed, patterns finished, detail was superb.

She looked every bit as I had imagined... Shortly after the masts were raised
and secured we set the sails and put her at the lead of the fleet itself.  It
was time to show our Great Highlord if what we had accomplished was indeed--

the work of Takhisis' guidance.  I had named the boat The Dark Queen's
Vengeance.  A weapon to strike back at the world that shunned what it couldnt
comprehend.

A world jealous of her Dark Beauty, jealous of the power she possessed.  And
most of all, A world that just couldn' understand Her love for them.

That night after the building a small celebration took place at the inn I had
grown quite fond of. There was drinking and dancing, but I sat in silent
amusement.  Watched how such a task brought so many together, and I thought of
my family..

I thought about my loss, my son.. and most of all, my wife.. it was then I
knew now why I had been assigned this position, I would exact revenge on our
enemies for taking my life away.. I thanked Takhisis again for giving me a new
life.

A new reason to live.  To serve Her.



Author:  Slade
Date    Tue Oct 22 15:13:20 2002


Subject  Evil's Eyes



It had been only a short time which passed since I had completed my last
assignment.  I was ordered to prove myself yet again as my Lord Decred sent me
to Kalaman to recruit scouts to keep the area in our sight.

As usual I planned to get this over with as soon as possible and with the
utmost efficiency.  So I took the first ship to there and got my supplies
together.

A short time later (week) I arrived in Kalaman, The town hadnt changed much
for the better since my last visit.  I couldnt believe we had to keep such a
ruins under our supervision.

I adjusted my weapons and visited the smith of the town, the first place a man
who knows the trade would go.

If any suspicious groups had been arming up I would know.  I also was thinking
of turning in my cutlass for a different style weapon, perhaps something a bit
heavier to compliment my newfound muscle.

As I entered the shop it surprised me to see one of the metalworkers whom had
helped me build our fleets.  I extended my hand in friendship and he welcomed
me accordingly.

I inspected his craftsmanship and admired his best work, but he told me to
quit wasting my time with such shoddy work.

He pushed on a bookcase near the back of the building and a stairway opened up
underneath along with a large heavy iron door.  We entered the quarters below.

As I entered the place I could feel a cool breeze that seemed to put my mind
at ease, a clarity formed and I could hear the weapons call for me from the
racks.

Some were the voices of seductive women, promising to love me if I chose
them..Some were the voices of soldiers, screaming their battle cries and
telling me they deserve my hand.

Some were even the voices of evil, pain and anguish, begging me to feed them
blood.  One voice called to me softly, almost hypnotically, and past all the
weapons of severe beauty I walked till I came to this weapon.

A lovely longsword, bladed on both sides and fit for a man of great strength
and endurance, a sword I would never let leave my grip again.

The weapon glowed a maleovant crimson even in the darkness of this basement. 
The weapon chose me, at the same time I knew I chose it.

Lifting the weapon at first seemed near impossible, then as if lending me some
of it's power it nearly floated up in my hand like a feather.  Nearly
weightless and perfectly balanced, this weapon was my new companion.

My smith friend said that if I were to leave another weapon of my choice he
could bestow it with new attributes as well, so naturally stunned by the
beauty of his work and marvelling at his skill in enchantment, I left my Black
Greatsword.

I would have felt naked without it usually, but this new weapon instilled in
me confidence.  I left him a nice tip of my own accord for his family and took
his advice and headed for the nearest tavern.

Resuming my mission with a sharp focus I headed to the tavern and upon
entering was rushed with memories.

Without realizing it till I entered this tavern had been the stepping stone of
my joining of the Knights of Takhisis.

this very tavern had been the spot I drowned my sorrows and felt sorry for
myself for so long, where I had gotten into that fight and my Lord Decred
saved me from.

Knowing my Lord was still frequenting the city somewhere I shook the memories
away and walked to the bar.

I began scanning the room for the group that my friend tipped me off to
earlier.

I saw a familiar group of merchants which I had no intentions of talking to
and finally one of the group I was looking for, managed to find me.

