The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Tachande.

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 'Tachande' scribed in dark grey ink.


Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Mon Dec 24 07:13:45 2007
Subject      Times in War 

Tachande looked up from the din of battle. Corpses littering
the battlefield on which he fought. The bellowing of
goblins, draconians, and men pierced the air.

Great plumes of smoke rose high into the sky, columns of
charcoal floating into the cyan sky. Time seemed to slow as
he looked at he next goblin to attack. Squat and putrid,
another one charged. Its sweeping blade gleaning a blow
against the left pauldron of his shoulder. Slashing down in
a sharp twist, the goblins head slid off of its head. A
great gout of black blood sprouting in a plume from the
wound.

Hearing the clash of men and swords, screams of the dying,
and the constant roar of war washed against the fringes of
his sanity. Too much war has he witnessed. Too much
bloodshed. Yet what must he do, for that is all he has
known. Ever since the Goblin Scourge that claimed his family
has he ever been on the move.

Fighting as a mercenary or sellsword for most of his teen
life. Then branching off and joining a knighthood belonging
to that of the awoken god , Paladine.

'Est Solarus Oth Mithas', the code in which he fought for,
the code that shall claim his life.

Fighting on the broken soil, outside of the sacked city.
Hundreds of soldiers from both sides adding to the ever
thirsting hunger of war. Now, bereft of sanity, he fights
on. Cutting swathe after swathe of goblins and draconians
down as his fellows kill and fall. Blood coating his armor,
each death scoring a mark on his ravaged soul. Can there not
be redemption for this evil? Shall they only die?

There is a silence over the battlefield, only the blaring of
horns and the scream of the dying. Looking around, he only
registers the multitudes of soldiers and knights wandering
around, helping the wounded, or sending away the foul to
their Queen.

Wiping his notched swords on the corps of a fallen warrior
of dark, he strode over to one of the many fallen warriors.
The agony of the fallen knights face blared deep into his
soul. Looking down at the young knight, Tachande closed his
eyes in prayer, sanctifying this youths soul to Paladine.

Sobbing in fear the young knight looks up into the eyes of
the old warrior,  I'm, the knight stammered, dying aren't I?

Slowly he nods, yes, and soon you shall join Paladine's side
against the Dark Queen. The young knight's mouth fills with
blood as he cries out, I don't want to die, I don't want to
fight anymore.

Averting his gaze, Tachande walks away from the sobs of the
dying youth, too young, this war, the gods, they claim too
much. Tachande strode through the masses of the fallen,
through the screams and curses. Through yet another
battlefield and another war. Looking past the fallen,
towards the command tents of the Captains and Lieutenants,
swiftly approaching.

Casting aside the tent flap the officers look up from the
maps and diagrams strewn throughout the table. How fares the
battle, soldier? Saluting his officer he mutters the last
words,  Finished. We have our victory.

The cheers of the victors are heard across the encampment.

Yet after giving his report on the battle, Tachande leaves
the command tent in search of his own, Yet at what price. At
what price does this victory cost? Looking out amongst the
multitudes of tents and soldiers still around, he lets out a
great sigh. Knowing that there will be many more battles
before this war is done.


Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Tue Dec 23 07:36:04 2008
Subject     Goddesses in the Night

" What," roared the minotaur," that man should be dead!" Another minotaur
knelt nearby, clutching at a wicked wound across his torso," my men have
failed you milord, we set upon him in a grove, and yet he defeated them,
milord, we didn't stand a chance." "He's a HUMAN, how can he have taken five
of my best warriors," the Leader roared, " how you pathetic excuse for a
cow?" The kneeling warrior's eyes glazed as a pool of blood slowly appeared
at his feet," he was so fast, two of my warriors fell before they even drew
their blades, the rest fell with little fight," more blood seeped from the
warrior's wound as his hand fell away to his hip," his swords, sang,
twisting their screams into something terrible." The Leader looked over at
the dying warrior, his sword flashing out of its scabbard, then how is it
you managed to live? The dying minotaur's gaze lifted," I fled, yet not
before his swords got to me." The Leader's blade arced as it met the
kneeling minotaur's neck, blood fountained from the decapitated corpse.
"Wrathban, summon the guard, tell them to report to the forests surrounding
this city at once, look for a human with two swords strapped to his sides,
execute him on site." Later that night, scores of minotaurs and goblins
scanned the nearby woods to no avail. Dozens of patrols did not leave the
woods, having fallen to the lone man's woodlore. Sitting in his quarters the
Leader of the Minotaurs looked at the reports strewn out before him,
"Takhisis be damned, how has he escaped, how?" He is chosen, said a voice
from the shadows. The Leader's gaze fell upon a beautiful woman standing at
the corner of the room. "Mistress," he stammered. Takhisis walked towards
the disbelieving minotaur," there is great power in this man, his fate shall
tie in with your own before the end." The shaken leader looked up at the
Queen of Darkness," how, what has this man have to do with our army?"
Takhisis stretched out her hand and caressed the face of the terrified
minotaur," he will lead an even greater host in my honor, and by his hand my
dreams will come to fruition." Fur and flesh burned as Takhisis's power
surged into the minotaur. His mark for his disbelief, his shame. "His name
is Tachande, and he shall be the catalyst for my return." The Leader was
left stammering as the goddess departed back to the Abyss. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri Jan  2 10:07:38 2009
Subject     Meeting of the Wolfkin

Tachande awoke from a troubled sleep and began to stretch out his cramped
muscles. After he finally awoke he set off towards the sound of a stream
nearby. He eyed the ground as he entered the clearing and discovered tracks
in the mud. Surrounding the stream, dozens of trees littered the landscape.
Crouching low, Tachande drew his scimitars out into a guard stance while
scanning the nearby trees for the originator of the tracks. "Who's out
there?" commanded Tachande as he eyed the woods. His eyes narrowed as he
heard movement from the within the woods," show yourself," he commanded.
From within the woods a man emerged brandishing a wicked spear. Hair set
back into a ponytail, revealing a crescent moon tattoed on his forehead, the
man looked to be as much wild as the woods he emerged from. Looking at the
wild warrior, Tachande shifted to face his would be opponent. Eyeing the
katana on the man's back and the wicked canines in his mouth, Tachande
growled to the man," who are you, wolfboy?" The man grinned, and flashed his
wicked canines. Sprinting forward the man cleared the distance between
Tachande and lashed out with his spear.

Tachande grunted as the spear smacked against his forehead, rolling with the
blow his scimitars lashed out towards the man. Yet the man bashed them
easily aside, bringing his spear up into Tachande's gut. Grunting with the
pain Tachande smacked the spear butt aside and slashed towards the man, yet
failing to hit the man the man gingerly fell back and scoffed at Tachande.
"What is your name warrior, for you have some skill." Tachande looked at the
man," my name is Tachande." Guarding himself against further attacks,
Tachande bowed to the warrior," and what is your warrior, for I have not
fought many with your skill at the spear." The man looked to Tachande," my
name is Dante Delacroix."

Tachande bowed his head," Takhisis has destiny between us." Dante looked to
Tachande," what makes you think your worthy of her and her armies?" Tachande
looked at the man and grinned, bowing his head he prayed to the amulet on
his chest and Dante became immolated in her power. Lifting him off the
ground, Tachande willed Dante to his knees," because her powers are within
me." Shrugging off the force Dante stood," then if you want to join her
armies come and kneel before me." Acknowledging him, Tachande walked and
kneeled before Dante. Dante's knee connected to Tachande's face as he
kneeled, knocking the man down. Pulling a knife and placing it against
Tachande's throat Dante growls," welcome to the Dragonarmies and if you ever
use magick against me again I'll kill you. Pushing the knife away from his
throat, Tachande stood up and tilted his head foreward in acknowledgement. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Mon Jan 12 00:49:10 2009
Subject      The Night before

 Tachande looked over at the barmaid as she left his room. Grinning, he
stood up from his bed and reached for his clothes and armor. After strapping
on the last of his armor, and securing his swords to his waist, he threw
open the door and walked downstairs after the barmaid. Looking around the
inn, Tachande noticed dozens of patrons and a rather peculiar kender
residing in the inn.

Spotting Dante, he walked over to his table and plopped down, and ordered
himself a mug of Mead from the barmaid. Looking around the bar, Tachande
listens as Dante starts telling him of what is to come. "After the dragon
attacked, Valas departed and left us here. I say we head to Solace to find
the Brotherhood of Scar." Brows furrowed, Tachande grabs the mug of mead off
the tray of the barmaid and looked over to Dante," Brotherhood of the Scar?
I haven't heard of such a group."

Dante took another drink from his Dwarven Spirits and looked at Tachande,"
Well, they are a brotherhood of rather skilled warriors, and I think its
best that we find them for they can join our side, rather than the Sols."
Tachande tilted his mug back and drained what was left of the mead in the
glass. "Then we shall go to Solace."

"Solace?" Dante asked questionly," the brotherhood is in Neraka."

Tachande chuckled and looked over to Dante," perhaps those spirits have
gotten to you my friend, for you said the Brotherhood was in Solace." Dante
smirked and tilted his head," perhaps they are, we shall go to Solace
ourselves and send the Sivaks to Neraka."

Tachande bowed his head and waved to the barmaid, ordering two pints of
mead, and two pints of Dwarf Spirits," alright, until then we drink."

Dante waved to another barmaid and ordered two shots of Spirits to be
brought to the table," aye, sounds good." Handing one shot to Tachande,
Dante raised his glass into the air," to Takhesesiss."

Tilting his head back, Tachande downed his shot with a gasp," damn thats
good." Walking towards the duo, the barmaid set down Tachande's order of 4
pints of mead and spirits.

About that time Croaker, Lord of Palanthas walked in the inn, drawn by a set
of roudy voices. Looking about the inn, he spotted two soldiers sitting at a
table, mugs and shotglasses littering the table and floor.

Leaning over to Dante, Tachande slides him two pints of Spirits and Mead
saying," drink hearty, were in for a wild night." Nodding in consent, Dante
tilts back one pint of Spirits and downs them with obvious pain. Looking
around the inn, Tachande eyes the growing crowd of Patrons surrounding his
table. Leaning back, Tachande grabbed his pints of mead and spirits and
jumped atop their table. Tilting the pints back, his devours both pints in a
rather sprayic display. Roaring at the patrons, Tachande throws his mugs
into the growing crowd of patrons as Dante follows suit with his, now empty,
mug of mead.

Looking at the two drunken soldiers, Croaker walks hurriedly to the door to
summon the night watch.

Before he reached the door, a rather peculiar kender stepped infront of the
man," my dear, it seems you dropped this," the kender says holding up his
money pouch. Croaker's face voids of color," you," he stammers as he
recognizes the kender. Now running to the door, Croaker screamed out into
the streets," GUARDS, TO THE INN!"

Watching the man walk towards the door, Tachande tried to jump off of the
table to land on top of him, yet in his stupor only ended up landing in a
heap on the floor.

Standing up, Dante wearily grabs his katana from the table and drunkenly
staggers over towards the staircase.

Picking himself up off the floor, Tachande staggers to his feet and groggily
pulls his scimitars from there sheaths. Upon hearing blades being drawn, the
inn erupted in chaos as patrons roared into a massive fight. Striking
several patrons down, Tachande doesn't hear the arrival of the guards.
Dante, however, looks out from the stair case and giggles stupidly as a
dozen guards file into the inn, swords drawn. Finally realizing theres other
armed men in the brawl, Tachande looks over his shoulder and roars to Dante
to help him. Laughing in a stupor Dante shakes his head and falls down onto
the stairs laughing. Grunting with the impact of a knife against his armor,
Tachande cuts down a guard in front of him and quickly dashes back towards
Dante. Laying one hand down, he reaches out and clasps Dante on the
shoulder, filling him with a sobering energy.

Now, the inn is erupted in a full blown War, yet hiding unbeknownst to most
under a table, is the same kender, taking mug after mug off the top of the
table hes' hiding under. Watching as patrons are bashing patrons, and guards
fighting the soldiers, the kender watched as Croaker charged towards the
door of the inn. He chuckles as one of the soldiers launch a well aimed mug
at the fleeing Croaker, sending the poor man out into street, out cold.

Hearing the commotion from downstairs, the two sivaks accompanying the duo
rush downstairs into the melee. Striking several more patrons and guards
down, Dante shouts out to Tachande that they need to get the hell out of
here. Tachande nods yet beheads a patron that had the misfortune of being in
front of him. Picking up the headless corpse, he threw it through a cask of
Dwarven Spirits and lit the corpse and pool of alcohol with a lantern
hanging off the wall. Roaring as the blaze catches the rest of the inn,
Tachande exclaims excitedly to the bar," I have made fire," before dashing
over to Dante as they flee from the blazing inn. Jumping over corpses of
guards and patrons, Dante and the group charge down the street and through
the main gates before cries of fire are picked up from nearby homes.

Leaning over to Dante, Tachande grins and lays his arm across his
shoulders," now that was fun," before starting up an old Nordmaarian
drinking song.

Yet unbeknownst to them, the same kender from the inn was following the
group out of intrigue. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Jan 15 01:38:23 2009
Subject     Turn In The Tide

Tachande awoke with a start, his vision playing out in front of his eyes.
The gallop of horses, sounds of battle, and a decent into darkness. He sat
up shaken, pondering what his vision could entail. Standing to shake off the
feeling, he scanned the perimeter of the encapment. Both sivaks sharpening
ther wicked blades next to the fire, wearily eyeing the ground at the edge
of the encampment.

Faint whisps of his vision swam across his eyes, leaving him disoriented.
Yet wandering over to the edge of the camp, he discovered a bloodied blade.
Kneeling over in haste, he layed his hand over the blade, feeling a wisp of
the life that was taken. No mistaking the insignia on the blade, he knew
something happened to Dante.

Looking over to the Sivaks, he orders them to stand guard, leaving one at
the camp, the other accompanies Tachande, both with blades drawn, towards
the edge of the cliff, overlooking the sea. Kneeling down cautiously,
Tachande examined the dirt, playing out the battle from the signs. Mixtures
of his vision and imagination click, Dante was attacked. Indicated by the
horse tracks, by mounted men. Yet only one corpse mark scarred the soil.

Tachande scanned the ledge looking for a corpse at the base of the cliff,
yet all he saw were the waves crashing against the cliff wall. Standing back
up, Tachande and the sivak return back to camp, detailing what they found to
the other sivak.

Sitting at the edge of the camp, eyes dull, lost in prayer, Tachande
consented to the will of his Queen and of Dante's last orders. Standing up,
Tachande told the two sivaks to return to Neraka will word of Dante's death,
and of his following of Dante's order. Packing up camp, both sivaks nod and
head take flight from the cliff, heading toward Neraka bearing Tachande's
report. Looking down, he sees a boat slowly coming in to dock at a harbor
not too far off. Deciding it the right course, Tachande set off to the
harbor, to barter passage to Solace. To find the Brotherhood. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sat Jan 24 22:26:02 2009
Subject     Lessons of the Sword (Part 1)

Tachande looked around at the clearing. A copse of trees in a rough
circle, what was strange was its proximity to the Coast. Shrugging, he cast
it off as a memory of his homeland. Be it known, he was bored. Dante had
went to scout and he was, once again, left to guard their, what, fire?

Casting off his anxiety, judging it to be a lack in battle, Tachande stood
up and drew his twin scimitars. Flipping one in his hand, he admired the
craftsmanship of the blade and hilt. The dwarf he commisioned them from did
a remarkable job. Onyx gem inlaid between two animals, A wolf and a dragon.
Blessing be given to Takhisis for the souls that these twin swords have
taken.

He soon grew bored looking at his blades and decided to exercise. Standing
in the center of the trees, he held his blades out in front. Dominant hand
following the submissive, he went through the routine he learned so long
ago. Dominant hand arcing down, submissive following a few seconds behind,
each arcing down and gliding up. His twin swords danced throughout the
clearing. Reversing the movements of his blades, he spread his arms wide,
yet raising each into the air shoulder level. Both blades sliced together,
closing the V, easily a decapitating move should he of been fighting an
enemy.

Looking down from one tree, Dante watched Tachande's training with a
teacher's eyes. He followed the twin blade's movement as they sliced through
the air. 

Continuing his exercise, Tachande swung around with both blades and halted.
Swinging both blades around to his left and right, he closed the move by
sheathing both blades. Crouching down he sat on the floor, looking out
around the clearing, waiting on Dante's return. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Jan 25 08:04:08 2009
Subject     Lessons of the Sword (Part 2)

Dante looked down at the now resting warrior. Granted the movements he
saw were good, he knew there were moves that Tachande needed to learn.
Grinning to himself, Dante chuckled as he leaped off the branch," time to
teach this pup some new tricks."

Tachande jumped as Dante landed behind me," you scared the hell out of me,"
he curses as he stands up, angrily looking at Dante.

Dante grinned and leaned back against one of the trees lining the clearing,"
I saw your exercises, your pretty good for a pup, but it time for some real
lessons."

Tachande bowed his head and drew both of his scimitars. Dante stood away
from the tree and drew his own blade," there are some problems with your
form I noticed," he states as he pierces Tachande's guard suddenly. Tachande
dashed quickly away from Dante's blade, looking at Dante in suprise, Dante
states," your footing was good, yet the angle of your blades leaves room for
a low strike."

