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Tea for Two at Ten

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Tea for Two at Ten

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:01 am

It was a wonder there wasn't a groove in the floor in that particular line. There was no good place for circular pacing in the tower where Zaistrun slept, and so he went forth and back, between the mirror and the opposite wall, across the Kelish rug, scuffing it unnecessarily with his black boots.

Sleep might not be an option this night. He wanted to talk to someone, but he did not wish for his brother to listen. If he could figure out a way to do just that. And then the answer really came to him. It had been too long since he had tea. So that was just what he needed. Perhaps some herbal concoction for a better rest. With them being gone for so long, and Wynn on some errand before that, it was either have tea tonight, or risk missing out for another month perhaps.

The door closed behind him quietly as he went down the hall, barefoot. He rarely traveled barefoot, and he winced at the chill of the stone on his way. He didn't like being exposed, it was unbecoming, but he also knew that when he walked his boots would tell people exactly where he was going and what he was doing. He also didn't want to spirit himself directly into a lady's chambers, as it wouldn't be good for much of anything at that point. So, dressed in invisibility as to not alert the guards, he tried to keep his feet from slapping the stone too hard all the way over to Wynn's tower residence.

As he reached over to the door to knock, he heard a quiet musical voice instructing him to enter. And with a tight pull at the corner of his mouth, that was exactly what he did.
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:20 pm

The room was engulfed in darkness but for the dim, orange glow of old coals in the hearth. Scents of myrr, sandlewood and spikenard, along with less definable and even more exotic spices, filtered soothingly through the air of the chamber and reached out toward the young Magister with an enticingly fragrant caress.

"I am glad you have come Lord Garess," an equally enticing and familiar voice intoned. "It has been far too long."

The source of the voice came from the corner farthest from the door, where one whose eyes were not as acute in the darkness could see the outline of a wardrobe in the faint light. Just before it stood a woman with her back to the door as she slid a silken dressing gown up over her opalescent shoulders.

Two orbs of glowing indigo turned to peer in his direction from over one of those shoulders, and then narrowed slightly as if being accompanied by a smile. The woman cinched the gown tightly about her waist before turning fully to address her friend.

"Please, have a seat," she motioned to the mismatched chairs sitting before the fire. One a worn, overstuffed arm chair, and the other a serviceable wooden seat with an arching back that was pulled over earlier in anticipation of his arrival, from her writing desk. "I only just set the kettle on the coals so it may be another moment or two before the water is ready."

One by one candles sparked to life throughout the humble little room, illuminating a stone staircase leading to the rooftop and a single window facing westward to look out over the dark waters of the lake. Above the fireplace hung an impressively ornate and impressively empty picture frame in gold and silver filigree. The bottle that once stood on the mantle was gone now after her last visit to Silverhall, though the small note in angelic script still remained, accompanied by a menagerie of tiny figurines dancing atop the gray stone. Two of the larger ones were immediately recognizable as silver ravens.

A simple desk stood against the north wall, stained from years of errant ink and wax droplets, and cluttered unbecomingly with scattered parchments, ink wells in various stages of fill and quills of all types resting in an open, wooden coffer at the back. The bed, or what could be supposed as such, was little more than a narrow wooden frame beneath the window, its linens having been stripped off and moved elsewhere for reasons unknown.

Above him, in the center of the room, all the planets in the solar system hung upon rotating metal rods, at the moment motionless in their proper orbits. The orbs of Kirya, painted in likeness of each of the planets, had once belonged to the orrery within the crashed Lirgen vessel that Matsuro Shi had discovered back in Rova. Now defunct without their source of power, they served as a decorative reminder of her purpose and the threat posed by the Cult.

The final candle to be cast alight, illuminated the aasimar herself as she attentively prepared the china tea settings on a small table at the edge of the room. The dressing gown she'd donned was strikingly scarlet in color, cut in the eastern tradition with a large embroidered, golden phoenix whose long, feathered tail spanned out to the train of the gown, with the neck and head curling down over her left shoulder where its golden beak functioned as a clasp near the neck. Her hair was loose and fell in inky waves past her shoulders, framing the mysterious symbols blazing like starlight on either side of her face. For all that she appeared human during the day, that pretense of humanity was shrugged off like an ill-fitting cloak under the stars, when Wynnsaren could simply be herself without fear of repercussion among her friends.

