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Mesanna’s Ascension Story Contest

As part of the 16th Anniversary celebration of Ultima Online, players were challenged to create a story with Mesanna as the main character. All creative submissions are splendid and gives us all a peek at the imaginations of the writers. Congratulations to all for such wonderful story telling!

 

Winning Entry

Mesanna’s Ascenion

by Lady Ivy of Chesapeake

Mesanna kneeled to place a freshly picked rose on the new grave before her. Unlike the other graves, this one would have no marker. While he had certainly been important to her, Peggle the goat was unlikely to get a lot of visitors here. Even Derrick Mornwok, whose machinations had been so influential during the Poseidon’s Fury crisis and whose impressive memorial stood not far from where she had buried Peggle, seemed to have been forgotten; moss and grime covered his memorial stone and the enchanted hat upon the grave seemed to be losing its magic, as it appeared filthy and threadbare.

She didn’t think that it was even strictly legal to bury a pet in the Vesper Cemetery, but if the Vesperian authorities had an issue with it then that was their problem. Not that Peggle had been just a pet–he’d been her only family for a long time, standing by her side through all manner of trials and tribulations throughout the years. Indeed, no one would ever know just how important Peggle had been, not just to her, but to Sosaria itself.

But Peggle was mortal, and even though he’d lived a very long life for a common goat, he couldn’t live forever.

It was entirely possible, however, that Mesanna could.

She sat down next to Peggle’s grave and reflected back on the day she was summoned before the Council of Mages. She had been one of a great many mages of widely varying disciplines and skill levels asked to serve the Council, but was one of only a scant few remaining.What had begun as a simple call to arms had, for her, evolved into so much more.

Under the tutelage of some of the finest mages in the realm, she had honed her skills beyond what she would ever have thought possible. She found that she had a talent–a gift–for the magical arts, well above and beyond her peers.When the land of Ter Mur was discovered, she added the gargoyle skill of mysticism to her repertoire, mastering it quickly and with ease. Just as she had delighted in learning to read during her early years, she eagerly absorbed all of the knowledge that she could.

In her studies she found references to the Gem of Immortality, but the information confused her. Apparently the invasion of Magincia, during which she had nearly been killed by void demons, had been a prelude to the Shadowlords attempting to recreate the Gem. She felt that there must be more, though. From the moment she first read about the Gem something about the stories–fragmentary and sometimes conflicting though they were–resonated within her, and she had to learn more.

So she took leave of the Council and began traveling anew. Her earlier travels had taken her mostly through the various cities of Sosaria, but now she ventured further out. She visited the old dungeons of Britannia, some of which seemed to have changed drastically from what the dusty old tomes of the Britain Library described. She explored the more dangerous areas and dungeons of the Lost Lands. She visited the Labyrinth and Doom Dungeon in Malas. She investigated the Fan Dancer Dojo and the Yomotsu Mines in Tokuno and the Underworld and Stygian Abyss in Ter Mur.

All the while Peggle accompanied her. Although she didn’t dare take him into the dungeons themselves, he was never far away, waiting patiently at a nearby inn or in the care of friendly locals happy to help a mage of her caliber who was willing to keep at bay the monsters near their homes.

And all the while, she fastidiously avoided the land of Ilshenar. Though she’d heard that Bernholdt, the man who had won her from her father in a game of backgammon and had treated her essentially as a slave for most of her youth, had died years ago, she retained an instinctive distrust of that land. She had no memory of her father, or anything of her life before Bernholdt, but her memories of her time at the Twin Oaks Tavern were enough to give her pause despite her many accomplishments since then.

Still having learned nothing, however, Mesanna turned to the one other place she had avoided in her travels: Bedlam. Mesanna was not particularly fond of necromancy. She felt it was a corruption of magic, a perversion of its use. However, as Bedlam had once been an academy (even if it was a school of the darkest of magical arts), repelled as she was by the place she reluctantly headed there anyway.

Finally, her diligence paid off.

Although most of the records in Bedlam had been destroyed by time and the undead, a few academic books remained. She found in one of the few remaining tomes (after fighting her way past the undead hordes) a mention of the king of fey being a special guardian of part of the Gem of Immortality. The details were very vague, though, and Mesanna’s heart sank. The only king of fey she knew of was Lord Oaks…

Who was sighted most often somewhere in the forest next to the Twin Oaks Tavern.

So reluctantly she headed to Ilshenar. She found the altar that she knew was the fey king’s most used of two access points into the world. She told Peggle to stay back and marched confidently onto the altar.

”Show yourself, Lord Oaks!”

Nothing happened. She could have sworn she heard some nearby pixies giggle, and she shot them an annoyed glare.

“I need to speak to you about the Gem of Immortality! I do not wish to harm your fey kin. Please answer me!”

Silence.

She cast every incantation and summoning spell at her command, but to no avail. Finally she sat down on the altar and scowled. She looked up at Peggle, who stood patiently off to the side. Sighing, she held her hand out to him and he walked toward her, his old legs stiff and slow.

The moment his hoof touched the altar, two fey, both much larger than the tiny pixies around her, suddenly appeared. Mesanna jumped to her feet and took a defensive position but they ignored her, instead inspecting Peggle carefully.

“Lord Oaks, I presume?” Mesanna said as she stepped between Peggle and the two fey.

The one who appeared to be a particularly large ethereal warrior looked at Mesanna. “That is correct.” He gestured toward his companion, who looked to Mesanna to be a larger version of the tiny pixies fluttering about. “And my queen, Silvani. We heard you ask about the Gem of Immortality. Why do you seek what you already have? We had so wondered where it had gone.”

Mesanna blinked in confusion. “What I already have? I came here seeking knowledge, nothing more–knowledge that I don’t have. I don’t understand.”

Lord Oaks and Queen Silvani exchanged a meaningful glance, but their otherworldly faces were inscrutable to Mesanna.

“There are many who have a connection to the Gem of Immortality,” Lord Oaks said after a few moments. “We are but two. We live, we die, and we live again. Most have gone mad, corrupted to evil by the endless, inescapable cycle. Our magic, the magic of the fey, is different, and we have thus far been spared this corruption. There are many shards of the Gem, many mirrors of the world, and although we cannot clearly see them we know that nearly all of them have evolved similarly. However, once in a while, presumably due to the shattered nature of the Gem, its magic flares out into the world. Usually it subsides and returns to normal, but it seems that in this case, the magic has become intertwined with the life force of this creature.”

Mesanna felt overwhelmed by this revelation. She’d known from the day Peggle was born that he was special, had felt it in her bones, but she’d always thought that her connection with him had been one of kindred spirits, unwanted children in a harsh world. It seemed that perhaps her magical aptitude had drawn her to Peggle as much as sympathy and mutual understanding.

Lord Oaks was not finished, however. His placid, ethereal features twisted into a troubled frown. “And this creature is dying.”

Mesanna felt as if her heart had been yanked from her chest. Certainly, the signs had been there that Peggle’s life was coming to an end–and he had lived an extraordinarily long time for a goat already–but she had tried to ignore it.

“The death of this creature will dissipate the magic that has become attached to its life force,” Queen Silvani said, effortlessly picking up where Lord Oaks left off.

Mesanna paused, and tried to think through her dismay and grief. “What does that mean, though? What will happen if the magic is lost?”

“It is difficult to say with certainty. It might have no effect at all, or it might weaken the very foundation of Sosaria. To our knowledge, nothing like this has ever happened before,.” said Queen Silvani.

“The magic has kept this beast alive much longer than it otherwise would have lived,” Lord Oaks continued, “but a simple animal such as this cannot contain such power indefinitely.”

“No…” Queen Silvani said, turning to Lord Oaks, “but there is another way.”

“Are you certain that is wise?” Lord Oaks asked her. “You have seen what became of the others.”

“This would be different. She is not bound to one location as we are, as the others are. Her freedom could make her the most powerful force of good in Sosaria, across all the shards of the Gem.”

“Or the most powerful force for evil.”

Queen Silvani tilted her head, seemingly lost in thought for a few moments. “I don’t think so. Can’t you feel it? The magic has been tempered by its combination with this creature’s life force. Its essence is already strongly connected with hers, and they have not been corrupted by it.”

“What are you talking about?” Mesanna asked. They both turned to her.

“We can transfer your animal companion’s life force, and thus the magic within him, to you,” Lord Oaks explained. “The spiritual bond between you is strong, else it would be difficult or impossible, and you have enough innate magic of your own to make you an acceptable conduit.”

“But that would kill him,” Mesanna said.

“It would end his physical existence, yes. However, he is already dying, and his death could well cause instability across every shard of the Gem,” said Queen Silvani.

“So I let you kill Peggle or the world ends?” Mesanna asked bitterly.

“Lost friends live on in us, so long as we remember them,” Queen Silvani said. “The choice is yours. We cannot force you, as you must accept the magic into yourself. It is also unlikely that we will find another suitable candidate in time.”

Mesanna crouched next to Peggle and gently stroked his face. His old, tired eyes looked into her tearful ones. She realized suddenly that her interest in the Gem of Immortality had only begun when Peggle’s health had begun to deteriorate with age. Perhaps the magic of the Gem had been influencing her the entire time, eventually leading her here.

Peggle nuzzled her face as if in agreement, and she knew. It was only fitting that their time together should end here, just a stone’s throw from the Twin Oaks Tavern where it had all begun.

“Will it hurt?” she asked.

“It will not hurt him, but you might find the process difficult. Infusing magic into a living being is much easier when they are young. So easy, apparently, that it can happen by accident,” Queen Silvani said, gesturing vaguely toward Peggle. “We shall have to take steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Mesanna nodded. She stayed crouched next to Peggle as the two fey closed in on them, one on each side. They each placed one hand on her head and one on Peggle’s.

“Stay true to yourself,” Queen Silvani said. It was the last thing Mesanna remembered before the world exploded in brilliant white.

She awoke some time later. Night had fallen, and Oaks and Silvani were gone. Visions of worlds that looked familiar yet different swam in her mind, and she felt powerful magics within her grasp

Peggle lay lifeless before her.

The temptation to flex her new powers was incredibly strong, but Mesanna knew there was one thing she must do before venturing into the unknown. She had to remain true to herself, as Silvani had said, and that meant returning the loyalty that had been given her as best she could.

It was thus that she found herself in front of the Twin Oaks Tavern, which was now owned and operated by Markus, the cook who had taught her to read all those years ago against Bernholdt’s wishes. He said little, seemingly intimidated by the power that Mesanna was certain she was radiating, but provided her with some fabric to wrap Peggle in for the journey back to Britannia. She found that the place no longer frightened her, and she knew that a new chapter in her life was beginning.

So she took Peggle to the Vesper Cemetery. He’d been mesmerized by the ships in the canals during their stay there some years before, and now he would be near them forever. She hoped he liked it.

She stood. Her new abilities had come with an expanded, instinctive knowledge of the world of Sosaria. She could see the many shards that the Gem had divided the world into. She knew now that the one she was on was called Chesapeake, but there were many more out there, each with their own people and history and problems to solve. She could see them all, like fragments in a broken mirror, and she knew that she needed only to think about it and she could travel to any of them she chose in an instant. She had traveled her world, but now she could travel the universe.

