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A Personal Request

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A Personal Request

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:45 pm

5th of Arodus 4711

The sun was setting and the shadows cast a magical light across town. It was Zaistrun’s favorite time of day, as it reminded him of the strange light one could get when shining a light through a gemstone. The dawn was excellent too, but the evening time seemed like a reward for a hard fought day.

He walked with purpose to the castle, having finished his afternoon class and engaging in some tutoring sessions with enthusiastic students who were having trouble with a particular concept. They were the most rewarding and really encouraged him the most as he had trouble with a fair amount of concepts through the years as well. It put him in such a good mood, he was ready to finally ask the king what had been going through his mind for more than a year.

He marched his way into the castle, through the great hall. It’s rounded shape was actually quite good for defense and there was plenty of room for dancing or feasting or assemblies of all kinds. It was really what a great hall was meant to be. He made his way past the kings promontory and toward the throne room. Hopefully Thaddeus would still be there. He came across the chamberlain and asked to be announced at the earliest convenience to his majesty.

“A little to the left.” Thaddeus said as he took a step backwards. “What do you think Henri?”

The Castellan stared at massive Owlbear pelt being stretched behind the throne. “Perhaps a little higher sir.”

Thaddeus tilted his head at the project and finally nodded. “A little higher.” The men on the ladders groaned under the weight but soon it was exactly where the king wished.

“Perfect,” he said with intense pleasure. There was undoubtedly something satisfying about tracking down the creature that killed your people, your friends, and very nearly yourself and hanging it as a trophy for all to see. And between its size and placement, there was no way that the message wouldn’t be noticed by any who entered the throne room.

Henri however was of a different opinion. As he had told Thaddeus that it would attract dust, and be impossible to keep clean. Though Thaddeus doubted that was the only thing he disliked about the beast. After all, the Castellan had been in charge of the castle and the kingdom when it had attacked. The king believed he saw it as a personal failure on his part and didn’t relish the reminder.

Thaddeus hoped it would become a reminder of his sworn duty to protect his people. His own personal duty to rain down holy retribution on those that attacked the helpless. That is what he would remember when he looked at it anyway.

“The Lord Magister, Zaistrun Garress,” the herald Rowland announced.

“That will be all, Henri.” Thaddeus said dismissing the castellan to resume his other duties. Turning he greeted the sorcerer as he strode into the room.

“Good evening Zaistrun. How does the day treat you?”

“All is well and good sire.” He greeted the King formally in front of the castle staff, making sure he had the respect he deserved despite his opinion of the deference he should receive. “I’ve come to discuss a somewhat personal matter with you if you have the time. I see your trophy is hanging well and true.”

“It is!” he said as he looked it back over. Part of him thought it may be a little crooked, but frankly he’d second guessed himself on that a few times already. Let it hang where it was, and see how it looked in the morning.

Having no further business in the throne room, he waved his friend toward the door. “Certainly. Wherever you wish.”

“Your study then?”

“Certainly.” It wasn’t a long journey to the sparsely decorated study. Taking a seat behind the desk, he simply asked. “What’s on your mind?”

Zaistrun took a breath and began. It was best to get to the point in a direct manner. “It may come as no shock to you that I have very few friends. There is a man I consider such and that I might invite to come here, but you may have issue with him. I thought it to entreat you personally of his character and his connections before you passed judgement on the matter. It seems more likely to me that you would approve of him and his business after I have explained it thoroughly.”

Thaddeus’ brow furrowed a bit there. “Novastasia is open to all... I’m curious what kind of person this is that you think I would have a problem with coming here...”

“The person isn’t really the problem, it is simply the organization he represents. He is a member of the Pathfinder society. Are you familiar with them?” Zaistrun was hoping that he wasn’t because preconceived notions are hard to overcome.

“I’ve heard the name before,” Thaddeus said carefully. “I’ve heard that some like them and some don’t in my earlier travels, but I’ve not met any personally. Perhaps you can illuminate me a bit more.”

“They are a neutral organization with the purpose of exploration and discovery. Even though their official stance is not beholding to any particular group, there are factions within the Society that have allegiances. If I invite him here, there might be friction with countries with secrets to hide such as Numeria, although Osirion has opened up it’s borders to them rather recently. Just his visiting wouldn’t be an issue I’m sure, but I need him to stay a bit longer, and that is where the real rub is.

My friend is an expert in the stones I have, and I would relish his expertise in that area. It would be difficult to get him to have an extended stay here without establishing a lodge here. The lodge would bring us access to information from around the globe that our meager library could not hope to gain in other fashions and their connections with many strong southern countries, including those primarily involved with the crusade.

