And this as well...

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And this as well...

Postby Suvantar » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:49 am

... if you happen to find it useful.

***

The story of Oleana's ascension.


Of the Ascension and the Arrival of the Fourth Goddess

The final tale of the Romany Reii


Milord, Stargaze,

It has been some time since we have corresponded, but your final command to me in this matter was to inform you of any unusual events regarding the denizens of the western plains known as the Romany. In the time of the first settlement of the west, it was believed that the children of the gypsy were somehow imbued with the gifts of the Fallen Lord, himself. In the ensuing years, it has been the most widely held belief that they were simply another warring faction ... despite the temporal power that they have sometimes held.

As you suspected, the proponents who believed in the myth of the 'gypsy cloak' have dwindled in recent times. The power of the Reii has also dwindled with the rise of the greater factions. There have also been widespread rumors of internal strife with the death of the gypsy queen Oleana during the last days of the Age of Tahnor.

There is, however, now something of which you must be made aware.

Unlike the birth of the Reii, there is little historical evidence to support what has occurred in recent days. There are only scattered rumors and a most disconcerting mystery. The one thing of which I am fully aware is that the plains of the west are barren again. Totally desolate and empty ... as if the gypsies were never there.

Entire cities have disappeared. The only thing that remains are the mists and the virgin wilderness.

Milord, in these matters, I have only rarely attempted to impose my own opinion upon you, but this time I feel I must. This anomaly must be investigated ... for if what I believe is the truth, then everything we have heretofore believes about the nature of the divinities is nothing but a great lie. And all of the wars we have fought throughout the ages have been for nothing at all.

In the end, however,

I remain yours in life and death,

The Blade who remains Hidden


**


New Dokkalfar
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232


Zarradde, the Heretic:

In the vision of the past, there are things about my predecessor that I dare not dream.

In recent days, I have tried to explore the magics that brought him to this world with precious little success. It has been my fondest wish, though I dare not act upon my own feelings, to bring happiness to the Duchess Tasha. Perhaps by bringing another Suvantar through the veil of worlds, I might accomplish that. Yet my experiments have been forever delayed by the incursions of the Letite and Angelican warlords who have invaded the Romany lands.

By assuming the mantle of the Heretic, it has been my duty to rally the Romany and repel them from the plains again and again. Now, I truly begin to understand the weariness that Oleana felt in her final days. They come and come without surcease ... for somehow the defeat of the gypsies has become the final testament to victory by followers of either of the younger siblings.

I have completed a treatise on the nature of the races of the high kingdom. There are truisms that I have discovered. Human history, for example, is the history of economics. Humans have played upon the nature of the religious war to achieve economic dominance over the other races. Through multiplication, they have become the primal force of the world.

The market square has become the battlefield of tomorrow. There are no answers in the human mind for religious purity, only to choose the 'heathen' target in order to expand and possess. Through possession, the human psyche assumes victory is evident. As control expands, so does information and as information expands, so does military rule.

In the end, Tasha is human. Her mind echoes all of those desires and impulses. It is intriguing sometimes to consider how deeply her love for my predecessor was, given the nature of his race and how he transcended the limitations of being a dark elf.

Elves, even dark elves, view the world primarily through nature's bounty. Where the human impulse is to expand and dominate, the elven impulse is the achieve equilibrium and balance. In my treatise, I sought only to find similar balance in my understanding of the races. Yet, I can only say that I failed at that.

I do not know how many factions are now attacking the Romany. But our outlook differs from theirs. They seek to dominate or to destroy ... we seek to create and care for the land. In the end, it matters not the outcome of any battle. In the end, the planet itself will sustain us and in the end, victory is always certain.

There is no greater truth to the legacy of the gypsy queen and my predecessor than that.

But the battles must still be fought and it is we who must fight them.


**


New Ehvenor
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

Draemorticus:

They call me the last of the finest.

My lifetime has been extended beyond that of a normal man by centuries. I truly do not know why. I was there when Oleana received the Cloak. I was there for the long march to the west. And I have been here through it all ... all the slaughter, the victory, and the endless war.

In the Romany, there is love, yes, but there is also the unquenchable fire.

They have come for us again, another nameless horde of troops from some lord who covets what the Romany have and can never understand that it does not come from strength of arms of victory in the field. I hear scattered reports from other lands that some have repelled their own invaders, while still others have been rolled back and forced to give up land.

The Heretic, if that is truly who he is, has issued orders, then reissued them with changes. As time passes, I begin to believe more and more that he is not Suvantar ... for Suvantar could never look down upon the totality of war with such complete understanding. The Romany have given way time and again, leaving the enemy with false impressions of victory. Then upon the Heretic's command, in that fatal moment of relaxation, when the enemy believes that his victory has been won, other lords of the Romany drive through his weary forces, shatter them and scatter them to the wind, seizing again what was thought to have been lost.