She smiled. “I’m not finished yet,” she whispered. Somewhere, on some plane of existence, even if it was only in her own heart, she felt certain that Peggle heard and understood her. “Thank you, old friend.”

With a thought, she opened the walls of the world and vanished.

Second Place

by Soar of Atlantic

Mesanna raised her eyes from the invitation to Mage’s Council in Britain and looked again at its courier standing before her. The brim of his eccentric wizard’s hat was tilted forward, and hid all but his wiry gray beard. A chuckle bubbled up and the man lifted his head.

“Rel!” Mesanna’s voice was almost a squeal. “Rel Tak! It is you!” She flung her arms around her once mentor of the arcane arts.

“Yes girl,” said Rel, breaking into a laughter. “It is me.”

Mesanna released the old man after making sure she had squeezed him as tightly as possible without breaking anything. She slapped his nose with the letter he had delivered. “You really had me going with this. As if they’d ever let either of us in that place.”

“Oh?” said the old man. “Why’s that then?”

“The drunken pirate mage, and the girl who can’t even twist a gate spell?”

“I am not that mage anymore,” said Rel, adjusting his beard, “and from what I hear, you are not that girl.”

Mesanna’s attention returned to the paper in her hand and her eyes widened. “You mean… This is real?”

Her old teacher nodded with a smile.

“But, who on the council would take me as an initiate?” said Mesanna, and in the next moment her fingers were wrapped around the collar of her mentor’s robe. “You got into the Council Of Mages!”

The old man laughed again and placed his hands on her shoulders to calm her. “Yes,” he said. “But it was not me who selected you, I am too old for mentoring. There is another. Someone who has been waiting to see you for a very long time.”

“Who?”

“Come,” said Rel Tak, walking off toward the moongate. “Oh, I do enjoy surprises.”

Mesanna peppered the old man with questions as they left the crowed livestock show. They made it all the way to Luna gate before Mesanna smacked her forehead and ran back to the stage. She grabbed the collar of her prize goat, Peggle, in one hand and the trophy in the other. Then, affording only a hurried nod to the judges and audience, she bolted after the wizard.

Under Rel Tak’s insistence they rode on horseback from the Britain moongate to the steps of Lord British’s castle. They could have recalled in seconds, but the old man reveled in drawing out the suspense However, he never once offered any hint of who they were to meet. When they arrived there were two figures waiting for them in front of the grand stone arches. A man and a woman, both dressed in the robes of the council.

“Mesanna,” said Rel as they came before them. “May I present you to Lord Kronos.”

Mesanna bowed low in greeting but did not take her eyes from the man’s face. His features and expression were stern and almost cruel as he gazed down at her. Lord Kronos barely lowered his brow in return.
“And this,” said Rel, directed her to the woman beside Kronos, “I’m thrilled to say is your-”

“Mother,” said Mesanna, her mouth remaining open.

The woman came forward. She was smiling softly and Mesanna could see tears filling the corners of her beautifully aged eyes. She said nothing as she wrapped her arms around her daughter and rested her head against her neck. Mesanna was too shocked to move at first, too shocked to even speak. Then her arms came up. She crossed them over her mother’s back and held on tight.

“Hmph,” said Lord Kronos. “So that we are perfectly clear Lady Asheal, there will be no fast-tracking among initiates of the council.” And with that the harsh spoken mage removed himself and entered the castle.

“Every night, I have dreamt of this moment,” whispered Lady Asheal into Mesanna’s ear.

In the coming days Mesanna learnt how her mother had spent the years after losing her only child. How her father had lied about selling her to a tavern as a slave, saying instead that she had been taken by a wild beast in the forest, but finally letting the truth slip one night in the throws of a drunken stupor. Her mother had traveled to the tavern that very same night, only to find that Mesanna had fled the establishment just one month earlier.

Lady Asheal would find no leads on her daughter’s whereabouts for some time after that. Not until she joined the Council Of Mages in Britain and met scruffy conjurer from Buccaneer’s Den, who loved to boast of the exploits of his students. The name “Mesanna” had quickly caught the Lady’s attention.

And so it was that they were reunited, and Mesanna became an initiate to the Council Of Mages. She quickly found the words of Lord Kronos at their first meeting had been redundant. Her mother was by far the hardest mentor in the entire conclave, and she pushed Mesanna for absolute excellent in all fields of study. She also received lessons on her heritage, and discovered that the women of her family had always been exceptionally skilled in the arcane arts. Throughout the conclave historical records there was always at least one of her ancestors on the roster of names.

Despite the heavy load of her training, or perhaps because of it, the bond between the two women grew stronger with time. As her bloodline had gifted her, Mesanna was not weak, and would not stand to be seen as weak. When a challenge was beyond her limits, she would respond by casting aside those limits, and reforging new ones with sweat and pain. Finally, two years to the day from entering the conclave, Mesanna was ready for her trials of passage. A trio of tests that would decide if she was to be accepted into the order as a full member. The night before her trials Mesanna and Rel Tak went to Lady Asheal’s quarters to talk about the day to come.

“It’s finalized,” said Rel. “Lord Kronos will be one of the examiners tomorrow.”

Mesanna groaned and let her forehead bump upon the tabletop.
“I expected as much,” said her mother. “He would not pass up his last chance to prevent your acceptance.”

“What does he have against me?” said Mesanna. “I’ve always done what he has requested.”

“I’m afraid it is my fault,” said her mother. “Our views on what a mage should be differ. Lord Kronos is always in search of ways to increase our destructive power, while I seek ways to increase our healing and preservation skills. It has made for some very colorful arguments at the council assemblies.”

“And how is your research going?” said Rel, as he scoured the shelves and drawers for some form of entertainment.

“Very well, thank you. I’ve almost perfected a spell that should be able to remove disease and other ailments beyond our current abilities.”

“Almost, eh?” said the Rel, and flashed a toothy grin through his bread.

“Yes,” said Lady Asheal with an icy tone. “The incantation draws on the wielders life force, much like spells use by paladins. Unfortunately, it draws a little too much.”

“That doesn’t sound healthy,” said Rel as he shook a fortune ball he had found.

“No,” said Lady Asheal. “Oh, for all the stars! The games are in the elven chest you old coot!”

“Ah ha!”

“What kind of test will Lord Kronos choose?” said Mesanna.

“Combat most likely,” said Rel, poking his nose into the chest. “He favors balrons.”

“I can handle those,” said Mesanna.

“I would not count on it however,” said Lady Asheal. “He will surely plan to catch you off guard.”

Rel carried a rectangular box from the trove and slumped his weight into the chair between them. It was a board game, backgammon, and he opened it across the table.

“Right then!” he said “Who’s up for a thrashing?”

Mesanna scowled and stood up. She left the room for the open air of the balcony.

The wizard turned to Lady Asheal, his brow creased. “What?”

“Wait here,” she said, and went to join her daughter.

The night was cool, and from the balcony they had a perfect view of the moon floating low above the rooftops of Britain.

“It’s only a game,” said Lady Asheal, as she came to stand beside her daughter.

“For you,” said Mesanna.

“You must not let your past sway you, Mesanna. It is as dead as grave dust, and cares nothing you now. Why should you care for it?”

Mesanna took a deep breath and turned her eyes to the people moving through the streets beyond the castle walls. “What became of him?”

“Your father?”

Mesanna nodded. “What became of him, after he lost me in a game?”

“He is dead.”

“How?”

Her mother looked away for a long while before answering. “I killed him,” she said at last.

Mesanna said nothing, but inside she was screaming for more.

“He was not drunk,” said her mother. “The night he told me what had become of you, he was not drunk.”

“What happened?”

Lady Asheal wiped her eyes quickly and turned back to her daughter. “He was enraged, at what I do not recall, and as usual he came for me.”

“Why did you let him beat you all those years? Why didn’t you use your power?”

“I wasn’t always a mage, you know,” said her mother with a trembling smile. “There was a time I was afraid of magic. Your grandmother had shown me the things it could do, and it terrified me. But then she heard about what that man was doing, and she made me learn. On that night, when he came at me, I was ready.”

Lady Asheal paused another moment before continuing. “He begged for mercy,” she said. “He told me you were still alive and promised me the truth if I spared his life. But even after I had heard it, I did not stop. I could not stop.”

Mesanna linked her arms around her mother’s shoulders as the old sorcerer clutched the balcony rail.

“Believe me when I tell you,” said Lady Asheal. “In this world, there are times when even malice is a virtue.”

A crowd of both mages and citizens had gathered at the old Britain fairgrounds just outside the city. The annual initiate trials were open to all to watch, and it was a show guaranteed to please. There were nine hopefuls taking the challenge this year, of which Mesanna was the last to be tested. By the time she stepped to the center of the weathered oak stage, eight of her fellow apprentices were seated along its edges, battered by defeat.

Lord Higashi of Zento was the first of her examiners. He chose summoning. The task was simple, she must replicate the master’s creatures with own.

At first he began simply. An earth elemental, then water, then fire. Next came a daemon, followed quickly by a vortex. Mesanna had no trouble, never fizzling or mis-speaking a word of power. Lord Higashi smiled. He flicked the sleeves of his robe back to his shoulders and let loose a stream of elemental incantations. Earth! Fire! Air! Daemon! Mesanna’s mind and lips raced to keep up. Water! Fire! Vortex! Air! Llama!

Llama!?

The big wet eyes of the purple creature toppled Mesanna focus, but she quickly caught on to her examiner’s trick.

“Vas Corp Por!” she called out, and streamed the thaumatic energies into just the right channels.

A second and identical purple llama popped into existence before her. There was silence. Then gradually, the amazed crowd remembered to applaud as murmurs of approval were passed between the members of the council. Lord Higashi placed his palms together in front of him, and smiled as he bowed.

The next senior mage to test her would be her own mother, Lady Asheal.

“And what challenge have you arranged with your daughter today?” said Lord Kronos, seated among his loyal supporters, or “minions” as Mesanna liked to call them.

“A test of defense and healing,” said Lady Asheal, not bothering to look back.

Lord Kronos and the men around him scoffed and snickered.

As her mother ascended to the stage, Mesanna began casting protection and buff spells upon herself. Lady Asheal waited at the top of the stairs until she was finished, and then shook her head. She moved aside and to allow Rel Tak to climb up beside her. He was trailing a rope that was linked to the collar of Mesanna’s oldest friend, Peggle the goat. She motioned for the old wizard to lead the pet to Mesanna.

Rel hesitated and said, “I don’t think it proper to-”

Lady Asheal raised her palm to quell his objection.

The wizard sighed. “Oh, bother it all.” he said, and did as requested. Once Rel Tak had alighted the stage Mesanna was left facing her mother and teacher, a bewildered goat standing between them. This had to be a joke, or ruse, she thought. She would not dare hurt Peggle.

“In Nox,” chanted Lady Asheal.

She would.

The poison spell landed and Mesanna cured it the moment it took hold. She pre-cast greater heal, let it loose, and then another cure as the attacks came thick and fast from her mentor. Peggle was bleating and trying to flee, but the Lady Asheal used her attacks to confuse and kept the helpless goat running in circles. Mesanna slipped in a buff as a crisp energy bolt ripped across the stage, just one of these would kill a normal goat, however Peggle was hardened by years of adventure.

