The Alraeican Tavern - part VII
After some time, the mage—Rapierian—sat up and looked around.
The Tavern was almost completely empty and apparently had been so for some time. Where had everyone gone?
It was also quite untidy, as evidenced by the bodies lying all over the floor. For a moment, Rapierian stared at the remains with interest, then he pulled out a book labeled 3,997 Things That You Shouldn't Want to Know about the Dark Arts but are Insane Enough to Learn Anyway , flipped to a page, and began to read.
The door opened softly, and Wizard stepped inside the Tavern. It had been awhile since he had last been here. Nobody seemed to notice his presence, so he quietly took a seat in a dimly-lighted corner.
He had arrived alone; after their parting at Pynx, many of the group had gone off their own ways, only to appear again when. . . Whenever they do, he chuckled to himself.
Yet they had all set out from this very place not two fortnights ago, with a single goal in mind. Now that it was complete the only one to return was Wizard. Medoc was somewhere behind him, though, he was sure. Selax was doing something-or-other in the south, although Wizard had his suspicions. Unfortunately, there was, as yet, no news of Desert Fox, Avatara, or Sideline. The manner of Gin's death weighed even heavier on his mind.
The old man's thoughts went back to a few days before, when he had been lying on the field of battle outside of Pynx. Shortly after the battle had ended, he was found and taken into the pyramid-shaped city for healing. All of his bones were repaired, and his wounds closed. However, there were several scars that had been left on his face.
"Can't say I miss these," he thought aloud as he moved his finger along his forehead onto his cheek, where the scars had been. They were gone by now, of course, because, though not a talented healer, Wizard did have a few tricks of his own.
Wizard rested for a little while before setting out on his return journey to Cademia, where he hoped to see others, but, so far, no such luck. He looked around the tavern again, when his eyes rested on a particular character. He stood up and walked over to the figure, who was busy reading a book with an alluring title.
I thought I recognized the presence, he sighed.
Lifting his staff, Wizard used it to pull the book down and look into the other man's face. " 3,997 Things That You Shouldn't Want to Know about the Dark Arts but Are Insane Enough to Learn Anyway -- heh, a very fitting title indeed. . ."
For an instant, Rapierian squinted at the man who had disturbed his reading.
"OH! It's that exceptionally rude old man whom I met wandering around in the north some time ago! The one who frequently walks into trees because he never looks where he's going! How are y—no, wait, I bet your hearing is even worse now so I'd better speak up—HOW ARE YOU?"
(In truth, he wasn't actually upset to see Wizard, nor did he mean any of what he had said—he just liked to drive Wizard crazy.)
Wizard gave the mage before him a long, steady gaze before replying. " Lord Rapierian," he started in a somewhat mocking tone, "always a pleasure. Tell me, how are you holding up? I imagine it takes quite some effort to be you." Wizard sounded a little disgusted as he spoke the last bit.
Rapierian burst into laughter, "Sad to see that your sense of humor hasn't improved! It's just as dull as your wits, ancient one."
"And before you say anything else," Wizard interrupted, "I would like you to note: I did not walk into that tree, it attacked me!"
"Sure...maybe it was annoyed by your so-called 'singing' voice," Rapierian replied.
Wizard was beginning to be visibly irritated, but he subdued himself. "Ahem, I have a very good singing voice, if you must know. I can't help but think that it was your yodeling that did it," he jeered.
(Ooc) My writing style may seem a bit weird. And to understand my character I would suggest reading about her in the character info. Also the parts in italic are meant to be Satori’s thoughts. (Bic)
Why have you lead me hear? Why! I’m nothing but lost memories! Times past.
A small man opened the door and gasped Satori looked down glaring at him.
“Is this the place!” she coldly demanded.
“Uhh please miss I didn’t mean to get it your way….”
Filthy maggot! No need for you.
“Get out of my way” Satori snarled.
The man hurried off looking back in fear.
Why don’t they understand? Time may not matter now, but sins do and I have not yet forgiven them for what they have done. I heard of an encampment, I know I must travel to this place in vain hope I find what I am looking for.
The tavern seemed warm and joyful. Some people turned and shivered at her sight others just sat in cold silence.
Fear, anger. Why do they feel these things there is no point. None at all.
A man in black robes sat reading, he seemed unaffected by Satori’s presence
He knows! He must know, and I must ask.
Distance closed and soon Satori stood before the man in black.
The man in black looked up from the book he was reading. And raised an eyebrow in question.
Glad to see you around again, Pippin 3. I'm going to make two assumptions in the following post: one, that it was Rapierian that Satori went up to and, two, that the legend of Satori Azal is known to some. If either of these assumptions is incorrect or something else in the post concerning your character displeases you, please let me know and I will edit the post.