Tachande grimaced, being rather brash with criticism," then how would you
like it to be?"

Dante held his sword up high, arcing over his head," this is the Guard of
the Hawk, should you have one sword out use this, it allows for a high and
low guard, like so," he says as he slashes down with the sword. Tachande
sheathed one scimitar and held his sword out in imitation.

Wielding the blade awkwardly he slashed down with his own blade, yet his
came down at an awkward angle. Dante grunted at the greeness of this man's
lone swordsmanship. Smacking his sword against Tachande's side he yells," do
it again!"

For several minutes, Tachande went over dozens of sword strokes and guards
per Dante's tutilage. Though he caught on quick, he felt many of Dante's
stinging blows.

The sun slowly rose over the sea, and Tachande was exhausted, his body ached
from the blows, and his muscles felt dull from use. Yet Dante demanded more.
Perfection, absolute perfection It was hours later that Dante felt satisfied
with Tachande's progression," rest for now young one, yet we will continue
this over our journey."

Tachande easily accepted the end of the session. He hadn't felt that worked
out since his youth. Yet, later on he would learn to appreciate those skills
learned that day. Yet that is a story for a later tale. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Feb  1 09:56:11 2009
Subject      Dreams of a Nord

 Tachande crossed the great river. The mud clinking to the ragged clothes
gripping his frame. Thoughts of helplessness flooded his youthful mind. How
would he make it alone now? How could he? Terrors chased him throughout the
jungle, fierce calls, wizzing arrows. Always running, always fleeing.

He looked about for a weapon of some sort, yet all he could manage to forage
was a makeshift wooden spear. Furiously sharpening the tip with a rock, he
stood and ran off, deeper into the jungle. The slavers chasing him quickly
grew frustrated. Their roars could be heard throughout any part of the
Jungle.

Fierce Hobgoblin men with nets tore through the jungle searching for the
boy. Yet Tachande tried to stay ahead of their grasping talons.

The sun had just fallen when they caught up to him. Cornering him between
two massive jungle trees, they threw their nets and caught the filthy, half
wild boy. "Time to come with us boy,"  chuckled the lead Hobgoblin. Towing
the boy away, the rest of the group fell around their catch, beginning their
long trek back to the work camps.

 Tachande's eyes shot open, sitting up, he looked over to the sleeping forms
of Dante and Mephiston. Bowing his head, he prayed. Slowly he stood, looking
out amongst the camp, he stayed awake. Contemplating the dreams return. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sat Feb  7 00:47:41 2009
Subject      Back to Civilization

 Tachande laughed as Mephiston stoked the fire after a particularly
vicious loss at the dice. The small mound of gold would suit him well
whenever he needed to use it.

Yet, there was a ill sense in the air. It had been many days since the
ordeal with the apparition, and the feeling never ceased. Yet, shrugging it
off, he stretched his stiff muscles and chuckled as Mephiston sat back down.
Ready for another round my friend,"  Tachande said with a sly grin on his
smug face. The minotaur tipped his horned head,"  Aye, I need to win some of
that money I lost to you." 

Just before the two soldiers continued their game, Dante dashed into the
clearing,"  Time to go." Tachande stood up and began to walk over to Dante
before he cut him off," We're going back to Neraka, so pack up, and lets go
boys, we've got alot of ground to cover."  Tachande found his face
contorting into a devilish grin, the feeling in the air had changed. A new
adventure was about to begin. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Feb  8 10:06:35 2009
Subject     Meeting In Neraka

Tachande eyed the dark alleys as he followed alongside Dante and
Mephiston. The darkness of the urban environment never truly suited him.
Being born in the jungles of Nordmaar left that impression on him. His hand
slowly enclosed the hilt of his scimitar, on guard at all times. Looking
out, he followed Dante and Mephiston into an alley, and drew to a halt at
Dante's bidding.

Urging them both to turn around, Dante proceeded to unfasten the lokc, and
disarm the trap laid on the door to the abode. 

"Tachande, go and grab a torch from the street." 

Tachande nods to Dante and walks out into the street, grabbing a torch from
one of the posts, returning the torch to Dante, they walk into Dante's home.
Looking about, Dante lights several candles and orders Tachande to light the
rest. 

Tachande looks about at the ragged abode, chuckling, he mutters to himself,"
fitting, for a wolfboy."

Dante had returned in time to hear Tachande's quip towards him. After
landing a vicious punch to Tachande, he warns him not to call him a Wolfboy
again.

Tachande chuckles and bows his head to Dante. Looking around the place,
Mephiston's stomach grumbles, filling the room with a dull roar. 

Dante mutters to himself and sits down by the fireplace," food will be
brought shortly."

Mephiston grins at the mention of food, yet quickly catches on to a much
darker undertone," why have we come to Neraka?" 

Looking into the fireplace, Dante tells the group of his summons by
Takhisis. Leaning against the fireplace, Tachande bows his head and listens
to Mephiston talking to Dante.

After their conversation, Tachande heard a knock at the door and walked over
to the door and grabbed the food from the servant waiting. Laying the food
out on a table for the group, he was rewarded by a round of drinks from
Mephiston.

After downing his shot, Tachande sat heavily into a chair, looking about the
room he notices a dark shade cross Dante's face," what's wrong milord?"

Dante looks back to the feasting Mephiston, then looks back to Tachande," I
don't want either of you drinking until I get back." Tachande grins as
Mephiston lets out a long, bellowing, sigh. 

Looking at the hulking minotaur, Tachande grins," don't worry my friend,
tommorrow I will take you to the barracks and train you until Dante's
return."

Tachande nods and leans his head back in the chair, yet sits up again as
Dante warns them never to return to Neraka without him. Judging by his tone,
Tachande gauges that its a serious warning.

After acknowledging the warning from Dante, Tachande leans his head back
into the chair and drifts off, wearily, into sleep. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Tue Feb 10 05:53:15 2009
Subject      Dreams of a Nord (2)

  The Hobgoblin slaver whipped Tachande unmercifully. The iron razors in
the end of the whip tore deep gouges into the flesh of his back. The
chittering of Goblinspeech drifted up from the dark, dank tunnels below.
Tachande let out a gasp as the pain reached his peak, yet the young boy held
on to the shreds of his consciousness.

After the vicious beating from the slaver, the group of Nordmaarians were
led into the tunnels, each cuffed to the next in a long chain gang. Men,
women, and children all enslaved, all bound to the same cruel fate. Tachande
stood near the end of the long chain. The remnants of his clothes hung in
tatters off of his emaciated frame. Each step was a descent into madness.
Some slaves who couldn't handle it fell to the ground screaming. Begging for
death. 

The Goblins and Hobgoblins held little love for humans, yet they found their
meat pleasing. Those who fell to the side where killed and butchered as food
for the tribe. All around him, the screams of slaves, the slaps of whips,
and the chittering of the goblins threatened to overwhelm him. Yet this was
the hand that the world gave him. 

Long years passed in those tunnels. Tachande grew from the small, emaciated,
boy, to a man of cruel design. His body lean, muscular, from the long years
in the mines. He had survived where others had failed. He had watched those
who were captured and brought with him, suffer and die at the hands of the
goblins. No rescue, not sanctuary, only the cruel treatment of the goblin
masters.

No rescue, no sanctuary, only the cruel treatment of the goblin masters. The
long years had left their scars on his body, however. His once black hair
turned to silver from the lack of sunlight, and the constant exposure to
gases and dust from the ores and such he had to mine for the goblin's
forges.

His back and arms were a patchwork of scars left from the whips of the
masters, who felt pleasure in trying to break the spirit of the small boy
they brought into their tunnels. Yet before them now was a man who thrived
in the hardship. Who surpassed their cruelest tortures. Tachande had
finished piling the ore into the bucket at his feet when he heard a rucus
back at the opening of one tunnel.

The new bach of slaves were proving to be too much for the dwindling
goblins. Long civil wars had raked through their ranks, dwindling them to a
sparce two hundred. 

In their over eagerness for trade, they slammed their mines with more and
more human and humanoid race.

Looking away from the entrance of the mines, Tachande hefted the loaded
bucket onto his shoulder and carried it off to the carts. He was so used to
the daily routine that it became an almost robotic system. Yet something had
changed in him recently. Visions of a beautiful woman with black hair, who
wore armor and a sword, guiding him, whispering to him in the night. 

At first, he had discarded the dreams, throwing them out as just a reaction
to the exposure, yet each time the dreams came back, more intense. After
each night, he found his body healed a little more. The old scars fading.

It wasn't until one night, when the woman finally spoke to him,"  Long you
have suffered under the cruel yoke of these creatures. Mining their ore,
being nothing more than a cart horse. Yet I can offer you more."

 In his dream, Tachande was made entirely whole, outfitted in a fine suit of
black scalemail. Looking at this woman, his hands slid over the fine armor,
feeling whole, complete.

The woman smiled, her face radiating a beauty that stole Tachande's heart,
yet soothing to his soul. She explained to the man that should she free him,
he would serve her, and strike out.

Tasting the chance of freedom for the first time, Tachande did not hesitate
to accept her offer. "Then rise, Tachande, and be my Paladin, serve me, and
you shall be rewarded, fail me, and your life will be less than that of a
slave."

 Tachande's vision switched back to the mines, to the screams, and
chittering. Looking around, he could hear her voice guiding his actions. He
felt as if a hand carressed his as he lifted a pick axe.

Strength flowed through his body as he turned a corner and spotted a
Hobgoblin overseer. With his back to Tachande, the Hobgoblin never stood a
chance. Wrenching the pick axe from the mass of crushed skull, Tachande
crept throughout the tunnels. Striking down goblin-kin, and freeing slaves
who crossed his path.

Leading the revolt, Tachande followed the signs of the tunnel, easily
reading the crude symbols of the goblins. Speaking in Goblin tongue,
Tachande had managed to throw off several patrols. 

 Tachande and the freed slaves rounded the corner to the suprise of a rather
nasty Hobgoblin Lord. Yet, even as he charged, his vision began to fade, the
sounds of the battle faded, and the memory of his escape blurred.


Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Wed Feb 11 18:55:48 2009
Subject      Awaiting

Tachande awoke with a start. Beads of sweat poured down his ashen face.
Sitting up, he wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve. Swiping his
hair back over, behind his head, he started to swing his legs over the bed
when Dante walked into the barra cks.

Looking up at his commander, he noticed an aggrivated look on his features.
Sitting on the edge of the cot, Dante look perplexed by Tachande's
appearance. "Memories of the past?"

Tachande was slow to bow his head," aye, when I was a child, I was captured
by goblin slavers and forced to live in their mines till I reached
adulthood, and then our Queen found me."

Dante tilted his head forward in acknowledgment," hard life for any to be
had," pulling a chair up in front of Tachande, he sat in front of the ashen
paladin. "I recieved a message from Lord Verminaard, I am to depart for Pax
Tharkas this afternoon, I shall return in two moons time. Until I return, I
want you and Mephiston to train properly as soldiers."

Tachande managed to bow his head in acknowledgment before Dante stood and
walked out of the barracks. Tachande stood and walked over to his chest and
grabbed his equipment from inside.

Laying them out, he began to garb himself, donning his armor and weapons, he
closed the chest at the foot of the cot, and departed the room in search of
Mephiston.

Walking through the corridors of the Barracks, Tachande passed many soldiers
and messengers, looking around he spotted his minotaur friend in the
messhall. Passing through the archway, Tachande sat in front of Mephiston.
Looking at the Red Minotaur, Tachande cleared his throat to get his
attention. One he did, Tachande began to tell Mephiston of Dante's
departure.

"Our commander has recieved word from Lord Verminaard to depart for Pax
Tharkas today. He's told me to relay that he shall return in two moons time,
till then, we are ordered to train like real soldiers."

Mephiston looked up from his food and looked at Tachande," so what shall we
do?" 

Tachande grabbed a plate of food and some drink from a passing servant and
set it down in front of him," right now we eat, afterwards we report to the
training grounds."

Mephiston agreed and the both of them began to eat their morning meal. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri Feb 13 23:54:04 2009
Subject      Soldiers

Tachande stood up from the table, looking over to the Mephiston, he made
a mental note of how the minotaur ate enough food to feed three humans.
Grinning, he walked over to he minotaur," Time to work off some of that
feast my friend."

Mephiston quickly finished stuffing his last few bites in his mouth, stood
up and nodded, trying to quickly chew his food.

Tachande chuckled at the site of the minotaur's face stuffed with food,"
come on, let's go find the training yard." Walking out of the messhall, the
duo turn the corner and run into a grizzled man. Tachande collides with the
man, cursing. Standing back the man bursts into a tirade," You insolent
whelp, whats where the hell your walking. Better yet," with a grin on his
face the man motions for them to follow.

Mephiston tipped his head in Tachande's direction, seeking confirmation.

Tachande curses under his breath when he catches sight of the man's
Commander rank. Tachande turned to Mephiston, he tipped his head in
confirmation and followed the Commander.

Mephiston sighed and fell in behind Tachande.

Commander Toc strides arrogently through the Red Barracks and leads Tachande
and Mephiston to a large training yard. "Alright you Maggots. Ive been asked
by Dante to see to your training."

Tachande salutes the Commander," Yes, sir." Looking over to Mephiston he
nudges him to do the same. Mephiston flinches at Tachandes nudge, "Ahh, Yes,
Sir." and salutes when the commanders gaze continues to drill into him
unimpressed.

Commander Toc shakes his head and eyes the two. "Your equipment could use
some work. Rusty equipment is never good." He steps back and looks around.
"Alright. You, Tachande i presume. Come at me."

Tachande bows his head and draws his twin scimitars, taking to paces towards
the Commander, he slashes suddenly at the unarmed Commander.

Commander Toc smirks as the scimtar slices a line across his breastplate but
in a quick motion, grabs Tachandes arm and twists it, disarming him and then
slamming him onto the ground.

Tachande grunts as his mass is slammed against the ground and his sword sent
flying. Clamoring back to his feet, he slashes at the Commander with the
scimitar in his left hand.

Toc jumps back from the slash and then jumps forward, grabbing Tachandes
left wrist and then kneeing him hard in the gut. With what seems like little
effort, he spins and throws Tachande to the ground again, this time at
Mephistons feet.

Tor smirks and shakes his head. "Pathetic. Your turn, cow."

Mephiston lip curls in anger, he draws his axe and advances upon the
commander. Tachande gathered himself up and retrieved his scimitars,
watching as the hulking minotaur advanced on the Commander.

Mephiston swung at the Commander. Commander Toc rolled to his right and came
to his feet, sword in hand. "Gotta be faster than that, Maggot.

Mephiston recovered from his failed attack and tries again this time
feigning an attack to Toc's head, then twisting and swinging his axe toward
his belly.

Toc easily steps away from the attack and brings the flat of his blade down
on the Minotaur's head then chuckles as he steps away.

Commander Toc sheathed his sword and shook his head. "Alright you Maggots,
spar against each other. Lets see whos better."

Mephiston recovered from his failed attack and turned to Tachande.

Tachande bowed his head," aye sir." Drawing his blades, he faces Mephiston.
Watching the minotaur's movements, he slashes one scimitar coming in from
the left, the other from below.

Mephiston waited for Tachande's blade to come down on him, and lifts his axe
to parry one scimitar, and uses his shield to block the other blade.

Mephiston pushes his assailant back and swings his axe at Tachande's
shoulder.

Tachande tries to duck under Mephiston's axe, yet grunts as the minotaur's
massive axe cleaves a dent into the scalemail at his shoulder, cracking the
collarbone of his left arm.

Tachande gasps in pain at the *snap* of the bone, cursing under his breath,
between clenched teeth, the word cow glides on the air. Dropping the blade
at his feet, his right arm lashes out at Mephiston. 

Mephiston snarls as he hears the insult, and begins to rage deflecting
Tachandes sword left and right before finishing him with a catastrophic blow
to his head, tearing life from the unprepared Sergeant.

Toc curses and picks up a shield before darting toward Mephiston before he
could futher harm Tachande. Toc swings the shield hard at the back of the
Minotaurs left knee, making it buckle and him start to fall. Toc spins
across Mephistons back and swings the shield with all his might at the
Minotaurs face as he falls to the ground and lands a loud blow, knocking him
back onto his back. Cursing he drops the shield and looks at Tachande. Toc
sighs and calls for some healers who rush out and to Tachande's side. "Take
this one to a cell. He can stay there for while." Commander Toc says
snorting, before turning and leaving the field. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Mar  1 08:22:09 2009
Subject      Vision (1)

Mephiston's axe smashes against Tachande's skull. Knocking the man flat,
possibly dead. Commander Toc stops Mephiston, before the enraged minotaur
can do more damage to Tachande, and calls for the healers to aide Tachande.

After that, Tachande had no recollection of life. Unbeknownst to him, he had
been laying in the healer's complex for more than a week now. Yet within the
confines of the dream realm, a Goddess came to him.

Takhisis peered into the mind of her servant Tachande, for she was amused at
the actions between the man and the Minotaur. Scenes of Chaos and death
swirled within his healing mind. Yet, she decided, she would grant him a
gift so few had recieved.

