Lantaris quietly followed, his quick footsteps almost inaudiable. As he strode, he admired the unique architecture surrounding him. He was inturigued at fact that it was like invisible hands that seemed to be pulling at his arms.
As he walked, perfectly in time with crytal, he began to focus, whatever happened next, he would need to react in a splitseccond and he would need to be prepared to do so, if no one else was, probebly to save all their lives.
Posted on 2011-08-17 at 09:44:40.
Edited on 2011-08-19 at 07:24:24 by omega biobirinator v8
Takra was amazed at how easily Crystal had bypassed the guards, maybe she had underestimated her influence on the world. Obviously there was still a lot more to find out about Mrs. Hardwood, but for now she was in awe of the massive structure, the beautiful paintings and artwork. Takra had never seen such things she couldn't even of imagined such a structure, let alone comprehend how people could build such buildings.
Takra didn't even bother to worry or prepare for the meeting to come, for she knew little and could do little. So here she was on the way to meet the king and his advisor's, her father told her fairytales of such things. She was a brave adventurer saving her people!
The corridor winds on for some time, occasionally breaking off to side passages and cul de sacs, however whenever a turning point presents itself the hand always beckons you on until, after what seems like moments for Takra in her elation and suffocating hours for Lantaris in his dour mood, the hallway opens up into an antechamber of sorts, brightly lit and hosting a tightly clustered squad of Valsavatharian Vanguard and a very nervous Green Circle Acolyte.
"P..please Captain, I am sure that she will come, a Circle Mage has never failed to answer King Skantea's call."
"Only to break his laws." The 'Captain', a six-foot brute of a man, clad in blackened plate grunts, toying with a stiletto that gleams menace in the light. "Why not just send her another Mind-Call, I'm sure that's not beyond you."
"S..sir, she won't..can't answer, even Master Raichen has tried..he said that her Mental Signature has changed-" At that moment, the door opens and the High Mage in question brushes into the room, his gaze locking with the entrance to the chamber.
"Ah, Hardwood, where have you been? I've spent the last half-hour trying to contact you, a patrol came accross the evidence of a skirmish and we feared the worst, even when Lieutenant Malthorne reported you past his checkpoint we still couldn't make contact."
"Whatever the case, I require your report at once, we have captured a Sevaraii 'Ghraz Wendyr'...that translates roughly to Master or Commander in civilised languages, our patrol apparently located a splinter faction of his cell that supposedly attacked you in an attempt to enter the palace and carry out an assassination attempt against our Kings. He says you can 'vouch' for his good intent, along with whatever companions you have..."Chosen to bring" I think were his words. Anyhow, I suggest you come with me at once, or else all hell will break loose...if it hasn't already." The last words are muttered under Raichen's breath as behind you two figures slip out of the shadows, one vaguley recognisable as Lieutenant Malthorne.
"Best foot forwards, Hardwood, as I said, try not to piss Skantea off too much, he doesn't like to be kept waiting."
"Yes...I will vouch for him, or at the least his suggestions." Crystal spoke, tight lipped, preparing to follow the Captain, concealing her emotions carefully, taking in the happenings of the antechamber quietly and quickly. A technique many in the Valsavatharian military would do well to learn.
Even as she took the recent occurences in his stride, Crystal's mind was carefully working on several levels at once...a depth of imagination that is helpful when being a professional warmage.
On one element, she was foreseeing possible outcomes, and fearing for where this may lead. On another, more logical element, she was racking her mind for anything she knew of the King that may become essential. Skantea is an individual to be treated...carefully.
as soon as Lantaris steped into the room, he steped to the side of the doorway and lent against the wall, hands inside his cloak. He looked around, stratigicaly ploting out the room. He then went to those in the room, eyeing each of them carefuly, before closing his eyes and listened. memorising the exact location of all the objects in the room.
You are hustled forwards, the two Vanguard before you and squad in front of you leaving little room to maneouver save forwards to the doorway. Walking through and into a passage, your spend another few minutes of icy silence travelling along the hall before, as if from a tunnel, you burst out into a perfectly circular room with seven doors leading from it, three guards at each, in the room's centre a man sits facing you, on an iron throne of the type that Crystal remembers all to well from her interrogations.
Arrayed around the throne are six other figures, a towering Vekth, assumedly Horuk of C'narl, a tall, hawk-nosed man in rust-red armour, Dragon of Karth, a tall elf clad in plate, Ilourien of Sena, a man in his early fifties clad in fine robes of state yet not the ostentatious garb of his fellows, Bedrion of Orsal, a tall young man in fine golden armour who does, as the legends have it seem to glow with some inner light, Kollun of Imeyon and finally, hunched over yet still reaching well over six feet, and scowling from steel grey eyes set over a head of pepper grey hair and clad in armour of black iron and a crown with too much resemblance to a collection of bones to be tasteful, Skantea of Valsavathar.
