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Messages - Sabrath_Kell

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1
World and Lore / Re: Official MW Lore: The Gods of Etheria
« on: November 14, 2016, 08:43:46 PM »
So is Al Abbeden Fire, Ugulanthu Earth, Val'as Sherean Water and Ilasthasa air? It wasn't ever specified.

Yes, exactly!

2
World and Lore / Re: Air elemental
« on: September 02, 2016, 02:00:38 PM »
Typo for Asto Vidatu or there is some new cool creature on the way? (be it the second one please! :) )

Thanks for the callout -- I do mean Asto Vidatu.

3
World and Lore / Re: Air elemental
« on: August 25, 2016, 05:08:39 PM »
Can we consider the [mwcard=MW1C40]Whirling Spirit[/mwcard] as the air elemental? He surely looks like one, but he does not have the name, not have the subtype elemental and is considerably weaker than the other 3 elementals?

If he is not, what is the difference between an "elemental" and a "wind spirit"? And if he is not the elemental, could we expect the air elemental some day?

Could there be a lightning elemental or an ice elemental?


Whirling Spirit is not an elemental but a sentient creature that lives in the Realm of Voltari (a place of existence from which most magic draws power.). Note the quote on the card “While summoned of Voltari, their essence is neither that world or this one.”

The Realm of Voltari crackles with ambient energy, and provides a volatile, harsh environment for the limited number of creatures who live there. The [mwcard=MW1C40]Whirling Spirit[/mwcard] is one such creature, as is the [mwcard=MW1C24]Mana Leech[/mwcard], and manticores such as Asto Vantu.

True elementals are tied to elemental forces and were originally created by the Elemental Lords. Lightning and Ice Elementals exist (along with many other types of elementals, both lesser and greater), though not currently as cards.

4
World and Lore / Re: Arraxian crown warlock's demon pact
« on: August 12, 2016, 05:55:40 PM »
I was wondering with which demon the core set warlock forged a pact.

Great question Halewijn!

To answer by way of overview, here's an overview of the Major Demons of power that rule Infernia, and by extension, extend their power through blood pacts with the Warlocks of Etheria.

First, and foremost, there's [mwcard=MW1C01]Adramelech, Lord of Fire[/mwcard], Prince of Infernia.

Following him, there's five other major demons of power, each of whom has carved out his own little slice of anti-paradise:

• Abbadon, Lord of Destruction
• Bael, Lord of Blood
• [mwcard=MW1C23]Malacoda[/mwcard], Prince of Pestilence
• Moloch, Lord of Curses
• Thilfel, Lord of Deception

The Warlock in the core set is most closely aligned with Moloch, from whom the most vile and far-reaching curses flow.

Will we ever be able to summon Bael? And, who is that horned demon in the back covered in shadows?

It's possible that a manifestation of Bael might be able to be summoned in future expansions. (Much like Adramelech or Malacoda). In fact, in the alpha versions of Mage Wars, Bael was a creature that could be summoned. (Changes to the needs of the core set and art considerations caused him to be packed back off to Infernia however.) Who knows what the future might hold however?

As for the large demon on the front of the Mage Wars box, he is a type of Shadow Demon. (He hasn't seen light of day in a set yet either -- but again, who knows?)

As a bonus Friday treat, the demons of Infernia can be categorized in several different breeds. The most common kinds of demons are found everywhere, and could be in the service of any demon lord:

• Imps (such as [mwcard=MW1C15]Firebrand Imp[/mwcard], [mwcard=MWSTX2FFC13]Wildfire Imp[/mwcard], [mwcard=MWSTX2FFC11]Sersiryx, Imp Familiar[/mwcard], and [mwcard=MWBG1C03]Skeelax, Taunting Imp[/mwcard])
 Pact Demons (such as the [mwcard=MW1C03]Dark Pact Slayer[/mwcard]). Pact Demons are charged with collecting on deals struck with mortals in Etheria, either to fufill the deal, or to reap the souls of those who break deals that have been struck.
• Guardian Demons (such as [mwcard=MWSTX2FFC04]Cerberus[/mwcard])
• [mwcard=MW1J17]Succubi[/mwcard]

