The final battle for the world of Neyve has begun. Druid magic has summoned warriors of all times and nations from Earth to Neyve where they will fight side by side with elves, dwarves, dragons, and centaurs against the armies of the dead commanded by Karlath-Fayd, the Deathlord...
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March 30, 2004
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Excerpt from The Goddess Worldweaver by Douglas Niles
Tide of looming darkness,
Smoke and oil and blood,
Surging forth, engulfing,
Comes the lethal flood.
From Days of Worldfall
by Sirien Saramayd
The bastion loomed high on the culmination of a world. Three great mountain ranges, jagged ridgelines that dominated their realm of shadow and chill, encircled the fortress like walls on a cosmic scale.
Great plains that had once teemed with ghost armies were still now, the hordes long ago marched off to war. Cliffs loomed silent and forbidding, while ramparts and towers stood empty and dark. Even the stony gargoyle, the bestial giant poised atop one of the loftiest crests, guardian of the great citadel itself, seemed as lifeless as a statue, a mere image carved from rock.
Deep harbors, sheltered by wall and tower, guarded by lofty fortress and shallow boom, had once contained the hulls of countless warships. Those ships were gone, formed into a fleet that had sortied more than fifty years earlier, embarked on the invasion of an entirely different world.
But though the warriors were gone, their ruler Karlath-Fayd, called the Deathlord, remained. He sat in his great throne, the stone blasted from the very bedrock of his great mountain, and he remained as immobile as that stone.
His very self was invisible, his flesh a transparent veil. Only his eyes were there, glowing like embers, burning from the deep fire within.
Those mighty eyes remained open, the pupils fixed and staring from their perch at the far end of the cosmos. There were those upon the Fourth Circle, druids with their Tapestry and sages with their scrying globes and other magic, who looked upon the Deathlord, studied him for signs of movement and burgeoning danger. Those eyes, hellishly bright, were all that they could see. But still, they feared him.
For the Deathlord was waiting, and all knew that his patience was beyond measure.
THEY spread across the Worldsea in a legion of darkness, black ranks of sails and masts covering the ocean's surface to the far limits of the horizon. Shadows shifted and danced across the decks of the death ships, ghosts of past violence seething impatiently, anxious to reach the shore, to draw warmth and sustenance from a living, fertile world.
The cold hulls sliced the waters of the vast ocean, and wakes trailed behind each transom. These were not the frothy whitecaps that chased every normal ship, however. Instead, the track of a death ship was marked by a spreading V of toxic black, smeared like oil over the surface of the sea. Fish died in great numbers and floated to the surface, forming rafts of rotting, scaly flesh. Seabirds were emboldened by the plenty, but as they dipped and slashed at the wasting meat, they convulsed and fell from the sky, adding their own feathered carcasses to the vast swath of decay.
The ships seemed without number, viewed from the sky like blades of grass in a meadow. The vanguard was ten miles wide, a hundred ships with lofty sails and smoky pennants of shrouded black. Behind them came rank upon rank upon rank of additional fleets, each wider than the last, sweeping across the horizon in a seemingly endless progression.