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  1. #11
    Althanian

    EXP: 7,826, Level: 3
    Level completed: 71%, EXP required for next Level: 1,174
    Level completed: 71%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,174


    Professor Charles's Avatar

    GP
    900

    Name
    Charles Rivers
    Location
    Corone
    “They could have gone because they are girls and they get scared easily.” He folded his arms and slouched back in his throne.

    “That is awfully sexist of you,” I replied, picking off a ripe, round grape from a stem and popping it into my mouth. Apparently he owned a vineyard now, which was nice when it gave you fat fruit like these were. “Some of the greatest warriors I know are female.”

    “And how many warriors would a n’urd like yourself know?” he scowled.

    ‘N’urd’ was a progressive term I had heard some of my younger students use, both in Akashima and in Alerar. It referred to someone who was highly knowledgeable about particular subjects, and was sometimes used in tandem to them (for instance, I would be a ‘history n’urd’). Either it could be an insult (‘you are such a n’urd’) when one would not stop speaking excessively about a topic, or it was a self-confession (‘I am n’urdy about …’). It also seemed to be a general defining description for anyone who was a bookworm, or owned large amounts of books, such as myself. I was surprised that Morningstar was using it, and so I blinked at him a moment before I replied.

    “Because I have only been a professor for the last ten years,” I flatly replied. “And I know a lot of people.”

    “Oh, so you have met them all in those ten years?” He guffawed, then frowned, “How come it took you so long to establish yourself, by the way? People barely knew who you were when I started looking for you.”

    I grinned, and retorted in kind. “Depends when you started looking. And … how come it took all those years for you to come and find me?”

    Likely because he had not realised I had been free until recently. Deliberately, I had chosen to leave my name behind when I adopted the identifier of tiefling. Indeed, my name had stayed similar, so I was ‘Charles’ instead of ‘Charon,’ but at least I was still hidden, away from the world. With a good life, and locally known as a household modern historian.

    “The point is, I have found you now,” he raised his chin. “As I will find the others, and we will ride out this apocalypse together and I will rule on the other end of it.”

    Or,” I suggested strongly, “You let me go, give me back however much of my power you stole from the King -”

    “Took, and bargained for,” he said defensively.

    “Morningstar, I am your brother,” I blinked at him, “I know how you work. You either stole it, or had it stolen by one of your lackeys.”

    His bottom lip drooped beyond his top one, and I knew I was right. Thus, I went on, “Yes, so you give me back my power, and I will go from here, towards the thing that is going to destroy us and stop it. Or at least, attempt to. It is much more practical than constantly searching for our siblings and trying to build an empire in a world of ash, that at least we could try to save.”

    Morningstar shook his head roughly, “No, brother. It is futile. If Klotho, Lakesis and Atropos have run, then the likeliest outcome is destruction. We must therefore hide, use what power we have to protect ourselves and emerge as new gods in the end.”

    “You are too obsessed with power,” I insisted. I leant forwards, going as far as my short chain would allow. “Morningstar, please consider the possibility. I am talking about a chance here, it might be slim, but we have to take it. Tell me what you know so far about it, I will go and attempt to ease the suffering. If -” I paused, and sucked in my breath, “if you are right and it destroys nearly all life, then damn, I won’t even have a university to go and teach in. Then I will come back to you, and we can take about fealty and all that shit.”

    His brow rose, and he stared. “Fealty? You would …”

    “Not if I can help it, you power-hungry maniac,” I responded entirely not amused. “Not until my last day. But, if it comes to the end of the world, then I won’t have much left to fight for. We can talk then about some sort of working arrangement."

    There was a smile across his face for a moment, then he lay his head back.

    “That is not enough of a deal, Charon, to have me free you. I could just keep you here until the end of things, you’d be bored enough then too.”
    Last edited by Philomel; 07-15-2018 at 03:47 PM.