Some breeds of demons are led/controlled/used by one of the major demon lords, such as:
• Blade Demons (such as the Drokar), and Blood Demons (such as [mwcard=MWSTX2FFC02]Guulbrez[/mwcard]), and Hellions (such as [mwcard=MW1C16]Flaming Hellion[/mwcard]) which are led by Bael
• Chaos Demons, and Forge Demons which are led by Abbadon. (Forge demons work n the dire forges in and around the molten rivers and mountains of Infernia, crafting demonic items for their lord or for the other demons.)
• Mimic Demons, which are led by Thilfel
• Pit Demons (such as the [mwcard=MWSTX2FFC08]Infernian Scourger[/mwcard]), which are led by Abbadon
• Plague Demons and Rot Demons, which are led by Malacoda
• Shadow Demons, which are led by Moloch


Hope this helps! Happy Friday!
--Sabrath

5
World and Lore / Re: Online Map of Etheria and official playfields
« on: August 08, 2016, 12:01:30 PM »
Is there a map somewhere in the net like it was in one OP Kit? I would like to show him that map.

You can find a map here, along with links to the history of the land, stories from online and published Organized Play Kits, and lots of other goodies : http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=15675.msg52559#msg52559

6
World and Lore / Re: Any of this compiled into an ebook?
« on: June 21, 2016, 05:04:19 PM »
Hi, just discovered Mage Wars and love lore. With this in mind I found this forum and section but wondering if anyone has compiled any of these great stories and canon into Epub or Mobi e-books?


No e-pubs, but you can find most everything compiled here at this link. It's up to date through the recent Battle Lines stories.

World and Lore of Etheria
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=15675.msg52559#msg52559

-Sabrath

7
World and Lore / Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 5 (Conclusion)
« on: June 16, 2016, 08:50:18 AM »
Part 4 recap: Unphased by the potential scholarship of the star map, Domatra races ahead and touches the Orb – which the couple now realize is not a V’Tar Orb but some sort of teleportation artifact. The celestial map fades away, and the Drakkonian power of the Nexus Orb teleports the couple to a cross-shaped chamber with large vaulted ceilings and a collection of ancient tomes and scrolls – the lair of a ancient Drakkonian Archmage. The lair is filled with silver Orbs that Bellarax and Domatra now instinctively know to be V’Tar Orbs; even more impressive is the V’Torrak that is here, able to open a direct portal to Voltari. The two mages stare at the wealth of treasure and power before them – and they know that their destinies – and the destinies of the nations of Etheria – hinge on who obtains the Drakkonian magic first.



BATTLE LINES: Part 5 (Conclusion)

Bellarax was a seasoned fighter but after many years of Academy life, he knew he was less likely to win in a straight out fight to the death. Domatra had lived in Ivarium all her life, save for the few short years they had been in Sortilege together, and she was often on the move with the Imperial Legions. Add to that her natural prowess as a Forcemaster -- well, Akiro might play those odds, but he would not.

Domatra would try to cut him down, to end their match swiftly, he was sure. But he meant to stay alive -- and to do that, he would have to use more than a little guile. From his study and translation of the stone tablet, he suspected that a daring mage could harness the power of the Orbs themselves during combat, bringing a new synergy to battle that just might turn the tide in his favor.

Still she would not be able to resist gaining control of at least one Orb first -- her curiosity would get the better of her. Plus, he knew that her Force spells would have little effect on these creatures. That could give him a slight advantage -- her ability to control the landscape around her was legendary.

He was gratified to find he was right. Domatra had moved closer to the first Orb, awakening the Guardian. Unlike her previous experience however, she knew what was coming, and deflected its attack on her forcefield as she moved in close to take the creature out with her forceblade.

Rather than running for another Orb, Bellarax rushed toward Domatra's battle, summoning a suit of of Harshforge Plate, along the way. Then, as soon as he was in range, he cast a tanglevine on Domatra, watching the vines wrap themselves around her legs, holding her fast.

The Guardian sliced down again, but once again Domatra's forcefield was able to deflect the blow. She flicked a withering glance at Bellarax, then teleported out of the tanglevine, right behind him. "Surely you remember this move." The forceblade arced out, across his face.

Except that it didn't. Bellarax revealed the Reverse Attack spell he had cloaked upon him, and the attack reverberated back at Domatra, sufficient enough to bring down her forcefield. In the wave of that blow, he summoned an Iron Golem, and positioning himself to strike her with his own blade.

"Enough!" The air around him rippled with force, and he watched as Domatra push herself backward a pace, giving her space to maneuver.

"’No success is enough, until there is victory’," said Bellarax, as he summoned his Helm of Command, and bound a Charge spell to it. He directed the spell at his creature, bringing his Iron Golem rushing back in, swinging at the Forcemaster.

He savored his latest quotation from the Arts of Lord Bellicar for all of a split second, before Domatra's Force Hammer spell slammed into his cranium, temporarily making him see white. Shaking it off as best he could, he sent the golem off to attack the Guardian, while he moved on to the next Orb.

