Chapter 7: Solaris Dawns Anew and so the Journey Begins
Myodei, in elegant, light grey robes with a light turquoise trim, floated above the glacial permafrost beneath him. A set of frigid, disfigured horns burst from beneath his hood. Ice formed an outward collar that gracefully wrapped itself around his arms and neck and covered his shoulders. If he hadn't wore a hood, then one would be able to see his face. Down his torso, there was a cloth sash, and it was held with a crystal buckle. As he levitated above the frozen ground, one could see his clawed feet or boots, as the robes made it difficult to figure which of the two it was. Arctic crystals made his hands, and even with the arms of the robes in the way, it was noticeable that the frigid substance wrapped around his forearms.
Zynaer was beside him, and it was now able to be seen that he wore a horned mask and clawed pauldrons. Attached to his wrists and ankles, there were golden rings with outward crests. He too floated above the frigid iceberg that rested above the city of Tjeli, the place of birth of The'Galin. Many millenniums ago, The'Galin himself had torn it from its own continent of Inilar into the deeps of the southern oceans to rest beneath immense layers of ice. It was now left to solitude, and its only residents were the ghosts of the townspeople, forever bound to guard the cursed city.
Neither of these intimidated the duo, Zynaer was more than a match for the frigid covering. The phantasms would not bother them within the city, despite what one would think. The unsympathetic voice of Myodei broke the silence of the entire surrounding region, "Are you ready to enter the birthplace of the Devourer, Zynaer?" A smirk showed itself for a mere second underneath the icy demon's hood after he spoke the words.
"I am indeed; shall I lift the icy barrier from the corrupt city?" Zynaer asked the contemplating, frigid being.
Myodei answered, "Yes, please begin the melting of the obstacle in our pair of knowledge...Dyjhal would be ecstatic at my choice of words, perhaps I will tell him of our venture when we go to Talados." Zynaer nodded with no verbal response, and his arms motioned downward. His palms summoned forth an inferno in the shape of a tornado that clashed with the frozen terrain. The blazes bit into the permafrost. There had now appeared to be a breach at least twenty feet deep into the barrier surrounding Tjeli, and the chasm's overflow of water burst out from the shaft only to freeze once more almost instantaneously out in every direction outward from the depression.
The faint screams of distant revenants of the denizens of Tjeli could be heard, but Zynaer continued to melt the glacial barricade. The sounds of their cries were drowned out by the clamor of storms of fireballs crashing into the ice which continued to give way to the multitudes of conflagrations. The depression grew larger in size and drove further down into the barrier. The ice surrounding the chasm continued to grow in size as well, as the lone obstacle to entering the birthplace of The'Galin began to open up for Zynaer and Myodei.
Zynaer and Myodei descended into the crater that the former had just made, and the distorted image of Tjeli could be made out. The fiery demon did not cease his volley of blazes and infernos of flame, and he continued the onslaught upon the frigid obstacle. The spectral figures shifted through the refracted image in an unearthly way, flickering to and fro. Myodei gazed at the immense, ancient capital of Inilar, focused on the architecture that resembled nothing Myodei had ever seen before. He was unable to truly describe it in detail, for the memories escaped his mind.
It wasn't too long before the two had broken through the entirety of the icy barrier. The spectres rushed towards the new opening from their prison, ignoring the visitors. The light grey figures bore clawed hands and misty bodies. Their forms were unstable and constantly shifting, and the smoke which comprised them floated off into a new direction every few seconds. As the ghosts neared Myodei and Zynaer, their arms fell to the ground. They seemed to have calmed themselves beyond all reason. Their claws dissipated. Hands formed out of the foggy substance.
"It's always amusing to watch a group of stampeding creatures coming towards you, then see them calm down to complacence within a mere inches of you," Zynaer announced and chuckled lightly.
"I suppose it is, Zynaer," Myodei replied, "But we haven't the time to gawk at them in their calm state. It's of the utmost importance that we obtain the notes and books that we desire in haste...for to garner the attention of The'Galin is beyond foolish. So, let us go, Zynaer. We must find Tjeli's library."
At the end of Myodei's words, the sound of an organ erupted inside the buried city. The origins of the outburst were from the Sanctum of Lorithia, a falsity under which the clergy extorted valuables from the people of Tjeli and Inilar. The bioethicists of Tjeli supported the religious establishment for it brought an immense supply of money to Tjeli's coffers and brought an immense esteem to the vile people that the capital birthed. With this view of a good citizen, The'Galin was regarded as a failure, for he was one of the few kindhearted natives of Tjeli.
The organ broke the concentration of the wraiths, and their numbers dissipated into various parts of the numerous streets surrounding Myodei and Zynaer. The two gazed about at the city, and they tried to decipher where the library of the city would be located. Myodei scrutinized the region and concluded that it must be to their right towards the Palace of Galian the Virulent, nicknamed such for the horrific conditions of the state during his rule. The organist continued to play his tune, almost as if to cue the entrance of an armored antagonist or an epic finale.
