View Full Version : The Life and Times of a Telvarin Ranger
I consider myself entirely original (except for the fact that this is a Guild Wars fan-fic, lol) when I write, and hope that this is an original as well.
Most people consider the 8 groups to be the only major groups, or, conversely, the 8 groups and the otehr 7 possible groupings that each one could have.
However, in real life, there would be things like Telvarins, and their philosophies would extend across the Ranger/Mesmer/whatever border. Maybe not immediately, but they would appear.
meh, I'll stop talking and you can see what I mean...:D
Chapter 1: On the Trail of Grawl
Alora Anophis looked up from the tracks she was studying, and followed their path with her eyes. She was crouched over the trail she had been following for days, and saw that the pack of Grawl had gone straight towards Ashbury. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but there was something different about these Grawls' tracks. Something she couldn't quite put her finger on.
She rose to her full heigh, her knees never having reached the ground, and stared forward. What were these Grawl thinking? They were getting too close to Ascalon. It would be a matter of time before they would all be destroyed. And it would take a fair percentage of their number to get past the Elementals that guarded Wizard's Folly, the Western approach to Ascalon.
No, it had to be something different. Grawl, while extremely blood-thirsty, rarely did anything without a purpose. Except…Alora couldn’t see the Grawl profiting in attacking Ascalon. There were simply too many guards to defend the fair city. Alora frowned. There was something going on here, something sinister. And she didn’t like it.
She started forward at a slow trot, thinking over what she had observed from the tracks. The Grawl were obviously well-equipped. That suggested that this wasn’t a raiding party, but part of a well-organized offensive. At least four of the sets of tracks indicated by the footwear, tread, and general impression that they were a different kind of Grawl from a different region of Ascalon known as Ulodytes. Another twenty-one were ordinary Grawl. In addition to that, there were also fifteen ordinary Grawl that were accompanying the entire group.
And the Grawl weren’t from around here, either. She’d caught up to them and observed them from a distance on several occasions. To the untrained eye, they looked exactly the same as any other Grawl. To her experienced eye, however, she could see that the bead patterns were different, and that the Grawl had different physical characteristics than those seen normally in Ascalon’s immediate vicinity.
Alora brushed her brown hair away from her eyes, and adjusted her mask. She was a member of the Telvarin sect of Rangers. While there were several Telvarin Ranger Guilds, the Telvarin way of life was primarily a way of life, rather than a group of people. The Telvarin Rangers were very strict, and Alora was no exception. One of the most prominent of these restrictions was never removing their mask in front of any living thing except for plants, and to only use a bow for offense or self-defense. That was another thing that differentiated Telvarin Rangers from other rangers. Their belief that all plants—Flowers, grass, trees, brush—were all alive.
However, that did not mean that the Telvarin Rangers were afraid to draw upon the resources of plants for whatever they needed. Instead, it tempered their use of plants, and ensured that every possible use of plants would be utilized, instead of using just portions of plants, and leaving the rest to rot or be eaten by something else.
However, because of their notorious xenophobia, Telvarin Rangers were the subject of many strange tales and myths, and were generally given a wide berth if possible, and scorned outright if not. Even among the rest of the Rangers that roamed the human-controlled areas of Tyria.
Of course, that was truly a mistake, as few realized how extensive the Telvarin Ranger network really was. The Telvarin Rangers actually had men several hundred miles north of the Great North Wall, in the depths of Charr territory. Of course, not many reported to others about what they saw. That was the life of a Telvarin Ranger. They thought of themselves as those that would someday tip the balance of the cosmic scales. However, they knew that within their lifetime, it would not be possible. And they were content to wait, millennia if need be, to change the world to their own ends.
