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Hayat Ghallaya: The Forgotten Sands by Ar-Gunn Slayer of Trolls

Hayat Ghallaya: The Forgotten Sands

Galliard Alwen Lars: "Gather round and lend me you ears to this recount from the Tome of Lars!  Fair Luna shines down on us in her theurge crescent and thus do the runes de-crypt themselves upon the page!  I give you the following exploits of Ar-Gunn Slayer-of-Trolls!"

"Ar-Gunn still playing a long game we see, is still running with his adopted pack of Magelings, the Wizards Concillium.  One night the Tower of the Wizards Concillium was in Orin Rakatha and the next day upon looking out their respective windows everyone found themselves in a blighted desert, the site of an ancient cataclysm, nobody knew where they were but a lonely word on the wind silkily spake - Hayat Ghallaya!"

"The Tower of the Wizards Concillium being a place of magic had travelled with them and had located itself in a defencive position where the magical eddies were favourable, within a laden swallows flight of a strangely compelling tomb complex.  Ar-Gunn after much studying of the faction primary the Dragons Egg, had noted its continual failings so he sought attunement with it, he being our Master of Rites quickly deduced that Ritual Magic was the only possible solution.  He sought out a place of power to conduct his rites to empower the factions abilities."

"Ar-Gunn located a place of power, a circle of ancient stones that seemed to have the correct harmony for Ritual Magic.  However the circle was guarded by a Master - Malkon of the Summer Stars and a Mistress - the mysterious mute Corax Hen everyone called Crow, the power of the circle was in their control.  They informed Ar-Gunn that yes rituals could be conducted there, but that the power of the stones demanded a price usually of five commodities and that the circle had to be booked in fifteen minute slots, booked in advance.  It seems that even magical places have accountants!"

"Ar-Gunn booked a place and upon the allotted time, Ar-Gunn conducted the Ritual of the Wizards Concillium and bound Elemental magicks to his faction.  From within the sealed circle the Wizards Concillium were safe but they could hear on the winds outside the circle the inane homid jabberings of a petty official of the land claiming to be the Prince of Z'aire.  Ar-Gunn's superior eyesight could make him out to be a red behorned devil!"

"After the Rite, the Ar-Gunn lead his pack over to the Jewelled Pavilion so that Rex Draconis could speak to them, they being Saracens they would be more adaptive to the land and probably know who or what the Prince of Z'aire was.  So off they went and true to form Rexx Draconis talked to the houri Janglies, whilst Ar-Gunn and the bodyguard talked with Salahari and gained his insight in to the matter at hand, this being that the Prince was an impostor and not to be trusted.  The Jewelled Pavilion were also visited by an Archaeologist who was rude to Salahari and angered him."

"Upon taking tea, sherbet and many goats eye-balls later the Wizards Concillium departed the gracious company of the Jewelled Pavilion and decided to check out the Tomb Complex.  The Tomb Complex was found to be surrounded by members of many of the other factions, worst of all to Ar-Gunn the whole place stank of Troll!  The scent was mainly masked by the sickly scent of elves and the un-washed homids but Ar-Gunn could smell his nemesis and this did sorely test his bloodlust!  The fact that Ar-Gunn hadn't been able to change to Crinos mayhap saved the day as he would surely have slain many a non-troll there and then if Lady Luna was in the crescent!  Still Ar-Gunn was not the best of company as was evident when Pug the Orc arrived with his new menial a Goblin runt called Gribble.  Gribble was a funny thing though and hard not to like."

"Rexx Draconis entered the Tomb Complex to seek out any knowledge held within, he was escorted by a new Mage called Hans who would be used to gather knowledge for the Elder and take the brunt of any mistakes within the probably trap laden complex, but what else are cubs for?  True to form Hans entered the tomb with a few other members of the other factions when one of their number set off a trap which killed them all.  They were all dragged out of the rubble and the Wizards Concillium dragged the broken body of Hans to the Stone Circle so that he could be resurrected.  Ar-Gunn cleansed the stone circle and let Azreal the Mage enact the Ritual of Resurrection that he had taught him, the powers filled the circle and Hans was successfully brought back to life, ready for further battle."

