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Private Dark Magic Expanded

Discussion in 'Mt. Pompeii' started by Mahad, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    November 27th, Mt. Pompeii Shrine @Veloce Visrin

    Mahad was concerned. The Dark Magician was forever bound to Eternal Soul, and though the location they were in was remote, his fears as to the continued protection of the Tablet that housed his very being had only grown. Even without the danger that Amaterasu had assisted him in overcoming, he would have began to consider a different location. Timaeus had also become anxious, mirroring his owner as usual. The Firelizard was still young, and it would not do to raise such a creature in an environment where it did not feel safe. No, he would have to find a suitable location for Eternal Soul before the end of the year... but where? That was the question. He had wracked his brain for a long time over this question. There seemed no place where it would be secure enough. He sighed, continuing his pondering of the situation.

    He did not have long to consider. Timaeus squeaked at something, sending an image of people approaching the Shrine across their mental link. Mahad was not expecting visitors, and though the shrine was open for everyone to visit, there was something off about these people coming up the trail. The Magician wordlessly called his Hatchling back to his side and instructed it to stay out of sight whilst these people did their exploration. After ensuring the hatchling would not be discovered, the magician himself faded within the large tablet, it's runes glowing slightly as he re-inhabited them, before falling dormant once more. The people entered the shrine...
     
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  2. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    The client, Avarth, had approached the Mages Guild with a simple request. Exploration of the narrow, precarious paths that crossed the slopes of the Pandoran mountains had eventually led him to its highest peak, where he'd discovered an artifact of unquestionably magical nature nestled among the ruins. Magical artifacts, while tempting, also tended to be guarded by some manner of enchantments or trap-wards, ready to turn unsuspecting enterprisers into rings of ash, or perhaps turn them inside-out. Only stupid men tried to mess with that on their own. Avarth was not a stupid man.

    He was a man with money though, and he offered a pleasing sum of it to the Guild in exchange for a mage's help in assessing any arcane dangers surrounding the artifact, and then neutralizing them if necessary. So it came to be that Veloce found herself following the tall, blue-haired client up the path to the top of Mt. Pompeii.

    It had not yet begun to snow, but the air was no less biting, stinging Veloce's cheeks as strands of her hair whipped every which way. When she turned, she could see the surrounding lands spread out below her, hovering beneath the clouds. There was a farmstead she'd passed by once; from this great height, it looked like a child's toy, comically small.

    Avarth was not talkative, which was exactly how Veloce liked it. He was also heavily armed. The boxy, bulky body of a rifle was slung across his back, and the plain black sheath of a sword was at his hip, echoing the two swords Veloce carried at her own side. She had to wonder what sort of trouble the man expected to find, and what good he thought his weapons could do that a hired mage couldn't.

    The first of several statues greeted them as they neared the peak. Bearing the shapes of dragons, proud and regal, they reminded Veloce of a certain dark temple in Silverwood, and the skeletal crow figures that had resided within for religious purpose. She could not help the prickle of unease that ran down her spine, nor stop her hands from curling into loose fists, ready to summon up magic if anything unfriendly sprang out from among the tall rocks.

    Her nervousness was not lost on Avarth. As they rounded the bend, he pulled his rifle down from his back, the grip and muzzle sliding out with a sharp, mechanical hiss, and red lights glowing along the sight. It looked different than most firearms Veloce had seen around Pandora, possibly more advanced.

    Avarth used it to gesture towards the center of the shrine, the casual motion of someone accustomed to handling the gun despite its unwieldy shape. "There it is. Do your thing, Veloce. Be careful, though."

    A monolith of some black, shiny stone rested within the shrine's interior. Even from here, she could feel the magic emanating from it, slow and powerful pulses of some force impossibly ancient. There was nothing malicious about it that she could sense, but like Avarth, Veloce was not going to take careless chances. She approached with cautious steps, one hand raised towards the stone to feel out its energies, or intercept any aggressive spells that tried to activate.
     
