May 4 2015

The Birth of Darkness – by the New Britannia Theater Troupe

Greetings Avatars! Here is the latest epic in the “Darkness” saga, as presented in Paxlair by the New Britannia Theater Troupe!

(Insert “Rhun Ruins” by Sharm)

The New Britannia Theater Troupe
The Birth of Darkness

Directed and Produced by Asclepius

Writer: Gabriel Nightshadow

Director of Public Relations, Associate Casting Director, and
Music Supervisor:
Amber Raine

Stage Manager and Technical Consultant:
Sir Stile Teckel

Voice Cast
Jack Knyfe as Lorin Dar
Asclepius as Robert
Amber Raine as Meghan and Chariya
StaticGrazer as Amin Zul
Lady Adnor as Constance and Tanith Ren
Sharm as Clarissa
Womby as Thomas Mauser
Doctor Shroud as Vash Norell
The Mad Hermit as Arn Kalor
Sir Stile Teckel as Councilor Draven
DavenRock as Councilor Komar
Lord Baldrith as Nystal TimeLord and the Narrator

(Insert “Glimmer of Light”, by Ome the Bard)

It is late afternoon on a warm summer day in Owls Head, one hour after Gabriel Nightshadow and his new friend, Nystal TimeLord, departed following the events of Of Shadows and Light…

[Door opens.]

Thomas, are Mr. Womby or Mr. Vyrin around?

Eighteen year old Thomas Mauser glances up from the book he was reading behind the counter and sees a very familiar, attractive, sixteen-year old brunette female staring at him.

I am afraid not, Clarissa. They’re both way on business in Ardoris and left me in charge until they return tomorrow. Is there something I can help you with?

Perhaps you can, Thomas. Miss Olivia assigned us to write a five page paper on the Obsidian Empire. I am interested in writing about the possible causes of the collapse of the Empire. In our textbook, History of New Britannia, Vol. I, the great historian, Theodric, made reference to an ancient text entitled, The Journal of the Obsidian Mage, Amin Zul. It is considered to be one of the few firsthand accounts we have about the inner workings of the Empire. According to Theodric, only three copies of the book are said to exist. By any chance, is there a copy here?

THOMAS (whispering)
Well, as a matter of fact, you are in luck! However, you must promise never to tell anyone what I am about to show you!

Ok, I promise to keep it a secret.

Thomas pulls a small silver key from his pocket and opens the locked chest behind the secret compartment located underneath the staircase. He pulls out a massive leather bound book which has gold edged parchment and hands it to Clarissa.
On the cover is the engraved symbol of the Obsidian Eye and the title The Journal of the Obsidian Mage, Amin Zul in gold leaf.

Thank you so much, Thomas! I am curious. If this book is really that rare, how were Mr. Vyrin and Mr. Womby able to obtain a copy?

This is the original copy of the book. As you can see, it is signed by both Amin Zul and his personal scribe, Vash Norrell, who was my maternal grandfather. It was entrusted to Mr. Womby by Lord Baldrith, one of the members of the New Britannia Theater Troupe.
CLARISSA (curious)
Hmm…and how did Lord Baldrith obtain it?

THOMAS (cryptically)
Ah…you will have to read the journal to unlock that mystery! I recommend skipping forward to the last entry.

CLARISSA (puzzled)

Clarissa lugs the massive tome over to the nearby table and sits down. She begins reading the last entry…
(Insert “To the Moon”, by Ome the Bard)

Two hundred years ago, during the height of the Obsidian Empire…

I had just completed the tenth year of my apprenticeship to the great Obsidian mage, Lorin Dar, and had begun to question his teachings. When I was first assigned to him, I considered it a great honor to learn from one of the Obsidian Eye’s former apprentices. At that time, Lorin Dar was a kind and devoted husband and father, seeking to bring order to the chaotic world which had resulted from the Great Cataclysm 200 years ago. But as the years rolled by, I noticed a marked change in his behavior. He now seemed obsessed with using transformation spells at the site of the Grunvald shard fall to create monstrous creatures to serve the Obsidian Empire.
On that warm, moonlight summer night, my master (who was now the third highest ranking member of the Cabal of Obsidians, following the unfortunate death of the mage Andorf) had me accompany him to the Shard Fall. I was instructed to bring along his teenage daughter’s white kitten, Mimsy, and place her in the center of the mystic circle which he had inscribed on the ground. I looked at the frightened kitten as she meowed loudly and pawed at the invisible force field generated by the glowing red crystals which surrounded her.

AMIN ZUL (somewhat reluctant)
Master, are you sure we should be doing this? You know how much Meghan loves Mimsy. She would be heartbroken if anything were to happen to her!

LORIN DAR (dismissive)
Bah! She will get over it! Small sacrifices must be made for the greater glory of the Empire! I must see if my newest transformation spell will work properly and Mimsy is the perfect test subject…”

[Lorin Dar lets out an evil laugh.]

