Atriarch Community Story Event
Atriarch Vault Chain Story
The wind howled as Mantar, the Moon of Fury, eclipsed the Altoos Sun.
A lone Lokai, wandering through the desert, cursed the sudden darkness. Not being able to see in the dim light, he stumbled over a small, rock-like critter. Failing to save himself from the fall with his Life Staff, his body landed on the desert dunes roughly, shattering the precious flask of water he had carried with him since his journey began. Cursing the loss of its water, the Lokai looked up to see Mantar where Altoos should be, it's edges glowing from the light of the hidden sun.
The Lokai knew this was not the time to be in the desert, as the wind began to grow stronger around it. As the sands began to stir under the influence of Mantar, the traveller peered into the darkness, looking for possible shelter. But no immediate shelter was readily apparent in this featureless, open desert and the whipped up sands were begining to abrate against his unprotected flesh. He gasped for breath and thought only of his children, putting the pain out of his mind even as the grains drew blood. Choking on the dust, he leaned into the wind putting one foot in front of another, pressing on.
The desert floor began to tremble, the Lokai broke into a run as he felt the ground below his feat slowly begin to give way; this wasnt quicksand, it was something much, much, worse. A stampede of Raffkins appeared over the horizon...heading in the Lokai's direction, thus loosening sand over the entrance to the buried cave that the Lokai was standing on. In times of great danger, the saying went, follow the flurry of raffkin; he hoped the saying was true. As the sand gave way beneath its feet, the Lokai dropped into the hidden cave and marveled at the intricate designs carved into the rock walls. Surely THIS would gain him respect, assuming that he could find out what it was. The Lokia was stuned by the scene but the thundering vibrations of the passing herd of Raffkins jarred him out of his stupor; a closer inspection showed the cave to be a chamber to which Ho'ok was conceivibly the first living being to walk apon its flag stones in over a thousand years and possibly the!
last, for you see the sand was begining to pour through the hole in the ceiling. It had survived many thing worse then this, (as it's lifestaff could attest), it would survive this too. The sand swirled in the currents as it slowly flowed down the hole, surely he would have time to explore, and possibly let the sand that betrayed him provide him with a climbable mound for his escape.
Now no longer concerned with the raging storms above, the Lokai had gathered enough of its senses to search through its inventory for an item which could aid in navigating the caverns. Realizing that even if it were able to escape the hidden cave by climbing, it would be torn apart by the winds raging above, the Lokai pulled a small lanto - a glowing, docile animal - from its pouch and set off deeper into the cave. Following the cavern walls, the Lokai felt awed to have found something so precious and ancient; surely now, surely now in this moment of great strangeness, it would gain the recognition it thirsted for. The Lokai gently felt its way along the wall, finally coming to a loose rock, which it pulled back toward itself.
As the loose rock pulled back, the Lokai heard the scrape of stone sliding across stone, and a carved stone slab slid aside to reveal intricately carved steps leading deeper into the darkness. Carefully, it made it's way down the steep stairway, eager to see what lay at the bottom. As he made his way down the stairs a thought nagged in the back of his mind that something about these carvings was familiar. Coming to the bottom of the stairs...it found a stone door with intricate designs and paint details on it, lightly dusted from the ages of not seeing the light.
(Above, outside, all but forgotten, Mantar howled its fury and the world shrieked with it; below, inside, unrevealed for aeons, a tall, spindly shape stirred; eyes like green lamps slitted as it sniffed the presence of something alive nearby; teeth like pain made incarnate flashed briefly as it smiled...)
He knelt to inspect the designs more closely, then froze before tilting his head and listening carefully, convinced he had heard a soft movement from somewhere ahead of him. A quiet but insistent high pitched keening floated through the darkness ahead. Both Hunger and Hope flooded the mind of the ancient Irkatalish as it realized that its long imprisonment beneath the desert sands would soon end if it could devour and take the shape of the nearby Lokai. As the Lokai traced a glyph with its finger, it felt a vague yet undeniable connection with the glyphs and a lesson it had attended, long ago in the home of its mentor. The lesson niggled in the back of his mind, but the Lokai did not remember it a second to early.
