The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Tarantel.

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 miniscule pocket book on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Tarantel' scribed in rich maroon ink.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sun Dec  9 12:41:36 2001



Subject  Tarantel Essenceflair, life in Qualinost



Fate is always a capricious and fickle thing.

Tarantel was actually born Tarantel Fullmeadow, born to a rich merchant father
and a beautiful, yet down to earth mother.

Tarantel grew up in the city of Qualinost learning to fletch arrows and to
string bows in order to help his father's business become even more
profitable.  Many years passed, and the more Tarantel did for his father, the
more he saw himself becoming as his father, rich and happy with the good life
in Qualinost.  However, unbeknown to anyone but himself, his dreams were so
much more, and the idea of selling elven archery to the always warring humans
and dwarves was not what he had in mind.  Ever since his uncle Kasimi, a mage
of the White Robed order had come to visit him when he had turned 95, he'd
wanted to take up the magical arts and had studied Solinari at night hoping
that one day the God himself would come speak to him and invite him to join
his ranks.  He knew nothing about magic, only having learned to read and write
per his mother's wishes.  His father didn't care about much other than how
good he was for his business.

Then one day it happened, the revelation he'd been waiting for.  Up at night
again, looking up at the moon, he prayed, Solinari, Great Hand, I wish to
study the ways of magic, I'd do anything if I just could get the chance.  No
one but you knows my wish, my dearest heartfelt wish, and I can't bear any
longer to be kept from it!  The white moon was shining very brightly that
night, and as Tarantel looked down at the moonbeam he followed with his eyes,
he noticed it reflecting on a piece of metal on one of his father's carts. 
Instantly Tarantel realized what to do and the next morning, he did it. 
Stashing some gold and steel in his pockets, and some food and drink for the
trip, he hid among the shipment in one of his father's merchant carts headed
out of Qualinost and as the cart left the city, he never looked back.  Only
one thing was going thru his mind.  Freedom.  Not that he wanted to be free
from his life in Qualinost but freedom to do as he wished.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sun Dec  9 13:03:46 2001



Subject  Tarantel Essenceflair, Chapter 2



Kasimi, the uncle of Tarantel, had been notified by Solinari that Tarantel was
on his way north, to Palanthas.  Not believing it, Kasimi went to the
residence of the Fullmeadows, where he learned that Tarantel had been missing.

Walking the ways of magic, Kasimi headed to Palanthas to wait on his nephew.

Meanwhile, Tarantel had become friends with the driver of the cart and had
inquired his destination and such.  The cart's driver, who when he discovered
the not-so stealthy Tarantel in his cart, had stated that the destination of
the weapons was the great Palanthas itself, to be sold for a hefty price to a
group of humans.  Tarantel was very curious and seemed to want to know
everything about Palanthas.  On the way thru Abanasinia, they joined up with a
caravan of other elven merchants, and Tarantel got his first taste of some of
the races he'd never met, heard stories he'd never heard before, and found out
many things about the lands around him he never met.

It took very long to get to Palanthas.  Too long for Tarantel's tastes, but
when he was there he was very excited.  The only problem was Tarantel, being
led by the ever riddlesome Solinari, didn't know where to go from here.

His uncle, Kasimi, met him almost at the gate, having foreseen his coming into
the city.  Tarantel learned much from Kasimi, the basic rudimentary knowledge
of High Sorcery, and changed his name to Tarantel Essenceflair, having
realized that perhaps one day his family may realize he was not kidnapped or
killed and come looking for him, or worse, brand him a dark-elf.  He changed
his appearance, letting his hair grow long, his blond locks wavy and his skin
almost as golden.  As he learned from Kasimi, he realized that there were 2
other moons that other mages worshipped.  Nuitari, the one he could not see,
and Lunitari, the red moon he could see.  Intrigued by the other two, his
uncle warned him against diverging from the path of Solinari, saying that if
he was not faithful to the white moon, he would certainly be branded a dark
elf and never be able to see his homeland again.  When Tarantel asked Kasimi
if the knowledge and power was worth it, Kasimi failed to answer, only
dropping his head.

Tarantel currently resides in the city of Palanthas, studying magic in his
attempts to take the Test and perhaps follow in the footsteps of his uncle Or
perhaps not....



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 10 00:02:00 2001



Subject  Tarantel Essenceflair, part 3



As Tarantel stood over Kasimi in the healer's hut, he knew he wasn't going to
make it.  The theives had caught Kasimi totally unaware, and knowing he was a
mage, they dealt with him quickly and quietly.  The only satisfaction Tarantel
had was that in searching thru Kasimi's things, the 2 rogues had been killed
by an enchantment on Kasimi's staff.  Kasimi's staff had then vanished without
a trace.

Only hours earlier, as night waned, Tarantel and Kasimi had been strolling
thru Palanthas.  It had felt like the 100th time they'd had this discussion.

"Master Kasimi, please tell me more about the practices of the red and black
robes of your orders," asked Tarantel.  A simple request he had thought.

And for the 100th time Kasimi had replied "Tarantel, do not speak of such
things!"

"We of the elven race tolerate the Conclave's ideas about how magic should be
only because we have to!  Paladine and Solinari don't have anything to do with
those of the black robes and very little of the red!  If you even dream of
donning one of those colors, you KNOW you'll never see the beautiful forests
of Qualinesti again!"

Tarantel thought to himself, as he had in the past, that he'd have to find out
for himself someday, as his apprenticing under Kasimi would teach him nothing
about the others.  Now, it seemed he would not be apprenticing under Kasimi
and would have to learn quick how to fend for himself in this world.  He only
hoped that the Gods of Magic that be were watching over him.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 10 14:11:00 2001


Subject  A young Qualinesti mage



"It is time for you to be leaving Palanthas soon to take your Test, dear
nephew."  Kasimi turned to his nephew Tarantel and smiled.  His white robes
rustling as he moved quickly across the room to embrace the younger elf.

"It seemed only yesterday," continued the elder elf, "that you came into
Palanthas, guided by Solinari himself, and met me here to study magic.  You
gave up alot you know.  You could have stayed in your father's business."

Tarantel stood up, dressed in his travelling clothes for he dared not wear his
white robes in occupied Palanthas.  "I don't want to make bows and arrows for
a living.  I'm not to big on the subject of war as it is."

The young elf looked out the window, his tight drawn face and golden locks
waving.  Dark knights patrolled the city and for seven years at least, he'd
lost count, only the grace of Solinari had kept him safe and alive.

"Uncle, he said, tell me something.  If I'm to take the Test at the Tower in
Wayreth, shouldn't I know something or another about the magic of those who
dress in red and black robes, I ...."

Before he could answer Kasimi stopped him, red in the face, and yelled,
"Dammit Tarantel!  How many times must we discuss this!  Don't you understand
Qualinesti!"

"If you ever, ever decided to forsake your protector, the Hand himself, and
you turned to Lunitari or god forbid, Nuitari, you would NEVER EVER see your
beautiful forest homeland again!"

"Uncle!" screamed Tarantel, "It's time I experienced things for myself, stop
shielding me from the real world.  I'm NOT GOING BACK to Qualinesti.  I can
never face my parents again after sneaking out of the woods to come here!"

Tarantel donned the hat he made that magically hid the shape of his ears, and
stepped out of the house, heading forth to the Great Library with one thing on
his mind.  Studying magic in every aspect.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Thu Dec 13 09:10:33 2001


Subject  Tarantel Essenceflair, Return to Palanthas



"Why am I doing this?  This is nuts!  Those mages were out of their minds!" 
Tarantel couldn't believe he was going back to Palanthas after taking the
Test.  Especially considering he'd taken robes of White! Travelling back was
physically easier than travelling to the Tower of High Sorcery in Wayreth. 
He'd had enough money to make the trip easy, although he'd packed his robes
away for the trip, remembering what had happened as he left Palanthas..

It had all run together...watching those two rogues stab Kasimi to death. 
Crying as they took his staff and it inexplicably exploded, sending them both
to their God...

He realized then he had to flee Palanthas.  At Kasimi's funeral, as they
lowered his uncle into the ground, the Dark Knight that had presided over the
funeral had approached him...

Tarantel wondered how that Dark Knight had known that he was a White Robe, but
then realized that Kasimi and himself had probably been spied on the whole
time they had been in Palanthas.

"If yer gonna stay in Palanthas, welp, you'd do to change the color of those
robes a bit.  Maybe Grey.  Serve Tahkisis!  Otherwise...

well let's just say...I'd hate to have to extend this plot a bit...and that is
if we recover your body.  Hah!"

Tarantel sighed.  And I have to return to Palanthas...well, if the Head of the
White Robes says I will be ok, I will....

And as the cart neared Palanthas, Tarantel looked out the window, only to see
buildings destroyed...and a brilliant red light near the city's center.  "What
happened here?" he asked himself.

As he viewed Palanthas, he could only surmise that there'd been a huge battle.
 He'd only hoped that perhaps the Dark Knights had been vanquished.  He hoped
Kestren was waiting for him in Palanthas as he'd promised.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat Dec 15 09:55:00 2001


Subject  Tarantel's Studies



"...and so I believe that the best thing for you to do in the interim is study
your lessons and wait here.  It is not safe to attempt to return to Qualinost,
Zhan, or anywhere you might want to right now.  Now if you'll excuse me, I
must be off."  And just like that, Kestren opened a glowing portal and headed
out of the house of Taranthlas Essenceflair.

Tarantel turned and poured over his notes, books, scrolls and other things
that Kestren had given him to study.  Kestren had promised him that as he
showed some promise in his studies and had gained the knowledge he needed, he
would indeed take him as an apprentice.

As happy as this made him, Tarantel couldn't help but be distracted from his
work from his constant dreams, no half of them were nightmares, of things that
had recently happened or were bound to be part of his future.  The dreams that
Solinari had been sending.  Dreams of protecting lives at the cost of his own.
 Dreams about all of the White robes bound together by the pursuit of
knowledge and power through honor and love were all he could think about.

"I must stop thinking so much," he said, head dripping with sweat as he
studied magical weather control.  "I need to grow in power and in knowledge
here in the present if I am to expect Solinari to do great things through me
in the future."

Taranthlas turned to the picture he'd magically created on his desk.

It was a simple photograph.  The lady in it had beautiful elven features and
was garbed in a flowing white robe that seemed to shine brightly in the
radiance of Solinari.

Tarantel smiled briefly to himself and let out a small sigh.

Returning to his studies, Tarantel said to himself, "I suppose I should not
let Kestren see this, lest he think I'm a lovesick fool instead of an aspiring
mage."



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat Dec 15 10:47:17 2001


Subject  Tarantel's Dreams



Taranthlas spoke a few words and touched the knob to the door of Kasimi's old
room, sealing it.  He'd only been in that room once since Kasimi's death.

That time had been thinking he'd heard someone walking around in it. 
Thankfully, both to himself and to anyone that might be intruding, it was not
the case.

Tarantel walked back into the main room of his house and took a right into a
small quiet room.  Unadorned as the room was, there was a small ivory statue
inside the threshold and a small off-white pillow for his knees.  This was his
prayer room.  The room he came into when he wanted to commune with Solinari. 
As of late this room had seen alot of use.  He'd even taken his meals in here
from time to time, just to be able to feel as though he was dining in
Solinari's presence.

Tarantel could still remember the first time he'd prayed to the Mighty Hand.

