Land of the Ley-Lines: The Echo Frequency

Kim loved the smell of libraries. Books always reminded him of easier times. At least when reading didn't come with strange consequences. Texts laid on the table were open in various places, lit from the dim white light of the large crystal chandelier in the middle of the five story library. Kim was studying on the second level near volumes of encyclopedias filled with studies on Ley-Line energies and how attunement effects the level of efficacy in spells.

Off to his left a group of students walked by dressed in plain black robes. One girl in particular stood out with gold embroidering of a raven on the front. Long black hair flowed behind her head like a silk waterfall. Something about this girl intrigued Kim. Pulling on the ley-energy around him lightly, he enhanced his sense of hearing to eavesdrop on their conversation.

“This is really risky guys. We have no idea how a ritual like that could effect the Ley-Network.”

The guys all chuckled uncomfortably except for one. A loud mouth young man with a buzzed haircut and a smell of hubris Kim didn't need to enhance his senses to pick up.

“Yet what if it's successful? We would be stars of the academy!”

The girl crossed her arms and cocked an eyebrow. Kim went and sat back at his table of books, pretending to be oblivious to the group.

“Or we could shut down the ley-grid for the entire city for months to come. Is that worth it for notoriety?”

The man laughed and patted her lightly on the arm.

“Absolutely! What do I care? My family's got entire storage rooms full of charged crystals. It wouldn't really effect me much at all!”

Sighing and putting her face in her palm, she shook her head.

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Land of the Ley-Lines - Rángard

Far to the east of Freya, the city of Rángard lies in ruin. Although many on the main land know only fear when speaking of the vast sea that resides beyond the lands of Dorana, those brave souls who lived in this port knew only kindness from the goddess they named their town after. The emirate only recently recognized this town as the capital of the lands of Vör. Vast amounts of riches were spent to erect Rángard, in exchange for continuing their endeavors to conquer the sea.

Many powerful and rich nobles flocked to this town, eager to be a part of something that had long bred fear throughout the hearts of our people. Exploring the vast seas. As the first port town known throughout Dorana, Rángard quickly became flooded with a bustling population.

Spires were erected with gold and jewels. Vast reservoirs of clean drinking water were magically flowing from the sea to the people via aqueducts that stretched to every part of town. Many advancements in every day comforts were made, and the population of Rángard tried it's very best to help it's people. Monuments to the kind and generous nobles who spurred this bustling town were built of every kind of rare material imaginable. Ivory and marble. Gold and silver. Petrified woods and even stone taken from deep within the caverns of Mount Heimdall.

None were as grand as the coral palace built at the very edge of the land, parallel to the docks and ships that ventured out into sea. An attuned magic ruby was placed at the top of the palace, and was used as a shining light to guide ships back into port when they became lost in the fog. I had seen every corner of Rángard... Houses built of sturdy stone, then magically hardened to defend against raging seas. A people united under the hopes of living in what was once deemed unlivable. 

As you know, dear Marcus, prosperity does come with it's problems. Politics became more important than the what and the how. People were divided by their ideas, rather than their struggles. There is a certain level of understanding when disagreeing with others. Yet the nobles shared no love for those who didn't share their ideals. Soon a divide was created that not even the kindest of hearts could repair.

Crime spread like a plague, and the once rich and powerful nobles practiced self-preservation and showed no love for their fellow people. Only greed. One day, this bustling town stopped dead in it's tracks. None know what happened on that day... I am the only one that does. I was still young, at the not so tender age of twenty five. Long gone were my days of innocence and clean hands.

I have always openly admitted my faults. My days of stealing and misdirection had only just begun. Yet on that day, everything changed. I knew not what had caused it, but a massive wave rose from the seas. Though it was not the first to strike the town, it was certainly the most powerful. Magi from throughout the city did their best to protect everyone, but I was on the outskirts of town, dealing in the black market.

Swallowing me whole, the typhoon dragged me from the pier which I had met an accomplice at to exchange some stolen goods. Although I had enough magic training to protect myself under the water, my accomplice did not. I watched him drown... Had I not been so greedy, I might have saved him from such a terrible fate... Yet the bounty which I had carried was much more important than I had known at the time. 

It was an idol, made entirely of a greenish material that I had never seen before. A rather scary figure of a man holding two swords and bladed armor was carved into the stone, and shone with such intensity that anyone would seek to make the idol their own. I knew not where the noble I stole it from had obtained it, but it was soon made clear to me there was a reason that wave struck when it did...

Rán, the goddess of the sea came to me in the torrent of water. Her figure was strong and bold, created only as a vision from the algae in the water. She spoke to me in plain words, and demanded I return the idol which I had stolen. Fearing for my life, I agreed. As soon as I handed the idol over to her, a massive leviathan appeared from the sea and swam ferociously towards me. It's scales were glowing red, along with it's countless eyes shining through the cloudy water.

