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PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:49 pm
by jadewik
Soaked from sweat caused by the heat from the volcano as she had traveled, Ebon-Ashe stood in the anteroom of a great, black hall. The air amazingly cool gave her a chill, but she brushed the feeling aside.

She was walking through a great Onyx door with silver etchings of demons and spirits of the dead. The door guardians snarling and reaching out for her as she passed into a more grandeur room.

A powerful man covered in shadows possessing a great weapon of power sat on his throne. He glided down from his throne as if he were a shadow himself. His red eyes glowing orbs within the black wisps that surrounded him.

She was deathly afraid. He could smell her fear. Her heart raced. The shadow moved closer, darkness enveloped her.

Gasping for air, Ebon-Ashe awoke from her dream. Her clothes, wet from sweat, stuck to her skin. Taking deep breaths, she lay still for a moment trying to get her bearings.

She did not recognize where she was, but it was someone's living quarters. She didn't ask it, but she wondered how she'd got where she was. Had she blacked out?

The fear that had woke her from her dream had dissipated. At least it was comforting to know that she could settle easily from her nightmares.... but who was the shrouded man? She tried to think, but her mind was blank besides the dream, and even the memory of that was fleeting.

Reaching up to rub her aching, bruised forehead, she noticed that her arm had been tended to. Though, blood had seeped through the bandage and it was probably time for it to be changed.

"Where the hell am I now?" she huffed aloud as she tried to gauge the time. She wondered how long she'd been unconscious.

Staggering out of bed, she leaned heavily on objects as she made her way across the room towards the door. The loss of blood still fatigued her and the need for sleep was dire, but she pushed the thoughts away. Who knew what the men in the bar had planned for her. Better to escape now before anyone notices she's awake.

Ebon-Ashe reached for the door knob and turned it...

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:49 pm
by jadewik
(Time warp)

Gakhan caught the key from Curu and turned, heading for the HC wing. He had been there before, but that wasn't for people to know, because even as skilled as he was in stealth he hadn't gotten far.

As he carried EA to the room, he inserted the key and turned it, as the door opened he was surprised to find very unadorned room.

That's like Curu, never one to go too far...

As he entered he walked to the small bed and layed the rogue down, then he poured a glass of water and set it at a bedside table, hoping she would wake and find it.

After Gakhan had tended to everything he could think of he went outside, standing by the door to ensure she did not escape in her delirium.


He had been standing there not longer than two hours when rummaging could be heard from in the room. He turned to face the door and waited but as it opened he smiled.

Even in her weakened state she wont rest, the woman never stops...

The elf picked her up, an easy feat in her weakened state, and layed her back on the bed. As she fought it he ran from the room, beating her to the door. As he shut it he mumbled arcane words and drew a rune on the door.

As it was successfully wizard locked and he was confident she could not escape Gakhan walked back down the hall, heading back down to the tavern below.

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:50 pm
by jadewik
Curulan ignores the feedback coming in on the telepathic channel he established earlier, focusing instead on his current mission.

His south-westernly flight ends above the Dragon Tower, deep in the forest south of Titan. He lands in the courtyard, and waves up to the sentry in the tower. The sentry waves back, then goes inside the tower. A silvery portal swirls open in the center of the courtyard. A portal Curulan has gone through numerous times.

Curulan steps through it into a large spherical room -- more of a building, actually -- with walls of silvery metal. An attendant stands on a platform at the center of the sphere. That platform is the center of a web of walkways that all end in nodes similar to the one on which Curulan is standing. The building is surprisingly empty, with only a handful of people entering and exiting portals. However, it is the attendant who has Curulan's attention.

Curulan ascends to the central platform and the attendant salutes him. "Welcome back, King-General. Where are you off to today?"

"I need to get to the Royal Library in Dorias. I have... concerns... that need answering. Can you open up the portal to Castle Derest?"

The attendant nods. "Just a few moments. That one hasn't been opened from the outside in a while, so the connections must be realigned... there." The attendant presses a button, and one of the many nodes fires up, revealing a bluish-silver portal. Curulan thanks the attendant and enters the portal.

