The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Yrkril.

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 journal on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Yrkril' scribed in light brown ink.


Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Wed Sep 16 01:54:15 2009
Subject     A late night tale

"We used to be part of the Kingdom of Icereach, before the Cataclysm.
After it, well...", he trailed off, staring at the wall.

"My village had a treaty with a nearby tribe of barbarians." He chuckled
wryly. "We consider ourselves civilized, and called them barbarians."

"I was a fair trapper and I traveled often to their village for trade.
During one of these trips I gained the attention of a young woman." He smiled
at the memory.

"We were forced keep our relationship secret, her people were barely
tolerant of the treaty as it was. But, as they say, all good things..."

"After about six months we were caught by one of her brothers. We fled, but
three of them pursued us for miles." He looked down into his drink.

"They kept gaining on us, so I left her there in the snowy hills. I could
equivocate and say that I thought they would forget about me and take her
home..." He trailed off again.

"But apparently she dishonored her family and tribe. They cut her down right
there on the trail. I remember her blood spraying onto the snow in bright
arcs."

"Enraged, I tracked them back to their village. I ambushed them and was able
to kill two before the third ran me through the leg. The coward rushed home
and left us there to die." He rubbed his leg absently.

"It was slow, but I was able to bind my leg enough to travel home. The
barbarian tribe had already come and gone. My village and people were
destroyed." He tilted his head back and drained the last of his drink.

"So I left Icewall, and traveled to Zeriak until I was healed. I looked for
work in Bazin for a while, but then I heard about mercenary armies being
formed here in Tarsis. So here I am, another outcast sellsword trying to
survive."

He was quiet for a moment, then slid his mug towards the listening
barkeeper. "Can I get another?", Yrkril asked.

"Sure thing pal," the bartender said. "This one's on me." 

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Sat Sep 19 01:41:03 2009
Subject     A new beginning

I hesitated momentarily before entering the tavern. Inside was my target.

I pushed open the doors and was struck by the stench of smoke and stale
bodies. The place was poorly lit, a few lanterns and a fireplace providing
the only light. The crowd quieted down as the door swung closed behind me.

I walked forward to a table at he end of the bar where a two men sat
stacking gold coins. One looked up as I approached. "What do you want?" he
asked.

"I'm here to sign up." I said, trying to sound confident.

I heard the scrapping sound of a chair being pushed backwards from behind
me. A meaty hand slapped down on my shoulder. "'Ere now son, why don' you
give me that sword before you hurt someone?" asked a voice.

I mentally cringed at the thought of the slob behind me. He smelled as
though he hadn't bathed in weeks. His breath smelled of death and vodka.

I quickly stepped back with my right foot, placing it behind one of his. My
right elbow snapped backwards and caught him in the throat. He fell onto his
ass, gasping for air.

The mercenary captain at the table in front of me laughed loudly. "Do you
have any talents besides beating up drunks?" he asked jokingly. "It doesn't
matter." he continued. "You look able enough. Here."

He slid a stack of coins towards me. "Go out the East Gate and follow the
road, you'll find the camp several miles away."

He pushed over two sheets of paper. "You can write? Sign your name here,
this one is for me. Take the second with you and deliver it to Subcommander
Polt. He'll assign you to a company."

I complied with his instructions and quickly left the place. My new life had
just begun. 

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Wed Sep 30 01:12:49 2009
Subject     A new calling

Six months had passed since I had joined the mercenaries armies in the
Plains of Dust. Most of our actions had gone to suppressing minor villages
in the area, but there were a couple of major attacks against larger cities.
 
A stinging pain in my ribs had broken my rememberance. My sparring
partner Jorik had scored a painful blow. "Wake up, Yrkril!" he taunted as
stepped back into a ready stance, wooden training sword making small circles
in the air in front of me.

A few moments later I was again thinking of what brought me here. My mind
wandered back to the battle of Qindaras. Our lieutenant had just fallen and
I had taken over in the midst of the fighting. The scaling of the walls was
brutal. Large rocks crushed skulls of those climbing the ladders and hot oil
melted the flesh of many of those at the base of the walls.