Of course, that was not to imply that they were malevolent. They simply realized that mankind, at its very core, was weak. Men were weak because of their greed. Where greed went, dissension soon followed. And where dissension dwelled, collapse was imminent. The Telvarin Rangers had quickly adopted a code to protect themselves from greed. They swore to leave every worldly possession behind, except what was absolutely necessary for survival When they had once been proud members of society, and had said these things, they had been shunned, and all but cast out of human society. So thy had left of their own accord, and had become literal and figurative hermits. Often a male and a female Telvarin Ranger would meet, marry, and have children, and thus carry on the Telvarin way of life.
However, as time went on, more and more of the Telvarins’ children wanted to pursue other careers, and Telvarin Monks, Warriors, Elementalists, Mesmers, and Necromancers began to appear. As the numbers of the non-Ranger Telvarins grew, the rules of the Telvarin among that particular group changed. Masks became optional, and sometimes openly scorned. Bows fell into disuse. Some even began to marry non-Telvarins, a practice which most of the Telvarin were quick to condemn.
Then the first of the Guild Wars began, and the Telvarin scattered, as their number had been a prime target for those that wished to prove themselves worthy simply by the number of victories they had, as they were disliked by nearly all. The Telvarin became almost synonymous with elusive things, as the Telvarin, Ranger and non-Ranger alike, faded into the background, and could be found only in the hardest-to-reach areas.
Their priority on the average Guild Warrior’s list dropped considerably, until only rarely did a Telvarin have to fight. The Guild Wars still raged, but the Telvarin were no longer hunted, and they were able to move more freely. So now they roamed the wilds, waiting until mankind came to their senses. Waiting for some catastrophic event to make the world realize that they were right. That mankind was, in fact, greedy in their very nature, and that greed led to dissension. The Guild Wars were their proof.
Of the few Telvarin she had seen in her lifetime, many predicted the downfall of humanity within only a few years. Alora wasn’t certain if they were correct, but she knew that it would happen, and probably sooner rather than later.
Alora slowed as she noted that at this point, the Grawl had slowed as well. Just ahead, she could see why. The scattered stones of several Stone Elementals bore silent witness to the ferocity of the Grawl raiding party. She stopped to examine the battlefield, and stopped when she came to a collection of larger stones. This had obviously been the leader of the Stone Elementals. A Hulking Stone Elemental, as the Ascalonians called them, had been slain here, and its Enchanted Lodestone bleaching in the sun.
Alora knelt down and said several words for the fallen Stone Elementals, picked up the Enchanted Lodestones that were strewn where they had fallen around the battlefield, and promised, as if they could hear her, the fallen Elementals that the Lodestones would find their way back to others of their kind.
But then there was no time to lose. Alora got to her feet and jogged on, and noted with some interest that the battle had taken some time, although no Grawl had been killed. However, judging by the amount of Grawl blood she had seen on the battlefield, it had been a horrific battle for both sides.
And it was about to get worse for the Grawl, she saw with a smile. They were nearly five minutes ahead of her, she saw. If she timed things right, she could get to the Academy Monk outpost, warn them of the danger and tell them to flee, then get into hiding before the Grawl passed by. Then she would be in perfect condition to continue to trail them, and wait for a sufficient force to be assembled to stop them.
Then she would strike, and only then. Attacking now or when the Grawl were engaged with the Academy Monks would be suicide, she knew, and she knew that she would play a role in defeating the Grawl. She would only have one chance to strike, because as soon as she did, she would draw attention to herself. She would have to make sure that when she did draw attention, she would not be the center of too many Grawl.
This would be a delicate balancing game. Except that in this game, there wasn’t any fun. And if she failed, people would die.
She couldn’t allow that. It was her duty as a Telvarin Ranger to prevent that.
That was, after all, the duty of a Telvarin Ranger. To serve and protect.
well, let me know what you think.
And yes, the next chapter or two WILL be pre-searing...
then there WILL be some post-searing too...
