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personal - GemStone IV HIGHMAN GAMES 5010


- Ebon Gate 5109 -

- Krystanne's and Caleanon's Wedding 5109 -

- Highman Games 5110 -

- Grawood Festival 5110 -

- Mist Harbor Eastern Harbor Street Festival 5110 -

- Ebon Gate 5110 -

- Zifku's Vodka Drinking Game 5111 -

- Droughtman's Challenge 5111 -
             Challenger's view
             Best Heckles
             Key Moments

- Mist Harbor Anthem Ceremony 5111 -

- Ebon Gate 5111 -

- Ebon Gate 5112 -

- The wedding of Erienne and Nordred -

- Highman Games 5113 -

- Gweniveer and Japhrimel Wedding 5113 -

- River's Rest Pickle Festival 5113 -

- River's Rest Pickle Festival 5114 -

- River Rest Pickle Festival 5115 -

Clsoing Ceremonies

On the evening of day 08 of the month Fashanos in the year 5110, I attended the closing ceremonies for the Highman Games. Unfortunately, due to a miscalculation on my part, I arrived 30 minutes into the ceremony. Luckily the ceremony began late and Frorin managed to capture most of the events that I missed.

[Jirkirl's Hilltop, Gathering]
Several rows of beribboned benches rest on an immaculately manicured lawn. Running through the center of the gathering area, a small aisle leads up to a dais, which stands four steps high. The stage is neatly tucked between two towering beech trees that have colorful streamers tied to some of the lower branches. Dark blue and thick, a swathe of fabric draped over the podium on the platform has a single star on its center embroidered in shimmering white thread. High above, stars twinkle in the night sky.

Also here: Fleurs who is sitting, Nilandia who is sitting, Lady Tempra, Ruabadra who is sitting, Sir Yarx, Lord Roblar, Great Lord Oogey who is sitting, Squire Legionnaire Vilorcasdra, Cappyn who is sitting, Neomalvis, Corlyne who is sitting, Laphrael who is sitting, Great Lord Trallihn who is sitting, Buen, Aubriella, High Lord Baelog, Protector Misun, Kasia, Sir Morgiest, Great Lady Rendena, Lord Renaden who is kneeling, Guarrin

Highman Keffan just arrived.
Keffan says, "Evenin all."
Keffan recites:
"I apologize fer the delay in tonight's proceedins."

Keffan motions for quiet.
Keffan smiles.
Keffan recites:
"Kindred, dwarven allies, an honored guests "

Keffan smiles.
Keffan recites:
"Our Highman Games fer this year are drawin ta a close. This year's event has nay been without some problems, but no event ever is. We wish ta thank ye fer yer patience an understandin durin those times. Mostly, we wish ta thank ye just fer comin here, an spendin time with us. We hope ye have learned a bit about us, just as we have learned a bit more about ye"

Keffan flashes a wide grin.
Keffan throws his head back and howls!
Keffan grins.
Buen raspily asks, "Aye, dwarfs be betta at de games dene yer dinked?"
Roblar throws his head back and howls!
Eugenides turns to Keffan and cheers!

Keffan recites:
"After tonight's awards for individual competitions are announced, please remain."

Keffan smiles.
Keffan recites:
"Though yer likely tired of listenin ta me, I'll have a wee bit more ta say."

Keffan winks.
Keffan recites:
"As I call yer name, come forward, please!"

Keffan removes a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.
Keffan recites:
"In first place fer the Caber Toss - Baelog!"


Keffan offers Baelog a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon.
Baelog accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Baelog hangs a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon around his neck.
Keffan removes a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.

Keffan recites:
"In second place fer the Caber Toss - Roblar!"


Keffan offers Roblar a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon.
Roblar smiles.
Roblar accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Keffan removes a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.

Keffan recites:
"In third place fer the Caber Toss - Guarrin!"


Roblar hangs a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon around his neck.
Keffan offers Guarrin a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon.
Guarrin accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.

Keffan recites:
"In first place fer the Drinkin Game - Oogey!"


Keffan removes a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.
Keffan unfastens the toggle of his badger sporran, opening it.
Keffan put a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon in his badger sporran.
Great Lord Oogey just arrived.

Keffan recites:
"In second place fer the Drinkin Game - Roblar!"


Keffan removes a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon from in his badger sporran.
Keffan offers Oogey a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon.
Oogey accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Keffan removes a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.

Keffan recites:
"In third place fer the Drinkin Game - Bremerial!"


Keffan says, "Nay here."
Keffan snaps his fingers.
Keffan put a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon in his badger sporran.

Keffan removes a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.
Baelog deeply says, "I nae think she in the lands right now."
Cappyn says, "She's gone to sleep it off."
Cappyn nods sagely.

Keffan recites:
"In first place fer the Hammer Throw - Trallihn!"


Keffan offers Trallihn a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon.
Trallihn accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Keffan grins.
Trallihn raises his rolaren medallion skyward!
Trallihn hangs a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon around his neck.

Keffan recites:
"In second place fer the Hammer Throw - Buen!"


Keffan offers Buen a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon.
Buen accepts Keffan's offer of a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon Keffan removes a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.

Keffan recites:
"In third place fer the Hammer Throw - Guarrin!"


Keffan offers Guarrin a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon.
Guarrin accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Keffan grins.
Buen carefully inspects his rolaren medallion.

Keffan removes a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.
Bremerial just arrived.

{{I arrive at this point.}}

Forin turn to you and cheers!
Cappyn turns to you and cheers!
Buen hangs a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon around his neck.
You softly asks, "Darn - have I missed the ceremonies?" Keffan recites:
"In first place fer the Shield Slalom - Aubriealla!"