Tachande jolted up, pulse racing, his eyes quickly discerning the black mist
swirling around him. Fear made him reach for the scimitars at his waste. Yet
his hands grasped nothing but air. His pulse pounded in his ears, eyes
darting into the shadows, as the realization of some kind of hell swam
across his mind. Yet his panic did not last long, for no sooner did he
discover his place a voice was heard behind him.

Takhisis looked at the panicked man. Eyeing the scalemail armor he wore, the
silver hair, and the lavender eyes. So you are my servant? The one I rescued
so long ago?"

Tachande turned around and spotted his Goddess and immediately fell to a
knee, with a firm grip on himself, he quelled the panic within him. "Yes
your Majesty, yet I was unaware of the do attention you bestow upon me. Yet
how did I get here?" Ushering the man to stand, Takhisis willed the scene to
change from the misty oblivion to a bare stone room with an ornate stone
pool at the center. Moving beside the stone pool, Takhisis slid one slender
hand into the cool water. Looking back to Tachande, she smirked at his
uneasiness in the change of scene. 

Tachande chastized himself for his skittishness with his Goddess, cursing
himself for a coward, he drew himself up and walked near to the pool at the
center of the room. His eyes scanned the basic stone room, yet soon his gaze
fell upon the stone pool at the center. Silver runes were carves into the
rim of it, and yet looking into the pool, he witnessed the passages of time.
Yet one scene stayed.

Noticing Tachande's gaze land on the pool, Takhisis withdrew her hand and
stood beside her paladin. " Look within my paladin, and see what may or may
not come to pass."  

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Mar  1 19:05:19 2009
Subject     Vision (2)

The Red Dragon breathed its deadly fire upon the archer's lining the
ridge. The din of battle roared throughout the valley. Wheeling mid-air, the
dragon spread it's wings and quickly ascended into the sky.

Soldiers poured into the valley, the insignias of the Red Dragonarmy bright
upon their breast. Footmen, goblins, minotaur, and ogres, all had come to
test their mettle in the Invasion. Many months it had took to assemble such
a force. Many more for the march for the invasion. Yet now it was time, time
enought to prove that they were capable of War.

Dante looked across the battlefield before the start of the battle. Troops
under his banner remained calm, yet the buzz of the energy, the bloodlust,
was potent in the air. He watched on in pleasure as the massive minotaurs
assembled into ranks, led by his comrade, Mephiston. Long had their journey
been in the Minotaur Isles. Some scars still visible on both of the
warrior's hides.

Surveying the rest of the battlefield, Dante remarked at the vast numbers of
goblinkin and ogrekin readying for battle. Dante was impressed at the work
Tachande had done gathering the goblins and ogres. Many a warband had
swelled his legions.

Yet more would be needed, Takhisis willing, should their invasion prove
successful. For the Red Dragons continued to issue their outrage at the
Dragonslayers of Nordmaar. Even greater than their outrage, is their pledge
to join the Dragonarmies ranks should the Dragonslayers be exterminated. 

"Yet all these concerns and talks of the future would mean little if a
warrior did not survive the battle,"  Dante thought to himself. Looking back
out across the field, he summed up the Nordmaarian forces.

Scanning the Field, Dante regarded the Nordmaarian tribesmen among the ranks
defending the road to North Keep. Thoughts drifted back to him of his first
meeting with the tribesmen, of their oath. Grunting in discuss, Dante sided
with himself that they were cowards, unfight for glorious victory.

Dante sent for a runner to speed word to the Red Dragon of the Nordmaarian
Dragonslayers impending doom, for they too were among the forces arrayed
against them, eager to stem the dark tide from their capital of North Keep.
It would be known among the Reds, that the Red Dragonarmies convictions were
not misplaced, that they were worthy of the Reds joining of their ranks. the
beginning of Nordmaar's end. Walking between the ranks of the army,
surrounded by his mighty wolfpack, he planted himself firmly withing the
center, front ranks of the massive force. Looking to the men and women all
around, a wolfish grin spread across his face, the bloodthirsty sen se of
the Wolf rising. Drawing his sword, Dante roared the order, sending arrows
of death cascading towards the Nordmaarian ranks. Yet Dante quickly
dispensed with the archery, deeming it dishonorable. Looking into the
bloodthirsty faces of his comrades in arms, he set the command to charge.
Men, Goblin, Minotaur, and Ogre poured forth towards the awaiting
Nordmaarian forces.

Yet among those arrayed against them, the Nordmaarian Tribesmen charged
forward themselves, at the horn's sounding. The gap closing with the Red
Dragonarmies forces. Roars of challenges in all tongues arrayed, blasted
through the air, as the forces drew nearer to one another. Yet, Dante called
a halt some ten feet from Nordmaarian tribesmen. Dante let out a grunt of
laughter as Tachande walked forward from the Tribesmen ranks, quickly
followed by the Tribesmen's Chief, "Didn't think I'd miss out on this kind
of action did you,"  Tachande said with an equal wolfish grin spreading
across h is face.

Arraying his Nordmaarian forces at the head of the Dragonarmy, Tachande and
Dante roared as the Dragonarmy resumed its charge towards the, now depleted,
Nordmaarian forces.

Takhisis eyes drifted from the pool to Tachande. Watching as the man's hands
gripped the lid of the pool with white knuckles, and the wolfish grin
spreading across his face as his forces joined with Dante's. Willing the
pool away, Takhisis watched as Tachande stood and quickly pondered all that
he saw. Deeming it a fitting end, Takhisis chuckled and faded with the the
room, the last whisps of her voice stuck in Tachande's mind. " Be wary, my
paladin, for these events may or may not come to pass."

Tachande awoke with searing pain, once again in the mortal realm. Mind awash
with his vision. Sitting up, he realized the broken collarbone was quickly
mending, as well as the wound to his skull from the minotaur's axe. Bowing
his head, he prayed to his Queen, and quickly fell back asleep, for the
healing wasn't over. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Tue Mar  3 00:02:42 2009
Subject     Awakening

Tachande's eyes crept open, clutching the back of his head, he sighed.
Relieved that the wound to his skull was healed, he tested his shoulder.
Wincing at the slight pain, he felt satisfied that it was mended. Sitting up
in the cot, he examined the room he was in. Many cots lined the walls of the
room. Rather empty, Tachande cast it off and swung himself to the edge of
the cot. Looking around, he saw his armor and scimitars in a open chest
aganst the wall.

Taking his time, he adorned himself and finished buckling his swordbelts to
his waist, a sudden urge to walk struck him.

Satisfied that everthing was in order, he quickly left the room and found
himself walking down the corridors leading to the barracks. Looking around,
he stopped an aide to question him about the fate of his friend, Mephiston.


The aide told him that Mephiston was confined to the brigg untill his
commanding officer released him.

Sighing, Tachande released the aide and continued on his walk through the
barracks. Mephiston's freedom would come another day, for Tachande knew he
couldn't do a damn thing to help his friend.

Thoughts drifting on the vision he had had while unconsious, Tachande did
not realize that he had left the barracks of the Dragonarmy and was, in
fact, closing in on Neraka's gate.

A guard tried to halt Tachande's departure, yet seeing the insignia on his
breast, went back to the gate house muttering.

Continuing on his trek down the road, Tachande's thoughts drifted away and
he looked around at his surroundings. Looking around, he spied a flash of
black cross the corner of his vision.

Hands drifting down to his scimitars, Tachande turned about, to discover a
sleek black wolf eyeing him. Upon further look at the wolf, Tachande
grimaced as he saw that the wolf held something in its maw.

Muttering to himself about being spooked by a wolf, Tachande turned back
around and started walking again, when the recognition struck him. It was
Dante's Wolf.

Wheeling back around, Tachande walked towards the wolf, bowing his head in
respect to the creature. Scanning the wolf, he noticed no injuries to it,
yet focused in on the item in it's mouth.

Reaching down, he grabbed the crown as the wolf released it. Flipping the
crown over, Tachande recognized it as the one Dante had found in Nordmaar.
Looking at it closely, he swore loudly. Opening a fold in his cloak, he
placed the bloodied crown in it and looked to the wolf. "What has happened
to your master?" he asked the wolf.

As if understanding, the wolf quickly launched into a run. Quickly following
the Wolf, Tachande's mind blazed at what could of happened.

Following the wolf for what seemed like hours, Tachande stumbled to a halt
by the panting wolf. Looking past the wolf, he spied walls of stone and
smoke from behind them.

Slowly drawing one scimitar, Tachande crept forward towards the walls.
Realizing that there wasn't anyone around he sheathed the blade and dashed
over the low wall.

Landing with minimal sound, Tachande crept along the side of one of the
buildings. Dashing behind a small shack, Tachande watched as a patrol of
heavily armed men walked past. Comforted that they had left, Tachande crept
along the wall.

Several buildings covered the area surrounding the wall of the mountain.
Spying the entrance to one solitary mine entrance, Tachande muttered a
prayer to Takhisis and drew two daggers at his hip. Dashing across the
street, he slid along the wall of another building until he was ten feet
from the mine entrance. He came to a halt suddenly as he heard voices of two
guards.

He watched in disgust as two men stood chatting merily among each other.
Freely drinking from a skin of some kind of alcohol. Pinching the blades of
the daggers in both hands, Tachande lunged from the wall, dashing towards
the two half drunken men.

One guard let out shout as he saw the man dashing towards him, drawing his
blade to fend off the man, he did not see the flash of steel as the dagger
embedded itself between his ribs, blade piercing his heart. 

The other guard turned to flee when he saw his friend fall, yet another
dagger flashed out, striking the man in the side, piercing his lung.

Crouching over the dying man, Tachande drew another dagger and placed it
against the dying man's throat, "I will ease your passing, if you tell me
where he is,"  he hisses.

The man grunts in pain, breath rattling in his chest the man manages to ask,
" Who the hell are you?" Tachande gave the man his reply by jabbing the tip
of the blade into the man's neck,"  Where is the man with the crescent moon
tattooed on his forhead?"

The guard's eyes flash open at the mention of the tattoo,"  That one,"  he
exclaims, " hes' in their with the rest of the slaves."

Satisfied by the answer, Tachande slid the dagger across the man's throat,
jerking the head back so the blood spews across the ground, cleanly slicing
through the juggular vein and other tissue.

Grabbing the blades from the two men, Tachande wiped the blood off on one of
the corpses. Sheathing the daggers, he grabbed the bodies of the men and
hauled them into a shack near the entrance of the mine.

Sealing the door to the shack, Tachande drew his scimitars and descended
into the mines, searching for Dante. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Mar  5 00:18:15 2009
Subject     Wolves Rising

" Tachande, take the slaves and get them armed for combat,"  Dante
orders, calling a huge Ergothian and Highlander over.

" What of yourself, Dante?" Tachande asks, looking back at the assembled
slaves.

Dante grins and starts walking out of the room, " I have unfinished business
to take care of" he says, as he and the Ergothian and Highlander leave the
room.

Grinning, Tachande looks over the slaves all looking back at him,"  Alright
men, from here we make it to the armory, then,"  he looks back at the three
dead guards,"  to Victory!

Leading the amassed slaves proved to be a slight challenge, none the less,
they arrived at the tunnel entrance to the massive armory. Creeping close to
the edge of the entrance, Tachande peered into the tunnel. At the end stood
ten guards, blades and axe at the ready. Each one wore a look of grim
determination, having become aware of the growing noise of the slaves.

Standing in three ranks, the guard's formation would prove troublesome, or
so Tachande thought. For among the slaves, one bear of a man walked through
the slaves, pushing through those too slow to get out of his way. Coming up
to Tachande, he looked down at him, " What is your will, milord?" Looking up
at the man, Tachande found a slow grin spread across his face, " For each
one of you here, My goddess will grant you power and glory if you but kneel
to her."

Lookin at the slaves carefully, Tachande saw acknowledgment flash in the
eyes around him. Kneeling first, the man looked up to Tachande,"  What shall
she have us do?"

Grinning, Tachande closes his eyes and placed his hand on the huge man's
head. Focusing in on the power of his goddess, he felt a stinging pain
spread through his hand. Looking at his hand, black flame engulfed the hair
of the man. Taken aback, Tachande released the man and looked on as tufts of
hair burned away. He looked on as the flame seared a dark pattern across the
man's face and nose. Twin snakes coiled like rope slithered across the man's
face, sinking into his skin. Standing from shock, the man looked at
Tachande, looking past him the man grabbed a torch from the wall and charged
down the tunnel.

Not being one to miss a fight, Tachande charged after the man, followed by a
dozen or so slaves. 

The man charged directly into the swords and axes of the awaiting guards.
Thrown off by the man's wild charge, the first three guards were knocked
aside in the man's fury. Yet, for the men behind them, it gave them the
ideal target. Swords and axes slashed out at the crazed man, scoring wound
after debilitating wound. Yet before the crazed man fell, Tachande met the
downed guards. Swords slashing out, two guards fell as they floundered to
get up. Blood seeping from sliced necks. The third man, encumbered by his
heavy armor, managed to stand and strike out at Tachande.

Tachande swung one sword up to parry the falling blow, and slashed out with
the other at the man's exposed arm pit. Blade sinking to the hilt, piercing
the heart. Jerking the blade out, Tachande wheeled around as slaves flowed
past him, dragging the rema ining guards down by sheer numbers.

Looking around, Tachande wiped the blades of his swords off on the cloak of
one of the fallen guards. Looking around at the gore strung tunnel, Tachande
knelt beside the dying man who charged towards the guards. Head bowed in
prayer, Tachande grasped the hand of the dying man. "Your soul with fight
beside our Queen, you fought and died well, my friend."

The light receded from the man's eyes. 

Standing, Tachande searched the corpses of the guard's until he found what
he was looking for. Bringing the key to the armory up in front of him,
Tachande let out a ragged laugh as he unlocked the door and ordered the
slaves to arm themselves.

It took almost an hour to arm themselves, yet once they were armed and
ready, Tachande ordered them towards the mine entrance.

Navigating the tunnels came easily to Tachande, having spent much of his
young life underground. Yet once he and the slaves neared the entrance he
called a halt.

One slave looked over to Tachande,"  Why have we stopped?"

Tachande looked at the man, "Listen,"  he hissed. 

From outside, all of the guards assembled. Creeping close to the entrance of
the mine, Tachande peered out. His eyes scanned the mass of guards, judging
their number to be around one hundred to one fifty, he walked back over to
the slaves, whos numbers t hemselves ranged close to two hundred. Armed and
faced with freedom, and glory in the name of a God, the slaves discounted
the numbers of the guards and grew eager for battle.

Admiring the spirits of the men, Tachande stood at the entrance, facing the
force of the guards. Behind him, spanning the entire entrance to the wide
mine, stood two hundred eager slaves, brimming for a fight and their
freedom.

From among the ranks of guards, a man in a flowing blue cape stood out in
front of the ranks, wielding his sword high. Looking out at Tachande the man
ordered that if the slaves did not relinquish their arms they will all die.

He was the first to die.

Tachande grinned as his dagger sunk deep into the man's throat, pinning the
man's windpipe to the back of his spine. Falling to his knees, gasping for
air, the man died in the throes of a very painful choking death. Seeing
their leader fall, the guards charged towards the slaves.

Roaring a challenge to the guards, Tachande spearheaded the charge of the
slaves. 

Soon the mass of men clashed. Bodies thrown into the air, screams of dying,
and please to gods known and unknown split the air.

Tachande slashed out at one guard, blades gleaming red with blood, severing
the man's sword arm at the elbow. Wheeling around, he slashed under his arm,
plunging the tip of the blade throught the man's chest.

Turning, he parried another blade as he surveyed the pitched battle.

Slaves outnumbered the guards almost two to one, yet the slaves were ill
armored, whereas the guard's wore chainmail and plate. Watching as the
battle slowly turned in the guard's favor, Tachande let out a shout as he
saw Dante and the Ergothian, accompa nied by the Highlander, appear on the
rock ledge overlooking the pitched battle. Roaring his name, Tachande howled
as Dante and the two men lept off the ledge, landing in the thickest of the
battle.

Rolling to his feet, Dante and the two men fought like madmen.

Roaring a peon to Takhisis, Tachande fought on with a religious fervor. Soon
he found fewer and fewer men to kill, until lastly he met up with Dante and
the two men at the center.

Nodding his head to his brother in arms, Tachande fought on, against the
handful or so of remaining guards. Piercing one's skull with his sword, and
beheading another. He lunged toward two at one, only to meet one's parrying
blade. 

Grunting, he slashed away the blade and plunged his other sword deep into
the man's gut. Steel flashing to his right, Tachande was too late to parry a
blow aimed at his head. 

Yet steel rang against steel as Dante's blade parried the blow aimed at
Tachande. Reversing the slash, Dante easily gutted the attacking man.

Satisfied that the battle was nearing its end, Tachande stood next to Dante,
gore covered and panting,"  We have won."

Dante dipped his head to Tachande and turned to survey the remaing slaves.
Seeing the streets and isles body strewn, screams of the dying tearing into
the air. Yet looking past, both men counted thirteen left. Thirteen slaves
remained, of the nearly two hundred men, only thirteen remained.

Tachande leaned his head down and prayed to Takhisis. Opening his eyes, 

he watched in awe as Dante turned to the remaining slaves and roared in
triumph, blade raised in salute to the dead. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Mar  8 06:35:22 2009
Subject     Return of the Wolf Lord

 The men looked followed the two leaders in suprising Cadence. Most were
ex adventurers or local warriors. 

