Septimus leaned back in his chair, distancing himself from the scene.
Boredom kept him from looking particularly interested, but a look of sharp curiosity sublimely shifted his expression. He remembered seeing things of existent beauty before, but none quite like this. He leaned forward slightly, drunk with colour and shape, hypnotized by the rich greens, and blues, and browns, red tints, and yellow tints, pink worlds and white worlds. Despite its beauty, his stunned mind struggled to make an analytical comparison. As a seasoned treasure hunter, Septimus knew that that globe had a net worth value on the black market of 1,000,000 guineas, perhaps more. It surprised him that the prince had the audacity to travel with it. That amount of money could purchase a good deal of women and drink. Anyone would find reason to steal it.
Except that it was flawed.
As the stunned silence wore off, he noted instantly that a major body of water was missing. The Sea of Annihilation was no where to be found. He scoffed lightly. Obviously it was not entirely accurate. No matter how beautiful, few people would find interest in an inaccurate globe. It would sell well in market, but purely as a curiosity.
As the globe was passed around, Septimus took it, handling it in a surprisingly gentle manner. The colors contrasted sharply against his black leather gloves. It was an artifact of the Before Times. The Time Before Time, the Life Before Life. It was a strange world, totally foreign to him.
He was the person holding it when the Prince spoke, and with a moment’s hesitation, he glanced towards the others. In a movement of unusual recklessness, he took off the glove on his left hand, revealing the red, viciously raw brand of a seven that was seared into his skin so many years ago.
He held the globe carefully and touched it lightly with his index finger. The ridges of mountains began apparent, and he felt the ages of stone, the ravines and gullies. The minute treetops elicited a faint smell of new grass, and moss, and dampness, and the strain of elvish blood in Septimus was reawakened. The chilly scent of snow, its coldness, the monotonous plains with their scent of fire, the dry, nearly lifeless heat of deserts.
As his finger brushed the ocean, the scent of the sea, heady and wild filled the room, and in spite of himself, Septimus smiled slightly. Recovering, he quickly replaced the glove on his left hand, again covering the brand and his true identity.
“You have a very expensive object there...and it is a curiosity”, Septimus remarked softly, without bothering to look at the Prince.
He was captivated by the object he held in his hands.
(OOC: the big globe sits in a pedestal on the floor, and was not passed around like the first. I may not have made that clear.)
Zara had hung back allowing the others to get close, she watched their expressions as each touched the globe in turn. She listened to each as they spoke. When Septimus made the comment “What is its use?” Zara spoke from off to the side.
“It shows us what the world looked like about 30,000 years ago, before the cataclysm. It is also a teaching tool......and a toy You speak the name of a place and it shows it to you.”
She moves forward and puts her hand on the globe almost lovingly. Then she spins it. “Shahndar,”
The frictionless spinning globe slows noticeably and as Zara faces it, it stops and the upper third of a medium size continent east of the eastern coast of Eastern Kalos begins to glow.
“Norennor,” she says and the globe turns on it own so that the axis pole in Norlan faced Zara.
Posted on 2007-10-15 at 03:27:18.
Edited on 2007-10-15 at 15:51:56 by Dragon Mistress
Staring in a composed awe at the globes before him, he admires the craftsmanship. The magical enchantments themselves are strong and well made, however, that which attracts his attention is the fine work done on the physical globes themselves.
As the globes are talked about, he feels the smaller one that was passed around. Rivers, oceans, grasslands, forests, holding the small globe makes one feel like a god observing the world itself.
He hesitates as the larger globe spins, then speaks.
"The small one was purchased by me a 153 years ago from the now famous cartographer Maxel Chandler of Wexton." The other one is on loan from the Elves.
"This globe," he points to the big one, "Though there are a number of names in different places, most are meaningless to us though some seem to be connected by a similar sounding name."
"There is more to the globe." At the top of the pedestal there are a number of little drawers, almost hidden to the eye. He opens one and takes out a tiny mithral piece and passes it around. It is an intricately fashioned tiny city on a cloud. When it comes back to him put in beside the globe and lets go of it. The tiny cloud city begins to move about the globe always keeping its cloud between it and the city as if it were floating over the world.