Keffan offers Aubriella a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon.
Keffan offers you a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon.
Keffan grins.
You accept Keffan's offer and are now holding a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon.
Speaking to you, Keffan says, "Ye missed yer name bein called."
Misun applauds you.
Keffan chuckles.
You snap your fingers.
Fleurs applauds you.
Morgiest deeply says, "She wus sleepin it off."
Morgiest nods to Keffan.
You pucker up and blow a kiss at the rolaren medallion in your hand.

Keffan recites:
"In second place fer the Shield Slalom - Roblar!"


Keffan offers Roblar a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon.
Roblar accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Roblar hangs a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon around his neck.
You hang a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon around your neck.
Keffan removes a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.

Keffan recites:
"In third place fer the Shield Slalom - Buen!"


Keffan offers Buen a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon.
Buen accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Misun smiles at you.

Manipulating his bagpipes with a light touch, Morgiest moves into a softly thrumming chorus.

Keffan removes a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.
Speaking quietly to you, Misun says, "You did so well that I had to applaud you twice."
Buen hangs a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon around his neck.

Keffan recites:
"In first place fer the Tug of War - Roblar!"


Keffan offers Roblar a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon.
Roblar accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.
Kasia says, "Its the Roblar show."
Keffan removes a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon from in his elk hide mantle.
Kasia grins.
Roblar breaks out in a triumphant grin.
Aubriella grins.

Keffan recites:.
"In second place fer the Tug of War - Guarrin!"


Keffan offers Guarrin a silver-chased rolaren medallion on a red tartan ribbon.
Roblar hangs a gold-chased rolaren medallion on a green tartan ribbon around his neck.
Guarrin accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.

Keffan recites:
"In third place fer the Tug of War - Rendena!"


Keffan offers Rendena a bronze-chased rolaren medallion on a blue tartan ribbon.
Rendena accepts Keffan's rolaren medallion.

Keffan recites:
"Congratulations, all!"

Kasia applauds.
Trallihn lets out a cheer!
Rendena lets out a cheer!
Misun applauds.
Laphrael licks a perfectly rounded snowball.
Roblar lets loose a mighty shout!
Corlyne applauds.
Laphrael lets out a cheer!
Oogey lets out a cheer!
Tempra claps her hands.

Keffan recites:
"Prior ta the games, there was another contest. It was a story contest, with written submissions. I'd like ta announce the results fer that contest as well."

Keffan recites:
"First place, fer best submission goes ta Guarrin!"


Keffan recites:
"Second place, fer best submission goes ta Tebon!"


Keffan recites:
"And third place, fer best submission goes ta Ariella!"


. Keffan recites:
"Now, nay confusion here...This was a contest separate from the one ta be held tonight. There will be a storytellin contest this evenin, followin the closin ceremonies. The works will be published"

Keffan recites:
"If ye'll bear with me a moment...I'd like ta recite Guarrin's entry"

Keffan recites:
"I'm a bit rusty at this, sae please be patient."

Keffan smiles.
Keffan clears his throat.
Keffan recites:
"It is said the first T'Kirem Chieftan, Kiremgrea, would wrestle the potential warriors in his clan to deem them worthy to pass into manhood, and become warriors. The night before the test, the candidate would sit before Kiremgrea, and the Warmaster, to listen to the Chieftan's wisdom. Generations later, these words are still recited to the young giantkin facing their trials."

Keffan recites:
"The son of the Clan, shall be kind and wise
But bold in battle as well
Bravely and gladly Kindred shall go
Until his day of death has come"

Keffan recites:
"The coward believes he shall live forever
If he does not face battle
But age shall not grant him, the gift of peace
Though the blade may spare his life."
Keffan recites:
"The lives of the brave, and the noble are best
Sadness and sorrow they seldom feel.
But the coward fears all things
And does not know faith of steel."

Keffan recites:
"Forth you should go, but do not stay as a guest
In one spot, forever.
Love of a place becomes loathing, if one sits
By one hearth for too long."

Keffan recites:
"Without your arms, in the open field
You should not go far.
For you will never know, when the need of a blade
Will arise in a moment."

Keffan recites:
"Should you tread down the Spine,
Look long and well around.
You will know little where a foe may hide,
Or, seek your friendship."

Keffan recites:
"A wise giant will make measured use,
Of what might and skill he may have.
Because when among the Kindred
He may not be the boldest."

Keffan recites:
"A wise Kindred does not boast of his intellect,
But keeps it close to his chest.
To the silent and wise, ill will seldom befall,
As you travel far from the nest."

Keffan recites:
"Should you take up your blade in the field
Let forth your greatest cry.
Mighty as you may be, with strength of hand
Your true strength is in the clan."

Keffan recites:
"The Bears die, and Kindred die,
And so will you.
But for one thing, that will never die,
The fame of a dead man's deeds."

{Rapturous Applause}}

Keffan recites:
"Guarrin, I know I dinnae do it proper justice, but I hope ye see how much yer Kindred enjoyed it."

Keffan recites:
"And now, friends an guests...We ask th blessin of the mountain upon ye all. The strength of your forbears ta protect ye. The courage of yer convictions when other things fail. And the love of a good, true heart. May yer journeys from the mountain be safe."

Keffan recites:
"The grounds will remain open until tomorrow evenin"

Keffan recites:
"Until then, enjoy yerselves, shop a bit, an drink some more!"

Keffan recites:
"Oh, one more thing..."

Keffan recites:
"First place winners, please come see me. I'll send for 2nd place and third place after."

The final part of the festivities involved the collection of my 3rd place prize - a most unexpected bonus - and listening to the stories during the storytelling competition.

Story Telling Competition

Highman Razara's group just arrived.

