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 Post subject: The Aftermath
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:36 pm
Posts: 35
Location: SE Michigan
I was reminiscing this morning about some of the old LA events, so I did some digging through old files and found 'The Aftermath' short story. I'm still looking for 'The Storm' but I wanted to share the Aftermath with you all again. I believe Derrel Weaver (WWDWD?) wrote this.


The Aftermath

As with most things, the Storm finally passes. Once again, the illustrious rays of the light of Illiir brighten the world of Onara. The Storm is gone, but the scars on the landscape, and on some people, remain.

The First City
The pilgrims once again return to their humble prayers and the rumbling beneath the earth finally ceases. Between supplications, they look with awe upon the massive lake formed to the east of the First City during the outpour. The flood plains remain awash, and will likely remain that way for months or years.

The Citadel of Hurrian, One of the Twelve Ancient Citadels Outside the First City.
The young cleric of Hurrian finally stumbles to his feet, his lips parched and bloody. With wonder he looks around the ancient chapel as other val'Tensen begin to lurch to their feet. Another young acolyte offers him a mug of cold storm water. The first drops against his broken lips send pain shooting through the young Val, and as he winces, his eyes find the broken pieces of the Citadel ceiling. Indeed, a small piece of the ceiling has fallen to the floor and broken. But, at the edge of the rubble, the young cleric spots something new, and then he knows the truth of it. The broken pieces of the statue of the Valinor have uncovered another smaller statue of a Valinor that had been hidden inside the first. With a sense of realization and no small measure of dread, Hier val'Tensen retrieves the hidden statue from the rubble... the statue of the Wrath of Hurrian.

Somewhere Deep in the Southern Blessed Lands Near the Corlathian Mountains
The darkly clad figure crests the hillock and is finally
greeted with the prize he has been seeking. The Storm has uncovered
thousands of bleached white bones on the plain before him. For the
first time in over a thousand years, Sergi val'Mordane smiles deep
within his hooded cloak. It is not a pleasant thing.

Ethelios, "The Ever-bright City," Capital of the Elorii Nation of Elonbé
The Temple of Osalían is once again quiet, although every wind chime and landing platform for aerial mounts has been ripped from their moorings and the structure itself will take many weeks to repair. The Lifewarden Polagros reviews the devastation in awe.
Truly this is the work of something beyond mortal understanding. He watches with fascination as his druid brethren and members of the Order of the Twelve Oaks begin righting and magically mending the ancient trees in the circle of twelve. What could this mean? Eleven trees toppled, the only one remaining was planted for the...oh blessed Belisarda. Do not let it be so. Is it an omen? Is Belisarda's prophecy coming to fruition? He must know. Moving past the rows of wounded Elorii, he moves to the sacred Elluwé somehow miraculously untouched by the storm. Was the Storm somehow sentient? He needs answers, and he knows he will find them looking within the sacred pools.

Khitan, Capital of the Khitani Empire
As the young priest wipes the last of the tears from the face of Sleeping Emperor, he marvels that he has been chosen for such an honor. His family will be so proud. Taking the sacred cloth and placing it reverently in the Holy Chest of Katochi, he kneels and begins his daily prayers. Without opening his eyes, the Sleeping Emperor speaks these solemn words, "And so it begins..." Several attending priests are struck deaf or blind the purity of the words, others simply drop over dead. Throughout the city, gongs silent for untold years begin to awaken with their master.

Tultipet, Dwarven Enclave
In this ancient enclave, the dwarves remain sealed within the protective confines of their mountainous walls. Ancient rituals and powerful divinations are performed trying to determine the nature and purpose of the Storm. Like many other secrets, their soothsaying results are unknown to the world, but their enclave remains sealed for many weeks.

Tir Betoq, Dwarven Enclave
In the central hall, the dwarves gather as the last of tears of blood are wiped from the face of the sacred statue of their founding Elder. The Heart Stone remains unbroken, but a tiny fracture can be seen deep within its recesses. The high priest leads the mass of dwarves in a simple prayer. "Oh Hurrian, how we have failed thee. In our shortsighted vision, we have failed to understand your plan for us. Use us how you will Lord, for we are prepared to follow you to whatever end we may find. Please grant us the Strength to do what must be done, the Wisdom to recognize what we must do, and Forgiveness for doing it." After the simple prayer, the dwarves of Tir Betoq resolve to redouble their efforts to protect the Emtazi and the chamber is filled with the thunder of thousands of marching feet...as the dwarves mobilize en masse.

