Created: 2004-03-07 22:36:18
His kingdom was utterly destroyed. He had lost contact with most of his comrades-save a few-and those were the ones he now waited for in this dark and moldy cave. He had not even had time to change when he fled his burning kingdom, so he paced the floor of the cave in tattered robes. His golden eyes still shown in the dim light however, the mirrored eyes that marked the Archmagus Azrael. Events had gone horribly wrong; this meeting between his most trusted allies and friends was the only hope they had left. The old guild had fallen, the fate of their leaders unknown. Only Azrael, Ayen, and Talen remained of the hierarchy. And as thus, they were hunted.
He had picked this cave for a few reasons. One, it was far enough from the carnage to where those that searched for them would not suspect. Second, this was where their secret society had met, the small chosen few of the hierarchy that had used this location to make decisions that the rest of the old guild should not-and could not-hear. Here choices had been made in the past that would make some cringe and gasp in horror; choices that men in power had to make at times, ends justifying the means. Here is where the Coven of Fire met, and the only people left who knew its whereabouts were Azrael and the two he awaited. There was no need to send a message; it had been long discussed that this was where, in case of a total emergency and the unthinkable, they would meet. Now all he could do was wait.
For four days and three nights he resided in the crude cavern, his hopes that Talen and Ayen had survived the trek beginning to wane. In fits of anger and frustration, he would occasionally throw a bolt of magical lightning at an innocent boulder, shattering it to bits. Finally, upon the setting of the sun on the fourth day of his self-imposed exile, he sensed their presence. They had made it. Azrael nodded at the pair. Talen’s armor was dented and tattered, and he could see both old and new wounds on him, testifying his harrowing flight to the cave. When Ayen floated in, she showed no physical marks, as he expected. Her demonic blood would heal those as soon as they were inflicted. However, he could see the wounds in her eyes, as well as the rage.
With a quick murmur of arcane language and a wave of his hand, a large oaken table appeared in the middle of the cave. It was large enough to seat at least twelve, however it now only held three chairs. A yellow globe of light hovered over the table providing illumination, but its eerie glow provided no warmth, fitting the moods of the three beings that then sat. Azrael removed his hood and looked long at the two seated with him, the yellow light of the globe reflecting off his mirrored eyes.
"I must say my friends,” he began, “I am utterly relieved you made it this far. I will not account to you my own flight here, for I am sure each of yours was just as harrowing as mine. I never thought it would come to this. However, it has, and we are all that is left. We are powerful my friends, but if we are to survive, we must make a vow this night. The flames have died, but from the ashes we must unite and rise anew, as a phoenix bird. Times have changed, and we must change with them.” His voice took on an edge. “I see before me two beings I trust more than life itself, as well as enough strength between us to conquer the world if we so wished. We can not fade into obscurity."
Talen nodded grimly, his words poured out like venom. "Tonight we plan the fate of this miserable world,” he stated. “We are the souls of this magical night that shall make a difference. We must join together in a union of power and trust."
As usual Ayen sat in complete indifference to all that was occurring around her, and if as in simple annoyance, she spoke offhandedly.
"So what... god would you have us bow to? As much as the entire idea sickens me, we are quite at odds without a patron."
Azrael turned his head to the demoness, forcing himself to keep his tone solemn without being condescending. "Ayen, you more than anyone know I would never ‘bow’ to any god. However, the world being as it is, we must choose one of them to be our patron. Isonia seems to serve our purposes well enough."
Talon nodded at Azrael’s statement. "I don't feel any strong reason to abandon her now," he replied.
Ayen gave a quick chuckle, sounding almost frantic. "Why, of course,” she spat. “Who better to serve than one whom we have already?" She shook her head. "At least it is one less... master, that I must cringe before."
Azrael smirked. "Ayen, you have never ‘served‘. You may play the role, but you always serve your own ends."
"Perhaps she is not quite so hard hearted as you may think, Azrael.." Talen observed.
The demoness rounded on both of them in a sudden fury, birthed seemingly from nowhere. "What good is it to die? Would you have me lay down my claims to everything that I am and was?" And just as suddenly, she slumped on the table in resignation. "I will continue this charade, if only to..." She glanced at Talen quickly before falling silent.
"No,” Talen shouted. “Now we take what we want! Any who object we slay! Together our magic is unstoppable!"
