~Fading Twilight~ STORY THREAD

Started by WhiteRose, September 02, 2013, 02:02:39 am

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Fading Twilight

Day One Dawns....

A gentle wind blows from the east. The fateful stars twinkle their message overhead. A beginning has arrived.

In ancient times, the Tower of Magi was a somber location. A whisper could be heard floating through the halls seemingly for miles. Magic was a forbidden art, shunned for its dangers. The hooded adepts would shuffle from one library to another, studying the even-then dusty tomes and preparing for the grand and mysterious Test of the Magi.

The Tower is not the same as it was in those days. With the victory over the Shade, there was once again time for curiosity, time to look into the unknown. Magic became a popular topic, though few still were those who had the talent to cast even the most basic conjurations. It became common for noble families seeking to educate their children to send them to the Tower, though often only for long enough to gain the most basic of knowledge. The eons old stigma faded, and magic became an accepted part of society.

With this change, the atmosphere of the Tower itself changed. The once hushed corridors were filled with buzzing students, relating to their classmates their latest successes and failures. Many of the ancient tomes were damaged or misplaced by those who did not understand their value, and fewer and fewer of the students were truly aspiring to take the Test.

Lorimar frowned from the upper balcony as he watched the courtyard below. "We've become a tourist attraction," he said, his lip curling. He turned back into the chamber, his grey robes gliding centimeters above the polished marble tiling. The color of a mage's robe bore significance to those who understood the meaning of the anciently established pattern. Grey robes signified a balanced approach to the art, drifting neither to the side of the light or dark. It was a popular rumor that the dour-faced elf would have chosen the black robes, but was threatened by the Council that such a decision would result in expulsion from the Tower. Like a large portion of the rumors circulated among the younger apprentices, this rumor may well have been completely false, but it was impossible to tell - whenever the subject was mentioned, Lorimar would give a glare so cold that anyone asking would quickly remember urgent business elsewhere.

The Headmaster chuckled. "If we have indeed become a location of common interest, all the better. Magic has never been so widely accepted and embraced. No longer do scholars of the arts have to hide themselves away in darkness." Though he currently wore the purple robes of his academic office, his robes worn at the Mages' Council were white. "You need to relax, my friend. A bright future is ahead of us."

"A bright future?" The elf's frown deepened. "What, then, of the meeting of the Council? What of the stars?"

His college's smile faded slightly. "Our course of action is yet to be determined. We can maintain hope that these patterns do not mean another cycle of the past returning to haunt us. The Council will be meeting again in three days, and will once again analyze the celestial patterns and their meaning."

Though Lorimar dared not interrupt the older mage, his eyes narrowed dangerously. Knowing deep down that he was just as powerless as the others upon the Council, he sighed, and turned back to the courtyard below, his thoughts elsewhere.

Meanwhile, in the same courtyard, Sofia was approached by another student of the arts. Like her, he was clad in the blue apprentice's robes worn by all those who are still beginning their life-long study of the arcane. His hair was painstakingly styled in the latest fashion, and his face was handsome, though it too bore expressions that clearly had been practiced during long hours in front of a mirror. "Hey," he said. "Are you new here? I don't think I've seen you around before. Well, I guess I wouldn't even know if I had - everyone here is all dressed the same, so it makes it kinda tough." After a brief laugh, he added with a smile, "Although, I do think that I would remember a girl like you."

Not far away, Azimuth sat in one of the Tower's many libraries, deep in thought as he poured over astrological diagrams. The stars and movements of the planets were known to have a significant effect on the powers of the arcane. His studies were interrupted by the approach of a red-robed scribe. "Excuse me, are you Azimuth? A have a summons for you from the upper levels of the Tower. I'm afraid I'm not sure who sent it." The messenger politely left a small, folded piece of parchment on the desk, and left with a respectful nod. The paper contained only a brief note:
    "Please visit me in my private study this afternoon. I have an important task with which I'd like your help. ~Headmaster Melyr"

Miles to the west, the wind whistled through the broken shutters of the Red Dragon Tavern, located in the trade-city of Farrance. No one knew how it had come to receive such a name, for such a run-down place bore little resemblance to the mythical creatures. The floor was unswept, and dishes were unclean, and the locks on the doors could be opened with nothing more than a solid nudge. It was not, however, for the quality of the premises that made the Red Dragon such a popular establishment. The food and drink were nearly mythical on their own, and the atmosphere caused even newcomers in the town to feel that they were among friends. Perhaps most significantly, there were only two places to go in Farrance when looking for some quick coin - the public announcement board containing requests for the local government officials, or, for those who preferred for a more adventurous route, the Red Dragon. It was for this reason that Alfred found himself pushing aside the creaky front door and stepping into the musty old inn. It was no secret that there was plenty of work to be found here, especially for those who knew how to look for it. And he certainly knew how to do that.