A few minutes before Satori arrives...
Rapierian looked at Wizard and replied, "Your hearing is that poor, Wiz? I wasn't yodeling—I was saying 'OW!' every time that you stepped on my toes. You do have really poor coordination, you know, you old goat!"
"Goat? Goat?! GOAT?! Why you little—" Wizard responded angrily. (Normally, Wizard was not easily angered, but there was something about Rapierian that just really irritated and always had. Also, Wizard HATED being called "Wiz" and/or "goat.")
Furious, he picked up a chair and smashed it on Rapierian's head. Rapierian reeled and fell to the ground in a heap. After a moment, he lunged to his feet and whacked Wizard with his staff.
It continued for several minutes, until the townsfolk finally intervened (at the point where Rapierian was trying to strangle Wizard with Wizard's beard and Wizard was trying to stuff one of the chair legs down Rapierian's throat). Wizard went to sit in a corner, and Rapierian resumed reading his book.
Then, Satori entered and walked over to Rapierian.
"You know," she said simply.
Rapierian looked at her questioningly for a moment. There was something familiar about her—something that he had once read about it . . . Of course! In one of his journeys he had come across and old and very worn book. It had mentioned in passing one Satori Azal, whom he guessed must be this person now standing before him. At least, she fit the description.
It was then that he noticed something about her—an aura of fear and uneasiness that seemed to permeate the air around her. It seemed to influence everyone in the room, except himself and Wizard. This puzzled him for moment before he realized that Wizard's considerable mental faculties were protecting Wizard. Rapierian guessed that his time in the Undead Strongholds among the dreadful creatures there and mainly his own inner darkness were shielding him from the affect, although, of course, he didn't know if those alone could resist the full brunt of her powers.
Then, he realized that she was still there, looking down at him and obviously beginning to get impatient. He quickly recalled as much as he could of what he had read about her. Then, he spoke.
"Welcome, Satori Azal. Please, have a seat. You have questions; I may have answers."
Glaring menacingly at him for a moment, Satori sat down across from him.
"Please, ask." Rapierian said as he closed the book in front of him.
It was around midnight by the time that Medoc entered the Tavern, there were only a couple of people in there at that time. He scanned the room, out of the 4 people he only knew two of them, the bartender and Wizard who was sleeping in the corner of the room. The other two were in discussion in the other corner so he decided not to disturb them. Feeling tired he walked over the bartender, paid for his lodging and went to his room.
His scared, no wait not scared, unsure.
“I heard of a group one who are intending of travelling to an encampment.
You know of this. I wish to come, I believe what I want lies there. And I also believe that you think I am a danger to your friends. Why is this so?
He stutters, yet no answer!
“Why do you think that of me!”
She was getting angry, it was getting hard to think, he could not risk angering her anymore. The palpable force of hatred grew.
“ Satori, I just don’t trust many people when I first meet them that’s all.
The malice lessened.
I think he lies; I shall see.
“Fair enough. I plan on staying here until you deem it ready for us to leave. Then we shall see if you can trust me.”
Staying here? That couldn’t be good for the other people sleeping at the tavern. Although
It was better then having her staring down at him all the time
Satori stalked up to the barkeeper, he visibly shrunk back at her approach.
She snatched the key up from the table, and disappeared into the shadows.
“You got some creepy friends.” The bartender directed at Rapierian.
Rapierian sighed in relief as Satori walked away. Mentally, he stopped preparation for the spell that he had been readying. He didn't have the faintest idea whether he could've beaten Satori if it had come to a fight, but as has elsewhere been said, "Chance favors the prepared mind." And Rapierian always made sure to be prepared. Indeed, he determined that he would find out as much as he could about Satori—just in case.
Then, he frowned as he realized something. Satori had spoken of an encampment and a group being sent to deal with it. It was, of course, known to some that the ruffians had recently begun to gather again in their old encampment in the south under some new bandit warlord, but no one in Cademia had yet taken any notice of it. Thinking about this, he realized that Satori was, of course, correct—inevitably a group would be sent south when the ruffians began to become more of a problem. Rapierian further realized that if he went with this group it would go some distance toward lessening people's obvious distrust of him. That could be helpful...
For now, though, he would watch and wait.
Finally, he looked at the bartender and gave the man an unsettling grin. (Rapierian was said to sometimes suffer from violent mood swings, leading some to decide that he was crazy.)
"I think that's the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me," he said to the man before opening up his book again.