Azrael narrowed his eyes and motioned for the demoness to sit. "That is something I would never ask of you, demoness. My only wish is to survive, and I would like you two to remain among the living as well. Talen is right. Together we would be a might unstoppable."
"Alone I was a might unstoppable," she mumbled.
"Really,” Talen burst out. “Go stop them from taking your kingdom then!" She flinched at his words. Talen suddenly seemed regretful. "My apologies, Ayen. I'm still angered over my own recent losses as well." She did not look at him.
"Was, demoness,” Azrael soothed. “Was. That is a fact you must accept, bad or good. It will do you no good to sulk. Unity is the key, Ayen." She shot him a glare that he ignored. Azrael's eyes looked severely at the two. Sitting forward, he said, "We all have losses, Talen. Some are more severe than others. What we must now decide is what we shall do to recover."
"Was, was, was,” the demoness griped. “Always was." Ayen’s head whipped up, the soft light of her eyes flashing brightly. "If I am to be denied my past,” she said heatedly, “then I will simply have to forge my own future."
Azrael lips formed a grin and he placed a hand on Ayen's arm. "That is the demoness I have come to loathe."
She looked at both of the men. "We will forge that future. I am sick of groveling at the feet of someone else, sick of simply waiting to find a way home. This time we become active in our own fates, sirrahs."
Pausing, Talen Blackhawk leaned on the table and looked into the strange light Azrael had conjured. Then holding up his hands and pulling back his cloak to show his arms and back, he exposed the scarred forearms from sword fighting and the scarred back from slavery. The demoness reached a hand out in reaction, her face pained. Talen looked down at her and smiled weakly, patting her hand.
"I’m a hard old man and I have the scars to prove it,” said Talen. “I have enough skills as a general to rule this world. I will however require the both of you to act fully on my behalf."
Azrael stood then, one hand on each of his companions. "Talen,” the Archmage said seriously, “you know that we will fight along side of you as we always have. It is settled then on this night. We are for each other, in this and all things, from now until…"
Ayen’s eyes went bright; she did not realize how loudly she whispered as she interrupted Azrael’s words. It was a harsh sound, as if she were inhaling as she spoke instead of the other way around. "Sirck'o Asacorto Onicel...."
Azrael cocked his head at the demoness. Over the years he had come to grasp a little of her language, and he quickly understood. "Yes demoness, we are the Souls of Magic's Night…Sirck'o Asacorto Onicel.” He spoke the words well enough, if the accent was off.
They spent the night making preparations for the forming of their guild. Talen would be their general, his knowledge of war tactics being superb. Thus he would serve the title of Guild Master. However, as agreed, the triumvirate would serve as a leadership council, each of their words equal to the others. Since Azrael’s return to the old guild, the Isle of Winds had not served as a military outpost. Unnoticed still, it would become the home for SAO. When all the details had been hammered out, they locked hands for a moment, and then left the cave one by one to spread the word of Sirck'o Asacorto Onicel, to conquer under Isonia.
Book II: All good things…
Many an age passed, and the warrior of SAO battled its heathen foes. Through it all, Talen, Ayen, and Azrael fought side by side with a few loyal members, most notably Azrael’s own daughter Oriana. It seemed for a time nothing would split the fast friends apart. Time has shown otherwise. It was weariness itself that left SAO with only two of the Triumvirate.
Talen Blackhawk, although strong of will and mind, was always swayed by fierce emotions. Through the ages he had grown an intense hatred for war, and in his mind the cause of war was the followers of Foret. He had lost track of what the fierce battle of Faiths had meant. He no longer understood one faith was no more to blame than the other. It was on the morning after one such attack by Foret forces on SAO that Talen’s breaking point had come.
It was in the same cave in which SAO was founded that Ayen and Azrael had found their long time friend alone with his few belongings. It was here they were told that he was leaving the lands for good to find peace and the meaning of his existence. Azrael bade him good fortune, knowing deep down that the Warrior General would find no peace outside of Maxim, but Azrael knew that there was nothing he could say to dissuade him. Ayen was not so gentle. Having over the years trying to suppress her uncommon feelings of life for the half elf, she blasted into him with rage for his abandonment, and shed tears which none had ever seen. After some stern words from Azrael and looks of sorrow from Talen, she composed herself and basically commanded him to leave her sight, and so Talen walked away never to be seen again, and thus three became two.
