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Beginnings... (Hey, look, FICTION!)

Discussion in 'UO Sonoma' started by King of Pain, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. King of Pain

    King of Pain Guest

    Pounding on the door made it strain on its weathered hinges. The sound echoed within the old watchtower into which the door was set, but no echo returned across the drear, fog embanked moor that surrounded it. Dragging on the stone stoop, the door was forced outward by a thin, taught muscled man wearing a woolen gray cloak and tunic. His quick, thin eyes opened in momentary shock as he registered the towering figure that had produced the racket. His eyes darted to the base of the hillock that the tower was situated atop, and saw the muddied warhorse that this stranger had obviously ridden. The lithe doorman stepped aside and curtly motioned for the tall man to enter.

    The brooding hulk of a man crouched as he entered the door of the dilapidated tower, nearly knocking the smaller man off his feet as he brushed against him. The giant cast him a baneful glance, suggesting that it was the smaller man’s own fault for the contact. He in turn cast him a wry smile, and lead the giant through a room stacked with mildewed crates and barrels, stinking of a slow and moist decay. They proceeded up a flight of lichen encrusted stone stairs anchored in the tower wall, to the first story above.

    The giant cast a leery look around as he mounted the stairs into the room. It was well appointed, though the moisture of the place was having its way with the more delicate accommodations. An ornate woven rug spotted with ember scars and mildew stains covered the wooden floor, damping the echo on the steps to a hush. The humid warmth of the room was coming from a cast iron stove set atop a large paving stone. The smell of a thin broth tinged the air, coming from a kettle set to a slow boil on the stove. An ornately carved table sat centered in the room, with a fine doilied spread atop it. A set of two matching armchairs flanked the table, with a gaunt white-haired man sitting in the one nearer the stove, facing the stairs. The lines of his face were brought to sharp contrast by the yellow light cast from the candelabra centered on the table.

    He took a sip of broth from an earthenware mug, wiped his scraggly beard with the sleeve of his oily embroidered robe, and then motioned for the stranger to sit at the table.

    The bearish man propped an axe and bow against the table and sat down. His postured revealed a man of action, coiled and ready to spring. The old man chuckled, then coughed gently.

    “You are in no threat,” the old man rasped, “now relax and tell me your name and what you seek.”

    The large man fixed him with cool steel eyes and let his frame relax a notch. He laid a medallion engraved with geometric symbols on the table, still holding the old man with his gaze.

    “Ah, the strong silent type,” the old man chortled as he reached out and picked up the medallion. After examining it, he set it back on the table and measured the giant with careful scan. “So you are from the guild house of Fraekryss, the vanished necromancer… but no name or title is on the token. Your identity shall remain a mystery, then?”

    The stranger nodded, still holding the old man in his determined gaze as he retrieved his token.

    “Very well, it shan’t make the task easier, but it should not make much difference. I assume you are seeking the old wizard? No,” he added contemplatively, “then someone else, and you have brought some affects of theirs… and of course, payment?”, he added with a smile.

    The giant reached into his tunic, produced a bag and sat it on the table. The old man took the bag and emptied the contents on the table. A handkerchief, a balled up nightshirt, a worn stylus, a seal, an well-used wooden puzzle made of intersecting disks, a pair of scissors, a brass sextant, and a small metal bound and locked book. Sorting through the items, the wizened man mumbled and clucked to himself. After some time spent is this evaluation, he looked up into the gray eyes of the giant.

    “You know, the payment is going to run high. This mage you seek, he is no longer on this sphere.”
     
  2. Ohh...I like this very much! I look forward with great anticipation to the next installment.

    Thank you for posting this here! :)
     
  3. King of Pain

    King of Pain Guest

    The gray clad young man quietly offered some broth to the steel-eyed stranger as the items spread on the table were carefully returned to the sack by the old seer.

    “I will be retiring to my study to contemplate the aura’s, and with luck my silent friend, divine the path from hither to yon”, he coughed as he struggled to stand.

    His wiry henchman set the mug of broth down with a slosh as he stepped quickly to help the old man, holding him upright while retrieving a walking stick propped beside the stove. After situating the stick in the frail elder’s hand, he took the sack and briskly climbed a flight of stairs partially hidden behind a moth-eaten tapestry, stained with oily soot and mildew so that the images on it were a foggy blur of muted color.

    The old man hobbled along after, and as he started on the first step turned to the bearish man.

    “Make yourself comfortable,” he wheezed, “ and in due time I shall return with your answers. I fear” he coughed, “that your friend shall be harder to track than his location will be to observe.”

    The expressive eyes of the silent stranger spoke in volumes: understanding, concern, hope. There was a drive in him that the old seer, a man seasoned in reading aura’s as much as people, could detect. As he hobbled up the stairs, it occurred to him that trying to fathom the depths beyond the silence would be as much a mystery as resolving the location of his quarry.

    As the old man at last rose to the top of the stairs, he observed that The Ferret had spread the items on the table beside the auger’s brazier, and was striking flint to the wood chips therein. A sharp smile broke the young man's grim continence as the shavings atop the chips lit. He bent down and slowly puffed while turning the chips and shavings, getting the oiled woods to ignite.