I haven't decided to what extent, but...
this might just end up being a kind of pseudo-history (from my point of view) of what happens between the Searing and the post-searing time period of the game.
not that any of you have reviewed this, lol, but here's the next chapter...:D
Chapter 2: Of The Telvarin and Kalthaynan
The massive Charr war party moved south, towards the large wall of the Ascalonians. For generations, the great wall of the Ascalonians had stretched for the sky, and shielded them from the fury of the flames. Thousands upon thousands of Charr had dashed themselves to pieces against that wall, for nearly two hundred years, the Charr had tried to knock the wall down, using every conceivable option.
Every conceivable option, that was, of course, except for one. The leaders of the Charr had refused to allow the Kalthaynans to attempt to bring down the wall. Among the many reasons were that they were unpredictable in battle, and it would be difficult to predict what they would do, for both sides.
Trenghin Olkarr stopped, and felt the air rush out of his chest and into the air, then rush back in. His claws dug into the ground, and he sniffed the air. He could smell the fear of the humans from back here. The Oakhearts and the Grawl may have once ruled this entire area north of the great wall along with the Charr, but now it was time to take it back for the glory of the Charr.
Ahead he could see the front line engaging a line of the tree-like Oakhearts, and mercilessly cutting through their ranks. The Oakhearts tried their best to repel the Charr, but there were too many of them, and the Charr healers were just too good at their jobs to allow any of their warrior brethren to be hurt any more than that of a glancing blow.
The Charr warriors were doing very well, Trenghin noted, and glanced over his shoulder at the eight Charr that were leading, or rather directing, the entire group. The eight figures were wreathed in some kind of energy. Two looked as if they were outlined in red, two as if in yellow, two in blue, and two in green. It was odd, Trenghin thought, and hurried to catch up with his pace in line.
It was odd. They were Kalthaynans, but they didn’t look any bigger than the rest of the Charr. The stories had all said that the Kalthaynans were practically giants, and could destroy their enemies with a flick of a finger. Well, even more so than a highly trained human Elementalist could.
Trenghin marched along with the other seven hundred Charr as they marched on the Ascalon’s greatest fortification, and remembered the stories he had heard about the Kalthaynans, and their greatest enemies, the Telvarins.
The Telvarins and the Kalthaynans had existed ever since Grenth gave magic to the Charr, and Dwayna magic to the humans. At first, there had been four separate groups. Two within the human factions, and two within the Charr factions. Two of the factions, a Grawl and a human faction, happened to share nearly the same convictions, and the other two did as well.
For a time, these four factions became two, and the humans and Charr worked together, in secret. Then wars broke out as the various magical races sought supremacy over all the others. The two factions were branded traitors by the humans and the Charr, and were cast out from among them.
The two groups traveled to the other magical races, who gladly enlisted their help in the wars. However, whenever the two met, even if they were supposed to be friendly, the always ended up fighting.
More often than not, one group, the most aggressive, usually started things. This faction dealt in outrightwarfare. They would stop at nothing to achieve their goals. They burned the land of whatever they were meant to conquer, and slaughtered all who were unfourtunate to be caught behind their enemy’s lines. They became known as the Kalthaynans, after a group of dwarves who, in that time period, were the most bloodthirsty in all of Tyria.
The other faction preferred to fight in the dark, or in surprise attacks. They became well known for attacking armies and positions that had up to five times as many men as they had, and still coming out with a clear victory. They were known for their honor, and for their surprising ability to ambush their enemies. After they successfully held an Oceanside port against an army of five thousand Grawl with only three hundrerd men, they were generally referred to by the name of the town. Telvarin.
Gradually, as the Magic Wars went on, the Charr began to stop joining the Telvarins, and began to join the Kalthaynans, preferring their brute force methods. Humans, on the other hand, preferred the tactics of the Telvarins.
Gradually, the Telvarin and the Kalthaynans became synonymous with the two races. As a massive battle between the two forces neared in the Shiverpeak Mountains, the massive magical stone was broken, and the five pieces were scattered upon Tyria. Without magic, the Kalthaynans were unable to hold up against the Telvarin attack.
