History Synopsis / HeraldsOfValdemar

7th Sep '15 4:58:04 PM NativeJovian
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As the storms reach their climax, Karal, Firesong, Sejanes, and An'desha put their lives on the line to wield a weapon that will channel all of the energy from the Final Storm into the Void. As this is happening, the Empreror Charliss -- now driven entirely mad by the storms and his hatred of Tremane and Valdemar -- begins to cast a spell that will devastate the world. He is assassinated at the critical moment by Baron Melles, who has been conspiring to remove him for some time. The Final Storm causes the rest of Urtho's weapons to fire, and the renewed stress of holding the Void open is too much for the four casters and their protectors. They slowly burn out: The ghosts of Vanyel and his companions are destroyed; Need dissolves into molten metal (severely injuring Firesong), the Shin'a'in spirit avatars lose their tie to the physical world... and the Companion Florian is killed. Karal wakes in the aftermath to find that he has lost his sight -- but the mage storms are finally over. The company scatters to their new destinations. An'desha will remain on the Plains, since there is no longer any reason the Shin'a'in should not practice magic. Firesong and Silverfox rejoin the Kale'da'in. Karal returns to Valdemar (and Natoli), with Altra to be his 'eyes'. The Shin'a'in avatars reassure An'desha that he can still come speak to them on the astral plain -- and as for the spirits, we are told only that they have already made their decisions about where to go next.
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As the storms reach their climax, Karal, Firesong, Sejanes, and An'desha put their lives on the line to wield a weapon that will channel all of the energy from the Final Storm into the Void. As this is happening, the Empreror Emperor Charliss -- now driven entirely mad by the storms and his hatred of Tremane and Valdemar -- begins to cast a spell that will make the Final Storm even ''more'' powerful, putting all the considerable power he has access to (including his own life energy) into it, hoping that it will devastate the world. world [[SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum since he'll be dead anyway]]. He is assassinated at the critical moment by Baron Melles, who has been conspiring to remove him for some time. The time. Even so, Charliss has succeeded in boosting the power of the Final Storm, and the Empire, if not the world, is virtually guaranteed to be torn apart by it. In Urtho's tower, the Final Storm causes the rest of Urtho's remaining stored weapons to fire, and the renewed stress of holding the Void open is too much for the four casters and their protectors. They slowly burn out: The ghosts of Vanyel and his companions are destroyed; protectors. Need dissolves into molten metal (severely injuring Firesong), is destroyed, the Shin'a'in spirit avatars and the ghosts of Vanyel, Stefen, and Yfandes all lose their tie ties to the physical world... world, and the Companion Florian is killed. killed. An'desha and Sejanes survive unscathed, as does Altra, but Firesong is horrifically scarred by Need (who ''exploded'' when overcome by the energy of the Final Storm), and Karal wakes in is rendered permanently blind by the aftermath to find that he has lost his sight experience. However, they were successful -- but the mage storms are finally over. over, and a second Cataclysm has been averted. The company scatters to their new destinations. An'desha will remain on the Plains, since there is no longer any reason the Shin'a'in should not practice magic. Firesong and Silverfox rejoin the Kale'da'in. Karal returns to Valdemar (and Natoli), with Altra to be his 'eyes'. "eyes", as they can now link deeply enough for Karal to see what Altra sees. The Shin'a'in avatars reassure An'desha that he can still come speak to them on the astral plain -- and as for the spirits, Need, Florian, and the ghosts, we are told only that they have already made their decisions about where to go next.

Darian flees beck into the woods, but runs into a barbarian patrol. He is rescued by the Hawkbrother scout Snowfire, and taken back to the Hawkbrother encampment. There he meets Starfall (an Adept-class mage and leader of the expedition), Nightwind (a trondi'irn -- a specialist in caring for intelligent non-humans), Kelvren (a gryphon, Nightwind's main responsibility), Ayshen (lead hertasi -- a race of small bipedal lizards that act as support staff), and Tyrsell (head dyheli, which are essentially psychic antelopes) among others. This particular group is part of a larger Hawkbrother effort to control the flow of magic after the mage storms, ensuring a supply of magic energy for themselves and Valdemar, while simultaneously denying it to any potentially hostile mages.