    The old diviner smiled with a fatherly sort of pride as the younger man finished setting the texts most frequently consulted on the stand beside the table, noting with an especially poignant satisfaction, that rarely needed texts such as ‘Laan-Kaen’s Dimensional Almanac’, and ‘The Annotated Guide to Spherical Refractions’ were present as well.

    He reflected with quite joy that The Ferret, his pupil, was displaying great promise, already equipped with keen senses and a marvelous ability to track real targets, he was now applying the same sort of attentiveness to the study of human behavior, grasping nuances and adjusting for them in advance.

    “What do you think of our client, Master Albec?” The student and henchman asked as he stepped back to make way for the elder seer.

    “I was going to ask you the same, my Ferret” old teacher replied.

    “I think he is used to pressing his way through as a dullard and a thug… serving as a henchman to others” he thoughtfully replied.

    The old man frowned, raising a brow.

    “But I think it is a careful act. I think it is a manifestation of careful wisdom. I suspect that he, like you, sees the strength of being the voice”, at this he smiled sardonically, “the voice of wisdom, in the ear of great men, taken for hire, so he is taken only when he wishes, and where he wishes.”

    The old man let a slight smile cross his lips. “You are full of insights Ferret, and I would say your studies are well spent, but tell me this, why does he not speak?”

    The young man pondered this while the old man set himself on the stool so that he could ruminate over the affects of his target, while engulfed in the fuming vapors rising from the brazier. As he began to slip into his diviner’s trance, the voice of The Ferret drifted across his mind.


    “He cannot speak, he is a mute.”
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    i can place this in the Ly, right?
     
  5. King of Pain

    King of Pain Guest

    I suppose... There is still a lot left to write though.
     
  6. Cymeraen

    Cymeraen Guest

    Thats kinda sad, 64 views and not even one atta'boy. /php-bin/shared/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    well i add it once it is finsh
     
  8. Cymeraen

    Cymeraen Guest

    You might as well add it now. You have lots of episodic stuff on the Lyceum, no?
     
  9. DrkDjinn

    DrkDjinn Guest

    Ok ill do it ....... atta'boy!
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    what you going do?? DrkDjinn
     
  11. ~Raven~

    ~Raven~ Guest

    oh wow! this is great!! /php-bin/shared/images/icons/smile.gif I am looking forward to reading more installments.
     
  12. King of Pain

    King of Pain Guest

    Albec’s fingers traced the relief of a knotted wheel on the cover of the metal clad book as he drifted deeper into his trance. The aura clinging to the book was strongest of all the items at his fingertips, and the inlay had been traced many times by its former owner as well. The mage’s aura was easy to read from this simple exercise.

    The image of a man of medium height and build resolved in the astral space before Albec. Long brassy hair was drawn back framing blue eyes the color of an uneasy sea, a prominent, straight nose, and a goatee the color of the hair. A clever grin accented this face. Here was a man used to bending others to his will, the elder seer noted as he shifted his focus from the image of the man, having instantiated him firmly in mind. Knowing the man was pointless by itself, his charge was to find him.

    Taking in the world around him, the old man allowed his mind to open. As he had already suspected, this mage he sought was not to be found on any shores of this world. His mind opened further still as he slowly scanned across a multitude of tiny bubbles floating in the suspension of eternity. He pursued just one glimmer in this sea of starry motes.

    His attention was slowly drawn to a cluster of bubbles, clinging together rather precariously. As his focus drew nearer, he saw that this cluster was one great bubble that had been breached by some cataclysm, and in its wake, a slurry of shards had been created. He continued onward, attempting to find the minor sphere within which the quarry was to be found. He methodically filtered through the spheroids until he found the one that bore the trace he sought. Albec committed the pulse of the spheroid to memory, and began the slow process of awakening.

    The gaunt old man fumbled for the texts on the stand. His eyes were stinging from the smoking embers in the brazier before him, and his hands were stiffer than usual after such a journey. Age was catching him, he feared, and many more charges like this one would certainly be the death of him.

    The Ferret, drawn by the sounds of the old master’s fumbling, crept up the stairs to check his progress. When he saw he was lucid, he stepped forward and covered the brazier with the matching damper. The old man hacked and wheezed into his sleeve for a moment as his lungs drew in the cool, damp air.

    “What time is it?” the old master wheezed between coughs.

    “It is approaching supper, sir. You were entranced for a better part of the day,” The student replied.

    “See to our guest’s comfort and lodging. I will be most of the night, and perhaps the ‘marrow, finding the path he must take.”

    “Very well master,” The Ferret replied as returned to the stairs.

    Albec turned once again with a clearer head and eyes to the books on the stand. The affront to the cosmos he observed should be easy enough to find, so long as it was not a recent event, he cautioned himself. With some concern he recalled seeing no threads holding the cluster to any other spheres, which would mean that there were no open portals to those spheroids. But there would be a way to bridge that gap, there always was.