It had been a cold night, a few nights after Kasimi had left and he'd decided
that it was his destiny to worship Solinari and become a mage.  He could still
remember seeing the white light of Solinari for the first time as it bathed
the cart that he'd 'escaped' Qualinost, and he could recall many instances
that he'd lived only by the grace of Solinari himself.

"Oh Mighty Hand," he called, as his knees sunk into the comforts of his
pillow, "I am humbled to be your servant in this world and I give you thanks
for giving my life some purpose and direction.  I am yours, to use as a mortal
tool in this world."

Tarantel got up, and walked to his bedroom, turned down the sheets, and felt
the tendrils of sleep come over him.

He could see them in his dreams....the White robes again.  He was addressing
them and pleading for peace and understanding.  He'd seen it many a time.  But
this time it was different.  He wasn't wearing the robes of the High Archmage,
but yet even the head of the White Robes was listening to him in earnest.  He
could see Solinari's light bathing him as he spoke of love, self-sacrifice,
honor and peace.  Always love and peace.  He spoke of faith in Solinari, and
more than a few times, he spoke of the honor and love of his father, Paladine.

So enraptured was he by his dream, that when he was awaken from his dream by
the sound of dogs barking just outside his house, he could still picture it in
his mind.

Turning to the statue in the prayer room, he spoke softly, "I will do my best
to do Your work in this world, my God.  I thank you for giving me the
direction."



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sun Dec 16 11:06:48 2001


Subject  Tarantel finds Mishakal



Taranthlas was just getting used to being able to roam free in Palanthas.

"It is truly a huge city, I never thought it was this big from the outside!"
he thought to himself.  Free to wear his white robes whereever he went without
fear of the Dark Knights, he let them blow in the winter wind as he walked
towards the temple.  Tarantel had also been getting used to the way people
were treating him.

They were tipping their hats and blessing him as he went by.  Not because of
anything he'd done, but rather they identified him through the Conclave for
the great service that Lunitari had done freeing Palanthas from the Dark Queen
herself.

It was all he could do not to strut about or to be distracted.  His life had
finally been working into somewhat of a set schedule.  Studying in the Great
Library was a very wonderful feeling, but also very time consuming.  He found
himself pouring over the same manuscripts and scrolls, and over the beginners
spellbooks loaned to him by Kestren.  Copying spells as he began to master
them was also just as time consuming.

"Wow," he thought to himself.  "I never realized it would be this much work!
"I can do it though.  I must keep my mind focused on the goal."

One way Tarantel kept his mind focused was to visit a few of the temples in
Palanthas on a daily basis.  Solinari's temple was small, but he took great
pains to help the caretaker and to commune with Solinari as much as he could
on a daily basis.

Every few days, Tarantel would stop and visit in the temples devoted to
Paladine and Mishakal as well, giving them thanks for their son and also
praising the honor and goodness of them both.

On this particular day, as he reached the temple to Mishakal, a warm feeling
enveloped him.  He hurried inside and his eyes immediately fell upon a radiant
lady draped in brilliant white tending the altar there.  His mind wandered as
to who it might be, but before he could think, she turned to him, noticing the
differences of their white garbs, and introduced herself.

"Greetings young mage," she said in a voice that almost trembled, "I am Astea,
the Revered Daughter of Mishakal.  What brings you to this place of worship? 
Do you come to seek the blessings of Mishakal?"

Tarantel noted the concern and the sigh in her voice and smiled at her.  "My
name is Taranthlas.  I am a mage of the White Robes, and also a devoted
follower of Solinari."

"I quest for peace and love.  I quest for self-sacrifice, and I start every
day with a prayer on my lips to him that I can serve him and be his mortal
tool in the world.

I have been coming here awhile now and giving thanks to Mishakal for her son,
and not once have I really understood her role in the world around us. 
Beautiful daughter of Mishakal, please tell me of her teachings.  Perhaps
knowing more about the mother of the Mighty Hand may help me in my teachings
and studies.

As he spoke, the shocked look in her eyes became a small smile, and the
worries of her predicament and of the world seemed to ease from her shoulders
as she sat next to him and began to tell him about Mishakal.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 17 07:33:35 2001


Subject  Solinari's Will



The dream was like others he'd had, but somehow, someway it was so much more.

One moment, Tarantel was casting a defensive spell around himself and 3
innocent elven children as a group of draconians came to slaughter them all. 
In another moment he was attending a diseased man that even the town's healers
had forsaken.

The dreams changed, but the subject did not.  In each dream, he was laying
down his life to attempt to save someone else.  Sometimes he was successful,
and sometimes it was in vain.  Everytime though, Taranthlas lost his life.

As these dreams continued to temper his soul as metal in a crucible, he heard
a voice speak to him softly.  Straining to listen to it, he could make out the
strange tongue being spoken telling him that he'd been chosen to be the
example.

He had been chosen to show Solinari's will to the rest of his order.

"Do not throw away your life needlessly," said the voice, "yet do not fear
death in any situation.  Self-sacrifice and love, understanding and peace
guide your way, my chosen one.  May you always walk in my Light."

In the last moments of the dream, he saw two other figures, his Master,
Kestren, and Cloreana, the Prophet of Solinari, bathed in the same light.  He
heard the voice say to all 3 of them, "Go now, my Guardians and change the
world with your strength and your faith."

When Tarantel woke up, he was drenched in a cold sweat and was permeated with
a warm feeling.  He looked at his left hand, where he felt an odd sensation. 
Upon his hand was a white gold ring.  He smiled to himself and thanked
Solinari for the blessings bestowed upon him.  Then, unashamedly, Tarantel
wept.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Thu Dec 20 10:27:08 2001


Subject  Khas game, part one



Over the time of his studies in Palanthas, Tarantel met a Solamnic Knight that
had lived about 50 or 60 cycles.  Segin Brackenwater was a Knight of the Crown
that had years ago given up his prejudices and disposition towards all others,
including mages.  Segin was not noble born, and always knew that no matter how
well he did in the Knights, he'd never be accorded the respect deemed to
others.

The knighthood suited him though, and he enjoyed his time, but knew he was
ending his tenure as a commander in the order of the Crown.

Tarantel and Segin were playing a game of Khas on his silver and golden Khas
board and talking a few days after the meeting of the mages in Palanthas.

"I'm not sure where to begin Segin.  It was just...something completely
unexpected and I'm frightened of what is to come.  I'm sorry I cannot tell you
anymore about it than I can, but some things are Conclave business, you
understand."

Segin snorted amusedly and turned back to the game.  Taking his goblet of wine
in his hand he smiles after taking another drink.  "Ergothian.  Good taste,
fine texture, how'd you get it?  Especially something of this vintage."

Tarantel slowly smiled and said, "Well I'll tell you actually.  It's really
quite odd.  It's been awhile since Kasimi died, and just recently I found a
door to a cellar in this house.  I suspected it was hidden by an enchantment
and was only visible to me now because the enchantment has worn off.  One
room, I've wizard locked.  I won't go in there until after my Master has
visited it.  It's his old study the other seems to be a wine cellar.  I never
realized Kasimi was such a wine lover There are hundreds of bottles, some seem
to have a vintage as far back as the War of the Lance!"

Segin looked at Tarantel oddly, "Well that may very well be, however I don't 
quite understand why in the bloody hell you don't go into Kasimi's study and
claim it for yourself!  That is yours by right, isn't it?"

Nodding his head, Tarantel turned back to the knight, "Sir Knight, when you
die in combat, your remains are sent back to your homeland are they not?" 
Segin nodded.

"And," Tarantel continued, "your estate goes to your next of kin and all that
rubbish the knights have.  Well, that's your code, your tradition, your laws.

The Conclave's laws are simple.  We are here to further the use and the art of
magic.

When one of our Order dies, every effort is made to reclaim their magical
tomes, items and other such things.  They become property of the Conclave,
unless willed otherwise, and are taken to the Tower for study, and sometimes,
to be given to others of our Order for use.  Besides, they are MAGE tools. 
You couldn't possibly understand the enchantments or protections they carry. 
I could die just picking up a pen in there! It is much easier to let the
Conclave deal with those things.  If Kasimi willed that I become the caretaker
of any tomes or belongings therein, they will inform me when the time is
right."

Returning to the Khas game, Segin smirked and said, "Taranthlas, you sure
trust the Conclave implicitly.  First you come to Palanthas, which was to your
knowledge occupied by the Dark Queen, then this, now what?  Next will you let
them tell you to face the Dark Queen yourself with only your magic to protect
you?  HAH!"

Tarantel turned pale and shivered.  Rising to his feet he said, "That's what
I've been trying to say to you Segin!  I feel we might all be facing that very
situation in the future!"

Walking over to Segin and laying his hands on his shoulders, Segin suddenly
blanked out and saw what Tarantel had saw in the courtyard a few days ago. 
Aurin, the prophet of Lunitari, power silently emananting from him, red dragon
at his side.

Shilaan Blackcloak, the Master of the Past and the Present, also there.  The
two at odds at times and other times seemingly working together.  Cloreana was
by Tarantel's side, and an unidentified traveller leaving midway through the
conversation.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Thu Dec 20 10:31:11 2001


Subject  Khas game, part 2



Tarantel brought Segin back to the present.  Segin got up quickly, face
covered in sweat.  "Was it really like that?  What can we expect here in
Palanthas if those two come to odds.  The city may well be destroyed!"

Tarantel whirled on Segin and said, "Yes but I fear that is the least of your
worries.  The Dark Queen still roams on this plane, and I fear she is nigh
unstoppable unless the Conclave can work together in unity.  And that, my
friend, is still a ways off.

Segin said, "You were trembling a bit in that vision Taranthlas...what for?"

"Shilaan...," Tarantel whispered, "You don't know what power that man contains
inside his aura.  Power I would never want.  So corrupt it oozes from him.  I
felt my commune with Solinari truly tested just being in his vicinity.  I fear
what might happen if one day I must fight with him, or worse, alongside him."

Segin, not used to seeing Tarantel falter in faith or stride, reached out his
hand to the elven mage.  Tarantel took his hand, and a warm smile played upon
his face.

"Friend," Segin said, "you have my strength always, and the Knights of
Solamnia will not let evil rule this world."



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Fri Jan  4 23:00:08 2002


Subject  Letter to Astea Palemoon, Revered Daughter of Mishakal



Revered Daughter of Mishakal,

Astea, I hope this letter finds you well.  I apologize for the abrupt
departure from Palanthas, but a situation came up and I was called away by my
Master to the Tower in Wayreth.

I will be studying here at the Tower for some length of time and will not be
able to return to Palanthas for awhile, so I have left most of the matters I
had in Palanthas in very capable hands.

Segin Brackenwater, Knight of the Crown will be visiting you in the days to
come.  Segin is one of the few people I've met that has overcome both racial
prejudices and stereotypes about magic-users.  I was blessed to have met him
and kept his company in the years I've spent in the Lordcity.  I met with him
many a time over some tea or wine, and we have discussed many things.  He
taught me (to the best of his ability) the art of the battlefield.  We both
agreed, however, that I wouldn't make the best foot solider that Krynn has
ever seen.  However I've learned many a thing about waging war and fighting
battles that seem lost, and I hope in the future that comes in handy.

