August 31 2014

The Private Life of Philippe Marienburg, Part 1-by xerxesv-Narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a great story from xerxesv, entitled The Private Life of Philippe Marienburg, Part 1. Background music “Imminent Threat”, by Matthew Pablo, at www.matthewpablo.com

Here is the text:

I always try to be calm and keep a tight rein on my emotions, but something was making me angry. The land was clearly in the grip of a metaphysical evil, yet everywhere I turned I saw complacent, indecisive men and women, running up and down the road of Owl’s Head doing nothing, their conversations filled with mundane gossip about how to acquire various magical and/or non-magical goods–as if the acquisition of mere wealth was the reason we were called to be in this world.

The only one who agreed to accompany me to the gates of old Ravensmoor was someone named “Caramella la Sorce.” This was a woman with dead, cynical eyes, but also, I told myself, an evil charisma and an energetic way of brandishing her axe that made her a useful temporary ally against the legions of undead.

When we got there, the skeletons were so powerful as to be a match for even my considerable swordsmanship. No matter which way we hewed, they kept bashing at us with short swords, morningstars, even bows. Even their archers were so tough that they would keep shooting at us when we approached them in melee until we were pierced with arrows on all sides, like (I imagine) the glorious martyrs of old.

The cynical woman quickly tired of hardship and glory, and departed to resume whatever sordid activities she engaged in normally–probably spreading more of her feel-good, optimistic lies, with their undercurrent of psychic death, back at the tavern in Owl’s Head that everyone is always going to instead of purifying body and soul in endless spiritual combat.

If I let myself think about all that stuff again, it would make me angry, but at that point it didn’t matter. I thought about how the nickname for this place was the “Throne of Bone.” I thought of how awesome and sweet it would be to sit on the bones of a man bleached pure and clean by the harsh and pitiless passage of time, of history. It is pretty awesome how history scours away all the vagueness and ambiguity of individual experience, the weakness of individual souls, and leaves you with just the purity of the act.

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August 31 2014

Haikus – by DizzySol, Stile Teckel, Bubonic, Ronan, Lord Beaumaris, Asclepius – Narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, Asclepius here, with a collection of haikus. These are some of the haikus submitted for Dame Lori’s carnival contest, and the authors have given us permission to broadcast them. Thanks to everyone who participated! Background music is “Summer Dream” by Smartsound.

DizzySol 

For nights, for days, we
the forgotten kings and queens,
lay, waiting, for truth

waiting between time
layers and layers forming
anticipation

sweet release, washing
over us completely, dark,
drowning sensation

Stile Teckel

Lori is back again
Ala, Ala, Lori is back again
The fun shall begin

Bubonic

By the warm campfire,
I gaze at the shattered moon,
Lost in dreams of Earth.

Ronan

Hammer beats rhythm
in caves so dark and deep
music of lost souls

Lord Beaumaris

A dream of odd sheep
Thine helm faced its mortal blow
Purple llamas leap

Once shining and pure
Our compromise, betrayal
Forsaken virtues

Asclepius

The shattered moon weeps
Land ravaged by time and Fall
Daedalus waits high

DarkStarr brings chaos
OneandOnly brings mass death
Lord British brings life

Drink some mead with me
The tavern sways and blanks out
Drink more mead with me!

Crystals deep in mines
Kobolds and satyrs on guard
Adventurers die

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August 30 2014

Ancient Aliens by Giorgio-Written by Redfish-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hello Everyone:  Lord Baldrith here with a very interesting story by Redfish entitled Ancient Aliens by Giorgio.

Here is the text:

Ancient Aliens by Giorgio by Redfish

 
This is a book I wrote in Ultima Online, and would not be lore-appropriate for this game. However, the topic of ancient aliens came up in another thread, so I thought I’d share on the forums anyway,

Ancient Aliens
By Giorgio

STANDING in Britannia are mysterious landmarks built by the ancients – shrines and moongates – erected in connection with the eight virtues. Those who are devoted to the virtues visit the shrines and, in meditating, gain insight no mortal person – no matter how virtuous, wise, or gifted in magecraft – could achieve otherwise. The moongates, of course, provide travel in Britannia, much as the mark-&-recall spells, and across the shards created by Modain’s gem, but the moonstones that create them also allow otherworldly travel, as we know from the black and silver moongates that have been reported to exist by many sources. Both of these types of magic – in the shrines and the moongates – are beyond the power of any wizard living to-day. How did the ancients build these wondrous objects of magic that – even with our modern knowledge of the arcane – our most powerful wizards could not even fathom to create?