Domatra accessed the situation, taking a quick look at the Guardian. The creature was hurting already, and with an iron golem in the mix, he surely wouldn’t last long. She lunged forward, closing range again with the guardian and the golem, but this time, targeting the Guardian with her forceblade, bringing the creature to the ground.

Bellarax saw his opening and took it. He cast Whirling Strike on his golem, which attacked Domatra first, then took control of the Orb with his additional attack. Bellarax could feel a strange new power flowing through him, healing him, and energizing his very senses.

Denied the first Orb, Domatra reassessed the situation. She knew Bellarax was a worthy adversary, but she suspected he would be no match for her up close, at least not without some serious support. Still, an iron golem and a V'Tar Orb… that might change the equation a bit. For the first time, she realized this was not the arena -- that a victory here might mean actual death for her colleague. But now that the die had been cast..., there could be only one outcome.

She whirled backward and danced away from the iron golem, and cast an unexpected Pillar of Light, damaging the golem, and momentarily blinding Bellarax, just enough for her to roll low and come up swinging against the Sistarran professor. Despite the Harshforge armor, her blade found its mark, and blood popped as it sizzled along its blue force edges.

Despite his tactics, Bellarax was in trouble. Domatra's attacks and force spells had done him serious harm. He caught his breath, gripped his sword a little more tightly and searched for a way to turn the tables, once and for all.

"You must end this!"

The voice did not come from Domatra. He assumed a guard position and quickly scanned the chamber, noting Domatra was doing the same. He looked over at her, the question plain on his face. "This is not some Mind spell trick of mine," she said, taking the opportunity to catch her breath.

"Then who..."

 Runed lines of a portal lit the air before them, opening a silvery blue archway. From it, two figures stepped through, both tall and lanky. Their cloaks and hoods were deep emerald green, with red velvet trim and golden filigree. Each carried a long staff of aged Wychwood, carved in the likeness of a serpent, body and tail entwined down the length of the shaft. They pulled back their hoods to reveal smooth Elven features, but their faces were longer, their eyes larger and deeper set. Though Elvish, they were not High Elf or Wood Elf.
 
 "And you are?..." Domatra demanded.

"We are mages of the Scaled Order," said the first of the Elves. "The Drakkons -- or Dragons as many call them in this day and age -- made Guardians to protect their Orbs and the V'Torrak. But to watch over their Legacy, they entrusted Us."

He continued. "You are scholars, you know the what will happen if the world is once more lit by fire and V'Tar. Leave this place, and leave the secrets of the past in peace."

"Interesting,” said Bellarax. “We are scholars, and yet we have never heard of you. Why should we believe you and your scaled order? As a scholar, I have to entertain the idea that perhaps you simply want all this for yourself. Leave this place? I'm sure you'll be right behind us, right?"

"How did you even get in here? Or find us?" added Domatra. "That's a pretty good trick of itself."

The first mage of the Scaled Order shrugged. "We have our ways, but suffice to say that when an Orb is touched, we know of it. We wouldn't be very good watchers if we didn't, would we?"

The second mage broke in, "Regardless, we're here now. Heed the last message of the Drakkons, the message they bid us deliver to whomever found their lairs, spellcraft and objects of power: ‘Know this -- the pure power of Voltari is not a thing meant for the consumption of the weak. It is an untamed tempest, and only through Domination can it be weathered. At the last, a moment will come in which that Domination will be undone, and the tempest will rage anew. This is no riddle, lest you miss our meaning -- we speak of V'Tar. We speak as sons of the Elemental Lords to the creations of the New Gods -- some things are best left alone."

The words rang through the chamber, and for the moment, Domatra and Bellarax were silent. But only for a moment.

"Best left alone? You simply want all the power for yourself!"

"You expect us to believe that? What scholar walks away from the secrets of the past? There's not a frost spell's chance in Infernia that's going to happen."

"I agree."

The first mage sighed. "I suspected as much. If you would awaken the V'Tar, then take control of them... if you can."

He raised his staff, and the ground of the chamber rippled, like stones tossed in a pond. In their wake the floor was left changed, with areas of deep pits, glowing lava, and quickly spreading ethereal mist.

The other mage murmured what sounded to Bellarax like Drakkonian, phrases of power that he had not seen or heard in his studies. In a second, many of the Guardians near the orbs had shifted form, becoming larger, broader, and covered in heavier spiked chitin.