You see Highman Razara.
She appears to be a Giantman of the T'Kirem Clan.
She is very tall and appears to be in her golden years. She has sultry light chestnut eyes and olive skin. She has shoulder length, shiny coal black hair interspersed with silvery greying strands. She has a straight nose and fine lines around the corners of her eyes.
She is in good shape.
She is holding a crinkled dark grey journal set with a silver-framed dream agate in her right hand.
She is wearing a mottled brown hawk feather quill tucked behind one ear, a talon-strung boarhide pack, a fitted pale doeskin bodice over a loose cotton blouse, a cinched stormy grey pouch beaded with ragged bone fragments, a slender elk hide sheath, a long dark suede skirt tied with a feathered golden lynx pelt, and a pair of fur-lined boots.

Cappyn turns to Razara and cheers!
Rendena waves.
Razara turns to Cappyn and cheers!
Speaking to Razara, Cappyn exclaims, "Sorry just a little excited!"
Razara exclaims, "As are we!"
Razara asks, "Are any of you here for the storytelling contest?"
Rendena raises her hand.
Landrai says, "Yes."
Frorin raises his hand.
Vilorcasdra nods slowly.
Trallihn nods to Razara.
Tebon nods to Razara.
Speaking to Razara, Cathlyn says, "Most of us."
Razara says, "I'm going to just get a baseline for how many participants we might have. If you'd like to participate, please whisper to me to let me know."

{{whispering ensues}}

Razara says, "So that means I have Tebon, Landrai, Rendena, Eugenides, Trallihn, Vilorcasdra, and Frorin wanting to participate."
Razara asks, "Is there anyone else?"
Trallihn yells, "Roblar ya gonna tell us a tale?"
From nearby, you hear Roblar yell, "How me mopped ye up all over da field...sit down an wait fer it!"
Cappyn yells, "Don't let me down Roblar!"
Renaden yells, "If you do bad, yer' giving me that armor!"
Buen yells, "Roblars gonna tell de story about how he was so drunk he slept right through the hamma toss!"

Razara says, "Okay, last call for participants. If you signed up earlier, I have your names."
Razara says, "The order will be... Tebon, Landrai, Rendena, Eugenides, Trallihn, Vilorcasdra, and finally Frorin."
Razara asks, "Anyone object to that?"
{{No objections are received.}}
Razara says, "Your stories can only be five minutes long, and I have a very good sense of time."
Razara exclaims, "Up first, we have Tebon!"

[I have recorded the stories and omitted the cheers, hoots, applause, salutes and general drunken reverly that preceeded and followed the reciting of each story.]

Tebon's Story

Tebon recites:
"Hail ta ye's all! I'm nae a bard, or a gleeman, so bear wit me as I tell ye's me tale"

"There are few stories that ye's might e'er hear of tha Wsalamir, mostly because my people are vera reclusive, but wit good cause."

"Taday, I woul' like ta share wit ye's a story that 'as been passed down, from father ta son, or mother ta daughter, o'er tha generations of tha Wsalamir."

"There are meny stories an' legends in how tha Wsalamir came ta be. Some I'm sure meny of ye's here e'en know. Some stories tell that tha founders of tha Clan, 'ad frost giant blood in their veins."

"I suppose we woul' 'ave ta ask Aemarlantea ifin that were true. He was tha first Chieftain of tha Tribe."

"Tha Wsalamir, were fairly much isolated from tha werld, until tha Battle of Maelshyve. Accordin' ta written historical notes, this was tha first that my Clan made themselves known."

"Tha small group of Honored warriors tha Wsalamir sent ta Maelshyve, were led by Eahnimaki. One of those that followed Eahnimaki ta Maelshyve, was an Honored ancestor of mine, Beragimuk."

"As tha story has been passed down, through my family, o'er time, Beragimuk was chosen ta go ta Maelshyve, fer his strength, courage an' ferociousness in battle."

"Tha Wsalamir, didnae 'ave eny particular place in tha battle, that is ta say, they were e'erywhere, an' where e'er they were, they turned tha tide of battle inta their favor."

"My Honored ancestor, Beragimuk was there, in tha thick of tha gore, standin' strong wit Eahnimaki, Kantoran an' Mishka." "Tha giantkin stood tagether, all tha clans did, when tha battle was met. An' where tha giantkin stood, tha undead fell. Tha Wsalamir present, were beyond compare in their skill in battle."

"Beragimuk, as it has been tol' in my family, felled meny enemies underneath his weapon of choice, which is now tha preferred choice of my family ..tha maul. Eahnimaki, on his return from Maelshyve, spoke ta tha Clan, of wat happened ta all tha Wsalamir. He spoke of each individual warrior, an' spoke of wat they did, an' gave them, an' their families great Honor in doin' so."

"When Eahnimaki spoke of Beragimuk, he spoke of his fearlessness. How Beragimuk charged a group of six wraiths that 'ad surrounded a badly wounded T'Kirem brother, an' fell them all, taking grievous wounds in doin' so. Eahnimaki tol' of Beragimuk's courage, when tha banshees were unleashed on those assaulting Maelshyve. "

"Beragimuk, strong of body an' courageous, coul' nae stand fer long, against tha unleashed horrors an' screams of tha banshees, an' he fell, while standin' o'er a wounded dwarf. Eahnimaki said tha dwarf did escape tha onslaught, but he didnae know wat became of him."

"Eahnimaki, e'en while in tha heat of this major battle, wit his cousins Kantoran an' Mishka, gathered as meny weapons of tha fallen Wsalamir as they coul', as they too, retreated from tha battlefield. Tha las' three Wsalamir still livin' from tha assault. Eahnimaki returned tha fallens weapons ta their families as he spoke of tha Honor they 'ad brought ta tha Wsalamir. "

Beragimuk's Maul, now is held by Meragiman, who leads tha family, in our Clan. Tha las' I knew, my family 'ad journeyed back ta their usual wintering spot, an' Meragiman still carries Beragimuk's Maul. Fer tha Honor that my ancestor gave ta my family an' ta tha Wsalamir Clan, Beragimuk 'as fere'er earned his place among tha great heroes of tha Wsalamir. Tis tha end of my tale, Honor ta tha kin who brought us tagether this fine e'enin, an' Honor ta ye's all fer bein' here"

Landrai's Story

Razara says, "And next we'll be hearing from Landrai. Please, when you are ready to begin."