Upon gaining entry to the city, I rallied my remaining troops and went to
report to our division Captain, only to find he and most of our leadership
had died leading the charge. Taking arrow fire from nearby rooftops, I
quickly ordered the other squads into cover. Over the next few hours we made
our way deeper into the city, eventually taking a securing an army barracks.

A loud voice brought me back to reality. Subcommander Varen was ordering
an end to the combat drills and issued a call to mess. As I walked with the
other recruits towards the mess hall, I thought of the first time I had met
the Subcommander.
 
The city had been in our control for three days. We were still in the
barracks when the Subcommander came to see me.
 
"Sir!"  I stood up and saluted.
"Yrkril, "Captain" Yrkril, is it?" he asked wryly.
"Provisional sir, I took command when necessary."
"I see. We need people with initative. The Dragonarmies will soon sweep
over Krynn, and all will be made to bow before the Emperor. I am heading to
Neraka to deliver a report on the recent battle. Accompany me, and if the
Emperor finds you worthy, great things may be in store for you."
 
After the meeting was over I was taken to the armory, equiped by the
quartermaster and sent off to basic training. Eight weeks later, here I was,
nursing a cracked rib and eating beef stew in the chow hall. our graduation
date soon approached, and I would be off fighting battles for the Queen.

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Thu Oct  1 22:15:19 2009
Subject     The Hunt for the Everman, Part 1

Snow fell softly onto the shoulders of the dark figure as he peered around the
corner of a building. He looked up briefly.  A light storm had pushed north into
Tarsis from Icewall, but he knew it the sun would break by mid-day.  He watched
as his target continued down the street and slipped around a corner. He moved to
follow the grey-haired man.

Berem, the Everman, turned the corner and slammed heavily into two figures
wrapped in cloaks.  He was shaken by the metal armor they concealed and tried to
withdraw as one of them grabbed his wrist.

"What is this then?  Another pickpocket?" asked the man holding Berems
wrist.  He struggled harder to get away.  "Derek, please.  This man is
harmless, look at him."  Berem was dressed in near-rags, and barely adequate
boots were on his feet.  He definitely was not sufficiently dressed for the
weather.  The dwarves had given him little after his release.  After fifty years
imprisonment in Thorbardin he had wandered the East Road until reaching Tarsis,
and now was looking for little more than food and shelter.

Aaron Tallbow gently broke Derek Crownguards grip on Berems wrist and attempted
to guide him towards the door of the Red Dragon Inn.  "We are staying here,
please, come have a meal with us."

Berem said nothing, but pulled away once more.  As he did, a dagger flashed
through the space he had just occupied and imbedded itself into the doorframe. 
Berem looked up at the dark figure that had thrown the knife, then down at his
torn shirt, which had been sliced open by the daggers flight.  Both Aaron and
Derek were staring at the large green gem set into Berems chest.  The Everman
bolted down the street as the dark figure moved down an alley to cut him off.

"Foul magicks..." Derek said, drawing his sword from under his cloak.
"No Derek, this is... something else..." Aaron replied as he pulled the
dagger from the doorframe, showing his companion the Dragonarmy symbol pressed
into its hilt.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Regimental Commander Ayasana uth Matar sat at a desk in her command tent, its
canvas sides shaking in the desert wind.  She had come to this Dragonarmy camp,
located in the Plains of Dust, just over a week ago.  Her mission ostensibly was
to assess the readiness of the troops located there, but really she had received
a vision through a priestess that her efforts would be required here soon.  She
had also brought three recently-minted soldiers to test their mettle for the
first time: the human Yrkril, the hobgoblin Zopzer, and Lahrag, a goblin.  What
the Queen had in mind for such a group, only she knew.

Just then the tent flap was pulled open and two people walked in, a subcommander
from the Red wing, and another man in dusty clothing.

"Maam," the subcommander began, saluting as he entered.  "This is Lorahk,
one of our undercover operatives from Tarsis."