Each men searched their own souls on the march back to Neraka. Thoughts of
this new god they were presented with hung heavily in the air. Each man
talked little to the man on his left or right. Each one looking inward.

Could it be true? Had a god come to them through their two commanders? 

Each among them asked that question, yet never aloud. Looking around them,
Tachande surveyed the quiet men.

He could feel the stirrings of the goddess's eye steadily growing as he
marched to Dante's right.

She walks with us, Dante. The men seem to be embracing her with their very
souls,"  he exclaims, an edge of satisfaction underlying each word.

Dante bowed his head, yet kept walking.

The next few hours past by without word. Yet the sense of a god's power hung
heavy around everyone. Like the warm rays of the sun as you walk out from
under the cover of shade.

Something would come about this meeting. Tachande kept his gaze inward,
focusing on his goddess's steadfast gaze on him and his group. So much so,
that the sight of Neraka's gates suprised him. 

Yet soon, Dante and his force marched under Neraka's gates and into the Red
Quarter. Ordering Tachande to attend to the men Dante left the group on his
own errands.

Tachande led the men towards the barracks, having them await his return as
he entered a room to add them to the ranks.

Striding inside, he detailed the events leading up to the return of Dante
and himself leading the thirteen men. Impatiently, he waited as the aide
scratched down the details and ran off to deliver the missive. 

Satisfied at the aides returned, Tachande looked over to another official at
a desk to his left. He watched amused, as the man scratched down the names
of the men in a roster list. Satisfied that the work here was done, Tachande
walked out of the office and back to the men.

Men, here you shall stay until I return. You shall train, and you shall
learn more of your new god. Until my return, I expect no trouble from anyone
of you. You may go."

Tachande watched as the men looked around to each other and then turned and
walked into the training grounds of the Red barracks. Letting out a massive
sigh, Tachande stood and twisted, popping his back.

Relaxing himself for a moment, he thought to himself of how his life has
changed since the first moment of the slaver's mines. Reminding himself of
his duties now, to himself, his commander, and his Queen, he chuckled and
went off to his own place in the barracks.

Later on, Tachande stepped away from his fellow combatant. Jabbing the man's
torso with his fist. Ducking as the man tried to deliver a sharp right hook
to his jaw. Throwing his bulk into a tackle, he knocked down his sparring
partner and delivered a sharp jab at the sweet spot of the man's jaw,
knocking the man out. Whiping the sand off of his himself, Tachande stood
and reached down to pull the waking man up. Chuckling he hefted the man up,
"You fight well, Bregga. 

The man, Bregga, looked at Tachande, at first, with a angry scowl, then soon
grinned as he walked next to Tachande,"  the time in the mines gave me
nothing but strength to gain."

Nodding, Tachande bid Bregga farwell as he walked past the training yard
walls and walked down the streets of Neraka, searching for Dante.

Tachande spied Dante leaving an alley heading for the front gates of the
city. Hurrying his pace, Tachande walked up to Dante,"  The men will get
along fine in the barracks. I've set them up for training and proper
armament for when their needed."

Dante chuckled and tipped his head,"  Follow me."

Following Dante, he thought of what to do next once they returned to the
city. So engrossed with his thoughts, he paid no heed to the woods to his
left or right, or him entering them. 

Finally picking up the faint scent of the woods, Tachande looked up and
around at his surroundings. With a question on his lips, he began to ask
where the hell they were, when Dante cut him off. Motioning forward, he
could see a woman by a small fire. 


Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Mar  8 09:08:22 2009
Subject     Departure

 Tachande walked the streets of Neraka, counting down the alleys towards
Dante's. Thinking back to his past visit, he stopped at one particular alley
and headed into its darkness.

Meanwhile, Dante looked around his abode, turning on his heels, he grabbed a
key from his side and unlocked the door. Looking out at Tachande walking
towards the door," Come in, and lock the door behind you." he states
flatly.

Once inside the two discussed matters of importance to the red army. Once
such was the freeing of Mephiston from the Brig. Recounting the incident to
Dante, Tachande stood as Dante made for their departure to the barracks.

After a short walk, and an order, Mephiston was freed from the Brig and
amongst them once again. Yet it was to be short lived. For Dante quickly
ordered them to the War room.

The orders were short and Complicated, exactly how Tachande liked it. Mass a
force of Goblins to join the Red Dragonarmies, and relay the information to
Dante on a regular basis.

Mephiston's orders were as short and complicated as his, get the minotaurs
of Mithas to join the Red Cause. God how Dante liked to hand out the good
ones. Siding himself on the complexities of his mission, Tachande stood and
saluted Dante with a crisp, s hort salute, and made his way to the Stables
of the Dragonarmies.

Looking at the horses in the stables, Tachande sided himself with a vicious
beast of a warhorse. Black coat, redish eyes, its main was the color of a
eclipsed night sky and its temperment matched the color.

Known for biting its handlers, the horse was stabled apart from the others.
"Perfect, a loner to match a loner," he thought to himself. 

Suprising the stable boys with his request, he got the horse, which
strangely placated itself to his will, and departed for an undisclosed
location. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri Mar 13 23:14:43 2009
Subject     Clan of Hect'grak

Tachande knelt next to the bole of a mighty oak tree. Scanning the
meeting that was taking place not ten feet from him. A group of goblins,
maybe ten in total, stood in a wooded clearing, chittering in their language
amongst themselves.

Standing, Tachande fixed his sword belts and stepped into the clearing,
suprising the goblins. Not impressed by the quick armament of themselves,
Tachande drew his twin swords and looked at each goblin.

"It's simple, " he states flatly to the bewildered goblins,"  fight me, and
you will all die. Yet your lives are worth far more than a few moments of
combat. So," he motions to sheath their blades," which shall it be?"

Sighing inwardly, Tachande shook his head as the largest goblin shoved three
smaller ones towards him. Each of the three goblins charged Tachande with
reckless abandon. Easily dodging one slashing blade, Tachande brought one
sword down, flat, against the base of the goblin's neck. Quickly knocking
the goblin warrior out. One down already, the other two were hesitant to
attack the man.

Looking back to, now clear, Goblin leader, Tachande sheathed one of his
blades,"  if you continue, I shall use only one blade." He looks at the
other two goblins, summing up their courage.

Not one to be proven false, he easily parried the incoming attack from an
unknown goblin behind him. Whipping around he back handed the smaller goblin
into a comatose state.

Seeing two of their brothers fall to this unknown man, the other two goblin
warriors sheathed their blades and stood back, looking between their leader
and the man.

"Enough with the games, Goblin," Tachande says as he sheaths his remaining
blade. Looking at the goblin leader opposite him, Tachande sums him up to be
roughly six feet in height with beady black eyes, and pale greenish yellow
skin.

The Goblin leader muttered something unintelligable as he too sheathed his
blade," What do you want human?"

"I want your fealty, swear your allegiance to me and my cause, and you will
survive this day, otherwise, you and your men will die this day."

The goblin leader looked incredulously at the strange human," You want me to
swear fealty to you, simply because of your prowess with a blade." Smoothing
back his greasy black hair, the Goblin leader stood firm in Tachande's
presence.

"It will not be that easy, human, to sway the Hect'grak clan. You must prove
yourself to me and my warriors if you want us to follow you."

Tachande looked at the Goblin Leader with a smug look upon his face," What
must I do then, Goblin?" 

The Goblin leader scowled at the smugness of the human," you must kill a
rival to me and my clan. They are a band of ogres by the name of Bernal.
"Kill them, and you have my loyalty, and my clan."

Turning to leave, the two unconscious goblins at his feet begin to come to,
Tachande's last words ring in the clearing," It will be done." 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Tue Mar 17 00:04:09 2009
Subject     Bernal

The clash of arms tore through the hillside. Dozens of Ogres and Goblins
fought, warcries and death cries from both sides split the air. Dark black
banners with blood red insignias filled the air.

"So this is what it is when these two races fight," Tachand muttered to
himself as he overlooked the battle unfolding below him. Admiring the skill
the ogres had as they cut the much smaller goblins to pieces. The great
ogre's axes and swords split goblin armor in twain, rending innards, and
cleaving skulls and the armor encasing them as if they were made of wool.
Roars could be heard from an ogre commander somewhere deep in the lines.

Yet Tachande soon grew tired of watching the carnage between the two races.
Descending the other side of the hilltop, he mounted his horse and rode off
into the wilds. "Let them kill each other, maybe then they will be more
willing to talk," he said to noone in particular. Wheeling his horse to the
right, he drew close enough to the sounds of battle to remain local.

Periodically he would ride along the forest line as he spied goblin's
fleeing the slowly dying battlefield. Yet he did not let them flee far.
Wrangling them to his banner, he explained to the warriors of conquest and
glory. 

Yet Tachande knew the forth coming battle would be pitched. Looking to the
amassed goblins around him he roared in their language," Follow me into the
mouth of Hell, and you will find glory." 

Wheeling his horse to face a path circumventing the battlefield, he
marshaled the rest of the ragged goblin forces to his side and lead them
around the battlefield, at the ogre's exposed flank.

Looking at the goblins around him, Tachande tilted his head down and prayed
to Takhisis for victory in the upcoming fight. Rearing his horse, he drew
one of his swords and motioned for the attack.

The goblins swarmed around the horseman marshalling them, up over the
hilltop, and smashing into the exposed flanks of the Ogres still fighting
their remaining kin.

Tachande watched as the force of goblins ascended the hilltop and then
disappear as they ran down to meet the ogre's flanks. A wolfish grin slowly
spread as he heard the roar of ogre warriors as the goblins appeared on the
hilltop.

Urging the beast into an intense speed, Tachande himself descended into the
battle, or what was left of the slaughter of the Bernal clan.

Goblins hacked at the ogres from two fronts now. The ogres, once exhalting
in their upcoming victory, now found themselves being wittled down to a
weary mob of wounded ogres.

Yet Tachande watched on, impressed, by the honor the few remaining ogres
had. Blade wet with Ogre blood, Tachande wiped it off with the hem of his
frayed cloak and sheathed his blade.

The battle was over. Goblin's roared into the air as their impending defeat
turned to victory at the arrival of the silver haired man. Yet,
understanding of the constrains of battle himself, Tachande marshalled the
surviving goblins to him.

"Victory this day does not belong to me, but to my Queen. She has many
names, Queen Takhisis to me and my people, yet you may know her as Mwarg."

The goblins looked on as the silver haired man spoke to them of his queen
and her cause, many were swayed to follow this man and to continue on in
honor of Mwarg, yet soon many were cautious of the human.

"What else will you offer, human, if we follow you?" a goblin voice called
out amongst the warriors.

Tachande turned his eyes to the crowd of warriors,"  I offer you Unlimited
wealth, power, and glory if you fight for me, if you swear loyalty to me and
my Queen."

That seemed to strike the proper chord with the rest of the goblin warriors.
Tachande felt exhaulted as the goblin's pledged their loyalty to Queen
Takhisis/Mwarg, and to himself as their commander.

Looking around, he motioned for one Goblin to come to his side,"  what is
your name goblin?" Tachande asked the goblin.

The goblin looked up at Tachande," Glorik, milord."

"Glorik is it, well, take these men a few miles north of here, scavenge the
dead and dying for whatever you all desire and set up camp near a brook
about five miles north of here, in the forest."

Tachande looked around as the goblins accepted his orders and began to
scavenge the dead and dying of whatever suited their fancy. Food, arms,
armor, and souvenirs, he cared not for their tokens, only their swordarms. 

Looking back at the battlefield, he wheeled his horse around and turned his
head," Stay there until I come back, then, we will go to greater glory."

Spurring his mount forward, Tachande headed back to the Chieftain of the
Hect'grak clan, to tell him of his victory in his quest, and to gather the
strength of the clan to further build his force. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Tue Mar 17 02:55:35 2009
Subject     Clan of Hect'grak (2)

The spot he had come upon the goblins the first time stood barren. The
impressions of the goblins he struck down still indented the soft soil.
Looking around, Tachande scanned the foliage, looking for some sign of the
goblin's movement.

He scanned close to the base of one tree, small markings seemingly stabbed
into the tree, presented a crude message of sorts to him. Recognizing the
marks as a crude form of common and goblin, he decyphered the location of
the hold of the goblins.

Sighing, he tied his horse to the bole of the tree and patted its mane,"  I
will be back, my friend." 

Securing his weapons, Tachande headed towards the opening of an underground
tunnel. Not suprising, two Bugbears stood guard at the entrance, covered in
crude Iron chainmail and wielding massive axes.

"I've come to see your Chieftain," he stated bluntly to the two guards in
goblin, as he walked between them. Both guards jerked towards Tachande in
attempt to stop him.

Waving his hand back, Tachande halted the two guards,"  If you value your
pathetic lives you will take me to your Chieftain and not try to stop me."

Hearing the threatening tone in the silver haired man's voice, both Bugbears
hastily walked into the caves.

Following the two guards through the tunnels, Tachande looked around in
hidden amusement as a growing tide of goblins began to follow them.

Both guards came to a halt in front of a strong wooden door carved into the
face of the tunnel. Mumbling something to two more guards stationed outside
of the door, they quickly opened the door and fled inside.

Not being one for pleasantries, Tachande walked right past the two imposing
guards and stared, calmly, at the astonished Chieftain sitting atop a stone
throne at the center of the massive room. "What are you doing back," the
Chieftain sputtered, shocked by the arrival of the Tachande.

Looking at the Chieftain with his dark blue eyes, Tachande said three simple
words," It is done."


Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Wed Mar 18 03:37:18 2009
Subject     Forsaken

 Tachande looked around the abode in which he now wearily sat. His broken
dragonmail armor hung from his bloodied frame in tatters, wrecked from the
battle. Wearily he looked up at Dante, his commander's eyes gauging him
harshly, summing up the validity of his story. His twin swords, long used
throughout his life, barely fit into the scabbards in which they were
perfectly fit for, once upon a time.

Absent was the amulet about his neck, the sign of his faith in Takhisis. It
lay in a crumbled heap, miles away in the battlefield that had claimed his
hard work, and almost his life.

"I have failed you Dante, they were too strong," he says wearily, for the
effects of the ill begotten battle hung deep on him. Wounds still fresh from
the overwhelming battle, though they were now clotted from the long ride
back to Neraka. _________________ Tachande had rocked the goblin chieftain's
beliefs in his superiority as he told the details of the battle and the
victory and crushing of the Bernal Clan. Though the Goblin chieftain
retained his shocked demeanor, he was still hesitant to add his loyalty to
this mysterious man. Questioning the man further, both spent an hour or so
speaking between themselves. 

Yet their diplomacy ended rather hastily as a great crash broke through mid
sentence. Both turned to see a massive goblin enter bearing a bloodied
corpse of a much smaller one.

They came from out of nowhere, a sizeable force," it muttered, dropping the
corpse at the feet of the two suprised men. Tachande and the Chieftain
looked to each other and then back to the Goblin," Who?" both asked in
unison. 

Both listened in rapt attention, Tachande especially, as the Goblin detailed
his patrol being ambushed by a war party of Ogres, apparent remnants of the
Bernal clan that Tachande must have overlooked.

For the goblin patrol was sent out on order by the Chieftain to confirm the
tale Tachande had relayed. Now, that patrol was reduced to a lone survivor
bearing a tale.

After the goblin told his message to the Chieftain and Tachande, the
Chieftain roared out in outrage at the news.

Looking harshly at Tachande, the Chieftain drew his sword, prompting the
other goblins and bugbears in the room to do so as well. Get out of my
halls," roared the Goblin Chieftain, brandishing his sword threateningly at
Tachande.

Tachande knew this cause was lost, tilting his head slighty, he muttered a
curse to Takhisis. Bowing his head, he looked at the Goblin Chieftain," I
have failed," he stated plainly.

"Obviously there are more of them out there, unknown to me, for I thought
them dead after the battle in which I fought{," motioning to the goblins in
the hall," Yet, if you do not face this force, you might face
obliteration."

The Goblin belched out something between a snarl and a laugh," I'll take my
chances, now get the hell out of here before you are killed."

Nowing he was defeated, Tachande tilted his head and departed the Goblin
stronghold. Faced with a failure unknown to him in a long time, he mounted
his horse and rode towards his camp.

A few hours later, Tachande rode through the camp, summoning every warrior
there. Marshalling the warriors, he quickly ordered a march as he spread
word of the oncoming Ogre force.

Hurrying out of the camp with his band of warriors, Tachande growled as the
jowls of Ogres broke through the air. Trying to speed the ragtag force of
Goblins to greater speed, he swore as the first shouts from the back began
to rise. 

Wheeling around he watched on his utter contempt as the Ogre's burst from
the woods. Wheel round, face them! he roared at the goblins, spittle flying
from his mouth.

Praying to Takhisis for assistance in this battle he charged towards the
Ogres with his band of goblins.

The battle was pitched, yet futile. Goblins were hewn like wheat to a scythe
at the mercy of the ogre warriors. Tachande fought on, brandishing his
swords in a fury as his plans laid in utter ruin across the battlefield.

He cursed as the blade of his left scimitar became so notched that he was
forced to sheath the blade, lest it break. Fighting on with his right sword,
his left hand wound its way up to the medallion hanging from his neck.