Alfred Blackwood wasn't the only significant visitor to the Red Dragon that morning. Having traveled through the night, Angel  slipped inside uneventfully, hoping not to draw too much attention to herself. Though she was skilled in finding edible herbs and other sources of food, there was no replacement for a bag full of fresh provisions - even just a loaf of bread or two. Besides, this was her first time in Farrance. Despite being wary of the crowds, a hint of curiosity gave her the urge to explore the town a little bit before setting off on the road once again.

Farrance was the crossroads between two other cities - the harbor of Port Arkkan to the west, and the mining community of Stonesdale to the south. Ramli felt at home there is Stonesdale, though he likely would have felt the same in any location so thickly dotted with mines and caves. At the moment, however, he wasn't feeling particularly pleased. On his way back to the surface from his latest dig, he had come across three human miners, each of them carrying a mining pick and wearing a frown. "What do you think you're doing in our mines?" said one of them, spitting a mixture of dirt and saliva. "Look, dwarf. We don't want any trouble, so just hand over anything you dug up, and we'll call it fair. We're not picky - ore, gems, whatever."
It would appear that even in a peaceful community like Stonesdale, there would always be a few freeloading thugs. These weren't, of course, their mines - no one owned the thick veins of precious ore than ran beneath the city. It seemed they were just trying to make some quick money with minimal effort.

Notes, Tips, and Rumors:
  • The kingdom of Taraoth is located to the north of Farrance. There have been rumors of a dragon sighting there.
  • Odd jobs can often be found in local inns and taverns
  • There has been talk of a group of wandering bards travelling between major cities.
  • Combat is not always the only way out of a situation
  • The story will unfold based on your actions. I've placed each character in a starting scenario, but don't let that limit you - feel free to let your own actions shape your circumstances.
  • Though you are in control of your own characters, be careful - being too reckless rarely ends well.


September 02, 2013, 05:01:21 am #1 Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 05:02:29 am by Vell
The Red Dragon was not unfamiliar to him - although the slight elven chick he noticed behind him certainly seemed awestruck. The barkeep was one of his older contacts. A lanky man with a clean counter, William Cantor would not suffer anyone daring to lose their stomach at his bar. It was often his frequent customers who defended that sacred right - Alfred himself had bodily lifted a man who had drunk too much and tossed him into the streets, once. That the unhappy patron had actually been someone of notable wealth and influence was largely overlooked - even the head of his family respected William's counter. No, the Red Dragon was not a lowly tavern, where one might find a brawl breaking out. It was a place of some class, in its own fashion. Sure, there were the brutes - and Alfred waved nonchalantly over at Edd and Gavin, two fellows thicker built even than Alfred himself - and fellows of ill repute after some gain or another, but for the most part the Red Dragon was a solid place for finding out the buzz in good old Farrance.

"So Willy," said Alfred, comfortably laying himself onto a stool at the bar. "How's it been? Silviana running as tight a business as ever?" William nodded in response to his second question, ignored the first. As it always was, when you called him Willy. The man had his pride. "Where is she, anyway?" A serving girl, carrying some patron his or her midday meal, passed by Alfred. He patted her on the shoulder as she passed by. He knew her as Pallana, but he suspected she had another name. She turned, noticed who it was a gave a shy grin in response, then hurried off.

"Sil's where she always is. Around, keepin' the girls busy." Nevermind however much William hated having his own name shortened, he wouldn't ever refer to another with their full name. Something about giving back what's unwanted, he'd said once when Alfred asked. "Looking for anything in particular?"

"In a way, William." Business time meant pleasantries were over. He ordered a drink, waited for William to take and fill out other men and women's orders, carry on some conversation. Alfred caught an interesting few tidbits in that. He filed away the news in his head; he'd roll them about later if the currents called for it. When Alfred had the barkeep's attention again, he said, "Nothing too extravagant. I had to run out on most of my coin few days back, just looking for a way to legitimately pad the pockets." The only response was a nod and a tilt of the barkeep's head to his right.

Taking his drink with him Alfred settled down at a table, standing across from a wealthy looking man. "Hey there! I hear you're in need of help?"