"Commander," the one called Lorahk began.  "The target, Berem, has been
spotted in Tarsis.  Another operative spotted him in the company of two known
Solamnics."

Ayasana stood and turned to the subcommander.  "Notify the quartermaster to
prepare four fast horses, then find the soldiers Yrkril, Zopzer and Lahrag and
have them prepare to leave in twenty minutes."
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
The gryphon landed in the courtyard of the small Solamnic outpost.  A man
dismounted and ran inside the keep.  He had been spotted a few minutes before
and was soon met by the captain of the post.

"My Lord, this is an urgent message from Lord Derek Crownguard." The
messenger said breathlessly, passing a scroll to the knight.

Breaking the seal, the captain unrolled it and started scanning its contents.
"...a target pursued by the Dragonarmies... ...hereby order you to send all
available knights... ...Tarsis by all possible haste..." He stopped and turned
to his seneschal.  "Not one for niceties, is he? Very well then, I will inform
our guests of their new orders."
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Knights of the Crown Gaelehad di Luinstat, Blaine di Caela, Segwarides Torgh and
Etilyn di Delgaard were all sitting at a table, sharing a meal when the captain
came and informed them of Lord Crownguards orders.  As one they stood up and
moved towards their quarters to retrieve their arms.

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Thu Oct  1 22:28:25 2009
Subject     The Hunt for the Everman, Part 2

Ayasana and her soldiers arrived at the east gate of Tarsis after an hour
of hard riding. The stabled their horses near the central plaza and were
about to begin their search when Yrkril spoke up. "Commander, " he said, "I
am quite well familiar with this city and could take the lead if you like."
"Yes, that works well. Take your two companions and being your search. I
will make contact with our operatives here in the city and see if they have
any current information." The three saluted as she left, then set out to
begin the search.

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

Two hours later they had searched much of the southern city, including a
tavern Lahrag had insisted upon checking out. Moving northward along the
harbor, they came across four figures walking towards them. They all wore
cloaks, but made no effort to hide the Solamnic armor they wore underneath.
Swords and daggers were drawn as the two sides squared off.

Any semblance of order quickly dissolved as the melee turned into a scrum.
The small goblin Lahrag ducked inside Blaines reach, his dagger deflecting
off the armor in its search for soft flesh. Frustrated by his inability to
get the goblin at reach, Blaine brought his knee up, connecting with Lahrags
chin, and then followed up by smashing him in the temple with the hilt of
sword.

Enraged at the sight of the felling of his friend, Zopzer rained heavy,
overhead blows upon Blaine. Unable to maintain his guard against the large
hobgoblin, the knight turned to put space between them, but was caught by
wide slash that caught him in the side, throwing him into a building and
knocking him unconscious.

Yrkril, to his credit was fending off the remaining knights with rapid
strikes from his twin swords. During the combat a nearby lamppost was
struck, the glass container shattering and spraying an unsuspecting Zopzer
in the face with flaming oil. Partially blinded, the hobgoblin struggled to
stay in the fight.

Seeing himself now at a major disadvantage, Yrkril looked for a quick way to
resolve the situation favorably. Facing two opponents with a third nearby,
he released a quick flurry of blows, setting the knights a step back. Moving
towards Blaine, he parried an attack and snapped a quick kick to the body,
pushing the knight back. In the very next breath he thrust forward at
Etilyn, his sword finding an exposed spot just under her breastplate. Using
the sword as leverage, he swung her towards her companions, knocking them
aback. She came off his sword and fell heavily to the ground, her blood
mixing with the muddy snow on the cobblestones. 

Yrkril saw none of this, as he was already moving down the street. He cuffed
Zopzer on the head and said "Grab him!" Zopzer bent down to grab his smaller
companion, and then was pulled as Yrkril broke into a full run down the
street, one hand on the hobgoblins sleeve for guidance.


Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Thu Oct  1 22:45:32 2009
Subject     The Hunt for the Everman, Part 3

Several minutes later they stopped at ramshackle hut deep inside the old harbor.
"Come on, this is a safe house, we stay here for the moment."  Entering the
building, he directed Zopzer to set Lahrag down on a nearby cot.  An older man
came from a back room and startled slightly at the trio.
 