Heal, heal, heal! Her precious companion was screaming in pain, screaming for her help. Every cry was like blow to Mesanna’s heart, and soon tears flooded her cheeks. Mercifully, her healing was keeping up with damage. Then the fire started. Flame strike after flame strike, with little casting time given between. Why was her mother doing this? The damage began to out pace Mesanna’s skill. She felt terror well inside her, but her mother did not slow. Mesanna was chanting so fast her words seemed to overlap. Every heal spell landed with all the power she could infuse it with, and then… failure! Poison! She had missed the cure in her panic! Peggle lay still, barely able breathe. Lady Asheal began another flame strike, it would be the last.

“Corp Por!” screamed Mesanna. The energy bolt struck her mother in the shoulder and spun her body clear off the stage. The crowd gasped and then fell silent.

After a moment a rasping chuckle drifted up from where Lady Asheal had fallen. Mesanna saw her mother’s hand grasp the edge of the stage and Rel Tak rushed to help her to her feet.

“For a second there,” said Lady Asheal as she patted the grass from her robes. “I thought you meant to let poor Peggle die.”

Mesanna tried to stared down her mother with all the fury she could muster.

“It had to be real, Mesanna. We had to know how you would react,” said Lady Asheal as she was helped to her seat. “And for future reference, I would much prefer a magic arrow. You have passed my test.”

The crowd roared.

Mesanna insisted on a short respite so that she could properly tended to Peggle injuries with magical care. With the help of her fellow mages, the goat was soon back to normal, although still very shaken by the events. Then it was Lord Kronos’s turn test the initiate’s skill. He stepped up to the stage.

“You have proven you can heal, and you have proven you can summon,” he said. “Both excellent support roles in any battle. However now it is time to see how you perform on the front lines, toe to toe with the enemy.”

Combat. Rel Tak had been right. There was movement in the crowd as the city guards cleared a path from the road. An armored prison cart pulled by four horses rolled onto the fairground. Red glowing eyes flashed at the slits in the walls of the holding cell.

“What monster have you brought with you this time, Lord Kronos?” said Lady Asheal. “Another balron perhaps?”

“No, not at all,” said Lord Kronos. “It is just an ogre. Surely any daughter of your bloodline can handle that?”

As the guards moved to open the containment, mages began lining the path and stage with summoned walls of stone.

“It is perfectly safe,” said Lord Kronos to the mages securing the area. “The beast is quite tame. I have been using him in my research for some time now.”

With reluctance the mages complied with their senior’s command, and the crowd of spectators drew back several feet. The gate to the prison cart fell open. The creature it held trudged down the ramp.

It was indeed an Ogre, but unlike any Mesanna had encountered. It’s skin was scarlet and radiated a dark shadowy mist. The eyes were demonic and glowed red, even under the bright sunlight. In its hand it wielded an massive spiked club that was clearly enchanted to the point of instability. Arcs of raw energy could be seen rolling across its surface.

“Blackrock!” cried a voice from among the mages. “That thing is infected with blackrock!”

As a rumble of concern voices built across the fairground, Lady Asheal stood from her chair. “Is this true, Lord Kronos?” she said. “Have you infected this creature with blackrock?”

“Yes, I have,” said Kronos, without a single thread of concern in his voice. “Behold the fruit of my labored research. I, Lord Kronos, am now able harness the limitless power of blackrock!”

He approached the ogre as it stood completely inert, the grass around it’s feet turning black like decaying blood. “I can use it,” continued Lord Kronos, “not only to enhance the strength any creature I choose, but also to bring their mind under my absolute control. As you can plainly see, what was once a wild and frenzied beast, is now a puppet to my every command.”

“The blackrock is chaotic by nature!” said Rel Tak. “It cannot be controlled.”

“How can you know that?” said Lord Kronos. “Have you spent countless days in study of it, as I have?”

“It is too dangerous.”

“Dangerous to the ignorant mind perhaps, but not to us,” said Kronos. He gestured a command to his pet and it walked up upon the stage to stand before Mesanna. “So tell me daughter of the Great Lady Asheal, do you accept your final challenge?”

Mesanna looked from the demonic face of monster to her mother, and then to Rel Tak. The silence over the fairground was broken only by the cries of Peggle, who still upset from the last trail, and now doubly so with the arrival of this unnatural creature.

“She does not,” said Lady Asheal. “You have gone to far, Lord Kronos, and this time your actions must be brought into question.”

“Nonsense!” bellowed Lord Kronos. “Can you not see the power I have brought within our reach? Why do fear it? Watch. I will demonstrate how well this creature is tamed.”

Lord Kronos went to the stage and stood before his creation. With a movement of his hand the beast kneeled before him. Then he raised his arms and his pet took up a battle ready stance. “You see,” he said. Many of the mages of the conclave began to nod in approval. “Now, observe its incredible strength.”

He brought his arm down with a quick sweep and the creature swung its club high over its head. It slammed its weapon against the solid oak blocks of the stage and reduced them to splinters. Mesanna leapt to the ground as the ogre swung a second destructive blow. All the while Lord Kronos watched on smiling, his hand at the ready for another command. As the club came down a third time a bright light flashed from the impact, and a boom like thunder had the crowd reeling in fear. The weapon had shattered.

When the shockwave of raw magic had passed Mesanna looked up to find the ogre howling and clutching its hands to its head. The masses of people were stampeding in all directions. It appeared that whatever control Lord Kronos had over the creature was gone. Mesanna caught a glimpse of him fleeing the fairgrounds with a group of his colleagues. The mages that remained quickly gathered and readied their spells to destroy the abomination.

The first blast of deadly magic struck while the beast was still disorientated. It was knocked face down into the rumble of the stage, but soon began pushing itself upright with its heavy set arms. Mesanna watched the mages beyond prepare to combine their powers for second attack. The creature raised its head and a pair of red glowing eyes locked upon her. The beast roared and sprung forward.

Mesanna rushed to cast a wall of stone, but even as she began she knew she would not finish it. As the creature’s weight crashed into her there was an explosion of heat and light. Mesanna felt her life slip away.

“Mesanna…”
It was dark and cold, so very cold.
Where was she?
Was this death?
“Mesanna…”

A pinpoint of white appeared before her. It cut through the darkness like moonlight through the sea.

“Come back child.” It was her mother’s voice. “You are spared.”

“Where am I?” It was her own voice, but she had not spoken.

“You are safe. You are alive.”

“I can’t see. I can’t feel anything.”

“You will.”

“What is this? What happened to me?”
There was silence.

“Mesanna…”

“Mother?”

“I am sorry for the life my weakness has caused you.”

“No…”

“I am so very sorry.”

“Mother!”

“Forgive me.”

There was a beat.

A heartbeat.

Mesanna awoke on a bed in a room of the castle. When she was well enough to move she found her hair had darkened to a mystical black that flickered with impossible color. Her skin was pale and her flesh was cold, but she was neither dead nor undead. Her heart still beat and life still flowed through her body and mind.

She learnt from Rel Tak that the Lord Kronos’s abomination had infected her with blackrock during the attack at the fairground. However before it could take hold, her mother, Lady Asheal had intervened. Using an experimental healing spell developed in her years of research, she had stopped the infection, containing it within field of magic. Lady Asheal had saved her daughter’s life, but the act of the casting such an unstable spell had extinguished her own.

The field that carried the blackrock infection remained inside Mesanna’s body. In time she would discover that she could use it to connect with the raw magical energies of her world. No longer requiring chanted words or material reagents, Mesanna’s power was bound only by her imagination. She could work magic from its source, and had became the world’s first and only True Sorceress.

Third Place

by Alexander of Atlantic

Many years have passed since she claimed freedom and started living the life of a young and beautiful women. It is a mid-autumn morning and the sun was just about to rise above the horizon. Colorful leaves scatter the area and the sound of the near winter-breeze rustles the remaining leaves high above the ground near the luna fairgrounds on Atlantic. Mesanna does her daily chores which include picking the fresh fruits in the garden, feeding Peggle the goat, and preparing for the newly established holiday: Halloween.

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Mesanna opens the barn and begins feeding Peggle until her and the goat locked eyes. A solemn memory pierces her mind, a prophecy that haunts her to this day.

A few months have passed since her last meeting with the Council of Mages, yet she is still mind-boggled by the experience. At the meeting, Mesanna received a tattered parchment from the high council mage, Damos. A great silence filled the air as she opened the parchment and read aloud:

mesannaascenion02

“On this horrid of nights a monster will be born
from a mixture of emotions and somewhat torn.
She will be consumed of the evils: hatred and pain.
From a battle of tyranny, blood will mix with rain.
Everything has a weakness, an Achilles Heel.
Betrayal, Anger, and Revenge are evils you will feel.
Slice an’ Dice and tear your enemy in thrice;
For fates are numbers; even you can’t beat the dice.
It is now time to meet your doom….1…2…3…
I can see you but you can’t see me.”

Snapping back from this painful memory, Mesanna continues her duties with Peggle and the barn.

Somewhat distraught, Mesanna fills the water trough for Peggle and then sliced up come carrots to give to peggle as a treat. Peggle, an elderly goat now, rubs against Mesanna’s hands as she lays down the carrots. She gently pets the goat affectionately and couldn’t help to cry.

“You have been there with me since the beginning, I will not let anyone hurt you. I Promise.”

After finishing his oats and carrots, Peggle nudged Mesanna as if it was his way of saying “I want more oats!” Mesanna, consumed with emotion, gives in to Peggle and decides to make a trip into town to collect some items. Before leaving, she makes a quick gesture towards Peggle and heads off towards the house. Noticing she should have went into town a lot sooner, she realizes she needs to grab more than oats and carrots. Mesanna was planning to make her famous ‘Pisto Stew’- made of tomatoes, onions, eggplant, green and red peppers, olive oil, and the peculiar mandrake root. She writes down her list on a piece of parchment, which
include:

mesannaascenion03

– Mandrake root
– Oats
– Parchment
– Various Reagents
– A new spellbook
– Ink

Grabbing the last bit of items she needs, she sets off into town. On her way, she finds many objects to keep her mind occupied, a bird here, deer there, and the sound of a cow in the near distance. She couldn’t help but laugh at the site of the deer and squirrel playing together.

Alas, she comes to the opening gates of Luna and can easily feel the ambiance of the city. Merchants, Players, and many creatures that inhabit the city are all around and mingling with each other.

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She crosses off some items on her list until she only lacks one more item: The Mandrake Root. The only place to acquire this ingredient is in the ‘Shoppe of Magical and Mystical Features’, which is a place where the rudest and most insane people hang out. Preparing for the worst she makes her way down the ally and before she knew it, she was now in front of the building.

With a deep breathe, she opens the door to the shop and really isn’t surprised by what she saw: Gambling drunks that were about to fight, a witch that was in the process of turning a man into a toad, and an elderly man whom she thought looked familiar. He was wearing a stained grey robe and a very dirty green floppy hat, Mesanna couldn’t remember exactly where she saw him but was certain they had met before.

“Can I help you?” the alchemist said.

Startled, Mesanna turned around and placed her order for the Mandrake roots.

