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Nick W
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PostSubject: Damnation of Sorrow   Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:03 pm

This is the story of how Lehti found the temple in Nju Shenghuo and what led him to his new life...


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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:03 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:04 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:04 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:04 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:47 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:30 am

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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:29 pm

Not far from the town of Chu Lai, a wizard stood in front of a large tree. The figure wore light robes matching the leaves of the tree he stood at. It tended to be hot in Nju Shenghuo, making it uncomfortable to wear anything more.

Being an elf, he was exempt from all the tribal rivalries involved with being an aniver, and he was accepted fairly well. He paid for his goods, he was quiet, and for the amount of time he stayed there, there hadn't been any problems with him. If any of the townspeople knew who he was, they didn't say anything.

It was funny. He fled to Nju Shenghuo to find out who he was; what he was meant to do now. Lately, however, the wizard found he was glad he had no identity. Could he really have a new life? Parts of him felt like he'd always be attached to his old life. The people he traveled with... the people he helped... the people he loved.

The wizard was close to six feet tall. His hair was dark, loose and unkempt. He didn't seem interested in fixing it though. He never did. Something he kept the same for all the years.

His old name was a part of his soul, but as long as he could, he would keep his name Lehti. Soon, that might be all he would call himself.

His visit with the tree was at its end. Whenever he felt sorrow in his heart, caused by memories of missed days, he visited a tree.

Lehti turned from the tall tropical tree, and headed back to the tavern in Chu Lai...
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:30 pm

Chu Lai was a very cozy town. Lehti was grateful it was out of the way for many of the larger civilizations. People seemed friendlier for the most part, and the past was easier to avoid.

The wizard strode through the town where anivers gave looks and shared gossip they heard about this strange elf. Lehti just smiled. Midday was always a fun time to walk the streets and watch people. Even if they watched him back.

Lehti went to the same food vendor and purchased the same lunch he got whenever he visited the jungle. The aniver there had different foods he wasn't adjusted to yet. All the different aniver tribes seemed interested in something different. Insects, exotic fruits, curious meats, and unappetizing drinks. Still, the elf found something he enjoyed and it became ritual.

He started to head for his regular shaded spot to sit and enjoy the day. He was right in the open for everyone's eyes to see. He greeted friendly faces, smiled, and seemed to be having a good day, despite having to visit a tree.

Since he had moved to Nju Shenghuo, he became soft to people watching him, and he didn't feel in danger. While he stayed alert for danger, adventurers weren't as common running around. A few archeologists, but still, things were calm in Chu Lai.

When Lehti was just about to sit at his favorite spot, he froze. He didn't know why, but he turned his head to look for something. He wasn't sure what though. People carried on. No one was alarmed or nervous. Except him.

Since he couldn't find any source to his restlessness, Lehti sat down and faced the crowd of people going about their day. Soon, he forgot about his unease earlier. The day continued usually.

Lehti finished his lunch, walked around, saw what the townspeople were doing, and listened to a few stories about recent news. He heard stories about gunpowder eating zombies, duchesses and food, and something about a fish and a raccoon. Nothing important, he assumed.

As the sun started to fall somewhere into the sea, and the trees cast their giant shadows, Lehti headed back to the inn and his room. He held the door open for a few feline anivers and started to follow them in. However, once again, he froze. Something inside the inn? The only non-aniver patrons were some "sailors". Though they didn't seem to be interested in anything but drink.

Lehti started to head upstairs to his room when the keeper called to him.

"Elf... Lehti, one of yer friends is waiting for ya in yer room."

Lehti froze, but for a different feeling. What "friend" could have found the wizard?

Without a thank you or anything, he bolted up and to his room. The door was locked. Something he always did, but his hands shook as he tried to unlock the damn door.

When he got inside, there was no one. He ran to a bag on a chair. It was his, and contained his prized possessions. Everything was there and not tampered with. The bed was unkempt, like always, and his closet was not bothered.

Curious, he gave the room a quick look again. Nothing. He then shut and locked his door.

"Lets get this over with, alright?"

Lehti jumped, hearing the voice. A human in wizard robes stood there with a dagger in his hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:30 pm

Immediately, Lehti's hand stretched forward at the strange human. Lehti had never met this man. Nor, did he think he cared to. He started combing through his mind, preparing a spell.

"You wont want to cast any magic, wizard. If you were to kill me, and my body be in your room, the anivers would start asking more than trivial gossip."

