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Tales of Unlikely Adventures


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#1 Ratcatcher

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 02:07 AM

Tales of Unlikely Adventures

The story about four different adventurers who find their destinies where they least expected

 

Chapter 1: The Magi

 

Helen Myers sat  on her bunk, her mind thinking back to the training session that took place. All of her peers had already advanced in some form of specialized magic. Veronica went on to become an enchanter, Desmond had finally discovered his affinity for fire magic, and even her younger brother Calvin found himself a healer. So what was wrong with her? Years of practice had yielded a firm understanding of only the most basic practices of manipulating general energies, but nothing more.

 

She grabbed a rag sitting on her nightstand and wiped the sweat off of her forehead. Truthfully, it couldn't be told whether it was from the rigorous test she had just taken, or if it was anticipation from what the Elder Council would decide. What if they confirmed that she wasn't apt enough to learn magic? What if she had traveled all this way to the Arcane Citadel, having spent five years practicing the arts, just to be told she wasn't cut out for it? A tear streamed down her cheek, and she realized her eyes were welling up with sorrow.

----------

 

Helen walked down the forest path, growing tired of the trees she had seen for the past three weeks. "All this walking, and still, not a town in sight!" she thought aloud. The young wizard pulled out her map for the umpteenth time, to view once again how she had no idea where she was-- or where she was going. "UGH!" Exasperated, she crumpled it up and shoved it back into her satchel. "If I could just find some other person, maybe I wouldn't be stuck here, wandering the middle of nowhere!" Myers began contemplating how it wasn't so bad being in the Arcane Citadel, and maybe she would make more progress if she went back and tired endlessly casting weak spells instead of getting blisters on her feet.

 

Eventually, the sun descended below the trees, and Helen had to make camp. She gathered a bunch of dry leaves, twigs, and small pieces of wood, and built herself a neat little fire. She stuck her staff into the ground so that it stuck straight up. As an unnecessary yet charming gesture, she snapped her fingers, and imagined the bulb of the staff brightening intensely to illuminate her surroundings. "Well," she said smugly, "I can't be all that bad, if I can do that so simply." She sat down against a tree behind her, and opened up her book, Arcane Advancement: A Guide to a Greater Gift. She had read through the whole book twice already, and it definitely was NOT her favorite book, but perhaps there was something in it she missed that could help her discover how to shoot fire from her fingertips, or heal poison, or something. Who knew.

 

The fire cracked and splintered, sending little fire-fairies into the air. Helen wasn't sure what they were called, but she called them fire-fairies, because nobody was around to oppose her. Before she took any interest in her book, the girl took some time to take in her surroundings. The doom and gloom of the dark forest was masked by the mystic torchlight her staff gave off, it's light blue luminosity piercing the shadows with beauty rather than fear.  She looked up to view her favorite scene of all: the stars. Helen loved stars. She recalled her mother telling her that each star was the mark of somebody who did everything they could in this life to fulfill their true fate. When asked by a young Helen Myers why some stars were brighter than others, her sweet response was that each person had different circumstances. There are some, her mom's voice echoed in her mind, who are incredibly talented in the world, and do absolutely nothing with it. They are the smaller stars. But some people don't have very much talent, yet by doing small and simple things, bring greatness about. Those, my child, are the brighter stars.

 

Helen sighed, closing her eyes and smiling. Such words brought peace at a time like this. She had a purpose now. She wasn't just hoping for an unseen miracle, she was out trying to make it so. Perhaps, thought she, before sinking into a deep sleep; perhaps she'll find her magic talents soon. The late-blooming flower blooms most beautifully. Maybe she has bright hopes ahead of her.

-----------------------------

I'm a failure, Helen thought, now crying into her pillow. I'm not going to be a great wizard, am I? She didn't want to go home a disappointment to her parents, both of which were very powerful mages. Even her brother, two years younger, was nothing short of a prodigy. So what was wrong with her? She sank into a deeper sob, her breath breaking as she considered being sent home. The worst part would be being welcomed home with love and indifference to her failed career. It would be so much easier, she thought, to go home to parents who at least disapproved of her failure. Maybe that could inspire some miraculous change of soul. It would at least keep her from feeling pitied.

