Sen tenses; there is something wrong. She cannot place the feeling, but she knows it. As she hovers in the air, just waiting for the time, a chill runs through her. There is something wrong.
This did not bode well; a Sylph's intuition is very strong. Yet, what could it be? Sen closes her eyes, willing herself to calm; it would do no good to get too worked up yet. Everything in Erihsehc's mission right now was only truly verified by one person. Arturo. Not to mention, he was able to see her somehow. Sen bites her lip.
She replaces the crystals held in her hand in the pouch Arturo provided, and instead selects a couple of her own. As far as she knew, the gemstones in the pouch were viable and did not appear to be meddled with, but it didn't pay to be careless. She had made that mistake before, in another world.
Well, she had a bit of time now, so she might as well be sure. She flies outside of the city, making sure she couldn't be watched. It is easy to do, and if they were tampered with, then she'd be warned, and if they weren't, well, then that would be good to know too.
She places the bag of gemstones Arturo provided on the ground, as she pulls out a clear gem from her own possession. The gem hovers over the bag, briefly coming into view for a split second during the travel, before it vanishes. In Sen's sight, and only her sight, a magical ring appears, with one rune in the centre along with 12 around the outer circle. She holds out her hand, and grasps the edge of the ring. It shrinks, becoming small enough to be about the same diameter as her eye's iris. Sen closes her left eye, and places the ring upon her eyelid, where it vanishes. She opens the eye, and rather than her iris and pupil being there, it instead displays the ring in the same purple as her iris. She closes her right eye in order to see clearly, and steadies herself for a moment; it takes a moment to get used to the sight. Tentatively, Sen reaches forward and opens the bag. If they were indeed tampered with to affect her spells if she used them for them, the gemstones would appear black to her eye.
Brastion was no stranger to torture; he’d been captured several times by bandits. His body may have been weak but his mind was strong, possibly unhinged but definitely strong. Often he’d bargained his way out, once a bear had wandered into camp on the night they were going to hang him from a mighty oak. It was strange to see them scamper so, panic gripping them. The bear cast a look at Brastion that day but did not attack, perhaps it sensed a kindred spirit.
The torture gave his mind focus and clarity which was lacking in his day to day meanderings. The man was an oaf and the old Brastion, the one not ravaged by travel to this world would have dispatched him and his goons within a second, but that Brastion was dead.
Erihsehc made his way through the town. It was a place of wealth; merchants were rife in all the hustle of the main square. Having asked around Erihsehc was in the shadows once more looking towards the courthouse of the town. The Lord presided there and he was toiling with his mind whether to plea for Brastion’s release. The whole area soon came to a standstill as a cavalcade of horses and carriages hurtled towards the courthouse. Erihsehc intrigued moved out of the shadows and stood by a commoner.
"Who is that?"
The bewildered commoner looked at Erihsehc "Why it’s the High Priest of Tylos. You’re not from around here are you, I can tell."
"Why would a High Priest come here?"
"Well that I am not sure, I do not have privy to such information however there are rumours that he is building an army. People are saying that most of the Lords in the area have sided with the High Priest including our own and are gathering a force to march on Bofkrak."
"Bofkrak?" Erihsehc pulled out a coin and flicked it to the commoner. It did the trick and the commoner seemed more than happy to talk.
"Rumours have it that the Province is split, at first civil war was expected but neither side seems interested in battling with the other. It’s all hearsay as everyone has different versions but the High Priest it after something of extreme value and it happens to be located in Bofkrak. Now as you know the Province has an uneasy truce with the Dwarves. They stay out of our territory we stay out of there’s. You do not even see traders anymore. Still whatever they are after it is worth a war with the stronghold."
"You mentioned a split?" It was then Erihsehc got his first glimpse of the High Priest as he left his carriage and walked the brief distance to the courthouse.
"Yes well not all the Lords are aligned to the High priest some have gathered together and are lead by a man named Zenb, however some say that he is just the face of a very sinister organisation. No one knows for sure but whoever they are both sides are after the same thing."