The armored figures of palace guard became more frequent, and Myodei presumed that the edifice they were nearing was truly the cathedral itself. Why he had come to this conclusion was simple, for the sounds of the organ continued to increase in volume, almost enough to shatter glass. A choir of screaming banshees joined the spectral organist, and they broke from the prior song into a far more deathly tune as well as being an octave higher. The music continued to grow in dissonance. The hymn lacked any sense of harmony, for the harsh notes scratched into Myodei and Zynaer's ears with no rhythm or pattern.
The two elemental entities continued their levitation though, for they were to endure the torturous song if they desired the information that they sought. Zynaer ignited the oaken doors to the temple which cindered into merely ashes within seconds. The ensemble was awestruck at the arrival of Myodei and Zynaer, vanishing through cracks in the stained glass portrayal of Lauren, the manifestation of Lorithia. The original piece had been commissioned by The'Galin himself, so that a copy found itself in Tjeli seemed most peculiar.
"Look for anything relevant to the traversing of the Planes, Zynaer," Myodei remained calm in his speech.
"I understand, Myodei," Zynaer answered, "It's not as though I haven't been in your company for nearly a thousand years now. I am rather certain by this point that I can comprehend what we are searching for, don't you?"
"You take too much offense, Zynaer," Myodei replied, moving towards a pile of papers, all music sheets. None of them piqued Myodei's interest, so he made his way into another room of the sanctuary. In which, there were broken bookshelves and tattered books all across the floor, likely shaken by when The'Galin threw Tjeli into its current position. Upon on of the leather covers of the innumerable books on the ground, there was a tome named, "To Transverse Planes". The work lacked a labeled author, so he likely didn't wish for anyone to know who wrote the opus.
Myodei reached for the remnants of the tome, and his freezing hands harmlessly made of a cracking sound as they neared the work. His finger fingers clasped unto the shredded remains of the book, and brought it into his arms. "Zynaer, I've found one relevant piece so far," Myodei began, "How goes it on your end of the search?"
"Less luck than you, it would seem," Zynaer answered, and he continued with a jest, "Perhaps my fiery nature dissuades the tomes from revealing themselves to me?"
"I see, well, perhaps this single work may suffice," Myodei responded, "For we need to leave this accursed city. We cannot afford to catch the eye of The'Galin."
"Quite," Zynaer replied, "So shall you close the entrance which we made?"
"Of course," Myodei returned, "Your ability would take hours to entrap Tjeli in its icy prison. My control of ice magic, on the other hand, would take minutes at worst."
At the end of Myodei's words, they returned to the chasm that they created in the glacial casing over the ancient capital of Inilar. None of the wraiths had returned to the location, despite their desire to abandon the damned city that was their home. "With any luck, nothing except us and the tome which we take with us will have escaped this blighted domain," Myodei spoke coldly, "Otherwise, we will have to handle the phantoms on our own accord. Bah, let us not tarry here any longer, it is time for us to withdraw from this confounded capital."
The two demons rose higher from the ground, and they entered the chasm which Zynaer made. Once they had levitated past the opening into Tjeli, Myodei began to reseal the city in its icy prison. The wraiths returned to see their exit from their cage was being locked once more, and they lashed out at the frigid barrier that Myodei was repairing. Their misty claws proved futile to the glacial covering, for the mere scratches were unable to break through any of the frozen substance.
Zynaer exited the now enclosed abyss first. Myodei followed the fiery demon's exit, after the icy entity had finished the restoration of the antarctic barricade. Myodei spoke, "Well, I would presume that we didn't attract the Devourer's attention. This, this is most certainly for the best, to bring The'Galin back to the memories of Tjeli would be disastrous, since I prefer Lore not being utterly destroyed. I digress, let us return to Sek-Duat's Palace, and then it is time to venture forth to Talados with Dyjhal. He's far better at dealing with the Psionics than us."
"Merely because he understands them, Myodei," Zynaer replied, and the ignited figure with his golden anklets and bracelets drifted northward. Myodei followed suit for once.
I sat at a table in the dining room, and I was lost in thought. It had been around twelve years since I had encountered Zolkt for the first time, in that time night had reigned and then quickly gave way to the unrelenting rule of Solaris. Galvin rested upon a couch in the living room, and he was recovering from an injury from a Krakhim. The wound in question was a shattered forearm that resulted from a boulder being thrown at him before he could dodge it. Zazaith had left a few weeks ago for the Sandsea to seek an apprenticeship as a Mage in Sek-Duat's Court. Azaila was much more akin to me than my older brother, though Zayn and Medlag refused to help her.
