Sayonara Acarthia

Ryan W

Artisan
Sayonara: A word often used as “Goodbye”, but in reality it means “Goodbye forever” or “Goodbye, I don't know when I'll see you again” and as such, the people from its land of origin rarely use it.

Acarthia, Barony of Tiatar, October 12th, 420
The fields of lavender were a sight to behold. The soft velvet carpet of violet was so vibrant and fragrant it was enough to almost make the shirtless human forget that the world was coming to a literal end. He carefully worked the trowel and lifted the large patch of dirt containing the flowers of deep purple hue from the earth and into the empty pot beside him, and carried it to a small nearby wagon being pulled by a large muscular High Orc wearing leather armor.
“Three down. One to go.”

Neverwhere, May 5th, 416
“Hello, I am Her Excellency, Baroness Katheryn Westing Elavir of Tiatar of the Kingdom of Acarthia, and this is his Excellency, Baron Eldred Morningtide of Tiatar, also of Acarthia.” She said to him. The elegant clothes, cadence of speech, and well kept hygiene of this lady and this gentleman seemed to radiate something hard to describe. If he had to try, he’d say it was firm and deliberate respect for themselves and him, cadence of purpose, competence, kindness, and something else he just wasn’t familiar with seeing in adventurer communities. Certainly not on the first time meeting somebody.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, October 28th, 416
“Hey there! You’re Bluwolf right? I’m Puck. It’s nice to meet you.” His smile was so eagerly genuine it sort of caught him off guard. The foxes fur was so white and clean. This guy probably takes lots of baths. He had never been called just by his last name before, but he kind of liked it.
“I heard you might be able to help me with something.” Inquired the winter fox to the blue wizard.
“Sure. What did you need?”
A few hours later they were in the mages guild building. Some ritual scrolls were laid out on the floor with reagents. The Wizard carefully went over each item.
“Oh, uh...you’re actually missing a bunch of reagents for this batch to work.” Bluwolf informed the Kyn. “You need like-”
“Another 15 to 20, right?” Puck interjected “Banks is on his way with the rest now.”
And just like that, a Sylvanborn came into the guild carrying a box and dressed in green and silver. His stylish and well kept appearance made Bluwolf suspect he was rich. He was. He didn’t know that yet. But he was.
“Hi, I’m Banks. Pleasure to formally meet you. Thanks for coming. So Puck, what did you need?”
He laid the components on the floor and the three of them organized what kinds were needed.
“Ok, 18 total then.” Banks confirmed.
“Got it. I’ll try and get some back to you as soon as I can.” Puck pledged.
That raised an eyebrow from Bluwolf.
“Wait, you’re not selling those to him? He’s just gonna get some back to you at some point?” Bluwolf asked, almost assuming Puck had dirt on Banks that could get him jailed, but they seemed way too nice.
“Nope. No fees. Just lending him some reagents. We like to help each other out here.” Banks said matter of factly.
These two weren’t in the same house, group, or barony, and had no ties to each other besides just being friends. No adventurer in Ander, Tarndale, Landfall, or Aer’ Astria would have done something like that for their neighbor without a catch.
“Oh my god, you guys are so cool and nice to each other. People don’t just DO that where I’m from.”

Acarthia, Barony of Rivervale, October 18th, 420
The human in blue walked through the empty stadium field accompanied by the High Orc. Nearly everyone from the Barony had been evacuated by now. These were the last days of the shard. He’d be surprised if he found anybody lingering here.
“Is this their arena where they reveled in combat?” The tusked fighter asked gruffly.
Luke had to think for a moment on that.
“Kind of. The way they revel for sport is different than normal. They engage in a series of physical challenges ag-” He cut himself off, spotting what he was looking for at the far end around a corner.
“Found it!” He shouted in triumph running with his follower close behind.
They stopped in front of a storage shed. The human wizard tried to open the door but frustratingly, it was securely locked.
“NO DOOR CAN IMPEDE THE WIZARD KING!” He declared as he hurled a Shatter spell upon the door bursting it into a dozen small pieces.
“Sayonara DOOR!”
With his foe vanquished he stepped inside and found his eyes fixed upon the prizes he sought.
“What kind of weapon is that?” Asked the High Orc.
“This Gary...is a Lacrosse stick.”