Lorin Dar pulled out some unfamiliar reagents from his pouch and began casting a spell. Mimsy began to glow bright red. She quickly grew to the size of a bear and sprouted large leathery wings on her back. Her teeth and claws became quite large and sharp and her eyes became blood red. My master recorded his observations about the test subject in a glowing orb which he held in his right hand.
Mimsy let out a loud roar and gave me an angry look. I suspected she had been unhappy that I had not prevented my master from conducting this horrible experiment on her. The force field created by the the crystals began to shimmer as Mimsy swiped at it with her mighty claws. Suddenly the field collapsed completely. A long serpentine tongue sprang from Mimsy’s mouth and wrapped itself around my neck! I found myself quickly being dragged towards her as she stood up on her hind legs and raised her long, razor sharp claws!

AMIN ZUL (gasping for breath)
Master, help me! I can’t break free! She’s choking me…

Lorin Dar cast another spell and a bolt of black energy struck Mimsy in the back, stunning her momentarily. My master quickly placed his new invention, a prototype Obsidian metal obedience collar, around her neck, which mystically adjusted itself to the proper size. Mimsy suddenly became docile and released her hold on me.

AMIN ZUL (breathing heavily)
Thank you for saving me, master!

LORIN DAR (annoyed and impatient)
Yes, my work is too important, and I don’t have the time to train another apprentice! The power of the shard fall enhanced my transformation spell and my experiment has been a resounding success! I have created my own variation of a homunculus! Now, my young apprentice, I have a task for you to carry out.

What task, master?

I want you to travel to nearby Mount Hellath and bring me back a dozen petals from a hecamun plant.

But master, they will be difficult to find at this time of year. If I leave now, I may not return until sometime tomorrow evening.

LORIN DAR (impatient)
Then you best be off then! Mimsy is only my third successful creation . General Crayt, commander of the Westreach Army of the Obsidian Empire, wants to see the seven new creatures I have promised him for combat within a week! Unlike my brethren, who treat him like a lackey, I have treated the General with respect. I have promised him great wealth and power if he aids me in my ascension to the highest rank among the Masters of The Obsidian in Desolis.

Yes, master, I will depart as soon as I retrieve my staff and backpack from my cottage! All hail the glory of The Obsidian Empire!

Little did I know as I turned and left that would be the last time I would ever see my master alive…
(Insert “Path of Fallen Kings, First Movement Demo” by Mystic)

The next morning, Lorin Dar’s wife, Constance, came downstairs and found her middle son, Robert, busy writing at the kitchen table. A tall, but rather thin and frail, albino, with long flowing hair, eighteen-year old Robert had always been Constance’s favorite, for he had inherited her interest and gift for writing.

What are you working on dear?

Robert put his quill down and turned towards his mother.

Good morning. Mother! I was writing a tale about the time of The Great Cataclysm, when our ancestors were forced to live in underground caves in order to survive.

CONSTANCE (worried)
Don’t let your father see that! You know how much he wishes you were more like your big brother, Nestor.

ROBERT (agitated)
Mother, you know I have no desire to practice necromancy or any other form of magic! I wish to be a great writer someday, like you were before you met father.

Constance suddenly had a sad smile on her face.

CONSTANCE (wistfully)
Yes, those were the days. I had hoped to become a great novelist, but alas, fate had other plans for me…Did I ever tell you how handsome and charming your father was when I first met him? At the time, he was a rising star in the Obsidian Order and seemed so eager to change the world and make it a better place for us and our descendants.

ROBERT (angrily)
But all of those years of practicing Obsidian sorcery have changed him mother! He is no longer the kind and gentle man you once knew. He barely acknowledges any of us now, except for Nestor. Often I have heard him late at night, yelling at you for not raising Meghan and me properly and then slapping you. How many times have you quietly cried yourself to sleep? He shouldn’t treat you that way!

Oh my son, how I wish I could take you and Meghan away from all of this! But it’s too late for that now. Your father has become too powerful. Were we to attempt to escape, I have no doubt he would have the three of us killed in some horrible fashion.

What are we to do then, mother? We can’t continue to live like this…

I don’t know son… But for now, you should keep a better eye on your sister, Meghan. Although she is only fifteen, I’ve noticed that she uses her extraordinary beauty to flirt with many rich and powerful older men who shower her with expensive gifts. I suspect your father plans on marrying her off soon to General Crayt’s son, Jorden.

ROBERT (angry)
Captain Jorden Crayt, the commander of the Seventh Legion? All that brute knows is combat. All he talks about is the glory of battle and the thrill he experiences as he decapitates and dismembers his foes. I have heard stories from other soldiers that he always cuts out his opponent’s heart and then cooks and eats it later to absorb their strength!