I piddled my thumbs against one another while I stared at my minuscule fingernails. My royal purple attire was made of satin, laced with silvery thread, and it was trimmed with a thin wash of gold. My hair was tied back into a ponytail, otherwise it would fall to my shoulders in the back and the bottom of my ears on my bangs. The ends of my shirt's arms were puffed out and cuffed. The cuffs being made of white linen, which was held together by a small group of steel buttons.
I shifted my gaze as someone else entered the room. It was my sister, Azaila, who was garbed in a modest dress. Her garb was a dark blue while the trim was a vivid violet. Her hair retained a look of a light brown, so one could understand that there were tinges of blonde within the strands. She looked at me with her hazel eyes and asked, "So, now that Medlag's left for Gorraran, what're you planning on doing? Especially with Father being unable to go on any more contracts?"
"I...I don't know, Azaila," I answered honestly, "I truly don't have any idea whatsoever as to what I plan on doing now. I mean, Zayn and Dad were trying to prep me to be a rogue, but where would find themselves such an occupation and be wanted?"
"Well, what about seeing with Zayn about—" Azaila began, but was interrupted.
"No, neither of you will be meeting with that bird-brain anymore, not so long as you remain under my roof!" Galvin yelled from the other room, "I will not suffer my children ruining my family's legacy! Not even with my injuries!" This was not the first time that Galvin made statements against Zayn. During the past years, they had become quite common, at least once he learned about me meeting with the Theemis. In fact, he would rant for what seemed to be hours at mentions of his name.
My mother, Iritha, hushed Galvin, "Be quiet, dear, they're adults now, so they can make their own decisions! They don't need their father's pride be a hindrance to their lives!"
"My family's honor is at stake here—" Galvin was cut off by the outburst of his wife.
"It's always about your ancestor's bloody honor!" Iritha shouted, but calmed and continued, "From what I recall of what Razen told me, Kyrei stole the materials, and I want you to tell me how honorable that is." Galvin was speechless at how Iritha defended her children, and he genuinely lacked a response. Iritha made the gestures for Azaila and I to exit the room, for she needed time to calm Galvin down. We obeyed our mother's request and took our leave of the house. It was time to trade words with Zayn on this matter.
The Theemis had heard their bickering and waited a few feet from the door. "So, I presume that Galvin isn't fond of your association with me?" The avian queried me and my sister. His wings rested behind his body Azaila rolled her eyes as Zayn spoke, for she despised Galvin's honor-bound nature. This disdain was not unrequited; Galvin often found himself at odds with Azaila's almost constant breaks from his expectations. My father had also found disappointment in me since I was not quite as apt as him in the art of archery, or any combat style for that matter.
"That'd be an accurate presumption," I answered, "He's furious actually. Even more so whenever I remind him of the pleasant encounter with Zolkt that we had."
"His grudge against Myodei and his party seems unhealthy to me," Zayn responded, "I mean, I can understand a suspicion, due to the ordeal with his ancestor and Myodei. He needs to realize that Kyrei instigated the conflict though. Kyrei was the one that dealt the unjust hand, not Myodei. I doubt that Galvin will ever come to understand, at least Zazaith hasn't found himself bound to defend his ancestry."
"True, Zaz's understanding on the matter is comforting, perhaps me and Azaila can take lodging with him in the Sandsea?" I stated.
"Do I have no opinion in this matter?" Azaila snapped.
"Oh, no, no, it's not that, it's just that you gave no input prior to your outburst there," I took some steps back from Azaila as I spoke, and Zayn followed suit.
As we motioned back, Medlag arrived to the scene. He wore much more elegant clothes than my first meeting with him, likely for the trip to Gorraran. If one had seen him outside of context, one would've thought that he was a member of a Dwarven court. His plump abdomen overshadowed his more fit lower body. His beard had grown in length and whitened in parts, creating a salt and pepper look. The metal rings in his facial hair were exchanged for gold plated ones. His face had come to bear more wrinkles of age and experience. We were shocked by his entrance, and he took advantage of it. He announced, "So, you're all here? Wonderful, wonderful! This means you can all accompany me on my trip home! Oh, don't decline my offer, for you see, it's my obligation! It's Dwarven tradition to invite one's friends on a trip to their hometown, so it'd be a shame if I returned alone!" His bursts of happiness were genuine, at least we presumed such, as he had managed to pull a tankard from Lords-know-where. The flagon being filled over the brim with a fizzy moglinberry juice beverage. He lifted the stein to his lips and took a swig of the drink. Drips of it held onto strands of his beard, giving him a much more sloppy look.
Azaila responded, "You're inviting us to go with you to Gorraran? This is what we should do, Razen! I've always wanted to see a Dwarven city!"
