Tales of Amn **Hot Topic**

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  1. #21
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    Listless Vice skipped through a thick book with a dark brown cover before closing it with a loud smack and placing it a pile of books that was balancing on the small table next to her. This one wasn’t good either. Flashing her red eyes up to the shelf again she examined the rest of the books that were stored there. Most of them were clothed in a jacket of dust that must have taken at least a year to grow. With her finger raised she glided along the books until she found another title that captured her interest.

    Amn Saecla. (Races of Amn)

    Quickly she scanned the index and skipped past Elves, Dwarfs and Beastkin to find the pages about Inuiks. A frown appeared in her forehead as she read the content of the article. While reading she strolled backwards and kicked a chair back so that she could sit down on it. The chair was pretty dusty too, but Vice didn’t care about that now. She placed her legs on the table, unintentionally hitting the enormous pile of books that was still trying to stay balanced, making it fall over and land with a lot of noise on the ground.

    Hurriedly the owner of the dusty library came running to the noise. Even though he was an elf his face as bleak and bloated, his eyes small and watery, his back crooked like he was carrying a heavy loath. He clearly spent too much time in the pub.

    ‘Is everything all right m’am?’ His voice was weak, just like the man self.

    Irritated that she had been interrupted by her reading Vice looked up. Frightened under the glance of her red eyes, which seemed to glow up in the dusty and dark library, the man backed away slightly.

    ‘Yeah, yeah, fine.’ Vice waved the man away while turning back to her book. Sighing she flipped through the pages. She halted briefly by one of the pictures of the anatomy of an Inuik and examined how the wings were attached to the back.

    The man eyed her wearily, but didn’t move away. Maybe he was afraid to leave her with his books or perhaps he was just too scared to move. It was that Vice couldn’t enter the library without him otherwise she would just have forced the door open. But things weren’t always easy. This library held a spell over it that defended it against unwanted visitors. Without the owner Vice couldn’t deactivate this spell and would she find a closed door or maybe not even a door at all, she wasn’t sure. There were more libraries with this trait as it served for a good protection. Knowledge was dangerous, especially in the hands of those that did not quite understand it. The problem with this spell was only that if the owner died without naming an heir the library could get lost forever. The library in Nayru probably held another method.

    Turning more pages Vice halted briefly by a description of the merpeople, but the book didn’t seem to know much about them. That was a shame. Closing it with a smack resulted in a cloud of dust in her face. She sneezed, rubbed her nose and placed to book on the now empty table (the rest of the books were still on the ground). Then she stood up again and walked back to the shelf under the observing eyes of the owner.

    She knew that he probably tried to figure out what she was up to, but that he was to afraid to ask. It was clear that the library wasn’t that popular by the local people, perhaps because of the small collection of books or the fact that a more proper and bigger library was not too far away.

    She kneeled and looked on the lowest shelves. The books weren’t sorted by name or author or anything at all, which was very frustrating, but also had it good sides. When everything was a mess you most of the time found something you did not expect to see. Not that she expected that much in such a poor library, but, hey, if there was anything that Vice learned the last fifty years than it was that everything was possible. Yet it seemed that this trip had been a waste of her time. Sure, that last book was pretty decent, but the rest utterly failed to intrigue her.

    She rose back on her feet and looked over her shoulder to the man who was still considering his options: walking away or staying.

    ‘Say…’

    The man’s eyes shot towards her.

    Vice rolled her own eyes. ‘Is it safe to say that these are all the books in the library? You don’t have any others that are kept elsewhere or are borrowed at the moment?’

    The man thought about this for a moment. ‘There are two out at the moment.’ His creaky voice sounded hollow in the quiet room. ‘One of them being –‘

    ‘I found something.’

    The man’s sentence was cut short by a dark red fairy that had suddenly appeared above the man’s shoulder. The man, who wasn’t at all prepared for that, jumped up and scoffed to the side.

    ‘What did you find?’ Vice asked curious. Nyx was a rather solemn fairy that tended to sound a bit depressive. She wouldn’t comment on something unless it was worth commenting on. This was actually fine with Vice, who talked enough for the two of them most of the time.

    ‘ “Summoning from the Abyss” ’ Nyx was also always very straight to the point.

    Vice mouth fell open. ‘That can’t be true.’ She said. ‘There is no way that Voco e Vorago is here.’

    ‘I never said it was Voco e Vorago. I said it was called Summoning from the Abyss.’ Nyx floated over to Vice.

    ‘You are aware of the fact that the translation of Voco e Vorago is Summoning from the Abyss, yes?'

    ‘I am.’ Nyx stated. ‘But this is not Voco e Vorage. It is Summoning from the Abyss.’

    Vice sighed. Sometimes Nyx was even worse than she was when it came to being perky. ‘Show me.’

    ‘This way.’ Nyx spread her small wings and lead Vice to the back of the building. The man strolled after them. In the back was a door, hidden behind some piles of books.

    ‘Eh, that place is private, m’am.’ The man tried to comment.

    Vice shot a glance to him as Nyx hovered before a small hole in the door through which she had probably entered.

    ----

    Askari in the mean time did his best to find the main square. He had ended up paying for both his and Vice her drinks back at the tavern and he had the feeling that Vice had somehow made him pay those drinks without her being actually there. Slightly pissed now he strolled through the streets of Monark careful not to trip over stones again. He was sure that if he managed to fall again Vice would be there behind him and she would laugh. Loud.

    Now is it a fact that most Beastkin have a good sense of direction. Why this is, isn’t exactly knows. Most of the researchers stated that it was because of their beastlike appearance that made their instincts come out more.

    Askari is probably the only known exception to this trait. His direction skills were far below average which had let too many hilarious (from Vice’s side) and irritating (from Askari’s side) situations in the past. Askari knew that Vice knew that he had a bad sense of direction and he also knew that she knew that he knew that she knew that. It was irritating to say at least. She had left him alone in an unknown and (very) big city probably while knowing that he would get lost. Still she had done it. He was so going to kill her. He could hear her voice already:

    ‘You got lost? How? I told you exactly where you had to be.’

    And he could see her smirk already. He was so not going to let that happen.

    Still it happened.

    How it exactly happened was not clear, at least not to him, but the fact was that an hour later he still hadn’t found the main square and he was currently staring at a sloppy old road with sloppy old houses filled with sloppy old furniture if there was any furniture at all. The stone road had ended long ago.

    With a twitching brow he looked back to where he came from, but the view wasn’t different. How had he ended up here in the first place? He should have noticed that the stone road changed into a sandy one? Grunting he turned around and trudged back. If he just could revisit all the steps he had set than he should come by the same tavern from which he started, should he not?

    ‘Is something the matter, sir?’

    Quickly Askari turned to the side and his catlike eyes narrowed while they glided over a dark elf in sloppy old clothes. Arg! He thought irritated. Everything here is sloppy and old!

    ‘Actually yes, there is.’ He said turning to the elf unaware of the red eyes behind him. ‘You don’t happen to know where the main square is, do ya? I think I’m lo... lo...’ He cursed under his breath. Vice made him say this, it was all her fault. ‘I’m lost.’ He finished.

    The red eyes of the dark elf flickered. ‘I’m sure I can help you find your way.’ He said holding out a hand.

    Relieved Askari shook it. ‘Thanks, you don’t know how much that means to me. So, which way?’

    ‘Just follow me.’ The elf said still holding Askari’s hand as he pulled him towards an even small street. ‘I know a shortcut.’

    And eager Askari followed.
    Last edited by Fieryfly; 12-27-2010 at 04:41 PM.


    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir I exist."
    "However," replied the universe,
    "this hasn't created in me
    a sense of obligation."

  2. #22
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    Kinrai could feel a pair of eyes behind him, observing what he was doing for a moment. The moment was gone swiftly however, in fact the moment vanished as soon as Kinrai turned to see who the person was. He looked around but was only able to see the hall and the receptionist, who seemed to be busy browsing through a book.
    The library was eerily silent, there were only a few people inside. Not that it was surprising, a lot of people were spending time around the market area and getting ready to celebrate Moon Day. Kinrai turned back to face the shelf he had been studying, only to realize that he was in the wrong section.

    Kinrai: ”Hmm.. Umm.. Do you know where the maps are Issat?”
    Issat: ”Please wait a moment”
    Kinrai: ”Oh, hey I could've just ask-.. Oh well”

    Issat flew high and quickly browsed through the categories in the library with her eyes. Soon she found the map section, it was located on the third floor of the library.
    She descended back on Kinrai's shoulder and pointed him to the right direction. On the way to the spiraling staircase, Kinrai was able to spot a Moon elf having a conversation with a guard. There were two guards standing in front of a sealed room, this specific room was sealed during Moon Days. Kinrai didn't know the reason but it must've been something important.

    The Moon elf had an elegant air about her even though she was soaked in water. At least that was what Kinrai thought it was. She had a brilliant silver hair which was longer than Kinrai's. Her white dress had a few tears in it, they multiplied towards the bottom of the dress. It looked like she had tried to repair the dress slightly at some point however it was quite hard to cover such tears.
    The Moon elf seemed to have a keen interest on getting her hands on Voco e Vorago, a legendary book which was rumored to contain all the secrets of summoning. Kinrai himself didn't know much about it, after all it was pure legend.

    Issat: ”We should keep moving master. There's no point lingering in the first floor.”
    Kinrai: ”Huh? Oh, yes sorry.”

    Kinrai resumed his hunt for the map of Amn. Soon he reached the third floor where Issat pointed out that the maps were located in the corner, in a circular shaped room with shelves which served as its walls. The room wasn't separate from the library however, even though at first look it would seem like that.
    Kinrai walked through the short walkway and turned left from the intersection. Soon he arrived into the Map room and began immediately browsing through the shelves. Issat on the other hand flew around the room, as if observing it.

    The floor had a star with seven edges carved in it, also the star was placed within a circle. The pattern resembled that of a compass but without enough compass points in it. In the center of the room was a large table with a greenish surface. It's purpose was to serve a place for a map if someone wanted to study it.
    In the far side of the room, in it's only actual wall, was the whole map of Amn. It wasn't too specific however, there were only a few places mentioned in it such as Zenith and the Nihil Mountains. For some odd reason Riverna's name had been blurred out.

    Issat: ”Any luck master?”
    Kinrai: ”Not yet.. there are hundreds of maps here!”
    Issat: ”Are you in need of a specific map master?”
    Kinrai: ”Yes. A map which details every possible thing between Auburn and Monark.”
    Issat: ”Oh.. why do you need something so specific? If you don't mind me asking?”
    Kinrai: ”Well, I just want to make sure what the terrain is like.”
    Issat: ”Hmm.. I know this might sound ridiculous but doesn't your master know Valham the dragon? What if Valham could.. transport you to Monark?”
    Kinrai was silent for a while before replying.
    Kinrai: ”I could never ask him for something like that. Valham is a sacred beast and a guardian, not your local public transportation guy.”
    Issat: ”Ah, I apologize. Well, what if-”
    Kinrai: ”Please Issat, I'm trying to focus on finding that map now.”


    Transition to Nilak

    Falteer's match against the Draken had ended a moment ago. A new gladiator was about to make their entry, however Nilak wasn't going to watch that. Instead he finished his leafy tea and started observing the city. It wouldn't be that easy from his home though so he flew on top of the Elven Library in order to observe better.
    The market was still as cramped as a tuna can, and the noise it created almost rivaled the colosseum's noise. The dwarf salesman sang their arias all day long about the finest of their goods. It would only come to an end once the moons changed shape and the actual celebration started.

    Nilak looked up and noticed how one of the moons, Pent, was already slightly visible. It happened quite frequently though so it wasn't that big of a deal. There was still at least a few hours until evening would set in. A sudden outcry drew Nilak's attention to the market area.

    A Tainted one had appeared, most likely to steal something from the merchants. There was a lot of commotion over it, after all everyone were scared about the Tainted. At least everyone who didn't know any arts of magic or combat. There were two guards posted near the market area, they mobilized immediately after the outcry.

    The Tainted one wouldn't stand a chance against those two. Both of them wielded long spears and both had a large compound bow strapped on their back. The Tainted one rushed out of the market area and started heading towards the forest.
    One of the guards pulled a bow and shot a single arrow which hit the Tainted one's leg. He flew a few meters and landed on his stomach. The Tainted one wouldn't be able to run anymore, the arrow had ripped the legs muscles in half.
    One of the guards appeared in an instant next to the Tainted one, and before you could even realize it, decapitated the Tainted one. Then the guard immediately incinerated the body with fire magic so that only ash remained of the Tainted one.

    Thankfully none of the children saw the act. The guards were brutal and had no mercy to anyone who was considered a Tainted or a threat. The people soon resumed what they had been doing a moment ago.
    Nilak could only watch silently the aftermath.

  3. #23
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    -The Attorney of Death-

    There are often times in your lifetime when you become lost, found yourself with no sign to guide you, nor courage to take that first step. At such a time, the wisest strategy is to wait, and such is the strategy that Kien implemented as he stood in his lonesome upon the surface of what seemed to be a glowing sea of water. Kein remember trying to look into the water the first time he stepped in, when he snapped back to reality, he seemed to have gone blind for a good few second. After that, he never tried. Though right now, it seemed tempting, as he had been waiting here for a particularly long time. Possibly an illusion created by the early morning?

    He looked beside him, at Tania, who was enlarged to his height, standing with her arms crossed, looking from left to right. She lost her faerie glow, but her features are still the same. Her eyes still sharp, and long hair smoothly laid, with her left side tucked behind her ear. Her white silk dress flowed softly, despite there being no wind at all, and she occasional brush her hand against it, cleaning some imaginary stain. She had the commanding air about her, in fact, Kien’s quite intimidated.