Neverwhere, May 5th, 416
Luke had so many low level battle scrolls that he saved up, he started passing them around to the casters who were weaker than himself. Alien Moore and Sightless would be there soon. Anything could happen. One of the groups he offered it to thanked him and one of them called their leader.
“Baron Darius of Rivervale from the Kingdom of Acarthia.” The Hobbling introduced himself so proper and precise that with all this foreign nobility it felt like Luke was in a castle meeting a kings royal court. He then introduced some members of his barony the Wizard would not be able to remember in one go without taking notes. Which he did not. There’s so many. He thought. Also from Acarthia. Weird. I wonder where that is.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, June 14th, 417
Elavir comfortably sat on the wooden fence quietly giving the accused a stern but calm gaze. The man sitting on the fence next to her was dressed in black, green, and blue. He was audibly upset, giving his attention to the man before him and Elavir.
“You aided in the plot of a fae that resulted in the murder of an innocent whose heart was ripped out and eaten. The penalty under law for such an action is execution. If you were in my position, what action would you take?”
Oh wow. Whoever that guy is he's intense. I wonder what happened.
“Whose that guy next to the Baroness?” Asked Bluwolf to Sir Yarrow the rabbit-kin, keeping his volume low.
“That’s His Excellency Baron Egil of Bayenna.” The rabbit-kin knight answered.

Acarthia, Barony of Bayenna, October 6th, 420
“Thank you good sir.” The elderly woman told the guardsman, handing him the last sack of salt from her store.
“No, thank YOU ma'am. You stay safe while evacuating.” He said as he and two more guards rode off on his wagon loaded with supplies towards the front line. The shopkeeper looked around her hastily emptying shop and sat in her chair.
The bell on the door rang as it swung open quickly. Into the store rushed a man with messy hair, a black tunic and a blue coat tied around his waist with some rods of some kind strapped to his back. He seemed to be quickly scanning the shop looking for something.
“Hello?” The woman called. “Can I help you?”
The man who was clearly in a rush turned to the woman and spoke quickly.
“I’m looking for souvenirs and gifts unique to Bayenna. Do you guys have like, a local sports team shirt, or your own brand of peanut butter, or maybe you have special goats unique to this region? I’ll take a special goat if you have one.”
Clearly not a local. She thought. He must be in a rush to flee the kingdom.
“Souvenirs? Well, uh, I don’t have special goats...or peanut butter. All our perishables have been sold. If you’re looking for popular barony clothing…” The elderly woman walked over to the far wall of the store and opened some cabinet and dresser drawers.
She pulled out some clothing, hats, and accessories.
“I personally feel these items are fashionably popular.”
“Thanks!” He exclaimed. “I’ll take the tri-horn hat, the capelette, and this drinking horn.”
She started calculating the cost when a rugged looking high orc came into the shop.
“Wizard, The Man is about to arrive.” He said as if repeating something he heard.
“CRAP.” He wasted no time and dropped a handful of coins on the counter worth three times the cost of the items and dashed outside with the goods.
“HerethisshouldcovereverythingsorryIhavetogonowinahurrythankyousayonara!” He called back
“Wha-but…” The elderly woman hurriedly followed him out to the doorstep to see what was happening. The man in blue was running down the street and turned a corner with the High orc who was struggling while pulling a cart with loaded with…
“Is...is that an anchor to a boat?” She found herself asking aloud. Then she heard voices, and a town guardsman came from the opposite end of the street, noticed the shopkeeper, and rushed over.
“Miss we’re following up on reports of suspicious persons spotted at the harbor scrap area by the decommissioned ships. Have you seen anybody suspicious come through here recently?”