"This is the Grand Arena," said the first mage. "If you wish to defy Drakkonians wishes, then stay alive." The two mage leveled their staves at Domatra and Bellarax, and readied their spells.

Domination of Etheria had begun.



Hope you guys enjoyed this Battlegrounds themed lore. Cheers!  -- Sabrath

8
World and Lore / Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 4
« on: June 09, 2016, 10:04:29 AM »
Part 3 recap: As they race toward the Drakkonian Orb, Bellarax and Domatra begin to realize that this event, the discovery of long-lost Drakkonian magic, will be interpreted differently by different factions across the land of Etheria. Scholars will want to study it, soldier and military machines (like the armies of conquering Ivarium) will wish to harness it, using it against their enemies. Their musings are short lived as they arrive at the Orb, and find a looming alien statue next to it. As Domatra moved forward toward the Orb, the statue comes to life – and attacks the Forcemaster. They battle the Guardian, eventually defeating it, and as they do so, the stars overhead change, slowing revealing a celestial map showing the location of all the V’Tar Orbs across Etheria.

Now, enjoy part 4! -- Sabrath Kell



BATTLE LINES: Part 4

No sooner had she touched the Orb, than it had begun to spin rapidly. Above her, the points of light quickly faded out, save for one single point that became brighter and larger. The strange veins of purple light that crisscrossed the floor of the island also pulsed, quicker, faster, brighter. 

By then Bellarax had made his way to the pedestal and grabbed Domatra by the shoulder, spinning her around. "What have you done!" he yelled, gesturing to the now largely empty skies above them. "Do you know what we witnessed? It was a map! A map showing the locations of all the V'Tar Orbs. But you – you were too greedy! Where is your scholarship? Your training?"

"Who needs the map when you have the Orb in front of you?" she replied, leveling her forceblade at his chest. "There are larger forces at work than the endless debate of history, Bellarax."

The sky above them was white now, and began to flicker, brilliant flashes of white light that punctuated their every word, capturing each gesture and facial expression as if it were imprinted on clay. Other than themselves and the light, nothing else existed.

"Domatra!" Bellarax yelled, somehow trying to drown out the brilliance of the light. "This was no V'Tar Orb. I think this is the Nexus! Don't you get it? That orb was some other kind of Drakkonic magic -- something that powers this place. Gods only know what happens now."

Then suddenly, the flickering stopped, and the light receded. 

They were no longer on the Nexus; the island and the strange orb and the dead guardian were nowhere to be seen. Instead, they were in a cross-shaped chamber, with large vaulted ceilings and smooth stone floors. Along the walls, shelves and tables were arranged, each holding collections of thick tomes, scroll tubes, odd glass bottles and objects that were certainly not from the current age. This was the lair of a Drakkonian Archmage, one which had not been visited for many, many hundreds of years. And yet, the real prizes lay on each side of the chamber -- spherical orbs, metallic in color with glowing purple runes etched upon them. Next to each were more of the Guardian creatures from the Nexus. These, finally, were the V'Tar Orbs, the pair suddenly knew of a certainty.

Even more incredible, near the center of the chamber, a strange device lay humming. Bellarax could not shake the impression that it resembled the heart of some long dead god or giant, with monstrous veins that pulsed to the beat of some far off circulation. How the Drakkon Archmages of had crafted such things, he had no idea, but like the certain knowledge that the metallic orbs were V'Tar orbs, he knew that this was a V'Torrak, a device that could literally open a portal to Voltari, siphoning in its pure, ineffable power. 

He looked at Domatra, found her staring at him. 

"I may have been foolish before, Bellarax, but this time, I am certain. How many scholars have lived before us, who have studied musty scraps of parchment all their lives, hoping to see what we see before us now?"

Bellarax nodded, but kept his eyes on Domatra. He smiled, sadly.

"You know Domatra, we are witnessing the line of our age. Once the nations awaken and find pure V'Tar power in their grasp...  who is to say what will keep them in check. For five centuries, the Mage War Accords have sheltered our diplomacy, our disputes, our rivalries. For five centuries, the dreams of Mereveran have allowed us to rebuild our land, by relegating our baser instincts to the safety of the arena. Now? I wonder how the history books will remember our age. Will we be another Age of Catastrophe? Or another Golden Age?"

"You always did know how to deliver a moving speech, old friend," said Domatra. "And I think your time at Sistarra has only honed your ability. 