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  3. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Mahad remained within the stone for now. Those that had entered had a certain air about them. Not necessarily evil, but definitely cause for him to be cautious. Perhaps they were simply explorers. That made sense, he had often wondered about the shrine and it's strange writings, and assumed others would as well. That said, he was always wary of explorers and the like because they had a tendency to try and take artifacts back with them, something he would like to avoid. His very being was bound to the tablet, he could not let anyone take possession of it or they would have utter control over him, even more than the usual amount exerted when he was called upon to serve.

    The pair approached Eternal Soul. Still, he kept his presence hidden. He would not reveal himself unless necessary, though he feared that looked more and more likely by the minute. It was not long before one carrying a form of gun gestured for the other to approach and 'do her thing'. Mahad could not wait any longer. The Hieroglyphs across Eternal Soul pulsed blue for a moment, and Mahad appeared, stepping from the Slab as if it were merely a doorway. He raised his hand, summoning his Magician's Rod to his side and saying "Greetings, friends. What brings you to the shrine?" Perhaps he could still solve this problem without resorting to violence...
     
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  4. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Energy thrummed suddenly through the monolith. Veloce halted sharply, readying herself as the alien markings carved into the stone gave off a single, pretty beat of glowing blue, like ripples spreading across the surface of a pond. The figure that emerged from it, while clearly and highly magical, and wielding what looked like a sorcerer's staff of wrought bronze, also didn't seem to be hostile in the least.

    Strange, considering one could easily make the argument that this crumbling-down place was the spirit's domain, and she and Avarth were the trespassers. If he had greeted them with anything besides that amicable tone, Veloce would've leapt straight into defending her client in whatever way she needed. As it was, she lowered her hand, her own magic fading down as a brief flicker of confusion passed over her face.

    Then the expression was gone. Veloce glanced back at Avarth for his instruction. He was the client, after all, and she just the muscle.

    Avarth wasn't so ready to take the spirit's friendliness at face value. His rifle was trained on the spirit's center of mass, his eyes as hard and cold as chips of ice. There was no panic or fear to the tension lining his body, just a steely resolve.

    "Here to claim what's ours, friend. That rock behind you's worth a small fortune, and isn't doing anybody any good just collecting dust in this old ruin." Avarth nodded once, a slight dip of his chin, and motioned with the rifle. "Now, you step aside nice and easy and let us do our work, or I'll have to convince you."

    Veloce said nothing, but Avarth lumping her in with him like they were partners had her frowning a little. She watched the spirit carefully, hands curled loosely at her sides.
     
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  5. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Mahad grimaced at the reply. He had suspected as much. He feared it was no longer possible to reach a peaceful conclusion to this predicament now, though that would not stop him from trying. "I am afraid I cannot allow you to take Eternal Soul with you. There is only one person with claim to this slab, and it is not you or your companion here. Eternal Soul belongs to the Pharaoh of Egypt, Atem and his descendant. As a loyal servant, I will not relinquish it, regardless of the convincing you try. Please, return from whence you came, or at the very least, search for something else within the shrine you can plunder." The polite tone he spoke in became someone condescending at the end of the statement. He did not approve of tomb-robbing, It offended his Egyptian Heritage, but he still did not want to make the first attack. He glanced at the mage he had brought with him. She seemed somewhat uncomfortable about the situation. Perhaps he should keep an eye on her. She seemed as though she had far more morals than her companion. "This tablet contains my very being. Taking it would be akin to stealing my soul." He said, directed more to her than the apparent ringleader of this confrontation. Tension seemed to be building. Maybe if he won over the man's companion he would back down, though he doubted it.
     
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  6. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    The names the spirit uttered weren't ones familiar to her. If Avarth had any idea what the monolith's guardian was talking about, he didn't show it. Rather, the spirit's refusal to step aside only seemed to darken Avarth's mood further. The creases in his brow deepened, the man letting out a slow sigh, a deep and measured exhalation to prepare himself for the task at hand.