    “He’s late,” she spoke, a hint of annoyance. As she snapped her head and glared at Kien.

    Kien looked away, didn’t want to reply.

    It was a while before he noticed someone coming, their footstep echoed rhythmically. Tap-tap-ta-ta-tap, tap-tap-ta-ta-tap. A sigh of relief came from Kien, and he moved forward, his eyes never strayed away from the incoming target, afraid that even from a blink; he’ll open his eyes to see only blankness again.

    As the three came together, the stranger spoke first.

    “Early start isn’t it today, Kien?”

    “Afraid so.”

    “I guess we’ll get started. My name is Kien Cephalon, and I represent Mr. Gerald Silvertail for the duration of this post mortis deal. You may call me Mr. Mortis for clarity of the contract.”

    It was not an illusion; the stranger indeed resembled Kien Cephalon to every last strand of hair. And each Kien knows that the other is as much Kien Cephalon as themselves. There are no debates as to who is who, both accept each other. They are two of the difference, one of the same. A strange paradox of the Cartesius game.

    “My name is Kien Cephalon, representing myself; I’m here to engage in the post mortis deal with Mr. Gerald Silvertail.”

    “And the witness?”

    “Tania as usual will act as the witness, and the standard rule of trade applies.”

    “Just to my liking,” Mr. Mortis bowed to Tania, who barely glanced at him and looked away, her face held a slight loathing.

    Kien wondered if Tania is using this opportunity to get back at him, but he kept that to himself.

    Mr. Mortist didn’t seem to mind, instead he straightened himself back up and nodded to Kien, a sign that the meeting is about to begin. He snapped his finger twice, and on cue, a carriage bursts from below, shattering the glowing surface of water. “Shall we go in then?”

    “Is there a need? Can’t we just exchange here?”

    “Not today I’m afraid. My client had a special request for, so if you don’t mind, please come with me. I promise, it won’t be long."

    Mr. Mortis opened the door and his hand gestured for the two to step in first. Tania, in a natural motion, took Kien by the arm, and the two stepped into the carriage, as if heading to a ball. Mr. Mortis soon followed and closed the door behind him. He sat opposite to the both of them, and slides out a platform on the side of the door which acted as a table between them. “Let’s go.”

    The carriage eased into movement, which neither of the three seemed to notice. Mr. Mortis bent down slowly and pulled a brief case from under the chair and placed it on the table. “Here it is, and yours?”

    Kien put his hand into pocket and took out a slip of paper and handed it to Mr. Mortis. Both men took several minutes to examine the content of the respective good. Mr. Mortis finished first, and nodded knowingly, “The usual I see.

    Kien closed the brief case and handed it to Tania, who placed it on her lap. “Fair?”

    “As if there was ever an unfair trade in this place. For you’ll only damage yourself by doing so. But we all know, that this isn’t the reason why we are in this place,” Mr. Mortis puts away the piece of paper into his pocket, and from it, he retrieved a set of nicely printed cards, “Hwatu”

    “Hate this one.”

    “You never liked anything I have,” Mr. Mortis slides the deck of cards to Tania, “Would you do the honor please?”

    Tania took the deck into her hand, and shuffled them where she sat, “7 points.”

    “Agreed,” both men stated.

    “You know gambling used to be a dwarf sport, but it was the human who popularized it,” Mr. Mortis spoke as he watched the card being dealt.

    “What is your point?” Klein asked, clearly not wanting to chit-chat.

    “None, can’t it be fun facts?”

    “Nothing’s ever just fun facts, always a purpose, always for you.”

    “Then you figure it out if you want, but the game’s started. Go ahead.”

    Klein replied by laying his card down, face up, willow pi, two paulownia pi, cherry tti, cherry kwang, pine tti, plume yul, wisteria yul, wisteria pi, iris pi and pampas grass kwang. Mr. Mortis looked at Klein in disappointment, “Why do you have to do that every time?”

    “You are playing with a handicap aren’t we? Are there any secrets between us? My records’ clean. That means we are synched. I know exactly what you have. So I’m just being a good sportsman by showing you what I have, we’re even.”

    “Half of the gambling is about the atmosphere. And I like a challenge.”

    “Then you can say, I know nothing about gambling. What you have? Two peony pi, one paulownia kwang, and willow tti? Three maples, that’s going to be troublesome for you, and two pine pi doesn’t help.”

    Mr. Mortis laid his card down, face up, clearly not amused.

    Tania ignoring the two man’s conversation, laid down 8 cards in the centre, and flipped another on top of the pile.



    “And from what I can tell, it’s pretty much over? Go ahead and declare heundeum. But I’m sure you won’t get the bonus. I’m going to capture pampa grass yul with kwang. And set the pair with wisteria yul and tti. And there’s no way you can stop me from getting plum yul, because you got none. So that’s 5 points for me. Sure, you are thinking you could take peony tti, but you’ll going to have to risk running into three cards. And even if you take it, then what? Look to get maples? Tania, what’s the next card?”

    Tania flipped the next card over, revealing paulownia pi.

    Klein nodded, “Alright, so you get that and get yourself a kwang. Set down a pine to get another kwang. And if you get one more, you could possibly get 3 points for yourself. But the sad thing is, I’m going to set down my pampa grass kwang on yul, and what is the next card?”

    A willow kwang.

    “And the game ends. 3 kwang, godori. And you can be sure I’ll call that an end and won’t go more. Still want gambling environment?”

    “Shuffle it back,” Mr. Mortis motioned for Tania, who looked at Kein for confirmation.

    “Yes, it’s done,” Kein confirmed, and the cards were subsequently collected and put back neatly into the deck, and are handed back to Mr. Mortis.

    “So let me ask you, where are you taking us?” Kien laid back, slightly relaxed that things are over.

    Mr. Mortis check the deck, and then put it back into his pocket, “We are here.”

    Kien’s face filled with a slight bit of confusion but quickly recovered as he looked outside and saw a pound, its water glistened under the light of the moons. Its bank was surrounded by pines, which waved back and forth through the night wind. It was deadly quiet, even the animals within the trees did not give out their usual chatter.

    “Sightseeing?” Kien looked at Mr. Mortis questioningly.

    “I do not have answers. After all, I am you. The confusion is mutual; I’m merely passing on the request.”

    “You know how dangerous it is to tread among this place without a guide?”

    “If you know, then I know.”

    “Can I refuse?”

    “You certainly can. But I also know you won’t,” Mr. Mortis smiled, a sparkle was seen in his eyes, “Just how I can’t let go of gambling, you can’t let go of curiosity. Can’t let a good mystery go. They say curiosity kills the cat, but cat got nine lives. And you my friend, how many lives do you have?”

    “Stop asking rhetorical questions.”

    Kien pushed the carriage door open, and stepped back. He felt Tania tighten her grasp, persuading him to not go, but both know, it’s an advice unheeded.

    Kien came out, after it was Tania. Mr. Mortis remained inside, “Call me when you need me,” he closed the door and the carriage galloped away.

    “He says it every time but how do we call him?” Tania asked, a bit cautious.

    “We don’t.”

    Kien examined his environment, taking note of some landmarks around. And after thinking it over in his head, he came out with an answer.

    “Seems, familiar, I think it’s the pound near Monark, just before the body of water enters the ocean,” he looks around once more, “I guess it is, looks a bit different, probably just set in a later time.”

    He walked down the path, until he heard a sound of rustling. It was up ahead, near the banks, through the layers of pine trees. He ushered Tania to follow him, and took a few fleeting steps forward, trying to land as softly as he can. He pushed through the branches, tracing with his ears the source of the sound. It sounds as if something’s being dragged. It was when they were almost at the clearings that he held out his hand and told Tania to stop.

    Kien wasn’t sure how to describe what he saw, rather, it was a bizarre situation. “Did he kill him?”Tania whispered into Kien’s ear, who didn’t reply right away.

    If Kien could make a guess, he would guess that what he saw was Gerald, during his younger self, much younger. Looked as he just began attending school. Then there was the other boy, but Kien guessed it wouldn’t matter to know who the other boy is, because he’s dead. He looked up through the path to where Gerald came from, and saw the trail the body made as it was dragged down. It was quite a trip, and from the mess, it seemed that Gerald had tripped himself a few times while towing the body.

    Kien took a cautious step forward, but apparently, it wasn’t cautious enough because a sound of twig breaking was heard, and he cursed himself. Gerald snapped his head up, and looked into Kien’s direction, “I didn’t mean to,” there was tear streaks down his cheeks, and his face was covered by bits of dirt, most likely gathered from his fall, “I didn’t mean to, I swear it.”

    Kien didn’t speak, only watched. He’s not sure what to say, at least, didn’t know what to say without startling the boy.

    Gerald spoke to him again, “I didn’t mean to,” he tried to wipe the dirt off his face, and his feet was moving slowly backwards, bit by bit. Then suddenly the boy dropped the body and sprinted, darting into the patch of forest opposite to Kien’s. Kien immediately followed, and stepped out of the forest, Tania followed close behind. However, something bugged him, a tingling sensation, the unease you get as someone breath down the back of your neck. It was this sensation that made Kien took a glance back, after which, the unease became very real.

    A man was standing in the forest where Kien was, silently still, his gleaming eyes looked forward, with no sign of being distracted. In his hand, he held a short hatchet, newly sharpened, its edge, gleaming eerily in dim light.

    Tania noticed Kien’s glance and followed his eye, and was startled herself, “Should I...?”

    “No, leave him,” an instinct told him not to investigate on the man, instead, both of them darted through the woods, after Gerald.

    It was a difficult chase, Gerald’s small size allowed him to pass through the undergrowth of the forest with ease, while Kien and Tania was constantly attacked by the branches. After a minute or so, they suddenly found themselves in a clearing again. The mud below their feet replaced by hardwood. It was no longer the pond that surrounds them, but the walls of a house. A bed rests beneath window, as the light of the night came in, casting its gloomy presence upon the place. A shattered door frame, a fallen chair, and nailed wooden board that kept the window shut. He walked over to the window and stared out to see a pond. A different pond. One that’s filled with the mood of melancholy. Pines were replaced by willows, and mud replaced by rocks. And two men fished under the moonlight. “We’ll be the only mourner of the tainted.” He heard one of them say. A surreal feeling. It was as if the sound was right by his ear.

    “This is…” Tania spoke, slowly trailing off.

    “Let’s get out, we’ve wandered too far,” something told him to get away, a defense mechanism. Tania didn’t respond at first, but Kien pulled her by her arms out of the place and again dove into the forest. This time, not to chase, but to escape.

    They tread through the woods again. Neither of them spoke a word until they came back to where the body was. Except, there was no longer a body. Kien looked right and left, and could not find anything. He looked at the mud, there was too many prints to tell anything. “A memory inconsistency?”

    Tania tugged him by his elbow, and motioned with her head up the muddy hill. There he was again, the man with the hatchet.

    Kien stood still, his eyes unwavering, pupils dilated from the fear of the unknown. Keep telling himself, it’s just a memory. Then a sudden shake of the ground and a terrifying sound of turbulent water current. Kien looked back to see the pound being sucked into a whirlpool, no, not just the pound, the sky too, and the ground beneath them. “Mortis!” Kien screamed as he pulled on Tania’s hand to rush uphill. Away from the whirlpool, toward the man with the hatchet.

    “Mortis!”

    They ran up, and passed the man, who stood still and watched his world shrivel up. Kien took a fast glance, only to see the face being hidden under the hood. Once they are up, they realized that the entire hill is surrounded by the pound. “A holistic memory, there’s no trail.”

    “Mortis!” Kien screamed again, and then he heard the gallops of the horse, and a feeling of ease came to him.

    Out from the water came the carriage, which trailed up the hill and eased to a stop in front of the two. The door came open, and Mortis gave his hand. Tania went in first, and Kien followed. “Took you a while.”

    “Only in your imagination.”

    Kien pulled the curtain away from the window and looked outside at the world being consumed. He eye moved around the surrounding, until it finally stopped. The hatchet man was no longer looking at the pound, but into the eyes of Kien within the carriage. His hood was no longer on, and for that brief moment, before the world exists no longer. Kien saw the stranger’s face.
    ---------------------------------------------

    -Disturbance in the House of Silvertails-

    Galvin and Susan Silvertail were the owner of an honest little shop nearing the border of Monark. Mr. Silvertail was never an adventurous man, and often strived to live at peace, and Mrs. Silvertail supported his idea. The couple’s dream was to gain enough money and move out to the west and start their own little ranch, where they could spend the rest of the days sitting on their poach and gazing at the cow grazing along the wild growth. From such a quiet family, nothing was to be expected of them, they are just people who love the way it is, and in some way, are truly happy. So it was a bit of a strange ordeal when their young boy often pounced around from one place to another, and it made the two so anxious. They urged the young Silvertail to settle down, and would gladly pay their savings to keep the young lad down, to you know, the Silvertail way of life, with the ranch, the cows, the sun set.

    However, their efforts seemed fruitless, as the boy still went back and fro, so in the end, the two shrugged and thought, maybe the boy’s just a different kind of Silvertail. They let the boy follow his passion, though there was still the occasional arguments, things were not as turbulent as the early days. Once Mrs. Silvertail passed away, Mr. Silvertail give up the idea of ever moving out to the west completely, and thought that was the way it was all supposed to be. So during the morning of this particular day, as Mr. Silvertail was doing a small sweeping around the parlor of the modest little shop, it was to his surprise that in the far distance, he saw two man advancing toward him.