"I say it's a fitting honor that we find ourselves here today. Two representatives of the Society of Everlore, an organization bent on rediscovering the powers of the past. A scholar of Sortilege, training the land's future mages, and a emissary of the Empress, a chance at long last to reforge the Pellian Empire, bringing back the lost sheep of Westlock and the Selenia into the fold of the new Ivarium Empire."

Bellarax sighed. "I was afraid you were going to saw that. I'm afraid 'The Scholar I once knew has become the Tactician.'"

"Don't quote "The Arts of Lord Bellicar" at me. This is destiny, Bellarax. 'Only fools shrink from opportunity.'"

"Yes. Yes, you are right, of course." said Bellarax. "And we are no fools." His voice was husky, but no longer wistful. "Should we find ourselves on some other field, perhaps even on the same side some day, let's discuss this day in length. But until then --"
 
 As if a thunderclap had struck the chamber, the two Mages hurdled themselves forward, each toward one of the Orbs. As they moved, they cast familiar spells and enchantments, and summoned armor and wands. 
 
The Line of the Age had been crossed.

...to be concluded...

9
World and Lore / Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 3
« on: May 31, 2016, 02:46:14 PM »
Part 2 recap: Bellarax and Domatra begin translations on the strange Drakkonian artifact. As they mouth the ancient words and trace the runes, the tablet flares to life, surrounding them in shimmering white light. All around them, they feel the deep vibrations of a primal hum, and see a purple mist begin to rise. When the light recedes, they find themselves floating on a celestial island, with the stars overheads moving through their paths overhead, as if time flowed more quickly in this place. In the center of the island, they can see a strange Orb, floating and pulsating with multicolored light. Casting aside their book-learning, the two scholar-warriors race forward to examine it.

Now, enjoy part 3! -- Sabrath Kell



BATTLE LINES: Part 3

The center of the island was not far, but far enough that Bellarax and Domatra noticed that the ground itself did not appear to be natural. Though the sparsely growing vegetation, spiraling and occasionally intersecting veins of bright purple light were drawn. Occasionally, several veins would coalesce together, forming small, pulsing pools.

"Assuming we get out of this place," said Bellarax as he ran, "imagine what we can learn from all this! Actual Drakkonian artifacts -- and access to this place -- whatever it is! Perhaps this is the Nexus -- it certainly seems far removed from the nations of Etheria. From here, think of what the scholars of the Lyceum can learn of the movement of stars, of our moons, maybe of how time works in realms outside of our own! Who knows what else this place can help us find? I'll be writing scholarship on this until this brown beard of mine turns grey or falls out completely."

"Seriously?" Even in a full run, the contempt in the way she said the word came through solidly, and thick. "You are a scholar of the Age of Catastrophe, as knowledgeable as anyone can be of the wonders and powers of the Drakkons, and all you want to do with the knowledge that we have a V'Tar Orb nearly in our possession is write about it? There was a time when you still remembered what it meant to be Ivarium. Even with all the teaching and hand-holding that you do at Sistarra these days, surely you can still remember that the world outside those borders is bleeding! Have you forgotten that our soldiers have reannexed most of the city-states of Salenia? And those self-righteous-Westlockian-Asyra-lovers haven't so much as raised a single blade against us. But just imagine if we had a little more Drakkonian firepower to assist us." She smiled, and this time, the smile did warm those bright blue eyes of hers.

"They call it the Age of Catastrophe for a reason Domatra, or had you forgotten? The Drakkon artifacts were too powerful for the humanoid races. Supposedly, they drew upon the pure power of Voltari. More than one reference talk about how that unchecked power melted mountains, reshaped terrains, and perhaps was even responsible for creating the Darkfenne. Surely you are not foolish enough to unleash something like that into the world again. We've yet to fully recover from it from the first time."

They neared the center of the island, What they assumed was the V'Tar Orb sat suspended atop a metal base in the middle of a dark black pedestal, rotating slowly clockwise. All around the base were more of the Drakkonic runes that they had seen on the tablet. The orb itself appeared as smooth as Dwarven glass, but from what they could see, the glowing power of its center was not enclosed by any surface. It pulsed with color, red, then yellow, blue then green, then back to red again. 

More importantly however was the statue that stood before the orb. It loomed over them, angular and alien, carved in the likeness of a creature that neither had seen before. It had two sets of eyes and a set of formidable mandibles. Large, predatory arms ending in impaling spikes rose outraised, and a segmented thorax that might have been a tail wrapped around its legs. It was vaguely insectoid, as if it were the original nightmare insect from which all future bad dreams had evolved.

"I always assumed the Drakkons would be, you know, more dragon-like," Domatra said, eyeing the statue. 