  2. #12
    Althanian

    EXP: 7,826, Level: 3
    Level completed: 71%, EXP required for next Level: 1,174
    Level completed: 71%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,174


    Professor Charles's Avatar

    GP
    900

    Name
    Charles Rivers
    Location
    Corone
    Stressed, I huffed, and looked out through the doors. A single cloud was in the sky today, twisting delicately into the atmosphere. There was also a quiet horse nibbling her lonely way across the field, which I found odd, not knowing where precisely we were. When Morningstar had brought me here from my office we had teleported, and appeared beyond the doors. Without much of a struggle from me, mainly for the same reasons I had never struggled in the first place, I had been chained where I was now, and left there for all to see who came in and worked.

    A few of them stopped to stare now, lurking as they did. Two young women who bore washing between them peered at me, tilting their heads. I caught them looking, and bringing a dull smile to my face I gave a two handed wave. One of them smiled, the other chuckled, and Morningstar kicked me in the gut.

    Reeling over I spluttered, as pain rippled through my body. I had not seen him even walking close. “What,” I coughed, “was that for?”

    “For pulling you back into the conversation,” he spat. Glancing over to where the women had been I now saw a bare wall. Curled in a lose foetal position, I watched there, just in the rare hope that they would come back, as Morningstar continued.

    “Now, my offer still stands. I give you back what power I managed to get from the King of Death, you swear allegiance to me and -”

    “If it is between that and you keeping me here, I will go with the latter,” I hissed, now more pissed off than anything. “You have probably lost me my job, so I might as well stay here. Why are you so obsessed with me anyway? There are plenty far more powerful siblings of ours out there.”

    “People actually like you, Charon,” he replied. That took me by surprise. It was certainly not the answer I had been expecting. Rolling around my head I stared up at him, seeing him tall and threatening above me, with his arms folded, resplendent with his mighty horns and magnificent hair. His jaw tightened. “They listen to you. If I have you on my side, I am far more likely to be able to rule.”

    “You know, maybe if you stopped threatening people and kicking them in the gut for no reason, they would like you more.” Sucking in a breath I managed to bite through the pain and concentrate on him. “You’re a tyrannical dictator, not a beloved monarch.”

    His top lip curled again. “I do not have patience for people. Or friends. I have power, and redistribute it. That was what I was made for.”

    “And I was made to destroy things carefully, and have empathy, but that is hardly what I do now.” I used my cuffed hands to sit up into a kneeling position. Glaring down at me he looked exactly like the king that he considered himself to be, and in that moment I was in the position of his vassal. Disliking it I twisted around, gritting past the pain to sit slumped again as I had been before. Ruined grapes, upset by him kicking me, rolled around the floor by my feet. “First I was a ferryman, now I am a teacher and a scholar. And I am fucking good at it. You have taken me from that. But my point it, what we were made for does not have to define us. But …” I laid my hands against my sore gut. “Well, clearly you are not going to change, so you might as well shove me in a cell for now, and I will see you after its all dead.”
    Last edited by Philomel; 08-28-2018 at 01:58 PM.

  3. #13
    Althanian

    EXP: 7,826, Level: 3
    Level completed: 71%, EXP required for next Level: 1,174
    Level completed: 71%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,174


    Professor Charles's Avatar

    GP
    900

    Name
    Charles Rivers
    Location
    Corone
    My desire, though, was to be out there, dealing with the situation. I also, desperately, wanted to get back to my occupation and continue my studies. Currently I was researching the ancient worship of the Thayne Jomil, the goddess of order, decay and the cycle of life and death. I realised the importance of my study of her, with what was going to occur soon if I and others did not attempt to stop it. With destruction came decay, but from that wealth of disaster came new life. It was just the way that the Old Gods had gone and the new religions begun. Morningstar wanted to gain on this new genesis, and enact Jomil’s work. Or rather, he likely wanted others to do the work for him, and he would just claim sovereignty.