 

Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. "Come in," Myers said, her voice cracking as she sat up. The door opened to one of the old men that was present at her examination. "My dear," he said, somewhat cautiously, "the Elders have come to a conclusion." She looked up, her face begging for good news, yet fearing the worst. The old man bowed his head, using his hood to hide his face. "I don't know what they decided, but I hope for the best, dear."

-----------------------------

"Wake up, pretty lady..." a dark and sinister voice made Helen gasp as she jolted off of the tree. She couldn't see in the pitch black. With a flicker of her mind, her staff flashed on, and three hooded figures stood in front of her, the one on the left an arrow drawn and pointed directly at her. One of them snickered at her fear-stricken eyes, which darted between the strange men. "Oh, we didn't interrupt a nightmare, now, did we?" Helen backed into the tree, stretching out a hand to ward off an approaching threat.

 

"Listen, um... I-I'm a wizard, y'know, and... uh... I-I don't want to hurt you." The center figure chuckled, and the one on the right took a brisk step forward and firmly grasped her neck, holding her head up.

 

"Of course not, dear," he said, gazing into her eyes. "We wouldn't want to hurt you either. We just wanted to give you some good company." The masked creep ran his other hand through Helen's hair, while she remained completely still, trying to keep her mind clear and come up with a plan. "You see, you looked so lonely, asleep here by this tree, and I thought that perhaps I could offer you something... fun--"

 

Disgusted at the suggestion, Helen quickly used both her arms to remove his grip, then snaked around behind him, putting him in a headlock. She thought about her satchel opening and he knife flying into her hand, which it did without hesitation. The other two crooks stared in amazement. "Get back," she warned, "I don't want to hurt him!" She pointed the knife toward her captive. The man in her headlock laughed darkly, and with swift strength, threw her over his shoulder. She yelped as she went soaring, then brutally found herself looking up at her stalker.

 

Still laughing, he waved off the bowman. "Go ahead and put that away. She won't be any trouble." Just as the henchman did so, out of nowhere, an arrow came soaring out of nowhere and pinned his foot to the ground. As he shouted and bent over at the pain, the center figure pulled out his bow and nocked an arrow, only to have another arrow from the mysterious assailant strike his right hand and go into his forearm. Helen sat up, still shocked and trying to regain her breath from being thrown into the ground. The rapist pulled out a scimitar and shouted, "Well come on out, ya Robin Hood! I'll take you on myself!"

 

Another arrow tagged his right shoulder, and he fell to the ground, grunting in frustration. He pulled a throwing knife out and tossed it helplessly into the night sky, failing to hit even a tree in the dense forest.  As he stood up slowly, the archer approached him from the treeline with a shortsword, and went to knock him out with the pommel. Instead, with second wind, the bandit ducked forward, sliding his scimitar across the rescuer's hip as he passed. As the hero turned to fight back, he flinched at his newfound pain. Luckily, the bandit was also in a lot of pain, and wasn't moving. Helen stared in awe as all of the strangers around her sat and helplessly writhed in silent pain. Her mind completely blank by this point, because she was still groggy from lack of sleep, she quickly got up and grabbed her staff. With some quick swinging, she bludgeoned the two other outlaws with cheap blows to the back of the head, knocking both of them unconscious. Meanwhile, the hero and villain were having a pitiful sword fight, looking like two toddlers blundering around with sharp toys.

 

The bandit, being forced to fight with his left arm, was swinging with half of his coordination, while his opponent lazily parried, flinching at each blow. Forcing himself to endure the extra pain, Helen's brave defender finally stumbled forward, tackling the sword into the masked man's gut. They both stumbled into the ground, and Helen ran for the guy who saved her. She wasn't sure why, but she figured that she'd have the advantage if he turned out to have misintentions.

 

"You're hurt!" She said. The man looked up, dumbfounded at her gratitude for his saving her life. "Well," he replied, "ya don't say..." He stood up, his left arm covering his right hip, and sauntered toward the campsite only a few feet away. "Now why don't you tell me what you're doing in my forest, girl?" Helen raised an eyebrow.

