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  1. #1
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    ~Open To ALL~ The Seeker...[Year 1]

    He woke up.

    At first, it was difficult to discern what had just happened. But only that he was awake and conscious. As he gathered his thoughts there was something that kept nagging the old man. Where am I..? I am not home anymore...back home in Ayenee... Archanex thought back to the star of his youth, were great adventures took place and there was a world of vibrancy and untold power. There was a race of his people thriving, growing, learning the secrets of the elements through their scientific research and arts.

    It was miraculous. Their civilization had grown much those days, but now it was all gone. I don't feel home anymore. I don't feel my people...where am I? Behind him, the portal that had willed him to the world of Althanas was already closing. It's residue of energy rippling out of existence and leaving arcane residue. Archanex had a splitting headache, and it felt like some great war beast played drums with his skull. Archanex rubbed the sleep out of his eyes as he stood up off the ground to take in the surrounding region. He was in a forest that he did not know the name of. The headache soon faded and Archanex could focus once more.

    By his judging he could tell it was mid afternoon where ever he had ended up. I must be dreaming...this is to crazy to be a dream... Archanex stretched for a moment and saw his oak staff nearby. His robes were not tattered or anything, but they were quite filthy with dirt from his long journey there. Archanex stood at an impressive height for a Wizardy type. His robes were fancy and tailored with fabrics not native to Althanas...though equivalent to their basic materials. The elements are different here, but I still feel a connection to them. I wonder if... Archanex did what most folks in such a situation initially do. H e attempted to command his power. It was instinct really, but as soon as he'd done so his power manifested in a mysterious way.

    He conjured his elemental shifting ability for the first and for the currently last time. In his mind he had accessed the powers of Wind. Gyromancy. That was the power's name in the wording of his people. A gust of wind picked up at that precise moment and Archanex felt a strange sort of comfort. He attempted to mentally switch to the other arcane powers he had studied back home. Nothing. His ties to the other elements were currently severed. I have to start from scratch where ever I have ended up. So be it... Archanex thought to himself.

    "I saw it over there!" Someone yelled but in a tongue that Archanex did not know or understand.

    Archanex readied his oak staff just in case.

    A small group of adventurers appeared nearby and there was a pretty girl leading the group. She had ears that were strangely formed and pointy. He'd seen that sort of ear type before...Elves. His grip on his oak weapon tightened. He could not understand the language that the strangers were speaking.

    The girl had an enthusiastic look on her face as she noticed the seemingly older man. "See, I told you guys we'd find something." Archanex could not make sense of the language they were talking.

    "Okay! You were right this time. What do you want to do with him?" The fellow asked.

    The girl looked at the male speaker. "I want to keep him, he belongs to me. There is strong Aether energy here."

    One of the other men, a stately fellow, looked at the girl. "The portal has already closed to where ever he came from..."

    "You heard the boss. She wants to keep him." The other speaker said calmly, of course, Archanex could not understand what was going on.

    A moment later, on of the group of Adventurers knocked Archanex out and they started to drag him back to Stonevale...

    (Enter here with Stonevale Adventurers knocking out Archanex and basically kidnapping him hahah. Trying a slightly different approach with this project but feel free to join everyone!!!)

  2. #2
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    Time passed.

    When Archanex woke up next, he had a splitting headache.

    A fierce bruise had developed on the side of his head where the strangers had struck him. He found himself in a rather large chamber, the ceiling several feet above his head. Archanex was tall, and he could barely make out the ceiling. There were several people of various racial configurations that surrounded him and he was on the floor. When his senses were normalized and his vision set back in, he could feel cold hard steel from the chains that bound him. The strangers spoke their native tongue...a language that Archanex had no knowledge of. The seeming female that was apparently in charged of the group of strangers near him.

    Archanex had been laying on a cold floor at the feet of the woman.

    When his vision settled to normalcy, he observed that he'd been taken prisoner by the strangers. It took a quick moment to realize his belongings were confiscated by his captors. The woman leaned forward. Their leader. "Leave us guards." She said in that language that Archanex had never heard before. When the others left the two of them alone, she relaxed considerably. Her eyes had a fiercely intelligent glow to them. She leaned towards Archanex and spoke in his native Ayenee tongue. "In my youth I met one of your kind before." She began. "Your star is Ayenee is it not?" She was speaking in the tongue Archanex spoke in.