It swallowed me whole... I can not recall what happened to me during my time in the leviathan, I know only that I washed up on the shore on the west side of the continent. One of your Freyan scouts found me outside of their lands in unclaimed territory. Your father, Percival actually. He brought me back to the closest scouting outpost on the western border of the country. There were such trees there as I had never seen....

So tall.. So proud. So full of life and mystery. Yours truly is a land of wonders. As he nursed me back to health, he asked me how I came to these lands. I could not tell him the truth... Who would ever believe a man who has been touched by a goddess? Although I did tell him of Rángard, I fed him a false tale of being wrecked at sea and being one of the lucky few to survive. With so many questions, one would think that he didn't believe my story.

Yet in his eyes I saw trust. I saw faith in his fellow man. Something I had not seen since childhood. He told me that news had spread years before that Rángard had become deserted after that encounter. Spinning a tale that was one right out of fanciful legends and kids stories, he regaled of how the town became deserted, though no one knew what happened to it's inhabitants. They simply disappeared, and left behind their legacy. I know for a fact, dear Marcus, that these people could protect themselves from the sea.

Their demise was not met from the harsh unforgiving sea. Their towers remained in tact, and monuments untouched. Somehow, the people seemed to cease to exist. Then he told me of you. His son. He missed you so, but saw his duty to his people as a more important endeavor in his life. He wished he could have been there for you, yet he knew his purpose was expanding the borders of the Freyan empire. His eyes... Were so kind and gentle. Yet there was no doubt in my mind he was a more powerful man than I.

Learning of the years I had lost at sea troubled me. I felt like I no longer knew the world around me. Though I was no one important at the time, I certainly felt like I had greater purpose. My time in Freya is what shaped me to be the leader I am today. I still remember back to that day... The day I witnessed the face of a goddess. And I remember exactly what day it was too... That is why it so shocked me to find that the day I disappeared...

Is the day Marcus Wainwright, the man who will come to conquer the hearts and minds of the entire Doranaian main land, was born. Our king was born on the day that idol was taken by the sea... And though you have come to be a kind and loving king... There is still part of me that fears for my people... For in my travels I have learned exactly what that idol was born of. And exactly what it represents...

The Blademaster has returned...

Land of the Ley-Lines - The Tale of Aric and Freya

The city of Freya was not always a bustling one. The fortified stone walls of the Drashiki Empire's capital city being built around the small farm town didn't take away from it's charm. The people loved the town, and the Emperor Ruarc Grimblade. How he came into the title was questionable, but the love he showed for his people was not. There was not a day that passed where Ruarc did everything he could to help those in need around him. Freya's heritage came from a rather interesting folk tale.

Located in a rather lush valley, Freya was surrounded entirely by prairies of tall grass and various herbivores scouring them. Small creeks flowed throughout the prairie with ponds forming between them. On either side of the valley was one of a pair of Greenweb trees. It was a strange natural phenomenon caused by the ley-lines intersecting at either sides of the valley. One massive tree, about fifty stories in height, with large green arrays of intricate vines that look like webs from the ground. 

Some say these two trees were a brother and sister, who had gotten lost amidst the vast tall grass and found their way to either side of the valley. The boy, Aric, was a stout boy of only twelve.  At a young age he had an appreciation for being hearty and well versed in the sword. When he was only seven his parents abandoned him and his four year old sister while they were hiking their way to the next town. In the morning, they woke up to find no sign of their parents or their belongings. All that was left was a small sack with some basic supplies for survival.

The girl, Freya, was always quite fragile. Though her brother raised her to become strong, she still had trouble finding herself appreciating being a strong woman. Nontheless, the separation from her brother when they got lost and she couldn't find him, had made her realize how independent she had already become. Still, she wanted to see her brother again. They both made their way to either side of the valley, doing what little they could to find a way to each other. 

They both managed to find their way to a massive tree, and climbed as high as they could until they had a clear view of the valley. Though the prairie was too large to see from either side, at least they could see a land mark they could use to try and reunite. Just as they had both decided to make their way to their old uncle's farm near a small creek in the valley, a massive burst of ley-energy erupted from the tree and consumed both of them. It was at that moment that the leaves turned into vines, and the trees grew to their impressive fifty story height. 

The uncle watched from the valley as the trees flashed bright blue and streaks of light erupted in the sky. Later that day, a traveler in peculiar clothing arrived at the man's farm and asked to purchase the land. The farmer agreed, and days later the very first house was built next to the farmer's. That was the day that the city of Freya had begun being built. It has been nearly a hundred and fifty years since this day. And even now, you can still see Aric and Freya watching silently over the valley. Occasionally glowing faintly on warm summer nights.