No, this cannot be Suvantar. I remember him. He was my ... friend. And this is not him. Suvantar would have gathered every Romany lord and lady for one tremendous counterattack. He would have been driven by the vengeance of loss, the rage at the slaughter of our children. Whoever this man is, such things do not drive him. He is cunning and ... even evil sometimes in how he views battle.

Yet, he is victorious.

The letites charge the gates of New Ehvenor. And again. And again.

But I am not afraid. Somewhere in the spider's web of New Dokkalfar, the Heretic already knows. And somewhere in his mind, this has become nothing more than a variation in the pattern of the great battle. And somehow, though I may lose land, the Romany will win.

Again.


**


The House of Pintel
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

Shayanna Danielle Griffinsbane:

Aye, and it was a right smart thing he did too.

To bring the army of Kyra here whilst mine left the roost of the House to aid the flagging forces of Angelfire. It may ha' even won the entire war us. There was doubt in my mind when he told me to do so, doubt about leavin' me lands so undefended in a time when he knew that all of the Romany save me and Kyra were under siege.

But he knew.

There was nae any doubt in his mind. He knew when he ordered it that they would come too late, come after Kyra's men had already taken the vacated positions of my army. He knew they would try to take advantage of me sudden vulnerability and try to take me land from me.

And he was counting on it.

That is what scares me sometimes. He was counting on it. He expected everything to go according to his plan. What if someday it does not?

Is this what it means to be Romany?


**


Rizeem
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

Ruinan:

My rage consumes me.

Desdemona is gone, gone because of miscommunication between the man to whom I voluntarily ceded the Cloak. Alone among the Romany do I understand what truly passed between the masked man I believed to be Suvantar and myself. He is not Suvantar. I know that know. He has nothing of my old friend's passion to preserve the family. He believes in the Romany and will defend it to his dying breath ... but only as a theory. To him, the Romany is an INTELLECTUAL reality. To us, the Romany is a family and, hence, the reality of our LIVES.

I remember when he came to me...

"...have turned the Romany into an army, " he said. "Look inside yourself my friend. Ask yourself if that is what Oleana intended."

Oleana... the gypsy queen. Dying in the Hinterlands... her eyes cloudy and misted ... nearly blind with the pain of the D'Hartine and the wounds she had suffered. Casting here gaze around desperately, seeking the 'eldest of the Romany present' to bestow the cloak upon. She believed it was Kaminton, the prophet. She did know when she did it that Kaminton was already dead.

So she had instead inadvertently given it to me.

Was I so desperate to relieve myself of the burden?

"Oleana never had any distinct plans, Suv, " I replied.

His voice sounded the same. In all the ways that mattered, the easy ones that defied close examination, it WAS the same ... and he knew the words to say.

"You have fought a war that no one could win, my old friend, " he said to me. "And for that, the Romany will be forever in your debt, but the spirit of our people is dying slowly. Look out even at your own land of Rizeem. There is only so much that they can suffer before they break. They need a legend to bear the Cloak, my friend. I never sought to rule, but we cannot allow this to happen to the Romany while the Heretic lives."

And though more was said later, that was all it took.

I gave him the Cloak.

And now, he has driven my beloved from her family ... not intentionally, but because of his expectations. He expected her to know his plans, as if somehow she would have a window into his mind. He sent a brief aviary message to me, one that tried to explain what occurred. But no explanation was needed. I already knew.

The explanation is deeper. The man who controls the Romany is not Suvantar.


**


Elsewhere
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

I...

I am...


**


The Assembly at Ratheman
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

The Fallen Angel stared down at floor of the Assembly in somewhat bored silence as a minor Angelican noble droned on and on about a rather obscure point of order. His gaze flickered about for long seconds until they settled into a reserved area that was currently empty. He half rose from his chair, leaning over to a colleague and whispered into his ear.

Murchad glanced up to the balcony floor and registered what he already knew to be true. The flag of the Reii was not at full mast.

For the first time in eight sessions, no representative from the Romany Reii had come to the Assembly.


**


Elsewhere
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

I am...


**


A battlefield west of the city of Sojourn
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

A battle cry ripped from the lady warrior as she plunged her blade into the commander of the invaders again and again and again ...

After long moments, Shiloh looked up from the mangled carcass of her foe to see the hesitant gazes of all, allies and enemies alike, staring at her in something akin to awe and shock. The blood dripped down the length of the curved blade in rivulets. Her gaze remained dark as she swept her hand around.