"I don't think this is a Drakkon," said Bellarax. "I think this is a representation of a Guardian, a SSlak or a Usslak. Supposedly, the Drakkons created a race of creatures to protect their treasures while they weren't around." 

"Well, I think it's sweet that they erected a monument to their guards. Obviously they were a thankful race. Anway, we'll have time enough to examine this monstrosity at length once we take a better look at the Orb." She took a step closer to the pedestal.

Within a heartbeat, the stone of the statue receded in on itself, leaving in its wake a living, moving, chitonous creature. Without a moment's pause, it swung its impaling spikes down at Domatra, raking down the back of her arm and side in a spray of blood. Its tail swung around as it moved sweeping her backward off her feet, and away from the orb. 

Without thinking, Bellarax drew his blade and rolled in front of Domatra giving his comrade the seconds she needed to regain her feet. He parried another attack from the creature, deflecting its spikes and leaping backward from the bite of its mandibles. "Here's hoping magic still works in this place," he roared, as he cast a Hurl Rock spell at the creature. Luckily it did, and with a satisfying "crunch" the stone struck the creature, ripping off pieces of its chitin, forcing it to reevaluate its attack.

Domatra was back on her feet. "Out of my way, insect," she said dismissively, blasting the creature with a wave of force strong enough to push even a Steelclaw Grizzly into next week. The Guardian merely stared down at her with its double sets of eyes.

"Uh Domatra?" said Bellarax. "That thing's not budging. Got anything else?"

"More than enough of this," said the Forcemaster, vaulting over Bellarax's shoulder and twirling her forceblade around and down across the creature's face, splintering mandibles and ripping a deep chasm through its chest and the smaller, insectoid hands that writhed there. 

The creature gave out a short, high-pitched click-shriek, and collapsed before the two, leaving the way to the Orb open and unobstructed. Domatra raced forward, toward the orb, her prize now clearly in sight. 

Things began to change the second the Guardian's lifeless carcass hit the ground. The stars around the floating island had begun to shift and slide, some coalescing with others, some tracing fine, ghostly lines between their points, outlining the edges of shapes. Some points began to glow more brightly, others began to fade. 

"By all the Lords of Magic," whispered Bellarax, his sword lowered as he started upwards and around with awe. "It's… a map of Etheria." Some points were now red, others yellow, others blue or green. "Domatra!" yelled Bellarax. "Wait! Stop! This is significant!"

But Domatra had already reached the pedestal. "What power will prevent our nation's plan for reannexation now?" she said. "Ivarium will have the power of the Drakkons!" And with that, she touched the Orb.

...to be continued...

10
World and Lore / Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 2
« on: May 23, 2016, 03:33:24 PM »
Part 1 recap: Magus Avilus Bellarax, a professor of War Magic at Sistarra Academy takes a secret portal to the coast of Ivarium where he meets Domatra, a Forcemaster and old colleague. The two examine a curious stone tablet that has washed ashore, covered in glowing runes. Upon examination, it appears to be Drakkonian, the language used by Drakkon archmages centuries earlier. Excited at what the discovery could mean, the couple begin their translations.

Now, enjoy part 2! -- Sabrath Kell



BATTLE LINES: Part 2

"Well?" What does it say?" said Domatra, as she huddled close to the tablet and Bellarax.

Bellarax took a moment to look up from the runes to see Domatra's face, her eyes fixed on his, a look of intensity on her face, as if she could somehow cast Drain Soul on his scholarship and take it for her own. This was the Domatra he remembered from the time they were both students in the Academy. While all students underwent basic study, only the truly gifted are accepted into one of the elite Lyceums. When Domatra had been accepted to the Limitless Vista (the Lyceum dedicated to the study of Mind Magic) she had walked around with that same look for days -- as if she were just sucking the manna from everyone whom she came into contact with.

It was also the same look she had when she had been accepted into the elite Society of Everlore, the organization that had arranged this rendezvous. The Society was a well-funded, scholarly organization that was dedicated to seeking out ancient civilizations, undiscovered creatures, and emerging insights in magic theory. It also had friends in high places. Though it was primarily a Sortilegian organization, over the course of the years, it had attracted scholars and academics from across Etheria. Now, the Society had scores of members, many of them well-placed in organizations with considerable politcal or economic clout. Both he and Domatra fell into that category -- he was the Professor of War magic, strategy and martial training at Sistarra, the topmost Academy of Magic Sortilege, and Domatra sat on the Empress' Assembly, an organization of senators and Mages that advised the Empress on a range of topics, foreign and domestic.

