Ancient Treasures-Revenge’s Grief

January 12, 2015 By: Tamais Category: Lake Austin News


Carefully going through the gate, we found Merrick standing in front of Tolivar. Tolivar had been tied for sacrifice. Seeing us Merrick yelled at us to leave. “What are you doing here? Are you insane? Get out of here, this doesn’t concern you.”


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Turning back to Tolivar, he began laughing. “You’re too late.” and he pointed to the blood pooling at Tolivar’s feet, absorbed by the ground. “Leave while you can, the deal is made.” Looking into his eyes, all I could see was madness. There would be no reasoning with him. Tolivar was getting faint, closer to death at each drop of blood. “It is too late, the spell is already being undone as we speak. If you go now you won’t be caught in the middle of it. You brought it on yourself Tolivar, this end. We both did.”

“How did Tolivar bring this death?” I asked trying to be calm.  Merrick pointed to Tolivar.

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His blood line started it. They tried to capture the Djinn in the first place and failed, so it destroyed them and ravaged Tokuno.  When they found a man named Terimen Delemor, they managed to trap it. Sound familiar, the last name? They used the Traversis to trap the Djinn and it worked. But the fools, you don’t trap a Djinn.”  I looked around and saw the others had seen Merrick’s madness. All we could do is listen. Rubbing his head, he continued,  “You can’t kill a Djinn, you can harm it, but you don’t kill it, and you can’t keep it trapped. It was bound to escape one way or another and they doomed us. But I found a way, a blood deal.” Kneeling he began stabbing Tolivar in rage. “I let her die, it was my fault, I was so concerned with what you were doing, I missed it…I let my sister, Dahlia’s mother die!” he cried in anguish. “If I had been there sooner…But I can make it up. I figured out what to do…it is too late to stop it.”  While we watched, fire and smoke began to come out of a golden vase on the ground. From the smoke, a horrible creature appeared. ” You, Izumu! Keep them away and I will give you what you want. Do not harm them.”

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Merrick looked on in surprise when Izumu attacked us. He had forgotten, no one commands a Djinn. The battle seemed to rage forever. Each time we thought we had won, Izumu summoned even stronger demons. In vain, Merrick tried to stop the slaughter. Izumu summoned even more demons.

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Grabbing the knife, Merrick whispered, “Death, too much death. But it is okay, because there is no one left for it to have revenge upon. The Traversis is gone. Elise is dead, or did Agaris not tell you? I am ending it. Now the Djinn will never come to Britannia.”

I was able to grab his hand in time. “I don’t understand. What did Elise have to do with a Djinn?”

“It would have found her and I could buy one life with mine. Merrick calmly explained, ” Alaira may have been dangerous but she changed… when we gave her a chance, she changed. How could I take that away from her? So I offered the Djinn my life in exchange for her, and Tolivar’s in exchange for my sister. The Djinn agreed.” Pleadingly, he looked at me, “You understand don’t you, I had to bring her back for Dahlia. It was the only way.” Then jerking his hand from mine, he shoved the knife into his chest.

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Merrick’s blood drew Izumu’s attention. ” Such a clever mortal. Yet the man took his own life, a curious gesture.

“What deal did Merrick make with you?” I demanded, looking up at the dark form.

“What deal, oh? He seemed surprised that I didn’t know the deal Merrick had made. His look made me nervous. How could we force him to live up to a deal, when we knew so little about it. “Two lives for two lives and my freedom. You will find her in the land of the Winged ones in a month’s time. You will not find her before then no matter how hard you seek.” For a centuries time I will rest, as I have agreed. But a century is a long time and it is so easy to forget a promise. Especially when those you made the promise to are buried beneath the earth.” Izumu’s laughter chilled my blood. Did that mean if we forget his deal, he will break it. How can we remember.

“So we must remember the deal, for the promise to hold?” I spoke more to myself than to Izumu.

He tossing the golden vase to me. It was still hot from his escape.  “Remembered that, others have not, even after I warned them But now they lie in ruins in dust and blood. A reminder. You may hold a thing for a time, but you can never keep it. It is true of anything, but more so true of I. And if it is only death that separates us. Then there is no place you can hide from me.” He smiled. A smile that made my blood freeze. While his form began to thin, he summoned an Invoker. “For you a parting gift… perhaps not death, but as close as I can muster, while keeping my word.” As it attacked me, he left in a haze of smoke.    The battle raged on. The invokers were powerful and deadly. It seemed as if we had been fighting forever.

