An Ominous Portent

Date: 10/23/2012 at 5:14
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: An Ominous Portent

Throughout the Basin of Life dark omens appeared, ranging from the
superstitious Serenwilde to the fastidious and intellectual Hallifax and
everyone of all faiths between. Lorrie of Magnagora was the first to
hear tell of the dark days to come, and it was fitting - for Magnagora
was the first to suffer. Snaikka i'Xiia cried out for help, and as
Donovain n'Lochli arrived her assailant slipped away. The usually steady
scientist was disconcerted, however, for the questioning that had been
put to her before she became suspicious. Why did this old hag draped in
black ask so many questions about her work with flesh and the dead? The
same question would be asked later, when the same occurred with Tunika
d'Murani. However it was not flesh and dead things that concerned her
then, but Necromancy and the art of controlling that which animated the
living dead. Books were stolen before the nihilist penitent Phudmog
arrived, the crone fleeing to the rooftop. As more came, they noticed
her fleeing in the distance, leaping skillfully from rooftop to rooftop
and then out of sight. Questions became asked, though no answers were
given. Then the fog came.

Black and seething, it twisted down the city streets and towards the
heart of the tainted city. Red eyes formed in the fog and from it came
the Dominators, returned to the Basin of Life. The Shock Troops of the
Time Dames attacked time and time again, blood-curdling screams rising
up as the raid continued. The towers of the noble households were
raided, as was the Silent Cathedral and Atropos Square. It was Solanis
of the Serenguard who, having came to aid Magnagora, came to find the
massive cluster of Dominators hiding in the Boneyard. Too late they
were, though, as Seritul d'Venacu shouted his surrender. As Magnagora
realized it was Seritul who had been screaming all along they broke into
the crypts, finding the triumphant Dame of Destruction, Stepasha,
leaving with her prize in hand. Heresiarch Nymerya demanded
explanations, as did ardent defender of the city Marcella. Seritul told
them of her prize - the knowledge of utilizing the essence of spectres
and undead.

Riding upon the chine of her great scythe, Stepasha, Dame of Destruction
was seen descending upon Spectre's Isle. Swarms of Dominators scoured
the once island nation, harvesting the essence of the spectres there for
their mistress. Hallifax, Serenwilde, even Glomdoring and New Celest
came to fight their mutual enemies. Svana of Gaudiguch charging about
murmuring and chanting about blood and strange insanities, eventually
herself downed by the powerful and destructive Dame. Though they fought
off hordes of Dominators, Stepasha was gaining ground - and Magnagora
turned to hunt the spectres, seeking to deny Stepasha their essence.
Nothing left, Stepasha departed into the skies, leaving the cities and
communes to clean up the remnants of her forces. She had what she came
for - but to what purpose? Rumours abounded - New Celest fears the
memories of the spectres shall be drawn out, to seek artifacts long
since abandoned. Magnagora fears the Time Dames shall create a
Necromentate of their own. Serenwilde quivers at the dark words of
Chuchip, and wonder what it means for their forest.
It was in Glomdoring, however, where tension hung highest. Mother Night
had warned them, and they knew the risks were high. Tacita, Dark Regent
of the Merciless Forest, sought the company of the Voice of Mahalla. For
nearly a day she stood guard, when finally her fears for the Voice were
beginning to abate. Just as she turned to leave, however, Mahalla's
Voice began to quiver and wail, her keening cry one of fear and ill
portent. "She is here! She is coming!" the Voice cried, and just then a
black mist rolled down the hills at the southeastern corner of the
Glomdoring Forest. The zombies and puppetmasters that made it their home
were the first to fall, dragged away by the dominators before an alarm
was raised. The abominations crawled into the forest, penetrating the
tunnels and pushing past the trees, though the forest itself rose to
fight against them. Queen Celina Nightshade charged into their midst,
Xenthos An'Ryshe right behind her. The Glomdoring heard the call of war,
and everyone answered its call.

As the dominators breached deeper into the tunnels, Rowena Nightshade
called out of their approach. She joined the fight herself, stalking
alongside those of the commune fighting, casting dark spells and curses
of Mother Night, immediately earning the respect of those who fought
alongside her as she scourged and howled her way through the deadly
onslaught. It was then the fight expanded deeper into the forest, then
into the Black Tower itself. Joining the charge Rowena cut into the
tower alongside Xenthos, Tacita, Celina, Malarious and more, spreading
out to cull scores of abominations. Separated from the others Rowena
Nightshade slowly found herself being pushed back to the peak of the
Black Tower, ultimately surrounded by thirty and more abominations,
their numbers rapidly growing. Shouting curses at them, Rowena held them
as she could, though her commune mates could not fight their way to her.
The numbers of the abominations doubled and more, pressing in on the
once Queen of the Night. Many grabbed at her, clawing, attempting to
bind her and drag her away. As they pressed in, she had little recourse
but escape.

She was not without her tricks, however. More than two hundred years
serving Mother Night did not leave Rowena without recourse - and
summoning up the shadows of the Glomdoring that paid homage to none but
Mother Night, Rowena unleashed a cataclysmic explosion, eradicating all
that surrounded her in a devastating explosion of dark energy, leaving
nothing in her wake, not even herself.

Glomdoring had no time to mourn their lose nor succumb to the
overwhelming shock of the attack. More of the shock troops of Stepasha,
Dame of Destruction poured into the Glomdoring, and Brennan Stormcrow
would not allow Rowena to go down whilst he remained at the Master
Ravenwood. Abominations pressed their attack across the forest - the
Spider's Larder, the Wyrdling, the putrefied glen in which the Master
Ravenwood makes its home. Brennan and the Glomdoring met them at each
and dispatched them, until none could find a dominator left in the
forest. Brennan transformed himself into a mangy crow, flying above the
eaves and treetops of the Glomdoring, where waited Stepasha, patient yet
predatory. Though power was on her side, Brennan had cunning, guile and
dexterity - though ultimately it would not prove enough, as Stepasha
downed him and chased him into the treetops of the forest. Finally
acting, the Great Spirit Crow lashed out at Stepasha, pecking and
clawing and driving her back from where Brennan fell. It was a skillful
swing of her scythe that knocked Crow from the sky - battering him with
its snath, Stepasha pursued him, only to find Brennan renewed. An undead
elfen once more he leapt from the treetops to bite and claw and scratch
and shriek, howling and tearing at the Time Dame with a frenzied display
of violence while Crow disappeared quickly into the treetops.

Stepasha had little of it - catching Brennan Stormcrow by the neck, she
gloated of her victory, proclaiming him and the essence within him hers.
She mocked his Great Spirit as her next target, threatening to consume
him as well, all in the name of the Undying One. It was then that Celina
Nightshade, Queen of the Night, called out to her Great Spirit. Be it
but providence or Mother Night's answer, a great blast of shadows
slammed into Stepasha, knocking her away from Brennan. Reaching into the
shadows, Brennan pulled free Rowena, briefly thought dead, and yanked
her down into the eaves of the Glomdoring Forest, where Stepasha would
linger just beyond before she surrendered her chase.

Though her reasons for ceasing are as clear as her strange obsession
with the walking dead, one thing was certain. She would return, and she
promised that should would claim Brennan, Rowena, and Spirit Crow for
her purposes.

Penned by My hand on the 11th of Estar, in the year 338 CE.