In Reflection

I pen this scroll as I sit and remember the Vvrael saga. Much will be left out. I will not discuss the differing feelings of Terate. I will discuss my feelings a bit and the events as they transpired.

I must first say that I was heartened by the way this common threat brought many people together! Not only did the Arkati band together (in the loosest sense), but the people in the Lands as well.

When the Quest started years ago I thought nothing of it. I was excited, but subdued. Then I once thought I was a Chosen as I received vision after vision! I called Merlock and the 4 Chosen that had been picked at the time! To my chagrin, embarassment and ultimate relief, I was merely seeing the visions that haunt the wall of the Wolves Den. Crying out over the Voln net and having everyone chuckle at me was quite humbling. :) However, from there my interest grew...the scope grew...the odds raised.

I remember hearing of Risper, ah sweet Risper, receiving the Mace. From that point on things quieted down a bit. There was no Terate. No one had heard of him. Then the massacre under the Crypt. I remember hearing his name spoken. I had no idea of the role he would play. He seemed a weak Elf. Then the powers he wrought! Pure evil! The Lords of Lornon pale in comparison to his Anti-mana waves! I was petrified because there was no way to fight it! None could stand against the power. Then things tapered off... A Chosen was picked here or there. Terate would come and taunt and slay...

Things picked up immensely when the final Chosen were picked. Then started the saga...the death...the salvation. Once Merry and Beldin were Chosen on Teras Isle by my Lady I distinctly remember saying that we would be saved. Knowing that the 13 Chosen would stand...13? Eh? Terate!?!? He became the conundrum. The link we needed, but could not control. That is for another time...

Let us pan to Ardo and his fateful journey in the attempt to find the Chosen and tell them of his meeting with the old crone. We all know he apparently froze to death in the cave on the mountain, but none know how. ::sighs::

I was downtrodden. Hope seemed lost. He had such an important message, yet it was never delivered. I remember thinking we were doomed. Then I remember a night when Terate came and rocked the LAnding with his powers. Lorminstra came and took the Chosen aside. Told them of the Stones of Virtue. Hope was renewed! I remember calling a meeting in each major town to tell of the search for the Stones! We HAD to have them before Terate got one! I remember people organizing in droves and searching every known inch of the lands for those Stones. A day..a week...a Stones. Credibility was lost, hope dashed. Then they came...

I remember being in hearthstone chatting with some folk in the Legends bar when they attacked. The weakest of the Vvrael's Minions, the warlocks and witches. The weakest. ::shudder:: I can still see the blood flying as they destroyed Legend after Legend, Lord after Lady after Lord. It was a massacre. I remember Karhl and Greentide coming and being able to kill them finally! Vigor in the search was renewed! We had to find those Stones! If not all could be lost. I remember feeling despair that none were found. I remember awaking every day and inquiring. Every day I heard the saem response. "No Nothing yet True." Then one day a Stone was found! Hope was renewed! The proverbial ferris-wheel of emotions began to spin faster. We were attacked, we held ground and found a Stone.

Then the unthinkiable happened. A stone was given to Terate. Rayyne flaunted her love for him by giving him a Stone. Lorminstra forbade it, yet it happened. The Ferris-wheel began its long downward trend. Try as we might, we could not get it back. Other methods had to be used and were. The Vvrael were clever in that Terate, and our feelings toward him caused more dissention in our ranks than their entire army could have. Terate knew not, or could not defend himself against, the pawn he was. (It is important to note that I am leaving out a LOT of individual quests, visits, etc.)

Finally we found all 6 stones. 5 held by the rightful Chosen and one by Terate. The snows thawed enough that we could wander the mountain in relative safety. However a new threat posed itself...

Lorminstra, my beloved Goddess, was dying. She was giving her all for this quest and keeping the Vvrael at bay as we, mere mortals, held the fate of the Lands in our hands. I remember not having her hand cradle my soul. I remember feeling lost and as weak as a child. I would lose everything if I lost Her. I remember praying and her being shoved aside as she came to speak with my by Terate. He came and taunted me. Flaunting Her weakness in my face. I could not have it. I began to gather friends to pray. Then as the support grew so did my hopes, as did her strength. I called masses weekly, then almost daily. I felt her strengthen! Her warmth flow through me from the outpouring of support. Those of all faiths, Lornon, Liabo, or otherwise all came. They prayed, not for Lorminstra, but for their salvation. All of this heartened me. It also strengthened the Arkati to stave off the attacks of the Vvrael until the thaw was complete.

