Monday, July 19, 2021

Epic backstory

 Three centuries. Three centuries he had battled spirits, wrestled arcana from the long dead and maintained as much connections to the mortal realm as he could manage. And now he was asked to stand aside? Once this would have angered him, but one of the advantages of an incorporeal form, the emperor had noted, was how all feelings appeared dull and dim - as through being memories rather than actual experiences. It was probably an observation very close to the truth. No, he wasn't angry. Thinking further the feeling that actually came to his mind was relief. He had never questioned what he would do once he returned, but here was an opportunity; someone asked him to stand aside, to not take interest - to not be held responsible... Yes, there were other things to life, he knew. Perhaps it was time... But first he must settle with his past - and what remained of it in the world of the living...

Morion placed the Soul Key in the heavy lock. As he let go the mechanism started to turn on its own - and at the same time his protective spells suffered an assault that would definitely have slayed a less-prepared character, but his time in Damasa had helped him think like a wizard. The seal was broken. Now to head for the actual resting place...

The emperor blinked, but it mattered little in the darkness. Feelings came rushing to his head and his first breath in 300 years felt like sharp needles throughout his body. He tried to summon light, but his powers felt drained, distant... it felt like forever before one of the crystals sparked to life and illuminated the old chamber. He was naked and rather cold, so hurriedly he donned the amulets and other artifacts layed out around the casket. Then, using one of the wands he reached into a pocket dimension and produced a set of clothes. Nothing to fancy; simple yet elegant. His head spun slightly - the thought of food came to his mind like a long forgotten, not entirely welcomed, old friend. The next few hours were going to be unpleasant.
"Feeling alright?"
The voice came from the other side of the locked iron gate. As the emperor turned around he saw the same young man he had once seen back in his palace - so many years ago.
"You haven't aged a day. I'm impressed."
"Yes, it has its advantages."
"So what now?"
"You have a promise to fulfil. And a country to save, I believe."
The emperor stared hard at the man in the doorway. Oh, the feelings, now that he had them back again. Envy. Admiration. Fear. He was surprised over them; he had not realized this was how he had been.
"You take a great risk in releasing me, you know that."
"Your enemies are not as spry as they once were. And neither are you."
"I will recover quickly."
"I know you will. But I also know what its like to return from the dead after so many years."
The emperor raised one eyebrow.
"So you succeeded at last?"
"Yes. Yes, I did."
"And you still love each other?"
"Very much."
There was silence for a moment.
"When we first met you were but a young man. I found your wishes foolish then and expected them to mature with age. But here we are again, and I think it is I who look the fool. I will remember this lesson well. And I will honor my promise - if I can have but one request."
"Yes?"
"I wish to meet your friend. Just see her; to speak to her. It would seem we both owe her a great deal."
Morion smiled.
"It shall be my pleasure - tough expect no kind words for a start."
"I will not - though I will strive to deserve them. What a curious turn of events..."



Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Ambush

Dead. They were all dead and there had been nothing that she could have done. She stumbled on, trying to make headway but the vegetation from the forest made formidable resistance. Katsume and Katashi had charged forward and they had died swiftly as their bold attacks had met swift counterattacks from the raging orcs. Kuma looked around, calling out for Tsume and Kiken to join her in her escape from the slaughter. She remembered back to the fighting again. Seeing her friends being butchered like cattle by the large, unwieldy but overwhelming force of the orcs. She had to get out of there, there had been nothing she could have changed and she would not have Tsume's and Kiken's lives lost on account of some southerner’s toy sword.

The forest was thick with bushes and fallen sticks. She ran. Ran away from the echoes of the battle, away from her dead friends and away from the mission. She called for her companions and listened for their answers. They were quick, if she could make the escape, so could they. But she had to know if they were back there. She turned to look and that was all it took. One extra glance away from the ground and she tripped. The forest floor came rushing towards her. The impact pressed what little air she had left in her lungs out and she was left lying there, gasping for air. 