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Darian flees beck into the woods, but runs into a barbarian patrol. He is rescued by the Hawkbrother scout Snowfire, and taken back to the Hawkbrother encampment. There he meets Starfall (an Adept-class mage and leader of the expedition), Nightwind (a trondi'irn -- a specialist in healer focused on caring for intelligent non-humans), Kelvren (a gryphon, Nightwind's main responsibility), Ayshen (lead hertasi -- a race of small bipedal lizards that act as support staff), and Tyrsell (head dyheli, which are essentially psychic antelopes) among others. This particular group is part of a larger Hawkbrother effort to control the flow of magic after the mage storms, ensuring a supply of magic energy for themselves and Valdemar, while simultaneously denying it to any potentially hostile mages.

While wandering the woods thinking over his situation, Darian unconsciously makes his way back to Errold's Grove, where he sees many of the villagers enslaved by the barbarians. Returning to the Hawkbrothers with this news, they quickly device a plan to use Darian's knowledge of traps and familiarity with the terrain to free the villagers. The Hawkbrothers trick most of the barbarian forces into leaving the village before heading in themselves, lead by Darian. Once in the village, they have Darian hide in the stables while they rescue the villagers. However, Darian encounters the enemy mage before the Hawkbrothers return for him, and attacks him to prevent him from using his magic on the rescue party. Through a combination of surprise and help from a bondbird, he manages to kill the mage, while the Hawkbrothers drive off the remaining barbarians. Leaving the villagers to rebuild Errold's Grove with the barbarian's accumulated loot, Darian leaves to train with the Hawkbrothers, but announces his attention to return one day and act as an ambassador between Valdemar and the Hawkbrothers, as well as the local mage.
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While wandering the woods thinking over his situation, Darian unconsciously makes his way back to Errold's Grove, where he sees many of the villagers enslaved by the barbarians. Returning to the Hawkbrothers with this news, they quickly device a plan to use Darian's knowledge of traps and familiarity with the terrain to free the villagers. The Hawkbrothers trick most of the barbarian forces into leaving the village before heading in themselves, lead by Darian. Once in the village, they have Darian hide in the stables while they rescue the villagers. However, Darian encounters the enemy mage before the Hawkbrothers return for him, and attacks him to prevent him from using his magic on the rescue party. Through a combination of surprise and help from a bondbird, he manages to kill the mage, while the Hawkbrothers drive off the remaining barbarians. Leaving the villagers to rebuild Errold's Grove with the barbarian's accumulated loot, Darian leaves to train with the Hawkbrothers, but announces his attention intention to return one day and act as an ambassador between Valdemar and the Hawkbrothers, as well as the local mage.
4th Sep '15 7:58:23 PM Chariset
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In the ruins of Urtho's tower, the little group has resolved to use another of the mage's ancient weapons to cancel out the last Mage Storm. Karal, recovering from the last time, feels somewhat useless: Silverfox reassures him that they need him to be the TokenNormal. Their progress is improved when they find a device Urtho was making which allows long-distance communication. This puts them back in contact with Haven. Their need for information leads them to call in new allies: a scholar and his assistant from Kale'da'in and even the ghosts of Vanyel, Stefen, and Yfandes.
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In the ruins of Urtho's tower, the little group has resolved to use another of the mage's ancient weapons to cancel out the last Mage Storm. Karal, recovering from the last time, feels somewhat useless: Silverfox reassures him that they need him to be the TokenNormal. Their progress is improved when they find a device Urtho was making which allows long-distance communication. This puts them back in contact with Haven. Their need for information leads them to call in new allies: a scholar and his assistant from Kale'da'in Kale'da'in, the engineer Master Levy, the spellsword Need, and even the ghosts of Vanyel, Stefen, and Yfandes. Yfandes. As the storms reach their climax, Karal, Firesong, Sejanes, and An'desha put their lives on the line to wield a weapon that will channel all of the energy from the Final Storm into the Void. As this is happening, the Empreror Charliss -- now driven entirely mad by the storms and his hatred of Tremane and Valdemar -- begins to cast a spell that will devastate the world. He is assassinated at the critical moment by Baron Melles, who has been conspiring to remove him for some time. The Final Storm causes the rest of Urtho's weapons to fire, and the renewed stress of holding the Void open is too much for the four casters and their protectors. They slowly burn out: The ghosts of Vanyel and his companions are destroyed; Need dissolves into molten metal (severely injuring Firesong), the Shin'a'in spirit avatars lose their tie to the physical world... and the Companion Florian is killed. Karal wakes in the aftermath to find that he has lost his sight -- but the mage storms are finally over. The company scatters to their new destinations. An'desha will remain on the Plains, since there is no longer any reason the Shin'a'in should not practice magic. Firesong and Silverfox rejoin the Kale'da'in. Karal returns to Valdemar (and Natoli), with Altra to be his 'eyes'. The Shin'a'in avatars reassure An'desha that he can still come speak to them on the astral plain -- and as for the spirits, we are told only that they have already made their decisions about where to go next. In the immediate aftermath of the storms, the magic level in the land has dropped to almost nothing, but we are assured it will return to normal in time.
