Hello Everyone…Lord Baldrith here with a great story written by MulGirtab and Gabriel Nightshadow. I really enjoyed this story because it talks a lot about the actual Shroud of the Avatar community. Very good work!
Here is the text. Music bold, highlighted and underlined. (approx. location)
By MulGirtab and Gabriel Nightshadow
Danza del Bosque by Mekathratos
It was a busy Saturday night at The Bear Tavern and Captain MulGirtab, commander of the Beran’s Reach Militia, stood near the bar and scanned the room. Today’s Summer Cultural Arts Festival had been a great success and the members of all the major guilds were enjoying themselves here at the post barbeque party. Directly in front of him, Balec Fares de Cani was talking to Sean Silverfoot from PaxLair. To his left, he spotted Vallas and Kumakaze chatting with Winfield, Governor of PaxLair. Across the room, Lord Baldrith and Duke Greagoir were talking to Amber Raine, High Priestess of the Church of Chaos. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, for there was plenty of beer to go around and the bard Theodric was entertaining the crowd with a rousing rendition of “Song of the Dragon Lords.” MulGirtab smiles. He had comea long way from those days he spent as a child in that small village….
Toes and Water by Circle Rune
Thirty years ago…
The sun was setting as the young seven year old boy started walking back home after exploring the woods near his small village. He had made an amazing discovery that day – a cave which had served as shelter for the people of New Britannia during the Great Cataclysm 400 years ago! The boy had stumbled upon the cave by accident while chasing after a very rare purple llama he had spotted nearby. The boy had not ventured far into the cave because he lacked a torch, but the light provided by afternoon sun allowed him to see some of the cave paintings and writings left by his ancestors. He even found an ancient stone bowl and an old dagger made of some unknown black meteoric metal. The boy was eager to show these artifacts to his father and mother.
Assassin’s Assault by HorrorPen
As the boy started walking up the giant hill that overlooked his village, he suddenly saw columns of black smoke rising into the air and heard the cries of startled villagers. The boy immediately lay flat on his stomach and slowly crawled forward and peered over the crest of the hill. Nothing could prepare him for what he saw next…
Giant, bald headed horsemen clad in black studded leather armor had descended into the village and were slaughtering all of the men with their black weapons of death! The boy spotted several of the horsemen raping the village women as well, while others gathered the village children and threw them into a caged wagon, whose driver eyed them hungrily and licked his lips in anticipation. These horsemen had strange tattoos covering their arms and faces and spoke in a language which the boy did not understand.
The boy spotted his father, a highly skilled hunter, standing in the center of the village, using his Scorpion Bow to fire arrows at the horsemen. The scorpion shaped red ruby embedded in the bow glowed as scorpion venom magically appeared on the arrow tip of each arrow just before it was fired. Each of the horsemen struck by an arrow suddenly went into convulsions and fell to the ground, dead. His father managed to slay seven of the horsemen before a rider came riding up behind him and decapitated him with his giant black sword! Nearby, the boy saw his mother struggling with one of the lecherous horsemen. She managed to grab a kitchen knife and stab the horseman in the shoulder. The horseman let out a howl of pain and then snapped her neck, tossing her limp form aside. He boy was horrified by what he saw, but knew that he had to stay hidden if he wished to survive. The boy slowed crawled back down the hill and then ran back to the cave, where he curled himself up into a fetal position and cried himself to sleep.
Red Curtain by HorrorPen
When the boy awoke the next morning, the sky was overcast. The boy made his way back to his village, constantly watching for any signs of the raiders. The village no longer existed. All that was left were some smoldering ruins and corpses strewn all about. The boy managed to find his parent’s bodies and buried them on the hill overlooking the village, marking them with makeshift crosses which he managed to construct from some wood branches. As he stood in front of their graves, holding his father’s Scorpion Bow and wooden flute, and wearing his bronze amulet, he said a prayer. The boy vowed that one day he would seek out the raiders and avenge his parents and all of the other villagers who perished that day. Suddenly, it began to rain heavily and the boy scurried back to the safety of the cave.