"Aye, I am," said the chubby man. "I've got a son, y'see, who's just learning the family business, but he wants to strike out on his own. Do a little merchanting before I give him the store."

"I see," Alfred interrupted. "And you need some men to make sure his wagon isn't intercepted or waylayed by highwaymen."

"Exactly, yes, that's the basic of it. Of course, my son's person is more important than the product." The next few minutes were a bit of a haggle over price and the customary discussion over exactly how Alfred was to make sure the young man made it safely here he had to. Within the hour the storeowner was standing and offering some shockingly earnest thanks before walking out the door. Pallana sat down with what she knew he ordered for a meal when he had the spare coin.

"Aww Pal, I appreciate the gesture, but I don't have the money for a meal here." The serving girl smiled.

"That's alright Alfred. Silviana said that's on the house today, provided..." The way the girl shyly bit her under lip told him where that sentence was going. He doubted Silviana had any knowledge of what Pallana implied, yet he knew that Pallana would pay the bill anyway.

EDIT: NOTE: If I go too far, then let me know and I'll edit my post. I dunno if you had a plot planned for my character, so I gave him a simple one.

Dreaming Sun

In the courtyard, Sofia found herself continuing her practice. She enjoyed being out and in the air - it was certainly a welcome change from the dust that tended to gather within the tower itself. Besides, her magic was prone to being... unreliable at best, so if anything did go wrong, a small explosion in a rather empty courtyard was preferable to a gust of wind scattering leafs of paper all around her room. She knew that first hand - and vividly remembered the half hour or so she spent ridding her lungs of all the dust that lifted in the chaos. Then again, stuffing up in full view of the rest of the students was never a great idea... and with an bashful glance, she caught sight of Lorimar gazing at the courtyard from a balcony above.. It was always embarrassing making mistakes, and even more so in sight of a council member...

But still! No! She was 33 years old! 34 soon. Maybe in the minds of the elves, she was still a young one, but a human her age would be well into adulthood by now! She would be expected to do the same. Expected to act her age. Making mistakes wasn't something she should be embarrassed about, as long as she learned from it!

It was at about this time Sofia found her thoughts interrupted by another.

"Oh, hello!" Sofia replied with an earnest smile. His compliments were certainly flattering, but deep down Sofia knew she wasn't the best looker within the Tower. Even so, with a station like hers, Sofia was used to her own fair share of suitors. "Really? Well I'm pretty sure I've seen you around..." A pause. "Hard to forget a smile like that around the halls. Though I don't think we've ever really introduced," she continued, glancing upwards and putting her hand forward. "Sofia. Sofia Winters."


Not being smart with the words, and trying to avoid conflict, Ramli tried to humbly pass of the humans. But rapidly, one of them stopped him.

"What's the matter?" Said. "Didn't you understand what we told you?".
"This is a gift that the earth gave to me. I can't give it to you like this" - Ramli replied.
"Then we will have to take it by force."

Ramli tried to escape, but was grabbed by two of the guys. The other one threw a punch to his stomach, he lost his breath but resisted to fall down with all his strength. Rapidly, they kicked his legs and made him kneel. One of them got more vicious after the beating and wielded a knife, maybe just trying to scare his "victim", something that made Ramli panic, after which grabbed his pickaxe and threw it against the thug, piercing its leg. This astonished the thugs, and our hero, who set its foot to the escape again, leaving them with one injured.

A pair of guards, seeing the quarrel, came to the scene. They helped the injured, and the other two acted as witnesses, saying that the old dwarf was aggressive, and they just tried to defend themselves, but sadly one of them got injured and the guilty escaped. The guards then set to catch the dwarf, which was still a little confused not knowing what to do after the incident. After very little time, Ramli noticed he was being chased. Really not liking the idea of being a fugitive, tried to calm himself down and stopped running. The facts were evident (or so they seemed), and Ramli was captured and taken to the nearest court, which was located in the town of Farrance.

Note: I really just put "rogue" as a filler lol. Ramli is more of a peasant type for now, not real expertise on combat, maybe against small creatures and such. But he is strong, and could learn something, and even develop either as a fighter or as a diplomatic. He is very much an open ended character, or so is my intention.