His dragonmail had begun to dent and break from the harsh blows of the ogres
seemingly surrounding him. His sword arm was failing, his strength ebbing.
Crying out as the possibility of death seemed certain, he prayed to Takhisis
for salvation.

Yet Takhisis denied her power to her paladin. Roaring in bitter anguish,
Tachande gasped as the amulet from around his neck shattered. The image of
Takhisis shattering into painful shards that stuck into the palm of his
hand.

Roaring in outrage as he felt the power of his goddess flee him, he cursed
the name of Takhisis. Screaming rage tore through him, in haste he fled the
failing battle. 

The sounds of battle slowly began to fade as he ran through the woods.
Swearing vengeance upon the great bitch, the Goddess he had served for so
long, he continued on. Scanning the foliage in haste, he marked the place
where he had another horse ready.

Colliding through the foliage, the horse startled by the smell of goblin,
ogre, and human blood that covered the beaten paladin.

Tachande soon soothed the frantic horse and mounted it, wheeling it full
speed towards Neraka, towards his brother in arms. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Mar 22 21:29:46 2009
Subject     Sojourn

The ride from the outskirts of Haltigoth was weary. Each time dodging
patrols from the army in which we were not wanted. Dante and the rest of the
men kept a even pace, blending the miles into a myriad of lost thoughts. Not
one among us knew what we were to do. Many times we sat in the darkness,
wary of what we were to do next. We knew we had to get out of Taman Busuk,
if we didn't it was only a matter of time before we got caught, but to
where?

That is when one warrior among us, a man in his mid twenties, suggested a
place in his homeland of Abanasinia. A town he called Haven.

After discussing the option with Dante, we were both agreed, we would follow
the man's suggestion.

"Geralt is it?" I asked, looking at the warrior. What struck me about the
man was his similarity to myself, wheras my hair was silver in color, his
was stark white, his eyes were of a dark green color.

Geralt rode closer to me, at my left, and made a quick salute," aye sir."

I thought back to the previous night, discussing the plans to go to Haven,
and more importantly how we would get there. Geralt seemed to know alot of
what, and where, we would go. Uncanny, yet useful.

Casting the thoughts aside, I looked over to Geralt," we need to get more
money for the trip to Haven. As it goes now, we have little to barter
passage with." Looking over Geralt's light chainmail, and twin swords
hanging across his shoulders, I motioned for him to halt beside me and I
called a halt to the group. Dante looked towards me, impatience flaring in
his eyes," why have you called a halt?"

"We need money and supplies if we are to make passage to Abanasinia, and I
have an idea of how to achieve this," I said to the agitated Dante," we
raid."

"What do you suggest we raid then, Tachande?" Dante asks.

Grinning, I looked to the west, as expected a cloud of dust began to appear,
far off in the distance," on that," I announce, pointing towards the dust
cloud.

"What the hell is that," Dante muttered, as the men looked towards me. The
grin slid from my face as I looked to them," that, my comrades, is a caravan
for a noble family."

Dante grabbed ahold of my collar, nearly dismounting me," how the hell do
you know that." I throw his hand off my shirt collar and readjust myself
into my saddle," I sent a message to a contact in Solamnia prior to my
departure from Neraka. Before I set out to fulfill your orders, I
requisitioned funds from the treasury to hire a spy. Safe to assume, My
plans on that matter died with my faith. Even then, he has his uses now."

"Why didn't you tell me this," Dante growled in outrage. Looking at him I
simply shrugged," some things are best kept secret, brother." Looking back
to the growing blackness on the horizon, I turn to him again. "Either way,
last night I sent a message to my spy through the ways of nature, he
recieved it and apparently complied, for that carvan is some rival to his
cause. We kill the caravan, help my contact, and make a profit for
ourselves."

Growling, Dante tipped his head in acknowledgment," we kill the caravan,
grab anything of use, and head to the coast and find passage to Abanasinia,
but Tachande, be wary on who you choose to relay information to."

A slow grin spread across my face as the caravan drew closer to where we
were now hiding. Looking to the men as they readied their weapons, I then
checked on Dante, his side still heavily bandaged, yet he drew Wolf's
Embrace none the less.

Drawing a long knife from my boot, I looked over to Dante, awaiting the
signal as the caravan drew closer. Looking at the caravan I grinned
wolfishly. How easy this would be, four mounted knights stood guard around
the heavily equipped carriage. Two bound chests were tied to the back of the
caravan, inside would be some noble whelp and his family, yet outside, the
knights would be a problem. Yet, sitting beside the driver, was a
crossbowman.

"That crossbowman will be a problem," I mutter to Dante. He nods his head,
and motions for some of them men with bows to knock their arrows.

Drawing their bows, they fit arrows to them and take aim at the caravan,
each waiting to launch their volley. Looking to Dante, we both nod in
unison.

"Fire!"

The men behind us proved to be adequate archers, the crossbowman fell to the
dirt road, stuck with three black feathered arrows. One knight was
dismounted by a well aimed arrow to the neck. 

The three other knights wheeled to face the mounted men charging towards
them from the woods. I grinned as my thrown dagger embedded itself into the
driver's chest as the fool tried to muster the horses to flee.

Weaponless, I hung back from the group, admiring the men's work. Dante
dispatched one knight with dismembering blow to his sword arm, then a
reversal that decapitated the armored knight.

The other two fell beneath the blades of Raze and Geralt. Battle over, I
dismounted from my horse and walked over to two of the fallen knights.
Looking down at the corpses, I grabbed ones sword from the dirt and wiped
the blade clean of dirt. Removing the scabbards from my waists, I fit them
into a harness across my shoulders.

Sheathing one of the blades, I clean off the other from the second knight
and sheath it into the other empty scabbard. For now, these two salvaged
blades will suite me, yet I know I will need better when I reach Haven.

Sighing, I walk over to Dante," I have weapons, ill fit for me, yet they
will do till I find better." Nodding, Dante broke the lock on one chest with
a dagger at his hip.

All of us were pleasantly suprised to see it laden with Steel coin. Grinning
to one another, we began to break the other lock when it dawned on me about
the people inside the carriage.

"Geralt, Raze, take care of the people inside the carriage, Jouko, Lyor,
take the rest of the men and dispose of the bodies, after you take from them
any weapons and valuables on them."

Each saluted as they went off to their orders. Looking to Dante," how much
do you think we have here?" 

Dante grinned and looked over to me," enough brother, more than enough."

After the raid, our spirits were in better shape. We attached the chests to
a horse given to us, compliments to the dead knights, and departed for the
coast.

The ride to the coast was long, and tiring. Yet none of us complained as we
finally found a port where we could barter passage. It cost us a chest of
steel, yet we found a ship. Now, we all sat close together, looking outward
at the sea. 

We sank, wearily, into a fitful sleep and woke equally weary. For the sea
did not seem to sit well with us. Yet we each had more important things to
contemplate thank sea sickness. 



After several days at sea, we finally cross New Sea and come to a place
called New Port. Seems the captain had business there. I look over to Dante
as we depart the ship and head out towards Haven, following Geralt's lead. 

"What shall we do once we get there?" I ask Dante. Looking over at me, Dante
plainly says," I have no idea." 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Mar 26 06:35:41 2009
Subject     Preparation

The Barmaid slowly slid across Tachande's form, caressing him for a
moment before peeling herself off of him and reaching for her skirt. All he
could do is look over and admire her lithe frame, and her slender legs as
she pulled her skirt up.

Crossing his arms behind his head, he growls," after a night like last, I
should marry you." Blushing, the Barmaid fumbles to tie her bodice as
Tachande stands from the bed and begins to put on his clothing, armor, and
swords. Once he was finished putting on his items, he slowly walked past the
barmaid, kissing her passionately as he passed. Walking out of the room, he
looked back, contemplating returning to the lively barmaid.

Sighing, he walked to the stairs and descended them into the main room of
the inn. Looking around, he spotted Dante sitting at his usual spot in the
corner, drinking a glass of wine.

Walking over to Dante, he grinned as he saw a wolfish grin spread across his
face," take it you had fun," Dante said with a smirk. "Aye," Tachande
chuckled. Waving over a barmaid, Tachande ordered a plate of food and ale to
be brought to his table. Looking over at him, Dante took a drink from his
wine before he began," You ready for another adventure? Or that barmaid a
deal too good to pass up?"

Tachande grunted as the barmaid set down the food and ale before him and
looked up at Dante as he began to eat his food," she wasn't that good," he
mumbled as he began to eat his meal.

Dante grinned," good, for we have a job."

Tachande slowed his eating and took a drink of his ale," what we doing?" he
asks. Dante took another sip of his wine and ordered another to be brought
to him. "Found a mage needing companions to go to Icewall."

Looking at Dante questioningly, he mutters," How much they payin'?" Dante
grinned at this and drained his wine," we keep anything we find."

Tachande was about to say something when Dante tossed a pouch full of coin
to him," and she gave me a pouch of coin to get supplies and such for the
trip," he says as he looks on as Tachande looks inside the pouch. "And, I
gave her a false name, I am now known as Wolf around her," he grins," I
suggest you do the same." 

Pushing aside the empty plate, Tachande gave a curt nod and closed the
pouch," I will be known as Witcher," he states flatly.

With a slight nod, Dante says," I want you to go and buy our supplies and
provisions for the trip." Tachande tips his head and stands to depart, as he
leaves he shouts back," dont do anything I wouldn't do till I get back."

Leaving the Inn, Tachande walks down to another inn to find Raze and Geralt,
after telling them of their task at procurring supplies for the trip, he
heads off to pass the time whilst they complete their task.

Quickly growing bored, Tachande decides to go back to the inn, just in time
to see Dante being led upstairs by a fiesty Blonde barmaid. Grinning
Tachande sits down to a tankard of ale," we all need our fun," he chuckles
as he drinks from his tankard. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri May 29 04:52:23 2009
Subject     Departure

"I want you to take the men and head to Goodbay, once there wait for my
arrival," Dante ordered Tachande. 

That was a week ago, Tachande looked back at Lyor, Raze, Geralt, and Jouko.
We were still on our way to Goodbay yet thoughts of the mage and our overall
destination lingered in the air.

"We make it to Icereach, seemingly to an abandoned temple, that should be
easy," Tachande muttered to his self. His patience was growing thin, the
damned rain seemed to never cease, on top of that, there was no mead. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Dec 24 21:04:44 2009
Subject     Flight from the Darkness

Tachande stood at the prow of the ship, looking back he could still
picture the frantic flight from the Lord City of Palanthas. His men were
still with him, minus Dante. His white hair streaked across his face from
the spray of the sea, angrily, he flicked his head and tossed the loose
strands back into place. Turning, he walked back over to his men and sat in
front of them. " We have a long way yet to go my friends," he says, eyes
scanning each one," we have lost Dante it seems to the darkness. Yet we will
not lose ourselves."

His words were lost as a violent wave crashed over the side of the ship and
doused them all with sea water. Cursing Zeboim's games, he shook off the
worst of the water and leaned his head back against crate he was sitting
against.

Mind awash with outlandish thoughts, uncertain as to what he should do next,
fears of himself and failure, he tried focusing on some minute thought to
block out the onrush of the others. Growling in frustration, he stands and
looks around the ship. Sailors went this way and that, servicing the many
needs of the ship, belaying orders and carrying out others. To the back of
the ship the captain stood. Still uncertain as to how their stroke of luck
played out, Tachande examined the ships captain. 

A man of roughly fourty years, he has the look of a man whos life was spent
pursuing the seas. His clothes were nothing spectacular, however the
medallion at his neck and the mace at his hip betrayed a rather strange
twist to the man.

Noting those two specific items he turned back and looked out at sea. Mind
wandering as to where the gods plan to take him next. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Wed Jan 27 20:11:38 2010
Subject     Tide of Darkness Rising

Tachande wrote in a black leather book, a habit he only recently picked up. Within, accounts of his battles, his training, and his recent events in life were all recorded, for he found that it was much easier to put pen to paper than have your mind cloud
ed by the emotions and memories of the past.
It also served another purpose as a guide should he fall in battle, for his men to continue on in his name. He stopped for a second and scanned the copse of trees his men now made camp in.
Outside of those trees, the Solamnic knights still stood guard, weary of his men, yet Lord Railen's orders were being upheld. Whether out of fear of him or respect, Tachande did not know. Yet he liked the Lord Knight.
From what he had gleamed of the man, he was a strong warrior, and a dedicated knight. Yet what struck Tachande the most was the look in the knight's lone eye. A resolve he had not seen since his earlier life.
 
He focused his thoughts back to his work at hand, penning down the events in recent months. Starting with his departure of Palanthas as the Dragonarmies attacked, to the loss of his blade-brother Dante.
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Geralt and Raze both sensed something was amiss as strange cloaked figures began to appear in mass, clogging several streets vital to keep the flow of traffic moving. Each one's hand grasp their preferred weapon. 
 
The cloaked men began to search each startled citizen, screams for the guards went unheard, for most were either dead or dying at this point. Raze pointed to a alleyway clear of cloaked men and Raze followed as he ducked within.
Running to report the events unfolding to their master, both muttered as to what they were going to do now that the enemy had found them.
 
Dante sat across from Tachande, both in a heated discussion as to where they should leave to, as Geralt and Raze burst into the room. Both appeared disheveled, breathing heavily. "What has happened?" Dante ordered.
 
Both men recounted what they had witnessed, Dante and Tachande shared a grim look throughout the recounting. Muttering to himself in Goblin, Tachande cursed their luck. The Goddess had forwarded her plans of invasion.
Dante ordered both men to alert the others and bring them here and turned to Tachande as they departed," what will we do now that draconians are in Palanthas?"
 
Tachande focused back on Dante, foul curses still brewing. "We have to get out before were overrun," Tachande said plainly as he reached for a mug of ale sitting on the table," she has come."
 
Dante roared in anger and struck the mug from Tachande's hand," we will not flee, brother." Growling, he turned and reached for his blade," we will fight her."
 
"Aye, we will fight, and die," Tachande sighed," but," he grunted as a grin began to spread across his face," we will fight and die gloriously."
 
Both grabbed their gear and waited for their men to return. After everyone assembled, they made their way to the harbour and awaited nightfall for the attack.
 
Sure enough, Dragonarmy ships arrived as dark approached, Lunitari's light giving the bay a blood tinged edge. Dante spread out the men at appropriate intervals as the ships sailed closure. 
By this time the defenses in the harbour were bein readied for the assault, yet both men knew that if Draconians had penetrated the defenses of Palanthas then the defenses themselves would be tampered with.
As one catapult readied to fire at the Dragonarmy ships, the arm of the catapult snapped in twain. Each time a defense prepared to launch some integral part would break down.
 
Men at arms ran to defend the harbour, yet calls to arms sounded from the gates as well from the watchers within the city. The city would be lost.
 
Men poured from the alleys, sewers,and from the heavens themselves. Draconians unmasked themselves and fought alongside those spies who charged now.
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Much to Tachande's annoyance, much of the resulting battle was shrouded in a fog in his mind, both he and his men suffered from the same confusion. "You were lost to us then, brother," Tachande said aloud.
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Continuing to write----
Tachande twisted and fended a blow as he and the rest were being pushed back. He looked back at a ship preparing to dare the Dragonarmy blockade. Ordering his men to fall back to the ship, he looked one last time for his fallen brother.
Unable to find his brother's corpse, he swore in frustration and turned to lead the men aboard the ship. For now that Dante was gone, he was left to lead them.
 
As the ship slipped past the Dragonarmy blockade, Tachande looked back at the fallen city. Lyor, Raze, Geralt, and Jouko stood beside him," where shall we go now?" Raze spoke up from the group.
 
Tachande turned to them and looked out to the sea," We head to Nordmaar."

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Jan 31 01:21:14 2010
Subject     Preparation for War

------------------------------------------------- Our voyage at sea took
far less than I expected, for it had been long since I traveled by sea. When
we arrived off the coast of Nordmaar I bade the captain farewll and ordered
my men to depart. Though we were cautious of our landing, I had no overt
fears of attack. Granted the smoke on the horizon bode ill for our arrival,
I hoped the attention of the dragonarmies would focus on the southern end of
Nordmaar.

After a few days on foot, and many a cautious venture into local villages, I
came across a sign of hope. The mark of a Grey Wolf. The last time we set
foot upon Nordmarrian soil, Dante commanded the allegiance of a local tribal
lord, now I have come to claim that Tribe, and those of whom I can gain
allegiance to my banner.

-------------------------------------------------

Tachande looked up for a brief moment, looking at the blue sky above,
recounting the hard times beheld in Nordmaar.

-------------------------------------------------

Ordering a halt, Tachande motioned for his men to fan out, weapons at the
ready. Something was amiss, scanning the horizon Tachande saw the markings
of seven furred warriors watching them from the outskirts of the forest. "Et
Gurroend Wulf, Di Loegn Far'thunen Tachande."

The seven warriors shown themselves from the forest-line. Each bearing the
mark of a grey wolf clasp at their left. Geralt looked back to his lord,"
what did you tell them?" Tachande looked towards Geralt and back to the
advancing warriors," I told them, Hail wolfkin, be known." Geralt looked at
the heavily armored and furred warriors," and it worked that simple?" he
said questioningly to Tachande.

Tachande grinned," no, that is why they show themselves, duck."