Hunder, Canceri Province of the Coryani Empire.
As the Storm finally passes, the Holy Pillar of Nier returns to its full glory. It had been stifled by the Storm, but never extinguished. With its return to glory, so too do the priests and acolytes of the temple return, though with a greater sense of humility than they have ever known before.

City of Enpebyn in Valentia, Breakaway Province of the Coryani Empire
The wails of the dead vanish with the Storm. For one full week the forges of the Empire remain dormant. Night and day, the smiths work to clean and dry the massive furnaces so they may be relit. Finally, on the ninth day, the fire is rekindled, and the forges awaken, once again pumping their black seed into the skies and onto the streets of the once clean city.

New Althré, The Republic of Altheria
Platiro walks among the damaged cityscape oblivious to the massive damage caused by the Storm. He passes several damaged buildings and bridges, his measured gait carrying him directly to the Vault of Memory. Moving inside the damaged building, he motions silently to his guard, and immediately the monks of his entourage clear the building of all within, except Platiro. His manner hesitant, but resolute, the High Priest of Althares steps silently into the newly opened chamber. Slowly, he opens one of the many hidden scrolls and begins reading...

Nier's Spine, Canceri Province of the Coryani Empire
The ground rumbles its displeasure over the intrusion of the Storm. The pressure builds within the stone domes created when the volcanoes were extinguished by the torrents of water. Gradually, and in some cases explosively, the pressure breaches the domes and the volcanoes once again become active.

Solanos Mor, Dwarven Enclave in Revolt from the Coryani Empire
With the passing of the Storm, so too passes the hospitality of the dwarves. As soon as the rains relent, the dwarves usher their protected Emtazi back into the former location of Marketplace. Within a week, the combined workforce has rebuilt a majority of the essential structures of the small trade city. Within a month, Marketplace is completely rebuilt and open for business. Once the city has been rebuilt, the dwarves do not stop their building. Instead, they continue working, fortifying the area to protect it, as if they are expecting an attack.

Sseth, Capital City of the Ssethregoran Empire
Before the political infighting is over, thousands of bodies lie in a massive pile being slowly fed upon by buzzards and creatures of the swamp.

Seremas, Capital of the Elorii Nation of Entaris
With the passing of the Storm and the receding of the floodwaters, the Elorii gently but firmly guide their charges back into the "proper" sections of the city. The flood damage is repaired in typically efficient Elorii fashion, and aside from a marked increase in lacedon attacks, within a month, the city is back to normal.

Ymandragore, Isle of Tears
Standing on the battered shores of his nation, the immortal Sorcerer King looks to the east with an eerie gleam in his eye...and smiles.

Somewhere in the Elorii Nation of Malfelen
Almost the instant the fury of the Storm subsided, Magros spoke to his host, "Now!" With that single command, thousands of arrows filled the sky forming clouds of their own. And thus began the next Elorii offensive against the Sseth.

Moratavia, Kingdom of Milandir
With the passing of the Storm, the young King calls a gathering of the Regency Council. As the council makes preparations for the royal gathering, a lone figure travels up the rain washed roads towards Tralia. Abbot Divelos Norvitecus, of the Order of the Blade, continues to follow the path that will lead him to the audience requested in his personal summons from Duke Adolphos val'Tensen of Moratavia.

Nishanpur, Canceri Province of the Coryani Empire
The Provincial Governor/Autocrat sits unsteadily in his chair, his hands still trebling with unknown terror days after the Storm has finally subsided. Moving his hands beneath the desk to hide them from his aides, he begins his briefing. "Generals, with our new found Coryani friends accepting us back into the warm embrace of the Empire and Mother Church, we no longer need to scatter our troops out so needlessly. We can finally concentrate our power for swift and sure strikes against our enemies here!" Looking to the map spread across his desk, he gestures broadly. "Finally, we can be methodical in our approach to conquering this little insurrection.
We will begin here in Nishanpur, and set the example for others to follow. To that end, we will withdraw all our troops currently protecting the areas surrounding..." He glances to the map..."Stone Garden, Feldspar Hills, and Sicaris. We will bring these troops here to finally and positively crush this rebellion. Our Nol Dappan, Ashen Hide, and Coryani allies can fill in these gaps for us quite effectively. Any questions?" There are none. "Fine, you have your orders. Move!"

League of Princes, Province of the Coryani Empire
With the passing of the Storm, the Kio return to their everyday activities, but their sorrow remains.