He led me to a dark booth in the corner and I offered to buy him a drink.  He
began explaining how a small taskforce he had assembled would patrol the town
occasionaly and keep a look out for trouble, I told him of my background and
needs.

He asked if I had time to stop and check out their operation and if they would
be paid for their efforts.  I told him I would check out the operation that
night and then check in with my Lord Patron.



Author:  Slade
Date    Tue Oct 22 15:35:55 2002


Subject  Evil's Eyes.



Evil's Eyes(fin)

It was a very stealthy operation they had going, basically people from all the
merchant's guild in the city were participating, and their rounds were all
perfectly timed with their work to be impossible to detect.

There were other patron's involved, and they said if we were so inclined they
could use some of our soldiers and disguise them as merchants or helpers to
keep it running more smoothly.  The idea's all rang true, and I thanked him,
left him enough

for another few rounds and something for his time.  I went to report to my
Lord Decred and see if all was suitable for his will.  I took my time walking
around and visited my friend the Smith, he was still doing work on my
Greatsword.

As he rebuilt the hilt and worked the edge on it he was humming to himself in
a slowed then speeded up tone, it was mystical in it's own right and easy on
the ears.

The fire glowed insanely dark yet the flames still jumped high and licked at
the blade,  I stared, drawn to the base of the flame, it's glare ensnaring me.

And then he finished his humming and it all seemed to die away as if it had
never been.  The sword, glowing darker, blackened by the flames but edged so
perfectly.

He cooled it in water and shaped it to his will and after drying and shining
it he seemed content with his work.  The sword had an intricate hilt with 2
large dragonscales to guard the hands.

The pommel was shaped into the maw of a dragon with an insane scream etched
into it's face and several teeth.  Emblazoned on the handle itself were flames
that seemed to grip your hand and hold it there on it's own.

He even gave me a new sheath for it, which was crafted from what he claimed,
and by no doubt of my own was dragon skin itself.  It was leathery and dark
bronze colored.

I paid him handsomely from my own pockets.  We sat and drank, reliving our
days building the fleet and how he had come to work in Kalaman.  I explained
how my life had been and the severe training I had gone through since the
fleet as well.

Afterwards we parted and I went to find my Lord, newly armed and itching to
test the weight and balance of my new weapons, I fingered the pommel of my
longsword and felt the warmth from my greatsword upon my back.

As I came upon the spot I was assigned to meet him we saluted then greeted
each other, I made my report and we sat and took some pulls off of a potent
brandy I bought from the bar and talked of my days escapades.

The End.



Author:  Slade
Date    Tue Nov  5 21:03:10 2002



Subject  A-Mazing (Shard RP)



I had finished resting up from my earlier escapade and fought off a small crew
of goblin brigands with a rather large and nasty Hobgoblin leading them.

After cleaning the stench from my clothes and weapons I hid any traces of my
being there and made my way back to the cave which gave me a queer feeling in
my gut.  Something was abound in this place and I would find and possibly fix
it if I could

The glow off of my greatsword was eerily dimmed for some reason, normally it
glowed a very maleovant crimson color and the lack thereof was disconcerting.

the rest of my enchanted weapons were reacting the same, I was beginning to
feel like my strength was being sapped slowly, I had wandered for close to 3
hours and came across at least 12 forks in the halls.

I was sweating profusely and though the workout was appreciated I was
beginning to wonder if I'd ever get out.  That's when I heard a low moan
nearby.

It was ragged, like the person's throat was raw or injured, and no
intelligible words could be deciphered from it.  The voice sounded ancient..
And a tingling feeling crept up my spine.

I immediately Unsheathed my immense Blackblade as I had named it and crept
forward in a defensive position.  As soon as I turned the corner a sickening
smell overwhelmed me.. death and decay were strong in the air.  And the hall
began to darken,

it was not a normal darkness it had mass to it.. like a mist you can almost
feel.. it was then I heard the cracked wailing again..  I judged the distance
between me and the sound to be about 23 feet and closing.

