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625 ATA
"The Year of the Drakes"


Year Six-Twenty-Five After the Aegis of the First Age of Fastheld.

Here follows the account of the Year of the Drakes, in which the Light and the Shadow sparred to subject the people of Fastheld to the great Dragons of the past, and changed the fate of the realm beyond all expectations.

It was the year followed the destruction of the Township of Light's Reach by the Dracolich Kas'arath, a year in which Emperor Talus Kahar was abducted from his Empire by that very same Drake of Shadow and taken far into the Wildlands beyond the Aegis.

A year in which Serath Kahar set forth to rescue his brother, and fell into shadow. In which the Imperial Council sought to save the Emperor, breaking ancient taboos to venture forth into a hostile land which neither welcomed nor wanted them. In which the outpost of Crown's Refuge was established, and then flourished.

A year in which the Drake Avatar Aisha'Taria was released from her prison beneath the Citadel of Halo to do battle with the marauding Dracolich. A year in which Kalath'aria the Instrumentalist, a great Sapphire Drake, rose up to bring balance to the greater world around Fastheld. A year in which the Church of True Light fell into ashes, and then clawed back from the dust.

A year in which the Fortress known as Ebonhold was cleared of Dark Wildlings, and resored to it's former glory. In which an Archmage of the Shadow, Zanorin Drakesfire rose to power. A year in which the Emperor finally returned to Fastheld. A year that saw much change, much darkness, and a surge of renewed Light.

A year in which the Crimson Drake Val'sharax banished another Drake. In which Kas'arath left the realm to it's own fate. A year in which a lowly Steward became a great hero. In which much was set in place, and in which much could still yet change...



300 - The Scourge and the Raven
(Synopsis)


301 - A Night in the Tavern
(Synopsis)


302 - Corriden and the Crown
(Synopsis)


303 - Sticks and Stones
(Synopsis)


304 - I'll Fly Away
(Synopsis)


305 - Some Long for the Short Death
Moira Oak has been defeated by one of the shadowed living gargoyles, and flown to the base of Light's Reach, sealed within a magical force field. She ponders her options.


306 - The Cornered Wildcat
Duhnen Seamel meets with Serath Kahar in order to find answers to the questions that the rumours of a possible "Imperial Guard" have recently created. However, talk of such dire things soon lead the two Warriors to take up a new subject: That of the deadly dance of bladed combat. And so, unable to resist the challenge, a friendly duel is born.


307 - Riders of the Storm
The die is cast. Vexed by the Imperial Councils lack of decision regarding the proposed expedition to investigate Light's Reach in order to witness the current status of the Ravager, Prince Serath Kahar decides to take matters into his own hands and venture into danger alone. However, before he can do just that, he must first find the courage to inform Rowena Mikin, his fiancee, of his potentially deadly plans...


308 - Homecoming
(Synopsis)


309 - Sharing Burdens
(Synopsis)


310 - Sibling Love
(Synopsis)


311 - What the Gargoyle Dragged In
Moira Oak has been rescued from her magical prison, and dropped on the doorstep of the Fahral Mikin Crafting School.


312 - A Damsel in Distress
(Synopsis)


313 - When Mongoose Meet
(Synopsis)


314 - Light's Crossing Hunting Festival
(Synopsis)


315 - The Consequences of Wrongful Termination
(Synopsis)


316 - Breakthrough - Part I
(Synopsis)


317 - Breakthrough - Part II
(Synopsis)


318 - Breakthrough - Part III
(Synopsis)


319 - Breakthrough - Part IV
(Synopsis)


320 - A Gift of Farewell
Vhramis Skinner comes to the Palace to deliver a message of apology to Rowena Mikin, bearing the words of the vanished Prince.


321 - Situation Assessment
(Synopsis)


322 - There Is Always Fire
(Synopsis)


323 - The Hunt for the Crown - Part I
(Synopsis)


324 - The Hunt for the Crown - Part II
As the Fastheldian Expedition prepares to make camp for the night, their personal thoughts are shattered by a rolling battle cry from deep within the depths of an ancient and evil forest. Some of the party members decide to investigate the cry, and are attacked by a new and deadly foe along the way. Yet, when they reach their eventual destination, they face a harrowing end to a search that they could not have imagined they'd have borne witness to.