“Yes, we have that in stock. I’ll fetch this fine item for….”

Everything froze, as If time stood still. The ticking grandfather clock was no longer ticking. The overwhelming argument of the drunkards ceased and the witch is frozen in midst of her spell. Yet, Mesanna wasn’t frozen, in fact, she was far from it. Trembling, and not sure what to do, she turns around to find that the old man she somewhat knew is evaporating. Oh Wait! Not evaporating, transforming! What stood in his place was a mirror image of Mesanna herself but wasn’t her at all. Mesanna stood there, frozen in fear, as the appirition spoke:

“Greetings, I am the ‘Spirit of Vengeance’. It is your time to fulfill your destiny. The prophecy has commenced. Stay true to your belief, let no one deceive you.”

All at once, the spirit takes about 100 different forms and says in a fading voice:

“Everything has a weakness, an Achilles Heel.
Betrayal, Anger, and Revenge are evils you will feel.”

Hearing this yet a second time she closed her eyes and screamed at the top of her lungs: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

She slowly opened her eyes and saw that everyone in the room is watching her in bewilderment. The appearance of the Spirit didn’t even happen in their minds.

Mesanna dropped everything she had in her hands and ran as fast as she could, so fast that every breath was a gift. She knew she had to get home fast, something terrible was about to happen…. or could have already happened. Straining to get the extra mile, she saw the entrance way to her house approaching. “RUN!” Was all she could tell her self. Finally reaching her house, she dashed down the hill to the barn, pleading that her biggest fear wasn’t true. Reaching the barn, she broke through the doors and stopped. Peggle the goat was missing.

mesannaascenion05Feeling lost, she dropped to her knees. She couldn’t hold it, tears bellowed out of her eyes. Peggle was everything to her, why would someone steal him? While sobbing, she noticed a letter addressed to her that was laying on the ground. Fingers still trembling, she picked it up and read aloud:

“You have proven to be masterful of the art of magic. I offer to you now, a ultimatum. After your training, I watched closely as you perfected my teachings to the maximum. I am in need of an apprentice, a mage as powerful or even more powerful than myself. You remember those void demons in magincia? Those were my minions that came to test your ability. It is time to make your final decision. Become my apprentice and your goat will live. Disobey my invitation, you and your goat will die. You know where to find me.

~ Rel Tak”

Mesanna, consumed with emotion, began to understand the meaning of the prophecy and what her purpose was. All of her life, she has been taken advantage of. All of those years of beatings and slavery. Her supposedly friend that burnt down her town and her house, the life she peacefully enjoyed and the Demons that scarred her mentally with the fear of dieing.

Anger began to build. The feeling of being betrayed engulfed her. And the urge for revenge builds every second. Mesanna looked up into the sky and yelled with a mighty roar that shook the mountains: “I will find you…. and I will kill you. No ONE… harms my best friend!!”

Rel Tak, made one mistake in his letter which enclosed the information needed for Mesanna to find him.

Mesanna felt a new strength rush through her, the feeling of invincibility. She had enough with the people who used her for their own personal gain. She claimed her freedom of slavery and she will NOT go back to it. At heart, Mesanna knew a spell that could cause the end of the world, but in the right hands, can be used to the casters advantage: Armageddon

With a mighty force in her voice she casted this spell.

“Vas Kal An Mani In Corp Hur Tym”

Mesanna closed her eyes and felt a rush of power inside her. The thought that she could also be killed in the process didn’t even occur to her. She was tired of being used. Peggle was everything to her, her best friend. Without failure, she casted a gate and went through… to Rel Tak’s layer.

With a push of force, Mesanna used the element of wind to blow open the doors. Anger and Revenge took over, no one could stop her. A rush of excitement rushed through Mesanna’s body when she saw the look on Rel Tak’s face. He was petrified at the sight of Mesanna, looking dead in her glowing eyes. The sudden realization of death was in the air and Rel Tak went into defense mode. He started to take the fire from all the candles to make one big fiery wave. He almost succeeded, the wave consumed nearly half of the room, but Mesanna was to fast for him. Mesanna made an evil grin and a piercing laugh. With a wave of her hand, a gust of air came through her and knocked the fire out. Her and the Magician locked eyes for a split second, then Mesanna picked him up with the power of gravity and through him outside.

mesannaascenion06

The effect of the spell was now taking its place and instantly many shadow-like creatures surrounded Mesanna.

“Meet my minions” says Mesanna

Backed in the corner, Rel Tak used his only fighting option.

“That’s it. Kill me and become my apprentice. Unleash your true power and become one with what I’ve taught you. That’s it! KILL ME!”

Mesanna’s minions moved in closer as Mesanna drew near Rel Tak. Her eyes are glowing a metallic blue and her skin turned to void black. Her hair turns the color of what some call, Abyssal- the only cloth that can be afforded by high matriarchs of kingdoms. With a bold and stern voice, Mesanna bellows out: “I SERVE NO ONE!!”
At this time ash and dust began to swirl between Mesanna and Rel Tak.

Some Warriors use Clubs, Swords or Bows as a mechanism for battle. Some mages use spells along with the power of pets. Not Mesanna.

“You dare give me the option to either sell my life to you or to kill my best friend! You are now the prey as I am the predator. Here are your options, Rel Tack.” says Mesanna

The ash and dust began to swirl even more, so fast the image blurs. In place of the fiery ash stood a table engraved with the most beautiful designs ever seen. Mesanna raised her hand to the heavens and summon forth her weapon she will used against Rel Tak. The wind around Mesanna, her minions and Rel Tak begin to pick up. An image came into focus and it was clear what the item was. It came smashing down and landed perfectly on the table, a beautifully decorated pair of Dice.

Mesanna looked Rel Tak in the eyes and he did the same to her. She remembered all of the torment she went through in her life, all the things she had to fight through, all of the nightmares she since dream-pt. She remembered the final part of the prophecy:

“Slice an’ Dice and tear your enemy in thrice;
For fates are numbers; even you can’t beat the dice.”

With this memory lingering in her head, she spoke to Rel Tak in a voice that had no mercy.

“Hi, I’m Mesanna, wanna play?”

mesannaascenion07

Other Entries

Giggles

The Road less traveled

by Giggles of  Catskills

Mesanna raised her eyes from the mysterious note to notice the stranger had vanished. She felt a sense of urgency to investigate what this was about. “They want to speak with me? Why?” She thought to herself. Mesanna began to graciously thank the people applauding the victory of her Goat Peggle. After all, this was a time for celebration! Her beloved Peggle just won the “Most amazing Goat” contest! She worked her way through the crowd to Peggle who was proudly displaying a gold medallion of victory around her neck.

Mesanna knelt beside her faithful companion. “Well ol girl, do you think you have one adventure left in you?” Peggle nuzzled Mesanna and went back to enjoying the bowl of victory oats in front of her. Mesanna allowed her friend to finish her prize while she pondered all the possibilities of what the Britain Council of Mages could possibly want with her.

That evening Mesanna and Peggle arrived in Britain. She was unsure as to where to find the Council and walked around the streets admiring the fine smells and sounds of this wonderful city. It was then she noticed there was a loud argument to the north. Mesanna made her way to investigate the ruckus. As she arrived she noticed a rather annoyed looking hooded man yelling loudly at a man who had obviously had a few too many drinks. “Listen Sir!” The hooded man boomed. “There will be no more entertainment today! Come back tomorrow! I am far too tired and…. Mesanna!!” Both men were now looking at her. Mesanna was delighted to see that it was her old friend Lord Barnaby outside of his counselor’s hall.

“Barnaby!” Mesanna exclaimed as she went to give her old friend a warm greeting. Mesanna remembered Lord Barnaby as always being very kind to her years ago when his travels would lead him to the Twin Oaks Tavern. The drunk realized he was now being ignored, and swerved away down the road singing loudly. “Listen Barnaby, I would love to catch up with you, I have many stories to tell. However I am here on business. The Britain Council of Mages has summoned me, and I need to meet with them immediately. Could you please tell me where I might find them?” “Well of course! You and your uh… pet can find them in the building to the south just there.” Barnaby pointed while looking at Peggle with a curious confusion. “Thank you Barnaby! We must go. It was great seeing you old friend!” The two parted ways as Mesanna and Peggle headed for the ominous dark building.

The odd pair entered the building to be overcome with an odor similar to a wet dog covered in Bloodmoss. Peggle released a much exaggerated sneeze in rebellion. “There there Peggle, hopefully we will not be in here too long” As Mesanna lifted her eyes from comforting Peggle, she gasped and jumped back seeing a tall man wearing a hooded blue robe before her. ”Oh! Who are you and where did you come from?” She exclaimed in a somewhat panicked voice. “My name makes no matter, I am pleased to see you have arrived. We have a very important task for you Mesanna. We have been watching you for many years and we think you are the salvation for our world. To prove this we need your assistance in a very important task. The city of Maginca has long been destroyed. We have been trying for quite some time now to rebuild, however a band of rebels have moved in. They torment all of our men and in some cases kill them. They refuse to leave and we need you to go handle this situation.”

“I? uh… me? What?” Mesanna’s head was spinning; her eyes glazed at the memory of her beloved Magincia being destroyed, and a deep anger stirred in her soul. It was not anger towards the demons, but anger at herself for being so afraid and weak. She often remembered that time, and wished she would have done more to save her home. “Listen sir, I do not think I am the person you claim I am. What would you have me do? Kill the rebels? I do not understand.” “Mesanna, if you are who I believe you are, you will know what to do when you arrive. There is no time to lose; there are rumors of even more rebels approaching the city. You must act quickly. Go now!” The man parted his arms and between them stood a glowing red moongate. Mesanna gripped Peggle in her arms and walked through the moongate.

Mesanna looked around to notice that she was standing on the western end of Magincia. The trees were all dead. The air still carried the stink of burning plants and ash. Perhaps the odor was only her memories flooding back. Tears began to swell in her eyes. She put Peggle down beside her and began walking towards the rubble of the town equipped with her small book of spells in hand. She was uncertain what to do or expect. It was then she heard a noise. “Was that a giggle?” She thought. Again the sound comes, louder and closer than before. It seems to be coming from above her in the trees.

As Mesanna raised her eyes to search the trees a large crash smashed the ground behind her. Mesanna spun around and saw a young woman dressed in crimson red with hair as red as fire stumbling around the ground. The woman, whom obviously did not plan that entrance, quickly stood up fixed her dress picked up her book and locked eyes with Mesanna. The woman was holding a sinister grin on her face. “Who are you and what do you want?” Mesanna asked. “Me?” The woman threw her head back and released a boisterous laugh. “Why… you don’t know who I am?” The woman asked. “Obviously I don’t” Mesanna said with annoyance in her voice” “Why, I am Giggles!” “Giggles? That is a very unusual name.” “They call me Giggles, because I laugh when I kill people.” The woman again threw her head back in hysterical laughter.

“Listen lady, I like that little goat, it looks tasty. So I am going to offer you a deal. Give me the goat and I will spare your life.” Mesanna clenched her book and looked at Peggle who was searching the scorched ground nearby for some grass. “No, you cannot have my goat! I know magery Giggles, please leave us alone. I don’t want to hurt you.” Giggles grin grew and she laughed louder then before” “Oh, you are a stubborn one! Listen lady, I am a murderer. Get it? MUR-DER-ER! I have my own experience with magery, and I am most certain you are no threat to me. This is my town! You will give me your goat or you will die!”