That is not so unusual son. I have heard that a significant number of General Crayt’s men follow the same practice. No wonder his legions inspire so much terror wherever they go…

ROBERT (horrified)
That is so barbaric! Have we fallen so far that we have reverted to being savages? What happened to the golden age of peace and prosperity which the Empire promised us?

Remember, dear, that the Obsidian Eye said that would not occur until all of the Empire’s foes were defeated. From what your father says, it will be many years before that happens…

(Insert “Medieval Draft” by Sharm)

Constance’s teenage daughter, Meghan, came running down the staircase, her long blonde hair glistening.

MEGHAN (bubbly)
Good morning, everyone!

I must head to the market caravan now. Meghan, dear, make sure you eat something for breakfast.

Yes, mother!
Meghan grabbed an apple from the basket of fruit in the center of the table and took a bite.

I will be back in about an hour.

[Door opens and then slams shut.]

So, what are you up to this morning, big brother?

ROBERT (cheerful)
Writing another story, dear sister!

I can’t wait to read it! It’s a pity that father does not know how to appreciate your fine writing!

ROBERT (bitter)
You know perfectly well that Nestor has always been father’s favorite…

Yes, he certainly is. That necromancer magic which Nestor is studying really creeps me out. I would much rather go shopping for fine dresses and jewelry than deal with a bunch of dead things… But Nestor has always been that way, hasn’t he? I remember the first time I found him dissecting a dead rabbit in his room! He was actually sniffing the dead rabbit’s severed left paw…

Well, Nestor’s always been a bit odd…Always kept to himself. As far as I know, he never had any friends. I’m not surprised he turned out the way he did…

I think I will pick a bouquet of fresh flowers from our garden out back for mother when she returns from the market! I think that will cheer her up a bit! She seems so sad lately…

I think that would be an excellent idea, dear sister!

Have you seen Mimsy anywhere?

Meghan prepared a fresh bowl of milk for Mimsy’s twin brother, Turlow. Turlow meowed softly before beginning to lap the milk from the bowl.

No, I haven’t. Perhaps she is playing in the garden.
She knows better than to do that! I hope nothing has happened to her. I have heard a lot of wolves howling late at night this past week.

I’m sure she is fine!

I hope so…

[Door opens and then slams shut.]
About forty-five minutes later, Meghan returned with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and placed them in a vase in the center of the table.

How’s the story coming along?

Almost done…

(Insert “Loss of Honor” by Douglas Yassen)

The door suddenly swung upon and their father, Lorin Dar, walked in. The big smile on his face was rather disconcerting, for neither Robert nor Meghan had seen their father smile for many years…

LORIN DAR (friendly)
Children, I need your help with something…
Yes, father, how can we be of assistance?

Follow me!

[Insert “Combat and Control (Percussive Negotiation)” by Kailef)

Robert and Meghan followed him down a long,winding path to the shard fall as high noon approached. Robert could not help but notice that the ground was covered by green leaves, an odd sight for this time of the year. As they reached the center of the shard fall, Robert and Meghan suddenly found themselves trapped in an invisible force field. The green leaves suddenly vanished, revealing a mystic circle surrounded by glowing red crystal crystals on the ground.

ROBERT (shouting)
Father, what is the meaning of this?

LORIN DAR (cackling with glee)
You and your sister are about to serve the Obsidian Empire as weapons of war!

Lorin Dar’s eyes turned pitch black as he pulled out some reagents and uttered an incantation.
Robert and Meghan screamed out in pain as they began changing…
Their father pulled a small glowing orb out of his other pouch and began speaking.

LORIN DAR (cold and clinical)
This is my first experiment with transformation magic on human subjects.
The two test subjects, a teenage male and female, are rapidly expanding in size.
Increased mass is accompanied by growth of body fur which matches the subjects’ hair color.
The two subjects’ fingernails have transformed into razor sharp claws about six inches in length and their teeth have increased in size and sharpness as well.
Subjects display enhanced strength and dexterity as they attempt to escape the mystical force field surrounding them.

Father! Please stop this! The pain is excruciating! We are your children!

LORIN DAR (snarling)
No, Nestor is my only child now! He will carry on my bloodline and bring glory to the Obsidian Empire!

Constance, who had just returned from the market caravan, was shocked at what she saw. She dropped her basket full of groceries and ran towards her husband.

CONSTANCE (screaming)
. Stop this madness at once!

Constance slapped her husband across the face.

[Insert slapping sound effect.]

Lorin Dar glared at his wife.

LORIN DAR (furious)
How dare you strike me, you ungrateful witch!
Lorin Dar cast a powerful gust spell in her direction. Robert and Meghan watched in horror as their mother was flung backward and smashed the back of her skull against a nearby floating stone shard. She slumped to the ground, dead.

ROBERT AND MEGHAN (screaming in horror)

Robert’s white claws were suddenly surrounded by an eerie black glow. He began slashing at the mystic barrier until it shattered!