He next takes out a tiny ship and also passes it around. Septimus would quickl notice the oddity of the ship, for there are sails on masts on the side and under the hull. Such ships could not sail on the seas. The prince also puts this one on the globe. and it proceeds to make it way around the world.
"Toys and not quite toys," says the Prince. "This is the last bit that is the most unusual feature. The Prince takes out what looks like two minature poles and a second matching set. On the bottom of the globe he pushes a small button. On various places two small poles appear out of the globe. He takes out a small figure of a man and set it in from of one of the poles "Now watch" The Prince taps the figure between one of the sets of posts and it disappeared. He spins the globe to the other side. The figure now stands between another sets of post on the continent on the other side of the world from Kalos."
"Now if you will notice one of these sets of poles here on this globe has been reference on this smaller globe by using various mountain ranges here on this modern globe very near the area we know as the Barrens." This is what has me most concerned. If someone has found a way to access these gates then we might have invaders from a distant land at our back door. Or they could just be settlers. This is what we have to know, what is being built up in the Barrens and who is doing it?
"Now I will ask again who is willing to undertake this mission now because it is inherently more dangerous?"
Posted on 2007-10-15 at 23:26:26.
Edited on 2007-10-16 at 01:16:01 by Dragon Mistress
"I have... skirted... the barrens for years in my travels, stopping as my grove was assaulted."
Jason admits with a half smile.
"They are, in my experience several years ago, not entirely as bad as they seem. They are mostly empty, you see, about as dangerous as dark itself. Not hospitable exactly, but not dangerous in of themselves. Whatever has happened, I would be willing to journey to find out."
He notes the oddity of the ship passed around, he is not a sailor himself, however he is fairly sure that the sails are supposed to be on the TOP of the boat.
He quietely sits and waits for others to speak, casually glancing around the room itself.
“On loan from the Elves”, Septimus murmured. “That must have cost you a pretty penny. It is no coincidence that most men of the sea have Elven blood in them.” He smiled faintly and inclined his head towards the druid. “Including me”. He glanced again to the globe.
“They are infamous for their craftiness.”
He watched him silently and when the mithral object was passed around, he turned it over in his hand without a sound and passed it on, seemly without much interest. But when the tiny ship was passed around, it stayed in Septimus`s hand longer then any one’s. His baleful emerald eyes studied it scrupulously. The masts were angled differently, he recognized instantly, placed on the side and beneath the hull. It was not designed like his own beloved Acheron, for use on the ocean.
“An aerial ship”, he whispered in awe. “I heard of them only from myth…my father told me of them…when I was just a boy”. His voice was faint and low, never had he sounded so respectful.“These…no longer exist in contemporary society; this is an ancient object indeed”.
At the Prince’s question, Septimus stood and bowed his head before him, a completely unpredictable move for the arrogant rogue. The beast was apparently tamed. Like the ignorant Native, he had been cowed by the power of technology. If he had no motive behind it.
This was of course, highly unlikely.
“Milord”, he muttered quietly. Without speaking, he took off his left glove, revealing the red, raw brand of the seven upon his left hand. He showed it to his companions and smiled grimly. “I am Captain Septimus Sandalwood. I am a Wanted man, and I have 1,000,000 guineas on my head in every port. Danger has no meaning to me. If I die doing something noble, that act will be worth more then my entire life”.
“I stand with you”. He gestured around the room.
“With all of you”.
"Did you know that the common language of most humans is based on the language of Shahdar and that their symbol was of the symbol of the Light.
"Wind Lord," she speaks in Ancient Shahndaran, though all here understood the words although there seemed to be a slight fdifference in them, and up from the drawer comes one of the tiny ships.
As the ship hovered over the globe a disturbance rippled the air and above the globe began to form the 3 dimensional image of a great airship. The image was over 20 feet long, and 15 feet from top to bottom including all the sail above decks and those on the sides and bottom.
"It was the ultimate in aerial warships in the time before the cataclysm, and look at the flag." Flying from the steering sail was a large flag waving as one would with the wind behind the sails. It was royal purple randomly studded with stars and in its center was a White Prismatic Dragon circling a large 4 point gold star imposed over a smaller silver star of four points which jetted out from between the gold points.