"Good afternoon." Chambers smiles, his dry voice carrying clearly to you as the Vanguard fan out, allowing you and Raichen into the room. Examining the Sevaraii for the first time you find him a middle aged man, his pale skin faintly sallow, matching his bone white hair. He wears a black robe that falls loosley around a thin, athletic, frame and has no obvious bulges that would indicate weapons. His hands are protected by fine leather gauntlet-gloves, sliding blades clearly having been removed from their wrist-joints. Boots of the same design grace his feet...although they don't appear to have ankle-mounted blades.
"Your witnesses." Horuk rumbles, his stony eyes regarding you without a trace of emotion. "Let us hope they prove more constant that you, Sevaraii heretic."
"Skantea, have your men leave us." Ilourien adds, casting a wary glance at the Vanguard, who retreat hastily at a nod from their king, closing the door firmly behind them.
"You had a testimony to make, Master Chambers?" Bedrion leans forwards, holding the assassin's gaze.
"Why yes." Chambers folds his hands accross his chest, the slight gesture prompting a ripple of motion from the guards stationed at each doorway. "I have been sent by the Temple of Varr'Ezach to treat with you. The Temple realises that a war with both Coast and the Celian Empire would be costly for both us and you and that you cannot face an attack from both fronts. The League Entire offers you a pact of peace which will denote you as allies of the League and, hence, prompt retaliation from us when the Celians come to invade. Reciprocally, Coast will be used as a staging ground for the League Entire invasion of the Celian holdings to the north, a small price to pay, we believe, for your freedom."
Silence permeates the room for moments after the Sevaraii's speech before, clearly shocked, Bedrion turns to you.
"Can any of you five vouch for any truth in Master Chambers' words?"
"I know, it seems too good to be true." Mutters Dragon from the right, "Then again, there's no telling if it is true, is there, 'assassin'. How many men order a 'splinter faction' to assassinate the men they will be treating with later that day?"
"And to think that Sevaraii were able to enter the city in the first place, let's face it, Dragon, it isn't as if you have particularly laudable security." Skantea hisses from the left, his voice like the north wind except with none of its warmth.
"Enough!" Kollun raises a hand, causing silence to fall once again. "We have a means of finding the truth here, before our very eyes. Now, if what our mages have confirmed is true then Mages Hardwood and Elmheart will be able to, with their link to Chambers' mind, be able to give us an, at least vague, outline of his intentions. Does the Sevaraii truly want to help us, will he and his masters betray us if the war turns ill?"
Takra Stood there, surrounded by patterns, swirls and more prominently some of the most important men in the whole of her known world. Although Takra may not of heard of their names before, she was more than aware of most titles present in the marvellous room. Takra was still in a state of shock, she had switched off as usual when filled with wonderment and awe, she gazed around the room at the magnificent garish colours and flamboyant dress of some nobles. She heard the conversation through her long pointed ears, however by the time the noises reached her they were hazy and mumbled, but one word rang warning bells in her mind!
“Mages Hardwood and Elmheart”
It was hers and Crystals name.
This snapped her back to reality.
“Link to Chambers' mind, be able to give us an, at least vague, outline of his intentions. Does the Sevaraii truly want to help us, will he and his masters betray us if the war turns ill?"
She looked to the speaker, her mouth almost dropped at the sight of his shining golden armour that twinkled in the candlelight. She ground her teeth together knowing she didn't have a choice of the words about to spill out of her mouth, the mans tone had cleared that one up for her.
“I'm in, anything to help you, my... lords.” Said Takra, although it was not meant to, her voice carried a hint of sarcasm, showing her unfamiliarity with such... gentlemen.
Posted on 2011-08-23 at 19:55:55.
Edited on 2011-08-23 at 20:00:34 by The_Haruspex
"Does the Sevaraii truly wish to help us, your majesty? Unlikely. But this may be the turning point of the war regardless, and they have every reason to support us, even if for their own benefit." Crystal began, speaking loudly. She was not normally so unwise as to speak to his majesty, Skantea, in such an open and direct fashion, but they would listen to no less. They will not accept any lie or flaw in logic, but they may consider a disciplined, detached proposal.
Crystal cared remarkably little for the other lords of Coast in the room at this time. Not because she did not hold them in the highest of regards - for she did - but because they are by far the least likely to sentence her to execution for Treason. Even if they had the mindset of her own King, whom she knew so much about; she is a citizen, a mage of Valsavathar first and foremost, even before Coast.