Kuma laid there gasping for air. Feeling the aching in here tired muscles, the pulsating pain from the neck wound and the sore hip where the axe had tried to bite in. She thought of here babies, Tsume and Kiken. She hoped they had found a way out of there. She thought of Katsume and Katashi and the rest of the pack. And before she stood up she spared one thought to the fallen comrades from the asiatsu commando. She was the only one left of them and she could not die. They had taken a job and it had just gotten a whole lot messier.



Monday, June 21, 2021

A Word about Honor

 "What do you mean by allowing soldier Davina to duel, Sir Richard?" said Sir Michael, with a hint of irritation in his voice.
"Even if I have the highest respect for her will to defend her honor, there’s a lot more on stake here! If that guard had been seriously injured or worse it could have had serious consequences for our quest."
"It was no longer our descision to make Sir Michael, the challenge had already been accepted. I deemed the best to be Davinas second in the duel, so to see that all went according to law, and to keep the Honor of the order and herself. You don't back down from a duel once it's been accepted." said Sir Richard, trying to keep his calm but faltered in doing so...
"But you went against my orders to Davina Sir Richard!" Sir Michael answer with a raised and irritated voice. "I ordered her not to duel!" he added, noticeably dissaproving of Sir Richards decision and behaviour.
"An order, Sir Michael, that could have been given before she accepted the challenge, which she had done before we could arrive, and therefore..."
Sir Michael was leaving the room irritated and with heavy footsteps, trying to ignore Sir Richard, in the same way as Sir Richard had ignored his orders to Davina.
"Sir Michael! SIR MICHAEL!" Sir Richard almost bellowed, in a raised and angry voice, following Sir Michael out of the room towards the common room...

Sunday, May 23, 2021

I'm not a scout but...

Finally back in civilization again! Of course there is a lot of traveling working for the Duke of Ardborg, but it's always nice to come home. And also a very good place to start looking for orcs, or rather the ones buying the orcs for raids. 

-Good thing I know just where to start looking, he thought, and went outside the city's walls..

It would have been a rather straight forward meeting if it had not been for his company, the asiatsu warrior. Them soldiers always seem to find a way to stir up action when you least suspect it. Too bad she killed them all, interrogation could have brought something useful out of them..

Daniel was feeling confident later that night. A good days work with several leads, one of them being that lost tracker in the nearby forest. 

Too bad he had to go there himself, but he could not trust this mission to anyone else...



Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Artifact

The once abandoned tunnels was buzzing with activity people, vehicles, horses and different equipment was everywhere and all was monitored by a figure in dark robes holding a long staff. No one said anything all knew what to do, the location of the object had been the easy part, removing it intact was the hard part.
Wizards and engineers alike worked side by side combining both magic and science it was the best of Damasa at once, to bad the mission was top secret so no one outside would ever know. Vespian watched in silence as the object slowly was moved up towards the exit of the catacombs, he didn’t really like dressing up like this but he needed to keep as low profile as possible. Not that anyone would dare question him, he was a member of the war cabinet after all, but still he was using national resources for his own gain.
Then it did not matter how much he tried to convince himself otherwise. It had just been a to good opportunity to miss and you did not really say no to her, just the thought of her sent chills down his spine.
Some time later the object had been safely moved outside and carefully loaded on a waiting transport, as on a given signal a small group appeared as out of nowhere. Alarmed some of Vespian soldiers draw their guns but he quickly shouted orders to stand down, the last he needed was a provocation. One on the figures approached him with a confident poise, despite being heavily outnumbered. Vespian however knew better. “Well, well, well, the little magos hold his promise, who would have guessed? I must say you do find new ways to surprise me”, the voice could turn the blood to ice in even the bravest of men. But Vespian controlled his feelings, he had always been good at that when needed, despite others opinion on the matter. “ Glad that I still can do that, I take that as a compliment...”.
Carahil just gave him one of those smiles a hungry wolf would give to a corned prey. She then gave some orders and her men took over the transport that slowly started to move.
“Your colleges won’t mind that you’re assisting me?” Her voice was just a little teasing. “They’re not here are they? He tried keeping the bitterness out of his voice. He did not really blame them. They were no fighters, still during the revolution it had been all for Damasa and now when their country needed them the most they weren’t here.
“No, they are not, which simplified things for me”.
She was quiet for a while before speaking again.
“I must say I was a little surprised you didn’t tried to claim it for yourselves back then or at least tried to negotiate a deal with me.”
Vespian took his time before answering.
“It doesn’t interest me enough to make it worth the effort”.
“Pity, I would have enjoyed it.”
Vespian choose not to comment on that.
Then without saying anything Carahil started to move, but stopped for a second, and turned her head slightly.
“Better get moving. I owe you a favor, use it wisely... little magos.”
And then she was gone.



