Posts : 59
Join date : 2010-03-22
Age : 32
Location : San Antonio Tx
HFS Name: Shaheena
Class: Assassin, Bard, Warrior, Druid, NonFighter
|Subject: Echoes of the Past Mon May 10, 2010 11:03 pm|| |
Marcus sat at his desk, slowly scrawling away at a draft report for the Queen regarding the events at the Abbey of St Michael. After the initial panic, several of the monks came out from the shield surrounding the Abbey and did their best to explain what was happening. It did not escape Marcus' attention that while the Monks did their best to assure the local folk that everything was alright and under control, even they had little idea on what exactly was going on.
For some reason, a shield had appeared around the Abbey, but from where, none of the Monks could provide an honest answer, merely guesses and suggestions. The Monks themselves could traverse the shield with no ill effects, but if anyone else attempted to do so without being escorted by a Monk, they would immediately find themselves walking back out in the opposite direction they walked in at. The shield itself blurred everything beyond it, making it impossible to see the Abbey in the distance beyond that of a slightly different colored blur in the heart of the shield.
Attempts to scry or cast magic at or beyond the shield would fail utterly, but magic cast within the shield functioned normally. Magic cast from inside the shield directed at a target outside the shield also worked, but at reduced effectiveness.
Several of the Monks suspected that this shield was a warning of an as of yet unknown danger. Normally, such gloomy suspicions would make othesr laugh, but with a total lack of any other evidence, even such dire portents could not be counted out.
As he was sanding down the draft to dry the ink off, there was a knock at the door.
"Sir," barked one of his older aides. Most of his aide staff consisted of guardsmen forced to retire due to injuries they had earned in the last few major engagements and had not made it to a true Healer in time to mend the injury properly. Being a former guardsman and mercenary himself, Marcus felt compelled to give those who still felt the need to serve their Kingdom the chance to do so, and not get sent home with a thank you and their marching pay. Marcus looked up from his desk and nodded to the grizzled veteran.
"Report just came in from the mages looking into those relics that were uncovered." The aide took the prescribed steps into the office, did the closest approximation of a proper facing move his mangled leg would allow, and leaned forward to present the report. Marcus caught a glimpse of slightly darker spots on his hands that no amount of washing or warfare would ever be rid of. He took a gamble as he looked up at the aide and shook his head.
"Read it for me, if you would, Edrik. I've spent the last few marks trying to scribble out my own report, and if I have to do much more reading, my head is likely to split," the Baron said as he motioned toward one of the visitors chairs in the office. Marcus had intentionally taken two of the most comfortable chairs he could find to use as extra chairs in his office. While he often regretted it on long nights such as these, they were a bit of a reprieve for his aides and few servants who spent most of their day on their feet. It also provided a tactical advantage when dealing with political situations. He knew he was not the most astute politician, and so he used every last trick he could use to his advantage. Those comfortable chairs unconsciously caused people to relax ever so slightly, which often had the effect of their guard being relaxed as well.
The aide started for a moment, but quickly regained his military bearing and hobbled over to one of the overstuffed chairs. Visibly relaxing as he took his seat, the aide read back the mages report.
The relics were inscribed with a tale from some event far in the past. To Marcus' understanding of the tale, a very powerful mage did a very foolhardy thing. Besieged by an army of barbarians, this mage set a trap for the invading force. Luring the enemy army to her stronghold, she used the spell which was commonly referred to then as a "final strike," in an attempt to decimate the enemy army in one shot. What no one had counted on was this attack unleashing not only the formidable power of the mage herself, but the combined power of every magical item in her stronghold. The ensuing magical blast raced across the land, twisting magic in many places, undoing major magics all throughout their empire, and even causing the destruction of another magical stronghold to the west. In the end, the mage's efforts were futile. Her trap crippled her allies, and did not thin the ranks of their enemies enough. The barbarians eventually overtook the land that remained good, and the beasts that had been twisted along with the land by magic claimed the rest.
The report also included some ideas and suspicions from the mages who deciphered the relics. Several of them suggested that this event might have sculpted some of Shadowmist's current landscape. The Black Oak Forest, a dense wild magic forest nestled within the bowl of a huge crater, with ancient ruins at it's heart. As well as the Wild Magic Forest, an area in the northeastern most corner of the kingdom, which also sat in a huge valley, with Starfall Keep having been constructed upon the ruins of a much older building. While there was no information on the relics to use as a point of reference to mark the location of these past events, it would stand to reason that these relics would not have traveled too far from the area in which they were written about. And the reason for that suspicion lies in another mystery. The relics, which had been undetectable for an unknown amount of time, had suddenly become traceable. The only plausible theory the mages had on that topic was that the relics only recently became active. What caused this activation was completely unknown. The mages could only confirm one other detail about the relics, their power was growing stronger every day. It would take several more weeks for the mages to give any more detail about that particular detial, but they had hopes that the relics might reveal more information as time went on.
It did not escape the Baron's observation that these relics were discovered only hours after the shield at the Abbey appeared. It was too coincidental, and Marcus was going to make sure that any possible link between the two would be thoroughly investigated.
As Edrik placed the report on Marcus' desk, the man appeared as if he was going to speak, but stopped himself.
"Something you wanted to ask?" Marcus asked with an arched brow.
"How did you know that I would have been able to read it, Sir? It's not like reading and figuring is quite common in the guard."
"Your hands," the young Baron motioned toward them. "You have the calluses of someone who knows how to use a sword, but below and above them are ink stains. You would have had to been a clerk or something akin to it before you joined the guard. And either you were in a unit where the main camp was attacked and several of the clerks were injured, or you "forgot" to mention of your ability to read or figure when you volunteered for the guard. Though why anyone sane would give up a nice comfortable desk job for a countless number of days on watch with nothing happening, fights where people are trying to kill you, and nights either getting too little sleep, or no sleep at all on night watch in all manner of inconvenient, uncomfortable, and miserable conditions, I have no idea." As he went on his rather lengthy explanation, he took enjoyment watching the aide's face change from astonishment, to chagrin, and finally, to a smirk of familiarity. Edrik was about to make a reply, but Marcus beat him to it.
"Either way, you've said more then enough for tonight. Here," he said as he reached into one of his belt pouches, "have a few pints on me. Better wet you tongue after reading that dry mess!" The aide chuckled as he reached for the few coins on the table, enough to buy a few pints at a decent tavern.
"Aye sir. That it was, and that I shall! Anythin' else ya need?"
"No Edrik, that'll be all tonight. Enjoy." With a slight nod, the aide stood and limped out of the office and gently closed the door behind him.
With a long sigh, Marcus reached into a drawer, pulled out another sheet, and began another set of draft orders in light of the information provided in the mages report. More information needed to be gathered, and that meant manpower needed to be assigned to get it done, as well as a summary report for the Queen herself, along with his own observations. Marcia was not going to be happy.
If things continue on as they have been the last few weeks, I should probably think about investing in candles!