Geralt looked back just as a cloven axe, aimed for his head, missed by a
mere hair's breath. Drawing his blades, Tachande ordered his men back, but
ready.

Looking at the advancing Nordmaarian wolves, Tachande grinned," Halt
brothers, or face the wrath of your commander."

The warriors laughed admist themselves," follow you?" they spoke in
Nordmaarian," why should we follow you?"

Behind them, the leader of their tribe stood waiting, still lame from the
wound inflicted by Dante. "So you have returned," he roared from the
treeline," but where is your other, the one with the crescent moon?"

Tachande looked past the seven warriors and toward their leader," He fell in
glorious battle, if your men do not wish the same, order them down, and we
shall speak," he commanded in Nordmaarian.

Geralt and the others watched on as their leader conversed with the
barbarians in mail. Behind those seven warriors stood a towering man,
heavily furred and equally mailed, yet lame with a almost useless leg. Raze
looked to Raze," what do you think their talking about," he asked. "Nothing
good," Raze's voice carried," though that one with the bad leg seems to have
the advantage over us."

Tachande looked back at his men," sheathe your blades, yet to Lyor in his
tongue," keep an eye on the lame one, he holds more tricks than any."

The men reluctantly sheathed their blades, yet held onto their other means
of killing. Tachande looked back to the Chieftain," well, what shall it be?
Kneel before me, or lose your other leg?" he ordered.

The Chieftain's face paled at Tachande's insult, yet he knew his place,
rubbing the jagged scar where Dante's sword ended the use of his leg. "I
remember what me and mine swore those many months ago, and we have done what
we can to prepare for your return."

Tachande's men looked dumbstruck as warriors appeared from the forest,"
well, there must be fifty at least," Geralt mocked to his fellows. "No,"
Tachande grinned as he returned to the presence of his men. "There are
eighty here, and eighty more farther south fighting the Dark Queen's
armies," Tachande said with a grin spreading across his face. "Well," Geralt
asked," what shall we do now." 

Tachande looked at Geralt," we train them." 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Jan 31 02:00:26 2010
Subject     Camp

-------------------------------------------------

Whilst those groups began their work, Tachande ordered his elite and the
Chieftain to hold a council in the Warlord's tent (Tachande's New Abode).
"We must begin training of your men at once," Tachande said to the lame
Chieftain," they are hale fighters, Whilst those groups began their work,
Tachande ordered his elite and the Chieftain to hold a council in the
Warlord's tent (Tachande's New Abode). "We must begin training of your men
at once," Tachande said to the lame Chieftain. "They are able fighters,
true, but they lack the discipline of more civilized soldiers," Tachande
stated. The chieftain clasped his hands behind his back and spoke
reassuringly," we will milord, yet first we must get back to the defense of
Nordmaar."

Tachande knew this would come about soon," we must first train the men in
better combat, otherwise their wont be a Nordmaar to RECLAIM."

At the word Reclaim the Chieftain's eyes misted over in pale anger," you
want us to flee, leave our homes, our women, to the armies arrayed against
us? "

Tachande let out a sigh, probing his mind as to where to start," no, yet you
must realize the losing fight you are up against," pouring a mug of mead,
Tachande turns back after a hearty draft. "We are arrayed against a mighty
foe, they have dragons, numerous ships, and a will bent on our
annihilation," Tachande slowly states," and though you fight for your women
and homes, you are still losing." "We have a hundred and sixty men in which
to train before we lose this country," Tachande growls," we have precious
time in which to do so, as well as securing provisions and safety for whom
we can save." "There are caves in the Emerald Mountains in which your women
can hide, there is also a cache of weapons there, or so I believe, from a
time when I was native to this land," Tachande says," we shall start
there."

Looking around, Geralt looks to his lord and the Nordmaarian Chieftain," and
what shall we do tonight?" 

Both men look at Geralt, who shrinks from their feverous gazes," tonight we
shall see the skills of our new soldiers," Tachande states.

Outside, the soldiers under Tachande's command erect a sword circle, simple
in design. Stones surrounding a furrowed circle in which warrior's test
their skills against one another. Within, Tachande steps. Drawing his
blades, he challenges to the Nordmaarian men outlining the circle," of the
best of you, who shall challenge me?"

Looking around at the bearded faces around, Tachande growls again," whom
among you will face me?" swinging his blades, rotating his shoulders in a
small warm up.

From among the throng of soldiers, one fiery barbarian steps forth. Covered
in mail and furs, fiery red beard and blood red hair, the warrior stood a
full head taller than Tachande. Unsheathing his sword and unslinging his
shield from his back, he stood across from Tachande. " I shall challenge
you," the Red warrior said.

(To be Continued) 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Jan 31 23:29:59 2010
Subject     Camp (Continued)

Tachande looked around the sword circle, keeping close watch on the eyes
of the Nordmaarians around. He knew this was not a simple bout, but a test.
Should he fail this test, this force would rip him and his men apart.

Geralt and the others looked on as their lord circled the red barbarian in
the ring, swords crossed and at the ready.

Feigning a lunge, Tachande was pleased to see the barbarian shift his shield
to guard whilst bringing down his sword to attack at the unexposed back.
Striking with his left blade, Tachande parried the chop from the sword.
Turning as he passed the red barbarian, Tachande struck out at the warriors
shield arm, breaking skin just under the hide covering his arm pit. The
warrior turned with a grunt and pressed his attack.

Having the advantage of a shield and sword rather than two swords, the
barbarian was faring well against Tachande. Sharing blows, however, the
barbarian quickly began to tire as the weight of his shield grew. The
barbarian planted his feet and prepared to bash his shield to knock Tachande
off the ground. The throng of warriors hooted and cheered as their champions
seemed to have a final blow against Tachande. 

Tachande grinned as the warrior bashed with his shield, dropping his left
sword he lunged under the bash and came up, point first, against the
warrior's unprotected throat. "You fought well," Tachande commented," but
not well enough."

Silence spread throught the throng of warriors, their champion had just
suffered his first defeat, and at the hands of their new warlord. Some bowed
in acknowledgment to Tachande's skill, whilst others sneered.

This is going to be a rough journey- Tachande said inwardly. Looking around
to the warriors," go to your beds tonight, for the breaking of first light
we shall begin your training. "

After posting the guards and setting the shifts, Tachande himself departed
to his tent, after a brief discussion with Raze, he retired to his inner
sanctum within the tent and drifted off to sleep, mind not slowing as sleep
stole over his concious mind. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Jan 31 23:45:41 2010
Subject     Finished Memories

Tachande wrote out the last few descriptions of the last months, the
training of his forces, the near defeat at the hands of the Dragonarmies in
Southern Nordmaar, and the vision of Paladine.

Looking up from his completed entries, he looked suprised as the sun began
to dip below into the sea. Standing, stretching his cramped muscles, he
packed away his writings and turned to attend to the men who were lounging
around," Geralt, Raze.... Prepar the tents for the night, we will await the
knight's return," he ordered, helping his men prepare the camp for the
night. Talking in low tones to Lyor," keep an eye out tonight, I trust the
Lord Knight's word, but not the actions of his men."

Lyor bowed his head to his lord and prepared for a long night of watch. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Apr 15 07:25:53 2010
Subject     Mettle

Tachande sat in his command tent, or what you could call one. Slats of
bleached cloth strung across several rope lines, each hastily fastened to a
worn wooden spike. Spread out amongst a beat sheet of metal, a stained map
of Nordmaar was set. Figures of Dragonarmy forces and Nordmen stood opposite
of one another.

He sighed and scratched the growth of a beard that had appeared after the
last few days, much of the map was overtaken by Dragonarmy figurines, each
seemingly closer and closer to the capital. Looking closely, he noted one
section to the southeast that still held. Reminded to compensate the mage
for his craftmanship and enchanments on the figurines, he departed the front
flap of the map.

Two soldiers in black steel armor snapped to attention, the furs of their
tribe hung across each paudlron, both bore the blood red sash of the Wolf
Pack, Tachande's elite guard. "Summon the mage to Lyor's tent, I shall await
him there while I convene another council," he commanded one guard, to the
other," you follow, I have another task for you."

The soldier promptly followed his lord in the direction previously stated.
Tachande walked with an easy tread through his camp, soldiers and new
recruits mulled about several low fires spread out amongst the tents.

He passed among the men under his command, full knowing the tension in the
air. The camp was abuzz with their recent defeat at the hands of the Green
Dragonarmy advanced scouts in the region. "The damned dragons," he cursed
under his breath as he passed the healer's tent, though mindful of the dark
goddess's return, and that of Paladine, healers with true god powers
remained non-existant.

Many of the wounded Nordmen bore acid wounds, or a wicked cough which
bellowed forth black blood, both unwelcomed signs. Especially the blood,
signs that those men would not live throughout the night.

After the despairing tredge through the camp, Tachande finally arrived
outside the tent of Lyor, his right hand man. Turning his attention to his
guard he ordered the young Nordmaarian to stand guard behind the tent.
"Behind the tent," the young guard asked with a perplexed look on his face.
Patience wearing thin, Tachande's mailed fist flew out, connecting with the
man's helm," do as I command."

Brooding as he entered the tent, Tachande stopped for a second to compose
himself before opening the final flap of the tent. Much more detailed than
that of his tent, Lyor's held a vast interior, by far the largest in the
camp. For two reasons, one to give the enemy a false idea on as to where the
commander rested, and two, Lyor's tasks were much more delicate than his.

"Any more information from him," Tachande asked Lyor as he turned his
attention to a chained and heavily beaten minotaur lying on the ground,
bound to the center beam of the tent.

"None milord," Lyor stated flatly, much of the energy fled after the prolong
"interrogation" of their captive," he still refuses to reveal their
location."

He remained calm despite the growing frustration brewing in his gut," then
we shall break camp soon then, we cannot afford another ambush at the hands
of her majesty's forces. Lyor sensed the lost sense in his lord's tone, for
he knew his lord well, much accustomed to the mood swings and fits of anger
now plaguing his commander," we shall find some way to win," he tried to
say.

Rubbing his temples slightly, Tachande looked at Lyor with a haggard face
matching a heavy heart," I prefer to live to fight another day than to win,
seeing as the Dark Queen's forces control most of Nordmaar. As well as the
Solamnic knights lack of organization to commit to our cause."

Bowing to his lord, Lyor drew a dagger from the belt at his hip and slid it
across the throat of the great bovine. "When do we depart?" he asked, wiping
the blood on the bovine's kilt.

"Now." 

Both men exited the tent from the rear exit, much to the dismay of the
guard, rubbing a newly aquired bruise on his helmed jaw. "Dispose of the
corpse and return back to my tent," Tachande ordered the soldier. Turning to
their left, both men walked a few paces until the mage and guard appeared
withing visual range, withdrawing a pouch of steel from his belt, Lyor
handed it to his commander.

"We could still use your talents, master mage, in the battles to come,"
Tachande commented, expecting little in return. For the Khur mage before him
seldomly spoke. This time, the mage suprised both men," I will not remain
where death is certain," the mage stated bluntly, no other sign of emotion
played across his face other than a quick glance at the money pouch. "You
have your pay then, mage," Tachande growled as he tossed the pouch to the
mage, who bowed and then vanished, words left lingering in the air. "Mages,"
Lyor spit out. "One cannot trust a man who would rather throw roses at an
enemy than skewer them with a sword."

Tachande chuckled slightly at this," oh, they have their uses my friend,
they have their uses."

Turning back towards his command tent, Tachande and Lyor, guard in tow,
began to issue the order to break camp and prepare for another long march. 
 
(To Be Continued)

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri Jun  4 07:06:35 2010
Subject     Hammer and Anvil

Tachande bellowed out a roar at the oncoming army, his men spread to his
left and right, shields locked. Archers positioned behind him let loose
another volley, a vain attempt to slow the oncoming horde.

From across the ridge, the commander of the forces attacking the
Nordmaarians laughed," these barbarians think they stand a chance against
Her Majesty's forces." The draconian to his left hissed and pulled his hood
farhter over his scaled head. "Do not under estimate those barbarians,
Argedos, for they are led by one whom followed the Queen for quite some
time." The commander scoffed," so what, a cowardly deserter now leads a
poorely equipped band of barbarians against the might of Her Majesty's
forces, they will lose."

Bracing for impact, the men to Tachande's immediate left shoved forward with
their shields, spearing goblin and man alike on their short swords. Barking
an order to the men on his right, Tachande heaved against the men in front
of him, his sword cutting one goblin from the neck to groin. To his right
the men followed suit, shoving the front wave of goblins back and skewering
them on their swords. Another volley of arrows from the archers slightly
halted the charge of the dragonarmy scout force. Tachande bellowed for a
messenger, a lad appeared wild-eyed from the sights of battle," tell the
Cadre of mages to open fire on that bastard." He says pointing to the man
standing on the ridge opposite of the battle. The boy shuffles off to inform
the mages when Tachande feels the first tinges of terror," Dragons," he
roars," break off and FLEE!"

Listening to orders, his men break off attack and begin to follow their
leader as the first green dragon appears from the clouds across from them.
With a wave of his hand the enemy commander grins as the dragon dips towards
the barbarians.

The wave of fear spreads across Tachande's small band, some succumbing to
the fear and losing heart, quickly dispatched by the pursuing goblins and
soldiers. Tachande follows the men in front, anger burning in his gut, half
his force held back by a last minute decision advised by Lyor, who held
command over them. He would avenge their deaths, of all the treachery and
murder Nordmaar would be avenged.

Thinking themselves clear as the dragon pulls back and the goblins and men
halt their chase, the first few ranks of men in front of Tachande bellow out
a warning as men form ranks in front of the fleeing force. Tachande heard
the shout as the men in front stopped dead in their tracks, facing the
heavily armed force arrayed in front of them. Scanning the men against them,
Tachande recognized them as Dragoncore soldiers. "Stand down you bastards,
they've unleashed their dragons against us, we have to pull back," he orders
to the men. The soldiers ahead part down the middle as a stooped man makes
his way to the front," I'm afraid not Tachande."

Tachande's face loses color as he recognizes the man, a turncoat," attack
them, leave non alive!" he roars, dropping his shield and bringing his other
sword to bear. The men around Tachande do not hesitate when he charges
forward towards the new force. Brandishing swords, maces, shields, and axes
they follow their commander, even unto their doom.

(To Be Continued) 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri Jun  4 10:31:50 2010
Subject     Hammer and Anvil (2)

"By the Gods, Kill them all!" Tachande roared to his men, fighting
desperately to flee this lost battle. Parrying a blow aimed to his head, he
reverses and counters it with a stab into the man's neck with his right
sword. Twisting the blade, Tachande grins in bloodlust as the man's neck
blossoms into a spray of blood. All around men fight desperately to escape,
no order just survival. The battered Nordmaarians continue the fight, weary
of the force they just fled.

Back behind the two embattled forces a cry rises. Several soldiers in the
back, eager for a fight, turn as they cry pierces the air.

Tachande parrys another blow when he too hears the cry. Trying to see over
the din of battle, all he can make out are several groups of men charging
from a tree line not one hundred feet from their current position.

Breaking off their engagment with the fleeing Nordmaarians, the Dragoncore
soldiers wheel around to face this new foe.

Now fighting a battle on two fronts, several Dragoncore soldiers throw down
their arms and kneel to surrender. The only blessing the gods bestow on them
are the sharp edges of sword and axe as the men cut down all in their path.

Urging his men onward, Tachande growls in victory as he spots the red sash
worn by the newcomers. "Brothers, Kill them all," he roars renewed, fighting
on as more and more dragoncore fall to his men. 

Once the battle is finished, Tachande walks amongst the fallen, weary, and
dying. Finding Lyor in the midst of battlefield he ushers him over," about
damn time brother," is all he can say.

Lyor grins as he clasps Tachande on the back," I don't mind missing the
beginning, as long as I'm here for the end."

Tachande grins," we'll you almost showed up late for the party," he looks
around," we need to gather the wounded and take what we can from the dead,
we have more enemies coming from behind." Lyor nods and begins to carry out
his orders," but we need to move fast as well," Tachande says as Lyor
departs.

Now feeling the effects of the battle, Tachande winces as a pain spreads
from his hip up to his right armpit. Looking down and feeling for the wound,
he feels the links of chain smash against his ribs. Pulling his hand back he
sees the blood. "Damn," he mutters to himself, grabbing a wad of cloth from
a corpse by his feet, he crams it into the breach in his mail and sets to
organizing his men for their retreat.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Dragonarmy forces in the valley stands still
on the ridge, watching as the Nordmaarians finish off his turncoat soldiers,
sputtering in rage he begins to marshal orders to his men below to engage
them. It's too late before he realizes the Nordmaarian's are fleeing back
into the dense woods at the start of the valley, away from the eyes of his
dragon, and the ever thirsty blades of his warriors.

"Curse you, exiled one, by all the Queen's Soul I hope you burn in the abyss
for this," he screams to the fleeing Nordmen.

Tachande heads the retreat all the while thinking of his new motto..- Live
to fight another day- 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sat Jun 26 01:13:28 2010
Subject     Respite, For Now...

His men marched at a steady pace, eyes darting from underneath their
helms. Constantly weary of attack, Tachande had sent scouts ahead to assure
that the path was clear.

