||10-27-2011 10:48 AM
[Community Event] The Riot War - Chapter 2 - Never Trust a Dark Lord
Greetings everyone! Below you will find the much anticipated second chapter of The Riot War. But before I let you read it, I have just a couple things to say.
First, you will notice a distinct lack of the IsC's perspective in this chapter. That isn't because I don't like them, it is simply because you all did a fantastic job of writing exactly what the winning poll option stated. So anything I would write for the IsC would either be redundant or not related to the poll.
Second, in this chapter I will be doing something a little different. This time, when I see a really good post that I think is going to give me a good launch pad for the next chapter post, the exceptionally rugged and handsome scribe known as Sagarys may make an appearance in the area. If you see Sagarys (in character) lingering near your event, this means I am watching it carefully, so expound upon it!
Third, with what happened on the General Discussion forums last night, I had to shake things up a bit with this post. So, I hope you appreciate the twist!
Lastly, I would ask that in your posts you refrain from taking major actions with the faction leader Reds. You are welcome to take major actions. And you are welcome to interact with the likes of Morello, IronStylus, etc. But please, don't push the story too far forward without me. It makes my job much more difficult!
With that, enjoy!
The Riot War – Chapter 2 – Never Trust a Dark Lord
Shadows danced on the gray stone walls as the last candle flickered, then died. From a small window, a thin beam of moonlight cut through the darkness and cast the entirety of the war-room in shades of silver and blue. At the center of the room, upon a large wooden table, were various parchments and scrolls – the most prominent of which was a large map of the Realm. As the candle went out, a lone figure leaning over the table let out a deep sigh. As he did, his breath swirled out before him in a cloud of white.
The sun would be rising soon. He and his companions had spent days in the war-room and had yet to create a finite plan. The addition of the Confederacy to the ranks of the NMR was certainly welcomed, as was the strange power of the enigmatic mercenary known as Reich, but compared to the overwhelming numbers of the IsC legions, the New Morello Republic was still vastly outnumbered. If the IsC were to march to the gates of the Black Keep today, this man was not confident that the walls would hold. Lord Morello had put him in a very difficult situation. Why would he provoke the IsC in such a manner? To what end? Msyk cursed the dark lord under his breath. Morello had been a fool. His greed could bring about the downfall of the Republic. In frustration, Msyk slammed his fist down upon the table.
“You seem troubled,” said a gravelly voice from the doorway behind Msyk.
Msyk’s eyes went wide. He recognized the voice, and in an instant, his blood turned to ice. He turned slowly to find Morello standing in the hallway. Msyk feared that somehow Morello had heard his blasphemous thoughts… he was a dark lord after all, and you never really do know what dark lords are capable of – it adds to their mystery.
“Come,” Morello said in a low drone.
Msyk let out another sigh. This time, it was one of pure relief. Msyk knew Morello well. If Morello had been angry with him, he would have been nerfed on the spot. Msyk could not count the times that he had received a thorough nerfing to the knees. His movement speed had been reduced to nearly zero for weeks the last time. He had been confined to bed rest, but Morello had nerfed his bed as well – its comfort had been reduced from memory foam to retractable couch bed. Msyk shuddered at the thought. Then he did as his master commanded and followed him.
Msyk followed Morello into the dark lord’s throne room. As he entered the cavernous hall, he saw that many of his comrades were already gathered there – a contingent of armed NMR soldiers, the score or more of Confederate bears who had joined them, and even the lone mercenary, Reich. But there was also another very large group of warriors in the hall that Msyk did not recognize. Their armor was the finest, most wicked-looking armor Msyk had ever seen, and their weapons seemed to have been crafted by the best artisans in the land. Msyk did not know who they were, but they appeared to be friendly, and so he was happy to see them. Help of any kind was welcomed in such a dark time, especially when they were this well-equipped. Msyk silently praised his master for procuring such a mighty ally, whoever they were. How could he have doubted Morello? Msyk felt foolish.
As he traversed the length of the hall, he passed the leader of the Confederacy of the Armored Bears, Underneathean, and nodded. Underneathean bowed in return, apparently equally as impressed as Msyk with the dark lord’s surprise. Msyk followed Morello up to the dais that held his throne, then moved to stand by the dark lord’s side as Morello sat. For a moment, he thought to offer his usual services as a footstool, but then he stopped himself. This did not appear to be that sort of meeting.
The hall was loud as countless voices conversed, all trying to figure out exactly what was happening. But after a few moments, Morello raised his hand, and in an instant, the hall fell silent. All eyes were upon Morello as he stroked his mighty neckbeard evilly. The dark lord snapped his fingers and a small battalion of servants rushed to his sides, shoving Msyk out of the way. One of the servants fed him Dorito’s. Another poured Mountain Dew into his mouth from a crystal chalice. Two more began fanning him with palm fronds.
“My lord, it is negative twenty-seven degrees out… and it is snowing,” Msyk said.
Morello turned his foul gaze upon Msyk and the advisor knew he had overstepped his bounds. As Msyk slinked back, another servant dragged a woman into the hall. Msyk recognized her immediately as the Parrot King’s wife, and Morello’s newest prisoner, Lady Leona. Clearly, the dark lord had already nerfed her clothes, as she was clad in a solid gold bikini that Msyk swore he had seen somewhere else before.
“Loyal subjects,” Morello began after thoroughly – and creepily – fondling Leona for some time. “Loyal subjects, you are probably curious why I have brought you here today. Some of you, no doubt, question my motives in capturing King IronStylus’ queen.”
Morello turned an eye upon Msyk as he said that. Msyk tried to hide behind the throne.
