My Lands: Black Gem Hunting

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PostPosted: 21 Dec 2018, 07:45 
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We congratulate the players Hexxus and TravisBagzwell upon annihilation of an Arch-Ruin on 16.12.18 and winning 26403 Black Gems.

Looking forward to reading the Story about the great feat!

PostPosted: 11 Mar 2019, 20:24 
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The meat was sizzling on the grill on the back porch of the tavern, Travis reached for the skewer to flip the steaks. A hand reached out to stop him.
“Don’t,” John Ironhewer said, “You only flip steaks once, that’s all they need. Get it right and it’ll give them a far better taste. And we all know we need every bit of flavor we can get with Galoré running the show.”
“Even that griller from the far west couldn’t get Galoré to give him many points and he has the most exotic spices I’ve tasted in years. We’ll have to get our technique down every step of the way.” Travis said agreeing.
“Maybe we should employ the alchemists to switch their science studies to help us win the tournament!” John jested and gave Travis a playful slap on the shoulder. They each picked up their mugs of beer and took deep swigs.
“I wonder if we could procure some of those spices, then we could play with recipes and perfect them. I’m sure with those kinds of resources we’d be able to take team Grillindor to the top…if only…” Travis was saying as he prodded the steak on the grill to see how tender it was.
“Nonsense! Keep. It. Simple! Salt and pepper are all we need – well, and butter. Those three and we’re golden. We perfect those three and we’ll be number one, I’m tellin’ you there’s a secret ratio.” John lectured while nodding every now and then and adding a sprinkling gesture with his fingers for emphasis.
“It’s too hard, grilling gives me gas and I need to lie down,” a voice said. Everyone turned, and it was Sam “Buzzkill” Stonefart. Gas oozed all around him like a thin green mist and attacked the nostrils of everyone around.
Disgust filled Travis as he grimaced and turned his shoulder to Sam. Sam was on team Grillindor, but he couldn’t remember how. He didn’t recall a single day Sam wasn’t groaning, farting, and stagnating everything.
“But you haven’t even grilled today – or even this week, come to think of it,” Travis said while keeping his back to Sam and turning and extra degree to ensure he didn’t have to look at him. Instinctively he grabbed his mug and glanced at the keg he’d purchased. Sam would drink and eat his fill on anyone’s coin any chance he could.
“Yyyyeeah… … …do you think I could just…hold your tools for a while after you’re done, walk around the streets a little before I lie down? Then people will see that I’m helping out with Grillindor’s practice session,” Sam lazily inquired as he slowly leaned against the wall near the keg and began to slide down into a sitting position. When he was all the way down, a small, but distinct fart shot out. Neither Travis nor John reacted, but both subtly stopped breathing through their nostrils. They quietly sipped their beers and watched the grill. There was never much to say when Sam was around, even though he was a part of their grilling team. How did Sam end up on this team, Travis pondered idly. “…Do you want a beer, Sam?”
“Oh no, nono, I’m fine” Sam said while scrunching his face, a small fart hissing out from him while he leaned to the side.
The grill roasted for a little longer when a man whom they had not noticed before stepped toward them and inquired, “What are you cooking? It sure smells delicious,” he began and then his face wrinkled for a moment and he looked puzzled, “except for a peculiar sulfuric hint…,” but quickly resumed his pleased inquiring face, “I would love to try it if you’d like for an opinion. You see, I couldn’t help but overhear a bit of your conversation. I am no grill master, but I have tasted a fair share of steaks in my day.” Travis and John exchanged glances and then back at the man. He gestured with a small bow and continued, “Allow me to introduce myself: I am Serral, a merchant who supplies the best grill supplies money can buy.” Travis and John exchanged glances again with an extra bit of surprise this time. “There is an opportunity I’d like to share with you, once in a lifetime, I assure you. Of course, you must promise to cut me in, a small share 1% is all I ask…”
“Well sure, sit down, we’ll get you a taste. And a pint too—” Travis stopped short as he glanced at the keg. Stonefart was lying on his back with his mouth open underneath the tap, draining the keg into his open jaws.

