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The Land of the Covenant (Last update 1/31/03)

Vymair

First Post
After admiring the many well crafted story hours I have read here, I have decided to try my hand at one....

Gonna stick to background for the first few posts to set the stage, but the characters will take center stage soon enough...
 
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Vymair

First Post
The Exodus

As told by Myron the Sage,

Listen closely children and you will see how the Lord delivered us from an eternity of Diabolic servitude to the new lands of the Covenant. For of all those who live now, only a few of us remain who remember our lost home across the sea and of those, I am now the eldest.

I was very young but I recall the armies of the Baatezu Nobles were slowly enslaving all the Kingdoms of Eyre. While they had started their conquest from the Far East, only a few kingdoms were left in the West and the situation was grim as we were severely outnumbered. While the King was suing for terms of peace, the Canon decided to take the most faithful of all his people and move them to the small city of Hampton. After a month of prayer, he decided to make a direct appeal to the Lord to save us from the horrible fate that would await his faithful at the hands of the Diabolic horde. We all entered the temple and begin to pray for deliverance. After seven days and nights of prayer, a miracle happened. The Empnezi appeared in the center of the Town Square and came to the temple with instructions for us. We were to all board ships and sail to the west under his direction. He warned us the journey would be hard and arduous, but that we would be delivered to new lands for the Lord had not broken his covenant with his most faithful.

It took but weeks to build the fleet with the aid of the Clerics and the Empnezi and we quickly sailed away across the seas. Almost immediately, we sailed into a dense fog bank. We could not tell day from night in the timeless fog. Many reported seeing strange creatures in the fog and people fell into madness as we drifted through the timeless fog. As our supplies began to run out we beseeched the Canon and his priests to save us from starvation. The Canon and his priests began to call upon the Lord to provide us food and water to sustain us. This went on for years as I grew into manhood, took my wife Anna and my sons Connor and William were born. Whenever the people began to despair that the journey would never end, the Canon would call the ships together and remind them of all the horrors from which the Lord had already delivered them. In addition, the impact of the Empnezi’s presence served as a constant reminder of the immediacy of his love.

Then disaster struck us. Without warning, horrible Fiends descended upon us and struck viciously within our ranks. Over half the fleet was lost in that battle and to our despair the Canon and most of the Revered fell in a horrible battle. The people were devastated, but after mourning those lost, the Empnezi reminded us that we still had to complete our journey. Even the assuring words of the Empnezi seemed lost on the people until Roland stepped forward and made an impassioned speech to remind us that those who had sacrificed their lives to save us would not be honored unless their sacrifice led to something greater.

“For their blood shall be a sign of our Covenant with the Lord, and we shall not forget their sacrifice.”

It was soon after that Roland began to call upon the Lord for food and aid and we did not perish. It was then that we named Roland the new Canon and he began to leads us in fervent prayer for our safe arrival in the Land of the Covenant. Things moved along for a few more years, and then the Empnezi vanished. Many despaired that the Lord had abandoned us, but Roland pressed us to continue our journey.

Unfortunately, we began to quarrel and argue about directions and purpose. Eventually, a faction arose among us led by Nathan, who advocated a new course and began a bitter internal struggle with Roland. The people split into two factions and it eventually became clear that the differences were irreconcilable. Nathan and his followers sailed off into the mists and were never seen again.

It was not long after that the fog lifted and we could see the stars again. But the night sky was unfamiliar and we were shocked to find ourselves sailing into the Dawn and not the Sunset. We stopped for a time and after consultation with the Lord, Roland decided to press on to the east. After a moon’s passing, we spotted land and sailed into the bay on the day of the Winter Solstice. We made camp there and on the second morning a small child approached from the east. The Canon went forward to speak with him and found him to be of good cheer and to our surprise, full-grown. He called himself a hobbit and promised us assistance. To our relief, we were warmly greeted by the little people we now call Halflings and they welcomed us with food and drink.
 