Landrai says, "Before I start, please, I would ask you hold a drink if you have one and when I raise my ale please raise yours with me."

Landrai recites:
"Maelshyve, a name we all know. A name that would bring fear in the old days and now brings memories of bravery among the Highmen and memories of treachery, but in the battles one stands out. He and his men fought until there was no more fight to bring."

Landrai raises her dark beer in a toast!
Landrai loudly exclaims, "For honor!"

Landrai sings clearly: "Hail and ho! All good Kin,
Raise your glasses high!
Hail and ho! To the lost of the clans
Mem'ries will ne're die!"

Landrai recites:
"T'Kirem Bear Clan via chieftain Geramik, stoutest of warrior and strongest of leaders led his clan Maelshyve. He marched as was ordered by Warmaster T'Syrinal, but he marched with a purpose in his heart. No love of elves he was to help, but a hate of the evil that grew within the walls. "

"Now Geramik was strong and bravest of all the T'Kirem. He gathered his men and spoke to give them heart and courage."

Landrai deeply says, "My kinsmen, my clan. We must break the lines, we will be first and we will do this task."
(Landrai raises her free hand, shaking a fist in the air.)
Landrai recites:
"His men answered him with their shouts of courage."

Landrai loudly exclaims, "We will break them!"

Landrai recites:
"Turning to the battle he waited for the command. And so Geramik took his warriors and with a cry, and did just that, but the cost.

Landrai sings clearly:

"Hail and ho! All good Kin,
Raise your glasses high!
Hail and ho! To the lost of the clans
Mem'ries will ne're die!"

Landrai recites:
"The enemy saw and let loose the banshees, terrible beings sent to destroy the brave highmen, distraction from the main weapon of magic that was yet to come. They wailed and with each sound broke the strong clansmen."

Landrai raises her dark beer in a toast!
Landrai loudly exclaims, "For strength!"
Landrai sings clearly:

"Hail and ho! All good Kin,
Raise your glasses high!
Hail and ho! To the lost of the clans
Mem'ries will ne're die!"

Landrai recites:
"But Geramik, he was strong and his warriors did not yield until the last. The brave T'Kirem fought the foul beings until they could stand no more, their bravery sings out from the histories. Brave Geramik gazed at the legions of creatures that circled him and cried out one last time:"

Landrai loudly exclaims, "For honor! For strength! For courage! T'kirem!"
Landrai recites:

"The tales I have been told by the fire have been no less than that of bravery and honor even in death. One of the bravest was this chieftain. And in battles for generations to come his words would ring out over the fields."

Landrai sings clearly:
"Hail and ho! All good Kin,
Raise your glasses high!
Hail and ho! To the lost of the clans
Mem'ries will ne're die!"

Speaking to Landrai, Razara says, "Thank you."

Razara exclaims, "Rendena is up!"
Rendena softly says, "My name is Rendena."

Rendena softly says, "There was once a battle at Maelshyve. All of the clans of the giantkin banded together to aid one another, against Banshees and Faendryl elves. All the desputes of the clans were put aside, and they became friends and allies. The giantkin created their own language, and this song has been passed down from generation to generation. Tonight I am going to translate it in common language"

(Rendena removes her dulcimer from her cloak, playing a few musical harmonies, the music flowing from the heart of her dulcimer.)

Rendena rubs her faenor dulcimer charm. A pale mist swirls sinuously down her arm and coalesces into the form of a spectral faenor-strung dulcimer in her left hand.

Rendena recites softly:

"I have never wondered why we met,
It wasn't by chance this starry night
Each twinkling star,each brightened wish,
Always wondering what we talk about next.
And then I was beaming, as two souls met."

"People smile to say, "They care,",
It is a greeting that people share,
No matter where you live,
A smile is better than a thousand hugs."

"I will be your friend til the end of time,
As long as the moon and stars shine,
You are the meaning of best friend,
I will be by your side til the end,
I am happy as long as your side is by mine,
I would give you the moon and the stars,
To walk with you for all time."

"Do not run, do not hide,
You walked into my life,
I never want to say goodbye,
We just take each step at a time,
Your footsteps and mine,
We just take each step at a time."

"Friends have two wings, one wing supports them,
While you find that other life-long wing is your best friend,
You know no matter what, they will always be there to talk to you,
You will find that together you will fly through all of life's possibilities,
Through each day with a smile on each other's faces,
Without you, I am missing one of my wings."

Rendena softly says, "This song many giantkin passed along to their friends, and they sung it each night by the campfire as they battled. They sing it in honor of their friend's memories"

(Rendena curtsies one more time as she gracefully returns her dulcimer to her cloak.)

Razara says, "The next story will be from Eugenides. You have five minutes."
Eugenides sways back and forth.
Eugenides strides a few steps forward.
(Eugenides struggles with the axe in his harness until he's blue in the face.)
Eugenides deftly removes the executioner's axe from his harness.
(Eugenides sets the head of the axe in front of himself, the haft extending far above his head.)
Eugenides slowly empties his lungs.
Eugenides mumbles something under his breath.
Eugenides clears his throat.
Razara shifts her weight.

Eugenides recites:
"As history records, during the battle at Maelshyve, the great Wsalamir Arctic Clan and the mighty T'Kirem Bear Clan stood above all others during a key moment in time. Amidst a sea of unearthly screams and soul chilling wails, the T'Kirem Bear Clan raised their voices in unison and surged forward as one - a mighty wave of muscle and sinew crashing against an undead shore until all energy and life was spent."

"The Wsalamir Arctic Clan, no less greater than the T'Kirem Bear Clan, did act as the undertow. As they drew the battle into their own ranks, they allowed the Grishknel Wolf Clan to retreat and avoid devastating losses. And, of the Wsalamir, it is said that three remained standing"

Eugenides simply says, "Eahnimaki. Kantoran. Mishka."