Erihsehc stood, Zenb name echoed around his head.
"One last question, I am after the Prison?"
"Ah which one? You see there is the prison and then there is La Tverige’s prison. Not many come out alive from that one. I’ll tell you what I am heading that way so I can show you both and should you have any more questions."
The commoner rubbed his coin and placed it in his pocket and walked off. Erihsehc followed.
Inside the courtroom, the High Priest meets with Lord Peruical.
"Your grace it is a pleasure..." Lord Peruical begins to bow but is abruptly interrupted
"Get up man I do not have time ceremonial duties. I will be leaving at quickly as I arrived so get me Captain La Tverige." The High Priest storms through heading for the Lords chambers.
"He is..." Lord Peruical stumbles behind.
"Ah Captain, your already here, good. Please sit I have little time." The Captain followed by the Lord sit awaiting for the High Priest to begin who is casually pouring himself some wine.
"Now firstly the prisoner you caught, I hope he is in good health as I want him taken to the Tower of Tylosian. I hope for your sake Captain you did not torture him too much?"
"Your grace, he is alive I have clerics tending too him now but his mind is strong I was unable to get much information out of him." The Captain bowed his head.
"Not too worry I have ways and means at the Tower that will get the information I require. Now gentleman the main reason I am here is that Captain you are to gather your men and meet up with the main army outside Hjurdens. You will take orders from General Hoffpopple and from there it will march onto Bofkrak. It is from strong sources that the Dwarves have captured what we are after. The army will first try and negotiate but if that does not work it leaves only war."
"And what of Zenb?" The Lord speaks worryingly.
"Do not worry about Zenb; he will not attack you or any of the other Lords. He will not risk a battle that would cripple us both. Plus it seems he is interested in someone else but that is not of your concerned. All you need to concern yourself is the task in hand, it is imperative that we capture from the dwarves the Sylph."
Posted on 2008-08-05 at 10:10:02.
Edited on 2008-08-05 at 10:16:13 by Cheshire Cat
Sen searches through the bag, from the prettiest to the least ornate gem, and finds their truth. Not one of them appears black to her eye. That's good. Sen thinks, relieved, At least I can be sure of these, if I can't be sure of anything else.
Sen closes her eye, then mentally ends the spell. Opening her eyes, she takes the bag, and then puts it back in her own. She flies above the city and waits, the three stones she were to use in hand: one to see the proceedings clearly, when she hides away from its view, one to initiate the stasis, and one to teleport.
But what if they don't hang him? Sen suddenly thinks, Hmm, I wouldn't be surprised if they did something else; we're not all that informed about what path they will take.
Sen grits her teeth, an uncommon notion for a Sylph, Well, in that case, I will have to improvise.
After introducing himself, Chesterfeld gave Erihsehc an insightful history of the town. He was quite the talker and was more than pleased to see that Erihsehc took an interest. Novo was a wealthy trading town that did not tolerate crime, well not the type of crime that had not been approved or organised by La Tverige and alike. Still if you kept clean you could probably do well. Most of the history was about the numerous taverns with there macabre names that appeared on nearly every street. Of some they passed included; The Slaughtered Wench, The Birthday Massacre and The Pig & Death. He also spoke of La Tverige who pretty much ran the town as the Lord was a weak and stumbling man who just happened to inherit his title. La Tverige however was a different kettle of fish and not one to cross swords with. It was when they neared the prison he also spoke of Gok, La Tverige personal torturer. It only came about as across the street was yet another tavern which was frequently visited by Gok with the aptly name; The Merry Executioner.
Erihsehc looked at the prison, Chesterfeld standing next to him.
"You know when people start asking question about the prison and particularly about the inmates, it rouses suspicion."
Erihsehc knew he needed to take a chance and therefore confided though reluctantly neglecting certain facts.
"I am searching for a man who was taken by La Tverige this morning, I am not sure of his name but he was elderly."
Whether Chesterfeld believed him or not he did not show it, he just looked passive and willing to help.