Mesanna quickly opened her book threw her hand up and began to say “Cor Po….”. Before she could finish she was knocked on the ground. Giggles was standing above her ripping the book out of her hands. She then ran to the goat laughing hysterically saying “goat stew tonight! Goat stew tonight!” Mesanna became enraged. Just as Giggles was picking up Peggle Mesanna stood up and screamed “Stop this right now!” As soon as the words escaped her lips, an unseen force blasted away from Mesanna knocking over every tree nearby. Giggles, who was still clutching Peggle, was thrown up against the only tree left standing.

Giggles slowly moved herself to a sitting posture against the tree. She looked at Mesanna with a strange disbelief. Mesanna also was standing there speechless wondering what had just happened and how she did that. “Did I cause that to happen? Was that my anger?” She thought to herself. After a long awkward silence, Giggles finally spoke. “You know what lady? I think I might like you! Would you like some cake?” She followed this with another fit of hysterical laughter as she stood and ran towards the town. Mesanna was still in disbelief. She suddenly felt unusual, powerful, and wonderful! Her slender body was shivering. She looked at her hands that now held dark swirls moving through them just under the skin. Mesanna turned towards the town with an unusual urge to scream, laugh, and cry at the same time. She walked slowly toward the building that was once her home. When she arrived she again felt the anger that had plagued her all this time. She felt so strange now. She felt as if there was dark energy flowing through her veins. It was creating a pressure inside of her she felt she would not be able to contain.The tips of her fingers darkened and burned. Mesanna raised her hands toward a broken wall and the same force that came from her before was now being aimed at the wall through her hands. She stared in disbelief as she witnessed the pieces of wall being restored and falling in to place.

She could no longer contain her emotions. She collapsed to the ground crying. Just then she felt someone else approaching her. She turned to recognize the mage from Britian. “You are indeed who we thought you are Mesanna, we must begin your training immediately” He placed his hand on her shoulder and opened a gate before them.

A Europa Player

Mesanna’s Ascension

by A Europa Player

Mesanna drowsed peacefully in front of a blazing fire. It had been a busy 10 years with the council of mages.She had witnessed the rise and fall of the usurper, Casca. She had fought alongside and then mourned Queen Dawn. Now the land was momentarily peaceful under it’s new king, Blackthorn. She should have been able to relax and take it easy, but the council were badgering her to take an apprentice. There were also mutterings about something sinister under Gravewater Lake in Malas. She supposed she would have to look into that too, soon.
She sighed. An apprentice, what did she need with an apprentice? The Council’s Commander said she couldn’t ‘ascend’ till she trained an apprentice. Ascend to what? She wondered, did she want to ascend? She wasn’t sure. She thought back to her own mentor, Rel Tak, if he hadn’t taken her as apprentice her life would have been much different. Well, she wouldn’t find a likely candidate by staring into the flames of her fire, she’d have to tour the lands, tomorrow, time enough to start packing for the trip tomorrow.

Early next morning Mesanna filled her pack with a few clothes, basic travelling rations etc, and closed up the house. The stable that had once housed her faithful goat, Peggle was now home to her perky little mare, Peggy. Peggle had been buried with due care and many tears under a rosebush in the garden at the end of his long, eventful life. Finally she slipped next door to the blacksmith, handing him her door key and asking him to keep an eye on the place for her. He looked down at the key in his hand and gave her a speculative look.
“Would you be willing to take the lad with you? He’s a good lad, strong, would be a help to you on the road, but he’s no talent for smithng and I’m at my wits end what to do with him.”

Mesanna sighed, she owed the cheery smith a favour or two over the years, and she supposed having someone to talk to along the road wouldn’t be too much of a hardship. She agreed to take the boy, provided he was ready within the hour.

Slightly over an hour later the pair of them set off, the boy perched precariously on an old sway backed gelding, she turned to look at him, she had only ever heard him referred to as ‘the lad’, but he must have a name, surely?
“What do they call you boy?”
“Ky, mistress” came the hesitant reply “They call me Ky”.

Mesanna had speculated that the most likely place to find a worthy apprentice would be the son or daughter of the proprietor of the land’s mage shops, however she decided to travel overland in mundane fashion rather than magically, it would give her time to think over the candidates between stops. They left Moonglow, where the council had their headquarters and where she had lived quietly for the past few years by way of the public moongate, first destination Vesper. The nearest moongate was a good way from the city, and due to their later than planned start it was beginning to get dark when they arrived. Mesanna decided to make camp in the protection of the stones and head to the town in the morning.
“Start a fire please Ky” she instructed.

After several moments of watching the boy struggle with the task she waved him aside and lit it with a quick fireball spell, then with a view to avoiding the problem in future she patiently showed him the correct reagents and taught him how to combine them with the correct invocation and hand gestures to cast the spell himself. He showed a suprising apptitude for the task.

Next morning they rode into town and dismounted outside the Bubbling Brew and Mesanna entered with Ky following her, while she spoke quietly with the proprietor Ky wandered around looking at the displays. Their visit there was short, the proprietor was a spinster and knew of no likely budding mages. Next Mesanna visited the nearby Magic Light, her conversation was quite long, but disappointing. When she bid the Mage guildmistress goodbye she found Ky was nowhere in sight.
Minutes later she found him upstairs in The Circles of Magic engrossed in a book he had taken from the shelves. Returning the book he followed her out of the building.

Their final stop in Vesper was at the shop called “The Magician’s Friend’. Here there was a likely youngster, but already apprenticed to the shop’s owner. Mesanna sighed, she knew it wouldn’t be that easy. The nearest towns were Cove and Minoc, neither of which had a mage shop, so they decided to spend the night at the Vesper inn. Over dinner in the nicely appointed tavern near the inn Ky told her what he had been reading, a book of spells and their descriptions. He asked her if she would show him how to cast some of the simpler spells, magic arrow, that he might take down a rabbit or two to supplement their basic rations, nightsight to save fuel on lantern maybe.

Flattered by his interest she spent the rest of the evening teaching him basic first circle spells.

Next morning found Mesanna lost in thought as they carefully packed their belongs to continue their journey. What did one actually DO with an apprentice anyway? One taught her to cast spells, to aid the council in the fight against Evil, wherever it raised its head and to respect her elders. Being female she was pretty much expected to take a female apprentice, but she herself hadn’t been taught by a woman. Ky showed an interest and apptitude for the craft, he already knew all about respecting his elders, his father had seen to that. Could it be that she had been searching for what was under her nose all the time? Living next door?

Instead of mounting the horses Mesanna led the lad back inside, bought them both cups of coffee and sat down to talk at length. When they finally emerged from the inn they mounted and headed, not onward, but homeward. The decision was made, Ky would be Mesanna’s apprentice.

Arriving back in Moonglow they made their way out beyond the town to the Encyclopedia Magicka where Mesanna sought an audience with the Guild Master. A few days later a meeting was convened, before the assembled mages Mesanna and Ky were called to the front where they were addressed by the Guild Master.

“Mesanna, in as much as you have proven your abilities and loyalty to the peoples of Sosaria we now invite you to ascend to the high council and bear the title Legendary Mage.”

Taking her hand, the Guild Master lead Mesanna to a vacant place at the high council’s table.

“Ky, in as much as you have agreed to become Mesanna’s apprentice and have pledged your allegiance to this council we bid you denounce your diminutive name as a child and embrace your full name as an adult man and member of the council of mages. Welcome Kyronix”

The room errupted in rousing cheers and Mesanna and Kyronix gazed down on the faces of the assembled mages.

Ra’Dian Fl’Gith

In Passing, Forth

by Ra’Dian Fl’Gith of Great Lakes

A strong wind gusted down the side of the mountain, an eerie sort of howl calling out from the small cracks and crevasses along the dangerous path. Mesanna looked down for an instant, realizing that she was nearly at the halfway point in her journey to the ancient site above. In her mind, she chastised herself for not simply using the lift that had been readily available at the base of the mountain, but then she reminded herself that the whole purpose of the journey was to honor the spirit of an old friend. A small, tight smile crossed her lips, and she turned her head skyward, once again ignoring the burden of the weight on her back, and continued her climb.

The ages had been ever so kind to her, her countenance hardening only slightly as those around her wrinkled with signs of hard work and rough years. Mesanna attributed it mostly to a life lived well in the aid of others, and more so to a life lived with a bleating friend that had nuzzled his way into her heart so many, many moons before.

Although she had fled Magincia in fear on the day the demons began to ravage the isle, she had returned alongside the Council of Mages to aid in reclaiming the land from the vile evils that had befallen it, and with peace restored, she and Peggle had returned to a quiet, peaceful life. Gone were the dangers of Pride, washed away in a new rebirth, and Mesanna found herself expanding her garden into a small farm, tending a small flock of sheep for wool, and finding too a beautiful doe that Peggle had warmed swiftly to.

The years had passed, and as the world around her changed, Mesanna found herself at peace, restful, unfettered by the cares of the comings and goings of monarchs and nobles and others of the land. Her small farm was frequented by locals for food which she would only trade for other supplies, never asking for a coin in return, and when the odd traveler would happen upon her fields, she would invite them in to sup with her, often providing a warm bed for an eve to those she felt were of kindred heart and spirit.

Her studies in magic continued, and though she often told others that it was simply a hobby of hers, in her mind she knew the truth behind her constant fiddling: Never again would she flee in the face of danger; she would instead be powerful enough to protect her home from invaders, to protect the innocents of the world from harm. She was at peace, but she would not let idleness set in and leave her vulnerable again.

Yet, it was not invaders, nor evil, nor demons that would break her peace, but merely time itself. Though Peggle had lived a long and enduring life, had been her constant companion through the years, and brought so many smiles to her face in the morning when she would go to tend to him, finding him curled up with Nann, time itself would not be stopped. This very morn, she had gone to tend to them, and found Peggle and Nann cuddled together, but this time as Mesanna called his name, his eyes did not open groggily, nor did his eyes sparkle with recognition. Instead, he remained motionless, and Nann awakened, immediately sensing that something was wrong. It nearly broke Mesanna’s heart watching Nann nudge him with her nose, trying to awaken him.

That very memory brought tears to her eyes as she crested the mountainside and saw the remains of the old Thurisaz Monastery standing before her. Time had been cruel to stones of the old buildings, but a certain majesty remained, and she knew for certain that it was here she should place her beloved Peggle for his eternal rest. The whispers had long held that Thurisaz was yet watched over by the kindly eyes of the monks that had once roamed its halls, and that though it had been ravaged by evils, the purity of good had won, and the sacred ground would never again succumb to darkness.

As she began to dig a hole in the ground in one of the few places not of solid rock, Mesanna knew that perhaps her choice to bury Peggle so far from her home might seem cold; in truth, she had ventured out with Peggle on a pilgrimage to honor the years of joy he had brought to her. Here, even in Felucca, among the ruins of Thurisaz, Mesanna knew Peggle would be well watched over, and she had already sworn that for each year of her life that remained, she would return to the ruins to honor him once more.

