Posted 13 September 2000 - 02:38 AM
A couple of years ago I was at runemaster''s and, after having our brains sucked out (played computer), we realized we had nothing else to do. Then he said something like: What about making a PC game? He volunteered to be the programmer, if I would form the basic plot idea.
At that time I had read Pratchett''s "Small Gods" and Eko''s "The name of the Rose", and I was very touched by the Inquisition stuff. Combining this with the very original Eastern Europe atmosphere casted by "Quest for Glory IV", I created the general idea for Woolfmoor.
Since then a lot has change: Woolfmoor became first a game plot, then a book, now it''s a AD&D session. The characters have changed names, so did most of the places, and I have drawn maps after maps. The following extracts are from the book stage, I only wrote three pages after realizing the vanity of it all:
Fog covered most of the area that night ,like every night ,attacking at sunset from the moor.
At the small village of Stapsen ,it was too late for any fires to be still on .So ,as it was a moonless night ,darkness and fog ,like any other moonless night ,ruled.
The valley near the Wolfmoor was a quite little place ,with a couple of little villages, barns and covered by fog. Stapsen was built in the middle of a march ten minutes north of the sea and fifteen from the moor. Most of its people were woodcutters and they walked half an hour every day to reach the wood lying north of the village ,for no-one dared to plant wheat in the Wolfmoor march or to fish in the nearby sea.
That particular night ,on a watchtower at Stapsen ,for there was a wooden palisade around the village ,protecting it from various dangers ,private Grimle Javic ,Holy Quisition’s Guardian Service ,stood guard ,observing the march.
Private Grimle was extremely tired that day. They had to run the whole village up and down ten times before observing that the guild’s cut-throat they were after had escaped. It was the fifth murdered guard from the beginning of the operation called by the High Counsil ( “May the Demons in the Nether Hells burn them! “ he thought ) “The Wolfmoor Campaign “ . Poor sergeant Bettle. He won’ be able to see his family in Aribord ever again.
Poor private Grimle.
At that point, the fog above the tower thinned ,and Grimle could now see the moon. A shadow ,which in the past few moments was successfully sneaking unnoticed behind Grimle, could also see the moon ,because it was right behind him. Before he could react ,Grimle was stabbed twice. His last thoughts were “What the Hell am I doing here? Join the Quisition, they said…”
A loud howl coming from the moor could have given him a hint ,if he wasn’t ,in fact ,quite dead.
The naked woman sitting atop one of the highest Peaks of Gods was an unusual sight, that is, if anyone could have seen it. Of course, no-one could climb the Peaks of Gods, they were reserved for Gods. And for this women, it seemed.
The woman was about thirty years old, with long, black hair to a slender waist. She stood there shivering, blue eyes on an oval pale face, staring at nothing, ignoring the majestic scenery below.
After sitting there for a couple of hours, she stood up slowly. She seemed to notice the world spreading below her for the first time. Her eyes now had an arrogant flash , which wasn’t there before. She looked down with a greedy expression.
She stood there, on the top of the Peak, with the clouds swirling above and the eagles flying by and then she shook herself, like as if she woke from a dream, and whispered:
“ I am back… “
“ I AM BACK!”
The tall, white-haired man stood on the top of the green hill, looking at the farm-house below. The small farmhouse was burning, and so was the nearby barn. The freed goats were calmly grazing around the burned house. “ Couldn’t the bloody man just give me some clothes without any trouble? Another unnecessary bloodshed” the man thought. Then he left, without a single glance at the burning scenery.
The sun casted his last rays of light through the large windows on the other side of the room. The night was beginning but the man within did not care, did not even bother to turn the lights on. His eyes were dangerously ablaze and his hands were flying, as the author wrote his story.
At Soldan, at the Winter Palace, someone was waiting for the Emperor to summon him in the antechamber. He was waiting a long time, but that didn’t seem to make the tall dark-skinned man nervous.