This post has been edited by Selax : 22 August 2006 - 07:44 PM
This is NOT related to the next TS. It is a lead-in to a chronicle that I will hopefully start posting bits and pieces of during the next TS; therefore, only my characters are likely to be involved in this. It's basic purpose is to explain what Selax will be doing and where he will be during the next TS. The only thing connected to the TS is the presence of ruffians. I will probably make at least one more post with Selax in this thread before starting the chronicle.
In the middle of the night, three ruffians bent over a prone form in the middle of a clearing far to the south of Cademia.
"He looks rich enough," one of them said.
"I doubt it! What would a wealthy man be doing down here?" another responded angrily.
"How should I know?" the first ruffian answered. "I'm going to search him."
He turned his back to the other two and bent over the man. With his back to the others, he didn't see when both of them suddenly disappeared into the darkness of the forest behind him. He, however, heard their screams. Turning around quickly, he had a momentary glimpse of something small shooting through the air toward him before the flying object—a sword—struck him.
Selax emerged from the trees and walked over to the "unconscious" man who was now standing up and smiling widely. Selax stopped in front of him.
"Playing helpless doesn't become you," Selax told him.
"I thought that you could use the exercise."
"Since you are here, I suspect that I shall be getting a great deal of that quite soon."
The man's expression became grave.
"About that, sadly, you are right. Come, we have little time, and I'll explain along the way."
The two turned and disappeared into the trees.
At the Tavern, Rapierian glanced around. It was almost empty. Where is everybody , he wondered.
Wizard awoke with a snort. "Oh, I must have dosed off," he said aloud as he rubbed his eyes. Recently, it had seemed to him that he had been given to falling asleep more often than usual. This was rare for him, but maybe his age was finally starting to catch up with him. Of course he was also still trying to recover from the last adventure he had been on.
He looked around for a moment. The woman who had entered earlier and talked with Rapierian was gone now. Perhaps staying in a room. . . I have a feeling that she's going to stick around for a little while yet.
Then Wizard felt an unusual sensation. It moved about him through the air and invaded his senses; for a moment he was distracted by it and couldn't think straight. It was a very strong emotion. Emotions, usually powerful, could often be detected in the air long after they had been displayed, but this was different. This persisted, repeatedly re-fortifying its intensity, almost as though it existed for the sole purpose of infecting others with it. An endless cycle of fear and anxiety mingled with hatred and contempt. Again Wizard could feel it penetrate his thoughts, but again he purged it.
I shall have to have a talk with Rapierian about this, he thought. For now, he would wait for a bit and see what would happen.
_OOC This is set before the first time Satori was banished. I also intend to leave this post in a way so that someone else can pick up where I left it. BIC
The council looked down upon me with cold eyes,
Each of them in turn seemed to look through my soul, an icy sensation spread through my body. It was creepy, to say the least.
At last one spoke, “Satori Azal, the council has decided that you must leave this city, as you are a danger to us all. We mean you no harm, but we wish you to leave.”
The man who had spoken shrunk back into the shadows after finishing his sentence, as if he was afraid of me lashing out, it was a bit confusing. I was not a violent person, why were they afraid? It doesn’t make sense.
“The city is unstable, you should help our people.” I said this softly the council had to fix the problem, or else we would die.
Murmurs passed around the council members, I overheard one speaking softly to another. “She must be mad, the city is not unstable, it was built eons ago, by the great mages” A member held his hand high. “Silence members, Satori, please can you leave? We beg you to do so, our society is afraid of you. They don’t want you hear.”
“You don’t believe me do you? You have killed us all.”
They must understand, why don’t they listen to me, it was frustrating.
And why are they afraid, still! “Just listen to me! Please! The city its foundations. Look for yourselves. You need to fix it!”
“Leave! Satori Azal you do not need us to banish you!” the member yelled.
The tavern shuddered. “BETRAYERS!” Satori shout echoed back and fourth.
“And they will pay for what they did.”
A large man threw open the door, “what the bloody hell is going on!”
His eyes widened when he saw Satori, she raised her scythe, and the man struggled to move. “You shall see what happened!” Satori growled. The air twisted with hatred and seemed to bend, like light bends in glass. A deafening crack vibrated around the room.
The man was gone; a bloody pile was left in his place.
Rapierian looked up from his book, something was wrong, first the shout then the crack and now chunks of meat falling down the stairs. Only one thing came to mind…Satori.
“Wiz I think that we may have to put aside our petty differences for now, and figure out what’s happening upstairs.”
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed wizard, his hand was outstretched a small blue light was crackling around his fingertips.
Wizards voiced was strained with anger and concentration. “Or we can settle our little problems right now.”