    He looked at the sign hanging by the door, and was certain it said closed. So he can only assume that the two wasn’t here for the goods. The man tightened his hold on the broom a bit, and waited at the parlor until finally, the three is standing in front of the shop. Up close, Mr. Silvertail could see now that the two doesn’t seem to be like thieves, though they were still a strange pair. One man wore a loose one piece cloth, messily held and tucked at the belt. He looked about the age of older thirties, though the unshaven beard does make him seem older. What was most peculiar about him was the fact he seemed to be missing his ears. Where it was supposed to be, there were two holes, slightly hidden by his hair. For a second, Mr. Silvertail weren’t sure what origin the man belonged to. However, after catching the sight of a pale green fairy floating about, it was clear that the man’s an elf. An earless elf. The elf glanced at Mr. Silvertail with a bright pair of eyes, which Mr. Silvertail avoided, for it felt strangely revealing.

    The other man was much shorter than his partner, having a stockier built, the mark of a dwarf. Though unlike the usual dwarf, the fellow didn’t seem to have grown out his beard, even though his age must be relatively similar to that of Mr. Silvertail himself. In his hand, the dwarf carried an urn, which caught Mr. Silvertail’s attention right away. He could only guess what’s inside.

    “I’m sorry, shop isn’t open yet,” Mr. Silvertail spoke first, but stuttered a bit. He wasn’t very good at forming sentences early in the morning.

    “It’s alright, we are not here to shop,” the elf man spoke, “I should probably introduce myself. My name is Kien Cephalon, and this is my partner Hemlholtz König, we are tracers. Do you perhaps know the role of our position?”

    “If you are wandering, I’m not involved in any type of crimes. I’m not a tainted. Being living here quietly for many years, and am planning to go out to the west later to get a ranch and all, so whatever you think I did, I can assure you, that I took no part in it.”

    “No, it’s not about you Mr. Silvertail.”

    “How’d you know my name?”

    The elf exchanged glances with the dwarf, which made Mr. Silvertail suspicious, and he walked to the edge of his parlor and placed his broom down, his hands rests by his side.

    Mr. Silvertail was in no way an intimidating figure. His face droops down, and his bags rest under his eyes. He is slightly slouched, and his hairs are thinning. Despite the dreary look, he took great care to keep his clothing neat. And his long hair combed back into a pony tail. No misplaced strand of hair beside his elven ears, and his eyebrows rested firmly in a “v”.

    “Your son wants you to have this,” Kien took from his pocket the Adimis, and motioned for Mr. Silvertail to take it. However, Mr. Silvertail was far too disturbed by hearing about his son from a pair of stranger to even think about taking it.

    “How you know my son?” He didn’t move from his spot, but Kien noticed a slight finger movement.

    “Mr. Silvertail, it might be better if you took a seat. Can we possibly talk about this in the vicinity of your home?”

    The question didn’t go through, and Mr. Silvertail could only repeat his question, this time, a sharper tone can be heard, “How do you know my son?”

    The elf didn’t speak, and simply looked at Mr. Silvertail. What Mr. Silvertail thought was a bright pair of eyes, suddenly seemed to become dim. There was a stir in Mr. Silvertail’s heart as no reply was heard, and he can only guess, “Did something happen to him?”

    No reply.

    “Did he offend you?”

    No reply.

    “If he caused any trouble,” Mr. Silvertail, his mouth curled in an awkward smile, as his eyes remained restless, darting back and forth between the elf and dwarf, “If he caused any trouble, I can pay for it… I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” A troubled laugh escaped from his lip.


    “Look, look, come in,” he pointed to his house, “I’ll pour you fellow some cup of tea, and we can talk about it. Ease ourselves, no need to be so tense in the morning. I’m sure my son didn’t mean it. He’s sometimes clumsy, so if he caused you any trouble, I’m sure, I’m sure it’s just an accident, yes, definitely an accident. So just think about it, how much can he be worth to your right?” another empty laugh, his eyes became slightly blurry, muffled , his mind is lost, blurred just like his vision.

    “He’s just a no good joker, you know, been like that for years, wouldn’t be worth anything. He’s just like that, I tried to tell him, but he wouldn’t listen. So, so there’s no need to keep him, you know…you know..”

    “No… no… no…” the elf shook his head in a slow movement, “It’s not like that. No, I don’t know your son before today...”

    “You don’t?!” A sudden look of hope from both, the father seemed to regain some composure, “Then?”

    The elf looked at the dwarf again, and looked back. A smile was on his face, “Your son was at the Grimlin’s place, and he met some merchant moving south. He heard they needed help, so he signed up for the job. He got some payment beforehand, and asked us to deliver it to you since he needs to leave right away.”

    A smile spread on Mr. Silvertail’s face, and faced the two men, and laughed a bit, “That’s good, that’s good,” he repeated the phrase many times, and rubbed his hand against each other, “He managed to get himself a job. That’s good…” He paused, his face expressionless, and he looked up slowly, his eyes sharp, pierced right through the elf’s bright eyes, “But it’s a lie isn’t it?” An empty smile.

    The elf remained silent, and looked down slightly, and the dwarf did the same.

    “He’s dead isn’t he?” The words came out so composed, reflecting nothing of the conflict across his face.

    Mr. Silvertail didn’t move, and he kept his gaze on the elf, “When?”

    “Early this morning,” the elf replied immediately, his face void of emotion.

    “How?”

    “Heart attack.”

    “Heart, heart attack?”

    “Yes, heart attack.”

    “Where is he now? Can I take a look at him?”

    The elf turned at looked at the urn being held by the dwarf, and then back at Mr. Silvertail.

    “It’s in there eh…I can’t even see his face can I?”

    Silence.

    “Take the urn and come in,” Mr. Silvertail’s head hang down, suddenly feeling too exhausted to continue any longer, he walked up the stairs up his parlor and pushed the door open and waited until Kien and Helmholtz stepped in.

    The two stood awkwardly near the middle of the living room, and Kien, with nothing to do observed his surroundings, few pots and pans misplaced on the table, a pipe recently touched, a picture frame hanging crookedly on the wall near the bedroom, a vase with no flowers, and an empty ring frame.

    “Sit down,” Mr. Silvertail pointed to the chair, and walked over to the stove, and poured water into a pot, and with a wave of his hand, the water began boiling. His back was against them, his face looking through the window by the stoves, examining dust floating with ease in the rays of the morning sun. “Was my son a Tainted?” he asked, but there was no feeling of uncertainty, more of a statement than an inquiry.

    “…yes.”

    “Did you kill him?”

    “No.”

    Mr. Silvertail nodded, “Wouldn’t have mattered would it? If you weren’t the one who did it, someone else would of, that’s what it means to be Tainted.”

    “Do you insist on keeping this up?” Kien took his chance and asked a question of his own.

    “What do you mean?” Mr. Silvertail still did not shift his gaze away from the dusts. Then with a flick of his finger, water traveled in an arc from the pot into two tea cups, and slowly they drifted toward the two tracers.

    “The fact that you knew about your son’s death before we came.”

    “What made you think so?” Mr. Silvertail finally faced his guest. In his eyes, there was no longer a look of puzzlement from before. It was the eyes of an inquisitor.

    “Your son told us.”

    “My son?” Mr. Silvertail shook his head, and smiled, “I should have known. After all, you are Kien Cephalon, I thought it sounded familiar…Kien Cephalon, the Mind Shifter, the Player of Faith, the Ghost Writer, the Hunter of Blight, the one who shamed all and all who wronged one, the earless elf…the very same Kien Cephalon aren’t you?”

    “And your name isn’t really Mr. Silvertail either. You were better known as judge Izz-al-Din.”

    The dwarf moved his head between the two, his brows twisted in confusion, and his mouth slightly open, wanting a word of clarification. However, neither of the elves answered his request.

    Kien bored his eyes deep into Mr. Silvertail’s, no distraction can pull it away from its target. “Helmholz, go back to the office without me.”

    The dwarf hesitated, but knew it wasn’t the time to force his presence, so he gave a short “yes” and quickly scurried way from the shop, closing the door tightly behind him.

    Mr. Silvertail strode to the table, and took a seat across from Kien Cephalon, a slight looked of amusement appeared on his face. It was a strange expression, not something one would expect of a father whom just heard the death of his son. It was a look of knowing, as if he had made his peace with the world, “…how long was it since you left Nayru?”

    “…50 years.”

    Mr. Silvertail left out a small laugh, “50 years, it has been that long hasn’t it... 50 years ago I was looking down upon you in the high council when we passed our guilty verdict, now 50 years later you came back to look down upon me about my son’s death…Must be Valham’s will…” Mr. Silvertail stopped and gazed up, through a rooftop window, perfectly positioned about the dining table, thinking over his last statement, or possibly wanting an answer. When his head came back down, on it was a weary tiredness, as if the blue plain above had just drained him of his energy. “What do you want?”

    “Clarifications.”

    “About?”

    “Whether or not you killed your son.”

    “I could accuse you of defamation. It will be real convincing, especially when it came from a past criminal against a judge.”

    “Then what about this?” Kien took out the Adimis from his bag and rolled it along the surface of the table. The gem stopped in front of Mr. Silvertail’s fingers, and subsequently was taken up by those fingers and examined. “I believe it’s yours,” Kien nodded to the empty ring frame by the vase.

    “It is, but I can’t really thank you for returning it to me,” Mr. Silvertailed clasped his hand, and in a moment, Adimis was gone in a trail of smoke.

    “Did you do it? Plant it within your son’s heart?” Kien was not about to be distracted.

    “Yes,” the answer was simple a clear, and natural. “What about it?”

    “What about it?” Kien’s face became stunned for the first time during the confrontations, slightly losing his professional composure, “What about it?!He’s you son!”

    “When I set down the first book of law with the council, ‘he’s your son’ is not part of the exception. He’s a tainted. There’s only one way out for them, the final rest. You of all people should know that the best…After all, you spend most of your life doing it…and we condemned you for it when you failed…do you hate me?”

    “No, but I still failed to understand. Why?”

    “You read his mind didn’t you? Even after his death you still intruded upon it, wouldn’t let the soul rest. So what did you see eh? What made you understand? And justify to ask how a tainted died?” It was clear Mr. Silvertail was not pleased with the constant questioning. His lips pulled in a thin line, like a snake.

    “I saw a scared little boy, carrying a body down a muddy hill toward the pound. And I saw waiting for the boy, in the wood, stood his father with a hatchet.”

    Mr. Silvertail released a tired laugh of disbelief, “So you saw that. He knew?”

    “Anyone could recognize their father.”

    “That was the day…the first day when I realized my son has turned to a Tainted.”

    “So you were going to kill him?”

    “No…I covered it up.”

    Puzzled look spread across Kien’s face, and he pondered for a moment, before finally snapping up, “The murder of Finley Mingles, the son of the blacksmiths in Monark?!” Kien’s eyes lit up, a cloud just cleared in his mind, “Everyone thought he was hacked to death near the local school. Part of his body was burnt too, some parts so badly, I couldn’t even get a reading. When we interrogated the teachers, the local slums. No murdering trace. No suspect. In fact, the search was stopped soon after.”

    “Yes, that was the one,” Mr. Silvertail took a sip of tea. The liquid was burning hot, but he sipped it without a moment’s hesitation to test the temperature.

    “There was no clue because he was never murdered there,” Kien in the mean time, is slowly unraveling the series of events in his mind, “He was brought there… by you? No one would have believed…especially when it seemed the murder was done in such clumsy way, no one would have known.”

    “Flew right across half the city under one minute, who would have expected? No one. A shocker. Who would have expected my son to be a murder either? If someone just told me, then I would deny it. But I saw…I saw. No room could be left for doubt. If there was any link between me and my son, then it died that day. He knew it too, because he never came home afterwards. You know how hard it was for me to make that decision? A judge, covering up murder. I can never call myself a judge anymore. I told myself it was the last time I’ll do it, but I broke that promise so many times.”

    “More murder?”

    “No, theft. Every rupee he stole, I returned with my own. He was lost, completely. No way to bring him back.”

    “Because he had no guidance.”

    “He did not want any.”

    “You never know that.”

    “I do.” It was stern, and absolute. “He could have come back and asked for forgiveness.”

    “And you would forgive him?”

    Silence.

    The tea was being sipped once more, and drained, then a clear voice after, “No, I would of dealt justice.”

    “Did you invite me in to tell me this?”

    “No, I invited you in because I thought I was going to kill you. But I don’t think I can now.”

    Cold sweat travelled down the back of Kien’s neck, but he didn’t move, pointless, “Why not?”

    “No point. Besides, what are you going to do? Lock me up? Under what law?”

    “It’s true I can’t.”

    Mr. Silvertail stood up, “Then our conversation is done. Good day to you. I’m feeling tired, shouldn’t have woken up this early morning. So if you please.” Mr. Silvertail pointed to the door for Kien to leave. “I need to rest.”

    Kien remain seated, he’s not done. He finally took out the tea cup and sipped it, the liquid had cooled to a manageable temperature. He set it down, and took a spoon by the side and scooped up some sugar from the bottle and poured it in. After mixing it slightly, he sipped again. Satisfied, he put the cup down. His mouth opened. Words came out, “To be able to materialize solids within another person’s body. My father told me it can only be done by the magician of the highest caliber. Because you have to completely nullify the other’s magic capabities.”

    “Are you trying to praise me? Too late to be kissing boots now don’t you think?” Mr. Silvertail threw the cup toward the sink, which settled down just before it landed.

    “You could of being a legend, your name be known by all, and chanted for eons.”

    “Like Nilak?” Mr. Silvertail scoffed, “Who fought the humans in a coliseum and got the land split in two?” Mr. Silvertail’s eyebrow arched, “You know how legends are made? It’s initiated not by the birth of a great being, but by the coming of a disaster. You’ll never have legends without conflict, without the loss of something equally greater, because only then could there be saviors. A world of absolute peace will never be the place of heroes or legends. Heroes are the profiteers of unfortunate events. And you ask me, do I wish to be a part of it? No.”