"The Wizards Concillium retired to their tower to a good meal, swapped stories and discussed plans.  During this time emissaries of the other factions came to their tower and spoke of things learnt, talk of war and hope of getting back to Orin Rakatha.  The night wore on and the Ravens spoke of war off in the dunes, such fine music to Ar-Gunn's ears, of the fine hunt of Ghuls, elemental sand beings and the like.  Ar-Gunn led Malchius, Azreal and Hans off towards the far dunes and upon gaining an advantageous defencive position at the top, he instructed his squad to lie down and wait out for the coming battle."

"They had not long to wait, as first to arrive off to their right there appeared some travelling Garou and lesser Bete from the Sept of The First Wolf!  Alas the proposed ambush was thwarted at the last minute by their spotting of Azreals mighty Wizards hat, they had the luck of Loki that night!  Greetings were sounded and pacts made for the battle was against the cannibal Ghul!  A few other warbands of other factions duly appeared and then the Ghul struck!  I say struck, more like were cut down like corn before the scythe!  The Wizards Concillium showed their prowess that night!"

"After the battle Ar-Gunn led his squad back to the tower to report their success to Guivric The Sage, so that their deeds could be recorded for future advancement.  Shortly before midnight Ar-Gunn departed the tower as he had caught the scent of a powerful human, an intriguing scent and a difficult spoor to follow, but follow he did!  Ar-Gunn came by paths seldom trod to a decrepit ruin that held power and despite its run-down state was still a formidable structure.  Like lone wolves to a kill other predators from the other faction had caught the scent or had been informed to come here by the very Ravens themselves!  Ar-Gunn had caught the scent of the Master Assassin!"

Galliard Alwen Lars: "Sorry these new runes will not de-crypt, being near to the spine of the Tome and lying very close to an old Beer Stain!  The one that hides the skein of Magos Antrobus Brand from us!  I will skip to the bit lower down, yes that is working.  It seems that Ar-Gunn does still have his secrets!"

"Thus did Ar-Gunn return to the Tower of the Wizards Concillium to find everyone in bed and the tower shut up tighter than a Dwarfs money-pouch!  Ar-Gunn climbed up the tower wall to his room, gave his magic knock, entered his room and went to sleep."

"In the morning within the dining room at second breakfast the Wizards gathered about the dining table and all discussed what to do.  As they were chatting a Fire Spirit shot out of the hearth and danced along the candles standing along the table imparted news to the wizards.  It told of a party of Fire Elementals that were due to travel through the area nearby and it asked for the factions protection of its kin.  This the Wizards readily did due to their elemental pacts.  Ar-Gunn led Malchius, Kurea and Hans off to a nearby crossroads where the Fire Elementals were due to appear, it was close to the camp of the Sept of The First Wolf.  When the Wizards Concillium contingent got there they found that the place gradually filled up with members of the other factions, it was obvious that a fight was in the offing.  So everyone waited for the Fire Elementals to show up."

"Whilst Ar-Gunn was waiting with his faction he was jobbed by Pug and then immediately healed by Gribble who placed upon Ar-Gunn a small badge, it seemed that Ar-Gunn had been inducted into the Pug is Bestest Seekrit Fan Club!"

"As is often the case with a meeting of the factions in these times it is never evident who one can count upon to be on ones side, so the Wizards Concillium hung back and watched the coming battle unfold.  As the Fire Elementals walked into the clearing they gave a good account of themselves in battle and the Wizards Concillium aided them by attacking their attackers from advantageous positions utilising Fire Bolts, Slips, Warping Bows and the timely thrust and hack of a blade or three, Ar-Gunn even had the opportunity to slay the Troll he scented at the tomb complex!  The battle was won by the Wizards Concillium and the surviving Fire Elemental were allowed to walk away on their journey, then we gathered loot from the dead and offered healing.  As this happened Pug told Ar-Gunn that as Club Members shared treasure, Ar-Gunn stated that this was only fair and arranged to meet Pug at the Wizards Concillium Tower.  As Ar-Gunn left the vicinity with the Wizards Pug came over, in typical Dia-Fah-Dyne manner he weaselled out of the contract and stated that the treasure must be divided there and then!  As the treasure was doled out Pug became greedy and jobbed Ar-Gunn and robbed him of his share citing unfair sharing!"

"After being healed by Kurea, Ar-Gunn and the Wizards returned to the tomb complex.  When they arrived they were informed by Rexx Draconis that the factions were working together to translate scrolls located inside the tomb, they had been a little translated and found to offer some way of return to Orin Rakatha.  He further stated that the scrolls were trapped so they couldn't be moved, also that there was a curse that persons within the tomb only had five minutes life and any longer killed them!  So the rest of the afternoon was spent by persons entering the tomb and copying the scrolls so that they could be translated outside.  Kurea stayed with Rexx Draconis and helped with the task."

