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The Resistance

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The Resistance

Your journeys haven taken you to the Woods of the Silent, a stretch of thick, shadowed woodlands that separates the continent nearly in half, touching each country like a thick knot. Following the directions to the T, you find yourself in a small clearing, large gnarled thorn and hawthorn trees creating a sense of caging in, light barely able to penetrate through the canopy.

"Shhhh." the sharp command is given, as you and your party are suddenly, and without much effort, set upon. The laughing brown eyes of a young man are the only features you see before being blindfolded and led through the woods.

Silence is the sound that greets you as you are led through what must be a maze of twists and turns, all cleverly used to make sure you do not know your destination. Suddenly, a sharp snap greets you in the deafening silence, and sounds explode from all directions. The sounds of children and men, animals and strange keening songs of the birds in the trees engulf you in their overwhelming color. Pressure on your back moves you forward once again, and the sound of water nearby almost drowns out the next new voices in your vicinity. One, strong and husky, a woman's no doubt, and another, deeply accented and low, speaking as they approach you.

Slowly the blindfold drops...

Set into the natural black cliffs of the wide glen, houses, bridges, pens and even a small grain and water storage is built. Men in all forms of armor walk about, some carrying familiar insignias of Royal families, other in patchwork leathers with only their haunted expressions and sharp swords to their names. Set in the center of the circular glen, a large platform had been raised, set into three sections, each a step higher than the next. On each, close to a dozen boys, men, and seasoned fighters practice their daily routines, honing their skills that they will need should they be called out to another battle.

Turning your eyes slowly back to where you stand, a tall, dark-haired woman watches you. Arms folded beneath her chest, a smirk on her otherwise emotionless features.

"Welcome to the Silent Woods, and the Resistance." she remarks rather dryly, motioning to the young man you had seen earlier.

"This is Justin Cross, our captain of communications, as you may have met him before.. slipping you that note in the Harbor House... " your eyes light with surprise as you nod to him, walking in step with the woman as she motions to various points in your brief tour.

"We have both combat training and academic training. Livestock and families.. but we keep things to a bare minimum, as we have camps like this set all over the continent, even in Domania itself." You blink in surprise as you continue walking, taking in the enormity of the situation.

"Our struggle has been going on for nearly 30 years, longer I think, but I'm not that old to remember. At most times we keep ourselves unknown, not having the full manpower to withstand a direct attack from Emperor Vyras. At times we have the backing of the Dragon Riders, and on occasion our allies, the elves, will lend their skills, but we do not delude ourselves. This is our fight and we who will win it." She pauses, stopping before a large outcropping, the sound of water rushing past rocks growing deafening as she motions you to watch your step, turning to make her way down stone steps into a small waterfall-fed pool.

"What you are about to see.. is our center control room, where most communications are made, and plans are set for our next move. Not everything is battle and heroism I am afraid, if that's what your looking for. Some things are as mundane as shipping out exports," she gives you a sarcastic chuckle, as yes they do export," and imports from allying nations. " Not missing a step, she quickly disappears behind the running water, giving you no chance but to follow behind or get lost.

You stop for an instant, allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness of the cave's interior, but it doesn't take you long to discover the cave has its own light source. Large and reaching to the high vaulted ceilings of the circular room, a crystal that flashes almost every shade of the rainbow juts from the floor. Five feet in diameter and 30 feet high, bright globes flicker in and out around the large object, work stations situated around, and nearby in a circle around it. Not much other light is needed, as the woman directs you towards one station set directly in front of the crystal, maps and tools spread out over a cherry-wood color, table top.

"If you will simply wait.. answers will come soon." she murmurs, and in the next instant a large luminous globe flickers in front of you, a face appearing in it's depths. Her strong, still beautiful features look down, not mockingly, but somewhat affectionately, thick silver hair cascading around her shoulders. You can not mistake the face of Queen Nephthys, the sorceress Queen of Meridia, and the key to the Resistance movement. Frozen, the woman moves forward, giving a elegant bow before introducing you to her Majesty.

"Illia.. you didn't tell me we would have guests, tsk tsk, I would have been more prepared." the husky voice admonishes, but smiles down upon the dark-haired woman's face, giving her a name you had not bothered to ask.

"My apologies Your Majesty, they are curious to our cause, and may wish to join." she answers back, respect evident in her posture and eyes.

"Oh?" her luminous gray eyes twinkle as they move to you.

"And do you think your curiosity has been quenched, young one? No?
..Perhaps if I were to tell you everything, hmm? Well.. afraid I can not do that, something about security and bothersome paperwork. I can tell you though.. freedom is a very costly thing for us. We have sacrificed our personal freedom, even our families and loved ones, to help those without freedom achieve it.
We are not heroes in most rights, some of our motivations are purely selfish, but we each have a goal. That is to stop this darkness and oppression from staining the rest of the world. I will not have The Devil rule this world." her words become louder, her eyes crackling with her emotions even through the hazy globe.

Illia nods, her gaze as stormy as her Queens. She turns her gaze to you, a gaze that almost penetrates your soul.

"We have allies from across Abyssia, but sometimes it is not enough. The Emperor keeps a tight control on his people, they fear if they were to ever go beyond his orders, they will lose his protection. Same goes with his allies and armies. We are not above asking for help, but this is our fight, should you wish to join is purely up to you."

You are left to your decision, fight to give others the freedom you may or may not have known, or turn away, seek other adventures. This choice is purely yours, and no consequences, hard feelings or reprisal will come of it. However, do not forget us, we who fight for the weak, we who fight for the strong as well. We fight for you, now will you fight for us?

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