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:50 pm
by jadewik
Loud protestations to being carried back into the room were voiced amidst a slur of profanity which was directed towards Gakhan. Tossed onto the bed, she hefted herself off and stumbled towards the door in vain as it slammed and locked before she was even half across the room.

A quick glance about the room revealed that door was the only obvious exit, since there were no windows (the room being some distance from an outside wall). She tried the door, hoping to bully her way past the guard, but it was locked. Exasperated, the rogue sat down in the closest chair with a huff.

There had to be a way to trick the guard into opening the door....

The more she sat and debated methods of escape, the more she wondered about her previous assessment of this situation. Her wound was clumsily bound, but tended nonetheless, and none of her supposed attackers had harmed her though there was ample time to do her harm while she was unconscious. Perhaps they had locked her in this room for her own good? Or maybe they had some darker plans in store for her later....

Again she noticed the blood soaked bandage around her arm. Her arm tingled and Ebon flexed her fingers painfully hoping to get some feeling back into them.

"Don't you people know how to tend to injury?" Ebon-Ashe yelled at the door. "This wound needs cleaning. Some antiseptic, stitches, and a clean bandage are needed. I want a cleric!"

She thought about adding in the phrase "I promise to be good" but decided against it.

Minutes passed and there was no answer at the door, so she deigned her request refused and set about tending her arm herself-- a difficult task without the use of one arm.

After several trying minutes, Ebon-Ashe managed to remove the tourniquet from her arm. The strong smell of rotting flesh made her gag, but she quickly became accustomed to it, though it seemed more potent than before. Something was not quite right about this wound, as it seemed to have gotten worse since she'd last looked at it... or had it just appeared worse since she hadn't particularly scrutinized it? The gash in her arm was covered with dried blood and something black, ink perhaps, that had stained her skin.

Odd... that black wasn't there before....

Prodding the wound caused it to start to bleed again, though not near as terribly as before. She grumbled and then yelled sing-song towards the door again, "Oh, mister guard! I'm getting the room all bloody with my unbandaged and profusely bleeding arm. Are you going to send in a cleric or let me bleed to death?!"

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:50 pm
by jadewik
..::Tordek wandered through the night, around the castle. He was fully aware that there was something amiss even though many of the commoners were not. His information resources had grown with the past months, and now his contacts had become wide spread::..

..::Standing in a remote corner, near the Tavern, Tordek slipped a small purse into the hands of a rather short man, or perhaps a halfling. That was indiscernible to anyone around, as the were both wreathed in shadow::..

..::He now knew of the night's passing, and that his liege was in need of aid, once again guarded by her husband. Thinking of how EA could stand Curulan's constant interference that seemed to be his love for her, he thought it better not to question it::..

..::In his own good time that night he planned to pay his liege a visit. It had been sometime since he had seen or spoken with her directly, and perhaps she had something for him. It could well be worth his time::..

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:51 pm
by jadewik
King Jupiter:
..::At hearing the request for a cleric he had been summoned, walking cautiously to the door a grin wiped over his face, unable to hide it at listening to the ranting EA. Speaking to the portal to reach Gakhan he merely says::..

You called for a cleric?

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:51 pm
by jadewik
Gakhan hears the familiar voice of Jupiter fill his thoughts, the cleric wanted access to Ebon Ashe...

Moving quickly the tall elf left his sword in its place in his room and stepped into one of the shadowy corners, reappearing a few feet down the hall from KJ.

"You called my friend? I called for no cleric, but your help could be beneficial. EA has done something but as to what we have no idea. Her wounds need tending..."

With that gakhan mutters arcane words and waves his hands over the door, instantly the lock is disarmed. He opens the door to allow the cleric inside...

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:51 pm
by jadewik
King Jupiter:
..::The cleric enters cautiously, still taken aback by the many run-ins with EA. The customary robes of Araleth adorn the half-elf, he leaves a great distance between them, assessing the wound from afar::..

You spoke of a cleric?