The reason I'm telling you a bit about the aged knight is that I've charged
him with your care.  He has sworn to me an oath to Kiri-Jolith himself that if
you're ever in need, he'll be by your side.  Take good care knowing you're
safe and secure in the Lordcity.

Don't be too complacent though.  There are things in Palanthas that are not as
peaceful as my house was, or your temple.  Be cautious and ever watchful for
disaster.

Even though I cannot speak about it, I urge you to be prepared for the worst
at all times.

Lastly, I thank you Lady Astea.  Thank you for showing me the love of the
mother of Solinari and for letting me help your acoyltes care for the sick and
wounded in the city.

I hope my means, both magical and mundane, added to their healing powers, and
eased the pain and suffering of the people.  I still remember one Silvanesti
girl, looking up at me and seeing the warm light of Solinari around me at
night.  Her mother called me the 'Life Mage', and since then, it seemed
everyone in Palanthas called me that.

I have no healing powers, all I have is my mother's chicken soup recipe and a
few herbs.  It amused me, but I was glad that I could be something that the
people can believe in, much like the love of your Goddess Mishakal.

If you ever need me, don't hesitate to send a missive to the Tower.  If I'm
not here, I am sure it will find a way to get to me somehow.  While I'm gone,
feel free to use my house as a hospital makeshift for the sick and wounded. 
Solinari's light shine upon you fair Daughter, as do the love of his mother
Mishakal.

Taranthlas Essenceflair, the 'Lifemage'



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Thu Jan 10 23:37:48 2002



Subject  The Dirty Dog



"What the hell is that supposed to beeeeeeeeeeeeee?" squealed the faerie
hovering above Taranthlas' work.

"Silence!" roared Tarantel back at Cerina.  He was sorry he'd ever summoned
her, and though he'd given her her freedom, he wondered if she'd ever leave
him alone.

To the spite of the faerie's ever present curious whining, Tarantel continued
to form a small dog-like creature out of mud.  "I need you to be very quiet
right now Cerina, or I'm going to MAKE you be quiet, or maybe I'll let that
butt ugly familiar of Elmdor's catch you and eat you.  If I hadn't been there,
he'd have gotten you, you know.

"Oh, ok.  All you elves are so serious about your work.  Maybe you should
summon more faeries so I had someone interesting to be with!" Cerina fumed as
she flew out of his study.  Even as the relief came to Tarantel's mind, he
knew she'd be back.

Tarantel labored for hours, making the figure as perfectly as he could,
touching the mud he created with with a painstaking artisan's touch.  When he
was finished, the figure of a small dog sat beside him, looking up with
curious interest.

"There we go," he smiled inwardly, "now the figure is complete....what else
did Draeth say about this spell....oh yeah."  Tarantel opened up his emerald
green spellbook and began to read through the spell as he had hundreds of
times before preparing for this moment.  Noting the correct gestures and
inflections, he began to chant in the spidery language of magic.  The power of
the white moon filled his very soul and within the span of a few moments, he
was truly held in awe as the figure of the dog began to wiggle its tail and
bark at him.

"I've done it!" he inwardly exclaimed.  "But something's still not right. 
This is not exactly what I'd hoped for."

Tarantel sat and thought a moment, as the animated figure walked around and
sniffed a few things around the area.  After a little bit of thought, the
spell came to mind.

Tarantel waved his hands and casted a simple growth cantrip, hoping he was
right.

The dog began to grow and grow, and when it reached full size, Tarantel
stopped chanting and sat down to rest.  The combination of spells had taken a
bit more out of him than he'd realized.  Elation filled him, however, as he
watched the muddy dog bouncing around his study.  The last spell Tarantel cast
was a simple charm upon the beast, and noticed how very little effort it took.
 "Obviously,"

he thought, "creatures made this way have a rather low intellect."  Charm
inlaid, he patted the dog on its head, whispered a few words into its ear and
pointed it towards the Black tower.  Happy with his success, he snuffed the
beeswax candle on his desk and crawled into his bed.  That night, he dreamed
about Kestren's scroll, and thought about his upcoming visit to Solace.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Tue Jan 15 22:45:04 2002


Subject  A Guardian of Wayreth



To whom it may concern:

I find it difficult to start this letter, as so many thoughts are running
through my head right now.  The wishes of my Master, myself, my God all seem
to be melding together into the mold that will shape my life.  However there
are a few things I feel I need to address.

First of all, to the self proclaimed 'Wild Mages'.  You are not feared by the
Conclave.

Llewyn Darkash, I met you not too long ago at the forest guarding the mystical
Tower at Wayreth.  I warned you then, that your actions would lead to
bloodshed.

Do you remember my prophecy?  Not your own, I said, but those around you.  I
asked you if you were truly trying to do good and protect those you cared
about.  Obviously, you do not give a damn about those mages you would have
using the power of the Moons in such a fashion, and it led to the shedding of
blood from two of them.  One of them wisely decided, thank the Moons, to turn
from such barbaric and destructive things and come to the Conclave.  For that
I respect you, Sir Mage, even though the robe you wear be as black as night.

I am a mage of life.  I wear the white and do the bidding of my God Solinari.

I am inclined to tell you, elven warlock, that the more blood you cause to be
shed, the further and further you slip into the very grasp of Takhisis
herself.  Only dark elves encourage the destruction that you seem to casually,
wantonly command of your wild cantrip casters.  Be warned Llewyn, Solinari has
shown me that he, along with Lunitari and Nuitari will NOT be mocked, and that
your own craft might well destroy not only yourself, but those you care most
about.  Again, I ask you to consider your actions, not just because of what
they might mean to you, but the future of your friends.

Even though I cannot see his Moon, and I don't follow the teachings of
Nuitari, I respect him, albeit grudingly.  I don't side with Black robes when
they kill wantonly or hurt those that they care nothing about, but I do stand
beside ANY mage of the Orders when magic is threatened.  I will not, myself,
turn to the offensive unless I see no other alternative.  Be warned, Llewyn. 
The great Triad does not agree on much, but when we are united, all of Krynn
will feel it.

Knights of Takhisis, the ones they call Thorns, I don't know much about your
order, so I cannot make any other judgement at this time other than the fact
that you are renegades, stealing the magic of the Moons without properly
following the orders of your true God Nuitari.  As stated earlier, I respect
him.  He stood behind Fistandantilus even when he did the unspeakable horrors
he did.  Nuitari backed Raistlin even when he challenged Takhisis herself, as
stated in the histories, and tried to draw him back to the Order through the
Conclave even after he gained possession of the Tower in Palanthas.  However,
events recently have shown that Takhisis is not quite as respectable.  The
battle in Palanthas lost, she fled from the fury of Aurin, the prophet of the
great Lunitari and left her troops behind.

Many Thorn knights died that day among the KoT there in Palanthas.  She
abandoned you.  Left you to die in her name.  No glory, nothing but a cowardly
act.  Would you then, stand behind your Goddess that will leave you in a whim,
or behind your God that will follow you into the Abyss itself.  That, my
friends, is your decision.

I bid you all peace and love in the great name of Solinari.  I thank the Gods
I was blessed with the power to save lives.  Mishakal didn't grant me the arts
of healing, Paladine didn't bless me with his holy fervor, but Solinari saw
fit to grant me the power to protect those I care about, and I will use it to
the fullest.

Taranthlas Essenceflair, The Life Mage of Krynn



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Jan 28 22:33:16 2002


Subject   A patient mage



'Come in, Altorth,' said Tarantel as he opened his door.  The young mage
before him, whom he referred to as Altorth, was but a stocky boy, just having
passed the Test recently, his white robes still unsoiled by much use.

'A message for you, sir.  Cerina gave it to me, as you had requested not to be
disturbed during your commune with Solinari.'

Taranthlas took the message and, perusing its contents, smirked.

'It's good to note that we will have a few good clerics soon in our city.  Due
to some recent events, we'll have to watch our borders more closely.  I'd be
hesitant even to let Kilandara back in, due to that taint.  Things are getting
strange around the land from the missives I have been getting.  Altorth, why
do you serve Solinari?'

Altorth, taken aback by the abruptness of Taranthlas' question, turns back and
says, 'U-hhmmm.  For power, for honor.  To be able to help people.'

Tarantel chuckled as he rose to dismiss the mage.  'Altorth, that is the
textbook answer.  You must search your soul for your reason to magic.  Devote
your life to it, and your emotion will change the answer into something more
personal.  Go now and practice your spells tonight knowing Solinari blesses
you.'

Shutting the door behind him, Tarantel returned to the pad he kneeled on in
front of his altar.  Incense burned, candles filled the room with a white glow
as he addressed his God again, once again asking for the power and the
guidance he was looking for to make a difference, to save lives, and to help
other people.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat Feb  2 22:30:35 2002


Subject   Fear 



Taranthlas was having the same nightmare.....he'd had it often....ever since
that day....

His magic ceased as he stood atop the parapets of the White Tower in Wayreth.

Nothing more was he able to do than just breathe and cry.  He was going to
die, he knew it.  He also knew that the Order was going to be destroyed. 
Everything he'd worked for, that other mages before him had worked for, was
going to be just another line in Astinus' books.

Sighing, he stood facing the army below and said 'Solinari, Mighty Hand, I
served you in life, now I will serve you in death!'  Withdrawing his staff
from his robes, he plunged headfirst towards the lower levels, leading with
his staff.  His body and his staff shattered on impact, the force of the
staff's explosion destroying the walls of the Tower, causing them to start to
crumble and sink to the ground....

Startled, Tarantel woke, his head beaded with sweat and shaking with paranoia.

Getting up, he screamed down below 'Altorth, fetch me the head cleric at
once!' Fear crept into his heart, wanting and hoping that it was not true....




Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Feb  4 22:50:02 2002


Subject   The battle



The dreams returned.....this time Taranthlas saw himself sitting atop a brown
warhorse.  His army was around him, both magical and mundane.  The forces
advanced upon the enemy with a speed unmatched, his magic fuelly their
advance.

Voice drawing hoarse, he yelled a battle cry and joined the fray, causing
himself to go magicall airborne so that he could get a better view of the
battle.  His spells rained down on the army advancing against him. 
Destruction, he wielded in one hand, while the other hand defended his army. 
Sensing victory he pressed on.

Suddenly, without warning, black knights flanked either side of his army.  An
illusion he'd never thought to check for, had hidden most of the army from
him.

Cold fear chilled him to the bone as he realized he was done for.  His army
was starting to become nervous, but he urged them on, promising victory.

Suddenly, a symbol of the white moon appeared in his hands, shining brightly
and a booming voice was heard across the battlefield:

'Go forth, my warrior, go forth and show them the wrath of Solinari!'

Fervor, terror and frenzy filled his gaze as he lifted the staff to the
heavens and called down the fiery destruction that was born from the white
moon.  A bright blazing column of light descended and poured over him as it
flowed around him, spreading out for many, many yards.  As quick as it came,
it was gone, leaving him half-blind.

As he recovered his senses, he looked around in the disarray.  Bile formed in
his throat and he wretched as he saw the destruction he had unleashed.

Both friend and foe around him lay in a heap, flesh incinerated, unable to
tell where one body ended and the next begun.  Armor seared to skin, creating
gruesome golems of dead bodies.

Tarantel leapt from his horse, kneeling beside the body of his comrade, Sir
Segin Brackenwater.  His eyes filled up with tears as he screamed and clawed
at his own eyes.