The human was right. And, even though Lehti kept his arm steady, his eyes showed that he wouldn't risk casting a spell if he could avoid it.

"I haven't come to kill you though. However, if you wont suit my needs, I will either be forced to kill you, or out your secret. Yes, that's right, I know your real name and who you worked for."

Lehti stood there for a moment and wondered if this man could have been lying. The dagger didn't scare Lehti any. Only what the townspeople would think. Whether the man knew his real identity or not, too much commotion could jeopardize the elf's lifestyle in Chu Lai, or Tuy Hoa, or even all of Nju Shenghuo.

Lehti gave a glance at the door his back was to. The door was everything in Nju Shenghuo. His new life, his new home, his freedom. His face was sorrowful, and he dreaded the repercussions.

To make his decision easier, the human handed him a slip of paper. A news article. Lehti peered at it with closed hands. His eyes grew large, and he knew the man hadn't lied.

"Tell me what you're wanting, since I assume we'll both leave this room alive."

"I need a puppet. Someone to go into some ruins hidden in the Lang Pho jungle. Well, they aren't hidden from me. An artifact inside has caught my attention, however it's too dangerous to go in, personally. You'll have help of course. However, you're the only magic user. You'll know why when you find the artifact."

The wizard put away his dagger. It was just for show, anyhow. He glided past Lehti arrogantly. He opened the door and started to leave. As he closed the door, he audibly said, "We'll chat first thing in the morning."
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:31 pm

The night was hot and muggy. Lethi had his window open all the way with no sheets on his bed, and dared the night to get any worse to make him remove the last of his garments. Exotic birds and mammals were awake with the dark. Their cries, songs, chirps and squawks could be heard from the open window, and added insult to injury. Lehti was fortunate to have a local incense that warded off insects, mostly.

Despite the night itself keeping Lehti up, he doubted he'd sleep while that human was blackmailing him. What curse did have that incurred such misfortune? Just when he found a home, his past threatens it all.

A jungle bird flew its way onto the windowsill. It clicked its beak and pruned its feathers for a moment. Lehti wondered if it could be an omen of luck. Then, the bird took the incense, the last Lehti had, and flew off. The elf moaned as he threw the pillow over his head. He could hear the buzzing coming in.

The morning moon was attractive and bright. The moon cast dark morning shadows over Chu Lai. Villagers left their homes to head for work. The day was crisp, and clouds hung in the sky. For the anivers going about their lives, it was going to be a good day.

The innkeeper came into the tavern from his own bedroom. He was a feline aniver with black stripes over a yellow coat. As part of his morning, he began wiping the bar counter with a wet rag. Once he finished wiping the bar, he started on the tables.

The keeper went to wipe down a booth tucked behind a wall. When he got to the table, he discovered his elf tenant. The elf's head was resting on the table, his eyes closed in a deep sleep.

"Good morning, Sir..."

The aniver was nervous about waking the wizard. However, he was confused why the wizard wasn't sleeping in his room instead of the bar. Also, it would be bad for business.

Lehti slowly opened his eyes. He slowly picked his head up, but his head was too heavy to lift, so it hung down with his chin touching his chest.

"You have a good night?" asked the landlord.

The elf pulled his head up and looked the aniver in the eyes. The aniver was fresh, alert, awake. Lehti's eyes were bloodshot and puffy.

Lehti stared a bit before replying.

"Quite."
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:32 pm

Just as Lehti began placing his head back on the table and the barkeeper was about to get to work cleaning the rest of the tables, a bell started ringing. It was a large town bell. Something loud, noticeable and frightening.

No amount of sleep in the softest bed in Aeon could have awaken Lehti better than that bell. The first lesson he learned in Chu Lai, was the bell. The bell would only ring when there were attacking undead.

Women and children could be heard screaming outside, many panicking and adding to growing chaos.

The barkeeper took the table he started wiping off and threw it into a wall against a window. He began doing that with other tables and chairs for other windows. Lehti ran to the door and began ushering in villagers. The weapon merchant, the baker and even the jail, also pulled citizens into the buildings while they barred the structures down. The rest of the merchants only had stalls and most villagers only had weak homes and huts. They had to hurry to one of the stronger buildings. The volunteer guards were out with pikes and guns. There were shots and screams. Zombies and anivers fell. The zombies themselves were all anivers. The ground was filled with blood and bodies.