However, as the Telvarins were pressing their advantage, the Deldrimor Dwarves flanked both armies, and nearly destroyed them both. Since that day, the Charr had always had a particular hatred for the dwarves. Both factions withdrew quickly, and the dwarves, from that day forward, had never been ousted from the mountains.
The Telvarins had been the hardest hit, and had faded into history. For nearly a hundred and fifty years, the Telvarins had lived in exile, the majority of them Rangers.
The Kalthaynans, however, had retreated back to the homelands of the Charr. They had been greeted as traitors, and from that day forward had been the lowest caste in all of Charr society, despite being the best warriors of all the Charr. The Kalthaynan Charr had vowed never to have a repeat of the Deldrimor Incident, as it became known. Some of the Charr had trained to such an extent that magic literally oozed out of them, and they became as the eight Kalthaynans that led Trenghin’s war party, surrounded by a glowing light.
Trenghin had heard of, seen, battled, and defeated other such warriors of other races, and knew that they were definitely not invincible. However, they were considerably more powerful than any normal specimen of that race.
Trenghin kept his eyes straight ahead, resisting the temptation to scan the forests alongside the road, for any sign of Telvarin rangers. It would be just like them to attack now, when victory for the Charr and the Kalthaynans was near.
Vul’can Pon’farr watched through the trees as the Charr army passed by. He was a Telvarin Ranger, but was also partial to Mesmer magic. It was nearly the only way to stay out of sight of the Charr, Grawl, and Oakhearts that perpetuated this region. There weren’t many Telvarin left. Almost all of them had been wiped out all that time ago. In that last battle with the Kalthaynans.
There were now less than two hundred of their number total, and only thirty within the immediate area of Ascalon. He had been assigned, through their intricate communications network, to spy on the numbers, composition, and, if possible, leadership of the Charr force Telvarin agents, both humans and some of the few remaining Charr Telvarin, from deep within their own territoryhad gotten word to the Ascalonian Telvarins was coming.
Vul’Can frowned as he watched the Charr file past. This couldn’t be. Not within his wildest nightmares had he imagined anything like this. There, marching in the middloe of the procession, were eight Charr Kalthaynans. The Kalthaynans were military geniuses, and among the best warriors anywhere in Tyria. However, they were looked down by the Charr, who had the largest numbers within the Kalthaynans.
So if not one but eight Kalthaynans were among this army, and not just among the warriors but, judging by their positions, leading the army, the Charr were obviously expecting to face stiff resistance, heavy losses, or both. That could only mean that the Charr thought that they had found a way either through or around Ascalon’s Great Northern Wall.
Vul’Can grimaced. News of this magnitude had to reach King Adelburn and Prince Rurik as quickly as possible, even if it meant possibly exposing himself and the other Telvarins between himself and the Ascalon Palace. The King had to be warned.
Vul’Can got up quickly, and turned around to leave, only to find no fewer than eight Grawl standing in front of him, brandishing their weapons eagerly. The Telvarin kicked himself. Had he really expected the Charr to march into contested territory without pickets? He had made a mistake. One mistake out of his entire life.
And it would cost him his life.
He knew that he would never be able to survive this battle, because even if he killed every one of the Grawl, the battle would attract the attention of the Charr, and one of the Kalthaynans would burn the entire area to the ground with a fireball, something that the red Kalthaynans were particularly good at.
Vul’Can took a deep breath, then snatched up his bow from the ground, and yanked an arrow out of his quiver. No longer afraid of giving his position away, he let out a yell, and charged forward.
As he fought, he suddenly heard a roar, felt a brief feeling of pain, and then he was dead, and the only hope of Ascalon along with him.
well, for those of you who are really into the history of Ascalon, let me know if I messed up at all in the history of Ascalon.
I think that I've done a good job of having a story, while keeping the story (so much as I've gotten to, anyway) intact.
The Wandering Fool
Incredibly well written. I also love the concept of Telvarin's. Would you mind if I made a RP Telvarin on either gwrpa.net or the guild hall?
this actually got a reply?