"Well, I admire your wish, lass, for it's a mighty fine one," Medlag stated as he pointed his left hand's index finger at Azaila. He belched and then continued, "You have good taste, for you see, going to a Dwarven city means that you'll likely come upon a Dwarven party! Oh, do I need to even begin on those?"
"No, you don't, Medlag," I answered, "And it would seem settled that we'll accompany you to Gorraran, then we are to attend the welcoming party, I presume?"
"You're implying that I'd give ya the chance to not go, laddie," Medlag jested and he followed up with, "So, what're we waiting for!? Let's get going, laddies! We best not keep a Dwarven party waiting! Right?" The first stop would be the city of Sil which is south of Deep Root, and it hugged the edge of Doomwood. The route would then go around the mountains northeast of Darkovia which were rumored to house the Werewolves of Darkovia. The next pause in their journey would be at Frostvale, home to a number of Frost Moglins. From there, the party would go north of the Dragonspine Mountains and then east to the Dwarfhold Mountains. Medlag would be able to locate Gorraran once they had come to the mountain range; the party were then to join him for a wondrous Dwarven party as a gift for his return to his home.
An aqueous entity rested within one of the elaborate stone chairs at a table of similar material in Sek-Duat's library. The seat was soaked by the being's watery state; the paint eroded under the force of the torrents lashing upon them. The stony armchair also felt cracking from the gushes of water crashing into it as they escaped the humanoid figure. The robes that surrounded the being were drenched and caused the otherwise vivid turquoise to appear at least seven shades darker. A set of metal glasses rested on what one would presume was the creature's earlobes, though it was difficult to know for certain as the body of the individual constantly shifted and reformed itself continuously. It seemed as though the liquid which composed it was endless from an unknown source or no source at all. He wore gloves of an unknown material that managed to hold his hands stable to a degree; he likely donned them to keep from destroying any of Sek-Duat's tomes.
The Emperor of the Sandsea rested in a personal armchair that was headed by his heraldic symbol of the winged scarab. His golden gauntlets held onto the aged, leather cover of a work, titled Creation of a Sub-Plane. The book detailed the processes of dividing a plane into individual segments that exist with little dependence on its home plane. These things did not interest the ruler, but they were of the utmost importance to his guests which graced him with a wealth of knowledge. In response to this gift, he felt obligated to return the favor and assist them in their research in any way that he could. Sek-Duat was made uneasy by the appearance of his guests, and it was particularly difficult when it came to having to explain to his servants as to why an entity made of their most desired substance was to be left to his own accord.
"Veqwei, if you don't mind," Sek-Duat broke the silence, "May I ask you a favor as well as a query to satiate myself?" His golden mask covered his decaying face while he spoke the words. He placed the book that he was reading down and looked at the anomalous creature.
Veqwei, in turn, diverted his gaze from the tome that piqued his interest to answer Sek-Duat. The waves swished behind his glasses, and his right glove held onto the page which he was reading to prevent him from losing track of his place in the work. Veqwei continued to peer into the cyan eye-holes of the golden mask with an indiscernible expression that the Emperor of the Sands presumed was one of appreciation of the ruler's sense of fashion or gratitude for being so helpful in their venture. The moist creature eventually answered him, though the sounds seemed displaced from his body, "Hmm? Oh, ask away, Sek-Duat. I'm rather intrigued as to what would spark your interest anyways. So, I retort, give me your questions. I will then, hopefully, be able to supply you with answers."
After Veqwei finished speaking, he grasped a golden, jeweled chalice with a downward tapering for the handle until it reached the base which extended outwards enough to match the top portion. The goblet intrigued Sek-Duat for the simple reason that it wasn't one of his; this caused him to wonder as to how one such as the watery demon had obtained such a lovely grail. Inside of the cup rested pure water which was similar in composition to what Veqwei was comprised of himself. The waters swirled in the top without any force acting upon it, and whenever some of the liquid slipped out, it hit one of the many blue gemstones, including aquamarines, topazes, turquoises, and zircons.
Sek-Duat returned his focus to Veqwei's response and answered, "Well, firstly, I appreciate having that which I've desired for what would normally be two lifetimes from the work of one of your companions; I do not have a means to actually perform the ritual. So, I wish to ask on your opinion as to how I should accomplish the task of gaining one-hundred true enemies? As for my curiosity, you are a creature made of only water, so I ponder on your origins and nature. Why I'm asking you is because, what better source is there than the entity themselves? Clearly few would understand their being better."
Veqwei responded, "Ah, yes, for the former, I would recommend a gradual cruelty over time to gain enemies among your people. If you manipulate your reign's aggression too quickly, then the people usurping your throne will be your last worry. Since you certainly don't want to be killed and removed from the Light Orb by the Lady of Light's servants, thus I advise that you follow my suggestion, and from there, then you'll be able to gain true immortality, genuine eternal life. As for the latter, such requires a tale; therefore I ask, do you wish to hear it?"