"To what do I owe the pleasure this evening, my dear," she asked, smiling over to where she sensed her invisible guest to be as she spooned a precise amount of herbs into each cup.

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:10 pm

The sorcerer averted his eyes when he perceived the lady wasn't completely dressed. Seeing that she knew he was coming due to the tea being made at this time of night as well as the call to enter before he knocked, he believed the act of robing in front of him was deliberate. It was likely some kind of test, no, that was not how she did things. She always dressed a bit provocatively, so perhaps she was a bit of a show off and tease, especially when her glyphs were showing. Zaistrun understood desiring to show off a bit as well, but he was hardly in a playful mood. Friends required more forced himself into a polite posture and released the invisibility.

"Good evening, madame. I hope the timing of my visit was not inconvenient for you. I've had a visitor lately that has unnerved me a fair amount, and I wish to settle my nerves expediently. I realized in the midst of my discomfort I have not seen you recently due to travel on both our parts. Therefore my coming to you is both practical and sentimental." He crossed the room wishing he had his boots to accent his travel now but consigning himself to simply towering over her as he neared. He had put on several inches since they had met, but she was always the same.

He sat in the serviceable chair next to the fireplace and let his eyes wander about her room. There had been a few adjustments to her decor since he had been in here last. "I must say, you surely have come to display your particularities well in this room. I find it far more suitable than the crowded shops we have found you in before."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:17 pm

Wynnsaren laughed lightly as she picked up the tea settings and moved them to a tray.

"I thank you for the compliment, Magister, but in truth the trinket shop was the display. . .my facade in New Stetvan. This? This is for myself alone. I do not normally entertain guests in my quarters in spite of what rumors you may have heard that told otherwise. You are the first since I awoke from my last vision as a matter of fact."

She brought the tray over and rested it carefully between their chairs. Only then did she noticed that curiously he wore no shoes. Invisibility and no shoes? Wynn wondered whose reputation he was trying to protect. . . She chose to believe that it was both of theirs.

"Please do forgive the state of the place," she frowned, wishing she had more comfort to provide him. "I was given precious little foreknowledge of your arrival this time and you moved more swiftly than I might have guessed. As a man with great purpose, or as you say, driven by troubling thoughts."

Retrieving a blanket from a drawer of the wardrobe she walked over to the sorcerer and laid it gently upon his lap.

"Allow me."

She knelt down to tuck the blanket under his feet for warmth and then sat in the old, worn chair that had served her well for so many years.

"Now then, my friend," Wynn smiled warmly as she crossed her legs and pulled the silk over to cover the white cotton night shift that was peeking from beneath. "I will not tell you where to begin but I have found that troubling thoughts are best shared with a cup of tea in hand, so until the water is steaming perhaps we can start with something of a lighter fare."

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu May 01, 2014 7:42 am

He waved off any condemnation of the state of her abode as someone who was warding off a bad smell. It truly mattered not that it was only slightly cluttered. Although he kept his own immaculate through a combination of magic and diligence, he surmised that her bad eyesight would make it easier to put up with disorder as it simply could be ignored. Not that he required the same fastidiousness from others that he required of himself anyway, but he had given up on such aspirations. There were battles that were much easier and more worth fighting.

"Thank you" he intoned as she brought the blanket over. She had noticed his bootless feet and had decided to take care of him. How very like a mother. As she did her service, he was awash with family talk on the tip of his tongue when she suggested against it. The notion left him a little staggered as his eyes roamed again for some inane topic to bring up. He spotted the solar system above him and decided to use that.

"I see you have used the planets from our trip to Iobaria. It really is too bad we had to destroy the orrey. I would have much preferred to keep the thing intact. It was a wonder of an item. Not quite as wonderful as that orb you let me view on the way, but still a marvelous piece that I wished that I could have studied longer when it was in working condition. At least there are some aesthetic properties left. Unfortunately, I'd also wished we destroyed that spacefaring glop that caused us such trouble. I'm sure it won't be the last time we will see that." He paused for a moment. "Ah, that wasn't terribly light after all. I apologize."