Acarthia, New Acarthia, June 14th, 417
“I call upon the powers of the day and the night, sun and darkness, moon and light. For the branded of death, I instil a curse of blood.” The Wizards words radiated echoes of both power and volume as the ritual circle grew brighter. Kasuni, Lumi, and Raganzis magics were pulled into the vortex of purple spirals around Egil.
“My will creates your power, and my gaze reflects our wrath…”
With the Vengeance ritual complete, the human baron stopped glowing.
“All done! It’s there for emergencies, but hopefully you’ll never have to use it.” The Wizard said, proud of his work.
On his next visit to Acarthia months later, Bluwolf would learn that the Death Barons Vengeance would be responsible for slaying two Basilisks and the undead foe known as The Huntsman.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, October 30th 416
“Run run run! As fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the gingerbre-GAHHH!” The gingerbread man screamed as Eli sliced its right leg off with his longsword. Luke launched a barrage of ice at the red hots to keep them at bay while using a tree as cover against the lightning from the shock tarts.
“Can I get some help over here?” He called as Kendrick quickly cut down the laffy taffy while Robert assassinated a jolly rancher.
“Watch out, the candy corn is circling around the tavern to flank you.” Vellis said loudly with blasé, irritated that those words had to ever be uttered from her mouth.
“Throw it out with the rest of the trash!” The Wizard aggressively added. He was a candy corn hater.
“LOOK OUT! Incoming Gummy Bear!” Noa shouted to Luke, who managed to step backwards just in time as the club-like limb of the 8 foot tall gummi abomination swung with such force that it cracked the tree he was taking shelter behind in half, sending splinters of wood flying.
“Whoa! Don’t worry guys, I got some Twix up my sleeve!” He laughed at the amusing absurdity of the situation while throwing Prison spells at the gummy nightmare as Kasuni rolled her eyes.
“Looks more like a SUCKER to me.” He smiled, leaning on the prisoned candy bear.
“Luke stop.” Kasuni insisted.
“Consider this candy problem LICKED.”
“Luke why.” She pleaded.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, September 417
The Dwarf behind the tavern counter took a large scoop of Mac’n’cheese from the pan and redistributed it onto the humans plate, along with a chicken leg and carrots.
“Did you want any bread rolls?” asked Cynder with her warm smile.
“Yes please!” Bluwolf beamed.
Thorgrim’s cooking was one of the best parts of visiting Acarthia. It didn’t matter what he was going to make, Bluwolf never tasted a dish from him that he didn’t like.
“Can I get some ice in my water?” he asked.
“No.” Smiled Cynder.
“Uh...why?” The wizard asked confused.
“Because Emaric thinks you’re experiencing early signs of dehydration and told you to drink water. Your body rehydrates faster and more effectively if the water isn’t ice cold.”
“Oh…I did not know that.” He said as he took his not quite cool water and sat down next to Jax, Lumi, and Raganzi.

Acarthia, Barony of Warchester, October 10th 420
“Ye promise ta take good care o it lad!” The Dwarf said as Bluwolf left the smithy, and the smith returned to packing up his business for evacuation.
“I super promise!” The wizard called back. He was carrying a large flat object roughly three feet by two feet wrapped in cloth.
Gary was waiting for him outside by the road by their wagon which held multiple bottles of wine as well as pots of flowers including blue tulips and lavender. Bluwolf slid the object into the wagon and hopped on the back as the High orc began pulling the wagon down the road.
“I think we’ll need to wait before we get the last memento. There’s a lot of stuff we need to get done back at tavern HQ.” He said, laying down in the back of the wagon and giving a heavy sigh.
“Do you know the ruler of this land as well?” Gary asked.
Bluwolf opened his eyes and looked up at the sky thinking. It was cloudy with barely any blue visible.
“Not well. Their Baron wasn’t around often, and it changed a few times. I think their last one is named Wolsey? The house members would talk about this superstition they had where if you became the Baron of Warchester, you’d disappear or get reassigned. They’re fun people though. We’ve had some wild adventures.” He said proudly.
“What victories did you lead them through?” The High Orc inquired.