Tarantel woke with a start, looking over to the pillow beside him and noticing
the sweat filling it....

The chilling fear crept into him again as he viewed the end of his life...




Author:  Tarantel
Date    Tue Feb  5 21:20:56 2002


Subject   Preparations 



'Come in, Segin,' said Tarantel as he paced by the door.

The aged Knight of the Crown stepped into Tarantel's master bedroom with a
heavy heart and looked him up and down, surprised in the change he'd seen in
his friend since he'd come to Solace.

'Taranthlas, you look unwell, you shouldn't be thinking about doing what
you've asked me about in the missive I got from Altorth.  You need rest and
you need to remove yourself from what's going on currently.  If you would just
sit for a moment and think about your plan of action, things will work alot
better for you.

Tarantel rose, his white robes, trimmed in blue, flowing about him like a
white sea.

'Sir Segin, I'm glad you came.  Trust me when I say that I've never been more
sane in my life.  These reports...just rumors..you've heard around the town
are completely without merit.  I am just fine, trust me.  Besides, with things
the way they are, it wouldn't matter.  I could be dead tomorrow!  These
nightmares could be coming true!  Please, I don't expect you to understand,
but I expect you to trust me.'

Segin sighed as he walked towards Tarantel and embraced him as a brother.

'Taran my friend, I will follow you until the end.  You have done things I
never thought possible from an elf or a white mage.  You've shown compassion
to even those as evil as the Queen of Darkness.  You've sat with those that
have curses even Morgion would fear, but yet you did your best to ease their
pain.  You truly act as though you are a devout worshipper of the beautiful
Blue Goddess, even though I know your heart lies with the White Moon.  I will
be your friend until the end.  You couldn't possibly do me harm.  Est sularis
oth mithas.' Raising his sword in a knightly salute, he turned to leave the
room.

Sighing, Tarantel stopped him.  Segin, I've done this before only once.  I
don't think you quite understand the gravity of my situation.  Please, sit
down.  Make yourself comfortable.

The knight sat down, his silver plate armor rattling as he eased himself into
the chair.  Tarantel started to chant in strange tongues, hands placed on
Segin's forehead.  Pulling his nightmares, all en masse, from his memories, he
channeled them into Segin's head, letting him see the death, the sorrow, the
horror that they were.  Energy he never thought he had poured into Segin and
he felt drained.

Stumbling back, Tarantel fell across the floor, looking up only to see Segin,
his eyes filled with terror and his face streamed with tears.  Tarantel
nodded.

There was no need to say anything more.




Author:  Tarantel
Date    Wed Feb 13 23:11:18 2002


Subject  Studies in the Tower



Tarantel sat, pouring over volumes in the library.  Frustrated, he had been
going through many journals, looking for information he just could not find.

"Useless," he thought.  The things I'm looking for are not here.  I wish I was
still in Palanthas sometimes.  Perhaps I'd be able to find them there.  My
uncle Kasimi would have.....hey...wait...perhaps..."

Taranthlas stopped dead in the book he was in and changed his course.  Putting
the tome away, he searched the annals for information about his late white
robed uncle.  For hours, he searched the library, but again, he found no
record of Kasimi's name at all, not even a record of any other elf sharing his
name.

"Surely there must be a mistake...," he thought to himself.  "This is all too
strange.  How could he possibly not have a record in the library of the
Conclave itself.  Perhaps I need to investigate this further."

Blowing out the candles he was using to read, Tarantel made his way back to
the door of the library, only to look across and see the grinning form of
Galaphale the Dark staring back at him.  Words unspoken, thoughts unsaid,
Tarantel chose the roads of magic instead of walking past the dark elf, taking
himself back to his own room.




Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat Feb 23 18:12:21 2002


Subject  New Rule



A bright white light flared over the city in Palanthas.  The ground shook
beneath the feet of those that were brave enough to be around at that time. 
Out of the light stepped a figure, clothed in pure white, his robes almost
luminescent.

He spoke in a soft tone, yet audible enough for the whole city to hear.

'Palanthas, you have been delivered by the Mighty Hand.  Lord Solinari grants
unto you once again the ability to live without fear.  His wrath has been
acknowledged and nothing will stop him.  So he says through me, his High
Archmage, his High Priest! This day you will know his goodness and kindness,
but also will know his anger at those that corrupt, that endanger the
innocent, and those that endanger magic! May Solinari and E'li bless you
people of Palanthas!

The white light receeded, focusing onto the keep of the Lordcity, and
Palanthas entered into the day under a new rule.

Meanwhile, the elf that had made the speech sat and waited, biding his time
and making plans.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Mar 25 02:06:48 2002


Subject  One mage's fight



The white robes he wore flew behind him as he stomped off towards his room in
the tower.  Quickly he walked up the flights of stairs to his room at the top
of the white tower of Wayreth.

His apprentice, Altorth, turned to him.  "Master," he cried out. "What is
wrong with your---"

He didn't have time to finish his sentence before he was silenced by
Tarantel's hand.

"Altorth, listen and listen well, for I want you to bring this news to those
that need to know first hand, Barniven of the Red and Dendrel of the Black.

I have been gone on a long journey ever since that day..," Tarantel trailed
off a bit as he rubbed the scar on his face, marring the perfect elven face, a
scar ran down from the bottom of his right eye and curved in to the parting of
his lips.

"Yes, Altorth, it was by the arch-lich's hand this scar was formed.  That is
neither here nor there however.  My journeys took me around to several places
here on Krynn, I was searching all around for any signs of this new threat,
these "magehunters" as they call themselves.  As luck would have it, I found
one.  He was masquerading dishonorably as a red robed mage, conning a village
out of any and all of its artifacts, magical or mundane.

I was unaware of his duplicity until he tried to attack me.  When I brought
him down, I brought him back here to the Tower to interrogate him.  Altorth, I
will tell you right now that some of the methods I used might have made
Nuitari blush, but it was all neccessary.

He told me of the coming of these magehunters.  This group of sick, twisted
individuals are not exactly as they seem.  They aren't just out to destroy the
Conclave, they are out to destroy magic on the whole my friend.  They care not
if the mage is a wild mage, or a Thorn knight, a Conclaver or even if it's
just someone using a magical artifact."

"Altorth, do you remember the story of Bastion?  Do you remember the one
renegade wizard that wanted to destroy it, and the citadel it guarded?  These
magehunters, they have the same mind.

The mages among them use a corrupted form of high sorcery, drawing upon
something I cannot put my finger on right now.  They, and those of them that
are not mages, corrupt the power of magical items and artifacts at their
disposal, but they have been unsuccessful thus far at making their own.  They
are everywhere, and you must urge the Conclave leaders you talk to to stay
vigilant.

I am off to Solace to talk to my people there and then to Palanthas to warn
the Solamnics of a possible attack imminent."

Altorth paused, taking all of this in.  "Master, no offense, but why would the
Solamnics care about these magehunters, and vice versa?"

Tarantel grinned and chuckled, ruffling Altorth's hair.  "Son, remember the
attack on Solace not too long ago?  That was carried out by this group in
hopes of drawing me over to Solace.

It was successful and they captured me.  The archlich was wearing an amulet of
null magic, and I was caught totally unprepared.  You can bet it will not
happen again.  The foolish minotaur, Sardis, is but a puppet of his lich's
hand.  He has sworn a blood oath against me, and I'm aware that the tradition
of his people suggests the only way he can reclaim what pitiful honor he had
in the first place is to kill me.  He will die in obscurity by me, or by
another in the conclave.

Altorth wiped his brow, unable to fathom how great a threat that a small group
like this could threaten the very foundation of the Conclave, but upon seeing
the fire in his master's eyes, he decided he'd better start contemplating it.

"There is one other thing, as an elf, I am obligated to do.  I must go to Zhan
and warn those mages in the Wildrunners of this new threat.  It is a very
tricky situation indeed, but I am obligated as a Qualinesti elf to protect
other elven lives, even of those I don't agree with.  I can deal with the wild
mages at a later time."

Turning on his heel, Tarantel strolled into his room, and after a loud bang
and a white flash,



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Mar 25 02:08:05 2002


Subject  One mage's fight part deux



it was apparent to Altorth that the archmage had left on his errand.

Sighing inwardly, the lanky human descended the stairs on the way to the black
tower, wondering if Tarantel really knew what he was doing.




Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat Apr 20 16:54:33 2002


Subject  Destruction



Tarantel's fingers ran across the surface of the crystal, speaking the
all-too-familiar words of magic that would invoke its power.  True enough to
form, the image of the government of Qualinost, organizing for yet another day
of arguing about the successor of the Speaker of the Sun.  Tarantel sighed
inwardly, almost wishing that the white robes in Qualinesti had not been so
loyal to the Conclave and had blocked his magic, but they were good elves, and
they understood what really happened that fateful day.

'That day,' thought Tarantel inwardly, feeling a tear streak down his cheek. 
'It wasn't Galaphale's fault, I've come to terms with that.  I wonder why the
Speaker did what he did and said what he said.  Was he truly that
closed-minded?'

Tarantel's vision almost faded as his attention went away from the crystal,
but suddenly returned as fire rained down from above in the vision.  The
elves, unable to organize effectively, ran from the building as firey pit
fiends sundered the foundations of it and chased them, howling with glee.  The
white robed mages in the hall tried to stand against the oncoming force, using
techniques Tarantel had suggested, but were beaten back.  Tarantel's forehead
began to sweat heavily, and he began to shake as the vision turned to the
forests of Silvanesti land.

Trees burned a sick, charred smoke, and the fumes almost blocked his ability
to see them.

Elves lay dead everywhere it seemed, and the fiends were even more plentiful
there.  Tears now flowed down Tarantel's cheeks as he realized that the
warning he gave to the elven nations went completely unheeded, and now there
was nothing he could do but watch their destruction.

As he was about to pry himself from the crystal, two piercing eyes suddenly
came into focus and a loud booming laugh shook his mind....



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat Apr 20 17:04:47 2002


Subject  Asmodeus' challenge



The laughter ran in his ears, the voice hollow and cold.  'Ah, Tarantel, your
people need you But yet you cannot help them.  Doesn't it torment you to see
them die?  Muahahahahaha.' 'No, don't say it.  I can feel your mind, you won't
feel the pain too long though, trust me.

I am coming for you Tarantel.  I will come for you and those that defy me. 
But you are going to be the first to fall.  First you will see your people
hunted to extinction by me and my wonderful children.  Then you will try to
help them, but they will blame you, and hunt you.' The voice laughed in his
head, forcing Tarantel to clutch his staff suddenly in his hand with a force
that caused his hands to bleed.

'Then I will make you watch as I destroy the Tower of Wayreth, as your mages
are scattered to the winds and magic is a thing that only I command!  Only
then, when your spirit is broken, you will die, and you will serve me in
undeath!  You will bow before me!'

Tarantel sat, transfixed with fear and loathing, unable to break the spell
Asmodeus had casted upon him.

'Don't feel you are alone, fool.  The dark knight will be next.  I will be his
new Vision.

'He will look to his precious Vision and see me, his Queen bowing at my feet,
kissing them.

'His army will serve me whether they like it or not.  The other knight, clad
in silver, he will 'Defy his God, breaking his honor code.  I will make him
slay anything moving around him, Women, children, it doesn't matter.  As the
tears streak down his face, Paladine will forsake him and he will beg me to
allow him to serve me!  You will all serve me as my toys until I am bored with
you.  Then you will become a part of my power.