He tried a different approach. "Have you been down to see the new cathedral yet? The king is quite proud. To be honest, I haven't. After the cathedral was done, I received an influx of workers to construct the academy that I've been preparing for. I have found one of every kind of arcane caster, although I would have liked to find a proper alchemist. Sir Paido, whom I have in the interim, is a man of many talents, but not truly a master of the sort that I wish for the students that attend. I have hopes that I would be able to gain one before too long." That topic seemed to calm him a bit and as such he was pleased that he had brought it up. It was likely more along the lines of the type of conversation she was expecting. His excursions with Sarala were definitely helping his small talk skills.
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu May 01, 2014 10:17 am

"I have seen the cathedral as a matter of fact," Wynnsaren nodded. "King Thaddeus gave me the tour, though in truth I was able to see the grander scope of it come evening time. A great soaring structure that seems to gather and reflect the light at twice the brightness." A tiny, painful wince accompanied the words as she remembered the lesson learned to stay away from that section of the city when the sun was high. "He should be proud for you can see his hand in nearly every detail."

Friendly eyes flashed over to meet his before they slid once more toward the coals in the hearth. "There is no doubt your academy will be equally as impressive, Zaistrun. I do hope that when the time comes and it is completed, that you might find the occasion to give me a tour yourself!

"On that subject," the aasimar began curiously, "do you still intend to build the school on Candlemere Isle? There were a number of ancient structures and writings that might be worth salvaging if possible."

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 7:32 am

Zaistrun took a sidelong glance at the warming teapot. "Alas, Candlemere is but a fading dream. Had we claimed it earlier than our peace accord with Mivon, I would have asked we move the capitol there. It's very strategic and beautiful. The pathfinders have no doubt by now found their way over there and are busy at work deciphering the texts.

"No, the academy will be here, and it won't necessarily be an architectural wonder but it will be more functional than anything. The library is unnecessarily crowded with students and it will be nice to have a bit more space. We are already getting to where I wonder if the new space will be adequate for long. At some point we may wish to make a separate academy for mundane learning and economic studies." He began sinking into the conversation a bit, gaining rapidity in his speech.

"We will also be able to field an army quite soon, which will help our more traditional troops. The king keeps unnecessarily degrading the idea as preposterous, but I'm beginning to believe that he often is using a brand of sarcasm in a poor attempt of humor. There is an empty barracks I wish to make use of to do some maneuvers and to house some of the advanced students as long as they engage in surveillance, support and military maneuvers. I would eventually like to fill a third of our professional troops with magically trained personnel to give us an edge in combat. Unique troops do tend to do well as long as they are well trained, and it should be useful to us to promote such things."

"The Sootscale tribe has distinguished itself along with it's charismatic military leader Kaalib. Being also a potent sorcerer, he keeps them quite well disciplined and confident..." He trailed off at this point. Realizing at this point talking about war tactics might be making his hostess a bit uncomfortable, he decided to change the subject yet again.

"How is that tea coming along after all?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 10:09 am

A wide smile crept across Wynnsaren's lips and she resisted the urge to laugh aloud at the plaintive and slightly distressed look on the face of the handsome young sorcerer as he posed the question.

"You flit from topic to topic like a ravenous hummingbird, my dear friend." Chuckling affectionately, she reached over to pat his hand. "I must admit however, that you are making wonderful strides in the art."

With a glance toward the kettle which had not yet begun even to simmer, she sighed slightly.

"Now, I had hoped to give you a chance to find a place of calm before discussing what is clearly troubling you deeply, but it seems I was mistaken in the attempt. Please go on and tell me of the burden that brought you to my door this night. As it is, a watched pot never boils, so I believe that our tea should be ready sooner if you begin your tale."

The aasimar leaned gently on the armrest as she turned her body towards him in the chair, giving him her full attention.

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 10:20 am

"I have had practice as of late. I have had several social evenings with a particular noblewoman that has stretched me in my conversational style. I can also say I have thoroughly enjoyed every one, even though I have been uncomfortable in the midst of them. The what has made me distressed is another social call I had this very evening..."

He paused, gathering his thoughts and then looked about the room. His hand went over to his scroll cases and his vestment glowed for a second. He seemed to scour the room slightly before continuing. "I saw my brother today and he had been looking in on me from time to time. He knew certain things I had revealed to very few people, so he is either scrying me or he has some other means of being able to listen in on me."

He took a deep breath and shook his head in resignation. "I hate being at a disadvantage, especially to my family. Zander left when he was still quite young, and he was always intelligent and quiet, which can be a very dangerous combination. Today he is still an enigma, although he wishes to reconnect with me. I know what he told me, but I don't know why. I don't think I can trust him, but I really want to trust him. Out of all my brothers, he's the only one who treated me with a modicum of respect. He still is, in a way."