Zaistrun exhaled with the relief of sharing some of his secret. He knew that Thad was an honorable man and would not take advantage of his forthrightness. “I can vouch for his character, and he is far more amiable than I. I believe that it would be ultimately beneficial to our kingdom as well to myself, but I cannot invite him with my authority here.”

Thaddeus listened intently as the Magister described the pathfinders. For the most part he didn’t have any problem with explorers and knowledge seekers. The fact that Zaistrun seemed to think he should made him focus a bit more closely.

“I have objection to your friend coming here Zaistrun. Any who value peace are welcome, you know that. I would want to discuss with him sometime before a blanket invitation for the lodge... I’m less eager to actively antagonize other nations.

“I doubt there would be an issue with it, but I’d like to meet the man and judge for myself if this lodge would be as harmless as it sounds.”

“Yes, I understand.” Zaistrun did well to remain businesslike in his reply, although he was a little disappointed. He had hoped that he might be trusted in one sense, and a bit worried that he was putting a personal bias in his own favor over the welfare of the kingdom. “I shall attempt to invite him again.” It was possible that he was simply busy in an exploration of his own or on behalf of his patron and that was why he didn’t receive a reply as of yet. Of course there was the other matter as well.

He had gone this far, he might as well go the the whole way. “There is another thing that I feel I need to share with you sire. It is related.”

He paused a moment before reaching down and pulling up the long sleeves of his robe. Gemstones of various hues and sizes and shapes continued up toward his shoulders on the outsides of his arms. Instead of just the green ones on his hands, new gemstones now adorned his arms up to his elbows.

Thaddeus was a little amused as he pondered what Zasitrun would be like with honest to goodness friends about. He was always so reserved around the Medvyeds and seemed to be more focused on titles and respect of station with... everyone else in the kingdom too. What would the man be like with a friend? He tried to picture the stoic sorcerer joking and laughing in a tavern and had a hard time picturing it. Regardless it would do well for him to socialize a bit more in an ‘unofficial’ capacity.

His eyes widened a bit as the gems came into view. It was something about the man he didn’t truly understand, and the fact that his friend wished to examine the strange stones himself meant that it wasn’t purely ignorance on the king’s part.

“There’s more than I remember...” Thad commented while nodding at his arms. “Why do you do that? Is it a... necessary part of the magic?” His hands reached for the ioun stone that he always kept nearby. A magic stone that didn’t need to be joined to his skin.

Zaistrun paused for a moment before continuing. “I’m afraid this is the point at which I have more questions than answers. The first two stones were given me by my mother. She imbedded them in my skin, saying they would augment my powers. I have used divination on them to learn all I can. The one on the left hand helps me to alter reality. My fireworks, digging and time spells are affected positively by it. The other is my companion, Malachite.

“The problem I have is that none of the other stones were implanted. They grew in, like a baby’s teeth. I noticed the first bumps soon after our incident at the hotsprings. One on each arm came in at that time. The next one came in on the right arm right before our exploration of Candlemere. The third came in just after you slew Hargulka along with a second on other arm. A third one appears on occasion on the right arm, and disappears as well. I haven’t been able to work out the use of that either as of yet, although I think it actually has to do with the number of spells I cast on a daily basis. The more I cast, the less it appears.”

“I do not believe that they are a disease, but a manifestation of my capable powers. I have been growing in them quite rapidly since I started spending time with your company. I’m unaware of any pattern that they hold to or if there are any other cases. I have Thassalonian ancestry, so it is possible that there might be some clues in ancient documents, documents I could not hope to possess without the aid of the Pathfinder Society.”

“Well then, we’ll have to get you that aid.” Thaddeus said decisively. “I hope that your friend can help. If not, we’ll search elsewhere. I don’t think this mystery will be beyond us,” he said with a grin.

“It sounds as if the Pathfinders are by nature... unconcerned with good and evil. While you can vouch for your friend, I’m not as certain about whoever else may join and bring trouble into our kingdom. I sincerly hope that your comrade has an excellent judge of character and can avoid bringing trouble with them.

“If a lodge does form... will he be in charge of it, or will he be more of a member?”

“He would become what they would call the Venture-captain. He would be in charge of the particular chapter, but he would receive orders from his faction. Even though there are limitations on the Society as a whole to come to moral good, the faction with which he is engaged is known for it’s benevolence and has a number of paladins in his company. Other factions lean less toward the upper planes, but there are few members that are specifically evil. The Society as a whole is rather interested in releasing information instead of hoarding it, and that does keep the unsavories out.