There was a woman running for the tavern entrance, running as fast as she could for Lehti. He motioned for her to hurry. The anivers already inside were cussing and shouting for the elf to close the door already. He couldn't close it until she got in. The barkeeper grabbed hold of Lehti and forcefully dragged him in. Other anivers closed and blocked the door. Lehti kicked and fought to try to help the female aniver. He could hear the thump as she ran into the door and began beating at it, begging them to let her in. Lehti tried desperately to help her. Soon, the wails of fear became piercing shrieks of pain. There were knocks and thuds at the door, but Lehti knew it was too late.

One of the children was crying. His father had separated and ran into the weapon shop. The child wanted to be with his father, despite his mother's crying and pleading for the child to be still. All the children cried, and most of the men and women did as well.

One aniver was stationed at a window barred by a chair. He stared out at the village and tried to report what he could. He couldn't see any more guards and the undead were piling at the weapon shop. Glass could be heard shattering and the aniver told them that the zombies had found their way in. There were gun shots and more screaming.

Then there was an explosion. The shop had received a full shipment of gunpowder from the "sailors" Lehti had seen the day before. The aniver at the window couldn't speak. He didn't have to. He just turned and looked at the woman with the child. The pain was obvious in her sorrow contorted face. Feline, canine, avian, and fish anivers shared the same room, the same fear, and the same sadness of loss.

Finally, the barkeeper let Lehti go. The wizard sat there for a moment, completely shaken. Five years. Five bloody, damn years. The explosion had wiped out most of the undead. There were a few attacking the jail and the bakery and a couple banging on the tavern.

Lehti drew his scimitar and ran upstairs. He grabbed all of his personal belongings, barely one bag full, and climbed out the window. He landed hard, but he's had worse. He was able to get up, but his knee started to bother him. An old wound.

He turned the corner and faced the first zombie. It was concerned more with the closed window and the screaming meal behind it and didn't notice Lehti until the elf could stab his sword into the brain.

The zombie crumpled to the ground, but the moans of hungry stiffs alerted Lehti to three undead running towards him. With a few words, he shot a wave of force at the zombies. Two were hit hard enough to knock them prone. One stumbled and fell on its face. Lehti wasted no time in running up and plunging his sword into the back of the scalp. The other two started to get up, and more zombies were on their way. Lehti ran forward and swung across one as it tried to get up. It was a fish aniver, and had trouble standing right. It was a quick kill for Lehti.

However, the final stiff was feline and quicker to get up. It lunged at Lehti. The elf dodged out of the way, barely, and tried to swing as he fell to his side. His sword cut of the stiffs tail. It couldn't slow it down though.

The zombie lunged at Lehti when a gun shot through the stiff's skull. Dead matter splattered over Lehti and he quickly wiped it away. An aniver had seen the stiffs attacking the elf and saw him take the two out. He was able to take the third. He loaded quickly as the zombies from the bakery started chasing after the meat bags outside the buildings. Lehti was quick to get up, and more aniver were stepping out with pitch forks and cleavers and guns. With one elf's courage, the villagers were able to fight the remaining undead.

Unknown to the anivers, it wasn't courage that drove Lehti. What empowered the elf was a strong force. Something he was unaccustomed to: rage.

While the anivers began collecting the bodies for their ceremonies, Lehti went inside the inn and thought about resuming his nap. However, the human wizard from the previous day sat down with him.

"It's a bit later, than I expected, but I suppose I can wait for a hero." The human cackled. "However, it is time you start my quest. Then, we can forget all about who you really are."

The man had an arrogant grin for his spiel, now he had a stern, serious scowl.
"I want you to travel north, into the Lang Pho jungle. You will find a few outposts, battling against undead. At the third, you will meet your group. If they haven't parished already, you will enter hidden ruins there and find the jewel inside. When the jem is mine, you will be free from me. Understood?"

Lehti sat there, tired, hungry and angry. Still, he managed a nod. It was too important even now, that he try to keep is identity.

"Good. Now git."

Lehti stood up, with all his gear, and walked out. He left Chu Lai heading north, wondering when he'd find the fist outpost.
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:33 pm

It was several hours before the wizard found the first outpost. He was tired. Unfortunately the outpost was small. Wooden spikes protruded from the ground warding off some undead. There was a small hut shelter and a campfire outside.

Some netting surrounded the camp to keep the insects away. Lehti quickly slipped inside away from the biting mosquitoes. A canine aniver emerged when he heard the noises. He wielded a large spear. When Lehti raised his arms in surrender, the aniver relaxed.

"Thought you were a stiff. I've stabbed three already today."

