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Old 09-06-2007, 08:22 PM   #1
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Imperial Heresy

Ever since the last True Emperor died with no heir, an Elected Emperor has ruled in his place, and freedom has reigned throughout Morta. But now, the Elected Emperor has been reduced to a figurehead by the Temple, who now rule the lands of Morta, renaming the Mortan Empire the Divine Empire of Man, oppressing the people and forcing their doctrine upon them, but not even they are indestructible...
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"Inquisitor Torah, I must speak with you. Priestess Karras has left, and I found Forbidden Archives open. Nothing was stolen, but I believe she has fallen to heresy." A High Priest of the Temple informed Torah. "Very well. I will send a squad of Inquisitors to hunt her down, and bring her to me. I will perform the ritual personally when she is found." Torah replied, making his was to the Inquisitor Barracks.

A think fog covered the forest outside the Imperial City, or as it was now called Theion City, under the new regime. Curudir was leaving the city primarily because he could not stand being in the centre of that theocracy for too long. As he rode his horse, he spotted what appeared to be a priestess running away from the city. This seemed odd, as clerics were rarely seen outside the cities, so he stopped his horse to talk to her. "I take it there's a reason you're outside the city?" He asked her.


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Old 09-10-2007, 03:38 AM   #2
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Darlene Karras, priestess of the Temple and scholar of the archives, stopped her horse to acknowledge the soldier. She was impatient as she had some news for Rowan that was time sensitive but she hid it under the calm demeanor of a priestess, accentuated by the steely glint her blue-grey eyes gave. She replied, "I am on official business to one of our shrines. An errand of ritualistic importance."
There had been rumors that some of the soldiers disliked the current order but to actively seek them out risked lives since many were loyal to whom they served. Darlene knew well enough to treat all soldiers with the same regard that the priests held for them though she disliked it thoroughly. She waited patiently while thinking of her friend.

Rowan Aldstar watched from his lookout in the trees. He had seen the soldier riding towards the city and had seen her leave. He was worried. She had promised that this would be the last run but he was still worried. For the past few months she had helped by supplying heretical documents while concealing the whereabouts of the hidden refuge of his people and dwaf friends. He was grateful but he didn't want her harmed for reasons that he cared not to tell anyone or her just yet. From his perch in the trees, he watched as Darlene engaged in conversation. It would be better if he moved closer.

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Old 09-10-2007, 07:45 AM   #3
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"If that were true, you would be travelling by day. Given the time of night, this fog, and the commotion outside the Temple back in the city, I'd say you're fleeing the Temple, and trying to make sure noone knows. If you are who I believe you are, I have a warning for you: the Inquisitors know what you've been up to. I've slowed them down as much as I could, but they're on their way here now." Curudir told the priestess.

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:55 PM   #4
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Darlene gave nothing away as she replied, "I would know nothing of that, Soldier. This just happens to be urgent." She considered giving a verbal warning but considered. She couldn't really trust anyone at this point except for Rowan. She added, "Need I remind you that interfering with business of the Temple has severe repercussions?"

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Old 09-11-2007, 07:04 PM   #5
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"Do you expect me to tremble in fear? I know what you're up to, and I want to help you." As Curudir said that, four Holy Inquisitors rode up, and stopped in front of Curudir. "Hand the woman over to us." The leader said to him. "I don't see why I should." He replied. "Perhaps you fail to realise she is a heretic. Hand her over to us, and you shall not share her fate." The inquisitor stated. "And what is her fate?" Curudir asked. "The same as all heretics: she shall be silenced, and cleansed." Curudir did not need to ask what this meant. He knew it meant that she would have her tongue cut out, to keep the heresy from spreading further, and then she would be burned alive, to cleanse her body of the remaining heresy. Those that survived, did not do so for long. "What you fail to realise, Inquisitor, is that I have no intention of turning her over to you, nor do I have any of going with you myself." Curudir responded, pulling out his swords, and stabbing the Inquisitor in the chest. The remaining three drew their staves, attempted to strike Curudir, but his blades slashed through their inferior weapons, and he stabbed each of them quickly, taking no pleasure in the kills. "If there was another way, I would have spared them. I am not your enemy. My name is Curudir Therias, former Knight of the Mortan Empire. I served the Elected Emperor back when he had power, but I never served the Temple." Curudir told the priestess.

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Old 09-11-2007, 07:27 PM   #6
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"That remains to be seen," Rowan called from his perch in the trees before dropping down to greet Darlene. He looked at the soldier with a scrutinizing eye as if to determine the state of threat.

Darlene was relieved to see Rowan and should have realized that he would have been there for her. She hid the smile but couldn't contain her delight at seeing him again. She addressed the soldier, "I see that you have helped me Curudir, Knight of the Mortan Empire and that you want to help but are you willing to help alongside one who is different from you?" She stood close to Rowan who was staring at him.


