"Let me first begin by stating while we were able to track down the vile kidnappers we still have yet to locate Astra 4," Synizn says softly, tail drooping before continuing. By now anyone who looks at this small mage knows without a doubt that this is tearing at the demifox's little heart. "Apparently, from what the Empress of the Dwarves, Tarin, and the surviving Orcs....who used to be Dwarves.....seem to denote that....Somebody Blighted the dark hearted Ballok Clan. During the confusion that followed, the would be rapists lost track of their prisoners. At first, I put it down as their wits being dulled with the onset of their new race, but now I'm convinced that such is not the case. Tarin will go into that."
Tarin, oddly clean shaven as are the rest of the dwarves, steps forward (Grailing wanted to take his friend to the side and ask him about that....dwarves usually would rather die than part with their beards). He smiles over at a softly glowing human woman (who Grailing admits is really good looking....even by elven standards), and the Empress gives a curt nod. Tarin then clears his throat and begins.
"By know all know of the dark betrayal done by Ballok," Tarin says gravely. "I shudder to think what would have befallen my race if Ballok had been able to sway the other Heads of the Clan....now the Council of the Clans.....to his fell desires.... If we had, the Forge would not have stopped at transforming Ballok and his Clan into Orcs."
The shock alone of seeing known agents of Ballok transforming into that green skinned filth did wonders beforehand in swaying the dwarven masses to the Edicts of the Empress. The event seemed to get the point across to even the dimmest of dwarven minds, thank the Forge!
"Now, whether the Event also give validity to the rumors that Orcs originally came from Dwarven stock....I don't know," Tarin sighed. "All I do know is that for too long Dwarves have been too proud and arrogant to do the Will of the Forge. No more. I and the entirety of the Nation of Dwarf have pledge our hearts and souls to the Forge's Avatar, for she will lead us, and teach us how we should be. Now, as for the terrible crime that was committed by Ballok, I called forth on the only person I know of that can safely navigate the strangely expanded forests of Xythryx. By the old maps, that forest should be fifty miles away, but now it is only miles away....and it's influence seems to be growing outward more and more each day! While, with the death of the Orcen shaman who had been able to shield the kidnappers from magical probes and tracking by scent cost the Orcs the ability to recast that spell - a spell that needed to be renewed every twelve hours - we can not get a good fix either by magic or science!"
"I dare not attempt to send anyone into that forest, for nobody from Allaria, before the Enemy bombed her off the face of Terra, ever returned," Fred 4 says darkly, remembering the tales. "I know that from what Synizn tells me the Forest's enchantment is still in effect, so it would be sheer stupidity to attempt going in blindly, for even if we DO find Astra and the children.....I fear that getting free of the Forest is something else, yet again. Probe is flying around with his Rocket Sled, towing Dragon Synizn in his natural form around. Inquirer and the Towed Dragon Array are casting magical spells to locate Astra, while Probe is using sensors on his sled and those of....satellites overhead. So far, readings are muddled."
"Aye, they'd be that," Grailing sighed, remembering how that Atlantian Mage's spell had back lashed at the evil mage, warping the entirety of the land into a Gordian Knot. The backlash had killed all but Grailing, and had destroyed all but a few Elfin edifices and trails.....a last testament to an ancient people. "The Forest has taken on a life of It's own, with those fell nuclear devices scorching the land....further destroying the Wards I'd placed upon her borders to prevent her spread. Time to end this sad little game...."
The others look at Grailing like he's speaking in Tongues, and all look as to ask what on Earth (or Terra) he's talking about.
"No, don't ask," Grailing sighs. "I'll get them free, and then your golem friend Probe can get a bead on them....and get them to safety. Okay, I'm off...."
"Governor, we could give you a lift," the Empress, Diana Walker, says as Grailing turns abruptly to leave. She points back at the shuttlecraft that she still needed to return to the Military base (she'd taken it out days ago to transport the Dragons' Reparations to the Dwarves). She would have to get somebody to pick it up soon, but Captain Sterndeck had.....looked the other way as she had used it to take care of this pressing problem.
2/14/2000 2:07:08 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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