And Away in Style

Mage Bastion Ulbrecht unleashed a demon upon Lodoss and now he must hunt it down and send it back to where it belongs.
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Alera Tai'var
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Re: And Away in Style

Post by Alera Tai'var »

Past the gate and up the path, Desmond led them up towards the old manor. The shadows that the trees cast seemed to dance and play, only to freeze when one looked directly at them. Tricksters, all of them. The limbs and boughs groaned and stretched in the breeze, almost as if they had the desire to sample the newcomers, but could not reach. There was certainly an aura of magic to such a place, but not at all the kind put forth and taught by the guilds and academies. It was different, somehow more primal. Or perhaps just older?

When Desmond reached the large, oak doors, they cracked open for him. Turning back, he said, "We are expected. Remember what I said."

The entry to the manor was dark. With the windows drawn tightly with thick, velvet curtains of a deep crimson, next to no natural light could enter. Everything was done by lamp and candle. They were mounted on the walls all around. Ahead of them was a grand staircase, flowing like a soft river from two sides, meeting in the center, and leading down to the entryway the three had just passed through. Paintings lined the walls of ancient scenes, nothing like the world they knew. Monsters they could not summon names to fought humans who held crude spears and wore nothing but tanned hides. Images of bloody altars to craven deities, scripts and symbols that made no sense to any but the writer, and rituals unlike anything comparable to faiths or magics they knew of. On pedestals sat items of eons past: carvings, jewelry, weapons, tablets, and parts of skeletons with writings etched into them. To someone used to the knowledge provided by guilds, these were all beyond understanding.

"Desmond D'angelline," the voice, gentle, yet seething, said from the top of the staircase. "I'm glad to see you still alive and unthwarted. I wasn't expecting you for another few days." The man who was walking down the steps towards them wore the robes of a mage without a doubt, but they were far more concealing. The hood was deeper, the cloth thicker and more encompassing. In his home, the hood lay against his back, showing the severe paleness of his face. His hair, black as pitch, lay perfectly flat behind him. "And I see you brought guests. What purpose do they serve?"

"Simple friends, of course," Rory replied. "Bastion, Granite, this is a colleague of mine, Araman. He is a... historian of sorts. We trade notes often. He studies the time before Kastuul came to power. Most people call it the 'Age of Chaos'. Araman, these are the two who unwittingly fouled up my most recent mission. Bastion has some interest in the more unusual forms of mystical activity. Naturally, I thought of you."

"Naturally," he hissed. "This is not a museum, Rory."

"Looks pretty close to me, actually," said the illusionist with a chuckle. "Excuse his manners, my friends," Rory said, looking up to Araman, "he is not very used to entertaining company."

Araman scoffed. "Very well. Show him what you like, besides the basement, of course. Stay however long. If you'll excuse me, I have more work to be done." And with that, Araman turned to go back up the stairs.

"Well, is this odd enough for you, Bastion?" Desmond asked.
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Re: And Away in Style

Post by Bundesphar »

Bastion stared, dignity forgotten, at the collection before him. Though he longed to rush forward and examine the artifacts, a stern voice sounded in his head. It was things like this that got you here in the first place. Besides, you're a guest in another mans' house. Act your birth.

Coming around, Bastion realized that he'd missed introductions and the master of the house had returned whence he came. Feeling embaressed, he turned to answer Desmond. "This is truely, truely fantastic." he said, voice full of emotion that could easily be exitement. "Does the guild know he has all this?" If Araman kept this collection with the guilds' blessing, he'd have to be a mighty sorcerer. And thereby, another risk to Bastions' secret. The thought chilled him, even through his eagerness.
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Re: And Away in Style

Post by Alera Tai'var »

"Bastion, my dear boy, you have much to learn about the mage's guilds." Desmond strolled up to one case, which contained a femur with arcane writings across its surface. The script and its meanings were lost on most, as the knowledge of Kastuulian writing only tangentially applied to its translation. "The Guild does not know of anything that goes on in this house. In point of fact, Araman is scorned by the traditionalist mages that run it. These items would either be sealed away or destroyed."

Desmond spun on his heel, back to face his younger compatriot. "There is a reason that information on the older arts is limited. They erroneously believe that the arts that came before Kastuul were evil and barbaric. If you search long enough, you will find nothing but walls far larger than the decay of time." The illusionist smiled. "My own magics require little of the techniques of Kastuul. You truly did recognize my name, so I'd imagine that you are familiar with my reputation among the guilds. It is the reputation for uncovering anything but the purest of Kastuulian secrets. Which, of course, is a terrible misnomer. If anything is a hodge podge of stolen traditions, it is truly the work of Kastuul. But no mage worth his reputation in the guild will have the courage to say something like that."

Rory laughed, twirling his cane with a particular satisfaction at character assassination. "If you want to discover the reality of magic's history, the guild cannot be your primary loyalty. They are invested in the most convenient lies above all. For reference, I had to use two powerful guilds against each other in order to get this far, and I only scratch the surface. Araman, by contrast, is far more powerful and has uncovered more than I could ever hope to know. His work is, in some ways, far beyond my understanding. But, our relationship is quite mutual. Some of my works are quite beyond him."
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Re: And Away in Style

Post by Granite Stoneheart »

Granite hung behind Bastion, keeping to herself, while the mages talked and names were exchanged. While she had little interest in the mysterious ways of magic, and was none too trusting of it, the dwarf couldn't deny a bit of curiosity in the items on display, and Desmond's explanations. However, she did her best to be modest and stay out of the way. Though it may have seemed trivial to the humans, she coveted her beloved mace that had been left behind and her mind was still roving over ways to get it back...
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Re: And Away in Style

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The feeling that he was in over his head tugged at Bastion, but he wasn't about to let it show. "Well then, first things' first." he said as he surveyed the room. "I'd like to get Granite settled before we start. To a nonmage this must all look like random junk, and I'd hate for her to have to wait for us before resting. Are there guestrooms here, or is that wishful thinking?"
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Re: And Away in Style

Post by Granite Stoneheart »

"Well, I wouldn't say it looks like junk..." Granite spoke up. "But, well, we've had quite an ordeal today. A bed would be greatly appreciated." Though, my own home is just across the city... I'd rather not come home with my tail between my legs after only one day out--and after not even leaving the city yet! the dwarf thought to herself. A thought of the priestess crossed her mind though, and she looked up at Bastion. "I wonder what's happened to Jenesis though?" she mused to the mage.
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Re: And Away in Style

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"Jenesis? Oh, was that the priestess with you at the warehouse?" Bastion asked. He'd totally forgotten the young woman, which was rather unlike him. "She ran after things turned against us the first time. I recall the archer going after her..." he turned to Desmond. "The archer who was with the man who was actually you. We wouldn't be lucky enough for that man to be a accomplice of yours, would we?"
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