    Archanex nodded.

    She placed the tip of her shoe against Archanex's chin. "My grand father once spoke of your tribe. Over Mage you are called yes?" She asked.

    "That--" She kicked him when Archanex tried to speak, it hurt. He was already bleeding from the mouth.

    "A nod will do you don't have liberty to speak." She stood up from her chair and sat down in front of him. "Do you understand the situation you are in?"

    Archanex almost spoke but was a fast learner.

    The sorcerer merely nodded accepting the finality of it all.

    "I am going to level with you." She explained. "You belong to me. You're mine." She said. "As long as you understand that truth then things will proceed going forward." She was laying down the playing field.

    She looked at Archanex eye to eye. "What is your name?" She asked. "Be very careful how you respond.." She ordered.

    "Archanex." He said calmly.

    "The one my Grandfather found of your tribe was particularly strong willed. Grand Father said your people have a special power. That is why you belong to me now." She grabbed Archanex by his long hair and pulled up so Archanex could be face to face with her. "Ayenee. Is your star a threat? Choose your words carefully." She ordered.

    "Some forces in Ayenee could pose a threat to your people yes." Archanex explained. The Overmage was looking at her through his serious gaze.

    "I am going to break you now." She said in a matter of fact sort of way.

    "..." Archanex gritted his teeth tightly preparing himself for whatever assault would come.

    She kept his head aloft by holding his hair. Then she placed her hand on the side of his head...

    The next hours of the night were filled with the screams of Archanex as he was horribly tortured into the late hours of the night.

    ***

    "What did you find?" One of her cohorts asked of her as she looked at him.

    "There is power resting within him. I want to take it from him. It will help us with our goals." She looked at her cohorts. "He is quite strong willed it's been very entertaining."

    "Can we freely access the portal?" The cohort asked of the woman.

    "Use this on the experiments." She handed the man a small crystal she'd extracted from the prisoner's body.

    'What do we do if it works?" The man asked.

    "Do you doubt me?" She asked, a serious look crossed her face.

    The man turned pale as if he'd been struck with fear. "No my Lady." He looked at her very very carefully. "If the portal can be summoned with his blood as the catalyst then that means..."

    "You are not wrong." She said calmly. "Our employers want full access to those portals."

    "Why is it happening so often, do we have a theory about it?" He asked. He was someone who liked having concrete answers...not theories.

    "I've encountered Portals to Ayenee a few other times in my life." She said calmly. "His blood is the key behind all of this and I will discover the secret behind it." She said.

    ***

    Archanex awoke shortly there after shivering with cold. He was in the same torture chamber. The woman who was his captor had done...terrible things to him and Archanex was attempting to resist her the best he could. His attempts at will power were proving to be very futile however. His eyes opened. He coughed up his Overmage blood, he had blue blood. That was the mark of power for his people.

    He heard the boot steps of his captor.

    He no longer even felt afraid at this point...he was just numb.

    "I have been extracting your blood." She said confidently. "If my assumption about your blood is correct we will be able to fight any threat that comes from your star." She said. "I am going to tell you something. My family has been hunting a warrior from your star for many generations now. He always eluded us in the past." She said as she sat down next to him. "You have been an interesting pet so far." She frowned at that point and looked directly in his eyes. "The one named Rhougrez. Of the Darkness Tribe." She began. "You will give me everything you know about him even if you don't want to."
    Last edited by Archanex; 06-02-2019 at 11:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Sage Ainsworth kept his eyes on the horizon as he walked down one of the many streets of the town called Stonevale. If he were to allow himself a moment of reflection, he would have easily admitted to himself that this whole journey was nothing more than a wild goose chase, and that the chances of stumbling across his master in a location like this was a rather abysmal one.

    Still, it wasn’t a chance he could idly ignore either. His master owned a teleporting magical tower, and while he had served as the elderly wizard’s part time apprentice, that tower had been a novelty. It had allowed his master to travel across the world in the blink of an eye, often for some of the more uncommon materials and ingredients that the elderly wizard would sometimes require for an experiment or two.