September 02, 2013, 03:48:30 pm #4 Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 04:03:38 pm by SBR*
   "Seriously, is that all you've got?" Leo asked with a grin. "We've been training for a while now and you still can't even hit me. Well, I guess that's what you get for spending all day inside, reading your dusty books."
   Azimuth backed away from Leo, but didn't lower his stick. The two had been training for a while now, but he still had not been able to land a single blow on Leo. Leo's cocky remarks were getting on Azimuth's nerves and he knew he would regret it if he couldn't wipe that grin of his face. The magician concentrated, focused on the particles located on the outside of his stick and made them all vibrate in the same direction. This gave the stick a faint glow, invisible to the naked eye. When Azimuth had been practicing his weapon enchantment spells, he noticed that even his elven eyesight proved not keen enough to witness the faint glow enchanted weapons were said to give off. However, Azimuth managed to design a spell that enhanced his eyesight even further so he could see whether his - or others', for that matter - weapon was enchanted.
   Suddenly the magician dashed towards his opponent. Leo raised his sword in an attempt to block the incoming blow, thinking he would succeed, but his jaw dropped as Azimuth's stick sliced right through his. Azimuth made use of Leo's confusion and pounded him in the chest. He was overjoyed with his success. Finally, he was able to land a hit on him! But his happiness quickly receded as he looked up to Leo's face. The face bore the same, cocky grin it always did when the two were dueling; the blow had not even fazed the warrior. "That's enough for today," Leo said, as he walked away. Azimuth followed him.
   "You should try to control your emotions. A warrior who isn't calm at mind can never win a battle."
   "Oh, don't get me wrong, Leo. I was perfectly calm, alright. I'm a magician after all, and you can't cast spells without concentrating and keeping your emotions in balance. Although this one particular spell did not even require much concentration," Azimuth said with a grin, "it didn't even need an incantation or a tome. You see, I simply manipulated the particles on the outside of -"
   "Azimuth!" Leo scolded. "You know I'm not interested in that sort of stuff. Don't bother me with it."

   Azimuth had known Leo for a long time. Leo was three years older than Azimuth and they had met when Azimuth was 10 years old. Back in the days, when Leo never had to travel, he used to often sneak inside the Tower of Magi. He excelled at being stealthy and even at a young age, he was able to go anywhere unnoticed. However, he turned out to be more of a warrior than a rogue. He prefers man-to-man combat to stealthy assassination, although if the need arises, he's prepared to sacrifice his honor in order to help his friends.
   Even back when they were young, Leo had a handsome face. All the women in the village and the Tower said that he would grow up to be a handsome man. And right they were; with his blonde hair and broad shoulders, he was considered very attractive by all women he met. His lack of scars showed his combat skills, or rather, his ability to avoid combat, for he was not only a brave warrior, but also a skilled diplomat.
   He and Azimuth used to be best friends when they were younger, but due to their different rates of maturing - humans mature twice as fast as elves -, they grew apart. However, right now, Azimuth is an adult even according to elven standards, albeit barely, so he decided to contact Leo and ask him to help him with his sword fighting. The moment the two saw each other, they knew their friendship would once again be as strong as ever.

   "Once again, thanks for your help, Leo." Azimuth said.
   Leo shrugged. "You're welcome. I'm glad I could help you out. Although..." He paused. "I still don't like the look those magician friends of yours give me. Why don't you come to Azura next time?" Leo lived in a small lakeside village near the Tower. The lake was widely renowned for its beautiful azure color, which had given the village its name.
   However, what Leo said was true. The magicians of the Tower of Magi didn't hold sword fighting and martial arts in high regards. They preferred the ways of magic to physical combat, something they had come to see as barbaric. Besides, when practicing sword fighting, Azimuth didn't wear his blue magician robes, for they got in the way. Rather, he wore a white shirt with brown trousers. The magician robes had holy symbols on them; they served to thank the gods for their gift of magic. Some older mages considered a magician not wearing his robes as an ungrateful one and thought it offended the gods, although Azimuth saw little reason to believe that.
   "Don't mind them, Leo. Besides, you know I don't like traveling far from the Tower. Azura is relatively close, but I would still rather stay as close to home as possible. Anyway, I really have to go now. I'll see you later!"
   "Oh, about that; I'm going on a job tomorrow. I'm in dire need of money right now, so I need to protect a caravan traveling to Farrance." He was a mercenary - and a good one at that -, but he was also rather lazy and preferred spending his time in the taverns of Azura to traveling the world, so he often was in need of coins.
   "Farrance? That's quite far away. I guess that means we won't be able to practice sword fighting together for a while, right? It doesn't matter; I have some studies of weapon enchantment to do, anyway. Next time you see me, I may be able to set my stick on fire without it burning away, so be prepared."
   After they had said their goodbyes, Azimuth entered the Tower and made his way to the uppermost floor, where the private study of headmaster Melyr was located.
   When Azimuth reached the top floor, he looked about. The hallway had always amazed him. Red and silver curtains hung from the ceiling, preventing the sunlight from heating up the hallway, and paintings decorated the empty spots on the walls. Azimuth knocked on a wooden door with gold decorations and when he heard a voice respond from the inside, he opened the door and entered the room. He rarely got to see the inside of the headmaster's study, but nevertheless, he considered it to be the most beautiful room of the entire Tower. All walls were covered with bookcases filled with ancient but powerful tomes and a number statues crafted by the finest sculptors of the entire kingdom covered the tables and desks. In the middle sat Melyr. He smiled at Azimuth and beckoned him to come closer. Melyr handed Azimuth a sealed scroll and Azimuth could feel incredible magical power radiating from it.
   "I would like you to take this to Farrance."