"Well you’re in luck. My cousin works as a guard and with a small token I am sure I could find out some information for you?"
Erihsehc was grateful for the help so handed over some coins and was instructed to wait in the inn. He sat by a window ordered a beer and waited for Chesterfeld return. As he did his thoughts turned to Sen. Was it a mistake coming into the town, for all he knew Sen could be outside of town waiting with Brastion. He needed to conclude here quickly and return to the meeting place soon otherwise risk losing his one true companion.
It was not long until Chesterfeld returned with news.
"Well your man was briefly taken to prison before Gok got his hands on him. He is alive and has clerics tending him. He must be of importance as the High Priest has ordered him to be transferred to the Tower of Tylosian. He probably would have stood more chance staying with La Tverige than going there. They are also looking for his companion a man named Joneth." Erihsehc tried to hide his surprise of hearing this name and felt he did a poor job. Chesterfeld either did not care or did not notice as he carried on.
"Also it seems that La Tverige has been ordered to gather his army and is to join up with the High Priests gathered force heading towards Bofkrak. Rumours have it that the dwarves have a Sylph so no wonder the High Priest is willing to risk a war."
Erihsehc did not want to ask why a Sylph was so important, yes they were rare creatures but worth going to war over? He then thought of Sen and what she would make of the news. If they knew she was here then surely they would go all out in capturing her. It seems it was becoming more and more dangerous for her to stay and if she did know about the news then maybe she had already left. He needed to get back and buying Chesterfeld ale, he thanked him for all his help and left.
Brastion it seems would have to wait and then there was Joneth. He made his way out of the town heading for the meeting point and just hoped Sen was there and safe.
Sen audibly gasps. Well, it isn't that audible to others, seeing as how she is far above the ground, but it still is there nonetheless. This feeling...
Sen sniffs the air, vaguely sensing it. The aura of the pursuers, of her specifically. So they finally came. Sen sighs; why didn't they just leave her alone?! Still, the aura is quite weak, so she has time. How much time, well, that was hard to tell.
Nothing. There doesn't seem to be any hanging or anything happening. Something's going on. Sen quickly departs to the meeting location, and finds Erihsehc.
"I'm not sure what's happening, but that man wasn't brought out for trial or anything from what I could see." Sen whispers.
He'd been open with her, well, and she kind of nosed herself into his business, but was it fair to tell him about the Pursuers? No, Sen decides, it would only worry him, and he had enough on his mind.
Erihsehc got to the meeting place but there was no sign of Sen. All he could do was wait but for how long, had she already been and left. No she would not do that and if she had been caught news would have surely filtered out. So he allowed his horse to roam and rest on the grass while he sat with his back to a tree and waited. It gave him chance to think. In the pub Chesterfeld mentioned Joneth. Now this was another confirmed sighting of a person from his visions, only in his mind Joneth was dead. He died in a trap so how is it he is alive hear. It must be the one and the same as Joneth and Brastion were both cavaliers and very close. Erihsehc was now sure the others could also be in these lands, Aerial, Jade, Eamonn, Vilerune and the other two who he did not have names for, a wizard and a dwarf. He was sure his visions were part of his past life and if he could piece that together then his own identity could finally be uncovered.
It was not long before Sen appeared much to his relief. Just seeing her again was a form of comfort but he also sensed apprehension.
"Brastion has been taken to the Tower of Tylosian. I am unsure why at the moment but a High Priest has him well guarded. It means will shall have to leave him to his own fate for now. A rescue is out of the question as I do not want to risk or put you near the High Priest or his territory. I have also gain news of another Sylph. Apparently your kind are very sort after in this world again I am not sure why. The Sylph is in the dwarf region of Bofkrak and this High Priest is sending an army to the dwarven stronghold to capture it. I recognise this puts you in a difficult situation and I am prepared to assist in any way if you feel we need to go this Sylphs aid?" Erihsehc was unsure how Sen would take the news. He did not know much about her race and why they were hunted so obsessively.