325 - The Hunt for the Crown - Part III
(Synopsis)


326 - The Hunt for the Crown - Part IV
(Synopsis)


327 - The Hunt for the Crown - Part V
(Synopsis)


328 - The Hunt for the Crown - Part VI
(Synopsis)


329 - Remnants of a Warrior
With the help of a brave Vhramis Skinner, an orphaned scimitar finds its way into the hands of more gentle touch.


330 - Something Broken
(Synopsis)


331 - Garland
When faced with a rather unusual scene, three soldiers of the Emperor's Blades must take action, drastic as it may seem...


332 - Talk of Treason
The Spymaster comes to council to warn of ill intentions among a member of his kin. The royal healer grows doubts and suspicions of her own while struggling against the failed faith that others hold in her disappeared love. Rowena embarks on a journey far from the Palace walls in attempts to flee her fears and find solace in a place of both sorrow and peace.


333 - Accused of Treason: Making Oath to Oren
Tomassa Zahir and Shalis Kahar arrive to make oath to Regent Oren Nillu, only to learn that Tomassa has been accused of treason...


334 - Accused of Treason: Interviewed by Rowena
Tomassa Zahir is called to speak to Rowena Mikin about the accusation that has been made against her.


335 - Accused of Treason: Interviewed by Duhnen
Tomassa Zahir is called to speak to Surrector Duhnen Seamel about the accusation that has been made against her.


336 - Moonshadows - Part I
(Synopsis)


337 - Moonshadows - Full Circle
The Archmage Zanorin Drakesfire holds true to his word and, after a lightning tour of Fastheld, finally returns to Emperor Talus Kahar XIV to Fastheld Keep. Talus offers some of his inner thoughts to the Archmage, and in return is granted some words of comfort, and an insight into the history of the servant of the Instrumentalist. However, as one book closes, another opens, and the discussion is soon interrupted by an unexpected guest...


338 - Two Babes in the Palace
Gabriella Seamel wife of Fastheld's Surrector Duhnen Seamel goes into labor at the end of an Imperial Address.


339 - Gateway - Part I
The sovereign township of Crown's Refuge plays host to an unexpected visitor that the citizens all seem to know by mere reputation, and leave well alone. It falls to Vhramis Skinner to find out what this outsider wants, why he has an interest in Talus Kahar's home, and just what potential for disaster a seemingly innocent sphere of quartz may hold...


340 - The Raven's Visit
After the return of Emperor Talus Kahar XIV, Zolor Zahir, the Marquis of Hedgehem and unofficial patriarch of House Zahir, pays a visit to Fastheld Keep to pay his respects to Chancellor Oren Nillu and to share his suspicions...


341 - Food for Thought
During a routine check on the Chancellor's recovery progress, Rowena finds herself stuck again in personal debate with the old man. A bird must choose to either cling to the bars of her cage, awaiting for the key holder's return, or break free to another, putting her silenced song to risk.


342 - Council Meeting - Tendrils of Shadow
The Imperial council meets and goes through various issues, personality clashes and all. The church and the state of Fastheld is discussed, with varying results.


343 - The Boys Settle In
(Synopsis)


344 - The Dangers Beyond
A lone, shadowed traveller walks in the land beyond the wall, and finds much more than he bargained for...


345 - Light Fingers
Wilesly appears to put his fingers where they aren't welcome. Trenton Trast Lark soon follows suit and both must face the consequences...


346 - Chaos in the Vault
Sahna Nillu, a woman who leads a dangerous double-life, discovers that everything's about to fall apart in one of her worlds..


347 - Gateway - Part II
The Emperor Talus Kahar XIV is again visited by the Archmage Zanorin Drakesfire, and is presented with an item that leads to the hope of visiting old friends, and a warning that could hold dangerous ramifications for the realm if permitted to come to pass.


348 - An Uncommonly *Common* Interruption
The Chancellor Oren Nillu is paid a visit by none other than Rowena Mikin's old tutor in the healing arts, Maeve Downwind.


349 - A Journey of Escape
Rowena Mikin embarks on another pilgrimage of sorts for personal and business reasons. Her journey to Light's Reach and Sheltered Flame Keep crosses paths with an old friend.


350 - Chaos in the Vault - Part 2
Companions Ester Shardwood and Duhnen Seamel arrive in Southwatch on a mission, and return home to find mixed success.