Eugenides agrees, "But, of course, this is already known. And, as it were, I am not here to give a lesson in history. Rather, I am here to speak of what is not known. To share a story from the field of battle itself. A story that, were it not for my telling, would be lost to the sands of time."

Eugenides nods slowly.

Eugenides slowly continues, "Mishka, great warrior of the Wsalamir Arctic Clan, cousin to Eahnimaki, stood above most of the men around her. It was not entirely unusual for her to stand out, so proud was her form."

Eugenides recites:
"And while Mishka may have had a proud form, she was not the only one to stand above most others. Her favored weapon, an axe with a single, enormous head stood above most others as well. Like her, its form was also proud, and together they were a force unlike any that could be seen this day."

Eugenides surreptitiously glances at a colossal executioner's axe in his hand.
Eugenides recites:
"So it is no surprise that on the field of battle that proud Mishka and her proud axe would cleave through the opposition as a farmer would effortlessly harvest wheat with a scythe."

Eugenides adds, "It is also no surprise that in any encounter, be it against one or many, all it would ever take for Mishka to move ahead was one swing."

Eugenides simply says, "Just one swing."

Eugenides explains, "This was her life. This was her way. This was her routine. There were never any surprises. There was never any match for her to be found, save Eahnimaki and Kantoran, whom she always fought to a standstill during tests of strength. But, of course, that was also no surprise."

Eugenides cryptically says, "Little did Mishka know that during the assault on Maelshyve, she would be in for quite the surprise."

Eugenides recites:
"As the Wsalamir and T'Kirem faced the banshee hordes, Eahnimaki, Kantoran, and Mishka stood no further than five paces away from eachother. Sweat ran over skin, muscle constricted and contracted, and steel sang as it cut through the very air itself."

Eugenides recites:
"With each purposeful step forward, Mishka only needed to swing her axe, favored and proud, just once, and it seemed that despite the fact that many of her kin fell around her, she would find no challenge on that day. And when she could not find a challenge in battle, she became somewhat irritated."

Eugenides slowly says, "Her irritation led her further forward into enemy ranks, five paces increasing to ten, then twenty. Soon, she was no longer near Eahnimaki and Kantoran. Soon, she was a calm amidst the storm despite the raging of her axe, for all around her there was nothing. Her axe had put an end to all with just one swing."

Eugenides carefully says, "And it was at that moment that the air before her began to waver, as if distorted. It was magic, a thing that ran rampant on the field of battle. She lifted her axe over her shoulder, always ready, always prepared."

Eugenides quietly says, "A form began to take shape within the distortion. It was slim and short. She recognized this to be some form of teleportation magic, but she had no way to be sure. No way to know that it was instead temporal. Suddenly, a great surge of energy washed over the area, followed by a shrill, high pitched scream."

Eugenides breathlessly asks, "Another banshee?"
Eugenides loudly says, "Mishka brought her axe down once again. Just one swing. That's all it ever took."
Eugenides swings his executioner's axe up into the air over his shoulder then down toward the ground in a powerful chopping motion.
Eugenides makes a wheezing sound.
Eugenides gets his legs tangled together and nearly tips over!

Eugenides hesitantly says, "But this time... the shrill scream continued. Her axe struck the earth, sending a spray of dirt and rock in every which direction. There, before her, stood a Human man screaming at the top of his lungs, mere inches away from where her axe had landed."

Eugenides says, "Sensations unfamiliar began to build within the pit of Mishka's stomach. Who was this man, this... Human? He scrambled away from her awkwardly, falling backwards onto his rear."
Eugenides abruptly says, "Again she reacted. Again she hefted the axe over her shoulder and swung. And to her great misfortune, again she missed. The man rolled off to the side and began to crawl away."

Eugenides quietly says, "Mishka felt sick. This strange man before her was pale and scrawny with dark circles under his eyes. His clothing like nothing she had seen before. What's more, it seemed that this man's choice of weapon was cowardice."

Eugenides slowly says, "Sickness turned into rage, and rage she did. Her roar would have been loud enough to split one's eardrums were it not for the fact that a few stray banshees took that moment to do the same. But, with one swing, they were nothing more than a fading memory."

Eugenides says, "Mishka was bleeding from the ears. The man was a crumpled heap on the ground, and it appeared as though he was also bleeding from the ears. She thought him dead, and, for the briefest of moments... almost pitied him."

Eugenides says, "As she turned to face the battle ahead, the man suddenly sprang to life again. He approached her faster than a skittering insect could cross a tavern floor, gibbering incoherently. His hands grasped at the haft of her axe as he began to shout."

Eugenides flails his arms about.

Eugenides says, "Pity turned into rage, but this time she could not act on it. The man's eyes widened as the air began to waver and distort once again. Magic. The man was gone. The man was gone with her favored weapon in hand, her proud axe that stood above most others. And that was Mishka's moment of surprise. Just one moment. Her mind was numb and she could hear nothing around her. She could see nothing. She could feel nothing. And that was all it took. Just one moment for her to receive a blast of corrupted magic to her leg. But Mishka was a woman with a proud form. Shaken back to her reality from the blast, she took to those around her with her bear hands. She raged as though she had never raged before. A rage beyond anger. A rage nearing madness. Long has it been speculated as to what made Mishka lose what once was a firm grip on her sanity. Though it is not writ in history, the answer can be found here in this story. Just one swing. Just one moment."

Eugenides inclines his head.
Eugenides shows Razara his executioner's axe.

Trallhin's Story

Speaking to Trallihn, Razara exclaims, "You're up!"
Trallihn stands up.
Trallihn grunts.
Trallihn idly taps the tip of his driftwood cane upon the ground.
Trallihn limps towards a podium.
Trallihn says, "I'll use dis if'n dats alright..."