* * *
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The crumbling ruin served as an apt location for the monster summit since it would be no more suspect than any other ruin to an initial scout report from any of the nearby kingdoms. The acropolis was nothing out of the ordinary, one might even say it was a hardly a castle at all. Most of the soldiers the monster leaders would bring would have to wait in the remainder of the discarded dwellings or the surrounding hills. This wouldn’t be difficult for them even though the terrain was dead and scorched, lava flows meandering this way and that causing an ever slowly shifting situation of intolerable molten surfaces. Lizards, golems, and monsters of all sorts idled around in packs, mostly sticking with their own kin, but mixing at parts because there was no where else to be space wise. A slow procession of each tribe trickled up a curled path like ants into the main hall, carrying with them the precious stones called Black Gems.
Despite the degradation of the domain, the main hall stood mostly intact. Inside, the leaders of each tribe were gathered, a large circle for which their cohorts helped form a circle in the court. A large black marble table was in the center and the leaders sat in tall back chairs, eyeing each other. There was Krakenkeld, the lizard beast who could pull a tower down by himself; Dagatar, the darkstone golem, one of the only forged of such material; Thron the orc chieftain and his worg Dripper at his side; the horror Rrezesh, needle beast clung to the back of the seat; Gol the great gargoyle dreadlord, massive wings folded yet still towering above the table; Octavia the cunning hell witch, who was constantly whispering with her attendants; Zyron the pernicious fire spirit, constantly juggling a small flame between his fingertips; Gel’ekans, the snake warlock who hissed silently, legs slithering, and pupils sharp slits; and Darksol, the arch wizard of the Dark Elves brooding in silence, his eyes glowing slightly from his horned helmet – all these leading their own tribes of minions to their own goals. Here, finally at this summit, the tribes could work out a deal and begin cooperation. Organizing such forces together would provide enough strength to take on the other races, Humans, Elves, Demon, and even Dark Elves.
Darksol rose and spoke, “Monsters, you have come here because you seek power, power that we can achieve by coming together. I have gathered us here in the hopes of claiming such power.” He glanced around the room at the various lords and nodded at each in turn. “By bringing collected gems together, we can use them to empower us more than we ever could individually.” There was a long pause. “Alas, now, I will claim that power…for myself…”

* * *

“We’re going.” Travis declared, putting his now empty mug onto the table and pushing it forward.
“We’re going where?” Sam chimed. “There isn’t even a real location, you want us to venture out into the middle of no where to meet some stranger who is peddling magic salt?” Sam was looking incredulously at Travis for a moment, then looked around the table at the others.
“The competition is really getting to you, ease up, there’s not much we can do with Galoré in charge. Come, another beer,” John held up his mug and signaled to the server. They go their next round and drank. John pondered for a moment, then said, “Do you think the deal is legit?” John glanced at Travis. “If he really does have it like he says…then we can take our grilling to the next level. Galoré will be asking us to cook for him directly!” John grinned.
Travis stood up and said, “Then it’s settled – now is our time to finally win and show everyone that Grillindor is the best team of grill masters in the land! We ride tonight!”

