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  1. *ï†ï* Choc-Ice fantasy *ï†ï* †¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤† `'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´ As scholars do their work within the heart, some of the guards heard of a small town north that serves a famous choc-ice treat. They entered the town and found the town to be quite sad. They also noticed the non-functioning fountains within. With the assumption that the fountain is simply out of service, they walked towards Rok. As they walked towards him, they noticed onlookers gazing at them with awe. It would appear the Menaphite insignias on their armor is what is catching their eye. As they purchased their choc-ice and began enjoying their frozen treat, Mayor Awusah approaches the men. "Oh my, can this be? Menaphite soldiers outside of its city walls! This must be a mirage, such a thing cannot be!" he slowly approached the guards and laid a hand on their armor. He gasped and quickly stepped away from the men. "Calm down, we mean no harm. We are stationed just south at The Heart where we are guarding the encampment within. And what do you mean it cannot be that Menaphite guards cannot be outside of the city walls?" the others signaled that they had to return to the camp. "No, not that they aren't allowed to be outside, just that we have not seen anyone from within Menaphos especially soldiers leave those gates. The city is a hermit kingdom on its own!" Awusah began to tremble a bit. The guard raised an eyebrow and responded, "My apologies, I do not know much about the city's past, I am originally from the island of Waiko. I enlisted to be a guard for a change of scenery. The city is now under Wushankos control" ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., They mayors eyes widened, "Menaphos has fallen! But how!". "It didn't fall you fool, the previous ruler was obviously disposed of. Possibly for the best if anything." A woman approached them, her face was covered and her eyes glowing an infernal purple. The guard quickly draws his sword and steps in front of the mayor. "And who are you, what is your business here!" his hand wavered a bit but he quickly retook his stance. "I am Praetor Sarainy the Shadow, Emissary of Zaros." her red ponytail glided with the desert winds. The mayor then stood in front of the guard, "You Zarosian scum! How dare you enter my to-" he was quickly interrupted by the guard. "SILENCE! There will be respect among those of different beliefs. May I add that the Empire holds to no official belief and we have had peace within our borders without such quarrels among us." he gave a quick smile towards Sarainy. "Save me the lecture, I do however know that your town has a major problem and it would be very unwise to deny help. If you want your people to die in this desert heat, then by all means. I will not waste my time." She began walking away until the Mayor called back for her. "My apologies, I acted poorly. Please, we need the statue of Elidinis to be restored within the temple to lift this curse. The spirits of the Elid are angry that it is gone and have prevented water from reaching our town. We are paying a high cost to get water imported here so that we do not die of thirst." he collapsed to the ground. "Please, we need help." ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., Sarainy would turn back to the mayor, "Very well then, I will see what I can do." As expected, the guard could not stay much longer without being missed from the nearby encampment. When he returned, he sent word to Menaphos where Mimring, Cain and Dayan were meeting with representatives of the Aegis of Saradomin. Since Dayan has other business to attend to, he requested that Mimring and Cain be the ones to visit Nardah and to oversee what is going on. After a few days trip, the two arrived in Nardah and found Sarainy kneeled by a crevice just south of the town. "I am assuming that guard sent word to his masters then." she rose up and cleared her robes of the sand. "I am Cain Dundragon, Vizier for the Arc and this Mimring, Khan of Goshima." he slightly nodded at the strange woman and so did Mimring. "The eastern islands eh? You are a long way from home that aren't you. Well while you are here you might as well assist me with this." she grabbed a rope that was beside her and set it up to be able to go down the crevice. "Are you sure that the statue is down there? I am sure it cannot be that easy or the people here would have done it by now." Mimring stepped forward to the edge of the crevice and looked down. "They said they had chucked it down here years ago, it cannot be that hard to retrieve it." she too looking into the crevice. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., Cain pulled Mimring away from the crevice, "The Elid is obviously angry with the disposal of the statue, so if we were just to restore the statue, I am sure they would be willing to lift the curse. But would be as easy as just going down there and retrieve the statue?" Sarainy began her way down,"Maybe or maybe not, there is only one way to find out. Are you coming or not?" The other two followed her down. At the bottom of the crevice, they found who they believed to be a genie? Behind him was the statue. The Genie spoke, "Oh for the love of...I will not hand over the statue unless you give me what I desire." "Pardon me? What you desire?" Sarainy was utterly confused The genie would sigh, "I shall not and will not release this statue to you. It is a perfect and unique carving of Elidinis, goddess of fertility and growth. Something I am sure I can get a hefty price for." Sarainy's eyes glowed brighter with rage,"You fool, do you not know what the absence of this statue has caused above. I may be aligned with Zaros, but I know what is true and what is right for the common people." She pointed her weapon towards the genie. "Bah! I do not care who you are, you cannot hurt me for I am a geni-" he fell asleep. "Oh look I'm a genie. I'm so special and blue!" Cain laughed to himself. As Sarainy took the statue, the three returned to the surface and placed it in its rightful place. After some talk, Sarainy agreed to meet up with the two and Dayan in Menaphos. Water once again flowed in the town of Nardah. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,