"Kill them ... kill them all!"

Then the slaughter that in later years would become known as Shiloh's Massacre began.

When even her own commanders urged her to stop, to show mercy, to end it ... the lady of Sojourn was quoted as replying...

"And what then of the gypsy children these butchers slaughtered before they met us in this field? Ask me not to lessen the fury of the Firestorm, man. Ask instead why the Gypsy Queen is poisoned and dead. Ask instead why they seek to destroy us. Ask instead why the Romany were driven west in the beginning. Yet whatever you ask, ask it quickly, for of those who came to kill us in this field ... none will emerge."

Casualty Report from the Battle of Sojourn:

The Romany Reii defenders, 12 dead, 143 injured, 77 commonfolk killed.
The Letite Invaders, 10,717 killed, 24,585 injured.


**


Inthuul Chath
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

Raila:

I made it out. Barely.

It started in the dead of night. The city awoke to the devastation of the market district and the desecration of the Great Cathedral of Barnabas. Yet if that had been all, it might have been a survivable thing. As couriers were dispatched throughout the city, it was discovered that it was not only the grand cathedral that had been desecrated, but nearly every shrine and temple in the city.

Through their cutpurses and rogues, they had cut away our channel to our god.

And I knew what was coming. The basic simplicity of the brutal slaughter to come was so evident that even the smallest child could see what they intended. The only question was whether the barrage to come would be in the form of mud or ice.

And in the end, it was ice.

There were over thirty thousand Romany living in the city of Inthuul Chath. Less than a hundred survived the arcane slaughter.

Lucky me. I was one of them.


**

Elsewhere
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

YOU ARE AWAKENED, MY CHOSEN CHILD.

I am... awake. And I remember.

I feel him everywhere, but it is not as it was once. There is a glimmer, a vague sort of awareness ...

The Romany Reii. It is gone from me... am spirit more than substance now.

But I still FEEL them.


**


New Dokkalfar
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

Zarradde, the Heretic:

And who attacks us now?

They surround us like a vortex... the Immortal Sacred Alliance, the Empire of RASP, the Golden Horde...

They whirl and whirl and it is endless. Yet still we fight. We fight because we are...

The Romany.

Two lands have been utterly destroyed by the magic of the enemy. The wrath of the lesser children against the followers of the Fallen Lord. The cycle is endless. Can I sustain us?

The lines of communication between the Romany lands are being cut from each other, ever so slowly. In the end, they will drag us down. New Dokkalfar and other lands still stand strong and we strike back against them, seizing what has been taken again and again.

They strike back. We strike back. It will never end... and I feel the pain of the gypsies through the gift of the Cloak.

I order Rizeem into an ill-considered counterstrike, my first true military mistake of the war. Ruinan obeys, though, I can see it in his eyes. He wants to dissent, but he obeys. And then they strike against his weakened army with fury. Angelicans and Letites, not working together, but in concert, both seeking to become the one faction that finally brought down the gypsies together.

And we fight. And we fight.

Yet through the endless war, I feel something new.

The Queen has awakened.


**


Elsewhere
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232


YOUR PEOPLE NEED YOU AGAIN.

I died for them.

I KNOW, BUT THEIR NEED CRIES OUT FOR YOU. THEY ARE LED BY A MASK, NOT A MAN.

They are led by your Heretic, my lord.

And then it occurs to me ... He is not the same as before. He is different than the all-consuming presence I felt when he bestowed His gift upon me. I speak ... for the first time again.

"Barnabas, " I say, "Come to me."

There is a moment. I feel his surprise all around me and then, even to my surprise, he does come. And I look upon my god for the first time. It was not as I expected it to be. He is both sorrow and anger. He is regret and pain. He is Barnabas.

"Oleana."

He says it without preamble. He says it as if we are equals.

"Is this ... what it means?" I ask.

He nods, "Yes, this is what it means."

He extends his hand, "There are few who become thus, my child. There are only a few who have the capacity within them to... ascend."

"Ascend?"

"Not to become as the triumvirate, of course, " he answers ... an almost absent sense of condescension radiating from him, "but those who many revere have the capacity to become... greater than they once were."

"Why not as the triumvirate?" I ask automatically, a bit of the old commoner's insolence still in me yet.

He is taken aback again. I assume that any of those who assumed such roles in prior histories were satisfied simply by their new state of reality. But I have not been a servant for a long time ... and it is not a role that I particularly relish falling back into.

"Because we are the children of Olander, " he replies, as if it is the most natural thing in the world. "You can never occupy the Seat of Heaven ... no matter what you become. That is only for one of us to sieze."