City of Nevanne in Ulfila, Breakaway Province of the Coryani Empire
General Menesis paces his war room like a caged shadow lion. He ponders the many implications of the events of recent days, and nothing or no one can offer him guidance or comfort for the sense of dread welling up within his soul. First the Storm, then the vision, and now these ridiculous troop movement orders. What is going on?
There has to be an unseen enemy manipulating the events, but he can not see it, nor can he find the connection try as he might. A messenger brrings another dispatch detailing more orders for legion movements given by the Emperor. The Emperor. Oh Gods, what to do about the Emperor...concentrate on the simple things first. Yes.
The General gratefully takes the dispatches and dismisses the young legionnaire with a simple smile and "Thank you." The young soldier leaves beaming. Opening the dispatches, the General again reviews his dilemma. He has no problems obtaining intelligence on anything within the Empire because so many are still loyal to him, but even with this wealth of information at his disposal, most of it makes no sense to his keen military mind. For instance, this dispatch reveales that the Emperor has ordered Scipio Aemilianus val'Assanté's Legion of Sweet Sorrow to Savona, but why would the Emperor send his younger brother there? The Legion of Sweet Sorrow was founded there and would not have the proper mindset to put down any revolt should one occur. And why then, did he order the Legion of the Watchful Hunter to replace them in the desolate Western Marches if he were reinforcing his central base of power? He seemed to be moving troops just to move them. And what would happen if they tried to cross Valentia to reach their destinations? Would they be attacked? Would the provincial revolt lead to open civil war? Is that what the Emperor wanted to know? That would be a costly experiment indeed, if that were his goal. The needless loss of thousands of loyal Coryani sons, perhaps even his own brother...or was that the real goal? The elimination of his brother? Too many possibilities, and too many unanswered questions. The General has already pulled out a quill, ink, and paper to issue countermanding orders to the legions when he glances at the last line of the intelligence dispatch before him. The Emperor has ordered all legions out of the region of Sicaris.
His hand pauses in mid-sentence and his mind races to gauge the possibilities. Piecing together other pieces of the puzzle from other dispatches in his mind, he looks to the huge wall map. The Canceri have withdrawn troops from the same region, and now there are no Coryani, and another dispatch details huge Ying Hir and unspecified "other" troops moving in large numbers in the area...scouting, gathering. With cold realization, Menesis finally sees "A" hand behind this. He does not know who or why yet, but someone wants Sicaris undefended. Momentarily abandoning his dispatch to the Legion of the Watchful Hunter, he begins composing other dispatches, ordering supplies, troops, and...he glances at the map again and sighs...mistakes of the past that will haunt the future and scar the soul...shaking his head he realizes, he will need ships.

City of Vengeance, Beyond the Wall of the Gods
The ancient Devil Lord Uhxbracttit looks wearily at the casualty numbers as they still trickle in. The Storm had formed out of nowhere and had devastated a large portion of his army. Had the mortals beyond the Wall become so mighty as this? Impossible.
Looking longingly at a meticulously carved millennia old map on his chamber wall, his deep voice booms through the room. "And in exchange for this gift you ask from me, what do you offer?" A voice like sizzling water speaks from the darkness. "You will have something you are so desperately in need of, knowledge of the world as it is today. Knowledge is power. That is my counter offer." The Devil Lord's eyes boar into the darkness, revealing all the secrets lying hidden there. He regards his "guest" coldly. "You have a deal."

Grand Coryan, Capital of the Coryani Empire
The Emperor surveys the reconstruction efforts proceeding on his statue outside the palace window. Returning to his council gathered around the map of the Empire, he continues issuing orders. "Send the Legion of Sweet Sorrow to Savona. Have the Legion of the Watchful Hunter relieve them in the Western Marches with all due haste." "But Emperor, our policy has always been to station legions away from their founding regions," counters a young and not so politically astute General. "Is it?" is Calsestus' only reply as he raises his eyebrow and stares hard at the young officer. "Um. It... was, Your Grace. Until now," stammers the flustered officer. "Good." Satisfied that the young officer is properly chastised, the Emperor returns to the map. "Now, with the Canceri patrolling the northern reaches, we will no longer need to garrison Sicaris. Recall our troops from that area immediately. Bring them to..." he searches the map visually before reaching a decision. "Bring them to Abessios. Once we quell that little trouble spot, they can stage for Enpebyn." Stifling his instinct to remind the Emperor about the intelligence reports detailing the large number of "unknown" troop movements in the area of Sicaris, the young officer only replies with a feeble, "Yes sir."

_________________
Chris R Chivers
aka Temido
Gnome Priest of Anshar


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