Ah, the red dragon.. Angel thought, such a comfort right now..

Angel had been traveling for a couple days now, having resolved to head towards Farrance, a small trade city not too far away, to pick up supplies before heading towards The Tower. She had just arrived, and knowing the city very well, she headed inside, gliding into the shadows, melding them around her to keep her hidden from the casual eye. She could not make herself physically invisible, however, she had long ago mastered her ability to shape the shadows surrounding her.

As she took a seat off to the side, against the wall left of the entrance, she noticed a familiar face enter and go up to the barkeep, William. Although they had never formally met, she had witnessed this newcomer enough to know he was called Alfred. He was mostly known for taking the odd job wherever he could find it, although lately she had heard he was becoming more lawful and legitimate in his business dealings. After watching for a while, she saw him speaking to an shorter gentleman, and they seemed to be speaking business. They parted ways, and Angel hurried to catch up to the shorter man, whom she had by now determined had to be part Dwarf.

"Excuse me, sir?" she called to him, almost having caught up to him. He stopped and turned to her, looking a little confused for a moment.
"Yes, can I help you?" He replied
"I saw you talking to Alfred, and I was wondering, whereabouts are you headed to? Any chance you might need a hand with anything?"
"Ah, I see you know him? Well, I hired him as the last hand I need for a convoy escort, so no, unfortunately I do not need any more at this time. But to answer your question, I have a shop out in Stonesdale, a little ways south of here. That's where I'm headed back to."
"Okay, thank you anyways. Safe travels to you, and I'm sure I'll see you in Stonesdale  at some point."
"Safe travels to you as well, miss... er..."
"Angel. My name is Angel. Goodbye."

Angel wandered off into the crowd again, looking to see if she was able to find anything of interest, but to no avail. Directing herself towards the bar, she ordered her usual supply of items that she always got, every few months or so; bread, cheese, and some good wine were not her specialties in cooking. She preferred to purchase certain items, rather than attempt to make a disaster version of them. William was prompt about gathering what she had asked for, and she handed over the necessary coin for it, thanking him, and packing it all away in her satchel. She headed towards the exit, but not too quick to see Alfred seated at a table, being fawned over by a waitress she had seen to be addressed as Pallanna. I see he has found himself someone.. she thought to herself. Thinking about it a little closer, never in their crossed paths had he seen Alfred with a woman before; Always the loner in a situation. She headed off, out into the main street of Farrance, to collect some more supplies before heading off again


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September 03, 2013, 11:16:43 pm #6 Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 11:23:04 pm by Vell
From the corner of his eye, Alfred noticed the elven girl he had earlier seen eyeing him. And then following after that merchant. Strange. And suspicious. "So, Pallanna, have you covered my room expenses as well?" The girl had the audacity to giggle; Alfred found it charming. She had an excellent giggle which bode well for her laugh. He'd heard her laugh before. It was pleasing to the ear. He spoke to the serving girl for a short while before becoming aware that the woman had reentered the Red Dragon. Fortunately, she left soon after. Alfred bid Pallanna his well leavings and stepped out of the Red Dragon, catching sight of his mark. Careful to avoid her notice; a peek into a window for a few seconds here, a smile to someone else there. What Alfred was after would not be served by the woman realising she was being tailed.