The man was in fact a sea elf, and that was made clear by the pointed ears and by the swollen ribs, where the robes concealed gills. The rest of the elf’s face, as his body was concealed by the robes of a wizard, was quite human, except maybe from being a little too pale.
Suddenly the large, thirty-feet high doors to the throne room opened slightly and a man in the Imperial Vanguard’s uniform entered the antechamber. The valduthian Ê on his breastplate showed that he was a captain of the Emperor’s bodyguard. “Master Neredith, the Emperor is ready to see you. I apologize for the delay.” told him the captain and stood aside, ready to follow him inside.
Neredith tugged one of his thick mustaches, thinking that it was the captain who apologized and not the Emperor. “ The Emperor has been openly hostile lately.” he observed silently and he gave the antechamber a last look. You couldn’t define this columned hall as a room, it’s opposite end joining in the garden. Neredith could see the beautiful flowers. “How beautiful they are.” he thought . he stood there until the captain’s polite, reminding cough. With an apology he headed for the doors.
“ Neredith Illiansvil, Arch Sorcerer of the Magical Grounds, Head of the Water Circle, Current Leader of the Council of the Eight, Ambassador on behalf of all Casters, humbly bows before the Silver Throne and our mighty Emperor Kalmar the Third, Head of House Ilmund, Keeper of the Northern shores, Protector of the Protectorates, Defender of the Holy Church and Sovereign Ruler of the Great Sun Empire!” shouted the captain pompously, stepped back and closed the massive doors behind him.
The large hall before him left Neredith unimpressed. He had seen the black, marble columns and the wide red carpet leading from the doors to the silver throne at the other end of the hall, where Kalmar was studying him, his body stretched so, that he could enjoy the maximum comfort. He didn’t even pay much attention to the glazing silver floor, walls and ceiling and the embroidered imperial coats of arms made with diamonds. “I am not a barbarian to be impressed with shiny stones!” he thought and sniffed loudly, finding out why did the audience took place in this particular room. He felt insulted. Hearing the sorcerer’s sniff, Kalmar smiled, on his throne of purest silver.
Kalmar the third of House Ilmund was a middle-aged, white-haired man just under fifty-five. His age affected only his hair and beard, however, and left his smooth skin and especially, his glazing yellow-brown eyes untouched. These eyes were the first impression the people had of the Emperor. Always glazing, drilling the mind of the man standing before him.
A dozen paces before the throne, the carpet abruptly ended. Between the carpet and the throne, there was the huge Imperial coat of arms, the Seven golden stars of House Ilmund on the golden Pentalph of the Magician’s Guild on a field of silver, symbolizing the bond between them both when the first overthrew House Lamar with the help of the second. “ Not so much of a bond anymore.” thought Neredith regretfully. He did not kneel before the Emperor just to annoy him, but Kalmar showed no outer signs of irritation.
“ You came.” the Emperor said simply.
“ You summoned me, oh Glorious One.” the elf answered calmly.
Silence followed. Both the man and the elf looked at each other as the cat looks at the mice before she eat’s it. They both looked as the cat.
“ It’s about the troubles at Stapsen” Kalmar said at last. “ I assume you have plans made, yes?” The Emperor allowed himself a smile, while Neredith’s face became solid ice. “ I assume that you have had your own made for the Guild, oh Glorious One?” His voice was solid ice, too.
“ Yes, yes, indeed.” said Kalmar casually, not appearing to hear the grumbles of the now red-faced sorcerer, who now burst: “ You will send the butchers of the Quisition again? I would like to see that! A Guardian facing a werewolf!”
It was the Emperor’s turn to become ice-faced. “ Who said anything about a werewolf?” he said coolly. “ That is just …” “ Rumors, indeed!” interrupted the sorcerer mockingly, managing to ignore the now nova-brown eyes. “ Do you have anything else to tell me, no, to suggest to me, oh Glorious One?”
Again, Kalmar did not seem to mind the elf’s insulting manner. “Actually” he said “ I’ll let you take there a party of four.”
