Varis saw across the square, not far away, Karrain muttering.
[Karrain Unzuel? Surely not..] Varis began, stunned by the familiar name, open mouthed at the mage, [I mean, he was clearly incredibly powerful, once, but...well enough to be known Lords-know how many years on?]
Varis was struck from his thoughts as a new approach called to him
"'Oy, you the one taking bets?" A young, dirt-stricken male, probably a miner from the state of his skin...and the distinct smell of underground natural gas vents. Varis shook his head.
"No, sorry, I fear you have been misled, I'd go find wherever the most people are gathering." Varis helpfully stated. In truth, Varis was no stranger to a bit of light gambling and betting...strangely enough, he almost exclusively won, after all. But this was no time for distractions, even he saw that, especially with that mage muttering to himself.
DHarem was poised lightly atop the low roof of the nearby building when a bottle came sailing up into the air near him; he reached out without hesitation and snatched it from the air and looked at it. It wasn’t an explosive that he could tell and looking down he saw it seemed to originate near the area where Varis and Karrain were standing. He looked at the markings on the bottle and saw it was a healing potion. He tucked it away for now with the intent of giving it back to Varis as he had acquired several while at the Monastery earlier today.
Resting lightly on the balls of his feet ready to move in any direction if need be; the Seeker observed the crowd and the stage for anything suspicious. His ears listened and he couldn’t help but hear parts of the duel of knowledge as it began. He raised an eyebrow when he heard the mention of ‘Defenders’, he had read something back in the Great Library once while he was a studying acolyte and recalled the word but the information there had been sketchy at best.
While he took in all he heard from the contest, his eyes scanned the area not neglecting the rooftops and even the one upon which he stood. He noticed where his companions had set up shop and at one point he gave Varis the signal that all was clear at the moment. He continued to stay alert knowing that it probably wouldn’t remain so for long.
And the proverbial s*** still doesn't hit the fan.
"Ha, sorcerors, limiting themselves to that which is magical. Heat causes the exact same effect, which is what allows ditilling in alchemy."
"Aren't you a sorceror?" the Councillor asked.
"Yes, but I know of many fields, including alchemy."
"Aaaah, but broad knowledge leads one to ignore specifics, such as that which I am to ask."
"Don't be so confident, friend."
"What theoretically happens when two sorcerors of equal power attempt to duel?"
"Practically, the situation could never occur. But the theory you want me to give is Drogal's Hypothesis, which dictates that both sorcerors be destroyed. That theory, however, was proven fallacious two years ago by a Totaris scholar by the name of Belier, who proved that, in theory, if a situation like that occurred, the universe may as well implode. The scenario is truly impossible, as no two sorcerors can have the same level of power, skill and technique. Any hypothesis is rendered therefore invalid, thus is the Belier Paradox."
"... well said. I concede an extra point for that."
"TWO points to the Foreigner!" cried the man in red.
"Speaking of Totaris, dear councillor, what is Folly?"
"Folly is -"
BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG!
Bon muttered to Varis, "No-one will be in the belltower. They'd die with that in their ears."
"And the winner of the duel is the Foreigner, with FIVE POINTS to one!"
The all-pervading, deafening applause struck up, with many a cheer. The foreigner and councillor both stood up to face the audience, then gave a bow.
DHarem raised an eyebrow when the contest was over; it seemed that Councillor An'Jantar should have been more worried about his fellow councillor's abilities than anyone attacking him at the event. His performance here in front of his constituents was more of an ‘assassination’ than if he had been killed outright.
The Seeker turned his attention to the area still wary of anything that might threaten the proceedings. He looked up at the bell tower even as a possible spot someone might shoot from if they were so inclined to be punished by the deafening tones of the bells. He would keep up his surveillance until the Councillor was secure and having left the area.
He wondered at this contest; the Councillor seemed to either be a good spot by giving points away to his opponent or he was determined to lose for some reason. What that could be he had no clue; for now he would keep his eye out for danger. He scanned the area looking for Councillor An'Jantar and his compatriots wondering if someone might use the contest as a distraction to maybe strike at another target, perhaps even Councillor An'Jantar himself.
(Editted to correct a misunderstanding on my part)
Posted on 2011-04-08 at 10:56:29.