    That was then, and ever since Sage had been lost to another world trying to find a wizard with a teleporting magical tower was proving to be a rather vexing notion.

    He’d been spoiled he realised, first by the tower and then by the liberal use of airships that the Vermillion empire had employed in the other world, so much so that he was shocked that the short journey to Stonevale had taken just under a week to complete.

    It made him sorely tempted to want to invoke an industrial revolution, and introduce althanas to the concept of a railway.

    Regardless of his woes, his search through Stonevale was sadly coming up empty so far, there was no sign of his master or of the magical tower which meant this diversion to this town was proving to be rather fruitless.

    “Maybe not…” he amended when he spied a trio of adventures standing at one of the market stalls, gearing up for a raid on one of the Goblin settlements that often hassled the mining town he assumed.

    “Perchance there is a guild nearby?” the boy wondered if he could find anything ought of worth in this town if he took his time to seek it. But Stonevale was uncharted territory for the boy, and as he wondered Stonevale’s streets in search of a tavern or an inn ‘Because all great adventures start where there are drinks to be had.’

    The boy was unaware however that he was being followed, a cloaked man followed the boy’s path at a discreet distance with a cold gleam in his eyes, and as the boy wondered into a quieter part of town, he slowly drew closer and closer.

    Sage thought for sure he was certainly going the wrong way, gone were the market stalls in favour of a quieter suburb where a stray cat watched him curiously from a balcony ledge. He was about to turn around to retrace his steps. But he was hit from behind by what felt like a rampaging bull that slammed him forcefully against a granite wall where his head bounced against its grainy surface. His vision was filled with stars and his mind stalled as whatever had hit him kept him pinned against the wall.

    But the world snapped back into place when he felt the sharpened curve of a steel blade press against his neck and the person behind him gripped the back of his head and once more slammed the boys head against the wall causing Sage to black out for several seconds.

    The young mage leaned against the wall as his knees gave out from under him, his mind unable to make any intelligible thought. He knew he was being mugged but that was the only coherent thought he could grasp onto. He was unable to offer any resistance as his assailant pilfered the magic tome that he kept fastened to his belt before the assailant was away and around a corner before the boy could even discern a single detail about the man.

    “…why me?” Sage slurred as he fell against the wall and slumped to the ground while raising a hand to his forehead which stung under his touch and felt unsurprisingly wet. Bleeding, he noted sourly but counted himself fortunate that though the blow had been vicious he had not suffered a concussion. The attack had been fast and quick that there had been no time spent to make sure the boy would not be following anytime soon.

    Not on foot anyway.

    His sour luck aside, the boy began to chuckle when he noticed that the only thing that had been taken had been his tome, his gold had been left untouched. That was surprisingly fortunate, because of all the items in Sage’s possession the tome was the only one that had an anti-theft countermeasure so to speak.

    The thief was going to be sorely surprised and furious when his ill-gotten gains was just going to vanish and teleport its way back into the waiting hands of its true owner. And Sage was just about to do just that and call the tome back into his waiting hands but stopped short of incanting the spell.

    The boy hesitated when an errant thought came to him.

    “Why just the tome?”

    It was a niggling feeling that nagged at him, and his curious nature begged to not let it go unanswered. He hesitated again as he certainly felt conflicted about finding out the answer, even his hand that was held ready to receive the tome back was shaking due to the sudden and relentlessness of the attack. And he was certainly hesitant to want anything more to do with the whole fiasco than to recall the book and go home and let his master find him instead.

    But his mind asked the same question again, why was the tome stolen but his gold ignored. His book was obviously targeted because it was something magical in nature. The boy balked knowing that it was never a good sign when knowledge of that nature was obtained by such ill gotten ways.

    but why was it taken?

    And for what purpose?

    “Something arcane in nature” he answered himself and was starting to realise a repeating trend with his innate draw to magic often leading him into events that should really be left alone and undisturbed.

    The mage frowned, and held up his palm to the sky. Magic began to run down the length of his arm coalescing into a single point where the magic grew denser and thicker, taking on the form of a bird until the magic crystallised and was subsequently shed as the magical construct bristled its feathers and fluffed up to shake off any excess arcane energy.

