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Posted by on 2000 Apr 8 |

Account of the Crossing/Stone Clan Invasion.

(Crossing, Zoluren: 46 Ka’len 361)

I leapt back from the claw. I countered the claw with my broadsword, slicing off the rock guardian’s arm. I continued the onslaught, gaining myself incredible balance and a dominating position. Then, I moved in to the death blow slice. And death blow I did find as the guardian got in a lucky hit to my chest, exploding my heart and lungs.

I had met a new friend, a Barbarian like I am. He was there at the time of my death. Lucky me. He dragged my body off to Shard where I got to meet his wife, a Cleric, and a few other friendly folk. My revival was slow, for Sweett, the Empath healing me, found her own death through me. With friendly help though, I was alive once more. And through Clerical and Empathical ways, I was full spirited and fully healed once more. It was then that my brain screeched in terror as the names of the fallen began to echo and moan their death cry within me. Invasion. Stone Clan gets invaded all the time. This was just another time. It’ll be over before I could get there. I wasn’t welcome there. My Dwarven friend Solrac has disowned me. The names shrieked and groaned, louder and more numerous. No, this was a Crossing invasion. Too many. Too many names. Too many dead. Too many.

I leapt to my feet. No. I just died, I’m not going to go die again. I’ll just head to vipers and hunt there. I was somewhat close to circling. I thanked everyone there and removed my dirty and used crystal shard and soon became enveloped in a red haze. People were screaming and running about. I saw things I had never seen before. Elpalzi commanders, officers and swordsmen were invading, all of them ten feet high. Built like a ‘Tog except stronger and far more intelligent. I didn’t understand what was going on, I didn’t understand anyone’s goals, I didn’t know who was doing this. I headed south toward the Crossing bank. And it was there I saw a lone officer being meleed upon by many. I couldn’t help myself, I rushed into battle. “Just this once”, I thought. Parry, jab, draw, slice. I dealt the deathblow to it. Before I could take the gem, coins, sword or full plate armor it left, it was already stolen. I was near the bank, after all. I didn’t care. I didn’t need the burden of it all anyways.

I took the gauntlets and the helm and made my way to the workroom of the Florist’s shop. I dropped them there. There were two young women, both Elven, I believe. I could be wrong, of course. In the midst of an invasion, ones thoughts are rather scattered and leaping. A mix of curiousity of trying to find out what’s going on and also trying to look to see if you’re being advanced or being shot at. I greeted them and told them not to mind the gauntlets or helm and they may treat themselves to it if they wish. I ran out and to the Barbarian Guild and heard an Elpalzi officer shout to give in to Lord Sorrow. I shuddered. So Sorrow has sent them. I ran from the Guild to the Academy. I started to see Elpalzis with ranged weapons. It was there I saw myself bleeding. A bolt was firmly lodged into the left arm of my Barbarian body. I went back to the Florist’s shop and removed the arror and tended myself. The ladies said nothing. I bowed, apologizing to interrupting them, and left. I ate some jadice and moved on. I surveyed the area of the attack. Crossing bank, all of Town Green, up to near the Cleric’s Guild and even past the Empath’s Guild. “Fight on, warriors!” shouted a Barbarian.

I moved around more, looking around. “Don’t die, Iruel, don’t die, you’re going to circle up after all this, don’t die.” All the motion made it hard to look around and see. But all I did notice was no more standing enemies. I went into the shop and told the ladies it was all over now. I bowed and left the shop. I headed to the Northeast Gate, planning to go to vipers. I picked up a sword left from the Elpalzi and appraised it compared to my broadsword. The same except heavier and larger. Wouldn’t fit in my already packed sheath, so I dropped it. I continued forward, taking my time. I then heard the death cry of Sadiaer in my head. Hah. Yes, it was over now.

I exited the Northeast gate, barely avoided a body that fell with a sword firmly lodged into it’s stomach. A death cry in my mind and in my ears echoed loudly. I saw a grinning Elpalzi. There were a few there. The other members of the Realms were on top of it, slicing, jabbing, drawing, firing bows of all sorts. I headed in a southeast direct, toward the War Mage Guild. I don’t know why I did, it was something completely unnatural. I suppose because when everything is happening so fast and there are many different enemies, you don’t want to be the one they advance next after slicing the head off of your Barbarian brother or Cleric sister. We were all brothers and sisters now. I was connected to them all through the fact that blood of the innocent was being spilled.