* * *
File comment: Darksol Army
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The bedlam started quickly, the monsters already keen on being betrayed. All around, there was brawling and fighting, but the lords were furious at Darksol.
Thron slammed his fists onto the table, sending webbed cracks through it. He roared, grabbed his spear, and leaped onto the table. Dripper, his worg partner growled ferociously, drool slobbering from his teeth. Rrezesh, the insect-like beast clicked rapidly and rotated his position on the chair. Thron and Dripper charged simultaneously from slightly different angles at Darksol. Rrezesh pulsated violently and sent a volley of razor-sharp spines at the arch wizard. With a wave of his hand, a small rift opened just before Darksol’s fingers. A second rift yawned open in front of him and the spines flew into one and right out of the other, back towards Thron and Dripper. Thron shrieked, slashed with his spear knocking needles out of the air and covered his body with his arm. Dripper yelped and flew back, blood dripping, he was pinned to the wall, slain. Thron looked back at Dripper and a bloodlust came over him. He charged again, but an unseen force paralyzed his muscles and he tripped forward on the great table. He struggled to move, grunting and raging.
Gol had spread his wings and launched straight into the air of the chamber and Rrezesh chittered and jumped to the wall. The witch Octavia had been surrounded by her attendants and begun to slip away down a corridor away from the main hall. The monsters were clattering with each other and the chaos was making it difficult for all of them.
Darksol looked to Octavia’s group and put his hand up, then brought it swiftly down. The stone archway of the corridor ripped apart and crumbled to the floor, blocking the way as well as crushing some of the attendants in the front. A great slamming force hit Darksol and splinters flew everywhere, knocking him half over. He caught himself and turned to the source. Dagatar had thrown his chair and now he was grasping a large part of the marble table, readying it to throw next. Zyron flung a fireball at Darksol, but when it struck, the flames only brushed the wizard back slightly. Scowling, Zyron, flickered and went invisible. Darksol shot a beam of energy at Dagatar, but his darkstone body sent the beam ricocheting off him into a crowd of golems, slicing them in half, but with little effect on Dagatar. The marble hunk was over his head now and swung his arms back to throw it, but in a desperate move, Darksol pushed his arms forward and Thron’s body went flying up and into Dagatar, knocking him back and dropping the enormous slab right onto Thron with a large crunching sound.
Krakenkeld was bulldozing through a crowd of monsters in an effort to get out of the building. Again, Darksol crumbled the archway of the exits, trapping any trying to escape from the bedlam. Hesitating only for a moment, Krakenkeld grabbed the large boulders with his jaws and pushed; slowly moving them forward creating an exit. Suddenly, hands clasped upon Darksol’s shoulders from behind and then flames began to sear from them onto the arch wizard. Crying out, Darksol was stunned for a moment, but then flung the arms off him and spun around. He saw Zyron there scowling again and flickering in and out of visibility, but flames dancing all around him. Darksol charged magic into his fist and then opened his fingers towards Zyron. A small cloaked spirit emerged with a scythe which zipped around Zyron who tried to keep vision on it. The spirit flew straight through Zyron from the back and passed through without friction. As it did, Zyron’s soul was ripped from him. The flames, with nowhere to go, shot out and ignited everything they touched, sending monsters reeling. The tiny spirit zipped away with Zyron’s soul and disappeared.
Gol came flying down from the ceiling with the flames igniting him, but he was resistant to them. He burned, but slowly, and rage filled him. He slammed into the floor, cracking it and sending a shockwave around him knocking everything back. Darksol threw up his arms and a purple prism formed briefly around him, shielding the shockwave’s force, then dissipating. Gol lifted his wings, but three more beams from Darksol pierced his hide and sent the gargoyle toppling in half, turning to stone as he died. Dagatar had recovered from the impact against the wall which left him imprinted and lodged. He charged at Darksol and struck at him. The arch wizard tried to stop his blow with magic force, but once again the darkstone golem was impervious, only being slowed the slightest and smashing at Darksol’s shoulder with a loud slam, sending him to his knee. Dagatar took a step closer and stood up tall, his eyes glowed red as he homed in upon his opponent. Then, Darksol lunged forward and grabbed at Dagatar’s throat. Though the golem did not need air, the act choked him nonetheless as lightning shot forth from the ring on Darksol’s finger. The energy crackled and hissed and crawled over Dagatar’s body, shaking him violently and he moaned a dull cry of anguish that droned ever lower. The ring was siphoning the magic from Dagatar’s body and the darkstone had become inert. The energy waned and stopped and Dagatar stood, now gray and immobile as a statue, no longer animated. With a burst of anger Darksol backhanded the statue’s head and knocked it clear off, sending a cloud of dust into the air.
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The ring sizzled and glowed with the new mana drained. Darksol felt the power, despite his shoulder being a wreck. He channeled a spell and fallen monsters began rising around him into undead dregs. He pointed toward the hole Krakenkeld had made and they marched through it after the beast. A spine suddenly pierced through Darksol’s other shoulder and he cried in pain, again falling to the floor. Blood spittle filled into his mouth and he spat it to the floor. Click click click click! Came Rrezesh’s frenzied hostility. The needle beast was still on the wall, much higher now, glaring down at Darksol. Zzzzhhh, zhhhh,zhhh, three beams from Darksol’s fingers shot up, but his aim was off an Rrzesh easily dodged them up on the wall. Rrezesh fired back, but Darksol managed to wave the spines away mid-air before they struck. Summoning the rest of his mana, Darksol cast his ultimate spell: Demon Blaze. Purple energy soared around him and turned into flames at his wrists, then shot forward in an enormous cross shape at the wall, morphing from flame into ghastly spirit shapes that glowed a haunting blue. There was no where to dodge and Rrezesh’s chittering was almost a buzz as he was consumed.
Darksol spat more blood onto the ground and turn to the mob that was Octavia’s attendants. He stepped closer and the attendants cowered, but still covered their mistress.
The attendants grew more defensive and hissed at Darksol. At this point he grew impatient, his left shoulder crushed, a spine through his right and blood dripping. He clenched his teeth and his fist and one of the attendant’s head burst. The rest wailed, but then scurried back and revealed Octavia, half crushed under stone. She looked at him scornfully.
“Octavia, use your abilities and I can make you very powerful in return,” he said.
“You lie, just like this summit!” Octavia shrieked.
“Restore me to full strength and you won’t suffer the same fate as Dagatar…”
Octavia hesitated, looked at the desaturated golem statue and consented. Her hands glowed, and a bright pink energy hummed forth and over Darksol. His wounds cleared, and his health restored.
“Now your part of the deal…” a nasty smile showing rotten teeth stuck out from Octavia. The wizard took several steps forward and knelt to Octavia under the large stone.
Darksol chuckled, “Now why would I do that when you haven’t finished your end of the deal? My mana needs restoring too.” He caressed her chin and the ring ignited again, and the energy was siphoned from Octavia, leaving her corpse roasted and somehow melting. An aura of mana shown around Darksol now.
By this time, most of the monsters had either killed each other by melee or trampled one another on the attempt to escape. The room was riddled with corpses and a few monsters were around dying, the fire still burning. A hiss could be heard from across the room and as Darksol turned to see the source, a red beam came at him, but hit his aura and fizzled. The aura flickered briefly and then restored itself, but dimmer. Gel’ekans slithered out from the shadow and confronted Darksol. The snake lich shot several more red beams at Darksol, but they were either absorbed by the mana shield or evaded and then suddenly both were locked in a flurry of lightning striking at each other. Red and purple lightning and static seared all over the room, each bolt trying to find its way to the target, but being cut off by another meandering bolt from the opponent.
“I’ve too much power now, and you cannot stop me!” Darksol yelled over the crackling. With one of his free hands, he flicked his arm and a glowing purple blade protruded from his forearm. As quickly as it had appeared, he thrust it forward slicing through the lightning and striking at Gel’ekans. The snake lich put up his tentacle arms and they were imbued with red magic, halting the blade. Darksol laughed and spun, then burst into a purple flash and appeared behind Gel’ekans. The snake leg was quick, but not quick enough. His many legs swung up to block the blow again, but not before the red magic imbued them, and when they met the purple blade it seared them off like wax and it plunged straight through to Gel’ekans chest. The blade and the ring seemed to connect and once again the mana was drained from the snake leg and into Darksol as he laughed.