    The Raven cawed gently as it observed Sage who now could also see himself from the corner of his own vision and could now see the wound on his own forehead. It didn’t look half as bad as it felt, but he still felt he should go and let a healer take a look at it.

    He took one more look at the raven, it was a new spell he had recently devised, and he felt that there was more testing to be done with it. But the raven looked near damn perfect and no one would be to tell that the raven was not a real living thing but was instead was a magical construct.

    Sage could hear, smell and see what the bird did and in return the raven shared his intelligence and was able to think for itself in a way that compared to any educated adult human.

    But right now, he had a task for the construct, the Raven would serve as his eyes and ears and seek out his assailant and follow him. The Raven cawed with a flick of his wrist and took to the sky. Sage wavered uneasy as he saw the town of Stonevale grow small beneath him for a single moment until he was able to separate the odd double vision and instead allowed the spells intricate workings to take over to process the overload of information.

    “… I’ll wait here” he said to the raven as it took to the skies.
    Sage Ainsworth:
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  4. #4
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    (Excellent post bro.)

    The thief was merely a hired blade. A small part of a much darker machine. An infection was growing right under the noses of the mining town. A terrible secret that was lurking in the darkness. The thief would never have noticed Sage's raven overhead. Instead, he had the book in his possession and would take it to his employers. The contact he had within the Apocalypse Cult paid well for magical artifacts and relics. It did not matter how they were obtained. The thief made his way to the furthest outskirts of Stonevale. There was a solitary old house. What was not known to the general public was that dark acts were being committed there...

    ***

    "The tome is the real deal." One of Miranda's servants said calmly handing a book off to her.

    She inspected the tome. "It's his writing...his glyphs..." She said calmly. Something else was going on and she was close to uncovering the secret of it all.

    "My lady they are getting restless." He said with notable fear in his eyes.

    "They must learn patience. Must we do everything our fucking selves." She handed the tome back to her cohort. "Pay the blade who acquired this well. See to it personally. We are close, there will be no loose ends this time." She said and returned back to the breaking of her pet.

    ***

    "Your blood is quite potent." She stated honestly to the slave. He was on the floor, in a pool of his own blood, the blood that could not be extracted. She stopped approximately half an inch in front him. "It has been a month now." She said calmly. "The process we were taught condenses blood with certain genetic markers. It is actually quite a delicate matter." She had a soft smile on her face. "I want you to understand why this is happening to you." She said.

    Archanex could only spit his own blood out of his mouth as she spoke. Humbled and broken as he was, he stared at her. He felt no fear anymore only pain.

    "The secret you hold will be mine and mine alone." She said and grabbed his hair...

    Someone else rushed into the torture chamber. "My lady there's a serious problem!" He stopped as he saw that she was getting ready to proceed with the blood extraction.

    She shot him a deadly gaze. "You better have a good reason for being here."

    "Bring your toy with you." He explained to Miranda, clearly referring to Archanex.

    She was hesitant but complied with the flustered runner.

    A few moments later they were outside on the mansion's courtyard. She saw several people she did not recognize. They were all armed with pitchforks and torches. Miranda sighed.

    With Archanex by her side, she could do anything without fear. She kept Archanex tied to a chain style leash. He was obedient by that point. He merely followed his master. His eyes narrowed at what he saw next.

    Miranda saw it too...they were not towns folk.

    They were goblins...
    Last edited by Archanex; 06-11-2019 at 09:42 AM.
    I'm about to punch YOUR LIGHTS OUT! -Ludacris

  5. #5
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    “Again, thank you” Sage said with a warm smile to the pretty cleric who held a smooth delicate hand to his forehead. Her fingers held a calm green glow that slowly and gently cleaned and healed his wound in minutes to what would have normally taken days.

    “You are very talented, I can hardly even feel the spell” he admitted easily enough, remembering his own disastrous attempt at his own healing spell during his time with his master. Healing spells when done right were soothing and could gently knit even the deepest of wounds back together. But when done wrong the healing spells would often hurt more than the wound itself as it brought to mind as poring salt into an open wound before setting it on fire.

    His attempt was enough to make him to reconsider learning any healing spells until his was more familiar with his own anatomy.