I continued to move forward, lost and unaware of my surroundings. Elpalzi were there as well. Mages and Crossbow men now though. I hate ranged weapons. I have been in three invasions before. I was killed by S’lai crossbow men the first one. The second was an undead attack that gave me a moderate arm bleeder and a disease. The third one I was face to face with a pirate in Ratha, were I killed one and had another chop my arm off. I lived though. I was stronger. And I’m stronger now as well. I didn’t want to die from another crossbow. So I moved through the area quickly. I was bleeding again. A crossbow had gotten my right arm this time. I removed it, tended it, and ate more jadice. I followed where Barbarian Xixist and Dvinn would go. I knew Dvinn from a forging experience. And Xixist himself was slicing up the warriors. My Paladin friend Vilheim passed by me. Did he notice me? Or was this all too much to take in? I headed back to the gate where I saw my other Paladin friend Camii. Her and Vilheim smiled and nodded and greeted each other, later joining into a group. I went southeast again, advancing the crossbow men. I aided in their defeat, cutting off limbs, pushing them to the ground, and the like. I realized I wasn’t listening to anything I had learned from the books I had read about invasions. I didn’t remove my fluff to put it away in case I had to depart. I didn’t have a vault to put them in anyways. And I wasn’t going to die. I told myself. I wouldn’t allow myself to.

I headed back to the gate itself and found myself being covered in flames. I ran back and stayed southeast, not moving. Afraid to go back, afraid it wasn’t over. It was minimal damage, nothing serious, just some scuffings on the head and left leg. The names were flying from the rain of flames. I hate magic. And I said so aloud. A Warrior Mage smiled at me. I smiled back. He pointed out to me he smiled at me because he was a Warmie. I knew that. And I told him that now wasn’t the time to dispute Guilds. I waited there before I couldn’t take it any longer. I ran past the gate, heading north on the route. My abdomen and head were singed in the sprint. I advanced and fought some more crossbow men, attacking and helping my brothers and sisters. All the enemies surronding the gate were gone. We warded off the foe from town and away from our gates. The invasion was over.

I dragged a dead Empath away where his friend greeted me and I turned the body over. I headed once more northeast, towards vipers. It was past Kaerna, right near Stone Clan were I saw S’lai archers and crossbow men. I shuddered and headed back to Kaerna to breathe. It wasn’t over. It had been going on for an Anlas now, it wasn’t over yet. They’re usually over in no more than 15 rosaien. This was a scary thought. And especially S’lai. I still had a fear from my last occurrence with the S’lai. I inhaled deeply and rushed back, advancing and charging the archers quickly. I slaughtered the one I advance, dismembering it completely before my brother beside me pushed a sword into it’s black heart. I felt myself grow strong and powerful. I headed from room to room, area to area, killing what I could. I took down a crossbow man, gaining not only a S’lai box but also a S’lai heavy crossbow. I took them both with a sense of pride. It gave me a light burden. But by this time, I knew that if anything attacked me at all, my burden wouldn’t matter, I’d still be dead. I rushed onward, heading to the place where one can go north or west; Very unique, in my opinion. Also there is a trail one can climb there. It was the entrance to Stone Clan. S’lai were attacking it all over.

I headed north and sliced and fought there for a bit. It’s a horrifying thing to be in melee with a swordsman during an invasion. Things rush so fast. You don’t see when a commander advanced you and slices you from behind. You don’t see your sister get slain beside you as the swordsman then turns to you to fight. You don’t see archers enter the room and shoot arrows at you. You don’t see your blood get splattered upon your fellow warrior as a sword penetrates into your side. It’s pure madness and chaos. And perhaps what still scares me is the calm of everyone and the order that people try to present when Hell is breaking lose through the Realms. I peered from room to room, trying to look at the happenings. I could see nothing, too much was happening. I saw one dead man that struck me. It was Xanoschild, a Thief. Xano and I haven’t had a good past. He sparred me in front of the Crossing bank because I shot his younger brother with a longbow (which I had four ranks in), not hurting him. Surprising me it hit him. I did because he was being incredibly rude to me in crocs. I lost a friend over that. I won the bank spar though. Doesn’t bring my friend back however.

I went south and dragged him north. “Heyas Iruel”, he said. I asked him where he wanted to go. He asked for Theren. I took out my shard and took him to Theren and dropped him off. On the way he told me he was saving dead bodies and helping them out but his invisible spell wore off and he died. I didn’t believe him, I thought he was kidding. I wanted to make peace with him though. I left him and went back to Crossing and headed back to Stone Clan. I found Camii, my Paladin friend. Vilhiem wasn’t with her. I dragged her off and to Riverhaven, just as she had asked. I wondered why I wasn’t dead… Perhaps luck, perhaps divine intervention. Nothing to do with skill. I was just lucky to hit them. I could never evade them if I had to. What a horrible person I am. Advancing and attacking while leaving others to get killed and slaughtered. Yet the thought to throw myself in front of one was pushed down by my body’s will to keep living, to keep fighting. On my return to Stone Clan, full of thoughts as chaotic as the situation, I drew my broadsword and went to fight on.