Trallihn says, "In my long life I've seen much, an' heard e'en more..."

Trallihn offhandedly exclaims, "Though, not too good on'da seein or da hearin anymores!"

Trallihn says, "To the matter at 'and... Aye, this was after da great battle of Maelshyve..."

Trallihn chatters to himself, apparently engaged in a spirited debate with his alter ego.

Trallihn offhandedly says, "O'course e'en I'm too young to 'ave born witness t'dat, but stories 'ave a way of echoin in the caves..."

Trallihn thoughtfully says, "This is how I heard it, fergive dis ol dwarf fer any offended sensibilities er senses..."

Trallihn deeply says, "Twas a few weeks after the battle... a young dwarf by the name o'Roctig sat under a tree watching the battlefields twenty wheels er so away still smolderin and sputterin..."

Trallihn deeply says, "They say if the winds turned yer way in those days ya'd smell da rot o'decay an'da smoke tha' comes only from a magical flame..."

Trallihn distractedly says, "But ne'er mind all that. Young Roctig was sittin dere, when in da distance he spotted a wavering figure..."

Trallihn deeply says, "As da figure came closer, Roctig noticed it were a giant... His first inclination was to rush back int'da cave from whence he came...As that thought crossed dis striplin o'a dwarfs melon, da giant stumbled... and fell. Roctig scrambled to his feet, and rushed to da fallen galoot's side...Looking down, he noticed this poor giant was worse fer da wear. Da wounds obscured most of his face, and had some of his white hair not shown thru dis poor ol soul woulda been remembered as a red head."

Trallihn deeply says, "Several of his fingers were missing on his right hand. Da wounds, havin been left untended had begun to fester and ooze... Bright crimson striations of what appeared to Roctig t'be da dreaded Red Rot had crept steadily up his arm and webbed da few unmarred portions of his face. "

Trallihn deeply exclaims, "Suddenly this bedraggled giant reached out and siezed Roctig!"

Trallihn deeply says, "Da wee dwarf screamed an' recoiled as if burned... yet dat giant had a steady grip and held tight to da lil dwarf's leg."

Trallihn deeply says, "Come closer..." rasped the giant. "I must tell someone...My time is short and the clearing awaits..."

Trallihn seriously says, "Roctig, being a dwarf, couldn't refuse anything its dying words... E'en a flea is allotted a final squeak."
Trallihn pulls something from the fur of his warcat fur scarf and, with an audible SQUISH, crushes it between his fingers and flicks it away.

Trallihn deeply says, "The giant struggled to sit up, coughing blood. "Do not hate them...They know not what they've wrought... but do not cast blame...Knowledge is a powerful weapon... and also a powerful burden... e'en the most ardent scholar is blind to the ways of the world when questing for what matters most to themselves. But hatred is worse... And no matter how strong da hate, they make fer weak foundations. Not only hate and knowledge can burden and blind lust... greed power these are da undoings of Empires da failings of da so-called higher races." Trallihn deeply says, "Learn from their mistakes... and ours... as I hope my own children do."

Trallihn deeply says, "Da giant, whose name we'll ne'er know, exhaled a final raspy sigh and his one remaining eye went dull. Roctig, with tears of understanding in his eyes began to gather stones and by nightfall da fallen giant rested eternally under a carefully stacked pile of granite and feldspar. And to this day there are folks who still remember da lesson of Roctig and da Cairn o'da Unknown Giant Just as there are those who don't Ye can all count yerselves amongst da former."

Trallihn thoughtfully says, "So da story goes... like da echoes in a cave."

Trallihn makes a grand, sweeping gesture with his driftwood cane.

Vilocasdra's Story

Razara says, "Vilorcasdra's story, now."

Speaking formally to her military journal, Vilorcasdra says, "Although the Great War against the undead and their Queen had taken its share of lives concerning the children of Elanthia it was what took place after the Battle of Maelshyve which rings still in the halls of both the Elves and Kindred. These songs are often sung in remembrance of those brave warriors who granted their lives so that our own could be preserved. Poetic tools to remind us of our histories, our lineage and of possible hazards that still await future generations."

Although all of the nations directly within the warpath or around the battle fields had taken their share of damage it was the tales sung by the Issimir Clan and Vaalorian chamber maidens which I was reminded of most while Ta'Vaalor underwent its rebuilding. The respect they'd earn then seemed to wither under new creeds and doctrines of today."

Vilorcasdra casually observes her surroundings.

"It was not unknown that those of this clan, who had been assisting with the rebuilding of the outer Ta'Vaalor walls, as well as the many wounded survivors of the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan came seeking elven remedies for curses and sicknesses their own magic's could not."

Speaking to Razara, Vilorcasdra says, "Often times while those of the Kindred returned to their homelands, merely passing through Ta'Vaalor, odd and strange madness's seemed to overwhelm their fellow comrades. They'd speak of distant evils within odd or deranged riddles. And, although this was not known to be too uncommon during that time something had taken place among them which affected the Kindred folk unlike anything the elves themselves had even seen, not even during the war itself."

Speaking to Gwendyn, Vilorcasdra says, "Not even the most authoritative and wisest of our Courts weren't able to remedy the wounds of one whose wound continued to fester, leisurely allowing her body to rot. In a sense, her own body was devouring her. It was something about this woman that caused even the valiant to shudder, the sturdy to buckle and the doubtless to second guess."

Speaking to Olafenst, Vilorcasdra says, "Her name was only mentioned once within our records however the songs which spawned around her became forgotten legend. It was decided, by the High Courts, that this woman be taken by Kindred promptly to her own homelands to permit the local alchemists and clergy to deal with her. Her name was Mishka and this is the song which the chambermaids who briefly tended to her sung, believing her spoken madness to be forewarnings of events which had yet to take place."