Fae Realm, The Music Box, July 418
In the dead of night, the woman in red danced with the Dwarf in the beautiful glade of lights and shadows. Music and gentle singing crept in from the trees with hounds of shadow and darkness playing about. The adventurers stood next to a table with sweets.
“What a wonderful dancer you are Mother!” Thorgrim smiled.
“Oh why thank you dear.” She blushed, “You’re so thoughtfu-”
“QUICK GRAB IT NOW!” Cynder shouted
“Wait-what?” Bluwolf was caught off guard.
“RUN!” Ember shouted as she grabbed the box of treasure from the table full of baked sweets and jetted out of the glade and down the hill.
“CHILDREN! You get back here right now!” Mother loudly demanded.
“WHY?!” Bluwolf cried to his allies as the shadow wolves turned from their Fae mistress and descended upon the fleeing adventurers fangs beared. Jax and Banks were mowed down as the others made it to the bottom of the hill.
“THE HELL?!?” The blue wizard shouted completely lost and confused to the sequence of events that lead to their predicament.
“We have what we came for.” Stated Ember as they all caught their breath.
“No, this is wrong. We don’t KNOW this is the item we came for, the Gnomes and their king are still asleep back there and now we lost members of our party. We have to go back and just fight the creepy fae mom and her shadow dogs.”
5 minutes later Bluwolf was screaming through the fae woods after being hit with an Arcane Fear by one of the hounds.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WE’RE ALL DEAD-RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!”

Acarthia, Barony of Warchester, October 10th 420
“Wizard?” The High Orc called back to his leader riding the wagon.
“Uh-what?” He responded as he was pulled out of his memories.
“What victories did you lead them through?” Gary asked again.
“Oh, uh...I’ll tell you later.” He successfully dodged the topic.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, October 29th 416
“Fashion-spire!” The girls enthusiastically declared while pulling their fancy garments from their travel bags. Kasuni had brought a 4 foot tall mirror for everybody to stand in front of while they perfected their costumes.
“I can’t believe you brought that big thing with you.” Luke said to the Sylvanborn while pulling on his grey tunic with silver trim.
“This is essential!” Sprig claimed as she worked on her hair.
Kasuni helped him pick out which belt pouch would match his color scheme best, and once everybody was ready, they headed for their first Acarthian Masquerade ball. The costumes were gorgeous, the music and food was exceptional. There was even a grand storytelling contest and when it came time for the skull Pinata, he broke it in half when it was his turn.

Some high mountaintop in Acarthia, October 4th, 420
The 7 dragon-like entities descended upon the elven mage like a pack of wolves. Tearing him apart leaving nothing left. Once complete, they trotted to the edge of the cliff and flew off into the sky. At the top of the stairs, the adventurers who watched the elf get torn to pieces stood there blinking.
“Well that was something.” Midnight broke the silence.
Another man on the other side of the chamber, a friend of the elf that was just killed, charged at the adventurers.
“I evoke a 320 Lightning Bolt.” Incanted Bluwolf as the golden aura around him erupted.
The explosion rocked the chamber and the flash of lightning temporarily blinded those present. Where the attacking man was a moment ago was now an empty scorched, sizzling crater. The enemy vaporized.
“Because I am the Wizard King.” Bluwolf stated.
“I for one welcome our arcane overlord.” Quin jested.