    Avarth's trigger finger tensed, and Veloce stepped into his path, holding herself sideways so she could watch both of them. A flash of cold anger played across his eyes at her intervention, but to his credit he didn't shoot her.

    "What?" he said. The single word carried an unspoken threat: he better not dislike what Veloce was about to say.

    She wasn't sure what to say. She wasn't sure who she should even trust, which was absurd considering Avarth was her client, the one paying the guild. Fulfill his wishes per the terms of the contract—in this case, protecting Avarth from harm and helping him secure the artifact. Two simple directives, and little different than jobs Veloce had done before.

    Yet, this spirit... He was already starting to swing Veloce's favor to his side by the very passive nature of his resistance. She didn't doubt he could blast both her and Avarth off the mountainside if he wished, but he hadn't lifted a finger to strike yet, not even in the face of Avarth's not-so-subtle threat. The spirit wouldn't draw first blood... and that meant he still hoped they could settle their dispute peacefully. Veloce respected that.

    She nodded at the spirit. An acknowledgement; she had no interest in mistreating a living being's soul. She turned back to Avarth.

    "There's no need to be rash about this. His compromise is a good one. Leave him to his tablet, and we have free pick over the rest of the shrine. Even you agree that's better than having to fight, right?"

    Avarth was silent for several moments, glancing between Veloce and the guardian, his stony expression giving away nothing about what he was thinking. Then his mouth turned down in a frown, more of a grimace.

    "I should've known you magic types were all the same," he growled.

    He lunged sideways, once again a clear line of sight between him and his target. Avarth opened fire on the spirit. The rifle roared with a powerful kick, vomiting out a red beam of light that seemed to instantly cook the surrounding air, an energy hot and hungry like the inside of a furnace. Veloce reflexively dodged away even as her brain barked a warning. Laser.
     
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  7. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    The instant the man threw himself aside, Mahad was reacting. His shape flickered for a second, before seemingly being hit by the brunt of the man's attack and exploding. In reality, the magician had conjured an illusion in the brief moment before the shot came, moving himself safely away and getting ready for a counter-attack. "It seems I have no choice but to defend myself", his voice called from the darkness, seemingly echoing from far away, everywhere and nowhere all at once. "You have forced my hand in this matter." He spoke solemnly, calmly. His voice always level, containing a hint of disappointment but not condescending. All of a sudden three copies of the magician appeared, spaced evenly around his would-be captor. Each raised their hand and summoned a magical blast in their palms. "I will do what I must." He called again, the voice echoing from various corners of the shrine once more. The magicians launched their attacks, but nothing happened. Each attack simply phased through their target with no effect. Instead, The Dark Magician appeared above the man, pointing his staff downward. "Go! Spellbinding circle!" He yelled, his voice coming from the proper place this time. Around the man, a magical circle began to form on the ground, magical runes forming in the center. His foe would find himself unable to leave the Circle's edges now. Nowhere to run. He flicked his Magician's Rod upwards, calling out "Thousand Knives!" With a degree of finality. All around the shrine long, sharp knives formed from thin air, pointed directly at his target. This is where the Magician Stopped, holding the Knives in place for a moment and saying "Now, I think we can come to some sort of agreement. I do not wish to continue, but as I have said, I will do what I must." He directed his comments at both the man and his assistant, though he hadn't kept track of her in the flurry of action, assuming she would not interfere based on their last exchange. He dearly hoped she would see his side in this matter.
     
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  8. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    With an urgent need now to act, yet her loyalties still unsure, the spirit's swift and immediate succession of counterspells had Veloce hesitate too long for her involvement to matter. Avarth was caught in a binding circle of some kind—evident when the blue-haired man moved to leave and reeled back as if he'd run into a brick wall—and the spirit's threat was repeated; reasonably, calmly. Even so, the shrine hung thick with grave promise, readied magic electrifying the air and lifting the hairs on the back of Veloce's neck.