The young sorcerer brought his hands to his face and leaned his cheeks into them. "I'm not even sure where to start with him. I don't know if I can trust him. I have missed him and so I want to trust him. But he wants me to go with him, and I, deep down, I want to go."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 10:29 am

"Your brother. . ." Wynn murmured with wide, luminescent eyes as she took a moment to recover from her shock at this news. "Zander is here in Akiros? Well that certainly explains your disquiet this evening."

Concern rapidly began percolating in her mind. Over the past few years, Zaistrun divulged bits and pieces of his family history, and considering their cruelty and the dark magics that some of them pursued, the oracle in her almost immediately feared that this could be a great stumbling block to his (and her!) purpose in the Stolen Lands.

She swallowed her anxiety and reminded herself that this could instead be a boon. It was best not to jump to any conclusions just yet.

"Of course you want to trust him, Zaistrun, there is no shame in that. He is your brother after all and such ties are not easily broken. Why did he tell you that he wanted to reconnect, if I may ask? And where does he want you to go?"

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 10:39 am

Zaistrun leaned back in his chair, sort of wishing he had taken the overstuffed one. "I wouldn't say he is here in Akiros. It would be more accurate to say that he can be here when he wants to be here. I'm sure you understand." He also was fighting the impulse to magically encourage the teapot to heat faster, but he fought against the impatience building within him.

"He wants me to leave this place and go with him on a grand adventure. To discover the roots of our bloodline and discover for ourselves the working out of our destiny. My mother's side has been interested for generations on discovering the lost power of Thassilon. When I was a child, mother had groomed me for leadership but grew tired of me when I had little wizarding talent. But now my brother is promising me everything I thought I had lost. It seems too great of an opportunity to miss."

"What would you do to be reunited with people who you thought were lost to you? Would you discover more about where you came from and who your family is? And if that opportunity came out of the blue like it has? The whole thing sounds like a scam though, which is really disheartening."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 12:50 pm

The aasimar, who had decades of experience in dealing with rapidly changing situations, had fully regained her calm at this point though concern still remained.

"You pose an interesting question, my lord," she considered as she nibbled at her lower lip. "If my gnomish father were to visit me here at this very moment to tell me that he wanted me to go with him to uncover information on my parents, my true heritage and the power that lies within, I would indeed be tempted. It is easy to see from where you are coming.

"However, I could not leave my purpose here prior to its completion, could I? A purpose that Fate has seen fit to bestow upon me? Such knowledge that has remained hidden from me for so long, could wait a bit longer until tasks of more far-reaching import were accomplished."

She wished to lay a comforting hand on his arm but decided that this would simply create the opposite effect in this severe young man. Instead, after a moment of stillness, Wynn rose from her chair and went to the hearth to stoke the coals beneath the kettle that had begun steaming. Kneeling before the embers, she spoke again gently, weighting her words carefully, for she understood this to be an important moment in his life whatever the decision.

"Hmm. Allow me first to frame my thoughts," she began. "What you are building in this place is a legacy, Zaistrun. Your legacy. The kingdom, the academy. . . Do you believe that these things could be accomplished as effectively without your influence? This academy that you are so close to bringing into tangible life, will stand as a testament to your power, hard work, dedication to the study of magic and your openness to all types of practitioners, whether their power comes from study or from blood. This dream is unique and I pray that it will be realized.

"Now, I know you love what has been built here. I know you love your students and your work. I know you love Sarala."

At this Wynnsaren turned and rose, carrying the hot kettle by the handle with a thick square of folded cloth. She looked him directly in the eyes before moving forward to fill their cups. The herbs swirled in the steaming water and began to release a lovely lemony fragrance as they stained the liquid a honey-brown hue.

"Let me speak plainly to you, my friend, for you are a man who appreciates the bottom line." After pouring their tea, she set the kettle on the side of the hearth and returned to her cushioned seat. "If you abandon your work here at this time and leave the remnant of Matsuro Shi to their own devices, not only will they fall, but Novastasia will be destroyed. Everything you have built, everything you have worked so hard for over these last years will amount to naught. Your legacy will be little more than ash."

The aasimar stirred the herbs in her teacup with a tiny spoon, giving the words a moment to take full effect.