"Stunbog, we need your help."  Yrkril said.
Still taken slightly aback, the old man replied, "Well, normally I..."  He was cut off.
"Look, old man.  You showed me kindness once in the past, but this is important,
and you will help us.  Now." Yrkril demanded of the healer.
"Okay then.  But your friend, he needs to rest here, last least overnight.  If
you..." He was cut off again by the soldier.
"No, we must be on our way again, soon.  Just do something to get him back on his
feet; we can rest once our mission has been finished."
 
"Very well." Stunbog said, obviously not happy with the situation.  The healer
moved towards a cabinet and came back with a few items.  "Here." he said, handing
number of small bottles over to Yrkril.  "Have them each drink one of these.  Put
the second bottle into the small ones wounds, and pour this third one into your larger
friends eyes.  I dont expect to see you here again."  The old man turned away and
moved to a back room, closing the door behind him.
 
Yrkril nodded his understanding of the instructions and quickly complied.  After
getting their bearings again, the three left the hut to continue their search, a
small pile of coins left in a donation box by the door.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------
 
Around this same time, a magical missive sent by Baroness Ayasana arrived at Neraka.
Absorbing its contents, Dragon Emperor Luerk Trell stood and began making preparations
to join the hunt.  Some time later his belongings were gathered and the spell was
prepared.  Speaking the final arcane syllable Luerk opened a rift in space and stepped
through...
 
...and emerged in a muddy plaza in Tarsis.  Seeing his arrival, Ayasana moved forward
to meet him.
"My Lord." She said, bowing before the Emperor.
"I received your missive.  What is the current status of the operation?" he inquired.
"We tracked the Everman here, my Lord."  She said, indicating the palace behind her. 
"He has taken refuge inside.  We have all the exits watched, and we were about to enter
as you arrived."
"Excellent." was his reply.  "Let us end this business."
 
----------------------------------------------------------------
 
The strike force moved from room to room, checking everywhere for Berem.  No quarter was
given to the guards that opposed them.  Some nobles and servants were caught in the melee,
fighting whether from a sense of duty or for mere survival, the results were the same. 
Stepping over the bodies, Luerk spotted the target running down a hallway.  Entering a
large dining hall, the Dragonarmy soldiers saw that they had finally trapped their prey.
Warily walking backwards, not taking his eyes off the soldiers, Berem struck the far wall 
as they continued approaching with weapons drawn.  Daring to make a break for it, Berem
tried to dash past Yrkril, who struck him in the head with the flat of his blade.  Spinning
around and dazed, Berem was met by Lahrag, who brought the pommel of his dagger down at the
base of his skull.  The Everman fell to the ground, unconscious.  Emperor Luerk grinned
evilly.  "You have all done well.  But I will take it from here."
 
He kneeled down by the prone form and spoke a series of strange words.  Both blinked out of sight.

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Wed Oct  7 01:49:52 2009
Subject     Wise council

Yrkril watched as the Tarsian council members left their chambers. The
Lord of the city was the last to leave. The soldier rose from his chair as
the Lord approached.
 
"The council has agreed to your proposal." the Lord began, a black half-mask
still covering his face. "We agreed that some of your people will be allowed
to watch key points of movement within the city, gates, public squares and
the like."
 
"What of my other proposal?" asked Yrkril.
 
"A small number of your squads will be permitted to search within the city,
so long as they do not cause trouble or disrupt commerce."
 
It figures that the merchant princes that ran the city would be more
concerned with their purses than their populace, Yrkril thought to himself.
 
"Please tell your Commander, Aya'sana, is it? That we are glad that we are
able to come to an understanding on this matter." the Lord said pointedly.
 
"I shall ride out to our camp, east of the city, and tell her myself this
very afternoon." Yrkril said. The implied threat was not missed. 
 