Acarthia, New Acarthia October 17th, 420
He laid back onto his padding pulled into his bedroll. Resting his head on his pillow. Beneath the stars on the rooftop of the tavern he lay next to Gary, and Xi’Gaze the stone elf. What little sleep he had been getting wasn’t coming easy. If he didn’t have enchantments that made it so he didn’t need sleep he’d probably have passed out from exhaustion. He had run around so much this past month. He had become the wizard king of Acarthia, helped acquire an arsenal of artifacts, opened a vast magic bridge to another world, stole back the spinner book from Dreadrot, got to fight minotaurs, retrieved the true name of an outsider, and tomorrow if everything goes the way as planned, the fight will be done. Whatever comes next is anybody’s guess. He was anxious. I did everything I could for this world. This Acarthia. This place where he found content and warmth. So much warmth. The dark night sky was clear. The stars above them sparkled. Watch me. I’ll win this fight.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, June 14th, 417
“Good hunting my hounds!” The Wyld King of the hunt bid them as he rifted away.
Sir Yarrow raised the greatsword high above his head.
“Amaranth, fiend of horror, I summon you!” He shouted as the sword burst forth violet and green light into the sky, which quickly darkened as the sun of the fae realm grew dim and a suffocating sense of dread washed over those present.
“Oh crap-above us!” Lagarde cursed as the area above them went black and a giant red eye blinked above looking down at them.
“This is so @#$%^&*< awesome!” Bluwolf cried as his hands crackled with lightning, preparing to face the forgotten horror. “ACARTHIA IS SO COOL!”

Acarthia, New Acarthia October 17th, 420
“BY MY VOICE SPELL CORRUPT” The dark waves ripped through the air and into the army of adventurers like teeth on a chalkboard, breaking spell shields and causing the will of some to falter.
“Dreadrot!” Duchess Elavir shouted. She called upon the land itself, the sleeping dragons, and the people. Her body thrumming with the magics of her landbond stone and the leyline network of Acarthia. From the earth below the undead burst forth a massive energy wave, searing Dreadrots flesh and crippling him, causing his body to crumble and dissolve.
“HahA-Haa-hhAA-HahH-HAHA-HAAAh-haa!” The mad Lich laughed, losing his mind while slowly vaporizing. All that remained was a petrified stone heart falling to the ground. Bluwolf picked it up and plunged the artifact dagger from Duke Darius directly into it.
“Sayonara.” Bade the Wizard King. As he destroyed the core, the power released from its end snapped the dagger in half.

Acarthia, New Acarthia, Deep Jugs Tavern, October 17th, 420
“The damage is too extensive.” Tar’na’kesis said. “I can keep the land stable for a few days while people evacuate.”
“We, the spinners will reset this land. It will require many years to return to becoming what it once was.” The ethereal being told those at the tavern that night.
“The shard will survive to return another day, but for now, the people must leave.”
Murmurs and whispers resounded in the tavern. They had won the fight, but the war was lost. Their home was lost.
“Then we have no choice. To Gileania.” The people said.

Acarthia, field outside of New Acarthia, October 19th, 420
The sky filled with black smoke, billowing upward in growing plumes. All that could be seen of the White Fang mountains though the dark veil was the lava flowing in thick rivers, burning a path down the dark rocks now covered in ash.
“So this is what Kamala was talking about, interesting.” Midnight spoke
“The end of the age of Acarthia.” Bluwolf stated.

It was the final hours of the shard. Everybody who was going to evacuate had already left, except the few who were waiting at other portals before departing for good. Bluwolf wondered how they were spending their final hour. They had won the fight. They did everything right. Why did it have to end like this? The group of champions and the Dragon sat there at the gate, literally watching the world around them come to an end.
“Do not let this ever slip from your minds.” Shin urged those present. “Remember these moments, for even amongst those of powerful will, these are rare moments..."
“I hope the dragon council enjoys living in a world of ruin for a few hundred years.” Bluwolf chided. He would never forgive them.
“As I see it…” Doomwing began, “The Spinners may tear everything apart in their efforts to fix the shard. Possibly even them. They are, after all, integral to the magic of the world.”
Good. Let those bastards die.
A loud groan, as if from the dwarven craftsmanship itself was protesting, the Deepjug tavern seemed to twist in one last attempt at rage before the hill and everything south of town was swallowed up by the chasm torn from the ground.
“We used to eat breakfast in that Tavern.” Bluwolf said remorsefully. “We danced in that tavern. Aneira taught us how at the ball. I broke the piñata and we all got candy. We watched them have donut eating contests and told stories and sang songs.”