'Oh, and by the way Tarantel, I've found it.  It will be mine soon, and then
so will you.'

Tarantel clutched his head as the laughter boomed inside of it.  He didn't
even realize it had stopped and his crystal stood before him, smoking and
charred.

Rising to his feet, Tarantel walked over to his window and looked out, seeing
a red sky in the distance.  Unashamedly, he wept for his future, and for all
of creation.




Author:  Tarantel
Date    Wed Apr 24 05:12:10 2002


Subject  The Dark Elf's Journey



Tarantel gazed once again into the crystal, seeing the form of smoke coalesce
into the forests of Qualinesti.  The trees still smoked a bit as the elves
began the slow process of rebuilding.

He allowed himself a small smile as he shifted the view to the Hall of the
Sun, watching the senators do as they do best.  Debate.  'Still debating the
candidates for Speaker, how pathetic.  They should just choose one already. 
They'll just boss them around anyways.'

'Why don't you go present yourself as a candidate Archmagus?' asked an
inquisitive voice.

Tarantel looked up slowly, the view instantly vanishing from his crystal, 'I
did not know I was so unpopular with my own people that they wanted to see me
go on a suicide mission.' The apprentice came into the light, his elven face
filled with pity more than anything else.

'Master, with all due respect, there is talk all over Qualinost about urging
the council to lift the excommunication on you.  Asmodeus was said to be
a.....' Tarantel stopped the apprentice with his hand.  'Asmodeus would
probably be considered my doing.

It is enough that I let you and the other Qualinesti white robes assist them.

If I get involved directly, well, let's say it would cause alot more trouble
than it is worth.'

The elf nodded, eyes changing to a noticeable respectful gaze.  'Magus, how do
you handle it? If I was to scry Qualinost all the time, I would have been
driven....

'Mad?' Tarantel questioned the apprentice.  'Sometimes I feel myself slipping,
it is true.

However magic always brings me back to reality.  Quatharan, truthfully I say
to you that I am not a powerful mage.  My magical talents lay in defensive
spellcraft and of things that are very out of the ordinary.  My psychic
abilities are a bit unique, but not fit for more than telekinesis or
telepathy.  Also, I've been granted the gift of healing magic from Solinari,
but since it's not God power, it is crude at best.  No, my power comes from
within.  Strength in adversity I like to call it.'

Tarantel chuckled softly and rose from his chair, slinging a pack over his
white robe.

'Apprentice, tell the other High Archmages and the Highmaster Ryouta that I
will be going on a journey.  If they need me, they need only tell you and you
will use this ring to contact me.' Tarantel reached into the folds of his
robes and pulled out a beautiful lapis lazuli ring, set inside a rather crude
iron band. 'Trust me when I say that you do not want to know where I am
heading.  I intend to do something, to prove myself and my goodwill to my
people.

I can no longer stand to gaze at my home from a distance.  The tears that
streak down my face multiply daily.  I can't let my people down, even if they
don't care if I wake up in the morning.  Go, young one, and do what I ask.'
The aforementioned tears were flowing down the cheeks of Master as he grabbed
his staff and dismissed the other elf.

'Solinari I pray you watch over me and do not forsake me if what I do is
wrong,' Tarantel prayed.

'I do this for myself, I do this for my people, and if I fail, I will accept
my fate.'



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sat May 11 02:21:09 2002


Subject  Prisoner of his Master




Tarantel awoke again in the same room.  Mirrors filled the walls, casting his
own haggard reflection at him.

His black robes were riddled with holes from the magical destruction of the
hands of his former master, his hair, normally his favorite thing about
himself, was unkempt, still streaked with blood from the skull impact on a
tree, and the more he looked at himself, the more he was filled with disdain
for Kestren.

'Yes,' he thought to himself.  'The great Archmage of the White Robes.  I have
been imprisoned before but never by someone that hurts me this much inside as
well as out.'

Tarantel looked around himself again, avoiding his own gaze in the mirror. 
Food was on the table again.  He ate it without much thought, knowing that if
Kestren had meant him dead he would be doing it less subtlely than poisoning
him.  Vaguely he tried to gauge where he could be.  He had never seen this
room in Wayreth before, not in any of his walks through the White tower
anyways.

The thought didn't dishearten him, but did make him respect Kestren a bit
more.  'The fool does not under- estimate me.  He must fear me, or fear my
escape, or some such.  I will have to explore other options.'

Raising his hands, he called upon the power of Nuitari to cast a spell, but
the magic did not come to him.

Cursing in tongues that would make any elfmaiden blush, he sat back at the
makeshift bed in the middle of the mirror chamber and began to think of
another way.

His mind trailed back to the events that happened after his transition to
Nuitari.  They went back to the wicked child at his desk, laughing at him,
almost damning him.

Then the wrath of Solinari, directed at himself.  No love, just anger, robbing
him of his magic.

Then Tarantel's heart had broke as those that he'd made the sacrifice for
began to look upon him with contempt, not understanding that he did this for
them.

The circle had been completed when Kestren had hunted him down and had made
short work of him, helpless and abandoned, and brought him here.

His thoughts no longer brought tears to his eyes, for he had no more to shed. 
His life seemed a void now, used and seduced by Nuitari, but what choice did
he have?!?!?

He had to have the power, to protect, to serve, to aid him in his goal.

His hands dropped to the necklace, vaguely remembering the words that the
giver spoke, and he began to rub the beads, hoping that somewhere, someone
heard his thoughts and prayers, and that he had enough integrity left for her
to come to him in his time of need.

And for a brief moment his mind went back to the time when the forest around
him drew its spirit into him, encouraging him, comforting him, soothing him. 
Had it been seduction?  Or had it been truth?  And was the forest truly trying
to aid him?  So many questions he had to sort though, if he had the strength
to even live anymore, abandoned by Solinari and Nuitari it seemed now.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Sun May 12 10:47:42 2002


Subject  The turning away




Tarantel made his way from Palanthas back to Wayreth by the conventional
means.  The draft horse he was on plodded along slowly, giving him plenty of
time to think and to plan on the way to Wayreth.  He didn't have to worry
about being there at a certain time or anything of that nature.  He was able
to let his mind wander, trying to recall all of the events of the past
while...

He remembered the his slow, seductive fall into evil...

and that moment when the lightning arced from his fingers, and Elmdor's
charred body before him.  He thought of the wicked child sitting at his desk,
and the black robed mage that he made the pact with.....

He came back to the world, shivering mostly from fear at what Nuitari would
do.  'Normally,' he thought, 'it's the evil, seductive immortals that break
their pact, that withhold the power.  This time it was me.  I saw my foolish
ways and my mistake.  The blood on my hands, the evil in my eyes.  My
reflection in hundreds of mirrors....

Tarantel's mind wandered again.  He was being hunted.

The white robed mage found him.  Tarantel raised his hands but the power
didn't come.  He lay beaten, bloody, his body bleeding and broken, his robes
tattered about him...

He felt the cold stone bier under his back, warm and healing hands on his
skin.  He looked up into the eyes of a healer, of a woman that he had wronged,
but was sacrificing for him.

She challenged him, called him into account for his deeds.

And then there was the presence, awe inspiring, of a God he had thought
abandoned him.  Great and powerful, the God had taken him into his arms,
giving him back his life and showing him the true error of his ways, and the
light.

He saw himself truly protecting the world.  Those he loved and he saw the true
seductive power of the evil he was turning his back on.....

The thunder crashed around him as the rain started.  The storm had just set
in, and he had a long journey ahead of him.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Wed May 22 17:03:59 2002


Subject  To Prove your Words




Tarantel sat back in his study, his hands resting on one of the white books
bound in emerald green that he had written awhile ago.  'Oh man, it's hard
enough understanding some of these books, harder still knowing I wrote some of
them!  I hope I will understand them more as time goes on.'

His tarbean tea was just starting to get cold as the Solamnic Knight reentered
the room.

'Tarantel sir, he has returned.  Are you sure you do not wish for assistance?'

Tarantel chuckled.  'No, good Sir.  This is something I must do on my own.  I
have been hunting the Thorn knight for some time now.  It was only a matter of
time.  I have a promise to keep to my lord Solinari, as a Guardian lost.'

The Knight nodded, walking away.  Tarantel slipped out of his house wearing
his invisibility spell.  Silently he crept towards the beach that the Knight
had pointed him to.

He heard the Thorn knight cursing oddly, as if he was stuck in the rocks. 
'Well well well,' he chuckled.  'It seems as though he's gotten himself into a
mess that his Queen is of no assistance in.  If he would have only learned
that spell from a true Master in the Conclave....'

Realizing the upper hand was his, Tarantel leapt into action.

He threw off the spell he'd cast, revealing himself to the Thorn knight for a
few seconds before disabling him with the power granted to him by Solinari. 
As the magic flowed through his body, Tarantel felt uplifted, his spirits
raised by the fact that Solinari was truely with him.

The grey mage lifted his hands, not to cast a spell, but to try to ward off
the spray of color coming at him, but to no avail.  As the Knight's body lie
unconscious, Tarantel lifted his hands again, enclosing him in a prison of
magic.

24 hours to Klonk.  Another Thorn will be brought to trial soon.

Tarantel



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Thu Jun 13 07:50:44 2002


Subject  Wayreth




His horse appeared uneasy as he searched in vain.  Days had passed since he'd
taken the familiar path to the magical forest of Wayreth.  He knew it by
heart, having travelled it many times both along mundane roads and the
ever-present roads of magic.

Now 3 days had passed, and there was no sign of Wayreth where it was supposed
to be.  It seemed the harder he looked for it, the further he strayed from the
path.

'It has to be around here somewhere.  I can't imagine why Wayreth is not
revealing itself to me!  What is going on in the Tower!'  Tarantel thought to
himself as he idly steamed upon his horse.  The horse seemed to feel his
frustration, moving around in circles waiting for the mage to give him some
sort of direction.

Tarantel descended from his mount and pulled a few roots and a small mirror
from his pouches.  Chanting the same words he'd chanted for 3 days now, he
looked into the mirror, hoping it will help him divine the location of the
guardian forest.  The mirror glowed a weak red, and showed him the same thing
it had shown him everytime.

The forest was right in front of him, but as he looked up, he could not see it
at all, only the road in front of him and a few woodland creatures.

As he mounted his horse, he scratched his temples, unable to comprehend what
was going on.  Looking up at the sky, he realized that night was about to
fall.

However, before he could dismount again to set up camp for the night, the
white light of Solinari refracted on a pond near him.  The refraction was
caused by a winged lizard crawling out of the pond and baring its fangs at the
horse, looking hungrily at it.  Tarantel was suddenly filled with adrenalin
and reached into his pouches to prepare spell components, but before he could,
the creature growled at the horse and the horse bolted forward, well away from
the creature.  Tarantel was jostled in the saddle painfully, and it was all he
could do to stay on his horse as the mount sped forward into the path. 
Tarantel closed his eyes, screaming at his mount to halt, stop and 200 other
forms of the word.

Refusing to open his eyes, the elven obscenities poured from his mouth, only
encouraging the horse to go forth.

