Jehezekel_bot last edited by
An account of the legendary Exile of the mages
*** Late 151: The Fear Is Growing... ***
I sit in my Catamarca studio, drawing out plans for a new building to be built in Cademia, the mother city. It's to be a mint, so it has to be strong, strong enough to resist the power of a rogue mage. tap-tap tap-tap Who could that be at this time of night? I open the door a crack, and peek through the opening, a young man is standing there, cloaked and hooded in a heavy cape with a rune at the lower hem, I let him in.
Tavara sits rigidly on the cot near my worktable, and I bring him a bowl of curdled goat's milk. He eats the curds hungrily as I return to my work. Several years ago, he was a promising student at the school I was teaching at in Cademia, then I encouraged his pursuit of magical building techniques, and in the aftermath of that, I was discharged, and forced to move away from the mother city.
My old student still honours me thus, I smile, "Yes, Tavara?"
"Have you heard the news?"
I shake my head, "It doesn't interfere with my blueprints, I hope! This mint is to be my greatest masterpiece, people will stare at it in awe a thousand years hence, and say, 'This great building was planned by some fellow named Philinius, he was a master among the master architects of his day.'"
Tavara smiles, and relaxes far enough to push back his hood, "I sure hope it doesn't interfere with your masterpiece, but the Tyrant has issued a proclamation, banning mages from Cademia, removing our lawful rights, and giving us ninety days to clear out of Eastern Cythera before he hunts us down! Being a prominent figure in Cademia, I had to flee instantly -to avoid execution by lynching! Would that I had the power to stop such mad men!"
The news is upsetting, in more ways than one, and I lay down my pen. "I can't believe he'd take his bigotry so far! Couldn't somebody convince him that he's being foolish?"
My old pupil's response is loaded with bitterness, "You try, Teacher. See if he'll listen to you." He is referring ironically to the events surrounding my move to Catamarca. The Tyrant would never listen to my opinions on the matter, though he does seem to trust me in the execution of his orders regarding the mint.
It's been a week since my old pupil arrived. Tavara is a great help in planning anti-mage measures. He hopes to assuage the Tyrant's hatred of the mages, and perhaps influence him to repeal the worst of the anti-mage laws. The remainder of the planning must take place on-site, so that the mint can be built in harmony with its surroundings.
I pack my bag, and head out the door. Tavara will keep house while I'm gone. I walk the rutted pathway to Cademia. I haven't been back to Cademia in years, and wonder how I'll be received. Perhaps the people have forgotten about their notorious architect. Hah! as if that would happen, especially with the new rules regarding mages. I'm sure some people are hoping to get away with lynching me, if they can find me. About half of the way to Cademia, I sight a camp beside the road, and since it's late, I approach to see if I can join them for the night.
A young man casts Paralysis on me and runs to tell the others. Soon, several mages emerge from the tents, and examine my things, they whisper among themselves for a bit, and one of them dumps a potion down my throat. I am glad to be able to move again, and don't mind that they are plying me with questions. Soon, however, an older one quiets the others and turns to me. "What is your name?"
"Philinius the Architect." I reply in an even tone.
His eyebrows twitch, but he remains inscrutable. "What is your quest?"
"I am designing a mint, by order of the Tyrant."
A look of concern appears on his face, but he continues, "Did Tavara make it safely to your place?"
I nod, "Yes, he did. He's keeping it up for me while I'm gone."
"Good, I was worried for the boy. But now, come in! And partake of our repast."
I follow willingly, and as one of them ladles out soup for us, we discuss the mint, and the Tyrant's new decree. They think them connected, but I dearly hope they are mistaken. Tavara will never find peace, if we have aided in treachery.
Breakfast is roast haunch, I can't say that I particularly care for the cook's abilities in the roasting department, I suspect that the young guys cast a couple Fireballs on the meat, and neglected to season it.
I leave camp with their well-wishes, and journey on toward Cademia. The road improves soon, and I make it to Cademia in the early afternoon. Not wanting to be discovered without an armed escort, I rest on a small knoll to the north-east of the city, and wait. While waiting I work on a personal project, which I doubt will ever find fulfillment; a majestic school, for the propagation of all branches of learning. I envision myself as a fondly recalled professor in later years, after I have died, and others carry on my vision. I realize that evening has come, and I hurry to the Tyrant's palace.
"Who goes there?" A guard greets me crossly from beyond a portcullis.