Then he remembered when the figures he had just traced with his finger began an eerie glow but it was too late... The glyph had been placed there to bind a great evil, and as a warning to any foolish enough to approach this doorway. The Lokai realized that because of its own careless actions, this evil would be released upon the world, just then the glyph started glowing brighter as the ground shook and the doorway began to open. Released from its windless tomb, the riders of air flooded the lokai's breathe, forcing all air from its lungs. Out of the darkness beyond the doorway, a pale, claw-tipped hand emerged and gripped the edge of the doorframe. The Irkatalish pulled itself forward and stood for a moment, glaring down at the quivering Lokai with hungry eyes. Gasping for breath and feeling like it was moving in slow motion, the Lokai turned to flee. As he loosens the rock, a bright light shines in his eyes, blinding him momentarily.
The Irkatalish seized the Lokai in its claws, and greedily consumed it while at the same time changing it's own shape to appear to be that of the now eaten Lokai. "Ahhh.. frreeee at lassst.." the Irkatalish whispered with an evil grin as it tested it's new form.
The Tyrusin leaned against the porch of a run down inn on the outskirts of the bustling port town and looking to the horison it cursed softly at the incoming sand storm rolling in from the desert that bordered the settlment, it knew something would have to be done; that damn absent minded lokai messenger was a day late and the peace talks could not go forward with out the papers the lokai carried with it.
The sand storm had reached the city, causing most of the people to take shelter in the buildings there, and making it hard to see through the sand-choked darkness.
Springing upon newly formed legs the old one danced upon the sand whipped winds toward the settlement, laughing aloud as the storm whipped air bit into its newly formed flesh. Now that its hunger had been awakened, the Irkatalish craved what had been denied for so long.
Searching back into the memories it had just absorbed the Irkatalish finds that there is a city not to near and heads in its direction.
Looking out from a window in the town from time to time, the Tyrusin eventually sees a lone Loaki who seems to be walking in the one calm spot of the whole storm towards the town. "Hey Raltak, do you want something to drink? We can take it down to my cellar while the storm is around," said the Tyrusin behind the bar. Raltak, glancing up from his work carving a figure with his knife, his lone sharp fang glistening in the lamplight, sniffs the air, and mutters, softly, taking the barkeep closeby, "Be careful, Gradnak, there's something unnatural in the air. Nothing should be out in this storm." In the barns, shelters and cellars of the storm-engulfed town, the livestock bleats and bellows its knowledge of the Fury that comes upon them; hunkered down beside an ailing m'ruf, a lean Unarran glances up, stares at nothing for a long moment, then shivers. As the wind rise, and the sand begins to spin in the air, no normal building can be a decent shelter anymore.
The winds pick up at an abnormal pace; there is surely something wrong here!
As the winds and sandstorm dies down as fast as they appeared, a lone tyrusin stands on the horizon with a blade in hand dripping of the town populaces blood, his eyes burning with a unholy vengeance, as he slowly turns and slowly murmurs "alas this town has been purified.. now onto the next". Suddently, when things couldn't seem to get any wronger, a veritable army of shaps flew in from the north, hoping to make sense of the ongoing tale by making loud noises and flapping about. The Tyrusin grinned at his worked, he heard a loud screech from behind him, as he turned around a large bird dug its claws into the Tyrusins shoulders and took him away from the town.
The lone, possessed Lokai looks up towards the beast that is carrying the Tyrusin away and in an instant, kills the beast with a thought, and the Tyrusin falls at the Lokai's feet. The insane tyrusin looks up at the lokai in a fit of rage, quickly springing to his feet, in a move learned by the tyrusin warfare masters, unsheathing his blade once more he cleaves the lokai in two, and turns and spits on the karmabirds now dead corpse.
The Eshlar fell out of his bar stool sweating, “what a horrible dream” it said as it looked out the window into the still raging storm. As he passes through the main room of the bar a half-drunken fool stands up and screams, "YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME," and throws a large tip at the bartender screaming yet again, "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US," and runs out of the bar laughing maniacally.