Alfred thought about what he knew of the local nobility as he kept a lazy eye on the girl. He might have angered a few in the past, but any enough to have him followed? He quickly gathered that his target was stocking up on supplies. Trying to follow him and the wagon? What had she asked the businessman? Damn it, Alfred could not afford to bring personal issues to work; it would kill his reputation and then he'd be penniless. Or was he wrong about the girl? Was it the merchant she'd been eyeing and not him? He felt certain that he'd seen her looking at him even when she returned, but only the most rank amateur would brazenly walk back into the tavern, knowing he was inside. Did she have any accomplices? Should he catch her off guard? Best to be cautious; see if he could find out where she was staying the night. And if she wasn't, if she left Farrance, he knew what to do.

Note: DigitalSoul, this is at you.



An escort job was certainly nothing out of the ordinary. The tiny caravan, consisting of the single wagon, the young merchant, and Alfred himself, along with one other bodyguard. Having two guards was mildly excessive, considering the largely safe caravan route they would be traveling, but apparently the boy's father had enough spare cash that he was willing to pay in order to minimize even the slightest chance of danger to the caravan's most precious cargo.

The young boy, apparently in his teens, was hardly appreciative of his father's efforts. He looked dubiously at his hired guards, rolled his eyes, and proceeded to finish loading the cart. In his mind, he was capable of defending himself, but this was the only way that his father would let him leave town.

The sun was already high in the sky by the time the caravan departed. However, they didn't make it far - only feet outside of the gates, they were halted by a patrol of mounted, armored figures, who trotted up behind the company with an irksome, "Halt!"

Their armor bore an insignia that seemed to represent some sort of authority, though it was clearly not the seal indicating a member of the Royal Guard. There were four of them, in total. The young merchant grumbled at the disruption, swinging himself out of the seat of the wagon and approaching the armored men. "What do you want?" He said irritably.

The leader of the newcomers, easily identified by his pompous manner as much as by the extra plume in his helmet, stroked his moustache as he replied. "Careful, boy; show a little respect. We are from the Seekers."

The Seekers! There was a name that Alfred hadn't heard in quite some time. The organization had burst into existence a few years ago, apparently followers of some sort of crazy rumor involving "the Shade," some sort of ancient, mythical demon or something like that. They had disappeared as quickly as they had come, several years ago. Strange to see them here now. Something must be going on here....

The Seeker knight continued, "We've heard that an object of some importance has recently come into town. We'd simply like to inspect your cargo to ensure that you do not carry it, and will let you go in peace."

"What object?" replied the merchant.

The knight shook his head, causing the feathers in his helmet to wave back and forth violently. "That's of no concern of yours. Unless the object is in your possession, there is no need to worry. We should only take a few minutes."

"It's of my concern if you're trying to go through my stuff! I'll bet you're nothing more than a bunch of dirty thieves!" Furious, the boy turned to his guards. "Well? You're supposed to protect the wagon, aren't you? Chase these guys off!"

The second bodyguard glanced sideways at Alfred, unsure as to what to do.


"Sophia? What a pretty name. It suits you." The boy took her hand, shaking it gently. His own palms were soft, accustomed to the pages of book rather than any sort of physical labor. "Mephis Darrington. I am delighted to make your acquaintance. I've been here for a while, so I know all about the Tower of Magi. You ever have any questions, just let me know. I've been over every inch of this place." After a pause, he looked around, possibly in a fashion more dramatic than was really necessary, before adding, "Even the upper levels. You know, the ones where you aren't supposed to be able to go on your own? You try going up the stairs, and there's a forcefield that blocks you. But I know a way around it. Wanna check it out?"


The iron shackles were uncomfortable, digging into Ramli's wrists painfully after several hours of being chained to the wall of the cart. There were two other prisoners there with him, though they weren't really ones for talking. One of them had asked Ramli why he had been arrested, and sorted when Ramli explained that it was just a misunderstanding.

Farrance was several hours ride to the north. It was already early afternoon by the time the creaky old cart, with its entourage of guards, arrived at the courtroom. The small judiciary center had only a single, poorly ventilated room, meaning that prisoners, witnesses, and judges alike had to suffer through the heat as they waited for their turn to appeal. Finally, it was Ramli's turn to approach the bench. The single judge, leaning on the symbolic Staff of Judgement, stifled a yawn as he looked at the dwarf.

As eloquently as he could, Ramli explained the situation, relating that the men had been trying to steal his goods, and that his actions had been in self-defense. The judge raised an eyebrow, and seemed about to reply, when a commotion echoed from outside. His curiosity getting the better of him, he immediately lost all interest in the case, distractedly yelling, "Guilt... erm, innocent, I mean. Yes, innocent. You seem like a decent enough fellow, so... case dismissed." Still speaking, he hurried down from the podium and approached the window, peering through the shutters. With a sudden crash, something smashed through the glass, sending the courtyard into chaos. Ramli realized that his shackles had been released; he was free to go. An odd trial, but effective. Now, what was happening outside... ?