4th Sep '15 7:40:45 PM Chariset
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An accident among the engineering students injures several, including Karal's friend Natoli. While the others anxiously wait for news, they discover a possible solution -- a counter-blast at the center of one of the mage storm echoes will nullify the waves, if only temporarily. Firesong and Silverfox, the Eastern mage Sejanes, An'desha, Karal, and several Companions are given authority to go to Urtho's tower in the center of the Plains to set off one of his weapons as a counter-blast. The task is difficult and nearly kills Karal. When it is over
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An accident among the engineering students injures several, including Karal's friend Natoli. While the others anxiously wait for news, they discover a possible solution -- a counter-blast at the center of one of the mage storm echoes will nullify the waves, if only temporarily. Firesong and Silverfox, the Eastern mage Sejanes, An'desha, Karal, Karal and Altra, and several Companions are given authority granted permission to go to the remains of Urtho's tower in the center of the Plains to and set off one of his weapons as a counter-blast. The task is difficult and nearly kills Karal. When it is overover, the party at the tower realize they will need to stay there and work to find a way to nullify the terrible energies of the Final Storm.

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Emperor Charliss, enraged at Tremane's defection and the instability of magic (which has not only disrupted the spells that keep him healthy and functioning but reduced life in the magic-dependent Empire to shambles), names Court-Baron Melles his successor and heir. Darkwind and Elspeth travel to Hardorn to visit Tremane, finding him to be a decent man and a good leader who looks after his people. They are approached by a delegate who says Hardorn would even have him as King, provided he agreed to be physically bound to the land (so that he cannot abuse its magic the way Ancar did). Tremane is dismissive and agrees to the ritual because he thinks it will be a mere formality -- as it turns out, his earth sense not only exists but is quite strong, and he finds himself in a permanent empathic link with the land of Hardorn. In the ruins of Urtho's tower, the little group has resolved to use another of the mage's ancient weapons to cancel out the last Mage Storm. Karal, recovering from the last time, feels somewhat useless: Silverfox reassures him that they need him to be the TokenNormal. Their progress is improved when they find a device Urtho was making which allows long-distance communication. This puts them back in contact with Haven. Their need for information leads them to call in new allies: a scholar and his assistant from Kale'da'in and even the ghosts of Vanyel, Stefen, and Yfandes.
4th Sep '15 7:28:31 PM Chariset
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Falconsbane's mind continues to weaken, allowing An'desha to lure him into an ambush at the carnival. Nyara and Need inflict a mortal wound, causing his spirit to flee into the Void, where Firesong pursues and destroys it. An'desha returns to full control over his (dying) body, which Need is attempting to heal. Elspeth and Darkwind confront Ancar, who has felt the backlash of Falconsbane's 'death' through the binding spells and gone quite mad -- they dispatch him, Hulda, ''and'' an emissary from the Eastern Empire, though not without making it obvious that Valdemar was involved. The party flees to Haven, while Hardorn falls into anarchy behind them.
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Falconsbane's mind continues to weaken, allowing An'desha to lure him into an ambush at the carnival. Nyara and Need inflict a mortal wound, causing his spirit to flee into the Void, where Firesong pursues and destroys it. An'desha returns to full control over his (dying) body, which Need is attempting to heal. Elspeth and Darkwind confront Ancar, who has felt the backlash of Falconsbane's 'death' through the binding spells and gone quite mad -- they dispatch him, Hulda, ''and'' an emissary from the Eastern Empire, though not without making it obvious that Valdemar was involved. The party flees to Haven, while Hardorn falls into anarchy behind them. to an overwhelming wave of soldiers from the Eastern Empire. Once home, the Shin'a'in Goddess makes a rare intervention and touches An'desha and Nyara, removing the worst of the catlike modifications Falconsbane made to their bodies.