Vymair

First Post
The Lost Foresters

Gawaine was troubled. The foresters had sent no message back and were almost a week overdue. Maybe it had been foolish to send so many, but Edvard had been insistent that if they truly sought wood in the quantities requested, he would need a score of young men. As the young were always eager to escape the sea, he had no trouble finding volunteers. Now their ongoing absence was becoming a worrisome matter for many in the community. As the sheriff, he was concerned about the morale it might have if this were left uninvestigated, but he had no men to spare at this time. He would have to see Cardinal Agretant for advice for if anything was to be done; it should be done soon. Agretant had agreed something must be done and had spoken with Mandret, the ranger’s man in town, but unfortunately none of the other rangers were expected back in town any time soon. Gawaine was surprised at the solution the Cardinal proposed, but accepted his wisdom in such things.

It was two days later and Gawaine was looking at the adventurers who had been collected from the various races that lived in or near the coastal valley. Blaine, the firstborn, would lead them, two hobbits, Nocnae and his brother Maev, Nim, a dwarf with an ale-soaked tunic had been sent by the dwarven ambassador and Yrgach, an Orc Gothi from the Tribe of the Bear. As Gawaine explained the mission to Blaine and Nocnae, he noticed the dwarf nodding off and Maev scanning the room surveying its contents. He worried that he would be blamed if the first-born did not return…
 

Vymair

First Post
Blaine

Blaine was reviewing the tales of the Exodus yet again. Shazgu, his Orc master had sent him back to town saying it was now time for him to gain a greater understanding of his own faith before he would teach him more of the bow. He had reluctantly returned and had been studying under the watchful eye of Cardinal Codius for a few months now. As always, he felt all the priests watched him just a little too closely and the jealousy in the other students. He was reviewing Nathan’s tale when he was snapped out of his reverie.

“Firstborn!” Blaine’s head snapped up to see Cardinal Agretant and Cardinal Codius both looking at him. “I have a mission for you, please come to my quarters when your studies are complete.”

Firstborn, the title had haunted Blaine from the first day he had come to realize that it was meant for him and him alone. For upon the arrival in the new lands, his people had worked very hard and though some children conceived upon the ocean were born, none conceived since their arrival were born until Blaine was born on the anniversary of their arrival to the Land of the Covenant. The Canon and Cardinals found this very significant and had called him the First-Born from the day of this birth. So he had been burdened with many hopes and expectations his entire life. Even his older brother was resentful of the attention given him by the rest of the people. When he came of age to choose a profession, to everyone’s surprise, he chose to live with the Orcs and learn the ways of the hunt and the art of the bow. The people of Eyre were stunned that he would abandon them to live in the wilderness, but the Canon and the Cardinals all approved of Blaine’s choice. They arranged for Shazgu, a local orc bowman of towering reputation to teach him the art of the bow. So Blaine had gone to live among the orcs for several years and learn the ways of the bow.

Now he stood nervously outside Agretant’s quarters wondering what the Cardinal wanted with him.

“Ah, Blaine, please come inside. We have a mission requiring your special skills. You shall report to Gawaine in the morning, he shall have more information for you.”
 

Vymair

First Post
Nim, son of Domil

Nim was drunk, not that this was unusual, and he continued to drink heavily on his journey down from Kizan-Zigun. After the first few days, the daylight was not so penetrating, but the emptiness of the sky still seemed so wrong, he shuddered as he looked up and quickly looked down after taking another long drink from his flask. Through his stupor, he tried to remember the last instruction given to him by Khalad, the Patriarch of Kizan-Zigun. Now he remembered, he was to deliver the note to Gibud, the ambassador to New Eyre and Gibud would have further instructions for him.

He arrived in New Eyre a few days later. He was appalled at the conditions of the houses and the squalor these men lived in, but then he noticed a huge stone edifice being built near the center of town. The craftsmanship was masterful and as he approached the site, it pleased him to see a dwarf overseeing the process.