After what seemed like hours, his horse stopped suddenly and Tarantel opened
his eyes.  Looking around, he felt them misting over as the beauty of a lush
forest loomed over him.  He had not found the Forest such as in times past. 
The Forest had found him.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 23 20:08:30 2002



Subject  To Bastion, and a farewell of sorts (part 1)



Tarantel cursed as he heard those familiar spell words.  They were the same
words he had heard not ten minutes previously.  Just as he turned, he saw the
black blur of Galaphale's robes fading into nothingness.

"You blasted dark elf!  I will find you when I have left this cursed place! 
You will pay for that!" he screamed into the face of the tall, white robed
figure that had replaced Galaphale in front of him suddenly.

Pencil thin, the mage regarded Tarantel with an interested stare.

"What are you doing here kid?!?!  How the hell did you get into Bastion?!?"

Tarantel looked up at the mage rather crossly and stated very
matter-of-factly, "I am not just a kid, you dolt!  I am your Lord!

Have you not heard of the curse upon the body of your High Archmage Tarantel
Essenceflair?"

The white robe regarded him again, nodding and trying to contain a mirthful
laugh.  "That still does not explain what you are doing in Bastion, Master
Tarantel."

Tarantel walked up to the mage, looking up and silently cursing him for being
so tall.  "Well Cletil, it's really hard to explain, and I really have no time
to explain it, but all I need to do is head to the Black wing.  There are a
few texts there that I need to study.  This curse is one that needs to be
lifted if I am going to be able to return to my former power and destroy the
great blue beast Azure."

Cletil put his hand on Tarantel's shoulder and smiled.  "I see Master, that
shouldn't be too much of a problem, but why didn't you warn us before coming? 
We could have had everything prepared for you and you wouldn't have had to go
to all of the trouble you did."

Stunned, Tarantel gave Cletil a dumb look.  "Well since Bastion is forbidden,
I didn't assume you would bend the rules for anyone, even me.

However, lets' not worry about....."

He trailed off as a very loud noise and explosion happened behind him.  In the
wake of the fire he turned to see a young lady elf in red robes staring back
at him.

Laughing haughtily she walked over to the two white robes.

"Well Cletil, what have we here?  Is this really the High Archmage of the
White Robes?  I would think it was rather unfortunate that you had to come
unannounced and make such an awful commotion just to find a few books?  What's
wrong, are they too high up on the shelves for little Tarantel to reach?"

Gritting his teeth, he turned on his heel, "Cletil, show me the way to the
Black wing please.  I do not have the time or patience for this harpy's
words."  Her laughter rang in his ear as, unfortunately for him, her footsteps
followed the two towards the Black wing.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 23 20:26:07 2002



Subject  To Bastion, and a farewell of sorts (part 2)



Clarise smiled as she walked behind what she regarded as two white robed
idiots.  In her mind she recalled all of the things that she had heard about
Tarantel in her homeland of Qualinost.

She had heard the stories of his rise to power in the White robes, about some
of his more questionable decisions and times.  The Senate had long since
blamed the death of the last Speaker of the Suns on him and a dark elf who's
name escaped her at the time.  She had heard ugly rumors about past dealings
Tarantel had had with Nuitari and having ordered the excommunication of his
former Master.  Yes, she had every reason to be suspicious of him arriving in
Bastion suddenly.

On the other hand, Cletil had no such suspicions.  Having been appointed to
Bastion by Tarantel himself, he was more than happy to lead his Master to the
unoccupied Black wing.  It had been only a few weeks since the Black guardian,
Terlian, had passed away in her sleep suddenly, but he had hoped that soon it
would be filled once again so his watches would go down in number.

As he entered the Black wing, Tarantel felt very ill at ease.  The air around
him felt heavy and he began to recall the words of the dark mage in his mind,
telling him about the tomes of Akar, and their location within the library. 
The further they progressed towards the library, the more excited, yet nervous
he got.

His footsteps echoed in the hallway before the library as the door opened in
front of him.  Passing first into the room was Cletil, motioning with his
hand, attempting to dismiss Clarise.  She would have none of that though as
she followed behind the two into the library.

"Finally, I am here!" screamed Tarantel, his youthful voice making him sound
delighted as a kid in a candy store.  "Now I can figure out how to destroy
that bloated blue eyesore!

As he walked over to the bookshelves, he pointed towards a few volumes,
feeling as though he was being guided by another.

Cletil lifted the tomes, putting them on a desk for Tarantel to begin his
studies.

5 books in all did Cletil stack before Tarantel was finished directing him. 
He smiled and thanked Cletil, and took in his surroundings before he began. 
Looking around, he gazed at more of the sleek black obsidian of the Black wing
of Bastion.  The walls seemed to absorb the light that the lamps in the room
gave off, yet the room was lit.  It was truely fascinating, yet dark, magic. 
The library was quite expansive.  Most of the books were bound in black, and
gave off auras that made Tarantel's stomach sour just thinking of them.

Sighing, he turned and began to study the texts in front of him.

Cletil excused himself and began to make his way back to the Seeing crystal,
however Clarise sat in a chair in the library, watching Tarantel.

Tarantel, absorbed in his studies, never saw the dark robed figure impose
itself upon the beautiful elf in her watch, closing her eyes in slumber.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 23 20:40:41 2002



Subject  To Bastion, and a farewell of sorts (part 3)



"You won't find anything in there, little boy.  All you will find in Akar's
records and studies you already know."

Tarantel's head shot up at the voice, the dark, child-like voice of the dark
mage.

"You!  What do you mean?  You told me I would find what I needed right here! 
Are you now telling me that it was a ruse?  Did you want to lure me away from
the world so your evil bastards could..."

His voice suddenly stopped, as he stood, unable to speak or move.

"It is so much easier to talk to you in this way, little one.  You talk too
much.  I told you about the books.  They are a great source of information
about dragons and their magic, just as I stated.  I did not lie at all.  That
which will help you is here.  You just have to find it.

I trust your juvenile mind can comprehend and understand what it is I speak
of."

Laughter echoed in his mind as he regained his senses and movement, and the
Dark One faded from view.  Absently he sat, thinking about the situation that
he was in, and what the Dark One had said.

His mind only came to one idea, and the decision wasn't very difficult in his
mind.  He preferred the idea of his own body back, and the power to defeat
this dragon was his by right, was it not?  Hadn't the Dark One said so?  It
was all so confusing!  Picking up the book in front of him, Tarantel hurled it
into the bookcase in frustration, watching it fall to the ground with a thud. 
Clarise, forgotten in the corner, did not even stir as Tarantel walked out of
the library and towards the centre of Bastion.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Mon Dec 23 21:04:19 2002



Subject  To Bastion, and a farewell of sorts (part 4)



"Master Tarantel, have you all the information you need now?  I can send you
back to Krynn very easily.  The spell should require very little effort."

Tarantel regarded Cletil with almost a sad look.  "No good mage,"

he said, "I am not going back I am afraid.  I have to go forward if I am to
release this curse and gain the power I need to avenge myself.

I hope you understand, and I would appreciate if you would stand aside and
cause no trouble."

Shocked, and puzzled, Cletil stared at Tarantel.  He could not believe the
mage's words.  He had heard rumors of madness in Tarantel's bloodlust, yet he
never thought it possible.  "I am sorry, Master, but you know the rules.  I
cannot allow that.  I am sure there are other ways, Master.

I will help you find one, I promise."

For a few moments, Tarantel actually considered that.  He remembered all the
things he'd tried, all the failed magics, all the artifacts he had searched
for, but to no avail.  He smiled glumly and said to Cletil, "Cletil of Solace,
as your High Archmage, I demand that you step aside, and permit me to enter
into the Lost Citadel.  I do not seek to destroy the world, I only seek to
gain the power that is mine by right!  As you are but only a Master in the
order, you are subject to my rules.  You will now step aside and make certain
no one else interferes!"

A frown crossed Cletil's face.  "I am again, sorry Master, but I cannot allow
that.  My solemn oath to Solinari..." he was unable to finish his statement as
a wand Tarantel produced fired off a bolt of charged lightning, exploding into
the chest of the Guardian Cletil.

The ozone in the air burnt the insides of Tarantel's nose as he took a deep
breath.  "WHEN I TELL YOU TO DO SOMETHING, YOU WILL DO IT!"

Leaning over the mage, his face furious, his voice that of a high-pitched
angry kid, he shouted "Open the portal for me now!"

Cletil shook his head, unable to move or lift a finger.  He lay on the ground
prone.  His voice shaking and in pain, he said "I cannot do that for you."

Rage consumed Tarantel as he put his wand back into his sleeves and began to
chant in the spidery words of magic.  Producing a few powders of little note,
he blew them into Cletil's face and Cletil's body rose forcibly from the
ground.  Moving against its will, it stood near the crystal.  "NOW!" screamed
Tarantel.

Cletil felt his limbs begin jerked this way and that, but Tarantel was unable
to control the flow of magic in his body.  Frustrated, Tarantel released his
spell.  As Cletil's body fell to the ground, Cletil uttered a small prayer to
Solinari.  The words coming from Tarantel's mouth, however, were those of a
spell that called more lightning, this time from his fingers.  Cletil saw a
bright flash of light, and then nothing more as his life was ended.



Author:  Tarantel
Date    Tue Dec 24 06:44:26 2002



Subject  To Bastion, and a farewell of sorts (part 5)



Clarise awakened a few hours later.  She rushed down to the chamber of the
crystal, almost knowing in her heart what she would see.

Upon rounding the corner, she saw the chamber, the massive scrying crystal in
the center.  She saw it lying dormant, but the magic was in the air, palpable,
almost on her tongue as a sweet taste.

Cletil's lifeless body lie next to the crystal.  She walked over to it and
felt for a pulse, but she knew before she got there she would not find it.

She looked towards the back of the large room, towards where the portal would
have opened.  Looking by the wall, she saw a few curious things.  Underneath a
rune-encrusted white robe lying on the floor was a well-polished oaken staff
topped off with an orb made of pearl.

The staff of Solinari it was.  She had no wish to touch it, but instead left
it where it was and walked over to the crystal.

Speaking in the tongue of magic, she placed her fingers to the crystal.

She searched for the possibility in her mind that she was in the room an hour
ago.  Nothing.  Two hours ago.  There it was, she had it now.  Cletil lay
prone on the floor next to Tarantel's small body.  Tarantel's hands had
encompassed the crystal.  The magic was on his lips and he seemed to be
fighting an urge to run away from the crystal chamber.  After awhile, a
shimmering white portal coalesced in the back of the chamber.  One Clarise had
never seen, but had no doubts about what it was.

She saw Tarantel slowly break the magic, holding the portal open as he did so.
 He turned from the altar of the crystal and made for the portal in a mad
dash, glee in his eyes, he was speaking but she couldn't hear the madness that
was coming from his lips.

Then she saw a white light coming from the portal itself.  It was strange and
seemed to be made of wisps.  As Tarantel ran towards the portal the white
light became brighter until it encompassed the entire chamber.  Then she
finally heard something.  A scream.  But not just any sort of scream.  Loud,
earpiercing, one born of madness and of someone knowing their fate.  It was
impossible to tell what was happening to Tarantel but judging from the sound
it could not have been very pleasant.  His screams did not die as the light
receded, however he was nowhere in sight.  The portal was still open, however
the mage was gone.  All that was left were his robes and staff, sitting in a
pile about five yards from the portal.  His screams, however did not die out
for another thirty or so minutes afterwards.