    “But you became something worse. You named yourself the unwavering arbitrator, and you, in the name of good, passed down executions by your own subjectivity. Law is a subjective thing, so don’t wave it as if only logic and objectivity results from it. As a man of law, I applaud you for executing your son, but as a living being worthy of any conscious thought, I am disgusted.”

    “Do not try to slander my actions,” the words came out calmly, but the atmosphere is anything but that.

    “I dare not to,” it took a great effort for Kien to remain seated, and his composure fixed, but his hands wouldn’t stop shaking, so he kept it in his pockets, “But I dare to ask you, do you even know your son?”

    “What rubbish is this?”

    “His favorite color was green, he love the early sunrise, the lily, the pound when it was frozen. Because when it froze, his father would take him there to skate.”

    “I know, do not speak of trivial things,” it was not a scream, but no scream could hold this much weight either.

    Kien didn’t pause and continued, “It was surreal being there, having to skate alongside father, it was the simplest the best memory, yet it was so common… I remembered during my fifth birthday, I didn’t get any present… I remembered bawling about, haha, I was noisy wasn’t I?… I didn’t know about the depression was there, I didn’t know that even the savings for the ranch was used up... I still cried, so mother went out and sold her wedding ring, and got everyone a pair of skate... And we all skated all night on that pound….”

    “You have no right to use my son’s memory,” Mr. Silvertail fist tightened, creating deep ridges where his fingernail’s dug in.

    “I stole so many popsicles from the store during the hot days…sorry, it was stupid, I know…but I think mother knew…because she would smile at me when she counted the profit from the store at the end of the day.”

    The house shook, the wooden board slowly cracking, tore itself apart. Kien felt his blood flow slowing, his limbs becoming slightly cold. He stopped for a brief while and cleared his throat, he can’t stop now, “I hated the idea of going to the ranch, hated leaving here. I heard there would be no pound down there, nowhere to use the skate…I’m sorry that I wouldn’t listen…I always dreamt too big, like father said, too big for us Silvertails…I’m sorry for the little mouse I brought in that went and ate our grains…I just thought it was like a pet…guess not…Mother’s meat stew’s always so salty…that’s why it’s my favorite…I’m sorry…I’m sorry.”

    A long moment of quietness, a strange pause after the stream of words. Then without warning, several pieces of wooden boards came loose from the ground and the roof, crushed itself to shreds and rushed towards Kien in the form of a massive eagle’s talon. It was inches away before it suddenly made a stop. Kien’s vision was completely blocked, but he could still hear the voice behind it, “Said enough?”

    Kien could feel it. Despite the grieve danger Kien’s faced with, he sensed the atmosphere loosen, the worst part’s over, he could try to risk again, “When’s your son’s birthday?”

    “The third day of the third month,” the answer confirmed Kien’s prediction. He’s no longer in danger.

    “What did you get him for his first one?”

    “A charm made of Weeping Grass.”

    “Did you go with your son on his first day of school?”

    “Yes… he was scared of the first day like any child. So I promised to buy him hawthorn fruit after…I heard from his mentors that he was crying the whole time during the day until I picked him up.”

    “What about—“ Kien’s questioning was suddenly cut short, when Mr. Silvertail continued his talk.

    “Tis strange how easy it was to live through each day. A life as long as ours, we could of seen generations of revolution, rise and fall of civilizations. Time became so worthless, days seemed to have become seconds, and hours became just an imaginary value. I’ve fought in wars that I didn’t remember what for, killed with justice that I know not. When you wake up, centuries later, as the humans say, a life time seemed to have passed. Any prolonged emotion for others, will have become just a moment of passion. Even for you. You’ve walked out Nayru, for 50 years now? Did you still feel it was justified? To live in the slums of the street with your sister. For how many more years more are you going to go? Five? Decades? Centuries? Whatever drive you have will be gone in time. I don’t want such things. I know in time, I would wake to find myself alone, and find no reasons for it. I do not want that. I do not want to live the rest of my life yet hold no memories of ever lived,” Mr. Silvertail slumped down in his chair, and simultaneously, the talon fell onto the table into pieces of wood, “I’m afraid for it to ever happen…so very afraid.”

    --------------------------------------------

    -The Father, The Son-

    -12 hours earlier-

    Gerald Silvertail sprinted down the street. Multiple shouts came from behind. He has gotten into this kind of situation before, a routine rather than the occasional thrill. He made a dash into a bar, and pushed aside the waiter who has come up to ask him about his reservation. Pushing through the doors to the kitchen, he slide upon the floor until he finally reached the back door and made it out again. The crashing of pans told him, he isn’t free yet. However, Monark’s a big place, and he knows the place well. He’ll barely break a sweat breaking loose. He ran out into the street again, and into a crowd, even catching a short ride behind a merchant’s carriage. Once he saw the sign of the tailor, he knew this was it. Behind that building is the start of the most confusing pathways ever engineered into the city.

    He went into the alleyway with a grin, and the dwarves behind him followed several meters behind, mostly out of breath. Gerald can see the end, and found himself laughing slightly. It’s been fun dwarves, but will have to see you later, he thought.

    Just then he stopped. He reached the end sure, but it was not available. An old man was just passing by, and turned when he heard the commotion. Both of their eyes met, and it was no questioning about their identity. Father and son.

    Gerald’s ear became deaf to the sound of his chasers, he forgot about them completely. However, his chaser hasn’t forgotten about him. He felt a sudden collision to his upper legs and found himself toppling forward. His eyes never left the old man, and there was this strange look of wishing coming from it. The old man watched as the dwarves caught its prey, then he blinked once or twice, and walked away from the alleyway, never turning back.

    -several hours after-
    Mr. Silvertail came down the stairs to the living room to grab a cup of water to drink. When he arrived there, he noticed that it was occupied. A young man sat in the chair, his head hanging down. Covered in bruises, breathing slowly and heavily. He walked past the visitor without much thought and took a cup from nearby, then with a motion of his finger, a stream of water flowed from a nearby tank into the cup.

    “I came home,” the young man spoke to Mr. Silvertail who didn’t even give a glance. The young man followed Mr. Silvertail’s movement with his eyes. He simply watched a minute without speaking, then,“Did you ignore me because you think I’m a piece of trash?”

    Mr. Silvertail looked at the young man blankly and didn’t give an answer.

    “If you think so, it’s okay, because that’s what everyone thinks of me. Nothing new. I got used to it I guess…”

    “What do you want?” Mr. Silvertail asked in a matter of fact tone.

    “What do I want?” A laugh followed, “What do I want?” A puzzled look followed.

    “Money? Hide out? Medical supplies?”

    The young man looked to the ceiling in disbelief. “You are…” A disbelieved laugh, “I despise you so much. You are worse than the dwarves who’ve beat me. You are worse than that son of a ***** Finley who burnt my skate. Sometimes I want to kill you, I thought before that might take the pain away. But you know, if I hate you, there’s no one else I like in this world anymore. And knowing that, it hurts,” the young man pounded his chest, “it hurts here. So I won’t hate you…but just do one thing for me pa.”

    The word “pa” made Mr. Silvertail feels uneasy, but at the same time, it felt right.

    “Kill me,” the young man sounded absolute, “I don’t want to wait it out, so you forget what I’ve done and forgive me after if you ever will, because that’ll mean you’ll forget everything before it. Then what’s the point? So kill me. Guide me away from here, fair ain’t it? I’ve been brought out here without my will, so at least let me go by my will.”

    “I’ll do no such thing, and you will not speak such foolish things inside this house,” the reply was stern, “Go, get out.”

    The command was replied with laughter. “I won’t listen to you anymore,” the young man shook his head, “Not anymore. You don’t have a choice.”

    “This is my house, and you’ll listen to what I say.”

    “This is my house as well, or has my absence made you forget?” The young man looked at Mr. Silvertail, it was a terrifying set of eyes, not because of its flare, or sharpness, but because they looked like the eyes of a dead man. “I didn’t come here to argue with you. We never argued, and I don’t want to start today. Today, I just want it to be quiet. Even if you refuse, it’s already been done.”

    “What?”

    “A little boy went to the doctors and asked, ‘Doctor, doctor, I need help, can I have a poison that can kill a person slowly and painfully?’ The doctor asked in return, ‘Why do you need such a poison little boy?” The boy replied, “So I can kill myself in front of the person I love, and make them never forget my final minute of life.’” The young man took from his pocket, an empty package, and waved it in front of Mr. Silvertail, his laughter becoming louder, echoing through the room.

    Mr. Silvertail’s eyes suddenly grew wide, and he quickly moved in front of the young man and held him by the collar, “What did you do! What poison did you take! What poison did you take!”

    The young man looked around, laughing still.

    Mr. Silvertail shook the man frantically, “What did you take!? Tell me! Tell me!”

    “Hahahaha, it’s Fellum centipede. It’s already been an hour since I took it.”

    Mr. Silvertail’s hand became limp, and lost its grasp. He wobbled back, until he finally collided with the table, and his hand searched the surface for support. Fellum centipede. A normally docile creature that only becomes violent during contact with body fluid. It melts in the fluid and travels to the muscle fibers and fuses itself with it. Full integration takes about half an hour, and once it’s done, there is no way to cure the infected. The moment the body comes under contact with sunlight, Fellium centipede will begin to develop and grow out of its host. The process was often recorded as if the individual is exploding from the inside. So much agony accompanies it, that most bit down on their tongue and committed suicide. It was safe to say, the Fellum centipede was much feared within the magic society. And Mr. Silvertail knew all these just too well.

    “Pa, it’s almost morning. There’s no way out. This is it.”

    Mr. Silvertail slumped down on his chair, and took off his ring and placed it on the table beside him. “You idiot…You want to die that much?”

    The young man calmed down, and only looked to the floor when he talked, “No…but…I don’t see anything in my future. You were right… I’m sorry.

    “You have stained my hand.”

    “You’ll forget them.”

    “I spilled blood for you.”

    “You’ll wash them clean.”

    “I did not do those things so you could come and do this!”

    “…I’m sorry.”

    “It’s not about sorry! It wasn’t about that long ago! You ignorant child, you thick skulled fool, you..you..” The sentence ended into an incomprehensible noise of rage.

    “But I really don’t know where to go anymore,” a tear came down the corner of the young man’s eyes, “I don’t know what I should look for anymore. I just want to look for ma. I just want to see ma.”

    Mr. Silvertail’s energy was spent, his head hanging down, “Who would I look for? A feeble old man in the mirror?”

    Both man shared a long look at each other. The gaze remained unbroken, until the young man suddenly cringed, and put his hand to his heart. He looked to the table, and spotted the empty ring frame, and he knew. A weary smile came onto his lips as he leaned back into a comfortable position. Then he asked, “Have you had any regrets?”

    A slight pause, then came the father’s final words to his son, “Yes, then… now…and always will.”

    Then the final words from the son, “Me too.”

    -------------------------------------

    -Here on After-

    That morning, Kien would walk out of that house, and tread back to his office, and probably lock himself up to finish the reports in regards with the morning event. A moment later, Mr. Silvertail would appear from his front door carrying two skates, making his way to the local pond.

    It was reported that a strange man was skating on the surface of the pond, even though no ice had formed. He would skate, and moments later, disappear, forever. Kien’s college would be in charge of the search for the missing man, but Kien would hear about it only weeks later. And even till then, and into the future, the man was never found.

    However, from that time on, if you were to put your ear in the water, you could hear from under there, an old man’s cries. Hence then, the pound became named as, the Pond of Lament. Its legend varied, but never fully explained.

    The house of Mr. Silvertail became the house of Mr. and Mrs. Gibili. And their two children will rise later to become a minister and a head librarian. However, that is a different story, to be told at a different time. For now, it’s end.
    Last edited by Moratorium; 12-28-2010 at 05:32 AM. Reason: Becayse lokuri said so. XD


    Because Calculus is magical, the constant Euler constant appears when we solve this differential equation. -James Thomson, Biology Professor

  4. #24
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    Falteer looked around him to see his audience more than satisfied with today's blood lust. It wasn't every day that a night fight took place during...well, the day time so it attracted a large number of elves to the Colosseum, young and old alike. What shocked Falteer the most however was the sudden popularity in these kind of games, it wasn't so long ago that the elves respected right of way and passage into the netherworld, they didn't believe in executions, but yet, here we are, at the beginning of our tale, witnessing Falteer execute four tainted Draken.

    Its as if elves were becoming more accustomed like humans, an increase in enjoyment of blood sport. Or perhaps elves were just changing with the times, adapting during the dark dabbles of magic and the fear of the tainted. Whatever it was however, it wasn't for an insignificant figure such as Falteer to ponder on.

    “Lord Falteer! Its time you wave off your audience for today and make haste with your other tasks!.”

    “You're right Arwen, I almost forgot” Falteer replied as he took one final look at the bloodied corpses beside him.

    Falteer never liked to show-boat after winning a fight in the Colosseum, so, like usual, he would whip the blood from his blade and smoothly sheath the steel into his sword belt. Making his way towards the Colosseum exit, Falteer took one last look towards the area in which he had first sensed Balthazar, but nothing. He must have left just as the fight had finished. Typical.

    Passing through the exit gates of the arena Falteer thought it was about time to head back to his cell, he gave orders to Jovan to follow the guard back to her holding pen and with it he turned towards his slaver.

    The slaver smiled at him in response to today's latest victory. “I thought they had you for a moment Falteer, never the less, I have to reshackle you again until you return to your cell, you are free to wander the Colosseum but remember, these are magic art imbued restraints, if you so much as try to escape...we will know about it and the restraint here will emit a healthy electrical shock to your nervous system to prevent you from going anywhere.” Falteer nodded and bid the slaver goodbye. He thought it was about time he went back to his cell to rest for a while before going to his master to receive his latest tasks for the rest of the day. I'm sure his master wouldn't mind if he arrived 10 minutes late, after all, Falteer is the reason why his master is so wealthy.