    A thought struck in my mind then. Ultimately, Morningstar wanted power. It had always been his driving force, his obsession. He wanted me, partly because my destructive capabilities were once exceedingly mighty, and apparently partly because I could actually get on with people - complete what he lacked. My empathy for others, my general calmness of spirit and dislike of anger had made students consider my classes easy. It had gained me friends, at least far more than he ever had, and allow me to sit between camps of enemies. I had always walked a thin line, and though there were some people who I would never get on with (Irritant Number One Franko, for instance), I always strove to please for those who appreciated the effort.

    But what if someone else stopped the apocalypse? What if, because of the masses more divinities and devils than there were now compared to the time of the Great Calamity, there was a possibility that another, who was not myself, managed to save the majority of mortal kind? Many, many heroes walked the paths of Althanas, including some that I had met, and if they were able to save a village from a dragon, there was a chance that they could help to save a nation.

    In that case the apocalypse would never happen, and people would never lose faith. Instead, they would look to the gods who had saved them - one of them certainly not Morningstar as he waited for the destruction to come - and their worship would excel. Once more Morningstar would be pushed to the sidelines, holding the little power that he had as a new era came, once where he could be possibly even weaker than he was now …

    “Wait!” I said, gasping. I spun to face him. He was back in his throne, sitting on the edge. Brows raised he looked at me.

    “What is it?” he asked.

    “There are far more gods now than there were before,” I breathed, “Far more, who knows how many. And they are from all corners of the world, possibly worlds from what my books tell me.”

    He blinked, not understanding. “... And?”

    “Well, it’s not just the Old Gods, this time, Morningstar,” I replied, aghast. “Instead, there are far more. With all that potential power there could be someone, not myself, who went to save the world, and not in your name, or the King of Death’s name, or anyone that we know. They could even claim victory for themselves.”

    I could see his mind working behind his eyes as he considered. Personally, I knew I had a point. And he had to know that I had one too. It was as plain as the day could see, now that I thought about it.

    “And even if a second calamity came, who would be to say that you would be the only power that survived? There could be an already established pantheon that manages to ride out the storm, then claims complete sovereignty for themselves. They’ll already have the potential, have the worshippers … you could be possibly even worse off.”

    Slowly he breathed in, narrowing his eyes. “That is a possibility. There is also the possibility of the future I speak of, with us emerging as new gods, ultimate in power.”

    “Yes, but the chances of that are slimmer now,” I stressed. “It’s not the same as before. Nowhere near.”

    Drawing his eyes away from me he leant back, studying the beamed ceiling. Massive trunks of wood had been harvested of their bark and cut to shape to support the roof, that was held together with no nails, only pegs of wood. It was a marvel of early architecture, that I very much admired, but was far too anxious to begin rambling about then. Briefly he considered the roof, as briefly as I had done rambling about it, before he sighed, looking over at me.

    “Fine, I will bite. What are you suggesting?”

    “You let me go,” I said.

    Immediately he grimaced.

    “Wait!” I kept going, “Wait. You let me go, and give me back my power. At least enough to let me attempt to do what I want. I try to stop whatever natural disaster is coming, or if I cannot I save as many as I can. Then -” I raised a finger in the air. The Prince of nowhere glared at it. “I back off. Any and all gratitude I get for my assistance ... you can have. I do not want it. I will very gladly attribute any successes I get to you. I do not want the attention, you do, so,” I grinned at him, lifting up my bound hands. “Success for us both?”

  4. #14
    Althanian

    EXP: 7,826, Level: 3
    Level completed: 71%, EXP required for next Level: 1,174
    Level completed: 71%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,174


    Professor Charles's Avatar

    GP
    900

    Name
    Charles Rivers
    Location
    Corone
    His lips became two thin lines. Narrowed eyes surveyed me, searched me for any sign that I was faking my willingness to give him all the regard. Staying perfectly still I let him do so, looking back with as much purity and honesty as I had; for it was all true. I was absolutely happy to give him every ounce of acknowledgement, appreciation and recognition for all that I might gain from this adventure. If that was what I had to trade for my freedom, and my ability to lend an aid to the preservation of our world, I was more than happy to comply.