"It was the pride of Shahndar's aerial fleet."
Posted on 2007-10-16 at 23:42:51.
Edited on 2007-10-16 at 23:44:14 by Dragon Mistress
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
"Once those sort of ships flew in the hundreds perhaps more. What sort of world was it then? So much was lost even by the elves. It truly stretches the imagination to think about it." Dalyndra speaks with a touch of awe in her voice.
After Septimus accepted the Prince's mission, which surprised Dae that he was the first to do so, Jason and Zara stepped forward and accepted. Dae is last to follow suit.
"I accept this mission with all it ramifications. If there is a connection to the Mageocracies in this rebuilding, we will endeavor to discover that. If there is a connection between what was there in the Pre-cataclysm then we will work to discover that."
"Of a more practical concern, we are not many , so if we find suitable party members to join our quest can we add those to our number?" She had to ask, the Prince may well want no one else to know, but they were shorthanded. A full Magic User and a Straight fighter would be an asset, and a full cleric. She herself was a favored soul and fighter and Zara was a favored soul and a low level sorceress. Septimus had the look of a fighter but the introduction her gave led to believe there was much more of the rogue about him. Why else have a price of his head of so much.
Dalyndra was tempted to ask the Prince more about Septimus, but she wouldn't. They were going to have to work together and she didn't think he would appreciate it if she went behind his back to get that information. She had the strongest impression that he needed to be dealt with directly, face to face, and he would say what he wanted to and nothing more. That was find by her and reciprocal in her case. She would tell him if he had questions. Though Azara ws another matter. Dae could not really say for sure how Zara would respond to questions about herslef. She could twist words with the best of them, and sometimes after listening to what she answered you were not always sure your questions were answered.
This errant thought brought a slight smaile to Dae's face which lightened her more serious mean for a while. Another thought was that this group of four had a better chance of working together than the first group of four.
After the Prince replies Dalyndra turns to Jason. "Jason, she said clearly stating who he was speaking to." you said you had to introduce us to Midnight." is he here at the inn or elsewhere?"
As Dalyndra turned to face Jason she noticed a faint fluttering of a heavy curtains across one of the room’s window, but it is low rather than high. She quickly cast "Detect Evil" as her hand goes to her sword and she starts to draw it.
Almost as soon as she does a voice rings out. "Hold your hand, Dalyndra Goldenwings." comes a voice in High Elven “We are not enemies. Peace be, to you all. The tall elven man, well dressed with a circlet on his head with a single stone at it center. Opens the curtain and steps out from it, and then another follow him less tall but dressed similarly. Across the room two more appear, as if out of the woodwork.
Dalyndra bows deeply. "Greeting Prince Lynellwyn of the House of Haven" I should have realized that such a precious artifact, all-be-it on loan from the elves, would have come with protectors.".
"We are not here only as protection, but we were interested in seeing that those chosen would have the best chance of seeing this mission through. A strange foursome but when put together your strengths should compliment each other.” The rich timber of his voice fills the room, but not with loudness. A person used too being obeyed. He was not dressed richly but his bearing belied his simple well cut and tailored, tunic and pants of deep forest green with some embroidery as trim, but nothing out of the ordinary His hair and features were classically elven. High forehead, very pale hair and skin, tall and willowy, but with no fragility about him, he was more like an elven long sword, slender, flexible and hard as the finest steel
"I do also realize you are not a full compliment yet. I wish I could call on others of our kind to join you but with all those of elven blood here, it really needs more humans, dwarves,, halflings or or perhaps some of the animen races. I will see what I can do in that part but I can make no guarantees. Prince Seldar and I have concluded that it is best if you set out as soon a possible the route from here to the borders of the Barrens is quite clear cut. If I can't find anyone by tomorrow morning then I will send them after you. They will have a signet from my house or Prince Seldar's house. Other than that, use good judgment."