"Whilst this was going on Ar-Gunn led Malchius, Azreal and Hans off as he had to conduct some required Ritual attunement in a fresh place of power!  Eventually he led them back to the site of the dune battle the previous evening, the flow of Magicks were strong here and he selected a place of power in the view of a tree that appeared to be about to float out of the sands and fly away!  Ar-Gunn instructed his fellow Wizards to draw a circle in the sand and guard it from anyone that sought to attack them whilst the ritual was enacted.  Ar-Gunn warned them that ritual attunement would call for stout hearts and their participation in a Century Chant!  So at the stroke of Noon the Century Chant began, it boomed out into the surrounding hills and dunes, it set fear into the feeble hearts of nearby desert nomads such were their howls of submission and fear from them and their jackal-bred dogs!"

"Confident that the attunement had been necessary and that it had worked successfully, Ar-Gunn again conducted a further Ritual of the Wizards Concillium at the circle of stones and awakened the ability to cast spells with non-standard verbals and bound Life Magic to his faction.  Everything went well and the ritual was a success which was good.  Ar-Gunn had heard that earlier rituals conducted at the circle of stones had failed, sometimes spectacularly!  Ar-Gunn's rituals were his mastery, would never fail and he put down the failed rituals to lesser Ritualist Nillthings!"

The Wizards then retired to the tower for second luncheon and afternoon tea, awaiting further news on the scroll translation.  Eventually at fifth luncheon news arrived that the scrolls had been fully translated and they gave a choice.  It seemed that in order to return to Orin Rakatha two mighty beings had to have a mighty combat, which had been prophesied to occur due to a stellar alignment.  It was a choice involving the lesser of two evils!  Summon both Sir Blaze - Knight of the Order of The Flame, a fallen knight who had sold his soul to a Daemon Prince, who now lay defeated in the tomb complex. Or summon a Nazgul - a Witch-King!  The Wizards naturally chose to summon the Witch-King."

"The choices divided the assembled factions, many including the Knights of The Cold Dawn and the Warriors of the Crimson Winter flocked to the circle of stones to raise Sir Blaze the Noble Knight. their ritual was ably led by the Crimson Winters Shaman banging on his large drum.  Eventually Sir Blaze coalesced and appeared at the circle."

"Sir Blaze led off his follower factions to their camps so that he could influence their minds and plan conquest.  When the host of the fallen Knight had departed the area it was time to summon the Nazgul!  Ar-Gunn checked his fetishes, his talismans and made a concerted effort of cleansing the circle of residual Wyrm and Daemon tainted Magicks!  Once this was done he assisted Owedry of the Halls of Asgard in the ritual summoning of the Witch-King, the ritual needed the Black Speech!  Suddenly the very sky darkened with angry clouds and the Nazgul appeared at the stone circle in a lightning bolt!  The Witch-King spoke with the assembled and stated that he would depart and ready himself for the required battle with Sir Blaze."

"The factions then returned to their camps and prepared for the upcoming battle.  Ar-Gunn retired into his sanctuary within the Towers gardens to atone with Gaia for what he had helped summon forth!  He could scent the theurge crescent waiting in the night, he could hear the murders of corax calling for the feast of battle, could see the gathering of banes at the edges of every pool and even heard the beautiful laughter of Morrigan!  Ar-Gunn set to sharpening his weaponry, he howled to Fenris, such was his yearning for battle!"

"The Wizards Concillium, the Halls of Asgard, the Keepers and other factions following the Nazgul were first to the battle site, the dunes of power!  As such they rightfully chose the high ground, eventually the Witch-King arrived with his bodyguard.  A line was then drawn in the sand and the battle waited for the lesser factions following Sir Blaze to appear on the field!  Like the scurvy dogs they were the followers of Sir Blaze slunk onto the field, although even a deaf simpleton could have heard the rusty clank of their armour from ten leagues away!  At the front there strode the fallen Sir Blaze of the Order of The Flame, in the van were the Knights of the Cold Dawn, also notable were The Forgotten, the Crimson Winter and the Wee Scunners!"