The sun beginning to set, her burden now laid within the earth, Mesanna patted the ground, and knelt before Peggle’s grave, allowing herself to weep freely, bathing herself in the warmth of every memory she could conjure. As her tears fell to the ground, mixing with the dirt which now held her companion, a golden light began to stir. Blinking, Mesanna wiped away her tears, and looked on as the golden light spread over the dirt, and then blinked some more in disbelief. There, in the barren soils of a Feluccan mountain, protected by the ruins of the Thurisaz Monastery, and in the light of the setting sun, beautiful flowers began to blossom. Mesanna smiled widely, knowing that her old friend would truly be able to rest in safety.

A few more moments, and Mesanna stood, pulling from her robe the reagents for a recall spell. A flash of light and she stood once more in front of the barn which she had set out from at the beginning of the day, and Nann rushed forth, nuzzling her with both a touch of sadness and joy, and Mesanna leaned down to the doe, pressing their foreheads together. Suddenly, Mesanna felt another push against her leg, and she looked down at a young kid, barely holding itself upright as he looked proudly at her, letting forth a slight bleat, walking now for the first time. Mesanna reached down and scratched the youthful goat behind the ears.

“Poggle.” Mesanna smiled. “Yes… we shall call you Poggle, in honor of your father.”

Sapphire Diablo

Mesanna’s Ascension

By Sapphire Diablo of Lake Superior

Tired from the years of adventure, Mesanna sat down on her Ash wood rocking chair. For years she sat on that chair, watching the sun rise and set. Listening to the nature around her, feeling the breeze through her hair. Her world was peaceful and calm as she waited for someone to arrive. She was alone.

“Today is another day, maybe something will happen” she thought to herself, everyday. Her memories lingered, as she rocked back and forth, to the times of when she was working at the Twin Oaks. How she was gambled away by her father, and forced to work tirelessly. She was much younger then, her story hadn’t even begun.

Mesanna rested and let herself begin to doze off. *Tap tap tap*

Powerful blue, red, gold and black energies began to form in Mesanna’s hand. She looked up and saw a stout man. She dropped her guard, dispelling the energy she had summoned. In her softest and quietest voice she asked “can I help you young man?”

“My name is Elrington, I’m a up and coming reporter. I would like to run a story on your life.”

Mesanna paused. Thinking of the things she has done. The history she has made. “I’m nothing more than a girl who made her own after escaping a slave life. I’ve travelled the world with my best friend Peggle. I spoke with the Britanian Council of Mages about studying under one of them… and now I’m retired. What else do you need to know?” She didn’t know why she was being defensive, after all she wanted company.

“Well miss Mesanna, firstly I don’t believe you could be retired. You are way too young. Secondly I do feel like you have left out some important details, and I know many citizens are highly interested in hearing everything. I for one, have heard many great stories of your adventures: how you saved lords and ladies from dark robotic armies, battle waves of dragons without breaking a sweat or batting an eye! You’ve summoned monsters which none have seen before to save a goat!” Elrington stopped to catch his breath, “I want to know the real you. Britannia wants to know the real you. Not just the start and end. The people want to know who Mesanna is. Not the stories, the truth.”

Mesanna rocked back and forth deliberating. If she was to tell him her story she would have some company, something she hasn’t had for a while. Yet, if this Elrington fellow was to stay he may find out the truth. Many thoughts passed through her head.

After ten minutes of silence, Mesanna nodded. She walked to the door and asked the man to take a seat, as her story may take some time.

Elrington took out his parchment and quill. He sat and waited. Mesanna showed him to a chair, but then walked into another room. He could hear things being chopped and the whistle of boiling water. He did nothing but wait. Mesanna soon came out with two cups of tea, and handed both to the stout man. “You may need these to sooth the stomach after what you are about to hear” Mesanna took a deep breath.
___

Many already know my story to a certain point, however for those that don’t, they will have to find it elsewhere. I am Mesanna. The salve. The liberator. The free. The Dark Lady. That girl with the goat. The bringer of darkness. The tavern wench. Too many titles to keep track of, when really I am simply Mesanna. There isn’t much time left in this day, but I will do my best to cover what I can. I will continue my story at the point after my encounter with the Mage Council.

I as viewed as a gift and talent which the likes have never been seen. Everyone there treated me like some sort of ancient relic; they gave me respect and looked in awe, but never really made any contact. There was one that gave me respect, Peggle, but the mage council didn’t really enjoy having a goat within their presence. I was chosen along with others to train to become the great mage of our time. There were only three chosen for this position, quite the honor.

The first was Inocard. The great caster of fire. Born in a family of fire mages, he is able to cast spells so hot, a phoenix would get burned. He was a charmer, handsome man, viewed as the greatest of all people, unless you actually knew him. He never did anything but got all the credit. I never really like him much.

The second Xino-ryk, pronounced like: Zee No Rye Ke. He was a less flashy and worked hard for where he is. He was able to do prestidigitation magic like none other. He made a performance out of every spell. He may not have been able to burn valorite from looking at it, however he could make it vanish into thin air.

The third was, Mesanna. Someone picked up from a farmers contest. No history of great and power mages. No lessons from schools. No collections of magical books that have release deep insight. Just a young girl and a goat. For some reason the other two didn’t really like me. They treated me as an outsider. I now can understand why, but back then, I was tossed into a torrent and couldn’t escape. Only one could be the great mage.

Basically, we trained for years for this grand final “test”. No one but the head of the council knew what the test would be. Everyone speculated yet none knew. If someone could have guessed what was going to happen… I would think that someone had something wrong with their minds. The council believed it was the fairest thing to do. Test which mage would last the longest. Sounds simple enough. They made this strange time and space which all three of us were placed within. It looked like a town, that was overrun with monsters. You could see a demon or two… some skeletons looking to sneak in an attack, those were not the threat. As the goal, was to be the last to die. There was no point in having someone who could threaten the great mage of the time.

It was easy enough to see where Inocard was, you simply had to look for the big explosions, and avoid him. I doubt a demon would have the power to kill that man, so I hoped Xino-ryk would make him vanish. No one other than the heads of the mage council knew Xino-ryk’s power. He showed some things off in the classes and lectures we had, but never everything.

I was forced to hide. I had no way to compete with these powerful spell casters, I was able to muster some great talent, but I didn’t have the years of training they had. If the council was right, then now would be the time for my mysterious power to reveal itself. It didn’t. I was alone and scared. I wish I had Peggle with me… but at the same time was glad she was safe from this madness.

Suddenly the explosions stopped. I could hear both of them communicating to each other. Not words of power or enchantments. They were making a truce to team up on me.

“Mesanna, you should come out! I want to talk to you about something” Xino-ryk shouted, hoping to lure me out. I didn’t have any other options than to respond. They were going to find me eventually. I’d rather face them head on than die from some random explosion.

” Xino-ryk, what do you want to talk about? The different ways you are going to kill me? The duration I am going to feel pain and suffering as you do your magic? Or is it that you’ve given up? Too scared to fight a girl!?!” I had no idea what I was saying… I just wanted to feel brave.

“Ahh there you are Lady Mesanna. The wonder to all us mages. The useless slave and tavern wench that got all the attention from the head of the mage council. Don’t you worry Mesanna, I don’t like dirtying my hands with the blood of a lady, I’m far to noble for that.” Xino-ryk started to move his hands using lost or ancient magic, “Let me show you what I’ve learned from my ancestors, and what they learned from the Xorinite Wisps! YOU DARE FEEL SPECIAL! I AM SPECIAL! I’M BLOOD FROM THRAXIMUS! YOU ARE NOTHING!” Xino-ryk smashed his hands together, then slowly spread them apart. As the pulled, which appeared to be a struggle, a sphere of darkness appeared before him. He took one step back and look me in the eyes.

I started creating magical defenses, to protect me from any impact this giant sphere would have.

“Hahaha! You FOOL! You think I’m going to physically harm you? NO! I will attack where it hurts most!” His eyes glazed over as he stared into the ball. “That is what is most precious to you. Pathetic…” He put his hand into the ball and pulled out a goat. It was Peggle.

“DON’T HARM PEGGLE!” I screamed! I reached my arms out and began to run to my best friend.

“VAS JUX IN FLAM” Inocard chanted from the shadows, “Yeah! Pathetic! You going to cry to your mommy now? Ohh wait.. you don’t even have one!” The spell had completely incinerated Peggle. Nothing remaind other than ash. In that very moment, my very essence broke. I did not cry, even though I had wanted to. I did not shout or scream. My mind became blank. Thousands of emotions ran through me, I could feel the energy of the land weep for me. I wanted both of them gone.

“Inocard, Xino-ryk… this world we are in… it’s separate from Trammel isn’t it?” I said calmly, despite how uncontrolled I was feeling. I slowly allowed the energy of everything around seep in. I wonder how I never felt it before. The power to create and destroy, was always there, you just needed to connect to it properly.

CAS KAL AN MANI IN CORP HUR TYM! VAS CORP BET MANI! VAS KAL CORP!

In an instant, I managed to destroy that world, three times… Everything vanished: The demons, the town, inocard and Xino-ryk. I stood in emptiness. Casting that magic, I never knew I had, changed me. I looked to my hands and they were dark as the night, and my hair had red energy flowing through it. I broke down at that point. Tears poured like fountains down my face. My stomach turned and my heart ached. I fell to my knees and grabbed what I believed to be Peggle’s ashes. Then I blacked out.

I do not know how long it had been. Yet when I woke I was in a bed. I looked for Peggle, hoping that it was all just a terrible dream. It wasn’t. There was a small urn beside the bed with a dark powder. I felt sick to my stomach. *Knock knock knock* Someone knocked on my door three times. I didn’t want to see and talk to anyone. This was my mourning period.

“Well done Mesanna, we always knew that you were special. We were quite impressed with the magic that you had preformed back there.” A mage approached her, “You don’t have much time, so put this on and get to the ceremony.” He tossed a set of dark abyssal armour and an elegant robe on the bed then walked out.

I didn’t want to go; I wanted to escape. I could feel the world around me sending me it’s energy, wanting me to be free from the hardships I had faced. With all my power I created a “Moongate” one to freedom. I suited up, grabbed the urn and a small backpack from the room. I peered my head into the portal and saw… 15.. no 25, maybe more, different worlds. Trapped in a crystal like shard. All the same, yet all different. I reached my hand out, as they called for me. Each of these worlds would hold something special for me. Each of these worlds would provide me with the power I need to make it a better place. A place where people aren’t forced to kill each other. A Place where a girl can live in peace with her goat.

I stepped into the moongate and walked towards one of the worlds. I appeared in tavern called The Silver Arrow. An elf girl named Copper passed me a drink and said…

“Welcome traveller to Tel’Ruid, The glade, of Lake Superior. If you need your armour repaired I’m your girl. For now you look tired so have a drink and be merry!”

I grined wide, taking a sip from the ale, thinking of how I could help people out. This world seemed peaceful, much nicer than the horror I just came from. I figured I should start by bringing some joy… I asked, “Do you happen to know how to play Mesanna Roulette?”
___

Mesanna rubbed her eyes as it was getting late. “Mr. Elrington, we will have to continue this story at tomorrow’s morning. There is still much to be covered, and I’m sure your pen hand is looking for some rest.” Mesanna stood up and showed her guest to a spare room, then headed to her own.

