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Year 2ac: Early Spring : I am the ashes : Legendary : Aden Active Lore


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"The choices we make can never be taken back, be completely undone, or apologized for enough. Your actions and honor will follow you throughout your time in Aden. This is your story, your lineage, how would you have it written?" ~ Legendary Lord Punish

The North Bridge of Giran

Reeling in his latest catch Punish noticed the time, it was evening… again. Long ago he had found he could fish outside the north gate of Giran for hours on end, endlessly ponder on different scenarios as he filled the fishing guilds work orders. Clan projects, Skirmish Reports or Political issues across the realm continually occupy their fair share of his mind. Tonight had been no different. For some time, Aden had been relatively quiet, its citizens going about their daily professions with little interruption. There had been some fighting in the North as there always is, but by-and-large the realm had been at peace. But as the long winter neared its end the Lord of Clan Legendary knew peace was a fragile thing as spring invited those with enough ambition to break it.

“It was nice while it lasted…..” Punish said aloud sighing softly. Stowing his bait and tackle the phantom ranger called upon his faithful agathion Pheonix. “There’s my pretty bird, Blaze. Hunt! Go find some us some super.” Punish commanded, Blaze dutifully obeyed the lord's order soaring away across the water in search of their evening meal. Punish watched enviously as the regal bird did so, a phoenix is eternal, it lives its life, dies enveloped in flame and is reborn from the ashes to live again. He had instantly bonded with the bird the first time he had seen it in the Luxury shop. Galladucci, still a bit incensed by the young lord’s history with his wife Alexandria had no choice but to sell the animal by law. The Ivory Tower ensures any transaction using the aNcient Coin cannot be denied sale.

After being fitted with the agathions bracelet from Collector Pona, Blaze had been bound to him for life. With dinner on order and his tackle packed, the guildsman's work order of 1000 fresh fish was in need of delivery. Punish looked over his effort and was pleased with his results, the Fishing Guild made all manner of ready to eat Fish Stews that were helpful in any adventurers daily hunting, making the fish a currency of sorts that could be traded for items or sold for adena. The clan had been hard at work for several weeks gathering the fish, trading the items and accumulating quite a war chest toward future endeavors.

The sheer scope of the wealth put many things about Aden into perspective and in some ways a malaise of spirit had taken root over the young leader, not for lack of enthusiasm for the realm but for the sheer possibility of choices the wealth had thrust upon him. In many ways, Punish understood he now had to make very deliberate choices that would affect his entire Lineage. He knew there would be no second chances to reconsider after certain actions had been made.

With the completed work order packaged, it was time to prepare for delivery. The Legendary Lord called upon another of his agathion companions acquired during his many travels, albeit this particular one always seemed to test his patience. Bracing himself before speaking the incantation, Punish summoned agathion Joy. “Good Moooooorningggg ADEN!” the bright yellow smiling sun agathion said as it materialized into existence. “It’s night time Joy” Punish, corrects. “EVENING then!” smiles Joy, “What are we up to today?!.... err Night! Can we go to Forrest of Mirrors?!”. “No, I’m done hunting for the day Joy” replied Punish, “I need..”. “What ABOUT we go to TOI again! Oh.My.God last time was sooooo much fun!” Joy interrupted. “No, I don’t want to go par….” Punish edged in. “BETTER IDEA! Let’s go Summon all the clans and go KILL A RAID BOSS RIGHT NOW! They’ll never see us coming at night!” Joy exclaimed with enough positive energy to cook the fishing guilds work order.

“Okay. No. Chill out!” Punish chastises sternly, “I need to travel to Gludio Joy!”. “Oh Gludio NO Problem, why didn’t you just say so? Here we go!” Joy responded unphased by the young lords commanding tone. Punish mused for a moment in that one quality Joy had above all others, you could call Joy every name in the realm and the Agathion would never lose his Joyful demeanor, at times it could be fairly therapeutic to release a tirade at Joy only to have his smiling face respond in kind.

Joy in an instant spun in place and world around them that was the North Giran bridge faded from view only to rematerialize as the Town Square of Gludio. “Here you are My Lord, the Town of Gludio!” Joy boasted with a smile from ear to ear. Punish already at his maximum “Joy” for the day, restrained himself from turning around and punching the eternal cheer machine in the face.

“I know what the town of Gludio looks like Joy.” Punish said in a matter-of-fact tone. “Hey, that’s Fantastic! I knew you could do it!” Joy genuinely responds without even a hint of sarcasm. To be completely honest he’d have never taken on Joy as a companion agathion if not for his ability to teleport between Aden’s townships. That fact alone was worth more than the torture of enduring unbridled, undeterred, unimaginably endless positivity. So Joy was now bound to the Legendary Lord for life just as Blaze had been.

Punish just stared upon the undisputable avatar of happiness and rolled his eyes. It would be a long life.