I'd almost given up hope.
thank you very much...
if you could PM me the info for the RP that you're setting up, I'd like to take a look at it before I give you permission
EDIT: Chapter three!
it's got The Burning...
hope you like how I did it!
Alora pulled the last of her arrows from the dead Grawl, and examined them quickly to ensure that they were still good for shooting. She put the ones that she was satisfied with into her quiver, and threw the rest into the campfire that the Grawl had made. There were only a few more hours until daylight, and she had to be well away from the camp before it came. The local Grawl that had come to meet with the foreign Grawl had made her uncomfortable. Fortunately, they had started fighting, and she had been able to wipe out the remaining Grawl after the local Grawls were wiped out.
She glanced around, and began setting her fire trap, and a dust trap next to it. The Dust Trap would go off before the fire trap, wiping out her tracks, while the fire trap would destroy her arrows, and any other evidence of her passing.
She darted into the forest then, and didn't look back. She knew that her traps would work. They always did. Right now she had to get away from the Grawl Ambush, so that if she were discovered, she would never be connected with their deaths. To anyone else, it would look like the Grawl wiped each other out.
There was a muffled thump, then, a few seconds later, a bright flash. Almost as if in answer, a bright yellow flash from the northeast blazed through the night sky, illuminating the sky brighter than day. Then came the massive sound.
It sounded like a thousand mountains falling over themselves, while the creatures that inhabited the area around the mountains all screamed out in terror. Alora stood, frozen, staring at the source of the sound and noise. This wasn't possible. She couldn't think of anything that could make that kind of cocophany AND that light. Then the wind hit her, and she was picked up off of her feet and thrown through the forest.
She never knew how long she flew, but she later remembered seeing The Burning, a giant wall of fire that extended for as long as she could see, rushing towards her. She stared at it in a fascinated horror as she was being hurled through the forest. It incinerated everything in its path, and actually had a wave of debris flying out in front of it, and was slowly catching up with the debris and burning it to the consistency of charcoal when it was engulfed by the wave of fire.
Then she felt herself being slammed into stone, and being thrown off to her right into a cave that, fortunately for her, was out of the direct path of The Burning. As the fire roared past the cave opening, she stared at it in dazed horror, wondering how such a fire could possibly have been made, controlled, and directed at Ascalon.
Dimly, she felt her clothes begin to catch fire as the temperature rose along with the wave of fire's passing. She threw herself onto the ground, and began to roll into the ground as hard as she could.
Alora looked up at the fire, as its roar her ears, and, for the first time in some time, she was filled completely with fear. What could possibly have done this, and created a wall of flame that lasted so long?
The answer made her heart grow cold, even as the last of The Burning passed by the cave opening, and the night grew quiet once again. The Kalthaynans were capable of such raw power, and would have no qualms about using it. If they had risen to such a high standing in the eyes of the Charr that they were being permitted to use their power against the Ascalonians...
Alora's eyes widened as she realized what that would mean, and she began to weep for Ascalon, and all of the realms of man.
Trenghin stared as the massive burst of fire quickly receded into Ascalon, burning everything in its path. All around him, Charr were murmuring prayers to their gods at the unprecedented, and, frankly, frightening amount of fire that had just passed right over their heads.
As one, the Charr army turned to look at the Kalthaynans, who stared greedily into Ascalon. What had the Charr done, unleashing this power? If the Kalthaynans could unleash this, what would stop them from turning around loosing it on the rest of the Charr once they were done with the humans?
Then the order was given for the Charr to go through the wall. Trenghin turned back to the massive hole that had been opened in the humans' wall, and began running, along with the rest of the army. They would kill all the humans in sight, and would carry the day, but many Charr would die.
With a start, Trenghin realized that none of the Kalthaynans would die, and that they would likely get a much larger opening for their actions. What would the Kalthaynans do then?
