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Frank K Krivak
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Sing the Song of Ellomyr.

Gurner is gone.
His stories are now legend and the guiding hand of Ellomyr fades into the auld world. The Trilling Shard will add his harmony to those who have passed before and we will never forget him.

Sing the song of Gurner

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Update #32 A Loss for Ellomyr

They gather outside Gurner Fron's thatched-roof house near the square. Brucha One-Hand. Dora. Nieten. The others. Everyone is so quiet, so still. Only the Trilling Stone makes noise; a soft low song that they can feel in their hearts, their soles, their fingertips. Gurner is dead, gone as he wanted to go, in his home, telling stories about the prior worlds, and the community feels his absence as one feels the loss of gravity or breath.

"He was a good man, and a good leader," Brucha says. His voice is strained, his head down. Everyone murmurs agreement. Even the stone seems to echo the sentiment, a soft, sad, clear note. So much of what they’ve built, they’ve done side-by-side, always with Gurner at the helm.

Now, they'll need to find a new leader. They look around at each other, at this abundance of skills and experience. Who will they choose? The chiurgeon with the healing devices and the engaging voice? The woman of fire who leads with ferocity and a firm hand? The twin automatons and their weird datasphere connections? A collective of the smartest and strongest that works together? That might be their best option, but even then, it's no easy choice. They're aware of how lucky they are; so many good people to take Ellomyr into the future. Neiten steps up, presses the flat of her palm to Gurner’s door. Bows her head. “Look to the future, forget the past,” she says.

The others echo her words. A chorus of sorrow and promise, rising. Rising.

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Update #31 Another Expedition from Ellomyr

It was more than a year ago, Viel mused, that she watched Jird pack up her aneen to prepare for a journey to the Valley of Sins with the rest of the explorers. Now Viel was getting ready to do the same thing.

The wrights had such big plans. Their talk spun her head around when they started in. Synthsteel this, and angular spheres that. Mimetic gel wrapped in frost film. These were just words to her, and strange ones at that. She wasn’t a maker, or a crafter, but she thought she could probably be a finder. A scrounger. A scavenger. A delve. In the past year, she’d learned that she had a knack for it. She could almost smell the numenera. Let someone else figure out how to put it altogether. She could find the stuff.

And the wrights were like hungry birds, chirping for more and more iotum. Traders from Othmar had brought in some useful things, and were more than willing to trade it for food and wool. But that supply was limited and irregular. They needed more.

She’d heard all the stories and descriptions from those who had braved the valley before. She’d memorized them, truth be told. Blue mist that acted like a living thing. A massive structure like a floating sphere sliced in half, and lightning between the halves. Creatures that popped in and out of existence almost randomly. The dangers were great. But filled with the knowledge they had from the first expedition, her heart swelled with confidence. Excitement even.

It was time to return to the Valley of Sins and see what they could bring back. This time, they’d bring a wagon.

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Update #30 Ellomyr Grows

Calistina wondered if the scent of that insidious blue mist would ever leave her. She’d put a year behind her and still she woke up smelling seawater and sarnwood, their only warning before the screaming began . . .

She’d survived. So had most of the others. That’s what mattered. And they’d retrieved a cache of knowledge from the Valley of Sins that rivaled anything she’d ever previously discovered. Plans of the prior worlds, a whole cache encoded in a crystal storage device!

In the seasons since the margr attack that’d brought her to Ellomyr, the city had recovered, and more. It’d grown. Some of that growth was her doing. As a Wright, she’d already known a few plans that described how to create minor wonders. Indeed, she’d crafted luminous dynamos to bring light to the growing community at night, some vermin wards, and—her crowning achievement—a swiveling machine able to shoot lightning that she’d mounted on a tower.

But the new plans opened up a far wider range of options! Using them, she and her crew of helpers could craft installations of greater scope and power. But that meant they’d take that much longer to build, so she had to pick her projects carefully.

Should she build a far larger and more capable lightning tower? Or should she build a massive purification station that would ensure enough pure water for even a community growing as fast as Ellomyr? Or maybe she should begin on building force shield generators to make the walls impenetrable . . .

Lighting incense that smelled of flowers and hope, Calistina pondered.

Welcome to Ellomyr!

So much have we become since The Battle of Ellomyr. New hope and new technologies bring light to our town and, as our memory of war fades, our future is bright. The song of Ellomyr rings clear and strong in our new age.

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Update #28 Ellomyr Builds

Fheen unloaded the cart, stacking the various containers of iotum they had salvaged from this month’s scavenging run in the Valley of Sins. This was a good haul; the wrights will be proud of what his team brought back to Ellomyr. Wooden crates full of glowing crystal pebbles. Bundles of uncured synthsteel rods. The cracked spherical stone that was almost too hot to touch with your bare hands. And weirder things he couldn’t explain.