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At last the Royal Gaurds and Agaris arrived. The battle at last finished.  He came over to look at the bodies of Tolivar and Merrick. Sighing, I knew it had gotten free, because it visited Evidias moments ago and warned her, she could not so easily seal it away.

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I believe it hopes we will help it break its promise…” Some of the Tokuno citizens I was speaking to warned me not to trifle with a Djinn, they say you cannot kill or contain one for long. That it is best to leave them be. He looked back over at the two bodies. We should bury those two. In graves where their names will be forgotten.”

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I felt I had to speak in favor of Merrick. “Yes he did great evil, but he has also done great good.   Agaris,  Merrick was not himself. The dust from the lamp changed him. He should not be forgotten. If only for Dahlia’s sake.”

Agaris thought about what I said. “He could have escaped, and Alaira was not… to be fair she has been… maybe it was worth it, Merrick. He sighed, ” If the Djinn would have come for revenge on those who harmed him… it would have come to Britannia. Now it won’t because of him. ”

Sadly I added, “He seemed to have given up after the death of his sister. It could be his guilt drove him mad.”

Agaris frowned, “That could be. He could have felt that he was living on borrowed time. Yes, Tamias, I think you are right. We should have him buried somewhere proper at least. No matter what he did.”

Many of the party nodded in agreement. “The vase could be part of the grave marker. It would remind people of the Djinn’s promise. Perhaps similar to Queen Dawn’s husband’s.”

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“Tamais, you are right. It would be fitting. He did give his life for it. I will speak to the King. You will need to excuse me for now, I need to check on Evidias, Time Without Dreams seemed upset.  I also must speak to Tavian. He should know if there is a chance for Dahlia’s mother to return. I will let him decide what to tell her. She has been through too much for one her age.” Turning he stepped through a gate.

That night at Britannia’s Cat’s Lair , the company was quiet. Each of us think of what had happened these last years. Could it really be the realm was at peace? I was the last to leave. I now knew how Merrick’s ballad would end. He would be neither a hero or villan. Instead a warning to all of revenge’s grief and the Djinn, it summoned.





Ancient Treasure-Merrick Found

January 12, 2015 By: Tamais Category: Lake Austin News


Agairs had sent me a message to meet him at his office. Arriving I found him staring at the statue of Izumu muttering, “How can it be here…how? Evidias had turned it to the house in Jhelom. “My lord I thought all the items had been taken to the Weld. Shaking his head, no we need it.”


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Shivering, I looked at him in surprise. Why would we need that evil thing.  Obviously needed sleep, He had to be mistaken. “My lord perhaps it would be better to have Dahlia or Captain Corina deal with this. “I wish they could. Evidias has returned to her tower to work on a spell to stop the evil Merrick is planning. Captain Corina is guarding Dahlia. We all agreed that keeping her save was more important. So you see that leaves me. ” “Then you should let the Royal Spies and Guard deal with this. You’ve been through much these past few days.” I said hopefully, a tired leader is a dangerous one. Scratching his head, he tried to remember what he needed to tell me. “Now what was I going to say…Oh! Our only lead has gone missing, but we know where to find him.” So, I thought, at last a lead to Merrick. But how did we lose it? “Who or what is the lead?” Agaris frowned. “The lead is a small mongbat named Iskur, a long time companion of Merrick’s. I went to speak to him at the Mongbat village, but he was gone. Since he often slips away, most didn’t pay attention. However a younger friend had followed him to the Crane Marsh. I need you to summon the Royal Spies to search for him in the marsh. Once you have found Iskur report back.”

It wasn’t hard to find the Royal Spies, waiting at hall. Someone opened a gate to the marshes and the hunt was on. It was decided to split up. My group went down to the small Lizard man village. We found Iskur looking at swamp water. “Hmmm, its just swamp water.” grabbing a handful, he offered it to me. “Do you want some?” I shook my head no. What was he doing?


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Then as if we weren’t there he picked up a piece of tree bark and sniffed it. That looks less edible than I thought it would be.” Watching Iskur, we hadn’t noticed that the LIzardmen has surrounded us. Not until they attacked. The Royal spies quickly took care of them. Someone laughed, “Not much of a challenge after Crimson Dragons.”

I gently grabbed Iskur, “Iskur do you know where Merrick went?” Jumping away from me, he grabbed his wings and held them close to his body. “No, mustn’t tell! My wings, my beautiful wings, he’ll clip them, he will. I signaled the guards to surround him. Trapped he began to cry. I knelt down to comfort him, “We will protect you, but we must know where he is. It is very important.” Iskur started to splash around in the water. Looking up, he smiled and told me he was taking a bath. “You wanted to know my secret to my youthful skin right?” he said hopefully. “No, Iskur, we need Merrick.”