“You life is truly a wonder. I still don’t fully understand everything you’ve just told me, and I know we haven’t even touched the tip of the iceburg. Have a goodnight and thank you” Elrington said as Mesanna walked down the hall of her home.

She lay in bed thinking of how she is to continue the story, she wanted the man to know everything, but did not think the world was ready. It was a problem for another day, for tonight she needs rest.

Queen Arya

Mesanna pays homage to an old friend

by Queen Arya  of Atlantic Toad town

As Mesanna kneels down to prune several of the poppies surrounding the grave of her pet Peggle the goat, shes nudged by several of the younger goats.
She scratches behind their ears and wonders is this one Percy or is that one Piglet? I can never tell them apart.
Mesanna whispers to them, I know Peggle would be so proud of his great grand children.

Its been a long time friend since we have been together and it still feels like yesterday when you took that arrow that was meant for me.
As a small tear rolls down her cheek, Mesanna recalls Peggle the goat hovering over her half unconcious body from the bricks that caught the back of her head when the Juka dislodged them to block their escape from Ilshnar.

A tremor starts in the pit of her stomach as Mesanna struggles to keep the darkness & evil at bay.
Not today, Mesanna utters out loud, not today. This day is meant for Joy, Peace, Happiness & love, for this is the anniversary of my freedom from Bermholdt and the slavery at the Twin Oaks Inn.

Mesanna whispers as if Peggle can hear her, If it wasn’t for you my old friend, sniffing out the smell of food from the nearest town, we would never have survived.
Slipping away in a dream like state, Mesanna recalls passing by the liches, trolls and orc’s only because Peggle could smell danger from miles away.
Peggle she whispers, remembering barely getting through the town of yew when the sickness took over the citizens there. it still made her feel a little queasy thinking of all the towns folks and the look of death on the corpses. How had the sickness missed me she wonders?

Chuckling to herself, remembering Lord British castle and Peggle nibbling on the flowers, when the gardener came at us with his shovel, and Queen Dawn yelling from the balcony to let that goat have what ever he wants. She said it brought laughter and levity to that dreary castle that day. I believe Queen Dawn knew there was much amiss, especially after her husband was reported missing.

Peggle we had been through so much together, remembering the Juka and Meer wars. Recalling yet again the Bane and then the Gargoyles and Exodus struggles.

Laughing out loud when the memory of Peggle and I tricking the Time Lord to pass from realm to realm unnoticed as ghosts.

As reality creeps back in. Mesanna wipes the smudges of soil off her leather garbs. There is still revenge to be had Peggle, our job is not quit done.
The towns people still harvest fear, hatred, jealousy, and greed, and as long as that is still out there, then the darkness still grows within me.
The darkness, the darkness, remembering all to well drinking of the fountain near the void. The towns people urging us to drink freely and stating it will bring good fortune and heal us, it will heal the wound from that arrow you took for me. They knew what was in that water and yet they drag innocents there because they fear things they don’t understand. They fear people who are different from them.

The Darkness, the darkness is winning…. I can’t let that happen… growling…. the darkness in any other being would create terror and havoc, that is why I must use the darkness to turn things around.

Angel Dust

Mesanna’s Ascension 

By Angel Dust of Atlantic

“Knock Knock”. Enter into the chamber replied the Elder Mage. Into the counsel room a young man comes. His name is Bennu. Bennu just reached his twenty-first birthday and is ready to prove his skills before the famed Britannia Council of Mage’s. He has been training for this since he was able to speak words of power, and is looking forward to receiving his certification of Magery. Mostly though, Bennu wants to catch the eye of Rel Taks right hand Mage, Mesanna. Yes, she is a bit older than Bennu, but what is age when it comes to boyhood love?

Four hours go by, the test was grueling, but Bennu succeeds! The council approves of him and sets a date for the presentation of his Legendary Mage Scroll. He bows to the council, and starts to turn away. Before he does, he takes a quick peek at her. Mesanna notices and gives a faint smile. Bennu almost fainted, taking it as a flirtatious gesture! And on a quick turn he is out the door to get cleaned up for the ceremony.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise” bellowed the council scribe. The ceremony was packed; all of Britannia came out to see the new Mages being honored! Four in all were receiving their titles. Mesanna, the vice council Mage in command would be presenting tonight. This made Bennu’s heart beat faster than it really should have been. The names were read, the Mages cycled through one at a time. It was Bennus turn, he started sweating and getting butterflies. He had never been this close to his love! To look into those eyes! He walked up to her, mumbled a few words in panic, grabbed his scroll, and moved quickly away. Mesanna noticed his shyness. This tickled her a bit, she had a plan!

After the ceremony, there was a big festival. Dancing, food, games, the whole city was out and having a blast. Mesanna was wandering through the crowd. She was looking for him, Bennu that is. Alas, there he was at the bar sipping some ale. She walked up, grabbed his hand, and said “me, you, dance floor now”. Oh my, this took Bennu by surprise. He followed without hesitation. They danced and talked most of the night, enjoying each other’s company. Soon though, it was time to say goodnight. Mesanna asked Bennu to stop by the council tomorrow morning, she had something to discuss with him. He agreed to come, and headed home for some much needed rest after such a long and eventful day.

Sunrise, Mesanna was up and ready to start the day. Every morning for the last 10 years has been a blessing. She has seen many battles across the lands. From the destruction of her once beautiful home in the city of Magincia by the Deamons that invaded, to the crowning of a new King in the capital city of Britain, to the death of a new king. She usually would start the brew of coffee and then go check on her dear pet and friend Peggie. Feed her and give her some warm milk, sit and rub her coat. It has been 4 years since Peggie passed away, now Mesanna looks out her kitchen window every morning at the sunrise. Just below the beautiful site, is a small cross inscribed with a name, Peggie.

Time to meet Bennu and discuss the situation, Mesanna tosses on her cloak and heads out the door. Upon arriving at the Mage Council hall, Bennu is already waiting on the massive stone steps. He jumps to his feet. “Well, good morning” says Mesanna. “Did not expect you to beat me here”. “I am an early riser, besides, I am very curious to what you wanted to talk about” says Bennu back. Well, come in and let us talk. They headed to Mesanna’s private office. Only the President and Vice of the council had their own office space. It was a great perk, and allowed for some nice quit time after some grueling days.

“Take a seat” Mesanna said. Bennu pulled up a chair and sat. Mesanna rustled through some papers, pulled a few to the side and shoved the rest to the floor out of her way. This is what we need to discuss. It was several maps with writing and stamps all over them. “What are these for?” Bennu asked. These are maps of areas where strange things have been happening, I need your help. Bennu looked confused. What do you need me to do? “You are one of the most talented Mages I have seen in ages Bennu” said Mesanna. I want you to help me form a militia to scout out the situation and put a stop to it. “Oh” sighed Bennu; this is not what he expected. “OK, let’s do this then” he said.

First off, we need to recruit some Warriors, Mages, and Healers. The realm is filled with brave souls who will fight to defend our way of life. So, off to the city centers they headed to gather some volunteers. By a week’s time, Mesanna and Bennu had gathered about 40 or 50 well trained people. Mesanna gathered them all at a building she had rented out from an old friend she met during her Pub days in Bucs Den, Queen Arya. Queens Dollhouse in historic Toad Town seemed a fitting place as a teleporter hub was located just next door and easy access from Luna. “We need a name” Mesanna said. What do you guys think of The Knights of the Crux Ansata? Everyone shouted in agreement. So a name was set, and a group was formed. Next was to start the search. Mesanna was well known for her skills as a Mage, she would lead this Army to every battle.

Weeks went by, many battles, many encounters. A lot of clues found. It all was leading to one location, a cave hidden in Ilshenar. Mesanna poured over all the documents and Intel her Soldiers have found and brought to her. The only problem, she had no clue who was behind all the city invasions, magical rifts at moongates around the realm, and just total chaos that has plagued Britannia. Ok, we need to head over to this cave and see for ourselves I guess, she said. The call out for muster was sent. Everyone met up at the hall in full battle gear. It was a good turnout. Several people brought their pets, Massive, muscular dragons. We are going to the spot all the clues point to Mesanna told the crowd. Be ready to fight and die. I will lead the charge; it is a short walk from the Spirituality moongate. Off they set for the encounter. I took about an hour to get there, since Ilshenar has magic properties blocking gates or recalls, Mesanna could not use a skill she so enjoyed learning during her younger days. As the group approached the cave, a fear not seen too often struck Mesanna. Up ahead was something she has not seen in over ten years, Chaos and Void Demons everywhere!

The battle ensued! It was bloody. It was brutal. It was long, 2 hours passed before the last Demon lay slain by the group of brave citizens lead by a brave and vicious Mesanna. She used her fear for these beasts, and her love for Peggie to courageously defend anyone around her. The group gathered up the fellow warriors who were not so lucky, safely stowed their bodies until they could return for them, patched up the injured and moved on. This was a necessary battle, no time to stop now.

Mesanna lead the group into the cave. It was dark and damp. No one seemed to be around. A very eerie feeling came over Mesanna. As if someone was watching her, someone who she knew. A bright light flashed. A loud crack and before her stood a pale ghostly figure. It was Bernholdt. Mesanna nearly fainted. She took a leap back and went on her guard. “How are you here!” she exclaimed. No reply came, only a blank stare. Then without warning, more Demons appeared. By this time, Mesanna’s anger for this ghostly man before her was returning. It has been many years and she has seen and done many things, but this was the man who tried to hold her back. With a quick and powerful swing of her hand, Mesanna destroyed the Demons with one bolt of lightning. This took Bernholdt by surprise, he did not know of the skills Mesanna had honed over the years. “This is between me and you” she shouted. She told Bennu to take the group and go. Let her take care of this. “I am not leaving you” he replied. Mesanna did not agree, she used her magic and overcame the powers of Ilshenar and sent the Militia thru a gate to outside the cave. She summoned a field of energy over the entrance to keep them out and safe. This was a battle of emotion and history for Mesanna, she did not want anyone to see what is about to happen. “This will not take long Bernholdt” said Mesanna. Bernholdt laughed. That laugh and grin only incited the anger Mesanna had. A flood of memories went into her mind. Peggie, the cook who taught her to read, the few beatings, the labor she endured. Without warning, Mesanna recited a flurry of spells quicker than anyone ever has. Within seconds Bernholdt was vaporized.

Unfortunately, the power Mesanna unleashed did not only hit Bernholdt. It also hit the walls of the cave. It started to collapse all around her. What have I done, thought Mesanna. I created my own demise because of anger. Quickly she started for the exit. Running and dodging falling rubble. The cave exit was in site, she dashed as fast as she could. Feet from the entrance, it happened. A huge chunk of ceiling came crashing down on her. Bennu, outside trying to counter the field spell to get to her, was screaming her name. Finally he was able to get the field down. He rushed into the pile of debris and started digging. “Get in here and help” he yelled to the crowd of Soldiers. As they were digging, suddenly a glow from under the rocks shone through. Mesanna had in her mind created a spell to shield herself as the rocks fell. A Mage of true power indeed, she was alive! As the last few rocks were moved off the glowing cover, Bennu stepped back.