Looking across the sparsely populated square he laments at the current state the town finds itself in. Gludio had once been the center of trade, quests, and groups for many of Aden’s citizens, but these days many have moved on in rank on to larger challenges or left the realm entirely.

To his left the legendary lord looked upon the magic shop fondly, buying all manner of potions and supplies from the grocer, then setting off in any direction toward adventure. “You know Joy, I ran around for days the very first time I came to Gludio searching for spell books, I wonder if the same grocer still works this shop.” Punish mused. “Let’s go find out!” Joy beamed in response. Entering the small shop was l like a time warp, it was here during “Prelude” many memories were created and seared in the Phantom Rangers mind. With each professional rank as your adena grew toward your first class transfer, it always led back to this town and its shops to see what new piece of equipment or skill might be within reach.

“Hail, Harmony!” Punish said beaming upon the sight of a familiar face. “Oh Punish! It’s been so long since I’ve seen you in the shop! Not since your Ratman Chief Raid… I see you’ve risen quite high in rank. How have you been?” Harmony asked. Punish found himself gazing for a moment briefly into the distance, much had happened over the course of this Winter, some of the events had been especially hard for him to accept. Without realizing his own movement, the lords right hand had moved to hold his left bicep as if coddling an old wound. Harmony, becoming aware of the unusual cadence of conversation added, “My Lord?”. “Oh, I’m sorry…” Punish replied, shaking his head as if waking from a brief dream. “Much, has happened… very much.” Punish answered solemnly.

“Can I help you find anything?” Harmony inquired. “Oh, ha. Why am I standing before you, of course!” Punish answered released from his trance, he was in fact in a place of business. “I’m here to drop off some fish for the Fishing Guildsman, collect some supplies and go for a stroll.” Punish said flashing a devilish smile in Harmonies direction. “You know, I’m best friends with Alexandria of Giran right?” Harmony was quick to retort with a half-cocked eyebrow and a “I-know-more-than-you’d-want-me-to” stare, words rolling off her tongue like tiny daggers, veiled with enough professional courtesy to clearly relay the message.

Punish was quick to conclude further overtures Harmonies direction were futile and quickly reverted to humor to defuse the tension. “Well, pointless to bark up your tree yea?” Punish stated, “Yup!” smiled Harmony. “Oooookay then…” came the lord's acknowledgment, message received. Punish delivered the guildsman's work order, relayed his hunting supplies list to Harmony and looked over the shop. Some things had changed, most noticeably the new Symbol Maker services that had originated in Giran were now available in the Gludio shop, Punish had gotten his first tattoo there but had been thinking of another. Just then a worn and dusty tome just behind Harmony caught the Legendary Lords attention.

“Harmony, may I see that spellbook behind you there?” asked Punish. “That old thing? Oh My Lord, its just a low ranking training skill, you’d have no use for it.” Harmony replied without a thought. For most of Aden’s citizens that would be true, but not for Punish. The path he’d chosen to take had been one of selfless sacrifice, whilst most all others freely spent their accumulated skill on learning special combat abilities, Punish had been training to raise the clan, rarely had he indulged in a new skill to enhance his combat effectiveness. “I’ll take it” Punish stated plainly, time to live a little he thought to himself.

Exiting the shop he moved to the center of the Square and took another look at the town 1000’s of citizens would soon lose their lives over. As he walked to the North Gate He thought of the Summit of Lords and all that had happened from then until now, all of the hopes and dreams, the planning, the choices that have been made or yet to be made. Life in Aden was so much simpler when you first arrived at Gludios gates before the push and pull of ambition sets each citizen, clan or alliance in motion through to completion of their own unique story.

Staring from his vantage point the glorious towers of Gludio Castle loomed before him just as they had done years before. It’s majestic walls reaching for the heavens that had once seemed insurmountable upon first witnessing them, now seemed slightly smaller, less intimidating.

Looking to the castle and then to the tome he’d just purchased, the young lord wiped the dust from the cover of his first skill purchase in 40 ranks, he found it was amusing he was just now learning the skill Power Break at the rank of 57 but sacrifices had to be made.

“Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, and I am the ashes.” Punish spoke aloud deep in thought.

… … …

“WHOA, Cryptic LIKE NOTHING else! HA!” Joy exclaimed barely able to contain himself any longer. “LOL, what did that MEAN?! I mean I was all there with you until that!”. Punish looked upon joy with an emotionless and steely gaze...

… … …

“THAT’S IT!” Screamed the Legendary Lord. “How do I use this damn SKILL?!” Punish demanded, thumbing through the pages reading vigorously, was it “Abracadabra”, “GO”, “POWER BREAK NOW”. Frustrated Punish resorted to WHAT he had on hand and the low-level training skill book itself became the optimal weapon for Joy slaying.

“C’mere you little twerp!” Punish yelled raising the skill book above his head chasing Joy through the streets of Gludio.


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