Edited on 2011-04-09 at 02:17:52 by Mysterion
Kera strolled into town Jason Urgeet in front of her and her sword pressed firmly against his back. There was blood staining his shirt where Kera had made it obvious that she was quite willing to inflict pain on her prisoner. None of the cuts were very deep since the bounty had clearly stated that he was to be brought back alive, but as she’d pointed out that didn’t mean he needed his arms or fingers. He did still have all of those but there were evident cuts in his back that would probably need a physician to look at. It wasn’t Kera’s concern whether he lived or died past delivery and delivery was happening now. A contingent of the guard was on its way to meet her and pick up her charge. The current gateguard was signing all the necessary paperwork.
“Kera Interrun?” A tall man wearing chainmail and a tabard with the symbol of Tithuana embroidered on it asked as he approached. There were four other similarly dressed individuals behind him.
“Yes.” Kera answered after a minute remembering the false surname she had given. It was always a little tricky coming back to Tithuana. She always hoped the guardsman she was dealing with wasn’t her brother, and didn’t recognize her. Tithuana was a large city and therefore required a large guard so it would ordinarily be easy for a person to vanish within the crowd except Kera wasn’t really just anyone. She tried to be since running away she’d cut herself off from her family, but if they ever found her then she was afraid they’d undo the cut off. And her family were wealthy and therefore powerful merchants in this very city. So coming home was always just a bit tricky. Kera lucked out this time, again. The guardsman that was in charge of this group looked like a recent promotion and he’d probably never even heard of the sixteen year old who’d run away with a fellow guardsman’s sword a few years back.
There was a chance her own brother would not recognize the woman standing with her sword pressed against a brigand’s back and casually taking payment for his bounty despite his cries of innocence these past few days. Her raven black hair falling to the center of her back, and her hourglass frame encased in steel. The sheath to the sword she stole from the guardsman hanging easily at her left hip, and a steel shield, with her personal symbol of a bloody sword with a crossguard of manacles, painted on it tied to her left arm. The 5’7 woman was striking in her beauty if only she’d smile, but that was a luxury neither the guardsman nor the bounty he was taking off her hands would see.
“Jason Urgeet.” The guardsman said regarding the man and his captor with respect. “You are under arrest for crimes against the city of Tithuana. You will come with us.” The guardsman grabbed Jason by the arm and Kera undid his manacles. Another guardsman stepped up and applied new manacles and the two dragged the sobbing convict away. Kera didn’t even cast a sideways glance at the drama. She’d seen it before and would see it again. Instead she entered the town.
With that job done it’s time to find a new one, and perhaps something to eat. She wasn’t really hungry. Truthfully she was rarely hungry but she knew that a body needed to eat to continue to function and so she ate every once in a while. The stress of entering this city had robbed her of any appetite. I should have dropped off my bounty and gone to the next town. She thought as she attempted to look as if she belonged and yet use her hair to hide her face at the same time. It wasn’t an easy task and she may have failed if anyone was taking notice anyways. But except for her father and brother Tithuana probably didn’t even remember her. Chances were that the lord she was supposed to marry that had caused her to run away in the first place was probably already married. And probably to a prettier face too Kera sighed. This is silly. I would feel better if I just left town. I know I’m being paranoid but knowing doesn’t change it.
Yet it was also folly to leave town without a job, especially since there was a little voice nagging at her that there was a major event and therefore major money somewhere in Tithuana. That little voice had never failed her and it kept her feet moving inexorably towards the city square as if she couldn’t break from the mob she’d somehow found herself following. The city square was crowded and decked out for some event.
I wonder what’s going on. Kera thought perking up from her dark thoughts to see what the excitement was about. She casually watched the square’s crowd. People had always fascinated Kera, and there was little more fascinating than watching the ‘mob effect’ Kera had noticed that people began to act like everyone else when you got a large group together, but if you watched then the more self aware also managed to create a bubble where from an outside dynamic they were a part of the mob but from inside the bubble they were individuals doing business as if they were on an empty street. Kinda like the group by the wall that seemed to be preparing for an operation, handing potions around to each other and talking while watching the crowd themselves.
Well isn’t that interesting? Kera thought making her way mostly subtly towards the group. That little voice that nagged had drawn a connection between this group and whatever job it seemed to sense. It didn’t make any sense, and she didn’t have a reason to care what this group did, but then again gut feelings rarely met the requirements of logic. Every so often she’d glance at the two people who were having a knowledge dual. Foolish showing off. To imagine someone pays them to sit and do nothing but learn these useless facts. She was a few feet away from the group that had caught her interest when the dual ended and for some reason the air in the square seemed to grow more tense. Kera’s hand slid towards her sword and she scanned the crowd not quite knowing what she was searching for; just knowing that her gut said something was about to go down and this group would be in the middle of it and it would only profit her to also be in the middle of it.