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“Merrick was my friend,” he said sadly, ‘Why would he clip my wings? He isn’t himself is he?” It broke my heart to see the little mongbat hiding his wings and crying. “No, he isn’t. He might be under a spell. That’s why we much find him. We won’t let him clip your wings. ” Signing he looked up, I’ll tell you, but you must tell Time Without Dreams, to eat him if he tries to cut my wings.” I assured him that not only would we tell Time Without Dreams, but we would take him back to his village. He thought about it for a minute. “I saw him head out of Zento. North through the pass towards the desert” Then grabbing my hand he pleaded for me to take him home.

Once he was safe, hiding under Time Without Dreams, we headed back to meet Agairs. He was pacing the floor waiting for us. After I told him what Iskur told me, unsurprised he sat down.

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“I know why he is going there. My contacts in the Tokuno islands found the connection. The emblems we found belonged to an old nomadic tribe. Centuries ago a Djinn wandered the Tokuno Islands causing havoc. Djinn, named Izumu, drove the tribe out of their hidden city. Agairs pointed at the statue. Vowing to return home, the nomads found a blood spell that trapped the Djinn. Eviads fears that Merrick has discoved a spell to release the Djinn. The spell she made is to stop it. We must hurry to stop him” Agrais opened a gate to the passage.

Ancient Treasures: Blood Feud?

January 06, 2015 By: Tamais Category: Lake Austin News


The next day when we met with Agaris, he was visibly disturbed. “What has Merrick done. He has destroyed the door. The magic, all of it is gone.”


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I was puzzled, what door and magic was he talking about. I racked my brains, wait, does he mean the magic door we found in Ocllo? The one the treasure was suppose to be hiding? “Agaris, the door in Ocllo?” I asked. “Yes, all of it is gone; the door, the garden, the flowers and the magic. I asked Time Without Dreams to see if I was correct. He could find no trace of magic left.”
“Was there any thing left? Something that might help us know what Merrick is doing and where he is?”

Worried, Agaris began pacing. “A note buried in the dirt where the door was and drag marks of a heavy object. I have no doubt that it was Merrick who unsealed the door and took whatever was inside. Worse, we now know the door was just a magical wall to keep whatever was inside, in. Something that Merrick has taken out. The drag marks showed what ever it was had a wide base. Possible it was a statue, but there is no way to be sure.”

“Did the note tell what Merrick had taken and where he was going?” I asked.

“No, just a warning for us not to keep looking for him and to leave Tolivar alone. He will make him pay but won’t allow him to be captured by the Royal Guard or Blackthorn. The note also said that he had dragged Spencer Hollowel out of the other side to kill him. How can this be the Merrick I know? He took Drudun’s book and murdered the man in cold blood. I don’t get it… Merrick seems like the kind of man who would protect someone for anything, but just kill them? In cold blood?”

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The room was silent, as we took in the information and what it meant. But we still hadn’t found Merrick. “Agaris, are we any closer to finding Merrick?”

“No, but you need to hurry to meet with Captain Corian before he leaves to meet Dahlia. He must know what Merrick has done. him what has happened.

You need to tell Corian about this, he needs to know what has just happened before he goes to meet Dahlia. She has set a trap to lure Tolivar out. Corian is going to join her shortly. I fear that they are walking into a trap. Hurry! He shouted opening a gate for us. We found ourselves on The docks south of West Britain Bank. Captain Corian wasn’t far off.

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We ran to him. Everyone began telling him what we had learned at the same time. ” Agaris sent us. Merrick has opened the Ocllo door.” Lady Thalia said.  Demoss added excitedly, ” Wait he took the door, no I mean the treasure.” Hemp Knight added, “All the magic is gone. Time Without Dreams checked and it is all gone.” Lady Thalia broke in “A Note was left stating he will deal with Tollivar.”

“ENOUGH!” Captain Corian shouted .”I do not have time for this Merrick. I cannot protect you anymore. Agaris, he should know I do not have time for this right now then. He has Spencer to use if we can reach him. Evidias was working on a spell.”

“No, Corian,” I said raising my voice to be heard. ” He has killed Spencer.”

Holding his head, Corian said in a resigned voice. “Of course he did. If what you are saying is true, I could use your help with capturing Tolivar. He may be the last piece of the puzzle we can get our hands on.” He opened a gate, “Dahlia lured him out, we had to falsify papers stating Elise the Golden was being held prisoner by the Royal Guard. It won’t be long before Tolivar finds out it was a sham.” He said as he stepped through the gate, not looking to see if we followed.