"And if none of you ever assume enough power?"

"Then the wars will last forever."

I turn away for a moment.


**


A battlefield near Amber
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

Corwin stepped back from the battle for a moment, his eyes flaring wide open.

Mindless ... mindless... they had all fought for so long in such mindless fashion. His troops were winning, but ... did it matter?

"Ser!" one of his general's roars, cutting down the would-be kingmaker from behind him. Corwin was dazed, backed away, realizing that something was different ...

The Queen was awake.

The Queen was coming.


**


Elsewhere
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

I turn back to him, an epiphany of thoughts in my mind. I once revered him so. He was the totality of my existence and my life. I once led a people across an entire continent to keep his faithful from disappearing from the world.

In the moment of my awakening, he told me in essence that there was no hope. The issue would never be decided. The truth of that moment was that he was not a god worth worshipping, simply because of the childish need to covet that I had sought so hard to burn from my own people for so many years. And if that was true of Barnabas, what then of Leto and Angelique?

The Lady of Law ... forever misguided. The Chaosbringer ... the personification of everything I once despised.

The reality of Barnabas, Angelique and Leto was that they were nothing more than petulant children, each missing the once facet that would make cooperation possible and end the slaughter down below. I look down from this place and it is not simply the Romany ... it is all the lands throughout the world. The land itself runs rivers of blood simply so these three can play at being gods and vie for a Seat that none of them will ever occupy.

Oh, Creator, what have you inflicted upon the world with your three jealous children?

I turn back to the Fallen Lord, the one who could have ended this so long ago and a tear courses down my face. For I have seen the nature of GOD ... and it is nothing but a narcissistic mirror of all the things I hate in man. I have seen the final truth of GOD and I weep.

What then of the final truth of Oleana?

Suddenly, she knew. She knew what she was capable of and she knew ... in essence ... there was no difference between her and them. She raised her hand and, for the first time in millennia, brought all three of them together. Angelique's face contorted in wrath and She opened Her mouth in angry protest of being brought anywhere against Her will.

Oleana gazed at Her for a silent moment and Lady Law's mouth closed. She merely looked at the former chambermaid with expectation ... and with a certain respect. Leto simply looked on with a certain amount of amusement and sardonic interest.

And the final truth of Oleana was that in that moment, the chambermaid became both ghost and goddess and said unto the three warring siblings,

"My people are Mine and will no longer fight for your jealous bickering. I will take them from this world and we will create paradise."

And then She turned from Them and all of the Romany felt Her embrace...


**


A battlefield near Amber
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232

The Letite invaders gazed around in wonder.

They had been on the verge of being routed ... on the verge of being driven from the west yet again. Then the army facing them had, to a man, simply vanished.

The city they had been sent to sieze was gone.

The road was gone.

The only signs that the Romany had been there was the blood on the battlefield itself. Even their own wounds had been healed. Their own dead were rising from the ground...

Then those few perceptive enough to see it ... bore witness to the GoddessWave as it continued westward.


**


New Dokkalfar
Barnabian Calendar Year 1232


Zarradde, the Heretic:

I stare at the approaching Wave and I know who it is.

She will not take the Reii from me. She will only offer me a choice. It is not my usurpation of the role of my predecessor that She feels sorrow for. I understand that. Her love is an encompassing thing and I feel the Romany disappearing into Her embrace as the GoddessWave purges the west of the influence of mankind. It is Her love that has captured them.

We will leave this world behind ... most of us.

Some few have been given a choice, those who knew her longest. Those who knew Oleana in life. She will offer them the choice to stay. Most will go with Her, though, because for the first time, they feel the embrace of a Goddess who does not demand from them ... but gives to them in return.

Oleana is the Romany. I sit at my desk and feel the Wave pass through New Dokkalfar, approaching me, closer, ever closer. The city, what it left of it, is almost totally empty now. And then she is there... before me in her majesty, the ghost and the Goddess. And I open myself without thought to her embrace.

And it is everything that we were promised by the Three, but never given, no matter how much we bled or how hard we fought. It is Oleana, in all of her generosity and all of her kindness and her love is boundless...

I walk into Her embrace.

And then, with the rest of the Romany, I disappear into the mists.
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Suvantar
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Re: And this as well...

Postby Nagash » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:41 am

Cheers for the contributions, mate :)


How's Raila?
If word gets out that I'm missing, 500 girls will kill themselves and I wouldn't want them on my conscience - not when they ought to be on my face!
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Re: And this as well...

Postby Immigrant » Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:55 pm

Holy schnikes! Welcome back master Suvantar!

Does this mean you're rejoining the community and playing again (truly hope so)?
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