 

"Ha, uh, your forest? I've been wandering these woods for weeks, and none of these trees have your name carved on them." The man turned around, giving her a condescending look.

 

"First of all," he said in his snarkiest tone, "half the trees by the wayside have names carved into them, if you'd just look. In all fairness, most of them just have two letters and a heart, but nevertheless, it's an identity. Secondly, you don't know my name, so I imagine it'd be hard for you to figure out the fact that I don't own this forest."

 

"I don't care what your name is," Helen sneered. "For all I know, you're no better than that weirdo with your sword-hole in his gut." This got her a look of disbelief from her new friend.

 

"Sword-hole? You're not from around here, are you?" He stood up, and limped toward her. "I can tell from your ears. You're an elf, aren't you? Probably thought you could handle anything that came your way with your magic and your riches. Not so high and mighty now, are we?" He folded his arms, grinning smugly. Helen couldn't believe what she was hearing.

 

"Excuse me?" She put a fist on her hip, and prepared to rail on him. "I'm a half-elf, just so we're clear on that. And I am from around here. My hometown is just east of the Capital. Plus, I'm not rich, and I'm not high and mighty. So next time we feel like profiling someone based on some stereotype, maybe we should reconsider!"

 

The man pointed a finger at her. "Hey, that's no way to be talking to a guy who just risked his life to save yours. You better rethink your attitude, or next time I see a damsel in distress, I'll look the other way and let bygones be bygones, if you... you catch... my..." Suddenly, he fell forward, and Helen yelped.

 

"Ah! Oh my-- crap!! Ah! Uh, um!" She frantically looked around, finding her satchel and pulling out a first aid kit. Well, she thought worriedly, I've never sown a wound before. But hopefully he's passed out enough he won't feel any pain.



#2 Dalton Kringle

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 09:18 AM

Interersting so far!

Can't wait for more. :D

#3 Ratcatcher

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 09:29 AM

Thanks! I wanted to keep the fight scene flowing quickly so that it was somewhat intense in the imagination, but I couldn't help but wonder if it made enough sense. That, and the flashbacks. I was worried about how I did with the flashbacks. :P



#4 Dalton Kringle

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 05:55 PM

Thanks! I wanted to keep the fight scene flowing quickly so that it was somewhat intense in the imagination, but I couldn't help but wonder if it made enough sense. That, and the flashbacks. I was worried about how I did with the flashbacks. :P

 

It's really good.

 

Only thing that caught my eye was this:

 

 

 

She gathered a bunch of dry leaves, twigs, and small pieces of would, and built herself a neat little fire.


#5 Ratcatcher

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 08:40 PM

Chapter 2: The Hunter

 

The young boy knocked on the door. The Cassius Empire was experiencing a colder-than-usual winter, with a good couple inches of snow blanketing the ground. He stepped back, clutching his arms tightly against his chest. The door opened to reveal a nobleman, middle-aged and still looking in his prime. Without lowering his head, his gaze glowered at the child. "Go away, boy," he sneered, "you have nothing to say to me." Without further discussion, the door briskly shut, and the little Varrock Atticus trudged on. He didn't understand. Why were these people so mean if they had so much money? He and his family had lots of money, and they weren't mean.

 

Although the weather was clear and serene, the boy still shivered at the cold. Clutching a rock tightly in his hand, he used it as he had done with the last four houses to knock on the door. Only once had somebody railed on him for scuffing up the polish (as though the weather hadn't done that), but sadly he was too small to reach the door-knockers. This one opened to reveal a much older gentleman with a cane. He looked down with a confused look. "You look a little well-dressed to be a street rat. What is it you want, son?"

 

Varrock looked back into the man's eyes. "Sir," he said, mustering as much respect and maturity in his voice as he could, "my mother is deathly ill, and I was wondering if you could help her." The old man tilted his head slightly, raising an eyebrow.

 

"Oh really?" He replied in disbelief. "Well, what is her name?"

"Veronica Atticus." The man's eyes widened, and he frowned.

You mean Lady Atticus? The wife of Richard Paul Atticus? You're their son?" Varrock nodded. The Elder stared off into the distance. "Oh my. I had heard she was sick. So, I guess even the healers weren't able to cure whatever she's got." He looked back down at the boy. "Well how would I be able to help?"