"That's ill advice, on what ground can you beckon for me to betray the people whom I adore and they've return the favor!?" Sek-Duat snapped, "Should I have regretted to help you and companions in such depth? Answer me!" Underneath his golden mask, his decaying lips lost some of their skin as he shouted, for they were unused to such stretches since his turn to lichdom. The sickening noise of this could be clearly heard even beneath the glided guise.
"Calm yourself, Sek-Duat, it must be done if you are to achieve immortality," Veqwei responded, "No other scroll may grant eternal life with such a small consequence, for others require much more sacrifice, Sek-Duat. Understand this, I beg of you, listen to reason. It is the only way." The watery entity held a calm tone as his words echoed throughout the library.
"An age of suffering for my people for them to then receive an eternity of prosperity? By what logic do you propose this despicable idea!?" Sek-Duat continued to bark, for he certainly was not pleased with the suggestion nor its backings.
"It is through enduring agony that one gains strength," Veqwei declared, "And in this new-found strength, society finds peace. It makes sense if one thinks about it."
Sek-Duat sighed, "I suppose that you're right on that it is necessary to perform this ritual, but why can I not instead gain the enemies through war with one of the more barbaric kingdoms, like that of Slugwrath's?"
"Well, the problem with that is that it'd require you to capture one-hundred soldiers with absolute faith against you," Veqwei stated, "And that is far harder than what I am asking you to do. So, I'm sorry that you will have to undergo that which you despise, but it is necessary if you truly long for an endless return to vitality. Remember that " Veqwei continued to converse in a soothing manner as he hoped to keep the emperor from being in a rage.
The Sun King had come to sigh once more, "Well, it...it saddens me that I will have to do such, but I can only hope that time does not take its toll upon me. I do not wish for the people of the Sandsea to be ruled by an insane tyrant. Enough of that though, simply speaking on the matter brings pain to my heart, so how about you tell me instead of your origins? I had asked that as well." The ruler did not lie; the conversation had truly brought injury to his unused heart.
Veqwei rested the gem-covered chalice on the table, and he kept it inches away from the book. He sighed and prepared for a decently lengthy account of his creation. "Alright then, but before I start, Sek-Duat," He began and continued with, "You recall Myodei, do you not? You must recall his features, for he is one of the most relevant characters in this. Secondly, you remember Zynaer, no? That fiery being is regarded later on. Lastly, you know my appearance, so I need not state the obvious. With this settled, the tale shall commence."
He took a pause and spoke once more, "Myodei came upon an ancient goblet blessed by the Water Lord; its waters were said to be endless and pure. These chalices were even claimed to be conduits to the Plane of Water themselves. Quite a rare artifact to come upon, even more so when it was supposedly the last one at the time. The contents of this cup lacked—"
"My apologies for interrupting you, Veqwei, but I simply must ask you, was this cup where you originated from?" Sek-Duat questioned the watery figure.
"Silence your question, I will not to spoil the material in this telling, Sek-Duat, so you must wait," Veqwei stated and returned to his tale, "Now, if you don't mind... The contents of this cup lacked one thing: Life. Myodei noted this when he examined the object and its substances, and he concluded that an entity born from its waters would be equally eternal to the inanimate version. He declared the humanoid golem that was me to be named Veqwei, for the grail had the name engraved on it for reasons unknown to him at the time. Myodei found the reasoning to be fitting for naming me and utilized such. After my creation, Myodei and I spent a number of years attempting to find a means to exit a plane when we came across Zynaer. Zynaer was trapped in a binding circle by two novice pyromancers, one of them being Belrik Veldrin, grandfather of Kyrei Veldrin. Zynaer had killed both of these mages; he had done so by igniting their nerves after I broke him free from his prison. Of course, you must remember that they had tortured him as well as enclosing him into far too small of a space, so his actions were not entirely uncalled for. Allow me to recall the exacts of the event."
"Granted," Sek-Duat answered mockingly.
"Well then, I shall not tarry," Veqwei replied following suit and elaborated on the events with Zynaer, "'Ha, we actually caught this fiery beast in a binding circle!' announced Belrik Veldrin. The other pyromancer replied, 'How shall we force him to our service? Such a powerful elemental will be most useful for backing our innate magical talent.' Zynaer levitated slightly above the painted rock with a grimace as he winced at Belrik, and he stated, 'You bore me, mageling.' Belrik burst with anger, 'What was that, you pity, little—' The other pyromancer disregarded Belrik and said, 'I need not words of pride, elemental. I demand words of submission!' Zynaer snapped, 'I retort, you bore me, mageling.' 'You've brought this agony upon yourself, fool!' Belrik shouted out as he made gestures with his hands and followed with a number of incantations. None of this bothered the powerful Zynaer, so he centered his focus onto breaking his circle of holding."