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Old 09-11-2007, 07:47 PM   #7
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"Everyone is different from me. Why should I look upon an elf or a dwarf any differently than I look upon a human?" Curudir replied. "Of course I am. The Elected Emperor welcomed elves and dwarves to serve him, unlike the Inquisitors."

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Old 09-11-2007, 08:22 PM   #8
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"One cannot afford to be careless when other lives are at stake," Rowan replied. He still maintained a protective stance over Darlene who was amused at the action.

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Old 09-11-2007, 10:11 PM   #9
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"Careless would have been letting those inquisitors live. If I had let them flee, they would have returned, in greater numbers." Curudir commented. "Then not even my blades could have saved you."

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:10 PM   #10
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Before it could get out of hand, Darlene spoke, "Both had good points but I think it would be best if I went on my way." She gave a slight tug on Rowan's cloak and turned to mount the horse she was riding. Once on she said, "Thank you Sir Curudir. Perhaps we may meet again."
Rowan nodded before making a strange whistle. His black stallion came out of hiding and paused right beside him. He mounted and added, "Perhaps you wish to help?"

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Old 09-12-2007, 04:36 PM   #11
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"You're not going to be able to go back to the Imperial City. They found out about what you were doing. If you try to go back for more heretical documents, they will catch you, and then Silence and Cleanse you. In case you've forgotten, I saved your life." Curudir commented. "I've had enough of the Temple ruling the Empire. I'm going with you."

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Old 09-12-2007, 05:27 PM   #12
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"That won't be a problem," Darlene replied, "We don't need to go back. They are all safe and hidden."
Rowan looked at Darlene in surprise. He had no idea that she was that fast in her work. He hid it when he glanced back at the city. He said, "We better hurry then. Once we get into the deeper parts of the forest, we'll be alright." He nudged his horse to start off downt the paths.

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Old 09-12-2007, 07:40 PM   #13
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Elodate R'el ran through the forest.She looked back to see if she was still being followed. The memories of the recent events played back in her head.Watching her father be killed right in front of her.

She stopped to catch her breath. She weeped for the way her family had been tragically torn apart. She was weary and rested near a tree.


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Old 09-12-2007, 09:32 PM   #14
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As Curudir rode with Darlene and Rowan, Curudir spotted an elf resting near a tree, and she looked distressed. "I'll catch up with you guys." He said to Darlene and Rowan, and rode up to the elf girl. "Are you alright?" He asked her.

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Old 09-13-2007, 01:54 PM   #15
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Rowan stopped when the knight said he would catch up. He turned his horse to see the knight head towards one of his kind sitting near a tree. He urged his stallion to a gallop after the knight. He couldn't take any chances even if the knight gave his word. That was how his best friend had been caught by a soldier and then turned over to the Inquistors. He had to make sure.
Darlene knew what was on Rowan's mind. She had seen first hand his concern for his people and knew he would fight for them. He was the one who found their refuge. Knowing he would be annoyed if she didn't continue on, she turned to follow him back to where the elf was.

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Old 09-13-2007, 11:24 PM   #16
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Elodate was startled by them.She thought about running." You don't look like those murderers but how do I know your not part of their group? "

Elodate's face was tear stained and pale.It was a miracle she hadn't passed out from malnurishment, let alone shock.


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Old 09-14-2007, 07:39 AM   #17
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"Because I killed four of them to protect someone they're chasing. I'm not going to hurt you, but there are Inquisitors patrolling the forest, so if you don't want to be found by them, you may want to come with us." Curudir told her.

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Old 09-14-2007, 12:20 PM   #18
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Rowan removed his hood to reveal his elfish ears and dismounted to stand his full height. He then kneeled in front of the frightened elf and said softly, "If you wish to stop running, I can show you a place where you will find rest." He held out his hand.

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Old 09-14-2007, 04:26 PM   #19
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"Wherever it is, we should get there quickly. There are still Inquisitors out here." Curudir commented. "Other former Knights like myself may be out here. We should seek them out if we can. They share my dislike for the Temple, and you need all the allies you can get."


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Old 09-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #20
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Elodate was a little hesitant but she believed them.

" Okay. It is far better for me to take aid when offered. I do not know these parts and to wander alone would be suicide. " she told them.

As she follwed them she whispered under her breath." I will not let your deaths be in vain.I will avenge your deaths....somehow."


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Old 09-15-2007, 09:30 PM   #21
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Curudir noticed the elf girl mumbling and assumed she was simply tired. "Here, drink some of this. You look like you need it." He said to her, handing her his canteen of water.

