DHarem turned to start down the passage the woman directed him to when the newcomer walked up and started asking questions. He was about to tell him that he would have to wait on explanations when suddenly Bon and Varis walked into the room.
The Seeker smiled at seeing his old friends well and walked up and laying a hand on Varis’s shoulder he smiled.
“It is good to see you well again my friend,” he said to Varis in particular, “I had heard you were injured but I see you have recovered as well. Everyone seems to me making miraculous recoveries around here lately.”
He turned his head to glance at Thomas who also had shown remarkable healing abilities. He noticed the Newcomer standing there again and it reminded him.
“This man,” he said to Varis motioning to Walker, “has come searching for a Seeker, a Bard and a Sacrelarch for whom he has a message; from whom I do not yet know. But I think the odds are good that we are the ones for whom the message is intended.”
Walker watches DHarem, speaking familiarly to Varis. Upon being introduced, he lets his eyes rest on the bard for a moment, a perfectly neutral expression on his face. Then he bows politely.
"I presume you to be Varis, the Bard. Very well then; I already shared the message with the one named Karrain." He steps closer to the pair and lowers his voice beneath the volume of the clinic, so only they should be able to hear him. Bon, he assumes, is with them.
"Beware the sorcerer. Khan knows." He shrugs after a moment. "It seems like such a small thing, but this 'Equilibriate' was quite adamant I deliver the message to you. I am sure it holds greater import to you." He bows. "If you have no questions...?"
Karrain hurries through the city's streets, trying to recall the sight of the Old Academy. Hopefully with enough ambient energy he would be able to disperse the worst of the corona of energies dragging at him, although to trust one's luck in the buisness of high order magic was similar to trusting your feet on a tightrope above a pool of Fangeels after three hours heavy drinking.
Turning the final corner Karrain raises an eyebrow at the sight before him...
(Hoping that the GM will fill me out on the details of the Old Tithuanian College of Magic).
In the clinic, it became apparent to the group - naturally, as the procession was quite big - that the Councillor was being moved to another clinic.
Five Scarlet nurses, three male and two female, accompanied the six people dressed in similar garb, who were carrying a stretcher with the the Magic Councillor, to the main door, discussing the various details and medical information.
The Sacrelarch was dashing round a corner, where he knew the Academy had once been. City geography changes very little, even over thousands of years, so he knew it should be there.
But he could feel the energy pulsing in the air, the pure... magic! that once coursed through the very soul of the Academy.
An old, weathered statue in the centre of the housing estate drew his mind's eye. That was where the magical energy was pulsing from. He recognised the magical swirls and movements of that area as being where the Inner Sanctum of the College once was.
So many questions, so much talking...Varis rambles.
Varis stood silently for a second. This was it...the source of the magic. This man - whomever it was - was the source. A clear aura of magic. If Varis were to describe it to someone without magical potential, he would call it as if the air you breathed was as crisp as in a winter forest, yet warm like a temple lit by thousands of candles. It was...green? Just as heat brings red to mind, and cold brings blue, this felt...green.
And still it felt almost fleeting. Like something on the corner of perception. Varis almost forgot the feeling the second he stopped looking for it, leaving it some nagging corner rather than a tangible field.
Varis grinned, first at DHarem. He owed his first reply to his friend, clasping the seeker's shoulder in a hand to mirror the relieved greeting.
"Likewise, DHarem, it is good to see you safe and unharmed from the fight...if not for your actions, all would have been lost, I am certain. But what on earth happened to Thomas?" Varis asked, shocked at the sight of his clearly exhausted comrade, Thomas, almost reaching in to try to use a healing spell before finding his reserves of magic exhausted...that didn't normally happen. Instead, Varis continued with the questioning, "Have you discovered whom - or what - that...thing was? That tried to kill the councillor? What happened to Karrain; I thought I almost glimpsed him at some point before blacking out? What happened to the mage you fought, as well?"