    Upon returning to his quarters, Falteer was beheld by a strange sight. Balthazar. This might actually be the first time the two may actually verbally communicate other than exchanging strikes in the practice arena.

    “Amnaste...Balthazar...Forgive me if I'm rude...but what reason is there as to why you are waiting by my quarters?.”
    - - - - - - - - -

    10 minutes later.

    Falteer was still turning around the conversation he had with Balthazar around in his head. It was the first time they actually exchanged words with each other...it was a...relief, by some capacity. However, Falteer now found himself in his master's room, receiving his latest orders.

    “Yes Master” he would reply after every few minutes.

    Falteer had never been able to obtain any personal information from his master, not even a name, things were kept very formal, short and professional, no real relationship apart from that of business. He was a high elf, an old one at that, well, as old as one can be on Amn since he was still considered quite young.

    Falteer's master tossed a bag of rupees in his direction and gave him his latest orders.

    It was now up to Falteer to fulfil them.

    “Do not fail me.”

    “Yes Master.” Falteer bowed as he left the room, leaving his master to think over what he had just told Falteer to do.

    “Are you crazy Falteer?! How can you agree to do something like that?!.”

    “It has to be done. He is my master.”

    Arwen could only reply his a gulp.

    Falteer was met by one of the slavers who was instructed to allow Falteer to leave the Colosseum...for the first time since he was first taken prisoner. He would still be kept under strict surveillance however, a magical imbued collar – similar to that of the shackles – would be attached to him to make sure he would not try to do anything too hasty.

    “Don't try any funny business” was the only words that stretched from his lips.

    Falteer replied with a polite nod of the head.

    To accompany him on his journey would be Jovan, his familiar, because, as it stands, the mission was dangerous, and Falteer's master had to look after his investment. Why would his master want him to take care of something outside of the grounds of the Colosseum though? It wouldn't really benefit him in any way.

    But, the wheels of destiny keep turning, until we finally reach that destination that had been scratched into stone from the beginning of time. That destination which would decide the fate of Amn.

    - - - - - - - - - - -


    He did it. Falteer had finally been able to see the outside world for the first time in what seemed like a 1000 centuries. “Lord Falteer...” Falteer turned towards his fairy to see her resting upon his right shoulder.

    “Is there no way that I can convince you to decline your masters latest orders?”

    “That would be a lost cause Arwen, this ship has already sailed, besides, I've already single-handedly killed four Draken, what makes you think I can't slay this beast?.” There was a sense of optimism in Falteer's words, words which Arwen drew confidence from and was overcome by a sense of battle-readiness.

    “Lets go Lord Falteer, we must make with haste.”

    The gates that obstructed Falteer from seeing the world outside the Colosseum began to lift open just as Arwen spoke her last word. A sharp beam of light was all Falteer could remember from that experience. And then, without warning, a beaming city full of joy and happiness, a feeling Falteer forgot about so long ago.

    It was a short walk from the Colosseum to the marketplace in the east, but a much farther walk from there to the eastern gate which led to Falteer's momentary freedom. Not making much effort to take in his surroundings, after spending two lifetimes behind closed walls, Falteer strode towards the eastern gate with Jovan by his side. The soles of Falteer's leather boots clicked off of the stone ground, to the beat of the many other footsteps that amassed in different directions, but then there was a sudden stop. Falteer had finally reached the gate which led to the outside world.

    Luckily, Falteer wouldn't have to wait for the monolith iron-wrought gate to be cranked open by some benevolent force, it was already open, allowing all different kinds of travellers to enter and exit freely, after, of course, being searched by a security checkpoint.

    Not sparing any more time Falteer headed towards the guards that were seen patting down all kinds of strangers, from small-time adventurers to the keen-eyed merchant. “Relinquish all arms” one of the guards told Falteer. “Of course.” he replied before unsheathing all his weapons and dangerous substances that he contained. “Business or Pleasure outside of these walls traveller?.” “Business” he replied again.

    “Oh? What kind of business?” the guard inquired cautiously looking the dark elf up and down.

    “I've to kill a troublesome Tamba in the eastern reaches. Apparently it is hiding out in some cave to outside of these walls, causing more than just a bother for my master.”

    “Oh? Happy hunting then traveller, you look prepared enough” the guard smiled whilst looking at the equipment which Falteer owned on the table. “Thank you for your understanding” he said before taking up his arms again and leaving the city.

    It wasn't too hard from there to decide where the caves location was, after all, the Tamba which Falteer was sent to kill was running right at him, chasing some unfortunate nerdy soul to his death.

    The unfortunate elf turned around in a final act of defiance to face his enemy that would surely send him to his doom. The air was deathly quiet, but then, the beast bared its menacing fangs and leaped for the elf. Falteer quickly responded by pulling out his bow and arrow, quickly placing a shot on the deformed beasts arm, steering it away from its target and refocusing onto its new hostile and dangerous enemy.

    Falteer quickly ordered Jovan to dispatch the enemy whilst he chose to lay covering fire with his bow and arrow. Jovan growled in contempt for the beast and scratched her left paw against the ground. The beast, known as a Tamba quickly regained composure and darted an evil glare towards the mighty Xeloain. “Attack!” Falteer ordered.

    The two creatures locked into deadly combat, a bear grip in each others grasp trying to get the upper hand by raw strength alone. Falteer quickly shifted to the left to get a better shot, aiming another arrow into the monsters side, to with no effort, the arrow merely bounced and ricocheted off. “What the hell?” Falteer exclaimed to himself.

    Jovan seemed to be having the upper hand in the brawl between the two beasts, she twisted her body in a motion which would allow her to get a better angle at the neck of the beast, allowing her to sink her sharp teeth into its throat. The Tamba reacted with an earth-rumbling roar. They both dashed backwards and began to duke it out once more.

    “Jovan!” Falteer shouted. “Finish it!!”.

    Jovan nodded and plunged for the now weakened beast once more, instantly clawing at the monster's belly. The Tamba at this point was lying on the floor, highly weakened and bleeding profusely, just enough for Falteer to get in close and bring the poor monster into the afterlife. “esta e seere” he said as he took his blade and mercilessly cut the beasts throat open. Falteer began to rummage around for something in his waist pouch, slowly taking out a vial of some sort which he would then use to gather the Tamba's saliva. “I hope this was worth it...” was all he could muster.

    “Good girl Jovan” Falteer said as he gave the victorious Xeloain a treat. Falteer then brought his attention to the poor elf that was being chased by the deformed beast.

    “Are you okay?” he said as he crouched beside him and began to examine for any fatal wounds.
    Last edited by Anglo; 01-01-2011 at 04:49 PM.

    Revenge Solves Everything.

  5. #25
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    Seconds ticked away as Vita locked her eyes upon the statuettes. The way their bottom lips were tucked away signified the heated dispute involving the double doors had suddenly become one-sided. Their eyes must have been equally frozen, yet the silver masks which curled upon their noses and stretched in fancy twirls across their foreheads concealed all else in shadow. For a moment, only Oren's mocking voice could be heard. Then, when no response or even a hint of sound other than breathing was uttered, he declared the both of them far too boring for his taste. Silence followed, save the clash of the guard's lances as they formed an impassible "x". Without any means of proving her privileged status, Vita finally took a few steps back, bowing her head. A wisp of wind darted into the library, causing papers to flutter and the evergreen capes held by silver clasps on the motionless figures to waver slightly. Still, no response.

    "...Pent, Ura, Satir..."

    Vita stood her ground, at which Oren returned to her side, a smirk on his face. It was no wonder Vita was a bit edgy, being a moon elf. After all, the only proof of her birth, those which gave her existence, resided in the power of the moons. They could very well be dubbed her parents, yet it was quite peculiar to be born by three moons, all of which kept their distance far from the ground that gave life to Amn. Why had she gained the life of a resident on Amn, and not by the side of the moons? At first, she had questioned the unfairness of her birth, but the solution came to her as she observed the three. Now Vita wondered if there was anyone else who noticed the contradiction of Moon Day. She decided to test the stoic guards with a cryptic hint:

    "...A trinity with loose bonds, dividing like fragments unbeknownst to one another. When they finally unite, once upon each of the seven months, do they reveal a miracle? How highly they are praised to have a day of celebration, yet why must they part? If they shine their brightest together, why split in solitude? Perhaps such mysteries should not be taken lightly. All that exist have mysteries, both beautiful and frightful, but I dare not gaze with one eye, blinding my other. Know that silence is as deadly as being blinded. Both keep you from the truth."

    "...We will be honest." Although their voices were much calmer, their bodies remained rigid, thus creating a monotone tune. "Moon Day has many restrictions because of their countless mysteries. Even in the most dangerous of lands, only the open areas aren't sealed away. We do not doubt your powers and will. We only wish to maintain peace. Until the truth is known, no one may enter restricted areas on Moon Day. One rule broken will lead to more rules broken. Such is the downfall of equality."

    "Aho, if there is equality, why is th...re a restri-ted...rea......"

    For some reason, Oren's voice sounded muffled, as if he were trapped in a glass jar. No, perhaps she was the one trapped in the glass jar. Oren continued to flaunt the loophole to the statement the guards gave, which caused the edges of their mouths to twitch. The eagerness of his gestures weren't as sluggish as her body currently felt, nor were his eyes as glossy as Vita's. Only when the structure of the library began to melt before her eyes did Vita realize what was happening. Her mind was slipping away from the reality in front of her to a time she had nearly buried deep within her memories...

    ************
    The 3rd Night: Truth

    Inhale. Frost tingled across her throat. Exhale. Clouds expended from the edges of her lips. Hurry! Her legs dashed past those that barely moved, hindering her progress. Eyes of white flashed from left to right. Escape! A crowed decked with bizarre masks surrounded her from every angle. Trapped. Biting down on her bottom lip, she scurried forward without taking another glance. Fear. Yes, this was fear. No amount of books erased this fear, and she knew she'd face it every day, so long as she sought knowledge. Still, those words hunted her, and it rung clearly as she collided and shoved pass those who lingered in the bustling city.

    "Disconnected...how can I survive in this world if I was never connected with it to begin with? No, there is a way. There must be a way!"

    Leaping through the air, her fingers pressed against the coarse frame of a large branch that ruptured the land around it. As soon as she made contact, she cautiously slid downwards. The lichen coating the surface of the tree glistened with all the magical splendor of nature, which echoed all around her. It was as if the illuminated hues seething throughout the forest were the very souls of life. Shaking her head vigorously, she concentrated her weight on her feet, giving her more speed. Faster, faster! Dodging and darting past branches, her body rotated into a flip, at which she rolled until she stopped on the ground below.

    "I have returned. Reveal yourself to me, Margni!"

    Wind bellowed with rage, whipping past everything it touched. At the same time, she felt a beating like a heart behind her. She raised her left hand. Pause. Gulping out of suspense, she continued reaching. An odd sensation came from her hair. The ribbon tied around it was...pulsating? The very foundation of the ribbon fluttered, at which the strings became undone.

    Suddenly, a being ripped from the delicate strand of purple tinted with silver, at which she lifted her head. Above her was a tremendous spirit shaped like that of a serpent, but with scales glistening like the tail of a mermaid. Sharp fangs twisting amongst each other like icicles threatened to cease her existence. There were sapphire whiskers dangling from the edges of its mouth and around its intimidating nose, which had rings upon it similar in hue to the ribbon. In fact, there were rings not only on its nose, but around its prickly tail, which ended with sharp diamonds similar to feathers in appearance. Although its outer shell glowed like a spring directly under the moonlight, its eyes were a dull gray-blue, as if void of life.

    "You have uttered that which gives me form, and thus I appear before you."

    At this point, the summoned spirit should prove its loyalty to their summoner, usually by a bow of the head. She had envisioned such a ritual thanks to the many books she read, but her heart became unsteady at the sound of laughter. Upon the lips of Margni was a distorted, eerie smirk that seemed to contort around the edges of its mouth. The revolting noise blew away her confidence, if only for a second. She felt faint, perhaps distant. It was the phenomenon of deep meditation, as if she was observing the series of events elsewhere. Where was she? Who...was she? If she didn't speak fast, such questions would no longer matter.

    "You now have knowledge, but there is bliss in ignorance. Tell me, forsaken spirit, the fate of those who call to the unknown without a purpose, without hope. I have seen many of sacrifices in my time."
    "I...I call upon Margni, serpent of clouds--"
    "Insolence!"
    "--Aligned with wind and water, to enter a contract with myself--"
    "I shant bind myself to a nameless--!!!"

    "My name is Vita Vero, daughter of..." Her voice trailed off, at which she tilted her head towards the sky. Was it because of Margni? Clouds of sinister origins gathered directly above them, as if to conceal all light from view. The edges that escaped the obscured pit of darkness were starless, a true midnight hue. Were they watching? Did they care? "...daughter of Pent, Ura, and Satir, a moon elf aligned to water, ice and fire. I have chosen a life of truth, reflected by my name. I ask to find my truth, as part of our contract. Will you accept my reason to live?"

    "It is quite selfish, for someone who was born as selfless. What of the truth that is not yours?"
    "You are right. Indeed, the absence of truth around me could very well endanger someone dear to me."
    "Ha, so you bestow upon yourself a name, and your fate is altered?"

    Vita ignored this last comment, for her attention was focused on a glimmer of sunshine breaking through the gaps between a patch of grass. Curiosity escaped her, for she already knew who was emitting the light. Crossing her legs behind her, Vita gingerly pushed aside the frosty curtain of green to find a miniature elf panting heavily. His eyes, which had been tightly closed, became narrowed slits. Behind him came a rapid flapping belonging to two sets of flowery wings. Every part of him was wrapped in a yellow glow, from the wavering spikes on top of his head to his pointy teeth that reminded Vita of a baby cub. There was hardly any way to differentiate him from a common pixie except...except for the crimson orbs glaring at her.