The following day the sun came out and the boy returned to the village to see if there was any food that could be salvaged. He found some apples, tomatoes, bread, and fish which had survived the fires in the lowest levels of some of the village home basements. He also found a sleeping bag and some other basic provisions such as a backpack, rope, a canteen, and flint. The boy took everything back to the cave, but after two weeks, he had consumed all of the food.
In order to survive, the boy knew he had to hunt. Fortunately for him, his late father had begun showing him the basics and he was able to fashion a crude spear in order to hunt small game, such as rabbits and squirrels. He would skin the animals with the ancient black metal dagger he had found and roasted them over the fire in the small camp he had set up inside the cave entrance. After dinner, the boy would entertain himself by playing a few tunes his father had taught him on his wooden flute.
But after a few more weeks, he had hunted all of the same game in the area. The boy knew it was time for him to venture into the outside world, so he packed his meager supplies in his backpack and walked to the top of the hill overlooking the village. Taking one last look at the ruins, he wiped away a single tear, then turned around and headed off across the grassy field into the unknown.
Two months later…
The young boy had yet to come across another village or town due to the fact that the village had been located in a remote corner of Novia. While walking through the Harudan Forest, he spotted a small group of riders approaching from the opposite direction. The boy recognized them immediately. They were the same horsemen who had destroyed his village! The lead rider spotted him and yelled to the others. The horsemen began galloping toward him at full speed.
Last Minute 2 by HorrorPen
The boy quickly stepped off the road and ran deep into the forest. The riders pulled up nearby, dismounted, and began pursuing him on foot. The boy ran as fast as he could through the thick foliage, but he could hear the men closing in on his location.
Suddenly, the boy was tackled to the ground by one of the horsemen. The horseman turned the boy around to see his face. He immediately noticed the boy’s amulet and the strange writing inscribed on it. The horseman started pointing at it and jabbering excitedly in his foreign tongue. The horsemen turned his head slightly to yell to his companions:
<<Over here, my brothers! This boy has the amulet we have been searching for these past few months! >> (translated from their language)
The boy took advantage of the horseman’s momentary distraction to reach for his black meteoric metal dagger and plunge it into the man’s belly. The dagger easily penetrated the man’s studded leather armor and he cried out in pain. The boy pulled out the dagger and the man began bleeding out, for the boy had struck a major artery! The man released his hold on the boy and clutched at his belly. The boy quickly rolled away and sprang to his feet, still clutching his dagger. The furious horseman drew his sword and swung at the boy’s head. The boy rolled under the sword arc and grabbed a fistful of dirt which he threw in the horseman’s face. While the horseman was momentarily blinded, the boy turned and ran away.
After a while, he quickly glanced back and saw three other horsemen running after him and closing the distance. The boy tripped over a rock and fell down an embankment, rolling end over end until his head impacted with a giant white tree at the bottom, knocking him out.
The three horsemen spotted his unconscious form at the bottom of the embankment and carefully made their way down. As they were about to examine the boy’s body, they were suddenly attacked by dozens of red scorpions which had emerged from a nearby cave! The stings of the scorpions proved to be fatal to the horsemen who suddenly went into convulsions and fell to the ground, dead. The scorpions then began stinging the boy all over his face and body. Then, they abruptly stopped their attack and pulled away, as a giant-sized red scorpion emerged from the cave to investigate.
The Scorpion God Samar looked down at the boy and saw both the bow and the amulet. He recognized the two items immediately. Samar had given them both to a human male hunter many years as a token of gratitude for saving Samar’s life from these accursed Kaitoth raiders whose bodies lay nearby. This boy must be that man’s son, Samar thought to himself. The giant red scorpion dragged the boy’s unconscious form into the cave so he would not be spotted by the other Kaitoth raiders.