“Lad, what goes on here?” as he stopped a young man in the street.

“Construction of the Temple of the Lord” replied the young man.

“What about your homes?”

Just then a priest overhead them and stepped over to the dwarf.

“I don’t think you understand. We will build ourselves proper homes when we have time but we owe everything to the Lord, it wouldn’t be proper to build our homes before we build his. Thanks to your people and their assistance, we will be able to build him a Temple which will honor him and all he has done for us.”

Nim looked back to the guardsman and asked for directions to the dwarven enclave and went down the street in the direction indicated. As he approached he saw fishermen returning from the journeys into the see. Nim had never seen the sea before and its chaotic nature disturbed him. He watched with interest, as the fish were unloaded from the ships.

He headed into the enclave and was greeted warmly by the guards at the gate for they saw few of their own kind here. He was let in and was ushered into to see Gibud, the dwarven ambassador to the people of Eyre.

“How can I help you Nim?” as he looked questioningly at Nim.

“Here” Nim handed over the letter explaining his purpose here and excused himself to allow Gibud time to read and think.

When the morning came, Nim found himself in Gibud’s office.

“I have considered your purpose here and have a mission for you.”
 

Vymair

First Post
Nocnae and Maev

Nocnae was worried, although Maev (short for Maevishun) was familiar with the humans, he did not know why the Mayor found it necessary to send his brother along with him this time. Nocnae knew the humans the best of all of the hobbits and although he had told Maev many tales and taught him their tongue, he was not sure Maev understood the seriousness commonly found in these strangers. Nocnae knew these humans better that anyone. He had been the young hobbit who had first met the humans on that fateful day 23 years ago. His natural curiousity and interest in tales of all kinds made the newcomers and their history irresistable. He had been the first hobbit to learn the outlanders’ language and due to his aptitude for such things, spoke it flawlessly. He frequently served as a translator in the early years so he was very familiar with most of the important people in Eyre and most knew him on sight. He still found their excessive piety unfathomable, but he knew their seriousness could definitely cause Maev trouble if he fell into his normal habits from home.

Maev, on the other hand, was excited. While he had seen the big people many times, he rarely got to go to New Eyre. He was bubbling with excitement while peppering Nocnae with 100 questions about the strange outlanders. Nocnae accepted these with good humor, but still wondered how many of his answers were getting through to his younger brother.
 

Vymair

First Post
Yrgach

Yrgach snarled as he was awakened. Dusk was not for at least an hour, which would mean it was far too early for any to enter the Gothi’s tent. As his eyes cleared, he realized his master Garn was shaking him awake.

“Yrgach, it is time to awake, the Chief and I have words for you.” With that, Garn slipped out the tent as Yrgach pulled himself from his blankets and wondered what his master and the chief wanted.

He was moving through the forest on his way west some hours later. Apparently a man had come during the day and talked to the chief. He was surprised to find that he was being sent into the human’s city for he had no desire to do so, but was told it would foster good relations from the Tribes of the Beast and the Human Tribe. Since it was the will of the Chief and the Shaman, he went and thought little else on the matter.

He avoided the Halfling settlements as much as he could for he knew they would be afraid of his companion, a dire rat with a fearsome visage. As he traveled exclusively at night, it was simple matter to avoid homes and settlements. Near midnight on the third night of his journey, he saw a wooden palisade in the distance. He found a small copse of trees nearby and ordered his rat to stay there. Then he approached the gates. As he came forward, a challenge rang out from the guards.

“Who goes there?”

“Yrgach, Gothi of the Tribe of the Bear, I have come.” Yrgach stepped into the light and waited. After a few moments, the gates swung open and Yrgach was waved through. One of the guards spoke to him in Orc and directed him to a squat building filled with straw for sleeping. As Yrgach stepped inside, he saw several other Orcs eyeing him with suspicion until the saw the marks of the Gothi upon him. Several moved away to leave Yrgach a prime spot in the center of the back wall and he settled down to sleep.
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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