The aniver was a black "jackal" with sharp pointy ears. His snout was narrow and long. He wore light clothing due to the hot climate.

"What do you seek elf? Your breed is rare to see so far north."

"I'm here by mission, not choice. I'm looking for a temple or shrine of sorts."

"Ah," said the jackal. "Well, you will find the easiest path to the temple half a mile up the road. A side path will lead you through the jungle. However, I assume I do not need to warn you about the dangers in the jungle."

Lehti nodded. The aspect of roaming through the jungle alone didn't make him eager to leave the camp. Fortunately, the elf knew he had two more outposts to travel through to find his companions. Then he'd have to travel through trees and jungle. Also, the humid air made him quite thirsty.

"I will supply you with water from my well. I only have one request: at the temple, if you find any signs of my wife, a female aniver just like myself, please report her conditions to me. I miss her greatly."

Lehti was saddened for the jackal. If the elf were to be passing back through that way, he would be sure to keep his eyes out for the aniver.

The two sat and spoke a bit about what had happened in Chu Lai. The jackal was saddened, but not surprised. They talked over the aniver's tea. It wasn't Lehti's favorite, but he was gracious to his host.

There was rustling in the shrubs. Both men stood up. The jackal grabbed his spear, and Lehti held his scimitar.

Three undead began to roam out of the shrubs to the camp. One walked right into the wooden spikes. His torso was impaled as the zombie continued towards its meal.

The other two maneuvered around the spikes but got tangled in the netting, causing it to tare.

"Damn," said the jackal. He plunged his spear into the skull of one as Lehti skewered the other with his sword.

"Well, you probably would like to be going. Don't worry about Spike over there. I'll destroy him when you leave. Be safe, and I hope you find what we're both looking for."

Lehti bowed to the jackal and continued north to the next outpost...
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:33 pm

The walk to the two outposts were not enjoyable. The jungle hid its horrors from sight, but the sounds echoed. Lehti kept moving and kept his thoughts on his tasks. He thought of the wizard. He was angry that he was forced on this quest, yet still... something in him stirred.

The second outpost he found was deserted, or dead. Lehti was not anxious to explore. He pushed forward, weaving into the jungle. He found it difficult to maneuver through the foliage, which angered him. Had he his druid powers, Lehti would move through these trees with ease and be at the final outpost by now. As it was, due to the plague, the druid had lost his powers and forced to become a wizard.

Lehti neared the third outpost, and could hear fighting. He started running and found his companions warding off the horde. He almost hesitated. Memories of his past began to show. He shook his head. There was no time for that. He continued.

The human archer felt her arm tiring. Arrow after arrow pierced the skulls of the undead. A crate full of quivers and ammunition lay next to her. She had as many missiles as she had strength.

"Keep on them, they're almost finished!" she called to her companions.

Her beautiful voice brought them morale. Lehti heard her voice and saw her behind the line of wooden spikes. The horde had crushed and pierced themselves on the spikes long ago. They were now crawling over each other, breaching the inside of the outpost.

The archer was efficient with her bow and arrows, but she was getting tired. The anivers that aided her were swinging axe and sword and pole-arm. A dead dwarf lay next to them. His arm had a chunk missing from it, the size of a man's jaw, with arrows in his head.

Lehti began shooting magic arrows and orbs of energy. The crashed and crushed many of the undead. However, his spells were still too weak, and there were too many. They noticed the easier prey, outside the fort. They charged him. The anivers inside pressed forward, destroying what zombies they could. The human shot her arrows. The distraction worked, and the zombies were whittled down. Lehti pulled his scimitar and swung through the remaining zombies.

After the battle was over, the living gathered inside the makeshift fort. The anivers and woman mourned the loss of the dwarf. The anivers were all part of the group to journey to the temple, as was the dwarf. A female dolphin-like aniver wielding a harpoon; a canine-retriever male, carrying a broadsword; and a cockatoo with an axe.

"You are the wizard sent to help us?" asked the woman.

"Yes, I'm the fool he caught to do his work."

The woman frowned and nodded. The anivers seemed understood as well. It seemed Lehti wasn't the only one suckered into this quest.

"When you four are ready, I believe we should find this temple. I haven't the faintest idea where it is however," said Lehti.

"He gave me a map. It shows this outpost and a trail up the road. It wont be long and we'll find it." said the woman giving a parchment to Lehti.

"My name is Kristyn," she said as he looked at it. He looked up to see her smiling shyly.