Another? Oh, that is not what Sen wanted to hear. Worse, there had to be a notable battle now over 'possession' of the other? That would be noticeable, too noticeable, and the Pursuers would not pass up the opportunity, once they found out that there was another Sylph they could capture. Sen sighs, a soft and pretty, yet sad sound.
"That's not good." Sen says, "But..." She bites her lip, "I'm afraid that's not the worst news I know right now."
"I've... been here too long." Sen barely whispers.
She shakes her head, clearing the thought from her mind, "I'm sorry, what I meant to say is they won't be the only ones after the other. A group of people I call the Pursuers have followed me to this world. They aren't close yet, but they are annoyingly persistent; I've been trying to lose them in several other worlds now. If they find out of another, easier catch, they'll undoubtedly go after her, and with this noticeable battle, they'll likely find out."
Sen pauses for a moment, "That really forces me to do something. I'd say that the biggest threat right now is the Pursuers, especially considering they'll be using any means necessary and in their capabilities. If I leave now, they might follow me, but with the other Sylph here, there's a bigger chance they'll go after her first."
Sen stops for a moment. Just what is there to do? She has to be careful; any overt movements on her part will instantly get her noticed by the Pursuers... Sen quietly contemplates as she allows Erihsehc to take in this new information.
Erihsehc listened to Sen and soon realised that the situation was about to become even more complicated. He was racking his brains on the current situation. He was already behind in trying to release Bernartro from Zenb who they knew was laying some sort of trap. Brastion was being carted off to a Tower. People from his nightmares were real and a link to his former life and now the one real friend he made contact with in the last few years is being pursued with another of her kind in danger.
"Are you able to get in touch with this other Sylph? I need you to let me know more about these Pursuers and more about your kind? I am more than willing to travel to Bofkrak but we may need to get aid and news that might mean using the few contacts we have including Arturo."
He would need more information if he was to consider the next move. If he could help then he would but it also meant that she would have no choice but to leave.
"I'd need to know exactly where the other Sylph is in order to be able to contact her; we're aren't able to sense each other besides guess with our intuition." Sen says sadly.
"We Sylphs have an intimate tie with magic, and can use it almost at will. Gemstones cut in specific ways for different spells can enhance our power. Furthermore, we are able to traverse the boundaries between worlds, hence why I am able to be here in the first place. Others may try to use a Sylph to amplify their own magic as a gemstone amplifies ours. They may also try to harness our ability to traverse worlds." Sen explains, "Whereas people like you have both a body and a soul, one contained within the other, our bodies are effectively the same as what would be our souls. They don't need to be nourished besides growth, and we do not need to sleep."
"The Pursuers are a group of people who try to capture Sylphs for their own motives. What these are, I don't know. I don't even know how many their group consists of; I've only seen three of them closely... too close for comfort..." Sen shivers.
"One holds a mirror that seems to be able to reflect any sort of attack, whether it is physical or magical. She can widen and shorten the mirror whenever she pleases, and... I think she can even steal people's souls with it. That's what it felt like anyway... something cold, and encompassing... they call her the Collector."
"The other is their main fighter. He often appears unarmed to even the well trained eye, and in truth he is, until he strikes. His destructive powers are quite powerful, and he is capable of levelling an entire city to the ground. His weapons are blades that slide down from his wrists, and they appear almost like a mix iridescent and dried red blood. With them, he usually swings horizontally across, which sends a large, red shockwave of energy that can demolish stone, melt gold, and even shatter crystals. They call him Darkside."
"The final one, I could barely see. She, assuming it is a female, is always surrounded by shadow, even in the light, making it impossible to see her face, or even her body sometimes. She uses shadows to her advantage, teleporting between them at will. In the night, the shadow of the day, she could be anywhere within a single moment. Hitting her is near impossible, for the shadow that shrouds her also protects her, and if you strike the shadow, you just go through it, bypassing her altogether. She can even jump to your own shadow and have a shadowy dagger at your throat within seconds. Her shadowy weapons don't affect people's bodies, striking only their souls. Fittingly, she is called Shadow, and she's the most dangerous of the three because of how fast and deadly she can be."