It sounded like someone was being dragged, The smell was overwhelming my other
senses and I had to fight not to gag.  I called out "Announce yourself and
your motives or by the Dark Queen I'll makes twins out of you!"  the answer
was a slow--

dragging sound again and the smell was getting worse.  I realized then,
perhaps too late what I had stumbled upon.  I cleaved the darkness with my
weapon, and to my surprise it cut like fabric, the mist fading as I did so.

Beyond was a small brigade of zombies and skeletal warriors.. the dragging
sounds were the slow dragging of the zombies feet.

The skeletal warriors wielded ancient blades that seemed unscathed by the
passing of time.  I was not gonna sit and wait for them to get a bead on me. 
I ran straight for the first zombie and cleaved in a wicked "L" motion and cut
half of his--

Torso clean off, upon doing so he released a noxious cloud from his chest and
it covered me in the nasty stuff, my skin sizzled slightly and my muscles
began to seize up on me.

I put all of my will into shaking the damned poison off and regain my senses,
my skin burned painfully and made movement a chore in itself.

I shook it off finally and managed to shoulder the first wave of zombies off
of me before they could feast on my blood.

They were howling and wailing like toothless old women and I was getting
annoyed.  I began cleaving off arms and jawbones, throats, and other various
extremities I could get close to.

The skeletal warriors finally locked their eyeless sockets on me and I knew my
workout had only just begun, the muscles in my arms were burning and trembling
violently.

I made ground between us and resheathed my greatsword, I pulled my longsword
and inverted curved dagger and took an offensive position, giving my arms time
to rest.

The skeletal warriors still retained the skill they had when living, and
training back then must have been good.  They first warrior carried a well
made war axe and was extremely fast and skilled with it.

At first it was all I could do to parry off his damned attacks, finally I
began gaining ground on him and placing some of my own.  He managed to get a
glancing blow off of my rib but it costed him his spine as I stabbed with my
longsword,

twisting simultaneously, shattering his back.  The other two fought as one,
they obviously had retained only a routine as far as they weapon skills went
and I figured it out easy enough and shattered them both entirely.



Author:  Slade
Date    Tue Nov  5 21:09:46 2002



Subject  A-Mazing (fin)



The poison from the first zombie was still with me apparently and I
desperately needed clean water to wash the stuff from my body.  I was
staggering slightly, like a village drunkard in an old Nerakian scribe's tale.

I began losing motor skills, loss of comprehension, walking.  It was like
being in some bad dream, but awake enough to see it all and could do nothing
about it.  I could take having my dead grandmother's corpse crawling up my leg
with a knife,

but no one should be asked to handle this trip.  Finally, sometime later, I
couldnt tell how long.. I exited the caves... My shard began to hum again and
soon it crumbled to nothing.

I made it to a creek and washed the stuff out of my system, I passed out
finally shortly after my face half in and out of the water.

When I awoke the piece of silver had disappeared, but in my backpack I
found... (this is where you fill it in cause I dunno what Im suppose to find)

*Now that was a fun story :)*



Author:  Slade
Date    Wed Nov 27 19:23:48 2002


Subject  The Gathering



For once I had a chance to complete a project of my own design, so it was then
I sat and thought, a grand design and the materials to complete it, the
project would not be easy, nor would it end up a short term goal.

I began drawing up my thoughts on parchment, measurements, location,
structure, all things that would sooner or later come into play as my plan
unravelled bit by bit.  I spent many long nights in contemtplation.

I sent for a runner to deliver my request for wokrers, I made sure he was to
spread the announcement all across Sanction, then Neraka.  I would find the
best in the land to help me handle this project professionally.

I had maps strewn about, several desks covered in parchment, And after one
especially long night of research I managed to finally make up my mind on a
location, setting, and design.  The area of land was huge, perfect for my
master plan.

I marked it off and the location chosen was right off the Northern Qualmish
Shore, NorthWest of Mount Brego.