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Old 09-16-2007, 12:45 AM   #22
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Elodate took the canteen and drank from it.She was more thirsty than she thought.As the adreniline started to fade away ,she began to feel every ache and bruise.Her muscles hurt from all the running.Her face ached from crying.She was offically wore out and still in a bit of shock.Seeing the death of your family can do that.The images of her father's death played over and over in her head.She rubbed her head as if to try to rub away her memories.


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Old 09-16-2007, 07:40 PM   #23
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Rowan mounted his satallion, hiding the surprise and annoyance that Darlene had followed him. He had told her that he would protect her but it was difficult if she kept putting herself in danger. He turned to the she-elf and held out his hand. He said, "You can ride with me. Elendir won't mind."

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Old 09-17-2007, 01:20 PM   #24
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Then, it started to rain, which came as a blessing to the travellers, as it meant that the Inquisitors would have a harder time tracking them. "It should be safe to rest now; the rain will wash away our trail." Curudir told the group.

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Old 09-17-2007, 02:59 PM   #25
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"It's not the Inquisitors I'm worried about," Rowan replied, "It's the Nightcrawlers." He beckoned the she-elf to take his hand again and mount behind him. If they didn't get a move on it soon, the Nightcrawlers would find them.

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Old 09-17-2007, 06:12 PM   #26
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Curudir shuddered, remembering a time as a soldier when he had to aid in protecting a small village from such foul creatures. "I've fought those beasts before. No laughing matter, but I can handle them." He then replied.

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Old 09-17-2007, 06:48 PM   #27
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"This isn't a matter of just 'handling' them," Darlene broke in with her soft voice. "The Nightcrawlers have allied themselves with the Temple." She looked embarassed to be saying it but it had to be known. She had stumbled across this when she listened to the High Priest say something about the unclean beings escaping yet again. It was then she realized that she was getting into danger and that she would have to leave the temple soon.

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Old 09-17-2007, 08:08 PM   #28
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" Nightcrawlers? Please tell me you mean tiny little bugs not big, angry things." Elodate said." It's been a tiring day as is. I watched my father be slaughtered in front of me ,then had to run like mad to escape the same fate.Now nightcrawlers."


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Old 09-17-2007, 11:18 PM   #29
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"Sorry, but these Nightcrawlers are definitely big and angry. I can protect you from them, but I don't know how many of them might be out here." Curudir replied. "We'll have to stay in open spaces so they can't pin us down." Curudir knew the flaw of fortresses, in that every way in, was also a way out, and if the enemy used the only entrance, they would be trapped.


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Old 09-18-2007, 02:42 PM   #30
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"Nightcrawlers are the beasts of the night," Rowan explained, "They live in the shadows and roam the forests searching for young, fresh blood. They prefer maidens but will kill anything with blood. They are like ravenous wolves but mock the humans by becoming their image. You can always tell one apart by their stench and their eyes." Rowan then looked around to make sure there was nothing following them.

"And I am afraid that their alliance with the Temple makes things worse," Darlene interjected. "I heard that the Temple promised a steady supply of blood from the 'unclean.' They will no doubt be after the elves and dwarves."

"There is a sure way to kill them," Rowan finished. "Cut off their heads with a sword dedicated to justice or use the magic fires. For now it is best that we get moving." Making sure that the she elf was secure behind him, he led the way through the forest. Darlene followed close behind.

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Old 09-18-2007, 05:28 PM   #31
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"I have two swords dedicated to justice, and I've used them against Nightcrawlers before. A year before the Temple's rise to power, a group of Nightcrawlers decided to attack the village of Branel. I, being stationed there at the time, naturally had to fight them. We managed to hold them off, but out here will probably be different." Curudir added.

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Old 09-18-2007, 07:50 PM   #32
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" Out of mere curiousity, what else might want to have us for dinner other than nightcrawlers." Elodate asked." So I can mentally prepare myself. I've never been out in the forest without a bunch of bodyguards."


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Old 09-18-2007, 08:29 PM   #33
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"The Nightcrawlers are the biggest threat," Rowan called over his shoulder as he guided Elendir through the forest, "Just the normal dangers like animals." He led the way to his secret hideaway where he had led some of his people. It was protected by the ancient magic of his people and the faerie folk. He then shouted to Curudir, "Stay close otherwise you will end up wandering for days."

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Old 09-19-2007, 09:44 PM   #34
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"I know." Curudir replied. He drew his swords, remaining wary for any Nightcrawlers in the vicinity. He saw what looked like a shadow move from one tree to another very quickly. "I spotted one of them. Be ready." He said to the group.

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:20 AM   #35
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Elodate spotted what he was talking about.She saw her first Nightcrawler and sensed it wouldn't be her last.She was right. The Nightcrawler had brought ...friends.