"With those three, Darkside appears to be the leader, barking orders and always in a craze to be victorious, but it's the Collector that's the true leader. She is sharp and intelligent, murmuring instructions to Shadow, who fulfils the orders swiftly without hesitation. Darkside is more of a distraction than anything else, although that doesn't mean he isn't anyone to not take seriously, considering that he is still powerful. The Collector is the brains, Darkside is the brawn, and Shadow... well, there's nothing to truly describe her." Sen finishes.
"With those three involved, you can expect a lot of bloodshed, especially from Darkside. I don't think any of them are human, although Darkside appears quite human. The Collector, she appears to be young elven girl, and she wears a blue kimono. Shadow, well, if she's standing in the open at all, not even those that can see in the dark can see her through her shadow."
"I don't think we'll have to go out of our way to get aid, since those three, or at least Darkside, will be quite noticeable. In some of the other worlds he's been in, there have actually been wars declared on him. Just him, one individual, because he causes so much destruction. I think... he just enjoys killing and causing pain."
"Darkside can definitely see me even if I'm invisible, but the other two I'm not so sure about... I'm fairly certain they can as well. Darkside seems to be able to see people by seeing their life forces, probably because he likes to snuff them out, and so he's able to see me that way." Sen finishes.
"I could search for the other Sylph with a spell, and simply teleport her to safety, but I don't know how long that'd take, and me using magic seems to draw the Pursuers to me, like they can somehow tell when and where I use magic." Sen thinks aloud, "I'll need to use magic as little as possible, and that means I'll have to stop being invisible as well."
Listening to Sen did not fill Erihsehc with any confidence. The trio of Pursuers would no doubt obliterate anyone who stood in there path and as a man of honour who would defend Sen to the death, he got the impression that he was not even a close match of any of these fiends.
"You know how to paint a happy picture" Erihsehc quipped trying to inject some humour into the situation.
Taking a deep breath it was time to make a decision.
"Right, with luck this other Sylph is not being held captive. You mentioned gemstones and it is plausible that the dwarves could be trading we can not rely solely on the news we have. We need to gather information so we could head back to Kint, speak to Belnox to see if we can get in touch with Arturo. The only issue I have with this is that I would be returning without Bernartro and that might not go down healthily. So I will continue to Zenb’s estate and carry out my task. We know Zenb is laying some kind of trap but if I can get Bernartro back then maybe we can get Arturo onside and use his influence to gain support."
His heart felt for Sen as she stood there. Maybe it would be wise to let her go but what kind of life must she lead always being on the run. So he made a pledge.
"I know I can not offer much protection but I will do all I can to free you from these Pursuers. So if you’re up for a fight?"
Grabbing his horse’s reins he was eager to get going. Events were happening quickly and who knew how much time they had left. He looked to Sen and smiled.
"Look on the bright side, it could be raining."
Posted on 2008-08-22 at 14:23:09.
Edited on 2008-08-25 at 15:17:20 by Cheshire Cat
"Thank you..." Sen says softly, "I am getting tired of running, and I do have a home I want to return to."
"Alright... do you think you can handle it alone?" Sen asks tentatively.
"Well, know this in any case: in every creature that lives, and even some that don't, lies a droplet in their 'soul'. I call it a droplet, because that's the best description of it, but it can be so much more. Everything in the end can find connections to magic, and so, sometimes, one can search and discover how to use those connections to use magic itself." Sen reveals.
"Anyway, take care; I'll be hiding in the woods." Sen says, pulling out a green gemstone from her bag and putting it in Erihsehc's hand, "You can use this to find me again; focus on my name, and it'll point you in the right direction. I'll be in the elven form you saw me in before."
It had been a while since Erihsehc left Sen by the woods. Still clutching the gemstone he was given his heart wanted to return concerned for her safety. His mind however wanted to carry on and find Zenb. At least then maybe he could formulate a plan. Using the directions Belnox gave him he was soon closing down on Zenb’s estate. He knew there would be a trap but the closer he got it just seemed less likely. He was sure he was in the right place but there was no one around that was until a well dressed man appeared.