The watery entity took a pause and started yet again, "Myodei and I were nearby Mt. Shining Star which was where this was occurring, and we were present because Myodei had planned to meet with Ariyzi, the Wind Elemental. Ariyzi was not present and announced, via the wind, that he was unable to make it due to a squad of Earth Demons ambushing him, so I then heard the yelling of the mages in response to Zynaer's mocking remarks. With my persistence on the matter, Myodei and I entered the fiery halls of the volcano, and we followed the sound of their outbursts alongside an unexpected besieging of our eardrums by screams of agony. We eventually had twisted through the cavernous tunnels to their study and or torture room with the entire party inside. Zynaer was in agony as horns erupted from his forehead, and cursed bracelets and anklets that appeared to be made of gold wrapped themselves around the respective joint. It was through these brands, curses if you will, that Zynaer has come upon his ability to absorb heat from the environment surrounding him, an unorthodox power for a denizen of the Plane of Fire."
Veqwei took an interval to rest from his speech and restarted, "Myodei requested for me to announce my name, for it is the command word for the chalice to which I owe my existence. I had followed his order; the chaining rune was broken by the torrent of water that flowed upon the ground. Zynaer's eyes flashed a sanguine red as blazes ignited within his hands, and a malicious smile found its way onto his countenance. How he accomplished such a feat without lips or any real facial features is beyond me. Zynaer then declared, 'I cannot be caged. I cannot be controlled. Understand this as you die, ever pathetic, ever fools!' Belrik shouted, 'What is this!?' Zynaer replied joyously, 'This is your death!' The two pyromancers fell to the ground and entered into a state of convulsions and spasms. Myodei was curious as to what Zynaer had done to them and asked him, 'What did you do to those magelings?' Zynaer answered, 'I set their nervous system aflame with my masterful conflagrations. Now I must ask if I may return the favor that you have given me and how I may do so.' Myodei stated, 'Why, of course, I need someone with such magical capabilities as you.'"
"A most peculiar tale, Veqwei," Sek-Duat responded, "Though it answered more of how you and Myodei came upon Zynaer than your own nature."
Veqwei began, "Ah, yes, my apologies. Allow me to start a different tale, though I hope that the former had intrigued you. Now I will elaborate on the Chalice of Endless Water that the Water Lord had come to bless this plane with. It is an unique artifact, in fact, there is only one in the entirety of Lore. Someone of unknown origins, likely a disobedient Water Elemental, had etched its command word onto its base for all to see. Such was classified information that only the Water Lord and those chosen at the Lord's discretion were to know. I do not recall anything prior to my animation, so I am unable to answer who had done this. Myodei had in his wandering of Lore for artifacts of the Elemental Lords, prior to his dissent, had come across me and decided to bring life to the infinite waters of the grail as I had told you earlier. The significance of this act came to be that once I burst forth from the goblet filled with life, I had then came to consistently regenerate through the infinite supply of the cup. Myodei realized that such an enduring entity would be immensely useful, and he called for me to follow him in his goals. It was from there that we later found Zynaer and our current quest had truly initiated."
"I'm impressed, Veqwei, I never would've imagined you to be golem royalty," Sek-Duat jested. He followed up with a serious question though, "Where was it that Myodei had found the artifact from which you find your origins?"
"Doubtful that you'll ever come to see Deren, Sek-Duat," Veqwei answered, "But if you do, Myodei found it an elaborate grotto near Deep Lake. It had no guardians, and the hollow seemed to be an old sanctum dedicated to the Water Lord. Oh, and as for being 'golem royalty', yes, the term 'demon' being placed on me is a misnomer."
"Most intriguing, most intriguing indeed," Sek-Duat replied.
"Quite, Sek-Duat, but I must be going now," Veqwei responded, "For Ariyzi has spoken to me through the wind. I need to meet the rest of my companions in the Dwarven city of Gorraran."
"Might I ask why?" Sek-Duat queried.
"I would answer that if I knew, alas I do not," Veqwei stated, "So g'day, Sek-Duat," As he finished, the watery being slid out of the Emperor of the Sands's throne room. He left a residue of wet rock and sand behind him, and as he made his way to Gorraran, his metal glasses were barely able to remain on his face. He had placed the chalice on the inside of his robes, and it was the goblet that kept the robes from falling apart as he maneuvered like a shambling humanoid mass of water which he was.
My group, composed of me, the aging Zayn, my sister, and Medlag, were north of Darkovia's cursed forest and the mountain range that made its northern border. The mountains were not spared from the shadow that swept the forest. The grass even was darker near the accursed region. Before us, there was a lone tree, and beneath it, a man adorned in a red robe with a pitch black, tattered over-cloth that wrapped around his shoulders and collar to fall to his front and back. His hood had a long tip that fell backward due to gravity behind his hood. Both of his hands were covered by scarlet gloves. He held a staff in his left hand tightly. The staff's end was dual-sided, and the blades extended outward to seem more like a double-headed battleaxe. A small, crimson gem rested between these two blades. The figure rose his right hand as to ask our party to stop and listen to him.