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Music by Szymon Matuszewski-01


Our sages offer no full explanation to how or when these monuments were built. We’re simply told that their presence here in Britannia goes back to when our land was part of Sosaria, before the cataclysm that cleaved us from the other continents, and even then it was not known when they had been created and who created them. They had simply always been there from time immemorial.

The closest among us to figure out the secrets, I believe, is the mage named Alkan, who had lived in Cove, and who had at one time been a close friend of Wolfgang, father of Mondain. Wolfgang, of course, is known for the famed Gem of Immortality, which was shattered, and has led to our current predicament. The Gem of Immortality is known to have been a form of ruby that could “harness the power of the sun” – a sunstone, if you will. Alkan had a different focus and that was not on sunstones, but on moonstones. In his studies he had discovered a mysterious substance known as blackrock. According to his research, this mineral had the ability to bend space and time, and even could resist and disable magic. A combination of electrical and magical energy caused the mineral to become permeable;

Music by Szymon Matuszewski-02_0

that is, one could put one’s hand through the substance as if it were water. He believed he could transform this material or a myriad of arcane purposes. Not much is known about what happened to Alkan. However, his son, Erasmus, had swore upon his disappearance that a red daemon had reached his hand through a shimmering black moongate and had dragged him otherside. Erasmus believes this is what he comes to refer to as an *ultraterrestrial being*, which he says comes from a dimension alongside our own, and that he believes too in what he calls *extraterrestrial beings*, who come not from displaced worlds, but from the stars – far deep within the ethereal void – where there are other worlds similar to Sosaria. He has proposed that one could even build an enchanted ship that would travel across the void, much like our ships can travel across the ocean waters.

The Gem of Immortality, we know, was shattered by a mysterious stranger, who our scholars believe came from another world. We have also known a mysterious being known as the Time Lord, who likewise is foreign to our lands. Are the stranger and this Time Lord both ultraterrestrials like the red daemon described by Erasmus, son of Alkan? Or are they extraterrestrials, who used some means to travel from one planet in the void to ours?

Music by Szymon Matuszewski-Fallen



Strangely, in Arcane Lore, there is some mention of a means of travel called a Siege Perilous, a name later given to one of the shards found of Britannia, but this refers to a point in time before Mondain’s gem had shattered, and before the shards were then created. Its unclear whether this Siege Perilous is another world, a shard beyond our shards, or a means by which one traverses worlds. A third quite interesting possibility may be that its both. After all, the shards that we know of – as products of Mondain’s gem – were created from a certain fixed moment in time in the history of Britannia. These are all shadows of the world as it existed at that one moment. But may there be shards that we have no knowledge of that go back further? May there be some that go back to the formation of Sosaria, to the creation of the world? At that point, at the point of creation, there might be some means to reach across all of space and time, across all shards that were created thenceforth, and all shards that could be created therewith.

Whatever is the case, we are told that the stranger who shattered Mondain’s gem traveled across this Siege Perilous. Whether he himself comes from an ancient time, or from an ancient world from which he is a descendant, it seems not a coincidence that he came in time to destroy this gem, the sunstone. And if that is true, if it not be a coincidence, one could easily surmise that he or his peoples are also connected to the moonstones. And if they are in some way connected to the moonstones, then they are also connected to the monuments – the shrines and the moongates – that are scattered throughout our land.

Music by Szymon Matuszewski-Fluffy



These strangers who cross the shimmering gates and are aliens to our world may in fact be the source of all civilization in Sosaria. We arrive from their shrines all of our wisdom, and through the moongates, expeditious travel. If this is so, why did they help us? Discussion of this topic is not accepted by the wizards who control the councils; talk of ancient aliens is outright rejected as nonsense. But there are a growing number of wizards who are challenging accepted wisdom, and these scholars – ancient alien theorists – will, I believe, bring us to a watershed of a new truth, one that will transform our knowledge of the arcane and shed light on the facts of our very existence. Whatever the end of this mystery, it strikes at the very heart of not only the history of Sosaria, but of all history in its entirety.