"You see, sir," Atticus boldly spoke, "the healers said they got close, but we didn't have enough to pay them. My dad's brother took all of our money." The old man scoffed.

"Well you'll be getting no sympathy from me. It's not easy to hang on to your inheritance even without siblings, you know!" He paused. "Look, I'm sorry, but I won't help you. If not today, your mother will die in forty years or so. I'll die in ten. It's the natural order of things."

"But sir--"

"Goodbye." He softly pushed the child off of his doorstep, shutting the door and locking it.

------------------------------------------------------------

Varrock awoke to the grumpy young girl poking him with a stick. Well, she wasn't really poking him, it was more like pushing him back and forth with the stick pressed on his ribs-- an uncomfortable feeling, indeed.

 

"Remind me again why we left those guys to just bleed out and die?" Helen asked pryingly. Varrock rolled his eyes.

 

"Because if we let them live, they would've gone on and robbed or raped some other ditzy brunette meandering the woods." Helen raised her eyebrows, her mouth wide open.

 

"Ditzy brunette--!?"

 

"Yeah," Varrock mumbled, sitting up. "Your come out here in the middle of nowhere, thinking the woodland creatures will start some sing-a-long, and nearly get your hat handed to you by a bunch of lousy criminals. It's better this way."

 

Helen's mouth stammered for words before she spoke. "In what world is killing people better than, I dunno, justice?"

 

"Look," Varrock said, slowly standing up, using the tree for balance. "If they didn't die now, they would've died not long from now. It's, uh..." Varrock paused, then shook his head, throwing his quiver on his back. He sighed, looking Helen in the eye. "It's the natural order of things, OK? Someday I'll die too. Then you'll die. Then the corrupt human offspring that comes from your loins will die. People die, alright? Not my problem." He began walking away, his limp barely noticeable.

 

"Hey! If you don't give any cares about who dies, then why'd you save me!?" Varrock stopped, contemplating the question. He turned around, looking at Helen. She strutted up to him, stopped a foot away, and in a much lower and level-headed tone, asked again, "Why'd you save me if it doesn't matter?" Varrock glared back at her under his hood.

 

"I didn't say it doesn't matter, kid. It doesn't matter when we live or die, maybe so. But nobody deserves to live like that, you hear me?" He pointed a finger at Helen, who was still peering at him through upset eyes. "Not a soul in this world needs something that important taken from them and be forced to live without it."

 

Helen kept glaring, thinking of a response. "So why not kill me then?"

 

"You had more to live for, simple as that." He started to walk off.

 

"So that's it!? You're just playing Judge of the Jungle, deciding who lives and what matters?"

 

"You're welcome," he shouted without looking.

 

"Wait!" Varrock involuntarily stopped, then took a deep breath. This girl was getting on his last nerve, and if she didn't stop bugging him, he was going to start thinking she was right about killing the wrong people last night. "Can you at least help me get out of the woods?" Varrock turned around. "I already marked your map." She pulled the map out of her bag, looked at it, then looked up. Atticus took a bow, holding his arms out so as to mock. "Now may I leave you to your ditzy meandering, your Majesty?" She took a final look of disgust.

 

"You're a scoundrel!" Helen said. Then she spun around and walked away.

 

Finally, Varrock thought, shaking his head and walking away. I thought I'd never get rid of her. He didn't enjoy socialization of any kind, and he certainly wasn't fond of pompous, stuck-up rich wizards who think they know everything. She never even thanked him. She didn't even ask for his name! As Atticus walked, he contemplated the likely outcome of her life. Assuming she lived longer than a few years.

 

He wandered through the forest, beams of morning light penetrating the forest tops. It was a beautiful scene, and he never wanted to leave. The mulch crunched under his feet, the shade kept him cool, and the food was amazing. There was a peaceful energy about the forest, and the ranger hoped it could stay way. He truly felt he found his true self out there, and when he strolled down his favorite untrod path, it was as though everything was right. His heart burned with peace, and he was able to pretend, for fleeting moments, that there was no despair in the world. It was like the spirits of the woods each took their turn to hug him and let him know that he was cared about.