"Good day, may I ask that you listen to what I have to say for a few minutes?" He lowered his hood with his left hand as he spoke, and he unveiled light brown hair of medium length and crystal blue eyes. Two small elven ears erected from both sides of his elegant head, and small bands of silver, jeweled earrings adorned both of his earlobes. Upon his right cheek was a tattoo of a Spirit, and it had a light fluorescent glow about it. It matched the color of his iris, though it felt otherworldly nonetheless.
"I suppose, but we require your name first," I replied, and Medlag muttered an unpleasant word in the background in regards to the elf.
"I will ignore your less than friendly Dwarven companion, for now, as well as oblige you," He had made a slight pause for suspense, "I am Miar Galiv." As he spoke his name, his lips emphasized their slightest tinge of pink as they were mostly a light tan like his skin. He continued, "I would explain why I'm located in my current predicament, but I suspected that I wouldn't have a very kind reception."
"Why might that be?" I queried.
He sighed and answered, "Well, my occupation isn't one that is considered honorable or holy, in fact, quite the opposite." There was no response, so he continued, "Must I make it obvious for you!? I'm a Necromancer! Not your standard one either! I awaken the dead with the winds backing me...though I typically do such for consultation and guidance, not power. It's part of the reason why I utilize such an unorthodox element for it. Now what? Are you going to bastardize or berate me? Bah, why do I even bother! Inconsiderate people these days, never do they take the time to understand the undertakings and tribulations of others..."
He continued to rant for a short while, but I eventually interrupted him, "My apologies, but I don't believe that I classify under any or at least most of which you are rambling on about. So, why did you wish to talk to me and my party, Miar?"
He looked up surprised, "You're not? Oh, oh, then...yes, of course! Why I had done in hopes of joining your grouping!" I stared at him with a confused expression, and he responded, "Oh, silly me. How dare I not explain why I wished to do that as well! You see, one of the spirits which I had consulted or rather consulted with me, had asked me to find someone who matched your description and watch over them...guide them into the right path, if I recall correctly. Before you ask, I am relatively certain that the spirit's name was Kyrei."
"I suppose that I can't really argue with my ancestors, so welcome, Miar Galiv," I stated. Medlag was speaking of curses under his breath, clearly displeased with my choice. He had, nonetheless, continued to lead the way to Gorraran in the Dwarfhold Mountains along the route that he had previously planned. Along the way, Miar made a slight mention that he had heard about Gorraran being under a tight shift currently, but he was uncertain as to why though.
Once we arrived, there was an immense gate that stood before us, and the entrance was similar to the mountain which it was carved into in this regard. The gateway was made of gold with intricate markings and carvings that filled its surface. In front of this ancient, faintly cracked door was a gate guard that wielded a halberd that was made of a black metal and riddled with the scars of age and wear. He wore the Dwarvish Army's standard helmet upon his head, and it was complete with a rough face plate that covered his nose and cheeks. His gruff beard covering his rough breastplate and the upper portion of his greaves. His pauldrons bore a multitude of blades that mocked the term shoulder blades. Behind him, one could see a small hole that required a very specific cut gem to fit inside it, and I presumed that it was the keyhole to a Dwarven lock.
The guard shouted out, "Halt! Explain yourselves if I am to allow you to enter the glorious city of Gorraran!" His voice was deep and stern, for he had likely spent the entirety of his life performing this role as an intimidating gate guardian. After he finished, he extended his halberd outwards towards us as to be ready to attack if we proved hostile.
Medlag pushed towards the front and answered, "Ah, well, you see, I just wanted a warm welcome back. I suppose that I won't be getting that then, now will I?"
The guard took a small handkerchief and wiped the soot that was surrounding the multiple gaps in the helmet, and he asked, "Is that you, Medlag?"
"Well, who else would it be!?" Medlag jested amiably to the guardsman.
The guard had done away with the kerchief; he was rummaging through his sack for the key-stone to the gate now. He replied, "Of course, sir! Give me a moment now to get the key!" Shortly after, he pulled out a distinct, yellow crystal that looked to match the hole in the door with a pinpoint accuracy. He placed it within and twisted it with the handle. Once he had finished, the door began to screech as it opened. "There we go, Medlag," he said and moved away from the now unobstructed entrance.