I did quite an amount of research on the building of keeps, designs, and even
more so for defensive measures to guard it.  My final thought to cap the idea
off was a floating citadel, but my lack of a powersource and magical abilities
would make

turn to the aid of our Queen's Thorn Order.  I studied from former logs from
Lord Saige's flying Citadel.  IT was painfully obvious we would need some
immense magical power to raise the massive keep off the ground.

I sent a rolled up parchment with the seal of a Death Lily on it to a Master
Aurel, checking up on him I noticed his skills were progressing fast and he
was coming up fast in the Thorn ranks.

The scroll read "Greetings Master Mage, Sir Slade Barron formally requests the
help of your well known skill in the arcane arts to fulfill Her Dark Majesty's
Will.  Please respond as your efforts are greatfully appreciated in the eyes

of our Order and especially the eyes of our Almighty Queen, Takhisis."  
Knight Champion, Slade "The Blackblade" Barron.

I dispatched the couriers to the Thorn tower and off to Sanction and Neraka. 
I decided to take a walk in the cool wind that was pushing madly on the
ramparts of Storm Keep.  I decided to practice with my Greatsword and loosen
up my muscles.

As was a ritual for me I whispered a silent prayer to the glory of the Dark
Queen and how this would be dedicated with a love greater than life itself to
the Grace she had wrapped me in like a dark, warm blanket.



Author:  Slade
Date    Fri Dec 27 10:09:57 2002


Subject  A Letter to the Thorns



Greetings from Knight Champion Slade Barron.

Unfortunately due to current events I haven't had time to reply to the letter
Master Aurel sent.  My task was disuaded slightly due to unforseen
circumstances.  Work on the keep has been slow, tedious, and nerves have
frayed.

So it is with this letter I thank Master Aurel for his pledge in making this
project come through.  I also ask that a Master Sidholt be given a summons if
he is not too entirely busy.

His skills have been renown so I hear.  The entire idea of making a well
fortified keep for training our soldiers has been put on hold so that we can
evaluate our current situation.

We have the site of construction taken under view for a more grand scheme. 
Once I have come to a conclusion that it is physically impossible I will send
a request for audience with Master Aurel to foresee the use of the arcane.

I will not elaborate much more until your advisory is available in person. 
Much to my dismay the labor involved is heavier than my current force can
stand.  But we forge on with our Queen's grace to drive us.

I will dispatch a courier to the coordinates I believe Master Sidholt resides
at with a similar note.

Knight Champion, Slade "The Blackblade" Barron.



Author:  Slade
Date    Mon Jan  6 13:10:12 2003


Subject  Hunting Season.



It was a gloomy day, the overcast hung low and heavy, the clouds nearly black.
 I awoke early to prepare arrangements  to receive another shipment of
supplies and materials to continue construction of a rather massive keep.

I had just sat down to a light breakfast when one of the Honored Lord Decred's
messengers had arrived and interrupted me.

I ascended to my feet with a look that seemed to have shaken the winded
messenger a bit.  He studdered a brief apology and handed me a parchment with
Lord Decred's seal on it.

I dismissed the boy so he could get some rest and food.  There would be none
for me.   I broke the seal and read over the parchment, the farther down I
read the more my dismay began to show.

There was a spy in our midst.  Decred, knowing of my skills in hunting our
more ellusive enemies down, assigned me the task of... "retrieving" the spy.

The orders were to bring the person back alive.  We had to know what they did.
 I generally am not the type to take prisoners but an order is an order.  I
would fulfill my duty.

I made arrangements and left Sir Bisathan to hold the fort down in my stead. 
I packed several rations and took with me a small pouch with about 50 steel
coins.  I sent couriers ahead of me with the description Decred gave.

My Orders to them were to post these descriptions all across every town and
farming village spanning our entire domain.

I then made my way to our makeshift stables in the camp and found chose the
fastest steed we had available.

I had the stable attendant ready the beast as I began packing my supplies.  I
had a feeling this mission could be long overdrawn.  Finding one woman in an
area that big was going to be hard, but not impossible.