As Fheen worked, Jird catalogued the found items in her blankbook and thought about their potential uses. Crystals can provide energy for more signaling devices. Synthsteel can make more windriders. The cracked sphere, if repaired, can power cold lights throughout the town, perhaps forever. Her thoughts halted in surprise as Fheen removed a tiny green glass shape from the wagon and waved it dramatically so she wouldn’t overlook it in her list.

Before Fheen could set it down, Jird stepped forward to grab the glass, dropping her stylus and blankbook in her eagerness. She was surprised by how heavy it was despite it being no longer than her finger. Inside, a syrupy fluid roiled chaotically. She didn’t know the word for this kind of iotum, but she had once heard descriptions of it from an Aeon Priest long ago. This was a miraculous find. If Fheen had found this in the Valley of Sins, there must be more of it around. And with four or five of these bottles, they could change Ellomyr in ways the townsfolk could never imagine.

She tapped the green glass with her fingernail, smiling as the fluid whirled itself into complex molecular patterns against its container. She was thinking of building something for peace instead of war. Something to help the people grow instead of just barely hold on. Something called a flesh regenerator, a numenera device that can cure burns, sickness, and wounds in moments. A creation that would make everyone’s lives… better.

Even with the Battle of Ellomyr well in the past now, people are eager to build. The town—not a village anymore--is growing by leaps and bounds. More expeditions by intrepid explorers into the Valley of Sins yield more iotum that can used by wrights to attempt to use to build new devices. What will the people build?
We want to hear your answers to that question. You’ve done so much to contribute to the narrative of Ellomyr, helping it survive. Now how will your characters usher in the town’s future? We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Update #26 Rebuilding Ellomyr

Every morning on his way to the school, he walked down the Road of Remembrance. It never got easier to see the items laid out along its ruined stretches--beloved devices, outfits, playthings, notes to loved ones--and that was fine. Most would disagree, but he thought it was good to be reminded of everything and everyone they'd lost, it was good to hear the memoried voices of the missing and the dead in his ears. It reminded him of why he'd been working so hard every day for months, side-by-side with the others, to rebuild Ellomyr.

The school was one of the last buildings to be completed. They'd built community gardens, a healing center, a makeshift library. So many members of the community pitching in--those from Ellomyr and those from away who'd brought their hands and help and skills--all working together.

As he came upon the site of the school, he caught the sound of laughter rising over the hill. As soon as he drew close, some of his students ran up to him, clamoring for his attention, asking him questions, showing off the devices they'd built for today's class. Children--he thought, as he kneeled before them and held each device in his hand, marveling--were more resilient than adults, already moving into the future, leaving the past behind in a way that he couldn't, didn't want to. He was so grateful to be here, after everything. So grateful to those who'd gone. To those who'd come and helped. To those who'd stayed. He didn't want to forget a single one of them. "Let's go inside," he said to them. "We have so much to learn and remember today."

Welcome to Ellomyr!

The song of Ellomyr fades in the morning light and the Trilling Shard is quiet for a time. We live to face another day in the Ninth World and we will rebuild Ellomyr into a shining jewel. Celebrate what we have done and let none forget how it happened.
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Update #25 Ellomyr in the Aftermath

“Are you well?” came a voice behind him.

Jarent realized he’d stopped in the street, his gaze caught by the collapsed watchtower. Several people scrambled among the broken timbers and stones. What were they doing?

He turned. Calistina, the woman who breathed flames, stood by. She was one of the many strangers who’d come to town to help with the defense in the months since the margr threat had come upon them all.

“Look at what those beasts did!” he yelled. Defaced and tumbled walls, collapsed roofs, and burned detritus was scattered everywhere in unrecognizable clumps. The margr did this. Crail, but he hated them! If he could, he’d skin every last—

“We pushed them back. It could’ve gone much worse.”

Jarent wanted to grab the woman by her shoulders and shake her until she understood. Remembering the blaze of orange and white fire that Calistina could hurl as easy as shouting, he thought better of it.

Instead, he said, “Gone worse? Everything is ruined. People died. And my . . . my books are gone. All of them. Burned up in the fires the margr started.” He wiped fiercely at the moisture at the corners of his eyes.

She inclined her head. “I’m sorry. But we're rebuilding. Look!” She pointed to the figures he’d seen on the watchtower. He realized that they were raising it back up.