"I have no desire to begrudge you the opportunity to reunite with a brother after so long. How could I not understand such a desire? But. . . if he truly wishes to reconnect with you than let him do so first on your terms. When the time comes and your Fate here in the Stolen Lands has reached its conclusion than go with him on this grand adventure, and you can do so with not only the title of hero, but the title of defender and deliverer of all of Avistan!

"Assuredly I do not overstate," Wynn emphasized with a single arched brow. "If Zander is honest in his desire than he will understand and he will wait. My feeling on the matter is that you have the opportunity to do both. If you choose to stay, you can have it all. If you choose to leave, all will be lost."

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Re: Tea for Two at Ten

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 1:45 pm

"Fate is a funny thing. It misrepresents itself sometimes. You have no idea until it's done before you know exactly what it is. Sometimes one has to experience something before it's fated to be so. Are you so certain that I'm one of these 'Matsuro Shi'? What happens if I die, can another take my place?" Zaistrun picked up his cup, swirling the plant particles around with a gentle swirl.

"You have the right of it though. I do like my life here. I am finding ways to fulfill my ambitions. Although in all these things I built, I've also built them so I would not be needed for them to continue. I have a backup Magister ready to take over my position at any time. I have a headmaster at the Academy that can take my place. I even have another engineer who can finish my research for Cascada. My gardener and the brewery can take over the orchard and winery I have set up."

Taking his cup the sorcerer blew some of the steam off the top of his tea, He brought it to his lips and drank the hot liquid quickly, slightly scalding his throat as it went down. He reached over as he opened his mouth, gasping quitely to allow the cool night air in to bring relief and poured himself some more tea. "But there is one thing I do that cannot be replaced. Who will love Sarala like I do? Who will be worthy enough for her?"

He turned his eyes over to his stern companion and gave her what he felt might be taken as a reassuring smile. "I'm not going anywhere as of yet. There are other things to consider." He took a slight sip of the liquid in his cup, savoring it's flavor. Thinking for a moment before divulging more of his thoughts.

"Is my brother's offer genuine? I have no proof other than his word to believe so. Is he in his right mind, or of sound judgement? Again, no proof. He wants me to go with him to restore Thassilon and rule it, but from the other side of his mouth he condemns and disparages all my efforts. I left that house to make my own way, and I will make it. If he wishes to come with me, that's another story. But for me to drop all that I've accomplished to chase some passing dream of something that would prevent me from my own ambitions, now that's asking a lot. And he hasn't really given me very much to go on."

The sorcerer looked up at the hanging decorations of the oracle's room. "There's a matter of the mystery in Silverholm, but I cannot foresee there being anything there that will change my mind. At least until we deal with this nameless evil you speak of. I'm sure you know more than you let on about that, but what I know is this. You expect the four of us from the original charter to be the hope for this region from the evil from above. I have no such promise from my brother, and yes, when I am done here I should be able to accomplish anything that I would like."

"And I intend to." He said "This is just the beginning of my plans."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 2:02 pm

The hubris of this man was truly staggering, Wynnsaren thought as she watched him over the rim of her teacup. While such pride drove him to accomplish great and wonderful things, it might also lead to his downfall. She bore this concern for her friend, for she saw that it was a fine line that he walked and feared that his desire for power may overshadow all else in his life. This mysterious dark god that had somehow taken root in her mind, made all sort of promises of rewards, of power and strength, and Wynn had every confidence that it could deliver that but she resisted for she wasn't willing to accept the cost. The aasimar had chosen a righteous path and she would not depart from it, but what decision might Zaistrun make if presented with such a choice? Concerning that question, she feared to know the answer.

For years now she'd been proclaiming the coming Darkness, divulging everything she knew -- everything she could put into words, regarding the visions she'd had to help them prepare. Still he doubted her understanding of her own purpose! Still he downplayed what was looming! All of her prophecies had thus far come true, the meteor, the symbol, the horrors of Candlemere Isle, Kirya. . .even the Herald had fought them briefly before flying off carrying news. If he was not yet convinced by all of that, than no additional words from her would be effective. He would come to believe. One way or another. . .

At least it sounded, for now, that Zaistrun intended to stay the course, so Wynn chose to let that victory stand without muddying the waters with correction or clarification.