ROBERT (growling)
Die, you inhuman monster!

Robert lunged at his father and slashed at his stomach, inflicting a deep wound and causing a geyser of bright red blood to erupt from him.

LORIN DAR (angry)
You ungrateful cur! Feel my power!

[Insert lightning bolt sound effect three times.]

The lightning bolts caused Robert to cry out in pain and fall to his knees.

MEGHAN (shouting)
Big brother!
Meghan leapt forward and tackled her father. Prying open his mouth with her claws, she opened her own. A black beam of energy sprang forth and began draining her father’s life force and transferring it into her.

[Insert death drain sound effect.]

Her eyes glowed bright red as the process occurred. Lorin Dar struggled to free himself, but Meghan’s increased body mass kept him pinned to the ground.

LORIN DAR (yelling)
Damn you, release me at once! Uh…..(grows fainter and fades out)

A few minutes later, Lorin Dar breathed his last and died.
Meghan turned to her brother, who seemed to have fully recovered from his wounds.
It appears that our new forms heal rapidly, but I feel so tired and hungry now.

Here, big brother, let me help you! Open your mouth.

Robert did as his sister instructed him. She opened her mouth as well and this time the black beam of energy transferred some of her newly acquired life energy to her brother.

[Insert death drain sound effect.]

Ah, I feel so much better now!

What are we to do now, big brother? Both mother and father are dead and Obsidian Order is bound to hunt us down…

We will have to start over again somewhere else. We will have to learn to stay in the shadows and hunt our prey at night for sustenance. During the day, we will be able to blend into society for short periods of time.
Robert suddenly shapeshifted back into his original form. Meghan followed suit.

How long will we able to retain our original forms, big brother?

I’m not sure yet, little sister, but I suspect no more than a couple of hours per day. Now we must choose new names for ourselves. Do you have a particular preference, dear sister?

Vastra sounds like a good name for me. …And what would you like to be called, big brother?”

I wish to be called Aberon. He was the great storyweaver whose works gave us some insight into the time before the Great Cataclysm. Sadly, it now appears I will be unable to pursue my dream and follow in his footsteps due to our altered forms.

Meghan gave her big brother a hug.

Cheer up, big brother! One day we will both be rich and powerful and find a way to cure ourselves of this affliction which father has cursed us with.

I hope you are right, dear sister. Now let us depart from this wretched place quickly before someone discovers us!

Yes, big brother!

Aberon and Vastra departed the shard fall.
(Insert “Discovery”, by Sharm.)


AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
I was fortunate enough to run into a healer named Christopher Nightshadow on Mount Hellath who was able to show me where to find a hecamun plant rather quickly. After thanking the kind man for his help, I returned to the shard fall a couple of hours after these events transpired and witnessed this gruesome sight. Using my spirit talking ability, I spoke to the spirits of both Lorin Dar and his wife, Constance, and learned what had occurred. Later, I used my ability to speak with animals on the kitten, Turlow, to learn the rest of the story. I was utterly repulsed by what my master had become and did not wish to share his fate.
On that day, I decided to leave the Obsidian Order. I changed my name to Torin Kell, and began studying other forms of magic to combat those whom I once served. I formed a resistance movement composed of former Obsidian mages as well as other mages and soldiers who I managed to recruit to our cause. I formed the New Britannia Theater Troupe as a means to secretly monitor the activities of the Obsidians as well as lift the spirits of the oppressed masses.
I hope that The Resistance will be instrumental in bringing down the mighty Obsidian Empire someday. Now that I have little time left in this world, I have committed all of my experiences down to paper, in hopes that future generations do not repeat the same mistakes we once made. It will be up to my female apprentice, Tanith Ren, and the other members of The Council to carry on my work. So ends the tale of Amin Zul…

An elderly Amin Zul sat up in his bed.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Tiberius, did you get all that?

Yes, Master Zul. You know that you are the only one who refers to me by my given name. Everyone else refers to me by my middle name.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice, chuckling)
I don’t know why you prefer that. Tiberius is a fine name and nothing to be ashamed of…

VASH NORRELL (hesitant)
I have my reasons, master…

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Ah well, I hope you reconsider someday. You know, Vash, you really should try and get out more. I understand that you are rather fond of your fellow mage, Talia Sacor.

VASH NORRELL (embarrassed)
Where did you hear that, master? Well, it is true that I have admired Talia for a long time now, but we are so different in personality. She is a fiery redhead who seems to prefer brawny warrior types. I doubt that she would be interested in a mild mannered, bookish fellow such as myself…

Although she has several possible suitors, I suspect that she is fond of you as well, my young man. You should tell how you feel before she is snapped by another lucky fellow.

VASH NORRELL (hesitant)
I don’t know, master…

Give it some thought, Vash. I think you two would make a nice couple. There is so much more to life than just books…

I will consider your sage advice, master.