Posted on 2011-04-09 at 02:58:06.
Edited on 2011-04-09 at 03:54:47 by gamergirld20
Karrain's eyes snap open from surveying the surrounds, his mana sight having located some kind of runic ritual.
"Varis! Mage casting left and below of DHarem!" He hoped that Varis, Bon or Thomas could hear him over the muttering of the crowd, a pity that their precious councillor had lost.
Karrain sprints forwards, weaving a skein of twisted mana about him in an effort to ward away the clamouring crowd. Even as the citizens part he begins an incantation, the rich words of Anathemum rolling from his tongue. Then, as Karrain reaches the stage he jumps, a tunell of air firing him up towards the window of the building.
"My aplogies for this interruption, councillor, but you mispronouced my name."
The crowd, parted by Karrain, fell into silence on his flamboyant arrival.
Guards took their place near the three figures, with perfect efficiency, ready for intervention.
The foreigner stumbled back in awe at the sight, a grin forming on his lips.
An'Inglefar, the Councillor for Magic, raised an eyebrow. He wasn't at all surprised at the interruption, merely at the purple-clothed individual before him.
"Mispronounced your name, sir? I don't recall having spoken any name," An'Inglefar began.
"Yes we did, councillor. Carein Unzuel. Or apparently not, as the name appears to have been corrupted over time. I am genuinely surprised at your appearance here, as you have been absent from any records for the past milennia. So what brings you to this humble abode?" the foreigner inquired with a grin.
Bon spotted the mage on a house next to the one DHarem was on.
Well, he didn't spot. He perceived. The mage clearly had used some form of invisibility magic, but Bon could sense the ritual form around the invisible figure, and even smell the burning Lightflower head the mage was using as a component.
With the almost silence left by Karrain's entrance, Bon yelled, "DHarem! On building, to your right, invisible enemy!"
That said, he set out at a run for that very building.
DHarem had looked up to the bell tower where he saw nothing and when he looked back down he saw Karrain rushing towards the stage and waving his arms intricately before him. The Seeker was no mage but he had seen them enough to recognize the casting of some form of magic. He looked around now more on alert as there must be something here the mage saw that had escaped his notice.
He noticed the crowd go silent which helped them greatly because he heard a lone voice yelling. He looked down and saw Bon rushing forward and yelling something. He concentrated and was able to make out what he was saying. A invisible enemy on the building to his right?
Whirling to look at the building Bon had directed him he rushed at it and seeing it was only slightly taller he hit the wall at a run and easily scaled up the wall and flipped up onto the roof top. He immediately smelt something strange; herbs or incense or perhaps it was something used to cast magic. He could see a faint trace of smoke in the air and in only a couple seconds he was moving towards the origin of the source.
Bending down as me moved quickly across the roof he scooped up a couple of lose clay tiles from the roof and with one in each hand he flung them in the direction he had calculated where this invisible person might be located. He wasn’t aiming to hit someone but rather the tiles to strike the roof itself; the two tiles hit about 5 feet apart and shattered into a cloud of dust which puffed up into the air.
The dust was light and floated in the air; his intent was for the dust to give away the exact location of his target as it settled on an invisible figure. If he sees the dust take shape around anything that looks like a person; he will launch himself at it in a flying heel kick strike intended to stun and possibly cripple his opponent.
[1d20+2 vs DC8 = 11 > 8! Figure spotted.]
[1d20+6 vs 1d20+1 = 16 < 21! Attack failed.]
DHarem's leap attack was perfectly aimed...
Shame that the figure shuffled to the side, more through luck than much else, the invisibility disappearing, revealing a mage dressed in elaborate sage-green garb, a classical mage's robe.
DHarem landed perfectly despite the miss, whirling quickly enough to face the mage.
That was the moment the mage knew he was outmatched.
[Mage!?] Varis drew his sword at hearing the warning, feeling an instant of guilt as he clearly recognized many of the crowd around him shy away from him at the action. Searching around, the babble of the suddenly antagonized crowd drowned out many of the shouts Varis swore were of his companions throughout the square.