    “I’ve had a lot of practice” She answered, beaming with an ill-concealed pride and a wide smile at his compliment.

    “Now, how did you even get a wound like this in the first place?” she inquired ending her spell and pressed her thumb against his forehead to check to see that the spell had not accidentally left a scar.

    Sage opened his mouth to tell her what had happened but hesitated for a brief second.

    “Someone… pushed me from behind. And I hit my head against the wall” Sage answered reluctantly with only a half truth that only omitted the fact that he had been mugged. He didn’t like to lie and genuinely felt bad that he had done so to the kind adventurer that had came to his aid out of the kindness of her heart.

    And yet, as bad as he felt for lying, he also felt relieved that he was not potentially bringing her into harm’s way.
    “And did they even stop to apologise?” She asked gently but had a sour look on her face.

    “I’m afraid not, I assume that they were in a bit of a hurry.” He replied with a tired smile that agreed that such a person was rude beyond all compare.

    “The nerve of some people” The cleric complained before stepping back satisfied with her own handywork. “Well the wound has healed nicely” she commented sounding quite pleased with herself.

    “Again, I cannot thank you enough” Sage repeated himself yet again feeling as though he could not say those same words near enough times to truly convey his gratitude.

    “Just look after yourself okay” the Cleric admonished him and tapped her finger against his nose causing him to smile brightly and almost forget the fact that he had lied to her.

    “I shall endeavour to do so” He promised. It was certainly something he would try to do and yet at the same time he could not help but feel like he was approaching a veritable beehive with a really short stick.

    “Then I must be off, I told my companions I would only be gone for a short while” The cleric said while gathering her things back into a satchel. She had all kinds of medical aids that she had set aside in case she needed them but his wound had been easy enough to heal with just a single spell.

    “Then I won’t keep you any longer” He said recalling that this woman had been one of the group of adventurers that he assumed would be venturing out to deal with any nearby Goblins that had been raiding the town for its supplies.

    “Farewell” The healer answered waving her own hand as she set off to reunite with her companions.

    “And you as well!” He called back waving his own hand in return as he turned around and closed his eyes and began to focus on what his Familiar was currently up too. The raven had no issue in tracking his assailant, his magic tome was quite unique and the man had made no attempt to conceal it within his cloak with any modicum of effort. Canen had actually cawed in disbelief, and Sage himself almost scoffed with the same sentiment.

    Sage then began to slowly head in the same direction with a calm and sedate pace that allowed himself time to gauge the man and assess the situation. If it even looked like he was in way over his head then Sage would summon his book and be on his way, his curiosity be damned.

    The man was certainly in a hurry to get somewhere, and he took an almost direct path towards an estate located on the outskirts of the town. The raven found a perch on a nearby rooftop that gave Sage an unobstructed view of the courtyard. Another man had come out from the estate to meet him and though they spoke to each other out of earshot of his familiar. It also did not mean what they were doing was also not completely obvious, as the thief exchanged his tome with the stranger for a tidy sum of money. Sage scoffed when he realised the amount given to the man was rather paltry in comparison to the enchantments that had been placed on the tome.

    When the thief began to leave, Sage was torn as to who to follow, but ultimately chose to keep an eye on the estate, for they were the ones who were now in possession of his tome.

    “So, what exactly is going on here?” The boy wondered inquisitively.

    But then the situation turned strange, people began to gather into the courtyard of the estate wielding pitchforks and torches and it did not take a genius to figure out that they were Goblins.

    Now that begged the question to what were they doing at this mysterious estate, and it also begged the question as to how did they even get this close to the town with such flimsy disguises. Sage wistfully turned around to face the street that the kind cleric had gone and wondered if he had done the right thing by not telling her the truth.

    Probably not, but he was sure there was a life lesson to be learned here.

    From what his raven saw, the two groups briefly communicated with each other before one of the men ran back into the estate and a woman came sauntering out moments later holding tightly onto the end of a leash that was …

    “What?” Sage questioned in disbelief causing him to pause mid step.

    Even his raven looked on in morbid fascination as attached to the wrong end of the lead was an elderly man who did not look like he had been having a good day, or even a good week. He appeared to have been beaten and battered quite extensively if the bruising was anything to go by. Curiously the dried blood on his lip was a deep dark blue in colour that suggested an ancestry that was not quite human.