I shifted my gaze to what lied beyond the gateway, and large obsidian structures flooded my vision. Immense pillars, made of carved volcanic glass, seemed to hold up the majority of the mountain. Built on a large platform appeared to be an auditorium, built for their famous Dwarven operas. Beneath it was an entrance to the vast tunnel system that they had developed for mining. I could barely make out the bright figures that I presumed were RayZards, which I had heard about being used in the Dwarven mines of Oreia for guidance through the caverns. Small, distorted individuals were strewn all around the city going about their business. The sound of a grinding wheel biting away at the metal of a blade was evident.
"Well, if I recall, my house is that-a-way," Medlag stated and pointed towards a large edifice some distant away. He continued, "And we should pass an oddities shop along the way, which you may want to look in. They have quite an interesting stock. What're we waiting for? Let's get going!" We followed him, but Miar seemed to do so reluctantly. They past master smiths, who were working on a metal that Medlag called zirkkonium, along their way to Medlag's house. He went on to describe how the Dwarves shipped the rare, shaped metal to the Zirkonnin Empire, who had sent them the raw mineral to work with, using underground tunnels. Unfortunately, he was unable to tell us where this empire was.
We were now entering the Market District of Gorraran, and there were swarms of armories and smithies with arrays of weapons and armor pieces, which were made from various metals. Most of the armor was made of zirkkonium and dragon scales, and the weapons were made of palladinum, zephyrite, and other unknown metals. Though, a shield made of luminite stood out with a blinding light. A merchant had noticed our interest in the unique shield and called out to us, "You want the shield, aye? That'll be twelve thousand gold, aye! Best pay up if you really want it!"
"Far out of my pockets, good sir! I best be on my way then!" I called out in response.
"Aye, ye be right on that regard!" He replied. We gave no further response and Medlag led us to Garnevin's Kooky Trinkets, which I could only presume was the oddities shop. The building's walls were made of carved emerald-colored stone, and a door composed of ruby-colored metal. The door had a similar lock as to the one that we had seen on the golden entrance, but the lock was not activated. The door remained ajar, to our luck, so I opened it wider to enter the store. Aisles made of bookshelves filed through the majority of the store until it got to a small counter where Garnevin sat in a chair. He was awaiting for some appraisers to his large stock of peculiar wares.
An array of items rested on a shelf closest to the entrance. There was a Vizalain seed to the right of a bad filled with the ashes of a lich, which had a bottle of Acidragon blood next to it, and there was the wing of a Harpy at the end of the row. Opposite of this shelf was a petrified Gargoyle's tear, the tentacle of a Darkshifter, the eye of a Minx Fairy, and the head of a Maar. From the numerous examples of bizarre items, which made his stock, one could only imagine that Garnevin was a fellow that had his sources.
There were a few customers in the store, but they were all vastly different from the rest of the city. There was a Dravir in the corner examining the head of the Maar. A hooded figure, who hovered above the ground and had two asymmetrical, icy horns erect from his hood, scrutinized the Vizalain seed with an analytic approach, as if he doubted its validity. While I gazed at him, I felt an encroaching rush of serenity and calmness that flooded over my other emotions. I now stared about with an absolute complacency. The peculiar stranger began to scratch the surface of the crystal seed with his frigid talons. He muttered, "Hmm...yes, it seems to be genuine. Bazrir, what else do we need?"
There was also two more with this icy devil; one of them, the one with the glow of lightning exuding from his being, seemed to be contemplating or reflecting. The other robed being adorned in sand-colored robes with a golden hawk mask, which was inspecting the Harpy's wing, looked up towards the icy entity and answered, "Ah, yes, I believe that we need the wing of a Harpy, the seed of a Vizalain tree, the head of a Maar, a secret additive, and the eye of a Underachnid. How fortunate that three of these ingredients just happen to be in this shop, right, Myodei?"
"Of course, Bazrir, otherwise we'd have to scour half of Lore for these accursed reagents," Myodei answered, who then shifted towards Garnevin and asked, "Might I purchase this seed, the head of the Maar, and the wing of the Harpy? Name any price."
The Dravir, which had been looking at the Maar's head, then blurted out, "No, the Maar's skull is mine! I need it!"
Garnevin found his way into the conversation, "Look, we'll handle this with a bidding game, highest bidder wins, so I suggest that you start high."
"Two hundred thousand gold!" The Dravir announced.
"Five hundred thousand gold, my good sir," Myodei stated afterwards, "Now, I'll be taking that head if you don't mind. And while I am at it, what are the prices for the Vizalain seed and the wing of a Harpy?" The Dravir diverted its gaze now to the obviously rich stranger with a look of intrigue and shock at his immense offer.
Garnevin was jubilant to answer, "Ah, yes, fine pieces they are...oh, right, five hundred thousand gold and fifty thousand gold respectively."
Myodei summoned a number of coin purses from thin air upon Garnevin's counter, and he remarked, "I'll believe that you'll find everything to be in order." He drifted towards the items and took each of them into his possession with his icy claws.
< Message edited by Razen -- 4/2/2014 22:53:33 >