Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Sun that I so Dearly Miss.

The Sun that I so Dearly Miss
A Scholarly Study
by
Lyonel Krist

Entry 1:

Walking to the Cowardly Inn through the forlorn town of Bristlespun I happened upon a tall pale gentleman by the name of Hestus Dilectus, he was a Dykorian, Unlike the majority of his kind he was an intellectual. I know not why but we began talking and I followed him out to a field on the edge of town. There we pondered for many hours about the mysteries of the universe and how there are many lights in the sky, but only one gives off any significant amount of light. This is of course besides the moon. Talking and staring up at the glittering night sky we talked about some of the Astronomy we had learned from books and scholars we had met in our travels. We discussed the constellations and how we use them as a means of discerning direction at night. We discussed all these things until my new friend Hestus Dilectus got up and walked away without a word. I watched him go and wondered if I had somehow offended him. I just shook my head at his rudeness and walked back to the Cowardly Inn.

I slept till the sun crested the Icefjord mountains and gave light to the village of Brsitlespun. And upon my waking I made my way outside to see if I might bump into Hestus again. It was at that time I saw a great deal of commotion on the edge of town. People were gathered around some sort of pole that was sticking out of the ground. Once I had grown closer I realized there was a charred corpse on the ground facing the sunrise. On the ground next to this corpse was a note with my name written on it.

"Lyonel,
I made a friend in you last night. I did not think it possible. Since, I was there to kill you and eat your flesh, but instead you befriended me and made my cold dead heart yearn for the sun that I so dearly miss. Thank you sir.
Sincerely, 
Hestus Dilectus"

I was befuddled to say the least what sort of man seeks out the flesh of the living and bursts into flame upon envisioning the sun. I heard whispers of Vrykolaka. I had heard of them. Creatures that ravaged the land during the Dark Years, but I didn't realize any had survived. And it was always taught that the creatures were mindless and unable to speak.

I fear that I have no choice but to pursue further study. Let us hope that I can keep myself safe from the beasts that have my spirit so enthralled. I am sending this entry a head so that if I fall during my studies they can be continued by another.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In the Valley of Tam'Weht

It was a dark dawn as the good king Van Boldstein laid in his death bed. The people of Tam'Weht knew that soon the Darkness would return. Those that were brave and strong had long ago traversed the Mountains of Vatlasion to the far away and heavily defended kingdoms of Hannat'Jo and Hantielan. However those who stayed were either too foolhardy or unconcerned with life or death to put forth the effort of leaving. They knew that once the Darkness returned neither wall nor sword would offer defense. And death would only give a momentary reprieve before their true torture began.

And so the dark dawn gave forth king Van Boldstein's last breath. His body going cold and his spirit joining the many good kings that had passed before him. The specters immediately began to crawl forth from the shadows in which they had been bound. Screams could be heard across the valley. Those with a particular fondness of the vice sloth sat at the bars drinking their fill knowing they wouldn't pay the tab in this life. Cold fingers tore out warm blood pumping hearts. The Darkness spread encompassing all that was considered part of the Valley of Tam'Weht. The people fell to the ground as cold rotting things. Yet still wails of agony were heard from the valley.

Shortly after the land fell the kingdoms of Kerstok and Ve'Glest arrived hoping to offer aid and support. However Tam'Weht was preventing them from gaining access. It was as if the land itself was trying to deal with the Darkness that took over in the king's place. And so the other lands stood by awaiting the end result. No one had known what Tam'Weht was like before the Darkness was first expelled and no one knew if they would see the valley free of the Darkness again.

A hush of anticipation was over the land that surrounded Tam'Weht, but they soon forgot about the little valley. Roads were built around it. Children were told stories of the evil specters that will take your soul and torture it. And the world revolved and evolved. Yet still that valley sat beneath the Mountains of Vatlasion.