I said a silent prayer to my Queen as thanks for Her grace and a request to
give me the strength to see this through.  I doned my armor, tossed some extra
food on the horse and left for my quarters.

It was there that I grabbed my usual assortment of choice weapons.  My great 2
handed sword, seemingly made of obsidian, my inverted kukri notch dagger, and
of course, my dual longswords.

Feeling vigorous as usual when I wear my weapons, I set out in the last
direction Lord Decred's message had pointed the woman to be heading.  Towards
the cursed land of those dirty Solamnic bastards.

I had to catch this woman before she got into their land...Otherwise I would
end up on her terrain and be at a disadvantage.

Hours seemed to pass like minutes and soon it began getting even darker.  A
storm was brewing and night would fall soon.

I had ridden for what I imagined was close to 8 hours, were it not for the
confounded horse I would have gone through the entire night.

I found a suitable spot to rest and feed the horse, the thrill of the hunt
coursed through me as I waited patiently mapping out the course I would take
and the fastest trails possible to my destination.

Since the spy had to leave from Storm Keep and I was on the northern shores of
Qualmish, I could cut her off before she made it to Kalaman.  With those
couriers off to send her Description around, I knew she would stay away from
the port cities.

Im sure she also knew she was being tracked as well, she was spotted, after
all.  So I would have to second guess her path of egress.

I was near the eastern forests along Estewilde, and there were only 2 ways
through the mountain range beyond that.  This is where I would lay my ambush.

I would make my way to Telvan and arrange a small look out to be posted in
Kurst and most likely around the road to the Throtyl Gap.  I would cover The
Mouth of Truth and relay a group of trackers to cover the mountain borders
from Kurst to Ohme.

The woman would not be stupid enough to make her way through Neraka as the
roads beyond are patrolled by our Order.  The Mouth of Truth would be her best
chance to get away.  I would be waiting.



Author:  Slade
Date    Wed Jan  8 15:47:35 2003


Subject  It's Raining Steel.



Ensnare.

It had been a few days of hard, breakneck, travelling.  A race, as it were to
run down the spy, beat her to an escape that would end up disastrous for our
Proud order.

She had a day lead on me but I was unrelenting.  The same as a task master who
runs a mule to the ground to get the job done.  I ran my horse long past it's
endurance, myself past unknown limits.

Soon the horse could take no more, and I had to release it.  I would jog the
extra 20 miles in my plate.  A gruelling pace to be sure, but if I held out
long enough I could get there and have time to rest.

As I made a steady pace to reach my destination I began thinking of how I
would handle the woman.  I was not very good at detaining people..

It also took my mind from the exertion of the run.  Unfortunately I began
thinking of things I hadnt thought of before, what if the woman had help? 
What if she were unwilling to surrender?

I was very adept at fighting more than one opponent, but there is no telling
how many people she could have with her.  I sounded like an entire regiment of
dwarves running out in the plains with heavy plate on.

I stopped to catch my breath when needed, the muscles in my body began to burn
like fire, my blood pumped acid.  My vision was dimmed slightly as my blood
shot through my body like lightning.

It took me the entire day at a ravaging pace (wearing heavy plate) but I made
it to the place.. With my will alone I checked the place for any inhabitants
or passer by's.  Then collapsed against a tree.

I slept like the dead for hours.  I had to rely on my training alone and hope
Takhisis was watching over me not to be ambushed.

After I had rested a bit, I awoke and checked the area again more thoroughly. 
I found no trace of anything other than wildlife.

The jog seemed to have revitalized my tension a bit, the thrill of the hunt
pulsed in me once again.  I found a hige ledge with enough defilade to hide me
and give me a vantage point.

It gave me a perfect view far over the plains, and I only hoped my estimation
of the woman was right.  I dared not start any fires for fear of giving myself
away.  I covered all tracks I made and from the northern tip of the moutain I
waited.

Finally I was rewarded with some sort of activity, a small group of people
headed in my direction, I used my keen vision and realized they were
travelling with stealth.