Vash Norrell closed the journal and handed it to Amin Zul.

Master, it has been a honor to serve as your personal scribe these past ten years.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
The pleasure has been mine, Vash. You are a bright, young fellow, so I have decided (with the Council’s blessing), to entrust you with an important responsibility. Please open the drawer to the right of my bed.
[Drawer opens.]

Inside the drawer was an ornate maple wood box. Vash removed the box and opened it as his master instructed him to. Inside of the box were a golden quill and a gold inkwell.

VASH NORRELL (confused)
Master, I do not understand…

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
It is important that the activities of The Resistance be documented so that future generations will know what we fought for. I hereby appoint you to the position of historian.

VASH NORRELL (grateful)
Master, I do not know what to say….Thank you for entrusting me with this important responsibility. I will not fail you…

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Of that, I am certain. Has Tanith’s raiding party returned yet?

Yes, a short while ago.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Summon forth the members of The Council and Tanith as well. This is something I need to discuss with them before I depart this mortal realm.

Yes, Master Zul.

(Insert “By Shattered Moonlight”, by Holt Ironfell ft Sharm )

Vash Norrell turned and left the room.
As soon as Vash departed, a familiar figure suddenly appeared in a puff of white smoke.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Ah, old friend, I was wondering if I would see you again before I died.

I promised you long ago I would be here with you at the end. I will miss our long talks, Amin.

AMIN ZUL ( elderly voice)
As will I, Nystal.

I must say that you chose your personal scribe well, Amin. That young man, Tiberius, has a bright future ahead of him. Don’t worry, I will work to ensure that he and Talia end up together. One day, one of their grandsons, Theodric, will pay a pivotal role in the history of New Britannia.

AMIN ZUL (cheerful)
I am glad to hear that, Nystal. I knew from the first time I met him that there was something special about him…

Nystal’s holographic wife, Chariya, suddenly materialized.

Amin, you have been a good friend to the both of us. I will miss you too.
AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Thank you, Chariya. I hope that one day Nystal is able to create you a new body and that the two of you have many children.

CHARIYA (embarrassed)
Many children? I don’t know about that…

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Nystal, it is important not to get so wrapped up in one’s work and forget about the other things in life. I spent all of these years establishing The Resistance and deeply regret that I never married or had the ability to father children. That is why my adopted daughter Tanith is so precious to me.

I understand, Amin. I will try to be a better husband and perhaps a father someday.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
I’m glad to hear that. Now Nystal, there is something I need you to do for me.

Amiz Zul handed his journal to Nystal.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
I entrust my personal journal to you for safekeeping. You will know who to give it to when the time comes.

I understand. Is there anything else you need me to do?

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Yes. It is vital that the New Britannia Theater Troupe continue its mission to watch over New Britannia. It now falls to you to recruit new members to carry on that work.

I will do as you ask. May you find peace and happiness in your ascension to a higher plane of existence. Farewell, old friend!

Nystal and holographic Chariya vanished in a puff of white smoke.
(Insert “Truth (The Clarity of Truth)”, by Kailef)

So, Tanith, how did the raid on the Obsidian supply caravan go?

It went about as expected. The guards put up a lot of resistance, but we were able to confiscate most of their food and supplies and get it to the refugees in the safe zone. We suffered higher than expected losses, including Cam Baresh…

Arn noticed the sad look in Tanith’s eyes as her voice trailed off.

I’m so sorry, Tanith I know you two were…very close.

Thank you, Arn. Cam and I studied together under Master Amin Zul and were the best of friends. Before we set out on this mission, he said there was something he wanted to discuss with me over dinner tonight. Do you have any idea what he was talking about?

ARN KALOR (apologetically)
I’m afraid so, Tanith… You know how Cam tends to misplace things, so he asked me to hold onto this for him until he returned from the mission. I think he would still want you to have it…

Arn reached into his belt pouch and pulled out a small box. Tanish opened it and saw a silver diamond engagement ring inside.

TANITH REN (crying softly)
Oh, Cam…

Tanith closed the box and placed it in her belt pouch.

If I may ask, Tanith, how did he meet his end?

Lupo and I were pinned down by enemy fire behind one of the supply wagons. We had stayed behind with Cam to buy time for the rest of the team to escape with the supplies. As Obsidian reinforcements arrived, Cam created a diversion so that Lupo and I could make our way to the river. He was knocked unconscious by a couple of dark energy bolts fired by two Obsidian mages. The last I saw, they were dragging his unconscious form away.

So, he’s still alive?


Yes, but he’s probably being tortured right now for information. When they are done with him, Cam will be taken to one of their secret reclamation centers and used as a test subject for their transformation spells.


What a horrible fate…

Tanith, come quickly! Master Zul is calling for you! He doesn’t have much time left!