Bellarax turned his attention back to deciphering the mysteries of the tablet. He ran his finger along one set of glowing runes, reading in a strangely guttural-whispering manner. The words were reminiscent of the rush of wind and waves, and flowed from his lips and throat rhythmically, like the surf crashing upon the shore. "That's my best Drakkonic, such as it is. I believe it talks about something called "a Nexus". My best guess is that might be someplace that borders on Voltari."

"What about the passage about the V'Torrak?" asked Domatra. "What does that one say?"

Again Bellarax read the Drakkonic, his fingers lightly tracing the glowing scripts as he did so. "To the best of my knowledge that sounds something like 'The path to the portal will awaken the V'Torakk', or perhaps it should be translated 'When the portal is opened, so shall the V'Torakk await.' It's hard to say exact--"

He broke off abruptly as the stone tablet suddenly flared to life, the hardened grey stone blossoming into a tablet of shimmering white light. The air around the two suddenly became thick and muted, and small motes of twinkling dust danced around the corners of their vision. Bellarax and Domatra instinctively formed a back to back posture. In an instant, Domatra called forth her forceblade, it's blue energy blade crackling with an odd sound of feedback. Bellarax's blade made no sound, but was entirely at the ready. A smell of ozone filled the air, mixed with the smell of the deep ocean. All about them, they felt the deep vibrations of a primal hum, and a strange purple mist began to rise. It quickly filled the air, blocking their outward views. The light of the tablet cascaded through the mist, casting them in shimmering violet hues.

The hum changed to a roar, and then the light of the tablet overtook their senses, and everything became light as if the world were new again and just beginning for the first moment. They closed their eyes to the power of it, the brightness...

...then suddenly it was over. The two found themselves on an island of sorts, an island that floated free deep within what appeared to be the night sky. All around them, they saw the stars of Etheria, moving through their celestial orbits at speeds that seemed unnaturally tied to normal time. The twin moons of Etheria, Celestia and Ves, spun around and over their island, each eclipsing the other in seconds rather than their normal cycles of months.

But the thing that truly captivated them, that drew their attention back to the floating island that they found themselves upon, was the object that pulsated at its center. It's spherical shape and serpentine adornment left little doubt about what the object was. It had to be a V'Tar Orb, a Drakkonian artiftact crafted to control the V'Torrak. And if there was a V'Tar Orb, then chances were good that the V'Torrak was nearby, or at least accessible.

This was the mother lode of Drakkonian studies. Wherever this strange island happened to be, the two scholar-warriors cast booklearning aside, and raced forward to examine what lay at its center.

...to be continued...

11
World and Lore / Re: Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 1
« on: May 17, 2016, 12:40:50 PM »
You're right -- we're a little behind on getting the full content of past OP Kits up on the website.  :o
Let me see if I can get that refreshed/updated so that you can enjoy the full story.

12
World and Lore / Official MW Lore: Battle Lines, Part 1
« on: May 16, 2016, 07:19:18 PM »
Hi guys. If you've been hungry for more official stories set in the world of Etheria, then rejoice. Over the next month, I'll be releasing installments of the 5-part series "Battle Lines", a story that sheds light on the connections between Sortilege and Ivarium, V'Tar magics, and ancient artifacts.

Enjoy! -- Sabrath Kell



BATTLE LINES: Part 1

One second, Magus Avilus Bellarax stood in the shadow of the Academy of Sistarra, deep in the magic-governed nation of Sortilege. The next, he was breathing the salty morning air of the coastline of Ivarium and basking in its humid warmth. The distance between the two countries was easily a month away by conventional means of travel, even more considering the armies and Blood Wave forces that pocketed the region. Yet Bellarax had made the trip in a blink of an eye, thanks to portals that had remained largely unknown to all but those of considerably high scholarly standing.

He blinked, taking in his new surroundings, reestablishing his bearings. It had been a long time since he had been back to Ivarium, his motherland. He had been born in Compasso Antia, a town not far from the capital, and had lived there until he was ten. He had then been sent to Sortilege –  a common Ivarium practice in which sons and daughters of influential Mages, senators and merchants were exchanged with the sons and daughters of other Mages, politicians and merchants in distant lands for future political advantage. Now, three decades later, he felt more a son of Sortilege than of Ivarium, though a certain nostalgia rushed through him as he stood once more in his motherland.

The Magus felt a unseen force brush across his shoulder, and he whirled to find its source. Unlike many of the Mages of Sortilege, he was more fond of the sword rather than the staff, and he smoothly drew the blade as his turned, his Sistarran robes flaring outward in a practiced motion.