The last weekend. I slept not at all as we all made the trek to Pinefar to wait for the western steps of the mountain to become accessable. The first night we were there we were bombarded by Vvrael, Lost souls, Vaespilion and countless other types of undead that the Vvrael had comandeered. The death was almost insurmountable. Constantly we were on a watch. Trying to stop their advance and survive long enough. Finally I started holding small prayer sessions over my symbol in order to try and lend Her strength. The second day the prayers stopped working and the Vvrael made their march to the Veil.

The sky was dark, but the sun shone through...I remember looking up at it thinking it odd that it could be so dark. I saw a spot on the sun...others did too. It grew and grew, finally dropping toward the Lands. When it hit it began to rain...a slow trickle...then quicker. Soon we realized it was not raining water, but blood! They came then. We were all slain time and time again. Terate was seen, rescuing folks and helping save our souls.

Hope was at an all time low as we knew that we couldn't hold out when they finally came. We would hear whispers in our mind about the destruction they would wrought against us when they made it through the Rift. During a short hiatus in the battling Belle came to us. She was sad that Ardo had not come back and try as we might, we could not convince her that he was dead. Regardless, she presented to me a parchment from Ardo's journal. I hold it to this day. (Though I still think it belongs in the museum for all to view) It was the Key to the Crown and the Shrine. To save time I will make a copy of it on another scroll. I was excited that we had the Key, but my excitement soon turned to fright as Terate came and demanded it of me. I refused and was killed by him. He searched my pockets but could not find it thanks to the grace of Lorminstra. Unfortunately, he raged at that point and called minions against us. Most people died again. I was raised and went about tending the dead until that night...

That night Terate visited again. Asked of me for the parchment. I refused again and so he showed me what had happened during the fight. Belle was sucked into a void and lost to us! Terate held her soul and offered me a trade. The parchment for Belle. He would come back the next morning to have my answer. He never made it back.

We finally made it to the Crown of the Drake. Then came the dilemma. Do we trust Terate? He knew not how to open the door, but still had the power to do so, perhaps. The dilemma was solved when he placed his stone on the Crown first. Each of the Chosen placed their stones in as well. As the 6th and final Stone plopped in...!POOF!...all the Chosen were transported into the Shrine to the Eye of the Drake. We were left out there trying to figure our way in. That is when the parchment came in handy. A few people read it and we pooled ideas. However, I was still wary to let people touch it as I was unsure who was tainted with Terate's promises of power. If Karhl could be corrupted than any could. This folly on my part may have cost Rispers soul ::sighs deeply::

We finally managed to get into the Shrine, but as this was happening we heard the Vvrael egg Terate into slaying the Chosen. Time and again we heard them cry out in death. I found the bowl. From there I watched in horror as Terate sucked them of spirit and slayed them as they tried to stop him. He was in a rage. No coherence at all. Then I watched in utter horror as Risper removed Eonak's mace and moved delierately toward the Eye of the Drake. We had to destroy it or all would be lost! As she moved, Terate noticed her. he began stealing her spirit. Slowly, ever so slowly I watched her whither and lose strength. Finally he sapped her last strength...her soul parted her body and rose the Gate. However, the Gate could not be opened...Lorminstra was too weak...her soul was lost.

Terate then paused as Rayyne's soothing talk eventually got through to the Elf in Terate. He slowly realized his mistakes and as the Vvrael got more and more angry that they were losing control over him, the more and more he listened to Rayyne. Finally, just as they were to break through the Eye Terate shot his anti-mana and blocked it! As he did so the scream of rage from the Vvrael struck at him. He fell back, battered and bleeding, into Rayyne's arms. There he gave his void blade to Rayyne and told her of his love he felt for her. Then his soul was released. A mere breath on the wind floating away.

There it ended. We all finally made our way through the pool to see my Lady, weak as she was, standing before us. She thanked us all and gave each of the Chosen an Orb. The Orb was a way to transport to the Shrine from any place. SHe blessed us and then left. So it ended. Terate gave himself in one final blast of honor to make the Eye a one-way link to the Rift. That is where I now hunt. Getting every stronger until I can finally slay the warlocks and witches that reside there.

As for Terate, as I am hunting I sometimes feel as if there is something in the shadows. Someone watching me. Many times I have been surrounded, outnumbered and near death, but a strange power flows into me, giving me resolve and I survive. Perhaps it is simple luck, but then again, perhaps not...