Although staggering from the loss of their War General, SAO did not falter. Begrudgingly Azrael stepped forward to lead the armies, his daughter Oriana taking his former role as commander of sorcery and Talen’s place in the Triumvirate. This contingency fared well, and SAO did not miss a step. Oriana who had somewhat followed the steps of her father had adorned the black robes and dour mood was a sorceress in the same league as her father. Azrael lead the armies and war plans as well as Talen. Although the Archmage always tried to remain out of such planning’s in the past, it was not because of lack of leadership skills but more because of his distaste of dealing with people in general. As war commander, more and more people were entering his tower on a daily basis asking for permissions, orders, and the like. This lasted well enough until the next parting, this time it was Ka’Ayen’s turn.
The demoness had never hid the fact she despised the realm upon which she resided. Her powers upon Maxim were greatly reduced, a thing that did not sit well with her. This was shown even more present when through misuse of a magical artifact; Ka’Ayen’s murderous and vile brothers were unleashed upon the world. This nearly brought about the death of the demoness, not to mention those of the guild, which fought the brothers as she lie comatose due to her brother’s power drain.
After a fierce battle where many were injured, the brother’s were dispatched and Ayen restored, but her mind was never the same again. Obsessed with her near defeat by her hated siblings, she craved more and more the powers, which she once had. This finally came to a breaking point when she asked Azrael to help her open a portal to a realm similar to the one she originally came from. Azrael recognized the look in her eyes, and knew she was serious and nothing would stand in her way, Azrael knew that if faced with the same decision in which he resided on a realm where his arcane skills were greatly diminished, he would make the same choice. Although disheartened and secretly worried for his long time friend, he obliged. Thus only one now remained of the original Triumvirate.
Ayen’s position was eventually filled, this time making the SAO leadership a family affair. Azrael, his daughter Oriana, and his granddaughter Tierney lead the guild. The three for the most part thought alike, so affairs of state usually were not discussed in depth, decisions occurred easily. So easily in fact Azrael had found he was able to step aside as war general and return to the solitude of his tower as Oriana proved herself a more than capable leader…so much in fact Azrael fell into a complete hermit like state in his tower leaving all guild decisions to Oriana.
For many an age things proceeded as such. Azrael would emerge from time to time, but it soon became apparent he thoughts were no longer focused on leading a guild as they were focused on that of a long lost love, Oriana’s mother Maelstryx. However even those plans were minor compared to other thoughts that plagued the mind of the Archmage…he also sought the presence of beings of power long ago lost, beings he believed would return again.
Even this however could not last. Although Oriana with the help of her daughter led the guild valiantly and to many victories, the Soul’s of Magic’s Night could not last long without at least one of its founders. Thus SAO eventually faded away, Azrael refusing to leave his tower to lead the guild, Oriana finally gave up the mantel of Guild Master and allowing its members to find homes elsewhere. It seemed the end of a grand guild.
Book III: A Heralded Return
Time passed, some remembered SAO and some went on as if it never existed. However the land was not still, and there were great rumblings of unrest and treachery. It was this that finally drew Azrael from his mission. He saw things happen within Isonia that would never had happen during the days of SAO. Most of all he saw his daughter’s skills misused in another guild.
He mulled over this. He thought of the reasons of long ago why SAO was founded. They were three friends, Azrael Ayen, and Talen; three friends who were known as leaders in the old days of a long lost guild. On the fateful night when that guild collapsed, they came together in that cave to decide what they should
At the time they followed the Goddess Isonia in the old guild. That was what they knew, for they had followed that guild from the old world, thus they followed whatever God it put its banner under. It was their way, Azrael, Ayen and Talen cared not for the Gods. They came together to form SAO because they could not trust nor follow anyone else, save themselves. They could not allow those they knew to be forced to fight with those they did not know. That was why SAO was formed. How he missed his old friends now.
Isonia held nothing for him now in all reality. The wars held nothing for him. All that mattered was the magic. However he was drawn out once again for his granddaughter Tierney. She was a child again, thus she needed to be trained. This made him think. He had planned a meeting of the surviving Sidhe on Maxim. They were to discuss the state of the magic in the world. Although Azrael and SAO had followed Isonia in the past, he had made more friendships of the followers of Darden during those years. He also found the premier magi of the realm followed Darden. Was this coincidence? Possibly, but the fact remained the same.