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REFERENCES

^ RESEARCH INTO BLACKROCK, Alkan of Cove

^ MEMORIES OF MY FATHER, Erasmus of Cove

^ CHARIOTS OF THE STRANGERS? UNSOLVED MYSTERIES OF THE PAST, Daniken of Minoc

^ DOCTOR WHO? THE SECRETS OF THE TIME LORD, Moffat of Minoc

^ A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOSARIA, Hawking of Britannia

^ THE BOBBIT, Revel of Moonglow

^ MONDAIN’S LAMENT, Belson of Trinsic

^ MONDAIN RISING, Belson of Trinsic

^ INCOHERENCE OF THE ANCIENT ALIEN THEORISTS, Algazel of Moonglow

^ STRANGER FROM A STRANGE LAND, Jubal of Britain

^ THE SOSARIA CHRONICLES, Zecharia of Moonglow

^ THE FELUCCA MYSTERY, Templeton of Trinsic

^ THE AWAKENING: THE SUN AND THE MOONS, Masaka and Korgano of Britain

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ARCANUM NOSTRUM PRESS

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August 30 2014

Kings Wharf-Written by Browncoat Jayson-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hello Everyone.  Here is a great story by Browncoat Jayson.

Music: Eliot Corley – Water Temple  Eliot Corley – Water Temple

Here is the text:

Kings Wharf by Browncoat Jayson

A Page from an Outlander’s Journal

Author Unknown

 The ship that brought me here was little more than a dinghy with a mast. Seven days it took, riding up breakers and crashing down to surf, to get from Port Graff. Now mining gems is a backbreaking life, but you are less likely to be killed by an errant storm while underground. From stories I expected an idyllic place of farmers and sheep, not the dreary port that awaited me. I don’t know which lord this Kingsport was named for, but I imagine he was an enormous rat in a crown — king of the wharves, indeed! I was a fool to leave Port Graff, and now I wish for nothing more than a way to return.

The Vale, ’twas said, was a place to go where the Oracle’s eyes would not follow. Those mechanical monstrosities send shivers up my spine. The whole mainland is infested with the things; I hoped here would be better. But an hour off the water, sitting outside the Hearth of New Britannia, I watch one of the multi-legged things crawl up through a sewer grate.

I’m not a nosy sort, you understand, but after a few minutes I crawled down the nearby rungs and pulled open the grate, entering the dark recess beneath the docks. It was black as pitch, but a nearby box held a dozen torches so I borrowed one and ignited it from a handy sconce. The sewers branch, seemingly at random, so I picked a direction in the same manner, soon coming upon a pool. From the debris within, I have a sense that the rat-king’s privy may be located just above this area, so I turned to leave the way I had come.

Music: Alexandr Zhelanov – https:/soundcloud.com/alexandr-zhelanov-Steeps of Destiny

A dozen feet from me stood what was once a man.

The beast still wore scraps of cloth, and the rusted head of its mace swung just inches from the stonework. However, no flesh showed beneath the gaps; indeed, the entire dermis was missing, yet the bones stood as though still encased. Its jaw dropped into a rictus grin as it raised its weapon. Had I my pickaxe, I might have stood a chance against even such a perversion, but I was unarmed. As it swung, I darted to the side, narrowly avoiding a fatal concussion, and ran as fast as my legs would carry me.

 

Music: Alexandr Zhelanov – https:/soundcloud.com/alexandr-zhelanov-Escadre

Once I reached daylight I went immediately to the guard, but they dismissed my tale. I even went to the mayor, having to interrupt his seemingly endless chat with the local guildmistress. For my troubles, I was escorted from the premises and told to lay off the ale. The nerve!

I found brief employ at a warehouse, which earned me enough to stay for the week in one of the hovels near the waterfront. As soon as a seaworthy vessel makes port, I’ll be aboard, and begging Ol’ Graff to take me back. It can’t be long…

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August 30 2014

Tablets-Written by Womby-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hi Everyone.  A great story by Womby here submitted in the Tales from the Vale thread on the Shroud of the Avatar forums.  A story entitled Tablets.