    But the man could have been a half leprechaun and half Unicorn for all Sage was concerned, because he was too busy wondering what kind of sick and twisted person would actively yank someone around with a leash.

    “Are they slavers?” The young mage speculated. He could only assume that these people were going to sell this man to the Goblins to work as some kind of labourer. He started to doubt that was the case, if that were the case then why not a younger slave?

    Sage was growing very uncomfortable, and once more he pondered just summoning his book and be done with the whole affair when the sight of that man bound like that just did not sit right with him.
    Sage Ainsworth:
    Level 2

  6. #6
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    The wind at that point was calm and the forest, wilderness around Stonevale was quiet. The Goblins looked at Miranda and her followers. More was at play there. It was not just about Portals to Ayenee anymore. The Goblin squad leader walked up to Miranda. He spoke in the common-tongue quite fluently. "Do you have the key?" The Goblin asked.

    Miranda frowned deeply. "It takes time to create the key you know this." The was the thing with Blood Magic...everything had to be exact. "There is another reason you're here is there not?"

    The Goblin nodded. "The one of The Darkness Tribe you spoke of is here." The goblin did not hesitate to explain the gravity of the situation. "He was spotted traveling the mountain ridge...alone." The Goblin said.

    Miranda thought carefully of what to do next. "Get your tribe out of the mountains. Move somewhere safer for the time being." She said, her impatience was growing. "Has he attacked yet?" Miranda asked.

    "No. He was merely wandering out there our forward scouts did not approach him as you instructed." The Goblin respected The Darkness Tribe, his ancestors fought them a long time ago.

    Miranda rubbed her chin thoughtfully. She turned to look at Archanex for a moment. "You know of Rhougrez' strength, my pet." Her eyes narrowed at that point. "You will have a chance to prove your loyalty to me." She looked at the Goblin. "Get your people out of there. Rhougrez is not to be attacked."

    "Understood, I will notify my Scouts." The Goblin said calmly and prepared to leave.

    ***

    He had always been a loner. Even at the height of The Darkness' power...Rhoughrez never liked working with or for guilds. A lead summoned him to the world of Althanas across the void. Across The Omniverse itself. Something was triggering random portals across the fabric of reality itself. Rhoughrez had a deep respect for power, he wanted answers. In his journey across the mountains of Stonevale proper...he'd come across several small creatures that wisely did not approach the lone warrior. They kept their distance merely observing the dark wanderer. Rhoughrez tightened his muscles, carefully focusing on his command of his power. Even in youth, the Dark Wanderer had always been a skilled shadowmancer.

    That's when he felt it.

    A pulse...a familiar one.

    Rhoughrez growled. "...Overmage..." Rhoughrez spat on the ground beneath. The pulse was somewhat diluted...but it was still the particular pulse nonetheless. Rhoughrez readied his power and began to approach the general direction he felt the Overmage's hidden power. The host power is diluted for some reason but it is definitely an Overmage. He prepared for battle....

    ***

    The Goblins prepared to take their leave.

    Miranda observed very carefully to be certain there would be no more interruptions.

    Suddenly, it happened. Archanex's eyes shot out of their previously catatonic state. "MOVE!" Archanex yelled and forcibly shoved Miranda out of harm's way. The blast of shadow power came in from the west of the old house. The chain attached to Archanex broke from the force of Rhoughrez' power.

    The Dark Wanderer flew towards the courtyard. The target was clear...

    When he landed on the courtyard he was stunned to see his old enemy alive. "Archanex..." Rhoughrez angrily stated. "I have been hunting you for a long time."

    Archanex knelt down next to Miranda and took an aggressive combat stance. "You're hunting alone." Archanex suddenly said. "Did your clan expel you like the dog you are?"

    Miranda stared at the two men from Ayenee. The sensation of power was beyond anything she had ever felt.

    "Funny. I'd ask you the same thing...what happened to YOUR tribe old man?" The Dark Wanderer asked.

    Archanex kept a poker face he stood directly in front of Miranda. Placing himself in between Rhoughrez and Miranda. He would protect his master with his life.