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:52 pm
by jadewik
Gakhan watches as KJ enters the room, and as the cleric clears the door he shuts it again, sending a telepathic link to kj to summon him when he is finished.

As he shuts the door he recalls the wizard lock and then walks off down the hall toward his room.

Good luck...

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:52 pm
by jadewik
It had been quite a while since Curulan returned to his home. His duties in Titan take up most of his time, so he entrusts his duties as King of Dorias and High King of Arda to a regent.

As he walks through the halls of Castle Derest, named for Queen-General Cardia Derest -- the previous monarch in Dorias and the host to the Carisar during Arda's Second Darkness War -- he greets a few members of the House of Nobles. He doesn't stop to chat long, since he has more important business than idle conversation.

Curulan exits the Castle and ventures into the hustling metropolis of the Royal City of Dorias, capital city of the Kingdom of Dorias. To the newcomer, it would appear strange; high-technology and medieval buildings seem to coexist. It's not uncommon to find a thirty-story or taller hi-rise next to an old-style tavern or store. Dorias is clearly a city that values expansion and development while still staying true to its history.

Curulan walks down the main mall, passing one of the city's many parks, and turns down a side street to a building that looks like it's been standing there forever, which isn't that far from the truth. On the grounds of the old Royal Palace, which was removed when Castle Derest was erected, stands the Royal Library -- the largest repository of knowledge, lore, and legend on Arda, possibly Arda's whole galaxy.

Entering the Library, he nods to the librarian in attendance, then walks down to the Archives. At the desk, an older-looking man sits. A man Curulan knows well.

"Garric!" Curulan walks over to the old man, who turns around and smiles. What little hair is left on Garric's head is white and tufted. The two walk up to each other and embrace for a moment. "I thought you'd be on the Platform by now."

"What, you thought that you and my son were the only two of our ilk who stayed behind? You know I couldn't leave this old planet. Besides, I was never cut out for the Mediators anyway; I'd much rather study my books than battle plans and tactics." Garric says the last four words as though he were talking about a plate of rancid meat. "But you're not here to listen to an old Immortal's rambling. Now, I haven't seen you since your coronation. That's been... well, almost two years now. Keeping busy in Dragon Court I assume?"

"Yes. But I'm not here to catch up, I'm afraid. I'm here on business of a personal nature."

Curulan explains what has been going on with his wife Ebon-Ashe and the symptoms, finally showing the onyx to the old archivist. Garric examines it for a moment.

"Well, it's definitely onyx. Rather high-quality too, by the looks of it. Other than the edge where it was broken off, it's still in perfect condition. I think we'll need to go down to the Old Archives for this one. Follow me."
Garric leads Curulan down to one of the deep vaults of the library, into a room occupied by a machine and wooden pedestal. The Head Archivist places the onyx shard into a tray on the machine and presses a button. A light flashes above the tray, tracing the contours of the shard. On a display screen, words and numbers scroll down showing the various properties of the onyx. Garric reads this, and emits a single hmm.

Finally, the man turns to Curulan and looks at him levelly.

"If you had brought this to me under different pretenses, I'd be excited. This is a very rare and valuable find."

Curulan looks at Garric, then to the onyx shard. "What is it?"

Garric turns back to the machine and speaks to it. "Compile all known lore on the Shadow Mages of Ghalek, Planet Terix, Ardan Galaxy, Bet Universe."

On the pedestal next to the machine, a large book materializes. Garric walks over to it and Curulan follows. The older man open the tome and pages through to an illustration of a black dagger. Garric stands as if he was preparing to lecture a class.

"What you brought me was a shard from a Dagger of Semu, primarily ceremonial artifacts carved whole out of large onyx deposits and used primarily by the Shadow Mages of Ghalek who used to live on Terix, located near the center of our own galaxy. Your Mediators led an expedition to exterminate them about five thousand years ago and were mostly successful. My son led it, if you remember."

"I remember the campaign. I was afraid we lost Glofinje there. But what do you mean by mostly successful?"