  2. *ï†ï* All Must Be Free *ï†ï* †¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤† `'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´ The Worker District is lobbying the Great Pyramid to finally end the abuse and tyranny that befalls the Desert Mining Camp. Batal has informed the council that Siad does nothing but abuse and torture the workers within the camp. These are common folk who have for the most part been kidnapped and forced into this labor camp. Batal knows very well the feeling of being forced to work until your bones turn to ashes under the previous rule. This is something that the Pharaoh could no longer ignore. After his meeting with Rowanius in the Grand Library, he went to his quarters. Hoping for aid from Cain and Mimring, he had to send them to Nardah on a different mission. It would appear he would be on his own for this one. At least he has assumed so. Raine has returned to the city after a short hiatus, she could not have come at a better time than this. Dayan summoned Raine to the Grand Pyramid to discuss what to do with the Desert Mining Camp. He stood at the center of the throne room and paced along the markings of the marble floor. A few moments later, Vizier Raine appears at the golden doors of the throne room. "Greetings Dayan, it has been a while since we last met." The doors shut behind her. Dayan nodded, "It has been my friend, we have much to catch up on but first we have some business to attend to." Raine would fluff her feathers and sigh, "Nothing has changed then, there is always something going on. I swear the desert heat has melted everyone's brain here...that is if they had one, to begin with."She followed Dayan. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., The slashes of whips can be heard around the camp, the agonizing screams of both men and women after every crack. "Disobey me, and this will be your fate here. You work for me and for me only for you all are just the filth of these lands." Siad smiled as he walked down the line of slaved being beaten for their disobedience. "Please in the of Tumeken! Please stop!" a young woman screamed at the top of her lungs as her head landed in the sand. Siad quickly turned and walked towards the young lady. He grabbed her by the neck and lifted her up. "There are no gods to save you here. I am your god here for this is MY domain." her threw her straight into the sand and kicked her hard in the stomach. "Pathetic filth..." he looked back at the woman and spit on the ground near her face. At the same moment, a mercenary leader quickly ran to Siad and gave him a report to the south-east of the camp. A large force of soldiers is nearing the camp but have stopped at the border of Pollnivneach. For Siad and the mercenary leader, they do not know exactly who they are, but they have a good idea who, however. "I've heard rumors of a growing empire to the south. I did not think they would be able to reach this north. Very well, if they wish to take this camp, then they will find the bodies of every slave in this camp." The mercenary leader took the note from Siad detailing that if Wushankos forces do not pull back, that every slave in Siads camp will be swiftly killed and everything to be painted red for their welcoming party. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., "This Siad is just as bad as the fallen Khagan Khaiju of the Skull region." Dayan looked at Raine. Raine looked towards the camp, "All is in place, he reacted just as I wanted. Are you sure you want to go in? I am sure another wouldn't mind going infiltrating the camp." Dayan was changing into slave clothing "I am certain, they do not know who I am. And plus, agents of the death lotus are already inside in case anything goes wrong." "Very well, you know what to do Dayan. If anything goes wrong, raise the golden staff that will be hidden on your person and the Death Lotus will strike." Dayan walked to the other side of the camp and simply roamed near the walls of the camp. He acted in distress and pretended to be an escapee. One of the guards noticed, bells sounded and a small force of overseers ran out and detained Dayan. He was thrown into a small cellar where he waited for nightfall. At nightfall, the Death Lotus struck and unlocked the door where Dayan was. One of the agents quickly asked Dayan, "Did you get the keys from the overseer?" Dayan showed the Death Lotus agent a set of keys and gave them to the agents to be ready to release the slaves from their prisons. Dayan had the larger key to unlock the outer gates. As he did, Wushanko forces that were hidden nearby quickly rushed into the camp and began detaining overseers, mercenaries, and other guards. Dayan quickly rushed to Siads quarters and detained him himself and brought him to the center of the mining camp. At last, the fall of Siad has come. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., As Said was taken to the center of the camp, all former slaves and Wushanko soldiers circled the new prisoners. Many of the former slaves were cheering and yelling how the tables have turned for the now detained Siad. "I order you to release me! This is my camp, I own these people!" Siad was infuriated that his former slaves were mocking him. Dayan stood in front of Siad and his guards, "Hm, I guess you are right. I cannot pass judgment on lands that are not mine. He looked at the Death Lotus agent on top of the highest building and raised his golden staff. At that gesture, the agent raised the flag of the empire and yelled, "By decree of the Grand Pyramid, these lands have been annexed as part of the Empire!" Dayan looked back at Siad and continued, "I will make this quick. On this day, I officially announce the slaves of this camp free! They may leave as they please, however, if you wish, the empire is more than willing to hire anyone with great pay. The camp will be renovated with the proper infrastructure for a proper work place." There were mixed reactions about the camp remaining open for many wanted it to see destroyed. However, there are some who need the work and know of nothing else for many have been there since their childhood. Most left at last while a few remained looking to take the over. The new managers gave their first pay which was a large sum of gold. As for Siad and his guards, they were sentenced to forced labor and at the mercy of Batal of the worker's district. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., `'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´ Journal Entry `24` from the Pharaohs Notebook ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., How I miss the clear waters of the Arc. My home that I enjoyed so much I now feel so detached from. After my mission at the Mining Camp, I plan to take a ship from Menaphos to Waiko for a week or two. The Guards are highly against me moving away from the Grand Pyramid for too long, but I have come to terms of my...title. The title of Pharaoh is one that I did not want, but it was something I had to do to ensure peace in the south eastern region. I just wish to rest and meditate at the Cherry Blossom tree. The city will still be with good hands in my absence, though it would seem work will follow me no matter what. On another note, I have found some old papers while cleaning out my desk of some blueprints of some monuments that was requested some time ago. Aminishi is overdue for a monument to Seiryu...How I miss the Anagami, gentle creatures they are. While I am at it, I will order a monument within Sophanem dedicated to Tumeken so that the people will find favor in the new power that now holds Menaphos. Home is waiting for me, I must depart to the Mining Camp and then return so that I may sail to Waiko. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,
  3. ï†ï A Pharaoh's Request ï†ï †¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤† '°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,'°«„†„»°'´ Under instruction from the Pharaoh himself, Sarainy set out from The Golden Palace. The sun was blazing overhead and she for once wasn't wearing her splint mail. Even the increasing winds just pushed the hot dry air around. "The desert suffers under banditry, with caravans of supplies being intercepted to and from Al Kharid. We know where these bandits make their camp and I would like you to go speak with them," Pharaoh Dayan paused "Convince them they would be better off working with us than against us." She had heard those kinds of words before... 'Convince', 'Better off'. They meant 'Join us or die' normally, yet this time it was different. The Pharaoh seemed to genuinely believe that the people here would be better working in harmony together and wanted to make this a reality with peace. The people of Menaphos eyed her as she walked. Was it her new position within the city? Her blatant affiliation to Zaros? With a resigned sigh, Sarainy walked out into the Kharidian desert, pulling her gorget up onto the bridge of her nose. ,.•°“ï†ï“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“ï†ï“°•., The sands howled around her. The desert winds carried the tiny grains and made them into a battering force of nature. Sarainy had spent her whole life in the desert however and was accustomed to far worse than this. True sandstorms were to be feared, this was nothing compared to their destructive power. Normally she would have tried to take some refuge, wait out the winds and travel in fairer weather. Yet just as the winds picked up she saw it - a few stone buildings and white tents. The bandit camp. By pushing on through the harsh winds, she could ensure an element of surprise. While not looking to resolve this issue with combat, it might give her a chance at least to explain herself rather than having an alarm sound and the camp on full alert. The camp seemed near empty as she entered upon it. Window shutters banged against the relentless winds and tents were firmly sealed up tight. Holding back on the urge to draw her scimitars, Sarainy went up to the most important looking building and banged hard on the wooden door. ,.•°“ï†ï“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“ï†ï“°•., She could hear a murmur of voices inside even over the sands. There was an uncomfortably long pause before a small shutter opened in the door. A pair of beady eyes, narrowed and aggressive peered out, "Who are you and what in the name of the Abyss do you want?" "My name is Sarainy, I represent the Wushanko Empire," she said plainly. Her hands twitched against the hilts of her blades. While an accomplished fighter, she didn't really relish the thought of fighting an entire tribe of brigands by herself. There was a thick laugh from behind the door, "You've got to be some sort of idiot to be walking around during this. Get lo..." his voice trailed off and his eyes widened before disappearing. He'd stepped back away from the small hatch in shock. "That mark. Yo..You're a warrior of Zaros," he stammered. Sarainy stood tall at the name, "Yes, I am. Now open the door, there is much to discuss." ,.•°“ï†ï“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“ï†ï“°•., **This Story is by @Sarainy**