(Insert “Days of Old” by Ome The Bard)


Tanith quickly wiped away her tears and followed Vash upstairs to Master Amin Zul’s bedroom.

She was quite surprised to find the members of The Council gathered around his bed. Tanith was astonished to see how pale and frail her mentor now looked, nothing at all like the handsome, vibrant young mage who rescued that lonely and scared ten year old girl from that wretched orphanage thirty years ago. Amin had raised her as if she were his daughter, for he had been unable to have any biological children of his own due to the forced castration he had endured at the hands of his late mentor, Lorin Dar.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
Tanith, dear, come closer.

Yes, father.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)

I don’t have much time left, but before I depart this mortal realm, this is something I must do. I hereby nominate Tanith Ren to the position of Council Leader.

COUNCILOR KOMAR (protesting)

But, Master Zul, Tanith is too young to assume such an important role! She’s not even a member of The Council!”

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice, chiding)

Previous Council membership is not a prerequisite for the job! Surely you do not deny her skill with the mystic arts?


Of course not! You have trained her well, Master Zul, and she is certainly one of our most powerful mages. However, Tanith is young and lacks the wisdom and experience to lead which comes with age!

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice, chuckling)
A role for which you might better suited for? Very well then, I will put this to a vote. Does anyone wish to nominate another candidate?

I nominate Councilor Draven. He is the most experienced member of the Council and has done an outstanding job managing our finances these past fifteen years.

Thank you for your kind words, Councilor Komar. I merely seek to serve The Resistance in any way I can.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
All those in favor of Tanith, raise your hands!

Three of the Council members raised their hands.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
All those in favor of Councilor Draven, please your hands!

The other three Council members raised their hands.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice)
A tie? That is most interesting. As you know, only in the case there is a tie does the Council Leader get to cast a vote. Congratulations, my dear, you will lead The Council into the future…

TANITH REN (stammering)
Father, I am not sure that I am worthy of the trust which you placed in me.

AMIN ZUL (elderly voice, chuckling)
Nonsense, my child! You may not realize it, but I have been training you your entire life to take over for me. You are ready!

Now my work is done and I may finally rest.

Amin Zul closed his eyes and his breathing grew shallow. Soon he was gone. The great mage Amin Zul had passed beyond the veil.

(Insert “Beautiful Meadow (The Long Walk)” by Kailef)

In the present, Clarissa closes the massive tome and lugs it over to Thomas, who puts it back in the safe. Several hours have passed, and it is now dark outside.

I hope you found the journal to be of some use with your writing assignment.

Yes, very much so! Thank you, Thomas!

THOMAS (stammering)
Clarissa, I don’t know if anyone has asked you to the Summer Festival Dance next week, but I would be most honored if you would be my date…

I would be delighted to be your date, Thomas! We will talk more about the details tomorrow, but now I must hurry home for dinner.

Clarissa gives Thomas a quick peck on the cheek as she hurries out the door.
Thomas sighs. He is on cloud nine!

(Insert “Ashes and Dust” by Holt Ironfell)
A few minutes later, Thomas goes to lock the front door when he suddenly hears some low growling and heavy breathing directly behind him.

ROBERT (growling)
You never should have given her that journal, boy!

Thomas turns around and is startled to see…
THOMAS (stammering)
You’re some sort of albino werewolf, as depicted in the tale!”

ROBERT (growling)
Does this form frighten you boy? Perhaps this form will put you more at ease.

The albino creature starts to shimmer and transforms into…

THOMAS (shocked)
You’re… Count Aberon, the Oracle’s ambassador to the outer provinces!

Indeed I am. I’ve managed to locate and destroy the other two copies so that no one learns of our existence. You are the last loose end I need to take care of…
Count Aberon grabs Thomas by the neck and pulls him in really close.
Thomas stares into Aberon’s eyes and finds himself compelled to open his mouth. Aberon opens his mouth and a black beam of energy springs forth and enters Thomas’ mouth.
[Insert death drain sound effect.]
The last thing Thomas thinks to himself before he dies is how much he wished he had told Clarissa that he loved her…
Count Aberon lets go of Thomas’ lifeless form and it falls to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

[Door opens.]
Did you take care of the girl?

MEGHAN (gleeful)
Yes, big brother. Her life force was most delicious, but now I have a desire for some red meat.

Don’t worry, little sister, I will prepare you a fine feast tonight with this boy here as the main course. I have a fine Merlot in my wine cellar which will perfectly compliment him.

MEGHAN (licking her lips in anticipation)
Umm…I look forward to it. You are such a fine chef, dear brother.

Thank you, little sister. I….ARGH!

Count Aberon doubles over in pain as he begins shifting back and forth between his human form and his monster form.

ROBERT (gasping)
Need elixir….

Lady Vastra quickly removes a vial from her belt pouch and poured the golden elixir down her brother’s throat. Count Aberon’s condition stabilizes and he is able to retain his human form.