Tenghin swallowed, and was afraid. And it wasn't just him. The entire army stank of fear. Not of fear of the humans, but fear of those from whom they were taking orders. Tenghin couldn't help but feel that this would end badly.
I like it.
Other than a few places where I think it could be improved by rewording things.
For example: "Then came the massive sound." (chapter 3)
Massive, in my experience, does not describe a sound too well.
It's good stuff, thank you for sharing it with us.
thanks, and I'll try to change the wording around...
oh, and btw, sorry about calling "The Searing" "The Burning." I know I looked like such a n00b, but I genuinely forgot the term, lol...
in the meantime...
Chapter 4: Through the Fire
Prince Rurik looked around, wide awake, not exactly sure what had happened. One minute he'd been sleeping, the next, a roar had rolled across Ascalon City, and the town had been engulfed in flames, destroying entire buildings, burning the grass, and drastically changing the landscape. His house had nearly been entirely demolished, and it was pure luck that he was still alive.
He and his man that hadn't been caught exposed by the fire had immediately armed themselves and charged outside. There, the devastation had surprised even him. Not a blade of grass had been spared from instant immolation, and only a few trees remained, and those badly burned.
But that wasn't half the devastation. It looked as if the massive...wave of fire had actually pushed the land before it, and had drastically reformed the landscape. He had barely recognized the landscape when he had first come out of his ruined house to find out what had happened.
His attention was suddenly caught by bestial roars, and he whipped his head around to see Charr pouring through a massive breach in the Great Nrothern Wall. He paled, and glanced around quickly. His men were moving to intercept the Charr, but he knew that there was no way that they would be able to defend against this invasion. “Fall back!” he yelled, “Bring everyone you can, and fall back to Fort Ranik! Fall back!”
The word was quickly passed along the ranks, and then the general populace that had survived caught the words that the men that had sworn to defend the beautiful city were passing amongst each other, and they began to run in an unruly manner towards the city gates.
Rurik glanced over his shoulder, and saw that the Charr were coming far too quickly. There simply wasn't enough time to get everyone out of the city. “Devona!” he called out to a warrior he had spotted, “Take Cynn and twenty of the men, and hold the Charr as long as you can.” he turned and spotted a nearby Ranger. “Aidan!” he called out, “Go to Ashford Abbey and get Menhlo and as many of the monks as possible, and bring them back here!”
Rurik steeled himself, and threw himself towards his enemy. He knew that there was no way that he could possibly win this fight, but with any luck, he could delay the Charr long enough to allow most of the Ascalonians to escape the city, and make it to Fort Ranik, where the counter attack could begin.
Aidan ran as fast as he could for Ashford Abbey, hoping that he could get there in time to send the monks back to help Ascalon before it was overrun. How could this have happened? The Telvarin rangers should have warned them about anything this drastic.
Aidan was actually a former Telvarin ranger, but he had not been born into the select group. Soon after arriving in Ascalon, he had been approached by a very young woman named Alora Anophis, who had offered him the oppurtunity to join the legendary group. He had quickly joined, but soon realized that this meant that he would have to give up his former life and devote himself entirely to the Telvarin.
He left the Telvarin rangers, but had maintained contact with Alora. Well, as much contact as one could with a Telvarin. Alora had been out of contact with him for several months now. Not an uncommon occurrence, but, given the Telvarin intelligence network, she or another Telvarin should have told him about this threat. They should have told him about this, as he was their only contact within Ascalon.
Aidan felt a chill.
What if they were dealing with an entirely different brand of magic, one that cloaked the Charr even from the Telvarin? The magic that brought down the wall was pretty powerful. If one were able to do that, then cloaking oneself from the Telvarin would be relatively easy.
Aidan swallowed, and quickened his pace even faster than he had thought possible for him to go.
Alora woke up with a jolt, and looked around. For a moment, she didn't recognize anything. The moon, which she could JUST see from her cave was getting low in the sky, a sure sign that morning was near. She was in the Catacombs, she realized. She had darted into their entrance that was in Wizard's Folly.