Varis' grin faltered. Now that so many questions sprung to his head, he had the feeling that so many more questions have been raised than answers, like there was so much more to be done. There's much more to what's been happening than at first glance...why so much secrecy from so many seeming sides?
Varis smiled apologetically at DHarem, silently asking his friend to answer his questions later as the bard turned to the newcomer, taking this man's statements as more readily important than Varis' own, likely. This man that gave off such an aura had a curious accent...Ethronian? Varis had met a few of them in his performances through so many taverns, so he recognized the accent. Not Karrain's, though that can only be expected...accents don't remain the same for thousands of years.
Before speaking, Varis returned the man's bow, smiling, intrigued by the courteous individual.
"Yes, I am Varis, a Bard to some level by trade. I fear I cannot help but feel you have warned us too late, for DHarem recently fought a sorceror, but I certainly know of no 'Khan'. We have had a brush with this 'Equilibriate' before, though. Thank you for taking your time to deliver unto us this message, Mr...?" Varis drifted, politely awaiting the name of this man.
Varis' attention was briefly shifted to the procession moving by. He noticed something slightly strange about it, and spoke aloud for DHarem's benefit. In the past, DHarem had proved to have vast stores of knowledge, understandably for a Seeker...however stories, rumours and many years travelling have granted Varis a more hands-on knowledge of many things, as well as his excellent education, and he'd seen a march like this before before.
"Those nurses...the six who do not appear to be from this clinic...they march like those trained in the military. I've seen identical marches by New Smythian knights. Weren't they a private forces for one of Tithuana's noble houses? That's the impression I got when I last saw a parade of them through the streets. They're well educated, I happen to know personally...I saw a few in a tavern I performed at, and they knew more about the history of one of my songs than I did."
Posted on 2011-05-28 at 13:38:58.
Edited on 2011-05-28 at 15:32:26 by Celtia
"Sy'karios." Karrain stares at the statue, eyes burning with barley controlled rage. Well, if he had provided the Sacrelarch with the energies required to halt the voracious expansion of the Prison then Karrain would use them, he had run out of time for other alternatives.
Striding into the Academy, Karrain takes a seat in the centre of the courtyard, facing away from the statue before, with a muttered string of Anathemum, drew his attention inwards to the shard of foreign mana lodged in the heart of his Body...extracting it was virtually impossible, that would tear him apart as surley as a return to the Malestrom would. However with so much ambient mana of a similar type in the air around him he didn't need to.
To stop the pull he would need to find some sort of way of reversing it, drawing the mana from the prison out through the shard where it would be attracted to the academy...in theory it was sound, however he would need to draw on a lot of the magic around him which, unfortunatley, meant trusting Sy'karios...again...
As he began working Karrain wondered if there was enough ambient magic around him to construct another prison.
Walker slides his hands into his cloak at Varis's mention of the Smythians, before addressing the bard's query and assertion.
"They who have met me began to call me Walker. The name is sufficient. You may call me whatever adjective suits if 'walker' does not. As for my message being tardy, if you take seriously these Equilibriates, I would surmise its meaning may be different from what you presume; the one I met gave the impression of a man who speaks in riddles, which may not become clear until other information presents itself. I do not speak in riddles, so I will share plainly my observations gleaned from questioning folk on your whereabouts. One: the man the Seeker fought, someone explained to me he was a mage, not a sorcerer; I do not understand the difference, but he was speaking of 'within' and 'without'. Two: other magic users were present who might be sorcerers. Perhaps a magic user who witnessed could tell you. Three: a councillor shouted the name "Khan" at the top of his lungs during the conflict; of that, several people were certain, so perhaps he was an enemy against you and the councillors. I know not how many you fought." Walker shrugged, speaking to them as his eyes followed the Smythians.. "I primarily was searching for your location, but assembling a picture from further inquiry should improve its clarity."
He finished after poring over his memories for anything else pertinent. "Is there aught else you need with which I may assist?"
Varis gave a hasty bow of respect to the man, shocked at the realization of how he must have sounded.