Clarise knew this because she sat, transfixed, at the scrying crystal with
tears streaming down her eyes until she could hear no more.

The Guardian of white was dead, and only Lunitari knew the fate of their High
Archmage.  She sat in a corner of the room and cried herself to sleep.


Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Tue May 15 01:28:28 2007
Subject     We have need for you... (part 1)

Siroccos of light streamed around the incorporeal form of the prisoner from within
his crystal prison.  Having long ago given up any hope of escape, having no physical form
with which to survive outside of his prison, he resigned himself to the eternal torment
of immortality without freedom.

Although his memories faded away with each passing year, he could still recall some of the
memories that spanned his mortal life.  He remembered his long life as a Qualinesti elf.  The 
choices made to leave the forest, to apprentice and join the Conclave.  Everytime that
memory crossed his mind, what little emotion he had left brought a smile to his face,
as the irony of his youthful, selfless days still entertained him.

His memories that far back were very clouded, vague.  Only fleeting visions of the past remained.
He remembered his apprenticing days under his teacher in Palanthas.  He recalled being sent to the
Tower of Wayreth, where he studied under the Head of the Conclave at the time, Kestren Bloodstream.
The same smile once again visited what he referred to as his face, nothing but a muted light, forged
only by his will and recollection of his mortal days.

He remembered as he grew in power and in status within the Conclave, his days leading the order of
the White and then the Conclave itself.  Of his own apprentices, Zanglero, Ryouta, Cloreana,
and others he could not hope to remember.

He recalled, with great sadness, his excommunication from Qualinost as he sought to join forces
with those that followed dark gods instead of attempting to destroy them.

Shilaan Blackcloak was the first.  The Master of the Tower of Palanthas, Taranthlas recalled
assisting him in liberating Palanthas from Takhisis' forces.  Keeping it safe during the
Great Daemon War.  He recalled with great pride eventually convincing Darkness and Light
to join forces and standing beside Grand Master Teldor Rosenguard and Lord of Night
Danvighar as the Demonlord Asmodeus was slain.

The happy memories stop there, however, as his descent into madness began.  He could
not remember exactly what happened or how it started, but he knew that the truth
lay within a dark elf.  A black robed Silvanesti named Galaphale.  Taranthlas always
thought he could help the old, wizened one see the error in his ways by leading by
example, not knowing that the highborn had given his soul ages ago to the darkness.
He remembered how easy it was for Galaphale to trick him, to deceive him.  It could
not be helped.  The visions speed up as his memory marches towards the point of his
physical death.  One moment he pictures Galaphale and himself creating a portal to
Bastion.  The next vision shows Tarantel's magicks, perverted and twisted by the darkness
that held him, destroying one of his apprentices, the White Guardian of Bastion.
He sees in his mind's eye Galaphale's laughter, hears it from within his prison, echoing
endlessly as he steps into the portal that leads to the Citadel.

He could not remember anything after that.  Judging by his current situation, his
death was only physical.  His spirit and some semblance of 'humanity' still rested
within the halls of the Citadel.  He could not imagine why, as he knew the
punishment of his crime was death.  What was it that saved him?  What could
the Moons possibly want?  He had stopped wondering years ago.....

To be cont.

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Sat May 26 17:56:20 2007
Subject     We have need for you... (part 2)

It was apparent that the thoughts that were streaming through his
consciousness were not all his anymore.  Tarantel tried to ignore these
thoughts, to push them away.  He tried to concentrate on the memories he had
that were tied to strong emotions he had had in life, the love for the
forest and for his magic, his hate for the mage that had convinced him this
folly was worth it, and the drive to change his past.  

The drive to change the past?  No, that wasn't a memory.  It seemed the more
he fought, the worse it got and the more this new power took over.  He saw
mages, white, red and black alike dying, being killed, passing into other
dimensions.  They all seemed familiar.  He saw a vision of an elf, no THE
elf.  The one he desperately wanted revenge on, his skin melting away to
reveal an undead apparition in a black robe.  He was not sure whether to be
glad at his torment or fearful of his new self.  

Tarantel saw himself as he had appeared in life, his white robes about him,
his honey-golden hair and skin.  Then he saw himself as he had been for a
short while, evil taking hold of his sanity and the robes around him the
color of the night.  Then the robes were red...  No, that wasn't a memory. 
He had never been there before....  What was this?  

One day those visions suddenly ceased.  Tarantel was once again alone with
his thoughts.  This was even worse.  The times when the visions did not come
caused him to think about why he attempted to storm Bastion.  Why had he
allowed himself to fall so far so fast?  For that matter, why was he still
alive when his punishment should be death.  Why had Solinari allowed him to
live?  Was there a purpose?  Or was it Nuitari that held him in thrall,
hoping to have him back into the fold?  Was there some other deity at work? 
He could only hope that time would tell.  

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Sat May 26 18:19:05 2007
Subject     We have need for you... (part 3)

It was no surprise to him when the visions returned.  It seemed he had
been kept within his crystal prison for years.  No form of body with which
to beat against the walls, no ability to access his magic, his beautiful,
wonderful magic.  That which he desperately needed, desired, more than any
elven woman in his life.  It was truly torture.  

The visions were definitely not memories anymore.  He saw fleeting glimpses
of mages, all orders of the Conclave.  Some were in their homes, living a
rather mundane life.  Some were all across the corners of the world,
experimenting, travelling, but they all seemed to be watching their backs,
hiding.  Some no longer wore their robes, seemingly forsaking their roles in
the magical community.  

His visions also showed the Towers of High Sorcery.  The ruins of one,
another showing the black tower of Palanthas, only one black cowled figure
inside.  He inwardly wondered if it was Shilaan.  The Tower of Wayreth was
the most disheartening.  Normally a hotbed of activity, the tower seemed
dark, abandoned.  Very few mages wandered the halls.  He gazed upon all
three sections of it, noting the general lack of any life or magical
practitioners within.  

Suddenly, Wayreth went dark.  Thunder rolled in his visions, lightning
crashed.  A flurry of white, red and black light streaked across the sky. 
Many mages, none wearing a robe or showing any sign of membership within the
magical elite, shrieked in fury and fear.  The moons seemed to fall from the
sky, crashing into the ground and causing a disaster of near-Cataclysmic
proportions.  The seas churned, the earth shattered and rumbled beneath his
feet.  Nuitari crashed far from Neraka, but even the Knights of Takhisis
felt it and feared.  Lunitari fell near the Tower of Wayreth, destroying the
forest under her.  Solinari dove into the sea near the Lordcity, causing a
tidal wave that wiped out the port nearby and caused alarm and panic within
the city.  

Seeing all of the death and destruction across the land paniced Tarantel in
his mind.  But that was not what brought sadness and sorrow in his mind.  It
was because in the vision, the moons had taken their magic with them, buried
deep within Krynn.  

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Mon May 28 01:13:18 2007
Subject     We have need for you... (part 4)

Tarantel found himself curled up in the fetal position, stark naked on
the floor of the crystal citadel.  Upon awakening, the first thing he did
was open his eyes.  His eyes?  Awakening?  Immediately, he saw his
reflection in the translucent crystal floor.  The scream, half confusion,
half terror, was the loudest his elven ears had heard from any being on
Krynn.  He thought it was a terrible joke being played on his mind.  Any
moment now this would be revealed as a vision, his dreams crushed, spirit
broken.  

However there he was, attempting, though failing to rise to his feet.  He
staggered, trying to regain his balance.  It'd been years, maybe decades,
who knew?  His spirit had been frozen inside crystal, formless, pondering
the whys and the wheres and hoping for the whens.  Why was the question most
asked.  Why was he allowed to live?  Why had he been sealed away?  Why did
he do this in the first place?  

He turned and looked at the large anteroom he was in.  He was unaware, until
now, that he was not alone.  His attention was suddenly drawn to the three
people that stood in front of him.  Though his vision was still blurry and
his mind re-learning to piece things together, it was obvious to him that
this trio was both his captor and savior.  

A tall, well-muscled gentleman dressed in white was holding his old robes. 
Those that had been given to him upon his ascension to the Head of the
Conclave.  They were still trimmed in silver and blue, with the blue sign of
Mishakal upon the back.  The sign of the Guardians.  On the other side, a
lithe, pale man dressed in black held the other set of robes Tarantel had
worn in his lifetime.  Black as night and almost non-descript, they were
trimmed in silver runes, runes Tarantel couldn't remember having on his
robes.  

As he attempted to kneel before them, a beautiful woman in a red dress
walked from in between them, holding a red robe in her hands.  "You have
seen the visions?"  She asked.  "You remember them, correct?"  

His mouth was dry and his breath raspy, but he still managed to nod.  His
head turned to the man clad in white as he spoke in a booming voice, "Though
it is against my better judgement, you are being released, being sent back
to Krynn.  You have some unfinished business there, and I think from what
we've shown you, you understand what our intentions are."  

Tears streamed from Tarantel's face, making vision almost impossible in his
current state.  "We've brought you gifts," chuckled the smaller black-garbed
man.  "Obviously you can only accept one of them.  Because of the...  Chaos
that you've caused yourself, your brethren and even us here in the Citadel,
we found it fitting that we give you the option to choose once again.  After
all, you've had many years of introspection to ponder what you've done."  

The woman pointed behind the elf.  As he turned, he saw a glowing white
portal coalesce.  "This will lead you back to Wayreth.  After you've chosen
your robe, you will go through that portal and we fully expect your best
effort.  Anything less, and you may find it hard to cast even a simple
cantrip for the rest of your natural elven life.  If you ever travel back to
Bastion again, you will most certainly be given to Chemosh."  Her stony gaze
spoke louder than her words.  Tarantel truly felt the fear of losing his
magic or turned into a mindless undead, and it was all of the motivation he
needed.  He stood up quickly, stretching every joint, his bones crackling,
and gazed upon the three robes being offered to him.  What was he to do?  

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Tue May 29 00:06:49 2007
Subject     We have need for you... (part 5, finale)

Tarantel looked around the room, staring intently at the three, his mind
trying to piece together and make a judgement call about what was happening
here.  He realized that he must be back in the favor of the moons in some
ways, or else they would not be granting him this second chance on life and
magic.  The fact that his patron deity, Solinari, was evidently the lone
voice of dissent was the only part of this that broke his heart.  He could
understand why Solinari felt that way though.  After all, he knew he had
caused grief to his moon as well.  

Tarantel's gaze turned to Nuitari, looking deep into his midnight-black
eyes.  He wondered why the dark moon was his supporter and what his plans
were for him.  Would he choose to put the same faith in the black moon as
Nuitari had in him?  

Then his gaze returned to Lunitari.  By process of logic, he guessed she had
cast the deciding vote to free him from his eternal confines and allow him
to do the bidding of the moons.  Did his beliefs now align with what she
represented?  Over the years in his confines, he felt a change within him. 
He realized that perhaps his aggressive nature had been soothed a bit and
that the idea of balance meant a whole lot more to him.  

Then there was the life he left behind.  He knew he would never truly be
accepted back into Qualinost again.  The fact that he had once donned the
black robes made sure of that.  He had been branded a dark elf even though
he did not see himself as such.  His fellow white robes didn't see him that
way, did they?  Did they see the dark stain he felt on his own soul, that
fingerprint left from another time and place?  