No More Magic by HorrorPen
The next morning, the boy awoke at the base of the embankment, near where he had hit his head against the giant white tree. He felt very sore and soon noticed that his entire body was covered in all sorts of strange looking cuts and bruises. His head was throbbing and he realized that he couldn’t remember his name, the name of his parents, or that of the village from whence he came. All of the images still remained in his mind, yet he could not associate them with any known names.
As the boy slowly rose, he noticed a sword in a red scabbard lying on the ground. He picked it up and pulled out the sword. The silver long sword gleamed in the morning sun and appeared to be of very high quality. Embedded in the black leather wrapped hilt was a giant red ruby in the shape of a scorpion as well as some strange golden runes. The boy put the sword back in its scabbard and placed it in his backpack. He did not know where the sword had come from, but the boy was glad to have a more powerful weapon than his black meteoric metal dagger. He would need it if those raiders returned. The boy slowly climbed back up the embankment, and after making sure that the coast was clear, continued on his way. He was unaware that he was being observed by the giant red scorpion who had poked his head out of the cave. That boy will grow up to become a powerful warrior someday, the Scorpion God Samar thought to himself.
Later that evening, the boy stumbled across a tribal hunting party en route to their camp near the edge of the forest. The boy tried to hide in the bushes, but he was spotted by the party leader.
“Come here, boy, we mean you no harm!”, said the tall, muscular bearded man, beckoning him with his right hand.
The boy got up and slowly made his way towards the mounted horsemen.
Gray Trip by HorrorPen
“Come closer boy, so I can get a better look at you!”, said the bearded man.
“You appear to be injured. I will have our healer take a look at you.”, said the man, ” What is your name?”
“I don’t remember.”, replied the boy, “I injured my head while fleeing from the strangely tattooed horsemen who attacked and destroyed my village two months ago.”
“I see. That is most unfortunate. I have heard tales of these strangely tattooed raiders of whom you speak. They have attacked many villages in this area recently and little is known of them, other than the fact that come from a distant land and are cannibals.”, replied the man, “I am G’Mal and we are the Kadeshi.”
G’Mal extended his hand and pulled the boy aboard his horse.
“Hold on to my waist!”, said G’Mal, as he signaled the hunting party to continue moving forward.
Soon, the boy spied the fires and tents of the nomadic camp. The nomads were a lively people, singing folk songs and dancing as they began roasting the venison they brought back on a nearby spit.
After they arrived at the camp and dismounted, G’Mal, told one of the young boys to fetch their healer.
Soon, an old man with a white beard emerged from one of the nearby tents and walked over to G’Mal.
House In A Forest Loop by HorrorPen
“This is our healer, V’Mir.”, said G’Mal, “Please examine this boy. He appears to be injured.”
V’Mir walked over and began examining the boy as the others watched. After a while, V’Mir presented his results to the group.
‘These marks all over his body are scorpion stings!”, remarked V’Mir, “It’s a miracle that the boy lives! Any other mortal stung so many times would have died in mere moments from the scorpion venom!”
Everyone began murmuring…”The prophecy…”
“What is this prophecy of which you speak?”, asked the boy.
An elderly woman stepped forward and spoke.
“I am N’Deg, the keeper of knowledge for our people. Long ago, my grandfather, Kotek, had a vision of a powerful warrior who would appear one day to lead us to the Promised Land to establish a permanent home. The warrior would be known by the mark of the scorpion!”
“No, N’Deg, he can not be the one!”, said a young male by the name of Codar, “He is a mere boy!”
“Wait, perhaps these items mean something!”, said the boy, as he pulled both the bow and the sword out of the backpack and presented them to G’Mal.
Shinsei by Gichco
G’Mal drew the sword from the scabbard and held both items up for everyone to see.
“The Scorpion Bow and the Scorpion Sword!”, shouted everyone, as they fell their knees.
N’Deg stepped closer and carefully examined the bow and sword. She pulled out a carefully folded piece of parchment from her robe and compared the image on it to the weapons held by G’Mal.
She turned to the crowd and said, “Yes, these are indeed the Scorpion Bow and the Scorpion Sword which the prophecy speaks of. This boy is the Chosen One!”