Her first thought was relief that she hadn't been eaten by Devourers. Her second, upon glancing around, was horror that she was the only thing that she could see that survived. She swallowed. What could possibly have done this? She SHOULD have been told about it.
The other Telvarin had messed up. And for Telvarin, that was usually a fatal mistake. She shook her head to clear it, and got to her feet. She had to get to Ascalon City and find out what had caused that massive blast.
She took a step forward, and her left leg gave way. She fell forward and grimaced. It would be a long trip. But she had to make it. She blew out her breath and concentrated. After a few seconds, a cool wind whipped past her, taking much of her injuries with it.
She opened her eyes and tried to stand again. She put her hand out against a wall, and tried to walk again. It still hurt, but now it was only about the pain level of a sprained ankle. She knew that there was nothing more that she could do. She took another step forward, and cast about for a piece of wood to use as a crutch.
Then the full reality of what had happened hit her as she slowly cleared the shelter of the Catacombs. The land was scorched. The trees were immolated. The land completely reshaped. That blast of fire had destroyed everything. While her bow was still in one piece, the fletching of her arrows and the bow string was completely burnt, the bow was warped, and the arrows were brittle from being the approximate consistency of charcoal. Her clothes, she noted as she quickly glanced over herself, were pretty much gone too.
Alora dropped to her knees, ignoring the pain that this sudden action incited, and began to weep. How many creatures had died in this attack? How many humans had died? Who had done this? How could she make them pay? The last thought startled her, and it jolted her back to reality.
The Telvarin were not a force that dealt out justice. They saw what had to be done, and they did it, no questions asked. They were not the sort of people who had casual thoughts about revenge. That she had some now was most disturbing, but she had no time to ponder such thoughts. She had to get to Ascalon City and find out what happened.
She took a deep breath, and began limping her way forward, hoping that she wasn't yet too late. But the orange glow on the horizon in the direction of Ascalon City told her that, most likely, for those in Ascalon City, it was already too late.
Prince Rurik ducked beneath an axe, and buried the hilt of his sword into the Charr that had swung it, and spun away from the creature, and attacked another Charr, only to have to fall back several steps as the first attacker, healed by another of their bestial number, took another swing at Rurik. He bit back a curse and sent another quick prayer to Balthazar as he continued his retreat. His men had lost nearly half of their number in their retreat, and Cynn and her men had lost even more.
The invaders were rampaging through the city, setting it alight, and killing any humans that they found. Most of the Ascalonians were out of the city, however, so all that remained for the men of Ascalon to do was to escape the city. No easy feat, considering that a group of Charr had sneaked around the city, and had flanked the guards at the city gate. They were trapped.
Unless Aidan got back soon, they would all be dead, and the hope of Ascalon with it, most likely. The Charr pushed the Ascalonians relentlessly, and now they were fighting in what had been a corner of the city walls. Rurik blocked another swing at one of his men, and quickly riposted, once again ripping into a Charr, only to have his wound be instantly healed.
Then a roar echoed over the city, and the fighting stopped. The Ascalon soldiers huddled together in tight groups in dread of whatever had made the roar, and the Charr, apparently, in response to the orders contained in the sound. Rurik, however, stood alone, and stared defiantly into the faces of the forces that wanted to rip him end from end.
The Charr in front of Rurik pulled back, but not before shooting him one more hate-filled glare, and then parted for a particularly old Charr, who was surrounded by a blue glow. Slowly, the old Charr limped forward, a pole of metal at the ready in its hands. The pole didn't appear to be magical, but then, not everything that was appeared to be so.
It opened its mouth, and began to speak in the tongue of men. “Sons of Ascalon, and Prince Rurik. You have fought bravely. For this we give you this one chance to live.” the old beast raised one clawed hand, and looked at it, as if bored. “Surrender.” he said simply.
One of the soldiers behind Rurik stirred. “And if we don't?” the soldier challenged.