Prince Lynellwyn steps forward and offers his hand to all the party members. First to Zara, he takes up her hand and salutes it with a kiss. "Next time, little one, please does not use dye to change the color of my swans. He takes out a scroll case from his side. Here is a few spells you can use, one is color change. At least if you use this the color will wear off before they molt. You will not have to study these spells read them once and they will be permanently in your memory. Oh ,and there the wand of Elowynna in there as well. (It has both restoration and regeneration.) He casually adds that last bit as if it were the least important part of his gift.
The elven prince moves over to Jason. "Protector of Nature" he says as he nods to one of his men and the man steps forward with a small case bound in leather “This is something that may aid you. It is the Horn of Haryndil. Three times per day you can summon Nature’s allies of 4 levels higher than you are. Use it well to accomplish your mission."
The elven prince moves over to stand before Septimus, but stops at a comfortable distance to Septimus. The Prince seems to recognize a man that needs extra space. “Septimus Sandalwood, Fulfill this mission and there are places where human laws do not apply, but for now accept this gift, it should help you. Nodding to the last man the mans steps forward with a velvet bag about 1’ by 1.5’ in dimension The man opens it and brings out a raiment of sparkling tiny silver rings. Holding it out to Septimus, the Elven prince says “This you might find useful in protecting yourself. It is a shirt of feather light elven mithral chain, glamoured, with speed and magic protect." (+4, non-encumbering, speed, glamoured, allows a dex of +
Coming to Dalyndra she picks up her hand and kisses it lightly. Do your house and heritage proud, Dalyndra Goldenwings. I think you can use this. He hands her a ring “Three times a day, this ring can double one skill or ability and offers you resistance to various threats." (+4 resistance)
"May the Light shine on you all and hold you in his sight."
The elven prince walks over to the globe and touches a hidden button. The globs drops down, the case closes itself. The Elven Prince takes out a bag and commands the closed case into the bag in a tongue that you others can only partially understand, something close to "entering" or something like that.
“It is a good start Prince Seldar.” Lynellwyn salutes Prince Seldar”
"When you return," he says looking to the four, "we will meet again." The prince walks back behind the curtain he came out from. The other elves follow the prince. There is a brief breeze of fresh air and then nothing. The strange part is the breeze is filled with the scents of forest and flowers and not the city's damp night air.
Posted on 2007-10-17 at 01:05:56.
Edited on 2007-10-17 at 04:34:27 by Brianna
Septimus glanced over to his newfound companions with a hint of sadness in his eyes. These were the people that he had sworn his life to. A sense of terror overshadowed the pride his own words had brought him and he remained silent, his expression grim, changing not at all as the young man Jason offered his reassurance. His gaze shifted to him momentarily and the sadness was gone as rapidly as it came. His eyes were glacial again, his manner bitter.
He had shut them out.
He felt his soul question at the great aerial ship that was presented to them, his ancestors would have known vessels such as these, they would had manned them and loved them, they would have been nimble on their decks and deft in the rigging. But to Septimus the warship held no greater meaning; it was foreign to him, a child of the sea. All of his greatest joys had taken place upon the ocean, friendship, adventure, danger, battle, tranquility and he associated land with misfortune, the times he had starved in prison, the death of his family, the price on his head.
His life story flickered through his mind, like flashes in the dark.
They did not know. They could not know. Even the Prince, who had offered him some protection in exchange for his cooperation, did not fully understand what he had done. They could not understand his desperation to repay the world for what he had done. Even death seemed welcome for one so wracked with guilt. But his allies…would be curious. He smiled faintly, almost imperceptibly. Yes, they would be curious. One cannot listen to part of a story without wondering about the whole.
It should not exist at all, he thought fiercely.
His musing was cut short as Dalyndra`s hand went to her sword. He read her body language instantly and drew his cutlass as well rapidly. He watched the curtain, tensed to spring. A voice rang out in a lilting tongue he did not understand, though he understood it to be Elven. As the Elven prince and his men stepped gracefully into the open. He had seen Elves before, and understood Wood Elven fluently, but knew only the poor hardened chaps that made him his crew and those of his enemies. The pure elves among his men had been torn from their homeland as children, and they were lean, efficient sailors albeit reluctant killers favoured as minions for their agility and skill in battle.