"Zander is the youngest brother. . ." she thought aloud at a triggered memory. "Your mother took Zander with her when she left, did she not? Is he still traveling with her?"

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 2:06 pm

"Really?" The sorcerer intoned with an arched eyebrow. "That's your question?" He took another sip of his tea while pondering her response. "I'm sorry for baiting you, I suppose. Next time I'll ask you directly."

"Zander is my younger brother, and yes, he did leave with Mother. Since he had the mind for wizardry, he was useful to her at that time. Now? He approached me on his own. He said that mother had gotten herself in over her head, and so he came for me. If that's true, he must have a higher opinion of me, or at least my potential than mother's. If it's not true, it's assuredly a trap. The likeliness of me being captured for breeding purposes is pretty high. Mother ran away from her family for a reason." He took another sip of the tea, allowing it's calming effect spread through his body.

"If mother were over her head, I know for a certainty I have not surpassed her yet. It was a long time ago, but I know for sure that she was able to cast several spells of the sixth circle, and I have only one available from the fifth. Staying here and continuing to develop my strength is the optimal strategy if following my brother were a good thing to do. I'm not even convinced of that." Another sip was taken.

"I am convinced of the threat you speak of. But I know little about it. I have been able to somewhat guide my directions as far as spells are concerned. If I knew more of what we were dealing with, I might be able to be better prepared for what might be coming. Is there anything you can tell me about what we are dealing with?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 2:49 pm

"Forgive me if I did not move to change topic so quickly, my friend, but my mind is still processing the ramifications of your family showing interest in your whereabouts."

Wynnsaren drained the last of her tea and began pouring herself another cup.

"You have told me stories of your brothers and mother in particular. Precious few of them were told in a positive light, so I find myself quite concerned for your well being should they have designs upon your person, you understand.

"But if you wish to move on from this, than so we shall," she conceded with a nod of her head as she stirred a teaspoon full of crushed lemon balm into her water.

"I am relieved to hear that you believe my prophecies about this looming Shadow to be true. Very relieved. . . You must understand, however, that I have not, nor will not hold anything back from you or the rest of Matsuro Shi regarding this matter, for in this case as in occasional others in my experience, it would be counter productive both to my purpose and to your mission.

"As the gods see fit to provide me with more information regarding this threat, than you can rest assured that I will pass it on to you post haste, because as you say, you will need to be prepared for what is coming. I cannot tell you precisely what it is that comes," she grimaced, clearly regretful of the fact. "My visions only give me a sense. A sense of foreboding, of darkness, of unfathomable power and of ancient intelligence that leaves madness in its wake.

"This is not much to go on yet I realize, but I take solace in knowing that we receive more clues every time we thwart one of these objectives to which I am given prescience. To help prepare, we might analyze the encounters we have so far experienced. For instance, from the plant creature found within the meteor on the first day I met you, to the herald, or glop, that escaped back in Kirya, there seems to be a strong thread of madness running through them. It might behoove us to prepare for this type of mental attack."

Wynn sighed and ran her fingers through her dark hair.

"I have developed a habit of visiting the Lirgen every other day when I am in town. Their cells protect them as well as us, and it is a good thing, for they are as feral as the day we met them. The madness they were struck with. . . Those polluted dream crystals, have taken such hold of their minds that there is nothing that can currently be done to cure them. Currently," she emphasized with a tiny smirk. "I believe there is yet hope for them and will continue to work on their behalf, for in spite of the vast differences between us, I feel a sort of kinship with the beliefs of their people."

She shook her head sadly before taking a sip of her tea.

"Now then, you were saying something about plans for the future?" Wynn urged him on a bit sheepishly, feeling as if she'd rudely kept him on topic. "I remember you mentioned to me once that you would like to travel both on this world and beyond!"

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Zaistrun Garess

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 2:52 pm

Zaistrun looked at Wynn with a touch of what could be considered concern. "I can now see why you might be more interested in my family if the only ones you feel kinship with are insane. I can't currently do anything with my family at this time either. If we wait, perhaps we will be strong enough to assist them in the best possible ways."

He turned his head in a pensive manner. "Travel, yes. There are many places I would like to visit. It's important to go to new places to expand the mind. You meet new peoples and creatures that think very differently than you do. It is often more enlightening than spending a few years in a dark hole. I actually know that from experience." The magister finished his second cup of tea. "You have traveled a great deal from my recollection. Do you have desires to travel yet?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 2:56 pm

Grinning, Wynnsaren set down her cup and folded her arms, resting her hands inside the opposite sleeves of her silk dressing robe.