A wall was built. It grew tall and many forgot what was behind the wall. Soon, all forgot about the bedtime stories that would scare small children. Yet, even though man had grown and forgotten that small secluded valley. Still it sat under the Mountain of Vatlasion. It waited there until it could overcome the Darkness alone, and perhaps it never will. Though I tell you the truth this day. If Tam'Weht had let aid come to it, had it stood ready to fight the specters of the Darkness, than it would not have walls built around it today. It would be remembered and would be an important part of our future and past. Alone it was forgotten.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Veltier's Gamble the Story

Veltier's Gamble
An Introduction to Home an all new role playing experience.
by
Matthew Jones

His birth was like that of most children. His mother in excruciating pain, the father pacing nervously, and the midwife speaking words of encouragement and instruction. Like many children he came out head first. He cried and opened his eyes to a knew world. Unlike most children however he had no facial features. His nose was nothing more than slits and his skin was nearly translucent. The midwife shrieked and fell back. His father looked in horror. His child was a Trickster.
Tricksters are very rare and some are even killed at birth by some families. The hardship brought on by a Trickster is immense. So, the father did what any good father would. He clubbed the midwife over the head and bundled the child up. Getting his wife up as best he could he carried the two away. They made for the Fain Forest. He didn't look back. His sword was at his side and an ax on his back. His wife wept and the baby shrieked. Life was not going to be easy for the young couple, but the safety of his family was at hand. The man had to do what was best for his newborn child.
After about a day of travel he looked at his child who had now grown hair and a complexion that matched it's mother. A fully formed nose and blue eyes with flecks of gold. He was a beauty.

Veltier grew quickly as is natural with his kind. They have the power to adjust their mass nearly at will after all. His features changed often and he seemed to perfectly emulate the best features of both his mother and father. He knew nothing about the outside world, but he always felt a draw to something more than the woods. His curiosity grew daily. And he crept further away from his home in the most secluded part of Fain Forest.

A twenty year old man walked out of the Fain Forest. He had features both feminine and masculine in nearly perfect ratios. Golden blond hair that fell around his shoulders. His skin without blemish. So, when Joelin saw him she was enthralled. His clothes were made from the skins of animals and he carried a walking stick and walked confidently up to her.
“Greetings I am Veltier. Beautiful maiden might I inquire as to what your name might be?”

From his parapets King Handen saw the man walk out of the king's land, Fain Forest. The man strode directly toward Joelin his betrothed. Immediately Handen called for the guards to arrest the man.

Joelin watched in horror as the man was taken down forcefully. She hid her eyes as she heard what had to be a rib cracking under the weight of the guards knee. They had him shackled and disarmed in mere seconds. He an expression of confused horror.
“What have I dohh...” a club stopped his words.

Veltier awoke in the darkness of a dungeon. His wrists and ankles were torn by the shackles. Looking around the cell he saw putrid straw and a small bit of bread that was already being ingested by various insects. The reality of his situation didn't make sense until his fathers words came back to him.
“My son, you are special. As you know you can do things with your body that your mother and I cannot. Your kind are known as Tricksters. Evil, powerful men will stop at nothing to use you for their own ends.”
He had been captured. He was going to be enslaved and used as a tool by evil men. Looking at his shackles he began to will his wrists smaller and was able to slide them out of the shackles which fell to the cell's floor. Next he did the same with his ankles. He was soon free of his bindings but not his prison.

The King didn't know what Veltier was, but he understood the man was quite handsome and would make a good servant in his court. Thusly he planned on keeping the boy alive if he would swear fealty. Upon reaching the cell he looked in the window shocked to find the shackles laying empty on the damp floor.
“Open the damn door you fools the boy has escaped!”
Shocked and more than a little bit scared the guards jumped into action. They had spears ready and the door was quickly flung open. When they entered the room they found it completely empty. Looking in every corner and every pile of hay they could not find a trace of him.

Luckily for Veltier the guards helmets made looking up to the ceiling difficult. Also luckily enough for him the king was fuming and shouting curses sending them away to raise a full alert. Once the guards ran out of the room Veltier was alone with the king who looked around suspiciously. He looked up just in time to see Veltier dropping down on him, but not fast enough to stop him.