I picked out the battle in my mind, with whom I would start with and how I
would end it.  I brought a pair of bolo's with me just in case the woman tried
to escape in the fray, assuming it was indeed her.

I quietly unbuttoned the hinges on my greatsword hilt.  I then broke from my
vantage point and saw they had a pack animal with them.

I slid down the ledge as quietly as possible and waited for them to approach. 
As they came into speaking range I walked out into plain view and made
perfectly clear my disposition.

I announced, "I am Knight champion Slade Barron of the Dark Queen's
Knighthood, Order of the Death Lily, surrender and live, do not..."  I
unsheathed my sword in emphasis.

I could not make out the figure's sex or race as they were heavily cloaked,
the person answered back in a mere whisper.

"Why would we surrender to one person?  Knight or not you are no match for
my company."  The person raised a hand and the 4 people accompanying the
person charged.

I pulled my greatsword and kukri, I had been practicing the art of using a 2
handed sword alot lately, but from all the massive labor I had also pulled I
could also wield it one handed effectively.

They were indeed heavily armed, and I suspected the leader to be have
projectile weapons, perhaps a bow or sling, something of that sort.

I was quickly proven right as a bolt flew mere inches from my leg.  I quickly
dispatched the first attacker with a bum rush, I knocked him on his back and
chucked my kukri into his heart.



Author:  Slade
Date    Wed Jan  8 16:21:01 2003


Subject  Steelclash.



I then switched to using my greatsword 2 handed, the most effective way I knew
how, I made a vicious half circle arc that cleaved off of several blades with
a loud "clang clang clang clang"

I withdrew a few steps and noticed from the corner of my eye the figure
reloading his/her crossbow.  I fought to gain ground and they renewed their
attacks with a vigor only decent training could yield.

I took a defensive stance as they charged again, This time I parried the first
man's attack and knocked him off balance simultaneously, I stabbed my
greatsword straight into his chest and let it fall with him.

I pulled my dual longswords just in time to catch a big gash to my shoulder. 
I winced slightly as the bloodlust began to take over my mind. I bellowed a
challenge to the rest.

I quickly took my unique fighting style that very few know, I challenged the
rest to stand against me, there were 2 left.  And I was really pissed off.

I arced the swords and spun them with a dextrous skill.  Brought my attack to
them both at once, deflecting their blows and managing to throw their weapons
off balance just enough for me to gain an advantage.

I left a long shallow slice across the swordarm of the man on the left, the
man on the right was doing all he could just to avoid me.  I spun our current
stances around by bashing into the guy with my shoulder and spinning him into
a circle.

Just as I did so a thick sound was heard from behind them (THUNK)

The guy spun just enough to catch the bolt for me, I thanked him as the life
drained from his eyes.  His partner, however wasnt about to give up.

The leader of the party apparently got tired of trying to take pot shots from
afar.  She tossed her hood aside and drew a thin scimitar, while charging up
to me.

The bloodlust still held me enthralled in a grim demeanor.  But I realized my
Orders regardless.  She was to only be subdued.

I quickly disarmed her and focussed mainly on her remaining associate.

I parried his blow with one sword and sliced him a new smile with my other.  I
side stepped as he fell to the ground in a heap.  The blood running thickly
into the muddy ground.

The woman looked at me in defiance, I told her simply to surrender or face a
far worse fate than death.

I took her at swordpoint to the packhorse they had with them, I managed to
scrounge up some extra food and rope to bind her with.

I bound her to the horse itself and led it north to the city of Wulfgar, I
would arrive there to send word to Nightlord Decred.

I tied off the slice on my arm and used a piece of the woman's cloak as a
crude makeshift bandage,  I glared at the woman heatedly.

I already began mapping out how I would debrief this whole incident.  I just
wanted to return to my former assignment, I had been out here for a week, I
had pushed myself past my own limits to the ends of endurance itself.

With all this over I actually looked forward to resuming my work on the huge
keep.

As I headed to town I began to interogate the woman, I would give what I could
get out of her as a gift to my superiors.