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\nThe increasing tension caused by the mage storms pushes several characters to their breaking point. Tremane, cut off from contact with the Empire by the instability of magic, loots an Imperial warehouse to buy time and gain supplies for a long occupation. Karal, still Karsite ambassador pro-tem, is unable to get anyone to recognize his authority because he is so young, plus the new Shin'a'in delegate is actively hostile to him. And Firesong, who feels the magic damage to the land acutely because of his status as a Healer Adept, is slowly coming unglued. A respite arrives in the form of visitors from the Kale'da'in, including the specialized healer Silverfox. He sees Firesong's emotional turmoil but does not yet confront it -- Firesong has redirected his anger towards Karal, assuming An'desha left him because of Karal's influence. Everything finally comes to a head: Karal collapses from stress and anxiety, Firesong breaks down and nearly murders his own bondbird, and Tremane accepts that he and his men will be governing Hardorn indefinitely. An'desha and Karal's allies help the exhausted young Sun Priest; Silverfox helps Firesong regain control (with Darkwind and Elspeth's help), and Tremane proves himself a wise and capable leader. The Sun of the Sun, Solaris, makes a personal visit to Haven to help with negotiations. While she visits, An'desha, Altra, and Karal consider whether Tremane (who ordered the assassination of Ulrich and the others) could join the alliance with Valdemar. When Karal interviews him and realizes that he made a poor decision based on false information, he relents and gives Tremane a means to contact Valdemar. Solaris is not pleased, but she also visits Tremane and goes away satisfied, albeit not without exacting a little revenge first. Tremane sends one of his own mages to Valdemar to help them look for a temporary solution to the mage storms. An accident among the engineering students injures several, including Karal's friend Natoli. While the others anxiously wait for news, they discover a possible solution -- a counter-blast at the center of one of the mage storm echoes will nullify the waves, if only temporarily. Firesong and Silverfox, the Eastern mage Sejanes, An'desha, Karal, and several Companions are given authority to go to Urtho's tower in the center of the Plains to set off one of his weapons as a counter-blast. The task is difficult and nearly kills Karal. When it is over
4th Sep '15 9:33:58 AM Chariset
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Tension arises when the King of Rethwellan sends his woeful middle son, Daren, to be a fellow apprentice. The two youngsters initially dislike each other, but time and experience turns their hostility into mutual respect, then friendship -- eventually they become lovers. Unfortunately, Daren's younger brother Thanel marries and attempts to murder Queen Selenay of Valdemar: when Thanel is killed and Daren's father dies of shock, the prince is called home. He makes a feeble attempt to bring Kero with him as his wife, cementing her resolve to live by the sword as a mercenary. Some years later, Kero is an established fighter in the Skybolts. A skirmish with Karsite forces goes wrong, and she is cut off from the company and ends up alone in Karse. As she tries to get to safety, she finds and rescues a Herald (after extracting a promise of payment). The man, Jaden, becomes her love as well as her lover, but she separates from him when she realizes that Need's magic is attracting Karsite priestesses and hindering his escape. After several miserable weeks, she finds her way back to the Skybolts to find them suffering under poor leadership. Things finally come to a breaking point, and she dramatically parts company with them -- only to find, after more misery, that her act inspired the remaining troops, who elected her Captain.
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Tension arises when the King of Rethwellan sends his woeful middle son, Daren, to be a fellow apprentice. The two youngsters initially dislike each other, but time and experience turns their hostility into mutual respect, then friendship -- eventually they become lovers. Unfortunately, Daren's younger brother Thanel marries and attempts to murder Queen Selenay of Valdemar: when Thanel is killed and Daren's father dies of shock, the prince is called home. He makes a feeble attempt to bring Kero with him as his wife, cementing her resolve to live by the sword as a mercenary. Some years later, Kero is an established fighter in the Skybolts. A skirmish with Karsite forces goes wrong, and she is cut off from the company and ends up alone in Karse. As she tries to get to safety, she finds and rescues a Herald (after extracting a promise of payment). The man, Jaden, Eldan, becomes her love as well as her lover, but she separates from him when she realizes that Need's magic is attracting Karsite priestesses and hindering his escape. After several miserable weeks, she finds her way back to the Skybolts to find them suffering under poor leadership. Things finally come to a breaking point, and she dramatically parts company with them -- only to find, after more misery, that her act inspired the remaining troops, who elected her Captain.