Septimus hazarded a glance at Dalyndra. She seemed respectful. He lowered his weapon suspiciously, and sheathed it, but the lines of his body remained tense. His eyes tracked the Prince’s movements, immediately understanding him to be the leader without any introduction, his body language and dress spoke for him. He shifted uncomfortably as the Prince moved forward to Zara. She seemed unalarmed. Slowly, he allowed himself to relax and averted his eyes as the others were given their gifts.
He expected nothing and did not look up until the Prince moved to stand before him. He glanced at him, vaguely surprised. He had forgotten what it was like to be regarded without fear. His expression softened slightly at the Prince’s words, and his wariness faded away. He nodded once, retaining eye contact. As the mithril chain mail shirt was brought out, he studied it wordlessly with his treasure hunter’s eyes. He knew its value and its degree of protection, and he bowed his head, silent and accepted it. When the elves departed, he slipped it over his head and it shone against his chest and black attire like a sea of shimmering stars.
Curt as always, even after that miraculous appearance he looked to his companions.
When the surprise occurs, Jason reaches towards his back slightly, where a staff, one end glowing red, the other blue, lies waiting. When the Elves are revealed, he smiles. Muttering to himself.
"Well, that was certainly unexpected."
As the gifts are distributed, he looks on with increasing surprise. When his is given, he holds is lightly in his hands, and then places it in a holster desiged for a horn on his belt.
To replace my father's...
He thinks as he slips the horn inside.
"Much thanks, this will prove very useful."
Jason happily says as he looks on at the rest of the gifts. He wonders to himself. What would have happened if his father had never been killed? What if the horn that he gave to Jason as a present for his coming of age had never burned along with his home?
He shakes those thoughts out of his head, and turns his attention to Septimus, wondering what he had done to earn the mark on his hand.
But such questions are not the way he was taught to think. He would press the matter if it was needed, but not out of personal curiosity. Besides, he thought with a smile, he had his own secrets.
Posted on 2007-10-17 at 22:56:46.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Dae watched until the curtains stilled and turned back to the others.
"I thinks a good night's sleep is in order. If it is all right with the rest of you let us rise with the sun and get going."
She turns to the Prince, "I need to prevail upon you to locate two horses riding horses that are strong and enduring and a pack animal, I can pay for them all," says Dalyndra. "You have resources I do not. Finding and purchasing such animals by morning might prove impossible. also some messenger birds to carry information back to you so we can keep you apprised of the what is happening."
The gifts from the Elves had surprised her. The globe was a surprise too. She had never heard of it existence beofre. Elves do not keep treasure hiddened, but they were out and used. A wonder for sure.
Well this forsome was now committed to the mission. Light hope that they will become a team.
Posted on 2007-10-18 at 02:28:40.
Edited on 2007-10-18 at 05:31:02 by Brianna
"You are correct in that, Zara," replies the prince smiling, "go to the Stable of the Golden Alicorn, there you will find mounts waiting. The Innkeeper can tell you the way. Take your pick of the best and take a couple of spares in case any of your horses are killed or injuried,"
"Rooms are already ordered for you, with such a diminished number you can each have you own room or you can double up. That is for you to decide.
"Now I have to depart, I will not see you off in the morning, the fewer that can connect me to you the better it will be."
The Prince walks to the door, "May the Light and the One watch over you." he opens the door and then closes it behind him.
Posted on 2007-10-18 at 05:48:25.
Edited on 2007-10-18 at 05:53:21 by Dragon Mistress
Although always slightly dangerous-looking, for some reason his on-edge emotions made him seem even more so. He seemed restless in his skin, and his emerald eyes were shining with a vital, indefinable expression. Surely it was not fear? When Jason looked at him questionably, he turned his head sullenly away.
It took all his self-control to bite back the bitter laugh that threatened to erupt from him. A good night’s sleep. He raised an eyebrow. It was ludicrous. “This is no camping trip”, he remarked darkly. “You propose that we spend the night resting, when we could be covering ground? Missions are best accomplished under cover of darkness. Besides”, he shrugged, “we won’t get far once that blazing sun gets overhead”. He brushed back his dark hair from his forehead nervously. His tongue flitted out and wet his suddenly dry lips. His eyes were feverish and wild. If one thought about it he looked not like a man who had been chosen for a mission. He looked like a man who had been told that he was going to be hung in the morning.