  4. ï†ï True Loyalty ï†ï †¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤†¤† '°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,'°«„†„»°'´ Sarainy turned and left, once the Zarosian bandits prostrated and swore their fealty to Zaros, Vindicta, herself and then the Wushanko Empire… in that very deliberate order. The passing of time had given the sandstorm a chance to blow over. It was strange to now see the full collection of buildings and tents, rather than just their hazy outlines. This place was smaller than she thought. “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still,” Sarainy said in quiet tones to no one in particular, a mantra she had taken a liking to from a mural in the Senntisten temple. With resignation, she strode off northwards, to the next destination on her list. ,.•°“ï†ï“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“ï†ï“°•., Traveling through into the next morning, Sarainy saw not a single soul after leaving the bandit camp behind. Other than the sound of sands blowing in the wind there was just silence. Few ever visited this remote part of the desert. After all, why would they? There was nothing out here of value to them. They were of course, entirely wrong. You simply had to know exactly where to look. Standing atop a large sand dune, in the distance, Sarainy could see a collection of small desert tents right next to the sea. The home of the Tenti nomads, who held a valuable secret. As she arrived near the tents she called out to a group who had gathered, their weapons at the ready. “I mean you no harm, in fact, I come to talk peace – if you will listen?” The relief on their faces was only slight and a single figure stepped forward from among them. “I am Al Shabim, of the Bedabin Nomads. If it is the peace you seek then come, join us and speak plainly. However, if you have come to take our fruit from us then we will give you no quarter,” his eyes were narrow and he clearly was not quick to trust the words of a stranger. “No, the Tenti pineapple is yours to keep and trade, although it is…” Sarainy started. “Tenti!? You come here and throw racial insults at us?” Al Shabim glowered, “We should have your head outsider!” ,.•°“ï†ï“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“ï†ï“°•., It didn’t take long. After all, what were a dozen isolated desert tribesmen versus the disciple of the great General Vindicta and the prodigious dragon lord Gorvek? The smell of blood baking in the hot desert sun was somehow reassuring. It was after all the way to this place – the strong survive. The Empty Lord could respect that, Sarainy thought. The bandits in the south would finally learn of the hidden location of these special pineapples, and Sarainy would see that they grew them and delivered them to the Empire. It wasn’t the intended outcome, but it would do. ,.•°“ï†ï“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“ï†ï“°•., **The Above is a story by @Sarainy the below is by Dayan Itsu** News had come from the Desert Mining Camp, a worker who had ventured near the Bedabin Camp witness an atrocious act. What was supposed to be a peaceful negotiation turned into a bloodbath? When word had arrived at the throne room, the Pharaoh was furious. “How dare she! Perhaps we have made the mistake of trusting her too soon. Send guards and aid to the camp and tend to survivors quickly. She will be barred from holding lands in the western part of the desert and her current holds will be overseen by Vizier Cain Dundragon.” He slumped unto the throne with disbelief. One of the guards approached and knelt. “The news of the massacre in Bedabin has reached the gates of the golden city, the populace is appalled at what has occurred to the north-west. They are currently protesting at the steps of the Imperial District; shall we disperse them?” Dayan was rubbing his forehead at the mention of it, “No, allow them to protest so long as they are peaceful. If we were to interfere it would give the wrong signal that the government has turned into tyrannical. Inform them of what is going on, I will personally go to the camp as well. Also, send a letter to Sarainy, she must be reminded that she must abide by Wushankian Law. We have a judicial system in place and no one is to be killed indiscriminately.” ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•., The scribe finished the note and handed it to the messenger for it to be sent to Sarainy who will still be in Bedabin Camp. Outside the Pyramid was chaos, Dayan walked towards the steps of the Imperial District, “Please calm yourselves, what occurred was not supposed to happen. I will be heading there at this moment to assess the damage.” The guards helped him through the mob and began his journey to the Bedabin Camp to meet with Sarainy… He thought to himself as they rode to the camp, "These are peaceful people who fight for their lives against the bandits. Why in the world did she kill them for?! These people have gone through a lot either by raids or the Khalphites north of them. This is completely unjust..." Hopefully, we may find what happened. ,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,`'°«„†„»°'´,.•°“*ï†ï*“°•.,