Thaddeus nodded. “The man’s company speaks well for him.” Personally, he wasn’t sure what kind of friction having a group like this could cause Novastasia. They sounded fairly independent, though his recent encounters with Mivon was beginning to open his eyes to just how prickly these people could be.

“Send for him, let’s see what we can find out.”

“I’ll draft you a letter if it meets with your approval, I can send it out by morning tomorrow.” He had just found out that there was another lodge in Daggermark and would try the new avenue of sending a letter through that office to see if it got to Astarton in time. He bowed stiffly and walked out of the chamber.

As the sun had already set, the castle was dark as he made his way to his tower. Once he reached the safety of his chamber, he instinctively relaxed and began rubbing the stones on his arms. They did concern him a bit, and he would receive more information about them from Astarton and the Pathfinder Society, but the main reason he was concerned is that Sarala wouldn’t like them. He felt ashamed that his power had required him to awaken the arcane blood within him and he couldn’t have just been a wizard like his mother. He could have been more potent with less effort and his body wouldn’t be reacting to the magic this way.

He gritted his teeth as he sat down in his chair, pouring himself a glass of water and flavoring it to that of his favorite camomile tea. The calming effect was purely psychological, but it did do what he intended. He pulled a random book off of his shelf and studied it intently to help clear his mind, or at least distract it. It was best not to think of the things he could not change now. Forward was the only direction that mattered.
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Eddick the Steady (XIV)

Posts : 558
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The Letter

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:57 pm

To: Ollysta Zadrian, Paladin of Sarenrae and founder of the Silver Crusade, Member in HIgh Standing of the Pathfinder Society ℅ Temple of the Shining Star, Absolom, Isle of Kortos

Exalted one,

However presumptuous of me to do so, I feel that fate and lack of information have caused me to make a personal request of you.  Astarton Columbridge, your humble servant, has been exchanging letters with me for nearly five years since we had met during one of his missions.  Unfortunately, I have not heard from Mr. Columbridge in over a year.  Sometimes he is delayed for several months in returning my missives, but this is by far the longest it has been.  I fear for his safety.  If you would so please to have one of your people contact me with any information concerning him, I would be most grateful.

Having been acquainted with the Society through my friend Astarton Columbridge, I have entreated my king, the Honorable Thaddeus Medvyed, also a Paladin of Sarenrae, that he should consider a Pathfinder Lodge here in our new country founded in the river kingdoms called Novastasia.  He has conferred upon me the title of Magister, and I am in charge of educating the people.  We have been so far a year since our founding and are growing with a rapid pace.  The obvious benefits of having a lodge here need not be enumerated to you.  We would welcome a representative to speak with my king on this matter.

Normally I would insist on the sending of Astarton, but upon his unavailability another representative would be adequate, preferably someone of the Sarenrae faith as they would have a sympathetic ear from my king.  

I keep this short in respect to your valuable time,

Lord Zaistrun Garess,
Magister, Kingdom of Novastasia
River Kingdoms
6th of Arodus, 4711
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Eddick the Steady (XIV)

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The Reply

Post  The Sub-Creator on Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:00 pm

Lord Magister,

To inquire about the welfare of a friend, regardless of presumption, requires no excuses or apologies. Were Astarton in Absalom, I am certain he would find great solace in your devotion to his safety.

Sadly, a year and longer has passed since our mutual friend has graced the Grand Lodge with his presence. In Desnus 4710, Astarton discovered a lead in a series of ancient texts he had been reviewing for cataloging that spurred him to Garund. While that lead eventually led to a dead end, the wondrous discovery of an ancient city of legend within the Mwangi Expanse diverted his attention from returning to Absalom. To the best of my knowledge, he remains there still a party to those efforts.

As to your request, I will notify Steward Valsin of your interest in establishing a lodge within your growing kingdom personally. The Pathfinders ever seek to identify locations amiable to their search for knowledge, and, as your written missive accentuates, I believe King Thaddeus Medvyed and yourself would support such endeavors in and around Novastasia. I shall also report your recommendation that one faithful to Sarenrae be dispatched as envoy for this matter.

The Dawn Bring New Light to Novastasia,

Lady Ollysta Zadrian
Paladin of Sarenrae
Temple of the Shining Star, Absalom
7th Rova, 4711

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This is my word, and, as such, is beyond contestation.

The Sub-Creator

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