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Tension arises when the King of Rethwellan sends his woeful middle son, Daren, to be a fellow apprentice. The two youngsters initially dislike each other, but time and experience turns their hostility into mutual respect, then friendship -- eventually they become lovers. Unfortunately, Daren's younger brother Thanel marries and attempts to murder Queen Selenay of Valdemar: when Thanel is killed and Daren's father dies of shock, the prince is called home. He makes a feeble attempt to bring Kero with him as his wife, cementing her resolve to live by the sword as a mercenary. Some years later, Kero is an established fighter Once in the Skybolts. A skirmish with Karsite forces goes wrong, country, the Heralds earn the Skybolts' respect -- and she is cut off from reunited with Eldan. Ancar's army vastly outnumbers them, however, and they brace themselves for their LastStand. Daren is the company one to save the day, using a trick he learned while studying with Tarma. In the ensuing battle, Kero is Chosen by the Companion Sayvil, Daren is Chosen as well, and ends up alone in Karse. As she tries to get to safety, she finds then he and rescues a Herald (after extracting a promise of payment). The man, Jaden, becomes her love as well as her lover, but she separates from him when she realizes that Need's magic is attracting Karsite priestesses Selenay meet -- cue LoveAtFirstSight and hindering his escape. After several miserable weeks, she finds her way back to a happy resolution for all, with the Skybolts to find them suffering under poor leadership. Things finally come to a breaking point, moving into new quarters in Valdemar and she dramatically parts company with them -- only to find, after more misery, that her act inspired the remaining troops, who elected her Captain. now-Herald Kerowyn becoming a weapons instructor.
4th Sep '15 9:28:04 AM Chariset
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When Kero is a teenager, raiders attack her brother's wedding and kidnap the bride, leaving her the only person willing and able to go to the rescue. With the assistance of her sorceress grandmother Kethry, the Shin'a'in Swordsworn Tarma, and the enchanted sword Need, she succeeds but finds that her heroism has alienated most of her friends and family. She joins Tarma and Kethry at their home and begins training to be a fighter. Tension arises when the King of Rethwellan sends his woeful middle son, Daren, to be a fellow apprentice. The two youngsters initially dislike each other, but time and experience turns their hostility into mutual respect, then friendship -- eventually they become lovers. Unfortunately, Daren's younger brother Thanel marries and attempts to murder Queen Selenay of Valdemar: when Thanel is killed and Daren's father dies of shock, the prince is called home. He makes a feeble attempt to bring Kero with him as his wife, cementing her resolve to live by the sword as a mercenary. Some years later, Kero is an established fighter in the Skybolts. A skirmish with Karsite forces goes wrong, and she is cut off from the company and ends up alone in Karse. As she tries to get to safety, she finds and rescues a Herald (after extracting a promise of payment). The man, Jaden, becomes her love as well as her lover, but she separates from him when she realizes that Need's magic is attracting Karsite priestesses and hindering his escape. After several miserable weeks, she finds her way back to the Skybolts to find them suffering under poor leadership. Things finally come to a breaking point, and she dramatically parts company with them -- only to find, after more misery, that her act inspired the remaining troops, who elected her Captain. Ten more years later, Kerowyn has built the Skybolts into a formidable force. While visiting Daren in Rethwellan, she just happens to meet Heralds Talia and Dirk, who have come to beg for Rethwellen's aid against Hardorn. Kero reminds them that Rethwellan is actually in Valdemar's debt (due to an event in ''Vows and Honor'') -- the end result is that the Skybolts join the Rethwellan forces heading to Valdemar.

Princess Elspeth, finding her life under constant threat and beginning to realize that Valdemar will never be safe until it rediscovers the arts of magic, sets out to find a mage who will agree to return to the country and teach Heralds. With her is Herald Skif, sent at the Council's insistence, and the magic sword Need. The process of setting out seems suspiciously easy -- when Elspeth realizes she is being railroaded by the Companions, particularly her own Gwena, into a glorious destiny as the first new Herald-Mage, she takes a violent swerve off the ordained path and sets out in the direction of the mysterious Tayledras lands.