He continued to follow the woman’s hand as it swept across the whole village. She was right. Everywhere people worked, digging, hammering, sawing, and collecting debris. New walls were going up, and new structures he didn’t even recognize. He’d been so caught up in his own loss that he hadn’t understood that a future for Ellomyr was

“The village isn’t going anywhere,” said Calistina. “Ellomyr is rebuilding. You should do the same with your collection.” She reached into a satchel, rummaged about, and withdrew something she offered to him.

It was bound in leather and stamped with symbols he didn’t immediately recognize. But he knew what it was. Fresh moisture blurred his vision as he reached out with trembling fingers and accepted the book.

Heart and Sin bring salvation. When the raw power of the numenera is not enough to win the day, our lost neighbours return at the eleventh hour to show us the true power of community. Sing the Song of Ellomyr!

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Update #24 The Margr Horde at Ellomyr’s Gates

Worse than we were told.

Worse than we saw in the nightmares that had woken us, night after night these last few weeks.

Worse than even than what Kelem the carpenter had predicted in fevered shouts when he and those who followed him left Ellomyr a week ago.

The margr horde was worse.

They seethed across the farmlands like dark floodwaters. The tips of their spears glistened in the flickering light of the torches they bore, flames hungry for our homes and even the new fortifications we had built. The sound they made—not a bloodthirsty roar, like we expected—was a chittering moan. Only later did I learn that they made that sound by clattering their teeth and clicking their tongues. The margr hungered just like their flames, but they hungered for us.

How do you characterize a conflict when one side fights for their lives and the other only to crush and devour those lives? It made us feel less human, and more like beasts in the wild. And we were the prey.

They crashed upon our newly built palisade like a torrent, all flames and spears and gnashing. But we fought. Everyone who could hold a weapon or throw a stone fought back against the horde.

Acel and the others swooped overhead on the windriders and dropped deadly explosives one of the wrights cooked up. The abhumans screeched and howled in surprise. Likely, it seemed to be the first time they’d ever been attacked from the air.

But it was really the weapon that those brave souls brought back from the Valley of Sins that changed everything. While they had found many useful devices—at a high cost, as only half the expedition actually returned—the large thing that they set up at the main gate was terrifying. It terrified us, and the nano controlling it was on our side. Spewing forth fire and ice and lighting all at once, even as the margr broke down the gates, the weapon blasted them away like a fierce, deadly wind.

Even then, things were still in doubt. The margr came in numbers were weren’t expecting. Too many to count. But then the unimaginable happened. The tide was not turned, nor the battle won, ultimately by strange magic from the past, but by stout hearts of the present. Humans from the north mounted on aneen, howling for battle, drove into the horde. At first, we thought it was aid from Othmar, but no. Kelem and those that had fled Ellomyr days ago returned. They attacked the margr’s flank with unexpected fury. Who knows what changed their minds? Perhaps the wise words from Gurner and the others spoken as they left needed time to take root. The mysteries of the human heart will always be greater even than the mysteries from the world’s past.

The sudden appearance of Kelem’s people married with the deathly blasts of the numenera weapon were too much for the beasts. Howling and screeching like birds, those that remained ran off into the night. The fires they left continued to burn. The glaives and defenders they had slain lay scattered around the breaches in the wall, but Ellomyr as a whole remained.

Our little town survived to see another Ninth World sunrise.

"You're smiling again."

Osirgoki opened one eye to look at his apprentice as she tuned the array. "Know me so well do you? That you can tell my smiles from my natural expression?"

"Of course, I've spent nearly every waking moment with you since I was four." Minoca turned from the portal she'd opened to the datasphere. "What I can't understand is why. Just listen to the place, everyone's gone crazy."

Where days and nights were once restful in Ellomyr now even the darkest black was a flurry of activity. The moon was full and green and the horizon was lit with the cook fires of the abhuman army. On bad nights you could hear them chanting and howling through the litany of margr battle songs.

"Brucha even hurt himself the other day. It's a bad omen. "

"No Minoca. It is the song of Ellomyr. The trills that brought the sojourners, that bought the other fotan. It is the Shard that draws us together to sing its song just as it draws the margr. It will bring harmony to us all."

"That's not it."

Osirgoki's grin widened.

"No, you are correct."

* * *

Minoca had returned the next morning braced by a couple who had the look of hard work and fierce devotion about them.

"I'm Dora Redmire. This," she nodded to the densely bearded man," is my husband Kole." He nodded in return.

"Iadace. I am Osirgoki, magus of the Luminata Hotar and steward of the Society of Io."

"Oh, you're one of those… haven't seen many travelers lately." Dora crossed her arms, sawdust gently floating to the ground.