The soldier felt relieved as he walked to where his horse was stabled.
Since the Everman incident and the subsequent disappearance of Emperor
Trell, things were unsettled within the Dragonarmy leadership. It was
everyone's responsibility to step up an and take charge, lest the rank and
file troops get out of hand. Yrkril was pleased when Commander Aya'sana
assigned him the task of leading the search within Tarsis, and even more
relieved now that the city council was falling in line. Yes, things we going
along nicely...

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Fri Oct 16 00:06:27 2009
Subject     The Plains of Dust

A cold wind blew across the Plains of Dust, whipping the scarf covering
Yrkril's face violently. He scanned the horizon, squinting his eyes as the
harsh dust scoured his face. Spotting a flock of vultures in the distance,
he gestured to a pair of his scouts to go examine whatever had gained the
bird's interest.

Over a week had past since he had left the Dragonarmy base camp in the
Plains, two dozen soldiers in tow. It was revealed during the meeting with
Commander Aya'sana that there was evidence that Emperor Luerk could be lost
in the Plains of Dust. Yrkril, along with others, were dispatched with teams
of men to locate and recover the Emperor.

Yrkril motioned and began riding again. His men were spread out in line
formation at intervals of one hundred feet. As they continued with the grid
search that began days ago, he thought the the terrain that lie ahead.
Farther east the land would turn red and cracked, a barren wasteland that
was treacherous to even a prepared traveler. Small rivers and the occasional
oasis could be found there however, so there was still hope for Luerk... 

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Wed Oct 21 01:26:51 2009
Subject     The hunt continues

Goblins...

Such miserable creatures.  And the smell...

Though they did have some uses, Yrkril admitted to himself. And the one
he was currently waiting for had certainly proved adequately skilled in the
past. He only experience with them prior to this had been in the mercenary
companies now employed by Dragonarmies. Typically used for cannon fodder or
scaling actions, they had rarely intruded into his consciousness before
today.

Yrkril shielded his eyes against the wind and sun as he scanned the
horizon for his errant scout. Since making camp on this riverbank the night
before, a minor storm had whipped up in the plains and was now doing its
best to scour the skin from their bones. 

Most of the other 40 expedition members were taking refuge in
doubly-staked tents that still shook fiercely. Yrkril had been given a
temporary field promotion to lead these men some weeks ago, just after
Emperor Luerk had disappeared. It was an honor, to be sure, but oddly enough
the increased responsibility did not come with any extra pay.

Their journey to this point had started near the ruins of Twendle, near
the end of the East Road. After searching northward past the village of
Lantern they turned east, crossing two rivers and skirting around the town
of Qindaras. Others had moved southwards towards the Murder Mounds then east
again, mirroring his own course. They currently camped several miles south
of the ruins of Purstal, a town that was now supposedly haunted by undead
creatures and gully dwarves. Yrkril wasn't sure which he would prefer. 

Their best lead had come in the form of a caravan that had left Tarsis
several days before them, but the best info they had suggested an oasis as
Luerk's likely location. Not exactly prime intel.

Ah! There, in the distance! Several shapes were starting to form. Lahrag
(that was his name!) and his pack were emerging from the storm. Taking
shelter in the relative comfort of his command tent, Yrkril received the
scout's report. All information the goblin had pointed to a place called the
Sinking Wells as the location of the missing Emperor.

A well-reasoned choice, Yrkril thought. An ancient sinkhole that
constantly refilled, it had been known as a reliable place for water and
rest for hundreds of years. It was still many days of riding to the
southeast though. Yrkril dismissed the goblin, and made preparations to move
out as soon as this dratted storm let up.

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Thu Nov  5 03:52:04 2009
Subject     The time to strike

Checking his equipment over for the third time, Yrkril found everything
to be satisfactory. He crawled his way up the mound of sand until he could
just peer over the edge, the tan-colored hood pulled low over his brown. The
shack was several hundred meters away, near a small oasis. The latest
intelligence had pinpointed this as the location of the missing Emperor. 

Yrkril slid back down the slope on his stomach, rejoining his men. A
dozen of his finest troops were likewise preparing for the coming assault.
He looked up at the mid-day sun. A few more hours and dusk would be upon
them, then the strike would begin. 