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Princess Elspeth, finding her life under constant threat and beginning to realize realizing that Valdemar will never be safe until it rediscovers the lost arts of magic, sets out to find a mage who will agree to return to the country and teach Heralds. With her is Herald Skif, sent at the Council's insistence, and the magic sword Need. The process of setting out seems suspiciously easy -- when Elspeth realizes she is being railroaded by the Companions, particularly her own Gwena, into a glorious destiny as the first new Herald-Mage, she takes a violent swerve off the ordained path and sets out in the direction of the mysterious Tayledras lands.

Elspeth and Skif, now Wingsiblings with the k'Sheyna tribe, attempt to come to terms with their new lives and Elspeth's budding magical power. Skif is growing increasingly attracted to the exotic-but-fragile Nyara, while Elspeth and Darkwind are becoming attracted as well. The tribe gets new allies, most noticeably the flamboyant k'Treva mage Firesong, while mysterious forces seem to be acting in their favor to harass and distract Mornelithe Falconsbane.
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Elspeth and Skif, now Wingsiblings with the k'Sheyna tribe, spend some time in the Vale. They attempt to come to terms with their new lives and Elspeth's budding magical power. Skif is growing increasingly attracted to the exotic-but-fragile Nyara, while Elspeth and Darkwind are becoming attracted as well. The tribe gets new allies, most noticeably the flamboyant k'Treva mage Firesong, while mysterious forces seem to be acting in on their favor behalf to harass and distract Mornelithe Falconsbane.

Mornelithe is defeated and the last k'Sheyna tribesmen have rejoined their families, leaving Elspeth and Skif free to return home. Joining them are Darkwind, Nyara, Firesong, and the gryphons. Their return is rerouted by none other than the ghost of Vanyel, who warns them that he is disabling the anti-mage device that protected Valdemar. Elspeth returns to the capitol (amid rumors that she is dead), announces that she is the first of the kingdom's new Herald-Mages, and abdicates the throne in favor of her infant siblings. They scramble to train new Herald-Mages and put up a magical defense before any of their enemies realize the anti-mage protections are gone. Meanwhile, King Ancar of Hardorn accidentally takes Mornelithe Falconsbane from the Void where he was imprisoned and binds him to his service. Falconsbane, confused and traumatized by the experience, is weak enough in the psyche to allow the personality of An'desha -- a Shin'a'in mage whose body Falconsbane stole -- more freedom of movement. Joined by two spirit avatars sent by the Goddess, An'desha works to undermine Falconsbane from within.
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Mornelithe Falconsbane is defeated and the last k'Sheyna tribesmen have rejoined their families, leaving Elspeth and Skif free to return home. Joining them are Darkwind, Nyara, Firesong, and the gryphons. Their return is rerouted by none other than the ghost of Vanyel, who warns them that he is disabling the anti-mage device that protected Valdemar. Elspeth returns to the capitol (amid with great ceremony (to staunch rumors that she is dead), announces that she is the first of the kingdom's new Herald-Mages, and abdicates the throne in favor of her infant siblings. They scramble to train new Herald-Mages and put up a magical defense before any of their enemies realize the anti-mage protections are gone. Meanwhile, King Ancar of Hardorn accidentally takes Mornelithe Falconsbane from the Void where he was imprisoned and binds him to his service. Falconsbane, confused and traumatized by the experience, is weak enough in the psyche to allow the personality of An'desha -- a Shin'a'in mage whose body Falconsbane stole -- more freedom of movement. Joined by two spirit avatars sent by the Goddess, An'desha works to undermine Falconsbane from within.
4th Sep '15 12:36:32 AM Chariset
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Emperor Charliss of the Eastern Empire
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Emperor Charliss of the Eastern Empire summons Grand Duke Tremane and sets him a test -- to complete the conquest of Hardorn -- to determine his worthiness to take the throne.