"Philinius, the Architect. I come at the Tyrant's behest."
The guard walks off without a word, and I wait. A few minutes later, a courtier approaches, "Welcome Philinius, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting."
He sounds sincere, but I know him as the man behind my banishment. I duck through the opening portcullis, and confront him saying, "Come my friend, this is no time for false pretense! Let us detest each the other with a brotherly hatred, and live in a civil state of war with one another."
He accepts my proposal, for he slaps me across the face and leads me into the Tyrant's audience chamber. The Tyrant would be an impressive man, but his gaunt complexion tells against him. I humbly bow, so that he can't see me hiding my mirth. An easel appears at my left shoulder, "Show me your plans for the mint."
I hasten to comply, spreading out my blueprints to exhibit. He does well at hiding his feelings, but seems pleased with my progress. He motions, and I am ushered out into a small room at the back. The lock clicks and I am left alone for the night.
It is early morning when a servant wakens me and leads me out to the location for the mint. It is a good, solid piece of ground by the looks of it, and I pull out a spoon to prod it with. The servant glances at the sky impatiently, but waits for me to finish. In a few minutes we return to the palace, and I am again locked in my room. I am beginning to wonder if the mint wasn't just an excuse to get me out of the way. Not that I'm dangerous or anything, but the Tyrant is shrewd, and may know something which I do not.
For the rest of the day I work on perfecting the blueprints, and am thankful for the work environment that a locked room gives me. I continue working on the blueprints through the night, and as dawn breaks the Tyrant sends for them. He examines the blueprints closely, and questions me in depth. I answer to the best of my ability, and as I roll them up preparatory to returning to my room, the Tyrant asks me, "So this is magic proof as far as a raid goes?"
I nod, "Yes, oh Great One."
"What if it's an inside job? How will it fair then?"
I point out the safety features, and he is contented that it will suffice. A servant leads me back to my room, but as I drift off to sleep, my mind casts a suspicious eye on the Tyrant, and I know that I cannot trust him.
*** 152: Going Into Exile ***
The mint has been proceeding apace, and I have been able to insert some slight modifications to the plans, which will make it safer from attack, but will also aid a trapped mage to escape, albeit with nothing more than his life. Yes, though not a mage myself, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that allow me to make runes and such. A useful trick indeed, in these dangerous times.
Last night a rogue-mage tried to sabotage the mint, but the blueprints were planned with that possibility in mind, and he was unable to affect it. The Tyrant has invited me to join him at dinner tonight.
One of the builders comes up to me, "Sir? We found something odd, and want you to advise us on it."
I walk over to the building, and step inside. A blue discus is lying on the ground near one wall, and I lift it carefully. A row of fine runes encircles the median portion, and I try to examine them, but they are too fine to read easily. "When did you find this?"
"Just now, Sir. We were just about to start building the pillar, when there was a puff of smoke, and there it was! It's not a dangerous magical artifact, is it?"
I shake my head, "I don't think so, but I'm going to go examine it in the shop."
I carry it to the shop, and examine it under a magnifying glass, it appears to be a message. "Dear sir, you are a fool, or an idiot. We can finish this alone now, yours deviously, ~Tyrant"
I hear a tramping of feet outside the door, and instinctively crouch below the worktable. A guard passes through the doorway, "Philinius? You are under arrest by order of the Tyrant, for abetting rogue mages."
I am not clever at escape, I give myself up, hoping for a fair trial.
The day is ending, seventh or seven-hundredth I know not. My glorious mint, nothing but a dirty prison for mages. Tavara was one of the first to be captured, and by the look on his face, hour after hour, he is losing his mind to a lust for revenge against the Evil Tyrant. I hope we can escape soon, the builders eliminated some of my modifications, and it's taken me some time to restore them, but the moon will show through the one small window tonight, and then if we act quickly we can escape.
The moon is starting to show through the small window, causing my runes to glow faintly, I draw the mages attention to them, and they eagerly try to decode their meaning. A few minutes remain before we can act, so I let them play. Tavara seems to recognise some of the runes, and turns to wink at me. I nod, and leave the activation to him. A few minutes pass, and he speaks a word while motioning toward the wall with his hand.
Obscured moonbeams brighten the floor by the wall, and Tavara walks boldly through the wall, and out. His show of bravery heartens the other mages, and they quickly follow. I leave last, and rotate a key rune to the false wall.
Satisfied that nobody will be imprisoned there again, I hurry to rejoin the mages. We turn our gaze westward, and set forth.