Vilorcasdra put a wyvern-embroidered military journal sealed with a VonVendetta House motif in her elven hip-satchel.
Vilorcasdra removes an elven-made silver mistwood lute from in her elven hip-satchel.
Vilorcasdra closes her eyes for a moment.
Vilorcasdra slowly empties her lungs.
Looking mournful, Vilorcasdra sets her fingers to the strings of her lute and slowly strikes a minor chord.
Vilorcasdra sings with a soaring soprano:

"Late at night when I dream while I toss and I turn.
Dream-ing of a life that I yarn
I can not it seems.
It's on-ly a dream."

Vilorcasdra furrows her brow, her face tensed in some inner conflict.
Vilorcasdra hums quietly to herself.
The quiet, forlorn strains of Vilorcasdra's song convey a gentle sadness, reminding you of friends long gone and family left to Lorminstra's care.
Vilorcasdra sings with a soaring soprano:

"Late at night hear their chants, yes they call out to me.
Night-mares of such tra-ge-dies
I run but I fail.
Cause noth-ing is there."

Vilorcasdra gives a pleading look, a gemlike gleam in her eye!
Vilorcasdra builds a soft harmony behind the cheerless melody, as fleeting as memory but as insistent as regret.
Vilorcasdra sings hauntingly:

"I'm dream-ing I'm here.
I'm dream-ing I'm there.
I'm dead but a-live."
Vilorcasdra clutches her temples as if ready to faint from blood loss, her eyes pleading for relief.
Vilorcasdra sings dolorously:

"The un-dead a-ware.
The liv-ings im-paired
I'm dead yet a-live."
Vilorcasdra appears to be breathlessly anticipating something to happen to her at any moment.
Vilorcasdra sings tremblingly:

"Some-thing takes its hold.
I'm los-ing con-trol
I'm dead now a-live."
Vilorcasdra pants, trying to catch her breath.
Vilorcasdra brushes her fingers lightly over the strings, allowing the haunting minor seventh chord to hang eerily in the air for a moment before beginning her sad melody.
Vilorcasdra hums quietly to herself.
Vilorcasdra sings with a soaring soprano:

"Late at night is the time when they go taun-ting me.
They simp-ly will not let me be.
Their haunt-ing won't cease.
Go rest, now in peace."

Vilorcasdra breathes very slowly and looks much calmer.
Vilorcasdra hums quietly to herself.
Vilorcasdra sings with a soaring soprano:

"Late at night feel their grip tigh-ten a-round my heart.
The world that I knew, falls a-part.
I feel so a-lone.
As I'm los-ing my soul."

Vilorcasdra places a hand over her heart.
Vilorcasdra builds a soft harmony behind the cheerless melody, as fleeting as memory but as insistent as regret.
Vilorcasdra sings hauntingly:

"I'm dream-ing I'm here.
I'm dream-ing I'm there.
I'm dead but a-live."

Vilorcasdra raises her chin slightly in a show of defiance.
Vilorcasdra hums quietly to herself.
Vilorcasdra brushes her fingers lightly over the strings, allowing the haunting minor seventh chord to hang eerily in the air for a moment before beginning her sad melody.
Vilorcasdra sings lethargically:

"It's not what it seems
Real-i-ty dreams
I'm dead yet a-live."

Vilorcasdra tears at her hair with a frantic expression.
Vilorcasdra's eyes suddenly flash with a deep blood-red glow.
Vilorcasdra smiles.
With a soft minor chord of final farewell, Vilorcasdra allows the music of her lute to die away into silence.
Vilorcasdra put an elven-made silver mistwood lute in her elven hip-satchel.

Frorin's Story

Razara says, "The last story will be from Frorin."

Frorin stands up.
Frorin stands in front of a podium.
Frorin turns around.
Frorin proudly says, "Every dwarf worth his beard knows dat sittin at deh entrance tah Mithrenek is ah statue ahv Rhorkee Hammerfyst Mithgrek..." Striking a heroic pose Frorin proudly continues, "Crushin deh head of ah screemin banshee wit his mithril hammer."

Frorin quickly adds, "Wot most don't know an wot I'm here tah tell yehs fine folk about..." Pausing a moment Frorin grins while scanning the eyes of the audience. Frorin meets your gaze and continues, "Is that under dat banshee's nasty ole claw lay one deh finest ForgeMasters o' deh T'Kirem Bear Clan."

Frorin loudly bellows, "Laren, Keg Killer , Olensgruff!"

Frorin explains, "Yeh see some time affor deh T'kirem clan members joined deh camps gathered around Maelshyve, Laren wos work'n tah forge weapon's n' armor, as such he sought out Kalaza to learn from deh dwarven smiths about dis metal Mithril they d forged which held magics."

Frorin smugly explains, "Now it's costumary among civilized folk..." Frorin smiles as he gazes around at the Giantmen and Dwarves in the audience. Glancing at his stein He smugly adds, "tah raise ah stein er two n speak on deh goin ons of deh day each evenin, in camp."

Frorin firmly grasps his brass stein and raises it skyward in a grande salute!

Frorin gruffly continues, "Well dats wot Rhorkee had ah mind tah do deh night he met Laren. Laren wos outside o Kalaza tryn tah make contact wit deh dwarves when he came upon Rhorkee who wos sittin 'mongst ah group o' warrior's from deh First Legion o' Khazar."

Frorin proudly interrupts, "Tahday 'course yehs knows deh First Legion o' Khazar by another name which dey go by now, deh Guardians o' Sunfists."
Frorin gruffly continues, "Like I wos say'n Laren came upon Rhorkee an his bunch as dey wos talkin bout wot treasures deh d come across dat day an sharing news n such. An it looked tah Laren dey wosn't deh type tah be sharin any ale dey had, let alone offer n up tips of forgin metal."

Frorin amusedly says, "Laren played it real smart doh, he got down on his knees like an looked Rhorkee right in deh eye, an says.."

Frorin bends at the waist peering into the eyes of those in the front row.