"I have been here for quite some time." Osirgoki gestured and as he completed the kata briefly faded from view. He reappeared a few steps away. Minoca's eyes went wide.

"See? I told you! He made a gliterwing and a… a thing." Minoca waved her hands around frantically. Kole laughed as he knelt by his daughter.

"So you think you can learn to do that 'Noca?"

"I'm going to teach the crystal man how to sing!"

"Your daughter has a gift. The Society takes that seriously and her talents will benefit Ellomyr one day."

Dora locked eyes with the crystal bodied nano. "We take apprenticeship seriously. She needs to work."

"She will work."

"We can't pay you."

"I need nothing, the suns provide and the numenera have been kind."

"I suppose we could spare one child from woodwork Dora." Kole chided.

"I won't have you filling her head full jack's nonsense."

"I am still here dear."

Osirgoki nodded. "She will learn. Or she will return home."


* * *

Minoca threw a stone at her mentor. It pinged off his back, the sound ringing out over the cacaphony around the Shard of Ellomyr.

"Are you just going to stand there in Guardian Tree forever or are you going to help me test this resonator? There's a trill coming."

Osirgoki unfolded himself from the pose he'd held for the last few days.

"Of course my child, of course. We can't have the fotan shattering to pieces when we need them most."

He began to work his way into the focus harness while Minoca made small adjustments in the data window and connected synth cables to exposed innards of the resonator array.

"What happens if there is no sun when they attack, or if they attack at night? When they attack at night."

"Not all suns are visible Minoca."

"Ugh. Okay, okay." She laughed for the first time in days. "Get ready, here it comes." The graphs and datum in the portal floating in front of her spiked suddenly as the Shard rang with it's clarion call.

Osirgoki shone bright, focusing light, inside and out. As the Shard trilled it was caught by the resonator and pulsed along the harness to the gleaming nano. With every trill he shone brighter and brighter until he was only an outline in a nimbus of searing light.

"WHO ARE YOU CHILD?"

"I AM MINOCA WHO SINGS THE SONG OF ELLOMYR!"

Osirgoki smiled.

And, for a time, the light was brighter around the Trilling Shard.

Ancient numenera, stalwart glaives and wooden walls. Together they may protect the Trilling Shard. But is our true heart, the people, who will save our beloved aldeia from the abhuman horde. For Ellomyr!

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Update #22 The Margr Approach Ellomyr!

Staven's front room was even fuller than when he’d left for more water. Old Brucha was still there. He'd managed to fall off the watchtower the man had been so helpful in building, though luckily not from the top.

And now there were two more who'd come to Staven for aid.

He poured the water into a basin, listening to the conversation that had started in his absence. One of the newcomers was Jarken, or Jarent, or something like that, who sold books, even though most in Ellomyr didn’t care about such things.

The other one he didn’t know; she must’ve been part of the influx of people who’d come into town in the months since warnings about the imminent attack had gone out.

The bookseller Jarent—or Jadron maybe?—said, “I have a hard time choosing, though, which is more important.”

“People, surely,” said the stranger, cradling her bandage-wrapped hand.

“For me, it’s books. I’d save books over people, if it came to it.”

The raised voices suggested that Brucha and the stranger disagreed with the bookseller. Staven interceded with a forced laugh. “Well! I’m sure it won’t come to that!”

A mental image of bookseller running out of a blazing house with a handful of books came to Staven, into a street littered with hurt and desperate defenders, many with faces he knew. His stomach fell. For whatever reason, up until that moment, the desperation of Ellomyr’s situation hadn’t really penetrated.

“By the Golden Silver,” he whispered. Dread certainty told him that soon he was going to face the greatest challenge a healer ever could: losing people too hurt to be saved.

None have heard from the Valley of Sins and the envoys to Othmar have not returned. Have we done enough? Can walls and the will to man them protect the Song of Ellomyr?

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Update #19 Panic in Ellomyr

The man was screaming at everyone in the market. “We have to leave! The margr are too many and we are too few!” His eyes were wild, his calloused hands waved frantically as he talked, and he was attracting a lot of attention from the crowd.

Ilven, a short, muscular glaive with a hammer made of synth and ice, recognized the frightened man. Kelem. Carpenter. Useful. Ilven tried using soothing words, but Kelem was too agitated to be calmed. “You think your weapons and magic can save us, but they can’t! If we don’t leave, we’ll all be killed!”

The glaive sighed, seeing the spark of panic in the eyes of the crowd. The large influx of people coming to Ellomyr meant the kinship of the community was strained. Despite the progress in building defenses for the town, morale was faltering. The people needed a victory they could rally around, a solid core of faith and courage that would inspire them to stick together and protect their home.
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