They had been defeated in their last battle, it was a shame that would be
rectified in time, if presented. As of now Tachande's only thoughts were of
getting his force and himself to a relatively safe hideout. He knew some of
the local terrain, Sahket Jungle, several groups of men grey up here, their
arms and armor bearing some semblance to the jungle around. He kept those
men ahead, paving the way for his ragtag force to proceed.

Tachande let out a ragged breath as he pulled off his furs, the humidity
stifling, and threw it atop of a nearby cart. He ordered his men to do the
same, not wanting to lose any to the heat and humidity. His hand gripped the
reins to his horse tightly, nerves taut, as his other rested on the pommel
of one of his twin swords. A bark from one of the forward scouts drifted
through his thoughts. "What is the warning," he asked Lyor to his right.
"I'll find out," Lyor says as he gallops forward, only to return with a
wolfish grin on his face," the Wolf smiles upon us milord," he motions to
the thinning jungle," we are approaching the Emeral Peaks

A similar grin spread across Tachande's face," Bring Egard to me, he boasted
of knowledge the ruins within the peaks only a fort-night ago, now he may
prove his word."

Soon the warrior made his way to Tachande's position," you summoned me
milord?" Tachande tipped his head forward," ahead lies the Emerald Peaks as
you know. Now I need you to lead us to the ruins."

Egard's face paled under the eyes of his Lord," sir, it has been many years
since I have travelled here," he sputters. "Well, can you lead us?" Tachande
growled in frustration, cursing the boasting fool.

"I can try," Egard says, hesitantly looking back towards the Peaks. "Then
lead on," Tachande motions, eyeing the pale warrior as he advances to the
head of the column to inform the scouts of what he knows of the area. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Jul  8 07:33:13 2010
Subject     Letters in the Mists

We made camp in the Ruins of one of the old cities in the Emerald Peaks,
much to Egard's relief, as well as my own. My men have earned their respite
from this war. Maybe a week, no more, before we return to the field. Our
numbers few, yet our hearts brimming with fury for our fallen. We defend our
homeland, our wives, our children, our homes.

Yet we are so few in number now. Compared to the vast armies assaulting us
from the South, we are but a pebble in the midst of a raging river. Yet
somehow we must prevail. Victory cannot be achieved. We do know that, each
one feels the weight of defeat in arms, yet in spirit we will be victorious.
We might die, yet our message shall ring to the heavens, and the gods
themselves shall bear witness to the courage of the Nordmaarian men.

Tachande looked up as he finished the latest entry into his journal, a
familiar habit picked up in these last few months. Reaching over, he traded
the worn journal for a mug of spiced wine sitting on a table to his left.

Rolling the wine in his mouth, he savored the unique taste, yet his mind
would not relent on the matters at hand. They miraculously found some small
ruins in the peaks. Suitable to start a camp, some bastion of hope in the
darkness. Even now he had men with digging experience fortifying tunnels
underneath their feet. He also issued orders to restore some strength to the
stone walls.

Though not high by conventional means, they can slow an army's advance. He
turned over another diagram of the ruins as a messenger arrived," milord, we
have word from the scouts."

Tachande looked up from the diagram and motioned for the messenger to
continue," the force we broke contact with followed our trail somewhat, they
predict that they will find us soon, or they will get lost in the mists that
took root behind us."

Blessed be those mists, Tachande thought to himself. Whilst his men marched
nervously into the ruins, a fae mist began to seep from the rocks, covering
the path behind.

"Pray to the gods that they do not follow, for if they do, were in for one
hell of a fight," Tachande says as he steps away from the diagram.

Fingering the swords at his hip another thought struck him," have you heard
any word of reinforcements from North Keep?"

The messenger shakes his head, letting a sigh escape his guard," no sir, no
word, my guess sir, if I can speak plainly?" Tachande nods and the messenger
continues," my guess is they are still debating this threat, politics
instead of glory."

"Aye, politicians seek nothing but gold and sly words, not the glory that
lasts ages, nor the fires of combat," Tachande says with a grimace.
Dismissing the messenger, he takes a final draft of the mug and sets in back
down.

"What shall I do for my men," he speaks to the air. From behind a faint
whisper comes. Turning, he sees a glob of mist silhouete the inner wall of
his dwelling.

From that mist, a golden aura begins to build, slowly a warrior takes shape.
Strong body clad in platinum armor, red cloak strung over his left shoulder.
Removing his helm, the warrior looked dead at Tachande.

Tachande bowed his head, not knowing what else to do. Looking back to the
warrior standing before him, he asks cautiously," who are you?"

" I am someone long forgotten, yet soon to be remembered, I come with a
warning and a word of advice. You will suffer great loss at the hands of
some closest to you, yet you will find through that, the key to winning a
great victory."

Tachande peels through what was said," who shall betray me," he asks the
warrior. "I will not say, that in time will be told by itself and their
actions, just know this Tachande, the loss will be great, for you and all
those following."

Before Tachande can ask more from the figure, the mists begin to grow around
him once again. As the last glimpses of the warrior begin to fade, a
calming
effect spread across Tachande, easing some of the darkness plaguing his
mind. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Aug 22 21:15:23 2010
Subject     For Glory....For Nordmaar

Tachande's hand drifted across the broken stone piled against one section
of wall, clenching his hand as the rock dust collected in his palm. Rubbing
his hands together he looked back out, over his assembled men.

"When will it all end?" he said in a low whisper, fearful of being overheard
by two sentries not ten feet from him. Closing his eyes for a brief moment,
he collected his thoughts and let out a long sigh.

"Men of Nordmaar, my people. We are fighting a battle fiercer than we have
seen in an age," his voice carrying out over his assembled soldiers. "Some
believe we cannot when, and I do not discourage such talk."

Each man slightly looked to one another," rather I embrace it. For each day
you continue to rise from your beds, equip your gear, and ride out for your
country. Each day you prove your loyalty to your brothers and country." "We
will not bow to the likes of the Dragonarmies, whether they outnumber us ten
to one, or even two thousand to one, we will fight them, for each man or
beast felled saves one life in our country. Every drop of blood you shed,
every life you take, makes you stronger in your beliefs. Makes you a better
soldier, makes you a Nordmaarian."

Looking out to his men, a slight grin spreads on his bearded face," we do
not break, we do not flee, we FIGHT!" he roared to his men, drawing his
blades and raising them in the air.

---------------------------------

The roars of the men could be heard from miles around, birds flew from
trees, and one lone kender awoke from his nap. "Looks like something
interesting is happening," the kender chatted to a bluebird perched on his
shoulder," something very interesting."

The kender rose and smoothed out his pouches and patted back his hair," lets
go see what is was shall we," he beamed to the bird.
----------------------------

"What was that," grumbled the awakening minotaur as he rose rubbing his
eyes. "I have no idea," growled the goblin near him leaning against a tree,"
must of been another fight." The minotaur rose and shook his horned head,"
that was no fight amongst our kind," he scanned the woods looking for signs
of something," there were too many humans in that roar."

"Then you go find out what the hell it was," the fed-up goblin growled to
the hulking minotaur. Before the goblin had time to duck, the minotaur's axe
embedded itself cleaning and deeply into the bowel of the tree where the
goblin's head once stood. Blood fountained out of the headless corpse at it
spasmed to the ground, it's head balanced perfectly on the axe blade still
stuck in the tree. The minotaur growled at the uselessness of goblin-kin
before jerking the axe out of the tree.

Wiping the axe off on the corpse of the goblin, he slung it back into the
harness at his back and strode past the pool of spreading blood, intent on
finding the source of the noise. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Tue Sep  7 02:59:11 2010
Subject     The Ultimate Betrayal

"What have you done," growled Tachande as Lyor and Raze drew their
weapons at the two guards opening the gate. The two guards did not flinch as
the swords edged closer," we're doing what we should of long ago."

Past the gate, a sudden roar took to the air. Groups of men charged from the
rocky outcropping of the entrance to the ruins that Tachande had made a
temporary base.

"Kill them," Tachande roared to his men, as he turned and ran towards the
murdered sentry. Picking up the horn from the dead guard, he blew three
quick bursts and dropped the horn, hands going to his swords.

Tachande's men looked up from their gathering as the call to arms were
sounded. Each man did not gather their arms and charge to the gates, they in
turned grinned at one another and turned to Jouko," you did well,
Commander."

Jouko looked past the gathering of men, noting Geralt running towards them,
weapon drawn. "Gather your arms, our Lord needs us," he screamed at the men.
Halting his steps, he knew not of their betrayal.

"Kill him," Jouko commanded to the gathered soldiers. Geralt turned as the
men streamed towards him intent on killing the witness to their betrayal.
"What have you done," he screamed as the men swarmed him, overwhelming him
in a tide of swords and axes.

Tachande twisted around as the few men who did answer his call began to
arrive," where are the rest," he roared to Raze and Lyor. Neither man could
answer as the men began to reach the open gates.

"What shall we do Jouko," one soldier spoke among the gathered soldiers. "We
go to the gates, and welcome our brothers."

The fight was desperate and futile. Tachande tried to organize some
semblance of defense, yet their was simply too many. Organizing a slow
retreat, they began to fall back towards Geralt and Jouko position,
hopefully finding out why they did not heed the call.

Jouko looked the his force in eager anticipation, each man equipped with a
bow, they had the high ground. "This will teach you Tachande, that noone
betrays the Queen," he said with a evil grin spreading across his face.

Tachande turned past the rows of tents, his men fighting behind to aid their
wounded. "Geralt, Jouko," Tachande roared. Looking past the corner of one
row of tents, he saw the reason for their absence in the breach of the
gates.

Geralt's corpse laid in a heave of mutilated remains, loyalists to Tachande
who stood by their commander's friend to the bitter end. Taking the loss of
Geralt with a quick scan of the carnage, Tachande noticed the absence of
Joukos'.

Jouko spotted Tachande as he panned over the remains of the few loyalists
with Geralt, grinning all the while he bade his men to rise and knock their
arrows.

"Tachande, you betrayed your Queen for that you shall die!" Jouko roared as
his men let loose their arrows.

Many fell as the first volley struck Tachande's men unawares, Raze fell with
an arrow piercing his skull. Tachande hoarsely roared to his men to brace
themselves from an attack on both sides, knowing that they would be
overcome.

The only few thoughts that coursed through his mind as his men melted down
to a mere handful was the warning those days before, of Betrayal. 

"Milord," Lyor shouted over the screams of the dying," you have to flee."
Tachande shook his head, determined to die with his men. "So be it," Lyor
whispered as he knelt and began to pray. Tachande shuddered as a ill feeling
swept through his body, as if his body was being dragged through mud.
Looking around at the battle his vision began to blur. "Lyor what are you
doing," he roared to the kneeling priests, his arms and legs going numb.
"Saving you milord," Lyor said, tears streaming down his grime covered
face.

Mists began to surround Tachande, who feebly tried to resist the pull away
as his body began to fade. "Farewell my lord, my friend," Lyor whispered as
his spell completed, departing his Liege far away from this betrayal.
Standing, Lyor turned as the sword pierced his chest, at the end Jouko only
scowled," what have you done you fool!," he hissed as the dying Cleric slid
off his blade.

Lyor took his final glimpse of the sky as his soul departed, up above a
glimpse of shining Platinum could be seen briefly in the sky. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Sep 16 13:11:55 2010
Subject     From Mist to Fortune

Tachande gasped in pain, his hand shaking as he clutched the wound in his
side. He blinked several times before his vision returned to normal, though
dust soon clogged his vision again as a wagon past not five feet from him.

"Where the hell am I," he spoke to himself, remembering the events that led
him to this moment. "Well hello there, you seem awfully dirty," spoke a
voice behind him. Rolling on his back slowly, Tachande looked up to see a
brightly dressed kender peering at him, "where am I?" 

The kender chuckled and looked after the wagon as it headed towards the
gates," why your outside of Palanthas, it's a nice place, though the jails
aren't the best I've ever been in." The kender looked back to Tachande,"
though my Unlce Trapspringer once had an adventure in Palanthas one time,
something about a very large rat and a smelly thief. Do you know any smelly
thiefs?"

Tachande groaned," No I don't," he spoke fleetingly, clenching his teeth
against the pain," I think I'm dying."

The kender looked at Tachande's side," I think you might be right, I almost
died once too. This butcher once chased me with a very nasty looking
cleaver, he wasn't too nice I don't think."

"Enough," Tachande growled," can you find someone inside who can help me,
their is a knight, Lord Railen. Find him."

The kender's eyes grew wide," I once knew a knight, nice fellow, he'd always
shooed me away when I asked to touch his sword though....." Tachande groaned
and his eyes began to roll back in his head. "Well thats a very nifty trick,
can you teach me?" the kender exclaimed. When Tachande didn't answer the
kender realized that something was wrong with him," I'll go get help, you
stay right there."

Soon the kender ran off down the road, ducking past two gate guards trying
to grab him," I'm trying to save my friend, I have to find a knight, Lord
Ranen or something," he shouted back to them as he ran down the street. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Sep 16 13:25:53 2010
Subject     From Mist to Fortune (2)

The kender flew down the street as fast as his short legs could carry
him, and as fast as his hands could retract from the pockets of many
merchants he passed. "I've got to find the knight," he kept repeating to
himself.

Dashing down one alley to avoid the guards running behind him, the kender
ran behind a stall and past the shouting vendor as he found a very shiny
locket lying on the ground as he ran past," I'll return it as soon as I find
help for my friend."

"Humans should be more careful with their stuff," the kender said as he
slowed his pace and put the locket in his pouch," they always lose things
and I have to bring them back to them."

Soon the kender looked up at a building that happened to appear in front of
him as he found another trinket another merchant had dropped," maybe this is
the place?"

"Sir," the kender looked up at the knight standing at attention outside the
building," Is Lord Ranen home, I need to speak to him right away, my friend
is dying out by the road and he said he knew him."

The knight looked down at the brightly coloured kender," and who is this
friend Kender, a dog?" the knight said with a chuckle.

"No you ninny, he is a great warrior, looked like he slayed a dragon but the
dragon bit him back," the kender snapped back, irritated by the knight's
joke.

The knight looked down at the kender and shook his head," go on kender, get
thrown in a jail or something."

The kender sighed," No respect, none at all, if my friend wasn't bleeding to
death I'm sure he'd come back and tell you whats for.." the kender said as
he turned to run back to Tachande.

The knight watched as the kender ran back from whence he came," stupid
kender and their stories," the knight chuckled. Soon though a report came
from the gates that a man was found bleeding severely by the side of the
road.

The knight ran inside to report to Lord Lanfer of what he just witnessed, as
well as summon healers to attend the man being brought to them. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Thu Sep 16 13:57:48 2010
Subject     From Mist to Fortune (3)

Lord Lanfer looked up from his reports as a knight knocked on the door.
"Enter," he said, placing the reports to the side of his desk. "Milord, a
man has been brought to us from the road. A kender has spoken to one of our
knights out front and said that he was his friend, and the man knew Lord
Railen, which is true I don't know," the knight reported.

Lanfer ordered the knight to attend to the arrival of the man and to report
back when the man regained conciousness.

Tachande parried the blow aimed for his chest, the blow being delivered from
one of his own men. Reversing the attack, Tachande pushed his blade past the
man's guard and speared him through the chest," Hold your ground men," he
shouted to his soldiers. He didn't have many left and Lyor fought beside his
lord, parrying blows aimed for his friend," you must flee," he pleaded to
Tachande.

"No," Tachande roared as he fought on against the pressing tide of swords
and axes," I will not leave my men."

Zanra looked down at the wounded man," he is in bad shape milord," she said
to Lanfer, as he too surveyed the man. "Will he survive?" he asked.
"Barely," she said as she laid her hands above the wound," by the will of
the gods he will survive." Lord Lanfer acknowledged the wisdom of his
advisor," the kender spoke of Lord Railen, saying that he knew him."

Zanra didn't reply as she was focusing her healing gifts on the wound. Soon,
Tachande made his first words as he began to awaken. "He will need rest
after this, but you will be able to talk to him," Zanra told Lanfer.

Tachande's eyes fluttered open and he began to take in his surroundings.
Looking to his right he saw the female cleric and a knight standing,
awaiting him. "Who are you?" he spoke to the knights," and where am I?"


Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sat Oct  2 03:21:05 2010
Subject     A Simple Test (1)

I knew there was much tension with me and the men. After all I wasn't one
of them. These soldiers and knights are of Solamnia, the order of Light.
These men know nothing of me or my homeland, yet I am leading them.

With only a handful of men, there was much to do. Somehow I have to earn
their trust and show them my worth, but all in do time.

While my forces and I were ordered around by Lord Lanfer the thought struck
me to issue a challenge of combat. It's simply a bout of prowess, to keep
the men's morale high and bets amongst the footsoldiers running. So while we
set down in a defensible position for the night I began to arrange the bout.
"Soldiers, gather round," I order the men around the Veijerin. Many gave
disgusted looks, others simply wondered what was going on.

"Here we will duel," I motioned to the circle. "In my land, a warrior's
prowess is tested amongst his comrades, in battle and in other ways. Here it
is simple, this is a fight of first blood."

Walking around the circle, my sword still in scabbard, I motioned for any
soldier to enter in the circle," for those who wish to challenge me to
combat enter the circle," I said as I took the first step past the white
circle.