    "You...!" His voice was raspy, and his body began to tremble. Anger spewed from the tiny being, but just by glimpsing the expression on his face, Vita knew she couldn't stay away any longer. Pain. And tears. All the time she had lingered in shadows of doubt, confusion, and loneliness, her emptiness suffocated her companion to the point that their bond had nearly shattered.

    Without speaking a word to mend their feeble relationship, Vita curled her fingers around the perimeter of his light, as if it were a blazing flame. The moment her fingers breach the sphere of fire, would she be burnt? Still, she dared...

    "Don't touch me!" He was seething, and all of the bitter feelings that were bottled inside him exploded in Vita's face. "Stay away! You...I hate you! You’re a wretched master! You want the truth?! I watched you gaze longingly at those celebrating Moon Day, yet you scurry away from them when you get the chance to approach them! Coward! You're a coward, and you...you let that beast manipulate you!"
    "Do you speak of me?" Another cackle, obviously out of amusement. "I only satisfy the wishes of those who are lost."
    "By eating them?! You glutton--"

    "ENOUGH!" Somehow, Vita managed to stand between the both of them, for Margni had veered his head closer and the fairy was bolting towards him. "I want to view this world with unclouded eyes, to see it for what it truly is. My wish--no, my goal is to discover my place in this world without compromising myself in the process. I read that a name is tied to one's soul, which is why I couldn't get close to anyone until I..." She stared directly into Margni's eyes as she said this: "...until I had a way to connect myself to them."

    Then she turned to the fairy. "I apologize for all the suffering I put upon you, and I ask of you for forgiveness."

    "H-huh?" All of his anger had ebbed away with Vita's words, leaving him stunned. His eyes widened, but then an awkward grin appeared on his lips. "Heh, why so serious? I was only mad 'cuz you weren't true to yourself, and you let that bully mess with ya!" He stuck out his tongue, at which Margni jerked his head away.

    "Well then, let's start over. My name is Vita Vero. A pleasure to meet you."
    "I'm Oren. Since my 'master' is hopeless, I'll stop moping around and keep you on the right path. Just don't forget me ever again, got that?!"

    "...I'll stay with you as long as I can." Vita smiled with satisfaction as Oren's light transitioned to purple, but that smile didn't last long. "Margni! I found what I was missing, as well as my reason to live. Now I ask of you that when I am on the verge of death, just before I die, to swallow my body. That will be your side of our contract."

    "W-wait, Vita, you can't--"
    "Accepted! Haha, until then, I will remain by your side as I did all along. Do not forget our exchange."
    "I said wait! Beast, you exchanged nothing! Quit treating Vita as another one of your pawns!"
    "Ha ha ha. Very well. Forsaken spirit who calls herself Vita Vero, if you so seek the truth behind your birth, the reason as to where and why moon elves are born so, as well as their affinity for summoning, seek that which is titled Voco e Vorago. Know that that which is summoned and those born by the moons are one in the same in origin. The rest is for you to find. Farewell."

    ************

    The rustling of her clothes and hair became evident as she snapped back into reality. By then, Vita realized that she was right by the entrance, which was slightly ajar. Had she strolled over to it while recalling the contract she made during her first few days of her birth? While she pondered her actions, Vita noticed that someone was talking next to the double doors. Focusing her attention on the individual, the image of Amelia came into view. Instinctively, Vita tugged at the shawl she had been given, which had been draped upon her right arm. Once they made eye contact, Oren and Amelia resolved the heated discussion they had been engaged in, only for Vita to somehow get involved in it.

    "Oh dear, the most horrid of sights crossed my vision just moments ago." Amelia squeezed Vita's hands, clasping them like a clam. Some strands escaped the white bun on top of her head, signaling that she had been quite out of breath moments ago. "I had witnessed the...destruction o-of a......a T-Tainted! Oh, it was sickening--not so much the Tainted, but...u-uah, I do so dread the way Tainted are...eliminated. Why, a few years ago, such methods were frowned upon. Now their ridding the city of Tainted in this very city. Oh, my heart...I wish they cared about the elderly as they do about the children. Ah, but I am rambling. I came so that we may leave together."

    "Amelia told me that she couldn't handle another sighting of a Tainted, so let's protect her the best we can, 'kay, Vita?"
    "Of course. Amelia, we'll protect you so that you and your family can reunite peacefully."
    "Why, the both of you are so sweet. Thank you for everything. Come, let's go!"

    Joy rekindled the serenity that clung to Amelia, dispersing the panic and agitation that had plagued her. No longer did her age seem to hinder her movements, for she practically skipped out of the door. Oren glided after her, with Vita in tow. Suddenly, Oren backtracked, as if he sensed something was awry. Although he was much smaller than herself, Vita barely avoided a collision with Oren, at which they both shrieked. Amelia peered at them in awe, but shrugged at the sight of them frantically waving their hands. They continued walking, the marketplace swarming with so many activities, it made advancing challenging. That gave Oren and Vita the opportunity to chat without worrying about being heard--that is, if they didn't get interrupted by shoving and collisions.

    "You were in a daze for awhile there, Vita. I didn't notice until I finished deali--I mean, proving our rights to those pathetic guards. Heh, I bet they don't even know the magical quantity behind those doors. Shame, we had heard that rumor about the Voco e Vorago possibly appearing in the restricted area..."

    "It may be a lie. Those who were spreading the rumor mentioned many versions of Voco e Vorago spread across many lands. Either there is an owner who distributed copies, or...someone is making this quest nearly impossible."

    "...Do you remember the contract you made with Margni?"

    "...Why do you..." She held her breath, knowing that Oren didn't like secrets as much as her. "Yes. I remember it clearly, especially because that memory came to me after thinking about the unknown--" Vita shook her head and corrected herself. "--no, I know now that the answer I'm searching for involves the Abyss."
    "Vita, that ribbon..." Oren's voice was stern, and he locked his eyes on the ribbon still keeping her dress in place. The shawl kept it mostly hidden, but Oren's keen eyes could tell that it was... "...It's moving."
    "I know."

    "Listen, if you truly remember that night, you know I tried to warn you. Margni doesn't enter contracts. He came to you not because you were lost, but because you knew you had nothing even though all the life around you had something or someone precious to return to. There are plenty of moon elves who accept that they have to start their lives from the very beginning, but you realized how unfair your birth was. That's what attracted Margni. He's cunning and takes advantage of those without hope."

    "So, you're saying I was filled with despair? Yes, I suppose you are right, but...this is what I feel is right. I don't know what will happen when I die, but I'd rather disappear as mysteriously as I appeared. As for Margni, I must admit I forgot where he was sent, but the contract we formed sealed him away in this ribbon. Therefore, no matter how restless he becomes, he cannot return to his proper form until the conditions of the contract are met."

    "Heh, you're nearly as clever as Margni! Ha, that beast finally got tricked."

    "Indeed...for now."
    Last edited by lokuri; 01-07-2013 at 01:07 PM.

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  6. #26
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    Verse Two
    ~Moon Day~
    Nayru, City of the Elves – Night


    |~~|

    The day was rather short in the end, wasn't it? Already we've reached evening, the moment everyone has been waiting for: Moon Day festival. People are gathering like flies around the plaza. All the grown-ups have covered their faces with different masks. It is a simple tradition which stems from a simple fairytale.
    A fairytale with a woman who was known as Moon Goddess, and who always wore a mask in order to conceal her power. According to the tale, the Moon Goddess was the one who created the three moons.

    There is much joy in the air, you can sense it. The other races aren't quite as festive when it comes to Moon Day however. For some reason elves see it as their duty, a duty which they do with a smile on their face.
    Not much had happened in the city during the day. Most people had only lingered in the marketplace in order to scavenge all the goods for the celebration.
    Then again shall we say, ”heroes” of our story here did not. Few of them had a productive day, one was able to save a person while the other was able to solve a case. Then there were those who studied, perhaps their goal was something others could only dream of? Then there was the one who was still searching for their origin, mystery as it is.

    Nevertheless, it is about time for me to put on my mask and join the crowd.


    |~~|

    Issat was starting to get impatient, she was hovering over the window which opened to the martkeplace and the colosseum. They were high enough to see the top row of the colosseum's crowd area. It had been several hours since the two had arrived into the library.
    Kinrai was muttering to himself the whole time without paying any attention to Issat. She gazed out of the window to see how the firefly lanterns started to lit up one by one. The spheres under the city were starting to become more active.

    There was an enormous pile of books near Kinrai, and the pile only kept growing as he browsed through the books. He had no idea that there could be so many maps.
    As yet another book slammed on the pile, Kinrai sighed deeply and looked around. There were still plenty of books left. Issat also sighed and finally decided to spoke. She was slightly hesitant since questioning your master wasn't a good thing for a fairy.

    Issat: ”Master.. ? Still no luck.. ?”
    Kinrai: *Sigh* ”No.”
    Issat: ”Maybe you should take a break.. ? You've been here all day. The Moon Day festival is about to start.”
    Kinrai looked at the books and then at Issat. Issat already knew what Kinrai would say the moment he turned his head.
    Kinrai: ”You can go, I'll be fine.”
    Issat: ”No.”
    Kinrai scratched the back of his head and sighed again. The conversation would be the same as earlier whatever he said at this point, so he just kept quiet and turned back to the books. After a short while, Issat spoke again.

    Issat: ”Maybe we should ask for help.. ? This is getting ridiculous.”
    Kinrai: ”No.. if I can't even find a darn book, then what good am I?”

    The weakness which Kinrai had strong within him revealed itself in the last sentence he had just said. Due to his father, Kinrai had always tried to prove himself.. to himself really.
    This happened often and was usually the reason why Kinrai ended up in fights or causing trouble in some other way. There was no turning his commitment, he would go all the way to the end just to prove that he could do it.
    Because of this, a certain event will transpire which leads all the way to Amn's future. Issat was about to speak again when finally, Kinrai led out a joyous outcry.

    Kinrai: ”I found it! I finally found it!! The map which has so much detail that I can safely travel the land..”
    Issat frowned slightly but still tried to look happy. The result was a rather awkward face which told the person wasn't genuinely happy.
    Issat: ”Great! Now we can finally enjoy the festival..”
    Kinrai: ”Heh.. Yeah, you're right. We have to stop by my house, my mask is there.”
    Issat: ”Let's go then, shall we?”

    Kinrai walked down the spiral staircase and reached the receptionist's desk soon. He took the book which had the map and showed it to the receptionist. Kinrai didn't want the whole book, only the pages where the map he desired was.
    The receptionist nodded, studied the book briefly and grabbed a piece of cloth from a container near her. Then with a slight puff and bright light, the map had found itself on the piece of cloth. She handed the cloth to Kinrai and spoke:

    Receptionist: ”There, done. Anything else?”
    Kinrai: ”That'll be all. Thank you.”

    The first fireworks were launched just as Kinrai stepped outside. They were of brilliant different colors which kept changing. Some of them had actual forms which they took. You could see a boat, the sun or even a dragon formed into the sky.
    Issat was as stunned as always, she never had enough of fireworks. People were gathering around the colosseum since it seemed space was starting to grow small in the plaza side. Kinrai jogged down the path back to his home.

    When he arrived, he opened the front door and went immediately into his room. He grabbed his mask from one of his drawers and put it on right on the spot. The mask was white with green etched into the left side of the mask. The expression on the mask was a happy one, both the mouth and the eyes were circled with thick golden lines. Also there was a golden ”X” on the right side of the mask.

    Kinrai made his out of his house and started jogging towards the plaza. He wouldn't want to miss the parade after all.


    Transition to Nilak

    Nilak was back at his tree home when the fireworks started. He had observed the bustling of the citizens of Nayru the whole day. He hadn't even bothered to get a drink from the high class tavern which was located in the edge of Nayru. It was usually the place he could spend some time, but not today.

    Nilak glanced upwards and saw the three moons nearing their position. There was still some time left until they would change, and another Moon elf would be born. Surprisingly, the birth of a Moon elf wasn't exactly celebrated. It was considered more of a natural phenomenon which occurred during Moon Days.
    The Moon Day was celebrated because.. it was celebrated. There was no real reason to celebrate it, but elves were determined to celebrate it.. even if the reason was only a simple fairytale.

    Nilak looked down at the ongoing parade. The music was so loud that anyone in the vicinity of Nayru could hear it. Naturally there was plenty of magic involved in the parade. Some spit fire, turned it into ice and formed it into a hulahoop which they would then throw up into the sky where it exploded into tiny crystals. Some formed holograms which resembled the moons when they were changed. Of course there also were plenty of animals there, all of them tamed as one can imagine.

    Nilak: ”It's so nice.. I'll miss this.”
    ???: ”He is getting impatient, as always. When will you act?”
    Nilak: ”Soon, I promise you that.”
    ???: ”Very well. I remind you, the crystal must be destroyed before dawn.”
    Nilak: ”I said soon. Let me enjoy from what little time I still have.”
    ???: ”.. Of course.”

    The figure vanished as soon as it had appeared. Nilak looked towards Valham's nest which resided in the outskirts of Nayru. It was barely visible from Nilak's home.

    Nilak: ”Soon the night fight will commence. Time to head for the colosseum.”

    Nilak jumped and flew through the air, hidden due to the parade's splendor, and arrived to the colosseum. He walked downstairs and arrived to Falteer's cell where Falteer was at the moment.
    Falteer possessed similar hair as Nilak, it was long and silver colored. Tonight Nilak wore a dark shirt with a collar in it, and which had purplish sleeves. The shirt was buttoned up all the way and it's sleeves were cut off from the elbow. He had his golden bracelet as usual in his left hand, the hand in which he held a sword when fighting. His pants were also dark and slightly loose, just to give enough room for flexible movement.