"I hope Quin made it out.” Midnight said aloud.
Doomwing turned to Midnight. “That circlet looks good on a dark elf. Never thought I’d say that." He said, gifting him the artifact for all he had done. Midnight looked up surprised, touching the artifact circlet upon his head. He tried to hold back a smile but couldn't quite manage it. He bowed his head. "Thank you! This is truly an honor and I thank you for it.”

“As for you Bluwolf, that scepter if rightfully yours. A truer symbol of your royal stature I could not imagine." The Dragon smirked.
Bluwolf smiled widely.
“Then it is one of my greatest treasures.” He said, holding it close to his heart. “I’ll always remember these final days. And us here who gave so much for this world.”

“Although it seems like we ultimately lost the battle, we defied the doom fate had placed upon the shard itself. That despite the changes being wrought, we were able to save it, at least in some way. Though it may not be as it once was, life will return to this shard eventually” Doomwing assured them as he moved to a cask, quickly uncorking it. "One last drink of the Deepjug's finest before we go?"
Rummaging around and finding the stash Midnight brought over with what could very well be the last mugs on Tar'ne'kesia, Doomwing poured out several mugs.
"Agreed" Midnight concurred
"I am all for it. Let that which comes next, be better for all that has been done for it." Shin said.
Bluwolf took one of the mugs and raised it. "Normally I feel the last toast would be to the world, or those who fell. But I propose we drink to us. We're still here. We lived through it all. To us and how far we've come."
"And to a bright future, wherever it may take us." Midnight said, raising his mug in turn and looking around the small group and smiling at each one
"For the friendships that we have forged. For the memories we take with us, because in those memories, Acarthia lives on forever." The Dark elf added.
They banged their mugs together and drank to their toast.

The fighting was over. The book of Acarthia was written and complete. All the great adventures it had to offer were now gone.
Just because this story is over, it doesn't mean what made this place special ends as well. A wizard-king should be wise enough to know this. Doomwing had once told him.
Yet he felt the same now as he did then. I know I should. I'm just so selfishly sentimental. His mind was taxed and his body was tired. There were no more enemies here, and the weight and weariness of the past month now caught up with him, and his body didn’t resist. The world went black.

The white fox kin of the life waters stood next to Knox, the emissary of Chaos. They watched the wizards' ritual complete and the materialization of the elemental inside the ritual circle.
“Greetings.” Spoke the entity. "I am Arben Minlamed, knight of the traveling breezes.”
He reached out his hand in greeting and Bluwolf took it, making contact for the first time with the one he’d bond with who would help shape his world.
“We are knowledge on the wind, the transfer of knowledge from one to another, the governors of the whispering winds, the sailing gales, and endless pollinating breezes. We desire to spread information, seed, thought, and vessels to the endless bounds of creation. We want to share and communicate, move and travel, and facilitate the same. We are closest to Life, to aid it where it grows, to explore, and to call home.”
The human wizard smiled widely and introduced himself.
My name is Luke Bluwolf of the Renyadir. I’m not from this world, but I fell in love with its people, cultures, and wonders. They’re worthy of my loyalty and love. They gave me so much amazement and happiness I wish I could have given them more in return. Someday that world will be reborn, but until then…

“Only one who's blood is thunder can fall asleep with this going on." A voice said.

Luke Bluwolf woke up. He was in a mostly full supply wagon being pushed by Midnight. The group was passing through the bridge. Doomwing was behind them, last to leave. As they walked through the tunnel of lights and swirls he sat up and looked back through the portal watching the shard crumble away. He saw the land and sky split while spouts of lava flowed like rivers. The last Wizard King of Acarthia raised his hand and gave a small wave of goodbye to the world behind them. Their futures were up to them to decide. For Acarthia, whatever future it had would be left to fate now.
“Sayonara…”
 
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