"As we all know, there is a truism that battle plans never survive contact with the enemy!  Such was the bloodlust apparent in the meeting of both sides that before the archers could loose even one flight of arrows into the dogs of Sir Blaze, both sides rushed into the melee as the two mighty Anti-Heroes rushed at one another like the two halves of a powerful magnet!  The battle was a meat-grinder as everywhere that the Ancient Ones fought was a red ruin, spells and and arrows bounced off Sir Blaze's armour like water of the scales of a slimy eel!  Giving in to the red mist Ar-Gunn leapt into the fray and laid into Sir Blaze whilst he battled the Witch-King, many a true blow he laid in to weak spots before being receiving a powerful sabre strike from Sir Blaze which sent him sailing twenty feet away through the air to lie in a crumpled heap!"

"After the battle had been won and Sir Blaze had been defeated did the healers take to the killing field to sew, stitch and heal the wounded.  Ar-Gunn received a Cure Mortal from a helpful source and the factions then separated back to their respective sides and both sides peacefully departed the field.  The body of Sir Blaze was taken away from the field by his followers and laid to rest back in his tomb!  The Witch-King also departed to attend to his business."

"Still finding themselves in Hayat Ghallaya, the translated scrolls were again scrutinised with another more detailed Scrute!  It seemed that upon this reflection that a further two rituals needed to be conducted.  A Ritual of Destruction of the remains of Sir Blaze and a Ritual of Banishment to get rid of the Nazgul!  The scrolls that had been translated giving upon this inspection the very instructions for the rituals!"

"Ar-Gunn and Rexx Draconis went to the tavern and then to each faction to gather Devotees, Incantors and High Incantors to power the rituals at the circle of stones.  The scroll instructions stated that the rituals required the ritualists conducting the rituals to pay the powers of the stones powerful sacrifices!  That the costs needn't be financial more to be significant to the person sacrificing them.  Realising that the rituals were necessary and that they might be very dangerous Ar-Gunn booked them both to occur back to back."

"Both Rituals were conducted towards dusk, when the Magicks would be stronger.  The circle was filled by powerful ritualists, Mabh of the Dai-Fah-Dyne, the Crimson Winter Shaman, Owedry from the Halls of Asgard, a Wee Scunner, a member of The Forgotten, Rexx Draconis and Ar-Gunn of the Wizards Concillium.  The circle of stones were cleansed of stray Magicks and the effigies laid in their correct alignments and the circle was sealed as the ritualists didn't want to be disturbed by any angry warriors!  First the Ritual of Destruction was cast on the remains of Sir Blaze, these being one of Sir Blazes Greaves that Hans of the Wizards Concillium hd been instructed to steal from Sir Blazes tomb!  The costing of the sacrifices was significant, Ar-Gunn vowed to give up alcohol for one whole lunar month theurge crescent to theurge crescent! He was very lucky that ragabash still hid the moon that night!  The other sacrifices were notably potent and the ritual came to a close after a beautiful rendition of the Lay of Sir Blaze told in a duet by the Crimson Winter Shaman and Ar-Gunn!"

"Next came the big one, the Ritual of Banishment!  Mabh of the Dai-Fah-Dyne had upon closer inspection been carrying a bloodied arm in one hand, hers that she had had hacked off as it had once belonged to a Greater Undead, this she lay down as sacrifice.  The Wee Scunner sacrificed a precious bottle of whisky(?).  Rexx Draconis sacrificed his skill of Death Magic, Owedry of the Halls of Asgard sacrificed a family heirloom and then fell upon his sword and sacrificed himself to fuel the ritual!  The Forgotten sacrificed all her memories.  Finally Ar-Gunn Slayer-of-Trolls cited his full heritage up to Lady Luna, Gaia and Father Fenris, thusly he sacrificed his skill of Elemental Magic!  The Gathered Ritualists were instructed by Ar-Gunn to follow him in the Black Speech that was used to summon the Nazgul, this was a reverse summoning and it was repeated over and over for ten minutes until Ar-Gunn was satisfied that the ritual was ended.  Ar-Gunn unlocked the circle and the other ritualists were told to leave the circle by the Corax Hen who stated that the circle would disprove of the removal of Owedry!  Ar-Gunn went off to the Tavern for to slake his thirst!  For he was confident that the ritual had been a success!"

"Ar-Gunn Slayer-of-Trolls then drunk to the memory of Owedry of the Halls of Asgard!  For he was saddened by the fact that although act was brave it could very well be interpreted by the Homid Deity Odin as a suicide and not an honourable death in battle, thus dooming Owedry to Hel and not a place in the Mead Hall of Valhalla!"

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