Garric nods. "You weren't the only one worried about him. But when I say mostly successful, I mean that one of them escaped. A contingent was sent out to chase the High Mage G'hal'ret, but he eluded even the Mediators. He vanished entirely, taking the last of the Daggers of Semu with him. The others, the Mediators destroyed so that they could never be used again."

"So what does this mean?" Curulan seems to be nervous, an emotion he rarely shows.

"It means, my old friend, that either G'hal'ret or one of his apprentices has come out of hiding and is trying to rebuild the Empire of Ghalek."

"So you are saying that this dagger has something to do with Ebon." It was a statement, not a question.

"Exactly so. Judging from what you told me, I think she has been affected by the blood curse carried by this dagger. The dagger we couldn't account for was the one used to corrupt others so that they could be inducted into the Mages' clutch. It effectively changes them into Lesser Vampires, not like the noble Greater Vampires we have here on Arda... right."

Garric clears his throat and continues. "The wound itself is entirely physical; there's nothing magical about it, which makes it very hard to defend against. The curse doesn't take effect until it enters the bloodstream, where it causes several effects, two of which are most obvious. First, it causes the amnesia that you described. Of course, her memories aren't gone, just blocked.

"Secondly, since Lesser Vampires have a deadly allergic reaction to ultra-violet light, it causes the melanin of the skin to darken, much like the Drow mutation."

Curulan sighs. "Well, I can understand the skin, but why the amnesia?"

"Simple psychology, actually. If one has no memory of or strong connection to their friends and allies, they are much easier to indoctrinate, or reprogram if necessary."

Curulan nods, fully understanding the implications here. "So, what do we do about it?"

Garric sighs, seemingly distraught. "Well, if we had the whole dagger, breaking the curse would be simple. However, since it appears that the dagger has been damaged, it's very possible that it has been destroyed, as well... which leaves us to the only other method for stopping a continuous spell."

Curulan nods slowly, remembering many missions of that kind he performed for the Mediators in the many years before his coming to Titan. "Releasing the soul of the one who cast it."

"Exactly. I believe that if we can send the soul of the Shadow Mage, or acolyte as the case may be, to Judgment, the curse will be released from Ebon with few ill effects. However, you may want to bring her memories back before that..."

"And how do I go about that?" Curulan is very concerned for Ebon and he is eager to take any chance of bringing her back to him.

"Oh, that's the simple part. Any reasonably-skilled Mind Mage should be able to release the block. Even though your talents in that field focus mainly on communication and protection, your raw power should compensate. After all, releasing a memory block isn't much different from unraveling a spell weave... and that is something you specialize in."

"So if I bring back her memories, it's likely that she'll be able to tell us where the one who did this to her is, and we can work on stopping it." Curulan nods, his next course set. He turns to hurry out, but Garric stops him.

"One more thing... I hear that she is in possession of one of the Daggers of the Nine Hells?"

"Yes. The key, if I remember correctly, but she doesn't know its true identity."

"Well, that's not the important part. The important part is that it's anti-magic properties can help protect her, slow down the curse. It won't stop the curse from consuming her, but it will buy more time."

"How long do you think we have before she is turned?"

"Three, four weeks. Maybe a month, if she's lucky."

Curulan nods, knowing that time is indeed of the essence, and dashes back out of the library, shouting a "Thank you!" to his old friend.

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:53 pm
by jadewik
Ebon-Ashe beckond the cleric in with her bloodied arm. She hoped it's grotesque appearance would make him and that nasty guard cringe. Her first choice was to throw something at whoever entered, but she could find nothing that would be worth the effect of throwing, nor did she feel as if she had strength to throw something worthy of a magnificent explosion on impact. Disappointed by their response to her arm, she answered the cleric's inquiry.

"I spoke of a cleric some time ago. It's about damned time one got here." She had become impatient with waiting, and had watched as the wound festered in the stale air of the room. Her imagination ran wild with the vision of the blackness spreading across her entire body, and she was secretly relieved when the cleric entered the room, though she tried not to show it by wearing her impatience on her sleeve.

She let the cleric tend her wounds as she listened to his response, calling him names like "half-wit" and "Oaf" when the pain bit worse as he inspected and took care of her wounds.