Assuming the strike force was successful and Luerk Trell were rescued,
Yrkril's temporary tenure as captain of this company would be at an end.
They were excellent troops, and Yrkril would miss their presence when he
returned to Neraka. Oh well, he thought. It is better to die for the Queen,
than live for yourself, as the saying went. 

With this thought, Yrkril looked over at the sole priest accompanying
them. Relegated mostly to healing duties, he had been a constant pain,
grumbling at every little thing the entire trip across the Plains. The
cleric was staring off into the distance, unmoving, as though he were in a
trance. After several minutes, he let out a gasping breath and jumped to his
feet. 

"We must go now!" he said, practically shouting. He started climbing up
the hill, gesturing to the other troops, who looked back and forth between
him and Yrkril, confused.

"What are you doing? We can't charge across open ground in broad
daylight!" Yrkril exclaimed.

The cleric would hear none of it though, he had just climbed over the top
of the dune and had started down the other side. Any element of suprise
would be ruined now, Yrkril thought as he signaled his men to move. I hope
we aren't charging headlong into a trap. 

Weapon drawn, Yrkril spent most of the next few minutes it took to reach
the shack cursing the folly of mystics and clerics. Who had brought the
Cataclysm upon Krynn after all? He hoped they would not now cause his
downfall. 

Reaching the shack, he gestured to his men to surround the structure and
cover all doors and windows. Sheathing his sword, he pulled a dagger from
his belt and positioned himself near the door. Nodding to one of the men,
Yrkril turned his head and the soldier kicked in the door. Rolling around
the doorframe, ready to a fight, Yrkril saw the Emperor, standing in the
middle of the room, looking none worse for the wear. At his feet was the
body of a dwarf, unknown to the soldier. Some rescue this turned out to
be, he thought, pushing the dagger back into his belt. 

Author:    Yrkril         
Date:      Sat Nov  7 23:57:41 2009
Subject     The trade caravan

The trade caravan was destroyed. Pack animals and frightened people
scattered in all directions. Bodies lie all around the sandy hillside,
already attracting the vultures and other scavenger animals, even though the
fighting had not yet stopped.

Yrkril pulled his blade from the body of a caravan guard and surveyed the
immediate area. Seeing no other nearby enemies the newly-minted Subcommander
cleaned his blades on the cloak of the dead guard and sheathed one of them.

Looking back, he saw the Emperor standing on a hill, overlooking the battle.
Yrkil looked towards the field of battle again, seeking more of the enemy.
He spied a lone Solamnic knight, trying to organize a few of the remaining
guards into some form of resistance. A savage cry went out, and he saw the
goblin, Zopzer, charging at the knight. Yrkril ran towards them, eager to
assist. 

The knight was easily outskilled by the goblin and was struggling to fend
him off as Yrkril arrived, shouting a war cry of his own. This distraction
was all Zopzer needed, and struck the knight down with the flat of his
blade.

By this time, a motley crew had recovered their wits to come to the defense
of the downed knight. Another Solamnic, a dwarven priest, a red robe and a
shadowy figure all stood before the two Dragonarmy soldiers.

Crackling with a powerful aura of dark energy, the Emperor lashed out with
concussive force, knocking the party back. Yrkril was startled, he had not
even seen the arrival of his lord. Leaping upon the fallen enemies, Yrkil
and Zopzer attacked the remaining knight first. He struggled against the
Subcommander's superior skill, and was driven back with each blow of his
sword... right into Zopzer, who hamstrung the man with a quick slice of his
blade.

Emperor Luerk had turned aside the shadowy figures' attempt to match his
dark energy, and swept him aside with a blow from his mace. The red robe,
frightened by the ease of his allies defeat, spoke a word of magic and
disappeared. The Dragonarmy soldiers turned to the final opponent, the
dwarven cleric. He decided to exercise the better part of valor, and ran,
not stopping until he reached the mighty Southgate. Emperor Luerk stretched
back and smiled, then looked over his prizes. The Solamnics would pay
greatly to ransom back their men. 

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