    A cautious probe of the binding circle told her it was powerful, easily on par with the enchantments that the Medrisen clergy used to safeguard their most treasured of holy relics. Veloce wasn't certain if she could shatter the runes, or if it was even worth the effort to try. Did she really want Avarth freed, to continue testing the guardian's patience? Did he deserve that?

    Veloce regarded the array of hovering knives cautiously as she shifted in front of Avarth. It was a token show of support for the man. He was greedy and foolish, but he was still her client.

    "Sorry about that outburst," she said calmly. Veloce's hands were at chest level with palms facing outward, a gesture of placation as much preparation to summon a defense if the spirit let those blades fly. "Your offer before, to leave your tablet alone in exchange for any other artifacts here? We'll take it, with your blessing."

    "The hell are you doing?" Avarth growled from his magical prison.

    Veloce turned her head just enough to direct her answer at him, the rest of her attention still on the spirit. "Making sure you don't die. That's what you're paying me to do, isn't it?"

    The weight of his angry stare drilled into her back, but he gave no reply, so Veloce assumed he agreed. She nodded at the spirit.

    "How about it? Spare him." And me. "I'll make sure he behaves."
     
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  9. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Mahad was not an unreasonable being. Far from it, he preferred talking about problems and discussion. He lowered his staff, but did not dematerialize it, nor did the Knives move from their positions. He turned his attentions to the mans escort. She seemed both far more reasonable and rational than her supposed employer. "I would really rather both of you simply left the shrine. I do dislike graverobbers and the like." He said with a somewhat accusatory edge in his otherwise measured voice. "Egypt has had many a problem with them in the past... Though I suppose that you have as much a right to these artifacts as I do, we are not in Egypt anymore, after all." His voice softened "There would be much to learn from them. Very well, you may continue your expedition with no further interruptions from myself. That is, if you're sure you can make this one behave" He finished with a dismissive nod to the man still trapped in the spellbinding circle. "If not, I could simply keep him here?" He chuckled a moment after saying this. "But I guess that would not sit well with him would it." He waved his free hand dismissively to the circle, causing it to vanish, but in the same stroke, a new circle appeared, this time around himself. The Dark Magical Circle. The runes glowed softly on the floor. "I'll be watching. Make another attempt on Eternal Soul and I will banish you from the shrine."
     
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  10. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Banish. In her mind's eye, Veloce saw herself and Avarth teleported off the side of the mountain—horizontally, that is, with no regard for how they were expected to deal with the sudden terrible distance between them and the ground below. Veloce's own magic could harness the winds to save themselves if it came to that, so she wasn't too worried... But what mattered was the implication.

    "We understand," Veloce said. The look she shot Avarth was stern. Don't we. You'd think she was the boss and he the muscle, instead of the other way around. "And thank you. We won't take any more time than necessary."

    With the threat of magical knives and worse being waved in his face, Avarth was wise enough to return his rifle to his back, though his mouth was centimeters away from forming a snarl as he did so. He kept his eyes on the spirit and the ominous glowing runes as he followed Veloce across the scattered rubble and into the shrine itself.

    Silence fell between them then. Still, the animosity rolling off of him was almost heavy enough for her to grab in her hands. Veloce spoke without looking at him as they entered a small alcove off the main corridor, with what appeared to be a chunk of another stone tablet laying on a pedestal.

    "You seem like you have something you want to say."

    "Yeah," Avarth replied, the word tense and frustrated. "What was that back there? The whole reason I brought you along was to deal with obstacles like that thing. So why didn't you?"

    "I did deal with him—we made a deal, didn't we? Or were you thinking that a mage's only value is in blowing things up?"