“Your questions are valid,” Morello continued. “But my answer is simple. I have gathered you all here to witness the dawn of a new era for the NMR. For I, your lord and master, have made us a powerful ally this day. An ally so strong that none in all the realms shall dare oppose us. Minions, kneel before the frightening might of the Troll Wizard, Zileas!”
A pall fell over the throne room as the doors flew open and banged against the walls. All eyes turned to look upon the small man – or troll? – standing in the doorway, buried beneath layer upon layer of thick purple robe. He wore a tall, pointed hat with a wide brim that nearly swallowed up his head, obscuring his face.
Suddenly, an audible gasp rose up from the crowd. It was Underneathean. The mighty bear-lord had heard of this Troll Wizard before. Zileas did not approve of Armored Bears, nor of their inclusion in the League. Furious, Underneathean jumped to his feet and roared in protest.
“I was promised aid in the Creation for my loyalty, Lord Morello! What is this treachery?” Underneathean bellowed.
“It is just that,” Morello replied through a twisted smile, “Treachery.”
Underneathean’s face tightened into a mask of anger. But before he could react, the strange, well-equipped soldiers that Msyk had noted lifted their weapons and rushed to encircle the gathered Confederate bears. Some of the bears moved to attack the men, but Underneathean shouted for them to stop, knowing that aggression under these circumstances would not end well. But his command did not come quickly enough to stop one of his brethren. One of the bears lunged forward, attempting to maul one of Zileas’ soldiers. But before the bear could take more than two steps, seven spears pierced him and he fell limp, supported solely by the bloodied weapons.
“You cannot do this Morello! We swore our allegiance to you! We trusted you! Msyk, do something!” Underneathean shouted.
Morello did not reply. Little did Underneathean know, the Troll Wizard, Zileas, wielded the one power greater than the Nerfbat, the one power that even Morello feared – the mighty Pink Slip. Morello was powerless against it, and so he did the Troll Wizard’s bidding without question.
“Take them to the dungeons, but do not nerf them. My master has plans for them,” Morello ordered.
The abhorrence on Underneathean’s face was profound as he and his brethren were dragged from the hall.
In the audience, Reich shifted uneasily, then raised his hand.
“Yes?” Morello said, noticing the mercenary’s raised hand.
“Am I alright?” Reich asked, his muffled voice echoing inside his helmet.
“Are you an armored bear?” Morello asked.
“Nope,” Reich replied.
“Then you’re fine,” Morello answered. Then he turned to address the hall as a whole. “You are all dismissed. Go and prepare yourselves for battle. Soon you will fight beside your new allies!”
As the haul began to empty, Msyk moved to Morello’s side again.
“My lord, was that the wisest decision?” Msyk asked. “We are severely outnumbered by the IsC. The bears were not many, but every soldier helps in our situation.”
Morello did not reply, he only smiled and motioned with his hand for Msyk to follow him. Morello rose to his evil feet and made his way to a door behind his throne. He opened it and he and Msyk moved out onto a high balcony that overlooked a vast expanse of tundra below. Morello moved to the edge and pointed down. When Msyk moved to the railing and looked where Morello was pointing, his jaw fell open and a single tear escaped from his eye. There below, standing in perfect formation, were thousands upon thousands of warriors. Msyk turned to Morello, a look of sheer awe stamped upon his face.
“Purple minions,” Msyk asked, his voice barely a whisper.
“Zileas’ personal army. Ten thousand strong. Caster minions… melee minions… and even… super minions,” Morello laughed. “We do not need those foolish bears. They are not nearly OP enough!”
“What will you do with the bears then?” Msyk asked.
“I believe you and your companions had devised a plan to burn down a certain forest, yes?” Morello replied.
“Yes. The Nyandaregion,” Msyk said, nodding.
“The Brotherhood of Armored Bears has joined forces with the IsC, and by proxy, the Nyandalegion. Carry out your plan, Msyk. But place the blame upon these Confederates. The Brotherhood will no doubt be forced to respond,” Morello said.
“And when they do?” Msyk asked.
“I will leave that up to you,” he replied after a moment. “Also, I have arranged a meeting that you must attend with a band of mercenary pirates led by someone named Uszi. He says he commands a small fleet of warships. We will need those ships. Offer him whatever he wants.”
Then Morello turned and strode away, his heavy black cloak billowing behind him.
Msyk was left alone on the balcony to ponder his master’s words. A biting wind swirled around him, and a single flake of snow found its way up his nose. He squealed like a girl, snorted, and swatted at his face. Then he turned to make sure no one saw.
Reich stood directly behind him, shaking his head.
Ambearsador Soupcup leaned on the armrest of his throne, pondering the events that had led him to this position. His loyal advisors, Spades, Andersworth, and Blind Trooper were huddled near the door of the hall discussing their next moves. For the time, there was nothing to do but wait. The Grand Marshall of the IsC had sent word that he was leading an army to the Brotherhood’s lands. But in the meantime, Soupcup thought it best that his men simply rested and prepared. For soon, there would be no time to rest. But as Soupcup considered these things, a clamor rose up from the courtyard outside. It was far too early for the IsC to be arriving. What could possibly be causing such a stir? Spades, Andersworth, and Blind exchanged glances, then looked to Soupcup. Their eyes were wide and their faces were stretched with disbelief. They rushed outside. Soupcup rose and followed, eager to see what had surprised his advisors so.
As he rushed into the courtyard, his eyes too went wide. Then, as if by reflex, he dropped to one knee and bowed low. For there, standing at the gates to the Brotherhood’s fortress, was their leader, Lord Volibar. He had returned from his pilgrimage. A cheer rose up from the Brotherhood so great that their buildings shook and the earth rumbled.
This was a glorious day to be a bear... with armor.