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Technomagics

In the rulebooks of Centuria the world beyond Umarald is touched upon but never visited in great detail. There has been forays into these realms, however, and one of the fundamental questions asked is

How does a magical world advance?

As Umarald is the birthplace of science and technology as we would recognize it, this implies the rest of Aladron has advanced in a different fashion: technomagics. Technological advancement not driven by science but by magics. 

Below follows a summary of the various types of technomagics that can be found in Aladron, outside of Umarald. 


Aeromechanics

Basically aeromancy artifacts are used to power various machinery. Civilizations that have developed aeromechanics can use this to power aircrafts, manufactories and even improve agriculture through weather manipulation. The main drawback compared to a scientific approach is that aeromechanics does not help solve issues with material limitations or provide knowledge in fields like aerodynamics or meteorology. Aeromechanics are used by the plains nations of Kamrak on the continent of Thamal.  

Aquamechanics

Basically hydromancy artifacts are used to power various machinery. Civilizations that have developed aquamechanics can use this to power manufactories and provide for transport, sanitation and much else. It can also be used to turn very arid areas habitable, though casting of hydromancy spells are more difficult in such regions. The main drawback compared to a scientific approach is that aquamechanics does not help solve issues with material limitations or provide knowledge in fields like mechanics or construction. Aquamechanics is the most wide-spread type of techomagic and has been developed in Managara, Anaku and Zhizni, Amara independently and then spread both east and west. 

Daemonmechanics

Daemonmechanics is a very versatile technomagic that imbues various artifacts with spellcasting demons that provide power. Civilizations that have developed daemonmechanics can use this to power golems, manufactories as well as various crafts on both land, sea and air. The main drawback is obviously the danger involved in using such dangerous magics on a large scale. The ability to design demonic commands to successfully bind the demons to the desired artifacts also limits the possibilities. Daemonmechanics have been developed semi-independently in the regions of  Allhamar and Caratha in Anaku - both places which does not solely rely on this approach but other technomagics as well.

Divinotech

Divination magic is used to further scientific knowledge. This is the type of technomagic which most resembles the scientific process found in Umarald, but it differs in that knowledge gained through divination is very contextual and it can often be difficult to understand the underlying principles behind the knowledge gained. While divinotech can yield advances in any field it is deeply dependent on magical research and the knowledge gaps it creates makes synergy effects between different projects rare. Divinotech has been developed in the region of Khumbakkla where it is however becoming less potent as age-old artifacts and processes are not fully understood by current generations and thus cannot be utilized to their full potential.

Evomechanics

Evocation artifacts are used to provide power sources, quite similar to electric engines. These can in turn be used to power factories, electric light, vehicles and weapons. Its main limitation is that it is in practice little more than a battery technology; while it provides the energy good scientific understanding is still required to put it to good use. Evomechanics has been developed in the empires of Khizan, Amara where it is used alongside vigotech. 

Geomechanics

Basically geomancy artifacts are used to power various machinery and golems. Civilizations that have developed geomechanics can use this to power manufactories and golems and even for large scale terraforming, such as tunneling. The main drawback compared to a scientific approach is that geomechanics does not help solve issues with material limitations or provide knowledge in fields like mechanics or construction and that it requires rather homogenous terrain to work well. Geomechanics has been developed in the Seven Lakes region of Thamal. 

Imperiotech

Imperiotech utilizes illusion magic mainly to control animals and to some extent people and can also help improve agriculture through light magics. Controlling various animals help to improve transportation, agriculture, construction work and much else but is limited to the capabilities of the animals and their handlers. It does not provide power directly and doesn't drive technological advancement in other areas. Imperiotech has been developed in Riddersmar in Thamal.