"Not just yet," she replied with a playful smirk. "Not since I have discovered a certain kinship with many people of this city. Many in this very castle in fact!"

The aasimar chuckled and sat more deeply in the overstuffed chair, raising her softly glowing eyes to the empty frame above the hearth.

"In all honesty, Zaistrun, I do desire to travel. I desire it very much. Not just to be shunted about you understand, but to experience a long journey again. I do feel grateful to all of you for giving me the position of Ambassador that allows me to visit new nations, for I agree heartily with what you say, that seeing new places and meeting new people is an enlightening experience.

"In fact," she turned her face toward the Magister, "I hope to soon pay a visit to the Mwangi Expanse. . . as soon as I am able to find enough valuable information to purchase my round trip through the Pathfinders that is, since I hardly have the time to make the journey by more conventional means.

"Onora has told me about a Pathfinder group based in Nantambu that may be able to tell me more information about the orb. I am eager to learn what I can. Also, I would be happy to inquire after Asterton if you have not heard from him by then. I truly would like to meet the man after all you have told me about him!"

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 3:02 pm

"Give me a couple weeks and I'll take you." He said quickly with no hesitation. "I have finally mastered the fifth circle, and with the right scrolls, we could get there. Of course, they are scrolls that I either have or will have soon, and with my vestments, I can reuse them. It would take a few days and teleport by scrying is a bit unreliable, but I not only could do it, but I want to. I'm interested in finding out more about that orb of yours as well. I'll also want to take a quick detour to Savith Ye of course, but I'm sure that I could spare the time to see that friend of mine that hasn't written me in almost three years. If he is still alive, he will need a slight bruising. It will have to be only slight because I have just now realized that I have had the means to contact him for a couple weeks and have not yet thought to have done so." He gave a slight smirk at that before moving on.

"I know a couple people by reputation and correspondence in Absalom. We can make it there without too much trouble, I should think. After that we can offer a trade. We simply find someone who is from where we want to go, read their surface thoughts, picture the place and go. Or we can send magical message to someone they know and scry the area. In exchange we can offer passage or delivery of a small amount of goods. I'm sure you could find and talk someone into that, I could as well, but it would take longer. I am not as refined in the conversational arts."

"Besides the thought of you having to purchase transport from the pathfinders sickens me. They are gouging me on some information that I wanted to explore the capabilities of my Ioun Stones. They've been holding a monopoly on the information against me for years, but Astarton was a bit more lenient with me because he is my friend. They actually made me sign a contract! As if my word was not good enough for them. Now that I have what I need for research purposes, I should be able to make greater use of the stones I have, but it will take research. Once the Academy is finished, I should have the resources I need to be able to do that. But the construction keeps getting delayed, so until that happens I still have some time to take you." He paused for a moment, as if a new idea struck him. "Of course, if you are willing to let me take you that is."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Tue May 27, 2014 7:10 pm

"Yes!" Wynnsaren exclaimed, barely restraining herself from vaulting out of her chair in excitement. "Yes that would be wonderful! I have precious little monetary resources left after my last dealings with the Pathfinders and frankly I loathe the idea of giving them aught else, whether that be gold or information. I understand they have a job to do as well, but my goodness. . ."

She shook head incredulously before her expression morphed into one almost child-like in its glowing enthusiasm.

"Oh this will be just perfect! Not only would I very much enjoy some company on the trip, but you know vastly more about arcane matters than do I so undoubtedly you could help me make sense of such information that may be garnered.

"And Savinth-Ye? That is the lost city, yes? It would be delightful to see it and hear the stars from that region of the world! Remarkable! We could not stay long though, you understand. . . But a few days perhaps. A few days in the jungle, yes I think that would be quite lovely!"

Remaining in her seat, and not leaping to her feet and pirouetting about the room was becoming more difficult by the second, but Wynnsaren attempted to maintain some measure of decorum. Still, she fidgeted terribly as she added, "For this, Zaistrun, I would find myself in your debt."

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 27, 2014 8:42 pm

"Debt?" The sorcerer arched an eyebrow. "Thad has worked up quite a bill then. I suppose I get even with condescension. I use all my collateral with Sarala to spend time with her. How would Wynnsaren pay me back?" He smiled a crooked smile.