“ Four?” Neredith shouted. “ The audience has ended, Neredith” said the Emperor, openly smiling with amusement. “ Bloody four?” the elf shouted again, his face now pink. Kalmar clasped his hands and the doors opened. The captain entered into the Hall and fell to his knees and hands.
Neredith sighed, emptying himself of excess rage. “ That won’t be necessary” he said obviously calmer now. Behind him a Gateway appeared. Neredith bowed deeply and then moved across the opening of the Gateway. “ Remember, oh Glorious One, we put the Ilmunds on the throne, we can throw them down the throne for a better applicant.” were his last words before he disappeared into the depths of time and space, into the Gateway.
Their meeting left the Emperor, alone on his golden throne in his silver hall, thoughtful and, perhaps, afraid.
The room belonging to the Grand Inquisitor, Mailir Jemir, took the whole of the attic of the Temple of Naidil, at about a thousand feet above the ground. It was the highest penthouse in the whole of Aribord, site of the Quisition’s headquarters and second largest city of the Empire. The room was simple by itself: A long and narrow, simple room, bare for any furniture save for the bright desk and the two huge bookshelves on each side of the door, facing the desk. And the windows, of course. The room was full of them. It had the look of a huge attic, dusty and full of stuff.
A tall man was leaning on the open, arched window just behind the desk and he was patting his bearded cheek unconsciously.. Mailir Jemir was well in sixties, but his body was extremely fit. His hair was sill red, with only some, white on the temples, and marked him as a Polterakin. He had a face of a soldier, hard and flat, but his eyes were another matter. Frosty blue, they radiated coldness.
He liked watching at the city below. From his window he could see the whole of it. He could see the city live. He breathed deeply and, with a sigh, he turned to the other occupant of the room. Paladin Nahum Gaile, his secretary, had been standing there unblinking and stiff. The bearded face of the stockily-built man had no signs of eagerness on it. Although Jemir had heard the man enter, he didn’t bother himself with addressing to the man, until now. But he couldn’t enjoy the view with the other man in the room. He could feel Gaile’s eyes on his back.
“ What is it now, Paladin?” he asked regretfully.
“ I have brought you today’s letters, your Grace”. was the paladin’s answer. After three months of being served by the man, his flat, expressionless voice unnerved the Grand Inquisitor. Gaile would have lost his post right away, if not for the fact that he was by far a better secretary than Jemir’s last secretary, Dagomir Sulick, who died in an epidemic of flue.
The paladin handed him the letters and the Inquisitor studied them for a while. They all bear crests on. Two bore the imperial coat of arms, the seven stars on the pentalaph ( Jemir sneered ) on a field of white. An other was stylised with the crest of the Arch Druid, Ereborn Whalbyrn, a staff, on it’s top a bright green ball, on an oak leaf. And the last had…
The Grand Inquisitor opened the letter with his paper-knife hastily, but his lack of attention costed him a cut on his right thumb. Blood gushed out from the wound and the Grand Inquisitor sucked his cut finger into his mouth. With his free left hand he picked the letter stamped by the stamp of the Special Investigator, the post currently occupied by Valick Coromir, Inquisitor, assigned at Stapsen. Jemir began reading.
The investigation is proceeding. It has not been found. We have found no evidence leading to anyone…or to anything.
There is also rebel interference. The Mayor doesn’t let me free to act as I should. I request reinforcements of, lets say, two thousand men. I would be grateful if you would put in charge young Aelric. I ask it as a personal favour.
Your Faithful Servant
He wants his son to go to that hornet’s nest?. Motioning his secretary to leave, he studied the letter carefully, again and again. He read it through again and again. The he held it against the light of the sun to find any secret messages. After finding nothing, he threw it in the hearth, built on the right of the table. Although it was already late Saghoul, spring was yet far away. The letter was soon consumed by the flames. The Grand Inquisitor stood there a bit, rubbing his hands against the fire. The man’s blue eyes mirrored the yellow-red flames as he worked up his plan over and over.
We Shall Overcome!