This post has been edited by Pippin 3 : 08 September 2006 - 03:14 AM
Rapierian realized that he had angered Wizard when he had called him "Wiz," the name that Wizard most despised. For a moment, he was puzzled what Wizard was going to do, but he decided he had better prepare himself whatever the case.
It is likely that violence would have again ensued, but a man (Rapierian recognized him as one of Cythera's prominent merchants) staggered into the Tavern.
"Get me a drink and a healer," he gasped. "Ruffians hit my caravan outside the city...killed everybody! Only I escaped..."
The man fell forward onto the floor. It was evident that the man had been badly wounded. Fortunately, a healer was in the Tavern. Unfortunately, the man wouldn't wake up for several hours. They would just have to wait for him to tell his story.
In the confusion, Rapierian slipped upstairs. Perhaps, he should have another talk with Satori.
This is a lead-in to chronicle—the first post of which will hopefully be up by at least tomorrow. Certain characters (you may look the names up in character info if you are curious) here are not really suited to use inside Cythera but since it is a chronicle and a jump to the future I think it acceptable in this case. So stay tuned to your local chronicle forum! (And make sure to read dusk's chronicle while you are there!)
Far away, at Lands End Volcano, Selax and the "man" who had joined him earlier stood in front of the Portal to the Ethereal Void. It was almost always open here, despite continual attempts to seal it. Usually, it sat serenely in the midst of the Volcano, casting a purple glow about it.
It was anything but serene now. Red ribbons clashed with yellow across its surface, sending strange glows about it. Strange noises emanated from within it, and the ground around it shuddered.
"You are certain of this, Tomsan?" Selax asked the man next to him.
"Beyond any doubt. Detharon has traveled to the future to fight us there, so that the current balance in Cythera will not be tipped in a way that is disastrous for his master. I believe his master has given him this last chance to become useful to him again or suffer the consequences."
Selax mulled this over for a moment in silence. Detharon must have really angered the Death King to make this desperate an attempt—an all-or-nothing gamble. So this was how the conflict that had started ages ago between Detharon, Tomsan, and Selax would at last be settled—in Cythera and in the future.
"How did he alter the portal?"
"I don't know, but I think that we will be able to find whatever he used after it's finished and return here to fix it."
"I suppose that it is time to get this over with at last then."
Tomsan nodded, and the two of them stepped through the portal...
After some time, Rapierian gave up trying to find Satori and went back downstairs.
Just in time too.
The wounded man was awake and now began to tell his story.
"We knew of course that the ruffians were abroad again, operating it seems from their old encampment. But we had no idea that they had spread this far—not to outside Cademia! We had hired extra guards, but the ruffians were too many—far more than I had thought possible. There must be some powerful leader at their head to rally so many. If the group that attacked my caravan wasn't all of them (and I think it's safe to say that they were not), there must be almost an army down at that encampment. They might even have the numbers to sack Kosha!"
There was silence in the Tavern for a few moments following this remark. Everyone knew that Cythera was in something of a weak position following the recent business at Pnyx. If the ruffians did attack Kosha, there might be no stopping them.
Finally, Rapierian stood up and headed toward the door.
"Where are you going?" Wizard asked.
"Why to do something about those ruffians, of course. I don't see what is to be gained by sitting around here."
"Wait, a moment. I'll come with you," said Wizard, getting up and heading toward the door as well.
In the doorway, he paused and turned face the Tavern regulars.
"If any of you wish to come with us, please feel free to do. I have a feeling that we might need some assistance," he said.
Several* people got up and followed the two out, heading south toward the Ruffian Encampment.
*This is the kickoff to the next TS. If you wish to join, just have your character be one of the several members who go with Wizard and Rapierian or have your character join some other way, if you like.
This post has been edited by Selax : 15 September 2006 - 12:57 PM
I have ended my chron and am returning Selax to the Tavern. This is not the group returning to the Tavern when the TS is done. That will occur when the TS is officially ended.
The door to the Tavern swung open. Selax walked in and sat down in a dark corner. Tomsan had left Cythera already, and Selax was tired. He decided to sleep for a while, at least until the others got back from wherever they were.
After a little bit of rest, Selax was refreshed.
He continued to wait in the Tavern for the return of Wizard and the others from the South. As he waited, he surveyed the crowd, wondering who all was there.
Silverfish came crashing through a window, feeling secure in the knowledge that the Tavern would repair itself, and sat down on the nearest table.
Startled, Brianna dropped the tray of drinks she was carrying.
"What do you think you're doing," she yelled at Silverfish. "It's not like the tavern will repair itself, you know!"
Unnoticed, Sideline slipped into his customary deeply shadowed seat at the Scribe's customary table in the corner.