    He snorted. "Explosions are a popular problem-solver for a reason, Veloce. Anyway, I came here for that obsidian tablet, not..." He picked up the piece of stone before them, glanced over it, then flung it back onto the pedestal. "... this worthless crap."

    "He said that tablet contains his soul. To take it and sell it off would be little different than enslaving him."

    "You can attach a price to anything, as long as there's a buyer." Seeing Veloce's glare, Avarth sighed and shook his head. "Never mind. Miss Goody Two-Shoes here... Fine, I guess I don't have a choice. Making pennies is still better than getting dead. But me and your guildmaster are going to have a talk."

    Avarth moved out of the alcove and into another further down the corridor. Veloce lingered for a minute and examined the broken tablet. Time had worn the carvings away into illegibility, and she could detect no traces of magic from it. To most people, it was nothing more than a chunk of stone. Worthless, as he'd said.

    Not that Veloce didn't understand Avarth's grievances, but she wasn't here to be commanded like some attack hound, wasn't here to commit murder... if she could even win against that spirit in the first place. His power was considerable, even when measured against her own. Veloce might be a mercenary, but she wasn't interested in throwing her life away, not for this.

    Maybe Avarth's wallet would suffer for his misadventure up on this mountain peak, but that was outside the scope of her concerns.

    She left the artifact on the pedestal and went to rejoin Avarth.
     
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  11. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Mahad watched carefully. The man seemed quite upset that he'd lost his price. Such people disgusted him. While it was true that the Pharoah had his own slaves, he had never approved of it, and it was a far better way to deal with prisoners of war than putting them all to the sword or allowing them to return to their homelands to once again bolster their armies. They were picking through the remains of the tomb with palpable disdain. There were valuable artifacts further from the center, golden and jewled items and items of historical value, so they would not leave empty handed, but he'd have to remain on his guard. That man would likely attempt to take Eternal Soul anyway, or be back with a less morally sound companion. He didn't want to have to bloody his hands, but would not hesitate for a second to do so. The man moved on, further into the shrine, leaving his companion to look over the scraps he'd left. He'd said something interesting before heading off, mentioning a magician's guild. He decided to question the other mage about it.

    He materialized next to her as she cast aside the tablet she was holding, saying "Hello again. It seems as though we got off on the wrong foot here." He smiled a moment at the understatement. "Do not worry, you haven't done anything against our agreement, so I am not here to fight, rather to discuss amongst Magicians. I appreciate that you did not escalate our conflict earlier. It seems you are just employed by your companion, and I understand being under the control of another." He paused briefly. "I thought that perhaps we could speak as equals, without the need for hostilies." He let the question hang, before turning his head and saying "Timaeus! Come to me!" After a moment or two, a small, blue, dragon-like creature appeared close to him. Mahad pet it's head for a moment, before saying "Keep an eye on the other one. Let me know if he does anything suspicious." Mahad was nothing if not prudent, and Timaeus was pragmatic as well. He felt confident that with the Fire Lizard on the watch, Eternal Soul would be safe. The creature nodded and vanished back Between. He returned his attention to the other mage, awaiting her response.
     
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  12. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    She'd taken no more than two steps away from the pedestal when the spirit appeared before her. Veloce stopped dead; she might have been more alarmed if not for the polite expression on his face, or the sincerity in his words. The more he spoke, the more her tension left her, until she was standing half-relaxed, weight settled on her rear leg. Her arms were folded, hands nowhere near her swords.

    The little blue lizard was a curious thing. To an onlooker, ordering his familiar to keep guard over Avarth when the man's 'partner' was in earshot might've seemed rude, but Veloce agreed with the spirit's judgment. Yes, Avarth was paying the guild, and therefore also paying Veloce by proxy, but so far he'd only proven he couldn't be trusted where priceless artifacts were concerned.

    As of this moment, Veloce felt more solidarity with the spirit who was giving them a second chance than with the treasure hunter who was probably one finger twitch away from shooting her in the back.