"Do you plan to cut down an old classmate?" It was a woman's voice, thick with the accents of royal Ivarium and old Imperial Pellia. "I guess all the White Towers and elven women haven't eroded your reflexes completely yet. It is good to see you again Bellarax."

"And you, Domatra." Bellarax took a second to take stock the woman, a formidable Forcemaster in her own right, and an academic colleague for the past twelve years. She was short in stature, with a slighty red tint to the dark hair that fell in ringlets to her shoulders. She wore leather boots and gloves, and carried a gleaming silver scimitar on a back strap.

"Stop staring Bellarax," she smiled, a smile that almost warmed her icy blue eyes. "I asked you here for a reason, and if I know you at all, you're going to like it. Something unseen for millennia of has been found."

"So the summons said. What is it? Can I see it?" The excitement in his words was palpable.

"This way. It washed up on shore, not far from here yesterday. And Bellarax -- in the day since we got word of this, the Society has been beside itself with anticipation. Apparently, you and I have Akiro's own luck to be the ones here today."

Domatra led him down closer to the beachline, not far from the surf, to a jut of stone that broke through the sand and vegetation like a giant troll's rotted teeth. With a wave of her hand, a portion of the stone vanished, revealing a hole containing a large canvas sack. Domatra pulled out the sack, and opened it.

Inside was a stone tablet, elaborately carved with delicate runes, and edged with metals that glowed with alternating purple, silver and green auras. Around the stone tablet was an aged frame, barnacled and eaten away by time and the salt of the ocean, but still roughly serpentine in nature. In counterpoint, the runed tablet interior was pristine, as if it had been carved earlier that morning.

Bellarax took one look at the runes then turned to Domatra, his eyes wide. "Can it be?..."

"Drakkonian! Yes, by the Gods I believe it is. Sadly, my Drakkonian is limited. But you on the other hand, the reknowned scholar of the Age of Catastrophe..." Her eyes locked on his, her question clear without being spoken.

"Can I translate it?" Bellarax smiled, though his heart was about to beat out of his chest, down the beach, and into the coastal waters. He ran his fingers over the runes. "Yes, I believe… I can… and Domatra -- " a thrill went through his body, "I know this rune. It is V'Torrak -- the name the Drakkon archmages gave to their artifacts that could open portals directly to Voltari, drawing on the raw, unfiltered magic that they used to craft spells and objects that we can only dream about. According to what we've been able to sift out of the history of the era, most Drakkons had their own V'Torrak. Maybe this tablet will lead us to one that still exists.”

"Imagine what we could do with that," said Domatra. But Bellarax did not hear, his attention already fully focused on finding a translation.


...to be continued...

13
Taranis is the supreme Dark God. He is also one of the New Gods, who drove out the Elemental Lords during the Age of Catastrophe. (The Elemental Lords have been driven out, but they still have adherents, and obviously, their magicks are still studied, though in a much less prominent way at places like Sistarra. The Elemental Lords have, at various times in Etheria's past, attempted to regain their former glory...)

Adramelech is not a god, though he is quite powerful in his own right. He is the ruler of Infernia, another Realm of existence, one from which the demons are spawned. While in Infernia, he projects terrible power and control over his subjects -- in this respect, he is virtually like a God in his own Realm. Dark Mages in the realm of Etheria can summon an aspect of him into the arena, and though a deadly threat, he is far from his true deadly self. (The same goes for Malacoda).

As a God, Taranis projects his power to both Infernia and Etheria. Adramalech (and all the demons) fear and follow him.

14
World and Lore / Re: Official MW Lore: The Gods of Etheria
« on: May 16, 2016, 07:01:42 PM »
@SailorVulcan/sIKE: It's true that the Arcane gods embody a facet of rational, regimented thought, its in conjunction with the application and craft of spells, not in its pure form like you would expect a God of the Mind to do. Still, Arcane knowledge is often considered "higher knowledge" (certainly by those windbags at Sistarra and the White Spires), so some overlap with mental prowess is natural.

@Ravepig/SailorVulcan: Nothing definitive on a followup novel at this point. However, glad to hear that you both loved it! That said, over the course of the next month, I will be releasing a new five-part story called "Battle Lines". Enjoy!

15
World and Lore / Re: Official MW Lore: The Gods of Etheria
« on: March 15, 2016, 06:08:32 PM »
Alas no Amadseer...

Hmm. So you say.

Without spoiling, Amadseer is currently slated to have a small part in Lost Grimoire.

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