The next moring, after the storm had abated Raltak awoke having drunk too much of the innkeeper's wine and passed out behind a barrel of spoiled pickeled GreenDragons trying very hard to ignore its stench he stood up and began to remember why he was in this god forsaken town as he acended the cellar stairs; that damn lokai Messanger, he swore if when that fool every got here alive and without the important diplomatic paper it would not seen tomarow!
Out in the desert at a spot that had been the focus for strangeness during the height of the storm the night before, a pile of sand begins to tremble as the thing it conceals begins to move. An Unarran caravan passes by, mildly interested in the quivering pile of sand. A dark creepy claw begins to rise from the sand hole, as it get bigger we can see the beginning of a unhuman creature. The creature reaches its entire arm out, then the other and uses the stable sand around the cave mouth as a type of balance, and pushes on both arms, doing a type of flip in the air...lands on its feet, and savagely annihilates the caravan. Then the creature decided to go back to the hole and never come out again.
Because an even more terrifying creature with giant, floppy ears was approaching.
Back in the bar a lone Cavalon proceeds to drink itself into unconsciousness bemoaning the lack of good storytellers in Atriana. Through the whirl and twists of the dream, G'nar seemed to have no safe-haven; the images seemed to make no sence at all, the faces were foreign to him, and he was frightened...deeply so. Raltak cursed that blasted Lokai; soon the ambassador and his entourage from Orescent would be arriving as had been agreed: always the Lokai liked to travel when Mantar was high, considering it a challenge to face such cruel winds as now swepped through the desert. A short while later, the town started to shake viciously.
"Hraq!" Raltek bellowed for his Tyrusian Second. "Assemble the town guard. I fear our Orescenti ambassador may not have prepared for such a storm is this. Have the five hardiest tali saddled. We ride within the hour."
Slowly some shapes began to take form...his tent, equipment, the trappings of soldiery...G'nar was roused by the shouts of his commander. Two days had passed since the patrol had begun its journey across the deserts towards Orescent and the bright morning rays of Altoos hurt G'nar's eyes, making him wish he had never accepted assignment in the Gentar township; "The desert is no place for Tyrusin," he mumbled under his breath.
"G'nar struck one edge of its left bracer against the static-pad on its hip, using the release of energy to stimulate its neurons and instantly bring itself into crystal-clear awareness." The Lokai guide, Aldrint, turned toward G'nar and reprimanded him; "We made that observation salvod ago, during the Nine Currans War to be precise."
Commander Hraq's snout poked through the tent flap. "Stop your squabbling and get your gear together, thinscales!" he bellowed. "The grak handlers have spotted something 3 tics to the south. G'nar! Take Aldrint and two cohorts and go investigate. And I mean now, not next Aub!"
G'nar snarled; he hated Aldrint and Hraq knew it. Regardless, there was a job to be done...G'nar pulled on his gear and grabbed Aldrint roughly, "Come along, Lokai, we've work to do." "May the trinar chew your ears off for the treatment I recieve from you, ungrateful one, " Aldrint whined, "I am a guide, and not subject to your every whimsy!"
G'nar glarred at the Lokai, "You may not like it, but we are both under Commander Hraq's rule, and Hraq says I have to take your sorry carapace with me." Aldrint rose getting ready to leave, a sly smile crossing his face, "We'd better get the others, I'm assuming that Hraq wouldn't send you to do anything with out at least three of us Lokai guides to hold your hand" "Fool!" G'nar struck a stool with his plated fist, "Get the others, I'll ready the beasts."
When the easts and Aldrint's assistants were gathered, they made off towards the south and it's eerie faint orangish glow. As they treked out into the vast expanse, they turned to look behind them, as the faint sound of the cities wind sirens signaled that another sand storm apporoached. As they watched through the sandstorm, the city seemed to sink beneath the ground.
"Let us ride quickly," Aldrint suggested as he motioned for his tali to speed up. As if the adventurers did not have enough troubles as things were, the sandy grounds below them began to tremble as Mantar's winds blew open a gusting wind tunnel with a force that was too strong for them to resist.