Here is the Text:

Tablets by Womby

Tablets The inscriptions were in a language that Lucas did not recognise. Apart from those strange hieroglyphics the surface was mostly featureless, save for two tiny glass insertions near one end. He turned the small, smooth tablet over and examined the front. Some craftsman had gone to considerable effort to seamlessly insert a glass pane in the other side, although the reason for this was a mystery.

“It’s a smartphone” said the Traveller, apparently suffering from the misconception that this description was in some way helpful. “You can surf the net, play games, all sorts of stuff.” Lucas was having difficulty understanding how this small tablet could be a useful aid to fishing, although it could possibly be part of a board game of some description.

“Where is the rest of the set?” Lucas replied. “Unfortunately I left the charger behind” replied the Traveller. Lucas imagined a small carved figurine depicting a jousting Knight, and was disappointed that the rest of the game was missing. Still, what he saw had a certain novelty value, and would make a fine conversation piece. “I’ll offer you two carrots for it.” “Done!” replied the Traveller.

Music
Wilderness 128 by Avatar Acid (Ultima VII Remix)
Love A Virtue by Avatar Acid (Ultima VII Remix)
Seedy Bar by Avatar Acid (Ultima VII Remix)
Harpsicord Tune by Avatar Acid (Ultima VII Remix)

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August 29 2014

Echoes From the Cavern 8-29-14

Hi All:  Lord Baldrith here with another edition of Echoes From the Caverns.  Great talk with another excellent guest:

Sir Isycle

Hope you enjoy!

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August 29 2014

The Guard and the Lily, part 1-by Reebdog-Narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, Asclepius here, with a great story from Reebdog, entitled “The Guard and the Lily, part 1” Background music “Lover’s Touch” by Smartsound.

The Guard and the Lily. Part 1

The ancestors who lived through the cataclysm and past, during the unknown times, carried through traditions that had all but been forgotten. Some still live with old tradition which is rare in New Brittania because of the Oracle. See, the Oracle doesn’t believe in some old traditions especially ones heavily embraced in the Vale. Since many of the citizens in the Vale are free thinkers and have escaped the rule of the Oracle, their most honored traditions are looked down upon. One of them being the hunt for the red lily.

It is said that the first red lily given to a young girl of age by an admirer will tie a magic bond between them stronger than that of the girl and any other man. The bond will be so strong that neither will ever have the eye for another mate. The tradition has proved so popular in the Vale that some new farmers who had escaped the rule of the Oracle had stopped growing wheat in order to cash in on a crop of red lilies. But they soon found that acquiring the seed of a red lily is not only difficult, but near impossible. Even when the seeds of a red lily are plucked, the chance of one turning red is extremely rare. You may end up with a sea of white lilies that are good for nothing more than sprucing up the town roads. The red lily only grows in abundance where the water flows across the nutritious soils of a mountain top. There must be sunlight every day as well so they only grow above the cloud line. And the adventure to find one is the first part of the tradition.

“May the peace of new in the Vale be with ye boy” said the old crooked looking man. His legs trembled like a couple of uprooted fence posts in a storm. His trousers, held up by a scanty pair of suspenders, danced in the wind and filled up to his breeches. The young man nodded with pride swelling up in his eyes as he snapped the back end of his horse with his boot. It was his time to hunt for a red lily. He had grown strong enough to plow an entire field in a day which was the turning point into manhood. He was now a man at the age of seven and ten ready for the abundance of what life had to offer. Owl’s Nest would soon disappear in his wake of dust. Homesickness a near future reality. And a young lady of six and ten longing for his return.

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August 25 2014

My Living Nightmare Part 1 – Written by Justicevalla-Narrated by Lady Adnor

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, and I’m delighted to introduce Lady Adnor as guest narrator for this fine piece. Background music is “Trails to Anywhere” by Matthew Pablo at www.matthewpablo.com.

*At the request of the author, this has been removed. Author has changed mind. Thank you

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August 24 2014

Field Observations for Thad Trowell/The Hunter – Written by rune74-Narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with two great short stories from Rune74. Background music “Time Traveler”, by Smartsound.

Field Observations for Thad Trowall, Tower Electrical field Apparitions

I begin my studies of the rare phenomenon of ghostly apparitions being linked to the towers that are prominent in many of our cities and towns. I preface these comments with the knowledge that to date these stories have not been validated by any in the science community and is viewed as fringe science at best.