G’Mal smiled and handed both of the weapons back to the boy.
“Well then, I guess we have much to celebrate this evening!”, he announced to the crowd.
He stared at the boy and said, “Today you have found a new home and a new name. From this day forth, you shall be known as MulGirtab, which in our tongue means “scorpion”! Now let us eat and drink and be merry!”
Everyone cheered. G’Mal’s seven-year old daughter, Lihan, smiled at MulGirtab. He smiled back at her. MulGirtab was happy, for all was well.
For the next fourteen years, MulGirtab lived among the Kadeshi and grew up to become a powerful warrior. G’Mal oversaw boy became proficient in the use of the sword, the bow, dagger, and spear. MulGirtab also proved to be an excellent hunter and tracker and, as a teenager , was placed in command of the tribe’s hunting parties. Although most of the other men in the hunting parties were much older and experienced, they respected MulGirtab’s natural talent. As a result, the tribe never went hungry, even in the dark times when famine ravaged the land.
Stone_Mason by Zander Noriega
On his 18th birthday, MulGirtab was leading a hunting party of a dozen men when they were ambushed by members of the rival Sogar tribe. Despite being outnumbered by a factor of 4 to 1, MulGirtab and his men stood their ground. MulGirtab quickly dispatched a dozen of their attackers with his late father’s Scorpion Bow. MulGirtab then drew his Scorpion Sword, and began slashing his way through the enemy forces with blinding speed. Each of the enemies that were struck by one of his arrows or his sword fell to the ground, went into convulsions, and died!
After fifteen minutes the battle was over, and MulGirtab noticed that the nine surviving men in his hunting party were staring at him in awe. All fifty-two of their foes lay dead at MulGirtab’s feet. MulGirtab glanced down at his sword and noticed that the red ruby scorpion and golden runes on the hilt were glowing! The blade itself was coated in deadly scorpion venom! The ruby and runes suddenly stopped glowing and the scorpion venom vanished! Hmm…that never happened before, MulGirtab thought to himself. Suddenly, he was aware of a burning sensation on his right wrist. A birthmark in the shape of a scorpion had suddenly appeared and was glowing! The glow soon faded and MulGirtab wondered what it meant.
His men all began chanting “MulGirtab! MulGirtab!” loudly.
Ironbound by Zander Noriega
On his 21st birthday, MulGirtab lead the Kadeshi to a lush valley which matched the description indicated in the prophecy. Near a sparkling waterfall, the Kadeshi established their permanent village home which they named Pritar , which meant “paradise” in their tongue.
Lihan had grow into a beautiful, young woman, and all of the most eligible men in the village sought her hand in marriage, but she only had eyes for MulGirtab. Her father, G’Mal, also was eager to have MulGirtab as a son-in-law, for he wished him to succeed him as chief of their village one day.
Both Lihan and G’Mal were happy that warm spring day MulGirtab asked to meet the both of them in their family tent, but were completely aback by what transpired next…
“MulGirtab, was there something you wished to ask my father?”, said Lihan.
“I’m afraid it’s not want you think, Lihan.”, replied MulGirtab, “G’Mal, I think the time has come for me to leave Pritar and venture forth into the outside world!”
“What?!”, cried both G’Mal and Lihan.
Lihan began sobbing and grabbed MulGirtab’s left hand and held it with both of hers.
‘You can’t leave!”, she said, “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you. Don’t you love me?”
“I care about you greatly, Lihan, but now that I have fulfilled the prophecy, I feel that my destiny lies elsewhere…”, replied MulGirtab.
“But what about the village?”, said G’Mal, “I am getting old and was hoping that soon you would succeed me as village chief and look after our people.”
“I am greatly honored that you have such confidence in my leadership abilities, G’Mal, but I feel that Hagiri would make a much better village chief than I would. He also has had an unrequited love for Lihan for many years.”, answered MulGirtab.