In a deep voice he Bellows, "Yeh all look like yeh ken hold a pint er two, but I bet yeh kent match draughts wit deh likes o' me!"

Frorin paces back and forth.

Frorin proudly explains, "NOW fer yeh folks don't know if deres one thing come lornon er Locksmere floods, dwarves don't back down from, its ah challenge o' imbiblical nature."

Frorin chuckles.
Frorin adds, "Dem dwarves didn't even know dey jest been had, but by deh look in dere eyes, Laren knew it."

Frorin gruffly says, "Affor dey even opened dere mouths He pulled out deh BIGGEST stein any dwarf had ever seen, an says.." In a sly tone Frorin deeply bellows, "We'll use my cup, an your ale."

Frorin gruffly admits, "Now even though gettin ale away from ah dwarf is a legendary tale in itself..."

Frorin muses, "That is jest the begining."

Frorin gruffly continues, "Laren went wit Rhorkee back tah Kalaza where he got deh nick name o' Keg Killer , infamous in deh taverns cause it took nearly dat much tah fill that BIG o'le stein o' his."

Frorin gruffly says, "On account o' deh bet made n' won by Laren the Mithrenek Clan learned Laren how tah work mithril at deh forges affor he parted tah return home. So it wos Him an Rhorkee went tah work, Rhorkee showed o'le Laren how tah find deh veins o' mithril, how tah mine em, how tah smelt em down."

Frorin taps a perfect vultite-handled vultite forging-hammer that he is wearing.

Frorin gruffly adds, "An how tah craft ah forgin-hammer tah work deh finished product at deh forges."

Frorin gruffly says, "Well a few months went by an it came time fer Laren tah prove tah deh clan he'd learned wot dey'd been teachin em. All morning him an Rhorkee wos down in deh mines, diggin out ore wit dere pickaxes. Afterwards they headed off tah deh metalworks tah smelt it down."

Frorin gruffly says, "Laren worked deh bellows an pulled deh chains and fed deh fires jest like Rhorkee had shown em. Once deh slag started raisin, in comes Ole Rhorkee rollin a barrel o triple big x Kalaza Lager, an says..." Frorin heartily grunts, "Figured we've earned us ah tug my friend!"

Frorin grunts and motions for a drink.

Frorin emphatically shouts, "Grinnin ear tah ear Laren grabbed fer his stein, AN DATS WHEN IT HAPPENED!"

Frorin raises his brass stein over his shoulder and hurls it,sending it crashing to the ground!

Frorin gazes with dread at a dented brass stein.

Frorin excitedly explains, "On account o' deh oil an sweat dat cover his hands his stein slipped right outta his grip an went bouncing right inta deh crucible. Laren n' Rhorkee both jest sat dere starin as deh molten metal slowly ate dat BIG ole' stein bit by bit. Deh slab cooled an it didn't look quite right. Didn't have deh matte grey o' newly smelted mithril at all. Rhorkee says..."

Frorin heartily grunts, "Well lets hope we ken hammer dat out in deh forge an not mention none this tah deh Forgemaster."

Frorin grunts, amused.

Frorin continues, "So dats wot dey did an Laren forged himself one deh finest claidhmores anyones ever seen. An as ah finishin touch he etched "Rhorkee Hammerfyst Mithgrek" down deh length o' deh blade in archaic script."

Frorin explains, "I'd not known it affor but Keffan explained tah us yesterday dat such is customary amongst Giantkin tah scripe deh name o' dems whom deh honor n' such on weapons n' armor."

Frorin gruffly adds, "Deh claidhmore never did take on deh shine o' mithril but deh weapon wos so fine lookin Laren wos convinced by Rhorkee tah show it tah deh Forgemaster anyhow."

Frorin continues, "So deh Forgemaster comes in, an takes a good hard look at deh claidhmore. He grunted pensive like, squared Laren up, stood up on his tippy toes an got right nose tah nose with em. Then he says..."

Frorin suspiciously growls, "Wotcha tryin tah pull Keg Killer?"

Frorin dramatically explains, "Laren jest fidgeted a lil at ah loss fer words, he started off all apologetic like when deh Forgemaster cut em off! Forgemaster produced ah slab o' mithril restin it atop deh anvil. Den he grabbed o'le Larens claidhmore an cleaved it right in two, leavin not a nick on deh blade! Forgemaster says..."

Frorin raspily growls, "I don't know where yeh found dis metal but it aint mithril!"

Frorin continues, "Dats when Laren an Rhorkee fessed up n' explained wot happened, an deh Forgemaster had ah long talk with Laren dey figured out wot dat BIG o'le stein wos crafted from an were able tah create more o' dat alloy."

Frorin firmly declares, "Deh called it Rho-Laren, as fer what deh BIG o'le stein wos made from..."

Frorin winks and flashes a sly grin.
Frorin innocently teases, "Well dat my friends, is ah whole nother story."

Results of the Storytelling Competition

Razara says, "I ask that all the participants stay with me afterwards, as I would like to reward all participants for their honorable work on their stories."
Razara says, "That said..."
Razara recites:
"In third place, we have Frorin!"

Razara recites:
"In second place we have Eugenides"

Razara recites:
"And in first place, we have..."

Razara recites:

Roblar roars at Landrai!
Rendena applauds.
Twilights lets out a cheer!
Roblar claps his hands.
Trallihn turns to Landrai and cheers!
Cappyn applauds Landrai.
Corlyne applauds Landrai.
Tebon applauds Landrai.
Twilights applauds.
Misun applauds.
Razara claps her hands.
Cathlyn applauds Landrai.
Cathlyn applauds Landrai.
Landrai blinks.
You applaud Landrai.
Laphrael applauds Landrai.
Vilorcasdra applauds Landrai. Eugenides applauds Landrai.

Razara says, "Thank you all for joining us this evening."

You turn towards Razara and render a sharp hand salute.

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