I have taken the liberties to gather a few posts from reports filed with the town guard, which you can find in annex A.

Suffice it to say, the one defining feature found within all the reports is that it only appears in the darkness of night. The guise it takes is of an electrical ghosting, for lack of a better term, of a figure walking to or from the tower. It usually last no more than a few seconds before disappearing, leaving behind a few glowing foot prints that soon disappear as well. This leaves no evidence of any of this actually occurring however, so these findings are non conclusive.

Now, as for the actual disposition of the “Ghost”, it is said to be of light blue, shimmering being. The odd thing is the reports vary in the actual sex of the ghost, this could possibly be due to the interpretation of the viewer’s psyche. As to what they were wearing or what length of their hair, these too vary in the reports.

There was a phenomenon linked to the sightings, crackling sounds emanating from the tower and the ghost itself. Of note, these crackling sounds have been verified by others in the town of Owl’s Head. I believe it bears further study in this regard.

I am currently en route to Owl’s Head to do some first hand investigation of the tower. This appears to be the strongest lead I have and would like to take the time to actually do some first hand observations.

Thad Trowall

The Hunter

One heart beat.

He slowly pulls back on the string of his bow, his muscles tensing under the strain of the string between his fingers. His focus shifts through the branches and bushes between him and deer standing peacefully in the shade of the poplar trees.

Two heart beats.

He senses a moment of peace, embracing the feel of sureness that courses through him. He can feel perspiration on his brow, as if he too was covered in dew like the plants around him.

Three heart beats.

Slowly he brings his focus down upon the deer, nothing exits around him. He is alone, the world shifts zooming in on the frightened animal. Tonight, his family would eat.

Four heart beats.

He releases the arrow, giving flight to the hawk feathered shaft as it races towards the beating heart of the deer. Innocence and fate streak through the air in an unavoidable collision. He lets go of his focus and lowers his bow.

A solid thunk is greeted by a short exhale of pain from the deer. He has shot true, it was swift and just. He stands and gathers his cloak, warding off the sudden chill he feels as he walks towards the life he has stolen.

Kneeling by the deer, he mumbles a small prayer, giving thanks for the nourishment the deer will provide. He cleans and gathers the animal, shouldering the small lifeless body and makes his way home to his family; a hunter returns.

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August 23 2014

The Hourglass-Written by Faelam of Libris-Narrated by Lord Baldrith

Hello All!  A wonderful and quite intriguing story here by Faelam of Libris entitled The Hourglass.

Here is the text:

Background Music: Esther by Joseph Gilbert/Kistol

The Hourglass by Faelam of Libris

The first movement he made that morning was to reach out for the hourglass. He turned it quickly. This was a daily lifelong ritual for Ranick, for he believed that if he missed one turn of the glass, his life would end. One grain after the other, Ranick watched it trickle as he readied himself for the day. He would live each day just to make another turn of the glass. He could not remember when he had started turning it. Sometimes, he remembered his father turning the glass. The day was mocking him with lateness, and Ranick walked out the door, watching the sand as long as he could.

He lived in an old building in one of the better parts of the city. Some buildings, like the one Ranick lived in, dated back a century. His family had lived there for a century. He thought back to when he had been so afraid of missing a turn that he carried it everywhere he went. But now, he felt safe with the knowledge of his duty. He turned the glass every day and was content. Yet he was increasingly curious about what kinds of powers the glass itself held. Still, for twenty-three years, he held back the urge to try an experiment, until his birthday.

He was lonely and bored, and lonelier from the responsibility the glass put on him. He decided, once and for all, that he would test it in just a little way. Just to see its power. So he left his window-facing chair and walked slowly towards the hourglass. He remembered, vaguely, his father telling him never to play with it, only to turn it. Yet his father was long dead, now, so what did he matter?

Ranick was in his chair, facing the window, with a strange feeling. Surely he had seen that same bird before, somewhere. He thought about how much his birthday made him feel lonelier and tried to forget his boredom. But he couldn’t shake the urge to test the glass in a little way. So he got out of his chair facing the window and walked slowly toward the hourglass. He vaguely remembered his father telling him never to fool with it, only to turn it. But he was dead, now.

Ranick enjoyed the view out of his window and thought to himself, hadn’t he seen that bird before?

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