“Hagiri?”, said Lihan, “I’m not interested in him! All he cares about is the pursuit of knowledge, not about hunting or the glory of battle.”
“I think if you give him the chance, you will discover that there’s more to him than meets the eye.”, replied MulGirtab.
“Let the boy go, G’Mal. He speaks the truth. His destiny lies elsewhere!”, said someone who had just entered the tent behind MulGirtab.
Everyone turned to look and saw N’Deg standing there. She was now the oldest living person in the village and she hobbled forward with the aid of her gnarled wooden staff.
“Years from now, an evil and powerful being who dwells in shadows will threaten all of New Britannia, and MulGirtab will play an important role in helping The Avatar defeat this threat to our very existence!”, said N’Deg in a very ominous tone.
“I see, N’Deg.”, replied G’Mal, “I can’t say that I am happy about this, but who am I to stand in the way of prophecy?”
The next afternoon, everyone gathered in the center of the village to see MulGirtab off. MulGirtab mounted his black stallion. His saddle bags were full of food and supplies which the villagers had gathered for him.
“Remember, MulGirtab, you will always be welcome here among us!”, said G’Mal, “May the gods watch over you!”
“Thank you, G’Mal!’, replied MulGirtab, “I just want to thank everyone for welcoming me into this wonderful community. I promise that one day I shall return and see how all of you are doing!”
Everyone cheered as MulGirtab waved to the crowd and then rode off into the sunset. Lihan stood by her father’s side and tried hard not to cry. No one noticed N’Deg retire to her tent, where she transformed into…Time Lord!
Time Lord uttered an incantation and N’Deg’s body appeared on her sleeping mat. Time Lord put a blanket over the body. Anyone examining it would have assumed that N’Deg had just died in her sleep of natural causes. Only Time Lord knew the truth: that she had actually died in her sleep a year ago and he had preserved her body in stasis since then, assuming her identity to monitor MulGirtab’s progress.
WowChapter1 by Yd
“Rest well, granddaughter. My work here is done!”, said Time Lord, “Now I must continue my search for The Avatar!”
He uttered another incantation and vanished in a cloud of white smoke.
Road to Dazir by Eliot Corley from Chaos is Harmony
Ten years ago…
MulGirtab was riding his horse down the road when he spotted a lovely, young woman emerge from the nearby forest. She was running toward him as fast as she could, and with good reason. Five black wolves were pursuing her and they were rapidly closing the distance!
MulGirtab pulled up, quickly dismounted, and began firing arrows at the wolves with his father’s Scorpion Bow. Soon, all of the wolves were dead, and the young woman was safe.
“Are you all right, miss?”, asked MulGirtab.
“Yes, thank you for coming to my aid, kind sir!”, replied the beautiful, young woman, “Were it not for your timely arrival, I would surely have been torn to shreds by those vicious wolves!”
“What is your name?”, asked MulGirtab.
“My name is Naomi.”, replied the young woman, “I am a barmaid at The Bear Tavern in the nearby metropolis of Beran’s Reach.”
“Beran’s Reach?”, replied MulGirtab, “I am heading there right now. Here, climb aboard. I will give you a ride back.”
MulGirtab pulled Naomi aboard his horse. The horse began galloping towards Beran’s Reach, which was visible in the distance.
“Why are headed for Beran’s Reach, if I may ask?”, said Naomi as MulGirtab’s horse began to pick up speed. Naomi held onto MulGirtab’s waist even tighter for fear of being thrown off the horse.
“I’m looking for a job.”, replied MulGirtab, “Surely in a place as large as Beran’s Reach there is a need for experienced fighters.”
“Well, of course there’s always a huge demand for fighters to compete in the Gladiator Arena, but if you’re interested in more steady and less life-threatening employment, perhaps I can help!”, said Naomi.