Mesanna stood to her feet and slowly lowered the force around her. She was not the same. The force she created had caused a change. Her skin was jet black; her hair was glowing reddish black. It had burned her from the inside out as the power radiated from her. This is how Mesanna became known as the Queen of Darkness. It was not because she was evil, as many a visitor to the realm would assume, it was because a tremendous love for the people and a rare power no Mage has ever seen resided inside of her.

A few weeks went by with no strange incidents. She had not spoken to Bennu or anyone else since the battle. Mesanna had grown to like her new look. She decided it was time to address the Crux and Bennu. She called a meeting at the hall. Everyone showed up, anxious to hear her speak. “Good evening everyone” greeted Mesanna. We have fought some tough battles together; we have traveled the world to defeat evil. Together we shall be the protective force of Britannia. We must stay vigilant, we must stay skilled. There will always be evil in the world that we must stop. Always have your sword sharpened, your reagents ready, your pets at hand, ready to fight. This is how Mesanna and Bennu started their journey through life. A powerful wise Older Mage with a young skilled helper waiting for the next threat.

As we all know, in Britannia they did not have to wait to long………………

Nails Warstein

Mesanna’s Ascension

By Nails Warstein of Catskills

In part III the Ascension we enter into the mind of the Mesanna as we are made privy to her thoughts as she discovers her true purpose in a secret magical city within Sosaria.

Fricker Frack, Findlesticks, Fricker Fracker!! *sigh* When will it end? Why me? How do I keep finding myself in these predicaments? I just wanted to collect enough reagents so I wouldn’t keep fumbling over my spells. I wish I had a magic suit or trinket that made these filthy reagents obsolete. Now I am stuck running for my life through these winding paths between the Iron Spur Mountains I have no hope of climbing or escaping, and now I’m lost. AGAIN!

Where in Mondain’s name do these fleeting Harpies, foul mouthed Gargoyles, Orc Mages and Lords come from? It seems like the more there are of them, the slower I run, like I’m stuck in a quagmire. Fortunately I had enough reagents on me for a poison field to help make my escape. If it weren’t for the fear of death I might have relished in their screeches and curses. They can’t be far behind.

What is this place? These beautiful alabaster statues stand like sentinels over the ruins leading into the mountain. What ever shall I do, stand and fight? I can hear the growling angry birds and dogs closing in. Maybe this passage will lead to safety.

Beware Ye Who Enter These Halls!
Oh for the love of all that’s holy, they talk! What have I gotten myself into now, how can it get any worse? I have no choice, but to move forward. At least I had the good sense to leave my dear Peggie at home. Ah look there’s a pentagram, I can use this to focus my energy and strengthen my spells.

*Steps in the center of the star, feels a slight resistances as some unseen barrier gives way, and Mesanna finds herself magically transported inside the mountain*

Well that tingled my toes. Now my arms have goose bumps, and my hair is standing on their ends. Feels like magic is harnessed in the air here. What is this inexplicable sensation in my gut guiding my steps further, deeper into the mountain? No time to consider the implications, a cackling laughter broke through the bewildering wonderment beguiling me as a wretched lich greeted my arrival.

Empowered by the sacred ground I found myself upon, I casted a flamestrike spell without blinking, and watched the dry tinder like bark skin incinerate the bane of most cemeteries instantly to ash. I should have been scared, I shouldn’t be capable of this kind of power. Yet instead something comforting is seemingly lulling me through the twists and turns in a near dream-like state, avoiding passages filled with Daemons, Liches, and Ogre Lords until I caught sight of a marble city encapsulated in a large cavern chamber.

No sooner had I laid eyes upon this marvelous city of mystery than a patrol of Mages bearing a coat of arms on their robes of a silver star on black background beckoned me “Welcome Mesanna to the City of Wind. We are the Caretakers, the Colloquium has been expecting you at the Seat of Knowledge, please join us.”

The invitation was intriguing to say the very least, I found this new sense of destiny outright irresistible at most. Besides I wasn’t about to try my chances back out among the true denizens of the dungeon. Even with them so near, somehow I felt right at home here. Shortly I found myself among a council of mages in a magnificent library the likes the world has never seen. They spoke to me in clear solemn whispers.

“Mesanna your arrival has been foretold since the defeat of Mondain. We have guarded the seat of your power here in Wind for millennium awaiting your return. We have watched you learn and endure your lessons, the hardships you’ve overcome since being enslaved as a servant to a lowly barkeeper. Has your noble mission to understand and attain the virtues of Honor, Honesty, Humility, Spirituality, Compassion, Justice, Valor, and Sacrifice from the perspective of those who worship you enlightened and prepared you for the ascension?”

Although completely dumbfounded and awestruck, a cord of truth strummed my heart. As though awakened from a trance, their words pumped adrenaline in my veins. I could not find the words to answer, so I nodded yes. Each elder satisfied with my response, began to circle around me, and began chanting. A magic gate appeared before me, and in unison they encouraged me “Mesanna, it is time you seized and harness the shard of immortality once more.”

I stepped through the gate and into a glade still within the mountain, and glided towards a spring within a grove. Shining, floating eye level above the water, a crystal shard sparkled and beamed rays in a myriad of colors. A familiar voice, my own was calling me forth from within the crystal, reminding me who I was, who I am, and who I always will be. I am the Dark Queen, the Evil Mistress, the Goddess, the Creator and Destroyer Of Worlds.

For a moment, I may have hesitated just a little to notice that I felt a darkness begin to surround me, caress me. Suddenly out of nowhere the glade began to be flooded with daemons, balrons, liches, elementals, and monsters the likes I’ve never seen. Were they there to stop me, witness history, or fuel my new dark powers? It matters naught to me as I stood in the waters and cupped the gem in my palms, and shed the last vestiges of my humanity. Lightening erupted around me, flames ignited through me, and shockwaves stunned all those throughout the mountain.
A giddy gleeful sensation tickled me from head to toe as I began to shoot forth chain lighting from my fingers, I called meteor showers to crush from above, willed earthquakes to rattle and shake from below, spurted pools of acid to swallow, poison gas to suffocate and summoned spells until everything that moved was scorched gooey globs of smoking cinders. When the ascension was complete, a single solitary thought penetrated my reverie, focused my purpose, and I roared “I am Mesanna, and I Kill, Because I Care!”

Olcher

Mesanna’s Ascension

By Olcher of Atlantic

Mesanna had always heard about the infamous Council of Mages from when she lived in Magincia, and now with what seemed to be an invitation to join them, she was conflicted. She had grown accustom to the simple life on the outskirts of Luna tending to her goats, however, she also knew that she is was destine for something much greater and that the Council of Mages could help her realize her potential. She knew that with accepting the invitation she would have to leave her goats behind, including her beloved Peggie.

After several sleepless days, Mesanna decided to accepted the invitation. “It won’t be forever… maybe a few months at most. I will visit as much as I can.” she whispered to Peggie as tears ran down her face. Peggie understandingly nudged Mesanna. She entrusted her goats to a local school boy named Timmy who she met at the “Most Impressive Goat” contest. She knew they would be left in capable hands while she is gone.

Mesanna gathered her few belongings set out for magical island of Moonglow, the new home of the Council of Mages. She took the moongate out of Luna to Felucia where she was greeted by an elf magician wearing a robe with a distinct shade of blue. He introduced himself as Mytor before he hurried Mesanna in to the forest. “There is no time – we are not safe out in the open” he explained as they ran deeper in to the forest. Passing a graveyard and a zoo, they finally reached the Southern tip of Moonglow island where the Council of Mages had moved after the destruction of Magincia.

Upon arriving in the CoM base, Mesanna was treated very well – everyone was very kind to her. Being the only female magician, she was given her own dormitory away from the boys. Mytor explained that he was the headmaster and he had heard about her great magic skills from former Magincia residents who witnessed her great escape. She was summoned there to let her magic skills grow and flourish. She accepted delightfully, and for the first time ever, forgot about her goats for just a moment.

After several weeks of magic training, she approached Mytor to see if she could take a few day break to go home and visit her goats. “It’s only been a few weeks and your magic skills are already flourishing – they have already surpassed a second-year magician. Your powers are great, especially with the gate travel spell – you are close to a breakthrough with it. Do you really want to throw that all away for goats?” Mytor explained to Mesanna in a disturbed tone. With her head hung low, Mesanna walked out of the room and cried herself to sleep.

For the next few days Mesanna had become very homesick and her attitude reflected upon it. She saw Mytor on her way back to her room. “I am very upset, please, if you would just let me go for a day or two I would just like to visit with my goats.” Mesanna begged to Mytor.

“You will not be allowed to leave during training. Furthermore, I have taken care of your goats. They will no longer be interfering with your studies.” Mytor replied.

Mesanna broke out in tears as she whimpered, “No you… didn’t… Kal Ort Por.” She quickly recalled back to her home outside of Luna. As she arrived, her heart sunk. Her small thatched-roof cottage and adjacent barn were ablaze. “My goats…. my Peggie…” she cried as she watched everything burn to the ground. She felt helpless but she knew there was one thing she could do.

As fast as she could she ran back to the Council of Mages base. Upon arrival she screamed in anger, “WHERE IS MYTOR?” in the middle of the dining hall.

The room went dead silent and one of the first year mages said, “He went to a meeting at the Serpents Cross tavern [of Atlantic] north of Yew. Here’s a rune.” She quickly recalled off of it.

Upon arriving at the Tavern, she saw several different varieties of horses she has never seen before… that distinct hue of blue, dark red, green, and a dark purple. Never the less, she stormed inside. Upon entering the dark room that smelled of spilled beer and spirits, she quickly pointed out Mytor. “YOU!” she screamed as she pointed at Mytor, “Kal Vas Flam” she said at the top of her lungs. At that point Mesanna realized her true magic powers. As she cast the spell her skin became pure black.

The flame strike not only instantly killed Mytor and several others next to him, it exploded the entire room and even singed her clothes to a special dark-black hue. She quickly realized the destruction she had caused and ran outside in a hurry.

As she walked out of the Tavern, a large group of bystanders outside looked at her with their jaws seemingly on the ground. “I didn’t mean to do that! I kill because I care–” Mesanna attempted to explain before she was cutoff by the angry mob that had formed.

“Get her!” One man in the mob screamed before they all grabbed their weapons and charged Mesanna. She knew she was in trouble, and in haste, she fumbled with her runes in her pocket and casted the gate spell.

“Vas Rel Por”, she mumbled before she was sucked into a moongate. This time it was different. She ended up in what seemed like the same location, except the houses were different and there was no tavern here. This is where she realized what Mytor had said was true and that her gate spell had advanced. The age old story of Mondain the Wizard and the ‘Shards’ did exist and she could travel between them freely. Mesanna realizes her true potential at that moment.

Ever since, she can be found roaming the shards killing the mortal humans, elves, and gargoyles as revenge for all the pain and suffering they have caused her and her beloved Peggie. It has been rumored that a few lucky people that do find her are not killed instantly, and on the contrary, may be rewarded.