    "My name is Veloce. I'm with the Mages' Guild. Avarth hired me as protection while he pursues ancient riches." The last part was drawled out, heavy with sarcasm. Veloce frowned in the direction Avarth had walked off in. "So... I'd also like to finish here without bloodshed if possible. What did you want to talk about?"

    And what did he mean, 'under the control of another'? The spirit seemed to be alone here—not counting his familiar—and the only other magical presence of note that Veloce could sense was the great obsidian tablet.
     
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  13. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Mahad nodded at the explanation, saying "I dislike needless fighting. I will leave you both alone so long as he holds up the bargain. He would not be alive if I was a blood crazed killer. I'm a monster, but I'm no monster." He smiled at his pun. "Your companion mentioned the Mages Guild not too long ago, and you did so just now. In my past existance, I was a teacher of magic, and I would very much like to meet with the other members of your guild at some point. Despite the circumstances of our meeting, you have shown that your guildmembers are understanding and hopefully trustworthy. Undoubtably, it would be good experience to speak with them on the nature of magic." Hopefully, her behaviour would be representative of the guild as a whole. Perhaps they could be counted upon to assist him with some of the drawbacks of being a Ka Spirit. He could probably lend his knowledge to them in other matters in return...
     
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  14. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Whatever joke he was trying to make, Veloce didn't understand it. But the mere fact that this mighty spirit apparently had a sense of humor was enough to loosen her posture further. Back in her own world, spirits were simple wisps of existence, possessing something like an animal's instincts but lacking the true intelligence of humans. It was strange, though not in a bad way, to know that this spirit had a personality beyond acting as a stalwart guardian of ancient artifacts.

    More than that... He'd been a teacher once? Had he been something other than a spirit before? Or had he simply outlived all his students? Veloce wondered at the implications.

    Her hand came up to cup her chin in thought. "Well... One of the guild's purposes is to study and understand the many types of magic that Pandora's brought in. If you mean to join your knowledge with the rest of ours..."

    Veloce nodded, the motion solemn, but intrigue danced in her eyes. "I don't see why our guildmaster would refuse. You've shown yourself to be reasonable and peaceable—despite all the excuse not to be—and if nothing else, magic users should stick together where we can. So, yes. I'll introduce you to the guild, if that's what you want."
     
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  15. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Perfect. Perhaps with the guild's help, he could begin to understand the magic that bound him to Eternal Soul a bit more. He'd had 5000 years to contemplate his fate, but perhaps a different perpspective could assist in bringing any furtehr knowledge to light. It would also be good to see some other forms of magic, far removed from the Shadow Games or his own Illusion Magic. He smiled and nodded, saying "Thank you. I agree that mages should stick with one-another. Not every culture is as willing to accept us as Egypt was. I will freely share my Illusion Magic with the guild. As I said, I was a teacher before I became The Dark Magician. It would be nice for me to be able to connect with other spellcasters." He moved back, floating away slightly before saying "It has just occured to me, I haven't properly introduced myself. I am The Dark Magician, Ka spirit and former High Priest of the Pharaoh of Egypt, Atem. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, despite the circumstances." He waited for a moment to let her respond, before saying "I shall not keep you any longer. I'm sure your charge is worried. I'll be watching. Please, when you return to your guildmaster, call out my name to summon me there. I would very much like to make my case in person. If you have any further questions or need of me in the shrine, again, just ask. I shall be with you presently."
     
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  16. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    "Agreed," Veloce replied, a touch of mirth in her voice. It said a lot that she already liked the Ka spirit more than her bull-headed client. And to think, she'd only come along in the first place because Avarth wanted protection from beings like him.

    She did wonder at the string of titles he gave, though. A dark magician and former high priest... Positions normally held by humans, right? And yet he was a spirit now, bound to a great hunk of stone. Here was a history she'd love to know... but Veloce didn't have a habit of being nosy, and there would be time to talk after he was summoned to the guild.