As G'nar regained himself, he looked around to find they had ended up in a snowy valley floor. G'nar's tali reared at the smell of smoke and he took a moment to calm her--far below them on the valley floor they could see the burned remains of a caravan; G'nar nodded to Aldrint, the Lokai reached into his carapace, and a moment later his grak was in the air flying down to investigate. When it was evident that there were no survivors they began looking for clues.
G'nar felt a sharp pain in his clawed foot, and looking down he saw what appeared to be the staff of a Lokai, covered in cryptic glyphs, and jutting out from the permafrost. Maybe a clue to the unbelievable disaster could be discerned if the staff were put into the right hands? maybe not? He picked up the staff and examined it, not knowing what the symbols meant, he then carried it to his guide. Aldrint examined the staff closely, then let out an exclamation of surprise when he saw the Caravan had come from the Lost Continent!
Behind the rock, he could see more loose wall; a dim glowing seemed to seep out from behind the rocks. Through the crack, it could see a small room with animal remains laying on the floor. There were many tiny glowing creatures jumping around, burrowing into and feasting on the corpses. Suddenly the organinc stone wall's crack closed up,leaving G'nar very confused as to what it had just witnessed. The Lokai suddenly cowered back as it saw an enormous, screaching Pikatan jump out from behind the entrance. Those couldn't be Tyrusin spawnling, crawling about multiple hosts corpses, what could they be?
A loud screeching echoed about the walls, but from whence it came, G'nar could not tell. But G'nar had no time to think about what the screeching sound was, or what the crawling bugs were doing, because he found himself cornered by a giant Pikatan, covered in deadly spines, and it looked hungry for a meal. G'nar quickly created a shield of ice that rose up from the ground and protected his corner, to which the Pikatan charged and began to break, but this would offer G'nar some time to consider his next move...
G'nar knew that the Pikatan would tire, he had only to steadily reinforce the ice. He also knew that Pikatans hunt in pairs. The cornered Lokai could not afford to be cornered by two PIkatan: He needed to find the other Pikatan before it attacked again. He had no choice but to release his symbiote to scout ahead. The pikatan, after hearing the screech, stiffened, jumped into the air, and ran as fast as it could away from where it thought the sound came from. G'nar waited for a few moments, watching through the wall of ice as the creature seemingly fled in fear across the valley floor.
Puzzled by the pikatan’s actions G'nar decided now was not the time to find out, he ran back towards from where he came. His steps echoed, the place seemed all too quiet now... Whenever he stepped, he heard it echo; he thought nothing of it at first, but gradually realized: he was being followed Quickly and fluidly, he turned around to see his unexpected follower. His pursuer was nothing like he expected.
The lightfooted and highly skilled killing beast - their species so greedily carnivorous they'd eat their own young and elders to fill their bellies; standing doubly the height of a fully grown Tyrusin warrior, with speed unequaled, these creatures known as "Braelands".
The creature then trapped him where he couldn't see an escape! Luckily, G'nar's danger was avoided when trusty flunky Mapsatager showed up just in time to pick up G'nar with a Clyft! The Clyft then ran away very fast and safe from the creature. Mapsatager was a fine Clyft-rider (although it tried to make one fly once upon a time), and the pair rode off safely, but already worried about their unknown destination - for they had none; where would they go?
Then suddenly! The clyft fell in a hole breaking one of its legs and knocking everyone out! Then suddenly! G'nar woke up and ate Mapsatager; G'nar rejoiced, revelled, and generally laughed at the young Mapsatager for being stuck in a hole with an officer of Krazed Kraithicus.
He then climbed out of the hole.
The sun shined brightly outside of the hole, the clouds had moved on. He loved to see the sun after a long day of clouds and overcast. It crawled out of his pore in the earth, looked toward the heavens and thankingly to a breath for the gods G'nar carefully scouted the area to be sure the Braeland was gone before walking of towards what seemed to be the east. The land was soft here, his steps making deep marks in the ground. G'nar trudged on with one hand overshadowing his eyes, shielding them from the sun.
G'nar spotted something on the horizon and began to dash forward towards it.
As G'nar ran along, his vision was becoming more and more evident; had he truly made it home?
His expectations proved true; he was home and he looked forward to a long, relaxing rest after his journey.