Seeing the confused look on Azumith's face, Melyr chuckled. "I apologize for being so hasty; importance is no reason to put aside courtesy. Have a seat. I'll explain." He gestured to a well-padded chair opposite his desk. "We've received word of an incredibly powerful source of magic coming from the trading town of Farrance. As you know, any source of uncontained magic is dangerous - we don't want some unwitting soul to set up some sort of ancient curse. I'm sure you could imagine the negative impact that would have on the image of magic! However, the council has its hands full already, and isn't able to send a representative to identify the situation. So, we've prepared this scroll. It contains a simple spell that will identify the source of the disturbance, and will contain its powers in a temporary seal so that it be returned to the Tower for study. As with all scrolls, the magic it contains can only be used once before losing its potency, so do please be wise in when you choose to use it. Anywhere within the borders of Farrance should be just fine. In addition to the scroll, I'm also including a note apologizing for the situation, and an amount of gold sufficient to compensate whomever happens to be the owner of the object that needs to be retrieved. It should be a fairly simple task, but I wanted to assign it to someone I know I can trust. I've known you for a long time, Azimuth, and I certainly trust you. Are you up for the task?"


It took Angel slightly longer than expected to gather her usual supplies; apparently, the harvest had been more bountiful in certain ingredients than others. After some time and effort, she fortunately managed to collect everything that she needed, and was prepared to set off on her journey. However, just as she prepared to make her way to the front gate, a voice stopped her. "Angel PhoenixFire?" She looked around, surprised. The voice was unfamiliar. How did it know her name? A white-bearded old man in a lopsided hat appeared to be its source. Clearly older, he leaned upon a crooked staff as he walked, though his stride seemed strong otherwise. She had never met, or, indeed, ever seen him before. She recalled what she had learned regarding magic, and wondered if this old man had perhaps learned her name through some some of magical shenanigans.
"There you are. Slightly late. Not very polite, you know," he chided sternly. On second thought, perhaps he was just crazy.... From somewhere within the folds of his robes, he withdrew something, his gnarled hand clasped tightly around the small object. "Now, I need you to hold on to this tightly. It's going to be important, one of these days." He took her hand and pressed the object into it. Strangely, she found herself unable to make any sort of effort to reject the gesture. The object was cold and hard to the touch. "Listen carefully," the old man continued. His entire demeanor suddenly changed. Angel abruptly had the sensation she was speaking with a mighty king. "When night falls, the shining stars emerge. Only a select few are chosen to be their messengers. You will know them when you see them - the star knows its own. When the darkness is greatest, that is when it will be the brightest. If you and your future companions fail to protect it, all is lost."

As if snapping out of a daze, she looked around her. The old man was gone; she wasn't sure if he had simply vanished, or if she had been so distracted that she didn't notice him leave. Or had he ever really been there at all? Yet, there was still something in her palm....

She uncurled her hand, and a bright light burst outward, lighting up the alleys and crannies of the city block. Straining her eyes, she could make old a brilliant platinum pendant, shaped like an eight-pointed star, with a supporting thin, silver chain. In its center was set the source of the bright, white light. She couldn't identify what it was, but it felt round and smooth to the touch. Her eyes were burning even after looking for it for these brief few seconds.

In a nearby alleyway, an armored figure had been speaking with a cloaked man. The cloaked man's hood was pulled up over his face, shrouding him in shadows. Only a few snippets of their conversation could be heard.
"...looking everywhere, but we can't find...."
"...disappointed. You know what happens...."
"The Starjewel...."
It was then that Angel uncovered the jewel. Their words stopped abruptly. Without a need to exchange another word, they ran for the source of the light.

Impulsively, Angel bolted for the Red Dragon, the closest building with which she was familiar. As she ran, several more of the robed figures appeared from the shadows, in hot pursuit.

Out of breath, she stumbled into the tavern, knocking over a table of dishes as she skidded to a halt.
"What in blazes is going on out here?" shouted William as he emerged from the kitchen. He then caught a sight of the panicked look on Angel's face, and the incoming mob of mysterious robed shadows. Not another word of explanation needed to be said. "Pallana," he said as he hoisted a table against the door as a make-shift barricade, sending yet another clatter of dishes to the floor, "take Angel out the back through the exit in the kitchen. Hurry!"