Then disaster strikes -- magical weapons murder several emissaries, including Ulrich. The emotional blow on Karal and Altra is immense, but more than that is the sudden weight of being the temporary Karsite ambassador. With the alliance close to fracturing, Karal risks his life to expose the real assassin, who turns out to be an agent for the Eastern Empire. Just as everyone begins to relax, a sudden upheaval in the magical currents signals a new disaster. An'desha forces himself to look into Falconsbane's memories and uncovers a horrible truth: the shock they just felt was the first of a series of pulses that are going to jar the world as the magical energies of the Cataclysm -- the unfathomable disaster that shattered the world centuries ago -- ''echo'' back in the present day.
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Then disaster strikes -- magical weapons murder several emissaries, including Ulrich. The emotional blow on Karal and Altra is immense, but more than that is the sudden weight of being the temporary Karsite ambassador. With the alliance close to fracturing, Karal risks his life to expose the real assassin, who turns out to be an agent for the Eastern Empire. Empire who was working for Grand Duke Tremane. Just as everyone begins to relax, a sudden upheaval in the magical currents signals a new disaster. A newly-mature An'desha forces himself to look into Falconsbane's memories and uncovers a horrible truth: the shock they just felt was the first of a series of pulses that are going to jar the world as the magical energies of the Cataclysm -- the unfathomable disaster that shattered the world centuries ago -- ''echo'' back in the present day.
4th Sep '15 12:34:59 AM Chariset
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\nEmperor Charliss of the Eastern Empire In the aftermath of the Falconsbane saga, An'desha settles in unhappily as a stranger in a strange land. His crush, the beautiful Firesong, has taken him into a relationship that is partly LoverAndBeloved and partly man-and-lapdog, but this does nothing to heal An'desha's lingering mental wounds nor his fears that Falconsbane is still controlling his actions. As Valdemar strengthens its alliances with its neighbors, the Karsite Sun Priest Ulrich is one of several delegates in residence -- with him is his secretary Karal. Herald Talia senses a good personality fit between the lonely Karal and the overwhelmed An'desha and introduces them. Untrained though he is, Karal bonds with An'desha and even manages to reassure him that his feelings are normal in the wake of Falconsbane's possession of his body. Nor is An'desha Karal's only new friend -- within hours he also has the company of an unbonded Companion, Florian, a pretty and impulsive inventor named Natoli, and Altra, one of the legendary Firecats who accompanied the Sun Priests in times when the church was less corrupt. Then disaster strikes -- magical weapons murder several emissaries, including Ulrich. The emotional blow on Karal and Altra is immense, but more than that is the sudden weight of being the temporary Karsite ambassador. With the alliance close to fracturing, Karal risks his life to expose the real assassin, who turns out to be an agent for the Eastern Empire. Just as everyone begins to relax, a sudden upheaval in the magical currents signals a new disaster. An'desha forces himself to look into Falconsbane's memories and uncovers a horrible truth: the shock they just felt was the first of a series of pulses that are going to jar the world as the magical energies of the Cataclysm -- the unfathomable disaster that shattered the world centuries ago -- ''echo'' back in the present day.
3rd Sep '15 11:59:28 PM Chariset
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Elspeth and Skif, now Wingsiblings with the k'Sheyna tribe, attempt to come to terms with their new lives and Elspeth's budding magical power. Skif is growing increasingly attracted to the exotic-but-fragile Nyara, while Elspeth and Darkwind are becoming attracted as well. The tribe gets new allies, most noticeably the flamboyant k'Treva mage Firesong, while mysterious forces seem to be acting in their favor to harass and distract Mornelithe.
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Elspeth and Skif, now Wingsiblings with the k'Sheyna tribe, attempt to come to terms with their new lives and Elspeth's budding magical power. Skif is growing increasingly attracted to the exotic-but-fragile Nyara, while Elspeth and Darkwind are becoming attracted as well. The tribe gets new allies, most noticeably the flamboyant k'Treva mage Firesong, while mysterious forces seem to be acting in their favor to harass and distract Mornelithe.Mornelithe Falconsbane.

Mornelithe is defeated and the last k'Sheyna tribesmen have rejoined their families, leaving Elspeth and Skif free to return home. Joining them are Darkwind, Nyara, Firesong, and the gryphons. Their return is rerouted by none other than the ghost of Vanyel, who warns them that he is disabling the anti-mage device that protected Valdemar. Elspeth returns to the capitol (amid rumors that she is dead), announces that she is the first of the kingdom's new Herald-Mages, and abdicates the throne in favor of her infant siblings.