”Greetings, I have been expecting you. Now if you would please follow me.” The man made his way inside a building. It was some way of the main house and as Erihsehc got closer noticed that it was a crypt. Tying up his horse he followed into the darkness down a stairwell still grasping his gemstone. Flickering of light began to emerge and when he finally reached the bottom and entered through an arched opening he was greeted by two figures, one of whom he recognised.
The well dressed man spoke ”I apologise for our place of business but I can not take any risks of being overheard. Firstly let me introduce myself, I am Zenb, and this as you probably already know is Joneth.”
Erihsehc looked at Joneth “How are you here?”
Joneth spoke reassuringly “There is much to do and say but for now do not be concerned by what you may have heard about Zenb. He is here to help us and therefore I am here to ensure that what Zenb is about to disclose is true and that he can be trusted. Our lives do depend on his success.”
Was this the trap that he should be wary about, not physical but one of words. Erihsehc looked to Zenb, the man he would admit did not look as threatening as he otherwise imagined. “You have my attention”
”Much has changed recently and therefore time is of the essence. Even our own plans have had to change recently. Now I believe you are travelling with a companion, a Sylph. Her life is very much entwined in your path my friend and is a shame that she did not travel with you. Not to worry I have arranged some one to find and speak with her as we cannot allow the strangers to capture her. Now what I am about to say will come as a shock”
Stealthy making his way around the woodland area his eyes and mind were concentrating on his objective, to find the Sylph. He had the advantage of being able to see her even if she was invisible and therefore the only person who could have undertook the task. He knew they did not trust nor freely communicate with humans but as a good source of gemstones he had met with Sylph’s before and often found them fascinating.
Aware that she was most likely be residing in the trees and therefore hidden than on the woodland floor Arturo looked up “Sen” he called out “I need to speak with you.”
The voice is Sen's, but it is that of her elven form. Stepping from underneath the foliage, Sen walks into the light. Well, no, to say that it's Sen implies that she's in her sylph form, which she isn't; she appears as she did in the first city, as an elven woman dressed in a blue gown.
"Who are you? I haven't seen you around here before." She asks, tilting her head at Arturo.
True, the charade might be unnecessary, but it was out of habit and her own reasonable paranoia that Sen decided to hold it. Besides, she didn't really know Arturo's motives, and it would do no good to risk much, especially at this point.
Posted on 2008-09-03 at 17:09:33.
Edited on 2008-09-03 at 18:03:16 by Reralae
Arturo was pleased Sen showed even if it was in disguise. It was never going to be easy to gain the trust of a Sylph so showing no harmful intention he indicated that he was carrying no weapons and kept a distance. Keeping a distance was not for her safety but for his own. As much as he has dealt with Sylphs before he also knew how deadly they could be and therefore had to be treated with utmost respect.
“It is good to see you again, it is a shame we could not speak at the mansion, still I hope that the bag of gems have been more than useful. My reason for seeking you out is simply because events have taken a turn for the worse and well the only way I can put this is....we need your help. Erihsehc the man you have been accompanying should by now be with Zenb whom I made out to be an unsavoury character. In retrospect Zenb is a bit of a hero of mine but past differences have seen us put distance between ourselves and it is only recently we have made an alliance, one that hopefully will benefit us both. Only Zenb knows of your existence here and therefore other than Erihsehc and myself no one knows you exist and though I do not expect you to trust me we aim to keep it that way. We know you yourself are in danger from creatures not of this world and as part of our bargain is to work with you to defeat these creatures thus setting up free from pursuit. However time is short and I am more than willing to answer any question you have but I request that you travel with me and to meet up with Erihsehc. I fear the news he is going to be given may send him mad but it is important that he understands and carries out the quest that is his path, one that is best shared with someone he cares for. So Sen, will you join and travel with me?” Arturo stands as if a servant awaiting a response from his master.