A Few Notes

  • The relative length of my response to you compared to others does not mean that you are any more or less significant to the story or important than anyone else, so don't worry if a response seems long or short; it will all balance out over time. Sometimes, someone is just in a more convenient position to advance the story, so they end up getting some extra.
  • @Alfred: Though your encounter is taking place concurrently with the events in the tavern, you are far enough away that only the very faintest echoes of the commotion can be heard.

Dreaming Sun

"Why thank you," Sofia said, with a slight blush. His proposal to go exploring the school left the girl - no, the woman! - lost in thought for a few moments. It was true; she didn't know very much about everything inside the tower, and hadn't really explored but... well, it seemed really dangerous. There would be a forcefield for a reason, wouldn't there? Some protection for the headmaster, most likely, so he stayed safe. He was important after all. And if not that, probably some way to block out - or keep in - some sort of special artifact? Sofia followed Mephis's gaze, and noted Lorimar was still surveying the courtyard. What if he knew what they were up to? ... what is this were some sort of test for Sofia?

Or maybe she was just overthinking this. Here was some charming, mischievous boy wanting to sneak around the school. Nothing wrong with that, right? What was the worst that could happen in this... magically forcefield barricaded... magical possibly deadly school...

"I'm not so sure, Mephis... It could be really dangerous!" Sofia said, with a sorry frown covering her face. "The barrier's there for a reason. What if we get caught?"



Mephis snorted. "Get caught? Hah! I know exactly what I'm doing; how else do you think I've seen so much of this place? Trust me. I've never gotten caught before. There's a secret passage that makes it easy!" His attitude was cocky, but Sofia thought she detected just a hint of worry in his voice at the thought of getting caught. "Don't worry." He looked deep into her eyes. She wasn't sure if he was trying to be romantic or simply persuasive. "I'll protect you." It was a nice gesture, though it wasn't likely that he could do much "protecting" if they got in trouble.... Still, there were legends about the many wonders contained in the Tower of the Magi. What really was up there? It was certainly tempting....

Dreaming Sun

"O... okay," Sofia conceded. She quickly felt towards her hip, making sure Azura was fixed firmly in its sheathe. As much as she hated drawing the Blade of Winters, if worst came to worst, well, it was always comforting feeling its presence. It could help her hold her own if danger came... but of course, would be of no help if she angered the headmaster. "Okay..." she repeated, "But you have to promise that, after this, you'll help me with some magic? And if we get caught, it's going to be your fault..."


"What is happening?", thought Ramli for himself. Looking for a shelter first and a way to give a peek to the situation, he took guard behind a wall near a window, from where he tried to look while still hiding. The commotion seemed big, involving a lot of characters, no one recognizable for Ramli, but all was resumed in something like this: a girl being chased by a group of shady characters. He thought various things about it, some of them embarrassing, and since he is an old fashioned guy, and as a way to check the city and learn about the surroundings, he goes to check from the outside, and maybe help on something. At his own way. Cautiously and not leaving himself be heard or seen, unless it is necessary.
Ramli walks out of the court by the frontal door, as it saves time and there's no drawback since no one knows him. Except for a trio of thugs. But they were on his own, fortunately. So Ramli, avoiding them, walks to the alley, and gets to the back of the establishment that appears to be a tavern. There, he observes things...


Angel, now being chased towards the Red Dragon, felt as though she was blacking out, only registering small parts of what was happening. The next thing she knew, she was being hurried though the tavern kitchen, out the back door, into a small grassy yard area. Pralla was with her, and she seemed to be saying something about hiding; then, she disappeared back into the kitchen, leaving a bewildered and panicked Angel outside. Angel snapped back to reality quickly, and registering the noises coming from inside, looked around quickly, and found a dark, shaded spot in a corner. Moving there quickly, she used her skills to bend herself into the shadow, nearly invisible to the casual eye. From there she waited; waited for the commotion to die down; waited though she dared not uncover its' light, lest the hooded figures find her. She carefully transferred it into small pouch she carried, making sure not to allow the light to betray her position again; once it was in the pouch, she secured it shut with an enchanted cord that she had been given by a witch she once met. It was nothing extremely special, it simply prevented anyone from opening the pouch, other than th owner of it.
Quote from: Subsonic_Noise on July 01, 2011, 02:42:19 amNext off, how to create a first person shooter using microsoft excel.

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