Necrotech

Harnessing the powers of necromancy, necrotech provide power through an undead workforce - but nothing as simple as merely raising a horde of zombies. Instead, undead creatures are designed and crafted for particular purposes at which they excel. Apart from manufacturing capabilities this can also be used to construct necrocomputers, necroviruses and, perhaps a bit surprisingly, various medical treatments. The main drawback of this type of technomagic is that is horrendously dangerous, but further drawbacks include relying on a supply of corpses, only driving limited scientific understanding and that the ability to design and command undead limits its applications. Necrotech has been developed by the Nakrath in Osigath, Amara, but is seen as evil by all its neighbors which tires to prevent the practices from spreading.

Phasmatech

Spirit magic is used to imbue artifacts with spirits. The spirits can then continue to act as advisors, preventing loss of knowledge and providing an almost endless number of thinkers and philosophers. Beyond this, a deep understanding of the Spirit Realm allows construction of portals which can be used for transportation. With the right conditions, the Spirit Realm itself can also act as a place for recreation. The main drawback of this type of technomagic is that it doesn't provide a power source and that an ever-increasing number of ancient advisors not always help drive society forward. It has been developed by the Valerygiath of Osigath, Amara. 

Pyromechanics

Basically pyromancy artifacts are used to power various machinery. Civilizations that have developed pyromechanics can use this to power various vehicles, weaponry and manufactories.  The main drawback compared to a scientific approach is that pyromechanics does not help solve issues with material limitations or provide knowledge in fields like mechanics or ballistics. Pyromechanics were developed in Thessia and was inspired by the developments in Umarald. It has since spread to Caratha, Anaku as well. 

Regomechanics

Enchantment artifacts are used on a large scale to provide improved materials and tools. It is an iterative process where the improved tools and materials can be used to create yet more improved tools and materials and so on. It is however not an approach that provides means for mass production nor reduce the need for manual labor. Regomechanics have been developed in the various nations found in Kyngaard and Varangaard, Thamal. 


Regotech

Enchantment artifacts are used to provide power sources, driven by pure magic. These can in turn be used to power factories and vehicles. Its main limitation is that it is in practice little more than a battery technology; while it provides the energy good scientific understanding is still required to put it to good use. Also, using enchantment magic to provide power requires very advanced magical skill. Regotech has been developed in the region of Farreich, Thamal. 


Vigotech

In Vigotech, biomancy is applied to create various organic materials and even to design new forms of life. The latter is usually achieved by taking an existing species and then transforming it for desired effects (such as making it docile and able to be handled by humans). Vigotech allows for replacing a multitude of metals and other hard-to-come-by materials with cultivated crops. It can also be used to develop medicines and even biomodification. Vigotech is a powerful technomagic as it utilizes the already complex biological machinery found in life. Its main drawback is that any new developments take a very long time if potentially devastating side-effects are to be avoided. Vigotech has been developed in the empires of Khizan, Amara from where its usage has spread to Allhamar, Anaku. 


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mekken forest

Mekken forest. Not many people went there, mostly on account of the goblins but also - as all goths knew - the forest was always dangerous. It was not without reason that the goths of the north stayed in their villages and hamlets, cultivating borders against the wildlands beyond. No one knew what lurked among the moss-covered rocks and trees at night. Orcs and trolls? And perhaps worse yet?

As far as wildlands went though, Mekken didn't have a very bad reputation. The really old forests had scores of legends and spooky tales, but because it was so close - you could go there from Ardborg and back in a day - it didn't feel so threatening. Sure, there were murderers hiding there (provided they hadn't gotten eaten by trolls?), trying to stay away from the noose. Now and then some fool would go missing, but it was not like nobody ever came back. There were some stories; talking animals, flying goblins(!), giant bears and a coven of elven wizards - but of course there were! You could find a man in the Ardborg docks who swore he saw a prostitute jump from street to rooftop (some men just haven't got *it*, you know...) was just chased by a throng of chickens or encountered a stray dog with demon eyes. Why would the forest be any different?