The advisor from Lanfer began to object to such foreign, and barbaric,
practices. Yet with a simple look he backed away," these are my men as of
now, and I will know their worth."

Soon enough, a burly footmen with fiery red hair and thick arms entered the
ring, with the cheers of his fellows at his back.

"I will take your challenge, outsider," the burly soldier grunted, hoisting
his axe from its harness and brandishing his round-shield. 

I watched as he went through his warm up swings, testing his range and
motion. I also noticed a slight stutter when he extended his shield arm to
far to the left.

I removed my sword from its scabbard and whirled the blade in a tight arc up
and down, adjusting the grip on my shield. I clenched my hand, testing the
leather grip on the inside of the shield. When all was checked and prepared
the red haired warrior wasted no time in initiating the first strike. A
simple enough swing, followed by a timed bash from his shield. 

Being smaller than he, I dodged to the left out of the swing from his axe,
and parried his bash with my shield. The fangs from the front of my shield
caught on the bass of his shield, jerking his arm to the left. 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Sun Oct  3 05:30:04 2010
Subject     A Simple Test (2)

The red headed soldier grunted as the his shoulder strained against my
counter, yet it did not cease his renewed attack as he followed it with a
wild swing from his axe. Dodging the poorly aimed blow, I duck down and
bring my sword forward, angled to deflect the axe onto my shield and inflict
first blood onto the over zealous warrior.

To my suprise, however, the soldier back stepped my lunge and took a few
steps to his left," you will have to do better than that, barbarian," the
soldier spat as he readied himself for another attack. I looked from him to
the ring of soldiers surrounding us now, many placing bets and wagers
against or for who they believed would win. "Do you see this scar," I motion
with my blade to the scar running from my brow into my hair," I got this
from a minotaur in Neraka." Several men blanched at the mention of the bull
warriors," and yet here I still live."

The warrior chuckled and began his advance," it does not matter what you
have fought, or how many times you survived, you will lose here."

This soldier was too eager, I finally decided. The next swing aimed for my
shield I rolled, followed by a quick jab with my sword, catching the warrior
across his forearm. "First Blood," I shouted to the warriors around.

Though I intentionally turned my back to the outraged warrior, I was not
suprised when I heard the roar from the burly soldier, nor hear some
soldiers cheer as the soldier went for my head.

Turning round, I kneel down with my shield out, taking the man in the
midriff. Following his upward momentum, I shift backward, launching the
confused warrior behind me, dumping him unceremoniously into a heap at the
feet of his comrades.

"Yes I did survive," I spoke to those assembled," and I did learn," I say as
I wipe the thin line of blood from my sword on the hem of my coat," as I
demonstrated, you can use momentum against the mighty, regardless of your
size."

After my lesson with the burly soldier, many more soldiers gained courage
and began to challenge each other in the Veijerin. After many bouts, some of
which left many broke or wealthy, I called an end to the competition.

"You have learned well this night," I speak to the men," many have learned
control, and others..." I motion to those bickering about lost wages," have
learned not to be too eager."

After I dismissed the men and made my rounds around camp I departed for my
tent, my thoughts wandering to Nordmaar and what must be happening after my
betrayal forced my true soldiers from their homeland, and their lives.

"One day we will be avenged my brothers," I whisper into the chill night,"
we will have our vengeance." 

Author:    Tachande       
Date:      Fri Oct 16 22:22:38 2015
Subject     Lessons in Blood (1)

Tachande sat astride a sleek charger, the line of men stretching another twenty yards in loose formation. More raw recruits eager to prove their worth to become auxilaries for the Knighthood. His mind travelling the corridors of memory to his homeland, to the men left there to hamper the red soldiers at any turn, this bunch could use a lesson from his men. After a hard jerk in the saddle from his mount, he called a halt to the march to scan the surrounding area. Patting his horse on the neck he asks," whats got you spooked boy?" He sensed something in the area," formation!" he barks outs as the birds begin to spill out of the forests closest to their path. The men quickly formed into ranks, a total of thirty men in total, shields locked, spearmen eagerly gripping the shafts of their weapons. Tachande ordered a slow march, eyeing the treeline wearily as they progressed towards their destination. Smoke was the first sign that the village was under attack, soon the screams and clash of steel slowly filled the forest path as they came closer. "Scout out," Tachande ordered two rangers close at hand, issuing a silent prayer to his patriarch as the men disappeared into the brush. What was meant to be a simple training exercise turned into a crucible of war as the scouts came back telling of goblin kin and men clashing with the villagers. "Fan out and prepare for combat," Tachande ordered, watching as the men fanned out into the trees, leaving a core of ten surrounding Tachande," await my command," he says as he kicks his horse forward, the men closing ranks around him," here comes the bait," he says as a grin crosses his scarred face. The group crosses the last few feet of the forest path and into the gap between woodland and the outskirts of the village, the first few corpses littering the ground, horse tracks all around. "What do we have here," Tachande shouts out, gaining the attention of several men and a hob goblin sitting astride foul mounts, each one glancing at the bigger man amongst them. "None of your business, human," shouted the hobgoblin to the man's left. "But you see, this is my business filth," Tachande retorts, his hand pulling free his blackened blade," for you see this village is under the protection of the Knights of Solamnia, under oath by my comrade, Lord Railen." The hobgoblin snorts in laughter as the big man motions his horse forward locking eyes with Tachande," we care not for the tin can army you serve whelp," he growls through black and broken teeth. "So be it," Tachande says as a blinding flash of light bursts above the group of raiders. The hobgoblin yelped in pain as the light seared his sensitive eyes, the leader roared out to the other men behind looting the village, all charging towards Tachande and his guard. Tachande stifled a grin as the kender's flash powder exploded above his foe, leaving a mental note to thank him later he slowed his advance and waited. The men around him, two veterans and eight recruits, looked foward at the oncoming force, the recruits darting glances back at Tachande. "Fall back," Tachande ordered as the large force of men and goblin filth charged forward, no semblance of order amongst their charge.

Author: Tachande Date: Fri Oct 16 22:50:02 2015 Subject Lessons in Blood (2)

The larger force of men and goblin whooped and roared as they barreled towards Tachande and his men, their weapons glinting red in the midday sun. Slowly Tachande and his men fell back onto the woodland path, careful as to not make the enemy detect the slaughter to come. "Hold," Tachande roared out, the veterans guiding the recruits beside them to muster their resolve. Arching his back in the saddle, Tachande loosened his neck with a loud crack and kicked his horse forward, charging past his stunned men. "What in the hell is he doing," one veteran shouted to his comrade. The other shrugged and braced his shoulder again his shield," he knows what hes doing." Tachande rushed towards the foe, some mounted while others ran on foot, goading his horse even faster as he closed with the band. At the last second he cut the reins sharply, barely dodging the lead horsemens blades, lining himself up to plunge into the woods. The horsemen of the group turned their mounts and charged after him howling for blood, while the others on foot charged towards the ten blocking the path. "Shit," screamed one recruit as he saw Tachande disappear into the foliage," were doomed," he cried out as his leader vanished. "Have faith rook," one veteran grunted as the first axe came cracking into his planted shield. With the horsemen pursuing Tachande the ground force struck against the braced against the ten men Tachande had left, quickly circling them. With the roars in goblin tongue and common filling the air, none heard the screams of the dying cavalry as the ambush was sprung. ------- Tachande stopped his mount as he vanished into the foliage, just past the initial thick brush and to the shadows of a fallen great tree. "Now," he roared to the men ready, spears leveled to await the foolish foe's charge. As the pursuing cavalry burst through the foliage, the spearmen thrust forward, skewering the lead horsemen and their helpless mounts. A few javelins flew into the remnants as the last horsemen plunged into the woods. Tachande charged forward, decapitating the big man he believed to be the leader with a quick slice of his blade. Turning in his saddle, he slashes another across his exposed back and ribs, as his spearmen step forward to finish the trap with their blades. ------- The ten men formed up, completely encircled, mustering their courage as the rest of the infantry blindy beat against their shields. One recruit screamed as a axe crashed overhead, plunging in to crush his shoulder, his shield arm dropping with the blow. The veteran to his right crumpled under the press and fell back, blindly swiping his sword to fend off a trio of goblin blades. ------- "Charge," Tachande roared out to his men as he cleared the brush, quickly surveying the carnage on the path. Sword and spear charged from the brush, crashing into the back of the mob surrounding the ten. From the other side, the other mounted force burst from their hiding, charging into to complete the circle around the mob of goblin and man. After several heartbeats of battle the screams of the dying were the only noise besides the movement of Tachande and his band. He lost few, those wounded would be taken back for treatment. "Now your blades have tasted battle," Tachande says callously to the men looking up to him," tasted the fear and stink," he motions to the dead surrounding the group," this, this is what you have chosen." Several men glanced to one another, others roared, raising their bloodied blades in the air in salute to Tachande. Tachande grinned at the men, then set his eyes on the village ahead," secure and aid those who still live," he motions to a courier off to the side," send word to Lord Railen of what has happened." The courier charged off, the men marching ahead to aid the survivors. ------

Author: Tachande Date: Sun Oct 25 22:34:35 2015 Subject Convergence (1)

Tachande slowed the horse as he approached the gates of Solanthus, his men encamped miles behind," so it begins," he says to himself. "Halt and be recognized," one of the guards order. Tachande looked down at the man, noticing his grip on the haft of his spear," I am Tachande, Warlord of Nordmaar, and I have been summoned by your lord, get out of my way." The man took a step back," tall claims stranger," eyeing Tachande's scarred gear, particularly his black blade hanging from his hip," prove it." Tachande drew forth the missive delivered to him back in his homeland," this is his seal is it not," he says, tossing the missive to the guardsmen. The guard scanned the parchment and checked the seal," enter then stranger, but we will be watching you." Without a word he ushers his mount forward, his horse taking a bite of the guard as it walked past. The guard gave a yelp and started to advance till a warning hand landed on his shoulder," I wouldn't if I were you," the knight says as the guard spins, ready to strike. The guard froze saying," sorry sir," as he took a step back to his post," my apologies." The knight took a few steps and caught up to Tachande," you have an interesting way of introducing yourself to our lands, Nordmaarian," he says with a chuckle. Tachande looked at the greying knight," it pays to gauge a man's steel," he says as he continued forward. The knight chuckled," so it does lad, so it does." The knight continued to walk with Tachande," may I have your name stranger," he asks, his stride keeping pace with Tachande. "Did you not hear it," Tachande says, scanning around as he continues towards the the chapel, the eyes of citizens and travellers alike weary of the man. "It never hurts to show friendship either lad," the knight says," I am Lord Mael." "I am known as Tachande," the nordmaarian says, rounding the corner as a patrol passes escorting a throng of kender. Lord Mael nods and slows his pace," perhaps we meet again Tachande," he says with a nod of his head as he turns away, heading east, off to his own affairs.

Author: Tachande Date: Sun Oct 25 22:54:35 2015 Subject Convergence (2)

Tachande hands the reins of his horse to a stableboy and turns about, heading towards the stone stair," my lord awaits," a page says bowing. The Nordmaarian follows the boy through the keep, eyes constantly on the shadows within. After a few minutes of walking he is led to a strong banded door, with a knock he is bid to enter. "Hello my friend," Lord Railen says as Tachande enters the chapel. Tachande scans the room and approaches Railen," to you as well." Lord Railen stands by the altar, incense smoke rising in the candle lit chapel," we have matters to attend to, hence my summons." Tachande walks over to study the shrine to Kiri-Jolith, his patron," grim news I bear from Nordmaar." Lord Railen nods," grim tidings all around it seems," adding another block to the flame," what force have you now at your command?" Tachande looks back to his friend," naught but fifty now, the bastards caught up to us, with the help of a traitor, and slew the bulk of my men." Lord Railen grimaced at the news," I had hopes that you had more," he says with dismay edging in his voice. "They are the survivors, those with real skill, true Nordmaarian sons." Tachande walked back towards Railen, looking around the interior of the chapel," their worth has been paid in blood," he says, uttering a pray to Kiri in Nordmaarian for the souls of his dead. "What did you want to discuss with me," he asks Railen. Railen looked from the altar to Tachande," what I am about to ask you hasn't been done in our records," he says as he turns to face Tachande," will your forsake your title as Warlord, and your holding in Nordmaar, to serve our cause, the cause of the Gods of Light, to become a Knight of Solamnia." Railen steps towards Tachande," to fight our enemies, to use your knowledge of their tactics and soldiers to strike fear into their hearts," he says, voice rising in the solitary chapel. Tachande looked back to the shrine of Kiri-Jolith," aye, I will." Lord Railen motions Tachande forward, drawing his weapon," kneel," he commands. Tachande kneels before Railen, swearing to the gods, the oath, and the measure. "Arise a Knight," Railen orders.

Author: Tachande Date: Sun Oct 25 23:18:35 2015 Subject Convergence (3)

Tachande takes the reigns of his horse from the stableboy's hand, leading it towards the gate, his mind calculating the plans and logistics discussed with Lord Railen after his knighting. Mounting his horse, he departs the keep and heads down the crowded streets, scanning his surroundings. "Looks like your lost again," says a squeeky voice off to the side, belonging to a kender in a outlandish display of color," your always losing yourself," he says with a chuckle. Tachande stops his mount and dismounts, leading his horse towards the kender," good to see you my friend," Tachande says with a laugh. "So you do laugh," the kender beams," find anything interesing back in your homeland?" he says, eyeing the saddlebags of Tachande's horse. Tachande blocks the kender's gaze," some," he says with mirth, unslinging his bone shield from his back. The kender's eyes go wide as he sees the banded skull shield," wow," he exclaims. Tachande chuckles," yes, though it was a right bastard to kill," he says showing a new scar across his jaw, its gnarled line gauging into the bone of his jaw. " I do have something for you though, in exchange for more of that interesting flash powder you find," he says, emphasising find. The kender grins and grabs a sac from within his many pouches," what did you find," he beams. Tachande turns back to his horse and pulls forth a knucklebone from the beast that makes up his shield," this my friend," he says, turning back to the kender. The kender squeals as Tachande tosses him the bone, grunting as the large bone thumps into his chest," thank you," he exclaims! Tachande picks up the dropped sack and pulls open the bag, counting out the small pouches of powder within," you've found a good supply I see," he says as he closes the sack and puts it within one of the saddlebags. The kender glances away from the bone," yes, the gnome keeps losing those crates, I try telling him he needs to tie them off but he never listens." Tachande grins and remounts his horse," where shall you go now my friend," he says to the kender as he settles in the saddle. The kender opens up his biggest pouch and dumps the bone inside, setting off a small smoke cloud from the contents within," wherever the road takes me, and these feet too," he chuckles, displaying his bright blue shoes. "Farewell then my friend, you still have the stone," Tachande asks. The kender nods, grabbing the stone out of yet another large pouch, this one decorated in yellow flowers," yup, right here." Tachande nods and flicks the reins slowly," then we shall speak again soon friend, farewell." The kender puts the stone back and dashes off, to the suprise of the guard slowly creeping up behind him," halt thief," the guard roars, quickly running off after the bouncing topknot thats quickly disappearing into the crowd. Tachande watches with a grin that begins to fade as more urgent matters press once again on his mind. Riding out from the gates, he heads back to the camp his men had set. After arriving back at camp, he hands off the horse and enters his command tent, quickly writing out a missive after settling back in. Dashing sand across the parchment to quickly dry it, he slides the parchment into a small cylinder. Walking out of his tent, he strides over to one of the hunters in his company, handing the missive to be attached to one of the carrier birds in their care. "Time is running out," Tachande growls into quiet of his tent, thinking back to the betrayal of his force in Nordmaar. "Your time will end," he continues, pulling forth his blackened blade and drawing the whetstone down its length.

Author: Tachande Date: Wed Nov 4 16:06:54 2015 Subject Setting of the Guard

[FWD Note] - [124] Tachande: Setting of the Guard [FWD Date] - Wed Nov 4 16:00:09 2015 [FWD To ] - to [Original to:] Tachande [FWD List] - story Tachande walked through the compound, catching the gaze of his Nordmen as he walked towards the Quartermaster. "How goes my men's gear," Tachande asks the solamnic. "As well as can be sir," the quartermaster waves his hand over to the men of Nordmaar," but they are a stubborn lot, most only want weapons." Tachande grins," aye, but they know what is best for them," he motions to one burly man, repairing his torn cloak," they are the survivors from my war in Nordmaar, their skill knows their worth." The quartermaster lets out a puff of air and stomps off," then I will find their weapons if I can." Tachande laughs at the frustration of the man," be sure that you do," he says as he turns about and walks over to a knot of his men," how fairs your repair," he says to a elder Nordman. The elder turns to Tachande," so far so good, would be better if that pompous ass would cooperate instead of order us around." Tachande nods and laughs," the way of the knights is not something you are used to." Tachande left his men to their tasts and headed for the entrance of the compound, to further explore the city. when a page came running through the gates," Sir Tachande, you have been summoned." Tachande looks to the boy," by whom?" The boy gulps in air and squeaks out," by Lord Railen." Tachande nods and walks past the huffing boy, heeding his friend's call.

The Storytellers of Ansalon, The DragonLance MUD

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


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

Astinus sighs as he recants 'We saved 803 books from Ansalon from before the great Cataclysm through today.'
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