As we climb the foothills of the mountains near evening, a cloud of dust arises across the plain toward Cademia, and we redouble our pace, fearing the Tyrant's army. We reach a cliff wall, and search frantically for the gap that leads into the heart of Cythera.
I sit with the elderly mages, anxiously awaiting news of the gap. Finally a scout returns, bearing news that the gap is a furlong to the south. We start to move that way as one of the youth who had stayed with us runs north to retrieve the other scouts.
The body of the band is about thirty paces away from the gap, and the stragglers are not far behind, but the Tyrant's men are fast on their steeds, and sweep in before of us. The scouts who were waiting for us at the gap motion toward the army, and their steeds scream in terror, and bolt. Our enemy is in a forced retreat! But what is this? Many of their best fighters, not to mention some of the less experienced warriors, leap down, and turn to face us.
Slingstones and arrows are exchanging, not to mention lightning from several of the mages, the arrows of the Tyrant's army are well-crafted, but the mages lightning is beautiful. thrack
Tavara is leaning over me, pouring some uncouth liquid down my throat, I splutter, and sit up. "Ugh, I'll never get used to those potions. Thanks though."
He laughs grimly, and replies, "I'm glad that you were among those whom the potions could be of service to..." then he continues to himself, "I wish I had the power to bring back my friends! Or even better, the power to make it so that the Tyrant never made this decree!"
I nod sadly, and rise to help the few remaining wounded. That task is finished all too soon, and we move quietly through the night of another day. As we journey, Tavara tells me about the battle. I shudder within myself as he details the fey power of the mages, as they were slaughtered, and yet seemed to linger on the border-line of death just long enough to deliver another crushing spell to the enemy. He says that due to that, the elite troops were soon defeated, but a vast host of foot soldiers was seen approaching, which no mage could dream of repelling, so the able-bodied mages gathered the wounded, and passing through the gap, sealed it with a rock-slide.
We reach the far side of the mountains as dawn brightens the sky, and gaze enraptured across a fertile plain to the ocean. One of the few remaining elder mages approaches, "We camp there tonight." he says, motioning across the plain to where a river enters the sea, "It is a good place for our new home."
*** 153: Pnyx is Founded ***
Glorious day of my life! The magesterium, the school which I have dreamed of building, has been built! It was started a month after we arrived, when I had put the site specific touches on my plan, and the mages who had escaped before it was too late were gathered from their wandering to the north and south. It took more than a year, and that was with magical aid, and construction techniques gleaned from the old metic ruins at the headwaters of the river.
I feel my smile broaden as Tavara approaches, he will be a professor at the magesterium, and so has a part to play in the ceremony tonight. It is good to see him doing so well here. "Teacher!" he greets me as in old days, "Are you ready? Let us go join the dinner-party by the riverside!"
I happily follow him, and as we sit and eat we discuss many things. Our hopes and dreams, and what has brought us to this place. As we talk, a cloud invades my mind, a concern... but I push it away, and soon forget.
The ceremony lasts 'till the wee hours of the morning, with speeches, and exhibitions, and toasts. When the ceremony has ended, the party begins, and we laugh, and dance, and dream of a bright future.
This post has been edited by Jehezekel : 01 April 2007 - 05:45 AM
453 last edited by
Yay! I love it, Shorty ^_^ It's so strong! I like the Tyrant, he's my favourite character closed-teeth grin.
Katerei last edited by
oops, i was going to comment on this sooner, but it slipped my mind.
i would probably understand it better if i was more familiar with the history of Cythera, so i really have no idea how much of the plot is made up and how much is real. but in terms of style, your writing is quite good. i like the point of view you decided to take. :)
Selax last edited by
Hmm, very nice and original, particularly the use of Tavara. I seem to recall that the Exile was in the 150s and Abydos was settled in the 190s, so it is indeed possible that he was alive at the time, although it is not a possibility that had occurred to me.
Jehezekel_bot last edited by
Thank-you, I'm glad y'all like it!
Katerei- Selax' comment pretty much sums up the canonical plotline
152: The First Tyrant “exiled the Mages in 152.” from Cademia.
153: Pnyx "founded in 153 by the exiled Mages...”, also discovery of the headwater ruins.
184: Abydos founded (by Tavara) “In 184... down the coast from Pnyx.”
192: Abydos destroyed (by Tavara) "... everybody gone from the settlement...”