Sunday, May 2, 2021

A Sorcerer in the Inqusition

 The whole family was supposed to do inventory at the shop all day, going through all ingredients, salves and bottles making sure everything was accounted for. But as always, my brothers had taken my youngest siblings and ran off as soon as they had the chance. Not that I could blame them though, doing inventory was tedious work.

The hour was late, and I was stuck in the basement sorting through a shipment which had just come in when suddenly a loud banging on the front door could be heard upstairs. As I walked up the stairs I could hear my  brothers, being the curious devils as they were, rushing down the stairs from our living quarters down to the shop to see who it was as my parents made their way to the door. Given the late hour, Adelia was a bit curious herself and started walking up the stairs and into the shop. The bell on the door chimed as my parents opened the door, a messenger said, “A message for Miss Adelia LeClair!” and then the bell from the door chimed once again as the door closed a short while later. As she entered the store area of their house Adelia turned towards her parents and brothers who stood by the door. They stood frozen all four of them studying the seal of the letter, my parents were visibly pale. Without even seeing the letter I knew who had sent it and thoroughly cursed myself for trying to wait for a good time to tell them about my new employer. Hoping against all hope that it wasn’t the Inquisition that had sent me a letter I made my way over to my family. I could see the look of worry as I met my father's eyes as he wordlessly handed over the letter. My brothers had questions written all over their faces though they were uncharacteristically quiet right now, no doubt realizing the severity of this moment.  Seeing that it was indeed the seal of the Inquisition I carefully opened the letter without breaking the seal and glanced at its content. Realizing that I would have to go I felt a slight moment of relief followed by a sense of guilt. “I… I must go... to… to work... I’ll explain later. This seems urgent” I said as I carefully folded the letter and put it in my satchel.

Adelia grabbed her coat and quickly made her way outside onto a dark street, knowing that when she came back, she would have to have a difficult conversation with her family.



Friday, April 30, 2021

The Minotaur

The ascension through the cave had been quick and unnerving. The corridors had been littered by the corpses of the seventeen orcs that had reached the cave before them. Kuma and Sir Richards went first. Behind them walked sir Michel and Davina, holding up the rear was Lucille and Daniel. The cave walls were wet from the water that rippled quickly on each side of them. The floor was smooth, and the air was damp. The corpses from their predecessors gave obvious testament to the fighting force that must lay before them. An orc raiding party in full retreat, that was something new. Judging from the cuts the wildlife from last night was ruled out. No this foe wielded a sharp weapon and must be quite the force to reckon with. It was then, when they started to se an opening in the corridor leading upwards that they could all hear it, a heavy and slow breathing.

The cave opened up from a two-person breath to a big room. In the middle stood the beast that had singlehandedly taken on a pack of orc warriors and stood victorious. Kuma hade no time to react before it turned towards the new intruders. The three-meter-tall half bull, half human charged them with a huge twohanded axe thrusting forward. In a matter of seconds the first sweep came down on Sir Richard and Kuma. With a loud thump the axe seemed to bounce of some barrier that enveloped Sir Richard who hadn’t manage to get out of the way. The axe continued it’s path towards Kuma who threw herself backwards, avoiding the weapon by an inch. The adrenaline kicked in and Kuma realized she couldn’t block the entrance to the fight, not if they hoped to take the minotaur down. How many more hits would the shield Lucille had placed on herself and sir Richard take? She quickly moved sideways, following the wall to the right in order to make room for Sir Michel. As she positioned herself to surround the beast she caught a glance of Sir Richard doing the same on his front. This gave Davina the possibility to engage and engage she would. Kuma realized by that two-hand-grip and the narrowing of they eyes that Davina wasn't going to back away, she was reading herself to go all-out. That’s when the second strike from the bull came. The giant axe came down in a great sweeping motion. In it’s way stood Davina and Sir Michel. The later took a carefully measured step backwards but Davina was already on the attack. As the axe moved in on her flank she gave up the war cry of the order and flew herself against the monster. With two quick strikes she cut across the bulls chest with sounded like deep and forceful cuts. But before her series of attacks could finish the enemies axe had tasted her flesh. With an awesome force it cut through her chest plate and blood gushed out from Davina’s torso. 