    Nilak: ”Evening Falteer. You did well on today's match against the Draken. Ready for the upcoming fight? I hope that blow you received from the Draken won't hinder your movement tonight.”
    Last edited by Takesh; 12-02-2011 at 10:06 AM.

  7. #27
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    Earlier~

    Balthazar had been waiting for Falteer for some time now. Waiting around in the dungeon was not exactly pleasant, some of the ”residents” weren't in their right mind any longer.
    One thin as a veil fellow only kept giggling in his cell, it was unnerving to say the least. The guard nearby finally signaled that Falteer returned, and before Balthazar could say anything, Falteer inquired why he was there. The reason for his hastiness could've been because of the fight, or he was just curious. Balthazar nodded and spoke:

    ”Amnaste, Falteer. I came only to ask you a few questions regarding Nilak, it won't take long. Has he been acting.. odd lately to you? During those arena fights held at night for example? And are you aware yet what we are supposed to do tonight.. ? I'm not questioning Nilak, yet I don't like where we are headed.”

    Balthazar's questions were brief, but that was just like him.

    --------------

    ”MOMMY!”

    . . .

    Inpa was screaming like a new born baby while the beast drew closer. Then right behind him, a single arrow zoomed through the air. The whole situation became a complete blur for Inpa, he eventually fainted from the shock. Before he fainted, he however saw another beast attack the Tamba.. a Xeloain.
    Some time passed, and then the mysterious saviour came to Inpa. He asked whether Inpa was okay, and that's when he started opening his eyes. He rubbed his eyes a little before getting a better look of the elf.

    ”W.. what happened.. ? I-Is that beast dead?!”

    Inpa was still in a slight state of shock, thus he couldn't think rationally. His eyes kept flashing back to those bloody, sharp teeth of the Tamba. It didn't help that Inpa was able to recognize the ominous collar on his saviour.. the collar of a fugitive of sorts.
    He backed down immediately, struggling away if the saviour tried to grab him. With a scared look on his face, he stood up and started running as fast as he could. The saviour didn't seem to go after him, most likely he had no intentions of harming Inpa but Inpa wasn't able to comprehend that now.


    Evening~

    Balthazar was lying on his bed in his tree home. The celebration of Moon Day had started but he wasn't going to participate, much to everyone's surprise no doubt. Something was clearly bothering him, thus he couldn't sleep. Not that it would've been possible because of their mission tonight, and the immense noise created by the parade.

    The most amazing stunts and illusions took place in this very parade. All of the people which Balthazar could see wore a mask, another odd little tradition they had.
    Somehow Balthazar was expecting a certain young elf to appear, showing off his newest creation. Yet Inpa did not appear. At first Balthazar felt relieved but something seemed off. Whether he liked it or not, he had became fond of Inpa. His cheerful nature seemed to brighten up Balthazar's day ever-

    ..

    ”BAAAALTHYYYYY!!!! Now where's your mask?!”. Inpa screamed out loud next to Balthazar's ear.
    ”Ugh..”
    ”Awwh, you grumpy old man get up!”
    ”Grumpy.. ?”
    ”COME ON! You're gonna miss the party!!”
    ”I have no inten-”
    ”Oh shut it geezer! I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual! That hair of yours is also.. a tad too.. how should I put it.. ugly”
    ”..”

    ..

    Balthazar opened his eyes and noticed that the earlier scenario was a creation of his imagination. Inpa was nowhere to be seen, and the parade was still going strong. Perhaps he was down there, celebrating like everyone else? Balthazar glanced towards the direction where Valham's nest was, and then back at the parade. Judging from the location of the moons, it wouldn't be long until Nilak's and Falteer's fight would start. Slowly Balthazar rose and started heading towards the colosseum.

    --------------

    ”Oh yeah, oh yeah! PARTY!! WHOO-HOO!!”

    Meanwhile Inpa was enjoying himself in the crowd in his usual cheery state. He felt embarrassed about earlier, he would've apologized his behaviour from the mysterious saviour if he had seen him again. Unfortunately he hadn't, so instead he was celebrating in the crowd.

    The mask he wore was huge, at least three times the size of his head, and it was really heavy. There were red feathers scattered all over the edge of the mask. The mask itself was covered in thick stripes of gold, silver and pink making it stand out quite easily. Then as if serving as cheeks, the mask had two black circles under the eyes. It was also covered with a glittery powder substance, it looked quite fancy to say the least.

    ”Awesooooooome!!!”
    Last edited by farag0n; 01-07-2011 at 03:19 PM.
    Calm down people, it's just me.

  8. #28
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    ‘Sir, are you all right?’ Vice asked with a slight sign of worry on her face as she looked down on the owner of the library, who had suddenly collapsed on the ground. ‘You look really bad. I think you might have got a wrong drink somewhere . You need a doctor as soon as possible. Just wait here. I’ll use your back door and call him immediately.’

    ‘But I don’t –‘

    ‘Don’t worry sir; just lay still and everything will be all right. Let’s go Nyx.’ Vice gestured to her fairy to follow her through the door behind her.

    In the next room, which was just as dusty as the central room, Vice looked around hurriedly. ‘Oh I see now,’ she commented, ‘you don’t have a back door.’ She shrugged. ‘Well I’ll just create one then. Where is that book?’ The last sentence was directed at Nyx.

    'On your left.’

    Vice’s red eyes flew to table on her left were a book was displayed. ‘I’ll borrow this then,’ she said while snatching it off the table, ‘for an unknown period of time.’

    Her fingers moved at inhuman speed before clapped and pressed both hands against the wall next to the table. Under her hands a door started to form. Soon the chamber was empty with exception of a new made door and a red rupee, which looked to bright for this room, lingering on the table.

    ----

    While she walked back to the main square (after indeed asking a doctor to see that man) where she and Askari would meet again Vice skipped quickly through the beginning pages of the book. It looked quite complex as it started with a complete elaboration about magic in general. Concentrated Vice read the part about Earth magic, her element, as she navigated herself through a thick crowd back to a road with stones. Suddenly she slammed the book shut. ‘I’m so stupid!’ She cursed herself.

    ‘I know.’

    ‘You know, you are supposed to say something like: “no you’re not” or “don’t say that,” aren’t you my fairy, my, eh, support?’ Vice said to the fairy that rested on her shoulder.

    ‘Yes.’

    ‘But…?’

    ‘You are stupid sometimes.’

    ‘Arg, Nyx!’

    While discussing the fact if Vice was stupid or not Vice fingers were constantly moving. First thing was that she lengthened her hair until it rested gracefully on her shoulders (Nyx was forced to fly up or otherwise she would have drowned in the flood of hair that sprung from Vice’s head). The color remained white, but now with a slight tint of blond in it. So faint that you weren’t sure if it was there or not. Her cloak was folded up with the book inside of it and tied on her back, her short jacket extended to one with long sleeves and that reached to her hips, her trousers lengthened together with her shoes until they were more like boots and reached over her trousers. Only the color of the clothes remained the same.

    When she was finished she stood before a small shop on the main square that seemed to get squeezed between two other buildings. How it managed to withstand the forces that were pressing on it was still an unsolved question.

    The shop bore the sign: Erak’s Amulets.

    It wasn’t strange, hence the name of the shop, that the shop belonged to Erak Tragras, a sturdy looking dwarf with brown hair and a long braided beard who absolutely loved money or any other kind of wealth. Inside it was so full that you could hardly make your way through the small pathways. Everywhere there lay or hung amulets. Amulets with protective spells, enhancing spells or destructive ones, also there were various other magical items present. On the left was a small counter where the owner was currently doing his calculations (read: counting his money for the four hundred and sixth time).

    When Vice entered the dwarf didn’t look up, but just said: ‘We’re closed.'

    Carefully Vice closed the door behind her and walked to the counter, trying to touch as less as possible. She knew from experience that nothing was what it seemed in this shop.

    ‘I said: we are clo-‘

    ‘I need a Xeloain fang.’

    A clunk resonated through the quiet shop as the dwarf dropped one of his red rupees on the counter. He looked up, his eyes narrowed. ‘We don’t have Xeloain fangs, they are very rare and almost impossible to get.’

    ‘I said I needed one, I did not ask if you had one.’

    The dwarf was quiet for a while before he sighed and picked up the red rupee from the counter. ‘What do you want Vice?’

    ‘What is that for kind of greeting to someone you haven’t seen for about fifty years?’

    ‘A greeting from someone who wished you would give back the money you stole from me.’

    ‘What?! Man, you still going on about that? And beside I didn’t steal it.’ Vice threw up her hands in the air.

    ‘Well you still own me those 50 rupees.’

    ‘Sure, sure.’ Vice sighed. ‘So where is my friend?’

    Erak looked up again, confused this time. ‘What friend?’

    --------

    ‘You sure we’re heading the right way?’ Askari asked for the second time as he still followed the dark elf. They had been walking for about fifteen minutes now and still no sign of a road with stones, which wasn’t a very good sign Askari figured. It couldn’t be true that he had wandered off so far, couldn’t it?

    ‘Yes, yes, just follow me.’ The elf said. ‘We are just taking a small detour.’

    Askari frowned. ‘What? I don’t have time for that you know.’

    ‘Come on, just a little drink. That can’t hurt anybody, can it?’ The elf smirked.

    ‘I really should get to that mart. You see Vice, my friend, she is waiting for me.’

    The elf stopped abruptly, making Askari bump into him. ‘Vice? You’re friends with Vice? And she is back?'

    ‘What?’ Askari looked flabbergasted. ‘You know her?’

    The elf smirked and raised his head up to the sky. ‘How does she do it? How in Arllith’s name does she always manage to get in my way?’ He looked down to the confused Beastkin before him. ‘Come on,’ he said while turning around and waving with his hand to another dark elf to make him disappear, ‘I’ll take you to the main square.’

    ------------

    ‘You mean he isn’t here?!’ Vice practically yelled to the dwarf in front of her. ‘That dimwit! He got himself lost again!’ She rubbed her eyes. ‘And he doesn’t know the city at all. Guess I have no choice.’ She searched in her pockets and took out two yellow rupees. ‘I take two masks.’

    Erak studied the rupees for quite a while, bit on them and held them against the light before putting them in his purse and standing up.

    ‘You think I’m cheating on you, Erak?’ Vice said with a slightly amused voice.

    ‘Since it is you, yes.’ The dwarf only commented before strolling off. ‘What are you going to do anyway?’

    ‘Find him, of course. You have no idea how worse this guy is with directions. That guy even gets lost in his own country.’ She said.

    -----*flashback* -----
    ‘You can come out now!’ A younger Vice yelled to the emptiness around her as she walked on something that could be called a path. ‘You’re kind of obvious.’

    There was no reply besides from the wind that decided to blow a squall of heat, coming from one of the lava rivers nearby, in her direction and Vice sighed profoundly. She rubbed the dust out of her eyes before rolling them and stopping on her tracks. She turned to the side on her heels staring to the heap of rocks.

    ‘Look,’ She said to the heap, ‘you can continue sitting there and follow me every move waiting for the courage to step up and attack which perhaps never comes and this whole day will be a waste of time and energy for you will not accomplish anything. You can, of course, also come out now and we can have a normal conversation about when ether it is wise or not to follow a stranger for about four hours.’

    Again it was silent and Vice stared out over the emptiness of Onomu, the land of the Beastkin. To the volcano in the distance, far in the west where also Kalah was located, to the rivers of lava a bit closer that streamed all the way down to the Abyss if she had to believe the tales of the Beastkin. No, Onomu wasn’t a friendly land for travelers.

    ‘How did you know I was here?’ A sudden voice echoed through the silence and Vice focused her eyes back on the heap where a figure had appeared. He was tall and gawky as he stood there with the last sun on his hollow face. He looked like someone who hadn’t eaten a decent meal in quite a while. His fur was mat and dirty and his ears laid flat against his head, his paws firmly placed in the rubble.

    ‘Well you were stamping around like an angry tamba so it wasn’t actually that hard.’ Vice commented. ‘You can’t escape my ears.’ She added pushing her cap back, revealing her pointy ears. She smirked.

    The face of the Cheetah-like Beastkin dropped and he sighed.

    Vice frowned slightly and placed her hands on her hips. ‘So, what are ya doing here? I don’t recall a village being close by.’ Could it be a village that is not mapped down?

    ‘Eh… I…’

    Vice smile became more gentile. ‘You’re lost, aren’t you?’

    Depressed the Beastkin nodded and Vice bursted out in laughter.

    ‘What’s so funny?’ The Beastkin said irritated.

    ‘Getting – haha – lost in your own country,’ Vice hiccupped, ‘that is just too funny.’ She turned her head a bit to the side before stating at more serious tone: ‘So how well do you know this land?’

    -----*end flashback*-----

    ‘Hello?’

    Vice looked up from the masks she was examining and her eyes twinkled, but she remained on her place.

    ‘Eh hello?’

    ‘We’re closed.’ Erak huffed as he emerged from behind a great crate with defensive spells.

    I’m, eh, looking for my friend. Ah, I see she is already here.’ Askari said as he noticed Vice standing at the counter.

    ‘How did you know it was me?’ Vice commented as the Beastkin stepped towards her.

    ‘Your gloves.’ Came the serious reply.

    Vice looked stunned for a moment than she laughed. ‘Okay, very funny. Serious now, what was it?’

    Askari blinked. ‘Your gloves, really. They have this strange kind of smell…’ He trailed off. ‘Oh by the way,’ He looked up to Vice, ‘This guy, Kerim, he said that I should send you his regards and tell you that you should stop meddling in other people’s work, whatever that means.’ And he caught the mask Vice threw to him.
    Last edited by Fieryfly; 01-26-2011 at 06:44 PM.