While he was tending her ailments, Ebon-Ashe decided to glean some information from him. Clerics, in general, talked to calm their patients and she hoped the same was true of this one.

"So why the hell am I locked up in this stuffy, windowless room, Cleric?" She hoped the answer would provide her with some background as to how she'd managed to get there as well as what had happened in the Tavern, though she didn't remember the cleric being there then.

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:53 pm
by jadewik
King Jupiter:
..::KJ takes the insults all the while, ignoring most as he is use to the treatment from the rash rogue. Wonder fills his mind as the black markings are still prominent as the bleeding is stopped and the flesh repaired::..

Ebon...this is unlike anything I have ever do you feel now though?

..::In his complete concern his guard had been lowered, still puzzled. Standing, his healing complete and her wound no longer apparent, he backs away once again. Suddenly aware and rememberent of who's presence he was in::.. look feverish, shall i get you anything to eat or drink?

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:54 pm
by jadewik
"It's just a bruise, you fool. A really nasty bruise." She confidently voiced the words almost as if trying to convince herself that it would be true, but the blackness seemed to have spread a bit more. She'd have to find a way to mark the black's progress with something later... a knife or dagger, perhaps.

Frowning, her gaze settled on the Cleric, who still hadn't answered the question of why she was detained in this stuffy room. Though, she might as well milk her captivity for all its worth.

"I could use meat, mead, and raiment. My belly is empty and these clothes are torn and soiled with my own blood. See that my clothes are washed and mended. I would like hot water drawn up for a bath and a fire to warm the confines of this drafty room. Also, someone will need to tend to my horse. I've left him tied up outside the tavern. See that he's fed and watered. Someone will need to walk him and brush him as well."

That said, Ebon-Ashe, who was quite pleased with herself by now, was almost smiling at how cunning this plan was. It would open herself up to a few others she could question as well as the obvious result of the real royal treatment. Of course, there were other factors at work, but it was worth the try... even if all her demands were not met.

"Off with you. Tell that half-wit guard that he has something of mine that I want..." Leaving the comment open ended for interpretation, she concluded her encounter with a wave of her hand, shooing the cleric away.

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:55 pm
by jadewik
King Jupiter:
..::The cleric stifles the laughter that was trying to escape, feeling that she had begun to feel better solely on her demeanor::..

The food is not a problem, nor is the bath or clothes, the fire I will not give you, trust me we don’t need any corpses around here.....

..::Standing once again he approaches the door, still not use to this portal business, and calls for Gakhan to open the door. Turning to her once again, an almost thoughtful look on his face, he can almost feel the silent concern of the rogue. He realizes this is the first time that she had acted almost.....human::..

PostPosted: May 13th, 2008, 9:56 pm
by jadewik
As Gakhan sits in his warm and accommodating quarters he hears the cleric KJ beckon from the mental link at EA's door. He finishes writing in a large black leather-bound notebook and tosses it into the shadows where it disappears, then he stands, moving to the same shadow in the corner of the room.

As he enters the shadows and arrives in Curu's room, where EA is being held for her own protection, he see's Jup and opens the door for him, closing it as he leaves.

"I believe you asked for a few things EA? You will see the food and wine beside the bed, and i will start the fire for you"

He moves to the fireplace and tosses a dust from his pouches, onto the wood inside. As the dust contacts the lumber the fire springs to life and the warmth spreads throughout the room.

After the fire is roaring Gakhan walks over to the closet and opens it, magically a full wardrobe is there for EA's choice.

"I believe this is all you asked for. You are being held here because we do not know what has happened with you, and you don’t seem to recognize me or your own husband, who you saw in the tavern. We are looking for answers and soon we will release you"

As he is finished the elf causes the shadows to blink a single time in the room, and as they recede there is a note wafting to the ground, in the spot where Gakhan stood moments before.

The note reads:

If these are not to your liking, speak aloud what you want food or drink wise and it will be provided, if you need anything else, yell at the door and i will come. Sorry for the inconvenience.