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* * *

This was no market, not even an underground market; this was a dreadful place where monsters dwell! There weren’t even signs of a salt lake, let alone an underground one. Serral had misled him and he cursed himself under his breath. This was the last time he’d get into dealing with a shady character he’d never met. Where was Serral anyway?
His caravan pulled up through the harsh terrain and began to get the lay of the land when they saw the ruin. Smoke seemed to be billowing from the keep as if it was recently pillaged. Alerted, his troops took up arms, and noticed some straggling monsters fleeing from the walls. Monsters!
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The knights took formation and made ready to battle the seemingly frenzied hordes, but upon closer inspection, the monsters seemed panicked and distracted. The monsters seemed more interested in trying to get passed the knights rather than fight them. Nevertheless, the knights held their ranks and made swift work of the orcs, golems, and other beasts. John had injured his hands and needed bandages. "Looks like you'll be doing the grilling for this tournament, eh? I'll be over this in no time, though."
When the battle was over and soldiers were searching the grounds, Serral came running down from the keep, Travis and John looked at each other confused.
“My lord! My lord, over here! Master Bagzwell! Oh thank goodness you’ve arrived, just in time!” Serral was shouting.
“Serral! What are you doing here? Is this the location? Just in time for what? It seems we’re too late by any measure…” Travis inquired.
“The salt merchants, they took up residence here, but were ambushed by scores of monsters just before you arrived! We did not manage to save them…but you saved me! And the gems are intact! The monsters you defeated were just about to carry them away, we can retrieve them now…and you won’t even have to pay for these ones!”