Tarantel thought it over for nearly an hour, picking and choosing, debating,
before rising to his feet.  He turned to the three and approached them all. 
His footsteps sure, he gracefully walked past Lunitari and stepped towards
her two brothers behind her.  

Smiling, he looked at both of them.  He took a deep breath...  And walked
towards Solinari.  

"I have let you down in the past, Master," said Tarantel as he knelt before
Solinari's feet, taking his robes from the God's outstretched hand. 
"However, I will not do so again.  Your will is my command and your words
are my gospel.  I will once again be your prophet, your guardian, and Gods
willing, your champion.  I will prove my worth to you, and in turn, show
your love for the magic and for your people.  I swear it by my life."  

Solinari looked at Tarantel with both compassion and a bit of disappointment
as well.  "I know you will, servant of the white.  Your life is very much at
stake here.  I expect even better things from you than before.  Now go, back
to Krynn, and do what we have asked."  

Tarantel stepped away slowly, his footfalls echoing inside the crystal
halls.  As his robe fell around him, he felt the sure surge of magic, of
power.  He felt the love and desire of magic once again, and the compassion
for life and the people he once loved.  He closed his eyes as he stepped
through the portal, and thought of his old study in Wayreth....  

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Tue Jun  5 00:00:26 2007
Subject     The journey begins.

Archmages of the White, 

I hope this missive finds you well, though I fear only you, Telon, will
actually receive this.  I want to let you know that I am about to leave
Palanthas and head into the woods.  Yes, I am terrified, but not for my
life.  I am scared of what their reaction may do to my heart more than my
body.  It's been many years since I stepped into the forests of Silvanost
and Qualinost.  No matter what robe I am wearing, they likely still hold
fast to the idea that I am a dark elf.  

But I digress.  Milord, I met with the Grand Mistress of the Solamnic
Knights while I was visiting my home in Palanthas.  My how things have
changed since I was allowed to return to Krynn.  You can imagine my shock
when she told me that, until she had met me, she'd never even seen a white
robe before in her life.  

I offered her our goodwill and a sign of peace.  She accepted graciously.  I
expected the old prejudices, skepticisms and such, but either she is much
more shrewd that I think, or she was very eager to make an alliance.  Either
way, this finding has been disturbing to me.  I'm sure you'll agree.  

I had intended on visiting the Holy Order of the Stars and talking to those
in power there, however I think my visit in Palanthas will be cut short for
now.  I feel almost a beckoning to return to the forest.  The old memories
seem to be coming back, and I suspect that before all is said and done, I
will be travelling to Zhan.  Please keep watch over me.  Elves have a long
lifespan and an long memory as well.  

Lorne and Natasha send their regards as well.  Though they are both young,
they show a good potential for the Art.  They will be living in my house in
Palanthas while I am away.  I have shown them how to use the waygate at my
house to return to Wayreth if they need to reach you quickly.  

Servant of Solinari and Mishakal, 

Tarantel Essenceflair 

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Thu Jun 21 01:35:52 2007
Subject     Another notch in the stick

Tarantel looked at his work and smiled.  Rolling up his parchment, he
waved his hand, sending his unseen servant to find his two best apprentices.


"Master, you called for me?"  Spoke Natasha.  Tarantel nodded his head
slowly, his mind sensing for any sign of the other human.  No, he could not
sense him or his presence anywhere within the tower of Wayreth, and so he
sighed softly, inwardly.  

"The boy is a warmage at heart," he thought to himself.  Although his elven
body, newly reforged by his Master Solinari, was once again youthful and
vibrant, the lines of worry and of stress already seemed to have worked
their way onto his forehead.  Such was evident by his other student's
question.  

"What concerns you, Master?"  She prodded.  "You sent Lorne on an errand, at
least that is what he told me.  Was it not so?"  

Tarantel shook his head as he rose to his feet.  "No, Natasha, I didn't send
him on an errand.  I sent him out, to spend some time with some old friends.
A few elves who wear different colors than we do.  Lorne has grown in
knowledge and power, much like you have daughter, but he does not have the
same mindset that we do.  He must go his own path, and I suspect that when
he returns, his garb may reflect that.  It is something I'm already prepared
to deal with, however when he returns, we shall see what develops.  

The young woman nodded, swallowing hard, wondering if that cryptic statement
meant more than it said.  "What is it that you sent me for?  Are we going
away again?"  She questioned, her youthful exuberance difficult to hide in
her tone.  

The elf nodded again.  "Yes, indeed we are.  Our trip to Palanthas was
successful.  I intend on eventually returning there to meet with our
counterparts in the Holy Order of the Stars.  I have also contemplated
dropping in on the Grand Mistress again to see if she's had time to process
our last visit."  Tarantel chuckled at the memory, the first memory of this
new Krynn.  It was still hard for him to believe that the Order of the White
had been so absent that the Grand Mistress of the Solamnic Knights had never
met one.  

"But first, daughter, we are going to make a few more...  Unpleasant stops. 
My recent near death experience back in the Qualinesti Forest has reminded
myself that there are more mages that need to hear about the visions that I
have had.  I plan on bringing some more of our brethren back into the fold,
be they followers of Solinari, Lunitari, or Nuitari.  

Natasha shuddered at how easily the last one slipped from her lithe
teacher's mouth.  She had heard the rumors.  She had seen the scar that was
still over his heart.  She wondered if what else was rumored was true..... 


Tarantel could almost guess what she was thinking as he watched her internal
dialogue on her face.  "Fear not, Natasha.  If that time comes again, you
are within your bounds to do what you must.  But for now, let us not worry
or waste time.  Before we make it to Palanthas, we will get supplies in
Solace.  Come."  

She watched his flowing white robes as he whirled around quickly and exited
the room.  Smiling to herself, she wondered what the next adventure would
hold.  Travelling the world was far better than growing up poor in her home
of Sanction.  She inwardly wondered if the cost of her escape was truly
worth it, and if her Master knew the real story of her past...  

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Wed Mar 12 21:21:52 2008
Subject     A Return to Arms, part 1

Deep within the bowels of Thorbardin, a lone dwarf did his nightly
rounds, sighing inwardly at his boring activity. "There is never any cause
for concern here," he thought inwardly. "Who, except for maybe those
accursed dark dwarves or maybe the stupid gullys would come here, to the
crypts of our ancestors and disturb the dead?"

Row upon row of stone housed ancestors of families. Each clan's halls were
seperated and then again by families. As the Hylar guard proceeded further
down the hall, he halted, caught off guard by the sound of stone grating
against stone.

Using his exceptional vision, he searched the hallway for any sign of an
ignorant youth, perhaps too curious or too stupid to realize his folly, or
maybe to hear the loud sound of dwarven footsteps. Mysteriously, all he
could hear was what sounded to him like a resting place being violated.

He sprang into action almost immediately, his small legs carrying him as
quickly as he could run down the hall towards the direction of the noise,
until suddenly the noise stopped. The guard stopped as well, thinking it was
the perfect time to catch his breath. As the adrenalin rushed through his
veins, he rubbed the sweat from his temple, being careful not to let it bead
into his eyes.

Moments passed, what seemed like an eternity to him. He tugged his beard in
frustration and slowly continued down the hall. After his fourth footfall,
he saw a soft, blue light in the room to his right. Unable to contain his
reactions, he turned the corner, storming into the room with his hefty iron
axe drawn.

The Hylar was not prepared for what he saw. The room he had entered was not
a dwarven resting place, but the hall where non-dwarves that lost their
lives within the mountain were buried. While this was a rarity, as the
dwarves were very strict about who came and entered the mountain, they had
non-dwarven allies during wars, and unfortunate events had happened.

Staring half in awe and half in fear, the dwarf took in the sight of an elf
with long strands of gold and silver hair, matted together in an unkempt
mess. His white robes were tattered and bloody. The only real sign of life
was in his face, as his almond eyes shown with an unearthly light. In one
hand, he clutched what appeared to be a large pearl. In the other, the
source of the light, a long wooden staff, bleached white, tipped with a
large sapphire resting upon a silver dragon's claw.

This image was burned into the dwarf's mind as his eyes rolled back into his
head, followed by his body rolling back against the ground with a large
thud.

The elf looked up and chuckled at the sight. Then he laughed broadly,
clutching the pearl to his chest and beaming a smile that surely rivaled his
staff's power. "What's wrong my friend?" he asked the unconscious dwarf.
"You look like you've just seen a ghost!" 

Author:    Tarantel       
Date:      Sat Mar 15 22:21:23 2008
Subject     A Return to Arms, part 2

The visions came to him in wisps, fragments of the events that were to
lead to his untimely demise. Clutching the large pearl in his hand, he
conjured the images of his siege of Thorbardin. He saw mages of all races,
all orders, advancing upon the mountain. In front of him, earth elementals
bored into the defenses, laying waste to the crudely constructed defenses
put up in haste by the mercenaries that had sieged the fortress previously.
Behind them, his troops were preparing spells by which to defend themselves
and support the regiment that Tarantel led. Beside him, a Wildrunner field
marshal rode upon a white charger, its barding gleaming in reflection of the
blue light from the archmagus' staff.

The fleeting images betrayed Tarantel as he concentrated, trying to focus
upon the most important moments, the time directly before the magic had been
invoked. He could now see himself walking down a hallway, heading towards a
detachment of the most stubborn defenders of the mountain. As the magic
users he led approached the Hylar halls, they were set upon by an ambush of
Theiwar dwarves, evidently the newest employees of the hired help.

The Neidar troops that had accompanied Tarantel fought valiantly, but were
unprepared for the sheer determination of their treacherous brethren, bent
upon stopping the liberation of the mountain. Already exhausted from the
battle to take the mountain, Tarantel's energy was drained with each spell,
each command given to his troops.

Up until now, his memory had verified everything the magic had revealed to
him, but things started happening that he did not remember. His lips moved,
as if to speak a spell. Nothing was manifested however. He could see the
look of sheer terror as Natasha, his beautiful white robed apprentice, fell
to the ground, her eyes glazed in the final look of the soul's release. He
then saw the image flickering as a haze began to cover his vision. Although
he could not feel anything, he could almost guarantee he knew what was
happening. The last thing he saw in his vision was a dark dwarf's cold gaze
and the derisive sneer on his lips as he held his dagger high, the runes
upon it glowing a sickly yellow as red blood dripped from the tip.

The pop of the pearl hitting the floor brought Tarantel back to his senses.
Bending down, he picked it up off of the floor and inspected it. As
expected, the magic was now expended, causing a crack to open up on the
outside of it. He smiled to himself, wondering if working this magic was yet
another shadow cast upon his soul. It was a simple variation of a spell he
had stolen from the dark elf Galaphale during his walk with Nuitari.
Although the casting of the spell differed greatly from the one penned by
the evil mage, the idea was much the same. Trapped within the stone upon the
moment of his death, the soul was in repose, waiting as the body healed
itself. Upon that moment, the pearl cracked and the magical barrier that
held his life force granted it a return. Tarantel added this to the list of
questionable practices he was certain he would be called to account for at
some time, but the thought in his mind remained. 'Did not the ends justify
the means?'

The elf sighed deeply, attempting to sort out the tattered remnants of his
robe before uttering, "Harsha zul karak thoi!" A shimmering magical gate
began to open in front of him. After it had expanded enough for the mage to
enter, he paused, took a deep breath and stepped into it. 

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.'
\n