Thank you, dear sister. This elixir which the Oracle supplies us allows us to retain more control over our transformations but failure to consume it on a daily basis has severe side effects…

No doubt formulated that way to ensure our loyalty and obedience. I am very close to perfecting an antidote which will free us of our dependence on the elixir. I have hit a minor snag in my research, but I learned from a local vendor that there is a highly skilled mage who may be able to help me overcome it.

Ah, Vastra, you were always the bright one. What is this mage’s name and where can we find him?

His name is Lord Baldrith and he is said to dwell south of here in the village of Greystone.

Hmm….our targets, Gabriel Nightshadow and Nystal TimeLord, were seen headed in that direction as well. Perhaps we will run into them on the South Valeway. But first, there is the matter of tonight’s dinner…

Count Aberon slings Thomas’ corpse over his back.

Now let us be off before some passerby notices us. We will begin our search for Gabriel Nightshadow and Nystal TimeLord tomorrow morning.

Yes, big brother.

[Door opens and then slams shut.]

[ROBERT laughs evilly.]

(Insert “Beautiful Meadow (The Long Walk)” by Kailef)

Music Credits
Rhum Ruins, by Sharm
Glimmer of Light, by Ome the Bard
To the Moon, by Ome the Bard
Path of Fallen Kings, First Movement, by Mystic
Medieval, by Sharm
Loss of Honor, by Douglas Yassen
Combat and Control, by Kaleif
Discovery, by Sharm
By Shattered Moonlight, by Holt Ironfell and Sharm
Truth (The Clarity of Truth), by Kaleif
Days of Old, by Ome the Bard
Beautiful Meadow – The Long Walk, by Kaleif
Ashes and Dust, by Holt Ironfell
Misty Mountains, by Sharm

Sound Effects Credits
Selected sound effects from
All of the following sound effects are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

Drawer Opening, recorded by Mike Koenig
Lion Roar, recorded by Mike Koenig

(Insert “Misty Mountains”, by Sharm)

The End

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

May 4 2015

Aurum Berries – by The New Britannia Theater Troupe

Greetings Avatars! This is the “Radio” version of the play recently presented in Paxlair by the NBTT. We are indeed versatile!

The New Britannia Theater Troupe Presents
“Aurum Berries”

Written by Womby
Adapted for radio and produced by Asclepius
Musical Director and Director of Public Relations:
Amber Raine
Stage Manager and Technical Consultant:
Sir Stile Teckel

Voice Cast

Doctor Shroud as the Mayor
Sharm as Christine
Lady Adnor as Sharon
Solstar as Derek
Lord Baldrith as Ben
StaticGrazer as the bartender
Asclepius as the Traveller

Cordelayne Valkaris as the narrator

The incessantly bickering residents of Greystone had one thing on which they could all agree. They were in trouble. Serious trouble. Finding the situation becoming more dire by the day, the mayor called a town meeting. When the small population had assembled, the mayor stood up, puffed out his chest, and commenced.
“Thank you for coming everyone. As you know our situation is desperate. This past winter has been the coldest and most severe in living memory. Caravans are often unable to traverse the snowy passes, and those that do get through are as often as not waylaid by bandits. The crops have failed again and we have no other source of income.”
Derek, a local farmworker, looked up and muttered “I suspect we’re all doomed!”
Christine, the lively, vivacious manager of the general store, glared at him and said “Shut up Derek. Try being positive for once in your life!”
Derek just made a face at Christine and replied “You’re right. I’m positive we’re all doomed!”
Waving at them both to be silent, the mayor said “Quiet down you two. I’m opening the floor to suggestions. How can we make money to see us through this bad patch?”
Sharon, the voluptuous barmaid, waved her hand in the air. “The tavern attracts a steady stream of thirsty travellers. Most like to pop in for a quick ale. Maybe we could sell stuff to them?”
Derek, in a flat monotone, replied “That’s great Sharon, only we have nothing to sell. If we had any assets we wouldn’t be in this mess. Besides, nobody wants to buy stuff they then have to lug around on their journey. We need to get travellers to willingly part with lots of money for something they can easily carry.”
Refusing to be put off, Christine continued “That’s true, but what if we sold them, say, a treasure map for a large sum? All we have to do is convince them that it’s genuine.”
With a scornful laugh Derek retorted “Are you kidding Christine? No one’s going to fall for the old Fake Treasure Map scam!”
Ben, who was generally accepted as the oldest and wisest in the village, had been listening to this exchange. He nodded, rubbed his chin and said “Hmm. Obviously a simple treasure map isn’t going to work, but I think I have an idea. One that requires the whole village to work together.”
On hearing this, the mayor brightened considerably. “Excellent!” he said. “I propose we discuss
it further at the tavern this evening. I know I could use a drink or two…”