----------------------

 

"Son," Richard Paul Atticus called out, "a word with you." Little Varrock came walking up, and his father knelt down to see him face to face. "Listen, my son. Your uncle now has legally taken our money, and your mother..." His voice cracked, and he pursed his lips. He blinked several times to try and keep tears from leaking, but was unsuccessful. "...well, it's a matter of time." He looked back at his son, who nodded with unprecedented understanding. He clutched his young child tightly by the shoulders. "I wanted to thank you so much for trying your best to help. Your mother and I are more proud than you can imagine." Richard hugged his young man for a long minute, then looked him back in the eye.

 

"What will we do now, dad?" Richard paused.

 

"Well, son, you know that I've always been honest with you. Honesty is most important in this world, remember? Remember that we don't mince words?" Young Atticus nodded. "You see, I... I've done something wrong. I wanted to help your mother, but I went too far. I'm going to have to go away for..." Richard looked down, squeezing his eyes shut. His next words were a mutter under crying breath: "...for a very long time."

 

Varrock furrowed his brow in confusion. "But dad, if you're going away, what will I do? Who will love me?" Richard hugged his son once again.

 

"Varrock Atticus, no matter where we are or what's come of us, your mother and I will always, always love you most dearly of all."

----------------------

 

Then you see a trap that breaks your concentration, and you stop and examine it. The hunter wandered around where it was safe, examining the mechanics of the trap. It was a net snare; the net was placed over a hole in the ground, then covered by light twigs and leaves. When somebody fell into the whole, the net would catch them and fall with them, pulling a hold out and letting the net get suspended in the air. It was meant to catch something mid-sized, like a wolf or a... bigger wolf. It didn't make a whole lot of sense, though, since his choice of trap would've been some kind of leg-snatching device, similar to a bear trap. However this wasn't a mistake, as Varrock could tell. By the craftsmanship of the trap, whoever did it must've chosen this trap for something else. But--

 

"Aw, screw it," he heard. Suddenly, a bolt tagged him in the left shoulder, and taken by surprise, he fell right to the ground. Great, he thought, left shoulder, right hip. I'm helpless. He stood up to face his assailant, but he felt light headed. The world spun to it's side, and the ground came up and laid itself against his head. He rolled onto his back, only to catch a faint glimmer of a shadowy figure approaching him before he faded out.



#6 Ratcatcher

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 02:18 PM

  Chapter 3: The Fox

 

Seven master wizards sat behind a semi-circular panel, shuffling and sliding papers. A younger wizard sat in the corner, scribbling away at every needed detail. The door cracked open, and a young blonde student peeked in. "You wanted to see me?" She stated inquiry as though she desired to know why rather than asking for a confirmation. The Elder Council continued looking through papers, and the old man in the middle looked up.

 

"Yes, Miss Myers. Please, have a seat." He looked back down at his own writing, absently gesturing in the general direction of a particularly lonely looking chair which the master wizards surrounded.

 

"Actually," she said, shyly walking in and shutting the metal door behind her, "I'd rather stand, if it's all the same to you."

 

"Very well." The central old man, heretofore known as the High Wizard, wrapped up one of his parchments into a stick, and with speed, tied a knot of string around the center. "Let us not delay. Helen Myers, you've been called here because the Elder Council would like to make a decision concerning your... erm... your lack of specialty, for lack of kinder words. As you know, I stand between six Master Wizards, who know all that is currently known about each of their respected Power. You were unable to progress in any of them. Can you tell us why?"

 

Helen paused, allowing the scribe in the corner to catch up in his scribbling. "Well... I thought I was getting better at Illusions." She and the High Wizard looked over at Fjoll, who was the master of the Illusion Power. She looked up from her notes to Helen, then over to the High Wizard.

 

In her thick Nordic accent, she replied, "Well, there's no denying that she is impressive when divining in a pool or a pearl, but when it comes to other illusions-- the kind that bring out the nature of the Power-- she couldn't even create light." She looked back over to Helen, with pity in her eyes. "I'm sorry, girl."

 

"Well," the old leader's voice echoed, "was there anything else you felt confident about?"