The Charr whipped its head up and hand out so fast that Rurik didn't see it happening. Gasps of horror from his men brought Rurik's gaze to the man that had spoken. It looked as if every inch of his body was being pushed inwards, and every inch of his inner body were being pushed outwards. The young guard let out a scream, that abruptly ended in a a wet gurgle.
Rurik brought his gaze back to the old Charr, and glared at him. “Then,” the old Charr said quietly, staring at Rurik with something that almost resembled respect, “You will die.”
Alora breathed a sigh of relief as she climbed the last hill. She had made it to Ashford Abbey, using her ruined bow as a crutch. She would be safe here while she recovered, and gathered information. She would be—
She stared at the ruins of the once-proud Abbey, and couldn't believe her eyes. Yes, she had seen the devastation that had engulfed the rest of the land, but somehow, in the back of her mind, she had naively clung to the belief that somehow, it was untouched. Instead, the abbey was completely gone, and the pool that flanked the statue of Dwayna was about the only thing that remained the same. The ground was bare. No grass covered the ground now.
She scanned the abbey, and found more than a few stirring bodies, but only one that she recognized. Something deep within her heart stirred, and for a moment she felt something of what had made him leave the order, and what had very nearly made her follow him. “Aidan,” she said, before she could gain control again.
Aidan glanced up impatiently as the Monks got ready for their sojourn to Ascalon City, and turned to check their progress once again, but what the thought he saw...
“There's a survivor!” one of the monks cried out, pointing at a figure standing atop the hill that Aidan was staring at.
Aidan heaved a sigh of relief. Alora was back. She had survived. Somehow just knowing that the resourceful ranger had survived made him feel better. If she had done it, then maybe the other Telvarin had survived as well. If the other Telvarin survived, then maybe there was hope for Ascalon after all.
Aidan felt himself running towards her before he consciously decided to. She had become like a little sister to him over the last five years, despite it being problematic at best to see each other on a regular basis.
Alora staggered forward, favoring her left leg. She was injured. But then, out in the wilds, it would have been difficult to survive...whatever it was that had enveloped Ascalon. But Grenth had not claimed her yet. Perhaps Balthazar had further plans for her, or maybe Dwayna decreed that not all of the innocent would perish in this atrocity.
Or maybe Lyssa and Grenth were just playing with him, giving him a ray of hope, only to jerk it away later. But he didn't care. Alora was alive. He swept her up into his arms, and the two embraced. “I thought for sure you'd died,” Aidan whispered.
“You'll not get rid of me that easily,” she grinned. Alora pulled back, looking over Aidan's shoulder at the monks, “You're taking thefight back to whoever did this?” she asked.
Aidan shook his head. “No, there are too many Charr pouring through the Wall, and not enough soldiers survived the blast to fight them. We're falling back to Ranik. The Monks are sending as many of their number as they can to help the city inhabitants, and then they're falling back to Wizard's Folly via the Catacombs.”
A monk reached over and took hold of Alora's shoulder. “Miss, if you would please come with me,” he said, smiling politely.
Alora ignored him and kept talking to Aidan. “There won't be much left between here and Ranik, if you run, you may make it.”
The monk sighed heavily, “Look, lady,” he said abruptly, “Although I'm a monk, it doesn't mean that I have to be polite. There are Charr on the way, and we kind of don't want to get killed by them. So let's say goodbye to your boyfriend and either get going, or you can stay here and wait for the Charr to get you. I don't care which happens. Let's just MOVE!”
I like the idea you have. The last part was great, especially with the non-conformists monk (reminds me a bit of the friar in Van Helsing).
Keep goin man. :happy14:
Very very nice story. I'm waiting for the next chapter.
I hope this thread isn't dead and buried, but great story.
It clearly shows the confusion and devastation in the searing, creates an omnious direction for it to go, and I could easily see it becoming part of the official Lore - maybe as a quest about the Telvarin in pre & post sear or something.
Anyway....like most people, awaiting more,
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