Perversely, all he could hear was the banter going on between Karrain and the previous duelers after Karrain coincedentally leapt so near him in his magically-fueled jump.
"Varis, Mage .....ting left.....Dharem!"
"DHarem! ... building, to your right, ......!"
Varis made as much sense as possible of the garbled shouts, blocking out the newly formed comments by the Councillor and Foreigner. He remembered Dharem's positioning and span in time to see the dust and the sudden appearance-seemingly from nowhere-of the robed caster.
Varis made a quick decision, running through a gap he spied in the crowd to get as close to the councillor as possible, determined that no stray spell or arrow breaks his promise to Ulrick. As he pushed his way through, keeping his sword lowered to avoid undue panic or injuries, Varis hummed a tune under his breath, reciting without words a complex ballad he knew. It kept his mind cool and working, anchoring him and protecting him from the chaos that was starting to form and the adrenaline that threatened to overwhelm him.
Karrain raises his eyebrows, even as the enchantment on the errant mage fades.
"My name is Karrain Unzual of Shek-Ethros, although I am unsure if my home still stands. As you may have discerned I am a mage of some talent...comparable to the man in that building yonder attempting to cast a Light Blade."
The Sacrelarch turns to the Magic Councillor, a slight frown crossing his features.
"I would reccomend you train your mages in at least some mana-control disciplines. The poor fool over there was eeking the stuff all over the spectrum. Then again your college of magic seems to have fallen into ruin...although some, including myself, would suggest that mossy ruins were an improvement on the origional architecture."
"Pleased to meet you, Karrain," the foreigner bowed, "I would ask about how you can be still alive but to each their secrets. I would nonetheless wish to talk to you sometime over a tankard of ale, if -"
"KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!" shouted An'Inglefar at the errant mage.
"An'Inglefar... it is a shame you had to bring it to this."
Khan gave a quick hand gesture and the air in front of DHarem quivered slightly, turning to a transparent, glass-like wall.
The magic councillor left no further ado, and threw himself into the fray. Figuratively, yes, but the giant boulder that had materialised just above Khan was real, alright.
A quick ritual and a blue, shimmering shield appeared around the mage, and the boulder shattered into tiny particles on impact, that blew away in the wind like dust.
Meanwhile, Thomas was clambering up the building from the back as quickly as his platemail armour could allow.
DHarem wasn’t surprised by his miss; such things would make his pause and disrupt his concentration and make him vulnerable. He whirled to face the mage and saw a faint shimmer in the air before him. He had faced mages before and knew they could generate shields to protect them from physical attack. So he quickly decided that he couldn’t directly attack the man.
He saw a boulder appear above the man, obviously the result of one of the mages below attacking this mage, and watched as it dropped and struck a blue shimmering shields and shattered into dust. As the dust fell DHarem struck; not at the man but the roof top beneath their feet. Rising his fist high and jumping he looked as if he was going to perform an aerial strike on the mage, but instead he came down just outside the mage’s shimmering shield and struck the roof top with his fist (Stone Hands).
The blow was a powerful one; the clay tiles shattered around them in a 10’ circumference. DHarem had instantly held his breath as the cloud of dust rose up immediately all around him and the mage. The blow was powerful enough to make anyone there have a hard time maintaining their footing. The dust thrown up in the air would not only obscure a person’s sight and if inhaled would make it hard to breath.
DHarem was counting on the mage’s protective barrier NOT being beneath his feet as usually that was not the case as it would make walking for the mage extremely difficult. If his assumptions were right the barrier might work against the mage as it would fill with the powdery dust and make his life a bit more difficult. If it worked as planned, then the Seeker would be waiting for the mage to become unprotected so that he could strike and render him unconscious with a blow. If the barrier was covering the bottom then at the very least the mage should still be severely shaken by the powerful shattering of the rooftop beneath him.
Glancing back to see the boulder, the fireball, and the roof collapse, Varis winced at the destruction, dread forming in his stomach as he hoped his comrades were still alive and fighting. Determinedly continuing to hum, Varis felt a measure of certainty in DHarem's abilities as cool, rationality sustained him again as he finally made his way through the crowd, coming face to face with the magic-casting councillor.
Seeing the councillor and foreigner both turn to face him, Varis kept his sword lowered and his other arm raised.
"I'm hired to keep you alive, sirs." Varis explained rapidly, praying to the Gods he wasn't about to be roasted in a fire spell.