 

"I had some good air magic going on in the Elemental Power, and levitation."

 

"Rubbish," snapped the respected high wizard, a beefy, toned man with an intimidatingly trimmed red beard, "what ye felt was a folly 'o' sorts. The other air wizards said they distinctly felt the air aroun' the objects they moved. Whatever it is you were doin' wasn't air magic, it was somethin' else." Helen put on a sassy pose.

 

"Well excuse me," she retorted, "maybe I couldn't get further in it because my teacher was a jerk!"

 

The High Wizard stood up, and with a booming superhuman voice, shouted "That's enough!" They both backed down, and Myers sat down as the old man did. "I will not have my teachers undermining my students, nor will there be any disrespecting of Master Wizards!" He scribbled some notes down, briefly allowing silence to ensue. When he was finished, he looked at his notes oddly, then looked up. "Miss Myers, before you came up to the Elder Council tonight, we held a meeting and decided what we're going to do."

 

Helen looked up, having prepared herself for the news. "You're going to kick me out of the Citadel. If I can't learn anything from six Master Wizards, then there's nothing for me to learn. I should give up on magic." The grey-bearded man looked slightly upset.

 

"Well, yes and no. While it's true we're going to ask you to leave the Citadel, we want you to continue practicing magic in the field to see if you make any breakthroughs on your own. In fact, we have a task of sorts for you."

-----------------------------------------------

 

Padding his way down the forest path, Marroc Willows continued his brisk jog on all four paws. Being a Red Fox, he enjoyed the walk through the forest as a woodland animal... for the first couple of weeks, anyway. After getting lost, he realized that no matter how intuit his sense of direction was, it couldn't help him find a lost wizard in a big, big forest. He also knew that the longer he tread a wide road frequented by the public, the more danger he was in from trappers, hunters, and starving outlaws.

 

He sighed, wishing he still had access to the Enchanting Power. If he did, he could just ask the trees or forest spirits if they'd seen a helpless blonde with a stick wandering around. Marroc knew that he would have to make a decision sooner or later; there was a good chance that by now, she was in Twiggon, the strange town not far south. The dangers of wandering into a town as a fox, however, were slim. Willows decided he's stop and weigh his options.

 

The semi-wild canine caught himself some lunch, and clung to the edge of a clearing. Despite his animal appearance, he was originally a human, and many human tendencies still clung to him (for instance, not venturing far from forest pathways). As he chewed off the delicious red meat of a rabbit thigh, he looked up to see a man hauling a large bag about his size. Thinking it to be an odd size for any animal he could think of, he got up and trod over to the bag, smelling it when he was but a couple feet away. Yup, he thought, that's a person in that bag. The beard looked back, slightly baffled that he was being followed by a fox, then kicked it away. "Back off, mutt."

 

Marroc sidestepped to avoid the muddy boot. "Hey! Who are you calling a mutt, you son of a--" Marroc was interrupted by the rapid response of his assailant. Apparently, his shouting had initiated a fight-or-flight reaction, to which the trashy hunter dropped his bag and pulled out a loaded crossbow with incredible reflexes. Marroc's ears involuntarily went back. "Woah, look, I don't want any trouble..."

 

The marksman's eyes were wide with shock, but the rest of his face seemed calm, collected, and braced. "You should have thought of that before you went nosing around at somebody else's catch. I've got mouths to feed." Marroc's eyes widened.

 

"By the gods! You're a cannibal!?" The stranger looked back at his bag, then back at the woodland creature.

 

"Hmph... you've got a keen nose for a mutant animal. Perhaps you could be of assistance to me." As he began his monologue, he lowered his weapon slightly, but kept it aimed at the fox. "I got hired for some kind of job from an antique collector. He's looking for some kind of rare gem, and I could use a nose like that to hunt it down." Willows' ears went from behind his head to the sides facing the ground, as he gazed off into his own thoughts. "I'm sure you'll prefer that over your other option." He prodded the crossbow toward Marroc, who didn't look up.

 

"Well... I don't have much choice. But I have three questions. " Marroc's blackmailer opened his arms, letting a hand off his crossbow just long enough to motion to Marroc to go ahead. "Well, first, I'd like to know the name of my partner."