Kawarayu by Yubatake-opengameart.org
MulGirtab pulled up at the Beran’s Reach Stables. After dismounting and tending to his horse, MulGirtab followed Naomi down a stone path which led to the center of the metropolis. As they passed by the docks, MulGirtab could not help but notice that they were abuzz with activity as cargo was being loaded and unloaded from the various frigates and galleons docked there. A galleon anchored at the far pier caught MulGirtab’s eye. The galleon had an unusual name- S̄ảrwc ni rạn dr̒
(Thai for “Eternal Explorer” ).
Further down the path, on his left, MulGirtab saw the three story wood and plaster building which housed the Beran’s Reach Public Library. On his right, he saw the New Britannia Theater. A sign in the box office window indicated that this evening’s performance of Once Upon A Time Lord…was completely sold out!
At the end of the path was the magnificent Duke’s castle which housed The Bear Tavern. A huge multi-tier white marble fountain stood in front of the castle. On the top tier of the fountain was a gold statue of a ferocious looking bear. On the bottom tier were life size bronze statues of the three members of the High Council arranged in battle poses.
MulGirtab followed Naomi inside and saw the three members of the High Council conversing with each other with serious looks on their faces. The man in the middle looked up and saw Naomi. He breathed a sigh of relief.
“Naomi, you had us so worried!”, said Vallas, “We expected you back over an hour ago!”
“I was attacked by a pack of wild wolves and would have been killed were it not for the aid of this brave warrior, MulGirtab!”, replied Naomi.
Vallas stepped forward and shook MulGirtab’s hand.
“MulGirtab? That’s an unusual name!”, replied Vallas, “Thank you for saving Naomi. I am Vallas, Tavernkeeper of The Bear Tavern.”
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir!”, replied MulGirtab.
“This is my Assistant Tavernkeeper, Kumakaze.”, said Vallas, nodding towards the Oriental woman to his right,”…and our fellow High Council member, Night Fury.”
Kumakaze and Night Fury both stepped forward and shook MulGirtab’s hand.
“What brings you here to Beran’s Reach?”, asked Vallas.
“I come seeking employment. I figured that there must be a demand for experienced fighters in a place such as this.”, replied MulGirtab.
“Gee, Vallas, don’t we have an opening for a guard?”, asked Naomi, “After all, Lumi did die in Round Two of last night’s tournament…”
“Indeed!”, replied Vallas, “We could use someone like you to help maintain order around here. The pay is good as are the room accommodations. The food’s not too bad, either!”
“I should say so, since I’m the one who prepares it!”, shouted Vodalion, as he emerged from the kitchen and shook MulGirtab’s hand, ” Ertai Vodalion, Master Chef, at your service! Trust me, we serve only the finest quality food in our establishment!”
“..and if you agree to work for us, there’s plenty of free beer!”, chimed in Kumakaze.
“Beran’s Reach is a wonderful place to settle down.”, said Night Fury, “We offer everything anyone could ever want.”
“So, MulGirtab, are you interested in joining our fine community?”, asked Vallas, extending his hand.
“Vallas, you’ve got yourself a deal!”, replied MulGirtab, shaking his hand.
“Hey, MulGirtab, are you are OK?”, asked Naomi, “You seem kind of lost in your thoughts.”
MulGirtab snapped back to attention and said, “Oh, I’m fine, Naomi, just thinking about the past…”
“It’s not good to dwell on the past, my friend!”, she said, “Here, this will help cheer you up!”
Naomi handed MulGirtab a mug of Fire Mountain ale.
“Thank you, Naomi!’, said MulGirtab.
Master Craftsman Dwalin Bruchberg walked over and slapped MulGirtab on the back.
“You don’t seem to be enjoying yourself too much tonight, my good friend!”, he said.
Dwalin raised his mug and shouted, “Everyone, I propose a toast to our esteemed commander of the Beran’s Reach Milita, Captain MulGirtab!”
“Here! Here!”, everyone shouted, as they raised their mugs to toast MulGirtab, “To Captain MulGirtab, defender of Beran’s Reach!”
MulGirtab smiled. Looking at all of the many good friends gathered around him, the lonely Scorpion realized that he had finally found a home…
Battle In the Winter by Johan Brodd