He knew the magi in Isonia and Foret were inept. They were woefully trained, and there was nary a Sidhe among them. He now knew he had a cause to fight for. As always it came down to the magic. He must route out the unworthy. He must remove the magic from their hands, the hands of Foret and Isonia.
The only way he could do this was with a band of loyal and brave warriors. The only option was to return to Maxim the guild of Sircko Asacorto Onicel. No other guild would understand his mission. This was something he had to lead himself. He was certain that there were others out there that understood the plight of the magic. There would be others who would come to aid in his cause and the cause of SAO. The other guilds fought for their own reasons, being for the glory of their God, or whatnot. SAO was for the Art.
Bringing down the old purple banner of Isonia from his tower, Ilimurand’Ul, he raised the orange one of Darden. It was a new era for SAO, let the opposition tremble.
Squad Leader: Ambassadors
Full Member: Templar
Member: Night Watch
SAO will follow Darden. We will war and battle. That is our way. Sorcery is honored, warriors are celebrated and those of the shadows work their trade. We will bring back the honor of the Art, the magic, to Maxim. Although ruthless, we will be honorable.
Applying to the SAO:
All applicants MUST SEND AN EMAIL TO THE GM!
ANY APPLICANTS THAT DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL WILL BE IGNORED!! Communication is KEY to a guild’s success, therefore we us certain messenger tools. ICQ and mIRC are both a must. ICQ is used for day to day communication, mIRC is used for our war chats. Both programs are easy to use, easy to download for free, and are relatively small in size. ICQ can be found at www.icq.com
MIRC can be found at www.mirc.com
Rules and Regulations of SAO:
Maxim is a role-play world, therefore you MUST participate in the RP of Maxim. There will be a guild Inn type thread, but new threads, such as quests and the such are encouraged. Role play puts SAO on display, shows the players of Maxim what we got, so lets show them. I cannot stress enough how much RP is important. Aside from your membership in SAO, your being able to pay the game of Maxim at all depends on being an active RPer. Administrative staff and Voices are to be held with the utmost respect, they gave us this game, be nice to them…or else. The rules of Temper’s Ball are as follows:
Do not make an ass of yourself.
Do not post accusations of cheating.
Do not post bug reports.
Do not post kingdom numbers.
Do not post redundant messages (no spamming).
When wars are scheduled, you must attend. It is imperative to our success as a guild that we all show up for wars, if not we will be forever mired at the bottom of the ranks, the laughing stock of Canon. Unless you notify the GM or AGM’s prior to war that you can not be there for any real life reason, your no show will be noted and affect your status and rank in SAO. In short, if you have something going on in real life that will not allow you from being online, just let someone know.
Inactives will not be tolerated. The GM and AGM’s can see your kingdom, and if any members consistently show no growth as a kingdom, and are not actively working to improve their kingdom, they will be booted. You don’t believe me, try me.
No guilded kingdom shall ever be attacked by members of SAO unless so authorized by the GM or AGM’s, or we are at guild war. If you are attacked by a guilded kingdom, do not retaliate unless so authorized. This is a game of diplomacy as well as war, there are certain measures that must be taken before blood is shed.
Ranking Tier and chain of command:
The GMs of SAO are the final word and authority in the guild. The AGM’s are the most trusted and experienced members, and have the full trust and confidence of the GM. All new members must serve in two full wars before becoming a full member, allowing them to view the guild member list. The ranks and titles are as follows…
Triumvirate: GM of SAO (Complete authority over guild matters, ability to accept, remove, promote, and demote members)
Triumvirate: Co GMs of SAO (Same as the GM. )
Ambassadors/Prefects: AGM's of SAO (Answer only to the GM, same power as GM minus charter and accept/boot functions. Holds power over corresponding area he'she is in charge of)
Templar: Fully trusted member. (Usually quad leader. Lead quad in wars, report to GM and AGMs on quad status and readiness)
Night Watch: Full member. (Bulk of guild.)
If the GM fails in his duties or disappears for some reason, the other 2 members of the Triumvirate will take the GM position. If they are also missing, then the Ambassadors will vote one amongst them to become GM.
Promotions in rank will be handed out by the GM. Role-play, activeness, and experience will be the determining factors. If you feel like you should have a promotion, send the GM an email, and it will be reviewed.
The bottom line:
We are all here to have fun, and I am sure everyone wants to win. To do such we must work as a team, no one person is more important than another. So with out further adieu, welcome to Sirck'o Asacorto Onicel, SAO.