"L-Lei-er..." Lehti was thrown off by her smile, he almost introduced himself with his old name.

"Lehti," he said.
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:41 pm

The group followed the road, heading for the tower. During the walk, the anivers became increasingly irritated. Lisa, the axe-wielding cockatoo, yelled at Lehti and Kristyn for talking so loudly. The two tried desperately to stay silent, however, the two were engrossed in each other.

The road was clear for the first hour of walking. When they stopped to rest, however, the noises scared them into moving further without a rest. They were attacked twice by horde zombies until they reached the trail to the temple.

Through the growth, Lehti had stopped talking. Kristyn had a much easier time traveling through the growth than the wizard. She was a ranger, though she hadn't guarded a druid in years. Lehti got very quiet when he heard this. Part of him ached.

"I see it!" exclaimed Carla, the dolphin.

Indeed, the top of the tower could be seen. As they approached the stairs leading to the top were quite visible. Soon, they all stood at the base looking up. All of them looked up at the tall climb.

"So... take five?" asked Lehti.

"I say twenty," said Shane, the retriever.

So the group rested, sitting on the steps, resting. The twenty minutes came and went.

"We really should start," said Kristyn.

"No," replied the other four.
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:21 pm

"You see, that wasn't so bad, now was it?" asked Krisyn.

The rest of the group rubbed their sides, and breathed hard. Finally, though, they were at the top, looking into the entrance of the temple. It wasn't quite as "fantastic" as they assumed, but it had several smaller rooms that seemed to have no intention, at least, not while the temple was barren and unused.

Kristyn was the first to enter and peak around.

"No undead. They must find stairs to be as difficult as you guys," she smirked.

"Or they knew you were coming, and would stand no chance against your wit," replied Lehti. He winked, trying to show it was a joke rather than an insult.

"I assume we continue downward. There are some stairs back here," said Lisa. The cockatoo looked down at the winding stair case.

"Looks like it goes a long way down..." she said.

So, after climbing the temple's stairs up to enter, they now had a much steeper descend. Since there were no undead to be seen or heard, Lehti, Lisa, Shane, and Carla did not hold back their gripes about having to use more stairs.

Kristyn enjoyed teasing them.
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:43 pm

At the bottom of the stairway, they found themselves in a chamber beneath the temple. In the center, the floor was raised and required more steps to climb up. However, the steps were only a dozen or so.

"Is that the item?" asked Shane, pointing to a tablet on a pedestal.

"Must be," said Carla. The dolphin woman got anxious and hurried up the stairs towards it.

She looked at the pedestal, inspecting it for traps or wires. Then, she lifted the tablet, revealing... nothing.

Lehti started clapping.

"Do it again!" he cheered.

"Haha! There's a button here. Should I press it?"

"Yes."

"Yes."

"No."

"... I don't wanna climb any more stairs."

"I'm gonna press it."

Suddenly, everyone scattered. Lehti and Kristyn went to the sides of the chamber, Lisa stayed put, Shane moved closer to the stairs.

"Okay, press it!"
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PostSubject: Re: Damnation of Sorrow   Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:28 am

Next to Lisa, a door in the wall opened up. They waited for something else to happen. Nothing.

"So... Stairs or hidden passage that possible leads to death?" asked Carla.

"Passage."

Everyone was more interested in the mystery than the thought of climbing more stairs.

So, they went down the passage way. Shane used flint and steel to light a torch and he led them.


The passage took them into more and more chambers, but no real exit. With the tablet, which everyone assumed would be what the wizard wanted, they decided it'd be best to hurry and get it to him.

However they stopped and rested. They started talking and they told about what the wizard had against them.

Shane was once a Civil Agent. However, when he refused to kill an innocent, he was nearly killed himself. After wards, he became a knight.

Carla was part of a mercenary group that was hired to deliver supplies. However, she discovered the supplies were stolen from an orphanage. She outed the criminals when she got to town, but had to get a new identity.

Kristyn had fled her "arranged" marraige. The man was violent, cruel, and possessive. She fled and found safety in the forests. The wizard wanted to reunite the groom and bride...

"What about you, Lehti?" asked Kristyn.

Lehti sighed deeply and looked at them.

"My name is Leif. I was one of the Heroes of the Ravaging. I fought against Erron, but I also fought along side him. I had a life where I've lost things. I came to Nju Shenghuo to escape my past. However, the wizard had found me."

"Doesn't it seem odd that a man that could find us all, and use us to do his bidding, couldn't retrieve this himself?"
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