"Do not worry yourself. It is hardly an imposition for me. I get what I want through the journey itself. I also get to use diplomacy as an official excuse to start testing some of my subordinates to see how they fare in an extended absence." He finished his second cup and thought better of a third. "I am still a bit unsure as to my newer faculty members. Sarala has given them approval for work but I do not have significant experience with them yet. They are all doing regular classes already. When we do the tour of the new facility, I'll be happy to introduce you."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed May 28, 2014 2:27 pm

"I would enjoy that very much," Wynn nodded in honest response.

"But as to the subject of debts. . . It is difficult for me to tell if you are merely joking, Zaistrun, but I am concerned with your attitude toward His Majesty. Surely you understand that King Thaddeus owes us nothing in return for our services, whatever he might require, for he is the king. A position to which you all agreed he should be elevated. We have pledged our loyalty to him as ruler of Novastasia and he deserves to be treated as his position demands whatever your personal feelings for him.

"If I might add," she went on, "I remember a time not so long ago, when you discussed with me your concern that King Thaddeus was not giving you the respect that you are due. Now, I ask this as a friend who cares very much for you, Zaistrun. . . How can you expect to be treated with respect when you are disrespectful in return?"

The aasimar frowned, sadness dulling the luster of her eyes.

"I do not wish for there to be bad blood between the Fates. It would only serve to complicate matters that are already rife with difficulty."

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Wed May 28, 2014 4:40 pm

"We made him king because he was the better man. I take my cues from him." The sorcerer readjusted himself in his chair, sticking the soles of his feet toward the coals.

"From the start, I thought that his family was uncouth in their relations. I have grown to understand the underlying dishonesty of their playful banter and have sought to emulate it. Where my family has always kept their lies for flattery, the Medvyeds keep theirs for disregard. I would hope that my actions speak louder than my words in this. Words, I might add, that are kept to strict company. If one would question my subordinates, they would all affirm my loyalties and regard."

The magister looked over toward his forlorn companion with an equally grave expression. "If any of my older brothers were like him, I wouldn't have left home. But I believe he sees a bit too much kinship in me for his liking."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed May 28, 2014 11:26 pm

Wynnsaren was genuinely confused at this point.

"Wait, wait. . . You are telling me that the reason for your condescending attitude, private though you keep it," she added, pressing three fingers into a throbbing temple, "is due to your attempt to emulate the paladin-king's dishonesty?

"Granted, you have spent more time with him than have I, but I have never known King Thaddeus to be dishonest in his speech, actions or thought, though I cannot speak for any other of his siblings save Sarala, unless it is her to whom you refer? I never did meet either of his brothers. The elder, I have heard, is quite the distasteful sort . . . I find myself thankful that I have not had the displeasure of his acquaintance!"

The aasimar swallowed the dregs of her tea, setting the delicate cup onto the tray after finishing.

"What is it between you and His Majesty that causes such a strain?" She asked curiously. "You say he sees a similarity in you that he finds disagreeable?"

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Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Wed May 28, 2014 11:34 pm

Zaistrun put his hand up to his chin. "The king has mentioned to me the similarity between me and his brother. I believe that is the main reason why he is so disagreeable with many things I put forward. The fact that logic and Abadar both agree with me is also distasteful to him. I feel the king is dishonest with his negativity toward my actions and to my person as a kind of joke. I don't know how his goddess puts up with it but it seems she shares his humors." The look on Zaistrun's face made it plain that he did not.

"I can see no other reason why he would be so against many of the things I do in private, but in public he gives me leave to benefit the kingdom. That is why I degrade him in private but uphold him in public. But I am not certain of what reason he might have to have issue with me. I have served him most adequately for these few years, not to mention that I have saved his life on occasion, as he has mine."

The sorcerer crossed his bare feet in front of him, and then crossed them the other way. "Other than my assumption, I am not sure what it is that he has issue with me about. On my part, I suppose that I do not like the way he seems to take things concerning the kingdom in a flippant manner. And I suppose I wish that he would be more willing to make a decision when one needs to be made. He has quite a few more merits than flaws, and I do not believe that we would have gotten this far without him. I do know though, that if it were not for Sarala, I don't believe that I would have stayed with him this long, although I have seen the benefit in hindsight that I would not have foreseen. That's your department after all."
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