They wouldn't dare execute her if Skantea did not already agree...right? She just had to convince him, from a survival point of view.
"The war will go badly if we do not take this deal. Ask any general. We are caught between two powers greater than us, of whom we speak of both as utterly devoid of reason or morals. If the Celian empire were to be driven out of our lands by this alliance, then both the League and Coast have only to gain...and they gain nothing by betraying us, particularly if the Celians are no longer a threat to us, as a needless war against our lands can only lead to vast losses to their army, if such a war is successful at all to them."
Crystal was desperate. That mind-link had unlocked...something within her. She needed to live. She needed to fight. She needed the League to stand by Coast.
"Certainly the League is seeing our situation and giving us the opportunity to cease hostilities and ally against a common foe. Certainly the Celians would never give us such a chance, not unless we were willing to go on genocidal rampages throughout our own lands. This will save our lands. This unwinnable war can be salvaged. Our way or life will be preserved, our lines go down for generations more, our histories written and preserved."
Crystal had never spoken so much since...her trail. In some ways...it was like her trail all over again. Certainly she was representing herself once again, though in a somewhat stronger state of mind.
She stepped back, eyes not breaking with Skantea's, before giving a deep bow without returning upright, eyes affixed to the floor.
"I wasn't aware you schooled your mages in advanced tactics, Skantea." Kollun's jovial comment seems to send a wash of calm through the unnervingly tense room as the young king smiles, spreading his hands. "What Journeymage Hardwood says is true, we cannot fight both the League Entire and Celian Empire, even if the League does betray us it shall not do so whilst its holdings are threatened by Celia. This way, if we do fight both foes it shall be on our own terms, giving us the best chance we could possibly have."
"Agreed." Growls Dragon, nodding a begrudging affirmative. "Although I would question one of the points the Mage raised. Why would the Celian Empire not seek to treat with us? They have made truces with provinces before, much like what the League Entire is attempting now. Surley they would have recieved word of these Sevaraii from their sleeper agents, and surley they would have dispatched their own spies and sabetouers to offer us a similar deal."
"Yet they haven't." Skantea's first words to you are hollow, like a voice crying from an old, empty well. "What does that tell us about the Celian stance towards these proceedings? That they are content to sit by as their greatest foe secures and alliance that could curtail all of their activities around the Inner Seas for decades? No, the Celian Empire will not risk an alliance between the League Entire and Coast, yet it is unlikley to offer us any better deal, leaving us with..."
"...a plot to assassinate the Kings of Coast." Bedrion finishes, swallowing hard. "Master Chambers...you said that there was a splinter faction of Sevaraii amidst your forces, one seeking to sabotage your plans. Can you be certain they are all, euh, disposed of?"
"Probably not." Chambers steeples his fingers, looking down at his boots. "However I can be sure of several things, cheif amongst them that the Celian Empire will have dispatched numerous 'spies and sabetouers' to ensure we do not reach an agreement."
"In which case us coming to this...agreement should be done in the greatest possible haste. Horuk growls, turning to a guard, "Bring ink, parchment and a quill-" He stops at a raised hand from Ilourien, the elf's usually impassive features now a frown.
"Hold, I wish to be certain that the Sevaraii speaks the truth. Mage Elmheart, can you verify what your companion has stated?"
"No. I can vouch that making this alliance may be necessary, and I can vouch that even the League has reason to offer it. I can even vouch that the Celians will undoubtedly try to damage such an alliance. But I can no more verify his precise words as a diplomat would. In this, I a warmage, not a mindreader."
Crystal raises herself, heart beating. So far, this was going better than she could have hoped. This alliance was needed, but forcing Coast to trust a Sevaraii can only backfire eventually. Some instinct of hers drew her to respond on Takra's behalf, but be it protective or contemptious she herself was unsure.
Posted on 2011-08-27 at 04:04:03.
Edited on 2011-08-31 at 06:21:04 by Celtia
"Nevertheless I would still hear those same words from the lips of a Senan. If we are to give into suspicion I will forster my fair share of doubts." Ilourien replies, eyeing you impassivley. "Continue, Elmheart."
Lantaris stood silently observing the charictors around him. It was strange though. How crystal managed to trust people she had never met. And then again, Lantaris trusted Crystal, as strange as it seemed. All the same, this was a bit different. She was basicly walking around with her eyes closed. He'd have to be extra careful.
Crystal reached out tentatively with her magic, her mind, trying to convey some form of comfort or to otherwise encourage the clearly scared elven mage. Takra had shared misfortune as Crystal had, but lacked the emotional strength Crystal can in part attribute to her psuedo-military upbringing, trained as Valsavatharian Weather Mage.
The elf never asked for this, but she's trusted and listened to Crystal. That counts for a lot.