    Veloce chuckled. "If he's worried, it's only worry for what profit he can salvage, if any. And sure, I'll arrange something with our guildmaster. He's a busy man, but it shouldn't be more than a few days."

    With a polite parting gesture, Veloce left the alcove and followed the hallway down into the shrine. She found the treasure hunter in a side room much like the one they just left, picking through a pile of old metal implements, possibly brass or bronze. What they had once been, she couldn't tell, but evidently Avarth saw some modicum of value in the artifacts, because he occasionally tucked one into his bag.

    "What kept you?" Avarth said.

    "The spirit and I had a chat." Seeing him tense up, Veloce added, "Just to make sure there were no hard feelings between us, after all the blatant threats you leveled."

    He must not have liked the reminder, because Avarth gave a dissatisfied snort. He continued sorting through the crumbling treasures in silence. Veloce waited for him by the entrance, one shoulder leaned against the doorframe as she scanned the hallway, her posture relaxed. With friendly terms established between them and the spirit—or at least, between herself and the spirit—she doubted there was any real need to keep vigil now. If his little blue lizard, Timaeus, was around, Veloce didn't see the familiar anywhere.

    After a while, Avarth spoke up from behind her.

    "Ahh, this is pointless. This rusted crap's not going to help me recoup my losses." There was the quiet thud of something metallic rattling against the ground. Maybe he'd kicked one of the artifacts. "You sure I can't convince you to go back and take out that spirit?"

    "I'm sure," Veloce said flatly. "If you want him gone, you're on your own there."

    "Huh, yeah. I guess I am."

    There was another ringing of metal against the stone floor. Veloce turned. She caught a glimpse of Avarth looking grave, some kind of glowing metal plate in the ground between his feet, before her attention was drawn by the small, dark ball rolling in her direction. A heavy hum echoed; Avarth's form collapsed into a streak of white light and blinked out of view. The ball expanded two inches, blue static crackling dangerously between its frame and its core.

    Veloce had just started to fling herself away from the room as the explosion pulsed outward. Its force caught her hard enough that she bounced once off the floor before she managed to right herself into a crouch, skidding to a stop by the opposite wall. Magic snarled to life across her hands, but it was too late. Avarth was gone, and cracks were spreading quickly over the ceiling, dust and debris coming down as chunks of the mountain overhead began to separate.
     
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  17. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    Mahad had not long returned to Eternal Soul when Timaeus came to him from between in a panic. He did not need to guess what had happened, the man his new aquaintance had been contracted by had done something against their bargain, an outcome that was not entirely unexpected. Mahad gently pet the back of Timaeus' head in the way he liked in an attempt to calm him down before using Magician Navigation to materialize at the sight Timaeus had indicated.

    He arrived not a moment too soon. The man dropped something and teleported out of the shrine. Mahad barely had time to protect himself before the grenade exploded, significantly damageing the room around it. Mahad winced inwardly as what little was left of the gylphs on the walls were damaged beyond repair. So much for learning more from this place. He regained his composure after a second, casting his gaze about for any further damage. The room seemed fine for now, though time would tell if it were still structurally sound. He spotted Veloce and headed to her, offering a hand to help her to her feet, saying "I would not linger here, my friend. It seems as though that blast has shaken the mountain around us. I assume your companion's betrayal has released you from his employ?" He stated, more to himself than her. "He must answer for this..." He let the omnious words hang for a moment before dematerializing once again. He was going to find that man and hold him acountable.

    He reappeared infront of a very startled looking Avarth. He assumed the wicked man had thought himself quite clever in his tricks, but Mahad had defended his soul from 5000 years of tomb-robbers. "In Egypt," Mahad began, his voice taking a very stern tone, almost as if admonishing a student. "You would be subject to a Shadow Game Penalty for breaking your bargain." He pointed accusingly at him "Be thankful I have no wish to see the Shadow Games return." He lifted his Magician's Rod, casting Spellbinding Circle once again around the man "I am not a needlessly violent spirit, and yet I find you in my charge, awaiting a suitable reward for treachery..."
     