Kuma focused her stance and readied herself to counterattack. The monster was to big, she would have to go for the leg. It’s left leg was closest and so Kuma made two quick cuts. With the first she aimed for the bulls hollow of the knee. She swept down and low with the falx but misjudged the distance and was nearly caught by the backswing of the axe as she spun closer to the backside of the enemy. However the attack was already in motion and without knowing whether or not she had hit with the first she pressed on and finished the spin with another slice from the falx. Her blade made a grand arc as it followed her pirouette and could finally cut up the backside of the monsters left thigh. As Kuma ended the move she saw how Sir Richard had used the moment in the fight in an equal opportunistic manner and battered the beasts right flank with his now blood dripping axe. As they all once again readied to assessed the adversary’s next move they could all in relief se how it knelt down and fell over with a loud thud. The beast was down.



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Loot!

After the meeting and report they had some items to sort through and some things to get straight. Lily raised the question about the dead.
"One of them seemed to have hurt himself and bleed out abit in the cave, the other obelisk seemed to glow red when there was blood close by..."
"Could some magic been activated and killed the three?"
Max looked horrified and said "If that is correct Lily, I'm not going to be cloose by to test it."
Adelia looked some what sceptical and stated "I would rather guess that they have been lured down as a trap, for the poison to take effect, and they will be away so they couldn't get help..."
At the same time Edward mumbled back "I don't care about the dead bodies, but that medallion should be mine!"
That peeked Arthurs reaction and he exclaimed "And why would you need a medallion of courage?, Courage? Would i be better Use for me so next time we face a demon i don't have to be afraid and cover behind a bar, yes yes, not one of my proudest moments..."
Edward simple answered "But you see Mr Schwarz the medallion should belong to me, it would be best for all of us. I can trade it for a potion of courage instead. You know courage is to overcome fear, not to be without it."
Arthur looked rather sceptical at Edward: "Are you serious, trade a single use potion of courage for a medallion? Why do you even need it?"
Bosco, clearly tired of the discussion, mumbled "If it's that important we can sell the other stuff and buy another one..."
In the middle of the rising argument Adelia chipped in: "Well if you're willpower and courage fail while casting magic a demon can tear out of your chest, like the one you mentioned at the bar Mr Schwarz, or something like that i think i read some where in a book..."
Arthur looked a bit sceptical but at the same time shocked: "Is it true Edward, that better courage and will make you better to deal with this magic stuff?"
Edward, a bit annoyed, answered "Yes! Or well better..."
Arthur sceptical frown turned into a smile while he interrupted Edward "Well great! Settled then, then you actually have a need for it and don't just WANT it. Damn man why didn't you just say so! Sometimes it seem that Miss Adelia here knows more about magic than you but you are the one casting the spells... Are you reading the right books?"



Monday, April 5, 2021

Encounter at the Ball

 “I am going with someone to the ball!” Adelia said while the tailor was adjusting the dress.
“What?” Lily quickly turned herself towards her friend. The unexpected movement made her own tailor flinch. Who narrowly avoided to put the needle in her customers back.
“Please, madame could you hold still?”
Lily however was to preoccupied to notice.
“Who is it? He better not hurt you or I will break his neck!!” She said in a rather protective voice. Adelia however just gave her a mischievous smile.
“Well you will find out soon enough aren’t you?”
Lily looked like she was about to say something more when a rather flamboyant dressed Arthur entered the room.
“Ahh, my ladies you looking radiant as ever!”
Lily’s mouth fell open, was it possible to have so many plumes and feathers in one hat?
“Well thank you Arthur, you’re looking rather dashing yourself!” Adelia said smiling broadly.
Arthur beamed and made a deep bow.
“So what’s the next stop ladies?”
“I need to go to the wig maker, I could need the opinion of your both. Since I never bought a wig before... but I don’t want to be recognized!” Lily said the last somewhat hesitantly.
“Ooh, who are you hiding from?” Adelia asked curiously, Arthur also looked on with a peeked interest.
Lily dragged out the answer before sighting and answering.
“My cousins!”