    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir I exist."
    "However," replied the universe,
    "this hasn't created in me
    a sense of obligation."

  9. #29
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    Kinrai ran home, back from school, filled with joy. Elves sent their children to school at the early age of four already, they were certain this would help in developing the children's skills even further before reaching adulthood. Whether this was a good idea, one can not say for it has always been like this. Kinrai was eager to show his results to his father who was most likely at home. He had just learned how to cast his first spell, a simple light which erupted from one's finger through magic.

    Kinos: ”Hmph. Why are you here? You still have school.”
    Kinrai: ”F-Father! They let me go earlier! I.. umm.. I cast my first spell today!”
    Kinos: ”At the age of four? Remarkable.”
    Kinrai: ”U-uhm.. t-thanks!”
    Kinos: ”.. What is it? I have no time for you.”
    Kinrai: ”O-oh! S-sorry!”


    -----------------------------

    Monark, the capital city of Zenith. The city which never seemed to sleep, it cast an everlasting shadow on the ”other half” in the root of the city. The upper city had multiple shops and a market area in the middle, the wealthiest ones also lived there.

    There, in the upper city, lay the large tower of the Elder Council. At the top of the tower resided three ”branches” which pointed upwards. These three branches were designated to the three elders: Garmilio, Ka'Tar and Kinos Alte.
    Twice a day the three would hold a meeting at the top of the tower. There they discussed the situation of Amn each and every day. The pressing matters at the moment were the Inuiks' dangerous behaviour, Chasm of Terra's barrier which separated Amn and the Netherworld and lastly the miscellaneous matters at hand.

    Kinos was attending to several crime investigations at the moment, most of which seemed to point to a single Tainted. Whether this individual truly was the cause of all the crimes, which included burglary, mugging and at least two known assaults, was uncertain however someone had to pay the price.
    It was already night, the moons were starting to turn into bright crystals in the sky. Kinos had no intention of watching the ”show”, he had other things to do than play all jolly and gawk at stars. Suddenly the door to his chambers opened and in walked a hooded figure. Kinos raised his gaze from the papers and examined the figure.

    Kinos: ”Well? You have something to report? Out with it, I don't have all night.”
    ???: ”He seems.. reluctant to our cause, and yet he agrees to do it.”
    Kinos: ”Hmph. As expected from someone like him. Off you go then, report me once the deed is done.”
    ???: ”Of course.”

    Just as the figure left Kinos' chambers, a whirlwind of fireworks passed by his window. The celebration at the market area had started. People were standing on their roofs and launching fireworks straight into the air.
    Down at the city level there were elven dancers dancing through the streets, each of them surrounded with different kinds of orbs which emitted light everytime the dancers' feet made contact with the ground. Back at the market area most of the elves were wearing their masks and dancing like no tomorrow. Those who possessed magical skills entertained others with their magic while the acrobatic ones made the most wonderous of stunts.

    The moons had completely changed into diamonds and were slightly emitting light. Soon all three moons ”exploded” with light and shot their rays into Amn. This was the moment a Moon elf was born into Amn. Where this individual was born is unknown but usually they ”landed” near Nayru, in the forests of Auburn.
    Kinos swiftly glanced outside but only sneered and went back to his studies.
    Last edited by Takesh; 01-29-2011 at 02:42 PM.

  10. #30
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    Striding amongst the crowded street Andrim once again noticed that every moon day the population spiked as elves made their way to Nayru, it being a much more popular place to celebrate in than the cramped Monark. It being the religious center of the elves with their ancient and supposedly pure priestess living here. The marketplace was filled with people laughing, eagerly anticipating the moment when the moon day would finally start. Some of the merchants had abandoned their stationary stalls for a more convenient and broader method of trade, dragging with them small carts on wheels selling everything from food to various trinkets and the masks that had become tradition to wear during the moon day.

    “Do I have a deal for you!”

    Turning his head to the source of the noise he noticed first now being trailed by a dwarf salesman with a cart in front of him, which seemed quite pointless with there being just one single mask in it.

    “You see” the dwarf continued “I had a good day selling all of my masks except this one. Now I do want to get back and refill my load with new ones but I got an annoying habit, it just feels all wrong if I go and refill without having getting rid of them all first and I can’t throw it away now can I?”
    “I suppose not” Andrim had a feeling of where this was going.
    “Precisely, and what do I see? An elf walking by himself without even a mask for comfort and I think to myself what if I were to give my last mask to him? So here you are” he said as he reached down into his cart, took it out and plunged it into Andrims arms before he could protest and removed himself as quickly as he had appeared.

    A bit surprised Andrim stared at the mask. He had been expected the dwarf trying to sell him the mask, not give it to him. The mask itself was simply made, a round wooden disk with a string to fasten it on the head. It was roughly made to resemble a leopard beastkin, fangs in the mouth and what the artist had probably thought a menacing look in the eyes which in fact reminded him of an angry cat, though admitely they could be quite menacing as well.

    It was a bit early but if he had a mask he had and put it on. After a few minutes of walking his formerly purposeful stride declined and an dullness entered his mind. Eventually he walked unsurely and slowly forward, he had the horrible feeling he had forgotten something important, a feeling he just couldn’t ignore. Steadily the picture of a female dark elf and the stone placed in the ground faded and became an desire for something else. He needed to go there and so went to a new direction without stopping until he stood before a house, hardly noticing it he opened the door and stepped inside.

    As suddenly as the dullness in his mind had come it disappeared, filling him with both surprise and irritation. This wasn’t where he had planned on going at all, rather how had he got here? The woman standing in front of him was a definite clue to why. Tall, long haired and dark skinned and clothed in an elegant dress which complimented her, but the elegance it might have shown was ruined by the mask portraying a rough faced dwarf. A dark elf. One he knew.

    “Happy Moon day Andrim” she announced happily as she took of the mask and placed it on a drawer next to her.

    Not sure how happy it is right now Melinda. Making me go here against my will by using your art on me. From what I remember you need some kind of medium for distances though” he said while trying to gather his thoughts, he felt a bit disarrayed.
    "True"
    Taking the mask off he glanced inside of it and first now noticed the barely legible runes rifted into it. “Oh, that dwarf was an acquaintance of yours I take it”
    “You could put it like that. He’s a friend who knows when to listen to me. They’re truly the best kind”
    “You do realize you could just have told me to come over?” he said as he followed her example and placed hung the mask on an nail at the doorway
    Well yes but where’s the fun in that? Teaches you to take strange gifts, free at that! From dwarves you don’t know, did your mother tell you nothing?
    “Unfortunately she didn’t warn me about that particular piece of danger. But how did you know I was here? I just got here today”
    “You should ask another one of my friends for that, tall chap, good eyes. Got a picture of you
    “Not another dwarf at least”
    “Maybe he had stilts”
    ……..
    “Well?”
    “Well what?”
    Did he?”
    “….No” she admitted
    “Melinda please gets to the point. You wouldn’t have called me here for nothing so I take it you got something to tell me”
    “Oh I’m not so sure about that, if I’m bored someday perhaps. But you’re right, you remember the proposition you offered last time you visited them I hope?”
    “Yes”
    “Good, because they have accepted it. Fulfill your part, or rather shouldn’t I say parts now? And you will have their support. As long you don’t try to become the next ruler of the elves. The consequences for that would be as they put it… What did they said? Oh yes would be as a thousand demons drilling your very soul with needles while piling of your skin”
    “… They did not say that”
    “You’re right, that's from a very poorly book I read recently, the consequences would be unfortunate was how they put it”
    “Sounds about right. Give them a hint that the feelings are mutual”
    “Threatening your allies? Oh I just love politics! Now with that said and done would you mind leaving? I am to have a customer here shortly and need to prepare”
    “What kind of customer? The honest or dishonest type”?
    “Now I can’t tell you that, you just try to hunt him down for another feather in your hat, hence the reason I don’t want you to see him”
    “True” Andrim admitted as he went over to the door, stopping before it.
    Next time just send a message if you need to see me” he said as he turned the handle and stepped outside, the door slowly closing behind him.

    This day he decided, had been a good one so far. Now he just had to wait for Direya and Dref to be done and as long that didn’t go to ruin this day would have been perfect, or as close to perfect it could he reminded himself. Mixing with the crowd once again he played with the thought of heading to the graveyard but decided against it. He really shouldn’t do that against Direya.
    Putting up his hand he let out a yawn, first now realizing how tired he was. He and Direya had travelled the whole day, or rather he had, his fairy had just rested on his shoulder, and he himself hadn’t properly rested when finally arriving. He could use some rest.

    Walking to a nearby inn, he couldn’t really go back to his former home, he was told that they were all full. And thus an evil circle began, growing more and more tired for every tavern or inn he checked he was always told the meaning he had begun to hate during the last hour, the words were different but the meaning always the same. There was no room for him. By the time he had finished them all he was no longer tired but exhausted. He started regretting having noticed how tired he was. Think he told himself no taverns or inns and having no acquaintances to sleep at where could he go? The thought crossed his mind instantly in a flash of inspiration, the library of course.

    After a few minutes he reached the library, the old fountain of knowledge the elves safeguarded, past the receptionist and ignoring book and person headed for the second floor went up the spiral staircase to the second floor. The place was quiet with few people in it, each one of them buried in whatever world the book they read had. Looking around he noticed a chair in one of the corners and slumped down on it with a satisfied sigh. Closing his eyes his breathing slowly evened out into a slow and steady tact.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________________


    Direya cursed herself convinced to stay here by Andrim, she should have known better than accepting this. The place was not warm, not even hot, the temperature was blazing! It felt like she would turn into a fairy crisp if it went higher, it didn’t do her mood any good either to see Drifs fairy seemingly having no problems with the temperature as he hovered over the blacksmiths shoulders. She had privately marked him as a smug bastard, she was sure she’d seen a smirk on his face at her discomfort.

    The smithy was in a square room which didn’t let out the heat from the forge where Drif was working making it a huge oven. Opposite to the forge a workbench made in some dark kind of wood, which kind she couldn’t determine, where several finer instruments were, small lenses of glass and chisels and the like. Most likely for the finer details of work a blacksmith might have.
    In the beginning she had been able to throw in a few comments to the pair, all of them ignored by the fairy that hadn’t said a word and most ignored by Dref. But now she was too warm to even make the effort for some unpleasant conversation. Him giving a hint she ruined his concentration also an reason she shut up. Not only was she not allowed to speak, the constant hammering onto metal had started to hurt hear ears, cling, cling cling. Again and again. Who was the idiot who hadn’t invented fairy ear mufflers? Everyone that’s who she thought grumblingly as she watched.

    Dref after having heated up the metal for some time and hammering it into the shape he wished finally stopped. Laying down his hammer and wiping of the sweat on his brow. Heading to another part of the smithy, Direya watched with interest, at least something new was happening, to a handle in the wall which he began to turn furiously. Confused at first she soon noticed the moonlight entering the room through the hole in the roof that was slowly opening, sending its light down onto the metal.

    Looking up she could now see all three of the moons clearly, shaped like brilliant diamonds sending down an luminous light onto Amn. The moon day had begun. And the moon metal eagerly drank its light.

    After having almost the entire roof sided away he picked up a small knife from a metal holder, loosening metal wires around it to pull it free.

    It was more akin to a surgical knife than anything else, the light glimmering from its edge, Direya didn’t knew why but she suddenly grew very uncomfortable. When Dref spoke it was in a manner which suggested he expected no answer, just wishing to went his ego “I now understand why he wanted me, this is a precision job. Not something like his father could perform” while slowly lowering the scalpel which started to give out its own light, a pure white one, the closer it came to the metal, until it finally reached and with a small spark passed right through it, making a nice cut right in the middle separating it into two identical pieces.

    Satisfied Drif turned to Direya “that’s the first steep. They are now so finely sliced that if I pressed them together they be one piece again. Though I” Suddenly he stopped as the knife lunged back onto the metal again. Swearing Derf pulled it back and with effort walked to the workbench and slammed down the knife up to the handle into it. “I hate when it does that”!

    “What was that?” Direya said as she drew nearer to the knife. She could almost swear she heard some muffled sound from it.
    “Just an ordinary knife. Quite well crafted but nothing special about it… Except the spirit trapped inside. Bought it from a moon elf years ago and since I used it for separating metal, passes right through them like butter. Only problem is that if it likes the taste it always tries to get a second one”

    Direya frowned upon this piece of information, she did not know too much about spirits but she knew that handling somebody else’s summon could be risky, she’d just seen proof of that. “What its name?
    “Who knows” He answered as he was picking up different tools, seemingly contemplating which one to use “it was years ago, I forgot. It’s just a toll anyway, I don't tend to name them”
    Just a tool. Flying away perhaps a bit hastier than usually she made some distance from the knife
    “It just moved by itself, what if it attacked a person?! If that’s a tool then I’m Valham!” she exclaimed angrily flying in front of him, her angry forms menace somewhat lessened by her height just being a few centimeters.
    It only does move like that rarely, it’s trapped in that form. What possible harm could it do? It only managed to do something because I held it and now it’s embedded in wood, name or no name it won’t get out of there any soon. Now get out of my way” Dref responded as he shooed her away with his hand.

    Angrily Direya flew of to gain some distance from the forge in the futile hope that the heat would't be quite as bad that way. Watching him as Dref decided on his tool and set to work on the two pieces of moon metal, shifting his focus from one piece to the other in a rhytm she couldn't quite follow.

    The two pieces of moon metal emitted a soft steady beat of light which eluminated Dref, and on the workbench unnoticed the end of the knife slightly vibrated, the sound lost in the forge.
    Last edited by Befram; 01-25-2011 at 02:11 PM. Reason: Forgot my Exp

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