Later that evening, most of the villagers were seated at tables in the tavern. A buzz of conversation was suddenly interrupted when the door swung open and a traveller walked in. He headed straight for the bar and sat down with a flourish.
“Welcome traveller, what’ll it be?” enquired the bartender. “We have the finest ale south of Owl’s Head. Or, if you prefer, for a little extra I can offer our own special mead we make to a local recipe.”
With an expansive smile the traveller replied “I’ll have the mead, thanks. I’m in a spending mood. I fetched a lot more than I expected from selling some crystals I found in a cave, and I feel like celebrating.”
The traveller paid for the mead, leaving a generous tip, and headed for the one remaining empty table. While his back was turned the barman gave a barely perceptible wink in the direction of the rear door. Within a minute there was the sound of something heavy being dragged, and Ben appeared, out of breath and panting heavily.
“I found it! I found it!!” he cried.
The bartender raised a quizzical eyebrow and replied “Calm down Ben, what did you find?”
“The legendary aurum plant! We all thought it was extinct, but I found some growing in a spider infested cave!”
The barman’s jaw dropped. “You went into a spider infested cave? I knew you were reckless, Ben, but what on earth possessed you to do that?”
Ben was almost incoherent with excitement “I went in to rescue my dog. Anyhow, I managed to kill all the spiders, but when I went to grab Digger I found he had turned into solid gold! Then I noticed the aurum berries, some of which he had obviously eaten. Stupid dog eats everything!”
At this the barman’s eyebrows almost reached his hairline. “You are the most sober, reliable person I know, Ben. But that story is hard to swallow. Do you have any proof?”
Ben immediately reached into the sack he had been dragging and retrieved a golden dog, placing it on the bar. “Of course – look at this!”
The barman looked as if he was going to faint. “Great Obsidian torments! That’s Digger all right. I’d recognise that dopey expression anywhere. Wow. So, what are you going to do with the berries?”
Stunned back to reality, Ben said “Hmm. That’s a good question.”
Christine, ever watchful for a good opportunity, called out “Pretty much the whole village is here right now, so how about you auction them?”
Ben shook his head for a moment as if absorbing this idea, and said “Great idea, Christine. What am I offered for the remaining 27 aurum berries? Minimum bid increment 1000 gold, please.”
Derek was first up: “I’ll give you 2000 gold for them. That’s all I’ve got.”
Christine replied instantly “Ha! Loser. I’ll give you 3000!”
Sharon waved her hand vigorously and said “4000!”
Derek glared briefly and shouted “5000!”
Christine gave Derek a look that could kill, and said “You lying scoundrel! That’s me out.”
Sharon, grinning, said “Oh, so you want to play, do you Derek? 6000!”
Derek responded “7000!…………….
What, cat got your tongue, Sharon?”
Sharon grimaced and snapped “8000, you horrible little weasel!”
The barman slammed his hand on the counter and called out “Finished squabbling, children? 9000! Beat that!”
The traveller, who had been watching this exchange as his mouth gradually opened wide in astonishment, suddenly spoke up. “This is fascinating and all, but I’m in a hurry, and I need those berries. Twenty thousand gold!”
A stunned silence ensued, broken after a minute or so by Ben, who bowed to the traveller and said “Sold to the gentleman of impressive means who can nevertheless spot a real bargain when he sees it.”
The traveller completed the sale with almost indecent haste, handing over an impressive sack of gold in exchange for the handful of berries, and left to spread the word of his good fortune. As soon as he was out of earshot the tavern erupted in laughter.
Wiping the tears from his eyes, Ben said “That was great, everyone. You all played your parts brilliantly. Equal shares for everyone! And Sharon, thank you for the loan of the statue you made of your late dog Snuffles. It’s a pity we didn’t have quite enough gold paint to finish the job. He would have had quite a surprise if he looked under the tail and saw the brown spot.”
Christine, as ever, had the last word “Can I play Sharon’s role next time? I feel like I need to tackle something a little meatier…”

Music Credits
Combat, by Ome
River Styx (All Good Things), by Kailef
The Virtue of Love, by Quetzacoatl

Album with EQ - B&A - Stile T as SM

May 2 2015

Echoes From the Caverns 05-02-15

Hello Everyone! Here is the news for May 2nd, 2015. A little late this week but I think we made it. Hope you are having fun with Release 17!

  • Play Release 17 Now!
  • AetherVision: twitch Headquarters for Streaming R17 and PaxLair Weekend Events
  • PVP Grudge Match: 30 Day Tournament
  • R17-R18 Deco Contest – PUB CRAWL!
  • Release 17 Dev+ QA Server is Live
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Paving the Way: New Pavers and Fences
  • Receiving Pledge Rewards and Add-On Items
  • Changes to Store Credit Conversions
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Layaway Payment Plans
  • Upcoming Events

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