Saturday, April 3, 2021

Memories

 Julian was driving thorugh the city on his mono-bike. During the nighttime the traffic didn't seem as dense as during the day, but it was still there.
Nowadays the cities seemed to never sleep, always to be busy...
Well one good thing with had been the notice that the robotic archive had been installed in the warehouse.
Vespian had been busy but Julian had at least managed to get Mehred out and to meet him at his warehouse.
The feel of combining the old books, all the old knowledge and to preserve it with new technology almost made Julian feel young again.
Getting out of the most busy areas and the worst noise Julian activated the most basic heightened senses and speed up the monobike. While he himself moved faster it seemed like the world around slowed down. All the stress and bustle melting away, somehow returning back the the old slow tempo. Sometimes he missed the old times...



The Knight And The Tree

"Oh poor sir Michael hit a tree, hit a tree
And fell on the ground on the ground!"
The atmosphere in the great hall was getting more and more rowdy the more beer that was drunken and the later the hour got and by that the more somber guest was dropping of one by one.
Which also  affected creativity of the verses, such as
"What shall we do with the unhorsed knight?"
...and...
"The brave sir Michael charged an oak and fell off his horse!"
"To bad it was an orc he wanted to hit with his big stick!"
The last one made the merry knights to nervously glance around to make sure that the brave sir Michael himself was not within earshot....

The Challenge

Seventieth floor and then further up with another elevator. The group walked through the garage hall with silver between them. Deco's thoughts were focused on the target and the group of guards in front of the elevator door he had only reflexively observed, appreciated and continued to monitor, without actually devoting a thought to them. It all happened on a routine while the thoughts played around what scenarios they might need to be prepared for when they reached the top of the spire. Without really reflecting, he made a confident comment to the others in the group that they would not kill anyone who was not Beastmen, a statement that he himself was surprised when he thought about it.
And then all of a sudden he was face to face with the one who seemed to be the leader of the gang. The man looked unthreatening and his gang, albeit armed, Deco dismissed as a real threat. A rage went through his body, as if the last thought had gone a strange and unnatural path, as if the phenomenon of dismissing any threat was new at all. The group's security and backing was so strong and the thoughts at the end of the trip so pressing that Deco ignored his warning bells and instead met the man's gaze. Assured of Hatchet's powerful figure, Ratman's combat experience and tactical thinking, Dai-Kau's lethal efficiency and Loric's quick trigger finger, he did not doubt his group for a second. This was a trial, an insult to him and the group. The men standing in front of them thought they were more powerful and more entitled to the means of transport than they were.
The anger shifted and changed to a loud warning alarm on all frequencies but it was too late now, Deco and his opponents had locked their horns in each other and this could not end with him giving up. They would learn what it meant to stand in the way of "the Birds of Prey". 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Commander's Conundrum

"Still no response?"
"No, commander," responded the neuronav.
"Keep sending anyway."
"But why won't they answer?" asked lieutenant Loreli. "From all readings it's a Union ship."
"Because they can't hear us."
"Uh, there are no problems with the communications servers, sir," said the neuronav.
"Not with the servers. They are jamming us."
"What? Why?" asked Loreli.
"Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps they are just passing this sector and wants to keep their presence a secret from other ships which might hear us. Perhaps there is someone onboard they want to get hold of."
"If that where the case, why haven't they contacted us for a transfer?"
"Perhaps its someone they know we wouldn't hand over?"
"Sir?" Loreli looked puzzled. "Who onboard would warrant a battlenac for capture?"
"I don't know. It's merely a possibility. Pilot!"
"Yes, sir?"
"Prepare defensive measures and generate a starting code for all phoenix avars. And scramble the pilots."
"Yes, sir!"
"You think they will -attack-?" asked Loreli with disbelief in her voice. "Wouldn't be much use for us to do anything - they could disintegrate us without a sweat."
"Indeed. And the fact that they haven't already done so suggest that there is something else that they want. So I intend to be prepared."