 

"Artemis." He put his crossbow onto his back, suspecting he'd get no trouble from the innocent fox. "Artemis Venturius, greatest thief in Cassius." Marroc didn't seem to be phased by his occupation.

 

"Alright, Artemis. Why do you have a man in that bag?" He looked back again, ensuring the bag and it's loot were both intact.

 

"Well, my client has been suffering a lot of trouble from some renegade woodsman that roughs up his employees. Originally, I had planned on roping him without harm, but I had to resort to a sleep poison. I must have used a bit much though..." Marroc went over and took another whiff of the bag.

 

"Well don't worry. He's still alive, and sleeping soundly. But anyways, if we're going to go gem-hunting, then I don't want to join you alone." The thief looked down at the fox, his eyes narrowing. Marroc realized that Artemis hadn't stopped frowning.

 

Venturius set a hand on his shortsword's scabbard. "You're in no position to negotiate. We're on my terms, and that's final." Marroc looked down and sneered at himself, his whiskers raising to show some of his teeth. This was true, there was nothing he could do. The clearing was large enough that he couldn't just take off without Artemis getting a clear shot, and fighting him was out of the question. Willows had no magic, and claws wouldn't get past his leather tunic. There had to be something...

 

"What is this gem you're going after, anyway?" Artemis didn't move.

 

"I won't tell you that until you're my pet." Marroc sneered at Artemis.

 

"Just tell me if the damn gem is magic or not." Artemis kept his gaze on Marroc, leering with consideration.

 

"...it's magic." Marroc sat down, his hind legs tiring.

 

"Well, Artemis, even you should know it's unwise to go after magic artifacts without a magic connoisseur of sorts. It so happens my master is in Twiggon, and she's an expert with wizardry. Should we bring her along, she'll assist you in getting this gem in any way necessary... provided, of course, you give a small fee." The fox almost offered for her to do it for free, but thought twice about the implication that it might be too good to be true. Artemis thought about it.

 

"What kind of a fee?" "Twenty percent." "Fifteen." "Fine." Without another word, Venturius swung the bag over his shoulder, and the walked in silence to Twiggon.

------------------------

 

As the Elder Council dismissed, the scribe walked up to the High Wizard. "Well, sir," he said, handing him the scroll, "there you have it. The record of everything we said in that room." The old sage took the dialogue. "Sir, if I may ask, there are some things that don't add up." He looked over.

 

The High Wizard asked, "Well, what do you mean by that? Is there something wrong with the decision we've made for Helen?" The scribe stepped back.

 

"Oh, no. Well, I mean, your decision was... peculiar, to say the least. I mean, she didn't do very poorly at all. In fact, she's the fastest learner in her class, and probably the Citadel's history... of course, I haven't gotten that far... but it doesn't make sense that you'd just let her venture out 'on her own.'" The scribe made the air quotes with his fingers. "Also, the spells that she did learn, she reports feeling and focusing differently than any other student. Almost as if--"

 

"As if what?" The High Wizard had an eyebrow raised high with condescension. The scribe wasn't really afraid of expressing his opinion to him, but even so, he struggled to speak his mind.

 

"...well, it may seem crazy, but it's almost as if she was... well, using a different Power to cast her magic. Is that possible?" The archmage folded his arms, looking disapprovingly at his lackey.

 

"You realize that this Citadel has stood since before words were written, being at least a thousand years, and the whole time, young wizards have only been able to learn one of six Powers?" The scribe nodded fearlessly. The metal door shut behind the Elder Council as the last Master Wizard walked out. The High Wizard put a shoulder on his scribe, smiling. "I think that's insightful of you."

 

"You do?"

 

"Well yes, of course. There is still much about magic that has yet to be discovered. I have suspected a Seventh Power for a long time. The fact that you brought it up is intriguing... In fact, I have a task for you, if you're up to it, Marroc."
 



#7 Dalton Kringle

Dalton Kringle

    Wanted Dead or Alive

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Posted 14 April 2016 - 09:28 AM

I didn't notice there were new stories until I looked at this topic recently.

 

Keep up the good work!






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