Stepping out of the gate, we found ourselves in a desert facing Tolivar and his juka guards. Eonir, one of the royal guards, was telling Tolivar to turn himself in. He added that if he did, Elise might be set free. Dahlia added that he had to tell everything he knew, but especially where to find Merrick.

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Tolivar looked around at the assembly, he began laughing, “Turn myself in? Do you think you could build a prison to hold me?” Ignoring the rest, he turned to Dahlia. “Have you forgotten who trained the man who made you, Dahlia? You are a child, and I trained Merrick myself. You think I cannot get out of a prison that I buried so many inside of?”

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“True, but have you forgotten we have Elise. You know what will happen to her if you do not surrender. There will be nothing to keep her from execution. Just tell us where Merrick is. Tell us what he is really after.” I could tell her anger was building. ” I don’t believe in this fairytale of a woman he has killed for. You know that is not what he is.”

Tolivar Fence answered calmly, ” I have no idea where he is. He is mad dog off his leash.” Then his manner hardened, ” But if I find him I will put him down, after what he did to me. So stay out of my way.” Tolivar shoved the guard aside as he moved toward Dahlia. Before he reached her, a gate opened.

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Stepping through the gate,  Tavian grabbed Dahlia and shoved her through the gate. “I am through Tolivar. You will not harm her.” Tavian snarled. Before stepping through the gate, he turned and shrugged. “Do what you will with him. It has nothing to do with me.

Tolivar began laughing. “Well played, Very well, it is better this way.”

Captain Corian demanded “Where did he send her?”

“What do I care?” scowling at Corian, he continued, ” Does she know you are conspiring with the Alchemist? I will not let that stand.”

“Are you insane Tolivar?” Puzzled Captain Corian asked.

“You still believe that the murders in Skara Brae are my doing? Then you are worse than a conspirator, you are a fool Corian.” Tolivar said in disgust. I know he turned in the evidence. You have read it. You cannot even see it then?” He shook his head, “Merrick killed the Skara Brae citizens. You have seen the old spy records. In the Skara Brae records, look up the name, Abrian Sadaris. He lived there years ago. That was who Merrick was looking for. I shivered when Tolivar smiled. You know what he is capable of.  He murdered all of them looking for Abriam.  He found him, finally.” Captain Corian stood silently, unable to answer Tolivar. Looking, at the silent Captain, he taunted, ” You have seen the name, I can see the look on your face. Maybe you should tell them what I am talking about? Tell them who their beloved Merrick really is.” Then signaling the juka guards, he order them to attack. As the others fought only Corian and I heard Toviar’s parting words. ” But you won’t get to ask him yourself. I will find him and kill him, he will not harm my grand daughter Elise.”



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I didn’t have time to think, as a Juka Lord attacked me. Captain Corian’s blade saved me just in time. The battle was over quickly, with few deaths. Back at the hall, the Captain fell into the first chair he found too tired to stand. Sighing he finally spoke, ” Merrick is not coming back. He never planned on it. For gods sake, he murdered several Royal Guards in their sleep, when Tolivar was in charge… for that alone the King wants him killed on sight. Merrick’s list of crimes, makes Tavian look like a saint.”

“But what did Merrick hope to gain? I asked. “Where do we look for him now?

Corian shrugged, “I do not know. He said he was doing it for some girl trapped in a magical prison. I do not know where Merrick’s lies end and the truth begins, or if there is any truth to it. I feel as if we are caught in a battle between Merrick and Tolivar.  Misdirection and false leads, with just enough information to aid Merrick.”

“He has always been driven by his need to protect his family.” I said, “They have always been more important to him than life.”

Captain Corian nodded in agreement. “This is even extreme for him willing to burn all of his bridges. Its like he has no regard for his life at all anymore, none. What could be so damned important? Because he won’t survive it.”

The discussion continued into the night. Merrick and Tolivar, are like two wily badgers at each others throats. And only both of them know what is actually going on. Family seemed to be the key. Merrick protecting Dahlia, his niece. Tolivar protecting his granddaughter Elise. A blood feud? Why? A question we couldn’t answer. It was clear though that Merrick had been planning this for a long time. Merrick had used us as his willing pawns. Still there was the feeling that we had missed an important piece of the puzzle. At last we tired and with aching heads, it was decided we needed sleep. As we left I remembered that for the first time Tolivar seemed genuinely afraid for once. Like he knew Merrick would kill his grand daughter if he didn’t stop running from him. Before Captain Corian left, he had said, ” I have a feeling that the events are coming to an ugly head soon.”  I could only agree.  A feeling of dread filled the night air.