The rest... Well she would be left to the Thorn's dark devices.  I did not
envy her for that either, but she defied our Queen, and her own pain would
cleanse her shady ways.

The End.



Author:  Slade
Date    Wed Feb 19 10:59:38 2003


Subject  Grifter-Test your might.



A storm off immense power rumbled overhead as lightning lit up the sky and
thunder rang out across the land like a mighty sword blow.

Squire Grifter Ongalas and The Blackblade, Slade Barron squared off in the
courtyard of Storm Keep.  They circled each other looking for some kind of
opening in each other's defense.

It seemed right as though the next lightning flash lit up the sky Grifter's
attack was set into motion, he lunged at Slade with a massive overhand strike
aimed to disable the Lily Protector's swordarm.

Slade skillfully parried the blow and strafed left to get to Grifter's less
protected side, Grifter foresaw the move and jumped back a few feet to give
himself some leeway.

As Grifter barely dodged Slade's swing he countered and landed a blow to
Slade's ribs, Slade took the blow without so much as a flinch and bashed into
Grifter using his whole body and knocking him from his feet.

Slade leveled his weapon to Grifter's ye level and called for him to yield. 
As Grifter could do nothing in his stunned state he did so.

Slade reached a hand out and Grifter took it.  They spoke for a few minutes of
weak spots and protective stances to better help guard them.

Slade and Grifter had been training duel-style the entire day since early
morning.  Often giving each other insight to potential moves and mastering the
well known ones they already knew.

The last battle of the day concluded when Slade put all his might into a blow
Grifter couldnt help but try to block.

Slade broke through Grifter's defenses and rang his bell a good one.  Slade
helped Grifter up again and they retired for the night, headed towards the
local tavern.

(ooc) Grifter needed to get rid of a sphere of death, I helped.



Author:  Slade
Date    Wed Feb 26 20:40:41 2003



To      kot zenix sardis

Subject  9 shots.. Bloodspots...



I was making a routine run of our border cities when a half elven man claimed
to have been a hired lackey of the traitorous Lyrac and the cursed Conclave,
made his intentions clear to me.

He said he would kill me in the interests of his friend.  Normally when a
beggar threatens me I discard it as weakness of the mind...

But this man cursed me as a coward, as he peaked my interest with the name
Lyrac, I decided to accept.

I did a quick check of my armor and weapons, began a few stretching exercises,
and then focussed my mind to our Queen's cause.  It always calmed me.

I then followed him onto our decided battleground and made it very clear I did
not wish to hurt him and he could turn back now.

My first mistake was to take my eyes off of my opponent as I knew an
"honorable" fight with a man who sells his skills was unlikely.

He disappeared from my sight by ducking through an alley.  He then managed to
get the drop on me and stabbed me in the back.  I took the hit well as it put
a pretty decent dent in my armor.

I spun on one heel and immedietly parried the next onslaught of blows the
dextrous little man vollied at me.  I knocked his right hand aside and began
countering his attacks.

My hits were well timed and had more power behind them and a precision only a
Knight of Her Dark Majesty could attain.

We traded blows, ducking, dodging, parrying, and in the end I used my greater
weight to knock him off his feet and send him into darkness..

Another Traitor showed his face, albeit by sneaking up behind me while I
binded the conclave's mercenaries hands and feet.. It was Sardis.  He made his
opinion's of our Esteemed Queen and Order ignorantly clear.  I knew a ruse was
at play.

I slammed the butt of my curved dagger across the face of the mercenary as I
needed more time to handle this other problem, the situation was slowly
slipping from my grasp and it angered me greatly.

Sardis tossed a dagger at my feet, not wanting to let my guard down to pick it
up I began plotting my route back to my company.

As I formulated my route the mercenary jumped up, surprisingly after the
beating he took, and cut his bonds and in one fluid motion jabbing his dagger
between one of the plates in my armor.

His shot rang true as he drew blood, I turned and looked at the man in a
venomous hatred and made my escape.  I wont let this impudence go unresolved.

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