He knew better then anyone.
He knew he was being hunted.
Obviously he was not going to change their minds. With a final nod to them, he took his leave. Entering the raucous bustle of the tavern, he approached the innkeeper. “Name”, the slightly pudgy man questioned, studying the dark man curiously above his half-moon spectacles. “S.S.”, he hissed under his breath, giving his initials. “Who”, the innkeeper inquired, searching his parchment. Septimus shifted angrily. “I’m a guest of the Prince”, he snarled. The innkeeper, regarding him as one might regard a very irate tiger, instantly produced a key. Grabbing it from him, Septimus retired to his room in comfortable solitude.
He lay down upon the tiny cot in the corner and closed his eyes. In five minutes he was asleep, and dreaming, crying out and speaking incoherent sentences even through the misty veil of sleep. But one thing was perfectly clear.
He was obviously terrified.
Two steeds rushed by in spangled moonlight. Blood dripped from the spurs of the riders, matting the animals` fine ivory coats. The animal’s breath whistled harshly, their skeletal bodies leapt forward in a constant bid for freedom. Their riders were silent creatures, two males clad in ebony in the style of the coast, their features hidden, and their commands silent.
As if they were one entity, the creatures pulled back on the reigns, cutting the bits into their equine’s mouths. The animals stopped abruptly, skidding violently and pranced in place, tossing their heads as if nodding to the rhythm of their own misery. One of the creatures leapt out of the saddle, and crouched, studying the road before it. The other attempted to control the animals. “Quiet”, it growled. The tone was soft and menacing with a faintly exotic accent. The creature on the ground stood. “A light steed made these marks”, it whispered, its tone calm and clipped. “One of good stock, and of the coast as well”.
It gestured fluidly towards the second set of marks on the ground. “See here”, it stated. The other creature leapt nimbly off its steed. It stood beside the other one, noticeably shorter then its companion. “Footprints”, it purred, restless. “Buccaneer boots with light indentation”. It pointed. “It states the maker clearly, it is a Penn. Only a Corelani would know where to purchase these. They are very rare”. It hesitated. “But…how…do you know it is him? You can’t—“
“Oh no, my dear man, you most certainly cannot, not by prints alone”, the other replied coolly. “But prints…are not all I have to go by”. It reached into its cloak and brought out a thin gold coin. It glistened in the moonlight. “I found this near the prints. It is a merchant doubloon, of a certain make. You see this here”, it inquired, indicating twin marks that distinguished the centre of the coin. “Surprisingly, pirates live in a democratic society. When a captain takes a ship, he divides plunder.” The other shrugged noncommittally. “Wait, I’m getting somewhere. Before he can divide plunder, most pirates mark each coin in a certain way, a process that is called the ‘rogue’s bookkeeping’. This allows rival crews to know if a plunder has been claimed and by who”.
The shorter creature nodded. “So do you recognise the mark?” The other nodded. “I’d recognise it anywhere. Two vertical slashes is the mark of the Golden Falcon, or at least it was before it capsized. And I believe that we both know the sole survivor.” They looked at each other. “Never could hold on to his money”, the shorter one whispered in awe.
The taller one gave a hidden smile. “You know what is to be done. I want him found, I want him dead, and I want proof that it is taken care of. Bring me his necklace, the one that was made by his girl child. He will never part with it while he is living. Take the most efficient men, scour the gutters and prisons of our world, and tell them all that the man who brings me proof of the death of Septimus Sandalwood will be paid 1,000,000 guineas to the coin, and the one who fails me will have his head hung on my bedroom wall by the harvest moon.” With this, it dropped a heavy sack of money into its companion’s hands. The creature staggered under its weight. “100 guineas as promised. That and more if you do not fail me”. The taller creature leapt into its steed’s saddle and was gone.
The smaller creature held the cold money in its hands and stared apprehensively into the darkness.
It had work to do.
Posted on 2007-10-18 at 21:22:28.
Edited on 2007-10-18 at 21:38:01 by Septimus Sandalwood