"My deepest apologies, Walker, for any offence I have caused by my ignorance, for none was intended. I can only thank you utterly for your efforts to bring this to us, and hope we can repay the favor at some point in time. I fear my knowledge of what happened at the time of the...battle, is little. My attention had been diverted, and I had been incapacitated, leading to why I am here at all. I feel that I must catch up on much with my companions... We may be very busy soon, if what happened is anything to go by, but if there is any way I can assist you, Walker, then just ask. Had circumstances been more casual, I would at the least insist on buying you a drink..."
Varis grimaced. He was not at his best, and still had almost no idea what had happened. Hopefully DHarem would be able to fill him in soon.
DHarem frowned as he recalled the events and prepared to recount them as concisely as humanely possible.
"To quickly sum this up, we were hired by one of the councillors to stand by in case of problems, at a Knowledge Duel. Another councillor against a foreigner. The foreigner won, but a mage attempted to attack. Karrain and I stopped him, but at the cost of Khan, the attacker, nearly dying. I rescued him, and he teleported away, telling me to meet him this evening, in his tower, with only those I could trust."
A wink at Varis, "Lord Caese here managed to end up in the clinic, I don't know how, and I got into a fight with the local Guard Captain's mooks. The rest is history."
As Thomas was about to open his mouth, Bon murmured, with a deep tone, "Those six 'nurses' are wearing armour. I can hear clanking. Keep on guard."
He listened to what DHarem said, nodding several times. When Bon spoke up, he turned his head and looked at the Smythians. Underneath the folds of his long travelling cloak, his hands gripped his knives, and he watched them without much concealing that he was doing so. He spoke to Varis and DHarem, still in a quiet tone but not as cautiously as Bon.
"Your friend is right; such men are dangerous, and I am wary." He continued to watch as he continued speaking, directed towards Varis. As he talked, he slowly, casually repositioned himself between Varis, who had apparently just gotten off the stretcher himself, and those Smythians, trying to appear as if he were just casually moving as he spoke.
"And I must insist you do not apologize for any perceived offense you think you may have caused me. I am an amnesiac; I have no recollection of anything before a certain date, and I therefore lack many of the social graces and mannerisms of other people. Without such, I give others offense just as often and easily as I am rarely and difficult to offend. So perhaps I should apologize to you for my bluntness, devoid of clarification." He shrugged. "Such things elude me. Now perhaps it would be prudent to know, who is that man that the Smythians are guarding? They would not be here for no reason."
Walker kept his voice down at that last and continued to watch the men, looking to be in a relaxed posture but with his hands ready to draw both knives at a moment's notice. He even slid the weapons free, just a hair, as the hair on his neck prickled up.
Posted on 2011-06-12 at 16:17:11.
Edited on 2011-06-12 at 16:24:26 by Incognito
Varis smiled out of the corner of his mouth, touched at the protective movements this man made, however subtly. Varis whispered, quietely enough so only DHarem and Walker could.
"You are no ordinary man, Walker. The only people I've seen who can prepare concealed weapons while appearing so casual are those who intend to rob an honest Bard on his leave of a Tavern, not those who would come to the aid of a sick man. I thank you for the gesture, but I may handle myself."
Varis smile grew broader, as he continued to speak, now in a normal tone.
"Ah. I fear I may appear something of a fool to you instead, then. Dancing around sensitive topics is something I've had to learn; people tend to tip people they like rather more. I will try to speak more directly with you, then, I admit it will be a relief. By the way, DHarem, there's no need for 'Lord' just because I've been briefly hospitalized."
Varis' pose suddenly changed subtly, from one in which he held himself high and polite, to the semi-slump of a casual bystander. He pointed out the figure in the knot of nurses.