    “How do I know you will keep your word?” he asked slowly.

    “Well if I do not, it won’t take you long to find me, right?” Unless I hid, but that would take some planning, as I was sure that as soon as I left this court Morningstar would have someone following me.

    He inclined his head slowly, “yes … it would not.”

    “Great. So I have that threat looming over my shoulder, and so less reason not to keep to my word.” I smiled and held up my hands higher. “What do you say?”

    Head tilted to the side he took me in for a moment, before speaking. “You will not consider swearing your loyalty to me, even though you will be attributing your successes to me?”

    “Brother, I just got my freedom. I am not as willingly giving it away to you.”

    He smiled, “well, I have you right now, and you did not exactly give up much of a fight.”

    “You have me as a prisoner, but you do not have my loyalty. You should know the difference, idiot,” I began to lower my hands, “are you really turning my offer down, considering the circumstances?”

    Jaw set he watched me for a moment longer, before he swung his body forwards and came to his feet. “You should know, if you break this I will make your life a living hell.”

    “Oh I know,” I shrugged, clambering to my feet also. Slowly he began towards me, cracking his knuckles as he did. It was mildly threatening, for anyone who did not know Morningstar well: however, he was my brother. He and I went to the beginning of time itself.

    He waved a hand, and the manacles fastened around my wrists unlocked. The bright bell-like sound of the chains sounded for a moment before the whole contraption disappeared, anchor included. Running my fingers over my wrists I felt relieved, glad to see the back of such things, and watched as he strode towards me. Together we prepared, and together we took one step forwards, swinging out our right arms.

    They met in the middle, gripping each other’s forearm. Mine was bare, and I could feel the pressure of his wound-like feature close to the inside of my elbow, touching and threatening to leech.

    “We have a deal,” he hissed.

    “Indeed, we do, Prince,” I smiled, clutching his arm tight.

    I watched as he sucked in his breath, then raised his chin slightly. At the point of my elbow I felt the familiar drowsiness begin to rise, but this time it was shortly cut off. Instead, a trickle of power began to flow - thin at first, but then it developed, gaining momentum as it filled through my body. Exhaling, I felt immense relief as the abilities that I had lost over time, except that of being immortal, returned to me. I flexed my hand, looking down as a small ball of dark energy started to build there automatically, coming to my call as soon as I thought of it.

    Suddenly he let go.

    Surprise came into me as I lost control of the energy and it blinked out of existence. Frowning, I glared at him. “That is most definitely not all of it,” I said, “It is barely anything. I can get four - maybe five shots out of that, it’s -”

    “You have survived so far without any of it,” Morningstar shrugged. “See how you handle that for now. If you adhere to our deal, then I will give you back more.” He nodded, “yes, I am holding some of your power hostage, but you said yourself I only needed to give you some.”

    “I wasn’t meaning …” I sighed, then I threw up my hands, “fine. Thank you for that much. I guess I will see you at some point soon.”

    He nodded, smiling growing wide. “I will.”

  5. #15
    Administrator

    EXP: 106,288, Level: 14
    Level completed: 16%, EXP required for next Level: 12,712
    Level completed: 16%,
    EXP required for next Level: 12,712


    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    2,010

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

    View Profile
    Professor Charles receives 1460 EXP, 70 GP and has the following spoil approved:

    Can I please gain a gas mask (magical or otherwise) with a filter that will allow the wearer to walk through poisonous airs?

  6. #16
    Administrator

    EXP: 106,288, Level: 14
    Level completed: 16%, EXP required for next Level: 12,712
    Level completed: 16%,
    EXP required for next Level: 12,712


    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    2,010

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

    View Profile
    All rewards added.

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