* * *
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Darksol turned and his dark cloak flowed in his wake as he moved. “Did you give him the gems as planned…and the rest of the goods you’ve brokered? The rest will come with me.”
“As you commanded…but…Darksol…why have we given so many gems to the Arrakeenian knight? We should have kept it all for ourselves!” Serral inquired slowly at first, but with increasing emotion.
“He serves two purposes, Serral. The gems are a powerful source of magic, they can do many things from feeding an empty stomach to destroying an entire army. Drawing upon the power within a large quantity of gems will be noticed by arch mages even thirty kingdoms away. But if this knight has gems to draw upon then he provides a veil for us, Serral. Any suspicions will be assumed to be from his actions and we’ll be well hidden. That is why I’ve divided the gems in such a way, one to one. Further, he is an Arrakeenian Lord, his seat will further prove useful in masking the expenditure of gems and manipulation of the knights in our favor.”
“How cunning, master -- what will you do with the share we keep?”
Darksol returned his head back away to the gigantic and partially shattered stained-glass window of the ruined hall’s court.
“I have plans already in motion that will position us…with control…the only thing missing has been a power source and these gems can serve as a proxy for my ritual…”
“A ritual of rune removal? Or to unleash the ancient power of our artifacts? Yes! That will give us great power to destroy our enemies! Hahaha!” Serral cheered. Darksol did not react to Serral’s enthusiasm in any noticeable manner. He stood still facing away, his eyes glowed a vibrant purple and thin strands of smoke-like mist hissed from them as he clenched onto a black gem in his grip.
“You know nothing of power…this will be a ritual no one has heard of before…the resurrection of Dark Dragon awaits…”

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* * *
Gagging, Galoré spat out the pitiful meat that he'd been tasting from Sam Stonefart's portion. "What the hell is this?! Are you trying to poison me?" And he backhanded Stonefart, then shouted, "You village idiot! Minus 100 points from Grillindor!!!"
All the teammates of Grillindor looked around exasperated, cursing and shaking their heads.

Recovering himself, Galoré, with his slicer and skewer in hand stepped to Travis’ stand, made several swift pokes to the meat and eyed it from various angles, giving bursts of rapid, staccato sniffs as he went. He seemed utterly bored and drained from the whole experience as one who has done something routinely a thousand times. With a clean stroke he sheared off a small chunk of the meat and held it with his skewer to his nose.
“And let us see how your submission turned out Lord Bagzwell…”
He spun the skewer in his fingers back and forth, rotating the meat in a spinning motion, taking in the aroma of the meat while glaring at Travis with one eyebrow raised before putting it into his mouth. Lord Galoré’s eyes widened, and he briefly mulled over the bite he’d taken. Then he chewed vigorously and swallowed. Now both of his eyebrows were raised.
“This is…well I…this,” Galoré began to mutter, “…I mean well…ahem, I should have another bite. Yes. More time to taste what you have here.” Some murmurs rippled among the crowd and the contestants gave quick glances at one another. Travis met some of their glances and a smile began to curl at the corner of his mouth. He turned to John who had silently raised his bandaged hands in the air, full grins now spread across both of their faces. Galoré seemed to be looking at something far on the horizon and then his eyes closed. His arms began swaying, slowly at first, and then almost as if he were conducting an orchestra.
“Mmmmmmmm-magnificent!” He declared suddenly and faced to the crowd, eyes beaming and mirth filling Galoré that no one had seen in a long time. “We have found this year’s champion! Grillindor wins the tournament!”

Before day break there were none
And as it broke there was one
The moon, the sun, it goes on'n'on

Any questions? Just ask.
Write message in-game, here on the forums, or start a thread in the Ask Question Board.
"Leave you in peace? ... I will leave you in pieces!" - Darksol

PostPosted: 19 Mar 2019, 08:14 
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Joined: 17 Jul 2013, 09:57
Posts: 141
:D Your story is marvellous! The rewards will be issued to you soon! :P

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