Cry for the Fallen
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If you are going to the market in East Telurrion, then spare a moment to see a sacred place.
It is a haunted spot, full of weirding and spectres, noises and lights. Not the dark sorcery of the northern forest, or the accursed dust that twists and corrupts, but the fading power of the White Witches. Cast aside on the face of the land, stands a blue hall lying askew and untended, a structure so large only immortals could have built it. They say it is a great engine of war, a castle of the air, made of a metal that defies the elements and time itself.
Your sword may be keen and sharp young warrior, but the blue metal of the Witches cares nothing for our mortal steel. You are welcome to smite the structure and the castle door; many have tried, but you will only keep the blacksmiths busy, and earn the laughter and derision of small children.
It is said that a millennium ago, the White Witches fought a second great war, much longer and bitter than the first. Some say that they fought amongst themselves, as much as they fought the strange creatures that came from beyond the veil. We can only guess the manner in which this war was waged, and we know little about the sacrifices and losses the White Witches might have endured. All we can see now are the relics of that war, and the great Hall of the Spirits is one of them. It has stood there for more than one millennium, and will likely stand there for many more to come.
Kings and warlords have tried to lay claim to it, believing that any who controlled the Hall would earn great fortune and power. Instead, it has inspired greed and treachery and the spilling of much blood. Those of the religious orders are no better, claiming some divine power from it on the one hand, and then stating it to be the source of great evil on the other. It is true that it is imbued with sorcery, and likely there is necromancy there too, for there are many tales of ghosts and poltergeists coming and going from the Hall. Is it any wonder that the dead spirits might choose to stay there? Mighty Witches and their fallen enemies cast together in an eternal struggle in the afterlife, waiting for the final battle that will end the universe itself.
The king who lays claim to it now has more vision than his father, and has invited the greatest minds of magic and the old sciences to study it. There is also rumour that the Hall has spoken to the King, and that ghosts of the old Witches visit him to give guidance. Certainly he is a wise man, and his kingship has trodden a steady and astute road these last few years.
I see that I have whetted your appetite for adventure. Make your way along the old highway then, but beware of the night creatures that haunt the forests around it. Once they were men and animals, but the dust has changed them, and there are dark magicians there that experiment with the old arts of our ancestors.
When you get there remember to pay homage at the Hall. In spite of what you have been told, we owe a great debt to the White Witches; without their sacrifice, our world would be forever in darkness.
-- Archon Lorian Macintor, magistrate for the town of Celleneia, in the Northern Marches of Khandoore
V3 and M3 figures in Wildenlander outfits, along with DAZ Millennium Horse. Lazloi vessel is an original model created in Hexagon. Post processed in Photoshop CS2.
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- September 25, 2009
- Science Fiction
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