    #17 Mahad, May 10, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2018
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  18. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Answer, yes, but as the betrayed party, that answer would be on Veloce's terms, not the spirit's. Unfortunately, before she had a chance to state as such, he'd already warped away, presumably to deliver on his unspoken threat. Veloce was left staring at her now-empty hand where he'd helped her to her feet.

    Overhead, the hallway gave another warning groan, the crack of splintering rock rumbling from somewhere deep within the mountain, but still the shrine held its shape. For now. If the looming cave-in decided it wanted to announce itself, Veloce would not still be here. Besides, she had a treacherous client and a perhaps even more treacherous spirit to catch up to.

    Her first teleport brought herself outside, to the dusty plaza ringed with broken dragon statues. A push of her senses over the area told her which direction Avarth had gone—further down the path that wound along the mountainside, just above where the trees had stopped growing. Veloce's second teleport closed the gap, and her third landed her in front of the blue-haired man, putting her between him and the grim-faced spirit. One of her hands was already outstretched, palm up to delay whatever punishment he was about to channel into his rod. Her other hand hovered defensively over one of the swords at her hip. Not touching, but close enough to take hold if the spirit acted further.

    Avarth, already startled once by the Dark Magician halting his escape so easily, just looked annoyed that Veloce was here now, too. His rifle was out again, the sight lined up with the spirit's chest despite the arcane circle around him; perhaps he thought he'd make a final stand of some sort. Either way, he didn't lower the gun, just glared silently over the top at Veloce's back. She pretended not to feel his eyes.

    Instead she spoke to the spirit, her tone even and cool. "Wait. The bargain was that he'd leave Eternal Soul alone. If you're planning to kill him for trying to blow me up... Well. I'm perfectly capable of addressing that grievance myself."
     
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  19. Mahad

    Mahad Guest

    It was not long before he was joined by Veloce once again. He turned his attentions to her, quite sure that Avarth would not be able to make any further nuceance of himself whilst they conversed. He lowered his rod and said to her "I was not planning to kill him. I have said before I am not needlessly violent, however, I am more than willing to cede his wellbeing to you if you wish. If was you he attempted to harm, after all." He thought a moment before contining "Though he still broke his bargain with me. By detonating something like that within the shrine he endangered the entire area. You felt the rumblings of the mountain, did you not?" He glanced back at the sulking prisoner, and finished by saying "He needs to pay for his crime. What were you planning to do with him exactly?"
     
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  20. Veloce Visrin

    Veloce Visrin Carciphona

    Posts:
    402
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Sorceress
    Race:
    Human (Demon-bound)
    Age:
    17 (+1)
    Alignment:
    True Neutral
    Satisfied that this was where the spirit's aggression stopped, Veloce looked over her shoulder at Avarth, the man standing there in his show of pointless resistance. He knew it as well; though he didn't lower his gun, nor did he attempt to fire out of the barrier. He probably expected the bullet to ricochet back on him. Smart man, but apparently not smart enough to leave well enough alone.

    'What', indeed.

    "I can argue a case for attempted murder," Veloce said, eyes staying firmly on Avarth as she spoke, "and reckless destruction of a locale of historic importance. At the very least, he'll stand trial and make work for the people at court. That's after I get him back to the guild and let him have a long talk with our guildmaster."

    She turned back to the Dark Magician, her stance relaxing as she put her hands down. "And yes, the mountain shook quite hard, but it'll hold for the time being. Long enough to get a team of mages here to assess the damage and repair it, if needed." Veloce dipped her head in a slow nod, her expression darkening. "This whole excursion was partly our fault, for agreeing to escort him in the first place. Allow us to make amends."