After the king didn't show up for awhile the guards came down to find a sight that shocked and confused them greatly. On the floor apparently unconscious were two exact likenesses of the king. Both were completely naked and breathing shallowly. Fearing what might happen if they allowed the king to awake on a dungeon floor they carried both bodies to the king's chamber and shackled both to the bed. The doctor examined them both and could not find any flaws in what must be a Trickster's disguise. The kings were screaming that the other was a Trickster. It raised such a ruckus that Joelin ventured to the king's bedchamber to see what all the morning's chaos had been about. She saw two King Handen's bound in shackles to the bed. She however soon saw through Veltier's disguise. And was about to tell everyone who the true king was, when the memory of her last beating came to mind.
“Oh Queen Joelin, surely you can recognize your true husband. Please study these men thoroughly and tell us who is in fact our king.” said the doctor who was still trying in vain to physically differentiate the two.
“Well.. this may take some time. Also I will need complete seclusion so that I can focus.”

King Handen watched in shock as his queen barred the door behind the men. And he began to curse more vehemently when she started to gag him. But he could do nothing to stop her. Once he was gagged she looked at Veltier with questioning eyes.
“You could not have disguised yourself as someone less important? You might have escaped that way.”
“My love. I am wholly and completely your husband.” Veltier said in a perfect impression of the king.
“My husband would never speak so politely to me. Especially behind closed doors. What I have to ask of you is, are you truly how you seem?”
“I know not what you mean?” Veltier asked in his own voice.
“Are you a gentleman? Will you be kind to your people?” as the queen asked this question the king finally understood what was happening and began to fight at his shackles. Blood began to drip more quickly. The queen then slapped him, “Stop that you'll bleed yourself dry. You stupid ox.”

Looking into Joelin's kind eyes Veltier know she was not tricking him. “My lady, if this lands people were under my domain. I would rule justly and would rule only with you by my side.”
The answer seemed to please her. And she took the gag from the king's mouth who started shouting for guards. She walked to the door and removed the bar. As the guards poured in unsure as to whose commands they should follow.
“Guards that man is not my husband. Put him in the deepest dungeon. Keep him well fed and do not listen to any of his lies. If ever we need a double for our king it would be nice to have one handy.” the queen said in a commanding voice, that even the confused guards could not deny.
The guards followed Joelin's finger to king Handen and bound him tightly taking him to the dungeon. The entire way he swore and cursed demanding to be released. Slightly and slowly the queen removed Veltier's bindings. And kissed him.

Veltier turned out to be a just king. He even managed to find his parents a home in his court. Although none, but his parents and the queen know the truth other than himself. King Handen rotted in the dungeon till they day he died, some twenty years later. The guards removed him. They knew full well by this point that Handen had been replaced, but Veltier was such a good king they had no problem throwing Handen into a shallow grave with none of the honor due him as a king. In fact when Veltier revealed his true identity to all his people they simply raised a cheer to their true king Veltier. He lived a long life and even created a card game that told the story of his fight to the top.
Joelin died a few years back and was given the most grand funeral the seven kingdoms had ever seen. Many where shocked seeing the king looking as young as ever as he placed his quite old wife into the ground. Even his children were beginning to show signs of age far beyond his own. Shortly after the funeral his eldest son was appointed king and Veltier disappeared.

A few years later a traveling magician and gambling professional began a game called Veltier's Gamble. His game caught on like wildfire and become the most played game in the seven kingdoms. Many believed that the magician was Veltier, but none could confirm it. He was here and there and gone before any could get a grasp of his identity. In fact he was found dead according to all accounts. The man had drank himself to death in a brothel. None believed after that, that the man could have been Veltier.

But the truth is I don't know for sure. The chance that Veltier could be out there could be anyone is an exciting thing no doubt. Perhaps he is your neighbor. Maybe even your best friend. I think evidence of him still living is obvious in the fact that Trickster trade has been down in recent years. Slavers are showing up dead and their cargo has been released and even hidden. We can only hope that he will one day return and bring peace back to his people. His family has long been dead and his card game is all but forgotten except by travelers and ruffians.

May luck find you and a story fill your soul with hope. Words are but the continuation of life and I am but a surgeon of a different sort. I sow the seeds of hope will I sow the wounds of the soul. Tell my story to all you meet and one day perhaps he may hear our pleas and become the good king again.