351 - The Price of Principle
Tradesmistress Sahna Nillu makes a public declaration about the impending marriage of Emperor Talus Kahar XIV and Lady Ashlynn Birch, without talking to the Emperor privately first. She reaps what she sows.


352 - Fear and Love in Fastheld
The reclusive, mildmannered Rose Greening pays a visit to the palace to have a few words with Ashlynn Birch, the Emperor's future wife.


353 - Bread and Circuses
An opening in the Imperial Council reunites Emperor Talus Kahar XIV and one of his childhood friends, Abon Nillu...


354 - Dark Pastures
Business as usual in the Bloody Shiv tavern in the Shadow District.


355 - Dark Pastures 2
Dicing, drinking, and fighting in the Shadow District.


356 - Arrested in Orana's Glade
Bladesman Adaer Kahar and Surrector Duhnen Seamel arrive at Orana's Glade to take Dianna Ebonwood into custody for the suspected murder of Freelander Gammon.


357 - Black is Black
Vhramis Skinner and Theo Lowland make the long journey north to the citadel of Ebonhold in order to ask a deep question of one Archmage Zanorin Drakesfire. The answers they get, however, become far greater than anything the two outsiders could have dreamed of.


358 - Plans for Winter
Rowena Mikin pays another visit to Oren Nillu for a companionable chat. Talks of travel, horses, and the future progress as the hour grows late.


359 - First meeting with Trenton and Lilliana
Faye Zahir, disowned by her family and casted away from her manor, finds herself in the strange street she've never been before, and a friendly-looking man approaches.


360 - Wilesly agreed to help Faye
Faye Zahir meets a man, and he offers a shelter in the shadow district.


361 - Encounter with Tuco, Vieralyn, and Duhnen
Faye Zahir meets a rude guard, a woman and Surrector Duhnen Seamel in the tavern.


362 - Gabriella and Duhnen Seamel
Faye Zahir meets Gabriella Lomasa Seamel, and again, Duhnen Seamel together.


363 - Faye Exposed!
Faye Zahir's dark secret is exposed to Seamel family as their baby accidently pulled her hood away, with some other possible witnesses in the tavern.


364 - Duhnen brings Faye to Jade Garden
Faye Zahir, scared of being brought to lightbringing, hides into the shadow district, and Duhnen Seamel, worried about Faye Zahir, came to bring her to his keep, the Jade Garden.


365 - Acceptance
Duhnen Seamel brings Faye Zahir to his newly building arena to make her feel better, and shortly after, Gabriella comes, and Faye have a brief conversation with her about the acceptance and future plan.


366 - Regarding Katya
Faye Zahir comes back from her work in the fields with Gabriella, and she speaks about her new family, and especially Seamels young daughter, Katya.


367 - New Horizons
The Imperial Council, with Bandus Flint in tow, convenes to speak of many things; from the Lightbringing Ceremony, to the possible idea of sending an expedition to the outpost of Crown's Refuge, and beyond...


368 - Making Plans
Sahna Nillu seeks out Blademaster Hartnek Lomasa to discuss plans for sending a detachment of Bladesmen beyond the Aegis to Crown's Refuge.


369 - Bringing the Light
Brother Bandus Flint of the Church of True Light commences his questioning of Fastheld's citizens as part of the Lightbringing. He starts with Lady Ashlynn Birch and Surrector Duhnen Seamel.


370 - Winter Ball: Symphony
(Synopsis)


371 - Winter Ball: Sonata
(Synopsis)


372 - Winter Ball: Acapella
(Synopsis)


373 - Winter Ball: Cadence
(Synopsis)


374 - "Red"
The time has come for Vhramis Skinner to depart Ebonhold under the direction of Archmage Zanorin Drakesfire. However, the departure does not go according to plan, and though the Mage and the Ranger form a powerful force within the Wildlands, they encounter an even greater force of nature, and take part in events that may shape the destiny of the Wildlands, if not Fastheld itself, for all time.


375 - A Cold Cointaking
An average day at Fastheld Keep turns into a philosophical discussion beetween Sly Sprigg and Lucius Nepos.


376 - Starlight and Shadows
In the aftermath of his encounter with the crimson Drake Val'sharax, a weather-worn and weary Vhramis Skinner returns to the outpost of Crown's Refuge to consider the fate of the Wildlands, and the events that have transpired before his very eyes. However, peace is a commodity that remains in high demand, but short supply, as the wayward Ranger soon discovers...

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