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Old 09-21-2007, 12:53 PM   #36
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((I'll take a Nightcrawler. He will report to the temple so we can have some bad guys here))

Human blood. The richest source of life guaranteed to make one run rabid until he has it. Being a Nightcrawler meant that you were damned to an existence hiding by day and hunting by night. You were damned to drink the blood of innocents. You were just plain damned for eternity. For Saimhain, eternity was all the time in the world. Over four hundred years old, he was a creature of the night. Oh it wasn't always like this however.
Once he was a mortal, an elf actually.Then his sire came and seduced him, made him what he was. He took the name Saimhain meaning fall's end and never looked back. He revelled in the dark power he had and enjoyed using it against the puny mortals. There was one however that he wanted the most.
He met the elf warrior once in the night and fought him. The Elf gave him a nice gift before he retreated battered and bloody but alive. It enraged Saimhain that the Elf lived and spent his days looking for him. Then the Temple officials summoned him, at night of course. It appeared that though unclean as he and his kind were, they were willing to make a deal. He took it but had no intention of letting the Temple dictate to him. It gave him freedom to hunt the Elf. Tonight he got lucky. He saw the Elf he was searching for with two humans and a she-elf. What piqued his interest was that one of the humans was from the Temple.
He signaled to his band to move closer. He wanted the elf to feel him close in. He unsheathed a sword that he had carried for forty years since that day and moved in.

Rowan had no doubt that Curudir spotted the Nightcrawlers. Nightcrawlers never showed themselves however unless they were up to something. Rowan stopped Elendir and turned to face the direction they had come. He replied to the knight, "I have no doubts you spotted them but I sense that there is something more."

Darlene trusted Rowan and laid a hand on the short sword that she carried. She also had a special weapon that she carried at all times with her. It was one that would drive them away. She said nothing but looked around.

Rowan passed a sword to the she elf behind him and looked around. His scanning was pointless for the Nightcrawler came into view, laughing.

Saimhain said, "Well isn't this a surprise? I come hunting for an Elf and I get two and two mortals." He looked at the priestess and said, "My lady you are a long way from the Temple. Perhaps we should 'escort' you back."
Before Rowan could say anything in retort, Saimhain bit out, "Stay your words Aldstar. They won't save you here. I have never thanked you properly for the gift you gave me the last time we met." He then spoke to the knight, "You knight must have trust right? How can you put your trust in a creature who let his enemy go?"

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Old 09-21-2007, 01:25 PM   #37
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"Don't try to intimitate me, I've killed your kind before, and I won't hesitate to do so again." Curudir replied, drawing both his swords. "Go near any of them and I will kill you."

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Old 09-21-2007, 03:56 PM   #38
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Saimhain laughed, "You are brave sir Knight and some would say foolish." He turned his gaze back to Rowan, "What say you Elf? Can I thank you for the 'gift' you gave me?" He opened his palm to reveal a symbol of one of the ancient goddesses. It was burned into his palm forever condemning him.

Rowan narrowed his eyes. He remembered that fight as well and bore the bite of Saimhain on his neck. He replied, "Leave Saimhain or..."
"Or what? You'll kill me?" Saimhain looked at him in disbelief. "The last time you said that you left me alive. You have me at your mercy and in a fit of weakness you let me live."
"You are marked creature of the night," Rowan replied hiding his reaction to the sting of the words. "You are damned by the gods and by your people."
"Such sweet things you say," Saimhain replied in mock hurt. He held up his sword and looked at it. He saw Rowan look at it. He asked, "Recognize this? I would think so. It belonged to you if I remember correctly. Appropriate don't you think that I now use it to end you."
"I'll never fear the sword that was my training blade," Rowan replied.
"Really?" Samhain smiled, "I wonder how it would feel if I use it to run your priestess through. She is a traitor anyway and the High Priest of the Temple would love her head on a platter."
Rowan dismounted and started to advance to Saimhain, "You will not touch her!"
Saimhain was too quick and sent Rowan flying hard into a tree trunk, "You still think to challenge me Elf?!" He looked at the she-elf still on the horse and said, "And what of you she-elf? I can give you the vengeance you seek. All you have to do is join with me. The Temple has no power over you."

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Old 09-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #39
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"Don't listen to him. He will betray you and kill you, just so he can continue with his pitiful existence." Curudir told Elodate. "Perhaps you remember me from your attack on Branel. You won't escape my blades a second time."

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Old 09-21-2007, 09:08 PM   #40
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"I have no memory of you Sir Knight," Saimhain countered with venom in his voice. It rattled like a demon possessed person, "Your pathetic skill with the sword may have saved you from the lowest of the ranks but they stand no chance against those that know you. Take your elf friend. He was beaten to near death the last time we clashed."

Saimhain then directed his attention back to the she-elf, "You there she-elf." He spoke in seductive tones, "Do you wish to fight against me, knowing you are going to lose? Ease your pain and join us. You will be beautiful and strong."

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