Sadiaer was there. He wore items with crows on them. I have always seen crows as my totem, my symbol, my guardian. I ached with a pain. I went to advance him but couldn’t, of course, everyone was on him in melee. A battle raged on, some attacking Sadiaer as they themselves were being slaughtered by S’lai. I saw then as a Moon Mage tossed naphtha on Sadiaer and used a moonbeam, bursting it into flames. Sadiaer’s head was completely destroyed as the body slumped to the ground. Bits of his long wavy brunette hair laid strewn across the area, some people picking up chunks of flesh to commemorate the event. People kicked the body, taking out rage they still had upon it. With his death, Sadiaer let forth a great rain of fire, burning all those around. I left quickly and went from place to place. I found an Empath dead body and took his shield and began to drag him off. His friend took the shield and the body, just like the first Empath body I had helped. I went forward and saw Barbarian Xixist one on one with a commander. I aided him. He was moving in weakly and timidly. I told him to stop dancing and playing with it and to just lop it’s head off. He didn’t even give me a glance. I attacked it and only managed in some hard hits. Commanders were tough, extremely tough. Others began moving in. “Iruel, will you drag me to Crossing?” a dead body asked me. I told him I would. The commander fell under the hands of many. I was set to help the dead one, but someone else volunteered and took him before I got a chance.

“West Gate, under attack!” someone was yelling all over. I asked what was invading there, if it was the same thing or if another group of monsters was taking advantage of the situation. Someone joked shipyard rats. I sharded myself to Crossing and went to the West Gate to watch as a S’lai warrior and footsoldier got themselves perished. I looked around, but only found those two. I went back to Stone Clan, and climbed the trail, avoiding arrows and trying to block out the screams of those getting torn limb from limb by bloodthirsty S’lai. No matter where I stepped, it was upon coins, gems, or dead bodies of my brothers and sisters or of the S’lai. I tried to step on just the S’lai. Bits of grass poked out, but the grass was red. Other than that, it was impossible to see the ground. Inside of Stone Clan, I headed toward the abandoned mine and asked if anyone could pick my S’lai box. A man named Symer agreed. I knew Symer. He stole all my gems in Theren once a long time ago when I was ninth circle. I mentioned this. He ignored that he ever heard it. He had a great deal of trouble with the box, but got it open. I took the largest gem and the coins and left the rest for others.

Inside the trail, someone asked for a S’lai crossbow, they needed one badly. I gave away mine. I doubt after such a large invasion they’ll be worth much now anyways. I went back out to find emptiness. I watch someone trying to climb the trail to Stone Clan but can’t. Someone so young, yet here they are to die in an invasion. Suddenly a large wave of S’lai jumped out from behind bushes, surrounding the area. I didn’t want to test my luck to see if I would get invaded, so I went north once more, returning shortly. How horrible I am. War turns us into nothing but animals where all we care about is self-preservation and defeating what threatens that. The wave was defeated before long and I went back into the trail where there was an attack waging. Someone pleaded for a light-edged weapon. I gave away my katar. I have a skinning knife, but… I didn’t want to think about it, I just gave it away. Someone else needed it now. I looked around but was so tired of fighting, I didn’t want to go back. I advanced and began to fight, but retreated because I didn’t want to take the risk. I’ve been fighting and praying for life for two Anlas’ now. I’m so very tired. I just want it to end so I can go to vipers and circle. I went outside again and looked around at all the surrounding areas. I see tens of dead bodies in every room, some quiet, some whining for assistance. I continue on and see a S’lai die from blood loss. “Yes! Continue! Move forward now!” raged a Paladin, leading forward his followers. “And the deaders are left behind…” said a dead man. Such is the way of some Paladins. Some simply want blood and put on full plate armor to be protected, not caring about morals or God or defending. There are some though who do. Every Guild has it’s select few good and it’s select few corrupt.

That was the last S’lai I saw on two feet. It can’t be over. It’s never over. Each time I think it’s over, it never is. I can’t be over yet. Suddenly it comes into my head, that I’ve probably gained enough skill in my use of Heavy Edged weapons that I can circle up now. It is all over …

I wait, guarding Stone Clan. The group decreases slowly, convinced it’s over, helping the
dead, going to go see their dead fri
nd, who knows what. I stay longer. About ten of us remain, saying nothing. I’m tired also. I shard myself back to Crossing were the streets are now clean of the arrows and coins strewn across. I go get congratulated by Agonar, my Guildleader, and talk to some of the teachers in the Academy, them telling me that from the invasion I’ve gained both wisdom and intelligence. Thus I head back to vipers, wanting to check by Stone Clan again. Only about five there now. I keep going and head to vipers where a black leucro stalks into view before I can go through the tracks. The first blow it deals to me punches through my abdomen completely, almost killing me in one blow. A second shows up. After recoving from the stun, I run off to the Empaths, almost dying. I tip the Empath well and go to the Florist’s shop, now empty. I sit and go into deep thought, thinking about the whole night. I can survive two and a half Anlas’ of pure Hell, but an everyday leucro, a normal hunt of mine, can get the best of me. I have a long way to go. We all do.

~Iruel Shinma, (pronounced “Ear-e-ul”, not “I-rule”)

Barbarian of the 27th circle.

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Baresh started working at the Wren’s Nest when it first opened in 349AL. He’s been hearing the news and pouring drinks ever since then.