    "You shouldn't have come." Archanex suddenly told The Dark Wanderer.

    ***

    It was already happening.

    Miranda's followers had the Key constructed from Archanex's blood. They were preparing the ritual to connect the world of Althanas to the realm of Ayenee...there would be noone to stop them.

    ***

    Rhoughrez knew there was no more time for talk...he rushed Archanex and Miranda's position.
    I'm about to punch YOUR LIGHTS OUT! -Ludacris

  7. #7
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    Sage could see the Outerwall of the estate’s courtyard just up the road. It really was in the outskirts of the town and was nicely tucked away in a secluded area away from prying eyes. Sage bit his lip and hesitated to continue moving forwards. Once more he began to contemplate the situation and instinctively knew that it was dangerous, perhaps more dangerous than he had initially thought.

    He could still turn back, he assured himself. He still was not past that point of no return. But his curiosity was almost eating him alive. What interest did these people have in the arcane to warrant stealing his tome? magic was often common enough and freely given that stealing it was just abnormal.

    And the types of people he could think off that would want to secretly cavort knowledge of the arcane like this were either cultists or necromancers. For his sake he really hoped it was the former, because he just could not stand the thought of a shambling rotting corpse.

    For now, he was content to keep on scouting the estate. So far there had been no lack of oncoming information. And not to mention this was also serving as an excellent field test of his familiars’ capabilities. But after the Arrival of the Goblins, Sage had chanced his familiar once more to get within ear range and heard the two groups speaking of a key and someone from a darkness tribe.

    More questions and no answers. Why! he ought to have just walked up to the gate and offer his services just to satisfy that craven little itch in the back of his mind.

    The goblins had just begun to move out when the courtyard just, exploded.

    “What was that?!” The young mage cried when something or rather someone just dropped into the courtyard of the estate. Momentarily bewildered, Sage closed his eyes so that he could clearly see through the eyes of his raven. Sage had not known what to expect but a man wreathed in shadow was certainly not it.

    But in his moment of distraction he had missed the Goblins vacate the courtyard, eager to leave the shadowmancer alone and swiftly huddled onto the street where he now stood. There had been a sort of unspoken agreement between their tribe and the dark stranger. If they left each other alone then nothing would come of it. But right now, they were all eager to make good on Miranda’s suggestion and find somewhere a lot safer. But that would have to wait because as soon as they spotted the stranger in the middle of the street, they froze, thinking they had been caught by one of Stonevale’s many travellers.

    By the time the young mage opened his eyes he was staring at no less than seven pairs of beady little eyes that looked at him with anger, fear and hate.

    “Kill the human!” the shortest goblin yelled.

    Now I am past the point of no return.’ The boy mentally quipped as he looked over the group and desperately tried to think of a way out. While fighting the Goblins was a certain possibility for him these days. The fighting would no doubt attract the attention of those within the courtyard too, and that was a fight he wasn’t sure he could walk away from.

    An idea came to him in a single instant, one of either genius or madness.

    “Your mistress has business with me” Sage spoke to the group calmly and narrowed his eyes at them trying to look contemptuous. His wording had also been deliberate in that he had implied that the woman was working for him rather than the other way around, though he also suspected that little detail had gone over the goblin’s grimy little heads.

    Pretending to be affiliated with these people, how is this any different from your initial obscene idea’ The mage scolded himself, he would either fake it until they believed him or they would all attack en-masse.

    “Though it would seem she is preoccupied”. He huffed in fake annoyance. “I assure you the Key will be ready soon. But now you all had best be off until we have dealt with this pest”

    The goblins were now no longer looking at him in anger or hate, but instead now had a heavy dose of confusion warping their little faces.
    He had been in a situation like this before, though last time his dignity had suffered for it as he proclaimed a young thief of Scara Brae as his boyfriend while he played the part of the girlfriend. It had not been his best moment and to make matters worse he was sure that his lie had been seen through.

    Please fall for it’ Sage mentally pleaded, and while he knew that he may have a chance with the Goblins, he was sure that any one else within the estate would be a much harder sell.

    Of cause before he could get an answer something or someone within courtyard exploded with a torrent of arcane energy.
    Sage Ainsworth:
    Level 2

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