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Mornelithe is defeated and the last k'Sheyna tribesmen have rejoined their families, leaving Elspeth and Skif free to return home. Joining them are Darkwind, Nyara, Firesong, and the gryphons. Their return is rerouted by none other than the ghost of Vanyel, who warns them that he is disabling the anti-mage device that protected Valdemar. Elspeth returns to the capitol (amid rumors that she is dead), announces that she is the first of the kingdom's new Herald-Mages, and abdicates the throne in favor of her infant siblings. \n They scramble to train new Herald-Mages and put up a magical defense before any of their enemies realize the anti-mage protections are gone. Meanwhile, King Ancar of Hardorn accidentally takes Mornelithe Falconsbane from the Void where he was imprisoned and binds him to his service. Falconsbane, confused and traumatized by the experience, is weak enough in the psyche to allow the personality of An'desha -- a Shin'a'in mage whose body Falconsbane stole -- more freedom of movement. Joined by two spirit avatars sent by the Goddess, An'desha works to undermine Falconsbane from within. Ancar discovers the way to Valdemar open, with predictable results: his mage-controlled attack force begins a massive assault. Selenay dispatches Elspeth, Skif, Nyara, and the Hawkbrothers to Hardorn to assassinate its leaders, where they travel under guise as carnival entertainers. Falconsbane's mind continues to weaken, allowing An'desha to lure him into an ambush at the carnival. Nyara and Need inflict a mortal wound, causing his spirit to flee into the Void, where Firesong pursues and destroys it. An'desha returns to full control over his (dying) body, which Need is attempting to heal. Elspeth and Darkwind confront Ancar, who has felt the backlash of Falconsbane's 'death' through the binding spells and gone quite mad -- they dispatch him, Hulda, ''and'' an emissary from the Eastern Empire, though not without making it obvious that Valdemar was involved. The party flees to Haven, while Hardorn falls into anarchy behind them.
3rd Sep '15 11:46:27 PM Chariset
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\nPrincess Elspeth, finding her life under constant threat and beginning to realize that Valdemar will never be safe until it rediscovers the arts of magic, sets out to find a mage who will agree to return to the country and teach Heralds. With her is Herald Skif, sent at the Council's insistence, and the magic sword Need. The process of setting out seems suspiciously easy -- when Elspeth realizes she is being railroaded by the Companions, particularly her own Gwena, into a glorious destiny as the first new Herald-Mage, she takes a violent swerve off the ordained path and sets out in the direction of the mysterious Tayledras lands. Meanwhile, the Hawkbrother scout Darkwind has his own problems -- his tribe, the k'Sheyna, was split in two by a magical accident which occurred as the tribe was attempting to travel to a new Vale. His mother was killed, his father has become distant and forbidding, and he himself has sworn off the use of magic for fear that he had something to do with the situation. His one solace is his friendship with a mated pair of gryphons, who call him 'featherless son'. He cannot shake the feeling that an enemy mage is harassing the remnants of the tribe, but he cannot prove anything until a mysterious, catlike woman flees to him for help. Eventually Elspeth and her company encounter the k'Sheyna, where her emerging magical talents, Need's sudden return to full sentience, and the defection of the cat-woman Nyara are all necessary to put up any kind of resistance to the sinister new mage who is menacing them -- the brutal, near-immortal Mornelithe Falconsbane.

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\nElspeth and Skif, now Wingsiblings with the k'Sheyna tribe, attempt to come to terms with their new lives and Elspeth's budding magical power. Skif is growing increasingly attracted to the exotic-but-fragile Nyara, while Elspeth and Darkwind are becoming attracted as well. The tribe gets new allies, most noticeably the flamboyant k'Treva mage Firesong, while mysterious forces seem to be acting in their favor to harass and distract Mornelithe.

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Mornelithe is defeated and the last k'Sheyna tribesmen have rejoined their families, leaving Elspeth and Skif free to return home. Joining them are Darkwind, Nyara, Firesong, and the gryphons. Their return is rerouted by none other than the ghost of Vanyel, who warns them that he is disabling the anti-mage device that protected Valdemar. Elspeth returns to the capitol (amid rumors that she is dead), announces that she is the first of the kingdom's new Herald-Mages, and abdicates the throne in favor of her infant siblings.
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