"I would not be surprised at the guards. In amongst them is the Councillor for Magic of this city, I believe. I...do not know his personally, though I suspect I may have saved his life earlier today." Varis stopped, frowning, as if deep in thought for a moment, before continuing with a good-humoured smile, "There's no real way to say that you have saved someone's life while appearing modest, is there? In all honesty, I think I'm quite proud of myself. Talk about healing spells, though, DHarem? You didn't tell me where Karrain is now."
After the Smythians left, the faintest sound of a shick-click could be heard as Walker slid his weapons the inch or so back into the scabbards that he had already loosened them. A visible tension seemed to bleed out of him, he opened his cloak and let his hands be seen again, and he turned his full attention back to the other two men. He also seemed to be observing Bon and Thomas from the corner of his eye. He spoke quietly, agitation clearly evident in his tone.
"Look...it is a strange thing to see, a Tithuanan councillor being escorted...guarded? by Smythian fighters. I do not know what the red bows signify....", he paused, furrowing his brow for a moment as if trying to conjure up that bit of knowledge, but nothing came... "and I do not know if either of you have ever been to the Smythian warfront. Their culture seems to centralize around war. They war, constantly. No value for human life, in those lands." He shuddered. "Whatever they are doing here, it is not a good thing. I came to this city for the vaunted knowledge of the place, of the people. But there are happenings here in Tithuana that make my skin crawl. Especially anything involving those sorts."
He shook his head, as if to himself. He looked DHarem, then Varis, in the eyes. "I do not know what it is that is happening here, but it seems you are in the midst of it. You will want my assistance. I am...my condition is disadvantageous to me; but I am more than functional despite that, and handy with a blade besides. And you two gentlemen, and the strange, er, Sacrelarch, seem to have quite a bit of knowledge I would stand to gain by traveling with you." He studied Varis for a moment, a tiny quirk to his brow, as if appraising him.
"And I certainly believe your intentions lie in the right direction, and that is the most important thing." As if he had made up the minds of everyone, Walker nodded matter-of-factly, and addressed both of them, and Bon.
"So, we have what seem to be several leads with which to work, and only so much time in a day. Now it is late; perhaps the logical thing to do is discover where to begin on the morrow."
Varis frowned as the Nurses left, about to decide whether to ask DHarem about the significance of those ribbons or whether to talk to one of the Scarlet Nurses to dig for more information, before Walker spoke up.
Varis turned to Walker, craning his head slightly upwards to look him in the eyes, his face a mixture of surprise and shock.
"Hey, now! Firstly, you don't even know who are or what we do." Varis exclaimed out of surprise, though not unkindly. Out of the corner of his eye, Varis glanced at DHarem, suddenly realizing that this man, Walker, may actually know what they do if DHarem had simply mentioned their status as mercenaries. Varis mentally cursed himself for knowing so little about these circumstances he's been thrown into. "Besides, I'm usually the one giving orders." Varis finished, though jokingly.
Varis thought for a second, before continuing.
"Night has long since fallen, so I'd have to agree, though. I can get us into a tavern both for a meal and some rooms at an excellent price; I know half the tavernkeepers in this entire city, and most of them owe me for all the business I've attracted. I think I've slept enough, though, and I have...someone I think I need to see before this night is out, but I can do that on my own." Varis spoke, looking at Walker for some sign of approval before turning to DHarem.
Mana swirled around Karrain as he opened his mind to the malestrom of power, allowing it to feed into him, connect with the shard buiried in his body.
They had been fools to believe he would remain chained, fools even to try, however their biggest mistake had been to forget him...one that they would rue for the rest of what the Sacrelarch anticipated would be their short lives.
However first things first and second things second...
1: Remove the shard of alien mana or at least subdue it for the time being.
2: Find out who they were.
After a minute or two of meditation it became clear that the shard was too deeply embedded to simply remove, at least not without careful preparation...subduing it however would be simple and considerably less time-consuming.
Flowing further into himself, Karrain began to chant, almost lyrically, in Anathemum, the occasional incorporeal rune flickering into the air around him.
(OOC: Should take about 5 mins for Karrain to subdue the mana, then I'll go back and apologise).